Frederick North

28/01/177027/03/1782View on timeline

Frederick North

Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (13 April 1732 – 5 August 1792), better known by his courtesy title Lord North, which he used from 1752 to 1790, was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. He led Great Britain through most of the American War of Independence. He also held a number of other cabinet posts, including Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

North's reputation among historians has swung back and forth. It reached its lowest point in the late nineteenth century, when he was depicted as a creature of the king and an incompetent who lost the American colonies. In the early twentieth century, a revisionism emphasised his strengths in administering the Treasury, handling the House of Commons, and in defending the Church of England. Whig historian Herbert Butterfield, however, argued that his indolence was a barrier to efficient crisis management; he neglected his role in supervising the entire war effort.


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Published in 10/09/2020

Updated in 19/02/2021

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