Letter to Edmund Potter

Scope and Content

Letter sent from London in which Cobden talks of Potter's business expansion. Cobden talks of the unpredictable nature of politics, saying that the parties were confused over "Corn" and now over the "Catholic element", referring to [the Whig Prime Minister] Lord John [Russell]'s "Durham letter". Cobden talks of the possible withdrawing of support by Irish MPs over the issue, which might threaten liberal causes (such as free trade) and give strength to the protectionist Tories. He says that "we are exhibiting ourselves, in this year of the [Great] Exhibition, as the most intolerant people on earth". Cobden mentions politicians [James] Graham and [George Hamilton-Gordon, fourth Earl of] Aberdeen [(1784–1860)].