HANMER, Thomas II (1677-1746), of Pall Mall, Westminster; Bettisfield Park, Flints.; and Mildenhall, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



19 Mar. 1701 - 1702
1702 - 1705
1705 - 1708
1708 - 1727

Family and Education

b. 24 Sept. 1677, 1st and o. surv. s. of William Hanmer of Bettisfield Park (2nd s. of Sir Thomas Hanmer, 2nd Bt.†, of Hanmer, Flints. and Bettisfield) by Peregrina, da. of Sir Henry North, 1st Bt.†, of Mildenhall.  educ. Bury St. Edmunds g.s.; Westminster; Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 1693; Camb. Univ. LL.D. 1705.  m. (1) lic. 14 Oct. 1698, Lady Isabella (d. 1723), suo jure Countess of Arlington, da. and h. of Henry Bennet†, 1st Earl of Arlington, wid. of Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Grafton, s.p.; (2) 23 Feb. 1725, Elizabeth (d. 1741), da. and h. of Thomas Folkes of Barton, Suff., s.psuc. fa. 1695; uncle Sir Henry North, 2nd Bt.†, at Mildenhall 1695; uncle Sir John Hanmer, 3rd Bt.†, as 4th Bt. c.Aug. 1701.1

Offices Held

Keeper of King’s game, N. Wales 1702; conservator, Bedford level 1710–aft.1725.2

Freeman, Bury St. Edmunds 1705.3

Speaker of the House of Commons 1714–15.


Hanmer, a fastidious young man inclined to preciosity yet of a warily calculating disposition, took the earliest steps in his public career with characteristic care. Although he was already possessed of a considerable landed inheritance in Suffolk and North Wales, almost his first act on reaching his maturity had been to marry the dowager Duchess of Grafton, some ten years his senior but still a ‘fortune’ in her own right and with a life-interest besides in the principal Grafton estate. The disparity in age, intellectual attainments and sexual experience – the Duchess had been one of the ‘Windsor beauties’ while the refined Hanmer, though ‘tall and handsome in his person’ was reputedly impotent – made him briefly appear a somewhat ridiculous figure, but in terms of property, influence and aristocratic connexions the alliance immediately placed him in the forefront of county society in both Suffolk and Flintshire. He did not seek to enter Parliament as a knight of the shire, a dignity to which he could quite properly have aspired in spite of his youth. Instead he contested the borough of Thetford, close by the Grafton seat at Euston Hall, whose small electorate might be more easily cowed or bribed. Defeated at the general election of January 1701, he came in at a by-election in March and retained his seat without opposition at the next general election in November. He had also taken the precaution of having himself returned for the borough constituency in Flintshire, where he had recently succeeded to his uncle Sir John Hanmer’s substantial interest, but opted to continue sitting for Thetford. In the House his party political sympathies were readily apparent: a family tradition of Cavalier loyalty, and an education at Westminster and Christ Church (where Robert Friend and George Smalridge were his tutors), which predisposed him towards the Tories and consequently saw him accounted a ‘loss’ by Lord Spencer (Charles*) following his re-election for Thetford. He was listed as a supporter of the motion of 26 Feb. 1702, vindicating the proceedings of the previous session over the impeachments of William III’s Whig ministers. After a grant of leave on 7 Mar. to attend the funeral of a ‘near relation’, he told on 6 May against an instruction to the committee on the bill regulating abuses in the collection of the salt duties. Hanmer’s brand of Toryism, with its emphatically Protestant churchmanship, was perhaps nearest to that of Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†). Indeed, it is possible that he had already been brought into Nottingham’s orbit through a family connexion with Sir Roger Mostyn, 3rd Bt.*, the Earl’s future son-in-law.4

In 1702 Hanmer was returned for Flintshire, whose representation rotated among the leading gentry families. Evidently he had already caught the attention of Lord Treasurer Godolphin (Sidney†) as a potential recruit, possibly because of his wealth, social standing and reputation as a ‘coming man’. On 9 Dec. he told on an amendment to the Cam navigation bill, and on the 23rd in favour of a Tory wrecking amendment to a Whig place bill, and again on the Tory side on 11 Feb. 1703, in favour of the report from the public accounts commission. On 25 Feb. Hanmer was despatched to the Upper Chamber to request a conference on a dispute arising from the report. He told on 30 Nov. 1703 in favour of the committal of the occasional conformity bill. Then on 29 Feb. he was again a teller, in defence of Lord Nottingham (personally as well as in support of his party), for the resolution condemning the House of Lords’ proceedings on the Scotch Plot; and he also appeared on Nottingham’s list of supporters over this issue. By the 1704–5 session Hanmer was one of the leading Tory spokesmen in the House, and the ousting of Nottingham from office had made him an even more aggressive proponent of High Church policies. He told on 14 Nov. in favour of bringing in the third occasional conformity bill, and, having twice been forecast as likely to vote in favour of the move to tack it to the land tax bill, duly divided for this tactic on 28 Nov. On 9 Jan. 1705 Hanmer introduced a bill for the qualification of j.p.s, a measure partly designed to penalize Dissenters. He was active too in the lengthy proceedings on the disputed election for Aylesbury.5

At the 1705 election it was Hanmer’s turn to step down from both Flintshire constituencies, and as he did not yet wish to intrude on the two Tory candidates for Suffolk, he opted to return to his original seat at Thetford. In an analysis of the new Parliament he was classed as ‘True Church’. Hanmer’s character and deportment earned him the respect even of political enemies, and it is possible that the ministry, or at least its Tory members, may have entertained some hopes of him. In May he had been the only High Churchman among a pack of Whigs upon whom honorary doctorates were conferred during the Queen’s visit to Cambridge University, itself part of a prolonged publicity stunt designed to boost the chances of ministerial candidates in the university constituency at the forthcoming election. Such a tentative advance, if such it was, had no apparent effect. When the Parliament opened, on 25 Oct. 1705, he seconded the Tory William Bromley II for the Speakership and voted against the Court candidate, John Smith I, in the ensuing division. He told against the Court over the disputed election for St. Albans. On 4 Dec. he proposed the so-called ‘Hanover motion’ during a debate on recent proceedings in the Scottish parliament over the succession. He offered ‘as the remedy for the dangers . . . apprehended from Scotland the invitation of the presumptive heir of the crown’, the Electress Sophia, ‘by way of an address to the Queen’. The following report was sent to Lord Grange (Hon. James Erskine†) in Scotland:

Sir Thomas Hanmer, a young lawyer of good estate and esteem too, notwithstanding his marriage with the Duchess of Gordon [sic] . . . alleged that the conduct of the ministry in both kingdoms had been a riddle for these three years nobody could solve. That there had been no recommendation of the succession to the first session of parliament in Scotland but that the winter thereafter on the plot called Fraser’s being trumped up and the Lords vigorously addressing the Queen thereon a recommendation was made to the second but the Scots having been neglected in a former treaty refusing to comply. An Act (which he had . . . opposed as injurious to Scotland, a free and independent kingdom . . .) had passed last session of Parliament, which now by another Act is to be repealed without any mention in narrative of reasons for such a proceeding . . . In Scotland . . . people from St. Germain (my lord Balcarres was hinted at, ’tis said named) were employed in the ministry, and in an Act now brought from the Lords, called for securing the Protestant succession, regents were named in the interregnum as if an interruption of the succession were designed, to prevent which and effectually to secure it he thought the best method was immediately to invite over the successor.

Subsequently Hanmer was recorded as intervening three times in a debate on 19 Jan. 1706 on the regency bill, the ministerial riposte to the Tory proposal of an ‘invitation’, with cavils at the arrangements provided for the composition of the regency which was to take temporary authority on the Queen’s death. He professed himself concerned at the extent of the powers to be lodged in the regents, lest these be ‘made use’ of ‘to usurp’, noting that government was not necessarily ‘left to the best’. On 7 Feb. he was sent to ask for a conference with the Lords over amendments to the regency bill. Having been appointed one of the managers for the conference, he told on 15 Feb. against adjourning consideration of the Lords’ amendments. He had also acted as a teller on 8 Dec. 1705, on an amendment to the ‘Church in danger’ resolution, to omit the declaration that anyone asserting that there was a threat to the Church under the current administration was ‘an enemy to the Queen, the Church and the kingdom’.6

Hanmer did not allow his political struggles to poison personal relationships: after Ramillies he sent Marlborough (John Churchill†) a letter of congratulation, and included a note of thanks for a favour shown to ‘a gentleman’ he had recently recommended. Such conduct made it easier for ministers to approach Hanmer, which evidently they did during the summer of 1706, probably at the instigation of Robert Harley*. While the flow of government favour seemed still to be in the direction of the Whigs no very positive response could reasonably be expected, and Hanmer’s conduct showed little change. On 7 Jan. 1707, though engaged by a ‘great manager’ to move for a settlement on the Duke ‘to accompany the title and house at Woodstock’, Hanmer ‘desired to be excused and seemed passively silent during the debate’. The opportunity to show a rather sharper edge in his attitude towards the ministry came during examinations of the financial provision for the war. Hanmer spoke ‘briskly’ on 16 Jan. in favour of a strict inquiry into the alleged £1 million debt, and on 27 Jan. told against a Court Whig motion vindicating military expenditure in Spain. He also told on 10 Feb. 1707, against a Whig amendment to the bill for securing the Church of England. After suffering a bout of illness during the summer of 1707, he returned to the fray in the crucial session of 1707–8, when he, Annesley, William Bromley II and other Tories from the ‘angry corner’ joined with Country Whigs (and occasionally even some Junto supporters) to keep up a withering crossfire on administration. Before the session opened Harley had approached Hanmer and his friends to explore the possibility of their joining in a ‘moderating scheme’ for a reconstruction of the ministry to exclude the Junto, and had taken ‘great pains to engage them in the Queen’s interests, assuring them that her heart was with them, that she was weary of the tyranny of the Whigs, and longed to be delivered from it’. Perhaps Hanmer had heard such things too often before, for Harley received a dusty answer. As Bishop Burnet put it, the Tory leaders ‘were not wrought on by that management; they either mistrusted it, as done only to ensnare them, or they had other views, which they did not think fit to own’. By the end of January 1708 Hanmer seems to have become more receptive: he and his close associates Sir Henry Bunbury, 3rd Bt.*, and Peter Shakerley* were confident enough to recommend friends for places in any new administration to be formed under Harley’s auspices. After Harley’s fall from power the following month the town was full of rumours of the share Hanmer was to have had in the ‘scheme’, possibly even the chancellorship of the Exchequer. These secret negotiations had had no tangible effect on Hanmer’s conduct in the meantime, for in January and February he may almost be said to have led the opposition in the Commons. On 21 Jan., at the report of the committee on army recruitment, he made two interventions, at first ‘against any levies being made in England, and altogether for hired troops’, a suggestion in which he was ‘followed by nobody’, and secondly moving an amendment which met with a better reception, ‘to exempt all that maintained their families by their labour, or had any maintenance from their parents’; this passed ‘with little opposition’. Much more significant was his contribution on 29 Jan. to the crucial debate on the state of the war in Spain, a favourite hunting-ground of the High Tories and an area in which the ministry was particularly vulnerable after the defeat of the allied forces at Almanza. The disclosure during this debate that far fewer troops had been available in the Peninsula at the time of this engagement than had been provided for by Parliament provoked howls of outrage. Hanmer opened for the opposition and for once his measured, almost literary, oratorical style proved ideally suited to the occasion, to the extent that his speech was credited with convincing the House to accept his motion of censure. He began, according to James Vernon I*, in ‘very smooth, gentle terms’,

but still showing a dislike to the mismanagement, which he took notice was only prosperous when we were least concerned. He taxed a great neglect of Spain, and that Portugal was fed with money without any care, whether they performed their part of the treaty. There were insinuations made as if we had neglected making peace last year, while there were good conditions offered agreeable to our successes, and now our affairs were grown worse. We thought to carry on a war by addresses. For remedy of the ill state we were in, he thought it necessary a representation ought to be made of the true situation of our affairs, and it was not to be doubted but her Majesty would rather hearken to the advice of those, that upon all occasions have shown their readiness to supply her with money, than to such as are always taking it from her. And for the method of proceeding, he proposed a question, ‘that it appeared to this House that 29,000 men the Parliament had given money for, the last years, for the war in Spain and Portugal, there were not in either place at the time of the battle of Almanza above 8,600 men’.

This attack was followed up on the 24th, as the House debated the Queen’s response to the address which had embodied Hanmer’s motion, and the Tories pressed to censure the ministry for insufficient care in supplying the forces in Spain with recruits. Hanmer did not lead off again, but followed another of his close associates, John Ward III, first in objecting against the detailed nature of the Queen’s reply as an ‘unparliamentary’ pre-emption of the Commons’ investigation, and then in pursuing the discrepancy between the totals of troops provided for and troops present. He then acted as a teller for the censure motion. By this time the ministerial crisis had come to a head and the Harleyites were out of office. Thus Harley himself, Simon Harcourt I and Henry St. John II joined Hanmer on 28 Feb. in debating against the cathedrals bill, a ‘party cause’ in that it had been specifically designed to resolve the dispute between the Whig bishop of Carlisle, William Nicolson, and his high-flying dean, Francis Atterbury, in favour of the former. Inevitably, two parliamentary lists from about this time classed Hanmer as a Tory.7

Having overcome any reluctance to continue in Parliament – one correspondent commiserated that ‘sitting in the House is become indifferent to you for want of success’ – Hanmer stood both for Suffolk and Thetford in 1708. Unopposed as knight of the shire he also put up for the borough to defend his interest against that of his stepson, the Duke of Grafton. He was defeated in a contest that was notorious even by the low standards of political morality prevalent among Thetford’s voters. Although he had grounds to petition he preferred not to give a Whig-dominated Commons the chance to judge the case. Involved in a pre-sessional whipping campaign designed to ensure a maximum Tory attendance when the new Parliament opened, Hanmer was considered by some Tories as a possible candidate for the Chair in the event of a division between Court and Whig interests over the Speakership, but such an opportunity did not arise. The following month he moved for a vote of thanks to the Tory general, John Richmond Webb*, for his recent victory at Wynendael. This was also a sideswipe at Marlborough, whose first despatches had credited the success to a rival officer, indicating the extent to which Hanmer had now become estranged from the Duke. On 10 Jan. 1709 the Tory opposition resumed a frontal assault on the ministry’s conduct of the war, and Hanmer was one of those who seconded Harley’s motion for a resolution to demand accounts of the expenditure the previous year in the Spanish theatre, accompanying the request with strong criticism of military failures there. He was nominated on 29 Jan. to the committee to prepare a bill to make the treason laws uniform throughout Britain, but the intensity of his involvement in the work of the Tory opposition was most obviously apparent in his activity as a teller during this session. Of seven recorded tellerships, three arose from election disputes: Abingdon (20 Jan.), Orford (29 Jan.) and Dunwich (5 Feb.). On 7 Mar. he told against the bill for the naturalization of the Palatines, and the remaining tellerships were on issues in which the interests of the Court were directly concerned: to request an account of secret service pensions (23 Feb.); against an amendment to a proposed address over the arrears of land tax receivers (26 Feb.); and to reject a motion for an address to vindicate the government’s action over the invasion attempt the previous year (10 Mar.). The following summer saw Hanmer and Arthur Annesley visiting Lord Nottingham’s country seat at Burley, and there is the intriguing possibility (in the light of Hanmer’s future political allegiance) that he may also have made a journey to Hanover at this time. He told on 15 Feb. 1710 against addressing the Queen to send Marlborough to the peace negotiations in Holland. Naturally, he voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell.8

Hanmer’s response to the ministerial changes of 1710, as revealed in some of his correspondence, was curiously unenthusiastic. A dissolution appeared to him essential (for ‘a new ministry with an old Parliament will be worse than the Gospel absurdity of a piece of new cloth in an old garment’), but he was unwilling to offer any further opinions as to necessary alterations. ‘Don’t think me quite destitute of public spirit’, he informed Matthew Prior*,

if I confess to you I think pretty indifferently of these matters, and feel no palpitations of heart concerning them. If it be a fault, I can’t help wishing it to my friends too, that you might have no reason to wait upon the humours of men or the tricks of state.

Such remarks implied a certain suspicion of Harley, an interpretation borne out by Hanmer’s reaction to the persistent approaches made to him during the summer. From June till September there were rumours that Hanmer might receive the comptroller’s staff, a place on the remodelled Treasury commission, or even a peerage. Yet, the one offer that can be documented – of a Treasury commissionership, made first by the Duke of Shrewsbury and then by Harley himself – was politely rejected, though Hanmer did soften his refusal with a recommendation to royal favour of one of his lesser dependants. For all his reluctance to take office, however, he was by no means as ‘indifferent’ to public affairs in general as he had claimed, and at the general election in 1710 exerted himself to secure his return for both Suffolk and Thetford, electing to sit as knight of the shire. He appeared as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, and when the session opened on 25 Nov. successfully proposed Bromley for the Chair. After several names had been canvassed, including his own, to ‘try the temper and affections of the House’, he spoke to much acclaim, even among opponents, in support of Bromley’s candidature. This was the kind of ‘set’ oration at which he excelled, and it was, at least in part, ‘an apologetic, to take off all the insinuations that have been made against his friends by the contrary party’:

It was necessary to choose a man who had given signal proofs of his abilities and willingness to serve his country . . . who had been earnest in the prosecution of the war . . . who had distinguished himself for his zeal for the Protestant succession, and as hearty for establishing the same in the illustrious house of Hanover, and who would contribute to do everything for extinguishing all the hopes of the Pretender; and lastly who was well affected to the Church of England, the security of which was too much intermixed with that of the state that the one could not fall without pulling down the other with it.

Hanmer took a leading role in the proceedings on the Address, making the original motion on 29 Nov. and suggesting some ‘heads’, including

that it might be represented to her Majesty, that the most effectual way to give spirit to her friends, and defeat the malice of her enemies, would be by discountenancing all persons of such principles as might weaken her Majesty’s title and government.

He was said to have undertaken the burden of drafting the Address and reported it to the House the following day. His conduct over the Speakership and the Address point to a close association with the Court, an impression borne out by various reports early in December of his imminent appointment to office, even as secretary of state. Although nothing materialized, Hanmer remained an object of ministerial attention. His attitude towards, and relationship with, the Court during the 1710–11 session is hard to fathom. He certainly shared the sentiments of those of the hotter Tories who were anxious to exact vengeance on the Whigs. Listed among the ‘worthy patriots’ responsible for exposing the mismanagements of the previous administration, he joined the October Club. He was also active in promoting various ‘Country’ projects such as the grants resumption bill, for which he voted, and the place bill, for which on 29 Jan. he both ‘made a handsome speech’ and acted as a teller. But besides detestation of the Whigs his political conduct was inspired by a sincere hope to see an end to the war, as shown by his inclusion in the list of ‘Tory patriots’ who had opposed the continuation of the war, and this may well have been what prevented his differences with the ministers from developing into an unbridgeable rift. Eventually, perhaps alarmed at the extremism of the Octobrists, he was pulled into a closer orbit around the Court. Though still critical of Harley’s financial management in a debate on 6 Mar., and evidently in the counsels of the October Club as late as April, he was expelled in May for being too friendly with the ministers. Having been first-named to the committee appointed on 24 May to prepare a full representation of grievances against the old ministry, he seems to have tried to transform the pursuit of misdemeanours into an endorsement of the Queen’s wisdom in changing her administration. Early in June Lord Treasurer Oxford (the former Harley) wrote to Hanmer to ‘repeat my desires that you will consider coming into her Majesty’s service’, but, knowing his man, phrased the suggestion with great care: ‘I am very far from pressing anything which may be uneasy to your inclinations, or your own private affairs, but would leave the accommodating the time and other circumstances to what would be most agreeable to you’. Bromley acted as a go-between, reporting to Oxford that Hanmer’s

private affairs lie so distorted and dispersed that he cannot at present undertake anything . . . and it is for that reason . . . that he must now decline . . . He has a prospect . . . to have them more manageable in a little time, and if his services can then be thought of any use, it may be commanded . . . He expresses an entire satisfaction in the measures that are taken . . . and assures me he will on all occasions contribute his utmost endeavours to serve and support them.

Hanmer’s objective in making this excuse would appear to be the safeguarding of his political virtue, or at least its public reputation. At the same time he was happy to recommend to Oxford’s favour his amanuensis, the Irish soldier and playwright William Philips, to remind the treasurer of a previous promise of a customs place at Ipswich for an active local Tory, and to secure for his brother-in-law Sir Henry Bunbury a revenue commissionership in Ireland, through the combined patronage of the Treasury and the Irish lord lieutenancy, currently held by his wife’s cousin the Duke of Ormond.9

During the next session Hanmer inched closer towards the Court, but only after a flourish of self-assertion. Indeed it had seemed at first that he might follow his old mentor Nottingham into opposition over the peace preliminaries, which he was reported to have publicly denounced in conversation with Marlborough. According to L’Hermitage, Hanmer deemed the basis of the peace to be ‘si peu sûr et si peu solide’. The point of this sabre-rattling, which went against the trend of his views on foreign policy throughout the reign and his enthusiasm for the peace later on in the session, may have been to re-establish his credentials as an independent-minded patriot. Indeed, a Whig broadsheet dated 8 Dec. 1711, seeking to persuade ‘honest Tories’ to vote against the peace terms, was expressed as an open letter to him, as a representative of the type: ‘all parties are reconciled in the opinion, that you are a man of honour and merit, and whatever side you are engaged on will never do anything against the interest of your country’. He had already re-entered the October Club, and indeed was to be described by Kreienberg, Boyer and L’Hermitage as one of its leaders. As the session progressed the Court was able to achieve a working alliance with the Octobrists in some areas, on the basis of the peace policy as announced, and Hanmer was probably a key figure in this relationship. Although rumours abounded of his imminent preferment to high office, he continued to withstand temptation. Bromley, once again employed as an intermediary, reported to Oxford at the end of the year that Hanmer was entirely satisfied with

the measures you are taking for our common good and safety, and that he is willing to come into the Queen’s service when it shall be thought necessary. He does not apprehend it to be so at present, and had rather it was deferred at least till the end of the session. He is not nice as to any employment that your lordships and his friends can think proper for him, but he could not see it would be of any service to the public to have him a sinecure. If he was to have an employment, he should not have regard to the profit or difficulty in it, but should like that best in which he might be most useful.

Hanmer also took steps to increase his popularity among the October-men. He was to the fore in January 1712 in pressing home High Tory attacks on Adam de Cardonnel* and Robert Walpole II* for alleged corruption, and in the great censure debate on the Duke of Marlborough. In Walpole’s case he

made a very fine speech, and among other things observed Sir F[rancis] Bacon’s† case, who was thought guilty of bribery, that all the proofs lay against his servants that had taken bribes, but Mr Walpole was the first that ever took bribes for his servants.

In one incident, over a reintroduced place bill, he seems to have divided from the ministry. This, however, was a minor issue. On the great question of the peace, he played a leading role in orchestrating approval of the negotiations. He took the chair of a committee, appointed on 18 Feb., to prepare a representation on the conduct of the war and in particular the Whig ministry’s conclusion of the Barrier Treaty. Reported to the House on 1 Mar., and presented to the Queen three days later, this was a powerful indictment both of the previous administration and of the allies, and, in emphasizing the disproportionate share of the burdens of the war that Britain had hitherto borne, constituted an argument by implication to justify the conclusion of a separate peace. As such, it was an important salvo in the ministry’s propaganda campaign. Of the committee, Hanmer seems to have carried the main if not the sole responsibility for composition, though he enjoyed extra-mural assistance from Jonathan Swift, Chancellor of the Exchequer Robert Benson* and Secretary St. John. He received considerable praise from contemporaries and was identified more closely with ministerial policy. Possibly because he had emerged as a semi-official spokesman for the administration on the question of peace, he felt obliged to offer entertainment to Prince Eugene during his visit to London in February. In April 1712 he accompanied the Duke of Ormond to Flanders, Ormond being sent to take over command of the allied forces. Speculation was rife that Hanmer ‘had some secret commission about the peace’, and that he ‘was to be a check upon the D[uke] of Ormond’ and thus ‘a third plenipotentiary’ at Utrecht or even ‘the Queen of Great Britain’s minister’. It was even suggested that he was simply anxious to be away from Westminster when the peace terms were put before Parliament to avoid compromising himself. It was taken for granted that a ministerial advancement was in the offing. But while Hanmer obtained further local offices for his clients (an Irish pension for William Philips, and a secret one for himself, presumably in trust for Philips) he continued modest and maidenly whenever any such proposition was made. Bromley answered a letter of Hanmer’s from Flanders in August 1712 in the following terms:

I am very much affected with that part of your letter which concerns yourself. I hoped your . . . disposition to any public office would not have continued, and I am persuaded others thought the same, and that you would at last cheerfully yield to the vox populi, as well as to the desires of those who are better judges of your qualifications for the employment spoke of for you. I cannot answer the thousand reasons against it that you have not mentioned, but for that you have, with great submission, I do not think it an objection answerable, when I am confident that few in our time have been so well qualified even in that particular. I would not be thought to compliment you, and I am sure I do not, when I tell you, there is no person in the H[ouse] of C[ommons] besides yourself, I won’t say so capable, but in any degree fit for it, and therefore, tho’ choice should not, yet I hope necessity will determine you to it, and for it. Being sincerely of this opinion, I am very improper to execute those commands you lay on me: I would obey you, as I am to obey my prince, in omnibus licitis et honestis, but when I consider your abilities, and how much your service will be wanted, I cannot think these commands either.

Against this appeal, in the margin of the letter, Hanmer later inscribed the one word ‘liberty’.10

While in Flanders, Hanmer certainly behaved as though he was some kind of unofficial government agent. Besides his ‘constant’ attendance ‘at the assemblies, at dancing, and other little diversions proposed by the ladies’, he visited Ostend and other towns, gathering intelligence from local burghers, and conferred with Ormond and Lord Strafford on the progress of the peace negotiations. Then, in September, he proposed journeying on to Paris. St. John’s reply to his request for a pass makes it clear that this second stage of his travels at any rate was carried on purely in a private capacity. The French court, however, probably believing that Hanmer was destined upon his return to England to become secretary of state, gave him a splendid reception. He was greeted, according to St. Simon, ‘avec des empressements et des distinctions surprenants. Le Roi s’en combla; les ministres s’y surpassèrent; tout ce qui étoit le plus marqué à la cour se piqua de le festoyer.’ At his departure, too, King Louis was ‘very gracious . . . sent for him into his closet, spoke to him awhile of the affairs of England, and concluded with a great many compliments to his Queen’. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the episode was the tentative contact established in France between Hanmer and the Jacobites. He was said to have been dimly aware before his arrival that lines of communication had been opened from English ministers to the Pretender, but the Abbé Gaultier informed Torcy that Hanmer himself was ‘absolutely not in the secret’ of such affairs and should not be made the recipient of any confidences. On several occasions he met the Duke of Berwick socially but was always very ‘reserved’ and ‘shy’ and careful to say nothing directly about the Pretender. Captain Philips, however, who had accompanied him, had no inhibitions: he owned himself to be a committed Jacobite and repeatedly hinted that in due course something might be expected from ‘the knight’ if only he was approached in the right way. Philips’ enthusiasm probably led him to overestimate the susceptibilities of his patron. Hanmer was not as yet comporting himself entirely as a committed Hanoverian. His correspondence with St. John and other ministers betrayed no signs of disquiet or estrangement, and his strong recommendation of the high-flying clergyman Francis Higgins, ‘the Irish Sacheverell’, to a vacant bishopric shows that his High Church zeal was unabated. Although he would have preferred to embark on a tour of Italy, Hanmer yielded to the entreaties to come and give ‘his assistance’ to the Queen’s government in the forthcoming parliamentary session and arrived back in London ‘in very good humour’ in February 1713, whence he was rushed into secret conferences with leading ministers to make his reports. At this stage he was still being widely tipped for a leading place in any reconstructed administration.11

In fact, Hanmer’s political career was rapidly approaching a crisis. He may have been offered a secretaryship of state again, or a peerage, or, more temptingly, the Speakership now that Bromley’s health was beginning to falter. His unwillingness to take this decision was becoming almost pathological, and Swift, encountering him at dinner, observed him wilting under the pressure. Having described Hanmer as ‘the most considerable man in the House of Commons’, Swift noted, ‘he is much out of humour with things, he thinks the peace is kept off too long, and is full of fears and doubts’. Suppers with the lord treasurer were insufficient to reassure him and the first major debate of the new session on 9 Apr. 1713 revealed his unease. In a speech seconding the Address, he

began with the old reflection upon the late ministry, but ended with saying he thought it improper to return thanks for the great care the Queen had taken to gain so good and advantageous a peace for us and our allies . . . while the greatest part of the House were so much in the dark as to the particulars what those advantages might be.

This his old friend Lord Hervey (John*), a Country Whig, applauded as saving the dignity of the Commons. It may well have been calculated to appeal to the principles of ‘Country’ Members, whom Hanmer regarded in some way as his natural constituency in the House. The recent fragmentation of Country Tory opinion, with the emergence of the March Club from the ranks of dissident October-men, had aggravated the difficulties of his own position and increased his sensitivity to back-bench criticism. Here, indeed, may be one of the keys to understanding Hanmer’s ‘whimsical’ behaviour later in the session. Differences with the ministry over the succession, or, more plausibly perhaps, over the failure to implement Tory policies to their fullest extent and in particular to hunt the remaining Whigs out of office, are among the reasons adduced by modern historians; contemporaries suggested the frustration engendered by disappointed personal ambition, which does not square with Hanmer’s repeated refusal of places when they were offered to him. A more likely explanation is that the inconsistencies of Hanmer’s position reflect anxiety and indecision over the best means to maintain his shining public persona, and perhaps also some genuine confusion as to which was now the true path of political virtue. The allegation made much later by Oxford that Hanmer had joined a ‘combination’ headed by St. John (now Lord Bolingbroke), the Duke of Argyll and other malcontents, may safely be dismissed. Besides the fact that there is no corroborating evidence, Hanmer did not have the temperament of a conspirator. Moreover, his dissatisfaction with Oxford was slow to manifest itself. After being named in first place to the committee on the Address, though he had not been responsible for the motion and did not subsequently make the report, he presented on 22 Apr. the bill to continue the commission of accounts, chairing the second-reading committee, and was also chairman of the select committee on the naval estimates. A second bill to be introduced by him was that of 23 May, to restrain the licentiousness of the press, a measure designed against political opponents of the ministry as well as freethinkers in religion. Some early indications of his doubts over the commercial side of the negotiations with France were visible on 6 May, in the debate on the second reading of the bill to suspend for two months the duty on French wines. Hanmer and several other Members ‘represented how prejudicial this bill might prove to a great many wine merchants and vintners’, but a motion to adjourn was rejected. However, when the bill to make effectual the 8th and 9th articles of the commercial treaty was brought into Parliament, he did not at first oppose it, speaking on 13 May in favour of the motion to introduce the measure, and answering Whig objections in committee on the 14th. He was reported by George Lockhart* to have joined Oxford and Bromley in remonstrating against the Scottish attempts to dissolve the Union, telling Lockhart that ‘though he was against the Union when it was made, and wished it had never been, he did not see how the Parliament . . . could alter the constitution’. It was against this background of fairly consistent support for the administration that Hanmer’s defection to opposition at the third reading of the French commerce bill on 18 June stood out so starkly. Not only did he speak and vote against it, but also, in conjunction with Arthur Annesley (now Lord Anglesey), he co-ordinated and led a major back-bench revolt, which allegedly included some 20 to 40 of his own personal followers. The incident produced a sensation. Whigs were delighted, while the lord treasurer was reportedly ‘in convulsion fits’. Why Hanmer should have chosen this issue on which to make a stand is unclear. He may have been alarmed at the unpopularity of the treaty in Parliament and in the country at large, and may have been influenced by the arguments heard in debate or advanced by mercantile lobbyists. He perhaps entertained particular fears for the fortunes of the Suffolk woollen industry. His ‘long and elaborate’ speech in the House was as much a justification of himself and his ‘patriotism’ as it was a denunciation of the treaty:

Before he had fully examined the affair . . . he had given his vote for the bringing in the bill; but that having afterwards maturely weighed and considered the allegations of the traders and manufacturers . . . he was convinced that the passing of it would be of great prejudice to the woollen and silk manufacturers of this kingdom, consequently increase the number of the poor, and so, in the end, affect the land; . . . he would never be blindly led by any ministry; neither, on the other hand, was he biased by what might weigh with some men, viz. the fear of losing their elections; but that the principles upon which he acted were the interest of his country and the conviction of his judgment, and upon those two considerations alone, he was against the bill.

Defeat prompted Oxford to take swift action to conciliate the ‘whimsicals’, among whom Hanmer, it would appear, was quickly brought round. He ‘and others’ were ‘prevailed with . . . to come into the payment of the civil list debts, incurred before the change of Treasury’, a step which reduced some ‘malcontents’ to ‘the utmost rage’. On 23 June Hanmer proposed an address to thank the Queen for the care she had taken ‘for the security and honour of the kingdom’ in the peace negotiations, particularly ‘by laying so good a foundation for the interests of her people in trade’, and to request that she appoint commissioners to settle an ‘entire scheme’ with the French for regulating trade between the two kingdoms. Hanmer took a leading role in preparing this address, which he reported next day. Now it was the turn of the Whigs to be astounded. They accused Hanmer of betraying his country and alleged that he had been bought off with a promise of a secretaryship of state. Hanmer left London for Suffolk a week before the Parliament was prorogued, having waited on Oxford beforehand to ‘receive his commands’. Swift reported that Hanmer was ‘perfectly satisfied with every part of the commerce treaty, after a full hearing of the arguments for and against in the House’. During his brief stay in the country, Hanmer accepted the unanimous renomination as knight of the shire from the Suffolk gentlemen at the quarter-sessions, and drew up the county’s address on the peace. He was then summoned back to London by Oxford, in the hope of incorporating him in a reorganization of the ministry on more strictly Tory lines. The lord treasurer had already been advised by Bromley that Hanmer would decline everything but the Speakership, and so it proved. Within a month it was common knowledge that Hanmer had consented to be put up for the Chair when the new Parliament assembled. Hanmer believed that the agreement preserved his freedom of manoeuvre, not having ‘any tie upon him that might bias his judgment’; and he personally assured ‘the friends of the succession’ (probably Whig politicians) that he was ‘under no engagement to the Court’. A correspondent of the Scottish Presbyterian divine Robert Wodrow reported that

The Whigs I find will all go in to Sir Thomas Hanmer, who though he should be in a good understanding with the Court, yet they think will not be such a prostitute as some others. At least will be capable of doing as little harm in the Chair as any of the party. Though at the same time there are some . . . that say Sir Thomas has given sufficient assurances to friends of his steadiness in the cardinal points of the succession and the commerce.12

In the new Parliament, in which he was duly elected Speaker without opposition, Hanmer stood at the head of a group of ‘whimsicals’ or ‘Hanoverian Tories’, variously estimated at between 30 and 80 in number. Some were Hanmer’s personal adherents, kinsmen, friends and dependants; others were said to be followers of the pro-Hanoverian peers Abingdon (Montagu Venables-Bertie*) and Anglesey, or were men without patrons, who merely looked towards Hanmer as the ablest spokesman in the Commons for their point of view. Those who had rebelled over the French commercial treaty the previous summer may have constituted the core of this squadron, but around these earlier ‘whimsicals’ had coalesced other floating elements in the Tory party whose fears for the succession had made them suspicious of the ministry. Not all the ‘Hanoverian Tories’ were equally devoted to Hanover, of course, or had the safeguarding of the Protestant succession as their sole objective. In Hanmer’s case, however, there seems no reason to doubt his constancy to the Protestant succession, reinforced as this was by his attachment to the Church of England and to notions of political liberty, and by a temperamental aversion to any bold or risky course of action. He kept in close touch with Hanoverian agents from the winter of 1713–14 onwards, protesting in January that ‘he had the interests of the electoral family much at heart; that he believed the happiness of all the nation depended on the Protestant succession, and that he did not desire to be believed in his word, but by his actions’. A letter to the Electress Sophia professed ‘zeal for your highness’s service, and for the interests of your family . . . our laws, and liberties, and religion, are all engaged in the preserving your right to the succession’. Such sentiments did not necessarily separate him from the ministers, but they provided another source of potential dissatisfaction to replace the impatience he had previously felt at Oxford’s ‘moderation’ (largely cured by the ministerial reshuffle), and another dimension to his reputation as a ‘patriot’: now he had to maintain a façade of incorruptibility not only as regards office but as regards the succession too. Moreover, he listened to the advice of friends whose suspicions of the ministry were more pronounced than his. As a result, there was a coolness between Hanmer and the treasurer before the session opened, with Hanmer scathing in his private denunciations of the ministers’ neglect of Hanover, and all Oxford’s powers of flattery were required to prevent him from revoking his promise to accept the Chair. He was more than ever the ideal candidate from the ministry’s point of view: a neutral in the factional conflict within the administration between Oxford and Bolingbroke, and, more important, a Tory against whom neither the Whig opposition nor anyone in his own party could reasonably object. As if to underline the point, his proposer and seconder on 16 Feb. 1714, Sir Arthur Kaye, 3rd Bt., and Lord Scudamore, represented different strands of back-bench opinion; Secretary Bromley appears also to have spoken on his behalf; while Whigs like Richard Steele and William Thompson III were reduced to sniping at the ministry by innuendo through lavish praise of Hanmer’s supposedly contrasting ‘honesty’ in the affair of the commerce bill. Whatever qualms he may have been experiencing, he was prepared in the early stages of the session to trust Oxford, telling the Hanoverian envoy, Schütz, that there was no reason for despair. Schütz did not agree. He felt Hanmer was the treasurer’s ‘dupe’, citing as evidence the outcome of the pre-sessional meeting of Tory MPs to discuss the form of the loyal Address, in which Hanmer had proposed the inclusion of a request to the Queen to invite over the Electress Sophia or the Electoral Prince, a ploy that Hanoverian sympathizers had previously hatched among themselves (and a revival of the Tory expedient of 1705). However, his call had been rebuffed by Bromley in ‘plain terms’ and he had been left quite isolated. That he had acquiesced in the decision of the meeting was attributed by Schütz to his unwillingness to open the door, even an inch, to the possibility of a Whig administration. Where his influence could be felt in political questions in the House, as over the New Woodstock election on 16 Mar., he was accused at first of partiality towards the Tories. It was at the beginning of April that his position changed, possibly as a consequence of a shift in the centre of gravity of the administration, where Oxford was losing his grip and Bolingbroke becoming correspondingly more assertive. On 1 Apr. Hanmer attended a meeting with Anglesey, Argyll, Nottingham and other pro-Hanoverians, at which it was decided ‘to live in friendship with the Whigs and concert with them measures to secure the Protestant succession’, and at the same time to withdraw support from the treasurer and work towards Oxford’s removal and replacement by a commission. Three days later, Hanmer joined Oxford, Bolingbroke, Bromley and Lord Chancellor Harcourt at a gathering of leading Tories, where Bolingbroke put forward a thoroughly Tory scheme to support the Church and purge all Whigs from place, in order ‘not to let a majority in Parliament slip through our hands’. Whether from distrust of Bolingbroke and his high-flying supporters, or from the kind of political opportunism that animated Anglesey, Hanmer chose the first of these options, to break with the ministry over the succession. In doing so, he was acting in a way that was consistent with his own public image and with the wishes of his followers. Thus, by 8 Apr. he had ‘said he will go into any measures to secure the succession’; by the 13th he had agreed to move for the Electoral Prince’s summons to attend the House of Lords (as Duke of Cambridge) and promised Schütz ‘to employ his influence with all those who depend upon him in the House of Commons to make them declare themselves’; and on the 15th, in the debate in the committee of the whole on the state of the nation, on the motion that the succession was not in danger under the present ministry, he nailed his colours to the mast. In a ‘set speech’, some ten minutes in duration, against putting the question, he announced that

he was of opinion, this was the proper, and perhaps the only time, for patriots to speak; that a great deal of pains were taken to screen some persons; and, in order to that, to make them overlook the dangers that threatened the Queen, the nation and the Protestant Succession; that, for his own part, he had all the honour and respect imaginable for her Majesty’s ministers, but that he owed still more to his country than to any ministers; that in this debate so much had been said to prove the succession to be in danger, and so little to make out the contrary, that he could not but believe the first.

Another account noted his disgust as a parliamentarian for the ministerial manoeuvre:

It’s not the first time I have seen questions of this nature in Parliament. I have still been an enemy to them as often as they appeared, as they have always been proposed for a screen to a ministry. I ever thought it beneath the dignity of a House of Commons to come into them . . . We ought to have proofs not only that they [ministers] have acted nothing for the P[retender], but that they have omitted nothing that could have been done for the H[ouse] of H[anover]. A man may be a very good subject tho’ he should be uneasy because there is not so good an understanding between our court and that of Han[over] . . . Why then must he be called upon to say that he is satisfied there is no danger to the succession?

Allegedly this speech was ‘universally admired’ and ‘had a great influence on all unbiased and unprejudiced Members’. One observer noted that Hanmer’s ‘appearance gave a great life to those who opposed the question’, and a young Whig commented that Hanmer had ‘fully expiated his campaign in Flanders’ the previous year ‘by a glorious one in St. Stephen’s Chapel’. Four days later he angered the ministry again when he gave his casting vote, quite properly according to the rules of the House, against the tobacco drawback bill, which had been designed to protect the future yield of the Irish revenue by discouraging merchants from exporting tobacco to Ireland while the Irish ‘additional’ customs and excise duties were in abeyance following the failure of the parliament there in 1713. There may have been some slight softening in his stance shortly afterwards, for on 22 Apr., in the debate on the address to thank the Queen for the peace, his ‘squadron’ kept silent and he himself was accused of ‘partiality’ in appointing the chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Bt.*, to carry the address to the Lords even though another Tory had ‘moved the amendment’. Certainly Oxford had resumed his political courtship of Hanmer at this time, proposing that the two of them ‘unite . . . in joint endeavours’ to rescue the country from the present crisis, in the knowledge, as Oxford wrote, that ‘your concern and mine are the same’. But the political situation was too confused, and Oxford’s particular prospects too uncertain, for Hanmer to go back on the course he had set himself, and he continued to consort and vote in Parliament with the Hanoverian Tories. He was on close terms not only with Anglesey but with other Hanoverian Tory lords like Archbishop Dawes, and his old tutor Bishop Smalridge, whom he was credited with winning over from the administration. He even co-operated with the Whigs in preparing an opposition slate for the election to the abortive commission of accounts. When he and his ‘friends’ did find themselves on the same side of a division as the Harleyites, as on 25 May, on the question of paying the Hanoverian troops, it was that the treasurer’s party had joined them in order to embarrass Bolingbroke rather than vice versa. On one issue Hanmer acted in temporary alliance with the secretary, but this was in relation to the schism bill, which Anglesey had done much to originate and which appealed to the High Church prejudices of Hanmer himself and of his followers.13

True to form, Hanmer kept clear of the ministerial crisis that followed Oxford’s fall from power in July. When the Queen died he had to be recalled from Flintshire to preside over an emergency sitting of the Commons. The arrival of King George was the occasion for a further round of offers and refusals of office. Along with other Hanoverian Tories he was urged to take his part in a mixed ministry, albeit in a subordinate position to the Whigs. On one occasion he was observed in company with the King and Prince of Wales, who both ‘very much pressed upon him’ acceptance of the chancellorship of the Exchequer. A witness ‘saw him with the Prince through a window, and the Prince seemed to argue very closely, and had a world of action, and Sir Thomas’s answers were obliging smiles’. Not only did he turn down the chancellorship but also a tellership of the Exchequer, and for his wife, a place as matron of honour to the Princess. He had no need of an official salary, and it required something more substantial than such honours, for himself and for his party as a whole, to justify a sacrifice of integrity. At first he had ‘wavered extremely’, for he and Bromley, whom the new court also solicited, ‘were prevailed on by the tempting ambition of appearing generals of their party, and the hopes after distressing the government, to have their choice of the best offices, their party having assured them they would stand fast to them’. Hanmer allegedly told the King, by way of explanation for his refusal, ‘that the service he did his Majesty by appearing against the late ministry . . . would be imputed by the world to some prospect of interest or bargain he had made, and therefore in honour he could not accept an employment’. To his ‘intimate friends’, on the other hand, he confided that ‘he could not in prudence accept places which did not admit him into his Majesty’s scheme of government, but when conferred on him would lose him the dependence of his friends, and then leave him at the mercy of his enemies’. So while hostile commentators imputed his behaviour to disappointment of higher ambitions – perhaps a secretaryship – the truth seems to have been that at this point, from personal and principled motives, he would not ‘leave his party’. Still the ministry tried to avoid alienating him completely: his brother-in-law Bunbury was retained as an Irish revenue commissioner, and efforts were made by the new lord lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*), to ‘oblige’ Hanmer by continuing to provide a pension for William Philips. Hanmer nevertheless recognized that his ‘game’ was ‘gone’, and by March 1715 he and Anglesey were both ‘out of court’. Characteristically, Hanmer remained unperturbed while Anglesey was ‘raging’. Hanmer was returned as a Tory to the first Parliament of the reign, and soon resumed his position among the leaders of the party in the Commons. He remained a committed Hanoverian and in 1717 attached himself to the ‘Leicester Fields’ party clustering around the reversionary interest of the Prince of Wales. By 1719 he had become ‘the greatest man in England with the Prince’, and ‘the mouthpiece’ of his party. With the gradual eclipse of this faction he declined in importance, though he was tipped for office in 1725.14

Hanmer stood down from Parliament in 1727, and in a lengthy retirement from political life combined the rural duties of landlord and magistrate with some literary efforts, notably an edition of Shakespeare. He contracted an unhappy second marriage to a much younger woman, who later ran off with the son of one of his best friends and exposed him to ridicule. He had, however, recovered his dignity by the time of his death, at Mildenhall, on 7 May 1746. Leaving no direct male heir, he divided his estates between his sister Bunbury’s descendants, who received the Suffolk property, and a cousin, William Hanmer of Fenns, Flintshire, who inherited the Welsh estates. He was buried at Hanmer. A Latin epitaph by Robert Freind was later translated by Dr Johnson.

To those of a younger generation, who knew Hanmer only in his later years, he appeared a forlorn relic of an outmoded political order: aloof, isolated and ultimately ineffectual. Lord Hervey (John†) called him ‘a sensible, impracticable, honest, formal, disagreeable man’; Horace Walpole commented that he had died ‘without having much obliged or disobliged any person or party, and rather pitied than either hated or beloved’; while in the Dunciad he was

          . . . Montalto with superior air,
          His stretched out arm displayed a volume fair;
          Courtiers and patriots in two ranks divide,
          Thro’ both he passed, and bowed from side to side.

In Walpole’s view, Hanmer was the embodiment of graceful impotence, sexual and political: ‘he had a very handsome mien and appearance, but ’tis said he could not please the ladies; he could make an eloquent, elaborate and plausible speech, but never was thought a man of business, or knowledge.’ Others denied even the effect of his oratory, considering that he ‘tickled the ear’ but seldom ‘convinced the understanding’, though this is probably an injustice. On great occasions, when a ‘set speech’ was required, Hanmer often spoke ‘angelically’ and persuasively. He was less convincing in the cut-and-thrust of debate, when over-elaboration and a taste for classical quotation could imperil his dignity. Certainly no man of business, he would probably have envisaged himself as a parliamentarian rather than a politician. In this respect the Duke of Berwick’s assessment was as acute as anyone’s: ‘few people know what to make of him; for my share I am persuaded he loves nobody so well as himself, and will never publicly take any part but that of the Parliament, where he thinks to be always the top man’. It might be said that he sought influence but shirked responsibility. Significantly, one of his occupations in retirement was the weeding of his papers, to preserve for posterity only the letters which showed him in a favourable light, in particular those vainly begging him to honour government with his talents. A grandly Ciceronian view of public duty, and a morbidly exaggerated attachment to his own reputation, consistently impelled him to perform in the political arena, but by the same token deprived him of the will seriously to compete in it.15

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. HMC Ormonde, n.s. viii. 333–4; Bury St. Edmunds G.S. List (Suff. Green Bks. xiii), 178; The Gen. n.s. vi. 182; Hervey Diary, 86; CSP Dom. 1700–2, p. 512.
  • 2. S. Wells, Drainage Bedford Level, i. 474, 486
  • 3. Suff. RO (Bury St. Edmunds), Bury St. Edmunds bor. recs. EE500/D4/1/3(a), p. 216.
  • 4. J. Hanmer, Par. and Fam. Hanmer, 150–1; Hervey Letter Bks. ii. 8; Hanmer Corresp. 2–7; CSP Dom. 1698, p. 410; Hearne Colls. iv. 381–2; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 235; Short Character of . . . Hanmer (1714), 1–2; HMC Var. vii. 148, 150; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 48/25, James Vernon I* to Duke of Shrewsbury, 27 Jan. 1699[–1700]; Essex RO, Barrett mss D/DL/C48, James Sloane to Dacre Barrett, 8 Feb. 1700[–1]; H. Horwitz, Revol. Politicks, 223, 268–9; G. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 274; Speck thesis, 25.
  • 5. Holmes, 272; Horwitz, 268–9; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 164.
  • 6. W. A. Speck, Tory and Whig, 100–1, 104–5; Boyer, Anne Annals, iv. 12, 182, 202; SRO, Mar and Kellie mss GD125/15/259/3, William Cleland to Ld. Grange (Hon. James Erskine†), 6 Dec. 1705; Bull. IHR, xxxvii. 29; Cam. Misc. xxiii. 31, 71–72, 75–76; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. vi. 473.
  • 7. Hanmer Corresp. 99–100; HMC Bath, i. 121; EHR, lxxxii. 734, 740; lxxx. 682, 684–5, 692; lxvi. 249–50; mss sold at Sotheby’s, 21 July 1980, Joseph Addison* to George Stepney, 7 Jan. 1706[–7] (ex inf. Dr C. Jones); Nottingham Univ. Lib. Mellish mss Me157–96/44, [William Wrightson*] to Joseph Mellish, 16 Jan. 1706[–7]; Hanmer Corresp. 106; Holmes, 15; Burnet, v. 340; Addison Letters, 87–88, 95–96; Poems on Affairs of State ed. Ellis, vi. 304; HMC 8th Rep. pt. 2 (1881), 96; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 319, 328–9; Speck thesis, 177; Swift Corresp. ed. Williams, i. 68; DZA, Bonet despatch 6/17 Feb. 1708; 7th Duke of Manchester, Court and Soc. Eliz. to Anne, ii. 272, 295; Montagu (Boughton) mss 48/193, Vernon to Shrewsbury, 24 Feb. 1707–8; Horwitz, 268–9; G. V. Bennett, Tory Crisis 1688–1730, pp. 94–95, 97.
  • 8. NLW, Bettisfield mss 81, Sir John Conway, 2nd Bt.*, to Hanmer, Mar. 1707–8; Hervey Letter Bks. i. 234; Bodl. Ballard 4, f. 90; G. Holmes and W. A. Speck, Divided Soc. 164; K. Feiling, Tory Party, 415; Boyer, vii. 251, 270; Stanhope, Reign of Anne, 373–4; Marlborough–Godolphin Corresp. 1201–2; Camb. Univ. Lib. Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss, Robert Walpole II to Marlborough, 14 Jan. 1708–9; Bonet despatch 14/25 Jan. 1709; Hanmer Corresp. 122–3; Grosvenor mss at Eaton Hall, Andrew Forrester to Sir Richard Grosvenor, 4th Bt.†, 5 Sept. N.S. 1709.
  • 9. HMC Bath, 437; Holmes, 343, 376, 509; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 604, 664; Add. 70421, Dyer’s newsletters 11 July, 8 Aug., 25, 30 Nov., 12 Dec. 1710; 70230, Hanmer to Harley, 7, 19 Aug. 1710, 13 July 1711; 70214, William Bromley II to Oxford, June 1711; 17677 DDD, ff. 542, 660; 47026, ff. 33–34; Bagot mss at Levens Hall, Edward Harvey* to James Grahme*, 12 July 1710, William Bromley II to same, 1 Sept. 1710; Huntington Lib. Stowe mss 57(4), pp. 96, 161; Hanmer Corresp. 113, 124–9; Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss, Horatio Walpole I* to Robert Walpole II, 27 July 1710; Chandler, iv. 169, 171; Boyer, Anne Annals, ix. 256, 259–60; Boyer, Pol. State, i–ii. 29, 34; SRO, Montrose mss GD220/5/807/2, 4, 7, 12, Mungo Graham* to Montrose, 25, 30 Nov., 9 Dec. 1710, 30 Jan. 1711; Pittis, Present Parl. 9, 177, 235–6; Wentworth Pprs. 158, 160–1; Impartial View of Two Late Parls. (1711), 263; NSA, Kreienberg despatches 5 Dec. 1710, 6 Mar., 25 May 1711; Swift Stella, 114–15, 240–1; H. T. Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 75; D. Szechi, Jacobitism and Tory Pol. 76–77, 81–82; Huntington Lib. Q. xxxiii. 157; Bolingbroke Corresp. i. 281; HMC Ormonde, 320; Hanmer, 155.
  • 10. Dickinson, 89; Kreienberg despatches 23 Nov. 1711, 25 Jan., 8 Apr., 27 June 1712; Whigs’ Appeal to the Tories, in a letter to Sir T[homas] H[anmer] (1711); Add. 17677 FFF, ff. 91, 147, 279; 22220, f. 8; 28934, f. 333; Bolingbroke, Works (1809), i. 21; Wentworth Pprs. 225, 233, 255–6, 276, 286; HMC 7th Rep. 507; NLW, Ottley mss 2447, E. Kingdon to Adam Ottley, 1 Jan. 1711[–12]; Huntington Lib. Q. 166; J. Oldmixon, Hist. Eng. (1735), 488; The Commons 1715–54, ii. 554–5; Boyer, Anne Annals, x. 337, 361; Swift Corresp. 293; Swift Stella ed. Davis, 492–3, 496, 499; Swift Works ed. Davis, vii. 79–80; Chandler, iv. 171; Somers’ Tracts, xiii. 146–53; Hanmer Corresp. 16, 23, 133–4; Boyer, Pol. State, iii. 99, 249; iv. 17; Letters of Burnet to Duckett ed. Nichol Smith, 6; Ballard 20, f. 75; Hervey Letter Bks. 324; Hereford and Worcester RO (Hereford), Brydges mss, William Brydges* to Francis Brydges, 1 Apr. 1712; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxvi. 311; Add. 70149, Lady Pye to Abigail Harley, 11 Aug. 1712; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1708–14, pp. 375–6; Hayton thesis, 262; Party and Management in Parl. ed. C. Jones, 69–70.
  • 11. L. Digby, My Ancestors, 66–67; HMC Portland, v. 279–80; Boyer, Pol. State, iv. 17; Bolingbroke Corresp. ii. 275–6, 339–40, 388, 392; iii. 73–74; St. Simon, Mems. ed. Boislisle, xxiii. 178–9; Bodl. Carte 211, ff. 210, 217–18; Bagot mss, John Aislabie* to Grahme, 21 Oct. 1712; Hanmer Corresp. 25, 138–40; Trevelyan, Eng. under Q. Anne, iii. 337; Orig. Pprs. ed. Macpherson, ii. 367, 373, 378–9; HMC Stuart, i. 250–4; W. Philips, Hibernia Freed (1722); HMC Ormonde, 333–4; Bonet despatch 13/24 Feb. 1713.
  • 12. Wentworth Pprs. 321, 335–7, 348; Kreienberg despatches 3 Mar., 23, 26 June 1713; Add. 17677 GGG, ff. 80, 94, 125, 171, 230, 243, 264, 313; 70230, Hanmer to Oxford, 27 July, 1 Aug., 29 Oct. 1713; Swift Stella, 625, 628; Hervey Letter Bks. 355, 357, 384–5; Szechi, 124, 137–8; Swift Corresp. i. 368, 376; Ballard 31, ff. 104–5; HMC Portland, v. 321, 467; Chandler, v. 6, 11, 40, 42, 159; Lockhart Pprs. i. 426; Parlty. Hist. i. 62; Bolingbroke Corresp. iv. 165, 184; Feiling, 450; Huntington Lib. HM44710, ff. 53, 185, 234, 313; Holmes, 281; Carte 211, f. 126; Hanmer Corresp. 34–35, 42, 143–5, 149, 152; Suff. RO (Ipswich), Gurdon mss mic M142(1), John Gurdon* to John Herne, 21 July 1713; Bettisfield mss 69, 87, George Smalridge to Hanmer, 3 Sept. 1713, Bromley to same, 10 Oct. 1713; Boyer, Pol. State, vi. 124; Orig. Pprs. 503–4, 506–7, 512; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 8, f. 30.
  • 13. Bull. IHR, xlvi. 184–5; xxxiv. 212–15; The Commons 1715–54, ii. 107; Szechi, 139, 153–6, 170, 174; Orig. Pprs. 545–6, 548, 577–8, 585–8, 610–11, 623; Holmes, 15, 281; HMC Portland, vii. 181, 188; Hanmer Corresp. 53, 156, 161–2, 168–9; Kreienberg despatch 19 Feb. 1714; Add. 17677 HHH, ff. 46, 79, 186, 221; 47027, ff. 90–91, 100–1, 106, 118–20, 192–3; Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 8, ff. 95–96; Add. 70230, Hanmer to Oxford, 23 Apr., 14 May 1714; Lockhart Pprs. 440–1; Wentworth Pprs. 358, 370–1, 379, 383; Cobbett, 1252; Chandler, 58, 125; Brydges mss, William to Francis Brydges, 20 Mar. 1713[–14]; Character of . . . Hanmer, 1–2; Lockhart Letters ed. Szechi, 90, 98, 104–5; EHR, xxx. 510; Bonet’s despatch 23 Apr./4 May 1714; Holmes and Speck, 112–13; Letters of Burnet to Duckett, 62–63; Hanmer, 162–3; Trevelyan, iii. 282.
  • 14. Hanmer, 158, 162–3; CJ, xviii. 3; Wentworth Pprs. 423, 429; Add. 47027, ff. 171–9; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu Letters, i. 230–1; Coxe, Walpole, i. 48–49; Holmes, 248–9; Hanmer Corresp. 54–57, 67, 211–12; Addison Letters, 306; HMC Portland, v. 501, 522; Hervey Letter Bks. ii. 21, 146; L. Colley, In Defiance of Oligarchy, 58–59, 80, 189, 206; RA, Stuart mss 53/13; J. H. Glover, Stuart Pprs. 179.
  • 15. Hervey Mems. ed. Sedgwick, i. 78; Coxe, Walpole, ii. 49; Colley, 58–59; HMC Bath, iii. 498; Clavering Corresp. (Surtees Soc. clxxviii), 128; HMC Stuart, i. 343; Hanmer Corresp. 66, 94.