Definitions for halifax, charles montague, earl of

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  1. 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 (1661-1715).

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