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Leader(s) Charles James Fox
The Viscount Howick
Founded 1784 (1784)
Dissolved 1806 (1806)
Preceded by Portlandites
Succeeded by Grenvillites
Headquarters 46 Clarges Street, London
Ideology Progressive liberalism[1][2]
Political position Left-wing[7][8]

Foxite was British late 18th-century political label to indicate Whig politicians who follows the ideads of Charles James Fox.

Charles James Fox was the generally acknowledged leader of a faction of the Whigs, from 1784 until his death in 1806. This group had developed from successive earlier factions; known as the "Old Corps Whigs" (led by the Duke of Newcastle in the 1750s and early 1760s), the "Rockingham Whigs" (who had supported the Marquess of Rockingham from the mid-1760s until his death in 1782) and the "Portland Whigs", who had followed the Duke of Portland, who had succeeded Rockingham as prime minister.

In 1794 the Duke of Portland joined the ministry of William Pitt the Younger. This led to a division amongst the Portland Whigs. Those who remained in opposition became the Foxite Whigs.

By 1794, Fox had been the leading figure of the faction, in the House of Commons, for some years. He first served as the government Leader of the House of Commons in 1782. The term Foxite is sometimes applied to members of the House of Commons before as well as after the end of the titular factional leadership of Portland.

Charles James Fox and his supporters remained in opposition after 1794, until the formation of the Ministry of all the Talents in 1806. This administration was under the Prime Ministership of the leader of another Whig faction (Lord Grenville). Fox was Leader of the House of Commons and Foreign Secretary, during this ministry.

After the death of Fox, his faction was led by Viscount Howick (who in 1807 became Earl Grey, thus being removed to the House of Lords). There was then a crisis of Whig leadership in the lower House, as no obvious chief emerged.

The Foxite and Grenvillite factions combined their forces in the House of Commons in 1808. Grenville and Grey jointly proposed George Ponsonby as leader in the Commons. In effect, this step created the more organised Whig Party of the nineteenth century and was a major stage in the decline of the factional political system more characteristic of the eighteenth century. In effect, the Foxites ceased thereafter to be a distinct group.

Electoral performances[edit]

Election Leader Seats +/– Position Government
Preceded by Portland Whigs
1784 Charles James Fox
155 / 558
Decrease 105 Steady 2nd Minority
1790 Charles James Fox N/A Steady 2nd Minority
1796 Charles James Fox N/A Steady 2nd Minority
1801 Charles James Fox N/A Steady 2nd Minority
1802 Charles James Fox
269 / 658
N/A Steady 2nd Minority
1806a[›] Charles James Fox
431 / 658
Increase 172 Increase 1st Majority
Succeeded by Grenvillite Whigs
  • ^ a: Presented inside Fox-Grenville's Whig coalition.


  1. ^ Leach (2002), pp. 32-34.
  2. ^ Hay (2005), pp. 1-2.
  3. ^ Mitchell (1993), pp. 338-364.
  4. ^ Beasley (2016).
  5. ^ Claeys (2007).
  6. ^ Prochaska (2000), pp. 16, 31.
  7. ^ Dinwiddy (1992), p. 13.
  8. ^ Fox & Russell (1853), p. 221.