Sir Robert Peel’s Estate Act 1883



The Prime Minister’s father, the first Sir Robert Peel, left his fortune, which approximated to about £4 billion in today’s money, in trust to his future family.

In 1871, his grandson, the third Sir Robert Peel, had run out of money to feed his race horses, which were generally slow and sold his father’s collection of Dutch and Flemish 17th century old masters to the National Gallery for £75,000 much to the horror of his sisters.

By 1883, the finances were in such a mess that a special act of parliament was needed to sort them out, The Sir Robert Peel’s Estate Act. The Society bought a copy of the act, which explains in detail the actions of the first and second baronets and the extravagance of the third. It is probably one of the most important documents that the Society has purchased, so we have published it in a booklet, so that members and interested people can see what happened.

As we all know, it ended with the tower and the rest of Drayton Manor being demolished, except for the estate offices and laundry. Earl Peel, descended from the fifth son of Sir Robert, is now Lord Chamberlain to H.M. The Queen and was recently seen leading The Queen and President Trump into the State Banquet.

The booklet is being launched at the forthcoming dinner celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Peel Society.