On 13 April 1710 Queen Anne deprived the marquess of Kent of the office of lord chamberlain and appointed in his stead Charles Talbot, duke of Shrewsbury. Many have seen in this event the opening salvo in Robert Harley's assault on the ministry of the duumvirs, Godolphin and Marlborough, which culminated in the establishment of the Harley ministry later that year. Shrewsbury's role in all of this has tended to be overlooked, in spite of his subsequent appointment as lord treasurer in Harley's place at the close of Anne's reign. This paper seeks to return the focus to Shrewsbury as a politician of real weight and to reconsider his role in the events of spring 1710 and summer 1714.
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