Villiers, Charles Pelham
Charles Pelham Villiers was the third son of George Villiers, fourth Earl of Clarendon.1 Villiers attended Kensington School of Thomas Wright Hill and East India College as a young boy, and then studied law at St John's College at Cambridge in 1820.2 He graduated with an MA in 1827, and was called to the bar the same year.3 Throughout his career in law, Villiers primarily addressed issues such as Poor Law and free trade.4 In 1832, he worked as Assistant Poor Law Commissioner for the Royal Commission.5 In this position, he developed a radical and left-winged political viewpoint.6
Despite being of aristocratic lineage, Villiers' family had a long-standing association with the Whig Party, and a tradition of working in the public service.7 Wolverhampton borough elected Villiers as a member of the Whig Party in 1835.8 He was a radical advocate for free trade, and strongly opposed the Corn Law throughout his entire political career.9 Villiers represented Wolverhampton for over sixty years, finally succeeding in having the Corn Law repealed in 1896.10 Throughout his career, Villiers was known as the “Father of The Free Trade”.11 Active in politics throughout his later years, he supported the Independent Labour Party and Women's Suffrage, until his death in 1898.12
Villiers wrote a character reference for James Cooper in 1858, who was seeking work in Esquimalt at the time.13 The reference is enclosed in a letter from Cooper to Lytton.14
Mentions of this person in the documents