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George Grenville
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World Leader
    (October 14, 1712-November 13, 1770)
    Born in Wotton Underwood, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
    Member of Parliament for Buckingham (1741-70)
    Treasurer of the Navy (1756-62)
    First Lord of the Admiralty (1762-63)
    Prime Minister of Great Britain (April 16, 1763-July 10, 1765)
    Brother-in-law of William Pitt the Elder
    He became alienated from his brother-in-law after refusing to join Pitt in resigning from the cabinet of the Duke of Newcastle (1761).
    He prosecuted John Wilkes for ‘seditious libel’ for publishing criticism of a speech by King George III, leading to accusations that he was trying to silence the press.
    He imposed the Stamp Act on the British colonies in America (1765), widely considered the start of the chain of events that led to the American Revolution.
    In Parliament, he helped secure passage of the Townsend Acts (1767), which further inflamed relations between Britain and the American colonies.
    He had a reputation for honesty that commanded respect from independent MPs.
    As Treasurer of the Navy, he established a fairer system for paying the wages of sailors and supporting their families when they were at sea (1758).
    After being removed from power, he reconciled with Pitt (1768).
    Despite his prosecution of Wilkes, he felt that the government’s refusal to let Wilkes take his seat in the House of Commons after he was elected was unconstitutional and opposed it on principle.
    His son William would also serve as Prime Minister (1806-07)

Credit: C. Fishel

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