First name: Richard
Dates: 1804-1865, he died of an acute attack of bronchitis.
Richard Cobden was born in Heyshott on 3rd June, 1804.He had eleven brothers and sisters and spent his early life in extreme poverty. His father was a small farmer. Richard was sent to an uncle in Yorkshire where he was treated very badly.
He receivedvery little formal schooling and at the age of fourteen became a clerk in the textile industry.
Public life: In 1828 he and two friendswent into partnership to sell calico in London. In 1831 they opened a calico-printing works in Lancashire. In 1832 Cobden settled in Manchester but went on to visit America and the Levant.
In 1837 hestood as a parliamentary candidate for Stockport on a free trade platform but was unsuccessful. In 1838 he became one of the seven founding members of the Anti-Corn-Law League in Manchester. Heconducted lecture tours all over England and he became an MP for Stockport in 1841. His parliamentary speeches were clear, quiet, and persuasive. He was the only man ever to beat Peel in debate in parliamentand in 1846 Peel acknowledged Cobden's rule in the repeal of the Corn Laws. He refused to merge the ACLL with widerprogrammes of reform because he saw the advantages of a single policy, and saw the appeal to new industrial areas. He was so committed to the cause of free trade that he became bankrupt. A publicsubscription of £80,000 was raised in recognition of his services, and in 1847 he used the money to buy back his childhood home and farm.
The English politician Richard Cobden was leader of thefree-trade movement. He strenuously opposed war and worked unceasingly for the cause of international peace. Cobden collected information about some countries and he published, England, Ireland and...