Russell, Lord John, 1st Earl

1827 free franked address leaf while MP

Price: $30.00

Description:
Lord John Russell, 1st Earl Russell (1792-1878). PM of Great Britain 1846-52 & 1865-66, an aristocratic liberal and leader of the fight for passage of the Reform Bill of 1832. As the younger son of a peer, he was known for most of his life as Lord John Russell until created earl in 1861. Poor health forbade the rigors of an English public school, and his father sent him to the University of Edinburgh. In 1813 he became an MP and 4 years later made his 1st important speech, an attack on the government’s suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. In Dec. 1819 he took up the cause of parliamentary reform, making it in the early 1820s that of the Whig Party. When the Whigs came to power in 1830, he joined a small ministerial committee to draft a reform bill, and on March 31, 1831, he presented it to the House of Commons and won a national reputation. In the 1830s-40s, Russell remained chief Whig promoter of liberal reform never so glorious as in the protracted successful conflict over passing of the first Reform Bill. As Paymaster General under Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, in the 1st half of the 1830s, Russell championed religious freedom for English Dissenters and Irish Roman Catholics. In the 2nd half of the 1830s, as Home Secretary under Lord Melbourne, he democratized large town governments (except for London), reduced the number of criminal offenses liable to capital punishment, and began the system of state inspection and support of public education. Out of office 1841-46, when he stood in opposition to Peel, Russell left his mark. In 1845, in advance of his party, he favored total free trade, forcing Peel to follow him. As a result Peel split his party, the Whigs came to power, and Russell became PM. His 1846–52 administration showed that his ability to implement new ideas was seriously reduced. He establish the 10-hour day in factory labor (1847) and founded a national board of public health (1848), but was unable to end civil disabilities of the Jews, extend the franchise to workers in cities, or guarantee security of tenure to Irish farmers. In the remaining years of his public career, party disunity brought down his 2nd administration (1865–66) when he made his last attempt to extend the franchise. In the 1850s the age of reform gave way to self-complacency, even of belligerence, evident in the Ecclesiastical Titles Act of 1851 which Russell’s government had passed and which in effect was England's defiance of the papacy. This mood transformed into an appetite for foreign conquest and boredom with social and political reform. Russell became overshadowed by Lord Palmerston who seized the forefront of the national stage in the 1854-56 Crimean War. Russell retired from public life 1855-59 and devoted himself to literature, biography, history, and poetry. 3 x 5 front panel of an address leaf addressed in other hand to E. H. Denison Esq., Crosby, Liverpool (other address crossed out), London, August 3 1827, franked by Russell at lower left; official crown red postmark top right.

Condition: Very good, light overall soiling
Type:Free Frank






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