Born in 1661, his father was Sir Edward Harley Robert Harley.
Robert was an exceptionally important parliamentarian, and was described as a “ political wizard and master of schemes” but he was also known to be a tricky character.
He became Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1689; Speaker of the House of Commons in 1701; Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1710; Treasurer in 1711; Housekeeper, St. James’ Palace in 1714
He was a Presbyterian who loved the country life, and who took pains to deplore bad behaviour in others, but who also sided with villains; cheated on his wife appallingly and became rather too fond of the drink. Continue reading