SHEFFIELD, John (1648-1721)

SHEFFIELD, John (1648–1721)

suc. fa. 24 Aug. 1658 (a minor) as 3rd earl of MULGRAVE; cr. 10 May 1694 mq. of NORMANBY; cr. 23 Mar. 1703 duke of BUCKINGHAM & NORMANBY

First sat 24 Nov. 1669; last sat 20 Feb. 1721

b. 7 Apr. 1648, o. s. of Edmund Sheffield, 2nd earl of Mulgrave, and Elizabeth (d.1672),1 da. of Lionel Cranfield, earl of Middlesex. educ. travelled abroad 1661-5 (France). m. (1) 1686 Ursula (d.1697), da. of George Stawell, wid. of Edward Conway, earl of Conway, s.p.; (2) 12 Mar. 1699 (with £2,000) Katherine (d.1704), da. of Fulke Greville, 5th Bar. Brooke, wid. of Wriothesley Baptist Noel, 2nd earl of Gainsborough, s.p.; (3) 16 Mar. 1706 Katherine (d.1743), illegit. da. of James, duke of York (King James II), and Catherine Sedley, suo jure countess of Dorchester, wid. of James Annesley, 3rd earl of Anglesey,2 3s. (2 d.v.p.), 2da. (1 d.v.p.); 1s. (illegit.) with Frances Stewart, w. of Hon. Oliver Lambart; at least 3da. (illegit.). KG 1674. d. 24 Feb. 1721; will 9 Aug. 1716, 23 Nov. 1717, 30 Dec. 1717 pr. 28 Mar. 1721.3

Extr. gent. of the bedchamber 1672-73, gent. of the bedchamber 1673-82, 1685; PC July 1685- Dec. 1688, May 1694- Mar. 1696, Apr. 1702-1707, Sept. 1710-Aug. 1714;4 ld. chamberlain 1685-89; eccl. commr. 1686-7;5 commr. for prizes 1695;6 ld. privy seal 17027-5;8 ld. steward 1710-11; ld. pres. 1711-14.9

Temp. Speaker 26, 27, 29 Nov., 3 Dec. 1694.

Ld. lt. Yorks. (E. Riding) 1679-82, 1687-88, (N. Riding) 1702-5, 1711-14, Mdx. 1711-14. gov. ?Yarmouth 1673,10 Kingston-upon-Hull 1679-82;11 v.-adm. of the coast (Yorks.) 1669-92, (co. Dur.) 1687-9, (Northumb.) 1687-9; ranger St James’s Park 1702.12

Vol. RN 1666, 1672, capt. 1673; capt. tp. of horse 1667; col. 3rd ft. regt. 1673-82, 1684-?5.

Associated with: Normanby Hall, Lincs. and Buckingham House, St James’s Park, Westminster.13

Likenesses: oil on canvas, aft. G. Kneller, NPG 1779; oil on canvas, by S. Dubois, 1698, National Trust, Hughenden Manor, Bucks.; oil on canvas by J. Richardson, Examination Schools, Oxf. Univ.

Towards the end of his life, Mulgrave (by then duke of Buckingham and Normanby) set out to write an account of his career:

Having observed that memoirs and accounts of persons though not very considerable, when written by themselves, have been greedily read, and often found useful; not only for the knowledge of things past, but as cautions for the future…

The result, he hoped, would be ‘a kind of picture left behind me to my friends and family, very like, though neither well painted, nor handsome.’14 Mulgrave was indulging here in disingenuousness of a high order. Haughty and difficult, although his family were relative newcomers to the ranks of the peerage, as a kinsman of the families of Howard, de Vere and Stanley, he undoubtedly viewed himself as one of the ‘old aristocracy’: both a patron of the arts and an aspiring poet and someone for whom offices and interest were natural appurtenances. It was an attitude that no doubt encouraged contemporary satirists to dub him ‘Lord Allpride’.15 Another contemporary reckoned him to have been possessed of ‘all the ill qualities imaginable without the allay of one single virtue’ and thought him ‘uncapable of resisting a bribe of ten pounds’.16 This last flaw was most spectacularly brought to light during the Lords’ examination of his apparent acceptance of bribes to promote legislation. Although, as Macaulay later noted, Mulgrave’s demeanour failed to inspire affection in his acquaintances, the majority of even his most determined critics acknowledged him, for all his flaws, to be a man of talent. Capable of oratory of a high order and an active manager of conferences and chairman of committees, Mulgrave may at times have seemed ridiculous but he was not a man to be ignored.

Mulgrave’s father, the 2nd earl, had been one of a handful of hereditary peers to be offered seats in the Other House established by Oliver Cromwell, though in common with most of his colleagues, he forbore taking up the place. His death in 1658 left the title in the hands of his young son, then aged just 10 years. Most sources give Mulgrave’s date of birth as 8 Sept. 1647 and his baptismal date as 12 Apr. the following year, yet a letter from Dr William Denton of 7 Apr. 1669 notes that day as being ‘the birthday and the day of my Lord Mulgrave’s being of age’, which would suggest (rather more plausibly) that he was both born and baptized in April 1648.17

The Reign of Charles II

Mulgrave succeeded to a considerable estate in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire and he counted among his immediate kin grandees on both sides of the political divide, among them Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron [S], and the numerous members of the Boyle family. Still a minor at the time of the Restoration, in March 1660, when Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton, compiled his assessment of the peerage, Mulgrave was noted as an infant, and on 31 July he was noted as absent (under age) at a call of the House.18 Shortly after the Restoration, the dowager countess remarried; the same year the young earl of Mulgrave departed on his foreign travels in company with a tutor, Mr Hoel. He seems to have remained abroad for the ensuing three years. In the spring of 1663, finding that the ‘air did not agree with him and that the beer was not fit to be drunk’, an attitude not shared by his charge, Hoel pressed for permission to return. Shortly after this, Mulgrave appears to have been compelled to quit Paris which was in the grip of a plague.19 In 1666, Mulgrave joined the Navy as a volunteer, serving aboard the flagship of Prince Rupert, duke of Cumberland, and George Monck, duke of Albemarle. Mulgrave’s desire to see action, according to his own account, was in direct emulation of Thomas Butler, styled earl of Ossory [I] (who attended the House as Baron Butler of Moore Park), whom he had heard commended ‘everywhere’.20

In July 1667, while still underage, both Mulgrave and his rival, John Wilmot, 2nd earl of Rochester, were sent writs of summons to attend the House of Lords.21 The move was believed to be a deliberate ploy by the king, who hoped to bolster the court group in the Lords with the addition of these young peers. Although Rochester responded to the summons, thus compelling the House to refer the matter to the committee for privileges, Mulgrave chose to stay away. The House’s opposition to the admission of Rochester and Mulgrave was voiced most strenuously by Algernon Percy, 4th earl of Northumberland, opposition with which Mulgrave (in later years) warmly concurred, ‘because that heat of youth… made me a great deal more inclined to something else, than to sitting there.’22 Over the next few years, Mulgrave applied himself to that ‘something else’ with great bravado, indulging in a series of amours and quarrels. Over the coming years he fathered at least four bastards and was one of three peers (the others being York and James Scott, duke of Monmouth) who were believed to have contributed to the ruin of one of the duchess of York’s maids of honour, Mary Kirke.

Mulgrave finally came of age in April 1669 but he remained disinclined to claim his seat in the House and on 26 Oct. he was again excused at a call. The following month, he challenged Rochester to a duel, ostensibly over his inclusion in one of Rochester’s satires. The affair descended into farce when Rochester first demanded to fight the duel on horseback as he was unwell and then was found to have brought along an unknown officer of the lifeguards as his second, whom Mulgrave’s second, Colonel Aston, refused to acknowledge as a social equal. In the event the affair passed off without violence and all four men returned to London, where Mulgrave was arrested at the king’s suit and confined at a house in Suffolk Street. It was from there that the House ordered him to be brought to the bar, following which he finally took his seat in the House on 24 November. Two days later, Rochester, who had also been confined, undertook not to persist with the quarrel.23

Having at last taken his seat, Mulgrave attended just three days of the session before retiring once more. He returned to his place the following year on 21 Feb. 1670, a week into the new session, after which he was present on just over 15 per cent of all sitting days. Named to four committees, on 28 Mar. he subscribed the protest at the resolution to pass the bill to allow John Manners, styled Lord Roos (later duke of Rutland), to divorce his wife.24 Mulgrave failed to attend the House at all in 1671 and the following February he was afflicted with the loss of his mother, who had died ‘foolishly without taking order for any thing either for her self or her servants’. He argued with his stepfather, Sir John Bennet, later Baron Ossulston, over the arrangements for his mother’s interment.25 Later that year Mulgrave rejoined the fleet to serve as a volunteer at the battle of Sole Bay.

Having attended the prorogation day on 30 Oct. 1672, when he introduced his stepfather’s brother, Henry Bennet, as earl of Arlington, Mulgrave took his place at the opening of the new session on 4 Feb. 1673, after which he was present on almost 83 per cent of all sitting days. Missing at a call on 13 Feb. he returned to his place the following day and over the course of the remainder of the session he was named to three committees.26 He then took his seat in the brief four-day session in October, of which he attended on two days. That year, he was appointed one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber and in 1674 he was admitted to the order of the Garter. His steady rise was largely owing to the king’s personal interest. In the same month that he was awarded the blue ribbon, it was rumoured that he was to marry the duchess of Richmond and be promoted to a dukedom, though in the event neither the marriage nor peerage were forthcoming.27

Mulgrave returned to the House at the opening of the new session on 7 Jan. 1674, after which he was present on 92 per cent of all sitting days and during which he was named to two committees.28 He appears to have spent much of the rest of the year in quarrelsome vein, fighting or narrowly avoiding it. In the early autumn, Monmouth was confined to his lodgings for threatening Mulgrave, who, it was reported, was courting the duke’s current mistress.29 In October Mulgrave was engaged in a duel with one Mr Felton and in December he found himself involved in another bout with Rochester, though on this occasion Rochester was acting as second to Henry (Harry) Savile, who had precipitated the duel by jeering at Mulgrave.30

In January 1675, it was rumoured (improbably) that in an attempt to curb this riotous lifestyle, ‘le sage seigneur’ Mulgrave (then said to be in possession of four challenges) was to be admitted to the Privy Council.31 The following month, he was one of a number of peers to be appointed commissioners to examine Colonel Francis Lovelace, the former commander of New York, over his surrender to the Dutch.32 Mulgrave took his seat at the opening of the new session on 13 Apr. 1675, after which he was present on 88 per cent of all sitting days. In advance of the session he had been estimated as a likely supporter of the non-resisting test.33 Named to no committees besides the standing committees for privileges and petitions, on 17 Apr. he introduced his kinsman, Charles Sackville, later 6th earl of Dorset, as earl of Middlesex. Efforts to prevent Mulgrave from indulging in further quarrels failed to avert a further duel that August with Percy Kirke, perhaps resulting from Mary Kirke’s pregnancy and loss of place in the duchess of York’s household.34

Having survived yet another experience on the field of honour, Mulgrave resumed his seat at the opening of the session on 13 October. Present on two thirds of all sitting days in the session, although he was named to the three standing committees, he was named to no other committees that session. On 20 Nov. he was said to have been one of those foremost in backing the calls for Parliament to be dissolved.35 The following January, it was reported that he had been appointed to the Privy Council, though later that month the reporter, Sir Ralph Verney, corrected his error.36 In April, a rumour circulated that both Mulgrave and Henry Mordaunt, 2nd earl of Peterborough, had converted to Rome, though this also proved to be without foundation.37 Mulgrave took his seat in the House at the opening of the new session of February 1677, after which he was present on almost 68 per cent of all sitting days. Named to five committees, in May he was noted triply vile by Anthony Ashley Cooper, earl of Shaftesbury.38 The same month rumours circulated of a secret marriage between Mulgrave and the duchess of Richmond, which it was thought she was soon to ‘own’.39 Mulgrave had previously penned an elegy in her honour, in which he dubbed her, ‘Thou lovely slave to a rude husband’s will, / by nature used so well, by him so ill.’40 Mulgrave’s growing interest at court was reflected in William Denton’s intention to make him, York and James Butler, duke of Ormond, his ‘friends’ in his efforts to secure his place from the king.41

Mulgrave travelled abroad again that summer to serve as a volunteer in the French army alongside Monmouth and a number of other peers, though his former hero, Ossory, opted to fight in the opposing forces of William of Orange (later King William III). On 16 Aug. it was reported that Mulgrave had once more become engaged in a duel and that he had been killed by his French opponent, though again the rumour proved to be without substance.42 Mulgrave returned from the fray in time to take his place in the House on 3 Dec. when he was embroiled in an incident in the House involving Carlo Dudley, the self-styled duke of Northumberland, who had attempted to take his seat and requested the king’s assistance in ordering the duchess of Richmond to marry him. When the king declined to interfere, saying that it ‘must be his own addresses’ that secured her consent, ‘the mad duke’ gazed round the chamber and, alighting on Mulgrave, declared, ‘no, that fellow there will hinder me.’43 Mulgrave departed on campaign again the following February but he returned less than a fortnight later and resumed his seat in the House for the remainder of the session.44 On 4 Apr. 1678 he found Philip Herbert, 7th earl of Pembroke, not guilty of murder.45 Following the short prorogation, he took his place again at the opening of the new session on 23 May, after which he was present on 95 per cent of all sitting days, and was named to 11 committees.46 In September, it was reported that he had resigned his colonelcy, perhaps convinced that his soldiering days were over.47

Mulgrave was said to have joined a number of suitors at Petworth that winter intent on courting Lady Elizabeth Percy. Conscious of the relatively small size of his own estate when compared with that of some of his rivals, Mulgrave undertook to settle his whole estate as a jointure, irrespective of whether any children resulted from the marriage.48 Besides his comparatively modest wealth, Mulgrave was also thought to be labouring under the disadvantage of age. Sir Ralph Verney proposed the match ‘very strange, for he may almost be her grandfather.’49 Unsurprisingly, Mulgrave’s suit was unsuccessful.

Mulgrave returned to the House on 21 Oct 1678, after which he was present on almost 89 per cent of all sitting days. Named to three committees, on 26 Dec. he voted in favour of insisting on the Lords’ amendment to the bill for disbanding the army and the following day he voted against committing Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby (later marquess of Carmarthen and duke of Leeds).50 In spite of this, by March of the following year Mulgrave appears to have determined not to assist the former lord treasurer. In a list compiled at the beginning of the month, Danby reckoned Mulgrave a likely supporter, though he noted that the king should talk to him to be certain of his assistance. The following day Danby had revised his estimate and now considered Mulgrave an opponent (though unreliable) and on 3 Mar. he added him to the list of those ranked against him.51 Having attended two days of the abortive session at the beginning of March, Mulgrave took his seat in the First Exclusion Parliament on 15 Mar. 1679, after which he was present on 92 per cent of all sitting days, though he appears not to have been named to any committees during the session. Nominated one of the managers of the conference considering Danby’s attainder on 22 Mar, on 1 Apr. he voted in favour of the early stages of the bill, one of a number of members of the ‘court party’ to turn their backs on him at this time.52 On 4 Apr. he again voted to pass the measure and on 14 Apr. he voted to agree with the Commons on the passage of the attainder.53 Over the ensuing two years Mulgrave gave his support fairly regularly to the opposition grouping, an association that may in part have been born out of his friendship with Monmouth. On 13 May he subscribed the protest at the resolution to allow the bishops to remain in court until sentence of death was passed. Ten days later, he subscribed two more protests, first at the instruction to the Lords committee meeting with the Commons that the Lords would give no other answer with regard to the bishops’ right to vote and second at the resolution to proceed with the trials of the five lords before that of Danby. On 27 May he voted against adhering to an earlier vote that the lords spiritual had a right to stay in court in capital cases until judgment of death came to be pronounced.

Mulgrave was appointed governor of Hull at the close of 1679, though he was said to be reluctant to take up the appointment, unhappy to be profiting from Monmouth’s disgrace.54 The following summer he set out as commander of a relief expedition to Tangier, returning from the abortive campaign towards the end of July bearing ‘a melancholy account’ of the state of the colony.55 It was speculated that although the king had initially been irritated by Mulgrave’s conduct, he was impressed with the detailed intelligence Mulgrave brought back with him.

Mulgrave took his seat at the opening of the new Parliament on 21 Oct. 1680, after which he was present on 71 per cent of all sitting days in the session. He again appears not to have been named to any committees during this session. Despite his previous association with the opposition, as an adherent of York he was vehemently opposed to the exclusion bill and on 15 Nov. he voted in favour both of putting the question that the bill should be rejected at first reading and then in favour of throwing the bill out without further deliberation.56 Even so, on 23 Nov. he then backed the motion proposed by George Villiers, 2nd duke of Buckingham, to establish a joint committee with the Commons to debate the state of the nation, entering his protest at the failure to carry the proposal. On 7 Dec. he voted in favour of attainting William Howard, Viscount Stafford, and on 18 Dec. he entered his dissent at the resolution to reject a proviso exempting all trials of peers upon impeachment from the bill for regulating the trials of peers.57

In advance of the new Parliament in March 1681, Mulgrave was forecast as being opposed to allowing Danby’s release on bail but he attended just one day of the session that convened in Oxford.58 In June he was present at the trial of Fitzharris.59 The following year, Mulgrave was barred from court and put out of his offices following a scandal involving York’s daughter, Princess Anne.60 In September of the previous year (1681) it had been reported that Anne had begged her father to replace her governess, Lady Henrietta Hyde, telling him:

If I must have a governess, pray sir let it not be Lady Henrietta Hyde, but a more elderly and grave lady; for if your highness knew the intrigues that lady drives with Mulgrave to seduce me to his amours, you would not permit her longer to be near me.61

In June 1682 the first rumours of his having been forbidden Court began to circulate, on account of his ‘so brisk attempts upon the Lady Anne’.62 By November, his disgrace was public knowledge and reports circulated that he was to be stripped of his regiment and the governorship of Hull awarded to Thomas Windsor, 7th Baron Windsor (soon to be promoted earl of Plymouth). Some inevitably enough adopted him as a kind of folk hero and dubbed him King John. Edmund Verney commented that Mulgrave, ‘by aspiring too high has had a great fall, but he can never fall to hurt himself much, so long as he has so good and plentiful an estate as he has, if he can but be contented therewith.’63 Some thought that the relationship had been consummated and that Mulgrave had spoiled the princess’s chances of making a suitable marriage elsewhere, while others speculated that the whole affair was a front and that the true cause of his discomfiture was the result of having spoken out too warmly in favour of Monmouth.64 Elsewhere it was suggested that Laurence Hyde, recently promoted earl of Rochester, was the author of Mulgrave’s fall, believing that Mulgrave and his wife, the princess’s governess, had been having an affair. Mulgrave himself was said to have claimed that he did not know the cause of his disgrace and to have written to the king to find out the reason. Sir Ralph Verney thought that Mulgrave had shown ‘more pride than prudence’ in making his addresses to the princess. Others thought ‘his crime only ogling’.65

The marriage of Princess Anne to Prince George of Denmark, later duke of Cumberland, the following summer brought the affair to a close. Mulgrave, it was said, ‘must wear the willow and stick to his old mistress in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.’66 By August Mulgrave was back at court and restored to his offices (though it appears that he was only ever suspended from his place as a gentleman of the bedchamber and not actually removed from that post, as he maintained his seniority in the list of gentlemen above peers of higher rank).67 During his exile, Mulgrave was said to have been called upon by a number of opposition peers: he now made it known that he was glad to have failed to return their visits.68

The Reign of James II and the Revolution

Restored to the command of his regiment in January 1684, the accession of James II the following year promised Mulgrave the prospect of further favour. Spoken of as one of those likely to remain a member of the new king’s bedchamber in February, the same month it was also speculated that he intended to convert to Catholicism.69 Mulgrave took his seat at the opening of the new Parliament on 19 May 1685, after which he was present on more than 90 per cent of all sitting days and during which he was named to six committees.70 In October it was reported that he had given up his commission.71 The reason was unknown, but was presumably related to his subsequent appointment to the office of lord chamberlain, which had been left vacant by the death of Robert Bruce, earl of Ailesbury.72

Mulgrave was one of the peers appointed to the commission to try Henry Booth, 2nd Baron Delamere (later earl of Warrington), in January 1686.73 The same month it was rumoured that he was to be replaced as lord chamberlain by Henry Waldegrave, Baron Waldegrave, and to be made lord steward instead, but nothing came of this.74 The rumours coincided with the beginnings of a dispute at court between Mulgrave as lord chamberlain, the lord great chamberlain (Robert Bertie, 3rd earl of Lindsey) and the earl marshal (Henry Howard, 7th duke of Norfolk), arising out of a disagreement about precedence. It was finally resolved in April.75 That spring Mulgrave was at last able to secure a match for himself. His marriage to the dowager countess of Conway followed the breakdown in negotiations between her and George Compton, 4th earl of Northampton.76 Northampton was said to have blamed Lady Conway’s kinsman, Sir Edward Seymour, for the failure of his suit and to have challenged him to a duel as a result.77 Seymour certainly appears to have preferred Mulgrave’s claim and to have done all he could to undermine Northampton. It may have been Mulgrave’s success in securing the match that gave rise to renewed (but inaccurate) rumours, persisting into the autumn, that he was to be promoted in the peerage as a duke.78 In March a grand ball was held at court in honour of the marriage and later that month Mulgrave’s success was recorded by one newsletter writer, who noted that he had ‘done that which none could do before laid salt upon her tail and seisin in her belly.’79 The union did not, however, prove to be a great success: within a few weeks rumours abounded that Mulgrave and his countess had been involved in ‘some domestic discourse’’80

A disagreement between Mulgrave and John Churchill, Baron Churchill (later duke of Marlborough), that spring over hunting rights was perhaps indicative of broader tensions at court among the king’s favourites. Mulgrave was said to have threatened to hang Churchill’s dogs if he caught them hunting the king’s game: his stand was dismissed by one commentator as ‘foolish’, ‘he having nothing to do with the game at all.’81 It was certainly not an area in which he was involved directly as lord chamberlain. Far more controversially, that October he was appointed to the ecclesiastical commission, which would be the principal embarrassment Mulgrave was forced to explain away after the Revolution. He later insisted that he always used his interest to protect the Protestant clergy, but his role renewed speculation that he had forsaken the Church of England.82 In April 1686 Roger Morrice noted that neither Mulgrave nor Robert Spencer, 2nd earl of Sunderland, had taken the Test since taking up their respective offices and in November it was noted that he had been one of a number of peers to kneel at the elevation of the host at an All Souls Day service. Reports of his likely conversion to Catholicism continued to circulate into the next year.83 The following month he was involved in an angry exchange with Peterborough, the groom of the stole, over the latter’s employment of one of the lord chamberlain’s rooms to access his own apartments. Reverting to type, Mulgrave issued Peterborough with a challenge. The quarrel was prevented with Peterborough detained under house arrest and the king ordering the affair to be settled at council.84

In January 1687 Mulgrave was listed among those thought likely to support the king’s desired repeal of the Test Act and in May he was, unsurprisingly, noted a supporter of the king’s policies.85 Later that year, he was again included in a list of peers thought likely to lend their support to the repeal of the Test. The estimate was repeated early in 1688. Mulgrave was appointed lord lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire in August 1687 but the same month reports circulated that he was ‘out’ following a disagreement with the queen over arrangements made for her during her progress to Bath.86 William Denton noted that Mulgrave had been ‘suspended his place for an indiscretion’ but thought it unlikely that he would be out of favour for long. He also cast doubt on reports that Mulgrave had been replaced by Henry Jermyn, Baron Dover, noting that Mulgrave was observed playing bowls at Marylebone every day wearing his key, ‘which I believed he would not be if outed’. Mulgrave appears to have succeeded in inveigling his way back into favour by the early autumn when he was among those members of the council noted to have drawn up lists of candidates to be sheriffs, ‘the proposed being most all Roman Catholics or dissenters.’ Despite this his position remained uncertain and in December it was put about that James Hamilton, styled earl of Arran and later 4th duke of Hamilton [S], would get his place if he were to be turned out. The reason for this latest threat to Mulgrave’s career may have been his opposition to the ecclesiastical commission’s decision to prevent the deprived fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford exercising other offices until they had submitted to the king.87 In the event, Mulgrave retained his place and he was among those members of the council present the following June when the order was given to prosecute the Seven Bishops.88 He was also one of those present at the birth of the Prince of Wales.89 Although it was speculated at that time that he may be about to join Sunderland in converting to Catholicism, it was denied the following month and rumours again circulated that he was to be displaced as lord chamberlain either by Dover or by James Cecil, 4th earl of Salisbury. Once more, Mulgrave survived the expected reshuffle and later that month he was spoken of as one of those who might succeed to the high stewardship of Westminster, vacant by the death of Ormond.90

The Revolution and the Convention Parliament, 1688-90

Along with Sunderland and a number of other prominent members of the king’s inner circle, in November 1688 Mulgrave secured a general pardon.91 At the beginning of December he was required in his capacity as lord chamberlain to make preparations for the new Parliament. Following news of the Prince of Orange’s invasion, Mulgrave distanced himself rapidly from the old regime.92 According to Thomas Bruce, 2nd earl of Ailesbury, he even went so far as to break his wand of office at the news of the king’s flight. On 11 Dec. he took his place among the peers that had gathered at the Guildhall to take command of events in London, one of only two members of the ecclesiastical commission to brave the assembly.93 The remainder, it was noted, ‘are gone aside or skulk.’94 Mulgrave later penned a letter to John Tillotson, archbishop of Canterbury, eager to defend his honour over his participation within the commission. He hoped, he wrote,

to confirm you in your favourable opinion of me; which must be acknowledged by every body an approbation of such weight, that as I hope it may be an example of great authority to many, so it is sufficient of it self to balance the censoriousness of others.95

On 12 Dec. Mulgrave moved that his neighbour, George Savile, marquess of Halifax, should take the chair of the temporary assembly. According to one source, his support for Halifax as president was because he thought Halifax would be willing to ‘serve any turn.’96 Mulgrave had previously penned The Character of a Tory as a reply to Halifax’s Character of a Trimmer, probably before the death of Charles II.97 In it he had lampooned the Trimmer’s attempt to steer a middle course:

what the Trimmer only in words pretends to do, and fails of in effect, the Tory uses the right means for, and so accomplishes. For first, the Trimmer complains of Whigs weighing down the boat on one side, while he is wishing to go more steady; but yet without using the least means towards it, he sits still at the bottom of the vessel, and only quarrels with everybody in it: Now what possible way is there in nature to set all right again, but by counterpoising that weight of Whigs with as great an one of Tories on the other side? This is all we aim at; that the government at last may be well established, and everything go so even, that nothing hereafter may endanger it.98

On 13 Dec. Mulgrave was one of three peers deputed to seal up the king’s closet. Later that morning, having communicated the rumours of the king’s capture and requested that any restraint should be taken off the beleaguered monarch, Mulgrave refused to heed Halifax’s attempts to adjourn the meeting and continued to insist that measures should be taken to rescue James from his undignified predicament. Halifax eventually succeeded in imposing his authority and, when the assembly re-convened later that afternoon, Mulgrave was conspicuous by his absence. Eventual confirmation that James was at Faversham prompted an order for Mulgrave to resume his duties as lord chamberlain and to prepare lodgings for the king on his return to the capital.99 According to Ailesbury, Mulgrave seized the opportunity of his renewed access to James to make plain the price of his continued support for the king. He demanded promotion to a marquessate in return for his loyalty and even went so far as to produce a warrant, which he had had drawn up, ready for the king’s signature. When James proved unwilling to comply, expostulating, ‘Good God… what a time you take to ask a thing of that nature’, Mulgrave withdrew his support and resumed his place among those seeking a settlement excluding James from the throne.100 On 18 Dec., the day that the king fled London for the second time, Mulgrave was noted by Henry Hyde, 2nd earl of Clarendon, to be waiting at the Prince of Orange’s bedchamber door, ‘in hopes to get the first admittance’.101 Four days later he was again observed making ‘special application to the prince’ and speaking ‘much in the prince’s ear’.102 Mulgrave resumed his place in the ad hoc assembly on 21 Dec. when he supported the calls for the peers to reconvene in the House the following day. He then signed the Association and proceeded to attend the final three meetings of the Lords on 22, 24 and 25 Dec, on 24 Dec. voicing his concerns over the moves to read the king’s letter to Charles Middleton, 2nd earl of Middleton [S], arguing that as a private letter it was ‘not fit to be enquired into.’103

Mulgrave offered his own explanation of the causes and progress of the Revolution in a study of the crisis, which was published after his death. As in his letter to Tillotson, Mulgrave sought, unsurprisingly, to justify his own actions and to emphasize the manner in which he had opposed King James’s efforts to proselytize Catholicism, but he was also eager to underscore the other causes of the king’s overthrow. ‘The Nation had long been uneasy’, he wrote,

even in some former reigns, with fears of popery and arbitrary power; and of late many of the very court and council appeared unsatisfied on that account. Some were vexed also for two other reasons; the great diminution of their salaries, by the ill-timed retrenchments of the treasury, and their finding all the power and favour engrossed by a few, and those also the foolishest of the Roman Party.104

When the Revolution came, Mulgrave considered the desertions from James’s inner circle and, more particularly, from within his own family, to have been the signal reasons for the king’s loss of his throne. Mulgrave was convinced that had he only relied on his army, James would have defeated Prince William:

the nature of Englishmen being like that of our game-cocks, which an Irish footman once thought he might trust safely together, because they were matched on one side; but quickly found them picking out one another’s eyes. The truth is, our countrymen love no cause, nor man, so well as fighting, even sometimes without any cause at all.105

Despite his close association with the former regime, Mulgrave was quick to trim his cloth according to the prevailing fashion. The skill with which he did so is all the more remarkable when one considers that he had been one of those identified by Gilbert Burnet, later bishop of Salisbury, during the course of the Revolution, as someone who ought to be humbled by having his order of the garter taken from him.106 He took his seat in the Convention on 22 Jan. 1689, after which he was present on 90 per cent of all sitting days. Freed from his obligations at court he appears to have redirected his energy towards the business of the House. Although he was absent from the vote on whether a regency would be the best means of preserving the Protestant religion on 29 Jan, he resumed his place two days later in time to vote in favour of the clause declaring William and Mary king and queen.107 He then dissented from the rejection of the Commons’ clause declaring the throne to be vacant. On 4 Feb. he voted to agree with the Commons’ employment of the term ‘abdicated’ in preference to the moderate peers’ suggested term ‘deserted’, again putting his name to the dissent when the proposal was defeated. Two days later he again voted to support the Commons in their use of the phrase ‘that the throne is vacant’.108 Clarendon observed in his diary how Mulgrave and Theophilus Hastings, 7th earl of Huntingdon, had both ‘all along voted against the king’. Morrice noted that Mulgrave ‘never made one false step, so that it’s fit to be considered whether there should not be some discrimination made amongst great offenders as he had been.’109

Having adequately demonstrated his credentials as a supporter of the new order, on 12 Feb. Mulgrave was named one of the managers of the conference concerning the Lords’ proclamation and on 2 Mar. he was added to the committee for the bill for better regulating the trials of peers. Mulgrave was named one of the reporters of the conference considering ways of assisting the king on 5 Mar. from which he reported the same day, and on 20 and 22 Apr. he was named a manager of a series of conferences concerning the oaths. On 8 May he was named one of the managers of the conference considering the disarming of papists and on 22 May of that for the dissenters toleration bill. In spite of his shameless repositioning in the course of the Revolution, Mulgrave refused to be drawn on one attempt to overturn past actions and on 31 May he voted against reversing the perjury judgments against Titus Oates.110 On 10 July, although missing from the attendance list that day, Mulgrave was said to have joined with Ralph Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Boughton (later duke of Montagu), in attempting to oust Halifax from the speakership, to which he had been appointed temporarily since the opening of the Convention. In doing so, Mulgrave was said to have assured Halifax that he intended him ‘no disrespect’. However, their motion for an address to the king to appoint either one of the commissioners of the great seal or a judge in Halifax’s place was rejected.111 On 12 July Mulgrave was appointed a manager of the conference considering the succession. Ten days later (22 July) he was named a reporter of the conference for Oates’s bill. Mulgrave had been entrusted with the proxy of Philip Stanhope, 2nd earl of Chesterfield, on 17 Apr., which was vacated by Chesterfield’s return to the House the following day. Chesterfield felt obliged to explain his actions to one correspondent, pointing out that he had found himself, ‘not a little blamed for leaving my proxy with the lord of Mulgrave’. He justified his decision on the grounds that

his lordship is known to be a man of parts; secondly he is accounted a good courtier, and by consequence, one who having much to be forgiven him, will be sure to be for those who are in power; and lastly, his lordship not loving to part with any thing that he can keep, made me think that the privilege of the Lords would be very safe in his custody.112

Mulgrave took his seat in the second session on 23 Oct. 1689, after which he was present on approximately 86 per cent of all sitting days. On 6 Nov. he was added to the committee for inspections and on 16 Nov. he reported from committee of the whole House concerning the succession bill, seeking further time for the business to be considered. He then chaired and reported from a series of subsequent committees of the whole on this business.113 On 5 and 7 Dec. he reported from committee of the whole House on the triennial bill. On 4 Jan. 1690 he reported from the committee examining the Journal to discover the manner in which examinations had previously been delivered to the Commons. He then reported from two further committees of the whole on 18 and 23 Jan. concerning the corporations bill. On 23 Jan. he acted as one of the tellers (opposite Thomas Thynne, Viscount Weymouth) in the division over fining lords for late attendance of the House, which was rejected by ten votes. In a list he compiled between October 1689 and February 1690, Carmarthen (as Danby had since become) reckoned Mulgrave to be a supporter of the court, but added that he was to be spoken to.

The Parliament of 1690

In advance of the new Parliament, Mulgrave was said to have been aggrieved not to have been trusted with Chesterfield’s proxy once more.114 He took his seat at the opening of the Parliament on 20 Mar. 1690, after which he was present on every one of its 53 sitting days. On the second day of the session, the House heard a complaint that one of Mulgrave’s watermen had been pressed even though he had been wearing Mulgrave’s livery, ‘which is conceived to be a breach of the privileges of this House.’ The matter was referred to the committee for privileges. On 31 Mar. Mulgrave reported from the committee considering the bill for making the poor laws more effectual and on 4 Apr. he reported from committee of the whole House concerning the bill for recognizing King William and Queen Mary. Having attended the two prorogation days of 18 Aug. and 8 Sept. Mulgrave took his place in the subsequent session on 2 Oct. after which he was present on 82 per cent of all sitting days. On 15 Oct. he received the proxy of John Stawell, 2nd Baron Stawell, one of his wife’s kinsmen, which was vacated by the close of the session. On 6 Oct. he voted for the discharge of the earls of Salisbury and Peterborough from their imprisonment in the Tower. Having informed the House on 23 Oct. that the committee appointed to examine the precedents for impeachments to continue from one Parliament to the next was ready to make their report, he reported from the committee on 30 October. Mulgrave was noted by Godfrey Harcourt, man of business to the duchess of Beaufort, as one of her great friends in her bitter cause against Ailesbury at the close of the year. Harcourt noted how Ailesbury had managed to gain many friends to his side by his assiduous courting, among them Burnet, but that Mulgrave had taken the bishop ‘up very short and silenced him at one committee’.115

Mulgrave was one of several notables recommended by Carmarthen to succeed as lord lieutenant of Ireland in February 1691, though in the event he was overlooked for the office.116 He returned to the House at the opening of the following session on 22 Oct. 1691, after which he was present on 82 per cent of all sitting days. On 3 Dec. he reported from the committee considering the bill for Christopher Hatton, Viscount Hatton, and Simon Patrick, bishop of Ely. The same month he was one of a number of peers to be named by William Fuller as being engaged in Jacobite plotting but there seems little reason to believe that this was the case.117 Mulgrave was one of four peers to be added to those appointed as managers of the conference considering the bill against adhering to the king and queen’s enemies on 4 Jan. and on 9 and 14 Jan. 1692 he reported from conferences concerning the treason trials bill. On 15 Jan. he reported from the committee appointed to inspect previous commissions for the appointment of lords high steward.118 Mulgrave reported from a further committee for the treason trials bill on 18 January. He then reported from two more conferences on the matter on 21 and 27 January. Entrusted once more with Stawell’s proxy on 1 Feb. 1692, which was vacated by the close, on 16 Feb. he subscribed the protest at the resolution not to permit proxies to be employed during the proceedings on the Norfolk divorce bill. He was one of the managers of the conference for the small tithes bill on 22 Feb., and the following day he reported from the committee considering expedients for the preservation of the privileges of the House in relation to the poll bill.

The close of the session coincided with rumours of alterations in the ministry. Mulgrave was said to be likely to succeed as lord privy seal. Towards the end of February it was reported that he was to be admitted to the Privy Council and in March that he was to purchase the lord chamberlaincy from Dorset (as Middlesex had since become) for £8,000. None of the expected appointments transpired.119 Mulgrave attended three prorogation days in April, May and June. In August he was reported to be ‘very sick of a vomiting’ and believed himself poisoned by a jealous husband.120 He recovered in time to attend a further prorogation day on 26 Sept. before taking his place at the opening of the new session on 4 November. He was present on 92 per cent of all sitting days. On 7 Dec. he subscribed the protest at the resolution not to propose to the Commons a joint committee to consider the state of the nation. On 29 Dec. he reported from the committee appointed to inspect the journals for precedents concerning free conferences. Two days later, he voted in favour of committing the place bill. He then voted to pass the measure on 3 Jan. 1693, subscribing his protest when it was resolved to throw the bill out.121 Mulgrave spoke during the debates of 31 Dec. in support of the bill. He justified the peers’ taking a close interest in the issue of the representation of the people, indicating that they, too, had a close interest in being concerned with the preservation of the country’s freedom:

My Lords, we may think, because this concerns not the House of Lords, that we need not be so over-careful of the matter; but there are noblemen in France, at least such as were so before they were enslaved, who, that they might domineer over others, and serve a present turn perhaps, let all things alone so long, till the people were quite mastered and the nobility themselves too, to bear them company. So that I never met a Frenchman, even of the greatest rank… that did not envy us for our freedom from that slavery which they groan under…

Mulgrave suggested in conclusion that, ‘whatever success this bill may have, there must needs come some good effect of it; for if it passes, it will give us security; if it be obstructed, it will give us warning.’122

On 4 Jan. 1693, Mulgrave was named one of the managers of the conference considering the Commons’ vote concerning the conduct of Admiral Edward Russell, later earl of Orford. Three days later Mulgrave was entrusted with the proxy of Edward Montagu, 3rd earl of Sandwich. The proxy was vacated when Sandwich returned to the House on 18 January. On 17 Jan. Mulgrave subscribed two protests resulting from the decision not to hear all the judges concerning the claim to the earldom of Banbury and from the conclusion that the claimant had no right to the peerage. According to Burnet, Mulgrave, along with Halifax, had resolved to show their power by wrecking the land tax bill, planning to do so by amending it with a clause insisting that the peers should assess themselves. On 19 Jan. he acted as one of the tellers in a division in committee of the whole House whether to refer the Lords’ amendment to the land tax bill to the committee for privileges. The motion was defeated by 50 votes to 36 following which Mulgrave entered his dissent both at the failure to refer the amendments to the privileges committee and then at failure to insist on the amendments. Mulgrave’s speech opposing the bill, in which he argued that by passing it the Lords would thereby ‘abdicate that authority which had belonged to the baronage of England ever since the foundation of the monarchy’ and that they would be left with nothing ‘of their old greatness except their coronets and ermines’ was noted by Bishop Burnet as being delivered ‘with a force of argument and eloquence, beyond any thing that I had ever heard in that House’.123

On 25 Jan. 1693 Mulgrave reported from two conferences considering a libellous publication concerning the king and queen and on 31 Jan. he subscribed the protest at the decision not to proceed with the trial of Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun. When the trial was held on 4 Feb. he found Mohun not guilty of murder, perhaps recognizing in the riotous Mohun something of himself in earlier life.124 As if to make the point, later that month he was again the subject of an injunction by the House not to quarrel, this time with James Brydges, 8th Baron Chandos.125 On 17 Feb. Mulgrave reported from the committee established to draw up an address of advice to the king. He reported from the same committee the following day and on 20 Feb. he was entrusted with Huntingdon’s proxy, which was vacated on 6 March. On 4 Mar. he reported from the committee for the address concerning the state of Ireland. Two days later he entered his dissent at the decision not to pass on to the Commons information relating to Ireland that had been taken at the bar of the Lords. On 8 Mar. he subscribed a further protest at the resolution to reject provisos proposed to a bill reviving expiring laws that related to the searching of peers’ houses.

Mulgrave’s application to business in the years following the Revolution did not go unnoticed. Shortly after the close of the session, it was rumoured by Lady Frescheville that he was to be recalled to office as lord privy seal. Princess Anne was sceptical, remarking, ‘if there were anything of it I fancy one should hear it from other people as well as from her’.126 Indeed, nothing came of it but in June Sunderland reported to Hans Willem Bentinck, earl of Portland, that he had been in discussions with Mulgrave about bringing him in to the ministry and that ‘what has been proposed for him is all agreed to, but only that he must not expect the title, till there is a promotion.’ Mulgrave’s response to this latest failure to secure his desired marquessate was to reject the notion of accepting the award at all. He insisted that he ‘valued it chiefly, because he thought he should have it alone’ and concluded that ‘to be made a marquess when others are made dukes, he had rather be as he is.’127

Mulgrave was again present for four of the prorogation days following the close of the session and in September 1693, in spite of the developments in June he was spoken of once more as one of the peers likely to be offered a place in the ministry.128 He took his seat at the opening of the new session on 7 Nov., after which he was present on almost 83 per cent of all sitting days. On 2 Dec. he reported from the committee considering the answer of the judges of King’s Bench to the petition of William Bridgeman (one of the trustees of the duchess of Grafton). The same month he joined with Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham, in opposing the passage of the triennial bill, though it was carried in spite of their opposition by 24 votes.129 Mulgrave reported from the committee considering the Italian silk bill on 18 Jan. 1694. The following month, according to one source, he argued in favour of the passage of the trials for treason bill, though L’Hermitage, the envoy of the states general of the United Provinces, recorded him as being opposed to it, in alliance with Halifax and Carmarthen. L’Hermitage also repeated the earlier rumours that Mulgrave was to be restored to his old office of lord chamberlain in place of his kinsman, Dorset.130 Towards the end of February he was noted to have been one of a group of 15 lords who quit the chamber rather than vote in the latest stage of the tussle Montagu v. Bath.131

Mulgrave was one of a number of peers noted as having dined with the king at a gathering hosted by William Russell, 5th earl (soon to be duke) of Bedford, in March.132 The following month, news circulated that Mulgrave was at last to be awarded his desired step in the peerage and in May, in spite of his former objection to being just one of many to receive additional titles, he was created marquess of Normanby as one of seven peers to be promoted over a few days.133 It is perhaps significant that each of his dining companions in March received a step in the peerage at this time.134 Even with this mark of distinction, he remained a worry to the ministry. Within days of his promotion, Normanby wrote to Portland to complain that he had still not received all that he had been promised.135 Shrewsbury warned the king (then in Holland) that Normanby was affronted at not having been summoned to meetings of the council. In response, King William replied that it was true that he had promised Normanby ‘that when there was a cabinet council, he should assist at it; but surely this does not engage either the queen or myself, to summon him to all the meetings, which we may order.’ Annoyed at Normanby’s demands, the king concluded, ‘if he forces us to have a regular cabinet council, merely that he may attend, and when we do not deem it advantageous for the welfare of our service, it is assuming too much.’136

Shrewsbury was not the only courtier to find Normanby troublesome. In May 1694 Sunderland confessed to having been concerned that his ‘‘ill humour’ might have infected William Cavendish, duke of Devonshire, but, he wrote, he was relieved to note that Devonshire appeared to be content with his new dukedom. The following month, Sunderland commented that Normanby ‘talks very foolishly but meets with nobody of his mind.’ He continued to complain at Normanby’s awkward refusal to be satisfied with what he had as the summer progressed, remarking that ‘if he had all he could ask today it would be the same tomorrow.’137 Normanby remained deeply sensitive to perceived slights. One story current the following year told how he had an advertisement inserted in a newspaper announcing his refusal to attend council, having been overlooked as a lord justice, and on at least one occasion in the ensuing reign he needed to be reassured that it had only been by ‘accident’ that he had not been ‘acquainted with the rough draft of her majesty’s speech.’138 Although Normanby remained dogged in his efforts to secure recognition both for himself and his adherents, in July 1694 he appears to have made some efforts to scale back his continual demands, assuring Portland that the king’s good opinion meant more to him than any honours or advancements.139 In August this new moderation was put to the test when he was disappointed in his efforts to secure an Irish bishopric for his chaplain.140

Normanby took his seat at the opening of the new session on 12 Nov. 1694, when he was introduced in his new style by Halifax and Charles Beauclerk, duke of St Albans. He was present on over 90 per cent of all sitting days. On 26 Nov. he was appointed Speaker on account of the indisposition of the lord keeper, John Somers, Baron Somers, an office that he continued to execute until Somers’ return on 4 December.141 On 11 Dec. Normanby presented the House with the petition of Sir Richard Verney, later 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke, who sought to be summoned to the House as Baron Broke or Brooke, which, unsurprisingly, provoked spirited opposition from Verney’s distant kinsman, Fulke Greville, 5th Baron Brooke. Normanby also introduced the perjury bill during the session, but the judges were said to have found a number of problems with it and on 19 Jan. 1695 the measure was rejected by the House. Normanby was one of eight peers to protest at the failure to adopt the bill.142 In January 1695 he spoke in the debates concerning the bank and on 17 Jan. he reported from the committee on a bill concerning Sir Paul Pindar, bt.143 On the last day of the month, Normanby informed the House that the king had given his consent for the papers relating to the fleet to be laid before the House. In February, in response to criticisms that the council was proving slow in organizing the queen’s funeral, responsibility for the ceremony was handed over to Normanby and Halifax, presumably in recognition of both peers’ long experience as court officials.144

In March 1695 Normanby joined with Charles Mordaunt, earl of Monmouth (later 3rd earl of Peterborough), and Halifax in again pressing Verney’s cause to be admitted as a baron.145 Later that month and into the following one Normanby the House took into consideration accusations that he had accepted bribes from the city of London in return for promoting measures within the House.146 On 29 Mar. Charles Powlett, duke of Bolton, informed the House that one Russell had received £2,000 to distribute among some lords to ease the passage of the convex lights bill, relating to the illumination of the city of London, which had been taken on by the Convex Light Company the previous year. Normanby rose to his feet to admit that the man was one of his servants but insisted that ‘if he had acted any such thing he was a rogue and deserved to be made an example.’ He later complained to Bolton of his failure to warn him of the accusation against Russell; Bolton claimed not to know that Russell was Normanby's servant.147 Opinions were sharply divided. Monmouth was said to be ‘resolved to stick upon my Lord Normanby’s skirts on that matter’ and determined to protest should Normanby escape unpunished. The marquess himself was adamant that he had done nothing wrong and that he was interested only in ‘the defence of my honour, which though in no danger, your lordships will allow me to be very tender of it’148 Speaking at length in the House on 18 Apr., Normanby set out to explain his role in the affair, which had its origin in his plans to build a new house in London in the area around Berkeley House and which had necessitated him entering into a series of agreements with both the city authorities and private proprietors. Mentioning one of the supposed instances of his having promoted the city’s measures in return for douceurs he insisted that ‘my memory did not lay that value upon it, as it seems their gratitude did, who owned the obligation’. He also denied any involvement in the matter of the ‘convex-lights’. Having set out his case, Normanby withdrew from the remainder of the debate, ‘not doubting but in that case my innocence will be safer under your lordships’ protection, and a great deal better defended, than if I were present myself to look after it.’ Although he escaped censure, he did so by only a handful of votes following which seven peers, among them his old foe Ailesbury and (unsurprisingly) Monmouth subscribed their protest. According to Charles Hatton, Normanby owed his escape to the favour shown him by the bishops.149

The Parliament of 1695

Normanby returned to the House for the new Parliament on 22 Nov. 1695, after which he was present on 87 per cent of all sitting days. During the debates concerning the Scots East India Company on 3 Dec., he spoke in favour of summoning the English East and West India Companies to offer evidence on what prejudice the establishment of a Scottish company would be to their trading. Thereafter he was prominent in proposing queries to be put to the witnesses during the subsequent discussions of the business.150 On 23 Dec. he reported from a committee appointed to draw up a clause to be added to the treasons trial bill.

Normanby refused to sign the Association in February 1696.151 The following month he was removed from the Privy Council along with Nottingham.152 On 10 Mar. he reported from committee of the whole House on the bill to establish what should happen in the event of the king dying without heirs. The bill was then recommitted and Normanby reported a number of amendments later the same day. On 16 Mar. he received Willoughby de Broke’s proxy, which was vacated by the close of the session. The following month, along with Nottingham and Rochester, he spoke in the House during the debates on the bill for the security of the king’s person, urging moderation.153

Normanby took his place in the House at the opening of the new session on 20 Oct. 1696 after which he was present on approximately 91 per cent of all sitting days. On 6 Nov. the House was presented with a petition from Normanby relating to a dispute in which he was engaged with Devonshire and George Berkeley, earl of Berkeley, in the court of chancery over the sale of Berkeley’s London residence. Further consideration of the petition was put off until the following month when it was ordered that none of the peers involved in the case should be permitted to claim privilege in the business.154 The case rumbled on until January 1698 when the court finally determined the case in Devonshire’s favour.155 On 2 Dec. Normanby entered his dissent at the resolution not to insist on the amendments rejected by the Commons to the bill for remedying the state of the coinage. The same month, Normanby emerged as one of the foremost opponents of the bill to attaint Sir John Fenwick. Following the first reading on 15 Dec., he entered his dissent at the resolution to read Goodman’s information and joined with Nottingham and Leeds (as Carmarthen had now become) in calling for a message to be sent to the king to enquire whether there was any further information available for the Lords’ consideration in the matter.156 On 18 Dec. he again voiced his opposition. Arguing that the bill was unnecessary as Parliament had just passed the treason act, he recommended that Fenwick should instead face life imprisonment.157 He then entered his dissent at the resolution to give the bill a second reading. To the fore as one of the managers of the debates concerning the passage of the bill, he spoke against the attainder again on 23 Dec., insisting that he did not ‘see enough to believe him guilty’.158 Normanby was nonetheless eager not to be thought an opponent of the regime, hoping that it would not ‘be thought that those against the bill had any particular vein’. He cited the divisions on the bishops’ bench as one of his reasons for opposing the measure and conceded that, ‘were they of one opinion he would be for it.’159 With the bishops still unable to agree, he voted against passing the bill later the same day and entered his protest at the resolution to pass the act.160 The following month he delivered a petition from Lady Fenwick requesting a stay of execution.161

Normanby subscribed a further protest on 23 Jan. 1697 at the resolution not to give a second reading to the bill for regulating parliamentary elections. On 10 Feb. he was again entrusted with Willoughby de Broke’s proxy (which was vacated by the close). Five days later (15 Feb.) he received the proxy of Charles Berkeley, styled Viscount Dursley, who sat in the House as Baron Berkeley and later succeeded as 2nd earl of Berkeley. On 20 Feb. he was also entrusted with the proxy of William Craven, earl of Craven. Dursley’s proxy was vacated by his return to the House on 25 Feb. while Craven’s was cancelled by the octogenarian earl’s death on 9 April. On 20 Mar. Normanby informed the House of the findings of a select committee appointed to inspect the Journals for information relating to the manner of advising the Commons about adhering to amendments and three days later he reported from the ensuing free conference held with the Commons. On 15 Apr. he subscribed the protest at the rejection of the committee’s amendments to the bill for restraining the number and ill-practices of stock-jobbers.

Normanby learnt of the conclusion of the peace negotiations from Shrewsbury that August, and passed the information on to the Verneys’ regular correspondent, William Stewkeley.162 The same month he was engaged in a privilege dispute with John Sharp, archbishop of York, over the renewal of a lease in York’s archiepiscopal estates.163 The death of Normanby’s marchioness that summer deprived him of an estimated £7,000 a year that he had enjoyed by virtue of the alliance. Cary Gardiner rejoiced at it, ‘wishing he had not £700 left he doing no acts of either charity or honour’.164

Normanby returned to the House at the opening of the new session on 3 Dec. 1697, and was present on 89 per cent of all sitting days. Early in the new year, he was noted in at least one letter as one of four peers who were expected to ‘be troubling the waters’, and in March 1698 he voted with Marlborough and Godolphin in favour of passing the bill for punishing Charles Duncombe.165 On 24 Mar. he reported from the conference considering the paper penned by Robert Bertie, which had been condemned as a ‘false, scandalous and malicious libel’. The following day he reported from the committee considering the petition of the society for the new plantation of Ulster, recommending that the bishop of Derry should be sent over in custody. Towards the end of the session, in June, Normanby was mentioned as likely to oppose the Aire and Calder navigation bill, being one of a handful of peers who believed that they had ‘an interest against it’.166

Rumours circulated that summer that Normanby was to be promoted in the peerage again but the looked-for award failed to transpire.167 He took his seat in the new Parliament on 6 Dec. 1698 and was present on approximately 80 per cent of all sitting days. In January 1699 he was noted as being one of four peers to subscribe £10,000 each towards advancing a loan for paying off the army. The following month he voted against the resolution to assist the king in retaining his Dutch guards.168 He then entered his dissent when the motion was carried.169 The same month rumours circulated that he was shortly to be married to the dowager countess of Gainsborough. The marriage was indeed solemnized the following month, though the duchess of Rutland doubted the union would be a success: ‘we here can’t imagine she can have much prospect of happiness with a man of his humour and covetous proud temper.’170

Normanby returned to the House at the opening of the new session on 16 Nov., after which he was present on 87 per cent of all sitting days. On 19 Dec. he reported from the committee appointed to inspect the Journals for precedents relating to people whose books had been censured. On 29 Jan. 1700 he reported from the committee for the bill for reducing the excessive number of attorneys. Besides this, Normanby focused his attention on the question of overseas trade. On the same day, 29 Jan., he objected to the ministry’s proposal to draw up an address thanking the king for his handling of the Darien affair, insisting that it was ‘strange to use their neighbour nation at that rate’ and hinting at the existence of a letter from the king sent to the Scots, of which the ministry clearly had no knowledge. Further discussion of the business was consequently put off for a few days.171 At the beginning of February he was forecast as likely to vote in favour of continuing the East India Company as a corporation. On 8 Feb. he subscribed the protest over putting the question whether the establishment of the Darien colony was inconsistent with the good of England’s trade. Two days later he subscribed a further protest over the Darien colony and on 23 Feb. he voted in favour adjourning the House to consider two amendments to the East India Company Bill. Normanby demonstrated his opposition to the Norfolk divorce bill again the following month, entering his dissent at the resolution to pass the bill on 12 March. On 2 Apr. he reported from the conference concerning the partition treaty. The same month he joined with William Savile, 2nd marquess of Halifax, in promoting the second reading of the Irish resumption bill.172 Following the close of the session, Normanby acted as one of the assistants to the chief mourner at the funeral of Princess Anne’s son, William, duke of Gloucester.173

Normanby took his seat in the subsequent session on 6 Feb. 1701, and was present on 94 per cent of all sitting days. On 8 Mar. he subscribed the protest at the resolution to address the king to ask for Captain Norris’s suspension to be lifted. A few days later he made a speech which was said to have been much applauded during the debates on the Partition Treaty.174 On 15 Mar. he entered protests at the rejection of the second and third heads of the report relating to the Treaty, concerning the involvement of the Emperor and the participation of diplomats of the Dutch states general in the Treaty negotiations. On 18 Mar., during the debate on the drafting of an address to the king on the Treaty, he dissented twice more, first over the rejection of a statement that the Emperor had been excluded from the final stages of the negotiations and then over the inclusion of a statement that the acceptance of the king of Spain’s will by the king of France would constitute a breach of the treaty. Normanby then protested again on 20 Mar. when it was decided not to send the address to the Commons for their concurrence. On 9 Apr. he reported from the committee preparing material for a conference with the Commons concerning the Treaty. He reported from the conference the following day, and from a further conference on the same matter on 26 April.

On 16 Apr. Normanby put his name to two more protests: first against the appointment of a committee to draft an address to the king requesting that he not punish the four impeached lords until they had been tried; and second at the expunging of the reasons given in the previous protest from the Journal. Towards the close of the session, Normanby subscribed yet more protests relating to the impeachment of the Whig lords: twice on 3 June and once on 9 June, on the latter occasion against a refusal to appoint a committee to meet with the Commons to discuss the impeachments. On 17 June, he protested when the House decided to adjourn to Westminster Hall to hear Somers’ trial and when it decided that the question should be put to acquit Somers. He then, unsurprisingly, voted against acquitting Somers of the articles of impeachment against him.

Following the prorogation, Normanby engaged in a regular correspondence with Nottingham, communicating news from Europe and encouraging him to turn his mind to

our approaching business, which had need of a little concerting, to balance as much cunning and contrivance as perhaps has been ever practised in this unthinking nation. For my own part, I had rather a thousand times be an idle looker-on in all this, and a laugher only according to my inclination; but I should be glad of others being more serious and intent upon it, especially such as your lordship.175

Normanby took his seat in the new Parliament on 30 Dec. 1701. He was present on just over three quarters of all sitting days. At the beginning of January 1702 he moved for an address to be presented to the king in response to Louis XIV’s recognition of the pretender as the king of England. He was seconded by Nottingham. On 12 Jan. he spoke in the debate on the abjuration bill in support of Nottingham’s concern that the term abjure ‘was of great latitude’ and that it should be better explained.176 Normanby was again entrusted with Willoughby de Broke’s proxy on 14 Feb., which was vacated on 15 April. Following the king’s death in March, Normanby wrote to Nottingham (who had left town mid-session) to inform him of it and of the queen’s reception, though again his major preoccupation was in securing Nottingham’s continued support in the remainder of the session:

The only reason… of your receiving this trouble is the assurance I have been desired to acquaint you with of the same union as when we met last; and it appears in this particularly, that we entreat and conjure you to come again among us as soon as possible.177

The First Parliament of Queen Anne 1702-5

The queen’s accession led some to speculate that Normanby was likely to be favoured with a further step in the peerage, though his relations with the new monarch were far from easy: on one occasion she declared that ‘nobody can have a worse opinion of him than I have.’178 This does not appear to have stood in the way of his preferment and, although he had to wait another year for the expected additional honour, in April he was returned to office as lord privy seal. Later that year, in September, it was also rumoured that he was one of the contenders for the vacant rangership of St James’s Park, which was reckoned to be worth some £500 per annum.179 Normanby had recently begun construction of a new house in the park, on the site of the future Buckingham Palace, so was no doubt eager to stamp his authority there.

Normanby took his seat in the new Parliament on 20 Oct. 1702, and was present on just over 76 per cent of all sitting days of its first session. Always eager to be at the centre of things, towards the end of November he wrote to Nottingham, apparently over the drafting of the queen’s reply to the House’s address on the complaints against William Lloyd, bishop of Worcester. Lamenting that ‘I am always sorry when I differ with your lordship’, he argued ‘I must own I think it better as we left it last night and seems more her own words: that preamble is a little too formal and rather arguing the matter, which in my poor judgment is below her majesty, at least till further pressed.’180 At the beginning of the following year, he was estimated by Nottingham as a likely supporter of the bill for preventing occasional conformity and on 16 Jan. he voted against adhering to the Lords’ proposed amendment to the bill’s penalty clause. Three days later, the House took notice of some words that had passed between Normanby and Charles Powlett, 2nd duke of Bolton, and ordered that they should proceed no further in their quarrel. On 17 Feb. Normanby reported from the conference with the Commons over their refusal to allow the commissioners of accounts to attend and on 22 Feb. he subscribed the protest at the resolution not to commit the bill for the landed qualification of members of the Commons.

Following the close of the session Normanby was one of a number of peers again to be rumoured to be in line for promotions. On 9 Mar. it was reported that he was to be made duke of Normanby. The choice of title, however, appears to have caused him some difficulty. At one point he may have considered being created duke of Bristol but by the close of the month he appears to have settled on Buckingham (or Buckinghamshire) and Normanby.181 The double title was intended as protection against future claims on the title of Buckingham by surviving members of the Villiers family and the new duke apologized to Nottingham for the last minute alteration:

I am ashamed to give your lordship this trouble about a trifle; but having changed my mind, rather than do the least shadow of a prejudice to another; it was necessary for me to desire your inserting only the title I have already of Normanby into the warrant…182

Buckingham took his seat in the House in his new dignity on 22 Apr. 1703, introduced between Charles Lennox, duke of Richmond, and James Butler, 2nd duke of Ormond.183 In spite of this apparent signal of favour, by June he was already the subject of discussion between Marlborough and his countess concerning people who might safely be put out of office, though Marlborough queried who might be fit to replace him.184 In July it was reported that Buckingham was to be sent to Holland on a minor diplomatic mission to compliment Archduke Charles of Austria (then regarded by the allies as King Carlos III of Spain), who was on the point of embarking for Portugal. In the event this seems not to have occurred. Instead, in September and again in November it was reported that Buckingham and Thomas Herbert, 8th earl of Pembroke, had been deputed to greet the Spanish king at Spithead.185 Much of the remainder of the summer was dominated for Buckingham by disputes over the construction of Buckingham House.186

Buckingham took his place in the new session on 9 Nov. 1703, after which he was present on just over 48 per cent of all sitting days. That month he was noted again as a likely supporter of the occasional conformity bill in a pair of assessments compiled by Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland. In December, Buckingham voted, as expected, in favour of the bill. He then entered his dissent at the resolution not to give the measure a second reading. Buckingham attended just three days in February 1704 and he was then absent until the beginning of March. His absence was no doubt owing to his wife’s long-expected demise on 7 February.187 He resumed his place on 4 Mar. and on 16 Mar. he entered his dissent at the removal of the name of Robert Byerley from the list of commissioners for accounts and at the proposed alternatives. On 25 Mar. he dissented twice more, when the question was put on whether the ministry’s failure to censure the plotter Ferguson was an encouragement to the crown’s enemies, and then when the main question was carried. Following the end of the session, Buckingham’s name was again mentioned in discussions about alterations in the ministry.188 When he pressed the queen for payment of his arrears of pension, she responded by laughing in his face and telling him that he had less need of the money than she did. Buckingham turned to Marlborough for his assistance, assuring him that:

I had not troubled you with such a trifle in itself, if it were not for two reasons. One is, that the unkindness and the contempt is to me intolerable, as to the full extent of that word, and the other is that one word from you either to your lady, lord treasurer [Godolphin], or the queen herself will remedy this immediately.189

Later that summer, Buckingham continued his cultivation of Marlborough, not merely by writing to congratulate him on his victory at Blenheim, but also by pointing out that he had been the only member of the council to advise the queen to allow the duke to accept the principality that had been conferred on him by the Emperor in gratitude, ‘while those of the same rank with [us] looked sullenly and sat silent.’190 Such efforts notwithstanding, shortly before the opening of the new session in October 1704, Marlborough wrote to Godolphin to warn him that he had heard that Buckingham was ‘in measures with [Nottingham] and [Rochester] to give all the obstruction that is in their power to the carrying on of the public business with vigour this sessions.’191

Buckingham took his seat in the House on 24 Oct. 1704, after which he was present on approximately 71 per cent of all sitting days. On 1 Nov. he was listed among those thought likely to support the Tack.192 Five days later, following the judges’ report on the feasibility of the Lords’ bringing in a bill for the more effectual relief of the poor and amid concerns as to whether the House was able to initiate a measure that required revenue-raising powers, Buckingham moved that the matter should be laid to one side for the while. On 23 Nov. he seconded Halifax’s motion for the House to be adjourned into a committee of the whole to consider the matter of the coinage. This came in opposition to Rochester who desired the business to be handled by a select committee.193 On 2 Dec. Buckingham was again entrusted with Willoughby de Broke’s proxy (which was vacated by the close).

Keen to stress his knowledge of procedure and his interest in upholding the House’s privileges, on 22 Dec. Buckingham took exception to the manner in which the House had been informed of a time for the presentation of its address to the queen, complaining that ‘this is so irregular that the reporter [Francis Newport, earl of Bradford] would (as a man jealous of the orders of the House) have severely remarked on any other that should have brought in such a message.’ He proposed a more satisfactory form of words to be entered in the Journal. Early the following year during hearings over the bigamous marriages of Chomley D’Oyly, Buckingham found his patience sorely tried by the ‘long harangue’ of one of the counsel, William Dobbins: the duke declared him to be ‘a perfect top, that ran the longer for being lashed’.194 On 17 Jan. 1705 Buckingham subscribed the protest at the first reading of the estate bill for William Henry Granville 3rd earl of Bath.

In spite of his attempts to ally himself with the duumvirs, following the close of the session Buckingham was turned out as lord privy seal.195 Telling him of his removal appears to have been delegated to Marlborough, who offered him the lesser place of keeper of the great seal in commission with two judges instead. Buckingham spurned the offer, joking that he should rather be appointed archbishop of Canterbury.196 His ouster may have encouraged the compiler of an analysis of the peerage in relation to their attitudes to the succession to list Buckingham as a Jacobite, though this fails to reflect adequately the ambiguity of the duke’s position.197 That summer, Buckingham was mentioned in James Drake’s Memorial of the Church of England as one of the ‘great patrons and assertors of the interest of the Church at court’.198 Marlborough considered Drake’s work to be full of ‘scandalous lies’ for which he hoped the author would be punished, though he confessed to Godolphin that he could not:

forbear laughing when I think they would have you and I pass for fanatics and the duke of Buckingham and Lord Jersey for pillars of the church, the one being a Roman Catholic in King James’ reign and the other would have been a Quaker or any other religion that might have pleased the late king.199

The Parliaments of 1705 and 1708

Buckingham returned to the House at the opening of the new Parliament on 25 Oct. 1705, after which he was present on just under 74 per cent of all sitting days. On 15 Nov. he was one of a number of Tory peers to back the proposal made by John Haversham, Baron Haversham, that the heir presumptive should be invited to England. He then subscribed the ensuing protest when it was decided not to put the question whether an address to that effect should be drafted. On 19 Nov. he seconded the motion proposed by Thomas Wharton, marquess of Wharton, for what was to become the regency bill to be drawn up, adding that provision should be made for ‘the immediate declaring of the successor by proclamation’.200 On 22 Nov. he again received Willoughby de Broke’s proxy (which was once more vacated by the close of the session) and on 30 Nov. he acted as one of the tellers in the division held in a committee of the whole considering the succession bill (the other teller being Richmond). The same day he entered his dissent when the House decided not to provide the committee with further instructions relating to the bill. On 3 Dec. he was one of the foremost subscribers to a series of protests over the failure to add a number of riders proposed by Nottingham to the bill for the security of the queen’s person and the Protestant succession.201 On 6 Dec., having voted in favour of the motion, he subscribed a protest at the defeat of the motion that the church was in danger.202 Tempers continued to ride high into the new year. On 31 Jan. 1706 Buckingham was one of a number of peers noted to have been involved in ‘sharp reflections’ made during the continuing debates on the succession bill on which day he put his name to three separate dissents.203 A few weeks later, on 9 Mar., he dissented again when the House agreed with the Commons that Sir Rowalnd Gwynne’s letter was a ‘scandalous, false and malicious libel’.

That spring, Buckingham set about courting a new wife. His search got off to a poor start when he was rebuffed by his ‘great acquaintance’, Chesterfield, when he demanded a dowry of £20,000 with Lady Catherine Stanhope, which was £12,000 more than Chesterfield had given with his other daughters. He redirected his attentions to the widowed countess of Anglesey, whom he married in mid-March.204 This prompted an incredulous response from Lady Anne Pye, distressed that ‘the men see how grandeur and riches prevail with our sex’.205 When not courting, Buckingham was said to be at work on a history of the reign of Charles II during the summer of 1706.206 This was presumably the piece that was later published as A Character of Charles II King of England.207 He took his seat in the House at the opening of the new session on 3 Dec. 1706, and was present on 79 per cent of all sitting days. On 13 Jan. 1707 he was entrusted with Willoughby de Broke’s proxy again (which was vacated by the close) and on 3 Feb. he subscribed the protest when the House voted not to instruct the committee of the whole considering the bill for securing the Church of England to insert a clause into the bill declaring the Test Act of 1673 to be ‘perpetual and unalterable’. On 27 Feb. he protested again over the proposals for Scottish representation at Westminster. The following month, he joined with Nottingham and Weymouth in supporting the addition of a rider to the Union bill denying that the measure implied acceptance of Presbyterianism as a true expression of the Protestant religion. Buckingham subscribe two more protests, first when the rider was rejected and then at the passage of the bill without it.208

Buckingham attended seven days of the brief nine-day session of April 1707 and on 23 Apr. he entered his dissent at the deferral until the following day of consideration of the judges’ refusal to answer a question over the fraudulent use of the drawbacks that allowed merchants trading through Scotland to avoid English customs duties. The following month, he was omitted from the new Privy Council. In July he married his bastard daughter, Mary Sheffield, to Arthur Annesley, 4th Baron Altham [I], a kinsman of the new duchess’s late husband.209 He took his seat at the opening of the new British Parliament on 23 Oct. 1707. He attended 78 per cent of all sitting days. The following month, he was one of a number of peers to object to the motion for an address of thanks for the queen’s speech before the state of the nation had been taken into consideration.210 In December he wrote to Shrewsbury, reflecting on the latest developments in the House and hoping that events were pointing to the hoped-for ‘reconcilement between those of both high church and low church who desired only the public good as we did.’211 In January 1708 he was noted by Joseph Addison as one of the peers favourable to Peterborough (as Monmouth had since become) during the House’s investigations into the latter’s activities in Spain in the previous year. Later that month Buckingham ranged himself alongside some of the Scots peers in the Lords, standing out as one of only three English peers to support the exoneration of the Scots naval officer, Commodore Kerr, who had been accused of failing to protect convoys in the West Indies. Early in February he also voted against passing the bill for abolishing the Scottish Privy Council. Buckingham’s activities may have been part of a concerted effort to secure a place for himself in a remodelled administration. However, the resignation of Robert Harley, later earl of Oxford and Mortimer, as secretary of state put paid to any chance of Buckingham being recalled to the ministry at that time. He was said to have been in line to be restored as lord privy seal in an administration headed by Harley.212 Buckingham entered his dissent yet again at the end of March 1708 in protest at the House’s decision not to amend the conclusion of the privileges committee that committing Marmaduke Langdale, 3rd Baron Langdale, as a suspected Papist was no breach of privilege. He also demonstrated his loyalty to his old friend, Middleton, in April when he offered his service to Middleton’s two sons who had been captured aboard the Salisbury following the abortive Jacobite invasion that spring.213 He was noted, predictably enough, as a Tory in a list of the members of the first Parliament of Great Britain printed in May 1708.

Buckingham took his place at the opening of the new Parliament on 16 Nov., after which he was present on 81 per cent of all sitting days. Towards the end of December he hosted a dinner attended by Shrewsbury, Peterborough and a number of other prominent political characters, which appears by then to have been a regular Sunday phenomenon and which, it was said, ‘furnishes the talk of the town’.214 On 21 Jan. 1709 he voted in favour of permitting Scots peers with British titles to vote in the election for Scottish representative peers. In February he supported the complaint voiced in the House by Haversham that enough was not being done to protect the country from Jacobite incursions. Their view was sidelined with the agreement of an address commending the care that had been taken to ‘disappoint her majesty’s enemies’.215 Buckingham subscribed the protest at the committal of the general naturalization bill on 15 Mar. and on 28 Mar. he entered two further protests, first at the rejection of a proposed rider to the bill for improving the Union and then at the passage of the bill without it. The following month, on 19 Apr., he was said to have offered some ‘faint opposition’ to the passage of the amended treason bill, but the bill was carried without a division.216

Buckingham took his place in the subsequent session on 15 Nov. 1709. Present on almost 80 per cent of all sitting days, on 16 Feb. 1710 he dissented from the decision not to require James Greenshields and the Edinburgh magistrates to attend the House before Greenshields’ appeal was received. The following month, he rallied to the cause of Dr Sacheverell. On 14 Mar. he entered two dissents, first at the failure to include in the impeachment the particular words deemed criminal and then when the House decided against adjourning. Two days later, he dissented twice again, first from the decision to put the question whether the Commons had made good the first article against Sacheverell and then when the House resolved that the Commons had indeed made good the article. The following day (17 Mar.) he dissented from the vote that the Commons had made good the three subsequent articles and on 18 Mar. he dissented from the decision to limit peers to a single verdict of guilty or not guilty. In Buckingham’s view, Sacheverell was guilty of nothing more heinous than naivety. He argued that ‘it was plain the doctor had seen but little of the world and he was sure none of those reverend prelates (pointing to the bench of bishops) would have talked at so open and unguarded a manner.’ He also stressed that it was not Sacheverell’s fault that the lord mayor (Sir Samuel Garrard, 4th bt.) had sought to have the sermon printed: something Garrard himself had denied in the Commons.217 Buckingham, unsurprisingly, found Sacheverell not guilty of the charges against him and on 20 Mar. he dissented again from the resolution to pass the bill. The following day, he entered a further dissent in protest at the censure passed against Sacheverell.218 Shortly after, presumably as a result of the trial, the House was again forced to intervene when Buckingham and Wharton were heard to have exchanged angry words. The two were ordered not to proceed any further in their quarrel.219

Return to Office, 1710-14

The aftermath of the Sacheverell affair left the ministry in disarray and may have induced some to consider offering Buckingham a return to office. Buckingham was certainly happy to propagate such rumours and, following the appointment of Shrewsbury as lord chamberlain and amidst reports of the Tories flocking to the queen, he claimed that ‘he could have had any terms from [Godolphin] whom he was lately alone with three hours, but he would not meddle with him.’220 Instead, he entered into terms with Harley with whom he appears to have been engaged in negotiations about the shape of the new ministry throughout June and July.221 In alliance with Leeds (as Carmarthen had since become) and Charles Seymour, 6th duke of Somerset, he lobbied hard against the appointment of Arthur Annesley, 5th earl of Anglesey, as secretary of state.222 His own future remained uncertain but despite rumours to the contrary that circulated in August, Buckingham’s careful manoeuvring paid off in September when he was confirmed in office as lord steward in Devonshire’s place.223 The appointment clearly took some by surprise: Peter Wentworth remarked that ‘he was never talked of for that.’ Buckingham’s pleasure at being once again at the centre of affairs was tempered soon after by the death of his young son, apparently shortly after birth. Buckingham was said to have been, inadvertently, the cause of the child’s death, allowing the boy to starve while fretting about the best means of feeding him.224

Having attended five of the prorogation days between the close of the previous session and the opening of the new Parliament, Buckingham took his seat at the outset of the new session. He was present on 83 per cent of all sitting days. In advance of the session he had been, unsurprisingly, noted by Harley as a likely supporter of the new ministry. On 6 Dec. he was once more entrusted with Willoughby de Broke’s proxy, which was vacated by the close. Buckingham left his opponents under no illusions about the manner in which the new ministry would manage its affairs. According to Bishop Burnet, he declared that ‘they had the majority, and would make use of it, as he had observed done by others, when they had it on their side.’225 During the debates on affairs in Spain on 9 Jan. 1711, Godolphin moved that all strangers should be cleared from the chamber but Buckingham opposed the suggestion, seeing in it an assault upon the members’ privilege. Justifying his concerns he argued that:

he supposed those strangers were brought in by members themselves, and therefore were under the protection of the House; that it might afterwards be moved, that the Lords’ eldest sons should also go out, though they had as much right to stand behind the throne as the Lords to sit where they sat; and that he had himself enjoyed that privilege, and wished himself to be young enough to be amongst them.

The House agreed that strangers should be permitted to remain. Later that same day, Buckingham moved that the paper submitted by the former commander in Spain, Henri de Massue de Ruvigny, earl of Galway [I], should be read and two days later (11 Jan.) he spoke in favour of the House allowing Galway and the other generals under investigation time to be heard, for:

he was apt to believe that some persons, who did not like this enquiry, had put those two lords upon petitioning, to give time; but though he would not have the petitions granted yet he would move that they might be called in and heard.226

Buckingham joined Shrewsbury in waiting on the queen on 12 Jan. to discover whether she would consent that the papers concerning the campaign be laid before the House. On 22 Jan. he was again prominent in the debates on the state of the war. Buckingham received the proxy of Charles Howard, 4th Baron Howard of Escrick, on 24 Jan. (which was vacated on 9 February). The same day he divided against the rest of his party by opposing the vote of censure against Galway for ‘giving the post of honour to the Portugal forces… contrary to the honour of the imperial crown of Great Britain.’ He said that he objected to the terms of the motion and expressed the hope that ‘England had not lost their honour nor never would.’227 Buckingham was again active during the debates concerning Greenshields in March. The same month he was present at the council meeting at which the marquis de Guiscard attempted to assassinate Harley. According to some reports, Buckingham sought to incapacitate Guiscard by throwing a chair at him. He was then instrumental in preventing his enraged colleagues from slaughtering the would-be killer.228

Towards the close of the session, on 19 Apr. 1711, Buckingham complained to the House of the activities of his son-in-law, Altham, who, he claimed, was attempting to wrest control of his Irish estates from him. The House gave orders for a number of witnesses to attend and explain. Buckingham did not allow Harley’s absence, recovering from his wounds, to prevent him from continuing to solicit for favour that summer. Early in May 1711, he wrote to the recuperating lord treasurer, emphasizing that:

as there is no man whatsoever engaged more in inclination as well as interest to see your merits justly rewarded to the highest degree, so it is a little natural by consequence to depend on as much return and favour from you, as may consist with reason and the queen’s service…229

Although the duchess of Marlborough regarded him as ‘a nuisance’, Buckingham appears to have been viewed by Harley’s inner circle as more useful than troublesome. John Poulett, Earl Poulett, summed him up as one who could ‘never be dangerous and will many ways be useful’ and it was as such that he was mentioned that month as a possible candidate for the lord presidency, which had been left vacant by the death of Rochester.230 Poulett underscored Buckingham’s value to the ministry, pointing out that were he to be granted the place, ‘you may always turn him out without offence to any party, and with great applause of all men either of sense, principle or interest.’231 Buckingham was, accordingly, appointed lord president in June, though Arthur Maynwaring had commented the previous month that this was only after the position had already been offered to everyone else in the cabinet and turned down.232 In June he was included in a list of Tory patriots during the first session of the 1710 Parliament. Eager to build up his interest in London, Buckingham successfully petitioned to be made lord lieutenant of Middlesex that summer, vacant by the recent death of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd duke of Bedford, but his appointment as both lord lieutenant and custos rotulorum of the East Riding of Yorkshire occasioned some confusion as Leeds considered the latter to be a place which he still held.233 That month he was one of only a handful of peers, among them Shrewsbury and Godolphin, to oppose an amendment to the linen bill favouring Irish over Scottish trade.

Buckingham was said to have resented not having been informed earlier of the progress of the peace negotiations and, in advance of the new session, he was heard to comment that, ‘if these were all that we were to expect from France, it was time to let the late ministry loose upon the present.’234 For all this bluster, he continued to cultivate Oxford (as Harley had since become), replying to one missive that ‘few things are pleasanter than marks of friendship and esteem from the person in the world who, I think, deserves it the most himself.’235 Buckingham took his place in the House at the opening of the new session on 7 Dec. 1711, and was present on just over two thirds of all sitting days. During the debates over the duke of Hamilton’s right to sit in the House, Buckingham commented that there were members of the House who had attended for 20 years but on examination of their patents had been turned out.236 Perhaps indicative of Buckingham’s willingness to vote contrary to expectation, a forecast for the division on Hamilton’s right to attend included him on both lists: in the event, on 20 Dec. he voted against barring Scottish peers holding post-Union British titles from sitting in the House and then he entered his dissent when the opposition carried the vote.

Buckingham appears to have regarded the creation of ‘Oxford’s Dozen’ new peers at the opening of 1712 with much the same distaste and cynical humour as his opposite, Wharton. While Wharton jokingly enquired whether the new peers might speak like a jury through a chairman, Buckingham suggested (with equal derision) that they should be sworn in all together to save time.237 Buckingham’s attention was again taken up with family disputes that month and the House was forced to interpose between him and Anglesey over some ‘hard words’ that had passed between them during the debates over the guardianship of Buckingham’s stepdaughter, Lady Catherine Annesley.238 In the event, custody of the girl was awarded to Anglesey but two months later Buckingham seems still to have been concerned in the matter and on 3 Mar. he wrote to William Cowper, Baron (later Earl) Cowper, regretting having missed him in the House that day and asking him to be sure to attend the committee for Anglesey’s bill the next morning.239

Buckingham hosted Prince Eugene at dinner at the end of January 1712. The Prince later described his host as ‘a sanguine man but of great parts, esteemed a true patriot, and one of the eldest sons of the Church.’ He also considered Buckingham to have ‘the favour of the queen’s ear very much’, an impression that Buckingham may have been keen to encourage but seems not to have been particularly the case.240 Buckingham was absent from the House from 19 Feb. until 1 March. To cover his absence he registered his proxy with Thomas Trevor, Baron Trevor, on 29 Feb., which was vacated when he resumed his place the following day. Both Buckingham and Shrewsbury were reported to have been feigning sickness at the time in protest at the refusal to appoint their wives as ladies of the queen’s bedchamber.241 In April, Buckingham was reported to have objected to allowing the Scots Kirk to petition against the second reading of the patronage bill, which resulted in the petition being dropped.242 The following month he divided with the ministry against the motion for presenting the queen with an address to overturn Ormond’s ‘restraining’ orders.

By the summer of 1712 Buckingham’s support for the ministry was thought no longer reliable: in June or July his name was included in a list of court supporters whose allegiance was thought to be doubtful, although by the following spring he was again listed among the ministry’s supporters (his name being added by Oxford himself to the list compiled by Swift). Having attended six of the prorogation days during the interval between the close of the previous session and the opening of the new one in April 1713, Buckingham took his seat on 9 Apr., after which he was present on approximately 74 per cent of all sitting days. Towards the end of May he was listed among those who needed to be contacted in advance of the debates over the French commerce bill and the following month he was again included by Oxford in a list of those thought likely to support the ministry in the vote on the eighth and ninth articles of the treaty of commerce. The same month, he was involved with a dispute with Francis Seymour Conway, Baron Conway. As had been the case on so many previous occasions, following an exchange of bitter words a challenge was issued, though for once it would appear to have been Conway, rather than Buckingham, who was responsible for precipitating the argument. Once again the matter was settled peacefully.243 On 3 July Buckingham was again prominent in the debates in the House. Responding to the queen’s answer to the Lords’ address requesting that she put pressure on the duke of Lorraine to force the pretender (James Francis Edward Stuart) from his dominions, Buckingham asserted that he had never heard of any such approach being made to the duke and lamented the fact that neither secretary of state was on hand to further explain the queen’s response.244 In September, Buckingham introduced William Murray, styled marquess of Tullibardine [S], with the Perthshire address on the peace.245 Towards the end of the year, he again had to solicit Oxford to see to the payment of his pension, a humiliation that he was forced to repeat the following May.246

Buckingham took his seat at the opening of the new Parliament on 23 Feb. 1714. He was again present on 74 per cent of all sitting days. On 17 Mar. he was entrusted with the proxy of George Verney, 12th Baron Willoughby de Broke (vacated on 2 Apr.), whom Buckingham had engaged the previous year to christen the latest addition to his family, and on 16 Apr. he again received that of Howard of Escrick, which was vacated by Howard’s return to the House on 28 April.247 On 7 May he received Willoughby de Broke’s proxy again (which was vacated four days later) and on 27 May he was forecast by Nottingham as a likely supporter of the schism bill. Buckingham was commended by the dowager Lady Mohun in mid-July for having been one of a handful of members of the council to be ‘very warm’ in her defence in opposing the awarding of a writ of error in a case in which she was involved.248 Towards the close of that month, Buckingham took on the role of host and mediator between the various factions in the ministry, throwing a dinner for Oxford, Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Poulett and other members of the administration.249 On the news of Oxford’s fall, it was put about that Buckingham, Shrewsbury and Poulett had agreed that they would all join him and resign their posts. It was also rumoured that he would be replaced as lord president by Trevor.250

The queen’s death spelled the end of Buckingham’s ministerial career, though he appears to have done all in his power to demonstrate his willingness to work with the new regime. There seems no reason to believe that he worked actively for a Jacobite succession and an anecdote recorded long after the event by Thomas Carte that on the night of the queen’s death he slapped Ormond on the shoulder and told him that he had 24 hours to ‘do our business’ should be treated with caution.251 To confirm his willingness to accept the Hanoverian monarchy, by the late summer of 1716 he seems to have believed, inaccurately, that he was on the point of being readmitted to office.252

Buckingham continued to attend the House until within a few days of his death in February 1721, which was said to have been the result of an accidental laudanum overdose.253 Six year prior to that he and his duchess had been so ‘infinitely afflicted’ by the loss of their heir, Robert Sheffield, styled marquess of Normanby, that they needed to be dosed with opiates to enable them to sleep.254 The final phase of his career will be covered in the second part of this work. Buckingham was buried in Westminster Abbey. He composed his own epitaph, appended to his will, a translation of which appeared in the Daily Journal (though it omitted the fourth line):

Pro Rege sepe, pro Republica semper [For the king often, For my country always] / Dubius sed non improbus vixi [Doubtful, not wicked I have liv’d] / Incertus morior, sed inturbatus; [Uncertain, but undisturb’d I die.] / Humanum est nescire et errare [It is human not to know and to make mistakes] / Christum adveneror, Deo confido [To Christ I come with veneration, In God I trust] / Omnipotenti Benevolentissimo [Eternal and omnipotent] / Ens Entium Miserere mei. [Being of beings, have mercy on me].

A satirical version appeared in the same paper soon after:

For every Prince that hit my Fancy,
For instance, Charles, and James, and Nancy,
I had, by turns, my Share of Zeal,
But was old Dog at Common Weal;
I had my Doubt, as all men shou’d,
Yet liv’d as honest as I cou’d;
What comes when we resign our Breath
I know not, yet a Fig for Death;
J – s I like, but cannot take him,
For what some fond Enthusiasts make him.
In God alone I put my Trust,
Because he’s merciful tho’ just;
Of all things Great, thou Great Beginner,
Take pity on a Garter’d Sinner. 255

In his will, Buckingham submitted himself ‘not only willingly but cheerfully’ to divine providence. He forbade his wife from expending more than £500 on any funerary monument and also directed that his funeral should not be ‘anything extraordinary’. Buckingham named as his executors his kinsman, Orrery, Willoughby de Broke, Trevor, Allen Bathurst, Baron (later Earl) Bathurst and Patrick Garden. He left to his duchess his ‘new built in house in St James’s Park’ for so long as she remained unmarried, and the remainder of his estate to his legitimate children. To his bastard son, Charles Herbert (later Sir Charles Sheffield, bt.) he bequeathed £7,000 to be paid at his death and entrusted the boy’s education to his friend, William Bromley. Two more natural daughters, Catherina Sophia (or Sophia) and Charlotte, who were at the time of the will being educated in Chelsea, were bequeathed £1,000 a piece and entrusted to his wife’s care, ‘to whom she has been always most generously indulgent’. Buckingham directed that all three bastard children should adopt the name of Sheffield, bear his arms, ‘with the accustomed distinction of natural children’ and that, in the event of his dying without legitimate children, Charles Herbert should inherit the estate and pay to his mother, Mrs Lambert, £1,000 and add £5,000 a piece to his half-sisters’ bequests. In a codicil of November 1717 Buckingham added an annuity of £100 to his natural daughter, Lady Altham, to be paid for ‘so long time only as her said husband will not permit her to live with him.’ Buckingham was succeeded by his only surviving son by his final marriage, Edmund Sheffield,styled marquess of Normanby, as 2nd duke of Buckingham. On his death without heirs, the estates passed (according to Buckingham’s directions) to his half-brother, Charles Herbert.


  • 1 Kent HLC (CKS), Sackville mss, U269/c/256.
  • 2 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 28.
  • 3 TNA, PROB 11/582, sig. 236.
  • 4 London Gazette, 21 Sept. 1710.
  • 5 CSP Dom. 1686-7, p. 305.
  • 6 CSP Dom. 1695, p. 112.
  • 7 Add. 70073-4, newsletter, 21 Apr. 1702; Post Boy, 21 Apr. 1702.
  • 8 Flying Post or the Post Master, 24 Mar. 1705; Daily Courant, 26 Mar. 1705.
  • 9 British Mercury, 11 June 1711.
  • 10 Williamson Letters, i (Camden Soc. n.s. viii), 145.
  • 11 London Gazette, 27 Nov. 1679.
  • 12 Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 209.
  • 13 Add. 22267, ff. 164-7.
  • 14 Works of John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave, Marquis of Normanby, and Duke of Buckingham, 2 vols. (2nd ed. 1729), ii. 3-4.
  • 15 Macaulay, History of England, ed. Firth, ii. 930.
  • 16 Add. 61418, ff. 150-4.
  • 17 Verney ms mic. M636/23, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 7 Apr. 1669.
  • 18 Bodl. Carte 81, f. 63.
  • 19 Chatsworth, Cork ms 33/7, 33/45.
  • 20 Buckingham, Works (1729 ed.), ii. 4.
  • 21 Bodl. Clarendon 85, f. 387; Verney ms mic. M636/21, Dr W. Denton to Sir Ralph Verney, 31 July 1667.
  • 22 Buckingham, Works (1729 ed.), ii. 8.
  • 23 Buckingham, Works (1729 ed.), ii. 8-11.
  • 24 LJ xii. 291, 299, 320, 342.
  • 25 Kent HLC (CKS), U269/c/256.
  • 26 LJ xii. 538, 544, 577.
  • 27 Verney ms mic. M636/25, Sir R. to E. Verney, 16 Jan. 1673; M636/27, Sir R. to E. Verney, 28 May 1674, Bodl. ms Film 293, Folger Lib. Newdigate mss, LC. 41; Add. 70084, W. Sandys to Sir E. Harley, 13 May 1674; TNA, PRO 31/3/131, f. 47.
  • 28 LJ xii. 600, 639.
  • 29 NLW, Wynn of Gwydir, 2700; HMC Rutland, ii. 27.
  • 30 Verney ms mic. M636/28, Sir R. to E. Verney, 24 Dec. 1674.
  • 31 Verney ms mic. M636/28, E. to Sir R. Verney, 7 Jan. 1675; M636/28, J. to E. Verney, 7 Jan. 1675.
  • 32 CSP Dom. 1673-5, p. 603.
  • 33 Add. 28091, ff. 175, 177.
  • 34 Verney ms mic. M636/28, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 12 Aug. 1675.
  • 35 Carte 72, ff. 292-3; Add. 35865, f. 224; Timberland, i. 183; Bodl. ms Eng. hist. e. 710, ff. 14-15.
  • 36 Verney ms mic. M636/29, Sir R. to E. Verney, 24, 27 Jan. 1676.
  • 37 Verney ms mic. M636/29, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 6 Apr. 1676.
  • 38 LJ xiii. 50, 54, 114, 191; Haley, ‘Shaftesbury’s Lists of Lay Peers, 1677-8’, BIHR, xliii. 92-5.
  • 39 Verney ms mic. M636/30, J. to Sir R. Verney, 28 May 1677; M636/30, Sir R. to J. Verney, 31 May 1677.
  • 40 Buckingham, Works, (1729 ed.) i. 24.
  • 41 Verney ms mic. M636/30, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 17 May 1677.
  • 42 Verney ms mic. M636/30, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 6 Aug. 1677, M636/30, J. to Sir R. Verney, 16 Aug. 1677.
  • 43 HMC 12th Rep. v. 42.
  • 44 Verney ms mic. M636/31, Sir R. to E. Verney, 28 Feb, 11 Mar. 1678.
  • 45 PA, HL/PO/JO/5/1/19.
  • 46 LJ xiii. 227-8, 234-5, 240, 242, 257, 264-5, 268.
  • 47 Verney ms mic. M636/32, J. to E. Verney, 9 Sept. 1678.
  • 48 Chatsworth, Devonshire collection group 1/C, newsletter to Devonshire, 16 Nov. 1678.
  • 49 Verney ms mic. M636/32, Sir R. to E. Verney, 9 Jan. 1679.
  • 50 LJ xiii. 299-300, 440; Carte 81, f. 405.
  • 51 Add. 28091, ff. 136, 138, 142.
  • 52 Add. 28091, f. 134; HMC Ormond, n.s. v. 48-9.
  • 53 Carte 81, f. 588; Add. 29572, f. 112.
  • 54 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 27.
  • 55 Add. 75360, Sir W. Hickman to Halifax, 27 July 1680.
  • 56 Add. 36988, f. 159; Northants. RO, Finch Hatton mss 2893A, 2893D.
  • 57 Carte 80, f. 823, Carte 81, f. 669, Rawl. A 183, f. 62.
  • 58 Beinecke Lib. Osborne mss, Danby pprs. box 2.
  • 59 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 95-6.
  • 60 Verney ms mic. M636/37, J. Stewkeley to Sir R. Verney, 9 Nov. 1682.
  • 61 Castle Ashby ms, 1092, newsletter, 24 Sept. 1681.
  • 62 HMC Kenyon, 143.
  • 63 Verney ms mic. M636/37, J. to Sir R. Verney, 9 Nov. 1682, M636/37, E. to J. Verney, 12 Nov. 1682; Add. 28053, ff. 291-2.
  • 64 NAS, GD 157/2681/9; Reresby mems. 281; Reresby mems. 281.
  • 65 Verney ms mic. M636/37, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 16 Nov. 1682, M636/37, Sir R. to J. Verney, 20 Nov. 1682, M636/37, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 13 Nov. 1682.
  • 66 Verney ms mic. M636/37, J. Stewkeley to Sir R. Verney, 7 May 1683.
  • 67 Eg. 3350, ff. 7-8.
  • 68 Carte 216, f. 339.
  • 69 Verney ms mic. M636/39, Sir R. to J. Verney, 10 Feb. 1685.
  • 70 LJ xiv. 14, 17, 31, 47, 61, 63.
  • 71 Verney ms mic. M636/40, J. Stewkeley to Sir R. Verney, 14 Oct. 1685.
  • 72 Add. 70013, f. 280; Verney ms mic. M636/40, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 27 Oct. 1685.
  • 73 JRL, Legh of Lyme mss, newsletter, 9 Jan. 1686; Carte 81, f. 773.
  • 74 Add. 70013, f. 317.
  • 75 CSP Dom. 1686-7, pp. 13, 116.
  • 76 Add. 70013, f. 321.
  • 77 PRO 30/53/11.
  • 78 Add. 72481, ff. 118-19; Ellis corresp. 59.
  • 79 Add. 70013, f. 334; Add. 72517, ff. 7-8.
  • 80 Verney ms mic. M636/40, C. Bates to Sir R. Verney, 4 May 1686.
  • 81 NAS, GD 406/1/3370.
  • 82 Verney ms mic. M636/41, J. Stewkeley to Sir R. Verney, 20 Oct. 1686, M636/41, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 27 Oct. 1686.
  • 83 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 112; Verney ms mic. M636/41, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 3 Nov. 1686; PRO 30/53/8/45.
  • 84 Verney ms mic. M636/41, J. to Sir R. Verney, 8 Dec. 1686; M636/41, J. to Sir R Verney, 9 Dec. 1686.
  • 85 Add. 34526, ff. 48-56.
  • 86 Clarendon 89, f. 108; Reresby mems. 485; Verney ms mic. M636/42, R. Palmer to J. Verney, 23 Aug. 1687, M636/42, Dr H. Paman to Sir R. Verney, 24 Aug. 1687, M636/42, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 24, 31 Aug. 1687; HMC 7th Rep. 505.
  • 87 Add. 34510, ff. 60, 69; Add. 34515, f. 47; Longleat, Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 42, f. 326.
  • 88 NLW, Coedymaen I, 45; Bodl: Carte 76, f. 28.
  • 89 Macaulay, ed. Firth, ii. 1010.
  • 90 Longleat, Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 43, ff. 136, 146-7, 160-1.
  • 91 Add. 61486, f. 162.
  • 92 Royal Society ms 70, pp. 63-5.
  • 93 Kingdom without a King, 67; TNA, WO 94/5, 8.
  • 94 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 377.
  • 95 Bodl. Ballard 10, ff. 43-4; Buckingham, Works, (1729 ed.), ii. 93-4.
  • 96 Kingdom without a King, 41.
  • 97 D. Wykes and B.D. Greenslade, ‘ “The Trimmer’s Character”’, HLQ xxv. 205.
  • 98 Buckingham, Works (1729 ed.), 72.
  • 99 Kingdom without a King, 49, 87, 91, 92, 116.
  • 100 Ailesbury mems. 215-16.
  • 101 Clarendon Corresp. i. 231.
  • 102 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 401.
  • 103 Kingdom without a King, 159.
  • 104 Buckingham, Works (1753 ed.), ii. 67.
  • 105 Buckingham, Works (1753 ed.), ii. 70.
  • 106 Add. 32681, f. 317.
  • 107 Timberland, i. 339; WSHC, Ailesbury mss 1300/856.
  • 108 WSHC, Ailesbury mss 1300/856.
  • 109 Clarendon corresp. i. 262; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 524.
  • 110 WSHC, Ailesbury mss 1300/856.
  • 111 Halifax Letters, ii. 86; LJ xiv. 272.
  • 112 Letters of Chesterfield (1829), 364-5.
  • 113 LJ xiv. 345-50.
  • 114 Add. 75361, Chesterfield to Halifax, 9 Feb. 1690.
  • 115 WSHC, Ailesbury mss 1300/787.
  • 116 CSP Dom. 1690-91, pp. 270-1; Browning, Danby, ii. 195-6.
  • 117 HMC Hastings, ii. 221-2.
  • 118 HMC 13th Rep. v. 326.
  • 119 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 349, 365, 368, 373.
  • 120 Carte 79, f. 461.
  • 121 WSHC, Ailesbury mss 1300/856.
  • 122 Buckingham, Works (1729 ed.), ii. 95-104; Timberland, i. 413-17.
  • 123 Burnet, iv. 182.
  • 124 State Trials, xii. 1048-9; UNL, Portland mss, PwA 2381-84.
  • 125 LJ xv. 236.
  • 126 Add. 61415, f. 43.
  • 127 UNL, Portland mss, PwA 1217/1.
  • 128 Add. 72482, ff. 134-5.
  • 129 HMC 7th Rep. 217a.
  • 130 Leics. RO, DG 7 Box 4959 P.P. 107; Add. 17677 OO, ff. 191-3.
  • 131 Add. 29574, f. 276.
  • 132 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 280.
  • 133 Add. 17677 OO, ff. 247-50.
  • 134 TNA, SP 105/60, f. 138.
  • 135 UNL, Portland mss, PwA 1151/1-2.
  • 136 Coxe, Shrewsbury Corresp. 34-5, 38-9.
  • 137 UNL, Portland mss, PwA 1233/1, 1235, 1240/1, 1241/1.
  • 138 UNL, Portland mss, PwA 838; Add. 29588, f. 361.
  • 139 UNL, Portland mss, PwA 1156.
  • 140 Add. 4236, f. 257.
  • 141 Add. 17677 OO, f. 400; Verney ms mic. M636/48, J. to Sir R. Verney, 28 Nov. 1694.
  • 142 Add. 17677 PP, ff. 101-3; Timberland, i. 434.
  • 143 Add. 17677 PP, ff. 136-40.
  • 144 Add. 29596, f. 138.
  • 145 Add. 29565, f. 545.
  • 146 LJ xv. 533-5, 546-58.
  • 147 Add. 29574, f. 393.
  • 148 Add. 46527, f. 77.
  • 149 Add. 47131, ff. 7-9, Add. 29574, f. 399; Timberland, i. 436-40, 441-4; Mulgrave, Works, (1729 ed.) ii. 105-114; Horwitz, Parl. Pol., 151; HMC Hastings, ii. 247; HEHL, EL 8988, 8999.
  • 150 HMC Hastings, iv. 313-14, 315-16.
  • 151 HMC Lords, n.s. ii. 206-8; Add. 17677 QQ, ff. 297-9; HMC Portland, iii. 574.
  • 152 Add. 70081, newsletter, 7 Mar. 1696; Add. 35107, f. 35.
  • 153 HEHL, HM 30659 (65).
  • 154 LJ xvi. 8-9, 11, 31, 35.
  • 155 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 249, 298, 326.
  • 156 Coxe, Shrewsbury corresp. 437-8.
  • 157 WSHC, 2667/25/7.
  • 158 Carte 109, ff. 69-70.
  • 159 Staffs. RO, Persehowse pprs. D260/M/F/1/6, ff. 96-8.
  • 160 Add. 47608, pt. 5, f. 138.
  • 161 HEHL, Stowe (Chandos) ms 26, vol. 1, p. 3.
  • 162 Verney ms mic. M636/50, A. Nicholas to Sir J. Verney, 2 Aug. 1697.
  • 163 Bodl. Tanner 24, ff. 110-11.
  • 164 Verney ms mic. M636/50, C. Gardiner to Sir J. Verney, 24 Aug. 1697.
  • 165 Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss, 46, no. 181; CSP Dom. 1698, p. 145.
  • 166 Cumbria RO, D/Lons/L1/1/36/7.
  • 167 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 400.
  • 168 Carte 228, f. 272; Magdalene Coll. Camb. Pepys Lib. PL 2179, p. 85.
  • 169 LJ xvi. 377.
  • 170 Carte 228, f. 278; North Yorks. RO, Bolton Hall mss, ZBO VIII, 0933-4; Add. 75376, f. 88; CSP Dom. 1699-1700, p. 102.
  • 171 NLS, Yester pprs. ms 14414, ff. 133-4.
  • 172 Vernon-Shrewsbury corresp. iii. 4.
  • 173 Add. 61101, ff. 68-9.
  • 174 Timberland, ii. 22.
  • 175 Leics. RO, DG 7 Box 4950, bundle 22, Normanby to Nottingham, 4 Sept. 1701.
  • 176 Add. 70073-4, newsletter, 3, 13 Jan. 1702.
  • 177 Leics. RO, DG 7 Box 4950, bundle 22, Normanby to Nottingham, 10 Mar. 1702.
  • 178 HMC Rutland, ii. 170; Verney ms mic. M636/51, E. Adams to Sir J. Verney, 28 Mar. 1702; Add. 61416, ff. 83-4.
  • 179 Add. 70073-4, newsletter, 5 Sept. 1702.
  • 180 Add. 29588, ff. 356, 358.
  • 181 Add. 70075, newsletter, 9, 25 Mar. 1703; Add. 40803, f. 96; Add. 61119, f. 101.
  • 182 Add. 29588, f. 360.
  • 183 Add. 40803, f. 106; Daily Courant, 23 Apr. 1703.
  • 184 Marlborough-Godolphin corresp. i. 202-3.
  • 185 Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 316, 343; Daily Courant, 8 Nov. 1703.
  • 186 Add. 61416, ff. 111-12.
  • 187 Add. 70075, newsletters, 2 Oct. 1703, 8 Feb. 1704.
  • 188 Marlborough-Godolphin corresp. i. 284.
  • 189 Add. 61363, ff. 96-7.
  • 190 Add. 61363, ff. 153-4.
  • 191 Marlborough-Godolphin corresp. i. 391-3.
  • 192 Eg. 3359, ff. 45-6.
  • 193 Nicolson, London Diaries, 220, 234.
  • 194 Nicolson, London Diaries, 257-8, 274.
  • 195 Verney ms mic. M636/52, Sir T. Cave to Viscount Fermanagh, 25 Mar. 1705.
  • 196 Marlborough-Godolphin corresp. i. 418.
  • 197 Stowe 224, ff. 330-1.
  • 198 J. Drake, Memorial of the Church of England, 25.
  • 199 Marlborough-Godolphin corresp. i. 475.
  • 200 Nicolson, London Diaries, 304, 306.
  • 201 Nicolson, London Diaries, 317.
  • 202 WSHC, 3790/1/1, p. 60.
  • 203 Nicolson, London Diaries, 369.
  • 204 Add. 19253, f. 188; Verney ms mic. M636/53, R. Lawley to Viscount Fermanagh, 13 Mar. 1706.
  • 205 Add. 70149, Lady A. Pye to A. Harley, 25 Mar. 1706.
  • 206 Bodl. Rawl. letters 9, f. 104.
  • 207 Mulgrave, Works, (1729 ed.), ii. 75-83.
  • 208 Ballard 31, f. 61; LJ xviii. 268.
  • 209 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 174, 194; Marlborough-Godolphin corresp. ii. 787-8.
  • 210 Timberland, ii. 180.
  • 211 HMC Buccleuch, ii. 719.
  • 212 Beinecke Lib. OSB mss fc 37, xiii. nos. 7, 12, 19, 22.
  • 213 Add. 61607, f. 212.
  • 214 Add. 72488, ff. 42-3.
  • 215 Timberland, ii. 260.
  • 216 Nicolson, London Diaries, 499.
  • 217 Add. 72494, ff. 171-2; HJ xix, 771.
  • 218 Add. 15574, ff. 65-8.
  • 219 LJ xix. 138.
  • 220 Add. 61460, f. 214.
  • 221 Add. 70257, Buckingham to Harley, 4 June 1710; Add. 70026, f. 37.
  • 222 Levens Hall, Bagot mss, [W. Bromley] to J. Grahme, 28 June 1710.
  • 223 Wentworth pprs. 135-7; Add. 70333, Harley memorandum, 12 Sept. 1710; Sainty and Bucholz, ii. 1; Add. 72500, ff. 8-9; Longleat, Bath mss. Thynne pprs, 47, ff. 41-2; Northants. RO, IC 3760.
  • 224 Wentworth Pprs. 141, 151, 153.
  • 225 Nicolson, London Diaries, 518; Burnet, vi. 28-9.
  • 226 Timberland, ii. 283, 310-11.
  • 227 Nicolson, London Diaries, 537; Wentworth Pprs. 179.
  • 228 Add. 72495, ff. 57-8, Add. 72500, ff. 54-5; NLS, Advocates’, Wodrow pprs. Wod. lett. Qu. 5, f. 163.
  • 229 Add. 70027, f. 139.
  • 230 Add. 61479, ff. 14-15; HMC Portland, iv. 684, 690-3; Add. 61461, ff. 110-11.
  • 231 HMC Portland, iv. 684.
  • 232 Longleat, Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 47, f. 252; Add. 61461, ff. 116-19.
  • 233 Add. 70027, f. 140.
  • 234 Add. 72495, ff. 103-4.
  • 235 Add. 70257, Buckingham to Oxford, 24 Nov. 1711.
  • 236 Wentworth Pprs. 226.
  • 237 Wentworth Pprs. 238.
  • 238 ‘Letters of Lord Balmerinoch to Harry Maule’, ed. C. Jones, Scottish Hist. Misc. xii. 140; Wentworth Pprs. 254-5.
  • 239 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 716-17; Herts. ALS, DE/P/F56, Buckingham to Cowper, 3 Mar. 1712.
  • 240 HMC Portland, v. 156-8.
  • 241 Add. 22220, ff. 17-18; Wentworth Pprs. 275-6.
  • 242 NLS, Advocates’, Wodrow pprs. Wod. Lett. Qu. 6, ff. 157-8.
  • 243 Add. 22220, ff. 72-3.
  • 244 Timberland, ii. 401.
  • 245 NAS, Scots Courant, (1710-15), 2 Sept. 1713.
  • 246 Add. 70257, Buckingham to Oxford, endorsed 23 Dec. 1713, Buckingham to Oxford, endorsed ?22 May 1714.
  • 247 Christ Church, Oxf, Wake mss 17, ff. 347-8.
  • 248 Add. 61454, ff. 162-3.
  • 249 HMC Portland, v. 476.
  • 250 NLS, Pitfirrane mss, 6409, no. 70.
  • 251 Bodl, Carte 231, f. 25.
  • 252 Stowe 751, ff. 129-30.
  • 253 London Journal, 4 Mar. 1721.
  • 254 Add. 70294, [C. Lawton] to [?countess of Oxford], 6 Feb. 1715.
  • 255 Daily Journal, 4, 15 Mar. 1721.