What facilitated the enterprises of the French, wrote Horace Walpole...was the extreme ignorance in which the English Court had kept themselves of the affairs of America.
That department is subjected to the Secretary of State for the Southern Province, assisted by the Board of Trade. That Board, during Sir Robert Walpole's administration, had very faultily been suffered to lapse almost into a sinecure, and during all that period [for nearly thirty years until 1754] the Duke of Newcastle had been Secretary of State. ...reams of papers...lay mouldering and unopened in his office.... .
Only one of many ways to defeat oneself.