William Pitt the Younger

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William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 (although the term Prime Minister was not then used). He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was also the Chancellor of the Exchequer throughout his premiership. He is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt the Elder, who previously served as Prime Minister of Great Britain. In 1766 he gained the title of The Hon. William Pitt when his father was created an Earl. In 1782, he became The Right Hon. William Pitt when he joined the government of Lord Shelburne as Chancellor of the Exchequer and was appointed a member of the Privy Council.

The younger Pitt's prime ministerial tenure, which came during the reign of George III, was dominated by major 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.


Early life

The Honourable William Pitt, second son of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, was born at Hayes Place in the village of Hayes, Kent.[3] Pitt was from a political family on both sides. His mother, Hester Grenville was sister to former prime minister George Grenville.[4] According to biographer John Ehrman, Pitt inherited brilliance and dynamism from his father's line, and a determined, methodical nature from the Grenvilles.[5]

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