Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham
|The Baroness Chatham|
Portrait by William Hoare c. 1766
8 November 1720
|Died||9 April 1803
Burton Pynsent, Somerset, England
|Resting place||Westminster Abbey|
|Other titles||Dowager Countess of Chatham|
|Successor||Mary Pitt, Countess of Chatham|
|Spouse(s)||William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
(m. 1754; d. 1778)
|Issue||5, including Lady Hester, John, and William|
Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham, 1st Baroness Chatham (née Grenville; 8 November 1720 – 9 April 1803), who was 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.
The sister of George Grenville, who was Prime Minister from 1763 to 1765, she was also the mother of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger and a niece of the noted Whig politician Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham, who had served as her husband's mentor.
Chatham and Elizabeth Grenville, her sister-in-law, are the only two women in British history to have been both the wife of a Prime Minister and the mother of a Prime Minister.
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. 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 Whig 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
- Miss Hester Grenville (8 November 1720 – 13 September 1749)
- The Hon Hester Grenville (13 September 1749 – 18 October 1749)
- Lady Hester Grenville (13 September 1749 – 18 October 1749)
- Lady Hester Pitt (16 November 1754 – 4 December 1761)
- The Rt Hon The Baroness Chatham (4 December 1761 – 4 August 1766)
- The Rt Hon The Countess of Chatham (4 August 1766 – 11 May 1778)
- The Rt Hon The Dowager Countess of Chatham (11 May 1778 – 9 April 1803)
- Cokayne, p. 143.
- Cokayne, George; et al., The Complete Peerage, III
- Larsen, Ruth M. "Pitt [née Grenville], Hester, countess of Chatham and suo jure Baroness Chatham". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29986. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Media related to Hester Pitt, Countess of Chatham at Wikimedia Commons
- Lundy, Darryl, Person Page, retrieved 5 March 2017
The Marchioness of Rockingham
|Spouse of the Prime Minister of Great Britain
The Duchess of Grafton
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Baroness Chatham
The Lady Chatham