Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Carlile, Richard, freethinker, was born in 1790 at Ashburton, Devonshire. Converted by Paine's works into an aggressive Radical, he diligently sought to push the Black Dwarf, a London weekly edited by Jonathan Wooler, and of such pronounced views that the publisher was arrested. Carlile offered to take his place. After the Black Dwarf, he next began to push the sale of Southey's Wat Tyler, in spite of the author's objection, and on the suppression of Hone's Parodies he reprinted them, and also produced an imitation of them, for which he got eighteen weeks' imprisonment. In 1818 he reprinted Paine's works, with a memoir of the author, and by the following year he had six indictments against him, and after a three days' trial was fined £1,500, with three years' imprisonment in Dorchester gaol. From here he began to issue The Republican, the first twelve volumes of which are dated from his prison, and for publishing it his wife in 1821 was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. Carlile, however, was irrepressible. He had his own imprisonment extended three years in lieu of the fine, and in 1821 a constitutional association, headed by the Duke of Wellington, was formed to raise £l6,000 to prosecute Carlile's assistants. His sister Mary Anne was fined £503 and imprisoned for a year for publishing her brother's New Year's Address to the Reformers of Great Britain, 1821, and several of his shopmen were sentenced 'to periods of from six months to three years. For refusing to pay church rates and to give sureties for his good behaviour over the dispute he was sentenced to a further term of three years, and again in 1834-5 he served another ten weeks. For freedom of speech and of the press Carlile was a martyr, and out of his martyrdom came the subsequent insight into the futility and danger of suppression. He died in 1843. (See G.J. Holyoake's Life and Character.)