Richard Carlile was educated in the village school, he was apprenticed to a tinman against whose harsh treatment he frequently rebelled.
Having finished his apprenticeship, Richard Carlileobtained occupation in London as a journeyman tinman.
Influenced by reading Paine's Rights of Man, he became an uncompromising radical, and in 1817 started pushing the sale of the Black Dwarf, a new weekly paper, edited by Jonathan Wooler, all over London, and in his zeal to secure the dissemination of its doctrines frequently walked 30 m. a day.
In the same year he also printed and sold 25, 000 copies of Southey's Wat Tyler, reprinted the suppressed Parodies of Hone, and wrote himself, in imitation of them, the Political Litany.
This work cost him eighteen weeks imprisonment.
In 1818 he published Paine's works, for whichand for other publications of a like character he was fined £1500, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment in Dorchester gaol.
After his release m that year Carlile edited the Gorgon, a weekly paper, and conducted free discussions in the London Rotunda.
For refusing to give sureties for good behaviour after a prosecution arising out of a refusal to pay church rates, he was again imprisoned for three years, and a similar resistance cost him ten weeks' more imprisonment in 1834-1835.
In 1813 Richard Carlile married. Jane Carlile gave birth to five children, three of whom survived.
Some time after 1829, Carlile met Eliza Sharples and she became his common law wife. Together they had at least four children.