Talk:William Ewart Gladstone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject University of Oxford (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject University of Oxford, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the University of Oxford on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article has been automatically rated by a bot or other tool because one or more other projects use this class. Please ensure the assessment is correct before removing the |auto= parameter.
WikiProject Politics of the United Kingdom (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics of the United Kingdom, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Politics of the United Kingdom on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Biography / Politics and Government (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the politics and government work group.
WikiProject Citizendium Porting    (Inactive)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Citizendium Porting, a project which is currently considered to be inactive.
WikiProject Politics / Liberalism (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of politics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Liberalism task force.
WikiProject London (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject London, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of London on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


The Second Home Rule Bill did not propose partition for Ireland. That was proposed in the Third Home Rule Act (1914) and became a reality in the Fourth Home Rule Act, also called the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. JTD 05:35 Feb 9, 2003 (UTC)


Gladstone was absolutely not a nonconformist. He was a high Anglican and this fact had a huge bearing on his life and beliefs. The error makes me worry about the veracity of the whole article.

Agreed, I have no idea how that got in there. Mackensen (talk) 19:41, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
Heavens, we've been claiming that since 2001 [1]. That's rather embarrassing, I don't know how it is that no one ever caught that. Mackensen (talk) 19:46, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Under Religion, in the box, it still claims he was a Low Church Anglican, which he, well, wasn't. (talk) 23:08, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

He was brought up an Evangelical though, wasn't he - and then became High Church as a young man. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:01, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


According to the article, Gladstone was 'the fourth son of the merchant Sir John Gladstones'. But later it claims he was the son of a peer. A knight is not a peer, and I can't find any evidence that John Gladstones was ever made a peer. Check a biography?

Gladstones father never was made a peer. I'll check what the situation was with his exams & amend the article later AllanHainey 30 June 2005 14:00 (UTC)
Gladstone did sit examinations for mathematics & classics, passed both. I can find no reference to him also sitting a seperate history degree or being disqualified from exams due to residency requirements so have removed that part. His father wasn't a Peer in 1831 although did become a Baronet in 1846, don't think thats a peer but it is irrelevant for the purposes of the article. AllanHainey 1 July 2005 07:43 (UTC)
The Jenkins biography certainly fits with this. He makes it clear that Gladstone "did not pay the extra fees to be treated as a gentleman-commoner (sometimes called nobleman-commoner". Also "He did not work excessively hard at Oxford, except perhaps in the late summer and autumn of 1831, which culminated in his taking two 'Schools' Literae Humaniores and Mathematics, between 7 November and 14 December, and getting secure firsts in both. The feat was the greater because he was not really interested in mathematics. He merely absorbed the subject in order to get the coveted scalp of a double first." So based on Jenkins at least, he didn't qualify without examination, he didn't matriculate as a nobleman-commoner, and didn't study history. I suspect Jenkins would also have noted if Gladstone had been the first person to achieve a double-first. Mpntod July 1, 2005 10:31 (UTC)
The piece about Gladstone getting he degree without examination was in the 8 volume life of Gladstone in the Oxford Union Library when I read it 20 years ago. The reference to history can be found on the St Deniols Library Web site, they would be likely to get details of that type right about their patron. Of course it is possible that they are simply listing an honorary degree granted long after he went down.
Gladstone was not the first person to obtain a double first, but he graduated in the first year after Oxford had reformed the examination system.

Arms of W. E. Gladstone[edit]

On the article is a picture of a coat of arms attributed as belonging to W. E. Gladstone. As Gladstone never took a peerage, and presumably wouldn't have had a coat of arms already, is this attribution accurate. I thought the coat of arms would be that of his son Herbert Gladstone when he became a Viscount. Anyone know AllanHainey

He lives in my familys castle, the Hawarden birth rite. My name is Hardin now, but then it was Hawarden ----RobertHardin

I've found out that the coat of arms was actually his afthers (a baronet) which passed to WEG's elder brother on their fathers death. Accordingly I've removed the image. AllanHainey 08:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

1867 Reform Act[edit]

The article seems to go off on a tangent in laying out the details of Disraeli's Reform Act 1867. I don't see what relevance this has in a biographical page on Gladstone? - Johnbull 17:01, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Gladstone and prostitutes[edit]

This article [2] asserts that,

"William Gladstone, the on-again, off-again British prime minister for most of the second half of the 19th century, famously liked to walk the streets at night, counseling prostitutes to a more wholesome life. ...

Gladstone wasn't a compulsive streetwalker for virtue all those years: He was, in fact, an assiduous whoremonger [patron of prostitutes]."

I have to admit that this sounds somewhat more likely to me than that he was a compulsive reformer of prostitutes.

Is there any kind of evidence to support or contradict this uncomplementary interpretation of Gladstone's activities? -- Writtenonsand 03:26, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Gladstone didn't use the services of Prostitutes, his charity work in meeting with & trying to persuade prostitutes to give up that life is well documented over his lifetime. There was once an assertion made in a book that Gladstone used the prostitutes he met but there was a court case over the claims & the jury threw them out, on the basis of the (large volume of) evidence, expressing its belief in the high moral character of WEG. I had previously put this in the article but It must've been removed, possibly by the same vandal who added the above comments, I'll see if I can repair it. AllanHainey 08:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
My misunderstanding, I see that you were referring to an external article not to vandalism of our article. Details of WEG's reform work & the court case are still there. AllanHainey 08:34, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks -- Writtenonsand 15:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe the relationship with prostitutes is more complex than he being a whoremonger, or he being a pure reformer. His diaries are littered with references to temptation and self-flagellation. His intent may have been reform but he felt guilty, and so it is reasonable to assume his behaviour was not entirely whiter than white (talk) 23:14, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

He was perfectly well aware that it was his sexual urges which were driving him to seek out prostitutes and talk to them - but he did not have physical relations with them. It's the sort of thing a mediaeval saint would have done! In old age he told his son (a CofE clergyman) that he had never committed "infidelity to the marriage bed". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:57, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


Why has all mention of Gladstone's strong christian faith been removed, given that it informed many of his policies and speeches? I feel there should be a section on it. Mindstar 14:54, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree it informed many of his actions and was the base of everything he did in Ireland (talk) 12:15, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Historiand emphasize his religion so I added a section, based on text I wrote for Citizendium Citizendium edits. Rjensen (talk) 08:26, 4 June 2011 (UTC)


His speech on the Gladstone Rock in Snowdonia was important I understand, and the rock is a bit of a landmark. I don't have a photo to hand but it might be useful, along with a mention of the speech which according to a quick Google was a "defining moment in Welsh Liberalism". Coriolise 17:25, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Why is this here when (if Wikipedia is excluded from the search) both "William Gladstone" and "W. E. Gladstone" get more Google hits than "William Ewart Gladstone"? Proteus (Talk) 15:50, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

As no money bill had been rejected by Lords for over two hundred years, a furore arose over this vote. The next year, Gladstone included the abolition of paper duties in a Finance Bill in order to force the Lords to accept it, and accept it they didItalic text.

State funeral[edit]

He had a state funeral - should it be mentioned?

Date of resigning[edit]

The article says Gladstone gave his final speech on March 1, and "resigned two days later" - meaning March 3. The template says he was PM until March 2. Which is true? Dove t. 15:28, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Laytent Homosexuality[edit]

It is believed by the eminent Psychologist and Art Historian, at the University of Manchester UK, Dr Anna Dezeuze that Gladstone was if fact a Latent Homosexual. she puts forward a very convincing argument for this in her book 'The hidden Homosexuality of Political and artistic figures' of 1986. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

'Laytent'? I supposed he must have lay somewhere. Dr Dezueze's a surrealist, I understand. So she may have been joking. --OhNoPeedyPeebles (talk) 16:01, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Disraeli's Funeral?[edit]

'When Disraeli died, Gladstone proposed a state funeral, but Disraeli's will asked for him to be buried next to his wife'

I don't quite follow this, why does this not allow for state funeral? is it referring to Disraeli's or Gladstone's wife? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Disraeli asked to by buried beside his ex wife, but i agree this isn't really relevant to an article on Gladstone. (talk) 12:13, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

First Ministry[edit]

"Thirdly, laws that prevented people from acting freely to improve themselves were reformed." This seems a bit vague, maybe examples of policies through which he tried to extablish a 'meritocracy' would be more helpful. For example Civil Service and Army reforms. (talk) 12:18, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Bag & baggage: source & spelling[edit]

What is the source of this quotation? There are at least two spelling mistakes in that splendid list Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bimbashis and Yuzbachis, their Kaimakans and their Pashas, one and all, bag and baggage.... That should be Yuzbashis and Kaimakams. --NigelG (or Ndsg) | Talk 09:38, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I've corrected the spelling—but a reference is still needed. --NigelG (or Ndsg) | Talk 11:44, 23 September 2008 (UTC)


The article says he died of "senility". One does not die of senility, although complications from that could contribute. It also mentions just above about how he transported a lot of his library himself with a wheelbarrow just a few years earlier. That would seem to indicate a certain level of health. It says "not cancer as often reported." I have seen that reported. There is no citation for the senility comment, either. I'm going to change it in a few days if no one can cite it. Bigmac31 (talk) 16:48, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

New file File:Gladstone's Cabinet of 1868 by Lowes Cato Dickinson.jpg[edit]

Gladstone's Cabinet of 1868 by Lowes Cato Dickinson.jpg

Recently the file File:Gladstone's Cabinet of 1868 by Lowes Cato Dickinson.jpg (right) was uploaded and it appears to be relevant to this article and not currently used by it. If you're interested and think it would be a useful addition, please feel free to include it. Dcoetzee 01:40, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Clicking on the picture of Edward Cardwell takes you to the article for Baron Carlingford. How do I fix this? Drutt (talk) 04:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Other media?[edit]

Maybe mentioning that he appears in the Bartimaeus trilogy would not be such a bad idea. (talk) 17:04, 29 April 2009 (UTC)


I removed Lucy's biographies because they are not notable to Gladstone. The explanatory bibliographies in Shannon and Matthew's biographies of Gladstone (two of the leading Gladstone scholars) do not mention Lucy's writings. There is no need for Wikipedia to list all biographies of Gladstone nor to include Lucy's, which have been forgotten by the public and ignored by academics. I can't help feeling the Wikipedia editor who re-added them only did so because he created the Wikipedia page on Lucy, and not because these biographies have any substantive value in learning about Gladstone. I therefore propose to delete them.--Johnbull (talk) 20:29, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

It's been over a week with no reply, so I'm removing them.--Johnbull (talk) 18:34, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Influence over Italy[edit]

The following passage seems to hurt the sensitivity:

"After visiting Naples in 1850, Gladstone began to support Neapolitan opponents of the Bourbon rulers: his "support" consisted of a couple of letters that he sent from Naples to the Parliament of London, describing the "awful conditions" of the Kingdom of Southern Italy and claiming that "it is the negation of God erected to a system". These letters, containing a long list of absurd lies and propagandistic inventions (cit. J. Gondon, C. MacFarlane, Confutazioni alle lettere del signor Gladstone (,M1) ), provoked sensitive reactions in the whole Europe, and prepared the path to the invasion and annexion of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1860, with the following foundation of modern Italy."

Since it contains important informations but it "lacks of balance", I invite anyone to rephrase it.

Rephasing what is one sided tosh with little basis in fact is one of the more pointless activities I could ever imagine doing. - Galloglass 21:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The book that I've cited (with the link to the full version on Google Books) is the "basis" of the information that I propose (and of the very negative judgement that I have on Gladstone).
By the way, I'll delete the adjectives "absurd" and "propagandistic", that can sound like useless insults, and I expect you to give a positive contribution to this part of the article, instead of erasing it and ignoring my petition. Wousfan 17:59, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

-- (talk) 14:37, 8 September 2009 (UTC)aasdfd

Article name[edit]

One normally sees Gladstone referred to by his initials W. E. Gladstone or his full name William Ewart Gladstone, and not just his first name. I've therefore moved the article from William Gladstone. Opera hat (talk) 23:52, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

I do not think such a move should have been made without discussion. While it does not seem clear to me that the decision was *wrong* (my research shows a pretty even split between "William Gladstone" and "William Ewart Gladstone"), nonetheless, it should not have been done unilaterally. Rhindle The Red (talk) 00:56, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


According to the article Sapir-Whorf, Gladstone did linguistic research into colour terminology. Is this true? If so, we need more info. If it's a different Gladstone, we need to break the hyperlink between the two articles. (talk) 21:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

The same guy. A Homeric scholar who investigated the colour vocabulary of ancient Greek. Lachrie (talk) 17:15, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Modifications to Discussion of 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War[edit]

I am a student at Colgate University, and I am working on an assignment for my Egyptian history class to update information regarding the 1882 British invasion and occupation of Egypt. As such, I updated the section describing Gladstone's role in the invasion of Egypt according to information from well-credited historical essays on the subject.

His work on Homer[edit]

The article should mention Gladstone's research on Homer, published in 1858. At the time the work attracted much attention, and some observations in made (in particular, about the perception of color in ancient Greece) are important scientific breakthroughs.

דב ט. (talk) 10:21, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Opposition to votes for women.[edit]

According to the British Museum, around 1870, Gladstone opposed a bill introduced by Richard Pankhurst which came close to giving votes for women. Suffragette defaced penny 1903

Thirty three years before, Emmeline's husband had presented the first Women's Suffrage Bill to Parliament, which did well in the Commons, until Prime Minister Gladstone had declared himself against it.
I have no fear lest the woman should encroach upon the power of the man. The fear I have is, lest we should invite her unwittingly to trespass against the delicacy, the purity, the refinement, the elevation of her own nature, which are the present sources of its power.

i.e. he thought they would become less feminine! I believe this is a reference to the Women's Disabilities Removal Bill of 1875 but the dates don't match exactly. Could someone with more knowledge than I have add some details as this seems to be an important omission? Should the Women's Disabilities Removal Bill have an article? JRPG (talk) 10:19, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Something wrong with the infobox?[edit]

To be clear which section I am referring to I am quoting it. the wiki link on "The Marquess of Salisbury" doesn't direct to a person. I've been going through the PMs in chronological order and this link breaks the flow. Also, just as an aside, it's very hard to click through all of the PMs when some of them serve more than once :S

"23 April 1880 – 9 June 1885 Preceded by Benjamin Disraeli Succeeded by The Marquess of Salisbury" SmallEditsForLife (talk) 08:20, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

New Article[edit]

I created the article Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age to discuss Gladstone's publication. Hopefully, someone can work a link to this famous work into this article. Remember (talk) 12:33, 1 June 2012 (UTC)


The religion section is heavily biased, with little support from evidence. First of all, conscience isn't the opposite of authority, for instance: evangelicals of that period placed authority in the Bible as a whole, High Church devotees placed more emphasis on the authority of the New Testament. But more pertinently, I can see little support for the view that by returning to evangelicalism he was becoming more conscientious. He supported Home Rule for Ireland, something evangelicals typically had little time for. It can be said he was more in favour of individual conscience to choose one's religion, rather than associating his conscience with any one religious outlook. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:31, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Cause of death[edit]

I restored an reverted edit purely it appeared to a reference to a genuine book & hence not OR though I don't have access to a copy of said book. Please feel free to correct if I've made a mistake. Regards JRPG (talk) 23:49, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

I trimmed out useless details and followed the one-vol edition of Matthews Rjensen (talk) 00:18, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Surname pronunciation[edit]

The article states his name is pronounced "stoʊn", as in "stone" to rhyme with "alone". No historian, documentary, historically-accurate television drama, or acquaintance I have ever heard pronounces it this way. They pronounce it "Gladstən", almost like a cross between the words "stun" and "stern" (British English pronunciation). I have also met Scottish people with this surname (no relation) and they pronounce it "Gladstən" too. Is there a citation on this stoʊn business? Thanks. (talk) 01:35, 18 October 2014 (UTC)