Thomas Allsop (1795–1880) was Coleridge’s most intense disciple. The son of a farmer in Derbyshire, Allsop travelled to London aged seventeen and joined his uncle’s silkmercery business; from there, he moved to the Stock Exchange and made a fair amount of money from investing in the railways. Allsop first came across Coleridge when he heard him lecture in 1818; he was so impressed he wrote a letter asking for the chance to meet – a request Coleridge was happy to grant. From then until the end of Coleridge’s life, Allsop was a devoted member of the Highgate circle. He and his wife also welcomed into their home a large number of literary and political figures: Lamb, Hazlitt, Barry Cornwall, William Cobbett, Robert Owen and Joseph Mazzini, among others. Allsop’s political sympathies were clearly very different from the later Coleridge’s – the DNB describes him as ‘one of the unseen forces of revolution in his day’ and he was prepared to intervene on behalf of Feargus O’Connor, one of the leaders of the Chartists, in 1848. Similarly, Allsop did not share Coleridge’s trust in the Anglican clergy as a force for change; in fact, with characteristic forcefulness, when he advertised for a house in the country, Allsop specified that it should have no church or parsonage within a five-mile radius.