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Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great British politician and publicist William Gladstone

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great British politician and publicist William Gladstone

12/29/2009 9:27:37 AM
William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal Party statesman and four times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1868–74, 1880–85, 1886 and 1892–94). He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer and a champion of the Home Rule Bill which would have established self-government in Ireland.

Gladstone is also famous for his intense rivalry with the Conservative Party Leader Benjamin Disraeli. The rivalry was not only political, but also personal. When Disraeli died, Gladstone proposed a state funeral, but Disraeli's will asked for him to be buried next to his wife, to which Gladstone replied, "As Disraeli lived, so he died — all display, without reality or genuineness."

The British statesman was famously at odds with Queen Victoria for much of his career. She once complained, "He always addresses me as if I were a public meeting."

Gladstone was known affectionately by his supporters as "The People's William" or the "G.O.M." ("Grand Old Man", or, according to Disraeli, "God's Only Mistake").

Winston Churchill and others cited Gladstone as their inspiration.
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