There were so many prime ministers during Queen Victoria’s regiments I have split the list in two. To make it more confusi ng, several prime ministers had more than one spell as prime minister. All the comings and goings are detailed in Gimson’s book, which I have picked some highlights from in my posts about each pri.e minister, but there is lots more in the book! There is also a similar book about King’s and Queens by Gimson.
For part 1 see:
Victober: Prime minsters during Queen Victoria’s reign based upon Gimson’s Prime Minsters Part 1
The next prime ministers:
Gimson Prime Ministers: Robert Peel
Gimson’s Prime ministers: Lord John Russell
Gimson’s Prime Ministers: Earl of Derby
Gimson’s Prime Ministers: Earl of Derby
Gimson’s Prime Ministers: Earl of Abeerden
Gimson Prime Ministers: Lord Palmerston
Gimson’s Prime Minister’: Benjamin Disraeli
Gimson’s Prime Minister’s: William Gladstone
Gimson Prime Ministers: Marquess of Sailsbury
Lived 1830 – 1903
Prime Minister 1885 – 1886, 1886-1892 and 1895-1902
Sailsbury was the last prime minster to date to accumulate 14years as prime minister (over three spells). Towards the end of his third spell in 1901 Queen Victoria died. She was suceeeded by her son Edward VIII, was he was in position, in 1902 Sailsbury resigned and handed over to his nephew Balfour.
Prime minister 1868-74, 1880-1885, 1886 and 1892-94
Gladstone had 4 spells as Prime Minister, the last being when he was 82years old. Amongst his reforms, Gladstone introduced universal education up to the age of 13years.
Queen Victoria did not like the way he addressed her as if in a public meeting. She was not happy that her son the future King Edward VIII, was a pall bearers when Gladstone died from cancer, a year after he retired from his final spell as Prime Minister.
Disraeli was born a Jew and became prime minister in 1868 this is remarkable because until 10 years before he became prime minister (1858), Jews could not become prime ministers under law. Strictly speaking aged 12 he was baptised in the Church of England. On some levels he was proud to be Jewish however, he had dropped the apostrophe from his name D’Israeli putting less emphasis on Israel. Before entering politics Disraeli was a lawyer and then attempted to run his own newspaper but, that folded.
Before, during and after; his time in politics he wrote novels. He became prime minster aged 64, when Derby retired in February 1868, six months later in November 1868, he lost the general election to Gladstone. He had time to write another novel before winning the 1874 election and returning as prime minister. He impressed Queen Victoria by buying a controlling share of Suez Canal and gained her the title of Empress of India. Queen Victoria regularly sent him flowers.
Disraeli lost the election of 1880 to Gladstone. Before his death the following year he was able to complete his final novel.
Prime minister: 1855 – 58 and 1859 – 1865
He was the oldest first time prime minister ever at 70years old. He had been involved in politics since he was 22 years old, handling foreign affairs. Significantly his diplomacy led to the creation of Belgium 🇧🇪 in the 1830s.
He was not well liked by Queen Victoria or his colleagues. He was dismissed from foreign secretary by former prime minister John Russell but, he managed to oust Russell as prime minister. First Lord Derby had short spell as prime minster then Lord Aberdeen and Palmerston became Home Secretary. Lord Aberdeen’s spell as prime minister was cut short when he was ousted due to being held responsible for the Crimean war. With the situation in disarray Queen Victoria reluctantly allowed Palmerston to become prime minister.
Palmerston did resolve the Crimeran war and supported Florence Nightingale who has a place in history for the successes she had in terms of armies medical needs. Palmerston was briefly ousted in 1858 and Lord Derby returned, however Palmerston, swiftly returned a few months later in 1859. His popularity increased, in his 70s he retained remarkable energy cycling and climbing Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh for example. He managed to gain an increase majority in an election he called in 1865. However, within months of this after driving an open top carriage he caught a chill and died in October 1865, two days before his 85th birthday.
Prime minister: 1852-1855
Earl of Aberdeen was Prime minister between two of Earl of Derby’s three brief spells as prime minister. The Earl of Aberdeen was also short lived; largely due to the effect of Crimerian war which he was held responsible for; many soldiers die during Russia’s winter due to disease and fatalities from the conflict.
Lived 1799 – 1869
Prime minister 1852, 1858-59 and 1866- 1868
Prime minister on3 occasions,but less than 4years in total and never with a majority. He handed over to Disrali and therefore Disrali gets the credit of abolishment of slavery, even though the Earl of Derby started these reforms.
Prime minister 1846-52 and 1865-66
Russel was the second shortest prime minister at 5foot4 apparently he is considered to have look odd with his short statue but disproportionally large head.
He was Home Secretary from 1835 and became prime minster in 1846. In 1848 he faced the Irish famine, he did ask the government to provide relief but, did not oversee it effectively. He could be absent minded and missed appointments, sent letters to incorrect people etc… He was however successful in terms of education reforms and preventing in 1848 a chartist revilution that occurred in many other countries in Europe.
He was bad at managing colleagues, this led to foreign secretary Palmerston forcing him into resigning (full details are in the book). In 1858 Queen Victoria ; although she considered both Russel and Palmerston in 1859 to be ‘terrible old men’, she had to choose between the two men. She chose Palmerston but, he died in 1865. Russel during this time was foreign secretary. He had another year of being prime minister from 1865 before reigning in 1866.
“Dicken’s decidcated A Tale of Two Cities to Lord Russel, ‘In remembrance of many public services and private kindnesses’.
Lived 1788 – 1850
Prime minister 1834 – 1835 and 1841-1846
Robert Peel has long lasting notoriety for an achievement from before he, became prime minister; as Home Secretary in 1820s his reforms led to the creation of metropolitan police. Many people in England perhaps unknowingly refer to police 👮♀️ as bobbies which, is a derivation of Robert. In Victorian times police were also called Peelers after Robert Peel.
Peel became prime minister in 1834. It was short lived as in 1835 election, he failed to win sufficient seats to have control of the commons; therefore Melbourne returned as prime minister.
Due to Queen Victoria’s influence, Peel returned as prime minister in 1841. In 1845 Ireland’s potato crop failed. Peel wanted to resolve issue byabolishing Corn Laws which, kept the price of corn artificially high. Many of his cabinet of ministers disagreed as regards repealing Corn Laws; he was able to abolish with support from the opposition. As 2/3 of his party had voted against him, as regards abolishing Corn Laws, this led to him resigning in 1846.
In 1850, he fell from a horse and died a few days later.
Queen Victoria reigned from 1821 to 1901. A long reign at a time when Prime Minsters regularly changed, therefore there Several were prime ministers during her reign. These were the first:
Gimson: Lord Liverpool
Gimson: George Canning
Gimson: Lord Goderich
Gimson: Duke of Wellington
Gimson: Earl Grey
Gimson: Lord Melbourne