1804 - Benjamin Disraeli, born on the 21st of December in London, UK, the eldest son of an Anglicized Jew. He was a British Conservative statesman and literary figure.
1826 - He made his early reputation as a novelist, publishing his first novel, Vivian Grey.
1844 - 1846 - He is better known for his two political novels, Coningsby and Sybil, which date from his period as a Romantic Tory, critical of industrial developments.
1845 - 1846 - He became leader of the ‘Young England’ movement which espoused these values, and came to prominence as a critic of Peel's free trade policies, especially the repeal of the Corn Laws.
1852 - 1859 - Leader in the Commons of the Conservatives, after the Peelites left the Party, he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in Derby's minority governments.
1866 - 1868 - Chancellor in the government.
1867 - He piloted the Reform Bill through the Commons.
1868 - He became prime minister on Derby's resignation, but was defeated soon afterwards in the general election. His second administration was notable both for diplomacy and social reform, though much of the latter only consolidated legislation begun under Gladstone.
1875 - 1876 - During his administration, Britain became half-owner of the Suez Canal, and the queen assumed the title Empress of India.
1878 - His skilful diplomacy at the Congress of Berlin contributed to the preservation of European peace after conflict between the Russians and the Turks in the Balkans.
1880 - Defeated by Gladstone and the Liberals, he then effectively retired.
1881 - He became ill soon after and died in April. His literary executor, and for all intents and purposes his heir, was his private secretary, Lord Rowton.
Page last updated: 10:22am, 17th Apr '07