List of British governments

This article lists successive British governments, also referred to as ministries, from the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, continuing through the duration of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922, and since then dealing with those of the present-day United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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Guide to the list

"Ministry" refers collectively to all the ministers of a government, including cabinet members and junior ministers alike. Only the Civil Service is considered outside of the ministry. While the term was in common parlance in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it has become rarer, except in official and academic uses.[1] Both Australia and Canada have inherited the term and continue to use it. It is perhaps in more common use in those countries, which both have official catalogues of their respective ministries, whereas Britain has no such catalogue.[2][3]

Articles listed by ministry contain information on the term(s) of one prime minister. Articles listed by political party contain information on the ministries of multiple consecutive prime ministers of the same political party. Prior to the 20th century, the leader of the British government traditionally held the title of First Lord of the Treasury, and not that of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Therefore, the list below refers to the "Head of Government" and not the "Prime Minister". Even so, the leader of a government was often colloquially referred to as the "prime minister", beginning in the 18th century. Modern-day prime ministers generally still hold the office of First Lord of the Treasury.[4]


Colour key:      Whig      Tory      Conservative      Peelite      Liberal      Labour      National Labour
[nb 1] Monarch Head of government Governing party Government
1707 Anne Duke of Marlborough Tory Whig Godolphin–Marlborough ministry
1710 Robert Harley[nb 2] Tory Harley ministry
1714 George I Viscount Townshend Whig First Townshend ministry
1717 Earl Stanhope First Stanhope–Sunderland ministry
1718 Second Stanhope–Sunderland ministry
1721 Robert Walpole[nb 3] Walpole–Townshend ministry
1727 George II
1730 Walpole ministry
1742 Earl of Wilmington Carteret ministry
1743 Henry Pelham
1744 Broad Bottom ministry[nb 4]
1754 Duke of Newcastle First Newcastle ministry
1756 Duke of Devonshire Pitt–Devonshire ministry
1757 1757 caretaker ministry
1757 Duke of Newcastle Pitt–Newcastle ministry
1760 George III
1762 Earl of Bute Tory Whig Bute ministry
1763 George Grenville Grenville ministry
1765 Marquess of Rockingham Whig First Rockingham ministry
1766 Earl of Chatham Whig Tory Chatham ministry
1768 Duke of Grafton Grafton ministry
1770 Lord North Tory Whig North ministry
1774 Tory
1782 Marquess of Rockingham Whig Second Rockingham ministry
1782 Earl of Shelburne Whig Tory Shelburne ministry
1783 Duke of Portland Fox–North coalition
1783 William Pitt the Younger Tory (minority) First Pitt ministry
1784 Tory
1794 Tory Whig
1801 Henry Addington Tory Addington ministry
1804 William Pitt the Younger Second Pitt ministry
1806 Lord Grenville Whig Tory Ministry of All the Talents
1807 Duke of Portland Tory (minority) Second Portland ministry
1807 Tory
1809 Spencer Perceval Perceval ministry
1812 Earl of Liverpool Liverpool ministry
1820 George IV
1827 George Canning Canningite Whig Canning ministry
1827 Viscount Goderich Goderich ministry
1828 Duke of Wellington Tory Wellington–Peel ministry
1830 William IV
1830 Tory (minority)
1830 Earl Grey Whig (minority) Grey ministry
1831 Whig
1834 Viscount Melbourne First Melbourne ministry
1834 Duke of Wellington Tory (minority) Wellington caretaker ministry
1834 Robert Peel Conservative (minority) First Peel ministry
1835 Viscount Melbourne Whig (minority) Second Melbourne ministry
1837 Victoria Whig
1841 Robert Peel Conservative Second Peel ministry
1846 Lord John Russell Whig (minority) First Russell ministry
1852 Earl of Derby Conservative (minority) Who? Who? ministry
1852 Conservative
1852 Earl of Aberdeen Coalition (minority) Aberdeen ministry
1855 Viscount Palmerston Whig (minority) First Palmerston ministry
1857 Whig
1858 Earl of Derby Conservative (minority) Second Derby–Disraeli ministry
1859 Viscount Palmerston Liberal Second Palmerston ministry
1865 Earl Russell Second Russell ministry
1866 Earl of Derby Conservative (minority) Third Derby–Disraeli ministry
1868 Benjamin Disraeli
1868 William Ewart Gladstone Liberal First Gladstone ministry
1874 Benjamin Disraeli[nb 5] Conservative Second Disraeli ministry
1880 William Ewart Gladstone Liberal Second Gladstone ministry
1885 Marquess of Salisbury Conservative (minority) First Salisbury ministry
1885 William Ewart Gladstone Liberal (minority) Third Gladstone ministry
1886 Marquess of Salisbury Conservative (minority) Second Salisbury ministry
1892 William Ewart Gladstone Liberal (minority) Fourth Gladstone ministry
1894 Earl of Rosebery Rosebery ministry
1895 Marquess of Salisbury Conservative (minority) Third Salisbury ministry
1895 Conservative Liberal Unionist
Fourth Salisbury ministry
1901 Edward VII
1902 Arthur Balfour Balfour ministry
1905 Henry Campbell-Bannerman Liberal (minority) Campbell-Bannerman ministry
1906 Liberal
1908 H. H. Asquith First Asquith ministry
1910 George V Liberal (minority) Second Asquith ministry
1910 Third Asquith ministry
1915 Coalition Asquith coalition ministry
1916 David Lloyd George Lloyd George war ministry
1918 Second Lloyd George ministry
1922 Bonar Law Conservative Law ministry
1923 Stanley Baldwin First Baldwin ministry
1924 Ramsay MacDonald Labour (minority) First MacDonald ministry
1924 Stanley Baldwin Conservative Second Baldwin ministry
1929 Ramsay MacDonald Labour (minority) Second MacDonald ministry
1931 National First National Government
1931 Second National Government
1935 Stanley Baldwin Third National Government
1936 Edward VIII
1936George VI
1937 Neville Chamberlain Fourth National Government
1939 Chamberlain war ministry
1940 Winston Churchill Coalition Churchill war ministry
1945 National Churchill caretaker ministry
1945 Clement Attlee Labour First Attlee ministry
1950 Second Attlee ministry
1951 Winston Churchill Conservative Third Churchill ministry
1952 Elizabeth II
1955 Anthony Eden Eden ministry
1957 Harold Macmillan First Macmillan ministry
1959 Second Macmillan ministry
1963 Alec Douglas-Home[nb 6] Douglas-Home ministry
1964 Harold Wilson Labour First Wilson ministry
1966 Second Wilson ministry
1970 Edward Heath Conservative Heath ministry
1974 Harold Wilson Labour (minority) Third Wilson ministry
1974 Labour Fourth Wilson ministry
1976 James Callaghan Callaghan ministry
1977 Labour (minority)
1979 Margaret Thatcher Conservative First Thatcher ministry
1983 Second Thatcher ministry
1987 Third Thatcher ministry
1990 John Major First Major ministry
1992 Second Major ministry
1996 Conservative (minority)
1997 Tony Blair Labour First Blair ministry
2001 Second Blair ministry
2005 Third Blair ministry
2007 Gordon Brown Brown ministry
2010 David Cameron Conservative Liberal Democrat Cameron–Clegg coalition
2015 Conservative Second Cameron ministry
2016 Theresa May First May ministry
2017 Conservative (minority) Second May ministry
2019 Boris Johnson First Johnson ministry
2019 Conservative Second Johnson ministry

See also


  1. Year of appointment, general elections (i.e., unshaded cells), etc.
  2. From 1711 he was Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer.
  3. From 1742 he was Earl of Orford.
  4. In 1746 the Earl of Bath formed a short-lived ministry. He was ultimately unsuccessful, and is not gradually included in lists of British prime ministers.
  5. From 1876 he was Earl of Beaconsfield and Viscount Hughenden.
  6. For the first five days of his ministry, until he had renounced his peerage, Douglas-Home was known as the Earl of Home.



  1. Wilding, Norman W.; Laundy, Philip. An Encyclopaedia of Parliament. London: Cassell and Company. ISBN 9780304936892.
  2. "Part 6  Historical information on the Australian Parliament" (PDF). Parliament of Australia. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  3. "Ministers of the Crown". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  4. "First Lord of the Treasury". UK Government. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2017.


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