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That this House notes that 9 March 2013 was the 250th anniversary of the birthday of William Cobbett who was instrumental in the passage of the 1832 Reform Act and who subsequently became the hon. Member for Oldham; welcomes the efforts of the William Cobbett Society based in Farnham, Cobbett's birthplace, to celebrate his birthday and to raise his profile beyond Surrey, Hampshire and Oldham; further notes that he was a tireless campaigner against corruption and exploitation of the underprivileged and fought hard for parliamentary and social reform; further notes that his main contribution was to publish and write most of the weekly Political Register from 1802 to his death in 1835; further notes, however, that he is best remembered for establishing Hansard, for his book, Rural Rides, which is still in print and for the two years he spent in Newgate jail for seditious libel since the defence of telling the truth was inadmissible in those days; further notes that he was usually contentious, sometimes contradictory, always readable and often funny; and pays tribute to his life and work in 2013, his anniversary year.
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