By K. Theakston
Having misplaced an election, been thrown out through their celebration, or retired on grounds of ill-health, what do former British best ministers do? within the first ebook to examine the lives, political roles and impact of former major ministers, Theakston analyzes the entire former best ministers from Walpole within the 18th century to Blair at the present time.
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Additional resources for After Number 10: Former Prime Ministers in British Politics
46 It did not, however, seem like the ﬁnal curtain for North. He was still an inﬂuential and able ﬁgure, backed by a group of over 100 MPs in the House of Commons, and just turning 50 years old. To contemporaries a return to ofﬁce and even another North premiership must have seemed likely at some point. Neither of his two immediate successors – Rockingham, who died, and then the unpopular Shelburne – lasted long in Number 10. The combination of the emergence and dominance of the young William Pitt, the damage to North’s reputation caused by his apparently opportunistic alliance with Charles James Fox, and the collapse of North’s health within a few years ﬁnished his career.
34 Although there were periods of intense political activity in Chatham’s post-premiership – particularly in 1770–71 and again in 1775 – when he displayed ‘his old brilliant style’ and energy, the years after 1768 have been described overall as ‘tragic’: ‘twilight years of frustration and failure, marked by growing political isolation, mental illness and physical decay’. 35 Free from ofﬁce Chatham had recovered enough to appear at Court and meet the King in July 1769 and resume political and parliamentary life later that year.
Aged only 47 when he resigned as prime minister in 1804, he lived for nearly another 40 years (only Grafton lived longer after being PM). During that time he held ministerial ofﬁce for a total of 14 years and served in the Cabinets of four of his successors in Number 10 (on both counts no one else has equalled this achievement). However, his stance as an arch reactionary during this period did his reputation little good at the time and for long afterwards. 1 All of Addington’s experience as a government minister came after, not before, he became prime minister.