cabinet (n.)

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

“1540s, “secret storehouse, treasure chamber; case for valuables,” from Middle French cabinet “small room” (16c.), diminutive of Old French cabane “cabin” (see cabin); perhaps influenced by (or rather, from) Italian gabbinetto, diminutive of gabbia, from Latin cavea “stall, stoop, cage, den for animals” (see cave (n.)).

Meaning “case for safe-keeping” (of papers, liquor, etc.) is from 1540s, gradually shading to mean a piece of furniture that does this. Sense of “private room where advisers meet” (c. 1600) led to modern political meaning “an executive council” (1640s); perhaps originally short for cabinet council (1620s); compare board (n.1) in its evolution from place where some group meets to the word for the group that meets there. From 1670s also “building or part of a building set aside for the conservation and study of natural specimens, art, antiquities, etc.”

From the website Great British Puddings:

Cabinet Pudding

 A pudding coming in many versions and sometimes under different names – but originating in France where it’s called ‘Poudin a la chanceliere’. Usually made with crystallised fruits placed in the bottom of a mould and filled with layers of sponge fingers (or macaroons) soaked in liqueur and bavarois with glace cherries, or currants and sultanas.”

From the Foods of England Project:

PM Campbell-Bannerman’s mix of policies parodied as ‘Cabinet Pudding’ – c1906″

Image: “Campbell-Bannerman, dressed in a red frock and white apron, is shown mixing a bowl of ‘Radical Programme’ in a kitchen. He offers a spoonful of the mixture to John Bull, who is raising his hand in refusal. The shelves behind Bannerman are laden with jars and packets labelled ‘Slave Grown Rice’, ‘Foreign Paupers’, ‘Candied Cries’, etc.”


“Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Liberal 1905 to 1908

Born 7 September 1836, Kelvinside House, Glasgow; Died 22 April 1908, 10 Downing Street

Dates in office: 1905 to 1908

Political party: Liberal

Major acts: Probation Act 1907: enabled courts to release offenders on probation, as well as establishing probation order and probation officers. It laid the foundations of the modern Probation Service.

Personally I am an immense believer in bed, in constantly keeping horizontal: the heart and everything else goes slower, and the whole system is refreshed.”

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was the first man to be given official use of the title ‘Prime Minister’. Known as CB, he was a firm believer in free trade, Irish Home Rule and the improvement of social conditions.

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was the son of the Lord Provost of Glasgow, and was educated at Glasgow High School and at Glasgow and Cambridge universities.

In 1868 he was elected the Liberal MP for Stirling Burghs. William Ewart Gladstone appointed him Financial Secretary at the War Office, and then Secretary of State for War in his next 2 governments. He held the position again under Lord Rosebery. Later, he became the Liberal leader, and was seen as ‘a safe pair of hands’.

The Liberals split over the Boer War, with David Lloyd George joining Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman in condemning the campaign. He himself caused a public uproar by refusing to take back his remarks about Kitchener’s “methods of barbarism” being used to win the war.

Following Arthur James Balfour’s resignation in 1905, Edward VII invited Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, as leader of the next largest party, to form a government. He accepted the King’s offer.

His government became known for being strong and efficient, and he skilfully ensured that it embraced all wings of the Liberal party.

The Liberals went on to win the 1906 election. Following this win, he restored independence to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State (both parts of South Africa), and clashed with the Lords over an Education Bill.

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