Robbins, Christopher

Earl of Wharton and Whig Party Politics, 1679-1715
1992 0-7734-9462-6
A complete biography of Thomas Wharton, this work goes to considerable lengths examining his unique character, which has invited reams of critical comment. His vices -- drinking, womanizing, cursing, duelling, and political corruption, all fully documented -- were all, by the sheer force of his personality, somehow turned to virtues, and even to political advantage. He was certainly the most controversial, but also the most effective, politician of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Two full chapters and parts of others are dedicated to his preeminent position among England's electioneers. Much of this information is new, gathered with the help of the History of Parliament Trust in London. These chapters represent an important addition to electoral historiography. Finally, Wharton is viewed at close range with other members of England's political great, including William III, Queen Anne, Godolphin, Marlborough, Harley, and the members of the Whig Junto.