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John Bright, British statesman

John Bright, British statesman

C029/2158

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Credit

MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY 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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