Rockingham, Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2d marquess of (rŏkˈĭng-əm) [key], 1730–82, British statesman. In the early years of the reign of George III he became a leading opponent of the "king's friends," held several offices, and formed a coalition government in 1765. During his ministry the Stamp Act was repealed and conciliation with the American colonies attempted, but the administration fell in 1766. Rockingham continued to oppose the coercive colonial policy of the government. In 1782, at the fall of Lord North, he again formed a ministry. The war in America was already lost, and Rockingham died before the peace settlement could be reached. Rockingham's second ministry was marked by the repeal of Poynings's Law (see under Poynings, Sir Edward) and by measures to reduce corrupt practices in parliamentary elections.
See study by R. J. S. Hoffman (1973).
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