Earl Russell becomes Prime Minister for the second time

Following the sudden death of Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria asks Earl Russell to form his second administration. Russell made few changes to Palmerston’s cabinet. The Earl of Clarendon succeeded Russell at the Foreign Office and George Goschen entered the cabinet for the first time as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Russell’s key policy during his short lived ministry was to fulfil his commitment to extend the franchise. Unfortunately for Russell his proposals did not command the full support of the Liberal Party and was opposed by the ‘Adullamites’ led by Robert Lowe. They allied with the Conservatives and in June 1866 the reform bill was defeated. In the wake of the defeat Russell resigned after just nine months in office.