Britain’s Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool

By Martin Hutchinson

A biography of the second Earl of Liverpool, revealing a highly capable leader who laid the foundations for nineteenth-century Britain’s prosperity.

ISBN: 9780718895631
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Britain’s Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool unpicks two centuries of Whig history to redeem Lord Liverpool (1770-1828) from ‘arch-mediocrity’ and establish him as the greatest political leader the country has ever seen.

In the past, biographers of Lord Liverpool have not sufficiently acknowledged the importance of his foremost skill: economic policy (including fiscal, monetary and banking system questions). Here, Hutchinson’s decades of experience in the finance sector provide a more specialised perspective on Liverpool’s economic legacy than most historians are able to offer.

From his adept handling of unparalleled economic and social difficulties, to his strategic defeat of Napoleon and unprecedented approach to the subsequent peace process, Liverpool is shown to have set Britain’s course for prosperity and effective government for the following century. In addition to granting him his rightful place among British Prime Ministers on both domestic and foreign policy grounds, Hutchinson advances how a proper regard for Liverpool’s career might have changed the structure and policies of today’s government for the better.

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Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 452
Illustrations b&w

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About the Author

Martin Hutchinson was born in London, brought up in Cheltenham, England, and has lived in Singapore, Croatia, London, suburban Washington, and since 2011 in Poughkeepsie, NY. He was a merchant banker for more than twenty-five years before moving into financial journalism in 2000. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Trinity College, Cambridge, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


List of Illustrations
Note on Nomenclature
Note on Money

I. Introduction
II. Early Years until the Death of Pitt, 1770-1806
III. De Facto Primus inter Pares, 1806-11
IV. Year of Destiny, 1812
V. Years of Victory, 1813-15
VI. Penury and Progress, 1815-19
VII. Challenges, Recovery and Transition, 1820-23
VIII. Bubble, Reform, Death and Oblivion, 1824-28
IX. Conclusion

Appendix: Liverpool’s letter to the Bank of England


Articles and Media

  • Read this article by author Martin Hutchinson in Historic UK’s History Magazine
    Lord Liverpool

Endorsements and Reviews

Martin Hutchinson, one of the rarest of Wall Street’s birds of plumage – a true original thinker – here makes the persuasive case that the greatest of Britain’s prime ministers is a man whose name perhaps few Americans have ever heard. This splendid, erudite, fast-moving biography assures Lord Liverpool of the recognition he so richly deserves.
James Grant, Founder and Editor, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

Meticulously researched, beautifully written and enlivened by the author’s mischievous wit, Britain’s Greatest Prime Minister is a tour de force in political biography and provides a deep sense of the tumultuous and challenging times in which Lord Liverpool lived. An added bonus is Hutchinson’s unconventional assessment of the good, the bad, the mediocre and the dregs among UK prime ministers.
Kevin Dowd, Durham University

Martin Hutchinson has written a masterly biography rooted in political economy that promotes the once-despised Lord Liverpool to the first rank of prime ministers. He demonstrates how Liverpool’s shrewd financial policy laid the foundations for defeating Napoleon, restoring post-war stability at home and in Europe, and strengthening Britain’s economic and strategic world dominance. It’s an impressive story, still largely unknown, and Hutchinson’s telling is powerful and readable in equal measure.
John O’Sullivan, Editor-at-large of National Review and author of The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister