A staunch liberal, Lord Garland's political career is marked with major economic reforms and several attempts to constitutionise the British government. His unorthodox economic views and outspoken opposition to slavery led to criticism amongst his peers. He is best known for his open views, advocation of direct mercantilism, and a rise in British imperialism via financial means. As the Professor of Economics at Glasgow University following an end to his political career, he famously published the economic handbook Lectures On the Free Market (1763), a treatise that evolved into early capitalist thought and inspired the works of one of his students, Adam Smith.
During his early tenure serving in the British East India Company, Garland rose through the ranks until being appointed Lord Lieutenant, a position only topped in the joint-stock company by the royally-appointed Chairman. As Lord Lieutenant, Garland abolished the military junta that had been established in the company during previous administrations, as he saw it not the company's responsibility, but the British Royal Navy's priority to repel foreign attacks, including acts of piracy. Garland also advocated the economic thought of mercantilism, calling for open trade among Britain and all countries of the world, including a controversial trade agreement made with the Shogunate of Japan. Regardless, his political-economic ideologies led to a rise in his popularity, and thus his royal appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Birth and Childhood
Garland's father, Sir Thomas Robert Garland III (1668 - 1735), was the 3rd Earl of Scarborough, and served in the British Parliament representing North Yorkshire. He was in in the House of Lords, under the reigns of William III and Mary II, Anne, and George I. His wife, Garland's mother, Lady Josephine Garland (née van Gendt) (1671 - 1743) was a Dutch heiress and the first cousin of King William of Orange (later to be King William III of England).
Garland was born in Kirkbymoorside, Yorkshire – the traditional seat of the Scarborough family – on the 11th of November, 1705. When he was two years old, his father, the 3rd Earl of Scarborough, was given command of a regiment of the Royal British Army in the outbreak of the War of Spanish Succession, and left Yorkshire for seven years, seeing action in Flanders, Portugal, and the Rhineland (he was also present at the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, officially ending the war in 1713). In 1715, he was called up once more to serve under the Duke of Argyll in suppressing the Jacobite Uprising. He was present at the Battle of Glen Shiel, the last major battle of the uprising which saw an end to any hopes of a Stewart revival in Britain.
Garland was the third born in the family, but the first son, therefore placing him as the heir presumptive to the Earldom of Scarborough. He had two older sisters: Anna (1696 - 1761) and Sophia (1700 - 1715). The latter died of tubercluosis early in Garland's childhood.
At the age of nine, Garland left Kirkbymoorside for several years to attend Eton College in Southern England. He was a quick and noted learner, and took particular interests in philosophy, mathematics, language, and astronomy. More often than not he would lock himself away in his dormitory, reading the works of Locke, Hobbes, Milton, and Newton amongst others. It was also during this time that he taught himself to speak, read, and write French, in addition to his studies centred around Greek and Latin. By the age of fourteen, he began writing pamphlets dealing with political and philosophical thought for the school, written in both English and French.
In April of 1715, Garland returned to Yorkshire upon hearing the news of the death of his sister. He spent several months at his family's estate in mourning before returning to Eton. In early 1716, the young Garland took a leave of absence once more from Eton to commence his "Grand Tour" of Europe, a rite of passage customary for all male members of the British nobility. Accompanied by his long-time tutor from Kirkbymoorside, Garland spent seven months touring the major cities of continental Europe – Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Vienna, Venice, Florence, and Rome. He returned later that year and resumed his studies.
He graduated from the boarding school in 1719, and sought higher education. Whilst his father wished for Jeremiah to attend Oxford as he had, Garland instead decided to enrol at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, to stay nearer to home. He attended the college that year, at age fourteen, with an emphasis in economics and French literature. He continued his pursuit of languages, teaching himself German and Italian in addition to French and Dutch (the latter of which his mother had taught him as a child).
In his studies at St Andrews Garland also adopted a profound appreciation for history. He especially enjoyed reading about the Roman Republic, and wrote a collection of theses on Marius, Sulla, and Cicero entitled A Dissertation on Late Roman Republican Thought (1722).
It was during his four years at St Andrews that Garland met and befriended Francis Hutcheson, the Scottish philosopher and pioneer of the Scottish Enlightenment era. It was also during this time that Garland first saw and briefly met Henry Pelham – on tour of Fife – who was eight years Garland's senior. Pelham, then just a parliamentarian based in Essex, would go on to become prime minister, and would ultimately appoint Garland to his role as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Shortly after their initial meeting, the two would commence a correspondence that would last more than thirty years, when Pelham died in 1754.
In 1723, following his graduation from St Andrews and through his father's urging, Garland successfully enlisted into the British Army. He was placed in the 32nd Regiment of Foot under the command of the Duke of Cornwall, famed for its successful siege of Gibraltar eighteen years earlier. Though the regiment was initially supposed to be deployed at Halifax, Nova Scotia, to help counter the growing native hostilities in the New England Colonies, a series of miscommunications amongst the war office instead saw Garland and his entire company stationed in Bombay, the growing capital of British India. He departed for the Indian subcontinent in May of that year.
His tenure in Bombay was short, as just weeks after their arrival, the 32nd Regiment was reassigned to Madras, in southeastern India. Garland was present at, but did not participate in, the Battle of Shakar Kheda (1724). The conflict, which pitted the rebels of Hyderabad under Nizam-ul-Mulk against the much larger and dominant Mughal Empire, resulted in a victory for the former and thus established an independent Hyderabad. Garland was one of the few British soldiers to parade the streets shortly after the battle, and helped establish early relations between the fledgling Indian state and the British Empire.
That same year, Garland and part of his company travelled to Seringapatam, the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore. There they sat before the court of Dodda Krishnaraja I. In nearby Kotar, Garland personally met the Mysorian general Fath Muhammad, the grandfather of Tipu Sultan. Garland expressed a particular interest in the Indian general's study and attempted development of early rocket artillery weapons.
Garland, since promoted to lieutenant (and later captain), stayed in India until 1726. During that time, his main duty was to oversee the protection of the East India Company, which had made its world headquarters in Bombay, as well as negotiate peace with the regional aboriginal power, the Mughal Empire. Garland's ability to quickly learn Urdu made him a vital player in the latter duty, going so far as to sit in the court of Emperor Muhammad Shah as an interpreter in Delhi. Impressed by Garland's skills as a dignitary, the British governance in Bombay soon recognised him as a diplomat of the British Empire. Garland negotiated and helped compose the Treaty of Agra (1725), which formed an alliance between the British Empire, the Mughal Empire, and the newly-formed kingdom of Hyderabad.
Though he would retain military honours throughout his career, Garland saw little open conflict. He was, however, present at the signing of the Treaty of Aachen in 1748 to end King George's War, and the Treaty of Paris in 1763 to end the Seven Years' War.
Shortly after the Treaty of Agra, Garland's necessary tenure of duty was over and he returned to Britain. Initially returning to Kirkbymoorside, Garland was soon invited to London to work as an assistant in the State Ministry. He rented a flat on Piccadilly and worked out of Whitehall, in Westminster.
It was also during this time, in 1726, that Garland met Joanna Chamberlain, the eldest daughter of John Chamberlain, the 7th Earl of Exeter. Garland had attended a dinner party at the London residence of Lord Exeter, and was immediately taken aback by Joanna, two years his junior. With Lord Exeter's consent, the two began courting and on June 3, 1727, the two married in Joanna's hometown of Stokesby.
By late 1727 Garland had grown in prestige within the State Ministry and he had been promoted to the under secretary of the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, William Lee. Lee recognised Garland for his linguistic abilities (by this point he was now proficient in English, French, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Russian, and German). Due to Lee's urging, King George II royally appointed Garland as the Ambassador to the Dutch Republic on January 7, 1728. The decision was made due to Garland's fluency in Dutch and his mother's links to the Dutch royal family. Hitherto the Dutch Republic and Britain had enjoyed a healthy relationship, with a Dutch king, King William III of Orange, having sat on the English throne three decades earlier. Garland, along with Joanna (who had just learned she was pregnant) departed for Den Haag on January 21 of that year.
Though the official British embassy was centred in Den Haag, the city in which the Dutch royal court was held, Garland spent a majority of his tenure as ambassador in Amsterdam – the cultural and financial capital of the Dutch Republic – and Rotterdam – the country's largest port – working from the British consulates there. In Amsterdam, Garland met and befriended the painter Nikolaas Verkolje, who famously produced a commissioned portrait of Garland at this time. Overall, Garland was liked by the Dutch populace and well-received in the Dutch royal court. King William IV particularly admired the young man's ability to speak and appreciated his proficiency in the Dutch language; prior to Garland, ambassadors to the Netherlands seldom made any attempt to learn Dutch.
On October 13, 1728, whilst in Amsterdam, Joanna gave birth to her and Garland's first son, Nathaniel Joseph Garland.
Garland led a highly active ambassadorship. In March of 1729, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ascension of King William III, Garland joined the current Dutch king, his wife Anna, and their entourage for a "grand tour" of the Netherlands (whilst Joanna stayed in Amsterdam with Nathaniel). Beginning in Maastricht in the south and ending in the Frisian city of Groningen, the tour saw the group visit over thirty Dutch towns and villages, which received Garland well; several Union Jacks were waved in addition to the Dutch standards, and never before had Dutch-British relations reached a seemingly high point. In Leiden, Garland befriended Dutch writer and scientist Herman Boerhaave; the two would remain a steady correspondence for several years afterwards.
It was also during this time that Garland first began reading about and developing an interest in economic theory. Whilst still living in the British consulate in Amsterdam, Garland published his first work, a fifty-page pamphlet entitled A Treatise on the Dutch Market (1730). The pamphlet openly praised the Dutch's pioneering trade dominance, the innovative economic phenomena of the stock market established in Rotterdam a century earlier, and the Dutch tendency to colonise "far and widely vast lands, whilst lacking such deathly forces of state". It was published that year in Dutch and English, and later French.
By the time the War of the Quadruple Alliance had ended in 1720, the Kingdoms of France and Great Britain, infamous for their traditionally heated rivalry, had enjoyed a rare alliance on the world stage. However, in the decade that followed, these friendly relations were endangered due to colonisation controversies and disputes between the two, namely in North America and India. Finally, the Anglo-French Alliance was severed in 1731, when France joined the Bourbon Compact with Spain. With Britain's two greatest rivals teamed up, war seemed inevitable.
Recognising Garland's hugely successful tenure as ambassador to the Dutch Republic, the House of Lords, on the day following the signing of the Bourbon Pact, quickly urged the king to reappoint Garland as chief ambassador in the British embassy to France. This position, then currently held by Horatio Walpole – the younger brother of Prime Minister Robert Walpole – was suddenly handed over to Garland, much to the Prime Minister's chagrin. King George, always outspoken in his trust for the young Lord Garland, wished to avoid an imminent crisis.
Garland arrived in Paris from Rotterdam on January 3, 1731, to a much less enthusiastic French crowd. A huge insult to the British, King Louis XV even refused to show up in person to Garland's inauguration ceremony the following day, sending in his place his chief minister, Cardinal Fleury. From their first discussions, a heated political rivalry soon developed between Garland and Fleury; the French statesman favoured a close French alliance with Spain and Portugal, whilst the British ambassador pushed for closer relations with Austria (as did many British dignitaries of the time).
Perhaps Garland's most famous legacy in France was his outspoken preference for a constitutional monarchy, which greatly conflicted with the French view of absolutism (a view held especially close by Fleury). Garland (who could speak French fluently), would often frequent the cafes and parlours of Paris, befriending the enlightened minds of the age, among them notable figures such as Emilie du Chatelet, Jean Baptiste Rousseau, and Voltaire. This last man would have a significant impact on Garland's philosophy, as did Garland on Voltaire's. Voltaire shared Garland's hatred of absolutism, having spent the past few years living in exile in London and enjoying the perks of a constitutional government. His collection of essays released later in 1733, entitled Letters Concerning the English Nation , contained several of Garland's idealisms.
At some point in late 1732, Garland began a brief tour of France, just as he did in the Netherlands. He visited the primary French trading ports in Calais, Le Havre, La Rochelle, and Bordeaux; observed France's prideful agricultural enterprise in Picardy, Burgundy, and Auvergne; and inspected the newest line of French warships at the principle naval base in Toulon.
Whilst in the Breton city of Nantes, he watched on in horror as rows of African slaves, just arrived from Senegal, were inhumanely reloaded onto a schooner bound for Haiti and Louisiana. This was Garland's first experience with slavery. The information he learned upon discovering the slaves' conditions onboard and treatment by their French owners forever altered his opinion of slavery, eventually leading him to become an outspoken critic of the slave trade.
Garland ended his tour in early 1733, in Cherbourg, in Normandy. There, on March 7 he met Dominik von Königsegg, the legendary Austrian field marshal, then serving as a foreign dignitary in the court of Louis XV, like Garland. The two had a meeting arranged for them where Garland, acting on behalf of his abilities as a British diplomat in the field, discussed with Königsegg the possibility of an Anglo-Austrian alliance. The Austrian general responded in the affirmative, and that night Garland sent a letter directly to the king of this news. Nine days later, the Anglo-Austrian alliance was born.
Upon discovering this news, the people of France were outraged; not only had the British ambassador to their country signed a deal forming an alliance with one of their top competitors on the continent, but had done so on French soil. Even Louis XV was annoyed, and with Cardinal Fleury's urging, requested Garland's removal from his post as ambassador. The British government responded to these requests angrily, and soon tensions between the two nations rose even higher. As means to satisfy the French and avoid an all-out war, Garland deliberately resigned from his position on November 17, 1733.
Though ultimately ending in controversy, his ambassadorship to France played a key role in stalling a much-feared war, and further elevated Garland's own prestige and recognition on the world stage.
Member of Parliament
Upon returning to London from Paris, Garland temporarily abandoned any ambition for a government position, instead wishing to pursue personal interests and work on his latest materials. It was during this brief tenure in London that he also first became interested in the East India Company, and even met Sir Matthew Decker, 1st Baronet, who had served as director of the company three years earlier.
Garland also spent his days in London frequenting coffee shops, surrounding himself with the great minds of the era, such as essayist Samuel Johnson, poet Alexander Pope, lawyer George Hadley, astronomer John Bevis, and American scientist Benjamin Franklin. On April 16 he attended the premiere of George Frideric Handel's opera Alcina, premiering at the newly-established Covent Garden. So impressed was Garland by the German composer's music, that he requested a personal audience with Handel shortly after the performance, as means to give his laud.
On February 2, 1735, news reached Garland in London that his father, Sir Thomas Robert Garland, the 3rd Earl of Scarborough, was near death. Garland hastily returned home to Kirkbymoorside to visit his father in the last four days of his life. On February 8, the Earl of Scarborough was dead of heart failure.
Immediately following this, Jeremiah Garland not only inherited the title of 4th Earl of Scarborough and lordship over the family seat of Kirkbymoorside, but also his late father's seat in Parliament. Just a month after his father's passing, Garland was royally appointed by King George II to his position in the House of Lords. Garland thus returned to London to begin his tenure. It was during this time that he officially and publicly embraced his new title of Earl, and thus began signing documents as "Lord Scarborough".
His first major Act of Parliament as a peer of the House of Lords came in mid-1737 in the form of the Theatrical Licensing Act, also known as the "Plays Act". This landmark act, which had been passed by the House of Commons through Walpole's leadership, attempted to censor the content of all subsequent plays and dramas published within the Kingdom. Always a champion of free expression, Scarborough, aided by the urging of his London compatriot and intellectual playwright Edward Moore, became vehemently and outspokenly opposed to the passing of the bill, going so far as to call the censorship "an abomination" and "a disgraceful blot on the liberties we've come to achieve." Though ultimately Garland's attempts failed and the bill passed, he had managed to establish himself not only as a powerful voice within Parliament, but as a rallying leader for the Whigs and a figure for the people.
Another Act in which Garland offered an outspoken opinion was the controversial Naturalisation Act of 1740 (also known as the "Plantation Act" as it dealt primarily with Britain's colonial settlements in North America). The Tories attempted to put down the act, insisting that any non-Protestant colonist never be made a citizen of the British Empire. Garland, however, acting on the enlightened idea of religious freedom, strongly supported the bill and thus helped the House of Lords ratify it. As a result of his zealous tirades before Parliament in defence of religious toleration both at home and in the colonies, many right-wing Parliamentarians began circulating rumours that Garland was a disloyal member of the Church of England, accusing him of being a secretive Catholic, Jew, or even an atheist.
1741 brought a major change to Garland's political career. Following in the footsteps of fellow peer William Pulteney, Earl of Bath, Garland became one of the seventeen Parliamentarians to join the so-called "Patriot Whig" Party, a group of liberal politicians opposed to the leadership of Walpole. Walpole and Garland had been at odds over the past six years; Garland, although an avid constitutionalist, thought Walpole had accumulated too much power, and favoured a subtle balance between Parliament and the Crown. Additionally, Garland was one of the few members of the House of Lords angered by Walpole's lenience toward the "Pocket Boroughs" scandals – Garland accused Walpole's hesitance to take action of being a power-play. Other members of the Patriot Whigs included future prime ministers William Pitt the Elder and George Grenville; together, these seventeen peers lobbied for Walpole's resignation, which eventually came following his disastrous defeat in the Election of 1741.
Garland found Walpole's successors, Prime Minister Spencer Compton and Lord President of the Council John Carteret, to be much more agreeable, and following the election, regained his seat as a member of the Whig Party.
Lord Scarborough's only notable parliamentary role during the Compton Administration came during the Gin Act of 1742. The Act, which sought to repeal the Gin Act of 1736, would greatly reduce the previously-instated taxes on all spirits across the empire. This act had been proposed in light of several, often violent protests (both at home and in the colonies) over the inane tax of gin (roughly £50 for an annual license), and indeed Garland was one of the main critics of the 1736 bill that proposed a repeal to the British government. Through his urging, the bill passed and the tax on gin was lowered to just 20 schillings.
Additionally, Garland was selected to lead a diplomatic envoy to St Petersburg, Russia, in 1741. He was likely selected for this task due to his fluency of the Russian language, and his former successes as an emissary. The main objective for the mission was to convince the Russian empress, Elizabeth, to side with the British coalition in the War of Austrian Succession, which had erupted the year prior.