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The First Whig Junto controlled the government of England from 1694 to 1699 and was the first part of the Whig Junto, a cabal of people who controlled the most important political decisions.The Junto was reappointed twice following the elections of 1695 and 1698.
The Whig elite rose to government ascendancy while Lord Danby held office through three shortly-spaced changes of Sovereign (dating to the Royal-dominated ministries of Charles II). The Junto established its dominance in 1694 with the appointment of Sir Charles Montagu as Chancellor of the Exchequer on 10 May.Danby, who had been created Duke of Leeds on 4 May, remained in office, under a diminished role while still Lord President of the Council, but the Junto controlled the government of England from 1694 to 1699.
It was led by six prominent members: Montagu, Somers, Wharton, Romney, Orford, and Shrewsbury. Supporting these peers were two unofficial whips in the House of Lords: the Earls of Sunderland and Portland. Only one of these held at the time an office, albeit less senior, as Lord Chamberlain. The Whig Party held a majority in the House of Commons after the election in 1695, although not all Whig MPs were unswervingly loyal to the Junto.
The Junto oversaw the creation of the Bank of England in 1694, but by 1699 the Junto's power had declined in the face of opposition by Robert Harley and the Tories.Many members of the Junto would return to government from 1706 to 1710 as part of the Godolphin-Marlborough ministry.
The government was led by the six most prominent members of the Junto.
|Chancellor of the Exchequer||Sir Charles Montagu||1694–1699|
|First Lord of the Treasury||1697–1699|
|Lord Keeper||The Lord Somers||1694–1697|
|Comptroller of the Household||The Lord Wharton||1694–1699|
|Master-General of the Ordnance||The Earl of Romney||1694–1699|
|Lord High Admiral||The Earl of Orford||1694–1699|
|Northern Secretary||The Duke of Shrewsbury||1694–1695|
Other members of the ministry had less power.
|Archbishop of Canterbury||Thomas Tenison||1694–1699|
|First Lord of the Treasury||The Lord Godolphin of Rialton (Tory)||1694–1697|
|Lord President of the Council||The Duke of Leeds||1694–1699|
|Lord Privy Seal||The Earl of Pembroke||1694–1699|
|Lord Steward||The Duke of Devonshire||1694–1699|
|Lord Chamberlain||The Earl of Sunderland||1695–1699|
|Southern Secretary||Sir John Trenchard||1694–1695|
|Northern Secretary||Sir William Trumbull||1695–1697|
James Vernon was appointed Secretary of State in 1697, with responsibility for the Northern Department. The following year, after the Duke of Shrewsbury left the government, he took responsibility for the Southern Department as well.
The Whigs were a political faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and 1850s, they contested power with their rivals, the Tories. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute monarchy. The Whigs played a central role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and were the standing enemies of the Stuart kings and pretenders, who were Roman Catholic. The Whigs took full control of the government in 1715 and remained totally dominant until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, allowed Tories back in. The Whig Supremacy (1715–1760) was enabled by the Hanoverian succession of George I in 1714 and the failed Jacobite rising of 1715 by Tory rebels. The Whigs thoroughly purged the Tories from all major positions in government, the army, the Church of England, the legal profession and local offices. The Party's hold on power was so strong and durable, historians call the period from roughly 1714 to 1783 the age of the Whig Oligarchy. The first great leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government through the period 1721–1742 and whose protégé Henry Pelham led from 1743 to 1754.
Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury, KG, PC was an English politician who was part of the Immortal Seven group that invited William III, Prince of Orange, to depose James II of England as monarch during the Glorious Revolution. He was appointed to several minor roles before the revolution, but came to prominence as a member of William's government. Born to Roman Catholic parents, he remained in that faith until 1679 when—during the time of the Popish Plot and following the advice of the divine John Tillotson—he converted to the Church of England. Shrewsbury took his seat in the House of Lords in 1680 and three years later was appointed Gentleman-Extraordinary of the Bedchamber, suggesting he was in favour at the court of Charles II.
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Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, PC was a Royal Navy officer and politician. After serving as a junior officer at the Battle of Solebay during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, he served as a captain in the Mediterranean in operations against the Barbary pirates.
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Henry Boyle, 1st Baron Carleton, was an Anglo-Irish Whig politician who sat in the Irish House of Commons from 1692 to 1695 and in the English and British House of Commons between 1689 and 1710. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State, and after he was raised to the peerage as Baron Carleton, served as Lord President of the Council.
The first Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain was established in 1707 after the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. It was in fact the 4th and last session of the 2nd Parliament of Queen Anne suitably renamed: no fresh elections were held in England, and the existing members of the House of Commons of England sat as members of the new House of Commons of Great Britain. In Scotland, prior to the union coming into effect, the Scottish Parliament appointed sixteen peers and 45 Members of Parliaments to join their English counterparts at Westminster.
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The Whig Junto is the name given to a group of leading Whigs who were seen to direct the management of the Whig Party and often the government, during the reigns of William III and Anne. It was the inspiration for Benjamin Franklin's Junto in 1727 Philadelphia upon his return from London. The Whig Junto proper consisted of John Somers, later Baron Somers; Charles Montagu, later Earl of Halifax; Thomas Wharton, later Marquess of Wharton, and Edward Russell, later Earl of Orford. They came to prominence due to the favour of Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland and during the reign of Queen Anne, Sunderland's son, the 3rd Earl succeeded his father. Opponents gave them the nickname "the five tyrannising lords". Other figures prominent around the edges of the Junto include Sir John Trenchard and Thomas Tollemache.
James Vernon (1646–1727) was an English administrator and Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1679 and 1710. He was Secretary of State for both the Northern and the Southern Departments during the reign of William III.
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The 1695 English general election was the first to be held under the terms of the Triennial Act of 1694, which required parliament to be dissolved and fresh elections called at least every three years. This measure helped to fuel partisan rivalry over the coming decades, with the electorate in a constant state of excitement and the Whigs and Tories continually trying to gain the upper hand. Despite the potential for manipulation of the electorate, as was seen under Robert Walpole and his successors, with general elections held an average of every other year, and local and central government positions frequently changing hands between parties, it was impossible for any party or government to be certain of electoral success in the period after 1694, and election results were consequently genuinely representative of the views of at least the section of the population able to vote.
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In British politics, a Whig government may refer to the following governments administered by the Whigs:
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