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The following table compares the numbers of each party returned in 1715 by the English counties and boroughs, Wales, and Scotland with the corresponding returns in 1713.
|No. of voters (in round figs.)||No. of Members||1713: Tories||1713: Whigs||1715: Tories||1715: Whigs||Whig gain 1715|
|Boroughs: under 100 voters (74)||3,500||146||100||46||47||99||53|
|1,000 and over (25)||59,500||51||37||14||22||29||15|
The following is a translation of a report from the French ambassador on the reception of the bill for naturalizing Jews:1
The ministry had not expected that the bill in favour of the Jews would have excited, as it did, general discontent not only in London but in all the counties; among others, the common people, who are easily swayed, are infuriated by it. Mr. Pelham has shown to his friends how surprised he was at the consequences of the bill and that he would never have thought of it if he had foreseen them. He added that it was not Mr. Gideon2 who had first approached him asking for the naturalization bill, but Mr. Salvador, another very wealthy Jew, who had assured him that a dozen Jewish families in Spain and Portugal intended to settle in England with all their fortunes if they could be naturalized, and had told him that the least rich of these families possessed more than £100,000 sterling in cash; that he had regarded the establishment of these families in England as very advantageous for the trade of this kingdom, though he had never considered it as a resource for the Government in time of need, because the credit of the nation was sufficiently established and the public revenue on a footing which made it unnecessary to have recourse to the Jews in the event of it being necessary to borrow. For the rest Mr. Pelham has drawn upon himself all the reflexions made on him and his brother by the heat with which he supported the bill, and he has in a manner raised all the city of London against him by the way in which he has treated what was represented during the debates on the bill in the House of Commons by Sir John Barnard, who was merely expressing, as the city had done in its petition, the just alarm that any good Christian should feel that the passing of the bill might be of great prejudice and dishonour to the Christian religion and a danger to the constitution of the Kingdom. He, Barnard, represented that in the past Parliament had always had regard for the representations of the capital, and that he hoped that it would not have less for those which the city was making on the deplorable consequences of the bill. Mr. Pelham ridiculed all that Sir John Barnard had said with regard to religion, and maintained that no attention should be paid to a petition presented in the name of the city of London, but which was the work of only a few despicable people. The House was deeply shocked that Mr. Pelham, who is usually moderate, should have so far forgotten himself in this case.
In the following list of Tories who became Whigs, 1715-54, those marked with an asterisk were given places, pensions, peerages, or other favours for themselves and their relations.
|*Hon. Henry Bathurst||*John Howe|
|*Jacob des Bouverie||*Clement Kent|
|Sir Roger Bradshaigh||Sir Edward Knatchbull|
|Hon. Robert Bruce||*Hon. Baptist Leveson Gower|
|*George Bruere||*Hon. William Leveson Gower|
|*Sir Richard Child||*Thomas Lewis (New Radnor)|
|*John Comyns||Thomas Lewis (Southampton)|
|*Sir Thomas Crosse||*Charles Longueville|
|*Sir Alexander Cumming||Sir William Milner|
|Charles Eversfield||*John Myddelton|
|*Lord Fermanagh||*James Oglethorpe|
|Stephen Fox||George Pitt (d. 1745)|
|Sir Robert Gordon||*John Pitt|
|Charles Gore||*Robert Pitt|
|*Thomas Gore||John Proby|
|James Grahme||*Sir Robert Raymond|
|*John Hardres||*Henry Rolle|
|*Thomas Holmes||*Hon. Charles Ross|
|*Matthew Skinner||Sir Edward Williams|
|*Sir Hugh Smithson||*Thomas Winnington|
|John Trevanion||Sir Robert Worsley|
|*Hon. John Verney||*Sir Charles Wyndham|
|George Venables Vernon|
Numbers and voting of Whig placemen in divisions
|the septennial bill||1716 ||157 ||138 ||2 ||17|
|the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts repeal bill||1719||170||133||22||15|
|the peerage bill||1719||169||114||38||17|
Placemen include holders of civil crown offices, some for life; army and navy officers; members of the Prince’s household (see note IX), who from 1717 to 1720 voted against the Government; and paid members of statutory commissions, seven chosen by the Commons for stating army debts, 13 commissioners of the equivalent (see under John Boteler), and 13 for forfeited estates named in the Act setting up the commission June 1716. K.C.s and government contractors have also been treated as placemen (see pp. 139, 145).
Whigs and Tories voting in or absent from divisions
|For ||Against ||Absent ||vacant|
|the septennial bill||1716 ||292 W 3 T ||43 W 142 T ||35 W37 T ||6|
|Lord Cadogan||1717||204 W||78 W 116 T||101 W 57 T||2|
the Occasional Conformity
and Schism Acts repeal bill
|1719||259 W||69 W 135 T||57 W 34 T||4|
|the peerage bill||1719||188 W 3 T||144 W 128 T||57 W 33 T||5|
The above figures are based on the consolidated lists (pp. 126-8) of the various divisions on these bills, and on the list in the Finch papers (see below) of 77 Whigs who voted against the Government on Cadogan. The Finch list omits Sir Jacob Astley, who along with the 13 other office holders marked with an asterisk, was dismissed for voting against Cadogan. The figure of 78 Whigs voting against Cadogan is confirmed by Addison’s account of this debate (pp. 26-27), which shows that the figure of 120 Whigs voting against him, quoted by Michael in England under George I, ii. 20, is incorrect.
‘Voters of the 194’, June 1717 (Leicestershire RO, Finch mss, bundle 25)
|*Col. John Campbell||Sir Samuel Lennard|
|*Col. [Charles] Churchill||Gen. [Henry] Lumley|
|*Giles Earle||*Col. John Middleton|
|Gen. [Thomas] Erle||*Col. John Montgomerie|
|Thomas Frankland||*Sir Robert Rich|
|*Brig. Alexander Grant||Lord Shannon|
|Lt. Gen. [Daniel] Harvey||Galfridus Walpole|
|Lord Hertford||Major [John] West|
|Sir Orlando Bridgeman||Speaker|
|[George] Evelyn||Lord Stanhope|
|Lord Hervey||[Samuel Travers|
|[Samuel] Molyneux||[Thomas] Wynn|
|*Waller Bacon||Lord Morpeth|
|Langham Booth||George Naylor|
|[John] Bromley (Cambridgeshire)||Crewe Offley|
Sir Philip Parker
|James Butler||Henry Pelham|
|Daniel Campbell||[John] Plumptre|
|Sir James Campbell||William Pulteney|
|Hugh Cholmley||[Nathaniel Rogers (Hull)|
|Sir John Cope||John Rudge|
|Henry Cunningham||Sir William St. Quintin|
|*Sir James Cunynghame||Sir William St. Quintin|
|*Conyers Darcy||*[John] Selwyn|
|[Thomas] de Grey||Leonard Smelt|
|George Dodington||[John] Smith|
|George Douglas||William Steuart|
|Richard Edgcumbe||[William] Strickland|
|Sir Hervey Elwes||Sir Fisher Tench|
|Sir Edward Ernle||George Treby|
|*John Forbes||Sir Charles Turner|
|Sir Robert Furnese||Cholmley Turner|
|Sir Richard Gough||Sir John Tyrwhitt|
|[Richard] Grenville||Horace Walpole|
|[Thomas] Heath||Robert Walpole|
|[Robert] Honywood||Sir John Ward|
|[John] Lade||[Thomas] Western|
|Paul Methuen||[John] Yorke|
A list in the Sunderland papers (D.II, Io), consisting of the names of Members to be dismissed after the division on Cadogan, contains remarks against army officers such as ‘to be turned out and ordered to sell to a certain person at a certain price’, ‘his regiment to be broke in Ireland’, and ‘orders to lord lieutenant to break them as soon as he arrives’. Two full generals, Thomas Erle and Henry Lumley, and one lieutenant general, Daniel Harvey, all senior to Cadogan, voted against him without being turned out. However, in December 1717 Lumley sold his regiment, probably by order, and next year Erle retired from the army and Parliament with a pension. No action was taken against General Harvey or John Smith, an independent placeman, though both of them thereafter continued to vote against the Government. Walpole’s brother Galfridus, though down on Sunderland’s list for dismissal, was also spared.
Argyll’s followers in the Finch list are Daniel Campbell, Sir James Campbell, Col. John Campbell, Henry Cunningham, Sir James Cunynghame, George Douglas, Giles Earle, Alexander Grant, John Middleton, John Montgomerie, and William Steuart. Five of them, Col. Campbell, Earle, Grant, Middleton, and Montgomerie, all army officers, were dismissed. Three, Col. Campbell, Montgomerie, and Steuart, also held offices in the Prince’s household. Of the eight Members returned by the Duke of Newcastle, who had been appointed lord chamberlain on the formation of the Sunderland ministry in April, four, Conyers Darcy, William Monson, George Naylor, and Newcastle’s brother, Henry Pelham, voted against the Government.
The proceedings in Westminster Hall referred to by Walpote in his speech on the bill for repealing the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, had been instituted against the mayor and corporation of Taunton by a local attorney on the ground that, not having taken the declaration for renouncing the solemn league and covenant, as prescribed by an Act passed under Charles II, the mayor had no title to act,
for in the Act of King William appointing new oaths to be taken in lieu of the old ones recited in that Act, no mention was made of the declaration against the obligation of the covenant, and it being not expressly repealed was still in force (HMC Portland, v. 565-6).
On this the Government passed an Act, 5 Geo. I cap. 6, repealing the declaration and confirming the existing mayors in their office.
Walpole’s reference to a visitation of the universities is explained by a draft in the Sunderland papers at Blenheim of ‘An Act for the better government and regulating of the several statutes and orders of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and the colleges and halls therein’ (D.II, io). The draft is as follows:
Whereas the several colleges and halls in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge are still under several rules and statutes of their several popish founders and others and many are become obsolete useless and inconsistent with our present protestant establishment under his most sacred Majesty, King George, be it enacted ... that the chancellors vice chancellors of both universities and all heads of colleges and halls within the said universities, after notice shall deliver true copies of all their statutes and orders by which each university college and hall is governed to such persons as his said Majesty shall appoint to alter and amend the same, which said statutes and rules so amended shall be and be esteemed the only statutes and rules by which the several universities colleges and halls shall be governed by and under the penalty or penalties.
Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that no chancellor shall be for life, nor any chancellor or vice chancellor shall enter into his or their offices without his Majesty’s consent first had.
Be it further enacted that no decree or judgment of the chancellor or vice chancellor shall be final, but that every person or persons which shall think him or themselves aggrieved may appeal to any of his Majesty’s courts of records in Westminster.
Be it further enacted that his Majesty shall have power to nominate heads of colleges and halls by whatsoever names they are called by, so they are not fellows of that foundation.
Be it further enacted that all decrees enjoining the reading of particular books, by either students or master and prohibiting the reading others may be totally repealed and declared void; and no such decrees or orders to be made for the future.
As a result of Walpole’s speech the university bill and the plan for rehabilitating Bolingbroke were dropped.
Craggs’s and Sunderland’s lists on the first peerage bill, 28 Feb. to 14 Apr. 1719, are undated but as Craggs’s includes Lord Burford, who was returned for Bodmin 26 Feb., and Francis Herbert, who died next day, it was presumably drawn up soon after the news of Burford’s election but before that of Herbert’s death reached London, i.e. early in March. Sunderland’s list omits Herbert as well as his successor, Sir Robert Raymond, who was returned for Ludlow 26 Mar., so that it was presumably drawn up later in the same month. A further pointer is that Craggs classes Lord Midleton as for the bill, as he was supposed to be until he explained his position on 8 Mar. to Sunderland, who classes him as doubtful. This suggests that Craggs drew up his list before and Sunderland after that date.
Craggs’s list classes 195 Members as for the bill, 234 against it, and I26 as doubtful, with the names of those who should speak to them. He omits four Tories (Samuel Bracebridge, Sir John Conway, Price Devereux, and William Inge) and one Whig (Alexander Denton); classes Robert Jones against the bill, though he died in 1715; and counts Sir John Jennings twice, once as for the bill and once as doubtful, both times wrongly, as he voted against it. His list, therefore, consists of 553 Members, 194 classed as for the bill, 233 as against it, and 126, including Jennings, as doubtful. Sunderland’s list, which omits Herbert, Sir Roger Hill and one of the two Arthur Ingrams, consists of 555 Members, 211 of whom are classed as for the bill, 223 as against it, and 121 as doubtful, ‘to be spoken to’. A breakdown of these figures gives the following results:
|For ||Against ||Doubtful |
|Craggs||194 W||71 W 162 T||123 W 3 T|
|Sunderland||207 W 4 T||61 W 162 T||118 W 3 T|
Craggs’s estimate of the supporters of the bill came very close to the actual figure, his wrong guesses cancelling out. Both his and Sunderland’s estimates of its opponents were vitiated by their ignorance of the probable attitude of over a fifth of the Members, most of whom in the event voted against the bill.
In May 1715 the House of Commons agreed to increase the civil list from £600,000 to £700,000 a year to provide an allowance of £100,000 for the Prince of Wales. A Tory motion to give an independent revenue to the Prince was rejected, as being designed to divide the royal family. Nevertheless, as the £100,000, though technically subject to the King’s pleasure, had been voted on the understanding that it was to provide for the Prince, it could not in practice be taken away from him. The same applied to the right of appointing his own household conferred upon him by the letters patent creating him Prince of Wales. This meant that those of his household who were in Parliament could not be dismissed by the King for following their master into opposition. Not being deemed to be crown offices, these posts did not subject their holders to standing for re-election on appointment, which sometimes makes it difficult to date them exactly, especially from 1717 to 1722 when, presumably owing to the quarrel in the royal family, the Prince’s household is omitted from contemporary works of reference.
When George II as Prince of Wales went into opposition in 1717 his party in the House of Commons consisted of his treasurer, Spencer Compton, the Speaker; Lords Hervey and Stanhope (the future Lord Chesterfield), gentlemen of his bedchamber; Samuel Molyneux, his secretary; Sir Orlando Bridgeman, George Evelyn, Robert Pitt and John Selwyn, derks of his household; Thomas Wynn, equerry; and Samuel Travers, auditor. All of these voted regularly against the Government from 1717 to 1720, except Bridgeman who was absent from the division on the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, and Lord Stanhope, who along with the rest of his family voted for the peerage bill.
The Prince’s household in 1717 also contained five army officers, all of whom could be deprived of their commissions and other military appointments. Three of these resigned their household places on the public rupture between the King and the Prince of Wales in December 1717, when the Prince’s secretary, Molyneux, said that ‘for £20 advantage the Prince’s court abandoned or stayed with him’. The other two were attached to the Duke of Argyll, whom they followed when he went over to the Government in 1718, without however resigning their places in the Prince’s household. Another of Argyll’s adherents who went over with him to the Government was the Prince’s secretary for Scotland, William Steuart. As against these losses, Lords Paget and Sondes, Langham Booth, Charles Churchill, and Sir Robert Rich, the last two of whom had been cashiered for voting against the Government in 1717, obtained posts in the Prince’s bedchamber 1718-19, all but Rich thereafter voting against the Government. Other exceptions to the rule that from 1717-20 the Prince’s servants voted with the Opposition were his two law officers, Spencer Cowper and Lawrence Carter, neither of whom was against the Government till 1719, when Spencer Cowper followed his brother, Lord Cowper, into opposition.
At the end of the 1722 Parliament Pulteney’s followers, apart from his cousin Daniel Pulteney, were Thomas Bootle, William Clayton, Robert Dundas, Sir Wilfred Lawson, Iohn Merrill, Lord Morpeth, Sir John Rushout, Samuel Sandys and Edmund Waller, the last carrying with him his brother, Harry. At the opening of the next Parliament they were increased by George Berkeley, John Chetwynd, Lord Chetwynd, Phillips Gybbon and Henry Vane, but reduced by the loss of Clayton and Merrill.
This matter arose from a provision in the Civil List Act, 1727, that if the produce of the duties appropriated to the payment of the civil list fell short of £800,000 in any year, the deficiency should be made good by Parliament at the first opportunity. During the first year of the reign, 1727-8, the sum paid into the civil list fell short of £800,000 by £115,000, representing arrears, which were duly collected and paid in during 1728-9. The application of £115,000 was opposed on the ground that the contingency provided for by the Act was a real deficiency, not merely arrears which had been paid by the time of the application. In the end the £115,000 was granted, not as a deficiency but as arrears, to be repaid out of the arrears outstanding on the demise of George II.
Whigs and Tories voting in or absent from divisions
| || ||For ||Against ||Absent ||vacant|
|civil list arrears||1729||241 W||69 W 46 T||121 W 77 T||4|
|Hessians||1730||248 W||?83W 86 T||?99 W 33 T||9|
|army||1732||241 W||77 W 94 T||111 W 33 T||2|
|excise bill||1733||265 W||98 W 106 T||67 W 20 T||2|
|Septennial Act repeal bill||1734||247 W||77 W 107 T||104 W 23 T||0|
The first, third, and fourth of these divisions were in committee. Absentees include the Speaker when in the chair, and the tellers, who were not counted in any division (see Appendix III).
Numbers and voting of Whig placemen in divisions
| ||Number||For ||Against||Absent|
|civil list arrears||1729||185||135||10||40|
|Septennial Act repeal bill||1734||185||136||7||42|
Of 23 placemen who voted against the Government in these divisions, eight did so only once, most of them on the excise bill, thereafter returning to their allegiance; three were turned out; five held life offices; two who went over to the Opposition in 1733-4 were opposed and defeated at the general election. Of the remaining five, two were unemployed naval officers; one was a K.C.; another vacated his seat in 1732; the fifth was Sir the master of the rolls, noted for his independence, who voted for the excise bill.
Of the 86 opposition Whigs at the dissolution of 1734, those whose names are shown in italics were not returned at the ensuing general election.
|William Aislabie ||Sir James Dalrymple|
|Sir Thomas Aston||Hon. William Dalrymple|
|Joseph Banks||Henry Drax|
|Sir John Barnard||William Duff|
|Sir John Barrington||Robert Dundas|
|Hon. George Berkeley||Richard Ellys|
|John Bigg||Sir Abraham Elton|
|Charles Boone||Hon. John Finch|
|Thomas Bootle||Theophilus Fortescue|
|Hugh Boscawen||John Fuller|
|St. John Charlton||Nightingale|
|John Chetwynd||William Guidott|
|Lord Chetwynd||Phillips Gybbon|
|John Cockburn||John Hanbury|
|James Cocks||Thomas Harrison|
|Richard Coffin||Philip Hawkins|
|Hon. George Compton||George Heathcote|
|Thomas Crisp||Sir William Heathcote|
|Anthony Henley||William Pulteney|
|John Hope Bruce||Richard Reynell|
|Lord Inchiquin||Edward Rudge|
|Thomas Inwen||Sir John Rushout|
|Sir Wilfred Lawson||Samuel Sandys|
|George Lee||Hon. Sir Thomas Lumley|
|Sir Thomas Lee|
|Lord Limerick||Thomas Scawen|
|Mackenzie||Hon. John Spencer|
|Sidney Meadows||Hon. Charles Stanhope|
|Sir Roger Meredith||Hon. John Stanhope|
|John Merrill||Hon. Sir William Stanhope|
|Lord Morpeth||Sir Edward Stanley|
|Lord Mountrath||Hon. Henry Vane|
|John Murray||Lord Vane|
|Sir Michael Newton||Edward Vernon|
|William Noel||Robert Vyner|
|Samuel Ongley||Edmund Waller|
|Micajah Perry||Harry Waller|
|Erasmus Philipps||John Weaver|
|Walter Plumer||Edward Wortley Montagu|
Thirty-seven of the 86 opposition Whig Members of the House of Commons at the dissolution in 1734 (see note XIV) were not re-elected, but most of the loss was made up by 34 new recruits. Eight of these, Alexander Hume Campbell, Alexander Cunninghame, James Erskine, Sir Charles Gilmour, Thomas Leslie, John Murray, Lord Polwarth, and John Rutherfurd belonged to the anti-Argyll faction, known as the Squadrone, who had been re-activated by the dismissal of Lords Marchmont and Stair for opposing the excise bill. Lord Cobham’s dismissal for the same reason accounted for another five, consisting of George Chamberlayne, Richard Grenville, Robert Nedham, Thomas and William Pitt. Four, Kelland Courtenay, Robert Ord, Robert Trefusis, and Thomas Watts owed their return to Lord Falmouth, who had also been turned out at this time. Four more, Charles Cotes, Thomas Duncombe, Charles Fane, and William Finch were returned by anti-Walpole patrons. Two, William Chetwynd and Charles Stanhope, were displaced Whigs. Eleven, Nicholas Bayly, Daniel Boone, Sir John Buckworth, Peter Delmé, Robert Fenwick, George Hamilton, Edward Hooper, John Jeffreys, Edward Montagu, Thomas Noel, and Richard Price were independent anti-Walpole Whigs.
When George II publicly broke with the Prince of Wales in September 1737, Hervey states that
nobody was ordered by the King to quit the Prince’s service, and that particular leave was given to every one who had employments at both Courts to go to both; yet many people quitted the Prince’s service, nobody the King’s: some through fear of disobliging the King, if they made use of the permission they had to remain, and others from being so ill-used by the Prince, who wanted to pique them into quitting, that there was no possibility of their staying there ... Jemmy Pelham, secretary to the Prince, was one of those the Prince teased into quitting, and Mr. Lyttelton was immediately put into his place. Mr. Cornwallis, equerry to the Prince, and a Member of Parliament, quitted because the pension he had from the King was more than the salary from his place, and he feared if he continued in the one, the other would be stopped ...
It was said, and I have reason to believe truly, that on Mr. Lyttelton’s being declared secretary to the Prince, Lord Carnarvon, Lord Baltimore, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Montagu, and Mr. Evelyn, who used always to vote with the Court, met and consulted on the present posture of affairs; and all agreed to acquaint the Prince by deputation (making Mr. Herbert, his treasurer, their deputy) that they were afraid, by this step of taking Mr. Lyttelton into his service, his Royal Highness designed to go entirely into the measures of those who opposed the Court; and for that reason they thought it their duty to give him the earliest notice that, though they should ever adhere to his Royal Highness in any question in Parliament where he was personally concerned, yet they could not possibly in public matters act in any manner different from the principles by which their conduct had hitherto been influenced, and must always support the King’s Government and Administration in the same manner they had formerly done.3
At the dissolution the Prince’s party numbered 14, consisting of eight of his servants who had followed him into opposition (see note XX) plus six more (Henry Drax, James Erskine, Sir Thomas Lumley Saunderson, George Lyttelton, Thomas and William Pitt) who were in opposition when they were appointed to his household.
Whigs and Tories voting in or absent from divisions
| ||For || ||Against|| ||Absent|| ||vacant|
|Spanish convention||1739||260 W||100 W||132 T||53 W||13 T||-|
|place bill||1740||88 W||118 T||222 W||102 W||25 T||3|
The published list of the division on the convention contains the names of 262 Members voting for the convention, including one teller; 234 against it, also including one teller; and 62 absentees. As the division was taken when the House was in committee (which accounts for there being only two instead of four tellers), it is not recorded in the journal, but contemporary reports of the debate show that the actual figures were 260 for and 232 against, excluding the tellers, so that the number of Members not voting, including the tellers, who paired, was 66.4 Thus part of the discrepancy between the published list and the actual figures is due to their different treatment of the tellers.3 The upshot is that two of the Members shown in the published list as voting respectively for and against the convention must in fact have been absent.
The published list of the place bill division contains the names of 208 Members voting for the bill, including two tellers; 225 voting against it, also including two tellers; and 122 absentees, plus the Speaker, who, being in the chair, could not vote. The journal shows that the actual figures were 206 for the bill and 222 against it, excluding the tellers, so that as three seats were vacant the number of Members who did not vote, including the Speaker and four tellers, was 127. Thus, as in the case of the convention, the discrepancy between the published list and the actual figures is mainly due to their different treatment of the tellers. Apart from this, the published list shows Sir James Dashwood, who was not returned till the day after the division, as voting for the bill; omits two sitting Members, Philip Cavendish and Sir Charles Wyndham; and includes two recently deceased Members, Sir Francis Drake and Henry Perrot, among the absentees. Subject to these corrections, and to the transfer of the tellers to the non-voters, the published list shows 205 Members as voting for the bill and 223 against it, or one less and one more than the actual figures. It therefore appears that one of the Members shown in the list as voting against the bill in fact voted for it.
Numbers and voting of placemen in the divisions on the
| ||Number ||For ||Against ||Absent|
Twenty-five placemen voted against the Government in these divisions, including 13 members of the Prince’s household. Of the remaining 12, five were army officers, one a naval officer, three held life offices, and three were K.C.s.
Sir Dudley Ryder’s Shorthand Diaries
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a considerable number of shorthand systems came into use; many of these were closely related, or were adapted by individual users to their own requirements. The Harrowby documents are in an adaptation of Rich’s system, devised in the seventeenth century.
The first user was Sir Dudley Ryder, who started writing his diaries in the system in about 1713, and used it throughout his life for his private diaries, notes, legal records, etc. until his death as lord chief justice in 1756. He passed it on to his son Nathaniel, Member for Tiverton and later 1st Lord Harrowby, who similarly made copious use of it. He in turn passed it on to his sons Dudley (1st Earl of Harrowby and for a short time foreign secretary) and Richard (home secretary, 1809-11). The latter two used it mainly for privacy in writing to each other about matters of state. It died out c. 1810.
Many of Sir Dudley Ryder’s shorthand documents have disappeared, but the extant material comprises some four million words, and covers a wide range of subjects—private diaries, parliamentary notes, political discussions, correspondence with the corporation of Tiverton, records of legal cases, estate notes, accounts, etc. This material remained unread until the 6th Earl of Harrowby sought to have the documents transcribed as part of his plan to put his family records into order. A few excerpts were transcribed before the Second World War, but the first full-scale attack started in 1949 when he interested Mr. K. L. Perrin in the problem. Mr. Perrin has been transcribing the documents as a hobby ever since, and has supplied this note upon them. So far he has covered over two million words, and has completed the documents at Sandon Hall and the non-legal parts of the primarily legal documents presented by Lord Harrowby to Lincoln’s Inn.
At the dissolution of 1741 the number of opposition Whigs had increased from 83 to 115 by the accession of eight members of the Prince’s household, Lord Baltimore, Lord Carnarvon, Richard Eliot, John Evelyn, Lord Archibald Hamilton, Sir William Irby, Charles Montagu, and Garton Orme; of four followers of the Duke of Argyll, Charles, Patrick and William Campbell and Sir Arthur Forbes; of Bubb Dodington, carrying with him E. H. Beaghan, Robert Bristow, George Dodington of Horsington, John Tucker, and Thomas Wyndham; of seven Members, John Bance, Sir Roger Burgoyne, Sir Robert Clifton, Lord Gage, Anthony Lowther, Sir Paul Methuen, and Sir George Oxenden, who had gone over separately to the Opposition; and of 12 gains at by-elections, John Berkeley, Lord Chetwyn, Lord Limerick, George Lyttelton, Lord William Manners, William Moore, Sir John Peachey, Edward Bayntun Rolt, Edward Southwell, Joseph Taylor, Thomas Trefusis, and Edward Vernon, less five losses, George Hamilton, John Hanbury, Philip Hawkins, Sir Wilfred Lawson, and Sir Edward Stanley, a net gain of seven making a total of 32.
Sir Dudley Ryder’s report of the debate of 13 Feb. 1741 on the motion for Walpole’s dismissal, Harrowby mss 10 (L. Inn):
‘It having been industriously given out all this sessions of Parliament that Sir Robert Walpole would be attacked personally in the House, and that they should certainly demolish him, and particularly in relation to the conduct of the present war with Spain, the beginning of this week Mr. Sandys told the House he intended to make a motion next Friday, 13 Feb., that would affect a certain honourable person. He hoped therefore he would be in his place.
Sir Robert answered he certainly should—nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa—was what he would appropriate to himself.
The day came, and a full House when Sandys began by professing no personal resentment against nor any personal provocation by Sir Robert, but his love for his country was the sole motive of his motion. He then entered on his attack, and began with the treaty of Utrecht which left us in peace. But first divided his subjects into three heads, after having first laid it down as an undoubted truth that the nation were now in a very miserable condition.
He said he would consider: 1, the state of affairs abroad; 2, the state of affairs at home;3, the conduct of the war; 4, who was the cause of all these.
As to 1, he run through all the treaties we had made with foreign nations which he believed to be destructive of the peace of Europe, tending to the weakening the balance of power, and ruining the interest and struggle of the House of Austria, our chief bulwark against France, and to the destruction of our trade.
2. As to affairs at home, he said everybody felt and knew our miserable circumstances, loaded with great debts, our funds almost all exhausted, and engaged in a heavy war and no prospect of a victory. But then he went back to the actions of his late Majesty King George I. He mentioned the mischief of the South Sea scheme, and our having resolved that in a great measure. But then he laid great stress on the misapplication of the sinking fund to pay the current service of the year. That for so many years of peace our debts had not been at all lessened. That an excise scheme had been proposed to the public but proved abortive.
3. As to the conduct of the war, he said that great fleets and armaments had been prepared at a vast expense, admirals sent abroad but not assisted. Admiral Vernon sent with small force and left in the West Indies to risk being a prey to the superior force of the enemy. Haddock in the Mediterranean suffered to be idle there and do no service but let the Spanish fleet get out of Cadiz under pretence of being alarmed by an intended descent on Minorca. That our trade had been neglected, and many ships suffered to be taken in the very Channel.
4. Who was the cause of all this? None could be but him who was sole minister, a name and thing unknown to England or any free nations, but taken from a neighbouring nation. That Sir Robert Walpole, chancellor of the Exchequer, had been that sole minister, and therefore was accountable for all the misfortunes that had happened. That if proof is asked of this, it is proved by common fame, the sense of the nation, the universal voice of the people, and they needed no other proof.
He therefore concluded with a motion to address the King to remove him from his council and presence for ever. This was seconded by Lord Limerick, who spoke very short and added nothing new.
Dodington just then came in from a sick bed and stood up to speak, but either by concert or accident was interrupted by Mr. Wortley, who spoke to order and said it was the known usage of Parliament for a Member when attacked to make his defence and withdraw before the House debated it. He moved therefore that he might withdraw. This was seconded by Gybbon, who cited some precedents. But it was answered on the other side that when there was a charge in writing delivered and witnesses on one side and the other, and the Member been heard, he was to withdraw. But it was absurd to say he shall make his defence in such a case as this, where he never heard the words of his charge but by the speeches of the Members nor any evidence but what was from their mouths. And he could not tell what his charge was fully till all the Members had spoke.
Pulteney owned that was right, and that Sir Robert ought not to withdraw or make his defence till the last speech against him was over. This having put an end to the question, the debate was resumed, and many speeches for and against.
I spoke myself. I complained of the injustice of the method of proceeding as well as of the charge. That the method was such as was justified by no precedent in Parliament, where all accusations against Members were founded either on some previous resolution of the House that a crime had been committed or a man guilty, or on a charge, and time to answer it and witnesses to be produced. But never to make a charge by person only, and at the moment he is to defend himself. To open a great number of charges, and expect a man should be prepared on the instant to answer them as they arise, is unprecedented, and indeed contrary to natural justice, which requires in all courts of judicature that man should know his charge first before he makes his defence.
I complained likewise of the injustice of the charge, in that the method of proof was only common fame, and because he was sole minister. That as to common fame, I denied the fact, and distinguished between the voice of the people and the rumour of the factions, which begins by envy, discontent and malice, and supported by libels, riots and tumults appeals to the people who cannot redress without destroying the constitution.
It had been asked by some Members what good Sir Robert had ever done. I said this was a question that everybody could answer who knew the value of orderly government. That ever since his concern in public affairs, all the parts of government had been supported in their regular course, the prerogatives not spoilt, the privileges of Parliament not impeached, the liberty of the subject supported, justice fully administered and to such a degree that no man could say in his conscience he was afraid of having it taken away from him.
That the benefits of government to the political circumstances are like those of a town to the natural world. It was too common to be much observed, and as we seldom blessed God for the benefit of light and air, so we seldom blessed the King for the benefits of government. We took notice of nothing but what distinguished us particularly from the rest of mankind, but lost sight of the blessing by its being enjoyed in common with the rest of the world.
As to the voice of the people, I said those who remembered the South Sea scheme, or the cry of the danger of the Church in the latter end of the Queen’s time must know the vanity of the voice of the people when in the compass of one year the voice of the people was directly contrary to itself.
Long before the debate was ended, the Opposition was drove to an absurdity which Sir J. Barnard began. He said that the Parliament were not now exercising their judicial capacity but only their capacity of advising the Crown, and every man that believed it not for the interest of the Kingdom to have Sir Robert continued in his post ought to be for the motion. There was no occasion for proof, every man’s own conscience was sufficient. They said likewise that this was not a vote of censure or punishment of him, for places were not for freehold but at will, and as the King might dismiss him without giving a reason, this House might advise the King to it without proof of guilt.
But to this it was answered that there could not be a greater punishment than a declaration of Parliament that a man who had served the public so long was unworthy of the presence or council of the King. That a man’s reputation was dearer than life, and a censure that affected it was a punishment, which those who were not sensible of deserved not to live. That in effect he was now charged with many particular crimes, laid to his charge indeed in a general loose way, but laid as the foundation of this censure. And can that possibly be according to natural rules of justice without proving him guilty of these charges?
That as to charges themselves, they consist either of treaties which have all been laid before the House, most of them actually approved by the House, all the House had an opportunity of examining and has acquiesced on, and by laws enabled the King to perform them; or of Acts of Parliament and votes of this House which every Member was equally accountable for with him. And all had received long consideration in the House, and the opposition of some of these very gentlemen who expect by one vote of parliament divided in one day only to outvote the work of years.
That as to the public revenue, it was all appropriated by Parliament. And Sir Robert Walpole could not alter that appropriation. And they did not pretend he had in his office applied the money contrary to the directions of the Acts.
Lord Cornbury, who is a great opposer of Sir Robert Walpole, at length stood up and said, though he did not approve of the measures of the Administration, he thought this was an accusation and therefore ought to be proved, and he could not come into the censure or punishment without proof, and proper proof.
He was followed in the same sentiments by Mr. Bowes, Mr. [Southwell] and Mr. Harley, who all thought this an improper method of attacking Sir Robert. But perhaps the time would come when a particular examination would be made into his conduct.
At length the debate stopped, and Pulteney had not spoke though he had papers in his hands and had taken notes. Sir Robert after some pause asked Pulteney whether he intended to speak. He answered he did not know.
Sir Robert stood up and said he was ready to make his defence and withdraw, but hoped no gentleman would think himself too slow to rise up when he was gone and charge him again. And then sat down.
Another long pause followed, till the House in some measure called up Pulteney, who then stood up, and in a very irregular confused method talked for an hour, and in his speech made several new charges not mentioned by anybody before. Particularly one in relation to the supposed great gain made by Sir Robert Walpole by the settling the payment of army debentures.
After he had done, Sir Robert stood up and complained greatly of this conduct of Pulteney in endeavouring to make him withdraw and then attack him again and with new charges behind his back.
He answered all the new charges particularly, and said as to that of the army debentures it happened when he was out of all place and was in opposition. He spoke very well. And among other things said he had never had any grant from the Crown but of a small parcel of ground where his house at Chelsea stood. That he had had no honours but a ribbon which however it may have been a great crime in him to the other House, it was so because he brought it into this House and restored that dignity to the Commons which had been formerly worn by some of their predecessors.
That he had continued only one of the commissioners of the Treasury, though if he had been inclined might probably have had the white staff [i.e. become lord treasurer] which would have increased the profits of his office by £5,000 a year. That he had indeed disposed of some of the offices in his gift for the benefit of his family, but these were not in the gift of the Crown, and he believed nobody but would provide for his family in the same way in the same situation. That he had got no act of indemnity, though in the Administration 20 years, and he desired none but that indemnity that arose from the innocence of his actions.
Therefore, though some of his friends had hinted at the sense of this House of the justice of his conduct, he desired no approbation where there had been no particular examination. When he had spoke, he withdrew.
Great number, to the amount of near 100, who were partly Tories and partly Whigs in the Opposition, went out as disapproving of such an attack.
The negative passed 290, against 106. ‘Many Tories voted with us.’
XXII, p. 47.
The Wilmington-Dorset-Dodington Group
1. ‘The double underhand part’ which Walpole accused these three ministers of playing began at George II’s accession, when Dodington and Dorset deserted him for his supposed successor, Sir Spencer Compton, then Speaker, later Lord Wilmington. That Dorset was associated with Dodington on this occasion is shown by a copy of an anonymous letter in the Sackville papers, urging Compton to oust Walpole, in terms so similar to a signed letter from Dodington to Wilmington on the eve of Walpole’s fall as to make it morally certain that Dodington was the anonymous author5 (see para. 4 below).
2. On 5 Feb. 1730 the 1st Lord Egmont records that ‘Dodington’s free way of talking’ about Walpole confirmed him in thinking for some time past that ‘the Speaker is forming a party in the House of reasonable Tories and discontented Whigs, to rise upon the ruins of Sir Robert Walpole’. This is so inconsistent with everything known about the then Speaker, Onslow, and so consistent with the terms of Dodington’s anonymous letter to the late Speaker, Wilmington, that it raises the question whether ‘the Speaker’ is not a slip of the pen for ‘the late Speaker’, as Egmont styles Wilmington a little earlier.6
3. When Chesterfield was turned out during the excise bill crisis in 1733, he is reported to have said that
people might imagine his conduct had been rash and indiscreet, but that if my Lord Wilmington and the Duke of Dorset had not acted like real knaves, he had not behaved like a seeming fool. This declaration, as well as many other occurrences at that time, made people imagine that these two men had given great hope, if not strong assurances, to the opposing party that when matters were ripe for a revolt they would join them.
At the same time, Dodington was believed to have set the Prince against the bill.7
4. In May 1740 Egmont observes ‘that there are three parties in the Court. 1: Lord Chancellor, joined by the Duke of Newcastle, Henry Pelham, and their followers. 2: Lord Wilmington, Duke of Dorset, and their friends. 3: Sir Robert Walpole, Duke of Devonshire, Duke of Grafton and all Sir Robert’s posse’.8 By this time Dodington had joined the Duke of Argyll in opposition, which did not prevent Wilmington from congratulating him on his successes at the general election of 1741, or Dodington himself from consulting Dorset on a letter which he had drawn up, in terms similar to his anonymous letter referred to in para. 1 above, urging Wilmington to give the coup-de-grace to Walpole.9
5. After Walpole’s fall Wilmington and Dorset showed signs of joining the Argyll-Dodington faction, only to treat them when it came to the point in the same way as they had treated Chesterfield in 1733.10
Twenty-three seats in all were vacant at the opening of Parliament, 1 Dec. 1741: five by double returns, two for Cricklade, and one each for Berkwickshire, Haddington Burghs, and Linlithgow Burghs; ten by double elections, Appleby, Bridport, Droitwich, Higham Ferrers, Huntingdon, Penryn, Rochester, Old Sarum, West Looe, and Whitchurch; and eight by deaths, Argyllshire, Downton, Herefordshire, Lymington, Malton, Thetford, Sussex, and Yorkshire. Five of the seats vacated by double elections had returned government supporters and five opposition Whigs. Of those vacated by deaths, five had returned government supporters, two opposition Whigs, and one a Tory. Over 500 of the 535 Members returned are said to have been in town on 10 Dec.11 The table annexed to note XXVII shows how these vacancies were filled before Walpole’s fall.
Sir Dudley Ryder’s report of the debates on the Bossiney election petition, 9 and 11 Dec. 1741, shows that the sheriff’s action was defended on the ground that an injunction had been granted against the mayor, Robins, the validity of whose election was contested. To this it was replied that
though there was such an injunction, yet till that injunction [had been] tried and judgment of ouster [given] Robins was the mayor de facto, and therefore the only person whom the sheriff could take notice of; that the sheriff could not try the rest; and that nothing but a judgment of a proper court of justice of ouster could depose or oust Robins of the possession of the office.
It was also urged that it would be unjust to turn out the sitting Members without considering which side had obtained a majority at the election, and that therefore time should be given and a day appointed for hearing evidence on this point. It was answered that
a practice of this kind must be stopped at once, and if sheriffs were once to be suffered to act in this arbitrary way, by sending their precepts not to the crown officers but anybody who they pleased, the sheriffs would in effect be the electors and not the burgesses. And they might fill the House with their own creatures and make them the judges of their own unjust returns. The necessity of the case therefore required a speedy remedy.
It was also pointed out ‘that this method was justified by five precedents in 1722 in the case of Inverness and four other boroughs in Scotland’, namely Aberdeen, Anstruther, Dysart and Perth burghs, but not that the opposite course had been followed in that of Elgin Burghs (see under William Fraser) that same session.12 In the event the sitting Members were re-seated on petition after Walpole’s fall.
The opposition Members who voted with the Government on this petition were Sir Roger Burgoyne, Edward Clive, George Heathcote, Sir William Morice, and Edward Rudge. A report of the debate describes Burgoyne as voting ‘in the minority’, but the context shows that the word ‘minority’ must be a mistake for ‘majority’. Between the divisions on 9 and 11 Dec. Burgoyne, who sat for Bedfordshire, was given to understand by the Duke of Bedford, then in opposition, ‘that he was not to expect his interest if he did not give every vote as required’, that is if he did not vote consistently with the Opposition. Pressure was also put on Heathcote, who reversed his vote on the second day, but the other four appear to have stood firm.13
The published list of Members voting on the chairman of the elections committee, 16 Dec. 1741, in which Walpole’s candidate, Giles Earle, was defeated by four votes (242 to 238), shows five government supporters, Lord Fortrose, Sir Thomas Lowther, William Mellish, James Oswald, and Charles Ross, as voting for the opposition candidate, George Lee. The list is too inaccurate for any deductions to be safely made from it unless confirmed by other evidence, which exists for Lowther, Mellish, Oswald, and Ross, but not for Fortrose, and also shows that both Thomas Hervey, who is treated by the list as absent, and John Yorke, who is shown in the list as voting for Earle, in fact voted for Lee. On the assumption that six government supporters, Hervey, Lowther, Mellish, Oswald, Ross, and Yorke voted for Lee, 244 government supporters and 236 opposition Members took part in the division in which the question was put by the clerk, as in the election of the Speaker.14 As the number of government supporters was 278 and that of their opponents 257, 34 government supporters and 21 opposition Members did not vote.
Besides the inaccuracies already noticed, the list of this division includes among Lee’s voters Alexander Hume Campbell, Sir Hew Dalrymple, and John Mackye, none of whom was a Member at that time. It also shows Edward Clive as voting for Earle, though in fact he voted for Lee. If the list is corrected by transferring Clive and Yorke from Earle to Lee, this leaves two missing Members in Earle’s voters and one missing Member in Lee’s. If in addition to these corrections the list is further amended by substituting Hervey for Fortrose and vice-versa, we are left with the following 58 Members, 36 of them government supporters, 15 opposition Whigs, and 7 Tories, not shown in the list as voting:
|Charles Areskine||John Laroche|
|Gregory Beake||Carteret Leathes|
|John Caswall||Sir James Lowther|
|Philip Cavendish||Thomas Medlycott|
|Thomas Corbett||Lord Middlesex|
|Sir Robert Salusbury Cotton||James Edward Oglethorpe|
|Sir Conyers Darcy||Arthur Onslow|
|John Drummond||John Page|
|Giles Earle||Henry Peirse|
|Lord Fermanagh||Sir John Ramsden|
|Hon. Edward Finch||Lord John Sackville|
|Lord Fortrose||Paulet St. John|
|Charles Frederick||Samuel Shepheard|
|John Garth||John Stanwix|
|Nicholas Haddock||Thomas Watson|
|Charles Hanbury Williams||Francis Whitworth|
|John Harris||Sir Charles Wills|
|Hon. Nicholas Herbert||John Wright|
|Sir Abraham Elton||George Lee|
|Charles Ewer||Lord Sherard Manners|
|Hon. Charles Fane||Lord William Manners|
|Hon. John Finch||John Rutherfurd|
|Lord George Graham||James Steuart|
|Lord Granby||Edward Vernon|
|James Hammond||Thomas Watts|
|Lord Andover||Hon. Edward Digby|
|George Chaffin||Legh Master|
|William Curzon||John Michell|
|Sir Jermyn Davers|
Of the 36 government supporters not included in the list, three unidentifiable Members should be exchanged for Martin Bladen, William Strickland, and John White, who are shown in the list as voting for Earle but in fact were absent; two more should be transferred to fill the vacancies in Earle’s voters; and one of their 22 opposition counterparts should be transferred to fill the vacancy in Lee’s, thus reducing the number of non-voters to 55, 34 of whom were ministerial and 21 opposition. Deducting the Speaker, two unknown tellers, and both candidates, as present in a non-voting capacity, we are left with 50 absentees, 3 I of whom were ministerial and 19 opposition. If, as Horace Walpole states (to Mann, 16 Dec. 1741), ‘near twenty’, that is 19 or at least 18, of the 50 were in town, not more than 31 or at most 32 can have been out of town. Since, according to the same authority (see note XXVI), 16 ministerial absentees were not in town on 22 Dec., it is probable that 15 or 16 of the opposition absentees were also out of town on 16 Dec. Assuming that 32 Members were out of town, equally divided between the two parties, it follows that 15 of the 31 ministerial absentees were in town, compared with only three of their opposition counterparts, namely Elton, Fane and Hammond, the last of whom is mentioned in Horace Walpole’s letter of 7 Jan. to Mann. The 15 ministerial absentees in town include Hanbury Williams, Laroche, and White, ill; Bladen and Strickland, kept away by bereavements; probably Caswell, Darcy and Lowther, who were absent from the next division on 21 Jan. though in town, and both the Sackvilles.
Reporting to the Duke of Devonshire, then in Ireland as lord lieutenant, on the division of 22 Dec. 1741 on the Westminster election petition (220 to 216), Lord Hartington wrote, 27 Dec.: ‘We lost it entirely by our own people’s deserting us: the two Mr. Archers and Mr. Strickland and Godolphin all went away, Lord John Sackville would not vote and Major Selwyn, Lord Carpenter and Lord Doneraile voted against us.’15 The absence of a comma after ‘vote’ in this passage suggests that Selwyn is meant to be linked with Sackville, rather than with Carpenter and Doneraile as voting against the Government. This interpretation is confirmed by Sir Robert Wilmot, resident secretary in London to successive lords lieutenant, who on 12 Jan. reported to the Duke of Devonshire that Selwyn was among those who ‘withdrew, or did not attend’.16 Wilmot also reports Selwyn as being absent again when Pulteney’s motion for a secret committee was defeated on 21 Jan., giving a discreditable reason for his political conduct. On the assumption that the only ministerial Members who voted with the Opposition on the Westminster election were Carpenter and Doneraile, 221 ministerialists, including the Speaker and two tellers, were present. According to Horace Walpole, 41 ministerial Members in town ‘would not, or could not, come down’ to vote,17 so that there were 262 ministerialists in town. As the total number of ministerial supporters at this time was 278, this shows that 16 of them had not come to town.
XXVII, p. 49.
Walpole’s estimate that he had ‘a clear majority of 19, excepting for one [probably Charles Selwyn—see note XXVI] who would at most keep out of the way’, on 8 Jan., when the annexed table shows a government majority of 24, or, allowing for the Speaker, a clear majority of 23, implies that so far there had been two defections from his party to the Opposition, a loss of four in a division. Edward Walpole’s estimate that when Parliament re-assembled on 18 Jan. the government majority would be only 15 or 16,18 implies the existence of four defectors, probably William Mellish, James Oswald, Charles Ross, and Charles Selwyn, the exact figure depending on whether Selwyn would vote against the government or merely abstain. His father’s statement that when Parliament met he would have a majority of 34 illustrates Horace Walpole’s remark (to Mann, 7 Jan. 1742) that ‘now upon a pinch, he brags like any bridegroom’.
Changes Due To Election Petitions, Deaths, and the Filling of Vacancies, 1 Dec. 1741 to 5 Feb. 1742
* The 4 vacant seats were Roxburghshire, Penryn, Rochester, Bridport.
|1741 ||Constituency||Whigs ||Tories ||Whigs ||Vacant ||Majority|
Opening of Parliament
2 govt. Whigs replaced
|22 Dec.||Westminster||Election of 2 govt. Whigs|
voided. 1 of these govt.
Whigs chose to sit for
|West Looe||West Looe||277||135||122||24||20|
|24 Dec.||Cricklade||Double return. 2 govt.|
Whigs declared elected
|25 Dec.||Totnes||Govt. Whig died||278||135||122||23||21|
|28 Dec.||Higham Ferrers||Govt. Whig elected to|
|29 Dec.||Thetford||Govt. Whig elected to|
|Huntingdon||Govt. Whig elected to|
|30 Dec.||Malton||Govt. Whig elected to|
|31 Dec.||Lymington||Govt. Whig elected to|
|31 Dec.||Westminster||1 opp. Whig and 1 Tory|
elected to fill vacancies
|1 Jan.||Appleby||Tory elected to fill|
|2 Jan.||Whitchurch||Govt. Whig elected to|
|4 Jan.||Downton||Govt. Whig elected to|
|Droitwich||Govt. Whig elected to|
|5 Jan.||Old Sarum||Opp. Whig elected to|
|6 Jan.||Herefordshire||Tory elected to fill|
|13 Jan.||Tavistock||Opp. Whig died||286||138||123||11||25|
|14 Jan.||Sussex||Govt. Whig elected to|
|18 Jan.||Roxburghshire||Opp. Whig vacated seat|
|Tregony||Opp. Whig died|
|East Grinstead||Govt. Whig vacated seat||286||138||121||13||27|
|19 Jan.||Berwickshire||Double return. 1 Opp.|
Whig declared elected
|21 Jan.||Yorkshire||Govt. Whig elected to|
|23 Jan.||East Grinstead||Govt. Whig elected to|
|Double return. 1 opp.|
Whig declared elected
|Totnes||Govt. Whig elected to|
|26 Jan.||Carlisle||Tory replaced govt.|
Whig on petition
|27 Jan.||Haddington Burghs||Double return. 1 opp.|
Whig declared elected
|28 Jan.||Tregony||Tory elected to fill|
|Tavistock||Opp. Whip elected to|
|29 Jan.||Milborne Port||Govt. Whig vacated seat||287||140||125||6||22|
|2 Feb.||Milborne Port||Tory elected to fill|
|5 Feb.||Argyllshire||Opp. Whig elected to|
Walpole’s reason for expecting that the Opposition would try to get a secret committee appointed for inquiring into the state of the nation was that during the debate on the Address it had been agreed that the state of the nation should be debated on 21 Jan. In the event this debate was postponed for a fortnight, thus enabling Pulteney to spring a surprise by moving without notice on 21 Jan. for the appointment of a secret committee to examine all papers relating to the conduct of the war in Germany with a view to drawing up an indictment of Walpole.19 According to Sir Robert Wilmot (see note XXVI) ‘the Opposition were collected to a man’, but some ministerial Members ‘went away early not expecting anything, others never came’.
The three Lord Beauclerks would not come because the Duchess [of St. Albans] was not buried, Mr. Treby, Mr. Thompson of Scarborough, Mr. Caswall, one of the Martins, and Mr. Ashe were ill and could not stir out. Mr. Bowles was forgot and sat diverting himself all night at Garraway’s coffee house. Mr. Shepheard had that very morning asked leave of the House to go into the country for his health and was gone, besides others whose names I could not learn,
whom he later identifies as two unnamed invalids and Charles Selwyn,20 adding that two ministerial Members, ‘Jack Cornwallis and young Peter Walter were decoyed away and voted for the secret committee’. From this it appears that 521 of the 546 Members so far elected were in town, 271 of whom were ministerial (i.e. the 253 who voted plus the Speaker, two tellers, Cornwallis and Walter, and 13 absentees) and 250 opposition (i.e. the 250 who voted minus Cornwallis and Walter and plus two tellers), a government majority of 20, allowing for the Speaker, which was reduced to three by the votes of Cornwallis and Walter and by the absence of 13 ministerial Members. As, owing to the defections of Mellish, Oswald, and Ross (see note XXVII), there were now 283 government and 263 opposition Members, 12 of the 25 Members not in town must have been ministerial and 13 opposition.
Between the division of 21 Jan. and that on the Chippenham election petition, 28 Jan. 1742 (236 to 235), five more vacant seats were filled, three by government and two by opposition Whigs, and one government Whig was replaced by a Tory, reducing Walpole’s majority of Members in town from 20 to 19. On the assumption that the five new Members were in town, the number of such Members would have been raised to 526, 476 of whom, including the Speaker and four tellers, were present, so that there would have been 50 absentees. Hartington’s letters attribute Walpole’s defeat to the number of ministerial Members who refused to attend election petitions, naming in this connexion two of the Duke of Dorset’s sons, Lord Middlesex and Lord John Sackville, and two Lowthers, Sir James and Sir William. The only ministerial Member reported to have voted with the Opposition was Lord Doneraile, reducing Walpole’s majority to 17. On this basis his defeat by one vote means that 18 more of his supporters than his opponents were absent, the remaining 32 absentees having paired. The 18 could have been made up of the two Sackvilles, the two Lowthers, and the 13 absent on 21 Jan., plus one unnamed Member who, according to Henry Legge, ‘went out of the House with us and remained behind us in some lurking place of the lobby, for we came in with full assurance of victory, and the person who turned the scale against us is rather more than guessed at’.21
Hartington’s estimate that Walpole had a majority of about 14 on 30 Jan., when the table annexed to note XXVII shows a government majority of 22, is consistent with Edward Walpole’s estimate that his father had a majority of about 16 when the table shows a government majority of 24. His calculation on 2 Feb., when Walpole’s majority had been reduced by the loss of another seat to 13, is based on the justified assumption that the prospective by-elections for Argyllshire and Roxburghshire would result in the return of two more opposition Members; that petitions against the four sitting ministerial Members for Denbighshire, Cardiganshire, and Hedon, which were due to be heard at the bar of the House on 4, 8, and 16 Feb., would result in their replacement by four opposition Members, counting eight in a division; and that a petition against the two sitting ministerial Members for Colchester, on which the elections committee were about to report, would also result in the seating of two opposition candidates, counting four in a division. Thus if Walpole had remained in office till 18 Feb., when an opposition Member was returned for Roxburghshire, Argyllshire having done the same on 5 Feb., the Opposition would have been in a majority of one. Owing to the adjournment of Parliament on 3 Feb. till 18 Feb., consequent on his decision to retire, the election committee’s report on the Colchester petition was postponed to 19 Feb.,22 and the determination of the other petitions in favour of the Opposition to still later dates.
XXXI, p. 53.
Opposition and doubtful Whigs, October 1742:
|William Aislabie||Lord George Graham|
|John Bance||Lord Granard|
|William Banks||George Grenville|
|Sir John Barrington||James Grenville|
|Lord Barrington||Richard Grenville|
|Lord Sydney Beauclerk||Nathaniel Gundry|
|Hon. George Berkeley||Lord Hillsborough|
|George Bowes||Thomas Inwen|
|George Bubb Dodington||Richard Liddell|
|Neil Buchanan||Sir James Lowther|
|John Buck||Sir Thomas Lowther|
|Sir Roger Burgoyne||Hon. James Lumley|
|William Calvert||George Lyttelton|
|Sir John Chapman||John Mackye|
|Lord Chetwynd||Sir Paul Methuen|
|William Richard Chetwynd||Edward Montagu|
|James Cocks||William Moore|
|Patrick Craufurd||Lord Mountrath|
|Sir Hew Dalrymple||James Newsham|
|Joseph Damer||Sir Michael Newton|
|Sir Francis Dashwood||Robert Nugent|
|Lord Deerhurst||Samuel Ongley|
|Peter Delmé||John Ord|
|George Denton||James Oswald|
|William Douglas||John Owen|
|Charles Fane||Sir John Peachey|
|Coulson Fellowes||Sir Erasmus Philipps|
|Robert Fenwick||William Pitt|
|Sir Arthur Forbes||William Powlett|
|Theophilus Fortescue||John Pratt|
|Thomas Foster||John Raymond|
|George Richards||John Tucker|
|Charles Selwyn||Sir John Tyrwhitt|
|Hon. Sewallis Shirley||Edward Vernon|
|Edward Southwell||Robert Vyner|
|Hon. John Spencer||Edmund Waller|
|Hon. John Stanhope||Harry Waller|
|Archibald Stewart||Peter Walter|
|Hon. John Stewart||Thomas Watson|
|Lord Strange||Whistler Webster|
|James Stuart Mackenzie||Thomas Whichcote|
|Ralph Thrale||Edward Wortley Montagu|
|Sir John Barnard||Lord Inchiquin|
|Hon. Henry Bathurst||John Jeffreys|
|Edward Bayntun Rolt||William Mellish|
|Hon. John Thigh||William Noel|
|Hon. Edward Boscawen||James Oglethorpe|
|Lord Carpenter||Sir George Oxenden|
|Lord Doneraile||John Page|
|James Douglas||Lord Perceval|
|Henry Drax||Thomas Pitt|
|George Dundas||Edward Rudge|
|Sir Abraham Elton||David Scott|
|Lord Gage||Charles Trelawny|
Whigs and Tories voting in or absent from divisions
| || ||For ||Against || ||Absent || ||vacant|
|1741||238 W||115 W||127 T||48 W||7 T||23|
|Hanoverians||1742||260 W||70 W||123 T||75 W||24 T||6|
|Hanoverians||1744||270 W 1T||88 W||138 T||52 W||9 T||0|
|Hanoverians||1746||255 GOVT.||28 W||94 T||111 GOVT.||41 T||2|
|27 OPP. W|
The last three divisions were in committee. Absentees include the tellers, who were not counted in any division (see Appendix III).
Numbers and voting of Whig placemen in the divisions
| || ||Number ||For ||Against ||Absent |
|Chairman of elections||1741||177||129||26||22|
According to a list in the Newcastle papers (Add. 33002, ff.440-6), evidently drawn up for ministers after the results of the general election of 1747 were known, 341 of the Members returned were ‘for’ and 216 ‘against’ the Government, a total of 557, or one short, the missing Member being John Lloyd, a government supporter representing Cardiganshire. The list gives the names of the English and Welsh Members, but only the numbers, 35 for and ten against, of those returned for Scotland. In a letter of 5 Nov. 1747 the Prince refers to these figures, implying that he does not disagree with them.23 Subsequently, however, the list was corrected by the transfer of Sir Charles Wyndham from against to for in respect of the two constituencies (Cockermouth and Taunton) for which he had been returned; a similar transfer of Richard Heath (Bossiney); the deletion of Michael Harvey and Jeffrey French (Milborne Port) from the againsts and the addition to the fors of their opponents, Charles Churchill and Thomas Medlycott, who were awarded the seats on a double return; the deletion of Samuel Masham and Thomas Foley (Droitwich) from the againsts and the insertion in the fors of Edwin Sandys, on another double return; the transfer from the againsts to the fors of Edward Bayntun Rolt (Chippenham) and William Bowles (Bewdley); and finally by the addition to the fors of William Owen, shown in the list for only one of the two constituencies (Pembrokeshire and Pembroke Boroughs) for which he was returned. Thus nine Members have to be added to the fors and deducted from the againsts, making a total of 351 government and 207 opposition Members.
From lists and letters about elections for Scotland in the Newcastle (Clumber) papers, the ten opposition candidates returned for Scotland can be identified as Patrick Craufurd, John Dickson, Lawrence Dundas, George Haldane, Sir James Hamilton, John Mackye, William Mure, John Murray, James Oswald, and Walter Scott.
Opposition Whigs returned in 1747:
|William Aislabie||Lord Limerick|
|Lord Baltimore||Lord Londonderry|
|John Bance||Sir James Lowther|
|Sir John Barrington||John Mackye|
|Hon. Henry Bathurst||Martin Madan|
|Sir Nicholas Bayly||Lord William Manners|
|Thomas Benson||Samuel Martin|
|Lord Vere Bertie||Thomas Mathews|
|Slingsby Bethell||Lord Middlesex|
|Daniel Boone||Edward Montagu|
|Sir Thomas Bootle||William Mure|
|George Bowes||John Murray|
|Hon. George Compton||Robert Nugent|
|Patrick Craufurd||William Ockenden|
|Sir John Cust||Robert Ord|
|Sir Francis Dashwood||Garton Orme|
|Lord Deerhurst||James Oswald|
|Peter Delmé||Sir George Oxenden|
|John Dickson||James Peachey|
|Lord Doneraile||Sir John Peachey|
|James Douglas||Thomas Pitt|
|William Dowdeswell||Thomas Potter|
|Henry Drax||Mansel Powell|
|Thomas Erle||Drax Richard Rigby|
|Lawrence Dundas||Matthew Robinson|
|Richard Eliot||Edward Rudge|
|John Evelyn||Sir John Rushout|
|Henry Furnese||Walter Scott|
|Lord Gage||Edward Southwell|
|Lord Granby||Hon. Sir William Stanhope|
|Nathaniel Gundry||John Stanwix|
|Phillips Gybbon||Lord Strange|
|George Haldane||Theobald Taaffe|
|Hon. George Hamilton||Charles Taylor|
|Roger Handasyde||Sir Edmund Thomas|
|Thomas Hawkins||Charles Trelawny|
|Richard Heath||William Trevanion|
|Robert Henley||Edward Vernon|
|Lord Hillsborough||Thomas Vernon|
|Paul Humphrey||Robert Vyner|
|Lord Inchiquin||Edmund Waller|
|Sir William Irby||Edmund Waller jun.|
|Stephen Theodore Janssen||Whistler Webster|
|George Lee||Edward Willes|
|John Lee||John Willes|
|Daniel Leighton||Edward Wortley Montagu|
In the following list of the Prince of Wales’s party in the 1747 Parliament, members returned at the general election are indicated by an asterisk. The Prince’s servants, marked (s), numbered 18 at the general election, 28 at his death.
|*Lord Baltimore (s)||Lord Limerick|
|*Hon. Henry Bathurst (s)||Lord Londonderry|
|Sir Nicholas Bayly||Sir James Lowther|
|Edmund Hungate Beaghan||Richard Lyttelton|
|*Daniel Boone (s)||*Martin Madan (s)|
|*Sir Thomas Bootle (s)||Lord William Manners|
|George Bubb Dodington (s)||Lord Robert Manners Sutton (s)|
|*Sir John Cust (s)||Samuel Martin|
|Sir Francis Dashwood||Lord Middlesex (s)|
|Lord Doneraile (s)||Robert Nugent (s)|
|*James Douglas (s)||William Ockenden (s)|
|*Henry Drax (s)||*Garton Orme (s)|
|*Thomas Erle Drax (s)||James Oswald|
|Lord Egmont (s)||*Sir George Oxenden|
|Edward Eliot (s)||*Thomas Pitt (s)|
|*Richard Eliot (d. 1748) (s)||Thomas Potter (s)|
|Sir Harry Erskine||*Richard Rigby|
|*John Evelyn (s)||Matthew Robinson|
|Henry Furnese||Sir John Rushout|
|*Lord Gage (s)||Sir William Stanhope|
|Phillips Gybbon||John Stanwix (s)|
|*Hon. George Hamilton (s)||*Sir Edmund Thomas (s)|
|Roger Handasyde||Hon. George Townshend|
|Thomas Hawkins||*Charles Trelawny (s)|
|Richard Heath||William Trevanion (s)|
|*Lord Inchiquin (s)||Thomas Vernon|
|*Sir William Irby (s)||Edmund Waller|
|Paul Jodrell (s)||Edmund Waller jun.|
|*George Lee||Edward Willes|
|John Lee||John Wiles|
Out of 533 Members seated at the general election of 1747, 163 were placemen supporting the Government. 25 Whig placemen were in opposition, viz. 18 servants of the Prince of Wales (see note XXXVI) and seven opposition Whigs (William Aislabie, Lord Hillsborough, Edward Southwell, Edmund Waller, Lord Granby, Daniel Leighton, and John Stanwix, the last three being army officers). By-elections caused by Members being returned for two constituencies increased the number of government placemen by six and the Prince’s servants by two (Lord Doneraile and Lord Middlesex). One more government placeman came in after a double return.
HMC Stuart, i. pp. xlviii seq. contains a letter of 6 Mar. 1714 giving the substance of two conversations with Bolingbroke on 27 Feb. and 2 Mar. 1714, when he was trying to get the Pretender to declare himself an Anglican. The letter divides the Tories into four groups:
|1. ||Jacobites, who were for the succession of the Pretender, even though he did not change his religion;|
|2.||Hanoverian Tories, who were against the succession of the Pretender even if he changed his religion;|
|3.||Tories who were against the Elector of Hanover either because they feared that under him they would have no share in the Government, or because he was a foreigner, or from fear of civil war if one nearest to the succession was excluded, but who would like the Pretender to change his religion;|
|4.||those who were Tories merely from interested motives.|
The Hanmer Corresp. pp. 52-53, prints a letter of 8 Oct. 1714 from the French ambassador to Louis XIV stating that Sir Thomas Hanmer was
the head of a group of 30 to 40 Members, who have always affected like him to call themselves Tories, but were strongly opposed to the Pretender out of zeal for their religion and for the liberties of the nation. They form here what is called in the conclaves at Rome the flying squadron.
The number of Hanoverian Tories in the 1715 House of Commons cannot be equated with that of the 30 Members shown in the Worsley list as those who would sometimes vote with the Whigs. As explained in the Worsley list, this classification is based on the votes of these Members in the 1713 Parliament, when a number of extreme Tories joined the moderates under Hanmer in voting against the treaty of commerce as a form of pressure on the ministry to alter the order of the succession,24 whereas now the Tories seemed to be reunited. At the beginning of 1718 Atterbury, in a letter to the Pretender, describes the Hanoverian Tories as ‘a handful of men, without dependents or credit’.25
Speaker Onslow states that after Sunderland’s death
a letter from the Pretender to him was found upon his desk among his secret papers, when they were examined by some of the ministers (particularly my Lord Townshend) in the presence of some of the family ... The letter however was immediately burnt at the desire of a noble person (my Lord Godolphin) who was there and was his brother-in-law.26
Onslow’s statement is supplemented by Sir Robert Walpole, who told Sir Dudley Ryder, in February 1743, that Sunderland
having disobliged the present King and late Queen and lost all hopes that way, had entered into a scheme to bring over the Pretender. After his death, a letter from the Pretender thank him was found among his papers. Part of the scheme was to make Dr. Freind secretary of state. Lord Cowper himself had been reconciled to the Pretender.27
According to Freind, writing to Lansdowne, 14 June 1722,
at first it was given out that the beginning of the discovery [of the plot] was made from some of Lord Sunderland’s papers, and it may be true in fact that he might have few slight informations given him, which he did not think it time to publish to the others. I know he said, it was well for them (I mean the Jacobites) that Townshend and Walpole had not in their hands what he had. This he said the day sennight before he died.28
On the day after Sunderland’s death, Atterbury wrote to Dillon, who was to have commanded a projected invasion from France:
Though I have for some time thought that nothing of importance should be trusted to the post, and am resolved myself not to send that way, yet the death of Lord Sunderland makes such a caution more indispensably necessary.29
Observing that Sunderland would be a greater loss to the Pretender than to George I, the Regent told Dubois that it was eight months since Sunderland had entered into engagements with the Pretender, the first article of which, and the guarantee of the rest, was to procure the election of a Tory Parliament, and that all the Jacobites were in despair at his death.30 Finally the Pretender himself wrote to Lansdowne, 28 June 1722:
By a letter I received last post from England it appears to me as if among Lord Sunderland’s papers there had been found two letters of which I send you the copies ... for you know the alarm broke out just after Lord Sunderland’s death and it was on that they applied to all their allies.31
XL, p. 65.
The main list of probable supporters of a rising, for England and Wales, is arranged by counties and groups of counties (Stuart mss 65/16). A supplementary list covering Norfolk was drawn up by Christopher Layer, Lord North and Grey’s agent, who was a Norfolk man (Stuart mss 65/10). The two lists include the names of 23 Members of the House of Lords (shown below in small capitals), 83 Members of the 1715-22 House of Commons, 23 former Members of the Commons (marked with an asterisk), and (in italics) 21 who entered the Commons subsequently. The third and fourth groups are each increased by one if ‘The Bagots’ under Staffordshire be identified as Charles Bagot and Sir Walter Wagstaffe Bagot.
Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire
|LORD NORTH AND GREY||Sir John Hynde Cotton|
|*Sir Pynsent Chernock||John Harvey|
|LORD CRAVEN||Robert Packer|
|LORD STAWELL||Sir John Stonhouse|
|Thomas Chapman||Lord Fermanagh|
|Montague Garrard Drake||John Fleetwood|
|LORD LANSDOWNE||*Sir William Pendarves|
|John Anstis||Philip Rashleigh|
|Sir William Carew||Sir John St. Aubyn|
|Sir John Coryton||*Thomas Tonkin|
|John Goodall||*Sir Richard Vyvian|
Cumberland, Northumberland, Westmorland
|William Shippen||William Wrightson|
|LORD CLIFFORD OF CHUDLEIGH||Jonathan Elford|
|Sir Coplestone Warwick Bampfylde||Sir Nicholas Morice|
|John Basset||Stephen Northleigh|
|Sir John Chichester||William Northmore|
|Sir William Courtenay||*Andrew Quicke|
|George Chaffin||Sir Nathaniel Napier|
|*Lord Digby||Thomas Strangways|
|LORD CREW, lord bishop of Durham||Sir John Eden|
|LORD BATHURST||John Howe|
|LORD CONWAY||Thomas Master|
|*John Symes Berkeley||John Snell|
|Richard Fleming||Thomas Lewis|
|Sir Henry Goring||Sir Peter Mews|
|Henry Holmes||William Stephens|
|LORD SALISBURY||Sir Thomas Sebright|
|LORD WINCHILSEA||Sir William Hardres|
|Sir George Beaumont||*Sir Richard Halford|
|Samuel Bracebridge (also under Workwickshire)||Noel|
|LORD WINDSOR||Sir Charles Kemys (also under Gloucestershire)|
|Sir Edmund Bacon (of Garboldisham)||*Roger North|
|Henry Heron||*Sir John Wodehouse|
|*Sir Nicholas L’Estrange|
|LORD STRAFFORD||Justinian Isham|
|Sir Justinian Isham|
|LORD LEXINTON||William Levinz|
|LORD MIDDLETON||Borlase Warren|
|LORD ABINGDON||Sir Robert Jenkinson|
|Sir Jonathan Cope||Thomas Rowney|
|*Sir William Glynne|
|Sir John Astley||*Edward Cresset|
|*John Baldwyn||Corbet Kynaston|
|LORD POULETT||Thomas Palmer|
|LORD STOURTON||Edward Phelipps|
|John Bampfylde||*Sir Philip Sydenham|
|John Fownes (also under Devon)||Sir John Trevelyan|
|Thomas Homer||Sir William Wyndham|
|LORD GOWER||*Ralph Sneyd|
Sir Walter Wagstaffe Bagot
listed as ‘The Bagots,’
|Clement Corrance||Sir Robert Kemp|
|Sir Robert Davers||*Sir John Rous|
|*Lord Dysart||Sir Edward Turner|
|William Inge||William Peyto|
|Sir William Keyt||*Sir Fulwar Skipwith|
|Charles Mordaunt||*Sir John Wrottesley|
|Sir John Pakington (also under Worcestershire)|
|LORD BRUCE||Edward Nicholas|
|Sir Richard Grubham Howe||*Francis Popham|
|Robert Hyde||Edward Rolt|
|John Ivory Talbot||Francis Swanton|
|Edmund Lambert||John Richmond Webb|
|Sir James Long|
|LORD CARMARTHEN||Lord Downe|
|Sir John Bland||*John Stapylton|
Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Merioneth
William Gwyn Vaughan
|Thomas Eyton||*Peter Shakerly|
|Sir Richard Grosvenor||Sir George Warburton|
|John Roberts||Watkin Williams|
|Hon. Robert Mansel||Sir Edward Stradling|
|LORD HEREFORD||John Pugh|
|Sir George Barlow||John Campbell|
Col. William Cecil, whose family were connected with the earls of Exeter, served in Flanders under Marlborough in the regiment of his kinsman by marriage, Lord Orrery.32 Soon after the death of George I, to whom he had been equerry, he entered the Pretender’s service, suggesting to him in 1730 that Walpole might be ready to do likewise, but was told that it was evidently in Walpole’s interest ‘to give such a notion to my well wishers that they may be less active against him’.33 On Orrery’s death in 1731 Cecil succeeded him as the Pretender’s chief representative in England, in which capacity he was said to have
suffered himself to be cajoled and duped by Sir Robert Walpole to such a degree as to be fully persuaded that Sir Robert had formed a design to restore the House of Stuart. For this reason, he communicated to Sir Robert Walpole all his despatches, and there was not a scheme which the Chevalier’s court or the Jacobites in England had projected during Sir Robert’s long administration, of which the minister was not early informed, and was therefore able to defeat it without any noise or expense.34
Next year he indignantly denied a report that he had informed Walpole of the negotiations for a Stuart restoration initiated with the French Government by Lord Cornbury, in conjunction with the Duchess of Buckingham.35 He continued to be the channel for the Pretender’s messages to his supporters in England till 1743, when Sir John Hynde Cotton
observed that the Government was not and could not be ignorant of Col. Cecil’s correspondence with your Majesty [the Pretender] and yet suffered it to go on, notwithstanding of which he did not judge Col. Cecil to be a traitor but a fool.36
After this, though still receiving friendly communications from the Pretender, he was kept out of all serious business. On his arrest at the time of the projected French invasion in February 1744, Walpole is reported to have said that ‘the Government had taken up the man from whom he had received all his information of the Jacobites’ measures’.37 Released on bail but struck off the half-pay list, he died 9 Dec. 1745.
Walpole’s explanation of Argyll’s conduct is borne out by one of the Duke’s followers, Archibald Stewart, who told Adam Smith ‘that towards the end of his life the Duke of Argyll grew in terror of being sent to the Tower, and if anybody named the Tower before him, he started, and repeated the word with great marks of fear’. According to Horace Walpole, Argyll’s alarm at having been drawn into a correspondence with the Pretender made him reluctant to sign his name, ‘and it was with great difficulty ... that he could be persuaded to sign the marriage articles between his eldest daughter and Lord Dalkeith ’.38 In April 1743 his condition is thus described by James Erskine:
The Duke’s friends have acknowledged that he did say a good deal to King George, but not so much as the courtiers pretend, and those chiefly attached to his Grace in the House of Commons39 have continued all this session of Parliament in the Opposition. His Grace has never since that time been in town, nor been from his own house, Sudbrook, under Richmond Park, where he has lived retired, hardly seeing anybody, or speaking to the few admitted to him, but as one moped, indolent, dejected, and broken-hearted, in so much that most people reckon him hors de jeu at all hands ... His conduct to Lord Barrymore is condemned by all the earth. He has long lived in great friendship with that Lord, and professed great honour and respect for him as a man of sense and worth, and one of the best officers in Britain, and though his Lordship was several days within a few miles of his Grace’s house after delivering the Chevalier’s letter to him yet he did not give him the least hint he was to send that letter to court and acquaint King George and his ministry that his Lordship brought it to him, and so he exposed his friend to be caught napping for a treasonable fact, though it could not have imputed anything against his Grace to have given his friend previous notice of the danger he was to bring him into.40
He died in retirement 4 Oct. 1743.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Romney R. Sedgwick
- 1. 25 June 1753, AECP Angl. 416, ff. 209-11.
- 2. See L.S. Sutherland, ‘Samson Gideon and the reduction of interest 1749-50’, Econ. Hist. Rev. 1946.
- 3. Mems. 838-9, 850-1.
- 4. IX, 26; Coxe, Walpole, iii. 517-18; HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 31-32, which,overlooking that the division was in committee, mistakenly states that there were fourtellers.
- 5. HMC Stopford-Sackville, i. 36-37, 375-6; see also BUBB, George.
- 6. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 6, 31.
- 7. Hervey, Mems. 174-6.
- 8. Egmont Diary, iii. 141.
- 9. Coxe, Walpole, iii. 565, 588-90.
- 10. HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 251-2, 254.
- 11. Coxe, Walpole, iii. 582.
- 12. Harrowby mss 10 (L. Inn), 9 and 11 Dec. 1741.
- 13. Coxe, Walpole, iii. 582-3.
- 14. Liverpool Tractate ed. Strateman, 52.
- 15. Devonshire mss.
- 16. Coxe, Walpole, iii. 586.
- 17. To Mann, 24 Dec. 1741.
- 18. Coxe, Walpole, iii. 586.
- 19. Walpole to Mann, 22 Jan. 1742.
- 20. To the Duke of Devonshire, 23 and 26 Jan. 1742, Devonshire mss.
- 21. To the Duke of Devonshire, 30 Jan. 1742, Devonshire mss.
- 22. HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 255.
- 23. Owen, Pelhams, 317.
- 24. K. Feiling, Tory Party 1640-1714, pp. 450-1; Lockhart Pprs. i. 469-78. For the Worsley list see Appendix XI.
- 25. J.H. Glover, Stuart Pprs. 32-33.
- 26. HMC 14th Rep. IX, 510.
- 27. Harrowby mss 21 (L. Inn).
- 28. Stuart mss 60/26.
- 29. Reports from Cttees. of the House of Commons (1803), i. 123.
- 30. Schaub to Carteret, 1 June 1722, Add. 9129, ff. 49-50.
- 31. Stuart mss 60/88.
- 32. Dalton, Geo. I’s Army, ii. 35-38.
- 33. James Hamilton to the Pretender, 18 Dec. 1727, and 31 May 1729; Cecil to the same, 15 Dec. 1730; and the Pretender to Cecil, 23 Feb. N.S. 1731, Stuart mss 111/120, 128/127, 140/203, 143/50.
- 34. William King, Anecdotes, 36-39.
- 35. To the Pretender, 22 Mar. 1732, Stuart mss 152/88.
- 36. Lord Sempill to the Pretender, 17 June 1743, Stuart mss 250/169.
- 37. King, loc. cit.
- 38. H. Walpole Corresp. (Yale ed.), vii. 360.
- 39. Neil Buchanan, Sir Hew Dalrymple, William Douglas, Sir Arthur Forbes, Lord George Graham, Lord Granard, John Mackye, Norman Macleod, James Oswald, Archibald and John Stewart, Hon. James Stuart Mackenzie (John Drummond to the Earl of Morton, 2 and 4 Dec. 1742, Morton mss, SRO).
- 40. To Lord Sempill, Stuart mss 249/83.