- NAME: William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
- OCCUPATION: Political Leader
- BIRTH DATE: July 30, 1708
- DEATH DATE: May 11, 1778
- Did You Know?: William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, suffered from gout most of his adult life.
- EDUCATION: Eton College, Trinity College, University of Utrecht, University of Oxford
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: Hayes, Kent, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: William Pitt
- Nickname: The Great Commoner
- AKA: 1st Earl of Chatham
- AKA: First Earl of Chatham
- AKA: William Pitt, the Elder
Best Known For
Possessing integrity and tenacity, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, led Britain during the Seven Years' War and advocated a less strident policy towards the American colonies.
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He joined the House of Lords, becoming 1st Earl of Chatham—a move considered somewhat of a betrayal, given Pitt's lifelong commitment to the common man.
Within a year of taking office, William Pitt faced deteriorating health and intense political battles with hardline Members of Parliament. He resigned in 1768 and, over the next 10 years, focused on the growing crisis in North America. He tried to avert the American colonies from declaring independence by advocating a gentler approach to taxing and enforcement, and took a critical stand against King George III and Parliament's corrosive policies toward the colonies.
On April 7, 1778, Pitt was in the House of Lords chamber debating a motion to grant the colonies' request for independence. As he rose to speak, he suddenly clutched his chest and collapsed. Pitt was taken from the chamber to Hayes, in Kent, England, where he died on May 11, 1778, at the age of 69.
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