Robert Peel was born on the 5th
February at Chamber Hall, Bury, the first son and third child
of Robert Peel, a wealthy cotton spinner and print works owner.
After leaving Harrow school, Robert
Peel went to the House of Commons with his father who would
often speak up for the cotton trade before eventually becoming
Thanks to his father's standing
as an MP, Robert Peel became an MP himself in 1809 for the Irish
seat of Cashel City, Co. Tipperary, a borough with only twenty-four
In 1822, aged 34, Peel became
a Cabinet minister for the first time as Home Secretary for
Lord Liverpool's Tory government, reforming the gaols and reducing
the amount of offences that carried the death penalty. He
also supervised the response to the outbreak of industrial unrest
especially on Lancashire.
When Canning replaced Lord Liverpool
as Prime Minister in 1827, Peel resigned because the new leader
believed in giving more rights to Catholic's. He returned a
year later though as Home Secretary when the Duke of Wellington
became Tory leader.
In 1828, Robert Peel's Metropolitan
Police Act was passed, which is now seen as the creation of
the police force, hence, the term 'Bobbies' or 'Peelers'.
In 1834, Robert Peel became British
Prime Minister in a minority Tory Government which was defeated
four month's later in the General Election. He returned as Prime
Minister in 1841 as leader of a majority Conservative Government
and established the modern Conservative Party.
In 1845, the beginning of the
Irish Potato Famine; Peel unpopularly committed the cabinet
to repealing the Corn Laws, which made him popular with the
'common people'. He resigned as Prime Minister a year later
however when he was defeated on a Coercion Bill for Ireland.
He remained a minister, urging measures to aid the economic
recovery of Ireland.
Robert Peel, Bury's most famous
son, was killed when he fell from his horse in Hyde Park, London,
on 2nd July 1850, aged 62.
whole nation mourned his death, especially Bury, where a statue
was erected, as well as the dominating Peel Tower (which cost
£1,000 raised through public appeal) overlooking the whole of
Manchester from the top of Holcombe Hill above Ramsbottom.
Manchester's first ever outdoor
statue raised by public subscription was the Peel Monument in
Piccadilly. The Peel Memorial Committee collected an amazing
£3,000 in 4 days from the town's people to erect the statue
in his memory.
us to contribute to these pages]