Childhood & Early Life
Lord North was born as Frederick North in London at Albemarle Street to Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford and Lady Lucy Montagu. He spent much of his childhood years at Wroxton Abbey in Oxfordshire.
After the death of his mother in 1734, he was looked after by his step mother but not for long as she too passed away in 1745 when he was thirteen.
Completing his preliminary education, he enrolled at the Eton College where he studied between 1742 and 1748. Thereafter, he gained admission at Trinity College, Oxford where he was awarded an MA degree in 1750.
Finishing his studies in Oxford, he went on a Europe tour along with half-brother Lord Dartmouth. He visited numerous cities, some of which include Leipzig, Vienna, Milan and Paris. He studied at the University of Leipzig returning to England only in 1753.
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In 1754, he commenced his political career by being elected as the unopposed Member of the Parliament for the constituency of Banbury. From 1754 to 1790, he retained his chair of an MP.
In 1759, he took up the position of the junior Lord of the Treasury in the government. In the position, he was liked by all due to his excellent administrative skills and parliamentarian abilities.
He got a strong motion passed against John Wilkes who had attacked the government by writing a defamatory article on both the Prime Minister and the King. The motion gained 273 votes against 111 thus leading to the expulsion of Wilkes
In 1765, when the government was run by the Whig honcho Lord Rockingham, he gave up the position to serve as a backbencher MP for a year, largely due to the fear of being linked with the Whig government.
With Pitt resuming to head the government position, he resumed his position as an MP. It was then that he was appointed to the position of Joint Paymaster of the Forces and Privy Counsellor.
In 1767, he succeeded Charles Townshend to take up the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. The following year, he took up as the Leader of the Commons as well, due to the resignation of the secretary of state Henry Seymour Conway.
Two years later, with the resignation of the Duke of Grafton, he formed his own government on January 28, 1770. Most of his cabinet ministers were known as Tories.
During his term as the Prime Minister, he expanded the British Empire by taking over new territories and several continents
In 1770, he met with early success during the Falklands Crisis as Britain cast dominance over France and Spain and faced down a Spanish attempt to seize the Falkland Islands. Using the popularity, he appointed Lord Sandwich as the First Lord of the Admiralty.
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During the American War of Independence in 1775, he introduced Coercive Acts in Britain, which proposed legislative measures to punish the Bostonians. However, his move backfired and instead inflamed the colonist and resulted in a battle which he faced half-heartedly.
In an attempt to end the war, he proposed a Conciliation Plan but that resulted in no positive response as the colonies demanded for complete independence. Following this, he announced his retirement which came as a blow for the opposition who had prepared for a debate at the house.
In 1783, he returned to power as the Home Secretary in a Fox-North coalition under the nominal leadership of the Duke of Portland. However, with King George III detesting the radical and republican ideologies of Fox, he never served in the government after the fall of the ministry in 1783.
He spoke ill of his successor, William Pitt the Younger who despite all odds survived in the office for twenty years, thus disrupting all hopes of him ever turning back to regain the high office again.
In 1790, he left his seat in Parliament shortly before succeeding his father as 2nd Earl of Guilford.
Awards & Achievements
He held various titles from birth to death such as The Hon. Frederick North, Lord North, Lord North, MP, The Rt. Hon. Lord North, MP, The Rt. Hon. Lord North, KG, MP, The Rt. Hon. Lord North, KG and The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Guilford, KG, PC.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Anne Speke on May 1756. The couple was blessed with six children - George Augustus North, Catherine Anne North, Francis North, Lady Charlotte North, Frederick North and Lady Anne North.
He breathed his last in London after spending his final years in the House of Lords. He was buried at the All Saints' Church, Wroxton. He was succeeded by his eldest son who took over the constituency of Banbury, and in 1792 acceded to his father's title