Pitt–Newcastle ministry

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Pitt–Newcastle ministry
Pitt the Elder (above) and the Duke of Newcastle (bottom)

The Pitt–Newcastle ministry governed the Kingdom of Great Britain between 1757 and 1762, at the height of the Seven Years' War.[1] It was headed by Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, who was serving in his second term as Prime Minister. The most influential and famous figure in the government however was William Pitt, who served as Secretary of State.

The ministry ended a period of political instability, when Britain had struggled in the war. Pitt was a strong war leader, but lacked the support in parliament necessary to provide effective leadership. Newcastle provided this, as he had a strong base of support in the House of Commons. They divided duties between each other: Pitt directed defence and foreign policy, while Newcastle controlled the nation's finances and patronage.

The ministry was very successful, leading Britain to many victories in the war, particularly in the so-called Annus Mirabilis of 1759, which put the country in an immensely strong position by 1761. That year, Pitt resigned over a dispute concerning the entry of Spain into the war. The ministry had been under pressure since the death of the old King with the accession of King George III, who disliked both Pitt and Newcastle and favoured John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. Bute had joined the Cabinet as Northern Secretary in March 1761, and following Pitt's resignation the ministry is sometimes referred to as the Bute–Newcastle coalition.[1][2]

In 1762 Newcastle was forced to resign, with his followers (the "Pelhamites") sacked by Bute in the "Massacre of the Pelhamite Innocents";[3][4][5] this is traditionally considered to have been the moment the ministry collapsed.[6]

The Ministry[edit]

It is unclear who was member of the ministry.[clarification needed]

Office Name Term
The Duke of Newcastle 1757–1762
Hon. Henry Bilson Legge 1757–1761
The Viscount Barrington 1761–1762
Lord Chancellor[9] Sir Robert Henley, to 1761 as Lord Keeper; from 1760 The Lord Henley 1757–1762
Lord President of the Council[10] The Earl Granville 1757–1762
Lord Privy Seal[11] The Earl Temple 1757–1761
In commission 1761
The Duke of Bedford 1761–1762
Leader of the House of Commons William Pitt the Elder 1757–1761
George Grenville, also Treasurer of the Navy 1761–1762
Secretary of State for the Southern Department[12] William Pitt the Elder 1757–1761
The Earl of Egremont 1761–1762
Secretary of State for the Northern Department[12] The Earl of Holderness 1757–1761
The Earl of Bute 1761–1762
Master-General of the Ordnance[13] The Duke of Marlborough 1757–1758
Vacant 1758–1759
The Viscount Ligonier 1759–1762
First Lord of the Admiralty[14] The Lord Anson 1757–1762
Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland[15] The Duke of Argyll 1757–1761
The Duke of Queensberry and Dover 1761–1762
Lord Chamberlain of the Household[16] The Duke of Devonshire 1757–1762
Lord Steward of the Household The Duke of Rutland 1757–1761
The Earl Talbot 1761–1762
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Lord Edgcumbe 1757–1758
The Earl of Kinnoull 1758/59[17]–1762
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Duke of Bedford 1757–1761
The Earl of Halifax 1761–1762
Master of the Horse[18] The Earl Gower 1757–1760
The Earl of Huntingdon 1760–1761
The Duke of Rutland 1761–1762
Paymaster of the Forces The Lord Holland 1757–1765

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chris Cook; John Stevenson (1980). British Historical Facts, 1760–1830. Archon Books. p. 11. ISBN 0208018689.
  2. ^ Namier, Lewis; Brooke, John (1985). The House of Commons 1754–1790. Boydell & Brewer. p. 518. ISBN 9780436304200.
  3. ^ Roberts, Clayton; Roberts, David F.; Bisson, Douglas (July 2016). A History of England, Volume 2: 1688 to the Present. Routledge. p. 311. ISBN 978-1-315-50960-0.
  4. ^ Kelch, Ray A. (1974). Newcastle; a Duke Without Money: Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1693-1768. University of California Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-520-02537-0.
  5. ^ Bloy, Marjie (30 April 2017). "The Massacre of the Pelhamite Innocents". Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  6. ^ Middleton 1985, p. 209.
  7. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 112".
  8. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 168".
  9. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 105".
  10. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 119".
  11. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 147".
  12. ^ a b "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 172".
  13. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 192".
  14. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 160".
  15. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 401".
  16. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 206".
  17. ^ Kinnoull and Duchy of Lancaster have different dates stated for the change due to the death of The Lord Edgcumbe on 25 December 1758.
  18. ^ "Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, page 209".


Preceded by
Caretaker ministry
Government of Great Britain
Succeeded by
Bute ministry