Born 24 May 1819, only child of the Duke of Kent, who was the 3rd son of George
III (d. 1820)
Only surviving grandchild of George III
Succeeded her uncle, William IV (previously Duke of Clarence) 20 June 1837
William IV, (king 1830-1937) 3rd son of George III, had succeeded his brother George IV, (king 1820-1830), George III's eldest son, and Prince Regent 1812-20
Victoria married 10 Feb 1840 Prince Albert of Saxe Gotha (he died 14 December 1861)
Empress of India 1876
Victoria died 22 Jan. 1901
see Dramatis Personae
Frank Hardie: The Political Influence of Queen Victoria, 1861-1901 is out of date, and was never that reliable, but remains the best book on the topic; it is not in the University Library
The best modern biography of the Queen is Elizabeth Longford, Victoria R.I.
For Prince Albert, see Stanley Weintraub: Albert, Uncrowned King [942.081A5 WEI]
POWERS OF THE CROWN ?
Summon, dissolve Parliament
Make war, peace
INFLUENCE OF THE CROWN
The "Bedchamber Crisis", 1839
Lord Palmerston 1851
Lord Granville 1880
Reform crisis 1884-5
The Peerage consists of five ranks:
Baronets were hereditary (Sir James Graham, Sir Robert Peel, for example) but a Baronetcy was not a title of nobility.
Peers of England, and Peers of the United Kingdom (post 1801) sat in the House of Lords in Victoria's reign, together with elected representatives from the Peerage of Scotland and the Peerage of Ireland.
Irish Peers who were not elected to the House of Lords (but not Scottish ones) could sit in the House of Commons,e.g.Viscount Palmerston.
Eldest sons of peers inherited their father's title, and went to the Lords on the death of their father. By courtesy, however, they had titles in their own right, usually a junior title of their father's; thus the eldest son of the Earl of Derby was known as Lord Stanley, the eldest son of the Duke of Devonshire as the Marquess of Hartington.
An eldest son could be called to the Lords earlier, by being enobled. Thus Lord Stanley was enobled in 1844 (as Peel's government needed debating strength in the Lords) and sat there as Baron Stanley until succeeding his father as Earl of Derby in 1851.
Younger sons of peers were given the courtesy title of "Lord". Lord John Russell was the younger son of the Duke of Bedford, Lord George Bentinck was the younger son of the Duke of Bedford. "Lord" was also shorthand for other peerage titles, however; The Marquess of Hartington was also known as Lord Hartington. To complicate matters still further, Lord John Russell was
enobled himself as Earl Russell when he retired as Prime Minister, so could be known as Lord Russell from 1868. Until then, he is very firmly Lord John Russell (frequently referred to simply as "Lord John" by contemporaries).
Some women were peeresses in their own right - the Countess of Antrim, for example, but could not sit in the House of Lords.
An attempt was made in 1856 to create life peers, but this was firmly rejected
by the House of Lords; [see Olive Anderson; "The Wensleydale Peerage Case
and the Position of the House of Lords in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,"
English Historical Review, lxxxii (July 1967), pp.486-502]; the coming
of life peers had to wait till the late twentieth century. Similarly, until
the late twentieth century, peers could not renounce their title in order to
remain in the Commons.
For further reading see J.V.Beckett, The Aristocracy in England, 1660-1914 [301.4410942] and E.A.Smith, The House of Lords in British Politics and Society, 1815-1911 [328.42081]
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