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Edward Geoffrey Smith Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby

Edward Geoffrey Smith Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby. (March 29, 1799 - October 23, 1869.) British Statesman and Prime Minister. Known before 1834 as Edward Smith Stanley, and from 1834 to 1851 as Lord Stanley.

Stanley, a scion of the Earls of Derby, was elected to parliament as a Whig in 1820. When the Whigs returned to power in 1830, Stanley became Chief Secretary for Ireland[?] in Lord Grey's government, and entered the Cabinet in 1831. In 1833, Stanley moved up to the more important position of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. Stanley, a conservative Whig, broke with the ministry over the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1834, and resigned from the government.

Joining the Tories, Stanley again served as Colonial Secretary in Sir Robert Peel's second government in 1841. In 1845, he again broke with his prime minister, this time over the repeal of the Corn Laws. This time he managed to bring the majority of the Tory party with him, (including, among others, the young Benjamin Disraeli), and he thereafter led the protectionist wing of the party, which would later become the Conservative Party. In 1851 he moved to the Lords[?] after succeeding his father as Earl of Derby.

In February, 1852, following the collapse of the Whig government of Lord John Russell, Derby formed a minority government, whose most prominent member was Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Derby and Disraeli were unable to achieve a parliamentary majority, however, and the government collapsed in December of the same year, making way for a Peelite[?]-Whig coalition under Lord Aberdeen.

In 1858, Derby formed another minority government upon the collapse of Lord Palmerston's first government, with Disraeli again at the Exchequer and Leader of the Commons. Among the notable achievements of this administration were the end of the British East India Company following the Sepoy Mutiny, which brought India under direct British control for the first time. Once again, the government was short-lived, collapsing after only a year.

Derby returned to power for the last time in 1866, following the collapse of Lord Russell's second government. Once again, Disraeli was the leading figure. This administration was particularly notable for the passage of the Reform Act of 1867[?], which greatly expanded the suffrage. In early 1868, Derby retired from political life, leaving Disraeli to succeed him.

Although noted as a great orator, Derby was frequently criticized for his languid leadership. Nevertheless, he had many significant achievements, both as minister and Prime Minister, and is considered to be the father of the modern Conservative Party.

First Government of Lord Derby, February - December 1852

Lord Derby's Second Government, February 1858 - June 1859


  • June 1858 - Lord Stanley succeeds Lord Ellenborough as President of the Board of Control. Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton succeeds Stanley as Colonial Secretary
  • September 1858 - The office of President of the Board of Control is abolished and replaced by that of Secretary of State for India. Lord Stanley takes this position.
  • March 1859 - Sir T.H.S. Sotheron Estcourt succeeds Spencer H. Walpole as Home Secretary

Lord Derby's Third Government, June 1866 - February 1868 Initial Make-up of the Government, June 1866 - March 1867

Between March and May 1867, came a significant reorganization of the cabinet, when it was complete, the government was as follows:

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