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Past prime ministers

This series of biographies of British Prime Ministers, from Sir Robert Walpole to Gordon Brown are written by members of History & Policy, a 500+ strong network of expert historians. These new, succinct bios will be published over the coming months.
Each describes the major issues facing the PM at the time, his or her successes and failures in office, as well as personal characteristics. The series will offer readers of the History of Government Blog clear analysis and interesting insights into how Britain’s Prime Ministers have ruled across nearly 300 years.

Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth

Henry Addington, born on 30 May 1757, was eldest son of a successful London physician, Dr Anthony Addington. He passed through Winchester College and other schools on his path to Brasenose College, Oxford, and then Lincoln’s Inn, becoming a barrister …

William Pitt the Younger (Whig/Tory 1783-1801, 1804-1806)

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William Pitt (the younger), Government Art Collection

William Pitt (the younger) was born on 28 May 1759 at Hayes Place, Kent, the second son of William Pitt (the elder), later 1st Earl of Chatham and himself Prime Minister. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge at the age …