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On May 19, 1898 the Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone died. He had one of the most distinguished political careers of the nineteenth century and was Prime Minister for a record number of four times. When the Liberals came to power in 1868 he became Prime Minister for the first time. During his term of office he disestablished the Irish Church and passed the Irish Land Bill and Education Act (1870). The Liberals were defeated by the Conservatives in 1874, but in 1880 Disraeli in turn was removed from office. Gladstone’ s second administration was not a success and when his Irish Home Rule Bill was defeated twice he resigned. But the Conservatives were also defeated within the year and Gladstone came back to power. Again he was defeated on the Irish Home Rule Bill and this time he spent six years in opposition. In 1892 the 83 year old Gladstone, now known as the Grand Old Man of British Politics once more became Prime Minister. His first act was to bring in the Irish Home Rule Bill yet again, but once more it was defeated and he retired. During his long career in politics he refused all titles and honours and died as he had lived, just Mr. Gladstone. The ILN brought out two special numbers The first one was issued at the end of May 1898 and was entitled 'William Ewart Gladstone: The History of his Life'
(Appendix List no. 34). This full illustrated appreciation, written by H W. Massingham, examines his personal life and political career in great detail. The front cover in purple and black shows 5 portraits of Gladstone: as member for Newark, 1832; an early portrait by Lawrence; as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1853; in his third premiership, 1886, and as Prime Minister for the fourth time, 1892. The background is one of curly stylized tendrils in purple. The issue consists of 38 pages; measure 30 x 42 cm and was priced at half crown.
On June 4th a double number of the weekly issue was published (number 3085 vol 112 pages 801-848; measuring 30 x 42 cm and priced at one shilling) to commemorate Gladstone’ s funeral which had taken place on May 28th. (Appendix List no. 35). Iillustrates the last journey from his home in Hawarden in North Wales to London, the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall, the midnight scene beside the bier, the funeral in Westminster Abbey as well as other incidents connected with the solemn ceremony. The cover is the normal. advertising wrapper but printed in black. The top fifth of the cover has the words ‘The Funeral of Mr. Gladstone’
flanked by Gladstone’s motto ‘Fide et Virtute’ on one side and a circular engraving of Westminster Abbey on the other. next page >>