Portrait of Henry Pelham (1694-1754), Prime Minister of Great Britain (First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Leader of the House of Commons) from 1743 to 1754, 1750
Henry Pelham (25 September 1694 – 6 March 1754) was a British Whig statesman, who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 27 August 1743 until his death. He was the younger brother of Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, who served in Pelham's government and succeeded him as Prime Minister. Pelham is generally considered to have been Britain's third Prime Minister after Sir Robert Walpole and the Earl of Wilmington. Pelham's premiership was relatively uneventful in terms of domestic affairs, although it was during his premiership that Great Britain experienced the tumult of the 1745 Jacobite uprising. In foreign affairs, Great Britain fought in several wars. Upon Pelham's death, his brother Newcastle took full control of the ministry. Pelham, Newcastle's younger brother, was a younger son of the Thomas Pelham, 1st Baron Pelham and his wife, the former Lady Grace Holles, daughter of Gilbert Holles, 3rd Earl of Clare and Grace Pierrepont. He was educated at Westminster School and Hart Hall, Oxford. Through strong family influence, and the recommendation of Robert Walpole, he was chosen in 1721 as Lord of the Treasury. The following year he was returned for Sussex county. In 1724 he entered the ministry as Secretary at War, but this office he exchanged in 1730 for the more lucrative one of Paymaster of the Forces. He made himself conspicuous by his support of Walpole on the question of the excise. He, Newcastle, and the Prime Minister would often meet at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, where they would draw up much of the country's policy. These meetings became known as the Norfolk Congress. In 1742 a union of parties resulted in the formation of an administration in which Pelham became Prime Minister the following year, succeeding the Earl of Wilmington after his death.
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