A member of the conservative party, as opposed to the progressive party which was formerly called the Whig, and is now called the Liberal, party; an earnest supporter of existing royal and ecclesiastical authority.
From Toraidhe, Irish for bandit, cattle thief or outlaw, this term was initially applied pejoratively to the English supporters of the future James II during the Exclusion Crisis of 1679. 'Tories' later became the nickname of a political party (later known as the Conservatives) of those who, by common agreement, were particularly loyal to 'Church and king'. A subsection â€“ the High Tories â€“ were especially fierce in their devotion to the Church of England, opposing the union with Scotland because of it. Find out more