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Political reformer and essayist (1763-1835)

William Cobbett “The Poor Man’s Friend ”is arguably the most influential person Farnham has ever produced.

A thorn in the flesh of successive governments as a political journalist, Cobbett occupied a unique position of power for nearly forty years using his brilliant pen to support the labouring poor, exposing corruption and dishonesty.

In 1802 he established “Hansard”, the first official record of parliamentary debates. Cobbett also penned “Rural Rides” from observations of what was happening in towns and villages as he rode around the country on horseback.

No ordinary individual before or since has influenced public affairs so widely on both sides of the Atlantic.

Image courtesy of The Museum of Farnham