Henry Richard was the secretary of the Peace Society from 1848 to 1886, an unconditional pacifist when the British Empire was at the height of its aggressive powers. He opposed British military adventures in the Crimea, Egypt, Afghanistan, South Africa, China and Burma and advocated a system of arbitration to settle disputes between countries.
As MP for Merthyr and Aberdare from 1868 to 1888 he continued this battle in Parliament with some notable successes. His radical politics were honed within the circle of Free Traders, Anti-Corn Law Leaguers and the Peace Society.
In Parliament he defended Wales and its language and was active in the development Welsh education. He opposed sectarian schools and the teaching of religion in schools, especially when funded from the public purse. He was a politician of considerable skill – and totally uncompromising.
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