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Robert Peel, British politician

Robert Peel, British politician

C029/2160

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Credit

MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARIA PLATT-EVANS / 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. In this role he 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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