William Ewart Gladstone
(1809-1898)

Died aged c. 89

William Ewart Gladstone, FRS, FSS (/ˈɡlædˌstən/; 29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal politician. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times (1868–74, 1880–85, February–July 1886 and 1892–94), more than any other person, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer four times. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister; he resigned for the final time when he was 84 years old. Gladstone first entered Parliament in 1832. Beginning as a High Tory, Gladstone served in the Cabinet of Sir Robert Peel. After the split of the Conservatives Gladstone was a Peelite – in 1859 the Peelites merged with the Whigs and the Radicals to form the Liberal Party. As Chancellor Gladstone became committed to low public spending and to electoral reform, earning him the sobriquet "The People's William". Gladstone's first ministry saw many reforms including the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland and the introduction of secret voting. After his electoral defeat in 1874, Gladstone resigned as leader of the Liberal Party, but from 1876 began a comeback based on opposition to Turkey's reaction to the Bulgarian April Uprising. Gladstone's Midlothian Campaign of 1879–80 was an early example of many modern political campaigning techniques. After the 1880 election, he formed his second ministry, which saw crises in Egypt (culminating in the death of General Gordon in 1885), and in Ireland, where the government passed repressive measures but also improved the legal rights of Irish tenant farmers. The government also passed the Third Reform Act. Back in office in early 1886, Gladstone proposed Irish home rule but this was defeated in the House of Commons in July. The resulting split in the Liberal Party helped keep them out of office, with one short break, for twenty years. In 1892 Gladstone formed his last government at the age of 82. The Second Irish Home Rule Bill passed the Commons but was defeated in the Lords in 1893. Gladstone resigned in March 1894, in opposition to increased naval expenditure. He left Parliament in 1895 and died three years later aged 88. Gladstone is famous for his oratory, his religiosity, his liberalism, his rivalry with the Conservative Leader Benjamin Disraeli, and for his poor relations with Queen Victoria, who once complained, "He always addresses me as if I were a public meeting." Gladstone was known affectionately by his supporters as "The People's William" or the "G.O.M." ("Grand Old Man," or, according to Disraeli, "God's Only Mistake"). Gladstone is consistently ranked as one of Britain's greatest Prime Ministers.

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Commemorated on 7 plaques

Photo of William Ewart Gladstone green plaque
Nick Harrison on Flickr
Photo of William Pitt, Edward Smith-Stanley, and William Ewart Gladstone blue plaque
Nick Harrison on Flickr
Photo of William Ewart Gladstone and Charles Lyell blue plaque
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Photo of William Ewart Gladstone stone plaque
Simon Harriyott on Flickr
Photo of William Ewart Gladstone black plaque
kevjs1982 on Flickr
Photo of William Ewart Gladstone grey plaque
TonyMo22 on Flickr

William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) statesman lived here

11 Carlton House Terrace, London, United Kingdom where he lived

Here lived three Prime Ministers: William Pitt Earl of Chatham 1708-1778 Edward Geoffrey Stanley Earl of Derby 1799-1869 William Ewart Gladstone 1809-1898

Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, Westminster, SW1, London, United Kingdom where he lived

In a house on this site lived from 1854-1875 Sir Charles Lyell 1797-1875 geologist,and from 1876-1882 William Ewart Gladstone 1809-1898 statesman

73 Harley Street, Westminster, W1, London, United Kingdom where he lived

William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) often stayed at this hotel then known as Lion Mansions Hotel

Royal Albion Hotel (facing sea), Brighton, United Kingdom where he stayed

Felled by the Right Hon W. E. GladstoneMay 11th 1875

Tunnel Road, Nottingham, United Kingdom where he felled a tree

Gladstone four times prime minister born in this house 29th December 1809

62 Rodney Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom where he was born (1809)

On this site the Rt Hon W. E. Gladstone delivered his last speech to his Greenwich constituents November 30th 1878

Eglinton Road School, SE18, London, United Kingdom where he spoke (1878)