Robert Peel, British Prime Minister

Robert Peel, British Prime Minister

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Robert Peel (1788-1850), British Prime Minister, reformer and politician. Peel studied at Oxford University, and became a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tory party, at the age of 21. He was Home Secretary from 1822, and was responsible for the creation of the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829, the first official British police force. They were called peelers or bobbies (the latter term derives from the nickname Bob for Robert - and is still in use today). Peel was briefly Prime Minister from 1834-1835, then as leader of a majority government from 1841-1846. Reforms included the Factory Act (1844) and repealing the Corn Laws (1846) as a belated response to the Irish potato famine. He inherited his father's title of baronet in 1830.

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