Tory and Whig: The Parliamentary Papers of Edward Harley, 3rd Earl of Oxford, and William Hay, M.P. for Seaford, 1716-1753

The parliamentary papers of Edward Harley and William Hay offer a unique insight into the politics of the 1730s and 1740s. The journals kept by the men during the latter part of Sir Robert Walpole's premiership provide two contrasting perspectives: Harley was a leading figure in the Tory party, and a fierce critic of the Whig ministry; Hay was an independently-minded but committed ministerialist. Hay gives an account of events in the Commons, while Harley, who succeeded to the earldom of Oxford in 1741, has a rare insider's view into proceedings in the House of Lords during the Whig supremacy. Other parliamentary papers include Hay's letters to Newcastle, providing a fascinating account of the bitterly contested elections of 1734 in Sussex and Lewes. STEPHEN TAYLOR is Professor in the History of Early Modern England, University of Durham; Dr CLYVE JONES is assistant librarian at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

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