The Policy-Maker

  • J. T. Ward


Graham earned a special place in Peel’s Cabinet, not solely dependent on the extensive powers wielded by the Home Office. His hard, meticulous work commanded (sometimes grudging) respect. Gladstone recorded half a century later that Graham ‘knew more of economic and trade matters … than the rest of the cabinet of 1841 all put together’.1 But most important was his closeness to Peel; their official ‘intercourse … was the most frequent and the most intimate’, wrote Peel, and Graham’s ‘responsibility was equal to [his] own’. In 1848 Graham recalled that ‘we seldom failed, even without concert, to take the same view of important questions’. To the new humorous journal Punch they seemed Hwo persons with only one intellect’.2 As Peel’s alter ego, Graham exerted considerable influence on Cabinet decisions; from 1841 he was virtually the Government’s second-in-command.


Free Trade Religious Struggle Trade Matter Cabinet Post Irish Land 
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  1. 1.
    Gladstone note, 6 Sept. 1897 (Morley, op. cit., i. 114). Gladstone always expressed ‘enormous admiration’ for Graham [Lord Morley, Recollections (1918), ii.71].Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Fleet Papers, 10 Dec. 1842; Mather, op. cit., 202–3, 218–24; Parker, Graham, i. ch. 19; Greville, Victoria, ii. 272; T. H. Duncombe, Life and Correspondence of T. S. Duncombe (1868), i. 314–40; Croker to Graham, 16 July 1844; Brougham to Graham, 21, 22 Feb. 1845; Parker, Graham, i. 447.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Benson and Esher, op. cit., i. 455–9, 468–9; Greville, Victoria, ii. 141–4; Parker, Peel, ii. 552–5; On the ‘separate system’ of isolation — ‘perhaps the most momentous official decision in English prison history’ — and the dietaries, see S. and B. Webb, English Prisons Under Local Government (1963 reprint), 114, 134–7. Graham to Brougham, 16 Oct. 1841, to the Queen, 13 May 1845.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Edw in Chadwick, Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain, ed. M. W. Flinn (Edinburgh, 1965), 46, 68, 116–17; Erickson, op. cit., 243–55; S. E. Finer, The Life and Times of Sir Edwin Chadwick (1952), 209 et seq.; Torrens, op. cit., ii. 396–8. Lonsdale (op. cit., ii. 205) recalled that as secretary to the Edinburgh medical faculties he ‘always found [Graham] highly regardful of the interests of the profession. He presented a marked contrast to his predecessor, the Marquess of Normanby.’Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    See Mather, in Briggs, op. cit., 390–3, 403; David Williams, The Rebecca Riots. A Study in Agrarian Discontent (Cardiff, 1955), passim; Graham to Peel, 21, to Wharncliffe, 26 Dec. 1843. Graham reorganised Welsh road administrations [S. and B. Webb, The Story of the King’s Highway (1963 reprint), 217–20; Williams, op. cit., 281–3]. On the problems of maintaining public order, see Mather, op. cit., passim.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Kevin B. Nowlan, The Politics of Repeal (1965), 20–34Google Scholar
  7. Stanley to Peel, 30 Nov. 1841 (Parker, Peel, iii. 35–36); Eliot to Peel, 15 July (ibid., 38), Peel to Graham, 16 July, Graham to Peel, 17 July, to Eliot, 16 Sept., to de Grey, 9 Nov., to Eliot, 15 Nov., to Peel, 17 Oct., to Stanley, 21 Nov., to Peel, 15 Dec., Peel to Graham, 15 Dec. 1842. See, and, for an excellent brief survey of the background, R. B. McDowell, ‘Ireland on the Eve of the Famine’, in R. D. Edwards and T. D. Williams (eds.), The Great Famine (Dublin, 1962 ed.), 3–86.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Greville, Victoria, ii. 205; Graham to de Grey, 8, 9, 25 Jan., to Stanley, 4 Feb. 1844; Greville, ii. 218–21, 228; W. F. Monypenny, The Life of Benjamin Disraeli (1912), ii. 173–8, 188–94; Graham to Disraeli, 21 Dec. 1843. See Nowlan, op. cit., 70–71; Macintyre, op. cit., 271–2, 276, 280–2.Google Scholar
  9. 24.
    Earl Stanhope, E. Cardwell (eds.), The Memoirs of Sir Robert Peel (1857), ii. 148 et seq.; Parker, Peel, iii. 225–32;Google Scholar
  10. Lord Stanmore, Sidney Herbert (1906), i. 42–47; Greville, Victoria, ii. 301; Peel to Graham, 7 Nov., Stanley to Peel, 3 Nov. 1845.Google Scholar
  11. 26.
    Greville, Victoria, ii. 292–4; Graham to Peel, 16 Aug., 27 Oct., 31 Dec. 1845; Stanmore, op. cit., i. 70–73; Woodham-Smith, op. cit., 60–61; T. P. O’Neill, ‘The Organisation and Administration of Relief, 1845–52’, in Edwards, Williams, op. cit., 209–59; Graham to Heytesbury, 6 Jan., 10 Feb. 3, 13, 25, 27 April 1846; Torrens, op. cit., ii. 448–57. On Trevelyan see Jenifer Hart, ‘Sir Charles Trevelyan at the Treasury’ (English Hist. Rev., lxxv. 294, Jan. 1960, 92–110).Google Scholar

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© J. T. Ward 1967

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  • J. T. Ward

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