Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

The Keys to Number 10: Making & Unmaking the Prime Minister 1832-1868, by Peter Shipley

The Society’s Chairman, Dr Peter Shipley, gave an illustrated talk on how Prime Ministers came to power and how they fell from office between 1832 and 1868. 

Over a 35-year period there were fifteen changes of premier and party politics were often unstable.  Six minority governments were formed, as we have today, and one coalition, but few survived for long. Many governments were brought down by divisions in their own parties and by losing key votes in parliament.  Handovers of power could involve several days of negotiation and intrigue, with Queen Victoria playing a key role in the search for a new prime minster among figures such as Lord Melbourne, Peel and Palmerston.  Eight Prime Minsters held office more than once during this period so that only ten different individuals held the post.  And political leaders overcame their difficulties by introducing many major social and political reforms which often had support across the parties.


The Keys to No 10: Making and Unmaking the Prime Minister 1832-1868 by Peter Shipley