Cartwright, John

Cartwright, John, 1740–1824, English reformer and pamphleteer; brother of Edmund Cartwright. He had an early career in the navy. He declined to fight the American colonists and wrote American Independence: The Interest and Glory of Great Britain (1774). A major in the Nottinghamshire militia (1775–92), he was deprived of his commission in the hysteria at the time of the French Revolutionary Wars. He came to be called the “father of reform” for his advocacy of universal manhood suffrage, parliamentary and army reform, and abolition of slavery.

See F. D. Cartwright, ed., The Life and Correspondence of Major Cartwright (2 vol., 1826; repr. 1969); biography by J. W. Osborne (1972).

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