was at this time excited on the religious question only; and as France was supposed to have pushed the marriage, it was feared that the prince would become a convert to Rome (Burnet).
The marriage of the Princess Anne made certain changes necessary in her household. At her earnest request the wife of Colonel Churchill (formerly Sarah Jennings) was now made one of the ladies of her bedchamber. The office of first lady of the bedchamber was bestowed upon the Countess of Clarendon, her aunt by marriage, who, as the Duchess of Marlborough afterwards spitefully wrote, ‘looked like a mad woman, and talked like a scholar.’ According to the same authority the princess's court was throughout so oddly composed that she must, in any case, have preferred Colonel Churchill's lady to her other attendants. ‘Be that as it will, it is certain she at length distinguished me by so high a place in her favour, as perhaps no person ever arrived at a higher with queen or princess.’ It seems to have been some time between the princess's marriage and the accession of her father to the throne that she made the girlish proposal to Lady Churchill ‘that, whenever I should happen to be absent from her, we might, in all our letters, write ourselves by feigned names, such as would import nothing of distinction of rank between us. Morley and Freeman were the names her fancy hit upon; and she left me to choose by which of them I would be called. My frank open temper naturally led me to pitch upon Freeman, and so the princess took the other; and from this time Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman began to converse as equals, made so by affection and friendship’ (Conduct, 10–14).
In 1684 occurred the first of those disappointments of which Anne was to have so frequent and so sad an experience. But as yet the report (mentioned by Luttrell under 30 April) that she had given birth to a dead child could hardly cause public apprehension. On 6 Feb. in the following year her father was safely seated upon the throne; and the princess, who had attended the opening of parliament on 22 May, was on 1 June delivered of a daughter. She was christened by the Bishop of London on the next day by the name of Mary. On 12 May 1686 the princess gave birth to another daughter, who was christened Anne Sophia by the Bishop of Durham, Lady Churchill being one of her godmothers. Both infants died within a few days of each other, the younger on 2 Feb., and the elder on 8 Feb. 1686–7. The death of ‘the lettl princess, Lady Anne,’ writes the kindly Alice Hatton, proved ‘a great aflection’ to her mother; and shortly after the death of their ‘eldest and only daughter’ the princess, who had miscarried in January, withdrew for a time with her husband to Richmond. Similar mishaps are noted by Luttrell in the latter part of October in the same year, and in the middle of April 1688.
Though the fears expressed in a letter written in the ‘fatal’ February 1686–7, that the princess's mind might be too sensibly affected by her sufferings, proved groundless, she cannot have inquired very deeply into the causes of the political troubles of the times. They were, however, becoming clear enough to the husband of her chosen friend, if not to that friend herself, who had soon after the accession of James II, on the departure of Lord and Lady Clarendon for Ireland, become first lady of the bedchamber to the princess. Even Lady Churchill, simple creature as she describes herself to have been in those days, had become convinced that as things were everybody must sooner or later be ruined who would not become a Roman catholic. Traces have been found of a scheme in which the French ambassador Bonrepaux and the papal nuncio d'Adda were the chief movers, to obtain the consent of the princess and her husband to a change of religion on the part of the former in return for the succession being secured to her before her sister (Mazure, Histoire de la Révolution de 1688, cited by Hallam, Constitutional History, chap. xiv.) There seems, however, no indication that James II made any attempt to interfere with the religious beliefs of his daughter beyond putting books and papers in her hands. The Earl of Tyrconnel (who had married Frances Jennings, a sister of Lady Churchill) is also said by his sister-in-law to have sought to gain over the princess through her to the church of Rome (Conduct, 15–16). In general the king's conduct to his daughter seems to have been marked by paternal affection, nor is it necessary in support of this to cite the apocryphal anecdote which was thrown in the teeth of the Duchess of Marlborough, and which represented the king as having twice paid heavy debts incurred by the princess under the influence of her favourite (see The Other Side of the Question, 47–8). Nor is there any evidence of his having shown resentment, even when at a critical time in his reign she adopted a course of conduct prejudicial to his interests, if not to his honour. The birth on 10 June 1688 of a Prince of Wales—afterwards the ‘Old Pretender’—hastened the collapse of his father's rule, for a widespread belief arose that, in Burnet's words, a base imposture had been put upon the nation. Among the circumstances