Cracroft's Peerage
The Complete Guide to the British Peerage & Baronetage

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Prime Ministers from 1721

 

The office of Prime Minister, which had been in existence for nearly 200 years, was only officially recognised in 1905 and its holder granted a place in the Table of Precedence. The Prime Minister, by tradition also First Lord of the Treasury and usually Minister for the Civil Service, is appointed by the Sovereign and is usually the leader of the party which enjoys, or can secure, a majority in the House of Commons.

 

As can be seen from the list below, until the advent of the Labour Party in the early 20th century it was not uncommon for a member of the House of Lords or a close relative of such to be the leader of a political party. Since 1902 every Prime Minister has been a member of the House of Commons rather than a peer (Sir Alec Douglas-Home renounced his peerage) although many of them have been ennobled after leaving office.

 

The Prime Minister informs the Sovereign of state and political matters, advises on the dissolution of Parliament, and makes recommendations for important Crown appointments, the award of honours, etc.

 

 

1721-42 - Sir Robert Walpole (Whig)

1742-43 - Earl of Wilmington (Whig)

1743-54 - Henry Pelham (Whig)

1754-56 - Duke of Newcastle (Whig)

1756-57 - Duke of Devonshire (Whig)

1757-62 - Duke of Newcastle (Whig)

1762-63 - Earl of Bute (Tory)

1763-65 - George Grenville (Whig)

1765-66 - Marquess of Rockingham (Whig)

1766-67 - William Pitt (the Elder) (Whig)

1767-70 - Duke of Grafton (Whig)

1770-82 - Lord North (Tory)

1782 - Marquess of Rockingham (Whig)

1782-83 - Earl of Shelburne (Whig)

1783 - Duke of Portland (Coalition)

1783-1801 - William Pitt (the Younger) (Tory)

1801-04 - Henry Addington (Tory)

1804-06 - William Pitt (the Younger) (Tory)

1806-07 - Lord Grenville (Whig)

1807-09 - Duke of Portland (Tory)

1809-12 - Spencer Perceval (Tory)

1812-27 - Earl of Liverpool (Tory)

1827 - George Canning (Tory)

1827-28 - Viscount Goderich (Tory)

1828-30 - Duke of Wellington (Tory)

1830-34 - Earl Grey (Whig)

1834 - Viscount Melbourne (Whig)

1834-35 - Sir Robert Peel (Tory)

1835-41 - Viscount Melbourne (Whig)

1841-46 - Sir Robert Peel (Tory)

1846-52 - Lord John Russell (Whig)

1852 - Earl of Derby (Conservative)

1852-55 - Earl of Aberdeen (Coalition)

1855-58 - Viscount Palmerston (Liberal)

1858-59 - Earl of Derby (Conservative)

1859-65 - Viscount Palmerston (Liberal)

1865-66 - Earl Russell (Liberal)

1866-68 - Earl of Derby (Conservative)

1868 - Benjamin Disraeli (Conservative)

1868-74 - William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal)

1874-80 - Benjamin Disraeli (Conservative)

1880-85 - William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal)

1885-86 - Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative)

1886 - William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal)

1886-92 - Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative)

1892-94 - William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal)

1894-95 - Earl of Rosebery (Liberal)

1895-1902 - Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative)

1902-05 - Arthur Balfour (Conservative)

1905-08 - Sir Arthur Campbell-Bannerman (Liberal)

1908-16 - Herbert Henry Asquith (Liberal)

1916-22 - David Lloyd George (Coalition)

1922-23 - Andrew Bonar Law (Conservative)

1923-24 - Stanley Baldwin (Conservative)

1924 - (James) Ramsay MacDonald (Labour)

1924-29 - Stanley Baldwin (Conservative)

1929-35 - (James) Ramsay MacDonald (Labour)

1935-37 - Stanley Baldwin (National Government)

1937-40 - (Arthur) Neville Chamberlain (National Government)

1940-45 - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (Coalition)

1945-51 - Clement Richard Attlee (Labour)

1951-55 - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (Conservative)

1955-57 - Sir (Robert) Anthony Eden (Conservative)

1957-63 - (Maurice) Harold Macmillan (Conservative)

1963-64 - Sir Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home (Conservative)

1964-70 - (James) Harold Wilson (Labour)

1970-74 - Sir Edward Richard George Heath (Conservative)

1974-76 - (James) Harold Wilson (Labour)

1976-79 - (Leonard) James Callaghan (Labour)

1979-90 - Margaret Hilda Thatcher (Conservative)

1990-97 - Sir John Roy Major (Conservative)

1997-2007 - Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (Labour)

2007-10 - (James) Gordon Brown (Labour)

2010 - David William Donald Cameron (Coalition)

 

Last updated 12 May 2010

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