Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, KG, PC (13 April 1732 – 5 August 1792), more often known by his courtesy title, Lord North, which he used from 1752 until 1790, was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. He led Great Britain through most of the American War of Independence. He also held a number of other cabinet posts, including Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
North's reputation among historians has swung back and forth. It reached its nadir in the late nineteenth century when he was depicted as a creature of the king and an incompetent who lost the American colonies. In the early twentieth century a revisionism emphasized his strengths in administering the Treasury, handling the House of Commons, and in defending the Church of England. Herbert Butterfield, however, argued that his indolence was a barrier to efficient crisis management; he neglected his role in supervising the entire war effort.
Lord North was born in London on 13 April 1732, at the family house at Albemarle Street, just off Piccadilly, though he spent much of his youth at Wroxton Abbey in Oxfordshire. Lord North's strong physical resemblance to George III suggested to contemporaries that Prince Frederick might have been North's real father (and North the King's brother), a theory compatible with the Prince's reputation but supported by little real evidence. His father, the first Earl, was at the time Lord of the Bedchamber to Prince Frederick, who stood as godfather to the infant...
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