Francis Place (1771-1854), Political and social reformer
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A tailor by profession and self-educated, Place was a leading radical activist. Convinced that working men needed the vote, he was Chairman of the London Corresponding Society - an artisanal group which promoted Parliamentary reform. Place's greatest political achievement came in 1824 when he successfully canvassed for the repeal of the Combination Acts which outlawed trades unions and strikes. Place's library, at his tailor's shop, became a great radical centre and the resort of men such as Burdett and Bentham. Place published countless tracts on subjects as diverse as trade union activity, population growth and contraception.