Skip to main content

William Gladstone

William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) was a colossus of 19th Century British politics serving both as Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer on four separate occasions.

Lord Palmerston's death in the autumn of 1865 allowed Gladstone and his ally Lord Russell a greater freedom to draft a new Reform bill. He was emblazoned by a liberal zeal as much served by his Quaker beliefs as political acumen. The Reform debates of 1867 saw Disraeli actively try to wrench any Gladstonian influence from its tenets which frustrated his rival greatly.

But the extension of political franchisement enabled by the Act would aid Gladstone's career to greater heights in the years that followed.