The Second Tory Party, 1714-1832

By Keith Grahame Feiling | Go to book overview

VII
THE WATERSHED: III
1765-1768

A FIRST faint streak of dawn lighted the first Rockingham administration, the dawn of the distant day of the great Reform Bill; dawn hovering over the cradle where this selfsame August the small head of William IV peered out on a world unreformed. There was little democratic about this Lord Rockingham, so far an amiable race-going nobleman, only thirty-five years of age, who had held no serious office. To great place he seemed to have no claim, except great possessions. It was as difficult to uproot him from Yorkshire as Grey of the Reform Bill from Howick, and like Grey he was too much swayed in counsel by private affection; though much unlike him, he was almost speechless in debate--'How could you worry the poor dumb creature so?' said Gower to Sandwich. But time improves honest men; Rockingham and his colleagues responded, though not swiftly, to public principle, and he had the liberal education of having as his private secretary Edmund Burke. And assuredly, since party exists by passion as much as by principle, the circumstances round the making of his Government hastened the growth of new Whig and new Tory.

No such clean sweep had been seen since the downfall of Sir Robert. With Grenville disappeared Bedford and his merry men, the Leicester House tribe like North and Hillsborough, and King's men of the future like Ellis. Every step seemed to announce that here began a new system. Officers dismissed for their votes were restored; so were some of the placemen 'purged' by Fox over the Peace. A peerage exalted Pratt, the judge who had acquitted Wilkes, into Lord Camden. And along with the Whig grandees* came into office some of the old Tory school, who had shown in the Wilkes case that an old Tory was

____________________
*
Rockingham, Portland, Newcastle, Grafton, Cavendish, Conway, Thomas Townshend, the Yorkes.

-87-

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The Second Tory Party, 1714-1832
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • I- The Problem and Its Conditions 1
  • II- In the Wilderness 1714-1727 13
  • III- Sir Robert 24
  • I- Fusion and Confusion 1742-1754 39
  • V- The Watershed- I 1754-1760 58
  • VI- The Watershed- II 1760-1765 68
  • VII- The Watershed- III 1765-1768 87
  • VIII- The New Parties 1768-1774 99
  • IX 122
  • X- The Divide 1782-1784 143
  • XI- The Party of Mr. Pitt 1784-1792 164
  • XIII- The Breaking of the Pitt Party 1800-1806 213
  • XIV- The Age of Faction 1806-1812 247
  • XV- Aftermath of War 1813-1820 276
  • XVI- Breaking-Point (1820-1826) 304
  • XVII- The Break 1826-1830 345
  • XVIII- Finale 384
  • Authorities 405
  • Notes 409
  • Index 425
  • By the Same Author British Foreign Policy 1660-1672 *
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