Patriot Whigs

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The Patriot Whigs and, later Patriot Party, was 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 and seventeen other Whigs joined with the Tory party. By the middle of the 1730s, there were over one hundred Whig Patriots in the Commons. For many years they provided a more effective opposition to the Walpole administration than the Tories. Dickinson, Walpole and the Whig Supremacy (1973)

The Whig Patriots believed that Walpole had grown too powerful, that he was too partisan, too exclusive, and too personally important. Further, they suspected that Walpole was 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 his amazing ability to profit in a stock that crashed). The Tories had accused Walpole of misappropriations going back to his time in the Navy, and even radical Whigs such as John Tutchin had publicly accused him of siphoning off money. Dickinson, Walpole and the Whig Supremacy (1973)

A focus for the Whig Patriots was The Craftsman, a newspaper founded by Pulteney and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, the former Tory minister. Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, and Henry Fielding all wrote for The Craftsman,...
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