Sarah has a rival for the Queen’s favour.

Ruth Herman

Undated but is most likely to be 1709 or 1710

I had taken leave[1] and […?]   but I am surprised to tell you I have lately heard the Duke Of Somerset thinks he prevails with the queen to put his princess[2] into my place while my Lord Marlborough is venturing  his life for the service of the queen and the good of his country and after the wonderful things I have seen I shall not be surprised at anything  that can happen, all my friends write to me to come to town to disappoint my enemy but I  think tis easier to me to forget them than to contend with such people and the five thousand pound a year[3] is what few  people like to part with, at least if one may judge by what some do to get employment. I think nothing I can do will prevent it and if such a step can be made while my lord Marlborough is at the head of the army and that there is no body in the queens council that is capable of giving such advice but the Duke Of Somerset, I am sure it can’t be worth the pains of going twenty miles to delay what must be the consequence of a peace, which however I wish for more heartily than anybody can do for my gold key.[4]


[1] Sarah’s frequent absence from court was a cause for one of the arguments with Queen Anne.

[2] Following the formation of the new Tory government in the 1710 election, Sarah was stripped of all her offices at court in 1711. (DNB)  Elizabeth Percy, Duchess of Somerset, daughter and heiress of the Earl of Northumberland. The Duchess afterwards supplanted the Duchess of Marlborough in the confidence of Queen Anne.

[3] When her husband was created a Duke, Sarah was awarded a pension of £5000 a year for her life, and £2000 a year from the privy-purse. This is the modern equivalent of £382,950 and £153,180 respectively.

[4] The gold key was the symbol of office of the Groom of the Stole [stool]

This page was added on 19/06/2016.

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