Pelham, Henry pĕl´əm [key], 1696–1754, British statesman; brother of Thomas Pelham-Holles, duke of Newcastle. He entered Parliament in 1717 and served Sir Robert Walpole as secretary for war (1724–30) and paymaster-general (1730–43). In 1743 he became head of a Whig ministry that was to last until 1754. His administration concluded the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), ending the War of the Austrian Succession; it also reorganized and reduced the national debt and reformed (1752) the calendar.
See W. Coxe, Memoirs of the Administration of the Right Honourable Henry Pelham (1829, repr. 1971).
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