Meeting - February 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012 - 7:30pm
Prime Ministers and the Midlands
David Howe

A talk.


Mr David Howe was the speaker at the February meeting of the Society and his subject for the evening was "Prime Ministers and the Midlands". He is an exceptionally good speaker and does not rely on slides or PowerPoint presentation to hold the audience's attention; he does so purely on his own faultless delivery and humour. The talk began with a small amount of historical background on the change from absolute rule by the Monarch, through Ministers he or she appointed from the members of Parliament, to absolute rule by the dominant party in the House of Commons. This change gradually came about after Parliament invited the George I the Sovereignty of England because he was Protestant. All Ministers in Parliament at that time held particular offices i.e. Robert Walpole was "First Lord of the Treasury" and it was during his tenure that someone in Parliament was heard to comment "He thinks he is the prime (number one or dominant) Minister". The Prime Minister today is still first Lord of The Treasury. David went on to talk in depth about many former Prime Ministers and their connections with the Midlands. Men such as Sir Robert Peel, whose Tamworth estate is now Drayton Manor theme Park, Stanley Baldwin who's ashes are interred in Worcester Cathedral, Neville Chamberlain and Anthony Eden. Prime Minister Spencer Perceval (1809 - 1812) had the misfortune, on the 11th May 1812 to become the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated. He was shot as he entered the lobby of the House of Commons by a man with an excessive grievance against the government.

Spencer Perceval

At the conclusion of the presentation David answered a number of questions put by the audience and offered for sale signed copies of his recently published book on the subject.

Brian Sadler