A Condition of England Minister

  • J. T. Ward


The 1841 elections gave Peel a majority of almost eighty. Long years of Conservative planning, organising and hoping had been rewarded at last. Graham had faced the extra labour of finding a new seat. Since 1839 he had considered and rejected such ‘proprietary boroughs’ as Ripon, Thirsk and Woodstock. Eventually, Robert Williams gave up his seat and influence at Dorchester to Graham, who canvassed the entire electorate in June and was returned unopposed, with the Evangelical Viscount Ashley.1 And so Graham shared in the victory for which he had toiled in Parliament and party. With Stanley and Ripon he was certain of office, but Richmond could not be persuaded to accept.


Tariff Reduction Fervent Supporter Agricultural Protection Tariff Reform County Magistracy 
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  1. 2.
    Graham to Peel, 1 Aug., to Stanley, 2 Aug.; Arbuthnot to Graham, 4 Aug., reply 6 Aug. See Parker, Peel, ii. 490 et seq. Peel corresponded with Goulburn, Graham, Stanley, Ripon, Gladstone, Ashburton and Herries. Graham opposed Gladstone’s proposal of a House Tax as ‘more difficult to carry than an Income Tax’ (Graham to Peel, 14 Nov. 1841). Russell told Lansdowne on 12 November that Peel’s ‘reserve [on the Corn Law] had led him into great difficulty’; he would offend either the squires or the manufacturers [G. P. Gooch, The Later Correspondence of Lord John Russell (1925), i. 50].Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    See F. C. Mather, Public Order in the Age of the Chartists (Manchester, 1959), 43–44; Greville, Victoria, ii. 68–69, 77–80; McCord, op. cit., 108 et seq.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    G. Kitson Clark, ‘Hunger and Politics in 1842’ (Journal of Modern History, xxv. 4, Dec. 1953, 355–74)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. A. G. Rose, ‘The Plug Riots of 1842 in Lancashire and Cheshire’ (Trans. Lancs, and Cheshire Antiquarian Soc., lxvii., 1957, 75–112)Google Scholar
  5. Mark Hovell, The Chartist Movement (Manchester, 1943 ed.), 259–67.Google Scholar
  6. 16.
    Graham to Croker, 1 Sept., to Peel, 24 Aug., 1, 8 Sept., 22 Nov., 12 Oct., to Croker, 1, 4, 5 Dec.; Peel to Croker, 4 Dec. 1842 (Jennings, op. cit., ii. 392–3); Croker to Graham, 28 Jan. 1843. See Quarterly Review, lxxi., Dec. 1842; F. C. Mather, ‘The Government and the Chartists’, in Asa Briggs (ed.), Chartist Studies (1959), 385–94, 401–5, and Chartism (Historical Association pamphlet, 1965), 28.Google Scholar
  7. 19.
    M. W. Thomas, The Early Factory Legislation (Leigh-on-Sea, 1948), chs. 5, 11, 12Google Scholar
  8. Lord Ashley, Moral and Religious Education of the Working Classes (1843)Google Scholar
  9. J. T. Ward, ‘A Lost Opportunity in Education: 1843 ’ (Researches and Studies, 20:1959).Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    Graham to Stanley, to Gladstone, 25, Ashley to Graham, 28 March, Graham to the Bishop of London, 20, to Peel, 13, Ashley to Graham, 26 April; Ashley to Peel, 17, Peel to Ashley, 16 June 1843 (Parker, Peel, ii. 560–2). See J. T. Ward, The Factory Movement, 1830–1855 (1962), 258–68; Frank Smith, op. cit., 140–51.Google Scholar
  11. 22.
    J. R. H. Moorman, A History of the Church in England (1954 ed.), 347 et seq.Google Scholar
  12. G. F. A. Best, Temporal Pillars (Cambridge, 1964), 239 et seq.; Graham to Peel, 17 Sept., Peel to Graham, 22 Dec. 1842. After much ministerial discussion, Peel merely allowed the Church Commissioners to borrow from Queen Anne’s Bounty for the endowment of new churches in ‘populous parishes’.Google Scholar
  13. 23.
    Robert Buchanan, The Ten Years’ Conflict (Glasgow, 1849 ed.), i. chs. 6, 8;Google Scholar
  14. William Hanna, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Thomas Chalmers (Edinburgh, 1852), iv. 91–174;Google Scholar
  15. W. M. Hetherington, History of the Church of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1852 ed.), ii., passim.Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    Graham to Arbuthnot, 13 Dec. 1839. See E. C. S. Wade, G. G. Phillips, Constitutional Law (1936 ed.), 472; Torrens, op. cit., ii. 233; Parker, Peel, i. 396.Google Scholar
  17. 31.
    Lord Ashley’s diary, 11 May, 16 June, 8 July 1843, and 2, 4, 6, 16, 18 March 1844 [Edwin Hodder, The Life and Work of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G. (1887 ed.), 245–8, 257, 291, 294–5]. Peel told the Queen on 19 March that his Government opposed Ashley’s proposal because ‘it exposed the manufacturers of this Country to a very formidable competition with those of other countries, in which labour is not restricted, … must lead at a very early period to a great reduction in wages [and] … would incur great risk of serious injury to our commerce’ (Parker, Peel, iii. 147–8).Google Scholar
  18. 34.
    S. and B. Webb, English Poor Law History, pt. 2, i. (1963 reprint), 170–9Google Scholar
  19. W. B. Ferrand, The Great Mott Question (1844); The Times, 10, 11, 23, 24–27Google Scholar
  20. J. T. Ward, ‘Young England’ (History Today, xvi. 2, Feb. 1966).Google Scholar
  21. 35.
    S. and B. Webb, English Poor Law History, pt. 2, ii. (1963 reprint), 1030–5Google Scholar
  22. Peel to Arbuthnot, 30 Oct. 1842 (Parker, Peel, ii. 532). Graham had granted small sums to Paisley, together with exhortations on local action (Erickson, op. cit., 160–2). See also A. A. Cormack, Poor Relief in Scotland (Aberdeen, 1923), especially ch. 13, and, on the Andover case, W ebbs, op. cit., pt. 2, i. 179–82.Google Scholar
  23. 36.
    David Roberts, Victorian Origins of the British Welfare State (New Haven, i960), 60–61.Google Scholar
  24. 37.
    Fleet Papers, 19 Feb., 28 May, 26 Nov. 1842. See also Cecil Driver, Tory Radical. The Life of Richard Oastler (New York, 1946), passim.Google Scholar

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© J. T. Ward 1967

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