|The Right Honourable
Sir Robert Peel
|Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
30 August 1841 – 29 June 1846
|Preceded by||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Succeeded by||The Earl Russell|
10 December 1834 – 8 April 1835
|Preceded by||The Duke of Wellington|
|Succeeded by||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Leader of the Opposition|
18 April 1835 – 30 August 1841
|Prime Minister||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Preceded by||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Succeeded by||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
2 December 1834 – 8 April 1835
|Preceded by||The Lord Denman|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Spring Rice|
26 January 1828 – 22 November 1830
|Prime Minister||The Duke of Wellington|
|Preceded by||The Marquess of Lansdowne|
|Succeeded by||The Viscount Melbourne|
17 January 1822 – 10 April 1827
|Prime Minister||Lord Liverpool|
|Preceded by||The Viscount Sidmouth|
|Succeeded by||William Sturges Bourne|
5 February 1788|
Ramsbottom, Lancashire, England
|Died||2 July 1850
Westminster, Middlesex, England
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Years of service||1820|
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was a British Conservative statesman, who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846. The son of a wealthy textile manufacturer, he served in many top offices over four decades. While serving as Home Secretary, Peel reformed and liberalised the criminal law, and created the modern police force, leading to a new type of officer known in tribute to him as "bobbies" (in England) and "peelers" (in Ireland). He cut tariffs to stimulate business; to replace the lost revenue he pushed through a 3% income tax. He played a central role in making Free Trade a reality and set up a modern banking system. Initially a supporter of legal discrimination against Catholics, Peel eventually supported the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, claiming "though emancipation was a great danger, civil strife was a greater danger". Peel has been criticised for his handling of the Irish famine. In 1834, Peel issued the Tamworth Manifesto, laying down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based. Peel often started from a traditional Tory position in opposition to a measure, then reversed himself and became the leader in supporting liberal legislation. This happened with the Test Act (1828), Catholic Emancipation (1829), the Reform Act of 1832, the income tax (1842) and most notably the repeal of the Corn Laws (1846). Therefore many critics said he was a traitor to the Tory cause, or "a Liberal wolf in sheep's clothing" because his final position reflected liberal ideas. Historian A.J.P. Taylor says:
- Peel was in the first rank of 19th century statesman. He carried Catholic Emancipation; he repealed the Corn Laws; he created the modern Conservative Party on the ruins of the old Toryism.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Home Secretary
- 3 Whigs in power (1830–1834)
- 4 First term as prime minister (1834–1835)
- 5 Leader of the Opposition (1835–1841)
- 6 Second term as prime minister (1841–1846)
- 7 Later career and death
- 8 Family
- 9 Memorials
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Peel was born in Ramsbottom, Bury, Lancashire, to the industrialist and parliamentarian Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet. His father was one of the richest textile manufacturers of the early Industrial Revolution. Peel was educated first at Hipperholme Grammar School, then at Harrow School and finally Christ Church, Oxford, where he took a double first in classics and mathematics. He was a law student at Lincoln's Inn in 1809 before entering Parliament. He is also believed to have attended Bury Grammar School. While living in Tamworth, he is credited with the development of the Tamworth Pig by breeding Irish stock with some local Tamworth pigs.
Peel entered politics in 1809 at the age of 21, as MP for the Irish rotten borough of Cashel, Tipperary. With a scant 24 electors on the rolls, he was elected unopposed. His sponsor for the election (besides his father) was the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, with whom Peel's political career would be entwined for the next 25 years. Peel made his maiden speech at the start of the 1810 session, when he was chosen by Prime Minister Spencer Perceval to second the reply to the king's speech. His speech was a sensation, famously described by the Speaker, Charles Abbot, as "the best first speech since that of William Pitt."
For the next decade he occupied a series of relatively minor positions in the Tory governments: Undersecretary for War, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and chairman of the Bullion Committee (charged with stabilising British finances after the end of the Napoleonic Wars). He also changed constituency twice: first picking up another constituency, Chippenham, then becoming MP for Oxford University in 1817.
Peel was considered one of the rising stars of the Tory party, first entering the cabinet in 1822 as Home Secretary. As Home Secretary, he introduced a number of important reforms of British criminal law: most memorably establishing the Metropolitan Police Force (Metropolitan Police Act 1829) for London. It was the enabling legislation for the first modern police force, the "bobbies" or "peelers" (after Peel), which served as the model for modern urban police departments throughout England. He also reformed the criminal law, reducing the number of crimes punishable by death, and simplified it by repealing a large number of criminal statutes and consolidating their provisions into what are known as Peel's Acts. He reformed the gaol system, introducing payment for gaolers and education for the inmates.
He helped in the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts in May 1828. They required many officials to be communicants in the Anglican Church and penalised both nonconformists and Catholics. They were no longer enforced but were a matter of humiliation. Peel at first opposed the repeal but reversed himself and led the repeal, after consultation with Anglican Church leaders. In future religious issues he made it a point to consult with church leaders from the major denominations.
Canning favoured Catholic Emancipation, while Peel had been one of its most outspoken opponents (earning the nickname "Orange Peel", with Orange the colour of the anti-Catholic Irish Presbyterians). George Canning himself died less than four months later and, after the brief premiership of Lord Goderich, Peel returned to the post of Home Secretary under the premiership of his long-time ally the Duke of Wellington. During this time he was widely perceived as the number-two in the Tory Party, after Wellington himself.
However, the pressure on the new ministry from advocates of Catholic Emancipation was too great and an Emancipation Bill was passed the next year. The government threatened to resign if the king opposed the bill; he finally relented. Peel reversed himself and took charge of passing Catholic Emancipation. However his action caused many Tories to have doubts about his sincerity; they never fully trusted him again.
Peel felt compelled to resign his seat as MP representing the graduates of Oxford University (many of whom were Anglican clergymen), as he had stood on a platform of opposition to Catholic Emancipation. Peel instead moved to a rotten borough, Westbury, retaining his Cabinet position.
It was in 1829 that Peel established the Metropolitan Police Force for London based at Scotland Yard. The 1,000 constables employed were affectionately nicknamed 'Bobbies' or, somewhat less affectionately, 'Peelers'. Although unpopular at first they proved very successful in cutting crime in London, and by 1857 all cities in the UK were obliged to form their own police forces. Known as the father of modern policing, Peel developed the Peelian Principles which defined the ethical requirements police officers must follow to be effective.
Whigs in power (1830–1834)
The Middle and Working Classes in England at that time, however, were clamouring for reform, and Catholic Emancipation was only one of the ideas in the air. The Tory ministry refused to bend on other issues and were swept out of office in 1830 in favour of the Whigs. The following few years were extremely turbulent, but eventually enough reforms were passed that King William IV felt confident enough to invite the Tories to form a ministry again in succession to those of Lord Grey and Lord Melbourne in 1834. Peel was selected as prime minister but was in Italy at the time, so Wellington acted as a caretaker for three weeks until Peel's return.
First term as prime minister (1834–1835)
This new Tory Ministry was a minority government, however, and depended on Whig goodwill for its continued existence. As his statement of policy at the general election of January 1835, Peel issued the Tamworth Manifesto. The issuing of this document is often seen as one of the most crucial points at which the Tories became the Conservative Party. In it he pledged that the Conservatives would endorse modest reform, but the Whigs instead formed a compact with Daniel O'Connell's Irish Radical members to repeatedly defeat the government on various bills. Eventually Peel's ministry resigned out of frustration and the Whigs under Lord Melbourne returned to power. The only real achievements of Peel's first administration was a commission to review the governance of the Church of England. This ecclesiastical commission was the forerunner of the Church Commissioners. A further achievement was a rapid gain in seats in the House of Commons which was around 100 seats in the 100 days Peel's Ministry lasted.
Leader of the Opposition (1835–1841)
In May 1839, he was offered another chance to form a government, this time by the new monarch, Queen Victoria. However, this too would have been a minority government and Peel felt he needed a further sign of confidence from his Queen. Lord Melbourne had been Victoria's confidant for several years, and many of the higher posts in Victoria's household were held by the wives and female relatives of Whigs; there was some feeling that Victoria had allowed herself to be too closely associated with the Whig party. Peel therefore asked that some of this entourage be dismissed and replaced with their Conservative counterparts, provoking the so-called Bedchamber Crisis. Victoria refused to change her household, and despite pleadings from the Duke of Wellington, relied on assurances of support from Whig leaders. Peel refused to form a government, and the Whigs returned to power.
Second term as prime minister (1841–1846)
Economic and financial reforms
Peel came to office during an economic recession which had seen a slump in world trade and a budget deficit of £7.5 million run up by the Whigs. Confidence in banks and businesses was low and a trade deficit existed.
To raise revenue Peel's 1842 budget saw the re-introduction of Income Tax, removed previously at the end of the Napoleonic War. The rate was 7d in the pound, or just under 3%. The money raised was more than expected and allowed for the removal and reduction of over 1,200 tariffs on imports including the controversial sugar duties. It was also in the 1842 budget that the repeal of the corn laws was first proposed. It was defeated in a Commons vote by a margin of 4:1.
Peel finally had a chance to head a majority government following the election of July 1841. His promise of modest reform was held to, and the second most famous bill of this ministry, while "reforming" in 21st century eyes, was in fact aimed at the reformers themselves, with their constituency among the new industrial rich. The Factory Act 1844 acted more against these industrialists than it did against the traditional stronghold of the Conservatives, the landed gentry, by restricting the number of hours that children and women could work in a factory, and setting rudimentary safety standards for machinery. Interestingly, this was a continuation of his own father's work as an MP, as the elder Robert Peel was most noted for reform of working conditions during the first part of the 19th century. Helping him was Lord Shaftesbury, a British MP who also established the coal mines act.
In 1843 Peel was the target of a failed assassination attempt; a criminally-insane Scottish woodsman named Daniel M'Naghten stalked him for several days before accidentally killing Peel's personal secretary Edward Drummond instead.
Corn Laws and after
The most notable act of Peel's second ministry, however, was the one that would bring it down. This time Peel moved against the landholders by repealing the Corn Laws, which supported agricultural revenues by restricting grain imports. This radical break with Conservative protectionism was triggered by the Great Irish Famine (1845–1849). Tory agriculturalists were sceptical of the extent of the problem, and Peel reacted slowly to the famine, famously stating in October 1846 'There is such a tendency to exaggeration and inaccuracy in Irish reports that delay in acting on them is always desirable'.
His own party failed to support the bill, but it passed with Whig and Radical support. On the third reading of Peel's Bill of Repeal (Importation Act 1846) on 15 May, MPs voted 327 votes to 229 (a majority of 98) to repeal the Corn Laws. On 25 June the Duke of Wellington persuaded the House of Lords to pass it. On that same night Peel's Irish Coercion Bill was defeated in the Commons by 292 to 219 by "a combination of Whigs, Radicals, and Tory protectionists". Following this, on 29 June 1846, Peel resigned as prime minister.
Though he knew repealing the laws would mean the end of his ministry, Peel decided to do so. It is possible that Peel merely used the Irish Famine as an excuse to repeal the Corn Laws as he had been an intellectual convert to free trade since the 1820s. Blake points out that if Peel were convinced that total repeal was necessary to stave off the famine, he would have enacted a bill that brought about immediate temporary repeal, not permanent repeal over a three-year period of gradual tapering-off of duties.
The historian Boyd Hilton argues Peel knew from 1844 he was going to be deposed as Conservative leader—many of his MPs had taken to voting against him and the rupture within the party between liberals and paternalist which had been so damaging in the 1820s, but masked by the issue of reform in the 1830s was brought to the surface over the Corn Laws. Hilton's hypothesis is that Peel wished to actually be deposed on a liberal issue so that he might later lead a Peelite/Whig/Liberal alliance.
As an aside in reference to the Repeal of the Corn Laws, Peel did make some moves to subsidise the purchase of food for the Irish, but this attempt was small and had little tangible effect. In the age of laissez-faire, government taxes were small, and subsidies or direct economic interference were almost non-existent. That subsidies were actually given was very much out of character for the political times; Peel's successor, Lord John Russell, received more criticism than Peel on Irish policy. The repeal of the Corn Laws was more political than humanitarian. Peel's support for free trade could already be seen in his 1842 and 1845 budgets; in late 1842 Graham wrote to Peel that "the next change in the Corn Laws must be to an open trade" while arguing that the government should not tackle the issue. Speaking to the cabinet in 1844, Peel argued that the choice was maintenance of the 1842 Corn Law or total repeal. Despite all of Peel's efforts, his reform programs had little effect on the situation in Ireland.
Later career and death
He did retain a hard core of supporters however, known as Peelites, and at one point in 1849 was actively courted by the Whig/Radical coalition. He continued to stand on his conservative principles, however, and refused. Nevertheless, he was influential on several important issues, including the furtherance of British free trade with the repeal of the Navigation Acts. Peel was a member of the committee which controlled the House of Commons Library, and on 16 April 1850 was responsible for passing the motion that controlled its scope and collection policy for the rest of the century.
Peel was thrown from his horse while riding on Constitution Hill in London on 29 June 1850, the horse stumbled on top of him and he died three days later on 2 July at the age of 62 due to a clavicular fracture rupturing his subclavian vessels. His Peelite followers, led by Lord Aberdeen and William Gladstone, went on to fuse with the Whigs as the Liberal Party.
Peel married Julia, youngest daughter of General Sir John Floyd, 1st Baronet, in 1820. They had five sons and two daughters. Four of his sons gained distinction in their own right. His eldest son Sir Robert Peel, 3rd Baronet, served as Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1861 to 1865. His second son Sir Frederick Peel was a politician and railway commissioner. His third son Sir William Peel was a naval commander and recipient of the Victoria Cross. His fifth son Arthur Wellesley Peel was Speaker of the House of Commons and created Viscount Peel in 1895. His daughter Julia married the 6th Earl of Jersey. Julia, Lady Peel, died in 1859. Some of his direct descendants now reside in South Africa, the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania, and in various parts of the United States and Canada.
Statues of Sir Robert Peel are found in the following British locations.
- Memorial outside the Robert Peel public house in Bury town centre, his birthplace.
- Parliament Square, London
- Winckley Square in Preston city centre.
- West Midlands Police Training Centre, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
- Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester.
- Montrose town centre.
- Woodhouse Moor, Leeds.
- Tamworth town centre.
- George Square, Glasgow.
- Peel Park, Bradford
- Peel Centre, Hendon Police College, Hendon.
- Gawsworth Old Hall, Cheshire.
Statue by Edward Hodges Baily in Bury
Statue in Parliament Square, London
Statue in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds
Statue in George Square, Glasgow
Statue in Peel Park, Bradford
Statue near Gawsworth Old Hall
Public houses / hotels
- Robert Peel public house in Bury town centre, his birthplace
- Sir Robert Peel public house, Tamworth
- Peel Hotel, Tamworth
- Sir Robert Peel public house Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire
- Sir Robert Peel public house, Leicester
- Sir Robert Peel public house, Malden Road, London NW5
- Sir Robert Peel public house, Peel Precinct, Kilburn, London NW6
- Sir Robert Peel public house, London SE17
- Sir Robert Peel Hotel, Preston
- Sir Robert Peel public house Rowley Regis
- Sir Robert Peel public house, Southsea
- Sir Robert Peel public house, Stoke-on-Trent
- Sir Robert Peel public house Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Sir Robert Peel public house, Bloxwich, Walsall
- The Sir Robert Peel Hotel (colloquially known as "The Peel" ), a gay bar and nightclub located at the corner of Peel and Wellington Streets in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, in Australia.
- The Sir Robert Peel Motor Lodge Hotel, Alexandria Bay, New York.
- Mostly in the United Kingdom, numerous streets feature the name Peel.
- Peel Park, Bradford is named after Sir Robert Peel. It is one of the largest parks in the city, and indeed Yorkshire.
- Peel Tower Monument, this tower was built on top of Holcombe Hill in Ramsbottom, Bury.
- The Sir Robert Peel Hospital in Tamworth.
- A small monument in the centre of the town of Dronfield in Derbyshire. Nearby is the Peel Centre, a community centre in a former Methodist church.
- The Regional Municipality of Peel (originally Peel County) in Ontario, Canada
- Peel Street in Collingwood, Victoria Melbourne Australia.
- Peel Street, Montreal and its Peel Metro station. The street also features a high-rise residential building called Sir-Robert-Peel.
- The Peel River in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia.
- Peel High School in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia.
- Robert Peel Lower School in Sandy, Bedfordshire.
- A British steamer named SS Sir Robert Peel, based in Canada, was burned by American forces on 29 May 1838, at the height of American-Canadian tensions over the Caroline Affair.
- Tamworth-raised musician Julian Cope sings "the king and queen have offered me the estate of Robert Peel" on the song 'Laughing Boy', from his 1984 LP Fried.
- The right wing of the Trafford Centre is called Peel Avenue, named after Robert Peel.
- The official mascot of Bury Football Club is Robbie the Bobby, in honour of Sir Robert Peel.
- One of the buildings which make up the Home Office headquarters, 2 Marsham St, is named Peel.
- The Peel building, situated on Peel Campus of the University of Salford
- List of Acts of Parliament during the First Peel Ministry
- List of Acts of Parliament during the Second Peel Ministry
- Peelian Principles
- Richard A. Gaunt (2010). Sir Robert Peel: The Life and Legacy. I.B.Tauris. p. 3.
- A.J.P. Taylor, Politicians, Socialism and Historians (1980) p 75
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 2–11.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 11–12.
-  History of Parliament Online article by R. G. Thorne.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 1; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 13; 376.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 18.
- Gash, Mr. Secretary Peel, 59–61; 68–69.
- OED entry at peeler (3)
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 6–12; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 18–65; 376.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 12; 18; 35.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 490; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 4; 119.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 3; 9; 13; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 66; 68; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 65.
- J. L. Lyman, "The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829: An Analysis of Certain Events Influencing the Passage and Character of the Metropolitan Police Act in England," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science (1964) 55#1 pp. 141-154 in JSTOR
- Gash, 1:477-507
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 68–71; 122; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 104.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 4; 96–97; Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 26–28.
- Gash, 1:460-65; Richard A. Gaunt, "Peel's Other Repeal: The Test and Corporation Acts, 1828," Parliamentary History (2014) 33#1 pp 243-262.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 21–48; 91–100.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 28–30; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 103–104; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 18.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 104.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 37–39; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 114–121.
- Gash, 1:545-98
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 35–40; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 46–47; 110; 376.
- Gash, 1:564-65
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 88–89.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 87–90.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 123–140.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 45–50; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 136–141.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 51–62; 64–90; 129–143; 146–177; 193–201; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 179; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 66.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 196–197; 199; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 66–67.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 210–215; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 184; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 12; 69–72.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 213–215; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 180–182; Read Peel and the Victorians, 68; 86.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 227; 229–235; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 185–187; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 71–73.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 250–254; 257–261; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 188–192; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 74–76.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 224–226.
- Read, Peel and the Victorians, 74.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 417–418; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 206.
- Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 416–417; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 206–207.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 207–208; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 89.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 23; Clark, Peel and the Conservatives: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841, 419–426; 448; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 208–209; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 89–91.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 35–36; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 227; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 112.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 37; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 235; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 113–114.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 35–36; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 112–113.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 24.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 40–42; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 302–305; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 125; 129.
- Read, Peel and the Victorians, 121–122.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 113–115.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, vi.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 66; Ramsay; Sir Robert Peel, 332–333.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 72.
- Schonhardt-Bailey, p. 239.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 68–69; 70; 72; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 347; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 230–231.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 67–68; 69.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 70.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 69–71.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 35–37; 59.
- Quoted in Gash, Sir Robert Peel, 362.
- Gash, Sir Robert Peel, 429.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 48–49.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 78–80; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 353–355.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 78; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 377; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 257.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 80; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 361–363; Read, Peel and the Victorians, 1; 266–270.
- Adelman, Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850, 86–87; Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 364.
- Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, 61.
- "Sir Robert Peel Statue Bury". Panoramio.com. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- The UK-based Peel Hotels group are named after their founders Robert and Charles Peel, not Sir Robert Peel
- New Pubs Opening All The Time (30 April 1997). "The Robert Peel, Bury | Our Pubs". J D Wetherspoon. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Sir Robert Peel, Leicester, Leicestershire". Everards. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Sir Robert Peel – Dresden – Longton". Thepotteries.org. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- The Peel Centre with image of the monument
- Adelman, Paul (1989). Peel and the Conservative Party: 1830–1850. London and New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-35557-5.
- Clark, George Kitson (1964). Peel and the Conservative Party: A Study in Party Politics 1832–1841. 2nd ed. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, The Shoe String Press, Inc.
- Evans, Eric J. Sir Robert Peel: Statesmanship, Power and Party (Lancaster Pamphlets) (2nd ed. 2006) 128pp excerpt
- Farnsworth, Susan H. The Evolution of British Imperial Policy During the Mid-nineteenth Century: A Study of the Peelite Contribution, 1846-1874 (Garland, 1992)
- Gash, Norman (1961). Mr. Secretary Peel: The Life of Sir Robert Peel to 1830. New York: Longmans.
- Gash, Norman (1972). Sir Robert Peel: The Life of Sir Robert Peel after 1830. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 0-87471-132-0.; the standard scholarly biography
- Gaunt, Richard A. (2010). Sir Robert Peel: the life and legacy (London, I.B. Tauris, 2010).
- Halévy, Elie. (1961). Victorian years, 1841-1895 (Vol. 4. of A History of the English People) (1961) pp 5–159, political narrative
- Hurd, Douglas. (2007). Robert Peel: A Biography (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007). by a Conservative politician
- Newbould, Ian. "Sir Robert Peel and the Conservative Party, 1832-1841: A Study in Failure?." English Historical Review (1983): 529-557. in JSTOR
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1895). "Peel, Robert (1788–1850)". Dictionary of National Biography 44. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Prest, John. "Peel, Sir Robert, second baronet (1788–1850)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004); online edn, May 2009 accessed 17 Sept 2014 doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21764 schort scholarly biography
- Ramsay, Anna Augustus Whittall (1969) . Sir Robert Peel. Freeport, New York: Books for Library Press.
- Read, Donald (1987). Peel and the Victorians. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd, New York: Basil Blackwell, Inc. ISBN 0-631-15725-5.
- Gaunt, Richard A. Sir Robert Peel: The Life and Legacy (IB Tauris, 2010). ch. 1, 8.
- Hilton, Boyd. "Peel: a reappraisal." Historical Journal (1979) 22#3 pp: 585-614. in JSTOR
- Lentz, Susan A., and Robert H. Chaires. "The invention of Peel's principles: A study of policing 'textbook' history." Journal of Criminal Justice. (2007). 35#1. pp. 69–79.
- Loades, David Michael. ed. Reader's guide to British history (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2003). vol 2: pp. 1027–28, 1594.
- C. S. Parker, ed., Sir Robert Peel: from his private papers (3 vols. 1891–99) online vol 1
- Memoirs by the Right Honourable Sir Robert Peel (3 vol 1856-57); Vol 1 online; vol 2-3 online
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Peel.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Robert Peel|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Robert Peel, Bt
- More about Sir Robert Peel on the Downing Street website.
- Biography of Sir Robert Peel at www.spartacus-educational.com
- Biography of Sir Robert Peel at www.victorianweb.org
- An overview of the career of Sir Robert Peel at www.victorianweb.org
- The Peel Family Sir Robert Peel and his descendents
- The Peel Web For A-level History students
-  Transcription of the Will of Sir Robert Peel,TNA Ref:prob/11/2118, Dated:…8 March 1842, Transcribed by Sylvia J. Dibbs March 2009 and April 2009
- Sir Robert Peel, a memorial biography by H. Morse Stephens
- "Peel the empiricist": a review by Ferdinand Mount of Douglas Hurd's Peel biography in the TLS, 22 August 2007
- Works by or about Robert Peel at Internet Archive
- Financial Crisis and Economic Recession, The Fatal Error of Peel's Bank Act by Professor Huerta de Soto
- Archival material relating to Robert Peel listed at the UK National Archives
- Portraits of Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Bt at the National Portrait Gallery, London