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22nd September

Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole

1735 Britain’s First Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole moves into 10 Downing Street.

Robert Walpole 1st Earl of Offord Born 1676 –  Died 1745

This was during The Reign of King George the I and George the II.

Dates in office: 1721- 1742

Walpole was also the longest serving Prime Minister

Educated at Eaton and Cambridge University.

Walpole was part of the Whig movement and was known for reducing the national debt, keeping peace abroad, low taxation.

He was good at keeping royalty on good terms, and pulling political strings “Screen Master General”.

He regained power through the support of Queen Caroline who gave 10 Downing street as a gift, 1735, but Walpole did not want the house to be just for his personal disposal, so he insisted the building be used by successive ministers who took the role we know today as Prime minister, which is a tradition still carried on to this day.

A Trade Dispute with Spain and critical forces from his own party had consequences. Eventually, things lead to “The War of Jenkins Ear” from 1739-1748. Jenkins being captain of a British merchant ship, the ear seems to be suspect to stories rather than factual evidence.

Many Acts came into force when various Prime Ministers were in Service. Here are two from this Prime Minister.

-Distress for Rent Act 1737

Prevent Fraud by Tenants and making payments more secure

-Gaming Act 1738

Prevents deceitful and excessive Gaming, which was to do with Gambling.

Blue Plaque Walpole
Blue Plaque Walpole
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