Biography

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An inexhaustive list of some of Francis Place's activities

Compiled by Jeremy Wickins

1790s Organised several trades unions under the guise of benefit societies
1794 Joined London Corresponding Society; soon elected to General Committee, and on one of the committees defending radicals accused of treason.
1804 Designed improved musket lock - offered £10,000 for it.
1808 Joined Committee of Friends of Parliamentary Reform in Middlesex.
1812-29 Long term campaign to abolish Sinking Fund.
1813-15 Campaigned for improved conditions for lunatics. Supported abortive London Lunatic Asylum project; successfully blocked parliamentary bill that would have benefited doctors, not patients.
1813 Committee member, British and Foreign School Association.
1814 Helped bring about repeal of Elizabethan restrictive Statute of Apprentices.
1815 Evidence-gatherer for Select Committee on Mendicity in the Metropolis
1816 Sat on Committees on the police.
1816-19 Part of Westminster "Committee of Public Safety".
1817-27 Worked on research to (unsuccessfully) prove that annual parliaments and universal manhood suffrage were ancient practices of the Anglo-Saxons.
1818-22 Attempted to unravel government accounts.
1820 Drafted address and resolutions for meeting to support Queen Caroline.
1820's Letters and articles against corn law.
1820s Launched London Mechanic's Institute to promote adult education. Helped to found London University.
1822 Wrote a series of articles campaigning for the abolition of libel laws.
1824 Secured repeal of restrictions on butchers under Cutting and Flaying Act
1824 Drafted new trades unions law.
1824 Drafted Bill for repeal of Combination Acts.
1825 Unsuccessful attempt to do above for tanners.
1825 Worked with Hobhouse to secure an Act of Parliament to restrict children's working hours in the cotton mills.
1825 Involved in curtailing gaming in joint-stock companies.
1825 Organised campaign against renewal of oppressive Combination Acts.
1826 Managed radical's Westminster General Election campaign.
1826 Assisted linen drapers to combine; advised Birmingham silversmiths in strike action.
1827 Assisted seamen's union in unsuccessful action to abolish press gangs.
1829 Supported Henry Wilson's project to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents by apprenticing them to the colonies.
1830 Important role in getting hackney carriage law reformed.
1832 Successful campaign for Anatomy Bill
1832 Further campaigning for better deal for working children.
1834-8 Assisted London Working Man's Association.
1834 Assisted block coopers in their strike.
1834 Assisted cotton spinners.
1835 Editor of "Corporation Reformer", a newspaper supporting the Municipal Corporations Bill.
1836 Gave assistance to John Fowler of Sheffield to set up steel journeyman's union.
1838 Became involved in Chartism.
1838 Organised defence of trades unions against legislation proposed by Daniel O'Connell
1839/40 Gave considerable time to prevent execution of men involved in Monmouth uprising.
1839 Sought government for Thaddeus Connellan, an Irish educationalist.
1840 Helped set up Metropolitan Anti-Corn-Law Association.
1840s Helped Chartist prisoners.
1842 Member of Radical Club's "Committee of Agitation for Peoples Charter".
1842 Set up Metropolitan Parliamentary Reform Association.
1849 Treasurer, Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee (from 1851, Association for the Repeal of Taxes on Knowledge).

All the information here is taken from Francis Place 1771-1854 by Dudley Miles. The list is not in any way intended to paint a full picture of Francis Place's involvement in activities, but to provide a flavour of the scope of his interests and capabilities.


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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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