Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
|Birthplace:||South Yorkshire, UK|
|Death:||Died in Greater London, UK|
Son of Thomas Watson-Wentworth and Mary Watson-Wentworth
|Occupation:||Prime Minister of Great Britain|
|Managed by:||Charles W Lewis, II|
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About Prime Minister Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, KG, PC (13 May 1730 – 1 July 1782), styled The Hon. Charles Watson-Wentworth before 1733, Viscount Higham between 1733 and 1746, Earl of Malton between 1746 and 1750 and The Earl Malton in 1750, was a British Whig statesman, most notable for his two terms as Prime Minister of Great Britain. He became the patron of many Whigs and served as a leading Whig grandee. He served in only two high offices during his lifetime (Prime Minister and Leader of the House of Lords), but was nonetheless very influential during his one and a half years of service.
Prime Minister: 1765–1766
The king's dislike of Grenville, as well as his general lack of parliamentary support, led to his dismissal in 1765, and, following negotiations conducted through the medium of the king's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, Lord Rockingham was appointed Prime Minister. Rockingham recovered the honours deprived from him in 1762. Rockingham appointed his allies Henry Seymour Conway and the Duke of Grafton as secretaries of state. Also at this time, Edmund Burke, the Irish statesman and philosopher, became his private secretary and would remain a life-long friend, political ally and advisor until Rockingham's premature death in 1782.
Rockingham's administration was dominated by the American issue. Rockingham wished for repeal of the Stamp Act 1765 and won a Commons vote on the repeal resolution by 275 to 167 in 1766. However Rockingham also passed the Declaratory Act, which asserted that the British Parliament had the right to legislate for the American colonies in all cases whatsoever.
However, internal dissent within the cabinet led to his resignation and the appointment of Lord Chatham as Prime Minister (the Duke of Grafton was appointed First Lord of the Treasury, one of the few cases in which those two offices were separate).