William Ewart Gladstone had been sufficiently informed of the Queen’s frame of mind to understand that not everything that General Grey would have to say to him would be gratifying. Gladstone’s first Ministry was epoch-making, as the Ministry of the great administrative reforms. More than any other Ministry of the nineteenth century it may claim the credit for sweeping aside the survivals, which had persisted with characteristic tenacity, and making way for a modern conception of the State and its functions. As Chancellor of the Exchequer in Aberdeen’s Ministry he set up a commission, in 1853, which was to inquire into the conditions of admittance to the Civil Service, and as chairman and vice-chairman of the commission he appointed his former private secretary Stafford Northcote and Macaulay’s brother-in-law, Charles Trevelyan. The Irish people was not only Catholic, as regarded the overwhelming majority, but it followed unquestioningly the spiritual guidance of the Catholic clergy.