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Peterborough, Charles Mordaunt, 3d earl of

Charles Mordaunt Peterborough, 3d earl of, 1658–1735, English general and diplomat. He supported the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and William III made him a privy councillor, first lord of the treasury, and earl of Monmouth. He lost favor with the king, however, and was briefly imprisoned (1696) in connection with the plot of Sir John Fenwick. He succeeded to the earldom of Peterborough in 1697 and returned to favor at the accession (1702) of Queen Anne. During the War of the Spanish Succession he went to Spain (1705) in command of a fleet and land force. In that year he led the successful assault on Barcelona, after which Archduke Charles (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI) was proclaimed king. Peterborough then moved on to Valencia, making no effort to return to help Barcelona against French siege, and he became involved in unauthorized negotiations with Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. He was recalled (1707) to England, charged with incompetence and exceeding his authority, and his actions became the subject of partisan controversy between the Tories, who supported him, and the Whigs, who did not. Vindicated in 1711, he served on various diplomatic missions, but he lost favor completely on the accession (1714) of George I.

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Peterborough, Charles Mordaunt, 3rd earl of

Peterborough, Charles Mordaunt, 3rd earl of (1658–1735). Politician, soldier, and diplomatist. Known until 1697 by his earlier title of earl of Monmouth, Peterborough's cleverness ran to dishonesty and to any ministry was a liability and a worry. An opponent of James II, he mixed with Whig radicals and was an early associate of William of Orange. In 1689 he was given the senior Treasury post of 1st commissioner, for which he was totally unsuited, and resigned a year later. He remained an assertive influence at William III's court, however, quarrelling and plotting against those whom he believed were thwarting his own ambitions. In 1696, when he accused Shrewsbury and Marlborough of involvement in the Fenwick conspiracy, he was sent to the Tower. In their propaganda the Tories claimed him as their hero after the expeditionary force he commanded captured Barcelona and overran Valencia in 1705, but his unreliability cost him any further advancement, and he was fortunate to escape parliamentary censure.

Andrew Hanham

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