Sir Robert Peel Fact Sheet: Who was Sir Robert Peel? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Sir Robert Peel.
Sir Robert Peel Fact File: Lifespan: 1788 - 1850 *** Full Name: Sir Robert Peel *** Occupation: British Conservative Statesman and Prime Minister *** Date of Birth: Sir Robert Peel was born on February 5th 1788 *** Place of Birth: Sir Robert Peel was born in Chamber Hall, Bury, Lancashire, England *** Family background: His father was Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet and one of the most wealthy industrialists of the time as well as a parliamentarian and his mother was Ellen Yates. Together they had eleven children of which seven survived to adulthood. Robert, William, Edmund Jonathan and Laurence all went into politics and became Members of Parliament and he had two sisters Harriet and Mary *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his siblings and parents in Lancashire *** Education: Sir Robert Peel attended Bury Grammar School, then went on to Harrow School and then Christ Church, Oxford ***
Sir Robert Peel Fact 1: Sir Robert Peel was born on February 5th 1788 and during the 18th century period in history when many innovations were being made in science, medicine, technology and industry.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 2: While at Christ Church he studied mathematics and once graduated he went on to study law at Lincoln’s Inn before going into politics in 1809.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 3: It is said he is also responsible for the creation of the Tamworth Pig simply by breeding the local Tamworth pigs with Irish stock.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 4: He did however serve his country in the military albeit briefly, in 1808 he served part time in the Manchester Regiment of Militia as a Captain and in 1820 in the Staffordshire Yeomanry Cavalry as a Lieutenant.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 5: At twenty one years of age he entered politics as an MP for the Irish borough of Cashel in Tipperary and his sponsor was Air Arthur Wellesley to be the Duke of Wellington.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 6: In 1813 he would become responsible for the creation of the Royal Irish Constabulary, nicknamed “peelers”, as the chief secretary in Dublin.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 7: Over the next ten years he served in largely minor positions within the Tory government, as Undersecretary for War, chairman of the Bullion Committee and Chief Secretary for Ireland.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 8: In 1839 he became MP for Tamworth and would hold this seat for twenty years until his death.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 9: His first foray into the Cabinet, as one of the Conservative Party’s rising stars, was as Home Secretary in 1822. Having previously established a constabulary in Ireland he was responsible for the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force in London which went hand in hand with important British criminal law reforms also introduced by him.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 10: Between 1830 and 1834 the working and middle classes in England were insisting on reforms and when tory ministers refused to listen were swept aside as the Whigs took control of Parliament. At the end of their term King William IV saw fit to invite the Tories to reform.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 11: Despite being invited to reform the Tory Ministry only gained close to one hundred seats in the 1834 general election, which was not enough.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 12: The following year Peel delivered the Tamworth Manifesto which many believe is the seed on which the present Conservative Party was established.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 13: In 1835 this time it was Queen Victoria, newly on the throne, that invited Peel to form a government but again they had not enough votes for a majority and Whigs formed the government.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 14: By 1841 he felt his chance might actually be within his grasp and together with his promise of modest reform being held to and the Factory Act of 1844 which restricting the number of hours both women and children were allowed to work as well as setting safety standards for industrial machinery saw Peel head a majority government.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 15: Unfortunately in 1843 Peel’s personal secretary was shot and killed. The assassin, a criminally insane Scotsman, Daniel M’Naghten, was aiming for Peel himself but instead shot Edward Drummond.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 16: One of his biggest mistakes came during the Great Irish Famine. Peel was against repealing the Corn Laws and was too slow in taking action with regard to the famine in Ireland having stated "There is such a tendency to exaggeration and inaccuracy in Irish reports that delay in acting on them is always desirable". This would be his downfall and he handed in his resignation on June 29th 1846.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 17: There were rumors that he really wanted the Corn Law repealed otherwise his other option would have been to grant a temporary repeal rather than a full one, which was what ultimately happened and Peel had been a great believer in open trade since the 1820’s.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 18: Peel retained his hold on the pulse of politics over the ensuing years and was a member of the committed that controlled the House of Commons Library.
Sir Robert Peel Fact 19: On July 2nd 1850 Sir Robert Peel died aged sixty two. After an accident involving him being thrown by his horse and the horse landing on top of him, he suffered a clavicular fracture and he passed three days after the accident. His body was laid to rest with that of his parents at Drayton Bassett.
Influence & Legacy: His legacy today is reflected in the creation of the first modern Metropolitan Police Force, to this day police are often referred to as Peelers or Bobbies still reflecting his names.