GREY, Thomas (c. 1653-1720)

GREY, Thomas (c. 1653–1720)

styled 1657-73 Ld. Grey of Groby; suc. grandfa. 21 Aug. 1673 (a minor) as 2nd earl of STAMFORD

First sat 13 Apr. 1675; last sat 18 Apr. 1719

b. 1653/4, o.s. of Thomas Grey, styled Ld. Grey of Groby (1622-57) and Dorothy (1626-aft. 1660), da. of Edward Bourchier, 4th earl of Bath. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 1 July 1667, aged 13, MA 1668. m. (1) c.1672-3 (with £10,000) Elizabeth (d. 7 Sept. 1687), da. of Sir Daniel Harvey, of Combe Nevill, Surr. 2s. d.v.p. 1da.1 d.v.p.; (2) 10 Mar. 1691,2 Mary (d. 9 Nov. 1722), da. of Joseph Maynard, of Gunnersbury, Mdx. 2s. d.v.p.3 d. 31 Jan. 1720; will 10 Sept. 1719, pr. 11 Feb. 1720 and 16 Jan. 1731.4

Custos rot. Leics. 1689-1702, Devon 1696-1711; ld. lt. Devon 1696-1702; high steward, honour of Leicester 1689–97; chan. duchy of Lancaster 1697-1702.5

PC 10 May 1694-1714; commr. appeals in prizes 1694, 1695, 1697;6 first commr. trade and plantations June 1699-June 1702, Apr. 1707-June 1711.

Commr. Greenwich Hospital 1695;7 relief of Vaudois and French refugees in Germany 1699-1701;8 Savoy Hospital by 1702;9 trustee poor Palatines 1709.10

Freeman, Leicester 1681;11 mbr., New England Company 1697-d.12

FRS 1708.

Associated with: Bradgate Park, Leics.; King Square, Soho, Westminster, 1683-4.13

Likenesses: oil on canvas by J. Richardson (the Elder), c.1700/1705, National Trust, Dunham Massey.

Early Life under Charles II

Stamford came from a distinctly puritan and radical background. He was directly descended from an uncle of Lady Jane Grey, one of the few survivors from the culling of the Grey family which followed their attempt to put the young Protestant pretender on the throne. His grandfather, Henry Grey, earl of Stamford, had distinguished himself by his opposition to Laudian innovations in the Church and was an unsuccessful military commander for Parliament in The Civil War, while his own father, Lord Grey of Groby, was a more vigorous and radical soldier and administrator for the Independents and the New Model Army. Grey of Groby played a prominent part in Pride’s Purge and was one of the judges in Charles I’s trial, his signature appearing second on the king’s death warrant. He went on to serve as a councillor of state and military officer in the Commonwealth, but in the spring of 1657 died of gout, leaving behind him an only son and namesake. On his grandfather’s death on 21 Aug. 1673, Grey of Groby (as he was styled in the interim) succeeded to the earldom and estate. By this date Stamford may already have been married, for on 29 Oct. 1672 Lady Mary Hastings reported that Lord Grey was to marry Elizabeth Harvey, daughter of the recently deceased Sir Daniel Harvey.14

Stamford took his seat in the Lords at the first opportunity after reaching his majority. He had been under age at the call of the House on 12 Jan. 1674, so he first sat on 13 Apr. 1675, the opening day of the session of April-June 1675. He attended on 39 days, all bar two of the session, 95 per cent of the total. On his first day he revealed that he was committed to the cause of the burgeoning ‘Country’ opposition by subscribing to the protest against the resolution thanking the king for his speech, which had referred to ‘the pernicious designs of ill men’ who advocated a dissolution of Parliament. In the weeks following he was nominated to 11 select committees and signed three of the four protests (on 21, 26 Apr. and 4 May) against the ‘non-resisting’ test bill introduced by Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby (later duke of Leeds). He was later named by the author of A Letter of a Person of Quality as one of the leading movers in the House against this bill, and as ‘a young nobleman of great hope’.15 He also joined in a small protest on 27 May against rejecting a forthright answer to the Commons’ request for a conference in the case of Stoughton v. Onslow, ‘which would have been the surest way to have justified and preserved the right of the Lords’ in judicial appeals. 

Stamford missed the opening day of the session of October-November 1675 (13 Oct.), but he was present on the other 20 days, 95 per cent of the total, and was named to five committees. He voted for the motion of 20 Nov. to address the king for the dissolution of Parliament and entered his protest when it was rejected. By December 1675 domestic strife had intruded into his life. As it was recounted by his mother-in-law, Lady Harvey, in a letter referring to Stamford’s ‘follies and impertinences’, after his uncle, presumably Anchitell Grey, had made him so ‘impudent’ as to fall out with her, he then made him leave his wife too without saying why, or where he went. The death of his own mother the following year created further difficulties, as Lady Chaworth wrote in October 1676: ‘here is a mighty discourse of the great suits now will be between Mr Grey and Lady Harvey about the estate of Lady Stamford [which] now on her death falls to my Lord’.16 Tradition has it that the countess set fire to Bradgate while her husband was asleep inside the house.17 Matters seem to have been patched up for Stamford and his wife went on to have several children, before their marriage broke down irretrievably in 1685-6. 

When Parliament met again on 15 Feb. 1677 Stamford only attended the first nine days of the session during which he was nominated to 14 committees, and examined the journals twice (the first of many occasions during his career). At the beginning of the session he and his uncle through marriage, George Booth, Baron Delamer, were almost alone in the House in their support for the claims of Anthony Ashley Cooper, earl of Shaftesbury, and three other peers that the prorogation of 13 months had automatically dissolved Parliament, although unlike the others they avoided being sent to the Tower.18 On 28 Feb. Stamford registered his proxy with Delamer, a fact duly recorded when he was noted as absent at a call of the House on 9 March. Shaftesbury during his incarceration in the Tower during 1677-8 classed Stamford as ‘worthy’.

Stamford attended all five days of the short sitting of the House in May 1677, thereby vacating his proxy. He was absent when the session resumed on 15 Jan. 1678, first sitting on 28 January. He attended on only 13 days of the session, last being present on 15 Feb. and he was absent from the call of the House made on the following day. He had been appointed to five committees. Stamford was also absent from the session of May-July 1678, registering his proxy two days after its beginning (on 25 May) with the lord chancellor Heneage Finch, Baron Finch, later earl of Nottingham, a staunch supporter of the royal prerogative. This somewhat strange choice may perhaps be explained by a family connection: Finch, through his marriage to Elizabeth Harvey, was Stamford’s wife’s uncle. Stamford was again absent when the House reassembled on 21 Oct. for the final session of the Cavalier Parliament. He renewed his proxy with Finch on 2 Nov., which was duly vacated when he attended the House for the first time on 27 December. He attended the last four days of the session, 7 per cent of the total. On his first day in the House he voted to commit Danby during his impeachment and entered his dissent when this motion was rejected.

Not surprisingly Danby considered Stamford an opponent in the period March-April 1679, recording him as such on three separate lists, although on one of them he was deemed unreliable (perhaps meaning uncertain to vote). Stamford attended on all six days of the first, short session of the 1679 Parliament, of 6-13 Mar. 1679, and was again present when the second session began on 15 March. He attended on 45 days of the session, 75 per cent of the total, but he was absent from the House from 29 Mar. to 21 Apr. 1679 and so was not present to vote on the bill to attaint the lord treasurer. Upon his return to the House, he aligned himself with the opponents of the court: he protested against the motion not to amend the bill to remove papists from Westminster in favour of Protestant dissenters (2 May); he voted for a joint committee to discuss the trials of the impeached peers and protesting against its rejection (10 May); he protested against allowing the bishops’ right to stay in court in capital cases until judgment of death was pronounced (13 May); and he protested against adhering to that position (23 and 27 May), and then against the attempt to try the five Catholic lords before Danby (23 May).

Stamford maintained his commitment to the court’s opponents during the long prorogation: he signed the petition of 16 peers on 6 Dec. 1679 asking that Parliament be allowed to meet and was one of those who presented it to the king on the following day. This action led to his removal from the Leicestershire commission of the peace in early 1680.19 It also led to an increased standing in the eyes of the prime mover within the opposition, Shaftesbury: in July 1685, when Stamford was in disgrace, it was recorded that at around this time Shaftesbury had promised the young man to ‘set him up for a speaker in the House of Lords, and a patriot for the reforming nation’.20 When Parliament finally did convene in October 1680, Stamford missed the opening three days, first attending on 25 October. He was present on 53 days of the session, 91 per cent of the total, and was named to four committees. He supported the exclusion bill, arguing in the debate on 15 Nov. 1680 that ‘submission to higher powers doth not restrain limiting the succession by the word of God’, duly voting against its rejection at first reading and protesting against that decision.21 He continued to vote against the court, supporting the proposal to appoint a joint committee of both Houses to consider the state of the nation, and protesting at the failure to do so (23 Nov.); voting William Howard, Viscount Stafford, guilty of treason (7 Dec.); and protesting against two resolutions exempting Lord Chief Justice Scroggs from either commitment or suspension from his duties while his impeachment proceedings were pending (7 Jan. 1681).

Stamford’s main estate lay at Bradgate in Leicestershire and it was from here that he exercised some electoral influence on the county. He played a major role in early 1681 in orchestrating the re-election of Sir John Hartopp as knight of the shire, accompanying him to the castle for the poll. Following the presentation of an address to the two Members, Stamford departed to Bradgate taking Hartopp with him.22 On his pre-sessional forecast of 17 Mar. 1681, Danby thought that Stamford would oppose any application that might be made to release him from the Tower on bail. Danby was probably correct in his assessment. Stamford accompanied Shaftesbury to Oxford in March, duly attending all seven days of that short-lived Parliament and being named to three committees.23 He joined in the protest of 26 Mar. against the resolution to proceed against Edward Fitzharris by common law instead of by impeachment. In July Stamford appears to have been in dispute with Thomas Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, who at his visitation to Leicester, refused to recognize Stamford’s jurisdiction within his peculiar.24

After the dissolution of March 1681, Stamford continued his opposition outside Parliament. In 1682-3 he was involved with Ford Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Warke, later earl of Tankerville, and Sir Thomas Armstrong in the tumultuous London shrieval elections and in the triumphant progress through Chichester of James Scott, duke of Monmouth.25 Colonel John Rumsey and Richard Goodenough both later confessed in 1685 that in 1682-3 they had involved Stamford in their plotting against the king and James, duke of York.26 Sufficient suspicion surrounded Stamford at the time of the Rye House Plot for the council to order on 10 July 1683 a search of Bradgate for arms, but he was not ordered to be sent for into custody and the search proved disappointing.27 In October 1683 he ‘had a great meeting’ at Leicester designed to promote the interest of a parliamentary candidate for the borough.28

The Reign of James II and the Revolution

Stamford attended on the opening day of James II’s Parliament, 19 May 1685. He was one of the few peers to subscribe to the protests against the resolutions of 22 May to reverse the order that allowed the continuation of Danby’s impeachment from Parliament to Parliament, and of 4 June against the bill to reverse Stafford’s attainder. He attended regularly until 19 June, after which, and rather suspiciously, he was absent. In all, he was present on 20 days of this part of the session, 65 per cent of the total, and was named to 11 committees. After the suppression of Monmouth’s Rebellion, warrants were issued for the arrest of both Stamford and his cousin, Henry Booth 2nd Baron Delamer, later earl of Warrington. Stamford was detained in Leicestershire and committed to the Tower on 24 July.29 On 16 Oct. the grand jury at the Old Bailey found a bill of high treason against him, but as Robert Harley, the future earl of Oxford, noted, he could not ‘be tried the Parliament sitting, but by the House of Lords’.30 On 29 Oct. Stamford’s counsel moved that he either be tried or bailed, but the court found that a bill having been found against him for high treason, he could have no benefit of the Habeas Corpus Act.31

Stamford was thus incarcerated when the session resumed on 9 Nov. and was absent from the call of the House on 16 November. On 11 Nov. he submitted a petition to the House complaining that he had been imprisoned without being informed of the specific charges against him and had no means to work on his defence. The peers responded by issuing a writ of certiorari so that the indictment found against him by the grand jury could be examined by the House itself. The indictment was delivered to the Lords by the clerk of the peace for London on the 14th and Stamford was heard in the House on the 17th when the date for his trial before his peers was set for 1 December. Parliament was prorogued on 20 Nov., while still in possession of the writ; the scheduled trial could not, therefore, take place and the scaffolding erected in Westminster Hall was dismantled.32 Following the acquittal of his co-defendant Delamer before the lord high steward’s court on 14 Jan. 1686, Stamford was bailed by king’s bench on a writ of habeas corpus in February to appear in the Lords at their next sitting. Delamer and Paulet St John, future 3rd earl of Bolingbroke, posted the £40,000 bail. Stamford was soon out and about, Roger Whitley recording on 14 Feb. that he was a visitor at Delamer’s house (although Delamer himself was not there), being one of ‘much company’ with Delamer’s mother (Stamford’s aunt, a daughter of the first earl). The king then issued a pardon to him, which passed the great seal on 3 April.33

At some point in 1685 Stamford had sued for a divorce.34 The case was ordered to be heard in doctors’ commons on 9 Nov. 1686. According to William Denton, the countess’s ‘pecadillos were only cuckholding [sic], burning his house, stealing his jewels etc.’35 In December the court was ‘about ordering alimony pro expensis litis’ (for the expenses of the lawsuit), to enable Stamford’s wife to continue the suit ‘where both parties are equally offenders’. The case also spilled over into other disputes. In February 1687 Stamford attempted to prosecute one of his own servants who had been his own witness against the countess, for scandalum magnatum (the servant had called him a cuckold), but the servant sought to bring the issue to court and the matter was dropped.36 A newsletter of February 1687 recorded ‘a duel was lately fought between Mr Allen and another gentleman in Covent Garden the quarrel about the earl and countess of Stamford and the last gent. taking the part of the countess was disarmed’.37 By the time of the countess’s death on 6 Sept. 1687, the couple had separated, it being noted that she had ‘given up the ghost (and by the way wanted bread).’ Stamford was now a widower with no surviving children. Other litigation in which Stamford was involved around this time included a protracted dispute with John Cecil, 5th earl of Exeter, over the manor of Stamford in Lincolnshire.38

Unsurprisingly, five contemporary analyses between 1687 and the beginning of 1688 listed Stamford as an opponent of the repeal of the Test or opposed to James II’s religious policies in general. In public, too, he remained a highly visible opponent, who turned out in support of the Seven Bishops in court on 15 June. In September 1688, Henry Compton, bishop of London, consulted him about William of Orange’s planned invasion, and Stamford gave assurances that he would ‘do as the Lord Delamer did’. He took up arms for the prince and was already in Nottingham when William Cavendish, 4th earl of Devonshire, arrived on 20 November. Delamer arrived the following day, and Stamford and Delamer both left on 24 Nov., joining William’s forces at Hungerford on 7 December.39 At Hungerford Stamford argued for the removal of James II and at the meeting held at Windsor on 17 Dec. to determine action to take after James’s return from Faversham, George Savile, marquess of Halifax, noted that Stamford seconded and supported Delamer’s motion that the king be incarcerated in the Tower, on the basis that his abortive attempt at flight amounted to a dissolution of his government. Stamford attended the meetings of peers at St James’s on 21-22 and 24-25 Dec. 1688, arguing in the debate on the 24th that mention of the king ‘withdrawing himself’ should be left out of their letter inviting the prince to assume the administration of affairs.40

The Convention

Stamford was present when the Convention opened on 22 Jan. 1689. He voted in a division in committee of the whole House on 31 Jan. in favour of declaring William and Mary king and queen, and entered his dissent at the decision not to agree with the Commons that the throne was vacant. On 4 Feb. he voted in favour of agreeing with the Commons in using the word ‘abdicated’ rather than ‘deserted’ to described James’s departure, and protested against the failure of the House to agree. On the 6th, he again supported the motion that James II had abdicated and that the throne was thereby vacant. On 12 Feb. he was named to manage a conference on the proclamation of the new monarchs. Also on 12 Feb. he reported from the committee for privileges to recommend a search for precedents of proceedings against peers in criminal matters, connected to the bill regulating treason trials for peers. On 4 Mar. in a division in committee of the whole House he acted as a teller in opposition to Charles Gerard, earl of Macclesfield, on a clause in the bill; he protested on 6 Mar. against the bill’s passage. On 5 Mar. he was named to manage a conference about assisting the king in reducing Ireland and defending the religion and laws of England. On 21 Mar. he protested against the decision to retain the sacramental test in the oaths to the new monarchs. He protested on 5 Apr. against the rejection of an amendment to the comprehension bill which would have included lay members in the proposed commission to inspect the liturgy, even adding an extra reason to the eight points endorsed by the other dissentients. On the 8th he protested against the addition of a proviso to the same bill. 

In April 1689 Halifax recorded on several occasions comments about the king ‘doing something’ for Stamford who ‘talked with discontent’.41 Stamford was already beginning to show the propensity for the management of business which was to become such a pronounced feature of his parliamentary career. On 20 Apr. he chaired the committee on the hearth tax bill.42 On 8 May he was appointed a reporter of a conference on the bill for the more effectual disarming and conviction of papists. On 22 May he was named to manage a conference on the Commons’ amendments to the toleration bill. On 27 May he acted as a teller in opposition to Thomas Bruce, 2nd earl of Ailesbury, on the amendments to the habeas corpus suspension bill, and was named to manage a conference on the poll bill, as he was again on the 31st (twice). On 15 May Stamford chaired the committee which drew up reasons to be entered in the Journal for reversing the decree in Barnardiston v the Crown (which do not appear to have been entered). On 22, 24 and 27 May he chaired the committee on Bathurst’s estate bill, which he reported on 28 May, and the adjournment of Penwarne’s bill on the 24th. On 10 June he chaired a committee on the dispute between the curriers and leather-sellers.43 On 20 June he chaired the committee of the whole on the land tax bill.

Stamford championed the cause of Titus Oates, voting on 31 May in favour of reversing the two judgments of perjury against him and protesting against the loss of that resolution. On 10 July he acted as a teller in opposition to Theophilus Hastings, 7th earl of Huntingdon, at the report stage of this bill against a motion that part of the preamble be postponed and then entered his dissent when he lost the vote. On the 12th he protested against the resolution to agree with the committee’s amendments; on 22 and 26 July he was named to conferences on the bill; on 27 July he dissented to a resolution not to hold a conference at that time and on 30 July he opposed the Lords’ adhering to their amendments to this bill.

On 25 June he entered his protest against the resolution not to reverse the judgment in Barnardiston v Soame. On 2 July he acted as a teller in opposition to Robert Leke, 3rd earl of Scarsdale, in favour of the motion that the House proceed on the impeachment of Adam Blair and others. He was named a manager of the conferences on the succession bill (12, 16, 20, 31 July) and on the tea and coffee duty bill (25, 27 July). On 27 July he was named to draw up an address to the king requesting a proclamation summoning James II’s last peerage creation, Edward Griffin, Baron Griffin, which he reported on the 3rd and was given the task of presenting to the king.

Meanwhile, on 9 May 1689 Stamford was named to a committee to make the amendments made by the Commons to the bill concerning the commissioners of the great seal into a coherent whole. He duly reported the committee’s efforts to the House and was named to draw up reasons for a conference on the matter (subsequently managing conferences on the bill on 20 and 21 June). This particular act had ramifications for Stamford in that it confirmed his appointment by the commissioners (made before 1 May and including Maynard and Sir William Rawlinson) as custos rotulorum of Leicestershire, and thereby thwarted the pretensions of John Manners, 9th earl (later duke) of Rutland.44 Following the adjournment of the Convention on 20 Aug. Stamford travelled into Leicestershire. On 11 Sept. the corporation of Leicester ordered that Stamford ‘be entertained at a feast’ at a local tavern. The corporation used Stamford to lobby both the administration and Parliament on such matters as the grant of a fair to neighbouring Harborough, the Derwent navigation bill, and the billeting of troops. Stamford was not present for the adjournment on 20 Sept. but he was in his place when the session resumed for two days before the prorogation of 21 October. He had been present on 155 days of the first session, 95 per cent of the total, and had been named to 53 committees. His regular attendance may well have been aided by his lodging locally in Bow Street, Covent Garden.45 This seemed to set the pattern for his residence in London, where he rented a number of different properties in the capital, including 10-11 Leicester Street, Westminster between 1691-3, Bristol House, Great Queen Street, Westminster at some point between 1689 and 1703, and Norfolk Street, 1705-6.46

Stamford was present when the second session of the Convention convened on 23 Oct. 1689. He attended on 71 days of the session, missing only 5 Nov. and 13 December. He was named to 27 committees during the session, the most important of which was established on 2 Nov. to investigate the judicial murders of Armstrong, William Russell, Lord Russell, Algernon Sydney, Stephen Cornish and others, as well as the advisors of the writs of quo warranto against corporations, their regulators and the public asserters of the dispensing power. He chaired the ‘committee for inspections’ (known informally as the ‘murder committee’) on 11 occasions. On 6 Nov. he reported from the committee to ask for an address to the king to be allowed to inspect the council books for the previous two reigns. On 12, 16 and 21 Nov. he reported a request for the attendance of some Members of the Commons, such as John Hampden and John Wildman. On 7 Dec. he reported the committee’s desire for clarification on how Stephen College’s death was to be treated, whereupon the House limited their investigations to the four murders. The House then appointed a separate committee (of which Stamford was not a member) to examine into those who had endeavoured to suborn witnesses against Stamford, Macclesfield, Delamer and Devonshire. On 20 Dec. Stamford reported to the House the fruits of the committee’s labours—57 depositions all of which were entered in extenso in the Journal.47

Stamford was engaged in a range of other activity in the House. On 25 Oct. 1689 he acted as a teller in opposition to Sidney Godolphin, Baron (later earl of) Godolphin, on whether to go into committee of the whole on the clandestine marriages’ bill. On 23 Nov. he entered his protest against the rejection of a proviso to the bill of rights which would have made royal pardons in impeachments contingent upon the approval of both Houses. On 14 Jan. 1690 he acted as a teller in opposition to Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham, on whether to adjourn the debate on the treason trials bill. On 23 Jan. he acted as a teller in opposition to Nottingham in committee of the whole on the corporation bill in favour of retaining the phrase that the surrenders of the borough charters ‘were and are illegal’. At the report stage he again acted as a teller, again in opposition to Nottingham, against leaving these words out. He then joined in the protest against the rejection of this wording because, as he and his eight fellow protesters argued, ‘the putting out those words seems to be the justifying of the most horrid action that King James was guilty of during his reign’. On 25 Jan. he acted as a teller in opposition to John Churchill, earl (later duke) of Marlborough, on the previous question concerning an address to the king over his proposed journey to Ireland. In the last weeks of the session, Stamford chaired five meetings of the committee considering a triennial bill, a measure with which he would continue to be associated when it reappeared in William III’s later Parliaments.48 In a list compiled between October 1689 and February 1690 Carmarthen (as Danby had become) estimated Stamford to be an opponent of the court.

The 1690 Parliament

Stamford was present when the 1690 Parliament met on 20 Mar., and attended on every day of the session, bar the prorogation of 7 July. He was appointed to 28 committees during the session. He chaired the committee on the bill to make Worthenbury, Flintshire, a separate parish from Bangor, reporting it to the House on 5 April. On 3 Apr. he chaired the committees on the appeals of Gore and Vincent and the adjournment of the bill for the sale of Halyford House. He was involved in the deliberations over the bill to recognize the Convention formally as a Parliament and William and Mary as monarchs de jure. On 4-5 Apr. he was a teller in six divisions in opposition to Nottingham, Louis de Duras, 2nd earl of Feversham, and Evelyn Pierrepont, 5th earl Kingston, over the wording in the bill ‘confirming’ or ‘declaring’ the Convention valid. When all options discussed were eventually rejected, Stamford and nine other peers protested because ‘to leave a doubt touching the validity of the last Parliament is to shake all the judgments and decrees given in the house of Peers during this reign’. On 5 Apr. Stamford (together with John Egerton, 3rd earl of Bridgwater) introduced into the House two recently promoted Whig followers of William and Mary, Richard Lumley, Viscount Lumley [I], as earl of Scarbrough, and Delamer, recently made earl of Warrington. For a week in April he chaired seven meetings of the committee on the bill for the benefit of the subject, in relation to the practice and execution of the law, which he presumably reported on 21 Apr. although it was then recommitted to a committee of the whole and eventually lapsed. On 2 May he chaired and reported Wynne’s estate bill, and the adjournment of Sir John Hoby’s bill.49 On 3 May he was a teller on three occasions in the committee of the whole (again in opposition to Kingston and Feversham) in procedural divisions on the abjuration bill, and once more on 8 May in opposition to Kingston. On 3 May he also received Bolingbroke’s proxy. On 12 May he was named a manager for a conference on the bill to make the queen a regent during William’s expedition to Ireland. On 13 May he protested against the refusal of the House to give more time to the corporation of London to put their case for the reversal of the charter imposed on it by James II.

Stamford used his local office to bolster the Revolution Settlement, stressing in his charge to the Leicestershire grand jury at the quarter sessions at Michaelmas 1690 that William and Mary were ‘the lawful and rightful king and queen of these realms’, and refuting the notion that ‘the very species of government is of divine right’. To Stamford this last seemed to be ‘contradictory to the nature as well as destructive to the very end and being of government’. The charge was subsequently printed, with copious scholarly notes, in order to protect his reputation from being slandered as a republican. A second charge, at Michaelmas 1691, also found its way into print.50

Stamford was missing when the House convened for the next session on 2 Oct. 1690, but attended on the next sitting, 6 Oct. and was added to all standing committees on the 9th. On 6 Oct. he acted as a teller in opposition to Francis Newport, Viscount Newport (later earl of Bradford), on whether to discharge from imprisonment Henry Mordaunt, 2nd earl of Peterborough, and James Cecil, 4th earl of Salisbury, and on 30 Oct. he protested against their discharge from bail. On 21 Oct. he was teller again in a procedural division in opposition to Charles North, 5th Baron North, on the petition of the disgraced admiral, Arthur Herbert, earl of Torrington. He protested on 30 Oct. against the bill brought in by the marquess of Carmarthen to ‘clarify’ the powers of the admiralty commissioners who were to try Torrington. On 9 Dec. he told in opposition to Thomas Tufton, 6th earl of Thanet, in favour of proceeding with a bill for the reversal of a judgment of scandalum magnatum passed against John Arnold, a bill that was ultimately rejected by the House. On 30 Dec. he was chosen (with 26 votes) as the third of four peers to be added as representatives of the Lords considering the establishment of the commission of accounts, but in the face of resistance to this interference from the Commons, the Lords backed down.51 Stamford had been present on 68 days of the session, 94 per cent of the total, and been named to 36 committees. He had chaired committees on bills for the encouragement of pin-making, regulating the price of coal and Hildeyard’s estate, reporting the latter to the House on 15 November.52

Around this time it was thought likely that Stamford would remarry, though one letter to the countess of Rutland suggested that he would not agree to do so for less than £20,000.53 It was reported on 17 Feb. 1691 that ‘Stamford’s match’ had been ‘broke off’, but on 10 Mar. he married ‘the daughter of the late Serjeant Maynard’s son’, at the house of Sir Henry Hobart, 4th bt. in Norfolk, Hobart who was married to the other daughter and co-heir.54 The match certainly had prospects for financial gain, although for the moment it embroiled him in disputes over the Maynard inheritance. Stamford remained active in political business, arranging in April to dine with Robert Harley, now a commissioner of public accounts, and on 31 May attending the consecration of John Tillotson, as archbishop of Canterbury.55

Stamford was present when the 1691-2 session began on 22 Oct. 1691. He attended on 87 days of the session, 90 per cent of the total, and was named to 54 committees. On 19 Nov. he served as a teller in opposition to Charles Mordaunt, earl of Monmouth, on whether to go into committee of the whole House on the bill to establish procedures for bills of review in chancery. He chaired select committees on the aulnage, and chaired and reported from Mathews’ estate bill, which favoured a daughter of Sir Thomas Armstrong (12 Nov.) and Roberts’s estate bill, which concerned Leicestershire (25 Nov.).56 On 1 Dec. he was named to report a conference on the bill for the abrogation of oaths in Ireland.

In an attempt to sort out the Maynard inheritance, on 5 Dec. 1691 Stamford petitioned that Henry Howard, 5th earl of Suffolk, should waive his privilege in the case concerning the will of Sir John Maynard (Lady Stamford’s grandfather). Maynard had died in October 1690 leaving the bulk of his vast estate to two of his grandchildren, daughters of his son Joseph, who had predeceased him. He made his fourth and surviving wife, Mary, Lady Maynard, executrix. She had subsequently married Suffolk. Shortly after his own marriage, Stamford brought a bill in chancery to claim the inheritance from Maynard’s widow, who was able to claim privilege through her new husband. The committee for privileges reported on 12 Dec. that Suffolk and his wife could not claim privilege as she was only a trustee of the estate, a decision with which the House concurred. These legal disputes continued until the case was settled by an act of 1694.57

On 16 Dec. 1691, following an assault on Henry Yelverton, Viscount Longueville, Stamford urged in the House the suppression of playhouses ‘as being illegal and tending greatly to the increase of debauchery’.58 He was named a manager for a conference to defend the House’s amendments to the treason trials bill on 17 Dec., having been named to the committee to draft reasons defending the Lords’ amendment. However, after the report of the conference he was not named to the committee to draw up reasons for insisting on their amendment and so was not appointed on 29 Dec. to manage the next conference. However, he was added to those named to manage the next conference and duly spoke on 5 Jan. on a proviso to be added to the bill.59

On 8 Jan. 1692 Stamford acted as a teller in opposition to James Brydges, 8th Baron Chandos, on whether to appoint a day for hearing counsel on the petition of Henry Howard, 7th duke of Norfolk, for a divorce bill. On 16 Feb. he protested twice against the decision that proxies could not be used during the proceedings on this bill, while the following day he told in favour of the unsuccessful motion that the bill be read a second time.60 From 12 Jan. 1692 he held Warrington’s proxy and he added to this on 11 Feb. when John Bennet, Baron Ossulston, registered his proxy in his favour. He chaired the committee of the whole on 21 Jan. on the bill for breeding cattle, and on 2 Feb. he subscribed to the protest against the rejection of the Commons’ objections to the House’s amendments to the bill establishing the commissioners of accounts. On 2 Feb. he protested against the resolution not to agree with the Commons’ reasons against the Lords’ amendments to the bill appointing commissioners of accounts. He chaired and reported from committees on bills for repairing highways (11 Feb.) and the relief of the poor (13 Feb.).61 He reported from the committee on several petitions relating to a matter of privilege (20 Feb.), and took the chair for part of the proceedings on two further matters of privilege.62 He was named as a reporter for a conference on the small tithes bill (22 Feb.). He acted as a teller on 24 Feb. in opposition to Charles Cornwallis, 3rd Baron Cornwallis, on whether to refer the cause of Tooke v. Chief Baron Atkins back to the exchequer. Stamford attended the prorogations on 24 May and 14 June 1692.

Stamford was present when the 1692-3 session met on 4 November. He attended on 90 days of the session, 88 per cent of the total, and was nominated to 53 committees. On 14 Nov. 1692 he acted as a teller in opposition to Charles West, 6th Baron De la Warr, on whether to agree to a resolution that granted bail to the suspected Jacobites, Huntingdon and Marlborough, because two witnesses against them (as was necessary to convict for treason) could not be found. On 22 Nov. he reported to the House a number of decisions made by the committee for privileges and some general guidelines to prevent disorders in the House. Between 24 Nov. and 5 Dec. he chaired the committee of the whole on the bill providing for an indemnity from suits for those who had acted in the royal service, although when proceedings on the bill were resumed in January 1693, the chair was taken by Cornwallis.63 On 7 Dec. Stamford told in opposition to Scarbrough in favour of requesting a conference on the advice to be given to the king regarding the disastrous military situation; he then entered his protest against the rejection of the proposal to establish a joint committee. On 17 Dec. he told in opposition to Thomas Lennard, earl of Sussex, on whether to reverse the decree in Moore v Coote. On 23 Dec. he protested against the resolution to reverse the decision in Leach v Thompson. On 20 Dec. he was named to manage the conference at which the naval papers brought in by Nottingham were to be handed over to the Commons; he was named too for the conference on the 21st at which the Commons announced their House’s vote praising Admiral Edward Russell, future earl of Orford. On 22 Dec. he was named to manage a conference charged with procedural matters, as he was on several follow-up conferences to debate what was claimed to be an unprecedented use of a conference.

Stamford joined other disgruntled Whigs in supporting the place bill at the turn of 1692-3. On 31 Dec. he voted to commit the bill and on 3 Jan. 1693 voted for its passage, signing the protest at its rejection. On 12 Jan. he was a teller in opposition to Charles Montagu, 4th earl (later duke) of Manchester, in the committee of the whole House on giving advice to the king concerning the cautionary towns in Flanders. On 17 Jan. he chaired the select committee named to draw a clause in the bill for frequent Parliaments, providing for triennial Parliaments that should meet and sit every year. He reported from it on the 18th.64 On that day he was named to manage a conference on the Lords’ amendments to the land tax bill and the day after, he subscribed to two protests against the House’s decision to abandon these amendments. On 24-25 Jan. he was appointed a manager for two conferences on Burnet’s anonymous tract King William and Queen Mary Conquerors, which was perceived as inflammatory and libellous. On 28 Jan. he reported from the committee for privileges on a matter concerning Manchester and Fulke Grevile, 5th Baron Brooke. He then reported from the committee arranging the trial of Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun, in Westminster Hall. Stamford found Mohun not guilty of murder on 4 February.

Stamford served as chairman of the committee of the whole for the bill to prevent malicious informations in the court of king’s bench (10 Feb.), and was later named to report from two conferences on it (1, 3 Mar.); and for the bill to prevent disputes about the royal mines (16 Feb.). He subscribed to a protest on 6 Mar. against the decision not to communicate to the Commons the information on Ireland heard before the House and to another on 8 Mar. against the rejection of several provisos relating to the freedom to print in the bill to continue various laws, including the licensing of the press. As the session progressed, the Lords became very busy with legislation passed by the Commons, so from 10 Feb. Stamford came into his own as a legislative workhorse, chairing select committees on 22 occasions, on a variety of bills, although on some of them he merely adjourned proceedings.65 He reported on bills relating to Hertford highways (10 Feb.); Williams’ estate (13 Feb.); highwaymen (16 Feb.); Birmingham school’s petition (17 Feb.); the exchange of lands between Monmouth and Henry Compton, bishop of London (23 Feb.); delivering declarations to prisoners (25 Feb.); Goodwyn’s estate (1 Mar.); the Greenland trade (2 Mar.); double returns (10, 13 Mar.); making fresh water from seawater (10 Mar.); discovering judgments in Westminster Hall (11 Mar.); and regulating the crown office (11 Mar.).

With the end of the session, Stamford was much in the thoughts of Robert Spencer, 2nd earl of Sunderland, as he tried to construct a viable ministry. Stamford seems to have been on good terms with one of the key men in Sunderland’s plans, Sir John Somers, the future Baron Somers. He was one of the peers who attended Somers to Westminster on the first day of term in May 1693 following his appointment as lord keeper.66 On 20 June Sunderland wrote to Hans Willem Bentinck, earl of Portland, that Stamford was one of the Lords that ‘must have money’. On receiving news in July of the Smyrna convoy disaster Stamford was perhaps being critical of the Tory elements of the government when he opined on ‘that fatal stroke’ that he would take some comfort if ‘some eyes would be opened before it be too late’.67

Stamford attended the prorogation on 26 Oct. 1693 and was present when the 1693-4 session opened on 7 November. He attended on 112 days of the session, 88 per cent of the total, and was named to 31 committees. In early December he was one of the sponsors of the triennial bill and ‘spoke often’ in its defence in committee of the whole House on 4 Dec. which debated the provision that a Parliament should be held every year.68 That winter he chaired two select committees, reporting on Gardiner’s estate bill (11 Dec.) and on the bill against the importation of foreign silk (13 Jan. 1694).69 On 10 Jan. he entered his protest against the motion exonerating the Tory admirals from the debacle of the Smyrna fleet and was named on 8 and 12 Feb. to manage conferences on the related matter of the intelligence the admiralty had received on the French fleet.

A bill of much greater personal import to Stamford was given a first reading on 3 Feb. 1694, that for settling the estate of Sir John Maynard. The bill’s contentious nature was perhaps flagged by the order which followed its introduction, that notice of it be given to Sir William Rawlinson, who was married to another grand-daughter of Sir John Maynard by his daughter, Honora. Rawlinson submitted a petition at the next sitting of the House (5 February). On the 7th an order was made for some of Stamford’s witnesses to attend a hearing at the Bar, and counsel was duly heard on the 16th. After repeated adjournments the House does not appear to have made a decision on the petition (probably because the parties had reached a compromise). A second reading was ordered on 3 Mar. and the committee under Manchester sat on 5-8 Mar., with Rawlinson consenting to the bill as amended in committee on the 8th. It was reported that day and the House agreed to the amendments. Following the committal of the bill in the Commons (20 Mar.), a petition was referred to the committee on the 21st from Elizabeth Maynard (Joseph Maynard’s widow) asking that the bill should not be passed until Stamford and Hobart had executed a conveyance allowing her £350 per annum for life. A long-term political ally, Sir Rowland Gwynne, reported the bill in the Commons on 26 Mar., and that Elizabeth Maynard had been satisfied, the bill passing its third reading on the 28th and receiving the royal assent on 16 April.70

Stamford voted on 17 Feb. 1694 against the motion to reverse chancery’s dismissal of the appeal in the cause Montagu v Bath. On 4 and 5 Apr. he was named to manage a conference defending the House’s amendments to the estate bill of William Stawell, 3rd Baron Stawell, and to manage a conference on the bill for small tithes (16 April). As usual, as the end of the session approached, Stamford was pressed into service as a chair of committees on legislation. He acted as a chairman on eight separate occasions for three private bills, reporting them to the House over the course of a month: Whitley’s estate (16 Feb.); Turner’s estate (19 Feb.); and Chaplin’s estate (17 Mar.).71 He chaired and reported the committee of the whole on the mutiny bill (2 Mar.); the bill preventing delays at quarter sessions (9 Mar.); the bill allowing the king to make grants in the duchy of Cornwall, (28 Mar. and 14 Apr.); the bill settling the method of taking special bails (16 Apr.); and the bill encouraging privateers (19 and 20 April).

As the king increasingly turned to the Whigs to form his ministry in 1694, Stamford’s fortunes rose. In April it had been rumoured that he would be made one of the lords of the treasury in the place of Sir Edward Seymour, bt. and on 10 May he was sworn in as a privy councillor.72 Stamford attended the prorogations of 25 Oct. and 6 Nov. 1694 and was present when the 1694-5 session opened on 12 November. He attended on 116 days of the session, 97 per cent of the total, and was named to 48 committees. On 22 Nov. he acted as a teller in opposition to Marlborough in a division on whether to ask the judges if various parliamentary papers were chargeable under the Stamp Act. On 10 Dec. he dissented from the decision to reverse the judgment following the bringing in of a writ of error in the case of Philips v Bury.

Stamford was named to manage a number of conferences on the treason trials bill (16, 23 Feb., 11, 15, 20 Apr. 1695); on the bill encouraging privateers (1 May); on the bill imprisoning Sir Thomas Cooke and others; and on the impeachment of the duke of Leeds (3 May). On 8 Mar. he joined Laurence Hyde, earl of Rochester, in the debate on the descent of baronies by writ, following which on 19 Mar. he protested against the decision that if a person summoned to Parliament by writ died after sitting, leaving issue two or more daughters, of whom only one left issue, such issue had a right to demand a summons to Parliament.73 On 17 Apr. he chaired the committee of the whole House considering the bill to oblige Sir Thomas Cooke to account for the East India Company’s funds. On 18 Apr. he put his name to the protest against the resolution that exonerated the Tory John Sheffield, marquess of Normanby (later duke of Buckingham), from suspicion of having divulged the opinion and proceedings of the House ‘without doors’. From 10 Jan. he chaired eight select committees, mainly on private bills, reporting the following five: Wollaston’s estate (11 Feb.); Barkham’s estate (13 Feb.); Howland’s estate (25 Feb.); Gollop’s estate (7 Mar.); and Christ Church, Surrey parish (16 Mar.). He also reported an address for the increase of the fleet (2 March).74

The Parliament of 1695

Stamford was said to have coveted the post of secretary of state, left vacant by the death of Sir John Trenchard at the end of April 1695.75 He attended the prorogation of 18 June. After a visit to Leicestershire, where he boasted that he ‘left the town and county so well disposed that I will hope without much contest to carry both’, he left for Gunnersbury, the Maynard family residence, arriving on 5 October. He then planned to be in London, hoping to be at the Grecian coffee-house on the 8th or 9th, although he stated that he had to return to Leicestershire for the elections.76 A few weeks later he was required to play host to the king during his progress through the Midlands, William III visiting Bradgate on 3 November.77 Stamford’s prediction of the electoral outcome in Leicestershire was wide of the mark, as one of his candidates, George Ashby, was forced to share the county representation with John Verney, a moderate Tory. Stamford’s other candidate, William Bird, came third in the poll.78 His position was more secure at Bere Alston, where he had acquired an electoral interest through his wife’s inheritance upon Sir John Maynard’s death. Stamford worked closely with the major leaseholder of the manor, a leader of the west country Whigs, Sir Francis Drake, 3rd bt., in returning mutually agreeable candidates in 1695 including Stamford’s brother-in-law, Hobart. When Hobart chose to sit elsewhere, he was replaced by Gwynne.

Stamford was a candidate for a place on a revamped commission dealing with trade and plantations in December 1695. A warrant for a bill creating this commission was signed on 15 December. John Locke was informed of its membership, including himself and Stamford, two days later. However, it did not pass the great seal and never came into effect. When a commission finally passed the seals in May 1696, Stamford had been replaced by Tankerville (as Grey of Warke had become).79 Stamford was made lord lieutenant of Devon, corresponding to his new influence there, in April 1696, and no doubt encouraged Somers in his purge of the commission of the peace, especially of men who had not signed the Association. Stamford also campaigned to add control of the militia of Plymouth to his lieutenancy, despite the long precedent which separated the powers belonging to the lord lieutenant and the governor of the city. This led to a long drawn-out contest with the governor, major general Charles Trelawny, which was not resolved in Trelawny’s favour until the following summer.80 All in all, Stamford’s role in Devon met with some hostility. One anonymous correspondent of Thomas Tenison, archibishop of Canterbury, attempted to smear him by alleging that his father had acted as one of the executioners of Charles I, and suggested that the archbishop, knowing this, should dissuade the king ‘from entrusting and preferring the son of such an infamous regicide, especially considering he manages matters in the West so much to the distaste of the gentry, as will occasion complaint in Parliament and doth his majesty’s interest and credit no little damage.’81

Stamford was present when the 1695 Parliament opened on 22 November. He attended on 109 days of the 1695-6 session, 88 per cent of the total, and was named to 34 committees. On 23 Dec. he spoke in committee of the whole House on the treason trials bill about the date on which the statute was to take effect, although the import of his contribution is unclear.82 He opposed the claim of Sir Richard Verney, future 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke, to a writ of summons to the House, an issue which had been raised in a general way in the previous session, and which had elicited a protest from him in March. He protested on 17 Jan. 1696 against a resolution that Verney’s counsel be heard at the bar on his petition for a summons and on 13 Feb. against the resolution that Verney had the right to a writ of summons. On 24 Feb. he was named a manager for a conference on the king’s speech on the Assassination Plot and he signed the Association on 27 February. On 6 Apr. he was also appointed a manager for a conference on the Commons’ objections to the Lords’ amendments to the privateers bill. On 7 Apr. he and Charles Powlett, duke of Bolton, were the only two peers to protest against the procedural anomaly of the House’s agreeing to hear counsel and witnesses on a bill after it had already been heard in committee of the whole. During the session he chaired the select committee on several private bills, reporting from one, Midford’s estate bill, on 19 February.83 On 2 Apr. he chaired the committee of the whole House on the bill for an additional duty on all French goods, and on 17 Apr. the committee of the whole House on the bill re-vesting in the king various estates belonging to the honour of Tutbury.

Stamford attended the prorogation on 28 July 1696, and the opening day of the 1696-7 session on 20 October. He was present on 104 days of the session, 91 per cent of the total, and was named to 39 committees. On 2 Nov. he reported from the committee for privileges on the petition of Ralph Montagu, earl (later duke) of Montagu, and the answer of John Granville, earl of Bath—part of their ongoing tussle over the Albemarle inheritance. On 28 Nov. he reported from the committee of the whole on the low wines bill. On 30 Nov. he was named to manage a conference on the waiving and resumption of privilege. 

Following the allegations of Sir John Fenwick, 2nd bt., Stamford and Monmouth saw an opportunity to attack their enemies, such as Godolphin. It was Stamford who on 26 Nov. proposed sending for Fenwick to appear at the bar on 1 Dec.: James Vernonwas not clear why, though he was suspicious because of Stamford’s ‘intimacy’ with Gwynne and some other Members, ‘who have entertained unintelligible notions of advantages to be made’ from Fenwick’s confession. Vernon wrote on 8 Dec. of his fear that Stamford might also be manipulating the informer Matthew Smith. On 8 Dec. L’Hermitage reported that Stamford was one of those peers who, like Devonshire and Tankerville, argued that the evidence against Fenwick should be heard before any decision was taken as to whether to proceed by attainder. Stamford promoted the attainder of Fenwick energetically, moving for the second reading of the bill on 18 Dec. and voting for its passage on 23 December. He then joined Bolton and ten or so other peers in defending Monmouth after it was revealed that he had continued to try to influence Fenwick’s testimony in order to implicate other peers.84

On 12 Mar. 1697 Stamford again received Bolingbroke’s proxy. On that day he chaired and reported from the committee appointed to draw reasons for the Lords insisting on its amendments to the bill to restrain the wearing of imported wrought silks and printed calicoes, and on the 19th he entered his dissent against the House’s insistence on maintaining these amendments to this bill. On 16 Mar. he reported from the committee for privileges on the petition of William Stanley, 9th earl of Derby. He reported from committees of the whole House on the bill for the relief of creditors (20 Mar.), the malt duty bill and the bill for the better relief of the poor (14 Apr.), and the bill to restrain stock-jobbing (15 April). He also chaired several select committees, reporting from the bills on Moyle’s estate (23 Mar.), Crowle’s estate (25 Mar.) and Reigate highways (30 March).85

Stamford appears to have stayed in London for part of the summer, attending the prorogations on 13 May, 17 June and 22 July 1697. One of the main reasons for his extended stay was his elevation to the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster. The duchy contained many Leicestershire manors, and may have been an attempt by the ministry to temper his propensity for trouble-making. On 6 May Vernon had recorded that the seals of the duchy would be demanded from Robert Bertie, Baron Willoughby de Eresby (later duke of Ancaster), and Stamford duly took the oaths as chancellor on 11 May.86 Stamford seems to have set out to oust other long-standing officials. At his first sitting as chancellor, he removed Guicciardini Wentworth as secretary and replaced him with his own nominee, Brutus Brown. In May he threatened the duchy attorney-general, Edward Northey, whom he wished to replace with his own nominee, Atwood, but Northey had powerful advocates and retained his post. Christopher Hatton, Viscount Hatton, lost his stewardship of Northamptonshire in July, later noting that Stamford had removed him ‘to place there some men more agreeable to his humour, and tho’ I had some intimation that he would have restored me to it if I had been inclined to make application to him which I was not willing to do’. Needless to say, Stamford was involved in purging the Lancashire bench in the wake of the Association.87 Stamford’s own stewardship of Leicester passed to his client Lawrence Carter, senior.

Stamford was absent from the prorogations of 26 Aug. and 30 Sept. before attending those on 21 Oct. and 23 Nov. 1697. He was present when the 1697-8 session began on 3 December. He sat on 127 days of the session, 97 per cent of the total and was named to 75 committees. On 18 Jan. 1698 Vernon implied that only Stamford, together with Bolton, Peterborough (as Monmouth had become) and Normanby would be ‘troubling the waters’ in the Lords, but that they were ‘so well known as to have all their motions narrowly watched’.88

During the session Stamford was again prominent as a manager of conferences. On 13 Jan. he was named a manager for a conference on the bill for continuing to incarcerate those suspected of conspiring to kill the king, and on 7 Mar. for that on the House’s amendments to a bill to further explain recently-passed legislation for the relief of the poor. He was clearly active on the conference concerning amendments to the bill to erect hospitals and workhouses in Colchester, from which he reported on 11 May, although the journals do not record his appointment as a manager on the previous day. On 20 June he was named a manager for the conference on the bill concerning the Alverstoke waterworks of Peter Mews, bishop of Winchester. On 15 Mar. he voted to commit the bill to punish the exchequer official, Charles Duncombe, and subscribed the protest against the decision not to do so. He also protested against two resolutions in the cause of Bertie v. Viscount Falkland which benefited the appellants, the Berties (16-17 March).

From May 1698 much of Stamford’s time was taken up in chairing committees. He chaired the committee on the impeachments of the suspected smugglers Goudet and Barreau, which had to consider the demands made by the Commons over the conduct of the trial (13 May, 6-8 June). On 8 June Stamford reported that the committee could find no precedent of members of the lower house standing anywhere in the upper house except below the bar in impeachment trials, but he appears himself to have disagreed with this decision, as on 15 June he was one of only three peers, along with Devonshire and John Thompson, Baron Haversham, to protest against the House’s insistence on this point. Vernon reported on 16 June that Rochester and Peterborough ‘stand very stiff upon the prerogative of the peers’, but that Devonshire, Normanby, Haversham and Stamford were for showing some consideration to the Commons. Nevertheless he was named to the resultant conference and to another on the 20th. After Goudet and Barreau had confessed to the crime, he reported from the committee on precedents for their punishment and the manner of delivering such a judgment. (29 June, 4 July).89

Stamford also chaired the committee of the whole House on a number of occasions: on the annuities bill (21 Feb.); on the better payment of lottery tickets (28 May); on the duties on lustrings, and the bills on naval shipbuilding, naval embezzlement (all 20 June); and on the bill explaining the statutes against the export of wool (24 June). He chaired the committee for privileges on Vaughan v. Herbert (18 Feb.) and on Lucy v Bishop of St Davids (23 May), later serving on the court of delegates in the case against the latter (Thomas Watson, bishop of St Davids).90 Stamford was also very busy chairing select committees. He reported from committees on the following: the bishops of Ely’s estate bill (10 Jan.); the estate bill for John Williams, bishop of Chichester (21 Feb.); the bill amending the poor law (28 Feb.); Hall’s estate bill (1 Mar.); Hewett’s estate bill (12 Mar.); bills for Colchester and Exeter workhouses (4 May); Walrond’s estate bill (7 June); the bill on the export of manufactures containing silver (10 June); a naturalization bill (20 June); a bill allowing a ship to import her cargo (22 June); a bill on gold and silver thread (27 June). Some bills were more complex than others: he chaired the committee on the estate bill of Sir William Godolphin on six occasions before reporting it fit to pass on 31 March; and he reported several times from the committee considering the proper method of treating appeals to the Lords from the Irish court of chancery (8, 15 Jan., 21 February). From 20 Apr. he led the committee on the bill to encourage woollen manufacture in England by halting the import of woollen goods from Ireland, from which he reported on 6 May with a request for papers. This bill became hopelessly entangled in committee and on 9 June Stamford instead reported an address relating to the Irish woollen and linen industries.91 On 30 June Bolingbroke once more registered his proxy with Stamford, but this was short-lived as Parliament was prorogued on 5 July.

Stamford’s belligerent assertion of his privileges as chancellor of the duchy, brought him into conflict with Devonshire over Needwood Forest. On 22 Sept. 1698 Devonshire complained about the actions of the axe-bearer appointed by Stamford, which led to a dispute over the right to appoint to the office.92 In October Vernon reported the likelihood of ‘mortal strife’ between Stamford and Devonshire over this appointment, Stamford being ‘tenacious of his right to dispose of the place, exclusive of the lieutenancy of the forest’.93 On 26 Jan. 1699 the council heard Stamford’s counsel, Northey and Nathan Wright, argue that he had the right as chancellor to hunt in Needwood Forest. This was opposed by Devonshire, as ranger of the forest, through his counsel, Sir Thomas Powys and Sir Bartholomew Shower.94 Stamford was also criticized in Lancashire for his influence in appointments: James Hamilton, 4th duke of Hamilton [S], was informed in December 1700 that the sheriff, William Hulme, was ‘a man of very ill fame, and was made by my Lord M[acclesfield] and Stamford’, having been recommended to them by Hugh Willoughby, 2nd Baron Willoughby of Parham. Hulme had been ‘formerly accused and convict[ed] of forgery.’95

The Parliament of 1698

In the elections for the 1698 Parliament, Stamford and Drake were able to ensure the return for Bere Alston of Gwynne and the Whig solicitor-general John Hawles. After Gwynne opted to sit for Breconshire, James Montagu, brother of the Junto leader Charles Montagu, future earl of Halifax, was returned at the ensuing by-election. Stamford was able to use the duchy interest to nominate Henry Ashurst at Preston, as he did in the following two elections. He had less success in Leicestershire, where the largely Tory gentry were able to force through their own choices, although it was reported that Stamford would insist on a poll for Bird. More favourably, the town of Leicester returned two Whigs.96

Stamford attended the prorogations on 27 Oct. and 29 Nov. 1698. He was present on the opening day of the session, 6 December. In all he attended on 68 days of the session, 84 per cent of the total, and was named to 39 committees. He chaired and reported from the committee preparing the address on the king’s speech on 22 December. He remained active in his usual role of chairing and reporting from committees during the remainder of the session. In total he chaired select committees considering 30 pieces of legislation, reporting on the following bills: Derwentwater’s estate (12 Jan. 1699); repairing Yarmouth piers (16 Feb.); naturalizations (20 Feb., three on 10 Mar., 13 Mar.); Viner’s estate (24 Feb.); Bridges’ estate (16 Mar.); Seliyard’s estate (21 Mar.); the ship Charles Flyboat of Exeter (22 Mar.); Weslyd’s estate (1 Apr.); preventing the export of wool (27 Mar. and 1 Apr.); Price’s estate (3 Apr.); Moor’s estate and Blackwell Market (12 Apr.); Vesey’s estate (13 Apr.); Cowslade’s estate (18 Apr.). He also chaired the committee on a petition from the underage Edward Ward, future 8th Baron Dudley, over an appeal from a legal judgment in Ireland (14 Feb.), the committee on Barailleau’s naturalization, though he did not report it, and one of the meetings of the committee drawing up an address on the Newfoundland trade.97 On 3 May he also chaired and reported from the committee of the whole House on the bill for encouraging Newfoundland trade.

Stamford was closely involved in the bill to prohibit the export of corn or malt: he chaired and reported from the committee of the whole House on the bill on 18-19 Jan., reporting on the 23rd, whereupon the bill was ordered to be recommitted to a select committee, from which he reported later that day.98 He was then named on 27 Jan. as a manager of a conference, which was held the following day and from which he reported. This committee also drew up reasons and acted as managers at subsequent conferences on the bill. On 27 Jan. Stamford joined Haversham as one of the few peers to speak against the second reading of the disbanding bill.99 He was named on 1 Mar. to manage a conference on the bill to prevent the distillation of corn. He acted as a teller on 11 Feb. in opposition to James Annesley, 3rd earl of Anglesey, in the case of Fitch v the attorney-general.

Following the end of the session, there was much talk of a ministerial reshuffle. At the end of May 1699 Vernon reported that Stamford was being considered for a place on the commission of trade, though he felt that the earl had higher expectations. In the event, he was appointed to the commission, ‘he having asked it at last’ through the agency of Lord Chancellor Somers, and the king ‘was unwilling to refuse one of that humour, who began to show himself very dogged for his being neglected’. Thus, on 9 June Stamford replaced Tankerville, as ‘first lord’ of the board of Trade. He attended the prorogations of 1 June and 13 July, and was active at the board until towards the end of July. He had returned to the board before the end of October. He attended the prorogation of 24 October.100

Stamford was present when the 1699-1700 session opened on 16 Nov. 1699. He attended on 73 days of the session, 92 per cent of the total and was named to 35 committees. As a commissioner of trade, Stamford was the conduit whereby documents were transmitted from the board to the Lords. Following the order of the Lords of 16 Jan. 1700, two days later he submitted to the House the Board’s report on the prejudice done to English trade by the Scottish East India Company and the Darien settlement.101 On 23 Jan. he chaired (and adjourned) two select committees considering private bills. He chaired (and reported from) only one other select committee during the session, that which examined on 4 Mar. the proper conduct of judges when bringing writs of error before the House. He reported from it the following day.102 One probable reason for the decline in his work on select committees was his work on the board of Trade, where he was regular in his attendance when in London. On 23 Jan. he entered his protest against the decision to reverse the judgment in the cause Williamson v. the Crown. On 23 Feb. he voted against adjourning the House so that it could go into committee on the bill for continuing the old East India Company as a corporation. On 27 Mar. he chaired and reported the committees of the whole on three bills: for punishing vagrants; to punish corporation officers who had failed to sign the Association; and for the more effectual suppression of piracy, the latter of which concerned an amendment which revoked the charters of any proprietary or chartered colony which refused to obey the provisions of the act.103 On 5 Apr. he chaired and reported the committee of the whole on the militia bill; and on 9 Apr. he chaired and reported on the supply bill laying a duty on wrought silks. Meanwhile, on 4 Apr. Stamford spoke in favour of rejecting the bill to resume the forfeited Irish land, and entered his protest against its second reading, a position fully in accordance with the king’s wishes.104 On 9 and 10 Apr. he was named to manage conferences defending the House’s amendments to the bill, and entered his protest when the House decided not to insist on its amendments (10 April).

The Parliaments of 1701

On 25 May, following the end of the session, and with the ministerial position uncertain, Vernon reported that the king intended to speak to Stamford, among others, to suggest to them that he had no thoughts ‘but of employing the Whigs’.105 Stamford was certainly perceived by contemporaries as a Whig. His name appeared on a list of Whig lords (probably after 10 July), with markings which in his case may indicate that he was seen as a supporter of the Junto; but on a list of the Commons analysed by Harley, he was accorded his own ‘interest’ separate from that of the Junto, although only one Member was assigned to it, namely Gwynne.106 Stamford ceased to attend the board of trade at the end of June and presumably spent the summer and autumn in the country because he did not attend any of the prorogations of Parliament until 24 Oct. on which day he also returned to the board.107 He attended the prorogation of 21 November. Following the election of January 1701, Gwynne opted to sit for Breconshire and Drake and Stamford were able to ensure the return at Bere Alston of William Cowper, future Earl Cowper, to join with the Whig lawyer Peter King, future Baron King.108

Stamford attended the prorogation of 6 Feb. 1701 and he was present when the 1701 Parliament assembled on 10 February. He attended on 96 days of the session, 91 per cent of the total, and was named to 43 committees. According to Narcissus Luttrell, it was Stamford who on 26 Feb. brought in the bill allowing Ralph Box to divorce and marry again, and on 10 Apr. he acted as a teller in opposition to Warrington at the report stage of this bill on whether to agree to an amendment.109 On 3 Mar. Stamford brought before the House a case of breach of privilege against Robert Wakelin, an attorney, and those he was acting for, for turning out some of his tenants in Dorset. As a result Wakelin and his associates were ordered into custody. Stamford acted as a teller in opposition to Montagu Venables Bertie, 2nd earl of Abingdon, on the third reading of the bill for confirming the grants of Newport and Brookfield markets (15 Apr.); in opposition to Edward Montagu, 3rd earl of Sandwich, on whether to give a second reading to the bill for furnishing New Deal with fresh water (21 May); and on a procedural motion in the cause of Lloyd v. Cardy (6 June). On 15 May he was named to manage a conference on the Lords’ amendments to the bill for regulating prisons. He chaired the select committee on 3 June on the bill of his close Whig colleague, Charles Gerard, 2nd earl of Macclesfield, to annul the marriage settlement with his divorced wife, but no report seems to have been made.110 On 9 June he reported Jane Barkstead’s naturalization bill. On 23 June he chaired a committee of the whole on the bill for establishing commissioners of public accounts and was named on the following day to count the ballots for the Lords’ places on this body (which failed to pass).

Perhaps of most importance in this session was Stamford’s heavy involvement in the defence of Whig ministers over the partition treaties. On 15 Mar. 1701 he acted as a teller in opposition to Peterborough on whether the second paragraph of the report on the partition treaty, that the Emperor was not a party to the treaty, should stand; on 20 Mar. he acted as a teller in opposition to Nottingham on whether to communicate the Lords’ address on the treaty to the Commons for their concurrence. He was named as a manager on 2 and 10 Apr. to conferences about communicating information on the treaties. On 9 May a committee was established to consider the manner of the Commons delivering articles of impeachment, from which Stamford duly reported. Henceforth, he monopolized the chairmanship of this select committee, further reports being presented to the House on 14, 20 May, 2-3, 7, 9-10, 12, 19-20, 23 June, and through this forum he was able to direct the House’s obstruction of the Commons’ prosecution of the Junto lords.111 Not surprisingly on 17 June Stamford voted to acquit Somers, as he did for Orford on 23 June.

Meanwhile, Stamford’s feud with Sir Basil Firebrace, a ranger of Enfield Chase in the duchy of Lancaster, came before Parliament. This cause had already involved the Council in 1699, and led Secretary of State Vernon to comment that Stamford ‘takes a pleasure in seeing all mankind at variance’. He exasperated the king sufficiently for him to have said (reportedly) ‘that he should never have heard of the duchy of Lancaster if he had not had so busy a chancellor’.112 On 12 May 1701 a complaint was made to the Commons about timber being felled in Enfield Chace, leading to an address to the king to halt such action and appoint a committee of inquiry into the matter. Vernon forwarded the address to Stamford on the following day.113 The committee reported to the Commons on 26 May. Sir Richard Cocks thought that the attack on Stamford was politically driven, that it was ‘more the humour of the leading men to ruin an enemy and remove a Lord they don’t like and to put one in they do in his place’. The Commons passed two resolutions, one that ‘great waste and spoil had been committed in Enfield Chace’ and the second that this had occurred through Stamford’s ‘neglect of duty and trust’. Stamford’s chief defender in the debate was William Cowper, thanks to whose performance the second resolution passed by only 136-102 (with Gwynne among the tellers for the noes). The question for Stamford’s removal was not pressed because the king let it be known, through the other secretary, Sir Charles Hedges, that Stamford had acted upon his orders in cutting down the trees, although Hedges was only able to do so informally near the end of the debate.114 Stamford later resorted to print to defend himself: The Case of the Earl of Stamford, Relating to the Wood lately Cut in Enfield Chace was advertised for sale in August 1701. A reply, The Case of the Earl of Stamford Considered, also published in 1701, reiterated the case against him.

Stamford probably left London as usual in late July 1701, when he stopped attending the board of Trade. He had returned by the end of October, as he was present at the prorogation of 30 October.115 He was present when the 1701-2 Parliament convened on 30 Dec., attending on 87 days of the session, 87 per cent of the total, and was named to 34 committees. On 1 Jan. 1702 he subscribed to the address condemning Louis XIV’s recognition of the Pretender. On 19 Jan. he acted as a teller in opposition to Mohun on the question whether to censure William Fuller’s Jacobite publications. On 6 Feb. he was named to report a conference on the bill to attaint the Pretender. After the conference the Lords decided to insist on their amendments and named a committee, including Stamford, to search for precedents of clauses added to bills of attainder, which he chaired and reported from the following day. A further conference followed on the 10th.116 On 16 Feb. he submitted to the House a report on the plantation trade in which the board of trade argued for the resumption by the crown of all proprietary charters in the colonies. After the death of the king, he was one of those delegated on 4 May to present to the queen the House’s resolution that the report that certain papers found in the late king’s closet cast aspersions on the queen’s succession was ‘groundless, false, villainous and scandalous’. He chaired the committee of the whole House when considering the bills for the relief of Sir William Ashurst (1 and 12 May) and for the Greenland trade (4 May). He was named to manage conferences on the abjuration oath (7 May) and the bill for the encouragement of privateers (20 May). On 21 May he acted as a teller in opposition to Abingdon on the question of whether to dismiss one of the witnesses on the bill for the relief of Jane Lavallin. Also on 21 May the House was informed that the previous evening, four bailiffs, at the suit of a tailor, Thomas Nicholas, had entered Stamford’s house and seized his goods, and coach and horses, contrary to the privilege of Parliament. They were all ordered into custody. However, in his petition to the House, Nicholas pointed out that the earl had agreed to waive his privilege for the debt of £600 he owed, and consequently he was ordered to be released on the 23rd.117 This incident demonstrated the somewhat precarious nature of Stamford’s financial situation. Around this date Macky noted that Stamford’s ‘zeal for the public led him from the care of his own private affairs, which he did not mend by his employment’ and that ‘from a good estate he is become very poor, and much in debt’.118

The Parliament of 1702

The accession of Queen Anne did nothing to enhance Stamford’s financial or political prospects. He was not a favourite of the queen, doubtless because of his radical Whig past and current association with the Junto. In early April 1702 John Wilkins informed Rutland that Stamford would be removed from office, and there were rumours that he would be impeached by the Commons.119 Between May and July he lost most of his posts, although he appears to have retained his place as custos of Devonshire. It may not have been a coincidence that the public airing of his debt to a tailor coincided with his decision to resign his seat at the board of Trade on 22 May so that he could travel to the electoral court of Hanover and cement his ties with the Protestant successor. He was granted a pass to travel abroad on 23 May, and embarked shortly thereafter. He arrived in Hanover in July, where he ‘was very constant both at dinner and supper with the elector’, and presented the dowager electress with a copy of the new Book of Common Prayer, which now included a prayer for ‘the Princess Sophia’. Despite this apparent respect for the official liturgy, Stamford was deeply suspicious of the established Church, refusing to appear at the chapel of the English envoy at Hanover.120 Indeed, Macky commented that he was ‘a very honest man himself, but very suspicious of everybody that is not of his party, for which he is very zealous, [and] jealous of the power of the clergy, who, he is afraid, may sometime or other influence our civil government’.121

Stamford was expected back in England in September 1702, because his wife was ill, but he probably did not return until the end of November.122 He was not present when the Parliament convened on 20 October. He first attended the Lords on 30 Nov.: his reappearance drew the enigmatic comment from a newsletter writer that he had ‘returned to England tho’ at the same time some say that his Lordship has not been out of the kingdom’.123 He was present on 52 days, 60 per cent of the total, and was named to 28 committees. He was named on 17 Dec. to manage a conference on the Lords’ amendments to the bill against occasional conformity, as he was again on 9 Jan. 1703. In January Nottingham thought Stamford likely to oppose this bill and on 16 Jan. he voted in favour of the Lords adhering to the penalty clause, essentially a wrecking amendment. On 19 Jan. he entered his protest against the decision not to leave out a clause in the bill enabling the queen to settle a revenue on Prince George, duke of Cumberland, in case he should survive her, mainly because of the section on grants. Stamford took part in the investigations of the naval action at Cadiz and Vigo and joined in the partisan attack led by Torrington against the vice-admiral Sir George Rooke, being ‘early at the committee’ on 4 February.124 On 17 Feb. he acted as a teller in opposition to Sandwich on a division concerning the miscarriages of the Cadiz expedition. On 12 Feb. he acted as a teller in opposition to Abingdon on whether to read a copy of a survey in the case of Wharton v. Squire. Without his administrative duties, Stamford had more time for committee work, and much of his parliamentary activity revolved around the management of legislation. He chaired several select committees, reporting on bills for Peachey’s estate (17 Dec. 1702); a land exchange (19 Dec.); Hodson’s estate (7 and 9 Jan. 1703); Williams’ estate (9 Feb.); and to prevent fraud in textile manufacture (17 February).125

Stamford attended the prorogations on 14 Oct. and 4 Nov. 1703, and was present when the next session began on 9 November. He attended on 81 days, 83 per cent of the total, and was named to 38 committees. In November Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, forecast Stamford as a likely opponent of the occasional conformity bill, as he did again in late November or early December, and on 14 Dec. he voted against the bill. On 2 Mar. 1704 he acted as a teller in opposition to Charles Finch, 4th earl of Winchilsea, on whether to agree with the report on the petition of the Hore family relating to abuses in victualling the navy. On 24 Mar. he entered his protest at the decision not to put the question on the motion that part of the narrative relating to Sir John Maclean, and the papers relating to his examination, taken by Nottingham, were imperfect, meaning that no censure at all was passed on Nottingham’s conduct. On 25 Mar. he acted as a teller in opposition to Abingdon in a division concerning the criticism of ministers for failing to prosecute the plotter, Robert Ferguson, in relation to the Scotch Plot.

Again Stamford dealt with an impressively wide range of legislation, chairing many select committees and reporting on bills concerning Grainge’s estate (3 Feb.); Holworthy and Tipping estates (4 Feb.); Legh’s estate (21 Feb.); two naturalizations (22 Feb., 13 Mar.); the Sword Blade Company (24 Feb.); thrown silks (3 Mar.); Hawe and Conway estates (4 Mar.); Cooper’s estate (6 Mar.); and Briscoe’s estate (10 Mar.). One of the more notable select committees he chaired was that which examined the ‘Observations’ made by the Commons’ commissioners on the public accounts, upon which he reported on 6 and 16 Mar., before submitting a long and detailed report on 24 March. He also chaired the committee on the Scotch conspiracy on 28 March.126 He attended the prorogation on 4 July 1704.

Stamford was present when the 1704-5 session opened on 24 October. He attended on 89 days of the session, 90 per cent of the total, and was named to 45 committees. On 15 Nov. he was present at the select committee on the records, and on 17 Nov. was one of eight peers that visited the Tower to examine the organization and preservation of the records there. On 29 Nov., with the queen present incognito for the debate on the Scottish act of security, Stamford moved that the House remain sitting, rather than going into committee of the whole because ‘the debates would be the more regular and solemn’, which was ‘understood as an intended respect’ to the queen, but nevertheless the original order of the House was adhered to. He was named to manage conferences on 28 Feb. and 7 Mar. 1705 on the contentious case of the ‘Aylesbury men’. He also chaired on 10 Mar. an adjournment meeting of the select committee entrusted with drawing up an address to the queen on the matter.127

Once again, much of Stamford’s parliamentary work revolved around committees. He reported from committees on the following bills: four naturalization bills (29 Nov. 1704, 24 Jan. and two on 8 Feb. 1705); Hacche’s estate (20 Dec. 1704); Gould and Pile estates (12 Jan. 1705); Williams’ estate (24 Jan.); Grainge’s estate (1 Feb.); Coke’s estate (2 Feb.); Worsopp’s estate (8 Feb.); Nodes’ estate (14 Feb.); earl of Bath’s estate (15 Feb.); Bludworth’s estate (16 Feb.); Kenyon’s estate (22 February).128 There is some evidence that Stamford was an assiduous committee-man, even when not in the chair. William Nicolson, bishop of Carlisle, noted on 18 Nov. that he was willing to make up committees on two naturalization bills (Teviot and Cresset) which had then been passed in the House.129 During the last weeks of the session, Stamford frequently served as chairman of the committee of the whole House. He presided over consideration of the bill to prevent traitorous correspondence (2 Mar.), following which he was named to manage a conference on the bill, reporting back from the conference on 7 March. He also dealt with bills to prevent delays in writs of error (1 Feb.); to prevent fraud by bankrupts and to continue certain acts (both 6 Mar.); the militia (8 Mar.); and for remedying abuses in the collection of the revenue (10 March).

The Parliament of 1705

Following the end of the session, an analysis of the peerage in relation to the succession marked him as a Hanoverian. On 23 Oct. 1705 Stamford was one of those who attended the new lord keeper, Cowper, to the law courts.130 In the elections of May, Cowper had been re-elected at Bere Alston: he would shortly pass on the seat to his brother, Spencer Cowper, who was also returned in 1708.131

Stamford was present when the 1705 Parliament convened on 25 October. He attended on 89 days of the session, 94 per cent of the total, and was named to 50 committees. On 19-21 Nov. Stamford chaired and reported from the committee of the whole House considering how best to preserve the government and the Protestant Succession. The resulting resolutions formed the genesis of the regency bill, and on 30 Nov. and 1 Dec. he again chaired and reported from the committee of the whole House on the bill. When the bill was returned from the Commons, complete with a ‘place clause’, to which the Lords did not agree, Stamford was named to the resultant conferences on 7, 11 and 19 February. At this point Stamford was embarrassed by his associate Gwynne, who published an open letter of support for the ‘Hanover motion’ addressed to Stamford, to almost universal condemnation.132 On 9 Mar. 1706 both houses resolved that Gwynne’s Letter to Stamford was ‘a scandalous and malicious libel’, and three days later they addressed the queen condemning the offending publication. Stamford was not named to any of the committees or conferences managing this affair. 

On 28 Nov. Stamford chaired and reported from the committee of the whole House concerning the bill to repeal certain clauses in the Alien Act. On 4 Dec. he chaired and reported form the committee of the whole House on the bill to naturalize the Electress Sophia. On 6 Dec. he chaired the committee of the whole again on the queen’s speech and he reported the controversial resolution that the Church of England was not in danger under the queen. As chairman he was not recorded in the division on the bill.133 However, he was named later in the day to the conference at which the resolution was delivered to the Commons. He was then named to conferences on the resolution on 7, 11, 14 (which he reported), and 17 December. 

Stamford was also the only chairman of the nine meetings of the select committee which met from 25 Jan. to 20 Feb. 1706 (when indefinitely adjourned) on the petitions of several of the inhabitants of Barbados against the island’s governor Sir Bevill Granville.134 On 14 Feb. he chaired and reported from the committee of the whole House on the annuities bill. On 28 Feb. and 2 Mar. he was named to manage conferences on the amendments to the estate bill of Francis Seymour Conway, Baron Conway, and on 13 Mar. to manage that on the militia bill. Nicolson provides some evidence of Stamford’s active role while attending committees. On 18 Jan. Nicolson noted Stamford’s presence at the committee examining into the records, which adjourned to the chapter house at Westminster to take a personal view of conditions. On 20 Feb. Stamford was one of those who intervened in the committee on the bill for the better regulation of Lichfield Cathedral to ensure that the queen gave her formal consent to a living being united to the deanery. He was also ‘severe’ on Dean Bincks.135 Stamford continued to chair a number of select committees, reporting from the following bills: for the Butler and Hamilton estates (11 Jan. 1706); two naturalization bills (15 Jan.; Nicolson noted that on 12 Jan. Stamford had chaired ‘two bills for naturalization of about 100 foreigners gone through at the committee’); Smalman estate (18 Jan.); the duchess of Shrewsbury’s naturalization (25 Jan.); Crome estate (26 Jan.); Stour navigation (14 Feb.); Humble estate (19 Feb.); relief of Irish regiments (27 Feb.); Reve estate and for preservation of salmon in Hampshire and Wiltshire (both 2 Mar.); Baldwin estate (5 Mar.); Gower estate (6 Mar.); Row estate (8 Mar.); Fairfax estate (18 Mar.).136 He chaired and reported from committee of the whole on the bills for tonnage and poundage (14 Feb.); the regulation of Thames watermen (25 Feb.); and the Mint (4 March). On 6 Mar. George Nevill, 13th Baron Abergavenny, registered his proxy with Stamford.

In October 1705 and again in May 1706 there were rumours that Stamford would be restored to the chancellorship of the duchy, but James Stanley, 10th earl of Derby, was appointed instead.137 According to Harley Stamford was ‘in open rebellion’ about this in the summer of 1706 and Lord Keeper Cowper thought him ‘very hard to be comforted’; Cowper’s papers contain an undated memorial from Stamford concerning the undesirability of the same man being appointed chancellor of the duchy and lord lieutenant of Lancashire, a clear reference to Derby. However, Harley thought that ‘the true secret’ of Stamford’s disgruntlement was that after all his efforts for the Hanoverian Succession he was not sent to the electoral court to present the recently passed Acts of Parliament—the Regency Act and the Naturalization Act among them—to the electress and her son.138

Stamford attended the prorogations on 22 Oct. and 21 Nov. 1706 and was present when the 1706-7 session met on 3 December. He attended on 75 days of the session, 87 per cent of the total, and was named to 43 committees. On 30 Dec. Stamford and Sunderland introduced the newly promoted Thomas Wharton, earl of Wharton, into the House. Stamford chaired the committee of the whole House on the West Riding registry bill (13-14 Mar.); duties on low wines (27 Mar.); a bill for the apprehension of housebreakers (28 Mar., 3 Apr.); the Brerewood-Pitkin bill (2 Apr.); preventing frauds from bankrupts (4 Apr.); and Rice’s estate bill, a bill continuing laws and a subsidy bill (8 Apr.). He also continued to chair a large number of select committees, reporting on bills concerning Lee’s estate (24 Feb.); the Hockcliffe to Woburn road and the Royal Lustring Company (3 Mar.); Von Holte naturalization (11 Mar.); the Fornhill-Stony Stratford road (13 Mar.); Lady Rich’s charities (14 Mar.); free ship (15 Mar.); Pierrepont’s estate (19 Mar.); Drake’s estate (26 Mar.); and Crosse’s estate (7 Apr.).139 On 4 Mar. Abergavenny again registered his proxy with Stamford. 

Stamford attended every day of the short session of April 1707. He was named to two committees and chaired the committee of the whole House on the bill preventing gunpowder from being brought into London, from which he reported on 23 April. Whig pressure for office evidently benefitted Stamford, for on 25 Apr., the day after the prorogation, he was reinstated as first lord of the board of Trade. He brought his usual attention to the post, first sitting on 29 Apr. and attending all meetings bar one until mid-July 1707 when he decamped from London.140 Stamford was back by 20 Oct. 1707 when he attended a meeting of the board of trade and was present when the 1707-8 session convened on 23 October.141 He attended 93 days, 87 per cent of the total, and was named to 36 committees. On 12 Nov., after Stamford had proposed an address of thanks to the queen for her speech delivered a week previously, the House agreed instead a motion from leading Tories that the state of the nation be first discussed, particularly in relation to trade and the state of the fleet.142 To this end Stamford laid his board’s memorial on the country’s trade before the House on 28 Nov. and throughout November he was frequently called upon to submit reports and to give testimony before committees considering trade.143 On 29 Jan. 1708 he acted as a teller in opposition to David Melville, 5th earl of Leven [S], on whether to agree a resolution critical of Captain Kerr in relation to convoys. On 9 Feb. he was named to count the ballot for election to the select committee charged with the examination of Harley’s under-secretary William Greg, duly reporting the result to the House. On 1 Apr. he was named to manage a conference on the waggoners bill. 

Stamford chaired the committee of the whole House considering the bill relating to the statutes of cathedrals and collegiate churches (19 Feb.), a debate which Nicolson described as ‘beginning in a heat’.144 Likewise, he chaired the committee of the whole on the bills for salt duties (26 Feb.); establishing a court of exchequer in Scotland (22, 24 Mar.), which he reported on 26 Mar., although Henry Herbert, Baron Herbert of Chirbury, had chaired the committee on the 25th; to promote trade to America (23 Mar.); for the import of cochineal from Spain (29 Mar.); and for limiting the time for claims on the forfeited Irish estates (1 April). His work on select committees was limited to chairing and reporting the Cherrill to Studely road bill (reported 25 Feb.); and the Cheeke and earl of Kilmarnock estate bills (17 March).145 The decline in his activity on select committees may have been due to his work at the board of trade, as he barely missed a meeting of the commissioners until his departure from London in mid-June.146

The Parliament of 1708

In about May 1708 Stamford was classed as a Whig on a printed list. He was back attending meetings at the board of Trade on 25 Oct., again barely missing a meeting until June 1709.147 He was present when the next Parliament met on 16 November. He attended on 82 days of the session, 89 per cent of the total, and was named to 34 committees. On 21 Jan. 1709 he voted with the Junto against the motion that James Douglas, 2nd duke of Queensberry [S], could vote in the elections for Scottish representative peers as he had disqualified himself by taking up the British dukedom of Dover. Stamford again chaired important committees of the whole during the session. He was heavily involved in framing the bill for ‘improving’ the Union of the two kingdoms, which provoked fierce opposition from Scottish members as it effectively extended and amplified English treason laws to the northern kingdom in the wake of the pretender’s attempted invasion. On 19 Mar. Stamford replaced Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Salisbury, whose opposition to the bill was too evident, as chairman of the committee of the whole House during discussions on the bill and he continued to direct discussions on it on 21, 22, 23, 25 Mar. before reporting the bill as fit to pass on 26 March. He chaired the committee of the whole House when considering the Middlesex registry bill on 19, 28, 29 Mar. and 2, and 4 Apr.; and one meeting of the committee of the whole each on the bill to prevent laying wagers on 26 Mar. and on the bill to make more effective the act against ‘mischiefs’ caused by fire on 13 April. On 6 Apr. he clashed with Rochester in a debate on the clause in favour of the Quakers in the stamp bill, but the dispute on the wording was resolved without a division.148 He was named to a conference on 21 Apr. on the bill continuing the acts against coining and other banking matters. From February 1709 he took up his usual duties as a frequent chairman of select committees. He reported from select committees on Sainthill’s estate bill (14 Feb.); the reversal of Lord Slade’s attainder (15 Feb.); the bishop of Chichester’s bill (1 Mar.); Stafford’s estate bill (12 Mar.); Powlett’s estate bill (11 Apr.); Whitaker’s bill (16 Apr.); and the Portsmouth harbour bill (20 April).149

Stamford returned to London before the following session began, attending the board of trade on 7 Nov. 1709.150 He was present when the 1709-10 session convened on 15 November. He attended on 85 days of the session, 91 per cent of the total, and was named to 32 committees. He chaired the adjournment of one select committee and Emerton’s estate bill (reported on 28 March).151 He chaired the committee of the whole during consideration of bills to prohibit the export of corn (7 Dec. 1709), to rebuild Eddystone lighthouse (27 Feb. 1710), and to reform the administration of justice by the lords of justiciary in Scotland (22 Mar.). On 10 Feb. he acted as a teller in opposition to Ailesbury on whether to reverse the decree in the cause Mickleburgh v. Crispe. On 20 Mar. he voted Sacheverell guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours. On 27 Mar. he was named to manage a conference on the disagreements with the Commons on the bill concerning the marriage settlement of Edward Southwell.

Stamford’s main preoccupation from mid-February to the end of March 1710 was the petition he brought to the House on 18 Feb. for the reversal of a decree found against him by Lord Chancellor Cowper in chancery in December 1709 in favour of his underage nephew, Sir John Hobart, 5th bt. (future earl of Buckinghamshire), the orphaned child of Stamford’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth Maynard. Upon the death of the 5th earl of Suffolk in December 1709, his widow (also Sir John Maynard’s widow and executor), guardian of the young Hobart heir and his eight siblings, had successfully managed to overturn part of the Maynard Estate Act of 1694 so that the children could be more amply maintained. Stamford’s petition was met with counter-petitions on 9 Mar. from one of the recently deceased earl of Suffolk’s sons, Charles Howard, future 9th earl of Suffolk, who in 1706 had married Henrietta, one of the many Hobart daughters, and on 22 Mar. from the dowager countess of Suffolk herself. Counsel was heard on the case on 29 and 30 Mar., with Northey one of those appearing for Stamford, and Spencer Cowper appearing for the dowager countess, after which the House dismissed Stamford’s petition.152

The Parliament of 1710 and after

The loss of the chancery case and the appeal seemed to provoke a quarrel between Stamford and Cowper, which threatened the parliamentary seat of Spencer Cowper at Bere Alston. At the same time, a local dispute over a plan to create more voters in Stamford’s interest threatened to upset the electoral balance between Drake and Stamford. At one point Drake denounced Stamford as ‘a person of so little temper and principle and so great ingratitude I will comfort myself seeing he intends it, that [I] am like to have no more to do with him’. Drake claimed to have ‘spent some hundreds of pounds in his service which have brought him both credit and money in his pocket, and [I] have never myself been a saver in anything have had to do with him’. In the event, Cowper did not contest the election and the dispute between Drake and Stamford was patched up; King and Lawrence Carter junior were returned for the seat.153 Meanwhile, in July 1710 Stamford seems to have been lukewarm in his reception of the desire of John Manners, marquess of Granby, future 2nd duke of Rutland, to contest Leicestershire, apparently proposing an alternative, but in the event Granby and a Tory split the representation without a contest.154

After attending the board of trade on 1 June 1710, Stamford left London for the summer. On a list compiled on 3 Oct. Harley considered Stamford as certain to oppose the new ministry, but this was qualified by a query. The next day a commission was sealed for a new board of trade with Stamford remaining as first commissioner. His decision to remain in office, while most other Whigs resigned, may well have been dictated by his poor financial situation, which must have been made worse by the recent chancery decision and the failure of his appeal to the Lords. Stamford was back in London to attend the board of trade on 24 Oct., barely missing a meeting until his departure from office in June 1711.155

Stamford was present when the 1710 Parliament met on 25 November. He attended on 106 days of the session, 94 per cent of the total, and was named to 31 committees. From 18 Dec. he held the proxy of George Booth, 2nd earl of Warrington. Warrington returned to the House to vacate this proxy on 15 Feb. 1711, but then registered it with his cousin again on 30 March. Stamford’s uncomfortable position as a Whiggish member of the ministry was exposed by the Tory-led attack on the failures of Spanish war under the previous ministry. On 11 Jan. he acted as a teller in opposition to Abingdon against rejecting the petition of Charles O’Hara, Baron Tyrawley [I], one of the allied commanders in Spain. He then subscribed to a protest against the rejection of the petitions of Tyrawley and Henri de Massue de Ruvigny, earl of Galway [I], as he did to a resolution that Galway, Tyralwley, and James Stanhope, the future Earl Stanhope, were responsible for the defeat at Almanza and subsequent allied losses. On the following day he subscribed to a further protest that an offensive war had been approved and directed by ministers, who were therefore to blame for the failed attack on Toulon as well as the misfortunes of the allies in Spain. A month later the controversy over the campaign was still continuing, and on 3 Feb. he signed two protests against resolutions explicitly condemning the Whig ministers for the ‘neglect of their service’ in not sufficiently supplying Spain with troops. On 8 Feb. he signed two further protests, one against the wording proposed for the address on the war in Spain (which again blamed the allied commanders for the defeat at Almanza) and another against the resolution to present the resulting address to the queen. On the 9th he signed three protests against a resolution which expunged some of the previous protests of 3 February.

Stamford continued his usual duties as chairman of the committee of the whole House. He chaired the committee during discussions on bills to preserve American pines (16 Apr. 1711; he also reported from a conference on the bill on 10 May); to lay a duty on hops and to expedite the draining of Lindsey Level (both reported 14 May); to preserve fishing in the river Thames (2 June), and to raise two million pounds (7 June). He continued to chair select committees, including Clarges’s estate bill (reported 9 Mar.); Viscount Montagu’s bill (1 May); Weston’s bill (7 May); and Brideoak’s bill (9 May). Notably, in one committee on 17 Mar. Nicolson recorded him as being ‘sharp on the Low Church’s roasting a priest the last winter; and High-Church’s Carbanadoeing a Bishop in this Session’.156 Stamford was also named to manage a conference on amendments to the Dunstable to Hockley road bill on 9 May.

Stamford’s loyalty to the Whigs on party matters made him a marked man. He was replaced as custos rotulorum of Devonshire in January 1711, when John Poulett, Earl Poulett, took over the lieutenancy, and was omitted when a new board of trade was commissioned on 12 June. The loss of office must have made his financial position even worse and he retired to the country. He did not attend the 1711-12 session, although with the crucial issue of the peace coming to a head, he registered his proxy with Somers on 30 Nov. 1711. On 2 Dec. Oxford listed Stamford as one of those peers to be canvassed before the expected division on the peace at the opening of the session. Oxford hoped that Stamford’s financial plight would make him amenable to following the ministry’s lead, but in response to Oxford’s approach, Stamford noted that although the lord treasurer had made him ‘many promises which were very surprising and unexpected’, he insisted that ‘I only hoped to have my arrears of salary paid, which truly after your Lordship got me turned out, I expected’.157 Even though Stamford was absent, on 19 Dec. Oxford classed him as likely to oppose Hamilton’s peerage claims in the division expected on the following day. In January 1712 and again after the 1713 session (from which Stamford was again absent), Hanoverian agents and supporters in England saw him as a fitting recipient of a pension of £1,000 from Hanover and he was probably one of the few peers so recommended to the electoral court who was in actual receipt of a reward. The Hanoverian envoy, Schütz, recorded that ‘Stamford I have been told has something from Hanover, if not he should’.158 Oxford continued to regard him as an opponent, assessing Stamford on 13 June 1713 as likely to oppose the bill confirming the eighth and ninth articles of the French commercial treaty.

Stamford was absent from the House when the 1714 session convened on 16 February. He sat for the first time in the session on 28 Apr. and attended just 23 days in all, 30 per cent of the total, and was named to seven committees. At the end of May and beginning of June Nottingham predicted that Stamford would oppose the schism bill. He acted as a teller on 7 June in opposition to Scarsdale in a privilege case. He last attended the House on 10 June, registering his proxy with Henry Clinton, 7th earl of Lincoln, on the following day. Stamford was probably absent from London when the queen died on 1 Aug., for he was not present for the short session convened on the queen’s death until the 12th. He was present for nine days of the session, 60 per cent of the total. He chaired the committee of the whole House on 18 Aug. when it considered the act for the better support of the king’s household. He stayed in London, receiving a visit from William Wake, bishop of Lincoln, and Sir Peter King, the future Baron King, on 31 Aug. and was present at the prorogation on 23 September. When the king attended chapel at St James’s on 26 Sept., Stamford carried the sword of state.159 Despite this apparent sign of favour, Stamford did not receive any obvious benefit from the Hanoverian succession. According to William Berkeley, 4th Baron Berkeley of Stratton, he was offered his old post of chancellor of the duchy in October 1714, but ‘he insisted upon being commissioner of trade with it’, and declined the offer.160 Nor was he reappointed to the Privy Council.

Stamford died on 31 Jan. 1720. His will revealed that he had owed £2,500 to Carter. The first call on Stamford’s limited real and personal estate was to pay this and other debts, while the remainder was to go to his widow.161 As he had no surviving children by either of his marriages, his share of the Maynard inheritance, and his control of the electoral interest in Bere Alston, devolved to his wife’s nephew, Hobart, while the Stamford title was passed on to his cousin Henry Grey, 3rd earl of Stamford, the son of John Grey.

Stamford had a long and busy parliamentary career, demonstrating in political ideology and vigour that he was his father’s worthy successor. From the time of the Convention, Stamford became one of the leading members of the House, a parliamentary workhorse, who until 1711 maintained a consistently high level of attendance and activity—and this despite the fact that ‘by reason of a defect in his speech [he] wants elocution’. Some people saw him as lacking in judgment. Ailesbury referred to him as ‘that poor-headed earl’, whose ‘reasonable paternal estate, but entailed’ had seen him ‘cut down all the vast fine woods, ruined the mansion house, and took money by advance on his estate and spent it, and was after little better for it during his life; his maternal estate, upwards of £3,000 per annum, he ate up absolutely and all sold’. Some of estate may have been spent on scholarly pursuits, for as well as his record as a regular scrutineer of the journals and work on the committee examining into the keeping of Parliament’s records, he possessed a collection of manuscripts of sufficient interest for Peter le Neve in April 1698 to arrange for Thomas Tanner to have ‘the liberty of his house to make’ a catalogue of them.162


  • 1 CSP Dom. 1685, p. 306.
  • 2 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk, v. 566.
  • 3 Verney ms mic. 636/46, J. to Sir R. Verney, 7 Dec. 1692; CTB, xii. 90.
  • 4 TNA, PROB 11/573.
  • 5 Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster Office-holders, 4, 179.
  • 6 CSP Dom. 1694-5, p. 204; CSP Dom. 1695, p. 112; CSP Dom. 1697, p. 511.
  • 7 R. Greaves, Secrets of the Kingdom, 353.
  • 8 CSP Dom. 1699-1700, p. 93; CSP Dom. 1700-02, p. 242.
  • 9 CSP Dom. 1700-2, p. 498.
  • 10 London Gazette, 5-7 July 1709.
  • 11 Reg. Leicester Freemen, i. 165.
  • 12 W. Kellaway, New England Co. 301.
  • 13 Survey of London, xxxiii. 44.
  • 14 Williamson Letters (Cam. Soc. n.s. viii), 192; HMC Hastings, ii. 159.
  • 15 Timberland, i. 157.
  • 16 HMC Montagu, 172-73; HMC Rutland, ii. 30.
  • 17 Nichols, Hist. Leics. iii. 679.
  • 18 HMC Rutland, ii. 38-39.
  • 19 True Domestic Intelligence, 9 Dec. 1679; HMC Lords, i. 182.
  • 20 Add. 29582, f. 28.
  • 21 E.S. De Beer, ‘The House of Lords in the Parliament of 1680’, BIHR, xx. 36.
  • 22 Smith’s Protestant Intelligence, 28 Feb. 1681.
  • 23 HMC 14th Rep. IX, 423; Haley, Shaftesbury, 632.
  • 24 Bodl. ms. Eng. hist. c.478, ff. 223-24.
  • 25 CSP Dom. 1683 (Jan.-June), 70; Greaves, Secrets of the Kingdom,137.
  • 26 Greaves, Secrets of the Kingdom, 132, 168, 179, 197.
  • 27 CSP Dom. 1683 (July-Sept.), 89, 93, 134; HMC Rutland, ii. 79-80.
  • 28 CSP Dom. 1683-4, p. 51.
  • 29 HMC Rutland, ii. 94; CSP Dom. 1685, pp. 269, 274-5. LJ xiv. 77.
  • 30 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 40; Add. 70013, f. 228; Verney ms mic. 636/40, J. Stewkeley to Sir R. Verney, 21 Oct. 1685.
  • 31 NAS, GD 157/2681/37, newsletter, 29 Oct. 1685; CSP Dom. 1685, p. 372.
  • 32 HMC Downshire, i. 56.
  • 33 London Gazette, 8-11 Feb., 1-5 Apr. 1686; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 104; Bodl. ms Eng. Hist. c.711, f. 49.
  • 34 DEL 1/197; DEL 11/12.
  • 35 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 292; Verney ms mic. 636/41, Dr Denton to Sir R. Verney, 10 Nov. 1686.
  • 36 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 321-2, 376-7.
  • 37 Longleat, Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 42, f. 213.
  • 38 Verney ms mic. 636/45. R. Paulden to Sir R. Verney, 6 Sept. 1687; Burghley House, Exeter mss 97/1.
  • 39 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 284, 350, 405, 412; Hosford, Nottingham, Nobles and North, 40. 92-95; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 218-19.
  • 40 Kingdom without a King, 27, 56-57, 124, 153, 158, 162, 165.
  • 41 Halifax Letters, ii. 208, 217.
  • 42 PA, HL/PO/CO/1/4, pp. 60-61.
  • 43 HL/PO/CO/1/4, pp. 72, 75-79, 90-91.
  • 44 Sainty, Custodes rotulorum; Glassey, JPs, 101-2; HMC Rutland, ii. 126; Add 28042, f. 108.
  • 45 Leicester Bor. Recs. v. 5; R.W. Greaves, Corporation of Leicester, 90n.; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 61; 1694-5, p. 253.
  • 46 Survey of London, xxxiv. 477; v. 65; London Top. Rec. xxix. 56.
  • 47 HL/PO/CO/1/4, pp. 253, 258-59, 262-67, 269-92, 294-314, 316-33, 341-56; HMC Hastings, iv. 308-9.
  • 48 HL/PO/CO/1/4, pp. 381-83.
  • 49 HL/PO/CO/1/4, pp. 386-87, 390-94, 396-99, 401, 411.
  • 50 Charges to the Grand Jury (Cam. Soc. ser. 4, xliii), 34-6; The Speech of the ... Earl of Stamford … at the General Quarter-Sessions … for the county of Leicester, at Michaelmas 1691 (1692).
  • 51 HMC Portland, iii. 456; Add. 70014, f. 393.
  • 52 HL/PO/CO/1/4, pp. 422-3, 452-3.
  • 53 Belvoir, Rutland mss, Add. 18 (Bertie pprs.), ?Bridget Noel to co. of Rutland, 6 Mar. [n.y.].
  • 54 HMC Finch, iii. 19; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 566.
  • 55 Add. 70219, Edward Cooke to Harley, 14 Apr. 1691; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 238.
  • 56 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 1, 6, 15-16.
  • 57 HMC Lords, iii. 349-51; TNA, C6/265/95, C6/266/44, C6/265/57, C5/106/60, C5/107/55.
  • 58 Add. 70015, f. 272.
  • 59 HMC Lords, iii. 327; Luttrell Diary, 111.
  • 60 HMC Lords, iv. 24.
  • 61 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 84-85.
  • 62 HMC Lords, iii. 457, 481.
  • 63 HMC Lords, iv. 125-6.
  • 64 HL/PO/CO/1/5, p. 138.
  • 65 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 153-4, 158, 163-4, 166, 168-9, 172, 177-80.
  • 66 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 90.
  • 67 Correspondentie van Willem III en van Bentinck, ed. Japikse, ii. 39; HMC Portland, iii. 536.
  • 68 HMC Hastings, ii. 233.
  • 69 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 181, 184-7.
  • 70 HMC Lords, n.s. i. 340-2.
  • 71 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 197, 199-200, 203, 216, 220, 222-4.
  • 72 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 295, 304; TNA, SP105/82, f. 197.
  • 73 Add. 29565, f. 417.
  • 74 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 237-9, 244, 264, 284, 288-93.
  • 75 HMC Hastings, ii. 248.
  • 76 Add. 72533, ff. 153-4.
  • 77 HMC Portland, iii. 573; HMC Downshire, i. 579; Lexinton Pprs. 139, 141.
  • 78 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 347-48, 351-52.
  • 79 CSP Dom. 1695, p. 124; Locke Corresp. v. 479-80, 486.
  • 80 CSP Dom. 1696, pp. 131, 267-68; CSP Dom. 1697, pp. 180, 316; Glassey, JPs,123-24, 141n.; HMC Buccleuch, ii. 356, 363, 365, 374, 385; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/104, 107-8, 112, 127; Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, i. 225.
  • 81 LPL, ms 930, no. 21, anon. to Tenison, 30 Oct. [1696].
  • 82 HMC Hastings, iv. 318.
  • 83 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 310, 346-7, 371.
  • 84 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, i. 33-34, 85, 108, 174; Add. 17677 QQ, ff. 629-33; WSHC, Arundell of Wardour mss 2667/25/7; HMC Buccleuch, ii. 439-40.
  • 85 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 421, 424-41, 452, 453, 458, 461, 463, 471.
  • 86 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, i. 235, 244.
  • 87 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 225; Somerville, 16, 192; CSP Dom. 1697, p. 158; Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/103, 106, 112; Staffs. RO, Sutherland mss D 868/7/1a; Glassey, JPs, 282-4.
  • 88 Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/181.
  • 89 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 561, 594, 603, 612, 620; Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, ii. 106.
  • 90 Bodl. Ballard 23, ff. 98-100; NLW, St Davids Episcopal, SD/MISC B/14, pp. 48-50.
  • 91 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 480, 482, 484, 495-508, 513-14, 517-18, 548-59, 600, 601-3, 606, 608, 611; HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 24-25, 102-11, 117-24.
  • 92 CSP Dom. 1698, pp. 390-1, 394-5, 399.
  • 93 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, ii. 191.
  • 94 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 474, 477.
  • 95 NAS, Hamilton mss GD406/1/4656.
  • 96 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 139, 339, 348, 352; Rutland mss, letters xxi, f. 152.
  • 97 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 1-2, 6-9, 15, 41, 54-55, 64, 66, 75-77, 80-91; HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 303, 317.
  • 98 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 3-4.
  • 99 CSP Dom, 1699-1700, p. 34.
  • 100 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, ii. 296-300; Sainty, Boards of Trade, 29; CSP Col. 1699, pp. 357, 501.
  • 101 CSP Col. 1700, pp. 30-34.
  • 102 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 101, 130.
  • 103 I.K. Steele, Politics of Colonial Policy, 56, 59.
  • 104 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 4-5; Horwitz, Parl. Pol. 267.
  • 105 Vernon-Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 62-63.
  • 106 Cocks Diary, 314.
  • 107 CSP Col. 1700, pp. 387, 873.
  • 108 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 139-40.
  • 109 Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 22.
  • 110 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 176-7; HMC Lords, n.s. iv. 371-2.
  • 111 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 174-91.
  • 112 Montagu (Boughton) mss 47/201, 204, 207; Bodl. Carte 228, f. 273; Boston Pub. Lib. Somerset mss K.5.3, Yard to Blathwayt, 23 June 1699.
  • 113 CSP Dom. 1700-2, p. 322.
  • 114 Cocks Diary, 148-50, 165.
  • 115 CSP Col. 1701, pp. 376, 598.
  • 116 HL/PO/CO/1/6, p. 193.
  • 117 HMC Lords, n.s. iv. 436-64, v. 50-51; Steele, Politics of Colonial Policy, 77.
  • 118 Macky, Mems. 72-73.
  • 119 Rutland mss, Wilkins to Rutland 4 Apr. 1702.
  • 120 Add. 70073-4, newsletters for 21, 23 May, 2 June 1702; CSP Dom. 1702-3, p. 409; Daily Courant, 2 June 1702; HMC Portland, iv. 55-56.
  • 121 Macky, Mems. 72-73.
  • 122 Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 212; Post Boy, 28 Nov.-1 Dec. 1702.
  • 123 Add. 70073-4, newsletter of 1 Dec. 1702.
  • 124 Nicolson, London Diaries, 196.
  • 125 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 245, 247, 252-3, 258-9, 277, 313, 316.
  • 126 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 357, 365, 373, 386-87, 389, 392, 394, 402-5, 407, 409, 413, 418-20, 422-7, 433-36, 441-42, 445, 448-53.
  • 127 HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 37; Nicolson, London Diaries, 228, 238; HL/PO/CO/1/7. p. 94.
  • 128 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 5-6, 20-21, 30-31, 35-41, 43, 47, 50-51, 54-60, 65-78, 83-84, 89.
  • 129 Nicolson, London Diaries, 229.
  • 130 Luttrell, v. 604; Cowper, Diary, 6-7.
  • 131 Herts. ALS, Cowper (Panshanger) mss DE/P/F100, Cowper to [?1705], same to Stamford, draft, 14 Apr. 1708.
  • 132 [C. Gildon], A Review of the Princess Sophia’s Letter … and that of Sir Rowland Gwynne (1706).
  • 133 PH, xxxii. 257.
  • 134 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 127-30, 133, 139-40, 143-7, 152-5, 160-1, 165-6, 168; HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 364-7.
  • 135 Nicolson, London Diaries, 356, 381.
  • 136 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 101-26; 101, 104-5, 111-18, 123-6, 152, 155, 159, 161, 176-8, 180-5, 194; Nicolson, London Diaries, 351.
  • 137 Add. 70022, ff. 365-6; HMC Cowper, iii. 70.
  • 138 HMC Portland, ii. 193; Cowper (Panshanger) mss D/EP F55, Cowper to Halifax, n.d. [1706]; DE/P/F149, Stamford’s memo.
  • 139 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 208, 211-13, 219-25, 230, 240-2.
  • 140 Sainty, Boards of Trade, 29; Steele, Politics of Colonial Policy, 113-14, 175; Jnl. Commrs. Trade and Plantations, 1704-9, pp. 345-402.
  • 141 Jnl. Commrs. Trade and Plantations, 1704-9, p. 412.
  • 142 Timberland, ii. 179-80.
  • 143 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 246, 264, 274.
  • 144 Nicolson, London Diaries, 454.
  • 145 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 305-6, 317-18.
  • 146 Jnl. Commrs. Trade and Plantations, 1704-9, pp. 412-508.
  • 147 Jnl. Commrs. Trade and Plantations, 1704-9, pp. 540-84; 1709-15, pp. 1-41.
  • 148 Nicolson, London Diaries, 473, 494.
  • 149 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 337, 341, 344, 365-66, 368.
  • 150 Jnl. Commrs. Trade and Plantations, 1709-15, p. 85.
  • 151 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 379, 390.
  • 152 HMC Lords, n.s. viii. 363-4.
  • 153 E.F. Eliot-Drake, Fam. and Heirs of Drake, ii. 176-85; Devon RO, Drake mss 346 M/F 62, 65, 67, Drake to King, 14, 26 May, 5 June 1710.
  • 154 Rutland mss, letters xxi, f. 282.
  • 155 Jnl. Commrs. Trade and Plantations, 1709-15, pp. 160, 186-279.
  • 156 Nicolson, London Diaries, 560; HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 115-24.
  • 157 Add. 70229, Stamford to Oxford, 17 Dec. 1711.
  • 158 E. Gregg and C. Jones, ‘Hanover, Pensions and the “Poor Lords”’, PH, i. 176-7.
  • 159 LPL, ms 1770 (Wake Diary), f. 148; British Mercury, 22-29 Sept. 1714; Evening Post, 25-28 Sept. 1714.
  • 160 Wentworth Pprs. 428.
  • 161 TNA, PROB 11/573.
  • 162 Macky, 72; Ailesbury Mems. 534; Bodl. Tanner 22, f. 63.