William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham (1708-1778) was a British Whig politician, "the Great Commoner".
As paymaster of the forces 1746-55, he broke with tradition by refusing to enrich himself; he was dismissed for attacking Newcastle, the prime minister. He served effectively as prime minister in coalition governments (1756-1761), successfully conducting the Seven Years' War, and (1766-1768).
Entering Parliament in 1735, Pitt led the Patriot faction opposed to the Whig prime minister Walpole and attacked Walpole's successor, Carteret, for his conduct of the War of the Austrian Succession. Recalled by popular demand to form a government on the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756, he was forced to form a coalition with Newcastle in 1757.
ear of victories" ensued in 1759, and the French were expelled from India and Canada. In 1761 Pitt wished to escalate the war by a declaration of war on Spain, George III disagreed and Pitt resigned, but was again recalled to form an all-party government in 1766.
He championed the Americans against the king, though rejecting independence, and collapsed during his last speech in the House of Lords - opposing the withdrawal of British troops - and died a month later.
Why is William Pitt the Younger famous?
William Pitt the Younger was a British Whig statesman and leader during the Seven Years' War.