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Definition from the Era

(The information in this section is from the 1771 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Please do not make edits to this section. Content is presented in its original form as to spelling and grammar use. This is what an educated person of Aubrey and Maturin's time would have known)

A party in Britain opposite to the tories, from whom they differ chiefly in their political principles.

The name of whig and tory were not known till about the middle of the reign of Charles II, when these were given a party distinctions. These parties may be considered either with regard to the state, or to religion. The state whigs are either strong republicans or moderate ones. The first says Rapin, are the remains of the party of the long parliament, who attempted to change the monarchy into a commonwealth: but these make so slender a figure, that they only serve to strengthen the party of the other whigs. The tories would persuade the world that all the whigs are of this kind; as the whigs would make us believe that all tories are violent. The moderate whigs are much in the same sentiments with the moderate tories and desire that the government may be maintained on the ancient foundation: all the difference is, that the first bear a little more to the parliament and the people and the latter to that of the king. In short the old whigs were always jealous of the encroachments of the royal prerogative, and watchful over the perversion of the liberties and properties of the people. (M-Z pg 940)

Additional information

In the Canon

Post Captain -- Norton pg 29: General Aubrey flogged a whig candidate at Hinton

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