“Frailty! thy name is Lancashire!”

Primrose League badges

How to explain the continued electoral success of the Conservative party in Lancashire in the second half of the 19th century? One possible explanation is the superior organisation of the Conservatives at grass roots level when throughout Lancashire and the rest of the country the party’s mobilising force was the now almost forgotten Primrose League. The focus here is on the league’s operation in Preston (consistently loyal to the Tories from 1865 to 1906) and nationally, but it operated successfully in all corners of the county.

When John Bateman set about compiling his guide to the principal landowners of Britain towards the end of the 19th century he was well aware of the value of their extensive acres in ensuring the Conservatives kept a tight hold of the reins of power. [1] And nowhere was this control better guaranteed than in Lancashire. Bateman anticipated Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Give someone something to conserve and they’ll become a conservative’, when, at the time of the Paris Commune with workers taking to the barricades, he wrote:

The conservative power of the soil on owners is a perpetual pill to the French extreme left; they see it, admit it, but cannot understand it—why should a man, say they, who works 13 hours a day, and eats meat once a week, always vote for the de facto Government, because he owns 2½ acres of soil? while his easier worked, better fed, and better instructed kinsman in Paris will always vote for upsetting it.
Without for a moment putting English and French liberalism on the same level, it is curious to note how the ownership of land seems to drive the possessors into the Tory fold, high and low alike … no county for its size contains anything like so many peasant holdings as Lancashire, yet a Liberal poet, who has not yet reached Tennysonian fame, writes of the general elections of 1868 and 1874—

“Frailty! thy name is Lancashire!”

Such a state of affairs must have surprised and shocked Karl Marx who saw Lancashire as both the cradle of the industrial revolution and its proletariat as the vanguard of his political revolution. When Preston’s cotton workers took on the town’s cotton lords in 1853 to fight for better wages Marx thought the time was indeed nearing when capitalism would be overthrown (he was later to describe the Paris Commune as the ‘glorious harbinger of a new society’), writing in New York Daily Tribune, 1 August 1854:

The eyes of the working classes are now fully opened: they begin to cry: “Our St. Petersburg is at Preston!” Indeed, the last eight months have seen a strange spectacle in the town — a standing army of 14,000 men and women subsidized by the trades unions and workshops of all parts of the United Kingdom, to fight out a grand social battle for mastery with the capitalists, and the capitalists of Preston, on their side, held up by the capitalists of Lancashire.
Whatever other shapes this social struggle may hereafter assume, we have seen only the beginning of it. It seems destined to nationalize itself and present phases never before seen in history; for it must be borne in mind that though temporary defeat may await the working classes, great social and economical laws are in operation which must eventually insure their triumph.

By the time Marx was writing this the Preston strikers had already lost their fight and been forced to return to work: like the Paris Commune another false dawn for Marx’s hopes. Victory went to the cotton lords, led by Thomas Miller, the principal partner in the great Horrocks, Miller and Company enterprise. It marked the end of any dream of proletarian revolution in the town and, despite strikes later in the century, saw the town’s working class starting its slide from defiance and dissent to deference.

This deference could be seen in a newspaper report, quoted by the Lancashire writer Edwin Waugh, of a meeting of out-of-work cotton operatives during a break from their exertions on Preston Moor to earn their poor relief during the Lancashire Cotton Famine (Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk During the Cotton Famine). The men were meeting not to protest at their plight, at a time when, Waugh noted, Preston had ‘never seen so much wealth and so much bitter poverty together as now’, but to decide how to participate in the celebrations of the forthcoming Preston Guild week in 1862:

On Saturday afternoon, a meeting of the parish labourers was held on the moor, to consider the propriety of having a demonstration of their numbers on one day in the guild week. There were upwards of a thousand present. … At the conclusion, a vote of thanks was accorded … to the labour master for granting them three-quarters of an hour for the purpose of holding the meeting, … after which, George Dewhurst mounted a hillock, and, by desire, sang Rule Britannia, the chorus being taken up by the whole crowd, and the whole being wound up with a hearty cheer. (The meeting on the moor)

Rule Britannia and a thank you to their labour master. How would Marx have explained it? Friedrich Engels, Marx’s collaborator, had one suggestion: the men had suffered a ‘virtual castration’ as women replaced men in the cotton mills:

The sight of women and girls working in mills … was found particularly shocking and offensive, the more so when it led to a reversal of gender roles, with the man doing the housework and child-minding while the wife toiled in the factory. Friedrich Engels saw in this not just class oppression and exploitation, but the approaching end of the natural order of the sexes, the dethronement and humiliation of men. ‘One can imagine’, he wrote, ‘what righteous indignation this virtual castration calls forth and what reversal of family relations result from it …’

For the implications of Engels’ ‘emasculation’ for one group of male workers in Preston see Victorian Preston’s Men from the Pru, where the context of the above quotation is given: they were some of the hundreds of former male textile workers who joined an early gig economy in the town as ‘self-employed’ door-to-door canvassers, amongst whom there was little chance of organising resistance to exploiting employers.

This was a far cry from the beginning of the century in Preston when handloom weavers were making so much money and had so much control over their working hours that they could take long weekends to enjoy their leisure and the town’s radicals could put Henry Hunt in Parliament. There were no radicals representing the town in the second half of the century when the Tories took control of both the town’s parliamentary seats. Part of the explanation for their ability to maintain their hold, despite economic depression and a franchise widened to include working-class men, was their ability to capitalise on working-class deference through a now mostly forgotten organisation, the Primrose League, that united members of the respectable working classes and the lower middle-class with their betters among the local gentry.

For radicalism in Preston in the first half of the 19th century see:
Social and Political leadership in Preston 1820-1860
Reforming Preston
John Noble — Preston’s Catholic Radical

Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli — Lord Beaconsfield

A flavour of the league’s operation in Preston can be found in a Preston Chronicle report that showed that on the morning of 19 April 1890 consignments of freshly-gathered primroses were arriving in town. They came from the local gentry, including Mrs. Birley of Clifton Hall, Mrs Jacson of Barton Hall, Miss Salisbury of Myerscough Hall and Mr. W. J. Fitzherbert-Brockholes of Claughton Hall. The borough’s two MPs, Robert Hanbury and William Tomlinson, both contributed their share, and another consignment came from a Miss Bottomley and the children of Samlesbury School. They were sported in button holes by Tory males of all classes and carried as nosegays by their wives and daughters. More of the delicate blooms went to decorate the town’s Conservative clubs. The occasion was Primrose Day when the death of Benjamin Disraeli, the earl of Beaconsfield, was annually commemorated, and this was the ninth anniversary of his death. The primrose was his favourite flower.

The chief organisers of the event would have been members of the Preston branch of the Primrose League – the powerful grass roots society, that while professing no particular political allegiance, worked steadfastly to maintain the Tories in power in the country — and in Preston – from its formation in 1883. Although nominally formed to commemorate Disraeli, the league’s real but unstated purpose at its formation was to make Randolph Churchill leader of the Conservative. Its later development into a major electioneering arm of the party took shape as Churchill’s fortunes waned.

In fact, Preston claimed precedence to the league in its honouring of Disraeli, as a report in the Preston Chronicle in 1892, recalling the first anniversary of his death and marking the latest Primrose Day, proclaimed:

Ten years ago, on the first anniversary of Lord Beaconsfield’s death, members of the Preston Conservative Working Men’s Club appropriately commemorated the event by a gathering in their club. On that occasion selections were read from Lord Beaconsfield’s works, short speeches were made and some choice music was rendered. These memorial gatherings were continued in a quiet way on each recurring anniversary. Meanwhile the movement grew in volume, and other towns began to follow the example which Preston had initiated. In course of years the celebrations became general, and the local gatherings had to be transferred from the Conservative Working Men’s Club to the Public Hall. They were widely appreciated, and the celebration may now be regarded as one of our institutions.
Mr Tomlinson [William Tomlinson MP] remarked on the crowded assemblage as an evidence of the interest that is taken in these Beaconsfield commemorations. They would find, probably, that many such gatherings would be held throughout the country during the week. Most of those gatherings would be under the auspices of the Primrose League. They might take credit to Preston for having anticipated the Primrose League in the matter of these annual commemorative celebrations, for he believed it was a year or two before the League was formed that their good friend, Mr. Joseph Long instituted these annual meetings. [2]

The league, in its early years, was not treated seriously in Preston, to judge by these two correspondents in the Preston Chronicle in 1885, with the first resorting to ridicule [3]:

The Primrose League is not an expensive institution. You can get all the pasteboard titles and mediaeval flummery you like for a few shillings a year. You can form ‘a Local Habitation’ — even if you cannot get a ‘name’ — for five shillings — half-a-crown annual ‘tribute’, and half-a-crown entrance fee. If you take the very lowest rank of all — that of a Squire or an Associate — and are, or pretend to be, a working man, you will not even have to pay your entrance fee, and are free of all the delights and duties attaching to the League for a shilling a year, including an enamel primrose. If you have a taste for badges you can have one for threepence, and ‘Hanner Marier’, your spouse, can call herself the Dame of a Squire, for fourpence. The higher class badges cost five and sixpence …

While the second, who again ridicules, does recognise the league’s growing political power:

‘Puerile and childish, not to say idiotic, as the Primrose League might have been, and probably was thought when it was established, there can be no doubt that the association is becoming a considerable political power. The primrose in connection with Disraeli was ridiculous enough. A peony or sunflower would have been ‘more like it’! However, there it is, and the great work goes on. In some places, while the candidate canvasses, the candidate’s wife manoeuvres to get hold of the voter’s wife, and induces her to become a member of a Primrose Habitation. As a matter of fact, there are scores of members of these precious Habitations who are not Tories; hundreds who belong to no party-who are neutral-tinted, or waverers, or indifferent, but who have fallen in for the stake of the sociability and conviviality of the thing. For, mind you there is what Artemus Ward calls ‘grate doins’, at those little soirees. We believe that on the election day, in the polling booths, this kind of floral, saponacious, saccharine influence will not count for much; but, meanwhile, it is being employed.

The following brief account of the league is based on a 1986 Columbia University PhD thesis, British Conservatism and the Primrose League: the changing character of popular politics, 1883-1901, by Diana Sheets. [4] The full thesis (see end of article) is well worth reading, not least for the light it shines on the party political skills of the British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, who is often portrayed as a remote aristocratic figure, distancing himself from the lowly concerns of domestic politics to concentrate on the realpolitik of Britain’s foreign policy.

In her thesis, Sheets sets out:

… to examine its role in creating a popular basis of support for Conservatism, thereby minimizing any losses incurred to the party by the enactment of the Corrupt Practices Act of 1883 and the 1885 Reform Act … The rank and file membership comprised predominantly members of the lower middle and middle classes, whereas the leadership was drawn largely from influential local notables.’ [5]

Local branches of the league were known as habitations, and the leadership of the Poulton and Singleton Habitation in 1885 provides an example of how ‘local notables’ took charge. The Ruling Councillor (the title given to the head of the habitation) was Thomas Horrocks Miller Esq, of Singleton Park, an estate stretching to 3,223 acres and earning him £5,856 a year in rents (see: Lancashire’s Great Landowners). Serving with him on the habitation’s executive council was his brother W. P. Miller Esq, of Thistleton, a somewhat smaller estate. [6] The Millers were the sons of the Thomas Miller who had defeated the strike by Preston’s cotton operatives in 1854. More habitations had by then, or were soon to be, established in Kirkham, Goosnargh and Freckleton, to judge by reports in the Preston Chronicle for 1887. Very few left much record of their activities, apart from the occasional newspaper report. An exception was Garstang, for which papers relating to the league were preserved by the Fitzherbert-Brockholes family of Claughton, including a register of members, a cash book and a minute book (all now preserved at Lancashire Archives DDFZ/BOX20).

Preston was later than surrounding districts in establishing its own habitation, which was named the Beaconsfield habitation. Its inauguration was announced in a notice for a public meeting published in the Preston Chronicle at the beginning of 1887. [7]

Primrose League meeting advert

The Chronicle reported the meeting [8] and, in reporting the names of all those seated on the platform, displayed the support for the league amongst local dignitaries, including eight local clergy:

Mr. W. P. Park J.P., presided, and was supported on the platform by the Hon. George Curzon, M.P. for Southport, W. E. M. Tomlinnson, Esq,, M.P.; Lawrence Rawstorne, Esq and Mrs. Rawstorne; AId. Forshaw and Mrs. Forshaw, the Rev. A. B. Beaven and Mrs. Beaven; Mesdames Brown, Perrln, Price, Murdoch, Monk, Bourne, and Spencer; Misses Perrin, Haverfield, E. Haverfield, Longworth, Jennings, Christian, Brierley, and Fouter; the Revs. Isaac Price, E. S. Murdoch, W. D. Thompson, D. F. Chapman, F. E. Perrin, T. R. Waltenberg, and G. 0. Vandaleur; Alderman Roper; Councillors Y. W. Booth, Clegg, Borrow, Turner, Miller, Breakell, J. J. Myres, Hale, and Craven; Drs. Moore and Gardner; Messrs. J. Sharp, J.P., Brierley, P. S. Park, J. Parker, Monk, Longworth, Haverfield, F. Haverfield, Gardner, Bourne, J. J. Greaves, Gilbertson, Onslow, Barton, Beattie, Whitwell, J. Lawrenson, Wilkinson, T. H. Myres, J. Long, E. P. Day, W. Hall, J. Hulme, Chas. Hornby, W. H. Kinloch, R. Fazackerley (Conservative Registration agent), E. Alston, Redmayne, E. Greenwood, J. R. Dewse, W Gregson, W. H. Woods, &c.

The chairman’s speech brought out the importance of the league in securing the Conservative’s hold on power:

… for though formed only two-and-a-half years ago it had now half a million of people numbered in its ranks as dames, knights, and associates. Those who knew the work of the Primrose League appreciated it the most. Those who saw what it did at the last election were of opinion now that they could not do without it. They had enlisted the ladies into their army.

He was followed by George Curzon [recently elected as MP for Southport and later to be appointed Viceroy of India], who formally opened the habitation:

He had come to open a habitation of the Primrose League — a league which was one of the most successful engines of political organisation ever invented; successful because it was scientific. They were told in the science of military warfare that they should attack the most vulnerable point, and that was precisely what the League did. It wounded the tenderest spots by exposing them to the influence of women. Even the sternest and most inveterate of Radicals could not help succumbing to the solicitations of the ladies. (Laughter.) It had been so ever since the time of Adam and Eve, and indeed he often thought that Eve would have made a capital Primrose dame. (Renewed laughter.)
… They could not have chosen a better in name for their habitation than that of Lord Beaconsfield — Beaconsfield, the first political genius of this century, just as William Pitt was the first of the last. They had to teach their members it was their duty to be loyal to the Queen; to respect the maintenance of the honour and dignity of this country; to recognise truly the great law of civil equality; to see the hollowness and trumpery insignificance of distinctions between classes and masses; and the absolute identity of the interests of all classes and all ranks viewed in the light of the public welfare. (Cheers.)
The chief value of the Primrose League was that it was a great instrument of communion between all classes of the people. It preached that the basis of all happiness was union, and it practised that which was the basis of all union — sympathy. If Lord Beaconsfield had lived to see what he had so long worked for — the fusion of the old influences which had grown up in our history with the new and democratic state of society; the spectacle of great masses of people living in perfect harmony with those who by the accident of birth or wealth had happened to be placed above them, he would have counted it dearer even than all the triumphs of his strange and eventful career. (Cheers.)

Curzon was followed by MP William Tomlinson, who moved ‘That this meeting of the Beaconsfield Habitation of the Primrose League hereby reposes its entire confidence in her Majesty’s Government, and earnestly desires its continuance in office as the surest guarantee for the preservation of the integrity of the Empire.’ He elaborated:

It might be said that the Primrose League consisted of all those who were bound together to promote three great objects — the maintenance of religion, of the Constitution, and the upholding of the British empire, the great objects for which the present Government was formed. The League having those objects was to in sympathy with the whole Conservative party, and also with the Unionists or Unionist Liberals.

Very quickly the Preston habitation established itself on the town’s social scene [9]:

Primrose League advert

Sheets shows that it was by such means that:

The Primrose League with its quasi-medieval titles and orders, its reformulation of deference, and its popular call to arms in support of broadly ‘conservative’ aims was to become the great Conservative weapon of the late nineteenth century, a veritable army of supporters to counteract the onslaught of the mass, democratic age.’ [10]

John Gorst MP
An 1880 Vanity Fair caricature of John Gorst

When it was founded in 1883 to commemorate Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield, who had recently died, its true, if unstated, purpose was to garner support for Randolph Churchill in his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party. One of the handful of supporters working to enable Churchill to achieve his ambition was Preston-born John Gorst, a former pupil of Preston Grammar School. Gorst, who was MP for Chatham and was shortly to become Solicitor General, was instrumental in setting up the Primrose League and served as its president until 1906, by which time he had become disenchanted with the Conservatives. In 1910 he stood unsuccessfully as Liberal candidate in Preston: presumably the Primrose League was marshalled against him. [11]

The tone was set at the formation of the league when Randolph Churchill was made Grand Councillor and Gorst became an Executive Councillor. Then there were Knights Harbinger and Knights Companion (the latter junior to the first). Clergy became Knights Almoner. A month later women were admitted and given the title ‘Dame’. These titles played to craving for honours among large sections of society.

As Sheets notes:

… the use of decorations to connote affiliation and service was significant. For, in an age characterized by an ever accelerating rush for honors, marked most noticeably in the rising sectors of the middle class, the establishment of medallions by the Primrose League brought the process still further down the social scale and potentially within the reach of any enterprising individual. It enabled the buying of honors through relatively minimal sacrifice and income to persons wishing to emulate the social manners and traditions of those situated above them. With the increasing numbers of titled aristocracy joining another advantage was conferred: the perceived opportunity for social betterment and by implication, affiliation with one’s social superiors. [12]

Salisbury was disgusted by such chasing after honours, although recognising their political value, writing to a colleague:

‘You are the first person who has come to see me in the last few days who is not wanting something at my hands—place, or decoration, or peerage. You only want information! Men whom I counted my friends, and whom I should have considered far above personal self-seeking, have been here begging, some for one thing, some for another, till I am sick and disgusted. The experience has been a revelation to me on the baser side of human nature. [13]

And that was well before Lloyd George got busy selling honours.

The preposterousness of the Primrose League’s titles and honours is well-illustrated by the Duke of Portland, ‘He served as a Knight Harbinger for fifty years during which time he “had no notion what that meant, except that I received an illuminated parchment certificate”.’ [14]

When Churchill’s bid for power failed (shortly before the Preston habitation was inaugurated) the league continued, outgrowing the narrow aims at its formation and becoming a broad-based organisation serving the party in general nationwide, and extending to the far reaches of the Empire:

It was through … tremendous growth at the grass-roots level that the League was able to serve as a potent political subculture for nurturing Conservative sympathies, enabling the elite party to come to terms with democracy. No other organization was to rival its influence in late Victorian Britain … With its host of glittering notables at its apex and a loyal multi-class representation at its base, the Primrose League became the principal carrier and fortifier of Conservative principles throughout the nation. It was the party’s answer to popular democracy. [15]

The league constantly played the ‘Irish card’, recognising that Gladstone’s Home Rule obsession was guaranteeing the Conservatives their hold on power:

Primrose League publications remained focused on the Irish question. The topical list of lantern slide shows proposed by the executive for possible distribution to Habitations circa 1888 gives a total of twenty subjects, subdivided into two categories, ‘Irish’ and ‘General’. Their titles are particularly revealing, suggesting the heightened tone of outrage employed by the League in disseminating its views and the organization’s endorsement of the policies enumerated by Salisbury’s government. The Irish selection, subtitled ‘The Reign of Terror in Ireland’, included the ‘Murder of John Meade’, ‘Outrage on Patrick Robinson’, ‘O’Brien in Prison Enjoying Sandwiches and Sherry’, and ‘Gladstone, the Cause of Law and Order’. The general slides, despite their stated category, also contained at least two presentations on Ireland, ‘Ireland Prosperous-Loyalist’, and ‘Ireland Otherwise – Separatist’. [16]

Sheets argues:

The Primrose League was, above all, interested in promoting popular opposition to Home Rule. The issue remained the fundamental credo throughout the period under study, followed in close succession by an emphasis on the maintenance of the ‘constitution’, the empire, religion, the monarchy, and the House of Lords. [17]

Gladstone’s son, Herbert, fought back by trying to ridicule the league:

The League is a curious compound of duchesses and maids of all work, but it is a great instrument to the Tory party for bribery and corruption. These wives and daughters of the Philistines stop at nothing. All the unscrupulous women of England are members of the Primrose League. In the country districts they threaten; in the towns they cajole; in both town and country their armouries are overflowing with thousands of yards of flannel and countless sacks of coal.
Herbert Gladstone, The Primrose newspaper, Bournemouth (1 February 1887) [18]

The growth of the league can be seen in the table below (Sheets found that ‘Countywide, Lancashire was regarded as the most successful Primrose League region’, although Manchester and Liverpool had few recruits, the latter relying on the Orange Order to mobilise working-class support for the Conservatives). [19]

The deference that replaced dissent amongst Preston’s working class in the second half of the 19th century was fostered throughout the country by the league, which:

…  helped to reformulate deferential relations in an age increasingly at odds with hierarchical patterns of social relations. In recent years the use of the term ‘deference’ has come under a great deal of criticism. The expression was devised by Bagehot in the mid-nineteenth century to refer to the ‘theatrical show of society’, the love of the masses for atavistic displays of pageantry. This attraction, he argued, served to cement social class relations. [20]

… The pseudomedieval framework underlying the rituals of the Primrose League hinted at the innovative, indeed, modern mechanisms which were the driving force in reforging deferential relations. The adoption of the terms ‘Knights’ and ‘Dames’, the issuance of ‘Precepts’, and the referral of local associations as ‘Habitations’ reflected a conscious effort to conjure up a mythical past when all peoples lived in a state of rural bliss and maintained harmonious social relations while chivalry reigned supreme.
Lady Randolph Churchill and her compatriots on the LGC might mock the titles assigned to members of the Primrose League, dubbing Knight Harbingers ‘Night Refugees’, criticizing freely the ‘gaudy badges’, and ‘ye ancient diplomas’ printed on vellum for distribution to members. Nevertheless, no one doubted the seriousness of the task before them: the recruitment of a mass electorate to serve the cause of the Conservative party. [21]

To what extent Preston’s working class was recruited to the Tory banner as part of that mass electorate is impossible to ascertain: no membership lists for the Preston habitation survive. That the number was probably very high is suggested by the national figures shown in the table above, where it can be seen that a tenth of the membership was made up of knights and dames, with the other nine tenths being associates. It was the latter 90 per cent that constituted those members, drawn from lower middle class and working class, who set their faces against radical reform and kept the Tories in power despite the widening of the franchise.

[1]John Bateman, The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th ed. (London: Harrison, 1883), http://archive.org/details/greatlandownerso00bateuoft.
[2] ‘THE BEACONSFIELD ANNIVERSARY’, Preston Chronicle P2, 23 April 1892, British Library Newspapers, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/Y3207509747/BNCN?u=lancs&sid=zotero&xid=bceb9076.
[3] ‘STRAY NOTES’, Preston Chronicle, Pp 4-5, 31 October 1885, British Library Newspapers, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/Y3207501403/BNCN?u=lancs&sid=zotero&xid=fe275b34.
[4] Diana Elaine Sheets, ‘British Conservatism and the Primrose League: The Changing Character of Popular Politics, 1883-1901’ (Columbia University, 1986).
[5] Sheets, Abstract.
[6] ‘DISTRICT NEWS’, Preston Chronicle, P6, 19 September 1885, British Library Newspapers, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/Y3207501221/BNCN?u=lancs&sid=zotero&xid=8f5614ed.
[7] ‘Advertisements & Notices’, Preston Chronicle P1, 8 January 1887, British Library Newspapers, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/Y3207501684/BNCN?u=lancs&sid=zotero&xid=2042501b.
[8] ‘Primrose League Demonstration in Preston’, Preston Chronicle P2, 15 January 1887, British Library Newspapers, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/Y3207501721/BNCN?u=lancs&sid=zotero&xid=58cfe630.
[9] ‘Advertisements & Notices’, Preston Chronicle P1, 15 January 1887, British Library Newspapers, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/Y3207501716/BNCN?u=lancs&sid=zotero&xid=a5c9d79e.
[10] Sheets, ‘Primrose League’, 2.
[11] Olwen Claire Niessen, ‘Sir John Eldon Gorst and British Social Policy 1875-1914’ (PhD thesis, Ontario, Waterloo, 1984), http://hdl.handle.net/10012/10848.
[12] Sheets, ‘Primrose League’, 29.
[13] Sheets, 29 fn. 37.
[14] Sheets, 32.
[15] Sheets, 3.
[16] Sheets, 117.
[17] Sheets, 326.
[18] Sheets, 126.
[19] Sheets, 154, 221-2.
[20] Sheets, 241.
[21] Sheets, 244–45.

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