The Tamworth Manifesto was a political manifesto issued by Sir Robert Peel in 1834 in Tamworth, which is widely credited by historians as having laid down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based.

In November 1834, King William IV removed the Whig Prime Minister Lord Melbourne and asked the Duke of Wellington to form a ministry. Wellington was reluctant and recommended that the King choose Peel.

Perhaps owing to Wellington's endorsement, Peel intended from the start, as the historian S. J. Lee tells, "to fully convince the country and electorate that there was a substantial difference between his brand of conservatism and that of his predecessor and 'old tory' Wellington."

With that in mind, on 18 December the Tamworth Manifesto was published by the press and read around the country. Like many other manifestos in nineteenth-century British politics it was formally an address to the electors of the leader's own constituency, but reproduced widely. In the event Tamworth saw no contest in January 1835: Peel and his brother William were the only candidates – they were elected, i.e. "returned", unopposed.[1]

Peel's aims dictated in the Tamworth Manifesto

The main aim of the manifesto was to appeal to the electorate in the new Parliament.

See also


  1. ^ Norman Gash, Sir Robert Peel: The Life of Sir Robert Peel after 1830 (1972) pp 93-99
  2. ^ Norman Gash. Sir Robert Peel: The Life of Sir Robert Peel after 1830

Further reading