Memorial to William Pitt
William Pitt died soon after receiving news of the crushing defeat at the hands of Napoleon at the battle of Austerlitz. His health had already broken down and this seemed to hasten his demise. Although only forty-five he was burnt out from years of office, he drank heavily and suffered from ulcers, the effects of each accentuating the other. Pitt's debts amounted to £40,000 when he died, but Parliament agreed to pay them on his behalf. A motion was made to honour him with a public funeral and a monument. It passed despite the opposition of Charles James Fox, his political adversary who died the same year. He died a giant of the Napoleonic era. Fox's legacy is more open to debate.
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