Douglas Hurd, 17 March 1988
Bristol in the hands of the mob for three days, the Mansion House and three prisons sacked, rioters killed in Derby, Nottingham Castle burned to the ground – that was the news from England in the summer of 1832. We should not be beguiled by the calm portraits of Sir Robert Peel or his heavy, measured prose. He led his party through times much more violent than our own. During a time of tumultuous social change he fundamentally changed its direction.