Aberdeen ministry

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The Coalition Ministry of 1854 as painted by Sir John Gilbert (1855)

After the collapse of Lord Derby's minority government, the Whigs and Peelites formed a coalition under the Peelite leader Lord Aberdeen. The government resigned in early 1855 after a large parliamentary majority voted for a select committee to enquire into the incompetent management of the Crimean War. The former Home Secretary, Lord Palmerston, then formed his first government.

Cabinet[edit]

December 1852 - February 1855[edit]

OFFICE NAME PARTY TERM
First Lord of the Treasury
Leader of the House of Lords
The Earl of Aberdeen Peelite December 1852–February 1855
Lord Chancellor The Lord Cranworth Whig December 1852–February 1855
Lord President of the Council The Earl Granville Whig December 1852–June 1854
The Lord John Russell Whig June 1854–February 1855
Lord Privy Seal The Duke of Argyll Peelite January 1853–February 1855
Home Secretary The Viscount Palmerston Whig December 1852–February 1855
Foreign Secretary The Lord John Russell Whig December 1852–February 1853
The Earl of Clarendon Whig February 1853–February 1855
Secretary of State for the Colonies Sir George Grey, Bt Whig June 1854–February 1855
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies The Duke of Newcastle Peelite December 1852–February 1855
Chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone Peelite December 1852–February 1855
First Lord of the Admiralty Sir James Graham, Bt Peelite December 1852–February 1855
President of the Board of Control Sir Charles Wood, Bt Whig December 1852–February 1855
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Earl Granville Whig June 1854–February 1855
First Commissioner of Works Sir William Molesworth, Bt Radical January 1853–February 1855
Secretary at War Sidney Herbert Peelite December 1852–February 1855
Minister without Portfolio The Marquess of Lansdowne Whig December 1852–February 1855
The Lord John Russell Whig February 1853–June 1854


† After June 1854 office became Secretary of State for War.

Notes[edit]

Changes[edit]

  • February, 1853: Lord John Russell becomes Minister without Portfolio, remaining Leader of the Commons. Lord Clarendon succeeds him as Foreign Secretary.
  • June, 1854: Lord Granville becomes Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Lord John Russell succeeds him as Lord President, remaining also Leader of the Commons. The Secretaryship of State for War and the Colonies is split up. The Duke of Newcastle stays on as Secretary of State for War, while Sir George Grey becomes Secretary of State for the Colonies.

List of Ministers[edit]

Members of the Cabinet are indicated by bold face.

Office Name Party Date Notes
Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury
and Leader of the House of Lords
The Earl of Aberdeen Peelite 19 December 1852 – 30 January 1855  
Chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone Peelite 30 December 1852  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury William Goodenough Hayter Whig 5 January 1853  
Financial Secretary to the Treasury James Wilson Whig 5 January 1853  
Junior Lords of the Treasury Lord Alfred Hervey Peelite 1 January 1853 – 7 March 1855  
Lord Elcho   1 January 1853 – 7 March 1855
John Sadleir   1 January 1853 – 6 March 1854
Chichester Fortescue   6 March 1854 – 16 April 1855
Lord Chancellor The Lord Cranworth Whig 28 December 1852  
Lord President of the Council The Earl Granville Whig 28 December 1852  
Lord John Russell Whig 12 June 1854 also Leader of the House of Commons
Lord Privy Seal The Duke of Argyll   4 January 1853  
Secretary of State for the Home Department The Viscount Palmerston Whig 28 December 1852  
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Henry Fitzroy Peelite 28 December 1852  
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord John Russell Whig 28 December 1852 also Leader of the House of Commons
The Earl of Clarendon Whig 21 February 1853
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs The Lord Wodehouse   28 December 1852  
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies The Duke of Newcastle Peelite 28 December 1852 department abolished 10 June 1854
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Frederick Peel Peelite 28 December 1852
Secretary of State for War The Duke of Newcastle Peelite 12 June 1854  
Under-Secretary of State for War Henry Roberts   12 June 1854  
Secretary of State for the Colonies Sir George Grey, Bt Whig 12 June 1854  
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies Frederick Peel Whig 12 June 1854  
First Lord of the Admiralty Sir James Graham, Bt Peelite 30 December 1852  
First Secretary of the Admiralty Ralph Bernal Osborne   6 January 1853  
Civil Lord of the Admiralty William Francis Cowper Whig 30 December 1852  
President of the Board of Control Sir Charles Wood, Bt Whig 30 December 1852  
Joint Secretaries to the Board of Control Robert Lowe   30 December 1852  
Sir Thomas Redington   30 December 1852 (permanent)
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Edward Strutt Radical 3 January 1853  
The Earl Granville Whig 21 June 1854
Minister without Portfolio The Marquess of Lansdowne Whig 28 December 1852 – 21 February 1858  
Lord John Russell Whig 26 February 1853 – 8 June 1854 also Leader of the House of Commons
Secretary at War Sidney Herbert Peelite 30 December 1852  
First Commissioner of Works Sir William Molesworth, Bt Radical 5 January 1853  
President of the Board of Health Sir Benjamin Hall, Bt Whig 14 January 1854  
Chief Secretary for Ireland Sir John Young, Bt Peelite 6 January 1853  
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Earl of St Germans Peelite 5 January 1853  
Master-General of the Ordnance The Lord Raglan non-party 30 September 1852 continued in office
Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance Sir Hew Dalrymple Ross non-party 6 May 1854
Surveyor-General of the Ordnance Lauderdale Maule Whig 5 January 1853 died 1 August 1854
Clerk of the Ordnance William Monsell Whig 13 January 1853  
Storekeeper of the Ordnance Sir Thomas Hastings non-party 25 July 1845 continued in office
Paymaster-General The Lord Stanley of Alderley Whig 5 January 1853  
Postmaster-General The Viscount Canning Peelite 5 January 1853  
President of the Poor Law Board Matthew Talbot Baines Whig 30 December 1852  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board Grenville Berkeley   7 January 1853  
President of the Board of Trade Edward Cardwell Peelite 28 December 1852  
Vice-President of the Board of Trade The Lord Stanley of Alderley Whig 4 January 1853  
Attorney General Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bt Whig 28 December 1852  
Solicitor General Sir Richard Bethell   28 December 1852  
Judge Advocate General Charles Pelham Villiers   30 December 1852  
Lord Advocate James Moncreiff   30 December 1852  
Solicitor General for Scotland Robert Handyside   17 January 1853  
James Craufurd   16 November 1853
Thomas Mackenzie   11 January 1855
Attorney General for Ireland Abraham Brewster Peelite April 1853  
Solicitor General for Ireland William Keogh   April 1853  
Lord Steward of the Household The Duke of Norfolk Whig 4 January 1853  
The Earl Spencer Whig 10 January 1854
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Marquess of Breadalbane Whig 15 January 1853  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Lord Ernest Bruce Peelite 30 December 1852  
Master of the Horse The Duke of Wellington   21 January 1853  
Treasurer of the Household Earl of Mulgrave Whig 4 January 1853  
Comptroller of the Household Viscount Drumlanrig   4 January 1853  
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Lord Foley Whig 30 December 1852  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Viscount Sydney   30 December 1852  
Master of the Buckhounds The Earl of Bessborough Whig 30 December 1852  
Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal Lord Alfred Paget Whig 30 December 1852  
Mistress of the Robes The Duchess of Sutherland Whig 15 January 1853  
Lords in Waiting The Marquess of Ormonde Whig 11 January 1853 – 25 September 1854  
The Earl Somers   13 January 1853 – 22 February 1857
The Lord Camoys Whig 13 January 1853 – 21 February 1858
The Lord Elphinstone Whig 13 January 1853 – 1 October 1853
The Lord Rivers Peelite 13 January 1853 – 21 February 1858
The Lord Waterpark Whig 13 January 1853 – 21 February 1858
The Lord de Tabley   13 January 1853 – 21 February 1858
The Earl of Listowel Whig 1 October 1853 – 21 February 1856
The Lord Dufferin and Clandeboye Whig 28 November 1854 – 21 February 1858

References[edit]

  • C. Cook and B. Keith, British Historical Facts 1830-1900’’
Preceded by
Who? Who? Ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1852–1855
Succeeded by
First Palmerston Ministry