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.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.
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.
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".
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.
Somers, Wharton, Russell and Montagu were elected to the House of Commons in 1689and were granted minor office. Their effectiveness in the Commons brought them Sunderland's attention. The Junto began to dominate the ministry from the time of the resignation of the Tory Secretary of State Lord Nottingham in 1693, communicating to the King and Sunderland through the Whig Secretary of State, the Duke of Shrewsbury. As the members of the Junto entered the Lords — Somers was made Lord Keeper in 1693 and was promoted to a barony four years later, Wharton succeeded his father as Baron Wharton in 1696, Russell was created Earl of Orford in 1697 and Montagu(e) was created Baron Halifax in 1700 — their hold on the Commons weakened and by 1700 the Junto was largely out of power. In 1701 Somers, Orford and Halifax were impeached but survived the attack and late in the year the Junto seemed set to return to power in order to help the king rally support for the War of the Spanish Succession. However, King William's death in March 1702 delayed their return: Queen Anne detested them and refused to include them in the ministry, which was instead dominated by High Tories, with whom her sympathies lay. With the elder Sunderland dead, the Junto's connection to his son — who was the son-in-law of the Queen's favourite couple, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough — proved useful, as did the Junto's support of the war, which contrasted with Tory ambivalence to it.
Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 7th Earl of Winchilsea PC, was an English Tory statesman during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Sir Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury, 12th Earl of Shrewsbury, 12th Earl of Waterford, 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.
The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and later of Great Britain, was formerly an officer of the English Crown charged with physical custody of the Great Seal of England. This position evolved into one of the Great Officers of State.
In 1705 Somers's protégé Lord Cowper was made Lord Keeperand in 1706 Sunderland became a Secretary of State. After the resignation of Harley in 1708, Marlborough and his ally the Lord Treasurer Godolphin became more and more dependent on the Junto, who returned to office with Somers as Lord President, Wharton as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Orford as First Lord of the Admiralty.
William Cowper, 1st Earl Cowper, was an English politician who became the first Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. Cowper was the son of Sir William Cowper, 2nd Baronet, of Ratling Court, Kent, a Whig member of parliament of some mark in the two last Stuart reigns.
Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin, was a leading British politician of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. He was a Privy Councillor and Secretary of State for the Northern Department before attaining real power as First Lord of the Treasury. He was instrumental in negotiating and passing the Acts of Union 1707 with Scotland, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The ministry's increasing dependence on the Junto Whigs caused the Queen's relationship with the Marlboroughs and Godolphin to sour. In 1710 Godolphin and the Junto Whigs were forced from power.The Junto led opposition to the new ministry's peace policy from the House of Lords, leading to the creation of new peers to prevent this opposition from voting down the peace treaty.
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.
The term "Junto" is derived from "Junta", a Hispano-Portuguese term for a civil deliberative or administrative council, which in 18th-century English had not yet gained its present association with the governments of a military dictatorship.
Junta is a Spanish and Portuguese term for a civil deliberative or administrative council. In English, it predominantly refers to the government of an authoritarian state run by high ranking officers of a military. Military juntas can refer to either a government in which a coalition of military officers rules in conjunction or to a military dictatorship in which a leader's government and administration is staffed primarily by military officers. Juntas, like military dictatorships, are often the result of military coups. "Junta" literally means "union" and often refers to the army, navy and air force commanders taking over the power of the president, prime minister, king or other non-military leader.
Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.
Portuguese is a Western Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau in China. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; in the Malacca state of Malaysia; and the ABC islands in the Caribbean where Papiamento is spoken, while Cape Verdean Creole is the most widely spoken Portuguese-based Creole. Reintegrationists maintain that Galician is not a separate language, but a dialect of Portuguese. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone" (Lusófono).
|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|
|Archbishop of Canterbury||Thomas Tenison||1694–1699|
|First Lord of the Treasury||The Lord Godolphin of Rialton (T)||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|
The Junto came back to power within a year of the accession as King of George I, the Elector of Hanover, in 1714 but most of the members died early in the new reign: Wharton and Halifax in 1715, Somers the next year, while Orford and Sunderland soon fell out with each other, with Orford not holding office after 1717.
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698 until his death in 1727.
Whigs however took full control of the government in 1715, and remained totally dominant, reaching new heights with the creation of the first recognised Prime Minister, Robert Walpole. This was however until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, ensured creation of more peerages for Tories — they sought to dispel a naturally resultant economic favouritism based on politics, caused by this long renewed period of ascendancy and promised greater royal concessions.
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.
Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax was an English poet and statesman.
General John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, 1st Prince of Mindelheim, 1st Count of Nellenburg, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs. From a gentry family, he served first as a page at the court of the House of Stuart under James, Duke of York, through the 1670s and early 1680s, earning military and political advancement through his courage and diplomatic skill.
Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland, KG, PC, known as Lord Spencer from 1688 to 1702, was an English statesman and nobleman from the Spencer family. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1714–1717), Lord Privy Seal (1715–1716), Lord President of the Council (1717–1719) and First Lord of the Treasury (1718–1721). He is the 5th paternal great grandfather of Winston Churchill and the 6th paternal great grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Prince George of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Cumberland, was the husband of Queen Anne, who reigned over Great Britain from 1702 to 1714.
Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, KG PC FRS was an English and later British statesman of the late Stuart and early Georgian periods. He began his career as a Whig, before defecting to a new Tory Ministry. He was raised to the peerage of Great Britain as an earl in 1711. Between 1711 and 1714 he served as Lord High Treasurer, effectively Queen Anne's chief minister. He has been called a Prime Minister, although it is generally accepted that the de facto first minister to be a prime minister was Robert Walpole in 1721.
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.
Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, PC was a Royal Navy officer. 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.
This is a list of the principal Ministers of the Crown of the Kingdom of England, and then of the Kingdom of Great Britain, from May 1702, at the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne. During this period, the leaders of the ministry were Lord Godolphin and the Duke of Marlborough.
The First Whig Junto controlled the government of England from 1694 to 1699 and was the first part of the Whig Junto which had the sense of a cabal of people controlling the most important political decisions. The Junto was reappointed twice following the elections of 1695 and 1698.
Thomas Wharton, 1st Marquess of Wharton PC was an English nobleman and politician. A man of great charm and political ability, he was also notorious for his debauched lifestyle.
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.
The 2nd Parliament of Great Britain was the first British Parliament to actually be elected, as the 1st Parliament of Great Britain had been drawn from the former Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland.
Robert Monckton was an English revolutionary, a Whig Member of Parliament for two constituencies and a Yorkshire landowner. He was also notable for his involvement in a number of exceptionally bitter and prolonged electoral disputes.
In British politics, a Whig government may refer to the following governments administered by the Whigs:
The 4th Parliament of William III was summoned by William III of England on 13 July 1698 and assembled on 24 August 1698. The party political constitution of the new House of Commons was 246 Whigs, 208 Tories and 59 others. Sir Thomas Littleton, the Whig member for Woodstock, was elected Speaker of the House. The house was divided between the pro-government faction led by the Whig Junto and a Country Whig-Tory alliance, the New Country party, led by Robert Harley.
The 5th Parliament of William III was summoned by William III of England on 26 December 1700 and assembled on 6 February 1701. The party political constitution of the new House of Commons was 249 Tories, 219 Whigs and 45 others, representing a significant swing in favour of the Tories. Robert Harley, the Tory member for Radnor, who had declined a post in William III's new ministry, was elected Speaker of the House.