Definitions for halifax, george saville, marquis of

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  1. Halifax, George Saville, Marquis of

    a noted statesman who played a prominent part in the changing politics of Charles II.'s and James II.'s reigns, and whose apparently vacillating conduct won him the epithet of "Trimmer"; he was an orator of brilliant powers and imbued with patriotic motives, and through his various changes may be seen a real desire to serve the cause of civil and religious liberty, but he was never a reliable party man; on the abdication of James II. he, as President of the Convention Parliament, proffered the crown to William of Orange; he rose through successive titles to be a marquis in 1682; his writings, chief of which is "Character of a Trimmer" (practically a defence of his own life), are marked by a pungent wit and graceful persuasiveness (about 1630-1695).

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