From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
William Cobbett (9 March 1763 – 18 June 1835) was an English pamphleteer, journalist, Member of Parliament and farmer born in Farnham, Surrey, one of a popular agrarian faction seeking to reform Parliament, abolish "rotten boroughs", restrain wanton foreign activity and raise wages, to promote peace and ease poverty among farm labourers and smallholders. He backed lower taxes, saving, reversing commons enclosures and resisting the 1821 gold standard. He sought an end to borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters" (overpaid, corrupt bureaucrats, public servants and stockbrokers), and dismissed British Jews in a typecast by the same tokenTemplate:Clarify. Early in life he was a soldier and devotee of king and country, but later pushed for a radicalism that helped to produce the Reform Act 1832 and gain him one of two seats in Parliament for the new borough of Oldham. He urged Catholic emancipation. He saw British agriculture and other economic output geographically. His polemics cover subjects from political reform to religion. His best known book is Rural Rides (1830, still in print). He argued against Malthusianism that economic betterment could support global population growth.