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Richard Cobden (1804-1865), British manufacturer and radical statesman. Cobden was born in Sussex and educated in Teesdale. At the age of 15 he started working for his uncle in London, becoming a commercial traveller in muslin and calico, and by 24 had his own business printing calico in Manchester. He soon became prominent in politics. With John Bright he was a founder of the Anti-Corn Law League, which aimed to remove punitive tariffs on imported grains even in times of famine. In 1841 he became a Member of Parliament. After some travel abroad to recover from ill health, he became a fervent peace campaigner opposing both the Crimean War and the second Opium War. In later life he brokered the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty that created free trade relations with France.
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