Whig, became Tory

Charles Talbot duke of Shrewsbury


Originally a catholic, Shrewsbury converted to the Church of England in 1679. In 1668 he succeeded his father as earl of Shrewsbury. He was one of the signatories of the invitation to William III to come to England, and was with his invasion army. In 1694 he was made a duke by William. After his second term as a secretary of state had ended in 1700, Shrewbury retired to Rome.

After returning in 1707 his political views changed. He voted 'not guilty' in the trial of Sachverell, as a 'reward' he was appointed Lord Chamberlain on 14 April 1710, an appointment not supported by Godolphin. In the ministry he now became the influence that prepared Godolphins fall. His wife got the important position of groom of the stole. In 1713 he became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

When in her final days Anne had sacked Harley on 27 July 1714, St John came into power for a few days. On the 30th Shrewsbury took decisive action by having the Queen appoint him Lord Treasurer. This and his subsequent powerful support for George I crushed Bolingbroke's plans. When George I took the reins Shrewsbury gave up the treasury and continued as Lord Chamberlain to George I.

As for abilities Shrewsbury had been dubbed 'King of Hearts' (see Barnett). It also seems that because of his charm the Whigs did not perceive him as the enemy of the Godolphin government he was in 1710.