First Russell ministry

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Lord John Russell

The First Russell Ministry was formed in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland by Lord John Russell in 1846.

History[edit]

Following the split in the Tory Party over the Corn Laws in 1846 and the consequent end of Sir Robert Peel's second government, the Whigs came to power under Lord John Russell. Sir Charles Wood became Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir George Grey Home Secretary and Lord Palmerston Foreign Secretary for the third time.

One of the major problems facing the government was the Great Irish Famine (1845–1849), which Russell failed to deal with effectively. Another problem was the maverick Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, who was eventually forced to resign in December 1851 after recognising the coup d'état of Louis Napoleon without first seeking royal approval. He was succeeded by Lord Granville, the first of his three tenures as Foreign Secretary. Palmerston thereafter successfully devoted his energies to bringing down Russell's government, leading to the formation of a minority Conservative government under Lord Derby in February 1852.

Cabinet[edit]

July 1846 – February 1852[edit]

OFFICE NAME TERM
First Lord of the Treasury
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord John Russell July 1846 – February 1852
Lord Chancellor The Lord Cottenham July 1846 – July 1850
  The Lord Truro July 1850 – February 1852
Lord President of the Council
Leader of the House of Lords
The Marquess of Lansdowne July 1846 – February 1852
Lord Privy Seal The Earl of Minto July 1846 – February 1852
Home Secretary Sir George Grey, Bt July 1846 – February 1852
Foreign Secretary The Viscount Palmerston July 1846 – December 1851
  The Earl Granville December 1851 – February 1852
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies The Earl Grey July 1846 – February 1852
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Charles Wood July 1846 – February 1852
First Lord of the Admiralty The Earl of Auckland July 1846 – January 1849
  Sir Francis Baring January 1849 – February 1852
President of the Board of Control Sir John Cam Hobhouse, Bt July 1846 – February 1852
  Fox Maule February 1852
President of the Board of Trade The Earl of Clarendon July 1846 – July 1847
  Henry Labouchere July 1847 – February 1852
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Lord Campbell July 1846 – March 1850
  The Earl of Carlisle March 1850 – February 1852
First Commissioner of Woods and Forests Lord Morpeth July 1846 – July 1850
  Lord Seymour July 1850 – February 1852
Chief Secretary for Ireland Henry Labouchere July 1846 – July 1847
  successor not in cabinet
Postmaster General The Marquess of Clanricarde July 1846 – February 1852
Paymaster-General Thomas Babington Macaulay July 1846 – July 1847
  successor not in cabinet
  The Earl Granville 1851‡–December 1851
  successor not in cabinet
Secretary at War Fox Maule 1851‡–February 1852
  successor not in cabinet


† became the Earl of Carlisle in 1848 ‡ denotes becoming a member of the cabinet, not gaining the office

Notes[edit]

  • Lord Carlisle served as both Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and First Commissioner of Woods and Forests between March and July 1850.

Changes[edit]

  • July 1847: Henry Labouchere succeeds Lord Clarendon as President of the Board of Trade. Labouchere's successor as Chief Secretary for Ireland is not in the cabinet. Thomas Babington Macaulay leaves the cabinet. His successor as Paymaster-General is not in the Cabinet.
  • January 1849: Sir Francis Baring succeeds Lord Auckland as First Lord of the Admiralty
  • March 1850: Lord Carlisle succeeds Lord Campbell as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He remains First Commissioner of Woods and Forests
  • July 1850: Lord Truro succeeds Lord Cottenham as Lord Chancellor. Lord Seymour succeeds Lord Carlisle as First Commissioner of Woods and Forests. Lord Carlisle remains Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
  • 1851: Fox Maule, the Secretary at War, and Lord Granville, the Paymaster-General, enter the Cabinet
  • December 1851: Lord Granville succeeds Lord Palmerston as Foreign Secretary. Granville's successor as Paymaster-General is not in the Cabinet
  • February 1852: Fox Maule succeeds Sir John Cam Hobhouse as President of the Board of Control. Maule's successor as Secretary at War is not in the Cabinet.

List of Ministers[edit]

Cabinet members are listed in bold face.

Office Name Date Notes
Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury
and Leader of the House of Commons
Lord John Russell 30 June 1846 – 21 February 1852 The Government resigned 22 February 1851 and resumed 3 March 1851
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Charles Wood, Bt 6 July 1846  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Henry Tufnell 7 July 1846  
William Goodenough Hayter July 1850
Financial Secretary to the Treasury John Parker 7 July 1846  
William Goodenough Hayter 22 May 1849
George Cornewall Lewis 9 July 1850
Junior Lords of the Treasury Viscount Ebrington 6 July 1846 – 22 December 1847 the number of Junior Lordships was reduced from four to three in 1848
Denis O'Conor 6 July 1846 – 2 August 1847
William Gibson-Craig 6 July 1846 – 21 February 1852
Henry Rich 6 July 1846 – 21 February 1852
Richard Bellew 2 August 1847 – 21 February 1852
Earl of Shelburne 22 December 1847 – August 1848
Lord Chancellor The Lord Cottenham 6 July 1846  
in commission 19 June 1850
The Lord Truro 15 July 1850
Lord President of the Council
and Leader of the House of Lords
The Marquess of Lansdowne 6 July 1846  
Lord Privy Seal The Earl of Minto 6 July 1846  
Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir George Grey, Bt 6 July 1846  
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir William Somerville, Bt 5 July 1846  
Sir Denis Le Marchant, Bt 22 July 1847
George Cornewall Lewis 15 May 1848
Edward Pleydell-Bouverie 9 July 1850
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs The Viscount Palmerston 6 July 1846  
The Earl Granville 26 December 1851
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Edward Stanley 6 July 1846  
Austen Henry Layard 12 February 1852
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies The Earl Grey 6 July 1846
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Benjamin Hawes 6 July 1846  
Frederick Peel 1 November 1851
President of the Board of Control Sir John Hobhouse, Bt 8 July 1846  
Fox Maule 5 February 1852
Joint Secretaries to the Board of Control George Byng 6 July 1846 – 30 November 1847  
Thomas Wyse 6 July 1846 – 26 January 1849
George Cornewall Lewis 30 November 1847 – 16 May 1848
James Wilson 16 May 1848 – 21 February 1852
John Elliot 26 January 1849 – 21 February 1852
First Lord of the Admiralty The Earl of Auckland 7 July 1846  
Sir Francis Baring, Bt 15 January 1849
First Secretary of the Admiralty Henry George Ward 13 July 1846  
John Parker 21 May 1849
Civil Lord of the Admiralty William Cowper 7 July 1846  
Chief Secretary for Ireland Henry Labouchere 6 July 1846  
Sir William Somerville, Bt 22 July 1847
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Earl of Bessborough 8 July 1846  
The Earl of Clarendon 22 May 1847
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Lord Campbell 6 July 1846  
The Earl of Carlisle 6 March 1850
Paymaster-General Thomas Babington Macaulay 7 July 1846  
The Earl Granville 8 May 1848 entered the Cabinet October 1851
The Lord Stanley of Alderley 12 February 1852  
Postmaster-General The Marquess of Clanricarde 7 July 1846  
President of the Board of Trade The Earl of Clarendon 6 July 1846  
Henry Labouchere 22 July 1847
Vice-President of the Board of Trade Thomas Milner Gibson 8 July 1846  
The Earl Granville 8 May 1848
The Lord Stanley of Alderley 11 February 1852
First Commissioner of Woods and Forests Viscount Morpeth 7 July 1846 succeeded as 7th Earl of Carlisle 7 October 1848
Lord Seymour 17 April 1849 office abolished 1 August 1851
First Commissioner of Works Lord Seymour 1 August 1851 entered the Cabinet October 1851
Master-General of the Ordnance The Marquess of Anglesey 8 July 1846  
Surveyor-General of the Ordnance Charles Richard Fox 8 July 1846  
Clerk of the Ordnance George Anson 8 July 1846  
Storekeeper of the Ordnance Sir Thomas Hastings 25 July 1845 continued in office
President of the Poor Law Board Charles Buller 23 July 1847  
Matthew Talbot Baines 1 January 1849
Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board Viscount Ebrington 23 July 1847  
Ralph William Grey 28 January 1851
Secretary at War Fox Maule 6 July 1846  
Robert Vernon Smith 6 February 1852
Attorney General Sir Thomas Wilde 7 July 1846  
Sir John Jervis 17 July 1846
Sir John Romilly 11 July 1850
Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bt 28 March 1851
Solicitor General John Jervis 7 July 1846  
Sir David Dundas 18 July 1846
Sir John Romilly 4 April 1848
Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bt 11 July 1850
Sir William Page Wood 28 March 1851
Judge Advocate General Charles Buller 8 July 1846  
William Goodenough Hayter 22 December 1847
Sir David Dundas 26 May 1849
Lord Advocate Andrew Rutherfurd 6 July 1846  
James Moncreiff 7 April 1851
Solicitor General for Scotland Thomas Maitland 6 July 1846  
James Moncreiff 7 February 1850
John Cowan 18 April 1851
George Deas 28 June 1851
Attorney General for Ireland Richard Moore 16 July 1846  
James Henry Monahan 21 December 1847
John Hatchell 23 September 1850
Solicitor General for Ireland James Henry Monahan 16 July 1846  
John Hatchell 24 December 1847
Henry George Hughes 26 September 1850
Lord Steward of the Household The Earl Fortescue 8 July 1846  
The Marquess of Westminster 22 March 1850
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Earl Spencer 8 July 1846  
The Marquess of Breadalbane 5 September 1848
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Lord Edward Howard 8 July 1846  
Master of the Horse The Duke of Norfolk 11 July 1846  
Treasurer of the Household Lord Robert Grosvenor 3 August 1846  
Lord Marcus Hill 23 July 1847
Comptroller of the Household Lord Marcus Hill 6 July 1846  
William Lascelles 23 July 1847
Earl of Mulgrave 23 July 1851
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Lord Foley 24 July 1846  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Viscount Falkland 24 July 1846  
The Marquess of Donegal 11 February 1848
Master of the Buckhounds The Earl Granville 9 July 1846  
The Earl of Bessborough 16 May 1848
Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal Lord Alfred Paget 7 July 1846  
Mistress of the Robes The Duchess of Sutherland 4 July 1846  
Lords in Waiting The Earl of Morley 24 July 1846 – 21 February 1852  
The Earl of Ducie 24 July 1846 – 1 December 1847
The Lord Waterpark 24 July 1846 – 21 February 1852
The Lord Camoys 4 August 1846 – 21 February 1852
The Earl of Morton 10 September 1841 – 26 June 1849
The Marquess of Ormonde 10 September 1841 – 21 February 1852
The Lord Elphinstone 1 December 1847 – 21 February 1852
Lord Dufferin and Clandeboye 26 June 1849 – 21 February 1852

References[edit]

  • C. Cook and B. Keith, British Historical Facts 1830–1900
Preceded by
Second Peel Ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1846–1852
Succeeded by
Who? Who? Ministry