Henry Pelham: Wikis

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The Right Honourable
 Henry Pelham


In office
27 August 1743 – 6 March 1754
Monarch George II
Preceded by The Earl of Wilmington
Succeeded by The Duke of Newcastle

In office
12 December 1743 – 6 March 1754
Monarch George II
Preceded by Samuel Sandys
Succeeded by William Lee

Born 25 September 1694(1694-09-25)
Laughton, Sussex
Died 6 March 1754 (aged 59)
London
Political party Whig
Alma mater Hart Hall, Oxford

Henry Pelham (25 September 1694 – 6 March 1754) was a British Whig statesman, who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 27 August 1743 until his death in 1754. He was the younger brother of the politician the Duke of Newcastle who succeeded him as Prime Minister.

Contents

Career

For the first year of his premiership, real power was held by the Secretary of State for the Northern Department, Lord Carteret, who headed the Carteret Ministry (Pelham was First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons). Thereafter, he shared power with his brother, the Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This period was relatively uneventful in terms of domestic affairs (Great Britain fought in several wars, however). Upon his death, his brother took full control of the ministry.

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Early life

Pelham, Newcastle's younger brother, was a younger son of the 1st Baron Pelham of Laughton and his wife, the former Lady Grace Holles, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Clare. He was educated at Westminster and at Hart Hall, Oxford. Hertford College Oxford, the present-day incarnation of Hart Hall, still honours him in the title of its most prestigious drinking club, the Sir Henry Pelham Gentlemen's Sporting Society. As a volunteer he served in Dormer's regiment at the Battle of Preston in 1715, spent some time on the Continent, and in 1717 entered Parliament for Seaford in Sussex which he represented until 1722.

Pelham, c. 1720

Government

Through strong family influence and the recommendation of Robert Walpole he was chosen in 1721 a Lord of the Treasury. The following year he was returned for Sussex county. In 1724 he entered the ministry as Secretary at War, but this office he exchanged in 1730 for the more lucrative one of Paymaster of the Forces. He made himself conspicuous by his support of Walpole on the question of the excise. He, Newcastle and the Prime Minister would often meet at Houghton Hall in Norfolk where they would draw up much of the country's policy. These meetings became known as the Norfolk Congress. With Walpole, he served as a founding governor of the popular charity the Foundling Hospital when it opened its doors in 1739.

Prime minister

In 1742 a union of parties resulted in the formation of an administration in which Pelham became Prime Minister the following year, with the additional offices of First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. The following year Carteret was forced out of the ministry and Pelham was regarded as the leading figure, but rank and influence made his brother very powerful in the Cabinet, and, in spite of a genuine attachment, there were occasional disputes between them, which led to difficulties.

Being strongly in favour of peace, Pelham carried on the War of the Austrian Succession with languor and indifferent success, but the country, wearied of the interminable struggle, was disposed to acquiesce in his foreign policy almost without a murmur. King George II, thwarted in his own favourite schemes, made overtures in 1746 to Lord Bath, but his purpose was upset by the resignation of the two Pelhams (Henry and Newcastle), who, at the King's request, resumed office.

Pelham's brother the Duke of Newcastle with whom he enjoyed a prodigious political partnership, despite their occasional personal disagreements. Newcastle ultimately succeeded him as Prime Minister in 1754.

In 1749, the Consolidation Act was passed, reorganising the Royal Navy. On 20 March 1751, the British calendar was reorganised as well (New Year's Day became 1 January); Britain would adopt the Gregorian calendar one year later. Two of Pelham's final acts were the Jew Act of 1753, which allowed Jews to become naturalized by application to Parliament, and the Marriage Act of 1753, which enumerated the minimum age of consent for marriage. Upon his death, his brother (the aforementioned Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) took over government.

Achievements

His very defects were among the chief elements of Pelham's success, for one with a strong personality, moderate self-respect, or high conceptions of statesmanship could not have restrained the discordant elements of the cabinet for any length of time. Moreover, he possessed tact and a thorough acquaintance with the forms of the House of Commons. Whatever quarrels or insubordination might exist within the cabinet, they never broke out into open revolt. Nor can a high degree of praise be denied to his financial policy, especially his plans for the reduction of the national debt and the simplification and consolidation of its different branches.

Personal life

Pelham had married Lady Catherine Manners, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Rutland, in 1726, and one of his daughters married Henry Clinton, who by this marriage subsequently became the 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne.

Pelham's personal papers were inherited by his son-in-law and now form part of the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection held at the department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham

Titles from birth to death

  • Mr. Henry Pelham (1694-1706)
  • The Hon. Henry Pelham (1706-1717)
  • The Hon. Henry Pelham, MP (1717-1725)
  • The Rt. Hon. Henry Pelham, MP (1725-1754)

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Radnor
Treasurer of the Chamber
1720 – 1722
Succeeded by
Charles Stanhope
Preceded by
Thomas Trevor
Secretary at War
1724 – 1730
Succeeded by
Sir William Strickland
Preceded by
The Lord Wilmington
Paymaster of the Forces
1730 – 1743
Succeeded by
Thomas Winnington
Preceded by
The Earl of Wilmington
Prime Minister of Great Britain
27 August 1743 – 6 March 1754
Succeeded by
The Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Preceded by
Samuel Sandys
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1743 – 1754
Succeeded by
William Lee
Leader of the House of Commons
1743 – 1754
Succeeded by
Thomas Robinson
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Naylor
William Ashburnham
Member of Parliament for Seaford
with George Naylor

1717 – 1722
Succeeded by
Sir William Gage, Bt
Sir Philip Yorke
Preceded by
Spencer Compton
James Butler
Member of Parliament for Sussex
with Spencer Compton 1722–1728
James Butler 1728–1741
Earl of Middlesex 1742–1747
John Butler 1747–1754

1722 – 1754
Succeeded by
John Butler
Thomas Pelham

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HENRY PELHAM (1696-1754), prime minister of England, younger brother of Thomas Holles Pelham, duke of Newcastle, was born in 1696. He was a younger son of Thomas, 1st Baron Pelham of Laughton (1650-1712; cr. 1706) and of Lady Grace Holles, daughter of the 3rd earl of Clare (see above). He was educated by a private tutor and at Christ Church, Oxford, which he entered in July 1710. As a volunteer he served in Dormer's regiment at the battle of Preston in 1715, spent some time on the Continent, and in 1717 entered parliament for Seaford, Sussex. Through strong family influence and the recommendation of Walpole he was chosen in 1721 a lord of the Treasury. The following year he was 'returned for Sussex county. In 1724 he entered the ministry as secretary of war, but this office he exchanged in 1730 for the more lucrative one of paymaster of the forces. He made himself conspicuous by his support of Walpole on the question of the excise, and in 1 743 a union of parties resulted in the formation of an administration in which Pelham was prime minister, with the office of chancellor of the exchequer; but rank and influence made his brother, the duke of Newcastle, very powerful in the cabinet, and, in spite of a genuine attachment, there were occasional disputes between them, which led to difficulties. Being strongly in favour of peace, Pelham carried on the war with languor and indifferent success, but the country, wearied of the interminable struggle, was disposed to acquiesce in his foreign policy almost without a murmur. The king, thwarted in his favourite schemes, made overtures in 1746 to Lord Bath, but his purpose was upset by the resignation of the two Pelhams (Henry and Newcastle), who, however, at the king's request, resumed office. Pelham remained prime minister till his death on the 6th of March 1754, when his brother succeeded him. His very defects were among the chief elements of Pelham's success, for one with a strong personality, moderate self-respect, or high conceptions of statesmanship could not have restrained the discordant elements of the cabinet for any length of time. Moreover, he possessed tact and a thorough acquaintance with the forms of the house. Whatever quarrels or insubordination might exist within the cabinet, they never broke out into open revolt. Nor can a high degree of praise be denied to his financial policy, especially his plans for the reduction of the national debt and the simplification and consolidation of its different branches. He had married in 1726 Lady Catherine Manners, daughter of the 2nd duke of Rutland; and one of his daughters married Henry Fiennes Clinton, 2nd duke of Newcastle.

See W. Coxe, Memoirs of the Pelham Administration. (2 vols., 1829). For the family history see Lower, Pelham Family (1873); also the Pelham and Newcastle MSS. in the British Museum.


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Simple English

The Rt Hon Henry Pelham
File:Henry


In office
August 27 1743 – March 6 1754
Preceded by The Earl of Wilmington
Succeeded by The Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

In office
December 12, 1743 – March 6 , 1754
Preceded by Samuel Sandys
Succeeded by William Lee

Born September 25 1694
Laughton, Sussex
Died March 6 1754
London
Political party n/a (Whig)

Henry Pelham (September 25 1694March 6 1754) was a British Whig statesman, who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 27 August 1743 to his death about ten years later.


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