Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson was a British poet. He was the Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. In 1829, Tennyson was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, "Timbuktu", he published his first solo collection of poems, Poems Chiefly Lyrical in 1830. "Claribel" and "Mariana", which remain some of Tennyson's most celebrated poems, were included in this volume. Although decried by some critics as overly sentimental, his verse soon proved popular and brought Tennyson to the attention of well-known writers of the day, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Tennyson's early poetry, with its medievalism and powerful visual imagery, was a major influence on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as "Break, Break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Tears, Idle Tears", "Crossing the Bar". Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as "Ulysses", although "In Memoriam A.
H. H." was written to commemorate his friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and student at Trinity College, after he died of a stroke at the age of 22. Tennyson wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, "Ulysses", "Tithonus". During his career, Tennyson attempted drama. A number of phrases from Tennyson's work have become commonplaces of the English language, including "Nature, red in tooth and claw", "'Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all", "Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die", "My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure", "To strive, to seek, to find, not to yield", "Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers", "The old order changeth, yielding place to new", he is the ninth most quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Tennyson was born on 6 August 1809 in Somersby, England, he was born into a middle-class family distantly descended from John Savage, 2nd Earl Rivers. His father, George Clayton Tennyson, was rector of Somersby rector of Benniworth and Bag Enderby, vicar of Grimsby.
Rev. George Clayton Tennyson raised a large family and "was a man of superior abilities and varied attainments, who tried his hand with fair success in architecture, painting and poetry, he was comfortably well off for a country clergyman and his shrewd money management enabled the family to spend summers at Mablethorpe and Skegness on the eastern coast of England". Alfred Tennyson's mother, Elizabeth Fytche, was the daughter of Stephen Fytche, vicar of St. James Church and rector of Withcall, a small village between Horncastle and Louth. Tennyson's father "carefully attended to the education and training of his children". Tennyson and two of his elder brothers were writing poetry in their teens and a collection of poems by all three was published locally when Alfred was only 17. One of those brothers, Charles Tennyson Turner married Louisa Sellwood, the younger sister of Alfred's future wife. Another of Tennyson's brothers, Edward Tennyson, was institutionalised at a private asylum. Tennyson was a student of King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth from 1816 to 1820.
He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1827, where he joined a secret society called the Cambridge Apostles. A portrait of Tennyson by George Frederic Watts is in Trinity's collection. At Cambridge, Tennyson met Arthur Hallam and William Henry Brookfield, who became his closest friends, his first publication was a collection of "his boyish rhymes and those of his elder brother Charles" entitled Poems by Two Brothers, published in 1827. In 1829, Tennyson was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, "Timbuktu". "it was thought to be no slight honour for a young man of twenty to win the chancellor's gold medal". He published his first solo collection of poems, Poems Chiefly Lyrical in 1830. "Claribel" and "Mariana", which took their place among Tennyson's most celebrated poems, were included in this volume. Although decried by some critics as overly sentimental, his verse soon proved popular and brought Tennyson to the attention of well-known writers of the day, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
In the spring of 1831, Tennyson's father died, requiring him to leave Cambridge before taking his degree. He returned to the rectory, where he was permitted to live for another six years and shared responsibility for his widowed mother and the family. Arthur Hallam came to stay with his family during the summer and became engaged to Tennyson's sister, Emilia Tennyson. In 1833 Tennyson published his second book of poetry, which notably included the first version of The Lady of Shalott; the volume met heavy criticism, which so discouraged Tennyson that he did not publish again for ten years, although he did continue to write. That same year, Hallam died and unexpectedly after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage while on a holiday in Vienna. Hallam's death had a profound effect on Tennyson and inspired several poems, including "In the Valley of Cauteretz" and In Memoriam A. H. H. A long poem detailing the "Way of the Soul". Tennyson and his family were allowed to stay in the rectory for some time, but moved to Beech Hill Park, High Beach, deep within Epping Forest, about 1837.
Tennyson’s son recalled: “there was a pond in the park on which in winter my father might be seen skating, sailing about on the ice in his long blue cloak. He liked the nearness of London, whither he resorted to see his friends, but he could not stay in town for a
Robert Lowe, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke, GCB, PC, British statesman, was a pivotal but forgotten figure who shaped British politics in the latter half of the 19th century. He held office under William Ewart Gladstone as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1868 and 1873 and as Home Secretary between 1873 and 1874. Lowe is remembered for his work in education policy, his opposition to electoral reform and his contribution to modern UK company law. Gladstone appointed Lowe as Chancellor expecting him to hold down public spending. Public spending rose, Gladstone pronounced Lowe "wretchedly deficient". Lowe underestimated the revenue, enabling him to resist demands for tax cuts and to reduce the national debt instead, he insisted. By his own main criterion of fairness – that the balance between direct and indirect taxation remain unchanged – he succeeded; however historians do not believe this balance is a good measure of class incidence and was by that time archaic. Lowe was born in Bingham, England, the second son of the Reverend Robert Lowe.
His mother was the daughter of the Rev. Reginald Pyndar. Lowe had albinism, his sight was so weak that it was thought he was unfit to be sent to school. In 1822 he went to a school at Southwell to one at Risley, in 1825 to Winchester as a commoner. In Lowe's fragment of autobiography he shows an unpleasing picture of the under-feeding and other conditions of the school life of the time; the languages of Latin and Greek were the main subjects of study and Lowe records that both were easy for him. Lowe attended University College and enjoyed the change. In 1835 he won a fellowship at Magdalen, but vacated it on marrying, on 26 March 1836, Georgiana Orred. Lowe was for a few years a successful tutor at Oxford, but in 1838 was disappointed at not being elected to the professorship of Greek at the University of Glasgow. In 1841 Lowe moved to London to read for the Bar, but his eyesight showed signs of serious weakness, acting on medical advice, he sailed to Sydney in the colony of New South Wales, where he set to work in the law courts.
On 7 November 1843 he was nominated by Sir George Gipps, the Governor of New South Wales, to a seat in the New South Wales Legislative Council replacing Robert Jones who had to resign from the Council due to insolvency. Owing to a difference of opinion with Gipps, Lowe resigned from the Council on 9 September 1844, but was elected in April 1845 for Counties of St Vincent and Auckland. Lowe held that seat until 20 June 1848 and was elected for City of Sydney in July 1848, a seat he held until November 1849. Lowe soon made his mark in the political world by his clever speeches on finance and education. In 1844, Lowe defended a Royal Navy captain, John Knatchbull, on a charge of murdering a widowed shopkeeper named Ellen Jamieson. Knatchbull was hanged on 13 February 1844. Lowe and his wife adopted Mrs. Jamieson's two orphaned children and Polly Jamieson. On 27 January 1850, the two Jamieson children sailed to England. Lowe's previous university reputation and connections combined with his colonial experience stood him in good stead.
In 1852, he was returned to Parliament for Kidderminster in the Liberal interest. In the House of Commons, his acute reasoning made a considerable impression, under successive Liberal ministries, he obtained official experience as Secretary to the Board of Control and Vice-President of the Board of Trade. During his time there, he saw the Joint Stock Companies Act 1856 passed – the first nationwide codification of company law in the world, he has been referred to as "the father of modern company law". This status was again referred to in the presentation by Lord Sainsbury of the second reading leading up to the new United Kingdom Companies Act 2006. "One hundred and fifty years ago, my predecessor Robert Lowe First Viscount Sherbrooke, brought forward the Bill that created the joint stock limited liability company. It was the first nationwide codification of company law in the world, he has been described as "the father of modern company law". Our company law continues to have an excellent record.
Since 1997 new incorporations have risen by over 60 per cent and the number of foreign firms incorporating in the UK has more than quadrupled. No doubt this is because, according to the World Bank's assessment, it is quicker and cheaper for companies to set up in the UK than in any other EU member state." In 1859, Lowe went to the Education Office as Vice-President of the Committee of the Council on Education in Lord Palmerston's ministry. He felt and still more after the Reform Act of 1867, that "we must educate our masters," and he rather scandalized his old university friends by the stress he laid on physical science as opposed to classical studies. Considerable opposition was aroused by the new regime at the Education Office, in 1864 Lowe was driven to resign by an adv
William Benjamin Carpenter
William Benjamin Carpenter CB FRS was an English physician, invertebrate zoologist and physiologist. He was instrumental in the early stages of the unified University of London. Carpenter was born on 29 October 1813 in Exeter, the eldest son of Dr Lant Carpenter and his wife, Anna Carpenter, his father was an important Unitarian preacher who, according to Adrian Desmond, influenced a "rising generation of Unitarian intellectuals, including James Martineau and the Westminster Review's John Bowring." From his father, Carpenter learned to believe in the essential lawfulness of creation and that explanations of the world were to be found in physical causes. He embraced this "naturalistic cosmogony" as his starting point. Carpenter was apprenticed in 1828 to the eye surgeon John Bishop Estlin, the son of a Unitarian minister, he attended lectures at Bristol Medical School studied at University College London, went to the University of Edinburgh, where he received his MD in 1839. In 1871, he received an LL.
D. from the University of Edinburgh. On his resignation in 1879, Carpenter was appointed CB in recognition of his services to education, he died on 19 November 1885 in London, from burn injuries occasioned by the accidental upsetting of the fire heating a vapour bath he was taking. He was buried in Highgate Cemetery, his graduation thesis on the nervous system of invertebrates won a gold medal, led to his first books. His work in comparative neurology was recognised in 1844 by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society, his appointment as Fullerian Professor of Physiology at the Royal Institution in 1845 enabled him to exhibit his powers as a teacher and lecturer. His gift of ready speech and luminous interpretation placing him in the front rank of exponents, at a time when the popularisation of science was in its infancy, he worked hard as investigator, editor and lecturer throughout his life. These researches gave an impetus to deep-sea exploration, an outcome of, in 1868 the oceanographic survey with HMS Lightning and the more famous Challenger Expedition.
He took a keen and laborious interest in the evidence adduced by Canadian geologists as to the organic nature of the so-called Eozoon canadense, discovered in the Laurentian strata called the North American craton, at the time of his death had nearly finished a monograph on the subject, defending the now discredited theory of its animal origin. He was adept in the use of the microscope, his popular treatise on it stimulated many to explore this new aid, he was president of the Quekett Microscopical Club from 1883–85. He was awarded the Royal Medal in 1861. Carpenter's most famous work is The Abuse of Alcoholic Liquors in Health and Disease; the first printing of the first edition was published in London by Charles Gilpin in March 1850. It was one of the first temperance books to promote the fact. In 1856 Carpenter became Registrar of the University of London, held the office for twenty-three years, he gave qualified support to Darwin but he had reservations as to the application of evolution to man's intellectual and spiritual nature.
He demonstrated his commitment to the education of women, by teaching at the newly founded Bedford College, London in 1849 and 1850. Carpenter is considered as one of the founders of the modern theory of the adaptive unconscious. Together with William Hamilton and Thomas Laycock they provided the foundations on which adaptive unconscious is based today, they observed that the human perceptual system completely operates outside of conscious awareness. These same observations have been made by Hermann Helmholtz; because these views were in conflict with the theories of Descartes, they were neglected, until the cognitive revolution of the 1950s. In 1874 Carpenter noticed that the more he studied the mechanism of thought, the more clear it became that it operates outside awareness, he noticed that the unconscious prejudices can be stronger than conscious thought and that they are more dangerous since they happen outside of conscious. He noticed that emotional reactions can occur outside of conscious until attention is drawn to them: "Our feelings towards persons and objects may undergo most important changes, without our being in the least degree aware, until we have our attention directed to our own mental state, of the alteration which has taken place in them."He asserted both the freedom of the will and the existence of the ego.
Carpenter was a critic of claims of paranormal phenomena, psychical research and spiritualism, which he wrote were "epidemic delusions". He was the author of the book Mesmerism, Etc: Historically and Scientifically Considered, seen as an early text on anomalistic psychology. According to Carpenter, Spiritualist practices could be explained by psychological factors such as hypnotism and suggestion, he rejected any occult or supernatural interpretation of hypnotism or trance-like states and insisted they were explained by the physiology of the human mind. He argued that ideomotor effect could explain the phenomena of table-turning. After experimental researches with tables, Michael Faraday credited to Carpenter the theoretical explanations for the results that he obtained. Carpenter identified as a Unitarian. Although critical of spiritualism, he was interested in the subject of "thought reading", he defended the mentalist Washington Irving Bishop who he had experimented with and considered such feats to be of great interest to the study
Charles John Ellicott was a distinguished English Christian theologian and churchman. He served as Dean of Exeter Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol. Born in Whitwell, Rutland on 25 April 1819, he was educated at Stamford School and St John's College, Cambridge, he married Constantia Ann Becher at St Marylebone Parish Church, London on 31 July 1848. One of their children was the composer Rosalind Ellicott. Following his ordination into the Anglican ministry in 1848, he was Vicar of Pilton and Professor of Divinity at King's College London and Hulsean Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. In 1861, he was appointed Dean of Exeter. Two years he was nominated the bishop of the united sees of Gloucester and Bristol on 6 February and consecrated on 25 March 1863. In 1897, he resigned the bishopric of Bristol, but continued as Bishop of Gloucester until resigning on 27 February 1905, he died in Kent on 15 October 1905, aged 86. Destiny of the Creature, 1865 Historical Lectures on the Life of Christ, 1870 Modern Unbelief, its Principles and Characteristics, 1877 Spiritual Needs in Country Parishes, 1888 Sacred Study An Old Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1897 A New Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1878 St Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians: With a Critical and Grammatical Commentary, 1887 Our Reformed Church and its Present Troubles, 1897 The Revised Version of Holy Scripture, 1901 Works by Charles Ellicott at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Charles Ellicott at Internet Archive Portraits of Charles Ellicott at the National Portrait Gallery, London
The Scottish people or Scots, are a nation and Celtic ethnic group native to Scotland. They emerged from an amalgamation of two Celtic-speaking peoples, the Picts and Gaels, who founded the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century; the neighbouring Celtic-speaking Cumbrians, as well as Germanic-speaking Anglo-Saxons and Norse, were incorporated into the Scottish nation. In modern usage, "Scottish people" or "Scots" is used to refer to anyone whose linguistic, family ancestral or genetic origins are from Scotland; the Latin word Scoti referred to the Gaels, but came to describe all inhabitants of Scotland. Considered archaic or pejorative, the term Scotch has been used for Scottish people outside Scotland. John Kenneth Galbraith in his book The Scotch documents the descendants of 19th-century Scottish pioneers who settled in Southwestern Ontario and affectionately referred to themselves as'Scotch', he states the book was meant to give a true picture of life in the community in the early decades of the 20th century.
People of Scottish descent live in many countries. Emigration, influenced by factors such as the Highland and Lowland Clearances, Scottish participation in the British Empire, latterly industrial decline and unemployment, have resulted in Scottish people being found throughout the world. Scottish emigrants took with them their Scottish languages and culture. Large populations of Scottish people settled the new-world lands of North and South America and New Zealand. Canada has the highest level of Scottish descendants per capita in the world and the second-largest population of Scottish descendants, after the United States. Scotland has seen settlement of many peoples at different periods in its history; the Gaels, the Picts and the Britons have their respective origin myths, like most medieval European peoples. Germanic peoples, such as the Anglo-Saxons, arrived beginning in the 7th century, while the Norse settled parts of Scotland from the 8th century onwards. In the High Middle Ages, from the reign of David I of Scotland, there was some emigration from France and the Low Countries to Scotland.
Some famous Scottish family names, including those bearing the names which became Bruce, Balliol and Stewart came to Scotland at this time. Today Scotland is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, the majority of people living there are British citizens; the highest concentrations of people of Scottish descent in the world outside of Scotland are located in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in Canada and Southland in New Zealand, the Falklands Islands, Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. In the Early Middle Ages, Scotland saw several ethnic or cultural groups mentioned in contemporary sources, namely the Picts, the Gaels, the Britons, the Angles, with the latter settling in the southeast of the country. Culturally, these peoples are grouped according to language. Most of Scotland until the 13th century spoke Celtic languages and these included, at least the Britons, as well as the Gaels and the Picts. Germanic peoples included the Angles of Northumbria, who settled in south-eastern Scotland in the region between the Firth of Forth to the north and the River Tweed to the south.
They occupied the south-west of Scotland up to and including the Plain of Kyle and their language, Old English, was the earliest form of the language which became known as Scots. Use of the Gaelic language spread throughout nearly the whole of Scotland by the 9th century, reaching a peak in the 11th to 13th centuries, but was never the language of the south-east of the country. King Edgar divided the Kingdom of Northumbria between England. South-east of the Firth of Forth in Lothian and the Borders, a northern variety of Old English known as Early Scots, was spoken; as a result of David I, King of Scots' return from exile in England in 1113 to assume the throne in 1124 with the help of Norman military force, David invited Norman families from France and England to settle in lands he granted them to spread a ruling class loyal to him. This Davidian Revolution, as many historians call it, brought a European style of feudalism to Scotland along with an influx of people of Norman descent - by invitation, unlike England where it was by conquest.
To this day, many of the common family names of Scotland can trace ancestry to Normans from this period, such as the Stewarts, the Bruces, the Hamiltons, the Wallaces, the Melvilles, some Browns and many others. The Northern Isles and some parts of Caithness were Norn-speaking. From 1200 to 1500 the Early Scots language spread across the lowland parts of Scotland between Galloway and the Highland line, being used by Barbour in his historical epic The Brus in the late 14th century in Aberdeen. From 1500 on, Scotland was divided by language into two groups of people, Gaelic-speaking "Highlanders" and the Inglis-speaking "Lowlanders". Today, immigrants have brought other languages, but every adult throughout Scotland is fluent in the English language. Today, Scotland has a population of just over five million people, the majority of whom co
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.
John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn, was a British Liberal statesman and newspaper editor. A journalist, he was elected a Member of Parliament in 1883, he was Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1886 and between 1892 and 1895, Secretary of State for India between 1905 and 1910 and again in 1911 and Lord President of the Council between 1910 and 1914. Morley was a distinguished political commentator, biographer of his hero, William Gladstone. Morley is best known for his writings and for his "reputation as the last of the great nineteenth-century Liberals", he opposed the Boer War. He supported Home Rule for Ireland, his opposition to British entry into the First World War as an ally of Russia led him to leave government in August 1914. Morley was born in Blackburn, the son of Jonathan Morley, a surgeon, of Priscilla Mary, he was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Hoole's Academy, University College School, Cheltenham College, Lincoln College, Oxford. While at Oxford, he quarrelled with his father over religion, had to leave the University early without an honours degree.
He wrote, in obvious allusion On Compromise. Morley was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1873, before deciding to pursue a career in journalism, he described his decision to abandon the law "my long enduring regret". He was the editor of the Fortnightly Review from 1867 to 1882 and of the Pall Mall Gazette from 1880 to 1883 before going into politics. Morley first stood for Parliament at the Blackburn by-election in 1869, a rare double by-election held after an election petition led to the results of the 1868 general election in Blackburn being voided, he was unsuccessful in Blackburn, failed to win a seat when he contested the City of Westminster at the 1880 general election. Morley was elected as Liberal Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne at a by-election in February 1883. Morley was a prominent Gladstonian Liberal. In Newcastle, his constituency association chairman was the effective Robert Spence Watson, a leader of the National Liberal Federation and its chairman from 1890 to 1902.
Newcastle, was a dual member constituency and Morley's parliamentary colleague, Joseph Cowen, was a radical in perpetual conflict with the Liberal Party, who owned the Newcastle Chronicle. Cowen attacked Morley from the left, sponsored working men candidates on his retirement from the seat, showing favour to the local Tory candidate, Charles Frederic Hamond. Morley, with Watson's machine, withstood the Cowen challenge until the 1895 general election, when the tactics caused the ejection of Morley and the loss of Newcastle to the Tories. In February 1886, he was sworn to the Privy Council and made Chief Secretary for Ireland, only to be turned out when Gladstone's government fell over Home Rule in July of the same year and Lord Salisbury became Prime Minister. After the severe defeat of the Gladstonian party at the 1886 general election, Morley divided his life between politics and letters until Gladstone's return to power at the 1892 general election, when he resumed as Chief Secretary for Ireland.
He had during the interval taken a leading part in parliament, but his tenure of the chief secretaryship of Ireland was hardly a success. The Irish gentry made things as difficult for him as possible, the path of an avowed Home Ruler installed in office at Dublin Castle was beset with pitfalls. In the internecine disputes that agitated the Liberal party during Lord Rosebery's administration and afterwards, Morley sided with Sir William Harcourt and was the recipient and co-signatory of his letter resigning the Liberal leadership in December 1898, he lost his seat in the 1895 general election but soon found another in Scotland, when he was elected at a by-election in February 1896 for the Montrose Burghs. From 1889 onwards, Morley resisted the pressure from labour leaders in Newcastle to support a maximum working day of eight hours enforced by law. Morley objected to this, it would be "thrusting an Act of Parliament like a ramrod into all the delicate and complex machinery of British industry".
For example, an Eight Hours Bill for miners would impose on an industry with great diversity in local and natural conditions a universal regulation. He further argued that it would be wrong to "enable the Legislature, ignorant of these things, biased in these things—to give the Legislature the power of saying how many hours a day a man shall or shall not work". Morley told trade unionists that the only right way to limit working hours was through voluntary action from them, his outspokenness against any eight hours bill, rare among politicians, brought him the hostility of labour leaders. In September 1891, two mass meetings saw labour leaders such as John Burns, Keir Hardie and Robert Blatchford all called for action against Morley. In the election of 1892, Morley did not face a labour candidate but the Eight Hours League and the Social Democratic Federation supported the Unionist candidate. Morley came second to the Unionist candidate; when Morley was appointed to the government and the necessary by-election ensued and other socialists advised working men to vote for the Unionist candidate, but the Irish vote in Newcastle rallied to Morley and he comfortably kept his seat.
After a vote on an Eight Hours Bill in the Commons in March 1892, Morley wrote: "That has taken place which I apprehended. The Labour party—that is, the most headstrong and unscrupulous and shallow of those who speak for labour—has captured the Liberal party. W