The Liberal government is unexpectedly defeated in the House of Commons

The defeat, by 264 votes to 252, came on a budget proposal from the Chancellor of the Exchequer Hugh Childers to increase beer duty. The defeat was partly the result of a tentative alliance between the Tories and the Irish Nationalists with 39 members of the Irish Party voting against the government. However, the budget proposals were unpopular with a section of the Liberal Party with six voting against and another 70 mainly on the radical wing of the party abstaining. Gladstone took it all calmly, writing in his diary, ‘A quiet evening. Worked on books and papers.’