at home, and eventually acting as mediator between the king and the parliament. There is no doubt that with this aim in view in the early days of September he recommended to James the prompt summoning of a parliament, together with the restoration of the status quo ante at Magdalen College, the rehabilitation of Compton, and the undoing of the other grievous and oppressive measures of the last two years. It is possible that he might have even yet successfully carried out a policy of conciliation, but he had failed to reckon with the growing exasperation of Petre and the extreme catholic party, whose suspicions he could not allay. When, in the middle of October, he vehemently opposed the plan for the arrest of a number of suspected persons, the king was goaded by Petre to denounce, in no measured terms, his ‘want of spirit.’ Matters were brought to a climax when the original draft of the projected treaty between James and Louis was found missing from his custody. ‘There was doubtless,’ says Evelyn, ‘some secret betrayed which time may discover.’ Sunderland obtained on the same day (27 Oct.) his pardon for this delinquency and his dismissal. ‘You have your pardon,’ said the king; ‘much good may it do you. I hope you will be more faithful to your next master than you have been to me’ (Bramston, Autobiogr.) The pardon enabled him to borrow a large sum of money in support of his always tottering finances. With this and a considerable amount of bullion from the jewel office, after a temporary withdrawal to Althorp, he fled to Rotterdam, disguised in a woman's dress. This was apparently in November, and it was not until February 1689 that he was arrested by the Dutch authorities, a delay which seems to lend support to the belief of the court of St. Germain, that his arrest was deliberately arranged in order to mask his previous treacheries (Dangeau, Journal; cf. Muller, Wilhelm III und Waldeck, ii. 137). He was soon released by the Dutch authorities. From Amsterdam he wrote on 8 March a letter expressing ‘devotion’ to William (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1689–90, p. 16). Afterwards moving to Utrecht, he there concocted, in his own justification, ‘A Letter to a Friend in the Country, plainly discovering the Designs of the Romish Party and Others for the subverting of the Protestant Religion and the Laws of the Kingdom’ (s. sh. fol. licensed 23 March 1689). In this effusion of moral effrontery he insinuates that he accepted office under James from an idea that by so doing he could prevent great mischief. ‘I ought to have quitted it before, true; yet what were my motives? Certainly not mercenary; for I am much poorer now than when I commenced secretary under James.’ He claims great credit for having advised the king against severe measures in regard to Magdalen College, and in favour of measures of restitution when the alarm of an invasion could no longer be disguised, while he denies responsibility for a single act of Tyrconnel, though many of his letters of instructions are still in existence. He ends in a strain of nauseous hypocrisy: ‘My greatest misfortune has been to be thought the promoter of those things I opposed and detested. … I hope, I say, that I shall overcome all the disorders my former life has brought upon me, and that I shall spend the remainder of it in begging God Almighty that he will please either to put an end to my sufferings or to give me strength to bear them.’ The earl caused the letter to be translated into Dutch without delay (it is reprinted in Somers Tracts, 1813, x. 344).
Lady Sunderland wrote several letters to her friend the diarist Evelyn, in which she made edifying allusion to her husband's penitence. Her letters became even more pathetic when it was announced to her in July 1689 that parliament had decided to except Sunderland, as one of the ecclesiastical commissioners, from the Act of Indemnity, an act which, having been revised, was confirmed by William on 23 May 1690. He was similarly excepted from James's instrument and offer of pardon in 1692. Long before this, however, he had convinced William that his services were indispensable. He crossed over to England early in 1691, and on 26 April again declared himself a protestant. William saw him on 13 May. He seems to have feared that he might on his reappearance in parliament receive some marked affront. He waited, therefore, until a day to which the houses stood adjourned, and on which they met merely for the purpose of adjourning again, when he stole down to Westminster to take the oaths and sign the declaration against transubstantiation. He did not venture to attend the king to chapel until the following February (Luttrell). Next month an instrument was shuffled through the treasury releasing him from liability for the eight thousand ounces which he had ‘borrowed’ from the jewel office. He now began to attend parliament with regularity. He said very little, but he had never been conspicuous as a speaker. ‘The art in which he surpassed all men was the art of whispering.’
By means of the same infinite tact by which he had governed James, he soon be-