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Samuel Whitbread (1756-1815), Politician and brewer

Sitter associated with 19 portraits
Whitbread was the son of the brewer Samuel Whitbread. He entered Parliament as a Whig MP in 1790, where he established himself as one of the leading figures of the Foxite Whig opposition in the Commons. A reformer, he championed religious and civil rights, the abolition of slavery, and a national education system. In 1805 he played a key role in bringing Lord Melville to justice for alleged financial dealings while he was Treasurer of the Navy. He failed to secure office when the Foxites came to power in Lord Grenville's coalition ministry in 1806. This marked the turning point of his political career, which waned from then on. In 1815, suffering from depression, he took his own life.