William Pitt and Lord Bute: An Intrigue of 1755-1758

Romney Sedgwick believes Lord Chatham used Lord Bute, the Princess, and her son, for his own purposes, attained them, and then kicked them down the ladder, which George III never could forget.

In the Spring of 1755, Pitt, then Paymaster General in the Duke of Newcastle’s Government, accepted an invitation from Lord Bute, the political adviser of the Princess Dowager of Wales, to enter into “the closest engagement with Leicester House.” In the ensuing discussions it was agreed that a strong opposition party should be formed to support the Princess against her brother-in-law, the Duke of Cumberland, whose recent appointment to be head of the Regency during the King’s absence in Hanover, together with his command of the army in the impending war with France, threatened her hopes of governing in the name of her sixteen-year-old son in the case of a minority. It was further agreed that, in return for leading this opposition, Pitt should become head of the government in the next reign, with Bute as his second in command at the Treasury.

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