On the same day Lord John Russell, without announcing his intention to his colleagues, resigned his office as president of the council sooner than attempt the defence of the government.
Gladstone once said of himself and his Peelite colleagues, during the period of political isolation, that they were like roving icebergs on which men could not land with safety, but with which ships might come into perilous collision.
But he and his colleagues were now, in Disraelitish phrase, " exhausted volcanoes."
Several of his former colleagues declined to join him, on the ground of their absolute hostility to the policy of Home Rule; others joined on the express understanding that they were only pledged to consider the policy, and did not fetter their further liberty of action.
In 1837, on the 18th of November, along with six of his colleagues he signed a formal protest against the action of King Ernst August (duke of Cumberland) in abolishing the liberal constitution of 1833, which had been granted to the Hanoverians by his predecessor William IV.