This book provides the first biographical study of Charles Pelham Villiers (1802-1898), whose long UK parliamentary career spanned numerous government administrations under twenty different prime ministers.
An aristocrat from a privileged background, Villiers was elected to Parliament as a Radical in 1835 and subsequently served the constituency of Wolverhampton for sixty-three years until his death in 1898. A staunch Liberal free trader throughout his life, Villiers played a pre-eminent role in the Anti-Corn Law League as its parliamentary champion, introduced an important series of Poor Law reforms and later split with William Gladstone over the issue of Irish Home Rule, turning thereafter to Liberal Unionism. Hence Villiers, who remains the longest-serving MP in British parliamentary history, was intimately involved with many of the great issues of the Victorian Age in Britain.
Table of Contents
1. The Making of a Radical
2. The Member for Wolverhampton
3. The Young Parliamentarian
4. The Campaign against the Corn Laws
6. The Cabinet Minister
7. The View from the Backbenches
8. Gladstone and the Home Rule Crisis
9. The Father of the House
Roger Swift is Emeritus Professor of Victorian Studies at the University of Chester, UK