George Hamilton-Gordon, fourth earl of Aberdeen, was Prime Minister of one of Britain’s rare coalition governments, despite never sitting in the House of Commons or holding a significant domestic post, but his reputation was damaged by his failure to prevent …
Prof Jonathan Parry
Jonathan Parry is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College. He is the author of four books and many articles on nineteenth-century British political history, focusing particularly on Liberalism and the Liberal party. His most recent book, The Politics of Patriotism, examined the relation between domestic politics, foreign policy and national identity in the period 1830-86, and his current project is on British attitudes to the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East in the nineteenth century. He has also written extensively on Benjamin Disraeli.
Disraeli said of Derby that ‘he abolished slavery, he educated Ireland, he reformed parliament’, but only the last of these was done when he was a Conservative Prime Minister. He is remembered mostly for the 1867 Reform Act, a milestone …
Benjamin Disraeli remains one of the most intriguing of British prime ministers. Born into a Jewish middle-class family, he became famous through his novels and self-publicity, and eventually achieved high political office after many failures. Opinions differ about his achievements, …
Viscount Palmerston was over 70 when he finally became Prime Minister: the most advanced age at which anyone has ever become Prime Minister for the first time. Holding a large number of offices during the course of his career, he …
Lord John Russell was prime minister for over six years, from 1846 to 1852 and from 1865 to 1866. He also led the government in the House of Commons for a further eight years during the premierships of Viscount Melbourne …
Related content and links
History of government
This blog gives insights into the history of government – its development, its departments and some of the roles and people involved. Find out more.
- What’s the Context? Occupying Powers sign Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin, 3 September 1971 3 September 2021
- What's the Context? Signature of the Atlantic Charter, 14 August 1941 28 July 2021
- When the Wall went up: Britain and the Berlin Crisis, 1961 28 July 2021
- What’s the Context? Winston Churchill’s ‘Sinews of Peace’ speech, Fulton, 5 March 1946 5 March 2021
- What’s the context? Foundation of the German Empire, 18 January 1871 20 January 2021