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Leaders in the Lords 1765-1902

Government Management and Party Organization in the Upper Chambers, 1765-1902

Edited by Richard W. Davis


The history of the House of Lords in the modern period (and earlier) has been neglected too long. The Lords' importance in British politics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially after 1832, is routinely dismissed, with arguments that are none the better for being hoary with age and endlessly repeated. The reform act of 1832 did not reduce the power of the Lords. In fact, the upper House presented a greater challenge to administrations after 1832 than it had before. Governments had to take the Lords into account, to make concessions, and sometimes to accept defeat. By examining the careers of six important leaders of the house of lords in the period from 1765 to 1902, their objectives, their strategies, and their successes and failures, we hope to promote a better understanding of the House of Lords in this period.


Richard W Davis, Introduction
Stephen Farrell, The Practices and Purposes of Party Leadership: Rockingham and the Lords, 1765-82
Michael W. McCahill, William, First Lord Grenville
Richard W. Davis, Wellington
John Powell, The Third Marquess of Lansdowne
Angus Hawkins, 'A Host in Himself': Lord Derby and Aristocratic Leadership
Peter Marsh, Salisbury's Definition of the Powers of the Lords