Norman Gash

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Norman Gash CBE, FBA, FRSL, FRSE, FRHistS (16 January 1912, Meerut, British Raj – 1 May 2009, Somerset) was a British historian, notable for a two volume biography of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel.

Educated at Reading School and St John's College, Oxford, he was Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews from 1955–80 and specialised in the 19th Century.

Biography of Sir Robert Peel

The first volume of Gash's biography of Sir Robert Peel (Mr Secretary Peel 1961) followed his life up until 1830, including his successful period at the Home Office in the 1820s and up as far as Catholic Emancipation. The second volume (Sir Robert Peel 1972) covered his opposition to the Great Reform Act and his tenures as Prime Minister from 1834-5 and 1841-6. Gash argued that Peel's reforms were paramount in ending the "hungry forties" and bringing about Victorian prosperity. Though Gash's interpretations of Peel have been challenged in recent decades, by historians including Boyd Hilton, this work remains the definitive Peel biography.


  • Mr Secretary Peel (1961)
  • Reaction and Reconstruction in English Politics 1832-52 (1965)
  • Age of Peel (1968)
  • Politics in the Age of Peel (1971)
  • Sir Robert Peel (1972)
  • Gash: Aristocracy People: Britain 1815-65 (1980)
  • Lord Liverpool - the Life and Political Career of Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl Liverpool (1985)
  • Pillars of Government and Other Essays on State and Society, 1770-1880 (1986)
  • Wellington: Studies in the Political and Military Career of the First Duke of Wellington (1990)
  • Wellington Anecdotes (1992)
  • Robert Surtees and Early Victorian Society (1993)

External links

  • Obituary: Norman Gash, Daily Telegraph, 17 May 2009
  • Links to biographical memoirs of fellows of the British Academy, including Norman Gash [1]