Place, Francis

Place, Francis,

1771–1854, English radical reformer. A tailor for many years, he educated himself and made his shop a meeting center for radicals and reformers. He was especially active in the trade-union movement; through his efforts the antiunion Combination Acts of 1799–1800 were repealed (1824). He was also an early leader of the Chartists (see ChartismChartism,
workingmen's political reform movement in Great Britain, 1838–48. It derived its name from the People's Charter, a document published in May, 1838, that called for voting by ballot, universal male suffrage, annual Parliaments, equal electoral districts, no
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), helping to draft the "People's Charter." His pamphlets on social questions include Illustrations and Proofs of the Principle of Population (1822), one of the earliest tracts on birth control.


See his autobiography, ed. by M. Thale (1972); biographies by G. Wallas (4th ed. 1925, repr. 1951) and M. Dudley (1988).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Place, Francis


Born Nov. 3, 1771, in London; died there Jan. 1, 1854. English political figure and bourgeois radical.

A garment worker as a youth, Place was active in workers’ associations in 1793 and 1794 and was a member of the London Corresponding Society from 1794 to 1797. In 1800 he started his own business. He enjoyed some influence among the workers as a defender of the freedom of workers’ associations in the 1820’s, and he played an active role in the electoral reform movement of 1832. In 1838 he took part in the drafting of the People’s Charter of the chartist movement; however, he subsequently abandoned chartism and assumed a hostile attitude toward it.


Wallas, G. The Life of F. Place. New York, 1919.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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