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Conservative Government 1852: Wikis

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After the fall of Lord John Russell's Whig government in early 1852, the Tory leader Lord Derby formed a government. The Conservatives had been weakened by the defection of the Peelites, and many of the new Cabinet ministers were men of little experience. The government became known as the Who? Who? Ministry due to the lack of prominence of its ministers. The government was in a significant minority, and lasted less than a year, collapsing in December. The Whigs and Peelites then formed a coalition government under the Peelite leader Lord Aberdeen.

It marked the first time the protectionist wing of the party had taken office since the Corn Laws schism of 1846. Though the government had little impact, it gained infamy through its plethora of new political names, which demonstrated the relative inexperience of the party. Only four members of the Cabinet (Derby himself, St Leonards, Lonsdale, and Herries) were existing Privy Councillors and many others were complete political unknowns. This led the now octogenarian and largely deaf Duke of Wellington, then in his last year, to shout out "Who?", "Who?" as each new cabinet member was announced in the House of Lords.

Preceded by
Whig Government 1846-1852
British Government
1852
Succeeded by
Coalition Government 1852-1855
Office Name Date Notes
Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury
and Leader of the House of Lords
The Earl of Derby 23 February 1852 – 17 December 1852  
Chancellor of the Exchequer
and Leader of the House of Commons
Benjamin Disraeli 27 February 1852  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury William Forbes Mackenzie 2 March 1852  
Financial Secretary to the Treasury George Alexander Hamilton 2 March 1852  
Junior Lords of the Treasury Marquess of Chandos 28 February 1852 – 17 December 1852  
The Lord Henry Lennox 28 February 1852 – 17 December 1852
Thomas Bateson 28 February 1852 – 17 December 1852
Lord Chancellor The Lord St Leonards 27 February 1852  
Lord President of the Council The Earl of Lonsdale 27 February 1852  
Lord Privy Seal The Marquess of Salisbury 27 February 1852  
Secretary of State for the Home Department Spencer Horatio Walpole 27 February 1852  
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir William Joliffe, Bt 27 February 1852  
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs The Earl of Malmesbury 27 February 1852  
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Stanley 18 May 1852  
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Sir John Pakington 17 February 1852  
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies The Earl of Desart 2 March 1852  
First Lord of the Admiralty The Duke of Northumberland 28 February 1852  
First Secretary of the Admiralty Augustus Stafford 3 March 1852  
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Arthur Duncombe 28 February 1852  
President of the Board of Control John Charles Herries 28 February 1852  
Joint Secretaries to the Board of Control Henry Baillie 1 March 1852 – 17 December 1852  
Charles Bruce 1 March 1852 – 17 December 1852
Postmaster-General The Earl of Hardwicke 1 March 1852  
President of the Board of Trade Joseph Warner Henley 17 February 1852  
Vice-President of the Board of Trade The Lord Colchester 27 February 1852  
First Commissioner of Works The Lord John Manners 4 March 1852  
Chief Secretary for Ireland Lord Naas 1 March 1852  
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Earl of Eglinton 1 March 1852  
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Robert Adam Christopher 1 March 1852  
Master-General of the Ordnance The Viscount Hardinge 1 March 1852  
The Lord Fitzroy Somerset 30 September 1852 created Lord Raglan 20 October 1852
Surveyor-General of the Ordnance Sir George Henry Frederick Berkeley 18 June 1852  
Clerk of the Ordnance Francis Plunkett Dunne 5 March 1852  
Storekeeper of the Ordnance Sir Thomas Hastings 25 July 1845 continued in office
Paymaster-General The Lord Colchester 28 February 1852  
President of the Poor Law Board Sir John Trollope, Bt 1 March 1852  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board Frederick Winn Knight 3 March 1852  
Secretary at War William Beresford 28 February 1852  
Attorney General Sir Frederic Thesiger 27 February 1852  
Solicitor General Sir Fitzroy Kelly 27 February 1852  
Judge Advocate General George Bankes 28 February 1852  
Lord Advocate Adam Anderson 28 February 1852  
John Inglis 19 May 1852
Solicitor General for Scotland John Inglis 28 February 1852  
Charles Neaves 24 May 1852
Attorney General for Ireland Joseph Napier February 1852  
Solicitor General for Ireland James Whiteside February 1852  
Lord Steward of the Household The Duke of Montrose 27 February 1852  
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Marquess of Exeter 27 February 1852  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Viscount Newport 5 March 1852  
Master of the Horse The Earl of Jersey 1 March 1852  
Treasurer of the Household The Lord Claud Hamilton 27 February 1852  
Comptroller of the Household George Weld-Forester 27 February 1852  
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Earl of Sandwich 27 February 1852  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Lord de Ros 27 February 1852  
Master of the Buckhounds The Earl of Rosslyn 28 February 1852  
Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal Lord Colville of Culross 28 February 1852  
Mistress of the Robes The Duchess of Atholl 16 March 1852  
Lords in Waiting The Earl of Morton 2 March 1852 – 17 December 1852  
The Earl of Verulam 2 March 1852 – 17 December 1852
The Viscount Hawarden 2 March 1852 – 17 December 1852
The Viscount Galway 2 March 1852-17 December 1852
The Lord Crofton 2 March 1852 – 17 December 1852
The Lord Polwarth 2 March 1852 – 17 December 1852
The Earl Talbot 2 March 1852 – 17 December 1852

Source: C. Cook and B. Keith, British Historical Facts 1830-1900

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