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DIARY  OF                             WOTTON

pass to his next Protestant heir. This indeed seemed a
hard law, but not only the usage of the French King to
his Protestant subjects, but the indiscreet insolence of
the Papists here, going in triumphant and public proces-
sions with their Bishops, with banners and trumpets in
divers places (as is said) in the northern counties, has
brought it on their party.

24th April, 1700. This week there was a great change
of State officers. The Duke of Shrewsbury resigned his
Lord Chamberlainship to the Earl of Jersey, the Duke's
indisposition requiring his retreat. Mr. Vernon, Secre-
tary of State, was put out. The Seal was taken from the
Lord Chancellor Somers, though he had been acquitted
by a great majority of votes for what was charged against
him in the House of Commons. This being in term
time, put some stop to business, many eminent lawyers
refusing to accept the office, considering the uncertainty
of things in this fluctuating conjuncture. It is certain
that this Chancellor was a most excellent lawyer, very
learned in all polite literature, a superior pen, master of
a handsome style, and of easy conversation; but he is
said to make too much haste to be rich, as his prede-
cessor, and most in place in this age did, to a more pro-
digious excess than was ever known. But the Commons
had now so mortified the Court party, and property and
liberty were so much invaded in all the neighboring
kingdoms, that their jealousy made them cautious, and
every day strengthened the law which protected the peo-
ple from tyranny.

A most glorious spring, with hope of abundance of
fruit of all kinds, and a propitious year.

roth May, 1700. The great trial between Sir Walter
Clarges and Mr. Sherwin concerning the legitimacy of
the late Duke of Albemarle, on which depended an es-
tate of ^1,500 a year; the verdict was given for Sir
Walter, igth. Serjeant Wright at last accepted the Great

24th May, 1700. I went from Dover street to Wotton,
for the rest of the summer, and removed thither the rest
of my goods from Sayes Court,

2.d June, 1700. A sweet season, with a mixture of re-
freshing showers.

9th-r6th June, 1700.     In   the   afternoon,   our    clergy-r. Among the rest, there