Ministry of All the Talents

"Government of all the talents" redirects here. For the "Government of all the talents" (GOAT) under Gordon Brown, see Premiership of Gordon Brown § The Brown ministry.

The Ministry of All the Talents was a national unity government formed by William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville on his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 11 February 1806 after the death of William Pitt the Younger.[1]


A group of naked British Whig politicians, including three Grenvilles, Sheridan, St. Vincent, Moira, Temple, Erskine, Howick, Petty, Whitbread, Sheridan, Windham,and Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln, crossing the river Styx in a boat named the Broad Bottom Packet. Sidmouth's head emerges from the water next to the boat. The boat's torn sail has inscription "Catholic Emancipation" and the centre mast is crowned with the Prince of Wales feathers and motto "Ich Dien". On the far side the shades of Cromwell, Charles Fox and Robespierre wave to them. Overhead, on brooms, are the Three Fates; to the left a three-headed dog. Above the boat three birds soil the boat and politicians.
James Gillray's Charon's Boat.—or—the Ghosts of "all the Talents" taking their last voyage (1807) caricatured the ministry's break-up. Lord Howick rows and St. Vincent steers.

With the country at war, Grenville aimed to form the strongest possible government and so included most leading politicians from almost all groupings, although some followers of Pitt, led by George Canning, refused to join.

The inclusion of Charles James Fox raised eyebrows as King George III had been previously heavily hostile to Fox, but the King's willingness to put aside past enmities for the sake of national unity encouraged many others to join or support the government as well. The ministry boasted a fairly progressive agenda, much of it inherited from Pitt.

The Ministry of All the Talents had comparatively little success, failing to bring the sought-after peace with France (the war continued for nearly another decade). It did, however, abolish the slave trade in Britain in 1807 before it broke up over the question of Catholic emancipation.

It was succeeded by the Second Portland Ministry, headed by William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland.

Other uses of the term

The term has since been used in politics to describe an administration with members from more than one party or even a non-coalition government that enjoys cross-party support due to gifted and/or non-partisan members. Examples include the coalition government which led Great Britain through the Second World War and the Canadian government that won the 1896 election.[2]

List of Ministers

Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

First Lord of the Treasury
Leader of the House of Lords
The Lord Grenville11 February 1806 – 31 March 1807 
Chancellor of the ExchequerLord Henry Petty11 February 1806
Joint Secretaries to the TreasuryNicholas VansittartFebruary 1806 – March 1807 
John KingFebruary–July 1806
William Henry FremantleJuly 1806 – March 1807
Junior Lords of the TreasuryViscount Althorp11 February 1806 
William Wickham11 February 1806
John Courtenay11 February 1806
Lord ChancellorThe Lord ErskineFebruary 1806
Lord President of the CouncilThe Earl Fitzwilliam19 February 1806 
The Viscount Sidmouth8 October 1806
Lord Privy SealThe Viscount SidmouthFebruary 1806 
The Lord Holland8 October 1806
Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentThe Earl Spencer5 February 1806
Under-Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentCharles Watkin Williams-WynnFebruary 1806
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Leader of the House of Commons
Charles James Fox7 February 1806 – 13 September 1806 
Viscount Howick24 September 1806
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign AffairsGeorge WalpoleFebruary 1806 – March 1807 
Sir Francis VincentFebruary 1806 – March 1807
Secretary of State for War and the ColoniesWilliam WindhamFebruary 1806 
Under-Secretary of State for War and the ColoniesSir George Shee, BtFebruary 1806 – March 1807 
Sir James Cockburn, BtFebruary 1806 – March 1807
First Lord of the AdmiraltyCharles Grey10 February 1806known as Viscount Howick from 11 April 1806
Thomas Grenville29 September 1806 
First Secretary to the AdmiraltyWilliam Marsdencontinued in office 
Civil Lords of the AdmiraltySir Philip Stephens, Bt10 February–23 October 1806 
Lord William Russell10 February 1806 – 31 March 1807
The Lord Kensington10 February 1806 – 31 March 1807
William Frankland23 October 1806 – 31 March 1807
President of the Board of TradeThe Lord Auckland5 February 1806 
Vice-President of the Board of TradeEarl Temple5 February 1806also Treasurer of the Navy
President of the Board of ControlThomas GrenvilleFebruary 1806 
George TierneySeptember 1806
Secretary to the Board of ControlThomas Creevey14 February 1806 
Chancellor of the Duchy of LancasterThe Earl of Derby12 February 1806 
Master-General of the OrdnanceThe Earl of MoiraFebruary 1806 
Lieutenant-General of the OrdnanceSir Thomas Triggecontinued in office 
Treasurer of the OrdnanceAlexander Davison20 February 1806 
Surveyor-General of the OrdnanceJames Murray Haddencontinued in office 
Clerk of the OrdnanceJohn Calcraft22 February 1806 
Clerk of the Deliveries of the OrdnanceJames Martin Lloyd12 March 1806 
Storekeeper of the OrdnanceJohn McMahon22 February 1806 
Treasurer of the NavyRichard Brinsley SheridanFebruary 1806 
Secretary at WarRichard FitzpatrickFebruary 1806
Master of the MintLord Charles SpencerFebruary 1806 
Charles BathurstOctober 1806
Paymaster of the ForcesEarl TempleFebruary 1806 – March 1807also Vice-President of the Board of Trade
Lord John TownshendFebruary 1806 – March 1807 
Postmaster GeneralThe Earl of CarysfortFebruary 1806 – March 1807
The Earl of BuckinghamshireFebruary 1806 – March 1807
Minister without PortfolioThe Earl FitzwilliamOctober 1806 – March 1807 
Lord Lieutenant of IrelandJohn Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford12 March 1806 
The Duke of Richmond11 April 1807
Chief Secretary for IrelandWilliam ElliotFebruary 1806
Chief Justice, King's BenchThe Lord Ellenboroughcontinued in office 
Attorney GeneralSir Arthur Piggott12 February 1806 
Solicitor GeneralSir Samuel Romilly12 February 1806 
Judge Advocate GeneralNathaniel Bond8 March 1806 
Lord AdvocateHenry ErskineFebruary 1806 
Solicitor General for ScotlandJohn ClerkFebruary 1806 
Attorney General for IrelandWilliam Conyngham Plunketcontinued in office 
Solicitor General for IrelandCharles Kendal Bushecontinued in office 
Lord Steward of the HouseholdThe Earl of Aylesfordcontinued in office 
Treasurer of the HouseholdLord Ossulston12 February 1806 
Comptroller of the HouseholdLord George Thynnecontinued in office 
Lord Chamberlain of the HouseholdThe Earl of Dartmouthcontinued in office 
Vice-Chamberlain of the HouseholdLord John Thynnecontinued in office 
Master of the HorseThe Earl of Carnarvon8 February 1806 
Master of the BuckhoundsThe Earl of Albemarle12 February 1806
Captain of the Gentlemen PensionersThe Lord St John of Bletso12 February 1806 
Captain of the Yeomen of the GuardThe Earl of Macclesfieldcontinued in office 


Preceded by
Second Pitt the Younger Ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Second Portland Ministry
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/27/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.