Sir James Graham, 2nd Baronet: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 Sir James Graham, Bt 

In office
6 September 1841 – 30 June 1846
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded by The Marquess of Normanby
Succeeded by Sir George Grey, Bt

In office
22 November 1830 – 7 June 1834
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister The Earl Grey
Preceded by The Viscount Melville
Succeeded by The Lord Auckland
In office
30 December 1852 – 13 March 1855
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Earl of Aberdeen
The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded by The Duke of Northumberland
Succeeded by Sir Charles Wood, Bt

Born 1 June 1792 (2010-01-16T23:37:36)
Naworth, Cumberland
Died 25 October 1861 (2010-01-16T23:37:37)
Netherby, Cumberland
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Frances Callander (d. 1857)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Sir James Robert George Graham, 2nd Baronet GCB PC (1 June 1792 – 25 October 1861) was a British statesman. He notably held office as Home Secretary from 1841 to 1846 in Sir Robert Peel's last government. Graham Land in Antarctica is named after him.


Background and education

Graham was born at Naworth, Cumberland, the son of Sir James Graham, 1st Baronet, by his wife Lady Catherine, daughter of John Stewart, 7th Earl of Galloway. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford.

Whig years, 1818-1837

In 1818 he was elected to parliament as a Whig member for Hull, but he lost his seat in 1820.[1] In 1824 he succeeded to the baronetcy; and in 1826 he re-entered parliament as representative for Carlisle,[2] a seat which he soon exchanged for the county of Cumberland.[3] In the same year he published a pamphlet entitled Corn and Currency, which brought him into prominence as a man of advanced Liberal opinions; and he became one of the most energetic advocates in parliament of the Reform Bill. On the formation of Earl Grey's administration he was sworn of the Privy Council[4] and appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, with a seat in the cabinet. From 1832 to 1837 he sat for the eastern division of the county of Cumberland.[3] He resigned over the Irish Church question in 1834, becoming a prominent member of the Derby Dilly and eventually joined the Conservatives in 1837.

Tory years, 1837-1861

Rejected by his former constituents in 1837, he was in 1838 elected for Pembroke,[5] and in 1841 for Dorchester.[6] In the latter year he took office under Sir Robert Peel as Home Secretary,[7] a post he retained until 1846. As home secretary he incurred considerable odium in Scotland, by his unconciliating policy on the church question prior to the disruption of 1843; and in 1844 the detention and opening of letters at the post-office by his warrant raised a storm of public indignation, which was hardly allayed by the favourable report of a parliamentary committee of investigation. When the party broke up over the Corn Laws he followed Peel. He was returned for Ripon, a seat he held until 1852,[8] and then again represented Carlisle between 1852 and 1859.[2] From 1846 to 1852 he was out of office; but in the latter year he joined Lord Aberdeen's cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty, in which capacity he acted also for a short time in the Palmerston ministry of 1855. The appointment of a select committee of inquiry into the conduct of the Crimean War ultimately led to his withdrawal from official life.

He remained a leading figure in the Peelite faction in the House of Commons, and played an instrumental role in bringing the Peelites into the Palmerston-Russell government of 1859, and can thus be seen as one of the fathers of the modern Liberal Party, although he himself refused to take a position in the government.


Graham married Frances ("Fanny") Callander, of Craigforth and Ardkinglas, a famous society beauty, on 8 July 1819. She died in October 1857. Graham died at Netherby, Cumberland, on the 25 October 1861, aged 69, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son, Frederick.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Staniforth
George Denys
Member of Parliament for Hull
With: John Mitchell
Succeeded by
John Mitchell
Daniel Sykes
Preceded by
Sir Walter Stirling, Bt
Samuel Stephens
Member of Parliament for St Ives
With: Lyndon Evelyn
Succeeded by
Lyndon Evelyn
Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bt
Preceded by
William James
Sir Philip Musgrave, Bt
Member of Parliament for Carlisle
With: Sir Philip Musgrave, Bt 1826–1827
James Law Lushington 1827–1829
Succeeded by
James Law Lushington
Sir William Scott, Bt
Preceded by
Sir John Lowther, Bt
John Cristian Curwen
Member of Parliament for Cumberland
With: Sir John Lowther, Bt 1829–1831
William Blamire 1831–1832
constituency divided
New constituency Member of Parliament for East Cumberland
With: William Blamire 1832–1836
William James 1836–1837
Succeeded by
William James
Francis Aglionby
Preceded by
Hugh Owen Owen
Member of Parliament for Pembroke
Succeeded by
Sir John Owen, Bt
Preceded by
Henry Ashley-Cooper
Robert Williams
Member of Parliament for Dorchester
With: Henry Ashley-Cooper
Succeeded by
George Lionel Dawson-Damer
Henry Sturt
Preceded by
Sir George Cockburn
Edwin Lascelles
Member of Parliament for Ripon
Served alongside: Edwin Lascelles
Succeeded by
Edwin Lascelles
William Beckett
Preceded by
William Nicholson Hodgson
Philip Henry Howard
Member of Parliament for Carlisle
Served alongside: Joseph Ferguson 1852–1857
William Nicholson Hodgson 1857–1859
Wilfrid Lawson 1859–1861
Succeeded by
Edmund Potter
Wilfrid Lawson
Political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Melville
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
The Lord Auckland
Preceded by
The Marquess of Normanby
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir George Grey, Bt
Preceded by
The Duke of Northumberland
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Wood, Bt
Academic offices
Preceded by
Robert Peel
Rector of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
Marquess of Breadalbane
Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Graham
(of Netherby)
Succeeded by
Frederick Graham

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