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Published on Jun 15, 2012
PALMERSTON The Trent Affair in November 1861 produced a crisis. A U.S. Navy warship stopped the British steamer Trent, and seized two Confederate envoys en route to Europe. British opinion was outraged. Lord Palmerston called the action "a declared and gross insult". He demanded the release of the two diplomats, and ordered 3,000 troops to Canada. In a letter to Queen Victoria on 5 December 1861 he said, "Great Britain is in a better state than at any former time to inflict a severe blow upon and to read a lesson to the United States which will not soon be forgotten." In another letter to his Foreign Secretary the next day, he predicted war between Britain and the Union: Succeeded by The Earl Granville In office 18 April 1835 -- 2 September 1841 Prime Minister The Viscount Melbourne Sir Robert Peel, Bt Preceded by The Duke of Wellington Succeeded by The Earl of Aberdeen In office 22 November 1830 -- 15 November 1834 Prime Minister The Earl Grey The Viscount Melbourne Preceded by The Earl of Aberdeen Succeeded by The Earl Granville Personal details Born 20 October 1784 Westminster Died 18 October 1865 (aged 80) Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire Political party Whig and Liberal Alma mater University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge