Danby, Thomas Osborne, 1st earl of, marquis of Carmarthen, and duke of Leeds

(1632—1712) politician

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Danby did not come from a leading family and at first acted as lieutenant to the 2nd duke of Buckingham. Appointed lord treasurer in 1673 to restore royal finances after the collapse of the cabal he secured himself in office by reversing previous unpopular policies. He made Charles II realize that without money the Anglo‐Dutch War must be abandoned. He rallied the bishops and clergy, out of royal favour since 1663, renewing prosecutions of catholics and dissenters. He defeated all attempts by Shaftesbury's country opposition to force the dissolution of Parliament or his dismissal. Danby negotiated the marriage of the later William III and Mary II but failed to commit Charles to war against France. By releasing incriminating papers to MPs, Louis XIV drove Danby from office. Under impeachment he was confined in the Tower from 1679 to 1684. During the Glorious Revolution, Danby seized York and Hull for William. Lord president of the council (1689), he resumed his activities as a political manager and fixer, becoming identified as the leading Tory.

Subjects: British History — World History.

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