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(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.


See study by M. Lee (1965).

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1. a small group of intriguers, esp one formed for political purposes
2. a secret plot, esp a political one; conspiracy; intrigue
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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