Francis Place Collection

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The Francis Place Collection is an important British Library collection of press cuttings, leaflets, and ephemera about British politics and economics between 1770 and 1853 with some earlier material. The collection was created by the social reformer Francis Place (1771–1854).[1] In 1844, Place suffered a stroke, and possibly a brain tumour, which left him with difficulty reading and writing. It was about this time that he began to organise his collection into guard-books as he was unable to be as active in political circles as he had been previously.[2] The original paper collection is in 180 volumes at the main St Pancras site and is not available to the public for conservation reasons but Microfilm copies are available at St Pancras and at the newspaper reading room in Colindale.[1]


The collection reflects the political and social issues important to Place, including:

  • The Corn Laws
  • Chartism
  • Emigration
  • Free Trade
  • The Sanitary Laws
  • King George IV and Queen Caroline
  • The Luddite Movement
  • Working conditions
  • The Irish Famine
  • Strikes
  • Sedition

It includes important newspapers such as:

  • The Anti-Corn Law Circular (Manchester 1839-1841)
  • The Anti-Bread-Tax Circular (Manchester 1841-1843)
  • Newspapers from 1770 to 1837, including illegal unstamped papers

It also includes the complete published materials and minutes of the London Corresponding Society.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Francis Place Collection: contents of the microfilm reels. British Library 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  2. London Radicalism 1830–1843 - A selection of the papers of Francis Place - Electronic version. British History Online, 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011.

Further reading

External links