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Government and ideology during the age of whig supremacy: the political argument of Sir Robert Walpole's newspaper propagandists*

  • Simon Targett (a1)
Abstract

Contrary to received historical wisdom, Sir Robert Walpole, the pragmatist par excellence, was diverted by political ideas. Thus he invested time and an unprecedented amount of money in political newspapers. This article investigates the primary pro-government newspapers and, as well as identifying the leading circle of political writers sponsored by Walpole, addresses the varied and complex arguments that appeared in their ‘leading essay’ each week for twenty years. After identifying some common but misleading historical representations of Walpolean political thought, the article examines the treatment of three broad philosophical questions – human nature, the origin, nature and extent of government, and political morality – so demonstrating that Walpole's spokesmen were not narrowly pragmatic. Subsequently, the article focuses upon the careful pro-government response to the common charges that Walpole corrupted the political system and betrayed traditional whig values. In doing so, the article highlights the skills of some underrated eighteenth-century political writers and, more importantly, emphasizes the union of government and ideology in Walpolean political thinking.

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1 For some contemporary views: Yorke], [P., Walpoliana (London, 1777), p. 17; Chesterfield, Lord, The characters of eminent personages of his own time (London, 1777), p. 31; and John, , Lord, Hervey, Some materials towards memoirs of the reign of King George II by John, Lord Hervey, ed. by Sedgwick, R. R. (3 vols. London, 1931), 1, 177–8.

2 Taylor, A. J. P., Rumours of war (London, 1952), p. 17.

3 Dickinson, H. T., Walpole and the whig supremacy (London, 1973), p. 152.

4 Namier, L. B., ‘Human nature’, in his Personalities and powers (London, 1955), p. 4.

5 Robert Harley to Lord Godolphin, August 1702: British Library (BL), Add. MS 28,055, fo. 3.

6 Journals of the House of Commons (CJ), XXIV (17411745), pp. 329–30. The eight newspapers: London Journal (LJ), British Journal (BJ), Daily Courant (DC), Free Briton (FB), Flying-Post (FP), Hyp-Doctor (HD), Corn-Cutter's Journal (CCJ), and Daily Gazetteer (DG). For a recent study of these newspapers see my ‘Sir Robert Walpole's newspapers, 1722–1742: propaganda and politics in the age of whig supremacy’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge University, 1991).

7 Anti-government newspapers and pamphlets were replete with claims that Walpole actually wrote newspaper essays, that he was ‘the premier Scribbler Himself’: Craftsman (C), 31 January 1730, no. 187. For example: C, 4 Jan. 1729, no. 131; [Anon.], A Full Answer to that Scandalous Libel the Free Briton (London, 1731), pp. 4, 6; [Anon.], Bob-Lynn Against Franck… Lynn: Or, a full History ofthe Controversies and Dissensions in the Family ofthe Lynns (London, 1732), pp. 1516;and [Anon.], lago Display'd (London, n.d.), p. 10.

8 For example: Lord Hervey, Lewis Theobald, Gilbert Burnet, Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Cooke, Benjamin Norton Defoe, James Ralph, Stephen Whatley, Sir Archer Croft, Francis Hare, Henry Bland, George Stubbes, Barnham Goode and John Oldmixon.

9 James Pitt, William Arnall and Ralph Courteville were the most prolific writers. Pitt completed at least 343 essays between 18 Feb. 1728 and 25 Nov. 1738, Arnall completed at least 326 essays between 20 Jan. 1728 and 16 April 1736, and Courteville completed at least 366 essays between 2 Nov. 1732 and 3 Feb. 1742.

10 William Arnall was given over £10,000 for producing the Free Briton and some occasional pamphlets between 1731 and 1735: CJ, XXIV (1741–5), p. 329. He received a ‘Royal Bounty’ worth £400 in February 1736: Calendar of Treasury Books of Paper 1729–1745, ed. by Shaw, W. A. (5 vols. London, 18981903), III (1735–8), p. 160. After his death in May 1736 it was reported that ‘a Pension of about £400 per annum… reverted to the Government’: London Evening Post, 3 June 1736, no. 1333. Ralph Courteville received an annual pension of £800 – see his letter to the duke of Newcastle, [?] Dec. 1754: BL, Add. MS 32, 737, fo. 543.

11 In his study of Walpolean and Pelhamite thinking, Reed Browning analyses five individuals whom he describes as ‘representative Court Whigs’. Yet, apart from Benjamin Hoadly, none can be ranked among Walpole's most prominent political writers: Political and constitutional ideas of the court whigs (Baton Rouge and London, 1982).

12 Robbins, C., The eighteenth-century commonwealthman: studies in the transmission, development and circumstances of English liberal thought from the restoration of Charles II until the war with the thirteen colonies (Cambridge, Mass., 1959), p. 273; and Pocock, J. G. A., The Machiavellian moment. Florentine political thought and the Atlantic republican tradition (Princeton and London, 1975), p. 483.

13 Robbins, , The eighteenth-century commonwealthman, p. 271; Kenyon, J. P., Revolution principles: the politics of party 1689–1720 (Cambridge, 1977), p. 203; Home, T., ‘Politics in a corrupt society: William Arnall's defence of Robert Walpole’, Journal of the History of Ideas, XLI (1980), 601–14; and Clark, J. C. D., English society 1688–1832: ideology, social structure and political practice during the ancien régime (Cambridge, 1985), p. 279.

14 Kramnick, I., Bolingbroke and his circle. The politics of nostalgia in the age of Walpole (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), p. 121.

15 Davenant], [G., The picture of a modern whig, set forth in a dialogue between Mr. Whiglove & Mr. Double, two under-spur-leathers to the late ministry (2nd edn, London, 1701).

16 Kenyon, , Revolution principles, pp. 199, 205.

17 HD, 31 Aug. 1731, no. 39. For similar statements: LJ, 11 April 1730, no. 558; LJ, 6 Nov. 1731, no. 645; and LJ, 20 July 1734, no. 786.

18 The word ‘necessity’ was more readily used in parliamentary speeches rather than extra-parliamentary propaganda.

19 LJ, 19 Sept. 1730, no. 581. For a similar statement: LJ, 27 March 1731, no. 609.

20 Hansard, H. C., The parliamentary history of England from the earliest period to the year 1803 (36 vols. London, 1806), XI (1739–41), 364.

21 Macaulay, T. B., The works of Lord Macaulay complete, ed. by Lady, Trevelyan (8 vols. London, 1866), VI, 17. For a similar view: ‘On the Conduct and Principles of Sir Robert Walpole, By Governor Pownall’, reprinted in Coxe, W., Memoirs of the life and administration of Sir Robert Walpole, Earl ofOrford (3 vols. London, 1798), III, 618. Walpole's ‘Penetration into the Nature of Man’ was also singled out for praise by his political writers – for example: LJ, 29 Nov. 1729, no. 539.

22 DG, 25 July 1740, no. 1589.

23 LJ, 19 July 1729, no. 520.

24 LJ, 19 Sept. 1730, no. 581.

25 LJ, 19 Oct. 1723, no. 221.

26 FB, 10 Jan. 1734, no. 219.

27 FB, 22 Jan. 1730, no. 8.

28 LJ, 12 July 1729, no. 519; LJ, 5 July 1729, no. 518; LJ, 19 July 1729, no. 520; LJ, 1 Jan. 1732, no. 653; LJ, 12 Aug. 1732, no. 685 and LJ, 24 Nov. 1733, no. 752. This perhaps accounts for the fact that some historians, most commonly citing the London Journal during James Pitt's heyday in the early and mid-1730s, have tended to associate the more sanguine view of man with the Walpolean whigs: Browning, , Court whigs, p. 182.

29 LJ, 26 Aug. 1732, no. 687. James Pitt was also influenced by the third earl of Shaftesbury and Samuel Clarke, both of whom he often liked to cite: LJ, 12 July 1729, no. 519 and LJ, 31 May 1729, no. 513.

30 For example: LJ, 5 July 1729, no. 518.

31 LJ, 25 Nov. 1732, no. 700. For other anti-Hobbes statements: LJ, 14 Dec. 1728, no. 489; LJ, 12 july 1729, no. 519; LJ, 14 Oct. 1732, no. 694; LJ, 9 Dec. 1732, no. 702; DG, 6 Dec. 1735, no. 138 and DG, 13 Dec. 1735, no. 144.

32 LJ, 14 Oct. 1732, no. 694.

33 For Hoadly: LJ, 29 Dec. 1722, no. 179. For Henley: HD, 25 Sept. 1733, no. 149. For Concanen: LJ, 12 March 1726, no. 346 and LJ, 18 April 1730, no. 559.

34 For Machiavelli: FB, 1 Jan. 1730, no. 5 and DC, 26 Oct. 1734, no. 5792. For Hobbes: LJ, 10 June 1738, no. 982 and LJ, 26 Feb. 1737, no. 920. For La Rochefoucauld: DC, 7 Jan 1734, no. 5540 and DG, 8 June 1738, no. 914.

36 BJ, 1 June 1728, no. 20.

36 BJ, 16 Nov. 1728, no. 44.

37 For example, BJ, 25 May 1728, no. 19; BJ, 31 May 1729, no. 74; FB, 22 Jan. 1732, no. 163 and FB, 28 June 1733, no. 188.

38 DC, 5 Oct. 1734, no. 5774.

39 LJ, 10 June 1738, no. 982.

40 LJ, 26 June 1736, no. 886. This quotation comes from Timon of Athens, 1, II.

41 LJ, 26 Feb. 1737, no. 920.

42 For example. (1) A series of two essays by James Pitt in the London Journal: 25 Aug. 1733, no. 689 and 1 Sept. 1733, no. 740. (2) A series of six essays by Ralph Courteville in the Daily Courant: 12 Oct. 1734, no. 5780; 21 Oct. 1734, no. 5787; 26 Oct. 1734, no. 5792; 4 Nov. 1734, no. 5799; 9 Nov. 1734, no. 5804 and 16 Nov. 1734, no. 5810.

43 FB, 8 Jan. 1730, no. 6.

44 For example: LJ, 27 March 1731, no. 609; LJ, 9 Sept. 1732, no. 689; DC, 5 June 1733, no. 5354; DC, 12 Oct. 1734, no. 5780 and LJ, 18 Sept. 1736, no. 898.

45 BJ, 15 June 1728, no. 22.

46 For example: LJ, 20 June 1730, no. 568; FB, 17 Aug. 1732, no. 142; LJ, 16 March 1734, no. 768 and DG, 26 July 1735, no. 24.

47 BJ, 15 June 1728, no. 22.

48 Very occasionally, Ralph Courteville allowed that governments were a ‘convenience’: DC, 12 Oct. 1734, no. 5780.

49 For example: FB, 8 Jan. 1730, no. 6; FB, 28 Sept. 1732.no. 148; FB, 23 Nov. 1732, no. 156; FB, 18 July 1734, no. 246; DC, 21 Oct. 1734, no. 5787; FP, 11 Feb. 1729, no. 5606 and LJ, 8 Oct. 1737, no. 951.

50 DC, 12 Oct. 1734, no. 5780. For a similar phrase: DG, 31 Jan. 1739, no. 1125.

51 FB, 23 Nov. 1732, no. 156.

52 For example: FB, 7 May 1730, no. 23 and LJ, 26 Feb. 1737, no. 920.

53 DC, 12 Oct. 1734, no. 5780. For a similar statement: BJ, 15 June 1728, no. 22.

54 LJ, I Jan. 1732, no. 653. See also LJ, 28 Feb. 1730, no. 552.

55 LJ, 14 Oct. 1732, no. 694.

56 LJ, 16 May 1724, no. 251. For a similar statement: HD, 8 May 1734, no. 181.

57 For example: LJ, 9 Nov. 1723, no. 224; FB, 10 Dec. 1730, no. 54; LJ, 31 July 1731, no. 627; LJ, 9 Sept. 1732, no. 689; LJ, 2 June 1733, no. 727; FB, 18 July 1734, no. 246; DC, 5 Oct. 1734, no. 5774; DC, 10 Oct. 1734, no. 5778 and DG, 3 Jan. 1736, no. 162.

58 For example: FB, 10 Dec. 1730, no. 54; LJ, 27 March 1731, no. 609; LJ, 22 July 1732, no. 682; DC, 9 Nov. 1734, no. 5804 and DC, 4 Jan. 1735, no. 5852.

59 LJ, 9 Sept. 1732, no. 689.

60 BJ, 15 June 1728, no. 22.

61 For example: LJ, 4 April 1730, no. 557; FB, 21 Feb. 1734, no. 225 and DC, 16 Nov. 1734, no. 5810.

62 See Dickinson, H. T., ‘The eighteenth-century debate on the sovereignty of parliament’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser. XXVI (1976), 189210.

63 For example: LJ, 26 Aug. 1732, no. 687; LJ, 22 Dec. 1733, no. 756; DG, 20 Dec. 1735, no. 150; DG, 27 Dec. 1735, no. 156; DG, 3 Jan. 1736, no. 162 and DG, 6 Jan. 1736, no. 168.

64 DG, 6 Jan. 1736, no. 168.

65 LJ, 8 April 1732, no. 667.

66 LJ, 9 Dec. 1732, no. 702.

67 DC, 21 Oct. 1734, no. 5787. This quotation comes from Hobbes, T., De corpore politico. Or the elements of law, moral & political (London, 1650), pp. 62–3.

68 For example: DC, 23 Nov. 1734, no. 5816; LJ, 15 NoV. 1735, no. 854 and DG, 24 March 1740, no. 1483.

69 DC, 24 Oct. 1734, no. 5790. My italics.

70 Locke, J., Two treatises on government (2 vols. London, 1689), II, paras 208, 225 and 230.

71 For Hoadly's primary contribution to this topic – The measures of submission and The original and institution of government discussed: Hoadly, , The works of Benjamin Hoadly, D.D., edited by Hoadly, J. (3 vols. London, 1773), II, 3102, 182–286.

72 LJ, 8 April 1732, no. 667.

73 DG, 4 Dec. 1736, no. 450.

74 LJ, LJ, 26 Dec. 1730, no. 595.

76 BJ, 13 April 1728, no. 13. For a similar observation: FB, 26 March 1730, no. 17.

76 FB, 4 June 1730, no. 27.

77 FB, 9 April 1730, no. 19. For Ralph Courteville's views: DC, 12 Oct. 1734, no. 5780.

78 DC, 21 Oct. 1734, no. 5787.

79 FB, 9 April 1730, no. 19.

80 For Robert Walpole's view: [Anon.], The tryal of Dr. Sacheverell (London, 1710), p. 92.

81 For an overview of this question: Myers, M. L., The soul of modern economic man: ideas of self-interest. Thomas Hobbes to Adam Smith (Chicago and London, 1983).

82 For example: BJ, 15 March 1729, no. 63; LJ, 23 May 1730, no. 564; FB, 14 Dec. 1732, no. 159; DC, 5 Oct. 1734, no. 5774 and DG, 21 May 1740, no. 1533.

83 DG, 8 Jan. 1737, no. 480.

84 LJ, 10 Jan. 1730, no. 545.

85 For Spinoza: LJ, 25 Nov. 1732, no. 700. For Hobbes, see above, note 31. Mandeville was never mentioned by name. However, his Fable of the bees: or, private vices, publick benefits was attacked in a number of anonymously written essays which were published when James Pitt was the leading writer of the London Journal: LJ, 7 June 1729, no. 514; LJ, 14 June 1729, no. 515 and LJ, 21 June 1729, no. 516.

86 LJ, 29 Dec. 1733, no. 757. For other such statements: LJ, 2 Nov. 1728, no. 483; LJ, 27 March 1731, no. 609 and LJ, 29 Jan. 1731, no. 657.

87 LJ, 2 July 1729, no. 518: Pitt recommends Shaftesbury's ‘Enquiry Concerning Virtue’ to his readers. LJ, 10 June 1732, no. 676: Pitt devotes an entire essay to a ‘vindication’ of Shaftesbury's writings on virtue. Francis Hutcheson was one of James Pitt's co-contributors to the London Journal. Hutcheson's principal essays discrediting the selfish scheme of morality first appeared in 1728 and were reprinted in 1735: Letters between the late G. Burnet and Mr. Hutchinson, concerning the true foundation of virtue or moral goodness. Formerly published in the London Journal. In addition, Hutcheson wrote two essays on the same subject in the London Journal of November 1724: Aldridge, A. O., ‘A preview of Hutcheson's ethics’, Modern Language Notes, LXI (1946), 153–61.

88 LJ, 9 Feb. 1734, no. 763. See also LJ, 13 Dec. 1729, no. 541; LJ, 28 Feb. 1730, no. 552; LJ, 14 April 1733, no. 720 and LJ, 30 March 1734, no. 770.

89 LJ, 16 March 1734, no. 768. For a similar statement: LJ, 18 Sept. 1731, no. 634.

90 FB, 8 Jan. 1730, no. 6. For other such statements: BJ, 25 May 1728, no. 19; FB, 19 Oct. 1732, no. 151 and DG, 21 Oct. 1737, no. 725.

91 It is worth noting that neither William Arnall nor Ralph Courteville refer to Bernard Mandeville.

92 DC, 13 Dec. 1733, no. 5518.

93 DC, 1 Oct. 1734. 1734, no. 5770.

94 FB, 19 Oct. 1732, no. 151.

95 BJ, 3 Feb. 1728, no. 3.

96 FB, 5 Aug. 1731, no. 88 and FB, 12 Aug. 1731, no. 89.

97 Arnall], [W., Clodius and Cicero: with other examples and readings in defence of just measures against faction and obloquy, suited to the present conjuncture (London, 1727), p. 26. For similar views: BJ, 15 June 1728, no. 22; FB, 14 Dec. 1732, no. 159 and FB, 28 June 1733, no. 188.

98 [Arnall, ], Clodius and Cicero, pp. 26–7.

99 LJ, 28 Aug. 1731, no. 631 and LJ, 4 Sept. 1731, no. 632.

100 For example: LJ, 19 Sept. 1730, no. 581; FB, 10 Dec. 1730, no. 54; LJ, 20 May 1732, no. 673 and LJ, 30 Nov. 1734, no. 805.

101 Robert Walpole to the duke of Newcastle, 6 September 1723: BL, Add. MS 32, 686, fo. 327.

102 FB, 18 Jan. 1733, no. 164.

103 LJ, 25 Sept. 1731, no. 639. For similar statements: LJ, 29 Sept. 1722, no. 166; LJ, 18 Sept. 1731, no. 634 and LJ, 15 July 1732, no. 681.

104 DG, 11 Feb. 1737, no. 509.

105 LJ 4 June 1737, no. 933.

106 The locus classicus for this view is the writings of Lord Bolingbroke: see the 24 essays comprising his History Of England, published in the Craftsman between 13 June 1730 and 22 May 1731; and the 19 essays comprising his Dissertation Upon Parties, published in the Craftsman between 27 Oct. 1733 and 28 Dec. 1734.

107 C, 18 Oct. 1729, no. 172. The notion of a ‘Robinocracy’ was a popular one among satirists: see Langford, P., Walpole and the Robinocracy (Cambridge, 1986).

108 For example: Pocock, J. G. A., ‘Machiavelli, Harrington, and English political ideologies in the eighteenth century’, William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser. XXII (1965), 549–83; idem, “Virtue and commerce in the eighteenth century’, Journal Of Interdisciplinary History, III (1972), 119–34; idem, Machiavellian moment, pp. 477–86; idem, Virtue, commerce and history. Essays on political thought and history, chiefly in the eighteenth century (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 239–53; Gerrard, C. H., ‘The patriot opposition to Sir Robert Walpole: a study of politics and poetry, 1725–1742’ (D.Phil, dissertation, Oxford University, 1986), pp. 130–87; and Smith, R. J., The Gothic bequest: medieval institutions in British thought, 1688–1863 (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 5770.

109 LJ, 9 Nov. 1728, no. 484.

110 FB, 11 July 1734, no. 245. For similar statements: LJ, 4 April 1730,. no. 557, LJ, 19 Sept. 1730, no. 581 and LJ, 22 July 1732, no. 682.

111 LJ, 1 Sept. 1733, no. 740.

112 For some other extra-parliamentary expressions: FB, 11 July 1734, no. 245; FB, 18 July 1734, no. 246; FB, 1 Aug. 1734, no. 248; DC, 18 Nov. 1734, no. 5811; DG, 14 Nov. 1735, no. 119 and DG, 2 Jan. 1740, no. 1413.

113 LJ, 1 Sept. 1733, no. 740.

114 LJ, 23 March 1734, no. 769.

115 C, 6 April 1734, no. 405. See also the frontispiece in volume 1 of the collected Craftsman.

116 LJ, 23 March 1734, no. 769.

117 See James Pitt's history of England, which appeared intermittently in the London Journal between July 1730 and May 1731.

118 LJ, 3 Oct. 1730, no. 583.

119 LJ, 8 May 1734, no. 777.

120 DC, 24 March 1731, no. 9188.

121 C, 2 Oct. 1730, no. 222.

122 DG, 5 March 1740, no. 1467. For a similar statement: DG, 23 Feb. 1737, no. 519.

123 BJ, 1 June 1728, no. 20.

124 LJ, 1 Sept. 1733, no. 740.

125 For example, in 1725 Lord Macclesfield, the lord chancellor, was found guilty of embezzlement and fined a staggering £30, 000 after a much-publicized court case: [Anon.], The tryal of Thomas Earl of Macclesfield in the House of Peers for high crimes and misdemeanors (London, 1725). Seven years later, the fraudulent activities of the Charitable Corporation became the subject of a detailed parliamentary inquiry: Parliamentary History, VIII (17221733), 936–42, 1012–14, 1069–70, 1077–166; idem, IX (1733–7), 11–49.

126 Parliamentary History, XI (17331737), 475; idem, x (1737–9), 440; and idem, XI (1739–41), 90.

127 LJ, 13 March 1731, no. 606.

128 BJ, 3 Feb. 1728, no. 3. For similar comments: BJ, 31 May 1729, no. 74 and FB, 28 June 1733, no. 188.

129 Parliamentary History, X (17371739), 441.

130 DG, 24 March 1730, no. 1483.

131 Parliamentary History, IX (17331737), 386.

132 DC, 27 Sept. 1734, no. 5767.

133 For example: LJ, 16 Oct. 1731, no. 642; FB, 6 Feb. 1735, no. 274 and DG, 28 Feb. 1739, no. 1149.

134 For example: LJ, 31 July 1731, no. 627; FB, 28 Sept. 1732, no. 148 and DG, 23 Jan. 1740, no. 1431.

135 LJ, 22 June 1734, no. 782.

136 LJ, 8 Aug. 1730, no. 575.

137 For example: C, 6 July 1728, no. 105 and C, 7 June 1729, no. 153.

138 Parliamentary History, XI (17391741), 1385.

139 HD, 18 Jan. 1736, no. 114. See also DG, 28 Jan. 1737, no. 497.

140 DG, 28 Jan. 1737, no. 497.

141 C, 7 Dec. 1728, no. 127.

142 For example: C, 12 June 1731, no. 258 and C, 26 June 1731, no. 260.

143 Speck, W. A., Stability and strife. England 1714–1760 (London, 1977), p. 212.

144 Samuel Sandys offered six pension bills–1730, 1731, 1732, 1733, 1740 and 1742: Parliamentary History, VIII (1722–33), 789–98, 841, 844–55, 882, 942, 987, 988–92, 1177–84 and 1200; idem, XI (1739–41), 509–78; CJ, XXIV (1741–5), 52. Tindal, History Of England, VIII, 313, mentions a pension bill lost in 1736: see Foord, A. S., His Majesty's Opposition 1714–1830 (Oxford, 1964), p. 183. Sandys also offered five place bills – 1734, 1735, 1736, 1740 and 1741; Parliamentary History, IX (17331737), 366–92, 967–8 and 1060; idem, XI (1739–41), 328–80.

145 LJ, 6 July 1734, no. 784. Pitt computed that one-quarter of those ‘who are called the Court Interest’ were worth over £4, 000 each year, one-half were worth £2,000 each year, and the rest owned ‘very good Estates in Land and Money’.

146 LJ, 6 July 1734, no. 784.

147 FB, 28 June 1733, no. 188.

148 FB, 31 Dec. 1730, no. 57.

149 LJ, 29 June 1734, no. 783.

150 LJ, 30 March 1734, no. 770. For similar statements: LJ, 29 June 1734, no. 783 and LJ, 12 Oct. 1734, no. 798.

151 LJ, 30 Nov. 1734, no. 805.

152 Parliamentary History, XI (17391741), 362.

153 Parliamentary History, XI (17391741), 365.

154 DC, 1 Oct. 1734, no. 5770.

155 BJ, 31 May 1729, no. 74.

156 LJ, 28 Aug. 1731. no. 631.

157 DG, 18 April 1740, no. 1505.

158 FB, 28 June 1733, no. 188.

159 LJ, 23 June 1733, no. 730.

160 FB, 12 Sept. 1734, no. 254. For a similar view: DG, 11 Feb. 1737, no. 511.

161 Lord Orford to Charles [Fielding?], 24 June 1743: in Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC), Reports of the Manuscripts of the Earl of Denbigh, Preserved at Newnham Paddox, Warwickshire. Part V (London, 1911), p. 242.

162 LJ, 23 Feb. 1734, no. 765. Elsewhere, it was computed that ‘the Commons possess above Seventeen-Twenty Parts of the Land’: LJ, 16 March 1734, no. 768 and DG, 26 July 1735, no. 24.

163 LJ, 16 March 1734, no. 768. For similar statements: LJ, 19 Sept. 1730, no. 591; DC, 25 Sept. 1734, no. 5765; and DG, 3 Oct. 1740, no. 1649.

164 For example: DC, 18 Nov. 1734, no. 5811 and DG, 11 July 1735, no. 11.

165 For example: C, 14 Nov. 1730, no. 228 and C, 17 April 1731, no. 250. For the radical whigs: Miller, E. A., ‘Some arguments used by the English pamphleteers, 1697–1700, concerning a standing army’, Journal of Modern History, XVIII (1946), 306–13; and Schwoerer, L. G., ‘No standing armies!: the antiarmy ideology in the seventeenth century (Baltimore, 1974).

166 See Black, J., ‘Parliament and foreign policy in the age of Walpole: the case of the Hessians’, in Black, J. (ed.), Knights Errant and True Englishmen: British Foreign Policy, 1660–1800 (Edinburgh, 1989). PP. 4154.

167 BJ, 3 Aug. 1728, no. 29. Gordon's essay appears in his The Works of Tacitus. In Four Volumes. To which are prefixed, Political Discourses upon that Author (4 vols., 2nd edn, London, 1737), 1, 219–36. The Craftsman also praised this essay: 27 July 1728, no. 108 and 19 Sept. 1730, no. 220.

168 DG, 9 Feb. 1739, no. 1133.

169 For example: LJ, 21 Sept. 1728, no. 477; LJ, 31 July 1731, no. 627; FB, 9 March 1732, no. 119 and DG, 8 July 1737, no. 635.

170 LJ, 12 Feb. 1732, no. 659 and LJ, 26 Feb. 1737, no. 920.

171 Parliamentary History, IX (17331737), 283324.

172 For example, see SirWilliam, Yonge's comments: Parliamentary History, IX (17331737), 319.

173 HD, 18 May 1731, no. 24. For a similar statement: LJ, 5 Oct. 1734, no. 597.

174 FB, 21 Feb. 1734, no. 225.

175 The French army numbered 133,000 soldiers and the Prussian army 83,000 soldiers: see Barnett, C., Britain and her army, 1509–1970: a military, political and social survey (London, 1970), p. 165; and Black, J., Eighteenth-century Europe 1700–1789 (London, 1990), pp. 305, 318.

176 LJ, 2 Jan. 1731, no. 596. See also: LJ, 25 Sept. 1731, no. 639 and DG, 9 Feb. 1739, no. 1133.

177 Parliamentary History, VIII (17221733), 888.

178 LJ, 2 Jan. 1731, no. 596. For a similar point: FB, 17 Jan. 1734, no. 220.

179 LJ, 2 Jan. 1731, no. 596.

180 For example: C, 22 June 1728, no. 103.

181 Skinner, Q., ‘The principles and practice of opposition: the case of Bolingbroke versus Walpole’, in McKendrick, N. (ed.), Historical perspectives: studies in English thought and society in honour of J. H. Plumb (London, 1974), pp. 93128.

182 Robbins, , The eighteenth-century commonwealthman, p. 284.

183 Like ‘whig’ or ‘tory’, ‘court whig’ was originally a term of derogation which the recipients subsequently used to describe themselves: FB, 22 Sept. 1733, no. 201; LJ, 13 Oct. 1733, no. 746; FB, 18 Oct. 1733, no. 207; LJ, 20 Oct. 1733, no. 747 and LJ 27 Oct. 1733, no. 748.

184 Parliamentary History, IX (1733–7), 1046–59.

185 For example: Bernard, Bailyn has observed that ‘Hoadly came to embody physically the continuity of the conglomerate tradition of English radical and opposition thought’: see his Ideological origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, Mass., 1967), p. 38; and John Kenyon describes Hoadly as a radical whig, and erroneously states that Walpole did not have ‘any use for the most aggressively whig churchman of the century’: see his Revolution principles, p. 197.

186 DG, 30 June 1735, no. 1. For other such statements: FB, 30 july 1730, no. 35 and FB, 10 Dec. 1730, no. 54.

187 For example: LJ, 22 Sept. 1733, no. 743; LJ, 13 Oct. 1733, no. 746 and LJ, 20 April 1734, no. 773.

188 DG, 29 Nov. 1735, no. 132.

189 For Ludlow: LJ, 14 Sept. 1734, no. 794. For Locke: see above, note 82 and LJ, 22 Dec. 1733, no. 756; DG, 25 Jan. 1736, no. 181 and DG, 4 Dec. 1736, no. 452. For Sidney: LJ, 15 Dec. 1733, no. 755; DG, 22 Oct. 1735, no. 99; DG, 4 Dec. 1736, no. 452; DG, 25 Jan. 1736, no. 181 and LJ, 26 Feb. 1737, no. 920. Trenchard and Gordon were usually cited in their capacity as writers of the Independent Whig or Gala's Letters: BJ, 10 July 1725, no. 147; BJ, 20 Jan. 1728, no. 1; BJ, 3 Aug. 1728, no. 29; LJ, 12 June 1731, no. 620; LJ, 28 Aug. 1731, no. 631; LJ, 4 Sept. 1731, no. 632 and DC, 7 March 1734, no. 5592.

190 There were eighty-nine essays by ‘Algernon Sidney’. Twelve appeared in the Free Briton between 25 March 1731 and 7 Sept. 1732. Seventy-seven essays appeared in the Daily Gazetteer between 6 Oct. 1738 and 1 July 1740. William Murray, later Lord Mansfield, was widely suspected of writing under the pseudonym ‘Algernon Sidney’: [Marforio, ], An historical view of the principles, characters, persons etc. of the political writers in Great Britain (London, 1740), p. 39; and C, 7 Oct. 1738, no. 639.

191 It is worth pointing out that Courteville, who wrote 334 essays as ‘Raph Freeman’, often signed off with the surname only: ‘Freeman’.

192 J. P. Kenyon, ‘The Revolution of 1688: resistance and contract’, in McKendrick, , Historical perspectives, pp. 4369; idem, Revolution principles, passim; Holmes, G., The tryal of Doctor Sacheverell (London, 1973), pp. 130–2, 137–41.

193 LJ, 24 April 1731, no. 613.

194 For example: LJ, 30 March 1734, no. 770; LJ, 14 Sept. 1734, no. 794; DC, 11 Oct. 1733, no. 5464; DG, 29 Nov. 1735, no. 132 and DG, 8 Jan. 1737, no. 480.

195 LJ 14 July 1733. no. 733.

196 Parliamentary History, IX (17331737), 1052.

197 Hervey, , Some materials, 1, 129.

198 Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Dep. C. 237, fol. 85.

199 William Arnall's primary contribution was Animadversions on a reverend prelate's remarks upon the Bill now depending in Parliament (London, 1731). For the dispute: Carpenter, E., Thomas Sherlock 1678–1761 (London, 1936), pp. 106–10.

200 Arnall's essays appeared in Barron, R. (ed.), The pillars of priestcraft and orthodoxy shaken (4 vols. 2 edn, London, 1768), III, 193240; iv, 173–208.

201 HMC, , Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont. Diary of Viscount Percival, afterwards Earl of Egmont (3 vols. London, 19201923), 1, 402.

202 James Pitt's essay ‘On Superstition’, which first appeared in 1733, was mistakenly assumed to be the product of William Pitt, earl of Chatham. It continued to be published until 1873.

203 For example: LJ, 8 Sept. 1733, no. 741; LJ, 15 Sept. 1733, no. 742 and LJ, 22 Sept. 1733, no. 743.

204 LJ, 22 Sept. 1733, no. 743.

205 LJ, 14 July 1733, no. 733. For similar statements: DC, 11 Oct. 1733, no. 5464; DG, 29 Nov. 1735, no. 132.

206 DG, 1 Jan. 1737, no. 474. For a similar view, DG, 15 Jan. 1737, no. 488.

207 Davenant, , The Picture of a Modern Whig, p. 33.

208 DG, 1 Jan. 1737, no. 474.

209 Scott, J., Algernon Sidney and the English Republic, 1623–1677 (Cambridge, 1988), especially pp. 30–5.

210 DG, 1 January 1737, no. 474. This quotation comes from Sidney, A., Discourses concerning government (London, 1698), p. 136.

211 LJ, 20 July 1734, no. 786.

* A version of this article was presented as a paper to the annual Eighteenth Century Colloquium held at London University in January 1992. I should like to thank Dr Mark Goldie, Dr Boyd Hilton, Dr John Morrill, Professor W. A. Speck and Jenny Wallace for comments on and criticisms of a draft of this article.

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