(4 syl.). A medium Tory- one who wishes to preserve the union of Church and State, and not radically to alter the constitution. The word was first used in this sense in 1830, in the January number of the Quarterly Review—“We have always been conscientiously attached to what is called the Tory, and which might with more propriety be called the Conservative party” (p. 276).
Canning, ten years previously, had used the word in a speech delivered at Liverpool in March, 1820. In
Lord Salisbury's Ministry those Whigs and Radicals who joined the Conservatives were called “Liberal Unionists” because they objected to give Ireland a separate parliament (1885).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894