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Peel a 'working class hero'

Taken from Norman Gash, The Age of Peel (London, Edward Arnold, 1973), with the kind permission of Professor Gash. Copyright of this document, of course, remains with him.

Obituary article on Sir Robert Peel in Chambers' Papers for the People, vol. iv, a cheap popular periodical aiming at a mass circulation.

He fell from official power into the arms of the people, whose enthusiastic plaudits accompanied him, on the evening of his resignation of office, to his residence in Whitehall Gardens. The spontaneous feeling of gratitude and respect which prompted those plaudits has since widened, strengthened, deepened, and will become more and more vivid and intense as the moral grandeur of his motives - the unselfish, self-sacrificing spirit which dictated his public conduct - pierce through, and consume in the clear and brilliant light of that truth and justice which, we are assured by an illustrious authority, has ever inspired his acts, the calummious misrepresentations so unsparingly heaped upon him. By his humbler countrymen, that testimony to the moral worth of the departed statesman was not waited for, nor needed. They felt instinctively that he must be pure and single minded, as he was intellectually vigorous and great; for what had he, raised aloft upon the bucklers of a powerful and wealthy party, to gain by stooping from that dazzling height, to raise tip the humble and lowly from the mire into which ignorant and partial legislation had so long trampled them.

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Last modified 4 March, 2016

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