Gladstone, William E.

1894 ALS 4 days before the end of his last term as Prime Minister, to his 1846 assistant private secretary, a poet and critic

Price: $195.00

Description:
(1809-1898) British Liberal statesman, Prime Minister 4 times (1868–74, 1880–85, Feb.–July 1886, 1892–94), more than any other person. He was also Britain's oldest PM, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer 4 times (1853–55, 1859–66, 1873–74, 1880–82). Educated at Eton and Christ College, at the Oxford Union Debating Society, he developed a reputation as a fine orator. He entered Parliament 1830, and, in 1832, PM Peel appointed him his Junior Lord of the Treasury. He was promoted to Under-Secretary for the Colonies in 1833. In 1841, he became Vice-President of the Board of Trade and in 1843 was promoted to President. In 1844 Gladstone was responsible for the Railway Bill that required railway companies to transport 3rd class travelers for fares not exceeding a penny a mile. In 1845 he lost his seat but remained in Peel's Cabinet until Lord John Russell, Whig Party leader, became PM in July 1847. In the 1847 General Election, Gladstone was elected Conservative MP for Oxford University and remained on the opposition benches until Lord Aberdeen formed a coalition government with Gladstone as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Aberdeen's government survived to March 1857. When Palmerston became PM in June 1859, Gladstone was again named Chancellor of the Exchequer. He abolished the paper duty that enabled publishers to produce cheap newspapers. In the July 1865 general election, Gladstone lost his seat and moved to the constituency of South Lancashire. New PM Lord John Russell asked him to become Leader of the House of Commons as well as Chancellor of the Exchequer until Russell's administration resigned June 19, 1866 and Lord Derby, leader of the Conservatives, became PM. In the December 1868 general election, Gladstone, leader of the Liberal Party, became PM. In 1870 he and Education Minister William Forster managed to pass the government's Education Act that established school boards in Britain. After the passing of the 1867 Reform Act, working class males now formed the majority in most borough constituencies, but employers were able to use their influence in some constituencies because of the open system of voting. In 1872 Gladstone's government brought in the Ballot Act which introduced a secret system of voting. In the 1874 General Election the Conservative Disraeli became PM and Gladstone led the Liberal opposition. Parliament was dissolved in 1880, and the General Election resulted in an overwhelming Liberal victory. Gladstone introduced 3 new measures concerning parliamentary reform. The 1884 Reform Act gave the counties the same franchise as the boroughs and added about 6 million to the total number who could vote in parliamentary elections. Gladstone’s Liberals won the 1886 General Election and he attempted to convince Parliament to accept Irish Home Rule. The proposal split the party and Parliament rejected the measure. He was defeated in the 1886 General Election but again elected to office in 1892; he resigned the Premiership, ostensibly on health grounds, on 2 March 1894. ALS while Prime Minister on 7 ¼ x 4 ¾ black-bordered engraved "10, Downing Street, Whitehall" letterhead, “26. 2d.94” (Feb. 26, 1894), to (?) Palgrave, likely Francis Turner Palgrave. “Tomorrow being a blank day at the House I have invited two or three friends to dinner – would you if not better engaged desire the favour to join them? Yours very faithfully {signed].” FRANCIS TURNER PALGRAVE (1824–1897) British critic and poet. In 1843, he won a scholarship at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1846 he interrupted his university career to serve as assistant private secretary to William E. Gladstone, but returned to Oxford in 1847. He was fellow of Exeter College 1847-62, and in 1849 entered the Education Department at Whitehall. In 1850 he accepted the vice-principalship of Kneller Hall Training College at Twickenham where he came into contact with Alfred Tennyson, a lifelong friend. He returned to Whitehall in 1855, becoming examiner in the Education Department, and later, assistant secretary. In 1885 he succeeded John Campbell Shairp as professor of poetry at Oxford. Palgrave published both criticism and poetry, but his work as a critic was by far the more important.

Condition: Very good, slight dusting
Type:Letter






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