National Portrait Gallery, London
The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of important and famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856; the gallery moved in 1896 to its current site at St Martin's Place, off Trafalgar Square, adjoining the National Gallery. It has been expanded twice since then; the National Portrait Gallery has regional outposts at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire and Montacute House in Somerset. It is unconnected to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, with which its remit overlaps; the gallery is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. The gallery houses portraits of important and famous British people, selected on the basis of the significance of the sitter, not that of the artist; the collection includes photographs and caricatures as well as paintings and sculpture. One of its best-known images is the Chandos portrait, the most famous portrait of William Shakespeare although there is some uncertainty about whether the painting is of the playwright.
Not all of the portraits are exceptional artistically, although there are self-portraits by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other British artists of note. Some, such as the group portrait of the participants in the Somerset House Conference of 1604, are important historical documents in their own right; the curiosity value is greater than the artistic worth of a work, as in the case of the anamorphic portrait of Edward VI by William Scrots, Patrick Branwell Brontë's painting of his sisters Charlotte and Anne, or a sculpture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in medieval costume. Portraits of living figures were allowed from 1969. In addition to its permanent galleries of historical portraits, the National Portrait Gallery exhibits a changing selection of contemporary work, stages exhibitions of portrait art by individual artists and hosts the annual BP Portrait Prize competition; the three people responsible for the founding of the National Portrait Gallery are commemorated with busts over the main entrance.
At centre is Philip Henry Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope, with his supporters on either side, Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay and Thomas Carlyle. It was Stanhope who, in 1846 as a Member of Parliament, first proposed the idea of a National Portrait Gallery, it was not until his third attempt, in 1856, this time from the House of Lords, that the proposal was accepted. With Queen Victoria's approval, the House of Commons set aside a sum of £2000 to establish the gallery; as well as Stanhope and Macaulay, the founder Trustees included Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Ellesmere. It was the latter. Carlyle became a trustee after the death of Ellesmere in 1857. For the first 40 years, the gallery was housed in various locations in London; the first 13 years were spent at Westminster. There, the collection increased in size from 57 to 208 items, the number of visitors from 5,300 to 34,500. In 1869, the collection moved to Exhibition Road and buildings managed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Following a fire in those buildings, the collection was moved in 1885, this time to the Bethnal Green Museum.
This location was unsuitable due to its distance from the West End and lack of waterproofing. Following calls for a new location to be found, the government accepted an offer of funds from the philanthropist William Henry Alexander. Alexander donated £60,000 followed by another £20,000, chose the architect, Ewan Christian; the government provided the new site, St Martin's Place, adjacent to the National Gallery, £16,000. The buildings, faced in Portland stone, were constructed by Son. Both the architect, Ewan Christian, the gallery's first director, George Scharf, died shortly before the new building was completed; the gallery opened at its new location on 4 April 1896. The site has since been expanded twice; the first extension, in 1933, was funded by Lord Duveen, resulted in the wing by architect Sir Richard Allison on a site occupied by St George's Barracks running along Orange Street. In February 1909, a murder–suicide took place in a gallery known as the Arctic Room. In an planned attack, John Tempest Dawson, aged 70, shot his 58 year–old wife, Nannie Caskie.
His wife died in hospital several hours later. Both were American nationals. Evidence at the inquest suggested that Dawson, a wealthy and well–travelled man, was suffering from a Persecutory delusion; the incident came to public attention in 2010 when the Gallery's archive was put on-line as this included a personal account of the event by James Donald Milner the Assistant Director of the Gallery. The collections of the National Portrait Gallery were stored at Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire during the Second World War, along with pieces from the Royal Collection and paintings from Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster; the second extension was funded by Sir Christopher Ondaatje and a £12m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, was designed by London-based architects Edward Jones and Jeremy Dixon. The Ondaatje Wing opened in 2000 and occupies a narrow space of land between the two 19th-century buildings of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, is notable for its immense, two-storey escalator that takes visitors to the earliest part of the collection, the Tudor portraits.
In January 2008, the Gallery received its largest single donation to date
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history, sometimes involving neighbouring countries; the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as culture and education. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population. 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in the bilingual city of Brussels. Not including Brussels, there are five modern Flemish provinces. In medieval contexts, the original "County of Flanders" stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there; this county still corresponds with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands.
Although this original meaning is still relevant, during the 19th and 20th centuries it became commonplace to use the term "Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the "Flemish Community" and the "Flemish Region"; these entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not. Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Antwerp made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export; as a consequence, a sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, due to massive national investments in port infrastructures, Flanders' economy modernised and today Flanders and Brussels are more wealthy than Wallonia and in general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world. Geographically, Flanders is flat, has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of 500 people per square kilometer, it touches France to the west near the coast, borders the Netherlands to the north and east, Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands; the term "Flanders" has several main modern meanings: The "Flemish community" or "Flemish nation", i.e. the social and linguistic, scientific and educational and political community of the Flemings.
It comprises 6.5 million Belgians. The political subdivisions of Belgium: the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community; the first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the operative body "Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish Parliament"; the two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders. An ancien régime territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic; until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands. One of the Flemish regions which are now part of France, in the Nord department; this is referred to as French Flanders, can be divided into two smaller regions: Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century.
The city of Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The Flemish region which became part of the Dutch Republic, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland; the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it became commonplace to refer to the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium as "Flanders"; the linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early'60's, from Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now, Flanders extends over the northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding to t
Barclays plc is a British multinational investment bank and financial services company, headquartered in London. Apart from investment banking, Barclays is organised into four core businesses: personal banking, corporate banking, wealth management, investment management. Barclays traces its origins to a goldsmith banking business established in the City of London in 1690. James Barclay became a partner in the business in 1736. In 1896, several banks in London and the English provinces, including Backhouse's Bank and Gurney's Bank, united as a joint-stock bank under the name Barclays and Co. Over the following decades, Barclays expanded to become a nationwide bank. In 1967, Barclays deployed the world's first cash dispenser. Barclays has made numerous corporate acquisitions, including of London and South Western Bank in 1918, British Linen Bank in 1919, Mercantile Credit in 1975, the Woolwich in 2000 and the North American operations of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Barclays has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Qatar Holdings, an investment vehicle of the State of Qatar, is the largest shareholder of the company. According to a 2011 paper by Vitali et al. Barclays was the most powerful transnational corporation in terms of ownership and thus corporate control over global financial stability and market competition, with AXA and State Street Corporation taking the 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively. Barclays traces its origins back to 1690 when John Freame, a Quaker, Thomas Gould started trading as goldsmith bankers in Lombard Street, London; the name "Barclays" became associated with the business in 1736, when Freame's son-in-law James Barclay became a partner. In 1728 the bank moved to 54 Lombard Street, identified by the'Sign of the Black Spread Eagle', which in subsequent years would become a core part of the bank's visual identity; the Barclay family were connected both as proponents and opponents. David and Alexander Barclay were engaged in the slave trade in 1756.
David Barclay of Youngsbury, on the other hand, was a noted abolitionist, Verene Shepherd, the Jamaican historian of diaspora studies, singles out the case of how he chose to free his slaves in that colony. In 1776 the firm was styled "Barclay and Bening" and so remained until 1785, when another partner, John Tritton, who had married a Barclay, was admitted, the business became "Barclay, Bevan and Tritton". In 1896 several banks in London and the English provinces, notably Backhouse's Bank of Darlington and Gurney's Bank of Norwich, united under the banner of Barclays and Co. a joint-stock bank. Between 1905 and 1916 Barclays extended its branch network by making acquisitions of small English banks. Further expansion followed in 1918 when Barclays amalgamated with the London and South Western Bank and in 1919 when the British Linen Bank was acquired by Barclays Bank, although the British Linen Bank retained a separate board of directors and continued to issue its own bank notes. In 1925 the Colonial Bank, National Bank of South Africa and the Anglo-Egyptian Bank were amalgamated and Barclays operated its overseas operations under the name Barclays Bank – Barclays DCO.
In 1938 Barclays acquired the first Indian exchange bank, the Central Exchange Bank of India, which had opened in London in 1936 with the sponsorship of Central Bank of India. In 1941 during the Nazi Occupation of France, a branch of Barclays in Paris headed by Marcel Cheradame worked directly with the invading force. Senior officials at the bank volunteered the names of Jewish employees as well as ceding an estimated 100 Jewish bank accounts to the Nazi occupiers; the Paris branch used its funds to increase the operational power of a large quarry that helped produce steel for the Nazis. There was no evidence of contact between the head office in London and the branch in Paris during the occupation. Marcel Cheradame was kept as the branch manager. In May 1958, Barclays was the first UK bank to appoint a female bank manager. Hilda Harding managed Barclays' Hanover Square branch in London until her retirement in 1970. In 1965, Barclays established Barclays Bank of California in San Francisco. Barclays launched the first credit card in the UK, Barclaycard, in 1966.
On 27 June 1967, Barclays deployed the world's first cash machine, in Enfield. The British actor Reg Varney was the first person to use the machine. In 1969, a planned merger with Martins Bank and Lloyds Bank was blocked by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, but the acquisition of Martins Bank on its own was permitted; that year, the British Linen Bank subsidiary was sold to the Bank of Scotland in exchange for a 25% stake, a transaction that became effective from 1971. Barclays DCO changed its name to Barclays Bank International in 1971. In August 1975, following the secondary banking crash, Barclays acquired Mercantile Credit Company. In 1980, Barclays Bank International expanded its business to include commercial credit and took over American Credit Corporation, renaming it Barclays American Corporation; the following year Barclays Bank and Barclays Bank International merged, as part of the corporate reorganisation the former Barclays Bank plc became a group holding company, renamed Barclays plc, UK retail banking was integrated under the former BBI, renamed Barclays Bank PLC from Barclays Bank Limited.
In 1986 Barclays sold its South African business operating under the Barclays National Bank name after protests against Barclays' involvement in South Africa and its apartheid government. That year Barclay
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was an English physician and suffragist. She was the first woman to qualify in Britain as a surgeon, she was the co-founder of the first hospital staffed by women, the first dean of a British medical school, the first woman in Britain to be elected to a school board and, as Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain. Garrett was born in Whitechapel, the second of eleven children of Newson Garrett, from Leiston and his wife, from London; the Garrett ancestors had been ironworkers in East Suffolk since the early seventeenth century. Newson was the youngest of three sons and not academically inclined, although he possessed the family's entrepreneurial spirit; when he finished school, the town of Leiston offered little to Newson, so he left for London to make his fortune. There, he fell in love with his brother's sister-in-law, Louisa Dunnell, the daughter of an innkeeper of Suffolk origin. After their wedding, the couple went to live in a pawnbroker's shop at 1 Commercial Road, Whitechapel.
The Garretts had their first three children in quick succession: Louie and their brother who died at the age of six months. While Louisa grieved the loss of her third child, it was not easy to raise their two daughters in the city of London at that time; when Garrett was three years old, the family moved to 142 Long Acre, where they lived for two years, whilst one more child was born and her father moved up in the world, becoming not only the manager of a larger pawnbroker's shop, but a silversmith. Garrett's grandfather, owner of the family engineering works, Richard Garrett & Sons, had died in 1837, leaving the business to his eldest son, Garrett's uncle. Despite his lack of capital, Newson was determined to be successful and in 1841, at the age of 29, he moved his family to Suffolk, where he bought a barley and coal merchants business in Snape, constructing Snape Maltings, a fine range of buildings for malting barley; the Garretts lived in a square Georgian house opposite the church in Aldeburgh until 1852.
Newson's malting business expanded and more children were born, Alice, Millicent, to become a leader in the constitutional campaign for women's suffrage, Sam and George. By 1850, Newson was a prosperous businessman and was able to build Alde House, a mansion on a hill behind Aldeburgh. A "by-product of the industrial revolution", Garrett grew up in an atmosphere of "triumphant economic pioneering" and the Garrett children were to grow up to become achievers in the professional classes of late-Victorian England. Garrett was encouraged to take an interest in local politics and, contrary to practices at the time, was allowed the freedom to explore the town with its nearby salt-marshes and the small port of Slaughden with its boatbuilders' yards and sailmakers' lofts. There was no school in Aldeburgh; when she was 10 years old, a governess, Miss Edgeworth, a poor gentlewoman, was employed to educate Garrett and her sister. Mornings were spent in the schoolroom. Garrett sought to outwit the teacher in the classroom.
When Garrett was 13 and her sister 15, they were sent to a private school, the Boarding School for Ladies in Blackheath, run by the step aunts of the poet Robert Browning. There, English literature, French and German as well as deportment, were taught. In life, Garrett recalled the stupidity of her teachers there, though her schooling there did help establish a love of reading, her main complaint about the school was the lack of mathematics instruction. Her reading matter included Tennyson, Milton, Trollope and George Eliot. Elizabeth and Louie were known as "the bathing Garretts", as their father had insisted they be allowed a hot bath once a week. However, they made; when they finished in 1851, they were sent on a short tour abroad, ending with a memorable visit to the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London. After this formal education, Garrett spent the next nine years tending to domestic duties, but she continued to study Latin and arithmetic in the mornings and read widely, her sister Millicent recalled Garrett's weekly lectures, "Talks on Things in General", when her younger siblings would gather while she discussed politics and current affairs from Garibaldi to Macaulay's History of England.
In 1854, when she was eighteen and her sister went on a long visit to their school friends and Anne Crow, in Gateshead where she met Emily Davies, the early feminist and future co-founder of Girton College, Cambridge. Davies was to be a lifelong friend and confidante, always ready to give sound advice during the important decisions of Garrett's career, it may have been in the English Woman's Journal, first issued in 1858, that Garrett first read of Elizabeth Blackwell, who had become the first female doctor in the United States in 1849. When Blackwell visited London in 1859, Garrett travelled to the capital. By her sister Louie was married and living in London. Garrett joined the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women, which organised Blackwell's lectures on "Medicine as a Profession for Ladies" and set up a private meeting between Garrett and the doctor, it is said that during a visit to Alde House around 1860, one evening while sitting by the fireside and Davies selected careers f
Farnham is a town in Surrey, within the Borough of Waverley. The town is 34.5 miles southwest of London in the extreme west of Surrey, adjacent to the border with Hampshire. By road, Guildford is 11 miles to the east and Winchester a further 28 miles along the same axis as London. Farnham is the second largest town in Waverley, one of the five largest conurbations in Surrey, it is with many old buildings, including a number of Georgian houses. Farnham Castle overlooks the town. A short distance southeast of the town centre are the ruins of Waverley Abbey, Moor Park House and Mother Ludlam's Cave. Farnham is twinned with Andernach in Germany, it is drained by the River Wey, navigable only to canoes at this point. Farnham's history and present status are the result of its geography; the geology of the area continues to influence the town, both in terms of communications and botanic variety and the main local industries of agriculture and minerals extraction. Farnham Geological Society is an active organisation in the town, the Museum of Farnham has a collection of geological samples and fossils.
Farnham lies in the valley of the North Branch of the River Wey, which rises near Alton, merges with the South Branch at Tilford, joins the River Thames at Weybridge. The east-west alignment of the ridges and valleys has influenced the development of road and rail communications; the most prominent geological feature is the chalk of the North Downs which forms a ridge to the east of the town, continues through Farnham Park to the north of the town centre, westwards to form the Hampshire Downs. The land rises to more than 180 metres above sea level to the north of the town at Caesar's Camp which, with the northern part of the Park, lies on gravel beds. There are a number of swallow holes in the Park; the historic core of the town lies on gravel beds at an altitude of 70 metres ASL on an underlying geology of Gault Clay and Upper Greensand and the southern part of the town rises to more than 100 metres on the Lower Greensand. Farnham has a temperate maritime climate, free from extreme temperatures, with moderate rainfall and breezy conditions.
The nearest official weather station to Farnham is Alice Holt Lodge, just under 3.5 miles south west of the town centre. The highest temperature recorded was 35.4C, in July 2006. In an'average' year, the warmest day would reach 29.1C, with 15.2 days attaining a temperature of 25.1C or higher. The lowest temperature recorded was -14.0C in February 1986. On average, 58.6 nights of the year will register an air frost. Annual rainfall averages 799mm, with at least 1mm of rain reported on 122.4 days. All averages refer to the 1971–2000 observation period. Farnham's history has been claimed to extend back tens of thousands of years to hunters of the Paleolithic or early Stone Age, on the basis of tools and prehistoric animal bones found together in deep gravel pits; the first known settlement in the area was in the Mesolithic period, some 7,000 years ago. There was a Neolithic long barrow at nearby Badshot Lea, now destroyed by quarrying; this monument lay on the route of the prehistoric trackway known as the Harrow Way or Harroway, which passes through Farnham Park, a sarsen stone still stands nearby, believed to have marked the safe crossing point of a marshy area near the present Shepherd and Flock roundabout.
The parallel Pilgrims' Way, known as such for linking Canterbury to Winchester dates back to prehistory and, like the Harrow Way, may date back to the time when Britain was physically joined to continental Europe. Occupation of the area continued to grow through the Bronze Age. Two bronze hoards have been discovered on Crooksbury Hill, further artefacts have been found at sites in Green Lane and near the Bourne spring in Farnham Park. A significant number of Bronze Age barrows occur in the area, including a triple barrow at Elstead and an urnfield cemetery at Stoneyfield, near the Tilford road. Hill forts from the early Iron Age have been identified locally at Botany Hill to the south of the town, at Caesar's Camp to the north; the latter is a large earthwork on a high promontory, served by a spring which emerges from between two conglomerate boulders called the Jock and Jenny Stones. "Soldier's Ring" earthworks on Crooksbury Hill date from the Iron Age. The final era of the Iron Age, during the 1st century AD, found Farnham within the territory of the Belgic Atrebates tribe led by Commius, a former ally of Caesar, who had brought his tribe to Britain following a dispute with the Romans.
A hut dating from this period was discovered at the Bourne Spring and other occupation material has been discovered at various sites Green Lane. During the Roman period the district became a pottery centre due to the plentiful supply of gault clay, oak woodlands for fuel, good communications via the Harrow Way and the nearby Roman road from Silchester to Chichester. Kilns dating from about AD 100 have been found throughout the area, including Six Bells and Mavins Road, but the main centre of pottery had been Alice Holt Forest, on the edge of the town, since about AD 50, just 7 years after the arrival of the Romans; the Alice Holt potteries continued in use, making domestic wares, until about AD 400. Near the Bourne Spring two Rom
Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital
Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital is one of the oldest maternity hospitals in Europe, founded in 1739 in London. Until October 2000, it occupied a site at 339–351 Goldhawk Road, but is now located between East Acton and White City, adjacent to the Hammersmith Hospital, it is managed by the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The hospital dates its foundation to 1739 when Sir Richard Manningham founded a hospital of lying-in beds in a 17-room house in Jermyn Street; this was called the General Lying-in Hospital, was the first of its kind in Britain. In 1752 the hospital relocated from Jermyn Street to St Marylebone and first became a teaching institution. On 10 January 1782 a licence was granted to the hospital charity by the Justices of the County of Middlesex. In 1809 the Duke of Sussex persuaded his mother, Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, to become patron of the hospital: it became, at that time, the Queen's Lying-in Hospital; the queen held a ball every year to raise funds for the hospital.
It moved to the Old Manor House at Lisson Green in Marylebone in 1813 where it was rebuilt to a design by Charles Hawkins in 1856. Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the hospital in 1885, it was renamed Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital in 1923. Maternal death was a common occurrence. Once the method of spread was understood, an isolation block was opened in 1931 in Goldhawk Road; the rest of the maternity hospital moved to Goldhawk Road to co-locate with the isolation block in 1940. In 1948, on the creation of the National Health Service, the hospital linked up with the Chelsea Hospital for Women to form a combined teaching school; the Chelsea Hospital for Women moved from Fulham Road to share the site under the new title Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital in 1988. In 2000 the hospital moved to Du Cane Road, next to the Hammersmith Hospital; the hospital has a specialist "maternal medicine" unit for London, recognising that a need existed for specialist care to be offered to pregnant women who suffered from pre-existing medical conditions, or conditions that developed during pregnancy, whose treatment might impact upon the pregnancy.
The unit is known as the de Swiet Obstetric Medicine Centre, is housed in a small suite of rooms on the second floor of the Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital. The hospital is accessible by public transport. Notable births include: Mischa Barton, actress Sebastian Coe, athlete Benedict Cumberbatch, actor Danny Kustow, pop musician Dame Helen Mirren, actress Daniel Radcliffe, actor Zak Starkey, pop musician Graeme K Talboys, author British Lying-In Hospital List of hospitals in England Ryan, Thomas; the History of Queen Charlotte's Lying-in Hospital from its foundation in 1752 to the present time, with an account of its objects and present state. Hutchings & Crowsley. Media related to Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital at Wikimedia Commons
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician. He was the final Liberal to serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; as Chancellor of the Exchequer during H. H. Asquith's tenure as Prime Minister, Lloyd George was a key figure in the introduction of many reforms which laid the foundations of the modern welfare state, his most important role came as the energetic Prime Minister of the Wartime Coalition Government and after the First World War. He was a major player at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that reordered Europe after the defeat of the Central Powers. Although he remained Prime Minister after the 1918 general election, the Conservatives were the largest party in the coalition, with the Liberals split between those loyal to Lloyd George, those still supporting Asquith, he became the leader of the Liberal Party in the late 1920s, but it grew smaller and more divided. By the 1930s he was a marginalised and mistrusted figure.
He gave weak support to the war effort during the Second World War amidst fears that he was favourable toward Germany. He was voted the third-greatest British prime minister of the 20th century in a poll of 139 academics organised by the market-research company MORI, was named among the 100 Greatest Britons in a UK-wide vote in 2002. Lloyd George was born on 17 January 1863 in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, to Welsh parents, was brought up as a Welsh-speaker, he is so far the only British Prime Minister to have been Welsh and to have spoken English as a second language. His father, William George, had been a teacher in both Liverpool, he taught in the Hope Street Sunday Schools, which were administered by the Unitarians, where he met Unitarian minister Dr James Martineau. In March of the same year, on account of his failing health, William George returned with his family to his native Pembrokeshire, he took up farming but died in June 1864 of pneumonia, aged 44. His widow, Elizabeth George, sold the farm and moved with her children to her native Llanystumdwy in Caernarfonshire, where she lived in a cottage known as Highgate with her brother Richard Lloyd, a shoemaker, a minister, a strong Liberal.
Lloyd George was educated at the local Anglican school Llanystumdwy National School and under tutors. Lloyd George's uncle was a towering influence on him, encouraging him to take up a career in law and enter politics, he added his uncle's surname to become "Lloyd George". His surname is given as "Lloyd George" and sometimes as "George"; the influence of his childhood showed through in his entire career, as he attempted to aid the common man at the expense of what he liked to call "the Dukes". However, his biographer John Grigg argued that Lloyd George's childhood was nowhere near as poverty-stricken as he liked to suggest, that a great deal of his self-confidence came from having been brought up by an uncle who enjoyed a position of influence and prestige in his small community. Brought up a devout evangelical, as a young man he lost his religious faith. Biographer Don Cregier says he became "a Deist and an agnostic, though he remained a chapel-goer and connoisseur of good preaching all his life."
He kept quiet about that and was, according to Frank Owen, for 25 years "one of the foremost fighting leaders of a fanatical Welsh Nonconformity". It was during this period of his life that Lloyd George first became interested in the issue of land ownership; as a young man he read books by Thomas Spence, John Stuart Mill and Henry George, as well as pamphlets written by George Bernard Shaw and Sidney Webb of the Fabian Society on the issue of land ownership. By the age of twenty-one, he had read and taken notes on Henry George's Progress and Poverty; this influenced Lloyd George's politics in life. Articled to a firm of solicitors in Porthmadog, Lloyd George was admitted in 1884 after taking Honours in his final law examination and set up his own practice in the back parlour of his uncle's house in 1885; the practice flourished, he established branch offices in surrounding towns, taking his brother William into partnership in 1887. Although many Prime Ministers have been barristers, Lloyd George is to date the only solicitor to have held that office.
By he was politically active, having campaigned for the Liberal Party in the 1885 election, attracted by Joseph Chamberlain's "unauthorised programme" of reforms. The election resulted firstly in a stalemate with neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives having a majority, the balance of power being held by the Irish Parliamentary Party. William Gladstone's proposal to bring about Irish Home Rule split the party, with Chamberlain leading the breakaway Liberal Unionists. Uncertain of which wing to follow, Lloyd George carried a pro-Chamberlain resolution at the local Liberal Club and travelled to Birmingham to attend the first meeting of Chamberlain's National Radical Union, but he had his dates wrong and arrived a week too early. In 1907, he was to say that he thought Chamberlain's plan for a federal solution correct in 1886 and still thought so, that he preferred the unauthorised programme to the Whig-like platform of the official Liberal Party, that, had Chamberlain proposed solutions to Welsh grievances such as land reform and disestablishment, he, together with most Welsh Liberals, would have followed Chamberlain.
He married Margaret Owen