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A Passion for GovernmentThe Life of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough$
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Frances Harris

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202240

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202240.001.0001

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‘Arbitrary Power & Popery’ 1685–1688

‘Arbitrary Power & Popery’ 1685–1688

(p.39) 4 ‘Arbitrary Power & Popery’ 1685–1688
A Passion for Government


Oxford University Press

Sarah was one of many who showed no remorse for the death of Charles II as she believed that he merely succumbed to the orders of France and that he was one of those behind the killing of the Whig leaders which proceeded the Rye House plot. She believed that James II, brother and successor to Charles II, managed the public better. She favoured the fact that he opted to establish his own religion that would enable the saving of souls. In this chapter we see Sarah performing as a Court servant and the chapter shows that she had several shortcomings in this position. The chapter includes a discussion on how England had been freed from ‘Arbitrary power & popery’, and how Sarah's political attitudes were shaped through the broken ties and the risks she had taken in achieving such a purpose.

Keywords:   Charles II, James II, England, Arbitrary power, Pope, political attitudes

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