Viscount Second Melbourne

Viscount Second Melbourne

British Prime Minister.
Date of Birth: 15.03.1779
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Viscount Melbourne
  2. Viscount Melbourne passed away near Hatfield on November 24, 1848.

Biography of Viscount Melbourne

Viscount Melbourne was a British Prime Minister born on March 15, 1779, in London. He was named William Lamb and was the son of a secular man who was a member of the Whig party and a remarkable woman. There is evidence that Lamb was the son of Lord Egremont, both in terms of his appearance and abilities.

He graduated from Cambridge University in 1798, where he studied philosophy and political science. He continued his studies at the University of Glasgow. In his early adult years, he supported the left wing of the Whig party, opposing the war with France.

After a year of practicing law in 1805, Lamb abandoned his legal career following the death of his older brother. In the same year, he married Caroline, the daughter of Lord Besborough. Lady Caroline Lamb was a passionate admirer of Lord Byron, and Melbourne separated from her in 1824.

In 1806, Melbourne was elected to the House of Commons and remained there (except for 1812-1816) until 1828 when he inherited his father's title and became a peer. In his mature years, he moved away from the left wing of the Whig party and became a follower of J. Canning.

In the Canning Whig government, Melbourne served as the Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1827 to 1828. In November 1830, a Whig government was formed, and Melbourne became the Home Secretary in Lord Grey's cabinet. For four years, he had to deal with complex problems related to the riots caused by the Reform Bill of 1832 and the unrest among workers, especially in the provinces.

In 1834, as Home Secretary, Melbourne was responsible for the imprisonment of six Dorset farm laborers, known as the "Tolpuddle Martyrs," after their unsuccessful attempt to form national trade unions. The government's treatment of them sparked strong public outrage.

In July 1834, Melbourne succeeded Grey as Prime Minister, but was displaced in November of the following year. He returned to Downing Street in April 1835 and remained as Prime Minister until the end of August 1841.

During Melbourne's time in office, the reputation of the House of Commons was strengthened after the reform, and the foundation of the British Commonwealth was laid when responsible government status was granted to Canada in 1839.

Melbourne faced a small majority in the House of Commons, which dwindled to five people by the time he resigned in the summer of 1840. The rivalry between parties even affected Queen Victoria in a famous crisis involving court ladies.

Melbourne preferred a passive approach in politics, especially after the turmoil surrounding the Reform Bill, which was considered a sensible position. His approach was reflected in the question he consistently asked anyone proposing changes: "Why not leave everything as it is?"

Viscount Melbourne passed away near Hatfield on November 24, 1848.