KING, Peter (c.1669-1734), of the Middle Temple, London and Ockham, Surr.

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



Feb. 1701 - 1715

Family and Education

b. c. 1669, s. of Jerome King, grocer and salter of Exeter, by Anne, da. of Peter Locke of Somerset.  educ. ?Exeter g.s.; ?Exeter acad. (Joseph Hallett); appr. to fa.; ?Leyden; M.Temple 1694, called 1698.  m. Sept. 1704 Anne (with £4,000), da. of Richard Seys of Boverton Court, Glam. 4s. 2da.  Kntd. 12 Sept. 1708; cr. Baron King of Ockham 29 May 1725.1

Offices Held

?Cursitor, Glos. Cambs and Bristol, ?–1704; recorder, Glastonbury 1705, London 1708–15; freeman, Portsmouth 1731; gov. Charterhouse, St. Thomas’ Hosp. 1719.2

Serjeant-at-law 1714; j.c.p. 1714–25; PC 29 Mar. 1715; ld. justice 1725, 1727; ld. chancellor 1725–33.

Commr. building 50 new churches 1715.3

FRS 1728.


King was ‘born in the city of Exeter of worthy and substantial parents, but, with a genius superior to his birth, by his industry, prudence, learning, and virtue, he raised himself to the highest character and reputation and to the highest posts and dignities’. His period in high office after 1725, however, never matched the lustre of his early career, and indeed his failings as lord chancellor tarnished his reputation. He lacked his profession’s usual talent for smooth oratory, and it was his piety, erudition, integrity and sobriety rather than eloquence or brilliance that marked him out from contemporaries. He was

reckoned one of the most religious persons in England. He, for all his throng of business, never neglects any part of family worship himself . . . generally he sings and reads himself, and his chaplain prays, but frequently he prays himself also. On the Sabbath, and when at his county seat, he has worship three times a day and is one of the closest observers of the Sabbath of the age.

Such ‘solid religion and seriousness’ informed his politics: concerned, as he wrote in a religious tract, ‘not to defend a party but to search out the truth’, he became known for ‘moderation and impartiality’ within the Whig party, and as a champion of the Country tradition. Indeed, his commitment to Country measures was more sustained and consistent than some commentators have been prepared to admit, and although his independence from the Junto moderated after 1708, he must always have been regarded as a slightly unpredictable follower until preferment in 1714 secured his loyalties.4

The details of King’s early life are unclear. His father was a Dissenting shopkeeper and King was ‘brought up among the Dissenters at Exeter under a most religious, Christian and learned education’, though it was later said that he suffered from never having received ‘a regular education’ and had ‘never received any literary education, being bred up to a mechanical calling’. This is all the more remarkable given that his mother’s first cousin was John Locke, the philosopher and author of Some Thoughts Concerning Education. It has been claimed that, on returning from exile after the Revolution, Locke recognized the talents of his cousin and persuaded King’s father to allow the young man to attend Leyden University and then to take up the law. If this is correct (and there is no clear evidence either of Locke’s intervention or that King did study abroad), the stimulus for such interest may have been either a trust fund established by King’s mother and entrusted to Locke on her death in 1688, or the publication in 1691 of King’s scholarly Enquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, Unity and Worship of the Primitive Church. Accepting that the organization of the early Church was along episcopalian lines, the book stressed the participation of the laity through ‘synodical assemblies’.5

Although King’s character and talents may have been better suited to an ecclesiastical career, he ‘applied himself to his studies in the Middle Temple, and to an exact and complete knowledge in all parts and history of the law, added the most extensive learning, theological and civil’. He was called to the bar in 1698 on the recommendation of Sir George Treby* who, at Locke’s request, had taken a special interest in his career. Locke, who regarded King as his adopted son and heir, was nevertheless nervous about his cousin’s first court appearance and advised him that

when you first open your mouth at the bar it should be in some easy plain matter that you are perfectly master of, that you may not be out in what you have to say, nor be liable to stumble in, but can talk as easily about as anything you know without danger of being at a loss.

Locke bombarded King with fatherly, and at times imperious, advice, but he valued the studious young man’s learning sufficiently to want his help in the production of his second reply to Edward Stillingfleet, and always showed confidence in King’s ability to handle some of his financial transactions, which involved King in dealing with two members of Locke’s ‘college’, Edward Clarke I* and Sir Walter Yonge, 3rd Bt.*, and with Locke’s other agent, Awnsham Churchill*. Indeed much of the surviving correspondence between Locke and his cousin centres on the management of the philosopher’s investments, and it may have been Locke’s £3,000 that was listed under King’s name for the land bank in 1694. In return for King’s care of his money, Locke may have tried to advance his cousin’s career by writing on his behalf to Lord Chancellor Somers (Sir John*) at about the time of King’s call to the bar.6

Perhaps as the result of such introductions, King was soon mixing in high political circles. On his way back from the western circuit in September 1700 he visited Yonge’s house, where he found Lord Spencer (Charles*). It was presumably as a result of such connexions that a seat was found for him at the first election of 1701 at Bere Alston, where Sir Francis Drake, 3rd Bt.* (a friend of Somers), had a strong interest. King appears not to have told Locke of his candidacy until the matter was settled, provoking a letter from his mentor that though Locke would not have advised him to stand ‘for Parliament man anywhere if you had asked me, yet I cannot but be very glad that you are so chosen as you are. I think it will be much for your advantage many ways. You are certainly right to accept of it.’ However, Locke was adamant that King ‘must not think of going the circuit this next assizes’. King replied that although the other lawyers in the House would go on circuit, he would

give that deference to your opinion as to be guided by it, if my affairs will in any measure permit it . . . I would not neglect my own particular interest, and on the other hand let that sink or swim, I will prefer the public to it, for seeing that I am unexpectedly brought in, I look upon it to be a particular effect of the divine providence, which I ought to improve and answer.

The caveat in King’s reply prompted an even more peremptory response from Locke, who explained to the parliamentary novice the importance of a Speakership election and how the newcomer ought

not to speak at all in the House for some time, whatever fair opportunity you may seem to have. But though you keep your mouth shut I doubt not but you will have your eyes open to see the temper and observe the motions of the House and diligently to remark the skill of management, and carefully watch the first and secret beginnings of things and their tendencies, and endeavour if there be danger in them to crush them in the egg. You will say what can you do who are not to speak? ’Tis true I would not have you speak to the House, but you may communicate your light or apprehensions to some honest speaker who may make use of it. For there have always been very able Members who never speak, who yet by their penetration and foresight have this way done as much service as any within those walls. And hereby you will recommend your self when people shall observe so much modesty joined with your parts and judgment, than if you should seem forward, though you spoke well . . . I advise you nothing I would not do my self were I in your place.

King’s reply is not known, but he did not follow the injunction on silence. On 27 Feb. 1701, shortly after King had been listed as a likely supporter of the Court in the question of continuing the ‘Great Mortgage’, Locke congratulated him that ‘the ice is broke and that it has succeeded so well’, though he again urged that ‘now you have showed the House that you can speak, I advise you to let them see you can hold your peace and let nothing but some point of law which you are perfectly clear in, or the utmost necessity, call you up again’. Locke was also cautious about King’s attendance at the Whig club at the Rose tavern, claiming (even though Clarke and Yonge were members) not to ‘know who they are that meet there’, and again suggesting that when King attended he should ‘say little as to public affairs, but behave yourself rather as one unversed and a learner in such matters. And your other business in the law will be an excuse if you are not there every night.’ The philosopher continued to insist that his cousin stay the length of the session, suggesting on 3 Mar. that King needed

to give the world a testimony how much you preferred the public to your private interest and how true you were to any trust you undertook . . . besides I thought it no good husbandry for a man to get a fee or two and lose Westminster Hall. For I assure you Westminster Hall is at stake, and I wonder how any one of the House can sleep till he sees England in a better state of defence.

Locke protested that he gave ‘the same advice that I would have given my son . . . yet I do not pretend to govern you’.7

Events in the House proved to King that his mentor had been right. He became convinced that a war could not be avoided, and on 22 Mar. admitted that he was now ‘more inclined’ to stay in the House after the previous day’s resolution of thanks to Sir Edward Seymour, 4th Bt.*, for discovering the electoral bribery of the East India interlopers. King’s activity in the House until 1708 is not always possible to distinguish from that of Thomas King*. Indeed, King seems to have been anxious to defend the impeached Junto lords, perhaps prompted to do so by Locke whom he visited during the Easter 1701 recess in the company of Lord Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley*). On 24 June he reported to Locke that Parliament had been prorogued: ‘I could not hear the King’s speech but I am told he thanked the Commons particularly for their supplies’, a phrase which suggests that he still did not fully identify himself fully with the House’s actions.8

King spent the summer on the circuit, though in September he visited Edward Clarke on his way to Bere Alston, and professed as late as 8 Nov. that he did not expect a dissolution. A few days later, however, he wrote to give Locke’s host, Sir Francis Masham, 3rd Bt.*, news of the impending election, and offered to help Masham’s campaign. King, whom Locke had urged to stand again, wrote that he prayed for a successful assembly because he feared the consequences if the Parliament ‘should happen to be as the last’. He calculated that ‘the North will mend, but not the West’, and reported that ‘if some men obtain a majority, the advisers to this dissolution and to the proclamation will run a risk of paying for it with their heads’. A week after his re-election King received a request from Locke to visit him and to bring ‘the discourse on the Creed’, a reference to King’s History of the Apostles’ Creed, a lengthy and orthodox treatise which was published anonymously the following year when it was received ‘with most applause’ for its ‘learning and judgment’. King continued to be fascinated by patristics, and in November 1703 grew into a ‘familiarity’ with Isaac Newton* through discussion with him of Locke’s essay on St. Paul.9

On 30 Dec. 1701 King informed Locke of Robert Harley’s* election as Speaker, though added ‘what the consequences of this will be, God only knows – several of our friends were in the country when they should have been here’. Harley ranked King as a Whig, and Locke urged his cousin to consult with others about how to save the nation from France. On 10 Jan. 1702 King reported about proceedings in the House relating to the determination of the size of the armed forces, and expressed his hope that ‘we shall now proceed on vigorously and unanimously to save ourselves and country from the growing power of France’, remarking three days later on the satisfying unanimity in the House and the unity of ‘our friends’, presumably over the abjuration bill. By 12 Feb. King felt confident that Parliament was ‘so far advanced in our business that I think I may safely go on the circuit, which begins Tuesday fortnight; if I thought I could not, I would stay at home’.10

On 17 Feb. King reported on what had been ‘expected to be the greatest day of this Parliament, the business thereof being to consider the rights and liberties of the House of Commons’. One of the Tory motions, condemning the Whig addresses of the summer, had claimed that ‘reflecting on the House of Commons and praying a dissolution of the Parliament were tending to sedition’, but King jubilantly informed Locke that it had been successfully ‘opposed with courage and heat . . . which is a very great mortification to some people tho’ not to your most affectionate cousin and servant’. Locke nevertheless warned King about being over-confident, and urged him to remain in Parliament to guard against surprise attacks. On 19 Feb. King defended Yonge against an attack by Simon Harcourt I* during a debate on the abjuration bill, and Locke had correctly foreseen that the debates of the 17th would incite the Tories: when, on the 26th, the House again considered the rights of the Commons, the Whigs faced a resolution complaining that the House had been denied justice over the impeachments of the previous session. On what he described as the ‘greatest day of this session and the greatest division there ever was’, King proudly reported his vote which helped defeat the motion. He wrote from Exeter on 28 Mar. to excuse himself from a call of the House, having ‘some extraordinary business’ which would detain him, but was certainly back in the House by 25 Apr. when he gave Locke an account of the likely passage of the bill to supply deficiencies, and he was probably the ‘Mr King’ who spoke on 2 May against the exemption of half-pay officers from the motion about the employment of foreign officers. He spoke on 6 May in favour of a clause favourable to Quakers in the abjuration bill.11

In August 1702 King informed Locke that ‘my borough hath made the same choice again without any disturbance’. The new political climate, however, curbed the level of his activity in the new Parliament. It was religious matters which most concerned him. In November he appears to have been helping to marshal Whig forces, perhaps in relation to a complaint by Sir John Pakington, 4th Bt., against Bishop Lloyd’s interference in the Worcestershire election, since he represented the bishop when the matter was heard by the Lords on 22 Nov. Moreover, on 7 Dec. Locke requested news about the occasional conformity bill, and it seems likely that the two men discussed the matter over the Christmas recess when King carried a printed copy of the bill down to Oates. On 13 Feb. 1703 he voted for agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the Abjuration.12

As the new session loomed, King heard rumours that there were plans to introduce legislation ‘to regulate the liberty of the press’, a matter which had long exercised Locke and which he probably discussed with his cousin. King reported the Queen’s Speech as being ‘very good’ and expressed his hopes that ‘we shall do well enough against our common enemy’, but wrote just a few days later that ‘all Europe is like to be thrown into war and confusion’ and that there was ‘like to be a new scene of affairs’. He once again spent Christmas at Oates, and early in the new year reported to Locke that Parliament was ‘not like to sit long’. On 13 Jan. 1704 he observed that the Lords had made ‘rampant votes against the Commons’, concerning the examination of persons concerned in the Scotch Plot, and the Upper House’s proceedings in Ashby v. White provoked him to speak with his Bere Alston colleague William Cowper* ‘as learned and hearty as any of the House against the said encroachments of the Lords in meddling with original causes’. Yet the tone of his speeches shifted once the party implications of the struggle became obvious, and he swung his support behind the reversal, engineered by Lord Wharton (Thomas*), of the Queen’s bench decision. He accordingly attacked the idea that ‘the right of electing was only a service, and not a liberty or privilege’ and saw no reason

why an action should not lie at common law for the breach of this franchise as well as for the breach of every other franchise . . . I agree that the determining the right of elections belongs to the House of Commons . . . but that which I say is that this action does not at all relate to the right of election.

Although he had eventually swung behind the Junto, King also voiced to Locke, and perhaps also to the House, his concerns about the recruiting bill, needed to raise troops for the campaign in Flanders:

if the way of raising recruits goes on, consider whether all that are the sons of those who had a right to give their votes in the election of Parliament-men, or are actually the menial servant of such should not be exempted; next whether their obligation to serve should not cease as soon as the war they are raised for is at an end; and thirdly whether they ought not to be at a liberty to leave their service and be looked on to be as free as disbanded as soon as ever they are landed either in England or Ireland.

King’s doubts about the conscription were to be echoed more strongly in future sessions, and would help rank him among the Country Whigs.13

Religious matters once again preoccupied King. In 1703 he was responsible for drafting the bills concerning the repair of churches. Shortly after the end of the 1704 session he wrote to Locke requesting a copy of Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticorum (1571) which he thought ‘may be of use to me in a point that I am to argue this term before all the judges at Serjeants’ Inn’. The case, heard in May, concerned the licensing by a bishop of lay, as well as ecclesiastical, teachers of any liberal science in schools: King predictably ‘argued against licensing’. His growing legal practice had made him a very eligible bachelor. In June 1700 Locke had proposed that Elizabeth, a daughter of Edward Clarke whom he himself particularly admired, should marry his favourite cousin: the Clarkes were in favour of a match with such ‘a rising man’, who was also ‘sober, sensible, industrious and ingenious’. Mrs Clarke thought that since Betty liked Locke ‘she must like Mr King, for methinks they very much resemble one the other, and if they can agree together to wheedle Mr Locke so as to make them his heirs it may do pretty well’. Much to Edward Clarke’s disappointment, however, the negotiations had foundered because King’s father’s estate had proved to be ‘not so considerable as was represented’. In March 1702 King had received an alternative offer of marriage with Laetitia, daughter of John Hampden†, but although he had found the ‘family and other circumstances’ to be satisfactory, and had the recommendation of Sir William Ellys, 2nd Bt.* (who had married Isabella Hampden), King had found the deafness of his intended bride too great an impediment. Although King had proved ‘so cold a lover’ that he had not called on the Clarkes since the failure of the previous negotiations, Locke had told his cousin in June 1703 that he had been pressed by Mrs Clarke to resume marriage negotiations for Elizabeth’s hand. Despite Clarke’s evident desire to see the match concluded, Locke refused to advise King on his choice, merely urging him to pursue his ‘own content and happiness’, and once again the project came to nothing.14

In 1704, however, King successfully concluded negotiations for the hand of Anne, the 15-year-old granddaughter of Evan Seys†. She was ‘thriftily and carefully bred’, had ‘wit and sense’ and came with a fortune of at least £4,000 (one report said as much as £10,000), which King was expected to match. King thought that although ‘perhaps by waiting he may meet with a greater fortune, yet it will be a question whether ever he shall meet with a woman and other family circumstances that will better please him’. They were married in September, and Locke organized a sumptuous wedding banquet at Oates, though his rapidly failing health meant that it was one of the last assemblies over which he presided. In February he had summoned King, thinking it might be their last meeting, and in June, believing he was dying, wrote to tell his cousin that he wished ‘to spend some of the last hours of my life as easily as may be in the conversation of one who is not only the nearest but the dearest to me of any man in the world’. In October Locke wrote to King about the disposal of his manuscripts and to urge him to take care of Sir Francis Masham’s younger son ‘as if he were your younger brother’. Under the terms of Locke’s will, King acquired all the manuscripts and half the library; was appointed a trustee for Francis Cudworth Masham; and inherited half of Locke’s estate. Lord Shaftesbury also thought that King ‘inherits many of his qualities and is at present the greatest young man we have, both in our laws and the Parliament’. Indeed, he thought King, who was nearest his cousin ‘in genius, parts and principles’, a suitable author to complete Locke’s life of the first Earl of Shaftesbury, and that it might be ‘no unpleasant task for one who so nobly asserted the rights of the people to vindicate the much injured memory of one who was a champion in that cause’. King gently declined the proposal, but thanked Shaftesbury for his continuing kindness.15

Without Locke to guide him, King was free to steer a more independent political course. He voted against the Tack on 28 Nov. 1704. Yet his zealous concern about bribery and corruption soon forced him into prominence as a leader of the Country Whigs. On 13 Jan. 1705 he was named to the drafting committee on a place bill which sought to remove all officers whose posts had been created since the death of Charles II. He presented the bill on the 16th and reported from committee on 24 Jan.

with a preamble in which he took notice that some gentlemen had endeavoured to traduce and disparage the bill by comparing it to the self-denying ordinance in ’1 [1701], ‘whereas it is no more like that bill than the kingdom of Japan to the kingdom of Scotland, Mr Speaker’, alluding to what the Speaker had said of the bill and his own concern in the management of Scots affairs.

On 27 Jan. he carried the bill up to the Lords, where it was amended out of all recognition and was dropped. His remaining activity seems to have been limited to the Aylesbury case, with appointment on 24 Feb. to the committee of inquiry, and four days later to the conference. But disillusion with the loss of his bill appears to have forced him into an unlikely temporary alliance with High Churchmen. On 13 Mar. it was reported that he had ‘shaken hands’ with Hon. Arthur Annesley* and William Bromley II* ‘to stand by each other next winter to oppose the iniquity of the times and promote the public welfare’. He had by now become a member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and was a friend of two prominent members of the SPCK, Maynard Colchester* and (Sir) John Philipps* (4th Bt.).16

Although his place bill had been defeated, King remained a strong advocate of its provisions. In July 1705, shortly after his re-election, he visited Shaftesbury and Sir John Cropley, 2nd Bt.*, who reported that the young lawyer was still ‘hearty’ for the measure. Yet although it was also rumoured that the ‘warm Whigs’ would vote for Bromley as Speaker ‘as the fittest men to pursue their sentiments in the House’, and King was ranked as a ‘Churchman’ on an analysis of MPs, the alliance between Country Whigs and Tackers showed little sign of longevity. On 25 Oct. King voted for Smith rather than Bromley as Speaker (perhaps the result of representations from Lord Halifax (Charles Montagu*), who was listed by Harley in 1705 as being able to influence King). Pressure, designed to expand this fissure in opposition ranks, was then exerted on King by William Cowper, who had recently been promoted as lord keeper and for whose return at Bere Alston King had worked earlier in the year. On 4 Nov. Lord Treasurer Godolphin (Sidney†) passed a note to Cowper during a Cabinet meeting desiring him to use his interest ‘to stop the bill against officers, and particularly to deal with Mr King to that end’. Cowper complied, ‘thinking it unseasonable to join with the malignant part (tho’ in a thing right in itself and popular)’, and spoke to his colleague the next day ‘to get him to be at least passive in the bill of officers’.17

Such obvious Court influence to change his views may have backfired. On 4 Dec. King spoke twice in the debate on union with Scotland, calling for a reading of the papers relating to the negotiations and in favour of hearing what expedients were offered to settle the succession. Four days later, during a debate on the Lords’ resolution that the Church was not in danger, King called on MPs to ‘take of[f] penal laws’ and to relax the laws relating to Dissenting academies, but also glanced at the ministry, reflecting ‘on her Majesty’s judgment, not knowing who to employ’. By mid-January it was reported that Sir Richard Onslow, 3rd Bt., headed a group of ‘angry Whigs’, including King, who were discontented that the Court had blocked the place bill

and it is said that they are engaged in a project by virtue of a clause in the bill securing the succession now under consideration to qualify or set aside that part of the Act for limiting the power of the next successor after the Queen’s death which disables officers to sit in the House of Commons.

King dined at this time at Lambeth with Sir Francis Masham and a bevy of Whig clergymen (including White Kennett whom he was to invite a few days later to preach to the House), but if the purpose had been to divert his support for the place clause the meeting proved a failure. His interventions in the debates over the regency bill, besides showing that he was ‘never for multiplying penal laws’, even for treasonable words, and that he supported Sir Joseph Jekyll’s* wording regulating the summoning of Parliament, were evidence of his commitment to the ‘place clause’. Arguing that the general exclusion of officers in the Act of Settlement was wrong, he appears to have favoured a partial exclusion inserted into the regency bill, to bar all but ‘the principal officers of state’ and perhaps those ‘less liable to corruption’. His name was accordingly absent from the list of those who supported the Court on the clause on 18 Feb., when the Country Whigs were undermined by the defection of several of their leaders. King, it was observed, had ‘stood his ground very firmly’.18

Despite a rumour in the summer that he might be made a Queen’s Counsel, King faced a period in the political wilderness. In the 1706–7 session he appears to have been active in pressing for a bill to improve the Act for preventing escapes from the Queen’s Bench and Fleet prisons: he was first-named on 15 Jan. 1707 to the bill’s drafting committee, and duly presented, reported and carried the measure up to the Lords. Yet he did not deviate from his independent stance. When he ‘was very zealous to promote’ an address in August from the Devon gentry in favour of continuing the victualling house at Plymouth he was referred to as the ‘whimsical Mr King’.19

King’s distance from the ministry became apparent soon after the beginning of the 1707–8 session. On 4 Dec. he openly admitted that mercantile accusations of inadequate convoys were ‘a direct charge upon the Admiralty (which some would have made a doubt of)’, and although he thought it ‘but justice to suspend all questions till they had been heard’ and took an apparently moderate stance when the matter was reconsidered on 13 Dec., the attack on Prince George alienated the Queen. The Court was further dissatisfied with King’s conduct in the debates on whether the Scottish privy council should be continued, when he joined Onslow in arguing that it was necessary to retain it in turbulent times and to have an authority on the spot which could act quickly to quash any commotion. The ‘whimsical’ Whigs and Tories were insufficiently numerous to defeat the motion, but did succeed on 11 Dec. (despite the defection of Onslow and Jekyll) in making j.p.s in the two countries of equal powers. So concerned was King about provision north of the border that on 13 Jan. 1708 he presented a separate Scottish militia bill and chaired the ensuing committee, carrying the bill up to the Lords on 11 Feb.20

The Court’s plans for recruitment also ran into King’s objections. On 17 Jan. he opposed Secretary St. John’s (Henry II) suggestion of fixing the number of troops to be raised without first specifying how they were to be recruited, and ‘expressed himself contented that instead of 15,000 it should be said “a sufficient number of men”’. He further offered an amendment that these be raised ‘according to the provision of the Recruitment Act . . . and it being late it carried without division’. When the Recruiting Act was considered on the 20th, King ‘was the great champion of the Country Whigs, who joined with the other party’ to carry a vote that the levy should not be raised, as the Court wished, proportionately throughout the kingdom,

and when he had done he moved for reporting their resolution on Saturday, adding that for all the invidious reflections that had been made upon them, they would show their concern for carrying on the war, and that the recruits should be more effectual than by any rules of proportion.

Vernon thought he would move for the renewal of the recruiting bill ‘and add some more useful clauses’, though the next day an expedient diverted further opposition. King nevertheless returned to the army issue on 29 Jan. when he spoke in a debate on the mismanagement of forces in Almanza, following (Sir) Thomas Hanmer II with what may have been another critical contribution, though when the vote on the alleged mismanagement was finally taken on 24 Feb. only two Country Whigs followed King’s lead in voting to censure the government, and even he had not spoken in favour of the resolution.21

King’s concern over Country issues during the 1707–8 session was also apparent in his zeal to prevent corruption at elections, even though, ironically, Bere Alston was a pocket borough. On 22 Dec. he was appointed to the drafting committee on such a bill, and on 27 Jan. 1708 to the inquiry into methods to determine contested elections. King reported from this committee on 18 Feb. suggesting that a ballot should be held to decide them. ‘It was afterwards moved that the Speaker should be chose[n] by balloting; but Mr King, who was chairman of the committee that brought in these regulations, said he had not heard before of that motion and thought time ought to be allowed to consider of it, which stopped it for the present.’ Only on the cathedrals bill, which he assured Bishop Nicolson he would give ‘his utmost care’ to carry through the House, did he really show his Whig colours. The bill had become ‘a party cause’, and when it was warmly debated on 28 Feb. King took a prominent lead in managing the triumphant Whig side. Thus, although at the beginning of the session the Whig cleric Edmund Gibson had been worried that the divisions among the Whigs over the Scottish privy council augured an alliance of ‘whimsical’ Whigs and Tories, King’s action showed that such a partnership would always be very limited, and one observer saw no reason not to rank him as a Whig on an analysis of the House.22

It is possible that King had observed how espousal of Country issues had helped propel Cowper into office and sought to emulate his strategy. Arthur Mainwaring* believed that King had ‘certainly no antipathy to preferment, which appeared very plainly to Mr [Robert] Walpole [II*] and me when we made the lie to him. And if he were engaged, the “whimsical Whigs”, as he called them, would have no head to govern them’. In April 1708, even before the general election, Mainwaring therefore impressed on the Duchess of Marlborough the need for the Junto to buy King’s support:

Mr King is to have nothing, being so disagreeable to the Queen, upon account of what he did in the business of the Admiralty, or rather of Mr Harley’s misrepresentations; and . . . I am fully persuaded that if any other man than Mr King be made solicitor[-general], the service will be much worse carried on than it would be by Sir James Montagu [I*] and Mr Eyre [Robert*] . . . when I saw his Grace [John Churchill†, Duke of Marlborough] last week and he was speaking of a vacancy that would be among the barons of the Exchequer, I mentioned a thing which he says he has told my lord chancellor [William Cowper] of, who likes it; and that was, the making the recorder [of London] a baron, and getting the City to choose Mr King recorder, who in that case would, however, have the obligation to the Court. And this I believe might do very well for the present; but he says he believes it is impossible to prevail with the Queen to let him be one of her counsel, which signifies very little more than having a place within the bar, though at the same time she is willing to give him the sum of money. If this be so we are in a sad way, that even money should be given privately to prevent the showing the least open favour to one that has appeared against this hopeful Admiralty.

Convinced that King’s advancement was crucial to party unity, Mainwaring and Walpole put their project to Sunderland ‘who approved it highly, and told [Somers] of it’. The changes at the Admiralty would, they felt, give King and others ‘a pretence for returning to the party, and they might now talk very finely of matters being upon a right bottom, without many people’s knowing they were paid for what they spoke’. The plan was executed, though King’s candidacy for recorder ran into unexpected difficulties when rival candidates emerged, and he was elected in July; but although knighted in September, when he presented a City address, the Queen baulked at making him one of her counsel.23

Apparently having won King over, the Junto decided to use him as a pawn in their attempts to checkmate the ministers into submission to their demands. Although they had previously urged the candidacy of Sir Richard Onslow for Speaker of the new Parliament, the Junto joined the clamour for King’s election to the Chair, thereby contributing to one of ‘the greatest and most extraordinary divisions . . . that ever were known’. King and Onslow became ‘violently opposed to one another’ – an antagonism that may have also owed something to Onslow’s unsuccessful approach to King in 1705 to secure his interest for the election of Thomas Onslow* at Bere Alston – and the prospect of two Country Whigs, ‘that were always reckoned of the same principle and had always voted of the same side’, competing for the office was deeply confusing to many observers.

The occasion of this dispute is said to have been that the Court, without conferring with any of the Country Whigs, had assured Sir Richard of their interest for the Chair and he, wise man, without consulting any of his old friends, had accepted this kind offer, which was so highly resented by those that otherwise would have proposed him that they resolved upon Sir Peter, who ’tis thought would have been supported by the greatest part of the Whigs out of place and the body of the T[orie]s . . . [the Junto] thought they had been too long amused with fine words and pretences which served only to divide them among themselves while the administration was still kept as far from them as ever, and therefore they were agreed in a body to stand and fall together . . . and were entirely in this new scheme of opposing Sir Richard unless they could obtain some regulation in Court besides the making him Speaker.

When the Court acceded to the Junto’s demands, King’s candidacy was dropped, even though Mainwaring thought he had ‘ten times the capacity of the other’ and Sunderland conceded that he was ‘much the fittest man in the House’. Sir John Cropley thought King had ‘had the Chair in his power but was prevailed upon by My Lord Somers to let Sir Dicky have it, for the Court had pitched on him as this new settlement was made’. Rumours that Onslow might be elevated to a peerage to give King the Chair came to nothing, and Sir Peter was left feeling bruised by his experience. Harley received information as early as 10 Oct. that King ‘was very angry that he was to be put off only with promises, especially after he had thought fit personally to solicit for himself’. Thus, having purchased King’s goodwill through preferment, the Junto had now spent much of their stock with him; and although they had undermined King’s ability to ally with the Tories, they had not destroyed it. Although it had been said that if King had become Speaker the Whigs would have repealed the Test Acts – a rumour perhaps calculated to alienate the support of Churchmen who had appeared to back his candidacy – the Earl of Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) wrote to Bromley on 15 Nov. that he would much rather renew the Tory alliance with King ‘for carrying [on] the common interests of our country and exposing those who are building upon the ruin of it’, than come to an arrangement with Harley.24

Although an alliance of Country Whigs and Tories proved much harder to construct in the changed political circumstances after the Whig election victory, King preserved what Cropley saw as his inalienable virtue and integrity, and made continued, though more minor and more occasional, displays of Country Whiggism, particularly on matters relating to elections. On 22 Nov. he opposed (though not alone among the Whigs) a proposal to abolish the committee of elections, which had been put forward as a sign of Whig confidence that they could carry all before them in the House. On 8 Mar. 1709 he ‘sided with the Tories’ against the return of a follower of Marlborough, Thomas Meredyth*; and on 5 Feb. he again joined with Whig ‘asserters of liberty’ and Tories in favour of a clause to moderate punishments stipulated in the Scottish treason bill. Towards the end of the session John Pringle* remarked that the Tories had joined with King and other Whigs ‘to make attacks now and then upon the ministry, but they never have success and often [are] outvoted by a hundred’.25

King’s vote in support of the naturalization of the Palatines early in 1709 nevertheless showed that such politicized religious disputes would always find him on the Whig side, and Sacheverell’s inflammatory attack on toleration pushed him more firmly into the Junto fold, though there was evidence of his continuing sympathy for Country measures in his appointment on 25 Jan. 1710 to the drafting committee of Edward Wortley Montagu’s place bill. As recorder, he opposed the London corporation’s thanks to Sacheverell for his sermon, and was named on 14 Dec. 1709 to the committee drafting the articles of impeachment, having spoken the previous day in favour of prosecution. Such action earned the ‘esteem’ of Lord Chancellor Cowper, and it was with Cowper’s brother Spencer*, now a parliamentary colleague at Bere Alston, that King was to share the management of Sacheverell’s trial on the article relating to the Toleration Act. On 28 Feb. 1710 he ‘spoke moderately and very well’ in defence of the Act, which he described as ‘one of the principal consequences of the Revolution’. It was, he maintained, ‘agreeable in itself to the profession of the Christian religion and particularly to the doctrine of the Church of England’, and since it was

not only a positive law, but a beneficial one, as well for the benefit of the Church in particular as the welfare and support of the Protestant interest in general, it very ill became any private person to endeavour to bring that law, by any public discourse, into contempt or disrepute.

On 9 Mar. he summed up and ‘made the best reply to what the counsel and doctor had said as to th[e 2nd] article of any of the managers’, and though he ‘spoke so low’ that some of the details of his speech were lost, ‘he showed a good deal of learning’. On 13 Mar. King wrote to John Strype to explain why the latter’s ‘excellent book’ on the life of Archbishop Grindal (whom King had gone out of the way to vindicate in his speeches at the trial) had not sold better:

The unfortunate Dr Sacheverell has set the whole nation in a ferment. Persons of your candour and my own real sentiments, tho’ never so sincerely for the Church, yet if they cannot allow the intemperate heat of some on both hands and plead but for the practical power of godliness, especially if the hated word moderation slipped out upon any occasion, are reflected upon as false brethren, tho’ they attend the prayers of the Church twice every day of the week and conform in every punctilio to the public establishment, that I am become a sort of recluse in a populous town . . . but I hope . . . persons will revert to a true Christian temper.

Such a temper was still not apparent by the end of March, for when King travelled to Exeter he ‘found the people so very mobbish that he thought fit to withdraw out of town privately the next morning to prevent injury to his person’.26

To counteract High Church sentiment, King appears to have set about electioneering for the Whigs with unaccustomed zeal. He corresponded with Sir Francis Drake in the spring about securing success in his own borough, and on 12 Sept. wrote to his friend Thomas Jervoise* to urge him to try to intervene in the Stockbridge election on behalf of the Whig lawyer Sir John Hawles* and London alderman Sir William Humphrys. At the same time he broadcast the announcement by the Duke of Somerset, who had earlier aspired to leadership of the Country Whigs, of his readiness to help the Whigs at the polls; and, shortly after the election results were known, broadcast a remark of the Queen’s, that although she had changed her ministers she would not alter her measures and would be governed by ‘moderation’. Nevertheless, King was still popular among the Country Whigs, for one wrote to Harley advising him to forge a coalition with them and place King in the Chair, observing that this would cheer the ‘old Whigs’ because Sir Peter ‘never was in with the late ministry’.27

On 29 Nov. 1710, a few days after the commencement of the new session, King joined Sir Richard Onslow in vindicating the previous Parliament’s record on disputed elections. He took up

the cudgels telling them that whatever practices had been of late in the matter of elections they had got it all from their worthy ancestors and that the only way to mend these faults was rather in their actings really to put a stop to these evil practices than to be recrmininating on on[e] another by invectives, for that both sides being equally guilty there was nothing to be lost or gained that way.

On 9 Dec. King moved ‘for balloting for elections’, and forced a division (at which he was heavily defeated) ‘to show that he was never alarmed to have it appear what side he was of, which was thought a good argument against the question he was for’. Although he defended his own patron Lord Stamford from attack, King also showed worrying signs of detachment from the Junto, and from Cowper in particular, over the Bewdley charter case. The lord chancellor noted in his diary that King was absent on 19 Dec. when the House discussed the matter, ‘though I had seen him and understood him to have promised to assist’. Moreover, on 2 Jan. 1711 he spoke against Walpole’s amendment to a Tory motion to address the Queen with thanks for her message about the need to make up the loss of troops in Spain,

and said that it became this House to pay all imaginable respect to her Majesty upon all occasions and particularly in expressing the confidence that all her subjects have always had in her prudent management of the war, which had hitherto been carried on with so great success under her direction, and that since there was a more proper occasion afterwards to come in to the consideration of the disposition of the troops, he went heartily to the motion [for an address] without any amendment.

On 12 May he was first-named to the drafting committee for a bill to prevent duelling, set up following the death of the sitting MP Sir Chomeley Dering, 4th Bt., and presented the bill three days later. At the end of the session he was appointed to the committee drafting the representation to the Queen about reports on various grievances, all of which he had himself been involved in investigating, such as the imprest accounts, the public debts, the arrears of taxes, the abuses in the victualling, the Palatines and the Bewdley charter. During the session he had also been active as counsel, with Jekyll (who had supported his stance over the address amendment), in an important test case in the Lords: in March the peers heard the Greenshields suit, involving the arrest of an episcopalian minister who had provocatively set up a meeting-house opposite St. Giles, Edinburgh, the heart of Scottish Presbyterianism, and was using the English liturgy. King represented the Edinburgh magistrates, and argued unsuccessfully that Greenshields had no right to appeal to the House of Lords, which had no jurisdiction over Scotland. Assuming a degree of personal concern in this cause, the case could be seen as evidence of King’s continued misgivings about the Union and of his sympathy towards Presbyterian forms of church government. Indeed, King is later said to have believed that religion was ‘if anywhere’ thriving best in Scotland, ‘of which church he had a high esteem’, and when the Scottish episcopal toleration bill was debated in March 1712 King was involved with William Carstares in drawing up ‘queries’ about its provisions.28

With the purge in the summer and autumn of 1711 of all remaining Whigs from government, King was pushed into a firmer espousal of the Junto position. On 7 Dec. 1711 he both spoke and voted in favour of the ‘No Peace without Spain’ motion. As L’Hermitage reported, King rebutted the argument put forward by Secretary St. John that the Dutch had freely entered into the peace by alleging that the secretary of state’s account was partial and that the Dutch had signed ‘plutôt par menaces’. St. John fell back on the Queen’s Speech for justification, but King,

ayant continué son discours, sur les articles préliminaires, dit qu’ils étaient vagues, insuffisants et captieux. Monsieur St. John dit que ce n’étaient pas des préliminaires mais de propositions faites par la France, mais ce chevalier demanda quelle différence il y avait entre préliminaires et propositions accordés.

In January 1712 he was prominent in his support for the Duke of Marlborough and Walpole against the attacks made on them, and in April was one of the counsel retained by the Duke in case of prosecution.29

Yet King’s conduct was still coloured by Country sensibilities. In mid-January he dined at Lambeth in the company of the new champion of the Country Whigs, Edward Wortley Montagu, who only a few weeks later introduced a new place bill, and King’s appointment on 15 Feb. to the resulting inquiry into the number of new officers eligible to sit in the Houses must be seen as tacit approval of the project. King left (once more without permission of the House) to go on circuit in March and April, but had returned by 3 May. The next month he and Jekyll ‘were very strenuous advocates’ for Bishop Fleetwood, an opponent of the peace whose preface to a collection of sermons was condemned by the House on 10 June. King’s legal skills were employed in a similar case in February 1713, this time in a court of law, in defence of the Whig journalist George Ridpath, who had been prosecuted for passages published in the Flying Post the previous summer attacking the peace.30

King’s principal concern in the 1713 session was with what he saw as the catastrophic consequences of a dishonourable peace and the French commercial treaty. When on 20 Apr. William Lowndes proposed supply in order to mothball the navy, King and others forced him to withdraw the motion until the peace terms were known. He joined with Onslow and Lechmere on 6 May to oppose the suspension of duties on French wine; argued on 14 May that the commercial treaty would ruin English trade; and (again with Lechmere) promoted on 28 May a bill to encourage the import of naval stores from Scotland. On 10 June, when the chancellor of the exchequer, Robert Benson*, attacked one of the merchants offering evidence to the House because he vilified the French commercial treaty, King replied that what the witness had said

every man who knows anything of trade must confirm and I take it upon myself to affirm that he has spoke nothing but truth. If indeed when we send for merchants to give their opinion of trade freely, they are to be brow-beaten by courtiers, we had as good hear none but the Court. I have indeed . . . read that it is a custom in some slavish eastern countries that when the people petition they ask the minion or favourite what they shall say, but it is not so in our House, we are a free Parliament and that merchant is at liberty to speak against a peace or treaty of commerce, though made by the Queen and her ministry, since it cannot subsist without our consent and we if we should disapprove of it, we have a power of calling that ministry to an account that durst advise it.

The warmth of this stinging rebuke, imbued perhaps with years of frustrated hostility to courtiers who had sneered at his own mercantile upbringing, as well as with a genuine passion for the rights of the people and Commons, ‘surprised the Court’ who had usually found Sir Peter to be ‘cool’, and any suggestion of censuring the merchant was dropped. The next day, the 11th, King helped demonstrate in committee the disadvantages that open trade with France might bring, and on 18 June spoke and voted against the 8th and 9th articles of the treaty. King’s preoccupation with commerce did not, however, preclude his advocacy of Country measures. On 23 Apr., when Stanhope proposed a land tax, he secured an amendment limiting the Court’s ability to increase the amount, perhaps influenced by the fact that he had bought an estate at Ockham in 1710 and had long been an investor in mortgages on country estates. Moreover, he appears to have been listed as one of the ‘mighty sticklers’ for the place clause tacked to the malt bill. He was named to two drafting committees during the session, for which personal motives can be ascribed: on 21 Apr. for the estate bill of Sir John Brownlow, 5th Bt.*, whose grandfather had married into the Freke family (also related to King); and on 30 June for the bill to protect the privileges of London freemen, one of the relatively few occasions when his possession of the City recordership influenced his conduct in the House.31

In 1712 and 1713 King published the Second Part of the Enquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, Unity and Worship of the Primitive Church. Its purpose was to recommend the ‘moderation and . . . peaceableness’ of the early Christians and to advocate ‘the necessity of an union or comprehension’. Sir Peter lamented that ‘charity is condemned as abject and base’ and that all sides had been quarrelling for so long, ‘to the dishonour of God and the scandal of religion’, that ‘we have loathed concord and loved jars and divisions, and have always been back-biting, persecuting and maligning others’. He claimed that since differences were not ‘about faith nor manners’ but

lesser matters, about modes and forms, about gestures and postures . . . it’s evident from hence, that while we spend our zeal and heat about these inconsiderable matters, the very foundation of faith and morals is attacked and shaken, atheism increases, immorality prevails, and those damnable heresies, which for many ages have been silenced and abandoned, are now revived.

Recalling God’s providential help ‘in the day of our late distress’ he urged the nation to fulfil its religious obligations ‘lest God bring severer judgments on us than ever, and at once utterly destroy us root and branch, for our lying, perjury and hypocrisy’. Comprehension was thus the means ‘to hinder the growth of damnable errors and abominable debaucheries’.32

King’s advice was sought in August 1713 by Sir Francis Drake, who exploited his friend’s contacts with moderate Country Tories to inquire if he knew ‘a reputable straying Tory who is willing to oppose one of the most corrupt ones’, possibly a reference to James Bulteel*, whom Drake wanted to unseat at Tavistock. As further evidence of his reputation for impartiality, Sir Peter’s counsel was also sought by the Tory Lord Barrymore (James Barry*) after the election at Wigan, and he advised initiating quo warranto proceedings against the mayor (brother of the Whig Sir Roger Bradshaigh, 3rd Bt.*) who had inhibited Barrymore’s supporters from voting. King himself was named as a candidate for London, but desisted after his election at Bere Alston, thereby forcing the City Whigs to call an emergency meeting to decide on a new slate.33

Before the new Parliament sat, King was retained as a defence counsel for two very different cases: the first (gratis) for William Whiston, who was brought before the vice-chancellor’s court at Cambridge on a charge of heresy; and the second, for the non-juror Hilkiah Bedford, prosecuted for writing The Hereditary Right of the Crown of England Asserted. Inside Parliament, however, King was anxious to tighten safeguards for the Hanoverian succession. Although named on 2 Mar. 1714 to the committee to draft the Address, he and others attacked it when it was reported two days later.

[They] argued very boldly that the [Queen’s] Speech had been seen before, which was dishonourable to her Majesty and the House, which they hoped would never be done again, and a great deal against the power of France and that the Pretender had not been removed from Lorraine and that there had been a late ordinance of the Fr[ench] King discharging the return of any for[eign] Protestants under the pain of being sent to the galleys and that some had been actually sent, contrary to the treaty of a free egress and regress.

King alone ‘touched upon the article of a general peace [and] said he hoped we were not to be drawn into a new way’: he argued that since Louis XIV had so lightly violated this article, he might as easily disregard his promises about the succession; the Address was thus complacent in its satisfaction with the security of the succession and further measures were necessary to safeguard the Hanoverian accession. According to L’Hermitage, the Tory majority did not reject his logic, but successfully pushed for endorsement of the text. King was only able to secure ‘some modification’ in the wording of thanks for the treaty of commerce with Spain, having argued that the House should not welcome it ‘before they knew whether the same was advantageous or no’. Perhaps recognizing that they were outnumbered, King and his friends Jekyll and Lechmere left Westminster at this critical time to go on circuit, but Sir Peter had returned by 16 Apr. when he spoke in a succession debate against the Court, and five days later he spoke against the commercial treaty. On 12 May he helped to manage the debate against the schism bill, and attacked it again on 1 June, when he and the other managers ‘exerted their eloquence’, claiming that the legislation ‘looked more like a decree of Julian the Apostate than a law enacted by a Protestant Parliament, since it tended to raise as great a persecution against our Protestant brethren as the primitive Christians ever suffered from the heathen emperors’. The same day he presented a bill for the better maintenance of curates within the Church of England, a measure which he subsequently steered through the House, further evidence of his being ‘afraid that religion shall go out of the world’. He is reported to have told Sir James Stewart, 1st Bt.*, at this time that

matters were very dark and cloudy, but God was at the head of affairs; that he had wrought these 26 years by a constant miracle for religion, and a continued restraint against the reformation in strange providences; that all his hope now was that the Queen was tender and the ministry weak and divided . . . [that] the Whigs at the top of affairs were very ill men; that the body of their followers, low Church and Dissenters, were good men; that the Tories were, in their heads . . . very blameless, but their followers most wicked and graceless; that religion was everywhere low; that he knew there were multitudes in England wishing for, and ready to receive, a reformation.

He appears to have believed ‘that Queen Anne died a papist’ and had made a secret arrangement with Hanoverian agents about ‘instruments of regency’ in case she died.34

King was among those who officially welcomed George I on his entry into London and was appointed chief justice of the common pleas in October 1714, when he resigned as London’s recorder. He also stood down at the next election, though he continued to exercise electoral patronage at Bere Alston on Drake’s behalf. He presided at the trial of the rebels in 1715, and in 1716 promoted John Hoadley, brother of the Whig bishop and former chaplain to King’s friend Burnet, to the living of All Saints, Ockham. His own appointment as lord chancellor in 1725 was, to the anger of Jekyll who felt passed over,

as much by the voice of the public as by the hand of power; but his entrance on that employment proved the vertical point of his glory, for from the moment he possessed it his reputation, without the least reflection upon his integrity, began to sink; and had the seals been taken from him, even before his imbecility occasioned by his apoplectic fits, it would have been with the same universal approbation with which they were conferred.35

King died, ‘little regretted by anybody’, on 22 July 1734. In his will he commended his ‘dear wife and children to the protection and good providence of almighty God which will be their best defence, hoping through his mercy for a comfortable meeting again at the resurrection of the just’. He left £100 to the poor, £10 to his ‘worthy and honoured friend Sir Francis Henry Drake [5th Bt.†]’, and requested to be buried ‘with as little funeral show as possible . . . in a plain black coffin’. He had amassed a sufficient fortune to leave £8,000 to each of his children, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John†, on whom he had made a settlement in 1725, though the title passed through all three of his younger sons. He was buried at Ockham, where a life-size sculpture by Rysbrack was erected together with a monumental inscription which describes him as ‘a friend to true religion and liberty’, though it inaccurately gives the date of his entry into Parliament as 1699.36

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Mark Knights


  • 1. DNB.
  • 2. Add. 70076, (mic. M/799), newsletter 6 June 1704; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 379; J. Aubrey, Surr. (1719), 316; Al. Carth. 89.
  • 3. E. G. W. Bill, Q. Anne Churches, p. xxiv.
  • 4. Campbell, Lives, 645; Wodrow, Analecta, ii. 291; An Enquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, Unity and Worship of the Primitive Church (1691), ‘To the Reader’; A Letter to the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Justice King (1725), 17.
  • 5. Mary Clarke to Edward Clarke, June 1700, cited in B. Clarke, ‘The Marriage of John Locke’s “wife” Elizabeth Clarke’ (unpub. T/S); Whiston Mems. i. 35; SRO, Cromartie mss GD305/addit. 36, R.M. to [?Cromarty], n.d.; Hearne Colls. ii. 328; B. Rand, Locke and Clarke, 23.
  • 6. Campbell, 645; HMC Fitzherbert, 47; Locke Corresp. vi. 397, 437, 503; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Bank of Eng. pprs. 31.1.7, f. 97.
  • 7. Locke Corresp. vii. 140, 226, 231, 235, 237, 244, 257, 261, 280.
  • 8. Ibid. 291, 302, 351.
  • 9. Ibid. vii. 431, 436, 490, 494–5, 497, 514, 654; viii. 104, 106.
  • 10. Ibid. vii. 524, 526, 532–3, 536–7, 565.
  • 11. Ibid. vii. 567, 573, 577; Cocks Diary, 220–1, 279, 284; Add. 70037, f. 22.
  • 12. Locke Corresp. vii. 673, 720, 724; Devon RO, 346 M/F34, Drake to King, 27 Nov. 1702 (Speck trans.); Nicolson Diaries, ed. Jones and Holmes, 131.
  • 13. Locke Corresp. viii. 89, 106, 116, 127, 181; Add. 70074 (mic.M/799), newsletter 29 Jan. 1704; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. vi. 294.
  • 14. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 428; Clarke, ‘Marriage’; Locke Corresp. vii. 580–2, 585.
  • 15. Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 19 Sept. 1704; Locke Corresp. viii. 154, 160, 214, 309, 397, 412, 420; Campbell, iv. 583; PRO, 30/24/20/154, Shaftesbury to Jean Le Clerc, 13 Jan. 1705; 30/24/20/152–3, same to King, Jan. 1705; 30/24/20/208, King to Shaftesbury, 18 Jan. 1705.
  • 16. Univ. Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Lib. mss C.163, Sir William Simpson to John Methuen* 13 Feb. 1705; HMC Frankland-Russell-Astley, 176; Locke Corresp. viii. 379; NLW, Picton Castle mss, memo. by Philipps, 13 Jan. 1705.
  • 17. Centre Kentish Stud. Stanhope mss U1590 C9/31, Cropley to Alexander Stanhope, 28 July 1705; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Bentinck) mss PwA410, John Eyles* to Portland, 27 July 1705; Ellis thesis, app. F, p. 15; Herts RO, Panshanger mss D/EP F 100, Cowper to [?Drake], n.d.; Cowper Diary, 10, 11.
  • 18. Cam. Misc. xxiii. 40, 58, 65, 71, 79; Kenneth Spencer Research Lib. ms C.163 Simpson to Methuen, 15 Jan. 1706; Nicolson Diaries, 348; Stanhope mss U1590/C9/31, Cropley to Stanhope, 19 Feb. 1706.
  • 19. Staffs. RO, Paget mss D603/K/3/6, R. Acherley to Ld. Paget (Henry*) 13 June 1706; Add. 70252, Ld. Poulett to Harley, 23 Aug 1707.
  • 20. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 284, 291, 293; G. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 203; 7th Duke of Manchester, Court and Soc. Eliz. to Anne, ii. 266–7.
  • 21. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 310–11, 318; 7th Duke of Manchester, ii. 274, 292; Luttrell, vi. 262; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 48/193, Vernon to Shrewsbury, 24 Feb. 1708.
  • 22. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 351; Nicolson Diaries, 456; 7th Duke of Manchester, ii. 296; NLW, Plas-y-cefn mss 2740, Gibson to [?bp. of Hereford], 6 Dec. 1707.
  • 23. Duchess of Marlborough Corresp. i. 115–17, 122, 177; HMC Portland, iv. 494; Stanhope mss U1590 C9/28, James Craggs I* to Stanhope, 1 June 1708.
  • 24. Duchess of Marlborough Corresp. i. 289, ii. 12; SRO, Montrose mss GD220/5/954, Alexander Cunningham to Montrose, 1 July 1708; Bodl. Locke mss C38, f. 1; Ellis thesis, app. F. p. 22; Stanhope mss U1590/0138/29, Horace Walpole II* to Stanhope, 16 Nov. 1708; U1590 C9/31, Cropley to Stanhope, 22 Nov.; Speck thesis, 235; Add. 70419, Harley to Dr William Stratford, 10 Oct. 1708; Lincs. AO, Massingberd-Mundy mss vii/2/9, Burrell Massingberd to Earl of Berkshire, 8 Dec. 1708; Hereford and Worcester RO (Hereford), Brydges mss A81/iv/23/a, William to Francis Brydges 28 Oct. 1708; H. Horwitz, Revolution Politicks, 216.
  • 25. Stanhope mss U1590/C9/31 Cropley to Stanhope, 22 Nov. 1708; U1590/0139/2, Hon. James Brydges* to Stanhope, 17 Mar. 1709; Parlty. Lists Early 18th Cent. ed. Newman, 80; Cunningham, Hist. GB, ii. 211; SRO Ogilvy of Inverquharity mss GD205/34/4, Pringle to William Bennet*, 1 Mar. 1709.
  • 26. Cunningham, ii. 276; BL, Trumbull Alphab. mss 53, Ralph Bridges to Sir William Trumbull*, 14 Dec. 1709; Panshanger D/EP F 54, f. 77, Drake to Cowper, 15 Dec. 1709; State Trials, xv. 134–5; Yale Univ. Beinecke Lib. Osborn mss box 21/22, ‘Acct. of trial of Dr Sacheverell’; Add. 5853, f. 83v; 70421, newsletter 1 Apr. 1710.
  • 27. Devon RO, 346 M/F59, Drake to King, 27 Apr., 2, 11 May 1710; Hants RO, Jervoise mss 44M69/08, King to Thomas Jervoise*, 12 Sept. 1710; HMC Portland, iv. 592; G. Holmes, Trial of Sacheverell, 272; Add. 70206, Thomas Smyth to Harley, 19 Oct. 1710.
  • 28. Montrose mss GD 220/5/807/4, 808/1a, Mungo Graham* to Montrose, 30 Nov. 1710, 2 Jan. 1711; HMC Portland, v. 127 (dated 1711 but referring to 1710); NSA, Kreienberg despatch 5 Jan. 1711; Cowper Diary, 50–1; G. M. Trevelyan, Eng. under Q. Anne, iii. 256–7; Wodrow, ii. 7, 292.
  • 29. Kreienberg despatch, 7 Dec. 1711, 5 Jan. 1712; Add. 17677 EEE, f. 391; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 6, f. 96; Chandler, v. 247; Scots Courant, 21–23 Apr. 1712.
  • 30. Nicolson Diaries, 580; HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 185; Boyer, Pol. State, v. 98.
  • 31. Kreienberg despatches 21, 24 Apr., 8 May, 15 May 1713; SRO, Dalhousie mss GD45/14/352/18, [Balmerino] to [Henry Maule], 28 May 1713; Add. 36772, ff. 32–33; Tindal, Hist. Eng. ii. 319; Surr. Arch. Colls. xlv. 3; Brydges mss A81/iv/23b, William to Francis Brydges, 24 Apr. 1713 (possibly referring to King’s support for the commerce bill).
  • 32. Second Part of the Enquiry, 166–72.
  • 33. Devon RO 346/F 78 Drake to King 6 Aug. 1713 (Speck trans.); NLS, Crawford mss 47/2/3, Thomas Ashurst to Sir Roger Bradshaigh, 14 Nov. 1713; Add. 17677 GG, f. 354.
  • 34. DNB; HMC Portland, v. 384; Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 8, ff. 48, 67–69, 96, 118; Add. 40621, f. 76; 17677 HHH, f. 103; Cobbett, vi. 1259, 1347; Tindal, ii. 360; Wodrow, ii. 291–2, 328; Orig. Pprs. ed. Macpherson, ii. 625.
  • 35. Campbell, 588; Burnet, vi. 327; Surr. Arch. Colls. xlv. 45.
  • 36. Hervey Mems. i. 244; PCC 183 Ockham; Surr. Arch. Colls. xlv. 38.