The initial welcome for the French Revolution in Britain came largely from middle‐class and dissenting groups, but its ideas soon gained wider popularity through the spread of Painite radicalism, disseminated especially by corresponding societies. In 1792 the most famous of all the radical societies of the period—the London Corresponding Society—was founded by Thomas Hardy, a Scottish shoemaker, with the intention of corresponding with provincial radicals to promote the cause of parliamentary reform. The government, thoroughly alarmed, arrested the leaders and clamped down heavily on the LCS. By 1797 the corresponding societies had collapsed or been driven underground.
Subjects: British History — Modern History (1700 to 1945).