Over the coming weeks and months we are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880. Below covers a brief summary of events leading upto the formation of the Disraeli government in 1874.
A Diary of Two Parliaments – THE DISRAELI PARLIAMENT, 1874-1880.
On the morning of the 24th of January, 1874, the nation was startled by learning that the Parliament of 1868 was forthwith to be dissolved. The announcement was made in the form of an address by Mr. Gladstone to the electors of Greenwich. “That authority,” he said, “which was in 1868 amply confided by the nation to the Liberal party and its leaders, if it has now sank below the point necessary for the due defence and prosecution of the public interests, can in no way be so legitimately and effectually restored as by an appeal to the people, who by their reply to such an appeal may place beyond all challenge two great questions—the first, what they think of the manner in which the commission granted in 1868 has been executed; the second, what further commission they now think fit to give to their representatives, and to what hands its fulfilment and the administration of the Government are to be entrusted.” “A prolix narrative,” Mr. Disraeli called it when, two days later, he followed it up by the issue of an address to the electors of Buckinghamshire.
In the General Election which ensued the Liberal majority—116 when Parliament met in 1868, and reduced during the period of its existence to between 60 and 70—was entirely swept away, and Mr. Disraeli took office with a majority of 51. On the 5th of March the new Parliament was opened by Royal Commission.
Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885
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