Halifax, Charles Montagu, earl of

Halifax, Charles Montagu, earl of

(hăl`əfăks), 1661–1715, English statesman. He and Matthew PriorPrior, Matthew,
1664–1721, English poet and diplomat, b. Wimborne, Dorset. With his appointment as secretary to the embassy at The Hague during the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Ryswick (1697), Prior began a long diplomatic career.
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 were coauthors of a parody of John Dryden's The Hind and the Panther, entitled The Town and The Country Mouse (1687). As a lord of the treasury, Halifax proposed (1692) the system of government borrowing that established the British national debt. In 1694 he adopted the proposal of William PatersonPaterson, William,
1658–1719, British financier. By the time of the Glorious Revolution (1688–89, which he supported), he had acquired considerable wealth and influence through foreign trade.
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 to found the Bank of England and was appointed chancellor of the exchequer. The following year he designated Isaac Newton as warden of the mint to effect a recoinage and issued the first exchequer bills. Halifax succeeded Sidney GodolphinGodolphin, Sidney Godolphin, 1st earl of
, 1645–1712, English statesman. He early established a lasting friendship with John Churchill (later duke of Marlborough), and their political fortunes were closely linked.
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 as first lord of the treasury (1697–99) and was twice impeached (1701, 1703) for breach of trust as auditor of the exchequer, but he was not convicted. He was reappointed first lord of the treasury on the accession (1714) of George I.
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