List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom by education

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This list of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom lists each Prime Minister by educational institutions attended.

As of October 2016, of the 54 Prime Ministers to date, 19 were educated at Eton College, seven at Harrow School, and six at Westminster School. Nine Prime Ministers to date have been educated at non-fee-paying schools; these include all five Prime Ministers to hold office between 1964 and 1997 (Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major).

27 Prime Ministers were educated at the University of Oxford (including 13 at Christ Church, Oxford), and 14 at the University of Cambridge (including 6 at Trinity College, Cambridge). Nine Prime Ministers were educated at Eton and Christ Church, including all three Prime Ministers to hold office between 1880 and 1902 (Gladstone, Salisbury, Rosebery).

Three Prime Ministers attended the University of Edinburgh, three attended the University of Glasgow, and two attended Mason Science College, a predecessor institution of the University of Birmingham. John Major was (as of 2018) the last Prime Minister not to have attended university.

Eleven Prime Ministers trained as barristers at the Inns of Court, including eight at Lincoln's Inn (including Disraeli, who attended but did not complete studies). Two Prime Ministers (Wellington and Churchill) completed officer training at military academies.

List of British prime ministers by education[edit]

Prime Minister Term of office School University Professional Training
Walpole, RobertRobert Walpole 17211742 Eton College Cambridge (King's Coll.)
Compton, SpencerSpencer Compton
Earl of Wilmington
17421743 St Paul's School Oxford (Trinity Coll.) Inns of Court: Middle Temple
Pelham, HenryHenry Pelham 17431754 Westminster School Oxford (Hart Hall)
Pelham-Holles, ThomasThomas Pelham-Holles
Duke of Newcastle
Westminster School Cambridge (Clare Coll.)
Cavendish, WilliamWilliam Cavendish
Duke of Devonshire
17561757 [1]
Stuart, JohnJohn Stuart
Earl of Bute
17621763 Eton College Leiden University
Grenville, GeorgeGeorge Grenville 17631765 Eton College Oxford (Christ Church) Inns of Court: Inner Temple
Watson-Wentworth, CharlesCharles Watson-Wentworth
Marquess of Rockingham
Westminster School Cambridge (St John's Coll.)?[2]
Pitt, William 1William Pitt the Elder
Earl of Chatham
17661768 Eton College Oxford (Trinity Coll.);
Utrecht University[3]
FitzRoy, AugustusAugustus FitzRoy
Duke of Grafton
17681770 Westminster School Cambridge (Peterhouse)
North, FrederickFrederick North 17701782 Eton College Oxford (Trinity Coll.);
Leipzig University
Petty, WilliamWilliam Petty
Earl of Shelburne
17821783 [4] Oxford (Christ Church)
Cavendish-Bentinck, WilliamWilliam Cavendish-Bentinck
Duke of Portland
Westminster School Oxford (Christ Church)
Pitt, William 2William Pitt the Younger 17831801
[5] Cambridge (Pembroke Coll.) Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Addington, HenryHenry Addington 18011804 Winchester College Oxford (Brasenose Coll.) Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Grenville, WilliamWilliam Grenville
Lord Grenville
18061807 Eton College Oxford (Christ Church)
Perceval, SpencerSpencer Perceval 18091812 Harrow School Cambridge (Trinity Coll.) Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Jenkinson, RobertRobert Jenkinson
Earl of Liverpool
18121827 Charterhouse School Oxford (Christ Church)
Canning, GeorgeGeorge Canning 1827 Eton College Oxford (Christ Church)
Robinson, Frederick JohnFrederick J. Robinson
Viscount Goderich
18271828 Harrow School Cambridge (St John's Coll.)
Wellesley, ArthurArthur Wellesley
Duke of Wellington
Eton College French Royal Academy of Equitation, Angers
Grey, CharlesCharles Grey
Earl Grey
18301834 Eton College Cambridge (Trinity Coll.)
Lamb, WilliamWilliam Lamb
Viscount Melbourne
Eton College Cambridge (Trinity Coll.; ); University of Glasgow)
Peel, RobertRobert Peel 18341835
Bury Grammar School;
Harrow School
Oxford (Christ Church)
Russell, JohnJohn Russell
Earl Russell
Westminster School Edinburgh University
Smith-Stanley, EdwardEdward Smith-Stanley
Earl of Derby
Eton College Oxford (Christ Church)
Hamilton-Gordon, GeorgeGeorge Hamilton-Gordon
Earl of Aberdeen
18521855 Harrow School Cambridge (St John's Coll.)
Temple, Henry JohnHenry John Temple
Viscount Palmerston
Harrow School Edinburgh University;
Cambridge (St John's Coll.)
Disraeli, BenjaminBenjamin Disraeli
Earl of Beaconsfield
Dr Cogan's School, Walthamstow Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Gladstone, WilliamWilliam Ewart Gladstone 18681874
Eton College Oxford (Christ Church) Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Gascoyne-Cecil, RobertRobert Gascoyne-Cecil
Marquess of Salisbury
Eton College Oxford (Christ Church)
Primrose, ArchibaldArchibald Primrose
Earl of Rosebery
18941895 Eton College Oxford (Christ Church)
Balfour, ArthurArthur Balfour 19021905 Eton College Cambridge (Trinity Coll.)
Campbell-Bannerman, HenryHenry Campbell-Bannerman 19051908 High School of Glasgow Glasgow University;
Cambridge (Trinity Coll.)
Asquith, Herbert HenryHerbert Henry Asquith 19081916 City of London School Oxford (Balliol Coll.) Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Lloyd George, DavidDavid Lloyd George 19161922 Llanystumdwy National School
Law, BonarBonar Law 19221923 High School of Glasgow Glasgow University
Baldwin, StanleyStanley Baldwin 19231924
Harrow School Cambridge (Trinity Coll.);
Mason Science College, Birmingham
Macdonald, RamsayRamsay MacDonald 1924
Drainie Parish School Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution
Chamberlain, NevilleNeville Chamberlain 19371940 Rugby School Mason Science College, Birmingham
Churchill, WinstonWinston Churchill 19401945
Harrow School RMC Sandhurst
Attlee, ClementClement Attlee 19451951 Haileybury College Oxford (University Coll.) Inns of Court: Inner Temple
Eden, AnthonyAnthony Eden 19551957 Eton College Oxford (Christ Church)
Macmillan, HaroldHarold Macmillan 19571963 Eton College Oxford (Balliol Coll.)
Douglas-Home, AlecAlec Douglas-Home
Earl of Home
19631964 Eton College Oxford (Christ Church)
Wilson, HaroldHarold Wilson 19641970
Royds Hall Grammar School;
Wirral Grammar School for Boys
Oxford (Jesus Coll.)
Heath, EdwardEdward Heath 19701974 Chatham House Grammar School Oxford (Balliol Coll.)
Callaghan, JamesJames Callaghan 19761979 Northern Secondary School, Portsmouth Civil Service: Inland Revenue
Thatcher, MargaretMargaret Thatcher 19791990 Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School Oxford (Somerville Coll.) Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Major, JohnJohn Major 19901997 Rutlish School Correspondence course in banking
Blair, TonyTony Blair 19972007 Fettes College Oxford (St John's Coll.) Inns of Court: Lincoln's Inn
Brown, GordonGordon Brown 20072010 Kirkcaldy High School Edinburgh University
Cameron, DavidDavid Cameron 20102016 Eton College Oxford (Brasenose Coll.)
May, TheresaTheresa May 2016 Holton Park Girls' Grammar School Oxford (St Hugh's Coll.)
Prime Minister Term of office School University Professional Training

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thompson, Andrew, History of Government: William Cavendish Duke of Devonshire: "Initially educated at home by tutors, he, like many young aristocrats of the period, completed his education by undertaking the Grand Tour to France and Italy."
  2. ^ J. M. Rigg, 'Watson-Wentworth, Charles, second Marquis of Rockingham (1730–1782)', Dictionary of National Biography, 1899, has him attending St John's College, Cambridge. However, there is no mention of him in Alumni Cantabrigienses, and the DNB is not followed in this detail by the Oxford DNB.
  3. ^ Pitt the Elder attended Utrecht 1728-1730.
  4. ^ Bloy, Dr Marjorie, A Web of English History: "He appears not to have had much education: in his autobiography, he noted, "From the time I was four years old till I was fourteen, my education was neglected to the greatest degree". He was sent to an ordinary school and then was taught by a tutor until he went to Christ Church, Oxford in 1755."
  5. ^ Pitt the Younger was tutored at home, until entering Cambridge at the early age of 14.