of the import duty on tea and other commodities was the project of Charles Townshend, and was carried into effect in 1767 without consultation with Lord Chatham, if not in opposition to his wishes. It is probably the most singular thing in connexion with this singular administration, that its most pregnant measure should thus have been one directly opposed to the well-known principles of its head.
For many months things remained in the curious position that he who was understood to be the head of the cabinet had as little share in the government of the country as an unenfranchised peasant. As the chief could not or would not lead, the subordinates naturally chose their own paths and not his. The lines of Chatham’s policy were abandoned in other cases besides the imposition of the import duty; his opponents were taken into confidence; and friends, such’ as Amherst and Shelburne, were dismissed from their posts. When at length in October 1768 he tendered his resignation on the ground of shattered health, he did not fail to mention the dismissal of Amherst and Shelburne as a personal grievance.
Soon after his resignation a renewed attack of gout freed Chatham from the mental disease under which he had so long suffered. He had been nearly two years and a half in seclusion when, in July 1769, he again appeared in public at a royal levee. It was not, however, until 1770 that he resumed his seat in the House of Lords. He had now almost no personal following, mainly owing to the grave mistake he had made in not forming an alliance with the Rockingham party. But his eloquence was as powerful as ever, and all its power was directed against the government policy in the contest with America, which had become the question of all-absorbing interest. His last appearance in the House of Lords was on the 7th of April 1778, on the occasion of the duke of Richmond’s motion for an address praying the king to conclude peace with America on any terms. In view of the hostile demonstrations of France the various parties had come generally to see the necessity of such a measure. But Chatham could not brook the thought of a step which implied submission to the “natural enemy” whom it had been the main object of his life to humble, and he declaimed for a considerable time, though with sadly diminished vigour, against the motion. After the duke of Richmond had replied, he rose again excitedly as if to speak, pressed his hand upon his breast, and fell down in a fit. He was removed to his seat at Hayes, where he died on the 11th of May. With graceful unanimity all parties combined to show their sense of the national loss. The Commons presented an address to the king praying that the deceased statesman might be buried with the honours of a public funeral, and voted a sum for a public monument which was erected over his grave in Westminster Abbey. Soon after the funeral a bill was passed bestowing a pension of £4000 a year on his successors in the earldom. He had a family of three sons and two daughters, of whom the second son, William, was destined to add fresh lustre to a name which is one of the greatest in the history of England.
Dr Johnson is reported to have said that “Walpole was a minister given by the king to the people, but Pitt was a minister given by the people to the king,” and the remark correctly indicates Chatham’s distinctive place among English statesmen. He was the first minister whose main strength lay in the support of the nation at large as distinct from its representatives in the Commons, where his personal following was always small. He was the first to discern that public opinion, though generally slow to form and slow to act, is in the end the paramount power in the state; and he was the first to use it not in an emergency merely, but throughout a whole political career. He marks the commencement of that vast change in the movement of English politics by which it has come about that the sentiment of the great mass of the people now tells effectively on the action of the government from day to day,—almost from hour to hour. He was well fitted to secure the sympathy and admiration of his countrymen, for his virtues and his failings were alike English. He was often inconsistent, he was generally intractable and overbearing, and he was always pompous and affected to a degree which, Macaulay has remarked, seems scarcely compatible with true greatness. Of the last quality evidence is furnished in the stilted style of his letters, and in the fact recorded by Seward that he never permitted his under-secretaries to sit in his presence. Burke speaks of “some significant, pompous, creeping, explanatory, ambiguous matter, in the true Chathamic style.” But these defects were known only to the inner circle of his associates. To the outside public he was endeared as a statesman who could do or suffer “nothing base,” and who had the rare power of transfusing his own indomitable energy and courage into all who served under him. “A spirited foreign policy” has always been popular in England, and Pitt was the most popular of English ministers, because he was the most successful exponent of such a policy. In domestic affairs his influence was small and almost entirely indirect. He himself confessed his unfitness for dealing with questions of finance. The commercial prosperity that was produced by his war policy was in a great part delusive, as prosperity so produced must always be, though it had permanent effects of the highest moment in the rise of such centres of industry as Glasgow. This, however, was a remote result which he could have neither intended nor foreseen.
The correspondence of Lord Chatham, in four volumes, was published in 1838–1840; and a volume of his letters to Lord Camelford in 1804. The Rev. Francis Thackeray’s History of the Rt. Hon. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (2 vols., 1827), is a ponderous and shapeless work. Frederic Harrison’s Chatham, in the “Twelve English Statesmen” series (1905), though skilfully executed, takes a rather academic and modern Liberal view. A German work, William Pitt, Graf von Chatham, by Albert von Ruville (3 vols., 1905; English trans. 1907), is the best and most thorough account of Chatham, his period, and his policy, which has appeared. See also the separate article on William Pitt, and the authorities referred to, especially the Rev. William Hunt’s appendix i. to his vol. x. of The Political History of England (1905).
CHATHAM, also called Miramichi, an incorporated town and port of entry in Northumberland county, New Brunswick, Canada, on the Miramichi river, 24 m. from its mouth and 10 m. by rail from Chatham junction on the Intercolonial railway. Pop. (1901) 5000. The town contains the Roman Catholic pro-cathedral, many large saw-mills, pulp-mills, and several establishments for curing and exporting fish. The lumber trade, the fisheries, and the manufacture of pulp are the chief industries.
CHATHAM, a city and port of entry of Ontario, Canada, and the capital of Kent county, situated 64 m. S.W. of London, and 11 m. N. of Lake Erie, on the Thames river and the Grand Trunk, Canadian Pacific and Lake Erie & Detroit River railways. Pop. (1901) 9068. It has steamboat connexion with Detroit and the cities on Lakes Huron and Erie. It is situated in a rich agricultural and fruit-growing district, and carries on a large export trade. It contains a large wagon factory, planing and flour mills, manufactories of fanning mills, binder-twine, woven wire goods, engines, windmills, &c.
CHATHAM, a port and municipal and parliamentary borough of Kent, England, on the right bank of the Medway, 34 m. E.S.E. of London by the South-Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. (1891) 31,657; (1901) 37,057. Though a distinct borough it is united on the west with Rochester and on the east with Gillingham, so that the three boroughs form, in appearance, a single town with a population which in 1901 exceeded 110,000. With the exception of the dockyards and fortifications there are few objects of interest. St Mary’s church was opened in 1903, but occupies a site which bore a church in Saxon times, though the previous building dated only from 1786. A brass commemorates Stephen Borough (d. 1584), discoverer of the northern passage to Archangel in Russia (1553). St Bartholomew’s chapel, originally attached to the hospital for lepers (one of the first in England), founded by Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, in 1070, is in part Norman. The funds for the maintenance of the hospital were appropriated by decision of the court of chancery to the hospital of St Bartholomew erected in 1863 within the boundaries of Rochester. The almshouse established in 1592 by Sir John Hawkins for decayed seamen and shipwrights is still extant, the building having been re-erected in the 19th century; but the fund called the Chatham Chest, originated by Hawkins and Drake in