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trust and jealousy." Even as late as in the winter of
1 71 3-14 he might have regained the confidence of the whole
party if he had chosen, and Bolingbroke asserts: "he
would have stifled his private animosity, and would have
acted under him with as much zeal as ever." But Oxford
lost his opportunity, and at the beginning of 1714 had no
following ; Bolingbroke had completely superseded him in
the estimation of the Tory party. The old friendship
between them was completely at an end. Bolingbroke's
mind was made up ; he determined to seize the leadership
of the Tories. Measures were at once adopted to satisfy
the Tory squires. Resolutions were passed in both Houses
sanctioning the Peace ; Steele was expelled the House of
Commons for having written the Crisis. In order to placate
the extremists of the Church of England a most tyrannical
measure, called the Schism Act, was introduced in May,
with the double object of pleasing the Tories and of placing
the compromising Oxford in a dilemma. A violent quarrel
ensued between the Ministers. Swift at length brought
them together in Mrs. Masham's house, and used all his
efforts to reconcile them. He saw, however, that the
quarrel was beyond all chance of reconciliation, and in July
Oxford voted against some articles inserted in a Commercial
Treaty with Spain by Bolingbroke.

During this period of Tory activity, the Whigs had been
far from idle. At the end of April, shortly after their
success in carrying the resolution about the removal of the
Pretender from Lorraine, the leaders held a meeting, at
which it was settled that a member of the House of
Hanover ought if possible to be resident in England at such
a critical period. The rage of the Queen at this suggestion ;
her refusal to see Schutz who, prompted by the Whigs, had


demanded the Electoral Prince's writ, as Duke of Cambridge ;
the issue of the writ ; the letters of the Electress Dowager
and of the Elector to Anne, asking for the removal of the
Pretender from Lorraine, and intimating the desirability of
the presence of the Electoral Prince in England, followed
by Anne's letter of May the 30th, which hastened the end of
the Electress Dowager, and by the mission of Clarendon to
prevent the possibility of the Electoral Prince setting out
for England—are all well-known episodes in the dramatic
history of these six months. Just before the prorogation of
Parliament two important events took place. The Whigs
had brought forward a motion for paying the Hanoverian
troops the arrears said to be due to them for their services
during the campaign, when the English Army under
Ormonde declined to aid the Allies. After a consultation
in Bolingbroke's office, the Tories succeeded in getting this
motion laid aside. The Whigs made a great outcry, and
asserted that the Tory connection with the Pretender was
now proved, the Tories maintaining that the Succession
had nothing to do with the affair, but that, " if gentlemen
were pleased to put that construction upon it, they were at
liberty, for them." Lockhart, however, says distinctly,
that the result of the debate encouraged the Jacobites, and
that, if Bolingbroke had followed up the blow, there was
nothing too difficult to be accomplished. He goes on to
say that there was a general impression that the restoration
of James would shortly take place, and declares that
Bolingbroke assured those Jacobites with whom he was
intimate that a little more patience was necessary till he
had purged the Army, got rid of Oxford, and placed the
Government in sure hands. But on June the 27th, without
any warning, the Queen and Council issued a Proclamation,
offering a reward of ^5,000 for the capture of the Pretender.
The Jacobites were furious, finding, as Lockhart quaintly
puts it, that *' their wine was suddenly mixed with water."


Bolingbroke had some difficulty in soothing his followers.
He pretended that Oxford, with the help of Shrewsbury,
was the author of the proclamation, in order to annoy him :
he told Gaultier that he dared not oppose it, as Oxford's
friends had for the last two months declared that his
(Bolingbroke's) attempt to restore the Pretender was the
real cause of the quarrel between them.

There is no doubt that Oxford wished at this time to
discredit his colleague by fixing on him the stigma of
Jacobitism. Baffled for the moment by Bolingbroke's assent
to the issue of the Proclamation, Oxford then attempted
without success to lessen his influence and damage his
reputation by assisting in getting up a charge of bribery
against Arthur Moore.

It is quite possible, too, that Bolingbroke hoped that the
publication of the Proclamation, which Oxford expected,
w^ould quiet the alarmists, and would reveal to the Jacobites
the extent of the Treasurer's insincerity. On July the 9th
the session came to an end, the Queen in her Speech omitting
all mention of the House of Hanover.

The open attacks of the Whigs and the insidious opposi-
tion of Oxford had all told on Bolingbroke during this trying
session. Rarely has a statesman had to contend with such
difficulties. " If my grooms did not live a happier life," he
wrote to Swift, "than I have done this great while, I am
sure they would quit my service."

Since the opening of the year, in spite of his quarrel with
Oxford, the lethargy of the Court, and the indifference of
many of his party, Bolingbroke had devoted all his energies
to carrying out his policy. He had vigorously attacked his
opponents, he had also made some progress in placing
Tories in all important posts in the State. Tories had been
promoted to colonelcies in the Army ; the Common Council
of London had been placed in Tory hands. Time was all
that Bolingbroke required for the complete triumph of his


policy. During these months there was a general fear per-
vading the country that the succession was in danger. The
Whigs acted throughout with vigour, the Tories with irreso-
lution. A motion, " That the Protestant Succession was in
danger under the present administration," was supported by
the Hanoverian Tories. Bolingbroke had long seen the
necessity of leaning on the Jacobite wing of his party in his
attempt to make his position secure. The Schism Act had
gained for him the full support of the Church ; by his nomi-
nation of Clarendon as envoy to Hanover, to prevent the
Electoral Prince from coming to England, he had indicated
his superiority to Oxford in the royal councils ; and Oxford
had shown in June, by his offer of resignation — which was
refused owing to the difficulty of appointing a successor —
that he recognized the supremacy of Bolingbroke in the
Tory party. It was evident that, before long, Oxford would
no longer be an obstacle in the way of his brilliant colleague's

Mrs, Masham was entirely in Bolingbroke's interest.
Even the Duchess of Somerset, whose daughter had
married Sir William Wyndham, ranged herself on the side
of the opposition to the Treasurer. An inquiry into the
negotiations with regard to the Treaty of Commerce with
Spain was instituted early in July, in spite of the opposition
of Bolingbroke. This proved damaging to the Government,
and the prorogation of Parliament on July the 9th alone saved
Bolingbroke from severe criticism.

On July the 27th, Oxford was dismissed from his office.
Anne's reasons were that he was "■ seldom to be understood,
was untrustworthy, unpunctual, ill-mannered, and disre-
spectful." The same day Bolingbroke entertained at dinner,
at his house in Golden Square, the principal members of
the Opposition — Stanhope, Pulteney, Craggs, and Walpole ;
and Walpole himself admitted that this was done for the
purpose of arranging the terrns of a Coalition, The nego-


tiations broke down on Bolingbroke's refusal to insist on
the removal of the Pretender " to such a distance as would
prevent his interference in the affairs of England." Boling-
broke, who had assured the Whigs of his good wishes to the
Protestant Succession, gave as a reason for his refusal his
inability to procure the Queen's consent to such a measure.

It is a great pity so little is known of the proceedings at
this memorable dinner. Erasmus Lewis wrote to Swift on
July the 29th to tell him that '' Mercurialis entertained Stan-
hope, Craggs, Pulteney, and Walpole. What if the Dragon
(Harley) had done so ?"

It was after this failure to effect a Coalition that Boling-
broke seems to have felt that he could only rely on the
extreme members of his party whom he had gained over —
and this is the view of von Ranke — by simulating strong
Jacobite proclivities. But he had little time to inaugurate
any policy ; he was not appointed to succeed Harley, though
he remained, till the Queen's death, practically Prime
Minister, and during his short tenure of power sent Swift
;^i,OGO from the Exchequer. It is difficult to assign reasons
for passing him over. Shrewsbury, who was regarded with
great favour by Anne, and who was never a Tory, may have
opposed his appointment. Probably the dislike with which
Anne always regarded Bolingbroke, coupled with " that
fatal irresolution inherent in the Stuart race," prevented her
from placing at the head of affairs the ablest man of the
day. It must also be remembered that Anne was as strongly
opposed as Oxford to a partisan Government, and that she
never showed any sympathy with Bolingbroke's scheme for
a united Tory administration. The Treasury was to be
put in Commission, with Sir William Wyndham at the head
of it ; but the difficulty in choosing the other names was so
great, that the Cabinet sat up till 2 a.m. on July the 28th, with-
out being able to choose four Tories capable of undertaking
the office. It was arranged that the Council should meet at


Kensington on the 29th, but the violent altercations raging
round her had shaken Anne's health. " She could not out-
live it/' she said, and the morning of the 29th found her too
ill to do any business, and the meeting of the Council was
postponed. Early on Friday the 30th she was seized, prob-
ably with apoplexy, and was insensible for two hours. The
members of the Cabinet, who were in constant consultation
at the Cockpit, on hearing the alarming news, hurried at
once to Kensington, where the Queen lay manifestly dying.
In the Council-chamber they received the report of the
physicians, which was most unfavourable. It was deter-
mined to abandon the idea of putting the Treasury in Com-
mission, and Bolingbroke proposed that Shrewsbury should
act as Treasurer. The physicians having reported that
the Queen might be spoken to, Bolingbroke, about i o'clock
in the afternoon, told her of the recommendation of
the Council, and Anne placed the Treasurer's staff in
Shrewsbury's hand. Those two advocates of compromise,
Somerset and Argyll, who were still Privy Councillors,
arrived at Kensington the same day, and were reinforced by
many leading Whigs. The Privy Council sat all that day
and the ensuing night. Measures were at once taken to
secure the safety of Portsmouth and the tranquillity of
London, and it became evident that Shrewsbury's influence
was entirely at the disposal of the Whigs, and would be
used to carry out the Whig programme.

At 7 o'clock on the morning of Sunday, August the ist,
Anne died.

Bolingbroke asserted a few days later 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 had determined to fill all the posts
in the new Government with staunch Tories, whether
Jacobite, or not. Bromley, Mar, Atterbury, Harcourt, Or-
monde, Buckinghamshire, and Wyndham were to have been


the leading Ministers. And there is little doubt that, had
he carried out the above scheme, such changes would have
been effected in the country, that George would have been
unable to carry on the Government except by means of a
Tory Ministry.

During the interval which elapsed between Oxford's dis-
missal and Anne's death, Bolingbroke evidently had little
power. It is probable, however, that, had the Queen lived
for a few weeks longer, his well-known abilities would soon
have secured him the adhesion of the whole Tory party. At
the same time, Bolingbroke's statement made later in his
letter to Wyndham, that " at the time of the Queen's death
there was no ' formed plan ' among the Tories for the restora-
tion of the Stuarts," is quite correct. As it turned out,
Anne's delay in dismissing Oxford had ruined Bolingbroke's
chance of success. He himself says, when writing of Anne's
unfortunate mistake in keeping Oxford in power : —

' ' We saw our danger, and many of us saw the true means of avoiding it ;
but, while the magic wand was in the same hands, this knowledge served
only to increase our uneasiness, and, whether we would or no, we were
forced with our eyes open to walk on towards the precipice. "

Then, Anne's dislike to the absolute supremacy of one
party, combined with the dissensions within the Ministry
over the appointment of Commissioners of the Treasury,
kept matters in suspense, when decision was of vital im-

Shrewsbury had been Bolingbroke's last hope. If he had
declared unmistakably for the Tories, all might yet have
been well. That enigmatical statesman was, however,
destined to finally overthrow all Bolingbroke's schemes.
He had never, indeed, been a Tory like Argyll and
Somerset; he was equally opposed to the Whig junto and
the October Club ; he was in favour of mixed governments,
and of a policy of conciliation : consequently he had no
sympathy with Bolingbroke's system of " Thorough." He


had aided in the events of 1688, and his influence largely
contributed to the fall of the Whigs in 1710. Though vain
and fickle, he enjoyed among Englishmen of his day the
character of disinterestedness. He had till lately acted on
behalf of the Government in France and in Ireland. In
1 714 he had returned to London, and sided with Harley
and the moderate Tories, rather than with Bolingbroke and
the extremists. He had opposed several of the latter's
violent measures, but had also at times supported him. He
had, too, it appears, secured the Queen's confidence. Boling-
broke could not satisfy himself as to the real intentions of
Shrewsbury. " How I stand with that man (Oxford) I
know," he said a few days before the crisis, " but as to the
other (Shrewsbury) I cannot tell." But when Anne lay
dying, Bolingbroke, distracted by the divisions within the
ranks of his own party, had no means of judging how far his
own power of controlling events extended, and naturally
turned towards the powerful and influential Shrewsbury,
whom he had reason to believe would now support him.
But the instinct of the King-maker was strong in Shrews-
bury. For a second time he was destined to aid in over-
throwing the hopes of the Stuarts. He had made up his
mind that the Hanoverian cause was the winning one, and
at once decided to make the position of the dynasty secure.
He had his reward. When the list of the Regents was pub-
lished after Anne's death, Shrewsbury's name alone of the
Queen's last Ministry appeared. The vigour of Shrews-
bury, Argyll, and Somerset — the middle party — backed by
the strenuous support of the Whig chiefs, left no doubt that
the Act of Settlement would be carried out, and that George
would ascend the throne, which he believed he owed to the
exertions of the W^higs on his behalf. " The Earl of Oxford
was removed on Tuesday, the Queen died on Sunday,"
wrote Bolingbroke to Swift. " What a world this is, and
how does Fortune banter us !"


Chapter v



Failure of the Schemes of Oxford and EoHngbroke — Accession of George I.
— Attitude of the Council of Regency towards Bolingbroke — His removal
from his Secretaryship — Seizure of the papers of Strafford and Prior —
Hostile attitude of Ministers — Alarm of Bolingbroke — His flight a fatal
mistake — His attainder — He enters the service of the Pretender — He
acts loyally in the Jacobite cause — His amusing description of James'
Council — ^James' character — Arrival of Ormonde in Paris — Death of
Louis XIV. — Failure of Jacobite rising of 17 15 — Causes of the failure —
Bolingbroke's dismissal from James' service — Berwick's testimony to his
ability — Bolingbroke attempts to secure the reversal of his attainder —
His Letter to Wyndham — His second marriage — Life at La Source —
Letters to M. de Pouilly — Voltaire's visit to La Source — His Pardon
passes the Great Seal, 1723 — Bolingbroke visits England — Fails to con-
ciliate Walpole — Aids Townshend and Walpole in their diplomatic
struggle against Carteret — Renewed endeavours to secure reversal of
his attainder — Their success, 1725 — His return to England.

The last days of the reign of Queen Anne proved fatal to
the realization of the schemes of both Oxford and Boling-
broke. The former had almost to the day of his loss of
office pursued his trimming policy, and had intrigued
against his colleagues just as he had formerly intrigued
against Godolphin and Marlborough. But his efforts to
check the advance of our modern system of Government by
party were all in vain. The whole tendency of the time
was against the existence of mixed Ministries. His ideas
on Cabinet Government proved, like Sir William Temple's
scheme for the reorganization of the Privy Council, incap-
able of being carried into effect. The bulk of the Whig
and Tory parties looked for strong united Ministries, and



were in no humour to listen to arguments in favour of
Government with a divided Council, even though those
arguments were urged by such distinguished politicians as
Oxford, Somerset, and Shrewsbury.

Bolingbroke's great scheme, too, faded into thin air.
That scheme holds a unique position in English Parlia-
mentary history. Never before nor since has a responsible
statesman endeavoured to put into execution so suddenly a
plan which would have ensured the continuance of one
party in power for an indefinite period. What Bolingbroke
attempted to do openly in the interest of the Tories, Walpole
in great measure effected by more insidious methods in the
interest of the Whigs. But, while the latter only accom-
plished his object after some twenty years of steady labour,
the former struggled to carry out his well-conceived plan
within the short space of four years. To place the " Tory
system " on a firm foundation, and to render it superior to
all the vicissitudes of Parliamentary life, and proof against
all the attacks from political opponents, had been the aim
of Bolingbroke since 1710. When we consider that the
realization of his scheme meant the continued exclusion of
the Whig statesmen from power, the disfranchisement of
the Nonconformists, as well as their exclusion from all share
in the municipal and educational life of the country, and the
continuance of the Church party and the landed gentry in
the enjoyment, not only of political power, but also of all
the privileges they had possessed before the Revolution of
1688 — we cannot but wonder that this policy, so bold, so
clearly defined, and so deliberately conceived^ has not
attracted more attention. The oft-repeated assertion, that
all Bolingbroke's efforts were directed to the Restoration
of the Stuarts, is as false historically as it is unfair to the
memory of Bolingbroke himself. Towards the attainment
of the great end he had in view, the firm establishment o
Toryism, all his energies had been directed. That in


carrying out a policy of such magnitude, including as it did
the settlement of Europe after a long war, Bolingbroke had
to employ methods which would at the present day be
reprobated, is doubtless true. He himself, in a well-known
and striking passage, has endeavoured to justify the
tortuous ways which he had followed during his Secretary-
ship : —

*'The ocean which environs us is an emblem of our Government ; and
the pilot and the minister are in similar circumstances. It seldom happens
that either of them can steer a direct course, and they both arrive at their
port by means which frequently seem to carry them rom it ; but, as the
work advances, the conduct of him who leads it on with real abilities clears
up, the appearing inconsistencies are reconciled, and, when it is once con-
summated, the whole shows itself so uniform, so plain, and so natural, that
every dabbler in politics will be apt to think he could have done the same."
{Bolingbroke^ s IVorks.^ vol. i. , pp. 23, 24).

In spite of the numerous obstacles and difficulties which
would have daunted most men, Bolingbroke kept the end
of his policy clearly in view. This policy was far from
being one of sheer opportunism, dictated by the desire of
mere power. That it was one of exclusion and proscription
is obvious ; that it aimed at " securing those who had been
principal actors in the Administration against future events,"
and at establishing the Tory party so firmly in power as to
defy all accidents, is also true. But before criticizing too
harshly a policy, which with all its defects speaks volumes
for the statesman who conceived and wellnigh carried it
out, it is only fair to compare it with the shilly-shallying
attitude of Oxford, and to remember that Walpole's policy
was in a great measure the same policy in the interest of
the Whigs — having, moreover, on literature and religion a
blighting and deadening effect, which we think would not
have resulted from the policy of the Tory statesman.

The death of Anne ruined Bolingbroke's career as a Tory
statesman. He was now barely thirty-six years old, and
had already established a reputation which few men have

BOLINGBkOKE, 11^ ; EXILF, . ■, - lOl

'- ^ ^- r ] ,, _■ — ^^t^^ > - . . ^ ' ^

ever enjoyed. His Parliamentary life began in 1701 ; it
ended in 1714. During those thirteen years he had won for
himself a foremost position in the great Tory party, had
proved himself the ablest exponent living of Tory policy,
had grappled successfully with most complicated Treaty
negotiations, and, but for an accident, would undoubtedly
have continued to guide the destinies of England. This
position had been gained partly by reason of those immense
power? of application which so astonished Swift, partly by
his intellectual superiority to the bulk of the Tory party,
partly by his marvellous eloquence. His speeches, none of
which have come down to us, were looked back to in the
days of Burke " as more priceless than the lost fragments
of antiquity."

On Anne's death Atterbury had proposed to proclaim
James HI. at Charing Cross. But the activity of the
Whigs in securing on the side of order all the resources of
the Government, had destroyed all hope of a successful
rising in favour of the Pretender. As Bolingbroke wrote
to Strafford, '* There never was yet so quiet a transition
from one Government to another." Bolingbroke himself
made a bold attempt to preserve his place in the new
Government. It was quite uncertain how far George would
consider his true interest to lie in conciliating the Tories,
who formed a large majority of the nation. Bolingbroke,
therefore, wrote a letter to the Elector, promising to serve
him with honour and fidelity. Till an answer was received,
he had to submit to the authority of the Council of Regency,
which had been nominated by George. This council was
mainly composed of leading Whig nobles, and of High
Churchmen like Nottingham and Anglesea, who had in the
past opposed the policy of Oxford and Bolingbroke. Of
the late Ministers, Shrewsbury alone was found nominated
one of the Regents. "The Council of Regency," wrote
Bolingbroke to Sir William Wyndham, " which began to


sit as soon as the Queen died, acted like a council of the
Holy Office." They treated Bolingbroke with the greatest
disrespect. " I received no mercy from the Whigs, and I
deserved none," was his confession later. At the end of
August George answered his letter by dismissing him from
his Secretaryship, and appointing Townshend in his place.
Though orders were sent to seize and seal up his papers,
his Undersecretary, Thomas Hare, secured the most valu-
able, which were edited by Gilbert Parke in 1798. The

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