Northcote-Trevelyan Report on Civil Service Reform

(166 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

The Northcote-Trevelyan Report on the Civil Service, submitted to Parliament in February 1854, was yet another attempt to bring to completion reforms which had been proposed by Burke and Fox in the 1780s: the ending of patronage appointments, the introduction of examinations. The Report was not debated by Parliament but led to an Order in Council being passed on 21 May 1855 which applied some of their suggestions, heavily diluted. E. Hughes remarks in his “Civil Service Reform, 1853-55”, Public Administration, Vol, 32 (1954), pp. 1-51, that Her Majesty had “grave misgivings lest compeitive examination would fill the public offices with ‘low people without the breeding or feelngs of gentlemen'”. The failure of the …

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Editors. "Northcote-Trevelyan Report on Civil Service Reform". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 February 2008
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]