TRUMBULL, Sir William (1639-1716), of Easthampstead Park, Berks. and Gerrard Street, Westminster, Mdx.

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



1685 - 1687

Family and Education

b. 12/13 Aug. 1639, 1st s. of William Trumbull† of Easthampstead Park, clerk of the signet 1661–78, by his 1st w. Elizabeth (d. 1652), da. of Georg Rudolph Weckherlin, under-sec. of state 1624–41, sec. to jt. cttee. of two kingdoms to Parliament and Commonwealth 1644–9.  educ. Wokingham 1649–55; St. John’s, Oxf. 1655, BCL 1659, DCL 1667; fellow, All Souls, Oxf. 1657–?70; M. Temple 1657; travelled abroad (France, Italy) 1664–6; adm. ct. of Arches 1667; adv. Doctors’ Commons 1668.  m. (1) 24 Nov. 1670, Katherine (d. 1704), da. of Sir Charles Cotterell† of Westminster and Rousham, Oxon, s.p.; (2) Oct. 1706, Lady Judith, da. of Henry Alexander, 4th Earl of Stirling [S], 1s. 1da. d.v.psuc. fa. 1678; kntd. 21 Nov. 1684.1

Offices Held

Chancellor, Rochester dioc. 1671–87; freeman, Portsmouth 1683, Hedon 1695; verderer, Windsor forest by 1703–?d.2

Clerk of the signet 1683–d.; judge adv. of the fleet and commr. settling leases of properties, Tangier 1683; clerk of deliveries, Ordnance Feb.–Nov. 1685; ambassador, France, Sept. 1685–Oct. 1686, the Porte, Nov. 1686–91; ld. of Treasury 1694–Oct. 1695; PC 1/3 May 1695–1702; sec. of state (northern dept.) May 1695–7.3

FRS 1692.

Gov. of Hudson’s Bay Co. 1696–1700; member, Levant Co. 1686, gov. 1696–1710; commr. rebuilding St. Paul’s Cathedral 1692–d., Greenwich Hosp. 1704.4


Though he attained high office, Trumbull was a most reluctant politician. His deeply ingrained sensitivity and pious conscience made it hard for him to bear the iniquities of the world of high politics into which he felt he had been thrust, and after an anguished spell as secretary of state, he retreated from the stage with thankful relief.

Since there was only a modest family fortune, Trumbull was destined to follow a professional career. Displaying a precocious aptitude for learning, he was sent’ to Oxford in 1655 where, as he claimed in an unpublished memoir, he ‘mispent’ much of his time. He none the less gained a fellowship at All Souls where he progressed through the offices of dean, bursar and sub-warden. An acutely diffident nature made any form of public speaking, as he discovered at Oxford, a painful ordeal, and one which he never properly overcame. His two-year sojourn on the Continent during 1664–6 did little in his opinion to supplement his intellectual growth, though he admitted that this was ‘partly from laziness and debauchery’. Returning to college, he found himself slipping further into idle ways and ‘extravagancies’, from which he resolved to break free by embarking on a career in civil law. He commenced successfully in the vice-chancellor’s court at Oxford and, in 1668, moved on to practise at Doctors’ Commons in London where he remained for the next 15 years, becoming a lawyer of high repute. Through the offices of his father-in-law, Sir Charles Cotterell, he was appointed chancellor of the diocese of Rochester in 1671 by its bishop, John Dolben, the eventual archbishop of York, and benefited much from ‘the friendship and patronage of that great and good man’. The turning point in his career came in the late summer of 1683 when he was chosen by Lord Dartmouth (George Legge†) to be judge advocate of the fleet and a commissioner in his mission to supervise the English evacuation of Tangier. Dartmouth, an Anglican Tory and a member of the Duke of York’s household, seems to have recognized in Trumbull a man of his own thinking and was impressed by his ‘carriage’ in business Trumbull had conducted at the council table. This work completed, Trumbull ‘rejoiced’ at being able to resume his professional work, though, having proved his mettle as a competent and judicious administrator, he soon learned that there were other designs for his future. Lord Dartmouth, ‘being much more sensible of his obligations to me than I really deserved’, was particularly keen to see his advancement. Trumbull embraced the proposal put to him at the end of 1684 that he accompany Lord Rochester (Laurence Hyde†) to Ireland as secretary at war, but deftly backed away on discovering that it was Rochester’s political bête noire, Lord Sunderland, who was trying to engineer the appointment. In February 1685, however, Dartmouth provided him with a lucrative Ordnance post.5

Even at this stage, Trumbull harboured strong inclinations ‘to get out of the world and live privately’. James II’s accession enhanced his apprehensions of ‘a secret, though a dark, foresight of attempts to be made upon our religion and liberties’. Another, no less important, consideration was his natural reserve, which he felt made him ‘very unfit to contend with men of sordid and corrupted tempers’. Having opted for a quiet life away from worldly affairs, despite his election to Parliament in May 1685, Trumbull was suddenly notified in August that on Rochester’s recommendation the King had appointed him ambassador to Paris. Though, typically, he saw this as a clear manifestation of God’s will, he also foresaw a hornets’ nest of trouble ahead. With King James a declared papist and Louis XIV persecuting his Protestant subjects, it was hardly a position in which Trumbull, a devout Anglican, could serve with ease of conscience. The King, however, would not accept his demurrer. He consequently turned for ‘security’ to Lord Sunderland, then secretary of state. Although Trumbull had first become acquainted with Sunderland on his early continental travels, he had, up to this point, avoided too obvious an association with the Earl. It was Lord Chancellor Jeffreys, whom Trumbull had impressed with his prowess in legal argument, who obtained for him Sunderland’s assurance of friendship and support. Trumbull’s ten-month embassy in France was stormy. He openly, almost defiantly, championed the rights of Protestants, particularly of English and Scottish merchants who were not exempted from the French government’s persecuting activities. He complained vehemently to the French court when its forces occupied the principality of Orange, for decades a Protestant haven, and to which Huguenots had fled in hordes to escape oppression. Years later, he was to recall the sheer hopelessness of his situation: ‘my soul abhorred the French court, and the condition I was to live there, being as meant everlastingly to complain, as it was useless to be angry without hopes of redress’. Before his recall in September 1686 he had requested, and was given, the embassy at Constantinople for which he embarked in April 1687. Although he enjoyed his eventful four-year posting to the Porte, he regarded it as an escape from the impending ‘catastrophe’ which he foresaw was about to befall the English nation.

I had seen too much of the friendship between the two kings cemented by the designs of promoting popery, and how we were pushing on at Whitehall, with incredible folly and invincible obstinacy, either to conquer Protestantism and the English liberties, or to perish in the attempt.6

Trumbull was pressed by King James, following his abdication, to remain in Turkey as his own ambassador, but he ‘refused to act in opposition to the interest of his country and to the present establishment’. Having sought his recall, Trumbull finally relinquished his ambassadorial duties in July 1691 and, after a leisurely homeward journey, reached England early in January 1692. His return had been preceded by many reports that he was being considered for high office. As early as November 1690 it was believed that he and Hon. Thomas Wharton* would be installed as secretaries of state. Within a month of his disembarkation it was expected that he would be appointed secretary of state in place of Viscount Sydney (Henry Sidney†), the newly appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. Another possibility was that he would go to Ireland as Sydney’s chief secretary. The King was anxious to include him in the administration, sure, no doubt, of the man who had so stoutly defended his principality of Orange in 1685–6. On 26 Feb. 1692 Lord Portland sounded Trumbull’s ‘inclinations’ for office, but found him negative: ‘in modesty it became me not to pretend to any, having been so long absent and so much a stranger for many years’. Portland also quizzed him bluntly about ‘what party I was of, viz. whether Whig or Tory, as commonly called’, explaining that upon a reshuffle the Whigs, outnumbering Tories in the Commons, would expect one ‘they could confide in’. Trumbull answered elliptically:

as to any party, I had never been of any; that I was of the Church of England, as I had told King James, and should live and die in it and wished well to the government and the Protestant religion and to all that were well-wishers to it.

Portland insisted that Trumbull declare whether the Whigs might ‘trust’ him. Trumbull replied that he ‘believed not’, but indicated that his moderate Toryism was tempered with broad Church sympathies commensurate with the latitudinarian views of Archbishops Tillotson of Canterbury and Sharp of York and of Bishop Stillingfleet of Worcester ‘who knew me well’. Portland remarked that these clerics enjoyed ‘high credit’, but Trumbull reiterated that he was

not ambitious of any preferment, and should never take any, whereby I might either discredit the King in his choice, or bring reproaches on myself; and whether I had anything or not (though my own fortune were very small) yet I would live very contentedly and do the King the best service I was able.

A few days later, on 3 Mar., it was made plainer to Trumbull that he was wanted in the ministry and was manoeuvred by Portland into a situation from which he could not withdraw. At Kensington, he had met the King who directed him to speak with Portland who told him ‘that though he [the King] had not bestowed any employment as yet upon me, he had not forgot me but had me in his thoughts, and so bid me be assured’. Trumbull, in response, expressed zeal and affection for the King’s service and readiness ‘to acquiesce in whatever his Majesty thought fit for me’, whereupon Portland told him he could do no better than to tell the King so himself, which Trumbull could hardly refuse doing. Thus, if now, or in the future, he was called upon to accept office, it would be difficult for him to decline with honour. Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†), whom the King had just appointed one of the secretaries, had been personally and genuinely willing to accept Trumbull as his fellow secretary of state, but was quite clear that two secretaries ‘of the same stamp’ would not suit the present political situation. In a meeting with Nottingham on 5 Mar. Trumbull admitted that it was probably he himself who ‘had put an end to my own employment by a confession of my faith’ to Lord Portland. Nottingham had been unable to overcome the King’s determination to operate with just one secretary. However, Portland, despite the King’s objections, seems to have been trying to see if a suitable nominee for the second secretaryship, acceptable to both the King and the Whigs, might still be found. Trumbull had seemed a possible, if ultimately doubtful, choice, though Nottingham had gone out of his way to impress upon Portland that Trumbull ‘could never have given any offence either to Whig or Tory’, and though of the Church of England, was ‘not for oppressing anybody’. Nottingham therefore assured Trumbull that provided the King returned from a successful campaign later in the year and found he could resist Whig pressure, Trumbull would be appointed second secretary. Trumbull was grateful, ‘for I did not think myself fit for so great a post’.7

However, in the closing months of 1692 the volatile, combative mood of the Whigs precluded any possibility of Trumbull’s becoming Lord Nottingham’s fellow secretary. There were suggestions that he might resume his diplomatic career and he was tipped as a possible ambassador to Vienna in October. In May 1693 he was for a while tempted by the offer of appointment as one of the lords justices in Ireland to serve with Lord Capell (Hon. Sir Henry Capel*) following Sydney’s recall. The post was urged upon Trumbull by Sunderland who regarded him as a useful tool, one of the few at his disposal, in his own schemes to improve the Whig footing in the ministry. He fully appreciated Trumbull’s usefulness as an inoffensive Tory of accommodating views, especially in Church matters, and whose appointment to office was not likely to arouse Whig antagonism. Trumbull, however, remained wary of Sunderland’s motives. On 10 May Sunderland told Portland that Trumbull had been to see him ‘full of doubts and fears’, but he ‘made me believe he went away without any and seemed resolved to do whatever the King pleased’. The same day, however, Sunderland heard second-hand that Trumbull had declined the Irish post, yet when Sunderland asked him to clarify his position, Trumbull only confirmed his earlier acceptance. In private, however, Trumbull was full of misgivings and on 20 June asked Sunderland to excuse him from going to Ireland. ‘The reasons are unfit for a letter’, Sunderland informed Portland, ‘[but] they relate to the ministers and particularly Lord Rochester.’ Trumbull’s recent emergence as an obvious creature of Sunderland had not of course endeared him to the leading Tory politicians, and their open antipathy towards him was something he evidently found difficult to shoulder. Another, possibly more important factor in Trumbull’s volte-face was his desire to succeed the mortally ill Sir Richard Raines as judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, a post which offered him the opportunity to return to his specialist field of civil law – and, in view of his friendship with Archbishop Tillotson, he must have supposed that his chances were rosy. But though his name was proposed by Portland to the archbishop at his own request, he was not considered. The next month, July, Trumbull was contentedly describing himself as a man withdrawn from all public affairs. This quietude ended abruptly, however, in April 1694 when the King appointed him to the Treasury commission. ‘After all my hopes of retirement’, he wrote despondently to one acquaintance, ‘it has pleased God to determine the contrary.’ The appointment came with little forewarning, and the King briskly overrode Trumbull’s protestations and preference ‘for some other kind of public service’, presumably in the judicial hierarchy. He was, as he assured Tory friends who proffered their congratulations, full of apprehensions about re-entering the political world ‘in a submissive trade’. To Francis Gwyn* he confided, ‘my prospect is melancholy’, and to Bishop Burnet, ‘I am got out of my depth’. Trumbull’s inclusion in the new Treasury commission amid an influx of Whigs to government office surprised such prominent Tory MPs as Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Bt.*, but was seen as arising from his association with Lord Sunderland. Musgrave commented ruefully to Robert Harley*: ‘I conceive him incapable of doing such service as is conjectured by some’, a veiled reference to the belief that Trumbull’s appointment was intended to smooth antagonism between Tories and Whigs. Trumbull’s preference for an alternative station is apparent in Sunderland’s raising with Portland the possibility that his protégé might replace the recently deceased Lord Falkland (Anthony Carey*) as envoy extraordinary to the States General, but the idea failed to find favour with the King.8

Lord Sunderland was primarily responsible for Trumbull’s elevation to the office of secretary of state for the northern department at the beginning of May 1695. The promotion was an outcome of the intermittent tussle for supremacy between Sunderland and the principal secretary, the Duke of Shrewsbury, which had developed apace since the beginning of the year. Though firmly fixed in royal favour, Sunderland struggled hard for some weeks to have Trumbull installed against Shrewsbury’s choice of the Junto Whig Thomas Wharton. Shrewsbury then wanted Trumbull’s place at the Treasury for another Junto Whig, Sir Thomas Littleton, 3rd Bt.*, but a decision in this respect was avoided by keeping Trumbull at the Treasury until the beginning of November. It was this ongoing rivalry between Sunderland and Shrewsbury which was to bedevil Trumbull’s experiences of high ministerial office. A few days after his appointment Trumbull was also named as secretary to the lords justices acting in the absence of the King. His major preoccupations in the summer months were with the war and with the currency crisis. He welcomed news of the recapture of Namur in August, believing that it ‘should beget on all hands some dispositions towards a peace in good earnest’. He was critical of Parliament for failing to sanction excises, ‘which are the most equal taxes’, to provide adequate funding for Britain’s share of the allied war costs. Trumbull’s views on the question of a recoinage are less clear, though this may have been because he found the complexities of the matter hard to grasp. He relied much on the opinions of his old friend from Oxford days, John Locke. In August, he privately sought Locke’s views on the Treasury report to the lords justices concerning the exorbitant value of guineas, expressing ‘so great a desire to understand this matter fully and to contribute my part towards some cure of this great evil’. Locke drew up another paper for Trumbull’s edification in September on the recoinage plan prepared by the Treasury secretary William Lowndes*, and counselled against Lowndes’s proposals for devaluation. It is likely that Trumbull’s own views followed the same path as Locke’s, and he may have been an early proponent of recoinage at the old standard. With Lord Somers (Sir John*), he supported the King’s preference for immediate executive action to solve the coinage problem, differing from those ministers who preferred to consult Parliament beforehand, though it was the latter course which was eventually adopted. It was during these same months that Trumbull began to form the impression from his monitoring of intelligence reports that a plot was intended against the King. In August he drafted a lengthy memorandum detailing his grounds for alarm.9

With a new Parliament in view, Trumbull sought a parliamentary seat, a business in which he made characteristic vacillations. In July, Henry Guy*, Lord Sunderland’s chief henchman, offered him a seat at Hedon, Yorkshire, where Guy was also intending to accommodate Sunderland’s heir, Lord Spencer (Charles*). At this point Trumbull had already accepted Lord Cutts’s (John*) invitation to stand for Newport, Isle of Wight. A little later, however, he was invited by the Earl of Abingdon to stand as knight of the shire for his native county of Berkshire. Initially he declined, but by late September he had modified his attitude, declaring, ‘I cannot think it fit for me to appear or stand for the knight of the shire; but in case I should be pitched upon, I should thankfully receive this much in my own country preferably to any other place’. His hesitance about the county seat stemmed from a feeling that Sir Humphrey Forster, 2nd Bt.*, whom it was intended he should partner, would attract insufficient votes, particularly as he himself would have no time to canvass. Even so, he was informing one Berkshire gentleman on 1 Oct. that he accepted nomination for the county ‘with all thankfulness’, but begged to be excused from appearing among the gentry owing to the pressure of business. Later in September, however, Trumbull’s name was being mooted, at first unbeknown to him, among senior dons at Oxford University, although Dr Leopold Finch, the warden of Trumbull’s old college, All Souls, felt that Trumbull would himself make no move, believing that the old Members would be seeking re-election, and that he would have made approaches already if he intended to stand for the university. On 3 or 4 October the situation changed almost overnight, however, when Trumbull heard by express from George Clarke*, the secretary at war and another All Souls man, that one of the university Members, Sir Thomas Clarges*, was on the point of death and that Trumbull might consider standing. Clarke’s message, followed closely by Clarges’ demise, galvanized Trumbull into action. On the 8th he wrote formally to the university’s vice-chancellor asking ‘if I might have the honour to be their representative in Parliament’. Trumbull was safe in the knowledge that his All Souls credentials would stand him in good stead. There soon emerged in most of the colleges a favourable disposition towards him, though a small coterie of High Tory detractors branded him as ‘Whiggish’, a smear which was perhaps meant to reflect Trumbull’s willingness to act in the predominantly Whig ministry. Trumbull’s agent at Oxford, Dr William Hayley, reported some residual irritation with his failure as yet to renounce his pretensions to one of the Berkshire seats. This was seized upon by Warden Finch who, despite having proposed Trumbull to a meeting of his college, remained cool towards him and hoped Sir Christopher Musgrave, a rival candidate, would fare better. Thus prompted, Trumbull notified the gentlemen of Berkshire on 15 Oct. of his decision to stand for the university and was careful to indicate that he himself was not responsible for this apparent change of heart: ‘I believe his Majesty will incline to my being chosen for the university’. Though business may have genuinely prevented him, he did not set foot in Oxford until almost the eve of the election. Hayley had been anxious that Trumbull should visit the colleges to curry favour with the younger, more capricious dons. When he did arrive, he was excused, out of respect for his ministerial seniority, from the usual practice whereby parliamentary candidates went around each of the colleges in turn. Instead, visits were paid to him by the vice-chancellor and the heads of several colleges. However, Musgrave’s withdrawal shortly before the poll facilitated Trumbull’s unopposed return alongside, Hon. Heneage Finch I.10

Following the assembly of the new Parliament on 22 Nov. 1695, Trumbull, as the senior ministerial figure in the Commons, moved for Paul Foley I to be re-elected Speaker. It seems that owing to his intense dislike of public speaking, Trumbull’s appearances in the House were unusually perfunctory and infrequent for a secretary of state. Once, in assigning to Trumbull an unspecified item of parliamentary business, Lord Treasurer Godolphin† (Sidney) commented to Speaker Foley, ‘I think he likes it, if the attendance does not fright him’. On 28 Nov. Trumbull notified the House that the King had appointed a time to receive the Address from the House, and the following day announced that in response to another address, the King had agreed to nominate a day of ‘fasting and humiliation’. On 3 Dec. he presented details requested by the Commons of the quotas of troops each of the allied powers was to provide for the forthcoming campaign. Before the opening of the new Parliament the Cabinet had discussed the possible institution of a royal council of trade, though for the time being the King hesitated. However, on the 12th, when the House in committee began to consider ways of encouraging trade, particularly with the East Indies, and proposed a parliamentary council, it was hurriedly decided by the court managers to pre-empt this potentially troublesome proposition by declaring that the King himself was about to institute such a body. In this moment of sudden crisis it fell to Trumbull to announce the royal intention and face the accusations of Court trickery hurled at the ministerial bench by angry Country MPs. On 23 Dec. he made an announcement concerning excise exemptions for provisions shipped to the English army serving in the Spanish and United Provinces. After the short Christmas recess the council of trade issue threatened to embroil Trumbull in collision between the administration and the Commons. The Lower House resolved to press forward with its own proposed council which the ministerialists showed every intention of sabotaging. Speaker Foley warned Trumbull that if this were indeed the King’s intent it would ruin his chances of obtaining the civil list supply. Trumbull’s own views on the matter are not on record although, somewhat incongruously, he was forecast as likely to oppose the Court in the crucial debate on 31 Jan. 1696. It may have been assumed, however, that Trumbull would follow the line taken by Sunderland who, to ministerial annoyance, had declared himself in favour of the parliamentary council. On the day of this debate Trumbull was absent, having repaired to Easthampstead with a well-timed ‘fit of the colic’, and was sent an account of the proceedings by his old friend (Sir) Gilbert Dolben* who had obtained seven days’ leave of absence for him. Trumbull was back in the House on 10 Feb., tackling the much less onerous business of moving for a bill empowering the King to grant licences for the alienation of land held in mortmain, which he duly introduced on the 13th.11

On 24 Feb. 1696 the King in person informed Parliament of the plot to assassinate him and the plans for a simultaneous invasion from France, which Trumbull had played an important part in uncovering. He had been on the trail of some form of conspiracy since at least the previous August, his tenacity probably encouraged by the lack of interest in reports on the subject shown by his fellow secretary the Duke of Shrewsbury. By January 1696 he was engaged in sifting the ‘informations’ against several alleged conspirators, including Sir John Fenwick†, with a view to pressing charges of high treason, and on 23 Feb. he attended the Cabinet meeting at which the King apprised ministers of the plot and also acknowledged Trumbull’s large share in its ‘first discovery’. Next day, immediately after the King’s disclosure to Parliament, Trumbull led the delegation of MPs which conferred with the Upper House over the wording of a joint address congratulating the King on his safe delivery, afterwards reporting proposed minor amendments to the Commons, and then heading the delegation which conveyed the amended address back to the Lords. He also that day reported from the committee appointed to draft the wording of the Association, which he read to a full House. Trumbull continued his investigative work on the conspiracy and was prepared, where necessary, to be ruthless. Indeed, he seems to have developed a highly effective intelligence network which began to produce information too close for comfort for several members of the government. In late March he was forced to commit his old acquaintance and legal client the Earl of Ailesbury (Thomas Bruce†), a known Jacobite sympathizer, on suspicion of treasonous complicity. In his Memoirs Ailesbury complained bitterly of Trumbull’s seeming duplicity, describing him as ‘your most obedient servant to all, like my Lord Plausible in “The Plain Dealer”’. Having received assurances from his friend the Duke of Shrewsbury that there was no evidence to implicate him, Ailesbury had secured Trumbull’s word that he would be notified the moment anything was said against him, whereupon the Earl would immediately surrender himself for questioning. A few days later, however, Ailesbury learned that Trumbull had signed a warrant for his incarceration, Shrewsbury having declined to do so. ‘I must imagine’, he later wrote, ‘the pedant was unacquainted with what they call honour.’ Trumbull’s pursuit of conspirators was thorough and conscientious. Moreover, his thoughts may well have continued to be haunted by the possibility of a Jacobite coup and the imposition of a Catholic regime beholden to France. He was gratified, as he confided to Lord Lexington, the envoy at Vienna, that ‘this horrid conspiracy’ was so thoroughly substantiated by the confessions of Sir William Perkins and Sir John Friend†. And yet Trumbull’s friendship with such a dubious and opportunistic character as John Dutton Colt*, in whom he confided over the conspiracy, was an example of his singular inability to judge properly those around him, a trait which arose from his own self-absorption. Wholehearted though his investigations were, the work drained him. Prior to the King’s departure for the Continent in May, Trumbull unsuccessfully sought leave to resign, but was asked to continue for the time being. He took refuge at his Easthampstead estate soon after the parliamentary session closed on 27 Apr., needing, as he told Colt, to ease body and mind ‘which were much out of order’. Meanwhile, at Whitehall, his under-secretary, John Ellis*, wilted under the mounting volume of business requiring Trumbull’s attention and urged his prompt return. Trumbull was back at his desk by mid-May but only after having been virtually ordered there by Godolphin. Still exhausted and depressed, he was craving for retirement. ‘I dare not give too much vent to what my heart is full of upon this subject’, he confessed to Colt. In little more than a fortnight, however, he allowed himself a further period of absence, this time as guest of his Cotterell in-laws at Rousham. Aggravated at being left once more to shoulder the burden of the office, Ellis played upon Trumbull’s susceptibility by sending him almost daily missives harping upon the speculation over the reasons for the secretary’s absence. Trumbull could only remark on how ironic it was that ‘when I am in town, I have nothing to do, and yet nobody will suffer me to be idle out of it’. He was back in London by mid-June. As the summer months passed, he became increasingly annoyed at his exclusion from the examination of witnesses and suspects in connexion with the assassination conspiracy, which he claimed had been the case since the King left for Holland in May. He was omitted from the all-important interrogations of Fenwick, who had been recaptured in June, which were managed instead by Shrewsbury and the latter’s faithful under-secretary, James Vernon I*. There could well have been some dissatisfaction with Trumbull that he had mishandled the examination of Fenwick at the beginning of the year and had allowed him to slip custody, though it had been Sir Thomas Trevor† who advised Trumbull that the informations against Fenwick were insufficient to proceed upon. Equally, there seems to have been some late realization that Trumbull’s arguably over-zealous and largely unsupervised investigation of the plot was likely to cause harm to the current administration. Smarting with indignation, Trumbull drafted at the end of July the outlines of a letter of complaint to Lord Portland. It was probably never sent, but his notes highlight the way in which his situation in office was becoming increasingly intolerable. He was aggrieved that Shrewsbury and Vernon had usurped his authority over the Fenwick interrogations, resulting in his being ‘shut out as an enemy’. He complained, too, that while complex and unprofitable administrative business was referred to him, straightforward and lucrative matters were appropriated by Shrewsbury and Vernon. He also protested that his opinions on important affairs of state were no longer sought. In such circumstances he felt unable to serve ‘with honour’ any longer. However, relations between Sunderland and Shrewsbury saw some improvement in August, and Trumbull was somehow mollified, although his frame of mind was not improved by the general ministerial difficulties of securing peace and of financing the army for a further campaigning season. ‘Never were [there] such complaints among our men’, he wrote to an old friend and Berkshire neighbour Hon. Harry Mordaunt*, ‘there being hardly money enough to keep our army from starving. The conclusion of all is the impossibility of carrying on the war on one hand or a scandalous peace on the other.’ When peace proceedings began in September, it was suggested that Trumbull might resume his diplomatic career and accompany Lords Sunderland and Montagu (Ralph†) as the King’s plenipotentiaries. Writing to Matthew Prior*, Vernon mentioned this possibility with sarcasm: ‘I don’t think he would have made it his choice if he could handsomely avoid it.’12

Fenwick’s confessions in the summer of 1696, containing accusations against several leading politicians, did much to deepen the animus between the two secretaries of state. His incrimination of Shrewsbury was kept secret, though Trumbull seems to have at least suspected it, and may have suspected, too, that Vernon was acting in Shrewsbury’s defence. It was also rumoured that Fenwick had named Trumbull’s friend the Earl of Monmouth (later Earl of Peterborough). Monmouth himself imparted news of these suspicions to Trumbull on 26 Sept. and was incensed to learn that Fenwick’s latest confession had only been heard by Vernon. Monmouth soon afterwards complained to Vernon that the interrogation ought to have been entrusted to Trumbull, Shrewsbury being out of town, or to the lords justices: certainly not to a mere under-secretary. Vernon was of course well aware that Trumbull himself had helped to foment Monmouth’s grievances. The full measure of Trumbull’s escalating rancour was apparent in his blunt refusal to fulfil the lords justices’ directive to him at the end of September to issue warrants for the apprehension of coin-clippers, as being ‘a matter not belonging to him’. On 18 Oct., two days before Parliament reassembled, Trumbull saw the King at Windsor and told him of his wish to resign. His bitterness at having been debarred from the interrogations relating to the plot featured as his chief complaint, and he told the King, ‘I had been used as if I had been in it’. He was also irritated at having to draw upon ‘my own poor private fortune’ to run his office. These financial irritants were compounded by the underhand tactics Shrewsbury and Vernon employed to monopolize profitable business. He complained of getting old and – mindful, no doubt, of the approaching session – of being unable to ‘treat’ MPs as was customarily required by his ministerial office. The King soothed him, but without making any promises. With Shrewsbury now ill and permanently absent from business, it was all the more essential that Trumbull, the conscientious administrator, be restrained from resignation, the consequence of which, on the eve of a new parliamentary session, would be further political disruption, and pressure from the Junto Whigs for one of their number to replace him.13

Fenwick’s accusations against various ministers, and his subsequent refusals to explain or substantiate his charges, left no option but to subject him to public examination at the bar of the House. Accordingly, on 6 Nov. Trumbull initiated proceedings by presenting Fenwick’s ‘informations’, advising Members that the King himself had received ‘little satisfaction’ when he had examined Fenwick on the 2nd. He was also careful to tell the House, as Vernon observed to Shrewsbury, that he himself had only lately received proper briefing on the substance of Fenwick’s confessions. Later in the proceedings, after Fenwick had been questioned, Trumbull indicated his unwillingness to fall in with Junto Whig plans for an attainder by adding his voice to the many opposed to dealing with Fenwick summarily, and in favour of allowing him ‘reasonable’ time to prepare his defence: ‘since the life of a man is concerned we ought to be tender of it, and I shall be tender as another’. None the less, the day’s work concluded with an order to proceed by bill of attainder. The bill’s progress through the House was more protracted and closely argued than anticipated, and though there is no indication that Trumbull spoke further on the issue, he was numbered among the ministerial men absent on 25 Nov. from the division on the motion to pass the bill. Trumbull’s preoccupations were soon overtaken by the Commons’ investigation of a minor episode in which his own conduct in office was placed in a highly questionable light. On 24 Nov. he had been required to answer for his summary treatment of one Conrad von Greibe, a native of Brandenburg who had been residing in London. Greibe had been seized at Trumbull’s direction on 7 Mar. on suspicion of treason, and, though ordered to be brought before the secretary for questioning, was kept in custody for over two weeks and then bundled out of the country. Greibe’s wife, having failed to make progress with a petition to the Commons in April, had spent the summer enlisting support from City and other Members. Anticipating harassment over the matter during the coming session, Trumbull endeavoured to have Greibe released from confinement in Brussels and brought back to England to be tried for his original offence, but was unsuccessful. Mary Greibe petitioned the House again on 18 Nov. and Trumbull was desired to attend. When he did respond on the 24th, ‘he was thought’, according to Vernon, ‘to have overdone it in enlarging upon the Act of sovereignty exercised in that particular’, and gave the impression that Greibe had been removed from English soil only because his custodians ‘were so thronged at that time’. The matter was referred to a select committee for further investigation. Before the report, however, Trumbull made clumsy efforts to minimize any blame which might be attached to himself by trying to prove that the warrant had been prepared by Vernon’s officials and not his own, though not denying he had countersigned it. Not surprisingly, Vernon could not understand why Trumbull was so anxious in the affair if Greibe’s removal had been by the King’s command, though he was happy enough to see him writhe in apparent difficulty. In the meantime, the Commons’ committee found that Trumbull had for some reason taken back the warrant he had signed for conveying Greibe out of the country and had since refused sight of it to Greibe’s wife. These findings, reported to the House on 8 Dec., failed to satisfy MPs, whereupon the matter was recommitted and the warrant ordered to be produced. Trumbull was seemingly reluctant to produce the document, possibly because it was genuinely lost, or possibly because, due to an oversight, the King’s signature to it had never been obtained. A motion was carried on 8 Dec. to address the King for the ‘informations’ which had necessitated Greibe’s arrest and removal, though this was probably a ministerial ruse to block the committee from proceeding any further. On 23 Dec., in a written statement to the House, the King said that he himself had given orders for Greibe’s removal to Brandenburg via Flanders, it appearing from information received that he was ‘dangerous’ to national security. The King’s message, which effectively blocked further proceedings on the matter, may well have come at the behest of Lord Sunderland, anxious lest Trumbull should carry through his earlier threats of resignation if the matter was pushed further in the House.14

During the ways and means debate on the army on 10 Dec. when the ministry came under heavy fire for ‘extravagances’ in military expenditure, the day was effectually saved by Trumbull’s arrival with news, albeit from a spy, that the French king had signified his readiness to commence peace negotiations by recognizing William as King of England. Although doubts were inevitably cast on the provenance of the information, a division on the ministry’s military spending was avoided. On 31 Dec. Trumbull moved for a routine bill to retain Fenwick and other conspirators at Newgate without the benefit of habeas corpus. On 13 Jan. 1697 he was summoned to appear before the House of Lords in relation to the charges against certain ministers, but though his name was mentioned in proceedings, he was not actually called to testify. During these proceedings, the informer Matthew Smith told how Shrewsbury, in the months preceding the exposure of the Assassination Plot, had persistently ignored his reports about Jacobite designs. As this testimony emerged, there may have been second thoughts about calling Trumbull, who could not be counted on to speak defensively of the Duke in this context. In mid-February there were reports that several ‘great officers’ were about to be removed, including Trumbull, which even his own office had grounds to take seriously. At this time Trumbull was dealing with a highwayman named Ulysses Brown who had insinuated himself into Lord Monmouth’s confidence, and who it seems was in a position to reveal details about treacherous misdeeds by members of Shrewsbury’s family. Trumbull had in fact been collecting information about Brown over the previous year. Certainly, both the Duke and Vernon were worried that Trumbull’s dismissal from office might provoke him into being ‘very unfair and impartial’ on this score. However, the alarm about dismissals soon passed. On 18 Feb. Trumbull presented the King’s message requesting the Commons to consider the depleted civil list. It was to be his last official task in the Commons as secretary. By the beginning of April he was again anxious to be relieved of his post. Since the previous autumn, Shrewsbury’s illness, had increased Trumbull’s volume of work. Sunderland at first ‘positively refused’ to hear him on the subject of his resignation, whereupon Trumbull turned to Lord Albemarle, who had lately superseded Portland in the King’s affections. On 8 Apr. the King collared him after a council meeting and insisted that he stay: ‘pray don’t you have the spleen; let me desire you once for all to have no more thoughts of quitting’. But Trumbull indicated to William that this time he would not be so easily coerced. Accordingly, the King referred him to Lord Sunderland, who had just accepted office as lord chamberlain. At their meeting the next day Sunderland told Trumbull that the King believed Sunderland’s acceptance of the white staff would end the secretary’s sense of isolation in the ministry. Trumbull agreed to stay on through the summer until the King returned from the Continent, but on condition that places were found for three of his parliamentary friends, Sir Henry Hobart, 4th Bt.*, John Dutton Colt and John Arnold*, which Sunderland ‘promised’. However, in Colt’s and Arnold’s case this was entirely unacceptable to Shrewsbury since, as he made clear to Sunderland, they had recently been ‘most violent against him’ in the Commons, and he suspected that they would be prominent in the planned inquisition of the informer Smith (which did not in fact materialize). Trumbull wished to reward them on account of their assistance in the uncovering of the assassination conspiracy, although Shrewsbury may well have seen this as malice on Trumbull’s part: Trumbull’s assurances to the Duke on 11 Apr. that ‘neither my senses nor inclinations were to do him any ill office’ certainly met with a frosty response. Once more Trumbull had been forced into submission largely as a result of Sunderland’s pursuit of his own priorities. In the diary Trumbull kept during these months, he criticized both Shrewsbury’s and Sunderland’s conduct towards him: Shrewsbury because Trumbull felt he should have been indebted towards him ‘for keeping all quiet’ yet still expecting further sacrifice; and Sunderland because having got Trumbull to remain in office, he broke his word so readily on the question of the appointments in order to placate Shrewsbury. He was equally annoyed that as Shrewsbury no longer performed his secretarial duties, Vernon had virtually assumed the role of acting secretary. On 24 Apr., a week after Parliament was prorogued, Trumbull left London for Easthampstead, where he remained until the middle of May, nursing what seems to have been toothache. Meanwhile, at the naming of lords justices to act in the King’s absence, one of whom had to be a secretary of state, it was Vernon and not Trumbull who was chosen.15

Trumbull’s frequent absences during the summer caused widespread irritation among the ministers and the Whitehall secretariat. He took leave once more during the latter part of July, missing important council business, and again in late August. At the beginning of September, Vernon told Ellis that the lords justices wanted a supply of blank warrants signed by Trumbull as he was ‘so often out of town’. Trumbull complained at the time of his resignation three months later that the lords had treated him more like a footman than a secretary. The formalities behind the ratification of the peace of Ryswick created major new sources of friction. In late August Lord Villiers, the British envoy at the peace conference, had sent the treaty documents to Shrewsbury, but his department withheld them from Trumbull, even though it was his rightful province as northern secretary. Vernon’s effective appropriation of the treaty papers allowed him to reap the profits from its sealing and publication, while Shrewsbury still continued to sign warrants and take fees. When the Duke intimated his desire to resign early in September, the leading Junto candidates for the post, Lords Wharton and Orford (Edward Russell*), both made known their reluctance to serve under Trumbull, who would have assumed the position of senior secretary. There was some talk that this problem might be overcome by appointing Trumbull as ‘residing ambassador’ at Paris, following the conclusion of peace. Sunderland’s own scheme was to appoint Vernon second secretary so that both he and Trumbull would serve as mere functionaries under a ‘premier minister’, whom Sunderland hoped would be himself. The matter was resolved, however, when Shrewsbury agreed to stay his resignation until the King’s return from the Continent. Trumbull’s animosity towards Shrewsbury and Vernon intensified during the autumn months. His diary notes for this period are peppered with details gathered from informants of their alleged complicity in the Fenwick and other chimerical Jacobite plots. In the midst of these preoccupations his resolve to quit office strengthened. On 2 Nov. he reminded Sunderland of his promise earlier in the year to press the King on the subject, but the Earl retracted, saying he ‘would not meddle in it’. He found himself virtually ignored at a meeting of the lords justices on 8 Nov. when he disclosed intelligence ‘that many dangerous persons were come over’. On the 17th Trumbull tried once again to broach the matter of his resignation with the King but was angrily rebuffed. He had reached breaking-point. Blocked by the King, he conferred next day with Lord Albemarle, setting forth his grievances at length, and expressing dissatisfaction, ‘particularly about the blank warrants, Vernon’s countersigning the treaty, etc.’. His position by now untenable, he was quite prepared to bear the King’s displeasure. There was a brief, but probably welcome, respite on the 18th when he greeted and dined with the vice-chancellor of Oxford and several college heads, who were visiting London to present their loyal address on the peace. Sunderland grew concerned at Trumbull’s intransigence, especially as he soon learned from the King that Trumbull had complained that Sunderland ‘was not as kind . . . as formerly’. His ability to retain Trumbull was an important function of his own value to the King as a counterweight to the Junto lords. There was a lengthy and inconclusive meeting between the Earl and the secretary on 25 Nov., with ‘long expostulations, earnest entreaties on his side’. They met again on the 29th. Trumbull reluctantly agreed to stay on for Sunderland’s sake but asked that his brother Ralph be made a prebendary at Windsor as had been first promised early in September. Later the same day, however, when he learned that the post had been given instead to a nominee of Princess Anne’s, he began to make arrangements to deliver up his seals of office. Despite eleventh-hour attempts by Lord Albemarle and Henry Guy to retrieve the situation, Trumbull remained obdurate. A bout of food poisoning only worsened his low spirits. On the evening of 1 Dec. he met the King at Kensington and returned the seals, thus bringing his ministerial career to an end. Though William was angered, ‘he owned I had served him faithfully and honestly’. Vernon, who was appointed to succeed Trumbull, surpassed himself in his disingenuous communication of the news to Shrewsbury the next day: ‘upon what motives, I know not’. According to the parliamentary news writer Robert Yard*, the resignation caused ‘much surprise’, and many were unable to fathom the reasons behind it.16

During the closing days of November Trumbull’s acquaintances among such leading Tories as Lord Nottingham had felt it highly unlikely that he would oppose the ministry in the Commons if he resigned. However, early on in the new session Trumbull took his stand with the Country opponents of the Court. On 11 Dec., in the debate on the army, Trumbull voted against a motion to recommit, a vote effectively in favour of the disbandment of military forces and against the Court. He evidently continued to vote against the ministry, for in a letter to Shrewsbury, dated 15 Jan. 1698, Sunderland mentioned Trumbull as one whom formerly he thought to influence but had ‘gone wrong of late’. In February he busied himself simultaneously with two matters of genuine personal interest. On the 11th he was given leave to introduce a bill ‘for settling trade with Africa’ which the following day he presented. This parliamentary interest in promoting trade arose from his principled, rather than self-interested, views on the subject. Only two days previously he had told the assembled members of the Levant Company, of which he was governor: ‘I have served you upon a true English principle: I am sure the encouragement of your trade is for the interest of England, which I wish well to above anything in this world.’ Similarly, his strong Christian outlook made him an enthusiastic proponent of moral reform. He was in his element when speaking in support of (Sir) John Philipps’ motion on 12 Feb. to address the King for a royal proclamation against ‘profaneness and debauchery’ which, as observers noted, he did ‘very well’, and took the chair of the address committee. He himself drafted the ‘very full’ address which he reported to the House on the 15th. Edward Harley* observed to his father, Sir Edward*, that Trumbull ‘has carried himself very worthily in this matter’. The younger Harley and doubtless other Country MPs would have seen this as a signal act of redemption by a man who had failed in the end to comport himself successfully in the administration into which he had been drafted. At the end of the month, however, Trumbull fell ill, and was unable to participate further on the African trade bill, much to the regret of one of its chief apologists, Sir Richard Onslow, 3rd Bt.* He was still apparently unwell on 16 Mar. when leave was granted him for the recovery of his health. He may, however, have had better reasons for remaining absent, for on the previous day he was cited by his friend Sir Henry Dutton Colt, 1st Bt.*, in the proceedings of the committee of the whole House on William Chaloner, who had been imprisoned for purveying information to the government via Colt about sham Jacobite plots, and had petitioned the House complaining of his wrongful confinement. In giving evidence on the matter Colt had informed MPs that Trumbull was able to provide the best account of Chaloner’s value as an informer. Trumbull was no doubt apprehensive of being dragged once again into matters of which he had since washed his hands. In any case the proceedings soon lapsed and he was never summoned. Though the session lasted until the beginning of July, he featured no more in parliamentary proceedings and his attendance tailed off. Beseeched in June to attend the debates on the East India Company, he is unlikely to have done so.17

Trumbull was put up for re-election at the university, but this was clearly against his own inclination. He took no steps to defend his seat, and consequently came bottom of the poll. It was perhaps because he gave no forewarning to his old college, All Souls, and in particular to its prickly warden, Dr Finch, that he earned the scorn of its dons and attracted from them, so it was understood, not a single vote. He had by this stage decided irrevocably ‘to spend the remainder of my life as far as conveniently may be from noise and business’. In early June he had written to his young Tory protégé Henry St. John II*, whose attention and flattery he enjoyed, ‘the pleasure of an old man is ease and quiet, or in plain English, laziness’. He passed his remaining years at Easthampstead in the quiet retirement he had so frequently craved. As he advanced in age he found it easy to resist later temptations of office such as a place on the lord high admiral’s council, offered in 1702 and, on Lord Nottingham’s resignation in 1704, one of the secretaryships of state. He did not, it seems, easily forgive Sunderland’s duplicitous conduct towards him. Hearing reports of the Earl’s death in September 1702, he inquired of St. John, ‘pray tell me is Lord Sunderland dead? I mean in earnest? And (after all) he is a much more cunning man than he is reported to be, if his death be only a feint.’ Following the death of his first wife, ‘my idol’, in 1704, Trumbull remarried in 1706 and, somewhat late in life, assumed the responsibilities of fatherhood. His passion for the classics and gardening occupied much of his time. He was befriended by the young Alexander Pope, his near neighbour at Easthampstead, who saw in the elderly statesman an exemplar of virtuous ‘retirement’. Prayer and meditation allowed him to prepare his soul ‘for the world to come’, and procure God’s ‘blessing upon my temporal interests in this’. But his thoughts often roamed back over his years in office. He was fond of resorting to a providentialist self-justification of his past actions which sometimes carried a tinge of guilt as if he were painfully conscious of a failure in his conduct. Though he had lacked the politician’s instinct for survival, he was in his public stations a man of the most exacting standards, both on himself and on others. The awkward extremes of self-righteousness and humility in his personality made him temperamentally unsuited for weathering the stressful combinations of power politics and administration. Plunged almost unwittingly into the fervid atmosphere of conspiracy and suspicion of the mid-1690s, he allowed his highly tuned sense of rectitude to overpower his working relations both with superiors and subordinates. In a short, unpublished testimonial entitled ‘Essay of a Happy Life’ written towards 1700, he explained his withdrawal from public affairs as a disillusioning revulsion from the hypocritical milieu in which, as a public servant, he had been compelled to move. One strongly suspects that behind these personal homilies lay a vein of affectation, that Trumbull in fact had a far better opinion of himself and his abilities than he was prepared to admit, and this can only have been reinforced by the regard shown him by such front-rank figures as the King, Sunderland and Nottingham. In his last years he often vented an old man’s intolerance of what he saw as the distortions of modern politics. He was appalled, for instance, by the building of Blenheim Palace, to him a graphic example of ‘how far it is possible for folly and flattery to carry us’. Most of all, he was disgusted by the Tory stalwarts of Anne’s reign and their bigoted protectiveness towards the Church. He wrote sagely to one correspondent in 1713:

I have lived to see a great many changes and hitherto all in the wrong in their turns; I have seen the heads of factions, like men in a fever, will anger and desire of persecution to all that are not of their party, and who talk of religion without having the principles of morality. But to me it [is] a great mistake to pretend devotion to the Church, and to lead a life unbecoming such a profession, so as they want more excuses for themselves that they are fit to defend the Church. In short, I lay this down as a certain truth, that there can be no true religion without charity.18

He died on 14 Dec. 1716 and was interred at Easthampstead. His funerary monument proclaims, perhaps over-generously, that ‘he maintained the character of an able statesman’.19

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Andrew A. Hanham


  • 1. DNB; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 391–2; CSP Dom. 1660–1, p. 245; 1678, p. 61; DNB (Weckherlin, Georg Rudolph); All Souls, Oxf. mss 317 (Trumbull Mem.), ff. 1, 4; G. D. Squibb, Doctors’ Commons, 180; Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter, 15 Oct. 1706; VCH Berks. iii. 79.
  • 2. Arch. Cant. xxiv. 169–70; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 367; BL, Trumbull Misc. mss 30, W. Revington to Trumbull, 25 Oct. 1695; Pope’s Poems ed. Audra and Williams, i. 125–7; Cal. Treas. Bks. xviii. 390–1.
  • 3. CSP Dom. Jan.–June 1683, p. 16; 1684–5, p. 304; 1685, p. 379; 1694–5, pp. 118, 435; 1695, pp. 83, 351; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 540; Newdigate newsletter, 1 May 1695; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 152.
  • 4. A. C. Wood, Hist. Levant Co. 130–1, 255; info. from Prof. R. R. Walcot; E. E. Rich, Hudson’s Bay Co. (Hudson’s Bay Rec. Soc. xxi), 340, 275–6; CSP Dom. 1691–2, p. 267; 1702–3, p. 313; Daily Courant, 8 Aug. 1704.
  • 5. All Souls, Oxf. mss 317, ff. 1–15.
  • 6. Ibid. ff. 17–33, 51–54; Add. 52279, f. 2; DNB.
  • 7. Burnet, Supp. ed. Foxcroft, 377–8; Add. 52279, ff. 204, 209, 210–12; 70014, f. 369; 70082, newsletter, 13 Feb. 1691–2; HMC Downshire, i. 341, 374, 380, 383, 386, 390; PRO NI, De Ros mss D638/13/106, John Pulteney* to Thomas Coningsby*, 2 Feb. 1691[–2]; Luttrell, ii. 354, 355; Huntington Lib. Hastings mss, newsletter 11 Feb. 1691[–2].
  • 8. H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 115, 132; Luttrell, ii. 599; iii. 101; HMC Downshire, i. 467–8; Trumbull Misc. mss 46, Sunderland to Trumbull, 10 May [1693], 4 July [1693]; Misc. mss 28, Trumbull to George Stepney, 4 July 1693, same to Bishop Burnet, 8 May 1694 [draft]; Misc. mss 75, same to Rev. Robert Stubbes, 26 Apr. 1694; Misc. mss 25, same to Gwyn, 17 May 1694 [draft]; Misc. mss 57, same to (Sir) Gilbert Dolben, [May 1694]; Trinity, Dublin, Lyons (King) mss 2008a/275, James Bonnell to Abp. King, 13 May 1693; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Bentinck) mss PwA 1213, 1216, 1221, 1234, Sunderland to Portland, 10 May [1693], [20 June 1693], [4 July 1693], 28 May 1694; HMC Portland, iii. 550.
  • 9. Horwitz, 154, 160; Newdigate newsletters, 4 Apr., 2 May 1695; J. P. Kenyon, Sunderland, 272; CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 453; Luttrell, iii. 540; Trumbull Misc. mss 51, Trumbull to the King, 9 Aug. 1695, same to George Stepney, 30 Aug. 1695; Misc. mss 52, same to Count Nils Lillieroot, 19/29 Aug., 30 Aug./9 Sept. 1695; Parlty. Hist. vii. 230–1; Locke Corresp. ed. de Beer, v. 414, 415; Locke on Money ed. Kelly, 26, 108, 138.
  • 10. Portland (Bentinck) mss PwA 510, Henry Guy to Trumbull, 30 July 1695; Trumbull Add. mss 118, Trumbull to Joseph Dudley*, 13 July 1695, same to Cutts, 24 Sept. 1695, same to Charles Calverley, 1 Oct. 1695, same to Dr Fitzherbert Adams, 8 Oct. 1695; Trumbull Misc. mss 29, Lord Abingdon to Trumbull, 14 Sept. 1695; Misc. mss 51, Trumbull to Rev. John How, 24 Sept. 1695; Misc. mss 30, Clarke to Trumbull, 3 Oct. 1695, Paul Foley I to same, 5 Oct. 1695, Hayley to same, 10, 13 Oct. 1695, Trumbull to John Southby, 15 Oct. 1695 [draft], W. Revington to Trumbull, 25 Oct. 1695; Add. mss 58, Trumbull to Lady Trumbull, 20 Oct. 1695; Bodl. Carte 79, f. 663; Devonshire mss at Chatsworth House, Finch-Halifax pprs. box 2, no. 13, Dr Leopold Finch to Hon. Heneage Finch I*, 12 Oct. 1695; Hist. Oxf. Univ. ed. Sutherland and Mitchell, 50; CSP Dom. 1695, p. 103.
  • 11. Bath mss at Longleat House, Portland misc. pprs. f. 39, Godolphin to Foley, 16 May [n.y.]; Trumbull Misc. mss 58, Ellis to Trumbull, 31 Jan. 1695–6, Trumbull to Ellis, 2 Feb. 1695[–6]; Misc. mss [Dolben] to Trumbull, [Feb. 1696]; Add. 28895, ff. 7, 11, 13.
  • 12. Trumbull Add. mss 125 (Trumbull diary), pp. 7, 28; Trumbull Misc. mss 30, Trevor to Trumbull, 16 Jan. 1695[–6]; Misc. mss 58, Ellis to Trumbull, 4, 7 May, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13 June 1696; Add. mss 90, notes endorsed ‘to L[or]d P[ortland], 27 July 1696’; Misc. mss 51, Trumbull to [Hon. Harry Mordaunt], 28 July 1696; D.H. Somerville, King of Hearts, 110–11, 120–3; Luttrell, iv. 32; Ailesbury Mems. ii. 373; Lexington Pprs. 196; HMC Downshire, i. 664; Add. 28895, ff. 19, 24, 26, 28, 34; Portledge Pprs. 238; HMC Bath, iii. 89.
  • 13. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 10, 12–13; Trumbull Add. mss 125, pp. 3–6, 29.
  • 14. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 46, 75, 82, 105–6, 115–16; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. v. 1024, 1161; Horwitz, 185–6; HMC Downshire, i. 678, 693; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/32, Vernon to Shrewsbury, 3 Dec. 1691.
  • 15. Carte 130, f. 367; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 152, 202, 206–7; Luttrell, iv. 162; HMC Lords, n.s. ii. 291–4; Somerville, 137–8, 139–40; Trumbull Add. mss 125, pp. 5, 7–11, 24; Trumbull Misc. mss 32, Trumbull to Hobart, 17 May [1697], Colt to Trumbull, 22 May 1697; Misc. mss 51, Trumbull to Sir Joseph Williamson*, 21 May 1697; Add. mss 90, paper endorsed ‘My Case’ [c.Sept. 1697]; Kenyon, 289–90; Hopkins thesis, 218, 222.
  • 16. Trumbull Misc. mss 58, Ellis to Trumbull, 20, 29 July 1697; Trumbull Add. mss 90, paper endorsed ‘My Case’ [c.Sept. 1697]; Add. mss 125, pp. 11, 15–17, 20–21; Misc. mss 51, Trumbull to Lord Albemarle, 3 Sept. 1697; Add. mss 118, same to Dr Arthur Charlett, 18 Nov. 1697; Add. 28895, ff. 127, 140, 154; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 329, 377–9, 391, 432; CSP Dom. 1697, p. 498.
  • 17. Add. 29595, f. 158; 70019, ff. 21, 24; CSP Dom. 1697, pp. 513, 517–18; Shrewsbury Corresp. 526; Trumbull Add. mss 90 [draft speech to Levant Co., 9 Feb. 1697–8]; Trumbull Misc. mss 32, Onslow to Trumbull, 27 Feb. 1697–8; Misc. mss 46, Trumbull to St. John, [June 1698]; Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/82, Vernon to Shrewsbury, 15 Mar. 1697[–8]; HMC Downshire, i. 779.
  • 18. Yale Univ. Beinecke Lib. Osborn coll. b.176, b.177, Trumbull commonplace bks.; Trumbull Misc. mss 46, Trumbull to St. John, [June 1698]; Trumbull Add. mss 133, same to same, [Sept. 1702]; Misc. mss 56, same to Anne Delaune, [Oct. 1713]; Bodl. Tanner 22, ff. 11, 197, 202; Luttrell, v. 176, 177; Lansd. 773, f. 29; Add. 70140, Robert Harley to Edward Harley, 22 Apr. 1704; Bodl. Ballard 6, f. 93; HMC Cowper, iii. 36.
  • 19. Gent. Mag. 1790, p. 5.