Whig Lord John Russell led the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1846 to 1852.
Following the split in the Tory Party over the Corn Laws in 1846 and the consequent end of Sir Robert Peel's second government, the Whigs came to power under Lord John Russell. Sir Charles Wood became Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir George Grey Home Secretary and Lord Palmerston Foreign Secretary for the third time.
One of the major problems facing the government was the Great Irish Famine (1845–1849), which Russell failed to deal with effectively. Another problem was the maverick Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, who was eventually forced to resign in December 1851 after recognising the coup d'état of Louis Napoleon without first seeking royal approval. He was succeeded by Lord Granville, the first of his three tenures as Foreign Secretary. Palmerston thereafter successfully devoted his energies to bringing down Russell's government, leading to the formation of a minority Conservative government under Lord Derby in February 1852.
| First Lord of the Treasury |
Leader of the House of Commons
|Lord John Russell||July 1846 – February 1852|
|Lord Chancellor||The Lord Cottenham||July 1846 – July 1850|
|The Lord Truro||July 1850 – February 1852|
| Lord President of the Council |
Leader of the House of Lords
|The Marquess of Lansdowne||July 1846 – February 1852|
|Lord Privy Seal||The Earl of Minto||July 1846 – February 1852|
|Home Secretary||Sir George Grey, Bt||July 1846 – February 1852|
|Foreign Secretary||The Viscount Palmerston||July 1846 – December 1851|
|The Earl Granville||December 1851 – February 1852|
|Secretary of State for War and the Colonies||The Earl Grey||July 1846 – February 1852|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer||Sir Charles Wood||July 1846 – February 1852|
|First Lord of the Admiralty||The Earl of Auckland||July 1846 – January 1849|
|Sir Francis Baring||January 1849 – February 1852|
|President of the Board of Control||Sir John Cam Hobhouse, Bt||July 1846 – February 1852|
|Fox Maule||February 1852|
|President of the Board of Trade||The Earl of Clarendon||July 1846 – July 1847|
|Henry Labouchere||July 1847 – February 1852|
|Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster||The Lord Campbell||July 1846 – March 1850|
|The Earl of Carlisle||March 1850 – February 1852|
|First Commissioner of Woods and Forests||Lord Morpeth †||July 1846 – July 1850|
|Lord Seymour||July 1850 – February 1852|
|Chief Secretary for Ireland||Henry Labouchere||July 1846 – July 1847|
|successor not in cabinet|
|Postmaster General||The Marquess of Clanricarde||July 1846 – February 1852|
|Paymaster-General||Thomas Babington Macaulay||July 1846 – July 1847|
|successor not in cabinet|
|The Earl Granville||1851‡–December 1851|
|successor not in cabinet|
|Secretary at War||Fox Maule||1851‡–February 1852|
|successor not in cabinet|
† became the Earl of Carlisle in 1848 ‡ denotes becoming a member of the cabinet, not gaining the office
Cabinet members are listed in bold face.
| Prime Minister, |
First Lord of the Treasury
and Leader of the House of Commons
|Lord John Russell||30 June 1846 – 21 February 1852||The Government resigned 22 February 1851 and resumed 3 March 1851|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer||Sir Charles Wood, Bt||6 July 1846|
|Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury||Henry Tufnell||7 July 1846|
|William Goodenough Hayter||July 1850|
|Financial Secretary to the Treasury||John Parker||7 July 1846|
|William Goodenough Hayter||22 May 1849|
|George Cornewall Lewis||9 July 1850|
|Junior Lords of the Treasury||Viscount Ebrington||6 July 1846 – 22 December 1847||the number of Junior Lordships was reduced from four to three in 1848|
|Denis O'Conor||6 July 1846 – 2 August 1847|
|William Gibson-Craig||6 July 1846 – 21 February 1852|
|Henry Rich||6 July 1846 – 21 February 1852|
|Richard Bellew||2 August 1847 – 21 February 1852|
|Earl of Shelburne||22 December 1847 – August 1848|
|Lord Chancellor||The Lord Cottenham||6 July 1846|
|in commission||19 June 1850|
|The Lord Truro||15 July 1850|
| Lord President of the Council |
and Leader of the House of Lords
|The Marquess of Lansdowne||6 July 1846|
|Lord Privy Seal||The Earl of Minto||6 July 1846|
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||Sir George Grey, Bt||6 July 1846|
|Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department||Sir William Somerville, Bt||5 July 1846|
|Sir Denis Le Marchant, Bt||22 July 1847|
|George Cornewall Lewis||15 May 1848|
|Edward Pleydell-Bouverie||9 July 1850|
|Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs||The Viscount Palmerston||6 July 1846|
|The Earl Granville||26 December 1851|
|Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs||Edward Stanley||6 July 1846|
|Austen Henry Layard||12 February 1852|
|Secretary of State for War and the Colonies||The Earl Grey||6 July 1846|
|Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies||Benjamin Hawes||6 July 1846|
|Frederick Peel||1 November 1851|
|President of the Board of Control||Sir John Hobhouse, Bt||8 July 1846|
|Fox Maule||5 February 1852|
|Joint Secretaries to the Board of Control||George Byng||6 July 1846 – 30 November 1847|
|Thomas Wyse||6 July 1846 – 26 January 1849|
|George Cornewall Lewis||30 November 1847 – 16 May 1848|
|James Wilson||16 May 1848 – 21 February 1852|
|John Elliot||26 January 1849 – 21 February 1852|
|First Lord of the Admiralty||The Earl of Auckland||7 July 1846|
|Sir Francis Baring, Bt||15 January 1849|
|First Secretary of the Admiralty||Henry George Ward||13 July 1846|
|John Parker||21 May 1849|
|Civil Lord of the Admiralty||William Cowper||7 July 1846|
|Chief Secretary for Ireland||Henry Labouchere||6 July 1846|
|Sir William Somerville, Bt||22 July 1847|
|Lord Lieutenant of Ireland||The Earl of Bessborough||8 July 1846|
|The Earl of Clarendon||22 May 1847|
|Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster||The Lord Campbell||6 July 1846|
|The Earl of Carlisle||6 March 1850|
|Paymaster-General||Thomas Babington Macaulay||7 July 1846|
|The Earl Granville||8 May 1848||entered the Cabinet October 1851|
|The Lord Stanley of Alderley||12 February 1852|
|Postmaster-General||The Marquess of Clanricarde||7 July 1846|
|President of the Board of Trade||The Earl of Clarendon||6 July 1846|
|Henry Labouchere||22 July 1847|
|Vice-President of the Board of Trade||Thomas Milner Gibson||8 July 1846|
|The Earl Granville||8 May 1848|
|The Lord Stanley of Alderley||11 February 1852|
|First Commissioner of Woods and Forests||Viscount Morpeth||7 July 1846||succeeded as 7th Earl of Carlisle 7 October 1848|
|Lord Seymour||17 April 1849||office abolished 1 August 1851|
|First Commissioner of Works||Lord Seymour||1 August 1851||entered the Cabinet October 1851|
|Master-General of the Ordnance||The Marquess of Anglesey||8 July 1846|
|Surveyor-General of the Ordnance||Charles Richard Fox||8 July 1846|
|Clerk of the Ordnance||George Anson||8 July 1846|
|Storekeeper of the Ordnance||Sir Thomas Hastings||25 July 1845||continued in office|
|President of the Poor Law Board||Charles Buller||23 July 1847|
|Matthew Talbot Baines||1 January 1849|
|Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board||Viscount Ebrington||23 July 1847|
|Ralph William Grey||28 January 1851|
|Secretary at War||Fox Maule||6 July 1846|
|Robert Vernon Smith||6 February 1852|
|Attorney General||Sir Thomas Wilde||7 July 1846|
|Sir John Jervis||17 July 1846|
|Sir John Romilly||11 July 1850|
|Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bt||28 March 1851|
|Solicitor General||John Jervis||7 July 1846|
|Sir David Dundas||18 July 1846|
|Sir John Romilly||4 April 1848|
|Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bt||11 July 1850|
|Sir William Page Wood||28 March 1851|
|Judge Advocate General||Charles Buller||8 July 1846|
|William Goodenough Hayter||22 December 1847|
|Sir David Dundas||26 May 1849|
|Lord Advocate||Andrew Rutherfurd||6 July 1846|
|James Moncreiff||7 April 1851|
|Solicitor General for Scotland||Thomas Maitland||6 July 1846|
|James Moncreiff||7 February 1850|
|John Cowan||18 April 1851|
|George Deas||28 June 1851|
|Attorney General for Ireland||Richard Moore||16 July 1846|
|James Henry Monahan||21 December 1847|
|John Hatchell||23 September 1850|
|Solicitor General for Ireland||James Henry Monahan||16 July 1846|
|John Hatchell||24 December 1847|
|Henry George Hughes||26 September 1850|
|Lord Steward of the Household||The Earl Fortescue||8 July 1846|
|The Marquess of Westminster||22 March 1850|
|Lord Chamberlain of the Household||The Earl Spencer||8 July 1846|
|The Marquess of Breadalbane||5 September 1848|
|Vice-Chamberlain of the Household||Lord Edward Howard||8 July 1846|
|Master of the Horse||The Duke of Norfolk||11 July 1846|
|Treasurer of the Household||Lord Robert Grosvenor||3 August 1846|
|Lord Marcus Hill||23 July 1847|
|Comptroller of the Household||Lord Marcus Hill||6 July 1846|
|William Lascelles||23 July 1847|
|Earl of Mulgrave||23 July 1851|
|Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms||The Lord Foley||24 July 1846|
|Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard||The Viscount Falkland||24 July 1846|
|The Marquess of Donegal||11 February 1848|
|Master of the Buckhounds||The Earl Granville||9 July 1846|
|The Earl of Bessborough||16 May 1848|
|Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal||Lord Alfred Paget||7 July 1846|
|Mistress of the Robes||The Duchess of Sutherland||4 July 1846|
|Lords in Waiting||The Earl of Morley||24 July 1846 – 21 February 1852|
|The Earl of Ducie||24 July 1846 – 1 December 1847|
|The Lord Waterpark||24 July 1846 – 21 February 1852|
|The Lord Camoys||4 August 1846 – 21 February 1852|
|The Earl of Morton||10 September 1841 – 26 June 1849|
|The Marquess of Ormonde||10 September 1841 – 21 February 1852|
|The Lord Elphinstone||1 December 1847 – 21 February 1852|
|Lord Dufferin and Clandeboye||26 June 1849 – 21 February 1852|
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Who? Who? ministry