Sir Robert Peel

Prime Minister of Great Britain / Political Figure

Born: 5 February 1788
Died: 2 July 1850 (internal injuries)
Birthplace: Bury, England
Best known as: British Prime Minister and "father of modern policing"
Robert Peel entered politics in 1809 as a member of the House of Commons. Although he had fought against Catholic rights in Ireland for nearly two decades, he was forced to support the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829, the same year he began to reform England's police force (who became known as "peelers" or "bobbies"). By 1834 he had risen to Prime Minister, appointed by King William IV. Because of intense political opposition, he was forced to resign in 1835, but he regained the post in 1841. After the potato blight of 1845, Peel repealed the Corn Laws, removing duties of imported corn in an effort to help the starving Irish. The move was unpopular even within his own party, and he was again forced to resign in 1846. He died from injuries after falling off a horse in 1850.

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