: The Sense of an Englishman on the Pretended Coalition of Parties, and on the Merits of the Whig Interest


 

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London, Printed for T. Copper, at the Globe in Pater-Noster-Row, 1735, 1st Edition. Hardcover, 8vo, 56pp. Three quarter calf over marbled boards with contrasting spine label bearing gilt titles, corners and spine ends rubbed, title page a little grubby else contents clean and bright.

This pamphlet appears to be a response to Viscount Bolingbroke's attempts to undermine the Whig ministry of Robert Walpole, a ministry Bolingbroke regarded as corrupt and self-serving. Bolingbroke had been attainted for treason for his support of the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and spent 8 years living in exile in France, years during which the Robert Walpole rose to power. Pardoned in 1723, Bolingbroke returned to England in 1725 and quickly became involved in attempts to rally the Tory opposition in parliament and to ally it with the discontented Whigs led by William Pulteney, who had recently resigned from Walpole's ministry. In 1726 he set up 'The Craftsman', a periodical which heralded the birth of a formidable opposition to Walpole and the beginnings of a propaganda campaign of sustained brilliance and of rare political sophistication. It's success can be measured by both its print run, in excess of 8000 copies in its period of greatest influence, and by the fact that Walpole spent large sums subsidizing a pro-ministerial press to reply to it (and to attack Bolingbroke and Pulteney in particular). Bolingbroke's aim was to persuade parliament and public that the old Whig and Tory labels had lost all the real meaning they had once possessed, that those differences had been settled at the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and that the majority of Englishmen should now unite against a handful of Jacobites on the one hand and Walpole's mercenary detachment on the other. This pamphlet sets out to demonstrate that the label of Whig and especially that of Tory continue to have meanings that are of real import to an Englishman.

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