Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke

Flight to France

Bolingbroke's true intent is not known, but it is sure that, in anticipation of the succession of a pro-Whig Hanoverian to the throne, he negotiated with James Francis Stuart, the Old Pretender, and began replacing Whig officers, especially in the army, with Tories. Whatever plans he had were thwarted by the sudden death (1714) of Queen Anne and the peaceful succession of George I, who promptly dismissed Bolingbroke. He was impeached, but he fled to France before the trial and was then attainted by Parliament. In France, Bolingbroke helped plan the uprising of the Jacobites in 1715, but in 1716 he was dismissed from the service of the Old Pretender on suspicion of having given secret Jacobite plans to the English government. He abjured the Jacobite cause, but only in 1723 did he receive (with the help of a generous bribe) a pardon from George I.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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