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now in opposition, and were suspected of holding communications with those who remained. The Whig party were in the ascendant in the House of Commons after the election of 1705, and in the Cabinet after the appointment of Cowper, and they put a constant pressure upon the Queen and upon the ministry. Under these circumstances, the system of a divided cabinet became completely untenable, though both the Queen and Godolphin clung tenaciously to it, and the remnants of Tory influence were gradually extruded. Sunderland, the son-in-law of Marlborough, and one of the most violent of the Whigs, was introduced into the Cabinet as Secretary of State in 1707. In 1708 Harley, who had for some time been acquiring the foremost place in the confidence of the Queen, was driven from office. It was known or suspected that he was busily intriguing against his colleagues, and especially against Godolphin, and he desired to strengthen the Tory and Church element in the ministry. The course of events, however, was evidently running counter to his policy; and a recent incident had involved him in much suspicion and obloquy. A clerk in his office, named Gregg, was found to have despatched copies of important state papers to the French. Gregg underwent a searching examination before the Privy Council, and afterwards before a Committee of the House of Lords; pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey, and was sentenced to be hung, but his execution was respited for nearly three months, in hopes of extorting from him a confession implicating Harley. Nothing, however, except great carelessness was proved against the minister, and Gregg before execution solemnly exculpated him from all participation in the crime. Still the circumstance weakened his position. Marlborough and Godolphin insisted on his dismissal, and the Queen having refused, they tendered their resignations. The Queen, who is said to have regarded that of Godolphin with great equanimity, though she felt that the retirement of Marlborough in the midst of the war would have been a national calamity, procrastinated, and showed much disposition to enter into a hopeless struggle, but the prudence of

Harley averted it. He retired from office, and was accompanied by St. John, the Secretary of War; by the Attorney-General, Sir Simon Harcourt, who was the most eminent of the Tory lawyers; and by Sir Thomas Mansell, Comptroller of the Household. The position of Attorney-General remained for some time vacant, but the others were filled with Whigs; and it was at this time that Walpole attained the dignity of Secretary of War.

One more step remained to be accomplished. A wellplanned Jacobite expedition, intended to raise Scotland, which was then bitterly exasperated by the Union, was despatched from Dunkirk in the March of 1708. 4,000 French troops were on board; and, as Scotland was at this time generally disaffected, and as it was almost denuded of troops, the hopes of the French ministers were very sanguine. The vigilance of the Government, however, discovered the secret; and when the expedition was already in sight of Scotland it was attacked by an overwhelming fleet under Byng, put to flight, and, with the loss of one ship, driven to France. This expedition aroused a strong resentment in England, which was very favourable to the Whigs; and the energy shown by the Government also tended to strengthen its position. The election of 1708 immediately followed, and it resulted in another large Whig majority. The party was now too strong, not only for the Queen, but also for Godolphin himself, who desired to temporise, and, at least, to exclude the great Whig leaders from power. In a few months the revolution, which had long been in progress, was completed. On the death of the Prince Consort in the October of this year, Lord Pembroke who was both President of the Council and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland was removed to the vacant place at the head of the Admiralty, and the Queen was compelled to admit Somers into the Government as President of the Council; to make Wharton Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, where he distinguished himself by his rapacity and his oppression, and soon after on the resignation of Pembroke to place Orford at the head of the Admiralty. The Church party, being now wholly in opposition, and the Nonconformists

wholly on the Ministerial side, a corresponding change was shown in the spirit of legislation. The Occasional Conformity Act now entirely disappeared. The Scotch Union of 1707, which was the most important domestic measure of this period, and which will be more fully considered in another chapter, was carried in a spirit very favourable to the Kirk, and the same spirit was still more strongly shown by a measure carried in 1709 for naturalising all foreign Protestants who settled in England. In the same year the Jacobite cause was seriously injured by an Act extending the English law of treason to Scotland; but the Government at the same time passed an act of grace granting an indemnity for all past treasons, with certain specified exceptions, Marlborough and Godolphin, who had both corresponded with the Pretender, and who must have seen with some apprehension the advent of the most uncompromising Whigs to power, secured themselves, by this measure, against the very possible hostility of their present allies.

In the meantime the Queen was completely alienated from her ministers. Her ideal was a Government in which neither Whigs nor Tories possessed a complete ascendancy; but above all things, she dreaded and hated a supremacy of the Whigs. She had the strongest conviction that they were the enemies of her prerogative, and still more the enemies of the Church; and a long series of particular incidents had contributed to intensify her feelings. She remembered with indignation the treatment she had received from William in the latter part of his life, and with gratitude the support the Tories had given her in the matter of her settlement. A bill granting her husband the enormous income of 100,000l. a year in the event of his surviving her, had been introduced by the Tories in 1702, and had been carried in spite of the protests of some conspicuous Whigs. On the other hand, the Whigs had repeatedly assailed the maladministration of the Prince, and a desire to

See he remarkable letter (Oct. 24, 1702), in the Account of the Conduct of the Duchess of Marlborough, pp.

138-140. This book contains much curious evidence of the sentiments of the Queen.

avert a threatened and most ungenerous attack upon him when he was on his death-bed was the chief motive which at last induced her to admit Somers to the Cabinet. All the great Whig appointments after 1705 were wrung from her almost by force, and caused her the deepest and most heartfelt anguish. The tie of warm personal friendship which had long bound her to the wife of Marlborough was at length cut. The furious, domineering, and insolent temper of the Duchess at last wore out a patience and an affection of no common strength; and Abigail Hill, who as Mrs. Masham played so great a part during the remainder of the reign, rose rapidly into favour. She was lady of the bedchamber, and was cousin to the Duchess of Marlborough, to whom she owed her position at Court; but her influence over the Queen appears to have been due to her sweet and compliant temper; and she soon formed a close alliance with Harley, and aided powerfully in the overthrow of the ministry. As early as 1707 the presence of a new Court influence was felt, and the Queen had marked her feelings to her servants by appointing two High Church bishops without even announcing her intention to the Cabinet.

The effect of these events upon the foreign policy of the Government was very pernicious. The question of the Protestant succession, which might have rallied the country around the Whigs, was now in abeyance. The Church party, which in peaceful times was naturally by far the strongest in England, was in violent hostility to the Government, and it became more and more evident that in the moment of crisis,

'Coxe's Marlborough, ch. lxxv. Parl. Hist. vi. 602-603, 619-662. According to the Hamilton papers the change was accelerated by a discovery which Wharton had made of some earlier negotiations of Godolphin with the Pretender. See a note in Burnet, ii. 516. It is obvious that the balance of power inclined so much to the Whigs that the speedy admission of their leaders to office was inevitable. The disregard shown for the feelings


of the Queen is very striking. Her
husband, to whom she was passionately
attached, died on Oct. 28, 1708.
Jan. 28, following, both Houses
presented an address to her, 'that
she would not suffer her just grief
so far to prevail, but would have such
indulgence to the hearty desires of
her subjects as to entertain thoughts
of a second marriage.'-Parl. Hist. vi.

the influence of the Queen would be on the same side. Under these circumstances the Whig leaders perceived clearly that their main party interest was to prevent the termination of the war. As long as it continued, Marlborough, who was now completely identified with them, could scarcely fail to be at the head of affairs, and the brilliancy of his victories had given the party a transient and abnormal popularity. In 1706 Lewis, being thoroughly depressed, opened a negotiation with the Dutch, and offered peace to the allies on terms which would have abundantly fulfilled every legitimate end of the war. The battle of Ramillies had utterly ruined the French cause in the Spanish Netherlands, and had been followed by the loss of Louvain, Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Menin, and other places. In Spain the victory was for the time no less complete. Philip had been compelled to abandon the siege of Barcelona, and to take refuge in France, and the allies, after a long series of successes, had occupied Madrid, where they proclaimed his rival, king. In Italy, however, Philip was still powerful; his cause had been of late almost uniformly successful, and although, with the victory of Eugene over Marsin before Turin, the tide had begun to turn, yet the kingdom of the Two Sicilies was still in his complete possession. Under these circumstances the French king proposed that Philip should relinquish all claim to the Spanish throne, that he should be compensated out of the Spanish dominions in Italy by a separate kingdom consisting of the Milanese territory, of Naples, and of Sicily, that the strong places of the Spanish Netherlands should be all ceded as a barrier to Holland, and that important commercial privileges should be granted to the maritime powers. Something might, no doubt, be said about the cession of the Milanese, which would endanger the territory of the Duke of Savoy, but this question of detail could easily have been arranged, for Lewis showed himself quite prepared in the subsequent negotiations to restrict the kingdom he desired for his grandson to Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, with a small part of Tuscany, to Naples and Sicily, or, if absolutely necessary, to

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