Prime Minister North
The Abbey’s most famous resident has to be Frederick Lord North, the 2nd earl of Guilford. Lord North was named in honour of Frederick, Prince of Wales, his father’s patron.
Lord North held many titles; Knight of the Garter, sometime constable of Dover Castle, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons between 1767 and 1770. However he is best remembered as being Prime Minister of Great Britain, a position he held for twelve years between 1770 and 1782.
Lord North was Prime Minister to King George III. He had real achievements in such fields as finance, Ireland and India. Nonetheless, he has been dubbed, “Britain’s worst Prime Minster” on the grounds that he lost the American colonies. The American War of Independence took place whilst Lord North was Prime Minister. Lord North’s position as Prime Minister took a heavy blow after the British defeat at Yorktown in 1781. In an attempt to end the war, he proposed the Conciliation Plan, in which he promised that Great Britain would eliminate all disagreeable acts if the colonies ended the war. The colonies rejected the plan, as their goal had become full independence. Lord North resigned in 1782, the year before the war ended. He later returned to government as Home Secretary and then entered the House of Lords. He was buried at All Saints church in Wroxton. There’s more than a little irony in the fact that his ancestral home is now an American owned University.