William Pitt

Died aged c. 47

William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was a British statesman, the youngest and last prime minister of Great Britain (before the Acts of Union 1800) and then first prime minister of the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Ireland) as of January 1801. He left office in March 1801, but served as prime minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer for all of his time as prime minister. He is known as "Pitt the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, who had previously served as prime minister and is referred to as "William Pitt the Elder" (or "Chatham" by historians). Pitt's prime ministerial tenure, which came during the reign of King George III, was dominated by major political events in Europe, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Pitt, although often referred to as a Tory, or "new Tory", called himself an "independent Whig" and was generally opposed to the development of a strict partisan political system. Pitt was regarded as an outstanding administrator who worked for efficiency and reform, bringing in a new generation of competent administrators. He increased taxes to pay for the great war against France and cracked down on radicalism. To engage the threat of Irish support for France, he engineered the Acts of Union 1800 and tried (but failed) to secure Catholic emancipation as part of the Union. He created the "new Toryism", which revived the Tory Party and enabled it to stay in power for the next quarter-century. The historian Asa Briggs argues that his personality did not endear itself to the British mind, for Pitt was too solitary and too colourless, and too often exuded an attitude of superiority. His greatness came in the war with France. Pitt reacted to become what Lord Minto called "the Atlas of our reeling globe". William Wilberforce said, "For personal purity, disinterestedness and love of this country, I have never known his equal." Historian Charles Petrie concludes that he was one of the greatest Prime Ministers "if on no other ground than that he enabled the country to pass from the old order to the new without any violent upheaval ... He understood the new Britain." For this he is ranked highly amongst all British Prime Ministers in multiple surveys. Pitt served as prime minister for a total of eighteen years, 343 days, making him the second-longest serving British prime minister of all time, after Robert Walpole.

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Family tree

Commemorated on 5 plaques

William Pitt the Younger 1759-1806 lived here 1803 to 1804

120 Baker Street, Westminster, W1, London, United Kingdom where they lived

Here lived William Pitt A.D. 1802

15 Johnstone Street, Bath, United Kingdom where they lived

XII century cottage used by William Pitt (1759-1806) as country retreat

The Kinara at William Pitt's Cottage, High Street, Westerham, United Kingdom where they used as a country retreat

Behind these premises stood Hayes Place the home of William Pitt 1st Earl of Chatham 1708-1778 British Prime Minister and the birthplace of William Pitt the Younger 1759-1806 British Prime Minister

25 Hayes Street, Hayes, Bromley, BR2 7LE, London, United Kingdom where they was born (1759)

This house occupies part of the site of what was originally known as the Great House of Lyme Regis. Here lodged in the summer of 1773 William Pitt (1708-1778), first Earl of Chatham, the great War Minister of George II, and his son William Pitt (1759-1806), the great Prime Minister of George III. Also for some months in 1796-1797 it was the home of Mary Russell Mitford (1787-1855) essayist & dramatist

Boots, 45 Broad Street, Lyme Regis, United Kingdom where they stayed (1773)