Monday 1 July 2013

A Most Unfortunate Prime Minister: Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (South Yorkshire, England, 13th May 1730 - Wimbledon, London, England, 1st July 1782)

Portrait of Charles Watson-Wentworth
Charles Watson-Wentworth after Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1766

Known to my dear old Mother Gilflurt as Charlie, Rockingham served two terms as Whig Prime Minister of Great Britain between 1765-1766 and again in 1782. Noted for his support of the colonists in America, Charlie was the leader of the Rockingham Whigs faction and a force to be reckoned with in the House of Commons.

A particular favourite of King George II, Charlie eventually fell from favour after he and the King disagreed on a fair few policies but this did little harm to his political career and three years later, he became Prime Minister. His first term was a short one due to Cabinet infighting and though he returned to high office in 1782, a fatal bout of influenza ended his parliamentary career for good.

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