Liberal Government 1859–66

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The Liberal government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that began in 1859 and ended in 1866 consisted of two ministries: the Second Palmerston Ministry and the Second Russell Ministry.

History[edit]

After the fall of the second of Lord Derby's short-lived attempts at governments in 1859, the Viscount Palmerston returned to power, this time in alliance with his former rival the Earl Russell, in what is regarded as the first Liberal government. Palmerston remained as Prime Minister until his death in 1865, when Russell succeeded him. However, disunity within the party caused the fall of the government in the following year, and Lord Derby formed another Conservative ministry.

Cabinets[edit]

The Viscount Palmerston's Cabinet, June 1859 – October 1865[edit]

Changes[edit]

  • July 1859 – Charles Pelham Villiers succeeds Milner-Gibson as President of the Poor Law Board (Milner-Gibson remains at the Board of Trade)
  • May 1860 – Lord Stanley of Alderley succeeds Lord Elgin as Postmaster-General
  • June 1861 – Lord Westbury succeeds Lord Campbell as Lord Chancellor
  • July 1861 – Sir George Cornewall Lewis succeeds Herbert as Secretary for War. Sir George Grey succeeds Lewis as Home Secretary. Edward Cardwell succeeds Grey as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Cardwell's successor as Chief Secretary for Ireland is not in the Cabinet.
  • April 1863 – Lord de Grey becomes Secretary for War following Sir George Lewis's death.
  • April 1864 – Edward Cardwell succeeds the Duke of Newcastle as Colonial Secretary. Lord Clarendon succeeds Cardwell as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
  • July 1865 – Lord Cranworth succeeds Lord Westbury as Lord Chancellor

The Earl Russell's Cabinet, October 1865 – June 1866[edit]

OFFICE NAME TERM
First Lord of the Treasury
Leader of the House of Lords
The Earl Russell October 1865 – June 1866
Lord Chancellor The Lord Cranworth October 1865 – June 1866
Lord President of the Council The Earl Granville October 1865 – June 1866
Lord Privy Seal The Duke of Argyll October 1865 – June 1866
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Leader of the House of Commons
William Ewart Gladstone October 1865 – June 1866
Home Secretary Sir George Grey, Bt October 1865 – June 1866
Foreign Secretary The Earl of Clarendon October 1865 – June 1866
Secretary of State for the Colonies Edward Cardwell October 1865 – June 1866
Secretary of State for War The Earl de Grey October 1865 – February 1866
  Marquess of Hartington February–June 1866
Secretary of State for India Sir Charles Wood, Bt October 1865 – February 1866
  The Earl de Grey February–June 1866
First Lord of the Admiralty The Duke of Somerset October 1865 – June 1866
President of the Board of Trade Thomas Milner Gibson October 1865 – June 1866
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster George Goschen January–June 1866[1]
President of the Poor Law Board Charles Pelham Villiers October 1865 – June 1866
Postmaster General The Lord Stanley of Alderley October 1865 – June 1866

Changes[edit]

  • February 1866: The Lord de Grey succeeds Sir Charles Wood as Secretary for India. Lord Hartington succeeds Grey as Secretary for War.

List of Ministers[edit]

Cabinet members are listed in bold face.

Office Name Date Notes
Prime Minister
and First Lord of the Treasury
Viscount Palmerston 12 June 1859 – 18 October 1865 also Leader of the House of Commons
The Earl Russell 29 October 1865 – 26 June 1866 also Leader of the House of Lords 29 October 1865 – 26 June 1866
Chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone 18 June 1859 also Leader of the House of Commons 1865–1866
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Henry Brand 24 June 1859  
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Samuel Laing 24 June 1859  
Frederick Peel 2 November 1860
Hugh Childers 19 August 1865
Junior Lords of the Treasury Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen 24 June 1859 – 21 April 1865  
Sir William Dunbar, Bt 24 June 1859 – 21 April 1865
John Bagwell 24 June 1859 – 25 March 1862
Luke White 25 March 1862 – 2 June 1866
William Patrick Adam 21 April 1865 – 26 June 1866
John Bonham Carter 2 June 1866 – 26 June 1866
John Esmonde 2 June 1866 – 26 June 1866
Lord Chancellor The Lord Campbell 18 June 1859  
The Lord Westbury 26 June 1861
The Lord Cranworth 7 July 1865
Lord President of the Council The Earl Granville 18 June 1859 also Leader of the House of Lords 18 June 1859 – 29 October 1865
Lord Privy Seal The Duke of Argyll 18 June 1859  
Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bt 18 June 1859  
Sir George Grey, Bt 25 July 1861
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department George Clive 18 June 1859  
Henry Bruce 14 November 1862
Thomas Baring 25 April 1864
Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen 25 May 1866
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord John Russell 18 June 1859 created Earl Russell 30 July 1861
The Earl of Clarendon 3 November 1865  
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs The Lord Wodehouse 19 June 1859  
Austen Henry Layard 15 August 1861
Secretary of State for War Sidney Herbert 18 June 1859 created Lord Herbert of Lea 15 January 1861
Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bt 22 July 1861  
The Earl de Grey and Ripon 28 April 1863
Marquess of Hartington 16 February 1866
Under-Secretary of State for War The Earl de Grey and Ripon 18 June 1859  
Thomas Baring 21 January 1861
The Earl de Grey and Ripon 31 July 1861
Marquess of Hartington 28 April 1863
The Lord Dufferin and Clandeboye 17 February 1866
Secretary of State for the Colonies The Duke of Newcastle 18 June 1859  
Edward Cardwell 7 April 1864
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies Chichester Fortescue 18 June 1859  
William Edward Forster 25 November 1865
Secretary of State for India Sir Charles Wood, Bt 18 June 1859  
The Earl de Grey and Ripon 16 February 1866
Under-Secretary of State for India Thomas Baring 25 June 1859  
The Earl de Grey and Ripon 21 January 1861
Thomas Baring 31 July 1861
The Lord Wodehouse 25 April 1864
Lord Dufferin and Clandeboye 16 November 1864
James Stansfeld 17 February 1866
First Lord of the Admiralty The Duke of Somerset 27 June 1859  
First Secretary of the Admiralty Lord Clarence Paget 30 June 1859  
Thomas Baring 30 April 1866
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Samuel Whitbread 27 June 1859  
Marquess of Hartington 23 March 1863
James Stansfeld 2 May 1863
Hugh Childers 21 April 1864
Henry Fenwick 22 January 1866
Lord John Hay 7 April 1866
George Shaw-Lefevre 8 May 1866
Chief Secretary for Ireland Edward Cardwell 24 June 1859  
Sir Robert Peel, Bt 29 July 1861
Chichester Fortescue 7 December 1865
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Earl of Carlisle 24 June 1859  
The Lord Wodehouse 1 November 1864
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Sir George Grey, Bt 22 June 1859  
Edward Cardwell 25 July 1861
The Earl of Clarendon 7 April 1864
vacant 3 November 1865
George Goschen 26 January 1866
President of the Poor Law Board Thomas Milner Gibson 24 June 1859  
Charles Pelham Villiers 9 July 1859
Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board Charles Gilpin 28 June 1859  
George Byng 22 February 1865
Postmaster-General The Earl of Elgin 24 June 1859  
The Duke of Argyll 11 May 1860
The Lord Stanley of Alderley 17 August 1860
President of the Board of Trade vacant    
Thomas Milner Gibson 6 July 1859
Vice-President of the Board of Trade James Wilson 18 June 1859  
William Francis Cowper 12 August 1859
William Hutt 22 February 1860 KCB 27 November 1865
George Goschen 29 November 1865  
William Monsell 12 March 1866
Vice-President of the Committee on Education Robert Lowe 24 June 1859  
Henry Bruce 26 April 1864
Paymaster-General James Wilson 18 June 1859  
William Francis Cowper 12 August 1859
William Hutt 22 February 1860 KCB 27 November 1865
George Goschen 29 November 1865  
William Monsell 12 March 1866
First Commissioner of Works Henry Fitzroy 18 June 1859  
William Francis Cowper 9 February 1860
Attorney General Sir Richard Bethell 18 June 1859  
Sir William Atherton 4 July 1861
Sir Roundell Palmer 2 October 1863
Solicitor General Sir Henry Keating 18 June 1859  
Sir William Atherton 16 December 1859
Sir Roundell Palmer 8 July 1861
Sir Robert Collier 2 October 1863
Judge Advocate General Thomas Emerson Headlam 24 June 1859  
Lord Advocate James Moncreiff 24 June 1859  
Solicitor General for Scotland Edward F. Maitland 27 June 1859  
George Young 11 November 1862
Attorney General for Ireland John David Fitzgerald June 1859  
Rickard Deasy February 1860
Thomas O'Hagan 1861
James Anthony Lawson 1865
Solicitor General for Ireland John George June 1859  
Rickard Deasy 1859
Thomas O'Hagan February 1860
James Anthony Lawson 1861
Edward Sullivan 1865
Lord Steward of the Household The Earl of St Germans 18 June 1859  
The Earl of Bessborough 20 January 1866
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Viscount Sydney 23 June 1859  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Viscount Castlerosse 23 June 1859  
Master of the Horse The Marquess of Ailesbury 24 June 1859  
Treasurer of the Household Viscount Bury 23 June 1859  
Lord Otho Fitzgerald 8 May 1866
Comptroller of the Household Lord Proby 23 June 1859  
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Lord Foley 28 June 1859  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Earl of Ducie 28 June 1859  
Master of the Buckhounds The Earl of Bessborough 18 June 1859  
The Earl of Cork 23 January 1866
Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal Lord Alfred Paget 1 July 1859  
Mistress of the Robes The Duchess of Sutherland 22 June 1859  
The Duchess of Wellington 25 April 1861
Lords in Waiting The Earl of Caithness 23 June 1859 – 26 June 1866  
The Lord Camoys 23 June 1859 – 26 June 1866
The Lord Rivers 23 June 1859 – 28 April 1866
The Lord de Tabley 23 June 1859 – 26 June 1866
The Lord Cremorne 23 June 1859 – 26 June 1866
The Lord Methuen 23 June 1859 – 26 June 1866
The Viscount Torrington 23 June 1859 – 27 April 1884 (permanent)
The Lord Byron 17 July 1837 – 31 March 1860  
The Lord Harris 31 March 1860 – 4 May 1863
The Lord Talbot of Malahide 4 May 1863 – 26 June 1866
The Marquess of Normanby 8 May 1866 – 26 June 1866
Extra Lord in Waiting The Lord Byron 31 March 1860 – 3 March 1868  

References[edit]

  • C. Cook and B. Keith, British Historical Facts 1830–1900
  1. ^ The post had been vacant. John Prest, Lord John Russell (University of South Carolina Press, 1972), 431.
Preceded by
Second Derby Ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1859–1866
Succeeded by
Third Derby Ministry