1757 Caretaker Ministry

1757 Caretaker Ministry

The Caretaker Ministry was the government of Great Britain for a short time in 1757, during the Seven Years' War.

In 1756, King George II of Great Britain was reluctantly compelled to accept a Ministry dominated by William Pitt the Elder as Secretary of State. The nominal head of this Ministry, as First Lord of the Treasury, was William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire.

In April 1757, following Pitt's failure to prevent the execution of Admiral Byng, the King, who detested Pitt, dismissed him and his brother-in-law Lord Temple, who had been First Lord of the Admiralty. The result of these events was to demonstrate beyond doubt that the Great Commoner (as Pitt was sometimes known) was indispensable to the formation of a Ministry strong enough to prosecute a major war.

Devonshire was left at the head of a government that was manifestly far too weak to survive long, particularly during a time of war. Horace Walpole in his "Memoirs of the Reign of King George III" called it "a mutilated, enfeebled, half-formed system".

One of the major problems of the Caretaker Ministry was that it included no figure capable of taking the lead in the House of Commons. It also lacked the support of the most significant factions in the House of Commons.

Devonshire recognised that it was necessary to reconcile Pitt and his old political enemy Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle who led the strongest Whig faction in Parliament, but who Pitt had insisted be excluded from the 1756-57 Ministry.

The King, after discussions with Devonshire and Newcastle in May 1757, authorised Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke to be his emissary to try to negotiate for a new Ministry.

The needs of the country and the lack of an obvious alternative, led to the formation of the Newcastle/Pitt Ministry in July 1757. Devonshire resigned the office of First Lord of the Treasury to take up the less demanding responsibilities of Lord Chamberlain.

Leading members of the Ministry

* The office of Lord Chancellor was in commission during this Ministry.
* Holdernesse continued to serve as Secretary of State for the Northern Department and also took over Pitt's former office of Secretary of State for the Southern Department 1757.
* Mansfield was Chancellor of the Exchequer, an office normally held by a member of the House of Commons, despite being both a serving Judge and a peer.
* The post of Leader of the House of Commons was vacant.


* "His Majesty's Opposition 1714-1830", by Archibald S. Foord (Oxford University Press 1964)
* "The Prime Ministers, Volume One: From Sir Robert Walpole to Sir Robert Peel", edited by Herbert van Thal (George Allen and Unwin 1974)
* "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography"

ee also

*List of British Governments

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caretaker Ministry — may refer to three shortlived governments of Great Britain or the United Kingdom. * 1757 Caretaker Ministry * Conservative Provisional Government 1834 * Caretaker Government 1945 …   Wikipedia

  • Churchill Caretaker Ministry — The Cabinet OFFICE NAME PARTY TERM First Lord of the Treasury Minister of Defence Winston Churchill Conservative May–July 1945 Lord Preside …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of All the Talents — Lord Grenville, Prime Minister 1806 1807 The Ministry of All the Talents was a national unity government formed by William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville on his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 11 February 1806 after …   Wikipedia

  • 1757 in Great Britain — Events from the year 1757 in the Kingdom of Great Britain. Events * 2 January Robert Clive captures Calcutta, India. [cite book|title=Penguin Pocket On This Day|publisher=Penguin Reference Library|isbn=0 141 02715 0|year=2006] * 14 March Seven… …   Wikipedia

  • Devonshire Ministry — The Devonshire Ministry may refer to either of the two British governments headed by the 4th Duke of Devonshire Devonshire/Pitt Ministry 1757 Caretaker Ministry This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • Coalition Ministry — Upon Queen Anne s accession to the English throne in 1702, she appointed Lord Godolphin as First Lord of the Treasury and the Duke of Marlborough as Master General of the Ordnance (among other numerous appointments). They would lead this… …   Wikipedia

  • Chatham Ministry — The Chatham Ministry was a British government led by William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham that ruled between 1766 and 1768. Because of Pitt s former prominence before his title, it is sometimes referred to as the Pitt Ministry. Unusually for a… …   Wikipedia

  • Thatcher ministry — Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister (1979 1990) Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 4 May 1979 and 28 November 1990, during which time she led a Conservative government. She was the first woman to hold that office …   Wikipedia

  • Churchill War Ministry — Contents 1 The War Cabinet 2 See also 3 Notes 4 References The War Cabinet …   Wikipedia

  • North Ministry — Lord North, First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1770–1782 The North Ministry governed the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1770 until 1782. Overseeing in this time the Falklands Crisis, the Gordon Riots and much of the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.