Richard cobden
Richard cobden
Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

Died aged c. 61

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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Commemorated on 4 plaques

Photo of Richard Cobden blue plaque
Spudgun67 on Flickr
Photo of Richard Cobden blue plaque
Frankie Roberto on Flickr
Photo of Richard Cobden and John Bright blue plaque
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Richard Cobden, John Dalton, Elizabeth Gaskell, Robert Peel, and 3 other
Nick Harrison on Flickr

Richard Cobden 1804-1865 died here

23 Suffolk Street, London, United Kingdom where he died (1865)

Richard Cobden MP a pioneer of free trade lived here 1834-1843. Owens College (later Manchester University) occupied the building 1851-1873

County Court, Quay Street, Manchester, United Kingdom where he lived

On this site in the years 1844-1846 were situated the London offices of the Anti-Corn Law League, with which John Bright and Richard Cobden were so closely associated.

69 Fleet Street, EC4, London, United Kingdom where he worked (1843-1845)

Portico Library - 1806 Thomas Harrison architect (1744-1829) Richard Cobden John Dalton Elizabeth Gaskell Sir Robert Peel Thomas de Quincey Peter Mark Roget were readers here

Charlotte Street, Manchester, United Kingdom where he read