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Robert Peel
1834-35, 1841-46

Peel entered Parliament as a Tory, in 1809, a party which he sought to reform under the name of the Conservative Party, following the passage of the reform Bill of 1832 which he opposed. He tried to move the party in order to gain support from the middle class.

Peel served as home secretary (1822-27) and (1828-30) in the government of the Duke of Wellington. He is credited, at that time, of founding the modern police force. The term "bobbies" is derived from his nickname.

Peel was prime minister twice, falling from favour due to the repeal of the Corn Laws. His followers, called Peelites, broke from the ranks of the Conservatives, forming a third party between the Liberals and Conservatives. A majority of his supporters eventually joined the Liberals.

Peel died 2 July 1850 from injuries sustained on 29 June when he was thrown from a horse.


1834-35 - Andrew Jackson is president of the United States.
1841 - The first issue of "Punch" is published in London. John Tyler is president of the United States.
1842 - The Treaty of Nanking ends the "Opium War," granting important trading rights in China to Britain. Queen Victoria travels by train for the first time.
1843 - Copenhagen. The Tivoli Pleasure Gardens are opened for the first time.
1844 - James K. Polk is elected president of the United States.
1845 - Stephen Perry of a London rubber company patents elastic bands.

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