Spence, Thomas, 1750–1814, English agrarian socialist. A forerunner of the single taxers (see single tax), he devised a scheme by which the parishes would assume ownership of the land and rent paid to the parish corporation would be the sole tax. He devoted much of his life to agitating for these principles and founded a society of Spenceans. He set forth his ideas in The Real Rights of Man (1775) and other pamphlets.
See study by O. D. Rudkin (1927, repr. 1966).