The London Corresponding Society (LCS) was a federation of local reading and debating clubs that in the decade following the French Revolution agitated for the democratic reform of the British Parliament. In contrast to other reform associations of the period, it drew largely upon working men (artisans, tradesmen, and shopkeepers) and was itself organised on a formal democratic basis.
Characterising it as an instrument of French revolutionary subversion, and citing links to the insurrectionist United Irishmen, the government of William Pitt the Younger sought to break the Society, twice charging leading members with complicity in plots to assassinate the King. Measures against the society intensified in the wake of the naval mutinies of 1797, the 1798 Irish Rebellion and growing protest against the continuation of the war with France. In 1799, new legislation suppressed the Society by name, along with the remnants of the United Irishmen and their franchise organisations, United Scot