William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister

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William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister

Also Known As: "The Great Commoner", "The Right Honorable 1st Earl of Chatham"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: London, Greater London, UK
Death: May 11, 1778 (69)
Hayes, Kent
Place of Burial: London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Pitt and Lady Harriet Villiers
Husband of Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham
Father of Hester Stanhope; General John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham; Harriot Eliot; William Pitt "The Younger" Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; James Charles Pitt and 2 others
Brother of Thomas Pitt

Occupation: In Office 30 July 1766 – 14 October 1768 as Prime Minister
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister

William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC (15 November 1708 – 11 May 1778) was a British Whig statesman who achieved his greatest fame leading Britain during the Seven Years' War (known as the French and Indian War in North America). He again led the country (holding the official title of Lord Privy Seal) between 1766-68.

He is often known as William Pitt, the Elder to distinguish him from his son, William Pitt the Younger. He was also known as The Great Commoner, because of his long-standing refusal to accept a title until 1766. The major American city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is named after him, as are numerous other cities and towns in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

See link for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Pitt,_1st_Earl_of_Chatham

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Sir William was the last Earl of Chatham since his son Thomas married a commoner. Sir William was made Chancellor of the Exchequer and later formed a government in which he had to face the opposition of a large parliamentry opposition majority. In 1784 he returned to power, and introduced a number of financial reforms, re-organising the East India Company, and doning away with many sinecures in the Customs Service. He established the Sinking Fund in 1786. He suppressed the Irish Rebellion 1798, and effected the union of the two Parliaments by the Act of 1800. Sir William also prevented Napoleon from gaining world power by sending Arthur Wellesley, (afterwards Duke of Wellington) across the channel to intercept Napoleon in his triumphal march across Europe; Wellesley met Napoleon at Waterloo and gave him such a thrashing that he fled, with the remnant of his beaten Army to France, where he was afterwards taken prisoner and banished to St. Helena - although he escaped and made a further attempt for world power he failed, and spent the rest of his life in exile.

Pitt was voted £30,000 for his patriotism, and his services to his country; that after telling him if he persisted in sending an army after Napolean he would plunge the country into such debt that it would never recover. Pitt is said to have spoken in favour of sending an army across the channel for two and a half hours, telling the house that they had better be poor, than slaves to a foreign power, his eloquence prevailed; he was said to be the most eloquent speaker Britain had ever had, and Her greatest Prime Minister.

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William Pitt (1708-1778) was British secretary of state during the French and Indian War and later served as Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Named secretary of state in 1757, Pitt resolved to commit whatever resources were necessary to defeat the French in North America and on the European continent. He provided generous funding to Prussia, Britain's ally in the Seven Years' War, for troops to tie down French forces in Europe. He also funded the expansion of provincial militias in North America. By the summer of 1758, the British had 50,000 men in uniform in North America, serving as British regulars or in colonial provincial regiments—a number equal to the entire white population of New France. Pitt resigned in 1761 when the king refused to pursue a more complete defeat of France or to declare war against Spain.

Pitt's policies led to British success in the French and Indian War. But they also left Britain with a tremendous debt, and a larger empire to administer. During the ensuing controversies between Britain and its America colonies, Pitt sympathized with the Americans, especially in their opposition to the Stamp Act. But as Prime Minister (1766-68) he was unsuccessful in crafting a policy that could reconcile the ambitions of Britain and America.

About Ft. Pitt

A Virginia colonial militia outpost, Fort Prince George (aka Capt. William Trent's Fort), was first located here in April 1754 (originally proposed two miles downriver on the Ohio on "Fort Hill" at McKees Rocks), but the French soon captured and destroyed it. The French then soon built Fort DuQuesne at the point, but they burned it down to prevent its capture by the British in November 1758. It was an 80-feet square log stockade, with earthen outer works along the Allegheny River. The British built the stockaded Fort Mercer (or Capt. Hugh Mercer's Fort) in the winter of 1758 - 1759 (its stone magazine stood until 1852, now the site of a railroad terminal) as a temporary defense until Fort Pitt was completed. The much larger Fort Pitt was completed in 1761, only to be abandoned in 1772. It was unsuccessfully attacked by Pontiac in June 1763. Five brick blockhouses were built outside the fort in 1764. Only one still exists, Bouquet's Redoubt, the oldest structure in western Pennsylvania. The fort was claimed and known as Fort Dunmore by Virginia after 1772. The Virginia state militia returned in 1778, and occupied it for the duration of the American Revolution. The fort then became a Federal military supply depot until 1792, when it was finally abandoned. The museum is in a recreated bastion (Monongahela Bastion).


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William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister's Timeline

November 15, 1708
London, Greater London, UK
Age 18
Oxford, England
- 1730
Age 19
Utrecht University
October 18, 1755
Age 46
October 9, 1756
Age 47
Chatham, Medway, England, United Kingdom
April 18, 1758
Age 49
May 28, 1759
Age 50
Bromley, Kent, UK
April 24, 1761
Age 52
Canon Frome, Hertfordshire, England