Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, KG
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (3 February 1830 – 22 August 1903), styled Lord Robert Cecil before 1865 and Viscount Cranborne from June 1865 until April 1868, was a British Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 statesman and thrice Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

, serving for a total of over 13 years. He was the first British Prime Minister of the 20th century and the last Prime Minister to head his full administration from the House of Lords.

Lord Robert Cecil was first elected to the House of Commons in 1854 and served as Secretary of State for India
Secretary of State for India
The Secretary of State for India, or India Secretary, was the British Cabinet minister responsible for the government of India and the political head of the India Office...

 in Lord Derby
Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby
Edward Henry Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby KG, PC, FRS , known as Lord Stanley from 1844 to 1869, was a British statesman...

's Conservative government from 1866 until his resignation in 1867 over its introduction of Benjamin Disraeli's Reform Bill
Reform Act 1867
The Representation of the People Act 1867, 30 & 31 Vict. c. 102 was a piece of British legislation that enfranchised the urban male working class in England and Wales....

 that extended the suffrage to working-class men.

A gram of experience is worth a ton of theory.

Saturday Review (1859)

English policy is to float lazily downstream, occasionally putting out a diplomatic boat-hook to avoid collisions.

Letter to Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton|Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (9 March 1877), as quoted in Life of Robert, Marquis of Salisbury (1921-1932), Vol. 2, by Lady Gwendolen Cecil

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.

Letter to Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (15 June 1877)

On general grounds I object to Parliament trying to regulate private morality in matters which only affects the person who commits the offence.

Letter to Sir Henry Peek (1888)

Parliament is a potent engine, and its enactments must always do something, but they very seldom do what the originators of these enactments meant.

Statement to the Associated Chambers of Commerce (March 1891)

[Most legislation] will have the effect of surrounding the industry which it touches with precautions and investigations, inspections and regulations, in which it will be slowly enveloped and stifled.

Statement to the Associated Chambers of Commerce (March 1891)

If I were asked to define Conservative policy, I should say that it was the upholding of confidence.

Quoted in Salisbury — Victorian Titan (1999) by Andrew Roberts