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George I
George I

ciliation between him and his son (Marchmont Papers, ii. 405). His conduct as heir-presumptive to the British throne was, however, marked by his accustomed discretion and self-respect. He disavowed Schütz, and took no part in the publication of the queen's letters, replying to that addressed to himself calmly and courteously (see Macpherson, ii. 623-4). But he handed to Thomas Harley his outspoken memorial of 7 May, and entrusted the announcement to the queen of his mother's death to Bothmar, by no means a persona grata to the existing régime (Klopp, xiv. 601). At the same time he caused a fresh instrument of regency, containing his own nominations of lords justices, to be prepared, and at home took every precaution for the safety of his German dominions in the approaching crisis. Frederick William I of Prussia, who was on a visit to him at the end of July, and other allied princes offered him their help (Ranke, vii. 74).

Queen Anne died on 1 Aug., and on the same day the regency instruments were opened in the presence of George's representatives, Bothmar and Kreyenberg. The absence from the list of lords justices of Marlborough's name was attributed to the remembrance of the plan of campaign of 1708, but Lord Stanhope (i. 95) is probably right in supposing George to have been advised to omit the whig leaders in a body. Marlborough's nomination as captain-general, dated 6 Aug., was probably the first document signed by George I as king (Klopp, xii. 654). On the day of Queen Anne's death the lords justices proclaimed the new sovereign in the usual localities in London, further proclamations following there and in Edinburgh on 5 Aug., and in Dublin with a proclamation for the disarming of papists on the 6th. The lords voted an address to King George on the 5th, and the commons on the 6th. The funds, which had risen three per cent, on 1 Aug., went up a further seven per cent, when the address of the commons became known.

On the evening of 1 Aug. Bothmar had despatched his secretary Goedeke to Hanover, where he arrived on the 6th, followed on the next day by the Earl of Dorset, sent by the lords justices on the morning of the 2nd to attend the king on his journey to England. According to a doubtful tradition, Lord Clarendon, who had arrived just before Queen Anne's death partly on a mission of condolence, partly to transmit Bolingbroke's reply to the memorial of 7 May, was the first Englishman to bend his knee before George I (so Malorite, who adds details; but see the doubts of Klopp, xiv. 646 n.) Craggs, who arrived at Hanover as early as the 5th, was the bearer of a letter from the privy council dated the day before the queen's death (see Political State, viii. 206). Soon Hanover was full enough of princes, British and German diplomatists and others, to furnish reason or excuse for delay; but at last on 31 Aug. the king started without ceremony of any kind. Before leaving he had conferred some substantial favours upon the city of Hanover, and had committed the government of his electorate to a council presided over by his youngest brother, Ernest Augustus [q. v.] Bothmar became, and continued till 1727, minister for Hanoverian affairs in England (see Kemble, p. 331). The king was followed at some distance by his son. His prime minister (since 1709), Baron Bernstorff, and Privy-councillor Robethon, formerly private secretary to William III, and the draughtsman of the electoral court, had preceded him to the Hague. In his small suite were also his finance minister, Baron Görz, and his master of the horse, Baron Kielmannsegge. The baroness contrived (Lady M. W. Montagu, i. 127), in spite, it is said, of her creditors, to overtake the royal party in Holland; the king's other mistress en titre, Mlle, de Schulenburg, followed without much delay. At the Hague, where the king was warmly received, he decreed the dismissal of Bolingbroke, naming Townshend secretary of state, a choice most acceptable to the United Provinces (cf. Ranke, vii. 75). On 16 Sept. the king embarked at Oranie Polder in the yacht Peregrine, accompanied by a squadron of twenty sail under Admiral Berkeley, anchored off Gravesend in a fog on the following night, and landed at Greenwich on the 18th at 6 P.M.

Here he held his first royal reception on the 19th, particularly distinguishing Marlborough and the whig lords in attendance, but ignoring Ormonde and Harcourt, and barely noticing Oxford, introduced to him by Dorset as 'le comte Oxford dont V. M. aura entendu parler' (Hoffman's Report, ap. Klopp, xiv. 665; cf. Stanhope and Coxe). Among the addresses received was one signed by a number of leading highland names which figured in next year's rebellion (Doran, i. 11). On the 20th George I held his royal entry into London, with the Prince of Wales by his side; but the honours of the day seem to have fallen to Marlborough (Political State, viii. 258). The king's court on the 21st was well attended; on the 22nd he presided over a meeting of the privy council held for formal purposes, but it was dissolved on the 29th, and a new one put in its place.

The new ministry was entirely whig, with the exception of Nottingham [see Finch, Daniel]. Lord Cowper, the new lord chan-