An ardent opponent of Catholic Emancipation, he delivered in 1807 a speech on the subject which helped to give the deathblow to the Grenville administration, upon which he became chancellor of the exchequer under the duke of Portland, whom in 1809 he succeeded in the premiership. Notwithstanding that he had the assistance in the cabinet of no statesman of the first rank, he succeeded in retaining office till he was shot by a man named Bellingham, a bankrupt with a grievance, who had vainly applied to him for redress, in the lobby of the House of Commons on the 11th of May 1812.
Bellingham was certainly insane, but the plea was set aside and he was hanged.
The first important coal-mining was near Bellingham Bay, in Whatcom county, where coal was discovered in 1852 and where 5374 tons were mined in 1860.
Seattle and Tacoma are among the four leading ports of the United States on the Pacific. Other harbours on Puget Sound of commercial importance are Olympia, Everett and Bellingham.
At Bellingham it receives the Rede, whose wild valley, Redesdale, was one of the chief localities of border warfare, and contains the site of the battle of Otterburn (1388).