Monthly Archives: August 2015

Classification of trusts


trusts are either express or else implied.

Implied trusts are also called non-express or imputed.

express trust – someone says a trust is made. simple. it is divided into fixed express trust or a discretionary express trust.

fixed express trust says what the property is and what the benefits are for each beneficiary

discretionary trust – settlor leaves it to the discretion of the trustees to decided what each ebenfiaicyr will get

courts prefer fixed express trust.



separation between constructive and resulting trust

difference – constructive created where courts find it unconscionable for the legal owner to retain ownership. courts construct it for equity, to satisfy good conscience.

resulting trust – their focus is that these are created by operaiton of law rather than court decision. two  specific situations where this arises

constructive truusts = further divide institutional constructive trust

remedial constructive trust. mainly USA. trust is thrown upon situation to resolve situation. institutional constructive tursts is more English – these are if the conditions are satisfied we shall impose a trust. looks like a trust so it is a trust

Remediial to to remedy a wrong

remedial trust is up to the conscience of the court.

resulting trust – similar but boundaries are there. similar to constructive trust but different in that Lord Browne- Wilkinson Deutsh Landsbanke v Islington Borough COuncil. 2 situations where resulting trusts arise. Automatic resulting trust. attempt to create a treust but beneficial interest failed or was not fully dealt with. Automatically there iis a resulting trust equitable interests goes somewhere else.

presumed resulting trust – a gift. Voluntary. property is transferred without consideration or someone has contributed to the purchase price.

these are operations of law not an issue of justice.


A dream of Albania


I was in Albania. I am unsure why. I have been reading a history of MI6 and there were many failed attempts there. Perhaps I was anxious about my return to this land where I dwell. In my dream I was confronted by two diminutive Russian middle aged men. Despite their stature they did not lack for self-assurance. They bearded me. One of them was the driver for that fashionista. The other was the man on solaia. They are both fairly hard considering their size. It may seem incongruous – Russians in Albania.

Trusts – an intro


trust is form of ownership of an asset – could be stocks, shares, land etc..

legal and equitable rights are separate in a trust. The same person can own both the legal and equitable trust. But usually they are owned separately in the trust. Legal and equitable rights are conceptually different and have different duties.

compare it to a contract.

a trusteee under breach of a trust has sold the trust to another party. The other party despite knowing that the trust was there to benefit someone else. This third party will not be liable to the beneficiary. This is due to privity of contract.

A third party and the beneficiaries cannot bring actions.

Trusts are successful because they regulate relationships involving more than 2 parties.

Look at initial contract between settlor and trustee – you must hold property in respect of X – if the trustee breaches the trust then the settlor can bring an action. The property was held to benefiit the benficiary. The beneficiary suffers loss not the settlor.

contractual relationships – one needs capaocty. Not for minors or defectives. In family contexts trusts are to benefit children or mentally ill.

A trust can be created by  giving property to trustee stating who the property is held for the benefit of

a trust can be created by the settlor who declares themselves the trustee

different formalities.

essentials of a trust – three certainties. Intention. (need to be able to be certain settlor intended to make a trsut – subject matter (be certain what the property is). certainty of objects. (one needs to know who the beneficiayr is).

beneficiary principles – trusts must be to benefit a human and identifiable.

beneficiary can enforce the trust.

formalities must be fulfilled. Legal rights – transfer of land by deed and registration.

moral basis of trust. Lord Chief Justice said it is ” a confidence reposed in some other”

;egal duties and obligations develop on this basis

trust is man made.

fiduciary duties.

The United Kingdom in the 1880s and 1890s


In 1880 the Conservatives were turfed out. Gladstone became Prime Minister of a Liberal Government.

In 1881 Disraeli died. The Earl of Beaconsfield was afforded an enormous public funeral. Economia were delivered to him by several notable personages. Her Majesty the Queen was known to grieve deeply for him as one of her dearest Prime Ministers. Despite the circumstance surrounding this funeral Gladstone refused to attend claiming to be too busy! This seemed to mark Gladstone out as especially mean spirited and dingenuous.There was no doubt that Gladstone had long harboured a violent dislike of Dizzy Boy. Their styles were different. Disraeli was calculating and flamboyant. He did not pretend to be driven by moral impulses. The Earl of Beaconsfield was a hack novelist. He had moved from Radical to Tory. Gladstone was passionate but reserved. He was seldom seen to smile. He purported to be actuated by the highest ethical motives. Gladstone was had undergone the opposite journey to Disraeli which is why they make such a scintillating contrast. W E Gladstone had been a high Tory – ”the rising hope of the stern unbending Tories” and had ended up a Liberal known as the People’s William. He had set his faces against concessions to Catholic opinion yet at the end of his career embraced the cause of self-determination for the Catholic majority in Ireland.

Disraeli enjoyed a better posthumous reputation than he had in life. The Conservatives founded an organisation called the Primrose League because this was said to be Disraeli’s preferred flower. The Primrose League was a mass organisation in the 19th century and continued until 2004 when it was wound up.

Oxford University Conservatives are known to have made pilgrimages to Hughenden.

In 1880 a dispute arose in South Africa. The Cape and Natal were British colonies. When slavery had been abolished throughout the British Empire most Afrikaners (people of Dutch descent) had left British South Africa. They considered it outrageous that their freedom to deny freedom to others had been denied to them. These Afrikaners had set out on their Great Trek into the hinterland. They founded the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State. These twin republics were Afrikaans (i.e. Dutch) speaking. The white Afrikaner minority there held all the political power. The black majority and the few coloured people (mixed race) were shut out of government. The British Empire later regonised the independence of these countries in exchange for them abolishing slavery. Despite the formal end of slavery little changed for the black community in these lands.

In 1880 the British Government wished to extend its control over the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic. A brief war erupted. The British Army suffered an ignominious defeat at the Battle of Majuba Hill. The British Empire summoned reinforcements from overseas. The Afrikaners sagely decided to quit whilst they were ahead. They recognised British ”paramountcy” over their states in return for these states retaining self-government. The nebulous notion of paramountcy was to cause grave problems later.

In the 1880s it became obvious that the United States was on the cusp of overtaking the United Kingdom as the pre-eminent industrial nation. The United States had a larger population and a much larger land area. This land are was also rich in natural resources. In the 18th century most scientific discoveries and technological innovations had been British and a few had been French. By the late 19th century most scientific breakthroughs and inventions were American. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in the United States. Admittedly he was originally British. Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. The USA was no longer seen as being at the edge of the civilised world. The USA at the cutting edge of science and technology.

In the early 1880s there was a recrudescence of unrest in Ireland. Isaac Butt had died and had been replaced by a charismatic young leader named Charles Stewart Parnell. Gladstone had partly solved the land issue. Agitation and violent crime in the countryside had compelled Gladstone to suspend habeas corpus in Ireland. Parnell had been held in Kilmainham Gaol without trial or charge. However, C S Parnell lived there in considerable comfort. He was not obliged to wear prison uniform. He had a cell to himself and was permitted to bring in his own furniture. The Kilmainham Treaty led to him being set at liberty. Just after Parnell was freed the new Secretary of State for Ireland, Lord Frederick Cavendish, was stabbbed to death by the Invincibles. The Invincibles were a group of IRB men. They proved to be vincible since all were caught and hanged.

The murder of Lord Cavendish caused outrage in Great Britain and to a lesser extent in Ireland. Parnell was horrified and offered to withdraw from public life. Gladstone urged him not to.

The Home Rule Party held most representation in Ireland. Gladstone had been against Home Rule. However, he cogitated deeply on the matter. He went for a cruise around Norway in the summer of 1885. He saw how Home Rule worked in Sweden and Norway. Norway being a part of the Kingdom of Sweden at the time. W E Gladstone became convinced that this was a workable solution for the UK. It would not lead to separation. Little did he know that in 20 years time Norway completely split from Sweden.

In the 1880s Sudan was part of Egypt. The Egyptian Government had little effectual control over Sudan. The Khedive (king) of Egypt had outlawed slavery. Egypt did not enforce Sharia law and was only a fairly observant Muslim country. Its upper classes were known to indulge in alcohol and a Western lifestyle.

In the early 1880s a man known as the Mahdi emerged in the Sudan. He was a poor boat builder from an island on the Nile. He claimed to be a reincarnation of the Prophet Muhammad. He had a gap between his middle teeth which he said was the same as the Prophet. The Mahdi led a revolt against Egyptian rule. He was a persuasive leader and effective rabble rouser. He ambushed government troops and killed them. His men seized the weapons from the dead. Buoyed by early successed the insurrection spread apace.

General Gordon was a British Army officer who had served in China. His success there led to hi having the soubriquet Chinese Gordon bestowed upon him. ”Chinese Gordon” then entered the service of the Khedive. He led the Egyptian Army in Sudan. General Gordon did his damndest to stamp out slavery. This alienated provincial potentates who made their fortunes from attacking tribes without firearms and enslaving these luckless people. The Egyptian Army in in Sudan partly comprised olive skinned Egyptians from Egypt itself. It also had some Sudanese troops who were properly black. The Sudanese mostly spoke Arabic like the Egyptians. The Sudanese were mostly Sunni Muslims. There were some Sudanese in the very south of the country who were animists at that time. About 10% of Egyptians were Christians and they were often wealthy. Egyptians and Sudanese could not be entirely distinguished. Southern Egypt and northern Sudan blurred into each other ethnically. They also shared a language and a faith.

The Mahdi gathered many disciples. They were fired by his revival of fundamentalist Islam and his strident defence of slavery. Here god and mammon were staunch allies.The fact that the Egyptian Army was commanded by a Christian was grist to the mill.

The Mahdists soon won control of much of Sudan. The Egyptian Army in Sudan controlled little more than Khartoum. General Gordon was isolated in Khartoum and the Mahdists tried to intercept his communications with Egypt. Gunboats could sail along the Nile with difficulty. They came under constant attacks from Mahdists. Before long Khartoum was under siege.

News reports reached the United Kingdom of General Gordon’s plight. He was a man of ardent Christian faith. He sent regular letters home. The British newspapers were full of articles about Gordon’s anti-slavery zeal and his plucky stand against the Mahdists hordes. Gladstone came under pressure to relieve Gordon. W E Gladstone pointed out that General Gordon was no longer in the British Army. He was serving in the Egyptian Army. He had chosen to put himself in harm’s way. The Sudan was not British territory. Gladstone asked why British soldiers should die to save an Egyptian soldier? Why should British taxpayers foot the bill for a conflict that did not concern them? Public opinion demanded action. Conservatives capitalised on the situation and cajoled Gladstone into dispatching troops to rescue General Gordon.

Gen Gordon wrote ”Now mark this – all we need is a gunboat with a few British soldiers in red uniforms.”  Chinese Gordon was convinced that the fearsome reputation of the British Army meant that the Mahdists needed to merely see the red tunics and they would lift the siege of Khartoum.

A small number of British soldiers were sent down the Nile to Khartoum. Gen Gordon had sent troops out of Khartoum to harass the enemy. At first this paid dividends. Minor victories were scored over the troops investing Khartoum. But the Egyptians’ luck ran out. They were ambushed and defeated by Mahdists. They got close to Khartoum but had to turn back. They learnt they were several days too late. Khartoum had been taken by storm. Gen Gordon had left his residency with a revolver and sabre. He had met his enemies face to face and gone down fighting. His head was preserved and shown to an Austrian prisoner.

The Mahdists ruled Sudan. Egypt temporarily abandoned Sudan.

There were howls of protests in the UK. Gladstone was denounced. He was no longer GOM – Grand Old Man. He was MOG – Murderer of Gordon. The UK was under no obligation to save Gen Gordon but had assumed that responsibility. Perhaps it would have been wiser not to have been coaxed into sending a relief expedition. Gladstone had been apathetic. This lack of vigour led to failure. That was worse than not trying at all. Gladstone’s dithering on this issue juxtaposed with his moral high tone about Bulgaria a few years before. His moral outrage then seemed feigned and partisan.

The British Government then decided that the Mahdists were wicked and must be defeated. They sent British troops to Egypt. Their objective was to smash the Mahdists. It took a few years to gather sufficient forces and train them. They also had to form a camel corps. A railway would need to be constructed into the Sudan. The man eventually put in charge was Herbert Kitchener.

In 1884 the Third Reform Act was passed. This extended the vote even further. It meant that most working class men had the right to vote. Householders were entitled to vote. That meant a man who owned a house or was responsible for paying the rent was entitled to vote. Sons over the age of 21 living with their fathers were not permitted to vote. Lodgers were excluded from the franchise. There was a residency requirement. This meant that migrant labourers were not alllowed to vote. They did not have the vote because they were seen as too flaky. People needed to be rooted in a constituency in order to understand it. The vote for for people who were stable.

In  June 1885 the Liberals were pushed out of office. William Ewart Gladstone remained leader of the Liberal Party.

A brief Conservative administration was formed. The Marquess of Salisbury became Prime Minister. When he had been Lord Robert Cecil he had been a rival of Gladstone back on Gladstone’s Tory days. Lord Salisbury had difficulty governing since this was a minority administration. He introduced legislation to improve housing for plebeians. This was supposed to be an extension of Disraeli’s condition of England policy. The idea was that the aristocratic dominated Conservative Party was compassionate towards the lower orders and would provide for their welfare. As there were more and more working class voters Lord Salisbury recognised the need to be seen to be doing something for their betterment. Notice the inaccurate usage of ”England”. This was a policy for the whole of the United Kingdom. England constituted a mere 60% of the population of the UK yet ”England” was used as though it were synonymous with the United Kingdom. There was a growing trend for the Liberals to be stronger in the Celtic Fringe – that is to say Scotland, Wales, south-west England and northern England.  Gladstone sat for Mid Lothian at this stage. The triumph of the Home Rulers in Ireland in the 1870s had more or less made the Irish Liberals extinct. The Conservatives, by contrast, were more popular in southern and eastern England. Lord Salisbury was a reactionary by inclination. For instance, he thought it was nonsense to compensate tenants for improving land. Moreover, back in 1867 (when he was Viscount Cranborne) he had resigned from the Conservative cabinet when Disraeli brought in the Second Reform Act. He pursued more moderate policies for strategic reasons. The Marquess Salisbury was a formidable intellectual – being a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. This is the highest accolade in British academe. It is equivalent to being elected to the French Academy. Lord Salisbury was perhaps inevitably an old boy of Eton. His family had risen to prominence under Elizabeth I. Some of the crustiest peers thought that the Cecils (Salisbury’s family) were not noble enough since they had acquired their title only 300 years earlier.

In December 1885 Gladstone’s son Herbert told the Times that his father had converted to the cause of Home Rule for Ireland. It was a bombshell. Up until that moment W E Gladstone had maintained that he was implacably opposed to Home Rule. It could only bring about the partition of the United Kingdom. It would debilitate the empire. The Act of Union passed in 1800 was to last forevermore. That had been his prior position. It was yet another volte-face from this mercurial public man.

The Conservative Government fell in the New Year. Thus in January of the year 1886 the Liberals were back in office. W E Gladstone once more assumed the title of First Lord of the Treasury. Note that at that time ”Prime Minister” was an informal expression. The proper title was First Lord of the Treasury. It was only in about 1910 that the title Prime Minister became official. The new Liberal Government was only viable since it enjoyed the backing of the Irish Home Rulers.

Gladstone then set about introducing Home Rule legislation. This was too much for some Liberals. A significant minority of Liberals decamped at that point. They became known as Liberal Unionists. Their leader in the Commons was Joseph Chamberlain. This former Lord Mayor of Birmingham had come from a working class family and entered politics on the radical end of Liberalism. Chamberlain’s reputation was such that he earned the handle ”Radical Joe.” The most prominent Liberal peer to break away from the party over Home Rule was the Marquess of Hartington. This fissure among Liberalism was to cost it dear.

The Irish Home Rule Party naturally supported the bill. Some Conservatives had toyed with the notion of adopting Home Rule. Among them was Lord Randolph Churchill. There had been clandestine consultations with Parnell over this. Lord Churchill in the end opted to be a forthright opponent of Home Rule. He did so for entirely cynical reasons. ”The Orange card will be the one to play. Please God it shall be the ace and not the two.” Churchill and many other Conservatives realised that most people in the South of Ireland wanted Home Rule. That much was incontestable. The Conservatives reognised that one of the main flaws in the Home Rule plan was Ulster. In Ireland northern province most people were Protestants and Unionists. This was especially so in the eastern half of Ulster. Conservatives wished to scotch Home Rule for the whole of Ireland but at the very least for Ulster. Churchill notoriously said at a rally that if Home Rule were forced on Ulster then, ”Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right.”

In 1886 the Home Rule Bill was defeated in the House of Commons. Liberal Unionists had the swing votes. If all Liberals had voted for Home Rule then it would have passed.

The Liberal Unionists broke away from mainstream Liberalism for several reasons. Home Rule was the occasion of the split but not the sole cause. The schism was multi factorial. For starters Gladstone had been leader of the party for nigh on 20 years. Some people disliked his moralising and abrasive style. There was an element of opportunism in the split. Joseph Chamberlain fancied himself as Liberal leader and there appeared to be no sign of Gladstone retiring despite being aged 76 at the time of the schism. Gladstone’s crusading foreign policy irked others especially when he did not manage to save Gordon.

In 1886 there was an election. The Conservatives won handily. It was their first general election victory for 12 years. The Conservatives did especially well in regions where Protestant fundamentalism was widespread. This included southern Scotland. Conservative rhetoric was that the Protestant minority in Ireland would be mistreated by the Catholic majority if Home Rule were passed.

Lord Salisbury came back as Prime Minister. He formed a government of Conservatives and Liberal Unionists. The Liberal Unionists remained Liberals in most policies except that they were against Home Rule. The Conservatives therefore needed to compromise with their coalition partners.

Conservatives spoke about Tory Democracy. This was a phrase beloved of Lord Randolph Churchill. It was largely furphy. Their slogan was ”trust the people” because they claimed that Liberals would take away personal freedom.

Lord Sailsbury’s government passed law to try to ameliorate the lot of ordinary people. There was the Contagious Diseases Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act. The great bearded Lord Salisbury felt contempt for working class voters. He lamented ”the wholesale deglutition of insincere promises … shaking hands with the grimy wife and the sluttish daughter.” He said that the proletariat was characterised by ”vulgarity, venality, drunkenness.” Lord Salisbury saw the need to offer something to working class voters that they could easily understand. He did not want to increase taxation in order to spend more on assisting the needy. His solution was populist imperialism. Fortunately for him the United Kingdom was at the apex of its might. The British gained more territory in Africa. Cecil Rhodes in South Africa helped the British South Africa Company expand British rule north of the Limpopo. Two new colonies were added to the empire. They were called Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia. Nowadays they are named Zimbabwe and Zambia. Southern Rhodesia’s capital was named Salisbury to honour the Prime Minister. Lord Salisbury had disdain for ”villa Tories” who were lower middle class people who voted for his party. He was conscious that they needed to be appeased to keep them on board. Much of the popular press was pro- Conservative. Compulsory schooling meant that by the 1890s the great majority of adults were literate.. Newspapers were cheap and increasingly well illustrated. Railways and telegraphs meant that news and newspapers could travel quickly. The public were growing more aware of what was occurring in far flung parts of the world.

The third Marquess of Salibury was also aware that although the United Kingdom was at its zenith this could not last. His perspicacity was extreme. He was perceptive in predicting that the United States and Germany would only pull further ahead of the UK in terms of economic prowess. He was the man to coin the phrase ”splendid isolation.” He did so not to describe his policy but to say that that had been Britain’s policy heretofore. The United Kingdom needed to seek a powerful ally. In the 1890s some flirted with the notion of an alliance with Germany. In the end that came to nothing.

The Home Rule movement ran out of steam in the late 1880s. Then came the O’Shea divorce scandal. The Home Rule Party was then hopelessly split. There was a rancorous row between Parnellites and anti-Parnellites. Parnell died in 1892 but the division within the party was not healed for a further ten years. Given the level of animosity between the two camps it is a minor miracle that they managed to reunite so soon.

In 1892 there was another election. The Liberals were returned to office. Gladstone was Prime Minister once more. Again he introduced a Home Rule Bill to Parliament. It squeaked through the House of Commons. Tory peers in the House of Lords voted it down.  Gladstone remained Prime Minister until 1894. He was very infirm by then so he retired. The new Prime Minister was the Earl of Roseberry. This Scottish peer was also an Old Etonian.

Lord Rosberry led the Liberal Party into the 1895 election. The Liberals were bested by the Conservatives and their Liberal Unionist allies.

The Marquess of Salisbury became Prime Minister once more. There was much British consolidation in Africa.

Lord Alfred Milner was sent to South Africa as the High Commissioner. He was determined to bring the Orange Free States and the Transvaal Republic fully within the empire. This was especially so since a few years earlier gold and diamonds had been discovered there. The President of the Transvaal  Paul Kruger lamented this find. He was known as ”Oom” (old) Paul and noted for his cunning and steadfastness.  He said that these riches would be the source of endless trouble. People chided him that he was wishing away wealth. Oom Paul as he was known said that he would rather have a virtuous people than people plagued by avarice which only brings war. Many Britishers moved into the Transvaal and Orange Free State but were not allowed to vote. The Afrikaners were worried that Britons would vote for these lands to fully integrate into the British Empire. The Afrikaners (Dutch speaking whites) were sometimes called Boers. Boer means ”farmer” in Afrikaans. An Afrikaner was called a Boer even if he did not work as a farmer.

In 1895 Cecil Rhodes – Prime Minister of South Africa – hatched a plot. Cecil Rhodes had a doctor named Leander Starr Jameson. Dr Jameson would lead a party of several hundred horsemen to overthrow the Afrikaner republics and seize their land for the British Crown. Dr Jameson would inspire his men by reading a false telegram telling his followers that it was a plea for rescue from British women and children who had been held hostage by heavily armed Boers. The British in the Transvaal would welcome Dr Jameson’s force with open arms. They would rebel against Boer tyranny.

It is believed that Her Majesty’s Government were in on the plot. They did not formally bless it. There was a nod and a wink. This was plausible deniability. Had it succeeded then the government would be glad to reap the reward. If it ended in fiasco then the government could claim it had no foreknowledge of this escapade.

In December 1895 Dr Jameson and his merry men set out to conquer the Transvaal. However, they were easily defeated by the Transvaalers. Jameson and his men were surrounded and compelled to surrender. Many Transvaalers wanted Dr Jameson to stand trial for levying war against them. He was not a soldier fighting in the army. He had not invaded the Transvaal by order of the Queen. As he had no legal grounds for using violence he was a terrorist and should be executed. President Kruger was smart enough not to martyr Dr Jameson. He released him to British custody despite howls of protest from irate Afrikaners.

Dr Jameson was sent back to the United Kingdom in handcuffs. To zealous imperialists he was a hero for his audacious attempt to liberate his fellow Britishers from Afrikaner tyranny. The Conservative Government was embarrassed by what he had done. It was worse than aggression. It was a failure. The Liberals were seized with moral indignation at his unlawful act. He had launched an unprovoked attack on a country with which the UK had normal diplomatic relations. Moreover, it made the UK a laughing stock. Rival imperial powers were gratified to see egg on Britain’s face. The Kaiser of Germany sent a congratulatory telegram to President Kruger.

Dr Jameson was found guilty at his trial in the United Kingdom. He was sentenced to only 15 months in prison. He was lucky not to have been executed in South Africa.

The Matabele in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) rebelled just after the failure of the Jameson Raid. This was because the Matabele were perceptive and saw that there were very few British soldiers and policemen left in Zimbabwe.

There was not enough evidence at the time to implicate Cecil Rhodes in the Jameson Raid. Rhodes’ brother was resident in the Transvaal (a former army officer) and had been involved in the plot. Cecil Rhodes undoubtedly egged on the conspiracy but this was not proven at the time.

Many British miners moved into the Transvaal and Orange Free States. These states allowed foreign white Protestant men the vote but only after 14 years residency.

The British Government pressed the Afrikaner states to reduced the residency requirements to 5 years. The Afrikaner states were prepared to make concessions. They offered to lower the residency requirement to 9 years. For the British this was insufficient. The drumbeat of war was started. The Afrikaner governments foresaw the possibility of war so they imported weapons. They were especially glad to get their hands on Mausers. These were new rifles from Germany. Crucially Mausers were smokeless. The fact that these rifles did not give off smoke meant that a sniper would be very hard to detect.

The British Army summoned more troops from around the globe. Tensions rose precipitously. Some Britishers wanted to avenge the humiliation of the Jameson Raid. Both sides foresaw the distinct possibility of war. The Afrikaners came to see war as unavoidable. They decided to fight it on their terms before the British were fully ready.

In October 1899 the Afrikaaner Government issued an ultimatum. They demanded that the British Army withdraw all troops who had entered South Africa since March.. The British were given 3 days in which to comply or there would be war.

Lord Salisbury said that the British Empire could not possibly accept such a demand. The Empire had taken no offensive action against the Afrikaner states. No British soldier had crossed the border. Not a shot had been fired.

The deadline expired and the Afrikaners attacked into British South Africa. At first the Boers scored some easy victories. They also surrounded some British garrisons such as at Ladysmith and Mafeking. The Afrikaners made the mistake of properly investing these towns. The should have left enough men to keep the British bottled up in these towns and then sued the remaining Afrikaner troops to press on to the coast. If the ports could be seized then the British Army would be prevented from bringing in reinforcements. The Afrikaners became mired in siege warfare. They did not have heavy artillery.

There was black week – three British defeats in one week. The war was going terribly for the British. Australia, New Zealand and India all sent troops to help. After a few months plenty of imperial troops arrived. Thereafter the British (i.e. including Indians, New Zealanders and Australians) held a decisive numerical advantage over their enemies.

Mafeking was relieved. When the siege was lifted this caused rejoicing in the United Kingdom. The word mafeking briefly came to mean celebration in British slang.

The British numerical superiority and firepower began to tell. The Afrikaners lost come conventional battles. The cities of the Transvaal and Orange Free State were all taken. The Afrikaners resorted to guerrilla warfare. They fought in units called commandos.

The commandos were highly mobile cavalry. They fought on the veldt – the hills and in the bush. Afrikaner civilians (including their black servants) acted as auxiliaries to the commandos. They brought them food and ammunition. They carried dispatches and acted as scouts and spies. The British began to detain Afrikaner civilians and black people who were the employees of Afrikaners. They were held in what were called concentration camps. This had nothing to do with what a concentration camp was in the Third Reich. These was to keep them from being killed in the crossfire. It was also to feed them. As agriculture had largely been abandoned there were acute food shortages. There was an ulterior purpose to this – to prevent these civilians acting as support for the commandos.

Many Afrikaner civilians died in these camps. They were largely a diffuse population. They went from living in communities of a few dozen to a camp of tens of thousands. This brought them into contact with diseases as never before. Some Afrikaners saw they could not win the war and they capitulated. They were reviled as ”Hands oopers” (hands uppers) by those who opted to fight on. Those who decided to continue fighting were called ”Bitter enders.”

If a man surrendered his family in the camp was well fed. If the father of a family did not surrender then his family were fed half rations.

Soon there was an outcry over the death rate in the camps. Asquith, a Liberal MP, denounced the system. He said, ”this war for freedom is fought by methods of barbarism.” This led to him being detested by Conservatives. Some Liberals supported the war but opposed the tactics used which they said were ungentlemanly. Radical Liberals such as David Lloyd George was an outright opponent. Lloyd George spoke at a rally in Birmingham Town Hall where he decried the war. A Conservative crowd gathered outside. They were so irate that the police were worried they would tear Lloyd George apart. A policeman swapped clothes with Lloyd George to allow him to slip out unrecognised.

Wedgwood Benn was a Liberal student who protested against the war. An angry group of nationalists surrounded his room in London and he was lucky to escape without a beating.

Herbert Kitchener was put in charge of the war effort. To defeat the commandos he had a barbed wire fence built. This kept the commandos in certain areas. There was a block house every few miles. This was a minifort. The soldiers there were to see that the commandos did not cut the fence. If they did cut the fence it would soon be discovered. The blockhouse was sufficiently well-defended that it would take a commando at least a couple of hours to capture it. By that time the alarm would be raised by the sound of gunfire and reinforcements would arrive.

Britain’s reputation abroad suffered grievously. In Germany, France and the United States opinion was overwhelmingly pro-Boer. The press in their countries satirised British incompetence and lambasted the British for their alleged cruelty. Churchill travelled to the USA to give a speech in Chicago. The audience was chiefly comprised of Irish-Americans. Most of them were pro-Boer mainly out of anglophobia. Churchill avoided a very negative reaction by being effusive in his laud for the Irishmen in the British Army.

In May 1902 negotiations were conducted. The Peace of Vereeniging was signed. This is the name of a town in South Africa. It means ”unity” in Afrikaans. The terms were lenient towards the Boers. They were paid millions of pounds on compensation for the destruction of their property. The Union of South Africa was created. South Africa was divided into several provinces. It was all part of the British Empire. South Africa would be allowed to decided if the vote would be extended to non white people. There were already some black men who had the vote in the Cape Colony.

These generous terms were granted because the UK was eager to have done with the war. It was inglorious. The compensation was much less than the cost of carrying on fighting.

Just after the end of the Second South African War Lord Salibsury retired. His nephew became Prime Minister. He was Arthur James Balfour. A J Balfour was one of only three PMs to be a bachelor. He was also an Old Etonian  next year – 1903 – Salisbury died.

The United Kingdom in the 1870s.


In 1870 Gladstone was Prime Minister of a Liberal Government.

Though industry was growing agriculture was suffering. The United States had completed its railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The USA had recovered from the Civil War. Cheap American foodstuffs were shipped to Europe. Many methods of preserving food had been invented in the American Civil War. Air tight tin cans kept food edible for months. British farmers could not compete. Cheaper food was welcomed by those who were not farmers. The value of agricultural land fell. Many institutions which relied on agricultural holdings did badly. Eton was hit hard. Oxford University built the Examination Schools at the time and the university was almost bankrupt when its income was suddenly reduced by the agricultural depression. The Liberal policy of free trade was denounced by farmers.

In 1874 there was another election. Benjamin Disraeli led the Conservatives to victory.

Disraeli introduced the Food and Drug Act. He tried to ensure that peoples food and medicines were of a reasonable standard. His government also passed the Artisan’s Dwelling Act.

Much of what he did was to pass permissive legislation. This allowed local government to take certain actions but did not oblige them to. Conservatives said they believed in keeping power local.

One Liberal said that the COnservative did more for the working man in six years than the Liberals had done in 60. He was goading his party to do more.

Queen Victoria found relations with Disraeli easier than with Gladstone.

Every August the Queen would go to Balmoral. Her Scottish estate is privately owned. It became a habit to invite the Prime Minister to stay with her there for a week. Foreign heads of state are not invited. The royal family can relax there.

Queen Victoria found relations easier with Disraeli than with Gladstone. This is surprising given that Gladstone was well got compared to Dizzy Boy. Victoria strove to be neutral as her late husband had urged her to to. The Prince of Wales (the futute Edward VII) is said to have favoured the Conservatives. This is possibly because they seemed more monarchical. Moreover, it seemed sensible to curry favour with them as they appeared to be in the ascendant.

Victoria started some sort of relationship with her ghillie John Brown. A ghillie is a game keeper in Scotland. The nature of this relationship is unclear. Perhaps it was romantic or maybe platonic. The London press heard tell of this. Punch – a satirical magazine – published a court circular. It sent up Queen Victoria by referring to her as ”Mrs Brown.”

Disraeli was ennobled as the Earl of Beaconsfield. This is pronounced ”BEK onz feeld”. This is because Beaconsfield is in his constituency.

The Earl of Beaconsfield had Parliament pass a law granting Queen Victoria the title Empress of India. Some mocked this as pretentious frippery. It underlined that the Conservatives saw imperial might as important and also a vote winner. Victoria never went to India. The idea of a female ruler was more unusual in India than in the British Isles. There had been Indian women who ruled their states such as the Rani of Jhansi. Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) went to India to be crowned on behalf of his mother. The ceremony was called a Durbar. Durbar is an Indian word which can mean ”palace” or ”coronation.”

The Durbar took place not in Calcutta which was then the Indian capital. It occurred in Delhi which was the historic capital of India. The British Raj seemed rock solid. Hundreds of Indian potentates came to pay homage to the son of their empress.

Many new voters were not very reflective. They were swayed by flag waving. A music hall ditty of the time went

”We don’t want to fight/ But by jingo if we do/ We’ve got the men, we’ve got the guns and we’ve got money to/ No, the Russians may not have Constantinople.” This gave rise to the expression ”jingoism” which means an absurd brand of militaristic excessive nationalism.

Constantinople is what we call Istanbul. It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. It had formerly been a Greek Orthodox Christian city. Moscow was the new seat of the Orthodox Church. Many Russians dreamt of retaking the city for their faith. It would also allow them access to the Mediterranean.

In 1878 the Second Afghan War broke out. There was a British Resident in Kabul – Sir Louis Cavagnari. Cavagnari was partly Italian hence his surname. The United Kingdom had attempted to gain a degree of control over Afghanistan. Many Afghans revolted against this. The British Legation was stormed and Cavagnari was killed. Indian and British troops invaded Afghanistan. The outcome was not decisive but was more favourable to Afghanistan than British India. There was no British resident after 1878.

Russia was prospecting for greater influence in Central Asia. The Russian calls this the tournament of shadows. They would offer arms and money to any ruler who would be their ally. The British were also seeking to gain allies in this region. Britishers called it the Great Game. The Russians were widely seen as being anti-Muslim. The Britishers did not have this hindrance.

In 1878 there was a possibility of a war against Russia in Central Asia. In the end wiser counsels prevailed. In readiness the government moved Indian troops to Malta. This was done since Parliament did not need to be consulted about the deployment of Indian soldiers. SOme joked that if it came to war ”we will send the mild Hindu.”

In 1878 there was an uprising in Bulgaria against the Ottomans. The rebels were defeated. The Ottoman Army went far beyond the usages of civilised warfare. To kill an armed combatant is acceptable. In this case many civilians were killed. No army is perfect but in this case the victors behaved with exceptional cruelty.

News came to the United Kingdom of how many Bulgarian civilians had been wantonly killed. The Conservative Government favoured an amicable relationship with the Ottomans. The Russians were threatening to intervene on the side of their fellow Orthodox Christians who appealed for protection.

Gladstone pronounced himself outraged that the Conservatives should acquiesce in such atrocities. He wrote a pamphlet ”The Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East.” The question of the East was about who should dominated Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.



In South Africa a new British governor arrived. His name was Sir Bartle Frere. Frere wanted to unite the whole of South Africa under British rule. The Afrikaners (people of Dutch ancestry) ruled their inland republics – the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic. There were a few native kingdoms.

In January 1879 a Zulu woman had crossed a river into British territory and taken up with a man there who was not her husband. Her husband and sons crossed the river and seized her. They carried her back into Zululand and did her to death.

The British then issued a series of unjustified demands. The Zulu system of conscription and delayed marriage must be abolished. King Ceteshwayo of thew Zulus could not possible agree to such terms. The United Kingdom declared war.

Disraeli lamented that this war was begun by prancing proconsuls. There was still a significant prospect of a war against Russia. He did not want any distractions in Africa.

The British invaded with several thousand foot and horse. Many on the British side were Natal Native Contingent. The NNC were men from tribes who were traditional enemies of the Zulus. They wore the same clothes and used the same weapons as their foes.

In February 1879 the Zulus scored a magnificent victory. Despite having very few firearms they all but destroyed a British Army of over 1 000 men. This was the Battle of Isandhlwana. The British commander, Thesiger, had divided his forces. He had left no cavalry at his camp. He had allowed the camp to be too spread out. He had disregarded advice from Boers (Dutch descended people) who had fought Zulus for decades. They said to have a small perimeter.

Three days later the Zulus crossed into the British province of Natal. They attacked a post called Rorke’s Drift. 100 or so British soldiers defended a very small perimeter. They showed how to defeat the Zulus by being close together. Their intensity of fire was something the spear bearers could not break through.

Thesiger learnt from his mistakes. In future his army moved in close formation. He use gatling guns and rocket tubes. Cavalry would harry and harass the enemy.

After a few months Thesiger was on the brink of victory. Cetshewayo realised that he was being thrashed. He sent cattle in token of reconciliation. Some of his hot head young warriors would not allow this peace offering through. Thesiger marched on Ulundi. This kraal was the Zulu capital. Here his men did much destruction. The Zulus were utterly defeated and their capital was in flames.

Having bested the Zulus the British withdrew. They did not annex Zululand at the stage. It was a British victory but it was not the walkover it should have been. The UK was the world superpower. It had the best military technology of the time. The Zulus had proved their valour. Disraeli commented, ”the Zulus are a remarkable people. They defeat our armies and convert our bishops.”

The Zulu War was mainly forgotten in the UK until the film Zulu was made in 1964.

Cetshewayo was highly regarded in the United Kingdom as a noble adversary. In 1872 he was invited to visit the United Kingdom. He stayed near Holland Park. He dined with Queen Victoria at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. He died two years later.

Thesiger later inherited the title Lord Chelmsford.

Towards the end of 1879 Disraeli was ailing. The Conservative Party was unpopular. The Tories were soon riven by bickering.



The Conservatives lost the 1880 election.

Freddy Mercury



He was born Farokh Bulsara in 1946. His birthplace was Zanzibar. Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Tanzania. Zanzibar was then a colony of the United Kingdom. Zanzibar was not united with Tanzania back then – it is now.

He shall be called Freddy Mercury from one for the avoidance of confusion. Freddy’s family were Indians. His parents have moved from India to Zanzibar. Their ancestral village in India was named Bulsara. That is why he had Bulsara as a surname.

The Bulsara family belonged to the Parsee religion. The Parsee religion started in Persia (now called Iran). The word Parsee comes from Persia. The Parsees are sometimes called Zoroastrians. When Iran turned to Islam most Parsees left Iran for India.

Freddy’s father was a civil servant. When Freddy was a teenager they moved to the United Kingdom. Freddy was in a schoolboy band called the Hectics.

Freddy studied at art school in London. He took Freddy Mercury as a stage name. His real name was difficult for most Britishers to spell and pronounce. He tried a number of bands but none of them worked out. He took a low paid job as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. He really wanted to make it as a musician.

Then he joined a band with some very gifted musicians. They all geled together. They seemed to have chemistry. They wrote their own lyrics and music. The band was called Queen. It was a word that everyone knew and had good connotations. Brian May was lead guitarist. Brian May was studying Astrophysics at Imperial College London. Imperial is one of the best universities in the UK. Brian was a superb student and could have had an academic career. In the end he got a PhD in astrology but that was after his musical stardom.

Freddy was the lead singer of the band. In ordinary life he was retiring. But once he got on stage he was an extrovert and his natural flair for flamboyance was apparent. His rich singing voice and vocal range were legendary. He had control and rhythm.

Freddy was the front man of Queen. They shot to fame in the 1970s.

Queen had hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, Someone to love, Its a kind of ,magic, we are the champions, Barcelona and many more.

In 1985 there was a LiveAid concert. This was to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia. There were simultaneous concerts in Philadelphia, London, Paris and several other cities. Freddy opened the concert in Wembley Stadium, London. His marvellous performance attained rock immortality.

Queen toured the world. They performed in Germany, Brazil and many other lands.

In the mid 1980s Freddy contracted an incurable illness. He kept his conditon secret. By 1990 he was plainly very ill. He looked like a corpse. In 1991 he confirmed the nature of his illness. He died that November.

Freddy never married or had children. He have his house in London to a woman with whom he was friends.

Freddy was cremated. His ashes are buried in Zanzibar.


  1. When was Freddy born?

2. What was his real name?

3. Which country were his parents from?

4. What was his faith?

5. Where did he spend his adult life?

6. In which year did he die?

7. What was his position in Queen?

8. What was the name of his band?

9. Name a song by him?

10. What is your opinion of him?

The United Kingdom in the 1860s


The decade opened with as Viscount Palmerston Prime Minister of a Liberal Government.  Palmerston as ever sat in the House of Commons. Lord Palmerston was to prove a more responsible and accomplished Premier the second time around. He also left a legacy of noteworthy legislation.

In 1861 the American Civil War broke out. The UK briskly declared neutrality. The British attitude is encapsulated in the following doggerel,

”Though with the North with sympathised/ It must not be forgotten/ That with the South lay stronger ties/ And they were made of cotton.”

Many Confederates fondly imagined that the United Kingdom would assist them. She might declare war on the United States. Some Confederates wanted to re-establish the colonial relationship with the United Kingdom. This sat oddly with the claim that the Confederacy embodied the true spirit of the American Revolution. But times had changed and they could say that the United Kingdom would now respect their liberty. The UK had not abolished slavery in America when it ruled the Thirteen Colonies. The United Kingdom had outlawed slavery throughout the British Empire. This fact seems to have been lost on many Confederates. Rather than becoming a series of colonies against some hoped for a relationship such as Canada had with the UK.

Confederates believed that their cotton was crucial to the British economy. The UK would be obliged to assist them – to at least trade with them. A British embargo against the North would bring the war to a close.

The Confederates overestimated the importance of cotton to the British economy. Moreover, America was not the only place in the world to grow cotton. The United Kingdom started purchasing cotton from Egypt and India. Egypt was closer than the Confederate States of America and the Mediterranean was not as stormy as the Atlantic.

Some Lancashire mill workers were out of work at the outset of the war because cotton from Egypt had not yet come. Most of them still wanted the North to win. They recognised that the war was mainly about slavery and no secession. They saw this as a moral issue and worth suffering for. Their political awareness and their fortitude in suffering for a cause impressed Gladstone. W E Gladstone publicly expressed his belief that the Southern states were permitted to break away from the USA. He also said that slavery was a non-issue. His father had owned slaves in several plantations in the West Indies.

A Confederate warship made it to the United Kingdom. It was called the Alabama. It was fitted out in the UK. It then went to raid Northern merchant ships. The US Government was incensed that the United Kingdom had allowed a Confederate ship to be refitted in a British shipyard.

Telegrams were exchanged between the two governments. A particularly disrespectful one was seen by Prince Albert. He insisted on toning it down lest it provoke war. Some credit him with single handedly averting war. He died in December 1861.

Queen Victoria went into mourning on the death of her husband. Though the marriage had been to some extent arranged there is no question that they tenderly loved one another. Prince Albert is known to have been faithful to her despite the fact that philandering was par for the course among men of his class. Victoria was so down in the dumps that her low spirits seemed to affect much of the epoch. People called her the Widow of Windsor. She had been known for her gaiety in her youth. She wore black for years and seldom attended public functions. This led to a growth of republican clubs.



One of the most important pieces of legislation from this epoch is the Offences Against the Person Act  (OAPA). By the person it means the body. It still remains on the statute book. It restated that fact that abortion was illegal. It set out what was to happen in the case of various types of assault. It categorised assaults. It also abolished the death penalty for sodomy. Sodomy was still punishable by many years in prison. Gross indecency still attracted a short prison sentence under this act.



The economy was growing. Lord Palmerston was at the helm. All seemed well for the Liberal Party. There were wars on the continent – the Danish War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Piedemontese War. This made the UK seem like a haven of tranquility and propserity. Trade disruptions on the continent were short and did little to harm the UK economy

Napoleon III was increasingly assertive. Some feared he would seek to imitate his uncle Napoleon I and build a fleet with a view to invading the United Kingdom. The British Army and the Royal Navy were expanded accordingly. There were extensive manoeuvres.

Napoleon III got himself mired in a protracted and unwinnable war in Mexico. He placed an Austrian prince, Maximilian, on the Imperial Throne of Mexico. This is not as preposterous a notion as it may appear. Newly independent countries usually sought a monarch. This was true of Greece and Romania at this time. Many French troops were fighting there. France suffered heavy losses and the economic toll was hard to bear. In the end Maximilian was beaten and executed by firing squad. He was the younger brother of Franz-Josef. Franz-Josef had thought the venture madcap and insisted on his brother renouncing all his Austrian titles before setting out for Mexico. It is from this war that the Zorro legends come.

Disraeli had acquired an affected patrician manner. He was at least accepted by the Conservative Party.

In the summer of 1865 Viscount Palmerston led his Liberals to an electoral victory.

In October 1865 Palmerston died in office. He was succeeded by Earl Russell. Lord Russell was more of a reformer than his predecessor. Lord Russell wanted to extend the right to vote to all of the middle classes and to some of the working class. He sought to introduce such a measure to Parliament. Some of his own party found this so objectionable that they broke away. It was said that they were in the cave of Adullam – a reference to the Bible. These Adullamites then united with the Conservatives,

People mocked Earl Russell again as Finality Jack. They could not resist raising the fact that he had advocated passing the GRA on the ground that it would be last ever amendment of the constitution. It is surprising that he should have sought to do this when the Chartists no longer existed. Some were against giving the vote to more men. They claimed that democracy had caused the American Civil War. It was a ludicrous argument. As though the slaves had democracy! All the wars prior to the American Civil War were not caused by oligarchy according to those against reform.

In the summer of 1866 Lord Russell’s government fell. He was too donnish to hold it together. Infighting was the cause of the downfall.

Lord Derby became Prime Minister of a Conservative Government.  Despite Lord Derby being Premier he was perhaps not the dominant force. As his health failed it appeared that Disraeli was playing a more prominent role. Despite their very different backgrounds the two men had a good rapport. The Earl of Derby was never the most energetic leader which is why their was scope for someone of Disraeli’s conspiratorial nature and dynamism to make his mark. Disraeli introduced the Second Reform Act. It was an extension of the franchise more substantial than the one he had voted against the year before. It had opportunist written all over it. Disraeli relished the cut and thrust of debate. It is a testament to his persuasive skills that he got most of his party to vote through such unconservative legislation. It was not clear how many men would be enfranchised by the Second Reform Act. This was because it depended on property valuations and no one was certain of the value of each house and how many people would come within the purview of the act. The proper name of this piece of legislation is the Representation of the People Act 1867. Benjamin Disraeli said it was ”a leap in the dark” – this is often rendered wrongly as a stab in the dark. He commented that it was a moonlight steeplechase. A steeplechase is a race riding from one church to the next through the countryside. He was remarking on the dangerousness of what he was doing. It was actuated by the Tory sentiment ”dish the Whigs.” It was also a means of outflanking them. The newly enfranchised voters would be grateful to the Conservatives.

France had introduced manhood suffrage. SOme said that the UK was falling behind. In February 1868 Lord Dery retired. He died the next year. Disraeli became Prime Minister.

A British ambassador to Abyssinia offended the Emperor of Abyssinia. He was imprisoned. It was decided that he needed to be freed and Abyssinia taught a lesson. It would also demonstrate to the world that the UK would exact revenge on anyone who wronged them. Disraeli sent an expedition to Abyssinia. Abyssinia was the only country in Africa not to be under the formal or informal control of another. Liberia was an American protectorate. Abyssinia had retained its independence because of its mountain fastness. British and India  troops had to build many bridges on the way. The rescued the ambassador and the emperor committed suicide. The punitive expedition cost millions. The United Kingdom did not annex the country.

Disraeli was soon embroiled in the question of whether or not to disestablish the Church of Ireland. Defending Anglicanism was in the bones of the Conservative Party.

IN December 1868 an election was held. The Liberals won handily – gaining 110 seats more than the Conservatives. So much for the thankfulness of the new voters!



W E Gladstone was at his Welsh house Hawarden (pronounced harden). He was engaged in his hobby – chopping logs. He was informed that he was being invited to become Prime Minister. Without ceasing from his wood cutting he remarked, ”My mission is to pacify Ireland.” This was another one of his great causes.

There had been a rising in Ireland in the Spring of 1868. It did not have extensive support and was easily defeated. Nevertheless, there had been several hundred armed men involved in the rising. Most of them had bolted at the first sight on the police. A few hundred Irish veterans of the American Civil War had returned to Ireland. They were hellbent on using their military competence to cause a conflict in the United Kingdom.

The fact that this rising occurred at all troubled Gladstone. He decided that the Church of Ireland needed to be disestablished as soon as possible. Only 30% of the population of Ireland were Protestants and only half of those were communicants of the Church of Ireland. Gladstone had started as a High Tory. He had once been completely committed to maintaining the official status of the Church of Ireland. This was partly for its own sake but also because to disestablish it would weaken the Church of England. Gladstone had pondered this issue deeply. He had considered becoming a clergyman. One of his early books was on the relationship between the state and the church. He said Christianity his pole star. No one questioned his sincerity in that regard.

In 1868 the needful legislation was passed. It did not fully take effect until 1870. Many Conservative fulminated against what was being done. In fact Disraeli had met with Cardinal Manning with a view to doing the same thing a few months earlier. Disraeli did not attempt it partly because his party would not have worn it.

It was ludicrous that such a minority church should have a special status. Liberal recognised this. The position of the Church of Ireland weakened rather than strengthened the Act of Union. The Act of Union stated that ”there shall be one united Protestant Church of England and Ireland.”  This had now been undone. This made the rest of the act more viable.

Liberals were sometimes against privilege. Many of them came from Nonconformists families. In some cases they resented the exalted status of the Anglican Church. Some pushed for its disestablishment.

Gladstone’s policies are often summed up as peace, retrenchment, reform. By retrenchment this means financial cut backs. He had said the candle ends and cheese parings were needed. He considered profligacy to be ”a great moral evil.” These policies were inter-related. War was extremely expensive.

Gladstone wanted to better the lot of the working class. He had helped run a house for those in necessitous circumstances. It still stands by Soho Square. He reformed the system of outdoor relief. He wanted to see local government run more efficiently partly so that it could provide better services for the needy.

W E Gladstone had a curious habit of going to meet prostitutes at night. He would try to persuade them to give up their iniquitous ways and find other employment. He realised that some of them plied this trade out of necessity. He arranged other jobs for some of them. He took ladies of the night back to Downing Street for prayer sessions. He made no secret of this. If there was something to hide he would have been discrete. His activies caused much gossip at the time. One wag commented, ”when you are saving fallen women – save one for me.” W E Gladstone left a note to be read after his death in which he swore he never committed unchastity.

Gladstone’s diary is a superb source for his life and the epoch in general. Perhaps he was tempted by the whores. Every time he met them he would draw a whip in his diary – as though he felt he ought to flagellate himself. In post Freudian times some have interpreted his wood cutting as symbolic self castration.

Gladstone was nothing if not serious minded. He was rarely seen to smile. Queen Victoria complained that he addressed her ”as if addressing a public meeting.” He spoke ”at” people rather than ”to” them. He was also chided because ”there is something about his manner of coming into the room that is unaristocratic.” Gladstone was not an aristo in the strict sense though his father was a baronet. Some scorned him, ”Oxford on top but Liverpool underneath.” Gladstone had originally believed in being an optimate. ”I am an out and out inegalitarian. Wealth, birth, status are at least as important as any of the virtues.” By the 1860s his attitude had changed remarkably. ”I will always back the masses against the classes.”

Gladstone introduced legislation for the three F’s in Ireland. These were fixity of tenure, fair rent and free sale of the remainder of the lease. Viscount Palmerston had been dead against it. He had fulminated, ”Tenant right is landlord wrong.” Lord Palmerston owned extensive states in Sligo so such legislation impacte don his income. Irish nationalists do not like to point this out but the three F’s was bringing Ireland into line with Great Britain. The nationalists wanted to be more British. In Ulster there was Ulster custom so the three Fs were usually agreed to anyway.

Despite Gladstone’s reforms there was a rising tide of nationalist sentiment in Ireland. There was a zestful campaign for the Fenians who had been imprisoned in 1868 to be released. The amnesty campaign attracted support from those who had not advocated the use of violence. In 1873 the Irish Home Government Association was founded. It was headed by Isaac Butt. This organisation later renamed itself the Home Rule Association.