Talk:Buckinghamshire (UK Parliament constituency)

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Party affiliation of the Grenvilles[edit]

This is not a simple question. In the first quarter of the nineteenth century those politicians who had supported Pitt before his death and those who had followed Fox, emerged as a fairly cohesive two party system. There is no doubt that the Grenville interest supported the Tories by the 1820s. However it may be misleading to refer this back to earlier times.

Stooks Smith gives party labels in Buckinghamshire from 1774 (a decade or two earlier than in other constituencies). The Grenville's are all labeled as Tories. This is not perhaps the most reliable source for eighteenth century politics.

Pitt himself would have said he was a Whig, but in lists of Prime Ministers he is normally classified as a Tory. Similarly the Grenville Prime Ministers are normally classified as Whig, but this may not be definitive.

Davis does not use Whig or Tory until the 1820s. He observes that "towards the end of the second decade of the nineteenth century there was an important shift of emphasis in Buckinghamshire politics. The influence of national issues, which heretofore had been only occasional, now became constant and critical."

Davis tends to use the term Grenville party for the earlier period, which really does not help for our purpose.

In talking about the 1784 contested county election Davis emphasises the effect of opinion about the Fox-North coalition, which broke some long standing alliances amongst leading figures in the county. "Lord Verney who had supported the coalition, stood against W.W. Grenville and Aubrey, two supporters of Pitt."

The Earl of Abingdon, who had been a supporter of the late Whig leader the Marquess of Rockingham, could not support his friend Verney. Sir William Lee, a friend and former political supporter of the Grenvilles, broke with them.

It seems to me that from 1784 the Grenvilles, who would probably have called themselves Whigs, were retrospectively regarded as Tories because they were followers of Pitt who has similarly been retrospectively regarded as a Tory.

Looking at an earlier generation I see from The Growth of Parliamentary Parties 1689-1742 by B.W. Hill, that the Grenville brothers were associated with a group led by Lord Cobham (which also included William Pitt the elder), who were in opposition to Walpole. They seem to have been Opposition Whigs rather than Tories.

My overall view is that the Grenvilles should be classified as Whig in the 18th century, but from 1784 their pro-Pitt Whig faction is distinct from Verney's pro-Fox Whig faction. --195.93.21.67 20:38, 18 May 2006 (UTC) My act)ual stamp --Gary J 20:39, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Party affiliation in Bucks pre-1820's[edit]

  • Stooks Smith and the source used for the list of members appear to reach different conclusions in almost every case about the party affiliation of candidates. The problem is that the politics of the county for two generations or so were really organised around the Grenville party and the rest. Each group would normally hold one county seat. Despite the prominence of the Grenville family as national politicians, the alliances in the county cut across national party and factional alignments.
  • It is difficult to define at precisely what point various families moved from Whig to Tory allegiance. This is not only a problem for the Grenville's but also for the Bentinck's (Portland in his first Premiership was leader of the main group of Whigs, but he split them when he joined Pitt's government and by his second premiership he was the Tory figurehead).
  • When I have the basic election results in place I will have to review party labels.

--Gary J 23:12, 22 May 2006 (UTC)