Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cobden, Richard (1804-1865), the great promoter of free trade, was born at Midhurst in Sussex. Beginning as an apprentice in a warehouse he became a commercial traveller, and in 1830 a partner in a Manchester cotton house. He threw himself actively into life, interesting himself in reform and political economy, and in the advancement of Manchester. In 1838, the year of forming the Anti-Corn Law League, he gave himself heart and soul to its advancement, and entering Parliament in 1841 he saw Sir Robert Peel convinced in 1846, and the Corn Laws doomed. A national subscription was made for him, and in his absence on a continental tour he was elected for West Riding. He was a consistent member of the Peace Society, and his attitude with regard to the Crimean and China wars gained him much unpopularity and cost him his seat. While absent in America he was again returned to Parliament, this time for Rochdale. He refused several offers of place and honours, but successfully negotiated a commercial treaty with France. For some years his health had been precarious, and his last and fatal attack was owing to his eagerness to attend to his parliamentary duties. His death raised a universal feeling of regret at home and abroad. His biography has been written by Mr. John Morley.