Document ReferencePw A 2173/1-2
TitleCopy of a letter from 'Mr Rivers' [James Johnston] to 'Sir'; 19 Jun. 1688
Date18 June 1688
Extent4 ff
Content DescriptionAsks to be informed 'how to dispose of your chamberluck', and also for a summary of the letters that were lost; comments that Fagel must appoint someone to fight Mr Stuart [Stewart] for him; informs him that 'the people here have got a foolish maggot in their head, that the Prince [of Orange] is coming over with an Army'; sends greetings to 'Mr Bonet' [Bentinck].

The second part of the letter is written in 'white ink' [invisible ink]; discusses the rumours about the prince coming over; comments that 'even wise men say that there is no ground to believe that this is a true child' [Prince of Wales]; thinks that even if the child is true, the Prince of Orange can use people's humour to his advantage; notes that 'Hawley' [Hampden] thinks there are two questions to be considered - firstly, if 'the present opportunity be sufficient for the business' and secondly if a better opportunity can be expected; notes that Hampden believes that in 3 months the chance will have passed by altogether, as people will have accepted the prince's right, there will have been a parliament, a regency will have been established, and the armed forces will have been increased; discusses further the timing of any action.

Thinks there will be great irritation if the king [James II] proceeds against the whole clergy; expects that a new army will be raised next winter; refers to the dispute between Sunderland and Melfort, commenting that Sunderland believes the queen [Mary of Modena] to be his friend, but that she is Melfort's friend; notes that elsewhere in the country people hope the prince [of Orange] will bring the Duke of Monmouth with him, as 'they neither believe his death, nor the Pr. of Wales's life'.

'Mr Rivers' is identified as James Johnston in Carswell's 'The Descent on England'.

Copy of Pw A 2174.

Copy made in 1733 and forming part of a bundle of papers sent from Holland to England and referred to in the papers of the 3rd Duke of Portland (Pw F 1261).
Termintelligence, reports
revolutions, Glorious Revolution 1688, preparations
birth, Prince of Wales 1688, rumours surrounding
religious affairs, England
political intrigue

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA18922James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766); Prince of Wales; 'the Old Pretender'; son of James II; also known as Chevalier de St George1688-1766
NA1083William III (1650-1702); King of England Scotland and Ireland1650-1702
NA28924Hampden; John (1656-1696); Mr; the younger; politician committed suicide1656-1696
NA31477Fagel; Gaspard (1629-1688); Grand Pensionary of Holland1629-1688
NA31693Stewart; James (fl 1687-1688); -; recipient of letter from Gaspard Fagelfl 1687-1688
NA1043Bentinck; H. William (1649-1709); 1st Earl of Portland; diplomat and adviser of William of Orange; alias Hans Willem1649-1709
NA15001James II (1633-1701); King of England Scotland and Ireland; succ. 1685; also styled Duke of York1633-1701
NA30414Mary of Modena (1658-1718); Queen Consort; (Queen of James II)1658-1718
NA1083William III (1650-1702); King of England Scotland and Ireland1650-1702
NA31461Scott; James (1649-1685); Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch; illegitimate son of Charles II; involved in plot to kill him1649-1685
NA30375Johnston; James (1655-1737); 'secretary Johnston'; studied law at Utrecht and sent to prepare way for William of Orange's invasion1655-1737
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