An historic writing table used by former prime minister Earl Grey has become the newest attraction on show at Temple Newsam House, Leeds.
It is likely that he drafted his most famous piece of legislation - the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which set the blueprint for the modern democratic system in Britain - on the table. Perhaps he was drinking the distinctive blend of China tea which now bears his name, while he wrote?
The decorative rosewood table is believed to have been made by Royal furniture-makers Morel and Hughes in 1825. It was acquired from the descendants of Earl Grey with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, the Leeds Art Collections Fund and the V&A/MGC Purchase Grant Fund.
“Everyone at Temple Newsam House is absolutely delighted that we have managed to acquire this amazing piece,” said Councillor John Proctor, Leeds City Council Executive Member for Leisure. “This writing table may well have played a part in the most influential piece of legislation in our history, so to have something of that significance on show for the people of Leeds to see is fantastic.”