Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, styled Lord Robert Cecil before 1865, Viscount Cranborne from June 1865 until April 1868, Lord Salisbury until his death, was a British statesman, serving as Prime Minister three times for a total of over thirteen years. A member of the Conservative Party, he was the last Prime Minister to head his full administration from the House of Lords. Lord Robert Cecil was first elected to the House of Commons in 1854 and served as Secretary of State for India in Lord Derby's Conservative government from 1866 until his resignation in 1867 over its introduction of Benjamin Disraeli's Reform Bill that extended the suffrage to working-class men. In 1868 upon the death of his father, Cecil was elevated to the House of Lords. In 1874, when Disraeli formed an administration, Salisbury returned as Secretary of State for India, and, in 1878, was appointed foreign secretary, played a leading part in the Congress of Berlin, despite his doubts over Disraeli's pro-Ottoman policy.
After the Conservatives lost the 1880 general election and Disraeli's death the year after, Salisbury emerged as Conservative leader in the House of Lords, with Sir Stafford Northcote leading the party in the Commons. He became Prime Minister in June 1885 when the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone resigned, held the office until January 1886; when Gladstone came out in favour of Home Rule for Ireland, Salisbury opposed him and formed an alliance with the breakaway Liberal Unionists, winning the subsequent general election. He remained as Prime Minister until Gladstone's Liberals formed a government with the support of the Irish Nationalists, despite the Unionists gaining the largest number of votes and seats at the 1892 general election; the Liberals, lost the 1895 general election, Salisbury once again became Prime Minister, leading Britain to war against the Boers, the Unionists to another electoral victory in 1900 before relinquishing the premiership to his nephew Arthur Balfour. He died a year in 1903.
Historians agree that Salisbury was a strong and effective leader in foreign affairs, with a strong grasp of the issues. Paul Smith characterises his personality as "deeply neurotic, agitated, fearful of change and loss of control, self-effacing but capable of extraordinary competitiveness." A representative of the landed aristocracy, he held the reactionary credo, "Whatever happens will be for the worse, therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible." Searle says that instead of seeing his party's victory in 1886 as a harbinger of a new and more popular Conservatism, he longed to return to the stability of the past, when his party's main function was to restrain demagogic liberalism and democratic excess. Lord Robert Cecil was born at Hatfield House, the second son of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury and Frances Mary Gascoyne, he was a patrilineal descendant of Lord Burghley and the 1st Earl of Salisbury, chief ministers of Elizabeth I. The family owned vast rural estates in Dorset.
This wealth increased in 1821, when he married the rich heiress of a merchant prince who had bought up large estates in Essex and Lancashire. Robert had a miserable childhood, with few friends, he was bullied unmercifully at the schools he attended. In 1840, he went to Eton College, where he did well in French, German and Theology; the unhappy schooling shaped his pessimistic outlook on his negative views on democracy. He decided that most people were cowardly and cruel, that the mob would run roughshod over sensitive individuals. In December 1847 he went to Christ Church, where he received an honorary fourth class in mathematics conferred by nobleman's privilege due to ill health. Whilst at Oxford he found the Oxford movement or "Tractarianism" to be an intoxicating force. In 1853 he was elected a prize fellow of All Souls Oxford. In April 1850 he did not enjoy law, his doctor advised him to travel for his health, so in July 1851 to May 1853 Cecil travelled through Cape Colony, including Tasmania, New Zealand.
He disliked the Boers and wrote that free institutions and self-government could not be granted to the Cape Colony because the Boers outnumbered the British three-to-one, "it will be delivering us over bound hand and foot into the power of the Dutch, who hate us as much as a conquered people can hate their conquerors". He found the Kaffirs "a fine set of men – whose language bears traces of a high former civilisation", similar to Italian, they were "an intellectual race, with great firmness and fixedness of will" but "horribly immoral" as they lacked theism. In the Bendigo goldmine of Australia, he claimed that "there is not half as much crime or insubordination as there would be in an English town of the same wealth and population". Ten thousand miners were policed by four men armed with carbines, at Mount Alexander 30,000 people were protected by 200 policemen, with over 30,000 ounces of gold mined per week, he believed that there was "generally far more civility than I should be to find in the good town of Hatfield" and claimed this was due to "the government was that of the Queen, not of the mob.
Holding from a supposed right" and from "the People the source of all legitimate power," Cecil said of the Māori of New Zealand: "The natives seem when they have converted to make much better Christians than the white man". A Maori chief offered Cecil five acres near Auckland, which he declined
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and to the electorate; the office of Prime Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. The current holder of the office, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016; the office is not established by any statute or constitutional document but exists only by long-established convention, which stipulates that the monarch must appoint as Prime Minister the person most to command the confidence of the House of Commons. The position of Prime Minister was not created; the office is therefore best understood from a historical perspective. The origins of the position are found in constitutional changes that occurred during the Revolutionary Settlement and the resulting shift of political power from the Sovereign to Parliament.
Although the Sovereign was not stripped of the ancient prerogative powers and remained the head of government, politically it became necessary for him or her to govern through a Prime Minister who could command a majority in Parliament. By the 1830s the Westminster system of government had emerged; the political position of Prime Minister was enhanced by the development of modern political parties, the introduction of mass communication, photography. By the start of the 20th century the modern premiership had emerged. Prior to 1902, the Prime Minister sometimes came from the House of Lords, provided that his government could form a majority in the Commons; however as the power of the aristocracy waned during the 19th century the convention developed that the Prime Minister should always sit in the lower house. As leader of the House of Commons, the Prime Minister's authority was further enhanced by the Parliament Act 1911 which marginalised the influence of the House of Lords in the law-making process.
The Prime Minister is ex officio First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. Certain privileges, such as residency of 10 Downing Street, are accorded to Prime Ministers by virtue of their position as First Lord of the Treasury; the status of the position as Prime Minister means that the incumbent is ranked as one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. The Prime Minister is the head of the United Kingdom government; as such, the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet. In addition, the Prime Minister leads a major political party and commands a majority in the House of Commons; the incumbent wields both significant legislative and executive powers. Under the British system, there is a unity of powers rather than separation. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister guides the law-making process with the goal of enacting the legislative agenda of their political party. In an executive capacity, the Prime Minister appoints all other Cabinet members and ministers, co-ordinates the policies and activities of all government departments, the staff of the Civil Service.
The Prime Minister acts as the public "face" and "voice" of Her Majesty's Government, both at home and abroad. Upon the advice of the Prime Minister, the Sovereign exercises many statutory and prerogative powers, including high judicial, political and Church of England ecclesiastical appointments; the British system of government is based on an uncodified constitution, meaning that it is not set out in any single document. The British constitution consists of many documents and most for the evolution of the Office of the Prime Minister, it is based on customs known as constitutional conventions that became accepted practice. In 1928, Prime Minister H. H. Asquith described this characteristic of the British constitution in his memoirs:In this country we live... under an unwritten Constitution. It is true that we have on the Statute-book great instruments like Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights which define and secure many of our rights and privileges, they rest on usage, convention of slow growth in their early stages, not always uniform, but which in the course of time received universal observance and respect.
The relationships between the Prime Minister and the Sovereign and Cabinet are defined by these unwritten conventions of the constitution. Many of the Prime Minister's executive and legislative powers are royal prerogatives which are still formally vested in the Sovereign, who remains the head of state. Despite its growing
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
1886 United Kingdom general election
The 1886 United Kingdom general election took place from 1 July to 27 July 1886. It resulted in a major reversal of the results of the 1885 election as the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury in an electoral pact with the breakaway Unionist wing of the Liberals led by Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain; the new Liberal Unionist party gave the Conservatives their parliamentary majority but did not join them in a formal coalition. William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals, who supported Irish Home Rule, their sometimes allies, the Irish Parliamentary Party led by Charles Stewart Parnell, placed a distant second; this ended the period of Liberal dominance—they had held power for 18 of the 27 years since 1859 and won five of the six elections held during that time, but would only be in power for three of the next nineteen years. This was the first election since the 1841 election that the Conservatives won a plurality or majority of the popular vote. MPs elected in the UK general election, 1886 Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918 Craig, F. W. S.
British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 Rallings, Colin. British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd Walker, Brian, "The 1885 and 1886 General Elections in Ireland", History Ireland, 13: 36–40, JSTOR 27725365 Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and won a landslide victory in the following year's general election. Under Prime Ministers Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith, the Liberal Party passed the welfare reforms that created a basic British welfare state. Although Asquith was the party's leader, its dominant figure was David Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime role of coalition Prime Minister and Lloyd George replaced him as Prime Minister in late 1916, but Asquith remained as Liberal Party leader; the pair fought for years over control of the party.
Historian Martin Pugh in The Oxford Companion to British History argues: Lloyd George made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his pre-war introduction of Britain's social welfare system. Furthermore, in foreign affairs, he played a leading role in winning the First World War, redrawing the map of Europe at the peace conference, partitioning Ireland; the government of Lloyd George was dominated by the Conservative Party, which deposed him in 1922. By the end of the 1920s, the Labour Party had replaced the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rival; the party went into decline after 1918 and by the 1950s won no more than six seats at general elections. Apart from notable by-election victories, its fortunes did not improve until it formed the SDP–Liberal Alliance with the newly formed Social Democratic Party in 1981. At the 1983 general election, the Alliance won over a quarter of the vote, but only 23 of the 650 seats it contested. At the 1987 general election, its share of the vote fell below 23% and the Liberal and Social Democratic parties merged in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.
A splinter group reconstituted the Liberal Party in 1989. It was formed by party members opposed to the merger who saw the Liberal Democrats diluting Liberal ideals. Prominent intellectuals associated with the Liberal Party include the philosopher John Stuart Mill, the economist John Maynard Keynes and social planner William Beveridge; the Liberal Party grew out of the Whigs, who had their origins in an aristocratic faction in the reign of Charles II and the early 19th century Radicals. The Whigs were in favour of increasing the power of Parliament. Although their motives in this were to gain more power for themselves, the more idealistic Whigs came to support an expansion of democracy for its own sake; the great figures of reformist Whiggery were Charles James Fox and his disciple and successor Earl Grey. After decades in opposition, the Whigs returned to power under Grey in 1830 and carried the First Reform Act in 1832; the Reform Act was the climax of Whiggism, but it brought about the Whigs' demise.
The admission of the middle classes to the franchise and to the House of Commons led to the development of a systematic middle class liberalism and the end of Whiggery, although for many years reforming aristocrats held senior positions in the party. In the years after Grey's retirement, the party was led first by Lord Melbourne, a traditional Whig, by Lord John Russell, the son of a Duke but a crusading radical, by Lord Palmerston, a renegade Irish Tory and a conservative, although capable of radical gestures; as early as 1839, Russell had adopted the name of "Liberals", but in reality his party was a loose coalition of Whigs in the House of Lords and Radicals in the Commons. The leading Radicals were John Bright and Richard Cobden, who represented the manufacturing towns which had gained representation under the Reform Act, they favoured social reform, personal liberty, reducing the powers of the Crown and the Church of England, avoidance of war and foreign alliances and above all free trade.
For a century, free trade remained the one cause. In 1841, the Liberals lost office to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their period in opposition was short because the Conservatives split over the repeal of the Corn Laws, a free trade issue; this allowed ministries led by Russell and the Peelite Lord Aberdeen to hold office for most of the 1850s and 1860s. A leading Peelite was William Ewart Gladstone, a reforming Chancellor of the Exchequer in most of these governments; the formal foundation of the Liberal Party is traditionally traced to 1859 and the formation of Palmerston's second government. However, the Whig-Radical amalgam could not become a true modern political party while it was dominated by aristocrats and it was not until the departure of the "Two Terrible Old Men", Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone could become the first leader of the modern Liberal Party; this was brought about by Palmerston's death in 1865 and Russell's retirement in 1868. After a brief Conservative government, Gladstone won a huge victory at the 1868 election and formed the first Liberal government.
Hythe (UK Parliament constituency)
Hythe was a constituency centred on the town of Hythe in Kent. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons until 1832, when its representation was reduced to one member; the constituency was abolished for the 1950 general election, replaced with the new Folkestone and Hythe constituency. 1918-1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Folkestone and Hythe, the Urban District of Cheriton, part of the Urban District of Sandgate. Ramsden resigned. Edwards' resignation caused a by-election. General Election 1914/15: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected. Citations BibliographyBeatson, Robert. A Chronological Register of Both Houses of the British Parliament, from the Union in 1708, to the Third Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in 1807. London: Longman, Hurst and Orme. Brunton, D.. H..
Members of the Long Parliament. London: George Allen & Unwin. Cobbett, William. Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803. London: Thomas Hansard. Archived from the original on 2015-09-04; the Constitutional Year Book for 1913. London: National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations. 1913. Craig, F. W. S.. British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885. Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services. Neale, John E.. The Elizabethan House of Commons. London: Jonathan Cape. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "H"
Midlothian (UK Parliament constituency) (1708–1918)
Edinburghshire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918. It elected one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election; the seat is most famous as the location of William Ewart Gladstone's upset victory in the Midlothian Campaign of 1880, regarded as the birth of the modern political campaign in the United Kingdom. After Gladstone's victory it became the first non-English constituency to be represented by a serving prime minister; the British parliamentary constituency was created in 1708 following the Acts of Union, 1707 and replaced the former Parliament of Scotland shire constituency of Edinburghshire. As first used, in 1708 general election of the Parliament of Great Britain, the constituency covered the county of Edinburgh, except the burgh of Edinburgh, covered by the Edinburgh burgh constituency. 1708 boundaries were used for all subsequent elections of that parliament.
In 1801 the Parliament of Ireland was merged with the Parliament of Great Britain to form the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The first general election of the new parliament was the general election of 1802. There was no change to the boundaries of any pre-existing Westminster constituency, 1802 boundaries were used in the general elections of 1806, 1807, 1812, 1818, 1820, 1826, 1830 and 1831. For the 1832 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1832, the constituency was redefined; the boundaries of counties and burghs for parliamentary purposes ceased to be those for other purposes, but nominally the Edinburghshire constituency consisted of the county of Edinburgh minus the burghs of Edinburgh, Leith and Musselburgh. Edinburgh was again covered by the Edinburgh constituency, Leith and Musselburgh were covered by the Leith Burghs constituency. 1832 boundaries were used in the general elections of 1835, 1837, 1841, 1847, 1852, 1857, 1859, 1865, 1874, 1880, 1886, 1892, 1895, 1900, 1906, January 1910 and December 1910.
For the 1918 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1918, the area of the Edinburghshire constituency was divided between the Midlothian and Peebles Northern and Peebles and Southern Midlothian constituencies. By this date, the county of Edinburgh had been renamed as the county of Midlothian; the Midlothian and Peebles Northern constituency consisted of the Calder and Suburban districts and part of the Lasswade district of the county of Midlothian, the Peebles and Southern constituency consisted of the county of Peebles, the Gala Water district and part of the Lasswade district of county of Midlothian, the burghs of Bonnyrigg and Penicuik in county of Midlothian. The rest of the county of Midlothian was covered by the Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh East, Edinburgh North, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh West and Leith constituencies. Hope's death caused a by-election. Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer required a by-election.
Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer required a by-election. Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Lord Privy Seal required a by-election. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M"