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By Martyn J. Powell (auth.)

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Extra resources for Britain and Ireland in the Eighteenth-Century Crisis of Empire

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57 It is clear from this episode that public hostility towards the viceroy had not cooled and that further measures were necessary if tranquillity was to be restored to Irish politics. Stone, Newport and Bessborough were left behind as lords justices, but the primate was dissatisfied with this solution to the government’s problems. After the prorogation of parliament he persisted in his attempts to secure the dismissal of Nathaniel Clements from the Irish treasury. The system of government proposed by the primate required a second purge of opposition office-holders and the securing for government purposes of the valuable organs of financial patronage.

The system of government proposed by the primate required a second purge of opposition office-holders and the securing for government purposes of the valuable organs of financial patronage. But when it came to a determined assault on Nathaniel Clements’s control of treasury patronage, both Dorset and the British government seemed reluctant to proceed further. 59 There had already been signs that Stone had begun to appreciate the importance of public opinion, and no doubt his alliance with the Ponsonby family further impressed upon him the importance of respecting patriotic sensibilities.

Stone caused further offence by appointing Philip Tisdall, one of his own supporters, as solicitor-general, apparently without consultation with the lord chancellor. This incident destroyed any traces of cordiality that may have existed between the administration’s rival parliamentary managers. Stone had effectively used his control over government patronage to attack the Speaker’s party and prevent any consolidation on its early electoral gain. Henceforth the primate ignored Boyle’s views on appointments and matters of patronage.

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