Henry Goulburn, 1784-1856: A Political Biography

Author Brian Jenkins
Condition Very Good
Cover Type Hardback

Between 1812 and 1821 Goulburn worked in the War and Colonial Office, where he effectively administered Britain’s far-flung possessions. Appointed chief secretary for Ireland in 1821 — a Protestant to offset a “Catholic” viceroy — Goulburn was at the heart of the final rearguard action by the opponents of Catholic emancipation. As chancellor of the exchequer for the Duke of Wellington (1828-30) and Sir Robert Peel (1841-46) he participated in such momentous decisions as Catholic emancipation and the repeal of the Corn Laws. An opponent of parliamentary reform, he worked closely with Peel, his lifelong friend, to build the Conservative Party and served as a parliamentary champion of the Established Church. Jenkins examines the conservative values Goulburn held, and the moral dilemma of an essentially good man who depended on the institution of slavery for his private income. A modest man and a loyal lieutenant, Goulburn himself allowed that he had been content to walk in the shadow of political giants. This self-effacement helps account for the lack of wide recognition generally given him but does not detract from his significant contribution to British history. Henry Goulburn accords a remarkable politician his rightful place.