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LORD BOLINGBROKE'S THEORY OF PARTY AND OPPOSITION*

  • MAX SKJÖNSBERG (a1)

Abstract

Bolingbroke has been overlooked by intellectual historians in the last few decades, at least in comparison with ‘canonical’ thinkers. This article examines one of the most important but disputable aspects of his political thought: his views on political parties and his theory of opposition. It aims to demonstrate that Bolingbroke's views on party have been misunderstood and that it is possible to think of him as an advocate of political parties rather than the ‘anti-party’ writer he is commonly known as. It has been suggested that Bolingbroke prescribed a state without political parties. By contrast, this article seeks to show that Bolingbroke was in fact the promoter of a very specific party, a systematic parliamentary opposition party in resistance to what he perceived as the Court Whig faction in power. It will also be argued that Bolingbroke at no time envisaged a final end to political conflict and that his opposition party should not be interpreted as a party to end all parties.

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Corresponding author

Department of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton St, London, wc2a 2ae m.skjonsberg@lse.ac.uk

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*

I have benefited from comments by Adrian Blau, Tim Hochstrasser, Paul Keenan, Robin Mills, and Paul Stock, as well as conversations with Richard Bourke, J. C. D. Clark, and Quentin Skinner at various stages of this project. I would also like to thank the Historical Journal's anonymous reviewers for their feedback. As usual, however, the buck stops with the writer. I presented an earlier and shorter version of this article at the inaugural Early Modern Intellectual History Postgraduate Conference at Newcastle University in June 2015. Eighteenth-century spelling has been kept in quotations throughout as have inconsistencies in spelling. All changes and additions are marked by square brackets. New style rather than old style has been employed with regards to dates, i.e. where necessary years have been adjusted to start on 1 January rather than on 25 March.

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1 Voltaire, Philosophical letters, or, letters regarding the English nation (Indianapolis, IN, and Cambridge, 2007), p. 92. The work was first published in English in 1733 and then in French the following year.

2 Adrian Lashmore-Davies, ‘Viscount Bolingbroke and the moral reform of politics, 1710–1738’ (D.Phil. thesis, Cambridge, 2004); Armitage, David, ‘A patriot for whom? The afterlives of Bolingbroke's Patriot king ’, Journal of British Studies, 36 (1997), pp. 397418 . Armitage has also written the introduction to the Cambridge edition of Bolingbroke's Political writings (1997). Christine Gerrard's masterly study of the patriot opposition to Walpole has the identification of a patriot opposition distinguished from Tory as its main focus and not strictly Bolingbroke's party thought, see idem, The patriot opposition to Walpole: politics, poetry and national myth, 1727–1742 (Oxford, 1994), pp. 12, 16, passim.

3 Richard Hofstadter, The idea of a party system: the rise of legitimate opposition in the United States, 1780–1840 (Berkeley, CA, 1970), pp. 10, 18; Terence Ball, ‘Party’, in Terence Ball, James Farr, and Russell L. Hanson, eds., Political innovation and conceptual change (1989) (Cambridge, 1995), p. 170. There are exceptions, however, to the prevalent view of Bolingbroke as an anti-party thinker, e.g. Kurt Kluxen, Das Problem der Politischen Opposition: Entwicklung und Wesen der Englischen Zweiparteienpolitik im 18. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1956), esp. pp. 103–19.

4 Robbins, Caroline, ‘“Discordant parties”: a study of the acceptance of party by Englishmen’, Political Science Quarterly, 37 (1958), p. 507; Fieldhouse, H. N., ‘Bolingbroke and the idea of non-party government’, History, 23 (1938), pp. 4156 .

5 Nancy L. Rosenblum, On the side of the angels: an appreciation of parties and partisanship (Princeton, NJ, 2008), pp. 35–6; Russell Muirhead, The promise of party in a polarized age (Cambridge, MA, and London, 2014), p. 39.

6 Harvey C. Mansfield, Statesmanship and party government: a study of Burke and Bolingbroke (Chicago, IL, and London, 1965), p. 179.

7 On the one occasion I have found Bolingbroke using ‘men’ and ‘measures’ in the same sentence, he spoke of their inter-relation: ‘do not drop your protest against the men & the measures that ruine it [the country]’, see Bolingbroke to Wyndham, 18 Nov. 1739, in Adrian Lashmore-Davies, ed., The unpublished letters of Henry St John, First Viscount Bolingbroke (5 vols., London, 2013), v, p. 249 (hence: Unpublished letters).

8 This interpretation differs widely with that of J. A. W. Gunn, who has argued that Bolingbroke's writings on the subject ‘contributed little to the understanding of party conflict’; see idem, Factions no more: attitudes to party in government and opposition in eighteenth-century England (London, 1972), p. 95. It is also starkly different from the reading of Alexander Pettit, who dismisses what ‘Bolingbroke and his fellow travellers imagined the opposition [to be]’ in favour of ‘what the opposition really was’; see idem, Illusory consensus: Bolingbroke and the polemical response to Walpole, 1730–1737 (Newark, NJ, 1997), p. 25. As Herbert Butterfield reminded us half a century ago, ‘a great proportion of the existence of party lies in the realm of human thought’, see idem, George III and the historians  (1957) (London, 1988), p. 223.

9 G. M. Trevelyan's attempt to write the history of the eighteenth century as a two-party struggle between Whig and Tory has long been demolished by Sir Lewis Namier and his followers; see G. M. Trevelyan, The two-party system in English political history (Oxford, 1926), p. 6, passim; Lewis Namier, The structure of politics and the accession of George III (1929) (London, 1963), p. xi. It is important to note, however, that Namier later came to the conclusion that the forerunners to modern parties were to be found in the factions vying for power in parliament in the eighteenth century, see Namier, ‘Monarchy and the party system’ (1952), in idem, Crossroads to power: essays on eighteenth-century England (London, 1962), p. 234. The view of the present author is simply that the concept of party in the eighteenth century has to be understood on its own terms and should not be conflated with the ideas of a two-party system and party government.

10 For Hume's critical engagement with Bolingbroke, see Duncan Forbes, Hume's philosophical politics (1975) (Cambridge, 1985), esp. pp. 192–222. It has long been established that Montesquieu learned about British politics from Bolingbroke's writings in the Craftsman, see Robert Shackleton, Montesquieu: a critical biography (Oxford, 1961), pp. 54, 126–7, 297–301.

11 See, for example, Bolingbroke to Jonathan Swift [Aug. 1723], in George Sherburn, ed., The correspondence of Alexander Pope (5 vols., Oxford, 1956), ii, pp. 187–9.

12 Letter addressed to an unnamed Lord [c. 1750], printed in Unpublished letters, pp. 304–10. Unlike Lashmore-Davies, I believe that this letter should be regarded as a draft of a political essay, probably not intended for wider publication, rather than a piece of correspondence. In terms of tone, style, spelling, and grammar, it is much closer to Bolingbroke's political writings than his private correspondence. Bolingbroke's political writings usually took the form of letters. I will henceforth refer to it as [‘Reflections on Walpole’].

13 J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian moment: Florentine political thought and the Atlantic republican tradition (1975) (Princeton, NJ, and Oxford, 2003), pp. 477–86, passim; Isaac Kramnick, Bolingbroke and his circle: the politics of nostalgia in the age of Walpole (1968) (Ithaca, NY, and London, 1992), pp. 205–35.

14 Bolingbroke, Letters on the study and use of history (1735), in idem, The works of the late Right Honourable Henry St. John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke (5 vols., London, 1754), ii, p. 9 (hence: Works).

15 Bolingbroke, Remarks on the history of England (1730–1), in Works, i, p. 490 (hence: Remarks). For the ministerial press, see Reed Browning, Political and constitutional ideas of the Court Whigs (Baton Rouge, LA, and London, 1982); Targett, Simon, ‘Government and ideology during the Age of Whig Supremacy: the political argument of Sir Robert Walpole's newspaper propagandists’, Historical Journal, 37 (1994), pp. 289317 .

16 For Bolingbroke's linkage between liberty and the preservation of the integrity of the constitution, see Bolingbroke, A dissertation upon parties (1733–4), in idem, Political writings (Cambridge, 1997), p. 169 (hence: Dissertation).

17 William Paterson, An enquiry into the state of the union of Great Britain… (London, 1717), p. 45.

18 The Country Journal, or the Craftsman, 674, 9 June 1739.

19 Bolingbroke referred to the work as his ‘Epistle to Sir Rob’, see Unpublished letters, v, p. 123.

20 Bolingbroke, Dedication to Sir Robert Walpole (1735), in Works, ii, pp. 14–15 (hence: Dedication).  See also idem, [‘Reflections on Walpole’], in Unpublished letters, v, p. 307.

21 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 76. See also [‘Reflections on Walpole’], in Unpublished letters, v, p. 308.

22 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 86.

23 Bolingbroke, Of the state of parties at the accession of King George the First (1739), in Works, iii, pp. 137–8 (hence: State of parties).

24 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, pp. 99–100.

25 Ibid., p. 100.

26 Ibid.

27 Bolingbroke, Dedication, in Works, ii, p. 15.

28 Bolingbroke, The occasional writer in the Craftsman, 2, 3 Feb. 1727, in Works, i, p. 147.

29 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 292.

30 Ibid., pp. 390–423, passim. For the Elizabethan cult in the 1730s, see Gerrard, The patriot opposition to Walpole, pp. 150–84.

31 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 513; Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 27.

32 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 120; idem, The idea of a patriot king (1738), in Political writings (Cambridge, 1997), p. 243 (hence: Patriot king).

33 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 439.

34 Ibid., pp. 460–1.

35 Ibid., p. 492.

36 Ibid., p. 278.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid., p. 279. Bolingbroke admitted in private that ‘I have been fond of power’, see Unpublished letters, v, p. 236.

39 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 284.

40 Ibid., p. 282.

41 Ibid., p. 288.

42 Bolingbroke to Wyndham, 25 Jan. 1740, in William Coxe, Memoirs of the life and administration of Sir Robert Walpole, earl of Orford, with original correspondence and authentic papers, never published before (3 vols., London, 1798), iii, p. 554. See also H. T. Dickinson, Bolingbroke (London, 1970), p. 173, passim.

43 Mansfield, Statesmanship and party government, p. 179.

44 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 336.

45 Ibid.

46 Ibid., p. 278.

47 Ibid., p. 287.

48 London Journal, 570, 4 July 1730.

49 Machiavelli, The discourses, in idem, The chief works and others (3 vols., Durham, NC, 1965), i, pp. 202–4 (Book i, ch. iv). Montesquieu advanced a similar argument in Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence (1734); see Melvin Richter, The political theory of Montesquieu (Cambridge, 1977), p. 161; Rahe, Paul A., ‘Montesquieu's anti-Machiavellian Machiavellianism’, History of European Ideas, 37 (2011), pp. 129–30.

50 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 289. See also Machiavelli, The discourses, in idem, The chief works and others, i, p. 419 (Book iii, ch. i).

51 For the ministerial counter-argument, see [Lord Hervey], Ancient and modern liberty: stated and compar'd (London, 1734), pp. 4–5, passim.

52 For Bolingbroke's ancient constitutionalism, see Dissertation, pp. 81–2, 114–15. His views on the ancient constitution were of a peculiar kind: on the one hand, there was no need to look further back than 1688–9; on the other, the Glorious Revolution had been a reassertion of ancient liberties, see J. G. A. Pocock, The ancient constitution and the feudal law: a study of English historical thought in the seventeenth century: a reissue with a retrospect (New York, NY, 1957, 1987), pp. 231–2. This is the appropriate context for Bolingbroke's party thought as opposed to the unhistorical approach of Isaac Kramnick, who, by reading Bolingbroke through the prism of Harold Macmillan, Rab Butler, and Quintin Hogg, argues that ‘Bolingbroke set forth the Tory theory of party that still holds today [in the 1960s]’, i.e. the idea of a national ‘status quo’ party whose raison d’être was to oppose change, see idem, Bolingbroke and his circle, pp. 157–9.

53 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 122. See also idem, Dedication, in Works, ii, pp. 24–5.

54 David Lieberman, ‘The mixed constitution and the common law’, in Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler, eds., The Cambridge history of eighteenth-century political thought (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 317–46.

55 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, pp. 164–5.

56 Targett, ‘Government and ideology during the Age of Whig Supremacy’, p. 290, passim.

57 London Journal, 570, 4 July 1730.

58 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 310. In the following issue of the London Journal on 18 July, Pitt defended and repeated his claim but toned it down by removing the phrase ‘mob government’ as a description of the Roman Republic.

59 [Thomas Gordon], The works of Tacitus. Containing the annals. To which are prefixed political discourses upon that author (2 vols., London, 1728–31), i, p. 60.

60 Rosenblum, On the side of the angels, p. 36. The association of Bolingbroke with this holist tradition is arguably misguided for many reasons, not least that he was such a staunch advocate of the mixed constitution, which is a separate tradition in Rosenblum's account, a tradition that accepted pluralism without accepting parties; see ibid., pp. 81–9.

61 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 12.

62 Ibid., p. 5.

63 Ibid., p. 65.

64 Ibid., pp. 70, 61.

65 Bolingbroke, Dedication, in Works, ii, p. 12.

66 John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, Cato's letters (1720–3), ed. Ronald Hamowy (4 vols., Indianapolis, IN, 1995), iii, p. 65 (no. 80, 9 June 1722).

67 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 3. See also idem, Dedication, in Works, ii, p. 13.

68 [William Arnall], Opposition no proof of patriotism: with some observations and advice concerning party-writings (London, 1735), p. 18.

69 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 5. An historical debate raged in the latter half of the twentieth century – with J. H. Plumb, William Speck, and J. C. D. Clark among the protagonists – about whether Court and Country or Tory and Whig best described political realities in the 1714–60 period. This is not the place to resuscitate that debate; it suffices to say that for Bolingbroke's polemical purposes, it was necessary to promote the Court–Country polarity and play down the significance of Tory–Whig in the context of the 1730s.

70 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 6.

71 Ibid., p. 17.

72 Ibid., p. 6.

73 Ibid., p. 48. For Halifax's writings on party, see Gunn, Factions no more, pp. 41–5. See also Klaus von Beyme, ‘Partei, Faktion’, in Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland (7 vols., Stuttgart, 1972–92), iv (1978), pp. 689–90.

74 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, pp. 61, 187.

75 Ibid., pp. 85, 177.

76 Bolingbroke's utterances on Jacobitism in the 1730s should not be viewed as statements of facts; J. C. D. Clark has shown that dynastic politics remained a crucial aspect of politics up until mid-century; see idem, Dynamics of change: the crisis of the 1750s and English party systems (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 24–5; idem, English society, 1660–1832: religion, ideology and politics during the ancien regime (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 107, 362–3. See also Eveline Cruickshanks, Political untouchables: the Tories and the ’45 (London, 1979), passim. The significance of the dynastic dimension along with his own past made it all the more important for Bolingbroke to play down the significance of Jacobitism.

77 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, pp. 85, 86.

78 Ibid., p. 37.

79 Ibid.

80 H. T. Dickinson, Liberty and property: political ideology in eighteenth-century Britain (London, 1977), pp. 163–92.

81 Julian Hoppit, A land of liberty? England, 1689–1727 (Oxford, 2000), pp. 155–61.

82 David Mallet, who edited Bolingbroke's collected works, believed that the idea of a coalition of parties originated with Robert Harley (later the earl of Oxford), who was a leading figure in the Country opposition to the standing army in the 1690s, see David Mallet, Memoirs of the life and ministerial conduct, with some free remarks on the political writings of the late Lord Viscount Bolingbroke (London, 1752), p. 337. Bolingbroke began his parliamentarian and ministerial life, in 1701 and 1704 respectively, as an ally of Harley, but they became bitter rivals during the course of the 1710–14 Tory administration. For their relationship, see Sheila Biddle, Bolingbroke and Harley (London, 1975).

83 Jeremy Black, The politics of Britain, 1688–1800 (Manchester and New York, NY, 1993), p. 66.

84 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, pp. 8–9.

85 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, pp. 350–1; idem, Dissertation, p. 69. For Bolingbroke's use of Old Whig political arguments, see Quentin Skinner, ‘The principles and practice of opposition: the case of Bolingbroke versus Walpole’, in Neil McKendrick, ed., Historical perspectives: studies in English thought and society in honour of J. H. Plumb (London, 1974), pp. 93–128. For the so-called commonwealth tradition, see Caroline Robbins, 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 (1959) (Indianapolis, IN, 2004).

86 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 8. See also ibid., p. 187.

87 Ibid., p. 37.

88 Ibid.

89 Ibid., pp. 185–6 (my italics).

90 Ibid., p. 186.

91 Ibid., pp. 186–7.

92 Ibid., p. 187.

93 Bolingbroke, Remarks, in Works, i, p. 492.

94 Ibid.

95 Bolingbroke, The occasional writer in the Craftsman, 3, 13 Feb. 1727, in Works, i, p. 180.

96 Ibid.

97 Bolingbroke, Dedication, in Works, ii, p. 8.

98 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 49.

99 See, for example, [Lord Hervey], The conduct of the opposition and the tendency of modern patriotism… (London, 1734), pp. 37, 40, passim. It would be wrong, however, to equate proscription with the erection of a monolithic one-party political landscape. Linda Colley has shown that the Tory party continued as a vigorous opposition party in the age of Whig ascendancy; see idem, In defiance of oligarchy: the Tory party, 1714–1760 (Cambridge, 1982), p. 7, passim.

100 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, pp. 84, 174, 177, 180; in Letter xii of the Dissertation, Bolingbroke replied to an article in the London Journal on 28 Sept. 1734 (issue 796) which defended this type of influence; see ibid., p. 121. See also ibid., p. 185.

101 Bolingbroke, Contributions to the Craftsman, ed. Simon Varey (Oxford, 1982), pp. 34, 57–8; idem, Some reflections on the present state of the nation, principally with regard to her taxes and her debts, and on the causes and consequences of them (1749), in Works, iii, p. 174, passim. See also P. G. M. Dickson, The financial revolution in England: a study in the development of public credit, 1688–1756 (London, 1967), pp. 18–28.

102 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 175; William Pulteney, A review of the excise scheme… (London, 1733), pp. 53–4. Excise was a question which could unite Whigs and Tories, since tradesmen and shopkeepers of both persuasions were strong opponents; see Paul Langford, A polite and commercial people: England, 1727–1783 (Oxford, 1989), pp. 28–33.

103 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, pp. 101–10. Frequent elections meant that ‘there is not sufficient time given, to form a majority of the representatives into a ministerial cabal’; see ibid., p. 104. Bolingbroke recommended annual or at least triennial parliaments.

104 Ibid., p. 9.

105 Ibid.; see also ibid., pp. 5, 198; idem, Remarks, in Works, i, pp. 277, 299. These views were by and large consistent with those Bolingbroke expressed in private; see Bolingbroke to Wyndham, 25 Jan. 1740, in Coxe, Memoirs of the life and administration of Sir Robert Walpole, p. 555. However, Pulteney co-operated occasionally with William Shippen, the leader of the Jacobite rump, in the opposition activities in the Commons; see Archibald S. Foord, His majesty's opposition, 1714–1830 (Oxford, 1964), p. 120. See also n. 76.

106 Walpole's speech on the Excise Crisis in Lord Hervey, Some materials towards memoirs of the reign of King George II [1733–7], ed. Romney Sedgwick (3 vols., London, 1931), i, pp. 183–4; [Hervey], Remarks on the Craftsman's vindication of his two honourable patrons [Bolingbroke and Pulteney], in his paper of May 22, 1731 (London, 1731), pp. 6, 28, passim; [Hervey], The conduct of the opposition and the tendency of modern patriotism, pp. 57–8; [Arnall], Opposition no proof of patriotism, pp. 17–18.

107 Bolingbroke, Letter to Windham, in Works, i, pp. 90–1, 104–5.

108 Bolingbroke, Dedication, in Works, ii, p. 11.

109 Ibid., p. 14.

110 In a sense, the excise crisis was a success for the opposition, since Walpole decided to give up the excise scheme. In the longer run it was a failure, however, as Walpole manged to cling onto power after the general election of 1734, albeit with a reduced majority, see Dickinson, Bolingbroke, pp. 233–6, 240–6; idem, Walpole and the Whig supremacy (London, 1973), pp. 90, 96–8.

111 Bolingbroke, A letter on the spirit of patriotism (1736), in idem, Political writings (Cambridge, 1997), pp. 206, 198 (hence: Spirit of patriotism).

112 Ibid., pp. 207–8.

113 Bolingbroke to William Capel, 3rd earl of Essex, 30 May 1736, in Unpublished letters, v, p. 168.

114 Bolingbroke, Spirit of patriotism, p. 208. Baron Lyttelton was a political writer in his own right, perhaps best known for Letters from a Persian in England to his friend at Ispahan (1735), inspired by Montesquieu's Lettres persanes (1721).

115 Ibid., pp. 193, 195.

116 Ibid., p. 197.

117 Ibid., p. 198.

118 Ibid., p. 200. See also Unpublished letters, p. 210.

119 Bolingbroke to Robert Knight (later Lord Luxborough and earl of Catherlough), 25 June 1736, in Unpublished letters, v, p. 171. See also ibid., p. 185. For a review of the episode from the administration's perspective, see Taylor, Stephen, ‘Sir Robert Walpole, the Church of England, and the Quakers Tithe Bill of 1736’, Historical Journal, 28 (1985), pp. 5177 .

120 Bolingbroke, Spirit of patriotism, p. 201.

121 Ibid.

122 Ibid., p. 202.

123 Ibid., pp. 215–16 (my italics).

124 Ibid., p. 215.

125 Ibid. (my italics).

126 Ibid.

127 Ibid.

128 Ibid., p. 216 (my italics).

129 Ibid. (my italics).

130 Bolingbroke to Wyndham, 11 May 1737, in Unpublished letters, v, p. 204.

131 Langford, A polite and commercial people, pp. 236–7.

132 Bolingbroke to Wyndham, 9 June [1737], in Unpublished letters, v, p. 211 (my italics).

133 Rosenblum, On the side of the angels, p. 36; Hofstadter, The idea of a party system, p. 18.

134 Bolingbroke, Dissertation, p. 84.

135 Ibid., p. 91.

136 Ibid., p. 86.

137 Machiavelli, The discourses, in idem, The chief works and others, i, pp. 196–9 (Book i, ch. ii). See also Pocock, The Machiavellian moment, pp. 217–18.

138 Bolingbroke, Patriot king, p. 252.

139 Ibid.

140 Shelley Burtt, Virtue transformed: political argument in England, 1688–1740 (Cambridge, 1992), p. 96. For a similar and earlier interpretation, see Wolfgang Jäger, Politische Partei und parlamentarische Opposition: Eine Studie zum politischen Denken von Lord Bolingbroke und David Hume (Berlin, 1971), pp. 152, 269.

141 Burtt, Virtue transformed, p. 95.

142 Bolingbroke, Patriot king, p. 257.

143 Ibid., p. 258.

144 Ibid., p. 268.

145 Herbert Butterfield, The statecraft of Machiavelli (1940) (London, 1960), pp. 149–65; Jeffrey Hart, Viscount Bolingbroke: Tory humanist (London and Toronto, 1965), pp. 83–143. Bolingbroke's choice of genre was not idiosyncratic in the context of the 1730s; Fénelon's mirror for princes Les aventures de Télémaque (1699) had been published in several translations and editions in early Hanoverian Britain, notably Charles Forman's Protesilaus: or, the character of an evil minister. Being a paraphrase of the tenth book of Telemachus (1730). Like the book form of Bolingbroke's Dissertation, Forman's adaptation of Fénelon was dedicated to Walpole and part of the literary patriot opposition to the Court Whigs; see Doowhan Ahn, ‘From Idomeneus to Protesilaus’, in Christoph Schmitt-Maaβ, Stefenie Stockhorst, and Doohwan Ahn, eds., Fénelon in the Enlightenment: traditions, adaptations, and variations (Amsterdam and New York, NY, 2014), pp. 99–128.

146 Gerrard, The patriot opposition to Walpole, p. 186.

147 Bolingbroke, Patriot king, p. 219.

148 Ibid.

149 Bolingbroke to Lyttelton, 15 Apr. 1748, in Robert Phillimore, ed., Memoirs and correspondence of George, Lord Lyttelton, from 1734 to 1773 (2 vols., London, 1845), ii, pp. 429–30. For the complicated printing history of the Patriot king, see Barber, Giles, ‘Bolingbroke, Pope, and the patriot king’, The Library, 19 (1964), pp. 6789 .

150 Bolingbroke, Patriot king, pp. 221, 251. See nn. 140 and 141.

151 Ibid., pp. 271–3.

152 Ibid., p. 257.

153 Ibid. John Toland wrote a pamphlet entitled The art of governing by partys at the beginning of the eighteenth century, in which he used language Bolingbroke may have tried to imitate, e.g. ‘a King can never lessen himself more than by heading of a Party; for thereby he becomes only the King of a Faction, and ceases to be the common Father of his People’. See [Toland], The art of governing by partys: particularly in religion, in politics, in parliament, on the bench, and in the ministry (London, 1701), p. 41.

154 Bolingbroke, State of parties, in Works, iii, p. 129.

155 Ibid., p. 139. Bolingbroke's friend Jonathan Swift, who had worked as a government hack for the Tory administration in 1710–14, ridiculed George I's approach to parties in Gulliver's travels (1726). On the island of Lilliput, although the Tramecksans, or the High Heels, were widely seen as being ‘most agreeable to our ancient Constitution’, the king only employed Slamecksans, or Low Heels. The king himself wore lower heels than anyone at his court. See Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's travels (London, 2003), p. 47.

156 Bolingbroke, State of parties, in Works, iii, p. 139.

157 Ibid., p. 140.

158 Ibid., p. 141.

159 Ibid.

160 Ibid.

161 Bolingbroke, Patriot king, p. 263.

162 Ibid., p. 253.

163 Ibid.

164 Ibid., p. 254.

165 Armitage, ‘A patriot for whom?’, p. 405.

166 Bolingbroke, Patriot king, p. 259 (my italics).

167 Ibid. (my italics).

168 Ibid., pp. 259, 260.

169 Ibid., p. 260.

170 Ibid.

171 Ibid., p. 261.

172 Ibid.

173 He also complained that Britain's interests abroad had been subordinated to those of Hanover since 1714; see Bolingbroke to Lyttelton, 4 Nov. 1741, Memoirs and correspondence of George, Lord Lyttelton, i, p. 196.

174 Langford, A polite and commercial people, pp. 11–15.

175 Lyttelton to Bolingbroke, 14 Apr. 1748, in Memoirs and correspondence of George, Lord Lyttelton, ii, p. 428.

176 See, for example, Discontent; or, an essay on faction: a satire. Address'd to the writers of the Craftsman, and other party papers (London, 1735), pp. 6–7.

177 [Thomas Pownall], A treatise on government: being a review and doctrine of an original contract. More particularly as it respects the rights of government and the duty of allegiance (London, 1750), pp. 12–13.

178 Ibid., p. 14. James Harrington had influentially stated that ‘[d]ominion is property’ in The Commonwealth of Oceana (1656) (Cambridge, 2001), p. 11.

179 One can thus argue that Pownall fits better than Nancy Rosenblum's anti-party tradition of holism (see n. 60).

180 [Pownall], A treatise on government, pp. 22–3.

181 Ibid., p. 32.

182 Dickinson, Bolingbroke, p. 192.

183 See n. 10.

* I have benefited from comments by Adrian Blau, Tim Hochstrasser, Paul Keenan, Robin Mills, and Paul Stock, as well as conversations with Richard Bourke, J. C. D. Clark, and Quentin Skinner at various stages of this project. I would also like to thank the Historical Journal's anonymous reviewers for their feedback. As usual, however, the buck stops with the writer. I presented an earlier and shorter version of this article at the inaugural Early Modern Intellectual History Postgraduate Conference at Newcastle University in June 2015. Eighteenth-century spelling has been kept in quotations throughout as have inconsistencies in spelling. All changes and additions are marked by square brackets. New style rather than old style has been employed with regards to dates, i.e. where necessary years have been adjusted to start on 1 January rather than on 25 March.

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