Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait Bust of Lord Brougham (1778 - 1868) 1832

John Francis 

Portrait Bust of Lord Brougham (1778 - 1868), John Francis
19th Century
29 ½ inches 75cm high
The Collection of a Private Corporation
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Inscribed on the reverse LORD BROUGHAM with J. FRANCIS SC. beneath.
Inscribed on the socle LORD BROUGHAM BY JOHN FRANCIS 1832 (The year of the passing of the Reform Act.)

Henry Brougham was one of the most sensational statesmen of the nineteenth century.
He made an early impact as a Whig debater in the Commons with the record - six hours - for the longest ever speech in the Commons. He was a leading advocate of the abolition of slavery and his speeches played an important role in persuading Parliament to abolish not merely the trading of slaves, but the practice of slavery itself.

Brougham’s first national celebrity came during in defending Queen Caroline, who was put on trial in the House of Lords for adultery by her husband King George IV. His dynamic and successful defence earned him popular acclaim just as it guaranteed the King’s enmity and it was only on the accession of William IV that real power beckoned.

Having pledged himself in the cause of parliamentary reform, Brougham led a powerful populist movement hungry for constitutional change. Having been given the post of Lord Chancellor in Grey’s administration, he was charged with ensuring the passage of the Reform Act through an implacably reactionary House of Lords which felt itself to be under radical siege. It was due in great part to Brougham’s political skills that the Act became law in 1832, and it is for this that he is seen as a founder of Britain’s modern democracy.
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