Sidmouth, Henry Addington, Viscount

Sidmouth, Henry Addington, Viscount,

1757–1844, British statesman. He entered Parliament in 1784 and in 1789, through the sponsorship of William PittPitt, William,
1759–1806, British statesman; 2d son of William Pitt, 1st earl of Chatham. Trained as a lawyer, he entered Parliament in 1781 and in 1782 at the age of 23 became chancellor of the exchequer under Lord Shelburne.
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, became speaker of the House of Commons. He subscribed to Pitt's policies in the French wars, and when Pitt resigned because of George III's refusal to approve Catholic Emancipation, Addington became (1801) prime minister. The chief event of his administration was the Treaty of Amiens (1802) with Napoleon I. On the renewal of war, his ineffectual ministry yielded (1804) to Pitt, upon whose tolerance it had depended. Addington was created Viscount Sidmouth in 1805. Since Sidmouth controlled nearly 50 votes in Parliament, his support remained valuable to the government, and he served as president of the council under Pitt (1805), Lord Grenville (1806–7), and Spencer Perceval (1812) and as home secretary under Lord Liverpool (1812–22). In the last position he incurred great odium for his part in the government's policy of repression—its strong measures against the LudditesLuddites,
name given to bands of workingmen in the industrial centers of England who rioted between 1811 and 1816. The uprisings began in Nottinghamshire, where groups of textile workers, in the name of a mythical figure called Ned Ludd, or King Ludd, destroyed knitting
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, its periodic suspension of habeas corpus, and the Peterloo massacrePeterloo massacre,
public disturbance in St. Peter's Field, Manchester, England, Aug. 16, 1819, also called the Manchester massacre. A crowd of some 60,000 men, women, and children were peaceably gathered under the leadership of Henry Hunt to petition Parliament for the repeal
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.

Bibliography

See biography by P. Ziegler (1965).

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