William Cobbett (1763-1835), was a prolific political writer and a farmer. He was the son of a Farnham publican and farmer George Cobbett. Today, he is probably best known for his ‘Rural Rides’ (1830), an account of rural life in England.

The Jolly Farmer, Farnham, was William Cobbett's birthplace, photographed in 1905. Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 1720

The Jolly Farmer, Farnham, was William Cobbett’s birthplace, photographed in 1905
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 1720

Cobbett began the Political Register in 1800 and it appeared almost weekly until his death in 1835. Although his views found some favour amongst politicians they were by no means popular.

Cobbetts writings cover a multitude of social and political issues but during the 1820s he became increasingly concerned about the condition of the agricultural labourer and rural poverty. ‘Twelve Sermons’ (1823) contains attacks on the establishment and their treatment of the poor. The book’s full title was:

‘Twelve Sermons on: 1. Hypocrisy and cruelty, 2. Drunkeness, 3. Bribery, 4. The rights of the poor, 5. Unjust Judges, 6. The Sluggard, 7. Murder, 8. Gaming, 9. Public Robbery, 10. The Unnatural Mother, 11. Forbidden Marriage, 12. Parsons and Tithes’.

One Response to William Cobbett (1763-1835)

  1. Cobbett was born on March 9 2013. Therefore his 250th anniversary falls in 2013. Any one wanting to get involved in celebrating this year, please contact me on 01252 -722947

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