Talk:William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

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Old talk page post[edit]

Not very good at formatting, so i'm just gonna put it here, but this article is way too text heavy. It needs a lot more subheads and pictures, if possible, to make it more visually appealing to the reader, and that would also make it eaier to read (Nelson48 23:04, 17 October 2007 (UTC))

If England had heeded Pitt's warnings, and kept the spice islands, etc, after the 7-Years War, England's national income would have been much larger (and France's much smaller). This in turn would have made it easier to pay down the mounting debt. Thus this article's claim that there were "good reasons" to prematurely stop fighting France (from an English point of view) are illogical and baseless. It is far better to incur some additional expenses today (by continuing the war) to acquire a significantly larger revenue stream tomorrow (by keeping the Spice Islands, etc).

In short, from a purely ENGLISH perspective, Pitt was 100.00% RIGHT and the opposition, de facto, amounted to anti-English, pro-French treason. Note that the lower income from giving away the Spice Islands in turn required higher taxes... which led to the American Revolution, beginning the 200 year-long dismemberment of the Protestant British Empire... to the glee of Catholic France, incidentally.

Naming, Part the First[edit]

we should probably move him back to "William Pitt the Elder", since that is what he is known as most comonly -- Tarquin 00:26, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I agree. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions and more specifically Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). These basically say to use the most common name of a person. 30 pages link to William Pitt the Elder and only 3 to the other version. Angela 00:34, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Naming, Part the Second[edit]

Once again convention prevails against common sense. A man universally known as "William Pitt the Elder" is now treated under "William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham", by which he was not known, nor ever could be: the surname and the title are not used together. Why do we not treat him under "William Pitt, 1st Viscount Pitt of Burton Pynsset, 1st Earl of Chatham"? - Binky 03:23, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Move this to William Pitt the Elder. Lirath Q. Pynnor

This is ridiculous. He is very frequently known as William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. Certainly more often than Disraeli is Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield. Go over there and complain first. Until you get that moved back to Benjamin Disraeli, Chatham stays. john 05:42, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Again, there's a discussion of this over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Peerage. Go voice your opinion there. The current consensus seems to be that most people should be known by their highest title, with some exceptions (I tend to think that many 20th century personages who were given peerage titles after retirement - and probably earlier figures in similar situations like Robert Walpole) should be given their common name. Most other people should be listed by their higher title. Certainly there's absolutely no excuse for referring to an eighteenth century personage, who is very commonly referred to as Chatham (there are 4,220 hits on Google for "Earl of Chatham" - I'd imagine that most of these are for the first earl, rather than his elder son. And there are 2,040 hits for "Lord Chatham". Certainly nowhere near as many as for "William Pitt", but both have more hits than does "William Pitt the Elder"). For the latter part of his career, he is certainly universally known as "Chatham". This should be enough for Chatham to be the name in use, since obviously isn't going to be called "Chatham" for the time before he received the title. john 05:52, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Also, Binky says: the surname and the title are not used together. Please tell this to the hundreds of other articles on peers which do exactly this, and the numerous lists of officeholders which do the same, including those in Handbook of British Chronology. Note such fine articles as Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, Edward Henry Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. If you have a problem with the official naming convention take it up on the names and titles convention page, or on the wikiproject peerage page. john 05:59, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)
In regards to the surnames being used with titles, I concur entirely with John Kenney. There are severable respected sources that use surnames with titles, including Britannica. -- Lord Emsworth 21:24, Jan 5, 2004 (UTC)

Prime Minister - once or twice?[edit]

After a brief interlude, Pitt was recalled by King George II and became Prime Minister in a coalition government with Newcastle. As wartime Prime Minister Pitt oversaw the defeat of France in India and Canada before his disagreements with King George III led to his resignation in 1761.

According to List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_the_United_Kingdom he was Prime Minister once (between 1766-68). One of the articles has to be wrong. --Nk 13:40, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As Secretary of the State for the Southern Department between 1757 and 1761, Pitt was the leading figure in the ministry, and might be unofficially referred to as "Prime Minister." Newcastle was the official head of the ministry, at least insofar a ministries at this point can be said to have "official" heads - prime minister at this point was still an informal office. john k 15:29, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Have rewritten to get round using the term "Prime Minister". Timrollpickering 16:24, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Does anyone feel brave enough to merge the two sets of text into a single article? Timrollpickering 16:24, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Argh, this page needs to be merged sometime... ugen64 23:37, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Typical - you make a stab at merging, then someone suddenly notices that it's a copyvio, and it all gets deleted.
James F. (talk) 00:53, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)


This page links to the disambiguation page Corn, but I'm not sure which sense is intended. Can you help? Thanks. — Pekinensis 29 June 2005 13:17 (UTC)

The link is in reference to an embargo on shipment of corn & referred to corn in the generic sense, that is any grain kernel (eg wheat, barley, maize, etc). AllanHainey 08:24, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Excellent. Thank you. — Pekinensis 13:54, 15 July 2005 (UTC)


"The eccentric duchess of Marlborough, dying in 1744, at the age of ninety"

The page for Sarah Churchill gives her age at death as 84. Which is correct?

She died aged 84 and I've changed this. Also removed the word eccentric as a descrition for sarah is this not fair to her. Tomcwheeler

Naming, Part the Third[edit]

I understand the arguments above yet I believe that it might be better to change the "chatham" in the prime minister box to something like "chatham (pitt the elder)". It doesn't make sense to have a "pitt the younger" in the list but no elder. The alternative would be to remove the "the younger"-part from pitt the younger but I fear it might lead to some confusion.

thanks, andreas_td 20:39, 15 Mars 2006 (UTC+2)


A key point that was missed was the defence of hanover. Pitt's involvemnt in the continental warfare was therefore two fold. He used the army of observation to tie up French resources and also to ensure that hanover was kept safe.

With regards to his resignation in 1761 he actualy proposed a pre emptive strike against Spain.

I have edited the article with regards to these points. Tomcwheeler

Gout, Heriditary Gout, An Heriditary Gout?[edit]

I've never seen the word used in such a fashion, is this correct?

Original research[edit]

I've added a WP:NOR tag because this page contains analysis of Lord Chatham's life and events in it without citing its sources. Would anyone with specialized knowledge be willing to clean it up a bit? TysK 18:20, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

That isn't the right tag as it is basically the EB 1911 article. Piccadilly 17:39, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I realized that a while back but I suppose I forgot to remove the tag- thank you. TysK 05:40, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Copy edit EB 1911[edit]

I don't suppose anyone feels up to the task of trying to bring this into the 21st century? EB isn't a bad base, but it wouldn't take that much to make this a much more readable article assuming they have an idea of what the EB is blathering on about. Old64mb 07:15, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

This art[edit]

has a lot of bias. Work on it?Quatreryukami (talk) 15:43, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Terrible, unencyclopaedic article[edit]

This entire article reads like a statement from the Pitt the Elder fan club. Gushing about his "single genius" and so forth. The tone is utterly wrong and facts wildly biased. Personally I'm a fan of him and his works too, but the article in its present form is a disgrace. Phunting (talk) 13:35, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd agree totally - this is partly a result of the fact that much of the article is still made up from extracts of the 1911 Britannica article, which tended to use more florid language. I've been meaning to try and have a major drive on this article, I just haven't got round to it so far. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 21:16, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I've gathered some sources on Pitt now, so I'll try and have a push at improving the referencing and ironing out some of the more florid phrases over the next few days. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 11:39, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Was William Pitt Prime minister in 1759?[edit]

I am currently in a discussion on another page about whether Pitt was Prime Minister in 1759 when he ordered Wolfe to take Canada. I was taught at school that Pitt was not PM - is that true? He is absent from the List of Prime Ministers of the UK, but here it says he was Prime Minister.

You are probably strictly accurate as he held the post of Southern Secretary of State rather than First Lord of the Treasury during the taking of Quebec. The term Prime Minister was not a formal post, but was generally applied to whoever ran the Treasury, and during 1759 that was the Duke of Newcastle not Pitt. Nonetheless it was Pitt who directed most of Britain’s war strategy. To sum up then it would probably be best to avoid the term Prime Minister - war leader might be a more appropriate phrase. Hope that helps. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 21:13, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I think it does, yeah. Thank you. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 10:56, 30 June 2009 (UTC).
Having looked at the article in question, the use of the term Prime Minister was probably justifiable (as it was a brief, short summary of a film). I've put a response to you on the talk page over there. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 11:44, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

When did he collapse / when did he die?[edit]

The Tate painting suggests he collapsed in July 1778, but the article suggests he died in May 1778.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:04, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

He collapsed on 7 April 1778 and died on 11 May 1778. Can't comment on what you say is the suggested date, but the title Copley gave to his painting is a misnomer, for Pitt did not die until 34 days after the seizure in the House of Lords that Copley depicts.Cloptonson (talk) 15:16, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Adding Pgh navbar and wikiproject[edit]

Hello all, I am from the greatest current legacy (arguably) of the Earl. I wanted to give you a heads up that I was considering adding: {{Pittsburgh}} and the discussion page to Wiki Project Pittsburgh.

I understand that the Earl had very little to do with the actual city during his lifetime, but in many ways people that would have never known of him discover his statemenship when they ask how the city got its name. Thanks for your consideration.Hholt01 (talk) 18:28, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm taking this as no one has any objections? Hholt01 (talk) 00:31, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

File:Pitt.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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Fall of Walpole[edit]

Is it correct to refer to Spencer Compton as Lord Wilmington when saying he succeeded Walpole? According to Compton's page, I believe his title would have been Earl at the time (succeeded in 1742, became Earl in 1730)? (talk) 22:45, 5 May 2014 (UTC)tulster

He held and bore that title when he succeeded Walpole. Compton/Wilmington was the first Prime Minister to take office from the House of Lords.Cloptonson (talk) 15:19, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Erroneously captioned portrait[edit]

William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

The German engraving by Ernst Posselt, dated 1805 is incorrect in calling the depicted man the "1st Earl of Chatham" - it is in fact of Chatham's namesake son Pitt the Younger, whose retroussé nose contrasted with the more hooked nose of his father (noticeable in the Richard Brompton portrait of Chatham in infobox).Cloptonson (talk) 13:06, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

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