The Succession Crisis 1712-14
In 1712 it looked as though the Succession Act of 1701 might be removed by Parliament, allowing James to become successor to Anne. But two events destroyed this hope.
The Duke of Hamilton, a key Jacobite minister in the Government, was killed in a duel by a fanatical Whig. A few weeks later under the Treaty of Utrecht, Louis XIV signed away his support of James's claim to Britain's throne, and James had to leave Paris. Any hope of repealing the Succession Act was gone.
But in 1714, with Anne on her deathbed, it appeared James might still gain the throne. Openly Jacobite ministers worked feverishly to make Viscount Bolingbroke Lord Treasurer. The Tory Government knew that a Hanoverian Succession would ruin their chances of holding onto power. Yet their attempts to persuade a dying Anne to nominate James as her successor failed at the last. Faced with James's Catholicism and his French connections, Anne could not bring herself to nominate James. Two days before she died, she made the Hanoverian Duke of Shrewsbury Lord Treasurer.
The Jacobites hesitated and instead of taking the offensive, tried to negotiate. They were rapidly side-lined. Shrewsbury's ministers worked unceasingly for two days to secure power in their hands. Anne died on 31 July, and George was immediately declared king. No-one in London had the courage to resist openly, and the Jacobites collapsed at the last hurdle. On 20 October George I was crowned at Westminster. Once again James's followers had allowed themselves to be overtaken by events and had failed to show sufficient courage at the crucial juncture. It was the eternal problem of the Jacobite kings, and their greatest weakness.
George I was on the throne of England. Now, only a well concerted and skilfully led rebellion would topple him from the throne and put in his place the King over the Water.