Bolingbroke and His Circle: The Politics of Nostalgia in the by Isaac Kramnick

By Isaac Kramnick

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It told Godolphin, still in office, that it had refused the loan because many were fearful for the security of the Hanoverian Protestant succession: credit was falling and the Bank feared that it might fall even lower because of talk that the Queen would dissolve Parliament and make further changes. The Bank directors asked Godolphin to speak to the Queen. He did as they asked and was dismissed by the Queen. Contemporary opinion had it that his dismissal was precipitated specifically by Anne's anger at this moneyed impertinence.

But the South Sea Company attained historical notoriety because Mr. John Blunt, son of a Rochester shoemaker, former petty scrivener and leading director of the Company was fascinated by the events in France, and conceived a plan for England similar to Law's audacious scheme for the French economy. In a daring takeover bid, the South Sea Company would assume the whole of the national debt, which in 17I9 amounted to fifty million pounds: thirty mi1lion pounds borrowed from the public at large, and twenty million from the East India Company and the Bank of England.

War, by enlarging the ranks of government servants, made fortunes and positions for new men in much the same way as, in the Tudor Age, the new bureaucracy of the centralizing monarchy had. The declining small gentry felt themselves victims of a conspiratorial pincer movement. The war which necessitated the high land tax, the initial cause of their woes, seemed to benefit only those who had connections with the government and who were able to survive using their non-landed income to pay their taxes.

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