SCOTT, James (1649-85)

SCOTT (formerly CROFTS), James (1649–85)

cr. 14 Feb. 1663 duke of MONMOUTH; cr. 20 Apr. 1663 (regrant 16 Jan. 1666) duke of Buccleuch [S]

First sat 24 Oct. 1670; last sat 28 Mar. 1681

b. 9 Apr. 1649, 1st s. (illegit.) of Charles II with Lucy Walters (d.1658). educ. Thomas Ross, tutor and governor. m. 20 Apr. 1663 Anne (Anna) (1651-1731) suo jure countess of Buccleuch [S], 2nd da. of Francis Scott, 2nd earl of Buccleuch [S] and Margaret, da. of John Leslie, earl of Rothes [S], step-da. of David Wemyss, 2nd earl of Wemyss [S], 5s. (3 d.v.p.), 3da. (2 d.v.p.); 1s. (illegit.) with Elizabeth Waller, da. of Sir William Waller; 4 ch. (illegit.) with Eleanor, da. of Sir Robert Needham; ?1s. with Henrietta Wentworth, suo jure Baroness Wentworth, da. of Thomas Wentworth, 5th Bar. Wentworth. KG, 28 Mar. 1663. executed 15 July 1685.

Capt. tp. of horse, 1666, 1st Life Gds. 1668; lt. gen. and cdr. English brig. in French service (Royal English regt.),1 1672-3; capt.-gen. land forces England Wales and Berwick 1678, Scotland 1679.

PC 29 Apr. 1670; PC [S] 1674; ld. high chamb. [S] 1673-d.; commr. admiralty 9 July 1673-14 May 1679, surrender of New York 16752; master of the horse 1674; chan. Camb. Univ. 1674-82.

C.j. Trent S., 1672-9.3

Ld. lt., Yorks. (E. Riding) and Kingston-upon-Hull, Apr. 1673-1679, Staffs. 1677-9; high steward Kingston-upon-Hull 1673-9,4 Stafford 1677; gov. Sutton Charterhouse 1675.

Mbr. Co. Royal fishery of England 1677.

Associated with: Whitehall; Chiswick; ‘John Ashburnham’s House, Chiswick’;5 Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Herts. (1671-d.).6

Likenesses: miniature by S. Cooper, c.1664-5, Royal Collection; oil on canvas, after Sir P. Lely, National Trust, Chirk Castle; oil on canvas, attrib. M. Beale, Warwick Shire Hall; oil on canvas, after Sir G. Kneller, c.1678, NPG 5225.

As the eldest and most favoured of Charles II’s illegitimate sons, Monmouth occupied an ambivalent position in English political and courtly life. His life before 1660 had been complicated and highly disrupted as a result of his mother’s string of relationships in the exiled court. Known as James Crofts as a result of being placed to live with William Crofts, Baron Crofts, following his abduction from, and the death of, his mother in 1658, he had very little formal education; Queen Henrietta Maria took an interest in his upbringing (which was presumably when he received instruction in the Catholic faith from Stephen Goffe), and ‘frequently had him brought to her, and used him with much grace’.7 He was brought to England, by the queen mother, only in mid-1662. He was seen at court on 7 Sept. by Samuel Pepys, who described him as ‘a most pretty spark’, who ‘doth hang much upon my Lady Castlemaine, and is alway with her’. He became something of a favourite at court—liked and admired not only by Castlemaine, Charles II’s principal mistress, and the king himself, but also by both queens.8

Soon after his arrival in England arrangements were made for his marriage to Anne Scott, the young heiress to the vast Buccleuch fortune, a proposal which emanated, according to Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, from George Monck, duke of Albemarle, and John Maitland, 2nd earl (later duke) of Lauderdale [S] and later earl of Guilford, and the execution of which was largely entrusted to Lauderdale.9 Proposals drawn up in October 1662 included a demand from the Buccleuch tutors (or guardians) that he receive letters of legitimation.10 This was a procedure under Scottish law that conferred the public rights of lawfully born children, including the right of devising and bequeathing property, but which fell short of full legitimation as understood under English law in that it did not allow the person so legitimated to prejudice the right of any third party by claiming the same rights of inheritance as a legitimate child.11 It was a misunderstanding of this procedure with those familiar with English rather than Scots law that led to the first rumours of an intention to legitimate the young man and to declare him to be the heir to the crown. Pepys referred to the rumour on 27 Oct. 1662 that the king and his mother had in fact been married and he was legitimate, long before it had become apparent that Charles II would have no legitimate children and just over a week after a request for letters of legitimation had been made by countess of Buccleuch’s tutors. 12 The king was still seeking advice from Scots lawyers about the mechanics of this procedure in December 1662.13

Clarendon, as lord chancellor, was also consulted by the king about the marriage contract and the king’s plans to provide his son with a title. Clarendon was opposed to the provision of the title, arguing that he would become duke of Buccleuch on his marriage in any case, and objected too (as he explained in his own later account) to the description of James (presumably in the contract) as the king’s ‘natural son’,

which was never, at least in many ages, used in England, and would have an ill sound in England with all his people, who thought that those unlawful acts ought to be concealed, and not published and justified. That France indeed had, with inconvenience enough to the crown, raised some families of those births; but it was always from women of great quality, and who had never been tainted with any other familiarity. And that there was another circumstance required in Spain… which was that the king took care for the good education of that child whom he believed to be his, but never publicly owned or declared him to be such, till he had given some notable evidence of his inheriting or having acquired such virtues and qualities as made him in the eyes of all men worthy of such a descent.14

The king, he wrote, had commented that the queen mother had adopted the same view. Nevertheless, on 10 Nov. a warrant was issued for his creation as duke of Monmouth (in which his future wife’s surname of Scott was adopted as his own, one of the conditions of the marriage contract), and although the letters patent were not issued until February 1663, the title was in use from at least November 1662.15 Clarendon’s comments were not directly related to the claim of legitimation, though they certainly suggested that he would have been hostile to it, and if not out of considerations of propriety, it might be imagined that he would certainly have been concerned about its impact on the rights of his son-in-law, the king’s brother James, duke of York. York would later deny that it had been Clarendon who had encouraged his concerns about Monmouth and his patents.16 But that York was concerned about the case was apparent from the advice tendered to the bride’s mother by her adviser Sir Gideon Scott, who wrote that,

if the ordinary term and practice of legitimation be thought offensive in the duke of Monmouth’s case, that some other course be taken (with the advice and approbation of the earl of Clarendon, lord high chancellor of England) whereby the heirs of the marriage betwixt the duke and lady may not be prejudged by bastardy, but that they may succeed to the estate and dignity of Buccleuch. And that the consideration thereof be not superficially passed over, by acquiescing in the solution of a mistated query of little difficulty or importance, such as whether the duke of Monmouth’s legitimation be necessary as to his peerage and movable, or personal, estate, without moving the question, as to his heritable estate. And that both in this particular of the legitimation, and his assuming arms, such a solid and safe course may be taken, as may neither provoke his highness the duke of York, nor prejudge the heirs of the marriage in their succession to their parents heritable estate.17

Pepys picked up a rumour at the end of December 1662 that the status of the new duke had already become an issue at court between the king and York ‘in case the Queen should not be with child’.18 When George Digby, 2nd earl of Bristol, charged Clarendon of high treason in the summer of 1663, one of his more plausible claims was that by raising issues about Monmouth’s legitimacy he had ‘endeavoured to alienate the affections’ of the duke of York from the king.19 Another issue about the proposed marriage contract was that it violated the terms of the Buccleuch family entail and so had to be ratified by the Scottish parliament, which arguably exceeded its powers in doing so.20 Disputes over the Buccleuch estate and its encumbrances continued well into the 1670s.

In the event no letters of legitimation were issued for Monmouth, but rumours of his imminent legitimation would surface regularly for the rest of his life, particularly (but not exclusively) at times of crisis such as the fall of Clarendon in 1667 and the debates over exclusion in 1678-81. James II himself believed that it was his original governor, Thomas Ross, who had encouraged Monmouth to believe in his legitimacy in the first place, and recounted a story that he had attempted to persuade John Cosin, bishop of Durham, who had been Lucy Walter’s confessor while she was in Flanders, to sign a certificate stating that she had indeed married the king. He refused, and reported the approach to the king, who soon sacked Ross.21 Misunderstandings about the king’s intentions towards his son were aggravated during the discussions of his peerage in late 1662 by the decision to give Monmouth precedence over all the dukes except York and Prince Rupert, duke of Cumberland, which was somewhat unrealistically ascribed to the heralds rather than to the king.22 Around the time of his marriage, in the king’s chamber at Whitehall on 20 Apr., there were further indications of the king’s ambivalence about Monmouth’s illegitimacy that raised eyebrows: a grant of arms that initially excluded the bar sinister, the standard visual reference to Monmouth’s bastardy, and an incident later in the month in which the king permitted Monmouth to wear a hat whilst dancing with the queen.23 Similar marks of favour were evident in the decision to allow Monmouth to wear deep mourning for the duchess of Savoy in 1664 ‘so that he mourns as a prince of the blood, while the duke of York doth no more and all the nobles of the land not so much’; and in the frequency with which, in various official documents Monmouth was described as the king’s son rather than his natural son.24 The king’s favour to Monmouth and the idea that he might be made legitimate was a persistent theme of court gossip throughout the 1660s.25

Monmouth and his prospective wife were set up financially in December 1662 with a grant of the monopoly of the export of new drapery, giving him an annual income of £8,000; there were further grants in 1663. Added to this in 1665 was a pension of £6,000 a year, in addition to the income from the Buccleuch estates, which James II thought amounted to £10,000 a year, albeit involving litigation that went on for years.26 It was evidently not enough: the annual running costs of the young couple’s establishment were about £12,000 a year.27 Monmouth moreover mixed with like-minded, wealthy and similarly spoiled young men, pursuing a life of extravagance. The management of his affairs during his minority were entrusted in 1665 to a commission consisting of Lauderdale, Crofts, Charles Berkeley, Viscount Fitzharding [I] (created earl of Falmouth in March of that year), John Berkeley, Baron Berkeley of Stratton, John Ashburnhamand William Ashburnham, Henry Coventry, Sir Thomas Clifford, later Baron Clifford, and Edward Thurland (a commission with implications for Lauderdale’s control over Monmouth’s Scottish affairs and which he was highly concerned to review).28 Nevertheless, though the chance survival of a set of accounts suggests that his ‘extraordinary’ expenses alone for the year 1675-6 were over £800, this seems a considerable under-estimate of his expenditure in the 1660s: the king encouraged it by providing in December 1667 an annual grant of £4,000 ‘for the king’s suppers at his lodgings’, and in that year Monmouth was granted an advance on the pension in 1667 of £18,000 in order to pay his debts. The pension itself was increased in January 1673 to £8,000, with a further grant later that year of £1,000 a year.29 Monmouth had some experience of active service in the fleet during the war with the Dutch in 1665.30 His main activities as he approached his majority, however, were less character-building. Pepys regarded him as a dissipated, if energetic, youth, and welcomed rumours that he was to go as observer in the campaign in Spain in 1667, remarking that it would ‘be becoming him much more then to live whoreing and rogueing of it here, as he now does’.31 The king seems to have treated him as one of his most regular companions, especially by 1667.32 His friendship with George Villiers, 2nd duke of Buckingham, suggested the beginnings of a significant political alliance: by dining with Buckingham—at the time in disgrace with the king—when he gave himself up at the end of June 1667 was a firm indication of his sympathies.33 The fall of Clarendon at the end of August gave rise to new rumours about Monmouth’s legitimation, as well as a claim that the king had in fact married Lucy Walter: the rumours would continue for the rest of Monmouth’s life (and beyond).34 Monmouth by early 1669 was mentioned as a possible appointee as lord deputy of Ireland, despite his being underage; the French ambassadors certainly identified him as worth cultivating, given the king’s fondness for him.35

On attaining his majority, Monmouth was brought onto the Privy Council; the king bought Moor Park for him from James Butler, duke of Ormond [I] (also earl of Brecknock); and he was summoned to the House of Lords on 21 Oct. 1670. He took his seat on the first day of the 1670-1 session. There was little in his previous carer either as a courtier or as a soldier to suggest that he took any interest in politics and this was amply confirmed by his attendance—less than 20 per cent—during the session. He was named to only three committees: he was in the House on 24 Mar. 1671 when along with everyone present in the chamber he was nominated to the committee for the bill to prevent the growth of popery; he was also named to the committee for Herlackenden’s bill on 17 Apr. and to that for the better observation of the Sabbath on 20 April. Early in the morning of 21 Dec. 1670, it was men from Monmouth’s troop who attacked Sir John Coventry and slit his nose after he had made remarks in the Commons that were construed to be offensive to the king and his relationship with the actress Nell Gwyn, causing fury in the lower House: Coventry’s assailants were said to have been protected by the court, with one of them, perhaps William O’Brien, Lord O’Brien [I], later 2nd earl of Inchiquin [I], said to have taken refuge in Monmouth’s lodgings.36 Two months later, Monmouth was himself involved in street violence: on 25 Feb. 1671 he was in London carousing with the eighteen-year old Christopher Monck, 2nd duke of Albemarle, with other dissolute young noblemen when he was involved in an altercation at a brothel that led to the death of a local beadle. All concerned were promptly pardoned by the king, ‘an act of great scandal’, Andrew Marvell wrote. 37 Soon afterwards, in mid-April, Monmouth went over to Dunkirk ‘to compliment’ Louis XIV, and was again said (inaccurately) to be due to succeed Berkeley in charge of Ireland.38 During early 1671 Monmouth, and his duchess, seem to have attempted to assert their control over their estate, in particular against Lauderdale, who admitted their ‘distrust as to me (which is most evident)’, but also against the entail of the estate created by the duchess’s father.39 With the onset of war against the Dutch, Monmouth was ambitious to be involved: arrangements were made for him to raise and command a regiment in the French army, in which he was made lieutenant-general, and he was certainly present in the campaigns of 1672 and 1673. According to James II, he distinguished himself at the siege of Maastricht.40

Monmouth was therefore abroad when the next session (the first of 1673) opened on 4 Feb. and so was unable to take his seat until 21 Feb. 1673. He was then present for all but seven of the remaining 30 days of the session. He was named to a single committee, that for the cattle bill on 28 March. He was in the House for the debates over the Test Act in March 1673 and conspicuously took the sacraments the following month, along with the rest of the court.41 It was also reported that he had attempted to persuade York to consider a Protestant rather than Catholic bride.42 He secured the lord lieutenancy of Yorkshire (E. Riding) and high stewardship of Hull in succession to the Catholic John Belasyse, Baron Belasyse. He became one of the members of the commission to run the admiralty following York’s disqualification; it was discussed that he might also take command at sea.43 He was present for two of the four days of the second 1673 session and was named to the committee for privileges. 

Around the time of the beginning of the 1674 session of Parliament, Monmouth obtained an ill-defined but potentially powerful role in ‘all things relating to the forces now on foot’.44 This may have been the occasion recounted by James II, when Monmouth had approached him for support in securing a commission from his father as commander-in-chief: York’s response had been that he saw no need for commissioning a general ‘especially in a time of peace, over so few forces which could not be call’d an army’; his accompanying story about the issuing of a commission as general to Monmouth must belong to 1678, when he was appointed captain-general.45 The 1674 session saw Monmouth present on just over 81 per cent of sitting days. Since he attended the opening of the session on 7 Jan. he was again nominated to the committee for privileges as well as that for petitions. On 12 Jan. he was named as one of the peers to carry the petition of the House for a fast to the king and on 13 Jan. took the voluntary oath of allegiance that had been prescribed during the reign of James I. A three day absence between 9 and 11 Apr. 1674 was almost certainly related to the death of his young son early in the morning of 9 April.46 English involvement in war against the Dutch was ended with the Treaty of Westminster in early February, but after the end of the session on 24 Feb. there was discussion of Monmouth going to join the French army again on campaign. In the event he did not go, telling the French envoy ‘that he found himself prevented from doing this, because it would cost him a huge amount of money, and that he didn’t have a penny’, though the unpopularity of English troops participating in the war on the French side was no doubt just as important a reason; Monmouth did make efforts to prevent others from going to serve against the French in Holland.47 Shortly after the end of the session as well, Monmouth benefited from Buckingham’s fall from favour, replacing him as master of the horse; a few months later, in July, the king recommended his election to the University of Cambridge as its chancellor.48 An incident at the playhouse in March when Monmouth attempted to silence a gentleman who was disturbing the performance and called in troops to assist him suggests both that he was no longer the dissipated youth he had been, and perhaps that his association with France was making him unpopular. He was forced to back down when ‘50 swords were drawn against the soldiers, and it was shouted loudly that they had been declared a grievance by the Parliament’, though it is not clear whether the latter comment was misreported by the French ambassador, or whether the incident recalled that just over three years before in which soldiers commanded by Monmouth had attacked a civilian.49

York’s suspicion of Monmouth seems to have been growing, perhaps because of his accumulation of offices following his own resignations the previous year, and what seems to have been a genuine effort to apply himself to business in his military role. In April 1674 the French ambassador told Louis XIV that ‘We are also trying to win over the Duke of York by the fears that we implant in him about the elevation of the Duke of Monmouth about which the prince has spoken to me a few times’.50 He was also convinced that Monmouth was in alliance with Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, who was in turn a proponent of the interests of Holland and William of Orange rather than those of France.51 (It was certainly Arlington whom John Hay, 2nd earl, later marquess, of Tweeddale chose to attempt to mediate in his long-running legal action with Monmouth in April 1675.)52 Monmouth took a wrong step in September 1674, when he was reported to have been confined to his lodgings by the order of the king for misusing his military command by ordering his guards to confine John Sheffield, 3rd earl of Mulgrave (later duke of Buckingham and Normanby), whose offence was to have courted Monmouth’s latest mistress.53 At this point Monmouth would seem to have been still on relatively good terms with York, acting as godfather in January 1675 to his newborn daughter.54 A picture of Monmouth’s activities was provided in early 1675:

This day in the morning I went thither … but found he was gone betimes abroad to the exercise of his troop, and I, having returned thither after dinner, met with the like disappointment, for he dined with Major-general Egerton. Your lordship knows the play succeeds to dinner, and after that the court...55

Moreover, however much he applied himself to business, Monmouth continued to have multiple affairs: a Mr Coke of Norfolk was reported to have left his wife in September 1675 ‘for being abed with D Monmouth, a pecadillo now very common in this town’; indeed, only the previous month a Mrs Needham (‘with whom the duke of Monmouth was catcht abed’) was said to have given birth.56 In March 1675 Justice Ross (perhaps a relation of Monmouth’s former tutor and governor, Thomas Ross) who was involved in the suppression of conventicles in London shortly before the opening of Parliament was said to ‘belong’ to Monmouth.57

Monmouth’s attendance fell back to just under 61 per cent during the first session of 1675 with most of his absences concentrated towards the end of the session in May and early June. His attendance in the early days of the session meant that he was again named to the committees for privileges and petitions. In his calculations over the proposed non-resisting test, Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby (later duke of Leeds) listed Monmouth as a supporter. He was not present, however, for many of the debates over the case of Sherley v. Fagg. Monmouth was absent when the second session of 1675 opened on 13 Oct.; presumably anticipating that the troubles of the previous session were far from over, he covered himself with a proxy to York that was vacated on Monmouth’s arrival in the House on 25 October. Over the course of this short session he was absent for a further five days, making his overall attendance just over 51 per cent. He was named on 8 Nov. to the committee to enquire into the publication of the Letter from a Person of Quality. He held the proxies of Arlington and of John Wilmot, 2nd earl of Rochester from 12 and 15 Nov. respectively, presumably to bolster court support during the dispute over Sherley v. Fagg, yet signs of strain were also present. On 15 Nov. it was reported that Danby had ‘spoke severely of the duke of Monmouth, and should have said he was not the king’s son, which the duke was going to take a violent resentment of’, though the king effected a reconciliation between the two of them.58

Monmouth was still discussing recruiting replacement soldiers for the English regiment in France in June 1676, though he and the French ambassador agreed that once Parliament assembled (as it was expected to do in February 1677), it would no longer be possible to send over additional soldiers.59 When Parliament finally resumed, in mid-February, 1677, Monmouth’s engagement with it seems to have risen a little. The 1677-8 session saw a rise in his attendance to nearly 70 per cent, though at least eight of his absences (from 29 Feb. to 10 Mar. 1678 inclusive) were caused by military duties abroad. During the course of the session he continued to be identified with the court: he held the proxies of the gout-ridden Arlington from 15 Feb. to 16 Mar. 1677; of Edward Watson, 2nd Baron Rockingham, from 9 to 19 March 1677; of Lauderdale, from 4 to 9 Apr. 1677; of Robert Spencer, 2nd earl of Sunderland, from 14 Apr. 1677 to 15 Jan. 1678; and of John Granville, earl of Bath from 28 Feb. 1678 to 11 Mar. 1678. Anthony Ashley Cooper, earl of Shaftesbury, certainly identified him with the court, listing him in the course of 1677 as triply vile. Though Monmouth appears not to have been directly involved in legislative business in the session, he did have to resist a claim of privilege presented by the countess of Northumberland in relation to suits in the courts of common pleas and exchequer on behalf of herself and her granddaughter Elizabeth Percy; counsel were heard in the Lords on 28 May, the last day of business before a series of adjournments which kept Parliament effectively in abeyance until January 1678.

Shortly after the adjournment, in June 1677, it was said again that Monmouth had been proposed for the lord lieutenancy of Ireland: the proposal had been vigorously supported by Danby, but resisted by York, ‘not willing that Monmouth should have any interest in Ireland’. In the event Ormond was returned to Ireland as its viceroy.60 If this implied a continuing, if implicit, tension between Monmouth and York, Shaftesbury’s suspicion of Monmouth joined with Monmouth’s explicit hostility to Buckingham to indicate that he was still very firmly outside the camp of York’s political opponents. Monmouth’s succession to Buckingham in his positions of master of the horse and chancellor of Cambridge may have encouraged a mutual antipathy, which perhaps originated with Monmouth’s role in the French service in 1672, which Buckingham had coveted.61 In August, Monmouth joined with York and Danby in remonstrating with the king over Buckingham’s release, on the grounds that ‘this was to leap over all rules of decency and to suffer his authority to be trampled on’ (the release seems to have taken place while Monmouth was paying a visit to the Netherlands to study its techniques in siege warfare).62 Monmouth was said in February 1678 to have strongly resented Buckingham’s return to favour.63

Monmouth was present for most of the sittings of the second part of the 1677-8 session, apart from a period in early March. He was directly concerned in arguments about the Arthur Capell, earl of Essex’s privilege in relation to litigation in the court of common pleas: his counsel, Serjeant Baldwin and John Cooke, were heard on 19 Feb. concerning lands in Northumberland. His major interest, though, was the prospect of a new military intervention on the continent. In mid-February it was being said that he would be a commander of a regiment under the duke of York, and at the end of February and in early March he made a brief visit to Flanders to review prospects for military action, returning about two weeks later with a downbeat assessment of the chances of success.64 He made a rare appearance in a conference between the Houses on 22 Mar. 1678, acting as one of the managers concerning an address for a war with France. On 4 Apr. he voted with the majority to find Philip Herbert, 7th earl of Pembroke, guilty of manslaughter. On 13 Apr., a warrant was issued for Monmouth’s appointment as captain-general of all the forces raised or to be raised in England and Wales for the expedition to support the Dutch and Spanish forces in Flanders.65 It was presumably this commission which aroused York’s anger when he noticed that Monmouth had been described in it as the king’s son, rather than natural son, and discovered that the change had been made by Monmouth’s secretary, James Vernon, on the orders of Monmouth himself.66 (York would keep a hawkish eye on other examples of such sharp practice, complaining in February 1679 about another patent passing under the great seal of Ireland in which Monmouth was also described as the king’s son, without the qualifier ‘natural’, and in 1679 would thank the then lord privy seal, John Robartes, 2nd Baron Robartes (later earl of Radnor), for his help in preventing further instances.)67 In April 1678 Monmouth took steps (albeit unsuccessfully) to support the election petition of Sir John Reresby in the Commons, ordering all the army officers who were members of the lower House to support it.68 Now evidently participating in meetings of the cabinet council, in May he was present, together with York, Danby and his father, when it heard the representations of various Scots nobles against Lauderdale.69 In June the new army was assembled on Hounslow Heath, and Monmouth was with the English contingent at the battle of St Denis at the beginning of August.70 James II later claimed that Monmouth used the voyage to court Prince William of Orange, and to build up his interest within the army.71

He returned later that month, shortly after the first revelations of the supposed Popish Plot. He was present at the extraordinary meeting of the Privy Council on 27 Sept. which examined Oates and other witnesses about the Plot.72 In September he issued orders for any army officer who was a member of the Commons and still in Flanders to return by 1 Oct. so that they could take their seats.73 He also may have been the ‘great hand’ that attempted to secure the election of one of his servants as successor to Andrew Marvell in Hull. At this point in his career he was still on good terms with York and the court and collaborated with York to secure the return of the court candidate, Sir Anthony Deane, at the New Shoreham by-election.74 In the contentious final session of the Cavalier Parliament which opened on 21 Oct. Monmouth was present on all but two days; his early arrival meant that he was named to the committees for privileges and petitions. Said to be one of the targets for Catholic assassins, Monmouth now took a close interest in the Plot, and a much closer interest in parliamentary proceedings. On 23 Oct. along with everyone else in the chamber, he was named to the committee to examine papers about the plot and the death of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. On 26 Oct. he was named to the committee to draw an address to the king for the preservation of his person and reported from it on 28 October. Discussions about evidence in the House on 30 Oct. revealed that Monmouth was actively involved in the investigation and had shown some of the papers to the king; the following day he was charged by the House with responsibility for the safety of Titus Oates. On 1 Nov. he was named to a small but distinctively Protestant committee to investigate reports of ‘knocking and digging’ in the cellars close to the chamber. The king’s speech to the House on 9 Nov. promising to accept new laws ‘to make you safe in the reign of any successor’ was widely interpreted as an endorsement of a claim to the throne by Monmouth even though he had also insisted that such new laws could not ‘impeach the right of succession, nor the descent of the crown in the true line’. Sir Robert Southwell reported that this ‘notorious mistake’ had ‘all the City in bells and bonfires’ and feared that it was ‘a dangerous thing for a body of people to plunge themselves into a mistake, and ’tis thought this very accident may do the duke as much hurt as anything else.’ He also reported that the people had drunk the healths of the king, Monmouth and Shaftesbury ‘as the only three pillars of all safety’.75 On 13 Nov. a rumour was reported that Monmouth was dying of some slow-acting but deadly poison and that Parliament had prepared an address to the king for a declaration about Monmouth’s legitimacy.76 On 15 Nov. in committee of the whole House he voted (in company with York, Danby, and other leading courtiers) against putting the declaration against transubstantiation under the same penalty as the oaths but, in the early stages at least, he was reported to be otherwise in favour of the Test.77 By the 16th it was reported that his name was linked with those of the king and the earl of Shaftesbury as ‘the only three pillars of all safety’.78 In his capacity as captain-general on 18 Nov. he was ordered by the House to provide adequate guards for black rod’s search of papist houses for the body of a missing man and to escort Edward Coleman to and from Newgate to the House. On 20 Nov. when the final vote on the test bill took place Monmouth (unlike Danby) was in the House but he left the House before the division took place, apparently to avoid voting on the proviso that protected York. York was incensed at Monmouth’s behaviour, complaining (according to his later memoir) to the king that ‘for a long time he had suspected the duke of Monmouth’s friendship’, that the duke ‘affected popularity’, and was very friendly with prominent ‘country’ politicians, Essex and Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton, ‘had reason to believe there was no ill understanding betwixt him and my Lord Shaftesbury himself’; and that ‘he frequently permitted his health to be drunk under the title of prince of Wales’.79 Monmouth voted on 26 Dec. in favour of insisting on the Lords’ amendments concerning the payment of funds for disbandment of the army into the exchequer, rather than the chamber of London. In the meantime his belief in the reality of the plot and of the threat to his life had begun to transform his political outlook. Although on 27 Dec. he voted against committing Danby, the depth of his commitment to the treasurer was far from clear; he was also said to ‘to be more of a man of business than was expected he would prove.’80

In January 1679 the claims about Monmouth’s legitimacy had become sufficiently general for the king to make a formal declaration to the contrary.81 According to information passed to Danby by his informant, Thomas Knox, on 23 Jan., Monmouth’s ‘creatures’ were regularly passing messages between their master, Shaftesbury and Buckingham.82 The general election of 1679 saw Monmouth able to secure the return of at least three of his close supporters: his secretary, James Vernon, at Cambridge University, an officer closely associated with him, Thomas Armstrong, at Stafford, and Lemuel Kingdon, deputy paymaster of the forces, at Hull.83 Monmouth was present when the new Parliament met on 6 March. His attendance during the only session of the first exclusion parliament was just over 85 per cent and his presence early in the session ensured his nomination on the 11th to the committees for privileges and petitions. Initially it was unclear whether Monmouth had deserted Danby and the court. Shaftesbury still regarded Vernon and Armstrong as courtiers, and in his initial calculation of supporters and opponents Danby thought Monmouth could be won over if spoken to by the king.84 Danby’s intermediary, Edward Conway, 3rd Viscount (later earl of) Conway, however, reported around 1 Mar. a conversation he had had with Monmouth after Monmouth had dined with Shaftesbury. He told them that they were both ‘willing to do anything that might save your life and estate, but they could not be for supporting the pardon’: Conway referred to Monmouth’s ‘consideration to his party’.85 The remainder of Danby’s lists unequivocally show Monmouth as one of his opponents and on 22 Mar. Monmouth was named to the committee to disqualify Danby. He was also named as one of the managers of the conference to discuss Danby’s fate with the Commons. Danby’s son, Edward Osborne, styled Viscount Latimer, railed against the king’s lack of support for his father, adding that ‘the duke of Monmouth who they have made the cat’s foot to bring you to this is so eternally with him that nothing he does is to be wondered at.’86 Thomas Butler, generally known by his Irish courtesy title as earl of Ossory, but who sat in the English House of Lords as Baron Butler of Moor Park, also wrote of ‘the great credit the duke of Monmouth is now in, and how vigorously he opposes against the papists.’87 Monmouth’s position was strengthened by York’s enforced absence. During the debate on the second reading of the bill against Danby on 2 Apr. 1679 it was noted that Monmouth and other members of ‘the court party did not befriend him’.88 Monmouth agreed that the bill as presented was undesirable but argued that it could be made acceptable by omitting the provision for attainder and moved for it to be committed.89 On 14 Apr. he was appointed as one of the peers to carry it to the king and to request a speedy assent. The subsequent dissolution and reconstitution of the Privy Council to include Monmouth, Shaftesbury and other ‘country’ politicians was also attributed to Monmouth (though Sir William Temple wrote that the proposal had been agreed on between himself, the king, the lord chancellor (Heneage Finch, Baron Finch, later earl of Nottingham), the earl of Essex and the earl of Sunderland, and that the night before it was due to take effect, the king had revealed it to Monmouth, who ‘told it so many, that it was common talk next morning; which we interpreted either lightness or vanity, to have it thought, that he had part in an affair likely to pass so well’. With hindsight Reresby concluded that it was ‘here that he began to set up for himself’. Reresby nevertheless sought his assistance again with his election petition.90 Monmouth was also included in a newly formed intelligence committee.91 At the beginning of May Danby drafted a petition to the king complaining about Monmouth’s animosity towards him: Monmouth had said publicly that Danby should not be allowed to plead his pardon, a sentiment repeated by Sir Thomas Armstrong to the duke of Albemarle.92 Danby bitterly noted in a note on the back of a letter dated 11 May that Monmouth had been as much involved in the ‘French interest’ as anyone else in the last few years.93

On 9 and 14 May 1679 he was present for the first and second readings of a bill concerning a conveyance of land to trustees made by himself and Francis Newport, Viscount Newport (later earl of Bradford). The diversion from national politics was shortlived. The following day he entered a dissent to the resolution not to appoint a committee to meet with a similar committee from the Commons to consider the manner of the trials of the impeached popish peers and was also named as one of the managers of a conference concerning Danby’s petition. Monmouth may have become more open about his ambitions. Reresby wrote, retrospectively, that Shaftesbury had persuaded Monmouth that the king would either declare his marriage to Monmouth’s mother or would facilitate an act of parliament to legitimate him, and Sir William Temple wrote in a similar vein.94 It was reported in mid-May that Armstrong had approached Aubrey de Vere, 20th earl of Oxford, in an attempt to gain his support for Monmouth’s succession to the crown, although the sheer brazenness of such an attempt led to a certain disbelief and the suggestion that is was ‘a made story’.95 York, from his exile in Brussels, feared for the future of the monarchy under the onslaught of its country opponents and advocated strong and punitive action before they had gained more strength; in a letter of 20 May, the day before the second reading of the exclusion bill in the Commons, he warned that his brother ‘must have a care the D[uke] of Monmouth does not head them, for he is the only dangerous man than can do it, if he does not no man of quality will dare’.96 Monmouth was said to have entreated his father to seek the advice of the council before proroguing Parliament on 27 May, which added to his current popularity.97 In early June, in another of his letters to George Legge, later Baron Dartmouth, outlining his concerns about Monmouth, and probably responding to the news about Armstrong, York wrote that:

as you very well said I did not live with the duke of Monmouth … for many years as if I had had any unkindnesse for him, and till he spake to me himself at Windsor some five or six years ago, of his having a mind to be general, I never took anything ill of him, nor grew jealous of him, but after what I had said to him upon that subject, of my reasons against it, and that I told him then freely he was not to expect my friendship if ever he pretended to it or had it. One cannot wonder if I was against any thing that did increase his power in military affairs… especially when I saw he used all the little arts and artifices, by degrees to compass his point of being general, and I am sure if he had had but the least consideration or friendship for me, which I might have very well expected from him, he would never have thought more of being general, but after all that he has done against me, if he will serve his majesty as he ought, and that his Majesty lay his command upon me, I am ready to live civilly with him, tho’ I can never trust him.98

The prorogation produced bitter contests in the Privy Council, in particular between Shaftesbury and George Savile, Viscount (later marquess of) Halifax, and between Monmouth and the earl of Essex.99 Later in June Monmouth was despatched to suppress the rebellion in Scotland. His mission might have been designed to cause a rift between him and Shaftesbury, who was keen to exploit the Scottish crisis as a means of forcing meetings of Parliament in both countries. In a heated meeting of the council he argued that under the terms of the 1641 Act of Pacification, English troops could not enter Scotland unless invited to do so by the Scots parliament. Shaftesbury was said both to have made his alliance with Monmouth explicit, as well as envisaging an alternative, with the statement that

if the king so governed as that his estate might with safety be transmitted to his son, as it was by his father to him, and he might enjoy the known rights and liberties of the subjects, he would rather be under kingly government, but if he would not be satisfied of that he declared he was for a commonwealth’.100

Monmouth’s victory over the rebels at Bothwell Brig on 22 June and his role in promoting a subsequent indemnity for rebels and a declaration of indulgence provided a considerable increase in his reputation.

Before Monmouth’s return, the French ambassador Barillon told Louis XIV that the English court was split into two factions, that led by Shaftesbury and Monmouth and that of Sunderland. He suggested that in the world outside the court the veteran Presbyterian leader Denzil Holles, Baron Holles, held the balance between them. He also suggested that whilst Shaftesbury was determinedly anti-French, and Monmouth did not contradict him, and allowed him to take the lead, the duke was in fact desperate to secure French support for his claim to the throne. He predicted that Shaftesbury and Monmouth would win out, because the king was not really committed to opposing Monmouth’s pretensions and was prepared to take advantage of his popularity and consequent ability to quell disorders without worrying about what would happen after his death.101 Monmouth’s prestige, which was thought likely to increase his strength in a new session of Parliament, contributed to the king’s decision to dissolve it.102 Monmouth had returned to Whitehall by 9 July, and was said to have tried to prevent the dissolution, which was announced in a proclamation on the 12th.103 York writing on 22 July complained that the king had made no attempt to reconcile him and Monmouth from which the consequences ‘are obvious enough to any one that considers’.104 Conway reported that although Shaftesbury stayed away from court, he and Monmouth ‘meet very often’, and even suggested that Lord Chancellor Finch shared the sentiment that the king would ultimately abandon York.105

The king’s sudden illness at the end of August 1679, when Monmouth was ‘in his greatest height’ produced a crisis that tested the theory.106 Monmouth’s acolyte Armstrong was said to have busied himself with meetings with radicals in the City, and in what may simply have been the earlier story repeated, was said to have tried to persuade the earl of Oxford to intercede with the king over altering the succession.107 Sunderland later told Henry Sydney, the future earl of Romney, ‘that if the king had died, he [the duke] would have made great troubles, either setting up for himself, or for a commonwealth.’108 York’s hasty return and reunion with the king seems to have produced in the king a belated determination to deal with the situation once he had recovered from his illness. As the price for agreeing to leave again for exile, York extracted an agreement from the king that Monmouth should also leave the country; the king also (additionally annoyed by another of Monmouth’s affairs, this time apparently a seduction of the ‘little’ duchess of Southampton, wife of Charles’s son by Castlemaine, Charles Fitzroy, duke of Southampton) revoked on or about 12 Sept. Monmouth’s commission as captain-general.109 The decision to exile Monmouth was so unpopular that an erroneous report that the king had changed his mind ‘made all about Whitehall make bonfires for joy.’110 It raised new concerns about the extent of York’s influence, a thing ‘of dangerous consequence’, especially in the absence of a sitting parliament.111 On one view, the fact that York’s departure was well attended by nobility and courtiers suggested that the imbroglio had enhanced his prestige. On the other, even though Monmouth was seen off only by ‘Lord Gerard of Brandon’ (possibly Charles Gerard, Viscount Brandon, and son of the recently promoted Charles Gerard, earl of Macclesfield), the fact that he was accompanied only by menial servants and his wife and children remained in England suggested that his absence was unlikely to be a long one.112 Sir Robert Southwell, writing to Ormond, suggested that the king expected that Monmouth’s exile would weaken Shaftesbury and resolve the divisions in the privy council; but, as he pointed out, his continuing demonstrations of ‘personal kindness’ such as continuing Monmouth’s salary even after revoking his offices suggested that he was still high in favour; Monmouth himself was said to believe that his exile would be a very temporary one that would last only as long as the upcoming parliamentary session.113 In the weeks following his departure it was regularly rumoured that he was on the point of being recalled.114 His refusal to take formal leave of his uncle was ‘reckoned little less than defiance.’115 It was rumoured that a document disabling Monmouth from acting as captain-general was being drawn up, although a proposal to issue him with a pardon was thought to be potentially controversial: Southwell predicted that the new session of parliament would see an attempt to pass a new statute to prohibit pardons to privy councillors and public officers unless the consent of parliament were also obtained.116

Monmouth passed his time in Holland, and visited Utrecht.117 The king’s recall of York in October, in order to send him to Scotland instead, his further prorogation of Parliament, and his dismissal of Shaftesbury from the council provoked Monmouth to return uninvited on 27 Nov. 1679, claiming that he needed to do so in order to clear himself of accusations of treason levied by ‘his adversaries, the papists’; indeed whilst in exile he had been dubbed ‘general of the rebels’.118 His reception on his return confirmed his popularity both with the people and with the army to the extent that it ‘much alarmed the court.’ His return was met with the king’s displeasure: a message was sent via Thomas Belasyse, 2nd Viscount (later earl of) Fauconberg (presumed to be an ally, because he had been appointed Monmouth’s deputy as chief justice in eyre in his absence) to forbid him to come to court and to order him back into exile. Monmouth refused, arguing that ‘no man ought to be banished without his consent’ and standing ‘upon the liberty of an Englishman’, and demanding that he be formally accused and stand trial.119 A publication alleging that the king had been married to his mother appeared in London at the same time as his arrival, as did a series of laudatory verses, published, it was said at eight o’clock in the morning. It had the hallmarks of a campaign carefully planned by Shaftesbury, and Southwell indeed reported that Monmouth was being advised by ‘the Lords who meet’ (Shaftesbury and his allies) and that he would join in the address for a new Parliament.120 York, from Scotland, decided that Monmouth was planning to make himself leader of a republic after the pattern of the Prince of Orange, and hoped for a clear public indication of the king’s disapproval of Monmouth’s conduct ‘because people began to think he was coming into favour again’.121 He added a political and strategic critique to personal animosity by accusing Monmouth of an ill judged leniency in the aftermath of the Scottish rebellion declaring that ‘the generality of the best men here’ believed it would merely encourage further rebellion.122 On 2 Dec. Sir Robert Southwell reported to Ormond that Halifax thought

the business of [the duke of Monmouth] such a morrice-dance as that none but [Shaftesbury] could have been adviser in it. He and [Monmouth] do in their discourses intimate as if [prince of Orange] would speedily be here and unite with their desire of a [Parliament], and set forth the ruinous state of his interest by reason of the practices of France unless immediately supported here.123

Ossory confirmed that Monmouth was claiming the support of Prince William for his actions: William quickly denied it.124

The king stripped Monmouth of his remaining offices—the captaincy of the Life Guards, the chief justiceship in eyre, the governorship of Hull, lord lieutenancies of Staffordshire and the East Riding—and seems to have held to his resolution of banning Monmouth from his presence, despite repeated appeals delivered by Fauconberg and Lord Gerard of Brandon.125 The difficulty of ascertaining the king’s real intentions were further complicated by his decision to overturn the ban on Monmouth’s presence in Whitehall in order to allow him to spend time at the Cockpit with his duchess after the death of one of their sons. Southwell noted that the king was ‘pleased to hear anybody speak well’ of Monmouth and that he would welcome a reconciliation.126 Monmouth’s public life began to look like a series of celebrity appearances. His arrival at a service in St Martin’s church on 14 Dec., where he made a conspicuous show of receiving the sacrament, was greeted with cries of ‘God bless the duke of Monmouth’. He was similarly feted at appearances elsewhere.127 Such appearances went alongside the petitioning campaign initiated by Shaftesbury and his associates and underway in December 1679 and January 1680, aimed at ensuring that Parliament would be allowed to sit; indeed, it was still active in February in Chichester where Monmouth, dressed in a scarlet suit and cloak ‘which the great men for petitioning for Parliament called the red flag’, and accompanied by another of Shaftesbury’s associates, Ford Grey, Grey of Warke (later earl of Tankerville), made a visit, much to the chagrin of Bishop Guy Carleton, who regarded those who turned out to welcome them as a ‘rabble of brutes’.128

By then, the king had already prorogued Parliament again at the end of January 1680 to the following April, and the return to London of the duke of York late in February deflated opposition expectations. It was more difficult to maintain elite support in the face of the king’s apparent resolution—in mid-March the mayor of London’s reaction when asked to host a dinner at which Shaftesbury and Monmouth would be guests of honour (designed as a riposte to a dinner held in honour of the duke of York) was an indication of the way the wind was believed to be blowing: ‘if the duke of Monmouth came in at one door’, he said, ‘he would get out at another.’129 In April the king confronted a claim that had now become current that Bishop Cosin had signed a paper, kept in the infamous ‘black box’, verifying the marriage of the king and Monmouth’s mother: Cosin’s son-in-law, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, was summoned before an extraordinary meeting of the council and the judges on the evening of 26 Apr. to deny on oath the existence of the box or the paper.130 The council’s inquiries revealed that Monmouth had paid Sir Thomas Armstrong’s expenses for a journey to find evidence of his parents’ marriage. York wanted Armstrong prosecuted ‘and hinted yet something further but the King was weary of this affair’ and referred the whole matter to the attorney general whereupon it lapsed.131 The well-publicised meeting of council failed to kill the story; Lord Gerard was also said to have appeared before the council in May to tell what he knew about the business (to which inquiry he responded evasively); on 26 May the king repeated, and had entered into the council register the statement he had made in January 1679 on the subject, William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, made a formal deposition in chancery and in June 1680 the king issued a declaration denying the marriage.132

Meanwhile Monmouth’s popularity continued. A virulent response to the king’s declaration appeared, authored by Robert Ferguson, shortly after its publication; a reward was said to have been offered for the discovery of its author.133 He was applauded after dining in the City on 30 June as part of the campaign to ensure the election of Whig sheriffs and was rapturously received when he went on a tour of the west country from 24 Aug. to 3 Sept. in company with Shaftesbury ‘and others of that knot’.134 In a short tour, he visited Thomas Thynneat Longleat, George Speke at Whitelackington in Somerset, Sir John Sydenham, at Brympton, close to Yeovil, Michael Harvey at Clifton Maybank in Dorset. At Crewkerne in Somerset, he touched (allegedly successfully) for the king’s evil: a published broadside describing the ‘miracle’ implicitly claimed supernatural affirmation of his legitimacy.135 He was similarly welcomed by the townspeople on a brief visit to Oxford in September even though the secretary of state, Sir Leoline Jenkins, had written on the king’s behalf to the bishop and others to discourage the university and gentry from showing any support for him.136 It seemed to the French ambassador that Monmouth’s support was growing stronger day by day.137 When he returned to London early in October for the much anticipated first sitting of the second Exclusion Parliament it was noted that although he did not go to court, he was visited by several noblemen.138

With the imminence of Parliament, Monmouth seemed again likely to prevail. Shortly before Parliament met, it was said that the king had ‘often’ met Monmouth at the lodgings of the king’s mistress Louise de Kerouaille, duchess of Portsmouth (who had now decided to abandon her previous support for the duke of York, and was cultivating Monmouth). The king’s resolve to stick by York was regarded as weak; plans to introduce charges against York placed more pressure on him.139 York returned to Scotland the day before the meeting of the second Exclusion Parliament on 20 Oct. 1680. On the same day, Monmouth (who had taken a house in Bishopsgate, in the heart of the City, from country politician Sir Eliab Harvey) dined at the Sun Tavern with Shaftesbury, Oates and ‘above 100 Parliament men’.140 Monmouth was present on all but five sitting days of the session (giving him an attendance rate of around 92 per cent). The king’s speech emphasized once again his determination to see the preservation of the correct and lawful descent of the crown.141 Charles seems to have taken care not to acknowledge Monmouth ‘though they meet every day in the House’; even by 16 Nov. he had not taken notice of him.142 On 1 Nov. Monmouth attended the lord mayor’s feast, along with Lord Grey of Warke and Thomas Thynne, among others.143 Shortly afterwards, at St Martin’s, he stood

near half an hour in the throng of the people in the yard, and all uncovered admiring him. He hath on his coach painted an heart wounded with two arrows, cross, the plume of feathers, two angells bearing up a scarf either side, which some say is [the] p[rince of ] W[ales’s] arms. He is mightily followed in the City.144

There were, though, symptoms of opposition to the general enthusiasm for Monmouth, which his allies were keen to stamp on. On 6 Nov. Shaftesbury reported from the committee investigating the Popish Plot that they had received two informations of ‘reproachful language’ uttered by one John Mason against Monmouth. Mason had called Monmouth ‘a puppy and a fool’ and accused him of being ‘a valiant rebel’, who ‘went, like a snow-ball, up and down, to gather interest’, implying that he planned to raise a rebellion. The House ordered Mason to be arrested for a breach of privilege; he was not released until he made a fulsome apology on 20 December.

In mid-November Danby approached Monmouth via Conway in order to secure Shaftesbury’s support in ending his imprisonment, hoping that a cordial exchange of letters when Monmouth had been sent into exile was a token of his goodwill. Monmouth, however, clearly acting closely under Shaftesbury’s instructions, and seeing him very regularly, conveyed his negative response to the approach.145 On 15 Nov. Monmouth voted against rejecting the bill to exclude the duke of York at its first reading in the Lords, and entered a dissent at the decision. On 18 Nov., in a conversation with Conway, he expressed some willingness to help Danby, but claimed that ‘Danby’s friends’ had done him ‘the greatest injury in the world’ in opposing exclusion, and took it to mean that Danby himself supported York.146 Monmouth was present on 16 and 17 Nov. when alternative measures against York were discussed, including an Association, the repeal of the proviso in the Test Act that exempted York from taking the oaths, and provision to prevent him or any Catholic monarch from using the crown’s ecclesiastical patronage. On the 19th he was again present when the House agreed to debate the king’s marriage, a proposal of Shaftesbury’s, aiming to achieve a divorce—a proposal which, on the face of it, might have been less than welcome to Monmouth, and was vigorously opposed by Halifax.147 Monmouth was named that day to a committee to investigate abuses in the management of the post office, perhaps an oblique attack on York. The following day he was named to a committee to investigate the operation of the statutes against recusancy which appears to have been intended to ensure that they were enforced against Catholics but not against Dissenters. On 23 Nov. when the House refused to create a committee to consider the state of the kingdom in conjunction with the Commons, Monmouth and his allies expressed their disappointment in a protest that emphasized the utility of such a committee in securing the safety of the king and the Protestant religion ‘against the bloody designs of the papists’. The debate on the king’s marriage was deferred to some future unspecified date (Shaftesbury being absent that day). However the House did decide in favour of proceeding with a series of ‘expedients’. On 24 Nov. Monmouth was added to the committee to draft a bill for the Association. In December he found William Howard, Viscount Stafford, guilty of treason. He was present on 15 Dec. when the king addressed both Houses in a vain attempt to secure a speedy supply. The Commons reacted to the king’s speech with renewed demand for exclusion and for a bill to create an Association. Daniel Finch, the future 2nd earl of Nottingham, commented that no one really understood what was meant by an Association ‘unless they mean to set up the duke of Monmouth for generalissimo independent of the king, for which the House [of Commons] seemed not yet enough disposed’.148 On 18 Dec. Monmouth was one of several peers who were invited by the military officers of the Tower Hamlets to an entertainment that included a ballad criticizing the bishops who had voted against exclusion and which gave ‘great offence’ to the court.149 When an attack was launched in the House of Lords on 21 Dec. on York’s friends and allies about the king, Monmouth supported Essex and James Cecil, 3rd earl of Salisbury, demanding ‘that such persons might be removed, as either owed their advancement, or had any relation to the duke; which saucy expression the duke of Monmouth took pleasure in repeating frequently, imagining to cast a blemish upon his highness by it’.150 On 7 Jan. 1681 Monmouth entered a dissent to the refusal of the House to put the question of whether Sir William Scroggs should be committed on articles of impeachment brought from the Commons. 

On 18 Jan. 1681 the king put an end to the Parliament and summoned a new one to meet on 21 Mar. in Oxford. Monmouth was one of the 16 peers who petitioned on 25 Jan. that Parliament might meet at Westminster, as usual.151 Over February, Monmouth was again active in seeking support and electioneering. He dined with Arthur Annesley, earl of Anglesey, bringing with him a group of other opposition figures, including Grey of Warke, Henry Herbert, 4th Baron Herbert of Chirbury, William Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Escrick, Sir Thomas Armstrong and Thomas Thynne; and appeared with Buckingham in support of opposition candidates in Southwark.152 He made an appearance at Chichester, where he was entertained by Grey of Warke.153 As before, and despite his anti-exclusion stand in the previous Parliament, many found it difficult to gauge the king’s intentions. In March, shortly before the new Parliament met, Halifax told Reresby that the king’s loyalty to his brother was uncertain and that Monmouth was looking for a reconciliation, and a report on 15 Mar. that he would not go to Oxford, and a warrant issued on 12 Mar. to pay Monmouth some of the arrears due on his offices might have been an indication of moves towards one.154 It may also have explained why Monmouth missed the first day of the new Parliament, though he did turn up ‘with a great train’, and Shaftesbury, at least, was still firmly advocating settling the crown on Monmouth.155 On 25 Mar. Monmouth was named, together with almost all those present, to the committee for receiving information on the popish plot. On 26 Mar. he was named as one of the reporters for the conference on methods of passing bills and entered a dissent against the resolution to proceed against Fitzharris by common law indictment rather than by impeachment. Monmouth’s last appearance in Parliament was on 28 Mar. 1681 when the king summarily dissolved it.

Despite the apparently decisive dismissal of Parliament, a week later York, from Scotland, was still fretting about Monmouth and the endeavours of the duchess of Portsmouth on his behalf and the possibility of another Parliament.156 In London there were still doubts about Monmouth’s continuing adherence to Shaftesbury and ‘his party’, and there appear to have been some negotiations between him and the court, but the doubts were probably dispelled by his very public attendance with other country peers on 8 June when a London grand jury returned a bill of ignoramus against Stephen College and his decision to visit Shaftesbury after his arrest on 2 July and imprisonment on a charge of treason: Monmouth’s own arrest was widely anticipated, though it did not happen.157 In October 1681 Monmouth refused to obey an order from the Scottish Privy Council, no doubt inspired by York, to take the Scots Test, arguing that he was required to take it only in Scotland.158 As intended the result was that Monmouth was stripped of his remaining Scots offices; it also served to emphasize that he was unable to claim exemption under the relevant Scots statute which extended only to the king’s lawful sons and brothers.159 Having spent the summer and early autumn in Tunbridge Wells, at the Quainton races with Thomas Wharton, later marquess of Wharton, dining frequently with Anglesey, and meeting Philip Sydney, 3rd earl of Leicester and other Shaftesbury supporters to discuss his options, in November he angered the king further by his presence in the court of king’s bench for the release of Shaftesbury and by his willingness to stand bail for him; a few days later he was forbidden the court and stripped of his last remaining office, the mastership of the horse which, as Halifax pointed out, amounted to ‘a great bar to his return near the king’.160 His commitment to the opposition had also been evident in his joining with Grey of Warke and Lord Herbert in attacking Theophilus Hastings, 7th earl of Huntingdon, both verbally and in print, for kissing the king’s hand at the end of October.161

Monmouth was reported as being ‘very merry’ drinking with Sunderland and the duchess of Portsmouth at the beginning of December, a report that provoked the king to reiterate the ban on Monmouth’s presence at court.162 A row between Monmouth and his successor as commander of the life guards, the duke of Albemarle, at the beginning of the year, narrowly avoided turning into a duel.163 The murder of Thomas Thynne in February, was initially linked to his closeness to Monmouth, who had been recently in the coach with him, though it turned out to be related to his recent marriage. Monmouth and ‘his party’ were closely involved in the investigation and the prosecution of Thynne’s assailants.164 He continued to associate with opposition figures, dining with sheriff Pilkington and Shaftesbury, Essex, Howard of Escrick and Grey in mid-March, and dining with Anglesey and Herbert later in the month.165 York’s return to England in the spring of 1682 marked the beginning of the final phase of Monmouth’s disgrace. He lost his last English office, the chancellorship of Cambridge in April 1682.166 A great livery company feast late that month planned to counter one in honour of York, with Monmouth, Essex and Shaftesbury among the principal guests, was banned by the council as a seditious and unlawful assembly.167 In May Monmouth was reported to have used Sir Robert Holmes to contact the king, begging his pardon but insisting that ‘he would rather die than be reconciled or submit to the duke of York’. Although Monmouth subsequently denied that he had authorized any such approach, the king instructed all his servants and any who expected his favour to refuse to meet or communicate with Monmouth, for (as was reported to Richard Butler, Baron Butler of Westn, better known as earl of Arran [I])

since the duke of Monmouth has declared a separation from his Brother, His majesty thinks it now high time to make a distinction between the sheep and the goats. I happened to be in the Bedchamber yesterday morning when his majesty declared himself with some warmth upon this subject, adding that he had the Black Box still in his head.168

When Monmouth subsequently, and threateningly, approached Halifax after the Sunday service at St Martin’s to ask him whether he had advised the king to issue his instructions against consorting with him, the king was further incensed, declaring it to be ‘an unmannerly insolence’ and reiterating his ban on associating with his son.169 Monmouth dined with Anglesey the night before he gave up the privy seal in August.170 A probably accidental encounter between Monmouth and York in Hyde Park on 11 Aug. was, according to one observer,

civiller than I expected, when the Dukes coach came near, Monmouth made his stop, his coachman and servants being uncover’d, and as he came by he stood up and made him a low bow, which the duke return’d with a civil one, and in the same manner they met several times.171

This might have suggested a willingness to compromise on Monmouth’s part as the price of returning to the king’s favour, as was suggested in some correspondence of late August; he was even reported to have broken with Shaftesbury, by proposing not to go horse-racing in Cheshire, evidently intended as a rally for the Whigs, and his duchess was said to have approached the duchess of York to intercede for him: Tory success in the London shrievalty elections, the prospect of the loss of the City’s charter and of the country party’s most dependable allies was optimistically thought at the beginning of September to have concentrated Whig minds and to have persuaded them to agree to the grant of generous supply in a new Parliament and to cease ‘meddling’ with York.172 Planning with the earl of Macclesfield, George Booth, Baron Delamer, and others for the Cheshire visit, however, had been well under way at the end of August.173 Monmouth left early in September 1682 for the north-west. With a train of some 200 horsemen and two coaches he made a magnificent progress, accompanied by Macclesfield and his son, feted by the populace and extravagantly entertained by nobility and gentry, though some of the government’s informants, sending reports back to Whitehall, described only a small retinue (‘no more than 8 or 9 persons, all except Sir Thomas Armstrong and Mr [Francis] Charlton of Shropshire being servants’). Having gone via Daventry, Westchester and Coventry and Lichfield, he met and stayed with William Leveson Gower at Trentham in Staffordshire, before moving on, supported by local politicians including Richard Savage, styled Viscount Colchester, later 4th Earl Rivers, John Mainwaring, Roger Whitley, to Nantwich, and then to Chester, where the crowds were particularly riotous, continuing on to Wallasey (where at the races William Richard George Stanley 9th earl of Derby coolly kept his distance), Liverpool and to Delamer’s house at Dunham Massey.174

According to one observer, Monmouth’s supporters met weekly, and ‘have great banks of money, powder, and all sorts of ammunition’.175 Later, it was alleged that the progress had been intended as preliminary to a Whig insurrection led by Shaftesbury, and Grey of Warke’s 1685 written confession stated that the project had been initiated in late June at Thanet House between him, Monmouth, Lord William Russell, styled Lord Russell, and Shaftesbury. The government may have believed something was afoot, for it issued a warrant for Monmouth’s arrest, which was executed at Stafford on 22 Sept.: the way it was executed, however—in a conspicuous and well publicised indication of the king’s displeasure, Monmouth was arrested ‘in the midst of his partakers and dependants’ at Stafford and brought back to London—and the events that followed—a brief imprisonment after refusing to enter into bail to keep the peace—do not suggest that the king was unduly concerned at the time about a possible revolution.176 According to Grey of Warke, the arrest occasioned excited discussions between Shaftesbury and his other supporters when Sir Thomas Armstrong returned to London in advance of Monmouth in order to consult with them. Shaftesbury’s advice, that Monmouth should return to Cheshire to start an uprising, was thought by the others to be absurdly unrealistic.177 When Monmouth himself arrived in London on 23 Sept., Shaftesbury, with Herbert, Russell, Charlton, possibly Essex and others visited him.178 Grey wrote that after Monmouth’s release on 25 Sept., Monmouth, Grey, and Russell visited Shaftesbury, who bitterly complained about the duke’s failure to return to Cheshire. Other accounts, deriving from Russell and Essex, suggest the essential truth of Grey’s version of this meeting.179

Freed on a writ of habeas corpus, Monmouth was once again forbidden to go to Whitehall or St James’s, though the king was furious when he himself spotted Monmouth leaving Mulgrave’s lodgings at the end of October:

The king happening to be going through the Long Gallery, that leads to the duchess of Portsmouth’s lodgings, he met the said duke coming from the earl of Mulgrave’s lodgings. The way being so narrow that they behoved to touch one another’s clothes as they passed by. The duke, with all reverence, standing close up by the wall till his majesty passed by, but spoke none to him, only sent the earl of Oxford, and told him that his Majesty had discharged him the Court, and did discharge him, and upon his peril be seen there again. 

Mulgrave was disgraced.180

Monmouth may have been chastened by what had happened, and perhaps also by the increasingly shrill tone of Shaftesbury. The events that followed are difficult to unravel out of the complex evidence provided in the aftermath of the unmasking of the Rye House Plot. It seems that Shaftesbury continued, after Monmouth’s release, to talk about planning an insurrection in London. Monmouth apparently (according to the later, and unreliable, evidence of Howard of Escrick) recoiled with horror at the idea. Monmouth may or may not have met Shaftesbury again in early October, but it seems probable that Shaftesbury had decided to abandon his unreliable co-conspirator and work without him, perhaps towards a republic, before fleeing the country in November to avoid arrest. The extent of Monmouth’s involvement in Shaftesbury’s thinking about an assassination of the king and the duke of York remains deeply obscure.181 Despite apparently breaking with Monmouth, Shaftesbury wrote to him once he had arrived in the Netherlands, a letter that was intercepted and read at the council, though found to contain only news of his good health.182

In the immediate aftermath of his release Monmouth had briefly taken himself to Moor Park. He was soon back in London, however, meeting other Whig leaders often at Anglesey’s: he dined there with Essex on 10 Oct. and with Macclesfield on 22 Nov. and 14 December. He dined with Anglesey on a number of other occasions as well, including when he made an appearance at king’s bench on 23 Oct., presumably in relation to recognisances imposed following his journey in Cheshire; on the same day Grey of Warke appeared to answer in an unrelated case about his affair with Lady Henrietta Berkeley. On 9 Dec. Anglesey entertained Monmouth, his mistress Henrietta Wentworth, and ‘Lady Hen.’, presumably Berkeley’s mistress.183 On 30 Nov. Monmouth left for Chichester with ‘a great train’, perhaps to see Grey of Warke, whose trial over the Henrietta Berkeley case had taken place on 23 November. He returned to London on 6 December.184 Lord Wharton was his host over Christmas.185 In mid-January 1683 he was back in London, dining again with Anglesey, with Buckingham and many other of the ‘dissenting lords’ (those who had signed protests over the rejection of exclusion).186 In February he made no secret of his intention to be present at Shaftesbury’s funeral.187 In March 1683 there were new rumours of his readmission to the king’s favour through an alliance with Halifax.188 No reconciliation took place, and Monmouth’s name remained a potent one, inspiring riots and local disputes in the late spring and early summer.189

The revelations in June about the Rye House Plot implicated Monmouth and many of his fellow Whig politicians in a complex series of conspiracies, though how serious they were and how serious his role was within them was always highly arguable. Lord Russell, Essex, John Hampden and others were arrested; Monmouth, Lord Grey, and Sir Thomas Armstrong escaped into hiding. A proclamation was issued for the arrest of all three, as well as Robert Ferguson. Monmouth was said to have sheltered at the house of Thomas Savage, 3rd Earl Rivers, and then his son Lord Colchester’s, or to have left, in disguise, for the continent from Chichester with Grey. In fact he was probably with his mistress, Henrietta Wentworth, in Buckinghamshire, while in London, Essex, incarcerated in the Tower, apparently killed himself on 13 July, and Russell was executed on the 21st.190 On 13 Oct. Halifax approached Monmouth with a view to encouraging a reconciliation between father and son. He assured Monmouth that the king refused to believe that Monmouth had been involved in the assassination plot ‘but as things went he must behave himself as if he did’.191 After further negotiations, by 24 Nov., Monmouth was ready to make a confession of sorts and to surrender himself to the council. York’s reluctance to accept the deal, to which he consented only ‘from necessity’, and the king’s decision to publicize the details of Monmouth’s submission in the London Gazette both helped to undermine the arrangement. Monmouth, who had hoped to recover his interest with the king without losing the support of his party, was furious and denied any confession in terms that could be interpreted as exonerating the executed conspirators.192 Monmouth found himself once more forbidden the court.193 ‘I know not’ wrote Ormond, ‘how to describe the figure the duke of Monmouth makes, nor fancy what course of life he can propose to himself. It must be left to time, chance or his worse advisers to discover’.194 In January 1684, subpoenaed to give evidence against Hampden, Monmouth fled with his mistress to the continent where he was able to live in considerable splendour.195 He returned briefly to England to deal with some private business in November 1684, sparking fresh rumours of rehabilitation, and was led to expect that he would be allowed to return in February the following year, when York was expected to be in Scotland. The opportunity was lost by the king’s death.196

Following James’s accession in February 1685, Monmouth, naturally, did not attend the Parliament that met on 19 May; his name was not even listed, either as present or absent, when the House was called on 26 May. His invasion force landed at Lyme Regis on 11 June 1685. An act of attainder was rushed through Parliament and received the royal assent on 16 June. Captured on 7 July, he was taken to London where he begged unsuccessfully for his uncle’s mercy. He horrified the bishops who attended him by insisting that in the eyes of god he was married to Lady Henrietta Wentworth, rather than to his duchess, and credited her with rescuing him from a life of debauchery. After his botched execution on 15 July, when the head was held up there was said to be ‘no shouting, but many cried.’ 197 The act of attainder meant that Monmouth’s English peerages were extinguished, but the Scots dukedom continued as his widow enjoyed it in her own right. Though Monmouth’s estates were forfeited by virtue of the attainder, his widow was able to secure a regrant and remained welcome at court, both before and after the revolution. In 1688 she married Charles Cornwallis, 3rd Baron Cornwallis, but despite remarriage and the loss of the English dukedom was often referred to as the duchess of Monmouth.198 Monmouth’s only surviving legitimate daughter survived him by no more than a month. Lady Henrietta Wentworth died in April 1686, said to have been poisoned by the mercury in her beauty products.199


  • 1 J. Childs, The Army in the Reign of Charles II, 179.
  • 2 CSP Dom. 1673-5, p. 603.
  • 3 CSP Dom. 1672-3, pp. 201-2.
  • 4 CSP Dom. 1673, p. 480.
  • 5 CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 538.
  • 6 CTB iii. 417.
  • 7 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 19; Life of James II, i. 493.
  • 8 Pepys Diary, iii. 191.
  • 9 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 20.
  • 10 NAS GD 157/3230.
  • 11 An Institute of the Law of Scotland: in Four Books (1828), 920.
  • 12 Pepys Diary, iii. 238.
  • 13 NAS, GD 122/3/11.
  • 14 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 21.
  • 15 Pepys Diary, iii. 260; NAS GD 157/3230.
  • 16 HMC Dartmouth, i. 34-5.
  • 17 NAS GD 157/3233.
  • 18 Pepys Diary, iii. 290-1, 303.
  • 19 LJ, xi. 556.
  • 20 Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vii, 494-5; M. Lee, The Heiresses of Buccleuch: Marriage, Money and Politics in Seventeenth Century Britain, 82-92.
  • 21 Life of James II, i. 490-1.
  • 22 HMC Le Fleming, 29-30; Pepys Diary, iv. 38.
  • 23 Pepys Diary, iv. 107, 113-4.
  • 24 Pepys Diary, v. 21; CSP Dom. 1667-8, p. 556, 1673-4, p. 327-8, 1675-6, p. 200; HMC 7th Rep. 495a.
  • 25 Pepys Diary, v. 21, 41, 56, 58-9.
  • 26 CSP Dom. 1661-2, pp. 579, 580; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 400-1; CSP Dom. 1664-5, p. 230; Life of James II, i. 493..
  • 27 Lee, Heiresses of Buccleuch, 100.
  • 28 CSP Dom. 1664-5, p. 173; NLS, ms 7023, letter 16, 17, ms 3136, ff.11r.-12v.
  • 29 Sloane 1985, f. 95; CSP Dom. 1667, p. 55; CTB ii, p. 153, iv, pp. 53, 149; CP ix. 61.
  • 30 NAS GD 406/1/2586.
  • 31 Pepys Diary, vi. 167, 170, vii. 411-2, viii. 246, 255.
  • 32 Pepys Diary, viii. 288.
  • 33 Add. 75356, R. Graham to Burlington, 29 June 1667.
  • 34 Pepys Diary, viii. 434, 438, 518, ix. 373; Bodl. Carte 68, ff. 635-6, Carte 36, f. 25; CSP Dom. 1667-8, p. 165, 258-9; Add. 36916 f. 121.
  • 35 TNA, PRO 31/3/121, ff. 81-3, 89-90.
  • 36 Marvell, ed. Margoliouth, ii. 307-8.
  • 37 Carte 81, f. 315; CSP Dom. 1671, p. 183; Carte 81, f. 315; Marvell, ed. Margoliouth, ii. 308.
  • 38 Add. 36916, f. 218, 219. Belvoir Castle, Rutland mss Add. 7, letter 22, calendared in HMC Rutland ii.19 (where it is misdated).
  • 39 NLS, ms 14406, ff. 212-3; NAS GD 157/3242/1, 2.
  • 40 PRO 31/3/126 pp. 89, 90, PRO 31/3/127 p. 24; J. Childs, Army in the Reign of Charles II, 178-9; Durham UL, Cosin letter book 5b, n.159; Life of James II, i. 493.
  • 41 HMC Le Fleming 100-1.
  • 42 PRO 31/3/128 pp. 65, 66.
  • 43 HMC Le Fleming, 103.
  • 44 CSP Dom. 1673-5, p. 119; PRO 31/3/130 ff. 79-84.
  • 45 Life of James II, i. 495-7; HMC Dartmouth, i. 34-5.
  • 46 Bodl Ms Film 293, Folger Library, Washington, Newdegate newsletters (1678-1715), I. L.C.14.
  • 47 PRO 31/3/130 ff. 88-9, 92-3, 96-9, 107-10, 124-7.
  • 48 Bodl. ms Film 293, Folger lib. Newdigate mss, LC.22, 23, 61; Carte 38, f. 138.
  • 49 PRO 31/3/131 ff.1-2.
  • 50 PRO 31/3/131 ff.19-20.
  • 51 PRO 31/3/131, ff. 85-9.
  • 52 NLS, ms 7007, ff. 39-40.
  • 53 HMC Rutland, ii. 27; NLW, Wynn of Gwydir, 2700.
  • 54 BL, Verney, M636/28, J. to E. Verney, 14 Jan. 1675.
  • 55 NLS, ms 7007, ff. 1-2.
  • 56 Verney ms. mic. M636/28, J. to E. Verney, 19 Aug., 6, 9 Sept. 1675.
  • 57 HMC Portland iii. 349.
  • 58 NLS, ms 7007, f. 160.
  • 59 PRO 31/3/132 ff. 129-31.
  • 60 Verney ms mic. M 636/30, J. to Sir R. Verney, 21 June 1677.
  • 61 PRO 31/3/126, pp. 89, 90.
  • 62 HMC Portland, iii. 355-6; Carte 79, f. 112.
  • 63 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 106.
  • 64 Verney ms mic. M636/31, Sir R. to E. Verney, 18, 28 Feb. 1678; Add. 28040 f. 46; Reresby Mems. 133; HMC Rutland, ii. 47-8.
  • 65 CSP Dom. 1678, p. 115.
  • 66 Life of James II, i. 496-7.
  • 67 HMC Ormonde, n.s., iv. 325; Carte 146, p. 163; HMC Dartmouth, i. 32-3.
  • 68 Reresby Mems, 140.
  • 69 NAS, GD 406/2/B635/11, GD 406/1/8095; HMC Drumlanrig, i. 236.
  • 70 Childs, Army in the Reign of Charles II, 188-90.
  • 71 Life of James II, i. 498.
  • 72 TNA, PC 2/66, p. 389.
  • 73 CSP Dom. 1678, p. 399.
  • 74 Derbys. RO, Fitzherbert of Tissington, D239 M/O, 1072; HP Commons 1660-90, i. 426.
  • 75 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 473-4.
  • 76 Verney ms mic. M636/32, Dr Denton to Sir R. Verney, 13 Nov. 1678, J. to E. Verney, 14 Nov. 1678.
  • 77 Verney ms mic. M636/32, Sir W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 18 Nov. 1678.
  • 78 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 473-4.
  • 79 Life of James II, i. 525-6.
  • 80 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 493.
  • 81 TNA, C 212/7.
  • 82 Add. 28047, ff. 47-8.
  • 83 HP Commons 1660-90, i. 149, 544, ii. 686; Tanner 39, f. 171, 176; Hull City RO, BRL 976.
  • 84 Add. 28091, f. 138.
  • 85 Add. 28053, f. 140.
  • 86 HMC Buckinghamshire, 405.
  • 87 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 1.
  • 88 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 48.
  • 89 Add. 28046, f. 53.
  • 90 Reresby Mems. 176; The Works of Sir William Temple (1757), ii. 496-7.
  • 91 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 504.
  • 92 HMC 9th Rep. ii. 456.
  • 93 HMC Buckinghamshire, 408.
  • 94 Reresby, Mems, 181-2; The Works of Sir William Temple (1757), ii. 493, 498-9.
  • 95 Verney ms mic. M636/32, J. to Sir R. Verney, 15 May 1679.
  • 96 Add. 18447, ff. 8-9.
  • 97 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 518-9.
  • 98 Add. 18447, f. 10.
  • 99 The Works of Sir William Temple (1757), ii. 507.
  • 100 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 135-6; Haley, Shaftesbury, 536-7.
  • 101 PRO 31/3/143, ff. 33-6.
  • 102 The Works of Sir William Temple, ii. 509.
  • 103 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 17; Verney ms mic. M636/33, Sir R. to J. Verney, 14 July 1679.
  • 104 HMC Dartmouth, 1. 36.
  • 105 HMC Hastings, ii. 388.
  • 106 The Works of Sir William Temple, ii. 513.
  • 107 CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 240; Add. 70081, newsletter 18 Sept. 1679. Glos. Archives, Lloyd Baker mss, D3549/2/2/1, no. 31.
  • 108 Sidney Diary, 176.
  • 109 CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 240.
  • 110 Verney ms mic. M636/33, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 17 Sept. 1679, J. to Sir R. Verney, 18 Sept. 1679.
  • 111 Verney ms mic. M636/33, Sir R. to J. Verney, 18 Sept. 1679.
  • 112 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 537; Carte 232, f. 60.
  • 113 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 535-7; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 21.
  • 114 Verney ms mic. M636/33, J. to Sir R. Verney, 16 Oct. 1679, W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 16 Oct. 1679, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 22 Oct. 1679; Add. 70081, newsletter 23 Oct 1679.
  • 115 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 537.
  • 116 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 541; HMC Lindsey Supp. 33.
  • 117 Carte 228, f. 161.
  • 118 Verney ms mic. M636/33, J. to Sir R. Verney, 1 Dec. 1679.
  • 119 Add. 70084, newsletter, 29 Nov. 1679; Add. 70081, Newsletter, 29 Nov. 1679; HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 245.
  • 120 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 561-2, v. 244.
  • 121 HMC Dartmouth, i. 39.
  • 122 HMC Dartmouth, i. 41.
  • 123 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 563-4.
  • 124 HMC 6th Rep. 725a, 736-7; HMC Ormonde, n.s., iv. 568.
  • 125 Life of James II, i. 579; CSP Dom. 1679-80, pp. 292, 294, 295, 299.
  • 126 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 577.
  • 127 Verney ms mic. M636/33, J. to Sir R. Verney, 15 Dec. 1679; HMC Le Fleming, 166.
  • 128 Bodl., Tanner 38, ff.126-127.
  • 129 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 291.
  • 130 PC 2/68, p. 490; Carte 39, f. 129; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 42-3; Add. 75360, Sir W. Hickman to Halifax, 27 Apr. 1680; Add. 75362, Sir W. Coventry to Halifax 27 Apr. 1680; HMC Ormonde, n.s., vi. 310-1.
  • 131 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 314; HMC Finch ii. 75-8.
  • 132 NLS ms 7009, f. 8; Bodl. ms Eng hist c 304, f. 42; Verney ms mic. 636/34, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 28 May 1680; PC 2/68 p. 525, PC 2/69, f. 4; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 46. Tanner 37, f. 44.
  • 133 A Letter to a Person of Honour, concerning the King’s disavowing the having been married to the D of M’s Mother (1680); Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 50; Hants RO, Jervoise mss, 44M69/F5/3/25.
  • 134 Add. 75353, Thomas Thynne to Halifax, 1 July 1680; Add. 75362, Sir W. Coventry to Halifax, 24 July 1680; HMC Le Fleming, 170.
  • 135 A True Narrative of the Duke of Monmouth’s late Journey into the West (1680); His Grace the Duke of Monmouth honoured in his Progress in the West of England (1680).
  • 136 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 449.
  • 137 V. Wyndham, The Protestant Duke: a Life of Monmouth (London, 1976), 88.
  • 138 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 56.
  • 139 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 453, 458.
  • 140 Verney ms mic. M636/27, newsletter, 24 Oct. 1680.
  • 141 Verney ms mic. M636/34, newsletter n.d. [c. 1 Nov. 1680]; HMC Le Fleming, 173-4.
  • 142 NLS, ms. 14407, ff. 70r.-71v., 72-3.
  • 143 Verney ms mic. M636/34, newsletter, 1 Nov. 1680.
  • 144 HMC Le Fleming, 173-4.
  • 145 Add. 28053, f. 203; Add. 28049, ff. 127-8.
  • 146 Add. 28053, f. 205.
  • 147 Haley, Shaftesbury, 603-4.
  • 148 HMC Finch, ii. 95-103.
  • 149 Carte, 243 fo. 522.
  • 150 Life of James II, i. 647; Macpherson, Orig. Pprs. i. 112; Haley, Shaftesbury, 612.
  • 151 Vox Patriae (1681), 6-7.
  • 152 Add. 18730, f. 81; Carte 222, ff. 248-9.
  • 153 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 68.
  • 154 Reresby Mems, 219; Carte 222, f. 270; CTB vii.
  • 155 Carte 222, f. 272; Haley, Shaftesbury, 634.
  • 156 HMC Dartmouth i. 59-60.
  • 157 HMC Ormonde, n.s. vi. 40, 74, 95-6; Castle Ashby ms, 1092, ? to Northampton, 1 June 1681; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 105-6.
  • 158 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 133; Castle Ashby ms, 1092.
  • 159 Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, viii. 244.
  • 160 Reresby Mems. 238, 240; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 118, 147-8, 150; HMC Ormonde, n.s. vi. 244; Verney ms mic. M 636/35, E. to J. Verney, 29 Aug. 1681; Castle Ashby ms 1092, ? to Northampton, 6 Oct. 1681; Add. 18730, ff. 88, 89, 91.
  • 161 HMC Ormonde, n.s., vi. 215-6, 232-3; HMC Hastings, ii. 173.
  • 162 HMC Ormonde, n.s. vi. 244.
  • 163 Hatton Corresp. ii. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 12.
  • 164 Reresby Mems. 249-55; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 164.
  • 165 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 172; Add. 18730, f. 95.
  • 166 Carte, 232, ff. 99-100.
  • 167 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 179.
  • 168 Carte 232, ff. 105, Carte 216, ff. 47, 53.
  • 169 Reresby Mems. 266.
  • 170 Add. 18730, f. 98.
  • 171 Carte 216, f. 141.
  • 172 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 215; HMC Ormonde, n.s. vi. 428, 430. Carte 216, f. 157.
  • 173 Add. 36988, ff. 199-200.
  • 174 CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 383, 387, 390, 397, 407-8; HMC Ormonde, n.s. vi. 444-5.
  • 175 HMC 7th Rep. 533b.
  • 176 HMC Ormonde, n.s. vi. 452; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 222.
  • 177 Ford, Lord Grey, The Secret History of the Rye House Plot (1754), 22-5; J. Milton, ‘Shaftesbury and the Rye House Plot’ in Anthony Ashley Cooper, first Earl of Shaftesbury ed. J. Spurr, 242-3.
  • 178 CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 429, 432.
  • 179 Grey, Secret History, 25-7; Milton, ‘Shaftesbury and the Rye House Plot’, 244-6.
  • 180 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 224. NAS, GD 157/2681/9; Reresby Mems, 281.
  • 181 Milton, ‘Shaftesbury and the Rye House Plot’ 247-53, 260-5; Burnet, History, ed. Airy (1897), ii. 351; Haley, Shaftesbury, 727.
  • 182 NAS, GD 157/2681/16.
  • 183 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 227; Add. 18730, ff. 100, 101, 102, 103; NAS, GD 157/2681/25.
  • 184 NAS GD 157/2681/16, GD 157/2681/8.
  • 185 Add. 63776, f. 23.
  • 186 NAS GD 157/2681/25; Add. 18730, f. 103.
  • 187 NAS, GD 157/2681/33.
  • 188 Verney ms mic. M636/37, J. to Sir R. Verney, 14 Mar. 1683.
  • 189 Bodl. Clarendon 155, f. 54; Verney ms mic. M636/37, E. to J. Verney, 16 Apr. 1683.
  • 190 CSP Dom. Jan. to Jul 1683, pp. 367, 376; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 263, 264.
  • 191 John Willcock, ‘The Cipher in Monmouth’s Diary’, EHR, xx. 731; Reresby Mems. 320.
  • 192 Reresby Mems. 320.
  • 193 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 293.
  • 194 Carte 118, f. 211.
  • 195 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 306, 318; Verney ms mic. M636/38, W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 17 May 1684.
  • 196 Carte 220, f. 100.
  • 197 Verney ms mic. M636/40, E. to Sir R. Verney, J. to Sir R. Verney, 16 July 1685; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 353.
  • 198 Add. 70119, R. to Sir E. Harley, 19 Oct. 1693; Carte 79, f. 566.
  • 199 Savile Corresp. 286-7.