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HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN

DURING THE

REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE.

CHAPTER I.

MEANWHILE the business of the Lower House had proceeded with o tronauillito in atmikina aantnost to the midland

From page

The author regrets that through inadvertency it was omitted to
place the date of the year at the top of each page. These dates
should be as follows:

Vol. I.
44 to 136 the date should be 1702
137 to 240

1703
241 to 298

1704 299 to 893

1705 394 to 479

1706 480 to 541

1707

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LONDON:

PRINTED BY VIRTUE AND CO., LIMITED,

HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN

DURING THE

REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE.

CHAPTER I.

MEANWHILE the business of the Lower House had proceeded with a tranquillity in striking contrast to the virulent displays of party feeling which had been exhibited by the Lords. The jealous spirit which prompted Somers and Wharton to attack their best friends, the Ministers, was but little shared by their followers in the Commons. Before the end of the year all the more important resolutions about supplies had been passed ; and Godolphin and Marlborough had every reason to be satisfied with the liberality of the House. The sums granted for carrying on the war amounted to nearly six millions sterling That the Tories, as a body, disapproved of the enormous expenditure upon land forces, there seems good grounds for believing, and in the present House they were at least as numerous as the Whigs; but they were content to keep their objections to themselves, and voted the public money as cheerfully as their rivals. The explanation of this supineness may be that the Tories of lower rank were men of less independent ideas than the chiefs of the party. Rochester, Nottingham, Haversham, were free and outspoken in their opposition, without a care as to what were the personal feelings or opinions of the sovereign. Their followers seem to have

VOL. II.

B

adopted the personal inclinations of the sovereign, whenever • they could be ascertained, as the guide of their political conduct; and nothing had as yet transpired to breed a doubt as to the sincerity of Anne's periodical recommendations to prosecute the war with vigour. Upon another matter the Commons were eager to please her. It was easy to surmise that an inquiry into the abuses of an establishment of which Prince George was the head, would be distasteful. The memorial of the merchants met in consequence with but little favour in the Lower House. The witnesses for the petitioners were constantly made to feel that those before whom they were urging their case were less desirous to get at the truth than to ensnare them into contradictions. The inquiry would, in all probability, have been abandoned, had it been safe to adopt this course. But the mismanagement of the Council had excited indignation too deep and universal to be disregarded. A compromise was therefore arrived at by wbich some degree of justice should be measured out to the petitioners, without offending the Queen. No censure was passed upon the Council ; but an Act was passed to render it in future obligatory upon those who had the direction of the navy to keep forty-three ships of war continually cruising about the coasts of Great Britain.*

Much time was spent in endeavouring to adjust certain difficulties of a temporary nature which arose out of the relations of this country with Scotland. The Union had been welcomed by all classes of the English with a satisfaction in striking contrast to the sullen rage with which the treaty was regarded in that part of her Majesty's dominions which seemed most likely to be the greatest gainer by it. Queensberry had been glad, as soon as he was able to prorogue the Scottish Parliament, to quit a country where he could not show himself without being hooted and pelted, and to hasten up to London. The moment he crossed the border, the manners of the populace towards him underwent an agreeable change. All along the northern road the people turned out to greet the Minister, whose cool intrepidity and address had succeeded, in the face of the most determined spite and fury, in carrying through a measure eminently calculated to promote the welfare and pros

Parliamentary History; Burnet; Boyer ; Lettres Historiques.

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