Author Archives: richardjohnbr

Ireland in the decade before Union

Ireland posed three problems in the period between the 1780s and the famines in the mid-1840s. First, there was the question of how Ireland should be governed. There was also the highly emotive question of the rights of the Catholic … Continue reading

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Why did Corn Law repeal lead to the end of Peel’s government?

Relations between Peel and his backbenchers were strained from the early days of his ministry. Peel was insensitive to their interests of many Conservative MPs and made little attempt to court backbench opinion. He took the loyalty of Conservatives in … Continue reading

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Posted in Books, Nineteenth century politics, Peel in power 1841-1846, Sir Robert Peel | Tagged , ,

Peel’s ministry 1841-45

Peel is credited with the Conservative victory in 1841: without his leadership, many contemporaries believed that the Tories could have been assigned to permanent opposition. Peel’s parliamentary performance during the 1830s was an important element in this revival. His grasp … Continue reading

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Peel in the 1830s

Peel is generally recognised as the founder of modern Conservatism. He saw the need for the Tory party to adapt itself after its disastrous showing in the 1832 General Election when 175 Tory MPs were elected out of the 658 … Continue reading

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Paradise and taxation

When Sir Vince Cable, having criticised the government for not clamping down on offshore tax havens trading under the British flag, added ‘The Paradise Papers suggest that a small number of wealthy individuals have been able, entirely legally, to put … Continue reading

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Treating the disabled

Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the policy of segregating severely disabled people into institutions slowly increased and was subsequently extended to other disadvantaged groups.[1] The term ‘institution’ can refer to a variety of social organisations but refers here to … Continue reading

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Posted in Books, Health and Housing, Nineteenth century society

Coming soon

  From the introduction: The golden age of research into the Chartist Movement began in the late 1950s and came to an end in the mid-1980s. The publication of A.R. Schoyen’s The Chartist Challenge: A Portrait of George Julian Harney … Continue reading

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Whig reforms 1832-1841

During the 1833 and 1834 sessions Lord Althorp,[1] leader of the House of Commons, showed that the energy for further reform remained strong. Although ministers sympathised with and even promoted specific bills in general, legislation to improve the condition of … Continue reading

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Whigs and constitutional reform 1830-1835

The Whigs supported the idea of both parliamentary and social reform. When they came to power in late 1830, they put parliamentary reform at the centre of their political agenda and it dominated debate until the Reform Act was passed … Continue reading

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How ‘liberal’ were the Tory governments of 1822-1830?

In the early 1820s, Liverpool made important changes in his Cabinet. Canning became Foreign Secretary after Castlereagh’s suicide and Peel replaced Sidmouth at the Home Office in 1822. Robinson took the place of Vansittart at the Exchequer and Huskisson became … Continue reading

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Clerical Errors, Volume 2

Tom Hughes Clerical Errors: A Victorian Series, Volume 2, (Squeaking Chair Books), 2017, £4.65 Kindle edition, £8.99 paperback There is a supreme irony I think in that just at the time that support for the Church of England waned especially … Continue reading

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How did the government react to demands for political reform?

Demands for parliamentary reform began in the final years of the war. In 1812, Major John Cartwright, a radical leader who had campaigned for parliamentary reform since the 1760s, began the first of three tours of the Midlands and North. … Continue reading

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Posted in Nineteenth century politics

Newport to Newport..John Frost’s journeys

The recent Chartism Day included an paper on the Williams’ ‘confession’ and a reappraisal of his role in the insurrection by Les James.  This led me to look again at my discussion of the transportation of the three Chartist leaders … Continue reading

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Posted in Chartism | Tagged , , ,

Lord Liverpool and the economy 1812-1822

Lord Liverpool became Prime Minister after Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons in May 1812. He was the most underrated Prime Minister in the nineteenth century. described later in the century by Benjamin Disraeli … Continue reading

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Posted in Nineteenth century politics, Uncategorized

How did Pitt face the French Revolution between 1789 and 1801?

In 1789, the fall of the Bastille[1] foreshadowed revolution in France. Reactions were mixed in Britain but many people were initially well disposed towards the revolution. Pitt saw political advantages for Britain because it weakened France’s colonial ambitions. Some thought … Continue reading

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