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Augustus Henry Fitzroy 3rd Duke of Grafton

Whig | 1768 - 1770

Duke of Grafton

Nickname

“Royal Oak” and “The Turf Macaroni”

Born

28 September 1735,

Died

14 March 1811, Euston Hall, Suffolk

Dates in office

14 October 1768 - 28 January 1770

Political party

Whig

“Wisdom is at no times more conspicuous, nor more amiable, than in the acknowledgement of error.”


The Duke of Grafton was a colourful figure whose complex private life has overshadowed his time as prime minister.

Pitt the Elder appointed Grafton as his First Lord of the Treasury, but Grafton became disillusioned by the failure of the mentally ill Pitt to consult him. As Pitt’s illness got worse, Grafton stepped in at the age of 33..

His short period of office was taken up with America. He believed that all duties on the colonies should be removed – except that on tea. He also had to deal with repeated attempts by rebel MP John Wilkes to take up his seat in Parliament.

Grafton attracted scandal for his indiscreet personal life and love of pleasure, but his career was saved by his wife’s own indiscretions, which allowed him to divorce her.

Demoralised by personal attacks published in newspapers about him, he resigned in 1770. He received the Order of the Garter from King George III, with whom he had been popular.