Townshend, Charles

Townshend, Charles,

1725–67, English statesman; grandson of the 2d Viscount TownshendTownshend, Charles Townshend, 2d Viscount
, 1674–1738, English statesman. A leading Whig in the reign of Queen Anne, he served as a commissioner to negotiate the union (1707) with Scotland and as ambassador
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. Distrusted for his marked instability, he held relatively minor offices until the 1st earl of ChathamChatham, William Pitt, 1st earl of
, 1708–78, British statesman, known as the Great Commoner. Proud, dramatic, and patriotic, Chatham excelled as a war minister and orator. He was the father of William Pitt.
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 made him chancellor of the exchequer in 1766. Because of Chatham's illness Townshend became the leading figure in the ministry. He effectively sabotaged Chatham's plan to bring India under the sovereignty of the crown and undertook the ill-fated American import levies known as the Townshend ActsTownshend Acts,
1767, originated by Charles Townshend and passed by the English Parliament shortly after the repeal of the Stamp Act. They were designed to collect revenue from the colonists in America by putting customs duties on imports of glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea.
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. He died shortly after the passage of the measures.
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