"It is a truism, almost a cliche, that those who ruled early Nova Scotia were overwhelmingly of the Church of England, and that the church was a major defender of the conservative values of those who ruled. The establishment was Anglican. It was often assumed, therefore, that the Anglicans were, particularly in that revolutionary age, ipso facto supporters of that establishment, that they practised what their church preached. Since shortly after the founding of Halifax there had been a symbiosis between church and state in Nova Scotia, one of mutual support and dependence. The intensity of that relationship was greatly increased by the French Revolution. Bishop Charles Inglis and his church, horrified by the calamitous events abroad, looked to the established government and religion as the twin pillars upon which society depended. Being faithful to God, according to Inglis, meant being 'loyal to his earthly Sovereign, obedient to the laws, and faithful to the government which God hath placed over him'. .... Consequently one expects that the Anglican MLAs would be on the right in Nova Scotian politics, would be supporters of the government and its prerogatives, in most instances" (p. ). In Nova Scotia, the period from 1793 to 1808 was one of peculiar political stress. The province was absorbed by Britain's war with revolutionary France abroad, and at home by the conflict of Governor John Wentworth with his hated adversary, William Cottnam Tonge" (p. 76). "It was anticipated that the Anglican MLA would be more conservative. Social and professional ambition encouraged support of a powerful governor and his circle. The excesses of revolutions beyond our shores encouraged support of existing British institutions. And such support should have been most defined in this period of polarization, when the bitter conflict between Wentworth and Tonge forced members to choose between the two on issue after issue. The Anglican members did choose, but they chose frequently to vote with Tonge, the anti-establishment figure, and against those in league with the governor" (p. 84). "Perhaps after all, the Anglicans were being conservative. If the conservative fears change and reacts against challenge to the existing system, in this period that change and challenge came from within the province as well as from revolutions beyond its shores. Within Nova Scotia's legislature, the challenge came from the right, from Wentworth and the council" (p. 84). "It is less that they followed Tonge than that they shared with Tonge fears of the fresh and assertive claims of the appointed, and acted with him to oppose this assertiveness. They wanted no lessening of the assembly's power, and no change that might threaten such. The liberalism of the Anglican members' votes was thus to a degree a conservative's reaction to change, to a particular form of change that threatened the assembly's assumed prerogative. With the Anglican MLA facing these circumstances, the assemblyman prevailed over the churchman" (p. 85).
Article includes a two-page chart of the "Anglican MLAs 1793-1808" showing: Name, Occupation, Riding, Residence, Number of Votes cast, 1793-1808 and % of votes cast with Tonge.