Popular radicalism and freethought in early nineteenth century England : a study of Richard Carlile and his followers, 1815-32 [article]

Iain McCalman, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
On 9 March 1817 a 27 year old journeyman tinmaker left the manufactory of Matthews and Masterson, Union Court, Holborn intent on joining a new trade. His hopes depended on a carefully-wrapped bundle containing 100 copies of Jonathan Wooler's Black Dwarf, London's latest, most extreme, 2d. pamphlet periodical. In the weeks following he tramped through the streets and alleys of the Strand^ Soho, Holborn, Clerkenwell, Whitechapel, Westminster and Southwark - sometimes thirty miles a day -
more » ... es a day - persuading booksellers to risk libel prosecution by taking a few copies. Daily profit never exceeded 18d .; just enough, when all were sold, to repay the loan on their original purchase and feed his family. Still, Wooler was delighted at the enlistment of some 20 new Metropolitan agents? and promised future custom. Richard Carlile had made his debut as a hawker of 'blasphemy and sedition'; the least-skilled, lowest-paid, and most perilous occupation associated with London's radical popular press.
doi:10.25911/5d74e57296384 fatcat:32c54sczo5f6nltcfl5xzpbhza