Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
NameHon Henry PELHAM , 12432
Birth1694
Death1754
MotherLady Grace HOLLES , 12434
Spouses
ChildrenCatherine , 12483 (1727-1760)
Notes for Hon Henry PELHAM
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 in 1754. He was the younger brother of the politician the Duke of Newcastle who succeeded him as Prime Minister.

Career

For the first year of his premiership, real power was held by the Secretary of State for the Northern Department, Lord Carteret, who headed the Carteret Ministry (Pelham was First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons). Thereafter, he shared power with his brother, the Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This period was relatively uneventful in terms of domestic affairs (Great Britain fought in several wars, however). Upon his death, his brother took full control of the ministry.

Early life

Pelham, Newcastle's younger brother, was a younger son of the 1st Baron Pelham of Laughton 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. Hertford College Oxford, the present-day incarnation of Hart Hall, still honours him in the title of its most prestigious drinking club, the Sir Henry Pelham Gentlemen's Sporting Society. As a volunteer he served in Dormer's regiment at the Battle of Preston in 1715, spent some time on the Continent, and in 1717 entered Parliament for Seaford in Sussex which he represented until 1722.


Government

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. With Walpole, he served as a founding governor of the popular charity the Foundling Hospital when it opened its doors in 1739.

Prime minister

In 1742 a union of parties resulted in the formation of an administration in which Pelham became Prime Minister the following year, with the offices of First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. The following year Carteret was forced out of the ministry and Pelham was regarded as the leading figure, but rank and influence made his brother very powerful in the Cabinet, and, in spite of a genuine attachment, there were occasional disputes between them, which led to difficulties.

Being strongly in favour of peace, Pelham carried on the War of the Austrian Succession with languor and indifferent success, but the country, wearied of the interminable struggle, was disposed to acquiesce in his foreign policy almost without a murmur. King George II, thwarted in his own favourite schemes, made overtures in 1746 to Lord Bath, but his purpose was upset by the resignation of the two Pelhams (Henry and Newcastle), who, after a two-day hiatus in which Bath and Carteret (now earl Granville) proved unable to form a ministry, resumed office at the king's request.


Pelham's brother the Duke of Newcastle with whom he enjoyed a prodigious political partnership, despite their occasional personal disagreements. Newcastle ultimately succeeded him as Prime Minister in 1754.

In 1749, the Consolidation Act was passed, reorganising the Royal Navy. On 20 March 1751, the British calendar was reorganised as well (New Year's Day became 1 January); Britain would adopt the Gregorian calendar one year later. Two of Pelham's final acts were the Jew Act of 1753, which allowed Jews to become naturalized by application to Parliament, and the Marriage Act of 1753, which enumerated the minimum age of consent for marriage. Upon his death, his brother (the aforementioned Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) took over government.

]Achievements

His very defects were among the chief elements of Pelham's success, for one with a strong personality, moderate self-respect, or high conceptions of statesmanship could not have restrained the discordant elements of the cabinet for any length of time. Moreover, he possessed tact and a thorough acquaintance with the forms of the House of Commons. Whatever quarrels or insubordination might exist within the cabinet, they never broke out into open revolt. Nor can a high degree of praise be denied to his financial policy, especially his plans for the reduction of the national debt and the simplification and consolidation of its different branches.
[edit]Personal life


Pelham had married Lady Catherine Manners, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Rutland, in 1726. They had four daughters:

Catherine (1727–1760), married 1744 Henry Clinton, 9th Earl Clinton, who by this marriage subsequently became the 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne
Frances (1728–1824), died unmarried
Grace (1735–1777), married 1752 the Hon. Lewis Watson, who in 1760 was created Baron Sondes
Mary (1739–1???), died unmarried

Pelham's personal papers were inherited by his son-in-law and now form part of the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection held at the department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham.
Last Modified 24 Aug 2013Created 26 Jan 2020 using Reunion for Macintosh