1st Edition

Sir Robert Peel Contemporary Perspectives

Edited By Richard Gaunt Copyright 2022

    Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was one of the most significant political figures in nineteenth-century Britain. He was also one of the most controversial. In this new, three-volume edition, Dr Richard Gaunt, an authority on Peel’s life and work, brings together a range of contemporary perspectives considering Peel’s life and achievements. From the first observation of Peel’s precocious talent as an Oxford undergraduate to his burgeoning reputation as a cabinet minister, the volumes draw together sources on Peel’s forty-year political career. The edition pays particular attention to the most controversial aspects of his political life – the granting of Catholic Emancipation in 1829, his ‘founding’ of the Conservative Party during the 1830s and the achievements of his landmark government of 1841-6, culminating in the repeal of the corn laws in 1846. It also considers Peel’s post-1846 career, and the unusual position he occupied in British politics before his untimely death in 1850. Combining perspectives from different parts of the political spectrum, the collection will be of use to a wide range of researchers, with interests in history, politics, religion, economics and political biography.


    Part 1: Reform in Church and State 1831-35

    1. An important Question!!! How will the Agriculturists be benefited by the Reform Bill? As shown in a speech delivered by Sir R. Peel in the House of Commons, July 27, 1831 (London, 1831), pp. 3-23.

    2. Richard Carlile, Church Reform: the only means to that end, stated in a letter to Sir Robert Peel…to which is prefaced a correspondence with the Bishop of London on the same subject (London, 1835) pp. iii-viii, 1-96.

    Part 2: From Minority to Majority, 1834-41

    3. Charles Vincent Graham, Heads or Tails: A Poetical Epistle Addressed to Sir Robert Peel, on the reappearance of a Whig Administration (London, 1835), pp. 3-24.

    4. On Sir Robert Peel’s Speech, delivered at a dinner at Merchant Tailor’s Hall, Monday, May 11th, 1835 (Bath, 1835).

    5. Hints to the Conservatives, in a letter addressed to Sir Robert Peel, Bart., M.P. (London, 1835), pp. 3-23.

    6. A Letter to Sir Robert Peel on the present crisis (London, 1835), pp. 1-16.

    7. A Few Plain Words to Sir Robert Peel (London, 1836), pp. 5-24.

    8. John Ryan, Personal Narrative. Sir Robert Peel’s claims to the confidence of Protestant Conservatives (London, 1841), pp. 3-48.

    Part 3: A Reforming Ministry, 1841-45

    9. Sir Richard Vyvyan, A Letter from Sir Richard Vyvyan to his constituents upon the commercial and financial policy of Sir Robert Peel’s Administration (London, 1842), pp. 5-55.

    10. W. Morris, Three Letters to Sir Robert Peel on the repeal of the present system of Revenue and Protections, Imports, Excise, Stamps, Assessed Taxes &c. and the adoption of a general system of Income Tax (Exeter, 1843), pp. i-41.

    11. The Ten Hours’ Factory Question. A report addressed to the Short Time Committees of the West Riding of Yorkshire (of certain conferences held with the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, Bart, M.P., and several of his colleagues) (London, 1842), pp. 3-36.

    12. An Earnest Plea both for the poor and for the rich. A letter to Sir Robert Peel in which it is shewn how the New Poor Law machinery may be made the instrument of diffusing immediate and universal blessings throughout the land¸ by a Parochial Clergyman (London, 1842), pp. 3-15.

    13. William Robarts, Results of Experience in the working of the New Poor Law: comprised in a few remarks and suggestions…submitted to…Sir Robert Peel (1842), pp. 3-20.


    Dr Richard A. Gaunt, Department of History, University of Nottingham, UK