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Gladstone’s first government

One hundred and fifty years ago, William Ewart Gladstone became Prime Minister for the first time. Over the following six years, from 1868 to 1874, his government produced a series of lasting reforms, including nationwide primary school education, the secret ballot, legalisation of some trade union activities and the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.

In this meeting Professor Jon Parry and Dr David Brooks discuss the importance and legacy of what might be considered the first Liberal government and the first modern administration. Chair: Lord Paddy Ashdown.

Jon Parry is Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, specialising in the history of British politics and political ideas in the nineteenth century. His publications include Democracy and Religion: Gladstone and the Liberal Party, 1867–1875 and The Rise and Fall of Liberal Government in Victorian Britain. Dr Brooks is Emeritus Lecturer in History at Queen Mary University  London. He has written extensively on Gladstone and organises the annual ‘Gladstone Umbrella’ weekend conference at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden.

The meeting will start at 7.00pm, following the Liberal Democrat History Group’s AGM at 6.30pm.