Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth

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The Rt Hon. Henry Addington
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Henry Addington

Term of Office: 17 March 180110 May 1804
Predecessor: William Pitt the Younger
Successor: William Pitt the Younger
Date of Birth: 30 May 1757
Place of Birth: Holborn, London
Date of Death: 15 February 1844
Place of Death: Richmond, Surrey
Political Party: Tory

Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (May 30, 1757 - February 15, 1844) was a British statesman, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1804.

Henry Addington was the son of Anthony Addington, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham's physician, and Mary Addington, the daughter of the Rev. Haviland John Hiley, headmaster of Reading School. As a consequence of his father's position, Addington was a childhood friend of Chatham's son, William Pitt the Younger. Addington studied at Winchester and Brasenose College, Oxford, and then studied law at Lincoln's Inn. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1784, and became Speaker of the House of Commons in 1789. In March, 1801, Pitt was forced to resign from office due to his call for Catholic emancipation, and Addington was chosen to succeed him.

Addington's ministry was most notable for the negotiation of the Treaty of Amiens, in 1802 in which an unfavourable peace was agreed to with France. It quickly broke down, and Addington's poor management of the war led to Pitt's return to power the next year. Addington remained an important political figure, however. Created Viscount Sidmouth, he joined Pitt's Cabinet as Lord President of the Council, and later served in the Ministry of All the Talents as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President.

When the Pittites returned to power in 1807, Sidmouth returned to opposition, but returned to government as Lord President of the Council in March, 1812, and, in June of the same year, became Home Secretary. As Home Secretary, Sidmouth brutally crushed radical opposition, being responsible for the suspension of habeas corpus in 1817, and the passage of the repressive Six Acts in 1819. Sidmouth left office in 1822, succeeded as Home Secretary by the much more competent Robert Peel, but remained in the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio for the next two years, fruitlessly opposing British recognition of the South American republics. He remained active in the House of Lords for the next few years, making his final speech in opposition to Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and casting his final vote against the Reform Act 1832.

Addington maintained a home at Woodley House, in what is now the Reading suburb of Woodley, but moved to the White Lodge in Richmond Park when he became Prime Minister. However he maintained links with Woodley and the Reading area, as commander of the Woodley Yeomanry Cavalry and High Steward of Reading. He also donated to the town of Reading the four acres (16,000 m²) of land that is today the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and his name is commemorated in the town's Sidmouth Street and Addington Road.

Henry Addington's Government, March 1801 - May 1804

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Arms of Henry Addington



Preceded by:
William Wyndham Grenville
Speaker of the British House of Commons
Succeeded by:
Sir John Mitford

Template:Succession box three to three

Preceded by:
The Duke of Portland
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by:
The Earl Camden
Preceded by:
The Earl of Westmorland
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by:
The Lord Holland
Preceded by:
The Earl Fitzwilliam
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by:
The Earl Camden
Preceded by:
The Earl Camden
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Harrowby
Preceded by:
Richard Ryder
Home Secretary
Succeeded by:
Robert Peel

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Preceded by:
New Creation
Viscount Sidmouth
Succeeded by:
William Leonard Addington

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