Correspondence of Henry Hetherington

Scope and Content

Accompanying the letter in this series is a circular containing an address by the Social Friends' Society, of which Hetherington was Secretary.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Hetherington (17 June 1792 – 23 August 1849) was a printer and leading British Chartist. Influenced by Robert Owen's ideas in the early 1820s, he joined the Co-operative Printers Association and became a member of the the London Co-operative and Economical Society community.

Registering his own press in 1822, Hetherington printed several radical publications, including: The Penny Papers for the People, The Radical and The Poor Man's Guardian. In 1840 Hetherington was indicted on a blasphemous libel charge for selling C.J. Haslam's Letters to the Clergy of All Denominations, which attacked the Bible.

Hetherington campaigned against child labour, the 1834 Poor Law, and political corruption, using his various newspapers to spread his views. He formed the London Working Men's Association with William Lovett, James Watson and John Cleave in 1836, and was involved in drawing up a charter of political demands.