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List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom by age

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This is a list of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom by age. This table can be sorted to display prime ministers of the United Kingdom by name, order of office, date of birth, age at appointment, length of retirement, or lifespan. Age at appointment is determined by the day a prime minister assumed office for the first time. Length of retirement is determined from the day a prime minister leaves office for the final time until their death.

Two measures of longevity are given; this is to allow for the differing number of leap days occurring within the life of each Prime Minister. The first figure is the number of days between date of birth and date of death, allowing for leap days; in parentheses the same period given in years and days, with the number of whole years that the Prime Minister had lived, and the days being the remaining number of days from their last birthday. Where the prime minister in question is still living, their longevity is measured up to 18 September 2018.

Overview

The median age upon accession to the premiership is 53 years and 87 days, which falls between Earl of Derby (23rd) and Margaret Thatcher (24th). The youngest Prime Minister to assume office was William Pitt the Younger (aged 24 years, and 205 days). The youngest Prime Minister to leave office was Duke of Grafton (aged 34 years, and 122 days). The oldest Prime Minister to assume office for the first time was Viscount Palmerston (aged 70 years, and 109 days). If Jeremy Corbyn were to win the 2022 General Election, he would surpass Palmerston as the oldest Prime Minister to assume office for the first time aged 72 years, 344 days. The oldest Prime Minister to be appointed overall was William Ewart Gladstone (aged 82 years, and 230 days) when he was appointed for the fourth and final time on 15 August 1892. Gladstone was also the oldest Prime Minister to leave office (aged 84 years and 63 days) at his final retirement on 2 March 1894.

There are currently five living British prime ministers including incumbent Theresa May.

The oldest living former Prime Minister is John Major, born 29 March 1943 (aged 75 years, 173 days). Gordon Brown is the second oldest, 7 years, and 328 days younger than Major. Brown was born on 20 February 1951 (aged 67 years, 210 days).

The youngest living former Prime Minister is David Cameron, born 9 October 1966 (aged 51 years, 344 days). Tony Blair is the second youngest, 13 years, and 156 days older than Cameron. Blair was born on 6 May 1953 (aged 65 years, 135 days).

The longest-lived prime minister was James Callaghan, who died on the eve of his 93rd birthday on 26 March 2005. Harold Macmillan was the second longest-lived, 42 days short of Callaghan. The oldest living prime minister, John Major, will tie Macmillan if he lives to 15 February 2036, and tie Callaghan if he lives to 28 March 2036. The second-oldest living prime minister, Gordon Brown, will tie Macmillan if he lives to 8 January 2044, and tie Callaghan if he lives to 19 February 2044. The shortest-lived prime minister was Duke of Devonshire who was 44 years, and 147 days when he died on 2 October 1764.

The prime minister with the longest retirement is Duke of Grafton, at 41 years and 45 days. He achieved this record on 1 January 1799, surpassing Earl of Bute, who died 28 years, and 337 days after leaving office. Bute held the record for 7 years. The closest anyone has been to Grafton's record since was Henry Addington, who left office on 10 May 1804, and died 39 years, and 281 days later on 15 February 1844. Of the four former prime ministers currently alive, John Major has been retired the longest, he left office on 2 May 1997. If he is still alive on 24 June 2038, he will surpass Grafton's record and become the longest lived prime minister after office. The prime minister with the shortest retirement is Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who died only 15 days after leaving office.

Four British prime ministers have lived into their 90s. They are (in order of birth):

List of prime ministers

  • a indicates the prime minister died in office
Order of office
Prime Minister
Date of birth
Date of (first) appointment Age at (first) appointment End date of (final) term Age at leaving office
Length of retirement
Date of death
Lifespan
1 Robert Walpole (1676-08-26)26 August 1676 3 April 1721 (1721-04-03) 44 years, 220 days 11 February 1742 (1742-02-11) 65 years, 169 days 3 years, 35 days (1745-03-18)18 March 1745 68 years, 204 days
(25,040 days)
2 Earl of Wilmington 1673 16 February 1742 (1742-02-16) 68–69 years (1743-07-02)2 July 1743 N/A N/A (1743-07-02)2 July 1743a 69–70 years
(25,577 days)
3 Henry Pelham (1694-09-25)25 September 1694 27 August 1743 (1743-08-27) 48 years, 336 days 6 March 1754 (1754-03-06) N/A N/A (1754-03-06)6 March 1754a 59 years, 162 days
(21,711 days)
4 Duke of Newcastle (1693-07-21)21 July 1693 16 March 1754 (1754-03-16) 60 years, 238 days 26 May 1762 (1762-05-26) 68 years, 309 days 6 years, 175 days (1768-11-17)17 November 1768 75 years, 119 days
(27,512 days)
5 Duke of Devonshire (1720-05-08)8 May 1720 16 November 1756 (1756-11-16) 36 years, 192 days 29 June 1757 (1757-06-29) 37 years, 52 days 7 years, 95 days (1764-10-02)2 October 1764 44 years, 147 days
(16,218 days)
6 Earl of Bute (1713-05-25)25 May 1713 26 May 1762 (1762-05-26) 49 years, 1 day 8 April 1763 (1763-04-08) 49 years, 318 days 28 years, 337 days (1792-03-10)10 March 1792 78 years, 290 days
(28,779 days)
7 George Grenville (1712-10-14)14 October 1712 16 April 1763 (1763-04-16) 50 years, 184 days 10 July 1765 (1765-07-10) 52 years, 269 days 5 years, 126 days (1770-11-13)13 November 1770 58 years, 30 days
(21,214 days)
8 Marquess of Rockingham (1730-05-13)13 May 1730 13 July 1765 (1765-07-13) 35 years, 61 days 1 July 1782 (1782-07-01) N/A N/A (1782-07-01)1 July 1782a 52 years, 49 days
(19,042 days)
9 William Pitt the Elder (1708-11-15)15 November 1708 30 July 1766 (1766-07-30) 57 years, 257 days 14 October 1768 (1768-10-14) 59 years, 334 days 9 years, 209 days (1778-05-11)11 May 1778 69 years, 177 days
(25,379 days)
10 Duke of Grafton (1735-09-28)28 September 1735 14 October 1768 (1768-10-14) 33 years, 16 days 28 January 1770 (1770-01-28) 34 years, 122 days 41 years, 45 days (1811-03-14)14 March 1811 75 years, 167 days
(27,560 days)
11 Lord North (1732-04-13)13 April 1732 28 January 1770 (1770-01-28) 37 years, 290 days 27 March 1782 (1782-03-27) 49 years, 348 days 10 years, 131 days (1792-08-05)5 August 1792 60 years, 114 days
(22,029 days)
12 Earl of Shelburne (1737-05-02)2 May 1737 4 July 1782 (1782-07-04) 45 years, 63 days 26 March 1783 (1783-03-26) 45 years, 328 days 22 years, 42 days (1805-05-07)7 May 1805 68 years, 5 days
(24,841 days)
13 Duke of Portland (1738-04-14)14 April 1738 2 April 1783 (1783-04-02) 44 years, 353 days 4 October 1809 (1809-10-04) 71 years, 173 days 26 days (1809-10-30)30 October 1809 71 years, 199 days
(26,131 days)
14 William Pitt the Younger (1759-05-28)28 May 1759 19 December 1783 (1783-12-19) 24 years, 205 days 23 January 1806 (1806-01-23) N/A N/A (1806-01-23)23 January 1806a 46 years, 240 days
(17,041 days)
15 Henry Addington (1757-05-30)30 May 1757 17 March 1801 (1801-03-17) 43 years, 291 days 10 May 1804 (1804-05-10) 46 years, 346 days 39 years, 281 days (1844-02-15)15 February 1844 86 years, 261 days
(31,671 days)
16 William Grenville (1759-10-25)25 October 1759 11 February 1806 (1806-02-11) 46 years, 109 days 25 March 1807 (1807-03-25) 47 years, 151 days 26 years, 293 days (1834-01-12)12 January 1834 74 years, 79 days
(27,107 days)
17 Spencer Perceval (1762-11-01)1 November 1762 4 October 1809 (1809-10-04) 46 years, 337 days 11 May 1812 (1812-05-11) N/A N/A (1812-05-11)11 May 1812a 49 years, 192 days
(18,078 days)
18 Earl of Liverpool (1770-06-07)7 June 1770 8 June 1812 (1812-06-08) 42 years, 1 day 9 April 1827 (1827-04-09) 56 years, 306 days 1 year, 239 days (1828-12-04)4 December 1828 58 years, 180 days
(21,364 days)
19 George Canning (1770-04-11)11 April 1770 12 April 1827 (1827-04-12) 57 years, 1 day 8 August 1827 (1827-08-08) N/A N/A (1827-08-08)8 August 1827a 57 years, 119 days
(20,937 days)
20 Viscount Goderich (1782-11-01)1 November 1782 31 August 1827 (1827-08-31) 44 years, 303 days 8 January 1828 (1828-01-08) 45 years, 68 days 31 years, 20 days (1859-01-28)28 January 1859 76 years, 88 days
(27,846 days)
21 Duke of Wellington (1769-05-01)1 May 1769 22 January 1828 (1828-01-22) 58 years, 266 days 9 December 1834 (1834-12-09) 65 years, 222 days 17 years, 280 days (1852-09-14)14 September 1852 83 years, 136 days
(30,451 days)
22 Earl Grey (1764-03-13)13 March 1764 22 November 1830 (1830-11-22) 66 years, 254 days 9 July 1834 (1834-07-09) 70 years, 118 days 11 years, 8 days (1845-07-17)17 July 1845 81 years, 126 days
(29,710 days)
23 Viscount Melbourne (1779-03-15)15 March 1779 16 July 1834 (1834-07-16) 55 years, 123 days 30 August 1841 (1841-08-30) 62 years, 168 days 7 years, 86 days (1848-11-24)24 November 1848 69 years, 254 days
(25,456 days)
24 Robert Peel (1788-02-05)5 February 1788 10 December 1834 (1834-12-10) 46 years, 308 days 29 June 1846 (1846-06-29) 58 years, 144 days 4 years, 3 days (1850-07-02)2 July 1850 62 years, 147 days
(22,792 days)
25 Lord John Russell (1792-08-18)18 August 1792 30 June 1846 (1846-06-30) 53 years, 316 days 26 June 1866 (1866-06-26) 73 years, 312 days 11 years, 336 days (1878-05-28)28 May 1878 85 years, 283 days
(31,328 days)
26 Earl of Derby (1799-03-29)29 March 1799 23 February 1852 (1852-02-23) 52 years, 331 days 25 February 1868 (1868-02-25) 68 years, 333 days 1 year, 240 days (1869-10-23)23 October 1869 70 years, 208 days
(25,775 days)
27 Earl of Aberdeen (1784-01-28)28 January 1784 19 December 1852 (1852-12-19) 68 years, 326 days 30 January 1855 (1855-01-30) 71 years, 2 days 5 years, 319 days (1860-12-14)14 December 1860 76 years, 321 days
(28,079 days)
28 Viscount Palmerston (1784-10-20)20 October 1784 6 February 1855 (1855-02-06) 70 years, 109 days 18 October 1865 (1865-10-18) N/A N/A (1865-10-18)18 October 1865a 80 years, 363 days
(29,582 days)
29 Benjamin Disraeli (1804-12-21)21 December 1804 27 February 1868 (1868-02-27) 63 years, 68 days 21 April 1880 (1880-04-21) 75 years, 122 days 363 days (1881-04-19)19 April 1881 76 years, 119 days
(27,878 days)
30 William Ewart Gladstone (1809-12-29)29 December 1809 3 December 1868 (1868-12-03) 58 years, 340 days 2 March 1894 (1894-03-02) 84 years, 63 days 4 years, 78 days (1898-05-19)19 May 1898 88 years, 141 days
(32,283 days)
31 Marquess of Salisbury (1830-02-03)3 February 1830 23 June 1885 (1885-06-23) 55 years, 140 days 11 July 1902 (1902-07-11) 72 years, 158 days 1 year, 42 days (1903-08-22)22 August 1903 73 years, 200 days
(26,862 days)
32 Earl of Rosebery (1847-05-07)7 May 1847 5 March 1894 (1894-03-05) 46 years, 302 days 22 June 1895 (1895-06-22) 48 years, 46 days 33 years, 333 days (1929-05-21)21 May 1929 82 years, 14 days
(29,964 days)
33 Arthur Balfour (1848-07-25)25 July 1848 12 July 1902 (1902-07-12) 53 years, 352 days 4 December 1905 (1905-12-04) 57 years, 132 days 24 years, 105 days (1930-03-19)19 March 1930 81 years, 237 days
(34,204 days)
34 Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-09-07)7 September 1836 5 December 1905 (1905-12-05) 69 years, 89 days 5 April 1908 (1908-04-05) 71 years, 211 days 17 days (1908-04-22)22 April 1908 71 years, 228 days
(26,159 days)
35 H. H. Asquith (1852-09-12)12 September 1852 5 April 1908 (1908-04-05) 55 years, 206 days 5 December 1916 (1916-12-05) 64 years, 84 days 11 years, 72 days (1928-02-15)15 February 1928 75 years, 156 days
(27,548 days)
36 David Lloyd George (1863-01-17)17 January 1863 6 December 1916 (1916-12-06) 53 years, 324 days 22 October 1922 (1922-10-22) 59 years, 278 days 22 years, 155 days (1945-03-26)26 March 1945 82 years, 68 days
(30,018 days)
37 Bonar Law (1858-09-16)16 September 1858 23 October 1922 (1922-10-23) 64 years, 37 days 20 May 1923 (1923-05-20) 64 years, 246 days 163 days (1923-10-30)30 October 1923 65 years, 44 days
(23,784 days)
38 Stanley Baldwin (1867-08-03)3 August 1867 22 May 1923 (1923-05-22) 55 years, 292 days 28 May 1937 (1937-05-28) 69 years, 298 days 10 years, 200 days (1947-12-14)14 December 1947 80 years, 133 days
(29,352 days)
39 Ramsay MacDonald (1866-10-12)12 October 1866 22 January 1924 (1924-01-22) 57 years, 102 days 7 June 1935 (1935-06-07) 68 years, 238 days 2 years, 155 days (1937-11-09)9 November 1937 71 years, 28 days
(25,960 days)
40 Neville Chamberlain (1869-03-18)18 March 1869 28 May 1937 (1937-05-28) 68 years, 71 days 10 May 1940 (1940-05-10) 71 years, 53 days 183 days (1940-11-09)9 November 1940 71 years, 236 days
(26,168 days)
41 Winston Churchill (1874-11-30)30 November 1874 10 May 1940 (1940-05-10) 65 years, 162 days 5 April 1955 (1955-04-05) 80 years, 126 days 9 years, 294 days (1965-01-24)24 January 1965 90 years, 55 days
(32,927 days)
42 Clement Attlee (1883-01-03)3 January 1883 26 July 1945 (1945-07-26) 62 years, 204 days 26 October 1951 (1951-10-26) 68 years, 296 days 15 years, 347 days (1967-10-08)8 October 1967 84 years, 278 days
(30,958 days)
43 Anthony Eden (1897-06-12)12 June 1897 6 April 1955 (1955-04-06) 57 years, 298 days 9 January 1957 (1957-01-09) 59 years, 211 days 20 years, 5 days (1977-01-14)14 January 1977 79 years, 216 days
(29,070 days)
44 Harold Macmillan (1894-02-10)10 February 1894 10 January 1957 (1957-01-10) 62 years, 335 days 18 October 1963 (1963-10-18) 69 years, 250 days 23 years, 72 days (1986-12-29)29 December 1986 92 years, 322 days
(33,924 days)
45 Alec Douglas-Home (1903-07-02)2 July 1903 19 October 1963 (1963-10-19) 60 years, 109 days 16 October 1964 (1964-10-16) 61 years, 106 days 30 years, 358 days (1995-10-09)9 October 1995 92 years, 99 days
(33,702 days)
46 Harold Wilson (1916-03-11)11 March 1916 16 October 1964 (1964-10-16) 48 years, 219 days 5 April 1976 (1976-04-05) 60 years, 25 days 19 years, 49 days (1995-05-24)24 May 1995 79 years, 74 days
(28,928 days)
47 Edward Heath (1916-07-09)9 July 1916 19 June 1970 (1970-06-19) 53 years, 345 days 4 March 1974 (1974-03-04) 57 years, 238 days 31 years, 135 days (2005-07-17)17 July 2005 89 years, 8 days
(32,515 days)
48 James Callaghan (1912-03-27)27 March 1912 5 April 1976 (1976-04-05) 64 years, 9 days 4 May 1979 (1979-05-04) 67 years, 38 days 25 years, 326 days (2005-03-26)26 March 2005 92 years, 364 days
(33,967 days)
49 Margaret Thatcher (1925-10-13)13 October 1925 4 May 1979 (1979-05-04) 53 years, 203 days 28 November 1990 (1990-11-28) 65 years, 46 days 22 years, 131 days (2013-04-08)8 April 2013 87 years, 177 days
(31,954 days)
50 John Major (1943-03-29)29 March 1943 28 November 1990 (1990-11-28) 47 years, 244 days 2 May 1997 (1997-05-02) 54 years, 34 days 21 years, 139 days 75 years, 173 days
(27,567 days)
51 Tony Blair (1953-05-06)6 May 1953 2 May 1997 (1997-05-02) 43 years, 361 days 27 June 2007 (2007-06-27) 54 years, 52 days 11 years, 83 days 65 years, 135 days
(23,876 days)
52 Gordon Brown (1951-02-20)20 February 1951 27 June 2007 (2007-06-27) 56 years, 127 days 11 May 2010 (2010-05-11) 59 years, 80 days 8 years, 130 days 67 years, 210 days
(24,682 days)
53 David Cameron (1966-10-09)9 October 1966 11 May 2010 (2010-05-11) 43 years, 214 days 13 July 2016 (2016-07-13) 49 years, 278 days 2 years, 67 days 51 years, 344 days
(18,972 days)
54 Theresa May (1956-10-01)1 October 1956 13 July 2016 (2016-07-13) 59 years, 286 days Incumbent Incumbent Incumbent 61 years, 352 days
(22,632 days)
Order of office Prime Minister Date of birth Date of (first) appointment Age at (first) appointment End date of (final) term Age at leaving office Length of retirement Date of death Lifespan

Oldest living prime ministers of the United Kingdom

Not all prime ministers live to become the oldest of their time. Of the 49 deceased prime ministers, 30 eventually became the oldest of their lifetime, while 19 did not (including 4 of the 7 prime ministers who died in office, Earl of Wilmington, Henry Pelham, and Viscount Palmerston being the only exceptions). Henry Addington became the oldest living prime minister when Duke of Grafton died in 1811 and remained so until his death in 1844, for a record of almost 33 years. Edward Heath became the oldest living prime minister after the death of James Callaghan, but he survived Callaghan by only 113 days. On two occasions the oldest living prime minister lost this distinction not by his death, but due to the appointment of a prime minister who was older. Robert Walpole lost this distinction when Earl of Wilmington was appointed, then a year later when Wilmington died in office Walpole regained it again until his own death in 1745 for a total period of 22 years, and 207 days. Earl of Rosebery lost it when Henry Campbell-Bannerman was appointed, but regained it again when Campbell-Bannerman died. Consequently, Rosebery too was the oldest living prime minister twice: first from 1903 to 1905 (after the death of Lord Salisbury), and a second time after Campbell-Bannerman's death in 1908 until his own death in 1929 for a total period of 23 years, and 134 days. Edward Heath was the oldest to acquire this distinction at age 89. Anthony Eden, who was 79 years and 216 days old when he died, was the oldest prime minister to die without also being the oldest prime minister. Harold Wilson who died on 24 May 1995 at 79 years and 74 days old, is the most recent prime minister to die without ever acquiring this distinction.

Prime Minister Became oldest living prime minister Ceased to be oldest living prime minister Age at start date Age at end date Duration (years, days)
Robert Walpole 3 April 1721 11 February 1742 44 years, 220 days 65 years, 169 days 20 years, 314 days
Earl of Wilmington 11 February 1742 2 July 1743 69 70 1 year, 141 days
Robert Walpole 2 July 1743 18 March 1745 66 years, 310 days 68 years, 204 days 1 year, 259 days
Henry Pelham 18 March 1745 6 March 1754 50 years, 174 days 59 years, 162 days 8 years, 353 days
Duke of Newcastle 16 March 1754 17 November 1768 60 years, 238 days 75 years, 119 days 14 years, 246 days
William Pitt the Elder 17 November 1768 11 May 1778 60 years, 2 days 69 years, 177 days 9 years, 175 days
Earl of Bute 11 May 1778 10 March 1792 64 years, 351 days 78 years, 290 days 13 years, 304 days
Lord North 10 March 1792 5 August 1792 59 years, 332 days 60 years, 114 days 148 days
Duke of Grafton 5 August 1792 14 March 1811 56 years, 312 days 75 years, 167 days 18 years, 221 days
Henry Addington 14 March 1811 15 February 1844 53 years, 288 days 86 years, 261 days 32 years, 338 days
Earl Grey 15 February 1844 17 July 1845 79 years, 339 days 81 years, 126 days 1 year, 152 days
Duke of Wellington 17 July 1845 14 September 1852 76 years, 77 days 83 years, 136 days 7 years, 59 days
Viscount Goderich 14 September 1852 28 January 1859 69 years, 318 days 76 years, 88 days 6 years, 136 days
Earl of Aberdeen 28 January 1859 14 December 1860 75 years, 0 days 76 years, 321 days 1 year, 321 days
Viscount Palmerston 14 December 1860 18 October 1865 76 years, 55 days 80 years, 363 days 4 years, 308 days
Lord John Russell 18 October 1865 28 May 1878 73 years, 61 days 85 years, 283 days 12 years, 222 days
Benjamin Disraeli 28 May 1878 19 April 1881 73 years, 158 days 76 years, 119 days 2 years, 326 days
William Ewart Gladstone 19 April 1881 19 May 1898 71 years, 111 days 88 years, 141 days 17 years, 30 days
Marquess of Salisbury 19 May 1898 22 August 1903 68 years, 105 days 73 years, 200 days 5 years, 95 days
Earl of Rosebery 22 August 1903 5 December 1905 56 years, 107 days 58 years, 212 days 2 years, 105 days
Henry Campbell-Bannerman 5 December 1905 22 April 1908 69 years, 89 days 71 years, 228 days 2 years, 139 days
Earl of Rosebery 22 April 1908 21 May 1929 60 years, 351 days 82 years, 14 days 21 years, 29 days
Arthur Balfour 21 May 1929 19 March 1930 80 years, 300 days 81 years, 237 days 302 days
David Lloyd George 19 March 1930 26 March 1945 67 years, 61 days 82 years, 68 days 15 years, 7 days
Stanley Baldwin 26 March 1945 14 December 1947 77 years, 235 days 80 years, 133 days 2 years, 263 days
Winston Churchill 14 December 1947 24 January 1965 73 years, 14 days 90 years, 55 days 17 years, 41 days
Clement Attlee 24 January 1965 8 October 1967 82 years, 21 days 84 years, 278 days 2 years, 257 days
Harold Macmillan 8 October 1967 29 December 1986 73 years, 240 days 92 years, 322 days 19 years, 82 days
Alec Douglas-Home 29 December 1986 9 October 1995 83 years, 180 days 92 years, 99 days 8 years, 284 days
James Callaghan 9 October 1995 26 March 2005 83 years, 196 days 92 years, 364 days 9 years, 168 days
Edward Heath 26 March 2005 17 July 2005 88 years, 260 days 89 years, 8 days 113 days
Margaret Thatcher 17 July 2005 8 April 2013 79 years, 277 days 87 years, 177 days 7 years, 265 days
John Major 8 April 2013 Current oldest living prime minister 70 years, 10 days Current oldest living prime minister 5 years, 163 days
Prime Minister Became oldest living prime minister Ceased to be oldest living prime minister Age at start date Age at end date Duration (years, days)

See also