A special issue

Posted by Helen Wednesday, March 29, 2006

We begin this blog with an announcement. The Conservative History Group is about to publish a special issue of the Conservative History Journal - a single long essay on Sir Michael Hicks Beach, one of the longest serving Chancellors of the Exchequer and a prominent Conservative politician.

The paper is by T. G. Otte of the University of East Anglia and is entitled "Black Michael". Here is the opening paragraph:

"Sir Michael Hicks Beach, first Viscount (later Earl) St. Aldwyn, belongs to that category of Victorian and Edwardian politicians who have largely faded out of public memory. That his name should have only little resonance for even the historically informed public is surprising. Beach spent almost to the day exactly seven years at the head of the Treasury, beaten only by its current incumbent, with now over eight years, and David Lloyd George, who was chancellor for seven years and one months, with Nigel Lawson coming a somewhat distant third at six years and four months.

Alongside Lloyd George and Lawson, he remains the only chancellor to have introduced seven consecutive budgets between 1895 and 1902 ( only Gladstone managed eight and, so far, Gordon Brown, nine). Beach, then, was one of the longest serving Chancellors of the Exchequer since the midnineteenth century. He was a formidable politician of national standing, who helped to shape late-Victorian Conservative politics, but whose career also reflected some of conservatism’s inner tensions in this period."

The paper will be published end of next week (April 7). Well in time for the next meeting.


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