- Gordon Brown
- Tony Blair
- Sir John Major
- Baroness Margaret Thatcher
- James Callaghan
- Harold Wilson
- Sir Edward Heath
- Sir Alec Douglas-Home
- Harold Macmillan
- Sir Anthony Eden
- Sir Winston Churchill
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- Neville Chamberlain
- Stanley Baldwin
- James Ramsay MacDonald
- Andrew Bonar Law
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- Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
- Archibald Primrose 5th Earl of Rosebery
- William Ewart Gladstone
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- Edward Smith Stanley 14th Earl of Derby
- Lord John Russell 1st Earl Russell
- Henry John Temple 3rd Viscount Palmerston
- George Hamilton Gordon Earl of Aberdeen
- Sir Robert Peel 2nd Baronet
- William Lamb 2nd Viscount Melbourne
- Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke of Wellington
- Charles Grey 2nd Earl Grey
- Frederick Robinson Viscount Goderich
- George Canning
- Robert Banks Jenkinson Earl of Liverpool
- Spencer Perceval
- William Bentinck Duke of Portland
- William Wyndham Grenville 1st Baron Grenville
- William Pitt 'The Younger'
- Henry Addington 1st Viscount Sidmouth
- William Petty 2nd Earl of Shelburne
- Lord Frederick North
- Augustus Henry Fitzroy 3rd Duke of Grafton
- William Pitt 'The Elder' 1st Earl of Chatham
- Charles Watson-Wentworth 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
- George Grenville
- John Stuart 3rd Earl of Bute
- Thomas Pelham-Holles 1st Duke of Newcastle
- William Cavendish Duke of Devonshire
- Henry Pelham
- Spencer Compton 1st Earl of Wilmington
- Sir Robert Walpole
Thomas Pelham-Holles 1st Duke of Newcastle Whig 1754 to 1756, 1757 to 1762
21 July 1693 , London
17 November 1768, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London
Dates in office
1754 to 1756, 1757 to 1762
George II had bad relations with the Duke of Newcastle and during one altercation George's poor English made Newcastle think he had challenged him to a duel.
In 1717, the duke was given the responsibility of overseeing theatres and suppressing any plays or playwrights believed to be too critical of the Hanoverian succession or the Whig government.
The Duke of Newcastle was the first Prime Minister to spend his entire parliamentary career in the House of Lords, having taken his seat shortly after his 21st birthday.
“I shall not… think the demands of the people a rule of conduct, nor shall I ever fear to incur their resentment in the prosecution of their interest. I shall never flatter their passions to obtain their favour, or gratify their revenge for fear of their contempt.”
Born in London on 21 July 1693, the Duke of Newcastle came from a wealthy aristocratic family with strong political leanings. His brother, Henry Pelham, was also in politics and served as Prime Minister after Wilmington. He was tall for the time, had a high forehead, dark grey eyes and hooked nose. It is said he was a hypochondriac, worrying constantly about his health.
He was part of Walpole’s inner group from 1722 and his power grew as Walpole’s declined. He championed Britain’s entry into the war of the Austrian succession in 1741, despite Walpole’s opposition.
When Pelham died in 1754, the Duke of Newcastle succeeded his brother as Prime Minister. He immediately provoked the wrath of William Pitt ‘The Elder’ by failing to promote him above the subordinate position he had occupied for a decade, and later sacked him altogether.
His first term was dominated by foreign affairs, including the Seven Years War. It was poorly fought and early defeats led to his resignation in 1756. He returned to office the following year and formed a successful power-sharing coalition with Pitt.
His influence declined from 1760 with the accession of George III, who wanted him removed. His final year as Prime Minister saw parliamentary battles over the financing of the war in Europe, leading to his resignation in 1762.
In his later years he served as Lord Privy Seal in the Marquess of Rockingham’s ministry, but it was a short-lived appointment.
The Duke of Newcastle was said not to be a great man, but he was industrious and energetic, and to his credit he twice refused a pension. Records show that he finally left office £300,000 poorer than he entered it.
He died in November 1768.