Soon after the death of Palmerston, Lord Russell's government introduced a second Reform Bill, extending the franchise. Opposition by discontented Liberals led to the fall of the government in June 1866 and a minority Conservative administration took office under Lord Derby. On 23 July a large Reform League meeting called for Hyde Park found it closed. The crowd broke down the railings and clashed with police inside the park. Lord Stanley, a member of the cabinet, commented that there was ‘more mischief than malice, and more of mere larking than either’, though a policeman was killed. Nevertheless, when there were further disturbances in 1867 the home secretary, Spencer Walpole, was forced to resign.
Subjects: British History.