George Canning Biography

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George Canning Biography

George Canning was born in London on 11th April, 1770. George's father

died when he was one year old leaving the family in poor financial

circumstances. George was helped by his mother's brother, who paid for

him to be educated at Eton College. A star pupil, George went to

Christ Church, Oxford before becoming a lawyer in 1790.

George Canning's uncle, a reformer, arranged for him to meet leading

Whig politicians such as Charles Fox. After a period under the

influence of Fox, George Canning met the Tory, William Pitt. The two

men became friends and in 1793 Pitt helped Canning become MP for the

rotten borough of Newtown in the House of Commons.

In 1796 William Pitt appointed Canning as secretary of state for

Foreign Affairs. This was the first of a series of posts held under

Pitt that included: commissioner of the board of control (1799-1800),

paymaster-general (1800-1801) and treasurer of the navy (1801). After

Pitt resigned in 1801, Canning joined the opposition to Henry

Addington's government. Over the next few years Henry Addington

suffered from Canning's parliamentary attacks. Canning was especially

critical of Addington's refusal to accept Catholic Emancipation.

Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the police force. Born at Chamber

Hall, Bury, in 1788, one of 11 children of cotton baron Robert Peel,

the younger Robert showed quickly that he was cut out for great

things. After a Harrow and Oxford education, his father bought him the

parliamentary seat of Cashel and he made his maiden speech in the

Commons at 21. Just a year later, he was made Under-secretary for War

and the Colonies in Spencer Perceval...

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rum, coal, foreign wool and raw silk. Robinson experienced problems

balancing the budget and in 1827 asked the new Prime Minister, George

Canning, to grant him a peerage and an easier job in the government.

Canning agreed with this request and Robinson became Viscount Goderich

and gave him the post of Secretary of State for War.

When Canning died in August 1827, George IV asked Goderich to become

Prime Minister. His colleagues feared that he had been chosen because

the king felt he could control him better than other leading

politicians. Goderich found it impossible to stop the conflict between

the Whigs and Tories in the cabinet and on 8th January 1828, he

resigned from office. Goderich was disappointed when the new Prime

Minister, the Duke of Wellington, decided against offering him a post

in his government.
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