The coach moved slowly towards Westminster, which was fine with the two occupants -- the leaders of the Country and Court parties in a rare moment of agreement.
"Make sure you keep your dogs on a leash Anthony," came the voice of the Earl of Danby, the King's Chief Minister, leader of the Court Party. as he looked out the window at Westminster Abbey.
"The Country folk are more disciplined than your spent toadies Thomas," the Earl of Shaftesbury replied, rising to the challenge.
"Look, we're almost there. You get out here and we'll arrive separately. It's agreed then?"
"Yes Thomas," Ashley sighed. A lesser man might think that Thomas Osborne was questioning his honor.
Though bitter rivals, Shaftesbury had played upon the Earl's hatred of the French and the Catholics. Danby could not rise to support Exclusion openly, or be too strong in his support of the Palatine Princess; but, by not opposing Country Party bills on the subject, except feebly, it would ensure their passage. As for the Bank of England, Danby wanted a prominent role. That could be arranged. He also wanted a year's peace from impeachment. That was a small enough price, though most of the King's ministers could be convicted of corruption if the proceeding was fairly decided. Both Lauderdale and Danby had narrowly avoided impeachment in the past year. Arlington was not so lucky. There were other small matters that had been discussed, but they were not key. Taxes would need to be raised and the pain needed to be shared with the Court party.
The coach came to a stop and the Lord of Trade emerged. "Later," Shaftesbury bid Danby. This should be entertaining.