About Jonathan Peel
Jonathan Peel (12 October 1799 – 13 February 1879) was a British soldier, Conservative politician and racehorse owner.
Background and education
Peel was the fifth son of Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet, and his first wife Ellen (née Yates), and the younger brother of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet. He was educated at Rugby.
Peel was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade as a 2nd Lieutenant in June 1815. His later steady rise through the ranks was obtained by purchase. Peel served as a lieutenant in the 71st Highlanders from 1819 to 1821 and in the Grenadier Guards from 1822 to 1825, as a Major in the 69th Foot from 1826 to 1827, as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 53rd Foot in 1827, when he was placed on half-pay. He was promoted to brevet Colonel in 1841, to Major-General in 1854 and to Lieutenant-General in 1859.
Peel's political career started when he was elected Member of Parliament for Norwich in 1826. He lost this seat in 1830 but returned to Parliament the following year as one of two representatives for Huntingdon, a seat he held until 1868. He served under his brother as Surveyor-General of the Ordnance from 1841 to 1846 and was Secretary of State for War (with a seat in the cabinet) under the Earl of Derby between 1858 and 1859 and 1866 and 1867. In the latter office he was considered competent and successful and became very popular. However, he resigned in March 1867 in protest against the proposed electoral reforms. He had been admitted to the Privy Council in 1858.
Apart from his military and political career Peel was also an owner of racehorses, and in 1844 his horse Orlando won the Derby, after another horse, Running Rein, had been disqualified.
Peel married Lady Alice Jane, daughter of Archibald Kennedy, 1st Marquess of Ailsa, in 1824. They had five sons and three daughters. His second son Edmund Yates Peel became a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army and his fourth son John Peel achieved the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Army. His second daughter Alice married the diplomat Sir Robert Morier. Peel died in February 1879, aged 79. His wife survived him by eight years and died in May 1887.