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IN SEARCH OF A LIBERAL FOREIGN POLICY IN MID-VICTORIAN BRITAIN: CARNARVON, CLARENDON, AND GLADSTONE ON THE DILESSI MURDERS EPISODE OF 1870.

ON 26 APRIL 1870, the Earl of Kimberley (1826-1902) recorded in his diary an episode of high tension in the ranks of the Liberal government of which he himself was a member. The entry reads:
Heard the sad news of the murder of Vyner, Herbert, Lloyd and Boyl by
Greek brigands. De Grey is much hurt (and no wonder) at the
conversation he has had with Gladstone. Proh pudor! Took up the
cudgels for the miserable Greek government. This is to be Philhellene
with a vengeance. (1)


The occasion of the tension was the response of the British government to the Dilessi murders. On 11 April 1870, a group of British travellers accompanied by an English solicitor residing in Greece, his wife and child, and the secretaries of the British and Italian Legations were captured by brigands during their return from an excursion to the plain of Marathon. (2) The brigands soon released the women, the child, and Lord Muncaster in order to make the necessary arrangements for ransoming the captives. The negotiations with the brigands were trammelled by their additional demand of an amnesty, which the Greek government steadily refused to grant as being in opposition to the provisions of the constitution. The government dispatched a military force to surround the brigands and prevent them from taking their captives out of Attica. On 21 April 1870, the brigands and the troops clashed near the village of Dilessi and the fleeing brigands murdered their captives. (3) The news reached England on 25 April and provoked an immediate reaction, which lasted, with fading intensity, until the end of May.

The impact of the Dilessi murders both on mid-Victorian Britain and on the Greek kingdom have long been recognized and studied. Romilly Jenkins's The Dilessi Murders, first published in 1961, presents a detailed study on the event, with a minute examination of the capture, the negotiations, and the enquiry that followed the murders. (4) In giving an account of the British public's reaction, Jenkins has argued that "the whole nation, press and public, Whig and Tory, seemed to have gone mad with rage and lust for revenge," while his remarks on the meaning of the episode for British foreign policy are comparatively few and entirely focused on the comparison between the Liberal prime ministers Lord Palmerston (1784-1865) and William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98): "England under Gladstone was not what she had been under Palmerston." (5) More recently, the editor of the journal that Muncaster, one of the captives, kept, has reiterated the same observations as to British reactions; the press "mount an almost hysterical attack on Greece... old prejudices were fanned, and the entire Greek race was declared uncivilised and inferior, violent, idle, deceitful and morally degenerate." (6) Tzanelli, on the other hand, in a differently orientated account of the episode, has stressed "the implications of brigandage for nineteenth century questions of Greek identity," focusing her attention on "pair of opposites... namely Greece versus Turkey [sic]... civilization and lack of civilization, Greek society and Vlach/Albanians." (7) However, only in a passing reference to the incident by Parry, when dealing with Gladstone's intention "to strike a different note to Palmerston," is the reaction to the Dilessi murders examined as an integral part of a wider framework of ideas and attitudes towards foreign policy and national existence in mid-Victorian Britain. (8)

By adopting a new approach to the Dilessi murders the study of the issue can communicate with two other fields of historical inquiry, the study of Victorian ideas and, especially, the politics of foreign policy in nineteenth-century Britain. As David Brown has argued, it is the current historiographical trend "to seek to place foreign policy in a much broader context... to regard it as illuminating domestic political situations as much (if not more) than external ones." (9) At the outset of the 1870s, the question of the purposes and values that British foreign policy should assert was politically important primarily for the Liberals, who were in power. Indeed, Jonathan Parry has identified the years 1870-1 as the critical time when "the authority of the [Liberal] government was destroyed," as "Europe and indeed the world looked a more threatening place, and the government seemed too weak in defending Britain's interests and values." (10)

An inquiry into British reactions to the Dilessi murders episode, which emerged in the political agenda in 1870, is illuminating for the study of the relation between ideological developments, party politics, and foreign policy in mid-Victorian Britain. The murders of three British subjects abroad raised the question of the government's response to the incident, the form of redress that Britain was entitled to seek, and the means the government ought to employ in order to obtain it. The debate in parliament and the press departed, however, from the particular facts of the Dilessi case to become an investigation into the foreign policy of Britain in the past and its principles during Gladstone's ministry. Therefore, the justification of policies implemented and the rationalization of proposals made during the crisis acquire greater significance than the action and the recommendations themselves. Indeed, by focusing on the rationalization behind the "rage and lust for revenge," the "anti-Hellenic storm" in 1870 can be better explained and the assumptions about its singular and "hysterical" character seriously challenged.

In fact, the political and public reaction to the Dilessi murders is ideal for the study of the on-going debates about the role of Britain in the world in the 1870s. On the one hand, the crisis broke out in the middle of the decade from the death of Palmerston in 1865 to Gladstone's active involvement in the Eastern Question in 1876; within that span, the certainties of Palmerstonian handling of foreign policy were replaced by the articulation of a new creed in Liberal policies abroad. On the other hand, the Dilessi murders issue called forth comments and proposals from a diverse range of opinion, from the Whigs and the Radicals to the Conservative and Liberal contenders for Palmerston's legacy and from Gladstone himself. In fact, as they happened during a Liberal government, the case of Britain's stand on the Dilessi murders became controversial more within the ranks of Liberalism than between the Liberal government and Conservative opposition.

Therefore, the overall goal of this article is to contribute to the study of the impact of European events on nineteenth-century British policy and politics by focusing on the diverse approaches primarily within the Liberal party to the Dilessi problem in 1870. I also hope that this article, with its emphasis on the interdependence of foreign policy and domestic party politics, will provide a useful background to students of Liberal attitudes during the Great Eastern Crisis in the second half of the 1870s.

Acquitting these tasks involves a two-fold process. The first step consists in presenting and evaluating the immediate reactions to the episode in Britain. Secondly, the greater part of the article describes in detail the Palmerstonian, Whig, Cobdenite, and Gladstonian proposals for the conduct of foreign policy through the reading of the Dilessi problem and the proposals put forward in press and parliament for Britain's course of action towards Greece.

A year after the international settlement of the Cretan question, which had given rise to a comparatively constant interest in Greek affairs between 1866 and 1869, a tragic incident in the environs of Athens drew British attention to the Greek kingdom. (11) On 11 April 1870, a small group of British travelers and British residents of the Greek capital visited the site of the Battle of Marathon and were captured by brigands in its environs. On 16 April, the Conservative Earl of Carnarvon (1831-90), cousin of the captured secretary of the Legation, wrote to the foreign minister, the Earl of Clarendon (1800-70), on the responsibility of the Greek government for the event and its liability for the repayment of the ransom after the release of the prisoners. (12) In an equally confident mood, the press, while castigating "a State which makes loud pretensions to civilisation... [but] cannot protect the persons and the properties either of its own subjects or of the strangers within its gates," dealt lightly with the adventure of the captives. (13) However, their optimism as well as the confidence of the Foreign Office, the captives' relatives, and the press in their safe release was soon defeated by the tragic turn of events in Greece.

On 26 April, Queen Victoria, "deeply grieved at the terrible Greek tragedy," questioned Gladstone on his intentions, putting forward her own conclusion: "Clearly the Greek Govt are entirely answerable for what has occurred & ought to make some reparation." (14) The cabinet discussed the international and domestic implications of the affair four times in the period from April to June 1870. (15) Clarendon, who was to die when the crisis finally subsided, described vividly how "the public feeling is rising rather than calming down respecting the brigandage," "the excitement about the recent massacre is still great," and his own personal "great anxiety & trouble" as "our angry public wish for stringent measures." (16) Newspapers were almost unanimous in describing a state of grief and indignation that had seized the public. The assessment of the public interest in the affair ranged from the Morning Advertiser's early comment that "the capture and massacre of the English party... continues the all-engrossing subject of attention" to the Spectator's observation that "the murder... has thrown the British public into a fever of indignation." (17)

The high social rank of the captives accounts to some extent for the interest shown in the case in political circles and high society and in the press. Muncaster and his wife, the survivors of the adventure in Greece, found themselves compelled to recount all they had been through in a number of social commitments, including a two-day visit to Windsor Castle. (18) While Muncaster was still in Greece, his brother-in-law, Edgar Drummond, the head of the bank of Drummond and Company, issued anonymously a statement in which the Greek government was held "wholly and solely accountable to the English people" for the massacre. (19) Carnarvon, cousin of the murdered Edward Herbert, had been in contact with Clarendon since the beginning of the crisis and pressed upon the Foreign Secretary his own convictions about the Greek authorities' responsibility for the fatal outcome of the negotiations with the brigands; he implicitly demanded strong action by asking Clarendon "what measures of reparation you will be disposed to exact for the gross outrage which by their want of faith the Greek Govt have put upon us in our public relations." (20) Lastly, the Earl de Grey and Ripon (1827-1909), brother-in-law of another victim, Frederick Vyner, and a member of the government, displayed great interest in establishing the facts of the case, though he remained silent in Parliament. (21) Undoubtedly, the connections of the Marathon travelers ensured their case came to the attention of the individuals in charge of conducting foreign policy, and was discussed in the institutions of political debate and the press.

In addition, the very nature of the crime can explain the appeal of the Dilessi murders to a wider public. "The supply of a miscellaneous collection of dramas, crimes, and catastrophes... formed an important part of the mid-Victorian newspaper business," especially the popular Sunday press. (22) In the case of the 1870 incident, the exotic element gave an added fascination to the scene of the crime. Both the respectable Illustrated London News and its cheaper contemporary, the Penny Illustrated Paper, published illustrations of "the massacre of Englishmen by Greek brigands," in which the ferocious-looking brigands were depicted in the national costume, holding their long swords with their victims lying on the ground. (23)

While family connections and the nature of the crime can partly explain the attitude of individuals and the appeal of the case to the public, they are of little significance for the better understanding of the arguments and proposals that emerged during the public debate about the murders. That becomes apparent if we consider the cases of three of the protagonists of the 1870 crisis, Clarendon, Carnarvon, and Gladstone.

Suggestions made in Parliament and, mainly, published in the press regarding Britain's response to the Dilessi murders affair should be considered as reflections of a wider debate on Britain's foreign policy, in which the name and practices of Lord Palmerston were constantly recalled. The process of claiming the legacy of Palmerston in the field of foreign affairs by a portion of the Liberals and the Conservatives was well under way by 1870; the late prime minister was seen to have pursued "English" policies, though his "commitment to the principles of freedom and constitutionalism for Europe" was rather overlooked in favor of the implications of these principles, "an English, or British, superiority over European neighbours." (24) Carnarvon in parliament and the majority of the writers in the press confronted the Greek question as an indication of Britain's decline as a Great Power and presented the reaction of the government as a manifestation of an alleged aversion to Palmerstonian, understood as "spirited," policy. Foreign policy seemed throughout 1870 a fertile field for attacking Gladstone's ministry, and ready allegations as to its Liberal-Radical composition served this aim.

The attempted transition from the specific case of the British attitude towards the Greek kingdom in 1870 to the overall conduct of foreign policy was evident in the speech of Carnarvon regarding the incident in the House of Lords. Of course, his motives in addressing the question were in part personal, for it involved the death of his cousin, Edward Herbert. (25) When Carnarvon rose to speak in the House of Lords on 23 May 1870, he scrutinized the available evidence, mainly provided by British Ambassador Edward Erskine (1817-1883)'s dispatches from Athens, and concluded that on behalf of the Greek authorities "there must either have been the grossest mismanagement, or--though I almost shrink from saying it--there must have been criminal intention"; alluding to his experience in colonial affairs, which made him aware of the "merits or defects an Eastern people may have," he then went on to accuse the Greek authorities of deciding to attack the brigands in order to "recover their reputation" and "avoid the payment of money under any circumstances" without regard for the safety of the captives. (26)

Finally, reaching the point of the British government's future task, Carnarvon did not prescribe any specific policy but endeavored to lay down general principles that ought to guide British foreign policy. He complained that the "doctrine of non-intervention" had restricted the British diplomats' freedom of action, compromised the safety of British subjects abroad, and sent the wrong message to Britain's rivals:
Our enemies sometimes tell us that the old fire of the English
character has burnt out like straw, and that a nation whose acts and
words has now passed into mere wind and tongue, and counts for
absolutely nothing but a second-rate Power. ...We have talked so much
of non-intervention that we have deceived ourselves and a good many
other nations.... Now, if England chooses to proclaim herself to the
world as a second-rate Power she must take the consequences. She must
understand that all over the globe she will be taken at her word, and
set down at the value at which she estimates herself. (27)


Carnarvon was no stranger to the rhetoric of world status and national pride, which he had previously used in debates and questions on Gladstonian foreign and colonial policy. (28) He chose to close his speech with an emotional finale: "... what I wish is that the world should know that English life-blood is not to be poured out like dirty water into the kennel." (29) However, the Conservative leadership in both Houses did not try to exploit the opportunity for an attack against the government's foreign policy, despite their leader Disraeli's known "search for a patriotic political agenda [that] dominated his career." (30)

In the House of Commons, Sir Henry Bulwer (1801-72) tried to elaborate on the meaning of a "manly," "English" foreign policy, which he equated with the conduct of foreign affairs under Palmerston. Bulwer was certainly entitled to claim the legacy of Palmerston; when, in 1847, then British envoy Bulwer was expelled from Spain "on account of his meddling in the internal affairs of that country," Palmerston tried to cover up the reasons of his dismissal; Bulwer subsequently became the author of the official Life of his patron. (31) In his most lengthy contribution to the parliamentary debate on the Dilessi murders, in May 1870, Bulwer blamed the Greek government for "the tale of treachery and blood which is to be found in the Papers before us" and deduced from the recent tragedy that the political institutions of the Greek kingdom had degenerated into "a complicated machinery of intrigue and plunder." (32) However, Bulwer's analysis differed from Carnarvon's exposition of an abstract consideration of Britain's position as a Great Power. Bulwer thought that it was Britain's duty to intervene in the internal affairs of the kingdom and remedy the faults of its political system. Britain, which created Greece and "undertook its guardianship," ought to establish in that country, in "concert with its Allies,... a Government capable of satisfying the ordinary requirements of a civilised state." (33)

The hint of Carnarvon about the foreign policy of the Liberal government and Bulwer's proposals for openly meddling in Greek politics corresponded to a much more outspoken criticism of the "non-intervention doctrine" and bold suggestions about the immediate reaction to the Dilessi murders in the press. The debate in newspapers' columns was more or less conducted along party lines, with the Conservative press exploiting the situation to attack the government in a manner that Conservative MPs abstained from employing in parliament. However, the tendency to generalize transformed the debate into a reappraisal of British foreign policy, in which the rhetoric of "pride" and "honour" were prominent.

Although the golden age of Britain's power and prestige was associated with the name of Palmerston and the newspapers' invocation of Palmerstonian orthodoxy in the field of foreign relations intimated the need for "vigorous" measures against Greece in 1870, unanimity was lacking as to their nature and extent. In the process of idealizing Palmerston's era, the legacy of the 1850 Don Pacifico affair was recalled, not his more circumspect handling of international crises in the early 1860s, which was "pragmatic." (34) The Daily Telegraph pinpointed the two main elements in "Lord PALMERSTON'S idea of the modern 'Civis Romanus'," which created an "essentially sound" feeling of security among British subjects abroad, and reflected the accompanying strengthening of Britain's position in the international scene, even if the "civis Romanus" principle was "merely a compact for mutual assurance, and an expression of the resolve to hold our rank in the family of nations." (35) The Times and the Morning Post plainly advocated the military occupation of Greece, with the former confining the course of action of "three or four regiments, under an efficient officer, such as our Indian army... rears" to making "the tracks of Attica as safe as the high roads of England," while the Morning Post set a broader objective: "firmness must be observed, and, if necessary, force must be used... for the regeneration of Greece, if it is to be effected at all." (36) The Daily Telegraph and the Standard, both being at the forefront of the "vigorous party," dismissed the plans from the outset as impracticable on account of the diplomatic difficulties that might arise. (37)

While pragmatic considerations dissuaded public writers from setting out specific measures in dealing with the Greek case, the general principles that supposedly guided the foreign policy of the Liberal government were the target of bitter criticism, on the one hand, and the subject of vindicating comments, on the other. In the Conservative press, the presence of the Radical John Bright (1811-89), "the peace-at-any-price prophet," in Gladstone's ministry provided an occasion for the cry that "the prevalence of Manchester ideas" would eventually lead to the sacrifice of the "real interests" of Britain for the sake of adhering to unworkable doctrines. (38) But the most consistent and intense fulmination against the alleged infiltration of extreme Radical ideas into the government's policy came from the Pall Mall Gazette, which regarded the Dilessi murders episode as evidence of Britain's decline as a world power. With the tacit assent of Gladstone, "the Manchester mind" undermined the foundations of Britain's prestige and power; therefore, it was only natural that "in their behaviour in the matter the Government of King George have shown no more consideration for England than they would have shown to Portugal or Mexico." (39) However, the Daily News and the London Examiner hailed Britain's restrained reaction precisely because it was held as indicative of a departure from the traditions of foreign policy. The two papers responded to their contemporaries' criticism of Gladstone's policy invoking a different set of principles, the law of right over the law of might, and Britain's duties as the defender and peaceful promoter of political liberty abroad: "Surely we have come to a strange pass when rigid adherence to a constitutional principle is denounced by Englishmen as pedantry and wicked weakness." (40)

At the same time in the press and within the Liberal government what Parry has called "Whig moralistic interventionism" produced a second line of argumentation in the British response to the Dilessi murders, one fittingly personified by Lord Clarendon, in his last term as foreign minister. (41)

In Gladstone's government, Clarendon represented the "old Whigs," described as "a bitter Whig," whose "distrust and fear both of the political nation and the un-enfranchised majority constantly distorted his vision of domestic politics." (42) Especially after the 1867 Reform Act, Whigs in the Liberal party regarded with uneasiness the prospect of further "democratization" of the political system in Britain, which "threatened traditional governing principles" and left the system defenseless at the hands of demagogues and agitators. (43) Clarendon's readiness to accept unchallenged the critical comments on the Greek political system in 1870, his complete disrespect for the Greek constitution, and his eagerness to amend it along more "conservative" lines must be, therefore, assessed on the basis of his political convictions. A constitution that provided for manhood suffrage, vote by ballot, and a single elected chamber was "detestable" on principle; not only Greece, but "no country cd improve or even stand in its legs with universal suffrage, a single chamber, a puppet kmg...." (44)

Guided by his preconceived convictions, Clarendon flirted with the idea of assisting in the reform of the "corrupt administration" of Greece, but his plans were thwarted by his colleagues' reluctance and his own apprehension for possible international complications. It is clear that military intervention had never been an option for the British government. On 27 April, Clarendon, writing to the British ambassador at St. Petersburg, commented on the innocence of the Russian representative at the Court of St. James, Philipp von Brunnow (1797-1875), "taking what they [the newspapers] say for gospel," and added that he "tranquilized his real or pretended apprehensions & assured him that violence and injustice formed no part of the policy of H. M. G." (45) However, in May and June 1870, Clarendon contemplated various schemes for the amendment of the Greek constitution, which he considered as the main cause for the shortcomings of Greek administration. But soon Clarendon himself became increasingly concerned about the prospect of Russia "blow[ing] up an Eastern Question out of the massacre," if "under pretence of protecting the King they [the Russians] were to take side ag[ain]st us in Greece." (46) The Russian reply to Clarendon's idea verified his suspicions and showed that collective action towards the reform of the Greek political system was practically out of the question. (47) More important, Gladstone disagreed with his Foreign Secretary's interpretation of the internal condition of Greece and had no sympathy with Clarendon's successive proposals for the reform of its constitution. After Clarendon's death, at the end of June 1870, British claims were confined to a thorough investigation by the Greek authorities of the particular circumstances under which the April episode took place.

The conduct and views of Clarendon during the April 1870 crisis and the subsequent debate in Britain were founded on the avowed assumption that the state of the Greek kingdom was and had been for years anomalous. During the negotiations for the release of the captives and confronted with the Greek government's refusal to grant the amnesty demanded, Clarendon dismissed the claims to constitutional legality by alluding to violations of the Greek constitution in the past. In a meeting with the Greek diplomatic representative in London, Clarendon framed this theory, making no effort to be more specific in his accusations brought forward against the Greek authorities:
But I went on to say that I could not admit the validity of the
constitutional objection stated by the Greek Government to preclude
them from granting a pardon to the brigands. The Greek Constitution
had so frequently been violated by the Government in regard to matters
of internal administration that I could not listen to a plea founded
on it as an excuse for not relieving the British subjects whose lives
were in imminent danger (...). (48)


In dealing with the incident, Clarendon reached a conclusion on the political system of Greece and its past performance and on the state of the country without and before the supply of documents relevant to the case; in fact, he actually reversed the procedure, asking for detailed accounts that would support his own conclusions. (49)

An odd suggestion put forward through the columns of the press was the sequel to the assumption that the Greeks were unfit for liberal political institutions and self-government. The proposal that the Greek constitution should be suspended and an "administrator," vested with dictatorial powers, be appointed for the governing of the state appeared in the Times, which subsequently elaborated the plan. The most suitable person for such a role would be "an Administrator such as we have trained in the provinces of India." (50) Obviously, this individual would combine the superior knowledge and "character" of his British origin and the experience of ruling over an "inferior," "less civilized" population. His powers should be absolute in order to secure "the reorganization and the regeneration of the kingdom," but his role in Greece would also be to educate the local people, though "it may be long time before the Greeks learn all the responsibilities of self-government." (51)

The whole debate on the present and future of free political institutions in Greece was tellingly summed up in the House of Commons. Stephen Cave, Conservative MP, and "a well-established member of the West India interest," who during the recent Jamaica controversy claimed in parliament that the constitution of the island "had been a great barrier to prosperity," argued the case against representative institutions in Greece. (52) Cave, after praising the Greek people as "a brave, industrious, temperate, frugal race with great intelligence," declared that the Greek constitution was "an artificial manufacture... scarcely fitted for the people," and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Cave proposed "an absolute monarch... like an Eastern Cadi" and the organization of a police force "like the Irish constabulary." (53) In addition, the Liberal Sir Henry Bulwer, while mentioning the "brilliant qualities for which the Greek race is remarkable," put the case of its political immaturity more boldly: "I am for free institutions, wherever free institutions are practicable; but I do not pretend to say that the same institutions should be given to all nations." (54)

On the one hand, Clarendon's intention to intervene actively, though not militarily, in Greek affairs with the professed aim to ameliorate the political system in favor of the Greek people answered to Whig traditions. Clarendon clearly adhered to what David Brown has labeled "the 'European' approach... or school of foreign policy," which blended with the Whiggish fight for "a conclusive victory for English constitutional values in Europe over the forces of autocracy." (55)

However, by 1870 these views had been significantly modified. The keystone of British understanding of the Greek political system was the perception of the uniqueness of Britain's political settlement founded on an ancient constitution adapted to the needs and abilities of the "Anglo-Saxon genius." This interpretation of Britain's constitutional success had a decidedly exclusive character. Free institutions belonged to "the Anglo-Saxon heritage" and any attempt to imitate them undertaken by "races" lacking the inherent virtues of the British people was doomed to fail. (56) Cave's references to Ireland and India and the debate in the press on the merits of appointing an Indian administrator, far from being accidental, were grounded on an equation of the Greek, the Irish, and the Indian "races" and "characters" as inferior. They all shared to a degree their inability to live in freedom, to appreciate, respect, and work with liberal political institutions. In such cases, "highly centralized or authoritarian institutions" were necessary "in order to prevent violent political and social upheavals" and "it was of benefit... if improved and superior nations guided (justly and progressively, of course) the affairs of those less advanced." (57) Still, however, the implication that the Greeks were an "inferior race" did not deprive them of all claims to civilization, as Cave's and Bulwer's comments on their "character" in the House of Commons proved; but the Greeks ranked at least a class below the English people, as their inability to govern themselves manifested.

However, these reservations did not deter Sir Edward William Watkin (1819-1901) from reaffirming the fundamental conviction of radicalism in its Cobdenite version that the political and material condition of the Greeks could improve by the cultivation of those elements which had led to Britain's world supremacy, that is, industrialization and financial efficiency. In a series of letters to the press, Watkin articulated the most interesting scheme for the stamping out of brigandage through the construction of an extensive road and railway network in the Greek kingdom. Born in Manchester, the son of a cotton merchant, the young Watkin had been influenced by his acquaintance with Richard Cobden (1804-65) and John Bright. Subsequently, he had a distinguished career as railway manager and speculator and sat for many years in the House of Commons. Key for the understanding this "cosmopolitan capitalist's" stand on the Greek question seems his father's and his own relationship with Richard Cobden; in Watkin's words, he "admired and loved Mr. Cobden, as... one of his old followers." (58)

The first letter appeared, most appropriately for a business plan, in the City columns of the Times. Watkin professed to have acquired a fair knowledge of Greece as
... one of the small English party who provided the money for making
and who completed and opened in March, 1869, the first railways in
Greece. [He then drew a succinct historical sketch in order to show
the beneficial influence of road and railway construction on the
development of Britain. According to this account, roads] cured cattle
lifting and clan contests and conspiracy and abduction and highway
robbery in Scotland, Ireland and England... a cheap railway... and 500
miles of common roads [would also lead to the extirpation of
brigandage from the Greek soil]. (59)


Watkin published a second letter, this time in the Manchester Guardian, arguing that the Greek people should not be blamed for idleness or "special vices" and would undoubtedly prosper as respectable citizens in "an industrial era," which would "[m]ake it more profitable and more secure honourably to labour, and, as a rule, men will labour, and not rob or cheat." (60) Watkin's views and, in general, the notion that the reform of Greece could result solely from the country's advance in certain aspects of material civilization, however, attracted scant attention in the months after the episode of April 1870. (61)

Watkin's plans represented the notion that material progress was inevitably linked with intellectual advance and civic virtue. His interpretation of Britain's transformation through industrialism entailed confidence in the impact of "applied science and bigger business" on moral habits as well: It was a railway system, the most powerful symbol of the new era, which would eradicate the social evil of brigandage in Greece, not abstract theories and political reform from above. (62) Watkin's Cobdenite approach to economic, political, and social problems was by character inclusive and potentially "internationalist," as it was founded on an optimistic assessment of individuals and nations. (63) Watkin reflected this optimism when he argued that "men, as a rule" will work and not rob, if convinced that the former is more profitable. This "rule" applied, in Watkin's letters, to the Greek people, too, and, therefore, could guarantee the national progress of the kingdom, if only the necessary capital and know-how were provided from abroad. Britain's foreign policy, then, must be restricted to the provision to Greece of the example and the means for improving the material and, consequently, the political and moral condition of the kingdom and the people.

The personal stand of William Gladstone on the Dilessi murders crisis, attributed to various reasons, has been regarded as instrumental in the adoption of a moderate policy contrary to the violent demands of the public. Jenkins, in The Dilessi Murders, has represented Gladstone as "the most important" of the exceptions to the "nearly unanimous... voice of the nation" that called for the heavy punishment of Greece. (64) The prime minister's disapproval of "interference in the affairs of another nation" and of "the coercion of the weak by the strong," his idolization of democratic institutions, his classical education, and the possibility of "bloodshed in an unjust cause" are cited, though without any references to Gladstone's speeches and correspondence during the crisis, as the reasons that produced his moderate and decisive for Britain's policy attitude. (65)

Such a heavy emphasis on Gladstone's role in averting Britain's direct intervention into Greece does not accurately correspond to the facts of the case and, furthermore, tends to disguise important elements of his reaction. As we have already seen, military action against the Greek kingdom was never a serious option for the government, as Clarendon stressed in the aftermath of the murders. In parliament, Bulwer remained isolated in his calls for meddling with the Greek political system, while the Conservative Party did not exert any pressure at all on the government in relation to the course of policy it should follow in the Greek question. In the press, the slating of the Greek government and the strong expressions against the foreign policy of the Liberal ministry were elaborated into suggestions for British intervention into the internal affairs of the Greek kingdom, chiefly, in the Times and the Morning Post, while other newspapers proved reluctant to commit themselves to specific proposals. Therefore, it seems legitimate to argue that Gladstone dealt with the Greek question in 1870 not in an exceptional way and against the "voice of the nation" but "motivated by cautious pragmatism," which characterized in general the actual conduct of foreign policy while he remained in office. (66)

However, for his critics in the press and even for some of his colleagues in government, Gladstone's philhellenism, understood as affection to everything Hellenic including the modern kingdom and its people, acquired the status of an undisputed truth. In December 1868, Clarendon, who had just returned to the Foreign Office and was confronted with the Cretan problem, observed that the change of government in Britain raised the hopes of the Greeks, who "as a last resource are now relying on the philhellenism of Gladstone." (67) As Gladstone's philhellenism was regarded as self-evident no efforts were made in 1870 to account for his public comments on Greece beyond the vague allusions to his literary and religious pursuits.

Gladstone addressed the House of Commons twice on the April affair and both his speeches were structured around the distinction between a small number of "corrupt" brigands and officials and the Greek people at large as well as the defence of constitutional institutions. In his first speech, in May 1870, Gladstone did not rule out the possibility of Greek politicians conniving with the brigands, which was the main subject of discussion in the press, but stressed the practical difficulties in establishing the facts. In August 1870, he accused the Greek government of not fully cooperating with the British representatives who went to Athens to be present during the inquiries. (68) But while Gladstone readily criticized the political establishment in the Greek kingdom, though in a much more restrained manner than the press did, he went on to accuse "the Turkish domination" and its corrupting influence on the leading classes in Greek society:
... the Turkish domination, which so long subsisted there [in Greece],
erased and effaced from Greek society all the natural influences of
superior intelligence, education, rank, descent, and property, and
left little but poverty on the face of the land. (69)


Gladstone's analysis differed fundamentally from the overwhelming majority of the comments on Greece during the Dilessi murders crisis in the assessment of the "character" and virtues of the Greek people. Later, Gladstone passed strictures on virtually the whole of the press, observing that "there has been great precipitancy [sic] on the part of many persons in charging to the nation that which is due to a comparatively few." (70)

With the Greek people vindicated and the flaws in their leaders' characters imputed to Turkish misrule before 1830, Gladstone lectured his audience about the beneficial effects of "popular institutions," especially when considerable power was given to the "popular" element. For Gladstone, the Greek people were fit for constitutional government, which by its own merits could remedy the problems of the Greek kingdom, while the suggestion that Britain, "which has peculiar obligations in respect of freedom in the face of Europe and the world," could take the initiative, or any part at all, in curtailing liberal political institutions abroad needed "the most grave consideration" among its instigators. (71) He spoke of a virtuous people led by an incompetent political elite. As Gladstone concluded: "It is in the upper, and not in the lower, classes that the seat of the principal vice is to be found." (72)

Moreover, Gladstone overtly objected to Clarendon's various plans for the amendment of the Greek constitution in favor of the royal prerogative. With the same firmness and conviction he displayed in parliament, Gladstone rejected the notion that the constitutional system of Greece had led to the kingdom's misgovernment: "For my own part I have not yet arrived at the belief that Brigandage in Greece has been owing to the free institutions of the country." (73) Gladstone even recalled his personal impressions from a visit to Athens to contest Clarendon's verdict that brigandage in Greece resulted from the vices of the Greeks, who kept under control the government of the country through the "democratic" provisions of the constitution of 1864. (74) What seemed inherently wrong in Clarendon's suggestions, according to Gladstone, were the efforts of the former to increase royal power at the expense of the people. Commenting on Clarendon's dispatches to Paris, Gladstone remarked that "there is an equivocal use of the phrase 'strengthen the king of Greece'," which the French government would like to interpret as meaning "to put more political power into his hands by curtailing the power of the people"; the Foreign Secretary was in danger "of being understood to mean that this kind of strengthening is desirable were it practicable." (75)

It is a tempting hypothesis to connect Gladstone's observations on the Greek polity with the gradual development of his political ideology. Parry has described how Gladstone's rise in the Liberal party in the 1860s went along with "his invocation of the moral worth of the 'people'," while his scepticism over the patriotism of the ruling classes developed in the 1870s and 1880s. (76) Gladstone's "correspondence rivalry" with Clarendon on the right equilibrium between royal and popular power in the provisions of the Greek constitution adds another interesting element to the case. Gladstone's convictions in reference to domestic politics may have contributed to his defence of "popular institutions" in Greece.

However, I argue that Gladstone's attitude during the Dilessi murders affair can be better explained in association with Liberal ideas on continental nationalities. Gladstone's lucid exposition of his belief in the vitality of constitutionalism abroad and the fitness of the Greek people for adopting liberal institutions sounded singularly optimistic, awkward statements that in 1870 were opposed to the increasingly prevalent assumptions on the transplantation of British institutions to other countries. What distinguished Gladstone's views on Greece from his contemporaries' opinion was not their novelty but, in fact, their "out-of-date" character. The strong conviction that British political institutions were exportable and continental states would eventually imitate and emulate them marked Liberalism in the age of Palmerston. (77) Gladstone's advocacy of "free institutions" abroad lacked the coercive dimension of Palmerston's version: "[T]his was clearly an attempt to strike a different note from Palmerston on Don Pacifico." (78) Gladstone's emphasis on the role of the people in the success of constitutional government, at home and abroad, constituted a major departure from the Whiggish belief in the aristocratic qualities of the rulers as a prerequisite for political liberty. However, Gladstone's arguments during the crisis of 1870 revealed the same confidence in the beneficial character of the British political example, the fitness of a European people, such as the Greeks, for self-government, and the assumption that Britain ought to protect constitutional government from the schemes of the absolutist Powers, France and Russia; these views had already given their place to a more exclusive, often racially based, evaluation of the nature and requirements of British political institutions, according to which an advanced level of political virtue was the precondition and not the outcome of representative government.

Is the episode of 1870 the missing link between Gladstone's "lukewarm enthusiasm in the 1860s" in relation to Greek affairs and his supposed conversion to the Greek cause by 1878, when "he was finally ready to take a markedly Hellenic line on the Near Eastern question?" (79) Gladstone's relation with the Greek kingdom has suffered much from the misleading connotations assigned to his philhellenism: His initiatives in regard to Greek nationality are often directly linked to his religious and cultural leanings. (80) Speculations about the motives of an individual are inherently difficult and the results may seem ambivalent. In the case of Gladstone's stand on the Greek question in 1870 the effect of classical education and theological studies on his views on the Greek kingdom can of course be alleged, but references to these influences did not appear in any of his public speeches or private letters. Gladstone's favorable comments on the aptitude of the Greek people for representative government were supported not by allusions to their glorious past or their religiosity but in terms of the prime minister's overall belief in the merits of free institutions and their suitability for "young nations."

The strictures on the moderate stand of the Liberal government on the Dilessi murders question and the calls for the adoption of an "active" and interventionist policy that were published in the British press after the deaths of three British subjects in Greece were not exceptional. In fact, the April-May episode was only the first of a number of newspapers' outbursts in relation to British foreign policy in 1870-1. Several events of these years in Europe have long attracted the attention of historians, who have also studied the reactions of the press to the War crisis and its related episodes. The Russian denunciation of the Black Sea clauses of the treaty of Paris, for example, irritated the British public and led to "an extraordinary outburst of russophobia and bellicose patriotism," and the conduct of "a public debate on some fundamental aspects of British foreign policy, an inquest into 'Palmerstonianism'." (81) The ingredients of the November commentary on Britain's position in the world were strikingly similar to the themes addressed during the Dilessi murders crisis, with the Standard, the Morning Post, and the Pall Mall Gazette again leading the attack against Gladstone, whom they compared with Aberdeen and his policy before the outbreak of the Crimean war. (82) Equally, the same rhetoric on national "pride" and condemnation of Gladstonian foreign policy marked the reaction of a portion of the press to Britain's stand on the question of the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Prussia. (83) Parry's conclusion seems, therefore, well-justified: "The events of 1870-1 made Europe and indeed the world look a more threatening place, and the government seemed too weak in defending Britain's interests in the world." (84)

It becomes obvious, therefore, that the strong language and the bold proposals that appeared mainly in the press in reference to the line of action that Britain ought to pursue towards the Greek kingdom reflected contemporary criticism of British foreign policy. The theme of the declining power and prestige of Britain abroad as a result of the application of the non-intervention doctrine to foreign policy emerged in 1870 during the Dilessi murders case. The critics of the Liberal government found an opportunity to censure its foreign policy to channel presumptions which existed about the ministry's principles and individual members of the government, such as John Bright. The feverish rhetoric on "pride," "punishment," and "satisfaction" were used in the Greek case, but they pre-existed and were not specifically designed and circulated for the Dilessi murders affair.

On the other hand, comments made on the Dilessi case among members of the government, in Parliament, and in the columns of the London papers also exposed the lack of unanimity on the actual course that a "true Liberal English" foreign policy should follow in order to protect and promote Britain's ideas and interests. Palmerston's name and handling of foreign affairs, which became associated with an aggressive and "patriotic" foreign policy, were not articulated into positive and pragmatic proposals for action; in addition, the Palmerstonian legacy was not unconditionally accepted, not even in the ranks of the Liberal party. A second approach, personified by Lord Clarendon, was based upon notions of Britain as a model of freedom and prosperity "able, and in certain cases obliged, to elevate the condition of less favoured parts of the world." (85) But the Whig or "Russelite" tradition faced a serious challenge in the 1870s; the increasing identification of representative government with the historical experience of the English people deprived the Greeks of the optimistic predictions about their political development that had emerged in former debates on the prospects of the Greek kingdom. In full retreat were, in addition, the principles of "Free Trade, Peace, Goodwill among Nations"; the Cobdenite notion of Britain's role in the world as a promoter of justice and prosperity through commerce, British steamboats, "together with 'our miraculous railroads'," found expression in the letters of Watkin during the Dilessi murders crisis, which completely failed to attract public interest. (86)

Gladstone's policy during the Dilessi murders episode and his comments on the Greek kingdom and its inhabitants seemed to differ in almost all aspects from the prevailing tendency in his own government, in parliament, and in the press: Jenkins calls him therefore "a shining example of justice and courage, humanity and common sense." (87) His prescription for Greece's future relied on the older Liberal tradition, which ascribed a beneficial character to constitutionalism, thus describing its transplantation to continental Europe as both possible and desirable. Gladstone's policy on the Greek problem was probably the only practicable one but, as it happened in other cases during his first ministry, he did not try to present his course of action in an emotionally appealing way; indeed, his public praise of the Greek people appeared incompatible with the feelings of his colleagues and the London press.

Indeed, Gladstone's unfaltering interest in the Greek question and his appeal to high principles, which were, at the same time, reconcilable to British interests, in his treatment of the case reflected his continuous preoccupation with issues of foreign policy and were founded on concepts clearly articulated later on, in the course of the first Midlothian campaign. In his third Midlothian speech, delivered at West Calder on 27 November 1879, Gladstone recited six rules, which he termed "the right principles of foreign policy"; "good government at home," the preservation of peace, "to keep the Powers of Europe in union together," the avoidance of "needless and entangling engagements," "to acknowledge the equal rights of all nations" and that "the foreign policy of England should always be inspired by the love of freedom." (88) Canning, Russell, and Palmerston were quoted as illustrious examples of the application of the last principle to British conduct in Europe. (89) Two days later, at Edinburgh, Gladstone expounded his views on the future of the Balkan peninsula, dismissing the notion of the replacement of the Ottoman Empire by any great Power in favor of "those who have inhabited them for many long centuries." (90)

It is a tempting hypothesis to assume that the construction of a Liberal narrative in reference to foreign policy, with its legendary figures and its distinct and inherent "true English values," which was finally presented to the electorates as an integrated system of thought during the Midlothian campaign, had guided Gladstone's interference in the Greek question from the Dilessi murders episode. By 1879, Gladstone had realized the importance of accommodating all three traditions of foreign policy in order to attract a diverse range of British and, especially, Liberal opinion. He endeavored to restore his links with Palmerston's legacy by reinventing Britain's tradition in foreign policy which ran from Canning to Gladstone himself and to substitute his "moderate interventionism" for a Whiggish sense of moral obligation towards continental nations and Cobden's "non-interventionism." (91) In the spring of 1870, however, the blend was not ready yet. The sudden and unexpected emergence of the Greek problem provided an opportunity for the expression of uneasiness and frustration about the British government's conduct of foreign affairs.

Pandeleimon Hionidis received a PhD degree for bis thesis "The Greek Kingdom in British Eyes, 1862-1881" (University of London: London School of Economics). He has worked as 'adjunct tutor' for the Hellenic Open University. His latest publication in English is "Exporting a Prince, Ideas and Institutions to Greece, 1862-4: Mid-Victorian Perceptions of Britain's Stand and Mission in the World," Britain and the World 10: 2 (2017), 135-154.

(1.) Earl Kimberley, A Journal of Events during the Gladstone Ministry, 1868-1874, ed. Ethel Drus, London: Royal Historical Society, 1958, 13. Kimberley was Colonial Secretary from 1870 to 1874.

(2.) Lord Muncaster (Josslyn Francis, Fifth Baron Muncaster, 1834-1917) was a captain in the Rifle Brigade who fought in the Crimean War and later became Conservative MP (1872-1880, 1885-1892); with his wife Constance (d. 1917) and Frederick Grantham Vyner (1846-70), he arrived in Athens on 7 April; Edward Lloyd was employed by the company running the railway from Athens to Piraeus; Edward Henry Charles Herbert and Alberto de Boyl were the secretaries of the British and Italian Legations respectively (see Romilly Jenkins, The Dilessi Murders, London: Prion, 1998 [first edition: 1961], 26-7).

(3.) The "Dilessi murders" were also labeled in the English press the "Marathon massacre," the "Athenian massacre," or the "Greek murders."

(4.) Jenkins, Dilessi Murders.

(5.) Ibid., 88.

(6.) Crosby Stevens, ed., Ransom and Murder in Greece: Lord Muncaster's Journal, 1870, Cambridge, UK: Lutterworth, 1989, 1.

(7.) Rodanthi Tzanelli, "Haunted by the 'Enemy' Within: Brigandage, Vlachian/Albanian Greekness, Turkish 'Contamination,' and Narratives of Greek Nationhood in the Dilessi/Marathon Affair ( 1870)," journal of Modern Greek Studies 20 ( 1 ), 2002, 47-74: 53, 64.

(8.) Jonathan P. Parry, The Politics of Patriotism: English Liberalism, National Identity and Europe, 1830-1866, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2008, 255.

(9.) David Brown, Palmerston and the Politics of Foreign Policy, 1846-55, Manchester and New York: Manchester UP, 2002, 214.

(10.) Parry, Politics of Patriotism, 321.

(11.) See Kenneth Bourne, "Great Britain and the Cretan Revolt, 1866-1869," Slavonic and East European Review, December 1956, 81-7; Maureen Robson, "Lord Clarendon and the Cretan Question, 1868-69," Historical Journal 1, 1960, 40-7; Pandeleimon Hionidis, "Mid-Victorian Liberalism and Foreign Affairs: 'Cretan Atrocities' and Liberal Responses, 1866-69," The Historian 4, 2015, 717-39. In the summer of 1866, an insurrection broke out among the Greek population of the island of Crete. In Britain, the Cretan crisis was regarded, throughout its various phases, mainly in connection with the Eastern Question, a revival of which in the years 1866-69 was held as detrimental to the political interests of Britain in Europe.

(12.) Carnarvon's Diary, 14 April 1870, Carnarvon Papers, AddMS 60902, British Library, London [from here: BL]; Carnarvon to Clarendon, 16 April 1870, Clarendon Papers, MS Clar.dep.c.496 ( 1 ), Bodleian Library, Oxford [from here: BoL], ff.3-4.

(13.) Daily Telegraph, 19 April 1870, 4. Also see Times, 23 April 1870, 9.

(14.) Queen Victoria to Gladstone, 26 April 1870, in Philip Guedalla, ed., The Queen and Mr. Gladstone, vol. 1: 1845-1879, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1933, 226-7. Gladstone's reply was a cautious challenging of the Queen's "verdict," while refraining from making commitments about the government's future policy on the question (see ibid., 227).

(15.) Gladstone's Diaries, 27 April 1870, 7 May 1870, 14 May 1870, 18 June 1870, in H.C.G. Matthew, ed., The Gladstone Diaries: With Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978-80, vi-x, 283, 286, 290, 310-1.

(16.) Clarendon's letter to Lord Bloomfield, 18 May 1870, f. 11; Clarendon to Lord A. Loftus, 25 May 1870, f. 169; Clarendon to Sir A. Paget, 30 May 1870, f. 235, in Clarendon Papers, F0361/1, BoL.

(17.) Morning Advertiser, 26 April 1870,4; Spectator, 30 April 1870, 536.

(18.) Invited by the Queen, the Muncasters stayed at Windsor Castle on 14 and 15 May; see Stevens, Ransom and Murder, 55-6.

(19.) Morning Advertiser, 26 April 1870, 4; Morning Post, 26 April 1870, 5; Standard, 26 April 1870,6.

(20.) Carnarvon to Clarendon, 26 April 1870, Clarendon Papers, MS Clar.dep.c.496 (1), BoL, f. 8.

(21.) See for example his Memorandum, dated 5 July 1870, Parliamentary Papers, Correspondence respecting the capture and murder by brigands of British and Italian subjects in Greece, LXX, 1870,No.l9(p. 8,no.5)

(22.) Lucy Brown, Victorian News and Newspapers, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985,96.

(23.) See Illustrated London News, 7 May 1870, 476; Penny Illustrated Paper, 7 May 1870, 289.

(24.) David Brown, Palmerston: A Biography, New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2010, 488-9.

(25.) Carnarvon's Diary, 23 April 1870, 1 May 1870, Carnarvon Papers, AddMS 60902, BL.

(26.) Hansard (Lords), 23 May 1870, third series, CCI, cols 1170-1. Carnarvon was Secretary for the Colonies in the periods 1866-7 and 1874-8 under prime ministers Lord Derby (1799-1869) and Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), respectively. Moreover, he had traveled extensively in the East; see his "Introduction" to his father's impressions from Greece: Henry John George Herbert, the Late Earl Carnarvon, Reminiscences of Athens and the Morea: Extracts from A Journal of Travels in Greece in 1839, Edited by his Son, the Present Earl, London: J. Murray, 1869, xviii-xxix.

(27.) Hansard (Lords), 23 May 1870, third series, CCI, cols 1175-6.

(28.) For Carnarvon's stand on colonial questions in the first months of 1870, see Stanley R. Stembridge, Parliament, the Press and the Colonies, 1846-1880, London and New York: Garland Publishing, 1982, 199, 215.

(29.) Hansard (Lords), 23 May 1870, third series, CCI, col. 1177.

(30.) Parry, Politics of Patriotism, 324.

(31.) Brown, Palmerston s Biography, 308-9, 483-5. See H.L. Bulwer, The Life of Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston, London: Bentley, 1870. For the diplomatic career of Sir [William] Henry Lytton [Earle] Bulwer, see Raymond A. Jones, The British Diplomatic Service 1815-1914, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1983, 26-7, 74-81, 84-96.

(32.) Hansard, 20 May 1870, third series CCI, cols. 1149, 1151 (speech by Bulwer).

(33.) Ibid., col. 1151.

(34.) Brown, Palmerston's Biography, 450. Even during his lifetime, this change in tone and tactics on questions of foreign policy had a limited negative impact on Palmerston's public image and his appeal to a liberal-radical audience: see Anthony Taylor, "Palmerston and Radicalism," Journal of British Studies 2, 1994, 157-79: 174-9.

(35.) Daily Telegraph, 28 April 1870, 4.

(36.) Times, 26 April 1870, 9; Morning Post, 29 April 1870, 4.

(37.) Daily Telegraph, 9 May 1870, 4; Standard, 28 April 1870, 4; 30 April 1870, 4.

(38.) Standard, 24 May 1870, 4; Observer, 15 May 1870, 4. In 1870, Conservative opinion was expressed through the Globe, the Morning Post, the Observer, and the Standard; see Alan J. Lee, The Origins of the Popular Press in England, 1855-1914, London: Groom Helm, 1976, 134.

(39.) Pall Mall Gazette, 3 May 1870, 4; also: ibid., 20 May 1870, 3; ibid., 8 Nov. 1870, 10. The Pall Mall Gazette, established in 1865 and popular in the "Clubland," started as a moderate Liberal paper, but in the 1870s turned "fiercely anti-Gladstonian and jingoistic" in conformity with the sentiments of its readership; see Stephen Koss, The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain, vol. 1: Nineteenth Century, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1981, 160.

(40.) Daily News, 26 April 1870, 5 (commenting on the accusations against the Greek authorities for not granting an amnesty to the brigands in violation of constitutional law). The Daily News was the leading Liberal organ, while the Examiner flirted with radicalism; see Koss, Political Press, 95-6, 157, 190.

(41.) Parry, Politics of Patriotism, 219.

(42.) E.D. Steele, "Palmerston's Foreign Policy and Foreign Secretaries," in Keith Wilson, ed., British Foreign Secretaries and Foreign Policy: From Crimean War to First World War, London: Groom Helm, 1987, 25-84: 66.

(43.) Jonathan P. Parry, Democracy and Religion: Gladstone and the Liberal Party, 1867-1875, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 1986, 117-18.

(44.) Clarendon to Erskine, 24 December 1868, Clarendon Papers, MS Clar.dep.c.475, BoL, f.337 (private, copy); Clarendon to Gladstone, 5 June 1870, Gladstone Papers, AddMS 44134, BL, f.214.

(45.) Clarendon to Sir Andrew Buchanan, 27 April 1870, Clarendon Papers, MS Clar.dep.c.475, BoL, ff. 178-9 (private, copy).

(46.) Clarendon to Sir August Paget, 30 May 1870, Clarendon Papers, F0361/1, BoL, f.326; Clarendon to Gladstone, 18 May 1870, Gladstone Papers, AddMS 44134, BL, f.206.

(47.) Buchanan to Clarendon, 15 June 1870, Clarendon Papers, F0361/1, BoL, ff. 39-42.

(48.) Clarendon to Erskine, 21 April 1870, printed in Parliamentary Papers, Correspondence respecting the capture and murder by brigands of British and Italian Subjects in Greece, LXX, 1870, No.1 (page 2, no.2).

(49.) Hansard (Lords), 23 May 1870, third series, CCI, col. 1179, Lord Clarendon: "We know, again, that several persons in public and political positions are supposed to be connected generally with brigandage, and, possibly, with this late outbreak and horrible crime; but as yet no proof has been brought home to them."

(50.) Times, 6 May 1870, 9.

(51.) Times, 6 May 1870, 9; ibid., 24 May 1870, 9.

(52.) Catherine Hall, "The Nation Within and Without," in Catherine Hall et al., eds, Defining the Victorian Nation, Race, Gender and the British Reform Act of 1867, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2000, 179-233: 227.

(53.) Hansard, 2 August 1870, third series, CCIII, cols. 1430-1 (speech by Cave).

(54.) Hansard, 20 May 1870, third series, CCI, col. 1150 (speech by Bulwer).

(55.) Brown, Palmerston and Foreign Policy, 152; Parry, Politics of Patriotism, 221.

(56.) See L.P. Curtis, Anglo-Saxons and Celts: A Study of Anti-Irish Prejudice in Victorian England, Bridgeport, CT: New York UP, 1968, 8, 12.

(57.) Ibid., 32; Patrick O'Farrell, England and Ireland since 1800, Oxford: Oxford UP, 1975, 50. The "Indian model" was later used in dealing with another less advanced "race," the people of Egypt, after 1882, too: see Eugenio F. Biagini, "Exporting 'Western & Beneficent Institutions': Gladstone and Empire, 1880-1885," in David Bebbington and Roger Swift, eds, Gladstone: Centenary Essays, Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2000, 202-25: 216.

(58.) Sir E.W. Watkin, Alderman Cobden of Manchester. Letters and Reminiscences of Richard Cobden, London: Ward and Lock, 1891, 1. On Watkin's loyalty to Cobden and his membership to the Cobden Club, see Anthony C. Howe, Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946, Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997, 133, 137, 142 (on his work on Cobden). Watkin was involved in the building of the first railway line in Greece in 1869. Initially a Liberal MP, he became a Unionist while remaining a friend of Gladstone.

(59.) Times, 5 May 1870, 7.

(60.) Manchester Guardian, 10 May 1870, 6.

(61.) See Echo, 30 April 1870,4; Saturday Review, 30 April 1870, 559; Daily News, 6 May 1870, 5 (on Watkin's letter); Daily Telegraph, 4 June 1870, 5 (on Watkin's letter).

(62.) For a brief discussion on British views of the beneficial character of material progress see Walter E. Houghton, The Victorian Frame of Mind 1830-1870, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1957, 38-45.

(63.) On this reading of the British success, which did not disqualify other nations from a similar course, see Peter Mandler, "'Race' and 'Nation' in Mid-Victorian Thought," in S. Collini et al., eds, History, Religion, and Culture: British Intellectual History 1750-1950, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2000, 224-44: 225-30.

(64.) Jenkins, Dilessi Murders, 79-82.

(65.) Ibid.

(66.) Eugenio F. Biagini, Gladstone, London: Macmillan, 2000, 80.

(67.) Clarendon to Odo Russell, 14 December 1868, Ampthill Papers, F0918/1, National Archives, f. 2.

(68.) Hansard, 20 May 1870, third series, CCI, col. 1154 and 2 August 1870, CCIII, col. 1424.

(69.) Hansard, 20 May 1870, third series, CCI, col. 1157.

(70.) Ibid., col. 1423.

(71.) Hansard, 20 May 1870, third series, CCI, col. 1157.

(72.) Hansard, 2 August 1870, third series, CCIII, cols. 1426-7.

(73.) Gladstone to Clarendon, 23 May 1870, in Gladstone Diaries, vol. 7, 295.

(74.) Gladstone to Clarendon, 4 June 1870, Gladstone Papers, AddMS 44538, BL, f. 159.

(75.) Gladstone to Clarendon, 5 June 1870, Gladstone Papers, AddMS 44538, BL, f.1 58.

(76.) Jonathan P. Parry, The Rise and Fall of Liberal Government in Victorian Britain, New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1993, 250-3. T.A. Jenkins has set the chronological boundaries of this evolution between 1874 and 1886 as a result of Gladstone's confrontation with the Whigs (see T.A. Jenkins, Gladstone, Whiggery and the Liberal Party, 1874-1886, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988, 293).

(77.) On the Whig assumptions about the "exportability" of contemporary British institutions see Miles Taylor, The Decline of Radicalism, 1847-1860, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995, 195-6.

(78.) Parry, Politics of Patriotism, 235.

(79.) Keith A.P. Sandiford, "W.E. Gladstone and Liberal-Nationalist Movements," Albion 13, 1981,27-42:32-3.

(80.) See, for example, Sandiford, "W.E. Gladstone," 32: "As Hellenism and Christianity were the avowed foundations of Gladstonian politics, it is not surprisingly that he consistently sympathized with Greece."

(81.) W.E. Mosse, "Public Opinion and Foreign Policy: The British Public and the War-Scare of November 1870," Historical Journal 1, 1963, 38-58: 38.

(82.) Ibid., 40-1, 53.

(83.) Deryck Schreuder, "Gladstone as 'Troublemaker': Liberal Foreign Policy and the German Annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, 1870-1871," Journal of British Studies 2, 1978, 106-35: 132-4.

(84.) Parry, Politics of Patriotism, 321.

(85.) Brown, Palmerston and foreign Policy, 215-6.

(86.) Keith Robins, "Richard Cobden: the International Man," in A. Howe and S. Morgan, eds, Rethinking Nineteenth-Century Liberalism, Aldershot, 2006, 177-88: 184.

(87.) Jenkins, Dilessi Murders, 184.

(88.) W. E. Gladstone, Political Speeches in Scotland, November and December 1879, Old Woking: Leicester UP, 1971, 115-7 [first edition: 1879].

(89.) Ibid.

(90.) Speech in the Waverley Market, Edinburgh, 29 November 1879; in: Gladstone, Political Speeches, 160. Gladstone confined his remarks on Balkan states to the cases of Roumania, Servia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Eastern Roumelia as their people had "been brought out of different degrees of political servitude, and have been made virtually freemen" after the Eastern crisis of 1875-1878.

(91.) Brown, Palmerston's Biography, 463.
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