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Sir Robert Peel Memorial

Sir Robert Peel was the founder of modern policing Photo: David Ebener/DPA/Press Association Images

Next week is the 225th anniversary of the birth of Sir Robert Peel, who lived from 1788-1850 and was MP for Tamworth from 1830 until his death.

The Peel Society is honouring him today with a National Service of Commemoration at Tamworth Parish Church.

Who was Sir Robert Peel?

  • He was twice Prime Minister, twice Home Secretary and Chief Secretary for Ireland.
  • He lived in Drayton Manor, now one of the country's top theme parks.
  • He, his father and his son represented Tamworth in Parliament.
  • He is seen as the father of modern policing after founding the Metropolitan Police in 1829, and police officers are nicknamed "bobbies" in his honour.
  • He wrote a document called 'The Tamworth Manifesto' which he read to his constituents in 1834. This is seen as the world's first political party manifesto.
  • He created the modern Conservative party which he went on to split when he repealed the Corn Laws. These made cheaper food available, but put national interests above party interests.
  • He died in a riding accident in 1850, triggering spontaneous national mourning.

The memorial service will be held today at 2.30, and will be conducted by the Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd. Jonathan Gledhill.

It will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Peel Memorial Statue.