Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/295

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Gladstone
Gladstone
283

were, even in 1838, hopelessly belated. The historical interest of the book is that its doctrines were inconsistent with the parliamentary grant to Maynooth College for training Roman catholic priests in Ireland.

In 1840 Gladstone published a second book, called 'Church Principles considered in their Results.' This is an ecclesiastical treatise, stating the views of a strong high churchman on the apostolical succession, the authority of the church in matters of faith, and the nature of the Sacrament. It had a very small circulation, and is chiefly interesting as a curious example of the way in which an active young member of parliament employed his leisure. On 20 June, when Lord John Russell proposed an increase of the meagre grant then made by the state for education, raising it from 26,300l. to 30,000l., Gladstone delivered an elaborate speech on a subject which he pronounced to be connected with the deep and abstruse principles of religion. He condemned the ministerial plan because it recognised the equality of all religions, arguing that it led to latitudinarianism and atheism. His own opinion was in favour of denominational teaching, and this opinion it may be doubted whether he ever changed.

On 25 July 1839 Gladstone was married at Hawarden to Catherine, elder daughter of Sir Stephen Glynne, and sister of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne [q. v.] On the same day and at the same place Sir Stephen's younger daughter, Mary, was married to George William, fourth baron Lyttelton [q. v.] ; and it was in memory of this occasion that Gladstone and Lyttelton, more than twenty years afterwards (1863), published a joint volume of poetical translations. In April 1840 they examined together at Eton for the Newcastle scholarship, which had been lately founded at Eton by Gladstone's political patron, the Duke of Newcastle.

In the summer of 1840 Gladstone took part with James Hope and Dean Ramsay in founding Trinity College, Glenalmond [see Wordsworth, Charles]. On 27 April 1841 he helped to establish the Colonial Bishoprics Fund. Gladstone, who was always one of its treasurers, spoke at the jubilee meeting on 29 May 1891.

In the session of 1840 Gladstone took a prominent part in opposition to the first opium war with China. In doing so he separated himself from many members of his party ; to the policy he then avowed he always adhered. He denounced in the strongest language what he called the infamous contraband traffic in opium, and he asserted the right of the Chinese government to resist the importation of the drug by force. He drew upon himself serious obloquy by the use of words which were held to imply a justification of the Chinese for poisoning the wells. He explained that he had not made himself responsible for the charge of well-poisoning, but had merely referred to it as the allegation of the government. But the whigs did not let the matter drop, and Palmerston in particular stigmatised him as defending a barbarous method of warfare.

On 22 June 1841, after the defeat of Melbourne's government, parliament was dissolved. In his address to the electors of Newark Gladstone said : 'I regard the protection of native agriculture as an object of the first national and economical importance.' He accordingly favoured a graduated scale of duties upon foreign corn. He was returned with Lord John Manners (afterwards duke of Rutland). On 20 Aug. Melbourne was defeated in the House of Commons by a majority of ninety-one, and finally retired from office. Gladstone used to say that there was no man he more regretted not to have known than Lord Melbourne.

Peel succeeded Melbourne as prime minister on 31 Aug. 1841, and Gladstone became vice-president of the board of trade and master of the mint. He was sworn of the privy council, but not admitted to the cabinet. He was disappointed with his office, for he had no practical knowledge of commerce, and he had hoped to be chief secretary for Ireland. But it was the making of his career. Peel at once set himself to reform the tariff, and Gladstone was his chief assistant in the task. The president of the board was Frederick John Robinson, first earl of Ripon [q. v.] ; but Gladstone soon mastered the business and became the real head of the department. Peel's second and great administration was, in Gladstone's opinion, a model one. Peel, who superintended every department of the ministry, himself introduced as first lord of the treasury two great budgets. In 1842 he met a deficit of two millions and three quarters by an income tax hitherto only levied in time of war at sevenpence in the pound for three years on all incomes exceeding 150/. The rest of the money thus raised he devoted to abolishing or reducing the duties on no less than 750 imported articles. This rearrangement of customs called forth all Gladstone's financial aptitude. The labour of preparing the new tariff was enormous, and it fell almost entirely upon Gladstone's shoulders. He was in charge of the customs bill, and in the course of the session spoke 129 times. The