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Michael Edward Hicks Beach, 1st Earl St Aldwyn

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hicks Beach entered Parliament as a Conservative MP in 1864. He was opposed to the 1867 Reform Bill, but acted as a go-between for the parties over reform in 1884, when he negotiated a compromise that allowed the Liberals' Franchise Bill through the House of Lords on condition that a redistribution bill followed. He held many senior political offices, including Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1878 to 1880, but his career reached its peak in 1885 when he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons.

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 127.6 x W 92.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Given by William Henry Smith, 3rd Viscount Hambleden, 1938. On long-term loan to the Palace of Westminster, London

Work type



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Normally on display at

National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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