Arthur Wellesley Peel, 1st Viscount Peel (1829-1912), Speaker of the House of Commons
Sitter in 21 portraits
The youngest son of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, he was named after his godfather, the Duke of Wellington. Entering Parliament as an MP in 1865, he held a number of offices before being elected Speaker in 1884. Peel was considered a formidable speaker. He took office at a time of significant animosity between the two main parties and managed to maintain the dignity of the house despite these difficulties. This animosity flared up in 1893 when, during the committee stage of the second Home Rule Bill, a serious fight broke out on the floor of the House. Peel was summoned and, like 'a parent, wise as well as fond', at once restored order.