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Richard Cobden Letters

Date range: 1846–60.

In 1998 the Library acquired a small but significant collection of letters of Richard Cobden (1804–1865), calico manufacturer, reformer and radical MP.

The collection comprises eleven substantial and largely unpublished letters from Cobden to two of his close associates in the Anti-Corn Law League, Thomas Hunter and Edmund Potter. 

The importance that Cobden attached to the correspondence is demonstrated by his admission to Potter that, "I have now poured out my inward thoughts to you in unreserved confidence, thoughts which have not been committed to paper before."

Ranging in date from 1846 to 1860, the letters discuss the Anti-Corn Law League, Westminster politics, parliamentary elections, industrial relations, free trade, and international affairs.

Finding aids



The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library