Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 47.djvu/36

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were designated the ‘consuls of the Patriots’ (cf. Hervey, i. 29). In the first instance the Patriots attacked the foreign policy of the government, which centred in the much-misrepresented treaty of Hanover (1725). In the commons (16 Feb. 1726) Pulteney's proposal to condemn it as solely intended to serve Hanoverian interests was outvoted by a sweeping majority (Coxe, ii. 237). The emperor, Charles VI, indulged the hope of overthrowing Walpole's ministry, and thus bringing about a change in foreign policy by means of the intrigues of his resident Palm with both the Hanoverian clique and Pulteney and the opposition. But Pulteney supported Walpole in the address of 13 March 1727, provoked by Palm's indiscretions. On the outbreak of war with Spain the emperor was detached from his ally by the pacific efforts of Walpole and Fleury. When at this crisis George I died (10 June 1727), the efforts of all parties were immediately directed to the supersession of his chief minister. Pulteney had been on the best of terms with George II when Prince of Wales (An Answer, &c., p. 57). He now actively intrigued against Walpole. Lord Hervey asserts that he tried to secure the king's favour by first proposing a civil list of 800,000l.—the amount which George actually obtained from Walpole—with certain additional profits (Last Ten Years, i. 42; but see Croker's note, ib.) But, perhaps owing to his failure to secure Queen Caroline's support, Pulteney's advances fell flat with George II, and he is said to have been refused permission to stand for Westminster in the court interest (ib. i. 49). In 1727 Pulteney issued a pamphlet ‘On the State of the National Debt, as it stood December 24th, 1716,’ &c. (cf. Craftsman, No. 90, vol. iii.). He argued that between 1716 and 1725 the debt had increased by at least nine millions, and was likely to rise by five millions more, the operation of the sinking fund having been rendered nugatory by the South Sea scheme and its consequences. In the new parliament which assembled 23 Jan. 1728 Walpole, whose reputation as the saviour of the national credit was thus called into question, brought (22 Feb.) the whole subject of the working of the sinking fund before parliament, and Pulteney (29 Feb.) undertook to prove, and more than prove, the contentions of his pamphlet. But in the debate, granted on his demand, the minister's counter-assertions were approved by a large majority (8 March) (Coxe, Walpole, ii. 307–11; Stanhope, ii. 214).

In 1729 the criticisms of Pulteney and his friends on Walpole's foreign relations, with Spain in particular, were deprived of point by the conclusion of the treaty of Seville (9 Nov.), which was highly favourable to British interests. In 1730 Walpole openly broke with Townshend, who resigned office (16 May). It is said that at this crisis Pulteney was offered, through Walpole's most consistent supporter, Queen Caroline, a peerage and one of the secretaryships of state. He abruptly declined both. (Coxe, Walpole, iii. 35). A bitter quarrel followed between Pulteney and Lord Hervey, his former friend. The efforts of Pulteney, assisted by his steady ally, Hervey's wife, to detach Hervey from Walpole had been only temporarily successful (Memoirs of Lord Hervey, i. 128–31). In 1731 there was issued a pamphlet entitled ‘Sedition and Defamation displayed,’ with a caustic ‘Dedication to the Patrons of the “Craftsman.”’ Hervey was responsible for the dedication only, but, in the belief that he had written the pamphlet as well, Pulteney retorted, under the signature of ‘The Craftsman,’ in ‘A Proper Reply to a late Scurrilous Libel.’ The ‘Reply’ was most offensive in tone, and gave Pope hints for his character of Hervey as ‘Sporus’ (Epistle to Arbuthnot, pp. 305–333; cf. Pope, Works, ed. Elwin and Courthope, iii. 266, and note). Demands for avowal or disavowal of authorship were made on both sides, without much effect. A bloodless duel was consequently fought between the disputants, 25 Jan. 1731, on the site of the present Green Park (see Croker's Introduction to Hervey's Memoirs of George II, i. 34–7; Sir C. H. Williams, Works, i. 204; Caricature History of the Georges, p. 100). This is said to have been Pulteney's solitary duel; but he escaped another, with his constant adversary, Henry Pelham, only by intervention of the speaker (Coxe, Memoirs of the Pelham Administration, i. 9).

Of more importance was a controversy between Pulteney and Walpole, provoked by a letter contributed by Bolingbroke to the ‘Craftsman,’ 22 May 1731 (No. 255, vol. vii.), in support of his own and Pulteney's conduct as politicians. A reply, entitled ‘Remarks on the Craftsman's Vindication of his two Honourable Patrons,’ loaded Pulteney with personal abuse, and he suspected that Walpole had inspired the writer. Pulteney's reply, entitled ‘An Answer to one Part of an Infamous Libel entitled Remarks,’ &c. (1731), which may be called an ‘Apologia’ for the whole of Pulteney's earlier relations with Walpole, so enraged Walpole as to cause him to order the arrest of the printer of the ‘Answer,’ and