Date Published: 1844
Binding: No binding
9 x 7-3/8 inches. Autograph letter signed. One page. Dated 9 July 1844. Regretting he could not attend a meeting. Edward Cardwell, Viscount Cardwell was a British statesman Secretary of State for War (1868–74). Cardwell as Secretary of State for War designed the reforms that Gladstone supported in the name of efficiency and democracy. In 1868 he abolished flogging, raising the private soldier status to more like an honorable career. In 1870 Cardwell abolished "bounty money" for recruits, discharged known bad characters from the ranks. He pulled 20,000 soldiers out of self-governing colonies, like Canada, which learned they had to help defend themselves. The most radical change, and one that required Gladstone's political muscle, was to abolish the system of officers obtaining commissions and promotions by purchase, rather than by merit. The system meant that the rich landholding families controlled all the middle and senior ranks in the army. Promotion depended on the family's wealth, not the officer's talents, and the middle class was shut out almost completely.