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This Sceptred Isle

Grenville & the North Briton
In 1763 Bute resigned. George Grenville took over but argued with George III who still sought advice from Bute on most subjects. The King even asked Pitt to take over from Grenville but Pitt refused. Grenville felt more secure and demanded that Bute stopped advising the King. Grenville had not always been a Tory, he had been one of the Cobham Cubs, the opposition group to Walpole.

George III did not trust his Prime Minister and Grenville in his turn trusted neither the king nor Parliament. He had resigned by the end of 1765.

George Grenville
George Grenville

  • Prime Minister 1763-1765
  • Educated at Eton and Oxford
  • Son of a Whig politician
  • Treasurer of the Navy under Newcastle
  • Dismissed in 1755 for criticising foreign policy but returned in both of Pitt's administrations
  • On Pitt's resignation in 1761, became First Lord of the Admiralty
  • His 1765 Stamp Act aggravted relations with the colonies and was partly responsible for the War of American Independence
  • Succeeded by Rockingham

did you know?
The great diarist James Boswell met Samuel Johnson in 1763. His biography of his friend and mentor the Life Of Johnson was published in 1791.


Present: Lord Chancellor, Duke of Bedford, Lord Halifax, Lord Sandwich, Mr Grenville.

The points agreed upon by all His Majesty's servants present at this meeting to be humbly offered to His Majesty by Mr Grenville, in consequence of the orders which the King gave to him last night, to know their sentiments with regard to their continuing in his Government, were as follows, and Mr Grenville was desired to lay them before His Majesty as indispensably necessary in their opinion for carrying on the public business, viz.

First. That the king's ministers should authorized to declare that Lord Bute is to have nothing to do in His Majesty's Councils or Government, in any many or shape whatsoever.

Second. That Mr. Steward Mackenzie be removed from his office of Lord Privy Seal of Scotland, and from the authority and influence which has been given to him in that kingdom.

Third. That Lord Holland be removed from the office of Paymaster General, and that office disposed of as has been usual in the House of Commons.

Fourth. That Lord Granby be appointed Commander in Chief of the Army.

Fifth. That the king would be pleased to settle the Government of Ireland with his ministers.

Select historical period

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1756Pitt the Elder becomes Secretary at War
Seven Years' War starts
Black Hole of Calcutta
1757Militia Act
Calcutta recaptured
1760George II dies
George III becomes king
Wolfe dies at Quebec
1761 Pitt the Elder falls from power
1762Newcastle resigns
Bute becomes Prime Minister
1763Bute resigns
Grenville becomes Prime Minister
1765 Rockingham becomes Prime Minister
Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny
1766Grafton becomes nominal Prime Minister
1768Royal Academy of Arts founded
1769Captain Cook lands at Tahiti
1770Lord North becomes Prime Minister

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