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John Thelwall (1764-1834), Reformer and elocutionist

Sitter in 12 portraits
Born in Covent Garden the son of a silk merchant. Largely self-educated, he published a volume of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, in 1787 and The Peripatetic; or, Sketches of the Heart, of Nature and Society; in a Series of Politico-Sentimental Journals in 1793. He also became editor and principal contributor to the Biographical and Imperial Magazine. From 1795 to 1796, he published The Tribune, a periodical that mostly consisted of his own political lectures. He began his career as a political lecturer by speaking at public debating societies. He helped form the London Corresponding Society in 1792, and was one of the members of this movement who were tried, and acquitted, for treason in 1794.