Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Noble, John

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NOBLE, JOHN (1827–1892), politician and writer on public finance, was born at Boston, Lincolnshire, on 2 May 1827. For seventeen years he was known in East Lincolnshire as an energetic supporter of the Anti-Corn Law League. He came to London in 1859, entered for the bar, and engaged in social and political agitation. He was one of the founders of the Alliance National Land and Building Society, and joined Washington Wilks and others in establishing the London Political Union for the advocacy of manhood suffrage. In 1861 he was active in lecturing on the free breakfast-table programme. In 1864 he was in partnership with Mr. C. F. Macdonald as financial and parliamentary agents promoting street railways in London, Liverpool, and Dublin. He actively promoted the election of John Stuart Mill for Westminster in 1865, and advocated municipal reform in London. In 1870 he became parliamentary secretary to Mr. Brogden, M.P. for Wednesbury. On the formation of the County Council Union in 1889 he became its secretary. He delivered in his day many hundreds of lectures on political, social, and financial subjects, habitually took part in the proceedings of the Social Science Congress, and was lecturer to the Financial Reform Association. He died on 17 Jan. 1892, and was buried at Highgate.

Noble wrote:

  1. ‘Arbitration and a Congress of Nations as a Substitute for War in the Settlement of International Disputes,’ London, 1862, 8vo.
  2. ‘Fiscal Reform: Suggestions for a further Revision of Taxation, reprinted from the “Financial Reformer,”’ 1865, 8vo; a lecture read at the meeting of the National Association of Social Science at Sheffield.
  3. ‘Fiscal Legislation 1842–65: A Review of the Financial Changes of the period and their Effects on Revenue,’ 1867, 8vo.
  4. ‘Free Trade, Reciprocity, and the Revivers: an Enquiry into the Effects of the Free Trade Policy upon Trade, Manufactures and Employment,’ London, 1869, 8vo.
  5. ‘The Queen's Taxes,’ London, 1870, 8vo.
  6. ‘Our Imports and Exports,’ 1870, 8vo.
  7. ‘National Finance,’ 1875, 8vo. ‘Local Taxation,’ 1876, 8vo.
  8. ‘Facts for Liberal Politicians,’ 1880, revised and brought up to date as ‘Facts for Politicians’ in 1892.

[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Memoir by Herbert Perris prefixed to Facts for Politicians, 1892.]

G. J. H.