Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby: Wikis

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Edward Smith-Stanley redirects here; for other persons with that name, see Edward Stanley, Lord Stanley
The Right Honourable
 The Earl of Derby 
KG PC


In office
28 June 1866 – 27 February 1868
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by The Earl Russell
Succeeded by Benjamin Disraeli
In office
20 February 1858 – 12 June 1859
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by The Viscount Palmerston
Succeeded by The Viscount Palmerston
In office
23 February 1852 – 19 December 1852
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by Lord John Russell
Succeeded by The Earl of Aberdeen

Born 29 March 1799(1799-03-29)
Knowsley Park, Lancashire, England
Died 23 October 1869 (aged 70)
Knowsley Hall, Lancashire, England
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Signature

Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, KG, PC (29 March 1799 – 23 October 1869) was an English statesman, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and to date the longest serving leader of the Conservative Party. He was known before 1834 as Edward Stanley, and from 1834 to 1851 as Lord Stanley. His record was unusual, since he is one of only four British Prime Ministers to have three or more separate periods in office.[1] However his ministries all lasted less than two years, and he held the post for a total of just over four years, less than many other Prime Ministers.

Contents

Background and education

Stanley was born to Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby and Charlotte Margaret Hornby, daughter of Reverend Geoffrey Hornby. The Stanleys were a long established and very wealthy landowning family whose principal seat was Knowsley Hall in Lancashire. Stanley was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

Political career, 1820-1852

He was elected to Parliament as a Whig in 1820. When the Whigs returned to power in 1830, Stanley became Chief Secretary for Ireland in Lord Grey's Government, and entered the Cabinet in 1831. In October of 1831, Stanley wrote a letter, the Stanley Letter, to the Duke of Leinster establishing the system of National Education in Ireland - this letter remains today the legal basis for the predominant form of primary education in Ireland. In 1833, Stanley moved up to the more important position of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. Stanley, a conservative Whig, broke with the ministry over the reform of the Church of Ireland in 1834 and resigned from the government. He then formed a group called the 'Derby Dilly' and attempted to chart a middle course between what they saw as the increasingly radical Whiggery of Lord John Russell and the conservatism of the Tories, but Tory leader Sir Robert Peel's turn to the centre with the 1834 Tamworth Manifesto robbed them of much of the uniqueness of their programme.

The term Derby Dilly was coined by Irish Nationalist leader Daniel O'Connell. Besides Stanley, the other principal members of the Dilly were Sir James Graham, who had resigned as First Lord of the Admiralty; Lord Ripon, who had resigned as Lord Privy Seal; and the Duke of Richmond, who had resigned as Postmaster General. These four ministers had all come from notably different political backgrounds - Stanley and Graham were old Whigs, Ripon was a former Canningite Tory, while Richmond was an arch-conservative Tory who had incongruously found himself in the Grey cabinet.

Although they did not participate in Peel's short-lived 1835 ministry, over the next several years they gradually merged into Peel's Conservative Party, with several members of the Derby Dilly taking prominent positions in Peel's 1841 government.

Joining the Conservatives, Stanley again served as Colonial Secretary in Sir Robert Peel's second government in 1841. In 1844 he was summoned to the House of Lords in his father's Baron of Stanley by Writ of Acceleration. In 1845, he again broke with his Prime Minister, this time over the repeal of the Corn Laws, and managed to bring the majority of the Conservative party with him, (including, among others, the young Benjamin Disraeli). He thereafter led the protectionist faction of the Conservative Party. In 1851 he succeeded his father as Earl of Derby.

Political career, 1852-1869

The Earl of Derby.

Derby formed a minority Government in February 1852 following the collapse of Lord John Russell's Whig Government. In this new ministry, a little known Benjamin Disraeli would be appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. With many senior Conservative ministers having followed Peel, Derby was forced to appoint many new men to office — of the Cabinet only three were pre-existing Privy Counsellors. When the aged Duke of Wellington heard the list of ministers being read aloud in the House of Lords he is said to have kept asking "Who? Who?". From then this government would be known as the "Who? Who? Ministry".

Traditionally Derby's ministries were thought in hindsight to have been dominated by Disraeli. However recent research suggests that this was not always the case, especially in the government's conduct of foreign policy. There, Derby and his Foreign Secretaries Lord Malmesbury and later his son Lord Stanley pursued a course of action that was aimed at building up power through financial strength, seeking to avoid wars at all costs, cooperating with other powers, and working through the Concert of Europe to resolve diplomatic problems. This contrasted sharply with the policy of military strength and prestige that Disraeli would later pursue, and Derby's very different take on foreign policy could be seen as the precursor of "splendid isolation", as well as the diplomatic settlement of Europe pursued by later Conservatives in the late 19th century and the 1930s.

Derby and Disraeli were unable to achieve a parliamentary majority, however, and their government collapsed in December of the same year, making way for a Peelite-Whig coalition under Lord Aberdeen.

In 1858, Derby formed another minority government upon the demise of Lord Palmerston's first ministry, with Disraeli again at the Exchequer and Leader of the Commons. Among the notable achievements of this administration were the end of the British East India Company following the Sepoy Mutiny, which brought India under direct British control for the first time. Once again, the government was short-lived, collapsing after only a year.

Derby returned to power for the third and last time in 1866, following the collapse of Lord Russell's second government. Once again, Disraeli was a leading figure. This administration was particularly notable for the passage of the Reform Act 1867, which greatly expanded the suffrage. In early 1868, Derby retired from political life, leaving Disraeli to succeed him.

Although a great orator, Derby was frequently criticised for his languid leadership. Nevertheless he had many significant achievements, both as minister and Prime Minister, and has been described as the father of the modern Conservative Party. His tenure of 22 years as party leader still stands as the longest in Conservative Party history.

Stanley (sometimes referred to as "Port Stanley") on East Falkland, capital of the Falkland Islands is named after Edward Smith-Stanley.

Family

Statue in Parliament Square, London.

His first son was Edward Henry Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby. His second son was Frederick Arthur Stanley, one of Canada's Governors-General and the man after whom the Stanley Cup is named.

Derby's Governments

Legacy

The National School system in Ireland, National school (Ireland) the predominant form of primary school education, remains based on the multi-denominational system set up by Stanley in the Stanley Letter - the letter tries to deal with the seemingly intractable issue of different Christian religions living together in Ireland. The former site of Fort Langley, British Columbia was renamed Derby by the Royal Engineers in 1858, apparently in honour of the Earl, who was British Prime Minister at the time.

Notes and References

  1. ^ The other three being William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury and Stanley Baldwin

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
R.W. Horton
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
1827-1828
Succeeded by
Lord Francis Leveson-Gower
Preceded by
Sir Henry Hardinge
Chief Secretary for Ireland
1830 – 1833
Succeeded by
Sir John Cam Hobhouse
Preceded by
The Viscount Goderich
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
1833 – 1834
Succeeded by
Thomas Spring Rice
Preceded by
Lord John Russell
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
1841 – 1845
Succeeded by
William Ewart Gladstone
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
23 February 1852 – 19 December 1852
Succeeded by
The Earl of Aberdeen
Preceded by
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Leader of the House of Lords
23 February 1852 – 17 December 1852
Preceded by
The Viscount Palmerston
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
20 February 1858 – 12 June 1859
Succeeded by
The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded by
The Earl Granville
Leader of the House of Lords
21 February 1858 – 11 June 1859
Succeeded by
The Earl Granville
Preceded by
The Earl Russell
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
28 June 1866 – 27 February 1868
Succeeded by
Benjamin Disraeli
Leader of the House of Lords
28 June 1866 – 25 February 1868
Succeeded by
The Earl of Malmesbury
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Foster Barham
John Foster-Barham
Member of Parliament for Stockbridge
1822 – 1826
Served alongside: John Foster-Barham
Succeeded by
Thomas Grosvenor
George Wilbraham
Preceded by
John Ramsbottom
Sir Hussey Vivian
Member of Parliament for Windsor
1831 – 1832
Served alongside: John Ramsbottom
Succeeded by
John Ramsbottom
Sir Samuel John Brooke-Pechell
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Lancashire
1832 – 1844
Served alongside: John Wilson-Patten
Succeeded by
John Wilson-Patten
John Talbot Clifton
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Leader of the British Conservative Party
1846 – 1868
Succeeded by
Benjamin Disraeli
Preceded by
The Duke of Wellington
Conservative Leader in the Lords
1846 – 1868
Succeeded by
The Earl of Malmesbury
Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry Thomas Cockburn
Rector of the University of Glasgow
1834 – 1836
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Peel
Preceded by
The Duke of Wellington
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
1852 – 1869
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Salisbury
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Edward Smith-Stanley
Earl of Derby
1851 – 1869
Succeeded by
Edward Stanley
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Smith-Stanley
Baron Stanley of Bickerstaffe
(writ of acceleration)
1844 – 1869
Succeeded by
Edward Stanley
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Simple English

The Earl of Derby
File:14th Earl of


In office
23 February 1852 – December 19 1852
20 February 185812 June 1859
28 June 186627 February 1868
Preceded by The Lord John Russell
The Viscount Palmerston
The Earl Russell
Succeeded by The Earl of Aberdeen
The Viscount Palmerston
Benjamin Disraeli

Born March 29, 1799
Knowsley Park, Lancashire, England
Died October 23, 1869
Knowsley Hall, Lancashire, England
Political party Conservative

Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, KG, PC (29 March 179923 October 1869) was an English statesman. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom three times. To date, Derby was the longest serving leader of the Conservative Party. Derby is one of only four British Prime Ministers to have been in office three or more times. However each time he was only in office for less than two years. Derby was Prime Minister for a total of just over four years, less than many other Prime Ministers.


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