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Swift, the Earl of Oxford, and the management of the House of Lords in 1713: two new lists

Clyve Jones

Abstract

THE two lists of members ofthe House of Lords published here are from the Harley papers in the former Portland Loan in the British Library (Add. MS. 70305, formerly Loan 29/31/2), and are in the hand of Jonathan Swift, with additions by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford. They can be dated to the Spring of 1713, and are important for three reasons; firstly, the lists underline, with further documentation, the close relationship between Swift and Lord Treasurer Oxford in the months before the politically turbulent parliamentary session of 1713; secondly, they are yet more evidence of Oxford's system of parliamentary management ofthe Upper House; and finally, they illustrate the rapidly changing allegiances amongst the supporters of the administration at a crucial time for the 'party of the Crown' in the Lords.

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