John Adams was an American statesman, diplomat and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency he was a leader of the American Revolution that achieved independence from Great Britain, served as the first vice president of the United States. Adams was a dedicated diarist and corresponded with many important figures in early American history including his wife and adviser and his letters and other papers are an important source of historical information about the era. A lawyer and political activist prior to the revolution, Adams was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence, he defied anti-British sentiment and defended British soldiers against murder charges arising from the Boston Massacre. Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and became a principal leader of the Revolution, he assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and was its foremost advocate in Congress.
As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain and secured vital governmental loans. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States' own constitution, as did his earlier Thoughts on Government. Adams was elected to two terms as vice president under President George Washington and was elected as the United States' second president in 1796. During his single term, Adams encountered fierce criticism from the Jeffersonian Republicans and from some in his own Federalist Party, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts and built up the Army and Navy in the undeclared "Quasi-War" with France; the main accomplishment of his presidency was a peaceful resolution of this conflict in the face of public anger and Hamilton's opposition. During his term, he became the first president to reside in the executive mansion now known as the White House. In his bid for reelection, opposition from Federalists and accusations of despotism from Republicans led to Adams's loss to his former friend Thomas Jefferson, he retired to Massachusetts.
He resumed his friendship with Jefferson by initiating a correspondence that lasted fourteen years. He and his wife generated a family of politicians and historians now referred to as the Adams political family, which includes their son John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. John Adams died on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, hours after Jefferson's death. Surveys of historians and scholars have favorably ranked his administration. John Adams was born on October 1735 to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston. He had two younger brothers and Elihu. Adams was born on the family farm in Massachusetts, his mother was from a leading medical family of Massachusetts. His father was a deacon in the Congregational Church, a farmer, a cordwainer, a lieutenant in the militia. John Sr. supervised the building of schools and roads. Adams praised his father and recalled their close relationship. Adams's great-grandfather Henry Adams emigrated to Massachusetts from Braintree, England around 1638.
Though raised in modest surroundings, Adams felt pressured to live up to his heritage. His was a family of Puritans, who profoundly affected their region's culture and traditions. By the time of John Adams's birth, Puritan tenets such as predestination had waned and many of their severe practices moderated, but Adams still "considered them bearers of freedom, a cause that still had a holy urgency." Adams recalled that his parents "held every Species of Libertinage in... Contempt and horror," and detailed "pictures of disgrace, or baseness and of Ruin" resulting from any debauchery. Adams noted that "As a child I enjoyed the greatest of blessings that can be bestowed upon men – that of a mother, anxious and capable to form the characters of her children."Adams, as the eldest child, was compelled to obtain a formal education. This began at age six at a dame school for boys and girls, conducted at a teacher's home, was centred upon The New England Primer. Shortly thereafter, Adams attended Braintree Latin School under Joseph Cleverly, where studies included Latin, rhetoric and arithmetic.
Adams's early education included incidents of truancy, a dislike for his master, a desire to become a farmer. All discussion on the matter ended with his father's command that he remain in school: "You shall comply with my desires." Deacon Adams hired a new schoolmaster named Joseph Marsh, his son responded positively. At age sixteen, Adams entered Harvard College in 1751; as an adult, Adams was a keen scholar, studying the works of ancient writers such as Thucydides, Plato and Tacitus in their original languages. Though his father expected him to be a minister, after his 1755 graduation with an A. B. degree, he taught school while pondering his permanent vocation. In the next four years, he began to seek prestige, craving "Honour or Reputation" and "more defference from fellows", was determined to be "a great Man." He decided to become a lawyer to further those ends, writing his father that he found among lawyers "noble and gallant achievements" but, among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces."
His aspirations conflicted with his Puritanism, prompting reservations about his self-described "trumpery" and failure to share the "happiness of fellow men."As the French and Indian War began in 1754, Ada
Frederick North, Lord North
Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, better known by his courtesy title Lord North, which he used from 1752 to 1790, was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. He led Great Britain through most of the American War of Independence, he held a number of other cabinet posts, including Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer. North's reputation among historians has swung forth, it reached its lowest point in the late nineteenth century when he was depicted as a creature of the king and an incompetent who lost the American colonies. In the early twentieth century a revisionism emphasised his strengths in administering the Treasury, handling the House of Commons, in defending the Church of England. Whig historian Herbert Butterfield, argued that his indolence was a barrier to efficient crisis management. Lord North was born in London on 13 April 1732, at the family house at Albemarle Street, just off Piccadilly, though he spent much of his youth at Wroxton Abbey in Oxfordshire. North's strong physical resemblance to George III suggested to contemporaries that Prince Frederick might have been North's real father, a theory compatible with the Prince's reputation but supported by little real evidence.
His father, the first Earl, was at the time Lord of the Bedchamber to Prince Frederick, who stood as godfather to the infant. North was descended from the 1st Earl of Sandwich and was related to Samuel Pepys and the 3rd Earl of Bute, he at times had a turbulent relationship with his father Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford, yet they were close. In his early years the family was not wealthy, though their situation improved in 1735 when his father inherited property from his cousin. Frederick's mother, Lady Lucy Montagu, died in 1734, his father remarried, but his stepmother, Elizabeth North, died in 1745, when Frederick was thirteen. One of his stepbrothers was Lord Dartmouth, he was educated at Eton College between 1742 and 1748, at Trinity College, where in 1750 he was awarded an MA. After leaving Oxford he travelled in Europe on the Grand Tour with Dartmouth, he visited Vienna and Paris, returning to England in 1753. On 15 April 1754, North twenty-two, was elected unopposed as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Banbury, He served as an MP from 1754 to 1790 and joined the government as a junior Lord of the Treasury on 2 June 1759 during the Pitt–Newcastle ministry.
He soon developed a reputation as a good administrator and parliamentarian, was liked by his colleagues. Although he considered himself a Whig, he did not align with any of the Whig factions in Parliament and it became obvious to many contemporaries that his sympathies were Tory. In November 1763 he was chosen to speak for the Government concerning radical MP John Wilkes. Wilkes had made a savage attack on both the Prime Minister and the King in his newspaper The North Briton, which many thought libelous. North's motion that Wilkes be expelled from the House of Commons passed by 273 votes to 111. Wilkes' expulsion took place in his absence, as he had fled to France following a duel; when a government headed by the Whig magnate Lord Rockingham came to power in 1765, North left his post and served for a time as a backbench MP. He turned down an offer by Rockingham to rejoin the government, not wanting to be associated with the Whig grandees that dominated the Ministry, he returned to office when Pitt returned to head a second government in 1766.
North became a Privy Counsellor. As Pitt was ill, the government was run by the Duke of Grafton, with North as one of its most senior members. In December 1767, he succeeded Charles Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer. With the resignation of the secretary of state Henry Seymour Conway in early 1768, North became Leader of the Commons as well, he continued to serve. When the Duke of Grafton resigned as Prime Minister, North formed a government on 28 January 1770, his ministers and supporters tended to be known as Tories, though they were not a formal grouping and many had been Whigs. He took over with Great Britain in a triumphant state, following the Seven Years' War, which had seen the First British Empire expand to a peak by taking in vast new territories on several continents. Circumstances forced him to keep many members of the previous cabinet in their jobs, despite their lack of agreement with him. In contrast to many of his predecessors, North enjoyed a good relationship with George III based on their shared patriotism and desire for decency in their private lives.
North's ministry had an early success during the Falklands Crisis in 1770 in which Great Britain faced down a Spanish attempt to seize the Falkland islands, nearly provoking a war. Both France and Spain had been left unhappy by Great Britain's perceived dominance following the British victory in the Seven Years War. Spanish forces seized the British settlement on the Falklands and expelled the small British garrison; when Britain opposed the seizure, Spain sought backing from France. However, Louis XV did not believe his country was ready for war and in the face of a strong mobilisation of the British fleet the French compelled the Spanish to back down. Louis dismissed Choiseul, the hawkish French Chief Minister, who had advocated war and a large invasion of Great Britain by the French; the British government's prestige and popularity were enormously boosted by the
Law of the United Kingdom
Sub-nationally, the United Kingdom has three legal systems, each of which derives from a particular geographical area and for a variety of historical reasons: English law, Scots law, Northern Ireland law. Since 2007, as a result of the passage of the Government of Wales Act 2006 by Parliament, there exists purely Welsh law. However, unlike the other three laws, this is not a separate legal system per se, being the primary and secondary legislation generated by the National Assembly for Wales, interpreted in accordance with the doctrines of English law, not impacting upon English common law. There is a substantial overlap between these three legal systems, the three legal jurisdictions of the United Kingdom, these being England and Wales and Northern Ireland; each legal system defaults to each jurisdiction, court systems of each jurisdiction further the relevant system of law through jurisprudence. In private law it is possible for people in certain jurisdictions to use the law of other jurisdictions, for example a company in Edinburgh, Scotland and a company in Belfast, Northern Ireland are free to contract in English law.
This is inapplicable in public law. Overarching these systems is the law of the United Kingdom known as United Kingdom law or British law. British law arises where laws apply to the United Kingdom and/or its citizens as a whole, most constitutional law, but other areas, for instance tax law; the United Kingdom does not have a single legal system because it was created by the political union of independent countries. Article 19 of the Treaty of Union, put into effect by the Acts of Union in 1707, created the Kingdom of Great Britain, but guaranteed the continued existence of Scotland's separate legal system; the Acts of Union of 1800, which combined Great Britain and Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, contained no equivalent provisions but preserved the principle of separate courts to be held in Ireland, of which the part called Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest court in the land for all criminal and civil cases in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, for all civil cases in Scots law.
The Supreme Court is the final court for interpreting United Kingdom law. Note, that unlike in other systems, the Supreme Court cannot strike down statutes, its cases can be expressly overriden by Parliament, by virtue of the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty; the Supreme Court came into being in October 2009, replacing the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. In England and Wales, the court system is headed by the Senior Courts of England and Wales, consisting of the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice and the Crown Court; the Courts of Northern Ireland follow the same pattern. In Scotland the chief courts are the Court of Session, for civil cases, the High Court of Justiciary, for criminal cases. Sheriff courts have no equivalent outside Scotland, as they deal with both criminal and civil caseloads; the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the highest court of appeal for several independent Commonwealth countries, the British overseas territories, the British Crown dependencies.
There are immigration courts with UK-wide jurisdiction — the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and Special Immigration Appeals Commission. The Employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal have jurisdiction throughout Great Britain, but not Northern Ireland. European Union law is transposed into the UK legal systems under the UK parliament's law-making power, in fulfillment of its EU treaty obligations, not inherently by acts of the European Union Parliament. There are three distinct legal jurisdictions in the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland; each has distinct history and origins. English law refers to the legal system administered by the courts in England and Wales, which rule on both civil and criminal matters. English law is based on those principles. English law can be described as having its own legal doctrine, distinct from civil law legal systems since 1189. There has been no major codification of the law, rather the law is developed by judges in court, applying statute and case-by-case reasoning to give explanatory judgments of the relevant legal principles.
These judgments are binding in future similar cases, for this reason are reported. The courts of England and Wales are headed by the Senior Courts of England and Wales, consisting of the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice and the Crown Court; the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land for both criminal and civil appeal cases in England and Northern Ireland and any decision it makes is binding on every other court in the same jurisdiction, has persuasive effect in its other jurisdictions. On appeal, a court may overrule the decisions of its inferior courts, such as county courts and magistrates' courts; the High Court may quash on judicial review both administrative decisions of the Government and delegated legislation. The ultimate body of appeal for all criminal and civil cases in England and Wales is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which took over this function from the Appellate Committee of the
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, one of the four provinces that form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres, including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands; as of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-most-densely populated province, after Prince Edward Island, with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre. "Nova Scotia" means "New Scotland" in Latin and is the recognized English-language name for the province. In both French and Scottish Gaelic, the province is directly translated as "New Scotland". In general and Slavic languages use a direct translation of "New Scotland", while most other languages use direct transliterations of the Latin / English name; the province was first named in the 1621 Royal Charter granting to Sir William Alexander in 1632 the right to settle lands including modern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula.
Nova Scotia is Canada's smallest province in area after Prince Edward Island. The province's mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km from the ocean. Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotia mainland, is part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks 175 km from the province's southern coast. Nova Scotia has many ancient fossil-bearing rock formations; these formations are rich on the Bay of Fundy's shores. Blue Beach near Hantsport, Joggins Fossil Cliffs, on the Bay of Fundy's shores, has yielded an abundance of Carboniferous-age fossils. Wasson's Bluff, near the town of Parrsboro, has yielded both Triassic- and Jurassic-age fossils; the province contains 5,400 lakes. Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental climate rather than maritime.
The winter and summer temperature extremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean. However, winters are cold enough to be classified as continental—still being nearer the freezing point than inland areas to the west; the Nova Scotian climate is in many ways similar to the central Baltic Sea coast in Northern Europe, only wetter and snowier. This is true in spite of Nova Scotia's being some fifteen parallels south. Areas not on the Atlantic coast experience warmer summers more typical of inland areas, winter lows a little colder. Described on the provincial vehicle licence plate as Canada's Ocean Playground, Nova Scotia is surrounded by four major bodies of water: the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, Atlantic Ocean to the east; the province includes regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki. The Mi'kmaq people inhabited Nova Scotia at the time the first European colonists arrived. In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in the future Canada at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.
The British conquest of Acadia took place in 1710. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 formally recognized this and returned Cape Breton Island to the French. Present-day New Brunswick still formed a part of the French colony of Acadia. After the capture of Port Royal in 1710, Francis Nicholson announced it would be renamed Annapolis Royal in honor of Queen Anne. In 1749, the capital of Nova Scotia moved from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax. In 1755 the vast majority of the French population was forcibly removed in the Expulsion of the Acadians. In 1763, most of Acadia became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province's establishment in 1784, after the arrival of United Empire Loyalists. In 1867, Nova Scotia became one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation; the warfare on Nova Scotian soil during the 17th and 18th centuries influenced the history of Nova Scotia. The Mi'kmaq had lived in Nova Scotia for centuries.
The French arrived in 1604, Catholic Mi'kmaq and Acadians formed the majority of the population of the colony for the next 150 years. During the first 80 years the French and Acadians lived in Nova Scotia, nine significant military clashes took place as the English and Scottish and French fought for possession of the area; these encounters happened at Port Royal, Saint John, Cap de Sable and Baleine. The Acadian Civil War took place from 1640 to 1645. Beginning with King William's War in 1688, six wars took place in Nova Scotia before the British defeated the French and made peace with the Mi'kmaq: King William's War, Queen Anne's War, Father Rale's War, King George's War, Father Le Loutre’s War The Seven Years' War called the French and Indian War The battles during these wars took place Port Royal, Saint John, Chignecto, Dartmouth and Grand-Pré. Despite the British conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained occupied
Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, political theorist, freemason, scientist, humorist, civic activist and diplomat; as a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod and the Franklin stove, among other inventions, he founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies; as the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, community spirit, self-governing institutions, opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment.
In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper, known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of British policies, he pioneered and was first president of Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769.
Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations, his efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France. He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies in 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. During the revolution, he became the first United States Postmaster General, he was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania, he owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.
His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on coinage and the $100 bill and the names of many towns, educational institutions, corporations, as well as countless cultural references. Benjamin Franklin's father, Josiah Franklin, was a soaper and candlemaker. Josiah was born at Ecton, England on December 23, 1657, the son of blacksmith and farmer Thomas Franklin, Jane White. Benjamin's father and all four of his grandparents were born in England. Josiah had seventeen children with his two wives, he married his first wife, Anne Child, in about 1677 in Ecton and immigrated with her to Boston in 1683. Following her death, Josiah was married to Abiah Folger on July 9, 1689 in the Old South Meeting House by Samuel Willard. Benjamin, their eighth child, was Josiah Franklin's fifteenth tenth and last son. Abiah Folger was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1667, to Peter Folger, a miller and schoolteacher, his wife, Mary Morrell Folger, a former indentured servant.
She came from a Puritan family, among the first Pilgrims to flee to Massachusetts for religious freedom, when King Charles I of England began persecuting Puritans. They sailed for Boston in 1635, her father was "the sort of rebel destined to transform colonial America." As clerk of the court, he was jailed for disobeying the local magistrate in defense of middle-class shopkeepers and artisans in conflict with wealthy landowners. Ben Franklin followed in his grandfather's footsteps in his battles against the wealthy Penn family that owned the Pennsylvania Colony. Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706, baptized at Old South Meeting House, he was one of seventeen children born to Josiah Franklin, one of ten born by Josiah's second wife, Abiah Folger. Among Benjamin's siblings were his older brother James and his younger sister Jane. Josiah wanted Ben to attend school with the clergy, but only had enough money to send him to school for two years, he did not graduate.
Although "his parents talked of the church as a career" for Franklin, his schooling e
The Chatham ministry was a British government led by William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham that ruled between 1766 and 1768. Because of Pitt's former prominence before his title, it is sometimes referred to as the Pitt ministry. Unusually for a politician considered to be Prime Minister, Pitt was not First Lord of the Treasury during the administration, but instead held the post of Lord Privy Seal. Pitt, who moved to the Lords as Earl of Chatham upon his accession to the ministry, was determined to form a ministry of "men, not measures," that would give office to the most competent men without regard to faction. Thus, the ministry kept on Secretary of State Henry Seymour Conway from the previous, Rockingham Whig, and, after Chatham's brother-in-law Lord Temple refused the Treasury and decided to continue in opposition with his brother, former prime minister George Grenville, he promoted Conway's fellow Rockingham Whig the Duke of Grafton to that position. Chatham's own close associates Lord Camden and Lord Shelburne became Lord Chancellor and Southern Secretary of State and the ministry was filled out with other politicians of unclear factional allegiance – keeping on Lord Egmont at the Admiralty and Lord Granby at the Ordnance Board, moving the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Northington to the sinecure position of Lord President of the Council, appointing the slippery Charles Townshend to the Exchequer.
Chatham was ill with gout for long periods, his government struggled to fulfill its various goals. Its "men, not measures" philosophy began to come apart when Lord Egmont resigned the Admiralty due to his opposition to Chatham's foreign policy and was replaced by the Rockingham Whig Sir Charles Saunders, its major foreign policy objective – to secure Britain a major alliance partner in Europe that would end its diplomatic isolation – failed when Frederick the Great of Prussia rejected an offer to reform the Anglo-Prussian Alliance. Soon after, Chatham managed to alienate the heretofore cautiously friendly Rockingham faction by dismissing their ally Lord Edgcumbe, the Treasurer of the Household. Though both Grafton, moving away from the Rockinghams due to his strong admiration for Pitt, Conway remained in the ministry, Saunders and a large number of non-cabinet officeholders from the Rockingham faction resigned their positions. Though Saunders was replaced by the competent Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, most of the other positions were given to former supporters of the royal favorite Lord Bute, increasing the unpopularity of the ministry and strengthening the opposition.
At around the same time, with Chatham absent from the capital, the ministry was further riven by Chancellor Townshend's introduction of the idea of what was to become the Townshend Duties on the American colonies, which divided the ministry. In the midst of this crisis in early 1767 Chatham had a nervous breakdown and withdrew from the conduct of affairs. Grafton attempted to maintain the ministry in his absence, but with difficulty due to the alliance between the three opposition factions of the Rockingham Whigs, Bedford Whigs, Grenvillites and to conflicts within the ministry itself. After an unsuccessful attempt to bring his former allies in the Rockingham faction to support the government, Grafton instead turned to the Bedfords, leading to a major reconstruction of the ministry over the fall of 1767 and winter of 1768, with Bedford's followers Lord Gower and Lord Weymouth as Lord President and Northern Secretary, the like-minded Lord Hillsborough given the new office of Secretary of State for the Colonies – taking responsibility for the American colonies from the more conciliatory Shelburne, whose differences with the rest of the cabinet had led him to cease attendance at cabinet meetings.
The death of Charles Townshend had led to his replacement at the Exchequer by Lord North, who took leadership of the commons over from Conway, uncomfortable with the direction of the ministry. The adhesion of the Bedfords ultimate gave them a dominant role in the ministry, which they used to pursue a more hardline policy towards the American colonies than Chatham had intended, or than several of the remaining were comfortable with. In the fall of 1768, the Bedfords persuaded Grafton that it would be necessary to remove Shelburne from the ministry; this threatened dismissal roused Chatham. Although Chatham's close friend Camden remained in the government, it was clear that the ministry was now dominated by the Bedfords, the Duke of Grafton formally took over as Prime Minister – leading the Grafton ministry for over a year until January 1770. BibliographyBlack, Jeremy. William Pitt. Cambridge University Press. Winstanley, D. A. Lord Chatham and the Whig Opposition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, was a British statesman of the Whig group who led the government of Great Britain twice in the middle of the 18th century. Historians call him Pitt of Chatham, or William Pitt the Elder, to distinguish him from his son, William Pitt the Younger, a prime minister. Pitt was known as The Great Commoner, because of his long-standing refusal to accept a title until 1766. Pitt was a member of the British cabinet and its informal leader from 1756 to 1761, during the Seven Years' War, he again led the ministry, holding the official title of Lord Privy Seal, between 1766 and 1768. Much of his power came from his brilliant oratory, he was out of power for most of his career and became well known for his attacks on the government, such as those on Walpole's corruption in the 1730s, Hanoverian subsidies in the 1740s, peace with France in the 1760s, the uncompromising policy towards the American colonies in the 1770s. Pitt is best known as the wartime political leader of Britain in the Seven Years' War for his single-minded devotion to victory over France, a victory which solidified Britain's dominance over world affairs.
He is known for his popular appeal, his opposition to corruption in government, his support for the colonial position in the run-up to the American War of Independence, his advocacy of British greatness and colonialism, his antagonism toward Britain's chief enemies and rivals for colonial power and France. Peters argues his statesmanship was based on a clear and distinct appreciation of the value of the Empire; the British parliamentary historian Peter D. G. Thomas argues that Pitt's power was based not on his family connections but on the extraordinary parliamentary skills by which he dominated the House of Commons, he displayed a commanding manner, brilliant rhetoric, sharp debating skills that cleverly utilised broad literary and historical knowledge. Pitt was the grandson of Thomas Pitt, the governor of Madras, known as "Diamond" Pitt for having discovered a diamond of extraordinary size and sold it to the Duke of Orléans for around £135,000; this transaction, as well as other trading deals in India, established the Pitt family fortune.
After returning home the Governor was able to raise his family to a position of wealth and political influence: in 1691 he purchased the property of Boconnoc in Cornwall, which gave him control of a seat in Parliament. He made further land purchases and became one of the dominant political figures in the West Country controlling seats such as the rotten borough of Old Sarum. William's father was Robert Pitt, the eldest son of Governor Pitt, who served as a Tory Member of Parliament from 1705 to 1727, his mother was Harriet Villiers, the daughter of Edward Villiers-FitzGerald and the Irish heiress Katherine FitzGerald. Both William's paternal uncles Thomas and John were MPs, while his aunt Lucy married the leading Whig politician and soldier General James Stanhope. From 1717 to 1721 Stanhope served as effective First Minister in the Stanhope–Sunderland Ministry and was a useful political contact for the Pitt family until the collapse of the South Sea Bubble, a disaster which engulfed the government.
William Pitt was born at Golden Square, Westminster, on 15 November 1708. His older brother Thomas Pitt had been born in 1704. There were five sisters: Harriet, Ann and Mary. From 1719 William was educated at Eton College along with his brother. William disliked Eton claiming that "a public school might suit a boy of turbulent disposition but would not do where there was any gentleness", it was at school. In 1726 Governor Pitt died, the family estate at Boconnoc passed to William's father; when he died the following year, Boconnoc was inherited by William's elder brother, Thomas Pitt of Boconnoc. In January 1727, William was entered as a gentleman commoner at Oxford. There is evidence, if not a minutely accurate classical scholar. Demosthenes was his favourite author. William diligently cultivated the faculty of expression by the practice of translation and re-translation. In these years he became a close friend of George Lyttelton, who would become a leading politician. In 1728 a violent attack of gout compelled him to leave Oxford University without finishing his degree.
He chose to travel abroad. He spent some time in France and Italy on the Grand Tour and from 1728 to 1730 he attended Utrecht University in the Dutch Republic, he had recovered from the attack of gout, but the disease proved intractable, he continued to be subject to attacks of growing intensity at frequent intervals until his death. On Pitt's return home in 1730 it was necessary as the younger son, to choose a profession. For around eighteen months Pitt stayed at his brother's estate in Cornwall, he had at one point been considered to join the Church but instead opted for a military career. Having chosen the army, he obtained, through the assistance of his friends, a cornet's commission in the dragoons with the King's Own Regiment of Horse. George II never forgot the jibes of "the terrible cornet of horse", it was reported that the £1,000 cost of the commission had been supplied by Robert Walpole, the prime minister, out of Treasury funds in an attempt to secure the support of Pitt's brother Thomas in Parliament.
Alternatively the fee may have been waived by the commanding officer of the regiment, Lord Cobham, related to the Pitt brothers by marriage. Pitt was to grow close to Cobham, whom he regarded as a surrogat