Robert Cecil - 3rd Marquis of Salisbury

Robert Cecil - 3rd Marquis of Salisbury

Robert Cecil, son of the 2nd Marquis of Salisbury, was born at Hatfield House in 1830. Cecil was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

A supporter of the Conservative Party Cecil was elected to represent Stamford in 1853. He was granted the title of Lord Cranborne on the death of his brother in 1865. Cranborne played an important role in the defeat of the Parliamentary Reform Bill proposed by William Gladstone in 1866.

After Gladstone was forced to resign from office, the new prime minister, Lord Derby, appointed Cranborne as his Secretary for India. He strongly opposed the proposal by Benjamin Disraeli to introduce his own parliamentary reform bill. When he realised he was unable to stop Disraeli's 1867 Reform Act he resigned from the cabinet. He later argued: "Unfortunately for Conservatism, its leaders belong solely to one class; they are a clique composed of members of the aristocracy, land-owners, and adherents whose chief merit is subserviency. The party chiefs live in an atmosphere in which a sense of their own importance and of the importance of their class interests and privileges is exaggerated, and to which the opinions of the common people can scarcely penetrate."

In 1868 Robert Cecil succeeded his father as the 3rd Marquis of Salisbury. In 1874 Salisbury returned to government as Benjamin Disraeli's Secretary for India. Four years later he replaced Lord Derby as Foreign Secretary.

On the death of Benjamin Disraeli in 1878 the Marquis of Salisbury became leader of the Conservative Party. However, he had to wait until the general election of 1885 before he became Prime Minister. He argued in a letter to Randolph Churchill that he found government difficult: "We have to give some satisfaction to both the upper classes and the masses. This is especially difficult with the upper classes - because all legislation is rather unwelcome to them, as tending to disturb a state of things with which they are satisfied. It is evident, therefore, that we must work at less speed and at a lower temperature than our opponents. Our bills must be tentative and cautious, not sweeping and dramatic."

He was replaced by William Gladstone briefly in 1886 but also headed the Conservative governments between 1886-92 and 1895-1902. Salisbury supported the policies that led to the Boer War (1899-1902).

Robert Cecil, the Marquis of Salisbury, retired from public life in July 1902 and died the following year on 22nd August, 1903.

We have to give some satisfaction to both the upper classes and the masses. Our bills must be tentative and cautious, not sweeping and dramatic.

It becomes clearer after every appointment that though men may work their hearts out and make every sacrifice financial and otherwise when the Conservative party is in opposition and in difficulties, yet in prosperous times all is forgotten and all honours, emoluments and places are reserved for the friends and relations of the favoured few, many of whom were in the nursery while some of us were fighting uphill battles for the party.

Unfortunately for Conservatism, its leaders belong solely to one class; they are a clique composed of members of the aristocracy, land-owners, and adherents whose chief merit is subserviency. The party chiefs live in an atmosphere in which a sense of their own importance and of the importance of their class interests and privileges is exaggerated, and to which the opinions of the common people can scarcely penetrate.


Lord Cranborne attended Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford and became a merchant banker before going to work on the family estates. He was selected, unexpectedly, as Conservative candidate for South Dorset in 1976, where his family owned lands, despite the presence of several former MPs on the shortlist. He spoke at the 1978 Conservative Party conference to oppose sanctions on Rhodesia. He won the seat in the 1979 general election, the seventh consecutive generation of his family to sit in the Commons, and in his first speech urged Ian Smith to stand aside in favour of Abel Muzorewa.

He attracted a general reputation as a right-winger, especially on matters affecting the Church of England, but confounded this reputation when he co-wrote a pamphlet in 1981 which said that the fight against unemployment ought to be given more priority than the fight against inflation. He took an interest in Northern Ireland, and when Jim Prior announced his policy of 'Rolling Devolution', resigned an unpaid job as assistant to Douglas Hurd.

Lord Cranborne became known as an anti-communist through activities in support of Afghan refugees in Pakistan in the early 1980s, and sending food parcels to Poland. He was involved in efforts to fund the Afghan resistance. His strong opposition to any involvement by the Republic of Ireland in Northern Ireland led him to oppose the Anglo-Irish Agreement and contributed to his decision to retire from Parliament in 1987.

However, he had made a useful friendship with John Major while in Parliament. After the 1992 general election, Major utilised a rarely-used process known as a writ of acceleration, to call Lord Cranborne up to the House of Lords in one of his father's junior baronies. Lord Cranborne was summoned as Baron Cecil of Essendon (his father's most junior dignity), though continued to be known by his courtesy style of Viscount Cranborne.

He served for two years as a junior Defence Minister before being appointed as Leader of the House of Lords. When Major resigned to fight for re-election as Conservative Party Leader in July 1995, Lord Cranborne led his re-election campaign. He was recognised as one of the few members of the Cabinet who were personally loyal to Major, but continued to lead the Conservative Peers after Labour won the 1997 general election.

When the new Prime Minister Tony Blair proposed the removal of the hereditary element in the House of Lords, Lord Cranborne negotiated a pact with the government to retain a small number (later set at ninety-two) of hereditary peers for the interim period. For the sake of form this amendment was formally proposed by Lord Weatherill, Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers. However, Lord Cranborne gave his party's approval without consulting the Leader, William Hague, who knew nothing and was embarrassed when Blair told him of it in the House of Commons. Hague then sacked Lord Cranborne, who accepted his error, saying that he had "rushed in, like an ill-trained spaniel".

All former Leaders of the House of Lords who were hereditary peers accepted Life Peerages to keep them in the House in 1999. Lord Cranborne, who had received the life Barony of Gascoyne-Cecil, remained active on the backbenches, until the House adopted new rules for declaration of financial interests which he believed were too onerous. He took 'Leave of Absence' on November 1, 2001. He was therefore out of the House when he succeeded his father as 7th Marquess on July 11, 2003.


Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury

Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, KG, GCVO, PC (3 February 1830 – 22 August 1903), styled Lord Robert Cecil before 1865 and Viscount Cranborne from June 1865 until April 1868, was a British Conservative statesman and thrice Prime Minister, serving for a total of over 13 years. He was the first British Prime Minister of the 20th century and the last Prime Minister to head his full administration from the House of Lords.

Lord Robert Cecil was first elected to the House of Commons in 1854 and served as Secretary of State for India in Lord Derby's Conservative government from 1866 until his resignation in 1867 over its introduction of Benjamin Disraeli's Reform Bill that extended the suffrage to working-class men. In 1868 upon the death of his father, Cecil was elevated to the House of Lords. In 1874 when Disraeli formed an administration Salisbury returned as Secretary of State for India and in 1878 was appointed Foreign Secretary and played a leading part in the Congress of Berlin, despite doubts over Disraeli's pro-Ottoman policy. After the Conservatives lost the 1880 election and Disraeli's death the year after, Salisbury emerged as Conservative leader in the House of Lords, with Sir Stafford Northcote leading the party in the Commons. He became Prime Minister in June 1885 when the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone resigned, and he held the office until January 1886. When Gladstone came out in favour of Home Rule for Ireland, Salisbury opposed him and formed an alliance with the breakaway Liberal Unionists and the won the subsequent general election. He remained Prime Minister until Gladstone's Liberals formed a government with the support of the Irish Nationalist Party, despite the Unionists gaining the largest number of votes and seats in the 1892 general election. However the Liberals lost the 1895 general election and Salisbury once again became Prime Minister, leading Britain to war against the Boers and the Unionists to another electoral victory in 1900 before relinquishing the premiership to his nephew Arthur Balfour. He died a year later in 1903.

A representative of the landed aristocracy, he held the conservative credo, "Whatever happens will be for the worse, and therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible."


Member of Parliament: 1853–1866

He entered the House of Commons as a Conservative on 22 August 1853, as MP for Stamford in Lincolnshire. It was a rotten borough controlled by a relative, the marquess of Exeter. He retained this seat until entering the peerage and it was not contested during his time as its representative. In his election address he opposed secular education and "ultramontane" interference with the Church of England which was "at variance with the fundamental principles of our constitution". He would oppose "any such tampering with our representative system as shall disturb the reciprocal powers on which the stability of our constitution rests". [ 13 ] In 1867, after his brother Eustace complained of being addressed by constituents in a hotel, Cecil responded: "A hotel infested by influential constituents is worse than one infested by bugs. It's a pity you can't carry around a powder insecticide to get rid of vermin of that kind". [ 14 ]

In December 1856 Cecil began publishing articles for the Saturday Review, which he contributed anonymously for the next nine years. From 1861 to 1864 he published 422 articles in it, in total the weekly published 608 of his articles. The Quarterly Review was the foremost intellectual journal of the age and of the twenty-six issues published between spring 1860 and summer 1866, Cecil had anonymous articles in all but three of them. He also wrote lead articles for the Tory daily newspaper the Standard. In 1859 Cecil was a founding co-editor of Bentley's Quarterly Review, with John Douglas Cook and Rev. William Scott but it closed after four issues. [ 15 ]

Salisbury criticised the foreign policy of Lord John Russell, claiming he was "always being willing to sacrifice anything for peace. colleagues, principles, pledges. a portentous mixture of bounce and baseness. dauntless to the weak, timid and cringing to the strong". The lessons to be learnt from Russell's foreign policy, Salisbury believed, were that he should not listen to the Opposition or the press otherwise "we are to be governed… by a set of weathercocks, delicately poised, warranted to indicate with unnerving accuracy every variation in public feeling". Secondly: "No one dreams of conducting national affairs with the principles which are prescribed to individuals. The meek and poor-spirited among nations are not to be blessed, and the common sense of Christendom has always prescribed for national policy principles diametrically opposed to those that are laid down in the Sermon on the Mount". Thirdly: "The assemblies that meet in Westminster have no jurisdiction over the affairs of other nations. Neither they nor the Executive, except in plain defiance of international law, can interfere [in the internal affairs of other countries]. It is not a dignified position for a Great Power to occupy, to be pointed out as the busybody of Christendom". Finally, Britain should not threaten other countries unless prepared to back this up by force: "A willingness to fight is the point d'appui of diplomacy, just as much as a readiness to go to court is the starting point of a lawyer’s letter. It is merely courting dishonour, and inviting humiliation for the men of peace to use the habitual language of the men of war". [ 16 ]


Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquess Salisbury III

Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, KG , GCVO , PC , FRS , DL (lahir 3 Februari 1830 – meninggal 22 Agustus 1903 pada umur 73 tahun), yang bergelar Lord Robert Cecil sebelum 1865 dan Viscount Cranborne dari Juni 1865 sampai April 1868, adalah seorang negarawan Inggris dari Partai Konservatif, yang menjabat sebagai perdana menteri sebanyak tiga kali selama lebih dari 13 tahun. Ia adalah perdana menteri terakhir yang mengepalai pemerintahan penuhnya dari Dewan Bangsawan.

Lord Robert Cecil mula-mula terpilih pada Dewan Rakyat pada 1854 dan menjabat sebagai Menteri Negara untuk India dalam pemerintahan Partai Konservatif Lord Derby dari 1866 sampai ia mengundurkan diri pada 1867 saat Benjamin Disraeli mengenalkan Reform Bill yang mendorong hak suara dari kaum kelas buruh. Pada 1868 setelah kematian ayahnya, Cecil diangkat pada Dewan Bangsawan. Pada 1874, saat Disraeli membentuk sebuah pemerintahan, Salisbury kembali menjadi Menteri Negara untuk India, dan, pada 1878, diangkat menjadi menteri luar negeri, dan memainkan bagian utama dalam Kongres Berlin, disamping ia meragukan kebijakan pro-Ottoman Disraeli.

Setelah Partai Konservatif kalah dalam pemilihan tahun 1880 dan Disraeli wafat pada tahun setelahnya, Salisbury diangkat menjadi pemimpin Partai Konservatif dalam Dewan Bangsawan, dengan Sir Stafford Northcote memimpin partai tersebut dalam Dewan Rakyat. Ia menjadi perdana menteri pada Juni 1885 saat pemimpin Partai Liberal William Ewart Gladstone mengundurkan diri, dan memegang jabatan tersebut sampai Januari 1886. Saat Gladstone mendorong Pemerintahan Dalam Negeri untuk Irlandia, Salisbury menentangnya dan membentuk sebuah aliansi dengan Liberal Unionist Party, memenangkan pemilihan umum berikutnya.

Ia masih menjadi perdana menteri sampai Partai Liberal pimpinan Gladstone membentuk sebuah pemerintahan dengan dukungan Partai Nasionalis Irlandia, disamping Unionis meraih jumlah suara dan kursi terbesar dalam pemilihan umum 1892. Namun, Partai Liberal kalah dalam pemilihan umum 1895, dan Salisbury sempat kembali menjadi perdana menteri, memimpin Inggris pada perang melawan Boer, dan Unionis memenangkan pemilihan lainnya pada 1900 sebelum mencairkan ulang jabatan perdana menterinya kepada keponakannya Arthur Balfour. Ia wafat setahun kemudian, pada 1903.


Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury

Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury KG GCVO PC FRS (3 February 1830 - 22 August 1903) was a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He was known as Lord Robert Cecil before 1865 and as Viscount Cranborne from 1865 until 1868.

Salisbury served as Prime Minister three times for a total of over thirteen years. When Prime Minister, he acted as his own Foreign Minister.

Lord Cecil was elected to Parliament in 1853 as a member of the Conservative Party. In 1866 (now called Viscount Cranborne), he served as Secretary of State for India under Prime Minister Lord Derby. Cranborne resigned, but he would return to government in 1874, now as the Marquess of Salisbury. Salisbury was again Secretary of State for India under Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. In 1878, Salisbury became Foreign Secretary in the Disraeli government.

Salisbury became the Conservative Party leader. Salisbury first served as Prime Minister from 23 June 1885, to 28 January 1886. His first government did not last long as the Conservatives did not have full control.

Salisbury became Prime Minister again on 25 July 1886, with a majority. He would be in office until 11 August 1892. His third time as Prime Minister was from 25 June 1895, until 11 July 1902.

Two issues dominated his time as Prime Minister. One was the struggle between European powers seizing parts of Africa, the so-called "Scramble for Africa". The United Kingdom fought the Second Boer War while Salisbury was Prime Minister.

The other was Ireland, the rise of Irish nationalism amongst Catholics in Ireland. This was backed by his great opponent, Gladstone, leader of the Liberal Party and also three times Prime Minister.

Salisbury helped establish the London County Council. Salisbury built up the Royal Navy. Africa was divided up into colonies.

Salisbury resigned on 11 July 1902. He died on 22 August 1903. The great issues which had divided the country in his time – colonialism, Ireland and Africa – lasted in British politics for most of the next century. The one great issue which was not appreciated at the time was the rise of militant German nationalism, which in the next century led to two World Wars. Throughout his career Salisbury wrote articles for the Quarterly Review, which have now been edited and published. [1] [2]


Past Foreign Secretaries

Lived 1830 to 1903 Dates in office April 1878 to April 1880, June 1885 to February 1886, January 1887 to August 1892 and June 1895 to November 1900 Political party Conservative Interesting facts A Secretary of State who successfully combined the offices of Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary.

Lord Salisbury wrote in 1862 on his political hero, Lord Castlereagh, ‘There is nothing dramatic in the success of a diplomatist.’ Rather, his successes are ‘microscopic advantages’ derived from ‘sleepless tact, immovable calmness, and a patience that no folly, no provocation, no blunders can shake’. In 1900, at the end of over 13 years as Foreign Secretary from 1878, the 1862 biography seemed to serve as a self-portrait.

Salisbury had a diplomatic baptism of fire as Plenipotentiary at the Constantinople Conference (1876 to 1877) where the inaction shown by Foreign Secretary Derby, in the face of the Eastern Crisis, allowed Salisbury to witness the dangers of passivity in diplomacy. When Salisbury became Foreign Secretary in March 1878 his circular despatch of 1 April challenged the dominance Russia had achieved over Turkey through the Treaty of San Stefano (1877). Salisbury then negotiated 3 separate conventions with Austria, Russia and Turkey, endorsed at the Congress of Berlin in the summer, facilitating, in the words of Disraeli, ‘peace with honour’.

After 5 years out of office, Salisbury became Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister in the caretaker government of 1885. Salisbury much preferred the Foreign Office to Downing Street. It was as Foreign Secretary that he could pursue a sophisticated intellectual policy in relative peace and quiet. It was in solitude that Salisbury thrived, but his impeccable manners meant that he would always listen to ambassadors and foreign dignitaries, often jabbing himself with a paper knife under the table to remain awake.

Salisbury's personality and style of working

A deeply religious man who refused to subvert Christianity to political purposes, he became highly empirical in office and disliked all dogmas and doctrines declaring ‘nothing can be certain until it happens’. Refusing to delegate and finding discussion unhelpful, Salisbury could be exceptionally difficult to work for.

Salisbury’s foreign policy has been labelled ‘splendid isolation’ (in fact a phrase of Joseph Chamberlain's), but it was really anything but. In early 1888 he said, “We are part of the community of Europe, and we must do our duty as such”. Salisbury believed that Britain was a satisfied power, and as such, that her best interests (namely imperial trade) were served by peace. Considering that all of the Great Powers, save Austria, impinged upon the empire somewhere, Salisbury focused on European diplomacy as the key to imperial security. Indeed, in 1887 he was concerned that the other powers would collectively treat the empire as ‘divisible booty’.

However, his style was one of engagement without commitment. He struck agreements with Germany and France in 1890, Portugal in 1891 and the United States in 1895 which ensured that the ‘scramble for Africa’ was, at least in British terms, rather orderly. Yet he never entered into a formal alliance with any power while he was Foreign Secretary. The closest he came were agreements with Austria and Italy to ensure the status quo in the Mediterranean in 1887, but these were ended in 1896 along with British interest in Constantinople, when Salisbury’s desire for the Royal Navy to intervene in the Armenian crisis was overruled by the Cabinet.

Despite not being a democrat, he maintained the (somewhat expedient) constitutional smokescreen that Britain could not commit to a formal alliance because he could not know “what may be the humour of our people in circumstances which cannot be foreseen”.

Achievements in office

Salisbury firmly believed peace was in the best interests of the empire, but he was no pacifist. However, he thought the first rule in negotiation was to select beforehand “the one point which all others must subserve”. For Salisbury, the passage to India was sacrosanct. Therefore, threats to the Suez Canal (rather than Constantinople) and the Cape would meet with force. Kitchener's securing of the Upper Nile in 1898 could easily have caused a war with France. Yet Salisbury, refusing to issue an ultimatum to a French government on the verge of collapse and allowing France to withdraw with some semblance of dignity, diffused the Fashoda Crisis in 1898.

Events in the Cape escalated more quickly in 1899, and Salisbury was taken unawares by the Boers desire for confrontation. His declining health and Chamberlain’s secret German negotiations helped to weaken his grip on policy, yet he quickly replaced General Buller following Black Week with Roberts and Kitchener, and remained Prime Minister until June 1902 to see the war through.

Salisbury said that the method of foreign policy was more important than the substance. His patience, tact and clarity of thought were unquestionable. He conceived of the empire and diplomacy as a single unit. Thus, while he was attacked for apparent inaction at the Russian entrance into Port Arthur in 1898, this was because securing the Upper Nile was of greater importance to an empire which could not afford a confrontation with two powers at once.

Nevertheless, his tenure saw a huge expansion of imperial territory, including Nigeria, New Guinea, Rhodesia, Upper Burma, Zanzibar and the Transvaal. He fended off German and French endeavours in East and West Africa respectively in the face of the Franco-Russian Alliance without war, and having only to lean to the triple Alliance. His was a policy of engagement with room to manoeuvre. In 1864, Salisbury lamented Britain's position “without a single ally and without a shred of influence”. By 1900, Britain was still without an ally, singularly thanks to Salisbury, but without influence she was not.


Gascoyne-Cecil, Robert Arthur Talbot, (1830-1903), 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, statesman

The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

Surname: Gascoyne-Cecil
Forenames: Robert Arthur Talbot
Gender: Male
Date: 1830-1903
Title: 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Biography: ODNB link for Cecil, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne- (1830-1903) 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, statesman
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/P137225 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/P11045 )
Online related resources Bibliography of British and Irish History link for Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil

See Hazlehurst, Whitehead & Woodland, Guide to the papers of British cabinet ministers 1900-1964, 1996


Following Disraeli's death in 1881, the Conservatives entered a period of turmoil. Salisbury became the leader of the Conservative members of the House of Lords, though the overall leadership of the party was not formally allocated. So he struggled with the Commons leader Sir Stafford Northcote, a struggle in which Salisbury eventually emerged as the leading figure.


Reform Act 1884

In 1884 Gladstone introduced a Reform Bill which would extend the suffrage to two million rural workers. Salisbury and Northcote agreed that any Reform Bill would be supported only if a parallel redistributionary measure was introduced as well. In a speech in the Lords, Salisbury claimed: "Now that the people have in no real sense been consulted, when they had, at the last General Election, no notion of what was coming upon them, I feel that we are bound, as guardians of their interests, to call upon the government to appeal to the people, and by the result of that appeal we will abide". The Lords rejected the Bill and Parliament was prorogued for ten weeks. [4] : 295𔃄 Writing to Canon Malcolm MacColl, Salisbury believed that Gladstone's proposals for reform without redistribution would mean "the absolute effacement of the Conservative Party. It would not have reappeared as a political force for thirty years. This conviction. greatly simplified for me the computation of risks". At a meeting of the Carlton Club on 15 July, Salisbury announced his plan for making the government introduce a Seats (or Redistribution) Bill in the Commons whilst at the same time delaying a Franchise Bill in the Lords. The unspoken implication being that Salisbury would relinquish the party leadership if his plan was not supported. Although there was some dissent, Salisbury carried the party with him. [4] : 297𔃆

Salisbury wrote to Lady John Manners on 14 June that he did not regard female suffrage as a question of high importance "but when I am told that my ploughmen are capable citizens, it seems to me ridiculous to say that educated women are not just as capable. A good deal of the political battle of the future will be a conflict between religion and unbelief: & the women will in that controversy be on the right side". [10]

On 21 July, a large meeting for reform was held at Hyde Park. Salisbury said in The Times that "the employment of mobs as an instrument of public policy is likely to prove a sinister precedent". On 23 July at Sheffield, Salisbury said that the government "imagine that thirty thousand Radicals going to amuse themselves in London on a given day expresses the public opinion of the day. they appeal to the streets, they attempt legislation by picnic". Salisbury further claimed that Gladstone adopted reform as a "cry" to deflect attention from his foreign and economic policies at the next election. He claimed that the House of Lords was protecting the British constitution: "I do not care whether it is an hereditary chamber or any other – to see that the representative chamber does not alter the tenure of its own power so as to give a perpetual lease of that power to the party in predominance at the moment".

On 25 July at a reform meeting in Leicester consisting of 40,000 people, Salisbury was burnt in effigy and a banner quoted Shakespeare's Henry VI: "Old Salisbury – shame to thy silver hair, Thou mad misleader". On 9 August in Manchester, over 100,000 came to hear Salisbury speak. On 30 September at Glasgow, he said: "We wish that the franchise should pass but that before you make new voters you should determine the constitution in which they are to vote". [4] : 298� Salisbury published an article in the National Review for October, titled ‘The Value of Redistribution: A Note on Electoral Statistics’. He claimed that the Conservatives "have no cause, for Party reasons, to dread enfranchisement coupled with a fair redistribution". Judging by the 1880 results, Salisbury asserted that the overall loss to the Conservatives of enfranchisement without redistribution would be 47 seats. Salisbury spoke throughout Scotland and claimed that the government had no mandate for reform when it had not appealed to the people. [4] : 300𔂿

Gladstone offered wavering Conservatives a compromise a little short of enfranchisement and redistribution, and after the Queen unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Salisbury to compromise, he wrote to Rev. James Baker on 30 October: "Politics stand alone among human pursuits in this characteristic, that no one is conscious of liking them – and no one is able to leave them. But whatever affection they may have had they are rapidly losing. The difference between now and thirty years ago when I entered the House of Commons is inconceivable".

On 11 November, the Franchise Bill received its third reading in the Commons and it was due to get a second reading in the Lords. The day after at a meeting of Conservative leaders, Salisbury was outnumbered in his opposition to compromise. On 13 February, Salisbury rejected MacColl's idea that he should meet Gladstone, as he believed the meeting would be found out and that Gladstone had no genuine desire to negotiate. On 17 November, it was reported in the newspapers that if the Conservatives gave "adequate assurance" that the Franchise Bill would pass the Lords before Christmas the government would ensure that a parallel Seats Bill would receive its second reading in the Commons as the Franchise Bill went into committee stage in the Lords. Salisbury responded by agreeing only if the Franchise Bill came second. [4] : 303𔃂 The Carlton Club met to discuss the situation, with Salisbury's daughter writing:

The three arch-funkers Cairns, Richmond and Carnarvon cried out declaring that he would accept no compromise at all as it was absurd to imagine the Government conceding it. When the discussion was at its height (very high) enter Arthur [Balfour] with explicit declamation dictated by GOM in Hartington's handwriting yielding the point entirely. Tableau and triumph along the line for the 'stiff' policy which had obtained terms which the funkers had not dared hope for. My father's prevailing sentiment is one of complete wonder. we have got all and more than we demanded. [4] : 305

Despite the controversy which had raged, the meetings of leading Liberals and Conservatives on reform at Downing Street were amicable. Salisbury and the Liberal Sir Charles Dilke dominated discussions as they had both closely studied in detail the effects of reform on the constituencies. After one of the last meetings on 26 November, Gladstone told his secretary that "Lord Salisbury, who seems to monopolise all the say on his side, has no respect for tradition. As compared with him, Mr Gladstone declares he is himself quite a Conservative. They got rid of the boundary question, minority representation, grouping and the Irish difficulty. The question was reduced to. for or against single member constituencies". The Reform Bill laid down that the majority of the 670 constituencies were to be roughly equal size and return one member those between 50,000 and 165,000 kept the two-member representation and those over 165,000 and all the counties were split up into single-member constituencies. This franchise existed until 1918. [4] : 305𔃄


Robert Cecil Quiz Questions with Answers

1. When was Robert Cecil first Prime Minister of UK?
a) 1885-1886

2. When was Robert Cecil born?
a) 3 February 1830

3. Where was Robert Cecil born?
d) Hatfield

4. To which party did Robert Cecil belong?
b) Conservative

5. From which constituency was Robert Cecil elected to Parliament in 1853?
c) Stamford

6. Why did Robert Cecil’s father object to his marrying Georgina Alderson?
d) She lacked social standing and wealth.

7. When was Robert Cecil first Secretary of State for India?
b) 1866-1867

8. What honour did Robert Cecil receive for his diplomacy at the Congress of Berlin in 1878?
c) Order of the Garter


Watch the video: Lord Salisbury: Preeminent British Prime Minister in Late Victorian Era