OSBORNE, Peregrine (1659-1729)

OSBORNE, Peregrine (1659–1729)

cr. 5 Dec. 1674 Visct. Oseburne of Dunblane [S]; styled 1689-94 earl of Danby; styled 1694-1712 mq. of Carmarthen; accel. 3 Mar. 1690 Baron OSBORNE; suc. fa. 26 July 1712 as 2nd duke of LEEDS

First sat 2 Mar. 1690; last sat 17 June 1727

MP Berwick-upon-Tweed 2 Mar. 1677-79; Corfe Castle 26 Feb.–12 Apr. 1679; York 1689-90

bap. 29 Dec. 1659,1 3rd but o. surv. s. of Thomas Osborne, later earl of Danby, marquess of Carmarthen and duke of Leeds and Bridget, da. of Montagu Bertie, 2nd earl of Lindsey; bro. of Edward Osborne, styled Viscount Latimer. educ. travelled abroad France Mar.-Nov. 1671;2 privately, tutor in 1676 Mr Melovera.3 m. 25 Apr. 1682, Bridget (1662-1734), da. and h. of Sir Thomas Hyde, 2nd bt. of Aldbury, Herts. 3s. (2 d.v.p.), 2da. 1s. illegit. d. 25 June 1729.

Capt. Louis Dufort de Duras, earl of Feversham’s ft. 1685;4 col. dragoons July 1690;5 1 marines 1690-98;6 capt. RN 1690, rear-adm. red July 1693; rear-adm. blue Oct. 1693; rear-adm. red Jan. 1697; v.-adm. blue Mar. 1702; v.-adm. white May 1702; v.-adm. red Feb. 1703; adm. red Dec. 1708.

Col. of militia ft., E and W. Riding by 1696-?1714.7

Freeman, Goldsmiths Co. 1674;8 Portsmouth 1677;9 Poole 1679;10 York 1689;11 steward, keeper and warden of Sherwood Forest and Folewood Park, Notts. 1689-99;12 master Fishermen’s Co. by 1699.13

Associated with: Aldbury, Herts.

Likenesses: oil on canvas, attrib. M. Dahl, sold at Christies, 7 July 2010.

The Emerton marriage and the Revolution 1674-89

Dunblane’s Scottish peerage of December 1674 followed the surrender of the title by his father and its re-grant to Dunblane.14 It was seen by some as a bargaining tool in the marriage market, as his father attempted to provide for his younger son (as he was at that time). Sir John Wray’s heir, worth £2-3,000 a year, was one of those mentioned as a possible bride.15 However, a more enticing prospect was Bridget Hyde, the step-daughter of Sir Robert Vyner, whose fortune was a reputed £100,000.16 Sir George Lane specifically referred to the viscountcy as being procured ‘in order to that match’. She was wealthy enough to have been touted as a bride for Charles II’s natural son, Charles Fitzcharles, earl of Plymouth. However, Vyner’s wife and her sisters had other ideas, and had secretly married her at the age of 12 to Lady Vyner’s nephew, John Emerton, in October 1674.17 Vyner was left claiming he knew nothing about it and as John Verney, the future Viscount Fermanagh [I]; aptly noted, ‘the courtiers are frustrated by a City dame.’18 To provide for Dunblane, Danby had already secured the reversion of the chancery post of clerk of the patents held by Sir Richard Piggott.19 Further in December 1674 he secured the reversion of the lucrative office held by Sir Robert Howard of auditor of the exchequer, provision even being made to put the office in trust in case Howard should die before Dunblane reached his majority.20

Meanwhile Dunblane was developing an enduring interest in nautical matters. His father used his ministerial position in September 1675 to procure ordnance for his yacht, the Sophia.21 Despite being under-age, Dunblane secured election to the Commons for Berwick in a by-election in March 1677. He was attached to the French embassy of Ralph Montagu, the future earl and duke of Montagu, but was quickly recalled, Danby requiring his vote in Parliament.22 He was elected for Corfe Castle in February 1679, only to be unseated in April.23 Thereafter he played an important role in supporting his father while he was imprisoned in the Tower, particularly in lobbying peers to obtain support for Danby’s various attempts to secure a release from custody.24

Meanwhile, neither Dunblane nor his father had given up on Bridget Hyde. Although the court of king’s bench had granted the Emertons temporary possession of the Hyde estates, Vyner himself had custody of Bridget.25 Dunblane had access to her and Bridget herself petitioned the lord chancellor, Heneage Finch, Baron Finch, in February 1676 against her marriage, accusing Emerton and his uncle, William, of despoiling her estate while delaying the hearing of the cause in the ecclesiastical courts.26 In July 1680 the court of delegates found for the Emertons, but Bridget refused to accept the decision and sought the protection of her ‘kinsman’ Henry Hyde, 2nd earl of Clarendon, claiming that she had been forced into the marriage.27 An appeal was launched and while this case was being considered by the court of delegates, Dunblane married her in April 1682. This marriage was acknowledged on 12 July 1682, just prior to a decision by the court of delegates in the case. Danby, incarcerated in the Tower, wrote to the lord chancellor in December of Dunblane’s ‘undutifulness in marrying her not only without my privity but against my express command’.28 The long-drawn out saga was ended in April 1683 with Dunblane’s father buying off his rival and the court of delegates acquiescing in the decision.29

In 1685 Dunblane served at Sedgemoor, and in March 1686 his yacht was used to carry off the new wife of George Fitzroy, duke of Northumberland.30 Following his wife’s miscarriage in October 1686, Dunblane left her and fled to the continent to escape his creditors.31 In mid January 1687 he told Danby that he was returning from Brussels.32 According to his later account, some of his trips were to carry messages from his father to William of Orange.33 The result of this incident was that Dunblane’s finances came under his father’s control, so much so that in January 1688, at least one of Dunblane’s creditors applied to Danby because ‘all his lordship’s business lay in your lordship’s hands now’.34

In March 1688 Dunblane was granted a pass to travel beyond the seas, but only after James II had initially refused him permission to visit Holland.35 On this occasion he did not get to pass on Danby’s letters directly to the prince, and remained in Flanders.36 In late September Dunblane was with his father at Ribston, Yorkshire, the seat of Sir Henry Goodricke, a close ally of Danby’s.37 He took part in the northern rising against James II.38 Given his prominence, he was able to secure election to the Convention for York. Following the death of his elder brother in February 1689, Dunblane became his father’s heir and was now styled earl of Danby. 

On 20 June 1689, at the request of his father, the secretary of state, Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham, issued a warrant for Danby’s arrest on the grounds of high treason. This appears to have been a device to prevent Danby from using the ship he had been fitting out for use as a privateer.39 After being examined before a committee of the Privy Council, he was bailed by his father.40 As Danby was a member of the Commons this led to an investigation by the lower House as a possible breach of privilege.41 Although preparations were in hand for Danby to contest York at the 1690 election, and there were rumours that he intended to contest Hertfordshire, where his wife’s estates were located, he did not stand, possibly owing to the publication of the list that showed that he had voted against the ‘vacancy’ of the throne on 5 Feb. 1689.42

The Parliament of 1690

Osborne was summoned to the Lords in his father’s barony of Osborne of Kiveton on 3 Mar. 1690 before the election took place. Confusingly, for some time he was recorded in the Journal by the territorial appellation of Kiveton rather than as Osborne. He was introduced on 20 Mar. by John West, 6th Baron De La War, and Henry Yelverton, 15th Baron Grey of Ruthin. On 21 Apr., together with Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton, he introduced his cousin, Robert Willoughby, Baron Willoughby de Eresby into the House. He attended on 44 days of the session, 81.5 per cent of the total and was named to six committees.

With a French invasion threatened, in July 1690 Danby was given the command of the dragoons ordered to be raised and assembled in Hyde Park.43 On 12 Sept. 1690, his son, William (d. 1711) was baptized at North Mimms, Hertfordshire, with Nottingham standing as proxy for the king. Danby was present at the opening of the 1690-1 session on 2 October. He attended on 23 days of the session, 30 per cent of the total and was named to six committees. On 21 Oct. the House was informed of a quarrel between Danby and Charles Granville, then styled Viscount Lansdown (later 2nd earl of Bath), but who sat in the House under a writ in acceleration as Baron Granville. Both were ordered to be taken into custody. The origins of this conflict, said to be ‘an old quarrel’ are obscure.44 It may have had its origins in the breakdown of Lansdown’s marriage to Danby’s sister, Martha (d. 1689), but there was also bad feeling between their fathers over the lack of rewards received by the Granvilles after the revolution. Danby proved elusive and on 23 Oct. black rod was given authority to search houses to bring him into custody. Still evading the officers of the House, on 27 Oct. he was ordered to surrender within seven days or a proclamation would be issued for him. He was absent from a call of the House on 2 Nov., but attended the following day, whereupon both men ‘shaked hands and promised before the several peers not to quarrel any more’.45 During an extended absence in December 1690, it was reported that he had gone to Chatham to attend the court martial on 10 Dec. of Arthur Herbert, earl of Torrington.46 Torrington was acquitted, but remained out of favour and at the end of 1690 Danby was granted his marine regiment.47 On 31 Dec. 1690 Danby intercepted a vessel bound for France, one of the passengers being Richard Grahme, Viscount Preston [S], James II’s former secretary of state, an incident that his father was able to exploit to his advantage.48 In March 1691, Danby was rumoured to be the replacement for John Wildman as post-master general but although Danby had apparently been granted this office by the king under the sign manual before Wildman’s appointment, the king had changed his mind.49

In March 1691 Sir Robert Howard’s ill-health gave Sidney Godolphin, the future Baron Godolphin, pause for thought about the reversion of the officer of auditor of the exchequer to Danby, which, as he informed the king, ‘I have often been told is not good in law’. Clearly he had an unfavourable opinion of Danby:

I take it for granted that you, unless obliged by law, would never choose out the earl of Danby of all England to fill that officer’s place, through whose hands all your own revenue, all the public money of the kingdom, and all the accounts of both the one and the other are to pass; and for these reasons, if the case does happen, I shall think it my duty to refuse him admittance till the right of the patent is determined, unless you signify that you would give him the position, though there were no patent in the case, which I confess I think you would no more do, than make him a bishop.50

Danby was in combative mood while attending the Aylesbury by-election in April 1691 in support of his brother-in-law, James Herbert, notably telling Thomas Wharton, the future 5th Baron Wharton, that a ‘jockey’s whip became him better than a white staff.’51 In May Danby was listed as captain of the Resolution in the Anglo-Dutch fleet, but Admiral Edward Russell, the future earl of Orford, was concerned at his absence from the fleet and wondered whether he would be serving at sea at all during the summer. Danby did join the fleet, capturing a French boat while serving under Russell in July.52

Danby was absent from the opening of the 1691-2 session. Throughout the session as a whole, he was present on 26 days, 26 per cent of the total, and was named to four committees. On 16 Nov. 1691 George Rodney Bridges informed the Commons that Sir Ralph Delaval ‘had lately taken a French boat going for Ireland, with papers of dangerous consequence to the government,’ naming Danby as the source of his information, he having seen the captured papers.53 Although it was reported about town that Bridges had ‘accused Carmarthen’s son of sending information to the French fleet’, the person really implicated was Nottingham, to whom the papers had been sent, particularly as Danby had seen a letter from Nottingham to Delaval purporting to reveal his sailing orders.54 A motion to ask Danby about these matters was defeated in the Commons in favour of a conference with the Lords.55 At the conference on 17 Nov., the Commons ‘out of respect for the peerage’ laid the matter before the upper House. The Lords ordered Danby to attend, which he did on the following day, his first appearance of the session. Following Danby’s account of the matter, the Lords communicated the relevant papers to the Commons at a conference on 19 November. On 23 Nov. Delaval told the Commons that Danby must have been mistaken ‘for I saw no letter of the Lord Nottingham unto me amongst them.’56 On that date Delaval was ready to testify before the Lords, but the matter was postponed because Danby was ‘not in town.’ Danby was eventually heard in his place on 5 Dec., saying ‘that he did verily believe he had seen a copy of a letter from the earl of Nottingham in the packet taken on board the French vessel, as he had formerly informed this House.’57 He was then named to a committee to oversee what would be entered into the Journal about the affair, which merely recorded that Danby had been heard in his place.58 Finally after a conference on 15 Dec., the Commons also resolved that no copy of any letter from Nottingham to Delaval had been taken on board the French vessel.59 However, after some debate it was decided to avoid any criticism of Danby, so as ‘not to cast a reflection’ on him ‘to say he was mistaken when it is not very material to the vindication of the Lord Nottingham’.60

Danby served at sea in the campaign in 1692, both at the battle of Barfleur and in sending fire ships into La Hogue.61 He first attended the 1692-3 session on 14 Nov. 1692, and was present for 29 days of the session, 21 per cent of the total. On 21 Nov. he was one of the peers ordered to attend on the 26th for issuing protections, in his case for seven men. When he attended on 23 Nov. he claimed ignorance of the rules, promised to extend no more protections and asked for the existing ones to be removed. His only committee appointment was on 10 Dec. to examine the papers brought into the House by Nottingham pursuant to an address to the king. On 31 Dec. Danby fought a duel with Captain Thomas Stringer (who had been appointed to Danby’s marine regiment in April 1691), wounding him in the thigh.62 On 4 Feb. 1693 he voted Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun, not guilty of murder, believing it to be manslaughter.63 He last sat on 16 Feb. 1693, when he gave his proxy to his father. 

In January 1693, it was reported that Danby was to be one of three flag officers, but in early February this was disregarded. As compensation for being passed over, he received permission to fly a special pennant, and the promise of the next flag office.64 Danby was duly named as rear-admiral of the red in July, following the death of Ashley, and rear admiral of the blue in October.65 As such he played no role in the disaster that befell the Smyrna convoy, although he was able to point to his desire for a proper reconnaissance of Brest, and did come under some suspicion of fomenting discontent against the admirals in charge of the fleet.66

Danby was present on the opening day of the next session, 7 Nov. 1693 but was excused attendance when the House was called on 14 November. On 4 Dec. he acted as a teller in opposition to John Churchill, earl (later duke) of Marlborough, in the committee of the whole on the place bill on whether the word ‘declared’ should stand of the bill. On 19 Dec. it was reported that he had gone to Chatham to hold a court martial. Another distraction was reported on 2 Feb. 1694 when he went to Woolwich to take Prince Louis of Baden to the launch of the Royal Charles. He last sat in that session on 9 Feb. 1694, giving his proxy to his father on 23 February. He had attended on 18 days, 14 per cent of the total and been appointed to two committees. In June Carmarthen (as he was now styled after his father’s promotion to duke of Leeds in May) was involved in the projected attack on Brest and the abortive landing in Camaret Bay, publishing his account as Journal of the Brest Expedition (1694).67 After having been ill of a fever, in September, he asked to be put in command of the squadron charged with conveying the king back to England, a task which occupied him in October and November.68

Carmarthen was again absent from the opening of the new parliamentary session, first sitting on 29 Nov. 1694. He attended on 18 days of the 1694-5 session, 14 per cent of the total. At the end of February 1695 he fought another duel with Stringer. He was absent between 15 Mar. and 22 Apr. 1695, giving his proxy to his father on 10 April. Part of his absence may have been due to naval duties, and then, perhaps, to ill health.69 Meanwhile Carmarthen’s waywardness was having serious implications for his marriage and his relationship with his father. In March 1695 various witnesses to Carmarthen’s marriage at St Mary Le Bone on 25 Apr. 1682 made depositions of the fact.70 This was probably connected to Carmarthen’s relationship with someone else: in August 1695, the duchess of Leeds wrote to her daughter-in-law of Carmarthen’s claims that he had been ‘bewitched’ by a woman, perhaps Mary Hill Morton, who would later allege that she was married to him.71 While at sea during the summer, he was the subject of complaints from merchants concerning their losses, which had parliamentary ramifications in the following session.72 As Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Salisbury put it, this ‘extravagant man, both in his pleasures and honours… fancied the French fleet was coming up to him, which proved to be only a fleet of merchant ships; so he left his station and retired into Milford Haven’, exposing English shipping to the predations of French privateers and himself to the fury of its owners.73 In October Carmarthen attended the Aylesbury election, in his father’s coach, in support of his brother-in-law Herbert, where he again clashed with Wharton. He then attended at the Wendover election as well.74

The Later Parliaments of William III, 1695-1702

After again missing the beginning of the 1695-6 session of the new Parliament, Carmarthen first sat on 2 Dec. 1695. On 4 Jan. 1696 he was ordered to have copies of the admiralty papers read before the House that day relating to the complaints of losses of the merchants over the previous summer, which were referred to a committee. The admiralty commissioners had been critical of Carmarthen’s conduct in failing to protect merchant shipping in papers submitted to the Lords committee established on 13 Dec. 1695 to review the merchants’ complaints, and Carmarthen was forced to defend himself before the committee.75 A report from the committee on 6 Feb. decided, however, that Carmarthen had ‘behaved himself in the last summer’s expedition at sea with courage, conduct and fidelity.’ According to one account, Carmarthen ‘was generously acquitted by the peers of those imputations he was charged with for want of conduct’, and suggested that the attack had really aimed at his father, the duke of Leeds.76 He was absent from 14 Feb. until 2 Mar., when he signed the Association. He had attended on 34 days of the session, 27 per cent of the total and had been named to a single committee. 

At the beginning of July 1696 Carmarthen went to serve in the army as a volunteer in Flanders.77 He had arrived back in England by mid September, reportedly having ‘come over in his own vessel. Says the French King is well again, and that they do not talk so much of peace as lately.’78 His mother reported him ‘busy at the admiralty fitting his vessel’, and wished that he had the time to see his father.79 Carmarthen missed the opening of the 1696-7 session, giving his proxy to his father on 25 November. He first sat on 8 Dec., the day in which proceedings against Sir John Fenwick were begun, and attended on each day in December on which the matter was discussed. He did not join his father in entering a protest but did vote against the bill at its third reading on 23 Dec. 1696. In all he attended on 23 days of the session, 20 per cent of the total, and was named to three committees. 

Carmarthen missed the first month of the 1697-8 session, taking his seat on 3 Jan. 1698, attending for only two days, and not returning to the House until 10 March. Some of his absence can be attributed to his attendance upon the Czar Peter I, who had arrived in England on 11 Jan. 1698. Carmarthen was already known to Peter as the designer of the Royal Transport yacht, which William III intended to present to the Czar as a gift. As such he was an ideal companion for the Czar, fascinated as he was by technical matters. As one correspondent put it, Carmarthen was ‘a strange gentleman, who has found the way to put himself in his good favour arranging various entertainments on water as well as in town.’80 He was certainly with the Czar on a number of occasions from the end of January 1698.81 Early in February it was reported that he had escorted the Czar to Deptford, where time was spent on one of the yachts that Carmarthen had designed. On 15 Mar. he voted against the committal of the bill to punish Sir Charles Duncombe. Some of his absence in late March and April may also be explained by his entertainment of the Czar.82 As a reward he received a valuable grant of the tobacco trade to Russia for seven years, which he sub-let to a group of London merchants.83 He last attended on 1 June, registering his proxy on 14 June with his brother-in-law, William Fermor, Baron Leominster. On 29 June this was transferred to Willoughby de Eresby. In all he attended on 17 days of the, 12 per cent of the total, and was named to four committees. One reason for his absence that month may have been a wound he sustained in a duel on 5 June with a Captain Nash, which was reported to be still troubling him early in July.84

The long-awaited demise of Sir Robert Howard at the beginning of September 1698 saw Carmarthen attempt to claim his reversion as auditor of the exchequer. The treasury lords, chief among whom was Charles Montagu, the future Baron Halifax, refused to honour the claim and instead appointed Montagu’s own brother Christopher Montagu, albeit in trust for himself.85 Leeds immediately protested to the king and to Arnold Joost van Keppel, earl of Albemarle, in Flanders, and retained counsel, but could not reverse the decision.86 The main stumbling block appears to have been the probability that Christopher Montagu and the treasury lords would claim parliamentary privilege should Carmarthen institute legal proceedings.87

Carmarthen was present for the opening of the next session on 6 Dec. 1698 and attended on 52 days, 60.5 per cent of the total. His only significant period of absence was in January, as he did not appear after the Christmas recess until 24 Jan. 1699. He was present in February when the Lords considered the bill for the relief of the creditors of Sir Robert Vyner, which was amended to include a clause relating to the accounts of his wife and Vyner. On 23 Mar. he acted as a teller in opposition to Richard Savage, 4th earl Rivers, during the debate in committee of the whole House on Desborow’s petition complaining that he had been unjustly removed from his naval command and subsequently on the 27th was appointed to the committee to address the king on the case. On 14 Apr. John Clements, a fishmonger, was ordered into custody for having spoken opprobrious words of Carmarthen as Master of the Company of Fishermen, particularly the previous day in the lobby and in ‘soliciting so many lies as were printed in the paper he dispersed’.88 After apologizing, Clements was discharged on the 19th. The incident was no doubt related to a bill in which Carmarthen took an interest: on 25 Apr. he was named to draw up reasons for a conference in which the Lords were to insist on their proviso for the bill making Billingsgate a free market for the sale of fish. He was named to a further 11 committees during the session. In April 1699, Narcissus Luttrell reported that John Somers, Baron Somers, the lord chancellor, was disputing Carmarthen’s patent for the reversion of the office of clerk of the patents.89 Thus Carmarthen found himself baulked of a second reversion.

Carmarthen attended the opening day of the 1699-1700 session, 16 Nov. 1699, but was only present on eight days of the session, nine per cent of the total, and was named to a single committee. At the beginning of December it was reported that Leeds had arrested Richard Hill, a recently appointed treasury commissioner, and significantly the only one not covered by parliamentary privilege, in order to try Carmarthen’s patent as auditor of the exchequer.90 Carmarthen left the House on 22 Jan. 1700, two and a half months before the session ended. Nevertheless, at the beginning of February, he was forecast as likely to oppose the bill to continue the East India Company as a corporation. 

At the beginning of April 1700, more evidence of Carmarthen’s chaotic personal life tumbled into the public domain when William Crisp petitioned the Crown on behalf of his daughter, Mary Morton, who, it was alleged, Carmarthen had ‘forcibly removed’, and ‘who still forcibly detains her, living lasciviously with her, and not only threatens to murder her, but daily beats and abuses her’. Crisp claimed that he could not get any peer to present his petition to the Lords. The petition was referred to the lord chief justice, Sir John Holt, for comment, who presumably advised that the law be allowed to take its course.91

At the start of October 1700 Carmarthen’s newly designed ship was almost ready, and he planned to wait on the king on his journey back from Holland.92 The Peregrine Galley was being used for reconnaissance in February 1701.93 It had been built ‘at the king’s charge out of the waste timber, &c. in one of the king’s yards’, in the hope that he would be granted the vessel in lieu of his arrears of his pension, then standing at £9,000, or that the king would take the vessel and grant him a pension of £1,000, double that granted in 1674, while he waited for the auditor’s office to become vacant.94 In the event William III took the ship shortly before his death, leaving Carmarthen to petition Queen Anne for his reward in August 1702. She seemed favourably inclined to give him the ship, only for the admiralty to object, and Carmarthen was rewarded with only £500. Even then he had the ignominy of being refused when he attempted to turn this into a pension in April 1703.95

Carmarthen missed the opening of the February 1701 Parliament, attending for the first time on 20 Feb. 1701. In all he was present on 32 days, 29 per cent of the total, and was appointed to three committees. On 3 Mar. he was able to insist on his privilege to protect his secretary, James Hadder, and steward, Richard Gerling, who had been arrested, the perpetrators being ordered into custody, some of them being discharged on 8, and another on 31 May. On 4 Mar., Benjamin Harris, the printer of the Post Man, was ordered to attend for some expressions made concerning the Peregrine Galley. After hearing Harris on 7 Mar., the House ordered a further hearing on 10 Mar. but Carmarthen did not attend again until 26 Mar. and the affair was either forgotten or some compromise was reached. On 2 Apr. he was named to manage a conference on the treaty of partition. It is unlikely that he attended the second conference, held on 10 Apr., as he did not attend the House between 9 and 15 Apr., nor between 18 Apr. and 14 May. On 17 June he voted for the acquittal of Somers.

In March 1701 it was reported that Carmarthen had declined to serve at sea during the summer unless given a flag.96 However in April he was listed as the captain of the Peregrine Galley.97 His naval employment must have been an important source of income, especially given his escalating debts. On 23 July, Leeds wrote to Lady Carmarthen to warn her that her husband’s creditors were intent on obtaining payment, but ‘finding that the mortgage I have upon all the lands will hinder their extents’, they would perhaps seek to secure their money on his personal estate.98

Carmarthen attended on the second day of the second Parliament of 1701, 31 Dec. 1701, and was named to the committee to draw up the Address on the King’s Speech, duly signing the address on the pretender being owned by France on the following day. At the end of January 1702, it was reported that Carmarthen would receive a commission as admiral.99 He was present on 11 Mar. 1702 to take the oaths to Queen Anne. His last attendance of the session was on 16 Mar., when he was named to his only other committee. In all, he had been present on just six days of the session, six per cent of the total.

The Early Parliaments of Queen Anne 1702-10

The accession of Queen Anne revived the possibility of Carmarthen reclaiming the office of auditor of the exchequer. On 12 May 1702 a caveat was entered at the relevant offices to prevent Halifax from being confirmed in his place and two days later a memorandum was drawn up for an approach to Lord Treasurer Godolphin. At this point the process stalled as in order to obtain his father’s backing, Carmarthen was forced to ‘leave his woman’, a reference to Mary Morton, and to sign over the office in trust for the use of Leeds, no doubt as a means of reducing his debts. After some wrangling, Carmarthen duly did both on 22 June.100 The following day Leeds wrote to Godolphin to arrange for Carmarthen to be admitted and sworn into the office.101 In July after an extensive hearing, with counsel deployed on both sides, Godolphin decided not to admit Carmarthen to the office, but he also ruled that Halifax’s current possession of the office should not ‘be construed to the prejudice of the other’s claim when the right comes to be tried in Westminster Hall.’102 The dispute then moved into the court of exchequer. Halifax was ordered to appear on 23 Oct., but was able to avoid appearing because the parliamentary session was about to begin and Carmarthen’s agent ‘durst’ not force him to attend. Following the prorogation of Parliament, in April 1703, Carmarthen tried again, but Halifax delayed matters before bringing in a demurrer on the last day of the Easter term. On 2 July, the court allowed the demurrer, mainly on the grounds that the lord treasurer had not admitted Carmarthen into the office. This left Carmarthen with no legal recourse, except to print his case in order to explain his actions.103

Carmarthen was reported to be going to sea in June 1702. Although he was in London on 20 Sept. he was absent at the beginning of the 1702-3 session and did not take his seat until 11 November.104 During the debate on occasional conformity on 9 Dec. his father clashed with his old foe, Ralph Montagu, now earl of Montagu. Halifax (and presumably Carmarthen) joined in the repartee. According to Thomas Coventry, 2nd earl of Coventry, Leeds told Halifax that ‘his family was raised by rebellion, but his own suffered by it’. At the rising of the House it was said that a challenge had been given as a result (though it was unclear by whom), and Halifax was said to have been ordered to be confined to his house in the custody of black rod, although no order was entered in the Journal.105 On the following day while the House was debating whether to confine Halifax further, Carmarthen came into the chamber and ‘protested he knew of no quarrel (but in relation to a suit at law) that was between them. He confessed he had written a letter last night, on this last mentioned subject, to the Lord H[alifax], but never intended it, as it appeared to be understood, for a challenge.’106 Both men were forced to give their word to the House not to prosecute the quarrel, and Carmarthen then stayed away from the Lords for a week. In January 1703, Nottingham forecast Carmarthen as likely to support his bill against occasional conformity. On 16 Jan. he voted against adhering to the Lords’ wrecking amendment to the penalty clause in the bill. He last attended on 18 Feb., having attended on 36 days, almost 40 per cent of the total. He also attended the prorogation on 22 April.

In April 1703 Carmarthen returned to the fray against Halifax, exhibiting a bill in exchequer ‘for some of the perquisites of the auditor’s place.’ On 1 July the judges ruled that Halifax did not have to give any account of his profits from the place of auditor to Carmarthen until he made good his title to the office.107 On 7 May Richard Warre noted that ‘Carmarthen is not to command at sea this summer, but will however enjoy his pension.’108 This seems to have been in part due to the need to attend to his lawsuit with Halifax. Because of the illness of Sir George Rooke it was decided that George Churchilland Sir Stafford Fairborne would replace him.109 As John Ellis confirmed, ‘by this revolution the marquess of Carmarthen is left on shore for this summer, much against his will, as he says.’110 He petitioned over his lack of employment, and in June it was ordered that he receive full pay as vice-admiral of the red.111 In May 1703 Leeds seems to have made an in-depth inquiry into his son’s debts and possible ways out of his encumbrances, and then tried to sort out his son’s affair with Mary Hill Morton, who claimed to be his wife, and to ensure that any children from that relationship did not threaten his family’s estate. Carmarthen’s misconduct had forced Leeds to make a third revision of his settlements.112 In June Leeds sought the advice of Sir William Trumbull, about how to prevent Mary Hill Morton from continuing to claim that she and Carmarthen were married and the consequent doubt thrown upon Carmarthen’s marriage to Bridget Hyde. Trumbull, who had long since given up practicing in the ecclesiastical courts, replied cautiously, suggesting that the best course was for Carmarthen to be persuaded to bring an action of jactitation in his own name.113

Carmarthen attended the prorogation on 4 Nov. 1703 and the opening day of the 1703-4 session on 9 November. He was then absent until 9 December. In or about November, he was forecast by Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, as likely to support the bill against occasional conformity, although there was a query against his name, which may relate to his absence. Sunderland again forecast him as likely to support the bill in late November or early December, and Carmarthen duly voted for it on 14 December. Between 4 Jan. and 9 Feb. 1704 he attended only once, on 14 Jan. when he acted as a teller in opposition to Evelyn Pierrepont, 5th earl of Kingston, on whether to reverse the judgment in the case of Ashby v. White. On 16 Mar. he entered his dissent to the passage of both amendments seeking to alter the names of commissioners in the public accounts bill (although he was not listed as present in the Journal). He last attended on 25 Mar. 1704, having been present on 28 days of the session, 28 per cent of the total. Carmarthen’s attempts to regain his naval command for the 1704 campaign were thwarted by the promotion of his junior, Fairborne, ahead of him.114

Carmarthen attended on the opening day of the 1704-5 session, 24 Oct. 1704. He was forecast as likely to support the Tack in a list compiled about November. However, he only attended twice more before the turn of the year, on 29 Nov. and 15 Dec. (the day the occasional conformity bill was rejected). A veritable burst of activity saw him present on several occasions in January and February 1705, before his activity tailed off after 10 February. In the middle of this, on 30 Jan., he received the proxy of his father.115 He last attended on 10 Mar., having been present on 22 days of the session, 22 per cent of the total. On 18 Feb. Leeds recorded that Carmarthen had ‘received orders to go to sea in command of a squadron’, and on 25 Mar. he departed from Wimbledon to take command of the convoy transporting Marlborough into Holland.116

Some idea of the scale of Carmarthen’s debts can be gleaned from a diary entry of his father on 19 Mar. 1705, which recorded that Leeds gave a Mr Vernon (probably his agent) a note for £300 as payment of Carmarthen’s interest on a loan of £12,000 (£5,000 from John Ashburnham, Baron Ashburnham and £7,000 from a Mr Emilie), for the half-year that had ended on 2 Mar. 1705. In December 1709, it appears that Ashburnham’s share of this mortgage was transferred to a Jon Trymme of Wimbledon, as a trustee for Leeds.117 Carmarthen embarked on the Cleveland yacht early in June 1705, on convoy duty.118 At the end of July Carmarthen, through the secretary of state, Robert Harley, the future earl of Oxford, was able to obtain ‘an opportunity to justify himself with relation to his late conduct’, before the admiralty.119 In August, the admiralty was able to report that they had received no complaints from merchants or others of his conduct.120

Carmarthen attended on the opening day of the 1705-6 session, 25 October. On 6 Dec. 1705 Carmarthen spoke in the debate on the queen’s speech, apparently speaking of ‘fighting for the Church’, and entered his protest against the passage of the resolution that the Church was ‘not in danger’. He was subsequently listed as having voted that it was in danger. He quarrelled again with Halifax over the auditorship of the exchequer in December: a duel was averted by the captain of the guards.121 Godolphin noted that Prince George, duke of Cumberland, had taken their word of honour that nothing further would happen in the matter, ‘but while such madmen are allowed to walk about and suffered to be among rational creatures, ’tis not possible for anybody to be secure from them’.122 Carmarthen attended on 19 days of the session, 20 per cent of the total and on 19 Mar. was appointed to the select committee to prepare an address to the queen on the manning of the fleet. 

In October 1706, Leeds criticized his daughter-in-law over a proposed marriage between her eldest son and Lady Elizabeth Hastings. It is clear from his comments that by this date Carmarthen had been cut out from the succession to most of his father’s estate.123 Carmarthen was absent from the opening of the 1706-7 session, first attending on 20 Dec. 1706, and attending only three times before February 1707. Thereafter his attendance markedly improved and in all he attended on 29 days of the session, 32 per cent of the total, and was named to eight committees. He also became involved in trying to influence a committee appointed in the Commons on 5 Apr. to examine ‘piracies committed in the East and West Indies’. According to Carmarthen’s later testimony, ‘he printed his reasons, gave them to Members of the Commons, procured evidence to be given to a committee and obtained an address to the queen for the suppression of the pirates.’124 The address to the queen for the suppression of the pirates of Madagascar was made on 8 Apr. and Carmarthen followed it up with a proposal for an expedition to affect the same, although nothing came of it.125 He also attended on two days of the short session of April 1707, 20 per cent of the total.

Carmarthen missed the beginning of the 1707-8 session, first sitting on 12 Nov. 1707. He did not attend again until 2 Dec. eventually attending on 23 days of the session, 21 per cent of the total. On 29 Jan. 1708, he was one of only three English peers to support the Scottish Captain Kerr against the complaints of some merchants that while serving in the West Indies he had neglected their convoy.126 From February 1708 until 1714, Carmarthen faced a struggle every quarter to ensure payment of his salary as admiral, against the claims of the bankers John and Joseph Newell, to whom he owed money, a matter complicated in turn by their own indebtedness to the Crown.127 His need to make such solicitations may have made him open to the pressures applied to a poor lord, albeit an unreliable one. 

On 29 May 1708, James Hamilton, 4th duke of Hamilton [S], informed Sunderland that Carmarthen’s presence at the election of Scottish representative peers ‘will do a great deal of hurt to our [proxies]’. Carmarthen had already given his proxy to John Gordon, 16th earl of Sutherland [S], and as he would be present to recall his proxy, this would give credence to the claim by James Ogilvy, earl of Seafield [S], that proxies could only be redeemed in person. In June 1708 when Carmarthen attended the elections in Edinburgh in his capacity as Viscount Dunblane [S], Patrick Hume, earl of Marchmont [S], ‘protested against the proxies from Lennox and Dunblane in the same terms as against the earl of Greenwich [John Campbell, duke of Argyll]’, that is, that he was also a peer of England. In retaliation Carmarthen protested against Marchmont casting the proxy of Thomas Livingston, 2nd Viscount Teviot [S], ‘as not on stamped paper nor sealed according to the laws of England’.128 At his father’s request, under importunity from Nottingham, Carmarthen voted for John Ker, duke of Roxburghe [S], thus disappointing James Douglas, 2nd duke of Queensberry [S].129 Despite this, the ‘desperately thin’ Carmarthen was expected to return from Scotland in Queensberry’s coach. Meanwhile he had fallen out with Hamilton, and been noticeably indiscreet in general, so that the ‘limping admiral,’ as Sir Alexander Rigby described him, ‘may chance to get a Sc[otti]sh stick before he gets back to Berwick.’130 At the end of July 1708, Carmarthen was suggested as the person most likely person to be able to smooth relations with the Czar following the arrest of the ambassador from Muscovy. Rather typically however, the secretary of state, Henry Boyle, the future Baron Carleton, had to say ‘I cannot yet learn where he is to be met with’.131 In late August, it was reported that Carmarthen had been appointed ambassador to ‘the angry Czar,’ although this was not the case.132

Carmarthen was absent from the first two months of the first, 1708-9, session of the 1708 Parliament, first sitting on 12 Jan. 1709. He was present to vote on 21 Jan. 1709 in favour of the resolution that a Scottish peer who possessed a British title had the right to vote in the election for Scottish representative peers. He attended only 10 days of the session, 10.5 per cent of the total. His poor attendance may have been a reflection of his interest in nautical matters, for on 14 Oct. Thomas Herbert, 8th earl of Pembroke, as lord admiral, agreed that Carmarthen should receive the same allowance as a navy commissioner for his trouble in attending ‘at Woolwich, for ordering and giving the proper directions for the building’ of a ship, and on 4 Nov. he signed a receipt to the commissioners of the navy that he had ‘actually been attending, inspecting into, and giving directions about the building, rigging and fitting the Royal Anne galley’ for 343 days.133 In February 1709 it was even reported that he had received a commission to command the fleet.134

Carmarthen missed the first few days of the 1709-10 session, sitting first on 25 Nov., and only attending on four occasions before the middle of February 1710. Then he attended regularly, sitting 31 days of the session, 30 per cent of the total. The obvious reason for his improved attendance was the Sacheverell impeachment. On 10 Mar. the House had to intervene to patch up a quarrel between Carmarthen and William Cavendish, 2nd duke of Devonshire, for some words which passed between them. On 14 Mar. he entered his dissent to the decision not to adjourn the House, and then against the vote that it was not necessary to include in the impeachment the particular words which were supposed to be criminal. On 16 Mar. Carmarthen subjected the House to ‘a tediously long speech’ recounting the events of 1688 and his role in them, which, when Charles Lennox, 3rd duke of Richmond, interrupted to call it ‘a long story’, he replied ‘it was reason to him and he’d go on with it if he kept them to the morning.’135 He entered protests against the proceedings on 16, 17 and 18 March. Not surprisingly, given the nature of his interventions, on 20 Mar. he voted Sacheverell not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours and protested against the guilty verdict. On 21 Mar. he dissented from the censure passed against him. 

Mrs Morton and the death of the old Duke of Leeds, 1710-12

In May 1710, Sunderland minuted allegations by Mr Crisp, brother-in-law of Mrs Morton, concerning Carmarthen and commissions from the Pretender. Information was also given of some indiscreet words allegedly uttered by Carmarthen during the Sacheverell riots, to the effect that ‘when the mobs were up they were fools, for if they would have been governed by him and other gentlemen with them they should have gone to the Bank for to get the treasure of the nation in their hands was everything.’ It was also reported that Crisp had been told that ‘his sister might be as great as any woman in England if she would consent to Lord Carmarthen’s engaging, that he was willing, but she was against it.’136 Further allegations from ‘Mrs Crisp’ (in fact Mary Hill Morton) were reported in August, to the effect that Carmarthen had threatened to kill the queen and Sunderland, although she claimed that he had said he could head a mob to seize the guards and Sunderland. After a report from the attorney and solicitor generals in October, Carmarthen was called before the council on 8 Nov., where he clarified that he had heard of articles from the Pretender some years before and that he believed that the Whigs would bring him in at the time of the Sacheverell trial. Further, he had wondered that the mob had not attacked the Bank rather than Burgess’s meeting house.137

In early November 1710, ‘Mrs Crisp’ preferred articles in queen’s bench against Carmarthen. He appeared in court on 14 Nov., supported by Henry Somerset, 2nd duke of Beaufort, Nicholas Leke, 4th earl of Scarsdale, Other Windsor, 2nd earl of Plymouth, and William North, 6th Baron North, where he gave bail for his good behaviour. He also declared ‘the greatness of his misfortune to have been so long seduced by so base and infamous a woman’. Leeds hoped now to put an end to her claim to have been validly married to Carmarthen.138 In December, Queensberry was attempting to question ‘Mrs Mary Hill Morton, who calls herself Lady Carmarthen’, over some treasonable matter.139 In December when the queen was given an account of Carmarthen’s ‘saying, that he was going to bring over the prince of Wales’, the queen responded that ‘there was no such thing under his hand: that it was spoke when he was drunk, and in the night with his mistress.’140 On 23 Jan. 1711 Carmarthen and Morton were hauled before the lord chief justice, Sir Thomas Parker, the future earl of Macclesfield, where ‘she was discharged and he continued under bail’.141

Meanwhile, seven months earlier on 23 June 1710, Leeds recorded that Carmarthen had gone on board his new ship, the Royal Anne galley, which underwent trials in early July. In September there were rumours that he might command the fleet.142 He was not appointed, though he did get, Sir Stafford Fairborne complained in June 1711, £1,000 a year from the navy, even though he had ‘never served at sea in a better post than myself and his lordship has not been honoured with better commissions.’143 On Harley’s list of 3 Oct. 1710, Carmarthen was assessed as being expected to support the new Tory ministry. On 6 Oct., a memorandum of Harley’s included a note about Dunblane’s proxy for the election of the Scottish representative peers.144 Queensberry had sent the proxy to David Boyle, earl of Glasgow [S], but there was a consensus that it should be transferred to David Wemyss, 4th earl of Wemyss [S], ‘for being in the other’s hands may be of bad consequence’. It was Glasgow, however, who cast Dunblane’s votes at the election held on 10 Nov. 1710.145

Carmarthen attended on 28 days of the 1710-11 session, 25 per cent of the total, half of his appearances coming in May and June at the end of the session. On 23 Mar. 1711 Carmarthen wrote to John Holles, duke of Newcastle, of ‘the extreme unhappiness of my condition’, hoping for a favour that would ‘rather pity than expose my unhappy circumstances.’146 At the end of March 1711 Leeds took out an exemplification of the sentence of the spiritual court on 24 Mar. confirming Carmarthen’s marriage to Bridget Hyde in April 1682.147 At the beginning of August 1711, Trumbull was given the news that Carmarthen’s daughter, Betty, would be married to the duke of Beaufort.148 Not coincidentally, on 22 Aug. Leeds received from Carmarthen, via Beaufort, ‘an instrument of renunciation of all appeals made by him against that sentence which was pronounced of his marriage in February the last 1710/11 and was then recorded in the spiritual court’, preventing a future challenge to his daughter’s legitimacy.149 On 24 Aug. Carmarthen’s proctor renounced all future appeals in the spiritual courts against his marriage in 1682.150 His daughter’s marriage took place on 14 Sept. 1711, with Leeds making the arrangements for the marriage portion to be paid.151 In late October 1711, when Leeds renewed the lease on Wimbledon, Carmarthen was removed from the reversion in favour of Leeds’ two grandsons and a cousin.152 This was in preparation for a comprehensive re-working of his settlements in January 1712, together with a new will, both of which confirmed Carmarthen’s exclusion in favour of his son and heir, also named Peregrine Osborne, the future 3rd duke of Leeds.153 In March 1712 Carmarthen publicly disowned Mary Hill Morton in the London Gazette as having ‘no manner of pretensions to the name of Carmarthen’.154

Crucially, Carmarthen was absent on the opening day of the 1711-12 session, on 7 Dec. 1711, when the House voted in the division on ‘No Peace Without Spain,’ being ‘at a tavern and came too late to vote.’155 Having been ‘sought’ by the ministry, he was in attendance the following day, when, along with Rivers, he ensured that a division was started on whether to reverse the previous day’s decision, which was subsequently abandoned. As Arthur Charlett was informed ‘Carmarthen was absent yesterday, but today was there and gave occasion for more confusion and disorder than has been usual in that honourable House.’156 He entered his dissent to the address because of the ‘No Peace without Spain clause’. On 19 Dec. he was forecast as likely to support Hamilton’s right to sit in the Lords under his British title. He voted accordingly the following day and entered a protest when the motion disabling Hamilton was passed. He was listed by Oxford as one of those Lords to be contacted during the Christmas recess, to what effect is uncertain, for although he was present on 2 Jan. 1712 to argue on the court side in favour of complying with the queen’s request that the House adjourn until 14 Jan., he was then absent until 7 Mar. 1712, registering his proxy on 12 Jan. with his son-in-law, Beaufort.157 From 3 Apr. he was absent for another month, attending again on 5 May, when he secured the release of a servant from custody under parliamentary privilege, the offending bailiff being discharged on 22 May. He then attended regularly until the end of the session. He acted as a teller in opposition to Francis Seymour Conway, Baron Conway, on 19 May in a division on the grants bill in committee of the whole House, and voted on 28 May against a Whig motion for an address that Ormond be ordered to act offensively in Flanders, in the wake of the discovery of the restraining orders. Carmarthen had attended on 37 days of the session, 33 per cent of the total and been named to six committees. 

Carmarthen attended the prorogation on 8 July 1712. On 26 July his father died, unexpectedly, while en route to Yorkshire. Having been excluded from the estate by his father’s settlement, the new duke nevertheless travelled to Yorkshire to take possession of the family estates, which he did in the early hours of 28 July.158 Clearly expecting trouble, on 23 Aug. the now duchess of Leeds wrote to Oxford craving the queen’s protection for herself and her son (now styled marquess of Carmarthen). Oxford was an obvious person to appeal to as arrangements were being made for Harley’s daughter Elizabeth to marry the new heir. Early in October 1712, after an approach by Montagu Bertie, 2nd earl of Abingdon, and Philip Bisse, bishop of St Davids, to attempt to persuade the new duke of Leeds to meet his son Carmarthen, Carmarthen (with the advice of Oxford) adopted a conciliatory line pointing out to his father that the first duke had ‘long determined this manner of settlement and had taken thereon the best advice England could afford… this was no sudden resolution of my grandfather’s, so the trustees find themselves sufficiently supported in law and equity.’ Further, although Leeds had taken possession of Kiveton, ‘the usual methods of dispossessing your grace are yet foreborn by the trustees, which is designed as an instance that an accommodation is heartily desired.’159 In November Leeds was still holding out for a settlement of part of the family estates.160 His father had left him only £2,000 p.a. (leaving most of his estate to his grandson), and in return for not contesting the will Oxford promised him the continuation of his father’s post office pension of £3,500 a year. Leeds agreed to the marriage but when the promised pension did not materialize, later claimed that Oxford had tricked him, having never approached the queen on his behalf, although it seems likely that Oxford could not persuade the queen to grant the reversion.161 On 7 Dec. Oxford received proposals from Leeds for a settlement. Leeds at that stage wanted to be master of the ordnance, describing himself as ‘far better qualified for that employment than any other person whose quality can entitle him to such a pretention,’ as well as his father’s post office pension and the use of Wimbledon for five years. In return Kiveton would be returned within two months, his father’s ‘pretended will’ accepted and his wife’s patrimony secured.162 With the marriage imminent, on 10 Dec. Leeds wrote to Oxford with some urgency desiring an immediate interview, threatening that ‘now I am my own master’, he would not countenance the marriage without reconciliation with his son. Oxford in response denied any underhand dealings, especially in relations between father and son, claiming ‘the late duke by deed directed everything relating to the settlement at his grandson’s marriage.’163 Carmarthen’s marriage led to some speculation upon Leeds’ role in the ministry and in late December, Leeds was rumoured to be likely to be made the first commissioner of the admiralty.164 Oxford could have been under no misapprehension of the scale of Leeds’s indebtedness: in January 1713 he even received a letter complaining of debts contracted in 1691 ‘to pay the draper for liveries and the goldsmith for 14 badges for his watermen when he was steward of the Yorkshire feast, like a man of his quality, where his now duchess, the countess of Plymouth and most of his noble family were present.’165

The Hanoverian Succession and Exile, 1713-27

Leeds attended the prorogations of 17 Feb. 1713, when he took his seat as duke of Leeds, and of 3 and 17 March. On Jonathan Swift’s list, annotated by Oxford, dating from mid March to early April 1713, Leeds was listed as being expected to support the ministry. He first attended the 1713 session on 21 Apr., sitting on 25 days, 32 per cent of the total. He was present on 5 June when the Scots’ attempt to put off the second reading of the malt tax failed by one vote, and was noted as one of those ‘wanting on the court side’. On 8 June 1713, when the bill was considered in committee of the whole House John Elphinstone, 4th Lord Balmerinoch [S], accused Leeds of making ‘long speeches full of nonsense and compliments to us’, and added that ‘when all was over [he] told Seafield and me that we must be pleased and for that purpose that an act of Parliament must be made to rectify that affair of our peerage’.166 About 13 June Leeds was forecast by Oxford as likely to support the bill confirming the eighth and ninth articles of the French commercial treaty. One of his closest political associates was William Paston, 2nd earl of Yarmouth: when Robert Ferguson had intelligence that there would be an attack on Oxford on 26 June 1713, at which several peers would absent themselves, including Yarmouth, he added ‘that it is not to be doubted, but that in consequence thereof the duke of Leeds will be likewise’.167

By June 1713 Leeds, or his agents, had been in possession of the Yorkshire estates for almost a year, and in that time they had been run down and the personal estate of the old duke squandered. For Carmarthen, Oxford was the key to acquiring possession of his estate, presumably by the lord treasurer persuading the queen to transfer his grandfather’s pension to Leeds.168 By October even Oxford was beginning to evince some exasperation: ‘I long have seen the endeavours used to work upon his grace’s passions to hinder his making his family easy and himself happy’, he wrote, and suspected that ‘I find the more the duke is courted the more some people persuade him to stand off’.169 On 13 Oct., however, Leeds wrote to tell Oxford that ‘I have this day executed the enclosed writings according to your Lordship’s desire’.170 By 19 Oct. Oxford was working on the queen to provide for Leeds, while asking Carmarthen to exercise restraint in sending any servants into Yorkshire and thereby provoking his father.171

In November 1713, Leeds and Oxford were godfathers at the christening of their grandson, Thomas Osborne, the future 4th duke of Leeds.172 Allegedly, Leeds asked that the child not be given his name ‘because he thought he had been a very unfortunate man to his family.’173 In December Leeds finally ceded possession of the family estates to his son.174 On 20 Feb. 1714, the London Gazette carried a further repudiation of the claims that Leeds had been married to Mary Morton, making reference to two trials, one in the court of common pleas before lord chief justice Thomas Trevor, Baron Trevor, on 12 July 1712, and the other before Lord Chief Justice Parker in February, which had found against her.175

Leeds attended on the opening day of the 1714 session on 2 March. On 2 Apr. Oxford had Leeds listed in a memorandum as one of a number of peers to write to, and coincidentally he attended the Lords on that day for the first time since 19 March. On 13 Apr. Leeds proposed that the word ‘industriously’ should be added to the address to the queen so that it read that the fears for the protestant succession had been ‘universally and industriously spread’, which was carried by two votes.176 On 28 Apr. Oxford gave Leeds £200 out of his own pocket ‘for the queen’s service.’177 On 13 May Leeds received the proxy of his son, who had been summoned to the House by a writ in acceleration in January 1713. He was forecast by Nottingham as likely to support the schism bill at the end of May or the beginning of June 1714. In all he attended on 31 days of the session, 39 per cent of the total.

Leeds did not attend the short session of August 1714, but he was present at the prorogation on 23 Sept. 1714, taking the oaths. In November the treasury ordered that he be paid his salary as admiral up until the time of the queen’s death.178 However, with his financial predicament still dire, on 27 July 1715 Leeds took ship for France.179 According to one account his flight was the result of shooting his son’s steward, a Mr Bradshaw of the Temple, in a dispute over his annuity. Other reports had him accumulating arms, ammunition and horses and preparing commissions before his flight.180 In 1716 he was appointed admiral and commander-in-chief of the Jacobite fleet, and spent some years in exile before returning and eventually resuming his career in the Lords in 1724.181 He died on 25 June 1729. John Macky, writing when Carmarthen was about 50, had summed up his character: after praising his skill as a sailor he added ‘but [he] is very rakish, and extravagant, in his manner of living, otherwise he had risen quicker; he is strong and active, with abundance of fire and does not want wit; he is bold enough to undertake anything.’182


  • 1 Browning, Danby, i. 22.
  • 2 Browning, Danby, i. 68; HMC 6th Rep. 368.
  • 3 Eg. 3338, ff. 92-93.
  • 4 HP Commons 1660-90, iii. 184.
  • 5 Dalton, English Army Lists 1661-1714, iii. 135.
  • 6 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 155; iv. 435; Dalton, iii. 8.
  • 7 HP, Commons 1660-90, iii. 184.
  • 8 Marvell ed. Margoliouth, ii. 315-16; Guildhall Studies, ii. 16.
  • 9 East, Portsmouth Recs. 362.
  • 10 Poole archives, B17.
  • 11 J. Malden, Reg. of York Freemen 1680 to 1986, p. 361.
  • 12 CTB, xvii. 955.
  • 13 LJ xvi. 437.
  • 14 CSP Dom. 1673-5, p. 449.
  • 15 Verney ms mic. M636/28, Sir R. to E. Verney, 3, 21 Dec. 1674.
  • 16 HP Commons 1660-90, iii. 184.
  • 17 Bodl. Carte 243, ff. 174-5.
  • 18 Verney ms mic. 636/28, J. to E. Verney, 14 Jan. 1674/5.
  • 19 CTB iv. 446.
  • 20 Add. 28040, f. 9; 28086, ff. 1-2; CTB iv. 868.
  • 21 CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 299.
  • 22 Browning, Danby, ii. 299; HMC Hodgkin, 189.
  • 23 HMC Portland, ii. 153.
  • 24 Browning, Danby, i. 345, 349.
  • 25 Guildhall Studies, 19.
  • 26 Add. 28072, ff. 1-2.
  • 27 Carte, 232, ff. 123-4.
  • 28 HMC Finch, ii. 182.
  • 29 Verney ms mic. 636/37, J. Stewkeley to Sir R. Verney, 23 Apr. 1683.
  • 30 Add. 72523, ff. 58-59.
  • 31 Browning, Danby, i. 376; ii. 128-31; Add. 28050, f. 54.
  • 32 Add. 28050, ff. 58-60.
  • 33 Add. 28094, ff. 187-8.
  • 34 Browning, Danby, i. 377; Eg. 3335, f. 1.
  • 35 CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 175; Dalrymple, Mems. (1773), ii. app. 1, pp. 217-8.
  • 36 HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 460.
  • 37 HMC Dartmouth, i. 138.
  • 38 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 350, 356, 406; Reresby Mems. 529; HMC Le Fleming, 220, 227; HMC 14th Rep. IX, 449-50.
  • 39 CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 159.
  • 40 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 142, 149; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 550, 552; Browning, Danby, i. 455-6.
  • 41 CJ, x. 197, 196, 200.
  • 42 Eg. 3337, ff. 162-3; Verney ms mic. M636/44, J. to Sir R. Verney, 18 Feb. 1689[-90]; Browning, Danby, i. 466.
  • 43 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 76; CSP Dom. 1690-1, pp. 68-69.
  • 44 Portledge Pprs. 91.
  • 45 Verney ms mic. 636/44, J. to Sir R. Verney, 5 Nov. 1690.
  • 46 Add. 70014, f. 381.
  • 47 CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 199.
  • 48 Horwitz, Parl. Pols. 65.
  • 49 Browning, Danby, i. 441, ii. 160, 164.
  • 50 CSP Dom. 1695, addenda 1691, pp. 166-73.
  • 51 Verney ms mic. 636/44, J. to Sir R. Verney, 14 Apr. 1691.
  • 52 Present State of Europe, 1 May 1691; HMC Finch, iii. 80, 170.
  • 53 Luttrell Diary, 22.
  • 54 Verney ms mic. 636/45, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 19 Nov. 1691.
  • 55 CJ x. 553-4.
  • 56 Luttrell Diary, 36.
  • 57 CJ x. 587.
  • 58 LJ xiv. 675.
  • 59 CJ x. 588.
  • 60 Luttrell Diary, 79.
  • 61 Add. 28094, ff. 187-8; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 465; Add. 61296, f. 91.
  • 62 CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 346; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 3.
  • 63 State Trials, xii. 1048; UNL, PwA 2381-4.
  • 64 HMC Finch, v. 19, 34, 106.
  • 65 CSP Dom. 1693, p. 216; HMC Finch, v. 180; HMC Downshire, i. 430.
  • 66 Browning, Danby, i. 505-6.
  • 67 Childs, Brit. Army of Wm. III, 232-6; Carte 79, f. 542.
  • 68 Add. 34351, ff. 7, 9-40.
  • 69 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 445, 451, 456.
  • 70 Eg. 3384, ff. 93-105.
  • 71 HMC Lindsey Supp. 60-61; CSP Dom. 1695, p.344.
  • 72 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 506.
  • 73 Burnet, iv. 278; HMC Portland, iii. 564.
  • 74 Verney ms mic. 636/48, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 22, 24 Oct. 1695.
  • 75 HMC Lords, n.s. ii. 69-74.
  • 76 HMC Hastings, ii. 256.
  • 77 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 79.
  • 78 Post Boy, 17 Sept. 1696; Add. 72486, f. 79.
  • 79 HMC 14th Rep. IX, 457.
  • 80 Cross, Peter the Great Through British Eyes, 13, 20.
  • 81 Britain and Russia in the Age of Peter the Great ed. Dixon, 22-24.
  • 82 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 342, 357, 371; Post Boy, 31 Mar. 1698; Britain and Russia in the Age of Peter the Great, 23.
  • 83 Lowther Corresp. 570; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 363, 372.
  • 84 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 389, 399.
  • 85 Add. 28086, f. 9; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 423, 425; CTB, xiv. 7.
  • 86 Add. 28086, ff. 18, 42-43.
  • 87 CTB xiv. 176; Add. 28086, ff. 20-40, 42.
  • 88 HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 293, 393.
  • 89 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 501.
  • 90 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 590.
  • 91 CSP Dom. 1700-2, p.1.
  • 92 Flying Post, 1 Oct. 1700; Bodl. Ballard 26, f. 37.
  • 93 London Post, 24 Feb. 1701.
  • 94 CTP 1702-1707, p. 56.
  • 95 CTB xvii. 71, 75, 79; xviii. 39.
  • 96 Carte 228, ff. 396-7.
  • 97 CSP Dom. 1700-2, p. 302.
  • 98 Add. 38849, ff. 204-5.
  • 99 Flying Post, 27, 29 Jan. 1702.
  • 100 Add. 28086, ff. 44-45.
  • 101 Browning, Danby, ii. 228.
  • 102 CTB, xxvii. 51-54; Add. 72498, ff. 47-8, 50.
  • 103 Add. 28086, ff. 44-45, 80-81.
  • 104 Add. 22852, f. 69.
  • 105 Badminton House, Coventry pprs. FMT/B1/1/1/20.
  • 106 Nicolson, London Diaries, 142.
  • 107 Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 290, 314.
  • 108 Add. 61412, f. 118.
  • 109 CSP Dom. 1703-4, pp. 388-90.
  • 110 Add. 61412, f. 127.
  • 111 CSP Dom. 1703-4, pp. 28-29.
  • 112 Eg. 3385B, ff. 85, 88-91.
  • 113 Add. 72539, f. 131.
  • 114 CSP Dom. 1703-4, p. 390.
  • 115 Add 28041, f. 2 has diary entry of 31 Jan. 1705.
  • 116 Add. 28041, ff. 3-4; London Gazette, 9 Apr. 1705.
  • 117 Add. 28041, ff. 4, 21.
  • 118 HMC Portland, ii. 190; London Gazette, 18 June 1705.
  • 119 Add. 70330, Harley to Prince’s Council.
  • 120 HMC Portland, viii. 192.
  • 121 Verney ms mic. M636/53, R. Palmer, to Fermanagh, 19 Dec. 1705; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 622.
  • 122 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 513.
  • 123 Browning, Danby, ii. 230.
  • 124 Add. 70305, ‘memo of the mq. of Carmarthen’.
  • 125 HMC Portland, viii. 293-4.
  • 126 Manchester, Court and Soc. ii. 271.
  • 127 CTB xxii. 5, 47; xxiii. 466; xiv. 99; xxv. 81, 90; xvi. 483; xxix. 187.
  • 128 Add. 61628, ff. 91, 114-17, 135-7.
  • 129 Scot. Hist. Soc. ser. 2, xi. 185.
  • 130 Add. 28055, ff. 406-11.
  • 131 Add. 61128, ff. 103-5.
  • 132 Ballard 7, f. 120.
  • 133 Add. 61580, ff. 78, 166; 61500, f. 68.
  • 134 Post Boy, 3 Feb. 1709.
  • 135 HJ, xix. 771.
  • 136 Add. 61500, f. 133.
  • 137 HMC 13th Rep. IV, 495-6.
  • 138 Browning, Danby, ii. 232-3; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 653.
  • 139 Add. 28094, ff. 186-7.
  • 140 Hamilton Diary, 17.
  • 141 Add. 28041, f. 28.
  • 142 Add. 28041, f. 24; Evening Post, 6 July 1710; Clavering Corresp. (Surtees Soc. clxxviii), 94.
  • 143 Add. 70292, Fairborne to Oxford, 20 June 1711.
  • 144 Add. 70333, Harley memo. [6 Oct. 1710].
  • 145 HMC Portland, x. 348; iv. 622; NLS, ms 1026, ff. 62-63.
  • 146 HMC Portland, ii. 225-6.
  • 147 Add. 28041, f. 28.
  • 148 Add. 72491, f. 40.
  • 149 Add. 28041, f. 30.
  • 150 Eg. 3385B, ff. 129-30.
  • 151 Add. 28041, f. 32.
  • 152 Add. 28041, f. 31.
  • 153 Add. 70273, ‘abstract of … Leeds’s settlement’, abstract of will.
  • 154 London Gazette, 27 Mar. 1712.
  • 155 BLJ, xix. 157.
  • 156 Hamilton Diary, 32-33, 89; Wentworth Pprs. 222-3; PH, ii. 191-2.
  • 157 Wentworth Pprs. 239.
  • 158 Verney ms mic. 636/54, R. Palmer to Fermanagh, [19 Aug. 1712]; Eg. 3385B, f. 141.
  • 159 Add. 70250, duchess of Leeds to Oxford, 23 Aug. [1712], Carmarthen to Leeds (draft by Harley), 6 Oct. 1712.
  • 160 Add. 70218, E. Collins to Oxford, 11 Nov. 1712.
  • 161 Add. 28094, ff. 187-8.
  • 162 Add. 70273, ‘Proposals of the duke of Leeds’.
  • 163 Add. 70250, Leeds to Oxford, 10 Dec. 1712, Oxford to Leeds, 10 Dec. 1712 (copy).
  • 164 British Mercury, 24 Dec. 1712.
  • 165 Add. 70254, Ricord to Oxford, 20 Jan. 1713.
  • 166 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 159, 161.
  • 167 Add. 70225, R. Ferguson to [?J. Netterville], 22 June 1713.
  • 168 Add. 70250, ‘State’ of Carmarthen’s affairs in relation to ‘Keeton’, Carmarthen to Oxford, 18 June [1713].
  • 169 Eg. 3385A, ff. 59-60.
  • 170 Add. 70250, Leeds to Oxford, 13 Oct. 1713.
  • 171 Eg. 3385A, ff. 63-64.
  • 172 Add. 72501, f. 61.
  • 173 Add. 70149, Russell to A. Harley, 17 Nov. [1713].
  • 174 Add. 70197, H. Farrant to [Oxford], 15 Dec. 1713.
  • 175 London Gazette, 20 Feb. 1714.
  • 176 Wentworth Pprs. 369 [misdated]; Haddington mss, Mellerstain letters 6, George Baillie to wife, 13 Apr. 1714; Add. 47087, f. 68; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow letters, Quarto 8, f. 97.
  • 177 Add. 70033, f. 52.
  • 178 CTB xxix. 35.
  • 179 St James’s Evening Post, 2 Aug. 1715.
  • 180 Verney ms mic. 636/55, Palmer to R. Verney, 11 Aug. 1715; D. Szechi, 1715: The Great Jacobite Rebellion, 92.
  • 181 Add. 28050, f. 130.
  • 182 Macky Mems. 170.