Sir Robert was born into a Lancashire family of calico printers and spinners. His father led the way with mechanical innovation and Sir Robert added to his father's achievments with his canny emulation of London designs and the judicious undercutting of London prices. His income by the late 18th century was estimated to be over £70,000. He was elected M.P. for Tamworth in 1790, the location of his 4,000 acre estate and home of his largest cotton works. Created a baronet in 1800 in recognition of his £10,000 donation to the government's fund for fighting a French invasion, his political career was noted for his promotion of the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act. His eldest son, Sir Robert Peel 2nd Bt. was one his five sons to become an M.P. founded the modern police and was Prime Minister.