Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham
|The Right Honourable
The Countess of Chatham
Hester (nee Grenville) Countess of Chatham (1721 [sic]-1803) by William Hoare, c. 1766
|Born||8 November 1720
|Died||9 April 1803
Burton Pynsent, Somerset
|Spouse(s)||William Pitt (the Elder), 1st Earl of Chatham (1708-1778)|
|Children||Lady Hester Pitt (1755-1780)
John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham (1756-1853)
Lady Harriet Pitt (1758-1786)
Hon. William Pitt (the Younger) (1759-1806)
Hon. James Charles Pitt (1761-1781)
|Parent(s)||Richard Grenville (died 1727) and Hester Grenville, 1st Countess Temple (c. 1690-1752)|
Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham (8 November 1720 – 9 April 1803), 1st Baroness Chatham in her own right, was the wife of William Pitt (the Elder), 1st Earl of Chatham, who was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1766 to 1768. and sister of George Grenville, who was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1763 to 1765. She was also a niece of the noted Whig politician Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham, who had served as William Pitt's mentor.
Born Miss Hester Grenville on 8 November 1720 in London, she was the only daughter of Richard Grenville and Hester Grenville, 1st Countess Temple and was baptised in St. James's church on 6 December that year. She spent her childhood with her brothers at Stowe House and Wotton House, riding horses and developing an interest in politics.
A spinster until her thirty-fourth year, Lady Hester married the politician, William Pitt, whom she had known for over twenty years as a friend of her brothers, on 16 November 1754 at her home in Argyle Street, London. They spent their ten-day honeymoon at West Wickham, Kent. The marriage was a happy one and the couple moved to a house in Hayes, Kent in 1756. They had five children:
- Lady Hester (1755–1780), married Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope.
- John, styled Viscount Pitt, later 2nd Earl of Chatham (1756–1835)
- Lady Harriet (1758–1786), married Edward James Eliot.
- Rt. Hon. William (1759–1806)
- Hon. James Charles Pitt (1761–1781)
Titles from birth to death
- 8 November 1720–13 September 1749: Miss Hester Grenville
- 13 September 1749–18 October 1749: The Honourable Hester Grenville
- 18 October 1749–16 November 1754: Lady Hester Grenville
- 16 November 1754–4 December 1761: Lady Hester Pitt
- 4 December 1761–4 August 1766: The Right Honourable The Baroness Chatham
- 4 August 1766–11 May 1778: The Right Honourable The Countess of Chatham
- 11 May 1778–9 April 1803: The Right Honourable The Dowager Countess of Chatham
- Larsen, Ruth M. - Pitt (née Grenville), Hester, countess of Chatham and suo jure Baroness Chatham (1720–1803), political wife - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
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