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George II
George II

on the throne, and bade the ministry do as they thought best, at the same time calling Newcastle a fool in the hearing of Harrington, and Harrington a rascal in the hearing of Newcastle. He was still as bellicose as ever, and Newcastle, who now aspired to succeed to Carteret's predominance, fell in with his views. Harrington, who was steadfast for peace, discovering that the pair were secretly thwarting him, resigned (7 Oct. 1746), and was succeeded by Chesterfield (Gent. Mag. 1745 pp. 246, 274, 357, 447, 496, 1746 p. 558; Wenck,ii. 191-205; Frederick the Great, Polit. Corresp. iv. passim; Coxe, Pelham, i. 242-8, 263, 281, 291; Marchmont Papers, i. 171-4, 182-6, 198). The suppression of the Jacobite insurrection (16 April 1746) enabled a few regiments to be sent to the Netherlands to co-operate with Prince Charles of Lorraine against the French under Marshal Saxe. The allies were defeated at Raucoux, near Liege, on 7 Oct. 1746, and at Lauffeld, near Maestricht on 2 July 1747; the French became eventually masters of the Netherlands, and began to menace Holland. In the East Indies also they had acquired a commanding position by the capture of Madras on 10 Sept. 1746. Lord Chesterfield, being opposed to the war, resigned his post of secretary of state for the northern department on 6 Feb. 1747-8, and was succeeded by Newcastle, the Duke of Bedford taking Newcastle's place as secretary of state for the southern department (Gent. Mag. 1746 p. 540, 1747 pp. 188, 315, 1748 pp. 91-3). The king's martial ardour was still unabated, and preparations for the defence of Holland were begun upon a vast scale. France, however, had already made informal overtures of peace in 1747 through Sir John Ligonier, who had been taken prisoner at the battle of Lauffeld, and, notwithstanding the king and Newcastle, the negotiation resulted in May 1748 in the signature of preliminaries for a treaty on the basis of the mutual restitution of all acquisitions made during the war. On this basis (with some exceptions) a definitive treaty of peace was concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle on 18 Oct. (N.S.) 1748. To this treaty Austria and Spain after some delay acceded (Wenck, ii. 310 et seq.; De Garden, iii. 366 et seq.) George's last effort on behalf of Austria was an attempt to procure the immediate election of the Archduke Joseph (then only in his tenth year) as king of the Romans. The intrigue was set on foot at Hanover, whither the king went attended by the Duke of Newcastle in April 1750, and was regarded with great pride by George, who, to Newcastle's intense mortification, claimed the exclusive credit of its initiation and conduct. Much money, chiefly English, was spent in bribing the electors by subsidies. The plan broke down, as the necessary unanimity of the electors was made impossible by the king of Prussia's refusal to concur.

Meanwhile Newcastle had become exceedingly jealous of his co-secretary of state, the Duke of Bedford. The king refused to part with him, but was induced to dismiss his close friend, Lord Sandwich, first lord of the admiralty, whereupon Bedford resigned (13 June). Anson succeeded Sandwich, and Lord Holderness the Duke of Bedford (Coxe, Pelham, ii. 119, 136, 193 et seq., 225 et seq., 281; Walpole, Memoirs, i. 185-200; Bedford Corresp. ii. 81-90; Gent. Mag. 1751, pp. 140, 285). The death of the Prince of Wales (20 March 1750-1) had so weakened the opposition that the Pelhams soon became masters of the situation, and the king surrendered himself wholly to their guidance. A bill providing that if the king died during the minority of his grandson, the new Prince of Wales, the regency should be vested in a council of state, was introduced by royal message (26 April 1751), and, conceived in the interest of the Pelhams, and directed against the Duke of Cumberland, appears to have had the king's entire approval, and passed into law (22 May) (Parl. Hist. xiv. 930 et seq., 999 et seq., 1131 et seq.) The summer and autumn of 1752 were spent by the king in Hanover. He returned to England in November, and had to settle disputes in the household of the Prince of Wales [see under George III]. In the following years the English and French came into closer and more hostile contact in India and America. At home the death of Pelham (6 March 1754) reawakened the strife of factions. The king sighed on hearing of it, 'Now I shall have no more peace.' Newcastle became first lord of the treasury; but his administration, in which Sir Thomas Robinson was exposed to the joint attacks of Pitt and Fox, became discredited. The king, foreseeing the approach of a French war, hurried off to make matters safe in Hanover towards the end of April 1755, and promptly set on foot negotiations for two new subsidiary treaties. By the first, concluded 18 June (N.S.), the landgraf of Hesse-Cassel agreed to keep eight thousand horse and foot ready to march at two months' notice. The second (concluded 30 Sept. N.S.) renewed the defensive alliance of 1742 with Russia, and the czarina further engaged to menace Prussia by an army of fifty-five thousand horse and foot on the frontiers of Livonia and Lithuania for the next four years, and to regard an invasion of Hanover as a casus belli. As the treaties involved subsidies,the regents at home declined to ratify them, and they became the