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The first person to be called Prime Minister was Sir Robert Walpole, who served as First Lord of the Treasury from 1721 to 1742. Until 1905, there was no official office of Prime Minister. Rather, it was an unofficial title pertaining to the head of the ministry, who was usually the First Lord of the Treasury.


Name Entered office Left office Party Notes
Robert Walpole later Sir Robert Walpole 4 April 1721 11 February 1742 Whig First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Regarded as the first Prime Minister in the modern sense.
The Earl of Wilmington 16 February 1742 2 July 1743 Whig First Lord of the Treasury. the government was led de facto by Lord Carteret, the Secretary of State for the Northern Department.
Henry Pelham 27 August 1743 6 March 1754 Whig First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Until the end of 1744, the government was led de facto by Lord Carteret, the Secretary of State for the Northern Department.
The Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 16 March 1754 16 November 1756 Whig First Lord of the Treasury
The Duke of Devonshire 16 November 1756 25 June 1757 Whig First Lord of the Treasury. The government was largely run by William Pitt the Elder, the Secretary of State for the Southern Department, until his resignation in April 1757.
The Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2 July 1757 26 May 1762 Whig First Lord of the Treasury. William Pitt the Elder, as Secretary of State for the Southern Department, was virtually co-prime minister until his resignation late in 1761. He was succeeded in this role by the Earl of Bute, the Secretary of State for the Northern Department.
The Earl of Bute 26 May 1762 16 April 1763 Tory First Lord of the Treasury
George Grenville 16 April 1763 13 July 1765 Whig First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Marquess of Rockingham 13 July 1765 30 July 1766 Whig First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl of Chatham 30 July 1766 14 October 1768 Whig Lord Privy Seal. Was in ill health for most of his time as Prime Minister. The Duke of Grafton, as First Lord of the Treasury, acted as prime minister for most of this time.
The Duke of Grafton 14 October 1768 28 January 1770 Whig First Lord of the Treasury from July 1766.
Lord North 28 January 1770 22 March 1782 Tory First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer (from 1767)
The Marquess of Rockingham 27 March 1782 1 July 1782 Whig First Lord of the Treasury.
The Earl of Shelburne 4 July 1782 2 April 1783 Whig First Lord of the Treasury
The Duke of Portland 2 April 1783 19 December 1783 Whig First Lord of the Treasury.
William Pitt 19 December 1783 14 March 1801 Tory First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Henry Addington 17 March 1801 10 May 1804 Tory First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
William Pitt 10 May 1804 23 January 1806 Tory First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Lord Grenville 11 February 1806 31 March 1807 Whig First Lord of the Treasury.
The Duke of Portland 31 March 1807 4 October 1809 Whig First Lord of the Treasury. He was old and ill, leaving the Cabinet to their own devices, although no one figure was dominant.
Spencer Perceval 4 October 1809 11 May 1812 Tory First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The Earl of Liverpool 9 June 1812 10 April 1827 Tory First Lord of the Treasury
George Canning 10 April 1827 8 August 1827 Tory First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Viscount Goderich 31 August 1827 22 January 1828 Tory First Lord of the Treasury
The Duke of Wellington 22 January 1828 22 November 1830 Tory First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl Grey November 1830 16 July 1834 Whig First Lord of the Treasury
The Viscount Melbourne 16 July 1834 17 November 1834 Whig First Lord of the Treasury
The Duke of Wellington
(caretaker)
17 November 1834 9 December 1834 Tory First Lord of the Treasury and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sir Robert Peel, Bt. 9 December 1834 18 April 1835 Tory First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Viscount Melbourne 18 April 1835 30 August 1841 Whig First Lord of the Treasury
Sir Robert Peel, Bt. 30 August 1841 30 June 1846 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury
Lord John Russell 30 June 1846 23 February 1852 Whig First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl of Derby 23 February 1852 19 December 1852 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl of Aberdeen 19 December 1852 6 February 1855 Peelite First Lord of the Treasury
The Viscount Palmerston 6 February 1855 20 February 1858 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl of Derby 20 February 1858 12 June 1859 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury
The Viscount Palmerston 12 June 1859 29 October 1865 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl Russell 29 October 1865 28 June 1866 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl of Derby 28 June 1866 27 February 1868 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury
Benjamin Disraeli 27 February 1868 3 December 1868 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury
William Gladstone 3 December 1868 20 February 1874 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury and (from 1873-1874) Chancellor of the Exchequer
Benjamin Disraeli later The Earl of Beaconsfield 20 February 1874 23 April 1880 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury
William Gladstone 23 April 1880 23 June 1885 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury and (1880-1882) Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Marquess of Salisbury 23 June 1885 1 February 1886 Conservative Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
William Gladstone 1 February 1886 25 July 1886 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury
The Marquess of Salisbury 3 August 1886 15 August 1892 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury (1886-1887) and then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1887-1892)
William Gladstone 15 August 1892 5 March 1894 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury
The Earl of Rosebery 5 March 1894 25 June 1895 Liberal First Lord of the Treasury
The Marquess of Salisbury 25 June 1895 11 July 1902 Conservative Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1895-1900), and then Lord Privy Seal (1900-1902)
Arthur Balfour 11 July 1902 5 December 1905 Conservative First Lord of the Treasury; the first to hold the title of Prime Minister officially. Henceforth, all Prime Ministers are also First Lord of the Treasury.
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman 5 December 1905 7 April 1908 Liberal  
Herbert Henry Asquith 7 April 1908 7 December 1916 Liberal  
David Lloyd George 7 December 1916 23 October 1922 Liberal  
Andrew Bonar Law 23 October 1922 22 May 1923 Conservative  
Stanley Baldwin 22 May 1923 22 January 1924 Conservative  
Ramsay MacDonald 22 January 1924 4 November 1924 Labour also Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Stanley Baldwin 4 November 1924 5 June 1929 Conservative  
Ramsay MacDonald 5 June 1929 7 June 1935 Labour (1929-1931), then National Labour (1931-1935)  
Stanley Baldwin 7 June 1935 28 May 1937 Conservative  
Neville Chamberlain 28 May 1937 10 May 1940 Conservative  
Winston Churchill 10 May 1940 27 July 1945 Conservative also Minister of Defence
Clement Attlee 27 July 1945 26 October 1951 Labour also Minister of Defence (1945-1946)
Winston Churchill later Sir Winston Churchill 26 October 1951 6 April 1955 Conservative also Minister of Defence (1951-1952)
Sir Anthony Eden 6 April 1955 10 January 1957 Conservative  
Harold Macmillan 10 January 1957 19 October 1963 Conservative  
Sir Alec Douglas-Home 19 October 1963 16 October 1964 Conservative  
Harold Wilson 16 October 1964 19 June 1970 Labour  
Edward Heath 19 June 1970 4 March 1974 Conservative  
Harold Wilson 4 March 1974 5 April 1976 Labour  
James Callaghan 5 April 1976 4 May 1979 Labour  
Margaret Thatcher 4 May 1979 28 November 1990 Conservative  
John Major 28 November 1990 2 May 1997 Conservative  
Tony Blair 2 May 1997 27 June 2007 Labour  
Gordon Brown 27 June 2007 11 May 2010 Labour  
David Cameron 11 May 2010 13 July 2016 Conservative  
Theresa May 13 July 2016 incumbent Conservative

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