Robert Peel

10/12/183408/04/1835View on timeline

Robert Peel

Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was a British Conservative statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834–35 and 1841–46) and twice as Home Secretary (1822–27 and 1828–30). He is regarded as the father of modern British policing, owing to his founding of the Metropolitan 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 classics and mathematics from Christ Church, Oxford. He entered the House of Commons in 1809, and became a rising star in the Tory Party. Peel entered the Cabinet as Home Secretary (1822–1827), 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 (1828–1830), also serving as Leader of the House of Commons. Initially a supporter of continued legal discrimination against Catholics, Peel reversed himself and supported the repeal of the Test Act (1828) 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 (December 1834), 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 (1835–1841). Peel became Prime Minister again after the 1841 general election. His second government ruled for five years. He cut tariffs to stimulate trade, replacing the lost revenue with a 3% income tax. He played a central role in making free trade a reality and 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 often started from a traditional Tory position in opposition to a measure, then 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 wrote: "Peel was in the first rank of 19th century statesmen. He carried Catholic Emancipation; he repealed the Corn Laws; he created the modern Conservative Party on the ruins of the old Toryism".


0 comments

Comment

No comments avaliable.

Author

Info

Published in 10/09/2020

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic U.K. - Prime Ministers:


Invalid DateRobert WalpoleRobert Walpole
Invalid DateSpencer ComptonSpencer Compton
Invalid DateHenry PelhamHenry Pelham
Invalid DateThomas Pelham-HollesThomas Pelham-Holles
Invalid DateWilliam CavendishWilliam Cavendish
Invalid DateThomas Pelham-HollesThomas Pelham-Holles
Invalid DateJohn StuartJohn Stuart
Invalid DateGeorge GrenvilleGeorge Grenville
Invalid DateCharles Watson-WentworthCharles Watson-Wentworth
Invalid DateWilliam PittWilliam Pitt
Invalid DateAugustus FitzRoyAugustus FitzRoy
Invalid DateFrederick NorthFrederick North
Invalid DateCharles Watson-WentworthCharles Watson-Wentworth
Invalid DateWilliam PettyWilliam Petty
Invalid DateWilliam Cavendish-BentinckWilliam Cavendish-Bentinck
Invalid DateWilliam PittWilliam Pitt
Invalid DateHenry AddingtonHenry Addington
Invalid DateWilliam PittWilliam Pitt
Invalid DateWilliam GrenvilleWilliam Grenville
Invalid DateWilliam Cavendish-BentinckWilliam Cavendish-Bentinck
Invalid DateSpencer PercevalSpencer Perceval
Invalid DateRobert JenkinsonRobert Jenkinson
Invalid DateGeorge CanningGeorge Canning
Invalid DateFrederick John RobinsonFrederick John Robinson
Invalid DateArthur WellesleyArthur Wellesley
Invalid DateCharles GreyCharles Grey
Invalid DateWilliam LambWilliam Lamb
Invalid DateArthur WellesleyArthur Wellesley
Invalid DateRobert PeelRobert Peel
Invalid DateWilliam LambWilliam Lamb
Invalid DateRobert PeelRobert Peel
Invalid DateJohn RussellJohn Russell
Invalid DateEdward Smith-StanleyEdward Smith-Stanley
Invalid DateGeorge Hamilton-GordonGeorge Hamilton-Gordon
Invalid DateHenry John TempleHenry John Temple
Invalid DateEdward Smith-StanleyEdward Smith-Stanley
Invalid DateHenry John TempleHenry John Temple
Invalid DateJohn RussellJohn Russell
Invalid DateEdward Smith-StanleyEdward Smith-Stanley
Invalid DateBenjamin DisraeliBenjamin Disraeli
Invalid DateWilliam Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Invalid DateBenjamin DisraeliBenjamin Disraeli
Invalid DateWilliam Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Invalid DateRobert Gascoyne-CecilRobert Gascoyne-Cecil
Invalid DateWilliam Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Invalid DateRobert Gascoyne-CecilRobert Gascoyne-Cecil
Invalid DateWilliam Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Invalid DateArchibald PrimroseArchibald Primrose
Invalid DateRobert Gascoyne-CecilRobert Gascoyne-Cecil
Invalid DateArthur BalfourArthur Balfour
Invalid DateHenry Campbell-BannermanHenry Campbell-Bannerman
Invalid DateH. H. AsquithH. H. Asquith
Invalid DateDavid Lloyd GeorgeDavid Lloyd George
Invalid DateBonar LawBonar Law
Invalid DateStanley BaldwinStanley Baldwin
Invalid DateRamsay MacDonaldRamsay MacDonald
Invalid DateStanley BaldwinStanley Baldwin
Invalid DateRamsay MacDonaldRamsay MacDonald
Invalid DateStanley BaldwinStanley Baldwin
Invalid DateNeville ChamberlainNeville Chamberlain
Invalid DateWinston ChurchillWinston Churchill
Invalid DateClement AttleeClement Attlee
Invalid DateWinston ChurchillWinston Churchill
Invalid DateAnthony EdenAnthony Eden
Invalid DateHarold MacmillanHarold Macmillan
Invalid DateAlec Douglas-HomeAlec Douglas-Home
Invalid DateHarold WilsonHarold Wilson
Invalid DateEdward HeathEdward Heath
Invalid DateHarold WilsonHarold Wilson
Invalid DateJames CallaghanJames Callaghan
Invalid DateMargaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher
Invalid DateJohn MajorJohn Major
Invalid DateTony BlairTony Blair
Invalid DateGordon BrownGordon Brown
Invalid DateDavid CameronDavid Cameron
Invalid DateTheresa MayTheresa May
Invalid DateBoris JohnsonBoris Johnson