Harcourt, Sir William Vernon (b. 1827)

Harcourt, Sir William Vernon, statesman, born, a clergyman's son, at Nuneham Park, Oxfordshire; was highly distinguished at Cambridge, and in 1854 was called to the bar; was a Q.C. in 1866, and professor of International Law at Cambridge (1869-87); he won considerable repute by his articles in the Saturday Review and his “Historicus” letters to the Times, and in 1868 entered Parliament, representing Oxford in the Liberal interest; in 1873 he became Solicitor-General, and received a knighthood; he was a vigorous opponent of the Disraeli Government, and on the return of the Liberals to power in 1880 became Home Secretary; under Mr. Gladstone in 1886, and again in 1892, he held the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer; he staunchly supported Mr. Gladstone in his Home Rule policy; became leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons on Mr. Gladstone's retirement, a post which for party reasons he resigned in 1899; (b. 1827).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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