University of Cambridge Chancellor election, 1847
An election for the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge was held on 25-27 February 1847, after the death of the Duke of Northumberland. Many senior figures in the university hoped that Prince Albert, the Prince Consort could be persuaded to stand and elected unopposed, but a group from St John's College approached their alumnus the Earl of Powis. The election became politicised as Powis was a noted Conservative and his opponents feared the consequences from the Whig Government if he was elected. The result was close as the large number of non-resident Members of the Senate from St John's, and Conservative supporters, backed Powis, but the Prince (who was reluctant to enter into a political contest) was elected and agreed to take up the post. The election occurred at a critical point in the history of the University when it was pressed to reform, and the Prince Consort's election allowed progress to be made.