Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/461

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


however, remained on both sides; nor was it forgotten at court how warmly the Earl and Countess of Marlborough had interested themselves in the matter. When, therefore, a year afterwards, Mrs. Morley pressed upon Mrs. Freeman an annual pension of 1,000l., there was fitness in the proposal; but Macaulay's sneer seems unwarranted that ‘this was in all probability a very small part of what the Churchills gained by the arrangement’ (cf. with his account of the whole episode, Conduct, 29–38). The garter, which the princess took occasion to remind the king he had promised to Marlborough, was not sent; ‘Caliban,’ alias ‘the Dutch monster,’ as Mrs. Morley ventured to call him in writing to her friend, was not to be forced into keeping inconvenient promises (Miss Strickland, xi. 96, 247 note). In connection with the money affairs of the princess may be noticed the granting away as a forfeiture by King William of the Irish estate of James II, to which the Princess Anne was co-heiress with Queen Mary. In this grievance, too, Marlborough seems to have interested himself (Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1708–14, p. 611).

But the years 1690 and 1691 passed without any serious outbreak between the sisters. The daughter to whom Anne gave birth on 14 Oct. 1690, and who lived but two hours, was christened Mary—like one of her poor little elder sisters—before she too was privately buried in Westminster Abbey. It was quite early in 1692 that the sudden and mysterious disgrace of Marlborough, who on 21 Jan. was dismissed from all his employments, led to an estrangement between the queen and the princess which was never healed. His wife afterwards coolly asserted that his disgrace was designed as a step towards removing her from her position with the princess. It is virtually certain that King William had already reason for serious suspicion of Marlborough's dealings with the exiled king, although an angry conversation on 9 Jan., in which the queen was said to have threatened the princess with the reduction of her revenue by one half, may have contributed to hasten the course of events. James declared that a ‘most penitential and dutiful’ letter which Anne wrote to him about this time, but which he did not receive till he had arrived at La Hogue in April 1692, ‘considering the great power my Lord and Lady Churchill had with the princess, was a more than ordinary mark of that lord's sincerity in what he professed’ (Clarke, James II, ii. 476–8; cf. Original Papers, i. 241). In any case, even after Marlborough's dismissal, the princess was by no means disposed to accept the situation, and on 4 Feb. she took the countess with her to court at Kensington. Hereupon the queen, in a letter dated 5 Feb., which has a kindly tone even when embedded in the duchess's context, told the princess plainly that she must dismiss Lady Marlborough. After in vain attempting to prevail upon her uncle Rochester to be her messenger, Anne on the 6th sent a reply to the queen defending her favourite, but received no answer, except a message by the lord chamberlain forbidding Lady Marlborough's further presence at the Cockpit. Even when Anne on the 8th announced her intention of retiring herself from court should the queen persevere in her resolution, the latter was immovable, and Lady Marlborough was relieved of her offices as groom of the stole and governess of the household to the princess, which were given to the Countess of Suffolk (Luttrell, ii. 343, 360, whose dates, however, do not altogether agree with the duchess's in the Conduct). But though defeated Anne was not cowed, and that she was not without friends was shown by the ‘proud Duke of Somerset’ lending her his villa on the Thames called Sion House, whither she went, accompanied by the countess, on 19 Feb., and by his losing no time in paying her his respects there with the Duke of Ormond. The latter soon reappeared with a peremptory message from the king bidding the princess remove her favourite, but ‘the answer,’ writes Luttrell, ‘we hear not.’ On the same day, 1 March, the young Duke of Gloucester, who had remained with the queen at Kensington, was, by his mother's desire, carried to Sion House.

After, on 17 April, the princess had given birth to the youngest of her children, Prince George, who lived only long enough to be baptised, the queen paid a visit to her sister, but, according to Lady Marlborough, only in order to insist upon the removal of the obnoxious favourite. Being refused, she departed in anger, nor was she conciliated by a letter sent by the princess after her recovery through the Bishop of Worcester (Stillingfleet), inasmuch as it did not promise obedience to her demand. And about this time the royal displeasure against the princess found vent in a series of petty indignities, the remembrance of which was of course carefully treasured up. The guard of honour attending upon her and her husband seems to have been taken away before; and on paying his respects at Kensington the prince had missed the customary salute on entering the palace, though the drums duly beat on his departure (Luttrell, ii. 366, 376). Pressure was put upon the nobility to prevent them from waiting on the princess; and when she came to town, where she had taken Berkeley