BBC - History - British History in depth: Queen Victoria and her Prime Ministers
Queen Victoria restored the reputation of the British monarchy tarnished by The relationship was a passionate one and Victoria often lost her temper . of her seventh prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, whose political advice she relied on. Queen Victoria with Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli Queen Victoria Family, Marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at St James's Palace London. Six years later the Queen's misery was much alleviated by the appointment of the Conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. asked for advice how to handle the Queen.
They conditioned his attitude toward some of the most important political problems which faced him in his later years—especially the Eastern Question; they also coloured many of his novels.
Contarini Fleming was avowedly a self-portrait. It is subtitled "a psychological autobiography", and depicts the conflicting elements of its hero's character: As Parry observes, the book ends on a political note, setting out Europe's progress "from feudal to federal principles".
The choice of a Tory publication was regarded as strange by Disraeli's friends and relatives, who thought him more of a Radical. Indeed, he had objected to Murray about Croker's inserting "high Tory" sentiment: Disraeli remarked, "it is quite impossible that anything adverse to the general measure of Reform can issue from my pen.
The Whigs derived from the coalition of Lords who had forced through the Bill of Rights inand in some cases were their actual descendants, not merely spiritual. The Tories tended to support King and Church, and sought to thwart political change. A small number of Radicals, generally from northern constituencies, were the strongest advocates of continuing reform.
The other great party, the Whigs, were anathema to Disraeli: He began to move in Tory circles.
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She was having an affair with Lyndhurst, and began another with Disraeli. Lyndhurst was an indiscreet gossip with a fondness for intrigue; this appealed greatly to Disraeli, who became his secretary and go-between. Disraeli stood as a Radical for the last time inunsuccessfully contesting High Wycombe once again. He possesses all the necessary requisites of perfidy, selfishness, depravity, want of principle, etc.
I do not use it as a term of reproach; there are many most respectable Jews.
Benjamin Disraeli - Wikiquote
But there are, as in every other people, some of the lowest and most disgusting grade of moral turpitude; and of those I look upon Mr. Disraeli as the worst. He has just the qualities of the impenitent thief on the Cross, and I verily believe, if Mr. Disraeli's family herald were to be examined and his genealogy traced, the same personage would be discovered to be the heir at law of the exalted individual to whom I allude.
Disraeli now, and as the lineal descendant of the blasphemous robber, who ended his career beside the Founder of the Christian Faith, I leave the gentleman to the enjoyment of his infamous distinction and family honours. Disraeli kept Labouchere's majority down to a good showing that put him in line for a winnable seat in the near future.
His Vindication of the English Constitution, was published in December It was couched in the form of an open letter to Lyndhurst, and in Bradford's view encapsulates a political philosophy that Disraeli adhered to for the rest of his life. His targets included the Whigs, collectively and individually, Irish nationalists, and political corruption. The English nation, therefore, rallies for rescue from the degrading plots of a profligate oligarchy, a barbarizing sectarianism, and a boroughmongering Papacy, round their hereditary leaders—the Peers.
The House of Lords, therefore, at this moment represents everything in the realm except the Whig oligarchs, their tools the Dissenters, and their masters the Irish priests.
In the mean time, the Whigs bawl that there is a "collision! He was elected to the exclusively Tory Carlton Club inand was also taken up by the party's leading hostess, Lady Londonderry.
Back-bencher[ edit ] In the election in JulyDisraeli won a seat in the House of Commons as one of two members, both Tory, for the constituency of Maidstone. He had broken off the relationship in latedistraught that she had taken yet another lover.
He followed O'Connell, whom he sharply criticised for the latter's "long, rambling, jumbling, speech". He was a loyal supporter of the party leader Sir Robert Peel and his policies, with the exception of a personal sympathy for the Chartist movement that most Tories did not share. His motives were generally assumed to be mercenary, but the couple came to cherish one another, remaining close until she died more than three decades later.
They held that the landed interests should use their power to protect the poor from exploitation by middle-class businessmen. Before the Reform Actthe working class did not possess the vote and therefore had little political power. Although Disraeli forged a personal friendship with John Brighta Lancashire manufacturer and leading Radical, Disraeli was unable to persuade Bright to sacrifice his distinct position for parliamentary advancement. When Disraeli attempted to secure a Tory-Radical cabinet inBright refused.
BrightPeelBentinck and Stanley Disraeli gradually became a sharp critic of Peel's government, often deliberately taking positions contrary to those of his nominal chief. The best-known of these stances were over the Maynooth Grant in and the repeal of the Corn Laws in However, the young MP had attacked his leader as early as on Ireland and then on foreign policy interventions.
In a letter of Februaryhe slighted the Prime Minister for failing to send him a Policy Circular. He laid into the Whigs as freebooters, swindlers and conmen, but Peel's own free trade policies were directly in the firing line. Peel hoped that the repeal of the Corn Laws and the resultant influx of cheaper wheat into Britain would relieve the condition of the poor, and in particular the suffering caused by successive failure of potato crops in Ireland—the Great Famine.
Disraeli had declined, as Bentinck had offered to lead if he had Disraeli's support. Disraeli stated, in a letter to Sir William Miles of 11 Junethat he wished to help "because, from my earliest years, my sympathies had been with the landed interest of England".Gladstone and Disraeli - The Best Documentary Ever
Worse than this, he either could not or would not curb the excesses of his tiresome, high-handed Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, who provided her with drafts of despatches after the originals had been sent, took no notice of her or her husband's suggested amendments to them, and, having agreed to mend his ways, carried on as before. The Queen told Russell more than once that the day would come when she would have to insist on Palmerston's dismissal.
This, however, was not to be; and induring the war against Russia in the Crimea, Palmerston came to power as the only one of her ministers considered capable of leading the country to victory. The Queen was horrified: Palmerston, moreover, had greatly shocked Prince Albert by stumbling into the bedroom of one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting at Windsor, in the unfulfilled hope of seducing her.
Yet, against all expectations, difficult as he had been as Foreign Secretary, Palmerston proved perfectly amenable in office, polite and accommodating.
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Prince Albert agreed that of all the Prime Ministers they had had, Lord Palmerston was the one who gave the least trouble. It was fortunate that he had mellowed, for it was he who had to deal with the queen when she was overwhelmed with grief at the death of her beloved husband in She was inconsolable at her loss, and retreated from the affairs of state into a lonely purdah from which, for many years, it proved impossible to entice her.
At first in her distress she feared she would go mad. She felt she could not bear to see her ministers alone, and she told the Prime Minister that they would have to conduct their business either through one of her daughters or through General Grey, her Private Secretary.
When Lord Palmerston pressed her to accept the fact that this method of conducting business was impossible, she gave way with great and tearful reluctance. But she insisted that she was not up to the strain of attending meetings of the Privy Council. In this difficulty a strange compromise was reached. The recently appointed Clerk of the Council was Arthur Helps, an astute and tactful man whom the Queen came to like and to trust; it was agreed that he and the requisite number of councillors should stand in one room while the Queen should sit in the next with the door between them open.
She would then authorise Helps to give her assent to the matters laid before the councillors for their approval.
Top Disraeli, Gladstone and the later years Six years later the Queen's misery was much alleviated by the appointment of the Conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli.
From the beginning Disraeli set out to woo and flatter her with an infallible instinct for the phrase, the gesture, the compliment, the overture that would most delight her. He was later to tell a colleague who had asked for advice how to handle the Queen, 'First of all, remember she is woman'. He never forgot this himself. He is full of poetry, romance and chivalry. When he knelt down to kiss my hand, he said "In loving loyalty and faith. She could not bear Gladstone, that 'mischievous firebrand, arrogant, tyrannical and obstinate', a 'half-crazy and in many ways ridiculous, wild and incomprehensible old fanatic'.
She had to put up with him intermittently from until ; and when he died in she could not - truthful and obstinate as ever - bring herself to say that she was sorry. From the beginning Disraeli set out to woo and flatter her Her final years were far more tranquil. The Tory Lord Salisbury, who formed his first cabinet inwas infinitely more understanding than Gladstone, and well understood that Victoria 'was not to be overpressed, never dictated to'.
Lord Rosebery, Salisbury's Liberal rival, was equally amenable, although not always reliable: A criticism by him of the House of Lords, for instance, provoked a stern rebuke: