Anthony Panizzi (1797-1879), was a naturalised British librarian of Italian birth and an Italian patriot. He was the Principal Librarian of the British Museum from 1856 to 1866. Apart from being a personal friend of British Prime ministers Lord Palmerston and William Ewart Gladstone, Panizzi conducted an active correspondence with Sardinian, and later Italian Prime Minister Count Camillo Benso di Cavour. In 1844, he assisted Giuseppe Mazzini, then in exile in London, by publishing an influential article denouncing the practice ordered by the Home Secretary of ordering Mazzini's private letters opened by the Post Office and giving copies of their contents to the Austrian Embassy. He also orchestrated a visit of Giuseppe Garibaldi to England, and convinced Gladstone to travel to Naples to view personally the inhumane conditions in which political prisoners were kept. Panizzi was a strong advocate of free and equal access to learning. He was influential in enforcing the Copyright Act of 1842, which required British publishers to deposit with the library a copy of every book printed in Britain. For his extraordinary services as a librarian, in 1869 he was knighted by Queen Victoria. In addition to his English knighthood, Panizzi was given an honorary degree by Oxford University, the Légion d'Honneur from France, various chivalric honours from the Italian Government and Crown, and in 1868 was appointed as a senator in the Italian Parliament.