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Anthony Ashley Cooper

1801- 1885. Evangelical social reformer. He was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, then entered Parliament in 1826. He was a Tory, though his growing concern with social issues-particularly his desire to improve working-class conditions which had been created by the Industrial Revolution-made him more independent politically. In 1828 he became a member of the Metropolitan Lunacy Commission and began his work for the mentally ill. In 1845 he persuaded Parliament to establish a permanent Lunacy Commission for the whole country, and he was its chairman until he died. From 1833 to 1847 his main political concern was with the factory question, which after a long battle resulted in the Ten-Hours Act (1847), though the question continued to occupy his attention until the Factory Act (1874).