James Stansfeld 1820 – 1898

James Stansfeld 1820 – 1898James Stansfeld PC 1820 – 1898 was a British politician, Member of Parliament for Halifax, and at various times – Civil Lord of the Admiralty, Under Secretary of State for India, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, President of the Poor Law Board, President of the Local Government Board,

James Stansfeld was on the Management Committee of the English Homeopathic Association, and he knew Benjamin Disraeli, William Ewert Gladstone, Henry Palmerston and Lord John Russell (a relative of William Russell), and he was a close friend of William Henry Ashurst (his father in law), John Bright, John Epps, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Giuseppe Mazzini,

James Stansfeld was on the Management Committee of the English Homeopathic Association alongside William Henry Ashurst, John Burnett, Edward Cronin, Paul Francois Curie, A O Deacon, Robert S Dick, George Napoleon Epps, John Epps, Robert Frith, Joseph Glover, Robert Grosvenor, George Hayes, Thomas H Johnstone, Henry KelsallJohn Miller, William MacOubrey, Henry P Osman, Charles Thomas Pearce, William Perkins, George K Prince, Peter Stuart, Allan Templeton, James Thomson, William Warne, James Wilson,

The English Homeopathic Association petitioned Parliament in defense of Charles Thomas Pearce, about the outrage of such false accusations, especially as there was no redress in law for the damage done to the defendant. The petition was seconded by John Epps, in the company of William Henry Ashurst, John Burnett, Edward Cronin, Paul Francois Curie, A O Deacon, Robert S Dick, George Napoleon Epps, Robert Frith, Joseph Glover, Robert Grosvenor, George Hayes, Thomas H Johnstone, Henry KelsallJohn Miller, Henry P Osman,, William MacOubrey, Charles Thomas Pearce, William Perkins, George K Prince, James Stansfeld, Peter Stuart, Allan Templeton, James Thomson, William Warne, and James Wilson.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stansfeld Stansfeld was born at Moorlands, Halifax, the son of James Stansfeld, a county court judge. Educated at University College, London, he was called to the bar in 1849.

In 1847, he was introduced through his father in law, William Henry Ashurst, to Giuseppe Mazzini, with whom he formed a close friendship.

In 1859, Stansfeld was returned to Parliament as Radical member for Halifax, which he continued to represent for over thirty six years. He voted consistently on the Radical side, but his chief energies were devoted to promoting the cause of Italian unity.

He was selected by Giuseppe Garibaldi as his adviser when the Italian patriot visited England in 1862. In 1863, he moved in the House of Commons a resolution of sympathy with the Poles, and two months later was made Civil Lord of the Admiralty.

In 1864, as the result of charges made against him by the French authorities, in connection with Greco’s conspiracy against Napoleon III, Benjamin Disraeli, in the House of Commons, accused him of being in correspondence with the assassins of Europe. Stansfeld was vigorously defended by John Bright and William Edward Forster, and his explanation was accepted as quite satisfactory by Henry Palmerston.

Nevertheless he only escaped a vote of censure by ten votes, and accordingly resigned office. In 1865, he was re-elected for Halifax, and in 1866 became Under-Secretary of State for India under Lord John Russell (a relative of William Russell).

He served in the first William Ewert Gladstone administration of 1868 to 1874 as a Lord of the Treasury between 1868 and 1869, as Financial Secretary to the Treasury between 1869 and 1871 and as President of the Poor Law Board (with a seat in the cabinet) in 1871, before being appointed the first President of the Local Government Board, in 1871, a post he held until the Liberals lost power in 1874. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1869.

The remainder of his life was mainly spent in endeavouring to secure the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts, and in 1886 this object was attained. He did not serve in William Ewert Gladstone‘s 1880 to 1885 administration, but returned to the government in April 1886, when he again became President of the Local Government Board under William Ewert Gladstone. However, the government fell already in July of the same year.

Stansfeld died in February 1898, aged 77.

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