Sir Robert Walpole is considered to be the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He served as Prime Minister for 21 years, from 1721 until he retired in 1742.
Walpole is often credited with helping to create the modern government system. He was a talented politician and administrator and is considered to be one of the most important figures in English history.
Robert Walpole was born in 1676, the son of a Norfolk landowner. He attended Eton College and then Cambridge University, where he studied law. After university, Walpole entered politics and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1701, he was elected to Parliament as a representative for Castle Rising.
Walpole’s political career was marked by controversy. He was a talented politician and administrator, but he was also ruthless and often used his power to get what he wanted. In 1721, Walpole became the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. He held this position for 21 years. He served as Prime Minister under George I and George II.
In 1735, George II made Walpole a gift of 10 Downing Street, now the permanent London residence of the British prime minister.
During his time as Prime Minister, Walpole made important changes to the British government. He reformed the system of taxation and developed a new approach to public finance. He also strengthened Britain’s military forces and improved relations with France and other European countries.
Walpole retired from politics in 1742. He spent his final years living in his country estate, Houghton Hall.
He died in 1745 at the age of 69.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Robert Walpole" https://englishhistory.net/georgian/robert-walpole/, January 26, 2022