The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859
by John Morley
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[377] Parliamentary Papers, relative to the mission of the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone to the Ionian Islands in 1858. Presented in 1861. Finlay's History of Greece, vii. p. 305, etc. Letters by Lord Charles Fitzroy, etc., showing the anomalous political and financial Position of the Ionian Islands. (Ridgway, 1850.) Le Gouvernement des Iles Ioniennes. Lettre a Lord John Russell, par Francois Lenormant. (Paris, Amyot, 1861.) The Ionian Islands in relation to Greece. By John Dunn Gardner, Esqr., 1859. Four years in the Ionian Islands. By Whittingham. Pamphlet by S. G. Potter, D.D. See also Gleanings, iv. p. 287.

[378] This and his alleged attendance at mass, and compliance with sundry other rites, were often heard of in later times, and even so late as 1879 Mr. Gladstone was subjected to some rude baiting from doctors of divinity and others.

[379] Finlay, History of Greece, vii. p. 306, blames both Bulwer and Mr. Gladstone because they 'directed their attention to the means of applying sound theories of government to a state of things where a change in the social relations of the inhabitants and modifications in the tenure and rights of property were the real evils that required remedy, and over these the British government could exercise very little influence if opposed by the Ionian representatives.' But is not this to say that the real remedy was unattainable without political reform?

[380] May 7, 1861. Hans. 3rd Ser. 162, p. 1687. The salaries of the deputies struck him as especially excessive, and on the same occasion he let fall the obiter dictum; 'For my part I trust that of all the changes that may in the course of generations be made in the constitution of this country, the very last and latest will be the payment of members of this House.'

[381] On Feb. 7, the secretary of the treasury moved the writ, and the next day the vice-chancellor notified that there would be an election, Mr. Gladstone having 'vacated his seat by accepting the office of lord high commissioner of the Ionian Islands, which he no longer holds.' He was re-elected (Feb. 12) without opposition.

[382] Mr. Gladstone, May 7, 1861.—Hans. Third Ser. 162. p. 1687.

[383] Napier in his Memoir on the Roads of Cephalonia (p. 45) tells how Maitland had a notion of building a fort on that island, and on his boat one day asked the commanding engineer how much it would cost. The engineer talked about L100,000. 'Upon this Sir Thomas turned round in the boat, with a long and loud whistle. After this whistle I thought it best to let at least a year pass without again mentioning the subject.'

[384] Ashley, ii. pp. 184, 186.

[385] Dec. 8, 1862.—Cabinet. Resolution to surrender the Ionian protectorate. Only Lord W[estbury] opposing.

[386] Mr. Gladstone sent home and revised afterwards three elaborate reports on the mischiefs of Ionian government and the constitutional remedies proper for them. They were printed for the use of the cabinet, though whether these fifty large pages, amounting to about a quarter of this volume, received much attention from that body, may without scandalum magnatum be doubted, nor do the reports appear to have been laid before parliament. The Italian war was then creating an agitation in Europe upon nationality, as to which the people of the Ionian islands were sensitively alive, and the reports would have supplied a good deal of fuel. There was a separate fourth report upon the suppression of disorder in Cephalonia in 1848, which everybody afterwards agreed that it was not expedient to publish. It still exists in the archives of the colonial office.




Conviction, in spite of early associations and long-cherished preposessions—strong conviction, and an overpowering sense of the public interests operating for many, many years before full effect was given to it, placed me in the ranks of the liberal party.—GLADSTONE (Ormskirk, 1867).

When Mr. Gladstone returned to England in March 1859, he found the conservatives with much ineffectual industry, some misplaced ingenuity, and many misgivings and divisions, trying their hands at parliamentary reform. Their infringement of what passed for a liberal patent was not turning out well. Convulsions in the cabinet, murmurs in the lobbies, resistance from the opposite benches, all showed that a ministry existing on sufferance would not at that stage be allowed to settle the question. In this contest Mr. Gladstone did not actively join. Speaking from the ministerial side of the House, he made a fervid defence of nomination boroughs as the nurseries of statesmen, but he voted with ministers against a whig amendment. His desire, he said, was to settle the question as soon as possible, always, however, on the foundation of trust in the people, that 'sound and satisfactory basis on which for several years past legislation had been proceeding.' The hostile amendment was carried against ministers by statesmen irreconcilably at variance with one another, alike in principle and object. The majority of thirty-nine was very large for those days, and it was decisive. Though the parliament was little more than a couple of years old, yet in face of the desperate confusion among leaders, parties, and groups, and upon the plea that reform had not been formally submitted as an issue to the country, Lord Derby felt justified in dissolving. Mr. Gladstone held the Oxford seat without opposition. The constituencies displayed an extension of the same essentially conservative feeling that had given Lord Palmerston the victory two years before. Once more the real question lay not so much between measures as men; not so much between democratic change and conservative moderation, as between Palmerston and Russell on the one hand, and Derby and Disraeli on the other. The government at the election improved their position by some thirty votes. This was not enough to outnumber the phalanx of their various opponents combined, but was it possible that the phalanx should combine? Mr. Gladstone, who spoke of the dissolution as being a most improper as well as a most important measure, alike in domestic and in foreign bearings, told Acland that he would not be surprised if the government were to attempt some reconstruction on a broad basis before the new parliament met. This course was not adopted.


The chances of turning out the government were matters of infinite computation among the leaders. The liberal whip after the election gave his own party a majority of fifteen, but the treasury whip, on the other hand, was equally confident of a majority of ten. Still all was admittedly uncertain. The prime perplexity was whether if a new administration could be formed, Lord Palmerston or Lord John should be at its head. Everybody agreed that it would be both impossible and wrong to depose the tories until it was certain that the liberals were united enough to mount into their seat, and no government could last unless it comprehended both the old prime ministers. Could not one of them carry the prize of the premiership into the Lords, and leave to the other the consolation stake of leadership in the Commons? Lord Palmerston, who took the crisis with a veteran's good-humoured coolness, told his intimates that he at any rate would not go up to the Lords, for he could not trust John Russell in the other House. With a view, however, to ministerial efficiency, he was anxious to keep Russell in the Commons, as with him and Gladstone they would make a strong treasury bench. But was it certain that Gladstone would join? On this there was endless gossip. One story ran that Mrs. Gladstone had told somebody that her husband wished bygones to be bygones, was all for a strong government, and was ready to join in forming one. Then the personage to whom this was said upset the inference by declaring there was nothing in the conversation incompatible with a Derby junction. Sir Charles Wood says in his journal:—

May 22.—Saw Mrs. Gladstone, who did not seem to contemplate a junction with Palmerston but rather that he should join Derby. I stated the impossibility of that, and that the strongest government possible under present circumstances would be by such a union as took place under Aberdeen. To effect this, all people must pull the same and not different ways as of late years. I said that I blamed her husband for quitting, and ever since he quitted, Palmerston's government in 1855, as well as Lord John; that in the quarrel between Lord John and Gladstone the former had behaved ill, and the latter well.

May 27.—Gladstone dined here.... He would vote a condemnation of the dissolution, and is afraid of the foreign affairs at so critical a moment being left in the hands of Malmesbury; says that we, the opposition, are not only justified but called upon by the challenge in the Queen's speech on the dissolution, to test the strength of parties; but that he is himself in a different position, that he would vote a condemnation of the dissolution, but hesitates as to no confidence.

Sir Robert Phillimore[387] gives us other glimpses during this month:—

May 18.—Long interview with Gladstone. He entered most fully and without any reserve into his views on the state of political parties and on the duties of a statesman at this juncture. Thought the only chance of a strong government was an engrafting of Palmerston upon Lord Derby, dethroning Disraeli from the leadership of the House of Commons, arranging for a moderate Reform bill, placing the foreign office in other hands, but not in Disraeli's. He dwelt much upon this. Foreign politics seemed to have the chief place in his mind.

May 31.—Gladstone has seen Palmerston, and said he will not vote against Lord Derby in support of Lord John's supposed motion. The government Gladstone thinks desirable is a fusion of Palmerston and his followers with Lord Derby, which implies, of course, weeding out half at least of the present cabinet. Gladstone will have to vote with government and speak against the cabinet, and violently he will be abused.

June 1.—Dined with Gladstone. He is much harassed and distressed at his position relative to the government and opposition. Spoke strongly against Lord Malmesbury. Said if the proposal is to censure the dissolution, he must agree with it, but he will vote against a want of confidence.

One important personage was quite confident that Gladstone would vote the government out. Another thought that he would be sure to join a liberal administration. Palmerston believed this too, even though he might not vote for a motion of want of confidence. Clarendon expected Gladstone to join, though he would rather see him at the foreign office than at the exchequer. At a dinner party at Lord Carlisle's where Palmerston, Lord John, Granville, Clarendon, Lewis, Argyll, and Delane were present, Sir Charles Wood in a conversation with Mrs. Gladstone found her much less inclined to keep the Derby government in. In the last week of May a party feast was planned by Lord Palmerston and the whip, but Lord John Russell declined to join the dinner. It was decided to call a meeting of the party. A confidential visitor was talking of it at Cambridge House, when the brougham came to the door to take Palmerston down to Pembroke Lodge. He was going, he said, to ask Lord John what they should say if they were asked at the meeting whether they had come to an agreement. The interview was not unsatisfactory. Four days later (June 6) a well-attended meeting of the party was held at Willis's Rooms. The two protagonists declared themselves ready to aid in forming a government on a broad basis, and it was understood that either would serve under the other. It would be for the sovereign to decide. Mr. Bright spoke in what the whigs pronounced to be a highly reasonable vein, and they all broke up in great spirits. The whip pored over his lists, and made out that they could not beat the government by less than seven. This was but a slender margin for a vote of no confidence, but it was felt that mere numbers, though a majority might be an indispensable incident, were in this case not the only test of the conditions required for a solid government. Lord Hartington, the representative of the great house of Cavendish, was put up to move a vote of no confidence.[388]


After three days' debate, ministers were defeated (June 11) by the narrow figure of thirteen in a House of six hundred and thirty-seven. Mr. Gladstone did not speak, but he answered the riddle that had for long so much harassed the wirepullers, by going into the lobby with Disraeli and his flock. The general sense of the majority was probably best expressed by Mr. Bright. Since the fall of the government of Sir Robert Peel, he said, there had been no good handling of the liberal party in the House: the cabinet had been exclusive, the policy had been sometimes wholly wrong, and generally feeble and paltering: if in the new government there should be found men adequately representing these reconciled sections, acting with some measure of boldness and power, grappling with the abuses that were admitted to exist, and relying upon the moral sense and honest feeling of the House, and the general sympathy of the people of England for improvement in our legislation, he was bold to hope that the new government would have a longer tenure of office than any government that had existed for many years past.

The Queen, in the embarrassment of a choice between the two whig veterans, induced Lord Granville, whose cabinet life as yet was only some five years, to try to form a government. This step Palmerston explained by her German sympathies, which made her adverse alike to Lord John and himself. Lord Granville first applied to Palmerston, who said that the Queen ought to have sent for himself first; still he agreed to serve. Lord John would only serve under Granville on condition of being leader in the House of Commons; if he joined—so he argued—and if Palmerston were leader in the Commons, this would make himself third instead of second: on that point his answer was final. So Lord Granville threw up a commission that never had life in it; the Queen handed the task over to Palmerston, and in a few days the new administration was installed. (June 17, 1859.)


Mr. Gladstone went back to the office that he had quitted four years and a half before, and undertook the department of finance. The appointment did not pass without considerable remark. 'The real scandal,' he wrote to his Oxford chairman, 'is among the extreme men on the liberal side; they naturally say, "This man has done all he could on behalf of Lord Derby; why is he here to keep out one of us?"' Even some among Mr. Gladstone's private friends wondered how he could bring himself to join a minister of whom he had for three or four years used such unsparing language as had been common on his lips about Lord Palmerston. The plain man was puzzled by a vote in favour of keeping a tory government in, followed by a junction with the men who had thrown that government out. Cobden, as we know, declined to join.[389] 'I am exceedingly sorry,' wrote Mr. Gladstone to his brother Robertson (July 2), 'to find that Cobden does not take office. It was in his person that there seemed to be the best chance of a favourable trial of the experiment of connecting his friends with the practical administration of the government of this country. I am very glad we have Gibson; but Cobden would, especially as an addition to the former, have made a great difference in point of weight.'[390]


Mr. Gladstone, with no special anxiety to defend himself, was clear about his own course. 'Never,' he says, 'had I an easier question to determine than when I was asked to join the government. I can hardly now think how I could have looked any one in the face, had I refused my aid (such as it is) at such a time and under such circumstances.' 'At a moment,' he wrote to the warden of All Souls, 'when war is raging in Europe, when the English government is the only instrument through which there is any hope, humanly speaking, of any safe and early settlement, and when all parties agree that the government of the Queen ought to be strengthened, I have joined the only administration that could be formed, in concert with all the friends (setting aside those whom age excludes) with whom I joined and acted in the government of Lord Aberdeen.'

To the provost of Oriel he addressed a rather elaborate explanation,[391] but it only expands what he says more briefly in a letter (June 16) to Sir William Heathcote, an excellent and honourable man, his colleague in the representation of Oxford:—

I am so little sensible of having had any very doubtful point to consider, that I feel confident that, given the antecedents of the problem as they clearly stood before me, you would have decided in the way that I have done. For thirteen years, the middle space of life, I have been cast out of party connection, severed from my old party, and loath irrecoverably to join a new one. So long have I adhered to the vague hope of a reconstruction, that I have been left alone by every political friend in association with whom I had grown up. My votes too, and such support as I could give, have practically been given to Lord Derby's government, in such a manner as undoubtedly to divest me of all claims whatever on the liberal party and the incoming government. Under these circumstances I am asked to take office. The two leading points which must determine immediate action are those of reform and foreign policy. On the first I think that Lord Derby had by dissolution lost all chance of settling it; and, as I desire to see it settled, it seems my duty to assist those who perhaps may settle it. Upon the second I am in real and close harmony of sentiment with the new premier, and the new foreign secretary. How could I, under these circumstances, say, I will have nothing to do with you, and be the one remaining Ishmael in the House of Commons?

Writing to Sir John Acton in 1864, Mr. Gladstone said:—

When I took my present office in 1859, I had several negative and several positive reasons for accepting it. Of the first, there were these. There had been differences and collisions, but there were no resentments. I felt myself to be mischievous in an isolated position, outside the regular party organisation of parliament. And I was aware of no differences of opinion or tendency likely to disturb the new government. Then on the positive side. I felt sure that in finance there was still much useful work to be done. I was desirous to co-operate in settling the question of the franchise, and failed to anticipate the disaster that it was to undergo. My friends were enlisted, or I knew would enlist: Sir James Graham indeed declining office, but taking his position in the party. And the overwhelming interest and weight of the Italian question, and of our foreign policy in connection with it, joined to my entire mistrust of the former government in relation to it, led me to decide without one moment's hesitation....


On the day on which Mr. Gladstone kissed hands (June 18) disturbing news came from Oxford. Not only was his re-election to be opposed, but the enemy had secured the most formidable candidate that he had yet encountered, in the person of Lord Chandos, the eldest son of the Duke of Buckingham. His old chairman became chairman for his new antagonist, and Stafford Northcote, who with Phillimore and Bernard had hitherto fought every election on his behalf, now refused to serve on his committee, while even Sir John Coleridge was alarmed at some reported wavering on the question of a deceased wife's sister. 'Gladstone, angry, harassed, sore,' Phillimore records, 'as well he might be.' The provost of Oriel explains to him that men asked whether his very last vote had not been a vote of confidence in a Derby government, and of want of confidence in a Palmerston government, yet he had joined the government in which he declared by anticipation that he had no confidence. After all, the root of the anger against him was simply that the tories were out and the liberals in, with himself as their strongest confederate. A question was raised whether he ought not to go down and address convocation in person. The dean of Christ Church, however, thought it very doubtful whether he would get a hearing. 'Those,' he told Mr. Gladstone, 'who remember Sir Robert Peel's election testify that there never was a more unreasonable and ferocious mob than convocation was at that time. If you were heard, it is doubtful whether you would gain any votes at that last moment, while it is believed you would lose some. You would be questioned as to the ecclesiastical policy of the cabinet. Either you would not be able to answer fully, or you would answer in such terms as to alienate one or other of the two numerous classes who will now give you many votes.'

The usual waterspout began to pour. The newspapers asserted that Mr. Gladstone meant to cut down naval estimates, and this moved the country clergy to angry apprehension that he was for peace at any price. The candidate was obliged to spend thankless hours on letters to reassure them. 'The two assertions of fact respecting me are wholly unfounded. I mean these two:—1. That as chancellor of the exchequer I "starved" the Crimean war: that is to say limited the expenditure upon it. There is not a shadow of truth in this statement. 2. That as soon as the war was over I caused the government to reduce their estimates, diminish the army, disband two fleets, and break faith with our seamen. When the war was over, that is in the year 1856, I did not take objection at all to the establishment or expenditure of the year. In the next year, 1857, I considered that they ought to have been further reduced: but neither a man nor a shilling was taken from them in consequence of my endeavours.' Other correspondents were uneasy about his soundness on rifle corps and rifle clubs. 'How,' he replied, 'can any uncertainty exist as to the intentions in regard to defence in a government with Lord Palmerston at its head?' He was warned that Cobden, Bright, and Gibson were odious in Oxford, and he was suspected of being their accomplice. The clamour against Puseyism had died down, and the hostility of the evangelicals was no longer keen; otherwise it was the old story. Goldwin Smith tells him, 'Win or lose, you will have the vote of every one of heart and brain in the university and really connected with it. Young Oxford is all with you. Every year more men obtain the reward of their industry through your legislation. But old Oxford takes a long time in dying.' In the end (July 1), he won the battle by a majority of 191—Gladstone, 1050, Chandos, 859.

'My conscience is light and clear,' he wrote to Heathcote in the course of the contest. 'The interests that have weighed with me are in some degree peculiar, and I daresay it is a fault in me, especially as member for Oxford, that I cannot merge the man in the representative. While they have had much reason to complain, I have not had an over-good bargain. In the estimate of mere pleasure and pain, the representation of the university is not worth my having; for though the account is long on both sides, the latter is the heavier, and sharper. In the true estimates of good and evil, I can look back upon the last twelve years with some satisfaction, first, because I feel that as far as I am capable of labouring for anything, I have laboured for Oxford; and secondly, because in this respect at least I have been happy, that the times afforded me in various ways a field. And even as to the contemptible summing up between suffering and enjoyment, my belief is that the latter will endure, while the former will pass away.' The balance struck in this last sentence is a characteristic fragment of Mr. Gladstone's philosophy of public life. It lightened and dispelled the inevitable hours of disappointment and chagrin that, in natures of less lofty fortitude than his, are apt to slacken the nerve and rust the sword.



It seems a mistake to treat the acceptance of office under Lord Palmerston as a chief landmark in Mr. Gladstone's protracted journey from tory to liberal. The dilemma between joining Derby and joining Palmerston was no vital choice between two political creeds. The new prime minister and his chancellor of the exchequer had both of them started with Canning for their common master; but there was a generation between them, and Mr. Gladstone had travelled along a road of his own, perhaps not even now perceiving its goal. As we have seen, he told Mr. Walpole in May 1858 (p. 584), that there were 'no broad and palpable differences of opinion on public questions of principle,' that separated himself from the Derbyite tories.[392] Palmerston on the other hand was so much of a Derbyite tory, that his government, which Mr. Gladstone was now entering, owed its long spell of office and power to the countenance of Derby and his men. Mr. Bright had contemplated (p. 579) the possibility of a reverse process—a Derbyite government favoured by Palmerston's men. In either case, the political identity of the two leaders was recognised. To join the new administration, then, marked a party severance but no changed principles. I am far from denying the enormous significance of the party wrench, but it was not a conversion. Mr. Gladstone was at this time in his politics a liberal reformer of Turgot's type, a born lover of good government, of just practical laws, of wise improvement, of public business well handled, of a state that should emancipate and serve the individual. The necessity of summoning new driving force, and amending the machinery of the constitution, had not yet disclosed itself to him. This was soon discovered by events. Meanwhile he may well have thought that he saw as good a chance of great work with Palmerston as with Disraeli; or far better, for the election had shown that Bright was not wrong when he warned him that a Derby government could only exist upon forbearance.

Bright's own words already referred to (p. 625) sufficiently describe Mr. Gladstone's point of view; the need for a ministry with men in it 'acting with some measure of boldness and power, grappling with abuses, and relying upon the moral sense and honest feeling of the House, and the general sympathy of the people of England for improvement.' With such purposes an alliance with liberals of Lord Palmerston's temper implied no wonderful dislodgment. The really great dislodgment in his life had occurred long before. It was the fates that befell his book, it was the Maynooth grant, and the Gorham case, that swept away the foundations on which he had first built. In writing to Manning in 1845 (April 25) after his retirement on the question of Maynooth, Mr. Gladstone says to him, 'Newman sent me a letter giving his own explanation of my position. It was admirably done.' Newman in his letter told him that various persons had asked how he understood Mr. Gladstone's present position, so he put down what he conceived it to be, and he expresses the great interest that he feels in the tone of thought then engaging the statesman's mind:—


I say then [writes Newman, addressing an imaginary interlocutor]: 'Mr. Gladstone has said the state ought to have a conscience, but it has not a conscience. Can he give it a conscience? Is he to impose his own conscience on the state? He would be very glad to do so, if it thereby would become the state's conscience. But that is absurd. He must deal with facts. It has a thousand consciences, as being in its legislative and executive capacities the aggregate of a hundred minds; that is, it has no conscience.

'You will say, "Well the obvious thing would be, if the state has not a conscience, that he shall cease to be answerable for it." So he has—he has retired from the ministry. While he thought he could believe it had a conscience—till he was forced to give up, what it was his duty to cherish as long as ever he could, the notion that the British empire was a subject and servant of the kingdom of Christ—he served the state. Now that he finds this to be a mere dream, much as it ought to be otherwise, and as it once was otherwise, he has said, I cannot serve such a mistress.

'But really,' I continue, 'do you in your heart mean to say that he should absolutely and for ever give up the state and country? I hope not. I do not think he has so committed himself. That the conclusion he has come to is a very grave one, and not consistent with his going on blindly in the din and hurry of business, without having principles to guide him, I admit; and this, I conceive, is his reason for at once retiring from the ministry, that he may contemplate the state of things calmly and from without. But I really cannot pronounce, nor can you, nor can he perhaps at once, what is a Christian's duty under these new circumstances, whether to remain in retirement from public affairs or not. Retirement, however, could not be done by halves. If he is absolutely to give up all management of public affairs, he must retire not only from the ministry but from parliament.

'I see another reason for his retiring from the ministry. The public thought they had in his book a pledge that the government would not take such a step with regard to Maynooth as is now before the country. Had he continued in the ministry he would to a certain extent have been misleading the country.

'You say, "He made some show of seeing his way in future, for he gave advice; he said it would be well for all parties to yield something. To see his way and to give advice is as if he had found some principle to go on." I do not so understand him. I thought he distinctly stated he had not yet found a principle. But he gave that advice which facts, or what he called circumstances, made necessary, and which if followed out, will, it is to be hoped, lead to some basis of principle which we do not see at present.'

Compared to the supreme case of conscience indicated here, and it haunted Mr. Gladstone for nearly all his life, the perplexities of party could be but secondary. Those perplexities were never sharper than in the four years from 1854 to 1859; and with his living sense of responsibility for the right use of transcendent powers of national service, it was practically inevitable that he should at last quit the barren position of 'the one remaining Ishmael in the House of Commons.'


Later in this year Mr. Gladstone was chosen to be the first lord rector of the university of Edinburgh under powers conferred by a recent law. His unsuccessful rival was Lord Neaves, excellent as lawyer, humorist, and scholar. In April the following year, in the midst of the most trying session of his life, he went down from the battle-ground at Westminster, and delivered his rectorial address[393]—not particularly pregnant, original, or pithy, but marked by incomparable buoyancy; enforcing a conception of the proper functions of a university that can never be enforced too strongly or too often; and impressing in melodious period and glowing image those ever needed commonplaces about thrift of time and thirst for fame and the glory of knowledge, that kindle sacred fire in young hearts. It was his own career, intellectual as well as political, that gave to his discourse momentum. It was his own example that to youthful hearers gave new depth to a trite lesson, when he exclaimed: 'Believe me when I tell you that the thrift of time will repay you in after life with an usury of profit beyond your most sanguine dreams, and that the waste of it will make you dwindle, alike in intellectual and in moral stature, beneath your darkest reckonings.' So too, we who have it all before us know that it was a maxim of his own inner life, when he told them: 'The thirst for an enduring fame is near akin to the love of true excellence; but the fame of the moment is a dangerous possession and a bastard motive; and he who does his acts in order that the echo of them may come back as a soft music in his ears, plays false to his noble destiny as a Christian man, places himself in continual danger of dallying with wrong, and taints even his virtuous actions at their source.'


[387] Not, however, Sir Robert until 1862, when he was knighted on becoming Queen's advocate. He was created baronet in 1881.

[388] Lord Hartington's motion was—'That it is essential for the satisfactory result of our deliberations, and for facilitating the discharge of your Majesty's high functions, that your Majesty's government should possess the confidence of this House and of the country; and we deem it our duty respectfully to submit to your Majesty that such confidence is not reposed in the present advisers of your Majesty.'

[389] Life of Cobden, ii. pp. 229-233.

[390] There is a strange story in the Halifax Papers of Bright at this time visiting Lord Aberdeen, and displaying much ill humour. 'He cannot reconcile himself to not being considered capable of taking office. Lord John broached a scheme for sending him as governor-general to Canada. I rather doubted the expediency of this, but Mr. Gladstone seemed to think it not a bad scheme' (June 15, 1859). Many curious things sprang up in men's minds at that moment.

[391] Reproduced in Mr. Russell's book on Mr. Gladstone, pp. 144-5.

[392] It is worth noticing that he sat on the ministerial side of the House without breach of continuity from 1853 to 1866. During the first Derby government, as we have already seen (p. 423), he sat below the gangway on the opposition side; during the Palmerston administration of 1855 he sat below the gangway on the government side; and he remained there after the second Derby accession to office in 1858.

[393] The Address is in Gleanings, vii.



Page 82

Mr. Gladstone to his Father

Cuddesdon, Aug. 4, 1830.—MY BELOVED FATHER,—I have a good while refrained from addressing you on a subject of importance and much affecting my own future destiny, from a supposition that your time and thoughts have been much occupied for several months past by other matters of great interest in succession. Now, however, believing you to be more at leisure, I venture to bring it before you. It is, as you will have anticipated, the decision of the profession to which I am to look forward for life. Above eighteen months have now passed since you spoke to me of it at Seaforth, and most kindly desired me, if unable then to make up my mind to go into the law, to take some time to consider calmly of the whole question.

It would have been undutiful to trouble you with a recurrence of it, until such a period had been suffered to elapse, as would suffice to afford, by the effects it should itself produce, some fair criterion and presumption of the inclination which my mind was likely to adopt in reference to the final decision. At the same time it would also have been undutiful, and most repugnant to my feelings, to permit the prolongation of that intervening period to such an extent, as to give the shadow of a reason to suppose that anything approaching to reserve had been the cause of my silence. The present time seems to lie between these two extremes, and therefore to render it incumbent on me to apprise you of the state of my own views.

I trust it is hardly necessary to specify my knowledge that when I speak of 'the state of my own views' on this question, I do so not of right but by sufferance, by invitation from you, by that more than parental kindness and indulgence with which I have ever met at my parents' hands, which it would be as absurd to make a matter of formal acknowledgment as it would be impossible to repay, and for which I can only say, and I say it from the bottom of my heart, may God reward them with his best and choicest gifts, eternal, unfading in the heavens.

If then I am to advert to the disposition of my own mind as regards this matter, I cannot avoid perceiving that it has inclined to the ministerial office, for what has now become a considerable period, with a bias at first uncertain and intermittent, but which has regularly and rapidly increased in force and permanence. It has not been owing as far as I can myself discern, to the operation of any external cause whatever; nor of internal ones to any others than those which work their effects in the most gradual and imperceptible manner. Day after day it has grown upon and into my habit of feeling and desire. It has been gradually strengthened by those small accessions of power, each of which singly it would be utterly impossible to trace, but which collectively have not only produced a desire of a certain description, but have led me by reasonings often weighed and sifted and re-sifted to the best of my ability, to the deliberate conclusion which I have stated above. I do not indeed mean to say that there has been no time within this period at which I have felt a longing for other pursuits; but such feelings have been unstable and temporary; that which I now speak of is the permanent and habitual inclination of my mind. And such too, I think, it is likely to continue; as far at least as I can venture to think I see anything belonging to the future, or can anticipate the continuance of any one desire, feeling, or principle, in a mind so wayward and uncertain as my own—so far do I believe that this sentiment will remain.

It gives me pain, great pain, to communicate anything which I have even the remotest apprehension can give the slightest annoyance to you. I trust this will not do so; although I fear it may. But though fearing it may, I feel it is my duty to do it: because I have only these three alternatives before me. First, to delay communication to some subsequent opportunity: but as I have no fair prospect of being able then to convey a different statement, this plan would be attended with no advantage whatever, as far as I can see. Secondly, to dissemble my feelings: an alternative on which if I said another word I should be behaving undutifully and wickedly towards you. Thirdly, to follow the course I have now chosen, I trust with no feelings but those of the most profound affection, and of unfeigned grief that as far as my own view is concerned, I am unable to make it coincide with yours. I say, as far as my own view goes, because I do not now see that my own view can or ought to stand for a moment in the way of your desires. In the hands of my parents, therefore, I am left. But lest you should be led to suppose that I have never reasoned with myself on this matter, but yielded to blind impulses or transitory whims, I will state, not indeed at length, but with as much simplicity and clearness as I am able, some of the motives which seem to me to urge me with an irresistible accumulation of moral force, to this conclusion, and this alone. In the first place, I would say that my own state and character is not one of them; nor, I believe, could any views of that character be compatible with their existence and reception, but that in which it now appears to me: namely, as one on which I can look with no degree of satisfaction whatever, and for the purification of which I can only direct my eyes and offer up my prayers to the throne of God.

First, then, with reference to the dignity of this office, I know none to compare with it; none which can compete with the grandeur of its end or of its means—the end, the glory of God, and the means, the restoration of man to that image of his Maker which is now throughout the world so lamentably defaced. True indeed it is, that there are other fields for the use and improvement of all which God lends to us, which are wide, dignified, beneficial, desirable: desirable in the first and highest degree, if we had not this. But as long as this field continues, and as long as it continues unfilled, I do not see how I am to persuade myself that any powers, be they the meanest or the greatest, can be so profitably or so nobly employed as in the performance of this sublime duty. And that this field is not yet filled, how can any one doubt who casts his eyes abroad over the moral wilderness of this world, who contemplates the pursuits, desires, designs, and principles of the beings that move so busily in it to and fro, without an object beyond the finding food, be it mental or bodily, for the present moment or the present life—it matters little which—or beyond ministering to the desires, under whatever modification they may appear, of self-will and self-love? When I look to the standard of habit and principle adopted in the world at large, and then divert my eyes for a moment from that spectacle to the standard fixed and the picture delineated in the book of revelation, then, my beloved father, the conviction flashes on my soul with a moral force I cannot resist, and would not if I could, that the vineyard still wants labourers, that 'the kingdoms of this world are not yet become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ,' and that till they are become such, till the frail race of Adam is restored to the knowledge and the likeness of his Maker, till universally and throughout the wide world the will of God is become our delight, and its accomplishment our first and last desire, there can be no claim so solemn and imperative as that which even now seems to call to us with the voice of God from heaven, and to say 'I have given Mine own Son for this rebellious and apostate world, the sacrifice is offered and accepted, but you, you who are basking in the sunbeams of Christianity, you who are blessed beyond measure, and, oh, how beyond desert in parents, in friends, in every circumstance and adjunct that can sweeten your pilgrimage, why will you not bear to fellow-creatures sitting in darkness and the shadow of death the tidings of this universal and incomprehensible love?'

In this, I believe, is included the main reason which influences me; a reason as full of joy as of glory: that transcendent reason, in comparison with which every other object seems to dwindle into utter and absolute insignificance. But I would not conceal from you—why should I?—that which I cannot conceal from myself: that the darker side of this great picture sometimes meets me, and it is vain that, shuddering, I attempt to turn away from it. My mind involuntarily reverts to the sad and solemn conviction that a fearfully great portion of the world round me is dying in sin. This conviction is the result of that same comparison I have mentioned before, between the principles and practices it embraces, and those which the Almighty authoritatively enjoins: and entertaining it as I do, how, my beloved parent, can I bear to think of my own seeking to wanton in the pleasures of life (I mean even its innocent pleasures), or to give up my heart to its business, while my fellow-creatures, to whom I am bound by every tie of human sympathies, of a common sinfulness and a common redemption, day after day are sinking into death? I mean, not the death of the body, which is but a gate either to happiness or to misery, but that of the soul, the true and the only true death. Can I, with this persuasion engrossing me, be justified in inactivity? or in any measure short of the most direct and most effective means of meeting, if in any degree it be possible, these horrible calamities? Nor is impotency and incompetency any argument on the other side: if I saw a man drowning I should hold out my hand to help him, although I were uncertain whether my strength would prove sufficient to extricate him or not; how much more strongly, then, is this duty incumbent when there are thousands on thousands perishing in sin and ignorance on every side, and where the stake is not the addition or subtraction of a few short years from a life, which can but be a span, longer or shorter, but the doom, the irrevocable doom of spirits made for God, and once like God, but now alienated and apostate? And the remedy which God has provided for this portentous evil is not like the ponderous and elaborate contrivances of men; its spear is not, like Goliath's, the weaver's beam, but all its weapons are a few pure and simple elements of truth, ill calculated, like the arms of David, in the estimation of the world to attain their object, but yet capable of being wielded by a stripling's hand, and yet more, 'mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds.'

What I have said is from the bottom of my heart, and put forward without the smallest reservation of any kind: and I have said it thus, because in duty bound to do it; and having, too, the comfort of the fullest persuasion that even if your judgment should disallow it, your affection would pardon it. It is possible, indeed, that the (as it seems to me) awful consideration which I have last put forward may have been misstated or misapprehended. Would God it may be so! happy should I be to find either by reason or revelation that the principles of this world were other than I have estimated them to be, and consequently that their fate would be other likewise. I may be under darkness and delusion, having consulted with none in this matter; but till it is shown that I am so, I am bound by all the most solemn ties, ties not created in this world nor to be dissolved with it, but eternal and changeless as our spirits and He who made them, to regulate my actions with reference to these all-important truths—the apostasy of man on the one hand, the love of God on the other. Of my duties to men as a social being, can any be so important as to tell them of the danger under which I believe them to lie, of the precipice to which I fear many are approaching, while thousands have already fallen headlong, and others again, even while I write, are continuing to fall in a succession of appalling rapidity? Of my duties to God as a rational and responsible being, especially as a being for whom in common with all men the precious blood of Christ has been given, can any more imperatively and more persuasively demand all the little I can give than this, the proclaiming that one instance of God's unfathomable love which alone so transcends as almost to swallow up all others? while those others thus transcended and eclipsed are such as would be of themselves by far the highest and holiest obligations man could know, did we not know this.

Thus I have endeavoured to state these truths, if truths they are, at least these convictions, to you, dwelling upon them at a length which may perhaps be tedious and appear affected, simply as I trust, in order to represent them to your mind as much to the life as possible, I mean as nearly as possible in the light in which they have again and again appeared, and do habitually appear, to my own, so as to give you the best means in my power of estimating the strength or detecting the weakness of those grounds on which the conclusions above stated rest. (I have not mentioned the benefit I might hope myself to derive from this course of living compared with others; and yet this consideration, though here undoubtedly a secondary one, is, I believe, more weighty than any of those which can be advanced in favour of an opposite determination.)

For some time I doubted whether to state reasons at all: fearing that it might appear presumptuous; but I resolved to do it as choosing rather to incur that risk, than the hazarding an appearance of reserve and desire to conceal my real sentiments from one who has a right to see into the bottom of my heart.

Yet one trespass more I must make on your patience. It may perhaps seem that the inducements I have stated are of an unusual character, unsubstantial, romantic, theoretical, and not practical. Unusual, indeed, they are: because (though it is not without diffidence that I bring this sweeping charge—indeed, I should not dare to bring it were it not brought elsewhere) it is a rare thing in this world even where right actions are performed to ground them upon right motives. At least, I am convinced that there are fundamental errors on this subject very prevalent—that they are in general fixed far too low, and that the height of our standard of practice must ever be adapted more or less to that of principle. God only knows whether this be right. But hence it has been that I have endeavoured, I trust not improperly, to put these motives forward in the simplicity of that form wherein they seem to me to come down from the throne of God to the hearts of men; and to consider my prospects and obligations, not under all the limitations which a highly artificial state of society might seem to impose upon them, but direct and undiluted; not, in short, as one who has certain pursuits to follow, certain objects of his own to gain, and relations to fulfil, and arrangements to execute—but as a being destined shortly to stand before the judgment seat of God, and there give the decisive account of his actions at the tribunal whose awards admit of no evasion and of no appeal.

That I have viewed them in this light I dare not assert; but I have wished and striven to view them so, and to weigh them, and to answer these questions in the same manner as I must answer them on that day when the trumpet of the archangel shall arouse the living and the dead, and when it will be demanded of me in common with all others, how I have kept and how employed that which was committed to my charge. I dare not pretend that I could act even up to the standard here fixed, but I can eye it though distant, with longing hope, and look upwards for the power which I know is all-sufficient, and therefore sufficient to enable even such an one as myself to reach it.

Viewing, then, these considerations in such a light as this, I can come to no other conclusion, at least unaided, than that the work of spreading religion has a claim infinitely transcending all others in dignity, in solemnity, and in usefulness: destined to continue in force until the happy moment come when every human being has been made fully and effectually acquainted with his condition and its remedies—when too, as it seems to me, it will be soon enough—of course, I lay down this rule for myself, provided as I am to the extent of my wants and very far beyond them—to devise other occupations: now it behoves me to discharge the overwhelming obligation which summons me to this.

I have scarcely mentioned my beloved mother in the whole of this letter; for though little has ever passed between us on this subject through the medium of language, and nothing whatever, I believe, since I last spoke with you upon it, yet I have long been well aware of the tendency of her desires, long indeed before my own in any degree coincided with them.

I await with deference and interest the communication of your desires upon this subject: earnestly desiring that if I have said anything through pride or self-love, it may be forgiven me at your hands, and by God through his Son; and that if my statements be false, or exaggerated, or romantic, or impracticable, I may, by His mercy and through your instrumentality or that of others, be brought back to my right mind, and taught to hold the truth of God in all its sobriety as well as in all its force.—And believe me ever, my beloved and honoured father, your affectionate and dutiful son,


John Gladstone to his Son

Leamington, 10 Aug. 1830.

MY BELOVED WILLIAM,—I have read and given my best consideration to your letter, dated the 4th, which I only received yesterday. I did hope that you would have delayed making up your mind on a subject so important as your future pursuits in life must be to yourself and to us all, until you had completed those studies connected with the attainment of the honours or distinctions of which you were so justly ambitious, and on which your mind seemed so bent when we last communicated respecting them. You know my opinion to be, that the field for actual usefulness to our fellow-creatures, where a disposition to exercise it actively exists, is more circumscribed and limited in the occupations and duties of a clergyman, whose sphere of action, unless pluralities are admitted (as I am sure they would not be advocated by you) is necessarily in a great degree confined to his parish, than in those professions or pursuits which lead to a more general knowledge, as well as a more general intercourse with mankind, such as the law, taking it as a basis, and introduction to public life, to which I had looked forward for you, considering you, as I do, peculiarly well qualified to be made thus eminently useful to others, with credit and satisfaction to yourself. There is no doubt but as a clergyman, faithfully and conscientiously discharging the duties of that office to those whose spiritual interests are entrusted to your care, should you eventually be placed in that situation, that you may have both comfort and satisfaction, with few worldly responsibilities, but you will allow me to doubt whether the picture your perhaps too sanguine mind has drawn in your letter before me, would ever be practically realised. Be this as it may, whenever your mind shall be finally made up on this most important subject, I shall trust to its being eventually for your good, whatever that determination may be. In the meantime I am certainly desirous that those studies with which you have been occupied in reading for your degree may be followed up, whether the shorter or longer period may be necessary to prepare you for the results. You are young and have ample time before you. Let nothing be done rashly; be consistent with yourself, and avail yourself of all the advantages placed within your reach. If, when that ordeal is passed, you should continue to think as you now do, I shall not oppose your then preparing yourself for the church, but I do hope that your final determination will not until then be taken, and that whatever events may occur in the interval, you will give them such weight and consideration as they may appear to merit.... Your mother is much as usual.—With our united and affectionate love, I ever am your affectionate father,


CANADA, 1838

Page 144

Jan. 20/38.—To-day there was a meeting on Canada at Sir R. Peel's. There were present Duke of Wellington, Lords Aberdeen, Ripon, Ellenborough, Stanley, Hardinge, and others.... Peel said he did not object to throwing out the government provided it were done by us on our own principles; but that to throw them out on radical principles would be most unwise. He agreed that less might have been done, but was not willing to take the responsibility of refusing what the government asked. He thought that this rebellion had given a most convenient opportunity for settling the question of the Canadian constitution, which had long been a thorny one and inaccessible; that if we postponed the settlement by giving the assembly another trial, the revolt would be forgotten, and in colder blood the necessary powers might be refused. He thought that when once you went into a measure of a despotic character, it was well to err, if at all, on the side of sufficiency; Lord Ripon strongly concurred. The duke sat with his hand to his ear, turning from one towards another round the circle as they took up the conversation in succession, and said nothing till directly and pressingly called upon by Peel, a simple but striking example of the self-forgetfulness of a great man.

Jan. 26/38.—I was myself present at about eight hours [i.e. on three occasions] of discussion in Peel's house upon the Canadian question and bill, and there was one meeting held to which I was not summoned. The conservative amendments were all adopted in the thoroughly straightforward view of looking simply at the bill and not at the government and the position of parties. Peel used these emphatic words: 'Depend upon it, our course is the direct one; don't do anything that is wrong for the sake of putting them out; don't avoid anything that is right for the sake of keeping them in.' Every one of these points has now been carried without limitation or exception. For the opposition party this is, in familiar language, a feather in its cap. The whole has been carefully, thoroughly, and effectually done. Nothing since I have been in parliament—not even the defeat of the Church Rate measure last year—has been of a kind to tell so strikingly as regards appearances upon the comparative credit of the two parties.


Page 247

In the great mountain of Mr. Gladstone's papers I have come across an unfinished and undated draft of a letter written by him for the Queen in 1880 on Sir Robert Peel's government:—

Mr. Gladstone with his humble duty reverts to the letter which your Majesty addressed to him a few days back, and in which your Majesty condescended to recollect and to remind him of the day now nearly forty years ago, a day he fears not altogether one of pleasure to your Majesty, when together with others he had the honour to be sworn of your Majesty's privy council. Your Majesty is pleased to pronounce upon the government then installed into office a high eulogy: a eulogy which Mr. Gladstone would presume, as far as he may, to echo. He values it, and values the recollection of the men who principally composed it, because it was, in the first place, a most honourable and high-minded government; because its legislative acts tended greatly, and almost uniformly, to increase the wellbeing of the country, and to strengthen the attachment of the people to the throne and the laws; while it studied in all things to maintain the reverse of an ambitious or disturbing policy.

It was Mr. Gladstone's good fortune to live on terms of intimacy, and even affection, with the greater portion of its principal and more active members until the close of their valued lives; and although he is far from thinking that they, and he himself with them, committed no serious errors, yet it is his conviction that in many of the most important rules of public policy that government surpassed generally the governments which have succeeded it, whether liberal or conservative. Among them he would mention purity in patronage, financial strictness, loyal adherence to the principle of public economy, jealous regard to the rights of parliament, a single eye to the public interest, strong aversion to extension of territorial responsibilities, and a frank admission of the rights of foreign countries as equal to those of their own. With these recollections of the political character of Sir R. Peel and his government Mr. Gladstone has in no way altered his feelings of regard and respect for them. In all the points he has mentioned he would desire to tread in their steps, and in many of them, or at least in some, he has no hope of soon seeing them equalled. The observance of such principles is in his conviction the best means of disarming radicalism of whatever is dangerous in its composition, and he would feel more completely at ease as to the future prospects of this country could he feel more sure of their being faithfully observed.

Mr. Gladstone is, and has been, but a learner through his life, and he can claim no special gift of insight into the future: the history of his life may not be flattering to his self-love, but he has great consolation in believing that the great legislative acts of the last half-century, in most of which he has had some share ...

And here the fragment closes.


Page 267

In 1841 the whig government raised the question of the sugar duties, and proposed to substitute a protective duty of 12/ per cwt. for the actual or virtual prohibition of foreign sugars which had up to that time subsisted. They were strongly opposed, and decisively beaten. The argument used against them was, I think, twofold. There was the protection plea on behalf of the West Indians whose estates were now worked only by free labour—and there was the great and popular contention that the measure not only admitted sugar the product of slave labour, which we would not allow our own colonies to employ, but that our new supplies would be derived from Brazil, and above all from Cuba and Puerto Rico, where the slave trade was rampant, and was prosecuted on an enormous scale. The government of Sir R. Peel largely modified our system. Its general professions were the abolition of prohibition, and the reduction of protective duties to a moderate rate. In 1844 it was determined to deal with the sugar duties, and to admit sugar at, I think, a rate of 10/ per cwt. beyond the rate for British-grown. But we had to bear in mind the arguments of 1841, and it was determined that the sugars so to be admitted were to be the product of free labour only. There was some uncertainty from whence they were to come. Java produced sugar largely, under a system involving certain restraints, but as we contended essentially free. The whole argument, however, was difficult and perplexed, and a parliamentary combination was formed against the government. The opposition, with perfect consistency, mustered in full force. The West Indian interest, which, though much reduced in wealth, still subsisted as a parliamentary entity, was keenly arrayed on the same side. There were some votes attracted by dislike, perhaps, to the argument on our side, which appeared to be complex and over-refined. A meeting of the party was held in order to confront the crisis. Sir Robert Peel stated his case in a speech which was thought to be haughty and unconciliatory. I do not recollect whether there was hostile discussion, or whether silence and the sulks prevailed. But I remember that when the meeting of the party broke up, Sir Robert Peel said on quitting the room that it was the worst meeting he had ever attended. It left disagreeable anticipations as to the division which was in immediate prospect.... The opposition in general had done what they could to strengthen their momentary association with the West Indian conservatives. Their hopes of a majority depended entirely upon conservative votes. Of course, therefore, it was vital to confine the attack to the merits of the question immediately before the House, as an attack upon the policy of the government generally could only strengthen it by awakening the susceptibilities of party and so reclaiming the stray voters to the administration. Lord Howick, entering into the debate as the hours of enhanced interest began, made a speech which attacked the conservative policy at large, and gave the opening for an effective reply. Lord Stanley perceived his opportunity and turned it to account with great force and adroitness. In a strictly retaliatory speech, he wound up conservative sentiment on behalf of ministers, and restored the tone of the House. The clouds of the earlier evening hours dispersed, and the government was victorious. Two speeches, one negatively and the other positively, reversed the prevailing current, and saved the administration. I have never known a parallel case. The whole honour of the fray, in the ministerial sense, redounded to Lord Stanley. I doubt whether in the twenty-six years of his after life he ever struck such a stroke as this.


Page 362

You have reversed, within the last seventy years, every one of these salutary principles. Your policy has been this; you have retained at home the management of and property in colonial lands. You have magnificent sums figuring in your estimates for the ordinary expenses of their governments, instead of allowing them to bear their own expenses. Instead of suffering them to judge what are the measures best adapted to secure their peaceful relations with the aboriginal tribes, and endeavouring to secure their good conduct—instead of telling them that they must not look for help from you unless they maintain the principles of justice, you tell them, 'You must not meddle with the relations between yourselves and the natives; that is a matter for parliament'; a minister sitting in Downing Street must determine how the local relations between the inhabitants of the colony and the aboriginal tribes are to be settled, in every point down to the minutest detail. Nay, even their strictly internal police your soldiery is often called upon to maintain. Then, again, the idea of their electing their own officers is, of course, revolutionary in the extreme—if not invading the royal supremacy, it is something almost as bad, dismembering the empire; and as to making their own laws upon their local affairs without interference or control from us, that is really an innovation so opposed to all ideas of imperial policy, that I think my honourable friend the member for Southwark (Sir William Molesworth) has been the first man in the House bold enough to propose it. Thus, in fact, the principles on which our colonial administration was once conducted have been precisely reversed. Our colonies have come to be looked upon as being, not municipalities endowed with internal freedom, but petty states. If you had only kept to the fundamental idea of your forefathers, that these were municipal bodies founded within the shadow and cincture of your imperial powers—that it was your business to impose on them such positive restraints as you thought necessary, and having done so, to leave them free in everything else—all those principles, instead of being reversed, would have survived in full vigour—you would have saved millions, I was going to say countless millions, to your exchequer; but you would have done something far more important by planting societies more worthy by far of the source from which they spring; for no man can read the history of the great American Revolution without seeing that a hundred years ago your colonies, such as they then were, with the institutions they then possessed, and the political relations in which they then stood to the mother-country, bred and reared men of mental stature and power such as far surpassed anything that colonial life is now commonly considered to be capable of producing.—Speech on second reading of the New Zealand Constitution bill, May 21, 1852.


Page 465

When the report of the Irish Financial Relations Commission of 1894 was named to him, Mr. Gladstone made the following observations:—

The changes adopted in that year were explained in my budget speech, and will be found in my volume of Financial Statements, pp. 53, 60, and 69. They affected the Spirit Duties and the Income-Tax.

1. The Spirit Duties.—We laid 8d. per gallon upon Irish spirits, imposed at the same time 1s. per gallon in Scotland, and laid it down that the equalisation of the duty in the three countries would require a reduction of the duty of 8s. chargeable in England. Sir Robert Peel had imposed 1s. per gallon on Irish spirits in 1842, but was defeated by the smuggler, and repealed the duty in consequence of the failure. In 1842 the duty was levied by a separate revenue police. I abolished this separate police, and handed the duty to the constabulary force, which raised it, and without difficulty.

2. The Income-Tax was also in that year extended to Ireland. I pointed out that Sir Robert Peel, in imposing the burden on Great Britain, proposed to give a compensation for it by progressive reductions of duty on consumable commodities, and that Ireland had for twelve years enjoyed her full share of the compensation without undergoing any part of the burden; but I also laid it down as a fundamental principle that the peace income-tax was to be temporary, and I computed that it might cease in 1860. This computation was defeated, first by the Crimean war, second by a change of ideas as to expenditure and establishments which I did everything in my power to check, but which began to creep in with, and after, that war. We were enabled to hold it in check during the government of 1859-66. It has since that time, and especially in these last years, broken all bounds. But although the computation of 1853 was defeated, the principle that the income-tax should be temporary was never forgotten, at least by me, and in the year 1874 I redeemed my pledge by proposing, as mentioned, to repeal it—a course which would have saved the country a sum which it is difficult to reckon, but very large. This fact which was in the public mind in 1853 when the income-tax was temporary, is the key to the whole position. From this point of view we must combine it with the remission of the consolidated annuities. I have not now the means of making the calculation exactly, but it will be found that a descending income-tax on Ireland for seven years at 7d., then 6d., then 5d., is largely, though not completely, balanced by that remission. It will thus be seen that the finance of 1853 is not responsible either for a permanent peace income-tax upon Ireland, or for the present equalisation of the spirit duties. At the same time, I do not mean to condemn those measures. I condemn utterly the extravagance of the civil expenditure in Ireland, which, if Ireland has been unjustly taxed, cannot for a moment be pleaded as a compensation. I reserve my judgment whether political equality can be made compatible with privilege in point of taxation. I admit, for my own part, that in 1853 I never went back to the union whence the difficulty springs, but only to the union of the exchequers in or about 1817. It is impossible to resist the authority which has now affirmed that we owe a pecuniary, as well as a political debt to Ireland.


Page 473

Mr. Gladstone to Sir Stafford Northcote

Aug. 6, 1862.—I have three main observations to make upon the conversion scheme, two of which are confessions, and one a maxim for an opposition to remember.

1. In the then doubtful state of foreign politics, had I been capable of fully appreciating it at the time, I ought not to have made the proposal.

2. Such a proposal when made by a government ought either to be resisted outright, or allowed to pass, I do not say without protest, but without delay. For that can do nothing but mischief to a proposal depending on public impression. The same course should be taken as is taken in the case of loans.

3. I am sorry to say I made a more serious error, as regards the South Sea Stocks, than the original proposal. In the summer, I think, of 1853, and a good while before harvest the company proposed to me to take Mr. Goulburn's 3 per cents. to an equal amount in lieu of their own. They were at the time more valuable and I refused; but it would have been wise to accept, not because the event proved it so, but because the state of things at the time was so far doubtful as to have made this kind of insurance prudent.

For the benefit of the expert, I give Mr. Gladstone's further observations on this highly technical matter:—

I have other remarks to offer. I write, however, from memory. Three millions of the L8,000,000 were paid in exchequer bills. The difference between L100 and the price of consols at the time may, in argument at least, fairly be considered as public loss. You say it was 90 or 91. We could not, however, if the operation had not taken place, have applied our surplus revenue with advantage to the reduction of debt. The balances would have been richer by L5,000,000, but we had to raise seven millions for the services of the year 1854-5. Now, as I am making myself liable for the loss of half a million of money in repaying the South Sea Company, and thereby starving the balances, I am entitled to say on the other hand that the real loss is to be measured by the amount of necessity created for replenishing them, and the charge entailed in effecting it. This I think was done by the exchequer bonds: and beyond all doubt a large saving was effected to the public by raising money upon those bonds, instead of borrowing in consols at 84 or thereabouts, which I think would have been the price for which we should in that year have borrowed—say, at 84. The redemption price, i.e. the price at which on the average consols have been in recent times redeemed, can hardly I think be less than 95, and may be higher. There was in 1854 a strong combination in the City to compel a 'loan' by bearing the funds; and when it was defeated by the vote of the House of Commons, a rapid reaction took place, several millions, as I understand, were lost by the 'bear,' and the attempt was not renewed in 1855, when the loan was, I believe, made on fair terms, relatively to the state of the market.


Page 491

In cabinet on Wednesday Lord John Russell opened the question of the Reform bill, stated the prospect of defeat on Sir E. Dering's motion, and expressed his willingness to postpone the measure until the 27th April. Lord Palmerston recommended postponement altogether. Lord Aberdeen and Graham were averse to any postponement, the latter even declaring his opinion that we ought at the time when the Queen's Speech was framed to have assumed the present state of circumstances as inevitable, and that, therefore, we had no apology or ground for change; further, that we ought if necessary to dissolve upon defeat in order to carry the measure. No one else went this length. All the three I have named were, from their different points of view, disposed to concur in the expedient of postponement, which none of them preferred on its merits. Of the rest of the cabinet, Molesworth and I expressed decidedly our preference for the more decided course of at once giving up the bill for the year, as did the chancellor, and this for the ultimate interest of the plan itself. Lord Lansdowne, Wood, Clarendon, Herbert were all, with more or less decision of phrase, in the same sense. Newcastle, Granville, and Argyll were, I believe, of the same mind. But all were willing to accept the postponement until April 27, rather than the very serious alternative. Molesworth and I both expressed our apprehension that this course would in the end subject the government to far more of censure and of suspicion than if we dealt with the difficulty at once. Next day Lord John came to see me, and told me he had the idea that in April it might probably be found advisable to divide the part of the bill which enfranchises new classes from that which disfranchises places and redistributes seats; with a view of passing the first and letting the latter take its chance; as the popular feeling would tell for the first while the selfish interests were provoked by the last. He thought that withdrawal of the bill was equivalent to defeat, and that either must lead to a summary winding up of the session. I said the division of the bill was a new idea and a new light to me; but observed that it would by no means help Graham, who felt himself chiefly tied to the disfranchising part; and submitted to him that his view of a withdrawal of the bill, given such circumstances as would alone induce the cabinet to think of it, was more unfavourable than the case warranted—March 3, 1854.


Page 511

Extracts from a letter to Lord John Russell, Jan. 20, 1854

... I do not hesitate to say that one of the great recommendations of the change in my eyes would be its tendency to strengthen and multiply the ties between the higher classes and the possession of administrative power. As a member for Oxford, I look forward eagerly to its operation. There, happily, we are not without some lights of experience to throw upon this part of the subject. The objection which I always hear there from persons who wish to retain restrictions upon elections is this: 'If you leave them to examination, Eton, Harrow, Rugby, and the other public schools will carry everything.' I have a strong impression that the aristocracy of this country are even superior in natural gifts, on the average, to the mass: but it is plain that with their acquired advantages, their insensible education, irrespective of book-learning, they have an immense superiority. This applies in its degree to all those who may be called gentlemen by birth and training; and it must be remembered that an essential part of any such plan as is now under discussion is the separation of work, wherever it can be made, into mechanical and intellectual, a separation which will open to the highly educated class a career, and give them a command over all the higher parts of the civil service, which up to this time they have never enjoyed....

I must admit that the aggregate means now possessed by government for carrying on business in the House of Commons are not in excess of the real need, and will not bear serious diminution. I remember being alarmed as a young man when Lord Althorp said, or was said to have said, that this country could no longer be governed by patronage. But while sitting thirteen years for a borough with a humble constituency, and spending near ten of them in opposition, I was struck by finding that the loss or gain of access to government patronage was not traceable in its effect upon the local political influences. I concluded from this that it was not the intrinsic value of patronage (which is really none, inasmuch as it does not, or ought not, to multiply the aggregate number of places to be given, but only acts on the mode of giving them) that was regarded, but simply that each party liked and claimed to be upon a footing of equality with their neighbours. Just in the same way, it was considered necessary that bandsmen, flagmen, and the rest, should be paid four times the value of their services, without any intention of bribery, but because it was the custom, and was done on the other side—in places where this was thought essential, it has now utterly vanished away, and yet the people vote and work for their cause as zealously as they did before. May not this after all be found to be the case in the House of Commons as well as in many constituencies?...

It might increase the uncertainties of the government in the House of Commons on particular nights; but is not the hold even now uncertain as compared with what it was thirty or forty years ago; and is it really weaker for general and for good purposes, on account of that uncertainty, than it then was? I have heard you explain with great force to the House this change in the position of governments since the Reform bill, as a legitimate accompaniment of changes in our political state, by virtue of which we appeal more to reason, less to habit, direct interest, or force. May not this be another legitimate and measured step in the same direction? May we not get, I will not say more ease and certainty for the leader of the House, but more real and more honourable strength with the better and, in the long run, the ruling part of the community, by a signal proof of cordial desire that the processes by which government is carried on should not in elections only, but elsewhere too be honourable and pure? I speak with diffidence; but remembering that at the revolution we passed over from prerogative to patronage, and that since the revolution we have also passed from bribery to influence, I cannot think the process is to end here; and after all we have seen of the good sense and good feeling of the community, though it may be too sanguine, I cherish the hope that the day is now near at hand, or actually come, when in pursuit not of visionary notions, but of a great practical and economical improvement, we may safely give yet one more new and striking sign of rational confidence in the intelligence and character of the people.


Page 519

From the time I took office as chancellor of the exchequer I began to learn that the state held in the face of the Bank and the City an essentially false position as to finance. When those relations began, the state was justly in ill odour as a fraudulent bankrupt who was ready on occasion to add force to fraud. After the revolution it adopted better methods though often for unwise purposes, and in order to induce monied men to be lenders it came forward under the countenance of the Bank as its sponsor. Hence a position of subserviency which, as the idea of public faith grew up and gradually attained to solidity, it became the interest of the Bank and the City to prolong. This was done by amicable and accommodating measures towards the government, whose position was thus cushioned and made easy in order that it might be willing to give it a continued acquiescence. The hinge of the whole situation was this: the government itself was not to be a substantive power in matters of finance, but was to leave the money power supreme and unquestioned. In the conditions of that situation I was reluctant to acquiesce, and I began to fight against it by financial self-assertion from the first, though it was only by the establishment of the Post Office Savings Banks and their great progressive development that the finance minister has been provided with an instrument sufficiently powerful to make him independent of the Bank and the City power when he has occasion for sums in seven figures. I was tenaciously opposed by the governor and deputy-governor of the Bank, who had seats in parliament, and I had the City for an antagonist on almost every occasion.—Undated fragment.


Page 521

With reference to the Crimean war, I may give a curious example of the power of self-deception in the most upright men. The offices of colonial secretary and war minister were, in conformity with usage, united in the hands of the Duke of Newcastle. On the outbreak of war it became necessary to separate them. It evidently lay with the holder to choose which he would keep. The duke elected for the war department, and publicly declared that he did this in compliance with the unanimous desire of his colleagues. And no one contradicted him. We could only 'grin and bear it.' I cannot pretend to know the sentiments of each and every minister on the matter. But I myself, and every one with whom I happened to communicate, were very strongly of an opposite opinion. The duke was well qualified for the colonial seals, for he was a statesman; ill for the war office, as he was no administrator. I believe we all desired that Lord Palmerston should have been war minister. It might have made a difference as to the tolerance of the feeble and incapable administration of our army before Sebastopol. Indeed, I remember hearing Lord Palmerston suggest in cabinet the recall of Sir Richard Airy.

In that crisis one man suffered most unjustly. I mean Sidney Herbert. To some extent, perhaps, his extraordinary and most just popularity led people to refrain from pouring on him those vials of wrath to which his office exposed him in the eyes especially of the uninformed. The duties of his department were really financial. I suppose it to be doubtful whether it was not the duty of the secretary of state's department to deal with the question of supply for the army, leaving to him only the management of the purchasing part. But I conceive it could be subject to no doubt at all that it was the duty of the administrative department of the army on the spot to anticipate and make known their wants for the coming winter. This, if my memory serves me, they wholly failed to do: and, the Duke of Newcastle's staff being in truth very little competent, Herbert strained himself morning, noon, and night to invent wants for the army, and according to his best judgment or conjecture to supply them. So was laden the great steamer which went to the bottom in the harbour of Balaclava. And so came Herbert to be abused for his good deeds.—Autobiographic Note, Sept. 17, 1897.


Page 546

Mr. Gladstone to Duke of Argyll

Oct. 18, '55.—You have conferred a great obligation on me by putting me into the witness-box, and asking me why I thought last year that we were under an obligation to Lord Palmerston for 'concentrating the attention of the cabinet on the expedition to the Crimea.' Such was then my feeling, entertained so strongly that I even wrote to him for the purpose of giving to it the most direct expression. And such is my feeling still. I think the fall of Sebastopol, viewed in itself and apart from the mode in which it has been brought about, a great benefit to Europe.... This benefit I should have contemplated with high and, so to speak, unmixed satisfaction, were I well assured as to the means by which we had achieved it. But, of course, there is a great difference between a war which I felt, however grievous it was, yet to be just and needful, and a war carried on without any adequate justification; so far as I can to this hour tell, without even any well-defined practical object.... Your letter (if I must now pass from the defensive) seems to me to involve assumptions as to our right to rectify the distribution of political power by bloodshed, which carry it far beyond just bounds. In the hour of success doctrines and policy are applauded, or pass unquestioned even under misgiving, which are very differently handled at a period of disaster, or when a nation comes to feel the embarrassments it has accumulated. The government are certainly giving effect to the public opinion of the day. If that be a justification, they have it: as all governments of England have had, in all wars, at eighteen months from their commencement. Apart from the commanding consideration of our duty as men and Christians, I am not less an objector to the post-April-policy, on the ground of its certain or probable consequences—in respect first and foremost to Turkey; in respect to the proper place and power of France; in respect to the interest which Europe has in keeping her (and us all) within such place and power; in respect to the permanence of our friendly relations with her; and lastly, in respect to the effects of continued war upon the condition of our own people, and the stability of our institutions. But each of these requires an octavo volume. I must add another head: I view with alarm the future use against England of the arguments and accusations we use against Russia.

Dec. 1.—What I find press hardest among the reproaches upon me is this:—'You went to war for limited objects; why did you not take into account the high probability that those objects would be lost sight of in the excitement which war engenders, and that this war, if once begun, would receive an extension far beyond your views and wishes?'

Dec. 3.—I do mean that the reproach I named is the one most nearly just. What the weight due to it is, I forbear finally to judge until I see the conclusion of this tremendous drama. But I quite see enough to be aware that the particular hazard in question ought to have been more sensibly and clearly before me. It may be good logic and good sense, I think, to say:—'I will forego ends that are just, for fear of being driven upon the pursuit of others that are not so.' Whether it is so in a particular case depends very much upon the probable amount of the driving power, and of the resisting force which may be at our command.



Dec. 13. Elected member for Newark,—Gladstone, 887; Handley, 798; Wilde, 726.


Jan. 25. Admitted a law student at Lincoln's Inn.

March 6. Elected member of Carlton Club.

April 30. Speaks on a Newark petition.

May 17. Appointed on Colchester election committee. " 21. Presents an Edinburgh petition against immediate abolition of slavery.

June 3. On Slavery Abolition bill.

July 4. On Liverpool election petition. " 8. Opposes Church Reform (Ireland) bill. " 25 and 29. On negro apprenticeship system.

Aug. 5. Serves on select committee on stationary office. " 8. Moves for return on Irish education.


Mar. 12 and 19. On bill disenfranchising Liverpool freemen.

June 4. Serves on select committee on education in England.

July 28. Opposes Universities Admission bill.

Dec. 26. Junior lord of the treasury in Sir R. Peel's ministry.


Jan. 5. Returned unopposed for Newark. " 27. Under-secretary for war and the colonies.

March 4. Moves for, and serves on, a committee on military expenditure in the colonies. " 19. Brings in Colonial Passengers' bill for improving condition of emigrants. " 31. In defence of Irish church.

June 11. Entertained at Newark. " 22, July 20. Criticises Municipal Corporation bill.

Aug. 21. Defends House of Lords.

Sept. 23. Death of his mother.


Feb. 8. A member of Aborigines committee.

March 22. On negro apprenticeship in Jamaica. " 28. A member of negro apprenticeship committee.

June 1. On Tithes and Church (Ireland) bill. " 8. A member of select committee on disposal of land in the colonies.

Oct. 18. Speaks at dinner of Liverpool Tradesmen's Conservative Association. " 21. Speaks at dinner of Liverpool Operatives' Conservative Association.


Jan. 13. Speaks at Peel banquet at Glasgow. " 17. Speaks at Newark.

Feb. 10. Moves for return showing religious instruction in the colonies.

March 7. A member of committee on Irish education. " 8. On affairs of Lower Canada. " 15. In support of church rates.

April 28. A member of colonial accounts committee. " 21. At Newark on Poor Law. " 24. Returned unopposed for Newark. " 27. Defeated for Manchester,—Thomson, 4127; Philips, 3759; Gladstone, 2324.

Aug. 9. Speaks at dinner at Manchester.

Dec. 12. Member of committee on education of poor children. " 22. On Canadian discontent.


Jan. 23. On Canadian affairs.

March 7. Criticises action of government in Canada. " 30. In defence of West Indian sugar planters.

June 20. On private bill to facilitate colonisation of New Zealand.

July 10. Moves for a commission on grievances of Cape colonists. " 11 and 23. Opposes the appointment of dissenting chaplains in prisons. " 27. A member of committee on Scotch education. " 30. Opposes grant to Maynooth College.

Aug. Visits the continent. Oct. in Sicily; Dec. in Rome.

Dec. The Church in its Relations with the State, published.


Jan. 31. Returns to England.

Apr. 15. Withdraws from Lincoln's Inn.

May 6. Opposes Suspension of the Jamaica constitution.

June 10. Opposes bill for temporary government of Jamaica. " 20. Criticises the proposal for a board of education.

July 25. Married to Miss Catherine Glynne at Hawarden.


Mar. 30-April 4. Examiner at Eton for Newcastle scholarship.

April 8. Denounces traffic in opium and Chinese war. " 8. A member of committee on opium question.

May 29. In support of Government of Canada bill.

June 3. Eldest son, William Henry, born. " 15. On Canadian Clergy Reserves bill. " 25. On sugar duties. " 29, July 20. Opposes Ecclesiastical Revenues bill.

July 9. A member of select committee on colonisation of New Zealand. " 27. Denounces traffic in opium.

Sept. 18. Speaks at Liverpool on religious education.

Nov. Church Principles considered in their Results, published.


Jan. 20. On the corn laws at Walsall.

March 31. Proposes rejection of bill admitting Jews to corporate office.

April Revised edition of The Church in its Relations with the State, published.

May 10. Opposes reduction of duty on foreign sugar.

July 29. Re-elected for Newark,—Mr. Gladstone, 633; Lord John Manners, 630; Mr. Hobhouse, 394.

Sept. 3. Appointed vice-president of the board of trade. " 14. Returned unopposed for Newark.


Feb. 8. Proposes colonial trade resolutions, and brings in bill for better regulation of railways. " 14. Replies to Lord J. Russell's condemnation of government's proposals for amending corn law. " 25. Opposes Mr. Christopher's sliding scale amendment.

March 9. On second reading of corn law importation bill.

April 15. On Colonial Customs Duties bill.

May 13. On preferential duties for colonial goods. " 23. On importation of live cattle.

June 3. On sugar duties. " 14. On export duty on coal.

Sept. 18. Loses finger of left hand in gun accident.


Jan. Anonymous article, 'The Course of Commercial Policy at Home and Abroad,' in Foreign and Colonial Quarterly Review.

" 6. Inaugural address at opening of Collegiate Institute, Liverpool.

Feb. 13. Replies to Viscount Howick on the corn law.

April 25. Opposes Mr. Ricardo's motion for immediate free trade.

May 9. Opposes Mr. Villiers's motion for the immediate abolition of corn laws. " 15. Attends first cabinet as president of the board of trade. " 19. Supports bill reducing duty on Canadian corn.

June 13. Opposes Lord J. Russell's motion for fixed duty on imported corn.

Aug. 10. Moves second reading of bill legalising exportation of machinery.

Oct. 'Present Aspects of the Church' in Foreign and Colonial Review.


Feb. 5. Moves for select committeen on railways.

March 4. On recommendations of committee on railways. " 7. On slave trade and commercial relations with Brazil. " 12. Replies to Mr. Cobden's speech on his motion for committee on protective duties. " 19. On reciprocity in commercial treaties. " 26. Opposes motion to extend low duty on Canadian corn to colonial wheat.

April 'On Lord John Russell's Translation of the Francesca da Rimini,' in the English Review. " 2. Outlines provisions of Joint Stock Companies Regulation bill. " 4. Second son, Stephen Edward, born.

May 18. Presides at Eton anniversary dinner.

June 3. On sugar duties bill. " 6. In support of Dissenters' Chapels bill. " 25. Opposes Mr. Villiers's motion for abolition of corn laws.

July. Review of 'Ellen Middleton,' in English Review. " 8. On second reading of Railways bill.

Aug. 5. Introduces three bills for regulating private bill procedure.

Oct. 'The Theses of Erastus and the Scottish Church Establishment' in the New Quarterly Review.

Dec. On Mr. Ward's 'Ideal Church,' in Quarterly Review.


Jan. 28. Retires from cabinet.

Feb. 4. Personal explanation. " 24. In favour of discriminating duties on sugar. " 26. Defends distinction between free-labour and slave-labour sugar.

March. Remarks upon recent Commercial Legislation, published.

April 11. On second reading of Maynooth College bill.

June. Review of 'Life of Mr. Blanco White,' in Quarterly. " 2. Supports Academical Institutions (Ireland) bill.

July 15. On Spanish treaties and slave-labour sugar.

Sept. 25-Nov. 18. Visits Germany.

Dec. 'Scotch Ecclesiastical Affairs,' in the Quarterly. " 23. Colonial secretary. Publishes, A Manual of Prayers from the Liturgy, Arranged for Family Use.


Jan. 5. Retires from the representation of Newark.


June 'From Oxford to Rome' in the Quarterly. " 7. Captain Gladstone defends his brother's action in recalling Sir Eardley Wilmot.

Aug. 3. Elected for Oxford University,—Sir R. Inglis, 1700; W. E. Gladstone, 997; Mr. Round, 824.

Sept. On Lachmann's 'Ilias' in the Quarterly.

Dec. 8. Supports Roman Catholic Relief bill. " 13. On government of New Zealand. " 16. In favour of admission of Jews to parliament.


Feb. 9 and 14. On New Zealand Government bill. " 16. On Roman Catholic Relief bill.

March 10. On recent commercial changes.

April 3. On repeal of Navigation laws, criticising government's proposal. " 4. On episcopal revenues. " 10. Serves as special constable. " 22. Moves address to the Queen at vestry of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.

May 16. In favour of increasing usefulness of cathedrals. " 23. Replies to Lord G. Bentinck on free trade.

June 2. In favour of freedom of navigation. " 22. Opposes reduction of sugar duties.

Aug. 17. In favour of legalising diplomatic relations with the Vatican. " 18. On Vancouver's Island, and free colonisation.

Dec. On the Duke of Argyll's Presbytery Examined in the Quarterly.


Feb. 19. On revision of parliamentary oaths. " 22, May 2. In favour of Clergy Relief bill.

March 8. On transportation of convicts. " 12. On Navigation laws. " 13. On church rates. " 27. In favour of scientific colonisation at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.

April 16. On colonial administration.

May 10. Defends right of parliament to interfere in colonial affairs. " 24. In favour of better government of colonies.

June 4. On Australian Colonies bill. " 14. Protests against compensating Canadian rebels. " 20. Opposes bill legalising marriage with deceased wife's sister. " 26. Explains views on colonial questions and policy.

July 5. Moves for inquiry into powers of Hudson Bay Company. " 13-Aug. 9. Visits Italy: Rome, Naples, Como.

Dec. 'The Clergy Relief Bill' in Quarterly.


Feb. 8. In favour of double chamber constitutions for colonies. " 21. On causes of agricultural distress, in support of Mr. Disraeli's motion.

March. 'Giacomo Leopardi' in the Quarterly. " 19. On suppression of slave trade. " 22. On principles of colonial policy.

April 9. Death of his daughter, Catherine Jessy.

May 6. In favour of colonial self-government, and ecclesiastical constitution for church in Australia. " 13. Moves that Australian Government bill be submitted to colonists. " 31. In favour of differential sugar duties.

June 4. Letter to Bishop of London: Remarks on the Royal Supremacy. " 27. Attacks Lord Palmerston's foreign policy in Don Pacifico debate.

July 3. On death of Sir R. Peel. " 8. Criticises Ecclesiastical Commission bill. " 15. Explains plan for creation of new bishoprics. " 18. Opposes commission of inquiry into English and Irish universities.

Aug. 1. 'Last earnest protest' against Australian Colonies Government bill.

Oct. 26. Leaves England for Naples.


Feb. 26. Returns to England from Naples. Declines Lord Stanley's invitation to join his government.

March 25. Opposes Ecclesiastical Titles Assumption bill.

April 11. On financial plans to relieve agricultural distress. " 15. Opposes appointment of committee on relations with Kaffir tribes.

May 29. On grievances of inhabitants of Ceylon.

June 30. Opposes Inhabited House Duty bill.

July 4. Protests against Ecclesiastical Titles bill. " 10. On Rajah Brooke's methods of suppressing piracy. " 19. On discipline in colonial church. " Publishes two letters to Lord Aberdeen on Neapolitan misgovernment.

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