Ebenezer Elliott

British poet

Ebenezer Elliott (17 March 1781 – 1 December 1849) was an English poet, known as the Corn Law rhymer for his leading the fight to repeal the Corn Laws, which were causing hardship and starvation among the poor. Though a factory owner himself, his single-minded devotion to the welfare of the labouring classes won him a sympathetic reputation long after his poetry ceased to be read.

Ebenezer Elliott


  • ‘Prepare to meet the King of Terrors,’ cried
    To prayerless Want, his plunderer ferret-eyed:
    ‘I am the King of Terrors,’ Want replied.
    • "Epigram" (1850)
      • Author's note: King of Terrors: "Colonel Thompson"
  • What is a communist? One who hath yearnings
    For equal division of unequal earnings:
    Idler, or bungler, or both, he is willing
    To fork out his penny and pocket your shilling.
    • "Epigram" (1850)
      • Author's note: "And he has two names, Legion and Danger"


  • More Verse and Prose by the Cornlaw Rhymer, ed. John Watkins (1850)
  • The Life, Poetry and Letters of Ebenezer Elliott, ed. John Watkins (1850)
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