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Richard Cobden

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Dunford, Heyshott, West Sussex, UK
Death: Died in London, UK
Cause of death: Asthma, bronchitis
Place of Burial: Midhurst, West Sussex, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of William Cobden and Millicient Amber
Husband of Catherine Anne Williams
Father of Richard Brooks Cobden; Ellen Melicent Ashburner Cobden; Kate Cobden; Jane Cobden; Julia Sarah Anne Cobden and 1 other

Managed by: George J. Homs
Last Updated:

About Richard Cobden

Richard Cobden (3 June 1804 – 2 April 1865) was an English manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with two major free trade campaigns, the Anti-Corn Law League and the Cobden–Chevalier Treaty.

As a young man, Cobden was a successful commercial traveller who became co-owner of a highly profitable calico printing factory in Manchester, a city with which he would become strongly identified. However, he soon found himself more engaged in politics, and his travels convinced him of the virtues of free trade (anti-protection) as the key to better international relations.

In 1838, he and John Bright founded the Anti-Corn Law League, aimed at abolishing the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners’ interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread. As a Member of Parliament from 1841, he fought against opposition from the Peel ministry, and abolition was achieved in 1846.

Another free trade initiative was the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty of 1860, promoting closer interdependence between Britain and France. This campaign was conducted in collaboration with John Bright and French economist Michel Chevalier, and succeeded despite Parliament’s endemic mistrust of the French.

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Richard Cobden's Timeline

1804
June 3, 1804
Heyshott, West Sussex, UK
1841
1841
Age 36
1844
1844
Age 39
1848
August 18, 1848
Age 44
Heyshott, West Sussex, UK
1851
April 28, 1851
Age 46
London, United Kingdom
1853
1853
Age 48
1861
1861
Age 56
1865
April 2, 1865
Age 60
London, UK
April 7, 1865
Age 60
Midhurst, West Sussex, UK