Newcastle served as secretary of state for 30 years (1724-54) in the governments of Walpole, Wilmington and Pelham, his brother, whom he succeeded as first lord of the treasury and prime minister following his death. He won election in 1754, as the leader of the "old guard" Whigs, but the party was breaking down into factions.
Newcastle formed a government of ambitious men including Henry Fox as secretary of war, who succeeded in leading the country into war with France. Newcastle was at a loss. Publically criticized by William Pitt, Newcastle attempted to rearrange his cabinet moving Fox to secretary of state where he could speak for him in the Commons. It did no good. The war was being lost. Fox resigned and Newcastle followed in November 1756 under popular pressure. His ministry was characterized later as one of the weakest on record.
Second Ministry (1761-62)
Newcastle became first lord again in July, 1757, in Pitt's government. He served him until Pitt resigned in October, 1761 when his proposals to declare war on Spain were unsupported in Parliament and George III. Newcastle took over the government. When war broke out with Spain in January, 1762, Newcastle attempted to handle peace negotiations without Pitt, but to no avail. He resigned his office in May, driven out by John Stuart, Earl of Bute, the king's chosen at the time.
Newcastle served as lord privy seal in Rockingham's government (1765-66).
Detail of painting in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
1754 - St. Andrews Golf Club, The Royal and Ancient, is founded in Scotland. Britain and France are at war in North America; the issue is boundaries. In England, the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Manufacturers is created.
1755 - British troops defeated by the French near Fort Dusquesne in the colonies. Earthquake in Lisbon; 30,000 lose their lives. Samuel Johnson publishes "Dictionary of the English Language."
1761 - Agricultural machines are displayed in London in an exhibition by the Society of Arts. The atmosphere of Venus is discovered by a Russian poet scientist, Mikhail Lomonosov. Benjamin Victor publishes "History of the Theatres of London and Dublin."
1762 - War with Spain breaks out. Sweden and Prussia sign a Treaty of Hamburg. Prussia and Austria sign alliance against Austria. In Scotland, cast iron is converted into malleable iron for the first time at the ironworks in Stirlingshire.
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