Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, was a British statesman and Conservative Party politician who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and twice as Home Secretary. He is regarded as the father of modern British policing, owing to his founding of the Metropolitian Police Service. Peel was one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party; the son of a wealthy textile-manufacturer and politician, Peel was the first prime minister from an industrial business background. He earned a double first in mathematics from Christ Church, Oxford, he entered the House of Commons in 1809. Peel entered the Cabinet as Home Secretary, where he reformed and liberalised the criminal law and created the modern police force, leading to a new type of officer known in tribute to him as "bobbies" and "peelers". After a brief period out of office he returned as Home Secretary under his political mentor the Duke of Wellington serving as Leader of the House of Commons. A supporter of continued legal discrimination against Catholics, Peel reversed himself and supported the repeal of the Test Act and the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, claiming that "though emancipation was a great danger, civil strife was a greater danger".
After being in the Opposition 1830-34, he became Prime Minister in November 1834. Peel issued the Tamworth Manifesto, laying down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based, his first ministry was a minority government, dependent on Whig support and with Peel serving as his own Chancellor of the Exchequer. After only four months, his government collapsed and he served as Leader of the Opposition during Melbourne's second government. Peel became Prime Minister again after the 1841 general election, his second government ruled for five years. He cut tariffs to stimulate trade, he set up a modern banking system. His government's major legislation included the Mines and Collieries Act 1842, the Income Tax Act 1842, the Factories Act 1844 and the Railway Regulation Act 1844. Peel's government was weakened by anti-Catholic sentiment following the controversial increase in the Maynooth Grant of 1845. After the outbreak of the Great Irish Famine, his decision to join with Whigs and Radicals to repeal the Corn Laws led to his resignation as Prime Minister in 1846.
Peel remained an influential MP and leader of the Peelite faction until his death in 1850. Peel started from a traditional Tory position in opposition to a measure reversed his stance and became the leader in supporting liberal legislation; this happened with the Test Act, Catholic Emancipation, the Reform Act, income tax and, most notably, the repeal of the Corn Laws. Historian A. J. P. Taylor says: "Peel was in the first rank of 19th century statesmen, he carried Catholic Emancipation. Peel was born at Chamber Hall, Lancashire, to the industrialist and parliamentarian Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet, his wife Ellen Yates, his father was one of the richest textile manufacturers of the early Industrial Revolution. Peel was educated at Bury Grammar School, at Hipperholme Grammar School at Harrow School and Christ Church, where he became the first person to take a double first in Classics and Mathematics, he was a law student at Lincoln's Inn in 1809 before entering Parliament. Peel saw part-time military service as a captain in the Manchester Regiment of Militia in 1808, as lieutenant in the Staffordshire Yeomanry Cavalry in 1820.
Peel entered politics in 1809 at the age of 21, as MP for the Irish rotten borough of Cashel, Tipperary. With a scant 24 electors on the rolls, he was elected unopposed, his sponsor for the election was the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, with whom Peel's political career would be entwined for the next 25 years. Peel made his maiden speech at the start of the 1810 session, when he was chosen by Prime Minister Spencer Perceval to second the reply to the king's speech, his speech was a sensation, famously described by the Speaker, Charles Abbot, as "the best first speech since that of William Pitt."As chief secretary in Dublin in 1813, he proposed the setting up of a specialist police force called "peelers". In 1814, the Royal Irish Constabulary was founded under Peel. For the next decade, he occupied a series of minor positions in the Tory governments: Undersecretary for War, Chief Secretary for Ireland, chairman of the Bullion Committee, he changed constituency twice, first picking up another constituency, Chippenham becoming MP for Oxford University in 1817.
He became an MP for Tamworth from 1830 until his death. His home of Drayton Manor has since been demolished. Peel was considered one of the rising stars of the Tory party, first entering the cabinet in 1822 as Home Secretary; as Home Secretary, he introduced a number of important reforms of British criminal law. He reduced the number of crimes punishable by death, simplified it by repealing a large number of criminal statutes and consolidating their provisions into what are known as Peel's Acts, he reformed the gaol system. He resigned as home secretary after the Prime Minister Lord Liverpool became incapacitated and was replaced by George Canning, he helped in the repeal of the Test and Corporation Ac
First Parliament of the United Kingdom
In the first Parliament to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801, the first House of Commons of the United Kingdom was composed of all 558 members of the former Parliament of Great Britain and 100 of the members of the House of Commons of Ireland. The Parliament of Great Britain had held its last general election in 1796 and last met on 5 November 1800; the final general election for the Parliament of Ireland had taken place in 1797, although by-elections had continued to take place until 1800. The other chamber of the Parliament, the House of Lords, consisted of members of the pre-existing House of Lords in Great Britain, in addition to 28 representative peers elected by members of the former Irish House of Lords. By a proclamation dated 5 November 1800, the members of the new united Parliament were summoned to a first meeting at Westminster on 22 January 1801. At the outset, the Tories led by Addington enjoyed a majority of 108 in the new House of Commons.
Great Britain had been at war with France since 1792. The Prime Minister since 1783, William Pitt the Younger, led a broad wartime coalition of Whig and Tory politicians; the principal opposition to Pitt was a weak faction of Whigs, led by Charles James Fox. For four years after 1797 opposition attendance at Westminster had been sporadic as Fox pursued a strategy of secession from Parliament. Only a small group, led by George Tierney, had attended to oppose the ministers; as Foord observes "only once did the minority reach seventy-five, it was less than ten". The Act of Union 1800 created the United Kingdom by merging the previous Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland; the first Parliament of the United Kingdom was composed of all the members of the last Parliament of Great Britain and some of the members of the final Parliament of Ireland. Pitt wished to grant Catholic emancipation, to help reconcile the Irish Catholic majority with the Union. King George III was opposed to that policy, so Pitt was compelled to resign in March 1801.
The new Tory Prime Minister was Henry Addington. He led another wartime administration of pro-government Whigs and Tories, collectively referred to as the "Addingtonians"; this was however weaker than Pitt's ministry as Pitt and his faction did not join the new government. The younger opposition Whigs became more involved in parliamentary opposition. Charles Grey, on 25 March 1801, tried to persuade the House of Commons to set up a Committee on the State of the Nation, his motion was lost. The Foxite leaders ended their secession from Parliament. Pitt was supportive of the Addington ministry, but was semi-detached from it; as the well-known couplet tellingly observed: "Pitt is to Addington, as London is to Paddington", which indicates the contemporary view of the relative abilities of the two prime ministers. All British MPs and those Irish members representing constituencies which retained two members after the Union automatically retained their seats when the Union took effect on 1 January 1801.
Those members of the Irish House of Commons to sit at Westminster, who represented constituencies still enfranchised after the Union but reduced from two members to one, were selected by drawing lots. If one of the seats in the Irish Parliament was vacant the remaining member for the constituency was automatically chosen for the Westminster Parliament. If both seats were vacant a by-election was held. Monmouthshire is included in Wales in these tables. Sources for this period may include the county in England. Table 1: Constituencies and MPs, by type and country Table 2: Number of seats per constituency, by type and country United Kingdom general elections Members of the 1st UK Parliament from Ireland British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher. Source: Dates of Elections – Footnote to Table 5.02 British Historical Facts 1760–1830, by Chris Cook and John Stevenson. Source: Types of constituencies – Great Britain His Majesty's Opposition 1714–1830, by Archibald S. Foord Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland 1801–1922, edited by B.
M. Walker. Source: Types of constituencies – Ireland
The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell in 1830 to campaign for a repeal of the Acts of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland. The Association's aim was to revert Ireland to the constitutional position achieved by Henry Grattan and his patriots in the 1780s—that is, legislative independence under the British Crown—but this time with a full Catholic involvement, now possible following the Act of Emancipation in 1829, supported by the electorate approved under the Reform Act of 1832. On its failure by the late 1840s the Young Ireland movement developed. Repealer candidates contested 1832 in Ireland. Between 1835 and 1841, they formed a pact with the Whigs. Repealer candidates, unaffiliated with the Whig Party, contested the 1841 and 1847 general elections; the seats figure in brackets is the position after election petitions and by-elections consequent upon election petitions, had been decided. There were 103 Irish MPs in the period.
Votes in 1835 and 1837 are included in Thrasher's tables. Sources: Walker and Rallings & Thrasher. History of Ireland Catholic Association Young Ireland Loyal National Repeal Association British Electoral Facts 1832 - 1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, edited by B. M. Walker
Elections in the United Kingdom
There are six types of elections in the United Kingdom: elections to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elections to devolved parliaments and assemblies, elections to the European Parliament, local elections, mayoral elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Within each of those categories, there may be by-elections as well as general elections. Elections are held on Election Day, conventionally a Thursday. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 for general elections, all six types of elections are held after fixed periods, though early elections to parliament and the devolved assemblies and parliaments can occur in certain situations. Six electoral systems are used: the single member plurality system, the multi member plurality system, party-list proportional representation, the single transferable vote, the additional member system and the supplementary vote. Elections are administered locally: in each lower-tier local authority, the polling procedure is operated by the acting returning officer or returning officer, the compiling and maintenance of the electoral roll by the electoral registration officer.
The Electoral Commission sets standards for and issues guidelines to returning officers and electoral registration officers, is responsible for nationwide electoral administration. The total number of names in the United Kingdom appearing in Electoral Registers published on 1 December 2010 and based on a qualifying date of 15 October 2010 was 45,844,691. In England and Wales, anyone who will be aged 18 or over on polling day and, a national of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, a Commonwealth country or a European Union Member State, can apply to the electoral registration officer in the local authority area where they reside with a'considerable degree of permanence' to be listed in that area's Electoral Register. In Scotland, those fulfilling the nationality requirements who will be aged 16 or over on polling day can register to vote, as the age for voting in Scottish Parliament and local elections is 16. However, voters in Scotland under 18 are not entitled to vote in European Parliament and UK general elections.
A person can still register at their ordinary address. A person who has two homes may be able to register to vote at both addresses as long as they are not in the same electoral area. In addition, to qualify to appear on the Electoral Register, applicants who are Commonwealth citizens must either possess leave to enter or remain in the UK or not require such leave on the date of their application and no applicant may be a convicted person detained in prison or a mental hospital or a person found guilty of certain corrupt or illegal practices. In Northern Ireland, a further criterion has to be fulfilled to qualify for registration: it is possible for a person to apply to be listed on the Electoral Register only if they have been resident in Northern Ireland for at least three months prior to the date of application. Remand prisoners, voluntary patients in mental hospitals and people without a fixed place of residence can register to vote by making a declaration of local connection. Members of HM Forces and their immediate family members have the option of registering as a service voter, by making a service declaration based on their last UK address.
British citizens residing outside the United Kingdom can register as an overseas voter provided that they were on the Electoral Register in the UK within the previous 15 years. The 15-year period begins when they no longer appeared in the electoral register, not the date they moved abroad. British citizens who moved abroad before they turned 18 years old can still qualify for registration, with the 15-years period calculated from the date their parent/guardian ceased to appear in the Electoral Register. Overseas voters can only vote in European Parliament and UK Parliamentary elections in the constituency of their last registered UK address. British citizens who are away overseas temporarily do not need to register as overseas electors and can register to vote in the usual way at their UK address. Crown servants and British Council employees employed in a post outside the UK can register by making a Crown Servant declaration, allowing them to vote in all UK elections. An individual can register as an anonymous elector if his/her safety would be at risk were his/her name and address to be disclosed publicly on the Electoral Register, but the application needs to be supported by a relevant court order, injunction or an attestation by a chief police officer or a Director of Social Services.
The right of Commonwealth and Irish citizens to vote is a legacy of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which limited the vote to British subjects. At that time, "British subjects" included the people of Ireland — part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland — and
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, was a British Whig statesman who served as Home Secretary and Prime Minister. He is best known for being prime minister in Queen Victoria's early years and her coaching in the ways of politics. Historians have concluded that Melbourne does not rank as a Prime Minister, for there were no great foreign wars or domestic issues to handle, he lacked major achievements, he enunciated no grand principles, his involvement in several political scandals as Victoria's private secretary. Melbourne was Prime Minister on two occasions; the first occasion ended when he was dismissed by King William IV in 1834, the last British prime minister to be dismissed by a monarch. Six months he was re-appointed and served for six years. Born in London in 1779 to an aristocratic Whig family, William Lamb was the son of the 1st Viscount Melbourne and Elizabeth, Viscountess Melbourne. However, his paternity was questioned, being attributed to George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, to whom it was considered he bore a considerable resemblance, at whose residence, Lamb was a visitor until the Earl's death.
Lamb stated that Egremont being his father was'all a lie'. He was educated at Eton, Trinity College and the University of Glasgow. Against the background of the Napoleonic Wars, Lamb served at home as captain and major in the Hertfordshire Volunteer Infantry, he succeeded his elder brother as heir to his father's title in 1805, married Lady Caroline Ponsonby, an Anglo-Irish aristocrat. The following year, he was elected to the British House of Commons as the Whig MP for Leominster. For the election in 1806 he moved to the seat of Haddington Burghs, for the 1807 election he stood for Portarlington. Lamb first came to general notice for reasons he would rather have avoided: his wife had a public affair with Lord Byron—she coined the famous characterisation of Byron as "mad and dangerous to know"; the resulting scandal was the talk of Britain in 1812. Lady Caroline published a Gothic novel, Glenarvon, in 1816; the two were reconciled, though they separated in 1825, her death in 1828 affected him considerably.
In 1816, Lamb was returned for Peterborough by Whig grandee Lord Fitzwilliam. He told Lord Holland that he was committed to the Whig principles of the Glorious Revolution but not to "a heap of modern additions, interpolations and fictions", he therefore spoke against parliamentary reform, voted for the suspension of habeas corpus in 1817 when sedition was rife. Lamb's hallmark was finding the middle ground. Though a Whig, he accepted the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland in the moderate Tory governments of George Canning and Lord Goderich. Upon the death of his father in 1828 and his becoming the 2nd Viscount Melbourne, of Kilmore in the County of Cavan, he moved to the House of Lords, he had spent 25 years in the Commons as a backbencher, was not politically well known. In November 1830, the Whigs came to power under Lord Grey. Melbourne was Home Secretary. During the disturbances of 1830–32 he "acted both vigorously and sensitively, it was for this function that his reforming brethren thanked him heartily".
In the aftermath of the Swing Riots of 1830–31, he countered the Tory magistrates' alarmism by refusing to resort to military force. He appointed a special commission to try 1,000 of those arrested, ensured that justice was adhered to: one-third were acquitted and most of the one-fifth sentenced to death were instead transported. There remains controversy regarding the hanging of Dic Penderyn, a protester in the Merthyr Rising, is now judged to have been innocent, he appears to have been executed on the word of Melbourne, who sought a victim in order to'set an example'. The disturbances over reform in 1831–32 were countered with the enforcement of the usual laws. After Lord Grey resigned as Prime Minister in July 1834, the King was forced to appoint another Whig to replace him, as the Tories were not strong enough to support a government. Melbourne was the man most to be both acceptable to the King and hold the Whig party together. Melbourne hesitated after receiving from Grey the letter from the King requesting him to visit him to discuss the formation of a government.
Melbourne thought he would not enjoy the extra work that accompanied the office of Premier, but he did not want to let his friends and party down. According to Charles Greville, Melbourne said to his secretary, Tom Young: "I think it's a damned bore. I am in many minds as to what to do". Young replied: "Why, damn it all, such a position was never held by any Greek or Roman: and if it only lasts three months, it will be worth while to have been Prime Minister of England." "By God, that's true," Melbourne said, "I'll go!"Compromise was the key to many of Melbourne's actions. As an aristocrat, he had a vested interest in the status quo, he was opposed to the Reform Act 1832 proposed by the Whigs, arguing that Catholic emancipation had not ended in the tranquility expected of it, but reluctantly agreed that it
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
1847 United Kingdom general election
The 1847 United Kingdom general election saw candidates calling themselves Conservatives win the most seats, in part because they won a number of uncontested seats. However, the split among the Conservatives between the majority of Protectionists, led by Lord Stanley, the minority of free traders, known as the Peelites, led by former prime minister Sir Robert Peel, left the Whigs, led by Prime Minister Lord John Russell, in a position to continue in government; the Irish Repeal group won more seats than in the previous general election, while the Chartists gained the only seat they were to hold, Nottingham's second seat, held by Chartist leader Feargus O'Connor. The election witnessed the election of Britain's first Jewish MP, the Liberal Lionel de Rothschild in the City of London. Members being sworn in were however required to swear the Christian Oath of Allegiance, meaning Rothschild was unable to take his seat until the passage of the Jews Relief Act in 1858. Craig, F. W. S. British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 Rallings, Colin.
British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results