Henry Hetherington

I found a possible link in my ancestry, he seems to be a great man of the people. Especially to amass 2000 people for your funeral.

Henry Hetherington, the son of a Londontailor, was born in 1792. When he was thirteen he began work as an apprentice printer at Luke Hansard’s printing works. In the 1820s Hetherington became influenced by the ideas of Robert Owen and joined the co-operative printers association. He also became active in the Radical Reform Association.

In 1822 Hetherington started his own printing and publishing company. This was a time when reformers like Richard Carlilewere being imprisoned for publishing material that was critical of the government. However, for people like Hetherington and Carlile, the publication of newspapers and pamphlets were vitally important in the political education of the working class.

In the 1830s Hetherington published a series of radical newspapers including: The Penny Papers (1830); The Radical (1831) and The Poor Man’s Guardian(1831-1835). In 1833 Hetherington was selling 22,000 copies a week of thePoor Man’s Guardian. Hetherington was punished by the authorities several times for these activities. This included being fined on numerous occasions, imprisoned in 1833 and 1836, and having all his printing presses seized and destroyed in 1835.

Hetherington played a leading role in the campaign against the heavy taxes on newspapers and pamphlets. This campaign resulted in several reforms in the law. In 1833 when the four-penny tax on newspapers was reduced to one-penny. The same year Parliament agreed to remove the tax on pamphlets.

In his newspapers Henry Hetherington campaigned against child labour, the 1834 Poor Lawand political corruption. Hetherington joined William Lovett, James Watson and John Cleaveto form the London Working Man’s Association (LWMA) in 1836. Hetherington, who became the LWMA first treasurer, helped draw up a Charter of political demands. By 1836 Hetherington was one of the leaders of the Chartistmovement. Hetherington was a moral forceChartist and was very critical of the ideas of Feargus O’Connor and in 1849 helped create the moderate Peoples Charter Union.

Hetherington continued his campaign against taxes on newspapers and in 1849 formed the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee. A few months later, on 23rd August 1849, Hetherington died of cholera. Two thousand people gathered at Kensal Green cemetery to pay their respects to the the man who had spent his adult life fighting for social reform.

Ross Hetherington

Owner of this website

One thought on “Henry Hetherington

  1. glad to see you found him ross.you follow the links as i said?you could have gave me a mention mate.im a hetherington too.nice site.keep it up.

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