William Cobbett (1763-1835) was a radical journalist, farmer and Member of Parliament. Born into a farming family at Farnham in Surrey, Cobbett's agricultural background was often reflected in his role as a spokesperson for farm labourers and their communities. Through his writing and belief in political and parliamentary reform he achieved a high profile which allowed him to be a national commentator on some of the major political issues of his time. He saw reform of Parliament as a remedy for economic problems, arguing that the election of radicals would lead to lower taxes and fuller employment for working people. Following the passing of the Great Reform Act in 1832 Cobbett was elected as MP for the new borough of Oldham.