Chatham Ministry

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The Chatham Ministry was a British government led by William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham that ruled between 1766 and 1768. Because of Pitt's former prominence before his title, it is sometimes referred to as the Pitt Ministry. Unusually for a politician considered to be Prime Minister, Pitt was not First Lord of the Treasury during the administration, but instead held the post of Lord Privy Seal

Chatham was ill with gout for long periods, and his government struggled to fulfill its various goals. Its major foreign policy objective - to secure Britain a major alliance partner in Europe that would end its diplomatic isolation - failed when Frederick the Great of Prussia rejected an offer to reform the Anglo-Prussian Alliance. In 1768 Pitt and several of his followers left the government, and the Duke of Grafton formally took over as Prime Minister - leading the Grafton Ministry until 1770.

Major figures[edit]


  • Black, Jeremy. William Pitt. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Preceded by
First Rockingham Ministry
British ministries
Succeeded by
Grafton Ministry