Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/377

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Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena
371


hopes founded on the election of Pope Alexander VIII (October 1689) by many of the Jacobites, including Melfort, in whom she placed great trust, and whose special mission to Rome was partly brought about by her (Klopp, v. 8-9, 125). But before very long she began to recognise the grave difficulties in her way, and to seek satisfaction in a simple life at St. Germains (ib. iv. 402 ; Campana di Cavelli, ii. 513), and, above all, in the religious consolations to which she had been accustomed from her youth. As time went on, the nunnery of the Visitation (her favourite order) at Chaillot, close to Paris, became her chosen refuge during the absences of her husband and at other seasons of trouble ; a suite of apartments was fitted up for her there by Louis's orders, and everything belonging to or concerning her was preserved in it for the better part of a century (ib. i. 57 seqq.)

In James's Irish expedition of 1689, on which she had seen him start with the deepest anguish (Mme. de Sevigne, viii. 500), she took anxious interest, helping to bring about the despatch of Lauzun in 1690, at the head of a French army in his support (Klopp, v. 170-1), and striving to persuade Louis to allow of the transportation of the Irish forces into England (Clarke, Life of James II, ii. 386). She carried on an active correspondence with the Jacobites in England, some of which was betrayed (Macaulay, iii. 390) ; exulted in Beachy Head (Klopp, v. 134), and consoled herself for the Boyne by her husband's return to France (Clarke, ii. 406). To the Scottish Jacobites of 'the Club' she transmitted or promised large sums (ib, pp. 426, 432; cf. Macaulay, iii. 696).

The courtesies of Louis XIV continued, and in November 1690 Mary Beatrice knelt at church between the two kings (Dangeau, i. 354, 358-9). In 1692, when the great invasion scheme which ended at La Hogue was preparing, she was once more looking forward to the birth of a child (ib. i. 394-6), and by way of bringing home to his subjects the falsity of the calumnies to which they had formerly lent ear, James invited ' his privy council and a number of English peeresses to be present on the occasion (Clarke, ii. 474-475). When, a week after the king's return from La Hogue, a princess, afterwards named, in honour of her godfather, Louisa Mary, was born on 28 June, none of the invited were present, and Madame Meyercron, the wife of the Danish ambassador, was asked to attend, ' as a person on whose testimony the people of England might reasonably rely ' (ib. pp. 496-7).

In September 1694 Mary lost her brother, and her uncle, the Cardinal d'Este, became Duke Rinaldo of Modena (Dangeau, i. 445). It was about this time that funds ran very low at St. Germains, and the queen is said to have proposed the sale of all her jewels (Miss Strickland, ix. 349). In 1696 she took part in an attempt to dissipate the rumours as to the connection of both kings with the assassination plot against William III (Klopp, vii. 198). Before the close of this year, when the desire of Louis to make peace had become irresistible, it fell to her to assure him, through Madame de Maintenon, that her husband and herself were prepared to submit to the inevitable (ib. p. 324). In the subsequent Ryswick negotiations (1697), one of the French demands was the payment of the jointure of 50,000l. a year settled upon her by act of parliament after her marriage. Though the national account with the Stuarts was now, so to speak, being made up, William III naturally inclined to insist in return on the withdrawal of the exiled family from France. Finally, the treaty omitted both points, and though the English plenipotentiaries were authorised to promise the satisfaction of Mary Beatrice's lawful claims, it was afterwards pretended that the promise was conditional, and it may at all events be surmised that it was not intended to be carried out so long as King James remained where he was (see Lexington Papers, p. 301 and note ; Grimblot ap. Klopp, viii. 110; Macaulay, iv. 795 seqq., v. 92 ; cf. Burnet, iv. 380 note). Whether or not, as stated in the ' Review of the Account of the Duchess,' Mary Beatrice declined to sign a receipt for her jointure while her husband was alive (cf. Burnet, iv. 511), none of it was paid to her till the last year of the reign of Anne, when on her oifering to file a bill in chancery for her arrears, the first quarter of an annual sum computed at 47,000/. was actually remitted through the agency of Gaultier (Dangeau, iii. 301-3 ; Miss Strickland, x. 177). She is said to have left her otherwise undiminished arrears, together with other property settled upon her at her marriage, to the king of France, in whose name they are stated to have been afterwards demanded from the British crown by the regent Orleans. After Ryswick James and his (jueen remained at St. Germains, and in receipt, as before, of a monthly pension of fifty thousand crowns (Dangeau, ii. 90-7, 180).

Not even the death of James II, preceded as it was by the promise of Louis XIV to recognise his son, which Macaulay (v. 289), perhaps rightly, connects with Madame de Maintenon's visit of sympathy to Mary Beatrice,