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surer Godolphin. The grand alliance which William had formed against the French king, with a view to reduce his power, and prevent the succession of his family to the throne of Spain, received the sanction of Anne, and in combination with the allies war was declared the same day at London, the Hague, and Vienna. Marlborough obtained the command of the united armies in the war which ensued-called the "War of the Succession," and began that career of extraordinary glory and success which placed him amongst the greatest captains in history. In the Low Countries, town after town surrendered to his arms, and the first campaign saw the Dutch frontier rendered secure, and the navigation of the Meuse set free. His glory was further enhanced by the failure of an expedition undertaken against Cadiz by Ormond and Rooke. The queen rewarded Marlborough by creating him Duke, with a pension of £5000 a year.
The next year (1703) Marlborough, by the boldness and rapidity of his movements, astonished the French, accustomed to deal with slower antagonists; but owing to the tardiness of his allies, the Duke was not able to carry out all his plans. Nevertheless Bonn, Huy, Limburg, and Gueldres fell into his hands. When the British Parliament assembled on 9th November, the queen declared her intention of carrying on the war until the Archduke Charles should be seated on the Spanish throne.
A plot against the queen was discovered in Scotland, which, originating with Lord Lovat, was called "Fraser's Plot;" in consequence of which, the queen was petitioned to settle the Crown of Scotland, like that of England, upon the heirs of the Princess Sophia. This event gave a stimulus to the projected union of the two countries.
The queen, who was remarkably attached to the Church of England, resigned that portion of her own revenues which arose from Church property, about £16,000 a year, for the purpose of augmenting the livings of poor curates. This liberality was marred
The object of it being to seat the Archduke Charles of Austria on the Spanish throne, as a counterpoise to the growing power and ambition of France.
by a bigotry towards dissenting ministers, too frequently exhibited throughout her reign. An Act was passed by Parliament, the object of which was to enforce the exclusion of Dissenters from civil offices. The Tories, composed partly of Jacobites (those who desired to reinstate the House of Stuart), and partly of those who held by the Act of Parliament which confined the Crown to Protestants, were more powerful than the Whigs, and carried this obnoxious Act.
Early in April 1704, Marlborough set out on his greatest campaign. His object was to save Vienna from the threatened junction of the French and their allies the Bavarians; but as the Dutch wished to keep him for the defence of their own territories, he was obliged to conceal his plans from everybody, except his great ally, the Prince Eugene of Savoy. The way in which he effected his march to the Danube, despite remonstrances of friends and opposition of foes, proved him to be a profound master of the military art. On the 27th June, Marlborough beat the French and Bavarians in the bloody battle of Donauwerth, a victory which opened Bavaria to invasion. Meantime, Prince Eugene was engaged in checking the advance of the French, but notwithstanding his efforts, the latter succeeded in forming a junction with the Bavarians. Marlborough, in order to unite his forces to those of Prince Eugene, crossed the rivers Archa, Lech, Wernitz, and the Danube, although swollen by heavy rains; and on Sunday (13th August) crossed the Kessel with 52,000 men and 52 pieces of cannon. The French numbered from 4000 to 5000 more, and had also the advantage of ground. Then was fought the memorable battle of Blenheim, in which the French lost 35,000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners, and among the latter their commander, Marshal Tallard. The losses on the side of the allies amounted to 12,000, but the victory was decisive, for the empire was saved. The same year (1704) gave England Gibraltar, which fell into the hands of the Admirals Sir George Rooke and Sir Cloudesley Shovel.
An expedition was now sent to Spain, under the Earl of Peterborough, one of the most daring men of the time. Arriving at
THE UNION WITH SCOTLAND.
Allen, in Valencia, at the head of 7000 Dutch and English troops, he proposed to the archduke to march direct to Madrid, 150 miles distant, and so end the war. This advice not being accepted, the Earl waited for an opportunity to strike a great blow. His object was the formidable fortress of Barcelona, which it was said would require at least 30,000 men to besiege. Lord Peterborough, however, on the 13th September, assembled 1500 English soldiers, who scaled the hills by night, and, without observation, reached the walls where they halted till daybreak. As soon as they were descried, the enemy, as had been expected, advanced into the outer ditch, into which the English leaped, and along with the fugitives entered the fortress. A reserve of 1000 men, posted for the purpose, soon came up, and to the astonishment of the world Barcelona was won by the genius of one extraordinary man. This was only the first of a series of splendid successes, but being thwarted in his brilliant plans by the phlegmatic Charles, who rendered himself obnoxious by his eccentricities, the Earl was eventually recalled, and with him went the good fortune of the allies in Spain. To avenge Blenheim, Marshal Villeroy encountered Marlborough at Ramilies (1706), but met with a defeat so decisive that the French lost the Spanish Netherlands. At the same time Prince Eugene saved Turin, and drove the French out of Italy.
This year sat the last Scotch Parliament. The Treaty of Union was, after great opposition, carried, and the Parliament, which met in Westminster in 1707, was that of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Through the influence mainly of the Duchess of Marlborough, Whigs were taken into the ministry, and began to influence the Royal Counsels.
An attempt of the Pretender (son of James II.) to land in Scotland in the course of the year 1708, was prevented by Admiral Byng. The Habeas Corpus Act was suspended, and the Duke of Hamilton and twenty-one Scotch lords arrested. The Pretender then joined the French in Flanders, and was present at Oudenarde, where Marlborough and Eugene gained a great victory, capturing above 100 standards, with a loss to the French of 15,000 men. Lisle opened its gates, and France herself lay exposed to invasion. In the
Mediterranean, Minorca was taken by General Stanhope, and Sardinia fell into the hands of Admiral Leake, who then threatened Civita Vecchia, and frightened the Pope into giving up the cause of the Pretender, and acknowledging the Archduke Charles; while on the coast of South America, seventeen Spanish galleons fell into the hands of Commodore Wager.
In the month of October Queen Anne's husband died. At this time a new favourite had supplanted the Duchess of Marlborough, in the person of her grace's cousin, Mrs. Masham, whose influence finally led to the fall of the great duke. Meanwhile, Louis had made overtures for peace, and negotiations followed. These were suddenly broken off by Prince Eugene, and on the 21st June, he and Marlborough invested Tournay, and having taken it, they advanced on Mons. To save this town, Marshals Villars and Boufflers fought the battle of Malplaquet (12th September 1709), the most disastrous of all to the French, who left 30,000 dead on the field. Louis again sued for peace.
An event occurred at this time, which all historians give in much detail. A hot-headed parson, Dr. Sacheverell, being appointed to preach before the Corporation of London, on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, accused the ministers of designs to overthrow the Church. Ministers foolishly afforded him the glory of an impeachment before the House of Lords, and while the hangman was burning his sermon, the mob were attacking the chapels of dissenters, and inflamed bigots were illuminating their windows in honour of the doctor. The Whig ministers were turned out through the interest of Mrs. Masham. Harley was brought in, and Marlborough's mind, harassed and divided by the opposition of the Tory cabinet at home, lost that high spirit which hitherto bore him on from triumph to triumph.
In Spain, General Stanhope took Minorca, and having gained the battle of Almanza, pursued Philip to Saragossa, and, on 21st September, entered Madrid with the Archduke Charles, but, owing to the hostility of the Spaniards, was obliged to withdraw. Having separated from the Austrian general, Staremberg, he was forced to capitulate with 5000 men at Brahnega. After this, Vendôme
PEACE OF UTRECHT.
gained a great victory at Villa Viciosa over Staremberg, and Philip v. returned to Madrid (1710).
When Marlborough resumed military operations in Flanders (1711), he found the strength of the army reduced. He no longer enjoyed the queen's favour. The Tory government, personally unfriendly, was indisposed to support him, and the coldness of his reception at home weighed on his spirits. Marshal Villars believed himself impregnably entrenched behind the lines of Bouchain, but Marlborough broke through them; thus showing to enemies at home and abroad, that if he was to be humiliated it could not be in the field.
The English Government were now bent on peace, contrary to the wishes of their allies. The Archduke Charles, in whose name the war had been carried on, had, by the death of his brother Joseph, become Emperor of Germany, which was urged as a reason for not pressing his claims to the throne of Spain. Utrecht was named as the place of negotiation, and Marlborough returned home to be charged with misappropriating the public money-a charge which received probability from his notorious avarice. He was dismissed from his employments. His secretary was expelled from the House of Commons, along with Robert Walpole, afterwards the famous minister, who was included in the same charge, in consequence of his taking bribes from contractors. Prince Eugene came to England, in the vain hope of having the war prolonged; and, during his stay, passed most of his time with his illustrious companion-in-arms, for whom he never failed to evince the most profound admiration. On the prince's return he learned, by the loss of the battle of Denain, how much Marlborough's absence was to be deplored. As Philip v. of Spain agreed to renounce his rights to the French throne, if allowed to retain that of Spain, the Peace of Utrecht was proclaimed 4th May 1713, after a war of twelve years, which, without apparently obtaining any direct object, yet established the balance of the European powers, humbled Louis XIV., the great plague and scourge of Europe, and exalted the reputation of England.
Anne's health beginning to decline, her favourite, Lady Masham,