and Mr. Masham, but had drawn the line in his recommendations slightly above them. The queen insisted upon the promotion of Masham to a colonelcy, and, to cover the advancement of Hill, commanded that all the colonels of his year should be made brigadiers. Marlborough assented to the former of these orders, but, against the advice of Godolphin, refused to agree to the other. He had the double humiliation of finding the queen persist in her decision, and himself so inadequately supported by his colleagues that he had once more to give way. But more important proceedings were already in course of preparation, and on 13 June the dissolution of the whig government began. Sunderland, the first whig admitted to it, was the first dismissed, the high tory Dartmouth being appointed secretary of state in his place. On the day before her son-in-law's dismissal the Duchess of Marlborough wrote her last letter but one to the queen, enclosing in her angry missive several affectionate letters written to her by Mrs Morley in earlier days (Coxe, iii. 261–2; the duchess's letter is not in the Conduct). A brief and hasty reply from the queen, refusing to return her letters, provoked a retort on the part of the duchess, stating that in consequence she would take a little better care of the remainder.
As yet, however, neither Marlborough nor his colleagues seemed inclined to relinquish their posts, and the duke was urged by a joint ministerial memorial to retain his command. The intrigues of Harley to disunite the government however continued, and there were jealousies among its members. Somers, for instance, was suspected by Marlborough and others of scheming on his own account, and it would seem that his deferential manner to the queen over their teacups, and, if the duchess is to be believed, his politeness to Mrs. Masham, had made him not unwelcome at court (Private Correspondence, ii. 152). On 8 Aug. the queen took advantage of an altercation at a cabinet meeting in her presence to strike a deadly blow at the stability of the ministry by dismissing Godolphin. The treasury was now put into commission, and Earl Poulett made first lord; but the chancellorship of the exchequer was, ‘as a particular favour of the queen's’ (Luttrell, vi. 618), given to Harley, whose manœuvres were thus made patent by their success. Very soon the ministry was gradually transformed by the dismissal of all the whig chiefs and the admission into it of high tories, such as Rochester, Buckingham, and Ormond (who was sent to Ireland); while a secretaryship of state was given to the most brilliant speaker of their party, Henry St. John. There can be no doubt that the queen looked upon the victory as one gained on her behalf; she spoke of herself as released from a long captivity (Burnet, vi. 14). According to Dartmouth she regretted the loss of Somers, and desired him to wait often upon her.
The Sacheverell agitation, the rumours of the domineering treatment of the queen by the late ministers, and the growing weariness of the people in the matter of the war, combined to decide the elections of 1710 in favour of the tory party. With the electors at large, as for instance, in Middlesex, the church question—or the supposed church question—was uppermost. But the victory had no doubt been also, to a great extent, gained with the aid of other elements of dissatisfaction; and Harley, the chief author of the political revulsion, took care to put ‘the queen’ forward with unctuous iteration (see the curious document entitled ‘Mr. Harley's Plan of Administration,’ 30 Oct. 1710, in Miscellaneous State Papers (1501–1726), ii. 485–7). Whether he influenced the course of conduct now adopted by the queen towards the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, or whether it was due to the whisperings of inter-feminine spite, must be left an open question. Notwithstanding the fresh Hampstead air sought by her thrice a week in the summer, the queen seems this year to have suffered from the gout; and she had observed the thanksgiving for the successes of her army on 7 Nov. in the chapel at St. James's (Boyer). She acquiesced in the wish of the new ministers that the usual parliamentary vote of thanks to the general should be pretermitted, and at his first audience begged him not to insist upon it. Unfortunately the indiscretions of his wife had not ceased during his absence, and while overwhelming the queen with documents chiefly transmitted through the royal physician, Sir David Hamilton, she had been with difficulty restrained from publishing the queen's private letters to herself. Though terrified and at the same time determined not to see her, Anne had been generous enough to pronounce her incapable of the peculations with which she had been charged by Swift in the ‘Examiner’ (see Coxe, iii. 344–7; cf. Conduct, 263). Perceiving on his return that the official disgrace of the duchess had been determined upon, and humiliated by the treatment which he experienced from the ministers and parliament, Marlborough strove to make peace between his wife and the queen at any cost but that of the loss of office. He induced the duchess to write an apologetic letter, in which she promised, so long as she was retained in the queen's service, to hold her peace (Coxe, iii. 352; in the Conduct,