Back to books and characters

Omnium, Duke Of

As Plantagenet Palliser, he was a hard-working member of the House of Commons, primarily interested in decimal coinage. By temperament and habit the polar opposite of the old Duke, avoiding society, and deploring the ostentatious display of his wealth so dearly loved by his Duchess. He served under Mr. Gresham and Mr. Mildmay as Chancellor of the Exchequer until the death of the old Duke sent him into the House of Lords, when, to remain in the Cabinet, he became President of the Board of Trade, and later Prime Minister. After the death of the Duchess he struggled with the financial and matrimonial affairs of his three children, and when their careers were established, returned to public service as President of the Council.

"He was a tall thin man ...with nothing in his appearance that was remarkable. It was a face that you might see and forget ...[but] showing intellect in the forehead, and much character in the mouth. The eyes too, though not to be called bright, had always something to say for themselves, looking as though they had real meaning.... He was horn in the purple, noble himself, and heir to the highest rank as well as one of the greatest fortunes in the country ... and yet he devoted himself to work with the grinding energy of a young penniless barrister labouring for a penniless wife, and did so without any motive more selfish than that of being counted in the roll of the public servants of England" - Can You Forgive Her?