08 December 1790 -
10 February 1843

Richard Carlile

Richard Carlile

Born in Ashburton

Richard was the son of shoemaker, who died in 1794 leaving a wife and three small children.

Richard received six years free education from the Church of England, at twelve he left school and became an apprentice to a tinplateman in Plymouth.

On the 24th May 1813 married Jane Rose Cousins (1781-1843) in Alverstoke, Hampshire, they had six children, three died under five.

Arrested for sedition, libel and blashermy, spent two years in Dorchester Prison, whilst in prison he continued to write for his newspaper 'The Republican'.  He left his wife Jane as editor, the newspaper was popular and the government of the day introduced a tax on cheap newspapers of 4d.

Jane followed her husband to prison for seditious libel and was imprisoned for two years, Richard's sister Mary replaced her as edition, but she joined Jane in prison six months later.

In 1832 Elizabeth Sharples (1804-1852) from Bolton wrote to Richard whilst he was in prison, she moved to London later that year and visited him in prison.

Jane moved out of the family home and in April 1833, Elizabeth gave birth to a son Richard Sharples.  After the birth Richard acknowledged his relationship with Elizabeth calling it a 'moral marriage'.  Elizabeth gave him another two daughters.

In August 1836 he set off on a tour lecturing, returning home in December.  Still capable of drawing large crowds, most radicals rejected his reigious views and were attracted to the political agruements of chartism.

His time in prisons took a toll on his health and he died of a bronchial infection.

He dedicated his body to science, he was buried in London 26th February, 1843.

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Last updated 23rd May 2017