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“The Fac Totum in Ecclesiastic Affairs”? The Duke of Newcastle and the Crown's Ecclesiastical Patronage*

  • Stephen Taylor


The Archbishop of Canterbury…sees he's a cypher who they will let have no influence, & will gladly lay any blame upon. The Minister [Newcastle] is himself the Fac Totum in ecclesiastic affairs, & a sweet manager he is, for what with the last Election, & his pitiful passion for the Chancellorship of Cambridge he has involved himself in promises of church preferments to the greatest degree of perplexity. There are now two vacant stalls; one at Durham, & one at Canterbury; & he durst not dispose of either of them. He torments the poor Archbishop of Canterbury for everything that falls in his gift, so that if a thing drops, he is forced to give it away the moment he is informed of it, for fear of the Duke of Newcastle. He is as great a plague to the other Bishops, asking even for their small livings. Ely gives him everything (they say, by bargain:) Chichester, Peterborough, Durham, Gloucester, Salisbury, &c., &c., are slaves to him, in this respect. Only London & Winchester give him flat denials, unless we are to add York, which is a point problematical. As to Lord Chancellor, it is a kind of bargain made with every one that enters upon that high office, “that the Minister shall dispose of most of the church preferments in his gift.”

Edmund Pyle's oft-quoted account, though particularly caustic, is not unrepresentative of the views held by both contemporaries and historians about the duke of Newcastle as ecclesiastical minister. In the most comprehensive modern assessment of his role, Norman Sykes, while admitting that Newcastle was anxious “to fill the bench with good prelates,” portrays him as weak, vacillating, and incompetent. Moreover, and of more relevance to the concerns of this article, Sykes emphasizes the extent of Newcastle's power and influence in church affairs: like many of the duke's contemporaries he agrees with Pyle that Newcastle not only enjoyed virtually unquestioned control of Crown patronage, but that he also encroached on that of the lord chancellor and the bishops.



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I would like to thank Professor Derek Beales and Dr. Paul Langford for their comments on earlier versions of this article.



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1 Memoirs of a Royal Chaplain, 1729–63. The Correspondence of Edmund Pyle, D.D. Chaplain in Ordinary to George II, with Samuel Kerrich, D.D., Vicar of Dersingham, Rector of Wolferton, and Rector of West Newton, ed. Hartshorne, Albert (London, 1905), p. 218 (8 Oct. 1754).

2 Sykes, Norman, “The Duke of Newcastle as Ecclesiastical Minister,” English Historical Review 57 (1942): 84; idem, Church and State in England in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 1934), pp. 176–77. Cf., The Life of Dr. Thomas Newton,” in The Lives of Dr. Edward Pocock, the Celebrated Orientalist, by Dr. Twells; of Dr. Zachary Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, and of Dr. Thomas Newton, Bishop of Bristol, by themselves; and of the Rev. Philip Skelton, by Mr. Burdy, 2 vols. (London, 1816), 2: 100; Winstanley, D. A., The University of Cambridge in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 1922), pp. 3536; Browning, Reed, The Duke of Newcastle (New Haven, 1975), p. 188. D. R. Hirschberg has made some acute criticisms of the prevailing orthodoxy. However, his emphasis on Newcastle as the “coordinator” of ecclesiastical preferment, “the central clearing house for personnel appointments” diminishes too much Newcastle's influence. If his “stewardship” was indeed “something of a golden age,” it was because he was allowed to pursue a consistent policy towards the Church for the best part of two decades rather than because of his willingness to supervise the appointment process (The Government and Church Patronage in England, 1660–1760,” Journal of British Studies 20 [19801981]: 109–39).

3 Browning, , Newcastle, pp. 7879; Speck, W. A., Stability and Strife: England 1714–60 (London, 1977), p. 93. This interpretation has encouraged the belief that 1736 marked a decisive advance in lay control of the Church and in its subservience to considerations of “partisan politics” (Kendrick, T. F. I., “Sir Robert Walpole, the Old Whigs and the Bishops, 1733–36: A Study in Eighteenth-Century Parliamentary Politics,” Historical Journal 11 [1968]: 421–45). See also, Barnes, D. G., “The Duke of Newcastle, Ecclesiastical Minister, 1724–54,” Pacific Historical Review 3 (1934): 164–91. Barnes is a little more sophisticated, dividing Newcastle's tenure as secretary of state into three periods: 1724–36, 1736–42, and 1742–54. In the middle period he sees Walpole as an obstacle to Newcastle's “unrestricted control.”

4 For Potter, Sherlock, Herring, and Seeker as ecclesiastical advisers to Newcastle, see Taylor, Stephen, “Church and State in England in the Mid-Eighteenth Century: The Newcastle Years 1742–62” (Ph.D. thesis, Cambridge University, 1987), pp. 105–10.

5 British Library, Add. MSS 32721, f. 472, Newcastle to Pelham, 27 July 1750.

6 I intend to examine this issue in depth in my book, Church and State under the Whig Supremacy 1714–1760 (in preparation for Cambridge University Press). For some preliminary conclusions see Taylor, “Church and State,” ch. 5. For Newcastle's personal piety see Sykes, , Church and State, pp. 276–82, 437–39.

7 Hirschberg, , “The Government and Church Patronage,” pp. 112–13.

8 For the opposition of Lord Chancellor King to proposals to transfer the chancellor's patronage back to the king, see Sykes, Norman, Edmund Gibson, Bishop of London, 1669–1748: A Study in Politics and Religion in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1926), pp. 109–15.

9 The figures have been calculated from Ecton, John, Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum. Being an Account of the Valuations of all the Ecclesiastical Benefices in the Several Dioceses in England and Wales, (2nd ed.; London, 1754). There were a small number of other livings to which the Crown had the right to present alternately with other patrons. In addition the Prince of Wales presented to 69 livings.

10 Including those of Windsor, Westminster, and Ripon. The deaneries of St. Asaph, Bangor, and Llandaff were in the gift of the bishops of those dioceses. There was no dean of St. David's.

11 Ecton, Thesaurus. In addition, the lord chancellor presented to six prebends of Bristol, to five each of Gloucester and Norwich, and to four of Rochester.

12 Sykes, , Church and State, pp. 176–81. For Pyle, see above p. 409.

13 The Clergyman's Intelligencer: or, a Compleat Alphabetical List of all the Patrons in England and Wales, with the Dignities, Livings, and Benefices in their Gift (London, 1745).

14 BL, Add. MSS 32714, ff. 551–52, J. Plumptre to Newcastle, 30 Apr. 1748; BL, Add. MSS 32718, ff. 27–28, J. Sherwin to Newcastle, 18 Jan. 1749; BL, Add. MSS 32724, ff. 370–71, R. Norton to Newcastle, 16 June 1751.

15 “I seldom, or never, mention any to His Majesty, without having, previously, inform'd your Lordship, and my Brother, of it.” BL, Add. MSS 32721, f. 479, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 27 July 1750; BL, Add. MSS 32997, f. 311.

16 E.g., BL, Add. MSS 32704, ff. 89–90, 113–14, Lord Irwin to Newcastle, 24 Feb., 6 Mar. 1745.

17 BL, Add. MSS 32726, ff. 306–07, 308–09, 310–13, 395–96, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 20 Mar. 1752, 20 Mar. 1752, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 21 Mar. 1752, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 10 Apr. 1752. The dispute arose because St. Mary Woolnoth was a united living worth more than £20 p.a. in the king's book. But before it had been united, the Crown living, which gave the Crown the right of alternate presentations to the united living, had been worth £18 p.a., and hence in the gift of the chancellor.

18 BL, Add. MSS 32873, f. 424, Newcastle to Grafton, 2 Sept. 1757; BL, Add. MSS 32871, f. 456, Newcastle to Henley, 30 June 1757.

19 BL, Add. MSS 35599, f. 205, Herring to Hardwicke, 27 July 1754.

20 BL, Add. MSS 35599, ff. 148–50, 205, Herring to Hardwicke, 27 Jan., 27 July 1754.

21 BL, Add. MSS 32714, ff. 156–57, Herring to Newcastle, Jan. 1748; BL, Add. MSS 35599, f. 205.

22 BL, Add. MSS 32732, f. 709, Newcastle to Keene, 22 Sept. 1753. The archbishop of York was Hutton. Cf., Pyle's comment, quoted above p. 409.

23 BL, Add. MSS 32723, ff. 385–86, 407–08, Charlton to Newcastle, 15 Dec. 1750, Thomhagh to Newcastle, 22 Dec. 1750. Charlton was M.P. for Newark, 1741–61. He was Newcastle's manager at Newark, and acted as an intermediary between Newcastle and Lord Middleton, the leader of the Nottinghamshire tones. John Thomhagh was M.P. for Nottinghamshire, 1747–74.

24 Westminster Abbey Library and Muniment Room, Pearce Papers, WAM 64535, 64532, Newcastle to Pearce, 12 Sept. 1755, Hardwicke to Pearce, 23 Sept. 1755. Powis, lord lieutenant of Shropshire, was the leader of the county's whigs. Sir John Wynn was a Welsh M.P. between 1740 and 1768, representing Carnarvonshire 1754–61.

25 BL, Add. MSS 32718, ff. 35–36, Hutton to Newcastle, 23 Jan. 1749. I have not been able to identify which Leveson Gower was requesting the prebend.

26 BL, Add. MSS 32720, ff. 319–20, Steme to Newcastle, 13 May 1750.

27 Except in 1765–66. See below.

28 BL, Add. MSS 32686, f. 317, Newcastle to Walpole, 25 Aug. 1723.

29 BL, Add. MSS 35599, f. 339, Herring to Hardwicke, 3 Dec. 1756. Holdernesse was the senior secretary.

30 Some idea of the extent of Townshend's involvement in patronage affairs can be gathered from, e.g., Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Osborn Files, Gibson to Townshend, 18 Aug. 1724; H.M.C., 10th Report, Appendix, Part I, p. 243 (Gibson to Townshend, 8 July 1729).

31 Sainty, J. C., “The Origins of the Leadership of the House of Lords,” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 47 (1974): 5373; Browning, , Newcastle, pp. 5659. The secretary of state for the northern department is generally regarded as being the “senior” secretary; but it is difficult to regard either Harrington (secretary of state for the northern department, June 1730 to February 1742 and November 1744 to November 1746, except 10–14 February 1746) or Chesterfield (February 1746 to February 1748) as senior to Newcastle. On Chesterfield's resignation Newcastle moved to the northern department.

32 Hertfordshire Record Office, Panshanger MSS, D/EP/F249, John Atwell to earl Cowper, 21 Nov. 1741.

33 Hertfordshire R.O., D/EP/F257, Lady Sarah Cowper to earl Cowper, 30 Mar. 1741.

34 Owen, J. B., The Rise of the Pelhams (London, 1957), p. 168.

35 The Correspondence of Edward Young 1683–1765, ed. Pettit, Henry (Oxford, 1971), p. 158 (Young to duchess of Portland, ?11 June 1743).

36 Westminster Abbey, WAM 64666, Bath to Pearce, 14 Aug. 1743.

37 BL, Add. MSS 32700, ff. 122–23, 134, 278–79, Newcastle to Carteret, 13 May 1743, Carteret to Newcastle, 22 May 1743, Newcastle to Carteret, 5 July 1743.

38 The same point can be made about the bishoprics crisis of 1707. See Bennett, G. V., “Robert Harley, the Godolphin Ministry, and the Bishoprics Crisis of 1707,” English Historical Review 82 (1967): 726–46.

39 BL, Add. MSS 32700, f. 314, Newcastle to the earl of Orford, 22 July 1743.

40 Correspondence of Young, p. 171 (Young to duchess of Portland, 10 Dec. 1743).

41 Quoted in Williams, Basil, The Life of William Pitt Earl of Chatham, 2 vols. (London, 1913), 1: 320–21.

42 BL, Add. MSS 32870, ff. 31–32, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 4 Jan. 1758 (misdated 1757).

43 BL, Add. MSS 32878, f. 420, Pitt to Newcastle, 29 Mar. 1758.

44 See below, p. 428, n. 109.

45 BL, Add. MSS 32897, f. 174, “Heads of Mr. Pitt's Conversation,” 17 Oct. 1759.

46 BL, Add. MSS 32874, f. 342, Ligonier to Newcastle, 27 Sept. 1757; BL, Add. MSS 32875, ff. 161, 163, Yorke to Newcastle, 17 Oct. 1757, Allen to Newcastle, 17 Oct. 1757.

47 BL, Add. MSS 32900, f. 21, Newcastle to Granby, 13 Dec. 1759.

48 The role of Bute after the accession of George III is discussed below.

49 BL, Add. MSS 32716, f. 379, Pelham to Newcastle, 27 Sept. 1748; BL, Add. MSS 32729, f. 337, Pelham to Newcastle, 22 Sept. 1752.

50 BL, Add. MSS 32712, ff. 299–303, Pelham to (?Andrew Stone), 1 Aug. 1747; BL, Add. MSS 32721, ff. 500–02, Pelham to Newcastle, 31 July 1749; BL, Add. MSS 32726, ff. 489–90, Pelham to Newcastle, 24 Apr. 1752.

51 On the promotion of Jonathan Fountayne to the deanery of York, for example. Bishop Sherlock wrote: “I write this post to Mr Pelham, and acknowledge his favor, as far as I dare: I know the Duke reckons all Ecclesiastical matters to belong to his department; and that Mr P— chuses not to interfere: however I cou'd not but own my obligation after the account you gave me. If you see him, you will make my Compliments to him, & supply my lame letter to him” (BL, Add. MSS 41843, f. 113, Sherlock to Charles Longwith, 23 July 1747).

52 BL, Add. MSS 32730, f. 144, Pelham to Newcastle, 19 Oct. 1752; BL, Add. MSS 41843, f. 113.

53 But in 1758 Newcastle feared, with little cause, that the king was intending to receive ecclesiastical recommendations through Holdernesse, secretary of state for the northern department (BL, Add. MSS 32878, f. 352, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 25 Mar. 1758).

54 Sykes, , “Newcastle as Ecclesiastical Minister,” p. 77.

55 BL, Add. MSS 32721, f. 479, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 27 July 1750.

56 Sykes, Norman, “Queen Caroline and the Church,” History 11 (1927): 333–39.

57 St. Andrews University Library, Gibson Papers, MS 5200, Gibson to Newcastle, n.d.; MS 5201, Gibson to Walpole, n.d.; MS 5202, Gibson to Walpole, n.d..

58 St. Andrews Univ. Lib., MS 5316, Hare to Gibson, 12 Aug. 1736; John, Lord Hervey, Some Materials towards Memoirs of the Reign of King George II, ed. Sedgwick, Romney, 3 vols. (London, 1931), 2: 546–48.

59 Porteus, Beilby, “A Review of the Life and Character of Archbishop Seeker,” in The Works of Thomas Seeker, LL.D., new ed., 6 vols. (London, 1811), 1: ixx; Hervey, , Memoirs, 3: 908.

60 BL, Add. MSS 32728, ff. 217, 283, Newcastle to Herring, 8 July 1752, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 17 July 1752.

61 BL, Add. MSS 32730, f. 126, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 18 Oct. 1752. In December 1752 Carmichael was nominated to the bishopric of Clonfert.

62 Letters of Spencer Cowper, Dean of Durham, 1746–74, ed. Hughes, Edward, Surtees Society, 165 (1950), pp. 18–19, 24, 3233; Hertfordshire R.O., D/EP/F249, Delawar to earl Cowper, 3 May 1742, 24 Dec. 1743; D/EP/F247, Lady Sarah Cowper to earl Cowper, 10 Nov. 1741.

63 BL, Add. MSS 32727, ff. 389–90, Carmichael to Newcastle, 11 June 1752; BL, Add. MSS 32707, f. 241, earl Cowper to Newcastle, 23 May 1746; Letters of Spencer Cowper, p. 34 (Spencer Cowper to earl Cowper, 2 Feb. 1744).

64 Letters of Spencer Cowper, pp. 3233 (Spencer Cowper to earl Cowper, 14 Jan. 1744).

65 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 86, Newcastle to Andrew Stone, 24 June 1752.

66 BL, Add. MSS 32730, ff. 42–43, 36, Stone to Newcastle, 6 Oct. 1752, Pelham to Newcastle, 5 Oct. 1752.

67 BL, Add. MSS 32730, f. 127, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 18 Oct. 1752.

68 Sykes, , “Newcastle as Ecclesiastical Minister,” p. 61. Paradoxically, Sykes's earlier comments attribute a rather more influential role to George II, although he still denies that his intervention was either “well-informed or intelligent” (Sykes, , Church and State, pp. 3940).

69 E.g., Pares, Richard, King George III and the Politicians (Oxford, 1953), pp. 6264; Namier, L. B., England in the Age of the American Revolution (2nd ed.; London, 1961), p. 45.

70 Owen, J. B., “George II Reconsidered,” in Statesmen, Scholars and Merchants. Essays in Eighteenth-Century History presented to Dame Lucy Sutherland, ed. Whiteman, Anne, Bromley, J. S. and Dickson, P. G. M. (Oxford, 1973), pp. 113–34. Jeremy Black has reached similar conclusions about George II's influence over foreign policy in the 1730s (George II Reconsidered. A Consideration of George's Influence in the Conduct of Foreign Policy, in the First Years of his Reign,” Mitteilungen des österreichischen Staatsarchivs 35 [1982]: 3556).

71 Owen, , “George II Reconsidered,” p. 122. While I would wish to develop Owen's conclusions, his evidence on this subject is unconvincing. Of Owen's four examples, two have nothing to do with the king's influence. The translation of Butler to Durham was not “insisted on” by the king, but it had been agreed by the ministers in 1748 when Sherlock, contrary to expectation, accepted London (BL, Add. MSS 32716, ff. 277–79, Newcastle to Pelham, 17 Sept. 1748; BL, Add. MSS 32717, f. 25, Pelham to Newcastle, 4 Oct. 1748). Secondly, it is hardly accurate to suggest that “all [my emphasis] that he was prepared to grant Dean Ashburnham, after many years of unsuccessful supplication by Newcastle, was the bishopric of Chichester.” Chichester was precisely what the duke had hoped to obtain for Ashburnham (BL, Add. MSS 32729, f. 373, Newcastle to Pelham, 28 Sept. 1752).

72 For Hutton, Gilbert and Thomas see below, pp. 423, 426, 423 respectively. For Terrick, see BL, Add. MSS 35598, ff. 429–30, Herring to Hardwicke, 3 Oct. 1749; BL, Add. MSS 32728, ff. 105–06, Newcastle to Pelham, 26 June 1752.

73 BL, Add. MSS 32870, ff. 277, 337, 346, Holdemesse to Newcastle, 14, 25 Mar. 1757, Newcastle to Philip Yonge, 29 Mar. 1757. Newcastle had hoped that Peterborough would have been given to Yonge (BL, Add. MSS 32878, f. 330, Newcastle to Pitt, 24 Mar. 1758).

74 “I have, hitherto, had very few Recommendations of my own — one, that was personal to myself; and was a near Relation of mine, and next Heir to the Earl of Ashburnham; the King was pleas'd to refuse” (BL, Add. MSS 32721, ff. 479–80, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 27 July 1750).

75 E.g., “Life of Newton,” p. 83.

76 BL, Add. MSS 32700, ff. 87, 100, Newcastle to Hutton, 30 Mar. 1743, Potter to Newcastle, 7 Apr. 1743; BL, Add. MSS 32702, f. 293, Carteret to Newcastle, 4 Apr. (1743). Hutton was also supported by a number of Yorkshire whigs, notably Richard Arundell, M.P. for Knaresborough (BL, Add. MSS 32702, f. 293; BL, Add. MSS 32713, f. 311, Arundell to Newcastle, n.d). It is possible that the king's accusations of personal interest may have stemmed from here, since Arundell was Pelham's brother-in-law.

77 BL, Add. MSS 32717, ff. 225, 233–34, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 30 Oct. 1748, Newcastle to Hutton, 30 Oct. 1748.

78 Memoirs of a Royal Chaplain, p. 127 (Pyle to Kerrich, 17 Oct. 1747); BL, Add. MSS 32711, ff, 61, 139–41, Gooch to Newcastle, 16, 26 May 1747.

79 BL, Add. MSS 32709, f. 322, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 12 Dec. 1746; BL, Add. MSS 32708, f. 228, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 4 Sept. 1746.

80 BL, Add. MSS 32712, f. 383, Newcastle to Bath, 14 Aug. 1747.

81 BL, Add. MSS 32712, f. 243, Gibson to (?Andrcw Stone), 26 July 1747.

82 Before joining Leicester House at the beginning of 1747, Lee was an ally of Granville and resigned with him in 1744. For his connection with Thomas see BL, Add. MSS 35592, ff. 14–15, Lee to Hardwicke, 13 Jan. 1753.

83 Sykes, , “Newcastle as Ecclesiastical Minister,” p. 61; Church and State, p. 39.

84 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 21, Newcastle to Pelham, 18 June 1752.

85 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 24, Newcastle to William Murray, 18 June 1752.

86 H.M.C., 10th Report, Appendix, Part I, p. 302 (Bishop Thomas to Edward Weston, 13 Sept. 1748); BL, Add. MSS 35598, f. 349, Herring to Hardwicke, 20 Sept. 1748.

87 BL, Add. MSS 32727, f. 400, Pelham to Newcastle, 12 June 1752.

88 BL, Add. MSS 32728, ff. 46–49, Herring to Newcastle, 19 June 1752.

89 BL, Add. MSS 32728, ff. 105–06, 138, Newcastle to Pelham, 26 June 1752, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 1 July 1752.

90 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 157, Newcastle to Pelham, 1 July 1752.

91 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 50.

92 Letters of Spencer Cowper, p. 66 (Spencer Cowper to earl Cowper, 14 Oct. 1746); Shuler, J. C., “The Pastoral and Ecclesiastical Administration of the Diocese of Durham 1721–71; with particular reference to the Archdeaconry of Northumberland” (Ph.D. thesis, Durham University, 1975), p. 149.

93 BL, Add. MSS 32722, f. 233, Newcastle to Pelham, 23 Aug. 1750; BL, Add. MSS 32728, ff. 23–24, Newcastle to William Murray, 18 June 1752. The letter to Murray implies that the thought of offering Durham to Benson may have been in the king's mind.

94 Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, Gibson Papers, bound volume, no. 23, Benson to Gibson, 23 July 1736.

95 BL, Add. MSS 32730, f. 126, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 18 Oct. 1752.

96 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 157, Newcastle to Pelham, 1 July 1752.

97 BL, Add. MSS 32724, ff. 280–81, 282–83, Newcastle to George II, 10 May 1751, Newcastle to Bishop Barnard, 13 May 1751. For Maddox's links with Leicester House, see Podmore, C. J., “The Bishops and the Brethren: Anglican Attitudes to the Moravians in the Mid-Eighteenth Century,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 41 (1990): 644.

98 BL, Add. MSS 32721, f. 471, Newcastle to Pelham, 27 July 1750; BL, Add. MSS 32722, ff. 232–33, Newcastle to Pelham, 23 Aug. 1750.

99 BL, Add. MSS 32730, f. 36, Pelham to Newcastle, 5 Oct. 1752.

100 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 47, Herring to Newcastle, 19 June 1752.

101 BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 157, Newcastle to Pelham, 1 July 1752; BL, Add. MSS 32729, f. 115, Pelham to Newcastle, 17 Aug. 1752; Nottingham Univ. Lib., Newcastle of Clumber Papers, Ne.C. 1389, Newcastle to Pelham, 18 Oct. 1752. For Trevor's links with the Vanes, one of the leading whig families of the northeast, see Letters of Spencer Cowper, p. 165 (Spencer Cowper to earl Cowper, 15 Sept. 1753). It is not surprising, however, that he was suspected of toryism, as his family maintained links with some members of that party. The Diary of Benjamin Rogers Rector of Carlton, 1720–71, ed. Linnell, C. D., Publications of the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society, 30 (1950), p. 1 and passim.

102 Nottingham Univ. Lib., Ne.C. 1389, Newcastle to Pelham, 18 Oct. 1752.

103 Nottingham Univ. Lib., Ne.C. 1468; BL, Add. MSS 32852, f. 473, Herring to Newcastle, 15 Feb. 1755. The vacancies in 1752 were at Canterbury, Windsor, and Durham, Bishop Benson's prebend of Durham having fallen to the Crown because he died sede vacante. At the time Newcastle mistakenly believed that there were two vacancies at Durham.

104 BL, Add. MSS 32736, ff. 182–85, Newcastle to Halifax, 8 Aug. 1754. The application by Hardwicke and Herring was “an Act of Charity & humanity,” since Barnard's lameness made it difficult for him to perform his duty at Norwich and in his City living. Hardwicke offered the prebend of Norwich, worth about the same as that of Windsor, for Richard Blacow, who had distinguished himself in the whig cause at Oxford. By 1754 two canonries were vacant at Windsor, and Blacow received one of them. Hardwicke managed to provide for Barnard, however, by obtaining a royal dispensation for non-residence at Norwich (BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 60, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 19 June 1752; BL, Add. MSS 35599, f. 197, Herring to Hardwicke, 19 June 1754).

105 BL, Add. MSS 32736, ff. 183–84. Newcastle was guilty of some distortion here. While in Hanover he had urged the case of Tatton; but during the interval before the canonry was disposed of, Dorset had insisted strongly on Newcastle's obligation to him. Moreover, a contested election was taking place in Kent, and Dorset argued that the setting aside of his nomination for a preferment in his own county would weaken his interest there. The proposal wrecked by the king's preferment of Tatton was not the preferment of Curteis, Dorset's candidate, but the simultaneous provision for them both by waiting until another vacancy occurred (BL, Add. MSS 32728, f. 408, Newcastle to Pelham, 27–29 July 1752; Nottingham Univ. Lib., Ne.C. 1389, Newcastle to Pelham, 18 Oct. 1752; BL, Add. MSS 32732, ff. 501–02, 522–23, Dorset to Newcastle, 19 Aug. 1753, Newcastle to Dorset, 24 Aug. 1753).

106 BL, Add. MSS 32719, ff. 105, 239, 50–51, 176–77, 197–98, Newcastle to Sherlock, 5 Sept. 1749, Newcastle to Lord Bateman, 13 Oct. 1749, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 13 Aug. 1749, Herring to Newcastle, 17 Sept. 1749, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 29 Sept. 1749. On this occasion Newcastle “did, (as I always do,) acquaint the King, who were the persons, that had applied,” while making clear his own preference for Ashburnham (BL, Add. MSS 32719, f. 105). As ecclesiastical minister Newcastle commented on applications and advised the king; he did not select which applications were placed before the king.

107 BL, Add. MSS 32719, f. 239, Newcastle to Bateman, 13 Oct. 1749; BL, Add. MSS 32721, f. 480, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 27 July 1750.

108 E.g., BL, Add. MSS 32721, ff. 497–99, Newcastle to Bath, 30 July 1750; BL, Add. MSS 32866, f. 349, Newcastle to Rockingham, 3 Aug. 1756.

109 Beinecke Library, Osborn Files, Gibson to Townshend, 16 Sept. 1724. By the same argument the chaplains to the House of Commons had a claim to preferment as the servants of the nation. Arthur Onslow claimed that they “have been always provided for, in the Churches of Westminster or Windsor” (BL, Add. MSS 32699, f. 130, Onslow to Newcastle, 31 Mar. 1742). Newcastle could not ignore this precedent, and Onslow provided for five chaplains in this way: Richard Terrick in 1742, John Fulham in 1750, Richard Cope in 1754, Reeve Ballard in 1758, and Charles Bartlett in 1761.

110 Nottingham Univ. Lib., Ne.C. 1389, 1394c, Newcastle to Pelham, 18 Oct., 11 Nov. 1752.

111 BL, Add. MSS 32717, ff. 235, 224, 156–57, Newcastle to Stephen Poyntz, 30 Oct. 1748, Newcastle to Pelham, 29, 19 Oct. 1748.

112 BL, Add. MSS 32717, ff. 300–03, Poyntz to Newcastle, 8 Nov. 1748.

113 Grafton was lord chamberlain between 1724 and 1757. He was succeeded by the duke of Devonshire who held the post until 28 November 1762.

114 BL, Add. MSS 32717, ff. 225, 294, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 29 Oct. 1748, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 8 Nov. 1748; The Harcourt Papers, ed. Harcourt, Edward William, 14 vols. (Oxford, [18801905]), 7: 21 (William Mason to Lord Nuneham, 15 Jan. 1762).

115 Public Record Office, S.P. 36/36/33–34, Newcastle to Lord Talbot, 11 Sept. 1735.

116 BL, Add. MSS 32700, ff. 1–2, Potter to Newcastle, 5 Jan. 1743; BL, Add. MSS 32704, f. 504, duchess of Portland to Newcastle, 15 July 1745; BL, Add. MSS 32709, f. 248, John Whalley to Newcastle, 19 Nov. 1746; BL, Add. MSS 32714, f. 478, Balthasar Regis to Newcastle, 13 Apr. 1748.

117 BL, Add. MSS 32703, f. 59, Gooch to Newcastle, 21 May 1744.

118 BL, Add. MSS 35599, f. 102, Herring to Hardwicke, 25 Sept. 1753; BL, Add. MSS 32699, ff. 311–12, Potter to Newcastle, 19 July 1742.

119 BL, Add. MSS 32916, f. 79, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 15 Dec. 1760.

120 Notes and Queries, 1st ser., 1 (1849): 6567 (G. Cruch? to William Robinson, 12 Oct. 1761). See also Brewer, Sarah, “The Early Letters of Richard Hurd from 1739 to 1762” (Ph.D. thesis, Birmingham University, 1987), 4: 808–10 (Hurd to Balguy, 1 May 1761).

121 Letters from a Late Eminent Prelate to One of his Friends (Kidderminster, 1808), p. 241 (Warburton to Hurd, 24 Mar. 1761).

122 The Grenville Papers, ed. Smith, W. J., 2 vols. (London, 1852), 1: 419 (Bute to Grenville, 9 Jan. 1762).

123 BL, Add. MSS 32918, f. 263, Drummond to Newcastle, 4 Feb. 1761.

124 BL, Add. MSS 32925, ff. 133, 131, Bute to Newcastle, Newcastle to Bute, 17 July 1761.

125 BL, Add. MSS 32925, f. 155, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 18 July 1761.

126 Allegations of jacobitism made against these three were investigated by the privy council in 1753 and were then the subject of a parliamentary debate.

127 BL, Add. MSS 32927, f. 70, Newcastle to Hardwicke, 17 Aug. 1761; Autobiography and Political Correspondence of Augustus Henry Third Duke of Grafton, ed. Anson, W. R. (London, 1898), p. 34 (Young to Grafton, 11 Sept. 1761); The Devonshire Diary. William Cavendish Fourth Duke of Devonshire. Memoranda of State of Affairs 1759–62, ed. Brown, Peter D. and Schweizer, Karl W., Camden 4th ser., 27 (1982), pp. 102–03; BL, Add. MSS 32925, f. 344, Newcastle to Devonshire, 25 July 1761; BL, Add. MSS 32926, ff. 189–91, Newcastle to Devonshire, 5 Aug. 1761.

128 BL, Add. MSS 32925, f. 344, Newcastle to Devonshire, 25 July 1761.

129 BL, Add. MSS 32926, f. 311, Hardwicke to Newcastle, 8 Aug. 1761.

130 Grenville Papers, 1: 419; BL, Add. MSS 32933, f. 150, Newcastle to Secker, 9 Jan. 1762.

131 Newcastle was unconvinced by Bute's description of Squire: “He [Bute] then went on, endeavouring to prove, that the Bishops lately made, were mine, for Instance, Dr Squire—I made Him the Answer It deserved” (BL, Add. MSS 32926, f. 190, Newcastle to Devonshire, 5 Aug. 1761). See also above, p. 430.

132 BL, Add. MSS 32929, f. 7, Newcastle to Scarborough, 1 Oct. 1761.

133 Grenville Papers, 1: 419–20 (Bute to Grenville, 9, 11 Jan. 1762).

* I would like to thank Professor Derek Beales and Dr. Paul Langford for their comments on earlier versions of this article.

“The Fac Totum in Ecclesiastic Affairs”? The Duke of Newcastle and the Crown's Ecclesiastical Patronage*

  • Stephen Taylor


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