Ripon, Frederick John Robinson,earl of

Ripon, Frederick John Robinson,earl of

Ripon, Frederick John Robinson, 1st earl of, 1782-1859, British statesman, better known as Viscount Goderich. Entering Parliament as a Tory in 1806, he sponsored the unpopular corn law of 1815 in the House of Commons. However, as president of the Board of Trade (1818-23) and chancellor of the exchequer (1823-27), his liberal policy of tariff reduction was an important step toward free trade. In 1827 he was created Viscount Goderich and was appointed secretary for war and the colonies. On George Canning's death within the same year he became prime minister, but internal strife and his own lack of resolution wrecked his ministry in 1828. Goderich (created earl of Ripon in 1833) served as secretary for war and the colonies (1830-33) and lord privy seal (1833-34). He was president of the Board of Trade (1841-43) and president of the India board of control (1843-46) in Sir Robert Peel's second ministry. By now an opponent of the corn laws, he resigned with Peel when repeal of the laws split the Tories in 1846.

See biography by W. D. Jones (1967).

Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon PC (1 November 1782 – 28 January 1859), Frederick John Robinson until 1827, The Viscount Goderich 1827–1833, and The Earl of Ripon 1833 onwards, was a British statesman and Prime Minister (when he was known as Lord Goderich).

He was born to Thomas Robinson, 2nd Baron Grantham and his wife, Lady Mary Yorke. After studying at Harrow and St John's College, Cambridge, Robinson entered Parliament in 1806. He was made Privy Counsellor in 1812, and served in various minor positions in the government of Lord Liverpool, including joint-Paymaster of the Forces, from which position he sponsored the Corn Laws of 1815, before entering the Cabinet in 1818 as President of the Board of Trade. In 1823 Robinson succeeded Nicholas Vansittart as Chancellor of the Exchequer. While he held this position he was called "Prosperity Robinson" by the sarcastic journalist William Cobbett. William Cobbett also gave him the name "Goody Goderich" during an economic crisis in 1825.

In 1827 he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Goderich, of Nocton in the County of Lincoln, and served as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies and Leader of the House of Lords in George Canning's short-lived government. On Canning's death Goderich succeeded him as leader of a tenuous coalition of moderate Tories - also known as the Canningites and Whigs, but it only lasted a few months and did not even meet Parliament. Goderich had been an able minister but when it came to leading he was unsure and the government couldn't be run effectively as a number of Tory MPs stepped in to become the unofficial Prime Minister in an effort to help Goderich run the country. It is reported that when Goderich resigned to George IV he burst into tears and George IV had to lend Goderich a handkerchief as he didn't have one. Goderich was succeeded by the Duke of Wellington.

In 1830 Goderich moved over to the Whigs and joined Lord Grey's cabinet, again as Colonial Secretary. In 1833 he was created Earl of Ripon, and became Lord Privy Seal. But the next year he broke with the Whigs over Irish disestablishment.

He later served in Peel's second administration as President of the Board of Trade (1841–1843) and then as President of the Board of Control (1843–1846).

His son, George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon, was a noted Liberal statesman and Cabinet Minister.

The Earl of Ripon served as President of the Royal Geographical Society from 1830 to 1833, and President of the Royal Society of Literature from 1834 to 1845.

Lord Goderich's Government, September 1827 – January 1828

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