Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth


Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth

Infobox Prime Minister
honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable
name=The Viscount Sidmouth
honorific-suffix =
PC


imagesize = 200px
order= Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
term_start =17 March 1801
term_end =10 May 1804
monarch =George III
predecessor =William Pitt the Younger
(As Prime Minister of Great Britain)
successor =William Pitt the Younger
birth_date =birth date|1757|5|30|df=y
birth_place =Holborn, London
death_date =death date and age|1844|2|15|1757|5|30|df=y
death_place =Richmond, Surrey
alma_mater =Brasenose College, Oxford
party=Tory
order2=Chancellor of the Exchequer
monarch2 =George III
term_start2 =17 March 1801
term_end2 =10 May 1804
predecessor2 =William Pitt the Younger
successor2 =William Pitt the Younger|

Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, PC (30 May 1757 – 15 February 1844) was a British statesman, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1804.

Henry Addington was the son of Anthony Addington, Pitt's physician, and Mary Addington, the daughter of the Rev. Haviland John Hiley, headmaster of Reading School. As a consequence of his father's position, Addington was a childhood friend of William Pitt the Younger. Addington studied at Winchester and Brasenose College, Oxford, and then studied law at Lincoln's Inn.

He was elected to the House of Commons in 1784 as Member of Parliament (MP) for Devizes, and became Speaker of the House of Commons in 1789. In March, 1801, Pitt resigned from office after his failure to achieve Catholic emancipation, and Addington was chosen to succeed him as Prime Minister.

Addington's period as Prime Minister was most notable for the negotiation of the Treaty of Amiens, in 1802 in which an unfavourable peace was agreed to with France. It quickly broke down, and Addington's poor management of the war led to Pitt's return to power in 1804. Addington remained an important political figure, however, and the next year he was created Viscount Sidmouth. He served in Pitt's final Cabinet as Lord President of the Council to 1806, and in the Ministry of All the Talents as Lord Privy Seal and again Lord President to 1807.

He returned to government again as Lord President in March, 1812, and, in June of the same year, became Home Secretary. As Home Secretary, Sidmouth brutally crushed radical opposition, being responsible for the suspension of habeas corpus in 1817, the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and the passage of the repressive Six Acts later that year. Sidmouth left office in 1822, succeeded as Home Secretary by the much more competent Robert Peel, but remained in the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio for the next two years, fruitlessly opposing British recognition of the South American republics. He remained active in the House of Lords for the next few years, making his final speech in opposition to Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and casting his final vote against the Reform Act 1832.

As Prime Minister, in 1802, Addington accepted an honorary position as vice president for life on the Court of Governors of London's Foundling Hospital for abandoned babies.

Addington maintained a home at Bulmershe Court, in what is now the Reading suburb of Woodley, but moved to the White Lodge in Richmond Park when he became Prime Minister. However he maintained links with Woodley and the Reading area, as commander of the Woodley Yeomanry Cavalry and High Steward of Reading. He also donated to the town of Reading the four acres (16,000 m²) of land that is today the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and his name is commemorated in the town's "Sidmouth Street" and "Addington Road".

Henry Addington's Government, March 1801 – May 1804

*Henry Addington – First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer
*Lord EldonLord Chancellor
*Lord ChathamLord President of the Council and Master-General of the Ordnance
*Lord WestmorlandLord Privy Seal
*The Duke of Portland – Secretary of State for the Home Department
*Lord Hawkesbury – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
*Lord HobartSecretary of State for War and the Colonies
*Lord St VincentFirst Lord of the Admiralty
*Lord LiverpoolPresident of the Board of Trade
[
James Gillray caricatured Pitt kicking Addington (at left) out of Britannia's sickroom.] Changes
*May, 1801 – Lord Lewisham (who becomes Lord Dartmouth in July), the President of the Board of Control, enters the Cabinet
*July, 1801 – The Duke of Portland succeeds Lord Chatham as Lord President (Chatham remains Master of the Ordnance). Lord Pelham succeeds Portland as Home Secretary.
*July, 1802 – Lord Castlereagh succeeds Lord Dartmouth at the Board of Control.
*August, 1803 – Charles Philip Yorke succeeds Lord Pelham as Home Secretary.

Sources

* Ziegler, Philip "Addington, A Life of Henry Addington, First Viscount Sidmouth" (New York: The John Day Company, c1965), 478p.
* Leaflet "Great People of Reading" published by Reading Borough Libraries, undated but probably produced in late 2004 and available through Reading Central Library.
* Web page "http://www.berkshirehistory.com/bios/haddington.html", retrieved 21:45 16 January 2005 GMT
* Web page "http://www.berkshirehistory.com/castles/woodley_lodge.html", retrieved 21:45 16 January 2005 GMT

External links

*NRA|P187

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