William Pitt the Younger was born on May 28, 1759, in Kent, England. The younger Pitt was the fourth of five children born to William Pitt the Elder and his wife Lady Hester Grenville. William was always the favorite son of Pitt the Elder. His father was appointed Earl of Chatham in 1766. As a result this, William’s political status later in life was affected by his father’s previous position.
Pitt was a fragile, sickly child, and inherited gout. Gout is a form of arthritis that causes sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints. Because of his multiple illness’, he was homeschooled. By the age of seven, William was advanced in all his subjects, and already fluent in Latin. William had in extraordinary understanding of all subjects taught to him, and was willing to learn anything new.
Pitt’s father observed how his son had excelled, and decided the time had come for young William to have a chance to go even farther with his studies. Therefore in 1773, at the age of fourteen, William Pitt the Younger was set to attend school in Pembroke Hall at Cambridge University. He graduated with a Master’s degree, without examination, in 1776.
In 1773, during his first year at school Pitt suffered an attack of gout and a bottle of port a day as the cure. Port is the most toxic of all wines and the prescribed remedy probably exacerbated the problem. Pitt was only fourteen years old but he continued to drink throughout his life. While he was at university Pitt became friends with high members of society which also allowed him to excel in his political career. During his studies Pitt would attend parliament meetings. Pitt apparently was preparing himself for a role in parliament. On one occasion he was introduced to Charles James Fox: ultimately, the two became sworn political enemies.
On May 11, 1778, the Earl of Chatham died leaving his son an income of less than £3,000 a year. As a result of this he ran into debt and stayed that way until his death. He also stood as candidate for Cambridge University in the 1780 General Election and came last in the poll out of five candidates. Pitt began asking patrons for a seat in parliament and in November 1780 he was offered Appleby, England’s through a man who was a university friend of Pitt. In January 1781, at the age of 21, Pitt took his seat in the House of Commons. In February 1781, Pitt attached himself to Shelburne's group since this was his father's political following.
In parliament Pitt was called on by MPs to speak with no warning and no chance to prepare, he stood up and demonstrated his ability. Pitt had a rich voice and was an effective speaker. He was rarely sensitive but was a very impressive speaker who used an extensive vocabulary. He spoke rarely until 1783 when he became Prime Minister. Pitt was influenced by Shelburne and was never a democrat. He also had powerful friends from which their friendships were acquired at Cambridge.
On December 19, Pitt accepted the position...