Derby, Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley, Fourteenth Earl of
(1799–1869)
   Three times Conservative minority prime minister of the United Kingdom, Derby came from an old Whig family and served as a young man in the reforming administrations of Lord Grey, in which, in 1833, he oversaw the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire. In the mid-1830s, disenchanted with Lord Melbourne’s government, he moved toward the Conservative Party of Sir Robert Peel. His devotion to stability led him to break with Peel over Corn Law repeal, and he became a leading member of the Tory rump. Divisions among the Whig, Peelite, and Radical supporters of the governments of Russell and Palmerston allowed Tory minorities to hold office briefly in 1852, again in 1858–1859, and most significantly from 1866–1868.
   The latter ministry passed the Second Reform Act, with significant Liberal support, effectively doubling the size of the electorate. In imperial affairs, it oversaw Lord Robert Napier’s successful but expensive punitive expedition of 1867–1868 against Emperor Theodore of Abyssinia, who had kidnapped British personnel in reaction to an imagined diplomatic slight. Derby resigned the premiership in February 1868 and was succeeded by Benjamin Disraeli.
   FURTHER READING:
    Saintsbury, George. The Earl of Derby. London; J. M. Dent, 1906.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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  • Derby, Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley, fourteenth Earl — (1799 1869)    Entered Parliament, 1820; Irish secretary, 1830 1833; colonial secretary, 1833 1834 and 1841 1844. Prime minister, 1852, 1858 1859, and 1866 1868.    Index: E Induces Elgin to accept governorship of Jamaica, 9; endorses Metcalfe s… …   The makers of Canada

  • United Kingdom — a kingdom in NW Europe, consisting of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: formerly comprising Great Britain and Ireland 1801 1922. 58,610,182; 94,242 sq. mi. (244,100 sq. km). Cap.: London. Abbr.: U.K. Official name, United Kingdom of Great… …   Universalium

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