Historical records matching Robert Lowe, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke PC
About Robert Lowe, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke
Robert Lowe, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke PC (4 December 1811 – 27 July 1892), British and Australian statesman, was a pivotal but often forgotten figure who shaped British politics in the latter half of the 19th century. He held office under William Ewart Gladstone as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1868 and 1873 and as Home Secretary between 1873 and 1874.
Lowe is remembered for his work in education policy, his opposition to electoral reform and his contribution to modern Company Law. The Division of Lowe, a now abolished Australian electoral division located in Sydney, was named after him.
Gladstone appointed Lowe as Chancellor expecting him to hold down public spending. Public spending rose, and Gladstone pronounced Lowe "wretchedly deficient"; most historians agree. Lowe repeatedly underestimated the revenue, enabling him to resist demands for tax cuts and to reduce the national debt instead. He insisted that the tax system be fair to all classes. By his main own criterion of fairness – that the balance between direct and indirect taxation remain unchanged – he succeeded. However historians do not believe this balance is a good measure of class incidence and was by that time thoroughly archaic.