Lord Lexden is the Conservative Party's official historian. Read more of his historical articles on his website.
A magnificent church service was held in Tamworth last Sunday under the aegis of the Peel Society to give thanks for the life and political legacy of Sir Robert Peel born two and a quarter centuries ago on February 5.
The police top brass were there in force to commemorate the founder of Britain's unique tradition of law enforcement by "the citizen in uniform". The Chief Constabulary of Staffordshire provided a timely reminder that "bobbies" were told by Sir Robert to " do their duty with every possible moderation and forbearance".
Chris Pincher, MP for Tamworth, read from the famous manifesto issued by his great predecessor in 1834. Peel pledged that Tories would always work for " the correction of proved abuses and the redress of real grievances". A year earlier he had stressed that the Party stood for " reforming every institution that really required reform".