The concept of a patriot king was largely an opposition device of the early Hanoverian period. It hinted that the first two Georges were more interested in Hanover than in Britain and deplored the exclusive confidence they placed in the Whigs. The concept was most fully worked out in Bolingbroke's treatise The Idea of a Patriot King, written in 1738 for Frederick, prince of Wales, who was then heading the opposition to Walpole. The ‘essential character’ of a patriot king was ‘to espouse no party but to govern like the common father of his people’.
Subjects: British History.