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Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Prime Ministers of William IV (1830-1837)

Prime Ministers of William IV  Left to right: Duke of Wellington, Earl Grey, Viscount Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel (2)
Prime Ministers of William IV
Left to right: Duke of Wellington, Earl Grey, Viscount Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel (2)
Collage © Rachel Knowles
During William IV's brief reign of just seven years, he had four different Prime Ministers—two Tories and two Whigs. The staunchly Whig Grey's period of office saw great political reform. When he resigned in 1834, his government had seen the passing of the 1832 Reform Act, significantly reforming the electoral system, and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833.

Read about the Whigs and the Tories here.

Find my guide to the Prime Ministers of George III here and George IV here.

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington
Tory – 1828-30

  Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington  by Robert Home oil on canvas (1804)  © NPG 1471 (1)
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
by Robert Home oil on canvas (1804)
© NPG 1471 (1)
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
Whig – 1830-1834

Earl Grey from The Life and Times of England's  Patriot King William IV by J Watkins (1831)
Earl Grey from The Life and Times of England's
Patriot King William IV by J Watkins (1831)
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
Whig – 1834

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne from The History of White's  by Hon Algernon Bourke (1892
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
from The History of White's
 by Hon Algernon Bourke (1892)
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington 
Tory – 1834 (2nd term of office)

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington  by Robert Home oil on canvas (1804)  © NPG 1471 (1)
Duke of Wellington
(details as above)
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet 
Tory – 1834-5

  Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet  by John Linnell oil on panel (1838)  © NPG 772 (lightened) (1)
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet
by John Linnell oil on panel (1838)
© NPG 772 (lightened) (1)
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne 
Whig – 1835-41 (2nd term of office)

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne  from The History of White's   by Hon Algernon Bourke (1892)
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount
Melbourne (details as above)
Notes
(1) These pictures are © National Portrait Gallery and are displayed under a Creative Commons licence.
(2) Source details of pictures in collage: Duke of Wellington from Life of the Field Marshal, his Grace the Duke of Wellington by James Edward Alexander (1840); Earl Grey from The Life and Times of England's Patriot King William IV by J Watkins (1831); Viscount Melbourne from The History of White's  by Hon Algernon Bourke (1892); Sir Robert Peel from The Georgian Era by Clarke (1832).

Sources used include:
Government website - past Prime Ministers
National Portrait Gallery website

3 comments:

  1. If I remember correctly, Robert Peel, as well as instituting the 'Peelers' was what was known as a 'Liberal tory' which was the basis for the founding of the Liberal party [dredging up 'O' Level history notes of more than 30 years ago into my head here.... ].
    Lord Melbourne is one I recall as being Prime Minister when William IV died purely through having read Jean Plaidy's 'The Queen and Lord M' when I was about 13, which made a great impact on me. I must re-read it and see if it's as powerful as I found it in my early teens.

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    Replies
    1. I seem to remember that Lord Melbourne is quite a powerful figure in the 'Young Victoria' film - I must watch that again. :)

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  2. Great post Rachel! I remember the characterization of Lord Melbourne from 'Young Victoria' as well. I think it was a really handsome actor, too. Oh, Hollywood...

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