for Sydney as the champion of popular views. The renewal of the system of convict transportation to the Australian colonies met with his determined opposition, and the most impressive portion of his chief speech on the famous protest against such proceedings is quoted in the ‘Fifty years of Australian History,’ i. 19–21, of Sir Henry Parkes, who was one of the secretaries of Lowe's election committee. His prominence in public life had for many years brought him much practice in the Law Courts, and he was one of the politicians who set on foot and contributed to a weekly paper of much influence called ‘The Atlas.’ By this means he amassed a considerable capital, which he judiciously invested in the purchase of real property at Sydney. Several years later he announced from his place in the House of Commons that he entertained strong objections to the policy which was adopted in 1850 of establishing constituent assemblies in the Australian colonies (Hansard, 12 March 1855).
Early in 1850 Lowe had determined upon leaving the colony for political life in the old country. On his return to England, he became a leader-writer in the ‘Times,’ and long after he had himself ceased to contribute to its columns, his opinions exercised great influence over the views which it advocated. At the general election of 1852 he was returned for Kidderminster, and sat for that borough until the dissolution in April 1859. His maiden speech was made on 29 Nov. 1852, when he argued with much acuteness in favour of Mr. Whiteside's bill for reforming the courts of common law (Ireland), and the favourable impression caused by his arguments on this occasion was deepened by ‘an eloquent and able speech’ on Mr. Disraeli's budget, which led Cockburn to speak of his ‘admirable logic,’ and the chancellor of the exchequer to call him ‘an accession to our debates.’ In consequence of this success he held the appointment of joint secretary of the board of control under Sir Charles Wood's presidency, from December 1852 until the close of Lord Aberdeen's coalition ministry in January 1855. It was during this period that the India act was passed, under which all writerships were thrown open to public competition, and that Macaulay, in concert with several other prominent men in public life, drew up the scheme of examination. Twice during the progress of the Oxford University bill in May and June 1854, Lowe intervened in the debates to insist on the unfortunate results within his own experience of the action of Congregation in that university. In the ministry of Lord Palmerston as first constructed (February 1855), Lowe resumed his old place at the board of control, but on its reconstitution, after the withdrawal of Sir James Graham and Mr. Gladstone, he was without office. During the next few months of unofficial life, he supported, as a private member, the public libraries bill, opposed the introduction of decimal coinage, and resisted with vehemence the measures for the remodelling of the governments of New South Wales and Victoria. After a short interval he was again called to a place in the government. From August 1855 to March 1858 he held the post of vice-president of the board of trade and paymaster-general, and on 13 Aug. 1855 he took the oath at Osborne as a privy councillor. In the session of 1856 he introduced a bill on joint-stock companies, under which all partnerships for gain or profit of more than twenty persons were to be incorporated, and his speech received great approval from the leading lawyers in the house, but the bill did not pass into law. At the dissolution of 1857, the Palmerstonian liberals of Manchester asked him to contest its representation against Bright and Milner Gibson, but he determined to remain at Kidderminster. Had he accepted the invitation, he would have been triumphantly returned, and his election for so important a constituency would have given him a seat in the cabinet. Meanwhile he became, at Kidderminster, the object of popular animosity, his appearance on the hustings provoked tumults, and he was brutally assaulted. He retired from the representation at the dissolution in April 1859, and became member for Calne through Lord Lansdowne's influence.
When Lord Palmerston was again called into office, Lowe accepted on 24 June 1859, the position of vice-president of the committee of council on education, and for some time took little part in general debate, as the work in his department, which was advancing by leaps and bounds, taxed all his energies. He contended for payment by result and for superiority of examination over inspection, always insisting that no assistance should be granted from state funds, except to schools under certificated masters. ‘Hitherto,’ he said, ‘we have been living under a system of bounties and protection, now we propose to have a little free trade.’ The advocates of the denominational system of education looked on Lowe's administration with great misgiving, and his demeanour in office provoked much criticism. He brought up to the house on 13 Feb. 1862 the revised-code regulations, and a few weeks later congratulated himself that most of his critics were agreed in the simplification of all the grants into one, and in an examination of the scholars in reading, writ-