John Bright, British statesman

John Bright, British statesman

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Credit: MARIA PLATT-EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Bright (1811-1889), British politician and statesman. Bright was born in Rochdale into a Quaker family, the son of a mill owner. He was educated at Ackworth School and Bootham School before entering the family business. In due time he became a partner. He had a natural talent for oratory, using it to advantage in local politics before becoming a Member of Parliament in 1841. He was a close friend and ally of Richard Cobden in opposing the Corn Laws, measures that imposed restrictions and tariffs on imported grains. He coined phrases such as "flogging a dead horse" and "England is the Mother of Parliaments". His Quaker beliefs led to his support for free trade, electoral reform and religious freedom, and to his opposition to the Crimean War and Gladstone's proposed Home Rule for Ireland. He died at home in 1889.

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Keywords: 1800s, 1811, 1889, 19th century, anti-corn law league, british, cobden, corn laws, electoral reform, english, free trade, gladstone, john bright, male, man, politician, quaker, religious freedom, social reformer, victorian

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