John Wilson Croker was born in Galway, Ireland, on December 10, 1780, the son of John Croker and Hester Rathbone. After attending school in Cork, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1796, and was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1802. He then spent time on the Munster circuit, where he met Daniel O'Connell. He entered Parliament as a representative for Downpatrick in 1807, and became secretary to the Admiralty in 1809, a position he held until 1830. He lost a parliamentary election in 1812, but soon reentered the House of Commons, where he represented multiple different districts until 1832. Although he was a Tory, Croker supported Catholic emancipation in Ireland and maintained close political ties with Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, and Sir Robert Peel. He was also a frequent contributor to The Quarterly Review and the editor of an updated edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson. He married Rosamund Carrington Pennell in May 1806. He died on August 10, 1857.
John Gibson Lockhart was born in Scotland on July 14, 1794, and worked as a biographer, critic, and novelist; he published his seven-volume Life of Sir Walter Scott in 1837-1838. His wife Sophia was Scott's daughter. A frequent contributor to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Lockhart became editor of The Quarterly Review in 1825. He died on November 25, 1854.
Thomas Babington Macaulay was born on October 25, 1800, and became a politician, historian, and essayist. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and afterward studied law at Lincolns Inn, London. A Whig, Macaulay served in the House of Commons as well as on the Board of Control for the East India Company. He died on December 28, 1859.
William Huskisson was born on March 11, 1770, and served as a member of Parliament and as secretary to the Treasury. In 1823, he helped to negotiate a free-trade policy as president of the Board of Trade. He was fatally injured in an accident during the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on September 15, 1830.
George Canning was born on April 11, 1770, and served as treasurer of the Navy under Prime Minister William Pitt in 1804. He held the position of prime minister for four months in 1827, until his death on August 8 of that year.
Spencer Perceval was born on November 1, 1762, and was trained as a lawyer. He entered Parliament in 1796 and succeeded the 3rd Duke of Portland as Prime Minister on October 4, 1809. He remained in office until he was assassinated in the House of Commons in 1812.
Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet , was born on April 22, 1772. He joined the Royal Navy in 1781, eventually ascending to the rank of rear admiral. He served during the Napoleonic wars and in the War of 1812, during which he commanded the burning of Washington, D.C., and was later elected to Parliament. He died on August 19, 1853.