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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 Adam

William Adam

1751-1839
Barrister, politician and judge
Sitter associated with 6 portraits
Henry Aglionby Aglionby

Henry Aglionby Aglionby

1790-1854
Barrister and politician: MP for Cockermouth
Sitter in 1 portrait
Ernest Augustus Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 3rd Marquess of Ailesbury

Ernest Augustus Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 3rd Marquess of Ailesbury

1811-1886
Courtier and politician: MP for Marlborough
Sitter in 3 portraits
John Aislabie

John Aislabie

1670-1742
Whig politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sitter associated with 1 portrait
John Angerstein

John Angerstein

1773-1858
Politician; MP for Camelford and Greenwich; son of John Julius Angerstein
Sitter in 2 portraits
Sir George Anson

Sir George Anson

1769-1849
General and politician; MP for Lichfield
Sitter in 1 portrait
John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll

John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll

1694-1770
Colonel, peer and politician; MP for Bute, Elgin and Dumbarton
Sitter in 2 portraits
George William Campbell, 6th Duke of Argyll

George William Campbell, 6th Duke of Argyll

1768-1839
Lord Steward of the Household and politician; MP for St Germans
Sitter associated with 7 portraits
John Campbell, 7th Duke of Argyll

John Campbell, 7th Duke of Argyll

1777-1847
Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland, Lieutenant-Colonel and politician; MP for Argyllshire
Sitter in 3 portraits
John Dunning, 1st Baron Ashburton

John Dunning, 1st Baron Ashburton

1731-1783
Solicitor-General
Sitter in 15 portraits
Gilbert John Heathcote, 1st Baron Aveland

Gilbert John Heathcote, 1st Baron Aveland

1795-1867
Politician; MP for Boston, Lincolnshire South and Rutland
Sitter associated with 3 portraits
Edward Baines

Edward Baines

1774-1848
Journalist, writer and politician: MP for Leeds
Sitter in 2 portraits
Sir Edward Baines

Sir Edward Baines

1800-1890
Journalist, educationist and politician; MP for Leeds
Sitter in 5 portraits
Charles James Barnett

Charles James Barnett

circa 1797-1882
Amateur cricketer and politician; MP for Maidstone
Sitter in 1 portrait
James Barnett

James Barnett

1760-1836
Banker and politician; MP for Rochester
Sitter in 1 portrait
Isaac Barré

Isaac Barré

1726-1802
Soldier and politician; MP for Wycombe and Calne
Sitter associated with 20 portraits
Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath

Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath

1734-1796
Statesman
Sitter in 2 portraits
William Battie-Wrightson

William Battie-Wrightson

1789-1879
Politician; MP for Northallerton
Sitter in 1 portrait
William Beckford

William Beckford

1709-1770
Owner of enslaved people; politician
Sitter in 15 portraits
John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford

John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford

1710-1771
Statesman
Sitter associated with 3 portraits
Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford

Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford

1765-1802
Whig politician and agriculturist
Sitter associated with 39 portraits
William Russell, 8th Duke of Bedford

William Russell, 8th Duke of Bedford

1809-1872
Politician; MP for Tavistock
Sitter in 1 portrait
Henry Grey Bennet

Henry Grey Bennet

1777-1836
Politician; MP for Shrewsbury
Sitter in 2 portraits
Lord George Cavendish Bentinck

Lord George Cavendish Bentinck

1802-1848
Statesman and sportsman
Sitter in 11 portraits
Ralph Bernal

Ralph Bernal

1783-1854
Art collector and politician; MP for Lincoln, Rochester and Weymouth & Melcombe Regis
Sitter in 2 portraits
William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough

William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough

1704-1793
Politician and public servant
Sitter in 3 portraits
Joseph Birch

Joseph Birch

1755-1833
Politician; MP for Nottingham
Sitter in 2 portraits
Bartholomew Bouverie

Bartholomew Bouverie

1754-1835
Politician; MP for Downton
Sitter in 2 portraits
Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux

Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux

1778-1868
Lord Chancellor
Sitter associated with 280 portraits
James Wentworth Buller

James Wentworth Buller

1798-1865
Politician; MP for Exeter and North Devon
Sitter in 1 portrait
Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke

1729-1797
Statesman; orator; author
Sitter associated with 107 portraits
George Byng

George Byng

1735-1789
Politician; MP for Wigan and Middlesex
Sitter in 2 portraits
George Byng

George Byng

1764-1847
Politician; MP for Middlesex
Sitter associated with 13 portraits
Charles Sloane Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan

Charles Sloane Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan

1728-1807
Politician; MP for Cambridge
Sitter in 1 portrait
John Calcraft the Elder

John Calcraft the Elder

1726-1772
Politician and army agent
Sitter in 1 portrait
Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

1714-1794
Lord Chancellor
Sitter associated with 30 portraits
Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle

Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle

1748-1825
Politician and diplomat
Sitter associated with 26 portraits
Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Carnarvon

Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Carnarvon

1741-1811
Whig politician; Master of the Horse
Sitter in 2 portraits
Robert John Carington (né Smith), 2nd Baron Carrington

Robert John Carington (né Smith), 2nd Baron Carrington

1796-1868
Politician; MP for Wendover, Buckinghamshire and Wycombe; son of 1st Baron Carrington
Sitter in 4 portraits
Lord John Cavendish

Lord John Cavendish

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

William Fawkener Chetwynd

1788-1873
Politician; MP for Stafford
Sitter in 1 portrait
Sir William Robert Clayton, 5th Bt

Sir William Robert Clayton, 5th Bt

1786-1866
Politician; MP for Great Marlow
Sitter in 1 portrait
Thomas Fortescue, 1st Baron Clermont

Thomas Fortescue, 1st Baron Clermont

1815-1887
Politician; MP for County Louth
Sitter in 3 portraits
Edward Bolton Clive

Edward Bolton Clive

1765-1845
Politician; MP for Hereford
Sitter in 1 portrait
Hon. Edward Keppel Wentworth Coke

Hon. Edward Keppel Wentworth Coke

1824-1889
Sheriff of Derbyshire, soldier and politician; MP for West Norfolk
Sitter in 2 portraits
George Hanger, 4th Baron Coleraine

George Hanger, 4th Baron Coleraine

1751?-1824
Eccentric
Sitter in 20 portraits
Henry Brooke Parnell, 1st Baron Congleton

Henry Brooke Parnell, 1st Baron Congleton

1776-1842
Irish writer and politician; Paymaster-General
Sitter in 1 portrait
John Crewe, 1st Baron Crewe

John Crewe, 1st Baron Crewe

1742-1829
Politician; MP for Cheshire and Stafford
Sitter in 4 portraits
Sir George Henry Dashwood, 5th Bt

Sir George Henry Dashwood, 5th Bt

1790-1862
Politician; MP for Buckinghamshire and Wycombe
Sitter in 1 portrait
William Ponsonby, 1st Baron de Mauley

William Ponsonby, 1st Baron de Mauley

1787-1855
Politician; MP for Dorset
Sitter in 2 portraits
Edward Smith Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby

Edward Smith Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby

1752-1834
Sportsman and patron of horse-racing
Sitter associated with 65 portraits
William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire

William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire

1748-1811
Lord High Treasurer of Ireland
Sitter in 8 portraits
Georgiana Cavendish (née Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire

Georgiana Cavendish (née Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire

1757-1806
Beauty and leader of Whig society; first wife of 5th Duke of Devonshire
Sitter in 32 portraits
Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt

Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt

1784-1861
Politician; MP for Stamford and Lambeth
Sitter in 4 portraits
William Lewis Hughes, 1st Baron Dinorben

William Lewis Hughes, 1st Baron Dinorben

1767-1852
Copper mine owner, philanthropist and politician; MP for Wallingford
Sitter in 1 portrait
Edmund Dunch

Edmund Dunch

1657-1719
Whig politician and Master of the Royal Household to Queen Anne
Sitter in 4 portraits
Sir Robert Lawrence Dundas

Sir Robert Lawrence Dundas

1780-1844
Politician; MP for Malton, East Retford and Richmond
Sitter in 1 portrait
James Abercromby, 1st Baron Dunfermline

James Abercromby, 1st Baron Dunfermline

1776-1858
Barrister and Whig politician, Speaker of the House of Commons
Sitter in 10 portraits
Sampson Eardley (né Gideon), 1st Baron Eardley

Sampson Eardley (né Gideon), 1st Baron Eardley

1744-1824
Politician; MP for Cambridgeshire, Midhurst, Coventry and Wallingford
Sitter associated with 1 portrait