His father James Mill was extremely and eccentrically ambitious for him. Jeremy Bentham was his godfather, George Bentham befriended him as a child in France, and Ricardo discussed political economy while out walking. Following a breakdown aged 20, he sought out Coleridge’s friendship (an important corrective), was awestruck on meeting Wordsworth, and found Southey very likeable. Comte became a long-term friend and influence. He was a close friend of Cole’s, worked under and then succeeded Peacock, corresponded with Babbage, Hooker, Leigh Hunt and Tocqueville, and unlike his friend Carlyle, abhorred slavery.