Gladstone on

A guide to material relating to William Ewart Gladstone on Ged Martin's website.

"Gladstone and Canada" is a book-length essay exploring Gladstone's attitudes towards Canada throughout his long career. It is divided into sections, the first focusing upon his involvement in British North American issues, the second suggesting possible interpretations of the way in which he formulated his opinions. Later sections of Part 1 also discuss the use of the Canadian analogy in debates on Irish Home Rule:

"Gladstone, Canada and calibration: Part 1 of Gladstone and Canada"

"Gladstone Through the Looking Glass: Part 2 of Gladstone and Canada"

One central theme in "Gladstone and Canada" is the pivotal importance of his 1849 campaign to overturn the Canadian Rebellion Losses bill, both in the evolution of his views on colonial policy and more specifically in the role of the Peelites in British politics. "Gladstone and the limits of Canadian self-government" is a reconsideration and an expansion of a journal article published in 1977:

"Gladstone and the limits of Canadian self-government, 1849: the Rebellion Losses Bill in British politics"

Gladstone took a close interest in the transfer of the Hudson's Bay Company territories to the Dominion of Canada between 1869 and 1871:

"Manitoba Report - Part 2" from "The British Government and the Red River, 1869-71"

An incident in which Gladstone lost his temper during his last election campaign offers a "way in" to the 1892 general election, placing Midlothian in a wider context of the outcome in Scotland. It also throws light on aspects of his personality that admirers have preferred to discount:

"Midlothian 1892: Gladstone loses his temper"

During Gladstone's short tenure of office as Colonial Secretary in 1846, the permanent under-secretary James Stephen kept a diary in which he painted a negative picture of his ministerial chief. But Stephen, an Evangelical and a prominent campaigner against slavery, was unlikely to find Gladstone congenial, and he had his own problems as his career was obviously drawing to a close:

"James Stephen on Gladstone, 1846"

The antipathy towards Gladstone felt by a prominent Canadian politician, Sir John A. Macdonald, is discussed in "Mrs G. was practically his keeper". It is useful for supplying a source for the runours of Gladstone's alleged madness:

"'Mrs G. was practically his keeper': John A. Macdonald on Gladstone"

Gladstone went from being an honoured guest to an unwelcome intruder at a reactionary Cambridge college:

"Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: prime-ministerial visits, from Gladstone to Macmillan"

Shorter notes include:

"'He is plausible even when most in error': Gladstone as parliamentarian, 1838"

"Lecky dip? Gladstone's reading of Irish history"

"A joke about Mr Gladstone"

"The Gladstone Streets of Ireland: a short note"

Gladstone's surname is discussed in "Surname Issues and British Prime Ministers":

"Surname Issues and British Prime Ministers, 1828-2007"

Cartoons of him are listed in "Punch's Fancy Portraits":

"Punch's Fancy Portraits: A Handlist"

Further additions of material related to Gladstone are planned for