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By D. Leonard

Following his prior surveys of nineteenth and twentieth Century British best Ministers, Dick Leonard turns his awareness to their 18th Century predecessors, together with such significant figures as Robert Walpole, the Elder Pitt (Lord Chatham), Lord North and the more youthful Pitt. In a chain of 14 biographical essays, he recounts the important occasions in their political careers, the situations which introduced them to the pinnacle of 'the greasy pole', assesses their functionality as top Ministers, and asks what lasting impression they've got had. He additionally recounts attention-grabbing and sometimes little-known proof from either their inner most and public lives, for instance, on which major Minister was once the nursery rhyme Who killed Cock Robin dependent? Which brothers succeeded one another within the most sensible workplace? Who stated: 'I comprehend that i will shop this state and that no-one else can'? Who used to be the 1st Tory leading Minister? And who used to be suspected of being the illegitimate half-brother of George III?

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Extra resources for Eighteenth-Century British Premiers: Walpole to the Younger Pitt

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In the same year, Walpole fell out with his close collaborator on Church affairs, Edmund Gibson, now Bishop of London, and with several other bishops, on whose support in the House of Lords he had previously depended. They were upset by three government bills, with which they disagreed, particularly the Quaker Tithe Bill, which was designed to give limited relief to members of the Society of Friends who suffered because of their conscientious objection to paying tithes to the Church of England.

The maintenance of peace enabled Walpole to concentrate on economic and financial improvements, and to abate the heavy level of taxation which he had inherited. Deft management of the national debt (including the establishment of a ‘sinking fund’, some half a century before the Younger Pitt adopted the same device to help reduce the large accumulated debts from the American War of Independence) allowed him to reduce the interest paid by the government from 5 per cent to 4 per cent. 89 million (Taylor, 2004).

Indd 30 11/18/2010 11:47:59 AM 2 Spencer Compton, First Earl of Wilmington – ‘George II’s Favourite Nonentity’ The man usually credited with having been Britain’s second Prime Minister is a somewhat shadowy figure. indd 31 11/18/2010 11:48:08 AM 32 Eighteenth-Century British Premiers such contemporaries as Horace Walpole, Lord Hervey, Lord Chesterfield and Mr Speaker Onslow. The almost unanimous conclusion has been that he was not really up to the job, and that he owed his preferment almost entirely to the inflated view which King George II held of his abilities.

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