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YALE
HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS

MISCELLANY
VII

THE FIFTH VOLUME PUBLISHED ON THE

FOUNDATION ESTABLISHED BY THE

KINGSLEY TRUST ASSOCIATION



ENGLISH POLITICAL PARTIES
AND LEADERS

IN THE REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE
1702-1710



BY
WILLIAM THOMAS MORGAN, A.M., PH.D.

Assistant Professor of European History
Indiana University



THIS ESSAY WAS AWARDED THE HERBERT BAXTER ADAMS PRIZE
BY THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION, 1919




NEW HAVEN: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS

LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

MDCCCCXX





COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY
YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS



TO THE MEMORY OF
JOHN SINER MORGAN



PEEFACE

THE Age of Anne is one of the most interesting in Eng-
lish history. It was a reign when political parties were
in such a state of flux that politicians changed sides with
little hesitation; when periodicals began to play a tran-
scendent part in politics; when pamphleteering became
the customary method of changing public opinion ; when
literary men were usually politicians first of all; when
ecclesiastical policies were determined by political exi-
gencies, and church offices considered as a part of the
civil service; when monied men began to take a greater
interest in elections and play a larger part in determining
national policies ; when the cabinet was rapidly evolving
into its present form; when the Protestant succession
hung in the balance ; when Scotland joined her southern
sister in a firm alliance ; when hatred of France became
almost a religion ; and when the United Kingdom gained
the political and commercial hegemony of Europe that
was lost by France at the treaty of Utrecht.

Yet in spite of the interest and importance of this
period it has been almost entirely neglected by serious
historians for more than a generation. Nearly a half
century ago Mahon and Wyon wrote their histories of the
reign of Anne, and since that time no attempt has been
made to deal with the history of the reign in the light of
new materials that have recently become accessible.
Even such industrious German scholars as Klopp, Salo-
mon, and Von Noorden have done little to illuminate the
domestic side of the first half of the reign, while the more
recent of their works is nearly thirty years from the



8 PREFACE

press. Lecky's excellent history deals most cavalierly
with the first decade of the century, and is now more than
forty years old. Burton 's three volumes are sketchy and
of little value save for Scottish affairs. The books of
Paul, McCarthy, and Mrs. Howitt are pre-eminently popu-
lar rather than critical. Trevelyan's account of the reign
is surprisingly brief, while the nature of Leadam's
scholarly volume precludes any extensive treatment of
new materials.

In a reign where the personal element is so important,
it is indeed noteworthy that we have so few biographies
of the statesmen of the time, and those few far from
satisfactory. Even Queen Anne has found no real biog-
rapher. With all its limitations, and with its confessedly
Jacobite tinge, Miss Strickland's work is probably the
best we have, although it was published more than seventy
years ago. Such books as P. F. W. Ryan's Queen Anne
and her Court are distinctly uncritical. The Duchess of
Marlborough has found many apologists and critics, but
no biography at once critical and interpretative has been
written, despite the efforts of Mrs. Thomson, Mrs. Col-
ville, Molloy, and Reid. The best life of Marlborough is
by Coxe, and is now a century old. Roscoe in his life of
Harley lacks a proper appreciation of the man, although
he has made some use of the valuable Harley Papers.
Yet his is the only attempt to tell the life story of one of
the most astute politicians of that day. Scholars have
been more assiduous in their attention to Bolingbroke,
although scarcely more successful. Macknight's book
(1863) remains the best, as Sichel in his more recent vol-
umes has failed to make the most of his opportunities.
Grodolphin's life by Eliott (1888) is far from satisfying,
as the author confessed that much source material was
inaccessible to him. Shrewsbury and Somerset, the politi-
cal enigmas of the epoch, remain still unexplained. Not



PREFACE 9

a single member of the Whig junto has found a worthy
biographer and, until such time as the political activities
of these five men are investigated, no adequate political
history of the period can be written.

For the most part, the older histories of this period
have been written largely from the pages of Boyer,
Burnet, and the Parliamentary History, with occasional
references to available manuscript material. In this
monograph additional manuscripts and source materials
have been studied in the archives in England and Hol-
land, besides numerous pamphlets and periodicals, and
the invaluable reports of the Historical Manuscripts
Commission.

In a sense this is an attempt to rewrite the history of
the first eight years of Anne's reign in the light of the
new evidence that has become available in the last thirty
years. In places the author has dared to differ from the
usual estimates of some of the leading characters of the
period. This has necessitated a frequent citation of
authorities, for which he craves the reader's indulgence.
The controversial nature of a part of his work has also
caused him to quote more freely from contemporary
sources than would otherwise have been the case.

My acknowledgements should be many. The library
authorities at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Universities
have always been more than kind in putting their treas-
ures at my disposal. My thanks are also due to the offi-
cials of the British Museum, the Bodleian, and the Eijks
Archief for their kindness and consideration. In common
with most American students who carry on research in
England, I owe far more to the courtesy of Mr. Hubert
Hall of the Public Record Office than I can ever repay.

I am greatly indebted to Professor W. P. Trent of
Columbia University. He has read the most of my manu-
script, and has placed his intimate knowledge of the



10 PREFACE

literature of the period unreservedly at my command.
I am also indebted to Professor Charles M. Andrews of
Yale for material assistance in revising the manuscript
and seeing it through the press. Even more thanks are
due to Professor W. C. Abbott also of Yale, who first
suggested to me this field of study, for he has at all times
kindly encouraged and directed my work. My greatest
debt of gratitude is, however, to my wife, who has helped
me at all stages in the preparation of this work.

WILLIAM THOMAS MORGAN.
Columbia University,
March 27, 1919.



PREFACE
INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I.

CHAPTER II.

CHAPTER III.

CHAPTER IV.

CHAPTER V.



CHAPTER VI.
CHAPTER VII.
CHAPTER VIII.
CHAPTER IX.



CONTENTS



POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONDI-
TIONS IN ENGLAND IN 1702

THE QUEEN AND PARLIAMENT
(1702-1704)

THE ELECTION OF 1705

THE DISRUPTION OF THE MINIS-
TRY (1705-1708) .

THE POLITICAL INFLUENCE OF
THE MARLBOROUGHS AND GO-
DOLPHIN (1702-1708) .

THE FORMATION OF THE ' ' TRIUM-
VIRATE" (1700-1704) .

THE BREAK-UP OF THE " TRIUM-
VIRATE" (1704-1708) .

THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE
QUEEN AND THE JUNTO (1709)

THE TRIUMPH OF THE QUEEN
(1709-1710)



CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
INDEX



PAGE

7

13

19

59
106

149



184
243
279
316

355
395
407
417



INTRODUCTION

To trace the origin of a political institution is never
easy, but the difficulties are peculiarly baffling when one
deals with the antecedents of a political party, because
of the many factors that enter into its development. The
antiquarian might see in the Republican party of the
United States nothing more than the lineal descendant of
the old Federalists ; another scholar might argue that it
originated in the feelings aroused by the Fugitive Slave
Law; and the man in the street would probably date its
origin from Lincoln's election. Today the evolution of
the National Unionist party in Great Britain and the
People's party in the United States is, for the average
voter, probably clothed in equal darkness.

The question of the origin of the Whig and Tory
parties in England is similar, but on account of the lapse
of time, much more difficult. Daniel Defoe considered the
Royalists of the Civil Wars as the embryo of the Tories j 1
another writer on English parties says that the latter
part of Charles II 's reign was "an epoch whence we may
date not only the rise of the Whig and Tory parties, but
also the principles which they severally possess." 2 To
this statement Professor W. C. Abbott gives partial as-
sent, finding their origin in the later years of Clarendon's
ministry when zealous High Churchman and devout Pres-
byterian fought each other in the Cavalier Parliament. 3

1 Present State of Parties, p. 4 ; Faults on Both Sides, p. 6. See also
C. B. E. Kent, Early History of the Tories, p. 11. For a list of abbrevia-
tions used in the footnotes see pp. 404-406.

2 George Wingrove Cooke, History of Party, I. 1.

s ' ' History of the Long Parliament of Charles II, " E. H. E., XXI. 44.



14 ENGLISH POLITICAL PARTIES

Bolingbroke maintained that the Tories date from the
dissolution of this same parliament, but Ranke believed
that neither party came into full being until the reign of
William III. 1

The decision hinges on the connotation of the term,
"political party." If it is no more than "organized
opinion," as Disraeli so aptly put it, Whigs and Tories
may well be considered in existence in fact, though not
in name, before the period of the Commonwealth; if to
"organized opinion" be added a more or less established
body of principles, the date must be placed considerably
later than the Restoration ; if we take it to mean the exist-
ence of a reasonably permanent policy and a stable fol-
lowing, then the beginning of Queen Anne 's reign is none
too late. Even at that time parties were in a very fluid
condition compared with those of the later eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries, although the cabinet was slowly
assuming a definite form.

Political parties arise as a convenient method of influ-
encing the exercise of the powers of government, but as
long as such power rests in the hands of the sovereign,
they have little significance. Until the accession of the
Stuarts, the crown was the important factor in English
government, but under these monarchs the middle classes
were aroused at the same time into self -consciousness and
revolt. During the Civil Wars, the Parliamentary and
Royalist parties became clearly aligned. The latter tem-
porarily disappeared, and the former split into several
factions, when Cromwell assumed charge of affairs.
During the Interregnum a new Royalist party came into
existence. For several years this party met with little
opposition, but in 1667 it finally crystallized into a de-

i L. Von Kanke, Hist, of England, V. 291; Bolingbroke, Dissertation on
Parties, Lecture III. Hallam dates the use of the terms Whig and Tory
from the defeat of the Exclusion Bill. Const. Hist., III. 197.



INTRODUCTION 15

mand for the removal of Clarendon, who was essentially
the king's prime minister. 1

It is yet scarcely accurate to call either of these fac-
tions a true political party, 2 although even as early as the
dismissal of Clarendon, they were developing the doc-
trines of ministerial responsibility and parliamentary
supremacy in the sense in which we use them today, and
as the years of the Cavalier Parliament increased, the
personal opposition to the monarch, as well as to his
policies, developed as each successive by-election sent
more independent representatives to the lower house.
In consequence, the king found it increasingly difficult to
have his way, and it became much more of a task to cajole
parliament into voting the necessary supplies. In re-
sponse to its wishes, Charles was compelled to sacrifice
Danby as he had Clarendon, and at last he was forced to
dissolve it, after its members had served eighteen years.
Fortunately for the king, the Popish plot came just when
matters looked darkest for the monarchy, because reli-
gious fanaticism now blinded many to its worst features,
and the strength of the opposition grew weaker during
the remainder of the reign.

Charles II was succeeded by James II, against whom
all factions united for a season into one, fired with the
common purpose of expelling him for his bold attempt
to turn the government over to his Catholic supporters.
As soon as James was in exile, these elements again sepa-
rated, as the conditions which necessitated their joint
efforts no longer existed. By the time William arrived
in London, he found numerous opponents, and before
long, despite his tact which Macaulay doubtless exag-

iW. C. Abbott, supra cit., E. H. E., XXI. 44; Cooke, I. 4-6. See also
L. F. Brown, "Keligious Factors in the Convention Parliament," E. H. E.,
XXII. 51.

2 On this point the Character of a Tory by John Sheffield, later Duke of
Buckingham, is both interesting and instructive.



16 ENGLISH POLITICAL PARTIES

gerates the new monarch had almost as many enemies
as friends. Many who had been anxious that James
should be dethroned, were yet unwilling to bestow the
crown upon one whose claim was based upon parlia-
mentary caprice rather than upon heredity.

The number of malcontents grew rapidly after Mary's
death, which undermined William 's popularity and threw
him almost entirely into the hands of those who wished to
exalt the power of parliament over the crown. William
had no intention of unduly favoring either faction, but
he found to his cost that a ministry which took its mem-
bership from both sides was impracticable, as it led to
interminable quarrels, disturbing the easy administra-
tion of public affairs. In fact, William wanted ministers
and not a ministry. 1 By 1696 the inveterate hostility of
his opponents forced him to ally himself with the advo-
cates of parliamentary supremacy. These were to be
found among the Dissenters and urban trading classes,
who were looking forward to England's commercial ex-
pansion. 2 On the other hand, revenues for the war were
most grudgingly given by the landed gentry, who saw
little gain in humbling the restless ambitions of Louis
XIV as long as they were insured a profitable market for
their surplus produce. 3 The non-conformists and monied
men who supported the king began to form a fairly stable
group, favoring a continuance of the war, and, after 1701,
the Protestant succession, while exalting the power of
parliament as contrasted with the prerogative. They
made entirely too much of this last point when they asked
William to dismiss his favorite Dutch guards, so he

1 W. M. Torrens, History of Cabinets, pp. 4-7; Kent, pp. 373-6.

2 Present State of Parties, p. 11. Until recently few historians have seen
the political significance of their support of the wars waged by William III
and Anne.

s Mary G. Young, ' ' The Management of the Whig Party under Sir Eobert
Walpole. " (Yale doctoral dissertation, unprinted.)



INTRODUCTION 17

turned for a brief space to their rivals, who emphasized
the power of the king. William was disliked by the High
Churchmen, 1 and was unpopular with the faction which he
favored because he remained his own prime minister and
had little or no regard for their wishes in his conduct of
foreign affairs.

Anne's reign is characterized both in its domestic and
diplomatic aspects by the constant struggle of these two
factions for supremacy. Upon her death, the Whigs,
through better organization, gained an ascendancy which
was not lost until George III came to the throne deter-
mined to increase his prerogative. Even he, astute poli-
tician as he was, spent nearly a decade undermining the
Whig factions, which had been unable to endure con-
tinued prosperity. Such in brief is the story of the two
parties in England before 1770.

The purpose of this monograph is to ascertain the part
played by Queen Anne in English politics during the
period when Godolphin acted as her first minister, and to
note the relative influence of the Marlboroughs, Harley,
and Godolphin, and the reasons for their downfall. The
relations of Harley with the queen and with Defoe will be
studied; considerable attention will be paid to the
methods employed in parliamentary elections and, in a
more general way, the attitude of the junto and the Tory
leaders towards the composite ministries that existed
under Godolphin will be examined, in an endeavor to dis-
cover wherein lay the power of the Marlboroughs on the
one hand and of the Whig junto on the other. Through
it all we shall seek to find to what extent political leaders
controlled parliament, and in what degree they were con-
trolled by it, at a time when sovereignty was gradually,
though unconsciously, being transferred from the throne

lEijks Archief, 26^; Stepney Papers, Add. MSS., 7076, f. 154; Coke,
III. 132.



18 ENGLISH POLITICAL PAETIES

to the House of Commons, and the cabinet was slowly
evolving into its present form.

The approach is neither from the direction of party
development nor that of party politics, but rather from
that of the reaction of the individual upon the party, as
opposed to the reaction of the party upon the individual.
This point of view must be somewhat biographical, and
even anecdotal at times, but seems the more necessary
because of the fluidity of parties and the loose party alle-
giance of a large number of the leading statesmen of the
day. It was this state of flux which alone permitted the
continuance of the non-partisan ministries of Grodolphin
and the control of government policies by a small group
of some half dozen persons.



CHAPTER I

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN
ENGLAND IN 1702

BEFOKE proceeding to a study of the reign of the last of
the Stuarts, it is necessary to visualize the situation in
England at the accession of Queen Anne in order to
understand the problems she had to face.

Foreign affairs were in a critical condition. The great-
est monarch in Europe was Louis XIV, the deadly enemy
of William III. They had fought two wars against each
other, both of which had proved indecisive, although
Louis was forced to recognize William as king of Eng-
land. In 1700 the French king's acceptance of the will of
Charles II of Spain, granting the Spanish throne to his
grandson, made another war against the; Bourbons in-
evitable, but England's participation was not assured
until Louis broke the treaty of Kyswick by saluting the
Pretender as James III. 1 After that insult the English
masses were willing to support William in his attempts
to humble the French monarch, and he was able to form
the Grand Alliance, which isolated Louis, who, except for
the Bavarians and the incidental aid received from the
Spanish patriots, stood alone against all central and
western Europe, particularly the Hapsburgs, Holland,
and England. Nevertheless, the French king seemed not
unequal to his task, and it was only the genius of the two
generals of the Alliance which upset his calculations.
English statesmen realized the seriousness of the situa-

i [David Jones], The Life of James II, late King of England, p. 419
(1705) ; HardwicJce State Papers, II. 396.



20 ENGLISH POLITICAL PARTIES

tion, and did not expect a rapid conclusion of the war.
Fortunately for England, William had discovered the
latent ability of Marlborough, and made him commander-
in-chief in the Netherlands. A short time before his
death the king informed Princess Anne that this general
was the fittest person to lead her armies and direct her
counsels, and for once she was careful to follow William's
advice. 1

However serious the military situation might seem, it
was further complicated by the unsatisfactory aspect of
social and economic affairs. The population of England
was practically stationary at five millions, 2 and the pre-
vious war had plunged the kingdom deeply into debt, in
spite of the fact that William had utilized sources of
revenue heretofore untouched. England was not wealthy,
because her resources remained largely undeveloped. In
agriculture, the fundamental changes which were shortly
to revolutionize English rural life had scarcely begun.
Jethro Tull had only commenced his experiments with
seed drills and deep plowing, which were to mean so much
to English farming in the future ; Townshend had not yet
forsaken public life to earn the nickname which betokens
a fame greater than any he was to win even as first min-
ister; while Bakewell and Coke of Holkham were not to
become famous for a generation. 3 Methods of cultivation
had changed little for a century; the wasteful open field
system persisted in spite of the growth of enclosures;
great stretches of fertile lands remained uncultivated,
whereas the valiant yeomanry, who had been the pride of

1 Thomas Lediard, Marlborough, I. 136; W. Coxe, Marlborough, I. 76.

2 J. Macpherson, Annals of Commerce, II. 68, 634, 674; Sir F. M. Eden,
State of the Poor, I. 228. The best account of the social life of the reign
is by John Ashton. W. C. Sydney's England and the English in the Eight-
eenth Century and A. Andrews 's The Eighteenth Century are also useful.

3 F. W. Tickner, Social and Industrial History of England, pp. 502-3 ;
House of Lords MSS. (H. M. C.), (n. s.), V. 70.



CONDITIONS IN ENGLAND IN 1702 21

England since Crecy and Agincourt, gradually decayed 1
as monied men continued to purchase land for the social
esteem which it gave.

As was to be expected, the changes in industry were
more marked. The craft gild was already declining and
the adventurous entrepreneur was having recourse to the
so-called ' ' domestic system, ' ' to speed up production for
a wider market. Even here, however, the evolution was
comparatively slow and the factory system was nearly a
century in the future, although Newcomen invented his
engine in 1705. In commerce the development was more
marked. 2 Moreover, the expansion of England's com-
merce and the extension of her colonial empire were but
well begun, although her jealousy of the Dutch remained
bitter and India loomed greater with each successive
year. So far the American colonies had been allowed to
grow unrestrained, and little thought was given to plans
for making them contribute to the wealth and welfare of
the mother country. 3

An increase in wealth accompanied these changes. The
comparative ease with which subscriptions were obtained
for the Bank of England in 1694 shows the mobile capital
of the realm ; the willingness of this corporation to loan
William money in 1697 emphasizes the same point ; while
the facility with which Sir Isaac Newton was able to re-
form the currency proves it. The manner of the Bank's
organization and the nature of its supporters bound it
equally to the Revolution and the Whigs, while it pro-
vided a most efficient instrument for financing the war. 4

1 H. de B. Gibbins, Industry in England, pp. 276-9; E. Fischel, The
English Constitution, p. 318.

2 House of Lords MSS. (H. M. C.), (n. s.), V. 66-100.

30. M. Andrews, ''Anglo-French Commercial Bivalry (1700-1750),"
A. H. E., XX. 539, 761; Lecky, I. 194; House of Lords MSS. (n. s.), vol.
V. xxiii.

* House of Lords MSS. (n. s.), vol. VI. xviii.



22 ENGLISH POLITICAL PARTIES

Bound up with the war was the question of the church.
The Eevolution had been brought on largely by the king's
religious fanaticism, and the alignment of political
parties had been largely determined by its outcome.
James's attempt to strengthen Roman Catholicism had
served only to bring persecution upon those whom he
wished to serve. Since the Popish plot their plight had
been hard enough. From all quarters they were looked
upon with the utmost suspicion. It is difficult to account
for the terror of Papists manifested by the rank and file
of Protestants at a time when the recusants made up less
than five per cent of the population, and probably less
than one per cent of the people of London held allegiance
to the pope. 1 Yet, though all political power had been
taken away from the Catholics by the strict laws of
Charles II, such fears persisted, forcing the Protestant
leaders to invite William to England and exclude all
Papists from the throne.

The Anglicans disliked the Dissenters but little less
than they did the recusants. They could not forget the
Commonwealth and Protectorate, and Clarendon's code
was placed between the non-conformist and political pre-
ferment. And since the ingenuity of the Dissenter with
an elastic conscience found the practice of occasional con-



Online LibraryWilliam Thomas MorganEnglish political parties and leaders in the reign of Queen Anne, 1702-1710 → online text (page 1 of 34)