Harley ministry

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The Harley ministry was a British government that existed between 1710 and 1714 in the reign of Queen Anne. It was headed by Robert Harley and composed largely of Tories. Harley was a former Whig who had changed sides, bringing down the seemingly powerful Whig Junto. The ministry vigorously pushed for a peace to end the War of the Spanish Succession, leading to the Treaty of Utrecht. Foreign affairs were largely conducted by Viscount Bolingbroke. The ministry successfully prosecuted Robert Walpole over charges of profiteering and had him imprisoned in the Tower of London.

The government fell following Anne's death in 1714. The new king, George I, was not comfortable with Harley or Bolingbroke, who he believed had opposed the Hanoverian Succession and instead supported the Jacobite pretenders. They were replaced by the Townshend ministry, beginning the Whig Ascendency, and it would be nearly fifty years before a Tory ministry gained office again in 1762. Both Harley and Bolingbroke were forced into exile, along with many of their followers after being accused of treason.

Preceded by
Godolphin–Marlborough ministry
Government of Great Britain
Succeeded by
Second Stanhope–Sunderland ministry