Honest Tom Wharton

John Carswell analyses some of the foremost political actors in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Thanks, perhaps, to the combined depreciation of Tory and of Marxist historians, the English Revolution of 1688 and the events that followed it have received surprisingly little systematic attention. No scholar has yet subjected 1688 to the day-byday, man-by-man, scrutiny that has been applied to 1789 in France or 1917 in Russia ; and yet it is difficult wholly to disregard the opinion of contemporaries and of Englishmen for some generations afterwards, that this was a significant event. Similarly the men who made it and were made by it—Somers, Montagu, Wharton—were by any standards remarkable and significant men, to whom biographical justice has never yet been done. Of these « Honest " Tom Wharton, the victim of Swift's famous libel, a puritan-bred aristocrat who became a master politician, is not the least interesting, whether for career or character.

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