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Elector should be peremptorily called upon by the Queen to declare his approbation of the policy of the Queen's ministers, and to disavow all connection with the Whigs.'

It must be owned that this pamphlet showed very little of that extreme subservience to royal authority for which the Tory party had been so often reproached. The policy indicated, if openly avowed, might have led to a civil war, and Bolingbroke probably showed much wisdom in inducing Swift to withhold the publication. Though caring only for the ascendancy of the Tory party, Bolingbroke had by this time gone so far in the direction of Jacobitism that it was difficult to recede, and the policy of the Government tended more and more to a restoration of the Stuarts. Yet Oxford opposed to the last any step which amounted to an irrevocable decision, and at the time when Parliament was prorogued nothing had been arranged. Many military and civil appointments had, indeed, been made in the interest of the Pretender, but nothing had been done to induce the Queen to invite him over, or to determine formally the conditions on which he might mount the throne, or the plan of operations after the death of the Queen. The leaders in France became more and more convinced of the insincerity of Oxford. Berwick and Torcy wrote to him representing that the Queen's death might happen very shortly, and asking for a distinct account of his measures to secure in that case the interests of the legitimate heir, as well as of the steps the Prince himself should take; but they could obtain no other answer than that, if the Queen now died, the affairs both of the Stuarts and of the Government were ruined without resource.2 France was so exhausted after the late struggle that she could not venture, at the risk of another war, to support the Pretender by force of arms; and it was also an unfortunate circumstance for his cause that about this time Berwick, who was one of its chief supports, received a command in Catalonia.

The object of the Jacobites under these circumstances was

1 Free Thoughts upon the Present State of Affairs (1714).

2 Mém. de Berwick, ii. 131.

to displace Oxford, and they had no great difficulty in accomplishing it. The influence which his good private character and his moderate and compromising temperament once gave him in the country had been rapidly waning. His party were disgusted with his habitual indecision. The Queen had to complain of many instances of gross and scandalous disrespect1; but the influence which at last turned the scale was that of Lady Masham. She was now wholly in the interests of the Jacobites. She had quarrelled violently with Oxford about a pension, and, at the request of the Jacobite leaders, she used her great influence with the Queen to procure his dismissal. Seldom has it been given to a woman wholly undistinguished by birth, character, beauty, or intellect to affect so powerfully the march of affairs. Her influence, though by no means the sole, was undoubtedly a leading, cause of the change of ministry in 1710, which saved France from almost complete ruin, and determined the Peace of Utrecht. Her influence in 1714 all but altered the order of succession in England, and with it the whole course of English politics. On July 27, after a long and violent altercation in the Cabinet, Oxford was dismissed, the Queen resumed the white staff of Treasurer, and Bolingbroke became Prime Minister.

The cause of the Protestant succession had now touched its nadir. Bolingbroke, it is true, on this memorable occasion invited the Whig leaders to a conference at his house, but they would give him no support unless he attested his sincerity by insisting on the expulsion of the Pretender from Lorraine; and on that very day he assured Gaultier that his sentiments towards the Stuart prince were unchanged,3 and he proceeded to sketch the outlines of a ministry almost exclusively Jacobite. There is every reason to believe that such a ministry, supported by the Queen, presided over by a statesman.

1 Erasmus Lewis to Swift, July 27, 1714. Swift's Correspondence.

2 Coxe's Walpole, i. 49. This fact is, I think, very significant of the true motives of Bolingbroke. See too

Macpherson, ii. 532, 533.

3 Stanhope's Hist. of England, i. 88. See, too, the account of Bolingbroke's conversations with his Scotch supporters in the Lockhart Papers.

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eminently skilful, daring, and unscrupulous, and disposing of all the civil and military administration of the country, could, in the existing condition of England, have effected the restoration of the Stuarts. Pledges would have been exacted for the security of the Church, but such pledges would readily have been granted. Time was now of vital importance, and as Parliament had been recently prorogued, the ministers were likely, during several months, to be practically unfettered. Bolingbroke, a few days later, assured Iberville that his measures had been so well taken that in six weeks matters would have been placed in such a condition that he would have had nothing to fear. He proposed to retain in the new Government his old position of Secretary of State with the control of all foreign affairs. Bromley and Lord Mar were to be the other two secretaries. Atterbury, whose fierce and brilliant genius was much more fitted for the arena of politics than for the episcopacy, and who was the idol of the lower clergy, was to have the Privy Seal. Harcourt was to continue Chancellor. The Dukes of Ormond and Buckingham, who were conspicuous among the adherents of the Pretender, were to be respectively Commander-in-Chief and Lord President. The Treasury, which had lately carried with it the chief power in the Government, was to be placed in commission. Windham, the brother-inlaw and devoted friend of Bolingbroke, was to be placed at its head, but the names of the other commissioners were undecided after a long and angry discussion, which lasted far into the night. All these statesmen were Jacobites. One, however, remained, whose position was still ambiguous. The Duke of Shrewsbury occupied a position which made it difficult for him to be subordinate to any other minister, though at the same time a great disinclination for the rough work of public life,

After the death of the Queen, Iberville wrote to the French King: 'My Lord Bolingbroke est pénétré de douleur de la perte de la Reyne, au point de sa fortune particulière et de la consommation de toutes les affaires qui ont esté faites depuis quatre ans.

Il m'a assuré que les mesures étoient si bien prises qu'en six semaines de temps on auroit mis les choses en tel estat qu'il n'y auroit eu rien à craindre de ce qui vient d'arriver.'-13 Août, 1714 (N.S.), MSS. Paris Foreign Office.

and some weakness of character, incapacitated him for the foremost place in active politics. On the death of the Duke of Hamilton he had been sent to Paris as ambassador to negotiate the peace. He was afterwards appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and he held that position at the time of the dismissal of Oxford. He had there professed his attachment to the Protestant succession, but not more than Oxford and Bolingbroke in England, and he appears to have persuaded the latter that he was devoted to his fortunes. The Jacobite cause, under the influence of the Irish Chancellor, seemed ascendant in Ireland, with the important exception of the House of Commons, which continued violently Whig; and Shrewsbury, having vainly attempted to secure a Tory majority by an election, consented, at the desire of the ministers, to prorogue the Parliament abruptly, thus apparently destroying the best security of the Protestant succession in Ireland. He at the same time carefully concealed his own sentiments, came over to England to watch the course of events, and received constant private intelligence of the condition of the Queen's health from her physician, Dr. Shadwell.

Such was the condition of affairs when an event occurred in which the partisans of the Protestant succession long loved to trace the special intervention of a gracious Providence. On the very day following the dismissal of Oxford-when everything was still unsettled-when the destinies of the kingdom trembled in the balance-the Queen was struck down by a mortal illness. The excitement of the protracted struggle had been too much for her failing strength. The council sat in her presence till two in the morning of the 28th, and had been disturbed by the most furious altercations. She retired at last, weary, anxious, and agitated, saying to those about her that she would never outlive the scene, and she sank almost immediately into a lethargic illness. Next day the imposthume in her leg suddenly ceased. The gout flew to her brain, and she was manifestly dying.

The crisis had now come, and those who had been so lately

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flushed with the prospect of assured power were wholly unprepared. They assembled in Privy Council at Kensington, where a strange scene is said to have occurred. Argyle and Somerset, though they had contributed largely by their defection to the downfall of the Whig ministry of Godolphin, were now again in opposition to the Tories, and had recently been dismissed from their posts. Availing themselves of their rank of Privy Councillors, they appeared unsummoned in the council room, pleading the greatness of the emergency. Shrewsbury, who had probably concocted the scene, rose and warmly thanked them for their offer of assistance; and these three men appear to have guided the course of events. At their request the physicians were examined, and they deposed that the Queen was in imminent danger. The Council resolved that the great office of Treasurer should be at once filled, and that it should be filled by Shrewsbury. There was no opposition. Bolingbroke is said

This is the account given by Boyer, Tindal, and Oldmixon, and reproduced by most later historians. Mr. Wyon, however, has justly observed, in his valuable History of Queen Anne (vol. ii., pp. 524-526), that it is not quite consistent with the letters written by Ford to Swift (July 31 and Aug. 5). Ford, who was a Government official, and wrote from the spot, says: The Whigs were not in the Council when he (Shrewsbury) was recommended. Lord Bolingbroke proposed it there as well as to the Queen.' Boyer says that after Argyle and Somerset had appeared in the Council one of the Council' represented how necessary it was that the office of Treasurer should be filled, and that the board then unanimously approved of Shrewsbury.-Boyer's Queen Anne, p. 714. As Argyle and Somerset were Whigs, though very inconsistent ones, Mr. Wyon thinks the appointment was made before their arrival. It appears, however, that after the episode relating to Shrewsbury the Council agreed, on the motion of Argyle and Somerset, to summon all Privy Coun

cillors in or near London without distinction of party, and that it was then only that Somers and other Whig statesmen appeared on the scene (Boyer, 714-715). This is, probably, all that was meant by Ford when he describes the appointment of Shrewsbury as having taken place before the arrival of the Whigs. Lord Stanhope, however, is mistaken in saying that the appointment was suggested by the two intruding dukes. Iberville, who had good means of information, corroborates the assertion that Argyle and Somerset appeared unsummoned at the Council. With reference to the appointment of Shrewsbury he only says, 'Aussitôt que la Reine avoit repris connoissance le conseil avoit proposé de faire M. le Duc de Shrewsbury Grand Trésorier, ce qu'elle fit de bon cœur. Il ne faut pour cela que donner la baguette, au lieu qu'il falloit une commission en chancellerie pour une nomination de commissionaires dont on n'étoit pas encore convenu, et qu'il auroit fallu bien du temps pour cela.'-Iberville to Torcy, 11 Août, 1714 (N.S.). Two days later he writes: 'On dit

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