GREAT BRITAIN UNDER GEORGE I.
(1) THE HANOVERIAN SUCCESSION.
By A. W. WARD, Litt.D., F.B.A., Master of Peterhouse.
Characteristics of the Hanoverian Succession. 1
The House of Guelf and its Luneburg branch. 2
Rise of the House of Hanover. 3
Unification and Electorship. 3
George William, Ernest Augustus, and the Empire. 4
The Electress Sophia and her eldest son. 5
The Succession question under William and Mary. 6
George Lewis and the English Succession. 7
The Electress Sophia and the Act of Succession. 8
The Grand Alliance. 9
Bernstorff. Queen Anne and the Succession. 10
Waiting policy of the House of Hanover. 11
Marlborough. The High-fliers. 11
Rivers in Hanover. Bothmer in London. 12
The Succession and the Peace of Utrecht. 13
Intrigues of Oxford and Bolingbroke. 14
Parliament of 1714. The situation grows critical. 15
The Electoral Prince's writ. 16
The Queen's letters. Death of the Electress Sophia. 17
Death of Queen Anne. Accession of George I. 18
Character and surroundings of George I. 19
George I's Hanoverian counsellors. Significance of his accession 20
Church affairs. 21
(2) THE FOREIGN POLICY OF GEORGE I.
By J. F. CHANCE, M.A., Trinity College.
The foreign policy of this period. 21
Direction of British foreign affairs. Bernstorff. 22
Relations with France, the United Provinces, and the Emperor. 22
The Barrier Treaty. Bremen and Verden. 23
The northern treaties. The Baltic commerce. 24
Treaties with Spain and Austria. 25
Convention with France. Northern affairs. Görtz. 26
The Triple Alliance. Arrests of Gyllenborg and Görtz. 27
Hanoverian and Russian negotiations with Sweden. 28
Spanish invasion of Sardinia. The "Plan". 29
Subsidy to Austria. Progress of the "Plan". 30
The Quadruple Alliance. 31
Peace of Passarowitz. Byng's expedition. 32
Cape Passaro. Alberoni attacks Great Britain and France. 33
The first Treaty of Vienna. 33
Northern affairs. The War with Spain. 34
Death of Charles XII. Submission of Spain. The Prussian Treaties 35
Treaties with Sweden. 36
End of the Northern War. Peace of Nystad. 37
Discord with the Emperor. 37
Strained relations with France. 38
Breach with Austria. Treaties of Madrid. 39
CHAPTER I. GREAT BRITAIN UNDER GEORGE I.
(1) THE HANOVERIAN SUCCESSION.
HAPPILY for England, the Hanoverian Succession was, so far as the predominant partner in the Union was concerned, accomplished without bloodshed ; and, happily for the continental Powers of Europe, they were not drawn into a direct settlement by arms of the question of the British Succession, as they previously had been in the case of the Spanish, and afterwards were in that of the Austrian. This result was by no means reached as a matter of course, or in accordance with common expectation ; it was due to a combination of causes, among which not the least effective lay in the sagacity and self-control shown by the members of the House of Hanover in the crisis of its fortunes.
Without again going over ground covered as part of English and European history in a previous volume, it may be convenient to note briefly the principal phases through which the question of the Hanoverian -or, as it may from first to last be called with perfect propriety, that of the Protestant-Succession in England passed, before, after long years of incubation, that Succession became, with a suddenness more startling to contemporaries than to later observers, an accomplished fact. This summary may furnish a suitable occasion for recalling the personalities of those members of the Hanoverian dynasty who were immediately concerned in the transactions preceding its actual occupation of the English throne, and of some of the counsellors and agents with whose aid the goal of their labours was attained. And it may be permissible to add a word as to the antecedents of a House about whose earlier history the English people knew little and cared less, but which was never truer to its past than when it assumed the inheritance of a great future.
In the critical year 1688 Sophia, the youngest daughter of the Princess Elizabeth of England who during the long years of her exile continued to call herself Queen of Bohemia, was fifty-eight years of age; she was thus senior by eight years to Louis XIV, whom accordingly
The historic grandeur of the House of Guelf dates from a very remote past ; and the laborious investigation of its antiquities which at this very time was being commenced by Leibniz (though, so far as is known, this was the only research conducted by him which ever engaged the attention of the future George I) could have possessed only a very academic interest for Englishmen. What had been left of the vast possessions of Henry the Lion, or had been added to the remnant by his descendants, had been partitioned and repartitioned by them on innumerable occasions. Towards the end of the sixteenth century the efforts of the Princes of the House of Guelf had raised it to a position of importance and influence at least equal to that of any other princely family in northern Germany ; but the two main, or Brunswick and Lüneburg, branches, which had separated in the thirteenth century, were never actually reunited, and even the dominions of the Lüneburg branch were never united as a single inheritance. Although of the five elder brothers of Duke George, who in the latter part of the Thirty Years' War so signally asserted the position of his House, four in succession held undivided sway over the territories which formed their joint inheritance, on his death in 1641 his will established an exception to the principles of unity of government as well as of indivisibility of territory formerly observed by the Lüneburg Dukes. Calenberg (Hanover), where he had ruled independently of his brothers since 1636, was to remain separated from the more important Lüneburg-Celle; while the principle of primogeniture was only to be applied so far as to give the eldest brother the right of choice between the two divisions. In obedience to this rule, the eldest of Duke George's four sons Christian Lewis, after first holding sway at Hanover, succeeded his uncle Frederick at Celle in 1648. On his death, without children, in 1665, the second brother, George William, who had ruled at Hanover, succeeded to Celle,
But before this long-delayed rise took place in the fortunes of the pair, a more important advance had been prepared. Ernest Augustus' elder brother George William (who had himself been at one time affianced to Sophia, then a poor Palatine princess at her brother's Court in Heidelberg) had long since gone back from his undertaking to remain unmarried during the lifetime of Ernest Augustus and his consort, and thus to secure to them or their offspring the succession in Celle. In 1676 he married the daughter of a Poitevin nobleman, Eleonora d'Olbreuse, who had already borne to him several children. Only the eldest of these, Sophia Dorothea, who had been legitimised five years before her mother's marriage, survived ; and the right of any issue from that marriage to succeed to George William's inheritance during the survival of any descendant of Ernest Augustus was expressly barred. But the marriage of Sophia Dorothea to Ernest Augustus' eldest son, George Lewis, in 1682, followed by the birth in 1683 and 1687 of the two children already mentioned, furnished a final safeguard that the union of Celle-Lüneburg and Calenberg-Göttingen would ultimately be carried out. And thus in 1683 the imperial sanction was obtained for the testament " set up " by Ernest Augustus (i.e. promulgated by him in his lifetime), which established in all the dominions of the line the twofold principle of indivisibility and succession by primogeniture.
The marriage of George Lewis and Sophia ended in infidelity on both sides and in a sentence of divorce (1694) ; and the rest of her life (which lasted thirty-three years longer) was spent by the unhappy Princess in custody at Ahlden. The proclamation of primogeniture was bitterly resented by the younger sons of Duke Ernest Augustus, and one of them, Prince Maximilian, contrived a plot (with some dangerous ramifications), on the discovery of which (1691) he was exiled, and his chief agent put to death. But the unity of the dominions of the Brunswick-Lüneburg line was now assured, and, although it was not actually accomplished till the death of George William of Celle in 1705, a sufficient basis had been secured for the protracted efforts of Ernest Augustus to bring about his recognition as an Elector of the Empire. In December, 1692, he actually obtained investiture as such from the Emperor; but his admission into the Electoral College took sixteen «lore years of negotiation ; so that it was not till 1708 that George Lewis, who had succeeded to his father ten years before, reached this consummation.
The electoral investiture accorded to the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg was the avowed reward of the services which it had rendered to the Empire and the House of Austria during the whole of the period between the Peace of Westphalia and the crisis of 1688. In the early part of this period the foreign policy of that House was chiefly intent upon preventing France and Sweden from breaking through the limits within which the Peace of Westphalia had sought to confine them. The Triple Alliance (1668) in some measure shifted the relations between the leading European Powers ; and, for a time, the goodwill of the Brunswick-Lüneburg Dukes was solicited-and not by means of fair words only-by both France and her adversaries. But, in 1672, the policy of George William of Celle was, by the advice of his Minister von Schütz, definitively emancipated from French influence ; and both he and his brother Ernest Augustus were now gradually gained over to the political system devised by George Frederick of Waldeck and adopted by William of Orange. A loyal adherence to the House of Austria was henceforth the guiding principle of the policy consistently pursued by the two brothers, and by Ernest Augustus1 son and grandson, both before and after the accession of the former of these to the English throne, and was handed down by a series of trusted advisers, from the elder Schütz to his son-in-law Andreas Gottlieb von Bernstorffj and from Bernstorff to Münchhausen.
The Treaty of 1674, by which all the Brunswick-Lüneburg Dukes except John Frederick of Hanover (whose death, five years later, ended this schism in the politics of the House) joined the coalition against France, bound them to furnish 15,000 men, in addition to 2000 maintained at their own cost, in return for subsidies paid by the States General, Spain and the Emperor ; and in August, 1675, the Brunswick-Lüneburgers under their Princes gained the brilliant victory of the Bridge of Conz. They then returned home to protect the dominions of the House against the Swedes ; but of this enemy a sufficient account was given by the Great Elector of Brandenburg, between whose dynasty and its Brunswick-Lüneburg kinsmen relations of intimacy and of jealousy alternated in rapid succession. When, after the Peace of Nymegen (1679), the chief anxiety of the House of Austria was the Turkish peril, Prince George Lewis and the Hanoverian Life-guards rendered important service at the siege of Vienna (September, 1683), and he and four of his brothers took an active part in several campaigns against the Turks (the importance of which for the Empire has often been underrated) both in Hungary, where in 1685 George Lewis particularly distinguished himself at the taking of Neuhäusel, and in the Morea; two of the Princes laid down their lives in these conflicts. When, partly in consequence of the Imperialist successes in the East, the armies of France invaded the Empire in the West, Celle and Hanover joined in the Magdeburg Conference (October, 1688), and contributed to the forces
As there was a great deal of piety in Sophia's heart, she could not but take as she did a continuous interest both in the dynasty from which her mother sprang and in the country with which its connexion remained unsevered. In her girlhood there had been some passing talk of her becoming the bride of the banished Charles II ; and, in 1681, the design of marrying her eldest son to Princess Anne of England was approved by William of Orange, though it does not seem to have been favoured by Sophia herself. As it came to nothing, George Lewis was not to anticipate Monmouth as a Protestant candidate for the English throne. When the Revolution of 1688 was at hand, Ernest Augustus displayed no eagerness such as was shown by most of the German Protestant Princes, including his own elder brother and notably the Elector of Brandenburg, to associate himself with the English project of William of Orange ; and his consort manifested sympathy with her kinsman James II, though the statement that she supported his appeal to the Emperor for mediation cannot be proved. At no time would she listen to the doubts cast upon the genuineness of the birth of the Prince of Wales. But her own position in the matter of the succession to the English throne she neither did nor could ignore. When the Declaration of Right, which settled the Crown, after William and Mary, upon the posterity of Mary, then on Anne and her posterity, and then on the posterity of William was, in 1689, turned into the Bill of Rights, the additional proviso was inserted that no person in connexion with the Church of Rome or married to a member of it should be capable of inheriting or possessing the Crown. By this clause, it has been calculated, the eventual claims to the succession of nearly threescore persons were taken away. In the Lords, Bishop Burnet by the King's desire proposed, and carried without opposition, an amendment naming the Duchess Sophia and her descendants as next in the succession; but it was rejected in the Commons, on the ground of its injustice to claimants nearer in descent who might have become Protestants in the interval. As a matter of fact, the birth of the Duke of Gloucester in the mid&t of the discussion (July 24, 1689) removed one reason for pressing on the amendment ; but, whatever the reason why the Government gave way, Sophia's name was not mentioned in the Bill or in the Scottish Claim of Rights. The whole transaction had, as she warmly acknowledged, revealed the goodwill of King William towards the Hanoverian Succession, and this goodwill he steadily maintained. He cannot, as has been supposed, have seriously favoured the pretensions of the House of Savoy-Carignan, in the absence of any assurance of a change of religion in that quarter ; and in any case those pretensions would have been relegated into limbo, when, in 1696, Savoy deserted the Grand Alliance.
In general it may be said that the policy of the House of Hanover as to the Succession in the yeai-s which ensued was one of waiting- patiently on the part of the Electress Sophia, and with something very like indifference on the part of her son. Her consciousness of the uncertainties of fortune at her time of life suffices to account for her tranquillity ; George Lewis never cared to conceal his dislike of the possibilities before him, though he would at any time have made it give way to his sense of duty towards his dynasty. The English throne seemed to many of his contemporaries the most uncertain of royal seats, and the English nation the very exemplar of mutability. Though a British envoy extraordinary was from 1689 accredited to Hanover and Celle among other north German Courts, that of Hanover was during the last decade of the century almost absorbed in its own intimate troubles and immediate ambitions. The electoral dignity, which as has been seen was not acknowledged by the Electors of the Empire at large before two of them-Saxony and Brandenburg-had each compassed a royal crown, had been secured from the Emperor by means of the Kurtractat of 1692, by which the new Elector undertook to furnish a force of 6000 men for service against the Turks, and, should this be no longer required, against the French, as well as to support the Habsburg interest both in coming imperial elections and in the matter of the Spanish Succession. It may be truly said that George Lewis was as cordially interested in what his dynasty gave as in what it took ; and even the additional importance which the prospect of the English Succession gave to his House he would seem to have chiefly valued because it enabled him to take a prominent part in military operations. After he had succeeded his father at Hanover in 1698, not only did he and his uncle at Celle join the Grand Alliance reknit by William III, but they obliged their kinsmen at Wolfenbuttel to throw up their alliance with France. When the War of the Spanish Succession broke out, Hanover and Celle placed under Marlborough's command more than 10,000 troops, which fought with distinction at Blenheim and elsewhere, though (as the Electress Sophia complained) no notice was taken of them in the gazettes; and, after George Lewis had (in 1705) become ruler of the entire dominions of his House, he asserted himself by strongly opposing the first suggestions of a pacification (1706); and his most cherished ambition was fulfilled when (1707) he was appointed to the command of the army of the Rhine. It was his misfortune, not his fault, that in this position he was unable to accomplish any military results of much importance.
Meanwhile, in England the death of Queen Mary (1694) could hardly fail to bring the Succession question forward again. In 1696, the Brandenburg scheme of a marriage between Princess Louisa Dorothea and King William III had come to nothing; and, in 1698, he paid a visit to Celle and its neighbourhood, during which his conversations with
In the course of the autumn the Electress Sophia paid a visit to King William at the Loo, in which she was accompanied by her daughter the Electress of Brandenburg and her grandson the young Electoral Prince (afterwards King Frederick William I of Prussia). Curiously enough, the idea seems to have crossed King William's mind of placing this young Prince (whose father had claims upon the King's own inheritance as Prince of Orange) in the position left vacant by the Duke of Gloucester-though, as is pointed out by Onslow, he never had it in his power to nominate any one to the English throne ; and the Brandenburg (soon to become the Prussian) Court was quite awake to what, as it seemed, might happen. So late as 1699 the Elector Frederick Ill's sagacious Minister Fuchs was pressing his master "to aim at the English throne." The episode is curious ; but there is no reason for assuming, either that a letter written by the Electress Sophia to Stepney shortly before her visit to the Loo was really " Jacobite " in intention, or that at their meeting the Electress, by opposing the wishes of William III, led him to turn his thoughts to the rival electoral House.
Already in January, 1701, it was known that a new Act of Settlement would be proposed by the Crown to Parliament, in which the Electress Sophia and her descendants would be named ; and, notwithstanding the rumours of intrigues in which Marlborough was believed to be involved, an excessive display of zeal on the part of the indefatigable Leibniz, and a protest on behalf of Duchess Anna Maria of Savoy, the Act which in default of issue of the Princess Anne or King William settled the English Crown upon "the most excellent Princess Sophia and the heirs of her body, being Protestants," on June 12,1701, received the royal assent. On August 14, the Earl of Macclesfield, with the voluble Toland in his train, arrived at Hanover, to present a copy of the Act of Succession to the Electress, and to bring the Garter to the Elector. They were treated with much honour, but more significant is the facb, long concealed, that the Committee of the Calenberg Estates secretly furnished the Hanoverian legation in London with a sum of 300,000 dollars for any unforeseen emergency. At an interview which King William immediately afterwards had at the Loo with George William of Celle, he promised to try to obtain an annual income for the Electress from Parliament, and to invite her and the Electoral Prince to England in the coming spring.
That spring William III never saw, and during the whole of his
Shortly afterwards (March 8) King William died ; and a period, in some respects obscure, began in the history of the Hanoverian Succession, which extended over thirteen further weary years. But this obscurity was due neither to the conduct of the heiress presumptive of the English throne nor to that of her son. The Electress Sophia continued to remain true to herself and to the line of conduct which her judgment had marked out for her, in her conduct towards the English Crown and Parliament, and in her daily intercourse with friends and well-wishers, sincere or insincere. Occasionally her tranquil interest in a drama of which she scarcely expected to see the dénouement was quickened into some measure of precaution, as when (in June, 1703) she signed three forms for the Hanoverian envoy extraordinary in London (Baron Ludwig Justus von Schütz), authorising him to claim the throne on her behalf in the event of the Queen's death ; but, while she at no time concealed her conviction as to what would be the appropriate way of recognising her position, she made no demand, and still less allowed herself to be seduced into manœuvres or intrigues with any English party °r individual politician. Her eldest son only gradually, and never quite completely, suppressed his reluctance to move in the matter ; but, while plainly resolved to do nothing prematurely, he was as a matter of duty
The darkness in which the progress of the Succession question in these years is shrouded is, of course, mainly caused by the insincere and tortuous conduct of Queen Anne, her Ministers and the political parties out of whose jealousies and ambitions the inner history of the reign evolved itself. Their proceedings, and the motives by which they must be concluded to have been actuated, have been discussed, in their relation to the fallen Stewarts and to the general progress of affairs in other passages of this work ; here it only remains to note their direct bearing upon the Succession which according to Act of Parliament was to follow, should the Queen die without leaving any descendants of her own.
Queen Anne-no longer hopeful of issue, and from October, 1708, a widow-very naturally felt a certain measure of sympathy for her half-brother as to the genuineness of whose birth she had at first been so demonstratively sceptical. But the really dominant motive of her behaviour (a few unavoidable civilities apart) in the matter of the Hanoverian Succession, was a deep, not to say a superstitious, aversion from the whole topic and its associations. In the earlier years of her reign she did nothing in recognition of the " Princess Sophia's " claims beyond ordering the insertion of her name in the liturgy. She would at no time hear of carrying out King William's intention of inviting the Electress Sophia and the Electoral Prince to England, or grant a specific title to the former ; nor would she approve of an annual income for the heiress to the Crown sanctioned by Parliament. Sophia on the other hand declined to entertain the idea of a private allowance from the Civil List, which would merely oblige her to surround herself with expensive English servants. The Electoral Prince was created Duke of Cambridge, and Knight of the Garter like his father-and that was all. Coolness
With the English political leaders and factions the Electress and, till nearly the last, her son forbore from entering into intimate relations. To Marlborough they were alike attracted, and he was always ready with judicious advice ; but he was not the man to mortgage his future by identifying himself with either side, more especially so long as he was the first man in the State and controlled the action of the Queen. But on the other side there was equal caution. At what date he offered to the House of Hanover a loan of £20,000, in return for a blank commission signed by the Electress confirming him in the command of both army and navy, is uncertain ; on the other hand, when in 1710 it was expected that the new Ministers proposed to offer the chief command in the field to George Lewis in Marlborough's place, the Elector had, notwithstanding his military ambition, made up his mind to decline it. Godolphin was less accessible ; he was always suspected of partiality for the House of Stewart, with which he is known to have been in communication ; and for the royal assent to the Scottish Act of Security (1704), which seriously endangered the Hanoverian Succession beyond the Border, he was mainly responsible. The Whigs proper could not but consistently maintain the principle of the Hanoverian Succession except in a moment of factious aberration (Sophia said that they would always be for it " so long as it suited their purpose ") ; but it was not till a discontinuance of the War became an integral part of the Ministerial policy that the Elector began to take special thought of securing the support of the party in the matter of the Succession. To the Tories-whether or not of the so-called "Hanover" section which upheld the Succession- the behaviour of both the Electress and the Elector always remained frank and courteous ; and even the duplicity of the game played, first by Oxford and then more persistently and for a time more audaciously by Bolingbroke, though perfectly well known to Sophia and to her son, was met by them with an unruffled front.
Thus, the main incidents in the history of the Succession in Queen Anne's reign may be very rapidly reviewed. In 1704-5, when party relations in England were much confused, and Buckingham and Rochester were in correspondence with the Electress Sophia, the "High-flier" section of the Tories, headed by Rochester, sought to assert their power by means °f an address urging that the Electress should be invited to take up her residence in England. The address was thrown out in the Lords (November, 1705), the Whigs voting against it; but their leaders adroitly seized the occasion to introduce two Bills, which signified a real step forward in the interests of the Hanoverian Succession-the •Naturalisation Bill, which made an Englishwoman of the heiress to the throne, and the Regency Bill, which empowered her to appoint twenty-one
Lords Justices, who, in addition to the great officers of the Crown, were to carry on the government of the country in the event of her absence from it at the time of the Queen's death. The Earl of Halifax was appointed to announce the passing of these Bills at Hanover ; but it cannot have been very agreeable to his personal feelings that the Electress struck his name with six others out of the list submitted to her, or acceptable to his Whig principles that she insisted to him on the hereditary character of her right to the throne.
In 1708, when the death of Prince George of Denmark had removed the last possibility of further issue from the Queen, the Whigs were fully established in power ; but the Electress was by no means thrown off her balance by the enthusiasm of her Whig visitors at Herrenhausen, and the Elector was much out of humour at the lack of confidence shown to him in connexion with the conduct of the War. But a more critical period soon drew near, and it was not without reason that the Elector went out of his way to remonstrate with Queen Anne on the Ministerial changes reported as imminent in the early part of 1710. After these changes had been actually accomplished, Earl Rivers was sent to Hanover by the Queen to explain her view of them, and made a favourable impression. In December the Electoral Prince was installed Knight of the Garter by proxy-somewhat tardily, as he had been invested with the insignia of the Order some four years earlier. In 1710-a few months before, in May, 1711, Harley became Lord Treasurer with the title of Earl of Oxford-Hans Caspar von Bothmer, Hanoverian Minister plenipotentiary at the Hague, arrived at the Court of St James, to take the place of the envoy Schütz (who had died in the previous February). Bothmer, who was more directly and effectively instrumental than any other man in bringing about the Hanoverian Succession, had, like Bernstorff, been originally in the service of George William of Celle, and had when Minister at the imperial Court been sent as a plenipotentiary to the Peace of Ryswyk. He had acquired the complete confidence of the electoral family and of the Electress Sophia in particular, whose letters show her appreciation of his great ability, except as the executant of feminine commissions. He had been active in the electoral interest already at the Hague whither he returned for part of 1711; and both here and in London, which he again quitted for a time to act as plenipotentiary at Utrecht, he laboured incessantly in the main task of his life. He failed indeed to secure the goodwill of the Queen, to whom his very presence was a memento of the future to which she desired to shut her eyes, or of her Ministers-Bolingbroke declared that, notwithstanding his air of coldness and cau tion, he was " the most inveterate party-man " of his day-but he was praised by the Electress for being on friendly terms with both parties, without compromising himself with either. His management of the funds placed at his disposal appears to have been discreet and well-proportioned; some peers were to be had cheap. When
Bothmer had made it clear from the first that in matters of European policy, and in the question of war or peace with France in particular, his master was by no means disposed to fall in tamely with the system of the Queen and her Ministers. Already, when, in the autumn of 1711, Rivers paid a second visit to Hanover, and his customary assurances of the Queen's benevolent intentions were met by the Electress with the observation that it seemed to her quite natural that " the Queen should be more in favour of her brother than of us," the real object of his mission broke down on the Elector's steady refusal to declare himself in favour of the British overtures of peace to France. In November, 1711, Bothmer, who had returned to London with fresh credentials, brought with him a memorandum against the conclusion of peace which in England was ascribed to Whig influence, but which as a matter of fact developed principles of action of far more importance to the Elector than the interests of any English party-principles, and from his point of view dominating the question of the Succession itself. Both sides were now competing for the goodwill of the electoral House. When, in January, 1712, the Whigs through the Duke of Devonshire proposed to give the Duke of Cambridge precedence over other peers, the Ministry at once overbid them by rapidly carrying an Act securing precedence to the entire electoral family. Oxford sent his kinsman Thomas Harley to Hanover to present a copy of this Act, and to utilise the opportunity for laying, if possible, the belligerent spirit which possessed the Elector. But Bothmer still pressed his master's point of view, presenting a letter from him to the Queen on February 14.
At Utrecht, whither Bothmer soon repaired to watch the progress of the peace negotiations, the policy of the Elector was in many respects deliberately calculated to thwart that of the English Ministry. More significant, however, than even his wish to continue the Dutch Barrier Treaty and to promote a good understanding between the Dutch and imperial Governments, was the order given by him to General von Biilow, the commander of his contingent in the Low Countries, to pass
After Bothmer's recall Baron Thomas von Grote, who belonged to a family distinguished in the service of the Elector's House, was sent to London (December, 1712). His instructions were drawn up by Jean de Robethon, a Hanoverian official of French Huguenot descent, who has been justly described as the very soul of George Ps diplomatic chancery, and who continued in favour so long as Bernstorff maintained his ascendancy in the counsels of his Prince. Grote carried with him, besides elaborate instructions from both Elector and Electress, lists of the best friends of the House of Hanover in England, most of whom were Whiffs ; but he was also told to make friends with the clergy. He found no opportunity of urging the establishment for the Electress, the provision of which would have furnished the best proof of the sincerity of the Queen's and Oxford's professions, and in February, 1713, sent home to Hanover a very gloomy account of the situation. The hopes of the friends of the Succession in England were, for reasons which it is not very easy to assign, once more sinking. It is idle to ascribe the fact to the "unpopularity" of a House practically unknown to all but a few English men and women. The Electress had offended nobody, and, so long as the War had continued, the Elector had been a faithful and a zealous ally. But it was the time when both Oxford and Bolingbroke, whose mutual rivalry was becoming more intense, were seeking to intrigue with Berwick and the Jacobites at Paris, and trying to accommodate their attitude at home to the wishes of the Queen, which seemed by no means to point towards Hanover; Bolingbroke not only going further than Oxford in his overtures to the Jacobites, but occasionally treating the Elector's envoy with insolent brusqueness. In March, 1713, Grote died ; and in the same month Oxford, who could never continue long without trimming, appears to have sent his useful kinsman to make the customary meaningless declarations at Hanover. The Whigs were anxious that the Elector should force the situation, and at the same time exercise an influence upon the elections that were to follow on the dissolution of Parliament in July, by sending over a member of his family, preferably the Electoral Prince, who in the new Parliament would as a matter of course take his seat in the Lords. Bothmer favoured the step, but Bernstorff was unluckily ill, and in his absence the Elector decided against sending his son-whom for reasons
The new Parliament assembled (February, 1714) without either any representative of the Hanoverian family, or (as Berwick had suggested) the Pretender, putting in an appearance. But the situation had become more strained than ever, more especially when, in the last days of 1713, the Queen had fallen ill. Had things then come to a crisis, it would, owing to the great age of the Electress, and the unwillingness of the Elector to take a step in advance, have found the Whigs and the friends of the Succession at large ill prepared to meet it. Their best security lay in the fact of Oxford and Bolingbroke's perfectly clear perception that, while it would at any time have been impossible to persuade the Queen to summon the Pretender to London, it would have been madness to bring him into England from Scotland ; and that, so long as he refused to cease to be a Roman Catholic, he had no chance of the English throne. On the other hand, Bolingbroke was convinced that a German Prince such as George Lewis could never permanently occupy the English throne. But, now that the chance had gone by, Oxford lost himself in renewed duplicities which revealed only too clearly his uncertainty of mind. At one moment, he proposed to alter the Regency Act, so as to give to the Electress Sophia the nomination of the entire body of Regents-which would have enabled Parliament, if so disposed, to rescind the Act altogether. At another, he invited Parliament to declare it treasonable to introduce foreign troops into the country-a prohibition which might have been worked either against the Pretender or against the House of Hanover. Thus the feeling that Ministers were allowing things to drift-possibly into disturbance and civil war-operated in favour of the only interest in which there was certainty of purpose ; and in the early months of 1714 Tories as well as Whigs, clergy as well as laity, began to lay themselves at the feet of the electoral House. Though in the new House of Commons the Tories outnumbered the Whigs by at least two to one, a large section of the former party, the so-called "Hanover Tories," had made up their minds in favour of the Protestant Succession. In April, Oxford himself thought it well to make another of his "hedging" movements ; and Thomas Harley appeared at Hanover once more, with a bland enquiry on the part of the Queen as to whether anything could be
In the meantime it became known that the action of the Elector's Minister in London had with quite unexpected suddenness transformed the situation. In the ordinary course of things the Electoral Prince would as Duke of Cambridge have received his writ of summons to attend the House of Lords like any other English peer; but Lord Chancellor Harcourt, being like his Ministerial colleagues afraid of nothing so much as of offending the Queen, had indefinitely delayed its issue. Schütz had become very uneasy, when he received a letter from the old Electress requesting him to inform the Lord Chancellor of the great astonishment at Hanover caused by the fact that the writ had not yet been sent to the Prince. " As he (the Lord Chancellor) has always been friendly to me...I think that he will not consider it objectionable que vous le lui demandiez et la raison."" Schütz could hardly conclude otherwise than that he was desired to demand the writ as well as the reason for its having been withheld ; and the Whig leaders, to whom he showed the Electress' letter, took the same view. He therefore asked for the writ from the Lord Chancellor, who replied that it was quite ready, but that, the custom not being for peers to demand their writs except when present in London, he would mention the matter to the Queen.
When, on April 26, Schütz made it known that he had carried out the instructions of the Electress, the effect was electrical. Marlborough, Townshend, and Cadogan expressed their delight at the envoy's action ; Bothmer wrote from the Hague in the same strain ; and at Hanover, where Leibniz' exultation was unbounded, it was thought that the opportunity should be seized, and the Electoral Prince sent to London at once. But the Elector demurred-most fortunately, for Queen Anne was deeply angered at the action of his envoy. At first she was for refusing the writ, and Bolingbroke dared to be of the same opinion. But the Cabinet decided that the demand could not be refused, and on April 27 the writ was handed to Schütz by the Chancellor. The envoy was, however, speedily advised by Oxford not to show himself at Court, and was soon formally prohibited from appearing there. On May 2 he took his departure, leaving the Resident, Kreyenberg, to carry on diplomatic business. On Schütz' arrival at Hanover the Elector, in pretended displeasure, refused to receive him, and told Thomas Harley who was on the eve of returning to London that the envoy had acted without orders from his sovereign.
The Elector and his mother, had they really been afraid of any action on the part of the Queen, would not have despatched to her by
Thomas Harley the very outspoken memorandum of May 7 mentioned above ; and the Electress' account of the whole matter to Leibniz was perfectly cool. But the letters in which Queen Anne-or Bolingbroke, who held her pen-expressed her annoyance to the Electress, the Elector, and the Electoral Prince, were-especially the first-named-couched in terms of intolerable arrogance and violent menace. When they were, with the exception of the letter to the Elector, surreptitiously published by a Whig scribe (whom Bolingbroke immediately clapped into prison) the mistake made by the Queen was at once patent ; and Oxford seems at once to have ceased intriguing for the Stewart cause and to have begun protesting at Hanover. Bolingbroke could think of nothing better than to seek to implicate his rival in the demand for the writ.
But the Queen's letters had another effect. They arrived at Hanover on June 5, and on the 6th the missive to the Electress Sophia was delivered to her at Herrenhausen. On the evening of the 8th, when walking in her beloved gardens, she was suddenly overtaken by death. Since the arrival of the letters, she had never lost her self-control or even her high spirit ; but the shock had been too severe for her aged frame. On her death the Elector at once took the threads of the conjuncture into his own hands, addressing a conciliatory letter to the Queen and once more sending over Bothmer, furnished with full instructions for the event of her death. Whatever secret orders Bothmer may have had for his dealings with the Whigs, he was told to avoid all appearance of partisanship and took with him a letter to Oxford, insisting on the advisability of the presence in England of a member of the electoral family. On the part of Queen Anne, however, her relative the Tory Earl of Clarendon was sent over to Hanover with instructions to place a negative upon the proposals of the memorandum of May 7.
The events which now took place in England have already been narrated in this History. No sooner had Oxford been dismissed from office (July 27) than he at once offered Bothmer to keep him confidentially au courant with Bolingbroke's proceedings. Yet the Elector was of course completely in the dark as to whether Bolingbroke, at last in possession of full power, intended in the event of the Queen's death to risk a coup d'etat on his own account or to ask for the aid which Louis XIV had promised to give. The Elector was determined at least not to be taken by surprise. He promptly caused a fresh instrument of Regency, comprising his own nominations, to be prepared (Marlborough's name being left out from this, whether or not only because he happened not to be in England) ; while at home he received assurances of support from his nephew Frederick William I of Prussia and other German princes. With the Whig project of an outbreak during the Queen's hfe the Elector had no concern.
Then came the startling news of Queen Anne's illness, and of her death. The Elector's commission of Regents (in which 13 of his 18
Bothmer's vigilance and the Elector's self-contained but intrepid conduct had triumphed ; but Fortune had had her hand in the game. The Queen's illness had taken Bolingbroke by surprise, though not in the sense that he would in any case have joined with the Hotspurs of his party in proclaiming the Pretender. And the rapid close of that illness in death had prevented the Elector from responding to Oxford's summons, as, there is reason to think, he might have done in apprehension of immediate Jacobite action. Had he come while Queen Anne lived, tumult and bloodshed might have followed ; and, though resolute in action, George might not have proved the man to conjure the furies of civil discord-perhaps of civil war. For the nation's trust in the new dynasty was still a thing of the future ; and the consensus of all but the extreme factions in Church and State to accept it was no guarantee that this acceptance would prove enduring. Had the Electress Sophia, the heiress presumptive of the British throne during so many years, been called to it in her earlier days, she might conceivably have attained to something of the popularity which has surrounded more than one English female sovereign ; for none of our Queens has surpassed her in intellectual clearness and courage, in geniality of disposition, and in loyalty of soul. But in her son, who mounted the throne in her stead, there was little to attract, though there was much to command respect ; for he was cast in a manly mould, and veracity and trustworthiness were inborn in his nature. He had given abundant proof of military ability and courage, and he was fond of the pastimes which in his day
George I, unhappily, brought no consort to England, and the cloud of scandal which enveloped the story of his past married life did him much harm with many besides his son, with whom he was ostensibly on better terms since the death of the old Electress. The Prince of Wales resembled his father in his military ambition and absolutist convictions ; but to him as a younger man wider hopes attached themselves, and to the intelligence and charm of his Princess prejudice alone could fail to succumb. Instead of a wife, the King brought with him a mistress, in accordance with the almost imperative fashion of the day. The legend that Countess Melusina von der Schulenburg (afterwards Duchess of Kendal) had a rival in Baroness Sophia Charlotte von Kielmannsegge (afterwards Countess of Darlington), the daughter of Countess von Platen, who had been the mistress of King George's father, Ernest Augustus, can be traced back to the malicious pen of the Margravine Wilhelmina of Baireuth ; as a matter of fact George I acknowledged and honoured his half-sister as such. For the rest, though the style of the Hanoverian Court, magnificent under Ernest Augustus and Sophia, had become less ceremonious and restrained under George Lewis, it had not much to learn in the way of refinement from that of St James.
Of the political counsellors who accompanied George I to England, or whom, like Bothmer, he found awaiting him there, something has already been said ; and of their advice and its effects note will be taken m another section. Possessed as they were of their Prince's well-earned confidence, the continuance of their influence depended on himself alone, and on his and their power of shaping in new conditions the foreign policy of which he would never change the main purposes, and of which
No account can be given here of the adjustments made on the accession of George I between the administrative systems of his kingdom and his electorate ; but it is worth pointing out that the Hanoverian Chancery in London was at no time a branch of the Foreign Office, but always concerned with purely Hanoverian business. For the rest, the prohibitory clause of the Act of Settlement as to the employment of foreigners in civil or military offices, and as to the granting of pensions to them, was observed in the spirit as well as in the letter ; and while it is not easy to find even isolated cases in which Germans were admitted under George I into the service of the British Administration, the very few pensions granted to others than Englishmen or Englishwomen were of a wholly exceptional nature.
The title of the new dynasty was (notwithstanding what the Electress Sophia thought) parliamentary in its essence as well as in its basis, and therefore implied the assurance of a rule which, if only for the sake of the rulers, might be, whatever their own traditions, depended on to respect the principles and the practice of parliamentary government. But the Succession was not merely an incident in the conflict of English political parties. It was something more, and as such of vital importance to the national life and history. The Hanoverian was the Protestant Succession, both by Act of Parliament and by the whole history of the process of its accomplishment. The House of Hanover as represented by the Elector had adhered staunchly to the Protestant traditions of both his father's and his mother's line, while many of the members of both had fallen away from them. The attempt made in England both before and after the accession of George I to depreciate, as it were, the quality of Hanoverian Protestantism, by emphasising or exaggerating differences between it and that of the Church of England, had to be met
(2) THE FOREIGN POLICY OF GEORGE I. (1714-21.)
The first years of the reign of George I form, in the history of European politics, a period of transition from old principles and conditions to new. The necessity of combination against France passing out of date, a novel alliance ensues between that Power and Great Britain. Spain is roused to new life. On the conclusion of the long war in the north, the European circle is forced open to admit the new-born Empire of Russia, while the Swedish yoke is broken. For Prussia her new King marks out the path which is to lead her to dispute ultimately with Austria the hegemony of Germany. Holland and Turkey pass, with Sweden, from the front rank among the Powers. Europe in 1721 is not the Europe of 1714.
Great Britain was first of all concerned to establish firmly the Protestant Succession. But her sovereign had a second preoccupation : to secure for his electorate the Swedish provinces of Bremen and Verden -the former, at the time of his accession, occupied by Denmark. For both these objects the support of the Emperor, while France remained hostile, was absolutely necessary; and, to obtain it, George was willing to connive at Austrian expansion in Italy. But, when the Triple Alliance, as shown below, had secured him in England against " James III," and in Hanover against the Northern Powert,, the old principle of the •Balance of Power, that principle which aimed at peace and produced constant war, resumed its sway. The danger, however, to Europe was o longer from France, but from Austria and Spain. To settle the of the south, and so to remove that danger, Stanhope devised
The circumstances in which George I ascended the throne of Great Britain necessitated the recall of the Whig party to power. There were at this period two Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, charged with the direction of the two "provinces," into which foreign countries were, for convenience, grouped. Their authority was nominally coordinate, but the business of the two departments was always intermingled, and in practice the stronger Minister prevailed. The two men chosen by George for the charge had little in common but high principle. Charles, Viscount Townshend, secretary for the Northern province and head of the Ministry, was a moderate Whig of excellent record and sufficient but not dominating importance. He was chosen, probably, for these reasons. His colleague for the Southern province, General (afterwards Earl) Stanhope, imported into state affairs the energy and dash which had marked his conduct in the field. He was an accomplished diplomatist and linguist, who could undertake embassies to foreign capitals in person; a man of wide views and with a fine conception of the part proper to be played in Europe by Great Britain. During his lifetime he was the real Minister for Foreign Affairs, even while temporarily occupying another office.
But, during the earlier part of the reign, it was not the Whig leaders only who directed foreign policy. George had always with him in London the Hanoverian Ministers previously noticed, whose tried fidelity he repaid with complete confidence. To Bernstorff English Ministers deferred as to a recognised authority on European politics, while foreign representatives resorted to him preferentially. The interests of Hanover were by him consistently placed in the forefront. He appreciated the danger threatening them from the rise of Prussia, and insisted upon the necessity of maintaining the old devotion of the House of Brunswick to the Emperor. His influence was strongest after the Whig schism at the beginning of 1717 had removed from the Ministry his principal opponents, Townshend and Robert Walpole.
George himself took the keenest personal interest in European politics, and Whig tradition accorded with his desire that Great Britain should once more take an active part in them. The first consideration determining her action was the renewed hostility of France. For nearly two years a fresh outbreak of war was thought likely and at time« even desirable, the principal subjects in dispute being the protection afforded by Louis XIV to the Pretender, and the evasion
On George's accession the breach with Holland closed, indeed, of itself. But the Emperor could not readily forget the betrayal, as he deemed it, of 1712. And with the Dutch he was at special issue about their so-called Barrier-the line of fortresses in what were now the Austrian Netherlands, which, as has been seen in a previous volume, they had the right to garrison. That right Charles VI obstinately repudiated. George was readily accepted as mediator in the dispute by both sides, and appointed General Cadogan to conduct the mediation at Antwerp ; but all that could be obtained at Vienna in regard to a renewal of alliance with Great Britain, although Stanhope repaired thither in person, was the expression of a desire for it, after the Emperor's demands in regard to the Netherlands should have been satisfied. Cadogan, however, sent to Vienna in February, 1715, had the boldness to represent how, in England, Stanhope's failure had inspired the belief that the Emperor was engaged in negotiations of a wide-reaching character with France ; and Charles thereupon declared himself faithful to the old system, conceding also the three points about the Barrier which it was the object of Cadogan's mission to carry. Yet it was not till the prospect of the Jacobite rebellion reduced the British Government even to entreaties, that a solution in this matter was reached. A Barrier Treaty was signed at Antwerp by the representatives of the three Powers on November 15, 1715. But its provisions remained inoperative for three years, nor could a reconciliation between Austria and Holland be carried further.
In the north the situation was as follows. The occupation of the Swedish duchy of Bremen and its fortress-capital Stade by the Danes in 1712, following upon the failure of the Neutrality Convention of 1710 and the threats of Charles XII, had finally decided George, though hitherto reckoned the principal ally of Charles in Christian Europe, to turn against him, and he had entered into negotiations with Frederick IV of Denmark and Frederick William I of Prussia for the division of the Swedish provinces in Germany among themselves, his own share to be the duchy of Bremen and the principality of Verden. But, the Danes refusing to give up what they had won, and the demands of Hanover upon Prussia being too great, the negotiations bore no fruit until it was known that Charles was about to return from Turkey. Then, George
The part allotted to George under the treaties was nominal, namely, to prevent aid from coming to Stralsund, while besieged by the Danes and Prussians, from other German States or from France. He did not actually declare war against Sweden till Stade had been given up to him in October. But the real service demanded from and explicitly promised by him was, that the British squadron proceeding to the Baltic for the protection of trade should prevent the relief of Stralsund by sea. It was the commercial interests of Great Britain which made this service possible.
After Peter the Great had conquered from Sweden the eastern ports of the Baltic, Charles XII had prohibited all trade to them. This trade was of essential importance to the Maritime Powers, because only from the Baltic could a sufficient supply of materials for ship-building at this time be obtained. The damage done by the Swedish privateers, even while Charles remained in Turkey, was sufficient to provoke the pacific Ministry of Queen Anne to equip a small squadron for the Baltic- a useless demonstration, since the ships dared not pass the Sound, and only by grace of the Swedes were permitted to return home. Charles, when he came back, increased the stringency of his prohibition. In February, 1715, he issued an Ordinance of Privateers, which, in the words of the British resident at Stockholm, rendered it impossible for a merchant-ship to enter the Baltic without being made a prize. Great Britain and the United Provinces thereupon agreed to send a joint fleet thither to convoy the traders. But the instructions given to Sir John Norris, the British Admiral, authorised him, beyond protecting commerce, to make reprisals upon Swedish shipping, if opportunity offered ; and George gave his allies to understand that this power would permit an attack upon the Swedish fleet, if it were encountered. Circumstances prevented this consummation, in spite of urgent personal appeals to Norris from the King of Prussia; and vehement complaints came in consequence from Berlin and Copenhagen. As a compromise, Norris was ordered to leave behind him, on his return, eight ships to act in
On the other hand there was a prospect of improved relations with France and Spain. Louis XIV had been succeeded in September, 1715, by the boy-king, Louis XV. The next heir, Philip V of Spain, though he had renounced his right to the succession, disclaimed the validity of the renunciation. In defiance of his pretensions his cousin, Philip Duke of Orleans, had seized the Regency. Confronted by powerful opposition at home, Orleans was driven to seek allies abroad. Overtures which he made to the Dutch Government were a principal cause of its resoluteness in resisting the Emperor's demands in the matter of the Barrier. With George, his near relative on their mothers'1 side, he had exchanged strong assurances of friendship already during the last year of Louis XIV, and though these were suspended on the outbreak of the Jacobite rebellion, they were renewed on its suppression. On the part of Spain, previously not less hostile than France, a new policy was begun by Alberoni, the obscure minister of Parma at Madrid, who was beginning to rule the country through the new Parmesan Queen. With the consent of the sovereigns, and in opposition to the views of the Spanish Ministers, he offered a commercial treaty of the most favourable character. It was signed on December 14, 1715, and was followed in May by a revision of the Aslento, which allowed Great Britain to export negroes to the Spanish Indies. The provisions of the treaty were not, indeed, carried out ; after it was signed, oppression of British trade continued as before. Alberoni's intention would seem to have been to quiet England, in order to get rid of opposition on her part to his Italian schemes ; for his objective was the replacement of Austrian rule in Italy by Spanish.
But the Austrian alliance was far more important to George than any advantages which Spain could offer. And, on his side, the Emperor was realising that he could not carry out his designs upon Sicily without the aid of a British fleet. The Spanish treaty disturbed Vienna for a while, as also did another British treaty with Holland, renewing former treaties of alliance and commerce, concluded on February 6, 1716. But at length the Treaty of Westminster was signed by the two Powers on May 25 (O.S.). The peculiarly phrased second article stipulated the mutual protection and maintenance of the kingdoms, provinces and rights actually enjoyed, and the defence, if either party were attacked, both of these possessions and of such as might be acquired by mutual consent during the continuance of the treaty. The parties to it being Great Britain and the Emperor only, it could not extend, formally, to the new acquisitions of Hanover in the north ; but this subject had been
Definite overtures from the Regent Orleans were again made in March. In June he sent his confidant, the Abbé Dubois, to the Hague, to confer personally with Stanhope, then travelling with the King to Hanover. But George and his advisers were not at this time anxious to come to the proposed understanding; and they insisted upon the demolition of the works at Mardyk, and the expulsion of the Pretender and his adherents from France, as preliminary conditions. The interviews were not, however, without fruit ; they were accompanied by negotiations in London, and were followed by a yet more secret visit of Dubois to Hanover in August. As the result, a preliminary convention was signed; and on October 11 Dubois took his departure, in order to complete a treaty with Great Britain and Holland at the Hague.
This outcome was principally due to developments in the north. The plan of war against Sweden in this year (1716) had taken the form of a Russo-Danish invasion from Zealand, while a joint British, Danish and Russian fleet blockaded the Swedish in its harbours. Pending the completion of the Danish preparations, the Russian force intended for the attack took up quarters in Mecklenburg. Its doings there, and the support which Peter the Great gave to Duke Charles Leopold of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as described in a previous volume, roused the violent resentment of Bernstorff and other Mecklenburgers in the service of Hanover and Denmark ; and the good relations established between Peter and George by their Treaty of Greifswald of October, 1715, were seriously impaired. And when, on September 17, all being at last ready for the invasion, Peter suddenly declared that the season was too late, and showed his intention of quartering his troops again in Mecklenburg for the winter, an all but open hostility supervened ; while in England iealousv of Peter's rising power and the fear of his supremacy in the Baltic increased from day to day. Furthermore, the gravest anxiety was aroused by the doings of Charles XII. The belief obtained that his invasion of Norway was but preliminary to a descent upon Scotland from its ports. He left the remonstrances addressed to him through Sir John Norris simply unanswered. In July, Baron Görtz, whose enthusiasm and resource alone made it possible for Charles to carry on the war, arrived in Holland, the principal object of his mission being to raise money for his master's service, in order to procure for him ships and sailors. He was suspected of secret negotiations with the Jacobites, and his doings confirmed the belief that Charles intended to take revenge upon George in Great Britain-a revenge the justice of which was recognised. Under these circumstances, anxiety to conclude the alliance with France had replaced the former lukewarmness. Orders were sent to the British envoys at the Hague (October 9) to sign a preliminary treaty with France only, if the Dutch were not ready to
The completion of Dubois' work was delayed by several causes. Full powers for the British envoys, Horatio Walpole and Lord Cadogan, had to be obtained from England; and these were twice objected to by Dubois as not in strict form. The Dutch Ministers were not satisfied with the terms of the convention, and were bound, besides, by a resolution of the States General, not to enter into alliance with France, unless a treaty with the Emperor could be concluded at the same time. Nor could the Pretender be expelled from France, because he lay dangerously ill at Avignon. At length, however, a treaty was signed by Great Britain and France on November 28, and on January 4, 1717, there was substituted for it one signed by the three Powers. This " Triple Alliance " brought the accord between Great Britain and France designed at Utrecht into real existence. Great Britain need no longer seek to restore the Grand Alliance, nor France encourage the Pretender. The security of the House of Orleans in France and of that of Hanover in England became a mutual interest. France could enjoy the repose of which she stood so urgently in need. Together, George and the Regent could direct the affairs of Europe. The alliance between them was genuine and proved lasting.
For the delays at the Hague Townshend was held responsible, undeservedly. But he had differed from the King and Stanhope in their recent policy, and there were other reasons for the royal disfavour. He was relieved of his office, and shortly, as is detailed elsewhere, the Ministry was reconstituted, with Stanhope at its head. His ideas on foreign policy agreeing in the main with those of his German colleagues, their influence rose to its height.
George returned to England at the end of January. Immediately was put into execution an act which awaited his coming. The Swedish envoy, Count Gyllenborg, was arrested, and his papers seized. Görtz also was arrested in Holland, and kept in prison till August. The so-called conspiracy was published to the world. It is probable that, but for the Whig schism at home, war with Sweden might have been declared. Charles XII, when the news reached him, retorted by putting the British resident at Stockholm under arrest and forbidding his Dutch colleague the Court. In the course of the summer the quarrel was arranged by the interposition of the Regent, and though the settlement was little to George's satisfaction, he was obliged to accept it, owing to growing discontent in Holland. But, before its terms could be carried out, Görtz was released by the independent action of the States, of Gelderland; and,
In May Peter the Great visited Paris. His proposals of alliance with France only resulted, as has been seen in a previous volume, in a colourless treaty of friendship between France, Russia and Prussia, signed on August 15 at Amsterdam, which admitted French mediation in the north and put an end to the payment of French subsidies to Sweden on the expiration of the existing treaty. One consequence of the negotiations was the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Mecklenburg.
A British squadron again visited the Baltic this year. The principal instructions given to Sir George Byng, who was in command, were to prevent a Swedish descent on the British coasts. He would, with the Danish fleet, have assaulted Karlskrona, had not the help of a land-force been required. A Swedish frigate was attacked and destroyed. Furthermore, trade with Sweden was prohibited, in order that the country might be reduced by famine. This measure, however, recoiled upon its authors ; for the Dutch, whose Baltic trade was twice as great as the British, declined, in spite of all possible persuasion, to follow suit, and British merchants saw their trade cut off only to benefit their chief rivals. Frederick IV of Denmark also prohibited trade to Sweden, but failed in his attempt to conclude treaties with Great Britain and Hanover for the prosecution of the war.
Final negotiations with Peter the Great took place at Amsterdam in August. They were conducted by his old acquaintances, Sir John Norris and Charles Whitworth, the latter, perhaps, the ablest of British representatives abroad. But the aim on both sides seems to have been less to arrive at an understanding than to discover intentions. The conferences led to nothing. In fact, both George and Peter were now separately engaged in private peace negotiations with Sweden. These had been opened by George in the spring through Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Cassel (whose eldest son had married Ulrica Eleonora, sister of Charles XII), and through the Regent's envoy, Count de La Marck. Then, while his British Ministers were busy at Amsterdam, George arranged very secret conferences between his Hanoverian Councillor, Weipart Ludwig von Fabrice (Fabricius), and Count Vellingk, the Swedish governor of Bremen. The negotiations failed, for the cession of Bremen and Verden was refused. But early in 1718 Fabrice's son, Friedrich Ernst, in the service of the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, who, after acting as intermediary between his father and Vellingk had been summoned to England in great secrecy, was sent on a private mission to Sweden. On Peter's side there were conferences with the Swedish resident at the Hague and others, and with Görtz after his release. In consequence, Görtz was accorded Russian and Prussian passports to return to Sweden through those countries. Evading certain British cruisers on the look-out for him, he arrived safely at Lund, the bearer of proposals which led to the Aland
All this time, Alberoni had been quietly but unceasingly at work on the regeneration of Spain. He had succeeded in creating a fleet, and in August, 1717, suddenly put the weapons which he had forged to their trial-stroke. A Spanish expedition sailed from Barcelona for Cagliari; and by the end of November all Sardinia, then belonging to the Emperor, was in Philip's hands. Austria, having no ships, could not retaliate without the aid of a British fleet. But the Emperor's demand that a fleet should be sent, in accordance with the Treaty of Westminster, was met by the reply that nothing could be done while he remained at issue with Holland, the British Government being well aware that the nation would not submit to see its Spanish and West Indian commerce imperilled, unless the Dutch undertook an equal risk. Friendly expostulations were made at Madrid ; but Alberoni, who was supposed to lay value on the friendship of England, unexpectedly proved defiant.
The Treaty of Westminster, indeed, and the Triple Alliance were antagonistic to each other. The latter was as little relished at Vienna as the former had been at Paris. But now the two were to be combined in a great scheme which had for its object the settlement of affairs in southern Europe. Charles VI was not only still at war with Philip V of Spain, and claimed his crown, but was bent on depriving the House of Savoy of its recent gains in Sicily and the Milanese, and on succeeding to the dominions of the expiring dynasties of the Medici in Tuscany and the Farnesi in Parma and Piacenza. Philip V, besides claiming the succession in France, aimed at the recovery of the old possessions of Spain in Italy. The " Plan," as it was called, confirmed and confined him in Spain, gave Sicily to the Emperor and Sardinia to Savoy in exchange, and settled the succession in Tuscany and Parma and Piacenza upon the Duke of Parma's great-nephews, the sons of Philip V by his second marriage. Such a settlement, it was thought, would at once set limits to Spanish and Austrian ambition, and secure the position of the House of Orleans in France and of that of Brunswick in Great Britain and in Hanover.
The Plan had been opened in November, 1716, at Vienna and pursued in conferences at Hanover with the Austrian envoy, Baron von Penterriedter. On his way back to England, Stanhope communicated it to Dubois at the Hague. But the Emperor refused to renounce either his Spanish claims, or his designs against Savoy ; and negotiations halted until the news arrived of the invasion of Sardinia. Meanwhile, efforts on Alberoni's part to conciliate the Regent, aided by the strong influence of the Spanish party at Paris and by increased jealousy of Austria consequent upon Prince Eugene's great victory at Belgrade, all but brought about an alliance between Spain and France, To prevent this, and to
Besides ships for the Mediterranean, the Emperor urgently needed money. In 1716, after the Turks had conquered the Morea from Venice and had advanced into Dalmatia, he was compelled by his treaty engagements and by the danger which threatened Hungary to declare war upon them. Its course brought fresh laurels to Prince Eugene; but it cost much money, and detained on the Turkish frontier armies that were wanted in Italy. Although this War was specially excepted from the Treaty of Westminster, George was ready to provide funds, on condition that the Belgian ports should be forbidden to furnish transport vessels to the Swedes or give protection to their privateers, and that all Jacobites should be expelled from the Emperor's dominions upon request-these demands to be embodied in an additional secret article to the Treaty of Westminster. In return, Great Britain was to find ,£130,000, nominally in satisfaction of arrears from the Spanish War. Though the Emperor long held out against the mention of the Pretender by name, in the end the article was signed, in December, 1717. In order that the concessions might not appear to have been bought, it was antedated September 1. The money was paid in January.
Meanwhile, a new project for the Plan had been handed to Penterriedter in London (November 23). Although he expressed doubts as to its being worth while for him to remain in England, he was in February, 1718, ordered to renew the conferences. But the British Government thought it better to transfer them to Vienna, and sent thither the able Swiss diplomatist, Luke Schaub, with a draft for a treaty between Great Britain, France, Austria and Holland-the " Quadruple Alliance."
But a new complication now appeared. Charles VI had entered into negotiation with the King of Sicily (Victor Amadeus II of Savoy). The Prince of Piedmont was to marry an Austrian Archduchess, and Italian questions were to be settled by a separate agreement. Schaub's proposals were rebuffed, and it seemed as though all would fail. He and his fellow-countryman, St Saphorin, the British Minister at Vienna, were therefore surprised, when on April 4 they were informed that the Emperor would accept the treaty in its main points. Discussions, however, dragged on for seven further weeks before reference could be made to Paris. At the beginning of April Stanhope resumed the office of a Secretary of State, while the very capable James Craggs (the younger) took the place which had been unsuitably filled by Addison.
To endeavour to persuade the Spaniards to accept the Plan, the Regent sent the Marquis de Nancré to Madrid in March. But Alberoni had schemes now on foot beyond conquest in Italy : nothing less than to combine Sweden, Russia and Prussia, when they had concluded the peace expected, and France too, if the Regent's Government could be upset, in
Schaub was back in Paris on June 18, but found the situation altered ; the French were now unwilling to enter into the treaty. Proceeding to London, he found Dubois, who had returned thither, in despair. It was decided as a last hope to send Stanhope in person to Paris. He arrived there with Schaub on June 29, and learnt that another Spanish armament had sailed from Barcelona.
It was now, after much resistance, resolved to draw up an ultimatum to the Emperor, in the form of a convention between France and Great Britain. But when the convention was ready, the president of the Council of Foreign Affairs, Marshal d'Huxelles, refused to take the responsibility of signing it, or at least its secret articles, which provided for compulsion upon Spain and Savoy, if required. In this emergency Stanhope proposed to submit the convention to the whole Council of Regency, and, due preparatory measures having been taken, the bold stroke succeeded. It was signed on July 18, and Charles VI accepting it, the Quadruple Alliance was at last concluded in London as between Great Britain, France and Austria, on August 2,1718. In part a treaty of mutual defence and guarantee, it also dictated to Spain and Savoy the terms, in substance, originally proposed. While to Stanhope should be given the chief credit of success both in the conception and execution of the Plan, it must be allowed that he could hardly have achieved it, but for the special influence enjoyed at Vienna by the Court of Hanover.
The Dutch Republic was a party to the Quadruple Alliance in nothing but name. The British Government made the greatest efforts to obtain the accession of the States General ; but there was always a strong party in Holland objecting, in the interests of trade, to war under any circumstances. Grand Pensionary Heinsius had been able for many years to stem its arguments, upholding the traditions of the Stad-holders ; but he was now old and ailing, and there was no man to take his place. The efforts of the British envoys failed, even when they seemed to be successful. At first the Dutch required from France and Austria conditions extraneous to the Spanish question. When these had with difficulty been obtained for them by King George, they found other pretexts for evasion. A resolution to accede was adopted by the States General at the end of January, 1719 ; but, when the time for signature
William III had made the Hague the political centre of Europe. The enforcement of the doctrine of peace at any price by a minority of merchants, enabled to do so by the formalities of the constitution, forfeited that high position. Perhaps their policy was necessary, for the Republic was almost bankrupt. The United Provinces fell to the second rank among the Powers. The date of the death of Heinsius, August 3, 1720, may be taken to mark this fall.
Shortly before the Quadruple Alliance was signed, the Turkish War ended. George all along had watched its course with anxiety, for it grievously weakened his ally. The victory of Belgrade (August 16,1717) was hailed in England as a success of the greatest consequence, affecting both north and south. Immediately thereon George offered his mediation. The Dutch followed suit, and a congress was opened at Passarowitz. The first exorbitant demands of the Emperor were reduced under the pressure of the Italian crisis, but Austria gained greatly. The prestige of the Peace, signed July 21, 1718, accrued to George, whose plenipotentiary, Sir Robert Sutton, had carried it through with little aid from his Dutch colleague, Count Colyer. With the Quadruple Alliance and the Turkish mediation, George's European ascendancy reached its zenith. He assumed the position, says Ranke, which William III held after the Peace of Ryswyk, with the French alliance to boot.
The destination of the Spanish armament which sailed from Barcelona in June, 1718, was Sicily. Palermo and the greater part of the island were rapidly conquered with the willing aid of the inhabitants. Hereupon, however, in compliance with the Emperor's demands, a British fleet appeared in the Mediterranean ; and Colonel Stanhope at Madrid was ordered to use firm language to Alberoni, in regard both to the oppression of commerce and to the prosecution of the war.
Admiral Sir George Byng, after changing garrisons in Minorca, sailed straight for Naples. Here he learnt that Messina was partly taken, that the citadel must fall unless assistance could be sent, and, further, that the King of Sicily had expressed his desire to join the Quadruple Alliance, and asked for help. If Messina fell, the Spaniards would have a secure port from which to transfer their army to Calabria. Byng was instructed to prevent a Spanish invasion of Italy, or of Sicily with that object, by force, if negotiation failed. He proceeded, at the request of the Austrian Viceroy, to act accordingly. Arrived at Messina, he found that the Spanish fleet had retreated before him down the Straits. Landing an Austrian force, which he brought with him, at Reggio, he
Great Britain was not at war with Spain ; her fleet acted as auxiliary to the Emperor. Diplomatic relations were not broken off for some months. Stanhope himself arrived at Madrid the day after the battle had been fought. He could effect nothing ; Alberoni curtly intimated that Byng might carry out his instructions. The news of the capture of the town of Messina and the arrival of a large sum of money from America fortified Philip's resolution. When the news of Cape Passaro came, early in September, orders were issued to seize all British ships and merchandise in Spanish ports, as had been threatened. Byng was ordered to make, in return, the severest reprisals.
One result of the attack on Sicily was the submission of Victor Amadeus. After vain efforts on his part to obtain better terms, his plenipotentiaries acceded to the Quadruple Alliance in London on November 8. In exchange for his title of King of Sicily he received that of King of Sardinia.
Alberoni would not submit. His Italian enterprise frustrated, he turned to attack Great Britain and France. Feigning conciliation, he set on foot a plot against the Regent. The Spanish ambassador at Paris, Prince Cellamare, concerted it with the Court of the most active of the malcontents, the Duchess of Maine. Their doings were known, or at least discovered when matured ; Cellamare was conducted to the frontier, the other conspirators imprisoned. On Great Britain Alberoni's attack was overt. The Atlantic ports of Spain resounded with the equipment of a second Armada. To meet the danger, the British Government got ready every available ship and arranged for the help of Dutch, French, and other soldiers and sailors. Parliament by a large majority authorised a declaration of war on December 17 (O.S.). And, in consequence of the strong reaction against Spain at Paris, resulting from the Cellamare conspiracy, the Regent was enabled to carry out his promise of like action, although the Quadruple Alliance only obliged France to furnish subsidies. France declared war against Spain on January 9,1719.
Alberoni's scheme comprised a Swedish descent on Scotland and an attack by Sweden and Russia upon Hanover, in combination with the Spanish invasion of England. It was fully believed that Charles XII had concluded the peace with Peter the Great which would render this possible; indeed, on September 6, 1718, the latter actually signed a treaty for a joint invasion of Germany. In self-defence George, as Elector, concluded with Austria and Saxony the Treaty of Vienna of January 5, 1719. It engaged the parties to mutual defence and to offensive diversion into
The year 1718 had in the north been devoted to negotiation. Fabrice arrived at Lund at the end of February, and, when nothing was heard from him, was followed by another emissary, Schrader, conveyed to Sweden on a British man-of-war. Fabrice saw Görtz and Charles himself, and believed that he had obtained acceptable terms. The negotiation was purely Hanoverian ; it was kept as secret as possible from the English Ministers, though confided to Count de La Marck. Nothing came of it; Charles would not cede Bremen and Verden; George was in a sufficiently strong position to be able to await events. Sir John Norris, instructed as Byng had been in the previous year, conducted a squadron to the Baltic to act as he had done. Meanwhile, Peter was occupied with the conferences at the Aland Isles. Four times Görtz repaired thither ; three times he brought back proposals which Charles rejected. On his last return, at the end of November, he learnt that a British envoy was going to St Petersburg. He then decided to support the plan of Chancellor Müllern for peace with Hanover. But on December 11 Charles XII met his fate at Frederikshald, and three months later Görtz perished on the scaffold.
The mission to St Petersburg was the consequence of amicable assurances given by the Russian resident in London. In the place of Sir John Norris, who had been appointed to it, but evaded the task, it was undertaken by Captain James Jefferyes, who had been with Charles XII at Poltawa, and accredited to him at Bender and in Stralsund. Jefferyes found that the Russian professions were illusory ; all that was presented to him was a draft of the defensive treaty proposed and rejected in 1716. Instead of a desire for amity, he could only report extensive armaments by sea and land.
With the death of Charles XII, the hopes of Alberoni and the Jacobites from this quarter vanished into air. So great was the relief in England that Craggs saw in the catastrophe the hand of Providence. But the new Spanish Armada sailed, only to be defeated, even more conclusively than the old, by the elements. Violent storms dispersed it before it ever reached English waters. A separate force, which landed in the Western Highlands, was easily mastered. Later, a French army entered Spain. Philip V could not believe that it would fight against the next heir to the French throne, or the Duke of Berwick conduct it against the interests of his brother. He tried seduction, but failed ; nor had he troops fit to oppose the French ; the army that should have defended Spain was locked up in Sicily. Fuenterrabia and San Sebastian fell ; Catalonia was then invaded ; an English expedition under Lord
Cobham captured Vigo. These successes did not end the war, but they decided the fate of Alberoni, against whom, rather than against Spain, it was waged. Philip and his Queen protracted it, but its author had to bear the blame of its failure. In December he was dismissed by a palace intrigue promoted by his own patron, Francis Duke of Parma.
Before submitting to peace, Philip demanded extravagant concessions. His prospects were now brighter : the French army had been obliged to retire from Catalonia; the Marquis de Lede was holding out well in Sicily; a private settlement with Austria was possible. But Great Britain and France insisted upon accession to the Quadruple Alliance without reserve, before further terms could be discussed. In January, Philip reduced his demands to the restoration of the places taken- including Gibraltar-and the occupation of the Italian duchies by Spanish troops and their complete independence of the Emperor, as conditions for the evacuation of Sicily and Sardinia. But he was still met with firmness ; and at length his ambassador at the Hague signed the Quadruple Alliance on February 17,1720.
By this time George had almost completed that pacification of the north, which the support of the Regent enabled him to carry out. When, after the death of Charles XII, it became obligatory on Sweden to make peace, and in the first place either with Hanover or Russia, George's plan was that Hanover, Denmark, and Prussia, in return for the cession to them of the Swedish provinces in Germany, should combine with the Emperor and the King of Poland to force the Tsar to restore his conquests on the eastern coast of the Baltic. But the Powers concerned had different views. Sweden was ready to make peace with Russia, if Peter would restore Livonia and the Port of Reval as well as Finland. Denmark was for prosecuting the war to its extremity, in order to win back provinces in Sweden lost sixty years before. Frederick William of Prussia was closely allied with Peter, and was resolved upon maintaining the alliance. Finally, France insisted that Sweden must preserve a footing in the Empire, in order that her voice might be used, as of old, against the supremacy of Austria. The Regent advocated, as a first step, a reconciliation between Hanover and Prussia.
BernstorfF, ever loyal to the Emperor, threw the whole weight of his authority against this suggestion, but was overruled; the French alliance was indispensable. The Regent's policy was accepted ; Whit-worth was sent back to his old post at Berlin to conduct negotiations for treaties with Great Britain and Hanover. These were protracted for three months by difficulties of Hanoverian origin, and by Frederick William's hatred of the King of Poland, whom George desired to include in the latter treaty. Twice Stanhope and the French ambassador, Count Senneterre, fought pitched battles with BernstorfF at Hanover, and were victorious. In spite of the angry reluctance of Frederick William, continued to the end, the treaties were forced upon him. They were
In the meantime the young Lord Carteret, ambassador from Great Britain, and Colonel Adolphus Frederick von Bassewitz on the part of Hanover, had been busy at Stockholm. Under the pressure of the simultaneous Russian and Danish invasions, the Swedes signed a convention ceding Bremen and Verden (July 22). This was received at Hanover on August 5, but contained nothing about a cession of Stettin, Carteret having been forbidden to make any mention of this. In order that the cession might appear to have been agreed upon at Berlin before the Swedish convention reached Hanover, the Prussian treaties were antedated by ten days. A clause providing for it was sent to Stockholm to be inserted in the British treaty.
The main condition for the cession of Bremen and Verden was that the British squadron, now at Copenhagen, should proceed up the Baltic to protect Sweden from the Russian attack. But the Russian men-of-war were twice as many as the British, and might be reinforced by those of Denmark. Not until Prussia had been secured and other ships had arrived, was Sir John Norris allowed to sail. Anxiety was expressed that he might meet with the Russian fleet and destroy it, as the best possible service to his country. But it was already safe at Reval, and the galleys could not be reached among the northern shallows. The news of Norris' sailing, however, enabled Carteret to obtain the reluctant cession of Stettin ; the preliminary convention with Great Britain embodying it and confirming that with Hanover was signed on August 29. Carteret's success was due less, perhaps, to his great diplomatic talents than to lavish bribery of the Swedish senators. Essential, too, was the promise of British and French subsidies. The first of the latter, obtained by George's influence, was brought to Stockholm by the French envoy, Campredon, at the end of August.
Norris stayed on in Stockholm waters till November. Threatening letters, pressing mediation on the Tsar, were sent to the Aland Isles, but unceremoniously returned. Final treaties with Hanover and Great Britain were signed on November 20, 1719 and February 1, 1720, the latter binding Great Britain to aid Sweden against Russia. On that day also the Swedish plenipotentiaries signed, and Carteret and Campredon, as mediators, accepted a treaty between Sweden and Prussia. They adopted this course in order that the Riksdag, about to meet, might not interfere. The Prussian envoy, Knyphausen, could not sign, being bound by orders from home on minor points. But the King of Prussia was persuaded to accept the treaty. A preliminary convention with the King of Poland was signed on January 18.
There remained the peace with Denmark ; but to bring this to a conclusion seemed impossible. The Danes were throughout as insistent on their full demands as the Swedes were determined on yielding nothing.
With great difficulty an armistice had been forced upon Denmark as from October 30. When after six months it lapsed, little progress had been made. Frederick IV, in the end, was driven from his position, not by the threats of George, but by the action of the Emperor in taking up the cause of the dispossessed Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. It appeared that if he persisted, Denmark might even lose Schleswig. By May, 1720, disputes were narrowed down to the amount of money to be paid by Sweden for the restoration of Stralsund and Rügen. On June 14 Carteret accepted, as before, terms signed by the Swedes alone. With these he repaired to Frederiksborg, and persuaded the King of Denmark to accept them (July 3). All that Denmark obtained by her ten years' war was a payment of 600,000 crowns, the abolition of the Swedish exemption from the Sound dues, and British and French guarantees for the retention of her conquest of Gottorpian Schleswig.
Besides George's plan of peace there was his plan of war, and this failed utterly. No Power would join him in offensive action against Peter the Great. British squadrons again entered the Baltic in 1720 and 1721, but they could not attack the Russian ports, or even prevent fresh incursions. The men-of-war could not penetrate among the rocks and islands to the north of Stockholm ; when four Swedish frigates made the attempt, they ran aground and were destroyed. Already in October, 1720, George advised the new King of Sweden (Frederick I) to conclude with the Tsar on what terms he could. He offered £20,000 for distribution among the senators, and a subsidy of £100,000, if the cost of another expedition to the Baltic could be saved. But the Swedes held him to his engagements, and were consequently forced to accept the Peace of Nystad (September 10,1721). Peter the Great kept all the coast from Finland to Courland, and Sweden passed finally from her high estate.
While Great Britain was thus working in accord with France both in north and south, her relations with the Emperor were changing for the worse. He resented King George's alliance with Prussia and the disposal of provinces in Germany without reference to himself. In the attacks which were being made upon Protestant liberties in the Palatinate and elsewhere his sympathy was with Rome, while George and Frederick William were strenuous in their defence. It was believed that the Pretender's bride, Clementina Sobieska, had escaped from Innsbruck with the connivance of the imperial Court. The Spanish party at Vienna, headed by the "favourite," Count Althan, and supported by the papal Court and by that of Turin, was employing every means to subvert the policy of the Quadruple Alliance. The Piedmont marriage mentioned above was again m contemplation, and Charles was only dissuaded from its accomplishment by George's personal appeals. And, lastly, there was the question of the succession to the Italian duchies. Strictly speaking, Spain not having acceded to the Quadruple Alliance within the allotted term of three months, the Queen of Spain's sons had forfeited those " expectatives," as
Spain, as has been seen, acceded within the term. But now Great Britain and France, unanimous during the War, disputed the conditions of the Peace. The principal subject of their quarrel was Gibraltar. The Regent supposed that the offer of the restoration of the fortress, made before the war, still held good, and pledged himself to it. Both George and Stanhope approved, the latter more than once expressing the opinion that possession of the place was a burden to England rather than an advantage. But the suggestion was met in Parliament by so violent an outburst of resentment that he was glad to let the subject fall, fearing a formal resolution to the contrary. Furthermore, the vigilant Lord Stair at Paris, always suspicious of the Regent's good intentions, was sending alarming reports of military and naval preparations, and of favour shown to the Jacobites. George went so far as to fit out a squadron for defence against France, under pretext of danger in the Mediterranean. The strain was increased by the conduct of Law, described elsewhere in this volume. Dubois, his personal antagonist, strove earnestly for the maintenance of good relations, yet so critical was the situation in March, 1720, that Stanhope had to repair to Paris a second time that year. Stair, who had attacked Law violently, had to be recalled. Stanhope's arguments were fortunately supported by the discovery, or belief, of the Regent that Philip V was playing him false. It was agreed to send special envoys to Spain to treat conjointly. Moreover, the unsoundness of Law's System, as it had now been developed, was becoming evident. So greatly had its success been previously feared, that Stanhope wrote that if it took root, as appeared probable, the Emperor, Great Britain and Holland, even with Prussia on their side, would not be able to stand against France ; and Stair's last service at Paris was to demonstrate to the Regent that it must be abandoned. Sir Robert Sutton, who replaced him in June, adopted a different line of conduct. He showed confidence, instead of withholding it. Having investigated the reports of French armaments, he declared his belief that they were unfounded. Yet, in July, Craggs detailed to him a list of grounds of suspicion still entertained, and the French ambassador was informed of the real reason for the equipment of the
By this time the Emperor was looked upon at the English Court almost as an enemy. Bernstorff, still faithful to him, had lost his credit- the result of his opposition to the Prussian alliance and of Court intrigues consequent upon the reconciliation of George with the Prince of Wales, and promoted by Walpole, his determined enemy, whom the South Sea catastrophe called to power. George and Frederick William not only refused to send plenipotentiaries to the Congress of Brunswick-that shadowy Congress which had been sitting in form for the settlement of northern affairs since 1712-but dissuaded the King of Sweden from doing so. The Emperor persisted in refusing to invest the King of Prussia with Stettin ; and the refusal obliged George to decline for the present the investiture of Bremen and Verden. Protests addressed to Vienna against the impolicy of driving Prussia, possibly, to raise a storm within the Empire, were in vain. Further, the homeless Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, having repaired to Vienna, was favourably received there, and, through him, an approximation ensued between Austria and Russia. In November, 1720, Cadogan was recalled from Vienna in anger, and St Saphorin was ordered to speak no more about northern affairs.
On March 27, 1721, a treaty was signed at Madrid between Spain and France. It was a treaty of mutual defence and guarantee, the King of France promising his most pressing offices for the restoration of Gibraltar and for the regulation of questions concerning the Italian duchies. Stanhope had died on February 16, but his policy was pursued by his successors under the direction of the King, who wrote to Philip promising to restore Gibraltar, in return for certain concessions, so soon as the consent of Parliament could be obtained. On June 13, the Treaty of Madrid was extended to include Great Britain. There followed the betrothals of the Infanta of Spain to Louis XV, and of the Regent's eldest daughter to the Prince of Asturias. A new system of European politics was set on foot. At the beginning of Walpole's term of power the conduct of foreign policy by Townshend and Carteret was based on a grouping of Great Britain, France, Spain and Prussia against the Emperor and the Tsar.