William, 4th Duke of Devonshire

1756 - 1757

Devonshire (1720-64) was an hereditary grandee who was brought in as a figurehead by Pitt after the fall of the first Newcastle government. He appears to have had little education and played little role in the actions of his short ministry, which was mostly memorable for executing Admiral John Byng (1704-57). He remained a royal favourite and nominal Whig leader until the clear-out that opened the new reign. He should rank below Wilmington and Bute, not above them.

© 2020 Martin Hutchinson