Sir Robert Peel
Peel was a British Conservative statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834-35 and 1841-46) and twice as Home Secretary (1822-27 and 1828-30). He founded the Metropolitan Police Service and was one of the founders of the modern Conservative (Tory) Party.
The son of a wealthy textile manufacturer and politician, Peel was the first Prime Minister from an industrial business background. He entered the House of Commons in 1809 and became a rising star in the Tory Party. When Peel first became Home Secretary, he reformed and liberalised the criminal law and created the modern police force leading to a new type of officer, named in tribute to him as “bobbies” and “peelers”. After a brief period out of office he returned under the Duke of Wellington, also serving as Leader of the House of Commons.
After being in the Opposition (1830-34), he became Prime Minister in November 1834. Peel issued the Tamworth Manifesto, laying down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based. His first ministry was a minority government and after only four months it collapsed and he served as Leader of the Opposition during Melbourne’s second government (1835-41). Peel became Prime Minister again after the 1841 election. His second government ruled for five years. He played a central role in making free trade a reality and set up a modern banking system. His government’s major legislation included the Mines and Collieries Act 1842, the Income Tax Act 1842, the Factories Act 1844 and the Railway Regulation Act 1844.
More Figures of the month
This is a very rare and desirable titled Staffordshire figure of FitzRoy James Henry Somerset Raglan, aka Field Marshal Lord Raglan. The figure stands a little over 13” tall and dates to around 1854. It may be found in Pugh’s 1987 edition of Staffordshire Portrait Figures, page 258, and in Harding Book One, page 121.
Pair of white cats
This is a rare pair of seated cats, approximately 13 ½” tall. They are decorated in bright gold and date to around 1870-1880. Harding Book Two illustrates this impressive pair on page 239.
Tiger and lion
This is a rare figure of a tiger and lion lying in front of a palm tree. Circus acts with wild animals became very popular in England during the 1830s and it is possible that this figure as well as other animal figures commemorated these events.
This is a rare figure portraying Lady Godiva seated sidesaddle on horseback. The figure is titled “Lady Godiva” and is decorated in the manner of the Parr factory, with soft yellow, green, and brown brushstrokes.
This is an early Staffordshire figure of a woman standing on a grassy pedestal, with a coin in her extended hand. The figure is titled “Lost Piece” and represents the biblical verses found in Luke 15:8-10.
This is a gilt script titled figure of William Shakespeare with his right arm resting on a book atop a pedestal. Next to the pedestal is a sloped watch holder with a clock face painted inside, sitting atop a tree decorated with grapes.