Sir Charles Dilke was born in 1843 and died in 1911. His career is one of the mysteries and tragedies of 19th-century history. In the summer of 1885 he was the youngest man in the outgoing cabinet and Gladstone's most likely successor as leader of the Liberal party. But his great expectations were shattered when in July 1885 Donald Crawford, a Liberal candidate, began divorce proceedings against his 22-year-old wife, citing Dilke as co-respondent. There were two hearings, during the second of which Mrs Crawford made the most sensational allegations and in the end Dilke lost.
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