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84 People in sitter grouping: Whigs

The history of the Whigs in British politics is long and varied, starting with their emergence as a political faction in 1678. The term itself was first used in British politics during the 1678-1681 Exclusion Bill crises, where a strong party came forward to dispute the crowning of Roman Catholic king, James II. Although often separated into many different group affiliations such as Bedfordites, Rockingham Whigs, and Chathamites, named after their various leaders, the Whigs were united by their representative colours of orange, blue and buff and their key policies. These included a firm opposition to absolute rule, particularly by a Roman Catholic (which they saw as a threat to religious freedom and civil liberties and a threat to protectionist foreign trade laws). As their popularity rose and fell with the changing royal powers, the Whigs evolved to suit the times, using some of their strongest leaders, such as Robert Walpole, to maintain their particular breed of anti-Tory political control. It was, however, one of their most well known off-shoots, the Junto Whigs, whose radical views led to a split, and an eventual merge of the Junto Whigs with the Conservative party in the 1680s. The reign of George I saw Whig supremacy in parliament, as the Tory Jacobites were expelled from parliament. George III's accession saw a joining of disputed factions to form the 'Old' and 'New' Whigs, under Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham and Lord Chatham respectively. Opposition to Prime Minister William Pitt lost the Whigs seats during the 1790s, but they had a lasting impact in the implementation of parliamentary reform acts regarding slavery and the Poor Laws in the 1830s. The Whigs were formally merged into a new coalition liberal party with the Peelites in 1859, and their final dissolution came in 1868.

William Pitt

1759-1806
Prime Minister
Sitter associated with 167 portraits

William Adam

1751-1839
Scottish barrister, politician and judge
Sitter associated with 6 portraits

John Dunning, 1st Baron Ashburton

1731-1783
Solicitor-General
Sitter in 14 portraits

William Eden, 1st Baron Auckland

1744-1814
Statesman
Sitter in 8 portraits

Isaac Barré

1726-1802
Soldier and politician, MP for Wycombe and Calne
Sitter associated with 19 portraits

Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath

1734-1796
Statesman
Sitter in 2 portraits

William Beckford

1709-1770
Lord Mayor of London
Sitter in 15 portraits

John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford

1710-1771
Statesman
Sitter associated with 4 portraits

Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford

1765-1802
Whig politician and agriculturalist
Sitter associated with 44 portraits

Lord George Cavendish Bentinck

1802-1848
Statesman and sportsman
Sitter in 11 portraits

William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough

1704-1793
Politician and public servant
Sitter in 2 portraits

Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux

1778-1868
Lord Chancellor
Sitter associated with 234 portraits

Edmund Burke

1729 or 1730-1797
Statesman
Sitter associated with 103 portraits

John Calcraft the Elder

1726-1772
Politician and army agent
Sitter in 1 portrait

Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

1714-1794
Lord Chancellor
Sitter associated with 29 portraits

Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle

1748-1825
Politician and diplomat
Sitter associated with 26 portraits

Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Carnarvon

1741-1811
Whig politician; Master of the Horse
Sitter in 2 portraits

Lord John Cavendish

1732-1796
Politician; MP for several constituencies
Sitter associated with 11 portraits

George Hanger, 4th Baron Coleraine

1751?-1824
Eccentric
Sitter in 20 portraits

Henry Brooke Parnell, 1st Baron Congleton

1776-1842
Irish writer and politician; Paymaster-General
Sitter associated with 1 portrait