cabal

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Cabal

(kəbăl`), inner group of advisers to Charles II of England. Their initials form the word (which is, however, of older origin)—Clifford of ChudleighClifford of Chudleigh, Thomas Clifford, 1st Baron
, 1630–73, English statesman. Member (1667–73) of the Cabal at Charles II's court, he held a number of offices, rising to acting secretary of state and lord
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, Ashley (Lord ShaftesburyShaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st earl of,
1621–83, English statesman. In the English civil war he supported the crown until 1644 but then joined the parliamentarians.
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), BuckinghamBuckingham, George Villiers, 2d duke of,
1628–87, English courtier; son of the 1st duke. Brought up with the royal family and educated at Cambridge, he was a strong royalist in the English civil war.
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 (George Villiers), ArlingtonArlington, Henry Bennet, 1st earl of,
1618–85, English statesman. He fought for the royalists in the English civil war and, after going into exile, served as an envoy in Spain for the future Charles II.
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 (Henry Bennet), and LauderdaleLauderdale, John Maitland, duke of
, 1616–82, Scottish statesman. He entered public life as a staunch Presbyterian and was one of the commissioners who signed the Solemn League and Covenant (1643; see English civil war).
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 (John Maitland). Although they were never a working ministry, one or more of this group dominated court policy from 1667 through 1673.

Bibliography

See study by M. Lee (1965).

cabal

1. a small group of intriguers, esp one formed for political purposes
2. a secret plot, esp a political one; conspiracy; intrigue
References in classic literature ?
The truth is that, if there was a cabal, it was led by Carlotta herself against poor Christine, who had no suspicion of it.
The managers left the box during the entr'acte to find out more about the cabal of which the stage-manager had spoken; but they soon returned to their seats, shrugging their shoulders and treating the whole affair as silly.
No spider ever took more pains to repair the shattered meshes of his web, than did Waldemar Fitzurse to reunite and combine the scattered members of Prince John's cabal.
But he was at last in pain at my long absence; and after consulting with the treasurer and the rest of that cabal, a person of quality was dispatched with the copy of the articles against me.
at all events, it did not prevent the archdeacon from being considered by the learned heads of the chapter, as a soul who had ventured into the vestibule of hell, who was lost in the caves of the cabal, groping amid the shadows of the occult sciences.
But the Subalterns' and Captains' ladies (the Major is unmarried) cabal against her a good deal.
Had he been a New Englander, it is probable that he would have been ranked as the first of American lyrists by that magnanimous cabal which has so long controlled the destinies of American Letters, in conducting the thing called "The North American Review.