|Leader|| Earl of Bath |
The Patriot Whigs and, later Patriot Party, were a group within the Whig party in Great Britain from 1725 to 1803. The group was formed in opposition to the ministry of Robert Walpole in the House of Commons in 1725, when William Pulteney (later 1st Earl of Bath) and seventeen other Whigs joined with the Tory party in attacks against the ministry. By the middle of the 1730s, there were over one hundred opposition Whigs in the Commons, many of whom embraced the Patriot label. For many years they provided a more effective opposition to the Walpole administration than the Tories.
The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.
Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford,, known between 1725 and 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a British statesman who is generally regarded as the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain.
William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath, was an English Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1707 to 1742 when he was created the first Earl of Bath by King George II. He is sometimes stated to have been Prime Minister, for the shortest term ever in 1746, although most modern sources reckon that he cannot be considered to have held the office.
The Whig Patriots believed that under Walpole the executive had grown too powerful through abuse of patronage and government placemen in Parliament. They also accused Walpole personally of being too partisan, too important, and too eager to keep competent potential rivals out of positions of influence. He was further suspected of enriching himself from the public purse. Discontent with Walpole among his fellow Whigs had first been brought to a crisis with the South Sea Bubble and his role as a "screen" to the South Sea directors (and the fact that he had made a profit despite the crash). Under Queen Anne, the Tories had sent Walpole to the Tower for misappropriations as Secretary at War, and even radical Whigs such as John Tutchin had publicly accused him of siphoning off money.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
Anne was the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland between 8 March 1702 and 1 May 1707. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1714.
The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard I, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.
As self-declared "patriots", the Patriot Whigs were often critical of Britain's foreign policy, especially under the first two Hanoverian kings. Many were convinced that the traditional Whig policy of "No Peace Without Spain" had been correct, and that Madrid and France were potentially dangerous to Britain. In 1739 their attacks in Parliament against the Walpole ministry's policy toward Spain helped stir up widespread public anger, which led to the War of Jenkins' Ear and ultimately to Walpole's fall three years later during the War of the Austrian Succession.
No Peace Without Spain was a popular British political slogan of the early eighteenth century. It referred to the ongoing War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) which Britain was leading participant in. It implied that no peace treaty could be agreed with Britain's principal enemy Louis XIV of France that allowed Philip, the French candidate, to retain the Spanish crown. The term became a rallying cry for opposition to the Tory government of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford and the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht.
The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Britain and Spain lasting from 1739 to 1748, with major operations largely ended by 1742. Its unusual name, coined by British historian Thomas Carlyle in 1858, refers to an ear severed from Robert Jenkins, a captain of a British merchant ship. There is no evidence that supports the stories that the severed ear was exhibited before the British Parliament.
The War of the Austrian Succession involved most of the powers of Europe over the issue of Archduchess Maria Theresa's succession to the Habsburg Monarchy. The war included peripheral events such as King George's War in British America, the War of Jenkins' Ear, the First Carnatic War in India, the Jacobite rising of 1745 in Scotland, and the First and Second Silesian Wars.
An early focus for the Whig Patriots was The Craftsman , a newspaper founded in 1726 by Pulteney and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, the former Tory minister, who for a decade called for a "country" party coalition of non-Jacobite Tories and opposition Whigs to defeat Walpole and the Court Whigs. Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, and Henry Fielding all wrote for The Craftsman. Bolingbroke's The Idea of a Patriot King (1738; published 1749) adopted the language of "patriotism" to critique political theories used by Walpole and his successors to justify their actions. Many of the anti-Walpolean satires of the 1730s mixed Tory and Patriot Whig stances, and some authors, such as Henry Carey, were simultaneously satirizing Queen Caroline for her backing of Walpole and penning patriotic operas and songs (e.g. Rule, Britannia! , God Save the King ).
The Craftsman, also known as The Country Journal or, The Craftsman or The Craftsman: Being a Critique on the Times, was a British newspaper which operated from 1726-1752. Established by Lord Bolingbroke and William Pulteney, it was edited by Nicholas Amhurst under the pseudonym "Caleb D'Anvers." It is known for publishing letters and essays from Lord Bolingbroke.
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet. He is best known for his satirical verse, including Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad, and for his translation of Homer. He is the second-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare.
The Patriot Whigs never achieved majority power while Walpole remained in office, and their cohesion was undermined in 1742 when some of their leaders joined the government after Walpole's fall and Pulteney was elevated to the House of Lords.However, William Pitt the Elder would gather around himself the "Patriot Party", and even when in office he would continue to use the language of the Patriot Whigs. The remnants of those who identified as Patriots would later join the unofficial "party" of his son, William Pitt the Younger. Over the decades, these associations would contribute significant personnel and Parliamentary support to government ministries.
The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is granted by appointment or else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Officially, the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, was a British statesman of the Whig group who served twice as Prime Minister of Great Britain in the middle of the 18th century. Historians call him Pitt of Chatham, or William Pitt the Elder, to distinguish him from his son, William Pitt the Younger, who also was a prime minister. Pitt was also known as The Great Commoner, because of his long-standing refusal to accept a title until 1766.
William Pitt the Younger was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He became the youngest UK Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24. He left office in 1801, but served as Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of his time as Prime Minister. He is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, called William Pitt the Elder or simply "Chatham", who had previously served as Prime Minister.
Henry Fielding was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich, earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the picaresque novel Tom Jones. Additionally, he holds a significant place in the history of law enforcement, having used his authority as a magistrate to found what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners. His younger sister, Sarah, also became a successful writer.
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.
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke was an English politician, government official and political philosopher. He was a leader of the Tories, and supported the Church of England politically despite his antireligious views and opposition to theology. He supported the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 which sought to overthrow the new king George I. Escaping to France he became foreign minister for the Pretender. He was attainted for treason, but reversed course and was allowed to return to England in 1723. According to Ruth Mack, "Bolingbroke is best known for his party politics, including the ideological history he disseminated in The Craftsman (1726–35) by adopting the formerly Whig theory of the Ancient Constitution and giving it new life as an anti-Walpole Tory principle."
Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne and 1st Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, was a British Whig statesman, whose official life extended throughout the Whig supremacy of the 18th century. He is commonly known as the Duke of Newcastle.
Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, was a British Whig statesman who served continuously in government from 1715 until his death. He served as the Prime Minister from 1742 until his death in 1743. He is considered to have been Britain's second Prime Minister, after Sir Robert Walpole, but worked closely with the Secretary of State, Lord Carteret, in order to secure the support of the various factions making up the Government.
Field Marshal Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham was a British soldier and Whig politician. After serving as a junior officer under William III during the Williamite War in Ireland and during the Nine Years' War, he fought under John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, during the War of the Spanish Succession. During the War of the Quadruple Alliance Temple led a force of 4,000 troops on a raid on the Spanish coastline which captured Vigo and occupied it for ten days before withdrawing. In Parliament he generally supported the Whigs but fell out with Sir Robert Walpole in 1733. He was known for his ownership of and modifications to the estate at Stowe and for serving as a political mentor to the young William Pitt.
The Tories were members of two political parties which existed sequentially in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. The first Tories emerged in 1678 in England, when they opposed the Whig-supported Exclusion Bill which set out to disinherit the heir presumptive James, Duke of York, who eventually became James II of England and VII of Scotland. This party ceased to exist as an organised political entity in the early 1760s, although it was used as a term of self-description by some political writers. A few decades later, a new Tory party would rise to establish a hold on government between 1783 and 1830, with William Pitt the Younger followed by Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool.
Charles Noel Somerset, later 4th Duke of Beaufort, was a British Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1731 until 1745 when he succeeded to the peerage as Duke of Beaufort.
Whiggism is a historical political philosophy that grew out of the Parliamentarian faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651). The Whigs' key policy positions were the supremacy of Parliament, tolerance of Protestant dissenters and opposition to a "Papist" on the throne, especially James II or one of his descendants.
Daniel Finch, 8th Earl of Winchilsea and 3rd Earl of Nottingham, was a British politician.
The 1727 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 7th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. The election was triggered by the death of King George I; at the time, it was the convention to hold new elections following the succession of a new monarch. The Tories, led in the House of Commons by William Wyndham, and under the direction of Bolingbroke, who had returned to the country in 1723 after being pardoned for his role in the Jacobite rising of 1715, lost further ground to the Whigs, rendering them ineffectual and largely irrelevant to practical politics. A group known as the Patriot Whigs, led by William Pulteney, who were disenchanted with Walpole's government and believed he was betraying Whig principles, had been formed prior to the election. Bolingbroke and Pulteney had not expected the next election to occur until 1729, and were consequently caught unprepared and failed to make any gains against the government party.
The Harleyministry was the British government that existed between 1710 and 1714 in the reign of Queen Anne. It was headed by Robert Harley and composed largely of Tories. Harley was a former Whig who had changed sides, bringing down the seemingly powerful Whig Junto. The ministry vigorously pushed for a peace to end the War of the Spanish Succession, leading to the Treaty of Utrecht. Foreign affairs were largely conducted by Viscount Bolingbroke. They were fiercely pressed by the Whig opposition, who used the rallying cry of No Peace Without Spain. The ministry successfully prosecuted Robert Walpole over charges of profiteering and had him imprisoned in the Tower of London.
The Cobhamite faction were an 18th-century British political faction built around Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham and his supporters. Among its members, the group included the future Prime Ministers William Pitt and George Grenville. They had a general Whig philosophy and were at first supporters of Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole but later became opponents of his administration.
Harry Thomas Dickinson FRSE is an English historian specialising in British eighteenth century politics. He obtained his BA and MA from the University of Durham and his PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was reader in history at the University of Edinburgh and Richard Lodge Professor of British history at Edinburgh. He was editor of the journal History from 1993 to 2000. Isaac Kramnick wrote that of the biographies of Lord Bolingbroke, Dickinson's was the "most reliable". In the opinion of David Armitage, Dickinson's life of Lord Bolingbroke "replaced all earlier accounts".
In Britain in the era 1680–1740, especially in the days of Robert Walpole, the country Party was a coalition of Tories and disaffected Whigs. It was a movement rather than an organised party and had no formal structure or leaders. It claimed to be a nonpartisan force fighting for the nation's interest—the whole "country"—against the self-interested actions of the court party, that is the politicians in power in London. Country men believed the court party was corrupting Britain by using patronage to buy support and was threatening English and Scottish liberties and the proper balance of authority by shifting power from Parliament to the prime minister. It sought to constrain the court by opposing standing armies, calling for annual elections to Parliament, and wanted to fix power in the hands of the landed gentry rather than the royal officials, urban merchants or bankers. It opposed any practices it saw as corruption.
In British politics, a Whig government may refer to the following governments administered by the Whigs:
Edmund Waller (c.1699–1771), of Hall Barn, Beaconsfield, was a British landowner and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons for 32 years from 1722 to 1754.