Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pitt, William (1759-1806)
PITT, WILLIAM (1759–1806), stateman, second son of William Pitt, first earl of Chatham [q. v.], and Hester, daughter of Richard Grenville, was born at Hayes, near Bromley, Kent, on 28 May 1759. As a child he was precocious and eager, and at seven years old looked forward to following in his father's steps (Chatham Correspondence, ii. 393-4). His health being extremely delicate, he was educated at home. His father took much interest in his studies, preparing him to excel as an orator by setting him to translate verbally, and, at sight, passages from Greek and Latin authors, and hearing him recite. When thirteen years old he composed a tragedy—'Laurentino, King of Chersonese'—which he and his brothers and sisters acted at his father's house. It is extant in script. The plot is political, and there is no love in it (Macaulay, Miscellaneous Writings, p. 396). At fourteen, when he knew more than most lads of eighteen, he matriculated at Cambridge, entering Pembroke Hall in the spring of 1773, and going into residence the following October. He was put under the care of the Rev. George Pretyman, afterwards Tomline [q. v.], one of the tutors. Soon afterwards a serious illness compelled his return home, and he remained there until the next July. Dr. Anthony Addington [q. v.] recommended a copious use of port wine. The remedy was successful, and at eighteen his health was established. For two years and a half he lived at Cambridge, with little or no society save that of his tutor, Pretyman. He studied Latin and Greek diligently, and showed a taste for mathematics ; but of modern literature he read little, and of modern languages knew only French. In the spring of 1776 he graduated M. A. without examination, and towards the end of the year began to mix with other young men. He was excellent company, cheerful, witty, and well-bred. While still residing at Cambridge, he often went to hear debates in parliament, and on one of these occasions was introduced to Charles James Fox [q. v.], who was struck by his eager comments on the arguments of the different speakers (Stanhope, Life, i. 27). He was present at his father's last speech in the House of Lords on 7 April 1778, and helped to carry the earl from the chamber. On his father's death he was left with an income of less than 300l. a year, and, intending to practise law, began to keep terms at Lincoln's Inn, though he lived for the most part at Cambridge. In the following October he published an answer to a letter from Lord Mountstuart with reference to his father's political conduct (Ann. Reg. 1778, xxi. 257-61). He was called to the bar on 12 June 1780, and in August went the western circuit. At the general election in September he stood for the university of Cambridge, and was at the bottom of the poll. Sir James Lowther, however, caused him to be elected at Appleby, and he took his seat on 23 Jan. 1781. Among his closest friends were Edward Eliot (afterwards his brother-in-law), Richard Pepper Arden (afterwards lord Alvanley), and Wilberforce. In their company he was always full of life and gaiety. At first he gambled a little, but gave it up on finding that the excitement was absorbing ; for he resolved to allow nothing to hinder him from giving his whole mind to the service of his country.
On entering parliament Pitt joined himself to Lord Shelburne, then head of the party that had followed his father Chatham. He was thus in opposition to Lord North's administration. He made his first speech on 26 Feb. in support of Burke's bill for economical reform. The house expected much of Chatham's son, and was not disappointed. Perfectly at his ease, and in a voice full of melody and force, he set forth his opinions in well-ordered succession and in the best possible words (Parl. Hist. xxi. 1261). Burke's praise was unmeasured ; Fox warmly congratulated him ; and North declared his speech 'the best first speech that he had ever heard' (Stanhope, i. 56, 08 ; Life of Wilberforce, i. 22). On 12 June he spoke in support of Fox's motion for peace with the American colonies. After expounding Chatham's principles, which had been impugned in the debate, he insisted on the injustice of the war and the miseries it had produced (Parl. Hist. xxii. 486). In the summer he again went circuit, had a little business, and impressed his fellow-barristers by his genial humour (Stanhope, i. 63). In the debate on the address, on 28 Nov., after the disaster at York Town, he scornfully denounced the speech from the throne in an energetic speech, which was loudly applauded (Parl. Hist. xxii. 735). During the early part of 1782 he was prominent in opposition to the government, and on 8 March, when North's ministry was obviously tottering, declared that were it possible for him to expect to enter a new administration he 'would never accept a subordinate situation.' Though the words probably fell from him accidentally in the excitement of speaking (Memoirs of Rockingham, ii. 423), they expressed a settled intention (Tomline, i. 67). When, a few days later, Rockingham was forming an administration, Pitt was offered some minor offices, among them that of vice-treasurer of Ireland, which, though of small importance politically, was worth about 5,000l. a year and had been held by his father. Poor as he was, he refused it (Life of Shelburne, iii. 136). While giving the government an independent support, he was consequently not involved in its difficulties. Following in his father's steps, he moved on 7 May for a select committee on the state of the representation. He inveighed against the corrupt influence of the crown, declared that it was maintained by the system of close boroughs, and referred to his father's opinion that reform was necessary for the ; preservation of liberty. He did not, however, bring forward any definite plan. His motion was defeated by 161 to 141 (Parl. Hist. xxii. 1416). On the 17th he supported a motion for shortening the duration of parliaments, and on 19 June a bill for checking bribery.
On Rockingham's death Pitt reaped the fruit of his refusal of subordinate office. Shelburne became prime minister ; Fox and Burke thereupon resigned, and Shelburne, almost without allies in the commons, turned to Pitt. On 6 July, at the age of twenty-three, he became chancellor of the exchequer. Differing from Shelburne on the peace with the Americans, he at once insisted that the preliminaries implied a recognition of independence that was irrevocable in the case of the failure of the final treaty. The king in vain urged that he should retract his words, declaring that, as a young man, he could do so honourably (Life of Shelburne, p. 309). The ministry needed further support. Neither Shelburne nor Pitt would consent to a union with North. Both were, however, willing to receive Charles James Fox, and on 11 Feb. 1783 Pitt, at Shelburne's request, invited him to join the ministry. Fox refused unless Shelburne ceased to be prime minister, and Pitt is said to have broken off the interview with the words, 'I did not come here to betray Lord Shelburne.' From this interview is to be dated the political hostility between Pitt and Fox (ib. p. 342 ; Court and Cabinets, i. 149 ; Tomline, i. 89). While the coalition between Fox and North was being formed, Pitt, on the 17th, upheld the government in a speech below his usual standard. He taunted Sheridan with his dramatic work, and Sheridan replied by comparing him with the Angry Boy in Jonson's 'Alchemist.' On the 21st, however, he spoke against the coalition for two hours and three-quarters with unequalled power. It was one of his most successful efforts, and North in reply referred to his 'amazing eloquence' (Speeches, i. 50 sq. ; Malmesbury, ii. 35). On the 23rd Shelburne resigned. Pitt, although he had loyally supported him, disliked him heartily. Next day the king offered Pitt the treasury. Shelburne and his friend Dundas urged him to accept, and the king was importunate. He hesitated, but finally (25 March) declined the offer, for he considered that North's support was essential to success, and that it would be prejudicial to his honour as well as precarious to depend on North. The king expressed himself 'much hurt' (Stanhope, vol. i. App. pp. i-iii ; Court and Cabinets, i. 209). On the 31st he announced his resignation, broke off all political connection with Shelburne, and declared that he was 'unconnected with any party whatever,' and should act independently (Memorials of Fox, i. 326). On 2 April the coalition ministry, with the Duke of Portland as premier, took office. On 7 May Pitt again brought forward the question of reform of parliament, this time in resolutions embodying a definite plan for (1) checking bribery at elections ; (2) disfranchising corrupt constituencies ; (3) adding to the number of knights of the shire and members for London. His resolutions were lost by 293 to 149 (Parl. Hist. xxiii. 827-75). Another bill that he brought forward on 2 June, for reforming abuses in public offices, passed the commons, but was rejected by the lords.
On 12 Sept. 1783 he went with Wilberforce and Eliot to France, the only visit that he made to the continent. He stayed some time at Rheims, where he met Talleyrand, and on 9 Oct. went to Paris and Fontainebleau, where 'men and women crowded round him in shoals.' It is said, but probably falsely, that Necker proposed that Pitt should marry his daughter, afterwards Madame de Staël. He returned home on 24 Oct., and took up his residence in his brother's house in Berkeley Square, intending to resume his legal work, for even his friends thought that the formation of the coalition had 'extinguished him nearly for life as a politician' (Rose, Diary, i. 45). The coalition administration, however, soon came to an end over Fox's India bill [see under Fox, Charles James], which Pitt opposed in terms of scarcely justifiable vehemence (Parl. Hist. xxiii. 1279). It passed the commons by majorities of more than two to one, but the king authorised Earl Temple to state in the lords that he should regard any one as his enemy who voted for the bill ; and on 17 Dec. the lords rejected it by 95 votes to 76. On the same day a resolution was moved in the commons condemning in general terms the action of Earl Temple. Pitt declared the resolution 'frivolous and ill-timed.' Fox, in reply, taunted him with his youth and inexperience, and with following 'the headlong course of ambition.' The resolution was carried by 153 to 80. On 19 Dec. the king dismissed the ministers and appointed Pitt first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer. He had become prime minister before he was twenty-five.
The announcement of his acceptance of office was received in the commons with derisive laughter. There was a strong majority in favour of the late ministers, including, with the exception of Pitt himself and Dundas, every debater of eminence in the house (Rosebery, p. 53), while the circumstances under which the coalition had fallen added to the bitterness of the opposition. Pitt did not find it easy to form an administration, and when his cousin Temple retracted on 21 Dec. his acceptance of the seals of a secretary of state, he was 'led almost to despair' (Rose, i. 50). By the 23rd he had 'hastily patched together an administration composed of men wholly inadequate to the work before them' (Bland Burges Papers, pp. 66-8). His cabinet of seven contained no member of the commons besides himself. He alone, therefore, was to bear the main brunt of the battle. An immediate dissolution was expected (Life of Wilberforce, i. 48). Pitt was determined to appeal to the electorate ; but he was equally determined not to dissolve until public opinion was strongly on his side. Fox, on the other hand, was set on preventing a dissolution, and hoped to drive Pitt from office by votes of the existing house. Pitt employed the recess in framing an India bill which, while establishing a board of control as a state department, left the patronage to the company. On the meeting of the commons on 12 Jan. 1784, Fox proposed, as a means of preventing dissolution, that the house should at once go into committee on the state of the nation. In the debate Pitt loftily defended himself against charges of intriguing with the king. He was in a minority of 39. The attack was renewed on the 16th, when the opposition majority was 21. On the 23rd Pitt's India bill was rejected by a majority of eight, and violent efforts were made in vain to provoke him to disclose his intentions. The king, who regarded him as his one hope of salvation from the men he hated, was in despair, and wrote that he thought a dissolution necessary for the preservation of the constitution. But Pitt remained firm. A body of 'independent' members proposed, and the king assented, that Pitt should meet the Duke of Portland with a view to a combination, and on 2 Feb. the house voted that a united ministry was necessary. Pitt refused to resign office as a preliminary to union, and declared that as the right of dismissal did not rest with the commons, a minister might constitutionally retain office against the will of the house. He denied its right to express a general want of confidence without specific charges. The proposed compromise failed.
The tide began to turn at the same time. The clerkship of the pells, worth 3,000l. a year, fell vacant, and, instead of taking it for himself, Pitt won universal admiration by bestowing it on Colonel Barré [q.v.] on condition that he surrendered a pension of greater value, which was thus saved to the country. The king helped him by creating some peers on his nomination. The lords on 4 Feb. declared strongly in his favour, and the East India Company was on his side. On the 28th the freedom of the city was presented to him at a banquet. As he returned his carriage was attacked opposite Brooks's, the club frequented by his opponents, and he escaped with difficulty. This outrage excited much indignation. Fox's majority sank to twelve on 1 March. He proposed to delay supply, and Pitt cast on him the odium of endeavouring to throw the country into disorder. Addresses in Pitt's favour were presented to the king from many towns, and in the commons he succeeded in obtaining votes of supply. On the 8th Fox's 'Representation' to the king against the ministers was carried by only one vote, and the next day the Mutiny bill was passed without opposition. The victory was won, and the king dissolved on 24 March, the day fixed by Pitt (see Lecky, Hist. of England, iv. 297-308; May, Const. Hist. i. 83). Throughout the struggle Pitt was aided by the mistakes of Fox, but he owed his victory to his own skill and determination.
At the general election of 1784 he was returned for the university of Cambridge, and kept that seat during the rest of his life. His triumph was assured by the rejection of 160 of Fox's party, and he was at this date supported by a greater degree of popular favour than had ever been accorded to any minister. In the debate on the address Pitt's majority was 282 to 114. He at once turned his attention to the nation's finances, which were in grave disorder. The interest of the funded debt, the civil list, appropriated duties, and the expenses of the services exceeded the permanent taxes by 2,000,000l, and there was an unfunded debt of about 14,000,000l., of which the bills were at 15 to 20 per cent, discount. Towards funding this debt Pitt issued a loan of 6,500,000l., for he would not disturb the money market by going too fast. Consulting only the interest of the country, he took the then novel step of offering the loan for public tender, and accepting the most advantageous terms. He dealt a decisive blow at smuggling by lowering the duties on the articles most largely smuggled, while he increased the smugglers' risks by the 'Hovering Act.' The duty on tea he reduced from 119 to 12½ per cent., ad valorem, providing for the anticipated loss by a window tax. The success of this measure established his reputation as a financier. In his budget he proposed various taxes calculated to return 930,000l. (Tomline, i. 483-507; Dowell, Hist. of Taxation, ii. 184-7). In this and all his schemes for taxation he aimed at making all classes contribute to the revenue without pressing unfairly on any. Nor, though there was much that was new in his finance, did he strive for novelty ; for he constantly adopted and improved on the devices of earlier financiers. His new India Bill, which passed easily, gave the crown political power, while it left to the directors the appointment of those who were to carry out the orders of the board of control. It established the system of double government, which, with some modifications, remained in force until 1858.
In the session of 1785 he suffered a damaging defeat in his attempt to nullify Fox's election to Westminster, and by the course he pursued incurred the charge of acting vindictively. By his motion for parliamentary reform of 18 April, which he pressed eagerly, he proposed to extinguish by purchase the privileges of borough-holders or electors in thirty-six decayed boroughs, and to transfer the seventy two seats to the larger counties and the cities of London and Westminster, and to proceed in like manner in the future if other boroughs fell into decay (Parl. Hist. xxv. 445). Neither the cabinet nor the opposition was unanimous on the motion, and Pitt did not treat it as one on which the fate of the government was to depend. He spoke on it with eloquence, but was defeated by 248 to 174, and, greatly as he desired reform, would never again do anything for its accomplishment (Lecky, v. 63). In his budget of 9 May 1785 he further reduced the floating debt by new taxes, some of which were opposed, and passed with modifications. By including a number of taxes of various kinds in a single group, known as the assessed taxes, he checked waste and fraud. He sought to free trade from restrictions, and, anxious to strengthen the bond between Great Britain and Ireland, drew up resolutions establishing free trade and reciprocity between the two countries, and providing that Ireland should contribute towards the protection of the commerce of the empire in proportion to the consequent improvement in its trade. His scheme, presented in resolutions to the Irish parliament on 7 Feb. 1785, passed with a general concurrence, and on 22 Feb. Pitt introduced it in the English parliament. Here it was vehemently opposed, and he was forced to modify it in the interests of English manufacturers (Parl. Hist. xxv. 778). The bill was recast, 'seriously to the detriment of Ireland' (Lecky) ; it was, in its new form, passed in England, but was rejected by the Irish parliament, In 1786 another government measure, the proposal to fortify Plymouth and Portsmouth, was rejected by the speaker's casting vote. Such rebuffs were due partly to the fact that the ministerial party was not knit together by enthusiasm for any great question, partly to some distrust of Pitt's youth, and partly to his manners, which, though genial in private life, were stiff and haughty with his political supporters (Wilberforce, i. 78).
Pitt's financial successes enabled him in 1786 to bring forward a scheme for the reduction of the national debt. He regarded the debt as an excessive burden on the country, and in that belief declared it better for the country to borrow at a high than at a low rate of interest (Parl. Hist. xxiv. 1022). Having a surplus of revenue of nearly a million, he proposed that a million a year should be placed in the hands of commissioners to be applied to the reduction of the debt, and that to it should be added the interest of the sums so redeemed, that this 'sinking fund' should be out of the control of the government, and that its operation should continue whatever the financial condition of the country might be. A sinking fund had already been tried by Walpole; Pitt owed his scheme to Dr. Richard Price (1723-1791) [q. v.] He believed, and people generally agreed with him, that if it was carried out without interruption it would extinguish the debt simply by the efficacy of compound interest (ib. xxv. 1310). The scheme was adopted, and by 1793 ten and a quarter millions of debt had thus been paid off. But it has long been proved that there is nothing spontaneous in the working of such a fund, and that public debt can only be lessened by taxation. It is obvious that the maintenance of the fund during the war which began in 1793, so far from being economical, was extremely wasteful, for the nation borrowed vast sums at high rates and applied part of them to paying off debts which bore a low rate of interest. This was not perceived at the time, and the knowledge that the fund was maintained helped to support public credit, and so strengthened Pitt's position during the worst periods of depression (McCulloch, Tracts, pp. 526-53, 572 sqq.)
The charges against Warren Hastings [q. v.] were promoted by the opposition, and were opposed by Pitt's friends generally. He voted against the Rohilla charge, which was rejected on 2 June 1786 ; but when, on 13 June, Fox brought forward the Benares charge, to the astonishment of all he spoke and voted for it, and it was carried by 119 to 79 (Parl. Hist. xx vi. 102). It is probable that on studying the charges he came to the conclusion that he could not honourably continue to support Hastings. He voted for the Begum charge in February 1787, and thus rendered the impeachment certain (Stanhope, i. 298-305, 327 ; Memoirs of Sir P. Francis, ii. 237 ; Rosebery, Pitt, pp. 84, 87-8). During 1786 he was engaged on a commercial treaty with France, negotiated by William Eden, afterwards Lord Auckland [q. v.], on lines suggested by Bolingbroke in 1713, and contemplated by Shelburne. Pitt's attitude signally exhibited his dislike of restrictions on trade and his freedom from national prejudice. Fox objected to the treaty in January 1787 on the ground that France was the unalterable enemy of England. Pitt replied that 'to suppose that any nation could be unalterably the enemy of another was weak and childish.' The treaty was approved by a large majority. By reducing the duties on French wines it revived the taste for them in England, and the consumption increased rapidly (Lecky, v. 37-46 ; Parl. Hist. xxvi. 233, 382-407). His consolidation of the port and excise duties and the produce of other taxes into one fund was an important fiscal improvement (Dowell, ii. 192), and the masterly fashion in which he dealt with the nearly three thousand resolutions occupied by this intricate measure excited the admiration even of the opposition (Tomline, ii. 233-49). Both in this year (1787) and in 1789 he resisted motions for the repeal of the Test and Corporations Acts ; for, though not opposed to religious freedom, he held that the alliance of church and state was founded on expediency, that the restrictions imposed by the acts were necessary to it, and that they were not in themselves unreasonable (Parl. Hist. xxvi. 825, xxix. 509).
In 1787 events induced Pitt to specially direct his attention to foreign affairs. He held the independence of Holland to be a matter of the highest importance, and desired to check the growth of French influence there. The stadtholder, the Prince of Orange, who favoured the English alliance, had been forced by the 'patriot' party, which was in close alliance with France, to leave the Hague. Active assistance was promised by France to the states, while a Prussian army was sent to reinstate the prince. Pitt promised to aid the Prussians with a fleet. War seemed imminent, and Pitt made full preparations for it. But the Prussians were received in Holland as allies, France held back, the stadtholder was reinstated, and both England and France agreed to put an end to their preparations for war (27 Oct.) Since the American war England had no ally on the continent except Portugal. Pitt followed up the success of his policy in Holland by an alliance in 1788 with the states and with Prussia. He thus re-established English influence abroad.
Early in that year he had a hard struggle over his India declaratory bill, which compelled the board of control to maintain a permanent body of troops out of the funds of the company. The course of the struggle illustrates the extent to which the hold of the government on its majority depended on Pitt personally (Court and Cabinets, i. 356, 361; Annual Register, 1788, xxx. 108-21). His bill finally passed with some modifications. The success of his financial measures enabled him for the time to dispense with any new taxes, and to bring forward a plan for compensating the American loyalists. It was in accordance with his advice that Wilberforce took up the slave-trade question, and, Wilberforce being ill, Pitt, on 9 May 1788, brought forward his resolution on the subject for him. It was supported by Fox and Burke, and was carried (Life of Wilberforce, i. 151, 171). In the same session he supported Sir William Dolben's bill for regulating the slave trade [see under Dolben, Sir John], in 1789 and 1790 upheld Wilberforce's motions, and on 2 April 1792, in opposition to many of his followers, urged the immediate abolition of the trade in a speech which, eloquent throughout, ended with a gorgeous peroration (Parl. Hist. xxix. 1134-88, 1277).
In November 1788 Pitt's position was imperilled by the king's insanity. Had the Prince of Wales become regent, Pitt would have been dismissed in favour of Fox and his party. Pitt, while he looked forward unmoved to loss of office, held that it was for parliament to name a regent, and to impose such restrictions on him for a limited time as would enable the king, on his recovery, to resume his power without difficulties. The prince and his party intrigued to prevent the imposition of restrictions, and Lord-chancellor Thurlow treacherously abetted them. On 10 Dec. Pitt moved for a search for precedents ; Fox declared that the prince had an inherent right to the regency with sovereign powers, and that parliament had merely to decide when that right was to be exercised. Pitt, on hearing this argument, whispered to his neighbour, 'I'll unwhig the gentleman for the rest of his life' (Life of Sheridan, ii.38). While acknowledging that the prince had an irresistible claim, he maintained that it was not of strict right, and was to be decided on by parliament. He answered an intemperate attack by Burke by a dignified appeal to the house. On the 16th his resolutions for a bill of regency were carried by a majority of sixty-four (Court and Cabinets, ii. 49-54). Still many wavered, and some members of the cabinet' were inclined, in case of a regency, to coalesce with the opposition. Not so Pitt, who contemplated returning to work at the bar (Rose, i. 90). Impressed by his high-minded conduct, the London merchants offered him a gift of 100,000l., which he declined. On the 30th he wrote to the prince announcing the provisions of his regency bill, which withheld the power of making peers, and of granting pensions or offices except during pleasure, and placed the king's person and household, with the patronage, amounting to over 200,000l. a year, wholly in the queen's hands. These provisions were drawn up in the well-grounded expectation that the king's disablement was temporary. The bill passed the commons on 5 Feb. 1789 ; its progress in the lords was stopped by the king's recovery. Meanwhile, the Irish parliament had invited the prince to assume the regency in Ireland with full powers, but Pitt upheld the lord lieutenant, the Marquis of Buckingham, in his refusal to present the address to the prince, and recommended creations and promotions in the peerage as rewards of Buckingham's supporters (Court and Cabinets, ii. 146, 156). The violence and tactical mistakes of the opposition were in part responsible for Pitt's triumph at this crisis; but his conduct throughout showed the highest skill and courage. The king was conscious of the debt that he owed him, and both inside and outside parliament his position was stronger than even at the date of his victory over Fox four years before.
The general election of October-November 1790 gave the government an increased majority; on important divisions it was generally well over a hundred. The king pressed Pitt to accept the Garter (December) ; he declined, and requested that it might be conferred on his brother, Lord Chatham (Stanhope, ii. App. p. xiii). At the king's request he accepted, in August 1792, the wardenship of the Cinque ports, which was worth about 3,000l. a year. In the autumn of 1785 he had bought an estate called Hollwood, near Bromley, Kent, raising 4,000l. on it by mortgage, and paying 4,950l. by 1794. He took much delight in the place, and loved to improve it. But his affairs rapidly fell into disorder ; he neglected them, and his servants robbed him.
When the question was raised whether the impeachment of Hastings was abated by the late dissolution, Pitt had an interview with Fox. The rival statesmen treated each other cordially, and came to an agreement. On 17 Dec. Pitt spoke against the abatement with such masterly effect as 'to settle the controversy' (Parl. Hist. xxviii. 1087-1099 ; Life of Sidmouth, i. 80). The dislike of the English in Canada to the Quebec Act of 1774 made legislation necessary, and Pitt, in April 1791, brought forward a bill for the government of Canada. He proposed the creation of two separate colonies, in order that their mutual jealousy might prevent rebellion, and by his 'Constitutional Act' divided the country into Upper and Lower Canada, giving to each its own governor, house of assembly, and legislative council. Provision was made for a protestant clergy from lands called the clergy reserves, and the crown was empowered to grant hereditary honours in Canada. Both these last provisions were strongly opposed by Fox (Parl. Hist. xxix. 111). Soon afterwards Pitt came to an open rupture with Thurlow, the lord chancellor, who had long been an element of discord in the cabinet. Out of consideration for the king, Pitt bore for years with his opposition and ill-temper. In 1792, however, the chancellor vehemently opposed Fox's libel bill, to which Pitt gave a vigorous support. Pitt plainly told the king that he must choose between him and the chancellor, and George dismissed Thurlow (Stanhope, ii. 31, 72, 147-50, App. pp. xii, xiii).
Meanwhile foreign politics made heavy demands on Pitt's attention. Spain, hoping for help from France and Russia, had in 1789 seized a British trading station on Nootka Sound in Vancouver's Island, and had taken some English vessels. Pitt insisted on reparation, obtained a vote of credit in May 1790, and equipped the fleet for service. France, however, was diverted by domestic affairs ; and though for a time war seemed certain, Spain drew back, and on 28 Oct. a convention was signed that satisfied the demands of England. The energy of the government raised Pitt's reputation abroad. In December Pitt, in a supplementary budget, arranged to pay the expense of the armament, amounting to 3,133,000l. in four years by special taxes, which, so far as was possible, touched all classes (Dowell, ii. 195-6). But while insisting on respect for the rights of Great Britain, Pitt was anxious to maintain peace, and to preserve the status quo and the balance of power in Europe. With this object he had, in 1788, forwarded the alliance between Great Britain, Holland, and Prussia. The allies had, by threats of war, saved the independence of Sweden in that year, and their action secured British commerce in the Baltic. Though unable to stop the war of Catherine of Russia whose forward policy was highly distasteful to Pitt and her ally the Emperor Leopold II against the Turks, he persuaded the emperor, in 1790, to make an armistice with the Porte on the basis of the status quo. In the negotiations with Russia, however, Pitt sustained a signal rebuff. Pitt considered that it was for the interest of the maritime powers to prevent Russia from establishing a naval force in the Black Sea (Parl Hist. xxix. 996), and agreed with Prussia to insist on Catherine's restitution of Oczakow and its district. The fleet was prepared for service, an ultimatum to the empress was despatched, and on 28 March 1791 Pitt moved an address pledging the commons to defray the expenses of the 'Russian armament,' The address was carried by 228 to 135 ; but the arguments of the opposition were strong, the prospect of the war was unpopular, and Pitt, finding that persistence in the line of the status quo would risk the existence of the government, gave way, and Russia retained Oczakow. He was deeply mortified, his reputation at home and abroad suffered, and the alliance with Prussia was relaxed.
The revolution in France soon involved more perplexing considerations. Pitt had viewed the outbreak of 1789 as a domestic quarrel, which did not concern him, and into which he was resolved not to be drawn. To Elliot, who was in unofficial communication with Mirabeau, he wrote in October 1790 that England would preserve a scrupulous neutrality in the struggle of French political parties (Stanhope, ii. 38, 48, 59 ; Lecky, v. 559), and Burke was convinced that it was impossible to move him from that position (Burke, Correspondence, iii. 343, 347). In February 1792 no thought of war had entered his head. Having on the 17th shown a surplus of 400,000l., he repealed taxes amounting to 223,000l., reduced the vote for seamen by two thousand men, declared that the Hessian subsidy would not be renewed, and, speaking of the sinking fund, said that in fifteen years twenty-five millions of debt would be paid off. Nor was it, he said, presumptuous to name fifteen years ; for 'there never was a time when, from the situation of Europe, we might more reasonably expect fifteen years of peace than we may at the present moment' (Parl. Hist. xxix. 816-37). In the autumn, however, the situation changed. In August the French court to which the English ambassador was accredited had ceased to exist, and he was recalled from Paris. France had already declared war on Austria and Prussia, and in September conquered Savoy and Nice. In November Holland was threatened, and treaty rights set at naught by the opening of the Scheldt. Pitt recognised that England was bound by the treaty of 1788 to maintain the rights and independence of Holland (Rose, i. 114). Maret, a French envoy, found Pitt eager to preserve peace as late as 2 Dec. (Ernouf, Maret, Due de Bassano, pp. 94-8), but resolved never to consent to the opening of the Scheldt (Parl. Hist. xxx. 253 sq.)
Meanwhile French republican agents, and especially the insolent envoy Chauvelin, were busy in England. Societies were formed in London and Edinburgh to propagate revolutionary doctrines. Their members were in constant communication with Paris. Seditious publications were widely distributed among British soldiers and sailors, and riots were raised. The government issued a proclamation against seditious writings ; on Pitt's advice the militia was partially called out, and he supported the alien bill, a police measure rendered necessary by the crowd of French immigrants (Parl. Hist. xxx. 229-38). Chauvelin, who had no recognised diplomatic position, made himself personally obnoxious to Pitt, who refused to see him, and, when the news of the king's murder reached England, he was ordered to leave the kingdom. On 30 Jan. 1793 the French agent Maret, who was acceptable to Pitt, revisited London in an informal capacity. Pitt voted in the cabinet to receive him, but Lord Hawkesbury, in the king's name and his own, opposed his reception. The majority supported Hawkesbury (Ernouf, p. 126). The time for diplomatic intervention was then past. On 1 Feb. Pitt gave a masterly exposition of the provocations which the English government had received from France (Parl. Hist. xxx. 270 sq.), and on the same day France declared war against England. In the House of Commons Fox and his small party alone contested Pitt's prudence at this crisis, and throughout the continuance of the war pursued him and his policy with unremitting hostility. In 1794 the government was strengthened by the accession of the Duke of Portland, Lords Spencer and Fitzwilliam, and Windh'am, leading whigs who were in favour of a strenuous prosecution of the war. When asked whether he did not fear that these new allies might outvote him in the cabinet, Pitt replied that he had no such fear, for 'he placed much reliance on his new colleagues, and still more on himself' (Life of Sidmouth, i. 121).
Pitt believed that the finances of France would soon be exhausted, and that the war would therefore be short (Parl. Hist. xxxi. 1043-5; Life of Wilberforce, ii. 10, 92, 332). On this assumption he determined to meet the war expenses mainly by loans, so as to avoid a great increase of taxation and the danger of thereby checking commercial development. On 11 March 1793 he announced a continuance of some temporary taxes, and made up the deficiency in the estimates by borrowing four and a half millions. He tried to obtain this loan at 4 or 5 per cent., but was forced to issue it at 3 per cent, at a price of 72l. In 1794, while imposing some new taxes, he announced a loan of eleven millions. He declared that commercial prosperity and the growth of the revenue would continue, since in all wars, while we had the superiority at sea, our trade had increased (Parl. Hist. u.s, 1022). In 1793 a serious monetary crisis took place, arising from causes unconnected with the war. To restore credit, Pitt issued exchequer bills for five millions, to be advanced on good security. Only four millions were borrowed, confidence was restored, and the money was repaid.
At the same time the declaration of war made it, in Pitt's opinion, absolutely necessary that all domestic dissension should be suppressed. He shared the general fear of revolutionary doctrines, and believed it essential to check their dissemination. With this object he supported, on 15 May 1793, the 'traitorous correspondence' bill, which was followed by prosecutions and judicial sentences that cannot be wholly justified. In May he brought in a Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill, which, though vehemently opposed by Fox and his party (Parl. Hist. xxx. 617), passed through all its stages in twenty-four hours. Such repressive measures were demanded and approved by popular sentiment. From the beginning of the war, too, Pitt, in his anxiety to avoid domestic disputes, opposed parliamentary reform. It was not, he said, speaking against a motion for it on the 17th, 'a time to embark on a constitutional change' (ib. pp. 890-902) ; he considered that the demand was urged by dangerous means, and that the bill itself went too far.
At the outset of the war Pitt resolved to meet the aggressions of France by forming a great European coalition against her. Between March and October 1793 he concluded alliances with Russia, Sardinia, Spain, Naples, Prussia, Austria, Portugal, and some German princes, and granted subsidies of 832,000l. for the hire of foreign troops. The Austrian and Prussian armies were at first successful ; at sea Hood in 1793 destroyed the French fleet in Toulon, although he was compelled to evacuate the town, which had been handed over to the English by the anti-Jacobins ; gains were secured in the West Indies, and on 1 June 1794 Howe won his famous victory off Brest. But in Europe the tide turned, and in 1794 the Austrians and Prussians retreated into Germany. The Duke of York, in command of the British and subsidiary forces, was routed near Dunkirk, and the Belgic provinces and subsequently Holland were conquered. In spite of the resistance of the king, Pitt insisted on York's dismissal. The keeping the allies together taxed all Pitt's energies. In April he was forced to grant a subsidy of 1,226,000l. to Frederick William II of Prussia, who gave no return for it, and in 1795 signed a peace which neutralised North Germany.
In a short time Austria and Sardinia were the only active allies left to England. 'We must,' Pitt said, 'anew commence the salvation of Europe' (Alison, History, iii. 157). He formed a triple alliance with Russia and Austria, the Austrian emperor receiving a loan of four millions and a half. Russia, however, remained inactive, and the action of Austria was barren of results. From these disappointing results he turned hopefully to an ill-judged scheme for conveying French royalist troops to Brittany in English ships. Money and stores were liberally supplied for the expedition. The emigrant troops were landed on the peninsula of Quiberon, and in July 1795 were destroyed by Hoche. The disaster was attributed by the French refugees to Pitt's duplicity, and Fox declared that he had lowered the character of Britain by sending a gallant army to be massacred. While Pitt, no doubt, thought more of the possible advantage to England by the destruction of the enemy's munitions of war than of the success of the royalist cause in France, he fully performed his share in the expedition, and the accusations of disloyalty brought against him seem unfounded (Parl. Hist. xxxii. 170 ; cf. Forneron, Histoire des Emigrés, ii. 99-116, 150).
The budget of February 1795 marks the beginning of a long period of financial difficulty. Pitt was compelled both to increase taxation and to raise a loan of eighteen millions on terms equal to interest at 4l. 16s. 2d. per cent. At the same time he observed that the foreign trade of the country 'surpassed even the most flourishing years of peace' (Parl. Hist. xxxi. 1315). Scarcity, however, prevailed owing to bad harvests, and in August wheat was at 108s. a quarter. On going to open parliament in October, the king was greeted with cries of 'Bread,' 'Peace,' and 'No Pitt,' and a missile was aimed at him. The law of treason was at once extended, and Pitt carried a 'sedition bill.' The distress of the poor led Pitt to adopt a temporary measure of relief, which contravened his economic principles. He defended his action on the ground of emergency. In December he urged the necessity for a reform in the poor laws. He embodied his plans in a bill containing provisions strongly savouring of state socialism, such as the formation of 'schools of industry,' and the supply of cows to paupers. The bill was laid before the commons, but it was severely criticised, and was abandoned (Times, 19 March 1838; Stanhope, ii. 365-7; Rosebery, pp. 169-70) [see Bentham, Jeremy.]
Early in 1795 Pitt had to meet an Irish difficulty. In 1785 he had sought to give Ireland the same commercial position as England, and to effect a parliamentary reform on a protestant basis (Lecky, vi. 375). The French revolution, which won much sympathy in protestant Ulster, inclined him, however, to favour the claims of the Roman catholics, in whom he detected a powerful conservative element. Misled by the anti-catholic spirit in Europe, he believed, too, that the papal system was near its end (ib. p. 497). He consequently supported the English Catholic Relief Bill of 1791, and insisted, with reference to the Irish Catholic Relief Bill of 1792, that the government should not pledge itself against further concessions. He considered that a legislative union would be the means by which catholics might most safely be admitted to the franchise (ib. 513). Already in the rejection of his commercial proposals and in the differences that had developed themselves on the subject of the regency he had been impressed by the difficulties arising from legislative independence. The Catholic Relief Act, passed by the Irish House of Commons in 1793, was due to the pressure that his government brought to bear on the government in Ireland, but the act stopped short of complete emancipation, and failed to alleviate Irish discontent. The whigs who joined Pitt in 1794 urged on him a policy of reform and emancipation. Pitt promised that Lord Fitzwilliam [see Fitzwilliam, William Wentworth, second Earl], a strong whig, should be appointed viceroy, and Portland and Fitzwilliam at once led the whig leaders in Ireland to believe that there would be a complete change of system and administration. Pitt had no intention of surrendering Ireland to the whigs, but to avoid a split in the cabinet he nominated Fitzwilliam, on the vague understanding that there were to be no sweeping changes, and that the admission of catholics to parliament should not be treated as a government question, though if he were pressed he might yield (Life of Grattan, iv. 177). Fitzwilliam, on his arrival in Ireland, dismissed John Beresford [q. v.] and other tory officials, and informed the cabinet that emancipation must be granted immediately. Pitt, with the assent of the cabinet, straightway recalled him, and thus roused the bitterest animosity among the exasperated catholics (Lecky, vii. 1-98; Rosebery, pp. 174-85). Pitt's error lay in not giving Fitzwilliam more explicit instructions. The king was hostile to emancipation, and, although Pitt himself desired it, he considered that the time for it had not yet come. The personal question involved in the dismissal of his political friends also weighed much with him.
By the end of 1795 he was anxious for peace, and in March 1796 caused proposals to be laid before the French directory. They failed, and on 10 May Fox made their failure the occasion of a strenuous attack on the conduct of the war. Pitt replied ably, and had a majority of 216 to 42. In his budget, besides a new loan, he announced additions to the assessed taxes, and to the duties on horses and tobacco, and introduced a new tax on collateral successions (Dowell, ii. 213-15). A dissolution followed, and in the new parliament his majority was maintained. During the year Great Britain made some gains in the West Indies, but the French, though suffering some temporary reverses in Germany, conquered Italy. In the course of the general election Pitt had found it necessary to support the emperor by a loan of 1,200,000l., and he raised it without the consent of parliament. When attacked on the grant by the opposition in December, he argued that the loan came under the head of 'extraordinaries,' recognised as necessary in times of war ; but, although he obtained a majority of 285 to 81, opinion was against him, and he promised not to repeat the irregularity. In the late autumn further attempts to obtain peace proved futile. France refused to give up the Netherlands Malmesbury, Diaries, iii. 259-365), and threatened an invasion of Ireland. Pitt appealed to British patriotism by issuing a loyalty loan of eighteen millions at 5 per cent., which was taken up with enthusiasm at 100l. for 112l. 10s. stock. In his budget for 1797 he imposed additional taxes of over two millions, the incidence of which he made as general as possible, the more important being a third addition of 10 per cent, on the assessed taxes, and additions to the duties on tea, sugar, and spirits. The failure of the peace negotiations led to a run on the Bank of England. The directors appealed to Pitt for help, and on 26 Feb. 1797 cash payments were suspended by an order in council. The victory off Cape St. Vincent (14 Feb.) gave him only temporary consolation, for the mutiny of the fleet at the Nore in May, when the Dutch fleet was threatening invasion, seemed to paralyse the arm on which he chiefly leant. England's prospects never looked less hopeful. Ireland was on the eve of open rebellion ; Russia deserted the anti-French policy of Catherine ; in October Austria made peace with France ; and the war on the continent came to an end. The general alarm was manifested by the fall in the price of consols to 48.
Throughout these calamities Pitt maintained an extraordinary calm, and made stirring appeals to the spirit of the nation. Nevertheless, he was anxious for peace, and in April 1797 obtained the king's unwilling consent to reopen negotiations. Grenville vehemently opposed him in the cabinet, but he was determined 'to use every effort to stop so bloody and wasting a war' (Windham, Diary, p. 368 ; Malmesbury, u.s. iii. 369). To Malmesbury, who was sent to negotiate at Lille, Pitt gave secret instructions that, if necessary, he might offer France either the Cape or Ceylon (ib. iv. 128). The negotiations failed in September. Pitt's budget of November showed a deficit of twenty-two millions ; three millions he borrowed from the bank, twelve he obtained by a new loan, and the remaining seven he provided for by a 'triple assessment,' charging the payers of assessed taxes on a graduated scale. His heavy demands excited discontent, and in December, at the public thanksgiving for the naval victories, he was insulted by the mob, and guarded by cavalry. The publication of the 'Anti-Jacobin,' which began in the autumn, was useful to him, for it 'turned to his side the current of poetic wit which had hitherto flowed against him' (Stanhope, iii. 84-9). At the same time the opposition in parliament had since July relaxed its aggressive energy, owing to the partial secession of Fox.
Pitt's health was weakened by the anxieties of the year, and never fully recovered. He was ill in June 1798, and the opposition newspapers insisted, without the slightest ground, that he was insane. Wilberforce in July found him better, and 'improved in habits' — that is, probably drinking less port wine (Life of Wilberforce, p. 317). During the summer of 1800 his physicians ordered him to Bath, but public business kept him in town, and he prepared for the labours of the folio wing November session by a visit of three weeks to Addington, the speaker. During 1796 he had taken much pleasure in the society of Eleanor Eden, a daughter of Lord Auckland, but he explained to her father that his affairs were too embarrassed to allow him to make her an offer of marriage. His debts amounted at the time to about 30,000l. (Stanhope, iii. 1-4).
With the Irish rebellion of 1798 Pitt had little to do directly, but on its outbreak he considered it necessary to renew the suspension of habeas corpus, and other bills were passed for the suppression of secret societies and the regulation of newspapers. Measures of defence mainly absorbed his attention. During the debate on his bill on manning the navy, on 25 May, Tierney, who had become prominent in opposition to him, spoke against hurrying the bill through the house. Pitt suggested that he desired to obstruct the defence of the country, and Tierney sent him a challenge. Pitt informed the speaker of the matter as a friend, in order to prevent him from interfering, and he met Tierney on Sunday, 27 May, on Putney Heath. Both fired twice without effect, Pitt the second time firing in the air, and the seconds declared that honour was satisfied (Life of Sidmouth, i. 205 ; Life of Wilberforce, ii. 281-4).
The victory of the Nile on 1 Aug. 1798, its important and far-reaching consequences, and its effect on the European powers, aided Pitt in forming a second great coalition against France, which by the end of the year consisted of Great Britain, Portugal, Naples, Russia, and the Porte, Austria acceding soon afterwards. For a time the military operations on the continent, where Suwarow drove the French out of Italy in 1799, as well as the taking of Seringapatam (4 May), gave him encouragement. Believing that the Dutch were ready to rise against the French, he planned an expedition to Holland consisting of British and Russian troops. In August the British fleet captured the Dutch vessels in the Texel. The Duke of York took the command by land ; the Dutch did not rise ; the duke was unsuccessful, his army suffered from sickness, and he capitulated. Pitt, undismayed, planned an attempt on Brest in conjunction with French royalists, which happily was not carried out.
On 25 Dec. 1799 Bonaparte, the First Consul, wrote to George III personally, proposing negotiations. The adverse answer sent by Grenville was approved by Pitt, who no doubt rightly believed that negotiations would have dissolved the new coalition without leading to a lasting peace, but in tone and matter the letter was unfortunate. The government was attacked for the rejection of the overture, and on 3 Feb. 1800 Pitt offered a masterly vindication of his policy (Parl Hist. xxxiv.ll97-1203, 1301-97). He was, however, full of anxiety ; Russia was ill-affected and had withdrawn from co-operation; it was necessary to support Austria, and on the 17th he announced that two millions and a half would be required for subsidies. In answer to Tierney, who challenged the ministers to deny that the object of the war was the restoration of monarchy in France, Pitt retorted, in a speech full of passionate eloquence, that its object was security (ib. pp. 1438-47). His hopes of Austria were disappointed, for she was forced to an armistice. Though meeting with strong opposition in the cabinet, he again made overtures for peace during the blockade of Malta. They failed, and Malta surrendered to the British.
The government's financial embarrassments were rapidly growing. Early in 1798 Pitt arranged to receive voluntary contributions to supplement payments due under the triple assessment, and himself contributed 2,000l. in lieu of his legal assessment (Rose, i. 210). In April he rendered the land tax perpetual and subject to redemption, and stock being as low as fifty-six, about a quarter of the charge was redeemed by the end of 1799 (Dowell, iii. 88). His budget of 3 Dec. 1798 showed an excess in supply over the ordinary revenue of more than twenty-three millions. Premising that the amount to be raised by loan should be as small as possible, and that no loan should be greater than could be paid within a limited time, he pointed out the defects of the triple assessment, which, he said, had been shamefully evaded, and proposed that a general tax should be levied on income, beginning with a 120th on incomes of 60l., and rising by degrees until on incomes of 200l. and upwards it reached ten per cent. This, he calculated, would return ten millions, but in 1799 the yield was little more than six (ib. p. 92). His resolutions were carried. He also issued a loan of three millions, and in June 1799 another of fifteen millions (Newmarch). His budget on 24 Feb. 1800 showed estimates for supply amounting to thirty-nine and a half millions, and he announced the contract for a loan of eighteen and a half millions taken by the public at 157l. stock at three per cent, for 100l. money. Although his account of the revenue justified his belief in the growing commercial prosperity (ib. xxxiv. 1515-1519), the wet and cold summer of 1799 had created widespread distress. Wheat rose to 120s. a quarter. Pitt desired to adopt remedial measures, but Grenville argued that artificial contrivances would increase the evil (Stanhope, iii. 244-50). By Pitt's advice there was an early meeting of parliament in 1800 to consider measures for relief. He pointed out that war had no necessary connection with scarcity, and recommended regulation, though he deprecated the suggestion of 'a maximum price of corn' (ib. xxxv. 514-31, 789, 793).
Although Pitt had in 1792 looked on a legislative union with Ireland as the best means of solving the religious difficulty, he did not set himself to carry it out until June 1798, when the rebellion was in progress. His tentative policy towards the catholics, and his want of precision in the Fitzwilliam affair, had helped to increase the ferment in Ireland (Lecky, viii. 281, 285), and the question of the union had become urgent. At first he hoped to effect a union on a basis of emancipation, but he soon doubted whether that would be possible (Castlereagh Correspondence, i. 404, 431 ; Cornwallis Correspondence, ii. 414-18). The cabinet generally was against such a scheme, and Clare [see Fitzgibbon, John, Earl of Clare] persuaded Pitt in October to adopt an exclusively protestant basis for the union. Yet, while yielding to considerations of policy, he was determined that the union should be the means by which the catholics should attain political rights (Life of Wilberforce, ii. 318, 324). On 23 Jan. 1799 he brought proposals for the union before the British House of Commons, and was opposed by Sheridan, whose amendment received no support. He continued the debate on the 31st, when he made an eloquent speech, which he corrected for the press. He held out the prospect that the union would lead to the recognition of the catholic claims, which could not safely be admitted otherwise, and that, after it was effected, emancipation would depend only on the conduct of the catholics and the temper of the times. He ended by moving eight resolutions which were carried. Pitt has been blamed for the means taken by the Irish government to obtain a majority. He has been charged with cynically securing the assent of the Irish parliament to its own dissolution, by recklessly bribing its members. Extensive jobbery was practised by Cornwallis and Castlereagh in accordance with the evil traditions of Irish politics before the union, and Pitt, as prime minister, must be held largely responsible for their doings (Cornwallis Correspondence, iii. 8, 100). But the amount and character of the corruption sanctioned by Pitt have often been exaggerated. Little money was sent from England during the struggle (ib. pp. 34, 151, 156, 184 ; Castlereagh Corresp. iii. 260 ; Lecky, viii. 409 ; Ingram, Irish Union, p. 219), and little, if any, was spent in the purchase of votes. Cornwallis declared it would be bad and dishonourable policy to offer money-bribes. Some Irish members of the opposition vacated their seats during the struggle, induced by money payments, promises, or grants of pensions. The bill disfranchised eighty-four boroughs, and Pitt, in the Reform Bill which he had vainly introduced into the English House of Commons in 1785, had accepted the principle that compensation was due to dispossessed borough-holders. Other views prevailed in 1832 ; but in 1798, unless provision had been made for such compensation, no bill which involved the disfranchisement of boroughs would have had any chance of passing the legislature either in Ireland or England. Under Pitt's scheme, as accepted by the Irish legislature, a court was established for the settlement of borough-holders' claims, and 1,260,000l. was paid under the act. In a few instances official posts were promised or granted ; seven officers of the crown were dismissed and two resigned. Pitt allowed Cornwallis and Castlereagh to promise honours to some waverers. At the end of the struggle there were granted in fulfilment of these pledges sixteen new peerages and nineteen promotions in the Irish peerage, and four or five English peerages to Irish peers. Pitt's methods will not be approved in the light of modern political morality. But it is difficult to detect any flaw in the arguments by which he convinced himself and others that the measure was essential to the stability of the empire and the welfare of Ireland. The Irish parliament having passed the bill for the union on 28 March 1800, the first imperial parliament of Great Britain and Ireland met on 22 Jan. 1801.
In the king's speech, Pitt referred to the unfortunate course of the war. The failure of the coalition was fully declared by the treaty of Lunéville, and Russia had renewed the policy of 1780 by forming an alliance of armed neutrality in the north. Still undaunted, Pitt urged the importance of a naval attack before the northern powers had assembled their forces, and maintained the justice of the British system with respect to neutrals. To this he ascribed 'that naval preponderance which had given security to this country and more than once afforded chances for the salvation of Europe' (ib. pp. 908-18). His position in the house may be gauged by the rejection of an amendment to the address by 245 to 63, the opposition being in comparatively strong force. A few weeks later he ceased to hold ministerial office.
Pitt, in accordance with his original view, had regarded the Irish union as incomplete without catholic emancipation ; and while not definitely pledging himself to that effect, had allowed Cornwallis to enlist the votes of catholics on the understanding that it would follow (Castlereagh Corresp. iv. 10, 11, 34). Accordingly, he had at once planned with Grenville the abolition of the sacramental test, the commutation of tithes in both countries, and a provision for the Irish catholic clergy and dissenting ministers (Court and Cabinets, iii. 128-9). The lord-chancellor, Loughborough, who spoke against Pitt's plan in the cabinet on 30 Sept. 1800, betrayed Pitt's intentions to the king, and did all he could to intensify George's dislike of the proposals. Pitt, while the matter was still before the cabinet, abstained from speaking of it to the king. On 29 Jan. the speaker, Aldington, by the king's request, endeavoured to dissuade him from his purpose. On the 31st Pitt learnt that the king had declared that he should reckon any one who proposed emancipation as his personal enemy. Thereupon he wrote to George that, unless he could bring the measure before parliament with the royal concurrence and the whole weight of government, he must resign. George was obdurate. On 3 Feb. Pitt announced his intention of resigning, and the king agreed to accept his resignation. He did not, however, quit office immediately. On 18 Feb. he brought forward his budget, announcing loans of twenty-eight millions and additional taxation calculated at 1,794,000l. For the first time his budget was not opposed. Wishing to calm the catholics, Pitt instructed Castlereagh to write a letter to Cornwallis, promising the catholics the support of the outgoing ministers. His surrender of his seals was delayed by the king's derangement. On 6 March he was much moved by a message from the king attributing his illness to Pitt's conduct. Although he remained convinced of the necessity of emancipation to the end of his life (Parl. Debates, xvi. 1006), he sent back an assurance that during George's reign he would never agitate the catholic question (Stanhope, iii. 304). Thereupon some of his friends urged him to cancel his resignation. He hesitated, but decided not to do so except at the king's request, and on the voluntary withdrawal of Addington, who had been designated his successor with his concurrence. Addington declined to move in the matter, and Pitt finally deemed the project improper (Rose, i. 329; Malmesbury, iv. 33-7). The king recovered, and on 14 March Pitt formally resigned; among those that went out of office with him were Lords Grenville, Spencer, and Cornwallis, Dundas, Windham, and Canning. On 25 March Pitt haughtily declared in the commons that he had not resigned to escape difficulties. His assertion was undoubtedly true.
Convinced that it was important for the country that the new ministry should be strong, Pitt did what he could to strengthen it. He probably promised his support to Addington too unconditionally (Malmesbury, iv. 75). On the whole, he heartily approved the preliminaries of the peace of Amiens of 1801, differing therein from Grenville and others of his friends. During the session of 1802 he relaxed his attendance in parliament, but maintained constant communication with Addington. In February he was attacked in the commons by Tierney, in his absence, and felt aggrieved by the lukewarmness of Addington in his defence. But he advised Addington on both the budget in April and the royal speech in June. Grenville and others urged on him the weakness of the government and the need of a strenuous policy in view of a probable renewal of the war. He became convinced that the peace would not last, and that measures should be taken to show that England would not submit to injury or insult. On 12 April he was violently attacked by Sir Francis Burdett [q. v.], and on 7 May John Nicholls moved an address to the king thanking him for having dismissed Pitt. The house, however, voted by 211 to 52 that Pitt had 'rendered great and important services to the country, and deserves the thanks of the house.' His birthday (28 May 1802) was celebrated by a dinner, for which Canning wrote the song ' The pilot that weathered the storm.' Pitt, who was residing at Walmer Castle, was not present.
Private debts were causing Pitt much embarrassment. Though his official salaries had for some years amounted to 10,500l., he owed 45,000l. in 1801. On the loss of his political salaries, his creditors became pressing, and an execution was feared. The London merchants again tendered him 100,000l. and the king proposed a gift of 30,000l. from his privy purse, but he declined both offers. Finally fourteen of his friends and supporters advanced him 11,700l. as a loan, and he sold Hollwood which, after the mortgage on it was paid, brought him 4,000l. (Rose, i. 402–27; Adolphus, History, vii. 595–6; Stanhope, iii. 341-9). In September 1802 he had at Walmer a sharp attack of illness, which necessitated a visit to Bath next month. In 1803 he took his niece, Lady Hester Stanhope, to live with him, and, while spending the autumn at Walmer, organised and reviewed a large body of Cinque port volunteers in anticipation of a French invasion. When subsequently Napoleon gathered about Boulogne 130,000 men ready to invade England, Pitt, while at Walmer, busily attended reviews and promoted works of defence.
Late in 1801 Canning and Grenville had strongly represented to him the incapacity of the ministers, and that it was his duty to 'resume his position.' He replied that he was bound by an engagement to support Addington, though if the cabinet should ask his advice, and then act contrary to it, his hands would be free. His absence from London was prolonged at the entreaty of his friends, who desired that it should signify his disapproval of the government's policy. At Addington's earnest request he visited him on 5 Jan. 1803, but left unexpectedly the next day. On a renewal of his visit Addington suggested that he should return to 'an official situation,' meaning that he should form some coalition. Pitt answered guardedly (Life of Sidmouth, ii. 112–13). While avowing to his friends, who made no secret of it, his dislike of the government's proceedings, and specially of its finance, he still refused to take any step that might overthrow it (Court and Cabinets, iii. 251).
By the middle of March 1803 it was evident that war was at hand, but Pitt remained at Walmer. On the 20th Addington sent Lord Melville (Dundas) to propose that he and Pitt should hold office together under some first lord of the treasury to be named by Pitt, suggesting Pitt's brother, Lord Chatham. When Melville opened the scheme Pitt seems to have cut him short, and said afterwards in reference to the interview, 'Really I had not the curiosity to ask what I was to be' (Life of Wilberforce, iii. 219). Later, he declined the proposals, declaring his disapproval of the government's finance and policy generally, and saying that there should be a real first minister, and that finance should be in his hands (Colchester, Diary, i. 414). Addington then requested an interview with a view to Pitt's reinstatement as prime minister. Pitt agreed to meet him on 10 April at Charles Long's house. Meanwhile Grenville arrived at Walmer, and communicated to Pitt the terms on which he might reckon on the support of him and his friends. Grenville insisted that a new ministry should be formed by Pitt, and urged the admission of some members of the old opposition, like Moira and Grey. On that point Pitt expressed his unwillingness to act contrary to the king's wishes (Court and Cabinets, iii. 282–90). But resolving to adopt Grenville's first suggestion, he told Addington at their meeting that, if the king called upon him, he must submit his own list of ministers, and suggested that Addington should take a peerage and the speakership of the lords. Addington demanded the exclusion of Grenville and Windham. Several letters passed without advancing matters (Life of Sidmouth, ii. 119-29; Rose, ii. 33-40), the differences between them grew acute, and their old friendship was interrupted. The feebleness of Addington and his ministry meanwhile excited much popular ridicule. Pasquinades, the best of which are by Canning, appeared in a paper called the 'Oracle' (reprinted in the 'Spirit of the Public Journals.' 1803-4), and exposed the absurdity of Addington's pretensions to rival Pitt ; for, as Canning wrote,
- 'Pitt is to Addington
- As London to Paddington.
War was declared on 16 May 1803, and Pitt returned to London on the 20th. The country's need of a strenuous policy drew him back to parliament. Towards the ministry he assumed an independent attitude, supporting strong war measures, and opposing those that were weak and insufficient. In speaking in behalf of the address on the 23rd. he warned the house that the struggle would be more severe than during the lasfwar, and that the French would strive to break the spirit of the nation. His speech, which was virtually unreported, was held to be the finest he had made (Malmesbury, iv. 256), and, although its delivery showed signs of impaired physical power, Fox said that 'if Demosthenes had been present, he must have admired and might have envied' it (Memoirs of Homer, i. 221). On a vote of censure on the ministry on 3 June, he moved the orders of the day, saying that, while he would not join in the censure, he held the ministers to blame. His motion was lost by 335 to 58, the minority roughly representing the number of his personal following as distinct from Grenville's party. Pitt's motion appears to have been a tactical mistake ; it satisfied no section (Malmesbury, iv. 263-4; Life of Sidmouth, ii. 140). At the close of the session, Pitt was attacked by Addington's party in a pamphlet entitled 'A few cursory Remarks, &c.'; he at once instructed his friend George Rose (1744-1818) [q. v.] to procure an answer. This was written by Thomas Peregrine Courtenay [q. v.], and other pamphlets followed on both sides. Although exasperated by this attack, Pitt resolved not to depart from his position of neutrality, and persisted for a while in what Grenville, with some irritation, described as 'middle lines and managements and delicacies "où l'on se perd"' (Court and Cabinets, iii. 342 ; Malmesbury, iv. 288-91). But from the beginning of 1804 he showed increased hostility to the government. In February, when there was a strong probability of invasion, he condemned the ministerial measures for defence as inadequate ; and on 15 March, when he moved for papers on the navy, passed severe strictures, some of which were ill-founded, on the administration of Lord St. Vincent, the first lord of the admiralty (Speeches, iv. 275, 287 ; Mahan, ii. 123). On the 19th, however, he supported the government against the followers of Fox and Grenville.
At the moment the king was ill, and Pitt wished to avoid a crisis. If, in forming a ministry, he found that the king insisted on the exclusion of Fox and Grenville, he determined to yield (Letter of 29 March ; Stanhope, iv. 142-3). After the recess he went into avowed opposition. On 16 April he denounced a government measure ; the followers of Fox and Grenville voted with him, and the majority sank to twenty-one. Addington invited his advice on the situation. He answered that his opinion as to a new government was at the service of the king. The lord-chancellor, Eldon, called on him, at the king's request, at his house, No. 14 York Place. He communicated these proceedings to Fox, and through Fox to Grenville, and promised, in general terms, to persuade the king to consent to a comprehensive government. He informed the king of his intention of opposing the government, and on the 23rd and 25th spoke strongly against its policy. Addington's resignation was now imminent, and the king ordered Pitt to prepare a plan for a new government. Pitt requested permission to treat with Fox and Grenville. The king angrily refused, and demanded of Pitt a pledge to maintain the Test Act. Pitt renewed his promise as to the catholics, and on 7 May, in a long interview with the king, sought to overcome his objections to Fox and Grenville. He ultimately obtained permission to include Grenville and some of his party. Pitt consented to form an administration on these terms. He hoped in a short time to bring Fox into the cabinet, and to persuade him meanwhile to accept a mission to Russia. But next day he was informed that none of Fox's or Grenville's friends would take office without Fox. Fox declined to see him. He thus lost the help of, among others, Lords Grenville, Spencer, and Fitzwilliam, and Windham, and was forced to look merely to his own friends and some of the existing ministers. He was highly indignant with Grenville. He would, he said, 'teach that proud man that in the service, and with the confidence of the king, he could do without him, though he thought his health such that it might cost him his life' (Rose, ii. 113-29; Malmesbury, iv. 299-302; Life of Eldon, i. 447). Pitt re-entered office as first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer on 10 May 1804; his cabinet consisted of twelve members, of whom he and Castlereagh alone were in the commons ; six were members of the late government, the rest were chosen from his own following; it was therefore neither comprehensive nor thoroughly homogeneous. Arrayed against him were three parties, respectively headed in the commons by Addington, Windham, and Fox. The return to a more vigorous policy was at once apparent. In June the government's Additional Force Bill, although attacked by all three parties in opposition, was carried after a sharp struggle. At the close of the session Pitt went to Walmer, but as he was constantly needed in London, he rented a house on Putney Heath, that he might have country air while attending to his official duties.
Pitt was endeavouring to form a third coalition against France. The negotiations proceeded slowly. A preliminary agreement was formed between Russia and Austria in November; but Prussia stood aloof, and Russia was offended by the British capture of the Spanish treasure-ships. Spain declared war against Great Britain on 3 Dec. On 19 Jan. 1805 Pitt, being assured of the goodwill of Austria, formally invited the accession of Russia (Alison, vi. 391-3). The Anglo-Russian convention was signed on 11 April ; Sweden and Austria also entered the alliance.
Pitt had during the summer of 1804 also been engaged in negotiating a reconciliation between the king and the Prince of Wales, and he seems to have made some inquiry as to the possibility of obtaining the support of the prince's friends, but was answered in the negative (Court and Cabinets, iii. 373-6). His ministry needed strengthening. Unable to obtain aid elsewhere, he communicated with Addington, who accepted a peerage, as Viscount Sidmouth, and entered the cabinet on obtaining a promise from Pitt that some of his friends and relatives should receive secondary offices as soon as possible (Life of Sidmouth, ii. 324-44). Pitt and Addington had a personal reconciliation on 23 Dec. On the opening of the next session the opposition in the commons showed some vigour, but on 11 Feb. 1805 Pitt obtained a majority on the Spanish war of 313 to 106. On the 18th he expounded his budget; the estimates were enormous, the total charges, exclusive of the interest on debts, being put at forty-four millions. A loan of twenty millions was announced, and, to meet the interest, augmentations were made to postage and various duties; the property tax was also increased by twenty-five per cent. During this session most of the ministerial departments depended on Pitt for inspiration, and the incessant work told heavily on his declining health. By the end of 1804 he felt the need of rest and solitude. His physicians urged another visit to Bath, but he was kept in London by the negotiations with Russia. Again at Easter 1805 he was detained by public business.
Pitt was much harassed by the charges brought against his old friend Melville [see under Dundas, Henry, first Viscount Melville] then first lord of the admiralty. Convinced that Melville had not 'pocketed any public money,' he determined to support him. Sidmouth, however, by a threat of resignation, forced him to agree to a select committee of inquiry (Colchester, i. 546-7). On 8 April 1805 he advocated this course as against a motion for censure. When the speaker, the numbers on division being equal, gave his casting vote for the censure, one of Pitt's friends saw 'the tears trickling down his cheeks.' Some young members of his party formed a circle round him, and in their midst he walked out of the house shielded from the brutal curiosity of his opponents. His mortification probably helped to shorten his life (Malmesbury, iv. 347). During the further proceedings against Melville, a question was raised as to an advance that Pitt had in 1796 made from the navy funds to certain contractors for a public loan ; no imputation was made on his integrity. He admitted that he had acted irregularly for the benefit of the country, and a bill of indemnity was passed unanimously. On 14 May he spoke against the catholic petition presented by Fox, referred to his previous policy, and declared that a revival of the catholic claims would be useless, and would only create discord.
When Melville resigned, Sidmouth demanded an appointment that would have placed office at the disposal of one of his relatives. Pitt refused to act on the suggestion, and Sidmouth, who charged him with a breach of the agreement made in December, threatened with his follower, Lord Buckinghamshire, to retire. Pitt persuaded Sidmouth to remain (26 April), promising that his friends should be at liberty to vote as they pleased on Melville's impeachment, and that their claims should be considered. But despite professions of good feeling, their mutual relations were unstable. Sidmouth's brother, Hiley Addington, and Bond, one of his party, pressed matters against Melville with such violence that Pitt declared that 'their conduct must be marked,' and that he could not give them places. Sidmouth was offended, and he and Buckinghamshire resigned on 5 July.
At the close of the session of 1805, Pitt's health was bad, but his hopes ran high. In August Napoleon's plan of invasion ended in failure, and in September Pitt took leave of Nelson. The coalition seemed to promise well. He was, however, fully aware of the weakness of his ministry, and in September visited the king at Weymouth, and pressed upon him the need of opening negotiations with Fox and Grenville, but George refused to yield and Pitt forbore from further insistence for fear of injuring the king's health (Rose, ii. 198-201). In order to strengthen his cabinet, he decided to bring in Canning and Charles Yorke.
The news of the capitulation of Ulm (20 Oct.) affected him deeply. When he first heard it on 2 Nov., he declined to credit it ; the next day, when it was confirmed, his look and manner changed, and Lord Malmesbury had a foreboding of his death (Malmesbury, iv. 340). The mingled joy and sorrow that the news of Trafalgar (21 Oct.) brought him (ib. p. 341) destroyed his sleep, which had hitherto been proof against all mental excitement. On the 9th he attended the lord mayor's banquet, and was in good spirits. When he was toasted as 'the Saviour of Europe,' he simply said that Europe was not to be saved by any one man, and that 'England has saved herself by her exertions ; and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example' (Stanhope, iv. 346). Nelson's victory had given him fresh hopes, and he offered Frederick William of Prussia large subsidies if he would join in the war.
On 7 Dec. he found it possible to go to Bath. While there the news of the battle of Austerlitz (2 Dec.) gave him his death-blow. When he heard of the armistice that followed it, the gout left his feet, and he fell into extreme physical debility. He was removed from Bath on 9 Jan. 1806, and took three days on the journey to his house at Putney. As he entered the house he noticed the map of Europe on the wall. 'Roll up that map,' he said ; 'it will not be wanted these ten years.' On the 13th he received Lords Hawkesbury and Castlereagh, and on the 14th drove out and received Lord Wellesley, who found his intellect as bright as ever. He took to his bed on the 16th, and was visited ministerially on the 22nd by his old tutor, Bishop Pretyman, to whom he dictated his last wishes. The following night his mind wandered, and he died early on the 23rd, his last words being, 'Oh, my country! how I leave my country!' (Stanhope, vol. iv. App. p. xxxi). His debts, amounting to 40,000l. — exclusive of the 11,700l. advanced by friends, who declined repayment — were paid by the nation ; pensions were granted to his three nieces, and a public funeral was voted, which was carried out on 22 Feb. in Westminster Abbey.
There are statues by Westmacott in Westminster Abbey, by Chantrey in Hanover Square, London, by J. G. Bubb in the Guildhall, London (with an inscription by Canning), and by Nollekens in the senate-house, Cambridge. Flaxman executed a bust. Pitt's portrait was painted by Gainsborough, Hoppner (painted in 1805), and Sir Thomas Lawrence. The last is at Windsor. That by Gainsborough, of which there are replicas and copies, is engraved in Stanhope's 'Life;' of that by Hoppner there are copies and an engraving in Gifford's 'Life.' A drawing, by Copley, of Pitt in his youth, was engraved by Bartolozzi ; and again by Holl for Stanhope's 'Life.' Other engravings are by Bartolozzi, from a portrait by G. du Pont, by J. Jones, Sherwin, Gillray, Edridge, and by Cardon in Gifford's 'Life,' after the bust by Flaxman (Stanhope, iv. 398-9 and note C ; Bromley, Catalogue of Engraved Portraits, sec. ix. p. 3).
Pitt was tall and slight, and dignified, though rather stiff, in carriage. His countenance was animated by the brightness of his eyes. In his later years his hair became almost white, and his face bore the marks of disease, anxiety, and indulgence in port wine. The habit was acquired early through a doctor's recommendation, and he made no serious effort to break it. He was once only seen drunk in the House of Commons (Wrazall, Memoirs, iii. 221). His private life was remarkably pure. His debts were the result in part of his absorption in public affairs, and in part of a culpable contempt for private economy, inherited from his father. To all not on intimate terms with him, his manners were cold and even repellent. The mass of his supporters, who admired and obeyed him, were not drawn to him personally. Men of the highest rank found him stiff and unbending; and the king, though he esteemed him, looked on him as a master, and felt far more comfortable with Addington. His intimate friends were few ; they were ardently attached to him, to them he was warm-hearted and affectionate, and in their company was cheerful and gay. He loved children, and enjoyed romping with them. He exercised a special charm over younger men, who found him sympathetic and inspiring. Eager by nature, he trained himself to a singular degree of calmness and self-possession. Greatness of soul enabled him to rise above calamity and, conscious of his powers, to remain undismayed by defeat. His temper was rarely ruffled, but he did not easily forgive those who offended him. While he retained through life his delight in Greek and Roman literature, and appreciated elegant English writing, he did not approach Fox either in classical scholarship or knowledge of literature generally. In office he offered no reward either to literature or art — a course which, if not matter for reproach, proved impolitic. As an orator, he spoke more correctly than Fox, expressed his meaning with less effort, and was far more master of himself. The best word always seemed to come spontaneously to his lips ; he never stormed, his speeches were lucid, and his handling of his subject always complete. His memory was good, and he seldom used notes. He excelled in sarcasm, and used it freely. While Fox persuaded his hearers, Pitt commanded their assent ; his speeches appealed to reason, and breathed the lofty sentiments of the speaker. His voice was rich, but its tone lacked modulation ; his action was vehement and ungraceful. His judgment in party matters was admirable, and was conspicuously shown in his refusal of office in 1782, in his use of Fox's mistakes, and his conduct of affairs in 1784 and 1788-1789, and in his readiness to withdraw taxes that were generally obnoxious. Constantly needing the help of men of the higher classes, he paid for it with honours that cost the country nothing. He thus almost doubled the number of the House of Lords, and destroyed the whig oligarchy which, during the earlier years of the reign, had become intolerable (Rosebery, pp. 275-7). He showed remarkable foresight in declaring, during his last days, that a national war beginning in Spain might even then save Europe (ib. p. 256) ; but in one or two notable instances, such as his belief that the war with France would be short, his prescience was at fault. He made some serious political mistakes. A sanguine tendency to resort, in the face of difficulties, to a policy of vagueness, probably accounts for the Fitzwilliam imbroglio, and is to be discovered in his hopes about Fox in 1804, and his promises to Sidmouth. He acted unwisely in not speaking earlier to the king about his intention respecting catholic emancipation ; and his pledge to abandon the question during the king's lifetime , though well-intentioned, is not to be defended. At times his conduct was inconsistent. His attitude towards Addington's ministry, though dictated by a sense of honour, was inspired by no intelligible principle. He honestly strove in 1804 to persuade the king to consent to a comprehensive government ; but he allowed the king's wishes to outweigh his judgment in a matter which clearly involved the country's best interests.
As a peace minister Pitt aimed at extending the franchise and purifying elections. Supported by the crown, and yet acting independently, he destroyed the whig oligarchy, and pursued in every direction a policy large and statesmanlike. He strengthened public, credit by creating a surplus, established an enlightened system of finance, and brought order into the administration of the revenue. In 1783 the three-per-cents were at 74 ; in 1792 they were over 96 (Newmarch). The success of his commercial policy, which is illustrated by his reduction of customs duties, by his proposals for Ireland, and by his treaty with France, may be estimated by the vast increase in British commerce between the same dates (Rosebery, p. 280). He enabled the country to reap the full benefit of the extension of manufactures consequent on the introduction of machinery. Peace was necessary for the fulfilment of his work ; war forced him to abandon domestic reforms and to direct his energies as a domestic minister towards stringently exacting from the people, in face of a relentless foe, the fullest adherence to the existing constitution.
As a war minister he has been compared unfavourably with his father. Chatham, however, had not to deal with Bonaparte ; his son had no such ally as Frederick the Great. Pitt recognised that England should not engage in a war on land. The war on the continent had to be carried on by the continental powers, and Pitt, by means of his coalitions, strained every nerve to array them against France. The European sovereigns would not stir in the common cause without money, and he had to find it. From 1793 to 1801 8,836,000l. was spent in subsidies. This and other expenses of the war he met largely by loans, increasing the public liabilities during the period by 334,525,436l., though from this must be deducted the large amount of debt redeemed by the sinking fund (ib. pp. 150-1). He was forced to borrow at high rates of interest, which made the difference between the money he received and the capital he created 103,000,000l., but he was unwilling to check commercial development by excessive taxation, and his loans employed capital that could not in any case have been used in trade. Pitt's coalitions failed of their purpose, but it was not his fault that the sovereigns of Europe were jealous, selfish, and short-sighted.
He held that it was the part of Great Britain to check French aggrandisement by making herself mistress of the sea. By striking at France in the West Indies, and by rigidly restraining the trade of neutrals, he inflicted a severe blow on the enemy and vastly enlarged the resources of his own country. The commerce of France was ruined. The British navy, which was increased 82 per cent, between 1792 and 1800 (Mahan, ii. 404), was everywhere victorious, and controlled the trade of the world. Between 1793 and 1799 the average value of British imports as compared with the preceding six years rose by upwards of three and a half millions, that of the exports of British merchandise by nearly two and a half, and of foreign merchandise by nearly five and a half millions (Newmarch ; Rosebery). On the progress of this increase, and the progressive decline in the enemy's trade, Pitt constantly insisted in his speeches, and these results should weigh for much in an estimate of his policy as a war minister. It was well for this country and for Europe that in the period of her deepest need Great Britain was guided by his wisdom and animated by his lofty courage. He lived for his country, was worn out by the toils, anxieties, and vexations that he encountered, and died crushed in body, though not in spirit, by the disaster that wrecked his plans for the security of England and the salvation of Europe.
[Besides the tragedy and the answer to Lord Macartney noticed above, Pitt wrote the articles on finance in the 'Anti- Jacobin,' Nos. i., ii., xii., and xxv., and in No. xxxv. the 'Review of the Session.' He was also responsible for a verse of the 'University of Göttingen,' a translation of Horace, Ode iii. 2, and a few other lines of verse.Lives of Pitt have been published by Gifford (i.e. John Richards Green [q. v.]) as a History of Pitt's Political Life (3 vols. 4to, 1809), verbose, once useful, but superseded; by Bishop Tomline (formerly Pretyman) (3 vols. 8vo, 1822), goes down to 1793, and is so far useful; by Lord Stanhope (4 vols. 8vo, 2nd ed. 1862), the standard 'Life,' written with much care, and defending Pitt throughout ; by Lewis Sergeant in Engl. Political Leaders Ser. (8vo, 1882), a fair handbook ; and by Lord Rosebery in the 'Twelve English Statesmen' Ser. (8vo, 1891), a masterly and interesting study. For general views of Pitt's career, see Brougham's Sketches of Statesmen, 1st ser. vol. ii. (12mo, 1845), a poor production ; Macaulay's Essay on William Pitt, written for Encycl. Brit. 1859, and included in Miscellaneous Writings (8vo, 1860, 1889); Sir George Cornewall Lewis's Essays on the Administrations of Great Britain (8vo, 1864), extremely valuable ; Mr. Goldwin Smith's Three English Statesmen, 1867, 8vo, and The Two Mr. Pitts in Macmillan's Magazine, August 1890 ; also an art. by Mr. Lecky on Pitt in Macmillan, February 1891. For notices of early life : Chatham Correspondence, ed. Taylor (4 vols. 8vo, 1840); Pitt's Speeches (4 vols. 8vo, 1806); see also Parl. Hist. and Parl. Deb. and Ann. Reg. sub ann. For notices in Memoirs, &c. : Fitzmaurice's Life of Shelburne (3 vols. 8vo, 1875) ; Lord Aberdare's Memoirs of the Marquis of Rockingham (2 vols. 8vo, 1852) ; R. I. and S. Wilberforce's Life of W. Wilberforce (5 vols. 12mo, 1838) which contains many valuable notices, and is specially interesting as witnessing to Wilberforce's friendship for William Pitt ; Russell's Memorials of C. J. Fox (4 vols. 8vo, 1853-7) and Life of C. J. Fox (3 vols. 8vo, 1859) ; Diaries and Corresp. of first Earl of Malmesbury (4 vols. 8vo, 1844) ; Holland's Mem. of the Whig Party (2 vols. 1854); Rose's Diaries and Corresp. ed. Harcourt (2 vols. 8vo, 1860); Lord Auckland's Journal and Corresp. (4 vols. 8vo, 1866); Grenville's Court and Cabinets of George III (4 vols. 8vo, 1855) which contains important notices of private negotiations ; Pellew's Life of Sidmouth (3 vols. 8vo, 1847) which presents an ex parte view of William Pitt's relations with Addington ; Lord Colchester's (Abbot) Diary and Corresp. ed. Colchester (3 vols. 8vo, 1861) on Addington's side ; Windham's Diary, ed. Baring (8vo, 1866) ; L. Homer's Life of F. Homer (2 vols. 8vo, 1853) ; Twiss's Life of Eldon (2 vols. 2nd ed. 1846); Wraxall's Hist. and Posth. Memoirs (5 vols. 8vo, 1884); Moore's Life of Sheridan (2 vols. 8vo, 1825); Yonge's Life of Lord Liverpool (3 vols. 8vo, 1868); Letters and Corresp. of Bland Burges, ed. Hutton (8vo, 1885); Bruce's Life of Sir W. Napier (2 vols. 8vo, 1864) which has some interesting personal reminiscences in vol. i. For negotiations with France, 1792-3, see Marsh's Hist. of Politicks (2 vols. 8vo, 1800); Ernouf's Maret, Due de Bassano (8vo, 1878); W. A. Miles's Corresp. on the French Revolution (2 vols. 1890) ; Browning's England and France in 1793 in Fortnightly Review, February 1883. For Pitt's public economy and finance : Dowell's Hist. of Taxation (4 vols. 8vo, 2nd ed. 1888) ; Tooke's Hist. of Prices (8vo, 1858); Bastable's Public Finance (8vo, 1892) ; Collection of Tracts on the National Debt, by McCulloch. specially the last tract by Hamilton on the Sinking Fund and the Debt (8vo, 1857) ; Speech by Mr. Gladstone in the House of Commons on 8 May 1854, in Parl. Deb. 3rd ser. vol. cxxxii, cols. 1472-9, containing an attack on Pitt's finance during the war, which is ably defended in Newmarch's On the Loans raised by Mr. Pitt, 1793-1801 (8vo, 1855), criticised in Rickard's Financial Policy of War (8vo, 1855). For Pitt's attitude to constitutional questions, see Erskine May's Constitutional Hist., 1760-1860. For the expedition of 1795: Forneron's Histoire Générale des Émigrés (2 vols. 2nd ed. 1884). For dealings with Ireland : Fitzpatrick's Secret Service under Pitt (8vo, 1892) contains little personal information ; Stewart's [Marquis of Londonderry] Mem. and Corr. of Viscount Castlereagh (12 vols. 8vo, 1848), for this purpose vols. i.-iv. : Cornwallis's Corr. (3 vols. 8vo, 18539) has also other important notices of William Pitt; Corresp. between W. Pitt and Charles, Duke of Rutland, 1890 ; Grattan's Life of Grattan (5 vols. 8vo, 1839); Grattan's Speeches (4 vols. 8vo, 1822); Coote's Hist. of the Union (8vo, 1802); Lecky's Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland, 1861 ; Ingram's Hist. of the Irish Union (8vo, 1887); above all, Lecky's Hist. of England, vols. vi.-viii. For satirical writing on Pitt's side : Spirit of the Public Journals, 1802-1804, see list of Canning's verses in Lewis's Administrations, p. 249 ; the Anti-Jacobin. Against Pitt: Wolcot's [Peter Pindar] Works (5 vols. 8vo, 1812); Morris's Lyra Urbanica (2 vols. 12mo, 1840). For caricatures, see Works of James Gillray, and in Wright's Caricature History of the Georges (8vo, 1868). For accounts of William Pitt in general histories: Lecky's Hist. of England in the Eighteenth Century (8 vols. 8vo, 1882-90), vols. iv.-viii. ; Mahan's Influence of Sea Power on the French Revolution, 1793-1812 (2 vols. 8vo, 1892), which contains a fine defence of Pitt's war policy, specially with reference to naval operations ; Adolphus's Hist. of England (7 vols. 8vo, 1845) ends at 1303 ; Alison's Hist. of Europe (12 vols. 9th ed. 8vo, 1853), vols. ii.-v.]