Jonathan Peel

Jonathan Peel, PC (12 October 1799 – 13 February 1879) was a British soldier, Conservative politician and racehorse owner.

Jonathan Peel
Secretary of State for War
In office
26 February 1858 – 11 June 1859
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Preceded byThe Lord Panmure
Succeeded byThe Lord Herbert of Lea
In office
6 July 1866 – 8 March 1867
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Preceded byThe Marquess of Hartington
Succeeded bySir John Pakington, Bt
Personal details
Born(1799-10-12)12 October 1799
Died13 February 1879(1879-02-13) (aged 79)
Marble Hill, Twickenham, Middlesex, England, UK
Political partyConservative
SpouseLady Alice Kennedy (d. 1887)

Background and educationEdit

Peel was the fifth son of Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet, and his first wife Ellen (née Yates), and the younger brother of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet. He was educated at Rugby.[1][2]

Military careerEdit

Peel was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade as a 2nd Lieutenant in June 1815. His later steady rise through the ranks was obtained by purchase. Peel served as a lieutenant in the 71st Highlanders from 1819 to 1821 and in the Grenadier Guards from 1822 to 1825, as a Major in the 69th Foot from 1826 to 1827, as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 53rd Foot in 1827, when he was placed on half-pay. He was promoted to brevet Colonel in 1841, to Major-General in 1854 and to Lieutenant-General in 1859.

Political careerEdit

Peel's political career started when he was elected Member of Parliament for Norwich in 1826. He lost this seat in 1830 but returned to Parliament the following year as one of two representatives for Huntingdon, a seat he held until 1868.

He served under his brother as Surveyor-General of the Ordnance from 1841 to 1846 and was Secretary of State for War (with a seat in the cabinet) under the Earl of Derby between 1858 and 1859 and 1866 and 1867. In the latter office he was considered competent and successful and became very popular. However, he resigned in March 1867 in protest against the proposed electoral reforms. He had been admitted to the Privy Council in 1858.


Apart from his military and political career Peel was also an owner of racehorses, and in 1844 his horse Orlando won the Derby, after another horse, Running Rein, had been disqualified.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Lady Alice Jane Peel by James Thomson (Thompson), after Mary Green (née Byrne), 1833[3]

Peel married, on 19 March 1824, Lady Alice Jane, youngest daughter of Archibald Kennedy, first Marquis of Ailsa, by whom he had eight children, five sons and three daughters. Their second son, Edmund Yates Peel, became a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army. Their fourth son, John Peel, achieved the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Army. Their second daughter Alice married the diplomat Sir Robert Morier. Their youngest daughter, Adelaide Georgiana, married Michael Biddulph, 1st Baron Biddulph.


He died on 13 February 1879, aged 79, at his home, Marble Hill House, Twickenham, Middlesex, and was buried in Twickenham new cemetery on 19 February. His widow died in 1887.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rugby School Register, vol.1. Rugby: A J Lawrence, 1881. pp.112,305
  2. ^ "Lt.-Gen. Rt. Hon. Jonathan Peel, MP". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  3. ^ Mary Green, National Portrait Gallery


External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Norwich
With: William Smith
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Huntingdon
1831 – 1868
With: Sir Frederick Pollock, Bt 1831–1844
Thomas Baring 1844–1868
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Surveyor-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of State for War
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of State for War
Succeeded by