LIVERPOOL, Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of

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Fact file

1790-96, MP for Appleby
1793-1796 Member of the Board of Control for India
1796-1803 MP for Rye
1803 made Baron of Hawkesbury
1799-1801 Master of the Mint
1801-1804 Foreign Secretary, during which time he negotiated the Treaty of Amiens
1804-1806 and 1807-1809 Home Secretary
1808 succeeded as 2nd Lord Liverpool
1809-1812 Secretary for War and the Colonies
1812-1827 First Lord of the Treasury (and Prime Minister)
Born in London, 7 June, 1770 and dying there 4 December, 1828, Liverpool was a reluctant First Lord of the Treasury (and Prime Minister), coming to office on the assassination (11 May, 1812) of Prime Minister Spencer Percival. His first hope had been to train a more worthy successor. After administering the War of 1812 with the United States, the final campaigns of 1813-1815 against France, he took an active part in the Vienna Congress, arguing strenuously in favour of the international abolition of the Slave Trade. He restored the gold standard in 1819 (which had been suspended during the Napoleonic wars). Liverpool was however repressive at home, suspending the Habeas Corpus Act for Great Britain in 1817 and for Ireland in 1822. In general however he was an adroit politician who excelled in the administration of his able colleagues. He was forced to retire in 1827 because of a paralytic stroke.


– Gash, Norman, Lord Liverpool: the life and political career of Robert Banks Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool, 1770-1828, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984, 265 p.
– Revill, Philip (ed.), The age of Lord Liverpool, Series: Evidence in history, Glasgow [etc.]: Blackie, 1979, 84 p.

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