The Earl of Shelburne is appointed First Lord of the Treasury

Shelburne’s appointment followed the death of the Marquess of Rockingham. Shelburne made a number of changes to the previous government. The 23 year old William Pitt became Chancellor of the Exchequer and Charles James Fox was replaced by Lord Grantham. The government enjoyed a shaky hold on power being outnumbered by the supporters of Fox and Lord North, the former Prime Minister. Shelburne’s main policy was to conclude peace with the United States and its allies. In order to secure parliament’s agreement of the Treaty and to secure his government Shelburne needed to make an agreement with one of the factions, but he did not recognise the fragile position of the government until it was too late. Although successful in the House of Lords, the treaty was defeated in the Commons and Shelburne resigned in March 1783 after only eight months in office.