When King George III of England made his choice for prime minister, he turned to someone very like himself – “round-shouldered, fat, with a puffy pig-like face” – Frederick, Lord North.
According to Richard M. Ketcham (American Heritage, June 1972), Lord North also had “an oversized tongue that thickened his speech.” Together with “large, bulgling eyes, wide mouth and thick lips,” this gave him what Horace Walpole called “the air of a blind trumpeter.”
North’s unsuccessful efforts to subjugate the rebellious American colonies are well known to history. But in his defence he was at all times doing the bidding of his august and similarly pig-like majesty, King George.
During the American Revolution, North was often opposed in Parliament by Colonel Isaac Barre, who made the famous remark that North could neither wage war nor establish peace.
North resigned as prime minister after the war, but remained a member of Parliament until his eyesight failed completely. Just before his death he met Colonel Barre, who was also blind.
“Well, Colonel,” North declared, “whatever may have been our former animosities, I am persuaded there are no two men who would now be more glad to see each other than you and I.”