How to use Cobden in a sentence
The great men of the period, Cobden and Bright, are merely historical figures.
The educational advantages of Richard Cobden were not very ample.
In 1830 Cobden learnt that Messrs Fort, calico printers at Sabden, near Clitheroe, were about to retire from business, and he, with two other young men, Messrs Sheriff and Gillet, who were engaged in the same commercial house as himself, determined to make an effort to acquire the succession.
This last was under the direct management of Cobden, who, in 1830 or 1831, settled in the city with which his name became afterwards so closely associated.
The success of this enterprise was decisive and rapid, and the "Cobden prints" soon became known through the country as of rare value both for excellence of material and beauty of design.Advertisement
There can be no doubt that if Cobden had been satisfied to devote all his energies to commercial life he might soon have attained to great opulence, for it is understood that his share in the profits of the business he had established amounted to from £8000 to £10,000 a year.
After some time he discovered that the author of these letters was Cobden, whose name was until then quite unknown to him.
In this production Cobden advocated the same principles of peace, nonintervention, retrenchment and free trade to which he continued faithful to the last day of his life.
From that time Cobden became a conspicuous figure in Manchester, taking a leading part in the local politics of the town and district.
Cobden was candidate for Stockport, but was defeated, though not by a large majority.Advertisement
Of that famous association Cobden was from first to last the presiding genius and the animating soul.
In 1841, Sir Robert Peel having defeated the Melbourne ministry in parliament, there was a general election, when Cobden was returned for Stockport.
On the 24th, in course of the debate on the Address, Cobden delivered his first speech.
Cobden had spoken with great fervour of the deplorable suffering and distress which at that time prevailed in the country, for which, he added, he held Sir Robert Peel, as the head of the government, responsible.
Cobden had, indeed, with unexampled devotion, sacrificed his business, his domestic comforts and for a time his health to the public interests.Advertisement
Lord John Russell, who, soon after the repeal of the corn laws, succeeded Sir Robert Peel as - first minister, invited Cobden to join his government.
By a series of powerful speeches in and out of parliament, and by the publication of his masterly pamphlet, 1 793 and 1853, Cobden sought to calm the passions of his countrymen.
The torrent of popular sentiment in favour of war was, however, irresistible; and Cobden and Bright were overwhelmed with obloquy.
After a careful investigation of the official documents, Cobden became convinced that those were utterly unrighteous proceedings.
On the dissolution which followed Lord Palmerston's defeat, Cobden became candidate for Huddersfield, but the voters of that town gave the preference to his opponent, who had supported the Russian War and approved of the proceedings at Canton.Advertisement
Cobden was thus relegated to private life, and retiring to his country house at Dunford, he spent his time in perfect contentment in cultivating his land and feeding his pigs.
Lord Palmerston was again prime minister, and having discovered that the advanced liberal party was not so easily "crushed" as he had apprehended, he made overtures of reconciliation, and invited Cobden and Milner Gibson to become members of his government.
In a frank, cordial letter which was delivered to Cobden on his landing in Liverpool, Lord Palmerston offered him the presidency of the Board of Trade, with a seat in the Cabinet.
After a good deal of time spent in these preliminary and unofficial negotiations, the question of a treaty of commerce between the two countries having entered into the arena of diplomacy, Cobden was requested by the British government to act as their plenipotentiary in the matter in conjunction with Lord Cowley, their ambassador in France.
This produced irritation and resentment in Paris, and but for the influence which Cobden had acquired, and the perfect trust reposed in his sincerity, the negotiations would probably have been altogether wrecked.Advertisement
On the conclusion of this work honours were offered to Cobden by the governments of both the countries which he had so greatly benefited.
Cobden's efforts in furtherance of free trade were always subordinated to what he deemed the highest moral purposes - the promotion of peace on earth and goodwill among men.
When the Civil War threatened to break out in the United States, Cobden was deeply distressed.
For several years Cobden had been suffering severely at intervals from bronchial irritation and a difficulty of breathing.
Drouyn de Lhuys, the French minister of foreign affairs, made his death the subject of a special despatch, desiring the French ambassador to express to the government "the mournful sympathy and truly national regret which the death, as lamented as premature, of Richard Cobden had excited on that side of the Channel."
Cobden, if I may be permitted to say so, was an international man."
In 1866 the Cobden Club was founded in London, to promote free-trade economics, and it became a centre for political propaganda on those lines; and prizes were instituted in his name at Oxford and Cambridge.
Cobden had married in 1840 Miss Catherine Anne Williams, a Welsh lady, and left five surviving daughters, of whom Mrs Cobden-Unwin (wife of the publisher Mr Fisher Unwin), Mrs Walter Sickert (wife of the painter) and Mrs Cobden-Sanderson (wife of the well-known artist in bookbinding), afterwards became prominent in various spheres, and inherited their father's political interest.
His only son died, to Cobden's inexpressible grief, at the age of fifteen, in 1856.
The work of Cobden, and what is now called "Cobdenism," has in recent years been subjected to much criticism from the newer school of English economists who advocate a "national policy" (on the old lines of Alexander Hamilton and Friedrich List) as against his cosmopolitan ideals.
Cobden has left a deep mark on English history, but he was not himself a "scientific economist," and many of his confident prophecies were completely falsified.
It becomes equivalent to economic laisser-faire and "Manchesterism," and as such it must fight its own corner with those who now take into consideration many national factors which had no place in the early utilitarian individualistic regime of Cobden's own day.
Cobden's speeches were collected and published in 1870.
In 1855 he supported Gladstone in the efforts to bring about peace with Russia before the capture of Sebastopol; in 1856 he opposed the opening of museums on Sunday; in the following year he supported Cobden in his disapproval of the second opium war with China.
In 1828 the sliding scale was introduced, under which the duty went up and down as the price of grain went down and up; and it was against this form of the Corn Law that the great agitation led by Cobden and Bright was directed after 1830.
After some secret negotiations, in which the English Corn Law agitator, Cobden, and the French economist, Cherbuliez, took an active part, Napoleon was persuaded to enter on the famous.
In the park are statues of Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort, Sir Robert Peel, Joseph Brotherton and Richard Cobden.
Other congresses were held at Frankfurt, again in London, and in 1853 at Manchester, where Richard Cobden and John Bright took part in the discussions.
In his pamphlet on "Insular Free Trade" the prime minister reviewed the economic history since Cobden's time, pointed to the falsification of the promises of the early free-traders, and to the fact that England was still the only free-importing country, and insisted that he was "in harmony with the true spirit of free-trade" when he pleaded for "freedom to negotiate that freedom of exchange may be increased."
Its most distinguished representative was Richard Cobden (1841-1847), who is commemorated by a statue in St Peter's Square.
He first met Richard Cobden in 1836 or 1837.
Cobden consented, and at the meeting was much struck by Bright's short speech, and urged him to speak against the Corn Laws.
Among the speakers were Cobden and Bright, and the dinner is memorable as the first occasion on which the two future leaders appeared together on a Free Trade platform.
Three days after her death at Leamington, Cobden called to see him.
Cobden spoke some words of condolence, but after a time he looked up and said, "There are thousands of homes in England at this moment where wives, mothers and children are dying of hunger."
At the general election in 1841 Cobden was returned for Stockport, and in 1843 Bright was the Free Trade candidate at a by-election at Durham.
He was already known in the country as Cobden's chief ally, and was received in the House of Commons with a suspicion and hostility even greater than had met Cobden himself.
Cobden had the calmness and confidence of the political philosopher, Bright had the passion and the fervour of the popular orator.
Cobden did the reasoning, Bright supplied the declamation, but like Demosthenes he mingled argument with appeal.
He was not known beyond his own borough when Cobden called him to his side in 1841, and he entered parliament towards the end of the session of 1843 with a formidable reputation as an agitator.
Mr Ewart's motion was defeated, but the movement of which Cobden and Bright were the leaders continued to spread.
In London great meetings were held in Covent Garden theatre, at which William Johnson Fox was the chief orator, but Bright and Cobden were the leaders of the movement.
Bright publicly deprecated the popular tendency to regard Cobden and himself as the chief movers in the agitation, and Cobden told a Rochdale audience that he always stipulated that he should speak first, and Bright should follow.
Cobden's argumentative speeches were regarded more sympathetically than Bright's more rhetorical appeals, and in a debate on Villiers's annual motion against the Corn Laws Bright was heard with so much impatience that he was obliged to sit down.
Bright was not violent, and Cobden said that he did his work admirably, and won golden opinions from all men.
In this session Bright and Cobden came into opposition, Cobden voting for the Maynooth Grant and Bright against it.
In the autumn of 1845 Bright retained Cobden in the public career to which Cobden had invited him four years before.
Bright was in Scotland when a letter came from Cobden announcing his determination, forced on him by business difficulties, to retire from public work.
Bright replied that if Cobden retired the mainspring of the League was gone.
A few days later he set off for Manchester, posting in that wettest of autumns through "the rain that rained away the Corn Laws," and on his arrival got his friends together, and raised the money which tided Cobden over the emergency.
The bad harvest and the potato disease drove him to the repeal of the Corn Laws, and at a meeting in Manchester on 2nd July 1846 Cobden moved and Bright seconded a motion dissolving the league.
He supported Cobden's motion for the reduction of public expenditure, and in and out of parliament pleaded for peace.
During his great reform agitation Bright had vigorously supported Cobden in the negotiations for the treaty of commerce with France, and had taken, with his usual vehemence, the side of the North in the discussions in England on the American Civil War.
In March 1865 Cobden died, and Bright told the House of Commons he dared not even attempt to express the feelings which oppressed him, and sat down overwhelmed with grief.
In 1866 he was elected professor of logic and mental and moral philosophy and Cobden professor of political economy in Owens college.
But in June 1859 Palmerston returned to power, and it was on this occasion that he proposed to Cobden, one of his most constant opponents, to take office, and on the refusal of that gentleman Milner Gibson was appointed to the board of trade, although he had been the prime mover of the defeat of the government on the Conspiracy Bill.
While the war was in progress his letters from Cobden and Bright, from Gladstone and the duke of Argyll, at Lincoln's request were read by Sumner to the cabinet, and formed a chief source of light as to political thought in England.
He made several speeches in the country in this year and the next, of which the gist was that British trade policy must be relative to circumstances, which had wholly changed from what they were in Cobden's time.
As one of Cobden's chief allies, he was elected for Manchester in 1841, and from 1846 to 1848 he was vice-president of the board of trade in Lord John Russell's ministry.
It had already secured the services of two men, Cobden and Bright, who, one by clear reasoning, the other by fervid eloquence, were destined to make a profound impression on all classes of the people.
Cobden, however, brought forward a motion in the House of Commons condemning these high-handed proceedings.
Cobden was offered, but declined, the presidency of the Board of Trade; and the post which he refused was conferred on a prominent free trader, who had associated himself with Cobdens fortunes, Milner Gibson.
The British people gave way to what Cobden called the last of the three panics.
Only a few of the less important forts were delivered to the Serbs at that time; but in 1863 Prince Michael sent his wife, the beautiful and accomplished Princess Julia (née Countess Hunyadi), to plead the cause of Servia in London, and she succeeded in interesting prominent English politicians (Cobden, Bright, Gladstone) in the fate of the Balkan countries.
Not the least of the anxieties of the colonial office during this period was the situation in the West Indies, where the canesugar industry was being steadily undermined by the European bounties given to exports of continental beet; and though the government restricted themselves to attempts at removing the bounties by negotiation and to measures for palliating the worst effects in the West Indies, Mr Chamberlain made no secret of his repudiation of the Cobden Club view that retaliation would be contrary to the doctrines of free trade, and he did his utmost to educate public opinion at home into understanding that the responsibilities of the mother country are not merely to be construed according to the selfish interests of a nation of consumers.
For fuller information regard - ing the Scottish parish see Connell on Teinds; Duncan's Parochial Ecclesiastical Law; the Cobden Club essays on Local Government and Taxation in the United Kingdom (1882); Goudy and Smith's Local Government in Scotland; Atkinson, Local Government in Scotland.
Nicholas could not believe that Christian powers would resent his claim to protect the Christian subjects of the sultan; he believed he could count on the friendship of Austria and Prussia; as for Great Britain, he would try to come to a frank understanding with her (hence the famous conversations with Sir Hamilton Seymour on the 9th and, 4th of January 1853, reviving the " Sick Man" arguments of 1844), but in any case he had the assurance of Baron Brunnow, his ambassador in London, that the influence of Cobden and Bright, the eloquent apostles of peace, was enough to prevent her from appealing to arms against him.
I feel sure that Cobden could have accepted these emendations of his original statement.
France, he believed, would never come single-handed to the assistance of Turkey; Austria would be bound at least to benevolent neutrality by " gratitude " for the aid given in 1849; the king of Prussia would sympathize with a Christian crusade; Great Britain, where under the influence of John Bright and Richard Cobden the " peace at any price " spirit seemed to be in the ascendant, would never intervene.
But it may be taken as an illustration of the instinctive confidence which Cobden through life inspired in those with whom he came into contact, that Messrs Fort consented to leave to these untried young men a large portion of their capital in the business.
Sir Robert Peel's party, catching at this hint, threw themselves into a frantic state of excitement, and when Cobden attempted to explain that he meant official, not personal responsibility, they drowned his voice with clamorous and insulting shouts.
When Cobden returned from the continent he addressed himself to what seemed to him the logical complement of free trade, namely, the promotion of peace and the reduction of naval and military armaments.
Cobden, who had travelled in Turkey, and had studied the condition of that country with great care for many years, discredited the outcry about maintaining the independence and integrity of the Ottoman empire which was the battle-cry of the day.
He then paid a generous tribute to the virtues, the abilities and services of Cobden, and he was followed by Disraeli, who with great force and felicity of language delineated the character of the deceased statesman, who, he said, "was an ornament to the House of Commons and an honour to England."
His cosmopolitanism - which makes him in the modern Imperialist's eyes a "Little Englander" of the straitest sect - led him to deplore any survival of the colonial system and to hail the removal of ties which bound the mother country to remote dependencies; but it was, in its day, a generous and sincere reaction against popular sentiment, and Cobden was at all events an outspoken advocate of an irresistible British navy.
Cobden inevitably stands for "Cobdenism," which is a creed largely developed by the modern free-trader in the course of subsequent years.
It asked the sanction of parliament for the commercial treaty which Cobden had privately arranged with the emperor Napoleon, and it proposed to abolish the duty on paper.
Cobden was an alderman of the newly formed Manchester corporation, and Bright went to ask him to speak at an education meeting in Rochdale.
Cobden spoke some words of condolence, but "after a time he looked up and said, ` There are thousands of homes in England at this moment where wives, mothers and children are dying of hunger.
His Thoughts on Scarcity attest his enlightenment on the central necessities of trade and manufacture, and even furnished arguments to Cobden fifty years afterwards.