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  1. Palmerston, Henry John Temple, Viscount

    English statesman, born, of an Irish family, at Broadlands, Hants; was educated at the universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge; succeeded to his father's title, an Irish peerage, in 1802, and entered Parliament in 1807 as member for Newport, Isle of Wight; during his long career he subsequently represented Cambridge University (1811-1831), Bletchingly, South Hampshire, and Tiverton; from 1809 to 1828 under five Premiers he was Junior Lord of the Admiralty and Secretary at War; and separating himself finally from the Tory party, he joined Earl Grey's Cabinet as Foreign Secretary in 1830; contrary to all expectation he kept the country out of war, and during the next 11 years he associated England's influence with that of France in Continental affairs; returning to office in 1846, he remained at his old post till 1851, steering England skilfully through the Spanish troubles and the revolutionary reaction of 1848; a vote of censure on his policy was carried in the Lords in 1850, but, after a five hours' speech from him, the Commons recorded their approval; he resigned owing to differences with the Premier, Lord John Russell; in 1852 joined Lord Aberdeen's coalition ministry, and on its fall became himself Prime Minister in 1855; he prosecuted the Crimean War and the Chinese War of 1857, and suppressed the Great Mutiny in India; defeated in 1858, he returned to office next year with a cabinet of Whigs and Peelites; his second administration furthered the cause of free trade, but made the mistake of allowing the Alabama to leave Birkenhead; he was Prime Minister when he died; a brusque, high-spirited, cheery man, sensible and practical, unpretending as an orator, but a skilful debater, he was a great favourite with the country, whose prosperity and prestige it was his chief desire to promote (1784-1865).

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