William J. Oliver
- For the American contractor and industrialist, see William J. Oliver (industrialist).
William J. Oliver aka 'Oliver the Spy' aka W.J Richards - was a 19th-century informer, and suspected agent provocateur, employed by the English Home Office against the Luddites and similar groupings. He appears to have played a significant role in thwarting the Pentridge or Pentrich Rising of 1817, leading to the execution of Brandreth, Ludlam and Turner. See e.g. E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class
William Oliver was a building surveyor who had been imprisoned for debt before he was recruited by the foreign office.
|This British biographical article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|