Edward Geoffrey, 14th Earl of Derby


Ref. No.: KN63
Date of Photo: 1851.

Edward Stanley was born at Knowsley in 1799 and was the son of the 13th Earl. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church College Oxford. He became MP for Stockbridge in Hampshire in 1820.

He married Emma Caroline Bootle Wilbraham in 1825, by whom he had two sons and one daughter. In 1826 he became MP for Preston, and was a great supporter of the Reform Bill. In 1830 he became Chief Secretary for Ireland and in 1833 he had a Cabinet seat as secretary for the Colonies. He introduced the Bill for freeing slaves in the West Indies in 1833.

In 1834 he changed from a Liberal to a Conservative over the Irish Question and joined Peel's ministry, but later split over Free Trade Policy in 1851. In 1852 he was called to form his first administration but he was only in office until December that year. During the next six years the Earl was leader of the opposition against Lord Palmerston.

In 1858 he succeeded as Prime Minister for the second time. He was responsible for many important Bills with the help of Disraeli. He resigned after being defeated in June. Edward was a scholar and in 1852 was made Chancellor of Oxford University, succeeding the Duke of Wellington. In 1866 the Earl formed his third cabinet which was also short lived, but it did pass the 1867 Reform Bill. He resigned through ill health in 1868 in favour of Disraeli. He died on 23rd October 1889 at Knowsley, where an effigy was erected.

© Copyright.