Second Gladstone ministry

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After ardently campaigning against the foreign policy of Lord Beaconsfield's government, William Gladstone led the Liberal Party to victory in the 1880 general election. The nominal leader of the Party, Lord Hartington, resigned in Gladstone's favour and Gladstone became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for a second time. He pursued a policy of Parliamentary reform, but his government became wildly unpopular after the murder of General Gordon in 1885. Gladstone was held responsible, and resigned, leaving the way free for the Conservatives under Lord Salisbury to form a government.

Cabinet[edit]

April 1880 – June 1885[edit]

OFFICE NAME TERM
First Lord of the Treasury
Leader of the House of Commons
William Ewart Gladstone April 1880 – June 1885
Lord Chancellor The Lord Selborne April 1880 – June 1885
Lord President of the Council The Earl Spencer April 1880 – March 1883
  The Lord Carlingford March 1883 – June 1885
Lord Privy Seal The Duke of Argyll April 1880 – May 1881
  The Lord Carlingford May 1881 – March 1885
  The Earl of Rosebery March 1885 – June 1885
Home Secretary Sir William Harcourt April 1880 – June 1885
Foreign Secretary
Leader of the House of Lords
The Earl Granville April 1880 – June 1885
Secretary of State for the Colonies The Earl of Kimberley April 1880 – December 1882
  The Earl of Derby December 1882 – June 1885
Secretary of State for War Hugh Childers April 1880 – December 1882
  Marquess of Hartington December 1882 – June 1885
Secretary of State for India Marquess of Hartington April 1880 – December 1882
  The Earl of Kimberley December 1882 – June 1885
Chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone April 1880 – December 1882
  Hugh Childers December 1882 – June 1885
First Lord of the Admiralty The Earl of Northbrook April 1880 – June 1885
President of the Board of Trade Joseph Chamberlain April 1880 – June 1885
President of the Local Government Board John George Dodson April 1880 – December 1882
  Sir Charles Dilke, Bt December 1882 – June 1885
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster John Bright April 1880 – July 1882
  The Earl of Kimberley July 1882 – December 1882
  John George Dodson December 1882 – October 1884
  George Otto Trevelyan October 1884 – June 1885
Postmaster General George John Shaw-Lefevre March–June 1885
Chief Secretary for Ireland William Edward Forster April 1880 – May 1882
  successor not in the cabinet
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Earl Spencer April 1882 – June 1885


†Created Earl of Selborne in 1882.

Changes[edit]

  • William Ewart Gladstone served as both First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer between April 1880 and December 1882.
  • The Earl Spencer served as both Lord President and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between April 1882 and March 1883.
  • The Earl of Kimberley served as both Colonial Secretary and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between July and December 1882.
  • The Lord Carlingford served as both Lord Privy Seal and Lord President between March 1883 and March 1885.

Changes[edit]

  • May 1881: The Lord Carlingford succeeds the Duke of Argyll as Lord Privy Seal.
  • April 1882: The Earl Spencer becomes Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, but retains his seat in the cabinet and his position as Lord President.
  • May 1882: William Edward Forster resigns as Chief Secretary for Ireland. His successor is not in the cabinet.
  • July 1882: The Earl of Kimberley succeeds John Bright as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster remaining also Colonial Secretary.
  • December 1882: Hugh Childers succeeds William Ewart Gladstone as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Lord Hartington succeeds Childers as Secretary for War. Kimberley succeeds Hartington as Secretary for India. The Earl of Derby succeeds Kimberley as Colonial Secretary. John George Dodson succeeds Kimberley as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Sir Charles Dilke succeeds Dodson as President of the Local Government Board.
  • March 1883: Carlingford succeeds Spencer as Lord President, remaining also Lord Privy Seal. Spencer remains in the Cabinet as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
  • October 1884: George Otto Trevelyan succeeds Dodson as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
  • March 1885: The Earl of Rosebery succeeds Carlingford as Lord Privy Seal. Carlingford remains Lord President. George John Shaw-Lefevre enters the cabinet as Postmaster-General.

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
William Ewart Gladstone 23 April 1880 – 9 June 1885  
Chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone 28 April 1880  
Hugh Childers 16 December 1882
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Lord Richard Grosvenor 28 April 1880  
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Frederick Cavendish 28 April 1880  
Leonard Courtney 8 May 1882
John Tomlinson Hibbert 12 December 1884
Junior Lords of the Treasury Sir Arthur Hayter 5 May 1880 – 26 June 1882  
John Holms 5 May 1880 – 26 June 1882
Charles Cecil Cotes 5 May 1880 – 9 June 1885
Herbert Gladstone 24 August 1881 – 9 June 1885
Robert Duff 26 June 1882 – 9 June 1885
Lord Chancellor The Lord Selborne 28 April 1880 created Earl of Selborne 30 December 1882
Lord President of the Council The Earl Spencer 28 April 1880  
The Lord Carlingford 19 March 1883
Lord Privy Seal The Duke of Argyll 28 April 1880  
The Lord Carlingford 2 May 1881
The Earl of Rosebery 5 March 1885
Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir William Vernon Harcourt 28 April 1880  
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Arthur Wellesley Peel 28 April 1880  
Leonard Courtney 1 January 1881
The Earl of Rosebery 8 August 1881
John Tomlinson Hibbert 7 June 1883
Henry Fowler 12 December 1884
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
and Leader of the House of Lords
The Earl Granville 28 April 1880  
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir Charles Dilke 28 April 1880  
Lord Edmond FitzMaurice 1 January 1883
Secretary of State for War Hugh Childers 28 April 1880  
Marquess of Hartington 16 December 1882
Under-Secretary of State for War The Earl of Morley 1 May 1880  
Financial Secretary to the War Office Henry Campbell-Bannerman 28 April 1880  
Sir Arthur Hayter 13 May 1882
Surveyor-General of the Ordnance Sir John Miller Adye 1 June 1880  
Henry Robert Brand 17 January 1882
Secretary of State for the Colonies The Earl of Kimberley 28 April 1880  
The Earl of Derby 16 December 1882
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff 29 August 1880  
Leonard Courtney 6 August 1881
Evelyn Ashley 12 May 1882
Secretary of State for India Marquess of Hartington 28 April 1880  
The Earl of Kimberley 16 December 1882
Under-Secretary of State for India The Marquess of Lansdowne 29 April 1880  
Viscount Enfield 1 September 1880
John Kynaston Cross 16 January 1883
First Lord of the Admiralty The Earl of Northbrook 28 April 1880  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty George Shaw-Lefevre 28 April 1880  
George Trevelyan 29 November 1880
Henry Campbell-Bannerman 10 May 1882
Sir Thomas Brassey 23 October 1884
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Thomas Brassey 12 May 1880  
George Wightwick Rendel 22 July 1882
Chief Secretary for Ireland William Edward Forster 30 April 1880  
Lord Frederick Cavendish 6 May 1882
George Trevelyan 9 May 1882
Henry Campbell-Bannerman 23 October 1884
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Earl Cowper 4 May 1880  
The Earl Spencer 4 May 1882
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster John Bright 28 April 1880  
The Earl of Kimberley 25 July 1882
John George Dodson 28 December 1882
George Trevelyan 29 October 1884
President of the Local Government Board John George Dodson 3 May 1880  
Sir Charles Dilke 28 December 1882
Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board John Tomlinson Hibbert 3 May 1880  
George W. E. Russell 7 June 1883
Postmaster-General Henry Fawcett 3 May 1880  
George Shaw-Lefevre 7 November 1884
President of the Board of Trade Joseph Chamberlain 3 May 1880  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade Evelyn Ashley 29 April 1880  
John Holms 15 May 1882
First Commissioner of Works William Patrick Adam 3 May 1880  
George Shaw-Lefevre 29 November 1881
The Earl of Rosebery 13 February 1885
Vice-President of the Committee on Education A. J. Mundella 3 May 1880  
Paymaster-General The Lord Wolverton 24 May 1880  
Attorney General Sir Henry James 3 May 1880  
Solicitor General Sir Farrer Herschell 3 May 1880  
Judge Advocate General George Osborne Morgan 7 May 1880  
Lord Advocate John McLaren 5 May 1880  
John Balfour 19 August 1881
Solicitor General for Scotland John Balfour 6 May 1880  
Alexander Asher 19 August 1881
Attorney General for Ireland Hugh Law 10 May 1880  
William Moore Johnson 17 November 1881
Andrew Marshall Porter 3 January 1883
John Naish 19 December 1883
Samuel Walker 1885
Solicitor General for Ireland William Moore Johnson 24 May 1880  
Andrew Marshall Porter 18 November 1881
John Naish 9 January 1883
Samuel Walker 19 December 1883
The Macdermot 1885
Lord Steward of the Household The Earl Sydney 3 May 1880  
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Earl of Kenmare 3 May 1880  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Lord Charles Bruce 3 May 1880  
Master of the Horse The Duke of Westminster 3 May 1880  
Treasurer of the Household The Earl of Breadalbane 3 May 1880  
Comptroller of the Household The Lord Kensington 3 May 1880  
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Earl Fife 3 May 1880  
The Marquess of Huntly 21 January 1881
The Lord Carrington 27 June 1881
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Lord Monson 3 May 1880  
Master of the Buckhounds The Earl of Cork 3 May 1880  
Mistress of the Robes The Duchess of Bedford 3 May 1880  
The Duchess of Roxburghe 11 January 1883
Lords in Waiting The Lord Methuen 10 May 1880 – 9 June 1885  
The Earl of Zetland 10 May 1880 – 14 September 1880
The Earl of Listowel 10 May 1880 – 14 September 1880
The Lord Ribblesdale 10 May 1880 – 9 June 1885
The Lord Sudeley 10 May 1880 – 9 June 1885
The Lord Wrottesley 10 May 1880 – 9 June 1885
Viscount Enfield 20 May 1880 – 1 September 1880
The Viscount Torrington 23 June 1859 – 27 April 1884 (permanent)
The Earl of Dalhousie 14 September 1880 – 9 June 1885  
The Lord Sandhurst 14 September 1880 – 9 June 1885
The Lord Thurlow 14 September 1880 – 9 June 1885
The Viscount Bridport 30 June 1884 – 18 February 1901 (permanent)
Extra Lord in Waiting The Lord Sackville 1 October 1876 – 1 October 1888  

References[edit]

  • Cook, C.; Keith, B. (1975). British Historical Facts 1830–1900. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0333132203. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Second Disraeli Ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1880–1885
Succeeded by
First Salisbury Ministry