Formation of the Liberal Party

Whigs, Peelites and Radicals meet together in the afternoon at Willis’ Rooms in King Street, St James’ to discuss how to overthrow the minority Conservative government led by Lord Derby. The meeting was addressed by Palmerston and Lord John Russell but Gladstone was a notable absentee. The meeting cemented together the three anti-Tory groups and 6 June 1859 is generally taken to be the date of the formation of the Liberal Party. Less than a week later the new coalition carried a motion of no confidence in Derby’s administration and Palmerston led the new Liberal government which replaced it.