Tories

The terms Tory, Loyalist, Royalist, or King’s men were used by Patriots to label those who remained loyal to the mother country Britain. The word Tory comes from several Middle Irish words meaning robbers, outlaws or pursued men. Prior to the American Revolution, the term Tory evolved into describing those who upheld the right of the King over Parliament, and during the Revolution took on the form to describe anyone who remained loyal to Britain. The most famous Boston Tories and targets of the Sons of Liberty were public official Andrew Oliver and Lieutenant Governor and Chief Justice of Massachusetts Thomas Hutchinson. During the American Revolution, it is documented that over twenty thousand Tories took up arms and fought with the British Army against the Patriots. They were branded traitors for remaining loyal to their king and fighting for what they believed in. When American independence was achieved at the close of the American Revolution, many Tories either fled or were kicked out of the newly formed United States and relocated primarily to Britain, Canada, the Bahamas, and Africa where they founded Sierra Leone. During the American Revolution it is estimated one-third of the population of the Thirteen Colonies were Tories, one-third were Patriots, and one-third remained neutral.