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Attwood, Thomas

Attwood, Thomas (1783–1856). Banker, currency reformer, and founder of the Birmingham Political Union, Attwood argued that the economic ills of the nation were caused by hard money, and that the cure lay in an abundant supply of paper currency instead of gold. Although now remembered chiefly for his support of parliamentary reform, he always saw this as secondary to the need for a change in monetary policy. Attwood regarded himself as the representative of the Birmingham ‘industrious’ classes, meaning businessmen, masters, and skilled workers in the small-scale industries of the midlands. This was the basis on which he built the middle–working-class alliance in the BPU in 1830–2, which he attempted (less successfully) to incorporate in 1837 in the early chartist movement. He was returned for Birmingham in the reformed Parliament of 1832 and wrote continuously on monetary reform from 1816 to 1847.

John F. C. Harrison

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Attwood, Thomas

Attwood, Thomas (b London, 1765; d London, 1838). Eng. composer and organist. Boy chorister in Chapel Royal; host and friend in London of Mendelssohn; org. St Paul's Cath., 1796–1838 and of Chapel Royal from 1836; composer of th. and church mus. One of first profs. at RAM, 1823. Founder-member of Philharmonic Soc., 1813.

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