king's friends

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king's friends. The term gained credence with Burke's Thoughts on the Present Discontents (1770), which explained the lack of success of the Rockingham party by the machinations of royalists, manipulating policy through a ‘double cabinet’. No such organized, sinister, and servile corps existed. But George III's desire for a non-party administration appealed to many, the advent of a young monarch with long expectations could hardly fail to strengthen royal influence, and the abandonment by the Tories of fruitless opposition meant a corresponding stiffening of governmental resolve. The growth of militant and radical movements at home and abroad, with Wilkes and America, helped to promote a countermove towards authority.

J. A. Cannon