Ministry of All the Talents

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Lord Grenville William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville by Gainsborough Dupont.jpg
Lord Grenville

The Ministry of "All the Talents" was a national unity government formed by Lord Grenville on his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 11 February 1806, following the death of William Pitt the Younger. [1]

A national unity government, government of national unity, or national union government is a broad coalition government consisting of all parties in the legislature, usually formed during a time of war or other national emergency.

William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville British politician, died 1834

William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, was a British Pittite Tory and politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1806 to 1807, though he was a supporter of the British Whig Party for the duration of the Napoleonic Wars.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Head of UK Government

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, and together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and ultimately to the electorate. The office of Prime Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. The current holder of the office, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016.



James Gillray's Charon's Boat.--or--the Ghosts of "all the Talents" taking their last voyage (1807) caricatured the ministry's break-up. Lord Howick rows and St. Vincent steers. Charon's Boat.jpg
James Gillray's Charon's Boat.—or—the Ghosts of "all the Talents" taking their last voyage (1807) caricatured the ministry's break-up. Lord Howick rows and St. Vincent steers.

With the country remaining at war, Grenville aimed to form the strongest possible government and so included most leading politicians from almost all groupings, although some followers of the younger Pitt, led by George Canning, refused to join.

War of the Third Coalition war

The War of the Third Coalition was a European conflict spanning the years 1803 to 1806. During the war, France and its client states under Napoleon I defeated an alliance, the Third Coalition, made up of the Holy Roman Empire, Russia, Britain and others.

George Canning British statesman and politician

George Canning was a British Tory statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from April to August 1827. He occupied various senior cabinet positions under numerous prime ministers, before eventually serving himself as Prime Minister for the final four months of his life.

The inclusion of Charles James Fox raised eyebrows as King George III had previously been very hostile to Fox, but the King's willingness to put aside past enmities for the sake of national unity encouraged many others to join or support the government as well. The ministry boasted a fairly progressive agenda, much of it inherited from Pitt.

Charles James Fox 18th/19th-century British statesman

Charles James Fox, styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger. His father Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, a leading Whig of his day, had similarly been the great rival of Pitt's famous father William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. He rose to prominence in the House of Commons as a forceful and eloquent speaker with a notorious and colourful private life, though his opinions were rather conservative and conventional. However, with the coming of the American War of Independence and the influence of the Whig Edmund Burke, Fox's opinions evolved into some of the most radical ever to be aired in the Parliament of his era.

George III of the United Kingdom King of Great Britain and Ireland

George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

The Ministry of All the Talents had comparatively little success, failing to bring the sought-after peace with France. In fact, the war continued for nearly another decade. It did, however, abolish the slave trade in Britain in 1807 before breaking up over the question of Catholic emancipation.

Slave Trade Act 1807 UK parliament act of 1807

The Slave Trade Act 1807, officially An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom prohibiting the slave trade in the British Empire. Although it did not abolish the practice of slavery, it did encourage British action to press other nation states to abolish their own slave trades.

Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, and later the combined United Kingdom in the late 18th century and early 19th century, that involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws. Requirements to abjure (renounce) the temporal and spiritual authority of the pope and transubstantiation placed major burdens on Roman Catholics.

It was succeeded by the Second Portland ministry, headed by William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland.

This is a list of members of the Tory government of the United Kingdom in office under the leadership of the Duke of Portland from 1807 to 1809.

William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland 18th/19th-century British politician

William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, was a British Whig and Tory politician during the late Georgian era. He served as Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1792–1809) and twice as British prime minister, of Great Britain (1783) and then of the United Kingdom (1807–09). The twenty-four years between his two terms as Prime Minister is the longest gap between terms of office of any British prime minister.

Other uses of the term

The term has since been used in politics to describe an administration with members from more than one party or even a non-coalition government that enjoys cross-party support due to gifted and/or non-partisan members. Examples include the coalition government which led Great Britain through the Second World War and the Canadian government that won the 1896 election. [2]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

List of Ministers

Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

First Lord of the Treasury
Leader of the House of Lords
The Lord Grenville 11 February 1806 
 31 March 1807
Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Henry Petty 11 February 1806
Joint Secretaries to the Treasury Nicholas Vansittart February 1806 
 March 1807
John King February 
 July 1806
William Henry Fremantle July 1806 
 March 1807
Junior Lords of the Treasury Viscount Althorp 11 February 1806
William Wickham 11 February 1806
John Courtenay 11 February 1806
Lord Chancellor The Lord Erskine February 1806
Lord President of the Council The Earl Fitzwilliam 19 February 1806
The Viscount Sidmouth 8 October 1806
Lord Privy Seal The Viscount Sidmouth February 1806
The Lord Holland 8 October 1806
Secretary of State for the Home Department The Earl Spencer 5 February 1806
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Charles Williams-Wynn February 1806
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Leader of the House of Commons
Charles James Fox 7 February 1806 
 13 September 1806
Viscount Howick 24 September 1806
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs George Walpole February 1806 
 March 1807
Sir Francis Vincent February 1806 
 March 1807
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies William Windham February 1806
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Sir George Shee February 1806 
 March 1807
Sir James Cockburn February 1806 
 March 1807
First Lord of the Admiralty Charles Grey [lower-alpha 1] 10 February 1806
Thomas Grenville 29 September 1806
First Secretary to the Admiralty William Marsden Continued in office
Civil Lords of the Admiralty Sir Philip Stephens 10 February 
 23 October 1806
Lord William Russell 10 February 1806 
 31 March 1807
The Lord Kensington 10 February 1806 
 31 March 1807
William Frankland 23 October 1806 
 31 March 1807
President of the Board of Trade The Lord Auckland 5 February 1806
Vice-President of the Board of Trade [lower-alpha 2] Earl Temple 5 February 1806
President of the Board of Control The Lord Minto 12 February 1806
Thomas Grenville 16 July 1806
George Tierney 1 October 1806
Secretary to the Board of Control Thomas Creevey 14 February 1806
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Earl of Derby 12 February 1806
Master-General of the Ordnance The Earl of Moira February 1806
Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance Sir Thomas Trigge Continued in office
Treasurer of the Ordnance Alexander Davison 20 February 1806
Surveyor-General of the Ordnance James Murray Hadden Continued in office
Clerk of the Ordnance John Calcraft 22 February 1806
Clerk of the Deliveries of the Ordnance James Lloyd 12 March 1806
Storekeeper of the Ordnance John McMahon 22 February 1806
Treasurer of the Navy Richard Brinsley Sheridan February 1806
Secretary at War Richard FitzPatrick February 1806
Master of the Mint Lord Charles Spencer February 1806
Charles Bathurst October 1806
Paymaster of the Forces Earl Temple February 1806 
 March 1807
Lord John Townshend February 1806 
 March 1807
Postmaster General The Earl of Carysfort February 1806 
 March 1807
The Earl of Buckinghamshire February 1806 
 March 1807
Minister without Portfolio The Earl Fitzwilliam October 1806 
 March 1807
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Duke of Bedford 12 March 1806
The Duke of Richmond 11 April 1807
Chief Secretary for Ireland William Elliot February 1806
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench The Lord Ellenborough Continued in office
Attorney General Sir Arthur Piggott 12 February 1806
Solicitor General Sir Samuel Romilly 12 February 1806
Judge Advocate General Nathaniel Bond 8 March 1806
Lord Advocate Henry Erskine February 1806
Solicitor General for Scotland John Clerk February 1806
Attorney General for Ireland William Plunket Continued in office
Solicitor General for Ireland Charles Kendal Bushe Continued in office
Lord Steward of the Household The Earl of Aylesford Continued in office
Treasurer of the Household Lord Ossulston 12 February 1806
Comptroller of the Household Lord George Thynne Continued in office
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Earl of Dartmouth Continued in office
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Lord John Thynne Continued in office
Master of the Horse The Earl of Carnarvon 8 February 1806
Master of the Buckhounds The Earl of Albemarle 12 February 1806
Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners The Lord St John of Bletso 12 February 1806
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Earl of Macclesfield Continued in office
  1. Styled Viscount Howick from 11 April 1806.
  2. Earl Temple concurrently served as Paymaster of the Forces and Vice-President of the Board of Trade.

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Events from the year 1806 in the United Kingdom.

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  1. Lord William Wyndham Grenville Archived 13 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. John Holland Rose (1929). The Cambridge history of the British Empire: The Growth of the new Empire (Google books). Cambridge University Press. p. 511.
Preceded by
Second Pitt ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Second Portland ministry