The Fight for Reform
Sam was an active reformer. He had been sent as a delegate from Middleton to a London conference, where he had met Sir Francis Burdett, Francis Place, Major Cartwright and other leading men in the movement. Sam wrote a lively account of this conference with character sketches of the people who attended it. O f Major Cartwright he wrote, ‘Let me pause and render a tribute due to integrity and benevolence.’ O f the others he did not think much. Sam was very cocksure in his judgments and rather touchy —in Middleton he was a well-known figure; among national leaders in London he was only one of a crowd and this he did not like. At this time he was about thirty years old, tall and lanky, Lancashire in speech, his features ‘like a mass of rough and smooth, which, thrown into a heap had found their own subsistence, an intelligent eye and a rough good nature’. So Sam described himself. He had also considerable basic common sense.