From the British Library
The detailed diaries of John Cam Hobhouse provide a revealing research source for the years 1809-1865. Hobhouse represented Westminster from 1820 to 1833. His Whig contacts were wide and his radical sympathies substantial. These papers document both pressure group politics and the concerns of middle-class radicalism during the first half of the 19th century.
In his early years, he was a leading parliamentary Radical, zealously harassing the Tory government every chance he could. A committed campaigner for progress and justice, Hobhouse strongly criticized ministerial foreign policy and supported revolutionary movements abroad.
Other issues in which Hobhouse was deeply involved include state regulation of factory labor, religious equality, non-denominational education, and the economic advancement of the working class. His undogmatic approach led him to later change from "Leveller" to essentially conservative Whig. He held several responsible government posts, including Secretary of War in Lord Grey's government (1832-33) and Chief Secretary (1833-34).