The harsh treatment of the Hanoverian demands was inspired by him, and won favour with the queen, while Oxford's influence declined; and by his support of the Schism Bill in May 1714, a violent Tory measure forbidding all education by dissenters by making an episcopal licence obligatory for schoolmasters, he probably intended to compel Oxford to give up the game.
His great object was doubtless to gain supreme power and to keep it by any means, and by any betrayal that the circumstances demanded; and it is not without significance perhaps that on the very day of Oxford's dismissal he gave a dinner to the Whig leaders, and on the day preceding the queen's death ordered overtures to be made to the elector.5 On the accession of George I.
On the 27th, the day of Oxford's resignation, the discussions concerning his successor detained the council sitting in the queen's presence till two o'clock in the morning, and on retiring Anne was instantly seized with fatal illness.
To the indignation with which he regarded Oxford's refusal to advance him in the peerage the active St John added an old disgust at the treasurer's pedantic and dilatory formalism, as well as his evident propensity, while leaving his colleague the fatigues, to engross for himself the chief credit of the administration.
His writings are: - The Privileges of the University of Oxford in point of Visitation (1647) - a tract answered by Prynne in the University of Oxford's Plea Rejected; 18 sermons whereof 15 preached before the king ...