On his retirement from office in June 1846 Graham sought no honour or position, preferring to rest at Netherby. The years of work had taken their toll on his health. He had been ‘an admirable coadjutor of Peel’s, for the business of the House of Commons’, thought Charles Villiers: ‘See how these two men do their business and understand it!’ Colquhoun maintained that Peel and Graham had ‘mutual defects’, but that Graham had one ‘superiority’ in ‘his power of forecasting the future’. In August Hobhouse, Shaw-Lefevre and Labouchere made a ‘comparative estimate of the powers of endurance’ of leading politicians and placed Graham, Peel and Russell ‘very far above all competition’; Labouchére, indeed, believed that Graham’s office ‘gave him more labour than both put together’. Now Graham had no official position and little chance of a seat in the next Parliament. When in November the Prince Consort persuaded him and Lincoln to serve on a new council for the Duchy of Lancaster, there was ‘a great uproar’ among men suspecting a coalition with Russell. Graham explained his feelings while dining with Gladstone.
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- 3.Peel to the King of the Belgians, 27 Jan. 1847 (Parker, Peel, iii. 479); Graham to Sandars, 17 Sept. 1846; Torrens, op. cit., ii. 486–98. See J. B. Conacher, ‘Peel and the Peelites, 1846–50’ (English Hist. Rev., lxxiii. 288, July 1958).Google Scholar
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