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John Bright’s Poacher (1804-1891) and the Politics of Corn Law Reform

Dr Harvey Osborne

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Thursday, 12 April 2018, 18:00
Location: 
Waterfront Building

The lecture starts at 18:00 with registration from 17:30.

Dr Harvey Osborne is the Course Leader for History at the University of Suffolk. He is a social historian of modern Britain, with a particular interest in rural history. He completed his MA and PhD research at the University of Lancaster, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (E.S.R.C.), and has been a member of the History team at the University of Suffolk since 2007. His main teaching and research interests are in nineteenth and twentieth-century British social, economic and cultural history.

Organised opposition to the corn laws fused in the early decades of the nineteenth-century with long-standing hostility toward the game laws. This owed much to a campaign by John Bright and the Anti-Corn Law League (ACLL) to conjoin the issues of game preservation and agricultural protectionism and to undercut the rationale for protection by highlighting the deleterious impact of game preservation on the agricultural economy. This lecture highlights the politics of Corn Law Reform through an examination of an alliance developed during the League’s attack on landed privilege in the 1840s between the Quaker leader of the ACLL and a former smuggler and poacher based in Suffolk.

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