Following defeat in the House of Commons the Whig cabinet meets and agrees to resign

The defeat the day before had been sudden and unexpected by all sides. Lord Palmerston visited Queen Victoria after the cabinet meeting to tender his resignation. The Whig government was succeeded by a Conservative ministry led by the Earl of Derby which, despite being in a minority, remained in office until June 1859. Palmerston left office with his standing much diminished. The Illustrated News informed its readers that, “The great minister who but yesterday rode on the topmost crest of the waves of popularity, is sunk so low that there is hardly a man of his former friends to say ‘God save him’.”