Samuel Bamford - Encyclopedia


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SAMUEL BAMFORD (1788-1872), English labour politician, was born at Miston, near Middleton, Lancashire, on the 28th of February 5788. Himself a stalwart weaver, he was opposed to physical force movements and did all he could to restrain the violent resistance to trade oppression which was so common; yet through attending and speaking at the meeting (1819) at Peterloo, Manchester, which was intended to be a peaceful gathering to petition for Parliamentary reform and a repeal of the Corn Law but ended in a massacre, he was arrested for a breach of the law, convicted and sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment. He was the author of several widely popular poems (principally in the Lancashire dialect) showing sympathy with the conditions of his class, and his Passages in the Life of a Radical (1840-1844) is an authoritative history of the condition of the working classes in the years succeeding the battle of Waterloo. He died at Harpurhey on the 13th of April 1872, and was accorded a public funeral, attended by thousands.

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