Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Chatham
Hester (nee Grenville) Countess of Chatham (1721-1803).jpg
Hester (nee Grenville) Countess of Chatham (1721 [sic]-1803) by William Hoare, c. 1766
Born 8 November 1720
London, England
Died 9 April 1803(1803-04-09) (aged 82)
Burton Pynsent, Somerset, England
Nationality England English
Spouse(s) William Pitt the Elder
(m. 1708; his death 1778)
Children See § Marriage

Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham, 1st Baroness Chatham (née Grenville; 8 November 1720 – 9 April 1803), who was 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.[1] 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.

Early life[edit]

Born 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.[1] 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.[1] 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:

On 4 December 1761, she was created Baroness Chatham, of Chatham, in the County of Kent, with remainder to her sons by William Pitt. He was later created Earl of Chatham in 1766.

Titles from birth to death[edit]

  • 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


  1. ^ a b c Cokayne et al., The Complete Peerage, volume III, p.143


External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marchioness of Rockingham
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Great Britain
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Grafton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baroness Chatham
Succeeded by
The Lady Chatham