A cabinet full of curiosities

As the whole of the United Kingdom getting ready for a surprising, yet pivotal general election, here are some fun and curious facts you probably never knew about Prime Ministers past.

  • The first ever prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, had sixteen brother and sisters, the most of any Prime Minister
  • The youngest ever Prime Minister, the appropriately-named William “L’Enfant Terrible” Pitt, was one of the first trainspotters in Britain, personally bankrolling Richard Trevithick’s experimental locomotive The Rotten Borough in 1804
  • Scotsman and first Labour Party Prime Minister, Ramsey MacDonald was, during his suspension, reduced to the life of a common Glaswegian tramp
  • William Pitt the Younger drank a bottle or more of port every day
  • Gordon Brown ate four KitKats a day, then switched to nine bananas in a bid to get in shape for 2010 general election
  • Margaret Thatcher slept for only four hours a night
  • Winston Churchill spent a large part of one visit to the White House naked
  • Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, gave several of his children near-identical names
  • In 1834, William IV accidentally appointed a loaf of Beef Wellington Prime Minister, and it served for almost a month before anyone noticed…. or ate it
  • Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, carried a dagger-tipped umbrella
  • Benjamin Disraeli, who served twice as Prime Minister, kept a lion which was given to Queen Victoria as a gift by African entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes, as a guard-dog at 10 Downing Street
  • In memorial of his tenure as Prime Minister, in 1945, Topps Commonwealth issued a special set of bubble-gum cards called “Stars of Downing Street” starring Winston Churchill
  • John Russell, the Earl Russell, moonlighted as an Abraham Lincoln impersonator whilst Prime Minister, delivering comic speeches of the Gettysburg Address to none the wiser British audiences
  • The popular tea blend Earl Grey was named after the eponymous prime minister, who, when in the Far East investigating the actions of East India Company official Warren Hastings, was given some of the tea by a grateful Chinese man that he had saved from drowning only a few hours earlier
  • Conservative Politician and past Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, invented the popular billiard-like game of snooker
Let's go back to laugh some more...