Peel, Robert, 2nd Baronet (1788–1850)

Leading politician in the first half of the nineteenth century. He served as Chief Secretary for Ireland 1812–1818, Home Secretary 1822–1827, 1828–1830 and Prime Minister 1834–1835, 1841–1846. Peel was always a controversial figure, especially when he changed tack and supported Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1845–1846. Both decisions alienated his conservative followers and he split the Tory Party on the latter occasion. Southey had long admired Peel and felt betrayed over his support for Catholic Emancipation; but relations were restored sufficiently for Peel to offer Southey a Baronetcy in 1835 and a further government pension of £300 p.a.

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