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Halifax, Charles Montagu, 1st earl of

Halifax, Charles Montagu, 1st earl of (1661–1715). Though of aristocratic background, Montagu achieved political recognition and advancement through matchless powers of oratory and a measure of machiavellian trickery rather than under a patron. Entering Parliament in 1689, he soon achieved prominence as a court spokesman and manager, becoming a Treasury commissioner in 1692, chancellor of the Exchequer in 1694, and 1st lord of the Treasury in 1697. Accusations of malversation forced his resignation in 1699, but in the year following he was created baron. An attempt to impeach him in 1701 failed. Throughout Anne's reign he was a Junto leader in the Lords, and at George I's accession (1714) was reappointed 1st lord and made an earl. He is chiefly remembered for the financial reforms he undertook in the 1690s, most notably the establishment of the national debt (1693) and the foundation of the Bank of England (1694), which greatly helped to rationalize the existing system of government finance.

Andrew Hanham

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Halifax, Charles Montagu, earl of

Charles Montagu Halifax, earl of (hăl´əfăks), 1661–1715, English statesman. He and Matthew Prior were coauthors of a parody of John Dryden's The Hind and the Panther, entitled The Town and The Country Mouse (1687). As a lord of the treasury, Halifax proposed (1692) the system of government borrowing that established the British national debt. In 1694 he adopted the proposal of William Paterson to found the Bank of England and was appointed chancellor of the exchequer. The following year he designated Isaac Newton as warden of the mint to effect a recoinage and issued the first exchequer bills. Halifax succeeded Sidney Godolphin as first lord of the treasury (1697–99) and was twice impeached (1701, 1703) for breach of trust as auditor of the exchequer, but he was not convicted. He was reappointed first lord of the treasury on the accession (1714) of George I.

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Halifax, Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of

Halifax, Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of (1661–1715) English Whig statesman. He entered Parliament in 1689. As a lord of the treasury (1692–94), he established the national debt (1692) and founded the Bank of England (1694). As chancellor of the exchequer (1694–95), he introduced new coinage. In 1697, Halifax became first lord of the treasury but resigned when the Tories came to power (1699). On Queen Anne's death, he was made a member of the council of regency and resumed as lord of treasury under George I.

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