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The crisis in Ireland and the disintegration of Queen Anne’s last ministry

  • David Hayton (a1)

Extract

During the winter of 1713-14 the tory ministry in England began to disintegrate. Despite a massive tory victory at the 1713 election, the new parliament which met in the following spring did not furnish the court with a reliable majority in either house. The tory party had fallen into complete disarray Queen Anne’s deteriorating health was the root cause, giving rise to panic among tories. It was clear that there was little hope for them at Hanover, where Prince George, angry at thepeaceofutrecht, wascommitted to thewhigs. Some tories actively considered declaring for the Pretender Others, more afraid of a Jacobite restoration than the accession of a whiggish but protestant king, identified themselves as Hanoverians and voted against the ministry in parliament. The vast majority, whether Jacobite or Hanoverian, were agreed on the necessity of taking some decisive measures to crush the whigs and entrench themselves in power against the fateful day when the queen should die. More than ever they were impatient of the leadership of Lord Treasurer Oxford, the former Robert Harley, the essence of whose political management seemed to be duplicity and procrastination.

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1 This paper was read to the Irish Historical Society on 8 May 1979.1 wish to thank Professor Edith M. Johnston, Professor G.S. Holmes and Dr Ρ W J. Riley for their searching criticisms of an early draft. What remains is, however, solely my responsibility.

2 An exception on the English side is Feiling, K.G., A history of the tory party, 1640–1714 (Oxford, 1924), pp 461–3, 469.

3 James, F.G., Ireland in the empire, 1688–1770 (Cambridge, Mass., 1973), pp 74–5; Edward Southwell to Dartmouth, 20 Nov 1711 (P.R.O., S.P 63/367/262).

4 Abp King to David Jenkins, 17 Feb. 1711 (T.C.D., King letter-books, MS 2531, p. 316).

5 Henry Rose to David Crosbie, 6 June 1710 (N.L.I., Talbot-Crosbie papers, P.C. 188).

6 A correspondent of the chief secretary wrote in 1712 that in Ireland the papists and the whigs ‘seem to be playing into each other’s hand, the one by their insolence giving a handle to reflect on the government, and the others taking occasion to improve it into a thousand stories’: William Wogan to Edward Southwell, 30 Sept. 1712 (B.L., Add. MS 37674, f. 58).

7 Commons’ jn. Ire., ii, 145-7; Sir Walter Clarges to George Clarke, 12 Sept. 1691 (T.C.D., Clarke correspondence, MS 749/11/1131); Inchiquin MSS, pp vii, 17–33, 3940, 226–71, 626, 628–31.

8 George Dodington to Sunderland, 1 Sept. 1707 (P.R.O., S.P 63/366/89); The letters of Joseph Addison, ed. Graham, Walter (Oxford, 1941), pp 182–3.

9 Memoirs of the secret services of John Macky (London, 1733), p. 10.

10 Holmes, G.S., The trial of Dr Sacheverell (London, 1973), pp 187, 193, 195.

11 The correspondence of Jonathan Swift, ed. Williams, Harold (5 vols, Oxford, 1963–5), i, 233.

12 The conduct of the purse of Ireland(London, 1714), pp 19–21, The resolutions of the house of commons in Ireland, relating to the lord-chancellor Phips [sic] examined (London, 1714), pp 14–15.

13 Macpherson, James, Original papers; containing the secret history of Great Britain, from the restoration to the accession of the house of Hanover (2 vols, London, 1775), 2, 429.

14 Simms, J.G., ‘The Irish parliament of 1713’ in Hist. Studies, IV, ed. Hayes-McCoy, G.A. (London, 1963), pp 83–4; memorandum by Alan Brodrick, 19 Mar. 1714[-15] (B.L., Blenheim papers); The resolutions of the house of commons in Ireland examined, pp 19–22.

15 Munter, Robert, The history of the Irish newspaper, 1685–1760 (Cambridge, 1967), pp 126–9.

16 Report of the committee (P.R.O.N.I., Armagh Diocesan Registry papers, DIO 4/5/3: by permission of the archbishop of Armagh); lords justices and privy council to Ormond, 23 May 1713 (ibid.); Ormond to lords justices, 18 June 1713 (Bodl., MS Eng. hist. c. 42, p. 63).

17 Sir John Perceval’s ‘journal’, 18 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 48). I am preparing an edition of parts of this journal, covering debates in the Irish parliament in 1711 and 1713.

18 St John Brodrick to Thomas Brodrick, 12 Jan. 1712 (Surrey R.O., Guildford Muniment Room, Midleton MSS, 1248/3, ff 60-61 ); William Perceval to Clayton Mil-bourne, 20 Jan. 1712 (Bodl., MS Ballard 36, ff 72-3); lords justices to Ormond, 13 Nov. 1712(P.R.O.I.,M 2447, p. 138).

19 Munter, , Irish newspaper, pp 127–8; St John Brodrick to Thomas Brodrick, 6 Nov. 1712 (Guildford Muniment Room, 1248/3, f. 93). The prologue is printed in The works of Sir Samuel Garth (Dublin, 1769), pp 112–3.

20 Notebook of Chief Justice Cox, 28 Nov. 1712-June 1713 (N.L.I., MS 4245, pp 37-9, 51-68 et seq.); Cox to Edward Southwell, 16 June 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 3); John Parnell to Abp King, 18 June 1713 (T.C.D., Lyons collection, MS 2003/1457).

21 Robert Molesworth to Marlborough, 10 Feb. 1714 (B.L., Blenheim papers).

22 Perceval jn., Aug. 1711 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 2–4); petition of the lord mayor and aldermen of Dublin, Sept. 1711 (P.R.O., S.P 63/367/204–5).

23 Commons’ jn. Ire., ii, appendix, pp cclxxvi-cclxxix; Anc. rec. Dublin, vii, 521–64.

24 H. M. C. Var coll., viii, 264.

25 Perceval jn., Aug. 1711 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 2).

26 Theprose works oj Jonathan Swift, ed. Davis, Herbert (16 vols, Oxford, 1939–68), xv, 364. It is indicative of ministerial thinking that Secretary Dartmouth twice referred to the Dublin affair as 𠆉the dispute between the city and the lord lieutenant’- cabinet minute, 26 Sept. 1711 (Staffs. R.O., Dartmouth MSS, D. 742/VI/2); Dartmouth to the queen, 26 Sept. 1711 (Staffs. R.O., Dartmouth MSS, D. 1778/1.ii/282).

27 H.M.C. Var. coll., viii, 262.

28 Luttrell, Narcissus, A brief historical relation of state affairs (6 vols, Oxford, 1857), 6, 710.

29 For Shrewsbury, see Somerville, D.H., The king of hearts (London, 1962).

30 Shrewsbury to Oxford, 4 Apr 1712 (B.L., Loan 29/159/1).

31 Bennett, G.V, The tory crisis in church and state, 1688–1730 (Oxford, 1975), pp 1414.

32 See, for instance, H.M.C. Portland MSS, v, 228–9.

33 Abp King to Francis Annesley, 3 June 1712 (T.C.D., King letterbooks, MS 2532, p. 31); Swift, Prose works, xvi, 558, 569; L’Hermitage’s despatch, 25 Nov. 1712 (B.L., Add. MS 17677 FFF, f. 427).

34 Cox to Southwell, 23 June 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 5).

35 See, for example, William Bishop to Arthur Charlett, 20 June 1713 (Bodl., MS Ballard 31, f. 104); Macpherson, , Orig. papers, 2, 417–8.

36 D’Aumont’s despatch, 5 July 1713, N.S. (P.R.O., Baschet transcripts, 31/3/201/58); Perceval jn., Jan. 1714 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 57); deF Lord, G. and others (eds), Poems on affairs of state (7 vols, New Haven, 1963–75), 7, 115.

37 William Perceval to Charlett, 1 Nov 1711 (Bodl., MS Ballard 36, f. 70).

38 Holmes, G.S., British politics in the age of Anne (London, 1967), pp 278–9.

39 The Wentworth papers, 1705–39, ed. Cartwright, J.J. (London, 1883), pp 331, 337; Thomas Edwards to North and Grey, 22 June 1713 (Bodl., MS North c. 9, f. 5); Bishop to Charlett, 30 June 1713 (Bodl., MS Ballard 31, f. 106).

40 Dickinson, H.T., Bolingbroke (London, 1970), p. 113 ; Biddle, Sheila, Bolingbroke and Harley (London, 1975), pp 254–5; Bennett, , Tory crisis, pp 172–3.

41 Riley, P W J., The English ministers andScotland, 1707–27 (London, 1964), pp 243–9.

42 Shrewsbury was declared lord lieutenant on 13 Sept., the same day that Mar was appointed secretary of state for Scotland (P.R.O., P.C. 2/84, p. 234).

43 HM.C. Portland MSS, v, 339; Bolingbroke to lords justices, 21 Sept. 1713(P.R.O., S.P 67/4, ff 86–7).

44 Sunderland to Nottingham, 14 Sept. 1713 (Leics. R.O., Finch MSS, box 4950, bundle 24); Oxford to Anglesey, 10 Nov 1713 (Nottingham University Library, Portland (Harley) MSS, Pw2 Hy 1475).

45 Letters and correspondence of Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, ed. Parke, Gilbert (4 vols, London, 1798), iv, 278–9, 316–17

46 Alan to Thomas Brodrick, 11 Oct. 1713 (Guildford Mun. Room, 1248/3, f. 125). I am indebted to the late earl of Midleton for permission to quote from his family MSS.

47 Bp Lindsay to Charlett, 10 Apr. 1712 (Bodl., MS Ballard 8, f. 105). Stanley’s extensive whig connexions included John Forster, Speaker of the Irish commons, 1710–13, Robert Molesworth, the Evanses, Moncks and Tichbornes.

48 Perceval jn., Nov. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 41); A long history of a short session of a certain parliament in a certain kingdom ([Dublin], 1714), pp 5–6.

49 Percevaljn., Nov 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 41–2); H.M.C. Dartmouth MSS, i, 318.

50 Abp King to Francis Annesley, 14 Nov. 1713 (T.C.D., MS 2532, pp 222–3).

51 B.L., Add. MS 34777, ff 20–44.

52 James, , Ireland in the empire, pp 76–8; Simms, ‘Parliament of 1713’, pp 85–6; Hayton, D.W., ‘Ireland and the English ministers, 1707–16’ (Oxford University D.Phil, thesis, 1975), pp 294–5.

53 Percevaljn., 14 Jan. 1714(B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 55–6).

54 H.M.C. Bath MSS, i, 242, 245.

55 Simms, J.G., ‘Irish catholics and the parliamentary franchise, 1692–1728’ in LH. S., 12, no. 45 (Mar. 1960), pp 34–5; Simms, , ‘Parliament of 1713’, pp 85–6.

56 Simms, , ‘Parliament of 1713’, p. 84. To Simms’s nine we might perhaps add Thomas Bellew (Mullingar), Theobald Bourke (Naas) and John Staunton (Galway). Three new converts’ also took their seats in the upper house: Lords Athenry, Dunkellin and Mayo.

57 Cox to Southwell, 24 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 41).

58 Alan to Thomas Brodrick, 10 Nov 1713 (Guildford Mun. Room, 1248/3, f. 133); Perceval jn., 25 Nov. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 43); Cox to Southwell, 26 Nov 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 27).

59 Perceval jn., 18 Mar. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 17-18); Henry Rose to David Crosbie, 21 Nov 1713 (N.L.I., Talbot-Crosbie papers).

60 Commons’ jn. Ire., ii, 743. Tories had expected a majority of between forty and sixty in the new house: Bp Lindsay to Charlett, 5 Nov 1713 (Bodl., MS Ballard 8, f. 65); Cox to Southwell, 7 Nov 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 21); Swift, Corr., i, 403. My own estimate of the election result, based on a contemporary analysis of the returns (B.L., Add. MS 34777, ff 46–7), would put their winning margin at nearer twenty-five.

61 Cox to Southwell, 26 Nov., 1 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, ff 27, 29); ‘list of votes for Sir R. Levinge’ (B.L., Add. MS 34777, ff 90-91); [Abercorn] to Southwell, Jan. 1714 (P.R.O.N.I., Abercorn MSS, T.2541/I.K./10).

62 Cox to Southwell, 26 Nov 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 27). For examples, see Alan to Thomas Brodrick, 9 Dec. 1713 (Guildford Mun. Room, 1248/3, f. 138);Roseto Crosbie, 21 Nov., 8 Dec. 1713 (N.L.I., Talbot-Crosbie papers).

63 Newsletter, 1 Dec. 1713 (P.R.O., S.P 63/369/15).

64 Cox to Southwell, 8 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 31). The figure of ten votes gained is my own calculation from Commons’ jn. Ire.

65 DaiIy Courant, 26 Nov 1713; Perceval jn., 30 Nov 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 47); Stanley to Bolingbroke, 10 Dec. 1713 (T.C.D., MS 2021, p. 34).

66 Commons’jn. Ire., ii, 754, 758–64; Perceval jn., 10 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 45–6).

67 Commons’ jn. Ire., ii, 762, 764. The house of commons in Chichester House had, apparently, five skylights ( Gilbert, J.T., The parliament house, Dublin (Dublin, 1896), p. 19).

68 Commons’ jn. Ire., ii, 764–7; Perceval jn., 11-16 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 46–8); Stanley to Bolingbroke, 17 Dec. 1713 (P.R.O., S.P 63/369/57–8).

69 Perceval jn., 18 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 48).

70 Levinge, R.G.A., Jottings of the Levinge family (Dublin, 1877), p. 54.

71 Stanley to Bolingbroke, 19 Dec. 1713 (P.R.O., S.P 63/369/47–50).

72 Commons’ jn. Ire., ii, 770–76.

73 Alan to Thomas Brodrick, 26 Dec. 1713 (Guildford Mun. Room, 1248/3, f. 149).

74 Alan to Thomas Brodrick, 5 Jan. 1714 (Guildford Mun. Room, 1248/3, ff 151-2); Abercorn to Southwell, 5 Jan. 1714 (P.R.O.N.I., T.2541/I.K./11). I am grateful to the duke of Abercorn for permission to quote from his family papers.

75 H.M.C Bath MSS, i, 245.

76 Shrewsbury to Bolingbroke, 22 Dec. 1713, 29 Jan., 2 Feb. 1714 (P.R.O., S.P 63/369/44; 370/269, 267).

77 H.M.C. Bath MSS, i, 244.

78 Cox to Southwell, 19 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 38157, f. 36).

79 Hayton, D.W, ‘Tories and whigs in County Cork, 1714’ in Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., 2nd series, 80 (1975), pp 84–8.

80 Newsletter, 31 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Loan 29/8/2); Post Boy, 31 Dec. 1713-2 Jan. 1714.

81 Mathew Forde to Southwell, 19 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Add. MS 60583, unfoliated).

82 Boyer, Abel, The political state of Great Britain (2nd ed., 8 vols, London, 1718–19), vii, 33–8.

83 L’Hermitage’s despatch, 12 Jan. 1714, N.S. (B.L., Add. MS 17677 HHH, f. 17); Maurice Wheeler to Bp Wake, 2 Mar. 1714 (Christ Church, Oxford, Wake MSS, xxiii, no. 269).

84 Stanley to Bolingbroke, 20 Feb. 1714 (T.C.D., MS 2021, p. 88); Robert Molesworth to his wife, 25 Feb. 1714 (N.L.L, Clements papers microfilm pos. 3753); Phipps to Southwell, 5 Mar. 1714 (B.L., Add. MS 21553, f. 74).

85 Swift, , Corr., 1, 424–6.

86 Hannibal not at our gates (London, 1714), pp 21–3.

87 L’Hermitage’s despatch, 6 Apr 1714 N.S. (B.L., Add. MS 17677 HHH, ff 148-9); Blackett parliamentary diary, 15 Apr. 1714 (from a photocopy in the possession of the History of Parliament Trust). ‘If you do remember Ireland’, Henry Maxwell, M.P for Killybegs, had asked the English whig James Stanhope, ‘remember our bill of attainder’ (Maxwell to Stanhope, 6 Dec. 1713 [recte Jan. 1714], Kent Archives Office, Stanhope papers, U. 1590/0141/11).

88 Boyer, , Political state, 6, 364.

89 See, for example, Weymouth to James Grahme, 5 Jan. 1714 (MSS in the possession of Mrs O. R. Bagot, Levens Hall, Westmorland); D’Iberville’s despatch, 8 Jan. 1714 (P.R.O., 31/3/202/9).

90 Perceval jn., 5 Jan. 1714 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 52–3); H.M.C. Bath MSS, i, 245.

91 H.M.C. Portland MSS, v, 370–71, Bolingbroke, Corr., iv, 444; Bromley to Oxford, ‘Monday morning’ (B.L., Loan 29/310); Bolingbroke to Bromley, 15 Dec. 1713 (P.R.O., S.P 34/22, f. 114).

92 Bolingbroke, Corr., iv, 440–41.

93 Ibid., iv, 382.

94 Ibid., iv, 390, 406–07

95 Ibid., iv, 404, 430; H.M.C. Bath MSS, i, 245.

96 Biddle, , Bolingbroke and Harley, pp 255–8.

97 Observations on the privy council, 19 Dec. 1713 (B.L., Loan 29/162/7, Misc. 48); Mayhew, G.P., ‘Jonathan Swift’s “Prefermts of Ireland”, 1713–14’, in Huntington Library Quarterly, 30 (1966–7), pp 297305. Cf. Swift, Corr., i, 418–19.

98 Bolingbroke to Bromley, 15 Dec. 1713 (P.R.O., S.P 34/22, f. 114); Bolingbroke, Corr., iv, 400–01, 404–05.

99 Lords’ jn. Ire., ii, 441–2.

100 Bolingbroke to Stanley, 5 Jan. 1714 (T.C.D., MS 2021, pp 69–71); P.R.O., S.P 63/362/10–11, 69; Bromley to Oxford, 4 Sept. [1713] (B.L., Loan 29/310).

101 Anderson Saunders to Southwell, 2 Jan. 1713[-14] (P.R.O.I., M 3036, f. 85); H. M. C. Bath MSS, i, 245.

102 Holmes, G.S., ‘Harley, St John and the death of the tory party’ in Holmes, G.S. (ed.), Britain after the Glorious Revolution, 1689–1714 (London, 1969), p. 228, quoting Hill, B.W, ‘The career of Robert Harley, earl of Oxford, from 1702 to 1714’ (Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis, 1961), p. 332.

103 Shrewsbury to Oxford, 10 Feb. 1714 (T.C.D., MS 2022, pp 107–50); Cal. treas. bks, xxviii, 22–3, 44, 135, 252; Cal. treas. papers, 1708–14, pp 537, 550; Beckett, , Protestant dissent in Ireland, pp 5960.

104 Bolingbroke, Corr., iv, 441.

105 ‘Proceedings in the house of commons, March-June 1714’, ed. Newman, A.N. in I.H.R. Bull., 34 (1961), pp 213, 215.

106 See P.R.O., S.P 63/370, 67/4, passim; and Hayton, , ‘Treland and the English ministers’, chap. 7, esp. pp 203–05.

107 Swift, Corr., ii, 8–9; Bolingbroke, Corr., iv, 440–45.

108 Macpherson, , Orig. paprs, 2, 574.

109 H.M.C. Portland MSS, v, 403.

110 Macpherson, , Orig. paprs, 2, 572, 586–9.

111 Sir John Perceval to Philip Perceval, 8 Apr. 1714 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, ff 64–5).

112 Wentworth paprs, pp 366–8; H.M. C. House of Lords MSS, N.S., x, 278–9; Sir John to Philip Perceval, 15 Apr 1714 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 68); Dean Story to Abp King, 17 Apr. 1714 (T.C.D., Lyons coll., MS 2004/1485).

113 Wentworth paprs, p. 371.

114 Holmes, , Politics in the age of Anne, pp 280–83.

115 Bennett, , Tory crisis, p. 178 ; Cobbett, William, The parliamentary history of England (26 vols, London, 1806–20), vi, cols 1351–5; H.M.C Lords MSS, N.S., x, 345–6.

116 Mclnnes, A.J.D.M., Robert Harley, puritan politician (London, 1970),pp 164–5. I am obliged to Professor G. S. Holmes for information on this point.

117 John Forster to Abp King, 15 July 1714 (T.C.D., Lyons coll., MS 2008e/1496); Swift, Corr., ii, 73; Bolingbroke, Corr., iv, 572; Shrewsbury to Bolingbroke, 17 July 1714 (P.R.O., S.P 63/370/52).

118 Sir Edward Northey to Bolingbroke, 10 June 1714 (P.R.O., S.P 63/370/46); Forster to Abp King, 15 July 1714 (T.C.D., MS 2008e/1496); H.M.C. Portland MSS, iv, 473.

119 H.M.C. Portland MSS, vii, 191–3; newsletter, 22 June 1714 (Folger Shakespeare Library, Newdigate newsletters); Macpherson, , Orig. paprs, 2, 630–31, 633–5; Wentworth papers, pp 402–04; Swift, Corr., ii, 51–2.

120 Dickinson, , Bolingbroke, p. 93.

121 The diary of Sir David Hamilton, 1709–14, ed. Roberts, Philip (Oxford, 1975), p. 63 ; Sir John Perceval to Daniel Dering, 10 July 1714 (B.L., Add. MS 47087, f. 79); HM. C. Portland MSS, vii, 192–3.

122 Queen Anne to lords justices, 23 July 1714(Abp Marsh’s Library. MS Z.3.1.1/10).

123 Dublin Gazette, 31 July-3 Aug., 3–7 Aug. 1714.

124 Snyder, H.L., ‘The last days of Queen Anne: the account of Sir John Evelyn examined’ in Huntington Library Quarterly, 34 (1970–71), pp 268–74; Dickinson, , Bolingbroke, p. 131.

125 Reprinted in Boyer, Political state, viii, 132–3.

l26 Dickinson, , Bolingbroke, pp 130–31.

127 A point admitted even by those in England who none the less persisted in regarding him as a Jacobite. The duchess of Marlborough, for example, when discussing the part played by Anglesey in the Irish parliament of 1713, wrote, ‘if my Lord Anglesey is not a concealed papist I suppose he is to have an English estate given him instead of that in Ireland, which must go to the Roman Catholics when the prince of Wales is upon the throne, and he is not such a fool as not to know it’ (duchess of Marlborough to Mrs Boscawen, 17 Jan. 1714, Christ Church, Oxford, Evelyn MSS, letters 1706–63, ‘Mann-Marlborough’ box, no. 1874: by kind permission of the trustees of the will of Major Peter George Evelyn deceased).

128 Swift, Corr., i, 424.

The crisis in Ireland and the disintegration of Queen Anne’s last ministry

  • David Hayton (a1)

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