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The General in WinterThe Marlborough-Godolphin Friendship and the Reign of Anne$
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Frances Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198802440

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198802440.001.0001

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(p.338) 12 1711–1712
The General in Winter

Frances Harris

Oxford University Press

The final chapter shows how the partnership continues until Godolphin’s death. When Godolphin realizes that Harley (now Earl of Oxford) has begun a secret peace treaty separately from the Allies, he leads the opposition. Marlborough at first hopes that he will be able to remain neutral, but at Godolphin’s persuasion he joins in publicly, is dismissed, vilified in a press campaign led by Swift, and threatened with prosecution and even assassination. When Godolphin dies in 1712 Marlborough goes abroad. His ostensible aim, a coup by the Allies to overturn Oxford’s ministry, forestall the peace of Utrecht, and secure the Hanoverian succession, fails. But the queen becomes disillusioned with Oxford and Bolingbroke, regrets parting with Godolphin, and encourages Marlborough to return, although she dies before he can land in England. Marlborough is reinstated by George I, and Robert Walpole inherits Godolphin’s role, with Marlborough’s great fortune an asset for government borrowing.

Keywords:   Duke of Marlborough, Lord Godolphin, Earl of Oxford, Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Jonathan Swift, peace of Utrecht, Hanoverian succession, George I, Robert Walpole

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