Often in my research I keep needing to find who was leading the government and do this through every book. I thought that having the list handy would be good, and then turning it into a research webpage even better. Here is the list. After I post a few more Timeline years and write some more, I will work on the web page with notes about each PM.
|William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland||04/02/1783
|William Pitt the Younger
|William Addington 1st Viscount Sidmouth
|William Pitt the Younger
|William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville
|William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland||03/31/1807
|Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
|Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich
|Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
|Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
|William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
|Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
|Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet
|William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
|Tory* (Tory government, PM a Whig)
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
Died 10/30/1809 Bulstrode, Buckinghamshire
Treaty of Paris 1783-End of the American War of Independence
A tall, dignified and handsome man, Portland was prime minister for two short periods separated by over 20 years, but was not especially successful in either. The Duke of Portland entered Parliament via the House of Lords, by virtue of his title, in 1761. Chancellor of the University of Oxford. In 1783, he was appointed Prime Minister of the Whig administration by King George III and again from 1807 to 1809. The 24 years between his two terms as Prime Minister is the longest gap between terms of office of any Prime Minister. He was known before 1762 by the courtesy title Marquess of Titchfield. He held a title of every degree of British nobility—Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, and Baron.
Lord Titchfield was the eldest son of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland and Margaret Cavendish-Harley and inherited many lands from his mother and his maternal grandmother. He was educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford, and was elected to sit in the Parliament for Weobley in 1761 before entering the Lords when he succeeded his father as Duke of Portland the next year. Associated with the aristocratic Whig party of Lord Rockingham, Portland served as Lord Chamberlain of the Household in Rockingham’s first Government (1765–1766) and then as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Rockingham’s second ministry (April–August 1782); he resigned from Lord Shelburne’s ministry along with other supporters of Charles James Fox following Rockingham’s death.
The Duke of Portland’s first government was concerned with the power of the East India Company.
In April 1783, Portland was brought forward as titular head of a coalition government as Prime Minister, whose real leaders were Charles James Fox and Lord North. He served as First Lord of the Treasury in this ministry until its fall in December of the same year. During his tenure the Treaty of Paris was signed formally ending the American Revolutionary War. In 1783 Charles Fox attempted to persuade Parliament to pass a bill that would replace the company’s directors with a board of commissioners. George III made it known to the House of Lords that he would consider anyone voting with the Bill an enemy. As a result of this interference, Portland’s government resigned.
In 1789, Portland became one of several vice presidents of London’s Foundling Hospital. This charity had become one of the most fashionable of the time, with several notables serving on its board. At its creation, fifty years earlier, Portland’s father, William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, had been one of the founding governors, listed on the charity’s royal charter granted by George II. The hospital’s mission was to care for the abandoned children in London; and it achieved rapid fame through its poignant mission, its art collection donated from supporting artists, and popular benefit concerts put on by George Frideric Handel. In 1793, Portland took over the presidency of the charity from Lord North.
Portland served in the governments of other Whig leaders until his second government, over 20 years later. Along with many such conservative Whigs as Edmund Burke, Portland was deeply uncomfortable with the French Revolution and broke with Fox over this issue, joining Pitt’s government as Home Secretary in 1794. He continued to serve in the cabinet until Pitt’s death in 1806—from 1801 to 1805 as Lord President of the Council and then as a Minister without Portfolio.
In 1807 Portland became PM, insisting that he was still a Whig, despite heading a Tory government. In March 1807, after the collapse of the Ministry of all the Talents, Pitt’s supporters returned to power; and Portland was, once again, an acceptable figurehead for a fractious group of ministers that included George Canning, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Hawkesbury, and Spencer Perceval.
Portland’s second government saw the United Kingdom’s complete isolation on the continent but also the beginning of recovery, with the start of the Peninsular War. In late 1809, with Portland’s health poor and the ministry rocked by the scandalous duel between Canning and Castlereagh, Portland resigned, dying shortly thereafter.
By now too old and ill to run the government, he mostly left his Cabinet to do what they wanted. The period was marked by rivalry between two powerful ministers, Castlereagh and Canning, culminating in a duel between the two in 1809 over the running of the Peninsular War.
Portland resigned in 1809, just weeks before his death.
The Duke of Portland — First Lord of the Treasury
Lord Stormont — Lord President of the Council
Lord Carlisle — Lord Privy Seal
Lord North — Secretary of State for the Home Department
Charles James Fox — Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Lord Keppel — First Lord of the Admiralty
Lord John Cavendish — Chancellor of the Exchequer
Lord Townshend — Master-General of the Ordnance
Lord Northington — Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
The Great Seal is in Commission
The Duke of Portland — First Lord of the Treasury
Lord Eldon — Lord Chancellor
Lord Camden — Lord President of the Council
Lord Westmorland — Lord Privy Seal
Lord Hawkesbury, after 1808, Lord Liverpool – Secretary of State for the Home Department
George Canning — Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Lord Castlereagh — Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
Lord Mulgrave — First Lord of the Admiralty
Spencer Perceval — Chancellor of the Exchequer and of the Duchy of Lancaster
Lord Chatham — Master-General of the Ordnance
Lord Bathurst — President of the Board of Trade
“My fears are not that the attempt to perform this duty will shorten my life, but that I shall neither bodily nor mentally perform it as I should.”
His wife Dorothy Cavendish, daughter of the 4th Duke of Devonshire. They had six children, 4 boys and 2 girls. The duke and duchess are the the 3x great grandparents of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Writing LIfe
My new writing project is another regency, tentatively titled The Heir. I am now over 180 pages into it. The heroine of course can not stand the hero, who is trying to understand why she dislikes him so. Part of the action takes place in St. James Square, where I have located our Heroine’s home. That was written about, in a blog post from fellow writer Angelyn Schmid on her post about Let’s do Business in Bed.
I enclose a few more paragraphs from the first draft first chapter.
Chapter 1 continued
Annabella suspected that Lady Elizabeth had been surprised that she had received an offer from the Earl. Annabella thought in all the stories she had read as a child, that was what would happen. Lady Elizabeth had read those stories to her in the schoolroom, and Annabella had first truly thought that her father and Lady Elizabeth were happy. Now, she was beginning to see that they were not happy like the people in her stories. Annabella wondered if anyone was ever as happy as the people in her stories.
“You must realize how scared she is not. For we are going to be in Town for more than six months and there will be many people who she does not know how to address well, in our house at St. James Square all treating her as the head of our social circle yet she will want to stay to her room and then…” Annabella stopped.
“Then you will again have to take over as hostess for your father, I know my lady. I am sorry. I should accompany you and be of aide, but your father has made it clear that in Town, your stepmother must be in charge. I must stay here. I will prepare the house for your return. It will be a tribute and your father will see that it supports all of his endeavors.”
“Then I thank you. I am sure that you shall see that the rest of the day’s packing goes smoothly and that her ladyship is not troubled should she ask for a thing. That you will see it done promptly knowing the burden that is shortly to be thrust upon her.” Annabella implied that the few requests that Lady Elizabeth made, and they were always just a few, were seen to, and not ignored or an issued made of it. Mrs. Drake nodded.
“You leave it all to me Lady Anna. I’ll see it gets done.”
“Thank you so much.” Mrs. Drake left and Annabella finished her coffee. She savored the quiet in the room, though there was still pandaemonium just outside the closed doors. When she stood, and entered the hall, and became a part of it, she would find that she would not be given the opportunity to catch her breath. The servants, when they saw her, she knew, would stop and ask her questions. The answer would invariably be “Please ask Mrs. Drake.” Or “That must be addressed to Lady Elizabeth.” She knew from experience that were she to make a decision, it would be followed.
Yet even were it the same decision that either Lady Elizabeth or Mrs. Drake would have made on moving day, and from her participation in previous moving days, Annabella knew that her thoughts would have served as theirs, the two ladies would be upset in no small way, that she would have taken it unto herself to have made known her thoughts.
Such was not done in the Earl’s household. Well it was done, Annabella reflected with great regularity. But when it was done, those two great forces that thought the control of the house was their prerogative took it upon themselves to feel as if some great conspiracy had been begun to rob of their very dignity.
Yet she loved each lady in ways the same and separate from the other. Each was a part of who she had grown to become. Annabella knew that she was emerging as a woman that was to be sought after, and not by the dregs of society that wanted to love her for her fortune, or the fortune the expected her to breed much as her father bred horses. Annabella knew that she had much more to give to a husband than a son which would enable him to be rich and powerful amongst the richest men of the world.
Annabella knew that the year of 1812 was sure to bring much change, and was also sure that England would show the world her colors. Not just Annabella showing London society her nature, but that the English were destined to make their mark, and this was the year it would happen.
Her father, she was sure, would be asked by Prime Minister Perceval to be a member of his cabinet. The Prince Regent had shown that he backed the Tories once he had become the Regent. He was much more liberal with his views before he actually came to power. The Whigs and Charles James Fox had thought the Prince Regent their fast friend. And her father had despaired that such was the truth of the matter. Coming into power, Prinny certainly saw that he benefited with friends who wanted a monarch.
And the eighth Earl of Bath was a supporter of the Tories all his life. He even ensured that the man who represented his pocket borough also held the same believes. Of course as a pocket borough, it was the Earl’s vote and only his vote that saw to the member going up to London and sitting in the Commons. Annabella was sure that the Whigs thought very ill of that.
The way outside was evident in the window that she sat looking out of. Annabella could open the window and step through to the outside of the house. She could escape and then none of the servants would ask her thoughts, opinions or desires. That was certainly enticing. She summoned a servant to take the tray of coffee away, and then stepped through the window and made her escape. The groundsmen, half of them, were inside the house helping with the packing. There was no need for a clipping of a flower, or a shrubbery to be packed and sent to Town. She was safe from any questions, except that some of the men wished her opinions only on what should be carted to town later when the flowers came back and bloomed in Spring.
Then, Combe Edinsley sent bunches of flowers twice a week to London to adorn the house in St. James Square. The efforts of the gardeners and groundsmen was greatly appreciated then. Three times during the season, in no specific date, she wrote to the estate that Mr. Tavish, who had the management of all the grounds, could have read her letters thanking the men that sent such abundance to London. She knew that it built morale amongst them. Her father had said that her mother had done the same, and Lady Elizabeth did trouble herself to write a letter as well, yet the groundsmen knew to expect it always on the 17th of June, and always a little short and perfunctorily done.
Annabella knew that a long letter written on how bright blue the chrysanthemum was and how when set in a drawing room, which she would describe for the men would never be up to London to see it. Though the carter would and report back how the flowers looked displayed. That meant the world. She had done this as an exercise first while still in the school room. Mr. Tavish had shared that the men had made him keep all of her letters, and that they would sit for a good hour or two, having a beer on the days her new letter would arrive. Then they would ask a favorite passage from one of the older ones be read as well.
Mr. Tavish had told her that nothing made the men love her more than her letters. So whenever a groundsman or gardener stopped to speak with her, it was always with great respect from them. She held that dear. The stablemen though, they thought nothing of her but her father’s spoiled daughter.
“Lady Anna, if you be looking for your father, he be back in the stables there aways.”
“Yes, thank you, Mr. McClure.” The head groom of the estate. And as one of the greatest source of income for Lord Lennox was the money from breeding, Mr. McClure was to be respected at every turn.
There were other sources of money for the Bath fortunes. A lot of land and tenancies, including in the city of Bath which had been part of the original land grant. Then the man of accounts of the Earl protected the fortune with investments in various things. A little here and a little there Mr. Becoomb was fond of saying.
“Father? Are you there?” She wandered into the stables. The groomsmen and lads were all respectful of her, but she knew that they thought her an interloper. That she only wished to have a riding horse, and did not care at all for the racing lines that they were breeding too. Her father also was looking to breed strong hunters as well, though he only went hunting when it was his turn to host the meet.
“Ah, back here Anna. Regal wants to run and we just can’t let him out yet.” Regal was the new favorite. Or the one the Earl was most concerned with that day. He had more than a dozen favorites and could talk for some time on how all of them were doing.
“Good horse,” she reached out and patted the animal. “One day you will race and win and all will admire you as much as your grandsire.”
“Well, if we find a buyer for him. I think Lord Cameron is ready to indulge and that will be a pretty penny.”
“A lot of sterling is what you mean, father.”
He laughed, “Yes Anna, a lot of sterling. Father had some good ideas when he bred from Eclipse and other great horses. We have the best stables in all the country I should wager.”
“Well, you don’t though. You let others purchase our mares and stallions and they race them. Why not us?”
The Earl shook his head. “I should do so locally, but I do not want to rush about and tend to such details as a race here, or there. There is already enough fuss living here or in London. I have little desire to live in the rooms in an Inn while traveling to a race. No, let some other have that fun, which I think is not at all. Besides my friends will travel to our stables here and purchase a champion.”
Hunters and racehorses, two sets of horses for the carriages, and one horse each for herself and the Countess to ride. The Earl did not ride his friends, and Annabella did not have a horse for a chaperone to accompany her. Last season that had been an issue and in London she did have an extra mount for that need. Here at Combe Edinsley, it was not necessary.
“Well, are you ready to return to the house any time soon. Your presence is of course sorely needed.”
He smiled, “Anna you know it is why I am here. Were I to come between my wife and my housekeeper I will only lose. A man never wins in such a match. And even when they both smile at me and pretend they are thanking me for arbitrating between them, they are both angered at me and thinking of some revenge upon me. And, then, if I am not incorrect about the way the wind is blowing, you have already seen to the worst of it, and my presence is not so sorely needed at all.”
She laughed, “That is indeed the way of it. How do you know these things.”
“I think all men do, but it may take some time for them to realize that they do. I should have dismissed Mrs. Drake when I married Elizabeth. But your new mama said that I should do no such thing as they were such good friends from her days when she was just your governess. There is no going back. That is a lesson that is hard to learn. We may long for such a time when we do not have the responsibilities, or positions that we have now, but when we try to return to the friendships that once were strong and now are colored by all that we have done, you learn, that you can only keep those of the past, if they have walked along side you in the present. There is no going back.”
Her father would often say things like that. And the last few years he had risen in the House of Lords to say such things as well. It made him seem very wise. The reason she was sure that he was talked about as a future appointee to the Cabinet.
But he was her father and she could also recognize that much of what the Earl said was also nonsense. A great deal was nonsense. And a lot of what he did was folly as well. Not taking the horses to races to see how they performed, but letting his customers do so, after they had brought the horse could result in tragedy. Some, who expected a better showing with their steeds had asked for their money back. Not in so many words, but hinted at such an action.
That the name Lennox and word swindle were some how linked. That was upsetting and she hoped that her father would respond by taking their racers out and showing everyone that they were winners. Yet still, despite their return to London, he was afraid. Perhaps it meant that Lady Elizabeth and he were very well suited to each other. That the man who had been called gregarious in his youth was not quite a recluse but wished to be, once his first wife died. And now, still, nothing had really changed.
When at home at Combe Edinsley, the Earl never left the property for all the months they lived there, and in Town, he was either at St. James Square, or the House of Lords. Seldom did he go anywhere else. Not even his clubs.
“You must venture into the fray soon, as you always do, and give all your blessing. They expect it and a few kind words about how pleased you are always seems to leave them at peace.”
He laughed, “Yes, come we shall return to the house, for I expect you have laid the groundwork for me. As long as I say how pleased I am and not make any decisions, I look the hero. Should I choose a side, then the war is truly on. Come, a few more hours of their packing and tearing the house apart and it shall be done. I have learned that with patience, much does resolve itself. And usually to ones benefit.”
Annabella hoped that was the case, but she was not as sure as her father.