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Queen answered that she saw no present necessity for such a proclamation.

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Several other motions for the defence of the Hanoverian succession were carried through Parliament, and were accepted with apparent alacrity by the Government, but Bolingbroke, on at least one occasion, privately assured the French envoy that they would make no difference. Nor did they deceive the people. An uneasy feeling was abroad. Men felt as if on the brink of a great convulsion. The stocks fell, and it was evident that the dread of a Popish sovereign was in the ascendant. Mutinous proceedings were reported among the soldiers at Gibraltar and some other quarters, and Bolingbroke wrote with much alarm about the necessity of changing garrisons, and about the dangerous spirit of faction which had arisen among the troops. The bishops also began to waver in their allegiance to the Government. A motion that the Protestant succession was in danger under the present administration,' moved by Wharton, in the House of Lords, was only defeated by a majority of twelve, and it was a very significant fact that the Archbishop of York and the majority of his brethren voted against the Government. In the House of Commons a similar motion was defeated by 256 to 208, and was supported by a considerable body of Tories under the leadership of Sir Thomas Hanmer, who was Speaker of the House, and whose elevation to that position Oxford had warmly supported, in the vain hope of in this manner diverting him from opposition. In a confidential letter to Lord Strafford, dated March 23, Bolingbroke said: In both Houses there are the best dispositions I ever saw, but I am sorry to tell you that these dispositions are unimproved; the Whigs pursue their plans


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3 Bunbury's Life of Hanmer

Bolingbroke's Letters iv. p. 42.

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with good order and in concert. The Tories stand at gaze, expect the Court should regulate their conduct and lead them on, and the Court seems in a lethargy. Nothing, you see, can come of this, but what would be at once the greatest absurdity and the greatest misfortune. The minority, and that minority unpopular, easily get the better of the majority who have the Queen and the nation on their side.' Oxford still held the position of Prime Minister, and had the foremost place in the party and with the Queen, but his brilliant and impetuous colleague was in both quarters rapidly superseding him, and with him the star of Jacobitism rose in the ascendant. The Jacobite appointments were more decided and more numerous, and the Schism Act, which was at this time carried, was believed by the party to have intimidated the Dissenters, and at the same time secured anew the full support of the Church.

And yet even at this time the policy of Bolingbroke was, probably, less unfaltering than has been supposed. When speaking at a later period of these anxious months, he said: 'Nothing is more certain than this truth, that there was at this time no formed design in the party, whatever views some particular men might have, against his Majesty's succession," and the assertion, if not strictly accurate, appears to me to have at least approximated to the truth. It is certain that though he now led the Jacobite wing, though he continually and unreservedly expressed to Jacobites his sympathy with their cause,3

' Bolingbroke's Letters, iv. 494.

2 Letter to Sir W. Windham. 3 Lockhart Papers, i. 441, 442, 460, 461, 470, 477,478. The extent of Bolingbroke's direct negotiations with the Pretender is chiefly shown by the papers from the French archives in the Mac

kintosh collection. Some of them have been printed in the Edinburgh Review, vol. lxii., and in Bunbury's Life of Hanmer. Lord Stanhope has made use of them with his usual skill. See, too, the remarkable statement of Walpole, Coxe's Walpole, i, 48,

and though his policy manifestly tended towards a Restoration, he was never a genuine Jacobite. He was driven into Jacobitism by the force of the Jacobite contingent in his party, by his antagonism to Oxford, which led him to rely more and more upon that contingent, by the increasing difficulty of receding from engagements into which he had entered in order to obtain parliamentary support, by the necessity he was under as a minister of the Crown of opposing the Whig scheme of bringing over the Electoral Prince contrary to the strongest wishes of the Queen, by the violent opposition of Hanover to the peace, by the close and manifest alliance that had been established between the Hanoverian Court and the Whig party. In his eyes, however, the restoration of the House of Stuart was not an end but a means. The real aim of his policy was to maintain the ascendency of that Church or Tory party which, as he truly boasted, represented, under all normal circumstances, the overwhelming preponderance of English opinion. To reestablish that ascendency which had been shaken by the victories of Marlborough was the chief motive of the Peace of Utrecht; to secure its continuance was the real end of his dynastic intrigues. If he could have obtained from the head of the House of Hanover an assurance that the royal favour, under the new dynasty, would still be bestowed on his party, it is very probable that he would have supported the Act of Settlement. But the Elector was plainly in the hands of the Whigs, and the party interest of the Tory leader attracted him to the Stuarts. At the same time, so far as we can judge his motives, his immediate object seems to have been to place the whole administration of civil and military matters in the hands of men who, while they had a certain leaning towards Jacobitism, were beyond all things Tories, and might be trusted fully to obey a Tory Government. Had this been done, he would have com

manded the position, and been able on the death of the Queen to dictate his terms and to decide the succession. That his decision would have been in favour of the Stuarts, his engagements and his present policy made most probable, but it is also probable that to the very close of his ministerial career he had never formed in his own mind an irrevocable decision. The result would probably have depended on the relative strength of the Jacobite and Hanoverian elements in the Tory party, on the power of the Opposition, on the policy of the rival candidates; and a change in the religion of one of them or in the political attitude of the other, might, even at the last moment, have proved decisive.

This, as far as I can understand it, is the true key to the policy of Bolingbroke. But his own very natural hesitation in taking a step that might cost him his head, the much greater hesitation of Oxford, and the activity of the Whig Opposition, had hitherto trammelled it. The Peace of Utrecht was carried, and it was a great step towards Tory ascendency; but it is remarkable that, although it was supported by the Jacobites, its terms were by no means favourable to their interest. The recognition by France of the Hanoverian succession, and the removal of the Pretender to Lorraine, were not, indeed, matters of much consequence, but the arrangement with Holland was of a very different order of importance. We have seen that, by the barrier treaty of 1709, England guaranteed a very extensive barrier, while the States-General guaranteed the Hanoverian succession, and undertook to furnish by sea or land the succour and assistance' necessary to maintain it. This treaty, having been condemned by Parliament, was abrogated, but a new treaty, with the same general objects, was signed in January 1712-13. It was much less favourable than its predecessor to the Dutch, but it still retained the guarantee of the Hanoverian succession,


and even made it more precise. England engaged to support Holland, if her barrier was assailed, with a fleet of twenty men-of-war, and an army of 10,000 men. Holland engaged to furnish the same number of vessels and an army of 6,000 men, at the request either of the Queen or of the Protestant heir, to defend the Protestant succession whenever it was in danger. This treaty was negotiated by the Tory Government, and its great value to the House of Hanover was at a later period abundantly shown. No measure was more obnoxious to the Jacobites. They were accustomed to ask with some plausibility whether the supporters of the House of Hanover were in reality the friends of English liberty which they pretended. They were about to place the sceptre of England in the hands of a German prince, who was wholly ignorant of the English constitution, and accustomed to despotic rule in his own country. He already disposed of a German army altogether beyond the control of the English Parliament. He would find in England many thousands of refugees driven from a despotic country, who would support his dynasty at any sacrifice as representing the cause of Protestantism in Europe, but who were likely to care very little for the British constitution; and if, by exceeding his powers, he arrayed his subjects against him, he could summon over 6,000 Dutch troops to his support. If the German prince happened to be an able, ambitious, and arbitrary man, he would thus be furnished with means of attacking the liberties of England such as Charles I. had never possessed.1

On the other hand, as the Jacobite wing rose with Bolingbroke to the ascendant, the reorganisation of the army rapidly advanced. At the time when Marlborough

See the powerful statement of these dangers in the address

issued by the Pretender, Aug. 29, 1714.

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