The House of Lords and the Godolphin Ministry 1702-1710
This study considers the procedures of the House of Lords in the early eighteenth century (Part One). It also elucidates how Lord Treasurer Godolphin managed the upper House (Part Two). Chapter one deals with ceremonial business and the proceedings of political significance which were neither legislative nor judicial. Above all it analyses how Godolphin co-operated with the leading politicians and wrote the Queen's speeches. He also tried to control the process through which the address to the Queen was made. However because of party strife he could not achieve his desired end. This chapter also surveys divisions, proxies and the Lords' protests. Party leaders thought much of these matters, especially protests which were often used by the High Tories as a means to criticise government policies. Chapter two treats the legislative business of the House. Leading peers, especially the Junto lords, fully made use of the procedures to turn proceedings to their advantage. Select committees also became arenas of party politics. Chapter three discusses 'political' trials. An analysis is made of how the High Tories used these cases to attack the government. Chapter four discusses relations between the Lords and the Commons. Above all it deals with the controversial matter of the superiority of the Commons over money bills, and makes it clear that disputes over this did not come to an end in the first parliament of Queen Anne, but continued until the end of 1706/7 session. Chapter five investigates the proposition that patronage was the most important resource for the Lord Treasurer to control the behaviour of the peers in the House. When he distributed patronage, Godolphin constantly adopted a divide et impera policy. Chapter six considers how skilfully the Lord Treasurer managed debates in the Lords. It makes clear that he was expert in avoiding divisions and remodelling motions to his advantage. Chapter seven deals with the first two elections of the Scottish representative peers. It considers the political struggle between the Lord Treasurer, who hoped to fill the sixteen with the Court candidates, and the Junto lords and the Squadrone Volante. The conclusion assesses Godolphin's achievement in managing the upper House. Until the final session of his ministry, he generally succeeded in keeping control of it.