An 1850 Death of Sir Robert Peel Commemorative Medal
An 1850 Death of Sir Robert Peel Commemorative Medal - Copper, illustrating the front-on bust of Sir Robert Peel, the head turned slightly to his left, surrounded by the inscription "THE Rt HONble SIR ROBERT PEEL BARt M.P.", reverse illustrating a standing Britannia, a trident supported in the bend of her right elbow, a column wrapped in strands of laurel leaves at her left, an upside-down crown at the column's base, all on a large pedestal, the side of the pedestal inscribed "BORN, FEB. 5th 1788. / HIS DEATH WAS DEEPLY DEPLORED BY MEN OF ALL SHADES OF POLITICAL OPINION, AS THE LOSS OF A GREAT PRACTICAL STATESMAN, EARNESTLY DEVOTED TO THE WELFARE OF HIS COUNTRY, AND AN ENLIGHTENED AND GENEROUS FRIEND TO LITERATURE, AND ART.", 46 mm, light contact, near extremely fine. Footnote: Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet (February 5, 1758 - July 2, 1850) was a British Conservative statesman, who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (December 10, 1834 to April 8, 1835; August 30, 1841 to June 29, 1846). The son of a wealthy textile manufacturer, he served in many top offices over four decades. While serving as Home Secretary, Peel reformed and liberalized the criminal law, and created the modern police force, leading to a new type officer known in tribute to him as "bobbies" (in England) and "peelers" (in Ireland). He cut tariffs to stimulate business and to replace the lost revenue, he pushed through a 3% income tax. He played a central role in making Free Trade a reality and set up a modern banking system. Initially a supporter of legal discrimination against Catholics, Peel eventually supported the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, claiming "though emancipation was a great danger, civil strife was a greater danger". Peel has been criticized for his handling of the Irish famine. In 1834, Peel issued the Tamworth Manifesto, laying down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based. Peel often started from a traditional Tory position in opposition to a measure, then reversed himself and became the leader in supporting liberal legislation. This was the case with the Test Act (1828), Catholic Emancipation (1829), the Reform Act of 1832, the Income Tax (1842) and the Corn Laws (1846).