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Cobbett's Petition to the House of Lords

In June 1820 William Cobbett presented this petition to Parliament. In the petition he described himself as a farmer, explaining that he had purchased an estate in the county of Southampton in 1805 for the sum of £30,000. The petition was against ‘An Act to provide for the gradual resumption of cash payments by the Bank of England' which had been passed in 1819. This legislation had greatly increased the interest rates on his mortgage, causing him such great hardship that he was considering selling his estate. He also made the point that over the same six year period he and his fellow farmers had suffered a fall in the price of wheat, while contending with sharp rises in standards of living and the devaluing of land.

The estate Cobbett had purchased in 1805 was at Botley in Hampshire, and he lived there until 1817 when he left for the United States where he farmed on Long Island.  Upon his return in 1819 Cobbett was bankrupt and he lost the Botley estate.