The third of the British prime ministers, from 1743 to 1754. He was a Whig.

Born in about 1695, he was educated at Westminster School and Hart Hall, Oxford; then was elected MP for Seaford in 1717. In 1722 he switched to representing Sussex, and continued so the rest of his life.

In 1726 he married Lady Catherine Manners, and they had eight children.

He had already been active in suppressing the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, and in 1724 was appointed by Robert Walpole as his secretary of war.

He was appointed prime minister on 27th August 1743, almost two months after the death of the previous office-holder, the Earl of Wilmington. In February 1746 Pelham was replaced by the Earl of Bath, who however was unable to form a ministry, and Pelham resumed office a few days later.

The major event of his ministry was the second Jacobite rebellion under Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. There was also the War of the Austrian Succession. Important legal changes were the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in September 1752 ("give us back our eleven days"), and the adoption of uniform laws on marriage in Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act.

He continued to serve as prime minister until his death in London on 6th March 1754; he is buried near Lewes in Sussex. Pelham was succeeded in office by his brother the Duke of Newcastle. They were both sons of Sir Thomas Pelham (c. 1650-1712), created Lord Pelham in 1706.

< Earl of Wilmington -- British prime ministers -- Duke of Newcastle >

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