Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
WILLIAM PITT: MANCHESTER PITT CLUB
WYON, Thomas, Jr. (after H. Howard): England, 1813,
Silver, 50 mm
William Pitt (1759-1806) was the son of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, and Lady Hester Grenville. Pitt was a precocious child, entering Cambridge at 14, and in 1783, at the age of 24, became the youngest prime minister on record, the Tories and friends of George III helping him to attain this post. As prime minister he is remembered for his tough policies against corruption, fiscal reform, shifting power toward the House of Commons and the union with Ireland.
His father, William Pitt, the Elder, after whom the city of Pittsburgh is named, was also prime minister of Great Britain. But unlike his father, Pitt the Younger had a talent for finance. He restructured Britain's finances, negotiated new tariffs with France and faired well in office until 1793 when France declared war - the beginning of years of conflict. In 1798 the Irish revolted against his policies. His solution, the Act of Union 1800, included Catholic emancipation which was rejected by the king. Pitt resigned in protest in 1801.
Returning as prime minister in 1804, he gained the support of the Austrian, Russian and Swedish leaders in an attempt to defeat Napoleon's armies. The news of Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz in 1806 is said to have caused Pitt's death. (Britannia.com)