FINCH, Daniel (1647-1730)

FINCH, Daniel (1647–1730)

styled 1681-82 Ld. Finch; suc. fa. 18 Dec. 1682 as 2nd earl of NOTTINGHAM; suc. cos. 9 Sept. 1729 as 7th earl of WINCHILSEA

First sat 19 May 1685; last sat 13 Feb. 1728

MP Great Bedwyn 29 Jan.-6 Feb. 1673, 10 Feb. 1673-1679; Lichfield 1679 (Oct.)-1681

b. 2 July 1647, 1st s. of Heneage Finch, earl of Nottingham and Elizabeth, da. of Daniel Harvey; bro. of Hon. Edward Finch, Hon. Heneage Finch and Hon. William Finch.1 educ. Westminster; I. Temple 1658; Christ Church, Oxf. 1662; travelled abroad (Germany, Italy, France) 1665-8. m. (1) 16 June 1674, Lady Essex Rich (d. 23 Mar. 1684), da. of Robert Rich, 3rd earl of Warwick, 2s. d.v.p. 6da. (5 d.v.p.); (2) 29 Dec. 1685 (with £10,000),2 Anne, da. of Christopher Hatton, Visct. Hatton, 6s. (1 d.v.p.) ?9da. (2 d.v.p.), (and 7 other children d.v.p.).3 d. 1 Jan. 1730, will 28 July 1729; pr. 30 June 1730.4

Ld. of Admiralty 1679, first ld. 1680-4; PC 4 Feb. 1680-12 Mar. 1696, 2 May 1702-1707, 23 Sept. 1714-d.; sec. of state (S) 1689-93, 1702-4; ld. pres. 1714-16.

Freeman, Portsmouth 1682;5 gov. Charterhouse 1687;6 commr. visiting hospitals 1691;7 Greenwich Hospital 1703.8

FRS 1668.

Associated with: Kensington; Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland; Soho Sq., Westminster;9

Likenesses: oil on canvas by Sir G. Kneller, c.1720, Beningbrough Hall, Yorks. NPG 3910.

Reign of James II, 1685-8

After an active career in the Commons, notable for its loyalty to the crown, Finch succeeded his father at the end of 1682. He was already a member of the Privy Council and a holder of ministerial office as first lord of the admiralty. When a Parliament was summoned following the accession of James II, Robert Spencer, 2nd earl of Sunderland, wrote to him in April 1685 on behalf of the king to solicit his support in the elections for Buckinghamshire, Nottingham owning property at Milton which he had purchased in 1677.10 When the Parliament sat, Nottingham was introduced into the House on 19 May by Charles Montagu, 4th earl of Manchester and Robert Bruce, earl of Ailesbury. He attended on 29 of the 31 days of the session before the adjournment in July, being named to 16 committees. As in the Commons, Nottingham was protective of his father’s reputation: Gilbert Burnet, the future bishop of Salisbury, recounted a debate on the reversal of a decision made by the first earl’s successor, the lord keeper, Francis North, Baron Guilford, in which Nottingham joined in the ‘many severe reflections’ upon Guilford, whom he hated ‘because he had endeavoured to detract from his father’s memory’. Nottingham had ‘got together so many instances of his ill administration of justice, that he exposed him severely for it’.11

Nottingham attended the adjournment on 4 Aug. 1685. In October, George Savile, marquess of Halifax, expected him to be one of the peers attending Parliament to oppose the repeal of the Tests.12 Nottingham’s papers contain documents arguing for the retention of the Habeas Corpus Act and the continued exclusion of the Catholic peers from Parliament.13 On 27 Oct., Robert Harley, the future earl of Oxford, reported rumours that Nottingham had been removed from the Privy Council, perhaps on account of his known views, but these seem to have been false.14 He attended all 11 days of the second part of the session after it resumed in November 1685, and was named to one further committee. On 19 Nov. he joined those supporting a motion for a separate day to take into consideration the king’s speech. The motion’s success precipitated James’s decision to prorogue on the following day.15 He was later to attend the prorogations of 10 May, 23 Nov. 1686 and 28 Apr. 1687. On 29 Dec. 1685 Nottingham married for the second time, in a ceremony conducted by the dean of Norwich, John Sharp, the future archbishop of York. Bridget Noel thought the bride’s portion of £10,000 ‘a great deal’ because Nottingham already had a son and a daughter from his previous marriage.16 Nottingham’s first son by his second marriage, Heneage, was born on 6 Apr. 1687, and baptized on the 17th by Nottingham’s chaplain, John Moore, the future bishop of Norwich.17

On 14 Jan. 1686 Nottingham attended the trial for high treason of Henry Booth, 2nd Baron Delamer, finding him not guilty. He was no passive participant in this trial, intervening to suggest that in matters pertaining to parliamentary privilege, the judges were not ‘altogether the sole judges’.18 Nottingham also challenged the lord high steward, George Jeffreys, Baron Jeffreys on other points of law. Thomas Thynne, Viscount Weymouth, reported that Nottingham had ‘gained great honour in chastising’ Jeffreys, ‘who took upon him to overrule things without consulting the peers, as he used to do with common juries, and advanced a new doctrine, that one positive evidence with corroborating circumstances was sufficient to convict in case of high treason’, whereupon Nottingham ‘shewed him his mistakes in law as well as form, and that he had no power of giving any judgment there; but [basely] to declare the resolution of the peers’.19 Roger Morrice later reported that Nottingham ‘ruffled the lord chancellor, and was the chief instrument in saving’ Delamer.20

The dismissal in April 1686 of his brother, Heneage, the solicitor-general, for refusing to act for the crown in the case of Godden v. Hales, must have added to Nottingham’s unease about royal policies. In June Nottingham tried to protect Sharp, who was under threat of suspension for preaching sermons deemed anti-Catholic. He succeeded to the extent that Sharp was allowed to retire unmolested to Norwich, as the real target of the authorities was Henry Compton, bishop of London.21 The establishment of the ecclesiastical commission brought a fresh challenge; Nottingham thought the court was not legal and encouraged Bishop Compton to test its legality. However, he felt that since it was composed of privy councillors, a summons to appear before it could not be avoided.22 In 1687 Nottingham was chosen a governor of Charterhouse, by ‘some indirect practices’ of his friends, Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby (later successively marquess of Carmarthen and duke of Leeds) and James Butler, duke of Ormond, whom he later joined in refusing to admit a Catholic because he would not take the oaths.23 Nottingham’s name appeared on five lists in 1687-8, all of which listed him as an opponent of James II’s religious policies or more specifically against the repeal of the Test Act. Both French ambassadors, Barillon and Bonrepaux, concurred in describing him as an opponent of the Court.24

Given his views, Nottingham was an obvious person for William’s agent, Dijkvelt, to visit during his mission to canvass English political opinion. They met at the town house of Charles Talbot, 12th earl of Shrewsbury, although when Dijkvelt returned in June 1687 to report to William he carried only a polite non-committal letter from Nottingham.25 On 7 June 1687 Nottingham took the oaths and the Test in chancery, in a calculated snub to the king’s wishes.26 On 2 Sept. Nottingham was quite sanguine in response to Prince William’s request for his assessment of the political situation in England following the Declaration of Indulgence, predicting that James II’s putative alliance with the dissenters would not be able to produce a parliamentary majority for taking off the Test.27 Meanwhile, September 1687 saw him involved in the negotiations for the marriage of his niece, Elizabeth Grimston to Halifax’s son, William Savile, styled Lord Eland, the future 2nd marquess of Halifax.28

On 11 Nov. 1687 Nottingham was late in attending the Privy Council, so avoided the ceremony surrounding the installation of Father Petre as a councillor, subsequently declining to sit with the Jesuit.29 In May 1688 the London clergy, faced with the order to read the Declaration of Indulgence, consulted Nottingham among others, ‘who has most reputation, and who they place most confidence in, and he was utterly against their refusal, unless they were unanimous therein’, a view Morrice attributed to Nottingham having ‘the same temper with his father and the rest of the family, plausible but obsequious in all things, if the government favour not a reformation’.30 Nottingham was in attendance on the Seven Bishops on 15 June, in order to support them in court and to stand bail for them if necessary.31 Indeed, in the original plan drafted by Bishop Compton he was slated as one of those to provide bail for Thomas White, bishop of Peterborough.32

Danby and Bishop Compton advised Henry Sydney, the future Viscount Sydney, to approach Nottingham, ‘who had great credit with the whole Church party’ to see if he would advise the prince to come over to England. Initially, Nottingham agreed, and on 18 June William was promised in a cipher letter that five of his ‘principal’ friends, one of whom was Nottingham, would send another letter, enclosing an ‘invitation’ to William. However, when the promised invitation was sent on 30 June, Nottingham was not among the signatories—as Sydney wrote, ‘you will wonder, I believe, not to see the number 23 [Nottingham] among the other figures; he was gone very far, but now his heart fails him, and he will go no further; he saith ’tis scruples of conscience, but we all conclude ’tis another passion’. On 27 July Nottingham’s own letter to William played down the need for intervention by questioning the likely success of the king’s policies.33 Nottingham later recounted that the dilemma on whether to sign the invitation was ‘the greatest difficulty that ever I was plunged into in my whole life’, convinced as he was that William ‘had a just cause for such an attempt’ given the suspect birth of the prince or Wales and James II’s ‘putting all the offices and power in the kingdom into the hands of papists as fast as he could’. However, the invitation was high treason, and in violation of his solemn oath of allegiance. After consulting Edward Stillingfleet, the future bishop of Worcester, and William Lloyd, bishop of St Asaph, on whether ‘in conscience’ force could be used ‘to defend our religious, and civil rights and liberties’, and receiving a negative response, he declined to participate, informing Edward Russell, the future earl of Orford, of his decision and of his promise not to reveal the plot to the king.34

Meanwhile, Nottingham used his influence against James II’s regulators in their attempts to secure an amenable Parliament. On 16 Sept. 1688, one of James’s leading Whig collaborators, Sir William Williams, feared that if his patron at Beaumaris, Robert Bulkeley, 2nd Viscount Bulkeley [I], died before the election, Bulkeley’s son, Richard Bulkeley, the future 3rd Viscount, ‘who is lately arrived here with the influence and eloquence of the earl of Nottingham and Mr [Heneage] Finch his near relations [they were cousins] will oppose my election’.35 With Dutch preparations at last being taken seriously, on 5 Oct. Nottingham attended the king, but declined to resume his seat on the Privy Council.36 According to his own description of his meeting, the king was ‘much dissatisfied with him for saying nothing to him relating to the present state of affairs’, although he noted that he would not ‘engage in any action against the allegiance he owes in conscience to the king’.37 On 22 Oct., when the king issued a summons to all privy councillors to attend him to hear depositions on the birth of the prince of Wales, Nottingham refused to sit at the council table with the other councillors along with those whom he regarded as unqualified to sit—that is, the Roman Catholics.38 On 4 Nov., Nottingham was one of the Tory peers who, having been ordered to attend the king, ‘excused themselves’ from signing an address abhorring the invasion. Further, none of those present offered the king their service, but ‘only declared in civil and general terms, how sorry they were to see his majesty’s affairs placed in such an awkward position, on which his majesty dismissed them very dissatisfied’.39

The Revolution, 1688-9

Nottingham was present at Halifax’s on 12 Nov. 1688 when he met with Henry Hyde, 2nd earl of Clarendon, Weymouth and Bishops White of Peterborough and Lloyd of St Asaph, to discuss a petition to the king calling for a Parliament. Nottingham and Halifax would not join in a petition if it were signed by any peer who had made themselves ‘obnoxious’ by their previous governmental role, such as those who had sat on the ecclesiastical commission. As a result Nottingham was one of the peers who on 16 Nov. refused to subscribe to the petition. On 27 Nov. he was one of about 40 peers summoned to a meeting to discuss the petition with James II, following the defection of many of his senior officers and his return from Salisbury. Nottingham was said to have spoken ‘plain’, in ‘very soft language, but things smart enough’, advising the king to call a Parliament and pardon those who had joined the prince of Orange, thereby qualifying them for election.40 In this he supported Halifax and ‘laid all miscarriages open’ and favoured sending commissioners to the prince. Having been, together with Halifax, in private with the king on 28-29 Nov., on the 30th he was named with Halifax and Sidney Godolphin, Baron Godolphin, to treat with Prince William.41 ‘Feuds’ between Halifax and Laurence Hyde, earl of Rochester, apparently dictated that Nottingham be appointed in Rochester’s place, even though William at this point ‘had but little acquaintance with’ him.42 His appointment was a victory, perhaps, for what Robert Bertie, 3rd earl of Lindsey saw as the Halifax-Nottingham faction at Court, over Clarendon and Rochester and over Danby and his adherents.43 The commissioners left London on 2 Dec., and held negotiations at Hungerford with William on 8 and 10 December. Finding that the prince’s terms exceeded their instructions, they returned to London for further directions, but by the time they had arrived at Whitehall on the evening of 11 Dec., the king had fled.44

Presumably due to his late arrival, Nottingham did not attend the provisional government meeting at the Guildhall on 11 Dec. 1688, but was present on the following day. In the afternoon, he signed the arrest warrant for Lord Chancellor Jeffreys, although he was known to be opposed to general warrants on principle. He next attended on the afternoon of 13 Dec. and then on the morning of 14 Dec., upon which occasion he argued that Jeffreys should be brought before them and a new warrant for his confinement issued, a course of action which was rejected on safety grounds. He continued to be active on the 15th, including proposing that Jeffreys be examined as to the fate of the great seal.45 Although one of the peers in attendance on the prince after he had arrived at St James’s on 18 Dec., Nottingham ‘was singled out by all the clergy, or he singled them out and left all the company to talk with them’. He was described by Charles Gerard, earl of Macclesfield, as ‘the patron of the hierarchists’.46 Nottingham answered the summons of the prince and duly attended when the peers met in the queen’s presence chamber on 21 December. When the Association signed at Exeter was read, Nottingham gave several reasons against subscribing to it, and suggested that it should be voluntary, ‘out of a scruple that it was inconsistent with the oath of allegiance, and made a long unintelligible speech wherein he used much oratory’.47 Nottingham attended the meeting of the peers in the House of Lords on 22 Dec. when he signed the order authorizing Francis Gwyn to sign orders on behalf of the Lords collectively. At their meeting on 24 Dec. Nottingham was in favour of obtaining and reading the letter written by James II to secretary of state Charles Middleton, earl of Middleton [S], which after a long debate was allowed to drop.48 The debate then continued on to the matter of securing a ‘free’ Parliament: Nottingham opposed the suggestion of William Cavendish, 4th earl of Devonshire, that the king withdrawing constituted ‘a demise in law’, and the proposal from William Paget, 7th Baron Paget, that the Princess of Orange should be declared queen so that she could issue the writs for a Parliament, apparently speaking ‘with great moderation and tenderness towards the king’.49 He recognized that they ‘cannot come to have a Parliament but by the king’, and that the nearest one could get to it was ‘circular letters to the House of Lords, and to the coroners or high or chief constables’, which would take three weeks. He then brought up the precedent of Prince John taking over the government as regent for Richard I, without a commission from the king. If this were to be done in the king’s name, it would be ‘owning the king, who hath forsaken the kingdom’.50 He considered sending ‘propositions’ to the king, which Burnet interpreted as asking the king to issue the writs for a Parliament, but may relate to a document among his papers containing a list of 13 limitations on royal authority.51 He then moved an address for Prince William ‘to take on all other matters of the regency’. After circular letters were duly ordered, Nottingham was one of those appointed to draw up a letter asking the Prince to take on the ‘administration of affairs’. In the debate which followed the reading of the draft letter, Nottingham opposed the motion of Thomas Grey, 2nd earl of Stamford to leave out the words ‘his majesty’s withdrawing himself’ by pointing out that these were the grounds for having the letter in the first place, but it was agreed to omit them; he then opposed Halifax’s motion to leave out the word ‘legal’ (the letter expressed the wish to ‘the establishment of these things upon such sure and legal foundations, that they may not be in danger of being again subverted’). On the 25th Nottingham signed both the address summoning a Convention and the address requesting the Prince to take over the administration of public affairs.52

Clarendon recorded on 16 Jan. 1689 that Rochester had been with Nottingham, who ‘was resolved to support the king’s cause in the Convention’, and keen that William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, should attend.53 On 19 Jan. Nottingham noted from Kensington that he was ‘every day late at London’.54 He was present when the Convention opened on 22 Jan. and attended on 142 days, 87 per cent of the total, being named to 41 committees. On the 22nd Nottingham unsuccessfully opposed the appointment of George Bradbury as an assistant to the House.55 Burnet wrote that Nottingham, Clarendon and Rochester were the managers ‘in favour of a regent, in opposition to those who were for setting up a king’.56 No doubt believing that the best way to preserve the king’s authority lay with the peers, Nottingham explicitly opposed the idea that the Lords were ‘only to take aim from the gentlemen below’. Thus, on 22 Jan., when it was moved that the Commons go into a committee of the whole on the state of the nation on the following day, Sir Thomas Clarges ‘upon concert with Lord Nottingham and Mr Finch’ moved for it to sit on 28th, thereby handing the initiative to the Lords. This plan was baulked on 25 Jan., when Nottingham seconded the motion that the state of the nation be considered on the following day, only for Devonshire and Halifax to persuade the House to put the matter off until the 29th.57 On that day the Lords took into consideration the vote of the previous day in the Commons that James II had abdicated the government and that the throne was thereby vacant. Nottingham supported a regency and voted in favour of the proposition that a regency was the best way to preserve the protestant religion and the nation’s laws.58 He ‘brought many arguments from the English history to support his opinion’, as well as a recent example from Portugal. The vote, however, was lost by two.59 Even if the king had done ‘all that is suggested’ Parliament had no power to judge him or to force a forfeiture. He cautioned against ‘subverting your own constitution’. As the debate evolved, it was proposed by Rochester that a regent be appointed for the king’s life, a proposition in keeping with Nottingham’s views and which he supported. In his final contribution Nottingham reiterated his support for a regency and his concern ‘not for the monarch, but the monarchy, not the persons but things’.60

Nottingham voted in the committee of the whole on 31 Jan. 1689 against inserting into the resolution sent from the Commons the words declaring the prince and princess of Orange to be king and queen. On 2 Feb. Nottingham told the king’s Dutch secretary, Constantijn Huygens, that he could not accept the view that the throne was vacant. His view explains his omission from the meeting William held with Halifax, Shrewsbury, Danby and others on 3 Feb. in which the prince made clear his refusal to act as regent or prince consort.61 On 4 Feb. Nottingham was named to a conference on the amendments made by the Lords to the Commons’ vote of 28 Jan. on the abdication, at which he laid out the reasons for the Lords’ preference for the word ‘deserted’ over the word ‘abdication’.62 Following the report, he acted as a teller, opposite Shrewsbury, against agreeing with the Commons that the throne was vacant, and he was then named to prepare heads for a conference on the Lords’ disagreements with the Commons. On 5 Feb. he reported from this committee, was named to the ensuing conference and reported back that the managers had delivered their reasons to the Commons.

Nottingham was named to a further conference on 6 Feb. 1689, reporting back from it on the differences between the Houses over the terms ‘abdicated’ and ‘deserted’.63 He had spoken first at the conference, explaining that the word deserted had been substituted for abdicated because of the ‘consequences’ drawn in conclusion by the Commons that the throne was vacant, which would ‘null the succession in the hereditary line’ and make the crown elective. He proposed to shift the debate on to filling the vacancy and only then to determine the word to be used, something the Commons resisted, a point he returned to in the conference.64 In the debate in the Lords which followed the conference, he spoke and voted against agreeing with the Commons that King James had abdicated, and that the throne was vacant, duly entering his protest when the Lords agreed to the wording of the Commons.65 Despite this vote and protest, there were indications that Nottingham wished to end the uncertainty, whilst maintaining his principled stand: Lady Cavendish revealed that he ‘had a great mind to come off before, but could not tell which way’, and William Legge, earl of Dartmouth, later recorded that Weymouth had told him that Nottingham had prevailed with him and others to stay away, so that the vote was lost and civil war averted.66 Clarendon duly noted that both Weymouth and Hatton were absent.67 On 7 Feb. ‘several Lords’ met to enter their dissent to the vote of the 6th. Nottingham had already prepared some reasons for the Lords disagreeing to the Commons vote of 28 Jan., but it was decided that in order to maximize the numbers entering a protest that no reasons should be given. Clarendon copied Nottingham’s proposed reasons, which encapsulated his argument: although the king could resign his crown by consent of Parliament, neither Parliament nor the people had the authority to depose him without his own consent. ‘If the Parliament could depose him, yet the monarchy of England is hereditary by the fundamental constitution of this government, and has been often declared by Parliament to be so’; since ‘no act of the king alone could abrogate the right of his heir without act of Parliament’, therefore the throne could not be vacant, and the consequence of the vote was to make the monarchy elective, which was ‘contrary to the original constitution of the government, and destructive of it, and the peace and welfare of the nation’.68 Clarendon recorded on the 6th that Nottingham had ‘moved that new oaths might be made instead of the old ones of allegiance and supremacy, which, he believed, few would take to a new king’: it was ordered to be considered on the following day, when Clarendon reported the new oaths from committee of the whole House.69

Nottingham was one of those named on 8 Feb. 1689 to report a conference on declaring William and Mary monarchs. On 9 Feb. he acted as a teller in opposition to Devonshire on whether to agree with the paragraph on the standing army, as amended by the Lords, for insertion in the declaration to be presented to the new monarchs. He was then named to prepare reasons to ‘fortify’ the Lords’ amendments in preparation for a conference, and to the resultant conference. During the debates on 9 Feb., when it was put about (possibly with an intent to derail proceedings) that William was irked by some of the proposed restrictions in the Declaration, Nottingham said that ‘the prince ought to consider that the crown of England with whatever limitations ... was far more than anything the States of Holland were able to give him’.70

Secretary of State in the Convention, 1689-90

Nottingham quickly adjusted to the new state of affairs. Halifax quoted Nottingham’s speech with approval when attempting to convince Sir John Reresby to take the oaths; ‘he had not consented in the least to this change, but had opposed the prince his accession to the crown, not believing it legal, but that since he was there, and that we must now owe and expect his protection from him as king de facto, he thought it just and lawful to swear allegiance to him’.71 On 11 Feb. 1689 Clarendon apparently proposed a boycott of proceedings, but Nottingham opposed such a move, arguing that the government must be supported ‘and the Lords can never answer it if they leave the House’.72 On 14 Feb. Nottingham was named to the new Privy Council, ‘though for some accidental reasons he did not’ sit at its first meeting.73 Clarendon was surprised to see his name among the new councillors, while Nottingham, in turn, ‘wondered how’ Clarendon could ‘enter into the Association at Salisbury and now refuse to take the oaths’.74 As for higher office Nottingham seems to have wanted a seat in the treasury commission and refused the custodianship of the great seal, probably as first commissioner.75 Instead, on 5 Mar. he accepted the secretaryship, but told William that ‘he foresaw that there were many steps yet to be made in which he would oppose that which would be pretended to be his service; but he would follow his own sense of things in Parliament, though he would be guided by the king’s sense out of it’.76 Reresby was probably correct in attributing Nottingham’s appointment to Halifax.77 It may also have facilitated negotiations for the sale of Nottingham’s house in Kensington, which the king was reported in mid March to be ‘buying’.78 The purchase was completed at the end of May for about 18,000 guineas.79

On 28 Feb. 1689 Nottingham brought into the Lords a toleration bill, which fulfilled earlier promises made to the dissenters.80 All Trinitarians outside the Church who declared against transubstantiation and swore allegiance to the new monarchs were to be relieved from the penalties of the penal statutes.81 Meanwhile, Nottingham worked on a draft of a comprehension bill for the Lords, along with some of his clerical friends. A draft bill is extant in Sharp’s hand.82 On 8 Mar. Nottingham received a letter from Stillingfleet, who having perused the papers sent to him thought ‘the last part fittest to be added to the bill’, though he advised that it ought to be delayed until it was possible to convene Convocation, without whose approval, ‘our clergy will hardly come into it’.83 On 11 Mar., however, Nottingham introduced the comprehension bill into the Lords.84 The bill was narrower than that championed by Nottingham in 1680, and when asked by Roger Morrice why he had abandoned the earlier bill, he replied that ‘they would offer such a bill as was fit &c and convenient’.85 A measure of his involvement in the bill is the survival among his papers of a whole raft of documents relating to the legislation, many with emendations in his hand.86 On 27 Mar. he reported from the committee on the bill and on 8 Apr. his proviso against the practice of occasional conformity was added at its third reading. He was then named to manage the conference on the amendments to the bill removing papists from London. Nottingham was rumoured to be behind the advice to the king which saw William Harbord on 9 Apr. propose an address to the king that Convocation consider the issue of comprehension.87 After its adoption by both Houses and presentation to William on 19 Apr., it was Nottingham who relayed the king’s reply to the Lords on the 20th, in which he recommended toleration for dissenters, and promised to summon Convocation. 

Nottingham was a keen defender of the test in the bill abrogating the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. On 15 Mar. 1689 he was named to a select committee to draw a clause to make clearer the abrogating and making void the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. At the committee on 16 Mar. Nottingham handed in some ‘propositions’, and Sir Robert Atkyns, Sir Cresswell Levinz and Sir William Dolben were ordered to draw some clauses based upon them. When the debate was resumed in committee of the whole House on the 19th, Nottingham reported what the select committee had drawn up. A disagreement arose over the draft of a clause by Atkyns concerning the sacrament, which Nottingham refused to accept, ‘for it did effectually take off that point and so wrangled about it many hours’, and eventually it was rejected by the committee.88 The bill was further considered in a select committee, which reported when the House sat the following day. Nottingham acted as a teller in opposition to Macclesfield on whether the second amendment, that the king and queen should issue commissions to tender the oaths, should stand without amendment. On 21 Mar., Nottingham spoke against a proposed clause to remove the requirement to receive the sacrament incorporated in the Test Act. The clause was not adopted.89 When the bill, amended by the Commons, was returned to the Lords, Nottingham was one of those named on 17 Apr. to ‘make the rest of the bill to agree with the amendments already made’. Nottingham was appointed on 20 Apr. to report the ensuing conference, and afterwards he was a teller in opposition to John West, 6th Baron De la Warr, in a division on whether to agree with the reasons given by the Commons for disagreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill. He was involved in drafting heads and reasons for a conference on the bill and then managing the conference itself.90 The most controversial of the Commons’ amendments was a proviso forcing incumbent clergy to take the oaths. The Lords finally backed down from their attempts to moderate it in a close division on 23 April. A newsletter sent to Arthur Charlett summed up Nottingham’s views during these debates: ‘since our religion is the established religion he thinks it impracticable and dangerous to admit any kind of Dissenters into any share of the government’.91

During a debate on 25 Mar. 1689 on the bill appointing commissioners of the great seal, Nottingham defended his father from the charge that he had sold the place of clerk of the peace.92 On 28 Mar. he was named to a committee to draw reasons for a conference on provisos added by the Commons to the bill removing papists from London, and was named to the ensuing conference. He was very busy both in and out of Parliament: on 25 Apr. his wife wrote that Nottingham was ‘now sitting at the House, which is not yet up and ’tis two a clock and at three there is to be a council’.93 On 22 May Nottingham was named to a conference on the toleration bill, from which he reported later in the day. He also reported on a conference on the additional poll bill, which the Lords had amended to appoint their own commissioners: the Commons disagreed to the amendment. He was named to a committee to draw up reasons and on 27 May he was named to manage another conference on the matter. On 22 May and 12 July Nottingham supported a proviso recognizing the claims of the house of Hanover to the succession in the bill of rights.94 On 31 May he voted against reversing the judgments against Titus Oates. Although he thought that the judgments were erroneous, Nottingham argued that by reversing them the Lords would take off Oates’s conviction for perjury and allow him to become a witness again.95 It was reported on 11 July that Nottingham had ‘appeared very stout and resolute and highly disgusted’ the friends of Oates, ‘especially those in the House of Commons’.96 On 24 July he was named to draw up reasons for the Lords insisting on their amendments to the bill, and was named to the resultant conference on the 26th. On 30 July he voted to adhere to the Lords’ amendments to the bill.

On 3 June 1689 Nottingham registered the proxy of Thomas Herbert, 8th earl of Pembroke. On 20 June, as secretary, Nottingham issued a warrant for the arrest of Peregrine Osborne, styled earl of Danby, the future 2nd duke of Leeds, upon information supplied by his father, Carmarthen; although Nottingham was defended by Clarges, it resulted on 28 June in a vote in the Commons that Danby’s arrest had been a breach of privilege, and further inquiry into whether the warrant pre-dated his receipt of the information.97 On 2 July he entered his dissent to the vote to proceed upon the impeachment brought against Sir Adam Blair and others. On 20 July Nottingham registered the proxy of Hatton. He was named to a conference on 25 July on the bill concerning the collection of customs duties. On 19 Aug., the day before Parliament adjourned for a month, he acted as a teller in opposition to Macclesfield on whether to agree to an amendment in the bill prohibiting trade with France.

Nottingham played a significant role in ecclesiastical politics at the beginning of the reign. In September 1689 William authorized Nottingham to convene a clerical commission to draft detailed plans for comprehension and other reforms for presentation to Convocation in November.98 He also played a crucial part in selecting candidates for the ecclesiastical promotions made at the beginning of September, many of whom were drawn from Nottingham’s friends and clients: John Tillotson, the future archbishop of Canterbury, who was made dean of St Paul’s; Sharp, who became dean of Canterbury; Richard Kidder, the future bishop of Bath and Wells, who was appointed dean of Peterborough; Simon Patrick, who was chosen as bishop of Chichester; and Stillingfleet, made bishop of Worcester.99 Sometimes his role in clerical patronage married perfectly with his position as head of the extended Finch family. Thus on 13 Sept., Tillotson informed Leopold William Finch that he would be given a prebend at Canterbury owing to the ‘zeal and concern’ of Nottingham for his kinsman, Finch having just lost his father Henage Finch, 3rd earl of Winchilsea.100 Both Charles Finch, 4th earl of Winchilsea, and his mother (Viscountess Maidstone) thanked Nottingham in November 1689 for his role in mediating a dispute with the dowager countess of Winchilsea, which she had brought into the Lords on 8 Nov. by claiming a breach of privilege. The House decided there was no breach and both women accepted Nottingham’s mediation.101 In June-July 1691 Nottingham was consulted over prospective brides for Winchilsea, and then the negotiations over a marriage settlement. Although the negotiations failed in August, Viscountess Maidstone hoped that Nottingham would be able to bring the dowager countess of Winchilsea ‘to some reasonable terms of accommodation’, so that the estate would not be wasted in legal costs.102

Marked by Carmarthen as an opponent of the court in the list he compiled between October 1689 and February 1690, Nottingham was present when, after several adjournments, Parliament sat again on 19 Oct. 1689. On 22 Oct. the countess of Nottingham revealed that they had moved into Berkshire House, although ‘whether we can fix here is yet uncertain’ due to possible structural defects.103 Nottingham was again present when the new session met on 23 Oct. 1689. He attended on 64 days of the session, 88 per cent of the total, and was named to 14 committees. At the third reading of the bill of rights on 23 Nov., Nottingham was able to prolong a debate on an amendment to make void all pardons in cases of impeachment (aimed at Carmarthen), until the Court had the numbers to ensure its rejection.104 On 31 Oct. 1689 he again registered Hatton’s proxy. During the session Nottingham was busy trying to bolster Tory support for the king, which, it was hoped, would give the king the confidence to introduce more Tories into the ministry. On the evening of 1 Dec. 1689 Sir John Knatchbull, 2nd bt. paid Nottingham a visit, where they spoke about Convocation, and Nottingham ‘seemed not to deny’ Knatchbull’s point about its meeting being ‘unseasonable and would heighten our differences’. Knatchbull believed that Nottingham had been ‘a good deal the author of their meeting’. On the Church in general, Nottingham ‘seemed very industrious in persuading me that the king would entirely espouse its interest’.105 On that same day Nottingham paid Rochester a visit in an attempt to persuade him that the king was ‘now convinced that he had taken wrong measures in relying so much upon the Dissenters, and that he would hereafter put himself in the hands of the Church of England.’106 In mid December there were rumours that Parliament would be adjourned at Christmas and then dissolved, with Nottingham being appointed lord chancellor.107 They provoked some Whigs to attack Tory ministers in the Commons.108 Tory leaders, including Clarges and Sir Edward Seymour, 4th bt. to defended Nottingham and others on 14 Dec. in debates on the state of the nation in committee of the whole House in the Commons.109 In December Nottingham was one of those arguing for an extended adjournment until mid-January, on the grounds that the ‘Church of England men’ had already gone into the country in expectation of a three-week recess.110 In the struggle over the shape of the ministry, Nottingham tried to secure support for supply from the Tory leaders in the Commons, while preparing to resist a planned Whig attempt to remove the sacramental test from the bill to restore corporations.111 Early in January 1690 Nottingham was to approach Clarges and Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th bt. about joining the Privy Council.112 Such was Nottingham’s confidence in clerical company, that when he delivered a message from the king to Convocation on 4 Dec. 1689, supporting the work of the commission on reforms in the Church (with a view to the comprehension of moderate Dissenters), he added his own thoughts as well.113

Nottingham acted as a teller in opposition to Stamford on 14 Jan. 1690 on whether to adjourn the debate on the trial of peers. On 23 Jan., when the Lords debated the bill to restore corporations, Nottingham took the view that the surrender of the charters in the previous two reigns had been legal, arguing that the seven of the ten judges holding the contrary opinion had ‘argued rather like philosophers than lawyers, for they had compared bodies politic with bodies natural, and yet they had said they were immortal which was a strange property of bodies natural’.114 The notes for his speech contained legal precedents and much discussion of the nature of a corporation. Nor was he impressed by arguments as to the ‘inconvenience’—‘for if every inconvenience illegal’, there would be an end to such acts as ‘frauds and perjuries [and] habeas corpus’.115 He acted as a teller both in committee of the whole and at the report stage in opposition to Stamford in favour of leaving out the words ‘declared and were and are illegal’ in the corporation bill.

Secretary of State in the Parliament of 1690

Nottingham had supported arguments for a new Parliament and following the dissolution on 6 Feb. 1690, he campaigned for Tory candidates in the ensuing elections.116 It was intimated on 12 Feb. that he intended to attend the poll for Northamptonshire, but the Tories failed to put up any candidates, despite his efforts.117 He appears to have gained the recommendation of Louis de Duras, 2nd earl of Feversham, for his ‘cousin’ Christopher Yelverton, the brother of Henry Yelverton, 15th Baron Grey of Ruthin at Higham Ferrers, but in the event he did not stand.118 On 12 Mar. it was reported that Nottingham was one of a number of Lords ‘gone to endeavour to put by Colonel [Henry] Mildmay in Essex’, although other business prevented his attendance at the poll.119 His brothers, Heneage and Edward, were returned for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge respectively, another sign of Finch prestige in clerical circles. Nottingham also played a role in ensuring that the court exercised an interest at Rye, originally in favour of Sir John Trevor, but when he decided to sit elsewhere, its support was switched to Caleb Banks, a brother-in-law of Heneage Finch, though he was unsuccessful.120

Nottingham was present when the 1690 Parliament convened on 20 March, and attended 52 days of the session, including the prorogation on 7 July, missing only 22 March. He was named to 13 committees. On 26 Mar., Nottingham was one of those who criticized at first reading the bill introduced by Charles Powlett, duke of Bolton, declaring the Convention to be a lawful Parliament and recognizing William and Mary as ‘rightful and lawful’ rulers.121 Nottingham’s notes reveal that he was ‘against this whole bill: as being needless, unseasonable and so far from adding any security to the king ... that it directly tends to the diminution both of him and of the government’.122 He favoured following the precedent of the Restoration instead for confirming the legislation passed by the Convention. Much erudition was then used to defend Nottingham’s view of de facto kingship.123 On 4 Apr. he acted as a teller opposite Charles Mordaunt, earl of Monmouth, in divisions in committee of the whole House on whether the laws passed in the Convention should be ‘confirmed’, and then on whether it should be ‘declared’ that they had the full force of acts of Parliament.124 On 5 Apr. he told again for the majority, opposite Stamford, in a division on whether to keep the word ‘adjudged’ in the phrase that the acts would be ‘declared, adjudged and enacted to have the same authority as if enacted by the present Parliament’.125 When Carmarthen brokered a compromise whereby the acts of the Convention would be ‘enacted’ to be good in law, but inserted that they ‘were and are’ statutes, Nottingham opposed the amendment as ‘neither good English nor good sense’, and entered a protest against it on 8 April.126 On 10 Apr. he acted as a teller in opposition to Monmouth on whether to expunge the protest of the 8th. This issue created a split between Nottingham and Rochester on the one side and Carmarthen on the other: they were described as ‘quite out’ with the lord president.127 On 24 Apr. the ‘news-mongers’ were reporting that Nottingham had been given his quietus, his ‘only crime’ being ‘his zealous opposing the recognition act’, and on 26 Apr. Edward Harley reported ‘it is confidently said’ that Nottingham declined to continue in his post, ‘the king now being declared a king de jure’.128 Nottingham, however, remained in office.

After the Commons rejected the abjuration bill on 26 Apr., a modified bill, for the better securing King William and Queen Mary and the peace of the kingdom was given a first reading in the Lords on 1 May, and on 2 May Nottingham was one of those that spoke against the terms of the oath during the second reading debate, describing the bill as ‘destructive of the government’.129 Nottingham’s notes show that he thought this bill was ‘either more than the oath of allegiance and then ’tis contrary to the original contract and the consequence very dangerous least ill men should take the occasion to think themselves absolved from the oath which they have already taken, and you lose a solemn religious security for a vain shadow’, or else the oath proposed was ‘equal or less and then needless’. Moreover, it supposed ‘that men have taken the oath of allegiance with equivocations or with resolution not to keep it’.130 On 3 May he acted as a teller in opposition to Warrington (the former Delamer) against proceeding on the bill. Dr Denton reported on 6 May that Nottingham had told William directly that he was ‘king de facto not de jure’.131 That day, Nottingham registered the proxy of George Compton, 4th earl of Northampton. On 12 May he was named to a conference on the regency bill. Nottingham took the chair of the committee of the whole House on 13 and 14 May on the bill reversing the quo warranto against the City of London, dealing with the petition from the City on the 13th (his papers contain notes from the lawyers representing the City). He reported the bill on the 14th. Nottingham attended the adjournment of the session on 23 May, and its prorogation on 7 July.132

Despite Nottingham’s well known quibbles over the nature of William’s kingship, the king had long had Nottingham in mind as a member of Mary’s advisory council should he leave the kingdom. Nottingham was confirmed as such on the eve of the king’s departure in May 1690.133 Most commentators regarded Nottingham as likely to play a key part in the government during William’s absence. On 13 May, Charles Cottrell thought Danby and Nottingham were ‘the men most in power with the king, which is so much disliked by a contrary party’ that Shrewsbury had offered to resign.134 Morrice thought that Nottingham, Carmarthen and Godolphin would dominate the regency.135 Following Shrewsbury’s resignation in June, Nottingham was the sole secretary until December 1690. Left on her own, Queen Mary recorded her thoughts on those left to advise her; Nottingham was ‘suspected by most as not true to the government. None would trust or have anything to do with him, tho in the post he was, he must do all. The king believed him an honest man, but he was thought too violent for his party’.136 She added in July that Nottingham was ‘very hearty in all affairs’, and ‘appears to be sincere, tho’ he does not take much pains to persuade me of it, upon all occasions, as others do’.137

In July 1690, in the wake of the battle at Beachy Head, Nottingham was ‘oppressed with business’ and ‘scarce ever in bed till three or four o’clock in the morning’.138 On 26 July he expressed the view that the displacement of the rear admiral at Beachy Head, (Sir) George Rooke, ‘seems so hard a case’ that perhaps the queen would review it again in council, an early example of his championship of Rooke, whose mother was a Finch and who was related to the Howes, as was Nottingham’s first countess.139 His papers also contain a long paper on the merits of Rooke and his treatment after Malaga.140 Nottingham attended the prorogations on 28 July, 18 Aug. and 12 September. On the latter day Nottingham was at North Mimms, Hertfordshire, where he stood proxy for the king at the baptism of William Henry Osborne, the eldest son of the earl of Danby, and thus the grandson of Carmarthen.141

Nottingham was present when the 1690-1 session began on 2 October. He attended on 59 days, 81 per cent of the total, and was named to 11 committees. On 21 Oct. the Lords upheld the claim of Arthur Herbert, earl of Torrington, that his imprisonment after Beachy Head was a breach of privilege, although Nottingham defended the order of the council.142 On 12 Nov. Torrington was heard in the Commons apropos his imprisonment, whereupon, according to John Verney, he undertook a long justification of his conduct and ‘complained of’ Nottingham, who, in the aftermath of the battle had thought Torrington ‘wholly and only guilty’.143 On 2 Jan. 1691 Nottingham proposed adding a proviso in the committee of the whole on the bill suspending the navigation act.144 He was named to a conference on 5 Jan. on this bill, the last day before the adjournment of the House. In late November 1690 Nottingham had been touted as a potential plenipotentiary to accompany William on his next trip to Holland with powers ‘to treat there upon any business about the League’.145 Before he could depart, Nottingham had to attend on 16 and 19 Jan. 1691 as a witness at the Old Bailey at the trials for treason of Richard Grahme, Viscount Preston [S] and Major Ashton.146 On the 21st he embarked from Gravesend for Holland to join the king.147 He was still in The Hague on 8 Apr., but had returned to Whitehall by 17 April.148

While abroad there was renewed evidence that the king held Nottingham in high esteem; on the 9 Feb. 1691 Nottingham’s son, William Finch, was baptized by Bishop Stillingfleet, with Sydney standing in for the king as godfather, and Princess Anne standing as godmother.149 In late January, in the wake of Jacobite plotting which implicated several of the non-juring bishops, Nottingham had been one of those urging the king to fill up the vacancies created by the non-jurors.150 When these vacancies were eventually filled in April, many of them went to Nottingham’s friends and allies, including Tillotson as archbishop of Canterbury, whose consecration he attended on 31 May.151 On 13 Aug. 1691 Prince George, duke of Cumberland described Nottingham’s ‘righteousness and honesty’, possibly in connection with Nottingham’s role in negotiating with Dijkvelt over a debt owing to the Prince.152 Further evidence of royal favour was the appointment of the countess of Nottingham on 15 Aug. as a lady of the bedchamber to the queen.153

Nottingham attended the prorogations of 26 May, 30 June, 3 Aug. and 5 Oct. 1691 and was present when the next session began on 22 Oct. 1691. He attended on 73 days, 75 per cent of the total, and was named to 17 committees. On 1 Nov. Nottingham wrote to Hatton to thank him ‘for trusting me with your proxy, for which I shall send you a draught in the usual form’, not that he had it for long, for Hatton attended the Lords on 28 November. Nottingham had been heavily involved in advising Hatton in an ecclesiastical dispute with the bishop of Ely, which resulted in a bill for the settling on Hatton and his heirs a fee farm rent of £100 per annum on the bishop and his successors. On 13 Nov. Nottingham met with various referees to settle matters before the bill was drawn up, which he expected to be done by the 17th. The bill was given a first reading on 1 Dec. and passed the Lords on the 4th. Following the Royal Assent on 24 Dec., Nottingham advised Hatton to obtain a copy of the act from the clerk of the Parliaments ‘to keep by you’.154

On 11 Nov. 1691 it was reported that Nottingham ‘looks down of late’. The report may have reflected Whig criticism of him in the Commons over the inactivity of the fleet during the summer. The king, however, ensured that any criticism was muted.155 On 17 Nov. he was named to a conference on matters relating to the safety of the kingdom. In committee on the bill abrogating the oaths in Ireland, Nottingham apparently said that some parts of the bill were contrary to the articles of Limerick, and some amendments were made as a consequence.156 On 8 Dec. Richard Hill told Sir William Trumbull of ‘a foolish plot’ contrived by Bolton and the Whigs intended ‘to blacken Lord Nottingham’ about letters between him and Sir Ralph Delaval, ‘but all was madness or knavery’.157 The Commons exonerated Nottingham on 15 Dec., voting that there was no copy of his letter to Delaval found on board a French vessel captured by the earl of Danby.158 Carmarthen may have encouraged his son’s role in this intrigue, for he was unhappy with Nottingham’s attempts to woo those Churchmen who were in opposition to the ministry, which resulted in Rochester and Seymour being admitted to the Privy Council in March 1692.159 Nottingham’s absence from the Lords between 10-19 Dec. 1691 may be explained by the death on the 12th of his eldest surviving son, John Finch, styled Lord Finch.160

On 2 Jan. 1692 Nottingham registered the proxy of Viscount Longueville (the former Grey of Ruthin), and entered protests, first against sending for a precedent to include in the heads of reasons for a conference on the bill for regulating the East India Company, and then against the heads themselves. On 4 Jan. he was added to the managers of a conference on the treason trials’ bill, speaking at the conference held on the following day on a clause of the bill. Following the report of the conference, further debate was adjourned until the 7th, whereupon the Lords insisted on their amendment. Nottingham attended further conferences on the subject on 9, 14, 21, and 27 January. On 22 Jan. Nottingham registered the proxy of Richard Lumley, earl of Scarbrough. On 2 Feb. he was named to draw up reasons for a conference on the bill for taking the public accounts, and he spoke at the conference on the bill on 8 February.161 On 16 Feb., he appears to have protested twice when the House refused to countenance the use of proxies on the divorce bill of Henry Howard, 7th duke of Norfolk. On 22 Feb. he was named to report a conference on the small tithes bill.

Before the adjournment of the session on 24 Feb. 1692, there had been rumours that Nottingham would be appointed lord chancellor, possibly to make way for Sunderland as his replacement as secretary.162 Nottingham had been lobbying for the appointment of Trumbull as secretary, partly to reduce the burden on himself as sole secretary and partly to ‘exclude all suspicion’ of Sunderland.163 Nottingham attended the prorogation on 12 April. Although Nottingham had been criticized by Russell following the sea campaign in 1691 and, it seems, had tried to remove himself from naval affairs, he remained the conduit for naval operations in 1692 between Russell and the cabinet.164 After the naval victory at La Hogue, relations with Russell seem to have improved: on 26 May Nottingham wrote to the admiral, ‘let nothing hinder you from sharing with the nation in the joy you have given them’. However, after attending the prorogation on 14 June, Nottingham alerted Hans Willem Bentinck, earl of Portland, to how La Hogue had raised expectations because some privy councillors had previously informed the Commons of plans for a ‘descent’, a direct attack on France. The failure to launch a descent would have ill effects in Parliament and ‘be improved upon by the malice of some men who already impute to the king a partiality for the Dutch’.165

Another problem for the ministry was how to regulate the trade to the East Indies. Nottingham was broadly sympathetic to those who wished to dissolve the old East India Company.166 In June 1692 Nottingham dispatched to William Blathwayt some proposals concerning the trade and a new charter for the company; he added that the king ‘may think me already too partial (tho’ I have neither any stock in the old company, which for the cheats put upon the rest by some few members would bias me to this opinion, nor do I intend to have any share in the new)’. The reply on 30 June ordered the drafting of a new charter for the old company, which, if they refused it, was to result in the establishment of a new company. That was not the end of the matter, for on 19 July Nottingham was forced to complain of some of the company’s ‘chief men’ who were openly insolent to other merchants and to the cabinet council: their actions, he warned, were prejudicial to the king’s affairs and threatened to spill over into Parliament.167 When Speaker Trevor fell ill in June Nottingham pressed the claims of Musgrave to be his replacement, should he not recover.168

Nottingham informed Blathwayt on 8 July that Parliament would be prorogued to 22 Aug. 1692. On 27 Aug. he penned a pessimistic letter to Blathwayt expressing the view that it was unlikely that Parliament would grant large supplies and that even if it did, that Flanders would be able to command such a large share as hitherto. Another, drafted to Portland, stressed ‘the unhappy distinctions of Whig and Tory’ and that ‘many of both parties are combined to destroy this government: those of the last sort as enemies to this king. The others are so to monarchy itself’. The ‘disaffected’ were making preparations for the next session and gaining an adequate supply would be difficult.169 Nottingham attended the prorogation on 26 September. As the session approached conflict with Russell loomed on the horizon: Thomas Foley, on 1 Oct. recorded talk that Nottingham and Russell ‘intend to impeach one another next session’.170

Nottingham was present when the 1692-3 session met on 4 Nov. 1692. He attended on 82 days, 80 per cent of the total, and was named to 20 committees. On 9 Nov. it was reported that the Lords were ‘upon the matter of the late imprisonment of Lords during an adjournment of Parliament. I doubt their aim is towards the secretary, e[arl] of N[ottingham] for committing, or the lord chief justice [Sir John Holt] for not bailing’.171 According to Narcissus Luttrell, Nottingham was questioned about the commitment during the spring of John Churchill, earl of Marlborough and Theophilus Hastings, 7th earl of Huntingdon, which he countered by referring to ‘an irreproachable witness’ against one of them.172

By 26 Nov. 1692 a Commons’ committee examining papers concerning the failure to make a descent on France was ready to report, with criticisms ‘levelled’ at Nottingham. If the committee had had power to have reported conclusions they would, it was said, ‘have passed a censure’ on him. Speaker Trevor tipped off Nottingham, requesting that the earl’s friends attend and ‘that one of them may inform me how you will be served’, when the report was made on the 28th.173 On 30 Nov., in a debate in committee of the whole House in the Commons on giving advice to the king, Seymour counter-attacked on Nottingham’s behalf, criticizing the committee inquiring into the descent. In response, John Smith referred to a coolness towards the government by those who regarded the king as only de facto, and John Arnold directly attacked Nottingham, ‘who has beat two secretaries into one, who has prohibited the licensing some books writ in defence of this government, and has discouraged some witnesses in matters carrying on against this government’.174 However, the committee adopted only a general resolution that the king should employ only such persons ‘whose principles oblige them to stand by him and his right against the late King James and all other pretenders whatsoever’, rather than criticizing any particular person. Robert Harley noted that ‘the courtiers who managed the debate did not think fit to make use of the opportunity, and it is not probable the House will come up to so great warmth again’.175 There followed a motion for more papers relating to the descent. When the committee of the whole House again debated giving advice to the king on 5 Dec. Seymour defended Nottingham saying that ‘never any person has taken more care and industry to serve this government than he has’, and others defended him as ‘indefatigable in his place, and of sure integrity to the present government.’176 Nevertheless, a motion ‘expressly levelled’ at Nottingham, saying that timely orders had not been sent, was passed by 156-155.177

Meanwhile, Nottingham was marshalling his own defence in the Lords. He was one of three peers deputed to present an address to the king on 29 Nov. 1692, for all the orders and papers sent by the council, or secretary of state, in the summer’s expedition at sea, especially the papers relating to the descent. He accordingly delivered the papers on 6 and 8 December. On 7 Dec. Nottingham voted with the majority against establishing a committee of both Houses to consider advice to the king on the state of the nation.178 On 9 Dec. Luttrell recorded him making a ‘long speech in his justification’, desiring them thoroughly to examine the matter ‘and place the fault on whom it lay, hinting at the admiral.’179 As Nottingham told Hatton on 13 Dec., he had taken ‘an opportunity in the House of Lords sufficiently to vindicate myself, and Mr Russell, whose proceedings towards me are very unaccountable, has reason to repent of his bringing upon the stage the last summer’s transactions’. Nor did he neglect to maximize his support: on 8 Dec. Nottingham sent a blank proxy to Hatton for him to sign, suggesting either himself or Rochester as the recipient. A proxy dated 10 Dec. was registered, but the exact date is unknown for on 13 Dec. Nottingham noted that he had not yet filled in the blank.180 Despite not being recorded as present, on 10 Dec. he was named to a committee to prepare material to be offered at a conference on the papers previously delivered into the House. According to Robert Yard, this committee was to draw up an abstract of what Nottingham had told the House about the previous summer’s sea expedition, ‘which did more nearly touch Mr Russell’, in order to communicate it to the Commons at a conference. However, the committee was not quorate when it met (there ‘did not meet enough of them to make one and so it was dissolved’). Nottingham informed the House of this on 12 Dec., and said ‘that he had done his part in laying this whole matter before their lordships and that for the rest he left it to them to do farther therein as their lordships should think fit’. The committee was revived and met on the 13th’.181 John Egerton, 3rd earl of Bridgwater reported from it on the 17th with the papers organized into a narrative of events, and on 20 Dec. Nottingham was again named to deliver them to the Commons at a conference.

Meanwhile, on 15 Dec. Robert Price reported that Russell was ‘making all the preparation he can’ in the Commons to give Nottingham ‘a new charge, as to the miscarriage of the descent’ and Nottingham was ‘as eager in fixing the fault on Russell’, ensuring that everyone was ‘very desirous to see the engagement between them’.182 The Commons, having received the papers on the descent from the Lords on the 20th, passed a vote that day in support of Russell (and implicitly critical of Nottingham), despite Heneage Finch defending his brother, saying ‘none was ever more diligent in your service, and he never goes to bed before all orders and dispatches are executed’.183 The Commons reported this vindication of Russell at a conference on 21 December: the Lords reacted by taking offence at what seemed to be a direct challenge: they chose to object to the apparent procedural irregularity, and set up a committee, including Nottingham, to inspect the Journal to see whether any free conferences had been asked other than to resolve a disagreement. The resulting procedural dispute between the Houses was dropped only when the king intervened to persuade Nottingham to end his quest for vindication. To Peter Shakerley the Nottingham-Russell dispute boiled down to the ‘two Houses seeming to assist each their member’.184 George Stepney felt that both Nottingham and Russell had ‘cleared themselves, the first by proving that he had given necessary instructions, and the other, that he had executed all that was possible’.185 Sunderland’s assessment made after the end of the session was more pessimistic: he thought the dispute ‘was managed very much to the prejudice of the king’s affairs, and that drew on several inconveniences, among the rest the clamour concerning the miscarriages of Ireland, which was fomented by some who ought least to have done it’.186 In the event William relieved Russell of his commands, replacing him with a commission including two Tories, Delaval and Henry Killigrew, ‘to the declared satisfaction of the Lord Nottingham and his friends’.187

On 31 Dec. 1692 Nottingham spoke and was listed as voting against the commitment of the place bill and on 3 Jan. 1693 he voted against its passage.188 Notes also exist for a speech against the triennial bill, which passed both Houses only to be vetoed.189 At the beginning of January Nottingham was forecast as likely to support the Norfolk divorce bill and he duly voted in favour of reading the bill on 2 January. On 19 Jan. he was named to draw reasons for what should be offered at a conference on the land tax bill. He was named on 24 Jan to a conference on the publication of King William and Queen Mary Conquerors. On 25 Jan. in the debate on the committal of the bill to prevent dangers from disaffected persons that he ‘spoke for the bill very modestly’. It was reported on 2 Feb. that Nottingham had declared that he thought Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun guilty of murder.190 On 4 Feb. he was one of a minority of peers that found Mohun guilty of murder, after laying out the case that

a person, knowing the design of another to lie in wait to assault a third man, and accompanying him in that design, if it shall happen that the third person be killed at that time in the presence of him who knew of that design and accompanied that other in it, be guilty in law of the same crime will the party who had that design and killed him, tho’ he had no actual hand in his death?191

On 19 Feb. Nottingham registered the proxy of Robert Sutton, 2nd Baron Lexinton. He was one of three peers on 7 Mar. deputed to attend the king and inform him that the penalties in the mutiny bill were due to begin on 10 March. He was in attendance on the last day of the session on 14 March.

Following the end of the session, John Somers, the future Baron Somers was named lord keeper, after Nottingham refused to take the great seal.192 At the end of April 1693 Nottingham wrote to Blathwayt, presenting the state of the East India trade and various legal opinions as to the forfeiture of the company’s charter, for Blathwayt to put before the king: ‘if you did not know my opinion’, he added, ‘you might perhaps guess at it by this state I have given you’. Nottingham attended the prorogation on 2 May. In June he offered his views to Portland on a possible pardon for the Irish lords justices, Sir Charles Porter and Thomas Coningsby, the future Baron Coningsby, which had better not be done on ‘the eve of a Parliament and look as if it were done on purpose to prevent a prosecution’. Indeed, Nottingham wrote to Coningsby on 24 June to alert him to the manoeuvres against him and to assure him that he would not delay his pardon.193

Given the conflict over naval affairs in the previous session, Nottingham was bound to come under pressure again in the wake of the disaster of the Smyrna convoy in May 1693. Realizing this he asked Delaval for a detailed defence of the admirals’ actions and helped plan their defence before the Privy Council.194 On 25 July, Weymouth described how ‘the sea runs high against’ Nottingham, noting that he had ‘slipped his opportunity of making a seasonable retreat’.195 At around the same time, Henry Saunderson thought that Nottingham’s reported resolution to resign the secretaryship would be a ‘wise move’.196 Meanwhile, Nottingham carried on as normal: on 31 Aug. he asked the queen’s leave to go into the country on 4 Sept. hoping to be at Kirby on the night of the 5th. He was back in London on the 14th, and attended the prorogation on 19 Sept., as he did those of 3 and 26 October.197 However, important moves were being made against him, and it was widely reported that the conclave of Whig politicians which had met at Sunderland’s country home in August had agreed that Nottingham should be forced out of the secretaryship.198 This proved to be the case and on the eve of the parliamentary session, 6 Nov., he was dismissed. He surrendered the seals of office personally to the king, having declined to send them via his fellow secretary, Sir John Trenchard.199 As Abraham Stanyan informed Trumbull, Nottingham had been

desirous to have justified himself in Parliament before he parted with his employment, but this sudden change being made chiefly to put the Parliament in good temper at their meeting, it was not thought convenient to defer it till then, tho’ I can’t say my Lord ever desired that favour of his majesty expressly.200

Out of Office, 1693-5

Nottingham was present when the session convened on 7 Nov. 1693. He attended on 111 days of the session, 87 per cent of the total, the majority of his absences coming in March and April. He was named to 18 committees. On 4 Dec., in a debate in committee of the whole House on the triennial bill, he unsuccessfully opposed the inclusion of the word ‘declare’, and when discussions in committee resumed on 6 Dec. he opposed the bill.201 On 16 Dec. Nottingham registered the proxy of William Fiennes, 3rd Viscount Saye and Sele. On 5 Jan. 1694 he entered his protest against the vote not to insist upon the Lords’ amendments to the last clause of the place bill. Nottingham was closely interested in the appeal of Ralph Montagu, earl of Montagu, and his wife, the duchess of Albemarle, against a decree in chancery in favour of John Granville, earl of Bath. In May 1691 Nottingham had been a member of the court of delegates which had found in favour of the duchess of Albemarle in her cause against Bath, before her marriage in 1692 to Montagu. Bath had subsequently won a decree in chancery against the duchess and her husband. Charles Hatton passed on to Lord Hatton on 30 Dec. 1693 the request from Montagu that he ask Nottingham ‘to attend the House of Lords when the cause is argued and debated and to give his vote as the merits of the cause shall appear most just.’202 On 17 Feb. 1694 Nottingham voted in favour of reversing the court of chancery’s dismission and then entered his protest to the decision to dismiss Montagu’s appeal. On 19 Feb. Nottingham made a motion to ‘suspend’ entering this decree as ‘there might be some salvo to the earl of Montagu to try the validity of the deed again at law’. A petition from Montagu was being presented on the 20th about using the evidence exhibited in the Lords in a legal case.203 Nottingham protested on 24 Feb. against the rejection of Montagu’s petition.

The Commons’ investigation into the conduct of the admirals over the Smyrna convoy in November and December saw Delaval and Killigrew escape severe censure, but they were removed from the Admiralty Board in December. The Lords exonerated them too on 10 Jan. 1694, and attention turned to the shortcomings of Trenchard, with Nottingham being given leave to substantiate his claim that he had brought intelligence of the movements of the French fleet to the cabinet.204 On 15 Jan. he produced the letter he had sent to Trenchard in which timely notice was given that the French fleet was at sea, upon which the Lords at a conference desired of the Commons that they might examine the affair, a suggestion the Commons declined to pursue.205 Nottingham supported the Commons’ bill to reform treason trials, but on 26 Feb. the motion for a second reading was rejected without a division.206 On 1 Mar. he chaired the committee of the whole on the mutiny bill. Having attended on the last day before the short Easter recess, 5 Apr., Nottingham was then absent until the 16th. He was at Milton on 14 Apr., having arrived there on the 12th, from Kirby via London.207 On 23 Apr. Nottingham argued against the incorporation of the Bank of England and on the 24th he entered his protest against the relevant clause of the tonnage bill.208 Burnet, summing up the session, claimed that Nottingham and Rochester had obstructed government business ‘more openly than before’, and ‘with a peculiar edge and violence’. There were many ‘sad declamations setting forth the misery the nation was under, in so tragical a strain’.209

Now out of office, Nottingham switched his attention to the building of a mansion on his newly acquired estate at Burley. Nottingham had not inherited a country seat from his father, just houses in Kensington and at Ravenstone, Buckinghamshire. His search for a country estate had centred on those counties in which he had an existing interest, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. Burley had come to his attention as early as October 1689, when it became likely that it would eventually be sold to pay the debts of the previous owner, George Villiers, 2nd duke of Buckingham.210 After many delays, on 8 July 1693 Nottingham wrote that the estate of at ‘Burley is now to be sold, and if I am not deceived and abused, I believe I shall be the purchaser’.211 On 5 Sept. 1693 Charles Hatton noted that ‘all domestic news is drowned with the great noise my lord Nottingham’s enemies (which I am heartily sorry are so numerous) make in all the coffee houses that at this time when there is scarce any money left in the nation he is about to give £80,000 for Burley.’212 Another estimate put the purchase price at over £90,000.213 Both inflated the price, which was about £50,000 and financed by the sale of Kensington (£19,000), his marriage portion of £10,000, and the profits of office.214 Nottingham ‘designed to build a great house’ at Burley, but he also needed a house to live in while building work proceeded.215 His answer was to rent the nearby house of Wriothesley Baptist Noel, 2nd earl of Gainsborough at Exton, ‘which is offered to me’ as a residence.216 In May 1694 the countess wrote that Nottingham had taken Exton, ‘to repair it or rather secure it from tumbling down’, and in August Luttrell reported that Nottingham had gone to reside there.217 He retained the tenancy until December 1699. As work began in earnest in September 1694, he told Heneage, that he would not be coming to Parliament ‘till there be some particular occasion, which I will not believe, but from you’, and thereby insulating himself from the importunities of his friends to make an appearance.218 Further, he told Archbishop Sharp in October, ‘the king and people have given me my quietus, and (if you will not think me arrogant and peevish) I will say too, Sat patria Priamoque datum [you have done enough for Priam and your country, Aeneid, bk. 2, l. 291]’.219

Nottingham was absent from a call of the House on 26 Nov. 1694, and when he was still absent on 3 Dec. the lord keeper was ordered to write to him to attend by 18 December. As he wrote to Hatton on 7 Dec., ‘did not my business require me at London I should not go upon this summons tho’ I had no sickness to disable me from attending the House’.220 He first took his seat on 17 Dec., and attended on 63 days, 53 per cent of the total. On 18 Dec. he opposed the third reading of the triennial bill.221 He approached Hatton for his proxy (by sending him a blank form on 22 Dec.), in order to support the treason trials’ bill, which was ‘the same almost as formerly, save only that there is nothing in this peculiar to commoners but the whole is equally beneficial to the lords as to them’, nor would it ‘prejudice the crown’. He then added that if Hatton ‘either think the bill inconvenient or that you upon any account would rather choose that your proxy should not be given in it, I shall by no means press it’. He acknowledged receipt of the proxy on the 29th, with the comment that the death of the queen might enable ‘some about the king’ to ‘press things which your Lordship will not like, and which the queen might in some measure have prevented or restrained the violence of such proceedings.’222 This proxy does not appear in the proxy books.

The death of Queen Mary affected Nottingham deeply. On 28 Dec. 1694 James Vernon reported a rumour that Nottingham had questioned whether Parliament was dissolved by the queen’s death, as the Members had been summoned by writs in both the king’s and the queen’s names.223 Nottingham wrote on 1 Jan. 1695 to Sir John Lowther, the future viscount Lonsdale, that though he was ‘unhappy that my business here obliged me to come from Exton’, and hoping that they could meet ‘before I leave town for I long to talk with you to whom I can most freely impart my thoughts, and my sorrow too, for the loss [of] the queen’.224 He told Hatton on 3 Jan. that ‘some things are more expedient to be done than have been formerly thought fit or necessary’, particularly, perhaps, the treason trials’ bill, which had been ‘always useful to the subject, no prejudice to the king and [was] now of absolute necessity.’225

Nottingham acted as a teller on 12 Jan. 1695 in opposition to Rochester on the question of whether to reverse the judgment in the case of the Bishop of London v. Birch. On 22 Jan. Nottingham seconded the motion of James Bertie, earl of Abingdon, for the House to consider the state of the nation, which was ordered for the 25th.226 On that day, he ‘proposed several things to their enquiry’, such as

the sending the fleet into the streights, the prejudices by carrying the money out of the kingdom to the enriching of strangers, the unsafe condition they were in by the king’s going abroad without their knowing how the government shall be settled in his absence, the ruin of trade that was threatened by the Bank and the examination of the Lancashire trials.227

The House took up only the question of the Bank, which was defended successfully, and the Lancashire Plot, which was ordered to be considered on the 28th. Nottingham acted as a teller on 25 Jan. in opposition to Charles Robartes, 2nd earl of Radnor, on the question of appointing a day to consider the Bank. Commenting on the investigations into the Plot and Shrewsbury’s role in it, Vernon noted on 29 Jan. that Nottingham had declared that ‘no reflection could lie’ upon Shrewsbury, ‘since he had done no more than the duty of his place required’.228

Meanwhile, on 23 Jan. 1695 Nottingham had protested against an amendment to the bill regulating treason trials. On 24 Jan. he entered another protest, this time against adding a clause making it more difficult to quash proceedings on certain technicalities such as mis-spellings. He was appointed on 16 Feb. a reporter of a conference on the bill, and was named on 20 Feb. to a committee to draw reasons and on the 23rd then nominated for the conference itself. He had acted as a teller on 5 Feb. in opposition to Monmouth on the question of agreeing a resolution on Aaron Smith relating to the Lancashire Plot trials. On 16 Feb. he registered the proxy of Saye and Sele. He entered his protest on 18 Feb. to the vote that the judges in the Lancashire trials had done their duty, according to law. Nottingham’s papers contain notes for a speech on the Lancashire trials, which may never have been delivered after further inquiry into the matter was adjourned on 22 February.229

On 1 Mar. 1695 L’Hermitage noted in a dispatch that Nottingham had expressed a desire to live in the country. On 7 Mar. Nottingham wrote that ‘I am very weary of the town but am afraid I shall not get to Exton till Easter week’.230 By 12 Mar., Halifax was ‘pressing me very earnestly to be gone’ and on 19 Mar. he intended to be at Exton the following week, even though he could not finish all the business that had brought him to town, ‘but ’tis so prepared as that I hope to conclude it next term; another journey to London is very irksome but I must submit to it’. On 18 Mar. he acted as a teller in opposition to Rochester on whether a petition was properly brought before the House in the case of Montagu v. Bath. The next day, Nottingham was one of those who ‘undertook the cause of the barons’ in the debate on the descent of baronies by writ and acted as a teller in opposition to Rochester on the question of whether to adjourn the debate.231 Nottingham was absent after 21 Mar., well before the end of the session at the start of May. The reason for his absence was the marriage of his daughter to Lord Eland on 2 Apr. at Nottingham’s ‘house in the country’.232 On 27 Apr. Weymouth him sent an account of the impeachment proceedings begun against Leeds (the former marquess of Carmarthen and earl of Danby), over the revelations of bribes distributed by senior officials of the East India Company. Weymouth wished that Nottingham was present ‘for upon this next week’s resolutions depends a good part of our quiet.’233 Nottingham came out of the sordid affair very well, with ‘right done to his honour by everybody that his virtue set him out of reach of these temptations’, he being one of the few people to decline when offered a bribe.234 Following the prorogation in May, L’Hermitage considered Leeds, Rochester and Nottingham to be the three ‘heads’ of the Tory party.235

The Parliament of 1695

During William III’s tour of the Midlands before the 1695 election, Weymouth wrote of his surprise that Nottingham had avoided treating the king when he had ‘passed so near him’.236 With his brother Edward standing down, in October 1695, Nottingham recommended, unsuccessfully, John Isham to the electors of Cambridge University as his replacement.237 The wells of patronage were drying up for his youngest brother, Henry, who had been appointed in 1692 to ‘the great living of Winwick in Lancashire’.238 Finch had ambitions to be dean of York, but while he waited for the expected vacancy William George Stanley, 9th earl of Derby offered him the bishopric of Man. An initial disposition to accept was altered by the queen’s view that holding the two posts together was incompatible. Finch extricated himself from his commitment to Derby and waited. Then the political circumstances changed, so that when on 29 May 1695 Nottingham wrote from Exton to Archbishop Sharp, regarding his ‘great kindness to my brother’, he added that his obligations were now greater because ‘I have no prospect of his obtaining the deanery when it shall be void; those thoughts are dead with the queen, and if the king should yet have any inclination, I believe he will not think it convenient to do a thing which looks like a favour to me’. When Dean Wickham of York died at the end of April 1697, thereby giving Archbishop Sharp the opportunity to press Henry’s claims, he noted ‘the disadvantageous circumstances that Mr Finch now lies under as to any pretensions to the king’s favour and I am heartily sorry for them’.239 In the event, Finch had to wait until the more propitious circumstances of April 1702 to be appointed.

The pattern of the previous session was repeated in 1695-6, with Nottingham absent from the beginning of the session on 22 Nov. 1695. As usual his absence did not prevent him from commenting on topical matters, including registering his support for a parliamentary council of trade.240 On 10 Feb. 1696 he arranged to wait on Hatton at Kirby on the 14th on his way to London.241 He first attended on 17 Feb., being present on 47 days, 38 per cent of the total (78 per cent of the available sittings, after he had arrived), and was named to 15 committees. One of his reasons for a visit to London was to set in train the sale of some of his Essex properties, and another duty was to present his son-in-law, now marquess of Halifax, to the king, which prompted speculation of his return to office as lord chancellor.242 On 26 Feb. Nottingham opposed the voluntary Association, despite the fact that it had been amended to refer to William’s ‘right by law to the crown’, rather than calling him the ‘rightful and lawful king’, and rather than sign it immediately, he asked for time to consider.243 He informed Hatton on 27 Feb. that he had prevented the Lords from issuing out a letter requiring his attendance ‘by acquainting the House of your inability to undergo a journey’.244 On 29 Feb. Weymouth was hoping that Nottingham would join with Halifax in securing him a leave of absence from the Lords.245 On 9 Mar. Nottingham reported from the committee on the Maydwell rectory bill. He entered his protest on 27 Mar. against the passage of the bill for the increase of seamen and on 31 Mar. against the passage of the bill encouraging plate to be brought into the Mint and for further remedying the ill state of the coinage. He was named on 6 Apr. to a conference on the privateers bill.

As a result of Nottingham’s refusal to sign the Association his name had been struck out of the Privy Council register by the king on 12 March.246 Nottingham carried his opposition to the Association over into opposition to the Commons’ bill for the better security of his majesty’s person and government, which made non-jurors liable to the penalties of convicted papists and provided that no person could hold any office or employment in England, Jersey or Guernsey (where Hatton was governor) who refused the Association. On 7 Apr. 1696 he wrote to encourage Hatton to come up to oppose the bill (‘it will be of very dangerous and pernicious consequences to the public’), offering to send his coach to collect Hatton.247 In committee of the whole House on 13 Apr. on the bill Nottingham was one of those speaking ‘for moderation’, but only three small amendments were made, ‘so that now the Lords are to sign the Commons’ Association’ (the bill used the words ‘rightful and lawful king’) before they could sit in the House. Nottingham wanted to have peers excepted out of the bill altogether.248 According to Philip Stanhope, 2nd earl of Chesterfield, Nottingham spoke against the clause in the bill that all those who refused to sign the Association should forfeit their hereditary offices.249 On 14 Apr. Nottingham reported that the Lords had sat late the previous night on the bill and passed it earlier in the day, and that

we have made very little alterations in it, only added a proviso to except offices of inheritance. I would have taken the like care of offices for life, but I found so great caution used in the wording of the proviso that it should not extend to offices for life that ’twould have been to no purpose to have attempted it.250

No doubt his opposition explained George Stepney’s comment on 11 Apr. that Nottingham had ‘become the most violent man in England against the king’s interest’.251 On 14 Apr. Nottingham hoped that he would be at Exton the next week. He last attended the House that session on 25 April.252

Nottingham was absent when the 1696-7 session convened on 20 Oct. 1696, first attending on 6 November. He attended on 52 days of the session, 46 per cent of the whole, and was named to 14 committees. He entered protests on 28 Nov. against the passage of the amended bill for further remedying the ill state of the coinage and on 2 Dec. against the decision not to insist on the Lords’ amendments to the bill. He wrote to Hatton on 3 Dec., ‘I was not at the House today, being engaged in the duchy court, where I have prevailed against the corporation of Daventry’.253 On 4 Dec. the cause between John Sheffield, marquess of Normanby, and the duke of Devonshire over the purchase of Berkeley House was adjourned while Nottingham and six other peers attempted to mediate: on 9 Dec. Nottingham reported some proposals to the House relating to privilege and eventually the cause was referred back to the courts. A petition was presented to the Lords on 14 Dec. from several people claiming that Nottingham had not paid them for work done, and wishing to proceed against him in the law courts; several standing orders were read relating to the petition (which was not recorded in the Journal).254

The major issue of the session was the fate of Sir John Fenwick. Fenwick was keen to know whether Nottingham was ‘for or against the bill, he is a leading card and I hear he spake against my having counsel till the bill was read[.] If he is against the bill I suppose then it is the better for me’.255 Vernon wrote that Nottingham, Leeds and Rochester had met with the Howard family concerning Fenwick’s predicament and on 28 Nov. Nottingham spent an hour and a half walking with Monmouth in the court of requests, attempting to convince him to oppose the bill. Nottingham was one of those that promoted an address to the king on 1 Dec. over whether the papers already communicated to the House contained all the relevant material. He apparently even proposed sending two judges with the request, but this was objected to as against the normal procedure for addressing the king. Vernon interpreted this as an attempt to obtain a letter written by Devonshire to the king about the plot, which was thought to show Shrewsbury’s handling of the affair in a bad light.256 On 8 Dec. Nottingham was one of the peers who questioned whether there was a need for a bill of attainder against Fenwick, but it was thought that this should be decided when debating the case after the evidence had been heard. Nottingham spoke on 15 Dec. against admitting Goodman’s deposition in evidence, and entered his protest against the decision to do so.257 On 18 Dec. he was one of the ‘chiefs who argued against the bill’ at its second reading and then entered his protest against it.258 In his speech, he argued the injustice of all attainders ‘saying they were symptoms of a very sickly state’, and only made in troublesome and unsettled times. Professing his zeal for government and king, he criticized the bill as an attack on the royal prerogative because it removed the power of pardon. Fenwick should be prosecuted, he said, through the ordinary courts. He went on to argue ‘with a great deal of rhetoric’ that the bill provided a precedent that could be used at some future date when there was no extraordinary need. Parliament could be packed as it was in the reigns of Richard II and Henry VI and then ‘not stick so much at the rules of justice, but would be glad to lay hold of such a precedent to commit what was never so unjust and illegal.’259 On 23 Dec. Nottingham spoke and voted against the third reading of the bill, and entered his dissent when it was passed.260 In his speech, he noted that the Lords were bound by the laws of the land, and that the evidence presented against Fenwick was not lawful, reasonable or credible. Using his legal expertise, he then claimed that no bill of attainder had started in the Commons, with the exception of those against Monmouth and Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford. The bill, he argued, should have begun in the House of Lords, according to a statute of 1 Henry IV, and furthermore ‘the late act of trials gives counsel to the prisoner, and directs the witnesses on both sides to be upon their oaths’, and yet the Commons ‘cannot administer oaths, nor is a court of judicature’. He produced precedents from the opening years of the reign of Edward III to prove the proceedings to be unlawful. Citing an act of the first year of Edward VI, which provided for the personal testimony of two witnesses, he suggested that the evidence against Fenwick was ‘not sufficient in law’. A letter from Fenwick written at Romney was not admissible evidence, neither was Goodman’s examination. In such circumstances, the Lords might as well proceed without any witnesses at all produced viva voce. He noted that ‘the first reformation for protecting the lives of the subject established two witnesses to prove treason, do not let it be said the second reformation took them away’, and was ‘sorry the good laws of the land and the safety of the government should not be consistent’.261 When the House came to consider on 9 Jan. 1697 Monmouth’s role in allegedly advising Lady Mary Fenwick on courses of action, Nottingham appeared unfavourable to Monmouth. On 15 Jan. he was among the lords who spoke to give their view that Monmouth had been the ‘contriver’ of the papers delivered to the House by Lady Fenwick, and pressed for the vote to send Monmouth to the Tower. In the debate on 22 Jan. on Lady Fenwick’s petition for a reprieve for her husband, Nottingham argued that the king had been ‘misinformed’: it was within the royal prerogative ‘not only to reprieve him, but pardon him if he thought fit’.262

Nottingham entered his protest on 23 Jan. 1697 against the decision to reject at second reading the bill for further regulating parliamentary elections. On 8 Feb. the bill for the exchange of advowsons between Nottingham and the bishop of London passed its third reading in the Lords. It had received its first reading on 1 Feb., and had been reported by Bishop Lloyd of Lichfield and Coventry, without amendment, on the 5th. Nottingham last attended on 10 Feb., over two months before the session ended and on 11 Feb. his proxy was registered with Halifax. By 20 Feb. 1697 Nottingham was reported to be out of town.263

Nottingham’s views of the forthcoming session were set out in a missive to Halifax on 22 Nov. 1697, in which he raised the prospect of opposing the ministry’s support for a standing army with ‘some measures more suitable to the interest of England’. He suggested that they positively promote their own proposals, and not simply ‘barely … oppose the designs of others’; he argued for a ‘concert’, ‘without which all struggling in Parliament will not only be vain but leave some particular men exposed to resentment’. On 29 Nov., Nottingham wrote again to Halifax to tell him that he would not be in town until 18 Dec. at the earliest (Parliament was prorogued to 3 December). He told him that he would not ‘recommend to my friends any particular things to be done, because there are some to which perhaps they will not be persuaded tho’ without them all other matters will be ineffectual to our happiness’. He then again suggested that his friends ‘should resolve what to do as well as what to oppose so they should also begin those things and bring them to a speedy issue before gentlemen grow weary of attending.’ Nottingham was still at Burley on 4 Dec., grappling with his accounts, but hoping to ‘make haste to town’. With the weather poor, still delayed on 25 Dec., he announced his intentions to set out on 3 Jan. 1698 or the day after.264 He did not in fact attend the House until 25 Jan., and was present on 31 days of the session, 24 per cent of the total. He was named to eight committees.

On 12 Feb. 1698 Robert Bertie reported after dining with Nottingham, Halifax and Robert Shirley, 8th Baron Ferrers, that Charles Duncombe would ‘come off’ in the Lords, even if the bill against him (a bill of pains and penalties against him for alleged corruption in the exchequer accounts, initiated by Montagu in a response to charges Duncombe had brought against him) passed the Commons.265 Vernon noted on 17 Feb. that ‘great notice’ had been taken that Nottingham, Weymouth, Ferrers and some others had been ‘in close whispers of late. We shall soon see whether it be any new thing they are aiming at’.266 On 4 Mar. Nottingham entered his protest against the motion for a second reading of the bill to punish Duncombe, having been one of a number of ‘speaking peers’ against it.267 He was named on 5 Mar. to prepare heads for a conference in order to elucidate the ground upon which the bill had proceeded in the Commons. He was then named to conferences on the bill on 7 and 11 March. On 15 Mar. he voted against the committal of the bill, which was rejected.268 Nottingham was one of those peers on 17 Mar. who felt compelled to defend Lord Chancellor Somers from a printed paper which had been distributed to promote the cause of James Bertie, which implied corruption on his part.269 By this date, and having recently paid a visit his brother, Heneage, at Albury, Nottingham was preparing to leave London, hoping to wait on Hatton the following week en route for Exton.270 He last attended on 22 Mar., and by the 28th he was writing from Exton, and sending a proxy up to Halifax three days later. On 31 Mar. he wrote to Halifax that ‘tho’ it be out of fashion to pay fees for proxies yet the clerks will expect something and ’tis fit they should have it and therefore pray let me know what you give them and I will repay it to you’. He provided Halifax with a prolonged commentary on the bill for taxing grants of land made by the crown.271

From the 1698 Election to the end of William’s Reign

In the 1698 general election, Nottingham exerted electoral influence in his adopted county of Rutland, where according to Vernon, the defeated candidate, Bennet Sherard, apparently wrote that Nottingham ‘was the first man that voted against him’. Vernon also noted that Nottingham had ‘writ very zealously’ on behalf of Anthony Hammond at Cambridge University.272 He also backed Sir Justinian Isham and Thomas Cartwright for Northamptonshire, although he felt that his interest at Daventry had suffered from his conflict with the corporation there. He told the two candidates that he had sent to ‘some of my acquaintance at Stanford and am sending to my Lord Halifax’s steward at Fotheringhay to promote your interest and I will try to obtain my Lord of Exeter’s [John Cecil, 5th earl of Exeter] assistance’. At the end of April Nottingham had been considering a possible partner for Gilbert Dolben at Peterborough, and in July he was still promoting Dolben’s interest there, but without success.273

Nottingham was still a magnet for Tory politicians: on 1 Aug. 1698, he talked of Halifax’s impending visit, a potential visit from Rochester, and of having waved off Musgrave and Sir Robert Southwell after a short stay. Nottingham might feign a lack of interest in politics, but on 27 Aug. he wrote to ask Halifax to bring a marked printed list of the returns of Members with him to help pass away the time ‘when you are weary with hunting’. On 19 Sept. Nottingham showed little inclination to return to active participation in the Lords unless matters changed: ‘I have no business in London, nor any thoughts of going thither till I see whether the H. of Commons will find any other business for us than consenting to their money bills’. Nottingham told Halifax on 3 Nov. that he had no plans to visit London and was only going to stay at Albury for a few days. Despite his professed indifference to politics, Nottingham noted on 12 Nov. that Seymour’s determination to stand for the Speakership of the Commons risked splitting the Tory vote and letting the third candidate, Sir Thomas Littleton, carry it, ‘which in itself would be very ill and in the consequence much worse for it will break all confidence among our acquaintance and prevent all measures that should be taken.’ His hope was that Rochester would prevail upon John Granville, the future Baron Granville, to abandon his bid for the Speakership, for ‘I despair of persuading the other [Seymour]’. Nottingham did plan a visit to Rochester at New Park in early December, and he was at Albury on 12 Dec., and then expected to spend a couple of days in London.274 Although the parliamentary session had begun on 6 Dec., when Nottingham penned a letter from London on 15 Dec., it was to suggest that he would leave on the 19th and be at Exton three days later.275

Nottingham did not attend the Lords until 16 Jan. 1699. In all he attended on 30 days of the session, 37 per cent of the total and was named to 13 committees. On 17 Jan. Nottingham wrote that the bill mentioned by Hatton, the governor of Guernsey, to prohibit the export of corn for one year, had arrived in the Lords the previous day; he would be ready to obey Hatton’s ‘commands’, presumably for the exemption of the island, but there was an ‘obvious objection’ that ‘under the pretence of exporting corn to Guernsey it will [be] carried to other places’. He then reported on the 19th that on the previous day that the corn bill had been read ‘and the Guernsey-men have liberty given to make their proposals, which I have desired them may be such as they may reasonably hope will be granted and to offer such restrictions as may prevent the abuse of the favour they ask’.276 The bill was duly amended by the Lords, but it is unclear as to whether the Guernsey amendments were accepted by the Commons.277 On 1 Feb. Lonsdale wrote to Halifax asking him to tell Nottingham about a forthcoming appeal of one Thomas Wybergh against him: ‘I have heard my Lord Nottingham so often declare his opinion how necessary a point of our policy, and how material a part of the law the quieting of possessions are, that I am sure his judgment would concur with what is so material to my quiet’. He added a plea for him to emphasize to Nottingham ‘how much I both need and do beg his protection as I do your Lordship’s.’ The appeal was dismissed on 4 Apr., by which date Nottingham had ceased to attend.278

Nottingham was still attending on 4 Feb. 1699, when he wrote that ‘I can’t forsee when I shall return into the country. I can only resolve to stay here no longer than of necessity I must’.279 On 8 Feb. he probably spoke, and certainly voted and protested against the resolution to retain the Dutch Guards, insofar it was consistent with the forms of Parliament.280 But after attending on 27 Feb., Nottingham returned to Exton, writing on 4 Mar. that he had written to Mr Jodrell (presumably Paul Jodrell, who was clerk of the House of Commons, though also a solicitor in chancery) ‘to put off’ John Todd’s cause, scheduled for 9 Mar. ‘because I can’t be in town till this day sevennight, after which day I should be glad it could be heard any day of the week following’. Nottingham asked Halifax to approach Jodrell to ‘ask him what he can do in this business and whether it be proper for your lordship from me to desire such a favour of my lord chancellor (it being a cause of charity) and accordingly as Mr Jodrell advises, to speak about it.’ After a short delay, Nottingham intended to set out for London on the 11th, and he was back in the House on 14 Mar., when Todd, Thomas Milbourne, and George Henderson, were given liberty to withdraw their appeal.281 He last attended on 22 Mar., well before the end of the session.

Lawsuits often determined Nottingham’s movements, especially his visits to London. On 13 June 1699 Nottingham wrote ‘my cause was heard yesterday and the court has taken time to consider of it, what my lord chancellor said seemed to be in my favour. I shall go out of town on Thursday [15th], thro’ Essex to Exton’. When on 2 Sept. Nottingham was considering the patronage implications of the conviction for simony of Thomas Watson, bishop of St Davids, and the likelihood that those paying for preferments would lose them, he felt able to approach Lord Chancellor Somers, and to use Halifax and Bishop Lloyd, now of Worcester, but not Thomas Tenison, archbishop of Canterbury, ‘whom I will not ask’. On 9 Sept., he wrote to Halifax that ‘I thought the bishop of Norwich [Moore] had intended a preferment to Dr Burton, which did not require much residence, which I should like much better, that my children might not be deprived as yet of a man so useful to them.’282 Dr Thomas Burton thus had some kind of tutorial role in the Finch household, and Nottingham was still after preferment for him in April 1702, writing to his daughter, the marchioness of Halifax, to get Dartmouth [Heneage Finch’s son-in-law] to approach Feversham for the living of Kingsthrop, Northamptonshire, the incumbent supposedly being close to death.283 It seems that Burton had been promised a prebend at Christ Church, at Nottingham’s ‘very particular instance’ and on 19 May 1702 Godolphin noted that the warrant for Burton’s appointment had been signed.284

Although the 1699-1700 session began in November 1699, Nottingham did not attend until 22 Jan. 1700. He was present on 29 days of the session, 37 per cent of the total, and was named to seven committees. On 8 Feb. he entered his protest against putting the question that the settlement of the Scotch colony at Darien was inconsistent with the good of the kingdom’s plantation trade. On 10 Feb. he protested against the address itself. In about February 1700 he was forecast as likely to support the East India Company bill and on the 23rd he voted in favour of adjourning into committee of the whole House to debate the bill. Also on 23 Feb. he was named to draw up heads for a conference relating to the Commons bill authorizing the appointment of English commissioners to treat for a Union with Scotland. Following the removal of Somers in April, Nottingham was one of those mentioned as a possible lord chancellor.285 Nottingham was one of six executors of the will of Halifax, who died at the end of August, although the will was not opened until the marchioness had given birth to a posthumous daughter. Arrangements for Halifax seem to have caused trouble, as on 7 Nov. Cary Gardiner reported from London that ‘here my Lord Nottingham is condemned about my Lord Halifax’s will and funeral’; he was also, she added, ‘hated and cursed in Rutlandshire and Leicestershire’, where, although ‘at first he made an interest’, it was said that he had ‘undone many families about his building’.286

Around the end of 1700 and the beginning of 1701, his presence in London and a belief that the king favoured a further move towards the Tories encouraged the rumours that Nottingham would be made lord chancellor. However a newsletter of 11 Jan. 1701 suggested that he had refused the office, ‘being unwilling to meddle any more with public affairs’.287 Nevertheless, with politics in a state of flux, Nottingham’s interest, and consequently his attendance in the Lords revived; he was there when the session began on 10 Feb. and sat on 81 days, 77 per cent of the total. He was named to 28 committees. On 12 Feb. Nottingham supported a simple vote of thanks for the king’s speech, rather than a more critical response to recent French actions.288 He entered his protest on 8 Mar. against the decision to address the king to take off the suspension against Captain John Norris. The countess of Dorchester lobbied Nottingham on 12 Mar. to press for her daughter’s divorce from James Annesley, 3rd earl of Anglesey.289 On 14 Mar., when the Lords took into consideration the various treaties they had addressed for on 13 Feb., Nottingham said ‘a great deal’ in condemnation of the partition treaty of 1700 and the king’s failure to take proper advice before concluding it.290 He was then named to the committee charged with stating the facts relating to the partition treaty, and drawing an address on the matter. He chaired this committee on the 15th, reporting later in the day setting out a series of heads representing the facts as they appeared to the committee. He entered two protests at the rejection by the House of two of their conclusions: the second head, that the Emperor was not a party to the treaty even though he had been principally concerned in it, and the third, that no minister of the States-General had met with the plenipotentiaries of England and France, at the making the treaty in London. When the adjourned debate resumed on 17 Mar., the Lords requested the presence of Vernon at the committee, and Nottingham reported his testimony from it. He entered two more protests on 18 Mar., over further proposals for the address were rejected by the House: one at the rejection of a proposal for including a passage concerning the exclusion of the Emperor from the treaty negotiations, and another at the agreement to a passage arguing that the French king’s acceptance of the king of Spain’s will was a manifest violation of the treaty, and that the king should be advised to proceed with caution in future negotiations with Louis XIV. On 19 Mar. he chaired the committee to draw up the address, which he reported on the 20th, and then he acted as a teller, in opposition to Stamford, in favour of communicating the address to the Commons, and entered his protest against the vote not to do so.291 On 2 Apr. he was named to a conference on the partition treaties. He reported progress on 3 Apr. from the committee of the whole on Box’s divorce bill. Following his return from a visit to Albury, Nottingham wrote on 8 Apr. that as his wife and children had colds, he was going to Burley, intending to wait on Hatton on the 12th on his way there.292 Having attended on 10 Apr. Nottingham was absent until 26 April.

Nottingham was named on 15 May 1701 to a conference on the bill on the king’s bench and Fleet prisons. He entered protests on 3 June to parts of the House’s answer to the Commons on the delay to the impeachments of the members of the Junto. It seems very likely that he spoke in the debate that preceded the protest.293 On 6 June he was named to a conference on the impeachments. He entered protests on 9 June against the decision not to appoint a joint committee with the Commons to consider the impeachments and on 11 June against putting the question that no Lord of Parliament, impeached of high crimes and misdemeanours, should, upon his trial, be without the Bar, a vote which seemed likely to derail the trial. On 14 June he protested against the continual resistance of the Lords to a joint committee on the impeachments. He entered his protest on 17 June against the decision to proceed with the trial against Somers, voted against his acquittal, and protested against the decision to acquit him.294

Meanwhile, however, Nottingham responded to an initiative from Godolphin on 8 June 1701 to concert with ‘our friends’ in the Commons in support of the king’s foreign policy, and following the king’s speech on 12 June, the Commons voted an address in support of such alliances as William thought fit to approve for the preservation of Europe and the reduction of French power.295 After the disappointment over the impeachments, Nottingham decided to decamp for Burley in the middle of June, but planned to return again before 4 July.296 On 21 July he was writing to his brother at Aylesford to consider a successor to Thomas Meredith, the recently deceased knight of the shire for Kent, ‘and then to be very active in soliciting’.297 From Burley, on 8 Sept., he expressed satisfaction both in his quiet country existence and that as Rochester had a greater share in the administration of affairs ‘then the contrivances of some restless spirits need not be much apprehended’. On 29 Sept. he added that, given ‘we are entering into a war’, he hoped that ‘we shall not have it managed as the last was and be twice in danger of ruin of the same methods; good gamesters will change their cards at least if they can’t their fortune especially when they are master.’298 After the dissolution of Parliament in November and the calling of new elections, Nottingham threw his interest behind Isham and Cartwright in Northamptonshire, noting that ‘never was more industry and art, I might say knavery used to prevail in elections’, but ‘in spite of all their tricks and impudent aspersions thrown upon men of the best reputation for integrity and zeal for the interest of their country’ he thought there would be ‘a very good Parliament’.299 In the closely fought Derbyshire election of December, Robert Leke, 3rd earl of Scarsdale hoped to gain Nottingham’s support for Thomas Coke and John Curzon, ‘with his power in relation to my Lady Halifax’.300

Nottingham was present when the 1701-2 Parliament first met on 30 December. He attended on 50 days, 50 per cent of the total and was named to 20 committees. He seconded Normanby’s motion on 31 Dec. for an address concerning Louis XIV’s recognition of the Pretender.301 On 5 Jan. 1702, Nottingham, ‘being highly concerned’ made a speech on the petition of the Jacobite defector William Fuller ‘in relation to his making out the suppositious birth of the pretended Prince of Wales and some other matters’.302 Nottingham’s opinion of the abjuration oath when writing to the absent Archbishop Sharp on 10 Jan. was that ‘the safest side in conscience is to refuse it’.303 On 12 Jan., at the second reading of the Lords’ abjuration bill, or more probably in the debate on it in committee of the whole House, Nottingham ‘insisted that the word abjure was of great latitude and desired it might be explained and limited’.304 This bill was passed on the 13 Jan. and the matter lapsed until an alternative abjuration bill, initiated in the Commons, was brought up to the House on 20 February. It seems highly likely that Nottingham supported the unsuccessful move to make the oath voluntary through an instruction of 21 Feb. to the committee of the whole House. On 24 Feb. Nottingham protested against the passage of the bill.305 He then broached the topic of securing the succession in Scotland through a parliamentary union, and to that end moved for an address for a dissolution of the Scottish Parliament, hoping no doubt for an increased representation among Episcopalians, who were more acceptable to English Tories.306

Queen Anne and the Secretaryship, 1702-4

Nottingham was not in London when William died on 8 Mar. 1702, but his prospects seemed to have revived with the new reign. On the 9th Nottingham had already noted that ‘I am much importuned by my friends (not of the Court) to come to town immediately to which I am very averse, for the same reasons which made me leave London’.307 Normanby wrote to him on the 10th to ask him ‘to come again among us as soon as possible’.308 On 16 Mar. Sir Charles Lyttelton reported that the queen had sent for Rochester and Nottingham, ‘so it’s not like she intends to govern by the former councils and there will be a great change in the ministry’. However, later Lyttelton opined that Nottingham would not take the new oath.309 Doubts remained even though Nottingham had declared to the House during the passage of the abjuration bill ‘that he had only some slight scruples rem[aining] and did not know but he might take the oath enjoined by the bill as well as another’, and, as James Lowther wrote on 11 Apr., without taking the oath ‘he can’t be employed, nor perhaps if he did take it’.310 While he made up his mind Nottingham absented himself from Parliament, and he was not listed as attending between 4 Mar. and 27 April. Nottingham wrote to Sharp on 7 Apr. from Burley of his impending departure for London on the following day, still craving a discussion over his dilemma.311 He presumably did talk with Sharp for on 20 Apr. Nottingham and Weymouth ‘being returned from the country’, they, together with Sharp, ‘appeared in the House of Lords and took the abjuration oath’.312 The archbishop was probably instrumental in persuading Nottingham to take it for on 31 Mar. he had written to Nottingham that his objection ‘that it looks like swearing against God’s Providence and government of the world’ had

no force in it, for I think you are left as much at liberty after you have taken this oath, nay it is as much your duty to own for your king whomsoever God in his Providence sets upon this throne (so as that in the sense of the law he is the king), tho’ it should prove the very person you have abjured. Provided you contributed nothing to it, I say in this case it is as much in your liberty without breach of your oath to own this person for your king, as if you had never taken it.313

In turn, Nottingham was crucial in persuading Weymouth to take the oath, as the latter acknowledged on 4 Apr.: ‘I think I have overcome my scruples, and ... shall be proud to follow your Lordship to the Table and since our hasty retreat has occasioned much discourse, the sooner we silence it the better, and therefore design to be in town the 15th instant’.314

Nottingham was appointed secretary of state on 2 May 1702. His wife became a lady of the bedchamber later in May.315 On 20 May Godolphin wrote to Harley that Nottingham and Rochester desired ‘to meet tomorrow night at your house to consider of the Queen’s Speech.’316 The speech delivered on 25 May contained a closing reference to the Church, which owed much to consultations with Nottingham and Rochester: ‘my own principles must always keep me entirely firm to the interests and religion of the Church of England, and will incline me to countenance those who have the truest zeal to support it.’317 In June Marlborough at The Hague told Godolphin that he had learnt that Rochester ‘says all things are directed by’ Nottingham, ‘which has gained belief with a great many’.318 Nottingham certainly had strong views on the war, being less keen on large scale armies fighting in Flanders and stressing instead the advantages to be gained in using naval power in conjunction with land forces in Spain, Italy, Portugal and the West Indies.319 Nottingham could claim to have some influence on the clerical politics of the new reign, due to his friendship with Archbishop Sharp, now the queen’s key ecclesiastical adviser. The firebrand Francis Atterbury, the future bishop of Rochester, was disappointed, writing on 13 June, of the ‘great dissatisfaction here among the friends of the Church about the measures that are taken, and particularly at the conduct of my Lord Nottingham, who is thought to be as deep as anybody in all the new methods of moderation’.320

From Whitehall Nottingham kept a close eye on the election returns; on 13 Aug. 1702 he congratulated James Grahme ‘on the victories you have obtained’, and took the opportunity to exhort ‘you and all our friends about you’ to ‘be here at the first day of the Parliament’.321 Nottingham informed Marlborough on 3 Sept. that Parliament would probably be prorogued until 20 Oct. ‘because most gentlemen can’t come sooner to town by reason they must first take the tests at the sessions, which are in several counties in the first week in October and should they defer it to the term, the three months would be lapsed and they would incur the penalties’. The delay would also allow Marlborough ‘to tell us something of the measures designed for the next year, which will be useful in order to her majesty’s resolutions about the things to be proposed to the Parliament.’322 While the queen visited Bath in September, Nottingham retreated to Burley.323 He was expected back in London on 22 Sept. and was certainly there by the end of the month.324

Nottingham was present when Parliament met on 20 Oct. 1702, and there is evidence that the Queen’s Speech had been amended by him when in draft form.325 He was present on 66 days of the session, 77 per cent of the total and was named to 31 committees. On 19 Nov. Nottingham opposed the defensive Whig motion for an address that Bishop Lloyd of Worcester be continued as almoner until some crime had been proved against him, on the grounds that it limited the queen’s exercise of her prerogative. Dining with Nottingham on 30 Nov., William Nicolson, bishop of Carlisle, found him in favour of a union with Scotland.326 He was probably behind the introduction in the Commons of the bill against occasional conformity, Dartmouth later recounting that Nottingham persuaded William Bromley to bring in the bill.327 Nottingham was one of those who argued on 9 Dec., after the third reading of the bill, that a resolution against tacking, although it was ‘just in itself’, was now ‘unseasonable’.328 Nottingham continued to exert a moderating influence on the Commons: Godolphin wrote on 24 Dec., ‘I don’t wonder you found Sir C[hristopher] M[usgrave] a little easier in the business of Holland. Lord Nottingham has brought his brother [Heneage] and Sir E[dward] S[eymour] into it also’.329 Nottingham had probably persuaded them not to oppose the augmentation of Dutch troops, but to support it on condition that the prohibition of trade between the Dutch and the French would be enforced. When the Lords agreed to a resolution along these lines on 9 Jan. 1703, Nottingham came under attack for apparently advising that a prorogation would be needed before an augmentation of the forces could be voted. He responded that this had been the general view of the council and that he had acted in good conscience. This speech (‘said with so much courage, and so good a grace’) prevented any further reflections.330 In about January 1703 Nottingham was listed in his own forecast as likely to support a bill against occasional conformity, and he voted on 16 Jan. against adhering to the Lords’ wrecking amendment to the penalty clause of the bill. On 19 Jan., when the Lords came to consider a bill permitting Prince George, as a foreigner, to hold office after the death of the queen, notwithstanding the provisions of the Act of Settlement, he opposed Burnet’s arguments that all foreign peers should be given the same exemption (the Commons had already rejected a bill passed by the Lords in favour of all foreign peers), and suggested that the passage of this bill might help to secure the passage of another bill in favour of the other foreign lords later on. On 22 Jan. Nottingham protested against the dismissal of the petition of Robert Squire and John Thompson in their cause against Thomas Wharton, 5th Baron Wharton. When Wharton’s appeal against Squire was heard before the Lords on 12 Feb., Nottingham was ‘indefatigable’ in his opposition to it.331

On 2 Feb. 1703, it was ordered that the commissioners of accounts should attend in relation to the management of the exchequer by Charles Montagu, Baron Halifax. Nottingham’s concern was to ensure that since the Commons had already ordered the attorney-general to prosecute Halifax that their actions did not look like giving a judgment in the case. In a debate in committee of the whole House on 4 Feb. on the bill extending the time allowed for taking the oath of abjuration, Nottingham and Somers combined to add a clause promoted by Bishop Compton of London that clergymen already instituted into vacant benefices should not be deprived as a result of failing to take the oaths in time. On 5 Feb., when Charles Seymour, 6th duke of Somerset reported from the committee on the findings of the public accounts commissioners, exonerating Halifax, Lord Keeper Wright informed the House that the attorney-general wished to be heard before any vote on the report. Nottingham backed him, but unsuccessfully. Nottingham brought in on 9 Feb. a list of persons granted licences to return from France by Queen Anne; he was in agreement with peers who felt that those returning without licences should be prosecuted, but suggested that it was incumbent upon peers who were aware of such persons to inform ministers. Nottingham used his lawyer’s expertise in defence of Rooke on 11 Feb., when he objected to the report of the committee appointed to examine the journals of Rooke and James Butler, 2nd duke of Ormond. The committee’s frequent use of the word ‘appears’, he argued, indicated that it had exceeded its remit which was only to inspect and report, not to draw inferences and conclusions; the report was recommitted to be re-drafted.332 Nottingham protested on 22 Feb. against the failure to commit the land qualification bill and on 24 Feb. against the vote to print the proceedings on the occasional conformity bill. He attended the prorogations on 22 Apr. and 22 June.

Even Marlborough acknowledged that Nottingham was the fount of ecclesiastical patronage; in May 1703 the duke asked Godolphin to excuse him to the queen for writing to Nottingham on the subject of the bishopric of St Asaph ‘for had I not done it Doctor Chetwood would never have forgiven me’. Nottingham’s reply was that ‘the matter was too far advanced’ in favour of George Hooper, who would become the bishop in October.333 William Grahme, dean of Carlisle, told his brother, James, on 30 June 1703, that Nottingham ‘lays his hand on all church preferment. His brother, his chaplains, and his favourites are all taken care of, and her majesty’s chaplains and clerks of the closet are put by’.334

On 7 June Marlborough thought fit to warn the lord treasurer (with the caveat that his informant Count Wratislaw was ‘hotheaded’) that Nottingham ‘will upon all occasion’ do Godolphin ‘what hurt he can with his party’.335 Nottingham was certainly proactive in many aspects of foreign and domestic policy: in August he relayed his arguments in favour of union to John Murray, duke of Atholl [S].336 He also maintained his support for Tory candidates: following the elevation of his brother, Heneage, to the peerage, Nottingham supported attempts to persuade Sir Thomas Dyke to stand for the vacancy in the ensuing by-election for Oxford University, though without success.337 At the beginning of September, Nottingham sought leave to visit Burley about the middle of the month, although Godolphin thought that the queen would allow him to go slightly later, while she was at Windsor.338

Nottingham attended the prorogations on 14 Oct. and 4 Nov. 1703 and he was present when the next session commenced on 9 November. He attended on 53 days of the session, 54 per cent of the total and was named to 24 committees. He seems to have actively solicited the attendance of some peers, presumably to support the occasional conformity bill.339 Not surprisingly, Nottingham was forecast by Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland at the beginning of November as a supporter of this bill, and again on a revised forecast made at the end of November or the beginning of December. Nottingham did not perceive the bill as a measure of persecution; as the queen herself wrote to the duchess of Marlborough, probably in December 1703, ‘I see nothing like persecution in this bill’, denying, significantly, that it was ‘a notion Lord Nottingham has put into my head’.340 On 14 Dec. Nottingham voted in favour of giving a second reading to the bill, and then protested when the House voted not to do so and protested again when the House voted to reject it.

During the summer of 1703 Nottingham had been heavily involved in the investigation of the so-called ‘Scotch Plot’ for a Jacobite rising in Scotland. The Scotch Plot was brought before the Lords on 14 Dec. 1703, possibly owing to a leak from the cabinet, and the Lords elected a committee of seven on 18 Dec. to interrogate some of the prisoners. Nottingham gained ten votes, a derisory amount compared to those secured by the Whigs who were chosen. Nottingham was criticized in the Commons on 20 Dec. for ‘having given order for the release of one Middleton’ (one of those said to be involved in the Plot). But when the lower House resumed the debate the next day a concerted effort was made there to argue that Nottingham ‘was the only person in Council that opposed his release’, and the House then agreed ‘the most honourable vote that ever was seen in favour of that great and good minister and ordered it to be laid before her majesty at the same time with their address which was accordingly done’.341 The vote said that Nottingham ‘for his great abilities and diligence in the execution of his office, for his unquestionable fidelity to the queen, and her government, and for his steady adhering to the Church of England, as by law established, hath highly merited the trust her majesty has reposed in him’.342 Trumbull told William Aligonby that Nottingham ‘did not seek after such a vote’, which followed some ‘scandalous and foolish hearsays, talked of in the House to throw dirt upon him, with an intention to leave it there and a supposition that some of it would stick’; his friends, therefore, pushed for his vindication.343 On 6 Jan. 1704 Nottingham thanked Southwell for his ‘congratulations of my escaping once more the malice of my enemies; I hope I shall never deserve a censure, but I see ’tis impossible to avoid the secret reproaches which openly can never be avowed’.344 The Commons also objected to the Lords’ action in interrogating prisoners. The Lords defended their rights in two resolutions on 13 Jan. 1704. As the investigation carried on, Nottingham continued to fend off the attacks from the Whigs. The House was kept up till ten o’clock on 29 Jan., when the Lords considered various papers delivered into the House by Nottingham, and he went home ‘very weary’.345 On 19 Feb. it was reported that when the Scotch Plot was laid before the Lords, Charles Howard, 3rd earl of Carlisle, ‘laid very great reflections upon’ Nottingham.346 On 24 Mar., it was moved that Nottingham’s account of the examination of Sir John Maclean was ‘imperfect’, but Nottingham ‘was justified to have done his duty by the plurality of 11 voices’ (when the motion to put the motion was negatived).347 On 25 Mar., Nottingham protested against the vote to put the question on a motion criticizing the government’s actions in the case of the plotter Robert Ferguson, and then protested against the passage of the resolution itself.

Nottingham’s responsibilities as secretary must have limited his appearances in the House: a letter of 13 Mar. 1704 from Godolphin implies that it was easy enough to summon Nottingham back to Westminster when necessary, allowing him to spend much of his time out of the House: ‘the House is in a committee upon the bill of first fruits. I think there is not like to be any occasion of troubling you to come hither’.348 Nottingham was indeed absent that day. On 16 Mar. Nottingham protested against the amendment of the public accounts bill which left out Robert Byerley from the commission, and he then protested against that part of the amendment which sought to add two nominees from the Lords. On the loss of the bill Nottingham threatened to tack it the next session to the land tax to force it through the Lords, though the bill was not in fact revived.349 Nottingham entered three protests on 21 Mar. related to the recruitment bill, including one dissenting from the passage of the bill.

Marlborough, en route for the campaign, wrote from Harwich to Godolphin on 8 Apr. 1704 that Nottingham had told the Tories that the queen was hindered from giving them satisfaction by the duumvirs, that he was convinced that they would hand all business to the Whigs, and that ‘if he can’t get such alterations made in the Cabinet Council as he thinks absolutely necessary for the safety of the Church, he would then quit’. Godolphin reported to him on 18 Apr. that Nottingham had outlined his demands for the removal of Somerset (who had chaired the Lords’ investigations of the Scotch Plot) and Archbishop Tenison from the Cabinet, but although Nottingham had given the queen ‘a good deal of these notions’, she was still set to dismiss Seymour and Edward Villiers, earl of Jersey instead.350 Burnet believed that Nottingham wanted Somerset and Devonshire (the two Whig cabinet members, who had encouraged the investigations into his handling of the Scotch Plot) removed from the Cabinet.351 His response to his failure to get his way was to resign. Harley wrote on the 22nd that two days previously Nottingham had ‘brought the seals to the queen and told her he could not serve her with that cabinet &c. She persuaded him to carry them back. This day at one a clock he hath finally delivered them. The manner of it can never be justified if he had had reasons’.352 Henry St John, the future Viscount Bolingbroke, was not impressed: ‘surely when the queen refused to take the seals, and gave him time to think better of what he had to do, there was an opportunity offered him of continuing in employment with greater reputation than most people have ever served.’ He then compared Nottingham unfavourably with the Elizabethan statesman, William Cecil, Baron Burghley, whose ‘patience and art’ was ‘enough to bring the queen to remove these men for her own sake, whom he never solicited to remove for his own.’353

Return to Opposition, 1704-6

It was reported on 16 May 1704 that Nottingham attended as frequently at Court as before his resignation. His presence presaged some kind of political campaign in the autumn, centring on the fear of instability in Scotland, the failings of the allies and the promotion of a further bill against occasional conformity.354 On 17 June Nottingham wrote from Whitehall, ‘I doubt I shall remove my family to Burley this summer, but I hope to be there myself about hunting time, and to be here again before the meeting of the Parliament’.355 By October, Marlborough, on campaign, had heard that Buckingham (the former Normanby) 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’. Nottingham attended the prorogation on 19 October. Marlborough’s duchess observed that he would base himself at a house in the Privy Garden, which the queen had given to him when he was secretary, ‘to cabal with all her enemies’.356 Nottingham was present when the next session began on 24 Oct., attended on 78 days of the session, 79 per cent of the total, and was named to 39 committees. In about November Nottingham was marked on a printed list which may have been intended to indicate that he was in favour of the Tack. On 14 Nov. he registered the proxy of John Ashburnham, Baron Ashburnham.

Godolphin reported on 23 Nov. 1704 that Rochester and Nottingham ‘were the only men’ to second John Thompson, Baron Haversham ‘upon the mismanagement of naval affairs. One or two more came into the other part of the motion about Scotland. They would also have had a committee to inquire into the state of the money, but that would not be endured in the House’.357 Bishop Nicolson recorded that Nottingham, though ‘professing a retired life and his being a stranger to public matters,’ supported Haversham on the point of the coinage by wishing ‘that the little coin that was left might be some way or other, secured’.358 Marlborough thought Nottingham and Rochester ‘very impudent and foolish’ in indicating their agreement with Haversham, since the queen ‘can’t but see how they would use them if they had power.’359 On 29 Nov. Nottingham registered the proxy of Weymouth. On that day, in a debate in committee of the whole House on the state of the nation, he seconded and enlarged upon Rochester’s motion to have the Scottish Act of Security read; he challenged the view of Burnet that following the queen’s death the Scots would crown the same monarch as England, by observing that ‘this could not be; since they were tied up by this act to do otherwise’.360 According to Sir William Simpson’s account, Nottingham

said that though he would not presume to propose a remedy he would say what remedy he would not approve of. Not introducing the Scots. Not to bring K. James into England. Nor to sacrifice to Protestant interest abroad in order to have King William’s title acknowledged as done at the treaty of Ryswick.

This drew Pembroke and Jersey into vindicating their actions as the negotiators of the treaty, though Nottingham disavowed any intention of questioning their conduct.361 James Johnston wrote that Nottingham ‘made a long discourse, full of innumerous bad consequences, which you in Scotland never thought on’ when the Act of Security was passed.362 For his reflections on King William and the partition treaties, there were moves to send him to the Tower, but this was decided against out of respect for the queen, who was present.363 Nottingham was again involved in the debate on Scottish affairs on 6 Dec., pressing the House to pass judgment on the Act of Security as ‘of pernicious consequence, tending to defeat the Protestant Succession and to alienate the two kingdoms from one another’. His proposal was headed off with consideration of some new laws to obviate the dangerous consequences of the act.364 Nottingham’s criticism of this method of proceeding, as not ‘going to the bottom of the sore’, drew the retort from Mohun that he was ‘for rubbing it to a gangrene’.365 Nottingham defended his conduct on 11 Dec. over the previous negotiations for union with Scotland and during several interventions in the debate made suggestions on how the commission for union should be structured. On 15 Dec. he supported giving a second reading to the Commons’ bill against occasional conformity.366

Nottingham protested on 17 Jan. 1705 against giving a first reading to a bill to allow William Henry Granville, 3rd earl of Bath, to make leases of his settled estate during his minority, because the next heir to the estate, Baron Granville, objected to it. On 21 Jan. Nottingham approached the customs commissioner, Sir John Werden, bt. to ask him a question about ‘prohibiting Flanders trade’, presumably in preparation for possible legislation.367 He protested on 22 Jan. against the decision to reject the petition of Thomas Watson, the former bishop of St Davids, and his wife. On 27 Feb., when the Lords had agreed six resolutions on Ashby v. White and were set to ask for a conference on the following day, Godolphin reported that Nottingham ‘took the part’ of the Commons ‘entirely’.368 Outside the House, at the beginning of March 1705, he was forwarding a marriage alliance between Charles Bruce, styled Lord Bruce, the future Baron Bruce of Whorlton and 3rd earl of Ailesbury and Lady Anne Savile (he being one of her guardians). He took Bruce to visit the old marchioness of Halifax, and then the younger marchioness (Nottingham’s daughter and Lady Anne’s step-mother). The prospect of this match allowed Nottingham to ask Bruce to be godfather to his daughter, born the week before 6 June 1705, pleading ‘a kind of necessity’ after 24 children ‘and having troubled almost all my acquaintances’.369 On 11 Mar. 1705 Evelyn had recorded news of a ‘great loss by fire by the burning of the out-houses and famous stable, at Burley full of rich goods and furniture’.370 Nottingham’s last attendance in the House that session was the following day. In about April 1705 Nottingham was classed as a Jacobite in an analysis of the peerage in relation to the succession.

During the early part of 1705 Nottingham was preoccupied with the forthcoming election. As early as 12 Jan., Bishop Nicolson was approached in the Lords by Nottingham and Thomas Tufton, 6th earl of Thanet, who discussed the ‘fancy’ of Joseph Musgrave in declining to stand for Westmorland.371 In February he re-affirmed his support for Sir William Whitelocke at Oxford University, in the face of a challenge from Sir Humphrey Mackworth.372 Nottingham’s papers contain material prepared for the elections of 1705, defending the Tack and emphasized his case against the ministry, which he attacked as secretly favouring the dissenters in England and Presbyterians in Scotland and blatantly interfering in elections.373 In June, as the election results were digested, Marlborough thought that the Tories, ‘by the advice of’ Nottingham and Rochester, were likely to oppose the ministry and endanger the war effort. The queen, he suggested, should therefore encourage the Whigs.374 When William Cowper, Baron Cowper, accepted the lord keepership on 11 Oct., he was shown a letter from the queen to Godolphin which intimated that Nottingham and Rochester ‘had so behaved themselves, that it was impossible for her ever to employ them’.375

Nottingham attended on the opening day of the Parliament, 25 Oct. 1705. He was present on 68 days of the session, 72 per cent of the total, and was named to 34 committees. On 12 Nov., Nottingham ‘made a motion relating to the affairs of Scotland’, which resulted in the appointment of a committee to draw up an address on union, asking that what had passed in the Scottish Parliament since the previous session in relation to the succession of the crown of Scotland and to the intended treaty of union be laid before them.376 Nottingham reported from the committee on the 13th. His papers contain an annotated printed copy of the Queen’s Speech of the 27 Oct., and a draft address in response to that part of the speech relating to Scotland, which was adopted almost verbatim by the House.377

George Lockhart had told Atholl on 15 Oct. 1705 of the frustrations of the Tories and their plans to invite the electoral prince, Prince George, duke of Cambridge, to reside in England. Nottingham and Rochester were in correspondence with Hanover, he wrote, and observed ‘that they don’t so much value in England who shall be king, as whose king he shall be’.378 On 15 Nov. Nottingham seconded Haversham’s motion for an address to the queen to invite Princess Sophia to reside in England in order to safeguard the Protestant Succession. He protested when it was rejected.379 Unlike other Tory leaders associated with the ‘Hanover motion’, Nottingham seems to have permanently damaged his standing with the queen over this issue, possibly because he had previously suggested that such a move could only be designed to depose her.380 The failure of this initiative saw Nottingham switch his attention to the alternative to the ‘invitation’, namely the regency bill, and in the debate on 19 Nov. on the heads for the bill, Nottingham argued that the laws relating to the succession should be ‘rectified’ before they named the lords justices who were to exercise authority until the arrival of the queen’s successor; and that no minister should be one of the lords justices.381 On 30 Nov. the House debated limitations on the exercise of the power of the justices, and after Rochester had successfully proposed an instruction to the committee of the whole House to include a clause in the regency bill preventing them from repealing or amending the Act of Uniformity, it was ordered by the House that no further instructions be permitted, against which Nottingham protested. His papers contain a list of statutes not to be repealed by Parliament before the arrival of the queen’s successor; according to Cowper and Nicolson, Nottingham had moved that other acts might have the same protection, including the Habeas Corpus Act, the Triennial act and the Treason Trials Act, but this was rejected. ‘Thus it came out’, wrote Cowper, ‘that the Act of Uniformity was brought in to be secured in so extraordinary and improper a manner and no other act’.382 Nottingham at the third reading stage on 3 Dec. tried again to protect key legislation, offering several riders to the bill designed to prevent the justices from giving the royal assent to bills repealing laws concerning papists, the royal succession, or habeas corpus and other safeguards for the liberties of the subject. He entered three protests against the decision of the Lords not to add them, and then protested against the passage of the bill. On 31 Jan. 1706 the Lords returned to the regency bill once it had been amended by the Commons, whereupon Nottingham objected to ‘the power given to the lords justices, as too great for subjects’ and protested on three occasions, objecting to three amendments made to the clause added by the Commons to the bill.383

Earlier, in the debate in committee of the whole House on the state of the nation on 22 Nov. 1705, Nottingham made an unsuccessful motion to request the queen for information on the disappointing military campaign. The next day, he seconded Haversham’s motion for the repeal of the clause which declared the Scots to be aliens, although Somers then proposed repealing the whole act and was seconded by Rochester. On 28 Nov. Nottingham opposed leave to bring in an appeal (requested by Halifax) on the grounds that it was against standing orders. He spoke in the debate on 6 Dec. on the queen’s speech and the Tory claim that the Church was in danger: ‘having briefly remarked on the Scotch act for the establishment of presbytery and the mischief of the occasional communicants voting in corporations’, he seconded Archbishop Sharp’s motion on an instruction to the judges to consider ways of subjecting dissenting seminaries to ecclesiastical discipline.384 Towards the conclusion of the debate he also remarked that if the second part of the proposed resolution stood (‘that whoever insinuates or suggests that the Church is in danger under her present majesty and her administration, is an enemy to her majesty, the Church and the kingdom’), then ‘some of us have nothing to do but to go home and say our prayers’.385 His name appears on a list as having voted that the Church was in danger, and he protested against the resolution when the House passed the resolution denying it.

On 17 Jan. 1706, Nottingham defended himself against the report of Lord Halifax (Charles Montagu, Baron Halifax) from the committee on records, which complained of the neglect of the recent secretaries of state in failing to pass on the public papers: Nottingham said that he had parted with some papers he should have kept for his own security. Pembroke ‘preferred’ a petition from the trustees of the deceased marquess of Halifax’s estate, including Nottingham, on 23 Jan., praying leave to bring in a bill to sort out the estate.386 This bill was opposed by the widow of the first marquess and the sister of the second and after their petition against leave to bring in the bill was read on 1 Feb., no further proceedings took place.387 Nottingham seconded Rochester on 21 Feb. of dispensing with the standing orders of the House of allowing 14 days after the commitment of a private bill to give notice to interested parties (presumably to allow more bills to be completed before the impending recess), but this was opposed by Wharton, Halifax, Godolphin and Marlborough and not passed. In committee of the whole House on 23 Feb. Nottingham, along with Rochester, supported the bill for restoring certain lands to the archbishop of Dublin relating to their purchase from the trustees for sale of the forfeited estates in Ireland, opposing amendments proposed by Halifax.388 Nottingham dissented on 9 Mar. from agreement with the Commons’ vote that Sir Rowland Gwynne’s Letter to the Earl of Stamford was ‘a scandalous, false, and malicious libel’. Nottingham attended the last day of the session on 19 March. 

The Union, the War and Sacheverell, 1706-10

Critical of the conduct of the war away from central Europe, in a letter of July 1706 Nottingham criticized the neglect of the war in the West Indies and in October Godolphin was worried that the complaints of the earl of Peterborough (formerly earl of Monmouth) about his treatment and the war in Spain would adversely affect the business of the forthcoming session, especially as ‘one may be sure’ Nottingham ‘will be fully possessed of that whole affair.’389 Nottingham was present when the next session opened on 3 Dec. 1706. He attended on 62 days, 72 per cent of the total and was named to 36 committees. On 11 Jan. 1707 Nottingham acquainted the Lords that he had ‘something of moment to communicate to them’. They ordered the business to be heard on the 14th.390 On that day, he talked about the importance of the Union and the difficulties in securing it and ‘moved that all the papers touching that affair’ should be laid before the House. Godolphin answered that the articles were nearly finished in Scotland, and would then be laid before Parliament, so that the matter was dropped.391 Another version of Nottingham’s speech reports him warning that since the Scottish Parliament had provided security for Presbyterian church government in Scotland, the English Parliament should provide ‘against the dangers, with which the Church, by law established, was threatened, in case the Union was established’. He was seconded by Rochester.392 News of Nottingham’s speech provoked a flurry of organizational activity: Nottingham registered the proxy of William Stawell, 3rd Baron Stawell on 15 Jan. and on the 18th Bishop Lloyd told John Hall, bishop of Bristol that his proxy was necessary ‘upon account of some motion made in the House’ by Nottingham.393

Before the House went into a committee of the whole on 3 Feb. 1707 on the bill for the security of the Church of England, Nottingham seconded Archbishop Sharp’s motion to instruct the committee to insert into the bill, ‘as a fundamental condition of the intended Union’, a clause declaring the Test Act perpetual and unalterable. In all probability he drew up the protest, which he signed, when the motion was negatived.394 As Joseph Addison recounted, this bill was a ‘confirmation of all acts that have been already made in favour of it’, to which Nottingham ‘would have had the Test Act inserted’.395 On 15 Feb., in committee of the whole House, Nottingham, along with Guernsey, spoke in favour of postponing the first article of the Union. The motion to do so was lost on a division which Nottingham had rather not been called, ‘for fear of showing the thinness of their party’ (and indeed they could only muster around 20 votes). Nottingham then spoke against the first article, ‘upon account of altering the name that it would subvert the whole laws’.396 He alleged that the name ‘Great Britain’ was an innovation in the monarchy and moved that the opinion of the judges be sought, although they ruled that the name did not alter or impair the constitution of the realm as the laws remained the same.397 Nicolson observed that ‘the Finch family’—Nottingham, Guernsey and Winchilsea—were those who were the warmest against the Union. Nottingham was one of the ‘chief’ opponents on 19 Feb. of the ninth article on the proportionality of the land tax.398 On 21 Feb. Nottingham spoke on the 15th article, the ‘Equivalent’, which he said was ‘highly unreasonable’, as the Scots had free entry into English markets and paid so little to support the expenses of government, including the war; furthermore, he said that the part given to the Darien Company was ‘so ordered’ as to favour a few persons rather than ‘indemnifying every private sufferer in that unhappy enterprise’.399 In the committee of the whole House on 21 Feb. Nottingham’s concerns over the Habeas Corpus Act were ignored because the judges saw no ‘hazard’ in the Union. On 24 Feb., when the committee went through the last seven articles, Nicolson observed that the debates were chiefly managed by Nottingham and Somers.400 Nottingham was reported to have argued that ‘it seemed by the treaty the queen could not make any of the Scottish peers, after the Union, sitting peers’. Halifax responded ‘that he wished his lordship would make that point out, for he was sure it would be better that it were so; the crown would be delivered of great importunities’.401 On that day, after the last article had been read Nottingham, after apologizing for having troubled the House on most of the articles, again melodramatically argued that the passage of the Union would subvert the constitution.402 On 4 Mar. Nottingham voted in favour of and then protested against the rejection of a rider to the Union bill which insisted that the ratification of the treaty should not be construed as approval of the Presbyterian way of worship, or suggesting that the Church of Scotland’s doctrine constituted ‘the true Protestant religion’. He then protested against the passage of the bill itself. He last attended during the session on 2 Apr., and presumably left London before the short session of April 1707 convened on the 14th.

Nottingham was omitted from the new Privy Council of Great Britain in May 1707.403 In late July he was in correspondence with Dartmouth over the marriage of his daughter, the widowed marchioness of Halifax, to John Ker, duke of Roxburghe. Nottingham spent August hesitating over the match.404 While John Bridges on 8 Oct. was confidently able to report that the marriage would go ahead, James Johnston on 30 Oct. wrote that Roxburghe’s ‘affair’ which had been ‘quite off’ the previous week, was now back on again: Nottingham ‘knows not, it seems, his own mind’.405 The couple eventually married on 1 Jan. 1708.

Nottingham was present when the next session opened on 23 Oct. 1707, despite telling Dartmouth as recently as 9 Oct. that

if I were never so idle and had nothing to do, I have a great deal to say against London, where I can do no good to any, but may [do] much harm to myself, at least I shall expose myself to great and unavoidable but yet fruitless vexation, instead of quiet and satisfaction which I enjoy here, more, I can truly say, than ever I had in my life.406

He did attend on only 29 days, 27 per cent of the total and was named to seven committees. After attending the first three days of the session on 23, 30 Oct. and 6 Nov., he did not appear again until 1 December. On 15 Dec., when the state of the war in Spain was considered in committee of the whole House, Nottingham joined Rochester and Haversham in speaking in defence of Peterborough. When the House continued the debate on the 19th, Nottingham spoke for half an hour, ‘took notice of the ill condition of the kingdom in the decrease of our money and trade, but agreed it was absolutely necessary to support King Charles’, proposed sending 20,000 men from Flanders under a British commander, and said that ‘Spain ought to be our principal regard, for that in Flanders we might war to eternity and never come to anything decisive, wherefore he proposed we should [act] there only on the defensive’.407 When the debate moved on to the question of the allies sending their quotas to Spain, Nottingham was in favour of including the Dutch in the question, but Somers prevailed upon the House for the address to refer only to the Emperor.408 James Brydges, the future earl of Carnarvon, thought that Nottingham had ‘endeavoured to fix a fault upon the ministry in the manner of that war’s being managed, and that it had been neglected there, in order to aggrandize and increase my Lord duke’s reputation and glory’. He believed that the high Tories had expected to be supported by the Whigs, as they had previously done; this time, however, they deserted them, Somers closing the debate with a motion for an address that no peace could be safe or honourable while Spain and the West Indies remained in Bourbon hands.409 On 9 Jan. 1708 Nottingham was one of four peers asking for an investigation into the allegation that the battle of Almanza had been ‘fought by positive orders’.410 Although Nottingham was last recorded as attending on 31 Jan., on 5 Feb. Bishop Nicolson listed him among those supporting moves to abolish the Scottish Privy Council.411 Nottingham does seem to have left London before the fall of Harley that month. He was certainly back at Burley by 8 Mar. when he wrote to solicit Dartmouth’s support for the Stratford-Dunchurch road bill, which was brought up from the Commons and received its first reading on 19 Mar. and passed the following day.412 In about May 1708 Nottingham was classed as a Tory on a marked list of the Parliament of Great Britain. Nottingham again mobilized his interest for the Rutland election of 1708, but he could not prevail to return two Tory candidates, even though only a single Whig candidate stood.413 In response Nottingham allegedly ‘turned off all his tenants and put out of offices all who were suspected to be for Mr [Philip] Sherard’.414 He even played a role in the Scottish peerage election, in support of his son-in-law Roxburghe, lobbying Leeds to ensure that his son, Carmarthen, cast his vote for him.415 Nottingham was not supportive of the ministers, being reported by Roxburghe in July 1708 as being ‘more averse to them than ever’.416

Nottingham’s perceived importance to the Tories can be gauged by a letter written to him by Bromley on 2 Oct. 1708, concerning a possible Tory candidate for Speaker in the new Parliament; if Nottingham approved, ‘it is humbly desired you’d be pleased to engage all you can to be in town the first day of the session and if your Lordship can any way do it to secure some of the Scotch to be with us.’ Nottingham’s reply must have been encouraging in general, but promised no action on his part, for on 23 Oct. Bromley wrote again, to press his attendance, some peers being unwilling to act without him. Rather plaintively, he ended ‘the term is begun, has your Lordship no business at it?’ Bromley regretted on 11 Nov. that Nottingham was ‘so much determined against coming to town at a juncture when all advice and assistance are wanted’ in order to take advantage of Whig divisions over the speakership. In his draft reply of 15 Nov., Nottingham counselled caution in dealing with Harley, suggesting that Bromley listen to his proposals rather than advancing any of his own. He decided to remain in the country although ‘if I could hear that resolutions were taken to lay open our grievances and boldly to endeavour to remedy effectually, I think I could not refuse’ to answer his commands.417 Thus, Nottingham ‘flatly refused’ to leave Burley to discuss political strategy, and dampened down Bromley’s hopes of an alliance with Harley, which may have been discussed during a visit Bromley had made to Burley in the early autumn.418

Nottingham was not, therefore, present when the 1708 Parliament convened on 16 Nov., and did not attend the christening on 2 Dec. by Archbishop Sharp of his grandson, Robert Ker, the future 2nd duke of Roxburghe, Dartmouth standing in for him as godfather.419 On 20 Dec. Nottingham wrote again to Bromley about the prospects for two Whig measures, the removal of the sacramental test and a general naturalization, and of his hopes for a personal application to the queen by the Tories in the shape of Rochester, backed by Archbishop Sharp and Bishops John Hough, of Lichfield and Coventry and Moore of Ely. The letter also exhibited a deep distrust of Harley. He wrote again on the 29th suggesting ways of proceeding in investigating the attempted invasion of Scotland, even detailing some questions which might be asked in the Commons. Bromley’s response on 31 Dec. was to reiterate the need for Nottingham’s presence in warding off the threat to the Church.420 Johnston remarked on 3 Jan. 1709, on the uncertain political situation that ‘Nottingham comes up and both Houses will be full, but who shall unite does not yet appear’.421 Nottingham did finally come up, first attending the House on 28 Jan., and was present on 31 days, 34 per cent of the total and was named to 13 committees. He protested on 15 Mar. against the committal of the general naturalization bill and on 1 Apr. acted as a teller in opposition to James Stanley, 10th earl of Derby, on the question of whether to reverse the decree in the case of Hedges v. Hedges. He last attended on 8 Apr., two weeks before the end of the session.

On 10 Aug. 1709 Nottingham was looking forward to the prospect of a visit to Burley by Sir Thomas Hanmer and Arthur Annesley, the future 5th earl of Anglesey, in the first week of September, remarking incidentally on the favours he had received from Hanmer in Wales.422 Nottingham again missed the beginning of the next session at Westminster on 15 Nov., and did not attend until 1 Feb. 1710; he then missed only five days in February and March, sitting on 42 days in all, 45 per cent of the total and being named to 19 committees. What finally brought him to town and stimulated his regular attendance was the Sacheverell trial and other issues concerning the defence of the Church. Nottingham entered his protest on 16 Feb. against not sending for James Greenshields and the magistrates of Edinburgh to be present at the hearing of his appeal before the Lords. He then protested against the decision not to adjourn the House before it considered whether to join the Commons in an address to the queen for the immediate departure of Marlborough to Holland and then against the address itself. Following the Sacheverell trial proceedings on 7 Mar. 1710, Nottingham sounded an optimistic note about Sacheverell’s fate: ‘hitherto he triumphs in the argument and today finished his defence with the most glorious harangue that I have ever heard or read in any author not excepting Tully; there are many converts, and I have some reason to believe he will be acquitted’.423 Further, Nottingham’s legalistic turn of mind had thought of a way of stopping the trial. Following the completion of the prosecution case on 10 Mar., Nottingham asked whether he should put a question to the judges in Westminster Hall (where the trial was being held) or in the House itself. After an adjournment to consider the matter, it was decided that Westminster Hall was the appropriate venue, whereupon he asked ‘whether, by the law of England, and constant practice in all prosecutions by indictment or information, for crimes or misdemeanours, in writing or speaking, the particular words supposed to be criminal must not be expressly specified in such indictment or information?’ Faced with a question that could have destroyed the prosecution, another adjournment of the trial was secured. Back in the Lords, Nottingham carried his point and the judges were asked for their opinion. They concurred with him, but only so far as it was the practice of the common law: Parliament was the master of its own procedures. On 11 Mar. the Lords debated the judges’ response, with Nottingham among the speakers. They voted to ‘proceed to the determination of the impeachment’ of Sacheverell, ‘according to the law of the land, and the law and usage of Parliament’.424 A search for precedents then commenced, with the implications quite clear to some observers: George Bailliethought that ‘if this had gone otherwise there would have been an end of the trial’, and a correspondent of the countess of Lindsey thought that ‘some hope the Doctor may come off by this means’.425 Indeed, on 10 Mar., when the issue first arose, the Tories ‘handed out a paper’ which spelt this out, and on the 11th published all over town that Sacheverell would be acquitted on those grounds.426 John Bridges, more pessimistically thought the vote on the 11th meant that ‘a man might be criminal upon a general charge according to the custom of and usage of Parliaments, which I take to be a leading vote to his condemnation.’427 On 14 Mar., it was revealed that 40 persons had been impeached between 1620 and 1701, but only one of those cases, Roger Mainwaring in 1628, gave any support to the method currently being followed. This somewhat dubious precedent, though, was sufficient for the Whigs to force through their interpretation. Nottingham asked for the original documents to be produced, but he was told that not all of them could be found. He then attempted to secure an adjournment, so that he could produce the contrary precedents from his own papers, which contained notes on many of the cases, but he was defeated. He protested against the failure to adjourn.428 Clearly riled by this procedural defeat, Nottingham pledged that, ‘though he was very much tired, he must tell them his thoughts and should speak an hour’. After only 30 minutes the queen arose and left the Hall, leaving him too disconcerted to continue.429 He argued that

there is a great difference between a single instance and a law custom, especially since we conceive that in all the proceedings, at least all that have appeared to us for 400 years of the prosecutions in Parliament, the particular words charged as criminal, have been constantly expressed in the articles or declarations of impeachment.430

As he wrote later that day, the matter had been decided ‘upon one single precedent, not clear and plain but justly controverted, and which no man could or did affirm to be fact against 40 instances to the contrary’.431 The Whigs then carried their substantive point that by the law and usage of Parliament, in prosecutions by impeachments for high crimes and misdemeanours, it was not necessary to include the specific words supposed to be criminal. Nottingham then protested against the resolution.432

Nottingham spoke twice in the debate on first article of the impeachment on 16 Mar. 1710, although, according to White Kennett, the future bishop of Peterborough, he was one of those who ‘spoke long but so low that I could know little more than their general votes for the Doctor’.433 A draft of one of the speeches Nottingham delivered on the 16th has survived in which he attacked the doctrine of resistance, denying that it was ‘lawful’ and that it ‘brought about the revolution and was a necessary means of it’, and concluding that ‘there is one thing that must necessarily acquit’ Sacheverell from the charge in this article, namely that he was required by the Church to preach as he did, otherwise it would have been against the rubric of the Church and disobedient to it.434 At the end of the debate he recorded that when the question was called for, a debate arose with Nottingham advocating that ‘there determination upon every article should be given in the court’, a motion answered by Godolphin, Charles Powlett, 2nd duke of Bolton and others.435 Nottingham then protested against putting the resolution that the Commons had made good the first article of their impeachment and then against the resolution itself. On the following day Nottingham made a short speech on the third article and then protested against the resolution that the Commons had made good the charges contained in the remaining three articles of the impeachment.436 He protested on 18 Mar. against the decision to restrict the question on Sacheverell to a simple guilty or not guilty verdict. On 20 Mar. he voted Sacheverell not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours, and protested against the resolution declaring him so. The following day he protested against the censure placed upon Sacheverell by way of a punishment. His contributions to the debates on Sacheverell were backed by copious note-taking and considerable analysis, drawing on his extensive legal knowledge and long-standing interest in the issue of resistance at the Revolution and its consequences.437

As Nottingham concluded in a letter to his son, Daniel Finch, Lord Finch, the future 3rd earl of Nottingham and 8th earl of Winchilsea, on 24 Mar. 1710,

never was more concern shown among all sorts of people than upon this occasion, and it is now pretty plain how zealous the generality of the people all over England are for the Church; and it is a pretty odd sight to see the victors more uneasy than those who are overcome, if they may be said to be overcome who have such an issue of this affair as I have told you.438

On 3 Apr., Rev. Ralph Bridges had heard ‘a flying report’ that Nottingham had ‘got all the speeches that were spoke in the H. of Lords on the debate of the articles there, which in due time will be published with the protests and reasons.’439 Having last attended on 1 Apr., he left London, meeting his former chaplain, William Wotton, on the road: when Wootton expressed the hope that ‘this flame were quenched’, Nottingham responded ‘Do you think it should be quenched?’440 On 5 Apr. Nottingham arrived in Rutland. He was ‘met by most of the gentry and clergy of the county on horse-back besides a great number of persons on foot,’ and given thanks ‘for the great and good services he had done the queen, the Church and Doctor Sacheverell in the sessions of Parliament’.441 Another report had him being ‘met by about 1,000 horse at the entrance of his own county, 500 of whom were entertained with a sumptuous cold treat, and wine and ale at his own house that evening.’442 Nottingham moved to secure the election of his heir (who was currently abroad) for Rutland, and then he led the campaign to unseat his Whig partner.443 Upon reporting his victory Nottingham recounted how he had created free-holders to nullify his opponents’ creations, although he did not expect to use them.444 (When the election petition was heard in the Commons for the first time on 18 Jan. 1711, Nottingham looked on from the gallery.445) After Dartmouth was appointed secretary in June 1710, Nottingham sought to use Dartmouth’s father-in-law Guernsey to solicit a favour which he did not feel able to ask Godolphin at the treasury, the appointment of a separate receiver-general for Rutland, rather than making do with the Whiggish man nominated by Sunderland for both Northamptonshire and Rutland.446

The Ministry of Harley, 1710-11

While Nottingham remained at Burley, speculation was rife as to his role in any new ministry. Both the lord privy seal and the admiralty were mentioned by contemporaries as possible posts for him.447 This prompted the duchess of Roxburghe to write to her father at the end of August, craving his presence, for Harley

brags that both you, and my uncle Guernsey, are now so pleased that my Lord Anglesey and my Lord Dartmouth are employed, that you both must do journey man’s work under them, or else keep out of the way of opposing; that ’twas never to be thought of, to bring in the leaders or high Tories, such as yourself and my Lord Rochester, into the administration for that would be contrary to that rule of moderation as to keep in the violent Whigs.448

Addison was better informed, writing on 1 Sept. that the ‘present scheme’ under Harley as ‘first minister of state’, would exclude Nottingham, Rochester and Leeds.449 The major block to the employment of Nottingham in 1710 was the queen’s prejudice against him, even if Harley had been prepared to sanction his return to office.450

Harley’s analysis of peers drawn up on 3 Oct. 1710 listed Nottingham as a supporter of the new ministry. On 9 Oct. William North, 6th Baron North was surprised that Nottingham was not in London, as he recognized that the changes had gone further than originally intended and foresaw that Nottingham’s presence ‘may be necessary to keep things steady’.451 Shrewsbury predicted on 20 Oct. that Nottingham and Guernsey would be cool towards the new administration in the Lords, ‘unless her majesty use some measures to please them’.452 Arthur Maynwaring, too, reckoned that ‘most considerable are to be left out in this scheme, and 199 [Harley] pretends to be the head, which will make such men as Lord Nottingham draw off as many as they can from him.’453 On 28 Oct. John Ward reported that in one week’s time all the principal Tory Members would be in town, and therefore Nottingham’s presence would be of great import to his friends and the public. Ward wrote again on 2 Nov. to inform him that when all his friends were in town, he would write again, ‘and would by no means hurry your Lordship till I can give you good satisfaction that we wait for nothing else’. On 2 Nov. Bromley asked Nottingham to ensure his early attendance in London otherwise his friends would ‘be very much discouraged and cannot have an entire confidence’. Ward referred on 4 Nov. to a meeting of Nottingham’s friends ‘at Lord A’s [Anglesey’s] this morning where your Lordship’s thoughts were much wanted. It’s hoped your Lordship will be pleased to quicken Sir Roger Mostyn and some Members who are near you’.454

Nottingham was present when Parliament met on 25 Nov. 1710, attending on 69 days, 61 per cent of the total. He was named to 22 committees. He took a major part in the fresh investigation of the Spanish campaign of 1707, in support of Peterborough. On 9 Jan. 1711, during the examination of General Charles O’Hara, Baron Tyrawley [I], in committee of the whole House, Nottingham interrupted him, ‘telling him he wasn’t being examined about Almanza’, and was rebuked in turn by Buckingham for speaking to the witness without going through the chair. Two days later, during a debate which led to the decision not to receive petitions from Galway and Tyrawley seeking time to prepare their defence, Nottingham thought that these petitions should not be granted as ‘this was no proper time to deliver them, and because the petitions themselves were improper’. He answered Wharton’s view that a censure would not allow them a proper defence, by noting that he did not deny them a right to be heard, and if a prosecution was ordered then would be the time to hear them. He then spoke against the motion that Peterborough’s instructions should be laid before the House. On 12 Jan. when the culpability of ministers for the failures of Spanish campaign was discussed in committee of the whole House, Nottingham argued that he would not have supported an offensive war at that juncture and that there were too few men at Almanza, which showed that ‘advocating an offensive war was a very ill council’.455 The final address on the failings of the Spanish campaign reported to the House on 8 Feb. 1711 was probably drawn up by Nottingham, and not by the court: a draft of it exists in his papers. If so, it may account for the cool reply to it given by the queen.456

Nottingham spoke on 5 Feb. 1711 in favour of a second reading for the bill repealing the general naturalization act and protested against the bill’s rejection.457 On 13 Feb. he reported from the committees appointed to consider the orders and customs of the House and to peruse and perfect the Journal concerning the form of the entry for 9 Feb., in which the House voted to expunge some of the reasons given for the protestation of 3 Feb. against the resolutions criticizing the ministers in post at the time of the Spanish campaign. Nottingham wrote on 17 Feb. to inform Sir Thomas Cave that he had enlisted his tenants in Rutland in support of his candidature for a county election in Leicestershire made necessary by the removal of John Manners, who sat in the Commons as marquess of Granby, to the Lords as 2nd duke of Rutland. Nottingham added ‘I am very sorry you meet with any opposition, especially from a gentleman [Henry Tate] who is in the same interest with you; for this dissention may be of ill consequence in future elections’. Tate eventually responded to the concerns about dividing the Tories by withdrawing shortly before the poll.458

It seems possible that the increasingly effective opposition of the October Club was linked to the disappointment of its members over the failure of important legislation, such as the repeal of the general naturalization act and the place bill. Nottingham shared their disappointment and seems to have attempted to influence their proceedings through his friends among the membership.459 Dartmouth later referred to a meeting at Rochester’s house at which Nottingham met with six ministers and made plain his desire to crush the Whigs through prosecuting them for past misdeeds. When he was rebuffed, he became the ‘most indefatigable in persecuting’ the ministers, ‘with all the art that he was master of’.460 Nottingham certainly had a plan laid out for the 1710-11 session, a four-page memorandum of ‘what to me seems proper to be done’. After noting that ‘there has been much time lost, we ought now to make more haste, and to lose no more in expectation of any great matters from the ministers’. Thus, the Commons should ‘collect such matters of fact as are plain and indisputable, relating to money or maladministration of other affairs, and to represent them in two addresses to the queen, that they may be public to the whole nation’. Topics suggested for inclusion were ‘the loss of a million in the customs’ and ‘the cheat in the Stamp Office’, as well as the failure to provide for the proper defence of Scotland in 1708.461

Nottingham was named to manage a conference on 9 Mar. 1711 on a matter relating to the safety of the queen’s person and government. On 3 Apr. Ward reported to Nottingham a meeting with Speaker Bromley the previous day in which it had been decided

to bring on the notice of the invasion, to force on the account of the customs and stamp office and what other mismanagements the court can lay open without tedious inquires and to make two representations, the one of the money matters, the other of the church and state, and in the latter to expose the mask of moderation by which we have so much suffered and the trimming measures we fear and this in the boldest lively colours.

This bore some similarity to Nottingham’s programme and significantly Ward added that this required ‘your Lordship at hand to direct and conduct us and nothing can discourage us but your Lordship’s withdrawing this from us’.462 This was clearly an attempt to entice Nottingham to remain in London. It failed to do so, and in any case this attack was blunted by the report to the Commons of the missing £35 million, the target of the inquiries about mismanagement of the revenue, on 4 April. It may be that the ministry had been forewarned and had deliberately pre-empted Nottingham’s strategy, although the Commons ultimately did pass on 31 May a representation criticizing the financial mismanagement of the previous ministry, the grant of a new charter to Bewdley and the invitation to the Palatinates.463 By then Nottingham had long departed from London, last attending on 9 Apr., over two months before the session ended on 12 June. One of Wodrow’s correspondents wrote that Nottingham was ‘very much disgusted’, as were Rochester and the October Club: ‘they are all displeased with Mr Harley’.464

The unexpected death of Rochester, the lord president, at the beginning of May 1711 saw Nottingham immediately mentioned as a possible successor.465 John Poulett, Earl Poulett, advised against it:

if you put Nottingham in and he over-sets the balance, you can no more raise the scales again. You know him of no great consequence as he is out, and what service can he do you with the Tories, to make amends for misleading others to be desperate. Would you give his weight to secure an interest already yours by the greatest obligations imaginable, and after this, may not his being in just now show a shift and make it doubtful by tempting them to hope for their old extravagances with him, which they must despair of as impossible without him.

Nottingham, he suggested, could ‘be made as useful with more safety in giving his son Lord Finch a place, rather than in admitting him into the ministry’.466 In the event, Ward, Mostyn, Henry Bunbury, and Heneage Finch (Nottingham’s nephew), all received posts. John Holles, duke of Newcastle, told Maynwaring that the position of the lord president had been offered to every one of the cabinet, and ‘there never had been any thoughts of Lord Nottingham, but quite the contrary; that 199 [Harley] would think his power at an end if that person were taken in, which would only give life and encouragement to that party which he intended to weaken’.467 Another death, that of the lord privy seal, Newcastle, on 15 July 1711 again brought Nottingham’s name to the fore as a replacement, but as St John explained, Nottingham was ‘disagreeable personally to the queen; and besides, his relations are so well provided for, that it is thought he ought to be contented’.468 He did have his supporters, such as Bromley, who wrote to Nottingham on 27 Aug. to express the hope that he would be made lord privy seal, as it would ‘evoke a more entire confidence in our friends than any other measure can be taken, and would do the ministry more service among them, than all the professions (of which they are not sparing) they can make’.469 Nottingham’s failure to secure either post was the reason given by Swift to explain the alliance with the Whigs into which he entered in late 1711.470

Whig Alliance, 1711-13

Rumours reached the Whigs early in October 1711 that Nottingham was expressing strong disapproval of a peace being negotiated in which Spain remained in Bourbon hands.471 Nottingham arrived in London on 23 Nov., and on the 25th he and Lord Finch kissed the queen’s hand.472 He attended the prorogation on the 27th, delaying the beginning of the session. Considerable uncertainty surrounded Nottingham’s intentions, although Baillie attributed the prorogation to ministerial unease, ‘for had 333 [the English ministry] been masters there would have been no prorogation, in short the fate of that affair seems to depend upon 66 [Nottingham]’.473 Shortly after his arrival Oxford (the former Harley) sent Poulett to ascertain Nottingham’s position. Following a discussion of two and a half hours, Poulett found Nottingham ‘as sour and fiercely wild as you can imagine anything to be that has lived long in the desert’.474 The failure of this approach from ministers, including a personal visit from Oxford, was signalled by the publication of an advertisement in the Post Boy for 4-6 Dec. which referred to a ‘very tall, thin, swarthy complexioned man’ having ‘lately withdrawn himself from his friends, being seduced by wicked persons to follow ill courses’, and of a lampoon of ‘Dismal’ composed by Swift on the eve of the session, An Excellent New Song, Being the Intended Speech of A Famous Orator against Peace.475 The Junto used Roxburghe as the initial point of contact with Nottingham, followed by Marlborough.476 By 4 Dec. L’Hermitage had heard that Nottingham had made such a strong case against the peace preliminaries that Archbishop Sharp intended to attend Parliament, presumably to back him, and on 5 Dec. Swift recorded that Wharton had been heard to claim that ‘Dismal’ would ‘save England at last’.477

Nottingham attended the opening day of the session on 7 Dec. 1711, and moved for the insertion in the address of a phrase demanding ‘No Peace without Spain’, ‘against his usual principles’.478 In a long speech, he spoke ‘with great earnestness, to show that if Spain and the Indies were given up to France, Europe was undone, Britain enslaved and the queen unsafe upon her throne’. Further, even though he had a large family to provide for, he would cheerfully submit to the government taking ‘his whole revenue to apply to the war, leaving him only some small branch to keep him and his children alive’. In L’Hermitage’s account, Nottingham had said that he would prefer to live on £200 a year (although he had 14 children living) rather than consent to a peace which would destroy the Protestant Religion, the English nation, and all Europe.479 Even so, the impact of his speech was limited: Johnston wrote that he ‘carried none of his friends with him’, while Ralph Bridges felt that for ‘all his scraps of scripture and most assured and solemn protestations of his sincerity in his speech’, he had weakened his interest with the Tories and not gained any among the Whigs. Lord Finch had defended his father as having

served the Church party very faithfully for these 30 years past. He was allowed on all hands to have a very good understanding and had all this summer taken a[n] abundance of pains to study the important points of peace and war, and after all this, he could not but be concerned to find all his old friends desert him and run a-madding after a white staff.

Bridges interpreted this as ‘a plain argument that his revolt is chiefly founded upon either envy or resentment that he is not in the management of affairs’.480 Another account ended with the gibe that he was ‘Nott-in-game’.481 The speech certainly failed to produce a significant rebellion of Tories in the Commons in their debate on the same day, although his son and perhaps 10 more Tories were part of the minority in the 232-106 defeat.482 In the Lords, ‘not one of those upon whose interest he has valued himself will go along with him’.483 Nottingham reported from the Address committee on the 8th and was listed as voting in the abandoned division of that day in favour of presenting the address as amended to include the peace clause.

The deal Nottingham made with the Whigs included a bill against occasional conformity.484 Nottingham’s presence on his own list of peers produced around the beginning of December 1711 probably related to his new alliance with the Whigs over the attack on the peace and the occasional conformity bill. On 11 Dec. Baillie wrote to Patrick Hume, earl of Marchmont [S], that ‘we are to have an occasional conformity bill, and that the Whigs are to go into it in return to the assistance they have had from my Lord Nottingham in the last question’.485 He added on the 13th that ‘the Whig Lords have agreed with Nottingham to pass the occasional conformity bill’, which would enhance Nottingham’s credibility with the Tories over other issues, such as the peace and the residence of a member of the house of Hanover in England.486 Nottingham brought in the bill on 15 Dec. with the support of the ‘chief’ Whigs in the Lords.487 It was a more moderate bill than that threatened by the ‘high-flyers’, with Nottingham describing it as ‘exactly the same’ as that of 1704, ‘save only the last two clauses which we left out as unreasonable favours to dissenters, and two clauses added, which were just and fair condescensions to them’.488 Nottingham also lobbied the Commons in person to prevent the proposed penalties in the bill being left to the administration.489 A blank had been left in the bill in the Lords to avoid any potential conflict with the Commons, but on 20 Dec. Nottingham heard of a plan for the Commons also to leave the penalty blank, which he prevented, with the aid of Anglesey, by speaking in advance of the day’s business to Members.490 Indeed, as Dr Hamilton told the queen on 17 Dec., Nottingham ‘said he would not vote for it any other way than as it was drawn up’.491 Nottingham complained of the Tories to his wife on 26 Dec. that

notwithstanding this their darling bill which they could never have had but by me and that they know the Great-Man [Oxford] would never have given it them, nor suffered it if he could have helped it, ... yet there are such charms in the word peace ... or such enchantments in a white wand that tho’ there be scarce any that believe him sincere in their interests ... yet they are entirely governed by him and to such a degree that I am even railed at by ’em as a deserter for opposing his measures for peace.492

On 20 Dec., one of the correspondents of William Wake, bishop of Lincoln, told him that ‘Nottingham’s bill had a very quiet passage’ through the Lords, although Nottingham had received ‘a taste of that scurrility which has formerly been in so liberal a manner bestowed upon other men’.493 The bill did seem to provide some re-assurance to the Tories that Nottingham was not acting as a stalking horse for the return of the Whigs and a renewed attack on the Church; Charles Aldworth wrote on 18 Dec. that Nottingham had made ‘some amends’ for his actions on the 7th by bringing in the bill to prevent occasional conformity, ‘which will in all probability, under God, be a real security to the Church for all generations’.494

On 15 Dec. 1711 Nottingham had complained in the Lords of ‘a grub street speech’, supposedly delivered by him in the Lords on 7 December. A committee was named to investigate the matter.495 The committee was revived on 21 Dec., and the following day William Cavendish, 2nd duke of Devonshire, reported that the printer of the speech, Andrew Hinde, had been ordered into custody. Hinde, the author, printer, and publisher, of ‘a false and scandalous paper’, The Earl of Nottingham’s Speech to the Honourable House of Lords was brought to the Bar on 19 Jan. 1712, reprimanded by the lord keeper, Simon Harcourt, the future Baron Harcourt, and discharged. Nottingham disowned this printed version as ‘ridiculous and nonsensical’.496 Hinde’s publication was in addition to Swift’s Excellent New Song, Being the Intended Speech of a Famous Orator against Peace and its similarly titled rejoinder, the anonymous The Nottingham Ballad. An Excellent New Song. Being the Intended Speech of a famous Orator.497 On 19 Dec. Nottingham was forecast by Oxford as likely to vote against James Hamilton, 4th duke of Hamilton, in the division expected the following day on the Hamilton peerage case. The next day he was indeed listed as voting in favour of the motion that no Scottish peer at the time of the Union could sit in the Lords by right of a British title created after the Union: he acted as a teller in the division opposite Richard Savage, 4th Earl Rivers. On 22 Dec., Nottingham sprang a surprise on a depleted House, when, following Devonshire’s motion for a bill to give the duke of Cambridge precedence above all other peers, he moved for an address that the peace congress should not open until the queen’s plenipotentiaries had instructions to work in concert with the allies and to preserve a strict union between them. The ambush had been so well laid that no division took place on the motion after it was amended by the court (who suggested that it was unnecessary, as the envoys already had been told to do so) to concede that the queen might already have given such instructions. Nottingham was then appointed to the committee to draw up the address, and duly reported it.498 At the end of December, Marlborough was reported to be ‘almost daily’ at Nottingham’s.499

Following the introduction of the 12 new peers on 2 Jan. 1712, the lord keeper read a message from the queen for an adjournment to the same day as the Commons stood adjourned. The Whigs opposed it, and were joined by Nottingham, who in seconding Somers, argued that the Lords should not be in such haste in a matter that so nearly concerned their constitution, that there was no precedent for such a message, and that they should follow ‘a known and good maxim in the law that what never had been never ought to be’. Furthermore, he pointed out, the House was a court of judicature and there were several private causes appointed to be heard between before the time of the next sitting of the Commons.500 Nottingham was able to entice Thanet, Weymouth, Guernsey, John Carteret, 2nd Baron Carteret and Francis Seymour, Baron Conway, into the lobby against adjourning, although the adjournment was carried.501 When the House resumed on 14 Jan., it was expected that Nottingham would ‘open the eyes of the world’, but the House merely received another message to adjourn. On 17 Jan. Nottingham ‘made a speech for an hour against having the last words in the address inserted’, namely the thanks to the queen for her ‘great condescension’ in acquainting the House ‘with the progress already made towards the peace’, and for her assurance of communicating to the House ‘the terms of the Peace, before the same shall be concluded’.502 Later on the 17th, Nottingham desired the leave of the House to bring in a petition of the executors of the 3rd earl of Anglesey, complaining that they could not perform their duties under the will relating to the deceased earl’s daughter, Lady Catherine Annesley, because Buckingham, who had married Anglesey’s widow, claimed privilege.

On 19 Jan. 1712 Nottingham reported the bill to enable John Leveson Gower, 2nd Baron Gower, an infant, to make a settlement upon his marriage. John Elphinstone, 4th Baron Balmerinoch wrote on 24 Jan. that on the ‘last day we sat’, the discussion ranged on how to solve the problem of the fall-out from the vote on Hamilton’s patent: Nottingham was one of the peers who ‘held their peace’.503 Nottingham hoped that ‘some use may be made of their [the Scots’] discontent and they may be persuaded to join in Parliament to prevent this fatal peace’.504 On 27 Jan. Swift recorded that Oxford had engaged him to ‘contrive some way to keep the archbishop of York from being seduced by’ Nottingham.505 Nottingham supported the address from the Lords on 15 Feb. ‘expressing our indignation against the French’s usage of the queen’ in offering inadequate peace terms, noting that his brother, Guernsey, spoke ‘very handsomely’ and the court had acquiesced in it rather than lose the question. He disclaimed any credit for Guernsey’s intervention: ‘he was not prevailed upon to come into it by me (with whom he does not care to talk for reasons which I guess and reserve to tell you)’.506

Nottingham was unable to prevent the amendment of the Scottish Episcopalian toleration bill in the Lords in committee on 13 Feb. 1712 to include an abjuration clause acceptable to the Kirk.507 The Commons amended the new clause to ensure that non-juring Episcopalians and Presbyterians were treated the same. In the debate on 26 Feb. on the amendment made by the Commons to the bill, Nottingham and Guernsey spoke for retaining the Lords’ version of the clause, but with both John Erskine, 22nd earl of Mar and Alexander Montgomerie, 9th earl of Eglinton, assuring the House that all of the Presbyterian clergy would take the oath as amended, the Lords acquiesced in the Commons’ amendment.508 As Nottingham put it, the ‘hardship to the Kirk’ in the bill was in that ‘part of the abjuration which relates to an Act of Parliament by which the successor is obliged to be of the communion of the Church of England, which they scruple to swear to, tho’ they will not scruple to swear to the person’. He concluded that ‘a very little alteration would have removed that scruple and not in the least weakened the oath’.509 On 29 Feb. Marchmont used Roxburghe to approach Nottingham to attend a forthcoming appeal from the lords of the session in which John Hamilton of Pumpherston wished to reverse a judgment in favour of Lady Cardross and her son, the earl of Buchan [S]: Hamilton’s appeal succeeded on 8 April.510 Possibly on 29 Feb. Nottingham and Guernsey attended ‘a great consult’ at Halifax’s.511 According to James Greenshields, Nottingham remained ‘neutral’ over the bill for restoring church patronage rights in Scotland, which passed on 12 April.512

Nottingham acted as a teller on 6 May 1712 opposite Francis North, 2nd Baron Guilford, in a division in committee of the whole House on the county elections bill, on an amendment to the clause allowing Quakers to affirm.513 The defeat of the resumption bill on 20 May, a measure whose passage through the Lords Oxford had promised the October Club in exchange for their agreement not to tack it to a money bill, was in part attributed to Nottingham being ‘prevailed’ upon to attend and vote against it, ‘who had not been present the two former days’.514 Maynwaring noted that in the Commons on the following day, Henry Campion ‘stood up, and in a very disorderly manner took notice of’ Nottingham’s speech on the bill, and

almost repeated it, adding that he hoped the House would have in their immediate thoughts the resumption itself, and think no more of enquiries, especially since that noble Lord had declared he would be as much for the resumption of any person, and only disliked the last bill because it left room for partiality and favour.515

St John could only splutter: ‘I cannot express to you what part my Lord Nottingham acted; his son voted for tacking it to the money-bill; and he, in the House of Lords, opposed it when separated from it.’516

Whigs were said to have boasted before the debate on the ‘restraining orders’ on 28 May 1712 that Oxford would be sent to the Tower and that Nottingham would be treasurer.517 Nottingham joined in the Whig attack on the orders declaring that ‘he could not comprehend why orders had been given to our general not to fight, unless certain persons were apprehensive of weakening the French, so far as to disable them to assist them in bringing about designs which they durst not yet own’.518 He then voted for the restraining orders to be lifted, and protested against the decision not to address the queen to send orders to Ormond to act offensively.519 As Nottingham said ‘the world’s grown mad and any peace, any day, will be approved of’, although he was sceptical of Oxford’s claims that it would be ‘the most glorious that ever was made’.520 On 6 June, when the queen came to the Lords to lay the peace terms before Parliament, Nottingham moved that consideration of the address be put off until the following Monday ‘because of the devotion of Whitsuntide’ (which was on the 8th). Instead, the House voted to consider it on the following day.521 On the 7th, Nottingham attempted to add to the proposed address that the peace should be guaranteed by the allies, speaking ‘very handsomely and well’ in the debate, and denouncing the ‘folly’ of the clause by which Philip V renounced his claim to the French throne.522 His motion was heavily defeated, against which he protested, although he was named to the subsequent address committee. There is evidence that Nottingham had a hand in drafting the expunged protests of 28 May and 7 June.523

The last sitting Nottingham attended in the session was 13 June 1712. In all he had been present on 89 days, 83 per cent of the total and been named to 15 committees. By 26 June he was in the country, complaining in July in correspondence with Godolphin about the enthusiasm of the country for peace and the results of several by-elections.524 He was believed to be at the forefront of attempts to prevent an address from Rutland in favour of the peace, the rector of Edith Weston noting that ‘we are chiefly swayed by some great men who are enemies to peace, who though they agree not so well among themselves, yet can agree in their dislike and opposing of that which the generality of the gentry, clergy and common people esteem a most valuable blessing.’525 In September Nottingham was surprised by Marlborough’s decision to retire to the continent, following the sudden death of Godolphin, and asked Sunderland to try to dissuade him: without him he questioned whether there would be any point in attending the next session.526 In November, Sunderland wanted to meet Nottingham in town so as to concert measures for the forthcoming session, which had already been put off to 13 Jan. 1713: ‘[we] should take the like pains before that time, to open people’s eyes and to show them, the snares that are laid for them and I will venture to say nobody is so capable of doing that as your lordship.’527 It was reported on 2 Jan. 1713 that Nottingham had arrived in London, ‘tho’ many people thought he would not come this winter.’528

Possibly on 8 Mar. 1713 Robert Benson, the future Baron Bingley, wrote to Oxford to remind him to invite his father-in-law, Guernsey, to a meeting: ‘for though he should not come to the meeting tomorrow, yet the invitation will take away a pretence for complaint which his brother would make use of.’529 Nottingham attended the prorogations of 13 Jan. 3 and 17 Feb. 3, 10 and 17 Mar. 1713, and was present when the session finally commenced on 9 April. He attended on 60 days of the session, 90 per cent of the total and was named to 15 committees. Following the queen’s speech of 9 Apr., in which she communicated the terms of the peace to the Lords, there was a debate over the Address. Nottingham was one of the managers against thanking the queen, on the grounds that the articles had not been laid before Parliament. He proposed removing the words from the Address congratulating the queen ‘upon the success of her endeavours for a general peace’, and for what she had done to secure the Protestant Succession.530 Hugh Speke reported on 15 Apr. 1713 that Nottingham had attended a large gathering of Whig peers at the residence of Somers in Leicester Fields, presumably to plan parliamentary tactics.531 On 21 Apr. Nottingham and the other executors of the 2nd marquess of Halifax made another legislative attempt to sort out his affairs by petitioning for a bill for the sale of the reversion and inheritance of the manor of Morley in Yorkshire. It was introduced on 8 May and eventually passed into law.532 On 8 May John Bridges reported that he had heard a rumour of ‘a design hatching, whether if Lord Nottingham’s or no I can’t tell’, to promote a motion that the son of the Electoral Prince, Prince Frederick Lewis, ‘be sent for over here that the nation may have a sure and present pledge for the security of that succession and this ’tis thought can’t be reasonably objected against and can give no umbrage to our Court.’533

When, in a debate on the state of the nation in committee of the whole House on 1 June 1713, James Ogilvy, 4th earl of Findlater moved for the dissolution of the Union, Nottingham supported him to the extent that he foresaw no constitutional impediment to prevent the Union being dissolved by Parliament, ‘answering solidly all the trash had been said against us (as that it was not possible to dissolve the Union)’.534 However, in another speech he joined with the Whigs in insisting that another day be appointed to consider how the succession would be settled and the peace and quiet of both kingdoms secured: both of these were absolutely necessary before discussion of the dissolution could be entered upon.535 His actions were in keeping with the Whig strategy of maximizing the discomfort of the ministry, while ensuring that there was no actual threat to the Union.536 On 5 June, Nottingham supported Balmerinoch’s opposition to the committal of the malt tax bill. When it was debated in committee of the whole House on 8 June, Nottingham argued that it was a breach of faith to impose the malt duty on Scotland.537 About 13 June Oxford forecast Nottingham as likely to oppose the bill confirming the eighth and ninth articles of the French commercial treaty. The loss of the bill in the Commons on 18 June led to suspicions that there was ‘a division in the court and Lord N. hath great levees every day waiting on him’.538 Nottingham supported Bolton on 29 June, when he raised a matter of privilege over the queen’s recent message to Parliament concerning the debts on the civil list being addressed only to the Commons. On the 30th, it was agreed, on Nottingham’s suggestion, to refer this matter to a select committee, whereupon Wharton unleashed his motion for the queen to use her influence to secure the removal of the pretender from Lorraine.539 On 3 July Nottingham seconded Sunderland’s motion for a second address on the removal of the pretender, expressing surprise that the queen’s previous attempts had met with no success.540 He last attended on 16 July and by the 25th he was at Burley.541

The Parliament of 1713 and the Succession Crisis

Nottingham had been preoccupied by the forthcoming electoral contest in Rutland since January 1713, by the end of which Lord Finch had ‘been personally round about the county, haranguing the freeholders, and spending liberally amongst them, endeavouring as well as he can to justify his own and others proceedings last winter.’542 Nottingham also seems to have engaged in campaigning of a sort in Buckinghamshire, for on 17 Feb. William Viccars reported that Nottingham, ‘who makes a great noise among us’, would visit Claydon on the 19th, and in May Lady Fermanagh referred to Nottingham having sent letters about the forthcoming election for Buckinghamshire.543 However Nottingham concentrated his energies on the election of Lord Finch, and the defeat of Richard Halford (whose election for the county he had previously worked hard to secure): ‘to effect it I will do all I can tho’ it should lessen the number of my son’s votes and hazard his election, but this hazard I believe is very little, tho’ I meet with some very unhandsome proceedings’.544 He duly achieved his aim, Lord Finch and Bennet Sherard, Baron Sherard [I] being returned. After congratulating Nottingham on his success in Rutland, Sunderland’s missive of 14 Sept. concentrated on Nottingham’s relations with the Hanoverian Tories Anglesey and Hanmer. He hoped that Nottingham had kept up a good correspondence with the former during the interval of Parliament, ‘because by it you will know how far you may depend upon him, and by it will contribute very much towards fixing him’. In response, Nottingham pretty much agreed that Anglesey’s position was crucial.545 According to Kreienberg on 23 Feb. 1714 Nottingham had ‘urged Anglesey very much to enter into measures for proposing an invitation’ to the son of the elector of Hanover to come to England, but without success.546

Nottingham was present when the 1714 Parliament met on 16 February. He attended on 70 days, 92 per cent of the total and was named to 14 committees. He protested on 11 Mar. against the rejection of an addition to the address for a proclamation for discovering the author [Swift] of The Public Spirit of the Whigs: the proposed additional words would have hinted that the author was close to the administration. On 15 Mar. Philip Herbert and his wife Marianne, daughter of William Finch, Viscount Maidstone (first son of Heneage Finch, 3rd earl of Winchilsea), who had died in his father’s lifetime, petitioned the Lords to overturn a Chancery decree in favour of her brother-in-law, Hon. John Finch, the future 6th earl of Winchilsea (and youngest son of the 3rd earl), and Nottingham and his sons, but after a hearing on 27 Apr., the Lords upheld the decree.547 In a debate on the state of the nation in committee of the whole House on 17 Mar., Nottingham joined the Whigs in attacking the ministry for not securing the removal of the pretender from Lorraine and in favour of a series of addresses on that and other matters relating to the peace and the fate of the Catalans.548 During the Easter adjournment, 19-31 Mar., Nottingham, with John Campbell, 2nd duke of Argyll, worked hard to forge an agreement between the Hanoverian Tories and the Whigs in order to safeguard the Protestant Succession. On 1 Apr. a meeting between Nottingham, Argyll, Anglesey, Hanmer and Sharp’s protégé and successor, William Dawes, archbishop of York, brought an agreement to secure the Protestant Succession, remove Oxford and replace him with a treasury commission.549 This newly forged alliance launched a sustained attack on the ministry, beginning with the further consideration of the queen’s speech on 5 April.550 After various papers relating to the Pretender had been read, Nottingham supported Wharton’s general attack on the peace in ‘another harangue’ in which he ‘lashed and reflected bitterly on the ministry’.551 The ministry responded by moving that the succession was not in danger, and winning the vote by 14. On 10 Apr. Nottingham attended a consult at Halifax’s, and Baron Schütz revealed that he had orders from the Princess Sophia to demand the parliamentary writ for her grandson, the duke of Cambridge.552 Nottingham registered the proxy of Sunderland on 13 Apr., the day of an important debate on the queen’s answer to the Lords’ address on the pretender, in which the court survived a division by two votes after proxies had been called for. On 16 Apr. Nottingham supported Cowper in his attack on the Spanish peace, but they could not prevent an address of thanks being ordered, referring to a safe and honourable peace with France and Spain.553 Nottingham registered the proxy of Robert Bertie, marquess of Lindsey on 17 Apr. and 15 May, and that of Guernsey on 7 June.

In late May 1714 Nottingham wrote in pessimistic vein to Schütz, in response to the obstacles put in the way of the plans to send the duke of Cambridge to reside in England: ‘if the difficulties which you insinuate should prevail to disappoint our present expectation the scene here would soon be changed; and put an end to all our further hopes’.554 The elector’s decision not to send his son to England saw Nottingham in a state of near despair, for ‘the case appears so very plain, so very terrible, that I wish I could flatter myself with any reasons to believe that the resolution, which seems to be taken, would not be irrecoverably fatal’.555 At the end of May or beginning of June Nottingham was listed on his own forecast as likely to oppose the schism bill. On 4 June, Nottingham spoke against the resolution that the schism bill be given a second reading, saying that the ‘zeal of the Church ought to be shown against the majora crimina’.556 Margaret Cocks reported that Nottingham had joined Halifax and Cowper in speaking in the debate about receiving the Dissenters’ petition, concluding his speech by alluding to a passage in Acts 27 when St Paul warned the centurion that all his men must stay in the ship or perish.557 Another account reported Nottingham as saying that ‘it was certainly what every honest man must wish that there was an uniformity in religion’, but that this bill was ill-timed and amounted to ‘something like persecution, in that it denied a man the liberty of disposing of his own children’; that it weakened the Toleration Act; and that it was ‘dangerous because that tho’ now they had the happiness of having so worthy bishops; yet it possibly might happen that a person who had wrote lewdly, nay even atheistically might by having a false undeserved character given him be promoted to a bishopric’, a remark probably aimed at Swift.558 All in all, Baillie felt that Nottingham ‘spoke excellently against the bill’, and indeed ‘I am told never better than upon this occasion’.559 He protested on 15 June against the passage of the bill.

On 24 June 1714 Nottingham moved for and was nominated to a committee to draw up an address of thanks for the reward placed upon the head of the pretender, asking for the queen to enter negotiations with her allies to guarantee the Hanoverian Succession and for putting the laws into execution against recusants and non-jurors. He reported it to the House.560 On 29 June Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford was informed that ‘warm work’ was expected on 30 June in the Lords, with some believing that ‘the matter’ would be ‘opened’ by Nottingham. On that day Nottingham called for the papers relating to the state of trade with Spain to be read, and then took notes ‘on everything that was read’.561 Nottingham’s aversion to the south sea scheme from the start was evident by his arguments against it in his papers.562 When the Lords considered the Spanish trade on 2 July, Nottingham ‘made a speech setting forth and complaining that we might had better terms’ and several Spanish merchants were called in to support that view; Oxford and Bolingbroke (formerly St John) justified the government’s proceedings.563 When the debate was resumed on 6 July, Nottingham said that ‘this peace patched up with Spain was so infamous that he believed’ James II would have ‘scorned to have signed it’.564 On 7 July Nottingham registered the proxy of Radnor. The following day he protested against the rejection of a representation to the queen that the benefit of the Asiento contract had been obstructed by some for private advantage. When Anglesey followed this with a motion for an address to the queen thanking her for giving up her part of the Asiento, Nottingham successfully moved to add that what remained vested in her should also be applied to the public.565 He attended on the last day of the session, 9 July, by which date A Vindication of the Earl of Nottingham from the Vile Imputations and Malicious Slanders which have been cast upon him in some late Pamphlets had been published.566 Nottingham left London shortly after the end of the session, for he wrote to Wake from Burley on 20 July on a matter of ecclesiastical patronage.567

Nottingham was not in London when the queen died on 1 Aug., Sunderland writing to him from Bothmer’s residence on 30 July to return immediately.568 When he first attended the Lords on 5 Aug., it was as one of George I’s appointed regents. He was present on six days in all of the short session, 40 per cent of the total.569 On 14 Aug. Charles Ford wrote that ‘Dismal begins to declare for his old friends and protests he was really afraid for the Protestant Succession which made him act in the manner he did’.570 On 4 Sept. newsletter reports tipped Dean Finch of York to succeed Moore as bishop of Ely, but the see went instead to William Fleetwood, bishop of St Asaph, and Finch declined to succeed Fleetwood.571 Soon after the arrival of George I in England on 18 Sept., Nottingham was named lord president of the council and Lord Finch made a gentleman of the bedchamber to the prince of Wales.572 On 21 Sept., a newspaper reported that Nottingham had been named lord lieutenant of Middlesex, although if this was so, he soon relinquished it to Thomas Pelham Holles, earl of Clare, the future duke of Newcastle.573 Nottingham attended the prorogation of 23 September. It was reported that on the 26th George Smalridge, bishop of Bristol and John Robinson, bishop of London had officiated at the chapel royal, Nottingham having ensured that they were not removed by ‘declaring in the council that putting them out and [putting] Burnet in would disoblige three parts in four of the nation. Thus not shame or repentance keeps them and others in, but fear’.574 In December Bishop Smalridge was confirmed as lord almoner, being introduced to kiss the king’s hand by Nottingham.575 About 25 Oct., Nottingham’s son-in-law, Mostyn, was made a teller of the exchequer.576 At the end of October, Edmund Gibson, the future bishop of London, could opine that Nottingham agreed with the Whigs ‘in the great lines of the administration’. Ultimately, however, Nottingham’s attempts to persuade the king to follow his own brand of politics ended in failure and he lost office in 1716.577

Nottingham had appeared as a serious figure to contemporaries. As early as 1663, his father enjoined him not to lose the reputation he had gained for ‘diligence and sobriety’, and just before his second marriage in December 1685, John Fell, bishop of Oxford described him as ‘grave’.578 Queen Mary, too, referred to his ‘formal, grave look’, many years before Richard Steele dubbed him ‘Don Diego Dismallo’ in The Tatler for 28 May 1709.579 Several themes ran through his career. There was a desire to be seen as consistent; hence his determination not to break his oath of allegiance to James II, even though he was willing to acknowledge William and Mary as de facto monarchs. His support for the Church of England was unceasing and the basis of much of his political strength and his friendships with influential clergy such as Archbishops Sharp and Tillotson. Nottingham used his influence on the ecclesiastical appointments of the early 1690s to attempt to reconcile churchmen to the new regime; together with Tillotson, he sought to ‘steer a middle course’ between the non-jurors and the Whigs, who wished to see the influence of the Church reduced. Many of the men appointed were known associates of Nottingham, having received preferment from his father, when he controlled much minor church patronage as lord keeper and then lord chancellor, 1673-82.580

Much of Nottingham’s parliamentary influence rested on his legal training and knowledge of parliamentary records, which made for long set-piece interventions, although his style was not to everyone’s taste. Burnet clearly enjoyed describing his rival as ‘a copious speaker, but too florid and tedious’, and one full of ‘pompous and tragical declamations’.581 Throughout his career he was a Tory, Poulett describing him in May 1711 as ‘party sense in person without respect to the reasons of things’.582 Administratively he was a diligent secretary of state, although according to one observer ‘he plodded on mechanically’, being ‘more diligent and laborious than the common clerks, and with as much ability as pedantry’.583 The profits of office were important to him as they helped to finance the construction of his mansion at Burley, which probably cost about £30,000 to build.584 Such were the attractions of Burley that after he left office and lost his use of an official residence, he only rented property in London until the end of Anne’s reign.585 However, he did not diminish his estate. His inherited estate income was about £5,000 per annum, of which he spent almost all on current expenditure and upon annuities charged on his estate. With the addition of Burley, he estimated in 1695 that his income from his estates was £8,400 before tax (estimated at £1,170). In 1704 his income from his estates had probably grown to about £9,000 per annum because despite losing £800 per annum from the sale of the Essex estates, Burley had shed the burden of £1,440 in old jointures and annuities.586


  • 1 This biography is based on H. Horwitz, Rev. Pols.
  • 2 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 42.
  • 3 HP Commons, 1660-90, 11, 312; Stud. in Soc. Hist. ed. J. Plumb, 177 n.44.
  • 4 PROB11/638/73.
  • 5 R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 365.
  • 6 Add. 28569, f. 63; G.S. Davies, Charterhouse in London, 355.
  • 7 CSP Dom. 1691, pp. 240, 473.
  • 8 Daily Courant, 17 Aug. 1703.
  • 9 C. Jones, ‘The London Topography of the Parliamentary Elite’, London Top. Rec. xxix. 56.
  • 10 HMC Finch, ii. 189.
  • 11 Burnet, iii. 89.
  • 12 Halifax Letters, i. 455.
  • 13 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 39-40.
  • 14 Add. 70013, f. 281.
  • 15 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 40-41; Bramston Autobiog. (Cam. Soc. xxxii), 216.
  • 16 HMC Rutland, ii. 98.
  • 17 CUL, Adv. e. 38, 11; BL, Verney ms mic. M636/43, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 18 Sept. 1689.
  • 18 State Trials, xi. 515, 560, 593; UNL, Portland (Bentinck) mss Pw1 661.
  • 19 Add. 28569, f. 58.
  • 20 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 463.
  • 21 Bramston Autobiog. 233; Life of Sharp, i. 84-5; HMC Downshire, i. 188.
  • 22 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 44; Bodl. Tanner 29, f. 34.
  • 23 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 108-9.
  • 24 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 45n.
  • 25 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 46-47; Burnet, iii. 181; Dalrymple, Mems. ii(i), app. 64.
  • 26 Longleat, Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 42, ff. 210-11.
  • 27 Dalrymple, Mems. ii(i), app. 77-80; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 48.
  • 28 Add. 75376, ff. 69-70.
  • 29 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 168; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 49.
  • 30 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 260.
  • 31 Add. 34510, f. 134; Bodl. Carte 76, f. 28.
  • 32 Bodl. Tanner 28, f. 76.
  • 33 Dalrymple, Mems. ii(i), app. 105, 112, 117-18.
  • 34 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 52-3; Burnet, iii. 278-9.
  • 35 NLW, 1548 f. 33.
  • 36 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 55.
  • 37 Add. 29569, f. 374.
  • 38 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 195-6; Evelyn Diary, iv. 602-3.
  • 39 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 56; Sloane 3929, f. 105; Add. 34510, ff. 166-7; Add. 17677 HH, f. 499.
  • 40 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 203; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 104, 113-14; Verney ms mic. M646/43, J. to Sir R. Verney, 29 Nov. 1688; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 354.
  • 41 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 209-12.
  • 42 Verney ms mic. M646/43, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 5 Dec. 1688; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 214.
  • 43 HMC 14th Rep. III, p. 452.
  • 44 HMC 5th Rep. 198; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 365, 383; Kingdom Without a King, 25, 28, 35.
  • 45 Kingdom Without a King, 74, 79, 92, 98, 104-7, 109-12, 115, 117.
  • 46 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 401.
  • 47 Kingdom Without a King, 124, 151; Morrice, Entring Bk. iv. 425.
  • 48 Kingdom Without a King, 155, 159.
  • 49 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 235; Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 8.
  • 50 ‘Parliament and the Glorious Revolution’, BIHR, xlvii. 38; Kingdom Without a King, 161.
  • 51 Kingdom Without a King, 161; Burnet, iii. 363; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 69.
  • 52 Kingdom Without a King, 161-2, 166-7.
  • 53 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 248.
  • 54 Add. 29595, f. 266.
  • 55 EHR, lii. 91.
  • 56 Burnet, iii. 376.
  • 57 EHR, lii. 92; BIHR, xlvii. 43.
  • 58 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 503.
  • 59 Timberland, i. 339.
  • 60 BIHR, xlvii. 50-52; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 75-77; Leics. RO, Finch mss box 4958, P.P. 78.
  • 61 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 79, 84n.
  • 62 Cobbett, v. 65.
  • 63 HMC Lords, ii. 17-18.
  • 64 Cobbett, v. 72, 77-78, 82-83, 91-93, 103-6.
  • 65 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 522-4.
  • 66 Letters of Lady Rachel Russell (1854), 210; Burnet, iii. 404-5.
  • 67 EHR, lii. 95.
  • 68 EHR, lii. 95-97.
  • 69 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 261.
  • 70 BIHR, xlvii. 49.
  • 71 Reresby Mems. 558-9.
  • 72 EHR, lii. 97.
  • 73 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 531, v. 2; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 83n.
  • 74 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 263, 268.
  • 75 Timberland, i. 343; Burnet, iii. 4; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 84n.
  • 76 Burnet, Supp. ed. Foxcroft, 315.
  • 77 Reresby Mems. 564.
  • 78 Verney ms mic. M636/43, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 17 Mar. 1688[-9].
  • 79 HMC Le Fleming, 243; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 141; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 549.
  • 80 Timberland, i. 349.
  • 81 Pols in Age of Anne, 62.
  • 82 Essays in Modern Church Hist. ed. Bennett and Walsh, 115.
  • 83 HMC Finch, ii. 194.
  • 84 Timberland, i. 349; Reresby Mems. 556; Add. 17677 II, ff. 16-19. J. Spurr, ‘The Church of England, Comprehension, and the Toleration Act of 1689’, EHR, civ, 938-40.
  • 85 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. i. 242; v. 42, 48.
  • 86 Finch mss DG 7, box 4958, P.P. 84.
  • 87 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 90-91, 93.
  • 88 HMC Lords, ii. 53; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 56.
  • 89 Horwitz, Rev. Pols. 88-9.
  • 90 Cobbett, v. 227, 231.
  • 91 Bodl. Ballard 45, f. 58; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 88-89.
  • 92 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 66.
  • 93 Add. 29596, ff. 158-9.
  • 94 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 98.
  • 95 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 123.
  • 96 Add. 29573, ff. 268-9.
  • 97 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 96-97.
  • 98 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 36.
  • 99 Essays in Modern Church Hist. 118.
  • 100 HMC 5th Rep. 569.
  • 101 HMC Finch, ii. 261; HMC Lords, ii. 333.
  • 102 HMC Finch, iii. 111, 127, 139-40, 151, 186-7, 208.
  • 103 Add. 29596, f. 39.
  • 104 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 37.
  • 105 Add. 33923, ff. 464-5.
  • 106 Clarendon Corresp. ii. 296-7.
  • 107 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 318; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 617.
  • 108 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 40.
  • 109 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 104.
  • 110 Shrewsbury Corresp. 15.
  • 111 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 41.
  • 112 Halifax Letters, ii. 242-3.
  • 113 Essays in Modern Church Hist. 120.
  • 114 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 384.
  • 115 Finch mss DG 7, box 4958 P.P. 94.
  • 116 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 43.
  • 117 Northants. RO, IC 1434.
  • 118 Add. 29594, ff. 196, 198.
  • 119 Verney ms mic. M646/43, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 12 Mar. 1689[-90]; HP House of Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 179.
  • 120 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 768.
  • 121 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 112; Add. 17677 KK, f. 71.
  • 122 Finch mss DG 7 box 4958, P.P. 95; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 419-20, 422.
  • 123 Finch mss DG 7 box 4958, P.P. 95.
  • 124 HMC Lords, iii. 2.
  • 125 HMC Lords, iii. 3; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 147.
  • 126 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 113-14.
  • 127 Glasgow UL, ms Hunter 73, f. 83.
  • 128 Add. 29573, f. 428; HMC Portland, iii. 447.
  • 129 Eg. 3347, ff. 4-5.
  • 130 Finch mss DG 7 box 4958, P.P. 81.
  • 131 Verney ms mic. M646/44, W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 6 May 1690.
  • 132 Finch mss DG 7 box 4958, P.P. 96.
  • 133 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 402; HMC Portland, iii. 443; Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 59.
  • 134 Add. 72516, ff. 108-9.
  • 135 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 450.
  • 136 Mems. Q. Mary, ed. Doebner, 30.
  • 137 Dalrymple, Mems. iii(ii), app. 95.
  • 138 HMC Finch, ii. 350.
  • 139 HMC Finch, ii. 385; HP Commons, 1690-1715, v. 298; R. Walcot, Eng. Pol. in Early 18th Cent. 54.
  • 140 Finch mss DG 7 box 4960 P.P. 150.
  • 141 HMC Le Fleming, 291.
  • 142 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 65.
  • 143 Verney ms mic. M646/44, J. to Sir R. Verney, 16 Nov. 1690; HMC Finch, ii. 339.
  • 144 HMC Lords, iii. 249.
  • 145 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 544.
  • 146 HMC Le Fleming, 312; State Trials, xii. 703-4, 778-9.
  • 147 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 162-3.
  • 148 HMC Finch, iii. 38.
  • 149 HMC Finch, iii. 11.
  • 150 Bodl. Tanner 27, f. 237.
  • 151 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 68; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 225, 238.
  • 152 Add. 61101, f . 27; HMC Buccleuch, ii. 460-1; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 592.
  • 153 Add. 29594, f. 236.
  • 154 Add. 29594, ff. 90, 242, 246.
  • 155 Verney ms mic. M646/45, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 11 Nov. 1691; Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 70-71.
  • 156 HMC Lords, iii. 318.
  • 157 HMC Downshire, i. 390.
  • 158 Luttrell Diary, 79.
  • 159 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 71.
  • 160 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 312; Wood, Life and Times, iii. 378.
  • 161 Luttrell Diary, 111, 126, 176-7.
  • 162 Add. 70119, R. to Sir E. Harley, 4 Feb. 1691/2; 29578, f. 290; Bodl. Ballard 20, f. 171; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 349.
  • 163 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 78, 84n.
  • 164 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 128.
  • 165 HMC Finch, iv. 186, 191-2, 232.
  • 166 JBS, xvii. 5.
  • 167 HMC Finch, iv. 251, 272, 322-3.
  • 168 CSP Dom. 1691-2, pp. 332-3.
  • 169 HMC Finch, iv. 303, 422-3, 425-8.
  • 170 HMC Portland, iii. 502.
  • 171 Verney ms mic. M646/46, J. to Sir R. Verney, 9 Nov. 1692.
  • 172 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 611-12.
  • 173 HMC Finch, iv. 512-13.
  • 174 Luttrell Diary, 273-7.
  • 175 HMC Portland, iii. 508.
  • 176 Luttrell Diary, 295; Verney ms mic. M646/46, J. to Sir R. Verney, 7 Dec. 1692.
  • 177 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 107-8; HMC Portland, iii. 509.
  • 178 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 108.
  • 179 Luttrell, Brief Realtion, ii. 638.
  • 180 Add. 29594, ff. 264-5.
  • 181 Beinecke Lib. OSB mss 1, box 2, folder 110, Yard to Poley, 13 Dec. 1692.
  • 182 Bodl. Carte 130, f. 343.
  • 183 Luttrell Diary, 332.
  • 184 HMC Kenyon, 269.
  • 185 SP105/58, pp. 33-38.
  • 186 Portland (Bentinck) mss PwA 1219.
  • 187 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 109.
  • 188 HMC 7th Rep. 212.
  • 189 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 140.
  • 190 Verney ms mic. 646/46, J. to Sir R. Verney, 2 Feb. 1692[-3].
  • 191 Bodl. Carte 79, f. 477; State Trials, xii. 1048.
  • 192 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 114.
  • 193 HMC Finch, v. 102-3, 159, 171-2.
  • 194 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 144.
  • 195 Add. 75363, Weymouth to [Eland], 25 July 1693.
  • 196 UNL, Me C 7/6.
  • 197 Add. 29595, ff. 29, 31; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 177; HMC Finch, v. 249.
  • 198 Add. 72482, ff. 134-5; Bodl. Tanner 25, f. 81; Verney ms mic. M646/47, A. Nicholas to Sir R.Verney, 29 Aug. 1693.
  • 199 HMC Finch, v. 280; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 196-7.
  • 200 Add. 72482, f. 147.
  • 201 HMC Hastings, ii. 233.
  • 202 Add. 29574, f. 257.
  • 203 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 271-2; HMC Lords, n.s. i. 317-18.
  • 204 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 125-6.
  • 205 Add. 29574, f. 264.
  • 206 Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 128.
  • 207 Add. 29595, f. 42.
  • 208 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 299; Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 131; Halifax Letters, ii. 175.
  • 209 Burnet, iv. 225-6.
  • 210 Stud. in Soc. Hist. 142-6.
  • 211 Add. 29595, f. 17.
  • 212 Add. 29574, f. 226.
  • 213 Verney ms mic. M646/47, J. to Sir R. Verney, 4 Oct. 1693.
  • 214 Stud. in Soc. Hist. 160-3.
  • 215 Verney ms mic. M646/47, Sir R. Verney to countess of Lindsey, 4 Mar. 1693[-4].
  • 216 Add. 29595, f. 39.
  • 217 Add. 29596, f. 122; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 354.
  • 218 Stud. in Soc. Hist. 149, 152; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 150.
  • 219 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 149.
  • 220 Add. 29595, f. 66.
  • 221 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 151.
  • 222 Add. 29595, ff. 68, 72.
  • 223 Lexinton Pprs. 35.
  • 224 HMC Lonsdale, 105.
  • 225 Add. 29595, f. 74.
  • 226 Add. 46527, f. 47; 29574, f. 264.
  • 227 Add. 46527, f. 48; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 431-2.
  • 228 Lexinton Pprs. 53.
  • 229 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 153.
  • 230 Add. 17677 PP, f. 175; 29595, f. 84.
  • 231 Add. 29565, ff. 88, 90, 545.
  • 232 HMC Hastings, ii. 244.
  • 233 Add. 75368, Weymouth to Halifax, 27 Apr. 1695.
  • 234 Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 218.
  • 235 Add. 17677 PP, f. 258.
  • 236 Add. 75368, Weymouth to Halifax, 2 Nov. 1695.
  • 237 HMC Portland, iii. 572.
  • 238 Verney ms mic. M636/45, J. to Sir R. Verney, 2 June 1692.
  • 239 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 116; Wood, Life and Times, iii. 424; Glos. Archives, Sharp pprs, box 78, 74, H. Finch to Sharp, 3 Nov. 1694; box 78, 45, Nottingham to same, 29 May 1695; UNL, PwA 1150.
  • 240 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 155.
  • 241 Add. 29565, f. 92.
  • 242 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 154-5; Add. 29578, f. 543; 17677 QQ, ff. 285-6.
  • 243 HMC Hastings, ii. 259; Burnet, iv. 306.
  • 244 Add. 29595, f. 96.
  • 245 Chatsworth muniments, 92.0, Weymouth to Halifax, 29 Feb. 1696.
  • 246 Add. 35107, f. 35; 61358, f. 12.
  • 247 Add. 29595, ff. 106, 108.
  • 248 HEHL, HM 30659 (65), newsletter, 14 Apr. 1696.
  • 249 Add. 19253, ff. 190-189.
  • 250 Add. 29595, f. 110.
  • 251 Lexinton Pprs. 198.
  • 252 Add. 29595, f. 110.
  • 253 Add. 29595, f. 122.
  • 254 HMC Lords, n.s. ii. 260, 375.
  • 255 Add. 47608, ff. 23-24.
  • 256 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, i. 89, 91; Shrewsbury Corresp. 437-8.
  • 257 Add. 17677 QQ, f. 632; RR, ff. 140-1.
  • 258 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, i. 134.
  • 259 Wilts. and Swindon RO, Arundell of Wardour mss 2667/25/7.
  • 260 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 446.
  • 261 Staffs. RO, D260/M/F/1/6, ff. 96-98.
  • 262 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, i. 163, 173, 178.
  • 263 HMC Kenyon, 415.
  • 264 Add. 75368, Nottingham to Halifax, 22, 29 Nov., 4, 13, 25 Dec. 1697.
  • 265 Bodl. Ballard 39, f. 136.
  • 266 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, ii.16.
  • 267 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 351-2; Thynne pprs. 44, ff. 57-58.
  • 268 Northants. RO, Ellesmere (Brackley) mss 635.
  • 269 Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/84.
  • 270 Add. 29595, f. 148.
  • 271 Add. 75368, Nottingham to Halifax, 28, 31 Mar., 21 May 1698.
  • 272 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, ii. 151; Add. 75368, Nottingham to Halifax, 15 Apr. 1698.
  • 273 Northants. RO, IC 1588; Add. 29595, f. 150; 75368, Nottingham to Halifax, 25 Apr. 1698.
  • 274 Add. 75368, Nottingham to Halifax, 1, 27 Aug., 19 Sept. 3, 12, 19, 28 Nov. 1698; 29595, f. 152.
  • 275 Add. 29595, f. 154.
  • 276 Add. 29595, ff. 158, 160.
  • 277 HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 283-4.
  • 278 Add. 75370, Lonsdale to Halifax, 1 Feb. 1698/9; HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 282-3.
  • 279 Add. 29595, f. 166.
  • 280 Add. 29587, f. 76.
  • 281 Add. 75368, Nottingham to Halifax, 4, 8 Mar. 1698/9.
  • 282 Add. 75368, Nottingham to Halifax, 13 June, 2, 6 Sept. 1699.
  • 283 HMC Dartmouth, i. 293.
  • 284 HMC Portland, iv. 57; Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 63.
  • 285 Bodl. Ballard, 10, f. 40.
  • 286 Verney ms mic. 636/51, C. Gardiner to Sir J. Verney, 10 Oct., 7 Nov. 1700.
  • 287 Bodl. Carte 228, ff. 343, 352-3; WCRO, CR 1368 Vol 1/31.
  • 288 Add. 17677 WW, f. 157.
  • 289 Verney ms mic. M636/51, C. Gardiner to E. Verney, 18 Mar. 1701.
  • 290 Add. 7076, f. 100; Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 284.
  • 291 HMC Lords, n.s. iv. 221-2.
  • 292 Add. 29595, f. 194.
  • 293 Add. 29587, f. 145.
  • 294 HMC Lords, n.s. iv. 300; Add. 30000E, f. 279.
  • 295 Northants. RO, Finch-Hatton mss 4053; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 161-2.
  • 296 Chatsworth, Finch-Halifax pprs. box 5, bdle 7, Nottingham to H. Finch, 17 June 1701; Add, 29595, f. 198.
  • 297 Finch-Halifax pprs. box 5, bdle 9, Nottingham to H. Finch, 21 July 1701.
  • 298 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950 bdle 22, Nottingham to Normanby (draft), 8, 29 Sept. 1701.
  • 299 Add. 29595, f. 204.
  • 300 HMC Cowper, ii. 441.
  • 301 Add. 70073-4, newsletter, 3 Jan. 1701[-2].
  • 302 Thynne pprs. 44, f. 151.
  • 303 A. Tindal Hart, Life of Sharp, 332.
  • 304 Thynne pprs. 44, f. 157.
  • 305 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 164.
  • 306 HMC 14th Rep. III, pp. 154-5; Add. 70073-4, newsletter, 26 Feb. 1701/2; NLS. Yester Papers. MS. 14414, ff. 142-3; P.W.J. Riley, Union, 25.
  • 307 Add. 29595, f. 270.
  • 308 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950 bdle 22, Normanby to Nottingham, 10 Mar. 1701[-2].
  • 309 Add. 29579, ff. 367, 372-3.
  • 310 Add. 70073-4, newsletter, 26 Feb. 1701/2; Cumbria RO (Carlisle), D/Lons/W/2/2/5.
  • 311 A. Tindal Hart, Life of Sharp, 333.
  • 312 Add. 70073-4, newsletter 21 Apr. 1702.
  • 313 Finch mss DG7, bdle 22, Sharp to Nottingham, 31 Mar. 1702.
  • 314 Add. 29588, f. 22.
  • 315 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 183.
  • 316 Add. 70020, ff. 184-5.
  • 317 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 183.
  • 318 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 75.
  • 319 Horwitz, Rev. Pols 167-78.
  • 320 Essays. in Modern Church Hist. 131.
  • 321 Bagot mss at Levens, Nottingham to Grahme, 13 Aug. 1702.
  • 322 Add. 61118, f. 140.
  • 323 HMC 7th Rep. 764; Add. 61118, f. 219.
  • 324 Add. 29588, f. 265; 61118, f. 140.
  • 325 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 185.
  • 326 Nicolson, London Diaries, 129, 136.
  • 327 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 186; Burnet, v. 49.
  • 328 Nicolson, London Diaries, 141.
  • 329 HMC Portland, iv. 55.
  • 330 Nicolson, London Diaries, 163.
  • 331 Nicolson, London Diaries, 178, 204.
  • 332 Nicolson, London Diaries, 194, 197-8, 201-2.
  • 333 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 190-1.
  • 334 HMC 10th Rep. IV, 337.
  • 335 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 199.
  • 336 Add. 29595, f. 245.
  • 337 Add. 29589, f. 265.
  • 338 HMC Portland, iv. 65.
  • 339 Add. 29589, f. 320.
  • 340 Letters of Q. Anne, ed. Curtis Brown, 129.
  • 341 Add. 70075, newsletter, 23 Dec. 1703; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 372.
  • 342 CJ xiv. 260.
  • 343 Add. 72487, f. 62.
  • 344 Beinecke Lib. OSB mss c205, no. 28, Nottingham to Southwell, 6 Jan. 1703/4.
  • 345 Beinecke Lib. OSB mss 41, box 1, Armstrong to Southwell, 29 Jan. 1703/4.
  • 346 SCLA, DR98/1649/10.
  • 347 Thynne pprs. 45, ff. 61-62.
  • 348 Add 29589, f. 386.
  • 349 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 275; Pols. in Age of Anne. 140.
  • 350 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 274-5, 280-1.
  • 351 Burnet, v. 141.
  • 352 Add. 70140, R. to E. Harley, 22 Apr. 1704; 61120, f. 86; HMC Buccleuch, ii. 779.
  • 353 Add. 75375, f. 48.
  • 354 Add. 70075, newsletter, 16 May 1704; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 200.
  • 355 Thynne pprs. 17, f. 296.
  • 356 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 391-2.
  • 357 Longleat, Portland misc. ff. 188-9.
  • 358 Nicolson, London Diaries, 234.
  • 359 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 406.
  • 360 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 276; Nicolson, London Diaries, 239.
  • 361 KSRL, Simpson-Methuen corresp. C163, Simpson to Methuen, 12 Dec. 1704.
  • 362 Baillie Corresp. 14.
  • 363 Boyer, Anne Hist. 165.
  • 364 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 278-9; Nicolson, London Diaries, 245.
  • 365 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 282.
  • 366 Nicolson, London Diaries, 249-50, 253.
  • 367 Add. 29589, f. 440.
  • 368 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 410-11.
  • 369 HMC 15th Rep. VII, pp. 189, 192; Wilts. and Swindon RO, Ailesbury mss 9/1/17.
  • 370 Evelyn Diary, v. 586.
  • 371 Nicolson, London Diaries, 276.
  • 372 Bodl. Rawl. Lett. 92, f. 300.
  • 373 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 203.
  • 374 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 453.
  • 375 Cowper, Diary, 1.
  • 376 Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 610; Nicolson, London Diaries, 302; Cowper, Diary, 13.
  • 377 Finch mss DG 7 box 4959 P.P. 123.
  • 378 HMC 12th Rep. VIII, 63.
  • 379 KSRL, Simpson-Methuen corresp. C163, Simpson to Methuen, 20 Nov. 1705; Burnet, v. 231.
  • 380 Pols in Age of Anne, 201n; Burnet, v. 233.
  • 381 Nicolson, London Diaries, 306.
  • 382 Leics. RO, DG 7 box 4959 P.P. 124; Cowper, Diary, 22; Nicolson, London Diaries, 314-15.
  • 383 Nicolson, London Diaries, 317, 369.
  • 384 Nicolson, London Diaries, 308-9, 311, 323; HJ, xix. 767.
  • 385 Nicolson, London Diaries, 324.
  • 386 Nicolson, London Diaries, 355, 360-1.
  • 387 HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 380-1.
  • 388 Nicolson, London Diaries, 382, 384.
  • 389 Staffs. RO, D1778/i/ii/74, Nottingham to Dartmouth, 6 July 1706; Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. 710.
  • 390 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 126; Nicolson, London Diaries, 408.
  • 391 Timberland, ii. 167; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 127; Nicolson, London Diaries, 409; LPL. Ms. 1770, f. 34r.; Beinecke Lib. OSB mss 163, box 1, Biscoe Maunsell newsletters, 18 Jan. 1706[-7].
  • 392 Cobbett, vi. 554.
  • 393 Nicolson, London Diaries, 36.
  • 394 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 134; Nicolson, London Diaries, 414; Leics. RO, DG 7 box 4959 P.P. 127.
  • 395 Addison Letters, 69.
  • 396 Nicolson, London Diaries, 394; HMC Mar and Kellie, 377.
  • 397 Timberland, ii. 169.
  • 398 Nicolson, London Diaries, 419.
  • 399 Timberland, ii. 173.
  • 400 Nicolson, London Diaries, 419-20.
  • 401 Baillie Corresp. 189-90.
  • 402 Timberland, ii. 176.
  • 403 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 174.
  • 404 HMC Dartmouth, i. 294.
  • 405 Add. 72490, ff. 77-78; HMC Downshire, i. 853.
  • 406 Dartmouth mss D(W)1778/I/ii/87.
  • 407 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 297, 300-1; Addison Letters, 84; HMC Egmont, ii. 220.
  • 408 Addison Letters, 85.
  • 409 HEHL, ST 57 (2), pp. 5-7.
  • 410 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 303.
  • 411 Nicolson, London Diaries, 448.
  • 412 HMC Dartmouth, i. 295.
  • 413 Northants. RO, IC 2945; HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 492.
  • 414 Clavering Corresp. (Surtees Soc. clxxviii), 5.
  • 415 Add. 28055, ff. 406-9.
  • 416 Baillie Corresp. 194.
  • 417 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 23, ff. 55, 61, 65, 67.
  • 418 Pols in Age of Anne, 292.
  • 419 NLS, Yester mss 7021, f. 138.
  • 420 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 23, ff. 77, 87-90.
  • 421 Add. 72488, ff. 42-43.
  • 422 Hanmer Corresp. 123.
  • 423 Finch-Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, n.d. [7 Mar. 1710].
  • 424 Holmes, Trial of Doctor Sacheverell, 211-14.
  • 425 Haddington mss. at Mellerstain (Mellerstain letters III 1708-10), Baillie to wife, 14 Mar. 1709[-10]; Lincs. Archives, 8ANC9/33.
  • 426 State Trial of Sacheverell ed. Cowan, 234.
  • 427 Add. 72494, ff. 159-60.
  • 428 State Trial of Sacheverell, 234.
  • 429 State Trial of Sacheverell, 70; Clavering Corresp. 71.
  • 430 State Trial of Sacheverell, 236-7.
  • 431 Finch-Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, 14 Mar. 1710.
  • 432 Holmes, Trial of Doctor Sacheverell, 214-15.
  • 433 C. Jones, ‘Debates in the House of Lords’, HJ, xix. 770.
  • 434 State Trial of Sacheverell, 238-43.
  • 435 HJ, xix. 771.
  • 436 Holmes, Trial of Doctor Sacheverell, 221.
  • 437 State Trial of Sacheverell, 243-51.
  • 438 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950 bdle 23, Nottingham to Ld. Finch, 24 Mar. 1710.
  • 439 Add. 72495, f. 1.
  • 440 Christ Church Oxf., Wake mss 17, f. 247.
  • 441 Thynne pprs, 46, f. 282.
  • 442 Christ Church Oxf., Wake mss 17, f. 247.
  • 443 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 492; Northants. RO, IC 2949.
  • 444 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950 bdle 23, Nottingham to Ld. Finch, 21 Oct. 1710.
  • 445 Verney ms mic. M636/54, Ld. Fermanagh to R. Verney, 18 Jan. 1710[-11].
  • 446 Finch-Halifax pprs. box 5 bdle 9, Nottingham to Guernsey, 17 June 1710.
  • 447 NLS. Yester Papers. MS. 7021, f. 244; Thynne pprs. 47, ff. 43-44.
  • 448 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950 bdle 23, duchess of Roxburghe to Nottingham, 31 Aug. 1710.
  • 449 Addison Letters, 236.
  • 450 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 279, 285.
  • 451 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 23, North and Grey to Nottingham, 9 Oct. 1710.
  • 452 HMC Bath, i. 199.
  • 453 Add. 61459, f. 178.
  • 454 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle. 23, Ward to Nottingham, 28 Oct., 2, 4 Nov. 1710.
  • 455 Timberland, ii. 302, 310, 315-16, 324.
  • 456 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 224; Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 90.
  • 457 Nicolson, London Diaries, 542.
  • 458 Leics. RO, Braye mss 2868.
  • 459 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 102, 106.
  • 460 Burnet, vi. 41-2; Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 105.
  • 461 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 106, 118; Finch mss P.P. 150, memo. n.d.; Horwitz, Rev. Pols. 226-7.
  • 462 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24, [Ward to Nottingham], 3 Apr. 1711.
  • 463 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 118; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 226-8.
  • 464 NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 5, f. 194.
  • 465 Add. 72500, f. 57; 61461, ff. 110-111.
  • 466 HMC Portland, iv. 684.
  • 467 Add. 61461, ff. 116-19.
  • 468 Lincs. AO, 2MM/B/13; Bolingbroke Corresp. i. 281.
  • 469 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24, f. 25.
  • 470 Swift Corresp. ed. Woolley, i. 473.
  • 471 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 145.
  • 472 Add. 17677 EEE, f. 377; Post Boy, 24-27 Nov. 1711.
  • 473 Haddington mss. at Mellerstain (Mellerstain letters IV), Baillie to Montrose, 29 Nov., 4 Dec. 1711.
  • 474 HMC Portland, v. 119.
  • 475 POAS, vii. 525-30.
  • 476 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 146; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 230-1.
  • 477 Add. 17677 EEE, f. 382; Swift, Jnl. to Stella, 430.
  • 478 HMC 7th Rep. 507.
  • 479 HMC Polwarth, i. 3; C. Jones, ‘The Debate in the House of Lords on “No Peace without Spain” ʼ, PH, xxviii. 197; Burnet, vi. 80-81; Add. 17677 EEE, ff. 388-9.
  • 480 Add. 72488, f. 73; C. Jones, ‘Party Rage and Faction’, BLJ, xix. 157.
  • 481 Add. 22908, ff. 87-88.
  • 482 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 149, 160-1.
  • 483 HMC Portland, vii. 80.
  • 484 HMC Portland, ix. 316.
  • 485 HMC Polwarth, i. 3.
  • 486 Haddington mss at Mellerstain (Mellerstain letters IV), [Baillie to Montrose], 13 Dec. 1711.
  • 487 Add. 72495, ff. 112-13.
  • 488 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 147, 152; Burnet, vi. 84-85; Finch-Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, 20 Dec. 1711.
  • 489 D. Szechi, Jacobitism and Tory Pol. 107.
  • 490 Finch-Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, 20, 26 Dec. 1711.
  • 491 Hamilton Diary, 34.
  • 492 Finch-Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, 26 Dec. 1711.
  • 493 Christ Church, Oxford, Wake mss 17, f. 303.
  • 494 Berks. RO, D/EN/F/23, Aldworth to Northumberland, 18 Dec. 1711.
  • 495 Wentworth Pprs. 225; HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 169, 368-9.
  • 496 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 161n.
  • 497 M. Quinlan, ‘Swift and the Prosecuted Nottingham Speech’, Harvard Lib. Bull. xi. 296-9; Pprs. of the Bib. Soc. of Am. 69, pp. 237-41.
  • 498 Wentworth Pprs. 231; HMC Polwarth, i. 5; Burnet, vi. 91-92.
  • 499 KSRL, Moore mss. Ms. 143 Ck, [Charles Vere to Arthur Moore], n.d. [c. 28 Dec. 1711].
  • 500 Wentworth Pprs. 239.
  • 501 Bodl. Ballard 20, f. 74.
  • 502 Wentworth Pprs. 251, 257.
  • 503 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii, 143.
  • 504 Finch Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, n.d. [late Jan. 1712].
  • 505 Swift, Jnl. to Stella, 474.
  • 506 Finch Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, 15, 20 Feb. 1711/12.
  • 507 Szechi, Jacobitism and Tory Pol. 111.
  • 508 Haddington mss. at Mellerstain (Mellerstain letters V), [Baillie to wife], 26 Feb. 1711/12; Add. 22908, f. 89.
  • 509 Finch Hatton mss 281, Nottingham to wife, 4 Mar. 1711/12.
  • 510 NAS, Hume of Marchmont mss GD 158/1143/48, Marchmont to Roxburghe, 29 Feb. 1712; Mar and Kellie mss GD 124/15/1047/7, Mar to Ld. Grange, 10 Apr. 1712.
  • 511 Staffs RO, D(W)1778/V/151, Oxford to Dartmouth, ‘Friday night’ [?29 Feb. 1712].
  • 512 Add. 22908, f. 92.
  • 513 HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 246-7.
  • 514 Wodrow Pprs. letters Quarto 6, f. 183; Haddington mss. at Mellerstain (Mellerstain letters V), [Baillie to Roxburghe], 22 May 1712; BLJ, xix. 162.
  • 515 Add. 61461, ff. 149-50.
  • 516 Bolingbroke Corresp. ii. 350.
  • 517 Add. 72495, ff. 149-50.
  • 518 Boyer, Anne Hist. 570.
  • 519 BLJ, xix. 163; PH, xxvi. 180.
  • 520 Finch Hatton mss 281, [Nottingham to wife], 29 May 1712.
  • 521 Add. 72500, f. 97.
  • 522 BLJ, xix. 163-4; Christ Church, Oxford, Wake mss 17, f. 329; Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 210.
  • 523 BLJ, xix. 164; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 237.
  • 524 Finch mss. DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24, Godolphin to Nottingham, 26 June, 25 July 1712.
  • 525 Add. 70251, T. Peale to Oxford, 16 Aug. 1712.
  • 526 Finch mss. DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24, Nottingham to Sunderland, 20 Sept. 1712.
  • 527 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950 bdle 24, Sunderland to Nottingham, 12 Nov. 1712.
  • 528 Wentworth Pprs. 312.
  • 529 Add. 70282, Benson to Oxford, Sunday morning.
  • 530 BLJ, xix. 165-6; Swift, Jnl. to Stella ed. Williams, 657; Wentworth Pprs. 328.
  • 531 Add. 70316, H. Speke to Oxford, 15 Apr. 1713; PH, xxviii. 262.
  • 532 HMC Lords, n.s. x. 70-71.
  • 533 Add. 72496, ff. 66-69.
  • 534 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 155-6.
  • 535 Timberland, ii. 397; Haddington mss at Mellerstain (Mellerstain misc. pprs. ser. 1, box 4, item 384), memo about the Union; Bodl. Carte 211, f. 128.
  • 536 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 255-7.
  • 537 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 159, 160.
  • 538 Add. 31144, f. 381.
  • 539 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 270.
  • 540 Timberland, ii. 401.
  • 541 Finch-Halifax pprs. box 5 bdle 9, Nottingham to Guernsey, 25 July 1713.
  • 542 Add. 70251, T. Peale to Oxford, 27 Jan. 1712/13.
  • 543 Verney ms mic. 636/55, W. Viccars to Ld. Fermanagh, 17 Feb. 1712/13, Lady Fermanagh to same, 11 May 1713.
  • 544 Finch-Halifax pprs. box 5 bdle 9, Nottingham to Guernsey, 26 Aug. 1713.
  • 545 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24, Sunderland to Nottingham, 14 Sept. 1713, [Nottingham to Sunderland, n.d. draft].
  • 546 Macpherson, Orig. Pprs. ii. 572.
  • 547 HMC Lords, n.s. x. 232-3.
  • 548 Boyer, Anne Hist., 577-8.
  • 549 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 241-2; Macpherson, Orig. Pprs. ii. 586-9.
  • 550 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 358.
  • 551 Wentworth Pprs. 363; Lockhart Letters, 93.
  • 552 Macpherson, Orig. Pprs. ii. 592.
  • 553 Holmes, ‘Great Ministry’, 375.
  • 554 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24,.
  • 555 Finch mss DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24, Finch to Schütz, 29 May 1714, Nottingham to Schütz, 28 May [1714 draft].
  • 556 BLJ, xix. 173.
  • 557 Surr. Hist. Cent., Somers mss 371/14/O/2/60; Finch mss DG 7 box 4959 P.P. 145.
  • 558 Wentworth Pprs. 385-6; Boyer, Anne Hist. 705.
  • 559 Nicolson, London Diaries, 66.
  • 560 Haddington Mss. at Mellerstain (Mellerstain letters VI), Baillie to wife, 26 June 1714.
  • 561 Wentworth Pprs. 394, 403-4.
  • 562 Pols. in Age of Anne 39; Finch mss DG 7 box 4959 P.P. 141.
  • 563 Add. 70070, newsletter 3 July 1714.
  • 564 Wentworth Pprs. 401.
  • 565 BLJ, xix. 174.
  • 566 Post Boy, 1-3 July 1714.
  • 567 Christ Church, Oxford, Wake mss 5, f. 72.
  • 568 Finch mss, DG 7 box 4950, bdle 24, Sunderland to Nottingham, Friday night 8 a clock, [30 July 1714].
  • 569 London Gazette, 31 July-3 Aug. 1714.
  • 570 Swift Corresp. ii. 73.
  • 571 HMC Portland, v. 493; Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 247.
  • 572 Add. 17677 HHH, ff. 398-9; 72502, f. 10.
  • 573 Flying Post, 21-23 Sept. 1714.
  • 574 Bodl. Ballard 31, f. 129.
  • 575 Post Boy, 28-30 Dec. 1714.
  • 576 Add. 72502, f. 14.
  • 577 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 245-50.
  • 578 Horwitz, Rev. Pols, 3; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 61.
  • 579 Dalrymple, Mems. iii(ii), app. 95; The Tatler, ed. Bond, i. 172.
  • 580 Essays in Modern Church Hist. 105, 109-10.
  • 581 Burnet, iii. 278, iv. 27.
  • 582 HMC Portland, iv. 684.
  • 583 Ailesbury Mems. 247, 347.
  • 584 Stud. in Soc. Hist. 153.
  • 585 London Top. Rec. xxix. 56; E. Hatton, A New View of London, ii. 628; Stud. in Soc. Hist. 172-3.
  • 586 Stud. in Soc. Hist. 160, 165-6.