William Gladstone forms his second government

Gladstone had become Prime Minister for the second time five days earlier, accepting a reluctant Queen Victoria’s commission to form a government. Whig grandees held many of the major appointments and included Lord Granville (Foreign Secretary), Lord Hartington (India Secretary), Lord Kimberley (Colonial Secretary) and the Duke of Argyll (Lord Privy Seal). The varying shades of radical opinion were represented by Sir William Harcourt (Home Secretary), John Bright (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster) and Jo Chamberlain (Board of Trade). Despite its early promise the government became very unpopular, especially in its final phase and as a result of the assassination in 1885 of General Gordon. In time this government was dubbed the ‘Ministry of all the Troubles’.