William Ewart Gladstone
Overview
 
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as 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...

 four separate times (1868–1874, 1880–1885, February–July 1886 and 1892–1894), more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time. He had also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 four times (1853–1855, 1859–1866, 1873–1874, and 1880–1882).

Gladstone first entered Parliament in 1832.
Quotations

Decision by majorities is as much an expedient as lighting by gas.

Speech, House of Commons (1858).

Economy is the first and great article (economy such as I understand it) in my financial creed. The controversy between direct and indirect taxation holds a minor, thought important place.

Letter to his brother Robertson of the Financial Reform Association at Liverpool (1859).

I am certain, from experience, of the immense advantage of strict account-keeping in early life. It is just like learning the grammar then, which when once learned need not be referred to afterwards.

Letter to Mrs. Gladstone (14 January, 1860).

We may be for or against the South. But there is no doubt that Jefferson Davis|Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an Army; they are making, it appears, a Navy; and they have made — what is more than either — they have made a Nation.... We may anticipate with certainty the success of the Southern States so far as regards their separation from the North.

Speech on the American Civil War, Town Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne (1862-10-07).

But how is the spirit of expenditure to be exorcised? Not by preaching; I doubt if even by yours. I seriously doubt whether it will ever give place to the old spirit of economy, as long as we have the income-tax. There, or hard by, lie questions of deep practical moment.

Letter to Richard Cobden (1864-01-05).

I venture to say that every man who is not presumably incapacitated by some consideration of personal unfitness or of political danger is morally entitled to come within the pale of the Constitution.

Speech in the House of Commons (1864-05-11).

At last, my friends, I am come amongst you. And I am come...'unmuzzled'.

Speech to the electors of South Lancashire. (1865-07-18).

I am inclined to say that the personal attendance and intervention of women in election proceedings, even apart from any suspicion of the wider objects of many of the promoters of the present movement, would be a practical evil not only of the gravest, but even of an intolerable character.

Debate on the Women's Disabilities Bill, House of Commons, (1871-05-03) (Parl. Deb. Vol. 206, Col. 91.).

Encyclopedia
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as 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...

 four separate times (1868–1874, 1880–1885, February–July 1886 and 1892–1894), more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time. He had also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 four times (1853–1855, 1859–1866, 1873–1874, and 1880–1882).

Gladstone first entered Parliament in 1832. Beginning as a High Tory, Gladstone served in the Cabinet of Sir Robert Peel
Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet was a British Conservative statesman who 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...

. After the split of the Conservatives
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...

 Gladstone was a Peelite
Peelite
The Peelites were a breakaway faction of the British Conservative Party, and existed from 1846 to 1859. They were called "Peelites" because they were initially led by Sir Robert Peel, who was the British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader in 1846....

 – in 1859 the Peelites merged with the Whigs and the Radicals to form the Liberal Party. As Chancellor Gladstone became committed to low public spending and to electoral reform, earning him the sobriquet "The People's William".

Gladstone's first ministry saw many reforms including Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 and the introduction of secret voting
Ballot Act 1872
The Ballot Act 1872 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that introduced the requirement that parliamentary and local government elections in the United Kingdom be held by secret ballot.-Background:...

. After his electoral defeat in 1874, Gladstone resigned as leader of the Liberal Party, but from 1876 began a comeback based on opposition to Turkey's Bulgarian atrocities. Gladstone's Midlothian Campaign
Midlothian campaign
The Midlothian campaign was a series of foreign policy speeches given by William Ewart Gladstone. It is often cited as the first modern political campaign. It also set the stage for Gladstone's comeback as a politician...

 of 1879–1880 was an early example of many modern political campaigning techniques. After the 1880 election
United Kingdom general election, 1880
-Seats summary:-References:*F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987* British Electoral Facts 1832-1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher *...

, he formed his second ministry, which saw crises in Egypt (culminating in the death of General Gordon
Charles George Gordon
Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB , known as "Chinese" Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British army officer and administrator....

 in 1885), and in Ireland, where the government passed repressive measures but also improved the legal rights of Irish tenant farmers. The government also passed the Third Reform Act.

Back in office in early 1886, Gladstone proposed Irish Home rule
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

 but this was defeated in the House of Commons in July. The resulting split in the Liberal Party helped keep them out of office, with one short break, for twenty years. In 1892 Gladstone formed his last government at the age of 82. The Second Irish Home Rule Bill passed the Commons but was defeated in the Lords in 1893. Gladstone resigned in March 1894, in opposition to increased naval expenditure. He left Parliament in 1895 and died three years later aged 88.

Gladstone is famous for his oratory, for his rivalry with the Conservative Leader Benjamin Disraeli and his poor relations with Queen Victoria, who once complained, "He always addresses me as if I were a public meeting."

Gladstone was known affectionately by his supporters as "The People's William" or the "G.O.M." ("Grand Old Man", or, according to Disraeli, "God's Only Mistake").

Early life (1809–1840)

Born in 1809 in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, England, at 62 Rodney Street
Rodney Street, Liverpool
Rodney Street in Liverpool, England is noted for the number of doctors and its Georgian architecture. It is sometimes known as the "Harley Street of the North". Together with Hope Street and Gambier Terrace it forms the Rodney Street conservation area...

, William Ewart Gladstone was the fourth son of the merchant Sir John Gladstone from Leith
Leith
-South Leith v. North Leith:Up until the late 16th century Leith , comprised two separate towns on either side of the river....

 (now a suburb of Edinburgh), and his second wife, Anne MacKenzie Robertson, from Dingwall
Dingwall
Dingwall is a town and former royal burgh in the Highland council area of Scotland. It has a population of 5,026. It was formerly an east-coast harbor but now lies inland. Dingwall Castle was once the biggest castle north of Stirling. On the town's present-day outskirts lies Tulloch Castle, parts...

, Ross-shire. Gladstone was born and brought up in Liverpool and was of Scottish ancestry. One of his earliest childhood memories was being made to stand on a table and say "Ladies and gentlemen" to the assembled audience, probably at a gathering to promote the election of George Canning
George Canning
George Canning PC, FRS was a British statesman and politician who served as Foreign Secretary and briefly Prime Minister.-Early life: 1770–1793:...

 as MP for Liverpool in 1812.

William Gladstone was educated from 1816 to 1821 at a preparatory school at the vicarage of St Thomas's Church at Seaforth
Seaforth, Merseyside
Seaforth is a district within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England. It is located to the north of Liverpool, between Bootle and Waterloo.-History:...

, close to his family's residence, Seaforth House
Seaforth House
Seaforth House was a mansion in Seaforth, Merseyside England built in 1813 for Sir John Gladstone, father of William Ewart Gladstone who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom four times....

. In 1821 William followed in the footsteps of his older brothers and attended Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 before matriculating
Matriculation
Matriculation, in the broadest sense, means to be registered or added to a list, from the Latin matricula – little list. In Scottish heraldry, for instance, a matriculation is a registration of armorial bearings...

 in 1828 at Christ Church
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

, Oxford, where he read Classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 and Mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, although he had no great interest in mathematics. In December 1831 he achieved the double first class degree
British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

 he had long desired. Gladstone served as President of the Oxford Union debating society
Oxford Union
The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a debating society in the city of Oxford, Britain, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford...

, where he developed a reputation as an orator, which followed him into the House of Commons. At university Gladstone was a Tory
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...

 and denounced Whig
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 proposals for parliamentary reform.

Following the success of his double first, William travelled with his brother John
John Neilson Gladstone
Captain John Neilson Gladstone was a politician in the United Kingdom and an officer in the Royal Navy....

 on a Grand Tour
Grand Tour
The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage...

 of Europe, visiting Belgium, France, Germany and Italy. On his return to England, William was elected to Parliament in 1832 as 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...

 Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Newark, partly through the influence of the local patron, the Duke of Newcastle
Henry Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne
Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne KG was a British nobleman and politician who played a leading part in British politics in the late 1820s and early 1830s.-Early life:...

. Although Gladstone entered Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. Although Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond...

 in 1833, with a view to becoming a barrister
Barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

, by 1839 he had requested that his name should be removed from the list because he no longer intended to be called to the Bar
Call to the bar
The Call to the Bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party, and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received a "call to the bar"...

.

In the House of Commons, Gladstone was initially a disciple of High Toryism
High Tories
High Toryism is a term used in Britain, Canada and elsewhere to refer to a traditionalist conservatism which is in line with the Toryism originating in the 17th century. It tends to be at odds with the modern emphasis of the Conservative Party in these countries. High Toryism has been described as...

, opposing the abolition of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 and factory legislation. In December 1834 he was appointed as a Junior Lord of the Treasury
Lord of the Treasury
In the United Kingdom, there are at least six Lords of the Treasury who serve concurrently. Traditionally, this board consists of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Second Lord of the Treasury, and four or more junior lords .Strictly they are commissioners for exercising the office of Lord...

 in Sir Robert Peel's first ministry. The following month he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
The Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was a junior Ministerial post in the United Kingdom government, subordinate to the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies....

, an office he held until the government's resignation in April 1835.

Gladstone published his first book, The State in its Relations with the Church, in 1838, in which he argued that the goal of the state should be to promote and defend the interests of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. The following year he married Catherine Glynne
Catherine Gladstone
Catherine Glynne Gladstone was the wife of British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone for 59 years, until his death in 1898.-Family:...

, to whom he remained married until his death 59 years later. They had eight children together:
  • William Henry Gladstone
    William Henry Gladstone
    William Henry Gladstone was a British Liberal Party Member of Parliament, and the eldest son of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone and his wife Catherine née Glynne....

     (1840–1891), MP.
  • Agnes Gladstone (1842–1931), later Mrs. Edward Wickham.
  • Rev. Stephen Edward Gladstone (1844–1920).
  • Catherine Jessy Gladstone (1845–1850).
  • Mary Gladstone
    Mary Gladstone
    Mary Drew , was a political secretary, writer and hostess. She was the daughter of the British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, and achieved notability as his advisor, confidante and private secretary...

     (1847–1927), later Mrs. Harry Drew.
  • Helen Gladstone (1849–1925), Vice-President of Newnham College, Cambridge
    Newnham College, Cambridge
    Newnham College is a women-only constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1871 by Henry Sidgwick, and was the second Cambridge college to admit women after Girton College...

  • Henry Neville Gladstone
    Henry Neville Gladstone, 1st Baron Gladstone of Hawarden
    Henry Neville Gladstone, 1st Baron Gladstone of Hawarden was a British businessman and politician. He was the third son of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.-Background and education:...

     (1852–1935), Lord Gladstone of Hawarden.
  • Herbert John Gladstone
    Herbert Gladstone, 1st Viscount Gladstone
    Herbert John Gladstone, 1st Viscount Gladstone GCB, GCMG, GBE, PC, JP was a British Liberal statesman. The youngest son of William Ewart Gladstone, he was Home Secretary from 1905 to 1910 and Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 1910 to 1914.-Background and education:Gladstone was...

     (1854–1930), MP and Viscount Gladstone.


Gladstone's eldest son William
William Henry Gladstone
William Henry Gladstone was a British Liberal Party Member of Parliament, and the eldest son of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone and his wife Catherine née Glynne....

 (known as "Willy" to distinguish him from his father) became a Member of Parliament but pre-deceased his father, dying in the early 1890s.

In 1840 Gladstone began to rescue and rehabilitate London prostitutes, walking the streets of London himself and encouraging the women he encountered to change their ways. Much to the criticism of his peers, he continued this practice decades later, even after he was elected 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...

.

Minister under Peel (1841–1846)

Gladstone was re-elected in 1841. In September 1842 he lost the forefinger of his left hand in an accident while reloading a gun; thereafter he wore a glove or finger sheath (stall). In the second ministry of Robert Peel he served as President of the Board of Trade (1843–44).

Gladstone became concerned with the situation of "coal whippers". These were the men who worked on London docks, "whipping" in baskets from ships to barges or wharves all incoming coal from the sea. They were called up and relieved through public-houses and therefore a man could not get this job unless he possessed the favourable opinion of the publican, who looked upon most favourably those who drank. The man's name was written down and the "score" followed. Publicans issued employment solely on the capacity of the man to pay, and men often left the pub to work drunk. They spent their savings on drink to secure the favourable opinion of publicans and therefore further employment. Gladstone passed the Coal Vendors Act 1843 to set up a central office for employment. When this Act expired in 1856 a Select Committee was appointed by the Lords in 1857 to look into the question. Gladstone gave evidence to the Committee: "I approached the subject in the first instance as I think everyone in Parliament of necessity did, with the strongest possible prejudice against the proposal [to interfere]; but the facts stated were of so extraordinary and deplorable a character, that it was impossible to withhold attention from them. Then the question being whether legislative interference was required I was at length induced to look at a remedy of an extraordinary character as the only one I thought applicable to the case...it was a great innovation". Looking back in 1883, Gladstone wrote that "In principle, perhaps my Coalwhippers Act of 1843 was the most Socialistic measure of the last half century".

He resigned in 1845 over the Maynooth Seminary issue, a matter of conscience for him. In order to improve relations with Irish Catholics, Peel's government proposed increasing the annual grant paid to the Seminary for training Catholic priests. Gladstone, who previously argued in a book that a Protestant country should not pay money to other churches, supported the increase in the Maynooth grant and voted for it in Commons, but resigned rather than face charges that he had compromised his principles to remain in office. After accepting Gladstone's resignation, Peel confessed to a friend, "I really have great difficulty sometimes in exactly comprehending what he means". Gladstone returned to Peel's government as Colonial Secretary
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
The Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was a British cabinet level position responsible for the army and the British colonies . The Department was created in 1801...

 in December.

Opposition MP (1846–1851)

The following year Peel's government fell over the MPs' repeal of the Corn Laws
Corn Laws
The Corn Laws were trade barriers designed to protect cereal producers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland against competition from less expensive foreign imports between 1815 and 1846. The barriers were introduced by the Importation Act 1815 and repealed by the Importation Act 1846...

 and Gladstone followed his leader into a course of separation from mainstream Conservatives. After Peel's death in 1850 Gladstone emerged as the leader of the Peelites in the House of Commons. He was re-elected for the University of Oxford
Oxford University (UK Parliament constituency)
Oxford University was a university constituency electing two members to the British House of Commons, from 1603 to 1950.-Boundaries, Electorate and Electoral System:...

 (i.e. representing the MA graduates of the University) at the General Election in 1847 – Peel had once held this seat but had lost it because of his espousal of Catholic Emancipation in 1829. Gladstone became a constant critic of Lord Palmerston
Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, KG, GCB, PC , known popularly as Lord Palmerston, was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century...

.

As a young man Gladstone had treated his father's estate, Fasque, in the county of Angus, southwest of Aberdeen, as home, but as a younger son he would not inherit it. Instead, from the time of his marriage, he lived at his wife's family's estate, Hawarden, in North Wales. He never actually owned Hawarden, which belonged first to his brother-in-law Sir Stephen Glynne, and was then inherited by Gladstone's eldest son in 1874. During the late 1840s, when he was out of office, he worked extensively to turn Hawarden into a viable business.

In 1848 he also founded the Church Penitentiary Association for the Reclamation of Fallen Women. In May 1849 he began his most active "rescue work" with "fallen women" and met prostitutes late at night on the street, in his house or in their houses, writing their names in a private notebook. He aided the House of Mercy at Clewer
Clewer
Clewer is an ecclesiastical parish and region of Windsor making up three wards of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in the English county of Berkshire.-History:...

 near Windsor
Windsor, Berkshire
Windsor is an affluent suburban town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family....

 (which exercised extreme in-house discipline) and spent much time arranging employment for ex-prostitutes. In a 'Declaration' signed on 7 December 1896 and only to be opened after his death by his son Stephen, Gladstone wrote:

With reference to rumours which I believe were at one time afloat, though I know not with what degree of currency: and also with reference to the times when I shall not be here to answer for myself, I desire to record my solemn declaration and assurance, as in the sight of God and before His Judgment Seat, that at no period of my life have I been guilty of the act which is known as that of infidelity to the marriage bed.


In 1927, during a court case over published claims that he had had improper relationships with some of these women, the jury unanimously found that the evidence "completely vindicated the high moral character of the late Mr. W. E. Gladstone".

In 1850/51 Gladstone visited Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 for the benefit of his daughter Mary's eyesight. Giacomo Lacaita, legal adviser to the British embassy, was imprisoned by the Neapolitan government, as were other political dissidents. Gladstone became concerned at the political situation in Naples and the arrest and imprisonment of Neapolitan liberals. In February 1851 the government allowed Gladstone to visit the prisons where they were held and he deplored their condition. In April and July he published two Letters to the Earl of Aberdeen against the Neapolitan government and responded to his critics in An Examination of the Official Reply of the Neapolitan Government in 1852. Gladstone's first letter described what he saw in Naples as "the negation of God erected into a system of government".

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1852–1855)

In 1852, following the appointment of Lord Aberdeen
George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen
George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen KG, KT, FRS, PC , styled Lord Haddo from 1791 to 1801, was a Scottish politician, successively a Tory, Conservative and Peelite, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1852 until 1855.-Early life:Born in Edinburgh on 28 January 1784, he...

 as Prime Minister, head of a coalition of Whigs
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 and Peelites, Gladstone became Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

. The Whig Sir Charles Wood and the Tory Disraeli had both been perceived to have failed in the office and so this provided Gladstone with a great political opportunity.

His first budget in 1853 almost completed the work begun by Peel eleven years before in simplifying Britain's tariff of duties and customs. 123 duties were abolished and 133 duties were reduced. The income tax had legally expired but Gladstone proposed to extend it for seven years to fund tariff reductions:

We propose, then, to re-enact it for two years, from April, 1853, to April, 1855, at the rate of 7d. in the £; from April, 1855, to enact it for two more years at 6d. in the £; and then for three years more...from April, 1857, at 5d. Under this proposal, on the 5th of April, 1860, the income-tax will by law expire.


Gladstone wanted to maintain a balance between direct and indirect taxation. He also wished to abolish the income tax. He knew that its abolition depended on a considerable retrenchment
Retrenchment
Retrenchment is an act of cutting down or reduction, particularly of public expenditure.-Political usage:The word is familiar in this, its most general sense, from the motto of the Gladstonian Liberal party in British politics, "Peace, Retrenchment and Reform."The manifesto for 1906 Liberal...

 in government expenditure. He therefore increased the number of people eligible to pay it by lowering the threshold from £150 to £100. The more people who paid income tax, Gladstone believed, the more the public would pressure the government into abolishing it. Gladstone argued that the £100 line was "the dividing line...between the educated and the labouring part of the community" and that therefore the income tax payers and the electorate were to be the same people, who would then vote to cut government expenditure.

The budget speech (delivered on 18 April), at nearly five hours length, raised Gladstone "at once to the front rank of financiers as of orators". H. C. G. Matthew
Colin Matthew
Henry Colin Gray Matthew , an historian, was the first editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and editor of the diaries of William Ewart Gladstone....

 has written that Gladstone "made finance and figures exciting, and succeeded in constructing budget speeches epic in form and performance, often with lyrical interludes to vary the tension in the Commons as the careful exposition of figures and argument was brought to a climax". The contemporary diarist Charles Greville wrote of Gladstone's speech:

...by universal consent it was one of the grandest displays and most able financial statement that ever was heard in the House of Commons; a great scheme, boldly, skilfully, and honestly devised, disdaining popular clamour and pressure from without, and the execution of it absolute perfection. Even those who do not admire the Budget, or who are injured by it, admit the merit of the performance. It has raised Gladstone to a great political elevation, and, what is of far greater consequence than the measure itself, has given the country assurance of a man equal to great political necessities, and fit to lead parties and direct governments.


However with Britain entering the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 in February 1854, Gladstone introduced his second budget on 6 March. Gladstone had to increase expenditure on the Services and a vote of credit of £1,250,000 was taken to send a 25,000 strong force to the East. The deficit for the year would be £2,840,000 (estimated revenue £56,680,000; estimated expenditure £59,420,000). Gladstone refused to borrow the money needed to rectify this deficit and instead increased the income tax by one half from sevenpence to tenpence-halfpenny in the pound. Gladstone proclaimed that "the expenses of a war are the moral check which it has pleased the Almighty to impose on the ambition and the lust of conquest that are inherent in so many nations". By May £6,870,000 was needed to finance the war and so Gladstone introduced another budget on 8 May. Gladstone raised the income tax from 10 and a half d. to 14d. in order to raise £3,250,000 and spirits, malt, and sugar were taxed in order to raise the rest of the money needed.

He served until 1855, a few weeks into Lord Palmerston's first premiership, whereupon he resigned along with the rest of the Peelites after a motion was passed to appoint a committee of inquiry into the conduct of the war.

Opposition (1855–1859)

The Conservative Leader Lord Derby
Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, KG, PC was an English statesman, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and to date the longest serving leader of the Conservative Party. He was known before 1834 as Edward Stanley, and from 1834 to 1851 as Lord Stanley...

 became Prime Minister in 1858, but Gladstone – who like the other Peelites was still nominally a Conservative – declined a position in his government, opting not to sacrifice his free trade principles.

Between November 1858 and February 1859, Gladstone, on behalf of Lord Derby's government, was made Extraordinary Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands embarking via Vienna and Trieste on a twelve week mission to the southern Adriatic entrusted with complex challenges that had arisen in connection with the future of the British Protectorate of the Ionian islands.

In 1858, Gladstone took up the hobby of tree felling, mostly of oak trees, an exercise he continued with enthusiasm until he was 81 in 1891. Eventually, he became notorious for this activity, prompting Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill MP was a British statesman. He was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough and his wife Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane , daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry...

 to snigger, "The forest laments in order that Mr. Gladstone may perspire." Less noticed at the time was his practice of replacing the trees he'd felled with newly planted saplings. Possibly related to this hobby is the fact that Gladstone was a lifelong bibliophile to the extent that it has been suggested that in his lifetime, he read around 20,000 books, and eventually came to own a Library of over 32,000.

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1859–1866)

In 1859, Lord Palmerston formed a new mixed government with Radicals included, and Gladstone again joined the government as Chancellor of the Exchequer (with most of the other remaining Peelites) to become part of the new Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

.

Gladstone inherited an unpleasant financial situation, with a deficit of nearly five millions and the income tax at 5d. Like Peel, Gladstone dismissed the idea of borrowing to cover the deficit. Gladstone argued that "In time of peace nothing but dire necessity should induce us to borrow". Most of the money needed was acquired through raising the income tax to 9d. Usually not more than two-thirds of a tax imposed could be collected in a financial year so Gladstone therefore imposed the extra four pence at a rate of 8d. during the first half of the year so that he could obtain the additional revenue in one year. Gladstone's dividing line set up in 1853 had been abolished in 1858 but Gladstone revived it, with lower incomes to pay 6 and a half d. instead of 9d. For the first half of the year the lower incomes paid 8d. and the higher incomes paid 13d. in income tax.

On 12 September 1859 the businessman Richard Cobden
Richard Cobden
Richard Cobden was a British manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with John Bright in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League as well as with the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty...

 visited Gladstone, with Gladstone recording in his diary: "...further conv. with Mr. Cobden on Tariffs & relations with France. We are closely & warmly agreed". Cobden was sent as Britain's representative to the negotiations with France's Michel Chevalier
Michel Chevalier
Michel Chevalier was a French engineer, statesman, economist and free market liberal.-Biography:Born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, Chevalier studied at the École Polytechnique, obtaining an engineering degree at the Paris École des mines in 1829.In 1830, after the July Revolution, he became a...

 for a free trade treaty between the two countries. Gladstone wrote to Cobden: "...the great aim—the moral and political significance of the act, and its probable and desired fruit in binding the two countries together by interest and affection. Neither you nor I attach for the moment any superlative value to this Treaty for the sake of the extension of British trade...What I look to is the social good, the benefit to the relations of the two countries, and the effect on the peace of Europe".
Gladstone's budget of 1860 was introduced on 10 February along with the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty
Cobden-Chevalier Treaty
The Cobden–Chevalier Treaty was a Free Trade treaty signed between the United Kingdom and France on 23 January, 1860. It is named after the main British and French originators of the treaty, Richard Cobden MP and Michel Chevalier.-Origins and negotiations:...

 between Britain and France that would reduce tariffs between the two countries. This budget "marked the final adoption of the Free Trade principle, that taxation should be levied for Revenue purposes alone, and that every protective, differential, or discriminating duty...should be dislodged". At the beginning of 1859, there were 419 duties in existence. The 1860 budget reduced the number of duties to 48, with 15 duties constituting the majority of the revenue. To finance these reductions in indirect taxation, the income tax, instead of being abolished, was raised to 10d. for incomes above £150 and at 7d. for incomes above £100.

Some of the duties Gladstone intended to abolish in 1860 were the duties on paper, a controversial policy because the duties had traditionally inflated the costs of publishing and thus hindered the dissemination of radical working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 ideas. Although Palmerston supported continuation of the duties, using them and income tax revenues to make armament purchases, a majority of his Cabinet supported Gladstone. The Bill to abolish duties on paper narrowly passed Commons but was rejected by the House of Lords. As no money bill
Money bill
In the Westminster system , a money bill or supply bill is a bill that solely concerns taxation or government spending , as opposed to changes in public law.- Conventions :...

 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 consolidated Finance Bill (the first ever) in order to force the Lords to accept it, and accept it they did.

Significantly, Gladstone succeeded in steadily reducing the income tax over the course of his tenure as Chancellor. In 1861 the tax was reduced to ninepence (£0-0s–9d); in 1863 to sevenpence; in 1864 to fivepence; and in 1865 to fourpence. Gladstone believed that government was extravagant and wasteful with taxpayers' money and so sought to let money "fructify in the pockets of the people" by keeping taxation levels down through "peace and retrenchment". Gladstone wrote in 1859 to his brother who was a member of the Financial Reform Association at Liverpool: "Economy is the first and great article (economy such as I understand it) in my financial creed. The controversy between direct and indirect taxation holds a minor, though important place". He wrote to his wife on 14 January 1860: "I am certain, from experience, of the immense advantage of strict account-keeping in early life. It is just like learning the grammar then, which when once learned need not be referred to afterwards".

The Austrian economist, Joseph Schumpeter
Joseph Schumpeter
Joseph Alois Schumpeter was an Austrian-Hungarian-American economist and political scientist. He popularized the term "creative destruction" in economics.-Life:...

, described Gladstonian finance in his History of Economic Analysis:

...there was one man who not only united high ability with unparalleled opportunity but also knew how to turn budgets into political triumphs and who stands in history as the greatest English financier of economic liberalism, Gladstone...The greatest feature of Gladstonian finance...was that it expressed with ideal adequacy both the whole civilisation and the needs of the time, ex visu of the conditions of the country to which it was to apply; or, to put it slightly differently, that it translated a social, political, and economic vision, which was comprehensive as well as historically correct, into the clauses of a set of co-ordinated fiscal measures...Gladstonian finance was the finance of the system of 'natural liberty,' laissez-faire, and free trade...the most important thing was to remove fiscal obstructions to private activity. And for this, in turn, it was necessary to keep public expenditure low. Retrenchment was the victorious slogan of the day...it means the reduction of the functions of the state to a minimum...retrenchment means rationalisation of the remaining functions of the state, which among other things implies as small a military establishment as possible. The resulting economic development would in addition, so it was believed, make social expenditures largely superfluous...Equally important was it...to raise the revenue that would still have to be raised in such a way as to deflect economic behaviour as little as possible from what it would have been in the absence of all taxation ('taxation for revenue only'). And since the profit motive and the propensity to save were considered of paramount importance for the economic progress of all classes, this meant in particular that taxation should as little as possible interfere with the net earnings of business...As regards indirect taxes, the principle of least interference was interpreted by Gladstone to mean that taxation should be concentrated on a few important articles, leaving the rest free...Last, but not least, we have the principle of the balanced budget.


Due to his actions as Chancellor, Gladstone earned the reputation as the liberator of British trade and the working man's breakfast table, the man responsible for the emancipation of the popular press from "taxes upon knowledge" and for placing a duty on the succession of the estates of the rich. Gladstone's popularity rested on his taxation policies which meant to his supporters balance, social equity and political justice. The most significant expression of working class opinion was at Northumberland in 1862 when Gladstone visited. George Holyoake
George Holyoake
George Jacob Holyoake , English secularist and co-operator, was born in Birmingham, England. He coined the term "secularism" in 1851 and the term "jingoism" in 1878.-Owenism:...

 recalled in 1865:

When Mr Gladstone visited the North, you well remember when word passed from the newspaper to the workman that it circulated through mines and mills, factories and workshops, and they came out to greet the only British minister who ever gave the English people a right because it was just they should have it...and when he went down the Tyne, all the country heard how twenty miles of banks were lined with people who came to greet him. Men stood in the blaze of chimneys; the roofs of factories were crowded; colliers came up from the mines; women held up their children on the banks that it might be said in after life that they had seen the Chancellor of the People go by. The river was covered like the land. Every man who could ply an oar pulled up to give Mr Gladstone a cheer. When Lord Palmerston went to Bradford the streets were still, and working men imposed silence upon themselves. When Mr Gladstone appeared on the Tyne he heard cheer no other English minister ever heard...the people were grateful to him, and rough pitmen who never approached a public man before, pressed round his carriage by thousands...and thousands of arms were stretched out at once, to shake hands with Mr Gladstone as one of themselves.


When Gladstone first joined Palmerston's government in 1859, he opposed further electoral reform, but he changed his position during Palmerston's last premiership, and by 1865 he was firmly in favour of enfranchising the working classes in towns. This latter policy created friction with Palmerston, who strongly opposed enfranchisement. At the beginning of each session
Parliamentary session
A legislative session is the period of time in which a legislature, in both parliamentary and presidential systems, is convened for purpose of lawmaking, usually being one of two or more smaller divisions of the entire time between two elections...

, Gladstone would passionately urge the Cabinet to adopt new policies, while Palmerston would fixedly stare at a paper before him. At a lull in Gladstone's speech, Palmerston would smile, rap the table with his knuckles, and interject pointedly, "Now, my Lords and gentlemen, let us go to business".

As Chancellor, Gladstone made a speech at Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 on 7 October 1862 in which he supported the independence of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, claiming that Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

 had "made a nation". Great Britain was officially neutral at the time, and Gladstone later regretted the Newcastle speech. In May 1864 Gladstone said that he saw no reason in principle why all mentally able men could not be enfranchised, but admitted that this would only come about once the working-classes themselves showed more interest in the subject. Queen Victoria was not pleased with this statement, and an outraged Palmerston considered it seditious
Sedition
In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent to lawful authority. Sedition may include any...

 incitement to agitation. .

Gladstone's support for electoral reform and disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 had alienated him from his constituents in his Oxford University seat, and he lost it in the 1865 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1865
The 1865 United Kingdom general election saw the Liberals, led by Lord Palmerston, increase their large majority over the Earl of Derby's Conservatives to more than 80. The Whig Party changed its name to the Liberal Party between the previous election and this one.Palmerston died later in the same...

. A month later, however, he stood as a candidate in South Lancashire
South Lancashire (UK Parliament constituency)
South Lancashire, formally called the Southern Division of Lancashire or Lancashire Southern, is a former county constituency in England...

, where he was elected third MP (South Lancashire at this time elected three MPs). Palmerston campaigned for Gladstone in Oxford because he believed that his constituents would keep him "partially muzzled", because many Oxford graduates were Anglican clergymen at that time. A victorious Gladstone told his new constituency, "At last, my friends, I am come among you; and I am come—to use an expression which has become very famous and is not likely to be forgotten—I am come 'unmuzzled'."

On Palmerston's death in October, Earl Russell formed his second ministry. Russell & Gladstone (now the senior Liberal in the House of Commons) attempted to pass a reform bill, which was defeated in the House of Commons because of the refusal of the "Adullamite" Whigs, led by Robert Lowe, to support it. The Conservatives then formed a ministry, in which after long Parliamentary debate Disraeli passed the Second Reform Act of 1867
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....

, more far-reaching than Gladstone's proposed bill had been.

Lord Russell retired in 1867 and Gladstone became leader of the Liberal Party. in 1868 Gladstone proposed the Irish Church Resolutions to reunite the Liberal Party for government (on the issue of disestablishment of the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 – this would be done during Gladstone's First Government in 1869 and meant that Irish Roman Catholics did not need to pay their tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

s to the Anglican Church of Ireland). When these passed the House of Commons Disraeli called a General Election
United Kingdom general election, 1868
The 1868 United Kingdom general election was the first after passage of the Reform Act 1867, which enfranchised many male householders, thus greatly increasing the number of men who could vote in elections in the United Kingdom...

.

First Premiership (1868–1874)

In the next general election in 1868
United Kingdom general election, 1868
The 1868 United Kingdom general election was the first after passage of the Reform Act 1867, which enfranchised many male householders, thus greatly increasing the number of men who could vote in elections in the United Kingdom...

, the South Lancashire constituency had been broken-up by the Second Reform Act
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....

 into two: South East Lancashire
South East Lancashire (UK Parliament constituency)
South East Lancashire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was represented by two Members of Parliament...

 and South West Lancashire
South West Lancashire (UK Parliament constituency)
South West Lancashire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was represented by two Members of Parliament...

. Gladstone stood for South West Lancashire and for Greenwich
Greenwich (UK Parliament constituency)
Greenwich was a parliamentary constituency in South-East London, which returned Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1832 to 1997 by the first past the post system.-History:...

, it being quite common then for candidates to stand in two constituencies simultaneously. He was defeated in Lancashire and won in Greenwich. He became Prime Minister for the first time and remained in the office until 1874. Evelyn Ashley
Evelyn Ashley
Evelyn Melbourne Ashley PC , was British barrister and Liberal politician. He was private secretary to Lord Palmerston and later published a biography of him...

 famously described the scene in the grounds of Hawarden Castle on 1 December 1868, though getting the date wrong:

One afternoon of November, 1868, in the Park at Hawarden, I was standing by Mr. Gladstone holding his coat on my arm while he, in his shirt sleeves, was wielding an axe to cut down a tree. Up came a telegraph messenger. He took the telegram, opened it and read it, then handed it to me, speaking only two words, namely, ‘Very significant’, and at once resumed his work. The message merely stated that General Grey would arrive that evening from Windsor. This, of course, implied that a mandate was coming from the Queen charging Mr. Gladstone with the formation of his first Government. I said nothing, but waited while the well-directed blows resounded in regular cadence. After a few minutes the blows ceased and Mr. Gladstone, resting on the handle of his axe, looked up, and with deep earnestness in his voice, and great intensity in his face, exclaimed: ‘My mission is to pacify Ireland.’ He then resumed his task, and never said another word till the tree was down.


In the 1860s and 1870s, Gladstonian Liberalism was characterised by a number of policies intended to improve individual liberty and loosen political and economic restraints. First was the minimisation of public expenditure on the premise that the economy and society were best helped by allowing people to spend as they saw fit. Secondly, his foreign policy aimed at promoting peace to help reduce expenditures and taxation and enhance trade. Thirdly, laws that prevented people from acting freely to improve themselves were reformed. When an unemployed miner (Daniel Jones) wrote to him to complain of his unemployment and low wages, Gladstone gave what H. C. G. Matthew has called "the classic mid-Victorian reply" on 20 October 1869:

The only means which have been placed in my power of ‘raising the wages of colliers’ has been by endeavouring to beat down all those restrictions upon trade which tend to reduce the price to be obtained for the product of their labour, & to lower as much as may be the taxes on the commodities which they may require for use or for consumption. Beyond this I look to the forethought not yet so widely diffused in this country as in Scotland, & in some foreign lands; & I need not remind you that in order to facilitate its exercise the Government have been empowered by Legislation to become through the Dept. of the P.O. the receivers & guardians of savings.


Gladstone's first premiership instituted reforms in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, Civil Service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

, and local government to cut restrictions on individual advancement. The Local Government Board Act 1871
Local Government Board
The Local Government Board was a British Government supervisory body overseeing local administration in England and Wales from 1871 to 1919.The LGB was created by the Local Government Board Act 1871 The Local Government Board (LGB) was a British Government supervisory body overseeing local...

 put the supervision of the Poor Law under the Local Government Board (headed by G. J. Goschen) and Gladstone's "administration could claim spectacular success in enforcing a dramatic reduction in supposedly sentimental and unsystematic outdoor poor relief, and in making, in co-operation with the Charity Organization Society
Charity Organization Society
The Charity Organization Societies also called the Associated Charities was a private charity that existed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a clearing house for information on the poor. The society was mainly concerned with distinction between the deserving poor and undeserving poor...

 (1869), the most sustained attempt of the century to impose upon the working classes the Victorian values of providence, self-reliance, foresight, and self-discipline". Gladstone was associated with the Charity Organization Society's first annual report in 1870. At a speech at Blackheath on 28 October 1871, Gladstone warned his constituents against social reformers:

...they are not your friends, but they are your enemies in fact, though not in intention, who teach you to look to the Legislature for the radical removal of the evils that afflict human life...It is the individual mind and conscience, it is the individual character, on which mainly human happiness or misery depends. (Cheers.) The social problems that confront us are many and formidable. Let the Government labour to its utmost, let the Legislature labour days and nights in your service; but, after the very best has been attained and achieved, the question whether the English father is to be the father of a happy family and the centre of a united home is a question which must depend mainly upon himself. (Cheers.) And those who...promise to the dwellers in towns that every one of them shall have a house and garden in free air, with ample space; those who tell you that there shall be markets for selling at wholesale prices retail quantities—I won't say are imposters, because I have no doubt they are sincere; but I will say they are quacks (cheers); they are deluded and beguiled by a spurious philanthropy, and when they ought to give you substantial, even if they are humble and modest boons, they are endeavouring, perhaps without their own consciousness, to delude you with fanaticism, and offering to you a fruit which, when you attempt to taste it, will prove to be but ashes in your mouths. (Cheers.)


He instituted abolition of the sale of commissions
Sale of commissions
The sale of commissions was a common practice in most European armies where wealthy and noble officers purchased their rank. Only the Imperial Russian Army and the Prussian Army never used such a system. While initially shunned in the French Revolutionary Army, it was eventually revived in the...

 in the army as well as court reorganisation. In foreign affairs his overriding aim was to promote peace and understanding, characterised by his settlement of the Alabama Claims
Alabama Claims
The Alabama Claims were a series of claims for damages by the United States government against the government of Great Britain for the assistance given to the Confederate cause during the American Civil War. After international arbitration endorsed the American position in 1872, Britain settled...

 in 1872 in favour of the Americans. He also instituted the Cardwell Reforms
Cardwell Reforms
The Cardwell Reforms refer to a series of reforms of the British Army undertaken by Secretary of State for War Edward Cardwell between 1868 and 1874.-Background:...

 in 1869 that made peacetime flogging illegal and, in 1870, the Irish Land Act and the Forster's Education Act
Elementary Education Act 1870
The Elementary Education Act 1870, commonly known as Forster's Education Act, set the framework for schooling of all children between ages 5 and 12 in England and Wales...

. In 1871, he instituted the Universities Tests Act. In 1872, he secured passage of the Ballot Act
Ballot Act 1872
The Ballot Act 1872 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that introduced the requirement that parliamentary and local government elections in the United Kingdom be held by secret ballot.-Background:...

 for secret voting ballots. In 1873, his leadership led to the passage of laws restructuring the High Courts. He also passed the 1872 licensing act.

Gladstone unexpectedly dissolved Parliament in January 1874 and called a general election
United Kingdom general election, 1874
-Seats summary:-References:* F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987* British Electoral Facts 1832-1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher *...

. In his election address to his constituents on 23 January, Gladstone said:

Upon a review of the finance of the last five years, we are enabled to state that, notwithstanding the purchase of the telegraphs for a sum exceeding 9,000,000l., the aggregate amount of the national debt has been reduced by more than 20,000,000l.; that taxes have been lowered or abolished (over and above any amount imposed) to the extent of 12,500,000l.; that during the present year the Alabama Indemnity has been paid, and the charge of the Ashantee War will be met out of revenue; and that in estimating, as we can now venture to do, the income of the coming year (and, for the moment assuming the general scale of charge to continue as it was fixed during the last Session), we do not fear to anticipate as the probable balance a surplus exceeding rather than falling short of 5,000,000l...The first item...which I have to set down in the financial arrangements proper for the first year is relief, but relief coupled with reform, of local taxation...It has...been the happy fortune of Mr. Lowe to bring it [the income tax] down, first from 6d. to 4d., and then from 4d. to 3d., in the pound. The proceeds of the Income Tax for the present year are expected to be between 5,000,000l. and 6,000,000l., and at a sacrifice for the financial year of something less than 5,500,000l. the country may enjoy the advantage and relief of its total repeal. I do not hesitate to affirm that an effort should now be made to attain this advantage, nor to declare that, according to my judgment, it is in present circumstances practicable...we ought not to aid the rates, and remove the Income Tax, without giving to the general consumer, and giving him simultaneously, some marked relief in the class of articles of popular consumption...I for one could not belong to a Government which did not on every occasion seek to enlarge its resources by a wise economy.


Gladstone's proposals went some way to meet working-class demands, such as the realisation of the free breakfast table
Free Breakfast Table
The Free Breakfast Table was the demand of British working-class Liberalism from the 1860s to the early twentieth-century. It entailed abolishing duties on basic foodstuffs as these were indirect taxes and therefore regressive....

 through repealing the duties on tea and sugar, and reform of local taxation which was increasing for the poorer ratepayers. According to the working-class financial reformer Thomas Briggs, writing in the trade unionist newspaper The Bee-Hive
The Bee-Hive (journal)
The Bee-Hive was a trade unionist journal published weekly in the United Kingdom between 1861 and 1878.The Bee-Hive was established in 1861 by George Potter, with professional journalist George Troup as editor and Robert Hartwell as the main contributor...

, the manifesto relied on "a much higher authority than Mr. Gladstone...viz., the late Richard Cobden".

The dissolution was reported in The Times on 24 January and on 30 January the names of the first fourteen MPs for uncontested seats were published; by 9 February a Conservative victory was apparent. In contrast to 1868 and 1880 when the Liberal campaign lasted several months, only three weeks separated the news of the dissolution and the election. The working-class newspapers were taken by surprise at the news and had little time to express an opinion on Gladstone's manifesto before the election was over. Unlike the efforts of the Conservatives, the organisation of the Liberal Party had declined since 1868 and they had also failed to retain Liberal voters on the electoral register. George Howell wrote to Gladstone on 12 February: "There is one lesson to be learned from this Election, that is Organization...We have lost not by a change of sentiment so much as by want of organised power". The Liberals received a majority of the vote in each of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom and 189,000 more votes nationally than the Conservatives. However they obtained a minority of seats in the House of Commons.

Opposition (1874–1880)

In the wake of Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was a British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman and literary figure. Starting from comparatively humble origins, he served in government for three decades, twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom...

's victory, Gladstone retired from the leadership of the Liberal party, although he retained his seat in the House.

In November 1874, Gladstone published the pamphlet The Vatican Decrees in their Bearing on Civil Allegiance
The Vatican Decrees in their Bearing on Civil Allegiance
The Vatican Decrees in their Bearing on Civil Allegiance is an anti-Catholic pamphlet written by British politician William Ewart Gladstone in November 1874.-Outrage about papal infallibility:...

, directed at the First Vatican Council
First Vatican Council
The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864. This twentieth ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned...

's dogmatising Papal Infallibility
Papal infallibility
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when in his official capacity he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals...

 in 1870, which had outraged him. Gladstone claimed that this decree had placed British Catholics in a dilemma over their loyalty to the Crown and their loyalty to the Pope. Gladstone urged British Catholics to reject papal infallibility as they had opposed the Spanish Armada of 1588. The pamphlet sold 150,000 copies by the end of 1874. In February 1875 Gladstone published a second pamphlet that was a defence of his earlier pamphlet and a reply to his critics, entitled Vaticanism: an Answer to Reproofs and Replies. He described the Catholic Church as "an Asian monarchy: nothing but one giddy height of despotism, and one dead level of religious subservience". He further claimed that the Pope wanted to destroy the rule of law and replace it with arbitrary tyranny, and then to hide these "crimes against liberty beneath a suffocating cloud of incense".

In a speech to the Hawarden Amateur Horticultural Society on 17 August 1876, Gladstone said that "I am delighted to see how many young boys and girls have come forward to obtain honourable marks of recognition on this occasion,—if any effectual good is to be done to them, it must be done by teaching and encouraging them and helping them to help themselves. All the people who pretend to take your own concerns out of your own hands and to do everything for you, I won't say they are imposters; I won't even say they are quacks; but I do say they are mistaken people. The only sound, healthy description of countenancing and assisting these institutions is that which teaches independence and self-exertion". Lord Kilbracken
Arthur Godley, 1st Baron Kilbracken
John Arthur Godley, 1st Baron Kilbracken, GCB was a British civil servant and the longest serving - and probably the most influential - Permanent Under-Secretary of State for India....

, one of Gladstone's secretaries, said:

It will be borne in mind that the Liberal doctrines of that time, with their violent anti-socialist spirit and their strong insistence on the gospel of thrift, self-help, settlement of wages by the higgling of the market, and non-interference by the State...I think that Mr. Gladstone was the strongest anti-socialist that I have ever known among persons who gave any serious thought to social and political questions. It is quite true, as has been often said, that “we are all socialists up to a certain point”; but Mr. Gladstone fixed that point lower, and was more vehement against those who went above it, than any other politician or official of my acquaintance. I remember his speaking indignantly to me of the budget of 1874 as “That socialistic budget of Northcote's,” merely because of the special relief which it gave to the poorer class of income-tax payers. His strong belief in Free Trade was only one of the results of his deep-rooted conviction that the Government's interference with the free action of the individual, whether by taxation or otherwise, should be kept at an irreducible minimum. It is, indeed, not too much to say that his conception of Liberalism was the negation of Socialism.


A pamphlet he published in September 1876, Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East, attacked the Disraeli government for its indifference to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

's violent repression of the Bulgarian April uprising. An often-quoted excerpt illustrates his formidable rhetorical powers:

Let the Turks now carry away their abuses, in the only possible manner, namely, by carrying off themselves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bimbashis and Yuzbashis, their Kaimakams and their Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

s, one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province that they have desolated and profaned. This thorough riddance, this most blessed deliverance, is the only reparation we can make to those heaps and heaps of dead, the violated purity alike of matron and of maiden and of child; to the civilization which has been affronted and shamed; to the laws of God, or, if you like, of Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

; to the moral sense of mankind at large. There is not a criminal in a European jail, there is not a criminal in the South Sea Islands, whose indignation would not rise and over-boil at the recital of that which has been done, which has too late been examined, but which remains unavenged, which has left behind all the foul and all the fierce passions which produced it and which may again spring up in another murderous harvest from the soil soaked and reeking with blood and in the air tainted with every imaginable deed of crime and shame. That such things should be done once is a damning disgrace to the portion of our race which did them; that the door should be left open to their ever so barely possible repetition would spread that shame over the world!


Let me endeavour, very briefly to sketch, in the rudest outline what the Turkish race was and what it is. It is not a question of Mohammedanism simply, but of Mohammedanism compounded with the peculiar character of a race. They are not the mild Mohammedans of India, nor the chivalrous Saladins of Syria, nor the cultured Moors of Spain. They were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity. Wherever they went a broad line of blood marked the track behind them, and, as far as their dominion reached, civilization vanished from view. They represented everywhere government by force as opposed to government by law. — Yet a government by force can not be maintained without the aid of an intellectual element. — Hence there grew up, what has been rare in the history of the world, a kind of tolerance in the midst of cruelty, tyranny and rapine. Much of Christian life was contemptuously left alone and a race of Greeks was attracted to Constantinople which has all along made up, in some degree, the deficiencies of Turkish Islam in the element of mind!


During the 1879 election campaign, also called Midlothian campaign
Midlothian campaign
The Midlothian campaign was a series of foreign policy speeches given by William Ewart Gladstone. It is often cited as the first modern political campaign. It also set the stage for Gladstone's comeback as a politician...

, he rousingly spoke against Disraeli's foreign policies during the ongoing Second Anglo-Afghan War in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. (See Great Game). He saw the war as "great dishonour" and also criticised British conduct in the Zulu War. Gladstone also (on 29 November) criticised what he saw as the Conservative government's profligate spending:

...the Chancellor of the Exchequer shall boldly uphold economy in detail; and it is the mark ... of ... a chicken-hearted Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he shrinks from upholding economy in detail, when, because it is a question of only £2000 or £3000, he says that is no matter. He is ridiculed, no doubt, for what is called saving candle-ends and cheese-parings. No Chancellor of the Exchequer is worth his salt who is not ready to save what are meant by candle-ends and cheese-parings in the cause of his country. No Chancellor of the Exchequer is worth his salt who makes his own popularity either his first consideration, or any consideration at all, in administrating the public purse. You would not like to have a housekeeper or steward who made her or his popularity with the tradesmen the measure of the payments that were to be delivered to them. In my opinion the Chancellor of the Exchequer is the trusted and confidential steward of the public. He is under a sacred obligation with regard to all that he consents to spend...I am bound to say hardly ever in the six years that Sir Stafford Northcote has been in office have I heard him speak a resolute word on behalf of economy.

Second Premiership (1880–1885)

In 1880, the Liberals won again and the Liberal leaders, Lord Hartington
Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire
Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire KG, GCVO, PC, PC , styled Lord Cavendish of Keighley between 1834 and 1858 and Marquess of Hartington between 1858 and 1891, was a British statesman...

 (leader in the House of Commons) and Lord Granville, retired in Gladstone's favour. Gladstone won his constituency election in Midlothian and also in Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

, where he had also been adopted as a candidate. As he could lawfully only serve as MP for one constituency, Leeds was passed to his son Herbert. One of his other sons, Henry
William Henry Gladstone
William Henry Gladstone was a British Liberal Party Member of Parliament, and the eldest son of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone and his wife Catherine née Glynne....

, was also elected as an MP.

Queen Victoria asked Lord Hartington to form a ministry, but he persuaded her to send for Gladstone. Gladstone's second administration — both as Prime Minister and again as Chancellor of the Exchequer till 1882 — lasted from June 1880 to June 1885. He originally intended to retire at the end of 1882, the fiftieth anniversary of his entry into politics, but in the event did not do so. Gladstone had opposed himself to the "colonial lobby
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

" pushing for the scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa
The Scramble for Africa, also known as the Race for Africa or Partition of Africa was a process of invasion, occupation, colonization and annexation of African territory by European powers during the New Imperialism period, between 1881 and World War I in 1914...

. He thus saw the end of the Second Anglo-Afghan War
Second Anglo-Afghan War
The Second Anglo-Afghan War was fought between the United Kingdom and Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880, when the nation was ruled by Sher Ali Khan of the Barakzai dynasty, the son of former Emir Dost Mohammad Khan. This was the second time British India invaded Afghanistan. The war ended in a manner...

, First Boer War
First Boer War
The First Boer War also known as the First Anglo-Boer War or the Transvaal War, was fought from 16 December 1880 until 23 March 1881-1877 annexation:...

 and the war
Mahdist War
The Mahdist War was a colonial war of the late 19th century. It was fought between the Mahdist Sudanese and the Egyptian and later British forces. It has also been called the Anglo-Sudan War or the Sudanese Mahdist Revolt. The British have called their part in the conflict the Sudan Campaign...

 against the Mahdi
Muhammad Ahmad
Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah was a religious leader of the Samaniyya order in Sudan who, on June 29, 1881, proclaimed himself as the Mahdi or messianic redeemer of the Islamic faith...

 in Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

.

On July 11, 1882, Gladstone ordered the bombardment of Alexandria, starting the Anglo-Egyptian War, which resulted in the occupation of Egypt. Gladstone's role in the decision to invade was described as relatively hands-off, and that the decision to invade was made by certain members of his cabinet such as Spencer Cavendish, Secretary of State for India, Thomas Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook
Thomas Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook
Thomas George Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook PC, GCSI, FRS , was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

, First Lord of the Admiralty, Hugh Childers
Hugh Childers
Hugh Culling Eardley Childers was a British and Australian Liberal statesman of the nineteenth century. He is perhaps best known for his reform efforts at the Admiralty and the War Office...

, Secretary of State for War, and Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville
Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville
Granville George Leveson Gower, 2nd Earl Granville KG, PC FRS , styled Lord Leveson until 1846, was a British Liberal statesman...

, the Foreign Secretary. The reasons for this war are the subject of a historiographical debate. Some historians argue that the invasion was to protect the Suez Canal and to prevent anarchy in the wake of the Urabi Revolt
Urabi Revolt
The Urabi Revolt or Orabi Revolt , also known as the Orabi Revolution, was an uprising in Egypt in 1879-82 against the Khedive and European influence in the country...

 and the riots in Alexandria in June 1882. Other historians argue that the invasion occurred to protect the interests of British investors with assets in Egypt and also to boost the political popularity of the Liberal Party.

In 1881 he established the Irish Coercion Act
Irish Coercion Act
The Protection of Person and Property Act 1881 was one of more than 100 Coercion Acts passed by the Parliament of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland between 1801 and 1922, in an attempt to establish law and order in Ireland. The 1881 Act was passed by parliament and introduced by...

, which permitted the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the British King's representative and head of the Irish executive during the Lordship of Ireland , the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 to detain people for as "long as was thought necessary", as there was much rural disturbance in Ireland owing to the agricultural depression of the late 1870s. Cavendish, the Irish Secretary, was stabbed to death whilst walking in Phoenix Park in Dublin. He also passed the Second Land Act (the First, in 1870, had entitled Irish tenants, if evicted, to compensation for improvements which they had made on their property, but had had little effect) which gave Irish tenants the "3Fs" – fair rent, fixity of tenure and free sale.

He also extended the franchise to agricultural labourers and others in the 1884 Reform Act
Representation of the People Act 1884
In the United Kingdom, the Representation of the People Act 1884 and the Redistribution Act of the following year were laws which further extended the suffrage in Britain after the Disraeli Government's Reform Act 1867...

, which gave the counties the same franchise as the boroughs— adult male householders and £10 lodgers—and added about six million to the total number who could vote in parliamentary elections. Parliamentary reform continued with the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885
Redistribution of Seats Act 1885
The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was a piece of electoral reform legislation that redistributed the seats in the House of Commons, introducing the concept of equally populated constituencies, in an attempt to equalise representation across...

.

Gladstone was becoming increasingly uneasy about the direction in which British politics was moving. In a letter to Lord Acton
John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO, DL , known as Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Bt from 1837 to 1869 and usually referred to simply as Lord Acton, was an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer...

 on 11 February 1885, Gladstone criticised Tory Democracy as "demagogism" that "put down pacific, law-respecting, economic elements that ennobled the old Conservatism" but "still, in secret, as obstinately attached as ever to the evil principle of class interests". He found contemporary Liberalism better, "but far from being good". Gladstone claimed that this Liberalism's "pet idea is what they call construction, — that is to say, taking into the hands of the state the business of the individual man". Both Tory Democracy and this new Liberalism, Gladstone wrote, had done "much to estrange me, and had for many, many years".

The fall of General Gordon
Charles George Gordon
Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB , known as "Chinese" Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British army officer and administrator....

 in Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

, Sudan, in 1885 was a major blow to Gladstone's popularity. Queen Victoria sent him a telegram of rebuke which found its way into the public domain. Many believed Gladstone had neglected military affairs and had not acted promptly enough to save the besieged Gordon. Critics inverted his acronym, "G.O.M." (for "Grand Old Man"), to "M.O.G." (for "Murderer of Gordon"). He resigned as Prime Minister in 1885 and declined Queen Victoria's offer of an Earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

dom.

Third Premiership (1886)

Gladstone's conversion to a policy of Home Rule in late 1885 (the "Hawarden Kite")) resulted in the fall of Lord Salisbury's Government. The Irish Nationalists, led by Charles Parnell, voted against the Tories on a land Bill. The Irish Nationalists held the balance of power in Parliament at this time, Gladstone's conversion had convinced them to support the Liberal Government by using the 86 seats of Parliament they controlled. The main purpose of this administration was to deliver Ireland a reform which would give them a devolved assembly, similar to that enjoyed by Scotland and Wales since 1997. In 1886 Gladstone's party was allied with Irish Nationalists to defeat Lord Salisbury
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, KG, GCVO, PC , styled Lord Robert Cecil before 1865 and Viscount Cranborne from June 1865 until April 1868, was a British Conservative statesman and thrice Prime Minister, serving for a total of over 13 years...

's government. Gladstone regained his position as Prime Minister and combined the office with that of Lord Privy Seal
Lord Privy Seal
The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

. During this administration he first introduced his Home Rule Bill for Ireland. The issue split the Liberal Party (a breakaway group went on to create the Liberal Unionist party) and the bill was thrown out on the second reading, ending his government after only a few months and inaugurating another headed by Lord Salisbury.

Opposition (1886–1892)

Gladstone supported the London dockers in their strike of 1889
London Dock Strike of 1889
The London Dock Strike was an industrial dispute involving dock workers in the Port of London. It broke out on 14 August 1889, and resulted in a victory for the strikers and established strong trade unions amongst London dockers, one of which became the nationally important Dock, Wharf, Riverside...

. After their victory he gave a speech at Hawarden on 23 September in which he said: "In the common interests of humanity, this remarkable strike and the results of this strike, which have tended somewhat to strengthen the condition of labour in the face of capital, is the record of what we ought to regard as satisfactory, as a real social advance [that] tends to a fair principle of division of the fruits of industry". This speech has been described by Eugenio Biagini
Eugenio Biagini
Prof. Eugenio F. Biagini is an Italian historian, specialising in British, Irish and Italian liberalism.He completed his bachelors' degree at the University of Pisa before completing his doctorate at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa...

 as having "no parallel in the rest of Europe except in the rhetoric of the toughest socialist leaders". Visitors at Hawarden in October were "shocked...by some rather wild language on the Dock labourers question". Gladstone was impressed with workers unconnected with the dockers' dispute who "intended to make common cause" in the interests of justice. On 23 October at Southport Gladstone delivered a speech where he claimed that the right to combination, which in London was "innocent and lawful, in Ireland would be penal and...punished by imprisonment with hard labour". Gladstone believed that the right to combination used by British workers was in jeopardy when it could be denied to Irish workers. In October 1890 Gladstone at Midlothian claimed that competition between capital and labour, "where it has gone to sharp issues, where there have been strikes on one side and lock-outs on the other, I believe that in the main and as a general rule, the labouring man has been in the right".

On 11 December 1891 Gladstone said that: "It is a lamentable fact if, in the midst of our civilisation, and at the close of the nineteenth century, the workhouse is all that can be offered to the industrious labourer at the end of a long and honourable life. I do not enter into the question now in detail. I do not say it is an easy one; I do not say that it will be solved in a moment; but I do say this, that until society is able to offer to the industrious labourer at the end of a long and blameless life something better than the workhouse, society will not have discharged its duties to its poorer members". On 24 March 1892 Gladstone said that the Liberals had:

...come generally...to the conclusion that there is something painful in the condition of the rural labourer in this great respect, that it is hard even for the industrious and sober man, under ordinary conditions, to secure a provision for his own old age. Very large propositions, involving, some of them, very novel and very wide principles, have been submitted to the public, for the purpose of securing such a provision by means independent of the labourer himself. Sir, I am not going to criticise these proposals, and I am only referring to them as signs that there is much to be done—that their condition is far from satisfactory; and it is eminently, as I think, our duty to develop in the first instance, every means that we may possibly devise whereby, if possible, the labourer may be able to make this provision for himself, or to approximate towards making such provision far more efficaciously and much more closely than he can now do.


Gladstone wrote on 16 July 1892 in his autobiographica that "In 1834 the Government...did themselves high honour by the new Poor Law Act
Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
The Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, sometimes abbreviated to PLAA, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed by the Whig government of Lord Melbourne that reformed the country's poverty relief system . It was an Amendment Act that completely replaced earlier legislation based on the...

, which rescued the English peasantry from the total loss of their independence".

Gladstone wrote to Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

, who contributed the introduction to a collection of anti-socialist essays (A Plea for Liberty, 1891), that "I ask to make reserves, and of one passage, which will be easily guessed, I am unable even to perceive the relevancy. But speaking generally, I have read this masterly argument with warm admiration and with the earnest hope that it may attract all the attention which it so well deserves". The passage Gladstone alluded to was one where Spencer spoke of "the behaviour of the so-called Liberal party".

Fourth Premiership (1892–1894)

The general election of 1892
United Kingdom general election, 1892
The 1892 United Kingdom general election was held from 4 July to 26 July 1892. It saw the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury, win the greatest number of seats, but not enough for an overall majority as William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals won many more seats than in the 1886 general election...

 resulted in a minority Liberal government under Gladstone as Prime Minister.

Gladstone's electoral address had promised Home Rule and the disestablishment of the Scottish and Welsh Churches. In February 1893 he introduced the Second Home Rule Bill
Irish Government Bill 1893
The Government of Ireland Bill 1893 was the second attempt made by William Ewart Gladstone, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to enact a system of home rule for Ireland...

. The Bill was passed in the Commons at second reading on 21 April by 43 votes and third reading on 1 September by 34 votes. However the House of Lords killed the Bill by voting against by 419 votes to 41 on 8 September.

When questioned in the Commons on what his government would do about unemployment by the Conservative MP Colonel Howard Vincent on 1 September 1893, Gladstone replied:

I cannot help regretting that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has felt it his duty to put the question. It is put under circumstances that naturally belong to one of those fluctuations in the condition of trade which, however unfortunate and lamentable they may be, recur from time to time. Undoubtedly I think that questions of this kind, whatever be the intention of the questioner, have a tendency to produce in the minds of people, or to suggest to the people, that these fluctuations can be corrected by the action of the Executive Government. Anything that contributes to such an impression inflicts an injury upon the labouring population.


In December 1893 an Opposition motion proposed by Lord George Hamilton
Lord George Hamilton
Lord George Francis Hamilton GCSI, PC, JP was a British Conservative Party politician of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.-Background:...

 called for an expansion of the Royal Navy. Gladstone opposed increasing public expenditure on the naval estimates, in the tradition of free trade liberalism of his earlier political career as Chancellor. All his Cabinet colleagues, however, believed in some expansion of the Royal Navy. He declared in the Commons on 19 December that naval rearmament would commit the government to expenditure over a number of years and thus would subvert "the principle of annual account, annual proposition, annual approval by the House of Commons, which...is the only way of maintaining regularity, and that regularity is the only talisman which will secure Parliamentary control". In January 1894 Gladstone wrote that he would not "break to pieces the continuous action of my political life, nor trample on the tradition received from every colleague who has ever been my teacher" by supporting naval rearmament. Gladstone also opposed Chancellor Sir William Harcourt
William Vernon Harcourt (politician)
Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt was a British lawyer, journalist and Liberal statesman. He served as Member of Parliament for various constituencies and held the offices of Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer under William Ewart Gladstone before becoming Leader of...

's proposal to implement a graduated death duty. In a fragment of autobiography dated 25 July 1894, Gladstone denounced the tax as

...by far the most Radical measure of my lifetime. I do not object to the principle of graduated taxation: for the just principle of ability to pay is not determined simply by the amount of income...But, so far as I understand the present measure of finance from the partial reports I have received, I find it too violent. It involves a great departure from the methods of political action established in this country, where reforms, and especially financial reforms, have always been considerate and even tender...I do not yet see the ground on which it can be justly held that any one description of property should be more heavily burdened than others, unless moral and social grounds can be shown first: but in this case the reasons drawn from those sources seem rather to verge in the opposite direction, for real property has more of presumptive connection with the discharge of duty that that which is ranked as personal...the aspect of the measure is not satisfactory to a man of my traditions (and these traditions lie near the roots of my being)...For the sudden introduction of such change there is I think no precedent in the history of this country. And the severity of the blow is greatly aggravated in moral effect by the fact that it is dealt only to a handful of individuals.


Gladstone had his last audience with the Queen on 28 February and chaired his last Cabinet on 1 March, the last of 556 he had chaired. Also on that day he gave his last speech to the House of Commons. Gladstone said that the government would withdraw opposition to the Lords' amendments to the Local Government Bill "under protest" and that it was "a controversy which, when once raised, must go forward to an issue". He resigned the Premiership on 2 March. The Queen did not ask Gladstone who should succeed him but sent for Lord Rosebery
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, KG, PC was a British Liberal statesman and Prime Minister. Between the death of his father, in 1851, and the death of his grandfather, the 4th Earl, in 1868, he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Dalmeny.Rosebery was a Liberal Imperialist who...

 (Gladstone would have advised on Lord Spencer
John Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer
John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer KG, PC , known as Viscount Althorp from 1845 to 1857 , was a British Liberal Party politician under and close friend of British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone...

). He retained his seat in the Commons until 1895; he was not offered a peerage, having declined an earldom on earlier occasions.

Gladstone is both the oldest ever person to form a government – aged 82 at his appointment – and the oldest person ever to occupy the Premiership – being aged 84 at his resignation.

Final years (1894–1898)

A few days after he relinquished the premiership, Gladstone wrote to George William Erskine Russell
George William Erskine Russell
George William Erskine Russell PC , known as George W. E. Russell, was a British biographer, memoirist and Liberal politician.-Background and education:...

 on 6 March 1894:

I am thankful to have borne a part in the emancipating labours of the last sixty years; but entirely uncertain how, had I now to begin my life, I could face the very different problems of the next sixty years. Of one thing I am, and always have been, convinced—it is not by the State that man can be regenerated, and the terrible woes of this darkened world effectually dealt with. In some, and some very important, respects, I yearn for the impossible revival of the men and the ideas of my first twenty years, which immediately followed the first Reform Act.


In 1895, at the age of 85, Gladstone bequeathed £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

40,000 (equivalent to approximately £ today) and much of his library to found St Deiniol's Library
St Deiniol's Library
Gladstone's Library, known until 2010 as St Deiniol's Library , is a residential library in Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales.The library was founded by the Victorian statesman and politician William Ewart Gladstone ....

 in Hawarden
Hawarden
Hawarden is a village in Flintshire, North Wales. Hawarden forms part of the Deeside conurbation on the Welsh/English border. At the 2001 Census, the population of Hawarden Ward was 1,858...

, Wales, the only residential library in Britain. Despite his advanced age, he himself hauled most of his 32,000 books a quarter of a mile to their new home, using his wheelbarrow.

On 8 January 1896, in conversation with L. A. Tollemache, Gladstone explained that: "I am not so much afraid of Democracy or of Science as of the love of money. This seems to me to be a growing evil. Also, there is a danger from the growth of that dreadful military spirit". On 13 January Gladstone claimed he had strong Conservative instincts and that "In all matters of custom and tradition, even the Tories look upon me as the chief Conservative that is". On 15 January Gladstone wrote to James Bryce
James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce
James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce OM, GCVO, PC, FRS, FBA was a British academic, jurist, historian and Liberal politician.-Background and education:...

, describing himself as "a dead man, one fundamentally a Peel–Cobden man". In 1896, in his last noteworthy speech, he denounced Armenian
Hamidian massacres
The Hamidian massacres , also referred to as the Armenian Massacres of 1894–1896, refers to the massacring of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, with estimates of the dead ranging from anywhere between 80,000 to 300,000, and at least 50,000 orphans as a result...

 massacres by Ottomans in a talk delivered at Liverpool. On 2 January 1897 Gladstone wrote to Francis Hirst on being unable to write a preface to a book on liberalism: "I venture on assuring you that I regard the design formed by you and your friends with sincere interest, and in particular wish well to all the efforts you may make on behalf of individual freedom and independence as opposed to what is termed Collectivism".

In the early months of 1897 Gladstone and his wife stayed in Cannes. Gladstone met the Queen, where (Gladstone believed) she shook hands with him for the first time in the fifty years he had known her. One of the Gladstones's neighbours observed that "He and his devoted wife never missed the morning service on Sunday...One Sunday, returning from the altar rail, the old, partially blind man stumbled at the chancel step. One of the clergy sprang involuntarily to his assistance, but retreated with haste, so withering was the fire which flashed from those failing eyes". The Gladstones returned to Hawarden Castle at the end of March and he received the Colonial Premiers in their visit for the Queen's Jubilee. Upon the advice of his doctor Samuel Habershon in the aftermath of an attack of facial neuralgia
Neuralgia
Neuralgia is pain in one or more nerves that occurs without stimulation of pain receptor cells. Neuralgia pain is produced by a change in neurological structure or function rather than by the excitation of pain receptors that causes nociceptive pain. Neuralgia falls into two categories: central...

, Gladstone stayed at Cannes from the end of November 1897 to mid-February 1898. He gave an interview for The Daily Telegraph (published on 5 January 1898 as 'Personal Recollections of Arthur H. Hallam'). Gladstone then went to Bournemouth, and a swelling on the palate was diagnosed as cancer by the leading cancer surgeon, Sir Thomas Smith on 18 March. On 22 March he retired to Hawarden Castle. Despite being in pain he received visitors and quoted hymns, especially Cardinal Newman's 'Praise to the Holiest in the Height
The Dream of Gerontius (poem)
The Dream of Gerontius is a poem written by John Henry Newman consisting of the prayer of a dying man, and angelic and demonic responses....

'. His last public statement was dictated to his daughter Helen in reply to receiving the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford's "sorrow and affection": "There is no expression of Christian sympathy that I value more than that of the ancient University of Oxford, the God-fearing and God-sustaining University of Oxford. I served her perhaps mistakenly, but to the best of my ability. My most earnest prayers are hers to the uttermost and to the last". He left the house for the last time on 9 April and after 18 April he did not come down to the ground floor but still came out of bed to lie on the sofa. The Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane George Wilkinson
George Wilkinson (bishop)
George Howard Wilkinson was Bishop of Truro and then of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th...

 recorded when he ministered to him along with Stephen Gladstone:

Shall I ever forget the last Friday in Passion Week, when I gave him the last Holy Communion that I was allowed to administer to him? It was early in the morning. He was obliged to be in bed, and he was ordered to remain there, but the time had come for the confession of sin and the receiving of absolution. Out of his bed he came. Alone he knelt in the presence of his God till the absolution has been spoken, and the sacred elements received.


Gladstone died on 19 May 1898 at Hawarden Castle, Hawarden, aged 88. The death of William Ewart Gladstone was registered by Helen Gladstone, his daughter, "present at the death", on 23 May 1898. The cause of death is officially recorded as "Syncope, Senility, certified by Herbert. E. S. Biss M.D" and not metastatic cancer, as is frequently reported. "Syncope" means failure of the heart and "senility" in the nineteenth-century meant the infirmity of advanced old-age rather than a loss in the mental faculties.

The House of Commons adjourned on the afternoon of Gladstone's death, with A. J. Balfour giving notice for an Address to the Queen praying for a public funeral and a public memorial in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

. The day after, both Houses of Parliament approved of the Address and Herbert Gladstone accepted a public funeral on behalf of the Gladstone family. His coffin was transported on the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 before his state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

 at Westminster Abbey, at which the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

) and the Duke of York (the future George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

) acted as pallbearers. Two years after Gladstone's burial in Westminster Abbey, his wife, Catherine Gladstone (née Glynne), was laid to rest with him (see image at right).

Religion

His mother, intensely religious, was an evangelical of Scottish Episcopal
Scottish Episcopal Church
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a Christian church in Scotland, consisting of seven dioceses. Since the 17th century, it has had an identity distinct from the presbyterian Church of Scotland....

 origins, and his father joined the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, having been a Presbyterian
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

 when he first settled in Liverpool. The boy was baptised into the Church of England. He had previously rejected a call to enter the ministry, and on this his conscience always tormented him. In compensation he aligned his politics with the evangelical faith in which he fervently believed. In 1838 Gladstone nearly ruined his career when he tried to force a religious mission upon the Conservative Party. He wrote The State in its Relations with the Church, a book which argued that England had neglected its great duty to the Church of England. He announced that since that Church possessed a monopoly of religious truth, Nonconformists and Roman Catholics ought to be excluded from all government jobs. The historian Thomas Babington Macaulay and other critics ridiculed his weak arguments to shreds. Sir Robert Peel
Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet was a British Conservative statesman who 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...

, Gladstone's chief, was outraged because this would upset the delicate political issue of Catholic Emancipation and anger the Nonconformists. Since Peel greatly admired his protégé, he redirected his focus from theology to finance.

Gladstone altered his approach to religious problems, which always held first place in his mind. Before entering Parliament he had already substituted a High Church Anglican attitude, with its dependence upon authority and tradition, for the narrow evangelical outlook of his boyhood, with its reliance upon the direct inspiration of the Bible. Now in middle life he decided that the individual conscience would have to replace authority as the inner citadel of the Church. That view of the individual conscience affected his political outlook and changed him gradually from a Conservative into a Liberal.

Legacy

Lord Acton wrote in 1880 that he considered Gladstone as one "of the three greatest Liberals" (along with Edmund Burke and Lord Macaulay).

In 1909 the Liberal Chancellor David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

 introduced his "People's Budget
People's Budget
The 1909 People's Budget was a product of then British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith's Liberal government, introducing many unprecedented taxes on the wealthy and radical social welfare programmes to Britain's political life...

", the first budget which aimed to redistribute wealth. The Liberal statesman Lord Rosebery
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, KG, PC was a British Liberal statesman and Prime Minister. Between the death of his father, in 1851, and the death of his grandfather, the 4th Earl, in 1868, he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Dalmeny.Rosebery was a Liberal Imperialist who...

 commented on what Gladstone would make of this budget:

This Budget is introduced as a Liberal measure. If so, all I can say is, it is a new Liberalism, and not the one that I have known and practised under more illustrious auspices than these, under one who was not merely the greatest Liberal but the greatest financier that this country has ever known — I mean Mr. Gladstone... Gladstone ranks as the great financial authority of our country... Mr. Gladstone would be 100 in December if he were alive, but, centenarian as he would be, I am inclined to think that he would make very short work of the deputation of the Cabinet that waited on him with this measure, and that they would soon find themselves on the stairs, if not in the street. Because in his eyes, and in my eyes, too, as his humble disciple, Liberalism and Liberty were cognate terms; they were twin-sisters.


David Lloyd George had written in 1913 that the Liberals were "carving the last few columns out of the Gladstonian quarry".

In 1914 Britain declared war
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 on Germany due to its violation of Belgian neutrality. In December 1916 on unveiling a statue of Gladstone, Lord Rosebery speculated that Gladstone's view of British involvement in the Great War would not have been favourable. In 1916 Lord Kilbracken wrote that "I have often been asked during the present war (1916) what I thought Mr. Gladstone's attitude would have been if he had been alive at this day. I can answer the question without hesitation, bearing in mind the fact he had, as will easily be believed, the strongest possible feeling about the sanctity of treaties and international engagements, and the moral obligation to observe them...from the moment when the Germans violated the neutrality of Belgium, he would...have been for immediate war".

During the Great War the Liberal Party split into those led by former Premier Herbert Henry Asquith
H. H. Asquith
Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, KG, PC, KC served as the Liberal Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916...

 and the new Premier David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

. Lloyd George said of Gladstone in 1915: "What a man he was! Head and shoulders above anyone else I have ever seen in the House of Commons. I did not like him much. He hated Nonconformists and Welsh Nonconformists in particular, and he had no real sympathy with the working-classes. But he was far and away the best Parliamentary speaker I have ever heard. He was not so good in exposition". Asquithian Liberals continued to advocate traditional Gladstonian policies of sound finance, peaceful foreign relations and the better treatment of Ireland. They often compared Lloyd George unfavourably with Gladstone. In his first major speech after he had lost his seat in the 1918 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1918
The United Kingdom general election of 1918 was the first to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918, which meant it was the first United Kingdom general election in which nearly all adult men and some women could vote. Polling was held on 14 December 1918, although the count did...

, Asquith said: "That is the purpose and the spirit of Liberalism, as I learned it as a student in my young days, as I was taught it both by the precept and the example of the great Liberal statesman Mr Gladstone...that remains the same today. Do not forsake for temporary expediencies, for short-lived compromises, for brittle and precarious bridges – do not forsake the great heritage of the Liberal tradition of the past. It is not superstition; it is not a legend; it is founded upon faith and experience, and justified at every stage in our political history". Speaking in November 1920 Asquith quoted Gladstone to show "the only way to escape from the financial morass towards which the government are heading". Lloyd George would invoke Gladstone in March 1920 when speaking out against socialism at "Red Clydeside
Red Clydeside
Red Clydeside is a term used to describe the era of political radicalism that characterised the city of Glasgow in Scotland, and urban areas around the city on the banks of the River Clyde such as Clydebank, Greenock and Paisley...

": "The doctrine of Liberalism is a doctrine that believes that private property, as an incentive, as a means, as a reward, is the most potent agency not merely for the wealth, but for the well-being of the community. That is the doctrine not merely of Peel, of Disraeli, of Salisbury, and Chamberlain; it is the doctrine of Gladstone; it is the doctrine of Cobden; it is the doctrine of Bright; and it is the doctrine of Campbell Bannerman...It is the doctrine of all the great Liberal leaders of the past and present". Asquith replied to this speech at the National Liberal Club: "...keep faithful to your old traditions...Think, in a situation such as this, and with appeals such as those which have been made to our fellow Liberals outside, what would have been the attitude of Mr Gladstone. Do you think they would have allowed themselves to be scared by the bogey of Bolshevism, to furl the old flag and march with bowed heads and reversed arms, horse, foot and artillery, into the camp of the enemy?" In July 1922 Asquith said of Gladstone:

Amid all the seeming inconsistencies of his public career, which exposed him to the shallow charge of time-serving and even of hypocrisy, history will discern a steady process of evolution, guided always by certain governing principles. He was the most faithful and enlightened steward there has ever been of our national finance. He abhorred waste. He preferred the remission of burdensome taxation even to the diminution of the public debt. His great aim was that the resources of the country, in the phraseology of those days, should "fructify in the pockets of the people", not to be wasted in public or private extravagance, but to replenish the reservoir from which both capital and industry are fed. He never faltered in his allegiance to the cause of setting free the smaller nationalities, crushed between the upper and the nether millstone of arrogant and militant autocracies. He was the pioneer in the long, arduous, still uncompleted struggle, in the international sphere, of right against might, of freedom against force.


Writing in 1944, the liberal Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August Hayek CH , born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was an economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought...

 said of the change in political attitudes that had occurred since the Great War: "Perhaps nothing shows this change more clearly than that, while there is no lack of sympathetic treatment of Bismarck in contemporary English literature, the name of Gladstone is rarely mentioned by the younger generation without a sneer over his Victorian morality and naive utopianism".

However Gladstone remained a potent symbol of the Liberal Party and Liberalism for some grassroots Liberal voters. In the 1955 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1955
The 1955 United Kingdom general election was held on 26 May 1955, four years after the previous general election. It resulted in a substantially increased majority of 60 for the Conservative government under new leader and prime minister Sir Anthony Eden against Labour Party, now in their 20th year...

 an old lady left her house in Shetland to vote Conservative but on returning to her house for her purse saw her father's photograph of Gladstone and instead went to the vote for the Liberal candidate, Jo Grimond. A Liberal activist in Lowdham
Lowdham
Lowdham is a village in Nottinghamshire between Nottingham and Southwell.Lowdham is in the Newark and Sherwood district.The dual carriageway to the north and Doncaster cuts the village in two....

, Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, and Derbyshire to the west...

 during the 1966 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1966
The 1966 United Kingdom general election on 31 March 1966 was called by sitting Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Wilson's decision to call an election turned on the fact that his government, elected a mere 17 months previously in 1964 had an unworkably small majority of only 4 MPs...

 canvassed a gardener in his seventies and was brusquely informed: "I'm a Gladstone [Liberal] and a Primitive Methodist".

In the latter half of the twentieth-century Gladstone's economic policies came to be admired by Thatcherite
Thatcherism
Thatcherism describes the conviction politics, economic and social policy, and political style of the British Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, who was leader of her party from 1975 to 1990...

 Conservatives. Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 proclaimed in 1983: "We have a duty to make sure that every penny piece we raise in taxation is spent wisely and well. For it is our party which is dedicated to good housekeeping—indeed, I would not mind betting that if Mr. Gladstone were alive today he would apply to join the Conservative Party". In 1996 she said in the Keith Joseph
Keith Joseph
Keith St John Joseph, Baron Joseph, Bt, CH, PC , was a British barrister and politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet under three Prime Ministers , and is widely regarded to have been the "power behind the throne" in the creation of what came to be known as...

 memorial lecture: "The kind of Conservatism which he and I...favoured would be best described as "liberal", in the old-fashioned sense. And I mean the liberalism of Mr Gladstone not of the latter day collectivists". Nigel Lawson
Nigel Lawson
Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, PC , is a British Conservative politician and journalist. He was a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Blaby from 1974–92, and served as the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the government of Margaret Thatcher from June 1983 to October 1989...

, one of Thatcher's Chancellors, believed Gladstone to be the "greatest Chancellor of all time".

Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

's European agent, Colonel Gouraud, recorded Gladstone's voice several times on phonograph
Phonograph
The phonograph record player, or gramophone is a device introduced in 1877 that has had continued common use for reproducing sound recordings, although when first developed, the phonograph was used to both record and reproduce sounds...

. The accent on one of the recordings is North Welsh. When on 15 March 1938 relatives and people who knew Gladstone were gathered at Broadcasting House
Broadcasting House
Broadcasting House is the headquarters and registered office of the BBC in Portland Place and Langham Place, London.The building includes the BBC Radio Theatre from where music and speech programmes are recorded in front of a studio audience...

 none were able to voice any certainty on the veracity of the four recordings played. Those present were Lady Gladstone of Hawarden (Gladstone's daughter-in-law), Sir George Leveson-Gower (Gladstone's secretary), William Wickham (Gladstone's eldest grandson), and Canon Edward Lyttleton.

Monuments

  • The first statue erected in Gladstone's honour after his death was in Blackburn in 1900.

  • A statue of Gladstone by Albert Bruce-Joy and erected in 1882, stands near the front gate of St. Marys Church
    Bow Church
    Bow Church is the parish church of St Mary and Holy Trinity, Stratford, Bow. It is located on an island site in Bow Road , in Bow, London Borough of Tower Hamlets. There has been a church on the same site for approximately 700 years...

     in Bow, London
    Bow, London
    Bow is an area of London, England, United Kingdom in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is a built-up, mostly residential district located east of Charing Cross, and is a part of the East End.-Bridges at Bowe:...

    . Paid for by the industrialist Theodore Bryant, it is viewed as a symbol of the later 1888 match girls strike
    London matchgirls strike of 1888
    The London match-girls’ strike of 1888 was a strike of the women and teenage girls working at the Bryant and May Factory in Bow, London.-The strike:...

    , which took place at the nearby Bryant & May Match Factory
    Bow Quarter
    The Bow Quarter is a gated community in Bow, London. The building was originally the Bryant and May match factory, and was the site of the Match Girls' strike in the 1880s...

    . Led by the socialist Annie Besant
    Annie Besant
    Annie Besant was a prominent British Theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self rule.She was married at 19 to Frank Besant but separated from him over religious differences. She then became a prominent speaker for the National Secular Society ...

    , hundreds of working girls from the factory had gone on strike to demand improved working conditions and pay, eventually winning their cause. In recent years, the statue of Gladstone has been repeatedly daubed with red paint, suggesting that it was paid for with the 'blood of the match girls'.

  • A statue of Gladstone, erected in 1872, stands in the Great Hall of St. George's Hall, Liverpool
    St. George's Hall, Liverpool
    St George's Hall is on Lime Street in the centre of the English city of Liverpool, opposite Lime Street railway station. It is a building in Neoclassical style which contains concert halls and law courts, and has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building...

    . Another, in bronze by Sir Thomas Brock, erected in 1904, stands outside in St John's Gardens
    St John's Gardens
    St John's Gardens is an open space in Liverpool, England, located to the west of St George's Hall. The gardens are part of the William Brown Street conservation area, and comprise one of the two open spaces within Liverpool's World Heritage Site. It has been a Green Flag site since 2003...

    .

  • A statue of Gladstone, erected in 1905, stands at Aldwych
    Aldwych
    Aldwych is a place and road in the City of Westminster in London, England.-Description:Aldwych, the road, is a crescent, connected to the Strand at both ends. At its centre, it meets the Kingsway...

    , London, near the Royal Courts of Justice
    Royal Courts of Justice
    The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called the Law Courts, is the building in London which houses the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and the High Court of Justice of England and Wales...

    .


  • A Grade II listed statue of Gladstone stands in Albert Square, Manchester
    Albert Square, Manchester
    Albert Square is a public square in the centre of Manchester, England.It is dominated by its largest building, Manchester Town Hall , a Victorian Gothic building by Alfred Waterhouse...

    .

  • A monument to Gladstone, Member of Parliament
    Member of Parliament
    A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

     for Midlothian
    Midlothian (UK Parliament constituency)
    Midlothian in Scotland, is a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first-past-the-post voting system....

     1880–1895 was unveiled in Edinburgh
    Edinburgh
    Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

     in 1917 (and moved to its present location in 1955). It stands in Coates Crescent Gardens. The sculptor was James Pittendrigh McGillvray.

  • A statue to Gladstone, who was Rector of the University of Glasgow 1877–1880 was unveiled in Glasgow
    Glasgow
    Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

     in 1902. It stands in George Square
    George Square
    George Square is the principal civic square in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. It is named after King George III.-Historical development:George Square was laid out in 1781, part of the innovative Georgian central grid plan that initially spanned from Stockwell Street east to Buchanan Street—which...

    . The sculptor was Sir William Hamo Thornycroft.


  • Gladstone Park
    Gladstone Park, London
    Gladstone Park is situated in the Dollis Hill area of north-west London. It is about 35 hectares in area Dollis Hill House is an early Nineteenth-Century farmhouse, located within the northern boundary of the park.-Transport:...

     in the Municipal Borough of Willesden
    Municipal Borough of Willesden
    Willesden was a local government district in the county of Middlesex, England from 1874 to 1965. It formed part of the Metropolitan Police District and London postal district...

    , London was named after him in 1899. Dollis Hill House
    Dollis Hill House
    Dollis Hill House is an early Nineteenth-Century farmhouse located in the North London suburb of Dollis Hill, on the northern boundary of Gladstone Park. Noteworthy guests such as William Ewart Gladstone and Mark Twain have been entertained there. Today, the house is a derelict ruin, having been...

    , within what later became the park, was occupied by Sir Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks
    Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth
    Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth was a Scottish businessman and a Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1853 until 1880, when he was elevated to thepeerage as Baron Tweedmouth...

    , who subsequently became Lord Tweedmouth. In 1881 Lord Tweedmouth's daughter and her husband, Lord Aberdeen
    John Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair
    John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC , known as The Earl of Aberdeen from 1870 to 1916, was a Scottish politician...

    , took up residence. They often had Gladstone to stay as a guest. In 1897 Lord Aberdeen was appointed Governor-General of Canada and the Aberdeens moved out. When Willesden acquired the house and land in 1899, they named the park Gladstone Park after the old Prime Minister.

  • Near to Hawarden
    Hawarden
    Hawarden is a village in Flintshire, North Wales. Hawarden forms part of the Deeside conurbation on the Welsh/English border. At the 2001 Census, the population of Hawarden Ward was 1,858...

     in the town of Mancot
    Mancot
    Mancot is a village in south east Flintshire, Wales, approximately 1.5 miles from Queensferry, 1.2 miles from Hawarden and 5 miles from Chester...

    , there is a small hospital named after Catherine Gladstone
    Catherine Gladstone
    Catherine Glynne Gladstone was the wife of British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone for 59 years, until his death in 1898.-Family:...

    . A statue of her husband also stands near the High School in Hawarden.

  • Gladstone Rock—a large boulder about 12 ft high in Cwm Llan on the Watkin Path on the south side of Snowdon
    Snowdon
    Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at an altitude of above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside Scotland. It is located in Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, and has been described as "probably the busiest mountain in Britain"...

     where Gladstone made a speech in 1892. A plaque on the rock states that he 'addressed the people of Eryri upon justice to Wales.'

  • Liverpool
    Liverpool
    Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

    's Crest Hotel was renamed The Gladstone Hotel in his honour in the early 1990s, but in 2006 was renamed again as The Liner Hotel.

  • Gladstone, Manitoba
    Gladstone, Manitoba
    Gladstone is a town in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It is located on the Yellowhead Highway at the intersection with Highway 34 within the boundaries of the Rural Municipality of Westbourne...

     is a town in central Canada that was named after him in 1882.

  • Gladstone, Oregon
    Gladstone, Oregon
    Gladstone is a city located in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,438. The 2007 estimate is 12,200 residents. Gladstone is a four-square-mile suburban community twelve miles south of Portland at the confluence of the Clackamas and...

     is a city in the northwestern United States named after him.

  • Gladstone, New Jersey
    Gladstone, New Jersey
    Gladstone is an unincorporated area within Peapack-Gladstone in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. The area is served as United States Postal Service ZIP Code 07934....

     is a town in the northeastern United States named after him.

  • Gladstone, Queensland
    Gladstone, Queensland
    - Education :Gladstone has several primary schools, three high schools, and one university campus, Central Queensland University. It is also home to CQIT Gladstone Campus.- Recreation :...

    , Australia was named after him and has a 19th century marble statue on display in its town museum.

  • A school and a street in Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

    's capital Sofia
    Sofia
    Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

     are named in his honour, as is a street in the city of Plovdiv
    Plovdiv
    Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...

    , and in Limassol
    Limassol
    Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

    , Cyprus
    Cyprus
    Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

    .

  • A street in the neighbourhood of Geduld Extension in the Gauteng
    Gauteng
    Gauteng is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. It was formed from part of the old Transvaal Province after South Africa's first all-race elections on 27 April 1994...

     town of Springs
    Springs, Gauteng
    Springs is a city on the East Rand in the Gauteng province of South Africa.It lies 50 km east of Johannesburg. The name of the city derives from the large number of springs in the area; it has a population of more than 200,000, and is situated at 5,340 ft a.s.l...

    , South Africa is named after Gladstone

  • William Gladstone Primary School (Formerly St. Thomas' and recently renamed as Rimrose Hope) is a Primary School located in Seaforth, in which he was raised and educated.


  • There is a Gladstone Street in Waterford City and also Clonmel
    Clonmel
    Clonmel is the county town of South Tipperary in Ireland. It is the largest town in the county. While the borough had a population of 15,482 in 2006, another 17,008 people were in the rural hinterland. The town is noted in Irish history for its resistance to the Cromwellian army which sacked both...

     in Ireland.

  • There is a Gladstone Street in the BD3 postcode area of Bradford
    Bradford
    Bradford lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, in Northern England. It is situated in the foothills of the Pennines, west of Leeds, and northwest of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897...

    , West Yorkshire
    West Yorkshire
    West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

    .

  • There is a Gladstone Road, a Gladstone Street and a Gladstone Lane in Scarborough, North Yorkshire
    North Yorkshire
    North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

    .

  • There is a Gladstone Avenue in Ottawa
    Ottawa
    Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , which was renamed from Ann Street. From 1855 to 1889 it was the southern limit of the city west if the Rideau Canal
    Rideau Canal
    The Rideau Canal , also known as the Rideau Waterway, connects the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston, Ontario on Lake Ontario. The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States and is still in use today, with most of its...

    .

  • There is a Gladstone in South Australia named after him. The local town hall has a bust of him on display in it's foyer

  • There is a Gladstone statue at Glenalmond College
    Glenalmond College
    Glenalmond College is a co-educational independent boarding school in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, for children aged between 12 and 18 years. It is situated on the River Almond near the village of Methven, about west of the city of Perth. The school's motto is Floreat Glenalmond...

    , unveiled in 2010 which is located in Front Quad.

In popular culture

A Gladstone bag
Gladstone bag
A Gladstone bag is a small portmanteau suitcase built over a rigid frame which could separate into two equal sections. Unlike a suitcase, a Gladstone bag is "deeper in proportion to its length." They are typically made of stiff leather and often belted with lanyards...

, a light travelling bag, is called after him.

In fiction, Gladstone features prominently in the history of the fantasy Bartimaeus trilogy
Bartimaeus Trilogy
Bartimaeus is a fantasy series by Jonathan Stroud consisting of a trilogy published from 2003 to 2005 and a prequel novel published in 2010. The titular character, Bartimaeus, is a five-thousand-year-old djinni, a spirit of approximately mid-level power...

, in which the British government is run by magicians. Gladstone is said to have been the most powerful magician to ever become Prime Minister, and though he is not included as a character, several objects of his are central plot points. The book provides an alternate history of Gladstone, in which he killed Disraeli in a duel and assisted British forces in colonial expansion.

In the Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 stories, John Watson
John Watson
John Watson may refer to:In politics:* John Christian Watson , known as Chris Watson, Australia's third Prime Minister* John Bertrand Watson , British Member of Parliament for Stockton-on-Tees, 1917–1923* John S...

's bulldog is named after Gladstone.

Portrayal in film and television

Since 1937, Gladstone has been portrayed on no fewer than 37 occasions in film and television, beginning with Montagu Love's
Montagu Love
Montagu Love , also known as Montague Love, was an English screen, stage and vaudeville actor.Born Harry Montague Love in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, and educated in Great Britain, Love began his career as an artist and military correspondent. His first important job was as a London newspaper...

 appearance as him in the 1937 film Parnell
Parnell (film)
Parnell is a 1937 MGM film starring Clark Gable as Charles Stewart Parnell, the famous Irish politician. It is considered Gable's worst film, and is classified in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.-Production:...

. Other portrayals include Malcolm Keen
Malcolm Keen
Malcolm Keen was an English film and television actor.Born in Bristol, Keen was an early collaborator with the director Alfred Hitchcock, starring in his silent films The Mountain Eagle, The Lodger and The Manxman.Keen was the father of actor Geoffrey Keen, and the two both played Iachimo in...

 (Sixty Glorious Years
Sixty Glorious Years
Sixty Glorious Years is a 1938 British film directed by Herbert Wilcox. The film is a sequel to the 1937 film Victoria the Great.The film is also known as Queen of Destiny in the US.- Cast :*Anna Neagle as Queen Victoria...

, 1938), Stephen Murray (The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister (film)
The Prime Minister is a British film from 1941 directed by Thorold Dickinson. It details the life and times of Benjamin Disraeli, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and stars John Gielgud, Diana Wynyard, Fay Compton and Stephen Murray.-Plot:...

, 1941), Arthur Young
Arthur Young (actor)
Arthur Young was an English actor, notable for roles including Gladstone in the 1951 The Lady with the Lamp....

 (The Lady with the Lamp, 1951), Graham Chapman
Graham Chapman
Graham Arthur Chapman was a British comedian, physician, writer, actor, and one of the six members of the Monty Python comedy troupe.-Early life and education:...

 (Monty Python's Flying Circus
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a BBC TV sketch comedy series. The shows were composed of surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines...

, 1969), Michael Hordern
Michael Hordern
Sir Michael Murray Hordern was an English actor, knighted in 1983 for his services to the theatre, which stretched back to before the Second World War.-Personal life:...

 (Edward the Seventh, 1975) and Martin Wady (Queen Victoria's Empire, 2001).

Works

(Volume 51, Issue 4 of new series, American Philosophical Society Volume 51, Part 4 of Transactions Series Volume 51, Part 4 of Transactions of the American Philosophical Society new ser v. 51, no. 4)(Original from the University of California)

Primary sources

  • W. E. Gladstone, Midlothian Speeches. 1879 (Leicester University Press, 1971).
  • Viscount Gladstone, After Thirty Years (1928).
  • Lord Kilbracken, Reminiscences of Lord Kilbracken (Macmillan, 1931).
  • Herbert Paul (ed.), Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone (George Allen, 1904).
  • G. W. E. Russell, One Look Back (Wells Gardner, Darton and Co., 1911).
  • Lionel A. Tollemache, Talks with Mr. Gladstone (London: Edward Arnold, 1898).

Biographies

  • Bebbington, D. W. William Ewart Gladstone (1993).
  • Biagini, Eugenio F. Gladstone (2000).
  • Brand, Eric. William Gladstone (1986) ISBN 0-87754-528-6.
  • Jagger, Peter J., ed. Gladstone (2007), 256pp
  • Jenkins, Roy. Gladstone: A Biography (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Magnus, Philip M. Gladstone: A biography (1954) excerpt and text search
  • Matthew, H. C. G. "Gladstone, William Ewart (1809–1898)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (2004; online edition May 2006
  • Matthew, H. C. G. Gladstone, 1809–1874 (1988); Gladstone, 1875–1898 (1995) excerpt & text search vol 1
  • Morley, J. The life of William Ewart Gladstone, 3 vols. (1903) vol 2 online
  • Partridge, M. Gladstone (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Shannon, Richard. Gladstone (2 vol, 1984–2000)
  • Russell, Michael. Gladstone: A Bicentenary Portrait (2009). ISBN 978-0-85955-317-9

Special studies

  • Aldous, Richard. The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs Disraeli (2007)
  • Bebbington, D. W. The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics (2004).
  • Boyce, D. George and Alan O'Day, eds. Gladstone and Ireland: Politics, Religion, and Nationality in the Victorian Age (Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 307 pages
  • Butler, P. Gladstone, church, state, and Tractarianism: a study of his religious ideas and attitudes, 1809–1859 (1982)
  • Derek Beales, Gladstone on the italian question. January 1860 in Rassegna Storica del Risorgimento, a. XL – fasc. IV, pp. 96–104, (1953)
  • Guedalla, Philip. Queen and Mr. Gladstone (2 vol 1933) online edition
  • Isba, Anne. Gladstone and Women (2006) Hambledon Continuum, London ISBN 1-85285-471-5
  • Hammond, J. L. Gladstone and the Irish nation (1938) online edition
  • Jenkins, T. A. Gladstone, whiggery and the liberal party, 1874–1886 (1988)
  • Loughlin, J. Gladstone, home rule and the Ulster question, 1882–1893 (1986)
  • Parry, J. P. Democracy and religion: Gladstone and the liberal party, 1867–1875 (1986)
  • Schreuder, D. M. Gladstone and Kruger: Liberal government and colonial ‘home rule’, 1880–85 (1969)
  • Schreuder, D.M. Gladstone and Italian unification, 1848–70: the making of a Liberal?, The English historical review, vol. 85 (n. 336), pp. 475–501 (July 1970)
  • Seton-Watson, R. W. Disraeli, Gladstone and the eastern question: a study in diplomacy and party politics (1935)
  • Shannon, Richard. Gladstone: God and Politics (2007).
  • Vincent, J. Gladstone and Ireland (1978)
  • Vincent, J. The Formation of the Liberal Party, 1857–1868 (1966)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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