After the Lord High Treasurer Robert Harley refused to set up an inquiry into the former administration's financial policies, on 5 February 1711 some Tories passed resolutions calling for inquires into suspected financial abuses. Initially 70 to 80 strong, the October Club attracted not just young and inexperienced backbenchers but older Tories such as Ralph Freeman, Sir John Pakington, Sir Justinian Isham, Peter Shakerley and Sir Thomas Hanmer. The group were, according to H. T. Dickinson, "a major threat to the Harley administration". Linda Colley claims that the bulk of the membership were of Royalist ancestry.
- Pat Rogers, ‘October Club (act. 1711–1714)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, May 2010, accessed 2 August 2010.
- H. T. Dickinson, Bolingbroke (London: Constable, 1970), p. 80.
- Linda Colley, In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party, 1714-60 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 87.
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