The case for Lord Palmerston – The Stew
Henry John Temple, known simply as Lord Palmerston, reigns supreme in the court of British Prime Ministers. The last Prime Minister to die in office, Lord Palmerston was a renegade by any country’s terms and lived by his own code. He had the spirit of the bear within him, serving as PM during England’s most powerful times.
Ladies love an experienced man and Lord Palmerston was the Derek Jeter of British PMs. Serving in public office for almost 60 years, Lord Palmerston just didn’t know when to call it quits. And judging by the general election of 1865 neither was the voting public.
Lord Palmerston was always workin’ the angles. A staunch adversary of slavery and slave trade, he actually supported the Southern Confederate States during the American Civil War. Why, you ask? Because he felt that the fall of the Union would allow England to rise back into power in the colonies. That’s a guy who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit”.
During his first stint as Prime Minister (yeah, that’s right. He was reelected) he passed the Matrimonial Causes Act which allowed courts to grant divorces. Take that Catholics. As you can see the progressive Lord Palmerston was way ahead of his time.
After he died he received a state funeral. You know who get state funerals in England; royalty and Sir Isaac Newton. That’s good company.
And if you still don’t believe that Lord Palmerston was England’s greatest Prime Minister, I’ll leave you with the words from a little birdie named Florence Nightingale:
“Tho’ he made a joke when asked to do the right thing, he always did it…He was so much more in earnest than he appeared, he did not do himself justice.”
The case for Pitt the Elder – The Been
Born William Pitt in 1708, Pitt the Elder was a true man of the people. In fact, he was often called The Great Commoner because of his long time refusal to accept a proper title. Now that’s the kind of attitude even Joe the Plumber can appreciate.
Distinguished as the 1st Earl of Chatham, Pitt was officially Prime Minister from 1766-1768, but basically ran the show from 1956-1957 as well. He gained his fame leading England during the Seven Years’ War, using a strategy foreign to many major league managers by passing over experience only to name younger, more capable men as his commanders.
But that’s not all he did. Pitt the Elder is often referred to as the first real imperialist, is credited with the birth of the British Empire, and even fought against taxing those new fangled U.S. colonies. Heck, I’d be willing to bet his 2 century old corpse could have handled this Clint Dempsey “shot.”
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, I’d like to remind you of two things before you go:
1. Lord Palmerston’s nickname was Pam. And if I ever learned anything, it’s that you should never trust a man named Pam.
2. Next time you travel to lovely Pittsburgh, PA, you know who to thank: England’s greatest Prime Minister.