Death of John Bright, leading light in the fight to repeal the Corn Laws

Forever linked with Richard Cobden as leaders of the campaign to repeal the Corn Laws with Bright, often regarded as one of the great orators of the nineteenth century, providing the passion, complementing Cobden’s intellectual and organisational skills. Although he had a long career in the House of Commons, representing City of Durham 1843-47, Manchester 1847-57, Birmingham 1857-85 and Birmingham Central 1885-89, he was more adept at campaigning, and was a reluctant minister, writing at the time of his appointment as President of the Board of Trade, ‘In that office, perhaps, I may do a little good and perhaps I may prevent some harm’. In opposition to Gladstone over home rule in the 1880’s he joined the Liberal Unionists. Bright was a statesman of international renown. He was held in high regard in North America and President Lincoln had a portrait of Bright in his study.