John Noble — Preston’s Catholic radical

John Noble, by religion Catholic by politics a radical, was a worthy opponent in the early 19th century of the arch-Tory Preston MP and leading member of the Orange Order Robert Townley Parker: the man whose tolerance extended just so far as to declare that he was not ‘one who would flog alive all Roman Catholics’. When Parker lost his seat in Parliament it was Noble who organised a parade of thousands through Preston to celebrate the defeat.

One of Noble’s principal allies in radical politics was the social reformer and temperance advocate Joseph Livesey. A somewhat strange alliance since while Livesey was fulminating against the demon drink Noble was busy promoting the brewing trade in the town as its major supplier of malted barley.

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