Famous 18th Century British Political Leaders

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Find out more about the greatest 18th Century British Political Leaders, including William Wilberforce, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, William Pitt the Younger, Charles James Napier and Robert Peel.
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 1 
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
(Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1828 - 1830, 1834))
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
6
Birthdate: May 1, 1769
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: September 14, 1852
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, served as the British prime minister twice. He also served as the governor of Seringapatam and Mysore, and won the Battle of Assaye. He led the Hundred Days War and along with the Prussian army, won the Battle of Waterloo, defeating Napoleon.
 2 
William Wilberforce
(Abolitionist)
William Wilberforce
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1759
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull
Died: July 29, 1833
William Wilberforce, an independent MP from Yorkshire, was a champion for the British anti-slavery movement and made a significant contribution to the passage of the 1807 Slave Trade Act and the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. He supported missionaries in India, founded the Church Mission Society, and was against animal cruelty.
 3 
Robert Clive
(The First British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India)
Robert Clive
4
Birthdate: September 25, 1725
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Styche Hall, England
Died: November 22, 1774

Robert Clive was a military officer and the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India. Nicknamed Clive of India, Robert Clive is credited with laying the foundation of the East India Company rule in Bengal. He won the Battle of Plassey in 1757, which enabled him to establish Company rule in Bengal.

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Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
4
Birthdate: October 20, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westminster, Middlesex, England
Died: October 18, 1865
 5 
Robert Walpole
(Prime Minister of Great Britain (1721-42))
Robert Walpole
4
Birthdate: August 26, 1676
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houghton, Norfolk, England
Died: March 18, 1745
 6 
John Graves Simcoe
(British Army General Who Founded the City of Toronto and Abolished Slavery in Canada)
John Graves Simcoe
4
Birthdate: February 25, 1752
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotterstock, Oundle, England
Died: October 26, 1806

John Graves Simcoe was a British Army general best remembered for founding York (present-day Toronto, Canada). Simcoe, who served as the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, was responsible for introducing institutions like trial by jury, courts of law, freehold land tenure, and English common law. John Graves Simcoe also played a key role in abolishing slavery in Canada.

 7 
William Pitt the Younger
(The Youngest & Last Prime Minister of Great Britain and the First Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)
William Pitt the Younger
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1759
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bromley, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 23, 1806

British statesman, William Pitt the Younger, became the youngest prime minister of Great Britain in 1783 when he was just 24. During his stint as the prime minister, he was also Chancellor of the Exchequer. Several major political events,  including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, happened during his tenure.  He is ranked highly among all British Prime Ministers.

 8 
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
(Former Prime Minister of United Kingdom)
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1764
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fallodon, Northumberland, England
Died: July 17, 1845
William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1748
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 29, 1811
 10 
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
(Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1766-68))
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1708
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: May 11, 1778
 11 
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich
(British Former First Lord of the Admiralty)
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich
3
Birthdate: November 13, 1718
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Died: April 30, 1792

At age 10, John Montagu succeeded his grandfather, Edward Montagu, as the earl of Sandwich. The Eton- and Cambridge-educated statesman had held several important positions, such as the First Lord of the Admiralty. While gambling, he would often have bread and meat, leading to the delicacy being named “sandwich.”

 12 
Spencer Perceval
(Politician, Lawyer)
Spencer Perceval
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1762
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London
Died: May 11, 1812

Spencer Perceval was an English barrister and statesman who served as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister from 1809 to 1812. The only solicitor-general to have served as UK's prime minister, Perceval was also the only British PM to have been murdered. His assassination inspired poems like Universal sympathy on the martyr'd statesman, which was published in 1812.

 13 
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
(One of the Leading British Generals in the American War of Independence)
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
4
Birthdate: December 31, 1738
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Grosvenor Square, London, England
Died: October 5, 1805

British army general Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis is best remembered for his stints as the governor-general of India and the viceroy of Ireland. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he later started his army career with the Seven Years’ War. He was also part of the American War of Independence.

 14 
Lord North
(Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782)
Lord North
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Piccadilly
Died: August 5, 1792
 15 
Arthur Phillip
(1st Governor of New South Wales (1788 - 1792))
Arthur Phillip
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1738
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cheapside, London, England
Died: August 31, 1814

British admiral Arthur Phillip was a pioneering leader of the colonization of Australia. He established the first permanent European colonial settlement in Australia. He had also served as the first governor of New South Wales but was unable to establish peace. He was part of the Seven Years' War, too.

 16 
John Burgoyne
(General, dramatist and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1761 to 1792)
John Burgoyne
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1722
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sutton, Bedfordshire, England
Died: August 4, 1792
 17 
John Wilkes
(English journalist)
John Wilkes
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1725
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clerkenwell, London
Died: December 26, 1797
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1770
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 4, 1828
 19 
George Canning
(Former British Prime Minister)
George Canning
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1770
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marylebone
Died: August 8, 1827
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1760
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dangan Castle, Ireland
Died: September 26, 1842
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
3
Birthdate: April 14, 1738
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nottinghamshire, England
Died: October 30, 1809
 22 
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
(British Advocate, Independent Whig Politician and Former Secretary of State for War (1794 - 1801))
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
3
Birthdate: April 28, 1742
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 28, 1811

His mastery of Scottish politics earned Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville the nickname King Harry the Ninth. Apart from serving as the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State for War, he also played a significant role in the British expansion in India. He was also a successful lawyer initially.

 23 
Lord William Bentinck
(Former Governor-General of India)
Lord William Bentinck
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1774
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Died: June 17, 1839
 24 
Button Gwinnett
(Politician)
Button Gwinnett
3
Birthdate: 1735 AD
Birthplace: Down Hatherley, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
Died: May 19, 1777
 25 
Robert Harley, 1st earl of Oxford
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1661
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 21, 1724
 26 
William Whipple
(Politician, Officer)
William Whipple
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1730
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kittery, Maine
Died: November 28, 1785
Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle
3
Birthdate: July 21, 1693
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 17, 1768
 28 
Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat
(Scottish Military Leader & Chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat)
Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1667
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: England
Died: April 9, 1747

Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat was a Scottish military leader who served as the chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat. A Jacobite, Simon Fraser was among the Highlanders who were defeated at the Battle of Culloden and later sentenced to death after being convicted of treason against the Crown.  

 29 
Thomas Hutchinson
(Businessman)
Thomas Hutchinson
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1711
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: British America
Died: June 3, 1780
 30 
Henry Clinton
(Military officer)
Henry Clinton
4
Birthdate: April 16, 1730
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newfoundland, Canada
Died: December 23, 1795
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1769
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: August 12, 1822
Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1754
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: County Down, Ireland
Died: November 28, 1826
 33 
Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
(Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)
Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1730
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wentworth, Yorkshire, England
Died: July 1, 1782
 34 
Henry Pelham
(Politician)
Henry Pelham
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1694
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Laughton
Died: March 6, 1754
John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1721
 36 
Thomas McKean
(Lawyer, Politician, Judge)
Thomas McKean
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1734
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Province of Pennsylvania
Died: June 24, 1817

One of the Founding Fathers of the US, Thomas McKean was the son of a tavern keeper and later became a successful barrister and politician. He simultaneously served in the Continental Congress of Delaware while he was also the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

 37 
William Cobbett
(Journalist)
William Cobbett
3
Birthdate: March 9, 1763
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Farnham, Surrey, England
Died: June 18, 1835
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1705
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Scone Palace, Scotland
Died: March 20, 1793

British jurist William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield is remembered for his significant contribution to the English commercial law. He had been the chief justice of the King’s Bench. Though he brough in new reforms in areas of finance, he mostly avoided dealing with issues such as slavery.

Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland
3
Birthdate: April 23, 1675
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Not Known
Died: April 19, 1722
 40 
George Grenville
(Politician)
George Grenville
3
Birthdate: October 14, 1712
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westminster
Died: November 13, 1770
 41 
Sir Edmund Andros
(Colonial official)
Sir Edmund Andros
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1637
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1714
 42 
William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1737
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: County Dublin, Ireland
Died: May 7, 1805
Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1694
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 24, 1773
 44 
William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville
(Former British Prime Minister)
William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville
3
Birthdate: October 25, 1759
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wotton Underwood, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: January 12, 1834
 45 
Charles Townshend
(Politician)
Charles Townshend
2
Birthdate: August 29, 1725
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England
Died: September 4, 1767
 46 
John Lindsay
(Royal Navy officer)
John Lindsay
0
Birthdate: 1737 AD
Birthplace: British
Died: June 4, 1788
 47 
Henry Hunt
(Politician)
Henry Hunt
2
Birthdate: November 6, 1773
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Upavon, England
Died: February 15, 1835
Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton
2
Birthdate: September 28, 1735
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: England
Died: March 14, 1811
William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire
2
Birthdate: January 25, 1640
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: United Kingdom
Died: August 18, 1707
 50 
William Huskisson
2
Birthdate: March 11, 1770
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Birch Moreton, England
Died: September 15, 1830