Halifax, Charles Montague, Earl of (16611715)

Halifax, Charles Montague, Earl of, a celebrated Whig statesman, born at Horton, Northamptonshire; a clever skit on Dryden's “Hind and Panther,” entitled “The Town and Country Mouse,” written in collaboration with Prior after he had left Cambridge, brought him some reputation as a wit; in 1688 he entered the Convention Parliament, and attached himself to William's party, when his remarkable financial ability soon brought him to the front; in 1692 he brought forward his scheme for a National Debt, and two years later founded the Bank of England in accordance with the scheme of William Paterson; in the same year he became Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in 1697 Prime Minister; in conjunction with Sir Isaac Newton, Master of the Mint, he carried through a re-coinage, and was the first to introduce Exchequer Bills; in 1699 he was created a Baron, and subsequently was made the victim of a prolonged and embittered but unsuccessful impeachment; with the accession of George I. he came back to power as Prime Minister, and received an earldom (16611715).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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