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Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford (1661-1724), Politician; MP for several constituencies

Sitter in 14 portraits
Politician; as a moderate Tory, worked initially with the Whigs in pursuing the war against France; intrigued against the Marlboroughs and Godolphins, who persuaded Queen Anne to dismiss him, 1708; two years later he secured their overthrow, becoming virtual head of a Tory ministry; created Earl and Lord High Treasurer 1711; at the instigation of Bolingbroke, was dismissed by Queen Anne on her deathbed, 1714; held no further office; a determined and relentless intriguer, he was a skilled party manager and a pioneer in the use of the political press.

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