Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of England and the British Empire"

See other formats


VOL. III. 1689-1802 



In Four Volumes. With Plans and Coloured Maps. 
Crown Sv0. 6s. net each. 

Vol. I. Before the English came, to 1485. 
Vol. II. 1485-1688. 
/ Vol. III. 1689-1802. 
Vol. IV. 1802-1914. 

Also a Library Edition, Demy &V0, 
los. 6d. net each volume. 





















1689 1802 



Dec. 1688. The position after the flight of James 11. . i 
Jan. 1689. A Convention offers the crown to William and 

Mary ...... 2 

Feb. Declaration of Right and Bill of Rights . . 3 

The Toleration and Mutiny Acts ... 6 

William and the parties .... 7 

1690. A new parliament with a Tory majority . . 9 


1688. Scotland ...... 9 

Jan. 1689. The crown offered to William . . . 10 

The Convention and Dundee . . . 10 

The Claim of Rights . . . . 1 1 

July Dundee's campaign : Killiecrankie . . 12 

1689-1691. William and the Scots parliament . . 13 

1689-1692. The Highlands : Glencoe . . . 14 

1695. The Glencoe inquiry . . . . 15 

1688. Ireland . . . . . . I? 

1689. Siege of Derry ..... 18 
The Irish Jacobite parliament . . . 19 
Schomberg in Ulster . . . .20 

June 30, 1690. William in Ireland: the Boyne campaign . 21 

French naval victories : Beachy Head . . 21 


iv England and the British Empire 


1690. Maryborough's autumn campaign . . . 22 

1691. Athlone, Aghrim, and limerick ... 22 
The capitulation of Limerick . . . 23 

1695. The Penal Laws ..... 23 


William primarily a continental statesman . 25 

1689. Holland, France, and England : relative sea-power 26 

1690. The English parties and the king . . 28 

1691. Preston's plot ; William in the Netherlands . 30 

1692. Jacobite plans for invasion ... 30 
May Battle of La Hogue .... 32 

Battle of Steinkirk ..... 32 

1692-1693. Parliament restive ..... 33 

Battle of Landen : loss of the Smyrna fleet . 33 

Initiation of party cabinets ... 34 

1694. Place-bills and their motive . . . 35 
The command of the Mediterranean becomes a 

definite object of policy 35 

The Triennial Act . . . . . 36 

Dec. ,, Death of Queen Mary .... 37 

1695. William's successes in the Netherlands . . 37 
Whigs dominant in a new parliament . . 38 

1696. Barclay's plot : the Association ... 38 
The Mediterranean evacuated ... 39 

1697. Attainder of Sir John Fenwick . . . 40 
Advance of the Whigs .... 40 

Sept. Peace of Rys wick . . . . . 41 


1697. William's position weakened by the peace . 42 

1698. The first Partition Treaty signed ... 42 
Development of the opposition . . 43 
The question of the Spanish succession . . 43 
Character of the first Partition Treaty . . 45 

Synopsis and Contents v 


1699. The second Partition Treaty ... 46 

1699-1700. Increasing strength of the Tories . . . 47 
Nov. Death of Charles n. of Spain : Louis xiv. accepts 

the Spanish inheritance for Philip . . 48 

,, Policy of William ..... 50 

1701. A Tory parliament : Act of Settlement . . 50 

Reaction against Tories in the country . . 51 

Louis's blunders : recognition of James III. . 52 

Nov. Triumph of William's policy 53 

March 1702. William's death . . ... . 53 


Influence of the Revolution on commerce . 54 

The East India Company . . . . 55 

1697-1701. Crisis in the company's affairs ... 56 

Commercial relations of England and Scotland . 57 

1695. The Darien Scheme .... 57 

1692. The English land tax 4 . . 59 

Government borrowing ... 59 

Creation of the National Debt ... 60 

1694. Creation of the Bank of England . , . 61 
The Tory Land Bank . . . , 62 

1695. The new coinage . . . . . 62 
The bank, the mint, and the goldsmiths . . 63 



1702. National unanimity; Tory predominance in 

parliament and council ... 64 

Marlborough ; the military situation . . 65 

A successful campaign .... 66 

Naval operations : Cadiz and Vigo . . 66 

1703. The Spanish crown claimed for 'Charles in.' . 67 
Frustrated military and naval plans . . 68 

vi England and the British Empire 


1704. The Blenheim campaign . 68 
Aug. 2 Battle of Blenheim . 7' 

Rooke in the Mediterranean 

July 21 Capture of Gibraltar . 73 

1705. Peterborough in Spain . 74 

1706. Eugene in Italy ... 74 
May The Ramillies campaign . 74 

Barcelona relieved . 75 


1702. Marlborough, Godolphin, and the Tories . 77 
Occasional Conformity bill 78 

1703. Second defeat of the bill . 79 

1704. Harley and St. John . 79 

1705. Dissolution, and a Whig majority . 80 
The question of union with Scotland in the past 80 

1702. The Scots parliament . . 81 

1703. Parties in a new Scots parliament 

1703-1704. The Scottish Act of Security 83 

1705. English retaliatory measures . 84 

Commissioners appointed to confer 85 

April 1706. The Commission agrees upon terms . 86 

The treaty passed by the Scots parliament 87 

Opposition to the measure 

April 6, 1707. The Union completed . .89 

Its continued unpopularity in Scotland . . 89 


1707. Marlborough's difficulties .... 90 
April Spain : Berwick defeats Gal way at Almanza . 91 
July Failure of the Toulon scheme ... 92 
June 1708. Revolt of Flemish towns . . . . 92 
July Battle of Oudenarde .... 93 

Wynendael and Lille .... 94 

Sept. Capture of Minorca .... 94 

Synopsis and Contents vii 


1706-1708. Cross-currents of party politics ... 95 

1708. An abortive attempt at invasion . . . 96 

1709. Failure of peace negotiations : the Barrier Treaty 97 
The Malplaquet campaign ... 98 

1710. Exhaustion and inactivity . ... 99 

1710-1712. IV. FALL OF THE WHIGS 

Mrs. Masham and the queen . . , loo 

April 1710. Dismissal of Duchess Sarah . , 101 

1709. Doctor SacheverelPs sermon . 101 

Feb. 1710. Impeachment of Sacheverell . . . 102 

Sept. Victory of Harley and St. John . . .103 

April 1711. Succession of Emperor Charles VI. . . 104 

Tory negotiations with Louis . . . 104 

Dec. Walpole attacked : Marlborough dismissed . 106 

1712. Peace negotiations and intrigues . . . 107 

May Britain deserts the allies .... 108 



1712. Rivalry of Oxford and Bolingbroke . . 108 

April 1713. Treaty of Utrecht ..... 109 

,, Proposed treaty of commerce defeated . . 112 

The Whigs, the Tories, and the succession . 113 

1714. Bolingbroke's struggle for power . . . 114 

July 30 ,, The Whig coup de main . . . 115 

Aug. i Death of the queen . . . . 115 


1714-1721. I. GEORGE i. AND STANHOPE 

Aug. 1714. Accession of George I. .... 116 

The Whig triumph . . . . 117 

1715. Flight of Bolingbroke and Ormonde . . 118 

viii England and the British Empire 


Sept. 1715. Death of Louis XIV : the Orleans regency . 118 

Mar raises the Jacobite standard . . . 119 

The rising on the Border . . . . 1 19 

Nov. 13 Sheriffrnuir and Preston . . . . . 120 

1716. Collapse of the 'Fifteen' . . . . 121 

The Septennial Act 121 

Great Britain and Hanover . o 122 

The French succession . . , 123 

The situation on the Continent . . . 123 

1716-1717. Stanhope ; the Whig schism . , . 124 

1718. The Quadruple Alliance . . . . 125 

1716-1717. Alberoni and the northern powers . . 126 

1718. Alberoni attacks Sicily . . . .127 
Aug. II Byng destroys the Spanish fleet at Passaro . 127 

1720. The fall of Alberoni . . . .128 

1717-1719. Walpole in opposition . . . .129 

1719. Sunderland's Peerage Bill . . . 130 
The South Sea Company . . . . 131 

1720. The South Sea Bubble . . . .132 
Fall of the ministry ; Walpole called to power . 133 


Review of Anglo-French relations . . 134 

Leading figures in England . . 135 

France, Spain, and Austria . . . 135 

1726. Treaty of Hanover . . . . 137 

1727. A general peace . . . . 137 
Townshend and Walpole . . . .138 

June 1727. Accession of George II. . . . . 138 

Walpole and Queen Caroline . . . 139 

Cardinal Fleury . . . . .139 

1729. Treaty of Seville . . . . .140 

Jacobitism . . . . . .141 

Walpole's commercial policy . . . 142 

Scotland . . . . . .143 

Ireland ...... 143 

Synopsis and Contents ix 


1729. Wood's half-pence, and Drapie^s Letters . 144 

1730. Townshend's retirement . . . .145 


Walpole and the Opposition . .146 

Corruption under Walpole . .146 

Walpole and the Dissenters . 14? 

1733. Walpole's Excise Bill ... 148 

Frederick, Prince of Wales, and the ' Patriots ' . 1 50 

1 736. The Porteous riots . . . 1 5 l 

1737. Death of the queen . . . IS 1 

1731. The European situation . . . IS 2 
1733. War of the Polish Succession . . 153 

The Bourbon Family Compact . 153 

1733-1738. Walpole and the Polish war . . 154 

Walpole and the Family Compact . . 155 

1738. Spain and England . . . 156 
Story of Jenkins's ear . .157 

Jan. 1739. Convention of Pardo . . . 157 

Oct. Declaration of war . . . . .157 



The issues, apparent and latent . . . 159 

The Pragmatic Sanction .... 161 

The rise of Prussia . . . . . 161 

Three deaths in 1740 . . . .163 

French and British in America . . . 163 

India : its peoples and past history . . 165 

The Mogul empire and the rise of the Mahrattas 167 

The European traders . . . .169 

The French, the British, and sea-power . . 169 

x England and the British Empire 

1739-1745. II. THE WAR OPENS 


1 739. Walpole and the war . . . .170 

1740. First successes . . . . . 171 

1741. Cartagena and Santiago . . . . 171 

1740. Frederick n. occupies Silesia . . . 172 

1741. Marshal Belleisle's projects . . . 173 
Treaty of Klein-Schnellendorf . . . 174 
Attitude of Great Britain and Hanover . . 174 

Jan. 1742. Resignation of Walpole ; Carteret minister . 175 

Aug. Commodore Martin at Naples . . . 176 

June Treaty of Breslau . . . . .176 

Nov. Treaty of Westminster . . . .177 

1743. Lord Stair on the Maine . . . . 177 
June Battle of Dettingen . . . .178 
Sept. Treaty of Worms . . . . .179 

1744. France becomes a belligerent . . . 179 
Failure of Matthews in the Mediterranean . 179 
Collapse of a Jacobite invasion . . . 180 

Dec. Formation of the broad-bottomed administration 181 

1745. The Fontenoy campaign . . . . 181 
June Capture of Louisbourg . . . 182 

Treaty of Dresden . . . . .182 

1745-1746. III. THE FORTY-FIVE 

1744-1745. The Jacobite position in Great Britain . . 183 

July 1745. The landing in Moidart . . . .184 

The march on Perth and Edinburgh . . 185 

Sept. 22 Prestonpans . . . . .186 

Nov. The march to Derby . . . .187 

Dec. The retreat to Glasgow . . . .188 

Jan. 1746. Falkirk . . . . . .189 

April 17 Culloden . . . . . .190 

After Culloden ... . .191 

Break up of the clan system . . . 192 

Raising of Highland regiments . . . 193 

Synopsis and Contents xi 


1746-1754. IV. HENRY PELHAM 

1746. The Pelhams ..... 194 
The war : French progress in the Netherlands . 194 

1747. Europe growing weary of the war . . 195 

1748. Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle . . . .196 
1746. India-, schemes of Dupleix . . . 197 

French capture of Madras ; sepoys . . 198 

1748. End of the first stage of the Anglo-French 

struggle in India . . . .199 

1749. New schemes of Dupleix .... 200 
Rival candidates for the Carnatic and Haidarabad 201 
French and British take sides as auxiliaries . 202 

1751. Clive at Arcot : the turn of the tide . . 202 

1754. Recall of Dupleix ..... 203 

1748-1754. French and British colonies in America . . 204 

1746. Strength of the Pelham ministry . . . 205 

1751. Creation of * Consols ' .... 205 
Death of the Prince of Wales ... 206 

1752. Reform of the calendar : * New Style ' adopted . 206 

1753. Hardwicke's Marriage Act . . . 207 

1754. Death of Pelham ..... 207 


1754-1757. I. DRIFT 

1754. The Newcastle administration . . . 208 
1749-1756. The diplomatic revolution . . . 209 

Designs of the Austrian minister Kaunitz . 209 
The beguiling of France . . . .210 

Position of Frederick of Prussia . . . 21 1 
1756. Convention of Westminster and Treaty of 

Versailles . . . . . 212 

Anglo-Prussian relations . . , . 212 

1755. America : Braddock's disaster . . . 213 

1756. A French invasion expected . . 214 

xii England and the British Empire 


May 1756. Byng's failure at Minorca . . . .214 

Failures in America . . . . 215 

Nov. The Devonshire administration formed . . 215 

Frederick invades Saxony . . . 216 

1757. France committed to the war in Europe . '. 217 
Jan. Execution of Admiral Byng . . . 218 

March Pitt dismissed : three months of chaos . . 219 

June 29 Coalition of Pitt and Newcastle . . . 219 

1757-1760. II. WILLIAM PITT 

May 1757. The position of the powers . . . 220 

June Frederick's victory at Prague and defeat at Kolin 221 

News of the Black Hole of Calcutta . . 222 

Pitt's war policy .... 222 

Sept. Cumberland's Convention of Klosterseven . 223 

Failure at Rochefort .... 224 

Nov. Prussian victories of Rossbach and Leuthen (Dec.) 224 

1758. Ferdinand of Brunswick ; Crefeld . . 225 
Policy of naval descents on French coast . 226 
Progress and checks in America and at sea ; 

news of Plassey .... 227 

Varying fortunes of Frederick . . . 227 

July 1759. The Minden campaign .... 228 

Aug. Boscawen at Lagos . . . .229 

Nov. 20 The triumph of Quiberon .... 229 

Wolfe and Amherst : plan of campaign . . 231 

June Wolfe before Quebec .... 232 

Sept. 1 3 Wolfe's victory and death . . . 234 

Frederick's bad year .... 235 

1760. Designs of Choiseul .... 236 

The war in Germany .... 237 

Conquest of Canada completed . . . 237 

Oct. Death of George 11. 238 

1755-1760. III. CLIVE 

1755. The situation in India . 239 

1756. Clive's return to India .... 239 

Synopsis and Contents xiii 


1756. The country powers . . . 239 
June 1756. The Black Hole of Calcutta . 240 

1757. Clive and Watson in Bengal . . .241 
The forged treaty . . 242 

June The advance to Plassey . 243 

June 23 Plassey and its consequences . 244 

1758. Lally in the Carnatic . 245 
April 1759. Forde captures Masulipatam . 246 

Clive's relief of Patna ... 246 

Oct. The Dutch episode . 247 

Feb. 1760. Clive leaves India . . . , . 247 

Eyre Coote's victory at Wandewash . . 248 

1761. Fall of Pondichery and successes in Bengal . 248 

1761-1763. IV. BUTE 

1760. George in. and Lord Bute . . . 248 

1761. The king, Pitt, and the war . . . 250 
Pitt demands war against Spain . . . 251 

Oct. Pitt resigns . . . . . 251 

1762. Position of Frederick II. .... 252 
Newcastle resigns . . . . .252 
Naval successes . . . . . 253 
Bute's management . . . 253 

Feb. 1763. Peace of Paris . . 254 

Peace of Hubertsburg . . . .255 

CHAPTER VI. THE ERA, 1689-1760 


The Restoration era . . . . 256 

The new century ..... 257 

The literary kings ..... 257 

Limitations of the Augustan poetry . . 258 

Characteristics of the Augustan age . . 258 

xiv England and the British Empire 


Restoration and Augustan morals . 259 

Prose : Addison, Swift, and Defoe . . 260 

Rise of the novel : Richardson and Fielding . 261 

Hints of Romanticism .... 262 

The Church ..... 262 

The Wesleys and Wesleyanism . . . 263 

Rationalism in religion .... 264 

Science and philosophy . . . 264 

Histories and memoirs .... 266 


Material prosperity .... 266 

Manufacture ..... 267 

Spinning and weaving as domestic industries . 268 

The open field ..... 269 

Enterprise and enclosure .... 270 
Iron and coke . . . . .271 

The fly-shuttle and the spinning-jenny . . 271 

Town, country, and poor-law . . . 272 


1763. I. THE SITUATION IN 1763 

The king's aims ..... 273 

George, Pitt, and the Whig connection . . 274 

Claims of the House of Commons . . . 275 

Problems outside Great Britain . . . 276 

The thirteen colonies and the mother-country . 276 

The regulation of colonial trade . . . 278 

Changed relations resulting from the war . . 279 


1763. Bute's ascendency and retirement . . . 280 

April Grenville's ministry formed . . . 280 

Synopsis and Contents xv 


1763. John Wilkes and Number Forty-five . 281 

Reconstruction of the ministry . . . 282 

Jan. 1764. Outlawry of Wilkes .... 283 

1 763. Steps for recovering revenue from America . 284 
Justification of the end, unwisdom of the method 285 

1764. Grenville resolves to impose taxes for revenue . 286 

1765. The Stamp Act . . . . . 287 
The cry of ' No taxation without representation ' 288 
Inadequacy of communication . . . 288 

1765. American resentment at the tax . . . 289 
Nov. ,, A colonial congress ; non-importation agreements 290 

George, Bedford, and Grenville . . . 291 

May The Regency Bill ; Pitt refuses office . . 291 

July The Rockingham administration formed . 292 

1766. Repeal of the Stamp Act ; the Declaratory Act 292 
Difficulties practical and theoretical . . 293 

July Fall of the Rockinghams : Pitt takes office . 294 


1766. The new ministers .... 295 
Pitt accepts the earldom of Chatham . . 295 
Chatham's projects .... 296 
Failure of the plan for a northern league . 297 

Sept. The Corn Order in Council . . . 298 

1767. Chatham becomes incapacitated . . 299 
Charles Townshend's taxes at American ports . 299 
Mutual British and American irritation . . 300 

Nov. North succeeds Townshend at the exchequer . 301 

1768. Feeling in America .... 301 
A general election ; cabinet changes . . . 302 

1769. Repeal of the taxes, excepting the tea tax . 302 
Re-appearance of Chatham . . . 303 

1770. Ministerial resignations ; formation of North's 

ministry ..... 304 

1769. French annexation of Corsica . . . 305 

1768. Return of Wilkes ; his election for Middlesex . 305 

1769. The struggle : technical victory of the Commons 306 

rmes's Eng. Hist. Vol. HI. b 

xvi England and the British Empire 

1760-1770. IV. INDIAN AFFAIRS 


The position after the Peace of Paris . . 307 

1761. The Mahrattas checked by Ahmed Shah . 308 

1760-1770. Rise of Haidar Ali in Mysore . . . 309 

Progress of the Mahratta power . . . 310 

1761-1763. The British in Bengal . . . . 311 

1763. Mir Cassim . . . . .311 

Oct. 1764. The decisive battle of Buxar . . . 312 

May 1765. Clive returns to India . . . . 312 

1765-1766. His administrative reforms . . . 313 

The Mogul and the Diwanl . . . 313 

His policy in relation to the country powers . 314 

1767. Relapse after Clive's departure . . . 315 

1760-1772. V. IRELAND 

Survey of Irish political conditions . . 316 

Industry and the land . . . . 317 

The Whiteboys ..... 318 

The Undertakers . . . . . 319 

Claims of the Irish parliament . . . 320 

1767. Lord Townshend becomes viceroy . . 320 

1768. The Octennial Act . . . .321 
1772. Close of Townshend's administration . . 322 


1770-1775. I. BEFORE THE STORM 

1779. The Boston Massacre .... 323 

1769-1771. Spain and the Falkland Islands . . . 323 

1772. First Partition of Poland . . . 324 

1770. The House of Commons and election petitions . 325 

The city and the government . . . 325 

Juries and libels ..... 326 

Publication of debates .... 326 

Synopsis and Contents xvii 


1771. Crosby and Oliver .... 327 

1772. Royal Marriages Act .... 327 
Government and the East India Company . 328 
America : the Gaspce incident . . . 328 

1773. The Hutchinson letters . .328 
Dec. The Boston tea-party .... 329 

1774. The Penal Acts ../... 330 
Canada and the Quebec Act . . . 331 
American preparations for war . . . 332 

Sept. The * Continental Congress ' 332 

Activity of Massachusetts . . . 333 

Great Britain determined on coercion . . 333 

North's Conciliation Bill .... 334 


April 1775. Battle of Lexington begins the war . . 334 

June 15 Battle of Bunker Hill 335 

The Olive Branch petition . . . 336 

The American invasion of Canada . . 336 

1776. The evacuation of Boston . . . 337 
July 4 Declaration of Independence . . . 338 

June The Hc'.ves before New York . . . 338 

British successes in the autumn . . . 339 

Inaction at the close of the year . . 340 

1777. Advance of Washington .... 340 
The Philadelphia campaign : July-November . 341 

Oct. 1 7 The surrender at Saratoga . . . 342 

French sympathy with the Americans . . 342 

Feb. 1778. Franco-American treaty .... 343 

Chatham, North, and King George . . 344 

April Chatham's last effort .... 345 

May His death and its effect .... 345 

1778-1783. III. AT BAY 

1778. Change in the character of the war . . 346 
Operations of the year ; Cornwallis in the south 347 

xviii England and the British Empire 


1779 Indecisive naval movements . 34 8 

Spain declares war : siege of Gibraltar . 348 

1780. Continued indecisive operations . 349 
Benedict Arnold and Major Andre 349 
., The Armed Neutrality : war with Holland 350 

1781. Capture of St. Eustatius . . 35 
The fleets in European waters . 35 J 
Cornwallis ordered to Yorktown . 352 

Oct. Surrender of Yorktown . . 35 2 

1782. Fall of North's ministry ... 353 
April Rodney's victory of the Saints . . . 354 

Oct. Siege of Gibraltar raised . . . 355 
Nov. Peace with America . -355 

Feb. 1783. Preliminaries of peace with France and Spain . 356 

1770-1785. IV. INDIA 

1770. The position in 1770 .... 357 

1772. Warren Hastings sent to Bengal . . 357 
Parliamentary inquiry .... 357 

1773. North's Regulating Acts . . . . 358 
Conflict of authorities under the Acts . . 359 
Hastings as governor of Bengal . . . 360 

1775. Hastings and the Triumvirate : the Oudh treasure 361 

The Nuncomar affair . . . .361 

1775-1777. Contest of Hastings and the Council . . 362 

1777. Hastings predominant .... 362 

1776-1780. Contest between the judges and the executive . 362 

1780. The Sadr Adalat ..... 363 

1771-1781. Hastings and Cheyt Singh of Benares . . 363 

1782. The affair of the Oudh Begums . . . 364 

Foreign policy of Hastings : the Mahrattas, 

Oudh, and the Rohillas . . .365 

1773. The Rohilla War ..... 365 
How Hastings saved India . . . 367 

1774. Bombay and Ragoba .... 367 

1775. Treaty of Surat . 367 

Synopsis and Contents xix 


March 1778. Treaty of Purandar .... 367 

Jan. 1779. Convention of Wargam . . . 368 

Energetic action of Captain Goddard . 368 

Haidar Ali, the Nizam, and the French . 369 

July 1780. Haidar Ali invades the Carnatic . * 369 

Popham captures Gwalior . . . 370 

1781. Eyre Coote in the Carnatic . . . 370 

1782. Naval contests of Suffren and Hughes . 371 
Tippu Sahib succeeds Haidar Ali . . 371 

1783. General peace ... 371 
1785. Hastings leaves India . . . 372 


1772. Ireland: Viceroyalty of Lord Harcourt . 373 

1773. The proposal of an absentee tax , . 373 
Influence of the American quarrel . . 375 

1778. Commercial relaxations and Catholic relief _., 375 

1780. England'. The Gordon riots , --.-.. 376 

' Economic Reform ' .... 376 

Dunning's resolution ; the general election : 377 

March 1782. Fall of North : second Rockingham ministry 377 

July Death of Rockingham ; Shelburne's ministry 378 

1778. Ireland: the volunteers . . . 379 

1779. Commercial and other concessions . . 379 

1780. The Irish Mutiny Bill . . . 380 

1781. Loyalty of the Irish in the crisis of the war . 380 

1782. The volunteers at Dungannon . . 381 
Concession of an independent parliament . 381 

Feb. 1783. England: Shelburne's difficulties : his fall . 382 

Coalition ministry of Fox and North . 382 

Nov. Fox's India Bill .... 383 

Dec. 1783. Defeat of the bill through George's intervention 384 

The coalition dismissed ; Pitt takes office . 385 

Dec-March 1784. Pitt's battle with the coalition . . 385 

March Dissolution ; triumph of Pitt , ' . 386 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. b 2 

xx England and the British Empire 


1784-1792. I. AT HOME 


The Crown and public opinion . . . 387 

King George, Pitt, and the public . . 388 

Pitt's position ; its paradoxes . . . 389 

1784. The Westminster election . . . . 391 

1785. Defeat of parliamentary reform in England . 391 

1784. And in Ireland ..... 393 
Grattan's parliament .... 393 

1785. Pitt's plan for an Anglo-Irish treaty of 

commerce ..... 394 

The plan rejected when modified . . . 395 

1788. Position of the Prince of Wales . . . 396 

Nov. The Regency Bill ..... 397 

Feb. 1789. End of the Regency Bill . . . . 398 

1789-1792. The last years of peace .... 398 

1784-1792. II. PITT'S FINANCE 

Adam Smith and mercantilism . . . 399 

The Walpole precedents .... 400 

The new view ..... 400 

1784. The state of the national finances . . 401 
Pitt's first budget ..... 402 

1785. Pitt's second budget .... 403 

1786. Pitt's Sinking Fund .... 403 
1786-1787. Treaty of commerce with France. . . 404 

1787. Simplification of the Customs . . . 405 

1785-1793. III. THE EMPIRE 

1784. Pitt's India Act . . . . .406 

The Board of Control .... 407 

1786. Cornwallis governor-general . . . 407 

Synopsis and Contents xxi 


1786. Impeachment of Warren Hastings . , 407 

1795. The verdict . . . . 409 

Tippu, Sindhia, and the Nizam . . . 409 

1787-1792. Administrative reforms of Cornwallis . . 409 

The ' Permanent Settlement ' . . . 410 

1789. An embarrassing treaty revived . . . 411 

1789-1792. The Mysore campaigns and annexations . 411 

1793. Shore succeeds to the governor-generalship . 412 

1791. Canada separated into two provinces . . 413 
1770. Australia visited by Captain Cook . . 413 

Jan. 1788. Formal annexation . . . . 413 


The European powers .... 414 

1785. Austria, Holland, and the Netherlands . . 415 

1788. The Triple Alliance . . . . 416 
1789-1790. The Nootka Sound affair . . . . 416 
1788-1790. Great Britain and Prussia . . . . 417 
1790-1791. Pitt, Prussia, and Russia . . . . 418 

1792. The Peace of Jassy . . . . 418 
The French Revolution 

Comparison of social conditions in England and 

France ...... 419 

Effect of the American War in France . . 420 

1789. The States-General and the Bastille . . 421 
1789-1791. The Constituent Assembly . . . 421 

1791. The Declaration of Pilnitz . . .422 
The Legislative Assembly . . . 423 

March 1792. France declares war on Austria . . . 423 

British opinion ..... 423 

1790. Burke's Reflections . .... 423 
Change of public opinion in England . . 424 

1792. France at war with Austria and Prussia . . 425 
Sept. The September Massacres . . . 425 

The Republic proclaimed .... 426 

The tide of opinion sets against France , . 426 

xxii England and the British Empire 


1792. The Convention tears up the Fontainebleau 

treaty ...... 427 

Jan. 1793. Louis xvi. beheaded .... 427 

Feb. I War declared upon Great Britain . . 427 

REPUBLIC, 1793-1802 

1793-1802. I. FEATURES OF THE WAR 

Two diverse wars . . . . .428 

The immediate causes .... 428 

Popular opinion and the Opposition . . 429 

Victory of France in the first war . . 430 
Its two phases . . . . .431 

Unsuspected strength of France . . . 432 

Weakness of the allies .... 432 

Pitt as a war minister .... 433 

The British navy and army . . . 434 


Summary of events in France . . . 435 

1793. The first coalition formed . . . . 436 

Spring and Summer : progress of the allies . 436 
Autumn ; progress of the French ; capture of 

Toulon ...... 437 

1794. Immobility of the allies; continued progress of 

the French ..... 437 

June i Howe's naval victory .... 438 

The Portland Whigs join the government . 439 

1794-1795. The French in Holland and Spain . . 439 

1795. The British occupy Cape Colony . . . 440 
Dissolution of the coalition ; deserted by 

Holland, Spain, and Prussia . . . 440 
General ill-success . . . . ,441 

1796. Bonaparte in Italy . .... 441 

Synopsis and Contents xxiii 


1796. The fleet evacuates the Mediterranean . . 442 
Failure of peace overtures . . . 442 

Feb. 14, 1797. Battle of Cape St. Vincent . . . 443 

French expedition to Ireland . . . 444 

April The mutiny at Spithead .... 444 

May The mutiny at the Nore .... 445 

Oct. Duncan's victory of Camperdown . . 446 

Great Britain isolated by the Treaty of Campo 

Formio ...... 446 


Success of the French Republic . . . 447 

1797. Schemes for invading England . . . 447 

1 798. Bonaparte's real designs upon Egypt . . 448 
May Bonaparte leaves Toulon .... 448 

Nelson's pursuit . ... . . 449 

Aug. i Decisive battle of Aboukir Bay, or the Nile . 449 
Uneasiness in Europe . . . .451 

Ferdinand II. driven from Naples . . 451 

1799. Tsar Paul and the second coalition . . 452 
French reverses . . . . .452 
Dissensions in the coalition . . . 452 
Bonaparte in the East : St. Jean d'Acre . . 453 

Nov. Bonaparte returns to France ; ' First Consul ' . 453 

1800. Failure of peace overtures . . . 454 
May ,, Bonaparte's Italian campaign . . . 454 

Failure of fresh negotiations . . . 454 

Dec. 3 Battle of Hohenlinden .... 455 

Feb. 1801. Treaty of Luneville ; second coalition ended . 455 

Tsar Paul revives the Armed Neutrality . . 455 

April 2 Battle of the Baltic .... 455 

Alexander I. succeeds Paul . . . 455 

March Sir Ralph Abercromby in Egypt . . . 456 

May The French driven out of Egypt . . . 456 

March Resignation of Pitt ; Addington prime minister 457 


1 793- i 79& Sir John Shore's governor-generalship . . 457 

xxiv England and the British Empire 


May 1798. Mornington (afterwards Wellesley) governor- 458 

general ... 458 

The native powers . . . . . 459 

The Nizam secured .... 459 

1799. The conquest of Mysore ; annexations . . 460 

Wellesley's theory of policy . . . 461 

1 80 1. The Carnatic annexed . . . .461 

Wellesley and the Oudh nawab . . . 462 

Wellesley wishes to seize the Mauritius . . 463 

Europe ; peace in sight . . . . 463 

March 1802. Treaty of Amiens ..... 464 


1793. Change of Pitt's attitude and that of the British 

public to France and the Revolution . . 465 

1793-1796. Repressive measures from fear of Jacobinism . 466 

Scotland; Braxfield .... 467 

1795-1800. Repressive measures continued . . . 468 

Ireland : Presbyterians and Roman Catholics . 469 

Failure of ' Grattan's parliament ' . . . 470 

Wolfe Tone; the 'United Irishmen 5 . . 471 

The Roman Catholics and the French Revolution 471 

Increase of disaffection .... 471 

* 1793. Pitt's Catholic Relief Act .... 472 

1795. Fitzwilliam lord-lieutenant . . . 472 
Defenders and ' Peep o' Day boys ' . . 473 

1796. Camden lord-lieutenant : the Insurrection Act . 473 
England : the Sinking Fund maintained . 474 
Suspension of cash payments . . . 474 

March 1798. Ireland : Repressive measures . . . 475 

The Insurrection ..... 476 

Cornwallis lord-lieutenant . . . . 476 

Pitt's problem . . . . .477 

His plan of union plus emancipation . . 478 

Hopes held out to the Catholics . . . 478 

1799. The persuasion of parliament . . 479 

Synopsis and Contents xxv 


1800. The Act of Union ..... 480 
The unions with Scotland and Ireland compared 480 
Catholic emancipation refused by the king . 481 

1 80 1. Resignation of Pitt . . . .481 



Change in the spirit .... 482 

Chatterton, Blake, Goldsmith . . . 483 

Cowper, Crabbe, Johnson, Bos well . . 484 

The novelists ..... 485 

The stage ...... 486 

Revived interest in medievalism . . . 486 

Scotland : Robert Burns .... 487 

The lyrical ballads 488 

Gibbon and Burke ..... 489 

Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham . . 491 


The change between 1 760 and 1800 . . 492 

Causes of the revolution ; its immensity . . 493 

Manufacture : Power machinery . . . 494 

Arkwright and Cartwright . . . 494 

Effect of the new machinery . . . 495 

Coal defeats charcoal .... 495 

Iron, steel, and steam : James Watt . . 496 

Cotton ...... 497 

Capital and labour ..... 497 

Suppression of workmen's combinations . . 498 

Traffic : roads and canals ; James Brindley . 499 

The Rural Revolution .... 500 

The doom of the old order ; enclosure . . 501 

Landlords and the process of enclosure . . 502 

Effects of the war ..... 504 

1782. Poor Law. Gilbert's Acts . . .504 

1795. The Speenhamland blunder . . . 504 

xxvi England and the British Empire 



I. The British succession : Stuarts and Hanoverians . . 506 

II. The House of Hanover : George I. to Victoria . . 507 

in. Hapsburg and Bourbon intermarriages : the Spanish 

succession ....... 508 

IV. The Austrian succession ..... 509 

v. The Bourbon Monarchies : descendants of Louis xin. . 510 


I. Concerning the Army and Navy . . . . 511 

II. Lord Peterborough in Spain . . . . .514 

in. On some offices of state . . . . . 515 

IV. The Armed Neutrality . . . . 516 


In Text 

The Blenheim campaign ...... 70 

Quebec ........ 232 

Battle of the Nile ....... 450 

At end of Volume 

I. The Netherlands War Area. 

II. The Central European War Area. 

ill. India. 

IV. North America \ inset^ from New York to Yorktown. 

v. The West Indies. 

Page 245, line 3 : for Safdat Ali read Shuja Daulah. 


DECEMBER 1688 -MARCH 1690 

THE second flight of James u. left England without any legal 
government whatever. There was no parliament ; there was 
no ministry. The nearest analogy was the position 1688 
which had arisen when Cromwell and his soldiers The position 
turned out the Rump Parliament. On that occasion in December - 
the officers of the army had acted as the supreme authority, and 
created the Protectorate, which provided a powerful govern- 
ment, simply because the one organised military force in the 
country was behind the Protector. At the crisis of 1688 it 
would have been impossible for any military committee to play 
the part of Cromwell's army officers, or for William to play the 
part of Cromwell. But if there was no legal authority, nor any 
unauthorised Caesar, there were at least on the one hand a general 
desire to reach a peaceful solution of the crisis, and on the other 
the Prince of Orange with an army ; and there were the peers 
who had already been acting practically as a provisional govern- 

The king's flight had stopped the summoning of a parliament 
in legal form. William, however, immediately invited what may 
be called an emergency parliament, an irregular but 
fairly representative gathering, to assemble on 26th A Convention 
December, at which every one who had sat in any summoned, 
of the parliaments of Charles n. was called to attend ; 
on the hypothesis that they had been in their time freely elected 
members, whereas since the cancellation of the town charters 
the elections had not been free. To this body was added the Cor- 
poration of London. The peers assembled on 24th December, 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. A 

2 William III. 

and passed a resolution inviting William to issue writs for a 
Convention on the analogy of that which had recalled Charles n. 
in 1660, and to take over the executive control until the Conven- 
tion could assume direction. The resolution was endorsed by 
the second chamber on the 26th ; on the 28th, William accepted 
the invitation, and the Convention was summoned to meet on 
22nd January. The elections were to be carried out under the 
conditions prevalent before the alteration of the borough charters. 
Whigs and Tories were alike aware that in some form or other 
it was necessary that a government should be established with 
The offer of William at the head of it. But as to the form itself, 
the crown. ft was no easv matter to reconcile the different solu- 
tions that were offered. The Commons showed a preponderance 
of Whig sentiment. They passed resolutions, one declaring that 
the throne had been vacated by James's flight, which was an act 
of abdication, while the second pronounced that it was contrary 
to public policy that the throne so vacated should be occupied 
by a Papist. The resolution of the Lords implied on the other 
hand that the act of abdication had not vacated the throne, but 
had already made some one or other, not James II., the monarch 
de jure. The majority of the Tories held the view that James 
was still king, and that the proper course was to appoint a regency 
one of the plans which had been put forward in the days of 
the Exclusion Bill. Another Tory group, led by Danby and 
supported by many of the Whigs, claimed that the exclusion of 
James and his son made his daughter Mary the heir apparent ; 
William might receive the crown jointly with her, but as her 
consort. It was, in fact, indisputable that Mary stood next 
after her father and brother in the succession to the throne, after 
her any heirs of her body, after them her sister Anne and the 
heirs of her body, and after them William as the grandson of 
Charles i. But to this direct rule of succession there was one 
insuperable objection : William did not claim the crown for him- 
self as of right, but he declined to accept any position except 
that of king. If the country did not choose to make him king 
he would go back to Holland. The country could not afford 
to let him go back to Holland. Mary took the same line ; she 

The Revolution in England 3 

would not accept the crown for herself unless her husband 
were recognised as king. Anne, perhaps through the Churchill 
influence, was induced to postpone her claim to that of William 
himself ; it was not reasonable to invite William to accept a 
crown which would have to be resigned if his consort died 
before him. William himself made no unreasonable William ill. 
claims. He had his work to do in Holland ; it was and Mar y n. 
not worth while for him to burden himself with the administra- 
tion of England except as king ; but it was quite right that Anne 
and her children should succeed in priority to children of his 
own by another wife than Mary. The agreement between 
William, Mary, and Anne was decisive. Parliament, in fact, 
had no option but to accept the principle that William and Mary 
should be made joint sovereigns, the crown continuing to the 
survivor, passing on the survivor's death to Mary's children if 
she should leave any, then to Anne and to her children if she 
should leave any, and then to William's children if he should 
survive his wife and leave children of the second marriage not 
because he had been king, but because he personally stood next 
in succession to his wife and his sister-in-law. It was superfluous 
to do more towards the further fixing of the succession than 
to make a declaration that after all these it should go to the next 
Protestant heir. 

It was clear, however, that if William was to be offered the 
crown it must be upon explicit conditions which would ensure 
the attainment of the objects for which the Revolu- The Declara- 
tion had been initiated. Yet delays were dangerous. tion of Ri&fct. 
However desirable it might be to draw up a written constitution 
defining the position of the Crown, present necessities forbade 
the delay which would be involved. So a Declaration of Right 
was drawn up setting forth the acts of James which were con- 
demned as contrary to the law ; subject to the acceptance thereof, 
the succession was to be fixed in the order stated, while under the 
joint sovereignty of William and Mary the administration was 
to be vested in William. On I3th February, William and Mary, 
having accepted the Declaration, were proclaimed king and queen. 
Since the legal year at this time still began not upon ist January, 

4 William IIL 

but at Lady Day, the Revolution was completed in 1688, Old 
Style, and bears the name of that year ; although according to 
the New Style reckoning it took place not in the closing months 
of 1688, but in the opening months of 1689. 

The necessities of the situation and the attitude of William 
had forced the reluctant Tories to forgo the principle of in- 
Pariiament defeasible hereditary right. Sheer impracticability 
and heredi- had forced the regency scheme, which alone was 
tary right. compatible with the highest Tory doctrines, out of 
court. Danby and his school had found an excuse for the ex- 
clusion of the infant Prince of Wales in their profession of belief 
that the child was supposititious ; but there was no evading the 
fact that it was only by parliamentary title that William could 
occupy the throne, except as the consort of Mary. It was only 
by admitting the right of parliament to set aside the unqualified 
rule of legitimism that the exclusion of Papists from the suc- 
cession could be maintained. To that doctrine the country was 
committed by the Revolution Settlement. At the same time 
a number of Tories, headed by the earl of Nottingham, claimed 
that, while their principles required them to resist the settlement, 
they were free after the settlement had been made to act as 
the loyal servants of the de facto government. And on the other 
hand, there remained a not inconsiderable number of high Tories, 
and especially of high Anglicans among the clergy, who would 
not acknowledge that the king by hereditary right could cease 
to be king. Of the seven bishops who had made the immortal 
protest against the Declaration of Indulgence, six found that 
their consciences would not permit them to take the new oath 
of allegiance to the new king in contravention of the oath of 
allegiance which they had taken to the old king. Four hundred 
of the clergy, who came in consequence to be known as non- 
jurors, followed the example of the bishops, though all but a very 
few of the laymen to whom the oath was tendered accepted -it as a 
practical duty, even though they might demur to it in theory. 

The Declaration of Right had not in fact disposed of all the 
constitutional questions of the two last reigns; but it finally 
disposed of every claim of the Crown to impose taxes without 

The Revolution in England 5 

parliamentary authority. It abolished the suspensory power, 
that is the power claimed under the Declaration of Indulgence 

to suspend the operation of the laws. It denounced , 

Provisions of 
the recent uses or abuses of the dispensing power by the Deciara- 

which individuals had been relieved from the opera- tion and BUI 
tion of the law in particular cases ; but it did not 
deny the existence of a dispensing power. It declared that a 
standing army might not be maintained in time of peace without 
parliamentary sanction. It forbade the institution of arbitrary 
courts, such as that of Ecclesiastical Commission ; but it did 
not touch the law under which the judges were removable at 
the king's pleasure. It affirmed the right of petition, of free 
election to parliament, of free discussion in parliament, of frequent 
assembly of parliament ; but it did not regulate the duration 
of parliament. Before the end of the year the Declaration of 
Right was given statutory form in the Bill of Rights. The 
proposal to embody in it the recognition of Sophia, the sister 
of Prince Rupert her husband presently acquired a new dignity 
as elector of Hanover as the next Protestant heir after William 
and his offspring was still rejected ; but in other respects some 
points in the Declaration were made more definite. The king 
was in future to be required to make the same declaration which 
had been adopted in 1678 for the exclusion of Catholic peers 
from the House of Lords, denying Transubstantiation and other 
specified Romish doctrines. Marriage to a Roman Catholic was 
made an additional bar. The dispensing power was made applic- 
able only to such Acts as might contain a permissory clause. 
But even then the questions of the judges and of the duration of 
parliament were left to be dealt with by later legislation. Still the 
Bill of Rights stands as the final charter of parliamentary rights. 
The Bill of Rights set the seal upon the Revolution ; but much 
that was of importance took place between the proclamation of 
the new sovereigns and the passing of that statute. The new 
Manifestly the religious question demanded settle- government 
ment. James had ruined himself by his attempt Noncon- 
to set public opinion at naught by advancing formists. 
Romanists to every kind of office from which English Protest- 

6 William III. 

antism had deliberately excluded them. He had tried to 
win over Protestant Nonconformists by extending to them 
in theory at least a like relief from penal and disabling 
statutes. The Nonconformists after some hesitation had re- 
jected his overtures and played an active part in bringing about 
his downfall. It was impossible entirely to refuse them their 
reward ; but it was equally impossible to wipe out the hostility 
between Puritanism and High Anglicanism. A proposal for a 
Comprehension Act which would have admitted many Noncon- 
formists within the pale was received without enthusiasm by 
anybody, and was presently dropped. Its place was taken by 
The Toiera- & Toleration Act, which in effect cancelled the 
tionAct. Conventicle and Five Mile Acts of the Clarendon 
Code, and conceded freedom of public worship. That freedom, 
however, was extended neither to Papists nor to sectaries who 
denied the doctrine of the Trinity. Nor were the Test Act and 
the Corporation Act repealed, so that it was chiefly by the method 
known as Occasional Conformity, attendance at church rites 
specifically required under the Acts and on the occasions pre- 
scribed, that Protestant Nonconformists in general were able to 
hold municipal or public offices. The Test and Corporation 
Acts still barred them from public service, shut them out of the 
universities, and forbade them to hold commissions in the army 
and navy. The letter of the law, however, was not strictly 
observed, and some time later it became the practice to pass an 
annual Act of Indemnity for the relief of Nonconformists who 
had held office without obeying the injunctions of the Act. 
The disabilities, in short, remained, without being very rigidly 
enforced, while the positive penalties for nonconformity were 
virtually abolished. 

It was almost by an accident that about the same time the 
annual meeting of parliament was secured by a measure which 
The Mutiny was not primarily intended to gain that particular 
Act - object. Charles and James had practically main- 

tained their standing armies by subjecting the troops to martial 
law under ' articles of war/ in defiance of the common law ; in 
fact, no statutory provision had been made for the preservation 

The Revolution in England 7 

of discipline. On the accession of William and Mary the position 
of the regiments was extremely uneasy. They had not kept 
William out, and they had not brought him in. Their loyalty 
to the new regime was even more uncertain than their loyalty 
to King James. The order was given that some of them should 
be dispatched to the Low Countries. One regiment, Dumbar- 
ton's, composed almost entirely of Scots, mutinied and started 
to march for the north ; the men grumbled that they were Scots 
who ought not to be at the orders of the English government. 
They were overtaken and forced to surrender by a superior force ; 
but though they were hardly penalised, the parliament realised 
the necessity of enforcing discipline, and a Mutiny Act was 
passed authorising the subjection of the soldiery to martial law 
for a period of six months, afterwards extended to twelve. But 
the authorisation carried with it the implication that after the 
twelve months the employment of martial law would be illegal. 
By the simple process of re-enacting the Mutiny Act annually 
for twelve months only, it was rendered imperative that parlia- 
ment should meet at least once in the twelve months for the 
renewal of the Act, without which the officers would be left to 
enforce discipline by the methods of the common law which would 
be wholly inadequate to that purpose. 

We have seen that Whigs and Tories both took their share 
in bringing William over to England and in establishing him 
upon the throne. It was clear enough, however, whig 
that Tory principles had to be strained to the expectations, 
uttermost, in a process which presented no difficulties to the 
Whigs. As a natural result, the Whigs were disposed to regard 
the Revolution as a Whig victory. They were on fairly equal 
terms with the Tories in the Upper House, and they were in a 
majority in the Lower. Generally their hostility to France was 
more pronounced than that of the Tories ; therefore they were 
prima facie the more useful allies for William in that policy of 
antagonism to Louis xiv. to which his desire for the control of 
England was quite subsidiary. Consequently, the Whigs ex- 
pected to obtain a definite ascendency, which they intended 
to use with some vindictiveness. The Tories in the past had 

8 William TIL 

displayed no qualms in acting on the principle ' spoils to the 
victors, and woe to the vanquished/ The Whigs reckoned that 
their turn had come. 

They reckoned without their host, for William had no in- 
tention of becoming the puppet or the figurehead of a party. 
William and If he had placed himself in the hands of the Whigs, 
the Parties, the Tories would have been turned into a solid body 
of Jacobites in less than six months, and it was of first-rate im- 
portance to William that the whole country, and not merely a 
section of it, should feel its need of him. It was only on those 
terms that he could bring it effectively into his European com- 
binations. Jacobitism at its lowest power was still certain to 
remain a disintegrating and a trouble-begetting force ; if he 
provoked the antagonism of the Tories a.t large, Jacobitism 
would be raised to its highest power. Active Jacobitism was 
hardly to be feared from the Whigs as a party. Policy, there- 
fore, demanded that the Tories should be conciliated. 

And so the Whigs found, to their extreme displeasure, that 
they were not to have matters all their own way. Two of the 
highest offices were bestowed upon Danby, the High Tory min- 
ister of Charles II. who had signed the famous letter inviting 
William's intervention, and upon Nottingham, who had opposed 
the deposition of James while acknowledging the duty of obedi- 
ence to the de facto government. A third went to Halifax, who 
had led the Whigs or fought the Whigs with a total disregard of 
party ties, and was perhaps more acceptable to the Tories than 
to the Whigs. The fourth person in the leading quartette was 
the Whig Shrewsbury. Churchill, now for his services made 
earl of Marlborough, who through his wife's influence over the 
Princess Anne might be regarded as her representative, was, on 
the whole, of the Tory connection. Therefore among the Whigs 
reigned discontent ; and yet the Tories could not be satisfied ; 
for if William adopted a policy which really accorded with their 
views, half the country would have felt that the Revolution had 
failed of its purpose. All that William would do was to give 
both sides fair play, and so to preserve both from active hostility. 
The Whigs at least could not turn actively Jacobite without some 

The Revolution in Scotland 9 

better reason than that William refused to sanction vindictive 
treatment of the Tories. 

And so it fell out that when the Bill of Rights had been passed 
the Whigs played their trump card. They proposed a measure 
of simple retaliation which was to disfranchise all . 


the Tories who had had a hand in the disfranchise- Dissolution 
ment of the Whigs in Charles n.'s reign by the 
upsetting of the town charters. William met the 
proposal by a dissolution and an appeal to the electorate, which 
returned a Tory majority to the House of Commons. That 
election ensured that William should not be made into a puppet 
of the Whigs. 

So ended the career of the assembly which had begun as a 
Convention during the interregnum, and had been transmuted 
into a parliament when the throne was filled again. This is 
perhaps the point at which we may regard the Revolution 
Settlement as having been completed, so far as England was 
concerned. William could at last hope to concentrate upon the 
foreign policy which was the subject he had most at heart ; 
although the settlement of Scotland, and still more definitely 
of Ireland, was still far from complete. In Ireland indeed all 
the work was still to do. The sister kingdoms will now demand 
our attention. 


In Scotland there existed no organised body with legal 
authority which, like the parliament in England, could offer 
a strictly constitutional opposition to arbitrary 1688 
government by the Crown. It had as a rule been The position 
difficult to deny that resistance was technically re- in Scotland - 
bellion. More emphatically than ever, in the reigns of Charles n. 
and James vn., the administration had been completely in the 
hands of the Privy Council, while the Lords of the Articles, the 
committee which directed legislation, were necessarily king's men. 
The rebellious Covenanters were dragooned into a sort of sub- 

10 William II 7. 

mission till Scotland was quiescent under the tyranny. James, 
however, with his infallible determination to do the wrong thing, 
did not, when he found his throne in England threatened, take 
his measures to make himself secure in Scotland. That country 
was only held down by the presence of the troops. James elected 
to bring the troops over the border into England, with John 
Graham of Claverhouse in command. But even then, instead 
of entrusting operations to Claverhouse, he left the troops inactive 
and called Claverhouse away. 

The council in Scotland was quite powerless without the troops. 
In December, while Claverhouse, who had just been made Vis- 
count Dundee, was in the south trying to persuade 
Offer of James to let him strike a blow for the crown, the 

the crown, councillors in Scotland were running away, the 

Edinburgh mob was rioting in Holyrood, and all 

over the country the Covenanters were up in anticipation of the 
fall of James's government. There was a general exodus to 
London of the nobles and gentry, who were alive to the fact 
that the course of events in Scotland would be determined by 
that in England. They followed the English example, and in 
January invited William to take over the administration until 
a National Assembly should meet for the settlement of affairs. 
As in England William accepted the suggestion, and recommended 
that a Convention should meet. 

It was Dundee's intention, with James's sanction, to attend 
the Convention, and if that proved unmanageable to repudiate 
Dundee ^ s authority and summon a rival Convention at 

and the Stirling. When the Scottish Convention met in 

Convention. March, James ruined his chances by addressing to 
it not the conciliatory letter which Dundee had recommended, 
but one carefully calculated to drive every waverer to the other 
side. Dundee, seeing that the case was hopeless, withdrew from 
Edinburgh, leaving behind him the conviction that he would 
take arms. Immediate measures were taken for defence, and 
on the arrival of General Mackay with Scottish regiments from 
Holland, dispatched north by William, the Convention at once 
appointed him commander-in-chief. 

The Revolution in Scotland 1 1 

The Jacobites were now unrepresented. A commission was 
appointed of nobles, barons (that is landed gentry), and borough 
commissioners, which proceeded to draw up a Scottish Claim of 
Rights on the analogy of the English Declaration, which in its 
main lines it followed, but with variations. It was declared 
not that James had abdicated, but that he had The Claim 
' forfeited ' the crown ; also that Prelacy ought to of Rights, 
be abolished, as being opposed to the will of the people. But 
whereas the English Declaration confined itself to certain rights, 
all of which had been claimed for more than half a century as his- 
torically inherent in parliament, the Scots claimed corresponding 
rights for the Scottish parliament, for which there was certainly no 
historical warrant. Roughly speaking, the Convention intended 
to claim approximately the same rights of self-government for 
Scotland which had been recognised in England. William was 
reluctant to commit himself to a suppression of Prelacy, his own 
views being entirely in favour of toleration ; but there was no 
doubt as to the nature of popular sentiment in Scotland, and he 
accepted the Claim and the form of coronation oath which was 
tendered. Even before he had done so, the Convention pro- 
claimed William and Mary ; and immediately afterwards they 
obtained from William the ratification of their conversion into 
a legal parliament. 

Dundee, without being in open rebellion, was procuring from 
James authority to act. Letters were intercepted, and an 
attempt was made to arrest him ; but he escaped D Un <i ee 
to the north and set about the active organisation in the 
of an insurrection for which he had been preparing g an 8 * 
by communicating with sundry Highland chiefs. He knew from 
the precedent of Montrose that forces exceedingly formidable 
in the field could be raised in the Highlands ; like his prede- 
cessor he counted upon the hostility of half the clans to the 
Argyll or Campbell ascendency which the new order was 
evidently in a fair way to re-establish. He was under no 
illusion that he could effect a conquest by means of his 
clansmen that had been sufficiently proved by the career 
of Montrose ; but what he did hope to do was to harry and 

12 William III. 

embarrass the government and to keep its forces tied up until 
he could get from James the reinforcements needed for a 
campaign of conquest. 

From the middle of April till midsummer Dundee was gather- 
ing the clansmen, raiding, and evading battle with any superior 
Kiliiecrankie, body of troops. James was now in Ireland, pro- 
27th July. mising reinforcements ; but all that arrived, in the 
middle of July, was a troop of three hundred badly armed and 
badly disciplined Irish under Colonel Cannon. Dundee felt that 
if his Highlanders were to be kept together at all, a blow must 
be struck. Mackay wished to recover the castle of Blair Atholl 
in Perthshire. As Mackay advanced Dundee found his oppor- 
tunity at the pass of Kiliiecrankie (27th July). The battle was 
short. The Highlanders, holding the higher ground on the hill- 
side, burst upon Mackay's regulars with one irresistible charge 
and scattered them in total rout ; but a bullet killed Dundee 
as he was dashing forward at the head of the small troop of 
Jacobite cavalry. The victory itself was complete, but Dundee's 
fall made it entirely useless. The incompetent Colonel Cannon 
was no leader for the Highlanders. One after another, dis- 
End of gusted chiefs went home with their clansmen ; 

the rising. Mackay, who was a capable officer, was left free 
to reorganise his troops at Stirling. Thence he marched upon 
Aberdeen, leaving the Cameronian regiment of west country 
Covenanters to hold Dunkeld. There they were attacked by the 
clansmen who remained with Cannon, but they offered so stout 
a resistance that the badly led Highlanders were finally beaten 
off. After that the clansmen lost heart and dispersed to their 
homes. The military danger in Scotland was at an end. In fact, 
even if Dundee had not been slain he could never have done much 
more than maintain a state of alarm and unrest, without receiv- 
ing efficient reinforcements which would never have been forth- 
coming. Like Montrose, he would have found, as he himself 
very well knew, that the Highlanders, fighting under the clan 
system, might perform astonishing achievements, but could never 
be held together for the prolonged campaigning necessary to a 
conquest of the Lowlands. 

The Revolution in Scotland 13 

The military danger had, in fact, been the least thorny of the 
principal problems with which William's government had to deal, 
two of which in particular were occupying the Scots William and 
parliament. William was by no means inclined to the Scots 
surrender what had been unquestionably royal rights P arliament - 
before his accession. The establishment of Presbyterianism 
would deprive the Crown of the ecclesiastical control which it 
retained under the Episcopal system. The * Articles of Griev- 
ance ' which had accompanied the Claim of Right called for the 
abolition of the Committee of Articles, to concede which would 
deprive the Crown of its former control over legislation. When 
the parliament met in June, some weeks before Killiecrankie, it 
found that the king's commissioner, the duke of Hamilton, was 
authorised to sanction changes in the structure of the committee, 
but not its abolition. The king's ministers were still to form one 
of the groups of which it was composed. The Opposition, con- 
sisting of discontented placemen and extremists, carried a bill 
for the abolition of the articles. Then they went on with bills 
directed against the two Dalrymples, father and son, who had 
secured William's confidence. Hamilton refused assent to the 
bills, since they went quite outside his instructions. Anxious 
to avoid a decisive step without further orders from the king, 
the commissioner diverted attention to the ecclesiastical question, 
and gave his assent to an Act for the abolition of Episcopacy, 
but again found himself obliged to refuse it to measures proposed 
and carried by the extremists. At the beginning of August he 
adjourned the parliament. 

The parliament did not meet again till April of the next year, 
1690. Meanwhile, William was persuaded by the judicious and 
honest Carstares, who won and always preserved his igeo. 
confidence, that however convenient Episcopacy Agreement, 
might be to a monarchy, the Scottish Episcopalians were for the 
most part Jacobites. Consequently, a new commissioner, Lord 
Melville, was now prepared to confirm the previously rejected 
bills for the restoration of ejected Presbyterian ministers and 
the repeal of the Act of Supremacy. Even more decisive was the 
acceptance of an Act which substituted for the Committee of the 

i 4 William III. 

Articles committees with an equal number of representatives from 
each of the three estates, lords, barons, and burgesses. For it 
was no longer to be necessary for legislation to be initiated 
through these committees ; and ministers, though they had the 
right to attend the sittings, were not to vote. Thus the Revolu- 
tion gave to Scotland what it had never had before, an unfettered 
parliament, and what it had only enjoyed for a short period 
during the last hundred years, a Presbyterian establishment. 

There still remained the serious question of the settlement of 
the Highlands. William combined the two policies of coercion 
me an( i conciliation. On the one hand, forts were 

Highlands. planted at Fort William and elsewhere ; on the other, 
some of the chiefs were bought over, and in the summer of 1691, 
when their last hopes of foreign support had vanished, an in- 
demnity was proclaimed for all who would take the oath of 
allegiance before a sheriff by 1st January. It was indeed ex- 
pected and in some quarters hoped that some of the chiefs would 
refuse to come in and that condign vengeance would then be 
taken on the recalcitrants ; but, in fact, before the appointed day, 
all the chiefs had duly taken the oath of allegiance except one 
Maclan, the chief of the Macdonalds of Glencoe. 

Maclan in a spirit of bravado had waited to the last moment 
and then presented himself before the commandant at Fort 
1692 William ; who, not being authorised to administer 

The Glencoe the oath, sent him off to the sheriff of Argyll at 
Massacre. Inveraray. Heavy snowfalls prevented him from 
reaching Inveraray till 7th January, when the sheriff accepted 
his oath of allegiance. Now, Sir John Dalrymple, the Master of 
Stair his father, James Dalrymple, had been made Viscount 
Stair, and the heir to the peerage bore the courtesy title of Master 
had a grudge against Maclan of Glencoe. Also, he stood high 
in the confidence of King William. Maclan's oath had been 
tendered after the appointed day ; it had not therefore been 
formally accepted by the authorities at Edinburgh. Dalrymple 
procured from the king an authorisation to proceed against 
Maclan as a recalcitrant. The orders were given for the ' ex- 
tirpation of that set of thieves.' There followed an act of the 

The Revolution in Scotland 15 

most repulsive treachery. Captain Campbell of Glenlyon who 
had married the niece of the unsuspecting Maclan, who had no 
warning that his oath had not been accepted, arrived at Glencoe, 
apparently in all friendliness, with 120 soldiers. For twelve 
days they were hospitably entertained as guests. On the early 
morning of the thirteenth day, the soldiers fell upon their hosts 
and slaughtered them indiscriminately, including women and 
children, though a few managed to escape across the hills. 

The official extirpation of a nest of caterans by government 
troops would in ordinary circumstances have created no general 
resentment. Atrocious as the particular circum- j^gs. 
stances were, they would probably never have been The inquiry. 
brought to light if they had not provided a useful weapon in 
party warfare. But both William and Dalrymple had enemies 
enough to ensure that the affair should not be kept dark, and 
when once the public had an inkling of what had taken place, 
conscience as well as party spirit was aroused. It was not from 
one side only that demands came for an inquiry. The attempts 
to stifle them failed, and three years after the event a royal com- 
mission was appointed to investigate the matter. The destruc- 
tion of Macdonald after the oath of allegiance had actually been 
taken, on the technical ground that the terms of the indemnity 
had not been exactly observed, would have been difficult to 
excuse in any case ; the atrocity of the method by which that 
destruction had been effected was repulsive. The commission 
evidently sought to exonerate William, and, as an inevitable 
result, concentrated the blame upon the Master of Stair, who may 
or may not have known that the oath of allegiance had actually 
been taken. Neither he nor William had gone beyond ordering 
the extirpation of the Macdonalds ; the method was left to the 
military authorities. But in spite of the report of the commission 
nobody was punished. Stair indeed was obliged to resign his 
secretaryship, but not without receiving other compensations 
from the king. It is palpable that William ought never to have 
signed the order without a thorough investigation William 
into the case of the Macdonalds. It is palpable that and s * air - 
Stair, seeing an opportunity for destroying the Macdonalds, was 

1 6 William III. 

satisfied the moment he had his technical plea. It is palpable 
that the military subordinates felt sure that their methods would 
not be called in question by the superior authorities. As a 
matter of policy, it is quite certain that if William had given 
the matter the attention which it demanded, the massacre of 
Glencoe would never have taken place ; for he was far too shrewd 
not to have foreseen the actual event, which was to intensify to 
the utmost the hostility of the Highlands to the government, 
and to make ardent Jacobites of clansmen who had hitherto 
felt no particular loyalty to the Stuarts. For once, he was care- 
less. Thus it was that a prince who was pre-eminently dis- 
tinguished for a lenience to his personal enemies which was a 
frequent source of anxiety to his closest adherents, a prince 
who was always ready to strain toleration to its furthest limits, 
suffered this indelible blot to fall upon his name. 

But it was entirely consistent with William's character that 
when the thing had been done he refused to call the more active 
William's perpetrators to account. William was not, as he is 
character sometimes called, cruel. He took no pleasure in the 
illustrated. infliction of pain. The course which he chose was 
habitually the course which his reason judged to be just ; but 
if it was attended by injustice he was quite unmoved. So, long 
before, when the murder of the De Witts had secured his position 
as stadtholder, he had taken the profit which it brought him 
and refused to punish the murderers. So, now, he refused to 
punish the men who had massacred the Macdonalds with what 
they took to be his sanction. He was not cruel, but he was re- 
morseless. Indifference rather than magnanimity made him 
lenient to hostility, and even to perfidy directed against himself. 
Indifference, not cruelty, made him lenient to hostility and per- 
fidy directed against others. His passions and emotions were 
absorbed in the one intense passion of patriotism ; he had no 
emotion to spare for anything or any one else unless it was for 
his wife. Perhaps the story of Glencoe, instead of being the most 
puzzling incident in his career is the most illuminating as regards 
his personal character. 

The Revolution in Ireland 17 

In England, the Revolution was effected without any civil 
bloodshed ; it established all the liberties which English parlia- 
ments had ever claimed under a monarchy. In Ireland: 
Scotland it was effected after one brief campaign, a contrast, 
and had there been no Dundee there would have been no cam- 
paign. It gave to Scotland the religious system which the mass 
of the population demanded, and parliamentary liberties more 
extensive than had ever before been enjoyed or claimed. Very 
different was the fate of Ireland. For two years that country 
was the arena of civil war ; and when the Revolution was com- 
pleted the religion of the great majority of the population was 
penalised as it had never been penalised before ; the domination 
of one section of the people over the rest was acutely emphasised ; 
and the subjection of the Irish to the English parliament was 
in no way diminished. In the larger island the Revolution meant 
the confirmation and extension of liberties ; in the smaller it in- 
tensified the disabilities of the large majority and emphasised the 
privileges of the minority without extending the liberties of either. 

The Restoration Settlement had been a reasonably honest 
attempt to deal fairly with the conflicting claims which had been 
created by wholly abnormal conditions ; but it per- 
petuated what was necessarily in the eyes of the Irish religion, 
the injustice which had vested the ownership of half and 
the Irish land in alien proprietors, the followers of 
an alien religion. It had perpetuated the Protestant ascendency. 
James, during his brief reign, had done his best to overturn the 
Protestant ascendency, under the deputyship of the Papist 
Tyrconnel. The Revolution in England, of which the primary 
motive which secured to it a general support was hostility to 
Romanism, could not fail if applied to Ireland to strengthen the 
Protestant ascendency there. There was in Ireland no loyalty 
to the person of a Stuart king ; but as matters stood the hopes 
of every Romanist centred in the failure of the Revolution. 
Ireland was Jacobite because Jacobitism offered the only pro- 
spect of overthrowing the Protestant ascendency and changing 
the land settlement in favour of the heirs of the dispossessed 
owners. Before William and Mary were proclaimed king and 

Xnnes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. B 

1 8 William III. 

queen of England half the adult male population of Ireland was 
up in arms of a sort, and the Protestants were swept up into the 
fortified towns of Londonderry and Enniskillen, in Ulster. 

To James, Ireland appeared of primary importance. Tyr- 
connel, a Strafford of shreds and patches, was to play the part 
1689 James wmc h Strafford would have played ; Ireland was 
in Ireland, to be the base from which the crown of England 
March. wag ^ Q ^ e recovere( j Three months after his flight 

from England James was in Dublin. In Ireland he was king 
de facto and de jure both, and the Protestants who repudiated his 
authority were rebels. 

The English Convention urged upon William the necessity for 
immediate action in Ireland, even as James made corresponding 
Failure of protestations to Louis. But in the eyes of both 
negotiations. William and Louis, Ireland was secondary. For 
both of them the real battleground was on the Continent ; 
neither of them was willing to divert troops to Ireland. Louis 
gave James money and supplies and half a dozen French officers 
to help him in the organisation of the army ; William left 
a garrison at Derry, and sent an envoy to make terms with 
Tyrconnel, who seemed to be wavering. The envoy joined 
Tyrconnel, whose apparent willingness to negotiate had merely 
been a mask, assumed in order to gain time, and promptly thrown 
off. William sent a couple of regiments to Derry, but the com- 
mandant, Lundy, rejected their aid, on the ground that the 
place was untenable. It was his intention to surrender ; but 
the inhabitants were resolved to resist to the last gasp. They 
dismissed Lundy and entrusted the defence to men of their own 
choosing, a soldier named Baker and a clergyman named Walker. 
When James's troops appeared at the gates and called upon them 
to surrender, the summons was met with defiance. 

Deny was blockaded and a boom was thrown across the river 
Foyle to prevent supplies coming in by water. The garrison 
siege of beat back every attack, but as the weeks passed the 

Derry. supplies ran short. William sent a relief expedition 

commanded by Colonel Kirke, who had won an evil notoriety in 
the time of Monmouth's rebellion ; but when Kirke arrived on 

The Revolution in Ireland 19 

the Foyle he declared his inability to break through the boom. 
The garrison was reduced to the last straits, but still held out 
grimly. At last, at the end of July, Kirke received orders so 
imperative that he dared not disobey them. The boom was 
broken, supplies were carried in to the starving garrison, and 
Derry was saved ; for nothing but sheer starvation could have 
reduced it to surrender. On 3ist July the blockade was raised ; 
and on the same day the Enniskilleners had marched out and 
totally routed at Newton Butler a force which had been dis- 
patched against them. 

Meanwhile, James had summoned a parliament in Dublin. 
The disabilities of Catholics being suspended, the Assembly was 
overwhelmingly Catholic. An English parliament The Dublin 
assembled in such circumstances would have realised parliament, 
the wisdom of compromise. The Irish parliament was uncom- 
promising. It declared as a matter of course for King James 
and for religious toleration ; even James himself could not have 
dared to sanction a reversal of the relations between Catholics 
and Protestants as such. The next step was to repudiate the 
whole theory of the ascendency of the English over the Irish 
parliament. The principle of toleration carried with it the 
principle that the landowners should pay their tithes to their 
own church, whatever that church might be, since Catholics 
and Protestants were to be on an equality. But to all intents 
and purposes, that meant that the Church of Rome was to be 
re-endowed at the expense of the Established Church, since, 
by the fresh land settlement promulgated, nearly the whole of 
the land would be returned to Catholic proprietors. 

For all the forfeitures and settlements since 1641 were to be 
cancelled. The only compensation was that offered to actual 
purchasers of land since the Restoration Settlement, Its 
and that compensation was to be provided by the extravagant 
confiscation of the land of persons who had joined enactments< 
in the rebellion against King James. Since practically all such 
persons would be in any case deprived of their land by its restitu- 
tion to the representatives of proprietors in 1641, it was not easy 
to see what estates would be left to confiscate ; even though all 

20 William III. 

absentees who had given support to William were to be included 
in the category of rebels. These sweeping enactments were 
accompanied by an Act of Attainder, covering some 2500 persons 
in every rank of life. The attainted persons, however, were 
given the chance of returning to stand their trial. The violence 
of these proceedings bore its fruit in the vindictiveness of the 
Protestant parliament which assembled after the Irish resistance 
to King William had been crushed. 

The indignation of the English parliament forced William to 
yield to the pressure of public opinion, and to dispatch to Ireland 

an armament which he would have much preferred 
Schomberg . 

sent to to retain for use on the Continent. The command 

Ireland, was entrusted to the old marshal Schomberg, a 

August. , ,. . , . -, i , 

soldier of long experience and high reputation, in 

whom William had much more confidence than in any English- 
man. A fortnight after the relief of Derry, Schomberg and his 
troops had landed on Belfast Lough ; but when he started on 
his southward march for Dublin he found his route blocked by 
a larger force under Tyrconnel at Drogheda. At first an ex- 
cessive caution, and then the outbreak of disease among his 
troops, prevented him from attacking the enemy, while he made 
his own position too strong for a counter attack. Nothing, 
therefore, was done through the winter. 

In the spring of 1690, William was forced to the conclusion that 
the Irish trouble must be definitely settled before he could obtain 
1690. freedom of action on the Continent. He resolved 

William goes to carry a strong force with him to Ireland, and to 
reiand. conduct the campaign in person. Before he could 
do so, the dissolution and the general election in March had 
converted the majority in the Commons from Wliig to Tory. 
Though Whig leaders, discontented and alarmed, had already 
opened correspondence with James by way of an insurance 
against accidents a fact of which William was himself probably 
aware Whig disaffection was less dangerous than the active Tory 
hostility which would have resulted if William had placed himself 
unreservedly in the hands of the Whigs. William was able to 
leave the administration in charge of his wife and of ministers 

The Revolution in Ireland 21 

mainly Tory, with reasonable security, when he sailed for Ireland 
in June. 

For reasons to which we shall presently revert, the French 
fleet was at this moment actually superior to the English fleet. 
To us it must appear somewhat extraordinary that VhQ Boyne 
Louis did not make use of this advantage to sweep campaign, 
the Irish Channel and prevent William's landing. Juiie * 
William, however, himself showed the same defective apprecia- 
tion of the naval situation, and took no precautions to secure his 
passage. As matters turned out, his neglect had no evil results. 
The forces were landed at Carrickfergus, all the troops in the north 
were collected, and William marched southward his supplies 
maintained by the transports, against which no attack was aimed. 
On 30th June he found himself faced at the Boyne Water by 
James, whose troops were under the command of the French 
general Lauzun. On the next day William, for once setting 
aside the counsels of extreme caution to which Schomberg would 
have adhered, forced the passage of the river in the face of the 
enemy and routed them. The battle reflected no great credit 
on the generalship of either side. But the victory proved de- 
cisive, although the enemy were able to draw off without ex- 
cessive losses, because James lost heart and himself hurried back 
to Dublin, from Dublin to Waterford, and from Waterford to 
Kinsale, whence he took ship for France. The battle of the 
Boyne secured Ulster and Leinster ; but Munster and Connaught 
were held by the Jacobites ; and Munster and Connaught pro- 
vided four ports, Galway and Limerick on the west, and Cork 
and Kinsale on the south, which were open doors for French 

Earlier in the spring, French ships had defeated an English squad- 
ron off Bantry Bay ; and the day before the battle of the Boyne 
the French admiral Tourville had inflicted upon the Bantry Bay 
English fleet off Beachy Head the most complete andBeachy 
defeat which it ever suffered. But still the French Head ' 
fleet failed to make any effective use of its mastery of the Channel, 
beyond making the flight of James secure. There was, however, 
something like a panic in England, not unjustifiable, since very 

22 William III. 

few troops had been left there, and the shores were open to in- 
vasion. William sent back some regiments from Ireland, and 
their arrival, coupled with the news of the Boyne, allayed the 
panic. The French contented themselves with a raid on the 
coast of Devon, after which their fleet retired to Brest. William, 
who had been on the point of returning, felt warranted in con- 
The autumn ducting another campaign in the west, where the 
campaign. French and the Irish Jacobites had thrown them- 
selves into Galway and Limerick. From Galway most of the 
French retired altogether ; but in Limerick the Irish, inspired by 
the indomitable Patrick Sarsfield, defied William when he laid 
siege to the town, cut off his convoys, captured his siege guns, 
and beat off an attempt to storm the walls. William raised the 
siege, and in September returned to England, leaving Solms and 
Marlborough to complete the work Schomberg had fallen at 
the Boyne. Before the end of October Marlborough had cap- 
tured both Cork and Kinsale. 

Active operations were as usual suspended during the winter. 
William considered that Ireland was sufficiently secure to enable 
1691 him to devote himself vigorously to concerting 

Athioneand operations in the Netherlands. He did not return 
to Ireland, where, in the spring, the military com- 
mand was bestowed upon the Dutch general Ginkel. A French 
general, St. Ruth, was sent over by James to Galway to take 
command of the Jacobites, to the annoyance of Tyrconnel. 
In July Ginkel defeated St. Ruth at Athlone, and again at Aghrim, 
where the French commander was killed. Then Ginkel turned 
upon Limerick. It soon became evident that the place would be 
untenable against his guns. Sarsfield and his French colleague 
D'Usson saw that the best thing they could do was to capitulate, 
if they could secure sufficiently favourable terms. Tyrconnel 
v/as dead. 

Ginkel, who wanted peace, was ready to make great concessions. 
The terms procured by Sarsfield were that the Irish soldiery were 
Capitulation to be at liberty either to remain under an amnesty 
of Limerick. as \ Q ^ subjects of King William or to depart to 
France and take service under the French king. Further, the 

The Revolution in Ireland 23 

promise was given that Irish Roman Catholics were to have the 
same freedom of religious worship as in the reign of Charles n. 
All persons who were resident in garrison towns and all officers 
and soldiers in five specified counties were to enjoy full amnesty, 
with the restoration of their estates as in the time of Charles n. 
The amnesty was also made to cover all persons ' under the pro- 
tection ' of the Jacobite forces in those counties, although in a 
draft of the terms this last provision was accidentally omitted. 
No one appears to have had any doubt that the terms of the 
capitulation would be ratified in due course by the Irish parlia- 
ment, should that be found technically necessary. It must also 
be remarked that in no sense could it possibly be maintained 
that the Irish Jacobites had hitherto been rebels. Until the 
capitulation of Limerick, William was not even de facto king 
of Ireland. The only pretence upon which he could have been 
called king de jure was that the English parliament had acknow- 
ledged him. Never was there a case in which it was more clear 
that the government was under a moral obligation of the most 
binding order to ratify to the full the terms upon which the 
garrison of Limerick had agreed to capitulate. 

Yet no sooner were the victory and its fruits secured than the 
victors proceeded to tear up the Articles. First, the parliament 
at Westminster passed an Act imposing upon all The 
office-holders and members of parliament in Ireland Capitulation 
not only the Oath of Allegiance, which was a matter torn up * 
of course, but also the Oath of Supremacy and a declaration against 
Transubstantiation, whereby Roman Catholics were for the first 
time excluded from the Irish parliament which assembled a year 
after the Limerick capitulation at the end of 1692. A dispute 
with the lord- lieutenant led to its prorogation. The Irish 
parliament did not meet again till 1695, but from 1695 
that time onwards it devoted itself to passing a The Penal 
series of enactments utterly destructive of the civil Laws ' 
liberties of tve whole Roman Catholic population. Papists 
were forbidden to teach in schools or in private houses, and 
children were nc only deprived of instruction by persons of 
their parents' religion in Ireland they might not even be sent 

24 William III. 

abroad to be educated as Papists. The penalty was the for- 
feiture of goods and property, half of which might be claimed by 
the informer. No Papist might carry arms, or own a horse 
worth more than 5. All the Roman Catholic clergy were 
banished. Protestants were forbidden to marry Papists. The 
security of the restored estates was not allowed to hold good 
against the claims of private suitors. The estates of rebels not 
actually covered by the terms of the treaty were confiscated, 
though Protestant heirs were allowed to succeed to them. If 
a Protestant heiress married a Papist her estates passed to the 
Protestant next of kin. The estates of Papists were not to pass 
by primogeniture, but were to be divided among the children. 
If any of the children were Protestants, or turned Protestants, 
the whole of the estates went to them. Finally, the Restoration 
Acts of Settlement were confirmed ; and, while titles might be 
disputed by Protestant claimants, no claim put forward by a 
Catholic could be heard. 

Technically, the disabilities of Irish Catholics did not materially 
differ from those of their co-religionists in England. But in 
VaB Victis. England the penal laws, however unjust, were at 
least imposed upon a small minority by an immense majority ; 
in Ireland they were imposed upon an immense majority by a 
small minority. For more than half a century the object aimed 
at was achieved. The Roman Catholic population of Ireland 
lay completely at the mercy of the Protestant minority. It had 
neither the spirit nor the power to rebel. It took no share in 
any of the Jacobite risings. It was deprived of every incentive 
to industry, and to moral or intellectual progress. After two 
centuries the evil then wrought is still bearing its poisonous 
fruit. And William, champion of toleration though he was, was 
content to let intolerance take its course, as he was content 
to leave the massacre of Glencoe unpunished, since to have in- 
sisted upon justice for the Irish would have alienated English 

The War of the League of Augsburg 25 


Like the English statesmen at the end of the seventeenth 
century, we have given to the domestic affairs of the British 
Isles precedence over the continental questions with W ini am 
which they were entangled ; as William also gave and the 
them a reluctant precedence, in action. At no time Contment - 
of his life did England really hold the first place in the mind of 
King William. Essentially he was a continental statesman. 
For sixteen years he had been stadtholder in the Dutch Re- 
public. During several of those years he had been absorbed in 
the struggle to prevent the toils of King Louis from enfolding 
his own small nation. Though Holland had held her own, and 
had come out of the Treaty of Nimeguen successfully enough, the 
Prince of Orange was under no illusion as to the ambitions of 
the king of France, and knew that sooner or later the struggle 
would be renewed. If he wanted the crown of England, to which 
down to 1788 his wife was heir presumptive, it was because he 
wished to unite the resources of England to the resources of 
Holland in the battle with the Bourbon. 

For the first time since the loss of Normandy by King John, 
England was ruled by a prince whose primary interests lay on 
the other side of the Channel. Like Henry n. he A far-off 
had the instincts of a ruler ; he could not be a king precedent, 
without playing the part of a king. As Henry saved England 
from the disintegration threatened by the anarchy of Stephen, 
William saved England from a repetition of the Great 
Rebellion, or at least from becoming a cockpit of warring 
factions. Both Henry and William strove to make the country 
strong and united ; both succeeded. But both did it primarily 
in order that a strong England might serve other aims in which 
the people of England took no very enthusiastic interest. 

Before Louis's invasion of the Palatinate in 1688, the Prince 
of Orange had been weaving his diplomatic webs for curbing 
the expected aggression of the king of France. He had 
drawn together the League of Augsburg, at the moment 

26 William III. 

when France had seized upon William's tiny independent 
principality of Orange which lay in Provence. The league 
1688 had included among its signatories the emperor 

The League and the kings of Sweden and Spain, besides a 
of Augsburg. num b er o f German princes ; theoretically it was 
for purposes of mutual defence. In effect it was this league 
which Louis challenged when his armies entered the Palatinate ; 
though at that time it was by no means certain how far the 
various states of the league would be drawn into the conflict. 

Louis had not grasped the situation. The fact of his invasion 
of the Palatinate relieved Holland from the danger of immediate 

invasion, and enabled William to make his expedi- 
Engiand tion to England in spite of Louis's threat that Dutch 

joined to intervention in England would be treated as a casus 

belli. War was at once declared between France 
and Holland ; but Louis could not immediately fling his armies 
on Holland. What he could have done was to take the seas with 
his fleet, and prevent William landing in England. But James 
to the last moment retained the conviction that his own fleet, 
unaided by France, would prevent his son-in law's landing ; and 
the opportunity was missed. The flight of James from England, 
followed three months afterwards by the coronation of William 
and Mary, turned England into an effective member of the League 
of Augsburg, the ' grand alliance.' 

Now, although England and Holland were still entitled ' the 
maritime powers,' the French fleet was actually at the moment 
The fleets. the strongest on the seas. Holland's fighting power 
was becoming exhausted, for the simple reason that she was too 
small to bear the endless strain of maintaining it. The English 
navy, powerful in the reign of Charles n. whenever it was allowed 
to take the seas in fighting trim, had fallen into bad hands in 
the latter years of that monarch. Organisation and discipline 
had both been deficient ; and though King James, whose heart 
was very much in the navy, did a good deal to remedy the mis- 
management of the seven years preceding his accession, the 
English fleet was still very far below the standard which was 
easily within its reach. 

The War of the League of Augsburg 27 

On the other hand, as long as Colbert lived that great minister 
had devoted himself to maritime organisation, both naval and 
commercial ; since he was one of the very few Frenchmen who 
realised the extent to which England and Holland owed their 
prosperity to commerce, and their commerce to strength on the 
ocean. In the last contest with the Dutch there had been French 
captains and French squadrons equal to the business of tackling 
Dutch squadrons even under the command of De Ruyter. Col- 
bert's system was still at work, and in 1688 the French fleet, 
properly employed, could certainly have dominated the Channel. 

But though Colbert's system had not been dropped, neither 
Louis nor his war minister Louvois had sufficiently rid themselves 
of the older French tradition which regarded navies Ne ^ . 
as mere accessories to land forces, and looked upon of naval 
the raiding of the enemy's commerce as the essential strate sy- 
use to which the French marine should be put. It is more curious 
that William, long at the head of one maritime state, now the 
king of another, and destined presently to show a very unusual 
insight into naval strategy, should still at this time have been 
dominated by similar conceptions. The result of this predis- 
position on the part of the two kings was manifested in Ireland. 
The French were able to maintain their communications with 
Ireland almost without trouble. Troops and supplies passed 
backwards and forwards whenever Louis chose to send them, 
which fortunately for William was not often. When an English 
squadron did try to intercept the communications, it was beaten 
off at Bantry Bay. And yet William was allowed, without the 
slightest attempt at interference, to carry his troops across the 
Irish Channel and march to his victory at Boyne Water, although 
a fortnight after he had made the passage Tourville inflicted upon 
Admiral Herbert, off Beachy Head, the most disastrous defeat 
ever suffered by an English fleet, and held the command of the 
Channel unchallenged. 

We shall find that as the war went on, the English maritime 
instinct showed itself in the persistent reorganisa- command 
tion and development of the navy, which possessed of tae sea - 
such recuperative power that even the battle of Beachy 

28 William III. 

Head before long came to be regarded merely as a * regrettable 
incident ' ; whereas when the French fleet met with a corre- 
sponding disaster scarcely in itself of greater magnitude, the re- 
cuperative power was wanting. The country's energies were 
concentrated on the army, not on the navy ; and when the war 
came to an end with the Peace of Ryswick, the control of the sea 
had long passed indisputably and permanently to the English ; 
with decisive results in every war in which they were engaged 
from that time forward. Thus although from 1688 till 1691 the 
command of the seas was possessed by France, she made no 
effective use of her advantage ; almost, she might as well not 
have possessed it at all. Then came a brief period during which 
the possession of that command was in doubt ; after that the 
English obtained the command and used it. But the opening 
stages of the war become intelligible only when we have realised 
that in actual fact during those stages England was not in the 
position which we are more or less unconsciously disposed to 
take for granted, of holding the control of the seas. 

If England was to be an efficient aid in war, it was necessary 
for William to have adequate support from both parties in the 
The king state. In the nature of the case the Whigs could 
and the hardly afford to be Jacobites, since a Jacobite 

parties. restoration could scarcely be effected except at the 

cost of all their political principles. It was not possible for a 
Whig to be at heart a Jacobite. On the other hand, at least 
half the Tories were Jacobites at heart, and looked upon James 
as the rightful king, though patriotism might require them in 
the existing circumstances to maintain the de facto government. 
William, therefore, could not afford to throw the Tories into 
violent opposition, which would have been the inevitable result 
of giving the W T higs a free hand. Moreover, while he was in 
entire accord with the Whig doctrines of toleration, the Whig 
political theory would have curtailed the royal prerogative, as in 
fact it did subsequently become curtailed after the Hanoverian 
succession. But William was not the man to accept the 
position of a figurehead. If he could not carry out his own policy 
it was not worth his while to be king of England. The strength 

The War of the League of Augsburg 29 

of his position lay in the fact that if he resigned the crown a 
Stuart restoration would be inevitable. His weakness, on the 
other hand, lay in the half-heartedness of his supporters. Dis- 
contented Whigs might be capable of preferring no bread to the 
half loaf. Discontented Tories might find their consciences 
importunately urging doctrines of non-resistance and Divine 
right. William could, in fact, do little more than hold the balance 
so as to prevent the discontent in either party from developing 
into violent hostility ; he could hope for enthusiasm from neither, 
and his own coldness of demeanour, his conspicuous preference 
for the Dutchmen whom he trusted over the Englishmen whom he 
mistrusted, and his disregard for the popular ornamental aspect 
of royalty, combined to prevent him from winning anything like 
affection from his English subjects. What he could win by 
steady justice, unfailing reasonableness, and entire freedom from 
vindictiveness was a reluctant respect and a sense that he was 
indispensable. But that did not prevent Whigs from endeavour- 
ing to stand well at the court of St. Germain, or Tories from more 
active intriguing to procure a Jacobite restoration upon terms. 

In 1689 the war on the Continent was already in full swing. 
The circle of the foes of France had been completed by the 
adhesion of Savoy, on the Franco- Italian frontier, Ig90 
to what was now known as the Grand Alliance, crown and 
In 1690 William found that he must still deal with ministers. 
Ireland before he could betake himself to the Continent. And 
before he could go to Ireland his position in England had to be 
defined by the new parliament which met in March. The Whigs 
had been rebuffed, and the Tories proved ready to endorse the 
revolution. Parliament voted the hereditary revenue for life to 
William and Mary, and granted tonnage and poundage for four 
years. They were rewarded by a formal Act of Grace proposed 
by the king, which precluded further clamours from the Whigs 
for vindictive measures by granting complete indemnity for the 
past to all except a very few persons, among whom was included 
Sunderland ; and it very soon became evident that there was 
no intention of proceeding against the excepted persons without 
fresh cause. When William departed to Ireland Mary was left 

30 William ///. 

in charge, with ministers mainly Tory to advise her. The ever 
uncertain Shrewsbury having resigned his secretaryship of state, 
Nottingham, with Dan by, whom we may continue to call by his 
old title, though he was now marquis of Caermarthen, and was 
afterwards to become duke of Leeds, were the leading members 
of the council. 

When William returned from Ireland in September, after the 
victory of the Boyne, he found that the parliament which was 

1691 summoned in October was still satisfactorily dis- 
Preston's posed. It showed no hesitation in voting the large 
plot ' forces and supplies for which William asked. The 
king was able to leave for Holland in January, although before 
his departure the existence of a Jacobite plot had been discovered. 
The investigation was left to Mary. The principal conspirator 
was Lord Preston, by whose name the plot is known. It is 
probable enough that in any case it would have come to nothing, 
since Preston's scheme required a moderation on James's part 
greater than either he or Louis would have been likely to sanction. 
One of Preston's accomplices was executed. Preston and 
Clarendon, the queen's uncle, who was involved in the affair, 
were imprisoned in the Tower for some months, but were sub- 
sequently released. No other proceedings were taken, since 
William himself, returning to England for a few days, was 
opposed to any severe measures. 

The year's campaigning in the Netherlands was unproductive, 
though the advantage on the whole lay with the French. But 
when William met parliament in October Limerick had capitu- 
lated and the war in Ireland was over. Consequently the 
Commons were still amenable, and again voted the men and the 
money asked for. 

The war in 1692 was to be attended by events more notable 
than those of the previous year. Although James's cause was 

1692 lost in Ireland, the exiled king was under strange 
James plans illusions as to the prospect of his return to England. 

His imagination multiplied the number of non-jurors 
among the clergy ; it invented Nonconformist hostility to 
William because the Test Act had not been repealed. James 

The War of the League of Augsburg 31 

had not been able to escape from his rooted conviction that the 
Nonconformists looked upon him and not upon William as the 
champion of toleration. He always believed that the fleet was 
devoted to him, its sometime admiral, because he was honestly 
enough devoted to the fleet. Then, as it happened, the Princess 
Anne had quarrelled with her sister the queen ; her ally Marl- 
borough had just been disgraced and dismissed from his offices, 
and Marlborough was encouraging Anne to make friends with 
her father. So J ames counted upon the general who was reckoned 
a Tory, and also upon Admiral Russell who was a fervent Whig, 
but had opened correspondence with St. Germain because King 
William was not sufficiently Whig for his views. .Therefore, 
James thought the moment auspicious for a grand attack upon 
England. Louis went so far with him that he was willing for 
Tourville and the fleet to clear the seas for the passage of James 
and a French army. 

William left England for Holland in March. In April James 
went to the Normandy coast with a view to the invasion, and 
issued from thence a proclamation admirably cal- Before 
culated to destroy his own hopes. It promised a LaHogue. 
free pardon to all but a small number of persons specified. The 
imputation, of course, was that those few Marlborough had 
taken care that his own name should be on the list had sinned 
past forgiveness ; but it also ensured that Danby and Nottingham 
would use their influence against him rather than for him. 
Sunderland also was on the list, even as he had been on the list 
of exceptions to the Act of Grace. But if the list damaged his 
cause by including and so alienating some who might have been 
wellwishers, it did so still more by not naming others who at once 
felt it incumbent upon them to give much more strenuous de- 
monstrations of their loyalty to William than would otherwise 
have seemed to them needful. Such were Halifax and Shrews- 
bury, Godolphin who had reappeared in the ministerial circle, 
and Admiral Russell. The proclamation was most useful to the 
government, of which as usual Mary was left in control. They 
published it broadcast with comments. As for Russell, however 
he may have played with treason, he felt his professional reputa- 

32 William III. 

tion at stake and was quite determined to fight as vigorously 
as if his loyalty had never been shaken. The naval situation, 
too, had changed since the battle of Beachy Head. Popular 
indignation had given to the naval administration the vigour 
which was all that it needed to restore the fleet to full efficiency. 
There had been no corresponding increase of activity in the 
development of the French navy. When Tourville took the seas, 
Russell was already in command of an Anglo-Dutch fleet very 
much stronger than Tourville's Brest fleet which had not yet 
been joined by the squadron from Toulon. 

Tourville had positive orders to fight, and in spite of the odds 
he engaged. Having fought creditably enough, though with no 
The battle, chance of success, the French ships retreated during 
Ma -y- the night with the British in pursuit. Half of them 

escaped in safety to St. Malo. The rest were run ashore at Cap 
La Hogue, where they were burnt to the water's edge, either by 
their own crews or by a flotilla of boats commanded by Sir 
George Rooke, under the eyes of James himself. Viewed by 
itself the disaster of La Hogue was not of an altogether over- 
whelming character. Fifteen ships of the line were lost, but the 
English had probably lost at least a dozen at the battle of Beachy 
Head two years before. La Hogue was actually decisive because 
there was not on the part of the French any vigorous effort at 
recuperation. The fleet was not destroyed, as it was to show 
even during the next year. But it had become definitely the 
inferior fleet, and it retrograded steadily while the English fleet 
progressed steadily. Consequently the decisive supremacy of 
British fleets dates legitimately from the victory of La Hogue. 

The naval victory was not followed up at the time in any 
effective manner, though it had entirely put an end to any chance 
steinkirk. of an invasion. William's land campaign was again 
of an indecisive character, though again the advantage lay with 
the French. William was too late to save Namur from being 
captured ; and not long afterwards he was outmanoeuvred and 
suffered a defeat at the battle of Steinkirk, though his retreat 
was so skilfully conducted that the French commander Luxem- 
bourg practically gained nothing. In England there was much 

The War of the League of Augsburg 33 

annoyance because the English regiments at Steinkirk under a 
Dutch commander had fought splendidly, but were held to have 
been needlessly sacrificed. Also the failure to follow up La 
Hogue by any striking achievement was a source of displeasure. 

There was, therefore, a much greater display of ill-humour in 
the session of parliament during the winter of 1692-3. Russell 
and Nottingham were quarrelling, each blaming the 1692 . 3> 
other for the misdirection of naval affairs. The Parliament 
Commons very nearly succeeded in carrying a bill restlve - 
for excluding office-holders from membership of the House. 
The Lords rejected the bill by only three votes. Both Houses, 
on the initiative of the Whigs, passed a bill limiting the dura- 
tion of parliament to three years, though the king felt him- 
self strong enough to veto it. For, in fact, both the Houses 
were aware that there could be no relaxation in carrying on 
the war, and so long as that was the case William could exer- 
cise in security a prerogative which had never been questioned. 
The session is, however, especially notable for the financial 
measures adopted to meet the heavy strain ; measures to which 
we shall revert in detail at a later stage. Here it will suffice to 
say that one was a fresh assessment of the land tax which was 
soon to be the principal source of revenue, and the second was 
the beginning of that system of borrowing by the government 
out of which developed the National Debt. 

The quarrel between Nottingham and Russell reached such a 
pitch that the retirement of one or the other became imperative ; 
and William would not part with Nottingham. The 1693 
Tory Killigrew took Russell's place at the head of Landen and 
the navy. Again William's campaign was successful tne Smyrna 
only in the sense that he was able to prevent it from 
being actually disastrous. Although he was defeated in a hard- 
fought battle at Neerwinden or Landen, he was again able to 
prevent the French from gaining any material advantage. But 
worse than the land campaign was a maritime disaster. A great 
fleet of English and Dutch merchant ships sailed for the Levant, 
under the convoy of a war fleet which accompanied them till 
they were clear of Brest Assuming that Tourville's fleet was 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. C 

34 William III. 

safe in Brest, Killigrew sent the merchantmen on, guarded only 
by a small squadron under Rooke's command. Tourville, as a 
matter of fact, and as Killigrew ought to have known, had left 
Brest with a considerable fleet, sailed to the Mediterranean and 
united with the Toulon fleet. Consequently, Rooke suddenly 
found himself and his convoy face to face with the whole French 
fleet. To fight was hopeless, and the squadron ran for Madeira, 
leaving the merchant fleet to its fate. Most of the ships were 
either captured or sunk. The French secured large spoils, and 
a very heavy loss was inflicted upon the Dutch and English 
commercial community. Nor did the English admirals make 
any attempt to redeem the discredit which had fallen upon them. 
So when William returned in the autumn he dismissed Killigrew 
and reinstated Russell, in whom the country had confidence. 
Beginning ^he reinstatement of Russell involved the resigna- 
of party tion of Nottingham, whose place was taken by 

aimstries. Shrewsbury, in spite of his more than dubious con- 
duct in the past. William realised that in the critical state 
of affairs it had become necessary to have a council who could 
work harmoniously together, and little as he liked doing so 
he now filled nearly all the ministerial posts with members 
of the Whig party ; Danby and Godolphin alone of the Tories re- 
maining. In so doing, he is said to have been guided by the 
advice of Sunderland, who had returned to England and won the 
king's personal favour, though his own past political record made 
it impossible for him to occupy any prominent political position. 
This was the initiation of party and cabinet government, the 
placing of the administration in the hands of a group chosen 
from the party dominant in parliament. There was no recog- 
nition of a new principle ; the measure was simply one of con- 
venience at the time, adopted to ensure harmonious working at 
a moment when harmony in the administration was a necessity. 
William always wished to choose his ministers independently of 
party. When the crisis of the war was over he reverted to the 
previous practice which custom preserved till some years after 
Anne's accession. Nevertheless, scarcely a dozen years had 
passed after the constitution of the first party cabinet at the end 

The War of the League of Augsburg 35 

of 1693 before Anne had a cabinet almost exclusively Whig, 
and from that time forward cabinet and party government may 
be said to have been permanently established. 

The cabinet reconstruction effected its purpose. The Commons 
allowed a Triennial Bill to be defeated, and only grumbled when 
William himself vetoed another ' Place Bill. 1 The 1694 
Whigs created the Bank of England, a corporation The Place 
which became of signal political service to them, and 3 
though the Tories reduced the amount of the vote for the increase 
of the army, the numbers voted were still respectable. The place 
bills illustrate the difference in the position of ministers from that 
to which we are accustomed. Government through a party 
cabinet has automatically produced the feeling that ministers 
are appointed by parliament to control the Crown and conduct 
the administration in accordance with parliament's wishes. But 
at the end of the seventeenth century the ministers were in fact 
and in theory appointed to carry out the will of the Crown, by 
the king's own free choice ; and parliament regarded them as the 
king's representatives, whose presence in parliament tended to give 
the Crown a direct influence in the assembly of which it was ex- 
tremely jealous. Hence there were repeated attempts, steadily 
resisted by William, to exclude ministers from the House of 
Commons, for the same reason which led the Scots to fight against 
the presence of a ministerial group in the Committee of Articles. 

The land campaign of 1794 was uneventful. There was much 
manoeuvring and not much fighting. The balance, in fact, was 
turning against France, for the single reason that The War. 
the strain upon her resources, great as they were, was more ex- 
hausting than that upon the allies. It was beginning to be 
apparent that the ultimate victory would rest with the treasuries 
which could hold out longest. 

The naval record, however, marks an epoch. It had become 
a primary object with Louis to dominate Spain, the 
enemy on his rear, by the capture of Barcelona, command 
The French fleet, concentrated in the Mediterranean, of the Medi - 
commanded the waterways and made the attack 
upon Barcelona practicable. William had hitherto generally 

36 William III. 

acted on the idea that the main use of the fleet was to threaten 
perpetual descents on the French sea-board, and so to keep large 
numbers of French troops constantly locked up in guarding 
various points on the coast one of the uses of a fleet which we 
shall again find in active operation during the Seven Years' 
War. In pursuance of this plan, an attack upon Brest was de- 
signed ; but in order to intercept the French operations in 
Catalonia the main fleet was dispatched to the Mediterranean 
under Russell. The attack upon Brest failed disastrously ; 
there is little room to doubt that warnings from Marlborough 
had enabled the French to anticipate the plan of assault. Talmash, 
the commander, whose military reputation at the time rivalled 
that of Marlborough, was killed. But the appearance of Russell's 
fleet in the Mediterranean drove the French fleet back into 
Toulon, since Tourville did not venture to engage him. The 
intended operations in Catalonia were completely foiled ; William 
at once realised the immense strategical value of an English con- 
trol of the Mediterranean, and very much to the disgust of 
Russell, the king, instead of withdrawing the fleet, insisted that 
it was to remain at Cadiz for the winter. So long as the English 
fleet controlled the Mediterranean it was evident that French 
activity in Spain was paralysed ; and for the present it was 
possible for English fleets to remain there because the Spanish 
ports were open to them. 

When parliament met in the autumn the prospects of the war 
were better than they had ever been before, and William's 
Harmony popularity was proportionately raised. The Ton- 
with nage and Poundage Bill, originally granted for four 

parliament. vearSj was renewed, although an interval of a day 
was carefully interpolated between the operation of the old and 
the new Acts, in order to emphasise the fact that the renewal was 
not made as a matter of right. William marked the harmony 
now prevailing by assenting to a Triennial Bill which required 
the dissolution of a parliament at the end of three years, although 
it did not interfere with the royal prerogative of an earlier dis- 
solution at the king's pleasure ; and parliament responded to 
the king's complaisance by itself rejecting a Place Bill. Later 

The War oj the League of Augsburg 37 

in the season an attack made upon Danby, now duke of Leeds, 
for alleged corruption in connection with the East India Company, 
caused his final retirement, although the case against him could 
not be actually proved ; and for practical purposes the cabinet 
was now exclusively Whig. 

In the last days of December, however, the king and the country 
suffered a very grave loss through the death of Queen Mary from 
smallpox. She had not only been an admirable con- ^^^ of 
sort, personally popular, but wise and tactful in the Mary, 
conduct of administration during William's absences. Dec 
While she was queen, with every apparent prospect of surviving 
her husband, legitimists had found it comparatively easy to 
reconcile their consciences to the Revolution. But when she 
was dead, there was no longer any possibility of pretending that 
the king was king by anything except parliamentary title. 
Fortunately the Princess Anne was content to wait her turn ; 
but by the death of Queen Mary a curb upon active Jacobitism 
had been removed, and the effect was soon to be felt in the 
multiplication of Jacobite conspiracies. Only in one way could 
William have done something to provide against the dangers of 
the new situation by admitting Anne to some share of political 
power ; but this William could not venture to do so long as she 
was under the influence of Marlborough, in whom it was impossible 
to trust. There was indeed a reconciliation between the king 
and his sister-in-law, but no change was made in the political 
position either of Anne or of Marlborough. From this time, 
whenever William was out of England, the administration was 
placed in the hands of a group of lords justices who were re- 
quired to refer all questions of first-rate importance to the 
king himself. 

The war, however, in 1695 went well. In the south France 
was paralysed by the English control of the Mediterranean ; in 
the northern waters she had no fleet to act. On 1695 
land the death of Luxembourg deprived her of her A successful 
ablest commander, whose place was very inefficiently cam P ai ^ n< 
taken by Villeroy. The great war minister, Louvois, was also 
dead, and his place was even more inefficiently occupied by his 

38 William IIL 

son. William's campaign for the first time in his career was one 
of actual triumph, since he succeeded in capturing Namur, which 
was regarded as the key fortress of the Netherlands. He was 
already bound to the Whigs more closely than before by the fact 
that he was now reigning on the basis of a purely Whig theory 
of the constitution. The capture of Namur gave him an un- 
precedented popularity in the country at large. 

On his return to England he seized the opportunity to dissolve 
the parliament and summon a new one in which the Whigs had 
A new Whig a considerably increased preponderance. Ample 
parliament, supplies were voted, and the ministers ventured to 
take up the extremely prickly question of currency reform which 
involved the calling in of the entire currency and the issue of a 
new coinage. National stability and the national prosperity 
were emphatically demonstrated by the comparative ease with 
which this great reform was carried through. Nevertheless the 
Whigs now felt themselves in a position to demand a more marked 
recognition of their principles than they had attempted since 
their rebuff at the beginning of 1690. They compelled William 
to revoke the large grant of Crown lands which he had made to 
his favourite, the Dutchman Bentinck, whom he had made duke 
of Portland, on the ground that the Crown could not afford to 
curtail its private revenues. Their success encouraged them to 
demand a Treasons Bill, to prevent such malversations of justice 
as the condemnation of Algernon Sidney after the Rye House 
Plot, by requiring positive evidence of two witnesses. In the 
abstract, the justice of the bill was evident ; but at this particular 
time, William had good enough reason for objecting to anything 
which would weaken the power of the Crown in striking against 
conspiracy. He could not, however, venture to refuse his assent ; 
and the bill became law (January 1696). 

Even at this moment the revival of Jacobite hopes was 
signalised by what is known as Barclay's plot. What may be 
1696< called a legitimate Jacobite design was formed, for 

Barclay's an invasion of England by French troops, a plan 
which seemed to be rendered practicable by the 
absence of the main English fleet in the Mediterranean. The 

Tke War of the League of Augsburg 39 

young duke of Berwick, an illegitimate son of James by Arabella 
Churchill, Marlborough's sister, was sent over secretly to con- 
cert measures with the English Jacobites. The plot fell through, 
because the French required an English rising as the first step, 
preliminary to the actual invasion, whereas the English in- 
sisted that the invasion was a necessary preliminary to the 

But onto this scheme had been grafted an unauthorised plan 
which recalls the plots of Queen Elizabeth's reign, for the assas- 
sination of William when hunting at Richmond. This was the 
device of one of the Jacobite agents, Sir George Barclay, who gave 
a liberal interpretation to the instructions he had received from 
James; who pretty certainly had not intended to authorise 
assassination, though there is some presumption that he knew 
of the scheme before it was intended to put it into execution, 
and did not feel called upon to forbid it. Information of the 
plot was carried to Portland, and some of the conspirators were 
arrested. William, however, carefully abstained from pushing 
inquiries. Only those who were palpably connected with the 
plan of assassination were punished ; the mere fact that many 
suspected persons were allowed to go free caused them to be 
suspected in their turn by their fellow-conspirators. After the 
detection of the plot neither a rising nor an invasion was possible. 
The whole affair had the usual effect of such plots in England, 
of arousing an intense popular resentment and a temporary 
fervour of loyalty to William. As in Elizabeth's days, an 
' association ' was formed for the protection of William's person 
as the only lawful king, to which only the most extreme adherents 
of Tory principles ventured to refuse their adhesion thereby 
precluding themselves from all civil and military offices, and from 
the House of Commons. 

The plot had one unfortunate effect upon the war. The threat 
of invasion created a demand for the return of the fleet from the 
Mediterranean. Its recall set free the French fleet ; An unlucky 
the release of the French fleet not only reopened by-product. 
the French attack in Spain but transferred the duke of Savoy 
from the side of the allies to the side of the French king ; and 

40 William III. 

the adhesion of Savoy enabled Louis by the beginning of the 
autumn to procure from the emperor and the king of Spain 
a suspension of hostilities in Italy which set free a mass of 
troops for operations in other quarters. In the Netherlands, 
however, no progress was made by either side ; by the French 
because of the actual exhaustion of the treasury, by William 
because the operations in connection with the recoinage had 
temporarily locked up the supply of ready cash which he 

Meanwhile one of the Jacobite prisoners, Sir John Fenwick, 
while waiting trial on the charge of treason, gave information 
Fenwick's as to the past intrigues with St. Germain of sundry 
attainder. notable persons including Shrewsbury, Russell, 
Godolphin, and Marlborough. The information was no news to 
William, who proposed simply to ignore it. Shrewsbury, how- 
ever, was so ashamed of his position that he went into retire- 
ment ; and Godolphin's resignation removed the last Tory ele- 
ment from the administration. Both the Whigs and the king 
were much incensed against Fenwick, and their indignation was 
the greater when it was found that one of the two necessary 
witnesses against him had disappeared after the finding of a true 
bill by the Grand Jury. When it seemed certain that Fenwick 
would escape, the Whigs took the indefensible step of intro- 
ducing a Bill of Attainder, which was passed by the Houses and 
sanctioned by the king. There was, in fact, no shadow of doubt 
that Fenwick had been guilty of treason, but there was no ex- 
cuse for overriding the law by a special Act. The Long Parlia- 
ment in 1640 overrode the law and struck down Strafford ; but 
it had at least the excuse that in its eyes Stafford's life was a 
menace to the state. No one could pretend that Fenwick's life 
was of any material public importance. 

Fenwick was attainted in the 1696-7 session of parliament, 
which showed itself as ready as any of its predecessors to pro- 
1697 vide the means for carrying on war. It was gener- 

Advance of ally known that all the combatants were eager for 
the Whigs. p eacej fo u t William emphasised the necessity for a 
display of force to make peace negotiations effective. When the 

The War of the League of Augsburg 41 

session came to an end the Whig leaders had their reward. 
Somers, their great lawyer, and Montague, the financier who 
invented the National Debt and the Bank of England, were 
definitely associated with Russell, who became earl of 
Orford, as the Whig leaders. The fourth member of the 
group was Wharton, but public opinion was very ill-satisfied 
when Sunderland was at last publicly admitted to the 

Peace negotiations were, in fact, already progressing, but with- 
out any formal suspension of hostilities. Since Savoy had 
changed sides and the English fleet had been with- The Peace 
drawn from the Mediterranean, France was em- ofRyswick, 
phatically in a stronger position. The capture of Septe 
Barcelona gave Louis a further advantage. But both William 
and Louis were now personally eager for peace. The former did 
not wish to see Louis driven to the wall, while the French king 
was extremely anxious for a settlement with William on the 
approaching question of the Spanish succession. It was prac- 
tically between them that the terms were settled to which the 
emperor and the king of Spain were obliged to accede. Nor 
can it be said that in the circumstances too much was conceded 
to France. The Treaty of Ryswick was signed by France on the 
one side, and by England, Holland, and Spain on the other, in 
September, and by the emperor six weeks later. In effect France 
gave up everything that she had taken from Spain since the 
Treaty of Nimeguen. Louis restored Orange to William, re- 
cognised him as king of England, and undertook to give no 
assistance to any one without exception who should make attempt 
against his throne. The conspicuous conclusion was that the 
adhesion of England to the Grand Alliance had turned the scale 
against France that France was rather more than a match for 
the other powers without her, and rather less than a match for 
them with her. It is also to be observed from the English point 
of view that William conducted the negotiations and carried 
them through on his own account without reference to his English 

42 William III. 


The Peace of Ryswick was popular in England, but for reasons 
v/hich did not commend themselves to William. While the war 
was * n on ^ e k a d received continuous and solid 


The king's support ; now that it was over, the country con- 

position sidered that the time had come for retrenchment, 

and the reduction of the standing army which it 
abhorred ; whereas William was extremely well aware that a 
European question of first-rate importance was coming to the 
front, for dealing with which it remained as necessary as ever 
that the maritime powers should be conspicuously prepared to 
back their diplomacy by force. William had not taken his 
English ministers into his confidence ; his real partner in these 
affairs was Heinsius, the grand pensionary of Holland, and his 
diplomatic agents were not Englishmen, but the foreign com- 
panions whom he trusted, such as Bentinck, duke of Portland, 
and Ruvigny, earl of Galway. The Englishmen consequently 
had very little understanding of the situation. Both W^higs and 
Tories, too, were annoyed by William's reliance upon Sunderland. 
The result was that the popular hostility to the existence of 
a standing army so reduced the vote for its maintenance that 
1698. outside of Ireland and Scotland the military estab- 

Growing lishment was brought down to 10,000 men. The 
of the Whigs indeed showed that they were not disloyal ; 

opposition. their attitude on this question merely sprang from 
their ignorance of the king's motives. But when, after the 
prorogation in 1698, William again hurried off to Holland, 
although there was no campaign which required his presence, 
popular irritation against him increased. During his absence 
there was a general election, necessitated by the Triennial 
Act, and it was evident that the opposition in the House 
of Commons would be greatly strengthened thereby. The king 
himself was engaged in negotiating with Louis a Partition Treaty 
for the distribution of the Spanish dominion upon the death of 
the reigning king, Charles n. When it was settled, the English 
ministers were in effect called upon to authorise its signature 

The Approaching Struggle 43 

without being informed of more than a bare outline of its pro- 
visions. They did so, but the proceedings did not tend to im- 
prove relations between them and the king. 

When the new parliament met, it did not know of the treaty, 
but believed that another solution of the Spanish succession 
question had been arrived at, very much more to A captured 
its taste. It was not angry, therefore, but captious, new 
and displayed its temper by a further reduction of P arliament ' 
the army to 7000 men, accompanied by the demand that officers 
and soldiers should all be natural-born Englishmen ; which meant 
that the king was to dismiss the Dutch Guards and the Dutch 
generals and other officers whom he trusted. William was so 
disgusted that he was on the verge of resigning the crown ; but 
he could not afford a rupture with England, and submitted, on 
procuring only a modification which permitted the services of 
naturalised as well as natural-born Englishmen. The Commons 
insisted on a commission to inquire into the grants made of 
confiscated lands in Ireland ; the king, having in spite of a pro- 
mise to the contrary, made large grants to his Dutch entourage 
without making any reference to parliament. The Tory pre- 
dominance was also displayed in attacks upon Russell and 
Montague. When William, as usual, left England at the close 
of the session, the obviously strained relations between Crown 
and parliament greatly increased his diplomatic difficulties. 

What those difficulties were we have now to examine. The 
Spanish dominion included, besides Spain itself and the American 
colonies, the Netherlands, Naples and Sicily, Milan, The Spanign 
and other Italian territories. King Charles was Succession 
childless, and his two sisters had married respec- pro 
tively Louis xiv. and the Emperor Leopold. Who then was 
to inherit the Spanish dominion ? 

On the face of things Maria Theresa, the wife of Louis xiv., 
as the eldest sister, would hold the first claim on her brother 
Charles's death, passing it on to her offspring. But H apsburg 
before she married Louis, there had been a formal and Bourbon 
renunciation on her part, though a conditional one, claims - 
of her rights in regard to the Spanish inheritance. Next to her, 

44 William III. 

a claim would lie through her sister Margaret who had married 
the Emperor Leopold ; but in this case also a renunciation of a 
kind had been made. If the claims through both these sisters, 
claims which passed not to their husbands but to their own 
offspring, were to be set aside, the next claim lay with the Emperor 
Leopold himself, because his mother was the sister of the last 
king of Spain, Philip iv., and she certainly had never made any 
renunciation at all. To complicate further an affair already 
complicated enough, Margaret had borne to Leopold no son but 
a daughter, to whom her claim descended. On the marriage of 
this daughter, Maria Antonia, to Max Emmanuel of Bavaria, 
was made that ' renunciation of a kind ' referred to above. For, 
after Margaret's death Leopold had married a second wife, 
Eleanor of Neuburg, and by her he had two sons, Joseph and 
Charles. Whatever rights Leopold possessed in his own person 
descended to his son by Eleanor of Neuburg, not to his daughter 
by Margaret of Spain. On the understanding that the Nether- 
lands were in due course to come to her and her children, Maria 
Antonia undertook to waive her claim to the Spanish inheritance 
in favour of her half-brothers, the bargain being struck between 
her husband and her father. If, then, Maria Theresa's renuncia- 
tion was valid, the legal title to the Spanish inheritance lay either 
with Leopold and after him with his sons, or with the children 
of Maria Antonia. On the other hand, if Maria Theresa's re- 
nunciation was not valid, the whole Spanish inheritance was 
legally hers. 

But, again, whatever the technical legal title might be, 
wherever it might lie, Europe at large could not afford to let 
Balance the whole Spanish dominion be appended either to 

of power. France or to the dominion of Austria. There was 
indeed one tolerably obvious solution. There was a child of the 
Bavarian marriage, the electoral prince. The succession of the 
electoral prince to the Spanish dominion would not attach it too 
closely either to France or to Austria. That, on the other hand, 
was a solution which was not likely to satisfy either Louis or 
Leopold. Louis had a quite reasonable case for declaring that 
his wife's renunciation was invalid, since it had been part of an 

The Approaching Struggle 45 

agreement in which the corresponding clause involving the pay- 
ment by Spain of a substantial dowry had never been carried 
out. Louis might be willing to compromise this claim, but he 
could hardly be expected to withdraw empty-handed. The same 
might be said for Leopold, who had assented to the Bavarian 
marriage only in view of the undertaking that his daughter 
would not maintain her claim to the whole inheritance. This, 
then, was the position of affairs at the moment of the Treaty 
of Ryswick. It was imperative, therefore, that the question 
should be settled, and settled by agreement, before the death 
of the king of Spain. 

This, then, was the problem on which William was engaged 
in the spring of 1698 when his parliament was occupied with the 
reduction of the military establishment. It was First 
Louis who had taken the first steps to promote a Partition 
settlement. He approached William, knowing that 
if he could come to an agreement with the king of England, 
which would, as a matter of course, include Holland, the empire 
was not likely to offer armed opposition. His proposals were 
skilfully moderate. The electoral prince of Bavaria, as the 
candidate whose selection would least disturb the balance of 
power, was to be recognised as the inheritor of the lion's share ; 
Leopold and Louis were each of them to receive a substantial 
compensation for withdrawing their larger claims. The maritime 
powers were to have security that they should not suffer by the 
arrangement. William finally agreed that France should have 
her compensation in Naples and Sicily with some Italian ports, 
whilst the Archduke Charles, the second son of the emperor, 
was to have Milan. The whole of the rest was to go to the 
electoral prince. It was further agreed that the elector of 
Bavaria should act as regent for his son, a child of five, and should 
be his successor should the child die without growing up and 
leaving offspring. It is true that the Spanish king and council 
recognised the electoral prince as the heir to the whole ; but 
it appeared to Louis and to William that both the elector and 
the emperor would prefer to accede to the Partition Treaty ; 
the emperor because he got something instead of nothing, the 

46 William IIL 

elector because, according to the Spanish pronouncement, he 
would neither be the regent for nor successor to his son. 

The Partition Treaty was known in England only to the king's 
confidential ministers, and not even to them in its entirety. The 

public at large took it as settled that the whole of 
The second the Spanish succession was to go to the electoral 
Partition prince, which seemed highly satisfactory. But 

within a few months the death of the little electoral 
prince in January 1699 destroyed the whole elaborate structure 
of the Partition Treaty. A fresh partition must be settled 
without delay. And William's personal difficulties in negotiating 
were now very much increased by his obviously strained relations 
with a parliament in which the Tories were predominant. Leo- 
pold, on the other hand, was likely to prove less amenable, because 
he had just brought a contest with the Turks to a successful 
conclusion. The negotiations were renewed between William 
and Louis. The latter promptly repudiated the suggestion of 
the former that the elector of Bavaria should be recognised in 
place of his son. Louis claimed that there could now only be 
a simple partition between the Hapsburg and the Bourbon. If 
either insisted on a title to the whole there must be war. The 
disappointed elector of Bavaria might have the Netherlands, 
and France would resign her claims on Spain and the Indies 
if Milan as well as Sicily and the rest of the Italian possessions 
were ceded to her. Spain and the Indies might go to the Arch- 
duke Charles, since the Peninsula would be effectively severed 
from Austria. Louis, if desired, would then exchange Milan for 
Lorraine. William insisted that the Netherlands must go not 
to Bavaria but to the archduke, on the ground that Bavaria 
was not strong enough to protect them. Louis agreed, but 
would make no further concession. It remained to approach the 
emperor and persuade him to accept the scheme. Leopold, 
however, refused his assent, and there was much indignation 
in Spain at the proposal for partitioning the Spanish empire 
without consulting Spain herself. The treaty, however, was 
signed on behalf of France, Holland, and England in March 

The Approaching Struggle 47 

Meanwhile, relations in England were becoming more strained 
than ever. When the parliament met in November 1699, it was 
evident to Montague that the ministry would be The whig 
unable to control the Houses. He resigned. Both ministry 
Russell and Sunderland had been obliged to retire totterin &- 
a year earlier ; the king distrusted \Vharton ; and the Tories 
and the Commons made a wholly unwarrantable attack upon 
Somers. Their confidence in their own strength was signalised 
by an attack upon William's policy of toleration, though this 
time they turned, not upon the Protestant Dissenters but upon 
the Romanists, and in effect extended to them the penal laws 
which by this time had been passed against their co-religionists 
in Ireland. 

More ominous for the king was the attack following upon the 
report of the Commission of inquiry into the distribution of the 
Irish forfeited estates. It was palpable that William 1700 
had made large grants, contrary to his promise, to Attacks on 
persons whose public services had given them no m& ' 

title to such favour. Bills were passed for the resumption of 
the estates, which were to be vested in trustees who were to 
sell them. The purchase money was to be appropriated to the 
payment of public debts, and the balance, if any, was to go to 
the English exchequer. By a process which came to be known 
as ' tacking/ which had already been applied in the case of the 
bill appointing the Commission of inquiry, the Resumption Bill 
was made part of a money bill, which could only be accepted 
without amendment or rejected in its entirety by the House of 
Lords, in accordance with the principle laid down during the 
reign of Charles n. Nevertheless, the Lords proposed amend- 
ments. The Commons refused to consider them, as being uncon- 
stitutional. To reject the money bill was impossible, and the 
Lords gave way. The bill was passed. When the Commons, 
after a proposal to impeach Somers had been rejected, proceeded 
to vote an address that none but natural-born subjects of the 
Crown should be admitted to the king's council, William pro- 
rogued the parliament within a month of the signing of the 
Second Partition Treaty. 

48 William III. 

The lords justices whom William left behind on his departure 
for Holland at midsummer were a dangerously weak body, among 
whom Marlborough was the only prominent man. Since the 
death of Queen Mary, the earl had come to the conclusion that 
Anne was certain of the succession and could bide her time ; and 
when he was no longer suspected of dangerous intrigues, he was 
re-admitted to William's favour, though he hardly commanded 
public confidence. The situation, too, became more complicated 
when the young duke of Gloucester, the only one of Anne's many 
children who had survived infancy, died in July. Anne was 
already recognised by statute as William's successor, but nothing 
had been done to fix the succession after her. 

Abroad, Leopold still refused his adhesion to the Partition 
Treaty. He hoped that the king of Spain, whose death was 
Leopold and evidently near at hand, and who was vehemently 
the treaty. opposed, as was the whole of Spain, to any par- 
tition whatever, would recognise the Hapsburg succession ; and 
that in that event he could at any rate get better terms than 
those offered by the Partition Treaty. If, on the other hand, 
Charles should recognise the Bourbon succession, Louis was, in 
the first place, pledged not to accept it, and, in the second place, 
Leopold counted that the maritime powers would still support 
him substantially. But anti-Hapsburg influences prevailed 
with King Charles. The Spaniards were equally determined 
that the empire should not be divided, and that it 
the death of should remain separate from both the Spanish and 
Charles II. the Austrian monarchies. Charles made a will in 
which he had declared that the heir of Spain was 
not the Dauphin, nor his eldest son Louis of Burgundy, but his 
second son Philip, duke of Anjou. Philip was to inherit the 
whole. If it should so befall that he ultimately inherited the 
crown of France, the Spanish crown was to pass to his younger 
brother the duke of Berri. If the crown of France should pass 
to him, then the crown of Spain was to go to the Archduke 
Charles, and, failing the Archduke Charles, to the duke of Savoy. 
If the Bourbon princes should refuse the complete inheritance, 
then the complete inheritance was to go to the Hapsburg prince. 

The Approaching Struggle 49 

Having signed the will, King Charles died, and the will was made 
public at the beginning of November* 

William assumed that Louis would keep faith and stand by 
the Partition Treaty ; Leopold could hardly stand out against 
him in the face of the combination of France with 
the maritime powers. But William was wrong. The up the 
prize was too tempting for Louis, who tore up the Partition 
Partition Treaty and announced his acceptance of 
the will on behalf of his grandson Philip. It is extremely unlikely 
that this was the consummation to which his previous policy 
had been directed. Almost to the last moment the presumption 
was that if Charles made a will he would name the Hapsburg 
rather than the Bourbon his heir. Also until the last moment 
the presumption had been that all Europe would unite in arms 
to forbid the passing of the entire Spanish empire to a Bourbon. 
We may acquit Louis of having entered upon the Second Par- 
tition Treaty with the deliberate intention of tearing it up. But 
as matters stood in November the temptation was too strong 
for him. William, he thought, was paralysed by dissensions with 
his parliament ; it seemed quite likely that the English would 
acquiesce in the terms of the will, and would not be drawn into 
a war for the benefit of the Hapsburg. He was under no obli- 
gation to Leopold, since Leopold himself rejected the Partition 
Treaty. Spain would be solidly on his side ; and as it happened, 
he could with tolerable certainty rely on Savoy and on the elector 
of Bavaria, who was the Dauphin's brother-in-law and was on 
bad terms with the emperor. 

For a time it seemed as if Louis's stroke would be successful. 
The proclamation of Philip v. was received without opposition 
throughout the Spanish dominions. William saw his The Bourbon 
life's work of resistance to French aggression tottering, menace. 
Even if the crowns of France and Spain were never to be united, 
the fact remained that two Bourbon princes would share between 
them all Western Europe, nearly all Italy, and the command 
of the Western Mediterranean. Possessed of the whole sea- 
board from the Scheldt to the Adriatic, they would be stronger 
at sea than the maritime powers, and would dominate the ocean 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. D 

$6 William III. 

as well as Europe. The absorption of Holland would be merely 
a matter of time. And yet not only were the English blind to 
the situation, but half the Dutch as well. William found him- 
self faced with the gigantic task of overcoming English and 
Dutch opposition and persuading the emperor to agree upon 
a solution which would unite the powers in opposition to 

It is clear that at the moment William hardly hoped for more 
than that Austria might win the adhesion of Naples, Sicily, and 
William and Milan, and, thus strengthened, might assert her 
the Tories. claim in the Netherlands. But also at the moment 
it was impossible to go to war, and neither England nor Holland 
in the circumstances had any alternative but to recognise Philip 
as king of Spain. If the Whigs had been dominant in England 
William might have hoped to carry them with him at once ; 
but the Tories were dominant, and it was imperative that they 
should be brought over. Godolphin and other Tories were re- 
called to office. Parliament was dissolved, perhaps on the chance 
that there might be some signs of a reaction in his favour, but 
the new parliament was as Tory as the last. The most that 
William could do was to conciliate that party in regard to 
home affairs, and in foreign affairs to avoid all appearance 
of dictation. 

The king met his new parliament in February 1701 with an 
invitation to devote their attention to the two urgent questions 
1701. * providing for the succession after Anne, and of 

A new Tory providing against the dangers that might arise from 
parliament. ^ Bourbon succession in Spain. The question 
of the succession gave little trouble. The nearest Protes- 
tant heir was quite evidently Sophia, widow of the first and 
mother of the second elector of Hanover, and granddaughter 
The Act of of James i. ; for there were no Protestant descend- 
settiement. an t s o f Charles i. except William and Anne. The 
Tories, however, in fixing the succession on a foreigner, attached 
thereto the completion of those curtailments of the royal pre- 
rogative which found favour with the Whigs, but which they 
themselves would not have been willing to impose upon a king 

The Approaching Struggle 51 

ruling by right divine. The judges were thenceforth to be re- 
movable only on an address from both Houses of parliament 
instead of at the king's pleasure. Acceptance of office or emolu- 
ments under the Crown was to cancel membership of the House 
of Commons, though it was not to be a bar to re-election. Then 
came a series of provisions which were in effect condemnations 
of William's habitual practice. The sovereign was to be a member 
of the Church of England. He was not to leave the country 
without consent of parliament. He was not to go to war for 
the defence of territories which did not belong to the Crown of 
England. No foreigners, even if naturalised, were to be admitted 
to office, to the Privy Council, or to parliament, or to receive 
grants of lands. The provisions, however, did not apply to 
William himself, but only to Anne's successors ; and he assented 
without demur to the Act of Settlement. 

The Act itself served as a partial safety-valve for Tory spite. 
The king's attitude of moderation and self-restraint had a 
markedly conciliatory effect ; and the Tories were The turning 
forced to recognise that a reaction of popular senti- tide - 
ment was in progress. From the county of Kent came the Kentish 
petition, urging the Commons to vote supplies which would en- 
able the king to show his allies that they could count on effective 
support. The angry Commons declared that the petition was a 
breach of privilege, and ordered the arrest of the persons who 
had been commissioned to present it. By so doing they only 
produced a fresh crop of petitions in a similar sense. The Tories 
renewed their attacks on Somers, Orford (Russell) , and Montague 
who had now become Viscount Halifax, on account of their share 
in the Second Partition Treaty. In the form of the impeachment 
which they brought forward, their virulence overreached itself ; 
the managers of the impeachment, to which the Lords showed 
themselves hostile, did not appear on the appointed day. The 
Lords promptly dismissed the charges. A prorogation at mid- 
summer suspended the quarrel between the Houses, but by this 
time it was quite evident that public opinion had veered round, 
and become definitely hostile to the factious attitude of the Tory 
majority. The tide was setting in William's favour. 

52 William III. 

With a strange infatuation, Louis had in the meantime been 
doing his best to strengthen William's hand. He had announced 
The blunders that Philip's acceptance of the Spanish crown did 
of Louis. no t exclude him from the French succession. On 
Philip's behalf, French troops occupied the barrier fortresses 
in the Netherlands, turning out the Dutch garrisons, a proceed- 
ing which united the Dutch in antagonism to him. He set about 
arranging for a French monopoly of the Spanish trade, to the 
exclusion of Dutch and English. He refused to consider the 
concession of any compensation whatever to the Hapsburg. 
Though William had not yet by any means carried England 
completely with him, it was not very difficult in these circum- 
stances to arrange the terms of a Grand Alliance. England and 
Holland were not going to war, as Leopold would have liked 
them to do, in order to give Austria the whole Spanish inheritance. 
They proposed to demand adequate security for Holland in the 
barrier fortresses, adequate commercial concessions for the 
maritime powers, and only adequate compensation for the Haps- 
burg. Since it was unsafe, as Marlborough pointed out, to leave 
the Bourbons in Naples and Sicily, making them overwhelmingly 
predominant in the Mediterranean, the Austrian compensation 
should include Italy as well as the Netherlands. William had 
realised that in the circumstances Marlborough was entirely to 
be trusted, and had chosen him both to command the English 
troops and to conduct negotiations ; a particularly wise measure, 
since the earl was at this time looked upon as attached to the 
Tory party and was intimately connected with Godolphin, whose 
son had married one of his daughters. 

At home the balance was beginning to lean in William's favour ; 
but more than that could not be said. It was still extremely 
The decisive doubtful whether he would get that whole-hearted 
blunder. support which would be needful for carrying the 

war to a decisive conclusion. Once more Louis came to the 
rescue. In September, when the powers were signing the Grand 
Alliance, James n. lay dying at St. Germain. By his deathbed, 
Louis gave him the fateful promise that he would recognise 
young James as king of England. The pledges of Ryswick were 

The Approaching Struggle 53 

forgotten in the impulse to a lordly act of generosity extremely 
characteristic of the Grand Monarque. The effect was instan- 
taneous. Whigs and Tories alike were fired with wrath at the 
insolence of the French king who dared to dictate to England 
on a question which England had decided for herself. Whigs 
and Tories alike burned to avenge the insult to the national 
honour. Louis's announcement was to all intents and purposes 
a declaration of war ; he knew it, and followed it up by a move- 
ment of troops, threatening the Dutch frontier. The proposals 
of the Grand Alliance were not even submitted to him. 

In November William was back in England, to be greeted by 
a series of enthusiastically loyal addresses. Without hesitation 
he dissolved parliament. The Whigs came back William's 
with a smaller accession of strength than had been victory, 
anticipated ; the Tories had an actual majority of four, but it 
was only because they had transformed themselves into a war 
party hardly less unanimous than the Whigs themselves. William 
could appeal to both parties to lay aside party differences and 
show a united front to the world. The Commons responded 
loyally. They attainted the ' so-called Prince of Wales ' for 
assuming the royal title ; they pronounced it treason to take 
service under him. They imposed a new oath upon members 
of parliament, office-holders, and others, abjuring ' James m.' 
They voted supplies, 40,000 men for the army, and the same 
number for the navy. They resolved that the allies should 
be called upon to maintain the war until England should 
receive satisfaction for the insult offered. William's triumph 
was complete. 

He had but a short time left to enjoy it. On 2ist February 
his horse stumbled with him and he was thrown. The injury 
seemed slight, and it was thought that he would soon 
recover. But his health was of the feeblest. On the William's 
ninth day there were feverish symptoms. On 7th death 
March he knew that he was dying. On the morning 
of the gth he died. But he left behind him in John Churchill, 
earl of Marlborough, the man whom he had chosen at the last 
for the carrying out of his task, a diplomatist who was his equal, 

54 William III. 

and a soldier whose genius far transcended his own ; a man both 
able and willing to do all and more than all that William could 
have done to shatter the might of Louis of France. 


The reign of William in. is a landmark in our history for more 
reasons than one. First, and most obviously, the Revolution 
established permanently the principle of a con- 
character- fl stitutional monarchy, although it was very far from 
istics of making the Crown a mere figurehead. William was 

not one of the kings who ' reign but do not govern.' 
It was not till the accession of the house of Hanover that the 
principal direction of affairs passed from the king to ministers 
who were in actual fact responsible not to the Crown but to 
parliament. In the second place, it was in William's reign that 
England was definitely drawn into the vortex of European 
politics. The accession of the Dutch stadtholder to the throne 
of England involved the country definitely in that struggle with 
France which was not terminated until Waterloo, although there 
were suspensions of hostilities of longer or shorter duration. 
-From 1689 to 1815, England was at war with France for more 
than sixty-two years out of the hundred and twenty-seven. In 
the third place, it was during William's reign that England 
definitely took the place of the First Sea Power, finally dis- 
tancing both France and Holland. That naval supremacy was 
to be a decisive factor in the whole series of subsequent wars. 

Fourthly, the mercantile ascendency became as pronounced 
as the naval ascendency. France remained behind ; Holland 
was overtaken and passed. How far this was due to the Naviga- 
its influence ^ on Acts of the Commonwealth and the Restoration 
on commerce is a matter of dispute ; it is equally possible to find 
Lce * the explanation in the free hand which English trad- 
ing companies were allowed as compared with those which were 
under the artificial control of the French and Dutch governments. 
The fact remains that the English mercantile marine developed 

Commerce and the Neiv Finance 55 

tremendously during William's war in spite of the enormous 
amount of damage wrought by the privateers which issued in 
numbers from the French ports even while the English navies 
kept the French navy inactive. Thanks to this development, the 
English treasury was able to bear the drain of the war very 
much better than that of any continental power, and even to 
carry through the troublesome and costly business of recoinage 
while the war was in progress. And this brings us to the fifth 
notable characteristic of the reign, the reorganisation of National 
Finance upon a new system of credit. 

On the three first heads enough has already been said in the 
course of the narrative. It remains to deal with the other two 
which are intimately connected with each other. 

Commerce : 

As to commerce, the period is particularly significant the East 
in the development of the East India Company. India 
Incidentally, it is to be noted that the establishment 
of Calcutta as the third and ultimately the greatest of the English 
trading centres or factories dates from this reign. While James II. 
was still king, the old factory at Hugli came to an end. The 
company quarrelled with the powerful Mogul Aurangzib ; the 
English were compelled to evacuate Hugli, and assuredly at that 
time no one was dreaming of sending to India armies and fleets 
to attempt the conquest of an empire apparently in India, 
so mighty as that of the Mogul. Nevertheless, the English 
envoys succeeded in impressing upon Aurangzib that the Eng- 
lish traders were a source of wealth to his empire, and that if 
he pursued the quarrel English ships of war would quite certainly 
make it impossible for faithful Moslems to make the pilgrimage 
to Mecca a practice on which Aurangzib, himself a fanatical 
Moslem, set great store. Aurangzib was convinced, and in 1690 
permitted the company to set up a new factory where Calcutta 
now stands, some way further down the river than the old factory. 
In 1695 the company was allowed to place the factory in a state 
of defence. To this fortified position the name was given of 
Fort William, in honour of the king of England. 

In other respects, too, the company was passing through a 
serious crisis. We related in an earlier chapter how the inter- 

56 William III. 

lopers, the ' free-traders/ who wished to trade for themselves, 
not as the members of a joint stock company, attempted in the 
Economic ^ me of the Commonwealth to procure the aboli- 
attacka on tion of the company's monopoly, though without 
ompany. success When William was king, the company 
was vehemently assailed by interlopers who wished to share 
or to capture the trade, and by theorists who denounced 
the trade itself as contrary to the public advantage. As it 
happened, the company was very much in Tory hands and was 
a valuable asset for the Tory party. Therefore, the Whigs were 
the friends of the enemies of the company, and at the same time 
were much more closely wedded to the economic theory upon 
which the trade itself was condemned. The orthodox economy 
of the day held that that trade was bad for the country which 
carried bullion out of it in exchange for goods. India did not 
want English products, therefore Indian goods were bought 
with English bullion. The precious metals were carried out of 
the country in exchange for goods, whereas what the country 
wanted was more of the precious metals, more currency for pay- 
ing its expenses. The apologists of the company, notably 
Charles Devenant, answered that while it was true that gold and 
silver went to India in exchange for the goods, the goods them- 
selves were brought to England largely for re-export. From Eng- 
land they went to other countries, where they were exchanged for 
much more gold and silver than had been paid for them in India. 
Consequently the Indian trade did, in fact, increase instead of 
diminishing the supply of the precious metals in England. 

The economists of the company defeated their rivals ; but the 
company itself could not defeat its own trade rivals. During 
The crisis : their period of ascendency the Whigs succeeded in 
1697-1701. procuring a charter for a rival company of inter- 
lopers, who were prepared to pay a larger price than the old 
company for the privileges of a monopoly. But the effect was 
that while the new company was ruining the trade of the old, 
it could not step into the other's shoes, and was very soon in 
danger of itself becoming bankrupt. Fortunately, both sides 
realised the destructive character of the struggle on which they 

Commerce and the New Finance 57 

were engaged, and at the close of 1701 the two companies were 
amalgamated under a fresh charter as the Honourable East 
India Company which, under the conditions of its institution, 
presently came to be regarded as a Whig rather than a Tory 
asset. But no later attempt was made to wreck it. 

The wealth and strength of the English mercantile community, 
always convinced that its interests lay in the suppression of com- 
petition, enabled it completely to destroy all pros- Scotland, 
pects of commercial progress in Ireland, and very Ireland, 
seriously to check that of Scotland. The Naviga- English 
tion Acts closed the English market to goods carried commerce, 
in Scottish or Irish bottoms ; English tariffs shut out Scottish 
and Irish goods which competed with home produce. Irish 
manufactures or products which might otherwise have competed 
with the English in foreign markets were suppressed or their 
export was prohibited ; though similar measures could not be 
taken against the Scots, Scotland' being an independent state. 
The Union of the Crowns had finally cut Scotland off from the 
privileges of French trade which she enjoyed in the ancient 
days of the French alliance. The quarrels of the English and 
Dutch had gone far to spoil her trade with Holland. The only 
effective form of retaliation in which the Scots could indulge 
was by means of a very extensive smuggling traffic with the 
English colonies in North America. 

Scotland, in short, felt that the union with England, as matters 
stood, was extremely detrimental to her commercial interests ; 
and that feeling was intensified by the disastrous TheDarien 
story of the Darien Scheme. A plan was formed, Scheme, 
originating with some Scots in London, notably 1695> 
William Paterson, the real originator of the Bank of England, 
for the formation of a great company trading to Africa, the 
Indies, and America, which was to rival the East India Company. 
Very large privileges were included in the charter, and half the 
stock was to be appropriated exclusively to residents in Scotland. 
The Act conveying the charter was sanctioned by the commis- 
sioner Tweeddale, without being referred to the king himself, 
who, at the time, the summer of 1695, was in Flanders. As 

58 William III. 

soon as subscriptions were invited in England the unreserved 
half of the stock was promptly taken up as well as the Scottish 
half. But the English parliament had hardly met in November 
before both Houses were clamouring against the disturbance to 
English trade which would be effected by the Scottish company. 
Addresses were presented to William, whose reply manifestly 
expressed displeasure at the company's proceedings ; Tweeddale 
was deprived of his office as commissioner. The governors of 
the English colonies were in effect warned to place every possible 
obstacle in the way of the Scots. The English subscribers took 
alarm and withdrew ; the Scots responded by sinking every 
penny they could raise in the speculation. 

In an evil hour Paterson's plan was adopted for planting a 
colony on the Isthmus of Darien, in the belief that by holding 
Ruin of that position the company would practically com- 

the scheme. ma nd the world's trade ; regardless of the fact that 
the Spaniards looked upon Darien as their property. The scheme 
was, in fact, doomed to failure ; no supplies could be obtained 
from the English colonies ; the Spaniards came down on the 
settlement ; and the whole business ended in a total collapse 
which had cost Scotland many hundreds of lives and more than 
a quarter of a million of money a loss far more serious and 
inflicting far more suffering than would have been entailed in 
England by a loss ten times as great. All Scotland attributed 
the disaster to the hostile action of England, and saw in it a 
further proof that a king of England and Scotland would in- 
evitably allow the interests of the smaller and poorer kingdom 
to be completely overridden when they infringed upon those of 
the larger and richer. The collapse of the Darien Scheme im- 
pressed upon nearly all Scots the conviction that the Union under 
existing conditions was intolerable. William himself was con- 
scious of the reality of the grievance, and was anxious to bring 
about an incorporating union which would remove it ; but it was 
not till the following reign that, in the face of the pressing danger 
of a separation of the crowns after the death of Queen Anne, the 
legislative Union of the countries became an accomplished fact. 

The prolonged wars of King William's reign involved a per- 

Commerce and the New Finance 59 

petually increasing national expenditure which the increasing 
wealth of the country was well able to meet, but not by the 
old methods. The old taxes upon land and personal The land 
property, expressed in the form of ' subsidies/ had tax 1692> 
been based upon an assessment which was entirely out of date. 
The subsidy was, so to speak, a unit of taxation drawn from 
this source. The yield of one subsidy was 70,000, of which the 
districts and localities into which the country was mapped out 
each provided its fixed quota. The amount of personal property 
and the value of land in each district had changed entirely ; 
some were very much poorer than at the time of the original 
assessment, others were very much richer. Consequently, the 
taxable capacity of the former reached its limit when the burden 
was hardly felt in the latter. In 1792 a fresh assessment was 
made so that the burden might be distributed equally, with the 
result that a much larger amount could be raised without ex- 
cessive pressure upon any one. The vanished subsidy was re- 
placed by a land tax of so many shillings in the pound, which 
became the main source of revenue, the assessment of personal 
property proving a task too difficult for effective utility. At four 
shillings in the pound the land tax produced about 2,000,000. 
This, however, was not sufficient to meet the new demands of 
national expenditure. 

Hitherto the year's expenditure had been met out of the year's 
revenue ; that is, the amount intended to be expended in the 
year had been voted for the year, money being Government 
borrowed pending the collection of the taxes, to be borrowing, 
repaid when the taxes came in. The Crown had got itself! into 
debt at various times by borrowing more than the returns would 
meet, and additional taxation was then required for paying off 
arrears. But it was already being found in the second half of 
the seventeenth century that war was a much more costly affair 
than it had been in the past. The expense of a year or two of 
war might perhaps be borne with difficulty by spreading the 
taxation which was to pay for it over a slightly longer period. 
Charles n. on one occasion cut the knot, disastrously enough, 
by the Stop of the Exchequer, which had amounted almost to 

6o William III. 

a repudiation of the government's debt to the goldsmiths. But 
a government which could play tricks of that kind would soon 
find itself unable to borrow at all ; and when wars went on year 
after year the annual taxation could by no means meet the 
annual expenditure. 

The method devised by Charles Montague in 1692 to meet this 
difficulty was the creation of the National Debt. When pro- 
The National v i s i n na d been made by taxation for so much as 
Debt, created was practicable of the anticipated expenditure, the 
1692p balance was borrowed ; but not on a short loan to 

be repaid out of the next year's taxes. By the first plan adopted 
in 1692, the lenders were to receive a life annuity in return for 
a loan, 10 a year for every 100 lent, reduced after a few years 
to 7. The amount asked for and raised in this year was 
1,000,000. Instead of paying back the lump, the government 
incurred a charge of 100,000 per annum, diminishing with the 
death of each subscriber to the loan, until it disappeared alto- 
gether with the death of the last subscriber. Certain duties 
were earmarked, and their produce was set aside annually for 
the payment of the annuities. 

The next stage was arrived at when, instead of undertaking 
to pay annuities in return for the loan, the government did not 
Its pledge itself to repayment of the principal, but 

extension, guaranteed a substantial rate of interest, secured 
1694 ' upon earmarked taxes. So long as the government 

was stable the interest was secure, and the loan was a safe in- 
vestment. Any one who had acquired government stock, but 
wished to recover his capital, would readily find purchasers for 
a stock which brought good interest and could be reckoned 
absolutely secure. Thus whenever a government should want 
money to meet an abnormal expenditure, it became possible, 
within limits, to obtain the amount not by additional taxation 
but by borrowing ; although whenever money was borrowed it 
involved a permanent charge upon the revenue for interest, 
except in so far as it might be found practicable to pay off some 
of the debt out of surplus revenue. The soundness of the security 
made it increasingly easy to borrow upon terms less favourable 

Commerce and the New Finance 61 

to the lender ; so that in the course of a couple of centuries the 
interest came down from 8 per cent, to 2i per cent., and for the 
greater part of the period stood at 3 per cent. The government 
never has, in fact, had difficulty in providing for the interest, 
in spite of the huge increase of the debt itself, incurred partly 
through the powerful temptation to every government to meet 
exceptional outlay by borrowing instead of from revenue, and 
thus to throw the burden of additional taxation upon future 
generations, and its unpopularity upon future ministries. 

The development which provided annual interest in place of 
annuities took place in 1694. It was accompanied by the crea- 
tion of the Bank of England, a scheme suggested 
by William Paterson. On this occasion the amount O f England, 
of the loan required was 1,200,000. The sub- created 
scribers of the loan were formed into a banking cor- 
poration, whose business was not trading but dealing in bullion 
and bills of exchange, in lending and borrowing. The bank 
was debarred from lending money to the Crown except under 
parliamentary sanction. As the annuities had been secured 
upon an increase in the beer duties, so the interest of 8 per cent, 
was now secured upon increased customs duties. Loans made 
to the government on this system were the ' Funded Debt,' but 
in addition to these there was soon a very large unsecured or 
floating debt, which, unlike the funded debt, commanded a very 
low price in the market. 

The wealth of the Bank of England made it a formidably 
powerful corporation. The circumstances of its creation not 
only placed it in Whig hands, but bound it over its political 
completely to the Whig party, or at least to anti- importance. 
Jacobitism. Indeed, the whole system of the government loans 
tended to guarantee the solid support of the moneyed interests 
to the Protestant succession, because it was the general belief 
that if the Stuarts were restored they would repudiate debts 
incurred by government largely with the object of preventing 
their return. The Tories, among whom there was always at 
least an element favourable to a Stuart restoration, were pro- 
portionately antagonistic to the bank ; so also were the gold- 

62 William III. 

smiths, who had hitherto been the principal lenders, and saw that 
the new institution would deprive them of that function ; so 
that on more than one occasion the wrecking of the bank was 
attempted, though the attempts were successfully foiled. 

The establishment of the bank introduced paper money ; that 
is to say, the directors were authorised to issue bank-notes or 
Papermoney. promises to pay cash on demand which passed into 
ready circulation as a medium of exchange. A piece of paper 
which could be exchanged for gold on presentation at the bank 
was of the same use to its possessor as its equivalent in coins 
of the realm, so long at least as the bank's promise to pay could 
be relied upon. At the same time it was sufficient for the bank 
to have in its cellars gold enough to maintain an adequate 
margin in excess of the amount of notes that were reasonably 
likely to be presented at one. time. 

The bank had hardly been established when two attacks were 
made upon it. The first was the Tory invention of a rival Land 
Bank, which found supporters among all the opponents of the 
The Land Bank of England, and especially among landholders 
Bank fiasco. wno resented the financial power of the commercial 
community. The basis of this amazing scheme was the assump- 
tion that land worth 100 a year was worth a hundred years' 
purchase, or 10,000, and could be transmuted into 10,000 in 
cash. On the security of land whose value was calculated on 
this basis, the Land Bank was prepared to lend 2,500,000 to 
the government at 7 per cent. The Bank of England, whose 
directors knew something about business, were not prepared to 
outbid the projectors. The formation of the bank was authorised, 
but the scheme was so palpably absurd that the subscription 
produced only a few thousands instead of two and a half millions, 
and the whole thing collapsed. 

More dangerous was the move of the goldsmiths. In 1695 
the government determined upon the issue of a new currency. 
The new Since the restoration of the coinage by Elizabeth, 

coinage, no debased coin had been issued from the mint ; 

1696 ' but the coin in circulation was liable not only to 

wear and tear in the course of years, but to actual clipping. It 

Commerce and the New Finance 63 

had not been called in, and the result was that there was now in 
circulation a vast amount of coin worth infinitely less than its 
face value. The sound coins were hoarded or went out of the 
country, since within the country the purchasing power of the 
inferior coins was the same. In effect the purchasing power of 
a good shilling was no more than the purchasing power of a 
shilling which had only sixpennyworth of silver in it. When 
a nominal shilling was only worth sixpence, a shilling had to be 
paid for an amount of bread which was worth only sixpennyworth 
of silver. The cost of living rose in proportion ; the money wage 
consequently rose also, so that the cost of production was further 
increased ; but it did not rise in proportion to the diminished 
purchasing power of the coin, so that the wage-earner was poorer 
than before, less able to meet the cost of living. Every one 
suffered, but the poor most of all. 

Montague was bold enough to advocate and carry through a 
scheme for recalling the whole of the coinage and issuing an en- 
tirely new currency, the State paying the cost. Def eatoftiie 
When the new unclippable coins were issued the goldsmiths' 
beneficial results were immediately felt. But during cons P irac 3 r - 
the interval in 1696, while the mint was at work on the new 
coins, and the old coins had ceased to be legal tender, bullion 
was locked up. The goldsmiths seized their opportunity, bought 
up all the bank paper they could lay their hands on, and pre- 
sented the ' promises to pay at sight ' at the bank when there 
was no bullion to pay with. The bank declined to meet the 
demand, which it treated as a conspiracy ; it would only under- 
take to pay as fast as the mint provided it with the new coin. 
Supported by the government, the bank weathered the storm ; 
in three months it had in effect cleared its obligations. The re- 
coinage cost the country nearly three millions, but it would have 
been worth doing at almost any price. The bank was saved, 
and was permanently established as a solid and invaluable 
national institution. 


THE same parliament, in accordance with a provision made at 
an earlier date in the late king's reign, was authorised to continue 
1702 lor six months of the new reign. The parties in the 

The country Commons were evenly balanced, and they continued 

to show the same loyalty, and readiness to work 
in concert, as in the hour of William's triumph and death. The 
alarm caused among the members of the Grand Alliance by the 
possibility of a change in the English policy, and the satisfaction 
which Louis must have felt at the removal of his most relentless 
opponent, were qualified if not altogether removed when it was 
found that no change of policy was contemplated. There was 
no thought in any quarter of disturbing Anne's succession ; Anne 
was almost wholly under the influence of the countess of Marl- 
borough ; and Maryborough's policy was the policy of William. 

The formal declaration of war was hardly postponed by the 
king's death, and the earl was very soon back in Holland to take 

up the command as captain-general of the forces 
a Tory in the northern area. At home the influence of 

parliament Rochester, the queen's uncle, gave a considerable 
and council. . . , . . 

majority of the seats in the council to Tones, and 

the Whigs were but slightly represented ; a dissolution of parlia- 
ment gave the Tories a solid majority in the Commons when the 
Houses again assembled. Marlborough, however, was the real 
head of the government ; Godolphin, whose son was married 
to one of his daughters, was his ally, and if it may be so expressed, 
his minister. The association of Marlborough and Godolphin 
with the Tories was accidental ; they stood before everything 
else for the war-party. Rochester and Nottingham were at 


Blenheim, Gibraltar, and Ramillies 65 

best reluctant supporters of the war, and therein they differed 
from the bulk of the Tories ; there was no corresponding division 
in the Whig ranks ; and it followed that the tendency was for 
Marlborough and Godolphin to rely increasingly upon the party 
from which they got a warm and not a lukewarm support. 

Marlborough had inherited the main features of his war policy 
from William, though they were modified on the one hand by 
his own superb genius, and on the other by the fact Mariborough. 
that he was neither king of England nor stadtholder of Holland. 
William could conduct a campaign without risk of impeachment 
in England, or of direct interference from the States-General 
of the United Provinces. If Marlborough disregarded public 
opinion in England, he might be attacked and recalled ; and 
in the field, his command of the Dutch armies was subject to 
the control of a council of Dutch civilians called field deputies. 
Hence, in carrying out a far-reaching programme, he was much 
more hampered than William had been. 

At the moment when what we may call Marlborough's war 
opened, the battle between Austria and France was already in 
progress. Louis, as we have seen, had captured the 1701 
very uncertain support of Victor Amadeus, duke Eugene 
of Savoy, whose two daughters were married or y * 

betrothed to his own two elder grandsons. Savoy gave 
him the entry into Italy ; and by the end of 1701 Prince 
Eugene of Savoy, the Austrian commander, with a rela- 
tively small Austrian force, was in North Italy, more than 
holding his own against the French marshal Villeroy, but 
in constant danger of being overwhelmed by large French re- 
inforcements. Leopold was half paralysed, partly by the ex- 
tremely defective military organisation of Austria at the time, 
and partly by the revolt of Hungary on his rear. 1702< Marl . 
North Italy was one of the. four war areas, which borough's 
were : first, the Spanish Netherlands with the dis- plans * 
tricts lying between the Lower Rhine and the Meuse ; second, 
the Upper Rhine, where the French held Strasburg ; third, 
North Italy ; and fourth, Spain, though here as yet the allies 
had no effective foothold. Between Austria and the French on 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. E 

66 Queen Anne 

the Upper Rhine lay minor German principalities, who were 
attached to the Grand Alliance ; and, much more important than 
any of the others, Bavaria, which was on the point of openly 
joining Louis. Marlborough's immediate object was to secure 
the line of the Meuse, shutting the northern French army into 
the Spanish Netherlands, and preventing them from making a 
flank attack upon Holland ma Cologne ; cutting them off from 
co-operation with the French army on the Upper Rhine, and 
at the same time opening the way for co-operation between his 
own army and the Austrians on the Danube. This was the 
programme on land ; but Marlborough had also grasped, as no 
one else had done, the naval policy of establishing the English 
supremacy in the Mediterranean, which would cut off France 
from maritime communication with either Spain or Italy. 

By the autumn of 1702 the superior numbers of the French, 
reinforced by the able general Vendome, had driven Eugene in 
His success- North Italy back into a defensive position behind 
fulcampaign. the river Adige. Jn the north Marlborough had 
still to prove his rank as a great commander ; his position had 
been secured more by William's choice and his wife's influence 
with Anne than by his own achievements. Hampered by the 
Dutch field deputies, who had no idea beyond the protection 
of the Dutch frontier, and were mortally afraid of risking pitched 
battles, Marlborough nevertheless succeeded by masterly man- 
oeuvring, which quite misled the French marshal Boufflers as to 
his real objective, in capturing the forts on the Meuse from Venloo 
to Liege. His reputation was enormously raised, and his success 
was rewarded with a dukedom. 

A naval expedition was dispatched to the coast of Spain, 
having as its primary object the capture of Cadiz, or, failing Cadiz, 
Rooke, Cadiz, of some other port such as Gibraltar. Cadiz had 
andVigo. almost certainly been fixed upon by William, as 
being the position securing the entry to the Mediterranean, and 
menacing the French fleet at Toulon ; the capacities of Gibraltar 
as a port were not yet fully known. The commander of the ex- 
pedition was Sir George Rooke, who never appreciated the root 
idea of Mediterranean strategy. He neither liked nor under- 

Blenheim, Gibraltar, and Ramillies 67 

stood his job. He would not work in harmony with the military 
commander who accompanied him, the duke of Ormonde, and 
the attack upon Cadiz was a fiasco. He refused to attempt 
Gibraltar, and was on the point of making his way home again, 
when the news came that a Spanish treasure fleet had slipped 
past him to Vigo. Rooke turned upon Vigo ; the boom which 
defended the harbour was broken through, and in a brilliantly 
fought engagement the escort of warships was destroyed, and 
the treasure fleet was burnt or sunk ; though not till treasure 
to the value of about a million had been secured. Not much 
credit attached to Rooke personally for the success, as he was 
incapacitated by gout when the action took place. Still, in 
spite of the fiasco at Cadiz, the English had ample reason to con- 
gratulate themselves on the results both of the military and of 
the naval campaign. 

The success at Vigo had the further effect of transforming 
Portugal from a neutral into an ally of the Grand Alliance. And 
this in its turn was perhaps the deciding factor in 1703. 
a change of the policy of the Alliance, which was ' cuariea III.' 
adopted in 1703. The allies had entered upon the war with no 
intention of depriving the Bourbon prince of the crown of Spain ; 
but they now resolved to establish the Archduke Charles as 
King Charles in. 

In 1703 Marlborough's schemes for capturing Antwerp, push- 
ing the French further back, securing the Lower Rhine, and 
opening communications with the emperor, were ITOS. 
to a great extent foiled by the blunders of Dutch JJjJ^ h , g 
generals and the obstinacy of the Dutch field de- fetters, 
puties. He secured the Lower Rhine as far south as Bonn, but 
in the Netherlands themselves the Dutch took alarm, and vetoed 
the operations he had planned. Eugene was being pushed out 
of Italy by the superior force of Vendome. The Bavarian elector 
definitely joined Louis, and a grand converging attack was 
planned by the French directed upon Vienna. The French under 
Villars were to advance from Strasburg and effect a junction with 
the elector. Vendome was to clear Eugene out of Italy, and was 
then to effect a junction with the elector and Villars. The march 

68 Queen Anne 

to Vienna would be practically open, and its capture would bring 
the emperor to his knees. The scheme broke down. Villars 
Max advanced, but the elector turned aside in order to 

Emmanuel secure for himself the Tyrol which Louis had pro- 
in the Tyrol. m j sec [ hj m . the Tyrolese proved loyal to the em- 
peror, and drove Max Emmanuel out ignominiously. Vendome 
did not come, because the duke of Savoy changed sides at the 
critical moment and rose in his rear, compelling him to return 
to Italy instead of pursuing Eugene's retreat. Vienna was safe 
for the time being, happily, since Marlborough could have made 
no move for its defence. 

It is clear that the duke's desire was to send a powerful fleet 
into the Mediterranean, with, in his own mind, the ultimate 
The fleet and intention of striking at Toulon itself. But Marl- 
the Mediter- borough had not the direction of naval affairs. The 
ranean. fleets were not ready to sail till long after the 

intended date. The force ultimately dispatched to the Medi- 
terranean was really insufficient to carry out any very great 
stroke ; there was no one ready to co-operate with it ; and, in 
fact, it did little beyond preventing the French fleet from emerg- 
ing out of Toulon to operate on the Spanish coast. In the course 
of the summer the allies, in accordance with the terms made with 
the king of Portugal, declared the Archduke Charles king of 
Spain. Arrangements were made for Rooke to convoy him to 
Portugal, which was to be the base of this ' Carlist ' campaign, 
early in the next year. 

In 1704 the crisis arrived. The French plan of campaign in 

1703 had revealed the conspicuous danger. That plan, with 

modifications which rendered it much less complex 

1704. . 

French plan and more apparently certain of success, was now 
of a Vienna to be put into operation. The elector of Bavaria 
with the French troops under Marsin, who had taken 
the place of Villars, lay at Ulm on the Upper Danube with the road 
to Vienna open. On the Upper Rhine about Strasburg lay Tallard 
with 35,000 men. Prince Lewis of Baden was posted on the 
German side of the Rhine at Stolhofen. According to the plan 
Tallard was to cover the advance of the army upon Vienna 

Blenheim, Gibraltar, and Ramillies 69 

against any flank attack. Eugene's force which Vendome had 
pushed out of Italy was far from being strong enough to prevent 
the movement. The French army on the Meuse, reinforced by 
Villeroy, was to give Marlborough and the Dutch sufficient 
occupation. The Hungarians were to attack Leopold in the 
rear. Failure seemed almost impossible. 

Nevertheless, Marlborough and Eugene, generals who never 
failed to work in perfect harmony, had devised their counter- 
stroke. They were to join hands and crush the 
Franco-Bavarian army. According to Maryborough's borough's 
scheme there was to be a simultaneous attack upon copter- 
Toulon by land and sea, by Rooke's fleet and Savoy's 
army. This diversion, in fact, came to nothing ; but the move- 
ment of Marlborough and Eugene developed as the Blenheim 

Secrecy was of the essence of the plan. It was absolutely 
certain that neither the Dutch nor the parliament in England 
would permit, if they could possibly prevent, the The 
departure of Marlborough from the Netherlands with B1 ^ he ? 1 ^ . 
his main force. It was necessary for him to make Donau-worth, 
his move before the government suspected what June - 
he was doing. His ostensible design was to operate upon the 
Moselle, on the flank of the French army in the Netherlands. 
This could be understood by Dutch and English and French 
as designed for the protection of the United Provinces. Marl- 
borough could work up the Rhine as far as Coblenz without 
arousing suspicions of his further designs. He had attached to 
his force sundry German regiments ; but the bulk were British. 
The Dutch themselves were not to take part in the operations 
on the Moselle, but were to attend to their own frontiers. It was 
only at the end of May that the fact became suddenly apparent 
that the duke was advancing by forced marches from Coblenz 
in the direction of the Danube. At Mondelsheim he met Eugene 
and Lewis of Baden, the imperial commander. It was arranged 
that Eugene should remain at Stolhofen to hold it and keep watch 
over Tallard. On nth June (O.S.) Marlborough and the main 
army of Lewis effected a junction and threatened Ulm, from 

Blenheim, Gibraltar, and Ramillies 71 

which the French and Bavarians fell back to Augsburg. Marl- 
borough's objective was Donauworth. on the Danube, by seizing 
which he could interpose between the French and Vienna. 
Although he was much hampered by the stolidity of his fellow 
commander Lewis, Marlborough succeeded in forcing the Schel- 
lenberg lines which covered Donauworth after some very hard 
fighting on 2ist June. The elector entrenched himself at 
Augsburg, awaiting reinforcements, while Marlborough ravaged 
Bavaria and prepared to besiege Ingolstadt. 

The news of Schellenberg set Tallard in motion to join the 
elector, marching by the south bank of the Danube, while 
Eugene made a parallel movement from Stolhofen 
on the north side. At the moment when Tallard Marlborough 
effected his junction at Augsburg on 26th July, and Eugene, 
Eugene reached Hochstadt. Marlborough and 
Eugene then succeeded in getting rid of Lewis by dispatching 
him with a detachment to the siege of Ingolstadt. On ist August 
Eugene and the duke had concentrated close to Donauworth, 
while the French advancing from Augsburg also crossed to the 
north side of the Danube, and took up a position on the west 
of the marshy stream called the Nebel, between the villages of 
Lutzingen and Blenheim, with Oberglau in the centre, intending 
not to give battle but to cut off Marlborough's supplies. 

Marlborough and Eugene, however, resolved to force an en- 
gagement. vStarting before dawn the allies moved forwards ; 
by eight o'clock the French discovered that the 
allied forces were facing them with the Nebel be- Blenheim, 
tween. Tallard with the French right held the ground 
from Blenheim to Oberglau. Marsin in the centre 
and the elector of Bavaria on the left stretched from Oberglau to 
Lutzingen. Eugene took the command of the allied right, who 
were to hold the French left in play. Contrary to custom the 
cavalry of both armies was massed in the centre. Midday, 
however, was passed before the armies were ready to engage. 
The elector succeeded in holding back Eugene's attack on the 
French left ; on their right Marlborough's infantry made a 
series of furious attacks on the strong position at Blenheim under 

72 Queen Anne 

the command of ' Salamander ' Cutts, while Marlborough was 
performing the difficult operation of carrying his cavalry, with 
some infantry to cover them, across the Nebel on the centre. 
Then by fierce cavalry charges he shattered the French centre, 
while Eugene pressed his attack on their left ; and Marlborough 
was able to sweep up the French right. Vast numbers were 
driven into the Danube, cut to pieces, or taken prisoners ; only 
a few escaped. The elector retreated or fled to the Rhine. 
The grand army which was to have marched to Vienna was 
virtually annihilated. Bavaria was lost, and for the rest of the 
war the French were shut behind the Rhine. In a few weeks 
the triumphant Marlborough was back in the Netherlands, leav- 
ing Eugene to take up the extremely difficult task of reorganis- 
ing the Austrian army. The victory of Blenheim had entirely 
altered the character of the war (2nd August, O.S. ; I3th August, 

Rooke, after taking the Archduke Charles, or King Charles in. 

as he was called, to Lisbon in February, received his open and 

his secret instructions. His business was to main- 


The fleet in tain a strong fleet in the Mediterranean, to prevent 
the Mediter- the French from capturing Nice, the port of Savoy, 
to engage and destroy the French fleet if opportunity 
offered, and incidentally to operate on the Spanish coast within 
the Straits, in the interests of the land campaigning, which would 
develop from the arrival of Charles in the Peninsula. The secret 
instructions gave him Toulon as the real objective. Sir Cloudesley 
Shovell, the commander of the Channel Fleet, was, if in time, 
to prevent the Brest fleet from getting to sea and joining the 
Toulon fleet ; and, if it had already put out, was to pursue it. 

The Toulon scheme was made abortive, because the duke of 
Savoy refused to move, choosing to remain on the defensive 
against the French army in North Italy. When Shovell ap- 
proached Brest he found that the French fleet already had a 
long start of him. They got into the Mediterranean, and by 
faster sailing escaped Rooke, who vainly attempted to engage 
them, and made their way to Toulon. Rooke and Shovell, 
however, effected a junction at Cape St. Mary, after which they 

Blenheim, Gibraltar, and R ami Hies 73 

proposed entering the Straits and seeking an opportunity for 
bringing the whole French fleet to action. In accordance with 
their instructions, however, they were prepared to Capture of 
operate on the Spanish coast on behalf of the Gibraltar, 
allied kings of Spain and Portugal. They would 21stjul y- 
not attack Cadiz, as was suggested, because the king could not 
give them the necessary co-operation by land ; but the oppor- 
tunity for seizing Gibraltar presented itself. The place was 
weakly garrisoned and weakly fortified. Rooke prepared to 
overwhelm it, summoned it to surrender in the name of King 
Charles on 2ist July, and, being defied, bombarded it for six 
hours on the following day, and captured it. Only a small 
garrison could be left to make the best of the position whose 
inadequate fortifications had already suffered severely by the 
bombardment. The French fleet came out from Toulon under 
Admiral Toulouse, hoping to recover it. On I3th August the 
two fleets met and fought each other off Malaga. Both were 
badly battered and both claimed the victory, but Toulouse went 
back to Toulon. 

From that moment the effective command of the Mediterranean 
lay with the allies. But if Gibraltar had been won by the English 
for King Charles, it is tolerably clear that from the England and 
time of its capture England intended to retain it for Gibraltar, 
herself. From that day to this Gibraltar has remained in British 
hands ; and though during the autumn and winter great efforts 
were made to dispossess the English garrison which was com- 
manded by the gallant and able prince Henry of Hesse-Darmstadt, 
the most dangerous of them was foiled by the timely arrival of 
Admiral Leake's squadron. A key to the Mediterranean was 
secured ; and the abandonment of Tangier by Charles n. was 
remedied, though it was still necessary to obtain a port with 
larger capacities for the permanent maintenance of a strong 
fleet in the Mediterranean all the year round. 

Overwhelming as the victory at Blenheim had been, the next 
year, 1705, was almost a blank. Every move in the Netherlands 
designed or attempted by Marlborough was frustrated by the 
deliberate misconduct of the Dutch generals, which ultimately 

74 Queen Anne 

brought its own nemesis, since they disgusted the Dutch as well 
as the English ; the worst of them were dismissed, and, com- 

1705 paratively speaking, Marlborough in 1706 had a free 
Peterborough hand. The allies, however, gained some advantage 

in the Peninsula, where the eccentric Lord Peter- 
borough was sent to take command of the small English con- 
tingent. Peterborough succeeded in capturing Barcelona ; and 
before the end of the year Catalonia, which was generally hostile 
to Castile, had attached itself to the cause of Charles in. 

In Italy matters went badly for the allies in 1705, in which 
year Leopold of Austria died and was succeeded by his elder 

1706 son Joseph. But in 1706 the Italian command was 
Eugene again assigned to Eugene. The French had no 
111 ^' general worthy to be named in the same breath with 
either Eugene or Marlborough, each of whom knew that he could 
rely absolutely on the other to work with him in harmony and 
loyalty. Marlborough conceived the design of making North 
Italy the main field of battle for 1706, and of joining Eugene there 
himself with 20,000 British troops, sweeping the French out 
of the country, and, in concert with the fleet, seizing Toulon. 
Audacious as the plan was, he had almost succeeded in persuad- 
ing the States-General to accede to it, when the Dutch were 
seized with a panic lest Lewis of Baden should fail to cover the 
southern frontier, and the whole scheme had to be given up. 
Marlborough remained in the Netherlands ; but Eugene, single- 
handed, conducted in Italy a compaign so brilliant that in 
September he had relieved Turin, and as far as Italy itself was 
concerned, the object of Marlborough's proposed campaign was 
practically accomplished. 

In the Netherlands the duke's freedom of action was not 
fettered as it had been in the previous campaign. Villeroy was 

enticed from his entrenchments, and Marlborough 
campaign found his opportunity to engage him at the battle 
of Ramiiiies, o f Ramillies. While apparently developing his 

attack upon the French left and centre, to support 
which the French right was weakened, he transferred a mass 
of troops from his own centre to his own left a movement 

Blenheim, Gibraltar, and Ramillies 75 

concealed from the enemy by rising ground and was thus 
enabled to hurl an overwhelming force upon the French right, 
which was totally shattered. The line was rolled up, broke, and 
fled, the defeat became a rout, and the rout a sauve gui peut. 

At Blenheim the heaviest fighting had fallen to the lot of the 
British troops ; at Ramillies most of the English regiments did 
not come into action till late in the day, the Dutch Results of 
having to do most of the work. But the British tne campaign, 
troops had already made their reputation ; Villeroy had 
strengthened his own left at the expense of his right, because 
the red-coats at the beginning of the action were conspicuous 
upon the allied right. It is hardly true to say that the English 
regiments had not hitherto made a name for themselves in 
continental fighting ; the Ironsides had shown their quality in 
1658, and the English troops had fought magnificently under 
William. But it was Blenheim which made Europe in general 
realise that no better troops could be raised anywhere than those 
which came from across the Channel. 

At Ramillies Marlborough had set Villeroy on the run ; the 
next fortnight saw the French entirely cleared out of Brabant 
and Flanders, with the allies in possession of all the towns and 
forts with very few exceptions ; and those few fell before the end 
of September. Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Oudenarde, 
and Ostend were among the captures which followed upon the 
victory of Ramillies. 

In Spain Peterborough had passed the winter in performing 
a series of surprising exploits of no very great value. Charles 
was in Barcelona, to which a strong French force The relief 
laid siege. The Toulon fleet came out to support of Barcelona, 
the besiegers, and Leake's winter squadron, till reinforced, was 
not strong enough to challenge it. A fresh squadron, how- 
ever, under Byng, arrived from England just in time. Peter- 
borough, who was on the worst possible terms with Charles, at 
first tried to divert the admirals from the vigorous relief of Bar- 
celona, having a plan of his own for a march on Madrid. Leake 
and Byng, however, having a more just appreciation of the im- 
portance of Barcelona, ignored Peterborough's instructions, and 

76 Queen Anne 

made for the beleaguered city at full speed, being convinced that 
not a moment ought to be lost. The moment the French fleet 
knew that they were coming, it retired in all haste to Toulon. 
The arrival of the English ships was decisive, the siege was raised, 
and Barcelona was saved. Peterborough was ingenious enough 
to pose as its saviour. 

On the other side of the Peninsula Lord Galway with the 
Portuguese pushed back a French force under Marshal Berwick, 
The whom we met with before in connection with 

campaign Barclay's plot. About midsummer Galway entered 
Madrid and proclaimed King Charles. Then he 
moved, with the intention of joining hands with King Charles. 
He was, however, unable to act with any vigour, mainly on 
account of the character of the troops under his command. 
Charles and Peterborough were perpetually at cross purposes. 
Berwick was reinforced, the Spaniards behind Galway rose for 
King Philip, and when Charles and Galway at last effected a 
junction, they found themselves cut off from Madrid and from 
the Portuguese base of operations. They withdrew to Catalonia 
and Valencia ; and both Charles and Galway were probably 
infinitely relieved when Peterborough announced that he had 
received instructions to leave Spain in order to consult with 
Eugene, then on the point of relieving Turin, as to measures 
in Northern Italy. 


At the moment of Anne's accession, William's last parliament 

was still in session. On the whole there was a very slight Tory 

preponderance in the Commons, and a very slight 

End of Whig preponderance in the Lords. The changes 

William's made by Anne in her council were in favour of the 
parliament. . . . . ... . . 

1 ones, mainly owing to the queen s predilection 

for High Anglicanism. When the parliament had done its work, 
and all doubts had been removed as to the vigour of the war- 
policy which was to be followed, in spite of the reluctance of 
Rochester and Nottingham, it was dissolved. As habitually 

Parties in England, and Union with Scotland 77 

happened during this reign, the general election endorsed the 
remodelling of the council ; the Tories came back with a large 

Although that party had as a whole endorsed the war, it had 
done so in the first place in a moment of excitement which had 
only masked its hostility to William, and its dis- AnewTor 
trust of his policy as being dictated by Dutch rather House of 

than English interests. Thus it contained an ele- commons, 

ment which was at heart opposed to the war 

altogether, and another element which, while in favour of the 
war, took an extremely insular view of the objects and the 
methods to be pursued. It disliked the army, which was 
associated in its mind with the army of the Commonwealth 
and a military dictatorship ; before long it began to brood 
upon suspicions that Marlborough was dreaming of playing the 
part of Cromwell. It held that the part of England was to con- 
fine itself to naval operations, and its theory of naval operations 
was that they could be directed to the destruction of French 
commerce, the protection of English commerce, and the appro- 
priation of West Indian colonies. It failed entirely to grasp 
the conception common to William and to Marlborough of united 
action on the part of the allies directed to their common good, 
and of the co-operation of fleets and armies in the common design 
of overwhelming the enemy. Consequently it was inevitable 
that Marlborough and Godolphin, whose Toryism was at best of 
a very dubious type, should find themselves relying more and 
more on the Whigs. 

At the outset, however, there was no breach. The country 
was well satisfied with the outcome of the campaigning of 1702. 
Marlborough's operations in the Netherlands had War honours. 
fully justified his selection for the supreme command. The 
success of the fleet at Vigo had more than obliterated the annoy- 
ance caused by the failure at Cadiz. Parliament applauded, 
though not without a side blow at the memory of King William, 
when the Commons declared that Marlborough and Rooke had 
' retrieved ' the honour of the British arms in spite of the Whig 
amendment which would have substituted ' maintained ' for 

78 Queen Anne 

r retrieved.' Still, the Tories were already suspicious of Marl- 
borough ; and there were signs that they intended to magnify 
the doings of their own admiral, Rooke, by way of a set-off to 
the duke's laurels. The temporary abandonment of party spirit 
Attack on which had been achieved in the last two months 
the WMgs, of William's reign came to an end. The Tories 

endeavoured to give a retrospective effect to the 
clauses in the Act of Succession directed against the employment 
of foreigners in high offices of state and the granting of lands 
to them ; the attempt was foiled by a pronouncement of the 
judges that the foreign peers, who were of course associated 
with the Whigs, could not be deprived of their rights. 

The next step of the Tories was an attack upon the Dissenters, 
now warranted as a party move by the queen's ecclesiastical 

proclivities. William's Toleration Act had enabled 
Occasional Dissenters of an easy conscience to qualify for office 
Conformity foy receiving the Holy Communion according to the 

Anglican rite, n process which was called Occasional 
Conformity (i.e. conformity for the occasion). There were, in 
fact, great numbers of Dissenters who, while preferring the 
services of the religious bodies to which they were attached, 
felt themselves perfectly at liberty to attend Anglican services 
if occasion arose, which was all that the law required of them. 
The Occasional Conformity Bill now introduced proposed to 
penalise any persons holding office who, during the term of office, 
attended any other services than those of the established church. 
At the same time the bill included in its provisions a host of 
minor officials who had not been touched even by the original 
Corporation Act. This bill was carried in the Commons in 
December 1702. Anglican pulpits rang with denunciations of 
the Dissenters and of the Latitudinarian bishops with whom 
William had filled the sees. The queen was in favour of the 
bill. It seemed likely that the Lords would give way and pass 
it, when the tide was turned by the appearance of a pamphlet 
Defoe. entitled The Shortest Way with the Dissenters. In 

form it urged all loyal churchmen to push the Tory and High 
Church arguments to their logical conclusion ; but in showing 

Parties in England, and Union with Scotland 79 

the logical conclusion, it very thoroughly exposed its grotesque- 
ness. A reaction set in, and the Lords ventured to throw out 
the bill. The enraged Tories succeeded in procuring the punish- 
ment of the pamphleteer for having published a seditious libel. 
Daniel Defoe was set in the pillory, but only to receive an ovation 
from the very mob which just before had been engaged in wreck- 
ing the meeting-houses of the Dissenters. 

The year 1703 brought no military or naval triumphs, but the 
ultra-Tories brought about a certain reaction by procuring the 
dismissal of Whigs from minor posts. When parlia- 1703 The 
ment met in the autumn, the Occasional Conformity BUI again 
Bill was again introduced. But this time Prince defeated - 
George of Denmark, the queen's husband, who was himself a 
Lutheran, withdrew the support which he had previously given 
to the bill. Anne's attitude was necessarily affected. Marl- 
borough consequently ventured to use his influence, though 
secretly, against the bill. The Tories proposed to secure the 
bill in the Lords by tacking it to a money bill ; but when it was 
made known that the queen was opposed to tacking, the plan 
was dropped and the bill was defeated in the Peers. Maryborough 
and Godolphin voted in support of it when they were quite sure 
that it would be defeated. The personal antagonism between 
Godolphin and Nottingham developed, and in the 1704 
course of the year 1704 the Nottingham group dis- Harley and 
appeared from the ministry, into which were drawn st ' Jolm * 
Robert Harley, the representative of the moderate Tories, and 
his brilliant young friend Henry St. John ; the latter, not because 
he was a moderate, but because he was too clever to be left out- 
side to organise the enemies of the government. But Marl- 
borough had not yet won. Politically his career depended upon 
the summer campaign. If Blenheim had been a Effect of 
defeat he would have been impeached and ruined. Blenheim. 
But Blenhein assured him a victory which was made more rather 
than less complete by the futile attempt of the Tories to elevate 
Rooke's engagement at Malaga into a still more glorious achieve- 

When the Tories introduced the Occasional Conformity Bill 

8o Queen Anne 

for the third time, they committed themselves to the tacking 
plan, upon which they were beaten even in the Commons ; and 
when the bill itself went up to the Lords it was rejected by a 
more decisive majority than before. The conduct of the ex- 
treme Tories had driven the moderates to the side of the govern- 
ment. In the spring of 1705 the time had come for 
Anewparlia- a dissolution and a general election ; and this time 
merit, mainly the Tories were beaten at the polls. With a Whig 
majority in the Commons the government was 
secure ; nevertheless, the ministry was not as yet exclusively 
Whig ; though it might perhaps have been foreseen that Harley 
and St. John would presently find themselves compelled to sever 
their connection either with the ministry or with the Tory party. 
The war policy of Marlborough and Godolphin was confirmed. 
But the great achievement of Anne's second parliament was the 
Incorporating Union with Scotland. 

The relations between England and Scotland under a single 
crown had never been satisfactory. A certain sense of antagon- 
ism, the result of long centuries of hostility, had 
with Scot- remained rooted in the northern country, where it 
land; earlier was necessarily much more active than in the south. 
There had always been in Scotland statesmen who 
believed that the true solution lay in incorporation. The ex- 
periment had been tried for a time under the Commonwealth, 
when the Scots were represented in the parliaments "at West- 
minster instead of having a separate legislature of their own. 
That arrangement had come to an end with the Restoration ; 
but at the same time the Scots were excluded from the benefit 
of the English Navigation Acts. The throttling of their commerce 
emphasised the necessity for a readjustment, and proposals for 
a union were submitted to a conference of commissioners from 
both countries in 1670. No agreement was then arrived at, but 
the question was again raised, on the accession of William in. 
William himself was always anxious for a union, but it was 
not easy to persuade the English of the material advantages 
to England of such a measure. When Scotland had postponed 
the question of union to the recognition of William's succession, 

Parties in England, and Union with Scotland 8 1 

the English parliament showed no inclination to regard the 
matter as a pressing one. Their chilly attitude was resented 
as insulting by the Scots ; the sentiment of hostility to England 
was increased, and was still further intensified in the Highlands 
by the affair of Glencoe and in the Lowlands by the Darien dis- 
aster. The latter also emphasised once more the destructive 
effects upon Scottish commerce of the existing relations. 

There was a growing feeling that the alternatives were either 
complete separation or a Legislative Union ; and while the 
intelligence of the country favoured the latter, senti- 1702 . 
ment undoubtedly favoured the former. William a Union 
urged upon the English parliament the wisdom of 
giving the most earnest consideration to a project of union ; but 
the Tories were factiously predominant at that moment (1700), 
and the proposal to appoint commissioners was thrown out in 
the Commons. A week before William's death, when faction 
was hushed, he again urged the consideration of union upon 
the Commons ; and the parliament in the first months of Queen 
Anne's reign passed an Act for the appointment of commis- 
sioners to that end. 

Now, the Convention in Scotland which had called William 
to the throne continued to sit as a parliament undissolved 
throughout his reign. It was authorised to sit for Tne g co t a 
another six months after his demise, but upon con- parliament 
ditions which were not duly observed. Neverthe- n 70 " 
less, the High Commissioner Queensberry, knowing that the 
existing parliament was favourable to the Union, persuaded the 
queen to assemble it instead of dissolving it and calling a new 
parliament. The Opposition or Country party thereupon de- 
clared its proceedings to be illegal, and withdrew from its con- 
sultations. Two bills were introduced, one authorising the queen 
to nominate commissioners to meet the English commissioners 
for a union conference. The second required all office-holders 
to abjure the ' pretended Prince of Wales ' who had taken the 
title of James vin. But the Scots were now in the position in 
which they had been when they had proposed the Union, before 
accepting William as king. The acceptance of the second bill 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. HI. F 

8 2 Queen Anne 

would preclude them from using in negotiations with England 
the threat of acknowledging James as the successor of Anne. 
The hostility to this measure was so strong that the parliament 
was prorogued after it had barely passed its first reading. 

The Act for appointing commissioners, however, had been 
duly passed, and the conference was opened in November 
Faiiureofthe 1702. The Scottish commissioners were willing to 
conference. accept the Electress Sophia as Anne's successor, 
but only on condition of a satisfactory agreement with regard 
to trade and other matters ; and over the details of this 
demand the conference broke down and came to an end in 
February. Further irritation had been caused by the extreme 
indifference which the Englishmen had shown to the importance 
of the whole question, and both in England and in Scotland there 
were grave doubts as to the legal authority of the parliament 
which had sanctioned the conference. And in the meantime, 
the new parliament just summoned in England was preponder- 
antly Tory, and a new parliament summoned in Scotland put 
the party of the government in an actual minority, owing 
to the return of a considerable number of more or less open 
Jacobites who called themselves Cavaliers. 

There were then three parties in the new Scottish parliament 

which met in May, after a reconstruction of the ministry which 

displaced a number of the old Whigs. Those who 

Parties in the were called the Court party were the old Whigs who 

new scots h a cl held most closely to William. The Cavaliers 

were that Jacobite or semi- Jacobite element which 

had excluded itself from the last parliament. They were mainly 
Episcopalians with leanings to restoring the Stuart succes- 
sion. The now greatly reduced Country party were the 
members of the Opposition which had been formed in support 
of national interests as opposed to English domination. There 
was a natural antagonism between them and the Jacobites, 
because they were Presbyterian as well as Nationalist ; hence 
it did not seem impossible that the Cavaliers might coalesce 
with the Whigs or Court party in preference to the Country 
party ; and this was what the Whigs aimed at. But when 

Parties in England, and Union with Scotland 83 

there were three parties, no two of which were really in 
agreement, the almost inevitable result was that two parties 
combined in opposition ; and the Jacobites and Country party 
had this in common, that to both of them the predominance of 
England was extremely objectionable although for different 
reasons. While the Court party was led by the duke of Queens- 
berry, the other two in combination regarded the duke of Hamilton 
as their head ; while they coalesced only to a limited degree, 
not because they shared a common aim but because both 
wanted to defeat the Court party. 

Broadly speaking, the Whigs were in favour of the Incorpora- 
ting Union with due safeguards for Scottish national institutions 
and Scottish commerce. The Nationalists, headed by Fletcher 
of Saltoun, did not want a union, but such a limitation of the 
powers of the Crown in Scotland as would make it a mere figure- 
head whose connection with England and with English interests 
would virtually be of no effect in Scotland. Without that con- 
dition, the Nationalists would insist on complete separation, 
And the Cavaliers wanted complete separation because they did 
not want to recognise the Hanoverian succession, which was 
involved in any form of union with England whatever. 

The practical outcome was that the Scottish parliament in 
1703 passed a bill which ultimately became known as the Act 
of Security. It provided that if before the queen's 
death the Estates and the Crown had not fixed upon The Scottish 
a successor, the Estates should nominate a successor Act * 
other than the successor to the crown of England. 
It declared that no one person should be sovereign of both Eng- 
land and Scotland unless the English parliament should first 
have conceded to Scotland ' a free communication of trade, the 
freedom of navigation, and the liberty of the plantations/ that 
is, free trade in the colonies. It provided also for the arming 
and drilling of the population. It further provided against the 
continued union of the crowns unless the sovereignty of Scot- 
land, her legislative power, and her religion, were secured." The 
royal assent was at the time refused ; but in the next year the 
bill was again passed with the omission of the clause regarding 

84 Queen Anne 

' free communication of trade/ at a time when it was uncertain 
what would be the result of Marlborough's Blenheim campaign, 
which was then in progress. The royal assent to the Act of 
Security was given ; because, with the crisis on the Continent 
undetermined, Anne dared not risk the refusal of supplies for 
the army which would have followed upon the refusal of her 
assent to the Act. 

A very serious situation then had arisen. Scotland was an 
independent state in no way subject to England, and only 

1704 fortuitously bound to her by the fact that both 
Theresuiting countries shared one sovereign. The succession to 

that sovereign's throne in England was settled by 
an Act of the English parliament with the assent of the Crown ; 
but that Act could not touch Scotland. There was no means 
of compelling Scotland to adopt the same successor as England, 
there was nothing to prevent her from fixing the succession 
where she chose, even if she chose to fix it upon James vm. 
If she did so, the situation would be very much like that when 
Scotland recognised Charles u., and the English Commonwealth 
was obliged frankly to put on one side all questions of legality 
and, for its own protection, to coerce Scotland. And now there 
was the additional complication that England was engaged in 
a great European war. 

The extreme tension was removed by the victory of Blenheim 
and the decisive ascendency of the Whigs in England which 

1705 followed it. Unlike the Tories, the Whigs favoured 
The English a union, as according with the policy of William in. 

They had been prepared to give it serious attention 
in any case, and it was now imperative for them to do so in order 
to secure the Protestant succession in both countries. The first 
step, however, was to repudiate the idea that they were influenced 
by coercion, by fear of what Scotland might do. The government 
therefore began by retaliatory measures. They stiffened the 
trade barriers and took measures to place the border in a state 
of defence. They declared that all Scots should be reckoned 
as aliens until Scotland accepted the line of the succession laid 
down in England. But they renewed the proposal for a meeting 

Parties in England, and Union with Scotland 85 

of commissioners to agree upon the terms of a treaty of 

During the twelve months which followed the passing of the 
Act of Security, it had been found necessary to set Tweeddale, 
an old leader of the Country party, at the head of 1705 
the Scottish administration in place of Queensberry. A commission 
Tweeddale, however, had proved a failure ; various a PP ointed ' 
circumstances had combined to raise Scottish animosity towards 
England, English intervention, and English influence, to a higher 
pitch than ever. Consequently the commissionership was now 
bestowed on the young duke of Argyll, a soldier with soldierly 
qualities and little enough aptitude for intrigue. But he had 
to help him the astute Queensberry. By this time the Scottish 
parliament had fallen into the two main divisions of the Court 
party who were identified with Unionism, and the Cavaliers who 
were identified with opposition to the Union ; but between the 
two the balance was held by what had once been the Country 
party, a small clever group who now came to be generally known 
as the Squadrone Volante, who were on the whole rather favour- 
able to the Union than otherwise. In these circumstances, a 
last attempt by Fletcher of Saltoun to substitute for a union 
his plan for limiting the powers of the Crown was rejected, and 
the parliament resolved to empower the Crown to name com- 
missioners to meet those appointed for England. Excited 
patriots were more or less soothed by the voting of an address 
praying for the repeal of the English Alien Act, as a condition 
without which the conference would be doomed to failure. It 
is clear that in both countries the consciousness had gained 
ground that the Union was really necessary to the welfare of 
each ; but in Scotland the antagonistic sentiment was still so 
strong that observers in general rather expected that the pro- 
posal would be defeated. Men might see that the arguments 
for union were stronger than the arguments for separation, as 
a question of material prosperity ; but the knowledge gave no 
security that the slightest wound to the national suscepti- 
bilities would not suffice to obliterate the material argument 

86 Queen Anne 

The carrying through of a treaty of Union, therefore, was an 

extremely delicate matter. Fortunately, in the autumn of 1705 

the English Whigs were secure of their majority 

The ' in both Houses ; and no better pilot could have 

commission b een found than Somers ; who took the lead in 
meets, April. . 

procuring the repeal of the Alien Act, as he had 

previously taken the lead in procuring its passage. The two 
bodies of commissioners, thirty-one English and thirty-one Scots, 
were appointed in the spring of 1706 with extreme care, and a 
wisdom which was demonstrated by the event. 

In April 1706 the commission was assembled in London. It 
differed from all the previous commissions in the fundamental 
Terms of a ^ ac ^- ^ na ^ ^ mean t business. After settling the pro- 
Treaty of cedure, the English put forward as the groundwork 
of the proposed treaty, the union of the two king- 
doms with a single parliament under the name of Great Britain, 
with the succession to the Crown settled upon the House of 
Hanover. The Scots made one bid for popularity in the north 
by the counter proposal of a federal union with separate legisla- 
tures. This was at once emphatically negatived by the English ; 
there must be an Incorporating Union or none at all. With 
those alternatives before them, the Scots accepted the English 
principle ; probably the majority were really in favour of it, 
and they only made the federal proposal to mollify their con- 
stituents. The next Scottish demand was for complete freedom 
of trade ; the demand was accepted without demur. The Eng- 
lish proposal that taxes and trade regulations should be uniform 
required modification. The amount of the Scottish National 
Debt was only equal to that of the Scottish revenue. The 
English revenue was thirty-five times as great as that of Scot- 
land, and the English Debt was thrice the English revenue ; 
it was necessary that Scotland should not be called upon to 
share the English Debt. It was recognised also as reasonable 
that Scotland should be exempted from sundry taxes which were 
imposed in England, and that the land tax of Scotland should be 
reckoned at something less than one-fortieth of that of England. 
Finally, the Scots were to receive very nearly 400,000 as the 

Parties in England, and Union witk Scotland 87 

' equivalent ' for losses sustained at the hands of English trad- 
ing companies. On the question of representation, the original 
proposal of the English that there should be thirty-eight Scots 
in the new House of Commons was modified, and the Scots were 
allowed forty-five members. In the Upper House it was im- 
possible to admit more than sixteen out of the very much larger 
number of Scottish peers. Scotland was to retain her own courts 
of law, and the privileges and jurisdictions of the Scottish royal 
boroughs and of the barons (that is the landed gentry) were to 
be continued intact. 

It remained to procure the acceptance of the treaty by the 
parliaments of the two kingdoms, the Scots taking precedence 
in point of time. The extremely delicate busi- The position 
ness of piloting the treaty through the Scottish in Scotland, 
parliament was virtually entrusted to Queensberry Autumn - 
by his appointment as commissioner. No man knew what the 
Scottish parliament would do, though it was generally appre- 
hended that the Union would not be passed without bloodshed. 
Besides the Nationalists and the Jacobites in parliament, the 
whole body of the clergy were in opposition, because of the fear 
that the parliament of Great Britain, in which the enormous 
majority would be Episcopalians, would insist on imposing 
Prelacy throughout the United Kingdom. To the whole body 
of the Cameronians, assent to the Union appeared to be an 
enormous betrayal of the Covenant and the National religion. 
The veteran Carstares, however, the trusted counsellor of 
William in., exerted all his influence to moderate clerical fana- 
ticism. The Cavaliers were divided by dissensions and jealousies 
between their two leaders, Hamilton and Atholl. Everything, 
in fact, turned upon the action of the Squadrone Volante ; and, 
as matters turned out, that group gave its support to the Union. 

The articles of the treaty were voted upon one by one, though 
the approval of each individually was to be conditional upon 
the final approval of all. When the first article, The principle 
enacting a union of the two kingdoms, was passed carried, 
by a majority of thirty- three, the government November - 
began to feel that the chances were in their favour. The 

88 Queen Anne 

Hanoverian succession and the single parliament were approved 
by increased majorities. The hostility of the Church was 
Act for the t ^ ien alla Y e( i b y the passing of a special Act which 
security of so far as any Act could do, guaranteed the per- 
the Church. manency of the National Church as established at 
the Revolution. 

Finding themselves likely to be steadily outvoted in parliament, 
the Opposition brought outside pressure to bear. Petitions 
Popular against the Union poured in from every quarter, 

hostility. jh e government made no attempt to procure 
counter-petitions, of which only one was received ; they con- 
tented themselves with the argument that if the petitions had 
represented a real national feeling, they would have been much 
more extensively signed than was actually the case. The senti- 
ment of the mob, both in Glasgow and in Edinburgh, was ex- 
pressed in an unmistakable manner ; but the government refused 
to be intimidated. Then the Jacobites prepared an address 
demanding that the parliament should be dissolved, as having 
had no mandate to deal with so vast a constitutional question, 
but Hamilton refused to support it unless it included approval 
of the Hanoverian succession ; consequently the address was 
dropped. Still, the fear of armed insurrection was so great that 
the government procured an Act suspending that clause in the 
Act of Security which had sanctioned arming and drilling. 

The fiscal clauses were carried with slight modifications. 
With the clauses providing for the representation of Scotland 

in the parliament of Great Britain, the Opposition 
clauses came to the last line of defence. It was determined 

carried, that at this point the Opposition should offer once 

more the substitution of an acknowledgment of the 
Hanoverian succession for the treaty, and on its inevitable re- 
jection should retire in a body. That retirement might be the 
signal for civil war. But at the last moment Hamilton, with 
whom the plan had originated, refused to move the protest. The 
clause was carried, and a week later, on i6th January 1707, the Act 
confirming the treaty received the royal assent from Queensberry 
as commissioner, along with the Act for the Security of the Church. 

Parties in England^ and Union with Scotland 89 

It remained for the parliament to deal with the distribution 
of that sum of money which was called the ' equivalent,' and 
then with the problem of representation in the 170? 
parliament of Great Britain. As to the Peers, it Scottish 
was resolved that in the first instance they should be arr ange- 

rn.6GtrS for tn.6 

nominated by the Crown, and that in the future the parliament 

whole body of the Peers should elect their sixteen of Great 

representatives. For the Commons, the shires were 

to have thirty members and the boroughs fifteen, Edinburgh 
having one representative while the other boroughs were asso- 
ciated in fourteen groups, who should in the first instance choose 
their representatives from the members of the existing parlia- 

When the Scottish Act was passed, it became the turn of Eng- 
land. The treaty was carried through both Houses, practically 
without amendment, though it was coupled with an 
Act of Security for the Church of England ; un- The final 
favourably distinguished from that in Scotland, in- Act of Union, 
asmuch as the latter had imposed no religious tests 
disqualifying Episcopalians from office, whereas the English Act 
excluded Presbyterians from holding office in England. The 
Act received the royal assent on 6th April. As in Scotland, it 
was resolved that no new election was necessary. The first 
parliament of Great Britain contained the same English members 
of the House of Commons as the last parliament of England. 

It is not to be denied that bribery and corruption played a 
part in procuring the acceptance of the treaty in Scotland ; but 
equally there is no doubt that all or very nearly Continue d 
all of the politicians by whose aid the treaty was unpopularity 
carried were really convinced that the Union was m co n * 
necessary. The fact remained, however, that it was not popular 
in Scotland. The benefits of the commercial clauses were not 
immediately felt ; the introduction into Scotland of new duties, 
discharged by an extremely objectionable class of revenue 
officers brought in from England, excited popular wrath. The 
Cameronians still regarded a pact with a prelatical nation as an 
unholy alliance. The J acobites, of whom there was a far larger 

90 Queen Anne 

proportion than in England, hated the Union as a guarantee of 
the Hanoverian succession. It was always easy to discover that 
Scottish interests were overridden in favour of England by the 
parliament of Great Britain. For a long time to come, the popular 
aversion from the ' sad and sorrowful ' Union, and the desire to 
see it brought to an end, were among the most effective assets 
of Jacobitism. It was not till Jacobitism itself had received its 
death-blow forty years afterwards that Scotland really made up 
her mind that the Union was irrevocable. 


At the end of 1706 Louis, alarmed by the effects of Ramillies, 
endeavoured to make a separate treaty with the Dutch by offer- 

1706. After ing them the barrier fortresses which their souls 
Ramillies. desired. The allies were pledged not to make 
separate treaties ; the Whigs had now committed themselves to 
the principle that there was to be ' no peace without Spain,' 
and Louis's attempt was foiled. But the loss of Ramillies had 
been followed by Eugene's relief of Turin and an almost com- 
plete exodus of French armies from North Italy. 

It was Marlborough's grand scheme for this the new year, 1707, 
that the Austrian armies, with the duke of Savoy, should, in 

1707. Marl- co-operation with the British fleet under Sir Cloudes- 
borough's ley Shovell, invade the south-east of France from 

Italy and seize Toulon. For it had been the duke's 
idea from the beginning that the war was to give England Toulon 
as her naval base in the Mediterranean. It was his first intention 
himself to join with Eugene ; but he soon found that he would 
not be allowed to leave the Netherlands. Consequently, he 
intended to make a diversion in the north by threatening an 
invasion of France in that quarter, and thereby making Eugene's 
task in the south easier. 

Matters, however, did not go well. In the first place, the 
duke found himself called upon temporarily to desert arms for 
diplomacy. The young king of Sweden, Charles xn., had shortly 
before blazed upon the world, a sudden meteoric portent. His 

The Whigs in Poiver 91 

startling victories in Russia, Denmark, and Poland were in all 
men's mouths ; and he had a quarrel with the Austrian em- 
peror. If this northern thunderbolt were launched Charles xn. 
against Joseph, the Grand Alliance would be in very evil case. 
Marlborough's blandishments were successful, Joseph was per- 
suaded, though not without troublesome delays, to conciliate 
his alarming enemy, and the Swede was induced to leave Austria 
alone and plunge into the Russian campaign, in which his am- 
bitions were for the time being shattered by the disaster of 

But this did not end Marlborough's difficulties. The emperor, 
regardless of his obligations, made a private agreement with 
Louis for the suspension of hostilities in Northern The emperor. 
Italy, because he wanted Naples. Nor was he at all anxious, 
in fact, for the British to acquire such a prize as Toulon, although 
the capture of Toulon would have secured Naples and Sicily for 
him without any difficulty. 

In the meantime things were also going badly for the allies in 
Spain. Galway from Catalonia marched upon Madrid. Only a 
third of his force were British troops, and a greater Spaln . 
proportion were Portuguese. Intercepted by a Aimanza, 
larger Franco-Spanish army under Berwick, he gave AprU - 
battle. The British and German troops fought manfully ; but 
Galway was incapacitated for a time at a critical stage of the 
battle by a sabre cut, the Portuguese ran away, and the remainder 
of the army were overwhelmed by double their numbers ; though 
Galway succeeded in withdrawing less than half the British in 
good order. The disaster of Aimanza was really the wreck of 
the Austrian cause in Spain ; although it cannot be doubted 
that that cause never would have been successful, in face of the 
fierce hostility of the whole Spanish people with the exception 
of the Catalans. 

Marlborough's grand design was destined to failure, through 
no fault of his, of Sir Cloudesley Shovell's, of or Eugene's, who 
did his best to give effect to his great colleague's scheme. With 
hardly any support from Austria, he had to rely upon the shifty 
Victor Amadeus of Savoy, who was in no haste to attend to any 

92 Queen Anne 

one's interests but his own. Nevertheless, Eugene almost suc- 
ceeded. By deceiving Tesse, the French commander in the 
The Toulon south, as to his objective, he was able to make a 
scheme dash for Toulon ; but delays, for which Savoy was 

,ed, July, responsible, enabled Tesse to get back just in time 
to prevent a simultaneous attack by land and sea on the great 
arsenal. Shovell bombarded the place, and the French actually 
sunk a number of their battleships in order to avoid their capture ; 
but Eugene was forced to retreat, and Toulon was saved. Marl- 
borough knew that the chance would not occur again, and made 
up his mind that not Toulon, but Port Mahon in Minorca was 
the permanent naval station which must be secured for the 
British fleet in the Mediterranean. The duke's own intended 
operations in the north had been frustrated by the precarious 
state of affairs on the Upper Rhine, where the death of the in- 
competent Lewis of Baden had placed the still more incompetent 
Christian of Baireuth in command ; and Marlborough's own time 
was much taken up in getting Christian replaced by George, the 
elector of Hanover and the destined successor to the throne of 
Great Britain. 

The compact between Joseph and Louis released Eugene from 
Italy, but the jealousy of the elector of Hanover prevented the 
1708 Eevoit supreme command on the Rhine from being handed 
of Flemish over to Eugene, who, it was agreed, should, in 1708, 
towns, June. ^^ ^^ commanc i o f a third army on the Moselle. 

The French army in Flanders was now under the joint command 
of Louis's elder grandson the duke of Burgundy and of Vendome, 
between whom there was little agreement. Marlborough planned 
a rapid junction of his own army with that of Eugene, and 
a combined attack upon the French. But before Eugene 
could effect a junction a number of the captured cities in the 
Netherlands revolted against the Dutch domination, which 
was not at all to their liking. Eugene had already started to 
join Marlborough, but his troops were still many marches 
away. He himself hurried in advance to consult with the 
duke. Vend6me was moving upon Oudenarde, one of the 
towns which had fallen into the hands of the Dutch after 

The Whigs in Power 93 

Ramillies ; its capture would open the way for the French 
into Brabant. 

Marlborough and Eugene decided that although they had the 
inferior numbers they could not afford to wait for Eugene's army. 
By forced marches they succeeded in reaching oudenarde, 
Oudenarde before their movement was detected by Jul y- 
the French, who were still a few miles away. It was already 
late in the day when they became suddenly aware of Marl- 
borough's approach. The ground, cut up by hedges, ditches, 
and brushwood, was ill suited to cavalry movements, whereby 
the French, who were strong in that arm, were placed at a dis- 
advantage. Before they had time to arrange their dispositions 
for a pitched battle, Marlborough's van was upon them, and 
opened an attack on their left when half the allied army had 
not yet crossed the Scheldt. The French might still have drawn 
off ; but Burgundy, without consulting Venddme, ordered an 
advance, and the engagement became general. But a turning 
movement on the French right was decisive. Under cover of 
the gathering darkness, the French beat a retreat, having lost, 
in killed, wounded and prisoners, some 15,000 men, a number 
considerably increased in the course of the flight. The loss of 
the allies was only 3000. 

The victory was decisive ; but for the fall of night it would 
have been overwhelming. The battle derives an additional 
personal interest from the fact that the Chevalier A curious 
or Pretender, as James Stuart was called by his feature. 
friends or his enemies, was fighting bravely on the French side, 
while the Electoral Prince of Hanover, the future George IL, 
displayed distinguished valour on the side of the allies. Still 
more curious, it may be noted in passing, had been one of the 
features of the battle of Almanza, where the French were com- 
manded by the duke of Berwick, son of James n. and Marl- 
borough's sister, while the English troops were commanded by 
the Huguenot Ruvigny, earl of Galway. 

Vendome fell back to an entrenched position covering Bruges, 
which had handed itself over to the French. Marlborough con- 
ceived the daring design of leaving a body of troops to cover the 

94 Queen Anne 

fortress of Lille, and marching with the main army straight upon 
Paris ; but even Eugene's audacity was staggered, and the two 
Wynendaei generals agreed to besiege Lille, the capture of 
(Sept.) and which would greatly increase the practicability of 
an invasion. Vendome, reinforced by Berwick, 
still ventured only to attack Marlborough's communications with 
Ostend, whence his supplies were derived. Towards the end of 
September General Webb, escorting supplies, the loss of which 
would have necessitated raising the siege of Lille, fought a 
brilliant action at Wynendaei, beating off the attack of a French 
force twice as large as his own. Early in December Lille sur- 
rendered, and Marlborough was completely master of Brabant. 

Even more important from the purely British point of view 
was the British success on the Mediterranean. W T hile nothing 
Capture of ^ importance was going on in the Spanish Penin- 
Port Mahon, sula, Admiral Leake carried over General Stanhope 
with a small force to the island of Minorca. Port 
Mahon was captured, the whole island was easily reduced, and 
a British garrison was placed in Port Mahon, which, with its 
admirable harbour, remained the British base in the Mediterranean 
until its loss in 1756. Hitherto, in spite of the capture of Gib- 
raltar, the British had been obliged to use Lisbon as the nearest 
available equivalent. In seizing Port Mahon Stanhope had acted 
on the urgent advice of Marlborough, who until this year had 
fixed more ambitious hopes upon Toulon, though for some time 
past Port Mahon had been attracting the attention of naval 

Thus at the beginning of 1709, Louis found himself almost 
with his back to the wail. His treasury was exhausted, his 
ships could not put to sea, his generals could not stand against 
Position Marlborough and Eugene. Only in Spain his grand- 

of Louis, son's cause was holding its own. After Ramillies, 
>ec. 1708. k e k a( j e jj. jj-g p OS jtj on | kg so precarious that he 

made peace overtures upon terms which would have conceded 
much of the allies' demands. After the campaigns of 1708 he 
was ready to go much further. We must turn back to trace the 
course of events in England to see why peace was not made in 1709. 

The Whigs in Power 95 

The general election of 1705 had been preceded by a ministerial 
reconstruction, in which Harley and St. John had displaced the 
Tories who were directly hostile to Marlborough and I706 _ g 
Godolphin. The reconstruction was endorsed by The Whigs 
the electorate, which gave the Commons a min- and the 
isterial majority who were preponderantly Whig ; 
although in that majority there remained a large element 
who could not be definitely classed either with the Whigs or 
with the Tories. The Whigs were dissatisfied with the share of 
offices which fell to them. Their chiefs, known as the Junto 
Somers, Halifax, Orford, Wharton, and Marlborough's son-in- 
law, Sunderland, the son of the old minister of James II., were 
not yet admitted to office. So, on the one hand, during the years 
from 1706 to 1708 the Whigs were pushing their men into office 
while on the other Harley was intriguing against them, employ- 
ing as his instrument a lady-in-waiting, Abigail Hill or Mrs. 
Masham, who claimed cousinship both with him and with the 
duchess of Marlborough. 

The Marlboroughs, conscious of their dependence on the 
Whigs, with difficulty induced the queen in the last months of 
1706 to make Sunderland secretary of state, and 1707 
to remove the extreme Tories, Nottingham and Cross 
Rochester, as well as Rooke, whom the party had ' 
been in the habit of playing off against Marlborough, from the 
Privy Council. During 1707 Marlborough and Godolphin were 
realising that something like a purely Whig ministry was be- 
coming inevitable. Their suspicions of Harley's loyalty were 
increasing, and the duchess was becoming unpleasantly con- 
scious of the growing influence of Mrs. Masham. The meeting 
of the first parliament of Great Britain in the autumn showed 
that the new Scottish members were for practical purposes to 
be reckoned as forty-five more Whigs in the Commons. Both 
Whigs and Tories were attacking the mismanagement at the 
Admiralty, where the Whigs wanted to see Orford reinstated 
in place of the queen's husband, Prince George of Denmark, 
who was Lord High Admiral, and who was not kept in the way 
he should go by Admiral George Churchill, Marlborough's brother, 

g6 Q^leen Anne 

himself a Tory. The latter fact did not restrain the Tories, 
since their object was simply the wreck of the ministry. And 
there were good enough grounds in the failure of the Admiralty 
to protect British commerce from French privateers. 

Then the Tories endeavoured with little success to champion 
Peterborough as another set-off to Marlborough ; and they pro- 
1708 posed to withdraw troops from Marlborough's corn- 

Dismissal mand, to be employed in Catalonia. The Whigs 

Hariey. capped this Tory enthusiasm for the war in the 
Peninsula by preparing a joint address to the queen from both 
Houses, declaring that no peace could be honourable or safe 
which left Spain or the West Indies in Bourbon hands. The 
discovery that a private secretary or agent of Harley's had been 
using his opportunities to sell information to the French 
strengthened the case against Hariey. Admiral Churchill worked 
upon Prince George to use his influence with the queen against 
that minister. Hariey was obliged to resign, and went into 
opposition along with St. John, whose place as secretary at war 
was taken by Robert Walpole. 

Another circumstance which strengthened the Whigs in 1708 
was an abortive attempt at an invasion of Scotland on the part 
1708 An f the Chevalier. There was to be a Jacobite rising 
attempted in the north, supported by 6000 French troops, 
invasion. j ne g Overnmen t had ample information of what was 
going on. Anne was more than suspected of sentimental leanings 
towards the Stuart succession ; but the Chevalier damaged his 
own cause with his sister by claiming the throne during her 
lifetime, and by issuing a proclamation in which he described her 
as a ' usurper.' In March James and his French forces put to 
sea ; a large English squadron was immediately in pursuit. 
James was probably saved from capture only by storms. 
After three weeks at sea he got back to Dunkirk, having lost 
sundry ships and 4000 men. The government followed the 
example of William in making no endeavour to search out and 
punish the conspirators. The Whig position was very much 
strengthened. Backed by the Marlboroughs, the Junto insisted 
upon more Whig appointments and the admission of Somers to 

The Whigs in Power 97 

the ministry. Anne's power of resistance broke down with 
the death of her husband in the autumn ; Somers became 
president of the council, and the Whigs emphasised The WMgs 
their ascendency by repeating their resolution that in control, 
there could be no safe peace until the whole of the Spanish 
dominion should be restored to the house of Austria. In 
the spring of 1709 the ascendency of Godolphin and Marl- 
borough depended upon the goodwill of the Whigs who were, 
in fact, supreme in parliament. And the Whigs had entirely 
committed themselves to the doctrine of ' no peace without 

It was obvious then that France at this stage would gladly 
accept peace on any reasonable terms. Conspicuously, what 
Holland would want would be full possession of the I7og 
barrier fortresses. Marlborough, as commander of peace 
both the British and the Dutch forces, saw difficulties negotiations, 
in the way of his action if he were the sole British re- 
presentative in negotiations with Holland and France for mutually 
satisfactory terms ; and he procured the appointment of young 
Lord Townshend as his diplomatic colleague. But the terms 
upon which the allies agreed as conditions to be offered to Louis 
were in fact impossible. Marlborough knew it, and wished them 
to be modified, but he would not insist upon his own view in 
opposition to Whig pressure. The fatal clause was one which 
demanded not only that France was to withdraw her support 
from Philip in Spain, but that if Philip himself proved obdurate 
she was herself to take part in the work of ejecting him. Against 
that clause both Marlborough and Eugene protested ; but the 
only modification that the instructions from England would per- 
mit was the substitution of a clause requiring the surrender of 
sundry Spanish fortresses which would make the further resistance 
of Philip impossible. Townshend persuaded the Dutch also to 
insist on this demand, and upon that rock the negotiations went 
to pieces. 

The actual outcome was an Anglo-Dutch compact known as 
the Barrier Treaty, under which the two powers pledged them- 
selves to insist upon the establishment of the Dutch in a score 

Innes's Bag. Hist. Vol. in. G 

98 Queen Anne 

or so of fortified towns within the Spanish Netherlands, involving 
rights detrimental to English trade, and exceedingly advan- 
The Barrier tageous to Holland. All that was secured to Great 
Treaty. Britain was insistence on the recognition of the 

Hanoverian succession, and of the British claim to the island of 
Minorca. There were other clauses irritating both to Prussia 
and to Austria, which resented the demand for Minorca ; and 
the Barrier Treaty was vigorously utilised by the Tories as 
demonstrating the futility of a government which insisted on 
prolonging the war for the benefit not of Great Britain, but of 
Holland. The treaty was signed by Townshend, but not by 
Marlborough, who had left the diplomatic business to his 
colleague, while he himself was engaged on the campaign. 

Louis had met the preposterous demands of the allies by re- 
marking that, in the first place, he could not compel Philip to 
1709 The withdraw from Spain, and in the second, if he was 
campaign, to be compelled to fight some one, it should be not 
his own son but his enemies. Exhausted as France 
was she responded enthusiastically to a fresh call to arms. The 
command in the Netherlands was given to Villars, the one French 
general who was as yet undefeated. His force was drawn up 
within the impregnably entrenched lines of La Bassee, stretching 
from Douai on the south-east to the river Lys on the north-west. 
In June Marlborough and Eugene, having made a feint upon 
Villars 's lines which caused him to withdraw a part of the garrison 
of Tournay, turned upon Tournay itself, a very strong fortress. 
The town was forced to surrender in three weeks, but it was not 
till 23rd August (O.S.) that the citadel yielded. 

The operation was hardly completed when the allied army 
suddenly swooped south-east upon Mons. Villars at once moved 
Maipiaquet, out of his lines and occupied a position a short dis- 
sist August, tance away from Mons, resting on Maipiaquet, 
strongly entrenched and well covered by natural obstacles ; 
the attack of the allies having been delayed, contrary to Marl- 
borough's wish, to await reinforcements, while Villars took 
advantage of every hour to strengthen his entrenchments. The 
two armies were about equal in numbers. On 3ist August, 

The Whigs in Power 99 

however, the allies attacked. The battle was desperately fought. 
There was a frightful slaughter on the allied left, where the 
Prince of Orange led a furious attack which had not been in the 
least intended by Marlborough himself. The destruction fell 
mainly upon the Dutch troops and two regiments of Scottish 
Highlanders who were in the Dutch service. Orange's attack 
was repulsed ; but a detachment sent by a route concealed from 
the enemy to turn the French left drove in upon the flank at 
a critical moment ; and the French were finally driven from their 
position whence they were able to retire in good order and un- 
pursued to the lines of La Bassee, having lost little more than 
half as many men as the allies. The victory was dearly bought, 
but it ensured the capture of Mons, which fell within a month. 
It must be observed that, bloody as the engagement was, it 
would have been very much less so but for the over-courageous 
blunder of the Prince of Orange, for which Marlborough was in 
no way responsible. The duke himself would seem to have 
over-rated the value of the battle, and to have believed that 
after it the allies could dictate their own terms ; but as a matter 
of fact the French almost regarded it as a victory for themselves, 
and were encouraged instead of disheartened by it. 

Malplaquet was the last of the great battles. Marlborough 
found himself reviled for the loss of life which had attended a 
victory followed by no startling results. Exhaus- mo. 
tion was telling upon the allies as well as upon the French, and in 
the campaigns of 1710 the duke confined himself to the reduction 
of more fortresses in Flanders. In Spain the fortunes of war went 
in favour of Philip, and in no other region were any successes 
accomplished. Negotiations for peace were again on foot, but 
again the conferences at Gertruydenberg broke down over the 
persistent demand for the evacuation of Spain a point which 
Philip was now less likely than ever to yield. And before the 
end of the year the Whigs had fallen and the Tories were in 
power in England. 

ioo Queen Anne 


Marlborough and Godolphin had broken irrevocably with the 
Tories, but they had never come into perfect accord with the 

Whigs, with whom they were in agreement chiefly 
situation on the main question of the war ; and even on that 
Mai^a uet P oint Marlborough was readier for peace than the 

Whig ministers, although the suspicion was sedu- 
lously fostered that he was using his influence to prolong the 
war for the sake of the prestige and authority which his victories 
brought him. Anne was listening to the insidiously respectful 
voice of Mrs. Masham, a soothing antidote to the tempestuous 
duchess against whom she was learning, if she had not already 
learnt, rebellion. Marlborough himself gave a handle to the 
enemy by endeavouring to obtain appointment as captain- 
general for life, a proposal in which there were many who scented 
the scheme of a military dictatorship. Tory pamphleteers 
clamoured that the war was being run by Marlborough for his 
own glorification, and the benefit of the Dutch or the Austrians. 
Why, they asked, were Britons shedding their blood like water 
on battlefields in the Netherlands and in capturing fortresses for 
the Dutch, instead of sweeping the seas, annihilating French 
commerce, appropriating West Indian islands, and generally 
using maritime power for the benefit of their own country ? It 
was all for the glorification of one too powerful citizen ! The 
war fever had died down and was rather quenched than rekindled 
by Malplaquet. And the Whigs on their side were annoyed at 
the slowness of Marlborough and Godolphin in giving the re- 
cognition which they considered due to their chiefs. They were 
at the same time alienating popular support by the extravagance 
of their peace conditions ; and much displeasure had been 
aroused by the hospitality which they had extended to large 
numbers of Protestant refugees from the Palatinate and else- 
where by an Act to encourage their naturalisation in England. 
The definite refusal of the queen to grant Marlborough the 
appointment for which he had asked was followed after a brief 
interval (in April 1710) by a scene between Anne and the 

The Fall of the Whigs 101 

duchess which finally destroyed the last prospect of the restora- 
tion of the Marlborough influence. Anne never again spoke 
with the favourite who had tyrannised over her 1710 
for so many years. But Godolphin and the Whigs The duchess 
had already ensured their own destruction through diM 
the most dangerous and illogical of all political agencies, re- 
ligious fanaticism, or, more accurately, the passion of sectarian 

We have seen that earlier in the reign the Whigs had much 
ado to maintain the principle of toleration and to prevent the 
Occasional Conformity Bill from becoming law. 1709> 
Dissent was no more popular with the mob than SachevereU's 
with Tory squires. William had kept the Church f 
under reasonable control by the persistent appointment of 
bishops who were called Low Churchmen, not in the modern sense 
of the term, but in contradistinction to the High Churchmen 
in whose eyes dissent was the sin of schism. Anne's personal 
sympathies had always been with the High Churchmen, who 
had produced the non- jurors and were ever the champions of 
royal prerogative and of the doctrine of non-resistance. The 
pulpits of the clergy of this school were freely employed for de- 
nunciations of a Whig government which pandered to schismatics, 
and the climax was reached with a sermon preached by Dr. 
Henry Sacheverell in St. Paul's Cathedral in November 1709, 
and immediately afterwards published under the title of Perils 
from False Brethren. 

Nothing, probably, would have resulted if the preacher had 
not made an obvious personal allusion to Godolphin as ' Volpone,' 
a nickname taken from Ben Jonson's play, by which Afaisemove. 
the minister was popularly known. The sermon was itself a 
violent attack upon the principle of toleration, and upon all per- 
sons in authority, civil or ecclesiastical, who supported ' schism ' 
on the plea, covert or avowed, of political expediency. Godolphin 
was exceedingly angry. Sunderland and other members of the 
Junto conceived that this kind of talk from the pulpit was 
dangerous, and that the doctor's sermon provided a convenient 
opportunity for suppressing it. The time, they thought, had 

IO2 Queen Anne 

arrived for forcing the issue that the High Church doctrine 
logically involved Jacobitism, treason to the principles of the 
Revolution, to the authority of parliament, to the Hanoverian 
succession. It was resolved that the eloquent divine should be 

The impeachment was a blunder, because it at once enabled 
Sacheverell to pose as a martyr, the victim of a monstrous 

tyranny which sought to silence freedom of speech, 
1710. The ,v v i_ r i_i A J-.L i_ i 

impeach- the heroic champion of a holy cause. After brief 

ment, hesitation, Harley and the Tory leaders resolved 

to make the doctor's cause their own. The mob was 
readily aroused. The ladies were unanimous in their enthusiasm 
on behalf of the popular preacher. The impeachment opened at 
the end of February 1710. The queen herself came down to 
Westminster ; when the doctor defended himself, the charms 
of his delivery brought tears to every female eye. Still, it was 
the plain fact that if the theories of the Revolution were true, 
if James was not lawful king and Anne was not a usurper, the 
sermon was treason. The peers by a majority of seventeen 
pronounced him guilty. But the government were afraid to 
punish him after the ebullition of popular sentiment ; it was 
known that the queen favoured the defendant, and the sentence 
pronounced was the trivial one of suspension from preaching 
for three years. It was a penalty fairly proportionate to the 
unimportance of the offence, but ministers had chosen in the 
first instance to magnify the affair by treating it as worthy of 
all the pomp and circumstance of impeachment. In fact, they 
had made themselves ridiculous, which is perhaps the most 
fatal thing for itself that any ministry can do. The public at 
large regarded the sentence as being for practical purposes a 
triumphant acquittal. Church bells were rung, bonfires blazed, 
as on the acquittal of the Seven Bishops. The sentence on 
Dr. Sacheverell was the knell of the Whig ministry. 

Harley always preferred to work underground and by back- 
stairs influences. He managed the queen through Mrs. Masham. 
Parliament was prorogued in April, three weeks after the sentence 
upon Sacheverell. On the night of the prorogation the queen 

The Fall of the Whigs 103 

dismissed her Whig chamberlain, the marquis of Kent, who 
was consoled with a dukedom, and gave the office to Shrews- 
bury, who for many years had retired from active 

politics, and though supposed to be a Whig had dismissals 
no connection with the Junto. Among the Whigs tions, Aprii- 
the duke of Somerset had a small following of September. 
his own, and dreamt of displacing the Junto by a ministry 
of moderates. Shrewsbury's attitude was uncertain. In June 
the next blow was struck by the dismissal of Sunderland and 
the appointment of Dartmouth, a * Hanover Tory/ to his secre- 
taryship. In August Godolphin followed Sunderland. The 
treasury was put in commission, and Harley entered the ministry 
as chancellor of the exchequer. He was still engaged in per- 
suading the Whigs that ' a Whig game was intended at bottom/ 
He wanted to keep their support at least in part. But the dis- 
trust of him grew ; one after another they resigned. If Harley 
really wanted a coalition he had overreached himself. By the 
end of September scarcely a Whig remained in the ministry ; 
all their places had been taken by Tories. And yet the House 
of Commons was still the Whig House which had been elected 
in 1708. A dissolution was obviously necessary, and the general 
election returned a large majority of Tories. 

But it was not yet time to remove Marlborough. The duke 
had never been a party politician ; had he been so, had he been 
the' acknowledged leader of the Whigs, he could Harley and 
have carried them with him in 1709 in his personal st * Jolm 
opposition to the Spanish monarchy clause and the April, 
Barrier Treaty. As matters stood, since the breach I7io-ii. 
between the queen and his wife, it is improbable that he could 
have turned the course of events by threatening resignation. 
And as yet, Harley did not want to be rid of him, since, even 
as matters stood, the allies abroad and the bank and the moneyed 
interests at home were taking alarm, and his dismissal might 
have caused a panic and a reaction. But Harley was not the 
master of the Tory party. The wilder spirits were thirsting 
for vindictive treatment of the Whigs, with whom it appeared 
that Harley was dallying. St. John was aspiring to the leader's 

IO4 Queen Anne 

place himself. Hoping to procure overwhelming proofs of pecula- 
tion on the part of the late ministry, they forced upon the govern- 
ment a commission to inquire into the public accounts. They 
overshot their mark, as Walpole, in a couple of very able 
pamphlets, shattered the accusations which had been brought 
forward, and thereby incidentally established his own reputa- 
tion as the greatest living master of figures. On the other 
hand, a foolish attempt upon Harley's life brought to that 
minister a great access of popularity. St. John saw that it 
was not yet time to break with his leader, who was created 
earl of Oxford. 

Just at this time a material change in the European situation 
was created by the unlooked-for death of the Emperor Joseph. 
ITU. Though he had daughters, he left no male offspring ; 

with the result that the Austrian succession, and, 
Joseph I., 

April as a matter of course, the Imperial crown, went to 

his brother the Archduke Charles, the titular Charles in. of Spain. 
The war of the Spanish Succession and the organisation of the 
Grand Alliance by William in. had been undertaken to preserve 
the balance of power by a partition of the Spanish dominion 
between the Bourbon and the Hapsburg claimants. In 1703, 
the scheme of partition had been dropped, and the Hapsburg 
candidate had been adopted by the allies, but with the expecta- 
tion that there would be two separate Hapsburg dominions, 
a Hapsburg dynasty in the Spanish empire and a Hapsburg 
dynasty in Austria as there had been for the last century and 
a half. But this was quite a different thing from a single Haps- 
burg dominion including both the Austrian and the Spanish 
empires, a scheme which had never been countenanced by 
William in. 

The Tories could not as yet openly avow a desire for peace 
upon the terms that Philip should be acknowledged as king of 
Secret Spain conditionally upon security that the crowns 

negotiations of France and Spain should never be joined. Ox- 
with Louis, forcl^ according to his custom, preferred working 
under cover. Although all the members of the Grand Alliance 
were pledged not to enter upon negotiations privately, overtures 

The Fall of the Whigs 105 

were made to the French government, and secret negotiations 
were conducted through the year 1711. It might perhaps be 
argued fairly enough that in view of the conflicting interests of 
the allies, the only hope of peace lay in one or another of them 
coming to a preliminary agreement with France, and then 
bringing the utmost pressure upon the rest of the allies to adopt 
its provisions. That course would doubtless have brought 
charges of a technical breach of faith, but it had been followed 
with justification by William in the case of the Peace of Ryswick. 
In this matter it does not appear that the British ministry can 
justly be blamed. 

In the year's campaigning no notable success attended either 
side. Eugene was sent to the Rhine, and Marlborough, out- 
numbered by the army of Villars, outmanoeuvred peace 
his opponent and captured Bouchain. But this nminaries 

was all; and still the road was not yet clear to submitted, 
. ' . September. 

Paris. In September, conventions were signed in 

London between the French and the British, a part of which 
were then submitted to the allies as preliminaries of peace. The 
special terms, however, which Great Britain claimed for herself 
were still unpublished. 

It seemed probable in England that Oxford would aim at a 
combination with Marlborough. That prospect determined St. 
John that Marlborough must fall. On the other 
hand, the Whigs made overtures to Nottingham, a and the 
High Tory and a High Churchman, but one who w^ss. 
was determined in favour of the Protestant succession a reason 
perhaps for his having been neglected by Harley. The Whig 
predominance in the Upper House remained unchanged and, in 
fact, a struggle between the Houses was anticipated. A bargain 
was struck. Nottingham opened an attack upon the peace 
preliminaries, which were known to be unpleasing to the elector 
of Hanover. He repeated the old claim that neither Spain nor 
the West Indies should go to a Bourbon. He was supported 
by Marlborough and by the W T higs ; the quid, pro quo had been 
the promise by the Whigs that they would themselves pass a mild 
bill to check occasional conformity. Nottingham's resolution 

io6 Queen Anne 

was carried in the Lords, but it was defeated in the Commons 
by more than two to one. 

The rest of the Tories united in the determination to destroy 
Marlborough and to clear the way by an attack upon Walpole, 
Attack on whom no offers had successfully tempted to seces- 

Waipoie s j on from the Whigs. He was charged with pecula- 

and Marl- .. TT . . ,. ,. 

borough, tion as secretary at war. His vindication was so 

December. successful that the Tories could only muster a 
majority of fifty-seven to pronounce him guilty of corruption. 
When it was moved that he should be expelled the House, the 
majority was halved. In the final majority which ordered that 
he should be sent to the Tower there were only twelve. 

The attack upon Walpole was followed up by corresponding 
attacks upon Marlborough. He was charged with receiving 
commissions upon the bread contracts for the army amounting 
to over 60,000, and with appropriating four times as much out 
of the sums provided for the payment of foreign troops. The 
duke showed that in the latter case he had acted upon a perfectly 
definite arrangement made with him by William and the allies, 
the money having been spent by him in accordance therewith 
upon secret service. A similar defence applied to the bread 
contracts. The system itself was manifestly a bad one, not 
because it involved dishonesty, but because it opened the door 
for peculation. The duke had no other allowance for secret 
service, and there is no doubt at all, from the excellence of that 
service, that his expenditure was ample and well applied. There 
is, in short, no doubt that but for the exigencies of party spite 
he would have been triumphantly acquitted. But as matters 
stood he was disgraced and dismissed from all his offices. The 
injustice turned the tide of popularity in the duke's favour, 
and the ministers did not dare to proceed to an impeachment. 
It was now certain that the peace proposals would be defeated 
in the Lords, and that the result of a struggle between Lords 
and Commons would be doubtful. The ministry took the un- 
precedented step of creating twelve Tory peers to secure a 
majority in the Upper House. 

So matters stood at the beginning of 1712. Oxford and St. 

The Fall of the Whigs 107 

John were resolved upon the peace to which they had secretly 
agreed, a peace in which British interests were very fully 
guarded ; though with by no means equal con- 
sideration for the allies. The chiefs had to antici- position of 
pate that they would be charged with bad faith and 
with playing for their own hand. Therefore they 
made it their business to fortify themselves as against the allies 
by procuring a series of resolutions complaining of the failure of 
the allies to fulfil their own obligations in the course of the war, 
backed by a vote of censure on the ministers and the pleni- 
potentiary who had negotiated and ratified the Barrier Treaty. 
Before the end of January the peace conferences began at Utrecht ; 
but while they were going on the British ministers were carrying 
on their own private negotiations with a fully justified confidence 
in the procrastinating capacities of a gathering such as that of 

The situation, in fact, became further complicated in February 
by the death of Louis's grandson and heir, Louis of Burgundy, 
and of the elder of his two children. Only a sickly ff 
baby of two stood between Philip of Spain and the death of 
succession to the French throne. Nobody expected Burgundy, 
the baby Louis to live. Nobody could admit the 
possibility of allowing Philip to hold the throne of Spain and 
succeed to the throne of France. Any mere renunciation of the 
French succession on his part would be hopelessly discounted 
by previous announcements that even if made they would never 
be valid. The English ministers were confident that Philip 
would accept the proposal they now made, that he should resign 
the Spanish crown in favour of the duke of Savoy, and should 
receive some compensation in Italy. Even that would be de- 
manding a good deal of Austria ; but in England the Tories 
would at any rate be able to say that they had prevented the 
Bourbon succession in Spain. Their confidence was increased 
by the assent of Louis, though that of Philip was still neces- 
sary. At the end of May, ministers ventured to announce 
that peace conditions would very shortly be laid before the 

io8 Queen Anne 

They had indeed felt so secure that they had already been 
guilty of a portentous breach of faith with the allies. The duke 
Desertion of ^ Ormonde, a well-meaning person but easily to be 
the allies, managed by more astute politicians, had been sent 
May * to the Netherlands to take the command in the place 

of Marlborough. The States-General had been formally advised 
that her Britannic Majesty intended to carry on the war as 
vigorously as ever until satisfactory terms of peace should be 
arrived at. But early in May Ormonde, who had joined Eugene, 
now in supreme command, received private instructions from 
St. John that he was to join in no siege and to fight no battle 
without further orders ; that Marshal Villars had been notified 
of these instructions, and that Ormonde was to act accordingly ; 
in other words, he was to desert the allies in the field. Ormonde 
accepted the iniquitous task, but being quite unskilled in dis- 
simulation, he could not prevent the allies from very soon dis- 
covering the real position of affairs. A protest from the States- 
General was met by the answer that, in effect, their own disregard 
of their obligations had released Great Britain from the duty 
of respecting her engagements to them. And almost at the same 
moment ministers received from Spain the startling intelligence 
that Philip quite refused to surrender the Spanish crown. 


For the Tories the first and imperative necessity was to pro- 
cure a treaty so favourable to Great Britain that whatever was 
1712 discreditable in their conduct would be condoned, 

oxford and Otherwise, there was no clear vision among them 
ke ' of the policy to be pursued. Oxford, perfectly aware 
that St. John, who, at the beginning of July, was created Vis- 
count Bolingbroke, was aiming at taking his place as leader of 
the party, was on the one side intriguing for Whig support and 
on the other was encouraging James to believe that he might 
pronounce against the Hanoverian succession. There was, in 
fact, a very general impression that if James would but declare 

The Treaty of Utrecht and the Tory Debacle 1 09 

himself a Protestant the Stuart restoration would be assured. 
Oxford was not in the least a Jacobite, but he wanted to be pre- 
pared for emergencies. Bolingbroke, on the other hand, had 
made up his mind that the game to play was that of aggressive 
Toryism, of bidding for the enthusiastic support of the extremists, 
not the qualified support of moderates. He had already attacked 
the Whigs by a bill for investigating the grants of land made 
in the reign of William in., though the proposal was defeated 
through the rule that on an equal division ' the noes have it/ 
The Scots were punished for their Whiggery by the imposition 
of the English tax upon malt which had been expressly debarred, 
so long as the war should be going on, by the Treaty of Union. 
So great was the irritation that a demand for the repeal of the 
Union was barely defeated in the House of Lords. By the be- 
ginning of 1713 the situation was so critical that the government 
warned France that if there were further delay in acceding to 
its explicit demands active hostilities would be renewed. 

This put a prompt end to procrastination. On 3ist March 
(O.S. ; nth April, N.S.) the Treaty of Utrecht was signed on 
behalf of France, Great Britain, Holland, Portugal, 1713 ^^^ 
Savoy, and Prussia. The emperor still held out, of Utrecht, 
along with the minor German states which would pn ' 
not separate themselves from him. It soon became obvious, 
however, that nothing could come of continuing the duel, and 
Charles vi. accepted at the Treaty of Rastadt, early in 1714, the 
terms of the peace which the rest of the allies had made at 

The partition of the Spanish empire was accomplished. Spain 
and the Indies went to the Bourbon candidate, whose succession 
to the French throne France was most solemnly Terms of 
pledged in no circumstances to recognise however the treaty. 
slight a value might be attached to such pledges. France re- 
tained Alsace, including Strasburg ; the duke of Savoy got 
Sicily. The Austrian share consisted of Naples and the Milanese, 
Sardinia, and the Netherlands, except for the specified conces- 
sions made to Holland in respect of Barrier towns. Holland 
obtained military control of the line of fortified towns along the 

1 10 Queen Anne 

frontier between the French and the Austrian Netherlands 
Furnes, Ypres, Menin, Tournay, Mons, Charleroi, and Namur, 
as well as Ghent. France's ally, the elector of Bavaria, was 
restored to the dominions of which he had been bereft by the battle 
of Blenheim. Setting aside Great Britain, the distribution of 
territory at the end of the war was very much that which would 
have fully satisfied William when the war began. That the 
allies should have been dissatisfied at receiving no more after a 
long and exhausting struggle, in which they had been quite em- 
phatically the victors, was natural ; but the great gains of the 
struggle went to Great Britain. 

When William and Louis made their Second Partition Treaty 
the crown of Spain itself was assigned to the Austrian candidate, 
Gains of because, in effect, William's condition for giving 

Great Britain, the Spanish share to the Bourbons was the acquisi- 
tion by the British of a naval base in the Mediterranean. That 
condition was now fulfilled ; Minorca and Gibraltar were ceded 
to the maritime power. The Tory pamphleteers had clamoured 
because naval supremacy was not used for the seizure of French 
and Spanish colonies in America ; nevertheless that very end 
was attained by the treaty ; for Britain acquired not only St. 
Kitts in the West Indies, but that perpetual bone of contention 
in North America, Acadia, or Nova Scotia ; as well as the Hudson 
Bay territory, and Newfoundland, subject to the reservation of 
certain fishing rights. But this was not all. William had sought 
for his kingdom and for Holland trading concessions. Louis, 
in 1701, had sought to appropriate for France the monopoly of 
the trade with the Spanish colonies ; the exclusive possession 
of the slave-trade had been at the outset conveyed to her under 
a compact known as the Assiento. By the Treaty of Utrecht the 
Assiento was transferred from France to Great Britain, and with 
it rights of trading, though under strict limitations, in the South 
Seas. Finally, France was not only pledged to acknowledge the 
Hanoverian succession, but also undertook to remove the Pre- 
tender from French territory ; while Dunkirk, a nest of French 
privateers during the war, was to be dismantled. Great Britain 
at least had no cause to complain of the harvest she had gathered. 

The Treaty of Utrecht and the Tory Debacle 1 1 1 

Nevertheless, she had won it at the price of national dishonour. 
She had forced her allies to agree to the terms so profitable to 
her by deserting them in the field. To this she The price, 
could indeed pretend the excuse that they had played her false 
by shirking their obligations and hampering her generals. But 
upon no pretext whatever could she excuse her base desertion 
of the Catalans or of the Protestants of the Cevennes, whom she 
had during the course of the war deliberately incited to revolt 
by promises of support. She was pledged up to the hilt to secure 
for the Catalans the political privileges of which they had been 
bereft. They had risen to arms and fought stubbornly through- 
out the war on the side of the allies on the faith of British 
pledges. The negotiators of the Treaty of Utrecht infamously 
left them to the tender mercies of Philip, who took upon them 
a ruthless revenge. 

The Treaty of Utrecht is one of the great landmarks of inter- 
national politics. It marked the final defeat of Louis's great 
projects of French expansion. It marked also the The treaty 
point at which Holland slipped finally back from her marks an 
position in the front rank of the European powers. epoch - 
During the war her navy had become no more than an auxiliary 
of the British ; Great Britain, not Holland, secured by the peace 
a naval base in the Mediterranean ; Great Britain, not Holland, 
gained the commercial concessions which signalised the fact that 
she had become a long way the first of the commercial nations. 
Holland, in fact, had gained little by the war except security 
against being eaten up by France ; while the drain upon her 
resources had finally reduced her to the position of a minor 
power. And here we must also remark upon the changes that 
had been taking place in the north and east of Europe outside 
the sphere of the war of the Spanish Succession. Hitherto 
Russia had not counted as a power at all ; but during these years 
Peter the Great had been organising a great empire which was 
destined to play a leading part in the future. Sweden had blazed 
into a sudden and portentous activity under Charles xn., whose 
brilliant successes had been followed by scarcely less startling 
disasters. His name was still one ' at which the world grew pale/ 

ii2 Queen Anne 

but within a very few years his star was to set for ever, and 
Sweden, like Holland, was to pass finally into the ranks of the 
minor powers. 

In England the treaty was at first received, naturally enough, 

with popular satisfaction. It had, however, been accompanied 

by a separate commercial treaty between France 

concurrent and Great Britain which excited the extreme hos- 

treaty of tility of the British commercial community. In 
commerce. ,11 < ,-, ^ 

the early stages of the war, when first Portugal 

joined the allies, a commercial treaty had been arranged with 
Portugal, known as the Methuen Treaty, under which Portuguese 
wines were to be admitted to England subject to duties much 
lower than the wines of France ; while there were to be corre- 
spondingly low duties on English goods, especially English wool, 
imported to Portugal. Great store was set by 'the Methuen 
Treaty, because the Portuguese trade was regarded as particularly 
profitable. The export of English goods to Portugal was con- 
siderably greater than the import of Portuguese goods. It 
followed that the balance was paid by Portugal in bullion. 
Because the trade increased the amount of bullion, it was held 
to be good for the country. Now the Tory commercial treaty 
proposed to place France and England in the relation of the 
' most favoured nation ' to each other ; that is to say, neither 
country was to impose upon goods from the other duties higher 
than it imposed upon similar imports from elsewhere. But the 
expansion of commerce with France would be injurious, according 
to the mercantile theory the doctrine of the balance of trade. It 
would mean that bullion would go out of England into France ; 
therefore we should be injuring ourselves and benefiting France. 
And at the same time we should injure our trade with Portugal, 
through the loss of the preference on her wines, and so we should 
be substituting an injurious for a beneficial trade. So strong 
was the opposition to the commercial treaty that the Whigs 
were able to defeat it in parliament. 

Still, the Tories considered that the opportunity was favour- 
able for securing their parliamentary predominance. There was 
a dissolution, and a general election which returned a smaller 

The Treaty of Utrecht and the Tory Debacle 113 

but still a very substantial Tory majority ; a majority, more- 
over, in which there was a much larger pro- Ageneral 
portion than before of the extreme partisans upon election, 
whom Bolingbroke relied to make himself leader Au Uflt - 
in place of Oxford. 

Queen Anne's health was breaking down, and there was every 
probability that her successor would soon be on the throne. 
Parliament had settled who that successor was to t 

The succes- 
be, and the country had acquiesced. Whether S ion: the 

the old electress, the granddaughter of a king of queen and 
j t. L *. i j ^ u the Tories. 

England, survived her cousin or not, it could not be 

very long before her son George, the elector, would be on the 
British throne should the Act of Succession take effect. Still, 
there were large numbers of Tories who had given unquestioning 
support to Mary and William and Anne, whose loyalist instincts 
shrank from the accession of a German prince when there was 
a grandson of the Royal Martyr to claim the throne. If James 
could only have been persuaded of the converse of that pro- 
position upon which Henry iv. of France had acted, that ' the 
crown was worth a Mass,' the queen herself and the whole Tory 
party would have declared against the Hanoverian succession. 
But on that point James, a much maligned person, was obdurate. 
He would not barter his faith even for the crown of Great Britain. 
Nothing would induce him to do more than to promise British 
Protestants their liberties. Common sense forbade a Stuart 
restoration on those conditions, but sentiment has been known 
to override common sense. 

On the other hand, the Whigs did not want a Stuart restora- 
tion at any price. The moneyed interests believed that it would 
be followed by the repudiation of the National Debt. Tne succes- 
The Dissenters believed that it would mean the tolera- sion : the 
tion of Popery, and even at the very best the ascend- SB ' 
ency of a thoroughly intolerant Anglicanism. The politicians 
foresaw in it the restoration of vanished prerogatives, the domina- 
tion of the Crown over parliament, and the total ruin of their 
own party. They made up their minds that it was their first 
business to secure the Hanoverian succession, and to ensure for 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. H 

1 1 4 Queen Anne 

themselves a monopoly of the favour of the house of Hanover, 
a programme to which they devoted themselves with assiduity. 

The Tories suffered from divided counsels ; Oxford gave no 
lead. He was still facing both ways, still trying to attach 
Boiingbroke. moderates from all parties to himself. There was 
a solid group of Hanover Tories who were determined to main- 
tain the Protestant succession. There were large numbers of 
Tories whose Jacobitism was scarcely veiled. The bulk of the 
party were fanatically Anglican and fanatically anti-Whig, but 
otherwise without clear ideas. But there was one man among 
them, Boiingbroke, who knew his own mind. He meant in the 
first place to make a clean sweep of the Whigs, to oust Oxford 
from the leadership of the Tories, to create among the Tories 
themselves a solid phalanx which would obey the word of com- 
mand without question, to dominate the queen. When that 
was accomplished he meant to choose the queen's successor. 
And he had very little doubt that the successor of his choice 
would be James, though it was not safe to admit so much as yet. 

He almost succeeded. He bought Lady Masham, whose 
husband had been raised to the peerage, and who was angry at 
1714. being in her own estimation insufficiently rewarded 

Cross by Oxford. Harley's former tool was turned into an 

instrument for displacing him in the queen's favour. 
From top to bottom of the army Whigs were being displaced 
by Tories ; Ormonde, its chief, was captured for Jacobitism. The 
Hanover Tories were uneasy. Led by Nottingham they joined 
the Whigs in attacking the ministry for the desertion of the 
Catalans, and in declaring that the Hanoverian succession was 
in danger. The Whigs offended the queen, but not the elector, 
by recommending that he should come over himself to secure 
his position. In the spring of 1714 Boiingbroke played his 
trump card, and appealed to Anglican fanaticism. He intro- 
duced the Schism Act to deprive Dissenters of the control of 
their own children's education, clearly a step towards the revival 
of the Clarendon Code. The bill was carried ; in the Commons 
it rallied the Tories to Boiingbroke. Shortly afterwards parlia- 
ment was prorogued. Boiingbroke had won the day with 
the queen. On 27th July she dismissed Oxford at the council 

The Treaty of Utrecht and the Tory Debacle 1 1 5 

board. Before the council rose, some time after midnight, the 
cabinet was reconstructed, and almost every position of import- 
ance was given to some adherent of Bolingbroke who was more 
than suspected of Jacobite leanings, though the inscrutable 
Shrewsbury was still president of the council. At last Boling- 
broke had a free hand. 

But it was too late. In the winter Anne had suffered from a 
very severe illness which had almost killed her. She had never 
really recovered. The excitement of the scene at Lareineest 
the council board when she dismissed Oxford was morte, 
her death-blow. Bolingbroke had still all his work lst Au ^ U8t - 
to do to secure the Jacobite restoration, in which was his sole 
hope ; but the Whigs had already done their work for securing 
the Hanoverian succession. They were already prepared for the 
crisis. Scarcely forty-eight hours after the dismissal of Oxford 
Anne had an apoplectic stroke. The council was summoned 
and was sitting, when suddenly two of the privy councillors, 
the Whigs Argyll and Somerset, entered to proffer their assist- 
ance and advice in the crisis. Technically every member of the 
Privy Council had a right to attend whether summoned or not. 
Bolingbroke was helpless. Shrewsbury, the president of the 
council, who had probably arranged the incident, welcomed the 
newcomers. No successor to Oxford had been appointed as 
lord treasurer ; failing some other appointment the death of 
the queen would mean his resumption of office. All Bolingbroke 
dared do was to propose that it should be given to Shrewsbury. 
The report was brought in that the queen had recovered con- 
sciousness. A deputation from the council went to her bed- 
side ; she had enough vitality left in her to do as they desired, 
and handed to Shrewsbury the treasurer's staff with the words, 
' Use it for the good of my people.' The deputation returned, 
and all the available members of the Privy Council, many of 
them Whigs, were immediately summoned. It was this body, 
not Bolingbroke's new cabinet, which took over the control. 
There was no possibility of resistance. Two days later the queen 
was dead, and George I. was proclaimed king, while none dared 
to raise a dissenting voice. It was not Bolingbroke, but the 
Whigs who had won the game by a successful coup de main. 



IN accordance with an earlier statute of Queen Anne's reign, the 
government of the country upon her death, until the arrival of 
1714 King George, was vested in a body of lords justices 

Accession of nominated by the elector of Hanover. When the 
lorgei. j^ was O p ene( j ft was f oun d to contain the name 

of only one of the ministers, Shrewsbury. The other seventeen, 
with few exceptions, were Whig peers, though the Hanover 
Tories, Nottingham and Anglesey, were included. The most 
notable omissions were Somers probably on account of ill- 
health Marlborough, and Sunderland. Marlborough, since the 
death of Godolphin in 1712, had resided abroad, but it can 
hardly be doubted that his exclusion was due to distrust ; 
although he was very shortly afterwards reinstated at the head 
of the army. It is certain that he had been seeking to make 
his peace with James in case of accidents, while still assuring 
the elector of his loyalty to the Hanoverian succession. He 
was, however, back as captain-general within a week of George's 
accession. Before the end of August Bolingbroke and Ormonde 
were both dismissed. On i8th September King George arrived 
in England. 

With the single exception of Nottingham, unless we add 
Shrewsbury, all of the new ministry were Whigs. Townshend 
The new and Stanhope were secretaries of state, the latter 
T^S- being distinguished both as a soldier and as a diplo- 

matist, with an exceptional knowledge of foreign affairs. In 
Scotland Mar, who had been active for the Union, but had latterly 
been associated with Bolingbroke, was displaced as secretary 
of state by Montrose, and Argyll became commander-in-chief. 
George himself was fifty-four years of age. He was an uncom- 


George I. and Stanhope 1 1 7 

promising German, with a singularly unhappy matrimonial record, 
which was one cause of perpetual estrangement between him 
and his son ; he was accompanied by extremely unattractive 
German mistresses ; and he could not speak English, while 
there was not one of his English ministers who could talk German. 
The result was inevitable. He very soon ceased to attend the 
meetings of the council or cabinet, the cabinet conducted the 
affairs of the nation, and the way was prepared for a Prime 
Minister to become the acting head of the state, a change which 
was completed under Robert Walpole's long tenure of power. 

King George had none of the attributes which tend to awaken 
personal loyalty. From the English point of view he was merely 
a figurehead, set upon the throne in order to prevent Jacobitism. 
it from being occupied by a Roman Catholic. He was there 
upon sufferance ; if he proved troublesome he would be no 
better than a Stuart, and would be sent back to Hanover. Even 
if he were not troublesome, his tenure of power depended upon 
the stolid common sense of the nation ; everything in the nature 
of sentiment was on the Jacobite side. To the Whigs, indeed, 
and to the moneyed interest, it was a matter of first-rate import- 
ance that the dynasty should be established ; that was the con- 
dition of the victory of the principles of the Revolution and of 
financial stability. The landed interest as such had no equiva- 
lent inducements, and Toryism as such had no affection for the 
principles of the Revolution. If the Jacobites had been in- 
telligent, King George's position would have been extremely 
precarious. Fortunately for the Hanoverian succession the 
Jacobites were not intelligent. In a manner more creditable 
to his heart than to his head J ames published declarations which 
emphasised his own adherence to Catholicism, and implied that 
the late Tory ministry had been in favour of his restoration. 
The effect was shown when parliament was dissolved, and a new 
one elected in J anuary . The Whigs were returned with a maj ority 
of a hundred and fifty in the House of Commons. In the pro- 
clamation of the dissolution the Whigs had driven home the 
identification of Toryism with Jacobitism. The Tory party in 
parliament was irretrievably ruined 

1 1 8 The Hanoverian Succession 

In March the Whigs opened the attack on the late ministers. 
Bolingbroke took fright at the seizure of some papers, and fled 
1715 to France in disguise. In June the impeachment 

The Whig of Bolingbroke, Oxford, and Ormonde was voted, 
victory. Oxford kept his head. He was confident that the 

case against him rested upon nothing stronger than his responsi- 
bility for the Treaty of Utrecht ; and to impeach a man for 
proceedings which had twice been ratified by parliament was, 
in his eyes, an empty threat ; but Ormonde followed Bolingbroke's 
example and fled. The Whigs gained nothing by proceedings 
which to the public appeared merely vindictive ; there was a 
reaction, especially among the disorderly elements in the country, 
and the Jacobites abroad developed an increasing conviction 
that a blow for the restoration would be successful. 

Now there were two conditions without which there could be 
no hope of a Jacobite success: military help from abroad, and 
Death of thorough organisation at home as well as in James's 
Louis xiv., own immediate circle. That prince was now in 
September. L orra i ne> It was not unreasonable to hope for help 
from France ; Louis's promise to recognise the Hanoverian 
succession was of no great value, and at this juncture Great 
Britain was secure of no allies. But Jacobite organisation 
simply did not exist, and the government in England was much 
better prepared for an insurrection than the Jacobites. On 
ist September a fatal blow fell ; Louis died. His death, leaving 
the infant Louis xv. king, threw the regency upon the next 
prince of the blood, Philip, duke of Orleans, the nephew of Louis ; 
the old king's third grandson, the duke of Berry, having died 
very recently. Orleans knew that his own chances of the French 
crown would be extremely doubtful if his cousin, Philip of Spain, 
should assert his claim ; consequently, his interest centred in 
the strict maintenance of the Treaty of Utrecht. The obvious 
policy for him was to support the house of Hanover in return for 
the British guarantee of his own rights of succession in France. 
Consequently, the prospect of French intervention under the 
regency in favour of a Jacobite restoration was exceedingly 

George /. and Stanhope 119 

Amongst all the inept insurrections recorded in history, the 
palm for ineptitude must be awarded to ' The Fifteen.' Nothing 
had been arranged except that it was intended that 
Ormonde should head an invasion. The earl of Mar, Mar in the ' 
after blowing hot and cold for some time, had ended north, Sep- 
by turning J acobite. He betook himself to the north, 
having first procured from James a commission to act as com- 
mander-in-chief of the royalist forces in Scotland ; on the pretext 
of a great hunting-party, he collected a number of Jacobite nobles 
to whom his plans, such as they were, were revealed, and proceeded 
to proclaim James in. and vm. on 6th September. Some of the 
clans came in zealously enough. A good many of the chiefs 
adopted the device of dividing their families ; Atholl sent his eldest 
son, the marquis of Tullibardine, to join Mar, while he stopped at 
home himself, and sent such intelligence as he thought fit to the 
government. Mar collected a respectable force and occupied 
Perth, while the government occupied Stirling in force, and 
dispatched Argyll to collect the Campbells and other Whig clans 
and take the command. Mar was strong enough to have swooped 
upon Edinburgh, but remained where he was in stupid inactivity. 

In Scotland the government's position was weak, but in 
England it was very well prepared. A few leading Jacobites 
were arrested, and the rest were not slow to realise The rising on 
that every isolated attempt at a rising would be tne border. _ 
nipped in the bud. Ormonde sailed to Tor Bay, but meeting 
with no response sailed back again. In the north there was 
more activity. In the Scottish Lowlands some of the Tory 
peers got a force together at Kelso. In Northumberland what 
can only be called a rabble of Tory squires collected under the 
leadership of Thomas Forster and Lord Derwentwater. These 
two parties got themselves together, and were reinforced by a 
few troops under Brigadier M'Intosh, detached by Mar ; even 
then they numbered only about two thousand men. They 
marched up and down on the Border unable to make up their 
minds what to do. The Englishmen would not march north to 
help Mar in crushing Argyll ; the Highlanders objected to 
marching into England. At last when the eastern route into 

I2O The Hanoverian Succession 

England was blocked by a few government troops they resolved 
to follow an evil precedent and to march without the High- 
landers by way of Carlisle and Preston, raising the Jacobites. 
They raised no one, and when they got to Preston they omitted 
the most ordinary military precautions and surrendered at dis- 
cretion ; having apparently quite overrated the forces which 
beset them there, and having also persuaded themselves that 
the terms included what amounted to a promise of pardon. 

On that same day, I3th November, Argyll and Mar met at 
the battle of Sheriffmuir, in Perthshire, when 

* We ran and they ran, and they ran and we ran, 
And we ran and they ran awa', man.' 

Both sides, in fact, did more running than fighting, and there 
fell all told only a few hundreds. The main reason for treating 
Sheriffmuir. the affair as a government victory was that Mar 
chose to regard it in that light and beat a retreat. Such was the 
decisive battle of a campaign on which depended the crown of 
Great Britain. From the beginning there had never been any 
heart in the futile conflict. There was no fuel for a conflagration. 
When it was all over James himself appeared, to join the army 
in Scotland ; but he was the last man to bring fresh heart to the 
disheartened. Argyll, indeed, was in no hurry to push his 
advantage ; but the disgusted clansmen were very soon drib- 
bling away to their own glens after their usual fashion. The 
Jacobite forces dwindled, and when at last after the turn of the 
year Argyll began to press forward, they fell back to the coast, 
where James was persuaded to take ship secretly and sail away 
again. Thus dolefully smouldered out the melancholy ' Fifteen.* 
There were a very few executions ; the Scots were justifiably 
wrath because some of them were tried at Carlisle, a breach of 
End of the the Act of Union. There were members of the 
Fifteen. government, notably Walpole, who wished to strike 

hard ; but, in fact, too many of the great families were playing for 
safety, doubtful what the future might bring forth and anxious 
to keep well with both sides, to be at all disposed to severity, 
which might cost them dear if there happened to be a turn of 

George I. and Stanhope 121 

the wheel. Caution, not magnanimity, was the motive of 
leniency. There was little enough in the way of ostensible 
results, except the making of some military roads in the High- 
lands, and a very ineffective measure of disarmament. But at 
least it had become evident that the Jacobites would have a 
very poor chance unless they improved their methods ; and 
James, without further delay, showed the extreme improbability 
of any such consummation by dismissing the most capable of 
his adherents, Bolingbroke. 

The rebellion was over. Two peers, Derwentwater and Ken- 
mure, had been executed as well as between twenty and thirty 
commoners. Very nearly every one concerned had made most 
unedifying exhibitions of themselves. The judges had bullied 
the prisoners ; the prisoners had been treated in an indecently 
ignominious fashion ; the king's personal behaviour could hardly 
have been less kingly. No one came out of the affair with 
credit except a few of the rank and file, who had risked their 
lives for a cause which they believed to be righteous, and who 
had no responsibility for the blundering incapacity of their 
leaders. There are but faint glimpses of that splendid devotion 
which thirty years later was to shed an imperishable lustre upon 
a ruined cause. 

But out of the ' Fifteen,' and the general sense of insecurity 
of which it was the symptom, there came one curious product. 
It created a doubt as to the possible results of a Tne 
parliamentary general election. The government Septennial 
felt that a defeat at the polls might seriously en- Act ' 1716 ' 
danger the whole Revolution Settlement. In order to avoid the 
risk a bill was introduced to extend the period of a parliament's 
life to seven years instead of three. The House elected in J anuary 
1715 claimed authority to prolong its own existence beyond the 
term for which it had been elected. It was not moved by an 
abstract conviction of the superior merits of a Septennial over 
a Triennial parliament, but by the concrete danger of an im- 
mediate accession of the J acobites to power. The only precedent 
was in the action of the Long Parliament, which had passed 
a statute prolonging its own existence till it should choose to 

122 The Hanoverian Succession 

vote its own dissolution. The Tories, however, could hardly 
use the argument of unconstitutionalism with effect, since when 
they were in power they had been contemplating a step of the 
same kind themselves. The bill was passed, and its immediate 
utility was felt through its effect on foreign governments ; since 
it ensured that the conduct of foreign affairs would remain for 
several years in the same hands instead of being subject to sharp 
reversals at short intervals. The Septennial Act remained in 
force until the changes introduced by the Parliament Act of 

The accession of George i. placed upon the throne of Great 
Britain a monarch who lacked knowledge of and interest in the 
Tne domestic affairs of his new kingdom. William m., 

Hanoverian already a continental statesman of the first rank 
connection. before he came to England at all> nevertheless 

played a king's part in British affairs. George left British affairs 
entirely to his ministers. But he had a personal interest in and 
knowledge of foreign affairs, because although he was not a con- 
tinental statesman of the first rank he was nevertheless a prince 
of the German empire as well as king of Great Britain. Hanover 
had interests of its own, and he naturally wanted to use his 
new kingdom in support of those interests. His ministers, 
therefore, had a difficult task. George's British subjects would 
certainly be extremely jealous of anything which could be given 
the colour of Hanoverianism, that is, of being dictated by the 
interests of Hanover rather than of Great Britain. Even if the 
interests of the two states happened to coincide, as on the whole 
they did more often than not, the mere fact that a particular 
policy would be productive of advantage to Hanover would lay 
it open to suspicion, and would provide Jacobitism with an 
opportunity of clamouring against the evil result of setting the 
British crown upon the head of a German potentate. And yet 
it was necessary to seek the advantage of Hanover, if it was only 
to secure the right of claiming a quid, pro quo when occasion 
should arise. 

The treaties of Utrecht and Rastadt left the European situation 
in an extremely complicated state. Neither Austria nor Spain 

George I. and Stanhope 123 

was in the least satisfied with the terms. The Emperor 
Charles vi. still regarded the Spanish crown as being his of 
right, while Philip v. still considered that the Italian The French 
territories allotted to Austria belonged to Spain, succession. 
Moreover, Philip, having two sons by his first wife, the daughter 
of the duke of Savoy, had taken for his second wife Elizabeth 
Farnese of Parma, a lady of vigorous temperament and strong 
will, who was determined that her own children should not be 
left out in the cold. It was certain that if Spain got an oppor- 
tunity she would endeavour to recover her Italian dominions. 
Then there was the question of the French succession. Assum- 
ing the validity of Philip's renunciation, the next heir after the 
infant heir apparent was the duke of Orleans, son of the brother 
of Louis xiv. But it was the general opinion among French 
lawyers that the French crown was indefeasible, and that Philip 
had no power to renounce the title for himself or for his offspring. 
Louis xiv. was seventy-five ; his sickly great-grandson was not 
at all likely to survive him many years. There was therefore 
every probability that in a very short time the question of the 
French succession would become critical. 

For Great Britain the question of first-rate importance was 
the security of the Hanoverian succession. The Treaty of Utrecht 
had broken the bond between her and her old allies Hanover and 
Austria and Holland ; any power with whom she tne Baltic * 
quarrelled would be ready to utilise the Stuart claim as a weapon 
against her. Therefore, both for the Whigs and for George, it 
was a matter of great importance to restore the old relations 
with Austria and Holland to make it in the interests of both 
to guarantee George's throne. But the fact that George was 
elector of Hanover introduced a further complication. The 
Baltic powers, Russia, Prussia, and Denmark, were all interested 
in completing the ejection of Sweden from the southern shores 
of the Baltic. Hanover was joined with them in a league which 
had all but accomplished this purpose ; and Hanover's share 
of the spoils was to be Bremen and Verden, which would round 
off the Hanoverian territory by giving to it the control of the 
mouths of the \Veser and the Elbe. On the other hand, it was 

124 The Hanoverian Succession 

extremely doubtful whether Great Britain could be persuaded 
to regard this question as one in which she had a direct interest. 
Her relations with Sweden were friendly, and a quarrel with 
Charles xn. might very easily make that erratic monarch an 
active enemy, ready in his own interests, and for the punishment 
of George and his British antagonists, to apply his brilliant 
military talents to a Stuart restoration. 

Turning once more to the south and the antagonism between 
Austria and Spain : Spain had this present advantage that 
Aiberoni. Austria would be hampered in the defence of her 
territories by the war on which she was engaged with the Turks. 
Cardinal Aiberoni, the clever statesman, who, subject to the 
domination of Queen Elizabeth, controlled Spanish policy at this 
time, was very well aware that the employment of British sea- 
power in the Mediterranean would turn the scale decisively ; 
consequently, it was his present desire to conciliate Great Britain 
by commercial concessions which would prevent her interven- 

The man who, for six years, was the real director of British 
policy was Stanhope, who saw clearly that the first necessity 
stanhope's was to re-establish those friendly relations with 
policy. Holland and with the emperor which were tradi- 

tional with the Whigs, and had only been broken off during the 
Tory ascendency. In this he was seconded by George's Han- 
overian ministers. The isolation of Great Britain was ended 
in 1716 by two separate alliances with Austria and Holland. 
On the other hand, the British ministry declined to join the 
Anti-Swedish league ; but since Charles xii. had, from the 
British point of view, transgressed the rights of neutrals by sea, 
a British fleet was sent to the Baltic, not to open hostilities, but 
to protect British shipping. The practical effect was the same. 
The Swedish fleet was paralysed, the Swedes were driven out of 
their last foothold on the south of the Baltic, and the possession 
of the desired provinces was guaranteed to Hanover. 

Early in 1716, before the completion of the Dutch and Austrian 
treaties, George procured the repeal of the clause in the Act of 
Settlement, which forbade the king to go abroad without express 

George /. and Stanhope 125 

parliamentary sanction. He went to Hanover, accompanied by 
Stanhope, and was there joined by Sunderland ; while his son, 
who had been created Prince of Wales, remained whig 
in England as regent, with Townshend as acting differences, 
chief minister. The outcome of this was presently to be a dis- 
ruption among the Whigs. Now, Townshend found himself in 
disagreement with Stanhope, and the king found it very easy 
to believe that his son was forming, along with Townshend and 
his brother-in-law, Walpole, a party of his own. The disagree- 
ments reached such a pitch that early in 1717 Townshend was 
dismissed, and his dismissal was followed by the resignation of 
Walpole and several other leading Whigs. The idea of joint 
responsibility of ministers was coming into being. 

Meanwhile, Stanhope had negotiated a new departure in 
alliances, with most important results. To the regent Orleans 
it was a matter of first-rate consequence to secure The French 
his own succession to Louis xv. ; that is to say, it aiuance. 
was in his personal interest to prevent the union of the French 
and Spanish crowns. The British alliance, on terms of a mutual 
guarantee of the succession in both countries as laid down by 
the Treaty of Utrecht, was extremely desirable from his point 
of view. The direct result was the Triple Alliance between 
France, Great Britain, and Holland, which completely disposed 
of any present prospect of France giving aid to James ; and 
further procured the dismantling of Dunkirk and Mardyke which 
France had hitherto evaded. An indirect outcome was that 
when the interests of the French and British governments had 
become identified, and the two countries acted together by land 
and sea to enforce a common policy, France left naval operations 
entirely to the British ; and the result of this again was that 
France made no attempt to reconstruct a powerful navy, while 
the British navy became more and more decisively supreme 
on the seas. It now became the leading object with Stanhope 
to press Austria into the alliance, in which Great Britain would 
be the controlling power. To this end Austria was finally to 
resign her claims on the Spanish crown but was to be secured 
in her possessions in Italy, while she was to transfer to Savoy 

126 The Hanoverian Succession 

Sardinia in exchange for Sicily ; and the duchies of Tuscany 
and Parma were to be bestowed upon the sons of Elizabeth of 
The Spain, but were to be separated in perpetuity from 

Quadruple the Spanish crown. Meanwhile, the good offices 
Alliance. Q Q rea ^- Britain were to be employed in procur- 
ing a satisfactory peace between Austria and Turkey. The 
Quadruple Alliance, however, was not completed until the end 
of August 1718. 

When it was realised in Spain that no commercial treaties 
would be allowed to detach Great Britain from her Austrian 
Alberoni policy, and from maintaining the Orleans succession 
and Gortz, in France, Alberoni's plans changed. While he was 
working in France to build up a legitimist party 
which should overthrow Orleans, he saw in the northern compli- 
cations an opportunity for striking at Great Britain. Sweden had 
been irritated in 1715 and 1716 by the action of the British fleet. 
But in 1716 George took alarm at the proceedings of his anti- 
Swedish ally the Tsar Peter the Great. Peter occupied Mecklen- 
burg, and his doing so appeared to George to be a menace to 
Hanover. Through the greater part of the year there was in 
fact actual danger of direct hostilities being opened with Russia. 
By the representations of Austria, Peter was induced to evacuate 
Mecklenburg at the beginning of 1717 ; but he did so with an 
abiding feeling of hostility to George. Meanwhile, the Swedish 
minister Gortz had been at least playing with the idea of check- 
mating Hanover, and recovering Bremen and Verden by effect- 
ing a Jacobite restoration. The British government got wind 
of the plot, and in January 1717 the Swedish ambassador, 
Gyllenborg, was arrested in London in defiance of the recognised 
law of nations, and Gortz himself was arrested in Holland by 
the Dutch government at the instance of King George. The 
correspondence seized disclosed the fact that a Jacobite insur- 
rection supported by Swedish troops was being concerted ; and 
these revelations were held to have justified the arrests, and 
greatly strengthened the British government, since there was 
nothing so certain to unite the country as threats of foreign 

George I. and Stanhope 127 

Now Alberoni had been devoting his energies to creating a 
new Spanish fleet. As matters stood in 1717 he perceived 
possibilities of uniting those long-standing foes, Alberoni in 
Charles xn. and Peter the Great, with Spain, for 1717 - 
a Jacobite restoration, which would sever Great Britain from 
Hanover, and would, as a matter of course, unite the maritime 
power with Spain and with the legitimist or anti-Orleanist party 
in France. It is probable, however, that the queen was re- 
sponsible for hurrying him into premature action, which set the 
Triple Alliance on its guard. The Spaniards made a sudden 
descent on Sardinia, and captured it in August. Austria, still 
tied by her Turkish war, called upon Great Britain to act on her 
behalf in accordance with the treaty of the previous year. But 
the ministers did not want a war with Spain, which, owing to 
the recent commercial treaties, would at this moment have been 
unpopular. Also they wanted Austria to be free of her Turkish 
war before the commencement of open hostilities. 

The delay enabled Alberoni in the summer of 1718 to dis- 
patch a fleet under sealed orders, which suddenly swooped upon 
Sicily. Admiral Byng, however, had already sailed 1713. 
for the Mediterranean with a fleet, and with instruc- Passaro. 
tions to compel the Spaniards to cease hostilities. It is curious 
to observe that even at this time Stanhope was hinting at the 
restitution of Gibraltar as part of the price of the peace which 
he wished to preserve. Spain, however, was too eagerly bent 
on her Italian ambitions. Fortune favoured the combination. 
Almost simultaneously Byng with his squadron entered the 
Mediterranean, the Spaniards laid siege to Messina, and the 
negotiations with the Turks were brought to a successful issue 
by the Treaty of Passarowitch, which released Eugene and the 
Austrian battalions for operations elsewhere. Ten days later, 
on nth August, Byng came up with the Spanish fleet off Cape 
Passaro. Spain and Great Britain were not at war, but the 
British admiral succeeded in making the Spaniards fire the first 
shot, which gave him his warrant. He fell upon the Spanish 
fleet, which was shattered to pieces, with hardly any loss to the 
victors. Tradition has attributed a mythical dispatch to Captain 

128 The Hanoverian Succession 

Walton, who was detached to account for the shattered remnants 
of the Spanish navy. As a matter of fact, though his dispatch 
was a short one there was nothing abnormal about it, though 
until recent researches brought the truth to light, he was generally 
credited with having confined himself to the laconic remark, ' Sir, 
we have taken and destroyed all the Spanish ships which were 
on the coast, the number as per margin/ 

The destruction of the fleet did not prevent the capture of 
Messina ; but it entirely ruined Alberoni's designs, since com- 
The end of munications between Spain and Sicily were totally 
Aiberoni, severed. The Quadruple Alliance was brought to 
1718-20. completion, and in December 1718 war was formally 

declared against Spain by Great Britain. Three weeks later 
France followed suit, a plot having just been discovered, insti- 
gated by Aiberoni, for depriving Orleans of the regency and 
proclaiming Philip the heir to Louis. Another blow had just 
befallen Aiberoni. Whether Charles xu. would have actually 
taken part in an attempted Jacobite restoration in any case is 
doubtful ; but he was not to have the opportunity. At the 
beginning of December he was killed by a bullet while engaged 
on the siege of Frederikshalle in Norway. Nevertheless, the 
energetic minister played a last stroke. The Spanish navy was 
not yet annihilated, and an expedition was planned with Ormonde 
at the head of it to invade England. The expedition set sail, 
but before it met the British squadron which was awaiting it, 
it encountered a storm which wrecked the greater part of it. 
A small party succeeded in reaching the coast of Scotland and 
collecting a few Highlanders, but they were easily dispersed 
(5th June). The resistance of Spain to the combined forces of 
the Quadruple Alliance was entirely futile. The allies demanded 
the dismissal of Aiberoni from Spanish soil. In December the 
cardinal was expelled, and in February 1720 Philip gave in his 
adhesion to the Quadruple Alliance, and to the terms of settle- 
ment upon which they had agreed. The duke of Savoy became 
king of Sardinia, Sicily became an Austrian possession, and the 
North Italian duchies were secured to Charles, the eldest son of 
Philip and Elizabeth. 

George I. and Stanhope 129 

The Treaty of Nystad in 1721 put an end to the northern 
complications for the time. It secured for Russia the pre- 
dominance in the Baltic Sea, very much against Nystad, 1721. 
the will of George ; but before this the two main points which 
affected Great Britain and Hanover had been settled with Sweden. 
Hanover got Bremen and Verden in undisputed possession, and 
the freedom of the Baltic was secured to British shipping. But 
before this also the Stanhope administration had fallen. 

The split between the two sections of Whigs had by no means 
wrecked the government, though it had created a powerful Whig 
opposition, centring round the person of the Prince of waipole in 
Wales, whose antagonism to his father was a source opposition, 
of some public scandal. Toryism had become so completely 
discredited that the opposition Whigs, led by Waipole, had no 
qualms about fighting the government on any question which 
offered a chance for defeating them. No opening at first pre- 
sented itself when the long suspended impeachment of Oxford 
was brought to a conclusion by the acquittal of the sometime 
minister. The two sections had also combined, when Waipole, 
after his retirement, piloted through the House the scheme 
which he had prepared as minister to provide a sinking fund 
for paying off the National Debt. This plan involved the reduc- 
tion of the interest on the funded debt from an average of eight 
per cent, to five per cent., the balance of the secured interest being 
set aside as a sinking fund for paying off the capital debt. By 
borrowing from the bank, and from the South Sea Company, 
an association to which we shall very shortly revert, provision 
was made for paying off those holders of government stock who 
objected to the reduction of their interest. 

In 1718, however, the antagonism between the government 
Whigs and the opposition Whigs was growing hotter. It is 
not a little surprising to find that when Stanhope introduced 
bills for the repeal of the Occasional Conformity Act and the 
Schism Act of 1714, Waipole himself was not ashamed to join 
with the Tories in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat the govern- 
ment. The repeal was carried in January 1719. 

In that year, however, the Opposition won an important 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. I 

130 The Hanoverian Siiccession 

victory. The cardinal tenet of the Whigs was the supremacy 
of parliament, and their main object of jealousy the royal pre- 
Sunderiand's rg a tive. Nothing could have been further removed 
Peerage Bill, from their minds than any idea of democracy. The 
Tories in the last reign had shown how the Crown 
could manipulate one of the Houses by the simple process 
of manufacturing a majority by the creation of a batch of 
peers. Moved by a fear that the younger George when he came 
to the throne might adopt this method of giving a majority 
in the Upper House to the opposition Whigs, Sunderland, with 
the entire approval of the king, brought in a bill to limit any 
increase in the number of peers. It provided that when the 
existing number had been increased by six, the Crown should 
have no power to create any more peerages except to take the 
place of such as might be vacated by lapse or forfeiture. Opposi- 
tion was anticipated from Scotland, since this would preclude 
Scottish peers from becoming peers of Great Britain ; that 
difficulty was to be met by raising the number of Scottish peers 
to twenty-five, who were to sit by hereditary right in the Upper 
House. The practical effect of the bill would have been to 
make the peerage a permanent close corporation of hereditary 
aristocrats, instead of a body admission to which was a natural 
result of distinguished public service. 

There appeared to be every prospect of the bill being carried ; 
many of the opposition Whigs were less alive to its dangers than 
Defeat of to its merits as limiting the powers of the Crown, 
the bill. its defeat was due to the determination of Walpole, 

who induced the leaders to agree with some reluctance that it 
should be opposed in the Commons. There, his attack upon it 
was decisive. He entirely convinced the House that the country 
gentlemen, such as most of them were, would be for ever debarred 
from entering the ranks of the hereditary aristocracy, an honour 
which every one of them regarded as a legitimate object of am- 
bition for himself, or his relations, or his descendants. The bill 
was thrown out, and the Crown retained its power of unlimited 
creation of peers. The bill was defeated by more than ninety 

George I. and Stanhope 131 

For a government in modern times such a defeat would have 
involved resignation ; that it should do so was an idea which 
never presented itself two hundred years ago. No ministry 
which could count upon a general support of its measures dreamt 
of being called upon to resign because one particular measure 
had been rejected. The destruction of the Stanhope ministry 
came from another quarter ; and it did not involve the destruc- 
tion of the Whig party, since the opposition Whigs themselves 
could provide not only an alternative government, but one which 
could command the widest confidence. 

In the year 1711 the Tories, who had just overthrown the 
Whigs, were in serious financial straits. The bank was a Whig 
corporation from the beginning ; the East India 
Company since the reconstruction of 1702 had been south Sea 
a Whig corporation. Harley and St. John were Company, 
aiming at bringing the war to an early conclusion 
by a treaty which was to secure to Great Britain the Assiento 
and extensive trading rights with the Spanish colonies in America. 
On the basis of those expectations a Tory commercial company 
was formed, which was to be for that party very much what the 
bank and the East India Company were to the Whigs. The 
South Sea Company was constructed to acquire from the govern- 
ment a monopoly of the anticipated commercial concessions, in 
return for which it advanced money to the government, and took 
over 9,000,000 of the floating or unfunded debt, the interest 
thereon being secured to it by the appropriation of specified 
taxes as in the case of the funded debt. 

The actual commercial concessions obtained under the Treaty 
of Utrecht were by no means so extensive as had been expected ; 
nevertheless, the business acquired was lucrative 
enough to justify the existence of the company, company's 
But just at this time, not England only, but Europe proposals, 
in general, was seized with a speculative mania. 
France plunged wildly into the schemes, not always absurd 
in themselves, of the ingenious Scot John Law, which were to 
be rendered ruinous by the scale on which it was attempted to 
carry them out. England plunged into the schemes of the South 

132 The Hanoverian Succession 

Sea Company. The company came forward with a plan for 
taking over the National Debt, and amalgamating it with the 
South Sea stock. Interest at five per cent, was to be secured 
by government in the usual manner for seven years, after which 
it was to be reduced to four per cent., allowing for the establish- 
ment of a sinking fund. Again, the scheme was not on the face 
of it absurd. An increased trade was expected, a reasonable 
interest was guaranteed by government, and the company ex- 
pected to reap its profits by selling its stock at a premium. To 
secure its privileges it offered the government 3,500,000. The 
bank itself was prepared to make a higher offer. The company 
raised its bid to 7,500,000, and the Acts conferring the desired 
privileges were passed. This price, 7,500,000, was certainly 
excessive. Of itself, the effect of it should have been to bring 
down the price of South Sea stock, which to this time had 
stood at a premium. Still, the prospects were sufficiently good 
to have made the investment under ordinary circumstances 
passably sound. 

But the circumstances were not ordinary. Extravagant 
rumours were circulated of extraordinary discoveries and extra- 
172 o. ordinary concessions, of impossibly enormous pro- 

The bubble, fits which were to accrue. Neither the government 
nor the directors were officially responsible for those rumours. 
Walpole from the Opposition raised a warning voice, but no one 
listened to him. In the familiar language of the present day, 
there was a frantic boom in South Sea stock. Just before the 
Act of Parliament went through, the market price of 100 worth 
of stock was 130. A week after the Act was passed considerably 
over 2,000,000 had been taken up at 300. At midsummer it 
had gone up to between 1000 and 1100. Right and left, 
every one, man or woman, was scraping together every available 
shilling to buy South Sea stock at any price. 

Then came awakening and panic. The speculative fever had 
given birth to an immense number of bogus companies ; no 
The bubble scheme was too absurd to draw in a crowd of dupes, 
bursts. One after another the bogus companies were ex- 

ploded. The public began to realise the enormity of its folly, 

George /. and Stanhope 133 

though it was much more disposed to lay the blame upon the 
wickedness of other people. At the end of September South 
Sea stock had dropped again to 150 ; those who had been 
scrambling to buy were scrambling to sell. But vast numbers 
had already been ruined, and the ruin spread. People who had 
had nothing to do whatever with the speculation were swept 
away in the general crash, because their debtors were ruined 
and could not pay. Wealthy men found themselves poor, poor 
men found themselves destitute, and all alike laid the disaster 
at the doors of the government and the directors who had duped 
them. If the public had had its way, every one who had any- 
thing whatever to do with the concern, innocent or guilty, 
would have been stripped of everything he possessed and at 
least sent to prison. There were Jacobites who hardly con- 
cealed their glee over the complete ruin of the Whigs which they 
anticipated, not without reason. 

But the public did not turn to the Jacobites. The group of 
opposition Whigs assuredly had nothing whatever to do with the 
disaster. Walpole had denounced the whole affair Walpo i e 
from the beginning. Walpole had already the re- called to the 
putation of being the ablest financier in public life ; : 
Walpole was called to the rescue, to save what he could from the 
wreck. He was not disqualified by the fact that he and Towns- 
hend had after midsummer been persuaded to rejoin the ministry 
when the government began to realise what was coming. Wal- 
pole directed his efforts to providing a remedy, as a matter of 
greater importance than seeking vengeance ; but the demand 
for vengeance could not be suppressed. Inquiries were in- 
stituted both by the Lords and by the Commons. Ministers 
were furiously attacked. Stanhope triumphantly cleared him- 
self of any suspicion of having made profit himself or of any re- 
sponsibility for the misconceptions by which the public had been 
deluded ; but the shock and the strain had been too great for 
him and killed him. Sunderland proved that so far from making 
profit he had all but ruined himself ; but the injustice of public 
opinion drove him finally out of public life. Aislabie, the chan- 
cellor of the exchequer, was with entire justice found guilty of 

134 The Hanoverian Succession 

infamous corruption. Another member of the ministry, Scraggs, 
died, perhaps by his own hand, and his estates were sequestrated, 
as were those of the directors of the company. The forfeitures 
provided about 2,000,000 for the relief of sufferers from the 
disaster. The government annuitants who had accepted South 
1721 Sea stock were obliged to content themselves with 

Waipoie's something less than half their promised annuities ; 
ascendency. an( j ^ $ out h g ea Company was reconstructed with 

its 100 shares reduced to 33. \Valpole became chancellor of 
the exchequer, with Townshend as one of the secretaries of 
state, and Carteret, a young man who had already achieved 
high diplomatic distinction, as the other. So in 1721 began the 
long supremacy of Robert Walpole, although for nine years it 
was shared with his brother-in-law, Townshend. 


The reconstruction of the ministry was contemporaneous with 
the reluctant adhesion of Spain to the Quadruple Alliance. In 
1721 1739 ^ e y ears ^ a ^- fll we( i, the salient feature was the 
Anglo- ostensible continuity of the co-operation between 

French Great Britain and France, based primarily upon the 

relations. . , . ' 

necessity in both countries for mutual help in main- 
taining the Hanoverian and the Orleanist successions. As the 
years passed, the health of the young French king improved ; 
he married, and the chance of a disputed succession became 
increasingly remote. Consequently, from about 1730 onwards, 
we shall find France and Spain drawing closer together, and form- 
ing a secret agreement having as its object the achievement or 
the restoration of that Bourbon supremacy in Europe which had 
been the great aim of Louis xiv. But this secret change in 
French policy, which was necessarily directed in part against 
the British power, did not check the ostensible co-operation be- 
tween France and Great Britain in relation to European affairs 
until the explosion which robbed Walpole of the effective con- 
trol in England in 1739. Throughout these years, the intricacies 

The Ministry of Townshend and Walpole 135 

of international politics are difficult to disentangle ; nevertheless 
it is necessary to follow them out. 

When the leadership of the Whig party passed to Walpole 
and Townshend, all the prominent statesmen of Queen Anne's 
reign of the older generation had disappeared. Political 
Marlborough, indeed, survived for some months, personalities, 
but he had been inactive throughout the reign of George i., and 
had latterly been rendered helpless through ill-health. He had 
already passed sixty at the time of his fall. Of the new men 
who were at first associated with Walpole and Townshend, the 
most prominent were Pulteney , who had left the Stanhope ministry 
along with them in 1717, and Carteret, one of the few English 
statesmen who have made foreign policy their first concern, and 
have kept their eyes fixed upon Europe and the intricacies of 
European politics. Antagonisms were certain to arise within 
this group ; and outside parliament altogether, Bolingbroke 
re-appeared on the scene to promote faction, and to use his best 
efforts for the discrediting of the government. He had been 
granted a personal pardon, but Walpole's determined opposition 
prevented him from being restored to his place in the House of 
Peers ; and Walpole was consequently the special object of his 

In the first years of the new administration Walpole left the 
conduct of foreign affairs to Townshend and Carteret, who very 
soon found themselves following opposing lines. Carteret was 
readier to risk war than his colleague, and would have embroiled 
the country with Russia, mainly in the interests of Hanover, 
if the king had not proved wise enough to support Townshend 
in rejecting a course which would certainly have caused extreme 
irritation in England. 

In 1723 Orleans died, and the leading position in France 
passed for the moment not to his son but to Louis of Bourbon, 
the lineal representative of the great Conde. Bour- p rance , 
bon was suspected of Spanish leanings, which may Spain, and 
have had some influence upon Spanish policy. On Aui 
the other hand, both Austria and Spain were beginning to take 
new views. The emperor was already vexing his soul over the 

136 The Hanoverian Succession 

question of the Austrian succession after his own death, which 
he wished to secure for his own daughter, Maria Theresa. On 
the other hand, he himself had succeeded as the male heir of 
his elder brother Joseph, and Joseph had left a daughter, Maria 
Amelia. It was not easy, however, to maintain that the daughter 
of the younger brother should succeed in priority to the daughter 
of the elder brother. Hence it was the great desire of Charles 
to procure European guarantees for the ' Pragmatic Sanction/ 
the instrument by which Maria Theresa was declared his suc- 
cessor. Again, now that the Netherlands had become Austrian 
instead of Spanish, they had lost those trade privileges with the 
Spanish dominions which they had enjoyed when under the 
Spanish Crown. The commercial consideration induced him at 
the end of 1722 to establish the Ostend East India Company. 
But by old treaties, the subjects of Spain, including the Nether- 
landers, were debarred from the East India trade. The new 
company, coming into competition with the Dutch and British 
East India companies, caused great irritation, and was protested 
against as a violation of the old treaties. There was, therefore, 
a certain ill-feeling between Austria and the maritime powers. 

In the third place, there were disagreements between Spain 
and Austria as to the carrying out of obligations in Italy. France 

The quarrel Great Britain offered their mediation at a con- 

of France ference of the powers held at Cambrai, which con- 
tain. tinued its inconclusive sittings for three years. In 
the course of the negotiations Spain made a demand for the 
restitution of Gibraltar which was promptly refused, whereby 
Spain was irritated against Great Britain. Under the regency 
of Orleans a project of marriage had been negotiated between 
the young King Louis and the still younger Spanish Infanta. 
Orleans had doubtless anticipated that Louis would be dead 
before his bride was old enough to become his queen ; it was a 
measure designed on his part to make the prospect of the Orleans 
succession the more secure. But precisely for that reason it 
was displeasing to Bourbon. In 1725 France broke off the 
Spanish match ; and the young king was married to the daughter 
of Stanislaus Lecszynski, who had for a short time been elective 

The Ministry of Townshend and Walpole 137 

king of Poland and hoped to be reinstated. This was a flagrant 
insult in the eyes of the Spaniards, so that they were freshly 
irritated against France. 

The result was that the mediators at the conference were 
ignored, and the two principals came to terms on their own ac- 
count. Charles undertook to complete the investiture of the son 
of Philip and Elizabeth, whom it may be convenient to call Don 
Carlos instead of Charles, as successor to the duchy of Parma, 
in return for which Spain guaranteed his Pragmatic Sanction. 
Charles further promised to use his friendly offices to procure 
the restitution of Gibraltar and Minorca, while Spain conceded 
a commercial treaty which gave to the emperor's subjects pre- 
ferential treatment as against Great Britain and Holland, and 
opened the American trade to the Ostend Company. The Treaty 
The reply of France and Great Britain was the of Hanover. 
Treaty of Hanover, uniting those two powers in alliance with 
Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Prussia which incidentally was 
denounced as a Hanoverian measure though the advantages 
which it secured to Great Britain were much less dubious than 
those derived from it by Hanover. War seemed imminent. 
British fleets put to sea, and the Spanish treasure fleet was 
blockaded at Porto Bello. Plans for a Jacobite restoration were 
included among the projects of Ripperda, the Spanish minister 
who was at this time most prominent. There was general ex- 
citement and uneasiness, accompanied by trade depression in 
England. In February 1727 the Spaniards actually opened the 
siege of Gibraltar by way of reprisal for the blockade at Porto 
Bello, though war had not been declared. The siege was quite 
useless, since the British had complete command of the seas, 
and a British squadron occupied the harbour, securing ample 
supplies. The emperor became convinced of the futility of war. 
At the end of May 1727 he came to terms, agreeing 1727. 
to a temporary suspension of the Ostend Company Peace te rms - 
and the confirmation of all treaties prior to that of Vienna ; 
though Spain still declined to be a party to the agreement. When 
she found herself isolated, however, she was obliged to give 

138 The Hanoverian Succession 

During these years Walpole had been strengthening his 
personal ascendency. Pulteney had soon gone into opposition 
Townshend when he found himself excluded from the ministry. 
and Walpole. Carteret's policy had been defeated in the cabinet ; 
it was certain that he and the brilliant Philip Stanhope, better 
known as Lord Chesterfield, could not long remain in one cabinet 
with Walpole. Walpole and Townshend had remained in general 
agreement ; but Townshend was disposed to a more active 
foreign policy than his colleague, who had now begun to make 
himself felt in that department as well as in home politics. The 
settlement of 1727 was in the nature of a victory for Walpole 
over Townshend, and from this time he dominated British policy 
abroad as well as at home. Townshend soon found himself 
unable to become the follower where he had been the leader, 
1730 and in 1730 he withdrew. The two men were both 

Townshend too masterful to work as colleagues. Townshend was 
retires. no ^ Disposed to split the party by fighting for his own 

supremacy, and he chose the magnanimous alternative of leaving 
the field clear to the rival with whose policy he was in substantial 
agreement, although on personal grounds they were unable to 
work together. But before this there had been a moment when 
Walpole's ascendency appeared to be in extreme danger. 

In June 1727 King George went to Hanover, accompanied by 
Townshend. Within ten days of his departure he was carried 
1727 off by a paralytic stroke, and George II. became king. 

Death of He had at any rate served his purpose. He had 
been wise enough to make no attempt at forcing 
his English ministers to act upon his own personal views. He 
had displayed no vindictiveness, though in his own domestic 
relations he was vindictive. An absolute ruler in his own 
Hanover, he accepted his constitutional limitations in England 
in spite of their entire divergence from anything within 
his own previous experience. More than once he had recognised 
that the interests of his new kingdom and his old electorate were 
divergent, and though his heart was in the latter much more 
than in the former, he had given his new kingdom the precedence. 
He was not a great man, but he was a sensible one. Another 

The Ministry of Towns hend and Walpole 139 

William of Orange would have checked the development of 
ministerial control. A weaker or a worse man might easily 
have made himself the occasion of a Jacobite restoration ; but 
the very mediocrity and commonplaceness of George I. made him 
precisely the man to give practical completeness to the principles 
of the Revolution. 

His son had at first been associated with Walpole and Towns- 
hend, but when at last those two statesmen established them- 
selves in the confidence of the father, the Prince 
of Wales had drawn away from them. Carteret Queen 
and others had sought his favour by the obvious Caroline and 
method of courting his female favourites. The new 
king was not too well disposed to the ministers. Townshend 
was absent, and Walpole was received in an exceedingly chilly 
fashion. It appeared that Sir Spenser Compton (who became 
Lord Wilmington) would be the dispenser of his favours, and 
that Carteret would become the leading minister. But Walpole 
had been wiser in his generation than Carteret. He knew long 
before the death of George I. that the Princess of Wales ignored 
her husband's moral delinquencies, which were sufficiently 
flagrant, because she knew perfectly well that she had more 
influence with him than all his favourites put together. It 
was to her that Walpole paid his court ; and he had his reward. 
A fortnight after the old king's demise the minister's disappointed 
rivals awoke to the fact that he was more firmly established 
than ever ; the queen ruled the king, and Walpole ruled the queen 
not in any objection able sense, but simply because she was an 
extremely clever woman, who was shrewd enough to know that 
if she and Walpole differed the chances were that she would 
find in the end that he was right and she was wrong. 

The accession to power of the duke of Bourbon in France 
had been a disturbing factor ; although it had not produced 
any direct change in the relations between France cardinal 
and Great Britain. The time, however, had now Fieury. 
arrived for King Louis, who had reached the age of sixteen, to 
declare himself of age. Bourbon was displaced, and the control 
of French policy passed into the hands of the aged and pacific 

140 The Hanoverian Succession 

Cardinal Fleury, who although he was already seventy- three, 
continued to rule with ability and success for more than a decade, 
attaining his ninetieth year before he died. Fleury had no in- 
tention of breaking the English alliance ; but the circumstances 
had become favourable to a rapprochement between the two Bour- 
bon powers. The Austro-Spanish combination was an unnatural 
one, because, although the two powers might work together for 
some specific end, nothing could really bring them into accord 
with regard to Italy. Queen Elizabeth at last realised with 
reluctance that, so long as France was not to be detached from 
Great Britain, it was better for her to have the Anglo-French 
alliance and the maritime powers favourably disposed to her in 
her disputes with Austria, than to have Austria with her in her 
disputes with Great Britain, which turned upon Gibraltar and 
upon commercial questions. English ministers had indeed played 
1729. with *h e idea f th e restitution of Gibraltar, but 

Treaty they had by this time become thoroughly aware 

that the country would never tolerate such a pro- 
posal. In 1729 the Treaty of Seville was concluded between the 
three Western powers, afterwards supplemented by Holland. 
The powers agreed that the Italian duchies should be occupied 
by Spanish troops ; Austria's assent was to be obtained if 
necessary by coercion. In return, the demand for Gibraltar 
was in effect implicitly, though not explicitly, waived, while 
French and British commercial concessions were secured, and 
the preference granted to the Ostend Company was withdrawn. 
Austria responded, upon the death of the duke of Parma which 
vacated that duchy in favour of Don Carlos, by occupying the 
1731 duchy with her own troops, ostensibly in order to 

Waipoie's secure it for Don Carlos. But by this time Towns- 
macy * hend had retired, and Walpole, supreme in England, 
dexterously made his terms with Austria. In return for the 
British guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction, Don Carlos was 
installed in his duchy, which was occupied by Spanish instead 
of by imperial garrisons. The event signalised the fact that the 
unqualified rule of Walpole had begun. 

We turn now to the domestic events in the period covered by 

The Ministry of Towns hend and Walpole 1 4 1 

this section. Jacobitism was a recurrent cause of disturbance. 
Jacobite hopes were revived by the public excitement over the 
South Sea disaster, and were further encouraged by 
the birth in December 1720 of the prince who was O f Charles 

known to the Whigs as the ' Young Pretender.' Edward, 

,. , 11 i December. 

That term in fact was technically correct, being 

appropriate to any claimant to the throne other than its de facto 
occupant. It was, however, used with an implication that the 
claim was fraudulent ; a theory resting upon the old myth that the 
1 Old Pretender ' was a supposititious child ; a view which had been 
officially preserved more in order to salve the consciences of Queen 
Anne and the Tory party than to satisfy the Whigs, who adhered 
to the principle that parliament had the right to change the 
succession whether the prince were legitimate or not. As a 
natural consequence, when the public at large ceased to believe 
in the myth which the name of the Pretender was supposed to 
perpetuate, its use became particularly offensive to the Legiti- 
mists as carrying with it an unwarrantable imputation. The 
Jacobites were the defeated party ; no one to-day would be found 
to question that the ejection of the Stuarts was justifiable and 
beneficial ; but it is equally impossible to question that the 
Stuarts themselves and their supporters had legitimate ground 
for maintaining that James had a right to the crown, and a 
right to try to recover it if he could. The courtesies of de- 
bate seem to require that the Jacobite terms, the ' Old and 
Young Chevalier/ which beg no question, should be used in 

The outcome of these revived hopes was a futile Jacobite plot 
which was discovered, and resulted in the banishment of Bishop 
Atterbury and two or three other persons. Prac- Decay of 
tically, the affair showed not that any serious danger Jacobitism. 
was to be apprehended, but the precise contrary. The unfor- 
tunate dissensions between James and his wife, Clementina 
Sobieski, whom he had married under romantic circumstances, 
seriously injured the Stuart cause, and after the separation of 
the royal couple, in 1725, a long time elapsed before Jacobitism 
again appeared as a serious menace, though it was always in 

142 The Hanoverian Succession 

the background as a possible instrument to be employed by 
foreign foes. 

Walpole had come into power because of the public 
confidence in his financial ability. At the very beginning of 
waipole's * ne Townshend and Walpole regime he inaugurated 
commercial that policy of commercial development which it was 
always his primary object to promote. He adopted 
the plan of reducing the duties upon exports and upon imports 
of raw material, which had been imposed on the general principle 
that imports should be discouraged as being paid for in bullion, 
except from countries which took greater value of British goods in 
exchange for what they imported. Waipole's argument was that 
which had been urged successfully by Charles Davenant in respect 
of the East India Company's trade. The importation of raw 
material, even if it was paid for in bullion, made possible the 
production in England of manufactured goods which were ex- 
ported in exchange for bullion, so that in the long run the balance 
was rectified. On the other hand, the revenue did not suffer 
from the reduction of duties, because the volume both of im- 
ports and of exports was more than proportionately increased. 
If the duties were halved, but were paid upon thrice the quantity 
of goods, the revenue gained fifty per cent. These, broadly 
speaking, were the principles upon which W r alpole reversed the 
Freeing time-honoured policy of maintaining high duties. 

trade. NO one dreamed of such a thing as Free Trade in 

the modern sense of the term ; when Walpole became chan- 
cellor of the exchequer, Adam Smith was still unborn. Colonial 
products were vigorously encouraged by bounties, in order to 
diminish British dependence upon raw material imported from 
the Baltic ; but the whole trend of Waipole's finance was to 
reduce tariffs so far as that could be done without arousing 
violent opposition to increase wealth by increasing the volume 
of trade. Already, in 1724, he was preparing the way for the excise 
scheme which nine years later went near to causing his overthrow ; 
but since he did not call his measure by the detested name of 
excise, it was at this early stage cheerfully accepted on its merits. 
Tea and coffee were allowed to be landed and warehoused and 

The Ministry of Townshend and Walpole 143 

kept in bond without paying duty, to which they became liable 
only upon being withdrawn from bond for the home market. The 
wealth and prosperity of the country advanced rapidly, and the 
government credit stood so high that in 1727 it could borrow 
at four per cent. Thirty years earlier the normal interest had 
been eight or nine per cent. 

Scotland as yet was only beginning to feel profit from the 
removal of the English restrictions on her trade ; she was hardly 
conscious of material gain. English statesmen were Scot i a nd 
still inclined to pay little attention to Scottish and the 
susceptibilities. The imposition of the malt tax malttax - 
by the Tories in the previous reign in defiance of the Treaty of 
Union had reawakened demands for the repeal of the Union. 
The Tories had carried their bill, but, in fact, government had 
not collected the tax ; although after the war of the Spanish 
Succession was over it had become legitimate to do so. It was 
now demanded in England that the northern country should no 
longer be exempted. By way of a compromise Walpole pro- 
posed to fix the duty at threepence instead of sixpence, but, 
if the product fell short of 20,000, to lay a charge upon the 
Scottish brewers to make up the balance. There was an im- 
mediate explosion of wrath in Scotland, riots broke out in Edin- 
burgh and Glasgow, and the brewers refused to brew. They 
were, however, brought to reason, mainly by the management 
of Argyll's brother Islay and Duncan Forbes of Culloden. 
Still, the whole affair did a good deal to keep Scottish hostility 
to the Union rankling always a strong element among the 
causes which fostered J acobitism in the north. 

No less was the perturbation in Ireland, though there the 
Hanoverian government could feel comfortably secure that 
there was no danger from J acobitism. To all Irish Ireland. 
Protestants the maintenance of the Hanoverian succession was 
absolutely vital, while the Roman Catholic population was too 
hopelessly prostrate, tied, and bound, to be a source of danger. 
Protestants might kick against their subordination to the British 
parliament, but they could not help themselves. At the first, 
the Irish peers had to submit when the British House of Peers, 

144 The Hanoverian Succession 

claimed to be a higher Court of Appeal. In 1719, the British 
parliament passed a Declaratory Act, claiming its own right to 
legislate for Ireland without regard to the Irish legislature ; 
whereas all that the Irish parliament itself could do was to reject 
or to pass without amendment bills already approved by the 
British Privy Council. In the next year the British parliament 
passed an Act forbidding the wearing of printed and dyed calicoes, 
with the simple object of protecting the woollen and silk trades 
in England, which were not interested in the manufacture of 
calico. But, as the manufacture of calicoes was one of the few 
Irish industries which English jealousy permitted to exist, 
Ireland suffered. Dean Swift, whose mordant pen had been 
used with great effect by the Tories in Queen Anne's reign, took 
up the cudgels as an Irish patriot in an anonymous pamphlet 
which proposed retaliation for the English Act by a complete 
boycott to apply a modern phrase of all wearing apparel 
coming from England. 

But it was in connection with another controversy that the 
most terrific of that series of the dean's pamphlets, known as 
wood's Drapier's Letters, were produced. Ireland had no 

half-pence. mint of her own, and the export of coin from Eng- 
land was prohibited. Ireland was in desperate need of a small 
currency. A certain William Wood in England was authorised 
to coin half-pence to an amount six or seven times as great as 
was needed ; also, sixty of his half-pence went to the pound of 
copper, whereas the English half-pence were only forty-six to the 
pound. A storm of complaint arose in Ireland that the country 
was being flooded with debased coinage which would drive all 
the gold and silver out of it. As a matter of fact, no great harm 
would have been done, since copper coinage was a token coinage 
at the best. But the business provided a stick with which to 
beat the government, though it was after all but a very minor 
instance of the high-handed manner in which Irish interests were 
treated in England. The excitement was so great that the British 
government was obliged to compensate Wood and withdraw his 
licence. Townshend would have enforced the acceptance of the 
coinage, but Walpole did not like storms of popular indignation. 

The Ministry of Townshend and Walpote 145 

The attack on Wood's half-pence was trivial enough in its 
origin, and was carried on with the most extravagant exaggera- 
tion. It exemplified the insignificance of the matters Dean swift, 
upon which the popular mind will occasionally seize when a 
passionate sense of grievance is already in existence. It pro- 
vided Swift with the opportunity of denouncing root and 
branch the relations between the two countries, which had the 
effect of transforming him from a free man in England into a 
' slave ' in Ireland ; at so early a date he summed up the root 
grievance of the Irish people, that ' government without consent 
of the governed is slavery.' If the population of Ireland should 
realise that that was the real principle at stake, the struggle 
for independence might attain alarming proportions. That, in 
Walpole's eyes, was a risk not worth running for the sake of a 
mere punctilio. 

From the time when Walpole began to claim an equal share 
with Townshend in the control of foreign policy, an ultimate 
rupture between the two statesmen became almost 1731 
a certainty. The Treaty of Hanover belonged to Walpole 
the earlier period. The treaty of 1727 was a victory su P reme - 
for Walpole ; the Treaty of Seville was Townshend's. Walpole, 
in distinction from his colleague, believed in the necessity for 
friendly relations with Austria, anxious though he was to avoid 
a breach with France. Townshend would have conceded more 
to the Bourbon alliance at the cost of Austrian friendship. 
Walpole, when Townshend retired in 1730, and his own ascend- 
ency became complete, saved the Bourbon alliance for the time ; 
but also he drew closer to Austria. When Townshend withdrew 
to cultivate turnips and promote the new scientific farming, very 
much to the benefit of the British agriculture, Walpole was left 
without a rival in the cabinet. Its members were his henchmen. 
His friendship with Queen Caroline ensured him the support of 
the king. The Opposition consisted of disappointed politicians 
and factions, with no common policy except the desire to over- 
turn the ministry. Only one thing could effect his overthrow, 
some torrential rush of popular sentiment which should find in 
him an obstacle to its course, and it was a first principle with 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. K 

146 The Hanoverian Succession 

Walpole to avoid any action which should render such a torrent 
ungovernable. Nine years passed before the outburst came. 


More than any monarch or statesman who had preceded him, 
Robert Walpole consciously made it the first object of his policy 
Walpole * Develop the material prosperity of Great Britain. 

and the To that end it was essential to avoid war abroad 

opposition. and commot i on at home. It was also desirable to 
reduce restrictions upon trade to a minimum ; while from the 
minister's own personal point of view it was essential that he 
should retain the control of affairs in his own hands. The 
Opposition concentrated upon a single point, the effort to take 
the control out of his hands. It had no common policy, except 
to unite in attacking Walpole by any methods that could stir 
up popular feeling against him. For nine years after the re- 
tirement of Townshend Walpole held his own. By dint of very 
careful steering he kept the country from going to war. Only 
once in England did he propose a measure which aroused violent 
opposition ; and on that occasion the hostility aroused was 
itself irrational. The volume of British commerce was vastly 
expanded under his regime, and the material wealth of the 
community was greatly increased. His personal ascendency 
was secured first by the establishment of his influence over King 
George through the confidence of Queen Caroline, secondly by 
the methods of corruption, and thirdly by the ejection from the 
cabinet of all independent elements. 

With regard to bribery and corruption, it was for a long time 
regarded as one of the commonplaces of history that Walpole 
Corruption was an abnormally corrupt minister ; a theory 
under crystallised in the phrase attributed to him that 

1 every man has his price.' Even in that phrase 
he is misrepresented. ' All these men have their price,' was the 
contemptuous generalisation which he applied to the ranks of 
the Opposition in the House of Commons. Walpole was not 
the inventor of parliamentary corruption. The first parliament 

The Supremacy of Walpole 147 

of Charles 11., known as the Cavalier Parliament, in the sixties, ac- 
quired in the seventies the title of the Pension Parliament, because 
so many of its members were in receipt of ' gratifications/ If 
any one man could be called the originator of parliamentary corrup- 
tion, it was Danby. Walpole carried the system little, if at all, 
further than his predecessors. Innumerable places and pensions 
were distributed in order to procure votes. The duke of New- 
castle, who ultimately became prime minister, regarded politics 
as primarily an affair of j obbery ; it was as a member of Walpole's 
cabinet that he originally developed his mastery of the art, 
but it was after Walpole's fall that he carried it to completion ; 
and Newcastle himself was left far behind by the politicians in 
the earlier half of the reign of George m. It is not, indeed, to 
be disputed that Walpole employed corruption with a lavish 
hand ; but he was neither its originator nor its grossest prac- 
titioner. And if he corrupted others, he was himself incorrup- 
tible. But the charge of corruption was one which could be 
clamorously employed, not without justification, by an Opposi- 
tion which was indignant at its own exclusion from participation. 
The persistent charges of corruption year after year had the 
usual effect of producing a gradual conviction of the extra- 
ordinary guiltiness of the person who was so persistently accused. 
Walpole's determination to avoid disturbing questions is 
especially exemplified in his attitude towards Dissenters. He 
remembered how the first Whig ministry of which w a i po i e 
he had been a member had been brought to ruin and the 
over the case of Dr. Sacheverell. Entirely con- : 
vinced though he was of the injustice of imposing political dis- 
abilities on dissent, he had opposed Stanhope's repeal of the 
Schism Act, and when in power he steadily refused to raise the 
question of the repeal of the Test Act. He did not deny that 
the demand was in the abstract a just one ; he would not yield 
to it, because to do so would have been to endanger the stability 
of his administration. He answered the appeals of the Dissenters 
by saying that the time was not yet ripe ; they asked him when 
he expected that happier time to arrive, and he replied that in 
his own candid opinion it never would. But what he could do 

148 77ie Hanoverian Succession 

for the Dissenters without troubling the waters he did, when in 
1727 he introduced what became an annual Bill of Indemnity 
for breaches of the Test Act. 

The one serious commotion arose over the Excise Bill of 1733. 
It has already been remarked that Walpole's grand object was 
waipoie's to increase material wealth by the expansion of 
Excise Bill. commerce. The old theory of the State regulation 
of commerce had been that it was the business of the State to 
direct commerce into the channels most productive of national 
strength. Walpole saw that, broadly speaking, everything 
which increased the material wealth of the country ipso facto 
increased the national strength. The country which was richest 
could buy what it did not produce ; if forced into war, the 
ultimate victory would fall to the nation whose treasury could 
longest endure the heaviest strain. Great Britain was to be 
made strong by being made wealthy. Here as elsewhere it 
was not Walpole's part to enforce schemes which would excite 
the alarm of people less long-sighted than himself. He removed 
burdens and fetters, but only when he could persuade the com- 
mercial community that they were burdens and fetters ; but 
this was what he failed to do in the famous case of the Excise 

Walpole wanted to draw commerce to England, to make London 
the mart of the world. To this end he proposed to extend the 
The battle principle which had already been applied with en- 
of the bin. tire success in 1724 to tea and coffee, and to tax 
tobacco and wine not when they entered the ports, but when they 
were withdrawn from the ports for sale within the country ; 
the goods being kept in bond at the ports, where they could 
be re-embarked without paying duty, or withdrawn on payment 
of duty. This method would dispose of various complications 
in the form of drawbacks, rebates, and allowances which opened 
the door to peculation and fabrication of accounts ; it would 
diminish smuggling ; it would attract an increased trade and 
would benefit the revenue so that the land tax could be reduced 
to a shilling an important point in Walpole's eyes, since it 
would conciliate the landed gentry. But the name of ' excise ' 

The Supremacy of Walpole 1 49 

was detested in the country. The Opposition saw their oppor- 
tunity. They denounced the measure as ' a plan of arbitrary 
power.' The country was about to be flooded with an army 
of officials who would invade every household. Everything was 
going to be taxed, bread and meat in particular. A complete 
panic was worked up. It was in vain for the ministers to point 
out that the proposed system was to be applied only to tobacco 
in the first instance, and then, if it worked satisfactorily, to wine 
and spirits ; in vain to insist that the whole great army of ex- 
cisemen would number no more than 126. Chesterfield, as yet 
a member of the cabinet, worked against the Excise Bill as 
zealously as Pulteney, the leader of the Opposition. Walpole 
was informed that the soldiers were on the verge of mutiny, 
having become persuaded that the price of tobacco would rise. 
Walpole bowed to the storm. He was as convinced as ever that 
the measure would be entirely beneficial ; he was aware that 
he could still command a parliamentary majority in its favour ; 
but he was aware also that the bill could not become law without 
bloodshed ; and he withdrew it. At a general election a year 
afterwards his majority was hardly diminished ; but if he had 
not withdrawn the Excise Bill he would have been turned out 
of office, a fate which did not actually befall him till 1742. 

Walpole took his revenge on the disloyal members of the 
ministry. Chesterfield was dismissed, and a like fate befell 
several of his allies who held other government Dismissal 
posts, in particular a number of officers in the army. of ministers. 
In modern times, no member of the cabinet could, like Chester- 
field, set himself in opposition to a government measure. Chester- 
field's dismissal is a landmark in the history of cabinet govern- 
ment, of the principle of solidarity in the cabinet. It emphasised 
the doctrine that publicly at least all the members of the cabinet 
must be of one mind, though Walpole's action, then and long 
afterwards, was commonly denounced as monstrously dictatorial 
and vindictive. 

If the general election of 1735 did not materially affect the 
balance of parties in the House, it brought into the Opposition, 
already reinforced by Chesterfield, recruits of whom the most 

1 50 The Hanoverian Succession 

notable were George Lyttleton and William Pitt, at this time 
a cornet in Cobham's Horse, otherwise the King's Dragoon 
William Pitt. Guards. As in the days of George I. the Whig 
opposition had gathered round the pennon of the then Prince of 
Wales, owing to the personal antagonism between father and son, 
so now the enemies of the ministry made a figurehead of the 
eminently unsatisfactory heir to the throne, Frederick, Prince 
of Wales. That young man had been brought up in Germany 
The Prince of by his grandfather's orders, and only appeared in 
wales. England after the accession of George n. He was 

on the worst terms both with his father and his mother. There 
had at one time been a scheme of a double marriage with the 
royal house of Prussia ; the Crown Prince, afterwards Frederick 
the Great, was to have married the English princess Amelia, 
while Frederick was to have married the Prussian princess 
Wilhelmina. The intention had been in part to detach Prussia 
from its adherence, which at that time was very close, to Austria, 
and to draw it more closely to Hanover. The project, however, 
broke down, and the fact of his remaining unmarried increased 
the friction between the Prince of Wales and his parents. A 
bride was at length found for him in the Princess Augusta of 
Saxe-Gotha, whom he married in 1736 ; but the marriage itself 
provided fresh causes of dissension, owing to the prince's dis- 
satisfaction over the inadequate provision made for him. The 
Opposition group, who called themselves ' Patriots,' took up the 
cause of the prince in the House of Commons ; especially the 
young men whom Walpole in contempt referred to as the ' boys.' 
When the matter was on the point of coming before parliament, 
the king, at Walpole's instigation, offered to secure him his 
allowance of 50,000, and also to settle a jointure upon the 
princess. The prince refused ; he wanted 100,000. The House, 
The prince which before had been prepared to support the 
and Ms Opposition motion for a grant, changed its mind, 

and the prince had to content himself with his 
50,000 and the jointure, payable to the princess only on his 
death. The zeal of Pitt in the prince's cause caused him to be 
dismissed from his cornetcy, and twenty years passed before the 

The Supremacy of Walpole 1 5 1 

king forgave him years during which, it must be admitted, 
Pitt's conduct was scarcely calculated to win the royal favour. 
The dissensions between the prince and his parents became only 
the more acute when Frederick, at the eleventh hour, hurried 
his wife away by night from Hampton Court to St. James's 
Palace, just in time to prevent his eldest child from being born 
under the same roof as her grandparents. 

The year of the prince's marriage 1736 was signalised by 
an event which showed the extreme unpopularity of the govern- 
ment in Scotland. The Scots detested the whole The Porteous 
' preventive ' system which had been introduced affair, me. 
into that country after the Union. Two smugglers were caught 
and condemned to death. One of them made his escape in 
broad daylight. The second was duly hanged, amid demonstra- 
tions from the populace of Edinburgh, which induced Porteous, 
the officer in command of the town guard, to order his men 
to fire on the crowd, some of whom were killed. Porteous was 
thereupon himself tried and condemned to death, but was 
reprieved for further inquiry. Thereupon an organised mob 
stormed the prison, dragged Porteous out, and hanged him ; 
after which they dispersed quietly to their homes. Walpole 
and the queen, who had granted the reprieve as the king was 
abroad, proposed to take very severe measures for the punish- 
ment of the city of Edinburgh, where the authorities took no 
active steps for penalising the rioters. Largely owing to the 
efforts of Argyll, the penalties were modified, but the whole 
affair was a symptom of the popular aversion from the Union, 
and its conclusion only served to intensify that feeling. 

Towards the end of 1737 a notable personality passed out 
of British politics. Queen Caroline died. It was she who had 
established Walpole in the confidence of the king ; v ea> tn of 
it was she who had taught him the art of managing Queen Caro- 
the king by carefully beguiling him into a belief ne ' 
that he was himself the originator of schemes which he would 
have denounced with indignation if they had been submitted 
to him point blank as his minister's proposals. George was the 
most loyal of men, and the queen's death did not sever him from 

152 The Hanoverian Succession 

Walpole ; but it did lay him open more than before to side 
influences which had counted almost for nothing while Caroline 
was alive. The strength of Walpole's position was materially 
shaken by her death, because it became more difficult for him 
to persuade the king to adopt his own views. For throughout 
the years of Walpole's ascendency the king, if left to himself, 
would have done precisely the things that Walpole did not wish 
to be done ; and the queen had been the most effective agent 
in making him believe that the things that Walpole wished were 
the things that he wished also. And she had done so even when 
her own instincts were on the king's side, not on Walpole's. 

Now, in 1738, a crisis arrived in which Walpole had need of 
every imaginable support if he was to carry his own wishes to 
a successful issue. We must turn to foreign affairs during these 
years in order to understand the character of the approaching 

In 1731 the ambitions of Elizabeth Farnese had been so far 
satisfied through the intervention of France and Great Britain 
1731 The that her son Don Carlos was established in the 
European duchy of Parma and was guaranteed the succession 
to the duchy of Tuscany ; Walpole having made it 
his special object to remain in co-operation with France and to 
preserve friendly relations both with Spain and with Austria. But 
neither Austria nor Spain was happy. The emperor had by no 
means completed the circle of guarantors for his Pragmatic 
Sanction. France had not given the guarantee, and the attitude 
of various states of the empire was dubious. The elector 
Charles Albert of Bavaria was the son of Max Emmanuel by 
a second marriage, and he had himself married Maria Amelia, 
the daughter of the late Emperor Joseph. It was difficult to 
assert that the claims of Maria Theresa, the emperor's own 
daughter, were stronger than those of his elder brother's daughter 
to the Hapsburg inheritance ; and the house of Bavaria also 
had other claims to that inheritance in respect of its descent 
from an earlier emperor, Ferdinand n. Thus one of the electoral 
princes was himself the direct rival of Maria Theresa and her 
future husband, Francis, duke of Lorraine, for the Hapsburg 

The Supremacy of Walpole 153 

inheritance and the imperial crown. Charles vi. had secured 
the elector of Hanover and the king of Prussia, whose father 
had blossomed into that dignity from being elector of Branden- 
burg. But the electors of Saxony, Cologne, and the Palatinate 
had not given in their adhesion. Elizabeth Farnese, on the 
other hand, was still hankering for Naples and Sicily. There 
had been no overt change in the policy of France, but she had, 
as a matter of fact, been drawing steadily closer to Spain, as the 
possibilities of a union of the French and Spanish crowns grew 
more remote ; and she was even now contemplating a family 
compact between the Bourbon princes which should create a 
Bourbon supremacy in Europe, in the first instance at the ex- 
pense of Austria and ultimately at that of Great Britain. 

The flame which was to fire a European conflagration was 
lighted in Poland. The throne of that elective monarchy was 
occupied by Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony, 1733 War of 
who, largely through Russian support, had some the Polish 
years before displaced Stanislaus Lecszynski, the Successlon - 
father of the queen of France. The question was on the point 
of arising, who should succeed Augustus the Strong. Augustus 
wanted his son, another Augustus, to follow him on the Polish 
throne. Stanislaus wanted to recover the throne from which he 
had been ousted, and procured promises of aid from France. 
The sudden death of the elder Augustus at the beginning of 
1733 brought on a crisis. Stanislaus hurried to Poland and got 
himself elected by the Polish diet ; but Russia regarded the 
Saxon candidate as her own protege. Stanislaus did not suit 
the emperor, because of his connection with France, and there 
was no difficulty in getting another guarantee of the Pragmatic 
Sanction from Augustus in return for Austrian support. Fleury, 
not without reluctance, found himself compelled to give the 
French king's father-in-law the support of the French arms, 
while Austria was already in arms against him. 

The declaration of war between France and Austria, in October 
I 733 was perhaps hardly required to bring to completion the 
first family compact, the ' Compact of the Escurial,' between 
the two Bourbon powers in November. The treaty was intended 

154 The Hanoverian Succession 

to be a secret one, but its terms were betrayed to the British 
envoy at Madrid, and Walpole was forthwith placed in posses- 
sion of them. The Bourbon scheme was to deprive 
The Bourbon . Tx . 

family Austria of her Italian possessions, sowing the seeds 

compact, o f discord between her and Great Britain ; since 
Fleury reckoned, with justifiable confidence, that 
Great Britain would not go to war on behalf of Austria. When 
Austria should be partly disabled and wholly estranged from Great 
Britain, the Bourbons were to turn upon the maritime power, 
which, being isolated, and also controlled by the pacific Walpole, 
could then be prevailed upon, perhaps without fighting at all, 
to yield to the Bourbon demands. In the meantime, however, 
there was to be no rupture with Great Britain. 

Up to a certain point Fleury 's calculations were justified. 
Charles Emmanuel of Savoy and Sardinia was drawn into the 
Walpole Bourbon alliance. Spanish troops overran the south 

keeps clear of Italy, where the Austrian domination was un- 
popular, and Don Carlos was proclaimed king of 
Naples and Sicily. The diet of the empire resolved to support 
the emperor, and Hanover was required to supply its contingent 
of the imperial armies. Nevertheless, Walpole refused to allow 
Great Britain to be embroiled. The continental armies ex- 
hausted the blood and the treasure of the continental powers, 
while Great Britain was husbanding her resources in both kinds. 
Both George and his queen would have plunged the country 
into war in support of the empire and against the Bourbon 
combination ; but the queen yielded to the minister, and the 
king was taught to believe that the minister's policy was his 
own suggestion. Walpole would only play the part of inter- 
End of the mediary . The war of the Polish Succession was 
war, 1738. brought to an end by the Treaty of Vienna in 1738. 
The outcome was that the Bourbon Don Carlos was acknowledged 
as Charles II. of Naples and Sicily, and the duchy of Parma 
was handed over to Austria. By an ingenious juggle the duke 
of Lorraine gave up Lorraine and took Tuscany instead. Stanis- 
laus gave up the claim to Poland, and took instead the duchy 
of Lorraine. On his death Lorraine was to go to France, thus 

The Supremacy of Walpole 1 5 5 

rounding off her possessions in that quarter. The emperor got 
his candidate on to the Polish throne ; and if he lost Naples, 
he got the guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction, which had 
hitherto been refused by France ; he got Parma ; and he secured 
Tuscany for his son-in-law, which in effect gave Austria a con- 
solidated territory in the north of Italy. 

It was only to a limited extent then that the Bourbon alliance 
had achieved its object. Lorraine was a substantial gain for 
France ; Naples and Sicily, in place of Parma and Tuscany, 
were a substantial gain for Spain ; but Austria was very far 
from being crippled. Moreover, if she was resentful of Great 
Britain's abstention from supporting her actively in the war, 
the resentment did not amount to a complete alienation, since 
it was to the pressure from Great Britain that she owed the 
recovery of Parma and Tuscany. And further, the financial 
strain of the war had told upon both France and Spain, while Great 
Britain had been expanding her commerce and piling up wealth, 
and was certainly in no worse position for facing a struggle 
than she had been before the war of the Polish Succession opened. 

Now when the Family Compact was signed in 1733, hostility 
to Great Britain held a very prominent place in it. Not only 
was it a standing grievance with Spain that the Aim of the 
maritime power was in possession of Minorca family 
and Gibraltar, and that Elizabeth's Italian policy com P act - 
was thwarted and hampered by the attitude of Great Britain to 
Austria ; there were also perpetual causes of friction over the 
abuse on the one side of the commercial privileges which Great 
Britain had acquired from Spain, and the questionable legality 
on the other of the high-handed methods by which the Spanish 
authorities sought to counteract the proceedings of British sea- 
men. But it would certainly appear that Fleury regarded 
hostility to Great Britain as quite secondary; the Bourbon 
ascendency on the Continent occupied the first place in his mind. 
It is obvious that if there was to be a direct struggle between 
the Bourbon powers and Great Britain that struggle would have 
to take place on the sea ; yet no attempt whatever was made 
to prepare for a maritime contest. France had deliberately 

156 The Hanoverian Succession 

neglected her navy when she had been working as the close ally 
of Great Britain ; nothing was done to make up for that neglect. 
Alberoni had sought to resuscitate the Spanish navy ; but his 
efforts had been brought to nought and had not been renewed. 
Walpole has been blamed for his peace policy on the ground 
Walpole and that he ought to have supported Austria vigorously 
the compact. j n order to prevent the development of the Bourbon 
power ; but his peace policy in itself was entirely justified. 
When war did come, Great Britain, owing to that policy, was 
infinitely better able to bear the strain of a long war out of her 
own resources than any continental power ; she was able to 
subsidise her own allies, so that they also could endure the strain 
of a war which but for her wealth would have exhausted their 
resources and brought them to their knees. So far, the peace 
policy was sound ; but it was incomplete. It required to be 
supplemented by positive preparations for war, the organisation 
of army and navy so as to be in immediate readiness for war. 
It was here that Walpole failed. Both he and Fleury were 
calculating on the other's predilection for peace. Each knew 
that a contest was coming, but each hoped to accomplish his 
ends by diplomacy ; and neither made the preparations which, 
in the event of diplomacy failing, would bring an armed struggle 
to a decisive issue. Diplomacy did, in fact, fail, and the struggle 
was not brought to a decisive issue till twenty years had passed. 
The end of the war of the Polish Succession had in effect been 
a foregone conclusion some time before its formal termination 
Spain and by the Treaty of Vienna in 1738. As the pressure 
England. anc i interest of the war grew less, Spain became 
increasingly insistent upon her grievances against Great Britain. 
Under cover of the commercial treaties, a vast amount of illicit 
traffic was carried on with the Spanish colonies by British ship- 
ping. The Spaniards claimed the right of searching British 
ships on the high seas. The British denied that right, and 
claimed also that the Spanish officials treated peaceful and harm- 
leis merchantmen with an intolerable violence. In England the 
Opposition fixed upon the friction with Spain as providing a 
suitable opportunity for embarrassing the minister. Popular 

The Supremacy of Walpole 157 

indignation was already running high over the stories of out- 
rages to British seamen. The Opposition called for a committee 
to investigate the complaints. Some years before a certain 
Captain Robert Jenkins had told how the Spanish Jenkins's ear. 
preventive officers had boarded his ship and cut off his ear. He 
was now brought before the committee to repeat his tale, which 
was probably true. Asked what he had done when his ear was 
cut off, he replied with dramatic effect that ' he had commended 
his soul to God and his cause to his country/ The story of 
Jenkins's ear was but one among many, but it took hold of the 
popular imagination ; and the war which broke out eighteen 
months afterwards is commonly known as ' the war of Jenkins's 
Ear. ' Fiery resolutions were passed in condemnation especially 
of the right of search. Walpole very properly sought for a 
peaceful solution by an adjustment of claims and counter-claims. 
There was at the same time a current dispute as to the boundaries 
of the recently established British colony of Georgia and the 
Spanish colony of Florida. In January 1739 the governments 
agreed upon the convention of Pardo. The Spaniards were to 
pay 95,000, and the question of right of search and of the 
Georgian boundary were to be referred to a commission. 

Then the Spaniards put in a demand for 68,000, which they 
declared to be due to them from the South Sea Company under 
the Assiento. The company repudiated the claim. 1739 
The Opposition fell upon the convention ; Pitt Failure of 
denounced it with vehemence ; Walpole's majority ne otia ons - 
in the Commons fell to twenty-eight. Walpole tendered his 
resignation, but George refused to accept it, and the minister 
remained at his post. Most of the Opposition adopted the futile 
policy of seceding from the House to mark their indignation. 
Popular opinion was with them. Spain, on the other hand, 
reverted to a more uncompromising attitude and explicitly 
insisted upon the right of search. War with Spain Declaration 
had now become inevitable, and in October was of war, 
formally declared ; but still Walpole did not resign. October - 
His hand had been forced. He hated the war ; he believed 
that it would result in disaster ; he believed that France would 

158 The Hanoverian Succession 

join with Spain, and that Great Britain was not strong enough 
to fight them single-handed. But the king was vehemently 
opposed to his retirement ; he, who had been so successful a 
peace-minister, suffered from the not unusual conviction that 
his own hand was the only one which could successfully steer 
the ship of State. A master of navigation among shoals and 
quicksands, he was not the helmsman for a storm ; nevertheless, 
he remained at the helm. 



WHEN war was declared between Great Britain and Spain in 
October 1739, what had occurred ostensibly was merely that two 
powers had lost their tempers, and had begun to Nature of 
fight each other over trading questions which con- tne contest, 
cerned no one but themselves, and, with a little common sense, 
could have been settled without any fighting at all. Neverthe- 
less, it was but the harbinger of a world- wide conflagration. 
During sixteen out of the next twenty-four years the nations were 
doing their best to tear each other to pieces. In the course 
of the struggle the motives and the combinations of the various 
powers changed very considerably. But two features persist 
throughout. Prussia was fighting to establish her position per- 
manently as one of the first-class European powers ; Great 
Britain was fighting, at first unconsciously but afterwards con- 
sciously, to secure, not her position in Europe, but her oceanic 
and trans-oceanic empire. These two struggles are inextricably 
mixed up with each other and with a renewed attempt to estab- 
lish a Bourbon supremacy in Europe. It will be well, therefore, 
to enter upon the story of the struggle with as clear a concep- 
tion as possible of the real situation and of the issues which were 
at stake. 

Primarily, then, we have an Anglo-Spanish duel over the 
Spanish right of search, which is on the face of it the last phase 
of the ancient quarrel between Elizabeth's mariners England 
and Philip of Spain. It is the old story of the and Spain, 
determination of English traders to trade at their own will with 
the Spanish possessions in America whether the Spaniards liked 
it or not, and of the determination of the Spaniards to shut 
the British out of that trade as much as they possibly could. 


160 The Indecisive Struggle 

But beyond that conflict lay its assured development into a 
struggle with France, the other Bourbon power, for transmarine 
dominion. No one, perhaps, grasped the fact at the time. It 
is so easy to recognise it to-day, that some modern historians 
have credited the British people of Walpole's day with an in- 
stinctive perception that the time had arrived for the British 
and the Bourbons to settle by the arbitration of the sword which 
of the two was to be supreme in America and in India. It is 
exceedingly improbable that either the Opposition politicians 
who forced on the war or the public who urged on the politicians 
were aware of so much as the existence of an Indian question. 
It is most improbable that many, if any, of them realised that 
there was a North American question of real significance. They 
went to war with Spain over the right of search, and took their 
chance of having France on their hands as well, not because 
she was a colonial power, but because she was the head partner 
The issues in the Bourbon firm. Colonists in America might 
not realised. k now that the delimitation of Georgia and Florida 
was a very minor matter in comparison with French ambitions. 
Servants of the East India Company might anticipate that 
sooner or later there would be conflicts between French and 
British as rivals in seeking favour and concessions from the 
native princes. But the politicians in London, Paris, and Madrid 
had their eyes fixed upon the West Indian and South Sea trade 
and the European balance of power. The struggle with France 
in America was inevitable, because the French in America were 
planning to extend their southward course from the great lakes, 
in the rear of the British colonies, to the mouth of the Mississippi, 
which would have entirely cut off the British from any further 
expansion. That a struggle in India was inevitable is much less 
obvious. In the nature of things there was nothing to ensure 
that either the British or French trading company in the Pen- 
insula would find itself under the direction of a governor 
whose ambitions soared to the acquisition of political power 
instead of confining themselves to the immediate pursuit of 
dividends. But for the personality of Fra^ois Dupleix the 
struggle there might have been indefinitely postponed. Neither 

The Coming Conflict 161 

the politicians nor the public at large in Britain, in France, 
or in Spain realised that a struggle was inevitable, or even that 
it would be the outcome of the Anglo-Spanish war. 

France was in no hurry to join with Spain in her war with 
Great Britain. Fleury had contemplated no such sudden 
assault ; the Spanish partner had broken away, France and 
just as the British people had broken away from England. 
Walpole's control. On the face of things it was possible that 
Spain and Great Britain were to be left to fight out their quarrel, 
France intervening for the protection of her Bourbon ally only 
in the way of diplomatic pressure. The prolongation of the 
duel would have forced her to arms ; but even so in a straight- 
forward fight conducted by sea there was little probability that 
the British would get much the worst of it. 

But there was to be no such straightforward duel. France 
and Spain were both too keenly interested in purely European 
questions to concentrate exclusively on a maritime Tne 
war ; and among continental questions, that of the Pragmatic 
Austrian succession was imminent. It was true that Sanction - 
all the great powers and half the electoral princes had guaranteed 
the Pragmatic Sanction. But excuses, however meagre their 
plausibility, are always forthcoming for invalidating such diplo- 
matic pledges when national interests are affected. The dis- 
memberment of Austria was so very much in the interest of the 
Bourbon powers that they would have very strong inducements 
to ignore their pledges, at least if the other guarantors did not 
stand stoutly and uncompromisingly by the Pragmatic Sanction. 
Within eighteen months of the outbreak of the Anglo-Spanish 
war it had become a mere appendage to the war of the Austrian 
Succession. The ball was set rolling by Prussia. 

A hundred years earlier, in the days of the Thirty Years' War, 
Brandenburg had been merely one, and not the first, among the 
major German states. In the Thirty Years' War Prussia's 
it had played no very distinguished part ; but the growth. 
' Great Elector,' Frederick William, succeeded his father as 
elector before the end of that war ; and his diplomacy increased 
the territorial possessions of Brandenburg at the Treaty of 

Jnnes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. L 

1 62 The Indecisive Struggle 

Westphalia. But the possessions of Brandenburg were scattered; 
the margravate itself was completely separated from the duchy 
of East Prussia which actually lay outside the borders of the 
empire. It was the business of the Great Elector's life to gain 
access to the Baltic, and to make his territories continuous. 
He was not altogether successful, though he achieved much in 
the desired direction. Brandenburg, when he died, was a much 
more powerful and a much better organised state than it had 
been in the first half of the seventeenth century. 

The Great Elector had been succeeded by his son Frederick, 
who followed his father's policy, though with less vigour. He, 
however, succeeded in rising from the rank of an 
and 61 elector to that of a king, a title granted to him by 

Frederick the Emperor Leopold in order to secure his adherence 
at the moment when the war of the Spanish Succes- 
sion was imminent. He took his title from his Prussian duchy 
instead of from Brandenburg, in order to avoid the elevation 
of one of the states of the empire into a kingdom. Frederick i., 
king of Prussia, was succeeded by his son Frederick William i. 
In Frederick William's policy there were two root ideas ; one, 
loyalty to the emperor, the other the military organisation of 
Prussia. His wife was the sister of George IL, and we have seen 
that George attempted unsuccessfully, through the scheme of 
a double royal marriage, to attach Prussia as a German state 
more closely to Hanover, and to detach it from a too subservient 
loyalty to Austria. In spite of extremely inconsiderate treat- 
ment on the part of Charles vi., Frederick William was obstin- 
ately loyal to the emperor to the end of his days. He had done 
little towards the extension of his dominion ; the great gap still 
remained between Prussia and Brandenburg. But he had 
organised and drilled, drilled and organised, his army, without 
using it to fight, until he had worked it up into a military machine 
of extraordinary perfection. 

Frederick William had guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction, 
and he would have held to his pledge. But he died on the last day 
of May in 1740, and was succeeded on the Prussian throne by 
Frederick n., a prince with much larger ambitions, of much 

The Coming Conflict 16 

higher and more varied ability, and of infinitely less scrupu- 
losity. Within five months, in October, Charles vi. died, leaving 
the Hapsburg succession, in accordance with the j)^^ of 
Pragmatic Sanction, to his daughter, Maria Theresa, Charles VI., 
the wife of Francis, formerly of Lorraine, and now 174 ' 
duke of Tuscany. A week later died the Tsarina Anne of Russia, 
leaving the throne to a minor ; an event which it was anticipated 
would prevent Russia from active intervention as a guarantor 
of the Pragmatic Sanction. That instrument applied only to the 
Hapsburg inheritance itself, not to the imperial crown. Spain 
and Sardinia might use the opportunity to assert once more 
claims upon Austrian possessions in Northern Italy ; but the 
one defensible claim, apart from that of Maria Theresa, to the 
Hapsburg inheritance, was that of the elector of Bavaria, 
Charles Albert, who was also a candidate for the imperial dignity 
in opposition to Francis of Lorraine. A direct attack upon 
Austria was in the circumstances feasible only if some of the 
great powers repudiated their guarantee of the Pragmatic 
Sanction ; indirectly, it might be made by supporting the 
candidature of Charles Albert for the empire. This was the 
European situation in the last days of October 1740. 

From Europe, then, we turn to the other two fields which were 
about to become the area of conflict between France and Great 
Britain : North America and India. And first North America. 

In the previous volume we followed the story of the planting 
of English colonies along the whole eastern seaboard from the 
river Kennebec on the north to the river Savanna The French 
on the south, involving the absorption of the Dutch in America. 
colony, which after the Treaty of Breda became the English 
colony of New York. This range of colonies had Been com- 
pleted in 1732 by the plantation of Georgia between South 
Carolina and the Spanish colony of Florida ; the whole group 
forming the ' thirteen colonies.' To these the Treaty of Utrecht 
had added the districts hitherto disputed with the French, 
Acadia or Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the Hudson Bay 
Territory. On the St. Lawrence, up to Lake Ontario, the French 
had established their colony of New France or Canada. The 

164 The Indecisive Struggle 

Treaty of Utrecht had not laid down boundaries with definite- 
ness, and a large portion of Acadia was still in dispute. The 
British colonies had not pushed inland beyond the range of the 
Alleghany mountains. Far to the westward French explorers 
had struck the river Mississippi, and traced it down to its mouth 
in the Gulf of Mexico, where they had established the colony of 
Louisiana. Here they had done little enough in the way of 
occupation. The colony centred round New Orleans in the 
south. It was, however, the object of the French to connect 
Louisiana with Canada by a chain of forts, to be established 
along the basin of the Ohio, which, with the Mississippi, would 
thus become a permanent limit to the westward expansion of 
the British colonies. The basin of the Ohio was as yet un- 
occupied, though the French claimed it by right of discovery. 

At this time the Canadian outposts were at Fort Niagara 
between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and at Crown Point on 
Lake Champlain. The outpost of Louisiana was at Fort Chartres, 

some fifty miles below the confluence of the Mis- 
The French . 

and the sissippi and the Missouri, and a hundred miles above 

British the confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio. The 

Colonies. _ ... 

French population of the two colonies was very 

much smaller than the British population of the thirteen colonies ; 
but the French organisation was military, and the British 
organisation was not. The thirteen colonies had no common 
government, and each of them was much more intent upon its 
own immediate interests as a self-governing state than upon 
comparatively remote interests affecting the whole body a 
glance at the map will show that the prospect of a direct collision 
between the French and the southern colonies was not imminent. 
The general attitude of the colonies to each other bore some re- 
semblance to that of the ancient states of Hellas. They required 
the pressure of some common overwhelming danger to force 
them into any common activity for the common good. In the 
north the borderland between Canada and the New England 
colonies was occupied by Indian tribes with whom in general 
the French were on more friendly terms than the British, although 
the Iroquois, ' the five nations/ counted as allies of the British. 

The Coming Conflict 165 

Lastly we turn to India, where an analysis of the conditions 
requires a greater amount of retrospective detail. 

Theoretically the whole Peninsula was under the dominion 
of the Mughal emperor, the ' Great Mogul ' ; but we should 
be under an entire misapprehension if we regarded India . 
that empire as in any conceivable sense a homo- survey of 
geneous state. Never at any period of its history tfcepast the 
was India a homogeneous state. In race, in lan- 
guage, and in religion it was no less diverse than the continent 
of Europe, even as its area is very much that of Europe 
minus the Russian empire. Geographically it falls into two 
divisions, the Northern and the Southern, broadly distinguished 
as Hindustan and the Deccan ; the river Nerbudda serving 
approximately as a dividing line between the two. The invasions 
of the Aryans during a period vaguely extending from 3000 B.C. 
to 1000 B.C. established in the north-west, as it would seem, 
an almost exclusively Aryan population. The extension of the 
Aryan conquests down the Ganges planted in the Ganges basin 
a much more mixed population, where the Aryan element pre- 
vailed in the upper classes and the pre- Aryan or Dravidian in 
the lower, until we reach the Lower Ganges, where the pre- 
dominant element becomes Mongolian, and the genuine Aryan 
element is small. It was only to a very minor extent that the 
Aryan element penetrated into the Deccan at all. Hinduism 
But the Aryan religion, modified by the hereditary and caste - 
priestly caste of Brahmins into what is called Brahminism or 
Hinduism, became the dominant religion of the whole peninsula 
without expelling the primitive native cults which it absorbed, 
and by which it was in its turn modified. The total result was 
the development of the system of caste. Here we need not 
attempt to discuss the historical development of caste ; but 
according to Hindu theory it rests primarily upon the distinc- 
tion between the three divisions of the pure-blooded or ' twice- 
born ' the Brahmins, the priestly or learned caste, the Kshat- 
ryas or Rajputs, the royal and military caste, and the Vaisya 
or agricultural caste ; and the altogether inferior caste called 
sudras. The fundamental principle of caste is the prohibition 

1 66 The Indecisive Struggle 

of intermarriage. Within the great castes there arose infinite 
subdivisions ; there are now innumerable castes which claim 
to be Brahmin, and innumerable castes which claim to be 
Rajput ; different degrees of rigidity apply to the prohibitions 
of intermarriage ; but the fundamental fact remains that the 
Hindu is determined above all things to do nothing which shall 
degrade him from his caste, because caste is not merely a matter 
of social position in this life but is essentially bound up with the 
life to come. 

Caste, resting upon a religious sanction of the most uncom- 
promising type, was and is itself the basis of the Hindu social 
system ; but apart from this the popular religion of the Hindus 
is the most comprehensive system of polytheism that has ever 
existed. Every kind of deity or daemon has found entry into 
the Hindu pantheon, and the ordinary Hindu in the accepted 
sense of the term is a worshipper of idols even while the re- 
ligion of the higher grade devotees is the most remote from 
materialism and idolatry that could well be conceived. 

Then upon Hinduism entered Mohammedanism. First came 
the Arabs who never accomplished more than the establishment 
Moham- ^ border kingdoms in the Punjab, the north- 

medan western corner of India, which is watered by the 

conquests. Indus and ^ tr i butar j es About the year 1000 A.D. 

Mahmud of Ghazni began a series of terrific incursions, sweeping 
up vast treasures and destroying countless temples and idols, 
insomuch that the ' image-breaker ' became one of his titles. 
Mahmud himself did not organise a dominion, but after him 
other Mohammedan conquerors came down through the passes 
of Afghanistan, and presently established Mohammedan empires 
which usually centred in Delhi, and extended with various 
contractions and expansions from the mountains to the Lower 
Ganges. The Hindu population of India was not converted, 
save in a very small degree, to Mohammedanism. The empire 
builders were chiefs of Turk or Afghan blood, whose followers 
were for the most part Turks and Afghans, and who established 
a military supremacy over the much larger Hindu population. 
Thus Mohammedan dynasties established themselves, resting 

The Coming" Conflict 167 

upon Mohammedan armies, by degrees all over India, in the 
Deccan as well as Afghanistan. Hindu and Mohammedan did 
not combine, because to the Mohammedan the Hindu was an 
idol-worshipping infidel, and to the Hindu the Moslem was a 
sacrilegious outcaste. To the Hindu the Mohammedan was 
always an alien conqueror. 

While Henry vin. was reigning in England, the greatest and 
the most attractive of the conquerors, Babar, flung himself 
upon Hindustan from Afghanistan. On his father's The Mughais. 
side Babar was a Turk, descended from the famous Timur or 
Tamerlaine ; on the mother's side he was a Mongol, or Mughal, 
descended from that other equally famous conqueror Genghis 
Khan ; hence the name of the Mughal dynasty, anglicised as 
the Moguls. Babar's life was too short for the real establish- 
ment of his empire ; that was the work of his grandson Akbar, 
whose reign coincided almost exactly with that of Queen Eliza- 
beth in England. Akbar was the first great Mohammedan ruler 
who endeavoured to fuse his subjects into one people ; the 
first who made no distinction between Hindu and Moslem. In 
his half century of rule he established his dominion over all 
Hindustan, and over a small part of the Deccan, the greater 
part of which was under the sway of Mohammedan dynasties. 
During the first half of the seventeenth century Akbar's son 
and grandson continued to act upon Akbar's lines. 

But then came the fanatical Mussulman Aurangzib, who, on 
the one hand, strove throughout his reign to extend his dominion, 
so that before his death the greater part of the Aurangzib 
Deccan owned his sway ; and, on the other hand, and the 
revived in all its bitterness the feud between Hindu ra as " 
and Mussulman. In two ways Aurangzib prepared the dis- 
solution of the Mogul empire. By rousing Hindu hostility he 
had given the Hindu chief Sivaji the opportunity of posing as 
a champion of Hinduism, and of creating in that character the 
practically independent ascendency of the Mahratta race, which, 
issuing from its fastnesses in the Western Deccan, subjected a 
great portion of the Deccan and of Central India to the domination 
of a Mahratta confederacy. In the second place Aurangzib, 

1 68 The Indecisive Struggle 

again departing from the statesmanlike methods of his great- 
grandfather, broke up the dominion, which had become alto- 
gether too large and unwieldy, into satrapies or vice-royalties, 
provinces so large that in the absence of a very strong central 
government each governor was able to make himself to all in- 
tents and purposes an independent prince. The sovereignty of 
the successors of Aurangzib became more shadowy than the 
sovereignty of the Austrian emperor in the rest of Germany. 
Even in Aurangzib's own day the seeds of disintegration were 
so obviously present that a European observer had remarked 
that Turenne with 12,000 men could make himself master of 

Aurangzib died in 1707, and thirty years after his death the 
Mogul empire was to all intents and purposes not an empire 
The Mogul but a collection of great principalities, whose rulers 
empire in professed to recognise the sovereignty of the Mogul 
when it happened to suit them to appeal to law, 
but who otherwise went their own independent way. None 
of the ruling Mohammedan dynasties had existed for so much as 
fifty years. The Ganges basin, below Agra on the Jumna, was 
divided between the nawab wazir of Oudh and the nawab of 
Bengal and Behar. A great prince, the Nizam ul Mulk, at 
Haidarabad, was viceroy of the whole Deccan, of which the 
eastern portion, called the Carnatic, was ruled by a nawab who 
was his lieutenant-governor. At Puna was the peshwa, the 
head of the Mahratta confederacy, nominally the minister of 
Sivaji's descendant, actually the master ; as the mayors of the 
palace had been in the later days of the Merovingians. Four other 
great chiefs exercised a general control over the Mahratta con- 
federacy, the Gaekwar in Gujerat, Holkar at Indur, Sindhia at 
Gwalior, and the Bhonsla at Nagpur. The geographical position 
of these several seats of authority sufficiently indicates the wide 
extent of the Mahratta ascendency. The other princes men- 
tioned above were all Mohammedans ; the Mahrattas were 
Hindus, whose acknowledgment of the Mogul's sovereignty 
was even more perfunctory than that of the Moslems. In 
Rajputana a group of Rajput princes ruled each one over his 

The Coming Conflict 169 

own domain in virtual independence. As for the Mogul him- 
self at Delhi, the last shattering blow was dealt to his power by 
the devastating invasion of the Persian Nadir Shah, who, in 1739, 
sacked Delhi, massacred half its inhabitants, and carried off the 
world-famed peacock throne. 

On the fringe of the great peninsula were the factories or 
trading-stations of the commercial companies of four European 
powers. The Portuguese had been first on the scene; The 
at one time they had dominated the Indian seas, Europeans 
but their power was departed, and in effect they mlndia - 
held nothing but Goa on the west coast and a port on the Persian 
Gulf. Next had come Dutch and English, but the Dutch 
company had devoted its energies to the Spice islands; in 
India itself it had little but the station of Chinsurah on the 
Hugli and Negapatam in the south, though it held Trin- 
comali and the island of Ceylon. The English had three 
factories at Bombay on the west coast, at Fort St. George 
or Madras, and at Fort William or Calcutta on the Hugli. 
The French also had three positions at Mane on the south-west 
coast, at Pondichery on the south-east coast a hundred miles 
below Madras, and at Chandernagur on the Hugli close to 
Calcutta. There was also another British military station at 
Fort St. David, immediately to the south of Pondichery. French 
and English alike were merely trading companies, not provided 
with armies, but having a mere handful of soldiers to afford 
them a sort of police protection. They had no territories. Their 
base of supplies was in England or France, to be French 
reached only by a voyage round the Cape which and British, 
generally occupied some six months it might be a little less 
and it might be a great deal more. The French had the advan- 
tage of a naval station at the Mauritius, the Isles of France 
and Bourbon, between India and Africa ; the English had the 
advantage of a much more extensive marine and a much larger 
navy. The French were on a better footing with the natives. 
The companies were commercial rivals, but neither of them had 
hitherto bethought themselves of a dream so wild as that of 
acquiring territorial dominion. It was an understood thing 

170 The Indecisive Struggle 

that if the governments at home fell out, and France and Great 
Britain went to war with each other, the companies in India 
would treat each other as being outside the quarrel, and would 
continue the pursuit of dividends. British statesmen and French 
statesmen at home had no more thought of trying to set up a 
territorial dominion in India than the companies. 

But there was one dominant fact in the situation. If the peace 
should be broken, if an actual struggle should arise between 
sea-power. French and British in India, the victory was abso- 
lutely bound to go to the country which exerted its sea-power 
most effectively. Should Great Britain so choose, and should 
no unexpected disaster intervene, her navy would inevitably 
secure her a victory in such a contest. If the French in India 
challenged the contest it was incredible that the British navy 
would not sooner or later intervene. But the Frenchman who 
did, in fact, challenge the contest either omitted that fact from 
his calculations, or reckoned on the chance of the naval inter- 
vention coming too late ; which is very nearly what occurred. 
But we must leave Dupleix, his schemes, and their outcome, to 
a later section. 

II. THE WAR OPENS, 1739-1745 

Walpole was almost alone in his reluctance to engage upon 
the war with Spain. Most of his colleagues as well as the king, 
1739 the Opposition, and the country at large, plunged 

Walpole into the conflict with light hearts, satisfied that 

ar ' the struggle with Spain would be merely a war of 
plunder, a spoiling of the Egyptians. Walpole was convinced 
in his own mind that war with Spain would mean war with 
France as well ; but that possibility had been before him for 
at least six years. During those six years it ought to have been 
a serious part of the business of his government to place in a 
state of thorough organisation the great navy, which ought to 
have been ready not only to hold its own single-handed against 
the fleets of France and Spain, but to sweep the seas irresistibly. 
Under a minister who understood that side of his business, the 

The War Opens 171 

British fleet ought to have been able to bring Spain to her knees 
before France could intervene, seeing that the latter country 
was by no means in readiness to undertake a maritime war. 
As a matter of fact, there was never from beginning to end 
any doubt of British naval superiority ; but almost from be- 
ginning to end mismanagement and lack of organisation pre- 
vented that superiority from being given anything like full effect. 

At the first moment, however, the cheerful anticipations of 
the war party seemed likely to be fulfilled. By midsummer 
1739 it was already certain that a declaration of 1740 
war was imminent. Reinforcements were sent to Opening 
Admiral Haddock's squadron in the Mediterranean, succ * 
a Channel fleet was made ready, and Admiral Vernon, one of 
the Whig Opposition, was dispatched with six ships of the line 
to the West Indies. War was actually declared in London on 
23rd October ; a week later, Haddock had captured a couple of 
Spanish treasure ships, and on 2ist November Vernon captured 
the West Indian port of Porto Bello on the Isthmus of Darien, 
the news of which success was received in March with wild 
acclamations of joy ; but Vernon did nothing more. 

In the late summer, the ministers learnt that although there 
had been no declaration of war between France and Great 
Britain, a French fleet had been dispatched to the 1741 
West Indies. A great effort was accordingly made, Cartagena 
and a fleet was prepared which included thirty- and Santia - 
three sail of the line and some eighty smaller vessels, carrying 
10,000 soldiers under the command of General Wentworth. 
The force joined Vernon at Jamaica in January 1741. Mean- 
while, Commodore Anson had started with a small squadron 
of six ships, on what was to be his voyage round the world, 
but was at first simply a disappearance into the unknown. 
The West India force employed itself upon an attempt to capture 
Cartagena. Wentworth and Vernon mismanaged matters com- 
pletely, each of them laying the blame on the other ; an assault 
failed ; when a siege was attempted Wentworth's men died of 
fever like flies. In a few weeks the siege was raised. In July, 
Wentworth, with the remnant of his troops, made an equally 

The Indecisive Struggle 

ineffective attempt upon Santiago in Cuba. The great effort 
had produced nothing but a shocking loss of life. Vernon had 
not even attempted to bring the enemy's slightly inferior fleet 
to an engagement, and there was nothing whatever to show for 
it all except the quite unimportant capture of Porto Bello. The 
French fleet, it should be remarked, had been acting under 
explicit engagements to Spain ; but the French government 
claimed that they were only ' auxiliaries/ and that the sending 
of a contingent to the Spanish fleet did not provide a casus belli. 
Nominally, Great Britain and France still remained at peace 
with each other. The same curious doctrine was applied in the 
continental war which began at the end of 1740, and in which 
Dutch, French, and British all took part, the French on one 
side and the Dutch and British on the other ; but only as 
auxiliaries, and without being technically at war with each other. 

The deaths of the Emperor Charles vi. and the Tsarina Anne 
in October 1740 at the moment when the great British expedi- 
1740. tion was sailing to join Vernon gave the young 

Frederick king of Prussia his opportunity. Frederick William, 
sia " at the very end of his life, had been tricked by the 
emperor over his claim to the duchy of Berg. His son Frederick 
had no compunction in taking advantage of the critical position 
of Charles's young heiress. The possession of the province of 
Silesia, bordering on Brandenburg, was of immense strategic 
importance to Prussia, necessary to her, in fact, if she was to 
attain to that supreme position among German states at which 
she had been aiming ever since the days of the Great Elector. 
A girl of twenty-three was on the Austrian throne, but her title 
was challenged by the elector of Bavaria. If the powers who 
had guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction stood by her, the elector 
would have no chance. But as matters stood, she would certainly 
not be supported by Spain, probably not by Russia, and France 
was more than likely to discover some pretext for supporting 
Charles Albert, at least in his candidature for the imperial crown, 
if not in his claim to the Hapsburg inheritance. 

Frederick resolved to strike first and argue afterwards. In 
December he suddenly marched his troops into Silesia and offered 

The War Opens 173 

Maria Theresa terms. If she would cede Silesia to him, he 
would support her husband's candidature for the empire, and 
would maintain her claims to the Hapsburg inherit- . 

ance against the elector of Bavaria. Maria Theresa occupies 

had no intention of purchasing his support at such Silesia, 

, December, 

a price. She refused to treat as long as there was 

a Prussian soldier in Silesia. In the spring an Austrian army 
marched into the province, but was completely defeated at the 
battle of Mollwitz, which at once established the reputation of 
the Prussian soldiery and of Frederick himself as a general. 

As yet the only war actually in progress on the Continent was 
that between Austria and Prussia, in Silesia. The high-spirited 
queen had no thought of giving way to the entirely inexcusable 
aggression of Prussia. But Mollwitz changed the situation. 
No one had supposed for a moment that Frederick would be 
able to make good his demands by force of arms ; Prussia in 
the past had not distinguished herself from the military point 
of view, and the value of Frederick William's 1741 
organisation had not been revealed to the world Marshal 
any more than the military genius of Frederick BeUeisle - 
William's son. But now it was recognised on all sides that 
Prussia was going to be a heavy weight in the scales. The anti- 
Austrian party, wherever an anti-Austrian party existed, was 
greatly encouraged. Fleury in France had been inclined to the 
plan of supporting Charles Albert in his candidature for the 
empire while maintaining the Pragmatic Sanction ; but now 
that policy gave way to the schemes of BeUeisle, whose idea 
was to dismember Austria and manipulate German territory so 
that it should be distributed among several princes in mutual 
rivalry, none of whom would be able to make head against France. 
France herself was looking to the Netherlands as her reward. 
Spain and Sardinia were both ready enough to snatch more 
Italian territory from Austria. While Vernon and Wentworth 
were wasting ships and lives in the West Indies and on the 
Spanish Main, BeUeisle was negotiating with Frederick. 

In June an agreement had been reached. Frederick should 
be guaranteed his conquest in Silesia^ and his vote was to be 

174 The Indecisive Struggle 

given to Charles Albert. Sardinia and Spain would make their 
attack in Italy, and France, acting as an auxiliary, would supply 
France takes men anc ^ mone y to the elector of Bavaria in support 
the field, of both his claims, though no one intended him to 
obtain the Hapsburg inheritance entire. In August 
a French force had joined the elector ; in September another 
French force was across the Lower Rhine to prevent any action 
on the part of Hanover and Holland. Incidentally, French 
diplomacy involved Sweden and Russia in a separate contest, 
which kept the latter from intervening in the affairs of Western 
Europe ; as otherwise she was likely to do, since the Austrian 
party was for the moment in the ascendent. The capture of 
Linz on the Danube by the Franco-Bavarian army opened the 
way to Vienna, and induced Augustus of Saxony and Poland 
to join the league. Only in one quarter was there encourage- 
ment for Maria Theresa. She boldly appealed to her Hungarian 
subjects, whose chivalrous sympathies were aroused for the 
young queen, and who adopted her cause with enthusiasm, in 
spite of their traditional hostility to the house of Hapsburg. 

But at this stage there came temporary relief. Frederick 
was playing for his own hand, as indeed were all the parties in 
Kiein-schnei- that quarrel. He completely distrusted France, 
lendorf. an d h e ma de a secret treaty with Austria, the Treaty 

of Klein-Schnellendorf. In order to release the Austrian army, 
Silesia was to be ceded to him, though there was still to be a 
show of the conquest being effected by force of arms. Belleisle, 
who was also playing a double game, diverted the Franco- 
Bavarian attack from Vienna to Prague. Maria Theresa had 
escaped the most serious danger, although immediately after- 
wards Frederick repudiated the secret treaty, and made a fresh 
private treaty with Bavaria and Saxony for the further dis- 
memberment of Austria. 

What had England and Hanover been doing during this year, 
apart from those naval operations against Spain which have 
already been described ? A fierce attack upon Walpole's con- 
duct of affairs was made by the Opposition at the beginning of 
1741. In both Houses the attack was completely defeated. In 

The War Opens 175 

the country there was a strong feeling of sympathy for Maria 
Theresa ; but Walpole was intensely anxious to avoid an open 
breach with France, and George, as elector of Attitude of 
Hanover, was jealous of Hapsburg ascendency in George II. 
Germany. Both the king and the minister were anxious to per- 
suade the queen to secure her own position by conceding Fred- 
erick's demands. In the summer George went to Hanover. 
Alarmed by the presence of the French army in Westphalia, 
he signed in September a treaty of neutrality for Hanover which 
roused much indignation in England. The Treaty of Klein- 
Schnellendorf, and Maria Theresa's assent to the cession of 
Silesia, were largely due to the persuasions of the British envoy 
and to the scotching of her hopes of Hanoverian support by 
George's treaty of neutrality. 

But in England these things told against the government 
instead of for it. When parliament met, after a general election, 
it was found that the ministerialists had only a 


very slight majority. Matters had been made worse Resignation 
by the news of failure in the West Indies, and by of Walpole, 
the loss of many merchant vessels. The Mediter- 
ranean fleet appeared not to be strong enough to face the French 
and Spaniards in that sea. When the ministers met the House, 
the first business was to deal with election petitions which were 
habitually treated simply as questions of party. Four min- 
isterialists were immediately unseated. In January a direct 
attack upon Walpole was defeated by only three votes. A week 
later ministers were beaten by one vote on another election 
petition question. Walpole accepted a peerage the earldom 
of Orford and resigned ; though he still retained the ear of 
the king. 

The formation of the new ministry was entrusted to Pulteney 
by Walpole 's advice. The reconstruction was very limited. 
Carteret became ' secretary for the northern depart- carteret's 
ment/ which meant virtually that he was foreign ministry, 
secretary. Two prominent members of the Whig Opposition, 
Wilmington and Sandys, joined the cabinet ; the ' Boys ' re- 
mained outside ; so for the present did Chesterfield. It was 

176 The Indecisive Struggle 

not a case of the transfer of power from one party to another ; 
the new earl of Orford did not go into Opposition ; his personal 
supporters still generally supported the new ministry ; but a 
considerable contingent of those who had hitherto been in Opposi- 
tion now gave their votes for ministers. The point of primary 
importance was that Carteret, whose foreign policy appealed 
strongly to the king, became for the time dictator in foreign 

While Walpole was making his last stand in the British parlia- 
ment, affairs had been going not unfavourably for Maria Theresa. 
The war The Austrian forces recaptured Linz, and though 

on the Charles Albert was duly elected as the Emperor 

Charles VIL, he found himself driven out of Bavaria. 
Frederick conducted a brief and futile campaign in Moravia ; 
and while Spanish troops were landed in Italy the effect was 
to force over to the other side the king of Sardinia, whose ambi- 
tions in Northern Italy clashed with those of Spain. In 1742 
the junction of the Sardinian and Austrian forces in Lombardy 
swept the Spaniards back. 

The vigour of Carteret's administration was promptly felt in 
England ; the Mediterranean fleet was reinforced, and block- 
Martin aded Toulon ; and in August, Commodore Martin 
at Naples. appeared in the bay of Naples with three ships. 
That force proved sufficient to prevail upon Don Carlos, king 
of Naples, to pledge himself to neutrality. The commodore 
gave him half an hour by the watch, or according to another 
account, two hours, to sign, on pain of a bombardment ; and he 
signed though he nourished in his heart a lasting resentment 
against the power which had compelled him to do so. 

On the demand of Maria Theresa, British and Hanoverian 
troops were assembled in Flanders to protect the Spanish Nether- 
Carteret's lands against a possible attack by France ; though 
diplomatic it became necessary for Great Britain to pay the 
Hanoverian troops in order to prevent George from 
disbanding them much to the wrath of the Opposition. Car- 
teret's diplomacy, however, was strikingly successful. In June 
he negotiated the Treaty of Breslau between Frederick and Maria 

The War Opens 177 

Theresa, by which the queen definitely ceded the greater part 
of Silesia, and Frederick undertook forthwith to withdraw all his 
troops from Bohemia ; and in October he succeeded, after Lord 
Stair had failed, in inducing the Dutch to assist in subsidising the 
queen, and to furnish a contingent of 20,000 men to the army 
of defence in Flanders. In November the Treaty of Westminster 
arranged that George and Frederick should mutually guarantee 
each other's territories. Immediately after the Treaty of Breslau, 
Saxony followed suit and signed a treaty with Austria. Before 
the end of the year the French had been compelled to evacuate 
Prague, which they had captured in the previous November ; 
and Austria was once more in complete possession of Bohemia. 

The command of the assorted troops of auxiliaries in Flanders 
had been entrusted to Lord Stair, who, if he had had his own 
way, would have used them for a direct invasion 1743 
of France. George, however, held fast by the theory The army in 
that the countries were not at war the British and Flanders - 
Hanoverians were only auxiliaries who could only act in defence 
of their ally. Stair was not allowed to move. In the spring 
of 1743 French forces were collecting on the Meuse and the 
Moselle, with Bavaria as their objective. Whatever Stair might 
plan, he was as completely tied and bound by his instructions 
from England as Marlborough in the past had been by Dutch 
control. George himself intended to take the command, and 
in the meantime Stair was required to take up his position at 
Aschaffenburg on the Maine, while the French general Noailles 
was concentrating at Speier on the Upper Rhine. The responsi- 
bility for the situation when George actually arrived to take over 
the command from Stair in the middle of June was not Stair's 
but the king's. But for his orders, repeated and positive, Stair 
would not have been at Aschaffenburg at all. While he was 
there the French were able to cut off his supplies ; and after 
a brief delay George found he had no choice but to fall back to 
Hanau, passing through Dettingen. 

Noailles made his dispositions in such a manner that the allies 
ought to have been caught in a trap at Dettingen and annihilated 
or forced to surrender. But his scheme was foiled by a false 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. M 

178 The Indecisive Struggle 

move of Grammont, who had been placed in an impregnable 
position blocking the march of the allies. Instead of remaining 
Dettingen. there, he advanced to the attack. By the desperate 
valour of the British regiments, what ought to have been a 
crushing defeat was turned into a definite victory. Both the 
king and his second son William, duke of Cumberland, distin- 
guished themselves by the valour they displayed. Grammont's 
forces were completely routed ; and the ' Pragmatic army/ 
as it was called, successfully made its way to Hanau. Luck 
and pluck, with no generalship at all, had saved it from 
annihilation, and had paralysed the French army for further 
operations. Dettingen is notable as being the last fight in which 
a king of England took a personal part. Stair, whose own plans 
had been overruled beforehand, who had not commanded on the 
withdrawal to Hanau, who had again been overruled when he 
urged the pursuit of the routed French, and whose proposals 
now for an active campaign were once more overruled, resigned 
in disgust and went home. There was no braver soldier in the 
army than King George, but as a strategist he was wholly devoid 
of audacity. Stair's place was taken by the old and now in- 
competent General Wade. 

It was now the object of Carteret and George to reconcile 
Maria Theresa with the emperor, who, so far from having any 
The Treaty reasonable prospect of acquiring Hapsburg ter- 
of worms. ritories, had now very little hold even upon his 
own Bavarian dominion. The plan of the ' project of Hanau ' 
was the withdrawal of Charles's claims to the Hapsburg inherit- 
ance, his restoration in the electorate of Bavaria which was to 
be erected into a kingdom, his recognition as emperor, and the 
provision by Great Britain of subsidies which should enable him 
to maintain that dignity ; in return for which he was to sever 
himself from France. But in England these proposals smacked 
of Hanoverianism. Carteret's position was weakened by the 
death of his ally, Lord Wilmington, the nominal head of the 
government, whose place in the cabinet was taken by Henry 
Pelham, the brother of Newcastle and the nominee of Newcastle 
and Walpole. If the Hanau plan had been carried through, 

The War Opens 179 

George would, in effect, have taken the leading place among the 
princes of Germany But Carteret found the opposition in the 
cabinet too strong. The Treaty of Worms in September was 
instead directed to the close alliance of Sardinia and Austria, 
partly at the expense of Austria, and the expulsion of the 
Bourbons from Italy. Maria Theresa's assent was only obtained 
with considerable difficulty. But the treaty had the further 
effect of causing the Bourbons to renew the Family Compact 
in a more aggressive form. Moreover, Frederick of Prussia took 
alarm when he saw that the Treaty of Worms did not include 
any guarantee of the maintenance of the Treaty of 1744 p rance 
Breslau. For the moment he did not show his declares 
hand. But in the spring of 1744, the old fiction, war< 
under which half the troops engaged in the war hitherto had 
posed as auxiliaries, was finally abandoned, and war was declared 
by France and Spain against the allies. Before midsummer a 
new treaty of alliance was made between France, Prussia, and 
the emperor. In the early autumn Frederick was again attack- 
ing Bohemia. 

Before the actual declaration of war, a naval action had been 
fought in the Mediterranean which showed the disastrous extent 
to which the British navy had fallen a prey to in- Matthews 
discipline. Although the British fleet was slightly in the Medi- 
superior to the combined French and Spanish fleets terranean - 
which it engaged, the practical effect was that the British re- 
treated. The admiral, Matthews, was cashiered, and no less than 
eleven of the captains were court-mart i ailed. The story is 
significant of the reasons which prevented the British naval 
ascendency from having that decisive effect which it ought to 
have ensured. 

Also before the declaration of war, the fact that there was to 
be a direct struggle between France and Great Britain was demon- 
strated by the reappearance of a scheme for a French An abor tiy e 
invasion with a Stuart restoration as its object. Jacobite 
Charles Edward, the eldest son of the soi-disant sion - 
James in., had just completed his twenty-third year. In him 
the Jacobites were concentrating the hopes which had been so 

180 The Indecisive Struggle 

persistently chilled by the uninspiring character of his depressed 
and depressing parent. Jacobite agents had collected the most 
promising if delusive reports as to the attitude of the people of 
Great Britain towards the idea of a restoration. The stock 
clamours of the Opposition against Hanoverianism, the popular 
grumblings against the government, gave rise to the mistaken 
idea that the clamourers and the grumblers would accept a 
Stuart restoration at least with equanimity if not with enthusiasm. 
These legends took effect at the French court, and an expedition 
was planned which was to be headed by the ablest general in 
the French armies, Maurice of Saxony (an illegitimate son of 
the old Augustus the Strong of Saxony and Poland), commonly 
known as Marshal Saxe. While Saxe was waiting with the trans- 
ports a fleet sailed from Brest, but it would assuredly have fallen 
a prey to Admiral Norris with the Channel fleet if it had not 
been dispersed by a storm, which also sunk several of the trans- 
ports at their anchors. This was the last move which finally 
destroyed every shred of pretence that the French and British 
governments were not at war. 

The operations of the year were singularly futile. The French 
under Marshal Saxe strengthened their position on the border 
1744-5. f the Netherlands ; elsewhere such advantages as 

indecisive were gained by either side in one field were corn- 
campaign g. p ensa ted by i osses j n another. Frederick's campaign 
in Bohemia was unproductive, and he discovered that the French 
had no intention of giving him active assistance. In January 
1745, the Emperor Charles Albert died, whereby both France 
and Prussia were deprived of the pretence that they were fight- 
ing on his behalf. Maria Theresa seized the opportunity to 
force a reconciliation upon the young elector of Bavaria, a lad 
of eighteen who was in no position to attempt the enforcement 
of his dead father's claims. He recognised the Pragmatic 
Sanction, and promised his support to Francis of Lorraine in 
his candidature for the imperial crown. 

Meanwhile, at the end of 1744, Carteret's position had become 
untenable. The Pelham section practically forced him to 
resignation ; Walpole, for whom the king sent, recommended 

The War Opens 181 

that course. Carteret retired just after succeeding to the 
earldom of Granville, and the Pelhams proceeded to reconstruct 
the ministry on the ' broad-bottom ' basis. Several 1744. 
of the ' patriots ' were admitted to office, though Pitt 
still remained outside for two reasons, one being ministry, 
the king's antipathy to him, and the other his December, 
own determination to accept no minor posts. The Pelham or 
' broad-bottomed ' ministry succeeded Carteret's in the last 
month of 1744. But having ousted Carteret, instead of adopt- 
ing a new line" of policy it went on as before ; and the men who 
in Opposition had thundered against Hanoverian measures, found 
themselves subsidising foreign princes and working for the 
benefit of Hanover as inevitably as Carteret himself. Hanover 
itself, however, was compelled to abandon the theory that it 
was still neutral, and to join in the war as a principal, because 
until it did so it was useless to urge that course upon Holland 
which had remained professedly neutral, while supplying its 
contingent of ' auxiliaries.' 

The practical transfer of Bavaria to the Austrian side was 
promptly followed by the adhesion of Saxony to the Hapsburg 
cause. Saxony and Austria were agreed in their 1745 
determination to break up the power of Frederick The Fontenoy 
of Prussia, to whom the French would render no camp sn * 
assistance, since they in their turn were bent on the conquest 
of the Netherlands for themselves. For the first half of the year 
(1745), our own interests centre in the campaign of Fontenoy. 
The duke of Cumberland, though he was only four- and- twenty, 
was nominated captain-general of the British forces at home and 
abroad. With him was associated the old Austrian general 
Konigsegg. Marshal Saxe, the French commander, laid siege 
to Tournay ; Cumberland made a bold attempt to relieve it. 
The French force considerably outnumbered that of the allies, 
and Saxe was an incomparably superior general to Cumberland. 
Nevertheless, the indomitable courage of the British regiments 
enabled them to carry the French position, though only to be 
forced to retire again -because the Dutch troops failed to support 
them. The allies were obliged to beat a steady and thoroughly 

1 82 The Indecisive Struggle 

well-ordered retreat ; the losses on the two sides had been about 
equal. But Cumberland failed to relieve Tournay; Saxe re- 
ceived large reinforcements, Tournay itself was surrendered in 
June, and the fall of Ghent, Oudenarde, Ostend, and other places 
followed soon after. The allies received no reinforcements ; on 
the contrary, several British regiments and Cumberland himself 
were very soon required on the other side of the Channel to deal 
with a sudden danger, more imminent than the aggression of 
France in the Netherlands. 

A few days after the French victory at Fontenoy, Frederick 
defeated an Austrian army at Hohenfriedberg. Again the British 
Treaty of government turned to the idea which had dominated 
Dresden. ministers since the very outset of the war, of bring- 
ing Frederick into the alliance by a guarantee of his position 
in Silesia. Frederick, who was already hard put to it from want 
of funds, was very well inclined to peace since the French 
operations were in no way calculated to help him. Neverthe- 
less, it was only by a threat of the withdrawal of British sub- 
sidies, on which Maria Theresa was largely dependent, that the 
queen was driven to a reluctant acquiescence before the end of 
the year. Silesia was guaranteed to Frederick, and he on the 
other hand recognised the election of Francis of Lorraine as 
emperor, which had taken place in September. The Treaty of 
Dresden once more withdrew Prussia from the alliance with 

Meanwhile, the British fleet had done something to redeem 
its character in the Mediterranean, where it was again dominant. 
capture of But ^ e on ^y substantial success of the year was 
Louisbourg achieved on the other side of the Atlantic, where 
a British squadron commanded by Commodore 
Warren, and accompanied by 4000 troops, not regulars, but raised 
in the colonies, captured the French fortress of Louisbourg. 
Louisbourg stood on the island of Cape Breton, and guarded 
the entry to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Much care and money 
had been spent by the French on the fortifications, and the 
capture was hailed with acclamations. Great Britain, in spite 
of her absorption on the Continent, was beginning to wake up 

The Forty -Five 183 

to the fact that there were other continents where great issues 
were at stake. But five days before the capture of Louisbourg 
the Young Chevalier had started upon his great adventure. 

III. THE FORTY-FIVE, 1745-1746 

The high-water mark of the chances of a Stuart restoration 
had been reached at the beginning of 1744 ; for the single reason 
that then and then only was France prepared to The 
initiate a Jacobite insurrection. Always the Hano- Jacobite 
verian government had the supreme advantage of P sltion - 
controlling the regular military forces in Great Britain. An 
armed rebellion in which volunteer Jacobite levies could make 
head against the government forces could never have had any 
chance of success without a remarkably thorough organisation 
supported by an outburst of enthusiasm for the cause. Jaco- 
bites in England never suffered from the illusion that a successful 
revolt could be accomplished without very material aid in troops, 
military supplies, and cash from France. English Jacobites, 
with very few exceptions, were not ready to rebel without a 
reasonable prospect of success ; and they saw no reasonable 
prospect of success without the support of French troops. The 
attempt of 1744 was really conclusive. It showed how infini- 
tesimally small was the chance of a French force successfully 
effecting a landing in England. James himself, never sanguine, 
abandoned all hope, even as the French abandoned all intention 
of employing French troops to do anything more than secure 
the triumph of an already victorious cause. 

In 1745 the position of the house of Hanover in England was 
infinitely stronger than it had been in 1715. The dynasty had 
been established for thirty years, and under it the The 
country had attained to a material prosperity with- Hanoverian 
out parallel. The interests not only of the com- d y nast y- 
mercial community, but of nearly all the great families were 
engaged on the Hanoverian side. Except the Roman Catholics, 
no religious body had reason to expect that it would gain any- 
thing from a restoration. The old doctrines of passive obedience 

184 The Indecisive Struggle 

and non-resistance had sunk into being mere pious opinions, not 
inspiring forces. English Jacobitism had nothing to fall back 
upon, except the tradition of personal loyalty to the legitimate 

In Scotland the position was somewhat different. Popular 
dislike of the Union was very far from being dead, though it was 
Jacobitism much less keen than had been the case thirty years 
in Scotland, before. In the Highlands the old hostility to the 
Campbell ascendency, the old royalist traditions connected with 
Montrose and Dundee, were still active. Half the clans had only 
submitted first to King William and then to King George because 
the government forces were too strong for them ; and the High- 
land chiefs could raise levies much more formidable than any 
bands which English Jacobites could hope to muster among 
their tenants and personal retainers. The disarmament after 
the ' Fifteen ' had been anything but thorough, and had affected 
the Whig clans who had obeyed the regulations a good deal more 
than the Jacobite clans which had strenuously evaded them. 
In the Lowlands, dislike of the Union counted for almost as 
much as dislike of a Romanist king. The prevalent sentiment 
was anti- Jacobite, but was tempered almost to the point oi 
indifference by the feeling that a Stuart restoration would put 
an end to the Legislative Union. Nevertheless, in Scotland as 
in England, the leading Jacobites were convinced that no in- 
surrection could be successful unless supported by French troops. 
But there was one man who was resolved to attempt the im- 
possible at all hazards, and whose daring almost achieved 
1745. success. Charles Edward Stuart was endowed with 

h in r d a ^ ^ a t personal magnetism which distinguished so 
in Scotland, many members of his family, and the lack of which 
June- July. had been so fatal to his father. In defiance of all the 
dictates of prudence, in defiance of all warnings that the Jacobites 
would not rise, he resolved to make his venture, to throw himself 
upon the loyalty of the clansmen, and to raise the Stuart banner 
in Scotland while the military forces of the Crown were engaged 
in the Netherlands campaign. Secretly he borrowed money and 
purchased arms troops were not available. These were em- 

Tke Forty- Five 185 

barked upon two ships, the Doutelle and the Elizabeth. On 22nd 
June he went aboard the Doutelle at Nantes with the comrades 
who were afterwards known as the ' Seven men of Moidart.' 
On 5th July the Doutelle and her consort set sail. Off Ushant 
they met a British ship of war with which the Elizabeth had an 
engagement so fierce that both vessels were crippled. The Eliza- 
beth, which carried most of the supplies, had to make her way 
back to France, but the Doutelle escaped, and on 25th July the 
prince landed in Moidart on the west coast of Inverness-shire, 
where the Jacobite Macdonalds and Camerons were predominant. 

His immediate reception was discouraging. The chiefs were 
Jacobites, but they were not disposed simply to run their heads 
into a noose. Macleod of Macleod and Macdonald The standard 
of Sleat refused to move, and wrote urging him to raised, 
withdraw. Other chiefs came to dissuade him from August - 
the enterprise by word of mouth, among them Donald Cameron 
of Locheil and Macdonald of Clanranald ; but those two were not 
proof against the personal fascination of the prince who declared 
that he would go on by himself, even if all those failed him in 
whose loyalty he had placed his trust. Both the chiefs declared 
that the adventure was doomed to disaster ; but that if he was 
bent on going forward they would follow him. Locheil's adhesion 
turned the scale. One after another chiefs came in. There was 
not one of them all who had been prepared to rise under such 
conditions, but they could not resist the appeal to their loyalty 
and generosity. Even as it was there were few enough, for the 
northern clans would not stir. On iQth August the prince raised 
his standard at Glenfinnan ; but it was with not much more than 
1000 men at his back that Charles started on his adventure. 

The government had had warning of Charles's intentions, but 
made light of it ; which, considering the apparent hopelessness 
of the project, is scarcely surprising. Sir John Cope The march to 
was lying at Edinburgh with 1500 men when the Edinburgh, 
news reached him of Charles's presence in Moidart. On the day 
when Charles raised his standard, Cope started on a march for 
the north, intending to cut him off from the northern clans. 
Charles marched to intercept him, but Cope, fearing the clansmen 

1 86 The Indecisive Struggle 

in their own glens, evaded him and marched to Inverness. The 
Jacobites left Cope to his own devices, and marched through 
Perthshire to Perth, which was reached in the first week of 
September. Here King James viu. was proclaimed, and several 
new adherents joined the standard, including the duke of Perth 
and Lord George Murray, the most capable commander in the 
prince's train. He was one of the Atholl family, and must not 
be confused with the prince's secretary, James Murray of Brough- 
ton. At Perth the army was organised, the chief command 
being given to Lord George Murray and Perth. On I3th Sep- 
tember Charles had crossed the Forth. On the i6th he was 
close to Edinburgh, and a party of dragoons which had been 
sent out to Coltbridge to check the advance was seized with a 
panic at the appearance of the Highlanders, and galloped to 
Dunbar, thirty miles off, at the top of their speed ; whence the 
inglorious encounter was nicknamed ' the canter of Colt Brig.' 

Edinburgh Castle was sufficiently garrisoned, but the town was 
in two minds. The gates were closed, and a deputation was sent 
Charles in to P ar l e Y with Charles. A party of Locheil's men 
Edinburgh, who had gone out to see if there was a chance of 
>er * capturing the gates saw the deputation returning in 
a carriage a long time after midnight, and when the gates were 
opened to admit the city fathers the Highlanders dashed in, 
overpowered the guard, and proceeded to take possession of all 
the city gates. A few hours later Charles entered the city and 
took up his quarters at Holyrood, after formally proclaiming 
James vm. at the town cross. 

Meanwhile, Cope had done his best to get back by sea from 
Inverness, and though too late to intercept the advance in Edin- 
Prestonpans, burgh, he was disembarking at Dunbar while King 
2ist sep- James was being proclaimed. On the 2Oth he had 
pushed up to Prestonpans, close to the city, while 
Charles had marched out to meet him, each of the forces number- 
ing about 2000 men. A bog lay between the two armies, but, in the 
early morning of the 2ist, a guide conducted the J acobite troops by 
a path over the marsh. The movement was concealed by a heavy 
mist, and the Highlanders were able to form up on firm ground 

The Forty- Five 187 

undiscovered. Then they fell upon Cope's camp, and in less 
than ten minutes the whole of the government forces were in 
headlong flight. Such was the victory of Prestonpans to which 
the Highlanders gave the name of Gladsmuir. Apart from 
the garrisons in Edinburgh and Stirling castles practically no 
Hanoverian troops were left in Scotland. 

For nearly six weeks Charles remained at Holyrood, holding 
his court, winning the hearts of the ladies who were much more 
Jacobite than their menkind, endeavouring to raise money and 
troops, and hoping for some signs of a general rising. No signs 
were forthcoming. By the end of October, the government had 
got back some regiments from Flanders, and old General Wade 
had a force of several thousand men at Newcastle. In was only 
with great reluctance that the Highland chiefs were persuaded 
to consent to an invasion of England, on the chance that a march 
through the west would raise the English Jacobites in that 

Charles was now at the head of a force of not quite 6000 men, 
half of them clansmen fighting under the personal command of 
their chiefs. On 3rd November the march began. The march 
Wade was tricked into a belief that the invasion to Derby, 
was to be made by way of Newcastle ; in fact, the November ' 
old route of Scottish royalists and Jacobites was followed, and 
Carlisle was captured before Wade appreciated the situation. 
Although a considerable number of Highlanders had already 
gone home, the council of officers reluctantly yielded to the 
prince's urgency and agreed to continue the march. It must be 
remembered that they had one and all regarded the insurrection 
which they had joined as a forlorn hope, very unlikely to succeed. 
But sheer audacity was the only conceivable road to success. 
Sheer audacity had up to the present point been successful. 
Unless they advanced there would be no glimmer of a chance of 
any rising on the part of the English Jacobites. Sheer audacity 
carried the day ; if the prince went forward the chiefs would 
go with him, and most of the clansmen would at any rate go with 
the chiefs. The army marched through the western counties, 
preserving an admirable discipline ; but virtually no English 

1 88 The Indecisive Striiggle 

Jacobites joined it. Wade was still in the north; an army was 
being formed at Finchley Common to cover London ; Cumber- 
land had returned and was taking up the command of a third 
force in the western Midlands to cut off the invaders from Wales, 
where there were many Jacobite gentry. He was evaded as 
Wade had been, and on 4th December the force reached Derby. 

When the news reached London two days later there was a 
general panic in the capital ; there was a run on the bank which 
Retreat * s sa ^ ^o nave saved itself from closing its doors 

decided on, only by adopting the dilatory plan of counting out 
>th December. s j x p ences j n payment of the demands. The day of 
panic was known as Black Friday ; but the alarm was super- 
fluous. The council of officers at Derby had faced the situation, 
and informed Charles point blank that to go further would be 
sheer madness. So, upon any rational method of calculating 
chances, it would most certainly have been. Here was a force 
of less than 5000 men in the heart of a country which had shown 
no disposition whatever, to give it support. On its rear and its 
flank were two armies composed of regular troops, each of them 
twice its size. In front, 130 miles off, was the capital, and be- 
tween the prince and the capital there was still another force 
much more than sufficient to give battle to the irregular Jacobite 
levies. Nevertheless, there did remain the possibility that sheer 
audacity would triumph, that the army at Finchley would break 
up in panic, that London would declare for the prince. Charles 
was right in the conviction that to march on London offered him 
a chance and the only chance. Every man in his army who 
knew anything about war was equally convinced that the chance, 
if it existed at all, was infinitesimal, and that practically to march 
on London would be to court annihilation. On Black Friday, 
6th December, the army started on its march, not to London, 
but to the north. Yet even at this stage there were numbers 
of the clansmen who would have infinitely preferred advancing 
to annihilation to a retreat, and who were only mollified, when 
bidden to retrace their steps, by being told that they were march- 
ing to fight the enemy. 

When Cumberland, who was at Coventry, learnt that the 

The Forty -Five 189 

Scots were retreating instead of advancing he started in pursuit ; 
but Lord George Murray, fighting a rear-guard action, beat 
off the pursuers at Clifton, near Penrith. On 20th The march 
December Charles was over the border again. On to Glasgow, 
the 26th he was at Glasgow, and here reinforcements joined him, 
including some hundreds of Scottish and Irish soldiery from the 
exiled regiments in the French service, so that the actual force 
under his command was considerably larger than it had ever 
been before. Cumberland's pursuit had been delayed, partly by 
the check at Clifton, partly by contradictory instructions re- 
ceived from the government ; and when once the retreating force 
had a fair start of him his chance of overtaking them was small. 
Then he received a summons south, due to rumours of an in- 
tended French invasion. Wade resigned, as he should have done 
long before, and the command of the northern army was entrusted 
by Cumberland to the fire-eating General Hawley. 

Depression had been increasing among the Jacobite forces 
ever since the retreat began. It was perhaps lightened by the 
fresh accessions of strength at the end of December. 1746 
Charles determined to attack Stirling Castle, which Faikirk, 
he proceeded to blockade, till he learnt that Hawley anuary. 

was approaching with some 8000 men. On iyth January there 
was a sharp engagement at Faikirk, in which Hawley was 
defeated and was forced to fall back to Edinburgh. 

The rumour of a French invasion proved to be a false alarm, 
and on 3oth January Cumberland arrived in Edinburgh to take 
up the command again. On ist February Charles once more 
yielded to pressure from his officers, raised the siege of Stirling, 
and retreated into the Highlands, where he occupied Inverness 
and captured Fort Augustus, which lies half way between the 
capital of the Highlands and Fort William. Fort William itself, 
however, repulsed the attack of Locheil. Cumberland did not 
attempt to follow, but directed his march to Aberdeen a 
good base for further operations in the Highlands, because 
supplies could be brought thither by sea. By the end of March 
he had a well-provided force of nearly 10,000 men, while, as soon 
as he could advance on Inverness, a naval force was ready to 

The Indecisive Struggle 

keep in touch with him along the coast ; and in the meanwhile 
the prince's army, living in a barren country, was very short 
of supplies which there was no money to buy, and dissensions 
were rife among the leaders. 

On 8th April Cumberland began his march ; on the i5th the 
prince's force of perhaps 5000 men was lying at Culloden Moor 
Cuiioden, when news was brought that Cumberland was only 
17th April. some twelve miles off at Nairn. A night attack 
was attempted, but delays occurred, and it was broad daylight 
when the Highlanders were still a couple of miles away from 
Cumberland's camp. There was nothing to be done but to fall 
back to Culloden again. Thither Cumberland followed them. 
Half-starved and worn out by their long futile march the High- 
landers were roused in the early morning of the I7th with the 
announcement that Cumberland was almost upon them. After 
some exchange of cannon shot, in which the enormous advantage 
lay with Cumberland, the centre and right of the Highlanders 
charged their opponents with the claymore. They shattered the 
first line and rushed on against the second ; but Cumberland 
had anticipated and prepared for this method of attack. The 
second line was drawn up three deep and met the charge with a 
terrific fire, which broke the rush. The English infantry charged 
in turn, sweeping their opponents back. On the Highland left, 
the Macdonalds, who had not charged, fell back. But the duke 
was able to bring his cavalry into play, turning both flanks of 
the Highlanders. The second line of the prince's army, con- 
sisting chiefly of the Lowland regiments, broke without actually 
coming into action. The prince was forced from the field, but 
though he escaped with his life the Stuart cause was irrevocably 
lost on the fatal field of Culloden. A thousand of his followers 
lay dead on the field, as many more were taken prisoners, all the 
cannon and the whole of the baggage were captured. 

A savage slaughter was ordered by Cumberland. Young 
James Wolfe, who thirteen years later was destined to win im- 
Cumberiand. perishable fame on ^the Heights of Abraham, re- 
ceived instructions which caused him to return the audacious 
reply that he was ' a soldier not a butcher,' a name which for 

The Forty -Five 191 

ever after clung to the duke. The savagery with which Cumber- 
land pursued his business of reducing the Highlands to order 
is an indelible blot on the fair fame of a man whose career was 
in all other respects honourable. 

For five months Charles remained a fugitive in the Highlands 
and islands, sheltered in secret caves and humble cottages for 
the most part, shielded by the splendid loyalty of The fugitive. 
wild Highlanders, men and women, to any one of whom his 
betrayal would have brought a fortune. At last, in September, 
he succeeded in reaching a small French vessel which landed him 
in safety on the coast of Brittany. But the star of the Stuarts 
had set for ever. A passionate tradition of fervent loyalty has 
preserved the name of ' Bonny Prince Charlie ' in the Highlands ; 
the annals of the White Cockade have a pathetic fascination 
which, almost alone, redeems the dreary materialism of the first 
half of the eighteenth century. 

Four Scottish peers who had taken an active part in the in- 
surrection were captured. Tullibardine, whose earlier attainder 
had transferred his dukedom of Atholl to his brother, The penalty, 
died in the Tower. Cromartie was ultimately pardoned ; Kil- 
marnock and Balmerino were beheaded, the latter stoutly adher- 
ing to the Jacobite cause even to the last. Simon Fraser, Lord 
Lovat, had not taken the field, but he had spent his life in crafty 
betrayals of both sides, and means were found to bring him to 
the block by an impeachment. Murray of Broughton, who till 
his capture had served Charles well enough, saved his own life 
by turning informer ; but for which Lovat would have escaped 
his well-deserved death. Of the prisoners taken in arms, one 
in every twenty was executed, to the number of about eighty ; 
the rest were transported. In the Highlands, Cumberland con- 
tinued his ugly work for some three months, despite the protests 
of the Lord President Duncan Forbes, to whom he referred con- 
temptuously as ' that old woman who talked to me of humanity/ 
As a matter of fact, the government owed an enormous debt to 
Forbes, whose influence had been the prime factor in keeping 
the northern clans from joining the insurrection. It would have 
been well now for the credit of both Cumberland and the govern- 

192 The Indecisive Struggle 

ment if they had taken the advice of the shrewdest statesman 
in Scotland, who understood both Highlanders and Lowlanders 
better than any other living man. Unhappily, his counsel was 
followed only to a very limited extent, with the result that the 
Highlands were not really pacified for a long time to come. 

Still, the government measures were effective in destroying the 
capacity of the Highlands for again supplying a base for armed 
Measures in insurrection. The military danger in the Highlands 
Scotland. arose from the clan system, and the passionate de- 
votion of the clansmen to their chiefs. They were now crippled 
by a new disarming Act, stringently enforced with heavy penalties. 
The outward and visible sign of clanship and of the opposition 
between Highlander and Lowlander, the wearing of the clan 
tartan and the kilt, was destroyed by an accompanying Act 
prohibiting its use. To English statesmen it appeared that the 
Scottish rising had been made possible by the ' heritable juris- 
dictions/ the survival north of the border of the feudal powers 
of local magnates, overriding the ordinary law, which had long 
disappeared in England. Although their preservation had been 
guaranteed by the Act of Union, an Act was now passed which 
abolished them. But as a matter of fact, they had already very 
nearly fallen into desuetude in the Lowlands, and it was only 
to a very limited extent that they were the basis of the power 
of Highland chiefs, whose jurisdiction and influence rested upon 
immemorial custom and sentiment dating from a time long 
before the introduction of Norman feudalism into the kingdom 
of Scotland. 

Of much more real importance than the feudal abolition of 
heritable jurisdictions were two other factors. A number of the 
Effects on the chiefs who had escaped abroad were attainted and 
clan system, their estates forfeited. The new tenants holding 
from the government were not the chiefs of the clans. For a 
long time the clansmen, with an amazing loyalty, struggled to 
pay the rents which they regarded as still due to their exiled 
chiefs, even while they were forced to pay them also to their 
new landlords. Other chiefs were forced by impoverishment to 
sell their lands, and their former dependents also found new 

The Forty -Five 193 

landlords. In course of time loyalty to the absentees broke 
down under the tremendous strain. At the same time, the 
ordinary machinery of law was extended over the Highlands as 
it never had been before, and the population slowly learnt to 
look to the law for protection, when it was no longer possible to 
appeal to the chief of the clan. The new landlords, too, planted 
new tenants on the soil who had nothing to do with the clan 
tradition, and thus by degrees the entire clan system was broken 
up and vanished. 

It was only at a later date that a plan was adopted which 
perhaps did more than anything else to reconcile the Highlanders. 
This was the raising of kilted regiments, which were Highland 
embodied in the British army, and, fighting side by regiments, 
side with Englishmen and Lowlanders, not only satisfied the 
martial ardour which found no scope under the new conditions, 
but created a new sense of common nationality quite compatible 
with the old sense of separate nationality ; not a unification, 
but a simultaneous sense of unity and duality, a sense that duality 
did not preclude unity. Some time before one such regiment 
had been raised among the Whig clans, the regiment known as 
the Black Watch, which rendered magnificent service at Fontenoy. 
Duncan Forbes, before his death in 1747, urged the wisdom of 
extending that very successful experiment ; but some years 
were to pass before the British government dared to act upon 
his advice. 

The ' Forty-five ' was the last throw of the Jacobites. The 
gallant lad who had led the forlorn hope degenerated into a 
drunken debauchee. With the disappearance of the The end of 
last prospect of a Stuart restoration disappeared Jacobitism. 
also the last prospect of a revocation of the Union. Scotland 
settled down into acceptance of the Union as an accomplished 
and permanent fact, and from that time the development of 
her material progress became extraordinarily rapid. 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. 

194 The Indecisive Struggle 

IV. HENRY PELHAM, 1746-1754 

Since the end of 1744 the Pelham group Henry Pelham and 
his brother the duke of Newcastle, with their personal allies 
1746t had dominated the ministry. They had not, how- 

The Peibams. ever, succeeded in bringing into it all the men whose 
support was desired. In February 1746 they proposed altera- 
tions which would have admitted Pitt. The king refused, and 
there was a short trial of strength. George invited Pulteney, 
who had practically committed political suicide by accepting 
the earldom of Bath, to form a ministry, with Granville as 
secretary of state. The whole Pelham group resigned; Bath 
and Granville found their task a hopeless one, and the Pelhams 
returned to office on their own terms ; Pitt consenting to 
facilitate the arrangements by accepting a minor office. Three 
months later the death of the paymaster of the forces made it 
impossible for George to refuse him the succession to that office. 
His advancement was signalised by his lending immediate and 
vigorous support to the concession of large subsidies for Austria, 
Sardinia, and Hanover, though hitherto his fiercest rhetoric had 
been directed to the denunciation of the Hanoverian character 
of such measures. 

The critical position of the Austrians in Italy in the winter of 
1745 had been one of the contributory causes to the unexpected 
The war in acquiescence of Maria Theresa in the treaty with 
1746. Frederick by which he was once more withdrawn 

from the number of the combatants. The termination of the 
war between Austria and Prussia released Austrian troops for 
the Italian campaign in 1746. The Bourbon progress in Italy 
was immediately checked. The death of Philip V. of Spain soon 
after midsummer set on the throne his elder son, Ferdinand vi. v 
the son of his first wife. The power which his second wife, 
Elizabeth Farnese, wielded, at once disappeared. Ferdinand 
was extremely anxious for peace and domestic reforms, and he 
had no enthusiasm for his stepmother's ambitions on behalf of 
her own sons, his stepbrothers. Spain at once withdrew from 
the war in Italy, the object of. which had been to provide a 

Henry Pelham 195 

dominion for the younger of Elizabeth's sons, Don Philip. In 
the Netherlands, on the other hand, Great Britain, still engaged 
in the Jacobite contest, could play no effective part till after 
midsummer. In the meanwhile, Saxe had captured Brussels, 
Antwerp, and Mons. A strong naval expedition was planned 
for the St. Lawrence, to be supported by a great force of colonial 
levies ; but the preparations were delayed till too late in the 
year. The fleet having been equipped, it was decided that it 
must do something ; so it was dispatched, taking 5000 troops 
with it, to attack L'Orient in Brittany. Nothing was gained 
by the attempt, since the British general came to the conclusion 
that the place was impregnable, and the expedition returned 
home ignominiously. Meanwhile, the forces which had been sent 
to Flanders proved insufficient to turn the scale in the fighting ; 
Saxe continued to absorb the Netherlands, and inflicted a sharp 
defeat on the allies at the battle of Raucoux. In India, where 
fighting had been taking place, to which we shall presently 
return, Madras was captured by the French in the same year. 

In 1747 Cumberland returned to take up the command in 
the Netherlands. Another battle was fought against the superior 
forces of Saxe at Lauffeldt ; like Fontenoy, it operations 
resulted in a defeat, but also like Fontenoy, it in 1747 - 
reflected infinite credit upon the courage and discipline of the 
British troops, though very little on the military capacity of 
the duke. Once more the campaign was entirely favourable 
to the French, who by the end of the year were in all but com- 
plete possession of the Austrian Netherlands. On the other 
hand, the British navy was in a fair way to recover from the 
demoralisation which had made it so much less effective than 
it ought to have been in the earlier years of the war. In May, 
Anson, the hero of the voyage round the world, and Warren, 
the hero of Louisbourg, shattered a French squadron off Cape 
Finisterre ; and in October, Hawke, who as a captain had dis- 
tinguished himself by his conduct in the battle which had led 
to the cashiering of Admiral Matthews, broke up another French 
fleet off Belleisle. The squadron which was destroyed by 
Anson had been on its way to carry reinforcements to India, 

196 The Indecisive Stmggle 

whither a much needed British squadron was dispatched at 
the end of the year under Admiral Boscawen. 

All the European powers, however, with the exception of 
Austria, were by this time weary of the war. Maria Theresa, 
if she could have had her will, would not have made peace 
without getting at least some compensation for the cession of 
Silesia ; but she could not fight without allies, and all her allies 
were now bent on peace. It is true that George, Cumberland, 
and Newcastle, who was exceedingly jealous of his brother, 
were still hopeful of military glory. George was always inclined 
to bellicosity ; but nearly all the ministers and most of the 
country were disposed towards peace. When Cumberland 
arrived in Holland, in February 1748, he found there was no 
reasonable prospect of the allied forces being approximately 
sufficient in number to deal effectively with the great army still 
commanded by Saxe. France was ready for peace, but Saxe 
did not delay his operations on that account. Cumberland changed 
his view. A congress of the powers had already been convened 
to meet at Aix la-Chapelle ; French and British rapidly agreed 
upon terms. So far as those two powers were concerned, all 
conquests were to be restored, and there was to be a return to 
the status quo ante bellum. Don Philip was to have Parma and 
Piacenza, which was displeasing to Austria and Sardinia. 
Prussia was to be confirmed in the possession of Silesia, which 
was extremely displeasing to Austria. On the other hand, 
France, though she had in effect conquered the Austrian Nether- 
lands, gained nothing at all. 

The king of Sardinia might grumble, but he would not support 

Austria in carrying on a contest in which, without British 

support, she was certain to be defeated both in 

3.T48 JTJT 

The Peace the Netherlands and in the Mediterranean the 

of Aix-ia- h e ip o f the maritime powers was a necessity to 
her. Austria and Sardinia had no choice but to 
accept the arrangement. The one power which had definitely 
gained by the war was Prussia ; Frederick had secured the 
province for the sake of which he had started the conflagration ; 
but even this was at the expense of the ineradicable hostility 

Henry Pelham 197 

of Maria Theresa, who also felt herself bitterly aggrieved by 
the action of Great Britain. Great Britain had gained nothing 
and lost nothing ; the exchange of Madras for Louisbourg left 
her in the same position in relation to France as before. The 
question for the sake of which she had first plunged into the 
war, the Spanish right of search, was entirely ignored. The 
supremacy of her navy had been confirmed, but not very sub- 
stantially increased. Practically, it might be said, that all the 
blood and treasure expended in eight years of fighting had 
resulted in nothing but the acquisition of Silesia by Prussia. 
And it was certain that the acquiescence of Austria and the 
satisfaction of France were merely temporary. Frederick was 
certain to find himself forced sooner or later into a desperate 
struggle to preserve what he had won ; and France and Great 
Britain had not yet come to grips over the real issue between 
them. There had only been a foretaste of the coming struggle 
in India and America. During the eight years of peace which 
followed the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle that contest was advanced 
a stage further both in the East and in the West. 

We must now turn back to see what had actually been taking 
place in India. In 1741 Francois Dupleix had been transferred 
from Chandernagur to the governorship at Pondi- India . 
chery, the headquarters of the French company in Francois 
India, as Madras was the headquarters of the : 
British company. French and British were jealous of each 
other, and the governors would have been not unwilling to come 
to blows when a declaration of war should give them the oppor- 
tunity, if they had not received very positive instructions to 
maintain the peace from their directors at home. But Dupleix 
went a great deal further. He was a man of imagination and 
ideals. He saw that Europeans, if they used their opportunities, 
could at least acquire great influence with the country powers, 
but that the first condition of an effective French ascendency 
was to get rid of European rivals. He was determined to drive 
the British out of India. While the British sat still he laid his 
plans. He cultivated the friendship of the powerful nawab 
of the Carnatic, Anwar ud-Din. He concerted a scheme with 

198 The Indecisive Struggle 

La Bourdonnais, the French commandant at Mauritius. Nothing 
overt could be done in any case until a definite declaration of 
war between Great Britain and France. 

When that declaration came there was no available squadron 
at Mauritius to help him, and he wanted that squadron. So, 
Fall of a ^ * ne instigation of Dupleix, who anticipated an 

Madras, attack from Governor Morse, Anwar ud-Din sent 

1746 ' a warning to Madras that no hostilities would be 

permitted. In 1746 a small British squadron under Commodore 
Peyton appeared off the coast of Coromandel and threatened 
Pondichery. Intervention by the British navy was a very 
different thing from a mere collision between the traders in 
India. But in the meantime La Bourdonnais had succeeded 
in getting a squadron together ; he also appeared and challenged 
Peyton, who, after an engagement in itself indecisive, retired to 
Ceylon. La Bourdonnais proceeded to Madras. Morse invited 
Anwar ud-Din to forbid an attack upon Madras as he had 
forbidden an attack upon Pondichery. Anwar ud-Din ignored 
the request ; La Bourdonnais attacked Madras, which sur- 
rendered, but upon condition that the place should be ransomed 
for a substantial sum. Dupleix, however, claimed that La 
Bourdonnais had exceeded his powers, and, asserting his own 
superior authority, proceeded to occupy Madras in defiance of 
the terms of the capitulation ; La Bourdonnais who felt that 
his own honour was implicated could only withdraw. The 
British from Madras were held in Pondichery as prisoners of 

Anwar ud-Din expected Madras to be handed over to him ; 
to his surprise, Dupleix showed no inclination to fulfil his ex- 
Dupieix's pectations. He sent an army to eject the audacious 
sepoys. Frenchman. The Portuguese in the past had made 

use of native soldiers commanded by European officers. Dupleix 
also had drilled companies of natives after the European fashion, 
with French officers to command them. Whether he in- 
vented the ' sepoy ' or not, he gave the first unmistakable 
demonstration that sepoys with a stiffening of Europeans were 
a match for very much larger bodies of native levies. A force 

Henry Pelham 199 

of less than a thousand men, three-fourths of whom were sepoys, 
put the nawab's army of ten thousand utterly to rout. Dupleix 
had revealed the instrument by which the Europeans were to 
make themselves masters of India. 

The French prestige was immensely raised ; Dupleix had 
signally defeated the English, whose credit was at a correspond- 
ingly low ebb. The nawab did not want to see operations 
all his enemies gathered against him in alliance with in 1747 and 
the Frenchman, whom he made no attempt to over- 1748 ' 
whelm. In 1747 the British garrison in Fort St. David defied the 
French attack, which was renewed in 1748. Now, however, Bos- 
cawen, who had sailed from England in the previous November, 
appeared on the scene ; the French had to abandon their attack 
on Fort St. David, and to devote all their energies to holding 
Madras where they had been improving the fortifications in 
the interval to which Boscawen proceeded to lay siege. The 
operations, however, were badly managed ; the time of the 
periodical tempests called the ' monsoon ' was arriving, and the 
Coromandel coast provided no adequate harbourage for a fleet. 
Boscawen was obliged to withdraw his ships. Had the war con- 
tinued there can be no doubt that he would have returned to 
the attack after the monsoon, and that he could hardly have 
failed to be successful. But the necessity was removed by the 
news of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, accompanied Peace, 1749. 
by the orders for the restitution of Madras to the British. To 
the native mind, which naturally could not appreciate the real 
causes of the restitution, something at least of the enormous and 
extremely valuable prestige which Dupleix had acquired was 
lost, though it still stood considerably higher than that of the 
British. And prestige was all that Dupleix had so far gained. 

Open hostilities were precluded by the peace between Great 
Britain and France. But it appeared to Dupleix that the cir- 
cumstance was favourable to aggression by indirect Dupieix's 
methods, since so long as there was peace between new P lans - 
the European states the British navy would not come into play. 
Dupleix in the first instance had calculated, not without justifica- 
tion, upon a superiority of the French ships in Indian waters. 

2OO The Indecisive Struggle 

He does not seem to have realised that the superior power of 
the British navy was certain to make itself felt in Indian waters 
in the course of time, and that when it did so it would be able 
to counteract any successes which he might have achieved ; 
nor does he seem to have realised that no European power could 
establish a lasting ascendency in India without possessing the 
command of the sea. All that appeared to him to be requisite 
was that the British should not have an actual preponderance 
while fighting was going on. So he set about fresh schemes for 
establishing a French ascendency while the British fleet was out 
of action. The first plan had been to begin by clearing the 
British out of the way, and to go on by establishing French 
influence with the native powers. Now the plan was to establish 
that influence on the basis of the prestige already won, and then 
to make it the instrument for the ejection of the British rival. 

The apparent feasibility of the scheme was due to the dis- 
organised condition of the Mogul empire. Dupleix had not to 
H i S deal with long established states, dynasties which 

calculation, commanded the traditional loyalty of their subjects, 
kingdoms with definite boundaries, but with provincial governors, 
who at the best were trying to establish dynasties where there 
was no legally recognised right of succession. Wherever succes- 
sion should be in dispute, the French might intervene on one 
side or other, and by establishing their own candidate could 
secure a permanent influence at his court. If the British also 
should choose to intervene, that would give the opportunity 
for fighting and beating them indirectly. If they should not 
intervene they would cease to count altogether. Either way, 
the experience of the last contest justified Dupleix's anticipa- 
tions of a decisive French predominance being acquired. If 
those anticipations had been fulfilled at the time, it may still 
be doubted whether Great Britain would have acquiesced in the 
repression of the East India Company ; if she brought her 
naval power into play she would be able to recover her position, 
its defect. Dupleix's plan was vitiated by his failure to recog- 
nise that whatever temporary success might attend his efforts, 
the ultimately decisive factor would be sea-power. Isolated 

Henry Pelham 20 1 

from the European base, the handful of Frenchmen could not 
maintain a lasting ascendency. With free access from the Western 
base, the handful of Englishmen would receive the reinforce- 
ments and supplies which would enable them to retrieve their 
position. As a matter of fact, even before sea-power was 
brought into play, Dupleix's anticipations were not destined 
to be realised, though at the outset it seemed likely that they 
would be. 

Dupleix found his opportunity in the position of the nawab 
of the Carnatic, and in the extreme old age of the most powerful 
prince in India, the Nizam at Haidarabad. From Thenawab- 
1710 to 1740 three generations of one family had ship in the 
been nawabs of the Carnatic. They had been able arna 1C ' 
and popular rulers. But in the third generation there had been 
strife between the young nawab and his brothers-in-law. One 
of these brothers-in-law, Chanda Sahib, had been captured and 
held to ransom by the Mahrattas. Then the nawab had been 
killed by the other brother-in-law, the Nizam thought the time 
had come to interfere, and by him the old general Anwar ud-Din 
had been appointed to the nawabship. Chanda Sahib and his 
kinsfolk had always been on particularly good terms with the 
French. On the other hand, in 1748, the relations between 
Dupleix and Anwar ud-Din had been more than strained by 
the Madras affair. Chanda Sahib was still a prisoner with the 
Mahrattas ; he and others were of opinion that he had a right 
to the nawabship to which, but for his captivity, he would 
doubtless have been appointed. Dupleix set him at liberty by 
paying the ransom, with intent to setting him on the throne 
of the Carnatic in the place of Anwar ud-Din. 

Precisely at this moment the old Nizam died. A son, Nasir 
Jang, who was on the spot, promptly proclaimed himself Nizam ; 
but a grandson, Muzaffar Jang, announced that the The 
succession was his by appointment of the suzerain Nizamship. 
at Delhi. The two pretenders, Chanda Sahib and Muzaffar Jang, 
supported by Dupleix, made common cause for the ejection of 
the two de facto rulers. Dupleix found warrant for espousing 
their cause in the Mogul's authority. In July 1749 a contingent 

2O2 The Indecisive Struggle 

of French and sepoys under the French general Bussy defeated 
and killed Anwar ud-Din at the battle of Ambur. His son, 
1749< Mohammed Ali, escaped south to Trichinopoli and 

The contest proclaimed himself nawab of the Carnatic. Then 
-opened. Nasir Jang, who knew that he would be the next 
object of attack, took the field and entered the Carnatic, and the 
British authorities at Madras, waking up to the situation, sent 
Major Stringer Lawrence with a small contingent to join him. 
Lawrence had previously distinguished himself by the skill and 
courage of his defence of Fort St. David in 1748. 

Dupleix opened negotiations with Nasir Jang, who captured 
the person of his rival and nephew. The assassination of Nasir 
1750. J an virtually made Chanda Sahib master of the 

Successes Carnatic ; and though Muzaffar Jang was also 
up eix. assassinated, the Nizamship was secured to a kins- 
man, Salabat Jang, who was practically the nominee of Bussy. 
Dupleix in the meantime procured for himself the Mogul's 
nomination to the nawabship of the Carnatic, which was to be 
transferred to Chanda Sahib as the Frenchman's faithful ally 
and servant. The new Nizam withdrew to Haidarabad, attended 
by Bussy, while Dupleix and Chanda Sahib turned their attention 
to the destruction of Anwar ud-Din's son, Mohammed Ali, at 
Trichinopoli, in the beginning of 1751. It seemed absolutely 
certain that in a few months Dupleix would be supreme, both 
at Haidarabad and in the Carnatic. 

The whole situation was completely revolutionised by the 
genius of Robert Clive, admirably supported by the courage 
1751 and confidence of the recently appointed governor 

dive of Madras, Saunders. Robert Clive had gonre to 

Madras as a writer or junior clerk in the service 
of the East India Company. He had shown exceptional courage 
as a volunteer when Madras was besieged, and had been trans- 
ferred to the military side at his own desire. He now conceived 
the idea of seizing Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic. By so 
doing a diversion was almost certain to be effected which would 
relieve the pressure upon Trichinopoli. Saunders resolved to 
take the risk, and dispatched Clive with every available man 

Henry Pelham 203 

upon his audacious expedition. With two hundred whites, 
three hundred sepoys, and eight officers, of whom only two had 
ever been in action, Clive made his dash upon Arcot. A panic 
seized the troops which were in the place. They fled without 
striking a blow, and Clive occupied the citadel, which he promptly 
prepared as best he could for a siege. The effect produced was 
precisely what he had anticipated. A large force was detached 
from Trichinopoli, and 10,000 men proceeded to beleaguer the 
little garrison of 500. For seven weeks Clive and his men held 
the place with indomitable courage, though their rations were 
running very low. Then the besiegers made a desperate assault 
in force. After furious fighting they were beaten off. The 
besiegers withdrew, and Clive sallying forth in pursuit scattered 
them at Ami. The defence of Arcot had already created such 
admiration among the natives that Clive was now joined by 
some of the Mahrattas, and another defeat was inflicted upon the 
enemy at Kaveripak. 

Clive's brilliant exploit at Arcot marks the definite moment 
of change. Stringer Lawrence, who had been sent home, re- 
appeared in India, and in company with Clive 1754 
marched to the relief of Trichinopoli. Not only The fate 
was the relief effected, but the French and native of Du P leix - 
troops were manoeuvred into a position where they were driven 
to surrender. Then Chanda Sahib was murdered, and there was 
no one to pose as a rival to Mohammed Ali, who was firmly 
established on the throne of the Carnatic, where he was little 
more than a puppet in the hands of the British (1752). Still 
Bussy virtually controlled the Nizam at Haidarabad. For two 
years Dupleix, defeated in the field, endeavoured to regain the 
French ascendency chiefly by diplomacy ; but in 1754 the too 
ambitious governor was recalled to France by directors who 
did not like to see their profits swallowed up and converted into 
war debts. A governor was appointed who could be relied upon 
to give his attention strictly to business, eschewing politics ; 
and the French and British East India Companies amicably 
agreed to abstain from further intervention in the affairs of the 
native powers. Nevertheless, there can have been no doubt 

204 The Indecisive Struggle 

in any mind that a fresh outbreak of war between France and 
Great Britain would certainly be followed by a renewal of the 
struggle in the Indian arena. 

In America no effective stroke had been dealt after the capture 
of Louisbourg until the end of the war, when that fortress was 
America : restored to France. There, as in the East, the con- 
1748-54. trolling factor was naval ascendency. In spite of 

the dissensions between the British colonies, it was not to be 
believed that they with their two millions of inhabitants would 
permit themselves to be cooped up and cut off from expansion 
to the west by the infinitely smaller number of Frenchmen in 
Canada and Louisiana. Still, for military purposes, the French 
organisation was very much the better ; it was at any rate 
necessary for the British to cut Canada off from substantial 
aid from France. The French continued their programme of 
planting forts so as to connect the Mississippi with the great 
lakes and to hold the basin of the Ohio, a process which would 
confer upon the French the actual claim of occupation. In 
1753, a British party was sent with young George Washington, 
afterwards the leader in the War of Independence, to plant a 
fort on the Upper Ohio. The French expelled the British from 
a position which they claimed as their own property and turned 
into Fort Duquesne. Washington, through no fault of his own, 
had to capitulate at Great Meadows. At the same time, it was 
manifest that the Canadian French were stirring up the French 
of Acadia, who were now British subjects, to revolt, or at least 
to be prepared for revolt. The position was so threatening that 
in 1754 Benjamin Franklin was urging a scheme for the federation 
of the colonies, whereby they should be enabled to act as a single 
force for the common defence. The spirit of particularism pre- 
vailed ; each colony was too jealous of the idea of surrendering 
any fragment of its own separate independence. But what 
followed belongs to the period after the death of Henry Pelham, 
the period when France and Great Britain were once more 
driving in the direction of a desperate conflict. In the present 
chapter we must confine ourselves to the period of Henry 
Pelham's life. 

Henry Pelham 205 

In England the Pelham administration was completely estab- 
lished after the crisis at the beginning of 1746. The action of 
ministers at that moment had been another long . 

England ; 
step in the direction of establishing the principle of effect of 

cabinet solidarity. By standing together, the group tne crisis 
had been enabled to compel the king to accede to 
their demands, and to admit to office ministers to whom he had a 
strong personal obj ection. The Pelhams had now united a body of 
men who left the Opposition devoid of men of first-rate or even 
second-rate ability, and secured an unfailing majority in the 
Commons, as well as in the Lords, in support of the cabinet. 
It must be remarked, however, that it was still quite possible 
for individual ministers to denounce cabinet measures, though 
hardly to set themselves in opposition to ministerial policy. 
Thus, in 1751, Pitt opposed a reduction of the navy from 10,000 
to 8000 men, which was proposed and carried by Pelham mainly 
to gratify the king and the duke of Cumberland ; though in this 
case it should rather be said that the ostensible object of diminish- 
ing the numbers of the navy was to enable the numbers of the 
army to be increased. 

The period of Pelham 's administration from the Peace of Aix- 
la-Chapelle to his death was not distinguished by domestic 
legislation of an exciting character. In fact, it Henry 
might be said that the prime minister's one object Pelham. 
was to keep the machine running with as little friction as possible, 
but also with the minimum of effort to keep the machine itself 
in repair. Pelham had considerable skill in the art of harmonis- 
ing the differences among his colleagues. He managed to keep 
a very mixed team together, with a success which abler men 
might have envied ; but it was chiefly because he was a timid 
follower of the cautious Walpole, and was above all things 
anxious to avoid the stirring up of trouble. 

The two or three measures which stand out during the era 
of the ' broad-bottom ' administration were, from a party point 
of view, of an uncontroversial character. The first consols, 
of these was the successful establishment of the 1751 - 
consolidated government stock, ever since familiarly known as 

206 The Indecisive Struggle 

' consols.' The interest in respect of 50,000,000 of the National 
Debt was reduced in 1751 to 3!, and then to 3 per cent., and 
in the next year a group of several separate loans was also con- 
solidated into 3 per cent, stock a notable proof of the financial 
prosperity of the country, since even with the reduced interest 
the government stock stood at a premium. 

A different interest attaches to another measure for which 
Lord Chesterfield was responsible. This was the adoption of 
Reform of ^ Q Gregorian Calendar, which was already in use in 
the Calendar, most of the countries in Europe. The system which 
1752 * Julius Caesar had established was so far inaccurate 

that in the course of the centuries a rectification of eleven days 
became necessary. Hitherto, also, the official year had begun 
with Lady Day, instead of on the ist January. Much confusion 
had been caused for a long time by the fact that the practice 
varied, the months of January, February, and March being 
sometimes recorded as if they were the first three months of the 
year beginning on ist January, and sometimes as if they were 
the last three months of the year which on that basis had ended 
on 3ist December. Also, those who followed the authorised 
calendar in England counted as the first of each month the day 
which their continental neighbours were calling the I2th ; so 
that for more than half a century we have to be careful in noting 
whether any given date is O.S. or N.S. (Old Style or New Style). 
In 1751, therefore, a bill was passed adopting the New Style as 
from 2nd September 1752. Eleven days were dropped out of 
the reckoning, so that that day became I3th September ; and 
thenceforth the official year began on ist January. The pre- 
servation of the correct relations between the official year and 
the solar year is now practically preserved by striking each 
century year out of the number of leap years. 

The only other measure which calls for notice is Lord Hard- 
wicke's Marriage Act. Hitherto it had been possible for runaway 
couples to get themselves united by marriage in the precincts 
of the Fleet prison, and by other devices, a system which had 
not infrequently been used by adventurers to entrap unsuspicious 
young women into surreptitious marriages. After Lord Hard- 

Henry Pelham 207 

wicke's Act, any clergyman who performed the marriage cere- 
mony without either previous publication of banns or the 
production of a marriage licence was heavily Hardwicke's 
penalised in England. The runaway couples had Marriage 
to post to the Scottish border ; once in Scotland, Act> 1753 ' 
where the penalties did not apply, they could get themselves 
married under Scottish law ; and the blacksmith at Gretna 
Green was the usual agent whose good offices were sought by 
eloping couples. 

Finally, we have to note the disappearance from the scene 
of the Prince of Wales, who had ceased to be a 1751 Death 
factor of any importance in politics as soon as the of the Prince 
Pelhams succeeded in absorbing into their ministry of Wales - 
whatever talent had hitherto associated itself with Leicester 

* Since it 's only Fred, 

Who was alive and is dead, 

There's no more to be said,' 

was the conclusion of the rhyme which immortalised the popular 
appreciation of his personal insignificance. Frederick's young 
son George, afterwards George in., became the heir apparent; 
but the political importance of the duke of Cumberland was 
somewhat increased by his own nearer proximity to the throne. 
In 1754 Henry Pelham died, and his brother Newcastle 
became the head of the ministry. 


I. DRIFT, 1754-1757 

HENRY PELHAM'S abilities had been by no means of a first-rate 
order, but he had possessed the art of managing the House 
1754. of Commons and his colleagues. Newcastle's per- 

Newcastie. sonality was much less adaptable ; he was more 
self-asserting, and was at the same time palpably less competent. 
By his whole-hearted cultivation of the methods of jobbery and 
corruption he had made it impossible for any one to manage 
parliament in antagonism to himself ; but he commanded neither 
the respect nor the confidence of colleagues who were attached 
to him mainly because they could not afford to break with him, 
such as Henry Fox. The duke, in fact, chose to keep the con- 
trol in his own hands ; although he had no clear conception of 
policy or of the methods by which any particular policy should 
be given effect. The leadership of the House of Commons was 
entrusted to Sir Thomas Robinson, one of the negotiators of the 
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, chiefly because he was not a man of 
ability. From the government benches Pitt and Fox criticised 
the government ; Fox was presently quieted by offices of more 
emolument than power, and Pitt once more went into Opposition. 
Practically, the government drifted towards that war with France 
which could not long be avoided, but without making any 
effective effort to control the circumstances in which the war 
should take place, or any adequate preparations for the conflict 
when it should come. Happily for Great Britain, statesmanship 
was as conspicuously lacking in the counsels of Versailles as in 
the counsels of Westminster. 

When war did come a complete revolution had taken place 
in the combinations of the powers. The traditions of almost 


Drift 209 

three-quarters of a century had united the maritime powers with 
the Hapsburg in hostility to Bourbon aggression, except during 
the period when Bourbon aggression was held in 
check by the mutual antagonism of the Bourbon Diplomatic 
powers. Ever since the Revolution the one per- Revolution, 


sistent fact in foreign politics had been the alliance 
of Great Britain and Austria. Since 1740 the hostility between 
Austria and her new German enemy Prussia had made France 
and Prussia natural if also distrustful allies. Between Prussia 
and Great Britain there had been no positive hostility ; but there 
was an obvious presumption that if there were a renewal of the 
conflicts between France and Great Britain and between Austria 
and Prussia, Austria and Great Britain would be combined on 
one side, France and Prussia on the other, unless each pair of 
combatants fought out its own duel, irrespective of the other 
pair. Even from the day when the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 
was signed, there could have been no doubt in any man's mind 
that before very many years were passed Great Britain and 
France, Austria and Prussia, would be righting. But no one 
could have anticipated at that date that France would be in 
alliance with Austria, and Great Britain with Prussia. 

No one, that is, except the exceedingly able statesman who was 
mainly responsible for bringing about the diplomatic revolution, 
Kaunitz, the Austrian minister. Kaunitz was bent, The schemes 
like Maria Theresa herself, upon recovering Silesia of Kaunitz. 
for Austria, restoring the Hapsburg hegemony in Germany, and 
reducing Prussia from the position which she had just won at 
Austria's expense. Russia also was hostile to Prussia, partly on 
account of her aspirations on the Baltic, but still more effectively 
because of the bitter personal animosity towards Frederick of 
the Tsarina Elizabeth, whom he had annoyed by sarcastic re- 
flections on her character. Saxony also would view the suppres- 
sion and partition of Prussia with unqualified satisfaction. But 
to Kaunitz it appeared that the alliance of France would be 
more useful than the alliance of Great Britain in a conflict with 
Prussia. Hanover was attached to Great Britain, and George 
was certain to be very much afraid of the consequences to 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. O 

2io The Decisive Struggle 

Hanover of an attack upon Prussia. Moreover, throughout the 
last war, George, in his double capacity as king of Great Britain 
and elector of Hanover, had persistently urged upon Austria the 
cession of Silesia to Frederick. There was certainly no pro- 
bability that his British ministers would be readily drawn into 
taking an energetic part in the suppression of Prussia. On the 
other hand, if France could be persuaded to attach herself to 
the circle of Prussia's enemies, her military assistance would 
obviously be very much more useful than that of Great 
Britain. Whereas, if France maintained her alliance with 
Prussia and used her armies against Austria, her hostility would 
be more dangerous than that of Great Britain. In short, for 
the purposes at least of a war with Prussia, for which the British 
fleet would be out of action, France would be a more useful 
ally and a more dangerous foe than the maritime power. Kaunitz 
devoted his energies to procuring the alliance of France ; and 
his success in doing so was a triumph of diplomacy. 

French tradition was entirely opposed to the alliance, entirely 
opposed to the Austrian supremacy in Germany, and bound up 
France. with the idea of the absorption by France of the 

Austrian Netherlands. And yet this complete reversal of French 
policy was effected by the skill of Kaunitz. There was a very 
common dissatisfaction in France with the policy which had 
issued in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ; a disposition to hold 
the policy itself to blame, instead of the inefficient diplomacy 
which had done so little for France in spite of her military 
successes. As for the Prussian alliance, both countries during 
the war had worked for their own separate ends with very little 
consideration for the advantage of the other. At critical 
moments Prussia had deserted France, and France had left 
Prussia in the lurch. The connection was one of pure expediency, 
in which sentiment played no part. It was not difficult 
perhaps to make even the expediency of the alliance appear 
doubtful in France. 

Still, it is more than possible that Kaunitz would have failed 
to achieve his end if he had had only men to deal with. But very 
conveniently for him, the king had fallen entirely under the 

Drift 2ii 

influence of the lady who bore the title of Madame de Pom- 
padour. At the best of times, personal intrigues had more than 
enough to do with keeping French politics in a state The begun- 
of unsettlement ; with the Pompadour's caprices in- in of Louis. 
terfering in every department of state, a settled and intelligent 
policy was further out of reach than ever. Kaunitz as Austrian 
ambassador at Paris secured the influence of the favourite, who 
was extremely angry with Frederick, for reasons of a kind similar 
to those which actuated the Tsarina. Not all at once, but by 
degrees, Louis was enfolded in the meshes which the Austrian 
was spreading for him. Nor can we altogether leave out of 
count one other purely personal factor, the superstitious imagina- 
tion of King Louis, which taught him to believe that he could 
make his peace with Heaven and square the account of his 
private immoralities by uniting with the Roman Catholic power 
for the destruction of Protestant Prussia. His attitude indeed was 
not without its odd counterpart in that of the people of England, 
who presently succeeded in developing an enthusiasm for 
Frederick as the ' Protestant hero/ which the patron of Voltaire 
must have found highly entertaining. 

But the Protestant hero himself was extremely uneasy. He 
was very well aware that Austria and Russia were planning his 
destruction. He wanted to have France on his side, Frederick 
and to keep alive the hostility between her and of Prussia. 
Austria. He did not want to be drawn into the coming contest 
between France and Great Britain, because he wished to reserve 
his energies for his own defence against the Eastern powers. 
He was not much afraid of being attacked by Great Britain, 
which had taken no part against him in the war of the Austrian 
Succession ; but it became gradually clear to him that France 
was leaning towards Austria, that he would find in her at best a 
half-hearted ally, and that she would expect him to dissipate the 
energies which would require concentration by attacking Hanover 
in her interests. France and Great Britain were certainly going 
to fight, and on the seas France was certainly not going to get 
the best of it. In the circumstances he decided that alliance with 
Great Britain would serve him better than alliance with France. 

212 The Decisive Struggle 

In January 1756 the Convention of Westminster was signed, 
under which Prussia and Great Britain guaranteed the ' neu- 
1756 trality of Germany.' No foreign troops were to be 

Two treaties, allowed to enter Germany ; which meant in effect 
January-May. ^hat each power would support the other against a 
French or Russian invader of Prussia or Hanover. On ist May 
France and Austria signed the first Treaty of Versailles, ostensibly 
a defensive agreement, by which each of the powers undertook 
to support the other if attacked, but which implied no open 
breach between Austria and Great Britain. The colonial and 
maritime quarrel was expressly outside the terms of the contract. 

Both Great Britain and France had drifted into the position 
in which they now stood. Until the last moment the Newcastle 
ministry had not contemplated a breach with 
Great* Austria. Though not disposed to a direct attack 

Britain and upon Prussia, they wanted to preserve the Austrian 
alliance, while George was particularly anxious for 
the security of Hanover against a Prussian attack in alliance 
with France. That is to say, in 1755 it was still anticipated 
that the old alliances of France and Prussia, Austria and Great 
Britain, would hold good. But George tried in vain to persuade 
Austria to send 25,000 men to the Austrian Netherlands, while 
he actually concluded a bargain with Hesse for the supply of 
12,000 troops for the defence of Hanover. The reply of Kaunitz 
clearly meant that Austria had no intention of taking a friendly 
part in the direct quarrel between France and Great Britain 
which was rapidly drawing to a head. Nevertheless, still with 
the protection of Hanover in view, Great Britain concluded with 
Russia a treaty by which she took into her pay 50,000 Russian 
troops, who were to march to the defence of Hanover in case it 
should be attacked a very convenient subsidy for Russia, 
which intended in any case to join Austria in attacking Prussia. 
But when George found Frederick ready not to attack, but to 
protect Hanover on the terms of the Treaty of Westminster, 
the Russian alliance at once became meaningless. The Tsarina's 
wrath was aroused, she was transformed into an enemy, and gave 
a ready assent to the Treaty of Versailles. 

Drift 2 1 3 

Meanwhile, the Anglo-French quarrel had been drawing to a 
head in America. When Franklin's proposal for a federation of 
the colonies in 1754 had been negatived, the governor 1755. 
of Virginia, Dinwiddie, considered that it was time America, 
to appeal to the Home government for support against the French 
aggression which had been so sharply emphasised by the establish- 
ment of Fort Duquesne. In response to the appeal, General 
Braddock was dispatched to Virginia with two regiments of 
regulars. Theoretically, these movements in the colonies did 
not involve a declaration of war between the mother countries ; 
they affected only a local dispute as to the ownership of a de- 
batable territory. Four months after Braddock sailed, 3000 
French troops were dispatched to Canada. Admiral Boscawen 
was sent off in pursuit, but the French reached the St. 
Lawrence first, and the English squadron succeeded only in 
capturing two out of the eighteen French ships which had sailed. 
Before the end of the year letters of marque had been issued 
to numerous privateers which swept up a number of French 

Braddock's operations were disastrous. He marched with his 
regulars against Fort Duquesne in July ; but though he under- 
stood something of the tactics of European fighting, Braddock's 
he knew nothing whatever about fighting in the disaster, 
backwoods. His troops were ambushed by a smaller July ' 
force of French and Indians, and were cut to pieces ; the 
general himself, whose courage was unimpeachable, was mortally 
wounded. Although a body of colonial troops, commanded by 
William Johnson, defeated a French force and secured the fort 
of Oswego, the whole position on the American continent at the 
end of the year was exceedingly ominous. 

Between the signing of the Treaty of Westminster in January, 
and that of the Treaty of Versailles in May, events of importance 
had taken place. There had been a disposition at 1756 
the French court to decline the Austrian overtures, Alarm in 
to leave Prussia alone, and to fight the British on Englandt 
the sea and in North America. A very heavy naval expenditure 
was designed, and vigorous naval preparations were in progress. 

214 The Decisive Struggle 

The British government had information in January and Feb- 
ruary that an invasion was being designed, and that the Toulon 
fleet was being made ready for an attack upon Minorca. The 
efforts of France to secure the support of Spain were futile. 
King Ferdinand had no intention whatever of being dragged into 
a war. In March other reports of the same nature were received. 
By way of preparation for the impending war the government 
had arranged for the importation of Hessian troops. When in 
March Pitt brought in a Militia Bill, which would have provided 
for the training of an army of reserves, 60,000 strong, and got it 
passed by the Commons, Newcastle procured its rejection in 
the other House. Both Houses, however, addressed the king to 
procure Hanoverian troops to resist invasion. 

In April, a squadron, under Admiral Sir J ohn Byng, a younger 
son of George Byng who had destroyed the Spanish fleet 
Byng at a * Passaro, was dispatched to the Mediterranean 

Minorca, for the defence of Minorca; both Gibraltar and 
Minorca were still very inadequately garrisoned. 
Before Byng reached Gibraltar the French fleet had sailed from 
Toulon for Port Mahon. On igth May the British admiral found 
the place already invested. With thirteen sail of the line and 
five frigates, he fell in with the French squadron of twelve sail 
of the line, heavier ships than the British, and five frigates. 
Byng's leading ships, under Admiral West, engaged the French 
van in a running fight ; but the rest of the fleets hardly came 
to close quarters ; Byng gave up the idea of attempting to destroy 
the enemy's naval force, and retired to Gibraltar. He had come 
to the conclusion that he was not strong enough to raise the 
siege of Port Mahon, and that it was better to secure Gibraltar 
than to risk an engagement which in his judgment was likely 
to be followed by the capture not only of Port Mahon, but of 
Gibraltar as well. A month later Port Mahon capitulated. 

Now there is no doubt that the government ought to have been 
able to send a fleet larger and better manned than that which was 
Byng and the commanded by Byng, though they had acted under 
ministry. a reasonable belief that they had to guard against 
a descent upon England itself. There is also no doubt that 

Drift 2 1 5 

almost any other British admiral than Byng would have fought 
the French fleet. Lord Anson certainly had no doubt that 
Byng's squadron was competent to beat the French fleet. The 
news from the Mediterranean filled the ministry with alarm 
lest Gibraltar should follow Minorca, and the populace with 
fury at a naval failure so humiliating. There was, in fact, 
every probability that the popular rage would vent itself on 
ministers. Newcastle was terrified, and determined that the 
general indignation should be concentrated upon the admiral. 
Byng and West were both brought home under arrest. It was 
at once made clear, however, that West had done his duty, and 
he was released ; Byng was reserved for trial. From America 
there came in September the unwelcome news that the French 
under their brilliant leader Montcalm had captured the forts 
of Oswego and Ontario. 

These disasters were in themselves almost sufficient to destroy 
the ministry. Matters were made worse for Newcastle, because 
his most brilliant supporter in the House of Commons, 
William Murray, insisted on being appointed Lord Newcastle 
Chief- Justice, and retiring to the Upper House as ministry, 
T j TV/T c. ij TI. r\ u TT T- xi- November. 

Lord Mansfield. Then, in October, Henry Fox, the 

ally of the duke of Cumberland, declared his intention of resign- 
ing. Newcastle suggested to the king that Pitt should take 
Fox's place. George did not want Pitt, to whom he had never 
been reconciled, and who, he thought, would ignore the interests 
of Hanover. Pitt had led every attack on the mismanagement 
of ministers ; the country was beginning to turn to him as the 
one man who could save it a truth of which he was himself 
thoroughly convinced. But he also knew that he could only 
save it in effect as dictator, and he flatly refused to join in 
the same ministry with Newcastle. Yet he himself had no per- 
sonal following worth consideration numerically in the House 
of Commons. 

A way out of the impasse was found through the formation 
of a ministry by the duke of Devonshire. Newcastle, Fox, and 
the Chancellor Hardwicke resigned. Several members of the 
Newcastle ministry were retained. The control of foreign affairs 

216 The Decisive Struggle 

lay with the two secretaries for the ' northern ' and ' southern 
departments.' Holderness remained secretary for the northern 
The department, which was responsible for the greater 

Devonshire part of Europe ; Pitt was secretary for the southern 
department, which included the Mediterranean 
states and fortunately the colonies and India. But Pitt was 
the virtual head of the administration, in which places were 
found for his three brothers-in-law, Lord Temple and George 
and James Grenville. 

The new ministry was formed in November 1756. But already 
Frederick of Prussia had struck the blow which transformed the 
Frederick duel between Great Britain and France into a battle 
strikes, involving all Europe. Before the Convention of 

Westminster he had known of a secret treaty be- 
tween Austria and Russia for the dismemberment of Prussia. 
The Treaty of Versailles was certain to mean that France would 
join the circle of his enemies. There was no doubt in his mind 
that Saxony would also be added that the four powers were 
only waiting till they had all brought their military preparations 
up to the point when they could crush him completely by a sudden 
common declaration of war. Frederick had not scrupled, six- 
teen years before, to throw his armies into Silesia without 
declaring war, when he had, in fact, no excuse except that he 
wanted something to which he had no right. He was not the 
man to wait, and, for the sake of a diplomatic punctilio, to permit 
himself to be destroyed. He resolved to strike at once, and to 
offer his justification afterwards. He judged correctly enough 
that the justification would be found in the ministerial archives 
at Dresden. Also, he calculated that if he swooped upon Dresden, 
Saxony would be immediately and permanently paralysed, and 
that from Saxony he could make his spring upon Austria before 
she or her allies were ready for him, without the danger of a 
flank attack from Saxony. At the end of August he suddenly 
marched over the Saxon border and advanced upon Dresden. 

Swift and irresistible as was the attack, Frederick's immediate 
military object was foiled. The small Saxon army was quite 
unable to meet the much larger Prussian force in the field ; but 

Drift 217 

there was no disposition to an unconditional surrender ; it was 
rapidly concentrated in an impregnable position resting upon 
Pirna, some distance to the south of Dresden. There Autumn . 
week after week it held Frederick at bay, hoping the 
for succours from Austria. Saxony gained nothing, 
but to Austria the delay was invaluable ; though 
the Austrian government was much annoyed with the Saxons 
for not falling back and joining the Austrian forces. But while 
Frederick was held in check at Pirna, Browne, the commander 
of the force on the frontier, was able to reorganise it. After a 
month's delay he advanced to the relief of Pirna. Frederick 
with the bulk of his force checked but did not defeat him at 
Lobositz. But he was too late. Before he could relieve the 
Saxons at Pirna they had been practically starved into surrender. 
Augustus of Saxony had to retire to his Polish kingdom. Saxony 
lay at the mercy of Frederick, who occupied Dresden, and was 
able to make public the documents which proved the existence 
of the suspected conspiracy for the dismemberment of Prussia. 
But the delay had destroyed all chance of taking Austria by 
surprise. On the other hand, the officers of the Saxon army 
were obliged to give their parole not to serve against Prussia, 
and the rank and file were compelled to serve in Frederick's 
own army. 

Frederick's intended campaign in Bohemia had to be post- 
poned ; but his action in opening the attack hastened the formal 
completion of the alliance of his enemies by the 1757> 
second Treaty of Versailles in the spring of 1757. The effect 
France, very conveniently for Great Britain, com- 
mitted herself to the Prussian war ; the military party had won 
the complete ascendency. Already, in anticipation of the 
European war, they had in effect prevented the dispatch of any 
large number of troops to Canada, and had induced the govern- 
ment to concentrate upon the army instead of upon the navy 
upon the struggle which concerned France only in a very minor 
degree, instead of upon the duel with Great Britain. That 
Frederick had followed the wisest course in striking before his 
enemies could combine against him is past question ; but by 

218 The Decisive Struggle 

so doing he had drawn France upon himself, and thereby rendered 
an invaluable service to his ally. 

That ally was not yet in a position to play her part. New- 
castle as well as Pitt was aware that the British battleground 
Fate of Byng, was not in Europe, but in America. George had not 
January. y e t r i se n to that conception. Months were still to 
elapse before the Pitt dictatorship, so necessary to the British 
empire, was to be an accomplished fact. But for the moment 
the mind of the public was filled with the trial of Admiral Byng. 
The court-martial opened on 28th December. New articles of 
war had been drawn up in consequence of the inadequate per- 
formances of the fleet during the last war ; and among them 
was one the precise object of which was to prevent commanders 
from evading battle, as it was at any rate supposed that they 
had been doing, and as Byng certainly did before Port Mahon. 
The article was unjust enough. Through an error of judgment, 
certainly not from lack of personal courage, Byng had not, in 
the judgment of the court, done his best either to relieve Port 
Mahon or to support West when he engaged the French. The 
court had no option but to condemn the admiral to death under 
the articles, though it subjoined to its verdict a strong and 
unanimous recommendation to mercy. No mercy was to be 
shown, for the king and people were too angry to see that the 
law itself was unjust. Pitt, to his own credit, braved unpopu- 
larity by advocating the cause of Byng. He failed, and the 
admiral was shot ' to encourage the rest/ according to Voltaire's 
sarcastic comment. But, as a matter of fact, it is difficult not 
to conclude that the effect was to discourage the rest from 
following his example. The death of Byng was a warning to 
British admirals that it would be better for them to take risks 
than to avoid them. And thenceforward they took them. 

In February 1757 Pitt's Militia Bill was again introduced, and 
was passed in a modified form which provided for a trained 
Dismissal reserve of 32,000 men. On Pitt's initiative, two 
of Pitt, Highland regiments for foreign service were raised, 

March. largely from the clans which, twelve years before, 

had joined the Jacobite rising ; their value was to be shown ere 

Drift 219 

long on the Heights of Abraham. Supplies were also voted for 
a force which was to carry out the obligations of the Conven- 
tion of Westminster and prevent a foreign army from entering 
Germany in other words, to hold the line of the Weser and block 
the invasion of Hanover and Prussia by a French army advancing 
from the Lower Rhine. The command was to be given to 
Cumberland, who made it a condition that Pitt, to whom he was 
personally hostile, should be dismissed. Cumberland's ally in 
the House of Commons was Henry Fox, whose earlier association 
with Pitt had been finally broken in 1755, when Fox had sur- 
rendered his principles for the sake of office. Pitt was still by 
no means acceptable to the king, and it appeared that his popu- 
larity had been shaken by his disinterested defence of Byng. 
The formation of a new ministry was privately entrusted to 
Fox. No warning was given to Pitt. On ist April Cumberland 
took his departure ; before the week was out Temple and Pitt 
were dismissed, and the two Grenvilles immediately resigned. 

But the dismissal of Pitt did not lead to the formation of a 
new ministry ; it produced only chaos. A mere return to the 
thoroughly discredited Newcastle administration chaos, 
was out of the question. Pitt's popularity revived April-June, 
in full flood. Cumberland was generally disliked, and it was 
known that he was the prime cause of the minister's dismissal. 
Public opinion was demonstrated when one after another of the 
great towns presented Pitt with the freedom of the city. Popular 
instinct had recognised the man who alone could give the nation 
leadership and breathe life into it ; the nation was sound at 
the core, though the dry-rot which pervaded the government 
had generated something like a panic. The nation clamoured 
for Pitt, while the politicians vainly attempted to form a series 
of combinations, each one more hopeless than the last. 

At last the * Great Commoner ' realised that there was only 
one way in which the country could be saved a 
coalition between himself and Newcastle ; for the pitt and 

simple reason that while Newcastle was incapable Newcastle, 
, . .. . 29th June, 

of governing himself, he could and would wreck any 

government from which he was excluded. In June the coalition 

220 The Decisive Struggle 

was formed. In effect Pitt demanded, what was absolutely 
necessary, that he should have a free hand in controlling the 
conduct of the war, while Newcastle was to enjoy an equally free 
hand in the distribution of places and all that manipulation 
of backstairs influences which his soul loved and the soul of 
Pitt loathed. The coalition was a combination of the most 
extreme opposites, of the fervent idealist and the grubbing 
materialist, of the statesman who scorned intrigue and the 
politician to whom jobbery was the breath of life. But it was 
a combination necessary to the State in the circumstances of 
the time, and it produced the administration which made 
the British empire. 

II. WILLIAM PITT, 1757-1760 

It was more than time for a clear brain and a strong hand to 
seize the control. On ist May, while chaos was reigning in 
1757 England, the second Treaty of Versailles between 

The situation Austria and France was signed. From the French 
in May. point of view it was, in fact, an amazingly foolish 

treaty, entirely in the interests of Austria. France was to de- 
vote herself to crushing Prussia, which was to be partitioned 
chiefly between Austria and Saxony, though Sweden and the 
elector palatine were to have a share if they joined the league. 
Only when Austria was once more in full possession of Silesia 
was France to be rewarded by the possession of sundry towns 
in the Austrian Netherlands. The rest of the Netherlands were 
to be given to Don Philip of Parma, and Austria was to get her 
equivalent by having Parma and Piacenza transferred to her 
a possession, in fact, much more useful to her than the Nether- 
lands, from which she was separated by the whole of Germany. 
But if the bargain was a bad one for France, it was also very 
bad for Prussia, because it exposed her definitely to the French 
attack. To Great Britain, indeed, it meant the concentration 
of French energies upon the war in Europe instead of on the 
seas and in America ; but it meant at the same time an increased 
probability that her one ally would be completely crushed, 

William Pitt 221 

and it became ail the more necessary that she should give 
vigorous support to Frederick. 

And Frederick needed all the support he could get. Russia 
was moving against him or preparing to do so on the east, 
Austria on the south, France on the west. Saxony Frederick, 
was hors de combat, but beyond Saxony the princes of Southern 
Germany were joining the anti-Prussian league. Sweden from 
the north might take part in the attack. Only on the west 
lay Hanover and Cumberland's composite army on the Weser 
to fend off the direct French attack. Against this mighty circle 
of foes Frederick had only his own Prussians and some reluctant 
Saxons to give battle. His Prussians, though relatively few, 
were the best trained troops in Europe, and he himself was far 
the most brilliant of living generals ; but apart from this he 
had no advantage except the possession of the ' interior lines '- 
that is, he was at the centre of the semi-circle, ano^ could with 
comparative rapidity transfer his main force from point to point 
on the circumference. He was to owe his preservation to the 
skill, the audacity, and the swiftness with which he used the 
same force to strike deadly blows in quick succession now against 
one enemy and now against another ; although it was never in 
his power to remain long enough in any one quarter to follow 
up the blows he struck. 

When Pitt's great administration was being formed in England, 
Frederick had just won a brilliant success, only to be followed 
by an apparently overwhelming disaster. Before Prague and 
Russians or Austrians or French were ready to Kolin, June. 
strike, he had in May suddenly flung himself upon Prague, 
shattered an Austrian force, and driven it into the city. But 
Prague proved to this campaign what Pirna had proved when 
Frederick attacked Saxony in the previous year. It offered an 
obstinate defence which enabled a second Austrian army to 
gather and march to its relief. Frederick, rendered over-con- 
fident by his successes, turned from Prague with half his force 
to fight the new army at Kolin. In spite of his rashness and 
the superior numbers of the enemy, Kolin might have been a 
victory, but for some blunders on the part of subordinates and 

222 The Decisive Struggle 

the fierce valour of some Saxon troops which had not been in- 
cluded in the capitulation of Pirna, owing to their absence at 
the time in Poland ; it was turned into a disastrous defeat. 
Frederick had to retreat in haste into Prussia, though the 
Austrian commanders lacked the energy to follow up their 

The news of Kolin reached England in July ; not very long 
before there had arrived from India the intelligence of the 
A gloomy massacre of the British in Calcutta by the nawab 
moment. o f Bengal, Suraj-ud-Daulah, some twelve months 
earlier. That ghastly outrage had already been avenged by 
Robert Clive at the battle of Plassey, but the report of his doings 
did not arrive till long afterwards. The outlook was very black 
indeed at the moment when Pitt was holding his celebrated 
interview with the king who had so stubbornly opposed his 
ascendency. ' Sir/ said the minister to the king, ' give me your 
confidence and I -will deserve it.' ' Deserve my confidence,' 
replied the king, ' and you shall have it.' Both promises were 
carried out with unfailing loyalty. The confidence was given 
in full measure and deserved in full measure. 

Hitherto there had been no definite conception of the principles 
upon which the war was to be waged. Pitt's conception was 
Pitt's war clear. Great Britain's own real weapon was to be 
policy. the navy. Her direct blows against France were to 

be struck by the navy or in Canada. In Europe her battles 
were to be fought for her by Frederick ; Frederick, by engaging 
France on the Continent, was to help Great Britain to win her 
triumphs on the sea and in another hemisphere. Frederick, 
then, must be vigorously supported by the supply of that of 
which he stood most in need, money ; but the drain upon his 
armies must also be minimised by troops which should hold 
the French in play on the west, and by constant combined naval 
and military operations on the French coast which should keep 
masses of French troops perpetually locked up in garrison for 
the defence of the ports and to prevent the landing of an army 
of invasion. But it was some time before the new naval and 
military strategy could be organised so as to have full effect ; 

William Pitt 223 

before the product of the former system or want of system could 
be obliterated. 

Both on the Lower and the Upper Rhine, French armies were 
collected, the former to deal with Cumberland, the latter to join 
forces with the imperial troops of South Germany. Hastenbeck 
The French marshal d'Estrees crossed the Weser. andKioster- 
On 26th July, Cumberland with his force of Hano- iotn s'ep- 
verians, Brunswickers, and Hessians, gave battle timber, 
at Hastenbeck. The fight itself was indecisive, but the duke 
fell back to the north across the Aller to Stade, near the mouth 
of the Elbe, to preserve the communications by sea with England. 
There is reason to believe that in so doing he was acting upon 
his father's orders instead of following his own inclination to 
fall back eastwards and join forces with Frederick, who had just 
made his way back from Kolin. D'Estrees was superseded by 
the incompetent Richelieu, a court favourite, a wit, and a brave 
man, but no general. Cumberland, however, allowed himself to 
be manoeuvred into a cul-de-sac at Klosterseven, and was there 
forced to capitulate on loth September. The Hanoverian troops 
were to be permitted to go into winter quarters ; the rest of 
the German troops were to be disbanded. Richelieu assented 
to Cumberland's desire that the arrangement should be called 
not a capitulation but a convention. Neither of the generals 
bore in mind the important distinction between a ' capitulation ' 
and a ' convention/ that the former is technically within the 
powers of the general in the field, whereas the latter does not 
become actually valid until sanctioned by the Cumberland 
government ; that is, the government may not disgraced, 
repudiate a capitulation, whereas it is technically free to re- 
pudiate a convention. The convention had been arranged 
through the good offices of the king of Denmark. The duke 
believed himself to have been acting in accordance with his 
father's instructions. But there was an explosion of wrath in 
the country ; George was furious, and declared that Cumberland 
had acted without powers, and had disgraced himself ; and the 
convention was repudiated. The duke resigned all his offices, 
refusing with an admirable dignity to put forward the very 

224 The Decisive Struggle 

complete defence which would have transferred the obloquy of 
the proceedings to the father who had insulted him instead of 
to himself. Once more Pitt showed his magnanimity by taking 
the part of the man who had done more perhaps than any one 
else to keep him out of office. But Cumberland's public career 
was ruined. It was partly due to Pitt himself that the command 
of the army in Hanover was placed in the very efficient hands 
of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. 

In other quarters, too, the tale of failures was increasing. In 
America Montcalm captured two more British forts. A British 
other squadron under Holburne sailed for the St. Law- 

failures, rence to co-operate with the British commander- 

in-chief Lord Loudoun against Louisbourg. Loudoun decided 
that the attempt was hopeless, and Holburne's squadron was 
so badly damaged in a hurricane that only a portion of it was 
able to make its way home again ; whereas a French squadron 
succeeded in reaching Louisbourg. Another small French 
squadron evaded the blockading British fleets and escaped to 
Indian waters. Finally, a strong naval and military force, which 
was sent under General Mordaunt and Admiral Hawke to capture 
Rochefort failed ignominiously because the commanders could 
not or would not co-operate ; Mordaunt being undoubtedly the 
real delinquent. 

At the close of the year, however, the prevailing gloom was 
brightened by the brilliant achievement of the king of Prussia. 
Frederick's After the disaster at Kolin he reorganised his forces, 
victories at The French marshal Soubise from Alsace joined the 
and^uthen i m p er i a l German troops on the south and advanced 
November and upon Saxony. A Russian army entered East Prussia, 
the isolated province of the Prussian kingdom, and 
defeated Frederick's general Lehwald at Gross- Jagersdorf. 
Swedish troops from Stralsund were threatening Prussian 
Pomerania. Frederick chose Soubise as the enemy with whom 
he must first deal. Leaving the duke of Brunswick-Bevern to 
watch the Austrians under Daun, the king marched into Saxony. 
But Soubise was not to be drawn into an engagement. Then a 
cleverly conducted Austrian cavalry raid was carried up to Berlin 

William Pitt 225 

itself. A movement of Frederick's for the protection of the 
capital enticed the army of Soubise to move from its position. 
Frederick seized his chance of forcing an engagement ; and 
although outnumbered by two to one, routed the enemy's forces 
in the brilliantly fought battle of Rossbach (5th November). 
The attack from the south-west was ruined. The Russian 
general retired from East Prussia under the impression that the 
Tsarina was dying, and that a complete change of Russian 
policy would follow the accession of the new Tsar. Lehwald 
was released to attack the Swedes and drive them back into 
Stralsund. But in the meantime the Austrians had resumed 
their activity, forced Bevern back into Silesia, and captured 
the important towns and forts of Schweidnitz, Breslau, and 
Liegnitz, taking Bevern himself prisoner. Nevertheless, Frederick, 
marching from Rossbach with troops full of a renewed confidence 
in themselves and their chief, succeeded in forming a junction 
with the troops which Bevern had commanded, brought the 
Austrians to an engagement, and won on 5th December the most 
brilliant of all his victories at Leuthen. 

With the next year, 1758, Pitt's system was beginning to come 
into full play. George's pusillanimous desire to neutralise 
Hanover was counteracted, as it had been in the 1758 
previous war, by Pitt's resolve to take the Hano- Ferdinand of 
verian troops into British pay. A heavy subsidy Brunswick - 
was provided for Frederick. Ferdinand of Brunswick, the new 
commander, proved himself thoroughly capable of dealing with 
the French forces under their incompetent generals and pushed 
them back over the Aller, the Weser, and finally, the Rhine, 
inflicting upon them a severe defeat at Crefeld ; after which he 
was reinforced by the British troops which had hitherto been 
denied him to the number of nearly 10,000 men. 

The policy of blockading French ports was developed, and that 
of creating diversions by descents upon the French coast was 
carried on with energy, though with little enough D ev eiop- 
apparent success. In May a large force of soldiers ment of Pitt's 
and ships attacked St. Malo, but accomplished s y stem - 
nothing of any importance. In August another expedition 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. HI. P 

226 The Decisive Struggle 

attacked Cherbourg, destroyed the fortifications, captured guns 
and stores, and did a good deal of damage to the harbour. But 
a renewed attack upon St. Malo in September was completely 
repulsed with heavy loss. This whole group of enterprises has 
been severely criticised. From the days of Drake's Lisbon 
expedition, such operations involving the joint action of soldiers 
and sailors were repeatedly rendered futile by the mutual jealousy 
of the services, their failure to agree upon a concerted plan, and 
their common incapacity for understanding what it was reason- 
able to expect from the other partner. At Rochefort, at St. 
Malo, and even at Cherbourg, comparatively little loss was 
inflicted on the enemy, at a very heavy cost; a gibe passed 
current that we were ' breaking windows with guineas.' It must 
be remembered, however, that the main intention in all these 
cases was to divert French troops from the armies on the Rhine, 
to keep numbers of them locked up at every point where a 
sudden attack might possibly be delivered by the power whose 
naval superiority enabled it to strike when and where it thought 
fit. Frederick the Great himself fully recognised the value of 
these diversions, and actually suggested the policy ; Anson, 
the highest naval authority of the day, approved of them. But 
because the advantage which accrued from them was only in- 
direct and therefore not easily recognisable, while they habitually 
failed in achieving their ostensible objects, they naturally in- 
vited condemnation prima facie. The fact, however, is manifest 
that the French armies on the Rhine accomplished nothing in 
1758. Though their failure is attributable more to inefficiency 
in their commanders than to insufficiency in their numbers, it 
is at least probable that if their numbers had been increased and 
their commanders had not been made nervous by perpetual 
uncertainty about the point which would be selected for the 
next blow, they would have given more trouble to Ferdinand 
of Brunswick. 

In America also the vigour of Pitt's administration displayed 
itself. There Pitt planned a triple attack. Loudoun was re- 
called. Jeffery Amherst, with the young general James Wolfe 
as second in command, was appointed to the military leadership 

William Pitt 227 

of an expedition against Louisbourg with which a squadron 
under Admiral Boscawen co-operated. This was preceded by a 
squadron which was sent to blockade Louisbourg, pi anof 
and to prevent the entry of reinforcements from campaign in 
France. Hawke destroyed a fleet of transports America - 
which was being prepared at Rochefort, while the Mediter- 
ranean squadron prevented the sailing of a fleet for America 
from Toulon. The second attack was to be made from the 
south on the Upper St. Lawrence by way of Lake Champlain and 
Ticonderoga, under General James Abercromby ; while a third 
colonial force was directed to the west against Fort Duquesne 
on the Upper Ohio. 

The expedition under Amherst and Boscawen succeeded in 
its object, and Louisbourg was captured on 27th July. Fort 
Duquesne was also captured, to be rechristened partial 
Fort Pitt (subsequently Pittsburg). Abercromby 's success, 
expedition, however, met with disaster. Without waiting for 
his guns, he delivered a frontal attack on the entrenched position 
at Ticonderoga, where the defenders were thoroughly protected 
by a strong abattis, from behind which they poured a withering 
fire upon the attacking troops. The assault was completely 
repulsed with very heavy loss, and Abercromby retreated ; so 
the plan of campaign as a whole for the year was frustrated. 
The captures of Louisbourg and Fort Duquesne, and the restored 
effectiveness of the maritime supremacy, were the palpable gains 
of the year ; bringing an encouragement which had been heralded 
earlier by the news of Clive's amazing triumph at the battle of 
Plassey in Bengal in the summer of 1757. 

On the Continent Frederick was still holding his own, though 
he was doing little more. He had gained nothing by a campaign 
in Moravia in the earlier part of the year. In Frederick's 
August he was obliged to quit Moravia by the re- fortunes, 
newed advance of the Russians, against whom he gained a very 
hard won victory at Zorndorf on the Oder. From Zorndorf 
he had to dash back, to check the Austrian advance into Saxony, 
where he experienced a defeat at Hochkirchen at the hands of 
Daun. The Austrian, however, did not push his advantage, and 

228 The Decisive Struggle 

before the end of the year Frederick had reorganised his forces 
without losing any more ground. 

The next year, 1759, was a bad one for Frederick, for every 
great engagement was draining the life-blood of Prussia, while 
1759. his opponents still had great hosts to draw upon 

for the reinforcement of their armies. But for Great Britain 
it was the ' wonderful year/ the year of victories, although there 
was a striking recuperation in France through the accession to 
power of the able minister Choiseul ; and the French armies were 
placed under the command of the best available officers instead 
of court favourites. 

Even in Germany, a full share of the honours fell to the British 
soldiery with Ferdinand. The French under the command of 
The Minden Contades and Broglie pushed forward across the 
campaign, Rhine, captured Frankfort, defeated Ferdinand at 
July-August. Bergeil) f orc ed him back, and captured Minden on 
the Weser, on the Hanoverian border. A battle and a victory 
were absolutely necessary if Hanover was to be saved ; but 
Contades was in a position where it was impracticable to attack 
him. Ferdinand, though with a smaller force, detached 10,000 
men to force Contades from his position by falling on his com- 
munications. Contades thereupon advanced, under the im- 
pression that he could overwhelm his opponent. But Ferdinand 
by the disposition of his troops successfully lured Contades into 
a carefully prepared trap. Mainly by the splendid courage and 
discipline of the British infantry regiments, which advanced 
under a heavy fire and completely routed three successive charges 
of the French cavalry, the French were driven back ; and but 
for the wholly inexplicable conduct of Lord George Sackville, 
who commanded the first line of British cavalry and abstained 
from charging in spite of repeated orders, the French would have 
been cut to pieces. As it was, Ferdinand won a very decisive 
victory, though the enemy escaped annihilation. Sackville was 
subsequently cashiered ; but the failure of one man to do his 
duty was of no account as compared with the magnificent con- 
duct of the British soldiery. The battle of Minden (ist August) 
was a shattering blow to the French army. 

William Pitt 229 

But Minden paled in comparison with the triumphs which 
followed. Pitt had resolved upon the conquest of Canada in 
this year, and, on the other hand, Choiseul had re- Choiseul 
solved upon the invasion of England. The British plans an 
conquered Canada, but the French did not invade invasion - 
England. On the contrary, their navy was wiped off the seas. 
However well directed, however energetic Choiseul's prepara- 
tions might be, it was in vain to collect transports and flat- 
bottomed boats, men and supplies, for use in England, so long 
as British fleets made it impossible to reach the British shores. 

As always, the two main French fleets lay at Brest and at 
Toulon ; transports were waiting at Havre, at Rochefort, and 
elsewhere. Admiral Hawke kept watch over Brest Boscawen at 
and the Channel, Boscawen in the Mediterranean ; Lagos, August, 
and yet Pitt could spare twenty-two ships of the line for the 
campaign in Canada, and four for Indian waters. Until August 
the business was one mainly of watching and waiting, though 
Rodney was detailed to bombard Havre in July, without achiev- 
ing any important results. Boscawen, however, was obliged to 
withdraw to Gibraltar from his watch over Toulon to repair 
some of his ships. The French admiral La Clue slipped out of 
Toulon, hoping to evade Boscawen and to effect a junction with 
the Brest fleet. A heavy haze almost enabled him to succeed, 
but one of Boscawen's look-outs sighted the French fleet, and 
Boscawen started in pursuit with fourteen sail. Five of La 
Clue's twelve ships ran for Cadiz. One of the remaining seven 
fought a desperate fight with the British ships as they came up, 
and delayed the pursuit of the rest. Nevertheless, of the others, 
Boscawen ran four ashore at Lagos, two of which he captured 
and burnt two. This action was, in fact, a breach of neutrality, as 
Lagos was in Portuguese territory ; but it broke up the Toulon 

Still Choiseul hoped that the Brest fleet would be able to effect 
an invasion of Scotland, though on a smaller scale than the 
great invasion originally projected. The scheme Quiberon, 20th 
was ruined by Hawke. Hawke's base for guarding November. 
Brest was Tor Bay. When a westerly gale was blowing no 

230 The Decisive Struggle 

squadron could come out of Brest, and Hawke, driven from the 
open sea, could ride safely in Tor Bay. The French ships would 
not venture out. To the British public it appeared that nothing 
was happening, and the admiral was being burnt in effigy just 
at the moment when his weary watch was ended and he was 
achieving a particularly brilliant victory. A westerly gale had 
driven Hawke into Tor Bay in the first week of November ; 
it had also enabled a French squadron from the West Indies 
to make its way into Brest. The gale dropped, and Conflans, 
the French admiral at Brest, slipped out of harbour and sailed 
south, apparently with the intention of picking up a body of 
troops at the Morbihan, with a view to invasion of the British 
shores. Giving chase to a small British cruising squadron, they 
came in sight of Hawke's fleet, which had put out from Tor Bay 
at the first possible moment. The wind was rising to a gale, 
and Conflans made for Quiberon Bay, an exceedingly difficult 
piece of water, where he hoped to get into safety himself, while 
the pursuing British, if they entered the bay, would run a 
tremendous risk of going to pieces on the reefs. Hawke, how- 
ever, took the risk. His van overtook the French rear, and in 
the furious fight which followed, with all the terrific accompani- 
ments of a raging storm, five of the twenty-one French ships 
were taken or sunk. Seven made their way into the Vilaine, 
where four of them were wrecked. Nine escaped for the time, 
some into Rochefort, the rest into the Loire. 

For practical purposes, the French navy was annihilated. 
The remnants of the Brest and Toulon fleets were scattered in 
The French various ports, two or three here and two or three 
fleet wiped there, without the faintest chance of coming out 
again. Two British ships ran on the shoals of 
Quiberon and were lost ; but in the course of the year the British 
had taken and added to their own fleet twenty-seven French 
ships of the line. In its effects Quiberon was the most decisive 
naval battle that had been fought since the Armada, because 
it gave to the British not merely the supremacy but an absolutely 
unqualified mastery of the seas. From that moment only a 
comparatively small naval force was needed to keep the French 

William Pitt 231 

ports in a state of blockade ; the rest of the fleet was free to 
operate where it would. Hawke's consummate naval strategy 
had first paralysed the French fleet ; his splendid audacity 
and his seamanship, and the daring and seamanship of his 
captains, destroyed it. 

Two months earlier, the genius of Wolfe had struck the decisive 
blow in Canada. Pitt had chosen the young general for his 
task with remarkable courage and insight, though Canada: 
it must be noted that King George also realised the James Wolfe, 
great qualities which were hidden under an unpromising exterior 
as well as by eccentricities of manner. Wolfe was one of the few 
men who had made a scientific study of his profession, and could 
cheerfully reply when asked how he had devised a particularly 
successful tactical development, that he had ' got it from 
Xenophon.' But he was as far removed as possible from the 
popular beau sabreur or the conventional martinet, though he 
had fought at Dettingen when he was sixteen and served under 
Cumberland at Culloden. His health was bad ; he had the 
insignificant chin which commonly denotes incapacity, and he 
was occasionally capable of the gasconading which naturally 
inspires distrust. But wherever he had been Wolfe had dis- 
played courage both physical and moral, capacity, and common 
sense, combined with originality. Wolfe was chosen for the 
command which in the previous year had been entrusted 
to Amherst. Amherst, the senior officer, took the command 
from which Abercromby had been recalled after his failure at 

As before, the attack upon Canada must be made by three 
advancing columns. Wolfe, supported by a squadron, was to 
attack Quebec, pushing up the St. Lawrence ; pian of the 
Amherst, in the centre, was to move upon Montreal campaign, 
from the south by Lake Champlain. The third column, corre- 
sponding to that which had captured Fort Duquesne in 1758, 
was to follow the western route by Fort Niagara and Lake Ontario. 
It was hoped that the three columns would converge upon Quebec. 
The programme, however, could not be carried out in full. 
General Prideaux, with the third column, captured Niagara ; 


The Decisive Struggle 

Amherst succeeded in securing Ticonderoga and Crown Point ; 
but not till it was too late for either force to hope to reach Quebec 
in time, since with the approach of winter the St. Lawrence 
would be blocked with ice, and the naval squadron would 
necessarily be withdrawn. 

Siege of 



Emery Walker Ltd. sc. 

The last and almost trivial reinforcements from France had 
reached Canada early in the year, having escaped just before 
Wolfe and the blockade of the French coast had been made 
before 6 " completely effective. At the end of May the 
Quebec, British squadron, under the command of Sir Charles 

June. Saunders, reached the St. Lawrence; at the end 

of June it had carried Wolfe and his army up to Quebec. Mont- 
calm, with 5000 regulars and 10,000 militia, besides Indians, 
elected to stand on the defensive against Wolfe, with his ships 
and his troops, who numbered something under 9000. The 
position, in fact, appeared almost impregnable, at least without 

William Pitt 


a very much larger besieging force. Wolfe could not invest 
Quebec ; the cliffs on the south and west could hardly be scaled ; 
on the east the space between the rivers St. Charles and Mont- 
morenci, where Montcalm's camp lay, was too strongly entrenched 
to permit of a successful attack. The mouth of the St. Charles 
itself was secured by a boom. Wolfe encamped his forces 
partly on the north of the St. Lawrence, east of the Montmorenci, 
partly on the Isle of Orleans, under the guns of the squadron, 
which, of itself, sufficed to prevent any conceivable prospect 
of French reinforcements arriving from France. A portion of 
the squadron with some of the troops was detached under Holmes 
to force its way up the river above Quebec and there maintain 
a perpetual threat of a landing ; to prevent which Montcalm, 
in turn, had to detach a column under Bougainville. 

But Wolfe had an apparently insoluble riddle before him 
the problem of attacking a force numerically superior, thoroughly 
well equipped, under a very able commander, be- Wolfe's 
hind apparently impregnable fortifications, and with difficulties, 
the knowledge that on the approach of winter the siege would 
have to be raised. For two months the riddle remained unsolved ; 
Montcalm was not to be enticed from his entrenchments ; a 
direct attack upon them was beaten off. Wolfe himself fell ill ; 
his dispatches home were despondent. A letter written on 
2nd September, which was received in London on I4th October, 
produced a general impression that he had no hope of bringing 
the enterprise to a successful conclusion. Two days later London 
broke into a delirium of mingled triumph and sorrow ; for the 
news had come that Quebec was taken, and that Wolfe had fallen 
in the hour of victory. The two dispatches were published in 
the same gazette. 

The riddle had been solved. Wolfe had submitted to his 
brigadiers alternative proposals for an attack from the east. 
The brigadiers had submitted a counter proposal A plan of 
for landing a force twelve miles up the river and attack, 
attacking from that side. This suggestion was Se P tember - 
partly actuated by an impression that Amherst would very 
shortly arrive, and that a junction with him could be effected. 

234 The Decisive Struggle 

Wolfe, having recovered sufficiently to make some investigations 
for himself, decided to adopt the brigadiers' plan of making the 
landing above Quebec, but he rejected the landing-place they 
had chosen, and with it their theory of the attack. He selected 
instead a point much nearer to Quebec, where he hoped to get 
his forces on shore and to reach the Heights of Abraham, the 
plain in front of the town of Quebec, thrusting at the enemy's 
centre and severing Montcalm from Bougainville, while Bougain- 
ville and his detachment were unaware of what was going on. 

During the next few days the camp was shifted from the 

position on the east of the Montmorenci to the southern side 

of the St. Lawrence above Quebec. Four thousand 

operation, men were secretly embarked on Holmes's ships. On 

I2th-i3th I2 th September Saunders opened a fierce bombard- 
September. . . * , 

ment, as though in preparation for an assault upon 

Montcalm's camp between the St. Charles and the Montmorenci. 
Holmes's ships, on the other hand, moved up the river, drawing 
Bougainville away to the west, while Montcalm had massed his 
troops on the east to resist the expected attack. In the small 
hours of the morning of I3th September, Wolfe with his 4000 
men dropped silently down the river. They were carried past 
the intended landing-place, but disembarked under the Heights 
of Abraham, which were accounted so secure that no watch was 
kept at the foot though there were sentries at the top. A party 
of volunteers led the way in scaling the Heights, the rest of the 
troops following ; the sentries at the top were surprised and 
rushed. When the dawn broke the troops were already forming 
line on the plateau. 

The news was carried to Montcalm, whose troops were hurried 
out and formed up under the walls. Of the British there were a 
Victory. little over 3000, since the whole body had not scaled 

the Heights ; the numbers of the French are uncertain, but were 
certainly greater, possibly as much as double. The British were 
drawn up in two lines, the French in a single line which, at about 
nine o'clock, swung forward down the intervening slope, firing 
as it advanced. The British with steady discipline reserved their 
fire till the French were thirty yards away. Then a terrific 

William Pitt 235 

volley brought the French to a standstill, and at a second volley 
they broke and fled, the British charging upon them with bayonet 
and claymore, the pursuit ceasing only when it was stopped by 
the fire from the ramparts of Quebec. Wolfe received his third 
wound, a mortal one, at the moment of ordering the charge, 
and ' died content.' When Bougainville hastened up he found 
the battle already won. Montcalm, too, had received his death 
wound, though he survived till the next morning. The French 
governor broke up what had been Montcalm 's camp and fled. 
On the I7th, the fourth day after the fight on the Heights of 
Abraham, Quebec capitulated. 

The fall of Quebec and the battle of Quiberon were decisive 
of the contest in America and on the seas ; Quiberon indeed 
was the more decisive of the two, since, even if A comment. 
Wolfe had failed, the destruction of the French fleet would have 
ensured the renewal of the attack in strength to which the French, 
unreinforced, must have ultimately succumbed. Wolfe's achieve- 
ment exemplified the possibility of perfect and triumphant co- 
operation between the two services ; it was also in itself one of 
those brilliant strokes which have staked everything upon 
audacity ; and while designed and carried out with the utmost 
skill on the part both of Wolfe himself and of Admiral Saunders 
so as to minimise its risks, must still have ended in disaster if 
the surprise had not been complete. The Seven Years' War 
more than any other exemplifies the brilliant results achieved 
by accepting tremendous risks, such as those which Hawke took 
at Quiberon, Wolfe at Quebec, Clive at Plassey, and Frederick 
times without number. 

Only by taking such risks was Frederick able to save himself 
from destruction. Sometimes as at Kolin he failed and almost 
ruined himself. So it was with him at this time. Frederick's 
A few days after Minden, and while Wolfe was still difficulties, 
vainly seeking the solution of his riddle, Frederick flung himself 
at Kunersdorf upon the Russians who had advanced to the Oder 
and were about to effect a junction with Daun's Austrians. 
After opening a successful attack, the Prussian king attempted 
to do too much with his already exhausted troops against the 

236 The Decisive Struggle 

stubborn foe who greatly outnumbered him. The result was 
a crushing defeat. It appeared that the Prussian army was 
hopelessly shattered. Nevertheless, the Russian commander, 
probably once more in the expectation of a change of policy at 
headquarters, and Daun with his natural incapacity for activity, 
made no further movement until Frederick had recovered from 
his temporary despair, and had once again reorganised his broken 
forces. But Kunersdorf had in effect enabled another army to 
push into Saxony and occupy Dresden, and Frederick was to 
suffer yet another disaster when a column dispatched by him to 
cut the Austrian communications was overwhelmed by superior 
numbers and compelled to capitulate at Maxen. 

The year 1759 had been disastrous for France ; upon her had 
fallen the three blows of Minden, Quebec, and Quiberon. Choiseul 
Choiseul attempted two diplomatic moves. The death of 
and Spain. Ferdinand of Spain had given the Spanish throne 
to his half-brother Charles in., Don Carlos of Naples, who 
thereby vacated his Neapolitan throne in favour of his second 
son, Ferdinand. Unlike his half-brother, Charles hated England, 
for he had bitter recollections of his interview with Commodore 
Martin in the previous war. Choiseul had hopes now of bringing 
Spain into the alliance against Great Britain. At the same 
time, he endeavoured to enter upon a separate negotiation with 
Pitt which should part Great Britain from Prussia. Instigated 
by France, Charles intimated that Spain could not look with 
equanimity upon the progress of the British arms in America. 
Pitt, who was not in the least afraid of Spain, contented himself 
with suggesting that Great Britain's doings in America were no 
concern of Spain's. As for separate negotiations with France, 
Pitt would not have dreamed of deserting the ally to whom he 
already owed so much, even if he had not been convinced that 
the preservation of the power of Prussia was a political neces- 
sity. He was willing to negotiate in conjunction with Frederick ; 
but upon no other terms. 

In England the triumphs of the last year had established Pitt's 
ascendency so completely, that unprecedented supplies were 
voted for the war without a murmur. It was only the lavish 

William Pitt 


supplies of British gold which maintained on the west of Prussia 
the force which, ably handled by Ferdinand, could still continue 
to hold back the still greatly superior numbers of 1760 
the French armies. It was only British gold which The struggle 
enabled Frederick to keep in being his own Prussian ln German y- 
force in spite of the fearful depletion caused by the desperate 
struggle which had now entered upon its fourth year. Through 
1760 Frederick's enemies were slowly pressing upon him more 
closely. He induced the Russians to fall back by a trick ; 
at Liegnitz in Silesia, in August, and at Torgau in Saxony, in 
November, he struck, and struck hard at the Austrians ; but 
his victories were no longer crushing blows ; they were only 
sharp reverses for the enemy, checks which held back the advanc- 
ing tide which threatened to overwhelm him. 

But the other tide, of British successes, swept on almost 
unimpeded. In India the French received the coup de grace 
at Wandewash. The British contingent with Fer- British 
dinand won fresh laurels at Emsdorf and Warburg successes, 
under the leadership of Eliott, later distinguished for his great 
defence of Gibraltar, and Granby, who had already distinguished 
himself at Minden, and became in England a popular hero as 
witnessed by the number of inns which adopted ' The Marquis 
of Granby ' as their sign. In Canada the triumph of Wolfe was 
completed by Amherst. 

The organisation of the campaign for the year was left in 
Amherst's hands. Though the British were in possession of 
Quebec, Amherst still had to fight his way into The Canadian 
Canada. The French, who had concentrated at conquest 
Montreal, hoped that before Amherst could arrive comp e e 
from the west, or a squadron from the east, they themselves 
would be able to recover Quebec, which was occupied by General 
Murray, one of Wolfe's brigadiers, with a force which now 
numbered less than 4000. The French advanced to the attack 
with quite double that number of men, at the end of April. 
Murray came out to fight them, but was driven back with heavy 
loss on 28th April. A siege began, but in less than a fortnight 
the first frigate of an approaching British squadron appeared 

238 The Decisive Struggle 

on the scene. The waterway was clear of ice. A week later 
the French were in retreat. On the i8th May the British 
squadron was at Quebec. The French at Montreal had indulged 
themselves in illusive hopes of reinforcements from France ; 
the reinforcements succeeded in sailing, but were duly cut off 
by a British squadron in July. Meanwhile Amherst had worked 
out his own plan of campaign against Montreal. Murray was 
to advance from Quebec, another force under Haviland by 
Amherst's old route ma Lake Champlain, and a third column 
under Amherst himself from the west by Lake Ontario. The 
converging move was carried out with such consummate skill 
and accuracy that the three columns arrived before Montreal 
simultaneously on 6th September. The united force was over- 
whelming, and the French governor had no choice but to capitu- 
late. On 8th September the conquest of Canada was completed. 
The French population were by the terms of the capitulation 
guaranteed liberty of religion and security of property. The 
troops were to lay down their arms, and to be conveyed back 
to France, pledged not to serve again against Great Britain in 
the course of the war. 

In October, when Pitt was in the zenith of his glory, George n. 
died suddenly, and his young grandson, George in., reigned 
Death of * n ^ s stead. The change was to prove fatal to the 
George II. ascendency of the Great Commoner, whom the old 
October. king had supported with an admirable loyalty ever 

since the reconciliation, in spite of the long antecedent years of 
dislike and distrust. Before we turn to the story of the new 
reign we have still to give the account of the great achievements 
which, in the last four years of the old king's life, established 
the British East India Company as a territorial power in India 
achievements to which it has hitherto been possible to make 
only incidental reference. 

III. CLIVE, 1755-1760 

Although the French recalled Dupleix in 1754, when his place 
was taken by Godeheu, it was still far from certain, at least 
as far as appearances were concerned, that his schemes were 

Clive 239 

destined to be obliterated. If the nawab of the Carnatic was 
in the grip of the British, Bussy was still supreme at the 
superior court of the Nizam, who had bestowed 1755 
upon the French the coastal district above the river The situation 
Krishna, known as the 'Northern Sirkars,' for the inlndia - 
support of his forces. The new French governor made a com- 
pact with Saunders at Madras, by which it was agreed that the 
companies should abstain from further hostilities. It looked as 
if the condition of balance between the French and British was 
to be maintained. 

Clive, after his successes, had returned to England, ambitious 
of taking an active part in home politics. Fortunately enough, 
he was foiled, since, although he was elected to parliament, he 
was unseated on petition. He enjoyed, however, the full con- 
fidence of the directors and of the government, and in 1755 he 
returned to India with instructions from the directors that 
Bombay was to form an alliance with the Mahrattas in order 
to check the increasing power of Bussy, which was 1756 
causing them considerable anxiety. But in the dive's return 
meantime Godeheu and Saunders had made their tolndia - 
compact of abstention from interference in native politics ; and 
the Bombay authorities, feeling bound to respect tfye compact, 
would take no action. Instead of proceeding against Bussy, 
Clive, in conjunction with Admiral Watson, who was in the Indian 
waters with a small squadron, and with the Mahratta authorities 
at Puna, destroyed a piratical confederacy which had recently 
been established by the sea-robber Angria at Gheriah on the 
west coast. Though the demolition of this dangerous nest of 
pirates was entirely the work of Clive and Watson, Gheriah 
itself was handed over to the Mahrattas, and Clive went on to 
Madras where, in June 1756, he took over the command of Fort 
St. David. 

Meanwhile, the disruption of the Mogul empire had been 
progressing. Three times since Nadir Shah's great invasion 
Ahmed Shah Durani, who had made himself master Ahmed Shah, 
of Kabul, followed in the footsteps of Nadir Shah and swept 
over the north-west of India, where government had ceased tq 

240 The Decisive Struggle 

mean anything more than the collection of tribute for the Afghan. 
The Afghan tribe of Rohillas had established themselves in 
Rohilkhand on the north-west side of Oudh. The Mogul's 
nominal wazir or minister, Safdat Ali, had established himself 
in Oudh itself as nawab, and reigned there with very little 
respect for his suzerain at Delhi. Another minister and soldier, 
Ali Vardi Khan, had secured for himself as nawab the two Lower 
Ganges provinces of Behar and Bengal. The Mahratta con- 
federacy had been growing in strength ; the peshwa at Puna 
had secured a general recognition as its head, and its western 
chief, the Bhonsla at Nagpur, otherwise known as the Berar 
raja, dominated the greater part of Central India, levying chauth 
or blackmail from less powerful princes, and carrying his in- 
cursions into Bengal itself. There was hardly a pretence of 
recognising the existence of any central authority. 

In 1756, the old and able Ali Vardi Khan died and was suc- 
ceeded by his grandson, Suraj-ud-Daulah. He was a youth, 

half mad and wholly bloodthirsty, brought up in 
Bengal: The the harem an extreme example of the worst type 
Black Hole, o f Oriental monarch. He conceived himself to be 

almost omnipotent. In Bengal, during the earlier 
struggle between French and British, Calcutta and Chander- 
nagur had kept the peace; Suraj-ud-Daulah had no compre- 
hension of the events which had been taking place in the Deccan, 
and looked upon the British as a mere settlement of traders 
whom he might treat as he liked. With a view to a possible 
renewal of the French contest, some fortifications had been 
perfunctorily raised by Drake, the British governor of Fort 
William. Suraj-ud-Daulah ordered their demolition ; Drake 
protested; the nawab conceived that he had thus obtained a 
sufficient excuse for taking possession of the British settlement. 
From his capital at Murshidabad he marched an army upon 
Calcutta. Drake and some of his company fled in haste down 
the Hugh ; others remained to offer a short but hopeless resist- 
ance. On 2ist July Fort William was taken, with a hundred 
and forty-six prisoners. They were all herded together in a 
chamber where there was barely room for them all to stand up, 



ventilated by nothing but one small grating. Then the nawab 
forgot them. Next morning he remembered his prisoners, the 
door of the prison was opened, and within it were found twenty- 
three with the life still in them and one hundred and twenty- 
three corpses. That was the story which reached Madras in 
August, and London only in the following year. 

The Madras authorities acted. They had Clive, and they had 
Admiral Watson's squadron at hand. Nine hundred white troops 
and as many sepoys with the five ships of war reached 
the mouth of the Hugli on I5th December. On 2nd and Watson 
January 1757 the nawab's garrison at Fort William at Calcutta, 
surrendered. A week later Clive seized the fort at 
Hugli. The nawab sent a great army to wipe out the foreigners ; 
Clive's offers to negotiate were ignored. Clive marched against 
the nawab's forces, fought them on 5th February, and retreated 
again to Calcutta, having failed to carry the enemy's position. 
The enemy, however, had had more than enough, and hurried 
back to Murshidabad, where the nawab was seized with panic 
and promptly offered terms. A treaty was made, reinstating 
the British in all their privileges, with promises of compensation 
for their losses. 

Clive, according to his instructions, should now have returned 
to Madras. But the report had just arrived of a declaration 

of war between France and Great Britain. Suraj- 

ud-Daulah began to intrigue with the French at nagur 

Chandernagur, and with Bussy who was 300 miles taken, 
away in the Northern Sirkars. Clive and Watson 
saw that if they left Bengal their work would have to be done 
all over again ; the French must be removed from Chander- 
nagur. On 23rd March the British attacked Chandernagur and 
captured it, taking 500 prisoners. The blow at once decided 
Bussy that the Deccan would be a more fruitful field for his 
operations than Bengal. 

Still the problem remained for Clive should he return to the 
Deccan, where a conflict with the French was certainly now im- 
pending, or should he remain in Bengal, where he could still 
hardly doubt that his departure would be the signal for Suraj- 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. Q 

242 The Decisive Struggle 

ud-Daulah to fall upon Calcutta again. The problem was solved 
for him. Great lords of the nawab's court were filled with 
The Omi- terror for their own lives by the frantic caprices and 
chundpiot. the bloodthirstiness of the young ruler. A con- 
spiracy was set on foot to overthrow Suraj -ud-Daulah and to 
make his commander- in-chief, Mir Jafar, nawab in his place. 
The conspirators rested their hope of success on the co-operation 
of the British. They opened negotiations with the British. 
To them the fall of the treacherous and sanguinary tyrant would 
mean the security of their position in Bengal. Clive entered 
into the plot, still maintaining ostensibly amicable relations 
with Suraj -ud-Daulah. The go-between was a Hindu named 
Amin Chand, anglicised as Omichund. Terms and conditions 
were practically settled, when Omichund suddenly put forward 
a demand for an impossibly enormous reward for himself, amount- 
ing to more than a quarter of a million. To refuse would mean 
The Red *n e betrayal of the whole design. Clive stooped to 

and White an enormous act of deception. Two copies of the 
treaty were prepared, one on red paper the other 
on white. The red treaty, which included the clause embodying 
Omichund's stipulation, bore the signatures of the Calcutta 
Council, of Clive, and of Admiral Watson. But the white treaty, 
which omitted the Omichund clause, was signed by the native 
conspirators. When Omichund saw the red treaty he was 
satisfied the white treaty he did not see. Nor did he know 
that Admiral Watson had refused to take part in the fraud, and 
that his signature, the absence of which would have been fatal, 
had been forged. 

To the day of his death, Clive maintained that he had acted 
rightly ; that he was dealing with men who were entirely with- 
comment. out the European conceptions of truth and honour, 
men who would hesitate at no lie, no fraud, no treachery ; that 
in the existing crisis there was no course open but to fight such 
men with their own weapons. To the Oriental mind, what he 
did presented itself not as the monstrous iniquity which it would 
have been under Western conditions, but as a clever trick which 
would be justified by success. Watson himself, though he would 



not put his hand to the sham treaty, was so far demoralised by 
the atmosphere that he allowed the forging of his own signature 
to pass without protest. On no other occasion did Clive deviate 
from the straightforward path, but the British had not yet learnt 
the fundamental principle upon which their Oriental dominion 
was to rest, that the Western moral standards must be main- 
tained in all dealings even with Orientals. 

In this case, the deviation from Western standards was accom- 
panied by entire success. The treaty was completed upon iQth 
May. At once Clive dispatched to the nawab a ciive's ad- 
statement of British complaints and an announce- vance, June, 
ment that he was coming with his men to Murshidabad to lay 
these matters before the nawab's durbar or council. This was 
to all intents and purposes a declaration of war. The nawab 
gathered a huge army and moved towards Calcutta, while Clive 
marched out with his whole force numbering noo Europeans, 
twice as many sepoys, and ten guns. Five days after the dis- 
patch of his letter, Clive had seized the fort and granary of 
Katwar. The critical moment had come. Some 60,000 men 
were moving against him. Mir Jafar, with 20,000 men, was to 
desert and turn his arms against the nawab on the day of 
battle ; but there were rumours that Mir Jafar had turned 
faint-hearted and could not be trusted. The monsoon had 
set in. If Clive entrenched himself where he lay, time was 
more likely to bring Bussy to the support of the nawab 
than to bring to his own aid the extremely untrustworthy 
Mahrattas with whom negotiations had been opened. Retreat 
would certainly mean ruin, advance might mean annihilation. 
For three days he hesitated, then called a council of war the 
only one he ever did call to which he communicated his own 
opinion, adverse to an advance and in favour of waiting. Of 
the eighteen members of the council of war, eleven agreed with 
him, while seven were in favour of taking the whole risk. The 
decision seemed to have been made ; but an hour's solitary 
meditation changed it. Clive made it known that he had 
resolved to advance at all costs. On the next morning, 
22nd June, the force marched forward to Plassey, where it 

244 The Decisive Struggle 

passed the night with the nawab's huge host a short distance 

Clive had his men drawn up with the Europeans in the centre, 
and the sepoys on the wings. Accompanying the nawab's huge 
Battle of force there was a small band of some fifty French- 
Piassey, men. At eight in the morning cannonading began, 

and went on for some hours without marked result. 
There was no movement on the part of Mir Jafar. Without 
such a movement Clive had not intended to make an active 
attack ; but early in the afternoon one of his officers saw the 
French shift from their position, which he immediately seized. 
Clive turned the whole of his artillery fire on the enemy's guns, 
threw them out of action, and led his whole line forward ; where- 
upon the nawab's army turned and fled with such promptitude 
that only some hundreds of them were slain, and the victors lost 
no more than seventy men. The nawab reached Murshidabad, 
but was caught while trying to escape thence in disguise, and 
was secured by Mir Jafar's son, who murdered him. 

Such a victory in Indian warfare would normally have been 
followed by massacre; nothing of the kind was permitted. 
Effect of Four days after the battle of Plassey Mir Jafar was 

Piassey. proclaimed nawab. But Clive, the miracle-worker, 

was regarded by all the natives without exception as the real 
conqueror and lord ; the new nawab was merely his servant. 
Before the terror of his name armies melted away. No one 
dreamed of disputing his supremacy, least of all Mir Jafar. 
Whether he had meant to do so or not, Clive, in fact, had made 
himself responsible for the rule of Bengal and Behar. He had 
no official authority, but his behests were law ; and it was well 
for Bengal that it was so, for his hand was outstretched to 
protect the natives decisively from the violence and the extor- 
tions which would have been the natural accompaniments of a 
successful rebellion and a change of dynasty. 

When Omichund discovered how he had been duped, the shock 
was too much for his brain, and he became hopelessly crazed. 
Mir Jafar was obedient, though he might secretly resent the 
master's control. The nawab of Oudh thought for a moment 



that he might make profit for himself out of the commotion in 
Bengal ; he dispatched an army, but when his invasion was 
reported Clive promptly took the field, and Safdat Ali's troops 
did not wait to meet him. The British officers with Clive gave 
him unanimous and loyal support, ignoring sundry foolish re- 
arrangements which the directors in London at first thought 
fit to order. Clive remained in Bengal as dictator. 

Since the news of the declaration of war, which had arrived 
in the spring of 1757, active operations had begun in the south. 
The French had sent out a new governor-general, 1758 
Lally-Tollendal, son of one of the Irish Jacobites Laiiyin 
who had defended Limerick. Lally was a man of tlie Carnatic - 
great talents, but of a most impracticable character, who drove 
his subordinates to mutiny and could work with no colleague, 
while he was totally incapable of understanding the natives, 
whose prejudices he violated at every turn. The one hope of 
the French lay in the diplomatic and military talents of Bussy, 
who had made himself hardly less supreme at Haidarabad than 
was Clive in Bengal. Lally ordered Bussy with his troops to 
leave Haidarabad, thereby entirely losing control over the Nizam. 

In May 1758, a month after he had reached India, Lally had 
captured Fort St. David. He then attacked Tanjore, hoping to 
obtain large supplies by its capture ; but the French 
squadron which had succeeded in bringing him out O f Madras 
retreated upon the arrival of a British squadron raised 
which threatened Pondichery, and compelled him to 
return thither in order to keep his headquarters secure. Then, 
reinforced by Bussy's troops from Haidarabad and the Sirkars, 
he attacked Madras ; but there Lawrence was in command and 
held him at bay until the appearance of the British squadron 
in February 1759 produced a panic among Lally's troops and 
compelled the French commander to beat a hasty retreat to 

The Nizam's cession of the Sirkars to Bussy should have been 
invaluable to the French as a source of revenue for war purposes. 
To this Clive in Bengal was fully alive. He himself could not 
quit Bengal ; but no sooner was it apparent that Bussy was to 

246 The Decisive Struggle 

be withdrawn from the Sirkars than preparations were made for 
dispatching from Bengal every available man to seize for the 
Forde at British the Sirkars and the town of Masulipatam. 
Masuiipatam, Clive took the risk of practically denuding Bengal 
of white troops, and depending in effect on his own 
personal capacity and prestige to retain his control there. 
Colonel Francis Forde, the officer chosen to command the ex- 
pedition, did his work brilliantly. If Bussy had been allowed 
to remain at Haidarabad, Forde's task might have been im- 
possible. As it was, the Nizam made no movement to defend 
the Sirkars until it was too late. Masulipatam fell in April ; 
the Nizam adopted the natural conclusion that the star of France 
had set, cancelled the cession to Bussy, and ceded the captured 
district to the British. Forde returned in triumph to the 

The Oudh wazir's plan of invading Bengal at the end of 1757 
had collapsed at the sound of Clive's name. Moved perhaps in 
Bengal: P ar ^ ^Y the knowledge that British troops had de- 

ciive's relief parted from Bengal, the wazir again, early in 1759, 
prepared for an invasion. This time he was acting 
in conjunction with the Shahzada, Shah Alam, the heir apparent 
of the Mogul at Delhi. The prince had quarrelled with his 
father and had ambitious schemes of his own. Mir Jafar, on 
the one hand, was frightened and was anxious to submit ; on 
the other, the Shahzada was making large offers to Clive for 
British assistance in his schemes. But the Mogul himself de- 
noun.ced his son's proceedings as rebellion. Clive perceived the 
immense political advantages which would accrue from acting 
as the supporter of the sovereign in such circumstances. He 
ignored the terrors of Mir Jafar. The city of Patna offered a 
determined resistance to the invader. Clive had only four 
hundred Europeans available; but with these, six times as 
many sepoys, and some of the nawab's troops, he marched to 
the relief of Patna, covering the distance of four hundred miles 
in twenty- three days. The Shahzada' s troops did not wait to 
fight ; they scattered, and the prince himself fled hastily. Clive 
himself was rewarded with what is known as his jaghir or estate, 

Clive 247 

the quit-rents of the districts which had been conferred on the 
company on Mir Jafar's accession. 

These events brought no comfort to the nawab himself, who 
did not enjoy his position as a mere subordinate of the master- 
ful Englishman who insisted upon decent govern- The Dutch 
ment. The French had failed ; but it occurred to episode, 
him that something might be done with the Dutch Octoben 
who had a factory at Chinsura on the Hugh, and were not at all 
pleased with the revolution which had made their trade rivals 
masters of Bengal. He opened an intrigue with them, and they 
were rash enough to listen to his proposals. In October, Dutch 
ships with troops on board arrived in the Hugli, ostensibly with 
no more dangerous intentions than the protection of their own 
interests. Clive, however, had no doubt that they were acting 
in collusion with the nawab. Still, there was no quarrel with 
the Dutch, and he would have found it extremely difficult to 
justify any action against them had they not themselves been 
the aggressors. But when the Dutchmen seized some English 
ships his course was clear. Forde, who had now returned from 
Masulipatam, was at once sent against Chinsurah, and three 
armed East Indiamen were sent down the Hugli to deal with 
the seven Dutch ships. Both actions were successful ; the factory 
and the ships were captured, and the Dutch had to petition the 
victors to protect them against the nawab's son, who had meant 
to co-operate with them until the sudden success of the British 
changed his view of the situation. The episode was concluded 
by a treaty, the Dutch apologising, paying compensation, and 
agreeing thenceforth to keep no more than 125 soldiers in Bengal. 

The achievement of 1759, the dispersion of the Shahzada's 
army, the capture of Masulipatam, and the suppression of the 
Dutch, made Clive feel that at last he could safely 1760 
leave Bengal himself. In February 1760 he departed Wandewash, 
for England. Before he left, the decisive blow had Februar y- 
been struck in the Carnatic against the French. During 1759, 
after the failure before Madras, Lally's operations had been ruined 
by the condition of his own troops. The loss of the Sirkars 
deprived him of the necessary funds ; officers and men were 

248 The Decisive Struggle 

unpaid, in rags, half-starved and mutinous. Clive had sent down 
from Bengal a brilliant young officer, Eyre Coote, one of the seven 
who had boldly urged the advance in the famous council of war 
before Plassey. Coote captured Wandewash, which had been in 
French occupation. Lally, with his forces depleted by the dis- 
patch of detachments southward to procure supplies, attempted 
to recover Wandewash. There a battle was fought in which 
the native contingents took no active part ; the fighting was 
done by the French and British, who between them numbered 
some 4000 men, the French being the more numerous. The 
victory was complete, and Bussy who was present was himself 
taken prisoner. After that, though Lally still fought on, the 
struggle was quite hopeless, and the conquest was completed by 
the capture of Pondichery in January 1761. 

Meanwhile, after Clive's departure, one more attempt was made 
upon Bengal by Shah Alam, the former Shahzada, who had just 
Shah Alam succeeded to the imperial throne of Delhi. Again, 
again. j n conjunction with the nawab-wazir of Oudh, he 

invaded Behar. Again his troops were dispersed by two officers 
trained in Clive's school and Clive's methods, Colonel Calliaud 
and Captain Knox. 

IV. BUTE, 1761-1763 

From the moment of the accession of George m. the power of 
the great war minister began to wane. The young king had been 
The new brought up amidst influences which taught him 

kins- to hold his grandfather in contempt. His mother 

had never ceased to urge him that when his turn came he was 
to 'be a king.' The doctrines formulated in Bolingbroke's 
Patriot King had been ceaselessly instilled into his soul ; the 
ideal of a monarch ruling as a beneficent autocrat had been 
perpetually set before him. In every leading European state 
the limitations on the power of the Crown were so slight that 
each was practically an autocracy. Only in Great Britain the 
king's control was fettered by the power of parliament ; and the 
power of parliament was not itself what it professed to be a 



free expression of the will of the people because parliament had 
become a machine manipulated almost entirely by a few Whig 
families. It was manifestly impossible to set up in Great Britain 
an autocracy of the continental type, the type which Strafford, 
Charles I., and James n. had attempted to achieve in England 
with results so disastrous. The new scheme of monarchy was 
to transfer the manipulation of parliament from the Whig 
families to the Crown. 

The Whig system had been concentrated in Newcastle ; it 
was only by a coalition with Newcastle that Pitt had been able 
to achieve and give effect to his own tremendous ascendency, 
and then only because a crisis had arrived in which Newcastle 
himself had been obliged to recognise that nothing but Pitt's 
ascendency could save the country. That crisis had passed ; 
and the policy of George may be summed up as the intention of 
ridding himself of Pitt and taking Newcastle's place as the arch 
manipulator of parliamentary majorities. To that Bute, 
end the instigator and the first agent was the earl of Bute, a 
Scottish peer who had established a supreme influence with the 
dowager Princess of Wales, who herself exercised a supreme 
influence over the mind of the young king ; a man of whom the 
shrewd old king had remarked that he would make an excellent 
ambassador at a court where there was nothing to do. He had 
some pretensions to literary and artistic culture, and imagined 
himself to be a statesman. 

There was much in the young king's favour. George I. had 
been an unqualified German. George II. was thirty years old 
before he ever came to England, though, compara- The king's 
tively speaking, he succeeded in identifying himself advantages, 
with his British kingdom. George I. came into the country as a 
foreigner to keep out the lineal representative of the royal family, 
who was a young man not without promise. George n. for twenty 
years of his reign was threatened with a possible subversion of 
his throne in favour of the Stuarts. But George in. was born 
and bred not a German but an Englishman, who 'gloried in 
the name of Britain.' The dynasty had been established for all 
but fifty years; under it the country had not only enjoyed 

250 The Decisive Struggle 

unexampled prosperity, but at the moment of George's accession 
had reached an altogether unprecedented height of glory and 
dominion, while the Stuarts were hopelessly discredited, and their 
restoration had become almost unimaginable, certainly past 
plotting for seriously. Finally, the prince was reputed to be 
a pattern of the religious propriety and the domestic virtue 
which have always appealed with special force to the English 
middle classes. 

Bute was at once brought into the privy council and the 
cabinet, explicitly as the king's alter ego, the man who knew 
Pitt's George's whole mind, practically the channel of 

Prussian communication between the king and his ministers. 
policy. jj e Declined, however, the secretaryship of state 

which the king offered him, preferring not to be hampered by a 
portfolio. Pitt and Newcastle were the two obstacles that stood 
obviously in the way of that royal ascendency at which George 
and his favourite aimed. The desire to be rid of Pitt involved 
the desire to be rid of the war which gave him his ascendency. 
On the question of the war it was possible at least to divide the 
cabinet. Pitt throughout had grasped and acted upon the 
principle that the empire was to be won in Germany as well as 
on the seas and on the American and Asiatic continent. Great 
Britain had provided vast sums in order to enable Frederick 
to maintain his defence, and Pitt was as resolute as ever to main- 
tain that policy. But there were other politicians who conceived 
that enough had been done for Prussia, who trembled at the 
enormous expenditure and the swelling National Debt, and who 
would have devoted British energies exclusively to the pursuit 
of British interests unconscious of the importance to British 
interests of maintaining Frederick, and of the moral obligation 
to stand by the ally whose stubborn resistance had already done 
so much to secure the British victory. On these lines it was 
possible to develop in the government circle a peace party 
antagonistic to Pitt. In little more than twelve months the 
great minister had fallen. 

Choiseul was playing at negotiating for a separate treaty while, 
in fact, aiming at a renewal of the Family Compact and the entry 



of Spain into the war as an active ally of France. The true 
object of negotiation was to gain time in order that Spain might 
intervene effectively. Pitt was not in the least de- 1761 
ceived, nor would he at any price make terms which choiseui 
involved any desertion of Frederick. The repre- and Spain - 
sentations of the Spaniards as well as of the French convinced 
him that they were in collusion. Meanwhile, British successes 
continued. While the Austrians continued to progress in Silesia, 
Ferdinand again proved himself more than a match Britisn 
for the French on the west, and British troops led achieve- 
by Granby again distinguished themselves, notably ] Lents ' 
at the battle of Wellinghausen. A British expedition captured 
Belleisle, off the French coast, an acquisition barren enough in 
itself, but valuable as being an actual fragment of French soil, 
for the restoration of which French honour would be willing to 
pay a very high price. In the West Indies, Guadeloupe had been 
captured before ; Dominica was now added to the spoils. Pre- 
sently from India came the news that Lally had surrendered 
at Pondichery. There was a feeling that enough had been won, 
that France had already been brought to her knees, and that it 
was wasteful and dangerous to continue a vast war expenditure 
merely for the benefit of Prussia. Pitt, on the other hand, knew 
that Choiseui did not consider that France was on her knees ; 
that, on the contrary, he would encourage negotiations, but 
merely for the purpose of gaining time. He urged that war 
should at once be declared against Spain. In spite of his urgency, 
war was not declared ; the treasure fleet from America pitt > s 
reached Spain. Pitt, in October, declared that he resignation, 
would be no longer responsible for the direction of Octol)er - 
affairs unless he were the actual director, and he resigned. His 
brother-in-law Temple followed suit. The arrival of the treasure 
fleet gave Charles m. what he wanted; the renewed Family 
Compact was made public. Pitt's foresight was indisputably 
demonstrated, and on 2nd January 1762 war was declared 
against Spain. Immediately afterwards, Spain attacked Portu- 
gal, which had stoutly refused to join the anti-British alliance. 
It became at once apparent to Frederick that he could no longer 

252 The Decisive Struggle 

count upon honestly energetic support from his ally. A happy 
accident strengthened his position, for his enemy the Tsarina 
1762. Elizabeth, whose anticipated death had already 

Frederick. served so often to check the advance of Russian 
armies, did actually die. Her successor, Peter in., was Frederick's 
enthusiastic admirer, at once reversed her policy, restored East 
Prussia to the Prussian king, withdrew his troops, and set about 
negotiating an alliance with Frederick himself. Bute, who some 
time since had accepted the secretaryship of state, and now 
obviously controlled the government, withdrew the Prussian 
subsidy because Frederick, who entirely distrusted him, would 
not commit himself to a definite statement of the terms upon 
which he would agree to peace. 

It was now Newcastle's turn. He, with most of the cabinet, 
had opposed Pitt on the Spanish question, in the belief that war 
Fall of with Spain could be averted ; still he and some 

Newcastle. o f hj s ablest colleagues, with whom Cumberland was 
associated, were opposed to the desertion of Frederick. When 
Bute and his partisans in the cabinet insisted on an insufficient 
vote for carrying on the war in Germany, Newcastle resigned. 
Very much to his credit he entirely refused any reward for the 
long services in the course of which his immense personal ex- 
penditure, in what he at least conceived to be the interests of 
the state, had reduced his income by not less than three-quarters. 
The ministry was filled up with second-rate or third-rate poli- 
ticians, who were looked upon as secure supporters of the king 
among them George Grenville, who was not, in fact, by any 
means a king's man, but wanted peace at any price, because he 
was terrified by the huge war expenditure. 

The intervention of Spain necessitated the continuance of the 
war. The change in Russia's attitude saved Frederick, in spite 
The war ^ ^he withdrawal of the British subsidy, and in 

on the spite of another Russian court revolution. Peter in. 

Continent. was j e p Ose( j an( j subsequently murdered ; his wife 
Catherine succeeded him on the throne, and for a moment seemed 
inclined to revert to Elizabeth's policy. The Russian army which 
had joined Frederick in Silesia was ordered to withdraw ; but 



the general was in no haste to move, the Austrians were unaware 
that they had only Frederick to deal with, and he was enabled 
to win at Burkersdorf a battle which practically restored his 
mastery of Silesia. The British troops had not been withdrawn 
from Ferdinand's army, and he again conducted a successful 
campaign against the French in which once more Granby rendered 
distinguished service. 

Even Pitt's opponents had claimed to support the policy of 
vigorous naval warfare. In this field it is probable enough that 
the actual plan of operations for the year had More 
emanated from Pitt who, despite his resignation, captures, 
abstained from attacks upon the government. Martinique was 
captured ; an expedition to help the Portuguese swept the in- 
vading Spaniards out of Portugal. In August the extremely 
valuable island of Havana was taken, and in the next month a 
British squadron which had been dispatched to the Pacific 
captured Manilla and took possession of the Philippine Islands. 

Bute was more anxious than ever to make peace. The English 
people were not, and although at the general election in 1761 
there had been a vast expenditure on bribery, and no Bute's man- 
stone had been left unturned to secure the govern- agement. 
ment a majority in the House of Commons, Bute was still doubtful 
of carrying the Chamber with him. With the populace Bute 
was violently unpopular, partly as the adversary of Pitt, partly 
because he was a Scotsman, partly because his intimacy with 
the princess dowager gave rise to scandalous nimours which 
were without any real foundation. A violent and scurrilous 
warfare was waged in the press, which was heavily subsidised by 
both sides. Neither Pitt nor Newcastle was to be won over by 
any sort of bribe, but Bute succeeded in purchasing the services 
of Henry Fox, who was given the leadership of the House of 
Commons in place of Grenville, who with all his faults was not 
to be made an instrument of corruption. Fox had no such 
scruples, and a majority for peace was secured. In November 
peace preliminaries were signed. 

France and Spain had learnt that the continuation of the war 
meant merely that the Spanish colonial possessions would fall 

254 The Decisive Struggle 

a prey to the f tyrant of the seas.' If Prussia was exhausted, 
so also was Austria, and it was now certain that the Tsarina, 
1763 The though she might not actually support Frederick, 
Peace of Paris, would not revert to Elizabeth's policy. All that 
February. G rea t Britain would demand on Frederick's behalf 
was that the French should withdraw from the German terri- 
tories of which they were in occupation. In fact, to Great 
Britain the peace was a tremendous triumph. It is true that 
she could have very well demanded and obtained much more 
than she claimed, since as matters stood it was obvious that the 
longer the war went on the greater would be her acquisitions. 
Still, magnanimity on the part of a triumphant victor is a sound 
policy, provided that it is recognised as magnanimity. Unfor- 
tunately in this particular case it was quite obvious that mag- 
nanimity was not its characteristic ; that the government did 
not claim more, because they were afraid to claim more. 

When the Peace of Paris was signed at the beginning of 1763 
the prizes of Great Britain were magnificent enough. India was 
Terms of hers ; there the French were to have nothing but 
the peace. trading stations, no posts which could be turned 
into bases for political or military 'activity. Canada was hers ; 
France had no footing on the North American continent except 
in Louisiana, and she resigned Louisiana itself to Spain by way 
of compensation for the loss of Florida which Spain surrendered 
in exchange for Havana. Minorca, the only territory captured 
from her during the war, was restored in exchange for Belleisle. 
Senegal in Africa, and four West Indian islands, all of which 
she had conquered, remained in her possession. Yet, if conquest 
gives a title to possession, Great Britain was entitled to a great 
deal more, which she surrendered without claiming anything in 
return. She restored Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Santa Lucia 
in the West Indies, and Goree in Africa. She conceded the fishing 
rights in Newfoundland, which were to remain a source of trouble 
and friction until the end of the nineteenth century. She re- 
stored the trading stations in India, which according to the 
theories of the time was at least unwise from the commercial 
point of view. And finally, she restored the Philippines to Spain, 

Bute 255 

although the Spanish intervention had been a piece of wholly 
unwarrantable aggression, and she did so without claiming any 
compensation at all. If Bute and Bedford, who was at this time 
his strongest ally in the pursuit of peace at any price, had had their 
way, still more would have been surrendered ; but even in the new 
cabinet there were members who refused to go all lengths. 

A few days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Frederick 
signed with Austria the Treaty of Hubertsburg. He had won 
that for which he had fought. He had retained the Peace of 
whole of the territory of which he had been in pos- Hubertsburg. 
session when the war began. Upon that fact the government 
rested its extravagant pretence that he was indebted to their 
successful diplomacy. As a matter of fact, British diplomacy 
had done for him practically nothing. 

The peace was glorious only in the sense that the war had been 
so triumphant, its fruits had been so immense, that it was im- 
possible to avoid retaining the most substantial of what Great 
its gains. What the diplomacy of the government Britain lost, 
did was to give up as much as it dared ; to make manifest that 
it did so from no creditable motives ; to leave France, rankling 
under the consciousness of defeat in the field, hankering to recover 
her losses and to take vengeance on the victor, and yet taking 
to herself a modified consolation out of her success in snatching 
from the clutches of an unscrupulous and grasping foe enough 
to prove that her own superiority in the arts of diplomacy had 
not deserted her. As for Prussia, Frederick never forgot what 
he regarded as his ally's perfidious desertion. The Peace of 
Paris confirmed Great Britain in the possession of the empire 
of East and West which Pitt had won for her. It left her also 
without a single state on the Continent which did not look upon 
her with unfriendly eyes, save only Portugal. She had wantonly 
thrown away the friendship of Prussia, she had failed to conciliate 
France or Spain or Austria. The gain that the peace had brought 
was the mighty work of Pitt which Bute could not undo ; for 
all that it failed to do, for all the positive harm that it did, the 
responsibility lay with the government which had thrust Pitt 
on one side. 



THE age of rationalism came in with the Restoration. The 
ebullient paganism, the irrepressible delight in sheer human 
The Restora- energy, in life and strength and beauty which gave 
tionEra. birth to the mighty Elizabethan poetry, had long 
passed away. Its emotional forces had been first absorbed in 
the struggle between the passion of loyalty and the passion for 
freedom, or in the religious and moral fervour of Puritanism. 
With the Restoration came the reaction. Emotional fervour 
was exhausted ; every kind of idealism lost its power of inspira- 
tion. Puritanism became formalism, appropriated by the un- 
cultured. The new generation produced no heroic figures, no 
Eliot and no Strafford, no Montrose and no Cromwell. If it 
had produced them it would not have known what to do with 
them. It was tired of tense emotions, though it could work 
itself up into fits of wild excitement. But as through the period 
of storm and stress men had been guided by their hearts much 
more than by their heads, in the new era they were guided by 
their heads, not by their hearts. Reason displaced feeling. 
The change was favourable to scientific progress, to the develop- 
ment of criticism, of analysis, of a standard of style in prose 
and in verse ; but it was destructive of all poetry founded 
upon the deeper emotions, of all drama which penetrates behind 
the superficialities. It reduced tragedy to rhetoric, and it gave 
rise to a comedy unmatched in the intellectual quality of wit, 
but almost devoid of the sympathetic and emotional quality of 
humour, and unreal because it was not only irresponsibly un- 
moral, but was deliberately antagonistic to the root principles 
of morality. 


The Time- Sp irit 257 

The extravagance of the reaction worked itself out approxi- 
mately by the end of the century The drama of King William's 
reign was essentially the drama of the Restoration, The new 
as the early Jacobean drama was essentially Eliza- century, 
bethan. It did not survive the attack of Jeremy Collier, 
because Puritanism, itself exhausted, no longer excited active 
hostility, and the public was recovering its moral balance. The 
literature of the stage after Anne's accession was not indeed 
distinguished by any very elevated standard, but it became at 
least less aggressively indecent, though it must be admitted that 
at the same time it lost most of its pungency. 

The viciousness of the drama, however, had not been in any 
way an essential part of the new rationalism, since there is 
assuredly no contradiction between reason and morality. It 
was merely a by-product of the collision between Rationalism 
and Puritanism. Throughout the greater part of the eighteenth 
century rationalism continued to prevail over idealism, the 
critical over the creative spirit. Dryden, who died The literary 
in 1700, was very soon succeeded by Pope. When kings. 
Pope died, in 1744, Johnson's ponderous foot was already on the 
lower rung of the ladder by which he was to rise to the position 
of literary autocrat. Each in the eyes of his contemporaries 
was the first of living poets, however posterity may cavil at 
bestowing that title upon any one of them. Widely as they 
differed, the literary work of all the three had the common 
characteristic that its appeal was directed not to the emotions, 
but to the brains of the cultured public. But lyric poetry must 
appeal to the emotions, as also must the drama, though that does 
not of course preclude them from an intellectual appeal as well. 
Appealing only to the intellect, or at the most to emotions which 
are not vital, the poets of the new era could be neither great 
dramatists nor great lyrists ; nor, for the same reason, could 
they produce great epics. When modern criticism denies to 
them the title of poets, the underlying assumption is that verse 
must be either lyrical or dramatic that it must, in short, be 
emotional in order to qualify as poetry. Setting aside Johnson 
as being the leading figure in the second part of the century, 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. R 

258 The Era 

this hypothesis entirely disqualifies Pope, and almost but not 
altogether disqualifies Dryden. And the same criticism applies 
to all but a very small proportion of the output of English verse 
between the English and the French Revolutions. 

Now whether Dryden and Pope are to be recognised as poets 
or not really depends on our definition of the term ' poetry.' If 
Concerning the material in which they wrought was not the 
poetry. material of poetry at all, their works were not poems. 

If, on the other hand, a consummate master of versification, even 
within limited forms, is entitled to the name of poet, both Dryden 
and Pope were great poets, because within the limits which they 
set themselves they were unsurpassed as artists in verse. Each 
in his own way perfected verse as an instrument for expressing 
what he sought to express. But what they both aimed at, what 
all the verse- writers with few exceptions, ' the mob of gentlemen 
who wrote with ease/ aimed at, was not emotional but intel- 
lectual expression ; and this was the fundamental characteristic 
of the age of reason. Hence poetry was almost confined to the 
satiric and didactic fields which in one view do not fall within 
the poetic area ; or to what we understand by minor poetry, 
which may be charming, tender, graceful, humorous, witty, but 
never great, because it concerns itself only with the things 
which are superficial and accidental, not fundamental and 

As a satirist in English verse Pope stands second only to 
Dryden ; his mastery of his instrument was so consummate 
The Augustan that the extremely shallow didactics of the Essay on 
A & e - Man passed muster as profound philosophy. When 

he turned to minor verse, he achieved that masterpiece in dainty 
mock-heroics, the Rape of the Lock. In his perfections and in 
his limitations he summed up the characteristics of the English 
Augustan age, or at least of cultured society in that age. It 
could play delightfully. It could think in epigrams. It could 
feel and it could sting superficially. But it was superficial in 
everything. Too shallow for a vital sincerity, it mistook arti- 
ficiality for art and conventions for fundamental principles, a 
neat antithesis for an eternal verity, manners for morals. It was 

The Time-Spirit 259 

a society which could not produce poetry in the deeper sense, 
because it was a society which neither had nor wished to have 
ideals. Yet the Augustan age was not undeserving of its name. 
It was an age in which a Maecenas and a Horace, or, if we extend 
the limits of the Augustan era in Rome, a Cicero, a Tacitus, or a 
Juvenal, would have found themselves entirely at home ; an age 
of critical culture such as that which produced the best Roman 
literature, though not of inspiration, such as those which gave 
birth to the Athenian dramatists or the Elizabethans. 

The unheroic character of the time is most conspicuous in the 
political field. Very few men were ready to die for any Cause 
imaginable. Half the Whigs were in correspondence its improved 
with the Stuart court, and very few Jacobites were tone - 
willing to take the risks of their convictions. It was the same 
lack of strenuousness which pervaded literature. Nevertheless, 
the downward course which had accompanied the reaction of 
the Restoration was stayed. Literature was directed into cleaner 
channels. Morality raised its head again, and was no longer 
treated as an object of contempt. Addison and Steele engaged 
themselves upon the side of virtue. Corruption had not reached 
the heart of the nation. Even the comedies of Congreve and 
Wycherley painted a society which took its tone from the court 
of Charles II., and was becoming less debauched when Mary and 
William were on the throne. The improvement was still more 
marked in the reign of Queen Anne, and the society pictured in 
the pages of the Spectator is something very different from the 
society of the Restoration dramatists. The Tatter and the 
Spectator set a new mode, and proved that literary accomplish- 
ment need not be monopolised by indecency ; that it was pos- 
sible to be clean and wholesome without loss of intellectual 
quality. The court of the German sovereigns who succeeded 
Queen Anne was as destitute of morality in the narrower use of 
that term as the court of the Merry Monarch himself ; but its 
depravity was not equally contagious because it was conspicu- 
ously vulgar and unintellectual. Under its influence society 
grew coarser, but the coarseness of vice repelled the intellectual 

260 The Era 

If an age which is rationalistic, an age which is anti-emotional, 
is hostile to the production of great poetry because great poetry 
Prose. is in its nature emotional, that does not preclude it 

from being great in prose. Dryden has been called the creator 
of English prose ; there were masters of individual prose styles 
before him, but he was the first who set a style. Of Addison it 
has been said that every one who desires to write English should 
give days and nights to the study of the Spectator. Steele and 
Addison between them created the short essay. Pamphleteering 
was elevated into a fine art by Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. 
In the hands of Dryden and Addison literary criticism achieved 
a like development. Defoe and Swift created prose fiction of 
which Bunyan had been in some sort the unconscious precursor ; 
and Addison, in the ' De Coverley ' papers in the Spectator, 
suggested the novel of character. 

The work of Addison and Steele belongs to the reign of Queen 
Anne, in which appeared also Defoe's Shortest Way with the 
The masters. Dissenters and some exceedingly characteristic work 
of Swift's the Tale of a Tub, the Battle of the Books, with sundry 
extremely effective onslaughts upon the Whigs and Marlborough 
and their conduct of the war. The star of Pope arose, and, 
before the reign was over, he had published the opening of the 
translation of the Iliad, which established itself as an English 
classic, but was accurately and finally placed by the great scholar 
Richard Bentley ' A very pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you 
mustn't call it Homer.' But Pope lived and continued to write, 
a recognised king of English letters, for thirty years after Queen 
Defoe. Anne's death. Defoe struck a new field and began 

his astonishing production of fiction with the immortal Robinson 
Crusoe in 1719, when he was not far short of sixty. No man 
has ever surpassed that great writer in his extraordinary capacity 
for giving to inventions the appearance of convincing records of 
personal experience. The Journal of the Plague Year would 
carry with it an absolute conviction that it was a record of what 
Defoe had seen with his eyes and heard with his ears, had it not 
been an ascertained fact that at the time of the appalling visita- 
tion he was not six years old. Hardly less convincing is the 

The Time- Spirit 261 

Memoirs of a Cavalier. Unlike these two, Moll Flanders was 
avowed fiction ; but it is as realistic as the pencil of Hogarth, 
whose work first attracted public attention after the accession 
of George n. the first of her sons whom England can claim as a 
great painter. Swift again proved himself the most terrific of 
pamphleteers with the Drapier Letters in 1724. Two years later 
came Gulliver's Travels, which have achieved an extraordinary 
and unique position as at once a scathing satire upon humanity 
and a nursery classic. 

The adventures of Gulliver can scarcely be classified as a 
novel, though they are a triumphant and prodigious achieve- 
ment in fiction. Defoe's novels found no imitators. The 
But from 1740 onwards, the novel definitely took novelists, 
its place as one of the recognised forms of English literature. 
Samuel Richardson, a bookseller, led the way with the publica- 
tion of Pamela in 1740. Like Addison, the good bookseller 
desired to make his appeal to the fair sex at least as much as to 
men, and to do so primarily as a moralist, but with fiction as 
his medium. Pamela and its successors, Clarissa Harlowe and 
Sir Charles Grandison, achieved a vast popularity which is to 
be accounted for by the supreme inanity and wearisomeness 
of the only fiction which had hitherto been available for feminine 
perusal. Richardson's novels were exceedingly prolix ; Clarissa 
appeared in eight volumes and Sir Charles Grandison in six ; 
from a modern point of view, that is, they are ponderous and 
tedious, sentimental and aggressively didactic ; but in Clarissa, 
at least, the portrayal of the heroine's character is a piece 
of work deserving of the highest praise, and it was hardly 
possible to be prolix enough for condemnation by a genera- 
tion which remembered the Grand Cyrus. It was not, how- 
ever, the merits, but the weaknesses of Pamela which inspired 
Henry Fielding to write Joseph Andrews, and to employ the 
novel for the masterly delineation of every aspect of society 
from the highest to the lowest that came within his very 
wide ken, with a virile fidelity and gigantic humour which 
entitle him to be regarded as the true progenitor of the 
English novel. Six years later, in 1748, came Tobias Smollett's 

262 The Era 

Roderick Random, and in 1760 the Tristram Shandy of Laurence 

Pope forged for the versemakers of his day fetters which they 
were for the most part willing enough to wear. A very mild rebel 
Hints of the was James Thomson, the author of The Seasons 
romantic. an( j o f The Castle of Indolence, who refused to be 
bound by the couplet, employed blank verse and the Spenserian 
stanza, and was a genuine lover and observer of nature. Not 
till almost the middle of the century did the Odes of William 
Collins and Thomas Gray appear to prove that in England the 
lyric spirit still lived, though in the latter at least in very academic 
guise. Spontaneity had been driven almost out of existence 
by cultivation, regulation, refinement upon refinement, until 
wholly artificial canons had made it seem impossible that any- 
thing springing from a natural impulse should at the same time 
be artistic. Only in Scotland there persisted that appreciation 
of the homely and familiar which, wedded to musical language 
and quite spontaneous in expression, is the peculiar heritage 
of Scottish song, and reached its consummation in Robert Burns 
only when Johnson himself was dead, and Pope had been more 
than forty years in his grave. But the recognised men of letters 
were not the authors of those songs, though the poetry of the 
Scot James Thomson had more of nature in it than the work 
of his English contemporaries. Scottish song for the most part 
was born of the soil, and never got into print unless it was cap- 
tured and edited by the bookseller Allan Ramsay, or actually 
written by him. 

In the Church, too, rationalism conquered. Toleration was a 
part of the political creed of William of Orange and the Whigs. 
The Church. Whenever the Whigs were in the ascendent, the 
episcopal sees were filled with latitudinarian bishops who re- 
pudiated the high ecclesiastical doctrine which produced the 
non-jurors, and was inextricably involved with legitimism and 
Jacobitism. Like the moderates of the Scottish kirk, the lati- 
tudinarians in England contented themselves with preaching 
what in Scotland was termed a ' cauld morality,' basing it upon 
human reason and enlightened self-interest, which lacked the 

The Time- Spirit 263 

motive force both of Puritanism and of Anglo-Catholicism. 
However reasonable it might be, it was not inspiring, and was 
wholly unspiritual and wholly unsatisfying. As the political 
materialism which was concentrated in the person of Walpole 
would have ended by killing the national life had it not been 
inspired anew by William Pitt, the materialism of the Church 
would have destroyed religious faith had it not also derived a 
new inspiration from John Wesley. 

At the outset of his career a High Churchman of a pronounced 
type, strict in the observation of ceremonies, given to fasting 
and ascetic practices, Wesley founded at Oxford, John Wesley, 
where he held a fellowship at Lincoln College, a small society of 
devotees who were the objects of very general ridicule. But it 
was not till he was five-and-thirty years of age that, in 1738, he 
was seized with that passionate conviction of sin and of assured 
salvation through the sacrifice of Christ which is called conver- 
sion. From that moment he began his career as a preacher. 
His conversion had been only just preceded by that of his 
younger brother Charles, and of Whitefield. There was no in- 
tention of secession from the Church, but the intensely emotional 
preaching which was the product of an intense religious emotion 
was surprising and disturbing alike to the rationalism and the 
formalism, to say nothing of the indifferentism, in which the 
Church was then hidebound. The name of Methodist, originally 
attached in derision to Wesley's Oxford Society, was appro- 
priated to the group of preachers who renewed the appeal to 
the emotions of their audiences and insisted passionately upon 
the immediate personal relation between the individual soul 
and the God who had created it and had given His Son to die 
for its salvation. Orthodoxy closed pulpit after pulpit to them, 
though in their doctrine there was nothing which contradicted 
the formularies of the Church. In 1739 they found a solution in 
the beginning of field-preaching, and of the establishment of 
chapels of their own which were not intended to displace the 
churches, but in effect to provide themselves with pulpits since 
the parish pulpits were closed to them. In the field-preaching, 
the moving spirit was Whitefield. The Wesleys were both 

264 The Era 

reluctant, but when they appealed for guidance to the drawing 
of lots after scriptural precedent, the lot cecided them in favour 
The new of the new departure. Ultimately the irreconcila- 
influence. bility of the Wesleyan methods with the system 
of the Established Church caused complete separation. The 
extravagance of their emotional appeal was repellent to most 
cultured minds ; but their influence upon the uncultured classes 
was enormous, and was indirectly felt even among the cultivated. 
With all that there was of grotesqueness and of extravagant 
superstition mingled in the movement, it is no exaggeration to 
say that the Wesleys made religion once more a vital force in 
the life of the English people. 

The faith which moves mountains is altogether different from, 
though it may be associated with, a reasoned belief, the intelligent 
Reason in acceptance of particular dogmas. Rational belief 
religion. j s an a ff a i r o f the head, not of the heart, a walking 
by sight not by faith. Faith, however, may be paralysed by 
intellectual difficulties, and the clergy of the eighteenth century 
were not on the whole unsuccessful in their generation in their 
efforts to reconcile orthodoxy with the claims of human reason. 
They failed indeed to treat the Christian creed as being much 
more than a tenable formula, but more than this can hardly be 
demanded of the application of reason to religion. In the field 
Scientific of scientific and philosophic inquiry, however, an 
progress. a g e dominated by rationalism is likely to be active. 
The scientific advance at the close of the seventeenth century 
almost amounted to a revolution ; but its greatest strides were 
made just before the accession of William in., when the Prin- 
cipia of Isaac Newton was given to the world, and Boyle was 
laying the foundations of modern chemistry. Still, after Newton, 
though a vast amount of invaluable work was done, the period 
was not distinguished by further great generalisations in the 
field of natural science ; nor was it till the second half of the 
century that scientific inquiry was directed to those extremely 
practical applications which brought about the industrial revolu- 
tion and the enormous development of manufacture. 

At the same time, those studies which are covered generally 

The Time- Spirit 265 

by such terms as philosophy or mental and moral science re- 
ceived much attention. Locke's Essay on the Human Under- 
standing may be called the starting-point of the The phiioso- 
peculiarly English school, as his Treatise on Govern- pkers. 
ment formulated the political theory of the British constitution 
after the Revolution. The third Lord Shaftesbury propounded 
his doctrine of a ' moral sense ' in man. While Anne was on 
the throne George Berkeley, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, made 
the most remarkable of English or Irish contributions to phil- 
osophy with the publication in 1709 of his New Theory of Vision, 
with a charm of style not commonly associated with abstruse 
reasoning. Berkeley's Idealism is further developed in his later 
works, most notably perhaps in his Alciphron (1732). Both 
Berkeley and his great successor, Bishop Butler, directed their 
arguments to a great extent to the refutation of the Deists and 
the defence of the supernatural character of Christianity as a 
revealed religion. This in particular was the aim of Butler's 
Analogy. But the importance of Berkeley in the history of 
philosophy, and of Butler in the special branch of ethics, is not 
essentially bound up with this particular controversy. Butler, 
like his contemporary Hutcheson, and Shaftesbury before him, 
dwelt in his Sermons upon disinterested and benevolent impulses 
as motives to moral conduct, in opposition to the school deriving 
from Hobbes which reduced all morality to an enlightened self- 

In the history of philosophy/ however, it may be questioned 
whether the first place among British writers, at least before 
the second half of the nineteenth century, should David Hume, 
be given to the Irishman Berkeley, or to the Scot David Hume, 
whose views were first enunciated in his Treatise of Hitman 
Nature, which he described as ' An attempt to introduce the 
experimental method of reasoning into moral subj ects. ' Portions 
of this work, which fell almost flat on its publication, were after- 
wards developed in the Enquiry concerning the Human Under- 
standing and the Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals. 
Hume, if any one person can claim the title, was the founder 
of the doctrine of the Association of Ideas ; and in ethics was 

266 The Era 

the true begetter of the utilitarian philosophy, although the 
phrase most intimately connected therewith, ' the greatest 
happiness of the greatest number/ appears to have been coined 
by Hutcheson. 

In another field also, Hume occupied a position of the first 
rank. Before him there had been English chroniclers of con- 
temporary events and compilers of chronicles of past events, 
and Sir Walter Raleigh had embarked upon a history of the 
world. But with the exception of Clarendon and his History 
of the Great Rebellion there had in effect been no other historian 
in the larger sense of the term, and Clarendon's history dealt 
only with the period of his own lifetime. Hume was the first who 
approached the writing of the history of England in the philo- 
sophic spirit, the first of the great British historians. The six 
volumes of his History of England, issued between 1754 and 
1761, were written from a point of view strongly favourable to 
monarchism, and at a time long before the modern unearthing and 
collating of invaluable records ; which have completely destroyed 
the authority of his work, but not his value as a classic nor his 
title to rank as one of the greatest of British historians as well 
as the first. 

Finally, we may observe that during this period, letter-writing, 
like pamphleteering, was developed as a fine art ; the most dis- 
Letters and tinguished practitioners of which were perhaps Lady 
memoirs. Mary Wortley Montague, Lord Chesterfield, and the 
inimitable trifler, Horace Walpole, whose memoirs also, with 
those of Lord Hervey, gave a complete picture of the court, the 
politicians, and the polite society, under the first two kings of 
the house of Hanover 


The note of the era which we are now reviewing was its lack 
of idealism and of enthusiasms ; but its devotion to material 
Material interests helped to make it one of very general 
prosperity. material prosperity. Although the country was at 
war in one half of the seventy-five years which it covers, its 

Trade, Industry, and Agriculture 267 

tangible wealth was enormously increased, especially in com- 
parison with that of other nations. At the moment of the 
accession of William of Orange, the volume of Dutch trade still 
perhaps exceeded that of Great Britain. At the moment of the 
Peace of Paris British trade had entirely distanced that of every 
competitor. In every British war France was no less deeply 
engaged, and in nearly all both Spain and Holland, as well as 
the rest of the Netherlands. The effect in every case was the 
transference to Great Britain of a portion of the trade of her 
rivals, because, whenever war was going on, her command of 
the seas tended to give her the monopoly of oceanic trade. How- 
ever severely her commerce might be raided, the commerce of 
France and Spain suffered more, and that of Holland not less ; 
while the strain of the endless struggle so exhausted Holland 
that she had already fallen far behind by the time of the Treaty 
of Utrecht, and was without the power of recuperation. The 
conspicuous proof of the country's wealth lies in the simple fact 
that almost without effort she bore the strain of the war-taxes, 
and was able at the same time to provide her allies with sub- 
sidies without which they could not have continued the struggle. 
During these three generations Great Britain became the mart 
of the world ; after the lapse of another generation she was 
rapidly becoming its workshop as well. 

As yet, however, she was not making rapid strides as a manu- 
facturing nation. There was some multiplication and exten- 
sion of minor industries, partly the outcome of the g^g^t i n _ 
Huguenot immigration due to the persecuting policy crease of 
of Louis xiv. in France. But wool and woollen manufactures - 
goods were still her staple home products for export. Even the 
growing cotton trade was kept in check by burdens of legislation 
imposed for the benefit of the woollen trade, which feared the 
displacement of woollen by cotton goods. The carrying trade 
tended more and more to fall into her hands with the expansion 
of her marine ; but perhaps the main source of her increasing 
wealth was the fact that she was the channel through which the 
products of Asia and America reached the markets of Europe. 
The great expansion of manufacture awaited the invention of 

268 The Era 

machinery driven by power, that is, by some other agency than 
the muscles of men or animals. 

Industry in the first half of the eighteenth century presents 
very much the same characteristics as in the seventeenth. 
Earlier Under the old mediaeval system trade had been 

industrial confined practically to a limited number of large 
regulation. towns, where it was subject to regulation and 
supervision by the gilds, because in mediaeval society it appeared 
at least that regulation and supervision were conditions necessary 
to security. Membership of a gild was a condition without 
which no one could practise a trade independently within those 
areas where it was in effect possible to practise a trade at all. 
The old system had begun to give way when increased security, 
and the accumulation of wealth which could be borrowed or 
hired for trading purposes, made it possible for traders to set 
up for themselves outside the regulated areas, in places where 
they could work in freedom from the gild restrictions. The 
Elizabethan Statute of Apprentices preserved the ring-fence 
which encircled a number of trades by forbidding anybody 
anywhere to set up as a master on his own account until he had 
served his apprenticeship, and by fixing a sort of property quali- 
fication as a condition of apprenticeship. But practically the 
Development businesses of spinning and weaving became open ; 
of spinning and in the course of the seventeenth century most 
and weaving. co ttages had their spinning-wheel, and most farms 
their loom, which materially added to the income of the cottar 
and the yeoman, in greater or less proportion according to their 
nearness or distance from the great marts. In other words, the 
spinning and weaving industries did not involve the congrega- 
tion of the workers in the large towns. The stage had been 
reached when competition took the place of regulation for 
ensuring the quality of work ; bad work and inferior goods 
meant loss of employment and custom; it was not necessary 
to the consumer's protection that the quality of the particular 
goods provided should be secured by official supervision. On 
the other hand, it had not yet become necessary to collect the 
workers together in spots where power for driving machinery 

Trade, Industry, and Agriculture 269 

was readily procurable ; because with rare exceptions no other 
power than that of the worker's muscles was brought into play, 
and his own machine could be planted by his own hearth. The 
spinning and weaving were for the most part either by-occupa- 
tions of the cottar or the yeoman or copyholder, or else in suit- 
able neighbourhoods they employed most of his time, his agri- 
cultural occupations forming his by-employment. This, how- 
ever, applied mainly to wool and woollens ; the colonies of 
Huguenot silk-weavers, for instance, being engaged exclusively 
in that particular trade. 

The process of enclosure, of the appropriation of common 
lands and the conversion of arable land into sheep-runs, had 
practically come to an end in the sixteenth century. The open 
In the seventeenth century there had been very field - 
little improvement in the processes of agriculture. More than 
half the land under cultivation was still worked on the old open- 
field system, which, though modified, had not been very materially 
altered since before the Norman Conquest. The farmer, that 
is, did not occupy a continuous holding of so many acres in 
extent which he cultivated according to the best of his judg- 
ment. His holding consisted of a number of strips of land, not 
contiguous, but mixed up with the strips of a dozen other holders, 
all of whom sowed the same crops at the same time, in the same 
section of land. Enclosure in one of its forms had meant that 
landlords made it their business by exchange or purchase, or 
by less justifiable methods, to secure for themselves contiguous 
strips so as to get substantial contiguous areas which they could 
treat after their own fashion, whether for cultivation or for 
pasture. But the open fields were controlled by common work, 
and every one, whether he liked it or not, was obliged to do as 
his neighbour did. The system involved much wastage of time 
and labour, and was perfectly calculated to throttle enterprise 
of any kind. Outside the area of the land thus under regular 
cultivation were the common lands, where the occupiers of the 
estate had rights of common, and the cottar could take up a 
very small plot for his own cultivation. Within the cultivated 
area the system still prevailed which divided it into three 

270 The Era 

portions, each of which was left fallow every third year after 
having carried succeeding crops of wheat and barley in the two 
The small- previous years. The yeoman, copyholder, or small 
holder. tenant-at-will, who occupied his few acres, could 

extract from them little more than a bare subsistence, since, 
even if he would, he could not have turned them to the 
best account, and was preserved from penury through the by- 
employments with which he supplemented his farm work. But 
as a net result, though he could save little without extreme 
economy, he made what was on the whole a reasonably com- 
fortable living. 

In the eighteenth century, however, agricultural improve- 
ments were introduced by enterprising landlords who paid 
Enterprise attention to the improvement of the soil, to manur- 
and ing and draining, and the development of the culti- 

enciosure. V ation of roots and grasses; notable among them 
being Lord Townshend, who acquired the nickname of ' Turnip 
Townshend ' on that account. Still the average cultivator would 
not be beguiled from the ancient ways, and the yeoman who had 
it in him io be enterprising was still forced along the beaten 
track by his conservative neighbours. Enterprise was possible 
only to the landlord ; and once again landlords became anxious 
to increase the amount of land under their own management, 
whereby they could render it profitable from their own point 
of view, besides benefiting the community at large by making 
it more productive. Year by year during the first half of the 
century occasional Enclosure Acts were passed whereby con- 
siderable additions were made to the areas under their direct 
control, while a like process was carried on without the interven- 
tion of legislation by the method of private bargaining with 
occupiers, and holders of rights of common. But the second 
period of active enclosure, which transformed the whole face of 
agricultural England, did not set in with vigour until George in. 
was on the throne, even as the Industrial Revolution which 
created a new England of towns and workshops belongs to that 

But while the reigns of the two first Georges gave presages 

Trade, Industry, and Agriculture 271 

of the approaching rural revolution, they were also not wholly 
without presages of the coming Industrial Revolution, in which 
coal, iron, and mechanical invention were to be the i ron 
great factors. The iron industry was in its infancy ; and c k e- 
only those iron-fields were worked which were within easy reach 
of the wooded districts where charcoal could be obtained for 
smelting. But before the middle of the century the Darbies had 
discovered and applied at Coalbrookdale a method of employing 
coke for blast furnaces which promised to supersede the use of 
charcoal ; and an immense advance was made with the coke blast 
furnace, employing water-power, invented by James Smeaton, 
and adopted at the Carron ironworks, near Stirling, in 1760. 

Hitherto the agency of natural forces had scarcely been 
employed as driving power, except for the grinding of corn by 
windmills and watermills instead of handmills. The possibilities 
of steam had only been so far discovered and utilised as to be 
applied somewhat ineffectively and at great cost to pumping in 
mines. Even less possible would it have been to predict the future 
of electricity, though that was already engaging attention. But 
a step was made towards increasing production in the industry 
of weaving with John Kay's invention of the fly- The fly- 
shuttle, patented in 1733. At that date the allied shuttle, 
industry of spinning had outgrown weaving in its productive 
speed ; that is to say, the spinners were producing yarn faster 
than the weavers could work it up. The fly-shuttle was a 
machine which enabled a single weaver to work a double width 
of cloth, and thus to double his output. This began the race 
between spinning and weaving, since obviously the next step 
was to discover some means by which the spinner should be 
able to meet the increased demand for yarn. Although the 
spinning- jenny of James Hargreaves, which multi- The 
plied the individual spinner's power of production spinning- 
eightfold, was not invented till 1764, it still belongs jenny - 
to the earlier rather than the later era, because like the fly-shuttle 
it was worked by hand, not by power. It was only when 
the control of water and steam was achieved and applied to the 
service of man that the Industrial Revolution really came to birth. 

272 The Era 

Down to the middle of the eighteenth century, then, no very 
marked change had taken place in the face of the country. 
Town and Slowly no doubt the town population was growing 
country. relatively to that of the rural districts. At the 
beginning of the century only one-fifth of the entire population 
was urban ; at the end it had risen to one-third ; but the change 
in the last quarter of the century was rapid, and in 1760 the rural 
population must still have been more than three-fourths of the 
whole. The Elizabethan Poor Law had certainly tended to 
prevent the migration of labour from one district to another. 
Poor Law. The Restoration Law of Settlement had increased 
the difficulty of movement, and with one exception this was the 
only material modification that had taken place since the acces- 
sion of the Stuarts. The man who could find no employment in 
his own neighbourhood and set out to find another neighbourhood 
where his labour would be in demand, might be and generally 
was, by the authority of the law, sent back to his own parish or 
hundred, because the new parish in which he attempted to settle 
declined to be responsible for him as for one of its own poor. The 
one other modification referred to is the Workhouse Act of 
1723, when some further provision was made for finding work for 
the unemployed. The inevitable danger of providing relief for 
workhouses, the destitute, without attaching conditions, is that 
of pauperising the people supplying, that is, an inducement to 
the idle to prefer dependence on charity to honest work. The 
law of 1723 ensured relief to the destitute, but only on condition 
of their entering the parish workhouse, where they were given 
work to do if they were capable of doing it. The abolition of 
out-relief relieved the poor rate, and offered no attractions to 
the wilfully idle ; but, on the other hand, the conditions caused 
a stigma to attach to the receipt of poor relief which led numbers 
of those who would have been in every respect proper objects 
of such relief to endure any privation in preference to ' coming 
on the parish.' Here again there was a revolution approaching, 
entirely pernicious in its character ; though the intentions of 
its perpetrators were wholly benevolent. 



GEORGE in. from the moment of his accession had before his 
eyes one supreme object, to ' be a king ' to recover for the 
Crown effective supremacy in the State. All the The king's 
questions which arose, until that object seemed to aim< 
have been gained by the formation of Lord North's ministry, 
were judged by him from that single point of view according to 
their bearing upon that single aim. The obvious old methods 
of attempting to over-ride or defy the will of parliament by the 
exercise of the royal prerogative were out of date ; the time 
when it had been possible to dream of employing them with 
success had long gone by ; no one, whether an autocratic minister 
or the king himself, could hope to govern unless he could rely 
upon a parliamentary majority. It was necessary therefore for 
the king to acquire in the House of Commons a secure majority 
which should be at his own beck and call. To attain this end 
he had to create a party of his own, for which a nucleus was to 
be found in the old Tories who for half a century had been 
entirely excluded from political power, discredited by their 
association with Jacobitism. That association had come to 
an end, and the Tory could with a clear conscience, for the 
first time since 1688, apply to the king who was now on the 
throne the sentiment of loyalty which could no longer attach 
itself to the ' king over the water. 1 The Tory element, however, 
did not suffice for the king's purpose ; it was not strong enough 
to provide a majority, or to break up the Whig connection 
which was the first condition of success. 

The existing system in effect placed the control of parliament- 
ary majorities in the hands of a few Whig families. Even the 

Jnnes's Eng. Hist. Vol. m. S 

274 George III. and the Whigs 

counties were to some extent dominated by the influence of 
Whig magnates ; in a large number of boroughs the represen- 
The Whig tatives were the nominees of a Whig magnate; 
oligarchy. m others the electors were practically the town 
council, since there was no uniform franchise ; and there were 
many town councils which were quite prepared to sell a seat to 
the highest bidder who might be either a wealthy individual 
ambitious of parliamentary honours, or a candidate backed by 
party magnates with long purses. As long as the great Whig 
families held together, they could control the votes in a sufficient 
number of constituencies to be sure of a parliamentary majority. 
The great Whig families were held together by sharing the spoils 
of office, and it was by lavish expenditure and judiciously directed 
patronage that Newcastle had made his own alliance necessary 
to any one who sought to conduct the government. 

Now George might have attacked the system itself ; and he 
might have done so in alliance with Pitt, to whom the system 
The king, was an abomination. It was only by sheer intel- 
the system, lectual and moral ascendency in quite abnormal 
and Pitt. circumstances, and by making terms with the 
system itself, that the great minister had attained to effective 
power in the State. The system had for a long time kept him 
out of power, made it impossible for the man of genius who 
could not control votes to reach a dominant position But 
George did not want to substitute a permanent Pitt dictatorship 
for the Whig system ; he wanted to be the controlling power 
himself. It had already been proved that the system was too 
strong for Pitt himself to be able to ignore it, and it would have 
proved too strong to be ignored by a coalition of Pitt and the 
king. If the system was to be got rid of at all, it must either 
be through a reform which cut at the roots of it by reforming 
the franchise and making the members of the House of Commons 
the real representatives of a free electorate, or else by break- 
ing up the Whig connection ; in which case the system would 
probably only re-emerge in a new form. Pitt clearly had the 
idea of a reform of representation ; but again, what the king 
wanted was not a parliament which expressed the will of a free 

The Situation in 1763 275 

electorate instead of the will of a coalition of magnates, but a 
parliament which would take its orders from the Crown. He 
looked, therefore, to the breaking of the Whig connection and 
the re-emergence of the system as an instrument in his own 
hands ; and in this second part of his scheme, at least, he could 
not hope for Pitt's co-operation. 

Hence it was in the first instance his wish to break up the 
Whig connection without employing Pitt, and hence again 
Bute's first effort was directed to the overthrow of Breaking 
Pitt, and to the detachment of Pitt's personal up the 
following from the great Whig coalition. The connection - 
second blow was struck with the fall of Newcastle, the head- 
centre of the system. The Whig party was thrown into a state 
of complete disintegration ; and out of this disintegration the 
king intended to construct a party of his own and a system 
identical in principle with that which had been broken down, 
but under his own control. The difficulties he encountered in 
working out his problem provide one leading feature in the story 
of the first decade of his reign. This was the struggle which in 
fact controlled the fluctuations of ministries. 

The second feature of the epoch is the attempt of parliament 
to control the freedom of the electorate through an extravagant 
interpretation of the privileges of the parliament parliament 
itself. It was unfortunate that the standard-bearer and the 
of freedom should in this case have been not a publlc - 
Hampden nor an Eliot, but a person so disreputable that it was 
really difficult for decent persons to associate themselves with 
him even in a just cause, difficult to persuade decent people 
that a cause could be just which had so disreputable a champion. 
The cause, in fact, was bound to win in the long run ; important 
though the victory was, the strife attracted a wholly dispropor- 
tionate amount of public interest ; disproportionate because 
there were other questions demanding solution, problems vitally 
affecting the British empire, which demanded the most careful 
attention, the most deeply considered treatment ; whereas the 
attention they received was casual and intermittent, and their 
treatment was reckless and haphazard. 

276 George III. and the Whigs 

These problems lay outside the island of Great Britain. The 
first, of very old standing, was presented by Ireland, always 
The greater neglected in England until it reached such a pitch 
problems. o f disturbance as to compel some perfunctory 
attention. Next, a very new one, was the problem of India, 
a problem whose existence had hardly as yet been realised. To 
India must be added Canada, where happily the tact and ability 
of the successive governors, General James Murray and Sir 
Guy Carleton, gained the loyalty of the French inhabitants in 
spite of ill-advised and ill-considered instructions from London. 
Ireland, India, and Canada affected the course of events and 
of politics in England so little that we shall treat of them separ- 
ately. The third problem, that of foreign relations, will demand 
only incidental mention, since Great Britain in effect continued 
to tread that path of isolation to which Bute had directed her 
steps. The fourth, the biggest of all the problems, the one 
most fraught with pressing difficulties, the one which demanded 
at once the most delicate handling, the most thorough analysis, 
the keenest insight, and the sanest judgment, was the problem 
of the American colonies, which forced itself upon the politicians 
at Westminster at every turn, and at nearly every turn was 
signally mismanaged. Since it is thus inextricably bound up 
with the account of those issues which have been referred to as 
the two first of the leading features of the period treated in this 
chapter, we must begin by attempting to elucidate the character 
of the problem itself. 

In earlier chapters of this work we traced the foundation and 
multiplication of the colonies on the North American seaboard 
The thirteen until they numbered thirteen, from the four colonies 
colonies. on the north forming the New England group to 
Georgia on the south. Akin to the New England group was 
the next group of four, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
and Delaware. The five southern colonies, Maryland, Virginia, 
North and South Carolina, and Georgia, are to be distinguished 
from the eight northern colonies as the Plantation group, the 
area of great landed estates devoted largely to the growing of 
tobacco, cotton, or other produce, chiefly for export, and culti- 

The Situation in 1763 277 

vated mainly by slave labour, chiefly of negroes, partly of 
convicts. Every colony or state was for ordinary purposes self- 
governing, having an elected assembly, and a governor and an 
administrative council which had not yet become responsible 
to the legislature to such an extent as was by this time the case 
in Great Britain. The governor's powers of intervention were 
regarded in the colonies with a resentment of the same kind as 
that which had been inspired by the exercise of royal prerogative 
under the Stuarts in contravention to the will of parliament. 
Further, we observe that the landed gentry of the Plantation 
colonies had the general character of a landed aristocracy, 
extremely tenacious of its own rights, and not abnormally con- 
siderate of obligations to other communities or other classes in 
its own community. In the northern colonies, on the other 
hand, mainly of Puritan foundation, more industrial, more 
mercantile, more democratic in their original structure, the 
atmosphere was that of Puritan middle-class democracy, rather 
than that of landed aristocracy. 

Broadly speaking, Great Britain adopted towards her colonies 
an attitude different from that of any other foreign state. To 
the Spaniard, colonies were Crown property ; to the mother 
French and Dutch they were assets of the State, country and 
controlled by the State, for the benefit of the State, colonies - 
with only a practically necessary minimum of management left 
in the hands of the colonists themselves or of their commercial 
directors at home. The British colony, on the other hand, was 
left in the main to take care of itself, to develop its own prosperity, 
and to fight its own battles, always provided that its interests did 
not clash with those of the mother country ; that if the interests 
of the two did clash those of the colony must give way completely. 
The mother country did not claim a right in ordinary circum- 
stances of exploiting colonies for her own benefit, but she treated 
it as a matter of course that, wherever a question of conflicting 
interests arose, the mother country dictated the answer to the 

The particular form in which the mother country found it 
convenient to legislate for her own interests against the interests 

278 George III. and the Whigs 

of the colonies was that of commercial regulation. Until the 
restoration of Charles n. in 1660 colonial trading was almost 
Trade unrestricted. But when the Commonwealth Navi- 

regulation. gation Act was modified at the Restoration, new 
limitations were imposed. The Commonwealth Navigation Act 
had restricted the carrying trade to British (including colonial) 
ships, and the ships of the country in which the imports were 
produced ; the object being to encourage British shipping. But 
at the Restoration direct trade between the colonies and foreign 
countries was forbidden ; they had to import from England or 
at least by way of England, and to export to England. In 
practice, though not in set terms, the carrying trade was mon- 
opolised by English shippers. Duties were imposed at the 
American ports in the interests of the British mercantile com- 
munity the ' English ' community until 1707, and after 1707 
' British/ not in the full imperial sense, but in the restricted sense 
applied to the island of Great Britain. The colonists were also 
forbidden to manufacture for themselves sundry classes of 
goods with which the English producers wished to supply them. 
By this system of trade regulation, directed in the interests of 
the mother country, the colonial trade was somewhat hampered, 
and would have been seriously fettered if British governments, 
notably that of Walpole, had not been intentionally lax in the 
enforcement of the law. An immense contraband trade was 
deliberately allowed to grow up ; the front doors were officially 
bolted and barred, but the back doors were left on the latch. 
Walpole's attitude had been simply the reflection of his attitude 
to Nonconformity. He wanted to foster and expand the trade 
of the colonies ; he regarded the regulations as being in them- 
selves a mistake, but he knew that their removal would create 
an outcry in the British mercantile community ; and therefore 
instead of removing them he went as far as he could in the 
direction of suffering their evasion. Nor did it occur to his 
immediate successors to depart from that characteristic policy. 

The colonies then had a common theoretical grievance. 
Their self-government was liable to be interfered with by 
governors whom they had not themselves chosen, although 

The Situation in 1763 279 

such interference was unusual. Their trade was restricted by 
laws which the mother country had imposed in her own interests, 
although those laws were enforced with laxity. R easonof 
But there were two facts which had hitherto colonial ac- 
restrained the colonies from determined protest. < l uie8cence - 
First, the mutual jealousies of the separate communities pro- 
hibited any effective combined action on their part. In the 
second place, and partly on account of the said jealousies, the 
colonists were dependent upon the mother country for defence 
against French aggression. They could not afford to quarrel 
with her, because if the French government intervened actively 
to support the pretensions of the French colonies while the 
French colonists had the power of France behind them the 
British colonists needed at their own backs the counteracting 
power of Great Britain and the British navy ; the more because 
their mutual jealousies prevented them from concerting common 
measures of defence, as was conspicuously demonstrated in 
1754, when Franklin's federation scheme fell through. 

But the situation was completely changed by the Seven 
Years' War. The French had no longer a foothold in the North 
America continent ; in the eyes of the colonials, a A changed 
French menace no longer existed; they no longer situation, 
required British fleets and regiments. But the old grievances 
were there unmodified ; not pressing upon them acutely, but 
present, although the old reasons for submitting to them had 
vanished. On the other hand, there was a lively sense of in- 
debtedness to the mother country, and especially to William 
Pitt. The changed conditions called for a readjustment of the 
old relations, and it should have been the business of a wise 
statesmanship in England to utilise the sentiment of gratitude 
in basing a readjustment upon the spirit of mutual sympathy. 
Unhappily, the task fell not to the sympathetic statesman whom 
the Americans enthusiastically admired, but in the first instance 
to a political pedant entirely devoid of sympathetic imagination. 

280 George III. and the Whigs 


Although Pitt on his retirement had patriotically abstained 
from hampering the government, he denounced the Peace of 
1763. Paris in parliament with uncompromising vigour. 

Bute. The peace was extremely unpopular, both because 

so much had been given up that might have been legitimately 
secured, and because, at least in some quarters, there was a sense 
that the government's treatment of the king of Prussia had been 
distinctly discreditable. The other proceedings of the adminis- 
tration did not counterbalance the hostile sentiment evoked 
by the peace. In parliament, Bute was master of the situation ; 
his majorities were secured. The principle of party vindictive- 
ness was applied with unparalleled effrontery and universality. 
Leading Whig noblemen on the Opposition side were deprived 
of their dignified offices. From Newcastle himself down to 
mere excisemen, there was a general clearance of every one who 
had received a place by favour of the Whig ministers. Vin- 
dictiveness, as always, bred vindictiveness and irreconcilability. 

Bute had filled up his ministry with incompetent persons ; 
perhaps the most incompetent was the chancellor of the ex- 
The cider chequer, Sir Francis Dashwood, who raised a loan 
tax. . upon terms by which supporters of the ministry 
pocketed more than ten per cent, of the whole amount. To 
provide revenue, he succeeded in imposing a tax of four shillings 
a hogshead upon cider, to be levied by way of excise. There was 
no justification for selecting one particular branch of industry 
to be the victim of taxation ; the cider districts were infuriated, 
and the popular indignation was excited by the application of 
the detested excise in an aggravated form. Bute found the 
position too intolerable; he hoped that by being 
succeeded toy out of office he might cease to be the object of 
Grenviiie, popular execration, while still retaining the control 
of the administration in his own hands. He re- 
signed, accompanied by Dashwood, having arranged that George 
Grenviiie should be at the head of the administration as first 

The Grenville and Rockingham Ministries 281 

lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer. He was 
under the mistaken impression that he would find Grenville a 
pliant tool, as well as an indubitably capable official. Bedford, 
though even more responsible than Bute for the Peace of Paris, 
was personally hostile to the favourite and declined to join the 
cabinet. In April parliament was prorogued, the king in his 
speech, which was of course put in his mouth by ministers, 
having dwelt chiefly upon the glories of the peace, and with 
supreme audacity claimed credit for the benefits secured by 
the king of Prussia. 

John Wilkes, the member for Aylesbury, was a clever libertine, 
an adventurer with a passion for notoriety, who had adopted 
journalism as a means to the gratification of his Number 
craving. Having no particular principles he had forty-five, 
adopted the popular side, and issued a paper of his own called 
the North Briton, mainly devoted to scurrilous attacks upon 
the Scots in general, and upon Bute in particular. Immedi- 
ately after the prorogation of parliament the forty-fifth number 
of the North Briton appeared. It contained a virulent attack 
upon the king's speech, which it charged in effect with making 
gross and scandalous misstatements. Every one knew that 
the king's ministers, not the king personally, were responsible 
for the words put into the king's mouth, but George took the 
accusation as a personal insult to himself, and required ministers 
to prosecute the offender. Halifax, one of the secretaries of 
state, issued a general warrant which, without giving names, 
ordered the arrest of the author, publishers, and printers con- 
cerned with the production of the obnoxious pamphlet. Under 
the warrant more than forty persons were arrested, including 
Wilkes himself, on the publisher's statement that he was the 
author. His papers were seized and he himself was sent to the 
Tower. His ally Lord Temple was refused permission to see the 
prisoner. On a writ of habeas corpus, however, he was brought 
before Justice Pratt, Chief Justice of the Common justice 
Pleas. Pratt pronounced that as a member of p *att. 
parliament Wilkes was by privilege of parliament immune from 
an action which could only be brought upon a charge of treason, 

282 George III. and the Wkigs 

felony, or breach of the peace, none of which could be imputed 
to No. 45. Wilkes was set at liberty, amid popular demon- 
strations. Pratt pronounced that although precedents existed, 
general warrants were illegal. Several of the persons arrested 
brought actions against the persons who had arrested them, and 
recovered heavy damages. Wilkes himself brought actions 
against the two secretaries of state ; but one of them, Egremont, 
died, and the other, Halifax, discovered and employed legal 
methods for deferring the hearing of the action indefinitely. 
Wilkes proceeded to issue a reprint of No. 45. 

Before parliament met again in November the ministry had 
undergone some reconstruction. In fact, it was not strong 

enough for George's purposes. He acceded to what 
Grenviiie was perhaps Bute's suggestion that Pitt should be 
ministry, invited to join the ministry, but Pitt would not come 

back without some at least of his old colleagues. 
The negotiations broke down, and George turned to Bedford, 
who was not eager for office, but was piqued by the information 
that one of the conditions put forward by Pitt had been that 
neither Bedford nor any one else responsible for the peace should 
be admitted. Bedford in turn made it a condition that Bute 
should not only hold no office, but should withdraw from the 
capital. Galling though this condition was, it was accepted ; 
and the Grenviiie ministry became in September the Bedford 
ministry. Lord Shelburne, originally introduced by Bute, 
retired to attach himself to Pitt, and the new ministry was dis- 
credited by the admission of the earl of Sandwich a capable 
administrator, but a notoriously depraved character who had 
formerly been associated with Dashwood and with Wilkes in a 
flagrantly profligate society known as the Medmenham Brother- 

Parliament had no sooner assembled than the attack upon 
Wilkes was renewed. It was opened in the Lords by Sandwich, 
Renewed wno produced a profane and obscene paper, written 
attack on by Wilkes and dedicated to himself in the days of 
Wilkes. t k e i r j n ti macV) entitled An Essay on Woman, a 

parody or burlesque of Pope's Essay on Man, and of the notes 

The Grenville and Rockingham Ministries 283 

thereon which had been written by Bishop Warburton. The 
thing had been printed only for private circulation, not for 
publication at all ; nobody could possibly imagine that Sandwich 
had been actuated by any care for the public morals in informing 
against his brother of Medmenham. But the use which had 
been made of Bishop Warburton's name made it possible, with 
a violent strain, to pretend that the essay was a breach of the 
privileges of the House of Lords. On that basis the Lords 
petitioned the Crown to command the prosecution of Wilkes. 
On the same day the Commons voted, first, that No. 45 was a 
false and seditious libel which should be burnt by the common 
hangman ; and, secondly, that privilege of parliament did not 
protect the author. Pitt, who denounced Wilkes himself in 
the strongest terms, opposed no less strongly the 
abrogation of privilege. The House, usually exceed- wilkes 
ingly jealous of its own privileges, was ready to sink outlawed, 
them in order to punish Wilkes. Wilkes retired to 
Paris, having fought a duel with another member in which he 
was himself wounded ; and when summoned to the bar of the 
House sent a medical certificate to show that he could not 
attend. The Commons declined to accept the certificate, and on 
iQth January pronounced his expulsion. The Court of King's 
Bench convicted him for the republication of the ' seditious libel/ 
and, as he was not present to receive sentence, declared him an 

So closed the first act in the drama of 'Wilkes and liberty.' 
The action of the government had been in plain terms a vindic- 
tive attempt to prevent free speech and free criticism, Government 
excusable only on the plea that the particular criti- vindictive- 
cism had been particularly offensive. By bringing ness ' 
in the entirely irrelevant Essay on Woman at the instance of a 
minister whose morals were notoriously no better than Wilkes's 
own, they conclusively showed that they were actuated not by 
a sense of public duty, but by exasperation and a desire for 
vengeance. And in order to remove any possibility of a doubt 
that these were their real motives, they proceeded to penalise 
those of their ordinary supporters who had voted against them 

284 George III. and the Whigs 

on the Wilkes question. General Conway and Colonel Barre 
were deprived of their commands. The Wilkes quarrel was by 
no means trivial in itself. Freedom of speech, freedom of 
criticism, freedom from the pretence that governments may over- 
ride the law, as in the case of general warrants, whenever circum- 
stances make it convenient to them, are essential to any form 
of government which is not fundamentally despotic. The affair 
of Wilkes created an amount of excitement which was super- 
fluous only because the ultimate outcome of the contest was in 
fact a foregone conclusion. Very different was the next contest 
in which the government found itself engaged. 

The enormous expenditure on the war, the expansion of the 
National Debt, and the depletion of the treasury, inspired the 
1763 in economists with the alarm which had made the 
search of Peace of Paris possible. Bute's ministry, in its 
search for new sources of revenue, had even been 
reduced to inventing the unpopular cider tax. George Gren- 
ville's pathetic entreaties that the House would ' tell me where ' 
else a tax could be imposed had elicited from Pitt the sarcastic 
murmur, ' Gentle shepherd, tell me where/ which had affixed 
to the minister the nickname of the ' Gentle Shepherd.' But if 
Grenville had failed for the time to discover a substitute for the 
tax upon cider, he and his colleagues at least lighted upon an 
existing source of revenue which had been sadly neglected. If 
the revenue laws were properly enforced in America it appeared 
that something substantial would probably be realised. Steps 
American were taken to put a stop to the contraband traffic, 
contraband, to ensure that the goods landed in America paid 
their proper toll ; and to this end the vessels of His Majesty's 
navy were employed to supplement and strengthen the normal 
preventive service. It was all quite legal ; but it was extremely 
annoying to large numbers of worthy citizens in the colonies 
who had been accustomed to take for granted that the laws 
against contraband traffic were only intended to be partially 
observed, and might be profitably broken with an easy con- 
science, provided the thing were not done too ostentatiously, by 
persons who were otherwise irreproachably law-abiding. 

The Grenville and Rockingham Ministries 285 

Ministers in England were troubling their minds with the 
' Gentle Shepherd's ' question, unhampered by fears of causing 

irritation in remote dependencies ; just as they had 

1,1 .. j- xi / T * * T, The colonies 
ignored the irritation in the cider districts. It should help 

presented itself to the mind of George Grenville to P a y for 
that reason and equity demanded that the colonists, 
who were the chief gainers by the great war, should pay their 
share of the expenses. The argument was quite sound ; the 
rivalries of the British and French colonists had been the prin- 
cipal cause of the war, which had put an end to the French rivalry 
and left the field clear to the colonists, while nearly the whole 
of the cost had fallen upon the mother country. It was a clear 
indisputable fact that the colonies were under a moral obligation 
to make a substantial contribution. Still there was an item in 
the account which was left out of the reckoning. The overthrow 
of the French was, after all, not a gratuitous service to the 
colonies. It was in the nature of a return, a compensation for 
the subordination of the political liberties and the commercial 
interests of the colonies to the political authority and the com- 
mercial interests of Great Britain. The balance of debt was, 
after all, not so heavily in favour of Great Britain as it appeared 
on the Grenville balance-sheet. 

The colonies, then, were under this moral obligation. In a 
corrupt world, moral obligations materialised in pounds, shillings, 
and pence are apt to dwindle down. A man of The appeal 
another temper than George Grenville might have to sentiment 
dreamed of making a stirring appeal to colonial dlsearded - 
gratitude, to the warmth of sentiment which had been aroused, 
to the generosity of a generous people who had been generously 
helped without thought of reward. But Grenville did not trust 
in American generosity, and there were substantial reasons for 
distrusting it. Such an appeal would have to be made to the 
states individually ; every state might respond warmly in words, 
but each one would probably ask at once to what extent its 
neighbours intended to respond in cash. Each one would con- 
sider that its neighbours were under a heavier obligation than 
itself. Each would adapt its views of handsome behaviour to a 

286 George III. and the Whigs 

criterion fixed by some one else. Massachusetts would see no 
reason why it should contribute more than Carolina; the Carolinas 
would see no reason why they should be expected to contribute 
so much as Massachusetts. George Grenville conceived that the 
ultimate response to an appeal for contributions of which the 
amount should be assessed by the colonists themselves would 
be meagre. 

Yet money must be obtained from the colonists. Not only 
did they owe a debt for the past, but it was necessary to con- 
Ground for tinue the expenditure on their behalf. It was true 
the demand, that the French had been beaten out of America, 
but they would certainly try to get back there. The Indians, 
too, were threatening to become a more serious menace. The 
colonists had already proved their own incapacity for under- 
taking their own defence ; the time had come when it was 
necessary to establish an imperial standing army in America. 
The colonists were not at all likely to see the necessity, and 
would certainly offer no voluntary contributions for its main- 
tenance. Their argument was obvious. The subordination of 
colonial to home interests was the standing equivalent for what- 
ever protection the British might extend to the Americans. 
Grenville's most fatal blunder was his assumption that that 
subordination was not a quid pro quo, something for which the 
colonists were entitled to an equivalent, but a condition in- 
herent in the relation between mother country and colonies. 

Dismissing the idea of voluntary contribution, Grenville con- 
ceived that he could legally enforce contribution by way of 
taxation. And again within the strict letter of the 

1764. TciXci- 

tiontobe law he was right. All the colonies were estab- 
imposedfor h'shed under charters; under all the charters the 
Crown retained the power of taxing the colony. 
The power had never been exercised with the object of raising 
revenue ; according to the technical distinction, all the imposts 
laid upon the colonies had been exacted not to raise revenue, but 
by way of regulation of trade ; just as in the old days the im- 
position of Customs in England had been treated not as a means 
of raising revenue for the Crown, but as a part of the royal 

The Grenville and Rockingham Ministries 287 

prerogative of regulating trade. Walpole had once been urged 
to provide revenue by taxing America, but that shrewd states- 
man had been far too wary. The wealth that would accrue to 
Great Britain from the development of colonial trade and the 
colonial market was in his eyes worth a great deal more than 
any sums which could be collected in the way of taxation. Nor 
was it in his eyes politic to arouse a spirit of hostility which it 
would not be easy subsequently to allay. 

Grenville forgot the prudence of Walpole. The law permitted 
the taxation of the Americans ; the law therefore should be 
utilised for that purpose. Some fresh imposts were ordered 
to be levied at the ports in 1764. It was also pro- 1765. The 
posed to impose a stamp tax ; to require, that is, stamp Act. 
that all legal documents should have a government stamp affixed 
to them, the price varying according to the nature of the instru- 
ment. On this proposal, however, the colonists were invited 
to express opinions, and to suggest any alternative method of 
raising the money required which appeared to them adequate ; 
meanwhile, for a year the scheme was to be held in suspense. 
Benjamin Franklin, who was resident in London as agent for 
sundry colonies, discouraged the scheme, though he could suggest 
no alternative but an invitation to the colonists for voluntary 
contributions. No other satisfactory suggestion was forth- 
coming, and in March 1765 the Stamp Act was passed without 
a division of the House of Lords, and by a sweeping majority in 
the House of Commons. Hardly any one appears to have attached 
any significance to it in England ; although Barre delivered an 
impassioned protest against it in the Commons, introducing a 
reference to the Americans as the ' Sons of Liberty,' which after- 
wards became a catchword. 

In America the affair did not appear to be so trivial. Law 
and precedent together had made it extremely difficult to protest 
against impositions enforced for the regulation of . 

trade. The new impositions might be warranted without 
by law, but from precedent at least they had no representa- 
support. In practice taxation was a new thing 
the term taxation having the specific meaning of impositions 

288 George III. and the Whigs 

for revenue purposes. In this sense the old impositions had 
not been taxes ; whereas it had been carefully explained that 
the new impositions were taxes. The most flagrantly unpre- 
cedented of them was the Stamp Tax, because it was doubly 
unprecedented; it was not only a tax, but an inland tax. 
Hitherto there had been no inland impositions ; those that had 
been levied were levied at the ports. In Walpole's day the British 
public had fallen into a frenzy because the minister proposed 
to extend inland taxation, and used the name of excise. So now 
the irritation, long latent but recently roused anew by the 
vigilant suppression of smuggling, received a fresh incentive. 
The Americans found new burdens hitherto unheard of being 
laid upon them ; in amount trivial enough, but in principle, 
from the American point of view, monstrous. Was it not a 
fundamental principle of British liberties proclaimed by the 
Bill of Rights, resting upon the Petition of Right, based upon 
Magna Charta itself, that there should be no taxation without 
representation ? Yet a parliament in which America was un- 
represented was imposing taxation upon America. No tech- 
nical appeal to charters and laws could override a fundamental 
principle of the constitution. At last Grenville had given the 
old grievance a shape which supplied the Americans with a 

The trouble was immensely aggravated by a factor of which 
it is difficult for us to realise the importance the remoteness 
Mutual f the colonies. Wolfe's dispatches from Quebec 

ignorance. had taken six weeks to reach London. A naval 
squadron, unimpeded by transports, had taken eleven weeks to 
reach the American seaboard ; though this was noted as an 
abnormally long time. When three months elapsed between 
the writing of a letter and the receipt of the answer, there was 
time enough for the answer to have become quite out of date 
and inappropriate. This was a definite practical difficulty of a 
kind easily ignored by a generation to which the telegraph has 
become a matter of course. But apart from this, America a 
hundred and fifty years ago was further oif than New Zealand 
to-day, more difficult to visit, less known by personal observa- 

The Grenville and Rockingham Ministries 289 

tion, and infinitely less familiar through the press. When we 
consider how little the average Englishman knows even now 
about Australasia, how few people would probably give a correct 
reply off-hand if asked to name the capitals of New Zealand, 
New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, we may be the less 
surprised at the portentous ignorance of the colonies which pre- 
vailed in Great Britain when the information that Cape Breton 
was an island could come upon ? prime minister with the charm 
of a new discovery. A sea voyage in the eighteenth century was 
not to be undertaken even by the wealthiest as a mere pleasure 
trip. Even in the twentieth century mutual misunderstand- 
ings are fostered by distance ; in the eighteenth century the 
difficulty of reconciling such misunderstandings was a hundred- 
fold greater. 

The immediate purpose of the Stamp Act was to provide for 
the proposed standing army of ten thousand men. It was 
followed up as a matter of course by the extension American 
of the Mutiny Act in America, with the require- anger. 
ment that the colonies themselves should provide quarters for 
the troops. The Act was to come into operation in November. 
The colonists were extremely angry ; the more so because their 
opinion on the proposals had been asked only to be ignored. 
The lead in the opposition was taken by Boston, the capital of 
Massachusetts, the chief of the New England group. Massa- 
chusetts was hit the hardest by the suppression of contraband 
traffic. It was the headquarters also of the Puritan tradition 
which prided itself on its passion for political liberty. The 
town's meeting at Boston passed a resolution that parliament 
had no right to tax the colonies without their consent. The 
Assembly followed the example of the town's meeting, and gave 
the lead to five other colonies which petitioned against the tax. 
In the Virginian Assembly Patrick Henry made allusions to 
Charles I., obviously containing an adroitly veiled menace. 

On the initiative of Massachusetts, representatives from each 
colony were invited to attend a general congress which assembled 
at New York in November ; nine of the thirteen colonies were 
represented, and the rest sent sympathetic messages. The 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. T 

290 George III. and the Whigs 

congress passed addresses to the King, to the Lords, and to the 
Commons, declaring their loyalty, but protesting against the 
A colonial Act. Outside these strictly constitutional methods, 
congress, but still within the letter of the law, associations 
November. were forme( j to enl j st the sympathies of the British 

mercantile community by threatening its pockets. No British 
goods were to be bought ; the Americans would wear out their 
old clothes or array themselves in homespun ; they would 
Non-im- make for themselves what they had hitherto pur- 

portation chased from British makers, or would go without, 
agreements. Demonstrations, however, were naturally not con- 
fined to the law-abiding. Rioters destroyed government build- 
ings and government property ; officials who had been appointed 
to distribute the stamps declined or resigned office, conscious that 
if they did not do so they would be subjected to mob violence. 
When the stamps themselves arrived, they were seized and were 
nearly all destroyed. The British parliament had made its law, 
but obviously the enforcement of it was to prove more than 
difficult. So much at least the Americans had demonstrated 
before the end of 1765. 

Meanwhile, however, changes had been taking place in England. 
The formation of the Bedford administration, at the end of 1763, 
The king and na cl by no means given the king what he wanted. 
Grenvilie. it wa s true that the old Whig combination was 
broken up, and that he had got nominees of his own and of 
Bute into the ministry ; but at the head of it were Bedford and 
Grenvilie, its indispensable members, and they, not the king, were 
masters of the situation. It was not that Grenvilie differed 
materially from the king in his views of policy, but that he took 
upon himself to lecture the king at every turn, and generally 
treated his royal master in the same spirit of tactless pedantry 
which made him so impracticable and exasperating in his other 
political relations. George chafed under the burden. 

The climax arrived in 1765. At the beginning of the year the 
king fell ill, showing symptoms of that mental derangement by 
which the later years of his life were overshadowed. He 
recovered, but the event made him anxious to make due pro- 

The Grenville and Rockingham Ministries 291 

vision for the government in case of his incapacitation or death. 
He had married in 1761, and he had an infant son and heir ; it 
did not seem sufficient to assume that in such circum- The Regency 
stances his consort would become regent ; conse- Bm - 
quently a bill was prepared which was to limit the choice of a 
regent to members of the ' royal family.' The question arose 
whether this included the king's mother, the dowager Princess 
of Wales, or only the queen and persons who stood in the line of 
succession as descendants of George n. Ministers conceived that 
if the Princess of Wales should become regent Bute's ascendency 
would be restored, which was the last thing they desired. They 
wished, therefore, to exclude the princess from the list of persons 
eligible for the regency, and they obtained George's assent to the 
omission of her name by warning him that if it were included the 
House of Commons would certainly make matters a great deal 
worse by formally striking it out. The Lords passed the bill 
with the name omitted ; whereupon the Commons expressly 
inserted it. It was made to appear that George had wished to 
exclude his mother, against the wishes of the Commons. 

George was furious, and appealed to his uncle the duke of 
Cumberland for help. Cumberland proposed to apply to Pitt. 
Pitt was prepared to form an administration on Fa i lure of 
terms which would have been accepted; but un- appeals to 
fortunately he had made up his mind that he would ] 
not take office without Temple. Temple declined, and the whole 
negotiation fell through. Cumberland could find no one to under- 
take the business ; and the king was forced again to subject 
himself to Grenville and Bedford on their own terms. In their 
triumph they adopted towards him an attitude so intolerably 
overbearing that he appealed to Pitt once more ; the appeal 
failed for the same reason as before, and George found himself 
with no alternatives save utter subjection to Bedford and Gren- 
ville, or an official reconciliation with that Whig ' connection ' 
which it had been his primary political object to defeat. 

So in the middle of July a Whig administration was formed under 
the leadership of the marquess of Rockingham. Rockingham and 
the duke of Grafton, who took one of the secretaryships, were 

292 George II L and the Whigs 

still young men without administrative experience gentlemen, 
sportsmen, politicians only from a sense of duty. Newcastle now 

brought little strength with him ; General Conway 
Rockingham had no rea -l force of character ; there were, in fact, 
ministry, no true elements of efficiency in the whole group, 

although behind Rockingham there was the genius 
of his private secretary, Edmund Burke. The ministry was well- 
meaning, entirely honest, not without common sense, but alto- 
gether unimpressive; and no one was more alive to its weak- 
ness than its own members, all of whom would have hailed the 
accession of Pitt to their numbers with unfeigned satisfaction. 
Under his leadership they might well have made a great adminis- 
tration ; but without a convincing leader they were doomed to 
only a brief tenure of power. They had been brought into the 
position by Cumberland ; and at the end of October Cumberland 
died. As Whigs of the ' connection ' George disliked and dis- 
trusted them; and the few 'King's Friends,' followers of his 
own who had been included in the ministry, were really a hostile 
and embarrassing element among them. 

Parliament did not meet again for business until January 1766. 
So far no active steps had been taken for dealing with the trouble 

in America ; but ministers had learnt that Pitt was 
Repeal of entirely opposed to the enforcement of the Stamp 
the stamp Act, and consequently they had resolved on its 

repeal. Pitt was at no pains to conceal the small 
account in which he held the members of the new government, 
but he gave them their cue. The home government had full 
authority to legislate for the colonies, but it had no right to tax 
them. From outside parliament, petitions against the Stamp 
Act were pouring in from the merchants of the great towns whose 
market in America was closed, and whose customers in America 
were withholding payment of their debts. Rockingham an- 
nounced that the king was in favour of the repeal of the Stamp 
Act ; the King's Friends put it about that the king was opposed 
to repeal. Rockingham, who had spoken in perfect good faith, 
on the strength of George's own words, sought an explanation 
from the king, who said that he was opposed to repeal, though a 

The Grenville and Rockingham Ministries 293 

repeal would be better than simple enforcement. What he wanted 
was modification. The ministers, however, went through with 
the bill for the repeal of the Stamp Act ; but accompanied it by 
a formal Declaratory Act asserting the legal power The 
of the British parliament to impose taxation on the Declaratory 
colonies. Pitt opposed the Declaratory Act, because ct ' 
he regarded any such taxation as unconstitutional, on the ground 
that the colonies were not represented. At the present day the 
meaning which is apt to be attached to the word representation 
is by no means the same as that attached to it a century and a 
half ago. The phrase ' No taxation without representation ' is 
now generally used as if it meant that only persons endowed 
with the franchise may legitimately be taxed. In 1765, only a 
fraction of the population of the British Isles enjoyed the fran- 
chise; but both Pitt and Burke, the two most powerful and 
uncompromising advocates of the constitutional The question 
doctrine, would have claimed without hesitation ofrepre- 
that the members of parliament represented the l 
masses as well as the electors. Even this form, however, of 
indirect representation was wanting to the American colonists. 
On Chatham's principle, no constitutional means could exist for 
compelling the colonies to contribute to the imperial revenue 
unless they sent representatives to Westminster. There were 
not wanting theoretical advocates of the inclusion of members 
for the colonies in the House of Commons. But when we observe 
that even at the present day one of the obstructions to all schemes 
of imperial federation is to be found precisely in the difficulty 
of retaining in one centre for parliamentary purposes repre- 
sentatives from the overseas dominions, and realise also how 
very much less difficult it would be to-day than in the days 
when George in. was king, the impracticability of such a solution 
at that time becomes convincing. The plain truth was that 
imperial obligations could not be enforced upon the colonies 
without ignoring the maxims on which the principles of political 
liberty had been formulated in Great Britain. The real truth, 
that the general principle holds good though the formula is not 
universally applicable, was really implied in the course taken 

294 George III. and the Whigs 

by the government, of asserting the actual power of taxation as 
a right that could not be resigned, even at the moment of pro- 
nouncing that no such emergency had arisen as would alone 
warrant its exercise. 

The repeal of the Act was accompanied by general rejoicings 
both in America and in England. But the harm had been done. 
Failure of The whole principle of British control had really 
the repeal. been dragged into the arena. Before Grenville's 
unfortunate measure, the practice which rested upon unbroken 
precedent would have been extremely difficult to challenge ; 
now it invited investigation, criticism, repudiation. The repeal 
of the Stamp Act very soon lost the colour of a generous concession 
to sentiment, and was regarded in America as a victory, a con- 
cession wrung from the reluctant mother country, really because 
she did not dare to refuse it. The Declaratory Act merely meant 
that she would return to the attack whenever she felt it safe to 
do so. It is true that if the British parliament had continued 
to act in the spirit of the Rockinghams, the train which had been 
kindled might possibly have been quenched. But when a little 
later the British parliament deliberately provided fresh fuel, the 
good that had been done by the Rockinghams was distorted into 

Weak as the ministry was, its measures were continued upon 
sound lines. The question of general warrants was practically 

settled. The cider tax was repealed. Walpole's 
End of the 
Kockingham principles were applied to the recognised imposts 

ministry, a ^ the American ports, and a large reduction of 
duties diverted a great quantity of the contraband 
trade into legitimate channels, so that the customs receipts were 
greatly increased. Still the government was conscious of its 
own weakness, conscious of Pitt's hostility and the king's. It 
became known that Pitt was ready to take office without Temple, 
but also that he would insist on a reconstruction which would 
involve Rockingham's resignation. Rockingham wanted Pitt 
as an ally, but did not choose to retire in his favour ; and in this 
he was supported by several of his colleagues. Others, includ- 
ing Grafton and Conway, were ready to sacrifice Rockingham 

The Graf ton Ministry 295 

to Pitt. In July the disintegration of the cabinet had gone so 
far that the king no longer hesitated, and he invited Pitt to form 
a new administration. 


The hopes which had centred in the Great Commoner were 
destined to be grievously disappointed. Pitt's opportunity had 
come for forming a government which ignored 
party ties and connections. Edmund Burke de- The new 
scribed the result in his great speech on American ministry, 
taxation delivered some years later. There were 
Whigs of the Rockingham connection, personal followers of 
Pitt, King's Friends ; men who had been scarcely on speaking 
terms with each other, men who were united by no common 
principles whatever. The group which remained definitely 
outside was the Bedford, together with one section of the Rock- 
inghams. There was a general disposition to submit to Pitt's 
leadership, since every one knew that he was a giant amongst 
pigmies. But even pigmies dislike an ostentatious insistence 
upon differences of stature. Pitt was naturally arrogant and 
overbearing in manner, contemptuous of lesser men, the most 
difficult of colleagues. His natural deficiencies of temper and 
tact were aggravated by his sufferings from gout, which later 
prostrated him so completely that he became unable even to dis- 
cuss business of any sort, however imperative. His great popular 
power had always been based upon the public con- The earl 
viction that he was entirely disinterested, a belief of Chatham, 
fully warranted by his refusal in the days when he was pay- 
master-general to appropriate the immense perquisites which, 
according to universal practice, fell to the holder of that office ; 
yet his hold on the popular imagination had been slightly 
weakened when he accepted a title for his wife, though not for 
himself, on his retirement from office ; and now his popularity 
suffered a serious blow when it was announced that he had 
accepted for himself the earldom of Chatham, and could no 
longer be idolised as the Great Commoner. Hitherto his strength 

296 George III. and the Whigs 

had lain in the mastery which his eloquence exercised over the 
House of Commons ; that power vanished with his retirement 
to the House of Lords. All these circumstances combined to 
rob him of the supreme authority, both in parliament and with 
the nation outside parliament, upon which were based the calcu- 
lations of all those who had anticipated his acceptance of office 
with enthusiasm. Even at a very early stage, his high-handed 
ejection from office of one of the Rockingham remnant caused the 
immediate resignation of those members of that section who 
were not personally attached to him, including Admiral Saunders, 
the able successor of Lord Anson at the Admiralty. The places 
of the ministers who resigned were taken chiefly by members 
of the group of King's Friends. 

What Chatham might have accomplished if he had retained 
his physical and intellectual powers we can only guess. What 
Chatham's he intended to do we have means of judging. A 
intentions. ministry under his control would assuredly have dealt 
boldly and sympathetically with the grievances of the Americans. 
, It is more than probable that Chatham and Clive between them 
would have brought the government of the territories newly 
acquired by the East India Company under the direct control 
of the Crown. It is likely that he would have taken in hand 
actively the Irish question, which a revival of the political spirit 
hi that country was now pushing into a new prominence. It is 
certain that he contemplated a reform of representation in Great 
Britain, which would at least have reinforced the independent 
section of the electorate by adding to the number of the county 
members ; for the counties were in the pockets neither of 
magnates nor of corporations. Quite certainly he would have 
devoted himself to the reorganisation of a European league, 
jealous of the recrudescent danger from the revived Family 

No single one of all these measures materialised in the hands 
of the ministry which bore at first the name of Chatham, and 
later that of the duke of Grafton. With only one of them was 
Chatham able even to make a beginning. The political com- 
bination which he sought to form was one of the whole group of 

The Graf ton Ministry 297 

the Northern powers, Russia and Prussia, Sweden, Denmark, 
and Holland. It was a combination which would have delivered 
Great Britain from her isolation, and would have p r0 j ected 
checkmated the designs of the Bourbon powers, Northern 
which were now possessed with the determination Lea ^ ue - 
to fit themselves for a renewal of the contest with Great 
Britain. The scheme, however, was less obviously to the 
advantage of the other European powers concerned. There 
was one obstacle in the way which Pitt failed to surmount, and 
which, even if he had been able to prolong his efforts, he would 
probably have found insuperable. This was Bute's legacy, the 
unconquerable distrust of Frederick of Prussia. In Chatham 
himself Frederick had entire confidence ; for Chatham he had 
the highest admiration. But he had learnt an unpleasant 
lesson. Five years ago Chatham had fallen when apparently 
in the zenith of his power. The result had been, from Frederick's 
point of view, a flagrant desertion of her obligations Frederick 
by Great Britain. The same thing might easily of Prussia, 
happen again. An alliance with Chatham was one thing ; but 
the adoption of a policy which was likely to leave Prussia 
stranded as soon as the domination of Pitt's personality should 
cease, for whatever reason, did not commend itself to Frederick. 
He had no reason to fear hostility from France except on the 
ground of his being an ally of Great Britain. The friend he 
wanted was Catherine of Russia ; the external object on which 
he was concentrating, apart from the business of recuperation 
and administrative organisation, which demanded his close and 
continuous attention, was the appropriation of Polish terri- 
tory which isolated one part of his dominions from the rest. 
A partition of Poland satisfactory both to himself and to 
the Tsarina was to him a matter of greater importance than 
the resuscitation of dangerous Bourbon ambitions. Frederick 
rejected Chatham's overtures for a northern alliance ; and 
what he refused to Chatham there was no faintest chance of 
his conceding to any one else. 

It is to be observed, in connection with the whole outlook in 
European politics, that in 1765 the Emperor Francis, the husband 

298 George I IT. and the Whigs 

of Maria Theresa, died, and was succeeded in the imperial dignity 
by their son Joseph II., who was now also associated with his 
Joseph II. mother in the government of the direct Austrian 
dominion. Joseph was a man of ambitions, an idealist, an 
enthusiast with considerable intellectual endowment, to whom 
the Silesian question did not appeal as it had appealed to Maria 
Theresa ; consequently his appearance as a prominent actor 
on the political stage very materially modified the international 
antipathies and rivalries upon which continental diplomacy had 
turned since the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. 

Chatham accepted office and his peerage in the summer of 

1766. Before three months of 1767 had passed, his gout had 

incapacitated him, and the heterogeneous ministry 

Order in which he had collected was left to follow its hap- 

Councii, hazard way without a leader. Before the blow 

September. . .. , , , n f 

fell there had occurred an episode of some consti- 
tutional interest. At the end of September, when parliament 
was not in session, the government had by its own authority 
forbidden the export of corn, because two successive bad harvests 
had caused a serious shortage of grain, and forced the price up 
to forty-nine shillings a rise which was accompanied by much 
distress and some bread riots. There was statutory power for 
imposing such an embargo when the price reached fifty-three 
shillings, but not before. No one as a matter of fact had any 
doubt that the prohibition of export was a necessary measure ; 
but when parliament met some six weeks later it was objected 
that ministers in such circumstances ought to have summoned 
parliament at once, instead of acting upon their own authority. 
Chatham himself took the straightforward ground that the cir- 
cumstances had made immediate action imperative, without 
pretending that the course taken was strictly legal. But Lord 
Camden formerly Chief- Justice Pratt defended the govern- 
ment on the extremely injudicious plea that there had been 
nothing worse than ' a forty days' tyranny/ an observation 
which, coming from a Whig, invited scathing comment from 
the Opposition ; and the dignity and prestige of the cabinet 

The Graf I on Ministry 299 

The effacement of Chatham, still the nominal chief, at the 
end of March, virtually left the individual ministers to go their 
own way. The old difficulty of finding sources of 
revenue, the legacy of the war expenditure, was Chatham 
still active. Chatham had undoubtedly expected in eclipse, 
that the acquisition of Bengal could be turned to 
account by the imperial treasury. His disappearance left the 
control to colleagues who did not share his views, and could now 
act according to their own lights. The chancellorship of the 
exchequer had fallen to Charles Townshend, brilliant, witty, 
personally charming, but quite without ballast. Townshend pro- 
posed to raise the land tax from three shillings, at Charles 
which it then stood, to four. A four-shilling land Townshend. 
tax was regarded as a burden upon the land scarcely justifiable 
except in actual time of war. The landed interest threw out 
the money bill. Townshend at an earlier stage had boasted 
that he could raise from America a revenue sufficient for the 
maintenance there of the standing army. Defeated on the 
question of the land tax, he proposed to make good his boast ; 
and, relying upon the Rockingham Declaratory Act, imposed 
customs duties at the American ports upon six articles glass, 
paper, painter's colours, red and white lead, and tea. Only the 
last was of any serious commercial importance. To make the 
thing the more grotesque, Townshend's arrangement would have 
actually cheapened tea to the American consumer, because 
while threepence was to be paid at the American The tax 
port, where nothing had been paid heretofore, on tea. 
there was a rebate of a shilling granted on the duty which had 
to be paid at the British port, through which the tea had 
to pass before it could go to America at all. If the imperial 
revenue gained, it would only be on the principle, which has 
often enough proved a sound one, that high duties defeat their 
own object, that low duties pay better, because of the multipli- 
cation of goods consequently passing through the Customs. 
The American would not suffer, because he would get his tea 

But the American would pay directly at the American port, 

300 George III. and the Whigs 

instead of indirectly at a British port. A tax was being imposed 
upon the American at American ports for the purposes of the 
American imperial revenue, and avowedly for those purposes ; 
indignation. w hich was precisely the course of action which the 
Americans had denounced as being unconstitutional, although 
the Declaratory Act had taken the other point of view. It 
mattered nothing that the whole revenue expected to be raised 
was no more than 40,000 ; the colonists were once again given 
their chance of proclaiming that the fundamental principles 
of the British constitution had been violated, that when a 
principle was at stake it made no difference whether the sums 
involved were large or small. As long as the Declaratory Act 
was to be looked upon merely as a dead letter, a formal expres- 
sion of a pious opinion only intended to save the face of the 
government, it had been allowed to pass. But here it was being 
brought into play without even the pretence of a necessity 
brought on by a grave emergency. That was sufficiently shown 
by the paltry amount which the tax was expected to raise. 
From the American point of view, the right of the government 
at Westminster to impose the tax at all must be flatly and 
uncompromisingly repudiated. 

America was in a blaze of indignation at once. The latent 
spirit of antagonism to the assertion of the British ascendency 
Mutual in an Y shape or form had not been destroyed by 

irritation. the repeal of the Stamp Act ; even the overt 
expressions of satisfaction had been accompanied by a stolid 
resistance both in Massachusetts and in New York to the quarter- 
ing there of British regiments in accordance with the Mutiny 
Act. The new measures by resuscitating the constitutional 
grievance prepared the way for translating the latent sentiment 
into an active energy. And in England the insufficiency of the 
American recognition of the concession made by the Rockinghams 
was already causing a revulsion of the feeling which had at first 
made the public favourably inclined towards the colonists. 

Having done all the mischief he could Charles Townshend 
died in November. His place as chancellor of the exchequer 
was taken by Lord North (son of the earl of Guildford), a man 

The Graf ton Ministry 301 

who regarded it as his first duty to carry out the king's wishes. 
Endowed with no great abilities and no keen insight, his kindli- 
ness and good humour were entirely imperturbable, 
and no amount of abuse, however shrewdly directed, succeeds 
availed to penetrate his armour-plated placidity. Townshend, 
It was his weakness, we are told, that his affections 
over-rode his judgment, and he surrendered his own opinions 
to please those persons of whom he was fond. A vain effort 
had already been made by Grafton, when Chatham's incapacity 
had become too painfully manifest, to strengthen the govern- 
ment by a Rockingham alliance. An equally vain attempt 
had been made by Rockingham to form an alliance with the 
Grenville group, who saw that no partnership was possible 
so long as their views and those of the Rockinghams on the 
American question was flatly contradictory. Grafton was looked 
upon as the recognised head of the ministry, which was slightly 
modified in order to admit some members of the Bedford circle. 

In America the new Act came in force in November. The 
Boston merchants at once renewed their non-importation agree- 
ments; and immediately after the New Year the 1768. Effects 
Massachusetts assembly addressed a circular letter in America, 
to the rest of the colonies emphasising the need of united action 
and successfully smoothing away obstacles to co-operation. As 
the year 1768 advanced the breach between mother country 
and colonies was widening. Governor Bernard at Boston com- 
plained that he had no authority, and could have none without 
a vigorous backing from home. In New York, where the two 
parties were equally balanced, the British or Tory party obtained 
a temporary ascendency. In Boston there were riots, hardly 
checked by the arrival of a couple of regiments in September, 
although the appearance of two more in the following January 
(1769) prevented further disturbances for the time. 

Meanwhile, there had been a general election early in the year 
in England. The government retained its solid majorities. In 
the early autumn the Bedford faction procured the dismissal 
of Shelburne, who, clinging to Chatham's views, was the one 
active member of the cabinet who was in clear opposition to its 

302 George III. and the Whigs 

American policy. The cloud which had settled down upon 
Chatham's powers was lifting. The administration of which 
Changes in ^ e was nominally the head had discarded every 
the British feature of his own policy; a month after Shel- 
ministry. burne's dismissal he expressed his disapproval by 
resignation. In December Bedford showed how blind ministers 
had become to counsels of moderation by moving for the revival 
of a long obsolete statute of Henry vm. which would enable 
the trial of offenders in America to be transferred to the Law 
Courts in England. The proposal was only intended to frighten 
the colonists ; as it was impossible to carry it out in practice, it 
merely had the effect of irritating them. 

Virginia and Carolina associated themselves with New York 
and Massachusetts in the non-importation agreements. The 
1769 The effect of those agreements on British trade was so 
tea tax alone serious that the government, in 1768, attempted 
retained. conciliation. Grafton, in fact, was half-hearted over 
the whole business, and wished to withdraw the new taxes 
altogether ; but though Camden and Conway were with him 
they were outvoted in the cabinet. It was resolved that con- 
ciliation should be carried to the extent of dropping five of the 
six taxes and retaining that upon tea. Seeing that the number 
or importance of the taxes themselves was entirely beside the 
question, this astonishingly futile proposal had in the eyes of 
the colonists no colour of conciliation ; it struck them merely 
as a feeble attempt at a pointless compromise dictated not by 
good-will but by weakness. The position was in no way 
strengthened by a letter addressed to the colonies by the secre- 
tary of state, Lord Hillsborough, announcing that government 
did not intend to impose any further taxes for revenue. The 
colonists pushed the advantage they seemed to have gained, 
and again in answer to the demands of Boston the government 
withdrew Governor Bernard and half the troops. The colonists 
became more convinced than ever that ministers were actuated 
only by their own weakness. 

The plain truth was that Townshend's taxes had created an 
impossible position, The Stamp Tax had been imposed in one 

The Grafton Ministry 303 

year, and repealed in the next without producing the impression 
of an unqualified surrender. The process could not possibly be 
repeated if the British government was to retain The 
any show of authority at all ; while on the other dUemma. 
hand, the colonies could not submit even to the least of the new 
taxes without surrendering their whole case, or admitting that 
they were not strong enough to stand up for their rights. No 
sovereign less mighty than an Edward i. or an Elizabeth could 
have given to a withdrawal in such circumstances the colour of 
magnanimity, of an act of grace ; for no British ministry would 
it have been possible except for one dominated by Pitt at the 
zenith of his prestige. For the colonies it was equally impos- 
sible to yield so long as they believed that they could make 
their resistance good. The feeble attempts at conciliation could 
only strengthen them in that belief. 

By the summer of 1769 Chatham's health was restored. His 
hostility to the ministry was obvious. Grafton, who had drifted 
with his colleagues mainly from the lack of the vigour R ea p pear . 
necessary to impose his leadership on them, found ance of 
himself very much in disfavour with the great man Cnatnam * 
whom it had always been his inclination to follow. Camden 
and others were encouraged to a more open dissent from their 
colleagues. It was not possible to form a united Opposition out 
of groups so diverse as the Rockinghams and Grenvilles, with 
their antagonistic views on the leading question of the day ; yet 
their forces, combined with Chatham's personal following, could 
render the position of the government extremely uneasy. Other 
events, to be recorded below, had been taking place since the 
beginning of 1768 which were still more ominous for the govern- 
ment than its American troubles. 

When parliament met in January 1770 it seemed extremely 
probable that the ministry would be overthrown. Nevertheless, 
when Chatham and Camden, himself still a member 1770 
of the cabinet, opened the attack in the House of Resignation 
Lords, their amendment to the address was defeated ra 
by an overwhelming majority ; and the address itself was carried 
in the Commons by almost two to one. So far as the Houses 

304 George III. and the Whigs 

were concerned, matters did not look as if ministers were likely 
to be defeated. Grafton, however, was conscious of his own 
weakness. Camden's conduct made it imperatively necessary 
that he should be dismissed. His dismissal was followed by the 
resignation of Granby and Dunning. Grafton could find no one 
to accept the vacated chancellorship except Charles Yorke, a son 
of the great Lord Chancellor Hardwicke. Yorke himself was 
only pressed into the service with extreme reluctance, which was 
so aggravated by the reproaches of his Rockingham associates 
that his acceptance of office was followed within three days by 
his death possibly from natural causes, possibly, as popular 
rumour proclaimed, by his own hand. Grafton, despairing of the 
task of the cabinet reconstruction, resigned. 

But George had no intention of submitting himself again to 
the Rockinghams or the Grenvilles, or to Chatham, whose whole 

views of the political situation were now opposed 
Formation . r 

of North's to his own in every respect. For some time past 

administra- \^ w {\\ had really been the controlling force in the 
administration ; he believed that the time had come 
when he could dominate parliament altogether. He summoned 
North to form a new administration. North was ready to obey 
orders. The vacancies could be filled up from the King's Friends. 
The parliamentary majority was under control. North became 
official head of a government which took its orders from the 
king. It was not long before it became evident that the king's 
ten years' struggle for power had brought him a complete 
victory. With no ministers of ability even approximately first- 
rate, with all the richest talent of both Houses gathered in the 
Opposition, the king's will guided the destinies of the country 
for more than ten years disastrously but continuously, yet 
always with parliament as its instrument, and with ministers 
who commanded parliamentary majorities as its agents. 

We must turn back, however, to review another series of events 
which had been taking place during the last two years, the 
revival of the contest with Wilkes and certain incidents on the 
Continent. The last may be briefly dealt with. Great Britain 
was too much taken up with private concerns to pay adequate 

The Grafton Ministry 305 

attention to what was going on in Europe. The island of 
Corsica had been for some time in subjection to the Genoese. 
The Corsicans revolted, sought to drive the Genoese 1769 Frencn 
out of the island, and under their leader Paoli annexation 
appealed to Great Britain to deliver them, offering of Corsica - 
to place themselves under her dominion. Great Britain declined 
the offer, and on the other hand the Genoese, finding Corsica an 
exceedingly troublesome possession, ceded the island to France. 
Although Admiral Saunders and Edmund Burke, the one from a 
professional point of view, the other as perhaps the most clear- 
sighted politician of the time, both protested with energy, 
Britain allowed the transaction to pass. In 1769 Corsica became 
a French possession, and Napoleon Bonaparte was born a French 

The general election in the spring of 1768 brought Wilkes back 
to England, to which he had only paid a brief visit since his 
outlawry. Although still technically an outlaw, he 1758. Wilkes 
stood for the city of London, which rejected him, redivivus. 
and then for Middlesex, which returned him with a large majority. 
He at once made it obvious that he intended to revive his 
role of demagogue, a plan which would probably have been 
quietly scotched by the grant of a free pardon and the disregard 
by the government of any further advertisement on his part. 
Instead of this, the government chose to give him all the adver- 
tisement it could. Shortly after his election he surrendered to 
his outlawry. Acclaiming mobs accompanied him to prison, 
and wild riots were anticipated. Weymouth, one of the secre- 
taries of state, who was almost as hostile to Wilkes as the king 
himself, had the troops ready to suppress violence ; when riots 
actually broke out, the troops, after being roughly handled, 
fired on the mob, killing five men and wounding several more. 
To the Wilkites, of course, the incident was easily represented as 
a massacre. The mob's clamours for the liberation of the popular 
champion were not calmed when Lord Mansfield reversed the out- 
lawry on a technical point, but pronounced sentence of a heavy 
fine and several months' imprisonment in respect of the charges 
for not answering to which Wilkes had originally been outlawed. 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. U 

306 George III. and the Whigs 

Wilkes from prison issued, with libellous comments, for public 
edification, copies of the letter in which Lord Weymouth had 
The instructed the magistrates to call in the military. 

Middlesex When parliament met, Harrington, one of the King's 
Friends, moved that Wilkes should be expelled 
the House. The expulsion was carried, although it was pointed 
out that it was without any justification, except the old stories 
of which a new House of Commons had no business to take any 
cognisance. Wilkes was promptly re-elected for Middlesex. 
The House, not to be foiled, declared that the election was void, 
and that Wilkes was incapable of being elected to sit in the 
existing parliament. It was within the power of the House to 
expel or to unseat a member, but no one had ever before professed 
1769. that it could of its own will pronounce any one in- 

capable of election. Logically, the vote of the House involved 
the claim that a majority could forbid the election of any indi- 
vidual obnoxious to it. The electors of Middlesex who had 
chosen Wilkes objected to being disfranchised ; they asserted 
their rights, and elected him the third time. Again the House 
annulled the election, and not without difficulty a new candidate, 
a Colonel Luttrell, a person of more notoriety than credit, was 
induced to present himself for election. For the fourth time 
Wilkes headed the poll with a huge majority ; but the House 
ignored the votes which had been cast for him, and declared that 
Colonel Luttrell was duly elected. 

Something over a twelvemonth had been passed in the struggle, 
and so far as the seat in the House was concerned the king had 
Effect of won a definite victory. But both he and the govern- 
the battle. ment had damaged themselves badly in the eyes of 
the public ; the House of Commons itself had lost credit by its 
extravagant assertion of privileges for which there was no pre- 
cedent, in defiance of the rights of electors. Wilkes himself, on 
the other hand, though he had lost his seat, had gained a much 
greater notoriety than he would ever have achieved on the floor 
of the House of Commons, and the power he was able to wield 
through his unbridled pen, in the character of a victim of oppres- 
sion and a champion of popular liberties, was infinitely increased. 

Indian Affairs 307 

Wilkes, moreover, had the satisfaction of recovering 4000 
damages in the suit against Lord Halifax which had for so long 
a time been successfully evaded, and his extensive debts were 
paid off for him by subscribers who would never have dreamed 
of spending a penny for his benefit on his own merits. The city 
of London proceeded to give expression to the popular sentiment 
by electing him an alderman while he was still in prison. The 
third act of the play was to be played after the formation of 
North's ministry. 

IV. INDIAN AFFAIRS, 1760-1770 

When Clive left India in February 1760 the struggle with the 
French was already practically at an end. Twelve months 
afterwards Pondichery itself was in British hands ; The Peace 
the Peace of Paris confirmed the victory and the of Paris, 
terms, which only allowed the French to retain trading stations 
in India on condition of maintaining no armed force and abstain- 
ing from every kind of political intervention. Except for a 
brief moment, some score of years afterwards, when a French 
squadron threatened to play a decisive part in the struggle 
between the British and the native power of Mysore, and again 
at the end of the century when Napoleon formed designs which 
never materialised, though the fear of them influenced British 
policy, France ceased to count as a factor in the story of 
the British advance in India. But British dominion, British 
ascendency even, had not as yet been established except in a 
fraction of the Peninsula. 

The British were indeed masters of Bengal and Behar the 
Lower Ganges basin from a point some way below Benares to 
the Bay of Bengal ; yet in that great province The British 
they were without any true legal status. North position, 
of the river Krishna they were in occupation of the great belt of 
coast territory called the Sirkars, granted to them by the Nizam. 
The nawab of the Carnatic was their puppet ; the Nizam at 
Haidarabad feared but did not love them, and^ except for his 
fears was quite independent of them. About Madras, and 

308 George III. and the Whigs 

about Bombay on the west coast, they owned but a very small 
patch of territory. There was no continuous land communica- 
tion between the three areas, and no common subordination of 
the three governments or presidencies to any central authority 
on the spot. For the British had embarked unconsciously on 
the career which was to involve them in the gradual absorption 
of the Peninsula, most often involuntarily by the impelling force 
of circumstances, not rarely quite against their own wishes, some- 
times, but seldom, with expansion as a deliberate aim. It may 
indeed be affirmed that in the whole series of governors-general 
all except two assumed office with the intention of refusing 
to be beguiled into any expansion of the company's territories ; 
those two being Mornington and Dalhousie, both of whom 
started with a conviction that the extension of British control 
would be for the benefit alike of British and natives. 

In 1760, however, there was no governor-general. Bombay 
stood apart ; it had not yet been sucked into the political 
NO dominant vortex. Madras managed or mismanaged its own 
power. affairs, irrespective of Bengal ; Bengal, mutatis 

mutandis, did likewise, irrespective of Madras. And the native 
powers developed after the fashion of oriental dominions upon 
the ruins of the Mogul empire, accounting the development of 
the British power as merely another example of what was going 
on amongst themselves. Despite the awe inspired by Clive 
personally, the native potentates would probably have agreed 
that if any general empire succeeded that of the Moguls it would 
be that not of the British but of the Mahrattas, unless some new 
conqueror followed the footsteps of the old invaders through the 
Afghan passes. 

At the moment of dive's departure, the question between the 
Afghan and the Mahratta appeared to be on the point of settle- 
Mahrattas ment by dint of sword. For twenty years past 
and Afghans, Ahmed Shah, the Durani king of Kabul, had swept 
periodically over the north-west ; though he had 
established his government over it only in the sense that a 
military viceroy collected tribute. On the other hand, the 
Mahrattas had been developing their national organisation 

Indian Affairs 309 

under the guidance of the great peshwa, minister, mayor of the 
palace, at Puna, Balaji Rao. The eyes of the Mahrattas were 
turned not to the European invader from the sea, but to the 
Asiatic invader from Afghanistan. It was from him that the 
empire was to be wrested. The gage was thrown down when 
the peshwa's brother, Ragonath Rao, marched into the north- 
west and mastered districts which the Afghan regarded as his 
own. In 1761, Ahmed Shah came down in his wrath ; from 
every quarter the Mahrattas gathered their hosts ; on the 
stricken field of Panipat their vast army was shattered to pieces. 
The campaign was said to have cost them two hundred thousand 
men. If the Durani had been anything more than a very 
brilliant fighting chief he could have made himself effective 
master of half India ; as it was he merely marched back to 
Afghanistan, leaving the north-west a prey to anarchy ; nor did 
any other Afghan invader thereafter appear as a competitor for 
dominion in India. But the victory of Panipat stemmed the 
tide of Mahratta expansion ; many years passed before the 
Mahratta power recovered from the blow which it then received. 
Another strong power was enabled to develop in the south, while 
the footing of the British was becoming more secure, and by 
the time that the Mahrattas were prepared to challenge the 
British as their rivals for a general supremacy the outcome of 
such a struggle was already a. foregone conclusion. 

The power which profited most from the overthrow of the 
Mahrattas at Panipat was that of the able and ambitious soldier 
Haidar Ali, who raised the comparatively insigni- HaidarAii 
ficant kingdom of Mysore into a conquering military of Mysore, 
power. Mysore was one of those Hindu kingdoms which boasted 
a royal house some centuries old, but had been actually ruled 
for two or three generations by hereditary mayors of the palace. 
Haidar, a successful Mussulman captain of mercenaries, raised 
himself to the position of chief of the Mysore armies, whence 
it was an easy step to overturn the ruling raja, seize the control 
of the state, and hold it in the name of an incapable or infant 
representative of the royal house, and finally to drop all dis- 
guise, depose the legitimate monarch, and assert himself as 

310 George III. and the Whigs 

sultan of Mysore. Long before he took this last step, however, 
Haidar had been persistently absorbing into the Mysore kingdom 
outlying territories of Mahratta chiefs, portions of the Nizam's 
dominions, and such minor principalities as were brought 
within striking distance by each advance he made. 

Haidar was not only an exceptionally able soldier ; he was 
also of an extreme shrewdness. He had no desire whatever to 
Haidar and challenge the British; it was not through contest 
the British, with them that he hoped to extend his dominion. 
1761-70. When he did come into collision with them it was in 

consequence of a collision with the Nizam, who called the British 
to his aid. Madras, in fact, was drawn into a war with Mysore, 
which was brought to an end by a treaty in 1769 ; but in the 
course of that contest Haidar All formed from his experiences a 
very low estimate of the administrative and diplomatic abilities 
of the Madras government, without losing his respect for the 
abilities which might be displayed in the field by British officers 
in spite of the difficulties habitually placed in their way by the 
superior authorities. At the end of the decade, Haidar's attitude 
to the British was one of latent hostility, tempered by a desire 
to retain their goodwill for the sake of their support in conflicts 
with the Mahrattas, who were a more immediate menace to 
his ambitions than the British. 

For by that time the Mahrattas, headed by Balaji's successor, 
Madhu Rao, had recovered from the shock of Panipat, had 
Mahratta re-established their ascendency up to the Jumna 
progress, and the Ganges, and virtually held in the hollow 
1760-70. Q their hand the nominal sovereign of the Mogul 

empire. The check upon their further consolidation was born 
of their own internal dissensions, which generated among them 
what would have been called a civil war if such a term could be 
applied in a community so loosely organised. 

Having described the general situation as it developed between 
1760 and 1770, we can now turn to the specific field where in 
fact, though not in form, British dominion was most effectively 
planted, the province of Bengal and Behar. 

Vansittart, the official chief whom Clive had left behind him 

Indian Affairs 3 1 1 

in Calcutta, was a well-meaning person ; but he entirely failed 
to control his subordinates. In fact, the officials of the com- 
pany found themselves in an altogether unprece- 1761 _ 3 
dented position. It was so easy to fill their pockets The British 
at the expense of the natives, and even incidentally in BengaL 
of the company itself, that to the great majority of them the 
temptation proved irresistible. There was no one to call them 
to account, no native dared to resist them, and their own native 
agents made too much profit for themselves to be dangerous. 
Officially they claimed for the company a trading monopoly, 
and immunities from every kind of impost or restrictive regula- 
tion. Unofficially individuals claimed those rights for them- 
selves. As servants of the company they were very badly paid ; 
it was understood that they could rectify deficiencies by a little 
private dealing. The natural consequences were that in Bengal 
they were more interested in accumulating wealth for them- 
selves than in promoting the prosperity of the company. Offi- 
cially the officers of the company were without any responsi- 
bility for the government ; they would neither rule themselves, 
not allow the native government to rule. The unfortunate Mir 
Jafar failed to satisfy the company's claims upon him, and 
was presently deposed in favour of his son-in-law Mir Cassim, 
who undertook to satisfy the company's demands. 

Mir Cassim was both able and of an independent spirit. He 
set about a successful financial reorganisation, but at the same 
time he determined to rid himself of the British 1763. 
tyranny, and of the British monopoly. Still, in Mir Cassim. 
order to meet his obligations to the British until he could openly 
challenge them, he had recourse to the ordinary methods of 
extortion. Ellis, the head of the British factory which was now 
established at Patna, believed or imagined that the position 
there was in danger, and attempted to take forcible possession 
of the city ; thereupon the indignant nawab descended upon 
Patna, and seized the British residents. The Council of Calcutta 
declared war upon him, announced his deposition, and dispatched 
troops to Patna. Mir Cassim massacred his prisoners and fled 
into Oudh. Mir Jafar was restored to the titular nawabship, 

312 George III. and the Whigs 

but survived only a short time, and was succeeded on his death 
by a son who was a minor. From this time there was hardly 
any pretence of recognising the nawab's authority. 

The Oudh nawab, Shujah Daula, incited by Mir Cassim, now 
made his last attempt to challenge the British. He prepared 
1764. Buxar, for an invasion. The company's troops were placed 
October. under the command of Major Hector Munro. The 

situation was dangerous, for resentment was running high ; the 
sepoys were mutinous, and if they had revolted the handful of 
white men in Bengal might have been wiped out. Munro nipped 
mutiny in the bud by seizing the ringleaders and putting them 
to death by blowing them from guns a form of execution not 
in itself cruel, but terrible to the Mohammedan soldier, because 
of his peculiar beliefs concerning his material resurrection in 
another life. Having crushed the mutiny, Munro marched 
against Oudh, and inflicted upon the nawab a decisive defeat 
at Buxar, between Patna and Benares. The battle in effect 
might have been to Oudh what Plassey was to Bengal. It placed 
the province at the mercy of the British. On the other hand, 
had Munro been defeated the British would in all probability 
have been driven out of Bengal. But the British did not take 
possession of Oudh ; Buxar finally confirmed what had been won 
at Plassey, but it had the further effect of enabling Clive on 
his reappearance in India to transform Oudh, which had hitherto 
been a menace to Bengal, into a permanent defence, a barrier 
against aggression from the west. 

The state of affairs in Bengal, the chaos of the administration, 
and especially of the finances, created so much perturbation at 
1765 ciive headquarters in London that the company took the 
returns to wise step of sending Clive out to India to take 

ia ' ay> matters in hand. Buxar was fought and won in 
October 1764. In May 1765 Clive landed in India for the last 
time as governor, with virtually unlimited powers. Great as 
had been the services rendered by him in the past, no period 
in dive's career is more honourable to him than that of his 
third sojourn in India. He had to ' cleanse the Augean stable,' 
to organise government, to lay down a policy for the future. 

Indian Affairs 313 

All that it was humanly possible for one man to do in the twenty 
months from May 1765 to January 1767 Clive did ; all that he 
did was right, and all that he did could have been done only by 
a man utterly fearless and indomitable, clear-headed and far- 
sighted, acting with no thought save for the public good. 

The Augean stable was cleansed. The root of the evil lay, 
first, in the absence of responsibility of the company ; secondly, 
in the position of the company's servants. Clive olive's 
saw the immediate necessity of giving the company's reforms, 
servants a remuneration which should at least set them above 
the necessity of using their position as a means to enriching 
themselves by illegitimate methods. The company's servants 
were forbidden to trade privately, and were debarred from the 
practice, which had arisen naturally enough, and indeed inevit- 
ably, of receiving presents from the native magnates. The 
system was liable to such scandalous abuse that it had to be 
stopped. The civilians, shut out from their royal road to 
immense wealth rapidly acquired, were enraged, but their anger 
did not turn the governor a hair's-breadth from his course. 
Justice and common sense required that they should have 
legitimate compensation ; the valuable salt monopoly which had 
been conferred upon the company was appropriated by Clive 
to the provision of adequate salaries. In the earlier days the 
soldiers had rightly enough been granted double pay ' double 
batta ' ; there was now no warrant for such expenditure, and 
Clive announced that double batta should cease. The officers, 
imagining that they were masters of the situation, promptly 
resigned. Clive was ready for that emergency, accepted the 
resignations, appointed fresh officers, and arrested the ring- 
leaders. The rest for the most part came to their senses and 
were then reinstated. The Bengal army was reorganised with 
an establishment of three thousand European troops and a 
proportionate number of sepoy regiments. 

Clive realised that no government was possible in Bengal 
except that of the British themselves. He could not create a 
constitution; but he procured for the company a The Diwani. 
legal status. The Mogul Shah Alam was still admittedly the 

314 George III. and the Whigs 

legal sovereign of all India, although he was actually little better 
than a refugee at the court of the Oudh wazir. In August 1765 
Clive made a formal agreement with Shah Alam by which the 
Mogul conferred upon the company the diwani of Bengal and 
Behar ; the official authority, that is, to collect and administer 
the revenues of the provinces. At the same time, he obtained 
from the Mogul a formal cession of the Sirkars, the provinces 
which had already been granted by the Nizam, who was techni- 
cally only one of the Mogul's viceroys. The continuity of British 
territory was almost completed by an agreement with the 
Mahratta Berar raja, who was in possession of Orissa between 
Bengal and the Sirkars. Proprietary rights in Orissa, technically 
called ' zemindari ' rights, were ceded, Clive agreeing on behalf 
of the company to pay the chauth or tribute claimed by the 
Mahratta chief. By the treaty with Shah Alam the company 
acquired a definite status as a territorial power, under the Mogul, 
and holding its authority from him. 

At the same time a step was taken which associated the 
company still more intimately with the supreme authority, 
dive's Oudh After Buxar the British had retained the districts 
policy. of Allahabad and Korah, a portion of Oudh which 

was of great strategic importance. Clive now recognised Shujah 
Daula as sovereign of Oudh under the Mogul, and restored the 
Allahabad district to Oudh, with the proviso that it was to be 
handed over to Shah Alam himself. Clive had seen all along 
that extensive and almost unlimited conquest was possible ; but 
he was also satisfied that it would be an immense blunder. To 
organise government in the regions already acquired was a task 
more than sufficient for the capacities of the company. The 
annexation of Oudh would have been according to oriental 
ideas an entirely legitimate consequence of the battle of Buxar. 
dive's insight recognised that Oudh as a strong and friendly 
state interposed between Bengal and the western Mahrattas 
would be much more valuable than as an extra British province 
easy to conquer but difficult to hold and to govern. The main- 
tenance of Oudh as a buffer state became from Clive's time an 
integral portion of British policy ; and almost the one merit 

Indian Affairs 

of the Oudh dynasty was its consistent loyalty to the relations 
established in 1765. 

Similarly, in Clive's view it was the business of Madras to 
maintain the Nizam at Haidarabad as a friendly power inter- 
posed between the British and the Mahrattas. The The Nizam 
Berar raja, whose domain interposed as a wedge and the 
between the Ganges and Madras areas, was to be Bhonsla - 
treated in a friendly spirit so as to prevent the possible concentra- 
tion of Mahratta energies upon hostility to the British. 

These were the broad lines of the policy laid down by Clive. 
Nevertheless when he left India for the last time at the beginning 
of 1767 he had not been able to complete his work After ciive. 
by creating a fully organised government of Bengal ; he left the 
presidencies without any common central authority nearer than 
London ; some of his work was actually undone by the directors, 
and the Council in Bengal still failed to act up to their responsi- 
bilities. The company's servants continued to be inadequately 
paid ; the salt monopoly was in part diverted from the objects 
to which he had assigned it, and consequently the company's 
servants continued to engage in private trade and to receive 
presents. The company did not organise the revenue depart- 
ment, but left the management of it to native officials, with 
only a very perfunctory supervision by European officers. The 
army was entirely under the control of the British ; but they 
made no attempt to take upon themselves the administration 
of justice. The company continued to find that its own profits 
fell very far short of its anticipations. The Madras authorities 
blundered over their treatment of the Nizam and of Haidar AH. 
The portentous misrule of the years between 1760 and 1765 was 
not indeed repeated ; the worst of its features had been removed ; 
but misrule and mismanagement still prevailed to such an extent 
that in the next decade the British parliament found intervention 
necessary, and the peculiar policy which it adopted had the 
effects that we shall see in following the career of Warren 

316 George III. and the Whigs 

V. IRELAND : TO 1770 

In earlier chapters we have remarked upon the pitiful state 
of prostration to which Ireland was reduced after her resistance 
A survey. to the Revolution had been crushed. Never at 
any period of her history had she experienced quiet and firm 
government, equal laws enforced with an even hand, justice 
dispensed as a matter of course. Always, since the reign of 
Henry n. in England, the supreme authority in the island had 
been the deputy of a foreign prince ; exercising, for some cen- 
turies, an alien control within a limited area, outside of which 
the central government could only make its existence felt after 
a very spasmodic fashion. Under the Tudors the English 
supremacy had gradually asserted itself all over the island, 
which was partly colonised by adventurers who were apt to 
treat the native Irish as outer-barbarians. The colonisation 
was renewed by the plantation of Puritan soldiery upon the soil. 
The climax was reached when after the Revolution the penal 
laws deprived the Catholics, who were three-fourths of the 
population, of every semblance of political liberty, all but 
disqualified them from owning property, and denied them the 
power of educating their children, except as Protestants. Through 
the first half of the eighteenth century the prostration was com- 
plete; nor did it apply only to the Catholic population. The 
Nonconformists, chiefly Presbyterian, who formed so large a 
proportion of the whole Protestant population, especially in the 
north, suffered from the same political disabilities as their 
brethren in England. Full political rights were consequently 
enjoyed only by a fraction of the whole population ; and even 
those rights fell a long way short of the rights of the free 
electorates in Great Britain. 

It is unnecessary here to recapitulate the social grievances 
under which the Roman Catholics suffered as Roman Catholics. 
The political They were powerless to act, almost powerless to 
conditions. complain. In the political field, Catholics were ex- 
cluded, Protestant Nonconformists were partially disabled ; seats 
in the legislature and all administrative offices were confined 

Ireland: /0 1770 317 

to one small class. But further, the functions of the legislature 
itself were limited, and the administration was not responsible 
to it as had come to be the case in England. The Irish parlia- 
ment had no power either to initiate or to amend legislation ; it 
could only suggest. If its suggestions, known as ' heads of bills,' 
were approved by the Privy Council of Great Britain, that body 
drafted a bill based upon them, but modified to suit its own views, 
and such bill was then introduced in the Irish parliament to be 
accepted or rejected as it stood. The Irish parliament in itself 
was not only, as concerned the Commons, elected on a very 
limited franchise out of a still more restricted number of eligibles ; 
all the evils of the electoral system in Great Britain were still 
more rampant in the sister island. Numbers of constituencies 
returned their members at the dictation of a small number of 
magnates ; other seats were frankly purchasable. In England, 
the current prices for purchasable seats at the general election 
of 1768 ranged from 1000 to 5000. Irish prices were not so 
high, because the demand was less keen ; but the same system 
prevailed with the same shamelessness. In fact, however, it 
was not till the closing years of the reign of George n. that 
there were any signs in Ireland of an active revival of political 

The third of the permanent outstanding grievances of Ireland 
was that of her agricultural and industrial conditions. With 
the exception of the linen trade, all her industries, industry 
apart from the land, were deliberately suppressed, and the land, 
throttled, if not actually prohibited, in order to prevent competi- 
tion with the trade of Great Britain or rather of England, since 
the policy in its completeness dated from a time long before the 
Union with Scotland. Virtually the population were compelled 
to subsist upon the soil, because apart from the soil there was 
no occupation by which they could make a living. From the 
soil rightly turned to account a living could have been made ; 
but it was not rightly turned to account. Almost the whole of 
the land was owned by big Protestant landlords, of whom a large 
proportion had estates in England and were habitual absentees. 
Those big landlords had no personal interest in their estates or 

318 George III. and the Whigs 

in the people who lived upon them ; the estates were merely 
properties from which they expected to derive a substantial 
and secure income, and were leased to tenants, usually at not 
unreasonable rates. But the tenants sublet their holdings, 
and subtenants sublet them again, habitually at rack rents, 
that is, at the highest rent they would fetch ; so that the actual 
occupier paid when he did pay more than the soil could 
possibly afford. The peasant, having nowhere else to turn to, 
was in effect bound to the soil on whatever terms his immediate 
landlord chose to be satisfied with. The occupiers had nothing 
to spend ; or if having anything they spent it on the land, they 
were promptly called upon to pay increased rents. The situa- 
tion was aggravated by the development of grazing and enclo- 
sures, the appropriation of common lands as in England under 
the Tudors which had formerly helped to provide means of 
subsistence, and the appropriation of large tracts to the breed- 
ing of sheep and cattle instead of to cultivation. There was 
thus virtually no employment for the agricultural labourer ; the 
peasant was the cottier with a potato patch ; the land which 
was not leased to cottiers at rack rents was taken up by the 
graziers who found the business more profitable than agricul- 
ture, and if they were Roman Catholics had a better chance of 
retaining in their own hands more than the third of the actual 
profits, which was all that the law allowed them. The peasant 
had no remedy at law, first because he could not afford to appeal 
to the law, and, secondly, because all those who administered the 
law belonged to the class against whom the appeal would be 
made. In the eyes of the peasant the law itself was the op- 
pressor ; and wherever that is the case the popular conscience 
is on the side of the law-breaker. 

About the beginning of the reign of George in. the popular 
hostility to the law began to organise itself. Its motive was 
Whiteboys. neither political nor religious, but was definitely 
agrarian. The first objects of the attack were enclosures and 
enclosers, and the unfortunate cattle, to make room for which 
human beings had been thrust on one side. Bands of marauders, 
known as ' Whiteboys/ from the white shirts and cockades 

Ireland: to 1770 319 

which they wore, broke down enclosures, houghed cattle, and 
took condign vengeance on any one who sought to interfere 
with their proceedings. In a very short time it was found that 
the law was powerless against them, because no evidence was 
procurable, whereas any one who disobeyed their behests very 
promptly paid the penalty. The ' Whiteboys ' were the first 
of those agrarian organisations which for considerably more 
than a century made it their business to set the law at de- 
fiance. They rose in the south and west, where Protestants 
were comparatively few ; but it seems clear that there was 
no definite connection between Catholicism and the agrarian 

The political inertia was intensified by the fact that there was 
no law limiting the life of a parliament. The parliament sum- 
moned at the beginning of the reign of George n. The 
was the parliament which was still in being when Undertakers, 
he died. The mere fact that the accession of a new king en- 
tailed the summoning of a new parliament provided at last an 
outlet for the dissatisfaction which had long been simmering. 
The ordinary government of the country was carried on not 
by the lord-lieutenant, who usually spent only six months out 
of two years in Ireland the period during which the Irish parlia- 
ment was also sitting but by the group of influential magnates 
who were known as the ' Undertakers/ the Irish equivalent of 
the ' Whig connection ' in England. In some respects there- 
fore there is a clear parallelism between the constitutional 
struggle in England in the first decade of George m.'s reign and 
the parliamentary contest which arose in Ireland. Just as 
George sought to break up the ' Whig connection ' which para- 
lysed him in England, so he sought to break up the power of the 
Undertakers in Ireland. As the W^higs stood for the principles 
of the Revolution in antagonism to any increase in the powers 
of the Crown, so the Undertakers stood for the principle of self- 
government. But the Undertakers' self-government and the 
Whig principles of liberty meant to each the domination of a 
narrow oligarchy ; and so in the one country Chatham was as 
zealous to break up the ' Whig connection ' as the king himself, 

320 George III. and the Whigs 

and in the other country there was a popular party hostile to 
the Undertakers. 

The signs of resurgent political activity were at once apparent. 
The new Irish parliament was prompt to assert the British 
Demands of doctrine that money bills could originate only in 
the Irish the House of Commons ; sound constitutional 
parliament. Doctrine for Great Britain and the parliament of 
Great Britain, but, like the American claim that taxation and 
representation are inseparable, not readily to be conceded to His 
Britannic Majesty's subjects outside of Great Britain. For 
some years the English Privy Council persisted in sending money 
bills to Dublin, which the Dublin parliament rejected, substituting 
money bills of its own. The Irish parliament clamoured for a 
Septennial bill to rectify one of the many parliamentary anoma- 
lies ; and it clamoured for a Habeas Corpus Act of which England 
had enjoyed the benefit for the better part of a century. It could 
get neither. 

Pitt between 1761 and 1766 had shown sympathy with the 
demands of the Irish as he had sympathised with the attitude 
1767. Anew of the Americans. But whatever his plans for 
departure. Ireland may have been when he was called to the 
head of the government in 1766, they were wrecked by the break- 
down of his health. In 1767 a change was inaugurated on which 
George himself had for some time been insisting, chiefly no doubt 
with a view to diminishing the power of the Undertakers. Lord 
Townshend, the brother of Charles Townshend, himself the 
original ally of Pitt in the introduction of the Militia Bill, and 
afterwards one of Wolfe's brigadiers in the Quebec campaign, 
was sent to Ireland as viceroy, with the novel condition that he 
was to remain in constant residence. The new rule was ominous 
for the Undertakers, but it was at least calculated to imply that 
the lord lieutenant would treat his functions seriously. The 
intention was conciliatory, because George was contemplating 
an increase of the standing army in Ireland, to be paid for out 
of Irish resources ; not because Ireland needed an increased 
standing army it had remained undisturbed during the 'Forty- 
five and the Seven Years' War but because George wanted 

Ireland: /0 1770 321 

more troops, and his subjects in Great Britain would object to 
being asked to pay for them. 

The new viceroy seemed likely to be personally popular ; 
moreover he gave out that favourable consideration was being 
given to the more pressing demands of the Irish cross 
security of tenure for the judges, a Septennial Bill, purposes, 
and a Habeas Corpus Act. Also there was to be an end of the 
distribution of pensions, by which, in Ireland as in England, the 
government had been in the habit of buying support. The Irish 
parliament promptly passed what were called ' heads of bills ' 
(the form taken by their suggestions for legislation), applying 
to Ireland the English rule that the judges should be removable 
on addresses from the two Houses of parliament. The English 
Privy Council, however, had no intention of granting such power 
to the Irish parliament. They required that the Irish Privy 
Council should join in any address for the removal of the judges, 
and that the judges should also be removable upon addresses 
from the parliament of Great Britain. That was not what the 
Irish parliament wanted, and the bill was at once thrown out. 
Irritation, not conciliation, was the outcome. 

It became the more imperative to allay the popular feeling by 
meeting the demand for limiting the duration of parliament. A 
period of eight years was substituted in the bill for Tne 
the seven years of the parliament of Great Britain, Octennial 
because the Irish parliament only sat for six months Act * 1768 * 
in alternate years. The measure had the desired effect of calm- 
ing public feeling ; still the Octennial Act did not suffice to 
reconcile the Irish parliament to the army augmentation. The 
army bill was defeated, though only by a small majority. The 
life of the parliament having expired under the new Act, there 
was a general election : Townshend found himself better sup- 
ported in the new parliament. Nevertheless the refusal in 
England of a Habeas Corpus Bill met with prompt 
retaliation in the rejection of a money bill sent over Townshend's 
from England ; on the old plea that money bills adminiatra- 
ought to originate in the Irish House of Commons. 
Satisfied with this assertion of its own rights, the Irish parlia- 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. HI. X 

322 George III. and the Whigs 

ment proceeded to vote supplies on its own account, and to show 
its goodwill by passing the Augmentation Bill. The particular 
object of conciliation having thus been attained, the parliament 
was immediately prorogued. The expectation that its com- 
pliance would be rewarded by further concessions was bitterly 
disappointed. Still, through a reversion to the evil practice of 
corruption by the distribution of pensions and places, Townshend 
was able to secure an actual majority when the Houses again 
met in 1771. In short, the method by which George had at last 
achieved his ascendency in England was repeated in Ireland ; 
corruption by the Crown was to defeat the Undertakers as it had 
defeated Newcastle and the Whig connection. 


I. BEFORE THE STORM, 1770-1775 

THE repeal of the American duties was carried in parliament 
under Lord North's auspices in March 1770. Precisely at that 
time irritation in Boston, which had taken the form 1770. A lull 
of mobbing the soldiers whose numbers had been in America, 
reduced, led to an affray in which a few soldiers who had been 
attacked fired upon their assailants, five of whom were killed 
and some others wounded. A Boston jury tried the case with 
perfect fairness and virtually acquitted the soldiers ; nevertheless 
the ' Boston Massacre ' became a convenient text for agitators. 
The announcement that the tax on tea was to be retained de- 
stroyed whatever beneficial effects might have been anticipated 
from the repeal of the other duties; and although the non- 
importation agreements broke down except in respect of tea, 
and there was a lull in the active displays of antagonism to the 
government, that antagonism was sedulously kept alive and 
took an increasingly firm hold upon the minds of the Americans. 
For a time, however, public attention in Great Britain was with- 
drawn from the colonial question, which was commonly sup- 
posed to be smouldering out. 

Some excitement was created by foreign affairs, which for a 
moment seemed likely to involve Great Britain in another war. 
The French annexation of Corsica had been received 1769 . 71 
with British remonstrances, which were so palpably The Falkland 
intended not to materialise in action that France s an 8 ' 
and Spain began to feel confident that no vigour was to be 
expected from the British ministry. Both those countries had 
for some time been devoting themselves steadily to reconstruct- 
ing their fleets ; while the British fleet had been seriously 

324 The King and Lord North 

neglected in spite of the considerable sums which had been 
voted for its maintenance. In 1764 and 1765 the French and 
the British had occupied respectively the two islands of the 
Falkland group in the neighbourhood of the Straits of Magellan. 
The French then handed over their island to Spain. In 1769 a 
small Spanish squadron laid claim to the British island, a claim 
disputed by the captain of a British warship. Both sides agreed 
to refer the question to their respective governments, but in the 
interval the Spaniards took possession, going so far as to detain 
another British warship for some time. Manifestly Spain was 
reckoning upon French support and intended her action to be 
a challenge. The British ministry, however, at once made it 
perfectly clear that, however unimportant the islands themselves 
might be, the Spanish methods would not be tolerated. Louis 
did not intend to go to war, and dismissed Choiseul, who probably 
did. The Spaniards, left to themselves, were not at all prepared 
for a duel, and gave way on all points at the beginning of 1771. 
There was temporary activity in the dockyards and in the re- 
cruiting of additional sailors. Still the government failed to 
produce the impression that they were likely to conduct a 
vigorous foreign policy. 

From their own or from a purely British point of view, how- 
ever, they could not be blamed for their inaction, when during 
1772. the next year Frederick and Catherine began the 

partftion business of partitioning Poland by appropriating 
of Poland. the provinces which each of them particularly 
desired. Neither Russia nor Prussia was a power whose aggrand- 
isement was likely to injure Great Britain, and both were more 
likely to check than to advance the power of the allied Bourbons. 
In fact, nothing but an abstract objection to political brigandage 
would have warranted protest or interference ; the victim, 
Poland, fulfilled no useful function as an independent state, and 
no one would have been disposed to protect her except from 
motives of self-interest. So a great part of Poland was parti- 
tioned for the first time, Austria taking her share as the third 
power whose boundaries marched with those of the despoiled 

Before the Storm 325 

In the English parliament, interest again centred in matters 
connected with John Wilkes. The Middlesex election had 
forced into special prominence the anomalous character of some 
of the powers of the House of Commons in dealing with elections. 
It made conspicuous, what every one had known for a long time, 
that whenever election questions came before the House they 
were made the subject of a simple party vote instead of being 
dealt with on their merits. There was no question, nor had 
there been any since the days of James I., that the House of 
Commons was the only body which possessed authority to 
deal with such matters, and the practical result was, that the 
majority in the House was frequently able to add to its own 
numbers and to over-ride the choice of constituencies by unseat- 
ing a member. There was hardly a pretence of listening to the 
evidence in cases of election petitions ; the majority of the 
Commons voted in favour of the candidate who belonged to 
their own party. To George Grenville, who was in effect leader 
of the Opposition in the representative chamber, belongs the 
credit of procuring the Act which delegated the decision on 
election petitions to a committee of fifteen sworn to give judg- 
ment in accordance with the evidence. Grenville, who was 
already suffering from mortal disease at the time when he was 
planning and carrying the Act, died very shortly after it was 

The city of London, which had chosen Wilkes for one of its 
aldermen, and for its lord mayor Beckford, a violent partisan 
of Chatham, was vehement in its advocacy of the Tlie city 
cause of the members whom the House had refused and the 
to admit. It attacked the government and the vernment - 
king with remonstrances couched in language which was con- 
spicuously unseemly, though by no means unwarrantable. But 
Chatham failed to procure the support of the Rockinghams 
when he supported the demand of the city for a dissolution. The 
ill-feeling in the city was further exemplified in the battle which 
was now in progress for the freedom of the press. For half a 
century past the House of Commons had been in the habit of 
asserting its privileges by attacking criticisms of its proceedings 

326 The King and Lord North 

in the public press as scurrilous and seditious libels, and by per- 
sistent efforts to prevent the publication of its debates. In fact, 
while criticism was of an extremely malignant character, as 
exemplified, for instance, in the savage invective of the Letters 
of Junius, there was a feeling that the Law Courts were being 
1770 used for the punishment of libels on behalf of govern- 

Juriea and ment, and with the real intention of prohibiting free 
comment. Great excitement therefore was caused 
when, upon a prosecution of a bookseller for selling the unknown 
Junius's Letter to the King, Mansfield as Lord Chief- Justice laid 
it down that the jury had to decide only on the fact of publica- 
tion, not on the question whether the matter published was 
libellous, that being the judge's affair. It would appear that in 
this vexed question, legal opinion recognises that Mansfield's 
interpretation of the law was sound. But the immediate effect 
was to cause juries to ignore evidence and decline to convict. 
It was not till twenty years later, however, that the right of the 
jury to decide on the character of the libel was established by 
an Act of parliament at the instance of Charles James Fox. 
Chatham supported by Camden demanded a declaratory Act 
to that effect in 1771 ; but their motion found practically no 

The publication of debates in the Houses of parliament was 
unquestionably a breach of privilege. In the days when freedom 
Publication of speech within the walls of parliament would have 
of debates. been seriously hampered if the individual utter- 
ances of members had been reported outside, the secrecy of 
debates was almost a necessity. Those days, however, were 
long past. The public wanted to know what was said in parlia- 
ment, and the prohibition did not prevent the publication of 
reports which could never be called authentic and were often 
flagrant misrepresentations ; the writers whereof sheltered 
themselves under the transparent pretence that their accounts 
of parliamentary proceedings were not and did not purport to 
be anything but fiction, or at most the embodiment of rumours. 
On a member complaining of one of these reports, the House 
ordered the arrest of the printers. The press took the matter 

Before tJie Storm 327 

up, and its comments led to the arrest of half a dozen more 
printers, in spite of the determined opposition of Burke and 
other members of the parliamentary Opposition. Then the city 
magnates played their part. Two of the arrested printers were 
promptly discharged when brought before Alder- 
men Oliver and Wilkes, on the ground that there The House 
was no crime charged against them. A third, on and the 
being arrested by a messenger of the House, gave 
the messenger in charge for assault. Lord Mayor Crosby 
Beckford was now dead discharged the printer, Miller, and 
held the messenger to bail. The House summoned Crosby and 
Oliver as members, and also Wilkes, to attend. Wilkes refused 
to attend except as member for Middlesex. The House did not 
venture to cross swords with him again, but Crosby and Oliver 
were committed to the Tower, where they were ostentatiously 
visited by several of the Opposition leaders. The House had 
scored a technical victory, but at such cost to its own prestige 
that it did not again venture to challenge public opinion, 
which so manifestly resented its attitude that there was no 
further interference with the publication of debates, though in 
this case also a long time elapsed before such publications were 
formally sanctioned. 

The king and queen were models of connubial propriety : 
unfortunately the same thing could be said of hardly any other 
prince of the House of Hanover. Scandals in con- Royal 
nection with the marriages of George's two younger Marriages 
surviving brothers, the dukes of Cumberland and Act 1772< 
Gloucester, brought about the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 : an 
Act by which no marriage can be legally contracted by any 
member of the royal family without the consent of the sovereign, 
before the age of twenty-six, or after that age without a year's 
notice to the Privy Council, enabling parliament to forbid such 
marriage if it thinks fit to do so. The bill was opposed, as claim- 
ing for the Crown and the royal family a distinctive position for 
which there was no historical justification ; a position consonant 
with continental ideas of royalty, but not with those of Great 
Britain. The real significance of the measure, however, lies in 

328 The King and Lord North 

the fact that from it dates the growth of the antagonism between 
the king and Charles James Fox, Henry Fox's son ; a young 
man who had hitherto supported the king and the king's govern- 
ment, of which he was destined to be the most fiery opponent. 

In the same year inquiries were on foot as to the position 
of the East India Company ; inquiries which had momentous 

results with regard to India itself, but which also 
East India had an incidental influence on the progress of affairs 
Company's j n America. It is only to this particular aspect of 

the matter that we advert at this point. The 
company was in serious financial straits. To relieve those 
straits it was desirable to facilitate the sale of the immense stock 
of tea in its warehouses. To that end it was resolved that the 
whole of the duties payable at the British ports should be 
returned by way of drawback on re-export ; the drawback 
previously allowed on re-exportation to America having been 
three-fifths of the whole amount. It was in consequence of this 
rearrangement that three ships carrying consignments of tea 
arrived at the harbour of Boston in December 1773. 

In the meantime American dissatisfaction instead of smoulder- 
ing out had remained very much alive. It was true that the 
America: non-importation agreements in general had been 
the Gaspee. dropped ; but what we should now call the boycott 
of tea had been stubbornly maintained. In 1772 a royal 
schooner, the Gaspee, employed in the preventive service, having 
run upon some shoals, was boarded and burnt ; and the per- 
petrators remained undiscovered, though their identity must 
1773 The have been widely known. In 1773 the breach was 
Hutchinson widened by the publication in America of a number 

of letters which had passed some years before 
between Governor Hutchinson of Boston, Bernard's successor, 
the Chief Justice Oliver, his brother-in-law, and Whately, George 
Grenville's private secretary in London. Hutchinson and Oliver, 
both supporters of the British government, had expressed their 
views of the situation with the natural freedom of private 
correspondence, in terms which, when made public, excited the 
intense indignation of the Americans. Demands were at once 

Before the Storm 329 

formulated in strong language for their removal, although it 
could not be said that there had been any actual impropriety in 
the letters, viewed as entirely unofficial communications. On 
the other hand, the publication aroused a corresponding storm 
of indignation in England, because it implied a gross breach of 
honour on the part of some one. That correspondence had on 
Whately's death come by some unknown channel into the hands 
of Benjamin Franklin in London. According to the British 
point of view, Franklin, who had sent the letters to America, 
must have known that they would be published in spite of his 
own formal instructions to the contrary, and his connivance at 
their publication was utterly inexcusable in view of the circum- 
stances under which they had come into his hands. Franklin 
accepted the responsibility for what he had done, and when the 
petitions for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver were laid 
before a committee of the Privy Council a violent attack was 
made by the solicitor-general, Wedderburn, upon Franklin, who 
never forgave the insults to which he listened with an unmoved 

In the midst of the excitement over the Hutchinson letters the 
East India Company's tea ships arrived in Boston harbour. 
Vessels dispatched to other ports had not been The Boston 
allowed to unload, and took their departure : at tea-party. 
Boston the consignees of the tea were the governor's sons ; the 
governor forbade the ships to leave until the duty on the tea 
had been paid. On i6th December a great meeting was held, 
energetic speeches were delivered, and when the meeting broke 
up large crowds gathered at the docks ; where a party of some 
fifty men, arrayed as Red Indians, boarded the ships and pitched 
all the tea chests overboard. The proceedings were conducted 
without other violence, to the applause of the crowd. A much 
more outrageous, if a much less impressive, expression of the 
popular feeling occurred six weeks later when a preventive 
officer was tarred and feathered. 

Temper was rising in England as well as in America. The 
popular sympathy, which had been extended to the colonies 
and had applauded the repeal of the Stamp Tax eight years 

33 The King and Lord North 

before, had long been alienated, and there is no doubt that the 
British public at large was entirely in favour of penalising the 
1774. Penal colonists who set the law at defiance. General Gage, 
measures. the governor of New York, reported his opinion 
that firmness would soon restore order. The king and his 
ministers determined upon coercion, and in March 1774 a series 
of coercive measures was introduced. In Massachusetts the 
government was removed to Salem from Boston ; the port of 
Boston was to be closed until the town made compensation to 
the East India Company for the tea they had destroyed. A 
second bill suspended the Massachusetts charter, increased the 
powers of the governor and the nominated council, and prohibited 
town's meetings. A third bill removed trials on capital charges 
for acts done in the execution of the law to Great Britain or 
Nova Scotia. A fourth provided for the quartering of troops 
in the colony. All the bills were passed by overwhelming 
majorities in both Houses, despite the opposition of Burke and 
Chatham. From prudential rather than conciliatory motives 
Hutchinson was recalled, and Gage, who retained his appoint- 
ment as commander-in-chief, was made governor of Massachusetts. 
Such stringent measures would doubtless have been effective 
if the Americans had not already committed themselves to 
American the struggle with their whole souls. Undoubtedly 
feeling. there was a party which was deliberately directing 

American sentiment towards separation ; but probably the 
majority of Americans, like George Washington, did not desire 
separation unless they should find that it was the only condition 
upon which they could retain what nearly all Englishmen, placed 
in the same position, would have called their liberties. But on 
that head American opinion was solid, if not unanimous ; there 
was to be no surrender. The loyalists, the Tories as they were 
called, were comparatively a small minority, and were subjected 
at least to social persecution. The feeling had taken too deep a 
root to be stamped out by any coercive measures ; and it was 
curiously intensified by the one entirely commendable Act which 
was passed in 1774, an Act dealing not with any of the thirteen 
colonies, but with Canada, 

Before the Storm 331 

There was in Canada only an exceedingly small British and 
Protestant population, numbering perhaps about one in two 
hundred of the whole. The French had not been Canada, 
dispossessed ; they remained in occupation of their lands and in 
full enjoyment of religious liberty, in accordance with the terms 
of the cession. The English language, however, and the English 
laws had been enforced ; the government was what we may call 
the government of a Crown colony ; in which the population 
had no share no grievance as far as they were concerned, since 
they had been equally without a share in it when they were 
French subj ects. The British settlers, however, began to demand 
an Assembly, which, on the principle of excluding Roman 
Catholics in accordance with the law in England, would merely 
have meant the establishment of a small British oligarchy in 
the midst of a large French population, in the place of Crown 
government ; while the French population was restive under 
the imposition of English laws and customs in place of those to 
which it was attached both by habit and by national feeling. 

It was upon the advice of the governor, Sir Guy Carleton 
(afterwards Lord Dorchester), that the Quebec Act was intro- 
duced to reorganise the government of the colony. 1774. The 
The Act provided that the old tithes and dues Q uebec Act- 
should continue to be paid to the Roman Catholic clergy, 
Protestants being exempted from such payment. The French 
civil law and the English criminal law were to be established. 
There was not to be an elective assembly ; but there was to be a 
legislative council nominated by the Crown, while taxation was 
to be the function of the British parliament. 

The Quebec Act aroused fresh alarm in the colonies, partly 
because it displayed no tendency towards popular government, 
but insisted upon the powers of the Crown, partly its effect in 
because it not only recognised but re-endowed tne Colonies, 
the Roman Catholic Church. New England and the northern 
colonies had the Puritan tradition ingrained in them ; in the 
southern colonies the tradition was that of the Cavaliers, but of 
the Cavaliers who had carried the Test Act anti-Romanist 
no less than anti-Puritan. It is curious to observe that in Eng- 

332 The King and Lord North 

land a measure so emphatically liberal on the religious side was 
warmly approved by the party which was so thoroughly illiberal 
in its treatment of the Americans, and was denounced by 
Chatham and the Whigs on the basis of the Whig tradition of 
' no popery/ Even the ' no popery ' cry, however, failed to 
arouse any strong popular hostility to the measure in England, 
and the Quebec Act was duly passed. It was not only in itself 
a wise measure ; it also secured the unswerving loyalty of the 
Canadian population in the troubles to come. 

In England, no one believed that the Americans would fight. 
It was anticipated that the resistance in Massachusetts would 
American be easily put down, and that the rest of the colonies 
preparations, would give it no support. Boston port was duly 
closed on ist June, and no direct resistance was offered at 
the moment. But it was only because the resolution of the 
colonists was to take a more formidable and impressive shape 
than that of sporadic attacks upon the military. The sense of 
unity, of the common interests of the colonies, had at last become 
a reality. Only Massachusetts had been penalised ; but the 
other colonies recognised that the quarrel was their own. Among 
them Virginia took the lead. Her assembly of burgesses decreed 
that ist June, the day of the closing of Boston port, should be set 
apart as a day of fasting and intercession. When the governor 
dissolved the assembly, its members continued their meetings, 
and agreed that a general congress should be summoned. In 
Massachusetts more than half of the members of the executive 
council, now nominated by the Crown instead of being elected 
by the assembly, refused appointment. From all over the 
country supplies poured in to the Bostonians whose port had 
been closed. 

One after another, the colonial assemblies gave their adhesion 
to the proposal for a Continental Congress, which met at Phila- 
delphia on 5th September. Of the thirteen colonies 
Continental Georgia was the only one that was not represented. 
Congress, George Washington, who was one of the delegates, 
still believed that no one desired separation in itself. 
But the resolutions of the Congress offered no hope of a com- 

Before the Storm 333 

promise being accepted. It was pronounced that all Americans 
should support Massachusetts in resisting the penal acts. A 
non-importation agreement was adopted. The repeal of the 
five Acts was demanded. A Declaration of Rights was drawn 
up detailing the unconstitutional treatment to which the colonists 
had been subjected, after the precedent of 1688. It was resolved 
that the Congress should again assemble in the following May, 
that the Canadians should be invited to send delegates, and that 
in the meantime a petition to the king and an address to the 
people of Great Britain should be sent to England. At the same 
time the loyalty of the colonies to the Crown and the empire 
was emphatically affirmed. 

While Congress discussed, Massachusetts was acting on its 
own account. Gage cancelled the writs for the Assembly which 
should have been summoned in October ; but the Massa- 
elections were held and its members transacted chusetts. 
business, under the name of the ' Provincial Congress/ as if they 
had been a legally appointed assembly. They organised a 
militia, who were known as the ' minute men ' because they 
were to be ready to meet at a minute's warning. Officers were 
appointed, a committee of supplies, and a committee of safety. 
In response to their appeal, other colonies began to form similar 
military bodies. New York was the only one of the colonies 
which dissociated itself from the proceedings of Congress. 

In England there was a dissolution, and a new parliament was 
summoned to meet on 3oth November. George was satisfied to 
find that his majority in the House of Commons England bent 
was larger than before. The ministers and the on coercion, 
nation had gone too far to recede now, even had they been dis- 
posed to do so. Burke, Chatham, and the rest of the Opposition 
still in effect proclaimed that the Americans were in the right, 
that the obnoxious Acts were in themselves unjustifiable and 
ought to be repealed ; but neither the ministers nor the nation 
would listen to such arguments. Chatham moved for the recall 
of troops, but was defeated. Petitions came in from several 
great commercial centres ; they were ignored. Chatham himself 
was again incapacitated by an attack of the gout. North intro- 

334 The King and Lord North 

duced bills to cut off the New England colonies to which 
others were afterwards added from commercial intercourse, 
1775. On by way of retaliation for the non-importation agree- 
theedge. ments. Additional troops and additional sailors 
were voted. To these measures North added a proposal which 
was intended to be conciliatory, but served no particular purpose 
except that of increasing the violence of the extreme anti- 
American section, who regarded anything that savoured of con- 
cession as a betrayal. The Conciliation Bill offered to exempt 
from taxation for purposes of revenue any colony which would 
undertake on its own account to pay what the British parliament 
would accept as an adequate contribution for common defence. 
In the eyes of the colonists and their supporters in England the 
real intention of the bill was to introduce dissension among the 
colonists, and thereby to render coercion the easier. North 
himself and at least a large section of the party probably intended 
honestly enough to open a door to reconciliation, but party 
spirit was already running far too high to permit the honesty 
of the attempt to be recognised ; only its futility was palpable. 


The sword was drawn on igth April 1775. Gage in Massa- 
chusetts had at last realised that the colonists would fight unless 
1775 the British forces were considerably augmented. 

Lexington, He had applied for reinforcements in addition to the 
19th April. f our re gi men t s which were at his disposal. The 
Americans were collecting arms and military stores of all kinds, 
and were drilling everywhere. At Concord, some miles from 
Boston, they had a depot of arms. On the night of the i8th 
Gage sent a party of troops to seize the stores. On the morning 
of the iQth, as the troops were passing through Lexington, there 
was a collision with a party of the local militia, when some shots 
were fired, and a few of the colonials were hit. The soldiers 
marched on to Concord, where they found that part of the stores 
had already been removed. They destroyed the remainder, 
though not without some more fighting, and on the way back 

The War with the Americans 335 

they were fired upon repeatedly, the colonial marksmen keeping 
under cover. By the time the soldiery got back to Boston there 
had been something over two hundred casualties, the Americans 
having suffered about half as many. 

This skirmish of Lexington opened the war ; encouragingly 
for the colonials, who were taught by it conclusively that in some 
circumstances at least they could hold their own against the 
regulars. The battle served as a general call to arms, and 
within a few days several thousand men were encamped before 
Boston. The Continental Congress reassembled on loth May, 
assumed the functions of a regular government, rejected Lord 
North's proposals, and nominated George Washing- War. 
ton as commander-in-chief and head of the continental army 
at Boston (i7th June). In the meanwhile a body of volunteers 
under the command of Ethan Allan and Benedict Arnold, acting 
with the consent of the Massachusetts committee of safety, 
surprised and captured the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point, commanding the direct route to Canada. On the other 
hand, considerable reinforcements for Gage were being dispatched 
from England, and before the end of May Generals Clinton and 
Burgoyne arrived with two thousand more soldiers. Thus 
strengthened, Gage proclaimed an offer of pardon to any of the 
rebels who would come in with the exception of Samuel Adams 
and John Hancock ; but the proclamation met with no response. 

Before Washington could arrive to take up the command the 
first really important engagement of the war had taken place. 
Boston is on the south side of the river Charles ; on Bunker Hill, 
the north is Charlestown. Close by are two heights, 15ttl June - 
Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill. To anticipate an expected move- 
ment on Gage's part, the colonials occupied Breed's Hill and 
entrenched it. Three thousand British troops were sent to storm 
the position, which they succeeded in doing, but only after 
heavy loss and two severe repulses. Though an actual victory 
for the British, the battle of Bunker Hill demonstrated more 
decisively than Lexington the capacity of the colonials for facing 
the attack of regulars. So far as moral effects went, Bunker Hill 
was a colonial victory. 

336 The King and Lord North 

Still an attempt was made by the Americans at reconciliation. 
Congress sent to England what was known as the ' Olive-branch 
The Olive- petition.' The authorities in England, however, 
branch had now come to the natural conclusion that they 

petition. would not treat with open rebels except on terms 
of complete surrender. George refused to receive the petition. 
Bargains were entered upon for employing German mercenaries 
in the American war. Congress itself discounted its olive-branch 
by taking measures for the invasion of Canada. In the autumn 
the capture by the Americans of the fort of St. John was followed 
by the surrender of Montreal ; and Sir Guy Carleton, who had 
less than a thousand men under his command, made ready at 
Quebec for a siege. At Boston the place of General Gage was 
taken by General Sir William Howe, to whose brother Lord 
Howe the naval command was entrusted. The American 
volunteer army was willing enough to fight, but was painfully 
lacking in discipline and in the proper sense of subordination. It 
was only with extreme difficulty that Washington managed to 
hold his men together in their lines. 

The American attack upon Canada during the winter was 
disastrous to them. An expedition was dispatched under 
Winter: the Benedict Arnold against Quebec, marching from 
Canadian Maine through an exceedingly difficult country. 
expedition. j^. succee d ec [ m joining hands with a force under 
Montgomery coming down the St. Lawrence from Montreal ; 
but the whole of the supplies and equipment were in terribly 
bad condition. A desperate attempt to storm Quebec on 
3ist December was completely repulsed. Still the besiegers hung 
on obstinately, although the French Canadians, after some hesi- 
1776. tation, definitely sided with the government and 

refused supplies to the rebels. Even when reinforcements 
arrived in the course of the spring the besiegers were unable to 
make any impression on Carleton's defences. When the ice 
broke up and the St. Lawrence became navigable, reinforcements 
came to Carleton early in May. In June the siege was raised, 
and Canada was evacuated by the invaders. 

Meanwhile, Howe at Boston was hardly an improvement upon 

The War with the Americans 337 

General Gage. Washington, as the spring came on, prepared 
for an attack upon Boston itself. Howe, like Gage before him, 
was of opinion that from a military point of view B 0ston 
it was a mistake to remain in Boston at all, but the evacuated, 
evacuation had been forbidden for political reasons. Marcn - 
In March Washington seized Dorchester heights. Howe failed 
to dislodge him, and before the end of the month the British 
force was compelled to withdraw by sea to take up its quarters 
for the time being at Halifax in Nova Scotia. It was the evacua- 
tion of Boston which enabled Washington to send reinforce- 
ments to the army before Quebec, although that was a move 
from which no advantage resulted to the insurgents. 

When Howe retired from Boston the war had been going on 
for eleven months. It is scarcely possible to doubt that if it 
had been conducted by the British with any real A bad 
vigour or system, matters would by this time have beginning, 
looked very ill for the insurgents. The continental army, as 
the American troops were called, was enlisted only for short 
terms, its composition was amateur in the extreme, its officers 
had little control over their men, and it was extremely difficult 
to keep the men themselves from going home when the fancy 
took them. The men in fact thought themselves as good as the 
officers, which in private life many of them were ; the officers 
were jealous of each other, and nearly all of them were jealous 
of the indomitably patient chief, who, by his remarkable control 
over himself, yet managed to maintain the control over them 
also. But the British generals made no plans and struck no 
blows. A decently efficient naval squadron could have con- 
trolled the whole seaboard, but the squadron which was in 
American waters during the first twelve months of the war was 
quite insufficient. The truth was that, when the government 
had made up its mind that the rebellion was to be put down by 
force, it ought without further delay to have made an overwhelm- 
ing demonstration of military power. Nowhere else was it 
threatened with war ; it had a fleet which a dozen years earlier 
had been able to sweep the ocean at its will ; and yet it lacked 
the energy or the intelligence to provide either a military or a 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. Y 

33$ The King and Lord North 

naval armament which could venture upon a bold offensive. 
The result was that by the early summer of 1776 the colonials, 
instead of feeling that they were fighting a desperate battle 
against great odds, were full of a confidence inspired not by their 
own efficiency, but by the inefficiency of their opponents ; and 
that confidence was hardly weakened by the fiasco of the 
Canadian expedition. And in the meantime every month that 
the war dragged on embittered feeling on both sides ; and in 
America the party which had all along been working for separa- 
tion was on the point of sweeping the board. 

Early in June Congress was discussing and approving a de- 
claration of independence, proposals for a definite federation, 

and resolutions in favour of seeking foreign alii- 
The Declcir<L- 
tion of ances. On 4th July it issued the famous Declaration 

independ- o f Independence, which was signed by the repre- 
sentatives of twelve out of the thirteen colonies, New 
York being the only abstainer. The colonists had thrown away 
the scabbard, and had definitely pronounced that the time for 
reconciliation on any terms whatever was passed that they had 
severed themselves for ever from the British empire. With the 
Declaration of Independence an entirely new situation had 
arisen. The attitude previously adopted, of readiness to return 
to the position as it had been before 1763, was entirely abandoned. 
Explicitly the war was no longer a war waged for the preserva- 
tion of their just rights by British citizens ; it was avowedly 
and uncompromisingly a war of separation. 

Meanwhile, however, the extremely efficient admiral, Lord 
Howe, had arrived at Halifax with a fleet ; and before the end 
The Howes ^ J une General Howe and his forces had been 
before New landed at Staten Island in front of New York, 
York, une. wn i c h was now to take the place of Boston as the 
military centre. Thither Washington had already transferred 
the army from Boston. New York was selected as the point 
of British attack, apart from military reasons, on the political 
ground that it was the state in which the two parties of the 
colonists were most evenly balanced. There was a brief delay 
before the attack opened. North was never able to free himself 

The War with the Americans 339 

from the belief that the colonial resistance would collapse from 
its own inherent weakness at an early date. The Howes had a 
commission of a limited character to make proffers of reconcilia- 
tion. A proclamation was issued again offering pardon to those 
who would come in ; Howe sought to negotiate with Washington 
personally, but the negotiation broke down because Washington 
refused to treat except in his official capacity ; while Howe was 
not authorised to recognise that he had any official capacity at all. 
Hostilities then were renewed towards the end of August. 
The Americans were driven out of their position on Long Island 
into New York itself. 'Then there was another 

futile discussion between three commissioners from successes, 
Congress, Franklin, John Adams, and Routledge, autumn - 
and Lord Howe, who met them unofficially. Nothing came of 
it. In the middle of September, Washington was compelled 
to evacuate the city ; and then, in a series of operations, to 
abandon one entrenched position after another until finally 
he was pushed over the Delaware river. Clinton made a diver- 
sion in the New England states, and Carleton advancing from 
Canada seized the fort of Crown Point on Lake Champlain. 
The successive reverses had reduced Washington's troops to a 
dangerous state of demoralisation, and again it can hardly be 
doubted that if Howe had followed up his successes with vigour, 
the continental army would have been broken up altogether. 

Conquest was within the grasp of the British commander. 
That conquest would have served any useful purpose may be 
doubted. The Americans would indeed have been Futility of 
unable to take the field again in force so long as a conquest. 
the country was in military occupation ; but Great Britain 
could not permanently remain in military occupation, and there 
could be no doubt that as long as the old grievances remained 
the colonists would have taken the earliest opportunity of renew- 
ing their defiance. Conquest, in short, except as a preliminary 
to a complete reconstruction of the relations between the mother 
country and the colonies, would have served no satisfactory 
purpose ; and there is no sign that any such reconstruction was 
contemplated in England. 

34 The King and Lord North 

But the government had committed itself to the position 
that conquest was necessary ; and on that hypothesis it was 
General mere * oll y to abstain from making the conquest 

Howe's complete and decisive at the earliest possible date. 

Of that precise folly General Howe was guilty. 
Perhaps he imagined that the demoralisation caused by the 
autumn campaign might be trusted to do his work for him 
without any more fighting. At any rate when Washington had 
been driven over the borders of New Jersey into Pennsylvania, the 
British general considered that he had done enough, and relapsed 
into complete inactivity ; whereas Congress took the strongest 
line that it was possible for it to take, refused to listen to the com- 
plaints of jealous officers, recognised the astonishing ability with 
which Washington had made the best of his almost impossible 
position, and instead of curtailing his powers extended them. 

In the general plan of campaign it had been intended that 
Carleton with the British forces from Canada should secure the 
sir Guy line of Lake Champlain, and descend the Hudson 

Carleton. to effect a j unction with Howe. But Lake Champlain 
was held by Benedict Arnold's fleet ; it was late before Carleton, 
in spite of immense energy, was able to launch a fleet on the lake 
which destroyed that of the Americans. By the time that the 
British had been able to capture Crown Point it was too late in 
the year for further operations, and Carleton retired. It was 
singularly unfortunate that Lord George Germaine, known at 
the battle of Minden as Lord George Sackville, had joined the 
government and succeeded in turning the king's mind against 
Carleton. In the next year Sir Guy found himself superseded 
in the military command by General Burgoyne, and immediately 
resigned his Canadian governorship. 

Howe, satisfied with what he had done in November, scattered 
his forces over a very extensive line, hoping thereby to give 
1777. confidence to the loyalists of the district. Washing- 

fo a New St n ton Was left to pul1 his demoralised troops together, 
Jersey, and to give them fresh heart by a forward move- 

January, ment which ought to have been impossible. Before 
the end of December he had struck at Clinton on the Delaware ; 

The War with the Americans 341 

and early in the year 1777 had driven the British in from New 
Jersey to New York and Rhode Island. 

Howe remained persistently inactive. The general plan of 
campaign for the year was on the same lines as before ; Burgoyne 
with the troops from Canada was to come down the i ncom patibie 
Hudson and join hands with Howe; and having plans of 
thus completely severed the southern from the cam P ai n - 
northern colonies, the two generals were to overwhelm Washing- 
ton's army. Howe, on the other hand, had a scheme of his own 
for seizing Philadelphia ; a plan which was well enough in itself, 
provided that its execution did not interfere with the com- 
bined operations ; which unfortunately was its effect. If the 
thing was to be done at all, it should have been early in the 
year, so that the force to co-operate with Burgoyne could be 
detached for that purpose by the time that he was ready to 

Howe intended to carry his force from New York by sea to 
Delaware Bay, and so to advance upon Philadelphia from the 
south the Congress, it may be remarked, removed The 
itself from Philadelphia in anticipation of the event. 
But his forces were not ready for embarkation until j u i y . 
late in July. He left Clinton at New York with November. 
8500 men, whereas it was necessary to have a much larger 
force to co-operate properly with Burgoyne ; and he himself 
departed with 14,000 men. But the difficulties of Delaware 
Bay forced him to carry on south to the Chesapeake Bay, and 
August was almost over before he had landed at its head, at the 
Elk river. In the course of September Howe defeated Washing- 
ton, who had advanced to meet him, at Brandy wine Creek, and 
occupied Philadelphia. But Washington still lay between him 
and New York, and in the first week of October made an attack 
upon Howe, which was repulsed. The British general, appar- 
ently quite heedless of Burgoyne, sent for 4000 of Clinton's 
troops. He was able to drive back the defeated American 
commander, who established himself for the winter at Valley 
Forge in a very unsatisfactory plight, while the British at Phila- 
delphia were in comfortable quarters. 

34 2 The King and Lord North 

Meanwhile, however, Howe's Philadelphia campaign had com- 
pletely ruined the concerted operations. Burgoyne had started 
Saratoga, in June. On 6th July he was at Ticonderoga. But 
17th October. h e was no SO oner on the march again than his 
troubles began. He could only struggle on slowly and painfully 
through a hostile and difficult country. Clinton was paralysed, 
the more completely when so many of his troops were called 
away by Howe. Burgoyne was drawn at Saratoga into a trap 
from which there was no escape, and was there compelled to 
surrender with his entire force on i7th October. 

Burgoyne had done his best to carry out his orders, and effect 
a junction with the force which he believed to be moving up to 
General meet him. Clinton did what he could with the 

Howe force at his disposal. The disaster must be laid 

esponsible. U p On Howe's shoulders. He knew of Burgoyne's 
movement, and he should have known that, except as part of a 
combined movement, it could not succeed. He let the combined 
movement go, in order to carry out his private plan of securing 
Philadelphia. Apparently the only sort of excuse that can be 
offered is that he believed Burgoyne to be marching through a 
friendly country, whereas the country was extremely hostile, 
and believed also that his own capture of Philadelphia would 
raise all the loyalists in arms and produce a loyalist reaction. 
He was wrong on every point ; and he made it impossible for 
himself to redeem his error by only starting after Burgoyne's 
march had begun, and then by persisting in his plan, although 
it involved the further delay of going on to the Chesapeake 
instead of to Delaware Bay. 

The disaster was a serious one, but even the surrender of five 
thousand men need not have been in itself fatal. It was fatal 
French because it let loose a new enemy upon the British. 

sympathy For some time past American commissioners had 
or America. ^ een j n p ar j S) where they were made much of and 
applauded as heroes in the cause of liberty by a court where 
liberty was theoretically very much in fashion ; a court which 
had not yet begun even to imagine that the subject was a danger- 
ous one for itself. The ' sons of liberty ' in America were hostile 

The War with the Americans 343 

to the tyrant power of England. From the moment the war 
began, the French sympathies had been all on the side of the 
colonists. Turgot, the finance minister, was opposed to inter- 
vention. In his shrewd view, the colonies were in the first place 
certain to win in the long run, while in the second place, if they 
did not win, they would continue to be a source of weakness 
rather than of strength to the British empire. Nothing then 
would be gained for France by interfering on their behalf ; 
besides which, French finances were by no means in the condition 
necessary for the conduct of a great war. On the other hand, 
Vergennes, the vigorous minister who had succeeded Choiseul, 
was eager to intervene, not openly, but in the way of lending 
secret and ' unauthorised ' help, at least until such time as a 
decisive blow could be struck, and struck in conjunction with 
Spain. Spain was waiting her opportunity to attempt the 
recovery of Gibraltar, as soon as Great Britain should seem to be 
too thoroughly involved to offer effective resistance. And if 
France or Spain, or both, should discover an opportunity for 
intervention, there was no European power which had the 
slightest inclination to draw the sword on behalf of Great Britain. 
Until the disaster of Saratoga, however, although money and 
supplies had been finding their way from France to America, 
and although French volunteers were offering their Effect of 
swords to Washington, more to his embarrassment Saratoga 
than to his advantage, the presumption had con- inFrance - 
tinued to be that the American resistance would collapse of itself. 
Saratoga produced the immediate impression that the colonials 
had a distinct prospect of proving the winning side, a prospect 
which foreign intervention might turn into a certainty. For the 
French government, then, the news of Saratoga was decisive. 
It arrived in the beginning of December; Vergennes at once 
informed the American commissioners that France 177g 
was prepared to make an alliance, which was for- AFranco- 
mally concluded at the beginning of February. If 
France went to war with England, neither of the 
parties was to make peace with the common enemy except by 
mutual consent or until the independence of the United States 

344 The King and Lord North 

was formally recognised by treaty. As to conquest, whatever 
might be captured in the West Indies was to go to France, while 
Canada was to go to the United States. The fear that Canada 
might again become the menace that it had been before the 
Seven Years' War was minimised a fear which had weighed 
considerably with a good many Americans against proposals 
for a French alliance. The treaty was published by France in 
March (1778). 

In England, ever since the war began the Opposition had per- 
sistently denounced it ; but they remained in a minority so 
Chatham. hopeless that for a time the Rockingham group 
adopted the futile plan of secession. In 1777 Chatham had once 
more appeared to take the lead. The presence of the American 
commissioners in Paris, and the manner in which they were 
lionised, was sufficient proof that it was necessary to be ready 
to engage in a struggle with the Bourbon powers. Chatham was 
equally urgent that the grievances of the colonists should be 
redressed unconditionally, and that the nation should concentrate 
on resistance to the Bourbon menace. Ministers still tried to 
delude themselves and the public into believing the formal denials 
of any hostile intent on the part of France. But by the beginning 
of 1778 it was impossible to remain blind any longer. In Feb- 
Characters, ruary North made a last desperate attempt at 
the crisis. conciliation, but although his offer amounted to 
little short of a complete surrender, it was too late. The 
Americans, with France behind them, would now take nothing 
short of complete independence ; for they believed, not without 
reason, that the French fleet was now far stronger relatively to 
the British than it had been at any time during the century. 
If the British lost control of the sea, the Americans would have 
the game in their own hands. North himself was in despair. 
He was under no illusion as to his own abilities, and urged the 
king to call Chatham to the head of the government. Still the 
king refused, though he is credited with having contemplated 
dropping the American quarrel in order to devote the whole 
energy of the nation to war with France. Whether Chatham 
himself, even in the plenitude of his powers, could have saved 

The War with the Americans 345 

the situation is more than doubtful. It is conceivable that the 
man to whom the Americans owed and acknowledged so deep 
a debt, the man who twenty years before had delivered them 
from the French menace, the man who had consistently and 
unfailingly championed their cause from the Very outset, might 
have won back the loyalty which had still been dominant even 
four years earlier. The man who had saved the British empire 
once when no other man could have done it might have saved 
it again. 

But it was not to be. Chatham was old, worn, exhausted 
with disease. On 7th April, the duke of Richmond, acting for 
the Rockinghams, moved a resolution in favour of Chatham's 
withdrawing all the forces from America. Chatham last effort, 
was brought into the House to oppose the motion. Aprn * 
Convinced though he was that, as concerned all the causes of the 
quarrel, the Americans were in the right, he was equally con- 
vinced that at whatever cost the disruption of the empire was 
not to be permitted, the claim to independence was not to be 
allowed. Desperately ill though he was, he answered Richmond 
in a speech which was at times barely audible. Richmond 
responded ; Chatham attempted once more to rise and reply, 
but fell back, stricken with apoplexy. It was his last effort. 
On nth May the great empire builder was dead. 

As a dictator he had been superb ; as anything but a dictator 
he was impossible ; and English political conditions made any 
dictatorship impossible except in the presence of Effect of his 
what was felt universally to be an overwhelming death, May. 
crisis. Such a crisis had arrived. If life and health had been 
granted to Chatham, his dictatorship might have been forced 
upon the country even in despite of George. Two years, 
one year, earlier, it might have been possible for him, though 
for no other man, to have reunited the empire. In 1778 it is 
scarcely possible to believe that even he could have achieved 
that end. With his death vanished the last fraction of a chance. 
Great Britain was left to struggle through what was perhaps 
the most desperate crisis in her career under the guidance of 
mediocrities. She did win through, torn, bleeding, maimed 

346 The King and Lord North 

but unconquered except so far as she was conquered in the victory 
of her own sons ; unconquered, and destined ere long again to 
prove her right to stand among the mightiest nations of the 

III. Ax BAY, 1778-1783 

The French intervention entirely changed the character of the 
war. Until 1778, it ought to have been easily within the com- 
The British petence of the British government to conquer the 
failure. colonies in the military sense to shatter their 

armies, annihilate their commerce, and suppress all armed re- 
sistance. It was in a different sense that Chatham's statement 
was true, that the colonies could not be conquered. The conquest 
could have been effected, but it could not have been preserved 
without the perpetual maintenance in America of a standing 
army considerably larger than the whole normal peace estab- 
lishment. Chatham's contention was absolutely sound, since 
the expectation of retaining the Americans as loyal subjects of the 
British Crown upon those terms would have been absurd. But 
it would not have been in the least absurd to believe that with 
reasonable vigour and tolerable skill at military headquarters, 
the Americans could have been compelled by force of arms to 
accept terms dictated by the British. They had not been beaten 
after three years of fighting, because Admiral Howe's squadron 
was too small to blockade the coasts, and because General Howe 
never followed up his successes, and by sheer mismanagement 
ruined the combined movement of 1777, which ought to have 
given him the complete mastery, instead of ending in the disaster 
of Saratoga. 

But down to 1778 the war was simply a duel between the 
colonists and the mother country. From 1778 onwards the 
The new mother country had on her hands France, the press- 
conditions. j n g danger that Spain would be joined to France, 
and after 1779 the actual alliance of Spain with her other enemies. 
In 1763 she had nothing to fear from French and Spanish fleets ; 
the case in 1778 was very different. Both France and Spain 
had spent the interval in reorganising their fleets and bringing 

At Bay 347 

them up to a high standard ; Great Britain had plenty of ships, 
but only a fraction of them were fit for service or manned with 
crews. The French intervention was practically decisive as 
far as America was concerned ; it transformed Great Britain's 
attempt to subjugate her own recalcitrant colonies into a 
desperate and doubtful struggle to preserve her own position 
as a first-class power. 

The effects were felt immediately. In accordance with the 
conciliation bills which North carried in February, commissioners 
were sent out to treat with the Americans. They in America, 
on the other hand were stiffened by the news of the French alli- 
ance, and in effect refused to treat except on condition of the 
withdrawal of the British fleets and armies, or the recognition 
of their own independence two practically equivalent proposi- 
tions, since the concession of either would have involved the 
concession of the other as a corollary. 

But this was not all. France was ready to act. Two squadrons 
were soon ready to take the seas, one under D'Estaing for 
American waters, the other under D'Orvilliers to operations 
' contain ' the British channel fleet. General Howe ta 1778 - 
was recalled, without any reluctance on his part, and the chief 
command was conferred upon Clinton, with instructions to 
withdraw from Philadelphia and to concentrate in New York. 
The retreat was accomplished successfully, though not without 
considerable difficulty and some sharp fighting. Admiral Howe 
with great skill brought back the convoys from the Chesapeake 
and carried them up to New York a few days before the arrival 
of D'Estaing's squadron at Sandy Hook ; and the Frenchman, 
though his strength was approximately double that of Howe, 
did not venture to attempt an attack, but, having failed in his 
specific object of catching Howe in the open and cutting off the 
convoys, withdrew. Meanwhile Keppel in the home waters 
could put to sea with only twenty ships of the line, and en- 
gaged D'Orvillier's fleet, which was of equal numbers, in a 
battle off Ushant of an entirely indecisive character. Before 
the end of the year D'Estaing, who had retired to Boston 
harbour, withdrew to the West Indies, again leaving the actual 

348 The King and Lord North 

control of the American coast to the British. The concentra- 
tion at New York was followed by a dispersion. Under orders 
from home, Clinton dispatched an expedition to the Southern 
States under Cornwallis, and he was further weakened at the 
end of the year by the withdrawal of four thousand men for 
Barbadoes in the West Indies, and the departure with them of 
Admiral Hotham's squadron ; the West Indies having now 
become the French point of attack. Washington was corre- 
spondingly relieved, though he had some difficulty in prevent- 
ing Congress, in its elation, from following the British example, 
and reducing his forces before New York in order to send a 
fresh expedition to Canada. 

The arrival of Hotham's ships at Barbadoes enabled Barring- 
ton, who was the admiral in command there, to seize the stra- 
1779. tegically valuable island of St. Lucia a few days 

before the appearance of D'Estaing who, though in superior force, 
again would not venture to attack. In the first half of 1779 
D'Estaing captured the islands of St. Vincent and Grenada, but 
missed an opportunity for engaging, with greatly superior force, 
the British squadron ; which under the command of Byron, who 
had superseded Barrington, attacked under a mistaken impres- 
sion as to the size of D'Estaing's fleet, but withdrew when the 
error was discovered. 

By 1780 then, nothing more of a decisive character had occurred 
in the American area. Clinton at New York, and Washington 
Spain i n New Jersey, were neither of them able to strike 

declares war. an effective blow at the other. In the West Indies 
the French retained, but did not make use of, their naval 
superiority. Cornwallis in the Southern States was more 
than a match for any forces which could take the field against 
him, but could practically do nothing more than control the 
district in the immediate neighbourhood of his army. But for 
Great Britain the outlook had become more serious, because 
in the summer of 1779 Spain declared war ; the combined 
French and Spanish fleet in the European waters outnumbered 
the British fleet; and Spain turned her attention to the im- 
mediate object of her own desires, Gibraltar, the prolonged 

At Bay 349 

siege of which was commenced. In 1780, Guichen arrived in 
the West Indies to reinforce and take command of the French 
fleet, while Admiral Rodney joined the British fleet, Gibraltar 
having thrown reliefs into Gibraltar and destroyed besieged and 
two minor Spanish squadrons en route. Rodney relieve<L 
succeeded in bringing Guichen to an engagement off Dominica ; 
but his captains did not understand his novel plan of attack, 
mistook the meaning of his signals, and so deranged 1730. The 
his scheme that the battle was indecisive, instead west indies, 
of being a crushing blow to the French force in the West Indies. 
The opportunity did not recur, and the French predominance in 
ships was somewhat increased by further reinforcements. 

Clinton also was able to strike a sharp blow by sending an ex- 
pedition south which captured Charleston, taking a very large 
number of prisoners ; but this was counterbalanced The 
by the arrival from France of reinforcements for American 
Washington, under the command of Rocham- Contment - 
beau, which compelled Clinton again to withdraw the troops 
from Charleston, and further to reduce the forces with which 
Cornwallis was seeking to dominate the south. The result was 
that the resistance in that quarter became increasingly active ; 
and although Cornwallis dispersed the American troops at 
Camden in August, he was obliged to fall back in order to 
maintain his communications with the coast. In the north the 
Americans passed through a critical period, owing Benedict 
to the treason of one of their ablest commanders, Arnold. 
Benedict Arnold, the leader of the former expedition against 
Canada. His resentment at what he regarded as the unjust 
treatment he received led him to enter into correspondence 
with the British. In the course of this intrigue a young British 
officer, Major Andre, was captured in civilian attire within the 
American lines, carrying treasonable letters of Arnold's. In 
spite of strong representations made to Washington, Andre 
was hanged as a spy. His unhappy fate excited extreme sym- 
pathy, but Washington's action in the matter cannot be im- 
pugned. Arnold himself succeeded in escaping, and received 
a commission in the British army. 

35 The King and Lord North 

In the autumn Rodney himself with a part of his fleet was in 
the North American waters, whither he had come in pursuit of 
Rodney. Guichen, who with a considerable portion of his 

fleet had left the West Indies. Guichen's destination, however, 
was Europe. Rodney's appearance, therefore, produced no im- 
portant effect, apart from the fact that for the time being the 
British were in complete control of the sea in the north. In 
Rodney's absence, a French squadron at Newport and the 
British squadron under Graves at New York were sufficiently 
equally matched to make the British control precarious. Before 
the end of the year Rodney withdrew again to the West Indies, 
partly to prevent the risk of that portion of his fleet which he 
had left behind under Hood being overwhelmed, and partly 
because of a fresh complication which had arisen. 

This was a declaration of war between Great Britain and 
Holland. During the great wars of the middle of the century 
The Dutch the neutral powers had complained much of the 
join the war. British doctrines as to the right of search and the 
seizure. of enemy's goods carried on neutral ships. Now that 
Great Britain was in difficulties the Baltic powers united in a 
league, which was known as the Armed Neutrality, to maintain 
the rights of neutrals. The league was joined by Holland. It 
was ascertained that correspondence was passing between Dutch 
authorities and the Americans, which in the eyes of the British 
government constituted a sufficient casus belli. In fact Holland's 
enmity was not very alarming, because there was no possibility 
of Dutch fleets now combining with the French. But the inter- 
vention of Holland gave the opportunity for seizing the Dutch 
island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies, a place of great wealth. 
1781. St. It was captured accordingly by Rodney in February 
Eustatius. ij8i. Unfortunately the admiral was so earnestly 
engaged in securing the booty that the new French squadron 
under De Grasse was able to effect its junction with the rest of 
the West India fleet, because Hood, Rodney's subordinate, was 
not in sufficient strength to prevent it. Later in the year Rodney 
himself was obliged to go back to England leaving Hood in charge. 
Though Rodney was a brilliant chief, the substitution of Hood 

At Bay 351 

certainly in itself had done no harm ; but again Hood's force 
was quite inadequate to deal with the French fleet upon equal 

The reason for this inadequacy lay in the immense preponder- 
ance of the hostile fleets in European waters, and in the con- 
tinuous pressure upon Gibraltar, which had been Tnefleets 
unrelieved since February 1780. The old danger in European 
of an attempted invasion of the British shores waters - 
revived. Thus it was that when De Grasse sailed for the West 
Indies in March 1781, the British, admiral, Derby, having failed 
to intercept him, was unable to pursue because he was under the 
immediate necessity of carrying reliefs to Gibraltar and Port 
Mahon. In fact no ships could be spared for the West, because 
of the preponderance of the enemy in the European waters ; 
though it is curious to observe that in whatever force the French 
and Spanish fleets might be collected, they never attempted to 
force an engagement with the smaller squadrons of the British. 
In the course of the year, however, the Dutch were practically 
disabled by a hard-fought action off the Dogger Bank with a 
British squadron under Admiral Sir Hyde Parker. The engage- 
ment was quite in the traditional style of the Anglo-Dutch 
battles. It could hardly be claimed that the British got much 
the best of the fight ; but it practically prevented the Dutch 
from again taking the sea in force. 

But the moment was at hand for the French fleet to take 
action of a decisive character, the explanation of which lies in 
the operations on the American continent. At the cornwailis, 
end of 1780 Cornwallis had decided to march through ta tne soutn - 
the Southern States from South Carolina to the Chesapeake, so as 
to join hands with Clinton at New York and deal a decisive blow 
at Washington. Though a British detachment under Tarleton 
was defeated in January at Cowpens, Cornwallis pushed forward, 
and on I5th March inflicted a severe defeat at Guildford Court 
House on a force which outnumbered his own two to one. His 
column, however, was only a small one. His advance was but 
a slow struggle ; Clinton would not reinforce him, and it was 
not till the end of May that he effected a junction in Virginia 

352 The King and Lord North 

with a column under the command of Arnold which brought 
the number of his troops up to five thousand. Clinton believed 
that Washington was preparing for a grand move on New York. 
The result was that as Cornwallis was making his way northward 
he received instructions in June to occupy Yorktown at the 
The trap at mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and to remain there 
Yorktown. on the defensive. Washington, however, was in a 
position to strike either to the south at Cornwallis or at New 
York itself. He concerted with Rochambeau and De Grasse a 
plan for falling upon Cornwallis in overwhelming force while 
Clinton was deceived into believing that New York was to be 
the object of the grand attack. The plan was completely suc- 
cessful. In July the American army was concentrated as if 
for an attack upon New York. Soon afterwards Cornwallis, in 
accordance with his orders, established himself in Yorktown; 
the assumption being that the sea communication with New 
York would be kept open. It was not kept open. De Grasse 
sailed from the West Indies ; Hood pursued him with a smaller 
force, expecting to form a junction with Graves at Chesapeake 
Bay. But De Grasse, arriving first, drew Graves out of the 
Fall of bay ; and he as well as the French squadron from 

Yorktown, Newport got back into the Chesapeake while Hood 
October. wag e ff ec f.j n g hj s j unc tion with Graves at Sandy 

Hook. Consequently when Graves and Hood got back to the 
Chesapeake they found De Grasse there before them in superior 
force, in a position which completely cut off Cornwallis from 
assistance, and from which he could not be dislodged. In the 
meantime Washington had marched for Yorktown leaving a 
sufficient force to mask Clinton, who was still anxiously awaiting 
the delivery of the grand attack upon New York itself con- 
firmed in his expectations by misleading dispatches which had 
been written with the express intention that they should be 
intercepted. Yorktown was thus completely invested, without 
hope of relief, and on igth October Cornwallis was compelled 
to surrender. 

The fall of Yorktown was decisive so far as concerned the 
American War of Independence. The British had no foothold 

At Bay 353 

anywhere except in New York itself, and they had lost the com- 
mand of the sea, without which there was no possible prospect 
of a recovery. So completely had the naval situa- After 
tion been reversed since the Seven Years' War that Yorktown. 
while the French and Spanish were in superior force both in 
American and in European waters, the French had been able to 
detach also to Indian waters, under Bailli Suffren, a squadron 
which was there about to prove itself slightly superior to the 
British naval force in those seas. 

In 1782 then the interest of the war becomes entirely naval. 
The war for Great Britain had resolved itself at last into a 
desperate struggle not for empire, but for political 
existence, against the Bourbon powers ; and at the gives way to 
moment all the omens seemed to be in their favour. tlie Whigs, 
Peace could not have been obtained except on the 
most ignominious terms, terms to which no Briton would have 
dreamed of submitting, from the stubborn king who would have 
fought to the last gasp down to men who had not only denounced 
the war from the beginning, but had openly proclaimed their 
satisfaction at British defeat. Against the Bourbons the nation 
was ready to drain the last drop of its blood. No matter 
what political party might be predominant, the ministry would 
be a fighting ministry so far as France and Spain were concerned. 
The administration was now completely discredited by a long 
series of disasters ; North at last succeeded in persuading George 
to accept the resignation which he had tendered repeatedly. 
The Whigs came in under Rockingham's leadership, but with 
the Chatham section of the party strongly represented ; yet the 
Rockingham policy would have been North's. Probably the 
event of the war would have been the same if there had been no 
change, though matters in relation to the Americans themselves 
were simplified by the accession to power of the party which 
had always acknowledged, and urged the recognition of, the 
fundamental justice of their claims. 

But with the change of ministry came a change in the fortunes 
of war. Before North's resignation in March, Minorca had 
fallen ; but in April the tide turned. During the winter De 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. Z 

354 The King and Lord North 

Grasse and Hood had returned to the West Indies from the 
Chesapeake, but Hood could not and De Grasse would not force 
Rodney's a decisive engagement. Both were awaiting rein- 
victory, forcements. In February Rodney returned to the 
April. scene to take the chief command. It was known that 
a great Spanish fleet was to sail for the West Indies, join De Grasse, 
and overwhelm the British. On 8th April De Grasse sailed from 
Fort Royal in Martinique for Cap Frangais in Hayti, where he 
was to be joined by the Spaniards. Rodney started from St. 
Lucia in pursuit. Next day his van overtook the French off 
Dominica, while his rear lay becalmed ; but De Grasse did not 
use his opportunity, preferring to continue on his course. But 
his progress was slow. On the I2th Rodney again caught up 
with him off the island known as The Saints. In the engagement 
which followed it had apparently been Rodney's intention to 
follow the usual practice of engaging the whole of the enemy's 
fleet along the whole line ; but an opportunity occurred for 
tactics which the fleets had discarded for a century. Rodney 
in the leading ship pierced through a gap in the enemy's line, 
followed by the next five ships. The seventh ship, which was 
followed by the rest of the fleet, crossed the line at another gap. 
By this movement of ' breaking the line ' the French line of battle 
was completely disorganised, and the French centre was crushed 
before their van could come into action. De Grasse himself with 
British n * s flagship was captured after a hard fight; four 
prestige more ships of the line were taken ; according to 
Hood, if Rodney had chosen to pursue, he might 
have captured almost the whole fleet. The victory was not in 
fact in itself an overwhelming one ; but its moral effect was 
decisive. The prestige of the British navy was restored ; in 
France and Spain as well as in England the conviction was 
established that the maritime power was still invincible upon 
the seas. 

That conviction was confirmed in the Mediterranean. The 
siege of Gibraltar was now in its third year. Twice relieved, it 
had held out stubbornly under its indomitable commandant 
Sir George Eliott, defying the blockade and answering the 

At Bay 355 

repeated bombardments with a fire as fierce as the enemy's and 
more destructive. In the summer of 1782 preparations were 
made for an overwhelming attack. In September Gibraltar 
the great bombardment opened from sea and land, unconquered, 
For four days it continued. On the fifth day, Se P temtoer - 
ten battering ships entered close in and the fire was re- 
doubled. But the battering ships themselves were destroyed 
by the fire from the fortress. Nine of them blew up, and still 
there was no sign of slackening in the defence ; the enemy had 
struck their stroke and it had failed. The blockade was con- 
tinued ; but a month later a final relief was skilfully effected 
by Lord Howe, who had resigned his command in 1778 on 
account of his strong opposition to ministers and their policy, 
but resumed it after North's resignation. The relief was the 
last act of the war, except in Indian waters, where hostilities 
continued until they were terminated by the definitive peace 
in 1783. 

Peace had been in the air ever since Rodney's victory. The 
British government negotiated separately with the Americans 
represented in Paris by Franklin, and with France Peace witll 
herself. Their ends were facilitated by their own America, 
readiness to acknowledge the fait accompli of November - 
American Independence, and by the American consciousness 
that unless a separate agreement were arrived at, the French 
would do their best to secure the fruits of victory for themselves 
at the expense of their allies. The preliminaries of the American 
treaty were signed on 30 th November. Therein the independent 
sovereignty of the American states was recognised, and a line 
passing through the great lakes and the basin of the Mississippi 
was agreed upon as forming their boundary. The British can 
hardly be blamed for failing to protect the loyalists in America. 
That group had throughout been the object of the fiercest 
animosity of the dominant party ; if the war had been con- 
tinued, the British would still have been unable to afford them 
military protection, and they would only have been treated 
the more rancorously. Many thousands of them found refuge 
in England ; ten thousand ' United Empire Loyalists ' were 

356 The King and Lord North 

provided with lands on the Upper St. Lawrence, and twice as 
many were planted in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 

Peace preliminaries with France and Spain were signed in 
February 1783, though the definitive Treaty of Versailles, which 
did not vary from them materially, was not com- 
with France pleted till September. The condition of French 
and Spain, finances in fact compelled the acceptance of terms 
with which the British in the circumstances had no 
reason to be dissatisfied. In the West Indies the status quo was 
restored except for the cession of Tobago to France. In Africa, 
France recovered Senegal and Goree, which she had lost in the 
Seven Years' War. Spain kept Minorca ; and Holland, when 
peace was made, received back what Britain had taken from 
her in the Indian seas, with the exception of Negapatam. The 
total result was that Great Britain lost a large portion of her 
empire, which set up for itself as an independent nation, and 
also lost Minorca, but nothing else that was of importance ; 
while neither France nor Spain gained anything that was of 
material value. France by her encouragement of the American 
doctrines of liberty precipitated her own Revolution, hardly 
less than by the heavy war expenditure, which intensified the 
financial chaos and the intolerable burden of taxation upon her 
unprivileged classes. For Great Britain the strain had been 
cruel ; but Warren Hastings had saved her position in India, 
the sources of her wealth remained to her, and the genius of the 
younger William Pitt enabled her fully to recover her financial 
equilibrium. And she had learnt once for all the lesson that 
colonies, if they are to become a permanent source of strength 
to the empire, must not suffer any curtailment of the full rights 
of British citizenship. 

IV. INDIA, 1770-1784 

Admirable as was the work accomplished by Clive during his 
last administration, he had not been able to establish a satisfac- 
torily organised government of the British dominion in India. 
The official recognition of the company in Bengal, as diwan, 

India 357 

administrator of revenue, had provided it with a legal status, 
but not with a governmental system. Practically the Bengal 
Council was obliged to entrust the revenue adminis- The position 
tration to native officials, subject to some super- in 1770. 
vision of a not very expert character, by British officials called 
'collectors.' The law courts were still in the hands of the 
officers of the puppet nawab ; while the collectors themselves 
were more intent on amassing wealth than upon safeguarding 
the interests either of the company or of the native population. 
' Nabobs ' continued to return to England with disorganised 
livers and distended purses which enabled them to buy an undue 
share of the control of the political machine ; while in India a 
devastating famine in Bengal, one of those disastrous visitations 
with which even the highly organised government of the twentieth 
century finds it so difficult to deal, brought home to the public 
mind the inefficiency, and worse than inefficiency, of the un- 
organised government in 1770. 

The consciences of directors in England, made tender by their 
financial embarrassments, became uneasy ; and in 1772 they 
appointed Warren Hastings, governor of Bengal, 1772 
to investigate, reconstruct, reorganise. In the past Warren 
he had been distinguished as an able administrator, Hastm s - 
and one of the few who had loyally upheld the well-meaning 
Vansittart in his efforts to restrain the misrule before Olive's 
last visit. The conscience of parliament as well as of the 
directors was disturbed. It was not pleasant to feel that the 
British had made themselves responsible for the Theparlia- 
government of a large region, and were conspicu- mentary 
ously failing to act up to the responsibility. Nor mc * uir y' 
was it pleasant to find the East India Company coming to the 
government to ask for financial assistance instead of being in a 
position to make a substantial cash return to the government 
for its privileges. A parliamentary inquiry was instituted ; 
the nabobs in general and Clive in particular were fiercely 
attacked. Clive defended himself so successfully that a pro- 
posed vote of censure was transformed into a resolution recog- 
nising the magnitude of his services. But the inquiry resulted 

358 The King and Lord North 

in the first attempt to provide something like a constitution for 
the government of the great dependency. 

Lord North's Regulating Acts, passed in 1773, were by no means 
a successful effort. The system they set up very soon proved 
The problem, unworkable. But there was no precedent to which 
the constitution-builders could turn for guidance. Since the 
days of the Roman empire, it had not fallen to the lot of any 
civilised power to take upon itself the government of a vast 
population wholly alien in race, in creed, in customs, in laws, 
and ideals, accustomed to be ruled by the sword, yet possessed 
of a civilisation rooted in a past more remote than that of the 
English themselves. The experiment therefore was not suc- 
cessful, but by its very blunders it prepared the way for a re- 
organisation logically indefensible but astonishingly successful 
in its working. 

Hitherto His Majesty's government had asserted no control 
over the proceedings and methods of the East India Company. 
1773. North's ^ na( ^ been claimed for the latter that they held 
Regulating their possessions in India from the Mogul, and that 
intervention on the part of the Crown would be a 
violation of their chartered rights. The officials in India had 
been simply servants of the company, which made all the appoint- 
ments, and gave instructions as to policy which its servants 
disobeyed at their peril. The plea that government interfer- 
ence would be a violation of the charter was now brushed aside 
on the general principle of the supremacy of parliament over 
all British subjects. 

The purpose of the Regulating Acts was twofold: the re- 
organisation of the government of the company at home and 
Tne of the government by the company in India. The 

management ultimate control still remained with the directors 
and proprietors in London, but the qualification 
of proprietors was raised from 500 to 1000 of stock ; and in 
place of the annual reconstitution of the court of directors, only 
one-fourth of the number were to retire in each year in rotation. 
The patronage remained with the company, except as laid down 
in the second part of the Acts, and a substantial advance was 

India 359 

at the same time made to the company to preserve it from 

The constitution-making was contained in the second part. 
The governor of Bengal was to be at the same time governor- 
general of all the three presidencies. Bombay and ^^ a <i m inis- 
Madras each retained its own governor and council, tration in 
but all questions of war and peace and alliances India - 
belonged to the governor-general in council, who was still 
responsible for his acts to the government of the company at 
home. At the same time a divided authority was created in 
India itself. The administration was in the hands of the 
governor-general and a council of four members, whose decisions 
were arrived at by a majority vote, the governor-general's vote 
counting for no more than that of each of his colleagues, except 
that he had also a casting vote when opinions were equally 
divided. His judgment could in consequence be systematically 
over-ridden if opposed by three members of his council. In the 
first instance, the governor-general and the four members of 
council were appointed not by the directors, but by the govern- 
ment. But beside the executive authority the Act set up a new 
judicial authority, a High Court of four judges appointed by 
the Crown, who were able to claim that they were not servants 
of the company at all, were not subject to the executive authority, 
but were responsible to the Crown and the Crown alone. In 
this body the chief justice was Sir Elijah Impey. The governor- 
general appointed was the then governor of Bengal, Warren 
Hastings ; but only one of his council, Barwell, was an experi- 
enced servant of the company ; the other three, Philip Francis 
(commonly reputed to be the author of the Letters of Junius), 
Monson, and General Clavering as military member, were appa- 
rently selected to express the prevailing distrust of the experi- 
enced Indian authorities. 

Hence when the judges and the new members of council 
arrived in India in October 1774, there ensued a prolonged period 
of perpetual conflicts of authority. The judges conflicting 
claimed that they were in India to administer authorities. 
English law in the name of the Crown, and with no responsi- 

360 The King and Lord North 

bility to the executive, whose acts and whose officers they could 
call to account. The executive found itself perpetually impeded 
and crossed by the judicial body ; and ' the triumvirate/ 
Francis, Clavering, and Monson, systematically set themselves 
in opposition to the governor-general and his one supporter 
Barwell. Hence we must bear in mind that the rule of Hastings 
in India falls into several distinct periods. The first is that when 
he was governor of Bengal, from 1772 till October 1774. In 
the second period, which lasted till Monson's death in September 
1776, the triumvirate were in the majority, and made a point 
of over-ruling Hastings. During the next twelve months, 
Hastings on the whole predominated ; the council was equally 
divided ; but it was claimed by Clavering that Hastings had 
resigned, and that he himself was governor-general. Then 
Clavering died, Wheler arrived to take Monson's place, and Eyre 
Coote to take Clavering's. Thus after 1777, although the new 
members of council were by no means warm adherents of 
Hastings, opposition to him was no longer systematic ; and for 
the remainder of his governor-generalship his will predominated. 
The contest between the executive and the judiciary was brought 
to an end in 1780, by a compromise to which we shall revert 
later. We shall now proceed with the story of Warren Hastings, 
which may be more conveniently treated under two separate 
aspects: the administration of the British territories, and the 
relations between the British and the native powers. 

It was the first task of Hastings as governor of Bengal to make 
the diwani, the financial administration, a reality. The prin- 
Hastings cipal source of revenue was the land, which was 
in Bengal divided into large estates or districts called zemin- 
daris ; the zemindar we may describe provisionally as the land- 
holder, who was responsible for producing the amount of revenue 
1772-4. at which the land was assessed. Hastings appointed 

The Diwani. a committee to inquire into the whole question 
of land tenure, made a new provisional assessment for a period 
of five years, suspended the native officials pending inquiries 
into charges which had been brought against them, and ap- 
pointed British collectors or district officers; at the same time 

India 361 

district courts of justice were appointed with European magis- 
trates, and a court of appeal at headquarters ; whereby the 
foundations of an administrative system were laid down. 

But the process had raised up a host of enemies against 
Hastings. With the arrival of the new members of council and 
the judges, the Regulating Acts came into force, 
and the triumvirate at once showed the extra- triumvirate 
vagance of their hostility to the governor-general, and the 
A new nawab, Asaf ud-Daulah, at this moment 
succeeded to the throne of Oudh. The old nawab's mother and 
widow, the 'begums,' claimed that the royal treasures had been 
left to them. The new nawab, thus despoiled, could not meet 
the obligations due from him to the company ; yet, since 
Hastings supported his claim against the begums, the council 
took the side of the ladies and guaranteed them in possession of 
the treasure. A prominent native Brahmin, Nanda Kumar, 
commonly known as Nuncomar, who had various Nuncomar. 
grudges against the governor-general, saw his opportunity for 
an attack, and preferred charges against him. The council 
encouraged Nuncomar, and insisted that the charges should be 
heard at the council board. Hastings refused to preside at his 
own trial, and prepared to bring a charge of conspiracy against 
Nuncomar. In the nick of time a native, Mohun Persad, who 
had a long-standing lawsuit against the Brahmin, discovered 
his opportunity for bringing a charge of forgery against his 
enemy before the new court of justice which administered 
English law. By that law, forgery was a capital crime ; though 
in the eyes of orientals it was a venial offence. After a trial 
conducted with scrupulous fairness, Nuncomar was condemned 
and was duly executed, neither his friends on the council nor 
his enemy Hastings raising a finger to help him. There is no 
evidence whatever that the charge was suggested or the trial 
instigated by Hastings, or that the judges, who were unanimous, 
could reasonably have arrived at any other conclusion than 
that Nuncomar was guilty ; yet for generations the diatribes 
of partisans and historians hostile to Hastings made the world 
at large believe that the whole affair was a conspiracy between 

362 The King and Lord North 

the chief justice and the governor-general. The myth, however, 
has been thoroughly exploded in comparatively recent times by 
Sir Fitz- James Stephen's exhaustive examination of the story. 

Nuncomar was executed in June 1775. The personal charges 
against Hastings collapsed with the disappearance of this one 
1775.77 most untrustworthy witness ; but the triumvirate 

Perversity of continued their course. They abolished the new 
the council, ^strict courts of justice and reinstated the nawab's 
officers. They controlled the relations with the Mahrattas in 
defiance of the governor-general's judgment. Monson died in 

1776 ; but six months after the arrival of the council Hastings 
had sent home a provisional resignation, afterwards cancelled, 
to his agent in London. But the resignation was laid before 
the directors, and early in 1777 instructions were received at 
Calcutta, appointing Clavering to act provisionally as governor- 
general. Hastings repudiated the whole transaction, and the 
judges bore him out, pronouncing that he, not Clavering, was 
governor-general. The impasse was ended by Clavering's death, 
and the arrival of fresh instructions confirming Hastings in his 

Hastings, now predominant, was able to carry out his own 
policy. He established his board for the examination of land 

1777 tenures, and a thorough revision of the assessment. 
Hastings He arranged for the maintenance of a military 
reorganises. force for the defence of Ou dh, to which end the 

revenues of the Benares district of Oudh were assigned to the 
company the beginnings of the system which came to be 
known as that of ' subsidiary alliances.' The antagonistic 
authorities of the executive and the judiciary were now reach- 
ing a stage so acute as to produce a deadlock in the government. 
Hastings was even forced into an alliance with his enemy Francis, 
to resist the impossible pretensions of Impey who was his per- 
sonal friend. Ever since their arrival, the judges had been 
The contest acting up to their own theory of their position, 
with the very much as if they had been appointed with the 
primary object of discovering and punishing mis- 
conduct on the part of the administration. Every officer up 

India 363 

country found himself liable to be hailed before this new tribunal 
by any one who thought fit to bring a charge against him how- 
ever frivolous. At last the council gave orders that the pro- 
cesses of the court should be disregarded ; the court fulminated 
writs against the council and every one who should obey them. 
The situation was impossible ; the only conceivable 1730. 
escape from it was by some compromise which The solution. 
should induce the judges to act as officers of the company. The 
council had restored the criminal jurisdiction of the nawab's 
courts, but had left the civil and fiscal jurisdiction with the 
company's district officers. Hastings separated the civil and 
fiscal functions, appointing civil magistrates, and proposed to 
set up a supreme court of appeal at Calcutta, of which he in-* 
vited Impey to become the chief. Impey accepted ; in his new 
capacity he had effective supervision of the district courts in 
his hands ; and the deadlock was removed. The fact that he 
was offered and accepted, provisionally, a salary as chief of the 
Sadr Adalat, as the new court was called, has been made the 
basis for further diatribes against the unfortunate chief justice. 
The transfer of Benares to the British made Cheyt Singh, the 
raja of Benares, a vassal of the company, which took the place 
of the Oudh nawab as his overlord. In 1778 the Benares, 
financial embarrassments of the government, in- 1778-81. 
volved in a war with the Mahrattas, were heavy. Cheyt Singh's 
loyalty was doubtful ; and Hastings demanded from him an 
increased contribution of 50,000, which was paid. In the 
second year there was delay in the payment. When the demand 
was repeated in the third year it was not paid. Hastings, 
believing that the raja was acting with treasonable intent, 
imposed upon him a further fine of 500,000, and proceeded 
in person to arrest him in his own capital. The population rose, 
and cut up the military escort of Hastings, who had to beat a 
hasty retreat to Chunar, where he remained while he summoned 
troops to suppress the insurrection. That end was achieved with 
little difficulty, and though Cheyt Singh himself escaped, a new 
raja was established. Hastings would appear to have been 
acting technically within his rights throughout ; but there can 

364 The King and Lord North 

be no question that his demands, and especially the fines, were 
excessive, and could be excused, if at all, only on the ground of 
extreme financial necessity. 

The Benares insurrection took place in the latter half of 1781. 
While Hastings was at Chunar he was visited by the Oudh 
The Oudh nawab, whose subsidies were very much in arrear. 
begums. Asaf ud-Daulah stated his case : with the best 

intentions he could not possibly meet his obligations 
while so large a proportion of the State treasure and revenues 
was held by the begums under the guarantee of the British 
government. If the British would permit him to take possession 
of the wealth to which he was certainly entitled, he could dis- 
charge his debts. There had never been any doubt in the mind 
of Hastings that the nawab's claim was just ; the situation had 
been created entirely by the perversity of the triumvirate. It 
was not difficult to conclude that the guarantee which had been 
given to the begums might legitimately be cancelled, especially 
as those ladies were very strongly suspected of having fomented 
the Benares insurrection. Hastings authorised Asaf ud-Daulah 
to take possession of the treasure by force. He omitted to 
impose conditions ; the seizure was accompanied by normal 
oriental processes of cruelty and violence ; but the subsidies 
were paid. The company, not Hastings, reaped the advantage, 
at a time when cash was very much wanted. But by this time 
Francis had gone home and was working his hardest in England 
to injure the governor-general. The affairs of Cheyt Singh and 
the Oudh begums provided invaluable opportunities for charges 
of extortionate tyranny ; the court of directors censured Warren 
Hastings ; and the governor-general tendered his resignation, and 
returned to England at the beginning of 1785. 

More space has been given to these episodes than their intrinsic 
importance demands, because very largely upon them have been 
Foreign based the popular impressions of Hastings as a 

policy. tyrannical pro-consul, and of his methods as typify- 

ing the iniquitous aggression by which the British dominion in 
India was established. There remains another episode which 
falls under the same category ; but it belongs to the story of 

India 365 

the more definitely external relations, to which we have now to 

The principle of policy laid down by Clive on his departure 
from India was that the British should seek no further acquisi- 
tions of territory, though conquest was undoubtedly The Rohillas. 
within their power, but should aim at preserving 177 - 
a balance of power between the native states, and, so far as 
possible, amicable relations with all of them. But with regard 
to the Bengal presidency in particular, it was taken as essential 
that Oudh should be maintained as a substantial buffer between 
the British province and Mahratta aggression on the west. It 
was in pursuance of this policy that Hastings as governor of 
Bengal took part in the Rohilla war. By 1770 the Mahrattas 
had recovered from the blow dealt them at Panipat ; Sindhia 
was again over-running the north-western districts from Agra to 
Delhi, and was pushing across the Jumna to the Ganges. This 
brought the Mahrattas in contact with the Rohillas, who occupied 
the district of Rohilkhand, on the west of Oudh and on the north- 
east of the Ganges. The matter was the more threatening, 
because the Mogul Shah Alam, whom the British had established 
at Allahabad, placed himself in Sindhia's hands, and would have 
ceded the Allahabad district itself to him if the British had not 
themselves reoccupied it and restored it to the Oudh nawab, 
Shujah Daulah. The Rohillas were Mohammedan Afghans who 
had established their mastery over the Hindu population by the 
sword within the last forty years. 

The Rohillas themselves were a serious menace to Oudh, a 
menace which would become still more serious if they should 
become friendly with the Mahrattas. Shujah Daulah 1773. The 
wanted Rohilkhand, but he could not eject the RohiiiaWar. 
Rohillas without British help. He submitted to Hastings 
plausible pretexts for giving that help. He had aided the 
Rohillas in repelling a Mahratta incursion ; they had engaged 
to pay him forty lacs of rupees (400,000) for his assistance, but 
had not done so, and were intriguing with the Mahrattas. If 
the British would help him, he would pay them the forty lacs. 
In 1772 the East India Company was in great straits for want of 

366 The King and Lord North 

money ; the nawab's rupees would be of the greatest service ; 
but besides this, the strengthening of the barrier against the 
Mahrattas was of the utmost. importance. The Rohillas were in 
Rohilkhand by right of the sword, and of nothing else ; there 
was no moral reason against their expulsion by the Oudh nawab. 
Hastings assented to Shujah Daulah's proposal, and sent the 
company's troops to co-operate with him. The Rohillas were 
expelled, and Rohilkhand was annexed to Oudh, while the 
British received the promised consideration for their services. 

From the oriental point of view there was no sort of doubt of 
the legitimacy of the whole operation. From the western point 
A comment, of view it was true that the Rohillas had no direct 
quarrel with the British, but they constituted a very appreciable 
danger to a British ally, whose preservation was of vital import- 
ance to the British themselves. In view of the precarious position 
of the British in India, and of the fact that the Rohillas were 
merely a group of alien conquerors, Hastings clearly had full 
justification for assisting his ally in their expulsion. The point 
in respect of which he cannot be acquitted of blame is, that no 
adequate precautions were taken to ensure that western instead 
of oriental methods of warfare should be adopted. Consequently 
the suppression of the Rohillas was effected with all the normal 
accompaniments of an oriental conquest, in spite of repeated 
protests on the part of the British commander. Hastings was 
to show again in the case of the Oudh begums his one grave 
deficiency. He had not learnt the great principle of the British 
ascendency, that the European must not only himself act up to 
European moral standards at all costs, but can only actively 
co-operate with orientals upon the condition that they act up to 
the same standards. 

Hitherto we have dealt almost exclusively with those opera- 
tions of Hastings in which his conduct requires defence, and the 
The saviour defence itself sometimes falls considerably short of 
of India. a complete justification, though in every case it 
suffices to clear him from the more rancorous charges which have 
been brought against him. We have seen him engaged rather in 
a desperate struggle to procure an absolutely necessary revenue 

India 367 

from legitimate sources if possible, but by methods which some- 
times transgressed the border-line between the legitimate and 
illegitimate. We have still to see how almost single-handed he 
saved the British dominion in India from destruction at the hands 
of great native powers, in spite of difficulties created by the 
blundering folly and incapacity of the governments at Bombay 
and Madras, and the deliberate thwarting of his policy by his 
own council, at a time when Great Britain was distracted by her 
struggle with the American rebellion and then with the Bourbon 

In 1772 Madhu Rao, the son and successor of the great Baiaji 
in the office of peshwa, died. He was succeeded by his brother, 
who also died within the year. A posthumous child 177t 
was expected, but Ragonath Rao, otherwise called Bombay 
Ragoba, the brother of Baiaji, sought the peshwa- and Rasol)a " 
ship which the ministers at Puna intended to confer upon the 
infant when it should be born. The attitude of Sindhia, Holkar, 
and the Bhonsla on the question was dubious. Ragoba appealed 
to the British at Bombay for support, offering them in return 
Salsette and Bassein, which they were desirous of possessing. 
When the infant was born in April 1774, Sindhia and Holkar 
declared for the regency at Puna ; nevertheless the 1775 Treaty 
Bombay Council accepted Ragoba's proposals, and of Surat, 
signed the Treaty of Surat in March 1775 ', although 
the separate presidencies were expressly debarred from making 
alliances. Hastings himself was entirely opposed to the action 
of Bombay, but he was also aware that since the treaty had been 
made the government ought to stand by it. The triumvirate 
took a different view as a matter of course, and although the 
Bombay troops, acting on behalf of Ragoba, had already inflicted 
a defeat on the Mahratta force, the Calcutta Council 1776 Treaty 
repudiated the Surat treaty, and made on their own of Purandar, 
account the Treaty of Purandar with the Puna March - 
regency, in March 1776. Ragoba was thrown over, and Bombay 
had to be contented with Salsette alone. In the course of the 
next eighteen months the arrival of the French adventurer, St. 
Lubin, at Puna, where he was warmly welcomed, was an alarming 

368 The King and Lord North 

symptom. At the end of 1777, Hastings was at last predominant 
at Calcutta. The course of events in the western hemisphere 
emphasised the danger of a revival of intimate relations between 
the French and the native powers in India. In 1778 France was 
actually at war again with Great Britain, and before the end of 
that year Hastings had authorised a new treaty with Ragoba 
which he was prepared to support by an expeditionary force from 

To that end he had established amicable relations with the 
Bhonsla, and the commander Colonel Goddard had advanced a 
considerable distance through friendly territories in 
The Wargam January 1779 when news reached him of a disaster, 
convention, Bombay, instead of awaiting his arrival, had tried 
to strike on its own account, and had dispatched a 
force against Puna, which only narrowly escaped being cut to 
pieces, and had been compelled to make the convention of 
Wargam with Sindhia, which was a practical surrender of all the 
Bombay demands. The situation was saved by the brilliantly 
1779-so. vigorous action of Goddard, who made a swift dash 

Goddard. upon Surat, frightened the Gaekwar into remaining 
neutral, and restored the British prestige in the west. At the 
beginning of 1780 Goddard, having agreed with the Gaekwar to 
secure to him the lordship of Gujerat in independence of Puna, 
captured Ahmedabad, which lies within that province, scattered 
the forces of Holkar and Sindhia, who was temporising, and 
secured the western districts on the north of the Nerbudda. His 
operations were to some extent assisted by a diversion effected 
in Sindhia's dominions by a small column dispatched by Hastings 
for that purpose under Major Popham. 

Madhava Rao Sindhia was a particularly acute statesman 
who was aiming at raising himself to the real leadership of the 
Sindhia. Mahrattas ; and he had not made up his mind on 

the important question of the strength of the British power. 
At this time it would seem that he hoped to break up that 
power, and to reap the profits, but did not wish as yet definitely 
to commit himself to the attempt. In fact he never did commit 
himself to it, because he never found an opportunity which 

India 369 

promised sufficient security of success ; and he wished to retain 
the chance of cementing an alliance with the British as an 
alternative to overthrowing them. As matters now stood, he 
would probably have definitely adopted a peace policy, but for 
a new storm which descended upon the British. 

Haidar AH in Mysore and the Nizam at Haidarabad, both of 
them conceived with justice that they had been badly treated 
by the Madras government, which had given incom- The Nizam 
patible pledges to each of them, and then sought to and Haidar 
excuse itself from carrying out its pledges to either. **** 
To each of those powers the danger from the Mahrattas had 
appeared so pressing in the early years of the decade that neither 
of them cared for an open rupture with the British. But when 
the Mahrattas became engaged in their own internal feuds too 
deeply to take combined aggressive action, Haidar had used his 
opportunity to consolidate his own power at their expense. 
When the British gratuitously involved themselves in the 
Mahratta complications it occurred to the Nizam that the south- 
ern powers might combine against them. The convention of 
Wargam at the beginning of 1779 confirmed him in this view. 
Haidar on the other hand had already opened communications 
on his own account with the French at Mauritius, France and 
Great Britain being now at war. His hostility to the British was 
intensified by their seizure of the French port of Mahe, which 
he regarded as being under his protection, since it lay within the 
coastal territories over which he had extended his rule. The 
grievance was the greater because the Madras authorities had 
sent their troops across what was indubitably Mysore territory. 
So the Nizam found everything ready for putting his scheme 
in execution. He himself and Haidar were to deal with Madras, 
and the western Mahrattas with Bombay, whilst the Bhonsla 
would prevent intervention from Bengal. 

Haidar accepted the role of protagonist, and in the summer of 
1780 swept down from the Mysore mountains into the Carnatic 
with the vast army which he had been organising for years past. 
Madras was soon paying the penalty for its sins and for the 
general corruption of its government. It had made no prepara- 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. III. 2 A 

370 The King and Lord North 

tions to meet the deluge which ought to have been foreseen. 

Haidar swept the Carnatic, cut up one column under Baillie, 

and drove back another, which had advanced under 

1 7ftO TTriidfiT 

invades the the once brilliant leader Hector Munro, in precipi- 
Carnatic, tate flight to Madras. For the moment it seemed 
as if the British would be wiped out of the southern 
presidency altogether. But neither the Bhonsla nor the Nizam 
had moved as yet ; in the west, Goddard's prowess inspired 
the Mahrattas with discretion. In the north, Popham's small 
column startled all India by successfully surprising Sindhia's 
capture of mighty fortress of Gwalior, which had been reputed 
Gwaiior. impregnable. To Sindhia, to the Bhonsla, and to 
the Nizam this brilliant feat was convincing. All of them began 
to turn their minds to an accommodation with the British. 
Hastings in Bengal made swift preparations to remedy the 
disastrous blunderings of Madras ; even before the end of 
the year reinforcements under the veteran Eyre Coote were 
dispatched to the south. 

Any lingering doubts in Sindhia's mind were removed by the 
vigorous activity of Goddard and Hartley in the Puna region, 
1781. British and by a brilliant action fought by the little 
successes. column, in the command of which Popham was suc- 
ceeded by Bruce in April 1781. Eyre Coote's arrival in Madras 
completely changed the situation there. Hampered though he 
still was by the wretched mismanagement of the Madras authori- 
ties, and his consequent lack of supplies, he was able to take the 
field in the early summer, and to inflict two defeats upon Haidar, 
who knew that he had now met his match. Moreover a new 
governor arrived at Madras, Lord Macartney, who took matters 
in hand with vigour, and improved the general position during 
the winter by seizing the two Dutch ports of Negapatam in the 
south, and Trincomali in Ceylon. In the meantime Hastings had 
not permitted even the insurrection of Benares to disturb his 
course of action ; and even while he was at Chunar his negotia- 
tions with Sindhia finally secured that potentate's goodwill in 
the further negotiations which still remained to be conducted 
with Puna. By the peace which was at length arranged with 

India 371 

the Mahrattas, the British finally abandoned Ragoba, but re- 
mained in possession of Salsette and Bassein. 

Haidar, however, was still unconquered. In the western 
hemisphere the British fortunes were at their lowest, for York- 
town was surrendered in October, and the balance 1732. suffren 
of naval superiority still seemed to lie with the and Hughes. 
French. In 1782 Admiral Suffren arrived in Indian waters with 
a squadron which under his brilliant command proved a fraction 
more effective than that of the British commodore Hughes. 
Four stubbornly contested battles were fought by sea in the 
course of the year, in none of which could either side claim a 
definite victory. But Hughes could not prevent his opponent 
from landing reinforcements, and capturing Gudalur and Trinco- 
mali, which he found a more serviceable port than any that was 
available for Hughes. On land neither Haidar All nor Coote 
could succeed in winning a decisive victory. Then Coote's 
health broke down completely ; but on the other hand Haidar 
died, leaving his throne and the command of his troops to his 
equally ambitious and active but much less able 
son Tippu Sultan. Haidar 's death decided the sultan 
Puna government to agree to the definitive peace ; succeeds 
nevertheless the issue of the Mysore war still seemed 
doubtful when the veteran French commander Bussy was able 
to land in India, and Suffren was still at Trincomali. The cer- 
tainty, however, that peace between France and England was 
immediately impending, presently followed by the news that 
the preliminaries had actually been signed, prevented further 
operations on the part of the French during 1783. 1783-84. 
If Hastings had enjoyed a free hand there can be Peace, 
little doubt that Tippu would now have been soundly beaten. 
But the attitude of the directors had now become so hostile to 
the governor-general that he was unable to control the Madras 
authorities, with the result that in 1784 they concluded a peace 
with the Mysore sultan very much upon terms which he might 
have dictated if he had been the conqueror, or had at least 
proved himself distinctly the superior ; with the result that he 
became firmly convinced that he had in fact been the victor. 

37 2 The King and Lord North 

When Hastings left India in February 1785, an experienced 
Indian official, Sir John Macpherson, was appointed to act 
1784. as governor-general ad interim. Warren Hastings 

Hastings had done his work. He had saved India. He had 
leaves India. taught the Mahrattas and the Nizam that the 
British, so long at least as a strong man was at the head of the 
government in India, were not to be beaten even though they 
might suffer reverses. He had won the respect of all the native 
powers, of almost the whole British community, and more than 
the respect of the population of Bengal ; and he had laid the 
foundations of the Indian Civil Service. He returned to England 
to find himself denounced as a tyrant and extortioner with all 
the thunders of Burke and the lightnings of Sheridan. Eleven 
years earlier his mighty predecessor Clive had gone to the grave, 
struck down by his own hand, the victim of the melancholia 
partly induced by the bitterness of the attacks made upon him. 
Those two, through good and evil report, had fought and won 
Britain's battle in India, and had established the ascendency 
which in course of time was to spread all over the peninsula the Pax 
Britannica perhaps the most astonishing political achievement 
the world has known since the establishment of the Pax Romana. 


Although the ministry of Lord North is condemned by pos- 
terity for its conspicuous failure in all the essentials of a capable 
North's and intelligent government ; although it was re- 

ministry, sponsible for destroying all prospect of a recon- 
ciliation between the mother country and her colonies ; although 
when it had gone to war, it transcended the records of all previous 
governments in its mismanagement of the military situation ; 
although in home affairs it achieved nothing but technical 
victories over opponents whose cause finally triumphed in their 
despite ; the fact remained that it was a strong government in 
the sense that it was irresistible in parliament, that its general 
policy commanded the approval of the electors, and that its 
majorities were unshaken at the general election of 1774 and 

Great Britain and Ireland 373 

even of 1780. The Opposition was in fact too much divided 
to agree upon a common ground of attack, apart from the 
entirely unpopular line of its antagonism to the government's 
American policy, until the crisis brought about by the Saratoga 
disaster which exposed the essential weakness of the adminis- 
tration. During those eight years therefore, parliamentary 
and domestic affairs in Great Britain call for no more detailed 
attention than they have already received. 

In Ireland, however, the revived political energy was increas- 
ingly active. Townshend in the last years of his administration 
had secured the power but not the popularity of 1772. 
the government by an utterly shameless use of Harcourt 
those methods of corruption which in England had 
transferred the control of the electorate from the Whigs to the 
Crown. Nevertheless when Lord Harcourt succeeded Townshend 
at the end of 1772 he found a powerful Opposition led in parlia- 
ment by Henry Flood, and resting upon what had begun to take 
the character of a national sentiment. No immediate cause of 
friction arose, but Harcourt soon found it advisable to recom- 
mend a measure calculated at once to relieve the severe financial 
strain and to conciliate Irish feeling. 

In Ireland there was no land tax ; the new scheme was that 
of imposing a tax of two shillings in the pound, not upon the 
whole of the land but upon that of absentee land- The Absentee 
lords. It has already been observed that vast Tax - 
estates in Ireland were owned by English magnates who never 
set foot in the island, but expended the revenue which they 
drew from it not in Ireland, but in England. The system of 
absenteeism was for obvious reasons extremely injurious ; a 
tax upon absentees was regarded upon all hands in Ireland as 
obviously just ; magnates who for their own convenience dis- 
regarded their responsibilities as Irish landowners might legiti- 
mately be required to provide compensation in cash. But 
its justice did not appeal to the absentees themselves. The 
proposal was strongly opposed by the Rockingham group in 
England, whose personal interests were largely involved, and 
by their foremost intellectual champion Edmund Burke. 

374 The King and Lord North 

According to the argument, it was unjust that the absentees 
should be penalised for giving the preference to their English 
The tax over their Irish estates, and for residing in the 

defeated. country where their greater interests lay. The 
tax would force them to reside in Ireland and to desert their 
public duties in England. It would emphasise the false doctrine 
that Ireland was separate from Great Britain, and would en- 
courage a war of retaliation much less injurious to Great Britain 
than to Ireland itself. It is extremely difficult to believe that 
any important section of the absentees would have elected to 
reside in Ireland instead of in England, in order to avoid paying 
the tax. It was to be imposed not as a penalty but as a legiti- 
mate method of obtaining compensation for injuries from which 
Ireland suffered, and would continue to suffer, under the absentee 
system. As for the ' false doctrine/ that Ireland was separate 
from England, the whole existing system of commercial regula- 
tion rested precisely upon that assumption, denied the identity 
of British and Irish interests, and subordinated the interests of 
Ireland to those of Great Britain. Chatham and his followers 
asserted the principle, which Burke himself applied to the 
American colonies, that it lay with Ireland to direct her own 
taxation. The position of the Rockinghams, however, appealed 
to the whole landed interest. It was obvious that the measure 
would meet with vehement resistance in England and would 
probably be rejected. Harcourt perceived that such an event 
would greatly aggravate the sentiment in Ireland which was so 
strongly opposed to British control ; disastrous results might 
follow if Ireland followed the line which was being followed in 
America. He endeavoured therefore, while publicly advocat- 
ing the measure on behalf of the Irish government, to procure 
a vote adverse to it in the Irish parliament. An impression 
was sedulously fostered that the absentee tax would soon be 
expanded into a general land tax. The resident landholders 
took alarm; and when a resolution in favour of the tax was 
introduced in parliament, and formally supported from the 
government benches, it was defeated. 

The failure of the absentee tax then involved no direct quarrel. 

Great Britain and Ireland 375 

The American crisis and its development into the War of 
Independence prohibited any such active opposition to the 
government as would have created an appearance Influence of 
of disloyalty. Flood himself accepted office. At the American 
the same time, the similarity of the Irish and the <* uarreL 
American grievances necessarily fostered in Ireland a widespread 
sympathy with the Americans, and made it more dangerous for 
the British government to turn a deaf ear to Irish complaints. 
When Flood joined the Irish government the leadership of the 
reforming party devolved upon the earl of Charlemont and 
Henry Grattan. 

At first, however, no practical advance was made towards 
removal of grievances. Agitation in Ireland was for the time 
directed rather to the demand for free trade. But 1778 
just as the landed interest in England had proved Commercial 
an insuperable barrier to the absentee tax, the re axa lons * 
mercantile interest in England offered a strenuous resistance 
to commercial concessions. In 1778, when North himself was 
disposed to go to considerable lengths for the sake of concilia- 
tion in view of the American situation, all that could be obtained 
was the inclusion of Ireland in the benefits of the Navigation 
Acts. In the same year, Grattan procured the catholic 
first relaxation in the penal code which weighed so relief, 
heavily upon his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen. The law 
which conveyed the inheritance of a Roman Catholic's estate 
to any one of his children who might elect to turn Protestant 
was repealed. It may be remarked, however, that the whole 
tendency for some time past both in Ireland and in England 
had been to connive at the evasion of laws whose original excuse 
had been the hypothesis that a Romanist might almost be 
presumed to be a Jacobite. W T hen Grattan's bill was passed 
in Ireland, an analogous measure was passed for England in the 
British parliament. 

The latter measure was a mild enough concession to the spirit 
of toleration; but when in the following year, 1779, it was 
proposed to extend it to Scotland, the extravagance of the 
' no popery ' sentiment in that country immediately made itself 

376 The King and Lord North 

felt so strongly that the measure was abandoned. Its defeat 
excited the bigoted Protestants of the southern country to 
1780. The demand its repeal for England. The crazy Lord 
Gordon Riots. George Gordon set himself at the head of the move- 
ment, a huge petition was signed, and in June 1780 Lord George 
marched to Westminster at the head of a great mob, which 
broke loose from all control, and held London in terror for 
three days while it sacked chapels, destroyed property, and 
finally broke into Newgate prison which was in part burnt 
down. The rioting was only suppressed when the king took 
upon his own shoulders the responsibility for ordering out the 

Both for England and for Ireland, the situation had been 
changed by the French declaration of war. From 1778 onwards, 
consoiida- Chatham being dead, the whole Opposition in 
tionoftne England was coming into line with the demand 
opposition. Qr concen t ra tion upon the French war, and the 
immediate recognition of American independence. It was 
recognised that policy was directed not by the king's ministers 
but by the king himself, whom the ministers obeyed often in 
direct opposition to their own judgment. Parliament was con- 
trolled by means of the corrupt system of distributing pensions 
and sinecure places at the public expense. That system had 
been satisfactory enough to the Whigs in the days when they 
themselves controlled it ; it was not so satisfactory when the 
control was in the hands of the king. Hence arose the cry for 
' economic reform/ the abolition of the abuses of expenditure, in 
respect of which a vigorous agitation was started in the country, 
1780 and which was embodied in Burke's bill for Economic 

Economic Reform, introduced in February 1780. Although 
in theory the bill commanded the assent cf the 
House, it was destroyed in committee because in its details it 
struck at too many personal interests. The Opposition were 
again divided upon the question of what ought to be done. 
Fox was demanding parliamentary reform, annual parliaments, 
and the addition of a hundred county members. Burke was 
opposed to any material change in the representation ; Richmond 

Great Britain and Ireland 377 

in the House of Lords took a line similar to that of Fox, but 
still more advanced. In the Commons, however, when John 
Dunning introduced his famous resolution, that ' the Dunning's 
influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, resolution, 
and ought to be diminished/ it was carried. King George gave 
his answer to the Dunning resolution by springing upon the 
country in September a general election, on which enormous 
sums were expended, and which kept the ministerial majority 
unimpaired. The election is otherwise noteworthy because 
William Pitt, Chatham's second son, who was now only in his 
twenty-second year, was one of the new members. Burke lost 
his seat for Bristol, but another was found for him by Rocking- 
ham at Malton. 

The general election confirmed the North administration in 
office. The disasters of 1781, however, capped by the surrender 
of Yorktown, proved fatal. North had been dis- 1732. 
credited by the issue of a large loan which, like Fall of North. 
Dashwood's loan in 1763, was so engineered that the lenders 
made out of it a profit little short of a million : of which one 
half was said to have gone to the pockets of supporters of the 
government in the House of Commons. The king struggled 
hard to persuade North to remain in office, for if North went 
a Whig ministry was inevitable ; and in preference to accepting 
the Rockinghams, George was all but prepared to retire to 
Hanover. But within six months of the fall of Yorktown the 
ministerial majorities had disappeared. The king was forced 
to accept North's resignation and the construction of a new 
ministry, which had Rockingham at its head, but included both 
wings of the Whig party, and notably Chatham's old supporter 
Lord Shelburne, on whose support George's own hopes were 
fixed. Pitt, though little more than a boy, declined any office 
of less than cabinet rank, and remained for the time outside the 
ministry, though he had vigorously denounced the war and 
associated himself with some of the more advanced Whig 

The second Rockingham administration came into power in 
March 1782. Three months had hardly passed when Rockingham 

378 The King and Lord North 

died, and George was able to make Shelburne prime minister. 
In the interval acute disagreements had arisen. Shelburne 

had an abnormal capacity for inspiring distrust; 
hams and he was looked upon by most of the Whigs as the 
Shelburne, king's representative in the cabinet, in association 

with the Chancellor Thurlow, the one member of 
the North administration who by George's express desire was 
admitted to the new ministry. Shelburne too did not see eye 
to eye with his colleagues on the question of acknowledging 
American independence ; though none even of the most ardent 
advocates of peace were ready to yield to the Bourbons, especi- 
ally after the news of Rodney's victories in April. Burke's 
new bill for economic reform abolished many abuses, but was 
less stringent than his former bill, owing to the attitude of 
Shelburne and Thurlow. Pitt proposed parliamentary reform 
as the true remedy for the evils under which the country was 
suffering, but his motion in spite of Fox's support was defeated. 
Of all the ministers Fox was the hottest in his antagonism to 
Shelburne. The quarrel between them was brought to a head 
because Shelburne was responsible for colonial and Fox for 
foreign affairs, so that one was conducting negotiations with 
the American commissioners in Paris, while the other was treat- 
ing with the French themselves an impossible position when 
neither of the two had the confidence of the other. When 
Rockingham died, Fox declined to serve under Shelburne. 
Burke, Sheridan, and other leading members of the party asso- 
ciated themselves with him, though only one other member of 
the cabinet resigned. Pitt, who had attached himself to Shel- 
burne, entered the cabinet as chancellor of exchequer. There 
were now three parties in the House, the ministerialists whose 
cohesion was extremely dubious, Fox's Whigs, and North's 
followers. But before Fox's resignation the Rockingham 
ministry had passed the Act which gave to Ireland the inde- 
pendent legislature which is known as Grattan's parliament. 

It has already been remarked that in Ireland as in England, 
the declaration of war by France changed the situation. Popular 
sympathy with the colonies was one thing, disloyalty in the 

Great Britain and Ireland 


face of a foreign foe was another. Troops had been with- 
drawn from Ireland for the American war ; there was pressing 
danger that France would select Ireland as an objec- 1778 
tive for invasion. Quite spontaneously a movement Ireland: the 
sprang up for the formation of a large volunteer vo11 
force ; it was zealously encouraged by men of all parties ; the 
lead was taken by Charlemont ; the Catholics, no less than the 
Protestants, although they were themselves debarred from 
carrying arms, were liberal in providing money. Emphatically 
the movement was loyalist ; but it was equally obvious that 
it might assume a very different aspect. Government viewed 
it with alarm, but to suppress it officially was out of the question. 
Moreover any such attempt would have aroused to the utmost 
the resentment of the entire population. 

In plain terms the fact that had to be recognised was this, 
that however successful the official government might be in 
controlling the parliamentary vote, Protestant 
Ireland was thoroughly bent upon its demands commercial 
for freedom of trade and legislative independence, and other 
T u r 4.1, r t, A concessions. 

Irish Catholics had no enective means ot expressing 

their opinions, and could not in any case resort to force ; the 
volunteer movement had unexpectedly placed in the hands of 
the Protestants a military force which, if it should be turned 
against the government at a moment when all its resources 
were needed for fighting the combination of the Americans and 
the Bourbons, would enable the Irish leaders to dictate their 
own terms. When the Dublin parliament met at the end of 
1779, Flood from the government benches joined with Grattan 
in demanding free trade and also the relief of Irish Protestant 
dissenters from the Test Act. The British government dared 
not maintain its resistance ; the test was withdrawn, and the 
commercial restrictions were almost entirely removed. 

The victory gave fresh confidence to the popular leaders ; 
while the viceroy Buckingham was aware that the strength of 
the government could only be maintained by the most profuse 
corruption. In April 1780, it became manifest that even in the 
Irish House of Commons the feeling in favour of independence 

380 The King and Lord North 

was almost unanimous, even though members might vote against 
their convictions. A sort of test question was provided by the 

1780. The introduction of the Mutiny Bill. As matters stood 
Irish Mutiny the British parliament had extended the Mutiny 
BlU> Act to Ireland on its own authority, in accord- 
ance with the Declaratory Act which had affirmed the power 
of the British parliament to legislate for Ireland. In Ireland 
the legality of that claim was repudiated; magistrates were 
prepared to act upon the doctrine that in Ireland no Mutiny 
Act whatever was in force. The introduction in the Irish 
parliament of an Irish Mutiny Bill created a dilemma. If 
the bill were rejected in England, the magistrates would act 
upon the doctrine that the military in Ireland were merely 
civilians, and it would be impossible to enforce military dis- 
cipline. If the bill were accepted in England that would be 
tantamount to acceptance of the Irish doctrine. The British 
government in fact evaded the dilemma by altering the Mutiny 
Bill, so as to make it perpetual instead of annual. It was no 
longer a mere substitution of an Act of the Irish parliament for 
an Act of the parliament at Westminster ; and beyond this, the 
Irish intention had been to gain for the Irish parliament the 
precise power which the English Mutiny Act had gained for 
the English parliament, of being able to threaten refusal of its 
renewal a power which vanished when the Act was made per- 
petual. Nevertheless the government succeeded in procuring a 
majority to pass the Act in Dublin. 

At the end of 1780 Lord Carlisle succeeded Buckingham as 
viceroy. In the course of 1781, the most serious fears were 

1781. Irish entertained of a French invasion in the south of 
loyalty. Ireland : the volunteers made a fresh and convinc- 
ing demonstration of their loyalty, many thousands of the men 
of the north enrolling themselves for the defence of the south. 
Broadly speaking, the foreign danger made strongly for loyalty, 
and thus practically strengthened the hands of the government. 
When at the end of the year the news arrived that Yorktown 
had fallen, the feeling that the government must be supported 
at all costs was so strong that some of the Opposition leaders 

Great Britain and Ireland 381 

suspended their intended demand for independence, in order to 
give their loyal addresses the utmost possible force. Grattan 
himself would have joined the demand for redress of grievances 
to the expression of loyalty, but the majority against him was 
overwhelming, arid was not one which had been artificially 

Nevertheless, the case for the Nationalists was emphatically 
strengthened by the loyalty they had displayed, and outside 
of parliament there was no inclination to relax the 
energy of the demand for legislative independence, volunteers 
If the Americans had already practically assured at Dun - 
their independence by fighting for it, there was 
the more reason why the Irish should receive the measure of 
independence which they demanded without any diminution 
of loyalty. In February 1782, there was a great gathering of 
the representatives of Ulster volunteers at Dungannon. The 
volunteers it must be remembered were all Protestants with 
an interest in the maintenance of the Protestant ascendency, 
but Grattan had especially associated himself with the cause of 
justice to the Catholics. The meeting at Dungannon affirmed 
the principles of legislative independence and of limiting the 
Mutiny Bill ; to these demands it added another for the relaxa- 
tion of the Penal Code, at the instance of Grattan ; and beyond 
this it took significant measures for perfecting the volunteer 
organisation. Several volunteer meetings in other parts of the 
country endorsed the proceedings of the volunteers of Ulster. 

The moment was propitious. A month after the meeting at 
Dungannon North's ministry had fallen. The Rockinghams 
had all along been committed to the main constitu- Grattan's 
tional principles upon which the Irish demand was parliament 
based. The claim for legislative independence was ' 
conceded. By the repeal of the Declaratory Act the parliament 
of Great Britain surrendered its claim to legislate independently 
for Ireland. The legislative control both of the Irish and of the 
British Privy Councils was abolished. The Mutiny Act was 
limited to two years. Until the Legislative Union of 1800, 
Grattan's parliament ruled in Ireland with unrestricted legis- 

382 The King and Lord North 

lative powers. The British Acts of 1782 which gave this inde- 
pendence were confirmed in 1783 by a further Renunciatory Act, 
demanded by Flood and others in opposition to Grattan, which 
expressly resigned the claim of the British parliament to legis- 
late for Ireland ; since Flood argued that the simple repeal of 
the Declaratory Act did not amount to a positive repudiation 
of the principle. 

The last stage of the war, the relief of Gibraltar, the negotia- 
tions which arranged the peace preliminaries, on the one hand, 
with the Americans, and on the other with France 
July 1782-' and Spain, belonged to the period of Shelburne's 
February, ministry. But though Shelburne enjoyed the king's 
confidence, the government was not strong in parlia- 
ment. It was attacked on the one side by Fox and his associates, 
and on the other by North's followers. It was evident that some 
reconstruction would be necessary, and it was generally antici- 
pated that either Shelburne would discard his colleagues of what 
had been the Rockingham group, and would coalesce with North, 
or that he himself would be forced to retire, and the Fox party 
would return to power in association with the Rockinghams. 
What actually happened was that Fox and North coalesced. It 
was an amazing combination. For years North had ruled 
simply as the king's instrument ; Fox was distinguished by his 
pre-eminent hostility to the royal power. North was a Tory, 
Fox was the most democratic of prominent statesmen. Yet the 
two united to shatter the Shelburne administration, and when 
Shelburne's continuation in office proved finally impossible in 
February 1783, they were able to force the famous coalition 
ministry upon the extremely reluctant monarch. Pitt and 
Richmond went into opposition along with Shelburne, flatly 
refusing to have anything to do with North ; while a figurehead 
was found for the coalition in the person of the duke of Portland. 

It was Fox's very definite intention to put an end to govern- 
ment by the king ; but the nature of the extraordinary coalition 
1783. The which had been formed, and which shared no 
coalition. common political principles, practically prohibited 
the carrying out of any definite programme. Though Shelburne 

Great Britain and Ireland 383 

had been overthrown by the carrying of a vote of censure on the 
terms of the peace, his supplanters made the definitive peace in 
September upon practically identical terms. In the House of 
Commons ministers commanded an overwhelming majority ; 
yet the fact that their union was incomplete was shown when a 
new parliamentary reform bill was introduced by Pitt, and was 
defeated in spite of the support given to it by Fox. But the two 
groups were in solid union when Fox in the autumn introduced 
a new bill for the government of India, a question which recent 
events had forced into a foremost place. 

During the second Rockingham ministry parliament was 
already turning its attention to the Indian question, and passed 
resolutions for the recall of Warren Hastings. The Need of an 
directors would have acted upon the resolutions, India Act. 
but the court of proprietors was loyal to the governor-general, 
and its decision was final. There was no one in England capable 
of presenting the case for Hastings, who was generally condemned 
by public opinion, since his enemies were both active and able. 
When the coalition ministry was formed in 1783, Henry Dundas, 
who had held office under North but was now allying himself 
with Pitt, introduced an India Bill, of which the primary object 
was to confer very greatly increased powers upon the governor- 
general, but to give that office to some nobleman whose estab- 
lished prestige would make his position a very different one from 
that of a servant of the company personally unknown in England. 
The government, however, promised a bill of their own in the 
autumn, and that of Dundas was withdrawn. The proposals of 
Fox, prepared largely in consultation with Burke, took the form 
of two bills which were introduced in November. 

The scheme recognised the national responsibility for the 
dominion in India. It vested the control in a board of seven 
commissioners, nominated by parliament to hold Fox , a Indla 
office for four years. If vacancies occurred during BUI, 
that time they were to be filled up by the Crown. : 
At the end of the four years a new Board of Commissioners was 
to be appointed by the Crown. A subordinate board, nominated 
by parliament from the larger proprietors, was to direct com- 

384 The King and Lord North 

mercial affairs ; vacancies in this board were to be filled up by 
the proprietors. All patronage was to be vested in the supreme 
board, and the bill further proposed to abolish presents and 
monopolies, and to lay down sundry administrative regulations. 
As an administrative scheme, the serious defect of the bills was 
probably to be found in their failure to recognise the necessity 
for leaving an adequate latitude of action to the governor-general 
in India ; but in England a different line of attack was followed. 

The directors in the first place found themselves completely 
shelved, and raised an indignant outcry against the breach of 
opposition their charter. If this bill should become law no 
to the bill. chartered company could from thenceforth feel 
secure in its privileges. The antagonism of the entire com- 
mercial community was roused. The Crown and the political 
Opposition allied themselves with the commercial opposition, 
but also had their own grounds for attacking the bills. Unwisely 
the seven commissioners nominated in the bills were all members 
of Fox's party. For four years the whole of the valuable Indian 
patronage would be a party perquisite ; it would be used, it was 
argued, to secure the unqualified support of the ' nabobs ' ; the 
unqualified support of the nabobs would secure to the party 
the complete control of the electoral machine ; the whole thing 
was in fact a plan devised in order to establish ministers per- 
manently in power. As long as ministers were in power they 
would have the appointments to the Board in their own hands 
and would utilise it as a party instrument ; and as long as it 
could be utilised as a party instrument it would secure to the 
ministers their parliamentary majority. 

In the House of Commons the bills were carried by over- 
whelming majorities ; outside of parliament the feeling was 

strongly hostile, owing to the alarm of the corn- 
Defeat and 
dismissal mercial community and the effect of the arguments 

of the Opposition. The attitude of the Lords was 

doubtful, and in the circumstances the king adopted 

the extremely unconstitutional course of influencing the vote of 

the Lords by making it known that he would treat every vote 

cast for the bill as an act of hostility to himself. The proper 

Great Britain and Ireland 385 

constitutional course for the king at that time would certainly 
have been to dismiss his ministers, appeal to the country, 
and abide by the country's decision. By the course which he 
did actually adopt George procured instead the defeat of the 
obnoxious bills in the House of Lords. Then in turn the wise 
and constitutional course of ministers would have been to insist 
upon a dissolution and to appeal to the country against the 
dangerously unconstitutional action of the Crown. What 
actually happened was that within twenty-four hours of the 
defeat of the bill George dismissed his ministers, and invited 
Pitt, who was not yet five-and-twenty, to form an administration. 

Pitt, with a self-confidence which was superb because it was 
justified by the event, though at the moment it appeared pre- 
posterous, accepted the task. His cabinet con- pitt takea 
sisted, besides himself, entirely of peers ; signifi- office, 
cantly enough he would not offer a place in it to Deceml)er ' 
Lord Shelburne. He himself stood alone in the Commons. The 
ejected ministers scoffed. They reckoned that with their great 
majority they could paralyse the new government and force Pitt 
to resign, whereupon George would be obliged to reinstate them. 
They would not demand an appeal to the country ; which caused 
the country to believe that they expected to be defeated at the 
polls, and made that event all the more probable. Pitt fought 
his battle with amazing coolness and skill. Fox ought to have 
made the issue turn upon the Crown's unconstitutional use of 
influence ; Pitt made it to turn upon the ministers' unconstitu- 
tional claim to force themselves upon the Crown. Fox ought 
to have posed as the champion of constitutionalism ; had he 
done so his case would have been a very powerful one. He 
threw it away, and by enabling Pitt to adopt that role himself 
made his adversary's case very much the stronger. Pitt was not 
ready for an immediate dissolution ; he wanted time to bring 
home to the electors the nature of the struggle, and to win their 

For three months, from igth December 1783 to 25th March 
1784, the spectacle of the young minister fighting single-handed 
against all the most experienced and brilliant orators and debaters 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. HI. 2 B 

386 The King and Lord North 

of the day appealed to the sporting instinct of the public ; the 
Opposition majorities dwindled ; outside parliament the tide set 
1784. Pitt's steadily in favour of Chatham's son. When Pitt 
triumph. fad dissolve, the Opposition lost a hundred and 
sixty seats, and Pitt was returned to power with the biggest 
majority on record at his back. 


I. AT HOME, 1784-1792 

AT the end of the tenth year after the death of George n. it 
appeared that his grandson had emerged as decisively the victor 
in the struggle which he had been waging to restore The Crown's 
the supremacy of the Crown in the body politic, domination. 
George m. had made himself the master of parliament, which 
obeyed his behests for the next twelve years a record without 
any precedent since the accession of the house of Stuart. He 
had won his victory by capturing the control of the electoral 
machinery through the purchase, by one means or another, of the 
bulk of the influences inside and outside of parliament which 
were open to corruption. Thus after the tenth year he had been 
able to rule through a group of ministers whose political insight 
was singularly defective, but who were by no means devoid of 
parliamentary talents, while they were unanimous in their sub- 
serviency to the Crown. Behind all this, however, lay the vital 
fact that public opinion in the country was blind enough to 
endorse the royal policy. 

The actual truth was that no government could stand for long 
unless it had a substantial mass of public opinion at its back. 
Public opinion had forced the elder Pitt upon Suprem acy 
George n. in spite of all the corrupt influences that of public 
could be brought to bear. During the first ten P inion - 
years of George m.'s reign, public opinion had never been 
sufficiently pronounced to control the fate of ministries ; during 
the next ten years it was definitely on the king's side ; so that 
after the dissolution in 1780 the king's supporters retained their 
solid majority. When during the next year it turned definitely 
against the ministerial policy, the king was reluctantly com- 


388 The Years of Peace 

pelled, in March 1782, to accept the resignation which North 
pressed upon him. The fall of North's ministry proved that it 
was impossible for the king to retain permanent control of the 
government in defiance of public opinion, in spite of all the 
illegitimate machinery at his disposal, just as the fall of New- 
castle's ministry in 1766 had demonstrated the same truth with 
regard to the Whig connection. The lesson was emphasised by 
the general election of 1784. Public opinion was determined to 
sweep away the coalition and was strongly disposed to take the 
risk of placing its confidence in the younger Pitt, who found 
himself in the new House of Commons with a majority of more 
than a hundred and sixty behind him. The Opposition was 
shattered to pieces. 

It was the confidence inspired by Pitt during the first three 
months of 1784 which brought about the debacle. The king 
King George, na( ^ defeated his enemies, but it was to Pitt that he 
Pitt, and the owed the decisive character of the victory. There 
public. was ^ o k e no return to the conditions of 1770. 

George himself knew that he had found in his young minister 
not a servant but an ally ; one who would not be coerced into a 
policy of which he disapproved ; one who also, like his father 
before him, sought to establish a government ' broad-based 
upon the people's will/ not upon the successful employment of 
corruption. The only alternative to the alliance was the return 
to power of a body of politicians in whose creed hostility to royal 
influence was a fundamental article. For his ally, subserviency 
to the Crown was in no sense an article of faith as it had been 
with North and the King's Friends ; nor would he be persuaded 
to subserviency for the sake of remaining in office. For office for 
its own sake, and the emoluments appertaining to it, Pitt cared 
as little as his father, though he was intensely ambitious of 
power. The king's dream of an autocracy carried on through 
parliamentary forms was dissipated. Pitt, not the king, was 
the real master of the situation. If the two had not remained 
in substantial accord, George would have been driven back to 
the old position of struggling to buy a predominant parliamentary 
party of his own. If they had not been in substantial accord 

At Home 389 

with the country, the ministry would again have been broken 
up. But on the main points, the king, the minister, and public 
opinion remained in general agreement, and Pitt with one brief 
interval remained at the head of the government until the day 
of his death. 

Pitt, however, was a statesman of a very different type from 
Chatham. In certain respects he was more nearly akin to 
Walpole. If in some ways he was autocratic, yet character- 
among his political aims there were many which he istics of pitt - 
placed in the category of adiaphora, things indifferent, desirable 
in themselves, but not fundamental. The modern practice 
which requires the acceptance by a majority in the House of 
Commons of every measure introduced by ministers was still in 
the remote future. Adverse votes, even on questions which might 
have been regarded as of first-rate importance, were not regarded 
as involving resignation. Pitt would have been more than 
astonished by the suggestion that the career of a ministry ought 
to be terminated by a snap vote procured by a cleverly engineered 
surprise. He did not consider that he was called upon to resign 
because measures which he advocated were defeated, except 
where he considered himself definitely pledged (as in the case of 
Catholic Emancipation for Ireland in 1801), so long as the broad 
lines of his policy commanded the general approval of the House 
and the country. What he did require as a condition of his 
partnership with the king was, that George should not use 
the royal influence against his own measures. To a straight- 
forward defeat by straightforward opposition, he adopted the 
same attitude as Walpole, when that minister found that he 
could only carry the Excise Bill in the teeth of popular feeling. 
He let the question drop. 

The nine years which passed between the beginning of 1784 
and the beginning of 1793 occupy a rather curious position in 
our history ; curious because they seemed to be The Pitt 
preparing for developments which were suddenly paradox, 
thwarted by the catastrophe of the war with France, and of 
which the resumption was postponed until a time when all the 
conditions had been completely changed. During those years 

39 The Years of Peace 

Pitt's policy was on the lines of what came in the nineteenth 
century to be called Liberalism. As Locke had provided the 
Revolution Whigs with a text-book of constitutional theory, so 
Adam Smith had just provided a new text-book of economic 
theory, which was already threatening the ascendency of the 
old mercantile doctrine, the doctrine to which orthodox Whigs 
had been as closely attached as to the principles of the Revolu- 
tion. Pitt was the disciple of Adam Smith, and was zealously 
engaged in translating the theory into practice, until all the 
normal economic conditions were turned completely upside 
down by a war which paralysed the operations of commerce : 
he had been in his grave for more than a dozen years before 
Huskisson again began to follow upon the same paths. Pitt 
began his public life as a parliamentary reformer. In this course 
he was checked at the outset ; but he would assuredly have 
resumed the role if the French Revolution and its consequences 
had not inspired nearly all the educated elements of society 
with the conviction that any encroachments upon privileges, 
any concession of power to the unenfranchised elements, would 
mean red ruin and the breaking-up of laws. Not till more than 
twenty years after his death did parliamentary reform again come 
within the range of practical politics. Pitt had begun his career 
as an advocate of peace ; he was fated to guide the destinies of 
the country during the most tremendous war in which she had 
ever been engaged. Of all the projects with which he associated 
himself in the years when he was a peace minister, only one 
made continued progress, unchecked by the French war. In 
the year after his death, British participation in the slave-trade 
was abolished. 

The political aspects of the nine years now coming under review 
fall under three heads which can most conveniently be treated 
1784-93. in separate sections domestic affairs, the affairs of 

greater Britain, and foreign relations. Domestic affairs again 
fall into two divisions, the first general, the second financial or 
commercial, which again we shall find it convenient to treat 
consecutively in separate sections. Postponing therefore the con- 
sideration of Pitt's finance, we proceed now to the general record. 

At Home 391 

Apart then from the financial reorganisation necessitated by 
the late war and by ministerial incompetence, the main business 
of the session of the new parliament in 1784 was 
the passing of a new India Bill, shaped by Pitt and affairs, the 
his lieutenant Henry Dundas, to take the place of Westminster 
the measure which had brought the coalition to 
ruin. In spite of the opposition of Fox and Burke, Pitt's bill 
was passed with huge majorities. The details, however, belong 
to our Indian section. Another matter which occupied much 
public attention was the affair of the Westminster election. 
There had been two government candidates for the two seats 
in the constituency, but Fox, standing as an Opposition candi- 
date, had achieved the second place in the polling. A scrutiny 
was granted by the high bailiff. Weeks and months passed, the 
scrutiny was still incomplete, and Fox could not take his seat 
for Westminster, though he could appear in the House as member 
for another constituency which had returned him. When Fox 
petitioned for an order to the high bailiff to make the return, 
Pitt was ill-advised enough to oppose. He persisted in main- 
taining that attitude until March 1785. The general opinion 
had decided long before that such treatment of a political oppo- 
nent who had already been badly beaten was unwarrantably 
spiteful ; the House refused to obey Pitt any longer and gave the 
desired order, the majority against the prime minister being 
just short of forty. 

From the time of this parliament, the practice of beginning 
the winter session in the last months of the year, hitherto cus- 
tomary, was discontinued, and it became the rule 
that the new session should begin after the New parliament- 
Year. In 1785, Pitt for the last time came forward ary reform 
as the advocate of parliamentary reform. It was 
a subject with which Chatham had almost certainly intended to 
deal when he entered upon his last administration. In 1770 he 
had been defeated in his advocacy of a measure for largely in- 
creasing the representation of the counties, when he had warned 
the House that if it did not itself soon take in hand the reform 
of representation it would be ' reformed with a vengeance ' from 

39 2 The Years of Peace 

outside. Yet the subject had again fallen into the background. 
There was no real popular outcry except in such moments of 
excitement as that engendered by the Wilkes agitation. The 
Commons generally were hostile to the movement, because there 
were too many members who owed their seats to the owners 
of pocket boroughs, or to judicious methods of corruption, for a 
majority to be willing to be forced to fight for their seats. The 
magnates who controlled pocket boroughs did not want reform. 
Such constitutionalists as Burke were afraid that any change 
would destroy what they regarded as the legitimate preponder- 
ance of the landed interest ; they had confined themselves to the 
advocacy of what was called Economic Reform, the abolition 
of illegitimate methods of controlling votes. When the Rock- 
ingham ministry was formed, Pitt had moved a resolution in 
favour of parliamentary reform, which was defeated, although 
supported by Fox. When the coalition was in power he had 
again raised the question only to be defeated once more. He 
now proposed that a number of decaying boroughs should be 
disfranchised but should receive compensation, and that other 
decaying boroughs should have the option, if they fell below a 
certain standard, of surrendering their claim in return for com- 
pensation. It was estimated that by this means about a hundred 
representatives could be given to populous towns which were 
at present unrepresented, to the counties, and to London and 
Westminster, whose population entitled them to an increase in 
the number of their members. The franchise was to be extended 
to copyholders and householders. Fox, however, though an 
advocate of parliamentary reform, refused to support the bill, 
because he objected to the principle of buying out the rotten 
boroughs a principle which Pitt himself disliked, and had in- 
troduced chiefly as a means to removing opposition to the bill, 
which was duly defeated by a majority of seventy-four. The 
question excited so small a degree of popular interest that 
neither Birmingham nor Manchester, towns which were without 
representatives, were moved to petition in favour of the bill. 

The same question was agitated in Ireland. In that country 
it was complicated by the proposal of the eccentric bishop of 

At Home 393 

Derry for the extension of the franchise to Roman Catholics, a 

plan which was approved by Grattan, though it did not find 

general favour among the Protestants. The real 

uses of the volunteer movement had disappeared; pariiament- 

the danger that it might be employed improperly ary reform 

for political purposes was emphasised by the demand 

of the bishop and of Flood, that a volunteer convention should 

be held in Dublin to formulate their demand in a manner which 

should impress the Dublin parliament. Charlemont did his 

best to ensure the predominance of the moderate element in 

the Convention. 

But the whole proceeding was a serious blunder. The Irish 
House of Commons had precisely the same reasons as the British 
House of Commons for objecting to reform itself, and in a still 
greater degree. The appearance of Flood and some other 
members on the floor of the House in their volunteer uniform 
was a challenge which could not fail to be taken up. Flood 
presented his bill, which was promptly rejected, and was again 
defeated when brought in for the second time in March 1784. 
Parliamentary reform vanished from the field of practical 
politics for more than forty years. 

Pitt's defeat in 1785 on the question of parliamentary reform 
was followed in the same year by a second rebuff, this time in 
relation to Ireland. In that country the fight for Irish 
independence, though it had actually been conducted relations, 
with a loyalty and sobriety somewhat remarkable in view of the 
American example, had inevitably given encouragement to the 
more disorderly and disaffected elements. The independence 
of the legislature did not counteract this tendency, as was shown 
by the proceedings in 1783 which have just been described. 
The relations created by the establishment of Grattan's parlia- 
ment were by no means satisfactory, because in some respects 
too much and in others too little had been conceded. On the 
one hand, the Irish Executive continued to be appointed by and 
responsible to the Crown under the advice of English ministers, 
instead of being responsible to the Irish legislature. On the 
other hand, legislative independence was accompanied by fiscal 

394 The Years of Peace 

independence. Just as England and Scotland before the Union 
of 1707 found their commercial interests clashing, very much to 
the detriment of the poorer country, so now there was nothing 
to prevent the parliaments of Great Britain and of Ireland from 
passing mutually hostile commercial legislation. The mere 
fact that it would have been extremely unwise of Ireland to 
establish tariffs or bounties detrimental to English commerce 
was no security against the thing being done ; nor was there 
any security that Great Britain would not now treat Ireland as 
England had treated Scotland before the Union. Ireland, in 
fact, had been delivered only from the grievance of legislative 
control ; the persistence of executive control and the risk of 
fiscal friction still left to her inducements to press for such a 
complete severance as America had achieved, and as Scotland 
had only been prevented from claiming by the Union of 1707. 
The Viceroy Rutland was already of opinion that an incorpor- 
ating union was the only alternative to complete separation 
within a short time. 

In Pitt's view, the fiscal relations were the most serious diffi- 
culty, as they had been the most serious difficulty with Scotland 

1785 Pitt's at t ^ ie k e mnm g * tne cen tury. The commercial 
proposed concessions made by Lord North had removed 
commercial ma ny restrictions imposed by the British parlia- 
ment upon Irish trade, but had not established free 
trade between the two islands. There were still prohibitive tariffs 
against the import of Irish manufactures, though the embargoes 
upon Irish exports to and imports from the colonies and foreign 
countries had been removed. Pitt proposed not an incorporat- 
ing union, but a perpetual treaty of commerce establishing 
complete free trade between the two countries. Whether or 
not the commerce of Great Britain would be benefited by such 
an arrangement, the benefit to Irish commerce would certainly 
be immense. It was right, therefore, that Ireland should pay 
a reasonable price. The American analogy suggested what 
that price ought to be. Now that Great Britain had resigned 
all fiscal control over Ireland, the same difficulty might arise 
with Ireland as had arisen with the colonies ; there was no means 

At Home 


of compelling Ireland to make her fair contribution to the naval 
defence of the Empire. The price, then, was to be the payment 
by Ireland of a fixed contribution, which was to be appropriated 
specifically to imperial defence by the imperial government. 
This fixed contribution was to be drawn from the anticipated 
increase in the hereditary revenue of the Crown, derived from 
customs and excise, so that it would be directly proportioned 
to the development of Irish commerce, which it was the primary 
object of the proposed treaty to procure. 

It was expected that there would be considerable opposi- 
tion in Ireland to the proposal upon two grounds : one that the 
contribution to the imperial revenue had too Reception of 
much of the appearance of a tribute, the other, the measure, 
that Irish manufacturers would be prevented from protecting 
their industries from the irresistible competition of Great Britain 
by the imposition of duties. The proposals were, however, 
carried in the Irish parliament with a modification stipulating 
that the contribution to the navy should only be such surplus 
of the hereditary revenues, in time of peace, as remained when 
Irish expenditure had been met out of revenue. In England, 
however, resolutions in favour of the proposals were no sooner 
introduced than the British commercial interests both in England 
and in Scotland were up in arms, declaring that Free Trade with 
Ireland would ruin British commerce because of the comparative 
cheapness of Irish labour. 

It was evident that Pitt's proposal would never be carried. 
After three months' interval a fresh set of resolutions was intro- 
duced by Pitt, intended to conciliate the British 1785 
opposition. In effect the Irish parliament was to Alteration 
be compelled to adopt all legislation for the regula- and re J ecti<m - 
tion of trade which might be enacted by the parliament of Great 
Britain, while sundry limitations were attached to the importa- 
tion of goods to Ireland, and the exportation of Irish goods to 
British colonies, though in other respects British trade regula- 
tions were not to differentiate between the two countries. Fox 
denounced the new proposals as being the purchase of Irish 
slavery at the price of English commerce. Pitt nevertheless 

396 The Years of Peace 

succeeded in carrying his resolution. But the change trans- 
formed the Irish acceptance of the former proposals into pas- 
sionate hostility. Grattan was not prepared to purchase com- 
mercial concessions at the cost of the newly- won fiscal freedom. 
Since Pitt's primary object had been the conciliation of Ireland, 
it was obviously useless to go on with the scheme, even if the 
government had been strong enough to carry it in the face of 
bitter opposition ; and the whole proposal was withdrawn. 

The leading features of the two following years, 1786 and 1787, 
were the establishment of Pitt's Sinking Fund, the initiation 
1786-87. of the impeachment of Warren Hastings, and the 

commercial treaty with France, all of which will be dealt with 
elsewhere. The year 1787 is also noteworthy as the first in 
which the evils of the slave-trade were mooted in parliament, 
and a committee of inquiry was appointed to the great indig- 
nation of that portion of the commercial community which was 
interested in the traffic. 

In 1788 occurred an incident which for a time seemed likely 
to bring about the fall of Pitt. The king's brain gave way and 
1788 he became temporarily insane. It was doubtful 

The Prince whether he would live, and whether, if he lived, he 
of Wales. would recover his sanity. Arrangements for a 
regency became an imperative necessity. The Prince of Wales, 
following the precedent of his grandfather and great-grand- 
father, was on very ill terms with the king. He had long been 
ostentatious in his alliance with Fox. His private life was as 
conspicuous for indecency and debauchery as was his father's 
for its extreme propriety. He had married secretly a Roman 
Catholic lady, of unimpeachable virtue, a Mrs. Fitzherbert, yet 
he had instructed Fox, who acted in perfect good faith, to give 
the rumour an unqualified contradiction. His extravagances 
had already compelled him to obtain from parliament a grant 
of 160,000 for the payment of his debts. Yet there could be 
no doubt that, according to constitutional practice, the heir to 
the throne being of age must be the regent. It was no less 
certain, that as soon as he should be regent, the ministry would 
be dismissed, while it was probable that Fox would be joined 

At Home 397 

by a sufficient number of Pitt's nominal following to carry on 
the government. The royal favour was still a material element 
in the distribution of parties. 

There was a chance, however, that the king's illness might 
after all be brief. Pitt claimed that, while the Prince of Wales 
was the proper person to appoint as regent, it was The 
necessary that the appointment should be made Regency Bill, 
by parliament, and accompanied by express limitations to his 
powers, which might otherwise be so exercised as to embarrass 
the government seriously if and when the king should recover. 
Fox was rash enough to assert that the prince had an indefeasible 
right to the regency. But if he had a right to it, it followed 
that parliament had no right to limit his powers without his 
own consent, just as it could not restrict the royal prerogative 
without the consent of the Crown. Fox, a terribly bad tactician, 
enabled Pitt to assume the role of the champion of the rights of 
parliament and to denounce the most advanced of Whigs as the 
champion of the prince's prerogative. The House of Commons 
supported Pitt. Fox spoke as if a change of ministry were an 
assured matter, and Pitt's desire to limit the powers of the 
regency were intended merely to embarrass his successors. But 
a further question was involved for which no precedents could 
be adduced. An Act of Parliament required the royal assent, 
and the king could not give his assent, being incapacitated. 
Pitt proposed that a commission should be appointed with 
authority to affix the Great Seal to the bills. The proposal was 
carried in both Houses. The limitations proposed placed the 
charge of the king in the hands of the queen, and forbade the 
regent to make peers, or to bestow any offices or pensions except 
during the royal pleasure that is, if the king recovered, he 
could cancel any offices or pensions bestowed in the interval. 
These restrictions, however, were to be made in the expecta- 
tion of the king's early recovery, and in the contrary event 
were to be subject to revision. 

The king's breakdown had occurred on 5th November 1788 ; 
the terms of the regency were accepted by the prince at the end 
of January. The Regency Bill was formally introduced early 

398 The Years of Peace 

in February, was passed by the Commons, and had reached an 
advanced stage in the House of Lords, when it was announced, 
1789. Fate on igth February, that the king was convalescent. 
of tne BUi. The proceedings were suspended, and three weeks 
later George was able to announce that his health was restored. 
The crisis had passed. Its effect was to establish relations much 
warmer than heretofore between the king and Pitt. The whole 
episode had a somewhat absurd epilogue ; for the Irish parlia- 
ment, anxious to emphasise its own independence, sent over an ad- 
dress inviting the prince to assume the regency without imposing 
any limitations. But when the commissioners with the address 
arrived, they were too late, for the king had already recovered. 

With the assembly of the States-General in May the curtain 
rose upon the terrific drama of the French Revolution. On 
1789-92. I4th July, the Bastille fell, and from that time 

interest concentrates upon the events in France, until the 
declaration of war in February 1793. During those years the 
domestic events of interest were few. A general election in 1790 
confirmed Pitt's majority. In 1791 some relief from annoying 
disabilities was extended to Roman Catholics. From 1791 
onwards a persistent campaign was carried on against the slave- 
trade, but though Pitt supported the agitation he declined to 
make Abolition a government measure. In 1792, Fox at last 
procured an Act of Parliament which definitely gave to juries 
the right of deciding on libels which twenty years before Lord 
Mansfield had declared to belong to the judges. After 1792 
there was an end to all legislation except such as was of a 
reactionary and repressive character. 

II. PITT'S FINANCE, 1784-1792 

We turn now to Pitt's financial record, the policy which, aided 
by the industrial revolution which was now in progress, enabled 
Pitt's the country to recover from its exhaustion at the 

finance. en( j o f the last war so completely that in a still more 

exhausting war Pitt became the paymaster of Europe As we 
have already noted, the publication of Adam Smith's Wealth of 

Pitfs Finance 399 

Nations in 1776 provided him with a new text-book of economic 
principles which had been in some respects foreshadowed by 
Walpole, though only in that minister's own carefully veiled 
fashion ; for Walpole had been the last man to avow principles 
the enunciation of which would have stirred commercial ortho- 
doxy to its depths. Commercial orthodoxy regarded the mercan- 
tile theory as axiomatic ; and Walpole would never A dam smith 
have dreamed of calling the theory in question, andmer- 
According to that doctrine, we may remind our- cantUlsm ' 
selves, it is the business of the State so to regulate trade as to 
direct it into the channels which increase the strength of the 
country. The strength of the country is increased by a trade 
which exchanges goods for treasure, and diminished by a trade 
which exchanges treasure for goods. The strength of the country 
is also increased by making it self-supporting, independent of 
supplies from foreign countries ; by the development of indus- 
tries which provide health-giving employment ; and, in the case 
of an island like Great Britain, by the expansion of its marine 
so as to provide it with the most valuable material in time of 
war. Conversely the country is weakened by a commerce which 
tends to increase the strength of rivals by giving them treasure 
for goods, encouraging in them the development of healthy indus- 
tries, independence of external supplies, and an expanding marine. 
From these premisses it followed that it was desirable to obtain 
a market for our own products, and to shut out from our own 
markets those products of foreign countries which it was able to 
produce for itself, of foreign countries which did not in return 
open to us a still better market for our own goods, of foreign 
countries such as France with which we were liable to be at war, 
while the commerce with them would help them to accumulate 
the resources which are the sinews of war. From this theory 
also had sprung the Navigation Acts, on the hypothesis that 
they would expand the shipping of England and contract the 
shipping of Holland. A natural accompaniment of the theory, 
though not a necessary conclusion from it, was the normal belief 
that a heavy taxation of imports was at once desirable 
mercially and productive of revenue. 

400 The Years of Peace 

This last proposition was not bound up with the mercantile 
theory. Walpole had seen the fallacy, and had enlarged the 
The Walpole revenue by the reduction of tariffs which increased 
precedents. m greater proportion the amount of the goods upon 
which the duties were paid ; while it also increased corre- 
spondingly the market for British goods. But Walpole him- 
self did not venture to touch duties upon goods which entered 
into competition with British products, and no one was more 
strenuous than Walpole in his denunciation of the proposed 
commercial treaty of the Tories with France in 1713 ; a treaty 
which was held up to execration partly as an abrogation of the 
popular Methuen Treaty with Portugal, and still more because 
it was believed that in the balance more goods and less treasure 
would come from France into England than would go from 
England into France. 

The new doctrines of Adam Smith cut at the root of the whole 
mercantile theory. According to this view the exchange of goods 
The new for treasure over the whole field would adjust itself 
view. automatically. If money went out of the country, 

ipso facto a demand for money would be created. Money prices 
would fall and British goods would be cheapened. Being 
cheapened, the demand for them in foreign markets would 
increase, and money would come back to England in exchange 
for the increased export. Treasure in fact was not essentially 
distinguishable from any other kind of goods ; that it appeared 
to be so was merely the fictitious result of its being employed as 
the standard and medium of exchange. To regulate trade at all 
was an error ; it should not be forced into channels directly 
productive of strength unless under certain exceptional circum- 
stances ; because if left to itself it would follow the channels 
most productive of material wealth to the individual trader, and 
therefore to the aggregate of traders ; and for practical purposes 
material wealth would be converted into actual strength, accumu- 
lated wealth in general, not treasure in particular, being the 
sinews of war. The prosperity of other countries was not to 
be deprecated; the more they prospered the better would be 
the markets open to us, and our own prosperity would be pro- 

Finance 401 

portionately greater. All taxation was a restriction upon 
trade, and therefore an evil checking the production of wealth ; 
an evil necessary indeed for the provision of revenue, but in 
general admissible only for that particular end. These were 
the general principles of the new doctrine, though exceptions 
to the general rules were recognised. 

A general and immediate acceptance of a body of views 
contravening the established doctrine and practice of centuries 
was not to be looked for. The commercial world still had a 
whole-hearted belief in protection, and a sincere terror of com- 
petition ; as was shown clearly enough when Pitt, with larger 
ideas in his mind, endeavoured to establish freedom of trade 
with Ireland. The mercantile community then forgot that its 
prosperity had been in no degree diminished by the concession 
of Free Trade to Scotland. The idea that healthy competition 
may stimulate industry rather than retard it was not immediately 
acceptable, and hardly became so until the industrial develop- 
ments in the ensuing half century had given to Great Britain in 
addition to her commercial ascendency an even more unqualified 
manufacturing supremacy. When Great Britain had become 
the workshop of the world her manufacturers ceased to fear 
foreign competition, and became enthusiastic free-traders, though 
the great agricultural interest which found itself undersold by 
foreign competitors remained fervently protectionist ; whereas 
in 1784 the Industrial Revolution was still only in its initial 
stage, and competition was feared by the manufacturer as well 
as by the landowner. But in other respects Pitt was able to act 
broadly in accordance with the precepts of Adam Smith. 

To Pitt as to Walpole finance was the dearest interest of 
statesmanship, and it was the success of Pitt's financial measures 
which, more than any other single aspect of his 1784 
policy, secured the popularity of his administration. The financial 
When he came into power he found himself faced situatlon ' 
by a huge National Debt (which had about doubled since 1760) , 
and chaotic financial conditions which year by year produced a 
heavy deficit. There were innumerable taxes, but they had 
been imposed upon no system at all. Pelham, like Walpole, had 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. in. 2 C 

402 The Years of Peace 

acted upon the principle that low duties upon goods for which 
there is a demand are more productive than high duties ; but 
Pelham's successors, at their wits' end for revenue, had piled 
up the duties again, so that in 1784 the duty upon tea was 
no less than 119 per cent. Upon foreign spirits also the duties 
were enormous; with the result that great quantities of the 
heavily taxed goods were brought into the country by smugglers 
without paying any duty at all. 

Pitt in his first budget of 1784 took the bold step of making a 
heavy reduction of the duties upon tea and foreign spirits. That 
The 1784 upon tea was brought down from 119 to 12 \ per 
budget. cent. Since it was not to be supposed that nine 

times as much tea as before would immediately find its way 
through the customs, or that there would be a corresponding 
increase in the legitimate importation of foreign spirits, it was 
necessary to find some fresh sources of taxation. This was 
effected partly by the imposition of an increased window tax. 
There was already a tax upon windows ; every house must have 
windows ; under Pitt's tax every house which had from seven 
to ten windows paid a shilling a window, and those which had 
more than ten paid half-a-crown a window, while cottages, which 
were a most windowless, paid nothing. The burden of the tax 
consequently fell upon the comparatively well-to-do, while it 
was a cheap tax to collect because the amount payable by each 
house could be ascertained by the simple process of counting the 
windows from outside. A number of small taxes were also 
imposed upon articles of finery or luxury, from racehorses to 
ribbons, which hurt no one, but even in the aggregate brought 
no very substantial return. 

These measures, however, did not suffice to meet the immediate 
necessities, and Pitt was obliged to raise a loan of 6,000,000. 
A reform. But in doing so he introduced a reform of great 
importance. The loan was thrown open to public tender and 
the lowest tender was accepted ; whereas under North's ministry 
in particular Dashwood's precedent had been habitually followed, 
and loans had been raised by private contract among supporters 
of the government who were allowed to pocket very substantial 

Pitt's Finance 403 

profits. At the same time Pitt adopted the principle of funding 
as much of the unfunded debt as was possible that is to say, 
of transferring the unsecured debts of the government to the 
consolidated stock with interest secured on a specified portion 
of the revenue. 

The Budget of 1784 was so far successful that, in the next 
year, there was every promise that the revenue would soon 
balance expenditure, and that before long the Budget of 
minister would be able to give shape to his favourite 1786 - 
project of beginning to pay off the National Debt out of revenue. 
Meanwhile the remainder of the unfunded debt was funded, 
and some additional taxes were imposed, notably one upon 
domestic servants, graduated according to the number employed ; 
though this proved extremely unpopular so far as concerned 
female servants. 

In 1786 Pitt's great end had been achieved. The revenue 
would exceed expenditure approximately by 1,000,000, and it 
might be assumed with certainty that it would 1786 
continue to increase as smuggling, already greatly The sinking 
reduced, would continue to diminish. Pitt then rund * 
introduced his bill for a Sinking Fund, to be formed by setting 
aside annually 1,000,000 out of the revenue. Walpole had 
instituted a Sinking Fund, but it had been practically a dead 
letter, because no government when in want of funds had 
scrupled to raid it for expenditure. Pitt's fund was to be re- 
served exclusively for the discharge of the National Debt. It 
was to be placed in the hands of a Board of Commissioners, to 
whom 250,000 was to be paid quarterly. They were to invest 
that money to the best advantage, and also the interest upon 
it. Accumulating in this way at compound interest the sum 
would in a few years swell to such dimensions that the National 
Debt could be paid off. The plan was satisfactory enough so 
long as there were surpluses out of which the fund could be main- 
tained, or even so long as the government could raise loans at 
a rate of interest lower than that which was received by the 
Board. But it was not perceived that in time of war the in- 
creased expenditure would necessitate the raising of loans at a 

404 The Years of Peace 

rate of interest higher instead of lower ; that in effect the money 
paid into the Sinking Fund would be money borrowed at those 
higher rates, and that consequently the State would be, broadly 
speaking, borrowing money at a high rate of interest that it 
might invest it at a lower rate in order to pay off the debt of 
which the interest was lower. Pitt, in fact, did not anticipate 
that there would be such a war ; when the war did come, he 
realised that the continued payment into the Sinking Fund was 
actually bad finance ; but he went on with it because, however 
illogically, it gave confidence to the public which had not 
awakened to the fallacy, and the preservation of confidence 
appeared to be worth the price paid for it. Still, economists are 
by no means disposed to regard that excuse as sufficient, and 
there can be no question at all that the price paid was a very 
heavy one. 

Much less dubious, though much more virulently criticised 

at the time, was the commercial treaty with France which Pitt 

laid before parliament in 1787. Here most definitely 

The French the old mercantile doctrine was thrown overboard, 

commercial as the Tories had sought to throw it overboard in 

1713. French and British had each been in the 

habit of excluding or almost excluding the trade of the other 
country from their markets. The treaty which Pitt negotiated, 
and which was actually signed in September 1786, established 
what was comparatively free trade between the two countries. 
The prohibitive tariffs in general were reduced, while for the 
most part the goods of either country were placed on the ' most 
favoured nation ' footing, that is to say, the duties imposed were 
no higher than the lowest imposed upon the same kind of goods 
imported from any other country. Protectionist interests were 
not alarmed because the French products did not compete with 
home products ; moreover it soon became manifest that what 
was called the balance of trade would not be unfavourably 
disturbed as had been anticipated in 1713, because there was a 
greater demand for British goods in France than for French goods 
in Great Britain. Pitt dwelt upon increased commercial inter- 
course as tending to generate good feeling between the countries. 

Pitt's Finance 


It is curious to find the most fiery opposition emanating from 
Fox, on the ground that France was the irreconcilable foe of 
Britain, and Britain should by no means adopt a ^^ country 
policy which tended to increase the prosperity of and the 
her rival. Not many years were to elapse before reaty> 
Fox adopted a very different attitude towards France. But it 
is quite clear that if the old mercantile doctrines had not already 
lost much of their hold upon public opinion, hostility to the 
treaty would have been strong and widespread, whereas as a 
matter of fact it commanded general acceptance. In this as 
in everything else the war when it came brought a reaction. 
Belligerents are apt to make everything secondary to the 
grand object of inflicting as much damage as possible on the 
opponent, and French and British each bolted and barred their 
doors against the other ; but when for peaceful emulation was 
substituted a commercial struggle a outrance, a desperate effort 
on each side to ruin the other, it was upon France that the 
greater injury fell. 

In the same year in which parliament debated the French 
treaty, Pitt set the finishing touches to his financial methods. 
The vast miscellaneous swarm of heterogeneous 
customs treaties was systematised as well as the simpiifica- 
excise, not with the object of increasing or diminish- tion of 
ing the actual amount of the duties, but for the very 
necessary purpose of simplification ; for the existing complexities 
made it an extremely laborious task for the ordinary merchant 
to work out with accuracy the amount of the duties he was 
called upon to pay. The result was not an increase of revenue, 
but a very considerable economy in expenditure, a substantial 
reduction of the working staff required, and the abolition of 
a number of wholly superfluous appointments which were 
practically sinecures. 

406 The Years of Peace 

III. THE EMPIRE, 1785-1793 

Fox's India Bill wrecked the coalition ; inevitably it was 
Pitt's first duty to provide his own solution of the problem 
1784. offered by the great dependency. Pitt's India Act 

The India fixed the system of government which with only 
Act * minor modifications remained in force until 1858. 

For administrative purposes its most marked departure from 
Fox's scheme was its recognition of the necessity for endowing 
the governor-general with very large discretionary powers. This 
also had been the leading feature in the abortive India Bill 
introduced by Dundas and withdrawn in the early days of the 
coalition. Those features of Fox's Bill which had aroused such 
violent opposition at home were removed. 

As under North's Regulating Act, the supreme authority 
on the spot was vested in the governor-general in council, who 
The governor- were a l so the governor and council of Bengal ; 
general and the Madras and Bombay presidencies having each 
his council. -^ Qwn g Overnor an( j council. But, besides the 

governor, there were now to be not four other members of 
council but three, one being commander-in-chief, in each presi- 
dency. The commander-in-chief in Bengal stood in much the 
same relation to the other two commanders-in-chief as the 
governor of Bengal to the other two governors. Since the 
governor had a casting vote, he could not be over-ruled except 
by a council unanimously opposed to him. Practically no 
future governor-general was in danger of the fate of Hastings, 
who found the control taken out of his hands by his colleagues. 
In the first form of the bill a large latitude was allowed to the 
governor-general. But before the post, for which Cornwallis 
was chosen, was accepted by him, he insisted that that latitude 
should be still further extended, and that he should have authority 
in emergency to act upon his own responsibility without con- 
sulting the council. The new Act, moreover, avoided the 
blunder into which North had fallen, of setting up beside the 
executive a judiciary responsible only to an entirely different 
authority. In India itself there was to be no divided control. 

The Empire 407 

In England, however, the Act set up two authorities, the East 
India Company and a Board of Control directly responsible to 
parliament. To these two authorities the governor- Board of 
general was responsible. The main limitation on his Control, and 
powers was that he was enjoined to make no alii- the com P an y- 
ances without having first obtained their sanction. The directors 
of the company issued to him general instructions ; he might 
for sufficient reasons, known to him but not to them, disobey 
those instructions ; but if he did so he would have to justify his 
action to them and take the risk of being recalled. The Board 
of Control represented the national sense of responsibility for 
the conduct of the Indian government. The head of the board 
was a minister of the Crown, and the personnel of the board 
changed with the change of ministry. Its authority was supreme. 
It had access to the correspondence of the directors, and a general 
power of supervision ; and the governor-general could neither 
be appointed nor recalled without its approval ; patronage re- 
mained for the most part in the hands of directors, but even in 
this field they were hardly able to resist pressure from the Board 
of Control. The first president of the Board of Control was 
Henry Dundas, who utilised his position to inundate India with 
his own countrymen ; which was a cause of some irritation and 
jealousy, but in fact provided the Indian government with a 
considerable number of particularly efficient administrators, 
while it materially helped Dundas himself to form the Scottish 
members of the British House of Commons into a compact body 
of unfailing supporters. 

The appointment of the first governor-general under the new 
regime was delayed. It was intended to act upon the principle 
that he should be, not an official whose experience 17gg 
was restricted to India itself, but one versed in cornwaUis 
public affairs, of recognised capacity, judgment governor- 
and weight, who would have no reason to fear 
responsibility. The first intention was to appoint Lord 
Macartney who was governor of Madras ; but the selection was 
not approved ; and the government was able to withdraw the 
offer when Macartney required as a condition of acceptance 

408 The Years of Peace 

larger powers than the Act provided. This, however, did not 
prevent the government from conceding those larger powers to 
Lord Cornwallis. No better appointment could have been 
made, for without being in any sense a genius, Cornwallis was 
like Wellington ' rich in saving common sense,' clear-eyed and 
cool-headed, just and sincere, at home alike in the camp and in 
the council chamber ; a man in short to be absolutely trusted, 
while his social position made him careless of favour or disfavour. 

Before Cornwallis left England, Warren Hastings had arrived. 
He became at once the object of attack. The generous indig- 
1786. nation of Fox and Burke had been roused by the 

tales of wrong poured into their ears by the de- 
warren tractors of Hastings ; tales which in their sympa- 

Hastings. thetic imagination acquired a still more lurid 
character. Pitt, whose susceptibilities were less excitable, 
declined to join the attack, and was as a matter of course 
accused of attempting to screen Hastings. Burke formulated 
a series of charges. The first dealt with the Rohilla war. Pitt 
sat silent ; Dundas declared that that question was already a 
chose jugee, since after the facts were known Hastings had been 
appointed governor-general ; the House repudiated the charge. 
It was generally believed that the government intended to 
support Hastings and oppose an impeachment ; but when the 
second charge was brought forward, dealing with the Benares 
affair, Pitt surprised both his followers and his opponents by 
supporting it, on the ground that while Hastings was warranted 
in his demand for money and troops, the fine he had imposed 
was excessive and tyrannical. He carried with him a sufficient 
number of supporters to make a majority against Hastings. 
Pitt's change of front seems to require no very elaborate explana- 
tion. Avowedly he had not examined the evidence as to that 
particular charge until just before the debate. When he did 
examine it, it appeared to him convincing, and he spoke and 
voted accordingly. He never had the slightest intention of 
acting as a partisan of either side. 

Other charges were then introduced and accepted. The im- 
peachment was resolved upon in May 1787 ; and in February 

The Empire 409 

1788 the trial of Warren Hastings before the peers was opened. 
It provided the occasion for much magnificent rhetoric then and 
afterwards ; it brought almost to bankruptcy the 1788-95. 
man who, whatever else he had done, had worked Tne trial - 
not for his own enrichment but for that of the company. But 
after the magnificent initial display public interest dwindled. 
The Lords sat to listen to the charges at increasingly prolonged 
intervals ; for thirty-five days in the first year, not half as many 
in the next ; and finally delivered their verdict seven years 
after the impeachment began. Hastings was unanimously 
acquitted on every count of the indictment. 

Cornwallis arrived in India in September 1786. Macpherson 
in the interval had discharged his task successfully enough ; 
Sindhia had seized the opportunity of the depar- India, 1785-6. 
ture of Hastings to try the metal of the acting governor-general, 
but not finding him at all malleable made haste to resume his 
attitude of diplomatic friendliness. In the south, the Mysore 
sultan, having as we have seen made peace with the British, 
very much to his own satisfaction, was at war with the Puna 
Mahrattas, and with the Nizam, each of whom was endeavouring 
to make a cat's-paw of the other. The new governor-general 
gave Tippu a very strong hint that British intervention would 
not be to his advantage, which brought him to a more pacific 
frame of mind, and the hostilities were promptly terminated. 

The powers bestowed upon Cornwallis, his personal character, 
and the respect in which he was universally held, enabled him 
to undertake the work of organising the adminis- 
tration upon a healthy basis, with an authority Administra- 

and a security not enjoyed by his predecessors, tive reforms 

.. , of Cornwallis. 
No private influence, however weighty, prevailed 

with him to give appointments to incompetent or untrustworthy 
persons. He succeeded, where Hastings had failed, in forcing the 
company to give to their officers adequate salaries which raised 
them above the necessity of increasing their means by illegiti- 
mate methods. He definitely established the system of separat- 
ing the revenue branch of the civil service from the judicial ; 
and he placed the criminal jurisdiction in the hands of British 

41 o The Years of Peace 

instead of native courts of justice, while continuing to administer 
Mohammedan law to the Mohammedans, Hindu law to the 
Hindus, and an equitable compromise where both Moham- 
medans and Hindus were concerned. 

The name of Cornwallis is perhaps most definitely associated 
with his permanent land settlement in Bengal. This was a 
ThQ subject which had engaged the serious attention 

permanent of Hastings. On the basis of the inquiries insti- 
settlement. tuted by hig pre( iecessor, Cornwallis completed the 
assessment of the whole presidency for revenue purposes, and 
declared that that assessment was to be permanent. In other 
words, the whole profit of improvement and development was 
to go to the holders of the land. Further, the position of the 
zemindar was made permanent ; he was treated as the owner 
of the soil with free powers of alienation, very much as if he had 
been an English landowner unrestricted by the law of entail. 
In fact the zemindar in the past had not been the owner of the 
land in the English sense ; he had enjoyed the revenues of an 
estate conferred upon him during pleasure, subject to his pay- 
ment to the government of the amount at which his estate was 
assessed ; he had been primarily a government official, appointed 
The to collect the land revenue of the zemindari or 

zemindari. district which was farmed out to him. The land 
itself was held originally by various tenures as the property of a 
hereditary landowner, or of the ryot, the actual cultivator of 
the soil, or of the village community ; the zemindar was an alien 
imposition, though his creation might have dated back for a 
couple of centuries, or more, and his rights had tended to become 
hereditary in practice if not in theory. Following the English 
analogy, Cornwallis made the position of the zemindar permanent, 
as though he had been the real landowner, in order to give him 
security of tenure and a consequent inducement to expenditure 
on the development of his estate without any danger that the 
government would raise his assessment on the strength of his 
own expenditure and improvements. At the same time the 
security of tenure of his tenants was safeguarded in accordance 
with what was understood to be the law and custom of the 

The Empire 4 1 \ 

country. Later it came to be understood that the zemindar as 
such was for the most part a middleman between the govern- 
ment and the real proprietors of the soil, although no doubt in 
many cases the zemindari had been granted not to some one 
from outside, but to a hereditary landowner. In the later 
settlements outside Bengal, the zemindar comparatively speak- 
ing disappeared, and the government dealt directly with the 
talukdar, the ryot, or the village community. 

Cornwallis was thoroughly imbued with the sound doctrine, 
derived from Give, that the British ought not to aim at exten- 
sion of territory. But like most of his successors, Tippu, 
he found extension of territory forced upon him. sultan. 
In his case, Tippu of Mysore was responsible for the necessity. 
That potentate aimed at making himself supreme in Southern 
India, and his experience with the Madras government had 
taught him to hold a low opinion of the British capacity for 
counteracting his ambitions. The Nizam, on the other hand, 
wanted to use the British for the curbing of his dangerous 
neighbour. Under an old treaty, the Nizam had The Nizam, 
agreed to cede to Madras a district known as the Guntur Sirkar. 
Cornwallis pressed him to carry out the cession ; and he replied 
by inviting the British to carry out on their side another obliga- 
tion under a former treaty of the Madras government, to re- 
cover for him certain districts of which he had been robbed by 
Haidar. The situation was embarrassing, since the British 
government had recognised Haidar as the owner of those districts 
since the obligation had been incurred. 

Cornwallis, therefore, agreed to provide the troops promised 
under this earlier treaty for the Nizam's protection, but with the 
stipulation that they were not to be used against 1739.92 
any ally of the British Tippu's name not being The Mysore 
included in the list of allies. If, then, the Nizam cam P ai s ns - 
chose to declare war on Tippu, he could use the troops ; but the 
British themselves would not have declared war. Tippu, how- 
ever, regarded the excuse as sufficient, and attacked Travancore, 
which was under British protection, at the end of 1789. A 
campaign against Tippu was then a necessity. Haidarabad 

412 The Years of Peace 

and Puna both allied themselves with the British, though with 
no intention of relieving them of serious work. The campaign 
conducted in 1789 by General Meadows was unsuccessful. In 
1791, Cornwallis himself took the command, but again without 
success, owing chiefly to the extremely dubious behaviour of 
the Mahrattas. In 1792, however, Cornwallis again took the 
field. This time the campaign was decisive, Tippu was forced 
to submit, and, in accordance with the invariable law of oriental 
warfare, was required to cede large districts, which Cornwallis 
divided, not unequally, between the British, the Nizam on the 
north-east, and the Mahrattas on the north-west. Even this, 
however, as we shall see, did not suffice to teach Tippu the 
necessary lesson. 

But in 1792, war with France was impending, and in the next 
year Cornwallis was recalled, not because he was not wanted in 
India, but because he was wanted in England. 
Shore Sir John Shore, who had been of immense service 

governor- to him in working out the land settlement, had in 
the meanwhile visited England ; and Cornwallis was 
sufficiently impressed by his capacity and by the enlargement of 
his ideas, consequent upon his visit to England, to name him as 
the one Indian official to whom the governor-generalship might 
be safely entrusted ; and Shore consequently succeeded to that 

The American War of Independence had torn the thirteen 
colonies from the British empire, and created the United States 
Canada. of America. These colonies, however, had not 

been accompanied by those in the northern portion of the con- 
tinent, which had been taken from the French, or had in the 
past been in debate between British and French. Thither great 
numbers of the loyalists betook themselves, after the recogni- 
tion of American independence, preferring to remain under the 
British flag. They were planted chiefly in New Brunswick and 
in Upper Canada ; with the result that in Upper Canada or 
Ontario, where the French had not spread, the population was 
British and Protestant ; whereas in Lower Canada there was 
only a sprinkling of British and Protestants among a French 

The Empire 413 

and Catholic population. In the new region the provisions of 
the Quebec Act were inappropriate ; and consequently, in 1791, 
the Canada Act was passed, separating the colonies 1791. Tne 
of Upper Canada or Ontario and Lower Canada or Canada Act. 
Quebec. Each was governed upon the old colonial lines ; each 
now received its own legislature, with an elective and a nominated 
chamber, and a governor, who with his executive council was 
responsible, not to the colonial legislature, but to the Crown. 
In both the Canadas there was a spirit of strong hostility to the 
new American Republic, which was to bear its fruits later. In 
French Canada the hostility was traditional ; in Upper Canada 
it was the obvious consequence of the conditions under which 
the colony had been planted with loyalists, who had left their 
southern homes out of attachment to the British name, and 
to escape from the vindictiveness of the Republic. 

In another region of the globe altogether, these years witnessed 
the first beginnings of another great British expansion. Spaniards 
and Dutch had in past centuries occupied the Australia- 
archipelagoes which lie close to the south-eastern Captain 
shores of the Asiatic Continent ; but there had ' 
been very little exploration of the Southern Pacific. In 1768, 
Captain Cook began his series of voyages to the unexplored 
regions. In 1770 he traced the eastern coast of Australia, pro- 
claimed the British sovereignty there, and gave the country the 
name of New South Wales. For some years it remained un- 
occupied. Discovery without occupation was not recognised 
as giving an effective title to possession, and it was still open to 
French or Dutch or Spanish, to plant themselves in Australia. 
Neither they, however, nor the British, were immediately 
attracted thither. 

The recognition of American independence, besides depriving 
the British empire of a vast region, presented it with a new 
accidental problem. Hitherto the plantations had p ormal 
supplied a field for the deportation of convicts ; annexation, 
that field no longer existed after 1783. A sugges- 1788 ' 
tion was put forward, that the continent which Captain Cook 
had discovered should be utilised for the purpose ; and in 1787 

414 The Years of Peace 

the experiment was tried of dispatching thither a consignment 
of seven hundred and fifty convicts, in charge of a body of 
marines, with Captain Phillip as governor. In January 1788, 
the expedition landed in Botany Bay, hoisted the British flag, 
and took possession of Australia for the British Crown. Within 
a week of the landing, some French ships appeared on the scene. 
It is possible that if Phillip had been only seven days later 
Australia would have been annexed not to the British, but to 
the French dominions. If the importance and value of Australia 
had been realised, such a French occupation would no doubt 
have been only temporary, and the war would have transferred 
the continent to the British. But its value was not realised, 
and it is more than possible that it was only this very narrow 
margin of time to which we owe the incorporation of Australia 
in the British empire. 


When William Pitt came into power in 1784, Great Britain, 
exhausted by her struggle, was in no position to intervene 
Europe actively in European politics, which were highly 

in 1784. complicated. France and Spain, both of them 

also exhausted, were also indisposed to activity. Maria Theresa 
was dead, and Joseph n. in Austria was inspired on the one 
hand with ideas of a beneficent amelioration of the condition 
of his subjects, at the hands of an autocratic but benignant 
father of his people, and on the other hand, with ambitions more 
directly tending to increase the power of Austria. The Russian 
Tsarina had for years past been extending the power of Russia ; 
a few years before she had in conjunction with Prussia and 
Austria effected the first partition of Poland, by which each of 
those powers had substantially extended its territories at the 
expense of that distracted country. Also her successful wars 
with Turkey had brought within sight her cherished ambition 
of establishing herself as a naval power on the Black Sea as well 
as the Baltic. Frederick of Prussia since the desperate struggle 
of the Seven Years' War had devoted himself primarily to avoid- 

Great Britain and Europe 415 

ing foreign quarrels and compromising alliances, while his 
energies were given up to a systematic organisation of his own 
kingdom ; until the opportunity occurred for consolidating his 
dominion, increasing its revenues, and strengthening it for 
defence, by joining in the partition of Poland in 1772. Austria 
was in alliance with Russia on one side, and with France on the 
other, "while France was in alliance with Russia and Spain, but 
both Great Britain and Prussia were without allies. 

So far as Great Britain was concerned, the region where 
trouble seemed likely to arise was in the Netherlands. The 
Dutch were in possession of their barrier towns in Austria and 
the Austrian Netherlands ; and lest Antwerp Holland, 
should become dangerous to them, they enjoyed by treaty the 
control of the Scheldt, which was not open to navigation by the 
ships of other powers. Joseph succeeded in forcing the Dutch 
to evacuate the barrier towns, but when he tried to compel them 
to open the Scheldt, Great Britain might have found it necessary 
to interfere if France had not done so. The closure of the 
Scheldt was maintained and guaranteed by France, under the 
Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1785. So long as Antwerp was in 
Austrian hands, this was in the interests of France, while if it 
should fall at any time into the hands of France, that city with 
an open port would become a menace to England. England 
was also affected by another of Joseph's schemes, that of ex- 
changing the inconveniently remote Netherlands, of which 
Austria could make very little use, for Bavaria, which lay on her 
own border. This design was also frustrated, not by England, 
but by Prussia. Frederick the Great, who viewed the scheme 
with extreme disfavour, procured an alliance for the integrity 
of Germany among the German princes, including King George 
as elector of Hanover, which was known as the Fiirstenlund, 
which checkmated Joseph. 

In Holland the Republican or anti-Orange party was in the 
ascendent, and leant, as it always had leant, to France, whose 
influence was increased by her recent intervention. Pitt was 
inclined either to a Prussian or to an Austro- Russian alliance 
in order to hold France in check, but was foiled in both projects. 

416 The Years of Peace 

The death of Frederick in 1786 placed on the throne his nephew 
Frederick William n., a monarch who lacked both the political 
1788 and the military genius of his uncle. The new king 

The Triple was the brother-in-law of the stadtholder, William 
Alliance. Q Q ran g e 'r;h e French and Republican party in 
Holland at this moment won the upper hand ; a close alliance 
between France and Holland seemed threatening, when an insult 
to the Prussian king's sister induced him to negotiate an alliance 
with Great Britain for the restoration of the stadtholder. France 
was not prepared to intervene in arms in face of this combina- 
tion ; she retired ; and the result was the re-establishment of the 
Orange or English ascendency in Holland, and a Triple Alliance 
(1787) between Prussia, Great Britain, and Holland. It is note- 
worthy that the Anglo-French commercial treaty was ratified 
by the British parliament at a time when it was by no means 
impossible that the affairs of Holland would bring about 
a renewal of the French war. The Triple Alliance in 1788 
terminated for the time the isolation of Great Britain. 

In 1789, at the moment when France was absorbed in the 
initial stage of the Revolution, an Anglo-Spanish quarrel arose. 
1789-90 As a result of Captain Cook's explorations on the 

Nootka west coast of North America, a settlement of British 

traders had established itself at Nootka Sound, near 
Vancouver island. The Spaniards considered that western 
North America belonged to them up to a much more northerly 
latitude, although they were not in occupation. They were still 
full of their time-honoured jealousy of British attempts to trade 
with their American colonies, which themselves resented the 
restrictions upon their commerce imposed from Madrid. The 
Spanish government also had an exaggerated belief in its own 
power and in the readiness of France to come to its support, 
being quite unconscious of the straits into which the French 
monarchy was falling. There was accordingly a repetition of the 
affair of the Falkland Islands. A Spanish frigate seized British 
ships in Nootka Sound ; when compensation was demanded by 
the British government it was refused. Spain insisted on her 
own untenable claim, which rested upon no better basis than that 

Great Britain and Europe 417 

a Spanish ship had reached Nootka Sound four years before 
Captain Cook. Twelve months after the seizure, the British 
government having in the meantime obtained promise of support 
from the other members of the Triple Alliance, the facts were 
laid before parliament. Immediate preparations were made for 
war. The French government was disposed to support its ally ; 
but by this time, May 1790, the French National Assembly was 
master of the situation. It declined to go to war. At the end 
of six months Spain had completely realised that the unfortunate 
French monarchy was a broken reed, and that the French 
National Assembly was more likely than not to pierce any 
monarchical hand that leaned upon it. Even at this early 
stage the French Revolution had broken the Family Compact, 
whereby a complete change of front on the part of Spain was 
necessitated. Since she could no longer face British hostility, 
she sought British friendship instead, and conceded the whole of 
the British demands. 

Great Britain then had come satisfactorily out of the negotia- 
tions for the French commercial treaty, the Dutch complication, 
and the Nootka Sound affair. Pitt was less success- 1788 _ 90 
ful in his last serious attempt at intervention on the Britain and 
Continent before the outbreak of the great war. In Prussia - 
1788 the intervention of the Triple Alliance prevented the destruc- 
tion of the kingdom of Sweden by Russia and Denmark, which 
would in effect have made Russia supreme in the Baltic ; whereby 
Catherine was irritated. She was now in alliance with the 
Emperor Joseph for the futherance of her own designs against 
Turkey. Frederick William wished to turn to his own account 
in Poland the embarrassment of Austria in the Turkish war, 
Joseph's hands being further tied by a revolt in the Netherlands 
against the Austrian supremacy. The British government, 
however, did not feel called upon to plunge into a war for 
Prussian aggrandisement ; the alliance was one for defence. 
The death of Joseph at the beginning of 1790 gave the Austrian 
and the imperial crowns to his extremely able brother, 
Leopold ii., hitherto grand duke of Tuscany. The attitude of 
the British government was unchanged, the more because it 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. HI. 2 D 

4i 8 The Years of Peace 

desired the secure establishment of the Austrian power in the 
Netherlands lest they should be drawn to seek the protection 
of France. 

Frederick William was annoyed, and Pitt was disposed to 
conciliate him by acceding to his wishes in another quarter and 
1790-1. checking the aggrandisement of Russia. Chatham 

Pitt, Prussia, had seen in the still young and growing strength of 
and Russia. R uss j a a valuable counterpoise in Europe to Bour- 
bon aggression ; he had moreover no sympathies with the 
Ottoman power. But now the expansion of Russia had been so 
vigorous that Chatham's son took alarm. If Catherine were 
able to place a powerful fleet in the Black Sea as well as in the 
Baltic, Great Britain would have to take account of the Russian 
navy in the Mediterranean as well as in northern seas. The 
Russian menace, which perpetually dominated the minds of 
British statesmen during the nineteenth century, was already 
looming on the younger Pitt's horizon. At the end of 1790 the 
Russian troops under Suvarov were overwhelming the Turks. 
Prussia called for intervention ; and in the beginning of 1791 
Pitt laid before parliament proposals for armaments to be 
dispatched both to the Baltic and to the Black Sea, and an 
ultimatum was sent to St. Petersburg at the end of March. 

But the country did not share Pitt's views. Fox and Burke 
thundered denunciations against the Turks ; the true policy 
1791. for Britain was alliance with Russia ; a Russian 

Pitt's defeat. fl ee t i n the Mediterranean was to be desired, 
not feared ; a Russian war would be ruinous to the Baltic 
trade. In the cabinet Pitt's colleague and cousin, Lord 
Grenville, was opposed to his views. Though Pitt's majorities 
in the Commons were not substantially reduced, he realised that 
the sentiment of the country was against him, and in April the 
ultimatum to Russia was withdrawn. Catherine got her way, 
and by the Peace of Jassy, in the beginning of 1792, obtained 
the frontier she desired. At the same time Pitt's withdrawal had 
filled up the cup as far as Frederick William was concerned, and 
he resolved to substitute an Austrian alliance for that with Great 
Britain. A few weeks later, on ist March, Leopold n. died, and 

Great Britain and Europe 419 

was succeeded by his son, who after the imperial election became 
the Emperor Francis n. 

During the past two years events had been moving rapidly 
in France. Since the accession of Louis xiv., almost a century 
and a half before, England had established and 1789 Social 
elaborated a constitutional monarchy, which vested conditions 
the supreme political control in the hands of parlia- in BritailL 
ment, finally deprived the executive of the power of overriding 
the law, and secured to all citizens of the Empire an equal title 
to the protection of the law. Privileges remained. Disabilities 
attached to certain religious professions ; the whole vast class 
of hired workmen were without parliamentary representation ; 
and the copyholder or small tenant had no vote, though his 
interests were fairly well represented by the votes of the yeomen. 
Still the bourgeoisie and the small agriculturalist had a voice in 
the government of the country which could not be neglected. 
Socially, indeed, class distinctions were strongly marked, but 
their sanction was customary, not legal ; the borderland between 
class and class was indefinite, and social barriers, if difficult to 
pass, were not insuperable. There was no hereditary noblesse ; 
the peerage was accessible to any distinguished commoner, the 
children of peers were themselves commoners, and the inheritance 
of nobility was restricted by the law of primogeniture. Such 
exemptions or reliefs from taxation as existed were not the 
privileges of the powerful, but relaxations in favour of the poorest 

On the Continent, however, both the political and social 
development had followed upon a very different line, of which 
France presented the archetype. Under the rule Social 
of the cardinals in the second quarter of the seven- conditions 
teenth century, the Crown had won its battle with ** France - 
political feudalism. Government was concentrated in the hands 
not of any kind of parliament, but of the Crown. The executive 
could override the law, and the law was administered in the 
interests of the powerful. The noblesse formed a hereditary 
class, to which admission from outside was almost impossible ; 
while the children of the nobles remained noble from generation 

420 The Years of Peace 

to generation. In France the nobility and the clergy were 
virtually immune from taxation, whereas in England they paid 
precisely the same taxes as their neighbours, and birth carried 
with it no legal privileges at all except the right of the eldest son 
or nearest male heir to succeed to the title. The whole burden 
of taxation fell upon the labouring and trading classes, and most 
heavily upon the peasantry, who were subject not only to special 
taxes but to servile obligations such as had virtually disappeared 
in Great Britain as far back as the fifteenth century. The ruinous 
wars initiated by Louis xiv., and continued through the eighteenth 
century, had rendered altogether crushing a burden of taxation 
which would have been intolerable even if the noblesse and the 
clergy had borne their share. For years before the French 
Revolution, French thinkers and writers had been protesting 
against the existing system with biting satire, with merciless 
logic, or with emotional rhetoric. Some had held up to admira- 
tion the balance of political powers in Great Britain and the 
fusion there of monarchical, aristocratic, and democratic ele- 
ments. Others contrasted the social order with a mythical 
Golden Age before the strong had made laws for the enslavement 
of the weak, and dwelt with enthusiasm upon natural rights, 
the rights of man, of which man had been for the most part 
robbed by the tyranny of society. 

Unconsciously enough, the ruling classes of France had given 
the most active encouragement to revolutionary ideas by their 
France and attitude in the American War of Independence. 
theAmerican Deaf to the mutterings which heralded the coming 
cataclysm, they developed a lighthearted enthu- 
siasm for the American doctrines of liberty and natural rights, 
which had been derived, in part at least, from the French philo- 
sophers ; without a suspicion that such doctrines were destruc- 
tive of the very foundations of the political and social structure 
of which caste privileges were the essence. By plunging into 
the War of Independence, France at the same time carried the 
financial strain to breaking point ; and her government woke 
up to the absolute necessity of reform only when the point had 
been reached when any attempt at reform would certainly be 

Great Britain and Europe 421 

swept away in revolution, a complete subversion of the whole 
political and social structure. 

The doom of the old order was sealed by the resolution to 
summon the States-General, an assembly of the three estates, 
nobles, clergy, and commons, to find an answer to the problems 
which one after another of the king's ministers had failed to 
solve. From the meeting of the States-General, in May 1789, 
events moved swiftly. The determination of the 

1 TftQ 

third estate that there should be not three chambers, Birth of 
two of which could override the third, but a single tne French 
chamber of all the estates, gave to the third complete 
predominance. The Paris mob wrecked the Bastille, the fortress 
prison which typified the old order. The States-General re- 
solved itself into a ' national ' or ' constituent ' assembly for the 
construction of a new system based upon the rights of man. 
Great Britain at first looked on with mildly qualified approba- 
tion. Ardent spirits, like Fox, rejoiced enthusiastically. Con- 
servative spirits, like Burke, took alarm. But the average man 
saw the French engaged in a rather laudable effort to achieve 
at one blow the emancipation from feudal and monarchical 
tyranny which England had achieved for herself by centuries 
of dogged persistence. It was reprehensible but hardly sur- 
prising that the effort should be accompanied by disorders and 
excesses. If the peasantry in the country districts broke out 
in savage insurrections against the seigneurs, burnt their 
chateaux, and murdered aristocrats, it was very shocking but 
such things could not happen in England. 

But in France the pace grew faster. The National Assembly 
abolished all feudal institutions, and numbers of the nobility 
took flight from France ; the emigres were soon 

j i i .r .r j. J-- 1789-91. 

engaged in clamouring for foreign intervention. The 

The new constitution practically vested all power in Constituent 

r , : . , . Assembly, 

the Assembly. 1 he king became virtually a prisoner 

in Paris. The most advanced group, known as the Jacobins, 
became predominant in the Assembly. Lafayette, a fastidious 
enthusiast, once the popular hero, was losing his influence. 
Mirabeau, the Titan, who had led the third estate to victory, 

422 The Years of Peace 

might just conceivably have succeeded in combining monarchical 
with popular government under his own control ; but while he 
was striving desperately to gain the confidence of the Crown, he 
was struck down by death in March 1791. The king in despair 
fled with his family from Paris in June, hoping certainly to 
escape over the frontier, and designing probably to appeal to 
his brother-in-law the Emperor Leopold, and the king of Prussia, 
to restore him to a real throne. But at Varennes, just within 
the frontier, he was recognised and detained, and was escorted 
back to Paris. On the discovery of his flight, the Assembly 
suspended his royal functions ; and it kept them suspended until 
his formal acceptance of the new constitution in September. 

In the Assembly, which had hitherto professed itself loyal to 
the monarchy, the voices which demanded its abolition and the 
1791. The establishment of a republic grew louder and more 
Declaration numerous. On the other hand, the emigres, the 
of Piinitz. mos t aggressive of whom had gathered at Coblenz, 
were also waxing more clamorous in their demands for foreign 
intervention. What the emigres wanted was the restoration 
of the absolute monarchy and the old regime in an intensified 
form. For them Leopold had no sympathy, but the suspen- 
sion of the monarchy forced him to propose that the powers 
should refuse to recognise the French government until the 
monarchy was restored. In concert with Frederick William, 
who, deserted by Great Britain in his designs against Russia, 
was seeking the Austrian alliance, the emperor issued from 
Piinitz a declaration in favour of armed intervention if the 
powers would agree to act together. The certainty that at this 
date Pitt would not be persuaded to intervene accounted for 
a step much less aggressive in fact than in appearance, because 
it really committed him to nothing. Moreover, the acceptance 
of the constitution by Louis at once warranted the withdrawal 
of the declaration. 

But the indignation of France had been aroused. Also the 
new constitution in France provided for the dissolution of the 
National Assembly, and the election of a new Legislative 
Assembly, to which none of the members of the old Assembly 

Great Britain and Europe 423 

were to be eligible. When the new Assembly met, the republican 
element in it was predominant. Among them the wing who were 
known as the Girondists, the literary republicans, 1791 The 
were as yet the stronger party. To the Girondists Legislative 
it appeared that a patriotic war, a defiance of the Asseml)1 y- 
insolent dictation of foreigners, would consolidate the nation; 
and almost at the moment of Leopold's death, in March 1792, 
war was declared against Austria, in the expecta- Declaration 
tion that a French invasion of the Netherlands of war, 
would be welcomed by the population which Marcn1792 - 
had so recently been in open rebellion against Austrian 

Throughout this whole period, Pitt and the British govern- 
ment had maintained the attitude of aloofness from affairs in 
France. Pitt himself had at first believed in The British 
common with the majority of his countrymen that attitude, 
the outcome of the upheaval in France would be the establish- 
ment of constitutional liberties after the British model. But as 
the French Revolution developed, a feeling of great hostility 
towards it was excited in England, a feeling which received a 
tremendous impulse from the publication of Burke's Reflections 
on the French Revolution at the end of 1790. Burke had held a 
leading position among the Whigs as an advocate of the reform 
of palpable abuses and as a devotee of the principles of liberty, 
as they were embodied in the existing constitution of the king- 
dom of Great Britain. But essentially he was a conservative, a 
believer not in change but in development, in the steady adapta- 
tion of the existing system to changing conditions, not in the 
substitution for it of something which had not Bur k e > 8 
grown up naturally, however logically perfect and Reflections, 
complete it might appear. He saw France engaged in 
destroying the system which, whether bad or good, had arrived by 
natural growth, and endeavouring to set in its place an academi- 
cally devised system which had no roots in the past. Such a 
process was in his eyes doomed in any case to failure. It was 
doubly doomed when effected by violence, which openly set at 
naught the most hallowed traditions, and even the funda- 

424 The Years of Peace 

mental principles of morality and religion. It had been sug- 
gested with a certain cynicism that the power of France would 
be ruined by the Revolution, which should therefore be viewed 
with satisfaction by the British. Burke replied that the example 
set by France* was fraught with more danger than was to be 
feared from her arms. With a striking prescience he warned 
his readers that far greater excesses were in store than any which 
had hitherto been perpetrated, and pointed to a military dicta- 
torship following upon anarchy as the inevitable outcome of the 
Revolution. Rightly enough he insisted that English liberties 
were not the product of the pursuit of abstractions such as the 
hypothetical rights of man, but of a practical insistence upon 
the preservation of definite rights established by precedent and 
confirmed by long custom. 

An immense influence was exercised by Burke's famous 
pamphlet ; British insularity resented the presentation in other 
Hostility quarters of French ideas as worthy of British 
to the admiration ; and the British passion for law and 

Revolution. or( j er was thoroughly aroused by the subversion 
of law and order on the other side of the Channel. If less stolid 
souls were fired with enthusiasm for ideals which seemed to 
them to be the righteous motives of the upheaval in France, 
the British public at large was more moved by the palpable un- 
righteousness of the acts in which it was issuing. And besides 
all this, while men with advanced ideas in the higher ranks of 
society were expressing a dignified approbation or even a fervent 
admiration for democratic ideals, there were not wanting in 
Great Britain, to say nothing of Ireland, agitators who were 
seeking Jto kindle in the breasts of the masses a fierce conviction 
that they, too, were the victims of a monstrously iniquitous 
system, and that they, too, if they put forth their strength, 
could overthrow that system. It does not appear that such 
ideas did take root either widely or deeply among the working 
classes, but there was at least sufficient cause for grave anxiety. 
British respectability was becoming seriously alarmed before the 
end of 1791 ; before the end of 1792 the alarm was degenerat- 
ing into panic, and from the time of the September massacres, 

Great Britain and Europe 425 

panic dictated the attitude of the government towards every 
attempt to give voice to any popular grievance. 

In the spring of 1792, however, Pitt was still serenely con- 
fident that there were no war clouds in the horizon that Great 
Britain would continue an unconcerned spectator 1792 The 
of the European conflict which France deliberately European 
challenged. The declaration of war between France war begins - 
and Austria was soon followed by the declaration of war between 
France and Prussia. French troops were massed on the Nether- 
lands frontier. The French minister of war, Dumouriez, revived, 
and popular opinion endorsed, the old theory of Richelieu and 
Louis xiv., that France was entitled to her natural boundaries, 
boundaries fixed by Nature when she made the continent of 
Europe, namely, the Rhine, the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the sea ; 
a theory which involved her absorption of Savoy, as well as of 
the Rhine provinces and the Austrian Netherlands. Sardinia, 
therefore, was added to the circle of her enemies. But when 
French troops invaded the Netherlands they were ignominiously 
expelled, the soldiers having no confidence in officers who were 

The Paris mob invaded the Tuileries, insulted the queen, 
Marie Antoinette, and forced Louis to wear the red cap of liberty. 
In July, the duke of Brunswick, who had been placed in command 
of the Prussian army, issued a proclamation which stirred the 
fury of the whole French people. In August, the royal family 
escaped from the Tuileries and placed themselves under the 
dubious protection of the Legislative Assembly ; the mob 
sacked the Tuileries and massacred the Swiss Guard who stood 
to their posts with magnificent loyalty. 

The extremists, headed by Danton and Robespierre, captured 
the Commune, the government of Paris, and in effect held the 
national government in their own hands, completely The 
dominating the Assembly. Prussian troops crossed September 
the frontier, and captured Longwy and Verdun. massacre8 - 
Paris believed that the royalists were organising an insurrection 
and a massacre. The Commune, in a house-to-house visitation, 
swept together and flung into prison an immense number of 

426 The Years of Peace 

suspects. When the news came that Verdun had fallen, while 
the peasants of La Vendee were in open revolt on the side of 
Church and King, there followed that systematic slaughter of 
the suspects known to history as the September massacres. 
But in the meantime, Dumouriez, who was reckoned as a 
Girondist, had taken up the command at the front ; a new spirit 
pervaded the French troops, a spirit of confidence ; and at the 
cannonade of Valmy the Prussian attack was repulsed, an 
event which proved to be a decisive turning-point in the 
The Republic military operations. On 2ist September, the life of 
proclaimed. th e Legislative Assembly came to an end, and its 
place was taken by a new National Convention, overwhelmingly 
republican, which opened its career by proclaiming the republic 
and the abolition of the monarchy. 

In England the tide of public opinion was rising higher and 
higher against the French, while on the other hand the friends 

of the Revolution were organising societies, ranging 
Whigs from the orderly ' Friends of the People ' to the 

support * London Correspondence Society/ which associated 

itself with the French Jacobins. Their agitation 
produced in May a counter-proclamation against seditious 
writings issued by the government. Burke's association with 
Fox had been broken off long before, and the Portland Whigs, 
the bulk of the Whig Opposition, now joined Burke in support- 
ing the government, which on the suspension of the French 
monarchy in August withdrew its ambassador from Paris. Yet 
Pitt still believed that war might be averted. 

That hope vanished rapidly after the establishment of the 
Convention. Both Prussia and Austria were neglecting the 
Autumn- French war, and giving their attention to a fresh 
French partition of Poland, in conjunction with the Tsarina, 

which was completed at the beginning of 1793, 
leaving to Poland only a small remnant of its former territory. 
The Prussian troops fell back over the French frontier ; French 
armies advanced upon the Rhine, where they captured Maintz 
and Frankfort on the Maine ; a French army entered Savoy, 
the annexation of which to France was proclaimed ; and 

Great Britain and Europe 427 

Dumouriez in the Netherlands defeated the Austrians at 
Jemappes, drove them out of the country, and was welcomed 
with open arms by the population. 

The Convention then adopted the attitude which destroyed 
all hope of prolonging the peace. It declared that the naviga- 
tion of the Scheldt was to be opened, in defiance The Scheldt 
of the old treaties, guaranteed by France herself to be opened, 
as lately as 1785, and again by Great Britain as well as by 
Prussia in 1788. It announced that all districts occupied by 
French armies were under the protection of the Republic, that, 
in them, all privileges were abolished, and the previously exist- 
ing governments were at an end. Great Britain could not pos- 
sibly tolerate the opening of the Scheldt, which would have con- 
verted Antwerp into a French naval port, and a serious menace 
to the British maritime power in the North Sea. Moreover, 
apart from her direct interest in Antwerp, it was impossible for 
her or for any one else to admit that France had a right to 
tear up treaties on the ground that they contravened what she 
was pleased to call natural rights. 

Only one thing was needed to raise popular indignation to a 
point at which the demand for war would become irresistible, 
even if Pitt had still been disposed to resist it ; 1793 
and that was provided when the French Conven- Regicide, 
tion put ' Louis Capet ' on trial for his life, and Januar y- 
sent him to the guillotine in January 1793. It was no longer 
possible to believe, as it had been at least until October, that 
France was in arms against foreign intervention. France was 
in arms to extend her own dominions, and avowedly to give 
military support to any of the peoples which should emulate 
her own example and rise against their monarchical war, 
government. Pitt's attitude on the question of the istFebruary. 
Scheldt was uncompromising, and on ist February the French 
Republic declared war upon Great Britain. 


I. FEATURES OF THE WAR, 1793-1802 

THE war which opened in 1793 was brought to an end techni- 
cally by the Peace of Amiens in 1802. In reality that peace was 
The two a mere suspension of hostilities, and the struggle 

parts of was again renewed in the next year, to be again 
the -war. suspended in 1814, and finally brought to its de- 
cisive conclusion on the field of Waterloo in 1815. In many 
respects, however, there is a marked difference in its character 
before and after the Peace of Amiens. The period from 1793 
to 1802 is sufficiently complete in itself to justify the selection 
of the latter date for the close oj: the present volume ; we are 
ringing down the curtain not between the acts of a single drama, 
but between two plays, distinct like the three parts of a trilogy. 
In one respect also a definite climax had been reached with the 
Legislative Union of Great Britain and Ireland ; a climax 
which, at the moment of writing, appears certain to have its 
precise counterpart in the climax of the ensuing volume with the 
passage of the Home Rule Bill under the recent Parliament Act. 
Pitt's war with the French Republic, the Republic which was 
technically in being from the outbreak of hostilities to the Peace 
Why Pitt of Amiens, was neither a war of aggression, nor a 
went to war. war f or empire, nor a war for an abstract idea. 
Apart from the fervour of his patriotism, which he inherited 
from his great father, Pitt's aims and objects were essentially 
practical. He did not seek war ; to the last moment he per- 
sisted in his belief that war could be avoided, that Great Britain 
could stand on one side, and leave France whether as a monarchy 
or as a republic to fight out her own quarrel with the continental 


Features of the War 429 

powers. But he found himself in a position in which, from his 
own point of view, war was forced upon the country by her 
direct responsibility for maintaining a treaty which France 
claimed the right to tear up, though she had herself insisted 
upon it only eight years before. Such obligations are often enough 
cynically ignored when they clash with the national interests 
of the moment, when some plausible ground of evasion can be 
suggested ; or they may be honestly set aside on account of 
changed conditions, which could not have been taken into the 
reckoning when the obligation was incurred. But in this case 
the moral obligation was very clearly backed by the national 
interests. For a century it had been an axiom of British policy 
that the ports from Dunkirk to the Texel could not be allowed 
to fall under the control of France. In the circumstances of 
1793, the opening of the Scheldt would mean an immense acqui- 
sition of maritime power by France immediately, and would 
further secure as a consequence her complete political predomin- 
ance in Holland itself, and her effective control of the ports of 
Holland. The opening of the Scheldt was the crucial question 
on which it was impossible for Pitt to give way, and which 
forced Great Britain into war, with the enormous mass of public 
opinion behind him. 

Public opinion, however, more than Pitt himself was influenced 
by positive hostility to the French Revolution. The excesses of 
the Paris mob, the flaming denunciations of Burke, popular 
the September massacres, and finally the trial and support, 
death of the king, had convinced four-fifths of the people of 
England at least of the diabolic origin of the French Revolu- 
tion, and of the utter ruin of all social order as the inevitable 
corollary of its success. Pitt went to war against the Republican 
government of France exactly as he would have gone to war 
against Louis xiv. in similar circumstances ; because the foreign 
policy of the French Republic was being conducted on the same 
aggressive lines, with the same intent of extending France to her 
natural boundaries, the same arrogant assertion of her right to 
ignore engagements, and a still more presumptuous assumption 
of the French title to intervene in the domestic politics of other 

43 The War with the French Republic 

nations. But the people of England were actuated in at least 
an equal degree by hatred of the Revolution itself, as interpreted 
by the September massacres, and the fear of all that it seemed 
to them to mean. And that hatred and fear grew more intense 
and ineradicable with the progress of the Reign of Terror. 

Nor was the conduct of that section of the Whigs who re- 
mained in Opposition calculated to allay the popular feeling. 
The Fox, in the grip of his grand idea of liberty and 

Opposition, justice, could see all that there was of right and 
very little that there was of wrong in the doings of France. 
She was the champion of the Great Cause, and her splendour in 
that character blinded him to the fact that she was pursuing a 
policy of greed and aggression even while she flaunted the 
banner of the Cause, precisely after the precedent of the most 
absolute of her kings. He saw that in the first instance she had 
turned against the European powers because they threatened 
gratuitous intervention in her own private concerns ; he did not 
see that France was claiming precisely that right for herself 
which she had resented so fiercely and so justly when claimed for 
themselves by the European monarchs. The Whigs acclaimed 
French successes against the Allies, and openly deplored French 
defeats. When a country is plunged into war, her people will 
not tolerate the attitude of the citizen who applauds the victories 
of her enemies because in his private judgment the enemies have 
the better case. In short, the line adopted by the Opposition 
destroyed even such influence as they might have exercised with 
the body of the people ; they were heard, because they made a 
noise ; but they were not listened to ; they added fuel to the 
flame instead of quenching it. 

On the other hand, even from the British point of view the 
war did not retain its character of being directed to the resist- 
Outcome of ance of French aggression. The princes of Europe 
the first-war, avowedly made it a war of counter-aggression, a 
war by which France was to be stripped of the territories she 
had acquired, and was to be forced to reinstate the Bourbon 
monarchy. The triumph of the Allies would have riveted the 
chains of the old system more firmly than ever ; the Allies did 

Features of the War 431 

not triumph, and when peace again reigned on the Continent 
in 1802 France was indisputably the most powerful state in 
Europe. Her victory, however, was not complete, and it was 
only in part the victory of the Revolution. It was not complete, 
because Great Britain was not only undefeated, but had strength- 
ened her hold upon India, established her naval supremacy 
more decisively than ever, and almost monopolised transmarine 
commerce, besides enormously developing her own industrial 
resources, while those of every country on the Continent were 
crippled. It was not the victory of the Revolution, because 
though France was still a republic in form, government had been 
effectively transmuted into the despotism of the First Consul, 
though he had not yet assumed the imperial title. And yet the 
Revolution had been so far victorious that there was no longer 
any country in Western Europe whose government could afford 
to regard the popular will as a negligible quantity, and in France 
herself, when the Bourbon monarchy was restored thirteen years 
afterwards, the absolutism and the privileges of the ancien 
regime could not be reinstated. 

Of the war itself there are two main phases clearly distinguish- 
able. The first ends at the close of 1797 with the Treaty of 
Campo Formio and the British naval victory at The two 
Camperdown, coinciding with the coup d'Etat of Phases. 
Fructidor. From that time the personality of Bonaparte 
becomes predominant, and the brilliant young general of the 
Republic has already fixed upon England as the enemy whose 
destruction must be compassed. At the outset of the first 
period there is a general coalition of all the western European 
powers against the French Republic, a coalition whose members 
gradually drop away till Great Britain and Austria are alone 
left, and finally Austria, by the Treaty of Campo Formio, leaves 
her obstinate ally isolated. Already, however, one extremely 
critical period has been passed, and the British naval superiority 
has been confirmed. The second period witnesses the Egyptian 
expedition of Bonaparte, the decisive naval victory of the Nile, 
a new European coalition, Bonaparte's return, the coup d'tat 
of Brumaire, the disruption of the coalition, and the second, 

43 2 The War with the French Repiiblic 

isolation of the maritime power whose fleets were now irresistible, 
followed by the Peace of Amiens. 

At the beginning of 1793, Pitt when he entered upon the war 
had no doubt whatever that it would be of short duration. 
The vital Since, as was notoriously the case, France had been 
strength almost bankrupt in 1789, it seemed incredible that 
she should not be on the verge of bankruptcy in 
1793 after four years of convulsions. Yet year after year passed, 
and the expected bankruptcy was always a little further off in 
the future until it disappeared out of sight altogether. A similar 
erroneous conviction had possessed the continental powers when 
the English cut off the head of King Charles i. and set up the 
Commonwealth. Whatever the crimes committed by the French 
people, France was permeated with that patriotic enthusiasm 
which made her sons ready to pour out their blood like water 
in her defence. The Republic offered advancement to any one 
who proved himself worthy of it so long as his loyalty was un- 
impeachable, and her forces were soon under the command of 
men chosen on Cromwell's principle of demanding only that 
they understood their work thoroughly, and had, mutato nomine, 
' the root of the matter ' in them. The organisation fell into the 
hands of a consummate master with an unfailing eye for ability, 
Carnot. Inefficiency, or any suspicion of inefficiency, met with 
an exceedingly short shrift, and incompetence once displayed 
was allowed no chance of redeeming itself. The result was that 
the republican armies, instead of being routed by troops who 
were treated as machines and led by noble amateurs, drill- 
sergeants, or men whose abilities were paralysed by traditional 
conventions, were habitually victorious. 

The Allies, on the other hand, suffered in the first place from 
the almost unfailing defect of coalitions, the lack of unity in 
Weakness of design, and of co-operation in execution. Each 
the Allies. wanted the spoils which were to be its own par- 
ticular share to be the primary objective upon which it directed 
its own individual energies. None of them grasped the great 
principle upon which both Marlborough and William in. had 
always striven to act, of concentrating their common energies 

Features of the War 433 

upon crushing the common foe instead of dissipating them upon 
the individual pursuit of their separate interests. Prussia was 
thinking more about Poland than about France, and Austria 
could not afford to withdraw her own attention from the same 
quarter. In the second place, while the rank and file of the 
allied armies were without enthusiasm, their commanders were 
chosen from the aristocratic circles, regardless of their incapacity. 
Those of them who had military experience were hidebound by 
the traditions of the Seven Years' War, when Frederick's fighting 
machine had been an extremely successful innovation. They 
forgot that Frederick's men fought with enthusiasm under a 
captain who never hesitated to take terrific risks, and they 
transformed the rules of thumb into principles of the military 
art. Consequently, when they were faced by generals who dis- 
carded the rules of thumb whenever they interfered with the 
carrying out of an effective stroke, they found themselves 
surprised, outmanoeuvred, and defeated. 

Moreover, Pitt in England was very far from be