By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2)
Author: Buckingham, The Duke of, Chandos
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





[Illustration: George the Third.]













Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street.


In the selection and arrangement of the Correspondence contained in
these Volumes, the intrusion of unnecessary commentaries and political
opinions has been carefully avoided. The letters themselves are so lucid
and complete, that the interest of the publication has been left to rest
upon their details as far as possible. But as a collection of
communications of this confidential nature, written from day to day upon
passing events, must necessarily involve numerous allusions which,
intelligible at the time, are either obscure or liable to
misapprehension now, occasional notices of the principal topics and
circumstances referred to have been introduced wherever they appeared to
be required. By the help of this illustrative frame-work a certain
degree of continuity has been attempted to be preserved, so that the
reader will have no difficulty in blending these materials into the
history of the period they embrace.



The Close of Lord North's Administration--The Second Rockingham
Cabinet--Mr. Thomas Grenville's Mission to Paris--The Shelburne
Administration--Lord Temple Appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland--Irish


The Renunciation Bill--The Fall of the Shelburne Administration--The
Cabinet Interregnum--The Coalition Ministry--Resignation of Lord Temple.


Mr. Pitt's Administration--Lord Temple Created Marquis of
Buckingham--His Private Notes on the Coalition.


The Breach Between the Marquis of Buckingham and Mr. Thomas Grenville.


Mr. W. W. Grenville Joins Mr. Pitt's Administration.


The Dawn of Free Trade--The Assembly of Notables--Affairs of
Holland--Arthur Wellesley--The Marquis of Buckingham Assumes the
Government of Ireland for the Second Time.


Irish Correspondence--The India Declaratory Bill--Trial of Warren
Hastings--Contemplated Changes in the Administration--The King's
Interference in Military Appointments--The Irish Chancellorship--The
King's Illness--Views of the Cabinet Respecting the Regency.


The Close of Lord North's Administration--The Second Rockingham
Cabinet--Mr. Thomas Grenville's Mission to Paris--The Shelburne
Administration--Lord Temple Appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland--Irish

As no inconsiderable portion of the Correspondence contained in these
volumes relates to the structure and conduct of Cabinets, throwing light
upon public affairs from those secret recesses to which historians
rarely have access, it may be useful, by way of introduction, to glance
at certain circumstances which, during the period embraced in the work,
exercised a special influence over the Government of the country: an
influence no less directly felt in the councils of Ministers than in the
measures and combinations of the Opposition.

The history of Administration in the reign of George III. presents some
peculiarities which distinguish it in a very striking degree from that
of most other reigns. The key to these peculiarities will be found in
the personal character of the Sovereign. To that character, and its
immediate action upon political parties, may be traced, to a greater
extent than has been hitherto suspected, the parliamentary agitation and
ministerial difficulties which were spread over nearly the whole of that
long and eventful period. The means of forming an accurate judgment on
matters of this nature exist only in confidential details, such as are
disclosed in the collection of letters now for the first time laid
before the public. In order, however, to render intelligible the
allusions that are scattered through them, and to point out their real
value as materials for the political history of the time, it is
necessary to offer a few preliminary remarks on the circumstances to
which reference has been made.

George III.--whose admirable business habits and inflexible integrity
inspired the highest deference and attachment amongst the personal
friends he admitted to his confidence--was remarkable in no one
particular more than in his jealousy of the prerogatives of the Crown.
He carried his zeal in that matter so far as even to draw upon himself
the charge of desiring to strain the rights of the Crown beyond
constitutional limitations. But as these limitations have never been
accurately defined, and as it has always been difficult to prescribe the
precise privileges which would relieve the Sovereign, on the one hand,
from being a mere state puppet, without giving him, on the other, too
great a preponderance of executive power, we need not discuss the
justice of an imputation which refers to the general complexion of the
King's views rather than to any particular acts of arbitrary authority.
That it was the great aim of His Majesty's life to preserve the royal
prerogatives from encroachment is undeniable; but it should be
remembered that when George III. ascended the throne, the relative
powers and responsibilities of the Sovereign and his advisers were not
so clearly marked or so well understood as they are at present; and if
His Majesty's jealousy of the rights which he believed to be vested in
his person led him to trespass upon the independence of his servants, or
to resist what he considered the extreme demands of the Parliament, it
was an error against the excesses of which our Constitution affords the
easiest and simplest means of redress.

Intimately conversant with official routine, and thoroughly master of
the details of every department of the Government, he acquired a
familiar knowledge of all the appointments in the gift of the Ministry,
and reserved to himself the right of controlling them. Nor was this
monopoly of patronage confined to offices of importance or considerable
emolument; it descended even to commissions in the army, and the
disposal of small places which custom as well as expediency had
delegated to the heads of those branches of service to which they
belonged. His Majesty's pertinacity on these points frequently
precipitated painful embarrassments of a personal nature, entailed much
disagreeable correspondence, and sometimes produced misunderstandings
and alienations of far greater moment than the paltry considerations in
which they originated. Amongst the numerous instances in which His
Majesty insisted on the preservation of patronage in his own hands, one
of the most conspicuous was his stipulation with the Marquis of
Rockingham for unconditional power over the nomination of the household,
at a moment when the exigency of public affairs compelled him to
surrender other points of infinitely greater importance. We shall find
in the course of the following letters that His Majesty's desire to
advance the interests of particular individuals interfered seriously, on
some occasions, with the convenience of the public service.

The same spirit guided His Majesty's conduct, as far as the forms of the
Constitution would permit, in his choice of Ministers. He had strong
personal likings and antipathies, and rather than consent to have a
Ministry imposed upon him consisting of men he disapproved, he would
have suffered any amount of difficulty or inconvenience. He prevailed
upon Lord North to remain in office three years in the face of sinking
majorities, and against his Lordship's own wishes, for the sole purpose
of keeping out the Whigs, whom he regarded with a feeling of the
bitterest aversion. Good reasons, no doubt, might be suggested for this
passionate abhorrence of the Whigs, who, independently of party
antecedents, had given His Majesty much cause of uneasiness, by their
strenuous opposition to the measures of his favourite Ministers, and by
their alliance with his son. So deeply was this feeling rooted in His
Majesty's mind, that when a junction with that party seemed to be all
but inevitable in March, 1778, he threatened to abdicate rather than be
"trampled on by his enemies." Four years afterwards he explicitly
repeated the same threat under the excitement of an adverse division;
and it was supposed by those who were best acquainted with the firmness
of his resolution that, had he been forced to extremities, he would have
carried his menace into execution.

His conduct to his Ministers was equally steadfast where he bestowed his
confidence, and stubborn where he withheld it. There were certain
questions upon which he was known to be inexorable, and upon which it
was useless to attempt to move him. Of these the most prominent were the
American War, Catholic Emancipation, and Parliamentary Reform. Whether
his judgment was right or wrong on these questions, it was fixed and
unalterable; and the Ministers who took office under George III. knew
beforehand the conditions of their service, so far as these paramount
articles of faith were concerned. It was the knowledge of this rigorous
trait in His Majesty's character, that made the Marquis of Rockingham
insist upon submitting to the King a programme of the policy he intended
to pursue before he would consent to enter upon the Government in 1782.
His Majesty desired nothing more than a list of the persons Lord
Rockingham wished to propose for the Cabinet; but Lord Rockingham
thought that something more was necessary to his own security and
independence. He considered that when a statesman undertakes the duties
of Administration, he assumes a responsibility irrespective of the
Sovereign, and that his duty requires of him that he shall lay before
His Majesty, in the first instance, as the basis of negotiation, an
outline of the measures by which alone he can conduct the affairs of the
kingdom with honour and success. In the adoption of this clear and
candid line of procedure there was no coercion on the Sovereign, who was
free to accept or reject the propositions, while the constitutional
principle at stake was acknowledged and vindicated on both sides.

His Majesty's immobility on certain questions had the practical effect
of literally placing them in abeyance in the councils of his Ministers.
As it was found to be impossible to form a strong Administration that
should unanimously agree with His Majesty, and at the same time possess
the confidence of the country, no alternative remained but to enter into
a tacit arrangement, by which those questions were to be dropped out of
the list of what were called Cabinet measures, each Minister being left
at liberty to vote upon them as he pleased, without being held to have
compromised the opinions of the Government. Had it not been for such an
arrangement as this, Pitt, who was pledged to the relief of the
Catholics from their disabilities, could never have held office under
George III. And thus was introduced into the practice of Administration
a principle which is undoubtedly a violation of its theory, and which,
taking advantage of a dangerous precedent, has been acted upon since
with less justification.

In the invention of this escape for the conscience of the King through
the side vent of "open questions," the direct influence of the Sovereign
upon the councils of the Administration may be clearly traced. There
were no other means of reconciling His Majesty to the appointment of a
Cabinet, demanded by the voice of the Parliament and the country. The
dilemma was obvious. There was no choice between the rejection of
Ministers who held certain doctrines adverse to His Majesty's
convictions, and compromise upon the points of difference. When it was
found impossible to conduct the Government of the kingdom with a Cabinet
that did not possess the popular confidence, the Sovereign was reduced
to the necessity of treating with men who did possess that confidence,
whether he agreed with them in opinion or not. In our own times, and
under most of the Sovereigns who have filled the throne since our
Constitution may be said to have been settled, there could be no great
difficulty in a case of this kind. Ministers undertaking office under
such circumstances would be responsible to the country for their policy,
and the Sovereign would feel himself at once relieved by that
responsibility from all further anxiety. But George III. took that
responsibility upon himself in reference to the great measures that
occupied the public mind; and when, by the exigency of circumstances,
Ministers were pressed upon him from whose views he dissented, he
accepted them upon conditions which restrained the action of the
Cabinet, as a whole, in certain directions, but left its members
individually free and unpledged. Such was the origin of "open
questions." It was a compromise on both sides; and of course it must
always depend upon the extent to which this compromise is carried, and
the necessity under which it is resorted to, whether it should be
regarded as a sacrifice of principle on the part of the Minister who
submits to it.

Another novelty originating in this reign, out of the same peculiar
state of things, and resting upon a similar theory of expediency, was
that of the formation of a Coalition Administration, in which party
differences were merged in a common agreement upon a general line of
policy. As considerable light is thrown upon this memorable incident in
the course of these volumes, it is unnecessary to dwell upon it here. It
will be abundantly elucidated in the proper place. For the present, it
is sufficient to refer to the junction, in a composite Ministry of
hostile statesman, as one of the singular results flowing from that
necessity of adaptation to circumstances which was rendered unavoidable
by the unyielding character of the Sovereign.

There were other circumstances which, combined with the personal
dispositions of the King, led to the strenuous assertion in this reign
of the prerogatives of the Executive against the interference and
control of the aristocracy and the Parliament. From the date of the
Revolution up to the accession of George III., the independent authority
of the Crown can scarcely be said to have had any practical
force--scarcely, indeed, to have had any existence. The Government of
the country was essentially Parliamentary. It was part of the compact
with William III. A foreign dynasty had been established, and the people
naturally looked to the protection of their domestic interests against
the possible preponderance of extrinsic sympathies in the reigning
power. Under William III., the claim of the United Provinces upon the
special regard of the Sovereign was the object of national jealousy; and
when the House of Brunswick ascended the throne, popular vigilance was
transferred to Hanover. The first two Princes of that House who ruled in
England scarcely spoke our language, and were so ignorant of our
Constitution and our customs, that they could not be admitted with
safety to an active participation in the Government. The Whigs, who had
brought about these changes, preserved in their own hands the entire
authority of the State. The Sovereign was merely the motionless
representative of the monarchical principle. But George III. was not an
alien. Born in the country, educated in its language and its usages, and
inspired by an ardent devotion to Protestantism, he entered life under
auspices that attracted at once towards the Crown an amount of
popularity which it had never enjoyed under his predecessors. The
qualities and dispositions of the King were favourable to the
cultivation of these opportunities. Without being profoundly versed in
the philosophy of character, he possessed a remarkable aptitude in the
discrimination of persons suited to his purposes. He had considerable
skill (to which Lord Shelburne bears special testimony) in extracting
the opinions of others, and turning the results to account. If his mind
was not vigorous and original, it was active and adaptive, inquisitive
and watchful. If his judgment was not always sound, his convictions were
strong, and the tenacity of his resolution commanded submission. An
accomplished linguist, fond of business, and having some talents as a
writer, which enabled him to express his meaning with facility and
clearness, he was well qualified to avail himself of the political
accidents which contributed to revive and strengthen the royal

The Whigs themselves helped mainly to bring about this struggle between
the Crown and the Parliament, or rather between the Crown and the "great
families," to use Mr. Canning's phrase, who had hitherto absorbed the
power and patronage of the State. United in principle, they were divided
by personal jealousies. The long possession of office had given a sort
of impunity to their pretensions; and believing that they held a
perpetual tenure of Administration, they were weak enough, at every new
ministerial change, to contend amongst themselves for the prizes. These
internal dissensions weakened and scattered them, and prepared the way
for those experiments which were made, during the early years of George
III., to conduct the Government without their aid.

The effects were felt in an entire change of system. The accession of
George III. was followed by a _coup-d'état_, which displaced the able
Cabinet that had been organized by the elder Pitt, to make room for the
Earl of Bute, who had the credit of being the author of the scheme, and
who was utterly incapable of carrying it out. Independently of his want
of the requisite qualifications as a statesman, there were other
objections of a private nature to Lord Bute, which rendered it
impossible that he could ostensibly continue to guide the councils of
the Ministry, however he might be permitted, or retained, to influence
them from behind the curtain. But his short essay at Government had
sufficiently disturbed the _ancien régime_, to leave in the King's hands
the power of choosing his Ministers without reference to popular clamour
or the will of Parliament. The consequence was, a rapid series of
Ministerial mutations, throughout which the contest for power was
maintained on both sides with so fierce a spirit, that during the first
ten years of the reign of George III., there were no less than seven
successive Administrations.

It was not till Lord North was called to the head of the Ministry, in
1770, that the public uneasiness was allayed, and a Cabinet of the
King's own choice was founded in security. Lord North was an especial
favourite with the King, whose extraordinary regard for him originated
in the promptitude with which he responded to His Majesty's appeal, at a
moment of serious embarrassment, when the Duke of Grafton unexpectedly
threw up the Government, and Lord North consented to undertake it. "I
love you as a man of worth, as I esteem you as a Minister," writes the
King to him on one occasion; "your conduct at a critical moment I can
never forget." The Whigs were readily reconciled to Lord North's
appointment, because he was not mixed up in their differences. They
preferred a Minister who had no alliances amongst them to one of
themselves, whose elevation would have produced discontents in the camp.
At first there was a show of dissatisfaction, and some attempts were
made to foment the popular passions; but the dignified firmness of the
Sovereign, and the moderate bearing of the favourite, speedily
tranquillized the public mind, and enabled Lord North to carry on the
Government with energy and success.

In his private character, Lord North was irreproachable; as a debater,
he displayed some valuable qualities--patience and endurance, facility
of resources on occasions of emergency, great calmness and courage, and
a playful wit, which never startled by its brilliancy, but seldom failed
of its point. He betrayed no ostentation or vainglory in his position;
never offended by any undue exhibition of the powers he wielded; and
restricted himself severely to the discharge of his duties as an adviser
of the Crown, deprecating the title of Prime Minister, which he declared
was an office unknown to the Constitution of this country. As a
statesman, he never achieved a high or distinguished reputation. The
American war was the blot upon his career; nor can even his devotion to
the Sovereign entirely excuse him for remaining in office at His
Majesty's entreaty to pursue a course of colonial policy which his
reason and his conscience disapproved. This was a political fault, which
no circumstances can palliate. Others have done worse, no doubt, from
meaner motives; but the mere desire of serving the King does not absolve
the Minister from censure for having acted contrary to his own
convictions on a question of such grave importance.

Lord North continued to retain the royal favour until he entered into
the coalition with the Whigs. This was a step the King could not
forgive. No extremity could reconcile him to a measure so repulsive to
his feelings. Yet the coalition, after all, was more discreditable to
the Whigs than to Lord North, who may be pardoned for accepting it as a
tribute to his personal weight, and a recantation, in some sort, of all
the odium the Whigs had industriously heaped upon him during the whole
period of his Administration. If they really believed him to be the base
and dangerous person they had all along described him to be, the shame
was theirs for consenting to associate themselves with him, and to work
under him in the Government.

The Administration of Lord North lasted for twelve years--from 1770 to
1782. The most important consequence it effected, so far as political
parties were concerned, was to throw the Whigs into opposition, and to
draw the Tories into closer relations with the throne. This complete
exchange of position exactly suited the principles of the two great
factions; the loyalty and courtly aspirations of the Tories (now that
all hope of restoring the Stuarts was at an end) rendering them highly
acceptable in the councils of the monarch, while the popular doctrines
of the Whigs pointed to the benches of the Opposition as the appropriate
place for a party which is always more usefully employed in representing
the people than in exercising the functions of Government. Sixty years
elapsed before the Whigs recovered the ground which they had lost under
the Ministry of Lord North.

The American war--for the management of which the severest reproaches
were cast upon the Government--the state of Ireland, and Parliamentary
Reform, were the principal public questions that agitated the term of
Lord North's Administration. Amongst the Whigs who took a prominent part
in these proceedings were the Grenvilles. Connected by marriage with the
Pitt family, and distinguished by their own hereditary claims and high
talents, they exerted as conspicuous an influence out of office as they
had previously done when they had the reins of Government in their
hands. It will be necessary to retrace briefly the political heraldry of
the Grenvilles for the purpose of bringing the reader acquainted with
the character of the three brothers whose intimate correspondence forms
the substance of these volumes.

Richard Grenville succeeded his brother in the Earldom of Temple in
1752, and took an active part in the Administration of the elder Pitt
(Lord Chatham), who was married to his sister, Lady Hesther, the mother
of the "Great Commoner." He resigned office with Pitt in 1761, on the
question of the war with Spain. This circumstance estranged him from his
political connection with his only brother, George Grenville, who
remained in office under Lord Bute, as Treasurer of the Navy. Lord
Temple, espousing the cause of Wilkes (for which he was dismissed from
his Lieutenancy of the county of Bucks) continued in opposition till he
was finally reconciled to his brother in 1765. He afterwards had a
serious difference with Pitt on the formation of the Cabinet in 1766;
but a reconciliation having been effected between them in 1768, they
subsequently acted in concert except upon the taxation of America, Lord
Temple invariably supporting the policy of his brother and the Stamp

George Grenville had been educated for the bar, and entered Parliament
for the borough of Buckingham at the instance of his uncle, Lord Cobham;
joined the Administration in 1744, as a Lord of the Admiralty,
afterwards as a Lord of the Treasury, then as Treasurer of the Navy, and
continued in office at intervals till 1762, when, separating himself
from Lord Temple and Mr. Pitt, he joined Lord Bute as Secretary of
State. On the resignation of Lord Bute in 1763, he became First Lord of
the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, remaining at the head of
the Cabinet till his dismissal in 1765, after which he never again
accepted office.

He left three sons, George, Thomas, and William Wyndham, who variously
distinguished themselves in the public service, and whose letters,
chiefly those of the last, in all respects the ablest and most
celebrated, constitute the bulk of the following pages.

George Grenville succeeded to the title of Earl Temple on the death of
his uncle, and was afterwards created Marquis of Buckingham, and was
father of the late Duke of Buckingham. He twice filled the office of
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.

Thomas Grenville, who died recently at an advanced age, filled several
high offices in the State, and accumulated one of the most splendid
libraries in the kingdom.

William Wyndham Grenville, afterwards Lord Grenville, was one of the
most eminent statesmen of the reign of George III., and, surviving all
his great contemporaries, died in 1834. "The endowments of his mind,"
observes Lord Brougham, "were all of a useful and commanding sort--sound
sense, steady memory, vast industry. His acquirements were in the same
proportion valuable and lasting--a thorough acquaintance with business
in its principles and in its details; a complete mastery of the science
of politics as well theoretical as practical; of late years a perfect
familiarity with political economy, and a just appreciation of its
importance; an early and most extensive knowledge of classical
literature, which he improved instead of abandoning, down to the close
of his life; a taste formed upon these chaste models, and of which his
lighter compositions, his Greek and Latin verses, bore testimony to the
last. His eloquence was of a plain, masculine, authoritative cast, which
neglected if it did not despise ornament, and partook in the least
possible degree of fancy, while its declamation was often equally
powerful with its reasoning and its statement. He was in this greatest
quality of a statesman pre-eminently distinguished, that, as he neither
would yield up his judgment to the clamour of the people, nor suffer
himself to be seduced by the influence of the Court, so would he never
submit his reason to the empire of prejudice, or own the supremacy of
authority or tradition." The character is accurately and justly
discriminated; but, however fully this searching panegyric is sustained
and justified by the public acts and recorded labours of Lord Grenville,
we must turn to his correspondence with Lord Temple for the complete
development of that sagacity and sound judgment, that intimate knowledge
of public affairs, and that remarkable comprehensiveness of view and
lucidity of statement, by which he was distinguished above his
contemporaries in an age of great political characters. This
correspondence, extending over a long period of years, is not less
remarkable for the constancy with which it was carried on than for the
minuteness of its details, and the freedom of its revelations. Written
with the ease of familiar intercourse, and in that confidential spirit
which was the exponent of one of the most touching attachments that ever
bound one man to another, it is no less valuable as a close, running
commentary on the events of the day, lighting up in its course the
hidden springs of parliamentary action and the policy of cabinets, than
it is fascinating from the teeming evidences with which it abounds of a
warm heart and a highly disciplined and accomplished mind.

The Correspondence commences in 1782, when Lord North, sinking under the
odium of the American war, found his small majorities rapidly
diminishing from 22 to 19, then to the vanishing point of 1, and finally
to a minority of 16. Every incident connected with the war, the taxes,
parliamentary reform, and all other questions upon which it was possible
to raise a discussion, were seized upon by the opposition to harass the
Ministry. The total surrender of York Town by Lord Cornwallis, with the
whole army under his command, to Washington, and of the British vessels
in the harbour to the French Admiral de Grasse in the October of 1781,
awakened universal indignation; and, when Parliament met in November, it
became evident that, however resolved the King or the Government might
be to persevere in their policy, the doom of the Administration was near
at hand. Amendments to the Address, pointing ominously to a change of
counsels, were moved in both houses by Lord Shelburne and Mr. Fox; but
nothing further was done till after the Christmas recess, with the
exception of an announcement that Ministers had resolved not to send a
fresh army to replace that surrendered by Lord Cornwallis.

About this time, very early in the session, a motion was contemplated on
the subject, the object of which, as may be gathered from the following
notes of the Marquis of Rockingham, was to relieve Lord Cornwallis from
the disgrace that impended over him, and to throw the real
responsibility upon Ministers. The Marquis of Rockingham, desirous of
proceeding upon more certain information than had at that time been
received, appears to have advised a little delay, and to have been of
opinion that if any motion were to be brought forward at that moment it
ought to have taken the shape of a motion for inquiry. It is evident
that the Marquis of Rockingham was already collecting his friends about
him. The name of Lord Rockingham's correspondent does not appear, but,
from a subsequent allusion, it may be presumed that these notes were
addressed to the Duke of Chandos.


    My Lord,

    Your Grace does me much honour in the communication of the
    thoughts you entertain of bringing forward some matters of
    business in the House of Lords.

    I shall be very happy to concur in opinion with your Grace, but
    I must say that I cannot at present think that there is anything
    come to our knowledge in regard to the actual conduct of Lord
    Cornwallis, as commander of a British army in America, which
    calls for the honour of a vote of thanks from the House of

    The fatal event of the army under his Lordship's command, having
    been reduced to the situation of being obliged to lay down their
    arms and surrender prisoners of war, naturally requires that an
    explanation or justification should precede anything that could
    be declaratory of approbation.

    As I understand your Grace's proposition, I conceive your
    intentions would be, that in thanking Lord Cornwallis for his
    general conduct, you would at the same time state, that the
    plans he _was directed_ to pursue and which had been so fatal,
    were _highly censurable_.

    An inquiry into _the causes_ of the loss of that army might
    certainly be a very proper and becoming measure; and I have very
    little, or rather no doubt that the blame and censure would fall
    heavy on many of His Majesty's Ministers, if such an inquiry was
    taken up, and tried by an uninfluenced or _undeluded_ jury.

    There is a particular circumstance, which possibly, as your
    Grace has been out of town, may not have come to your knowledge.
    I understand that Lord Cornwallis and all the officers of the
    army captured at York Town and Gloucester, _are under a parole
    of honour, and on their faith neither to say or do anything
    injurious to the interests of the United States or armies of
    America, or their allies, until exchanged_.

    Your Grace will recollect, that in the Articles of Capitulation,
    much doubt has been held in regard to _the propriety_ of one of
    the articles, whereby Lord Cornwallis had left some Americans
    (who had been in or had joined our army) to be at the mercy of
    the civil authority in America.

    Many Lords will think that some explanation of that conduct in
    Lord Cornwallis is necessary; and I do not conceive that any
    explanation could at present be got from Lord Cornwallis.

    The Duke of Richmond having called upon me this morning, I had
    the honour to go with his Grace to your Grace's house, hoping
    that you were arrived in London. The Duke of Richmond will be
    early at the House of Lords to-morrow, and intends to desire the
    House to be summoned for Monday next, in order to make some
    inquiry in regard to the execution of Colonel Harris, at
    Charlestown, in America. I will also be early at the House of
    Lords to-morrow, and I shall then hope to have the opportunity,
    along with the Duke of Richmond, of having the honour of some
    more discourse upon the subject matter of your Grace's letter,
    and that it will not impede your Grace's intentions of some
    conversation in the House, on the loss of a great army.

    I have the honour to be, with great regard,

    Your Grace's most obedient and most humble servant,


    Grosvenor Square,
    Wednesday, P.M. near Five o'clock,
    Jan. 30th, 1782.


    My Lord,

    Having not gone to dinner till rather late, and my company
    having staid with me till just now, I have not been able to
    return an answer to your Grace's very obliging letter as soon as
    I otherwise should have done. It also prevented my being able to
    profit of the honour you proposed to me of calling here this

    I will call at the Duke of Richmond's before two o'clock
    to-morrow, and I hope that his Grace and I shall have the honour
    of meeting your Grace at the House of Lords, between two and
    three o'clock; I should imagine, any time before three o'clock
    will afford us time for the honour of some conversation

    I have the honour to be, with great regard,

    Your Grace's most obedient and most humble servant,


    Grosvenor Square.
    Wednesday night, past Nine o'clock,
    Jan. 30th. 1782


    My dear Lord,

    I felt myself much honoured by the very kind intimation which
    you sent to me by Mr. T. Grenville, that your Lordship would not
    be unwilling to come to town, to attend in the House of Lords,
    in case any matter was likely to come on, which might appear to
    me to be of importance in the present miserable state of the
    affairs of this country.

    I should have wrote to your Lordship to have apprized you of the
    motions intended by the Duke of Richmond on the subject of the
    execution of Colonel Harris in Charlestown in North America, and
    of the proclamation which had in consequence been issued by
    General Green. I was very doubtful in regard to the _probable
    day_ on which the business might come to be discussed.

    On the Duke of Richmond's first mentioning the subject, it came
    out that the Ministers at last acknowledged that they had no
    official information; but as a vessel had arrived from New York,
    and some officers had also arrived from Charlestown on Friday or
    Saturday last, I thought it probable that on _Monday_ or
    _yesterday_ we might have heard that they had got _official
    information_, and that possibly some papers would be to be laid
    before the House, and the discussion of the matter would then
    have been fixed for some day, and regularly proceeded upon.

    The event was different: they continued to say that they had no
    official information, but chose to enter into a justification of
    the whole proceeding, in part urging some accounts which they
    said had been in a Pennsylvanian Gazette.

    I am now to inform your Lordship, that the Duke of Chandos, who
    had thrown out an idea of inquiring into the causes of the loss
    and capture of Earl Cornwallis and his army, has been wished and
    desired to move it on Thursday next.

    The Duke of Richmond, the Duke of Chandos, and Duke of
    Manchester, and some friends, have been here this morning, and
    have prepared the enclosed motion for the inquiry, and also
    motions for papers which would be necessary. Lord Shelburne and
    Lord Camden have been acquainted with the intention; the Duke of
    Grafton is also in town; so that I should imagine the business
    will be well supported. I have no expectation of any success in
    the House of Lords; but upon such a calamity and national
    disgrace, it surely will become us to propose to bring on an
    inquiry. Perhaps we may learn whether the Ministers intend to
    throw the blame either on their Commander-in-Chief, General H.
    Clinton, or on Earl Cornwallis, or (what some suppose), on Lord
    Greaves. The public at large have a right to know whether the
    real cause has not arose from the neglect, inability, or some
    other cause, in His Majesty's Ministers.

    As the business is now fixed for Thursday next, I have taken the
    liberty of apprizing your Lordship by a messenger, who I hope
    will arrive before your Lordship goes to bed to-night.

    I wish I could have wrote earlier. I shall be very happy in the
    honour of seeing your Lordship, which I hope may be soon, even
    if your Lordship could not at this time come to London.

    I have the honour to be, with great truth and regard,

    Your Lordship's most obedient and obliged humble servant,


    Grosvenor Square,
    Tuesday, Four o'clock,
    Feb. 5th, 1782.

On the 22nd of February, General Conway moved an Address to the King,
imploring His Majesty to abandon the war. After a protracted debate,
which lasted till two o'clock in the morning, the Ministers found
themselves in an alarming majority of 1. But they persevered in the face
of these disasters, and, sustained in office by the tenacity of the
King, refused to submit to the constitutional warning of Parliament.
Three months before, the Duke of Richmond, writing to Lord Rockingham,
anticipated the obstinacy of the Cabinet, expressing his conviction,
that "no essential change of measures was meant, and none of men if it
could be avoided. When I say the Ministry," he added, "I mean the King;
for his servants are the merest servants that ever were."

Nor was it only by protecting an unpopular Ministry that His Majesty
showed his resolution to exercise his prerogative in direct opposition
to public opinion. It was in the midst of these accumulating defeats and
strong expressions of popular feeling, that His Majesty raised Lord
George Germain to the peerage with the title of Viscount Sackville, in
open indifference to the fact that his Lordship had been dismissed from
the army by the sentence of a court-martial, and declared incapable of
serving His Majesty in any military capacity, in consequence of his
conduct at the battle of Minden. To such proceedings as these Walpole
refers, when he observes at this time that "the power of the Crown has
increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished; and it is
diminished a good deal indeed." The diminution of its power, however,
was visible only in the spirited resistance of Parliament, in the motion
of Lord Carmarthen in the Upper House, that it was derogatory to the
honour of the House of the Lords, that any person labouring under so
heavy a sentence of a court-martial should be recommended to the Crown
as worthy of a peerage, and in the successive motions which were brought
forward in the Commons to force the Ministry to resign.

General Conway renewed his motion on the war on the 27th, and achieved a
complete triumph, his minority of 1 being converted in five days into a
majority of 19. But Lord North still clung to office, and it was not
till the 6th of March, when he was beaten by a majority of 16 on the
subject of the taxes, that he began to betray symptoms of a retreat. On
the 8th the motion on the war was renewed, when Ministers, collecting
the whole force of placemen and contractors, obtained a majority of 10,
which was reduced afterwards to 9 on a vote of confidence. The crisis
had now arrived. The Earl of Surrey had given notice in the Lords of a
motion to the effect that Ministers no longer possessed the confidence
of the country, when Lord North entered the House, and informed their
Lordships that His Majesty had come to a determination to make an entire
change of Administration.

This was on the 19th of March. But so far back as the 11th His Majesty
had been in negotiation with the Marquis of Rockingham, through the
agency of Lord Chancellor Thurlow, who detained his Lordship in the
House for an hour and a half after it had adjourned to converse with
him, by His Majesty's desire, upon the practicability of forming an
Administration "on a broad bottom." The negotiation with Thurlow spread
over an entire week, and entirely failed on the plan proposed by His
Majesty, who wished to limit Lord Rockingham in the first instance to
the nomination of a Cabinet whose policy should lie over for future
consideration. "I must confess," observes Lord Rockingham, in one of his
letters to the Lord Chancellor, "that I do not think it an advisable
measure, first to attempt to form a Ministry by arrangement of
office--afterwards to decide upon what principles or measures they are
to act."

The day this letter was written Lord North resigned; and in two days
afterwards His Majesty renewed the negotiation with Lord Rockingham,
finally agreeing to the whole of his propositions, and reserving only
the household in his own hands. While these negotiations were in
progress, Lord Temple wrote to Lord Rockingham, expressing his earnest
hope that the "cards should be dealt only into those hands where he so
much wished them, from every motive of public and private regard."
Before the end of the month the cards _were_ dealt into the hands in
which Lord Temple wished to see them, and the new Ministry was
completed, with Lord Rockingham as First Lord of the Treasury; Lord
Shelburne and Mr. Fox as Secretaries of State; Lord John Cavendish,
Chancellor of the Exchequer; Admiral Keppel, at the head of the
Admiralty; General Conway (much to the King's dissatisfaction), at the
Horse Guards; with the additional strength of the Dukes of Richmond and
Grafton, and Lords Camden and Ashburton, Burke, Sheridan, and Colonel
Barré, in other offices; Thurlow (the only Tory in the Cabinet) still
continuing as Lord Chancellor.

One of the earliest measures of the new Government was to negotiate a
peace with America; and Mr. Thomas Grenville was appointed upon a
mission for that purpose to Paris, to meet Dr. Franklin. The history of
that mission is contained in a series of deeply interesting letters,
which, independently of the flood of light they throw upon the American
business, possess a permanent value as illustrations of the personal
characters of the writers (especially those of Sheridan, to whose
rashness Mr. Grenville makes express allusion), and as showing that,
even in office, the Whigs were not united amongst themselves. The
materials of which the Cabinet was formed, being composed of the
Rockingham, and the Chatham, or Shelburne Whigs--two sections of that
party which had never cordially coalesced--was not calculated to work
together; but it could not have been anticipated that their personal
jealousies would have taken a shape so dangerous as these letters

It is clear, from the singular facts revealed in this Correspondence,
that, while an ostensible Minister was dispatched to Paris by the
general action of the Government, with the sanction of the King, to
negotiate terms with the American Minister, Lord Shelburne had taken
upon himself to appoint another negotiator, who was not only not to act
in concert with Mr. Grenville, but whose clandestine mission seems to
have been expressly intended to thwart and embarrass him, and whose
appointment was without the approval, or even the knowledge, of the
Cabinet. How far the King may have secretly supported Lord Shelburne in
this breach of faith with his colleagues, we are left to conjecture; but
the intriguing character ascribed to His Majesty by Lord Shelburne
himself, justifies, to some extent, the suspicion that a proceeding so
bold and so full of hazard to the Whig Administration, was not adopted
upon the sole responsibility of the Minister. Lord Shelburne said of the
King, that he "possessed one art beyond any man he had ever known; for
that by the familiarity of his intercourse he obtained your confidence,
procured from you your opinion of different public characters, and then
availed himself of this knowledge to sow dissensions." (Nicholl's
Recollections and Reflections during the reign of George III.) This
opinion, just or unjust (and there is no great reason to doubt its
justice), was founded upon extensive personal experiences, of which this
sinister attempt to break up the union of the Cabinet may have been one.


    St. James's, May 21st, 1782.

    Dear Grenville,

    You are certainly one of the best negotiators that ever
    negotiated; and so says the King, your royal master, who is
    going to send you the fine silver box which you receive with
    this, and which, with great envy, I learn is your property; and
    which, if the serious modesty of your former despatch could have
    been seriously construed, you would not have been entitled to.
    Though I have not written before, have not my punctuality and
    remembrance appeared conspicuous in the newspapers you receive?
    These tell you all the private news, and all that is important
    of public you will have heard before you receive this; so this
    must be a very short letter, and indeed the messenger is almost
    going; and Charles has been writing to you, which is another
    reason for my saying very little. Mr. Oswald talks very
    sanguinely about Franklin, and says he is more open to you than
    he has been to any one; but he is a Scotsman, and belonging to
    Lord Shelburne. If the business of an American treaty seemed
    likely to prosper in your hands, I should not think it
    improbable that Lord Shelburne would try to thwart it. Oswald
    had not yet seen Lord Shelburne; and by his cajoling manner to
    _our secretary_ and eagerness to come to him, I do not feel much
    prejudiced in his favour; but probably I judge wrongly whenever
    the other secretary is concerned, for I grow suspicious of him
    in every respect, the more I see of every transaction of his.

    I am just told that the messenger is ready, so more in my next.
    There is no particular news. The Dutch are got back to the
    Texel. Lord Howe still off there, but nothing likely to come of
    it. Sir G. Rodney, notwithstanding his victory, is to be
    recalled, and Pigott is sailed. This I think very magnanimous in
    the Ministers or very impolitic; events must justify, but it is
    putting themselves too much in their power.

    We had a good illumination for this news. You see how we go on
    in Parliament by the papers; we were bullied outrageously about
    our poor Parliamentary Reform; but it will do at last, in spite
    of you all.

    Yours ever sincerely,

    R.B. Sheridan.


    Dear Grenville,

    If your letter of the 10th a little damped me in my hopes of
    good effects from your journey, that of the 19th, which I have
    just received, together with Mr. Oswald's conversation, has very
    much revived me. I send away the messenger, for fear of the
    delays which Cabinets are so apt to cause; but I hope you will
    hear from us again very soon, with authority to offer the
    Independence as unconditionally as you can wish. Mr. Oswald says
    that Dr. Franklin is much inclined to confide in you; if so, ask
    him at once in what manner we can act so as to gain a
    substantial, if not a nominal, peace with America; and you may
    depend upon all my influence in support of his advice.

    I hope you will not be disappointed at our adhering to our first
    ideas for the proposition _we_ are to make, rather than offering
    concessions. If _we_ are to offer, we think it is not for us to
    throw concessions at their head; but if they do not like our
    proposals, it is for _them_ to ask such as may be reasonable. If
    what they propose is really so, there is no doubt of our
    complying; and if it is not, or they should refuse to make any
    offer at all, it will surely be clear who was most in earnest in
    his wishes for peace; and we must make the best advantage we can
    of our situation, about which I begin to be more sanguine than I
    used to do.

    From your letter, there are surely great hopes of detaching
    America; and from those we have just received from Petersburg,
    there appears the most favourable disposition in that quarter to
    enforce a peace with Holland; or if that cannot be, to take a
    decisive part. And I know how much this disposition will be
    increased, if we can fully convince His Imperial Majesty that
    the failure of your negotiation is not our fault.

    With regard to all your diffidence of yourself, we laugh at it.
    If, in order to save yourself bodily labour, you want a
    secretary, write, and you shall have one; but for any other
    purpose, you want no assistance, but are allowed by everybody,
    and the King in particular, to be the best writer of despatches
    that is known in this office.

    Adieu. I envy you the pleasure of announcing the news from the
    West Indies, with all the modest insolence which belongs to the

    Yours most affectionately,

    Pray make my best respects to Dr. Franklin, whose letter to me
    contained some very promising expressions. Assure him that, in
    spite of all that has happened, he and I are still of the same

    St. James's, Tuesday night,

    May 21st, 1782.


    St. James's, May 26th, 1782.

    My dear Grenville,

    Charles not being well, I write to you at his desire, that you
    may not be surprized at having no private letter from him with
    the despatch which Mr. Oswald brings you. There is not room, I
    believe, for much communication of any very private nature on
    the subject of your instructions and situation, as his public
    letter, you will see, is very sincerely to the purpose. If
    anything in it admits of modification, or is not to be very
    literally taken, I should conceive it to be the recommendation
    of explicitness with Oswald; on which subject I own I have
    suggested doubts; and Charles wishes you to have a caution for
    your own discretion to make use of.

    I perceive uniformly (from our intercepted information) that all
    these _city_ negotiators--Mr. Wentworths, Bourdeaux,
    &c.--insinuate themselves into these sort of affairs merely for
    private advantages, and make their trust principally subservient
    to stock-jobbing views, on which subject there appears to be a
    surprising communication with Paris. Mr. Oswald's officiousness
    in bringing over your despatch and other things I have been told
    since by those who know him, lead me to form this kind of
    opinion of him; but you will judge where this will apply to any
    confidence that should be placed in him.

    Surely, whatever the preliminaries of a treaty for peace with
    France may be, it would be our interest, if we could, to drop
    even mentioning the Americans in them; at least the seeming to
    grant anything to them as at the requisition of France. France
    now denies our ceding Independence to America to be anything
    given to them, and declines to allow anything for it. In my
    opinion it would be wiser in them to insist ostentatiously (and
    even to make a point of allowing something for it) on the
    Independence of America being as the first article of their
    treating; and this would for ever furnish them with a claim on
    the friendship and confidence of the Americans after the peace.
    But since they do not do this, surely it would not be bad
    policy, even if we gave up more to France in other respects, to
    prevent her appearing in the treaty as in any respect the
    champion of America, or as having made any claims for her; we
    giving her up everything she wants equally, and her future
    confidence and alliance being such an object to us. Were I the
    Minister, I would give France an island or two to choose, if it
    would expose her selfishness, sooner than let her gain the
    _esteem of the Americans_ by claiming anything essential for
    them in apparent preference to her own interest and ambition.
    All people, of all descriptions, in America, will read the
    treaty of peace, whenever it comes, which France shall make with
    this country; and if they should see there that she has claimed
    and got a good deal for herself, but has not appeared to have
    thought of them, however they may have profited in fact, it
    would certainly give us a great advantage in those sort of
    arguments and competitions which will arise after a peace;
    whereas if it appears as a stipulated demand on the part of
    France that America should be independent, it will for ever be a
    most handy record and argument for the French party in that
    country to work with; and this, as things stand now, and as far
    as my poor judgment goes, appears not to be a very difficult
    thing to have either way. And so these are my politics on that
    subject for you.

    You will find Rodney has taken some more ships. The unluckiness
    of his recal, I think, appears to increase in its ill effect;
    and people don't seem to fancy Pigott. Rolle has given notice
    that he will move on Thursday to know who advised His Majesty to
    recal Rodney; and out of doors the talk is the same. Charles
    gave Johnson, who had been very violent on this subject the
    other day, an excellent trimming; but there was a good deal of
    coy with the other.

    The arming plan don't seem to take at all. We have not yet heard
    from Ireland since Burgoyne took them over a constitution.[1]

    There is nothing odd or new to tell you, but that here is a most
    untimely strange sort of an influenza which every creature
    catches. You must not mind the badness of my scrawl: and let me
    hear from you. Does Lafayette join your consultation dinners
    with Franklin, as some of our Roupell intelligence sets forth? I
    take it for granted the French Ministers will think it a point
    of spirit to seem rather less desirous of peace since your
    defeat in the West?

    Howe is still off the Texel, and the Dutch safe within.

    What mere politics I write to you! One might as well be a
    newspaper editor at once, I believe, as anything that politics
    can make one: but all other pursuits are as idle and
    unsatisfactory, and that's a comfort.

    Yours ever,

    R. B. Sheridan.

[Footnote 1: The Duke of Rutland had been appointed by the new Ministry
Lord-Lieutenant in Ireland and General Burgoyne Commander-in-Chief


    Dear Grenville,

    I have only time to write a line to tell you that I have
    received your letter by Gregson, and also that by the post
    containing the letters that passed between M. de Vergennes and
    you. I do not choose to tell you anything more of my opinion by
    this conveyance, than that all you have done is perfectly and
    exactly right, and that His Majesty is of the same opinion.

    Rolle moved yesterday, and Rosewarne seconded, a sort of censure
    on the recal of Rodney, and Lord North made such a figure as
    made even his enemies pity him; he showed such a desire to
    support the motion, without daring to do it, as was perfectly
    ridiculous. Adieu!

    Yours, ever affectionately,

    C. J. F.

    We are all surprised at your not knowing the great news on the
    24th, which was the date of your letter by Gregson.

    Every account from Ireland is pleasant to the greatest degree.

    St. James's, May 31st, 1782


    Paris, June 4th, 1782.

    Dear Charles,

    The _public_ letter which I send to you by Lauzun, is, as you
    will see, of no other use than that of accounting for his
    journey, and enabling him to carry to you this _private_ one, of
    which I had once almost determined to be myself the bearer; an
    apprehension, however, that so sudden an arrival might be
    embarrassing to you, has decided me not to take that step, till
    I had explained to you my reasons for wishing to do so, though I
    should not care to write them, except in the full confidence
    that they will be seen by no person whatever but yourself.
    Recollect always that this letter is written in that confidence,
    and I am sure I never can repent of having sent it.

    You will easily see, from the tenor of the correspondence we
    have hitherto had, that what little use I could be of to you
    here, appeared to me to be in the communication that I had with
    Franklin; I considered the rest of the negotiation as dependent
    upon that, and the only possible immediate advantages which were
    to be expected, seemed to me to rest in the jealousy which the
    French Court would entertain of not being thoroughly supported
    in everything by America. The degree of confidence which
    Franklin seemed inclined to place in me, and which he expressed
    to me more than once in the strongest terms, very much favoured
    this idea, and encouraged me in wishing to learn from him what
    might be in future ground for a partial connection between
    England and America; I say in future, because I have hitherto
    never much believed in any treaty of the year 1782; and my
    expectation, even from the strongest of Franklin's expressions,
    was not of an immediate turn in our favour, or any positive
    advantage from the Commissioners in Europe, till the people in
    America should cry out to them, from seeing that England was
    meeting their wishes. It was in this light, too, that I saw room
    to hope for some good effects from a voluntary offer of
    unconditional independence to America, a chance which looked the
    more tempting as I own I considered the sacrifice as but a small
    one, and such as, had I been an American, I had thought myself
    little obliged to Great Britain in this moment for granting,
    except from an idea that if it was an article of treaty, it
    would have been as much given by France as by England. I repeat
    this only to remind you that, from these considerations, the
    whole of my attention has been given to Franklin, and that I
    should have considered myself as losing my time here, if it had
    not been directed to that subject.

    I believe I told you in my last, that I had very sanguine
    expectations of Franklin's being inclined to speak out when I
    should see him next; indeed, he expressly told me, that he would
    think over all the points likely to establish a solid
    reconciliation between England and America, and that he would
    write his mind upon them, in order that we might examine them
    together more in order; confiding, as he said, in me, that I
    would not state them as propositions from him, but as being my
    own ideas of what would be useful to both countries. (I
    interrupt myself here to remind you of the obligation I must put
    you under not to mention this). For this very interesting
    communication, which I had long laboured to get, he fixed the
    fourth day, which was last Saturday; but on Friday morning, Mr.
    Oswald came, and having given me your letters, he went
    immediately to Franklin, to carry some to him. I kept my
    appointment at Passy the next morning, and in order to give
    Franklin the greatest confidence, and at the same time, too, not
    knowing how much Mr. Oswald might have told him, I began with
    saying, that though under the difficulty which M. de Ve. and he
    himself had made to my full power, it was not the moment as a
    politician, perhaps, to make farther explanations till that
    difficulty should be relieved; yet, to show him the confidence I
    put in him, I would begin by telling him that I was authorized
    to offer the independence in the first instance, instead of
    making it an article of general treaty. He expressed great
    satisfaction at this, especially, he said, because, by having
    done otherwise, we should have seemed to have considered America
    as in the same degree of connection with France which she had
    been under with us; whereas, America wished to be considered as
    a power, free and clear to all the world. But when I came to
    lead the discourse to the subject which he had promised four
    days before, I was a good deal mortified to find him put it off
    altogether till he should be more ready; and notwithstanding my
    reminding him of his promise, he only answered that it should be
    in some days. What passed between Mr. Oswald and me will explain
    to you the reason of this disappointment.

    Mr. Oswald told me that Lord Shelburne had proposed to him, when
    last in England, to take a commission to treat with the American
    Ministers; that upon his mentioning it to Franklin now, it
    seemed perfectly agreeable to him, and even to be what he had
    very much wished; Mr. Oswald adding that he wished only to
    assist the business, and had no other view; he mixed with this a
    few regrets that there should be any difference between the two
    offices; and when I asked upon what subject, he said, owing to
    the Buckingham party being too ready to give up everything.

    You will observe though, for it is on that account that I give
    you this narrative, that this intended appointment has
    effectually stopped Franklin's mouth to me; and that when he is
    told that Mr. Oswald is to be the Commissioner to treat with
    him, it is but natural that he should reserve his confidence for
    the quarter so pointed out to him; nor does this secret seem
    only known to Franklin; as Lafayette said, laughing, yesterday,
    that he had just left _Lord Shelburne's ambassador_ at Passy.
    Indeed, this is not the first moment of a separate and private
    negotiation; for Mr. Oswald, suspecting, by something that I
    dropped, that Franklin had talked to me about Canada, (though,
    by the bye, he never had), told me this circumstance as follows.
    When he was in England, the last time but one, he carried with
    him a paper, entrusted to him by Franklin, under condition that
    it should be shown only to Lord Shelburne, and returned into his
    own hands at Passy; this paper, under the title of "Notes of a
    Conversation," contained an idea of Canada being spontaneously
    ceded by England to the Thirteen Provinces, in order that
    Congress might sell the unappropriated lands, and make a fund
    thereby, in order to compensate the damages done by the English
    army, and even those sustained too by the royalists. This paper,
    given with many precautions, for fear of its being known to the
    French Court, to whom it was supposed not to be agreeable, Mr.
    Oswald showed to Lord Shelburne, who, after keeping it a day, as
    Mr. Oswald supposes to show to the King, returned it to him, and
    it was by him brought back to Franklin.

    I say nothing to the proposition itself, to the impolicy of
    bringing a strange neighbourhood to the Newfoundland Fishery, or
    to the little reason that England would naturally see in having
    lost thirteen provinces to give away a fourteenth; but I mention
    it to show you an early trace of separate negotiation, which
    perhaps you did not before know. Under these circumstances, I
    felt very much tempted to go over and explain them to you _vivâ
    voce_ rather than by letter, and I must say, with the farther
    intention of suggesting to you the only idea that seems likely
    to answer your purpose, and it is this: the Spanish Ambassador
    will in a day or two have the powers from his Court; the
    Americans are here, so are the French; why should you not
    consider this then as a Congress in full form, and send here a
    person of rank, such as Lord Fitzwilliam, if he would come, so
    as to have the whole negotiation in the hands of one person; you
    would by that means recover within your compass the essential
    part which is now out of it; nor do I see how Lord Shelburne
    could object to such an appointment, which would in every
    respect very much facilitate the business. Let me press this a
    little strongly to you, for another reason: you may depend upon
    it, people here have already got an idea of a difference between
    the two offices, and consider how much that idea will be
    assisted by the embarrassments arising from two people
    negotiating to the same purpose, but under different and
    differing authorities, concealing and disguising from each other
    what with the best intentions they could hardly make known, and
    common enough to each. I am almost afraid of pressing this as
    strongly as I should, for fear you should think me writing
    peevishly; but if I did not state the thing to you in the
    situation in which I see it, I should think I was betraying your
    interests instead of giving attention to them. I must entreat
    you very earnestly to consider this, to see the impossibility of
    my assisting you under this contrariety, to see how much the
    business itself will suffer if carried on with the jealousy of
    these clashing interests, and to see whether it may not all be
    prevented by some such single appointment in high rank as that I
    mentioned; _au reste_, I cannot but say that I feel much easier
    with the hope of making over what remains of this business. I
    begin to feel it weighty, and you know how much I dislike the
    _publicity_ you packed off to me in that confounded silver box;
    I could not bring myself to say anything civil about it in my
    last letter, and you ought to give me credit for great
    self-denial in not taking this opportunity of telling you my own
    story at the Secretary's office, as nothing but the
    embarrassment it might give you upon the sudden, prevented me.
    Once more, I tell you I cannot fight a daily battle with Mr.
    Oswald and _his secretary_; it would be neither for the
    advantage of the business, for your interest, or your credit or
    mine; and even if it was, I could not do it.

    Concluding then the American business as out of the question,
    which _personally_ I cannot be sorry for, you surely have but
    one of two things to do: either to adopt the proposition of a
    new _dignified_ peer's appointment, which being single, may
    bring back the business to you by comprehending it all in one;
    or Lord Shelburne must have his minister here, and Mr. Fox his;
    by doing which, Mr. Fox will be pretty near as much out of the
    secret, at least of what is most essential, as if he had nobody
    here; and the only real gainers by it will be the other
    Ministers, who cannot fail to profit of such a jumble. Besides
    which, upon this latter part of the subject, I must very
    seriously entreat you not to ask me to keep a situation here, in
    no circumstances pleasant, and in none less so than those I have
    described. The grievance is a very essential one, the remedy is
    Lord Fitzwilliam.

    Adieu. I recommend to Lauzun to make all the haste he can, as I
    shall not stir a step till you answer this letter, and my step
    then will, I hope, be towards you. Sheridan's letter of
    suspicion was written, as you see, in the spirit of prophecy. I
    owe him an answer, which, by word of mouth or word of letter, he
    shall have very soon. The news of the day is, that the Cadiz
    fleet, twenty-six of the line and five French, are sailed for
    Brest, but I rather imagine they have no authentic account of it

    I enclose to you P. Guemené's offer of some good champagne; if
    you choose to have any, tell me what number of bottles, and let
    Brooks or somebody let me know how they are to be sent to
    England. I don't understand champagne, but this has a good

    Adieu. Let Lord Fitzwilliam answer my letter.



    St James's, June 10th, 1782.

    Dear Grenville,

    I received late the night before last your very interesting
    letter of the 4th, and you will easily conceive am not a little
    embarrassed by its contents. In the first place, it was not
    possible to comply with your injunction of perfect secrecy in a
    case where steps of such importance are necessary to be taken;
    and therefore I have taken upon me (for which I must trust to
    your friendship to excuse me) to show your letter to Lord
    Rockingham, the Duke of Richmond and Lord John, who are all as
    full of indignation at its contents as one might reasonably
    expect honest men to be. We are perfectly resolved to come to an
    explanation upon the business, if it is possible so to do,
    without betraying any confidence reposed in me by you, or in you
    by others.

    The two principal points which occur are the paper relative to
    Canada, of which I had never heard till I received your letter,
    and the intended investment of Mr. Oswald with full powers,
    which was certainly meant for the purpose of diverting
    Franklin's confidence from you into another channel. With these
    two points we wish to charge Shelburne directly; but pressing as
    the King is, and interesting as it is both to our own situations
    and to the affairs of the public--which are, I fear,
    irretrievably injured by this intrigue, and which must be ruined
    if it is suffered to go on--we are resolved not to stir a step
    till we hear again from you, and know precisely how far we are
    at liberty to make use of what you have discovered. If this
    matter should produce a rupture, and consequently become more or
    less the subject of public discussion, I am sensible the Canada
    paper cannot be mentioned by name; but might it not be said that
    we had discovered that Shelburne had withheld from our knowledge
    matters of importance to the negotiation? And with respect to
    the other point, might it not be said, without betraying
    anybody, that while the King had one avowed and authorized
    Minister at Paris, measures were taken for lessening his credit
    and for obstructing his inquiries by announcing a new intended
    commission, of which the Cabinet here had never been apprized.

    Do, pray, my dear Grenville, consider the incredible importance
    of this business in every view, and write me word precisely how
    far you can authorize us to make use of your intelligence. It is
    more than possible that, before this reaches you, many other
    circumstances may have occurred which may afford further proofs
    of this duplicity of conduct; and if they have, I am sure they
    will not have escaped your observation. If this should be the
    case, you will see the necessity of acquainting me with them as
    soon as possible. You see what is our object, and you can easily
    judge what sort of evidence will be most useful to us. When the
    object is attained--that is, when the duplicity is proved--to
    what consequences we ought to drive; whether to an absolute
    rupture, or merely to the recal of Oswald and the simplification
    of this negotiation, is a point that may be afterwards
    considered. I own I incline to the more decisive measure, and so
    I think do those with whom I must act in concert.

    I am very happy indeed that you did not come yourself: the
    mischief that would have happened from it to our affairs are
    incredible; and I must beg of you, nay, entreat and conjure you,
    not to think of taking any precipitate step of this nature. As
    to the idea of replacing you with Lord Fitzwilliam, not only it
    would be very objectionable on account of the mistaken notion it
    would convey of things being much riper than they are, but it
    would, as I conceive, be no remedy to the evil. Whether the
    King's Minister at Paris be an Ambassador Extraordinary or a
    Minister Plenipotentiary, can make no difference as to the
    question. The clandestine manner of carrying on a separate
    negotiation, which we complain of, would be equally practicable
    and equally blameable if Lord Fitzwilliam was Ambassador, as it
    is now that Mr. Grenville is Plenipotentiary. I must therefore
    again entreat you, as a matter of personal kindness to me, to
    remain a little longer at Paris; if you were to leave it, all
    sorts of suspicions would be raised. It is of infinite
    consequence that we should have it to say that we have done all
    in our power to make peace, not only with regard to what may be
    expected from America, but from Europe.

    The King of Prussia is certainly inclined to be our friend; but
    he urges and presses to make peace if possible. If we could once
    bring the treaty to such a point as that, stating the demands on
    each side to him, we could have his approbation for breaking it
    off, I think it not impossible but the best consequences might
    follow; and with regard to North America, it is surely clear to
    demonstration, that it is of infinite consequence that it should
    be publicly understood who is to blame if the war continues. I
    do hope, therefore, that you will at all events stay long enough
    to make your propositions, and to call upon them to make others
    in return. I know your situation cannot be pleasant; but as you
    first undertook it in a great measure from friendship to me, so
    let me hope that the same motive will induce you to continue in
    it at least for some time.

    What will be the end of this, God knows; but I am sure you will
    agree with me, that we cannot suffer a system to go on which is
    not only dishonourable to us, but evidently ruinous to the
    affairs of the country. In this instance, the mischief done by
    intercepting, as it were, the very useful information we
    expected through you from Franklin, is I fear in a great degree
    irremediable; but it is our business, and indeed our duty, to
    prevent such things for the future.

    Everything in Ireland goes on very well; and I really think
    there is good reason to entertain hopes from Prussia and Russia,
    if your negotiation either goes on or goes off as it ought to

    I can hardly read Monsieur de Guemené's letter, but wish to have
    two hundred bottles of the champagne, if there is really reason
    to think it good. By the way, I beg you will remember me to
    Monsieur de Guemené, and put him in mind of our former
    acquaintance in the Rue St. Pierre. If the wine in question is
    as good as that he used to rob from Monsieur de Soubise, I shall
    be very well satisfied. I will give Brooks directions to
    acquaint you with the proper manner of sending it. I am quite
    ashamed of dwelling so long upon this, after the very serious
    business of this letter; but you know I cannot help being a
    friend to the _poor abuses_; and besides, in a political light,
    good wine is no mean ingredient in keeping one's friends in good
    humour and steady to the cause.

    I am,

    My dear Grenville,

    Yours most affectionately,

    C. J. Fox.



    Paris, June 16th, 1782.

    Dear Charles,

    I received your letter of the 10th by Ogg on the night of the
    14th, and would have sent him back as immediately as you seemed
    to wish; but having no other messenger to carry M. de
    Vergennes's answer, I was obliged to keep him till he could be
    the bearer of that likewise.

    I can easily conceive the embarrassment occasioned to you by my
    letter, and have so much confidence in the honour of the persons
    to whom you communicated it, that I am not under the smallest
    uneasiness on that account; the explanation, however, that you
    wish to come to, certainly has its difficulties; and amongst
    them some so sacred, that unless they can be kept altogether
    clear, you cannot but agree with me in thinking that they must
    be buried at least in silence, though not in oblivion. In order
    therefore that you may see into every part of this business, I
    will, as you desire, state in the most explicit manner the
    circumstances of it, as far as I think they affect any
    confidence reposed in me.

    In the first place, then, you will have observed, that although
    Franklin has actually made me no confidence, owing, as I
    believe, without doubt, to the reasons I stated, yet as the
    communication he had said he would make to me was of the most
    confidential nature, and in full trust that the subjects which
    he should mention should not be given as propositions coming
    from him, I think it would be a breach of that confidence to
    make it known even that he had promised to hold such a
    conversation with me; and therefore to charge Lord Shelburne
    with having diverted from me that expected communication, would
    be to proclaim Franklin's promise to me; which promise, though
    it has not been followed up, I cannot think myself at liberty to
    quote. The delicacy of Franklin's situation with respect to the
    French Court was, as he said, the ground of the caution which he
    observed, and which, nevertheless, he was once inclined to risk
    in my trust. He would certainly have both to repent and to
    complain if anything on my part should lead to betray even the
    confidential disposition he had entertained. These reasons you
    will, I am sure, agree with me in considering as decisive
    against any mention being to be made of the expectations I had
    formed from the conversation I was to have had with Franklin.

    The Canada paper is not perhaps quite under the same
    circumstances. The only knowledge I have of that is from Oswald;
    and as I before told you, I had it from him at a moment when I
    fancy he apprehended I had heard or should hear of it from
    Franklin. No other reason, indeed, can account for his not
    mentioning it from the end of April till the 31st of May. He
    told it me under no express limitation of confidence: the words
    in which he introduced it were, "I think it right you should
    know;" and I am perfectly sure that he asked from me no
    engagement of secrecy, nor do I conceive myself under any with
    regard to him, except that general secrecy which is always
    attached to business of a confidential nature, such as was the
    business I related to you. I recollect asking whether he had
    showed the paper to you: he said No; but did not add any
    injunction to me not to do so; indeed, if he had, I should have
    stated to him the impossibility of my keeping from you a
    circumstance of that importance, or of my becoming, by my
    silence in it, a separate party to a business which it was my
    duty fully and entirely to lay before you and to receive from
    you; nor indeed at this moment is the knowledge of it confined
    to Lord Shelburne; as I am pretty sure Oswald told me that Lord
    Ashburton was with Lord Shelburne when he, Oswald, asked if he
    might give any answer to Franklin about the paper, or rather
    observed that he supposed he could not then have any answer to
    it. Under these circumstances, the difficulty with regard to the
    Canada paper, of which I have no copy, lies more possibly in the
    indelicacy and perhaps bad policy of bringing forward Franklin
    where he wished so much not to appear, than in the quoting it
    from me. I do not wish to be quoted, if there exists the least
    doubt whether I should. But I cannot more exactly explain to you
    the whole extent of that doubt, than by showing you that it does
    not exist in any specific obligation on my part, but only in the
    nature of what was told to me; the subject itself carrying with
    it, as you will see, many reasons for secrecy, and every mark of
    it in the manner of conducting it; but as to positive engagement
    or obligation upon this subject, I have none.

    The remaining circumstance--of the intention mentioned to Mr.
    Oswald by Lord Shelburne, of giving him a commission if it
    should be necessary--stands altogether clear of the slightest
    shade of difficulty upon the point of confidence; indeed, at the
    time I wrote you word of it, I did not imagine I was informing
    you of anything new or unknown to you; and only so far meant to
    dwell upon it, as to regret its happening precisely at the
    instant when it was most important it should not. I apprehended
    that Lord Shelburne might have already expressed such an
    intention to the rest of the King's Ministers, upon the ground
    of the American share of this business, which ground, in the
    present stage of it, I thought possibly you had not found it
    easy to object to. In this idea it was that Lord Fitzwilliam's
    appointment occurred to me, not to prevent a clandestine
    negotiation, but to unite a separated one; always imagining that
    you knew of, but did not resist, the intended commission to Mr.
    Oswald, and therefore hinting the expediency of superseding it,
    by giving to another person an appointment of such rank and
    magnitude as should include a power which it seems neither for
    the public interest, nor for yours and your friends' interests,
    to leave separate and distinct.

    To return, however, to the point of confidence: upon this last
    subject there is none; and you are certainly at full liberty to
    proclaim at Charing Cross that Lord Shelburne told Mr. Oswald he
    supposed he would not object to a commission if it should be
    necessary; and that since his last return to Paris, Mr. Oswald
    has told me he found it very much Franklin's wish likewise. If I
    may repeat, therefore, in a few words, what I have tried to
    express to you in a good many, it is that, as to Franklin's
    first intention of a private and confidential communication with
    me, I hold myself so engaged in secrecy to him, that I think it
    would be a breach of confidence in me to have that intention at
    all spoken of. As to the Canada paper, I leave it, with the
    comment I have made upon it, altogether to your discretion; and
    as to the proposed commission, you are certainly at full liberty
    to say of it what you please. I have it not in my power to give
    you any additional proofs of sinister management in this
    business. I seldom see Oswald, though upon good terms with him;
    and have seen Franklin, since Oswald's coming, but once, when he
    was as silent as ever, notwithstanding my reminding him of his
    promise; so that I cannot help thinking that business altogether
    irretrievable. But neither do I know what you will gain by
    forcing Oswald's return; indeed I am inclined to think it might
    be much more prudent to save appearances by leaving him here,
    till you shall have completed your purpose of receiving the
    propositions you wish or the refusal you wish from Versailles.
    Perhaps, politically speaking, you may not think it wise to make
    the conduct, or rather misconduct, of a foreign negotiation the
    ground of a domestic rupture, which may betray too much weakness
    and disunion; but this is too delicate a subject for me to say
    anything upon, more than to assure you that, whatever is your
    determination about it, you will not find me shrink from the
    part I have or may have to take in it.

    And one word here about the desire I have expressed to return to
    England: it is impossible not to say that I feel that desire in
    the strongest degree. I would not speak peevishly about my
    disappointment in the unlucky check that I have met with; but I
    think you will agree that the real service it might have been my
    good fortune perhaps to have been assisting in, is by that check
    completely annihilated, nor can any step now taken recover or
    retrieve it; and that consideration weighs pretty heavily in a
    situation in itself not agreeable to me. But if I repeat this
    now, it is to keep you awake to the earnest solicitations I make
    of returning in the first moment you may think it practicable;
    till then you need have no apprehension of seeing me, but may
    trust that no personal motives, however strong, can weigh
    against the important reasons you state, as well as the desire
    you express, for my continuing something longer at Paris.

    I am writing to you on the 16th, waiting impatiently for M. de
    Vergennes's answer, which he gave me reason to hope I shall have


    June 21st.

    I have been waiting day after day, and have not got my answer
    till a few hours ago. I am sorry to have kept you so long, but
    you see it was impossible to avoid it. A report prevails that
    Bougainville is arrived at St. Domingo with two ships, as
    likewise are the four that were at Curaçao. They add that Rodney
    had been obliged to burn three of his captured ships. La Motthe
    Peguet has twice had orders to sail from Brest with his seven
    ships, and as often been recalled. They expect Guichen soon with
    the fleet from Cadiz of thirty-two ships: they are said to have
    sailed on the 4th.

    Pray tell Sheridan to be more cautious in what he writes by the
    post. If I had time I should give him a lecture; but I want to
    send away the messenger.

    Adieu. Oswald affects to consider me now as fully authorized,
    but I believe expects different news as soon as the Independence
    Bill is passed; but I cannot help thinking you had better leave
    him where he is, for his going away will mend nothing. I have
    bought your wine.

    Ever very affectionately yours,

       *       *       *       *       *

Within a few days after this letter reached England, the Rockingham
Administration had ceased to exist. The Marquis of Rockingham, whose
health had been declining for some time, died on the 1st of July, and
was succeeded in his title by his nephew, the Earl Fitzwilliam, who is
alluded to in these letters by Mr. Thomas Grenville. The first
intimation of this event conveyed to the Plenipotentiary at Paris was in
a letter from his brother, Lord Temple. The circumstances that
immediately followed are detailed in the letters of Lord Temple and Mr.
Sheridan, written on the same day, and in a letter from Mr. Fox on the
day following. The apprehension expressed by Lord Temple that Fox's
resignation would be ascribed by the public to a mean contest for
offices was not unfounded; although such a motive cannot be believed to
have influenced the mind of that statesman, the conviction of what he
felt to be his duty on this occasion being shared by Mr. Sheridan, Mr.
Burke, Lord John Cavendish, Lord Althorpe and others, who instantly
followed his example. The King's undisguised predilection for Lord
Shelburne arose from the nearer agreement of their opinions on the
American question, than existed between His Majesty and the Rockingham
section of the Cabinet, who were for an unconditional recognition of the
independence of America--a proceeding regarded by His Majesty with
aversion. The rapidity with which the changes were adopted furnished a
sufficient reason for Fox's determination not to act under Lord
Shelburne, that nobleman having accepted the appointment to the Treasury
immediately on the death of Lord Rockingham, without consultation with
his colleagues, and Lord Grantham being appointed in the same
unceremonious way to the secretaryship vacated by his Lordship. A
remarkable contradiction will be observed in the language held on this
occasion by Lord Shelburne, who is reported by Lord Temple to have
stated that he looked naturally to the Treasury, and knew no reason why
he should forego it, while to Sheridan he declared that he entered upon
the office against his wish.


    London, July 4th, Twelve P.M. 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    My letters by the post have been so unfortunate, and the subject
    of the present hour is so important, that I have waited all this
    day for the certainty of a courier, and I am now promised that
    one shall be dispatched immediately. I was in the country when I
    received from Mr. Fox an express with the news of Lord
    Rockingham's death, and an earnest entreaty to come to town;
    which I did, and found him anxious for the future arrangements.
    I told him, in the course of our conversation, that I held
    myself engaged to support the measures of the body of the Whigs,
    and deprecated any precipitate resolution, unless there was
    reason to imagine that _measures_ would be changed. He told me
    that a meeting had been held of the four friends of Lord
    Rockingham; viz., the Duke of Richmond, Lord J. Cavendish,
    Keppell and himself; that they had agreed to submit the Duke of
    Portland's name to the King, for the Treasury, but with little
    hopes of success; that he had writ to other great peers, &c., to
    come to town, and wished for their opinions; that he took it for
    granted that Lord Shelburne would insist upon the Treasury, and
    that the King would support him in that claim; that his idea was
    to quit immediately, but that others differed upon this, but
    that he was to see Lord Shelburne, and should then know more.
    This interview took place, and the first account I had of it was
    from Lord Shelburne, who came to me in the House of Lords and
    desired to tell it to me. He stated general willingness to
    accommodate, and a fixed determination at all events to adhere
    to every measure of reform which had been proposed, and to
    facilitate Cabinet arrangements as far as could be hoped from
    him; that it was natural that the Treasury should be an object
    to him, that he knew no reason why he was always to forego, and
    stated the indisposition of the King's mind to any other person
    at the head of that board. This was attended with every
    expression of civility to me, and an earnest wish that I would
    not decline employment, but would engage in the King's service.
    To this I made the answer which you can so easily conceive, and
    told him very fairly my intention to act with the great body of
    the Whigs; I proceeded to state the inconceivable difficulties
    attending our situation, the necessity of union, and the certain
    consequences of a breach between himself and the other great
    features of the Ministry.

    I can hardly give you the detail of this very long conversation.
    It was very free and open on both sides, and convinced me that
    he was certainly, and at all hazards, to have the situation, of
    which I hardly had a doubt before. He pledged himself repeatedly
    to the public measures, and to a variety of details which it is
    not necessary to state, and left me with every personal
    expression and many wishes that I would reconsider my answer.
    The next moment, Fox came to me in the Prince's chamber, and I
    had nearly as long a conversation with him; he stated his
    knowledge that Lord Shelburne would succeed to Lord Rockingham,
    and his idea of throwing up. I stated Lord Shelburne's promises
    to measures, which I found Lord Shelburne had made to him; but
    the loss of the object, which was evidently a favourite point
    with him, seemed to affect him much. I repeated my apprehensions
    that the people would not stand by him in his attempt to quit
    upon private grounds, which from their nature would appear to be
    a quarrel for offices, and not a public measure. He saw all
    this, and said that it had been urged to him by several, but
    that he was not _determined_. I went into the House of Lords,
    where I found the Duke of Richmond, who was outrageous at the
    idea of a resignation, and who went before me in all I had said
    to Fox upon this subject; and you will easily conceive that this
    opinion was strengthened by the most explicit speech that I ever
    heard, which Lord Shelburne gave as his creed and the test of
    his conduct, and which indeed seemed satisfactory to every one
    who heard him.

    This day has opened a new scene: the King declared his intention
    of giving the Treasury to Lord Shelburne; and it was proposed to
    Lord J. Cavendish to take the vacant seals, which, from variety
    of reasons, Lord John declined; and notwithstanding all that the
    Duke of Richmond could urge, Fox has resigned, and the King has
    accepted the seals. _En nova progenies!_ Lord Shelburne keeps
    the Treasury, and it is _supposed_ that Pitt is his Chancellor
    of the Exchequer; Duke of Grafton, Lord Camden, Conway, Duke of
    Richmond and Keppell remain, and mean to go on; who are the two
    Secretaries are not known. I have had a long conversation just
    now with the Duke of Richmond, who is unhappy, but determined to
    go on till the first breach on fair public grounds; and wherever
    or whenever he finds Lord Shelburne tripping, he has apprized
    him that he will quit, and the other has agreed to it, with
    every seeming profession of cordiality; and thus matters stand.

    My opinion, from all whom I have seen, is that Fox has undone
    himself with the public; and his most intimate friends seem of
    the same opinion. I am now to request and desire of you, in the
    strongest terms, not to return from France till you hear further
    from me. Fox tells me, that you (being envoy) cannot come
    without the King's leave; and I must entreat of you, for the
    sake of the public, and of that Ministry which I trust and hope
    will still stand its ground, for the great and important objects
    which we had in view in March last--let me add, for your own
    sake--do not spread the alarm of returning till you hear from me
    again, which you certainly shall in a very short period. With
    every anxious hope and wish that affection can form,

    I am,
    My dear brother,
    Ever yours,
    N. T.

    I am anxious to inform you that the Duke of Richmond has pressed
    me to take the Secretary of State, as named by all our Whig
    friends; and I shall accept.[1] This is another reason for
    wishing you to stay till a few days clear up all our doubts and
    difficulties, in which I need not say how happy I shall be to
    see you so, and how cordially I love and esteem you. Adieu, my
    dear Tom.

[Footnote 1: This first part of the postscript is written in cypher.]


    Thursday, July 4th, 1782.

    My Dear Grenville,

    Knowing that you very much dislike your situation, I don't know
    how to call ill news what I am now going to inform you of.
    Charles has this day resigned the seals; as he is much engaged,
    I have undertaken to let you know this event, and make the last
    exercise of our office the sending a messenger to you, as it
    would certainly be unfair to lose a single hour in assisting you
    in your release. I understand you cannot leave Paris without
    leave from hence, as you have the King's commission; but by
    sending this to you directly, it will be in your own hands to
    require that leave in as peremptory terms as you please.

    What relates to Lord Rockingham's death you are informed of. The
    day before it happened Charles made a question in the Cabinet on
    the policy of not reserving the Independence of America as a
    matter of treaty and the price of a peace, but to grant it at
    once unconditionally; on which he was beat. And immediately on
    Lord Rockingham's death, Lord Shelburne informs them that he is
    to be First Lord of the Treasury and the King's Minister, though
    _against his wish_, &c., &c. They proposed the Duke of Portland,
    which the King refused; and after a great deal of idle
    negotiation, in which it was evident there was no power left
    with our friends, the measure of to-day was determined on. Lord
    John Cavendish goes out with Charles, Keppel follows; but, to
    his shame, in my opinion, the _Duke of Richmond_, I believe,
    will remain. Mr. Pitt joins Shelburne, and will be either
    Chancellor of the Exchequer or Secretary of State. For the rest,
    it is not known whether they will make up out of the old set, or
    take all new. Conway also will stay. But still, those who go are
    right; for there is really no other question but whether, having
    lost their power, they ought to stay and lose their characters.
    And so begins a new Opposition; but wofully thinned and
    disconcerted, I fear. I am sure, however, that you will think
    what has been done was right. Fitzpatrick is here, but returning
    to Ireland; where, however, neither he nor the Duke will remain.

    I write in great haste, which you must excuse. Yours ever truly,
    R. B. Sheridan.

    What you hear of Cornwallis having lost some transports, is a
    matter of no magnitude.


    Dear Grenville,

    You will not wonder at my being hurried too much at this moment
    to write you a detail of what has happened. I do assure you that
    the thing that has given me most concern, is the sort of scrape
    I have drawn you into; but I think I may depend upon your way of
    thinking for forgiving me; though to say one can depend upon any
    man, is a bold word, after what has passed within these few
    days. I am sure, on the other hand, that you may depend upon my
    eternal gratitude to you for what you have undergone on my
    account, and that you always must have the greatest share in my
    friendship and affection. I do not think you will think these
    [less] valuable than you used to do. I have done right, I am
    sure I have. The Duke of Richmond thinks very much otherwise,
    and will do wrong; I cannot help it. I am sure my staying would
    have been a means of deceiving the public and betraying my
    party; and these are things not to be done for the sake of any
    supposed temporary good. I feel that my situation in the
    country, my power, my popularity, my consequence, nay, my
    character, are all risked; but I have done right, and therefore
    in the end it must turn out to have been wise. If this fail me,
    the pillared firmament is rottenness, and earth's base built on

    Adieu. Your brother disapproves too.
    Yours most affectionately,
    C. J. Fox.

    St. James's, July 5th, 1782.



    Paris, July 9th, 1782.

    Dear Charles,

    You apologize for writing me only a few lines; I shall write you
    still fewer, and make no apology; for after what has passed, I
    count every minute that the messenger is getting ready to
    return, as so much time lost, however it is employed. You are
    sorry you have drawn me into a scrape; I know of none, at least
    none that an honest man could keep out of, or need be either
    sorry or ashamed to have got into; neither do I see what you
    have to regret in any part of this business, farther than the
    late hour in which it was done. You know my system upon that
    subject, and how firmly it was my opinion that you should not
    have lost one moment, to fight the battle with advantage, which,
    with or without, everybody saw must be to be fought; but, as
    long as it is fought honourably, it is sure to be successful in
    the end, for one day or other, right will always come right.

    I suppose I need not tell you that I have answered Lord
    Shelburne's letter by the official information he desires,
    adding to it "my fixed purpose firmly to decline any farther
    prosecution of this business, and requesting him, as speedily as
    may be, to lay before His Majesty, in all duty and humility, my
    earnest and unalterable prayer that he will be graciously
    pleased to recal me from the commission I am honoured with at

    I write too to beg my brother to press my immediate return. I
    see by his letter he knows nothing of what has passed. If you
    would show him my letter to you, at my request, under the
    strictest confidence, he will be apprized of the true state much
    sooner than if he waits till I come, when I shall certainly tell
    him; this, however, is at your own choice, if you had rather
    wait till I come.

    Adieu. Pray thank Sheridan for his letter. I will write the
    first moment my messenger is gone. Well, what a time to be out
    of England! _et Montauciel n'y était pas!_ I don't think I can
    quite forgive you. No news here. They say they have taken
    eighteen transports from us, but they are not yet come into

    Yours most affectionately,
    T. Grenville.


    Paris, July 9th, 1782.

    My Dearest Brother,

    Your letter was given to me last night, and since I have been
    able to read I never felt so much agitated. I hastily send back
    the messenger, but he carries with him a letter to Lord
    Shelburne, in which I formally request my immediate recal.

    My dear brother, you do not know my situation, or you would see
    in the first instant, as you will so soon as I can speak to you,
    that if I continued at Paris, I should be the meanest and most
    contemptible wretch that was ever born into the world; I should
    falsify my word, I should betray my honour, I should repay the
    confidence that was reposed in me with the most cowardly
    treachery, I should disgrace every feeling that is honourable
    and respectable between man and man. I have no choice; my
    immediate return is as much a duty and obligation upon me as can
    in human society be laid upon one who would not renounce the
    character of a gentleman. Judge, then, of the distressful
    situation I must have been in at the time of decyphering your
    last lines, and judge how sacred and indispensable those
    circumstances must be, that do not give me even room to hesitate
    in a difficulty of so much delicacy. I love you, my dearest
    brother, with the truest and sincerest affection; my pride and
    ambition are ten-fold more gratified in your situation of life
    than in any that could be mine; nor, so help me God! do I think
    there is an interest, an advantage, present or future, that I
    would not gladly sacrifice for you, if it could add one step to
    your greatness; but you love me too well not to shrink at the
    thought of my disgracing myself, and a fouler disgrace there
    could not be, than I should inevitably incur by staying at Paris
    as Minister.

    One part of my difficulty you see already; it is that I dare not
    write even in cypher, what would save me all the embarrassment
    of this letter, and you the uneasiness of its obscurity, till I
    see you. My dear brother, reflect, if it is not too late, upon
    the opinions we have held in common, upon the judgment we have
    formed in common, of the rectitude and integrity of some men,
    and the utter and absolute want of it in others. Recollect, if
    it is possible, the uneasiness that you felt, the doubt that you
    expressed and I made light of, in the very last conversations we
    had together. Think over all that might have happened, and be
    persuaded that all has; think over the most pleasing parts of
    your last letter, and be persuaded that a few plain words,
    whenever I see you, will make you blot it out with indignation.
    But above all, I do conjure you, in the most solemn terms, to
    guard against expressing the surmises this letter may suggest to
    you, and to drop no word of suspicion or jealousy till I see
    you. The caution of this letter--to which I dare not add a
    cypher, however it must grieve me to speak to you in the
    dark--every circumstance, must show you how deeply my honour,
    how much more deeply than human wisdom could apprehend, my
    honour is involved in this business.

    One word more, though I think every minute an hour till the
    messenger is gone. Trust me till you hear me; and above all, if
    you are applied to persuade me to stay, do not think of so
    doing; it may make the delay of one post, and that will hurt me;
    it can do no more.

    God Almighty bless you, my dearest brother; a warmer affection
    no man can bear you. Think of all my impatience to see you, and
    do not forget that in pressing my recal, you do me a more
    essential and honourable service than you know. Once more, God
    bless you, my dearest brother.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before Lord Temple had received this letter he had declined the
secretaryship, and accepted the appointment of Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland, his brother, Mr. William Wyndham Grenville (afterwards Lord
Grenville) accompanying him as Chief Secretary. In the reply that
follows, Lord Temple expresses the profound sorrow he felt at his
brother's determination to resign, of which he was confessedly not in a
position to form a competent judgment.


    Pall Mall, July 12th, Eleven, P.M.

    I have received your letter, my dearest brother, which has
    sensibly--I need not say how sensibly--affected me. My letter to
    you did not propose to decide upon the propriety of the great
    question, whether you should or not continue to keep the
    character in which you are now employed; of that I could be no
    judge. The total and absolute ignorance in which I have
    remained, since you left England, of what was passing at Paris,
    and the total want of information of what was passing here, so
    far as concerned your mission, make me wholly incompetent to the
    question; of that you must be the judge, and I trust and hope
    that your decision will stand every test. My object was solely
    to prevent the possibility of your coming away precipitately,
    and so far my point is gained. I will say nothing of the cruel
    situation in which I stand; I feel it most bitterly, and feel it
    the more because my affection to you has no bounds. I am not
    Secretary at State; but think, my dearest brother, what must
    have been my feelings, if I had (as was much pressed upon me
    from every quarter) accepted that department to which your
    negotiation was more immediately annexed, in confidence that you
    would have done that for me which you have done for Mr. Fox. If
    I had listened to that persuasion (and surely my heart might
    have prompted me to have done so), I might have had the
    mortification of finding myself in a situation which I can
    hardly think of without the most violent agitation; the voice of
    every one had pointed out to me that department; and every
    reason, public and private, seemed to call me to it. Think this
    over, my dearest brother, and tell me if the ties of private
    friendship are such as would have justified you to your own
    feelings for fixing upon me a disgrace, the extent of which I
    shudder at.

    I know, I feel, that you love me; but, great God! to what have
    you exposed me! and, much as you value Mr. Fox, am I to think
    (good God! after the uniform affection, which has never felt
    more truly for you than at this hour) that you trust your honour
    and reputation in his hands to an extent that knows no bounds;
    and that the moment which calls upon you to withdraw yourself
    from your situation, is that which possibly had put your brother
    in that confidential public situation in which I trusted he had
    stood with you in private life? I cannot dwell upon this. I
    would have fought your quarrels, I would have felt with you
    every reason which may have induced you to urge this recal,
    possibly very prudently, justly, and honourably; but it was not
    necessary to convince every member of the Cabinet, that your
    honour, safe in the hands of Mr. Fox, was not so in mine. Good
    God! my dearest brother, loving me as you do, and knowing how I
    prize and value you, think over this picture of possibilities,
    and join with me (which is all I will ever say to you on a
    subject which cuts me to the very heart) in the happiness I
    feel, that motives, in which I will say that considerations for
    your credit, your honour, and your ease, were decisive,
    determined me to reject the first and to accept a second
    proposition. That die is cast; my opinion, my reputation, and my
    honour are pledged to it. I will believe, because it is my only
    joy at such a crisis, that your affections beat as highly to
    what conduces to my honour and situation as ever I could wish;
    and tell me, my dearest brother, if the whole tenor and every
    hour of my life has not proved to you how I valued your
    confidence, and how truly it would be my pride to consult your
    advancement; and if in taking this situation I have consulted
    what was most for the honour and ease of every one of my family,
    if I have peculiarly consulted the possible delicacy of your
    situation, and have sacrificed every favourite passion of my
    heart to it, think what my present feelings are, in the
    uncertainty of the extent of those sacrifices which you may
    still think yourself obliged to make. The thought, my dearest
    brother, distracts me; I hint it to you, but I shall not feel a
    moment's happiness till I see you. My letter is dreadfully
    incoherent, but it will paint to you the agitation of a mind
    struggling for its dearest and nearest object--the affection of
    a brother, whom from my childhood I have pressed nearest to my
    heart.--I cannot go on.

    I called upon Lord Shelburne the moment I had your letter, and
    saw him soon after. I carefully obeyed _every injunction_, and
    pressed your immediate recal. He stated the necessity of calling
    a Cabinet, as he could not take it upon himself, and the King
    does not return to town till Wednesday. I urged it with every
    eagerness, and have prevailed that a leave of absence shall be
    granted to you to come away immediately, and this to prevent
    public mischief. But it is understood that you resign the
    commission on your arrival here. I have prevailed that the
    messenger is to return very early to-morrow morning; and most
    ardently do I wish to annihilate the next eight tedious days.
    Feel for me, my dear brother; consult your reason and your
    affection, and let me hope that you will feel that satisfaction
    which every one of my family most earnestly feels at my
    acceptance of the Lieutenancy of Ireland. You know what follows,
    and you will have time to think it over; but I conjure you, by
    everything which you prize nearest and dearest to your heart, by
    the joy I have ever felt for your welfare, by the interest I
    have ever taken in your uneasiness, weigh well your
    determination; it decides upon the complexion of my future
    hours. I am jealous and nice of your honour more than of my own;
    but think that I have staked my happiness upon this cast; and
    may God direct you, my dearest brother, to the only answer which
    can convince me that your esteem and affection equals that which
    I have ever borne you. God ever bless you.

    Mr. Fox.
    Lord J. Cavendish.
    Mr. Burke.
    Lord Robert Spencer.
    Lord Althorpe.
    Lord Dungannon.
    Mr. Townshend.
    Mr. Montagu.
    Mr. Lee.

    These are all who have resigned.

    Lord Shelburne       _Treasury._
    Mr. T. Grenville     ¯|
    Mr. Jackson           |_Ditto._
    Mr. Elliott          _|
    Mr. Pitt             _Chancellor of the Exchequer._
    Mr. T. Townshend     _Secretary of State, Home Department._
    Lord Grantham        _Ditto, Foreign Department._
    Sir G. Yonge         _Secretary-at-War._
    Mr. Aubrey           ¯|
    Mr. Pratt            _|
    Lord C. Spencer       _Vice-Treasurer._
    Colonel Barré         _Paymaster._
    Vacant                _Treasurer of the Navy._
    Ditto                 _Solicitor-General._
    Duke of Richmond      ¯|
    Duke of Grafton        |
    Lord Camden            |_Continue in their offices._
    Lord Keppell           |
    General Conway        _|

Mr. Sheridan's name should be included in the above list of
resignations. The vacancies of the Treasurership of the Navy and the
Solicitor-Generalship were respectively filled by Mr. Dundas, afterwards
Viscount Melville, and Mr. Pepper Arden, afterwards Lord Alvanley.


    Dear Grenville,

    I am exceedingly obliged to you for your kind letter; and
    indeed, if political transactions put one out of humour with
    _many_, they make one love the _few_ who do act and think right
    so much better that it is some compensation. I understand a
    messenger is just going, by whom I send this letter; he will
    bring you others, from whence you will learn that your brother
    is going Lord-Lieutenant to Ireland. If you go with him as
    Secretary, I hope you will be so good as to endeavour to serve
    my friend Dickson, who by this change has for the third time
    missed a Bishopric.

    I called upon your brother yesterday, and left with him the
    letters that passed between you and me, explaining that it was
    at your desire that I did so. I was very glad to have your
    authority for this step, for to tell you the truth, I was very
    much inclined to take it even of my own when it was supposed he
    was to be my successor; now that he knows the whole of the
    narration, if he still chooses (as I fear he will) to go into
    this den of thieves neither you nor I have anything to answer
    for. If this transaction had been withheld from him, he might
    have had reason to complain of me, but much more of you. I have
    not heard from him since he has been _au fait_. His expressions,
    both to me personally and to the party, were so kind, that I am
    far from considering him as lost; but whether he is or not, and
    whatever part your situation may make it right for you to take
    in politics, I shall always depend upon your friendship and
    kindness to me as perfectly unalterable; and I do assure you
    that this consideration is one of the things that most
    contributes to keep up my spirits in this very trying situation.

    Yours affectionately,
    C. J. Fox.
    Grafton Street, July 13th, 1782.

Lord Temple entered upon the Government of Ireland at a crisis of
serious agitation. A short time before, under the Duke of Portland's
Administration, a Bill had passed the Imperial Parliament, recognizing
in full and in the most explicit manner the sole and exclusive right of
the Parliament of Ireland to make laws for Ireland--establishing and
affirming, in fact, the perfect independence of Ireland, legislative,
judicial and commercial. This Bill had given complete satisfaction to
the popular leaders. Even the Volunteers declared themselves appeased,
and adopted final resolutions to that effect. But the factious and
jealous spirit of the Irish was subsequently disturbed by indications on
the part of the English Legislature of a disposition to depart in some
particulars from this settlement, and by the unfortunate incident of
some Irish appeals which lay over for judgment in England, the authority
to adjudicate them having been relinquished, or disavowed, by the
measure alluded to. The whole matter turned upon distinctions, but they
were sufficient to influence the distrust of the turbulent, who were
ready to seize upon any excuse for expressing their impatience of
English authority. The introduction of a singular Bill by Lord Abingdon,
having for its object the assertion of the sole and exclusive right of
Great Britain to regulate her external commerce, and that of all
countries under her sovereignty, and repealing so much of the former
Bill as took that power out of the Parliament of Great Britain and
vested it in the Parliament of Ireland, had the effect of affording an
abundant pretext to the uneasiness which was now beginning to grow up in
Ireland, and which Mr. Grattan exerted his utmost influence to dispel.
Want of confidence, also, in the sincerity of Lord Shelburne's Ministry
yielded an additional ground for national discontent. "Things were never
more unsettled than they are at present," Mr. Perry writes to Mr.
Grattan, in October, 1782; "some of the Ministry here are at open enmity
with each other, and everybody seems to distrust the head." Such was the
state of their affairs when Mr. William Wyndham Grenville came over to
London to communicate confidentially with the Government on the part of
his brother, the Lord-Lieutenant. The correspondence in which he details
from day to day the results of his interviews with Ministers, and his
observations upon the net-work of small difficulties in which he was
involved by the want of unity in the Cabinet--especially between Mr.
Townshend and Lord Shelburne on the Irish questions--is minute and
voluminous; and only a few letters have been selected from the mass to
show the course of ministerial diplomacy in reference to the equivocal
relations subsisting at that period between the two countries. They form
a running commentary upon a curious passage in Irish history; and
although the circumstances to which they relate have long been
completely disposed of, the Union having obliterated all the matters in
dispute, the insight which they give us into the detail of Cabinet
discussions, the occasional traits they bring to light of the characters
of public men, and the calm and luminous views they develope of the
distracting politics of Ireland, confer a permanent interest upon them.
Two facts, by no means unimportant, are established in these
letters--namely, the lively and judicious anxiety Lord Temple and his
brother uniformly felt in their endeavours to restore the tranquillity
of Ireland, and the impediments they met in their strenuous efforts to
preserve the faith and honour of England in her transactions with that


    Pall Mall, Nov. 27th, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    I saw Townshend on the evening of my arrival here, which was
    Sunday. Lord Shelburne was then out of town, so that I was of
    course obliged to state what I had to say to Townshend alone.
    This I did very fully, in a conversation which lasted near two
    hours, and in which, to say truth, Townshend bore a less part
    than I expected and could have wished. What he did say was,
    however, very fair and explicit. He expressed a strong
    determination in the King's servants to give you every possible
    support. He had found _no_ opportunity (as I understood him) of
    convening a Cabinet on the affairs of Ireland, but had talked
    separately with all the Ministers upon the subject, and found in
    them no difference of opinion, except perhaps in General Conway,
    whom he thought "a little influenced by his nephew's pamphlet,
    and by his own natural temper, to look towards further
    concession." He saw little difficulty in what you wished;
    thought you best able to judge of the propriety of the moment
    for such a measure; and said it was the King's opinion, as well
    as his own, "that where there was not some marked difference of
    opinion, the Lord-Lieutenant should be _left to himself_,
    without however being _abandoned_." I stated to him pretty
    strongly the effect of the ideas of changes of men and opinions
    in this country. On that point, as far as related to men, I
    could get little or nothing from him, although I recurred to it
    more than once. At last he said that the same effects were felt
    here, and would be so till Government should show a sufficient
    strength and consistency in Parliament. Scarce anything more
    passed on his side, except strong expressions of personal regard
    to you, and a warm encomium on the Duke of Portland, and the
    language held by him on your subject, and on that of the state
    of Ireland.

    He gave me hopes of seeing Lord Shelburne the next day; but the
    great man was at his recess at Streatham, and was not visible
    till yesterday. When I went to him, he began with unbounded
    expressions of a determination to support you as long as he had
    anything to do here. He understood that you went in great
    measure at his request, and therefore he considered it as common
    cause. He begged that his silence might never be construed into
    indolence or timidity: the subject was never off his mind. As a
    proof, he mentioned his former silence, at which you was
    alarmed, and its being followed by the most explicit
    declarations, in which you had professed yourself fully
    satisfied. After a great deal more of such verbiage, I stated
    your wish as to the dissolution. He objected strongly to the
    taking so capital a step till something was decided about the
    negotiation at Paris. If the war should continue, it would be
    necessary to determine on some plan suited to such an event. But
    if we had peace, the advantages to Government in Ireland would
    be great and almost infinite. Such an event would throw the
    Volunteers upon their backs, would bring back the army to that
    country and to this, and would also bring the fleet into the
    Channel. He dwelt very much on the great advantage of not being
    obliged to meet the Parliament till October, and when I hinted
    at the possible necessity of a contrary resolution, he argued
    strongly, and I think satisfactorily, against such a measure. He
    then concluded the conversation, expressing a perfect readiness
    to hear me again more at large on the subject. Seeing that he
    would not hear any more at that time, I ended with saying that I
    was not commissioned to state decisively your sentiments on this
    very unexpected event, but that I was sure you would feel much
    disappointed if a measure which you thought so necessary was
    postponed without the most serious consideration and the most
    urgent reasons. His answer was, that you might depend upon it
    that whatever determination was made on the subject would be
    most seriously weighed, and taken on the best grounds. He then
    told me that a Cabinet should be held to-day, to take the
    business into consideration.

    To-day I dined with him, and saw both him and Townshend after
    dinner. They both stated in the strongest manner the
    inconvenience of so decisive a measure whilst a subject was in
    agitation, and must be decided in a very few days, on which the
    whole line and plan of your Government will have to depend. For
    these reasons, they said it had been judged most proper to
    postpone the Cabinet till something arrived from Paris. I ended
    my conversation with Lord Shelburne by saying, that in the event
    of war, I did not see how, after this delay, it would be
    possible to resist; and that in that light it was my duty to
    discharge my commission from you, and to state my own sentiments
    as far as they could have any weight, that a few days might do
    more mischief in Ireland than many years would be able to
    repair. _Liberari animans meam._ To this he replied, that I had
    done my part fairly, and that _he would be answerable for the

    After all this detail, you will possibly wish to know my
    sentiments upon the subject. From the whole of Lord Shelburne's
    manner, I think that he is inclined to deal very fairly by you,
    for his own sake. I have no doubt, from the style of his
    conversation, that he is determined, in the present situation of
    things, to stand the ground against concessions, and this both
    from his own opinions and those of the King. But he certainly
    either does not see, or affects not to see, the situation of
    Ireland in that very alarming light in which it must be viewed
    by every man acquainted with it.

    As to the measure of the dissolution, I think you will agree
    with him, that if we were sure of the favourable event, the
    delay would not prove near so prejudicial on the one hand, as it
    would be advantageous on the other. And from the language he
    holds, I am persuaded, and Jemmy agrees with me in opinion, that
    he is convinced that they will have their peace. On the other
    hand, I cannot but say, that if the war continues, we shall be
    in an awkward situation. The whole depends on the greater or
    less probability of peace, to which we are neither of us
    competent to decide; and I have thrown, if not the disagreeable
    consequences, at least the responsibility of the measure on him.

    In this situation of things, I thought you would rather choose
    that I should remain here to give you the very first moment of
    news, and to press then a Cabinet upon the affairs of Ireland in
    general, than that I should run back to you in our present
    uncertainty. You will observe, that although I have rather
    expressed myself to you satisfied with the affair, I have taken
    infinite pains not to let it appear to them; but on the
    contrary, have left Lord Shelburne in no small uneasiness about
    the manner in which you may take it; so that if you should be
    dissatisfied, I have by no means pledged you. If you think with
    me, the whole merit of it will lay at your door.

    I desired Townshend to state to the King that I was ready to
    obey His Majesty's commands, if he wished to ask me any
    questions. He told me to-day that the King expressed himself
    perfectly ready to give me an audience _if I wished for one_.
    This I thought was better declined. I shall go to the levée on
    Friday, and shall be very impatient for your answer to this long

    Whatever your opinion may be of the line of conduct which I have
    held, I trust you will do justice to my zeal for your interests
    and honour, inseparably connected as they are, and I hope will
    ever remain, with my own, and to the sincere affection with
    which I am,

    Ever most truly yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, Saturday, Nov. 30th, 1782.

    My Dear Brother,

    I have just been with Townshend, who sent for me on the subject
    of a despatch from you, relating to the proceedings in the
    King's Bench here, on an Irish cause.

    I have seen Troward, the attorney concerned in the cause, and
    from him have learnt, what you probably know by this time, that
    the case has been argued here, and the judgment of the Court in
    Ireland affirmed; so that nothing can be done in it here,
    especially as the Term has been over these two days. It is
    impossible not to see the use which will be made in Ireland of
    this unlucky business. You say nothing in your letter to
    Townshend of the Protest, nor have I heard a word on that or any
    other subject from Ireland since I have been here. But I much
    fear that the alarm among the Bar, upon a point which affects
    their private interests as well as their national pride, will
    have prevented, or in great measure impeded its being signed.
    The only grounds that you can take, as far at least as I can
    see, are those which I have desired Townshend to insert in his
    answer. The Bill of Exceptions was certified from an Irish
    Court. It has been depending eighteen months. The objection to
    the jurisdiction was never started. The King's Bench in Ireland
    either has been applied to or will be so next Term, to grant a
    writ of possession on the affirmance of the English Court. This
    will of course be denied them, and the whole English proceeding
    treated as waste paper. No Judge will allow--no sheriff will
    execute, any English process. No man will again be so absurd as
    to subject himself to a considerable expense to obtain a
    judgment of no more effect than the decisions of a Prussian
    court-martial would be as to a question of property here.

    Still, however, I am far from being insensible to the clamour
    which will be raised, and to the advantage which will be taken
    of the opinion of the Court here, that their jurisdiction still
    remains, notwithstanding the Irish Act to the contrary. Possibly
    you may find it necessary to hold out some solution; and perhaps
    you will think the opportunity is not a bad one to cut the
    ground still more decisively from under Mr. Flood's feet than
    even by the proposed resolutions. What I mean is, the passing a
    bill here which should in the preamble declare the repeal to
    have been a renunciation of the rights formerly exercised by
    this kingdom over Ireland, and should enact that _therefore_ for
    the future, no writ of error, &c., &c., should be received,
    signed or determined in any of the King's Courts of Justice in
    this country. If this idea should please you, it might be done
    immediately, and you might settle the words with Yelverton or

    If you think this too like a concession, you might hold out the
    idea of an Act to be passed in Ireland, inflicting the penalties
    of a _præmunire_ against any persons seeking justice out of the
    kingdom; in imitation of the old statutes against ecclesiastics
    applying to the papal authority.

    Lord Shelburne threw out to me the other day, but when I could
    not ask him any more upon the subject, the idea of a paragraph
    about Ireland in the King's Speech. I have writ to Townshend
    to-day, to desire that if this idea is pursued, he will let me
    see it before the words are finally determined upon. I think
    such a paragraph may have a good effect; because, when re-echoed
    in the addresses, it will include the three branches.

    I am waiting with the most anxious expectation the decision of
    the great question--peace or war? Reports are hourly circulated
    on both sides, but nothing is known from any authority. I need
    not say, that the moment it is known, I will send it off.

    I know no more of the East India business than you will see in
    the papers. I was so intent on this, that I forgot to ask
    Townshend to-day about it.

    I shall most probably be with you before you can answer this, as
    the 5th is the day for the meeting. But if they should again
    prorogue the Parliament, and wish me to stay, supposing the
    point not decided, what shall I do?

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    Townshend and Conway have both been plaguing me about Murray,
    who wanted to raise a corps in the North. It seems he is an
    Irishman, with considerable connexions in the North. Talbot's
    inspection makes a figure in the papers.


    (Most Secret and Private.)

    Pall Mall, Monday, Dec. 2nd, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    I told you, in my last letter, that Lord Shelburne had thrown
    out to me the idea of a paragraph in the King's Speech on the
    subject of Ireland, and that I had applied to Townshend, that I
    might see it before it was decided upon. In consequence of this,
    I received, through him, a message from Lord Shelburne, desiring
    to see me this morning. I have just been with him. He made his
    excuses to me as soon as I came in, for having appointed me at a
    time when he should only be able to converse with me for _a very
    short time_, as unexpected business had occurred. He then took
    out the Speech, and read to me the sentence in question, which
    is nearly this: The liberal spirit of your measures respecting
    the commerce of Ireland, confirmed by the rest of your conduct
    towards her, meets with my full approbation and concurrence; and
    I should recommend to you a general revision of the trade laws
    of this kingdom on the same extended principles. I own this did
    not strike me as being sufficiently extensive. I mentioned the
    insertion of the word rights--commerce and rights--but he did
    not at all seem to give into it. He said that we were not ripe
    for that; that the best thing that could be done was that we
    should adhere exactly to the settlement; that it was a bond from
    which we ought in no instance to depart; and that a steady
    Government would enable us to stand to it in Ireland as well as
    here. Above all, he said he looked to the effects of a full
    confidence between you and himself, which union and concurrence
    would be more important for Government than any other point
    whatever--that it gave more strength than even abilities or
    weight. With this I closed in, seeing it in vain to push the
    other, and told him that the appearance of confidence and
    support here would, I was convinced, assist you more than even
    the adoption of any specific measure; that in the case of a
    peace, I did not doubt that you would be sufficiently strong to
    carry on your Government with ease, but that I could not answer
    for the event of a continuance of the war. He answered, that the
    situation of Ireland weighed very materially with him in his
    wishes for peace, and that, although he never wished to shift
    off responsibility, yet he trusted in your integrity and honour;
    that, if he found it necessary, he should be enabled to state
    that part of the subject from the best authority. To this I
    thought myself justified in answering, that most certainly you
    would never abandon a ground which you had already stated to
    him, and which every hour made clearer to you; and that such a
    consideration certainly ought to weigh with Government in making
    the peace.

    He then went on to say, that he had in general no doubt but that
    you would find your Government easy and prosperous; he
    enumerated the advantages with which you will meet the
    Parliament _in October_--a settled ministry here, things
    arranged in Ireland, the Parliament fully canvassed, and
    possibly a peace. I said, that when I saw him before, I had
    stated the possibility of your being driven to meet the
    Parliament in the spring; that I had stated it as a possible
    evil; and that I wished to explain to him that the necessity of
    this would by no means be affected either way by the difference
    between an immediate dissolution, and that which must take place
    before the March assizes. To this he by no means agreed; as a
    dissolution late in February would, he said, by the time the
    elections were over, bring us far on towards the summer months.
    He then reverted to his opinion as to the probability of your
    having a smooth and easy Government. It was his idea he said,
    that real commotion never was produced but by real grievances.
    My answer was, that the people of Ireland did suffer real
    misery, which, as was frequently the case, they would impute to
    Government, however little founded such an idea would be. This,
    he said, would lead us at length into a disquisition on the
    state of Ireland, on which subject he intended, before I went,
    to have a long conversation with me, but that he was now too
    much pressed.

    After this, I thought I could not, with any propriety, prolong
    my visit. Since I wrote the above, I have seen Townshend. He
    agrees perfectly in opinion with me, that the mention of the
    commerce, with so very general a reference to the constitutional
    part of the question, could produce no good effect in Ireland,
    and might be made an invidious use of. He threw out the idea of
    omitting the paragraph entirely; and most certainly, if Lord
    Shelburne sees, or thinks he sees, any objection to being more
    explicit on the subject, I know no necessity whatever for saying
    a word about it. It certainly will produce debate on the affairs
    of Ireland, which is much to be avoided; and in the form in
    which it now stands, or indeed in any into which it could be
    thrown, so as to form part of the King's Speech, it would be of
    no advantage to us in Ireland, whilst it would afford ground of
    cavil and objection to our enemies. In this idea, I have written
    to Lord Shelburne, to desire to see him again; but as he may
    possibly appoint me for to-morrow, and you must be impatient to
    hear from England, I shall not detain the messenger.

    With respect to that cursed cause, I hardly know what to say: it
    must have set you very much afloat, particularly with the
    lawyers who are interested in the question. In my last letter, I
    threw out the idea of a bill in this country to prevent the
    receiving or hearing Irish causes in the English courts. I have
    shown to Townshend the draught of such a bill, which I enclose
    to you with this letter. I believe his disposition is most real
    and unaffected, to leave the management of the whole Irish
    business to you, and to support you honestly and fairly in
    whatever measures you adopt. But it is not difficult to see that
    the whole administration and business of Government _roule sur
    bien un autre pivot_. As far as one can separate Lord
    Shelburne's intentions from his verbiage and professions, I
    think I see a strong disposition to resist the least tendency
    towards any further concession, or even to the appearance of it.
    On the contrary, if any very good opportunity should offer
    itself, I should think him more inclined to lessen than to
    extend. He either has, or affects, an opinion very different
    from that which I hold out to him with respect to the
    difficulties of your Government, and exclaims even against the
    possibility of your being driven from your ground. I can't say
    that I think this situation between your official Minister and
    the real Premier quite pleasant, because it seems to me that the
    despatches of the one, however explicit, being all written
    without the concurrence of the Cabinet, do not pledge the
    opinions of the other, which are, after all, the only opinions
    which are of any consequence.

    I believe I stated to you in my last the reason which Townshend
    gave to me, and which Lord Shelburne assigned to Jemmy, for not
    calling a Cabinet immediately on my arrival, namely, their
    unwillingness to meet them before they had news from Paris,
    because they had been hitherto unanimous, and hoped to meet
    Parliament so; and if they were called upon the subject of
    Ireland, nobody knows what other hare might be started there,
    however they might agree upon Irish affairs. You will certainly
    think the mode of keeping a Cabinet unanimous, by never meeting
    them at all, an excellent one; however, in the situation of
    things here, I did not think it would be decent in me to
    distress Government, especially as I really think the propriety
    of the dissolution at this moment depends much on the event of
    the business at Paris. I have therefore contented myself with an
    explicit assurance from Townshend, that when news of that
    arrives, which is now most anxiously expected every hour, a
    Cabinet shall be held, to go into the whole line of Irish

    Townshend showed me his despatches on the subject of the
    embargo, and of this Irish cause, both of which the King has
    seen, but I believe, no one else. The idea of the resolutions
    not being proposed till your wish was known, was suggested to
    him by me, because, if you should be driven--and things
    certainly verge towards it--to any further concession, you will
    not be much assisted by those two resolutions standing on the
    journals in array against you. But I believe the attention of
    every one here will be so much employed by the great point of
    peace or war, that there will be very little room for Irish
    politics, either in the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

    I asked Townshend, an hour ago, whether there was anything from
    Paris; and he told me explicitly that they knew nothing at all,
    but was in most anxious expectation. The Parliament certainly
    meets on Thursday. I think, from the style of their language,
    and particularly from Lord Shelburne's trying to make me pledge
    you to it, that they are confident of a peace; and certainly, if
    they have it not, their situation is very precarious, to say no
    more of it. If they do meet Parliament with a peace, I am
    persuaded they will stand their ground. The country gentlemen
    hold in general rather a friendly language than otherwise. I
    shall certainly now stay over Thursday; but after that, get back
    to you as soon as I can.

    Lord Mahon has been with me, and is outrageous about the Duke of
    Leinster. He wanted me to engage that Government would give them
    land if the other offers failed; but I begged to decline.

    I have received the enclosed from Talbot, and have also sent you
    my answer, which you will forward or not, as you think right.

    Lord Nugent is out of all patience with you for not answering
    his letter. Adieu.

    Believe me,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    I have not given you the words of the Speech exactly, but
    nearly. Yorke and Banks move in the House of Commons; Lord
    Carmarthen and ---- in the House of Lords.

    You will probably think it right to write to Lord Shelburne,
    stating the difficulties of your situation at full length;
    because I think his idea of ease and smoothness ought by no
    means to remain uncontradicted. If you do that, I should think
    it would not be amiss to say something about a peace, for he
    evidently meant that I should have pledged you to that, and to
    acknowledge his professions, which have been boundless and

    I should think it would be also an act of real justice to
    Townshend to say something to him about his conduct towards you,
    which I think as honourable and friendly as possible. If one
    could but join the power of the one with the integrity of the

    What answer will you give about your stopping the English
    recruiting parties _car l'on est un peu choqué là-dessus_?


    Pall Mall, Dec. 5th, Eleven at Night.

    My dear Brother,

    In consequence of their having altered their minds about
    Ireland, I was summoned to give my opinion. I think the words as
    they stand now are sufficiently strong, and they passed to-night
    without the least animadversion: "The liberal principles adopted
    by you with respect to the rights and commerce of Ireland, do
    you the highest honour, and must, I trust, ensure that harmony
    which ought ever to subsist between the two kingdoms."

    We have had no division to-night. The speakers, Lord N., Fox,
    Burke, Townshend and Pitt.

    Lord N. uncommonly well, holding off from both sides. Fox and
    Pitt both worse than usual. The chief debate about peace. The
    giving up Gibraltar was thrown out by Banks, and strongly
    objected to by Lord N., Burke, and Fox.

    Johnstone made an attack upon Lord Howe, which was as ill
    received as it deserved to be. I would have sent you a copy of
    the King's Speech, but it is so uncommonly long, that it is not
    out yet. It is utterly impossible to travel through the great
    variety of matter which it comprehends. Remarkably full house.

    Bulkeley was in the House of Lords; says that Shelburne
    acquitted himself very well. Lord Stormont attacked him about
    the Independence. He defended it as the wish of the people. Lord
    Fitzgerald spoke but badly. No division there.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    Keith Stewart answered Johnstone, defending Lord Howe very
    warmly. Everybody who spoke after Johnstone reprobated him. Duke
    of Richmond attacked Lord Sandwich.


    Pall Mall, Saturday, Dec. 7th, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    I received your packet late on Thursday night, or rather, I
    believe, early on Friday morning. As soon as I was up I sent the
    enclosed letter to Lord Shelburne and to Townshend. I received
    from Lord Shelburne an answer appointing me in an hour's time.

    When I went there, after waiting a considerable time (which I
    can easily excuse when I reflect upon the business of this
    moment), I was shown into a room, where he was with Townshend.
    It is difficult for me to say whether I was more surprised or
    mortified at his telling me, as soon as I came in, that he could
    only see me for a minute or two. He then entered upon the
    subject of your letter, by saying that he had not read Mr.
    Townshend's despatches, but only your letter to himself and the
    bill which you enclosed to Townshend. With respect to the bill,
    he said nothing could be done without consulting the Chancellor
    and the other lawyers of the Cabinet; that I must see the
    Chancellor, and explain the business to him; that the rendering
    a judgment null might be objected to. I answered that I was
    persuaded _that_ was the part on which you was least bent, and
    that you would be fully satisfied if the enacting clause went
    only to prevent any future decisions, provided the preamble
    expressed the principle. To this he said, that it was impossible
    to go on if everything of this sort made a necessity for new
    measures, and that when a ground was once taken, it ought to be
    stood to. My answer was, that your ground was very materially
    changed, and that this overturned the only reasoning upon which
    you had been able to go on at all, namely, the pledging your own
    personal faith, and the honour of Government here, that the
    repeal of the G. I. was considered as a renunciation on the part
    of Great Britain of all legislation and jurisdiction. He asked
    whether I meant external as well as internal? I said,
    undoubtedly. He said, that he had understood from your
    conversation before you went, "that you meant to make your stand
    upon the external legislation;" and for this he appealed to
    Townshend, who said he had understood the same. It was
    impossible for me to contradict this, as it referred to
    conversations to which I was no party. He said that he thought
    you was reasonable upon the subject of the dissolution, and that
    this other business was not to be taken up suddenly. I asked
    what then he wished me to do. He told me to wait upon the
    Chancellor. I objected that the question was not a legal one,
    but wholly political. I urged the consequences of delay. Still,
    however, I could get no answer from him, but only that I must go
    to the Chancellor; and at last he grew so impatient as to leave
    the room while I was talking, and to tell Townshend that he
    might find him in his (Lord Shelburne's) office. The whole
    conversation did not last above four or five minutes at the
    utmost. I turned to Townshend, and asked him if he thought it
    possible that the Government of Ireland could go on in this
    manner. He pressed me to go to the Chancellor, and said that he
    could tell me, _en ami_, that I should do more good there in
    three minutes than I could do elsewhere in as many hours.

    By the way, I must say here, that by some inaccuracy I must have
    explained myself very ill to you about Townshend, who seems to
    me to have acted the most friendly and honest part towards you
    in the course of the whole business, and who has sacrificed his
    time to me for an hour or an hour and a half for several days;
    while during the fortnight I have now been here, I have not seen
    Lord Shelburne for twenty minutes in the whole.

    I have been very particular in detailing the above conversation
    to you, because I think it opens two things of infinite
    importance to your personal comfort and your personal honour. I
    think it extremely plain that the object of Lord Shelburne is to
    gain time, and that let me press ever so eagerly, _which I shall
    not fail to do_, still I am not to expect any final answer till
    the negotiation is settled, and the peace, which they evidently
    look upon as certain, is secured and announced. What effect
    these delays may have in Ireland, and what appearance this state
    of uncertainty must bear to those who know the proposal you have
    made, you are best able to judge, but I know enough of it to be
    very much alarmed. But the second consideration affects me much
    more, as I think it affects your honour, and my own as involved
    with it. What I mean is this: I threw out to you in my former
    letters that Lord Shelburne appears to me much more disposed to
    narrow than to extend the rights and concessions yielded to
    Ireland by Great Britain. I think when you compare the evident
    reluctance he showed to agree to the resolutions first proposed;
    his telling me that he had thought of a paragraph in the King's
    Speech to do instead of them; his then showing me a paragraph
    relating merely to commercial advantages, and his telling me we
    were not ripe for the word rights; when you compare all this
    with his evident dislike to this bill, and with the expression
    stated above about external legislation, it is not very
    difficult to collect that he means to do nothing till we have
    peace, and when we have, he means, to use his own expression, to
    make the stand upon that point.

    Possibly I may agree with him, that it might have been well for
    the general interest of the empire if that ground had originally
    been explained, decisively taken and maintained. But I am sure I
    know too well the situation of that country and of this, to
    think that it can now be held out without the most fatal
    consequences to both; and I think I know your feelings too well
    to imagine that you will suffer yourself to be made an
    instrument of deceiving any man or body of men whatever, still
    less a whole country, especially in contradiction to the
    language which you have invariably held, at least as far as I
    can recollect (ever since you accepted of your situation), both
    to people in Ireland and to Government here, that the repeal was
    a complete renunciation.

    It is a singular pleasure to me to observe how exactly our ideas
    have hitherto corresponded since I left you; so that while you
    have been taking your measures in Ireland, I have been
    recommending the same to you from hence. If they should continue
    to do so in this instance, the line of conduct which I apprehend
    would be proper for us to adopt on our different posts is this.
    I am to see the Chancellor to-morrow, and immediately upon
    leaving him mean to write to Lord Shelburne, pressing him again
    most eagerly to allow me an opportunity of stating to him _at
    length_ what I have in commission to say to him from you. If he
    should comply, I will then go into the whole state of Ireland;
    will mention to him the credit which ought to be given to
    representations proceeding from you, in preference to those of
    interested individuals; will enlarge upon the necessity of
    decision; and will press that a Cabinet may be held in
    performance of Townshend's promise to me. In the meantime, I
    should think you would do well to write a letter to Townshend,
    stating your ideas upon the necessity of good faith, and the
    impossibility of resistance, even upon the ground of simple
    repeal, still more upon the more narrow one of external
    legislation; and desiring an explicit answer _from the Cabinet_
    on these points. This, if you would entrust me with it, I would
    suppress in case the Cabinet should have met and come to any
    satisfactory decision; and if not, I would deliver it to
    Townshend, with every personal expression to him of regard, &c.,

    The advantages which I propose by this conduct, and the mode of
    reasoning upon which I support it, are as follows: In the first
    place, if it is really their intention to reserve the external
    legislation, the sooner you know it, and are able to wash your
    hands of it completely, by returning to England, the more
    popular you will be in Ireland, and the better ground you will
    have here, both to your own conscience, and as a man who may be
    called upon to defend his conduct. You will observe that I take
    it for granted you agree with me as to the utter impossibility
    of ever exercising such a right, and the impolicy as well as bad
    faith of reserving it, to become, like the tea-duty, a ground
    for contest and ill-blood; without the possibility of advantage.
    Lord Shelburne seems to imagine that by a peace he should be
    able to enforce it; you know the contrary, and that the hearts
    and voices, and even hands, not of the Volunteers only, but of
    the people, and even of Parliament, would be against it. And
    with what face, supposing the thing in itself practicable and
    honest, could we maintain that ground, after having repeatedly
    stated the contrary, and pledged ourselves to it in resolutions,
    and now in a bill offered under your recommendation for the
    English Parliament? In this event, therefore, I think that by an
    immediate resignation you will have satisfied your own feelings,
    and at the same time found an honourable solution to a very
    unpleasant situation--unpleasant from the situation of things
    there, and possibly not less so from the complexion of affairs

    If, on the other hand, this measure drives them into an
    immediate acquiescence with your proposals, you will certainly
    stand in a much pleasanter situation in Ireland, especially as a
    peace will give you a fair ground for dissolving the Fencibles,
    if you think proper, without ever coming to Parliament to vote
    money for them. The advantages which we shall have from putting
    an end to this almost intolerable scene of delay and temporizing
    are obvious; and if the measure comes from Townshend, and is
    seconded by me, as I shall propose, it will give you all the
    credit of the adherence to good faith, &c., &c., instead of its
    being forced upon Government, as it will otherwise be, by Lord
    Beauchamp, or Commodore Johnstone, or any person disposed to do

       I have said that
    O. l Fo2c TolB 3Fo3 the complexion of affairs here makes

                                         evident intention
    it more unpleasant. Lord Shelburne's c21bc93 193c931m9 is

       make cyphers        colleagues
    to 70Ic aw6FckT of his amddcol2ct. Rayneval's arrival at his

                                      not known
    house at eight in the morning was 9m3 I9ms9 to Townshend

    till twelve, nor to            others till after four.
    3ldd 3scd2c, 9mk 3m any of the m3Fckt 3ldd oE3ck Em2k.

    They        be much pleased,                         they mean
    3fcw cannot hc 72af 6dcotch, but sill it is imagined 3fcw 7co9

    to remain.
    3m k370l9. I have had no opportunity of speaking about the

    Vice-Treasurership since your last letter; I had spoke before.

        will observe Barré's place is      kept
    You sldd mhtck2c Hokkct  6doac lt also Ic63 open.[1]

    _Quorsum hæc tendunt_, God only knows.
    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

[Footnote 1: Portions of numerous letters in the correspondence
contained in these volumes are written in cypher. The above passage is
given merely as a specimen, which will be sufficient to show the
character of the cypher.]


    Pall Mall, Sunday, Dec. 15th, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    I am just returned from Lord Shelburne's. He appointed me
    yesterday to be with him this morning, and I have had a pretty
    long conversation with him on the subject of Ireland. But it was
    for the most part so very general, that it is not easy to reduce
    it to writing.

    I began by stating under two distinct heads the original object
    of my being sent here, and what had since happened. First, that
    I had been commissioned to explain the grounds on which you had
    wished to stand against further concessions, your reasons for
    imagining it doubtful whether that ground could be maintained,
    and your certain conviction that it could be done only by an
    immediate dissolution of Parliament. The second point I said
    was, that, by what had since happened, you apprehended that
    something further was made necessary, and this was the more
    evident from the manner in which every one had taken up the
    business in Ireland.

    These two points, of course, led us into a very wide field of
    conversation. As to the dissolution, I said you certainly would
    not press the Ministry for any more on the subject, than that,
    even with a peace, and a remedy to the business of the King's
    Bench, it should not be delayed beyond the end of January. The
    great object, he said, was at all events not to meet till
    October. My answer was, that to you, who were personally to meet
    the difficulties of an earlier meeting, they certainly would
    appear quite as strong as they could to him sitting at a
    distance and speculating upon them. It was therefore by no means
    a thing to be wished by you, but an evil which circumstances
    might render necessary. This led me to a mention of several
    causes of discontent which might arise or be sought for, and
    which could only be prevented by the Irish Parliament; such as
    an infringement, for instance, of the East India monopoly. We
    went, at different periods of the conversation, a good deal into
    this business. He threw out an idea, which he said had been
    often mentioned, and for which a foundation was certainly laid
    in the last resolution of the English Houses on Irish affairs,
    if we chose to pursue it. This was the fixing, by a sort of
    treaty, a commercial system between the two countries, and a
    proportionable contribution to be paid by Ireland for the
    general protection of the empire.

    When I mentioned the objection to this, founded on the
    impossibility that Ireland could in her present situation
    contribute such a quota as would hereafter be even infinitely
    too small for her share, he answered it by stating the
    possibility of having a tax on some particular article or
    description of articles applicable to this purpose, which might
    be so fixed as to be small at present, very small if necessary,
    but which might increase with the wealth and commerce of
    Ireland. On this idea of a settlement, our conversation dwelt a
    good deal. I expressed my opinion that it would be, in many
    points of view, a measure of dignity and weight, and
    particularly advantageous to both countries, as it would leave
    no ground of contest unexplained. But at the same time I thought
    the present moment unfavourable for such a step, because it
    ought not to be taken till Government in Ireland recovered its
    energy; otherwise, I stated that the wildest idea that could be
    broached in a newspaper would be adopted by those in whom the
    real Government of the country resides at the present moment;
    that, till the Volunteers have in some degree subsided, your
    Government could only subsist by expedients, painful as such an
    idea must be to your feelings. I stated also, that if this was
    to be held out to the country as the satisfaction and security
    to which they were to look, it would set all their heads afloat
    forming systems of trade and government; and that it would make
    the spring meeting absolutely necessary, from the impatience it
    would excite and the necessity of its being done by Parliament.

    From this we went into the present situation of your Government.
    Upon this he desired to explain himself, and that I would state
    to you that he was _inclined to think_, not that he _thought_,
    your Government would go on more easily there than you expected.
    He alluded to De Retz's maxim: "_Le peuple ne se soulève jamais
    que quand on l'opprime_." To the truth of this I agreed
    perfectly, but said that the people there are really oppressed,
    and miserable to a degree I had not at all conceived till I went
    into the country. That nothing was more usual than for the
    people to mistake the cause of grievances which they really
    feel, and that this I apprehended to be the case there. In that
    case, he said, the remedy was at hand; for that an extended
    commerce and the wisdom of internal regulations, would relieve
    the evil, and be a pleasant task to your Government. I answered
    that such remedies must be gradual, while the situation of
    Ireland was pressing at this moment; and that perhaps nothing
    had contributed more to the discontents now prevalent, than the
    foolish expectations of wealth to be poured like a torrent into
    the country by a free trade. To this he agreed, but said that
    laws might certainly be devised by which such remedies might be
    brought forward and hastened. Then he went into the nature of
    absentee laws. Direct absentee taxes were, he said, highly
    objectionable, but many things might be thought of which would
    produce the effect so reasonably to be wished, that the money
    arising from land in Ireland should not be spent elsewhere. All
    methods to raise the value of that land would operate to that
    effect; because, when the person residing in England saw the
    means of getting an equivalent, he would certainly prefer an
    estate at his own door to one in Ireland. Still, however, this
    would be gradual.

    With respect to the Volunteer force, he apprehended less
    embarrassment from them, because he could not believe that five
    thousand of them would ever bring themselves to march ten miles
    together. I said, perhaps not, but that they had each the means
    of resisting the execution of any law they disliked in their own
    places of residence; whilst your whole army did not amount,
    without the Provincials, to six thousand men. And in time of
    peace, the Provincials were to be disbanded, and only twelve
    thousand men could be brought back upon the establishment. He
    asked whether the Provincials could not be made permanent. I
    said, I apprehended not, and that possibly the attempt would not
    be wise; for that, although you had, by the most determined
    perseverance and by an unremitted firmness, carried the point
    with respect to their being raised, yet I thought that would be
    sufficient to show the steadiness of Government, without seeking
    unnecessary grounds of discontent.

    There were many other general heads of Irish Government touched
    upon in the course of the conversation, which I do not now
    remember. He spoke to the reports about the situation of English
    Government. I never heard any man, in the whole course of my
    life, affirm any one thing more distinctly, positively, and
    unequivocally, than he did, when he told me that Government were
    upon a sure foundation here. He said that I was too wise to
    expect him to explain to me upon what grounds he said this, but
    that it was upon sure grounds; that there was a moral certainty,
    and as a rational man he proceeded upon it. This language is the
    more extraordinary, because the opinion of the world in general,
    I might say of almost every man in London, is directly the
    reverse. Either, therefore, Lord Shelburne is (not a dissembler,
    but) the most abandoned and direct liar upon the face of the
    earth, or he is deceived himself, too grossly to be imagined, or
    the whole world besides is deceived. Which of these is the case,
    time will show, and that only; but I cannot bring myself to
    imagine that the first is. That he wishes you should believe him
    secure, I can easily imagine, and that he wishes it very
    strongly; but that he should therefore be induced to pledge
    himself to so direct a falsehood, which he must know it was my
    business to repeat to you, and yours to act upon, and which the
    event of a few weeks must demonstrate to be false if it is so,
    exceeds my utmost power of belief. That the Duke of Richmond
    thinks as Lord Shelburne has expressed himself to me, is, I
    apprehend, most probable, from the very strong compliments he
    paid him and the flattering language he held to him in the House
    of Lords on Friday. But this is mere conjecture. What is
    certain, on the other hand, is that the explanation given by him
    in the House of Lords of the American treaty does not tally with
    that of Pitt, Townshend and Conway in the House of Commons, to
    which nevertheless the three last have positively pledged their
    faith and honour, that the Cabinet has been postponed because
    Lord Shelburne was afraid to meet them, and that the report of
    the day is that Lord Shelburne was outvoted there upon the
    question of Gibraltar.

    After we had gone over a great deal of conversation on these
    subjects for above an hour and a half, he said that we seemed to
    agree about all the points on which we had touched. I then
    mentioned the two main objects--the Dissolution, and the Bill of
    Satisfaction. To the dissolution, he said he imagined no
    difficulty would be made to-day in the Cabinet which was to be
    held; as to the other point, he saw much more objection. It cut
    up the principle on which our stand had been made. People were
    not ripe in England to go into the whole question again. The
    moment a bill of that sort was proposed in the House of Commons,
    every man would have to give his opinion on the effect of the
    repeal, on the legal question, and on the right of internal and
    external legislation. There never was a debate on Irish
    questions in England that was not misrepresented; and this,
    together with the acknowledgment of the principle of the
    insufficiency of what was done last year, would put Mr. Flood on
    excellent ground. To many of these objections I could not but
    subscribe, for they strike me very strongly. I wished to know
    from him his idea on the external legislation. He said he had
    understood you, when you left England, that you was determined
    never to cede that. I said, that as his Lordship referred to
    conversations to which I was no party, I could only say that I
    had understood you very differently. The distinction between
    external and internal, he said, was a bad one, as applied to
    Ireland. It was applied by Fox, who took it from Lord Chatham,
    by whom it had been adopted, for want of a better expression, in
    the case of America. I said, the distinction I made was a clear
    one--that England could, in her own ports, restrain as she
    pleased the commerce of Ireland; but that it was not in the
    power of Government, after what had been done (whether wisely or
    not), to enforce any English Act which was to be executed in
    Ireland. He said, that this brought us back to the idea of a
    settlement; and that he should be curious, and indeed it was
    necessary to the subject, to know what questions about English
    Acts concerning trade, and what other commercial points would
    come into discussion in such a settlement. At the same time, he
    said, the subject was one of those which required conversing
    with people of information, and which, nevertheless, if any one
    was consulted upon it, would set the heads of every one afloat.
    However, he wished I would turn my thoughts to it, and let him
    see the principal points. I then pressed him again upon the head
    of your Bill; I thought it right to say that I was satisfied on
    every other head, but that this pressed strongly on my mind. All
    I wished was, that he would allow me to state to you the
    difficulties, such as he had mentioned them; but at the same
    time, to say, that they were overbalanced by an absolute
    necessity. He said, that he would not suppose that they could be

    While I write this, I receive your despatches of the 12th
    instant. I have immediately enclosed your letter to Townshend,
    with one from myself, of which I send you a copy, and wait his
    answer with impatience. I was going on, when I was interrupted
    by your letters, to state to you, that my conversation with Lord
    Shelburne closed with his saying that the difficulties were
    capital, and that he could not believe that they could be
    overbalanced. I then observed, that a Cabinet was, I understood,
    to be held to-day. He said yes, and at eleven, and that it was
    then half-past ten, and therefore I must excuse him. As I had
    been there above an hour and a half, I could not with any
    propriety stay any longer.

    According to Townshend's directions to me last night, I staid at
    home the whole morning, under the idea that I was to be sent
    for, as it was so directed in the King's approbation for the
    Cabinet being held, which Townshend showed me. Why this was not
    done, whether the Cabinet has not been held, or whether Lord
    Shelburne thought he had received information enough for all, I
    cannot pretend to say. It is certainly unnecessary for me to
    observe, that the whole of this magnificent idea about a
    settlement was most probably intended to draw your attention off
    from the Bill you have proposed. I could do no otherwise than
    acquiesce in sending it over to you, as I had already stated my
    belief, confirmed so fully by your authority, that your proposal
    was necessary, and to the adoption of it, on this ground, I
    meant, if I could, to have pledged him by my last question; and
    although he did not accede to what I then asked, yet I think I
    should not have been justified in not agreeing to state to you
    his objections--which certainly have their weight, especially as
    he proposed an expedient in the room of yours, though
    insufficient and improper for the reasons which, as I told you
    above, I mentioned to him. I forgot to state in its proper place
    that I reminded him of the danger which was almost inevitable,
    that some enemy to Government would take the business up, if not
    immediately done by Ministry themselves.

    Half-past Eleven, P.M.

    I have just received the enclosed answer from Townshend; and
    though it contains nothing, yet I cannot but feel too much for
    your impatience to delay till Wednesday night the acknowledging
    your despatches, and the assuring you that there shall be no
    remissness whatever on my part to follow up this business as
    much as possible, and to press it forward in this strange scene
    of procrastination. Nothing can make me happier than your
    approbation of my conduct, and your kind disposition to trust so
    much to that most unfeigned affection with which I am,

    My dearest brother,
    Ever yours,
    W. W. Grenville.

    P.S.--I mean to-morrow to write to Lord Shelburne, stating that
    you have sent over a fresh despatch to Mr. Townshend, and
    referring him to that for the absolute necessity of adopting
    your proposal, which still leaves room for his settlement, if it
    is thought proper and expedient. The one will remove the present
    difficulty, the other prevent the rise of any fresh source of
    discord. But how far the latter can or ought at this time to be
    taken up, is with me very doubtful. If I get on Wednesday such
    an answer as I wish, you shall see me very soon.


    Pall Mall, Dec. 20th, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    I am still unable to send you any final answer, although I must
    confess that I think we approach much nearer to it than we have
    done yet.

    The Cabinet met yesterday. As I was not quite satisfied with
    what I had said the day before on the subject of recognition,
    and of the preamble, I thought it better to put a few words to
    paper, and to send them to Townshend. I enclose a copy of that
    paper and the letter which went with it. They were delivered to
    Townshend during the Cabinet. I heard nothing at all from him
    last night.

    This morning I was surprised and shocked--and I cannot say which
    I was most--by seeing in the papers the conversation which had
    passed in the House on the subject of Ireland, of which
    Fitzpatrick, though it was evidently a concerted thing, had not
    thought proper to give me any notice whatever. I immediately
    resolved to say something about it in the House to-day.
    Accordingly I sent a note to Townshend, desiring to be allowed
    to wait upon him in the morning. I told him my intention, and
    questioned him upon the subject of the Cabinet. He showed me,
    what (he said) was not properly a minute, but a memorandum taken
    there. I could not copy that, but as soon as I came home I
    endeavoured to recollect it, and believe the enclosed is very
    near the words. This I said immediately was only losing time,
    and that it was very useless for him to trouble himself with
    writing such a despatch, as I would take upon myself to make
    your answer to the two points it contained: First, that the bill
    you had sent over was drawn expressly to avoid the question of
    what _had been_ the right, as it declared only what _is_ now the
    right; and that if there was to be any reservation as to its
    being now the right, I would only say that this would be the
    most disgraced country in Europe. As to the other point, I knew
    perfectly that every step you had taken was with a full
    knowledge of the circumstances of the case, because I had sent
    them over to you myself a few days after my arrival in London.
    That being the case, Townshend said he would not write, but
    state these things to the Cabinet, which was to meet again
    either to-morrow or the next day; I do not positively remember
    which. I then stated to him what I meant to say to-day, in which
    he acquiesced. He told me General Conway wished to see me, as he
    thought that he had struck out an idea which might answer
    effectually; and he showed me a few words which were to explain
    this idea. They were in the form of a resolution, and went only
    to say, that Great Britain had, by the repeal, renounced all
    thoughts of exercising any right to make laws to bind Ireland.
    You may easily guess the answer which I made to this.

    From Townshend I went to Conway. Him I found very strongly
    impressed with Lord B.'s ideas about renunciation, complete
    satisfaction, and the effect of a declaratory law, and of the
    repeal of it, which, he said, left things as they were before. I
    combated all this very strongly, and at last got him to
    acquiesce in the idea of a recognition, provided that the words
    were such as not to imply that England _never had_ the right. I
    said that I conceived, as this was merely a point of honour, and
    not a reservation of anything to be exercised in future, that
    all that Government could desire was to use such words as should
    not _necessarily_ imply that the right never existed; that this
    was expressly the description of the words in your bill, which
    were so drawn as to go only to present right, and yet so as to
    be very satisfactory to Ireland. In all this he acquiesced, and
    then wished that some notice might be given in the "Dublin
    Gazette;" that the cause had only been heard because it was
    pending before; and that after the holidays, something
    satisfactory would be done. I answered as to the first, that
    after the opinion delivered privately by the Chancellor, and in
    the House of Commons, as I had understood, by the
    Attorney-General, that even a new cause could not be rejected by
    the Judges, such a ground would be a very bad one to take. To
    this he agreed. As to the other point, I said that it was my
    intention to state it in the House of Commons, which I
    apprehended would answer nearly the same purpose. He assented to
    this also, and so I left him. I then went to the House of
    Commons; there I saw Townshend, and asked him what day the
    Parliament was to meet after Christmas, because I thought it
    would give more solemnity if I gave notice for a particular day,
    and moved for a call on that day; and that the earlier it was,
    the better it would be. He said they met on the 21st. I proposed
    that day, and he agreed. Hartley rose at the same time with me,
    and being called to, moved for a call on the 22nd. I then got up
    and said, that if I had not been prevented, I was going to have
    moved it for the 21st; but I would now trouble the House only to
    give notice that on that day a very important business would be
    brought before them on the subject of Ireland; that I had
    understood that a conversation had taken place the day before on
    that subject; that I lamented exceedingly that I had been so
    unfortunate as to be absent at that time, because if I had been
    there I should have thought it my duty to have stated to the
    House, in justice to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, that the
    business in question had been submitted by you to the
    consideration of Government, and had been in the contemplation
    of the King's servants a considerable time before any notice had
    been given of a motion to be made upon it by a noble Lord in the
    House; that I wished further, in justice to you, to say, that
    "there was no man in either kingdom more decidedly of opinion
    that the good faith of Great Britain was solemnly pledged to
    Ireland, by the repeal of the 6th Geo. I., in the last sessions,
    upon the avowed and explained principle of putting an end to
    every idea of legislation and jurisdiction over that kingdom;
    and that there was no man more eagerly desirous than you, that
    that faith so pledged, and upon that principle so explained,
    should be religiously adhered to and maintained, as the national
    honour and national interest required it should be maintained,
    sacred and inviolable."

    This brought up Lord Beauchamp, who began by assuring and
    protesting that the part he had taken was upon the best motives,
    &c., &c. He then went into the question of the writ of error,
    how far it could have been rejected, and how useless it was in
    Ireland, &c., &c. He then said that it was a point of
    parliamentary fairness, that when one person had given notice of
    a motion, it should be left to him, and not taken up in the
    meantime by any other person.

    I answered, that as to the noble Lord's motives, he must do me
    the justice to say that _I_ had been perfectly silent on that
    head. That with respect to the question about the writ of error,
    neither did I conceive this to be a proper time for that
    discussion. But that with regard to parliamentary fairness, I
    did not imagine that His Majesty's Government would think
    themselves justified in postponing so important a question, and
    which would have been brought on before the recess if there had
    been time, merely because the noble Lord meant to move something
    about it at a distant day.

    This ended the conversation on the subject; except that I added
    that the noble Lord had misunderstood me when he imagined that
    _I_ was to move the business on the 21st, as I _apprehended_
    that it was the intention of Government to do it.

    I cannot help thinking that by this, which has been done
    entirely without the concurrence or even knowledge of Lord
    Shelburne, we have gained a great point. By giving such a
    notice, speaking from the Treasury bench in the hearing of, and
    backed by Townshend and Pitt, I have most undoubtedly pledged
    Government to do something on that day. If that is short of your
    wishes, see in what a situation they stand; if not, you are
    landed. In the meantime the notice and the explicit declaration
    made in your name must surely be infinitely useful to you in

    I wait with great impatience the final decision of the Cabinet.
    Conway's expression was, that he conceived there was no
    objection to any preamble which had not a retrospect. If we can
    convince them that ours has none, or frame one not quite so
    strong, but very near it, think what ground we stand upon, in
    having obtained something stronger and more advantageous to the
    interests of Ireland than any renunciation whatever. "For this
    we must thank" Mansfield, who has certainly extricated us from a
    scene of considerable difficulty.

    If it could be done without great inconvenience to you in
    Ireland, I should be very desirous either of coming back here,
    in case I get away soon enough, or if not, of staying here till
    the 21st; because I am convinced my presence here is of infinite
    moment, to prevent their being frightened at the time into any
    weakening of the preamble, and to goad them on to do something.
    For you see, even in this case, the objection was not so much to
    the taking any particular step, as to the doing anything at all;
    and when forced to that, and driven from their intrenchments of
    indolence and delay, you see how much they are inclined to take
    the measures you wish. But this shall be decided by your wishes
    on the subject, unless I should set out before I receive them.

    I say nothing of the dissolution; I have not, however, lost
    sight of that, and will press it to-morrow; but I thought the
    other the more important point, having so fine an opening, which
    I trust you will think I have not neglected.

    D'Ivernois is come. He was with me this morning, and comes again
    to-morrow. He says the business goes on at Geneva far better
    than he could have expected, owing to the Constitution which the
    mediating powers have given them, which appears truly, what he
    states it, worse than that of Venice.

    Believe me, my dear brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, Dec. 23rd, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    When I wrote last to you, I expressed considerable hopes that
    this tedious business was drawing near to a conclusion, and that
    Government here would at last consent to grant the happiness and
    peace of Great Britain and Ireland, to solicitations that I
    should have been ashamed to have employed for any private
    object, however near to me. These hopes are, I must confess,
    weakened by my conversation of this morning with Townshend. I
    can plainly see that he is himself personally disposed to comply
    with your wishes. I can as plainly see that a greater and more
    powerful minister sets himself against them.

    Dec. 24th, 1782.

    So far I had written yesterday, when I resolved to delay writing
    further to you till to-day, on account of the promise which
    Townshend gave me that he would see Lord Shelburne last night,
    and press him upon the subject.

    I have been with Townshend again this morning, and yet have
    nothing like a decided answer to give you. He told me that
    Thurlow made the most difficulty, but that Dunning seems to be
    entirely with us. Yesterday he said that Shelburne talked much
    of the advantages of holding high language. What the tenor of
    Conway's language was, I have stated to you before. Of the rest
    I know nothing. I own I am rather in doubt whether Lord
    Shelburne acts upon a system of resuming, or only of gaining
    time; neither of them is very pleasant or flattering to you.

    Townshend appears to me to be most heartily and sincerely with
    you; nothing can be more explicit than his language was to that
    point. He complained of irresponsible Cabinet Ministers, and
    seemed to throw it upon that. I then stated your impatience,
    what you must feel, and asked how you could go on? I took out of
    my pocket your three letters to me, of the 12th and 14th
    instant, and read him such extracts as I thought would _express_
    your opinion and your impatience, and would pretty strongly
    _imply_ though not _express_ your determination upon the subject
    of resigning. He took the hint, and said that he could not
    wonder at any resolution you might take, and that he had told
    the Cabinet so. To this I answered, that it was right for me not
    to conceal from _him_ (though I did not mean it as a _formal_
    declaration), that you certainly would not stay a moment there,
    if you found the proposal of a Bill of recognition either
    negatived or put off longer. He repeated that he could not
    wonder at it. He then charged me with a commission to write to
    you this evening, and to say that although nothing was yet done,
    he would labour to the utmost of his power that your wishes
    should be complied with, and that he hoped to bring the business
    to a conclusion _in a very few days_; that in the meantime he
    thought that his writing an official despatch, which should not
    be explicit, would be by no means pleasant to you. In this I
    agreed most fully.

    The difficulty, he told me, lay in bringing them to think of
    anything but the peace, by which you see that business is still
    _en train_.

    This consideration makes me less eager than I should otherwise
    be to cut the matter short. I continue to think, that if they
    are sufficiently pressed, you will carry your point; because I
    am fully persuaded they will not push you to the wall. In the
    meantime they feel the situation into which the notice for the
    House of Commons has thrown them; for Townshend expressed his
    satisfaction at it to-day, and said it lay a necessity on
    Government to do something.

    While I am writing this, I receive your letters of the 21st. The
    despatch will, I think, have a good effect in pressing the thing
    forward, and assisting the exertions which I sincerely believe
    Townshend will make. At the same time, as it must now be the
    27th at soonest before you can receive this letter, which leaves
    everything exactly where my last despatches to you did, I should
    think upon the receipt of it you would do well to write a letter
    to Townshend, rather demanding than requesting an immediate

    What I mean is (if you should approve of the idea), that you
    should say, "that after having so repeatedly stated the grounds
    of your proposal, to which you can now add nothing," (because
    any reasoning of yours brings on more discussion) "except that
    every day gives fresh force to them, you have nothing left but
    to request, as your situation entitles you to do, that you may
    at last have an immediate and explicit answer, in order that on
    the one hand you may not disgrace your personal honour and the
    faith of Great Britain by continuing to pledge them to
    assurances which are not to be performed, nor on the other hand
    appear by remaining in your situation without a favourable
    answer, to countenance a system which your own mind informs you
    to be at once unjust and impracticable." If you think the
    expressions too strong, or not sufficiently so, you will weaken
    or aggravate them; but I am very impatient to receive some such
    letter, which shall _not_ enter into reasons or discussion on a
    subject so completely exhausted, but shall manifest your own
    intention, which I am convinced will operate more strongly than
    all the argument in the world.

    You will perhaps say that I have already in my possession such a
    paper. But I must own I feel great difficulty in fixing the
    exact moment when to make use of it, and when to say that I can
    no longer in justice to you give credit to assurances of an
    immediate determination so often repeated and so often found
    fallacious. With you, who have received none such, there is no
    such difficulty. Besides, the letter in my hands can only
    operate as an actual resignation on your behalf, and authorized
    by you; whereas the letter from you, which I propose, would
    operate as a threat, and by that means prevent, I believe, the
    event itself; or if not, it would at least convince your
    feelings, as well as mine, most unequivocally of the absolute
    necessity for taking such a measure, as the only one by which
    you could preserve either integrity of character or uprightness
    of conduct. Such a letter might, if the winds do not prevent it,
    be here in a week from this day; and before that time I am most
    thoroughly convinced I shall receive not a single word further
    than I have already. With such a letter to deliver to Townshend,
    I should think myself authorized to _demand_ a Cabinet; or if I
    could not obtain that, to make use of your former letter, and
    desire from you that I might see the King, to state to him your
    sense of the impracticability of such a system, and of the
    certainty that Government will be compelled in October to make
    concessions without gaining any advantage by them, infinitely
    greater than what would in January conciliate the affections of
    all Ireland.

    One way or other, this business does most certainly draw to a
    conclusion. I allow, by this proposal, one week more for them to
    take their resolution. If they delay it beyond that, it is in
    effect the most mortifying and the most insulting way of
    refusing it that they could have adopted; and as such I think
    you would do right to state it in your letter. But whichever way
    it terminates, I think we shall derive the greatest advantage
    from Townshend's having authorized me to promise that on the
    21st something should be done in the English House of Commons,
    and having sat by and acquiesced in my saying that _that_
    something would, I _apprehended_, be brought forward by
    Government. If it is not, I think I need not say what a
    situation they stand in; and what ours will be--how much better
    than if nothing had been said. On the other hand, if they do
    authorize me to bring forward, or bring forward themselves, on
    that day, a satisfactory Bill, we shall derive much more
    advantage to Government from having given an early notice of it,
    and much more personal credit from its coming through my mouth
    from you, than if it had been done only by the Minister, and
    kept back till the 21st.

    I have had no communication with Lord Shelburne, nor have I
    either seen or heard from him since I spoke in the House of
    Commons. I mean, however, to-morrow to write to him on the
    strength of having received fresh despatches from you, and to
    press him in the strongest manner, that _the Bill to be_
    proposed on the 21st, may be such as will satisfy your wishes by
    satisfying the people of Ireland. What the new reason for delay
    will be, God knows. In the meantime is it not inconceivable that
    a man will hazard so much, in every sense of the word, so much
    credit as a Minister, so much in point of character, and so much
    in point of weight and support to his administration, without
    its being possible for one to discover any one object under
    Heaven which he is to gain by the delay? Possibly such a letter
    as I wish from you may succeed in bringing him to his senses; if
    not, I am sure the sooner your hands are washed of it the
    better; for if the rest of your administration in Ireland is to
    go on in the same manner, and you are to be left for months
    together without knowing whether Government here will expressly
    support or expressly contradict you, and all this only that they
    may gain time, without having anything further to gain, such a
    situation is neither suited for such tempers as we have, nor for
    such characters as I hope we shall ever preserve together.

    The real grievance seems to be, what did hang as a dead weight
    upon the last administration till it pulled it down, and what
    must hang as the same dead weight upon this--I mean a Cabinet of
    eleven. If these are disunited, there are not wanting, even
    among themselves, men to publish it to the world; and how is it
    possible that they should be otherwise, except by the means of
    that delightful expedient which I stated to you once before, and
    which was again alluded to in yesterday's conversation. I should
    hope, however, that the appearance of your resolution will put
    an end to this scene of procrastination, disgraceful to you and
    dangerous to the country; if it does not, I am sure the
    resolution itself is most absolutely necessary to vindicate us
    to ourselves, as well as to others, from the consequences which
    we both foresee.

    In the meantime, my dear brother, I cannot close this letter
    without expressing to you the extreme pleasure and satisfaction
    which I feel when, after having confided so much to my
    discretion, you express yourself satisfied that, however
    unsuccessful I may have been, the failure of my endeavours to
    procure this long-expected answer has not been owing to any want
    of zeal or judgment in me, but to those to whom the consequences
    are really to be imputed, and who have on that account already
    made themselves most deeply responsible both to God and their

    Believe me, my dear brother,
    Ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    D'Ivernois is here, and going over almost immediately to Ireland
    with two other _commissaires_.

    If any decision should drop from the skies before I receive your
    letter to Townshend, I will suppress it entirely.


    Pall Mall, Dec. 25th, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    All the effect which I hoped for by the official despatch has
    been produced by the confidential communication. Townshend has
    had this morning a long conversation with Lord Shelburne, the
    result of which is a compliance with your wishes. But this will
    be done by an official despatch, and not by a Cabinet minute, as
    they cannot venture to meet a Cabinet upon it. Still, however, I
    think that is sufficient for you--sufficient to authorize you in
    present, and to justify you in future. I write this in great
    haste, in order if possible to prevent the measure which I
    recommended in my last.

    Thurlow will probably oppose it in that House. They talk of
    altering the bill, _but not materially_. I put the question
    explicitly, whether it was to contain a recognition, and was
    answered that it should. Townshend asked me whether you would be
    likely to pledge yourself that this should satisfy, as he
    thought that might possibly be expected. I said it could not be
    expected that you should _pledge_ yourself for madmen, but that
    you certainly _hoped_. He then said that it would take a day or
    two to prepare and send in circulation the despatch, and hoped
    this would make no material difference. I said certainly not, if
    I was allowed to state this conversation to you. To this he
    agreed. Then I mentioned the dissolution. He said that you
    seemed to agree that this would take effect much better with the
    news of a peace, and that (he might tell me confidentially) this
    must be decided within three days, unless something very
    unforeseen happens.

    On this idea I wait here a few days longer, and then shall bring
    your despatches with me, and go back if you think it right.

    I think the event shows how much more strongly your
    determination operated, as I said it would, than all the
    reasoning possible.

    Believe me ever,
    My dear brother,
    Most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

The "Order" referred to in the following letter is the Order of the
Knights of St. Patrick, instituted in Ireland, under the Viceroyalty of
Lord Temple, on the 5th of February, 1783.


    Pall Mall, Dec. 28th, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    As, in consequence of your letter of the 25th, I mean to stay
    over the 21st of January, I write immediately to explain to you
    what I referred to in my last about the Order. It is not of any
    very great importance; but as I then expected to have seen you
    in a few days, I thought I should be able to explain it better
    by word of mouth.

    It relates to the difficulty of reconciling the business of the
    Commoners who have been talked of for it, with the King's strong
    approbation of your only having proposed sixteen, and his very
    great disinclination, which Townshend has repeatedly expressed
    to me, to increase the number even to eighteen or twenty. I
    suppose you mean sixteen _exclusive_ of the Sovereign and Grand
    Master. I apprehend Conolly, Ponsonby, O'Neill, and Daly to have
    been talked of. The difficulty is greater, because I understand
    that the two first have more than once refused peerages. This,
    however, you will arrange as you think best. The King was
    pleased with the motto, _Quis separabit?_ To this would apply
    very well the Collar which Hawkins told me had been thought of,
    of trefoils and roses alternate. Townshend will write, or has
    wrote, to you for a plan, which plan is meant to include Badges,
    and all other playthings belonging to it. You'll break Percy's
    heart if you settle it all without him. Pray oblige me, as a
    herald, so far as to appoint a genealogist, and to make the
    Knights deliver in pedigrees three descents back at least: that
    is the number in the Garter Statutes, which I send to you. The
    Thistle and Bath have both genealogists--the last must be an
    arduous office. I do not apprehend that the names are meant to
    be sent as part of the plan, nor indeed can you do that yet. Do
    you offer one to the _Nolo Privy Councillari_, or do you draw
    the line of none but Privy Councillors?

    I called the other day on the Archbishop of Cashel, and was told
    that he was gone for Ireland; but I'll know in a day or two.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    The King seems to expect to get two Red Ribands by it--Lord A.
    and Lord B. Query the latter.


    Pall Mall, Dec. 30th, 1782.

    My dear Brother,

    I have been with Townshend this morning, and have had a long
    conversation with him. He showed me his despatch to you, and
    that brought on the conversation, which I managed so that I
    might at any time have produced your last letter; but upon the
    whole I thought it better not shown, although the words of his
    despatch are certainly by no means satisfactory. He spoke very
    openly to me, and said that as his despatch had been written
    without the concurrence of Cabinet, he thought he could hazard
    no more. In this I could not but agree with him, especially as
    it gave me occasion to press upon him, for his sake as well as
    yours, the necessity of something being finally settled.

    He then went at large into the difficulties. He was convinced,
    he said, that it would come in the end to your proposition. But
    in the meantime Thurlow was against it, and meant to oppose the
    Bill; and Shelburne wanted to be forced to it, and said that he
    was sure a stand would be to be made somewhere; and why not now?
    I answered that it did not seem to me the most prudent step to
    choose a post where no man of any description would stand by
    you. We had much more conversation of the same sort. There were
    those, Townshend said, who had said that as the preliminaries
    were expected soon, it would come with better grace then. But,
    continued he, if we wait till then, I am afraid it may not come
    at all. To this I answered, that this was exactly my idea, but
    in the meantime, was it not fit you should know on what ground
    you stood? He said so; and (he went on) see where we should be
    in that case. The Lord-Lieutenant would not stay an hour. Here
    he stopped, as waiting my answer. I immediately said, most
    certainly not. And then the person who succeeds him will be to
    wait on you. You know better than I do the situation of things
    and men. Tell me to whom I am to apply. To the Duke of
    Portland's people?--to the old Court and Lord Shannon?--to Hood
    and his set? I went on a good deal more in the same strain, and
    ended with saying that he could not be astonished, or even at
    all surprised, that every day should increase your impatience.
    This was to prepare him for your peremptory despatch, which, if
    my subsequent letters have not stopped, I shall now most
    certainly deliver. He told me that on Wednesday he should see
    most of his colleagues, and he should then hope to have some
    answer to give me.

    I threw out one idea to him, which I said proceeded entirely
    from myself: and therefore, if he mentioned it at all, it should
    be as a thing to be proposed to you, and not as one coming from
    you. It was that, as it would probably be thought right that the
    matter should be discussed in a Committee of the whole House as
    a foundation for bringing in the Bill, such terms might be used
    in the resolutions of that Committee as should obviate the
    difficulty which was made upon the idea of the preamble's
    referring to past rights. I then mentioned in general words my
    idea for those resolutions, but did not give them to him in
    writing. I have since reduced them to writing, and enclose them
    to you for your ideas upon them. I mean to-morrow to read them
    to Townshend, in order to explain my idea fully, but not to
    leave them with him. The first resolution is copied almost
    verbatim from the addresses. If you turn to them, you will see
    what I have omitted, and that I have inserted nothing but what I
    thought absolutely necessary, in order not to clog the
    resolution, and render it thereby less perspicuous.

    Pray let me have your ideas on this as soon as possible. I still
    think your preamble will at last be consented to: but a pressing
    despatch, to be used or not, as occasion requires, can do no

    Believe me,
    My dearest brother,
    Most affectionately and sincerely yours,
    W. W. G.


The Renunciation Bill--The Fall of the Shelburne Administration--The
Cabinet Interregnum--The Coalition Ministry--Resignation of Lord Temple.

The impediments and delays Mr. Grenville had to encounter in his
negotiations with Ministers, are sufficiently detailed in the preceding
correspondence. They appear to have originated chiefly with Lord
Shelburne, who, in the line of conduct he pursued on this occasion,
betrayed either a singular indifference to the state of Ireland, or an
inexcusable ignorance of it. For the latter, indeed, he had no
reasonable excuse, since the suspense of the public mind, and the
growing discontents of the people, were constantly pressed upon his
attention by Lord Temple and Mr. Grenville. There certainly was no
shadow of pretence for not thoroughly understanding the whole merits of
the question at issue between the two kingdoms, and still less for not
setting it at rest at once, as the Ministry did at last, and must have
intended to do in some shape all throughout. Yet it was not until the
beginning of January, 1783, after nearly six weeks of incessant
representations and harassing interviews with Lord Shelburne, Pitt and
Townshend, that the mission of the Irish Secretary assumed a definite
shape, and that something like a distinct hope was held out of its being
brought, at last, to a satisfactory conclusion.

Lord Shelburne appears to have been desirous of postponing the Irish
difficulty until after he should have succeeded in securing the peace,
for which he was then treating with France. He thought that a measure,
however just and indispensable in itself, emanating from a strong
Government, would be received as a graceful concession, while the same
measure, granted by a Government which had been described early in the
preceding December by Lord Mornington (afterwards Marquis of Wellesley)
as subsisting solely on the divisions of its enemies, might seem to be
wrung from the embarrassments of the Administration. This shuffling
policy, and want of magnanimity in the Minister--this coquetting with
extremities, in the forlorn hope of extracting from them some advantage
for a sinking Government, pervaded the councils of the Cabinet, and led
finally to its downfall.

In the meanwhile, agitation was rising into open manifestations of
distrust and resentment in Ireland. The Volunteers, whose nationality
had been appeased by the recent Repeal of the Declaratory Law, renewed
their demands for a specific measure, by which the legislative and
judicial independence of the country, guaranteed by that Repeal, should
be unconditionally recognized, and placed beyond doubt or cavil. Their
suspicions were excited by the hesitation of the Imperial Government,
and their indignation was roused by the fact that, in contravention of
the settlement by Act of Parliament of the rights of Ireland, an Irish
case had been heard in an English court of law, and decided by Lord
Mansfield. The circumstances were irritating, and peculiarly calculated
to shake the confidence of so sensitive a race in the sincerity of their
rulers. Nor were there wanting persons who were ready to avail
themselves, for factious purposes, of every fresh symptom of national
disquietude to inflame the passions of the people. At the head of these
disturbing patriots were Lord Beauchamp and Mr. Flood; fortunately, on
the other side, was Mr. Grattan, whose pure patriotism, confiding in the
honour and justice of the Imperial Legislature, resisted all violent
demands, until a fair opportunity had been afforded to England to
vindicate the integrity of a settlement, the principle of which was
clear, and admitted on all hands. His language on this point, in reply
to an Address from the Volunteers, was explicit: "I know of no
circumstance, except one, which has really happened to alarm you: the
entertaining and deciding by the Court of King's Bench, in England, an
Irish cause, is, no doubt, a very great infringement. You do not imagine
that I mean to rest under it; but I shall never suppose such a measure
to be the act of England, unless her Parliament shall hesitate to do it
away in a manner the most clear, comprehensive and satisfactory." Mr.
Grattan's firmness stayed the impetuous course of the Volunteers; but it
was at the cost of his immediate popularity, and, as it afterwards
proved, at the imminent risk of his personal safety.

It was while these events were taking place in Ireland, that Lord Temple
and Mr. Grenville were urging upon the Administration the imperative
necessity of bringing forward a measure that should satisfy the
apprehensions of the Irish people. With that view a Bill, known by the
title of the Bill of Renunciation, was prepared by Lord Temple and
forwarded to Mr. Grenville. Upon the structure, and not upon the
substance, of this Bill, innumerable quibbles were raised. The
difficulty with Lord Shelburne was, not the renunciation itself, for
that was nothing more than a confirmation of the repeal, but the
technical form in which it was to be expressed. Nobody dreamt of
disturbing or evading the principle of the measure which this Bill
simply declared anew and fortified by a more distinct enunciation; but
Ministers could not agree upon the words--for into a discussion about
words the whole negotiation finally degenerated. And thus, the fear of
compromising the dignity of England by some unguarded expression, or of
failing from over caution to satisfy the demands of Ireland, had the
effect of protracting the passage of a measure, upon the substantive
justice and urgent necessity of which all parties were unanimous.

At length Mr. Grenville was enabled to announce to his brother that
these petty discussions were brought to a satisfactory close. But the
issue, as will be subsequently seen, was not quite so near as he
supposed. The Administration had wasted so much time in verbal
criticisms, that, although they had the merit of ultimately introducing
the Bill into Parliament, they were obliged to bequeath the satisfaction
of earning it to their successors.


    Pall Mall, Jan. 2nd, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    After the many changes and delays which have occurred in the
    course of this business, I think I may at last congratulate you,
    and what is infinitely more, the two kingdoms, on its being
    brought to such an issue as you desire.

    I told you in my last despatch that Townshend seemed to me much
    alarmed lest he should have gone too far in his letter to you,
    and that at the same time I had assured him that you would not
    think he went far enough, as the whole question turned upon the
    point of recognition, which was very distantly alluded to in his
    letter. When I saw him yesterday, his alarms appeared to be
    increased. This morning, however, he told me that he had been
    with Conway, who understood his authority to be quite sufficient
    for what he had done, and with Lord Shelburne, who said that it
    was a damned thing, and that he wished Lord Temple would have
    stood it, but that it could not be helped, and that he
    (Townshend) must therefore think over with the Crown lawyers
    such a preamble as should recognize in future, without any
    retrospect whatever. To this point Townshend said he thought
    your Bill went; and therefore he told me he was to send it down
    in that shape in which you sent it (excepting the omission of
    the words _of right_ in the two places where they occur) to Lord
    Camden for his opinion. I then mentioned what I had hinted to
    him before in the way of resolutions, which might, I thought, be
    so drawn as to preclude the idea of retrospect. He wished to see
    the form I had adopted; upon which I gave him, as coming from
    myself only, the enclosed paper, which you will see differs a
    little from that which I sent you before. Both these he sent to
    Lord Camden, with a letter, desiring that he and myself might
    see him to-morrow morning for his ideas on the subject. You will
    observe that _he_ is from principle warm for Irish claims; and
    therefore I think it not a bad quarter to begin with.

    I flatter myself you will approve of my reason for withholding
    your despatch No. 16, as the word _courts_, without _of law_,
    which we have scratched out, certainly includes the Peers; and
    nothing would have been so agreeable to Lords T. and S. as a
    point of form which they need not have mentioned till towards
    the conclusion of the business, and so might completely have
    gained their darling object--time.

    Still, however, I thought much of that letter--too important to
    be lost--and therefore threw it together into the enclosed
    paper, which I sent to Townshend the night before last, together
    with a copy of such parts of his despatches as authorized you to
    pledge the faith of Government, _he having asked me for them,
    not for himself_.

    While I was still in a state of suspense, your letter and
    despatch of the 29th reached me. I thought it best to keep the
    latter till this morning, when, I need hardly say, I did not
    deliver it, though I thought proper to read it to Townshend, in
    order, as I told him, that he might be perfectly acquainted with
    your feelings on the occasion, and might see I had not
    exaggerated them. You will remember that your next despatch is
    numbered 16. If it comes before you receive this, I will alter
    it. To-morrow you shall know the result of Lord Camden's
    conversation, upon which much I think depends; though after what
    has now passed, I have no idea of the possibility of their
    drawing back again, even if they were so inclined.

    Brooke's business, Jemmy tells me, passed the Treasury

    You will have had an answer, such as it is, about the Duke of L.
    and Hussey Burgh.

    With regard to Perry, I have written to you already fully on the

    I have talked once or twice about Portugal; but they want
    exceedingly to be quickened, _là-dessus_.

    Townshend desires to make you an apology through me, and will do
    it himself when he writes, for the delay. From him no apology
    whatever is necessary. Adieu.

    My dear brother,
    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    When I pressed Lord Shelburne about Hussey Burgh, he said he
    thought there would be no objection to promising him that he
    should be made as soon as any one. I stated this to Townshend
    this morning, who is to speak to the King about it again

About this time another subject was engaging the earnest attention of
Lord Temple--the foundation (already alluded to) of an Order of
Knighthood in Ireland. Several letters relating to the details of the
institution, and the claims of different noblemen to be admitted into
it, passed between Mr. Grenville and his brother. The following is
selected as a specimen:--


    Pall Mall, Jan. 7th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Although I think there is every reason to hope that I shall be
    able to send you by a messenger, either to-night or to-morrow
    morning at furthest, the result of the Cabinet, which, after
    having been postponed ever since Sunday, is at last to be held
    this evening; yet, as I know by experience, that it may be again
    deferred, I would not omit writing to you by post express upon a
    subject which you will perhaps think trifling in itself. I went
    this morning to Townshend, with your despatches of the 2nd
    instant, upon which we had very little conversation, except his
    assurances of bringing the business to an end this evening.
    After that I turned the conversation to your Order, and read him
    the names. To my utter astonishment, he started a doubt whether
    my Lord Courtown _would take it_. To which I answered, that the
    first names in the list having signified their consent,
    undoubtedly it was not a thing to be offered where there was the
    least chance of a refusal. He then said that he would take upon
    him to sound Lord Courtown; and that, as he was his
    brother-in-law, he would throw out to him that a thing of the
    sort was in agitation; and that if Lord Courtown should like it,
    he believed that _he, Townshend_, would have interest enough to
    _procure it for him_. It was impossible for me to tell
    Townshend, or even to give him to understand what nevertheless
    certainly ought to have occurred to him, that it would but ill
    answer your purpose, whatever it was, in recommending Lord
    Courtown, that the merit of it should be ascribed to him.

    I had nothing, therefore, left but to drop the conversation, and
    to write to you, as I now do, immediately on my return home, to
    suggest to you whether it would not be worth your while, without
    affecting to know anything of this, to write to Lord Courtown to
    offer it, and perhaps to Townshend, to make a great merit with
    him of the recommendation of his brother-in-law, as the only
    non-resident Knight. The sooner you send in the list and plan,
    &c., &c., undoubtedly the better.

    Your names appear to me all unexceptionable, except possibly
    Lord Bechoe, who you know will give some trouble to the heralds
    to make out whether his father, who was a grazier, ever had a
    father of his own. But he is a man of great fortune, and a
    steady friend of Government, and I should think might pass. Lord
    Nugent's refusal leaves a vacancy. I own I should be inclined to
    Lord Mountgarret as the senior Viscount, which would show that
    it was not to be exclusively confined to Earls, at the same time
    that no other person could pretend the same claims with so old a
    peer, the senior Viscount, and the first man in rank of so great
    a family. Besides, this might detach Butler, of the county
    Kilkenny, from Flood; and it is surely a great object to cut him
    off from all hopes of the county, as that would give him an
    appearance of popularity, &c., &c. Unless you do something of
    this sort, shall you not apprehend affronting the lower orders
    of the peerage? If Lord Kinsale was not what he is, I should
    wish for him on the same account, but that is impossible. Pray
    consider the other well, for it strikes me as important.

    I return you the Derry Papers. Townshend is to search his office
    for their intercepted correspondence here, which I will send

    Bulkeley wrote me the enclosed, to which I returned an
    ostensible answer, referring to you, but at the same time
    distinguishing between a pension, and provision out of the
    revenue for a revenue officer's widow.

    Townshend sends you McLaughlin's petition and case. What does
    Lord Beauchamp mean by his letter to the "Vol." about the King's

    Pray desire Lady Temple not to forget Lord Nugent's velvet, or
    he will be outrageous.

    Believe me, ever yours,
    W. W. G.

One good result had been attained by the perseverance with which Mr.
Grenville pursued his object with Ministers in reference to the
Renunciation Bill, and the consistency he observed in maintaining the
policy which he and Lord Temple knew to be essential to the security of
the British power in Ireland. If that policy was not carried out, Lord
Temple was relieved from all responsibility, and was prepared to
relinquish into other hands the confusion and disorder which he could
not obtain the means of ameliorating. As Mr. Grenville observes in the
following letter, he was "completely master of his own ground;" he had
clearly stated, and constantly urged his views of the only course that
could be followed with safety or credit; and if he failed in carrying
them into effect, the _onus_ would rest with the Administration. Happily
he did not fail. The Bill was shaped and passed; but the obstacles which
impeded it, and which are detailed in subsequent letters, rendered its
ultimate success doubtful up to the last moment.

Looking back, at this distance of time, upon the curious struggle which
took place in the Cabinet on this question, we cannot fail to be struck
by the immense disproportion between cause and effect exhibited in this
strange episode in the history of the Shelburne Administration. The full
recognition of the rights of Ireland had received the concurrent
sanction of the Legislatures of both kingdoms only a short time before.
No doubt whatever existed as to the intention of the repeal of the
Declaratory Law. The Volunteers, to whose energetic demonstrations that
healing measure was mainly attributable, were thoroughly satisfied, and,
instead of displaying their nationality in angry and defiant
resolutions, they adopted the language of congratulation and
enthusiastic allegiance to the Government. This felicitous state of
things was suddenly interrupted by one of those incidents which no
foresight could have anticipated, and which, absolutely trivial in
itself, was magnified at once, by the jealous spirit of patriotism, into
a violation of the solemn compact that had just been ratified on both
sides of the Channel. An Irish cause was brought into an English court
of justice, was heard in the ordinary way, like any other cause, without
reference to the competency of the tribunal before which it was tried,
and decided, as a matter of course, by Lord Mansfield. The remedy for
this contravention of the notorious settlement of the judicial
independence of Ireland was plain. The decision was waste paper: it
could not be carried into effect. The Irish might have rested satisfied
with the power which they possessed of nullifying and rejecting the
authority of the English Judge. But the delays of the Cabinet awakened
their suspicions, and they apprehended, not, perhaps, very unnaturally,
that if they suffered this single case of illegal interference to pass
without some decisive declaration on the part of the English
Legislature, it would be wrested into a precedent for further and still
more dangerous innovations. Mr. Grattan held this opinion also, but
trusted implicitly to the honour of the English Parliament for a measure
that should fully set at rest all uneasiness on the subject; while Lord
Temple was so impressed with the propriety of adopting such a measure
that he drew up the Bill of Renunciation, which, after much superfluous
discussion, ultimately passed into a law.

The case itself, however, lay in the narrowest compass, and admitted of
the simplest solution. The Irish cause which had occasioned all this
trouble, and menaced so seriously the tranquillity of the country, had
been entered for hearing _before_ the operation of the Repeal, but
delayed by some accident until a subsequent term. The reason why it was
not dismissed when it came before the court was, that the time had
elapsed for pleading against the competency of the court, pleadings
having already begun upon the matter of the suit. The parties could not
plead to the writ--to use the legal phraseology--because they had
already pleaded in chief. The only time when, according to the practice
of the court, the competency of the court could be objected to was when
the cause was entered; but at that time the objection did not exist, and
when the cause came on for hearing it was too late. Lord Mansfield took
the cause without any reference to the special circumstances attending
it, which he was not judicially called upon to notice. He acted strictly
on the practice of the court; and, although it was held by some of the
statesmen of the day that he ought to have taken a more enlarged view of
so peculiar a case, it was the opinion of Mr. Fox that he could not have
acted otherwise than he did. At all events, the case could never have
been drawn into a precedent. The real point for consideration, upon
which Mr. Fox--who had himself framed the Act of Repeal--entertained
some doubts, was whether the Repeal was sufficiently minute and
comprehensive in its scope, to extinguish the right of appeal in Irish
cases, by writs of error, to the King's Bench of Great Britain. But this
point was not raised, on its special merits, by Lord Mansfield's
decision, which involved nothing more than a technical question arising
out of the practice of the court. It was wise to allay the feverish
anxiety of the people, by removing any obscurity that hung over the
settlement of the separate judicature of Ireland; but, such being
clearly the intention of the Imperial Legislature, it is difficult to
understand why it should have entailed so much clamour and


    Pall Mall, Jan. 8th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    This morning I received your letter and despatch of the 3rd and
    4th instant, and soon after, the enclosed note from Townshend.
    The general idea is, that they have received the exceedingly bad
    news of their negotiation being totally at an end; and the style
    of this letter seems, I must own, to confirm it. Before I close
    this letter, which shall not be till to-night, I shall most
    probably know with certainty. If it should be so, I see nothing
    in Lord Shelburne's conduct throughout this business, which can
    prevent me from being convinced that he has foreseen this
    conclusion, that the _acquiescence_ is to be ascribed to that
    foresight, and to an intention of pledging you to some very
    strong measure to be immediately proposed to Ireland--of men,
    money, or some other support; and that his language about peace
    was calculated for no other purpose than that of making to
    himself a merit which he had not, and inducing me to pledge you
    with less difficulty to something of this sort, in the
    _improbable event_ of a continuation of the war. If that should
    have been his aim, I have at least the consolation to reflect
    that I made none but a _very_ general answer to that part of his
    conversation to which I allude, and which I stated to you at
    length in a former letter.

    At the same time, I must freely own that I have been duped upon
    the subject of peace; not so much by their assurances, strong as
    those have been, and often as they have been repeated, as by the
    opinion which I then held, and which I have not much altered
    now, that a peace was absolutely necessary to their system of
    government. However, be all this as it may, I think you are in a
    situation to _voir venir_, and to rest upon your oars in full
    confidence that you are now completely master of your own
    ground, whether you are to be left to carry on the Government of
    Ireland upon those principles on which you have begun it, and on
    which alone we know it can be carried on with success, or
    whether the system is to be altered, and committed, of course,
    to other hands; in which there is no doubt but that the
    ill-success and confusion that must follow will justify your
    predictions to such a degree, and place your character in such a
    light, as would almost make it an event to be wished for by you,
    if it was not so fatal to the interests of both countries.

    And this brings me to another point, in which I am very happy to
    feel myself justified and confirmed by your instructions in that
    line of conduct which I had fully resolved to adopt. I mean the
    holding out the most peremptory refusal to making either you or
    myself at all a party to postponing the business beyond the
    21st, except in the single instance of their having some
    proposition to bring forward then, about their negotiations, of
    such a nature as to make the reason obvious to the mind of every
    man in Ireland, as well as in England. In such a case I will
    acquiesce, because I think I cannot in decency avoid it, under
    the delay of one day only. In every other case which can be
    supposed, I will claim a right to state to the House that the
    delay is neither consented to by you, nor arises from you; but
    is in your idea most pernicious. Surely, my own character and
    honour, as well as your's, demand this from me.

    I am sick to death of this scene. Since I wrote the first part
    of my letter I have been to the levée, where I saw Townshend,
    and learnt from him that Lord Camden had taken upon himself to
    draw up a new preamble, which was _to soften on both
    sides_.--(What the meaning of this curious expression is, I will
    not pretend to say.) I then said, that at least I hoped it would
    contain an _explicit_ recognition; because the measure would
    only be useful, in proportion as it _was_ explicit. He agreed
    with me, as he had always done, and wished that I had seen Lord
    Camden. I asked if he was in town; he said he was to go back
    to-day to Chiselhurst, and had desired _him_ to hold the
    council, _in his absence, on Friday_. I immediately went home,
    and wrote to Lord Camden, desiring to be allowed to wait upon
    him; but he was gone. I have just sent your despatch of the 4th,
    with the enclosed note to Townshend, which I hope will find him
    before dinner. How little does all this agree with Lord
    Shelburne's idea of doing what would be most satisfactory, and
    with all my fine reasoning at the beginning of my letter!

    I will certainly write to you more when I come back from dinner;
    and, if I _can_ make him, Townshend shall write too, because
    they cannot, upon paper, assign any good reason for the delay,
    and a bad one will give you advantages. Upon the whole, what a
    scene it is!

    The news at Court was, that the negotiations are not broke off,
    only delayed; and this I take to be the real case, as no letter
    has been written to the Lord Mayor. If that be so, I shall of
    course hear no more of it to-day.

    Elliott is to have a Red Ribband.

    Jan. 10.

    I have delayed finishing this letter till this morning, in the
    vain hope of being able to get something specific to propose to
    you. After dinner, on the 8th, Townshend produced Lord Camden's
    preamble. I send you a copy of it, and need not, I am sure,
    observe to you how unsatisfactory it is to Ireland, and how
    humiliating to Great Britain; and how perfect an ignorance it
    shows, after all that has passed, of that business which is
    referred to him for a decision. Neither Lord Shelburne,
    Townshend, nor Pitt, who were present, attempted to defend it
    against the observations I made upon it.

    Some conversation passed upon it, after which Townshend went
    away. The conversation then turned more particularly upon what
    was to be done, in which the only very settled idea that I could
    find was, that your preamble was not to be adopted.

    Pitt then threw out the idea of declaring the intention of the
    Act of Repeal, and making the new enacting clause a consequence
    of the principles then adopted. We talked this over a little. I
    pressed for something being settled to send over to you. The
    answer Lord Shelburne gave me was, that the Cabinet lawyers were
    all dispersed, and without them nothing could be finally
    settled. Pitt then went away. I continued the conversation, and
    asked Lord Shelburne if it would not be right, as he had
    approved of Pitt's idea, that I should see Pitt, and endeavour
    to put something upon paper upon it. In this he agreed.

    When I went home, I sent the enclosed note to Pitt, and in
    consequence of it saw him yesterday morning. I was near two
    hours with him, drawing up something of a form. At last, the
    Bill No. 1. was settled: more, I believe, because we were both
    tired out with weighing words, than for any great merit that I
    see in it. However, at the time I thought it might do; but in
    the course of the day, thinking it over, I disliked it, and sent
    the form No. 2. to Pitt, who desired to see me again. When I
    went to him, he proposed, after some conversation, the Bill No.
    3., which I took to consider.

    But, in the meantime, I am _au dernier point_ at a loss what to
    do in it; because, after an absence of six weeks, I know no more
    of the present ideas of people in Ireland, and of the squabbles
    and distinctions of words on which the whole turns, than the
    Ministers here do; and less, God knows, I cannot know! If you
    wait till something is formally sent you, I shall certainly be
    reduced to the necessity either of putting the business off, or
    of doing something in a hurry, without knowing whether it be
    right or wrong. For you may depend upon it, that neither will
    any of the unlearned Ministers pledge themselves to a specific
    form, nor will the learned come from their rural retreats one
    hour before the 17th.

    In this situation I feel myself obliged to lay upon my oars, and
    to entreat you to return the messenger as soon as possible, to
    say whether any and which of the forms will do, or what kind of
    thing I am to press for; for I am thrown quite wide. Your old
    preamble they will not adopt except compelled to it. What their
    objection is I cannot find; but most likely it is the dear
    delight of alteration that operates upon them. If you think that
    nothing short of saying "They have now the right" will do, for
    God's sake say so explicitly in a despatch. I have never quite
    lost my patience in this cursed business till this moment, and I
    confess now I cannot quite preserve it. After having carried the
    great point against their will and inclination, we shall now be
    ruined by their delay and their damned country-houses.

    If you don't like any of these forms I send you, and yet will
    not _propose_ any other, for God's sake send one over to me that
    _I_ may propose it, or bring their's as near as possible to it.
    Pray return your messenger as soon as you can, for this
    disappointment and anxiety works me more than I can express to
    you. Adieu.

    Believe me, my dearest brother,
    Most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    You will observe that these cursed delays have driven us so near
    the mark, that it will be impossible for me to hear from you
    again before the 21st. You will, therefore, send me your full
    determination on every point, and in every case that you can
    foresee. Nobody can feel more than I do the painful necessity of
    being obliged to act upon my own judgment upon the general
    contents of your letters, instead of acting up to any specific
    idea. What increases my difficulty is the whole matter having
    arisen since I left Ireland, and my consequent ignorance of the
    language of individuals on every other part of the subject,
    except the preamble you sent over, to which they were pledged.
    Would to God that they would adhere to that!

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    Pray return Lord Camden's preamble.


    Pall Mall, Jan. 19th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I received last night your letters of the 15th, and this morning
    went to Townshend with them. We proceeded together to the
    Premier's, who expressed great dissatisfaction at the contents
    of your despatch. We had a good deal of conversation about it,
    which ended in Townshend's proposing that _he_ should on Tuesday
    move for leave to bring in the Bill, and that in the meantime
    your opinion might be taken on the preamble proposed by Lord
    Ashburton. I thought it worth while to fall in with this idea,
    provided, as I expressed myself, that the motion was made on
    Tuesday, and in such words as should be pledges to Ireland of

    My reason for this, was my wish that you should have an
    opportunity of seeing the enclosed preamble, which Townshend is
    to send you formally to-night, and judging upon it. You see it
    is directly adverse to the principle of recognition; still, as
    it is so very strong as to the future, and the doubts being
    capable of being referred to Lord Mansfield's decision, I cannot
    help hoping that it may do. On the other hand, it will certainly
    pass the two Houses better; because Lord Mansfield, the
    Chancellor, Lord Loughborough _and Lord Ashburton_, will, in the
    case of a recognition, protest against the repeal being at all
    conclusive or satisfactory. This would be strong for us to meet,
    and therefore I think you may fairly take the new ground;
    express your adherence to your old opinion, that the Bill does
    not contradict it, but that it was an object to carry it with as
    little opposition and to make it as generally satisfactory as

    I am to apologize to you in the strongest manner for not
    adhering to your positive instructions. But in such a case, and
    at this distance, one must act much on one's own judgment; and I
    cannot help thinking that if you had been on the spot, you would
    have done the same, considering how far they are pledged by
    Townshend's motion, and that there will be little _appearance_
    of delay.

    Jemmy agrees in opinion with me. I write this in great hurry,
    and need not exhort you to return an answer as early as
    possible. I have not at all pledged you to approve of Lord
    Ashburton's preamble, which, _au contraire_, I have combatted
    here, but have said: "I am incapable of judging," &c., &c.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    You must not be angry with Townshend for sending Lord
    Ashburton's Bill for your consideration, as I have taken that
    upon myself to him.


    Pall Mall, Jan. 22nd, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I sit down to give you a mere outline of what passed to-day.
    Townshend said that, in pursuance of the notice given before the
    holidays, he rose to submit to the House a proposition on the
    subject of Ireland; that he did not intend to go into the
    subject, but only to move for leave to bring in a Bill. He then
    read the motion; disclaimed every idea of impeaching the
    settlement of last year; stated that Lord Mansfield could not do
    otherwise; but that this had had the effect of increasing the
    doubts that had arisen in Ireland; that it was the intention of
    Government to leave no possibility of cavil upon the exclusive
    rights of judicature and legislation.

    I seconded the motion, and said, That as the motion which was
    made went only to the bringing in a Bill, it was not my
    intention to trouble the House with much upon the subject; but
    that in the situation in which I stood I could not, consistently
    with those feelings which pressed so strongly upon me, and with
    my sense of the duty I owed to both kingdoms, refrain from
    expressing the sincere and heartfelt pleasure I received from
    seeing the business brought forward by Government in the
    earliest moment, and the eager and earnest wish of my heart that
    the Bill to be brought in in consequence of this motion might
    obtain the end proposed by it, and set those questions for ever
    at rest which it was hoped that the transaction of the last year
    had fully and finally quieted; that here I must disavow in the
    strongest manner all intention of casting any reflection, or of
    acquiescing in any reflection, which might be cast on the honour
    and integrity of the transaction of last year as conducted by
    the Government of this country, and by the gentlemen who treated
    with Government on the part of Ireland; that those gentlemen had
    acted as true and sincere friends to their country, and to the
    harmony of the empire; that the right honourable gentleman who
    then moved the business in that House had declared at that time,
    and had repeated the declaration a few days ago, that those
    gentlemen treated with him upon the expressed and avowed
    principle of putting an end to every idea of legislation and
    jurisdiction on the part of Great Britain over Ireland; that as
    such I considered it; that the right honourable gentleman had
    also stated the reasons which operated, and I thought operated
    wisely, against the adoption of other ideas which had then
    occurred; that the dignity and honour of Ireland was too nearly
    connected with, and too inseparable from, the dignity and honour
    of Great Britain, to make them desire that Great Britain should
    humble herself by an acknowledgment that the right which she had
    so long exercised had been usurped; that, on the other hand, it
    would have been absurd to have asserted the right at the very
    moment that it was to be abandoned for ever: such an assertion
    could answer no good end, and could only serve to wound the
    feelings of a nation whom it was intended by that transaction to
    bind by the strongest ties of affection, as they were already
    bound by the strongest ties of interest, with Great Britain.
    These were the reasons why it had been brought forward in the
    manner in which it had; and every friend to both countries, or
    to either, must certainly wish that it had proved satisfactory.
    But it could not be concealed that doubts had arisen upon the
    operation and effect of the transaction, and that if such doubts
    had prevailed--if from reasons, possibly ill-founded, they had
    been adopted by many well-intentioned men, and if those doubts
    had been strengthened by the late decision of the Court of
    King's Bench, however necessary that decision might be, from the
    circumstance of the cause having been set down for hearing
    before anything had passed in the House on the subject of
    Ireland, and if that decision induced a necessity--as it
    certainly did--of passing a Bill for preventing any writ of
    error from being received, it was surely an act of policy and
    magnanimity in Great Britain, it was consistent with the honour
    and dignity of the House to set that question for ever at rest
    by an authentic and solemn avowal of that which was avowed by
    all the parties to the transaction, and to place upon the
    records of Parliament a lasting monument of the good faith and
    justice of Great Britain.

    It was with this view that I gave my most hearty consent and
    support to this motion; with this view that I hoped it would
    meet, not only with the general support, but, if I might be
    allowed to hope so much, with the unanimous concurrence of the
    House; because I wished very much to show to Ireland that it was
    the unanimous determination of the House to abide by those
    principles which had been unanimously adopted in the last
    session, which had at the opening of the present session
    received His Majesty's approbation, and had met again with the
    unanimous approbation of both Houses in their Addresses to the
    Throne; and because I wished also to demonstrate that nothing
    which had happened since last year--that no change which had
    taken place in the Government, either here or in Ireland; no
    alteration of the circumstances of this country, either with
    regard to Ireland or to the rest of the world; and particularly
    nothing of that which I hoped I, an uninformed man, might be
    allowed to call the near hope and prospect of peace--had made
    any difference whatever in those sentiments of justice, of
    liberality and of affection to Ireland which had actuated and, I
    trusted, ever would actuate, the conduct of the Parliament of
    Great Britain.

    After this there was a long conversation rather than debate.

    Eden said that he did not mean to oppose the motion; but that
    when he proposed the repeal last year, he had given his opinion
    that it would be and ought to be satisfactory. In the first
    opinion he was confirmed by the following paragraph in the
    Addresses: "Gratified in this, we const:" &c., &c.; that he
    thought the other was equally evident from the transaction
    itself, &c.; but that from the moment he found that the contrary
    idea was taken up by Mr. Walsh's precision, by Mr. Flood's
    prodigious ability, and by the Recorder's integrity, he knew it
    would prevail. He then said that there were still matters which
    required adjustment; and instanced several acts made Irish by
    Yelverton's Bill, which would expire in this country in the case
    of peace, and the re-enacting of which would not prevent their
    dropping in Ireland; but I own I doubt this on the construction
    of Yelverton's Bill.

    Fitzpatrick said he did not mean to oppose this Bill; but at the
    same time he was exceedingly sorry that the motion went beyond
    the mere case of judicature which called for the interference of
    Parliament; that it professed to remove jealousies and
    discontents; that this was impossible; that there would always
    be found men to start grounds of jealousies, &c.--men whose
    consequence arose only from ferment; that the body of the
    country was satisfied; spoke a good deal at different times
    about the Duke of Portland's friends and their honourable

    Lord Beauchamp said, that as far as he understood the intentions
    of Government, he approved of them--understanding them to go to
    a complete derilection of the right in terms so as not to be
    undone again. He entered at large into the arguments against
    simple repeal; and, in answer to Fitzpatrick, who had dwelt much
    on the resolution of the Houses of Parliament as speaking the
    sense of the nation, in contradiction to the Volunteer
    resolutions, said that he wondered to hear such an argument from
    him, who took the sense of the people of England in taverns and
    at clubs, &c., &c.

    Fitzpatrick replied to him: went over much the same ground;
    defended the simple repeal; then retorted upon Lord Beauchamp;
    and took his pamphlet out of his pocket, and reading his last
    sentence, that his lips should be closed for ever upon the
    subject, observed that he, in his turn, was a little surprised,
    after this, to hear the noble Lord's lips opened to run a race
    with Government, &c., &c.

    I then desired to explain, that so far from saying that the Bill
    was to be grounded on the insufficiency of the repeal, I had
    said the direct contrary, and had stated a few days ago in the
    House, my full opinion that the faith of Great Britain had
    thereby been pledged to Ireland upon the avowed principle of
    putting an end to every idea of legislation and jurisdiction
    over that kingdom, and that nothing was implied by the present
    motion which went to impeach that.

    Fox then spoke. He went over the ground of simple repeal;
    defended Grattan and his friends very warmly; and seemed to
    imply pretty strongly, though he did not quite express it, that
    you was to abandon--to desert those men of high integrity and
    honour, whose great abilities were the smallest part of their
    merit, &c. It is impossible to go over the whole of what he
    said; but it chiefly turned upon these heads: he said that no
    Bill would do if there was not confidence; that such a system
    should be adopted as to ensure this confidence, not to humiliate
    the Parliament of Great Britain by bringing propositions founded
    on supposed discontents, &c.; that the judicature was given up,
    as far as related to appeals, by the repeal of the Declaratory
    Act; that writs of error were prohibited by the Irish Act;
    however, a Bill might be necessary to prevent here the exercise
    of a nugatory jurisdiction; but that if the preamble of that
    Bill was, as had been stated by Fitzpatrick and Lord Beauchamp,
    as a case to be approved of, to declare the intention, he did
    not conceive how it would alter the question at all, for if the
    repeal was ineffectual, it would not make it less so, &c.

    I again got up to desire that it might be understood that I had
    not said anything which could in any way be construed into an
    idea of abandoning, of deserting, &c., &c., men of whom I
    entertained the highest opinion--men in whose integrity I knew
    Government might confide with safety, and whose abilities were,
    as he had said, great as they were, the least part of their

    Mr. Percival said something about a law to try persons for
    crimes committed in Ireland in England, and desired we would
    attend to that, and give it up. I mean to do so. MacDonald asked
    if it was meant that all idea of legislation and jurisdiction
    should be given up. Townshend said, undoubtedly.

    Pitt then closed the business with great ability. He said that
    he was happy to find that, although much conversation rather
    than debate had taken place, much of which he thought
    superfluous, still, as to the motion and the main object of it,
    the avowing in direct terms, &c., &c., that had been unanimously
    agreed to on all sides of the House. He added, in answer to Fox,
    that he trusted it would be found that the Government was
    placed, both in England and in Ireland, in the hands of persons
    who would not less merit the confidence, would adopt measures
    not less calculated to promote the peace, happiness and
    prosperity of Ireland, at the same time, with an attention not
    less scrupulous to the dignity of the English Parliament, than
    any other man or set of men whatever.

    Thus ended this business, without any division or opposition,
    every man having prefaced his speech with a declaration of his
    intention not to oppose the motion. I cannot help thinking that,
    considering all circumstances, and particularly considering my
    own very delicate and awkward situation, the whole has not gone
    off ill. I am impatient to receive your approbation of Dunning's
    Bill. You see what Fox would say of a preamble.

    You must not think of printing this debate, whatever you may do
    with my speech; because it would not be common justice to other
    people, whose speeches I have stated so very loosely and
    shortly, and it would be known for a Government publication. I
    think, even for mine, you had better wait till you get the
    English papers, from which it would naturally be copied in
    Ireland, and then insert mine instead. Adieu.

    Ever yours.

    I enclose Mornington's account to Grattan.

    In my reply to Fox I said, that so far from any desertion, &c.,
    &c., of the Duke of Portland's friends, all that was intended
    was, in the expressive words of one of those gentlemen: that as
    it was now necessary that Great Britain should speak again upon
    the Irish subject, she should speak clearly and openly.

    Those are not exactly his words; but they are in his letter to
    the "Trala Vol." Pray find them; for I think they describe the
    transaction well.

Rumours of resignations and changes, short as the term of the
Administration had been up to this time, were beginning to be bruited
abroad. As yet there was nothing certain: Pitt was firm, and Shelburne
mysterious as usual; but it could no longer be concealed that the
Cabinet, in addition to the dangers which threatened it from without,
was suffering in its influence from internal dissensions.


    Pall Mall, Jan. 25th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    The enclosed memorial of Captain Mingay describes so very hard a
    case, that I could not resist sending it to you; although the
    answer which I gave to the Lord Advocate, who put it into my
    hands, was that it must come through the Commander-in-Chief.

    Sir Charles Thompson called upon me with the memorandum upon Sir
    J. Irvine. He had been ordered by the King to make it out for
    Lord Shelburne, who referred him through me to you. Upon the
    last paragraph, I observed that the effects were already sold
    before the balance due to Government was known. He then proposed
    the expedient of a temporary pension till a Government should
    fall, with a provision for applying such proportion of the
    income of the Government as should be thought fit, in discharge
    of the debt to the public account.

    Bulkeley spoke to me yesterday from Lord Northington, about Lady
    Ligonier. I desired him to advise Lord Northington, as from
    himself, to write to you about it. If you should then think you
    can do anything in it, which I cannot help hoping, the
    obligation will lay upon Lord Northington and not upon Bulkeley.

    Lord Clermont called upon me yesterday. He put in his claim to
    the Order, to which I gave the answer of non-residence. He said
    that he was always over in the Parliamentary winter, and had a
    house and establishment both in Dublin and in the country. I
    promised to write to you upon it, but gave him little
    encouragement, nor indeed did he press it much. Townshend tells
    me the King makes no difficulty about the _cordon bleu_, which
    of course you will magnify as infinitely more honourable, &c.,

    The Post-Office here have been making a strange jumble, and have
    drawn up a most extravagant Act, God knows why, which they sent
    to Lord Clermont; I enclose it to you, with my answer to him. We
    shall be devilishly pressed in the House of Commons about our
    settlement, as the argument of war is at an end; and yet I doubt
    whether the people here have either leisure or knowledge
    sufficient even to talk about it yet. The latter I am sure I
    have not; and even if I had, I should not think it wise to set
    the head of every Irish projector here and with you, perfectly
    afloat. In the meantime it will be matter of some difficulty to
    parry it.

    Did I state to you in my account of the debate, Percival's
    question about the Act of Henry VIII., under which offences
    committed in the King's dominions beyond seas are triable in
    England? I rather think the answer will be, both to that and to
    what I think Lord Beauchamp will probably move, namely, a repeal
    of all English Acts, as far as they affect Ireland; that they
    fall to the ground themselves, except where confirmed by Irish
    Acts; but that if they were repealed, a question might arise how
    far even those would continue in force, according to Yelverton's

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    P.S.--Yesterday, after making eighteen post-captains the day
    before, and after having attended the Cabinet in which the
    preliminaries were signed, Lord Keppel resigned the Admiralty.
    There are two ideas upon this; one is that he had always
    intended it as soon as peace was concluded, the other that he
    disapproved the articles. I think they are very consistent, and
    that if he had the first intention, he would take care to lay a
    groundwork for future opposition by refusing his concurrence to
    the peace; besides which, he probably feels little disposed to
    any mode of bringing about an event by which he loses so much
    consequence, and what is no less dear to him, so much patronage.
    I hear nothing said from any authority about his successor; the
    Duke of Grafton and Lord Howe seem to be the persons most talked
    of. Things are going on much too well in Ireland for them to
    think of, or I think for you to wish, especially at this moment,
    a different arrangement from either of those two.

    It is very much reported, and I believe with certainty, that the
    Duke of Richmond has retired from the Cabinet, and means at the
    same time to keep the Ordnance. What other people mean about
    that, is, I think, not quite so clear; though the Duke of
    Richmond's bitterest enemy could not, I should think, wish to
    see him in a more degrading situation--such a situation,
    indeed, as it seems impossible should last for any length of
    time, or a moment longer than till a proper successor is found.

    Minorca goes to France, and not to Spain, as Tom told you. That,
    I think, is _tant pis_.

    I have just received your despatches of the 22nd, and found, to
    my great disappointment, that you had not then received mine of
    the 19th. It is upon the conviction of _bonne foi_ that I act.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    I hope if the Admiralty should be offered you, you deliberate
    very maturely, particularly on the prospect in the House of
    Commons here.


    Pall Mall, Jan. 27th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Although Townshend has probably informed you, yet I could not
    help writing a line by this messenger to congratulate you upon
    the capture of a French seventy-four and frigate, with which the
    war ends. They were taken near Barbadoes, by Hughes's squadron,
    after a short action with the 'Ruby,' the headmost ship.

    I have already written by the post. The Duke of Richmond's
    resignation is not certain; and Townshend, Conway and Pitt
    certainly approve and stay in.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

Some particulars concerning the arrangements for the new Order of
Knighthood will be read with curiosity. The pretensions of particular
individuals to the Ribband of St. Patrick do not properly form materials
for political history, and a few letters, in which such claims are
freely canvassed, have been excluded from our selection. But the
following, which touches upon the small preliminaries to which statesmen
are forced to condescend on these ceremonial occasions, possesses more
general interest of an illustrative kind.


    Pall Mall, Jan. 31st, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    While you are persecuted by Lords Arran, Aldborough, Altamnt,
    and _omne quod incipit_ in A, I have had daily application from
    Lord Clermont, which I have promised to submit formally to you.

    His family and connexions in Ireland and their weight is the
    first thing he states. To this I gave the answer of
    non-residence. He says that he always resides during the
    Parliament winter; that he has a house and establishment both in
    Dublin and in the country; and that he is more a resident than
    Lord Clanricarde or Lord Courtown. I then stated the
    impossibility of increasing the number, which had been a
    particular object with the King. His solution to that was, that
    when the King named sixteen, he certainly did not mean to
    include himself; and that the Thistle is twelve without the
    Sovereign. He proposes therefore that, as he has always been one
    of those talked of for it, and _as his friends make it_ a point
    with him to apply, you should make it sixteen without the King,
    by adding his name.

    You will therefore be so good as either to send him from
    yourself, or to commission me to write to him, a formal answer,
    _tel qu'il vous plaira_.

    In general, the list is approved; but they object to the
    insertion of Lord Bechoe's name, and to the omission of Lord

    Fox and his people are very industrious in turning it into
    ridicule, by which I should think they would not increase their
    Irish popularity. And what is ridiculous, is that at the same
    time the Duke of Portland is taking pains to persuade all
    Irishmen that he meant to have done the same if he had staid
    long enough.

    I have seen Edmonson, who has this day given me in a proposal,
    which you will not think much more moderate than you did his
    bill for the escutcheons (which, by the bye, he says you have
    never paid).

    I should think the twenty guineas per Knight for the
    superintendence might very well be reduced to giving him _pro
    tempore_, and for this installation only, one of the heralds'
    places, in lieu of all travelling expenses and allowances. The
    Painters' Bill, as they call it, is fixed for the Bath, and
    might, I should think, reasonably be given to him at the same

    He is making out copies of the drawings; one or two alterations
    he has suggested which strike me. The first is the knots in the
    Collar. If they are gold, and the harp likewise, the whole will
    look, I think, too like a Lord Mayor's gold chain, and will make
    no show; nothing being more dull to the eye than plain gold. He
    wants to have them enamelled, so as to be like the strings and
    tassels of the mantle.

    He will also send a drawing of the Badge, with the wreath of
    trefoil drawn in single leaves, instead of the full wreath,
    which looks, as he says truly, like a civic crown or oak
    garland. But this you will see in the drawing, and which looks

    I wish that there was a statute to fix the plates of the Knights
    to remain in the stall in which they were first installed. In
    the chapel at Windsor they are obliged now to put them up loose,
    in order to their being removed; the consequence is, that they
    are frequently lost. Besides, the plates of the first sixteen
    might then be fixed in the centre of each stall as a mark of
    distinction for the founders.

    In the Garter there are no plates in the Sovereign's stall. I
    should think that the Grand Master at each installation might be
    allowed to put up his, as the banner must of course always be
    the Sovereign's.

    Edmonson proposes that he should have one of each article of the
    Painters' Bill made here, to carry with him as a pattern. If you
    see no objection, he might do Mornington's for this purpose. An
    advantage might be given to Edmonson by authorizing him to
    publish an account of the ceremony, with the arms and pedigrees
    of the Knights, &c., &c., to which they would of course

    Is the jewellery--I mean collars and badges--to be done in
    Ireland? I believe there is no workmanship at all of that sort

    Townshend will, I believe, send the approbation to-night. It has
    waited upon an idea of the Prince of Wales, who gave it out to
    everybody that he had sent in to the King to ask for it.[1] This
    was the day after the King had given his approbation to the
    list, and named Prince Edward. I thought it right to wait a day
    or two, to know if the King would speak to him about it. He
    never has; and Townshend is to mention the Order again to-day,
    and send the approbation to night or to-morrow. Adieu.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

[Footnote 1: The Premier did ask for it, but was refused.]

The "Coalition Administration" was now beginning to "loom" dimly in the
distance. Various changes were whispered, and from day to day new
reports got abroad of negotiations with Lord North's party. The first
step towards the consummation of an alliance may be said to have been
already taken when Townshend, abandoning the traditions of his party,
told Mr. Grenville that he saw no reason for proscribing all Lord
North's people from _office_, although he objected to giving them any
share in the _Government_. The meaning of this ingenious distinction is
clear. The Administration was tottering, and the only chance they saw of
strengthening their position was to buy off the opposition of the
followers of the late Cabinet. To swamp their opponents and at the same
time keep the actual power in their own hands, was a piece of strategy
which might be expected from the general character of Lord Shelburne's
tactics. But it failed, and failed conspicuously. Mr. Grenville
discerned clearly the danger of this clever plan, from which he could
anticipate no other result than that of sapping the foundations of the
existing Government. In the letters that follow we have a close running
commentary on the state of parties, and the rumours that hourly agitated
the public mind during this interval of intestine struggle. Mr.
Grenville considered the circumstances of the Ministry hopeless, as, we
gather from his previous communications, he appears to have done all
throughout. Their conduct upon the Irish Bill, which was still destined
to entail division and uneasiness, revealed to him the fatal want of
unity, earnestness and activity in their councils; and even if they had
had no perils to guard against from without, he saw sources of weakness
enough within the Cabinet itself to destroy all confidence in their
stability. There were only two parties from whose ranks the Ministry
could be recruited, and these two had hitherto acted in public life with
the fiercest animosity towards each other. The attempts that were made
to win over some of Lord North's adherents having failed, the only
alternative left was to apply to Fox. That this application was actually
made, and made in person by Pitt, who, with a thorough knowledge of the
character of Fox, believed that the most direct mode of ascertaining his
sentiments was not only the most honourable to both, but the most likely
to attain its end, either by a candid refusal or immediate acceptance,
is here authoritatively stated by Mr. Grenville. Fox's answer is
conclusive as to the real obstacle which impeded all negotiation. While
Lord Shelburne was in office nothing could be done: no party would
consent to coalesce with him. The humiliating condition to which he had
lowered the Administration, is shown in the straits to which it was now
reduced--seeking support alternately from opposite parties, and finding
its offers rejected in turn by both.


    Pall Mall, Feb. 6th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Townshend's messenger is nowhere, waiting for this letter; and
    as, by a mistake, I was not till now informed of his going
    to-night, I have only time to write a few lines, just to
    acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd instant, and
    to say a very little upon the singular situation of things here.

    To-day, when I delivered your despatches to Townshend, I entered
    into a conversation with him on this subject, saying that you
    trusted to him for information, &c., &c. He perfectly agreed
    with me in thinking that it could not go on without some new
    arrangement of some sort or other. At the same time, he said
    that he knew of no negotiation going on with Lord North. That
    there was no truth in the reports which have circulated so much
    that Jenkinson was to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, Pitt
    Secretary, and himself Paymaster. That he had good reason to
    believe that there had been a negotiation between Lord North and
    Fox, but that it was now off. That, for his own part, he saw no
    reason for proscribing all Lord North's people from _office_,
    but he should not like to see them in _Government_.

    Upon this text it is not very easy to reason. The prevailing
    idea certainly is that Lord Shelburne is making overtures to
    Lord North. Whether those are to go to Cabinet arrangement, or
    only to provision for Lord North's family and offices of
    emolument, &c., for George North, &c., &c., I do not know; if
    the former, it is clear that he keeps it from the knowledge both
    of Townshend and Pitt; the latter, I have very good reason to
    believe, would object to it.

    In the meantime a storm is brewing, and will probably burst when
    the preliminaries come to be considered, unless some event takes
    place before that time. Lord Keppel and the Duke of Richmond
    both assign the badness of the peace for their reason for
    resigning. Lord Carlisle does the same, but I understand his
    great objection goes to the Loyalists, to whom he considered his
    personal honour engaged. The report of the day is, that the Duke
    of Grafton has followed their example. Of this Townshend said
    not one word to me, nor did I hear it till after I had seen him.
    This rather makes me disinclined to believe it, though his Grace
    has certainly had a kind of flirtation with Fox for some days

    Upon the whole, the only thing which I can at all venture to
    pronounce with certainty, is that it cannot do as it is; and
    that if Fox's people continue, as I believe they will, to stand
    aloof, they must either all resign, or fill up the vacancies as
    fast as they occur, day after day, with Lord North's people. _En
    quo discordia cives prodaxit miseros._

    In the case of an immediate resignation, Lord North's people
    will come in by storm (Fox not having the least chance): in that
    of gradual admission, they will sap the Government by degrees.
    In either case, there is too much reason to fear the return of
    the old system of corruption on one side, and faction on the

    With regard to the peace, I own I cannot think it so bad, all
    things considered. If one measures it by an _uti possidetis_, it
    is surely advantageous; and I see no reason for being at all
    confident that another campaign would have put us in a better
    situation to negotiate. In this line, I had intended to have
    stated my ideas on the day of debate in the House of Commons;
    but I am deterred by reading your opinions, and by a fear, I
    believe too well grounded, that you will take an active part the
    other way; and I cannot reconcile myself to the appearance of a
    Scotch family. If it had not been for this, I think it would
    have had a handsome appearance in the hour of their distress,
    and would not have had a bad effect in Ireland; if, indeed, we
    are any longer interested there, which I begin to doubt. Adieu,
    my dearest brother.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, Feb. 8th, 1783, Nine, P.M.

    My dear Brother,

    I wrote to you this morning an account, which you will receive
    at the same time with this letter, of a conversation with Lord
    Bellamont. I little thought, at that time, that I should now
    have one of so different a nature to detail to you, which I had,
    just before dinner, with Percy. He said, that although he might
    be thought officious in coming to speak to me upon a subject,
    upon which it had not been thought proper to make him any
    communication, yet he could not help saying that he thought it
    inconsistent with his duty to you, &c., &c., not to state to me
    that he had last night procured from the House of Commons a copy
    of the Bill proposed; and that he was fully convinced that, so
    far from answering the purpose intended by it, the country would
    be thrown by it into a much greater flame than ever. I asked him
    to state his objections; he said they would be best seen by the
    form which he had drawn up, and would leave with me for my

    I did not detail to him the many objections which occur to me
    upon his Bill, and particularly that most insuperable difficulty
    of its asserting what the right now is, in contradiction to the
    declared opinion of almost every lawyer in this country. But I
    said, in general terms, that the Bill in question had been drawn
    up with great consideration; and that it was a matter of
    infinite delicacy, on account of the great variety of prejudices
    to be encountered on both sides of the water. He asked if this
    was the form which had been sent to you, and if you had
    consulted people there upon it. To this I could not but answer
    that I understood you had, though you do not say a word to me
    upon that subject, and it is a question which will most
    certainly be asked in the House of Commons.

    This unexpected difficulty has made me determine to postpone the
    second reading of the Bill till I have an answer to this letter,
    unless I should in the meantime receive one from you perfectly
    approving, and stating the opinions of people in Ireland as
    agreeing with yours upon it.

    It is certainly to be observed, that the whole of this
    difficulty has arisen from want of communication from Ministry
    to you. Because, if you had known that they were determined to
    admit no recognition of the existing right, it would have been
    well worth considering whether anything short of that would not
    be worse than as it was before. Instead of that, they receive
    your resolutions and your Bill, and then pledge themselves, and
    suffer me to pledge both them and you to _a Bill_; after which,
    they first say that they will allow of nothing which admits the
    _original_ right, and when beat from that ground, that they will
    not have anything asserting the _present_ right. It then only
    remained, as we were pledged to _a Bill_, to consider whether
    this was not the best form of a Bill to be drawn on such

    Whatever your answer has been to Townshend's despatch, I hope at
    least that it has been coolly and temperately expressed, as he
    told me he meant to represent to you that an advantage had been
    taken against you from the warmth of your late despatches.

    Another advantage which will arise from deferring the second
    reading will be, that by that time this strange, unsettled
    situation of things must have taken some form; and I do not
    believe that this form will be such as you will choose to act
    under in Ireland. In that case, it certainly will not be worth
    our while to engage our characters to a measure which the folly
    of your successor may render pernicious; which must at all
    events be precarious; and which England will most certainly
    repent whenever the hour of her insolence shall return. We took
    the business out of the hands of Lord Beauchamp, because it
    ought to be conducted by Government; and that will be the best
    reason for resigning it into other hands whenever we shall cease
    to stand in that character; which _whenever_ must, I think,
    arrive in the course of a very few days.

    Jemmy is to dine at Lord Shelburne's on Monday, when he will
    probably be able to tell you more. I go to Townshend to-morrow,
    and mean to try what I can get from him.

    At least we have the satisfaction to reflect, that if your reign
    has been short, it has not been dishonourable to you; and that
    having taken the Government at a most difficult and inauspicious
    moment, you will quit it with more real and more deserved
    popularity than the Duke of Portland, notwithstanding the
    uncommon advantages which threw themselves in his way.

    Of myself I say nothing, except that wherever and whatever I am,
    I shall always consider myself as deriving honour, consequence
    and happiness from your character and success.

    In these sentiments believe me,
    My dearest brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    I am able to tell you nothing with any certainty as to the state
    of parties; but I think that neither Lord Shelburne nor Fox are
    strong enough to keep the Government without a coalition with
    Lord North's people, and that the latter are too strong to sell
    themselves unless they be admitted to form part of the
    _Government_. Fox's people no longer deny his negotiating with
    Lord North.


    Pall Mall, Feb. 8th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Lord Nugent tells me that when he saw the Primate, he observed
    to him that, by the list of officers of the Order, there was no
    mention made of any prelate, although in other respects the
    Garter was implicitly followed; and he says he thought, by the
    Primate's manner, that he himself wanted to be that prelate; as
    that officer is, you know, superior in rank to the Chancellor of
    the Order.

    If this be the case, I can see no reason why the offer should
    not be made to him, which might still be done by your writing to
    say that that office had been omitted, from the impossibility of
    giving it to any other person but himself, and a doubt how far
    he might like the trouble; but that you had daily expected him
    in Ireland, and meant to ask him the question; but the time now
    drawing near, &c., &c.

    Nothing else has passed on the subject, except a third
    application from Lord Clermont, through General Cuninghame, to
    whom I stated the total impossibility, &c. I expected Lord
    Bellamont to have asked it to-day; but he did not drop a word
    upon the subject.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Feb. 11th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Things are drawing near to their crisis. Lord Shelburne's
    weakness is every day more apparent. Nothing is clearer than
    that he cannot stand a week without some addition. The strongest
    proof of this is what Pitt told me to-day: that it being thought
    necessary to make some attempt at a junction with Fox, he had
    seen him to-day, when he asked one question, viz., whether there
    were any terms on which he would come in. The answer was, None,
    while Lord Shelburne remained; and so it ended.

    Upon this, I think one may observe, that the one must be very
    desperate, the other very confident, before such a question
    could be so put and so answered.

    I told him I was glad the attempt was made, though I was not at
    all surprised at the event. He said that he thought they would
    now be justified in seeking for additional strength elsewhere. I
    said I thought so too, but that I could not help trusting that
    this expression did not go to include the idea of bringing back
    any of the old people _to Cabinet offices_; that I thought the
    line was clear that it was the duty of every man to do his
    utmost to keep the Government in such hands as were fit and able
    to hold it (under which description I could not include any of
    that set); but that when it was so placed, it was idle to say
    that support was not to be looked for where it could be had. He
    said that, without making professions, he could with truth say,
    that this had always been his idea. And so our conversation
    ended--at least, this was the only material part of it.

    There is no doubt but that they have been making proposals to
    Jenkinson, and these must have failed before the other offer
    could be made. On the other hand, I know for certain that
    negotiations, _through more than one channel_, have been
    _entamé_ between Fox and Lord North. This must be _bien en
    train_, if one may judge by what I tell you in this letter.

    In that case, as well as in that which I put to ----, I take it
    for granted that I know your line; and whatever the effect of
    that line must be with respect to my own fortunes, I have
    infinitely too great a concern for your honour and my own, not
    to desire and wish it most eagerly. The only thing which pains
    me is the consideration of Bernard. If the interval should
    afford you an opportunity for that, I should depart in peace.

    Believe me,
    Most sincerely and affectionately yours,


    Pall Mall, Feb. 15th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I have this day received your letter of the 9th, and have the
    greatest satisfaction at that which you express respecting this
    long-agitated Bill. Since you wrote that, but before this time,
    you will have received a letter from me, enclosing a Bill
    proposed by Percy. I confess his dissent alarmed me a good deal
    at the time, ignorant as I was whether you might not see it in
    the same light. I am convinced now that it proceeds only from
    his resentment at not being consulted previous to its being
    fixed upon. The second reading stands now for Wednesday; but I
    doubt whether it can come on, as I understand the call
    previously fixed for that day is to be insisted upon. Before
    that time, I shall probably have received your letter, informing
    me whom you have consulted, as that is very material,
    particularly with regard to my being able to urge Grattan and
    Yelverton's authority against Fox and Fitzpatrick. At all
    events, however, I mean now to proceed in it on that day if I
    can, if not as early as possible, and to _bring_ you the account
    of the third reading in the House of Commons.

    All this proceeds upon the idea that nothing of a different
    nature happens before; which I still think there is every reason
    to imagine. I cannot learn whether Fox and Lord North have
    settled their coalition so as to act together on Monday.
    Jenkinson is, I believe, secured to us; but at what price, and
    with what following, I am utterly ignorant; and on that the
    whole undoubtedly depends. As soon as I know anything, you shall
    hear it in the most expeditious manner; but I do not give you my
    conjectures when they are merely such, because I know people at
    a distance are apt to give them more weight than they deserve,
    and I should be sorry to mislead you.

    The Duke of Rutland is Lord Steward, and it is said he is called
    to the Cabinet. This, to my mind, argues great weakness indeed.
    In the House of Lords, Lord Pembroke moves the Address; in the
    House of Commons, T. Pitt. This, I think, does not show very
    great strength. The seconders I know not.

    You have several times mentioned the Pension List; and I have as
    often forgot to tell you, that I inquired in the first instance
    without speaking to Pitt, and found that, whatever reform is to
    be made, rests wholly with Lord Shelburne, who appears to act in
    it on no system, but to add or to take away at his pleasure.
    Jackson and Jemmy Grenville remonstrated some days ago at the
    Treasury against signing any more till they saw that the act was
    to be complied with.

    Upon the subject of the Fisheries, I have had a conversation
    with Hunter Blair, the member for Edinburgh. There has been a
    meeting of the Scotch members to support a Bill in Parliament to
    extend the bounty now given in England for the Scotch coast, to
    fish caught on the Irish coast, and to give the fishermen a
    power of landing and drying on the Irish, as on the Scotch
    coast. They went to Lord Shelburne, who referred them to me. I
    desired Blair to send me a copy of the memorial, and an abstract
    of the several British and Irish Acts on the subject.

    The Irish are very ill done, as the two most material, in 1764
    and 1776, are omitted. I do not find by any Irish Act whether
    the Irish fishermen have the power of landing and drying; if
    they have, I should think it _does_ extend to all the King's
    subjects; as the Act of 1782, restraining the _bounty_ to Irish
    ships, does not touch the power of fishing. If they have it not,
    no English Act now to be made can give it them; but if they have
    it, we may extend the bounty as we please.

    The reason they assign for wishing it is, that the herrings
    shift yearly from one part to another of the narrow seas, and
    that as the Irish have, by an English Act, the privilege of
    fishing on the Scotch coast, it is but just that the English and
    Scotch should fish on the Irish when the fish are there, as has
    been the case these two last years. The consideration presses,
    as the seamen now to be discharged will, of course, many of them
    return to Scotland to find employment, and the fishing cannot,
    as they state, be carried on at all, but by such indulgence as
    they apply for.

    Lord Glandon was with me to-day, to ask whether Coppinger is one
    of the new Judges, and, in that case, who he should bring in for
    his borough. He told me that he had sold the other seat to Sir
    W. Gleadowe. I did not dare ask whether he was engaged for the
    next Parliament, because it would have given too much of a hint
    of the dissolution. I therefore only said, that I did not
    believe the names were fixed for the three Judges.

    Lord Bellamont is outrageous about the Order, and has been _with
    Townshend_ about it; but not with me. I have sent your paper
    about Irvine to Lord Shelburne, but have had no answer. I
    enclose you a letter from Lord Clanricarde, with my answer. Lord
    Nugent has seen him, and says he is beyond measure flattered,
    and well-disposed towards you.

    I shall go to Lord Shelburne on Tuesday or Wednesday, and press
    him about the peerages, &c., &c. As to applying to Townshend, it
    is useless; for he has all the disposition in the world, but not
    a jot more.

    I own I think the 18th of March will be rather too soon after
    the installation, and will look too like a trick, and too much
    in the style of the St. Bartholemi: and yet, if you wait much
    longer, you will fall among their cursed assizes; besides which,
    new grounds for tests will spring up, whereas there are now
    none, absolutely none.

    Adieu, my dear brother,
    Believe me, ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    I think our distant projects for the Government of Ireland, are
    something like Horace Walpole's "Butterfly and Rose."

    Hester is as well as possible.

    Pray be on your guard, as I have great reason to believe that
    your conduct is watched, and your language and conversation
    reported to Fox, by a man about the Castle, who keeps up a
    constant correspondence in that quarter. I need not name him to

On the 17th of February, the terms of the peace were brought under the
consideration of both Houses of Parliament. To do Lord Shelburne
justice, he defended them with considerable ability, as being the best
the country had a right to expect, or, probably, could obtain. In the
Lords, the Address was carried by an insignificant majority: in the
Commons, Ministers were defeated. As it was upon the negotiation and
settlement of the peace that Lord Shelburne had solely relied all along
for the preservation of his Government, the effect of this defeat was
decisive. It was the doom of the Ministry; and the bolt was launched by
that strange combination which had been growing up in secret for several
weeks, which was now openly avowed for the first time, and which was too
powerful to be resisted. The coalition had, in fact, already been
determined upon. Fox frankly stated it, and supported the Amendment,
conjointly with Lord North, in a speech of considerable force and
vehemence. However the House might have been prepared by the rumours of
the day for this result, it excited universal surprise, and not a little
virtuous indignation. Mr. Powis observed that, it was "an age of strange
confederations; a _monstrous coalition_ had taken place between a noble
Lord and an illustrious commoner--the lofty asserter of the prerogative
had joined in an alliance with the worshippers of the majesty of the
people." Such words had more purpose and meaning in those days than they
would have in our own, and the startling antithesis rang through a
debate as remarkable for invective on the one side, as for the
confession of weakness on the other. Mr. Grenville and Lord Bulkeley
communicated the issue to Lord Temple, in the following hasty notes.


    Feb. 18th, 1783, Ten, A.M.

    My dear Brother,

    I write these few lines by a messenger, to let you know that
    this morning, at seven o'clock, after a debate of fifteen hours,
    the House of Commons divided: 209 for the original Address upon
    the peace, and 224 for the Amendment.

    The Address was very cautiously worded, and by no means conveyed
    any strong approbation. The Amendment was merely to assure His
    Majesty that we _will_ consider the preliminaries, and in the
    meantime we consider ourselves bound strictly to adhere to the
    articles to which, by the ratification, the national faith is
    pledged; with something about the loyalists.

    The Address was moved and seconded by T. Pitt and Wilberforce;
    the Amendment, by Lord John Cavendish and St. Andrew St. John.
    Lord North spoke next to them, in approbation of it. Fox avowed
    the coalition with Lord North, and was a good deal attacked upon
    it, particularly by Powis. Tom, to my infinite joy, did not
    speak. Jemmy spoke. Rigby spoke and voted with us.

    In the House of Lords, the Amendment was a strong censure: this
    was rejected, 69 to 55.

    Where this is to end, God knows! _Je n'en scai rien._ I am too
    much fatigued to be able to give you any particulars of the
    debate. Adieu.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Berkeley Square,

    Tuesday Night, Feb. 18th, 1783.

    My dear Lord Temple,

    I conclude your brother William, and Jemmy Grenville, have given
    you exact accounts of the strange politics of the present
    moment. By a junction formed between Lord North and Fox, on
    Sunday evening last, the Address in our House was not carried;
    but the Amendment was, 224 to 208. The landed property was
    mostly with Government, and for the Address. There were,
    however, many country gentlemen for the Amendment; and among the
    rest, Sir William Williams. My good father-in-law voted in the
    majority, as a small return for my bringing him into Parliament,
    and he is patted on the back by George Byng, Plummer, &c., for
    the _noble, disinterested part_ he takes, while I am looked upon
    as a black sheep; of which I console myself, and have reason to
    console myself, when I see the views and motives of some great
    political characters to be so profligate and abandoned. Lord
    North and Charles Fox acting together in public life, is a new
    and extraordinary scene! Many people say it was only for last
    night; but I believe the arrangement has completely taken place,
    and the overthrow of the present Ministry is consequently
    certain. The Amendment in the Lords was very strong, and full of
    censure, and was negatived only by 14; the numbers being, 69 to

    I cannot conceive it possible the Ministry can stand three days
    longer; I must therefore hope, whatever line you adopt, it may
    be upon the maturest reflection and deliberation, and not in a
    hurry. The new Ministry, if they can agree, will be very
    powerful in Parliament. At the same time, there are great
    numbers of members who are outrageous at the junction of Fox
    with Lord North, who, it is said, is to have all his friends
    provided for, to advance to the House of Peers, and to leave the
    Government to Charles Fox, Duke of Portland, &c.

    Sincerely yours,

    The Primate proposed the prelateship to me. I will therefore
    call there to offer it in your name.

The next letter, written on the 19th, is very important. Mr. Grenville
here collects the actual circumstances affecting the state of parties
from the most authentic sources, and places them before Lord Temple for
his consideration, in reference to the course he might deem it due to
his own honour to take. We learn, from this statement, that the
coalition was not yet finally arranged, although it had been carried
into effective execution, as against the Ministry. It had been
sufficiently cemented for the purpose of overthrowing one Government,
but was not yet sufficiently consolidated for the establishment of
another. It was one thing for Lord North and Fox to agree in their
opposition to Lord Shelburne, and another to unite upon the distribution
of offices and a distinct line of policy. There were yet many old wounds
to be healed, many differences of opinion to be reconciled, and much
personal asperity to be soothed, before Fox and Lord North could satisfy
the claims and resentments of their adherents, and combine in the
formation of a Government. We learn also from this letter, that the King
was strenuous in his support of Lord Shelburne (which had been obvious
enough all throughout), and that he had now prevailed upon him, as he
had before done with Lord North, to persevere in the face of the
desperate phalanx that was arrayed against him. Government trusted to
the divisions which were understood to be agitating the new Opposition,
and which it was hoped would ultimately lead to its dissolution.


    Pall Mall, Feb. 19th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I wrote to you yesterday morning by a messenger, in order that
    you might receive the earliest information of the event of our
    decision. I was then infinitely too much harassed by the fatigue
    and want of sleep to attempt entering into the detail of the
    debate, being indeed scarcely able to hold my pen at all. You
    will since have seen it at length in the papers. I therefore say
    nothing upon that subject.

    I have since at several different times sat down to write to you
    fully upon the situation of things here, and upon your letter of
    the 11th, which I received last night. But I find it so
    difficult to offer any reasonable conjecture upon the probable
    event, and things have taken so different a turn from that which
    you supposed, and on which you argue, that I have thought it
    better to confine myself to the following facts (being all I
    know) on the authenticity of which you may depend. From them you
    will yourself collect the different circumstances which may
    occur, upon which you will be [enabled] to form a decision very
    material to your future character, honour, and happiness. If any
    of these should take place before I hear from you again, you may
    depend on the earliest notice which I can give you.

    In the first place, Lord Shelburne never has made any offer
    whatever to Lord North.

    Secondly, the coalition between Lord North and Fox is very far
    from being formed; so far indeed, that _I know_ they have
    differed, not only on loaves and fishes, but on the subject of
    high and responsible office, and particularly about the Treasury
    itself, which was not settled this morning.

    Thirdly, the King is decidedly with Lord Shelburne. His opinion
    of Fox I apprehend not to be altered, nor his former resentment
    against Lord North much softened by their present conduct. Rigby
    and Jenkinson both voted with us: the latter avowedly excluded
    from the proposed arrangement.

    Fourthly, it is the intention of Ministry to wait the event of
    another question in the House of Commons. The subject is to be
    resumed on Friday, when this question will probably occur. And
    this they do in compliance with the ----'s wishes. The Duke of
    Grafton totters, but has not actually resigned.

    The division was very respectable on our side. Almost all the
    country gentlemen voted with us. Many of them are outrageous
    with Fox upon the idea of his coalition. Lord North's share of
    the 224 is computed from 160 to 170.

    Our Bill was read a second time to-day, but so early, that I was
    not down. Percival asked some question about his idea; you have
    never said anything to me upon it. It is committed for this day
    sev'nnight; before that time, chaos will probably have taken
    some form; in the meantime I cannot but fear the most serious
    and alarming consequences from the impression which this
    division must make in France, Spain, and above all, in Holland.

    Pray write as soon as you can, and believe me
    Most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    P.S. I shall see the Speaker to-morrow.

    I have delayed writing this so long, that I find it is too late
    to send it by the post, and it is not I think worth an express.
    I will therefore keep it for your tailor, who goes to-morrow,
    and tells me he rides post. If so, you will get it sooner; and
    if anything should occur before to-morrow evening, I shall be
    able to state it.


    I hear nothing new to-day. Lord J. Cavendish moves tomorrow, and
    is supposed to intend censure. If so, we shall very probably see
    the new alliance divided, especially if their differences
    continue, which I know not. I have not seen Percy, but shall
    to-morrow; I called to-day, but he was out.

    Lord Beauchamp says he will not oppose our Bill; nor, I imagine,
    in this state of things, will Fox. I need not say that at this
    moment no business goes on, and consequently it is in vain to
    talk to them about the different points in your despatches.

      "Non ipsa si velit Salus
      Servare prorsus hanc potest Rempublicam!"

    Adieu, my dear brother, you shall hear from me again on Saturday
    morning; but in the meantime pray let me hear from you as soon
    as you can.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    I just hear that the Duke of Grafton has resigned.

The King, who was not expected in town till the 19th, came up suddenly
on the 18th, immediately on the receipt of the intelligence of the
Ministerial defeat. On the 20th, General Cuninghame, writing to Lord
Temple, informs him that the Duke of Grafton had resigned the day
before, having intimated his intention to do so on the preceding Monday;
that he had just learned that Mr. Fox and Lord North had adjusted their
differences; and that the outline of an Administration had been actually
agreed upon--the Devonshires to have the Treasury, probably in the
person of the Duke of Portland, and Fox, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
"The political world," adds General Cuninghame, "is in a ferment, and a
few days must decide the complexion of a new Administration. Every one
hopes and believes it will be on a broad bottom; and your Excellency
will probably be at liberty to choose your situation." On the next day,
the same correspondent announces that Lord Shelburne "is determined to
stand the thunder of the House of Commons," on a resolution which was to
be brought forward that night, to show that the peace was inadequate. He
goes on to state that the issue of the debate was doubtful, and that
Lord Shelburne was by no means disposed to give up without a struggle.
"If the Opposition should be beat from there not being sufficient
evidence before them, an inquiry will be instituted. No man at this hour
pretends to say how the question will be decided. One may get a beat
[bet?] of hundreds at either side. So many difficulties arise in
arranging a new Administration, that I now understand Lord Shelburne
will not easily yield his pretensions." In the few hours that elapsed
since he had written the former letter, General Cuninghame had reason to
doubt the correctness of his information respecting the validity of the
agreement amongst the opponents of Government. "I now doubt," he
observes, "very much of the possibility of arranging Mr. Fox's and Lord
North's friends in such a manner as to make their system carry the
appearance of permanency." The inconstancy of the reports in circulation
reflected faithfully the uncertainty that hung over the action of all
parties; and in that uncertainty lay the principal, perhaps the only,
ground of hope that was left to Lord Shelburne.

That the negotiations in the meanwhile for a coalition had advanced to
something like an intelligible point, and that the Duke of Portland
looked with some confidence to the Treasury, is placed beyond all doubt
by the following confidential communication, in which His Grace, in
anticipation of the establishment of the new Ministry, proposes to Lord
Temple his continuance in office as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. It would
have been so utterly inconsistent with the high character of Lord Temple
to have accepted this office under circumstances which he held to be
injurious to the moral influence of the party leaders, and out of which
no solid or durable system of administration could be rationally
expected, that it will not excite much surprise to find his Lordship
declining the flattering offer of the Duke of Portland.

It should be remembered, in reference to Lord Temple's reply to His
Grace's "secret and confidential" communication, that the Duke of
Portland had held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland under the
second Rockingham Administration, and was, therefore, qualified to
appreciate the inconveniences arising from frequent changes in the
Government. It is to that circumstance Lord Temple alludes, when he
recalls to his Grace's recollection the "jealousy which had been felt in
so many parts of Ireland at his resignation."


    (Most Secret and Confidential.)

    London, Saturday Evening,

    Feb. 22nd, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    The events of Monday and last night must have been communicated
    to you, and their consequences must be too obvious to render it
    necessary for me to point them out. What effect they may have
    upon my situation and that of my friends, it is impossible to
    say; but the supposition of a probability that they may tend to
    our being intrusted with the Administration will not suffer me
    to conceal the wish I should in that case most anxiously
    entertain for your Excellency's continuance in the Government of
    Ireland. As Mr. Townshend's friendship induced him to
    communicate to you my sentiments upon your appointment, you
    cannot be surprised at my presumption in the hope I now take the
    liberty of expressing to you; nor will it, I trust, be thought
    unjustifiable or unreasonable, notwithstanding the endeavours
    which it appeared to be my duty to exert for the removal of Lord
    Shelburne from any confidential employment in the King's
    service. I shall not trouble your Excellency with the reasons
    for my conduct, as a reference to the mode of Lord Shelburne's
    appointment is sufficient to explain them, even without the
    comment which his conduct affords; but as it is not unlikely
    that the means which have been represented to you to have been
    taken in the course of this short but successful attempt may in
    some degree prejudice us in your opinion, I am desirous of
    trespassing upon your patience for a few moments to assure you
    that no deviation from the principles upon which I have acted
    throughout my whole political life has been or is to be the
    price of the assistance we have had in attaining that object.
    If, therefore, it should be the King's pleasure to place the
    Government in our hands, the powers of carrying it on must be
    given to those who are looked upon to be Whigs, and were
    considered to be such by our late most excellent friend, Lord
    Rockingham. _All_ the responsible efficient offices will be
    required and insisted upon to be given to persons of that
    description; and though Lord North or others of the old
    Administration may make a part of such a new arrangement, it
    will be made a _sine quâ non_ condition that the powers of
    Government shall be solely vested in those who have the
    advantage of being denominated the friends of the late Lord
    Rockingham. I have thought it necessary to state this outline of
    our _determinations_ to your Excellency, to counteract any
    misrepresentation that may be made of the basis or purport of
    our junction with Lord North (to which _I_ conceive it may be
    liable, from the very false and groundless accounts which are
    reported to have been transmitted to Ireland of Mr. Fox's speech
    on Mr. Townshend's motion for the Bill respecting the Irish
    Judicature, which I myself heard, and with which I was so
    satisfied, upon account of those whom it was intended to
    support, of him whom it was intended to reprobate, and whom I
    consider as the arch-enemy of Ireland--I mean Mr. H. Flood--that
    I should have been happy to have spoken it _verbatim et
    literatim_), and to inform you of the terms upon which I aspire
    to so much of your confidence as to flatter myself that you will
    be kind enough to give me the most convincing proof of it that a
    public station is capable of affording, which is that of
    remaining in the Lieutenancy of Ireland. This request is
    certainly premature, and very possibly may be useless, as I may
    never be authorized to make it; but as it is not less a
    testimony of my regard for the public than of my esteem and
    respect for your Excellency, I do not hesitate at depositing it
    in your custody, and have great satisfaction in the idea of
    leaving with you such a pledge of my zeal for the welfare of
    both kingdoms.

    I am,
    Most sincerely,
    Your Excellency's most faithful and obedient servant,
    His Excellency the Lord-Lieutenant, &c., &c., &c.



    Dublin Castle, March 2nd, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    A course of westerly winds having for the last anxious week cut
    off our communication with England, six mails crowded upon me
    yesterday such a load of public business, that I was forced to
    delay till this morning the acknowledgments which are so much
    due for your Grace's secret and confidential letter. I need not
    say how truly I feel the extent of the partiality which I have
    so often experienced, and which has certainly influenced you
    against your better judgment in the offer which you are so good
    as to make to me. Removed as I am from the immediate scene of
    English politics, I am but little able to decide upon those
    minutiæ, which are often the principal springs which move the
    machine; and under this want of information, I must confess
    myself much distressed by the means employed to obtain an
    object, in which, for obvious reasons, I should probably not
    have engaged, but which in all contingencies I should hardly
    have ventured to pursue in the mode which has succeeded. Both
    kingdoms stand in need of a solid and substantial Government;
    and in that spirit of candour which I am sure will entitle me to
    your Grace's good-will, I must acknowledge that such an
    arrangement as is proposed does not hold out to me any
    reasonable expectation of a duration, even as long as that of
    the Ministry which it supersedes; and consequently, that the
    removal of Lord Shelburne (even if that could be an object with
    me) would not compensate in my mind for the real and solid
    mischief which these frequent and rapid changes, which have
    already taken place, and which in a few months will again
    happen, must always bring upon the Government of both kingdoms;
    and I need not give your Grace a more convincing argument than
    by recalling to your mind the jealousy which was felt in so many
    parts of Ireland at your resignation, and the ferment which the
    unsettled form of Government brought forward.

    I have stated these few observations from an impulse which I
    cannot suppress. If I really was vain enough to think my
    continuance in this or any official situation was important to
    the public, I would sacrifice much to endeavour to reconcile my
    feelings to it; but as I am certain that your Grace's friendship
    alone could have suggested to you the option which you have
    given to me, I shall truly consult that, in which I shall always
    take the strongest interest, your Grace's advantage, honour and
    reputation, by enabling you to send to this very difficult
    situation some other person, who may have equal advantages with
    myself in possessing your good-will, and whose abilities might
    enable him to return that debt, by giving solid and material
    strength to your Administration. But be assured, my dear Lord,
    that I am truly sensible of the value of the offer, and that
    this is a real gratification to me. And with these sentiments,

    I am, my dear Lord,
    Your very obliged and obedient servant,
    Nugent Temple.

    His Grace the Duke of Portland.

Lord Shelburne tendered his resignation on the 24th. "Whether," says Mr.
Grenville, "that resignation was to be accepted immediately, and was or
was not to be followed by the others, I do not know." It appears,
however, from a letter of General Cuninghame's, that the colleagues of
the Ministers were waiting in the ante-chamber, prepared to follow him
into retirement.


    Pall Mall, Feb. 24th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I don't write to you by a messenger, because I have nothing
    decisive to tell you. Lord Shelburne went in to-day to resign.
    Whether that resignation was to be accepted immediately, and was
    or was not to be followed by the others, I do not yet know.
    Nobody has yet been sent to. The report of Lord Gower, or some
    other substitution, is very prevalent.

    Before you receive this, you will probably have heard from me by
    the messenger; if not, you may depend on it that nothing is
    settled. Adieu.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    London, Feb. 24th, 1783, Two o'clock, P.M.

    My Lord,

    Lord Shelburne is now in the closet, _resigning_, and most of
    his colleagues in the outward room, to follow his example. The
    Chancellor's resignation is doubtful. General Conway has been
    ill since Friday; this morning St. Anthony's fire broke out in
    his legs. Mr. Townshend will move the Commons to adjourn. The
    whole political system is now in such confusion, that
    speculation would only tend to mislead.

    I heartily wish your Excellency whatever you wish yourself, and
    am, with the most perfect respect and attachment,

    My Lord,
    Your Excellency's most faithful and obedient humble servant,
    Robert Cuninghame.

    His Grace the Lord Temple, &c., &c.


    Tuesday Night, Feb. 24th, 1783.

    I expected before this to have dispatched you a messenger, with
    an account of the new arrangement; but I write by the post, as I
    can only tell you, that neither the Duke of Portland nor Lord
    North have yet been sent for, and that the prevailing report in
    the House of Commons to-day was Lord Shelburne's resignation,
    and a system, to be composed of the remains of his
    Administration, joined with Lord Gower.

    The House has adjourned till Friday. Before that, I shall
    probably be able to write to you more at length. Nothing can be
    a stronger confirmation than this, of the truth of your idea of
    reluctance and disinclination, &c., &c.

    There is no other news here, nothing else having been talked of
    for the last week but arrangements. The hungry mouths are gaping
    very wide, and have fixed their eyes on morsels which may
    possibly never drop into them. Adieu.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, Feb. 26th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I do not yet write to you by the messenger, as I cannot tell you
    what _is_ (nothing being yet settled), but only what _is not_.
    The offer has been made to Pitt of the Treasury, with _carte
    blanche_; which, after two days' deliberation, he has this day
    refused. No other person has yet been sent for. Lord Gower was
    with the King on Monday, but I believe no offer made to him.

    Whether the King has any resource left, or whether he will (as I
    rather think) acquiesce, God knows. _Voilà tout que je sais_;
    and so, good night.


    London, Wednesday Night,

    Feb. 25th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    I have this instant heard Lord North say, he believed that Mr.
    Pitt was First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the
    Exchequer; and I know a variety of circumstances to confirm it.
    The same army will be fought under another general, in the
    expectation of its being strengthened by deserters before the
    next action.

    I have the honour to be, with great respect,

    My Lord,
    Your most faithful and obedient humble servant,
    Robert Cuninghame.


    London, Thursday Night,

    Feb. 26th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    There seems now no doubt of Mr. Pitt's having been offered, and
    having refused, being First Lord of the Treasury. What may or
    may not happen to-morrow, nobody can conjecture, The House of
    Commons will probably adjourn till Monday.

    I have the honour to be, with true respect,

    My Lord,
    Your most faithful and obedient humble servant,
    Robert Cuninghame.

The refusal of Pitt, who was sagaciously waiting his
opportunity--foreseeing what would come of these desperate efforts to
patch up an Administration--and the King's personal aversion to Fox, and
dissatisfaction with Lord North for his union with him, rendered it
necessary to look for help elsewhere. In this extremity Lord Temple was
thought of, as one of the few men whose courage and integrity might be
confidently relied upon.


    Pall Mall, Feb. 28th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I have been, for these last five days, in the most anxious
    expectation of being able to write to you something certain
    about the situation of things here. Still, however, they remain
    in the same unsettled state. The invincible repugnance continues
    to operate in the strongest manner; it is avowed, and was
    certainly the cause of the late offer, which has been declined;
    notwithstanding the promises of support from many of those who
    have voted with Lord North till now, and who are disgusted
    either at his union with Fox, or his conduct to the King.

    To-day, the prevalent report was that you had been sent for.
    This I know to be otherwise, in present, though I think it not
    unlikely to happen; as I know the King's wish--at all events to
    exclude Fox and North, and particularly the first. If it should
    be so, lights will undoubtedly be given you which I cannot
    furnish, to which will of course be added every light which it
    is in my power to procure. At present I rather believe, and from
    no bad authority, that the idea is, Lord Gower at the Treasury,
    Jenkinson, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Townshend to manage
    the House of Commons, Pitt resigning. But the whole, even from
    the best information, is but a scene of conjecture. In the
    meantime, the situation of the country cannot be described. The
    Government is broke up just at the moment when a Government was
    most wanted. Our internal regulations, our loan, our commerce,
    our army, everything is at a stand, while the candidates for
    office are arranging their pretensions: in the meantime, we have
    no money, and our troops and seamen are in mutiny.

    One thing, however, is worth your attention: a Bill is to be
    brought in on Monday to open our ports to American ships,
    putting them, in all respects, on the footing of natural-born
    subjects; which regulation is to continue, till it is known that
    they refuse to do the like by us. How can this be done in
    Ireland without a Parliament?

    I cannot apply, for I have nobody to apply to, about your
    Peerages. Adieu, my dear brother. One thing is worse than bad
    Government, viz.: the having no Government at all.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    I still retain my wish of _bringing_ over the third reading, as
    I can be of no use in the House of Lords; although I believe
    with you, that the disposition to oppose does exist.

All parties were desirous of strengthening themselves by an alliance
with Lord Temple. The coalition sought to engage him even before they
were themselves in a position to treat; and there seems to be no doubt
that, at this juncture, when every succeeding hour brought new incidents
and unforeseen difficulties, a movement was going on for placing him at
the head of the Government. Mr. Astle, writing to his Lordship on the
1st of March, says: "It is the opinion of men of different parties that
a majority in Parliament would act with your Lordship if you was at the
head of the Treasury. From what I have collected in the course of this
day, I agree entirely in this opinion. Some who have voted with Lord
North would draw with you." How far this contemplated escape from the
embarrassments that impeded the coalition might have been matured into a
practical shape had Lord Temple been in London, we can only infer from
the general confidence which was reposed in his ability, high character
and personal weight; but his distance from the scene of action precluded
the possibility of carrying the project into effect, even had he been
disposed to accept the position, which may be reasonably doubted. Events
pressed impatiently for a solution, and the activity of the hybrid
Opposition admitted of no delay. At the very moment when Mr. Astle was
hastily writing off to Lord Temple to apprize him that there existed
this desire to invite him to undertake the construction of a Cabinet,
General Cuninghame was dispatching another letter, to inform him that a
new Administration was actually in course of formation, of which he
could then give him no further particulars, than that Lord Rawdon was to
be called to the Upper House, and Townshend to be created a peer. In the
evening of the same day this piece of intelligence takes a more definite
and authentic form.


    London, March 1st, Eight o'clock, P.M.

    My Lord,

    Lord North is now with the King. The Duke of Portland, or Mr.
    Fox, will be sent for to-morrow.

    I have the honour to be, my Lord,
    Your most obedient humble servant,
    Robert Cuninghame.

Mr. Fox, however, was not sent for. The King's reluctance to negotiate
with him could not be overcome: upon that point His Majesty was
inflexible; and interview after interview followed, ending in the same
unsatisfactory way, the country continuing to be kept in a state of
uncertainty and alarm, and, as Mr. Grenville describes it, "wholly
without any Government whatsoever."


    London, March 4th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    In these uncertain times, it is difficult to relate events with
    precision; but I believe there is no doubt of Lord North's
    having been near three hours last night with the King, and that
    they parted without agreeing to any Administration. It is said,
    His Majesty offered to consent to any arrangement that excluded
    Mr. Fox and his associates, and that Lord North thought it was
    impossible to make up any Administration, to have the appearance
    of permanency, without them. What is to happen next, God alone
    knows! All is confusion; and the gentlemen of landed property
    are seriously alarmed. I have the honour to be, with the most
    perfect respect,

    My Lord,
    Your Excellency's most faithful and obedient humble servant,
    Robert Cuninghame.

    His Excellency the Earl Temple, &c., &c., &c.


    London, March 5th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    I continue to write in these curious times, though I am
    confident you must have better intelligence from a variety of
    other authorities. Lord North's interview, last night, with the
    King did not last above ten minutes. His Majesty again asked him
    if _they_ (meaning Mr. Fox and his associates) would be
    satisfied with a neutral person being at the head of the
    Treasury: his Lordship replied, they would only be satisfied
    with the Duke of Portland. His Majesty then asked Lord North if
    he would accept of the Treasury, which he declined; and so they
    parted. This, the Duke of Portland told me himself, last night,
    at Brookes's. Mr. Fox said something to the same effect; but it
    was too late before Lord North left the King, to write by last
    night's post. His Majesty looked very firm; but what course he
    is to steer is not yet known.

    I am happy to find, from all sorts of people who may be supposed
    to know something of ideal arrangements, that there is no
    intention anywhere of your Excellency not having the option of
    remaining in Ireland; and that it is the universal wish you may
    continue there, for the sake of this as well as of that country.
    If you happened to be here now, you would have the Treasury laid
    at your feet.

    I have the honour to be, with perfect respect,

    My Lord,
    Your Excellency's most faithful, obedient, humble servant,
    Robert Cuninghame.

    His Excellency the Earl Temple, &c., &c., &c.


    Pall Mall, Thursday, March 6th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    You will very naturally have expected, long before this, to have
    heard of the establishment of some new system of Government,
    upon the ruins of that which is now avowedly broke up in every
    part of it. Still, however, the country remains, at this urgent
    and critical moment, wholly without any Government whatsoever.

    When all hopes were over of forming an Administration from the
    remains of Lord Shelburne's, acting under some other head, the
    King sent, as I imagined he would, for Lord North; having
    previously had some communication with him through Lord
    Guilford, whom he saw on Sunday. Lord North has been twice with
    the King, and has both times been pressed to form some system to
    the exclusion of the Duke of Portland and Fox, which he has
    peremptorily refused; alleging the necessity of strength, and
    the impossibility of supporting Government in Parliament, except
    on the basis of their coalition. The last time, the conference
    is said to have ended with his being told, that if _he_ was
    determined, he would find that the person who talked to him
    could be so likewise. In the meantime, Parliament is kept
    sitting, and must be so; because Fox declares his resolution not
    to suffer the Mutiny Bill to pass till a Government is formed.

    In this state of things, it is difficult to do any business
    whatever; because those who hold their situations only for the
    moment, are of course disinclined to take any step beyond the
    mere routine of office. I have, however, prevailed upon
    Townshend to speak to the King about the Peers to be created
    previous to the ----. I enclose my note to him upon the subject,
    and his answer.

    The Irish Bill stood for yesterday, and as it had been so often
    put off, I thought it better not to delay it any longer.
    Accordingly, I moved to go into the Committee. (Neville in the
    Chair, Lord Nugent peremptorily refusing, and Jemmy not being

    Before we went into the Committee, Percival desired to say, that
    as he understood his idea had not been approved of by the House
    in general, and that every one seemed to wish that this Bill
    might pass without any division or difference of opinion, he
    should not now insist upon it, though he was not convinced that
    the motion was improper.

    Mr. Eden said, that the principle of the Bill met his hearty
    concurrence; though he wished to observe that the clause about
    the judicature seemed to him so worded, as to declare that
    England never had the right of appellant judicature, which was
    not the case.

    Lord Newhaven said, he saw no reason for not inserting the
    clause, and he should, therefore, move an instruction to the
    Committee, to receive a clause to prevent any treason, or
    mis-prision of treason, committed in Ireland, from being
    inquired of or tried in Great Britain.

    Lord Lucan seconded him.

    Lord Nugent objected to this. He said that, originally, when
    attempts had been made in the House of Commons in favour of
    Ireland, no man had been a more eager or strenuous supporter of
    them than himself. But now, ever since he had seen the
    disposition of this country favourable to Ireland, and that it
    was the sincere wish of all Englishmen to adopt the most liberal
    principles on that subject, he had thought that it became more
    proper for persons connected with Ireland to remain silent, and
    to leave the measures in favour of that country to be carried
    through by Englishmen. In the present instance, he wished that
    the clause in question had not been proposed, because it was
    attended with more difficulty than the noble Lord seemed to be
    aware of. The Act of Henry VIII., which had been referred to,
    had been adopted and confirmed as an Irish Act by the Parliament
    of that country. This being the case, the repeal of the English
    Act could have no effect whatever, because the Irish statute
    would still remain un-repealed, and could only be removed by the
    Parliament of Ireland; whilst, on the other hand, we should be
    to take away a law which had been so much approved by Ireland as
    to be by them adopted.

    Mr. Herbert read the Irish statute alluded to, and said that the
    disposition towards Ireland which appeared in every part of the
    House, could not but inspire that country with every sentiment
    of affection to Great Britain.

    I then said, that if the motion made by the noble Lord was
    persisted in, I should most undoubtedly not oppose it, because
    it was impossible for me to give opposition to any measure which
    had even the appearance of adding strength to the exclusive
    rights of Ireland; that I was of opinion myself that the
    jurisdiction in question was not, by any means whatever,
    conveyed by the Act referred to; that the statute of Henry VIII.
    was not intended to affect any part of the King's dominions was
    clear to a demonstration, from the subsequent statute of the
    same King in explanation of it--the preamble of which, referring
    to the former Act, does expressly speak of treasons committed
    out of this realm, _and other the King's dominions_; and that
    the circumstance of the adoption of the former Act by the Irish
    Parliament was a clear proof that it was not considered as an
    Act which could bind Ireland; and I could not help wishing that
    the noble Lord would withdraw his motion, for the reason stated
    by the noble Lord (Lord Nugent), that we could not repeal an
    Irish Act; and that without so doing, the repeal of the English
    statute (even if it did give any jurisdiction) would be
    nugatory. Besides this, there was another reason. The framers of
    this Bill had certainly never supposed that it could go to
    remove at once every difficulty which might arise, and to settle
    at once every point which might require to be settled when, as
    in the present case, a great stream was turned into a new
    channel. Our idea went to the unequivocal and permanent
    establishment of those points which were in the contemplation of
    Government last year, to those things to which Parliament then
    intended to pledge, and to which I had ever been of opinion they
    had inviolably pledged the faith of the nation. That by so
    doing, we conceived we should establish a foundation of
    confidence, upon which all less important points might be
    adjusted with mutual temper, harmony and affection; that Ireland
    could certainly entertain no doubt that the same principles
    which had guided us in the great and extensive considerations
    would continue to actuate our conduct in those of less concern
    and more confined regulation; (that in the present case, if the
    English Act was a grievance to Ireland, so also would the Irish
    be to England.)[1] At the same time, however, I begged that it
    might be clearly understood that this clause was not objected to
    on the ground of its being a new claim on the part of Ireland.
    Ireland had last year, in the Addresses of her Parliament,
    claimed to be a distinct and independent kingdom. If, therefore,
    this Act affected her independence--and in that light it was
    objected to--so far it certainly was not in any respect a new
    claim. To supreme legislation and supreme judicature, all
    criminal jurisdiction was certainly annexed and inseparable.

    Lord Newhaven then withdrew his motion.

    Percival said, that the exercise of this jurisdiction had been
    antecedent to the Act of Henry VIII.

    In the Committee, Lord Beauchamp objected to the word
    established, which he wished to alter to the word recognized;
    but that, unless it was agreed to, he would not press it.

    I said that, as every word of the Bill had undergone the most
    serious discussion, and the most attentive consideration, on
    both sides of the water, and that as the present form had been
    approved of, I wished the Bill might receive no alteration, in
    order that it might pass, without any possible difference of
    opinion, in any part of the House.

    He then proposed to put for ever instead of for the future; to
    which I agreed.

    To the last clause, to prevent the receiving writs of error,
    &c., I moved an addition, which was drawn by the
    Attorney-General in consequence of the enclosed papers from Mr.
    Travers. I enclose also a letter to him, which I wish you would
    let Bernard or Cooke copy, and send to him, with a copy of the
    clause in question.

    Upon the whole, the business has gone off better than I
    expected; though I take it for granted that we shall hear again,
    both of the criminal judicature and of the _recognition_. Pitt
    offered to state the objections at large to the latter; but I
    thought it better not.

    Lord Bellamont has written a letter in the newspapers about the
    criminal judicature, which I suppose you have seen. I saw him in
    the House, and told him the part I meant to take. He said he
    wished it had been inserted in the Bill, but hoped at least that
    I would guard against the idea of its being called a new claim.
    To this you will see that part of my speech was directed; and
    for that reason, as well as on account of the miserable
    statement of it in the papers of to-day, I wish that you would
    revise and publish it in the Irish newspapers.

    After this business was over, Eden wished that Ireland might be
    inserted in the American Intercourse Bill. I was gone; but the
    Solicitor-General said that he thought it pretty extraordinary
    that, on the very day that the House had declared that they had
    no right to legislate for Ireland, that honourable gentlemen
    should wish to make trade laws for her.

    I hope to be with you now in the course of a week; but wait for
    your answer to my letters, having heard nothing from you since
    yours of the 16th of February. Adieu.

    Believe me ever,
    My dear brother,
    Most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

[Footnote 1: Query the inserting this, which I omitted in my speech.]

The letter to Mr. Townshend respecting the Irish peerages contained the
expression of a desire on the part of Lord Temple to take His Majesty's
pleasure on the subject of an increase of the Irish peerage. Before Lord
Temple had entered on the Government of Ireland, His Majesty had
communicated to him his disinclination to increase the Irish peerage at
that time; but as a dissolution of Parliament was now proposed, which
would involve in troublesome and expensive contests many gentlemen upon
whom it was supposed His Majesty might be inclined to confer that mark
of the royal favour, and who had been recommended for it by former
Lord-Lieutenants, Lord Temple thought the opportunity favourable for
such a creation. Mr. Townshend's answer, conveying the substance of a
note he had received from the King in reply, is curiously characteristic
of the imperative interest taken by His Majesty in all matters of a
personal nature. After expressing His Majesty's confidence that "Lord
Temple will be as sparing as possible in his list of peers," Mr.
Townshend adds, "Mr. Pennington must be included in the promotions. If
advances are proposed, the Dowager Lady Longford must be a Countess; and
if any peer of a junior date to Lord Dartrey is advanced, he must be
promoted in the same degree."

Under the circumstances in which Lord Temple was placed by the
resignation of Lord Shelburne, and the delays that followed in the
settlement of a new Cabinet, Lord Temple resolved to resign his
Government of Ireland. Unwillingness to embarrass His Majesty
unnecessarily had hitherto restrained him from carrying this resolution
formally into effect; but it appears from the following letters that he
transmitted his final resolution to his brother, who communicated it to
Pitt. The sound judgment of Mr. Grenville is shown with remarkable
clearness in his observations on Lord Temple's answer to the Duke of
Portland, which was not marked with the decision demanded by the
occasion; and his prudence and discretion are equally apparent in the
advice he tenders to Lord Temple, upon the necessity of resigning his
office into the hands of his successor, instead of throwing it up with
an "appearance of fretfulness and intemperance." The contrast between
the temperaments of these distinguished men is frequently felt
throughout this Correspondence, in the traits of calm, practical wisdom
which will be found on the one side, affectionately checking and
controlling the tendency to hasty constructions and impatient action
that existed on the other.


    Pall Mall, March 6th, 1783.

    My dearest Brother,

    I have just received your letter of the 1st instant, and need
    not, I am sure, attempt, what I could not do--the expressing the
    happiness and exultation of my mind, and the joy which I receive
    from a determination which, however repugnant it may be to my
    interests, is perfectly and entirely consonant to every feeling,
    to every opinion, and to every wish of my heart, public and
    private. With respect, however, to one part of your letter, I
    must own to you--and I take the first moment to do it--that
    after a very serious and deliberate consideration, I should feel
    great repugnance to the idea of Lincoln's Inn, and that for
    reasons which I hope soon to detail to you in person; though I
    will certainly not leave London till something is settled.

    Nothing has happened since my letter of this day's date, which
    you will probably receive with or before this. The general idea
    is that the King is determined to hold out against the Duke of
    Portland and Fox. How this can be done, I protest I do not see,
    except by Pitt's accepting the offer which was made to him. Lord
    Gower and the Chancellor were the only two people with the King

    Your letter has confirmed Jemmy in the idea, which was
    originally his, and not mine, of the disgrace of being
    transferred with the Standishes, &c., &c. Adieu.

    My dearest brother,
    Ever most truly and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, March 12th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Before you receive this, which is intended to go by the post,
    you will most probably have received a messenger from me with
    the particulars of the new arrangement which is going on. Lest
    any delay should arise, I just write by this conveyance to let
    you know that the King has this day again seen Lord North, and
    acquainted him that he was content to waive his objection to the
    Duke of Portland's being at the head of the Treasury and that he
    desired that a scheme of a Ministry might be submitted to him on
    that idea. From him Lord North went to the Duke of Portland;
    what has been the result I know not.

    I am sure you will excuse me if I own to you that I do not quite
    like your letter to the Duke of Portland, a copy of which I
    received from you last night. My objection to it is, that it
    seems to court too much, what I understand it will produce, a
    second application upon the subject. I subscribe much too
    heartily to your reasons to imagine, and still less to wish,
    that this application may be successful; on the contrary, I own
    I should have desired that room had not been given for it, which
    I think is rather too much the case. In other respects I like
    the letter perfectly.

    I cannot close this without expressing to you what I feel upon
    the reception this night of a letter from Bernard, informing me
    of your goodness to him, and full of gratitude and
    acknowledgments to you upon the subject; it has most truly
    relieved my mind from what has been a burthen upon it.

    Adieu, my dearest brother,
    Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, March 13th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I have just received yours of the 7th, and am utterly at a loss
    to imagine what Mornington can have stated to you which has
    given you apprehensions about the Irish Bill. It has passed the
    House of Commons without a single dissentient voice in any one
    stage of it, and I know of no considerable opposition likely to
    be made to it in the House of Lords, except possibly from the
    Chancellor or Lord Loughborough.

    In all events, I should hope you would very seriously reconsider
    the two ideas which you throw out. That of a precipitate
    departure, before the arrival of your successor, would bear so
    very strongly the appearance of fretfulnesss and intemperance,
    and would be liable to so many ill consequences in Ireland that
    might arise, and would all be imputed to you, that I own I
    should deprecate it in the most eager manner, especially as I
    should think you would most fully acquit yourself, both to your
    own character and to the peace of the two kingdoms, by
    protesting against such a measure, and by declaring your
    intention of remaining only till you could deliver over the
    Sword of State to some person authorized to receive it.

    With respect to the other, it brings back very strongly to my
    mind what I felt and still feel on the subject of Eden's conduct
    last year. I cannot think that we are either of us justifiable
    in withholding from persons in the King's Government any
    information upon the situation of Ireland; but that, on the
    contrary, the best mode of enforcing acquiescence in your wishes
    as to the Bill, would be by a communication of opinions on the
    subject. Such a communication must of course be made with
    prudence and caution, always bearing in mind the essential
    difference between committing ourselves to a friend and to a
    foe. But still, as to facts and leading outlines, I think we
    have no choice.

    As your letter does not imply any wish of a particular secresy
    on the subject (although it is certainly not a thing to be
    wantonly proclaimed), I thought it would be a sort of return for
    confidential communications which I have transmitted to you, and
    a step liable to no objections, to state your intention to Pitt.
    Jemmy's opinion agreeing with mine, I took an opportunity in a
    few words to say that an intimation had been made to you of a
    wish that you should continue, in case the arrangement under the
    Duke of Portland should take place, and that you had thought
    yourself bound to decline it. (I did not think myself at liberty
    to mention the Duke of Portland's letter specifically, as it is
    marked _secret_, although the thing itself is well known and
    talked of.)

    His answer was very much the kind of thing I expected,
    expressing his great satisfaction that your ideas on the subject
    of the late Opposition and new Government concurred with his,
    and at the same time his concern and apprehensions on the
    subject of the effect likely to be produced in Ireland by such
    an event. I only added, that he would easily see that although
    it was a thing which must in a few days be publicly known, still
    it ought not to be talked of beforehand.

    I have expressed to you in my letter of last night what I feel
    upon your goodness to Bernard. To these I am now to add my
    acknowledgments of your kind wishes in my behalf. I will not
    pretend to say that I am indifferent on the subject, but I can
    with the greatest truth and sincerity assure you that I feel
    much more pleasure and satisfaction in the affection and love
    towards me which produces those wishes, than I could in the
    accomplishment of them to their utmost extent. And whilst I
    continue to possess that affection, I shall look with much less
    anxiety to other objects which are in my estimation of so much
    less value.

    In these sentiments believe me, my dearest brother,

    Ever most affectionately yours,

    Upon reading this over, I find I have said not a word about a
    Ministry. Lord North saw the King yesterday, and from him went
    to the Duke of Portland; but at twelve o'clock to-day I know
    from authority that the latter had not seen the King, and that
    no name was fixed for any one department; which is, in a few
    words, all that I know.

    I enclose a letter from Tonson, with my answer.


    Friday, March 14th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    We are now not a step forwarder than we were at this time two
    days ago. The King commissioned Lord North to submit a plan of
    Government, with the Duke of Portland at the Treasury. This has
    not been done; nor has the King sent for the Duke of Portland,
    who expected that step to have been taken.

    What transpires about arrangements is as follows; Pitt not to
    join them (_upon which you may depend_); Lord North to name a
    colleague to Fox, who is to be Lord Stormont, _if he will
    accept_; Lord Dartmouth to be of the Cabinet; Twitcher, Privy
    Seal; G. North, Treasurer of the Navy; Grey Cooper, Jemmy's
    successor (at which his noble spirit is offended); Lord J.
    Cavendish, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Fitzpatrick, talked of
    for Secretary-at-War; Lord Keppel to return. Query, whether he
    is by this means to be in the Cabinet with Twitcher? I think he
    should appoint St. Hugh a Junior Lord.

    So good night to you.
    _Amiciteæ sempitereæ inimicetræ placabiles._

These arrangements were dependant on the issue of negotiations that
underwent fresh modifications from day to day. In the meantime Lord
Temple had sent in his resignation. His Lordship's conduct on this
occasion was as creditable to his integrity as it was illustrative of
his temperament. He appears to have accompanied the official despatch
tendering his resignation with a private letter to the King, which Mr.
Grenville, acting on his own discretion, withheld. Lord Temple, devoted
to the principles and the party of the late Marquis of Rockingham, and
regarding the alliance of the Duke of Portland, Mr. Fox, and others of
that party, with Lord North, as a gross dereliction of principle, did
not hesitate to allude personally to them in the communication to His
Majesty, under the impression that the coalition was then actually
formed, and that in his public and onerous position he was bound to
state the grounds upon which he felt himself imperatively called upon to
resign. The coalition, however, was not yet concluded; although, on the
13th of March, General Cuninghame confidently announced to Lord Temple
that a new Administration was to be declared the next day, and that that
was the last letter he should have to write to him on such idle
subjects; entering circumstantially, at the same time, into the disposal
of the various offices, and assigning an equal division of the Cabinet
to Fox and Lord North, with the moderate Duke of Portland at the head.
Mr. Grenville, whose caution in reference to such transactions had been
disciplined by experience, and who always brought the most temperate
judgment to bear upon situations of delicacy and embarrassment, saw the
imprudence of committing Lord Temple to expressions that supposed a
state of things which did not actually exist, or which, if it should be
brought about, would consign his letter to the "very worst hands into
which it could fall." Lord Temple, in Dublin, harassed by delays, and
surrounded by increasing difficulties in his Government, could not
decide this point so clearly as Mr. Grenville in London; and the sequel,
which furnished his Lordship with a legitimate opportunity of stating
his views and feelings to the King, amply justified the course adopted.

In the following letter, Mr. Grenville details the substance of his
interview with the King, arising out of Lord Temple's resignation. It
possesses the highest historical value, taken in connection with the
letters that follow, for the full and minute information it affords of
the course of those secret negotiations which finally terminated in the
establishment of the coalition.


    Pall Mall, March 17th, 1733.

    My dear Brother,

    I received your packet of the 12th instant last night, and
    immediately sent to Lord Sydney your despatch of resignation. He
    forwarded it to the King, who immediately directed him to send
    me to Buckingham House, where I was with him above two hours.

    I felt myself under much difficulty about your letter. It was
    evidently written on the supposition of a Government being
    formed by the Duke of Portland and Fox, in conjunction with Lord
    North; and to that point its whole reasoning was directed. Now
    the present situation in which we are, seems to tend to some
    different solution; and this idea was very much strengthened by
    the King's note to Lord Sydney, desiring to see me, in order to
    talk with me about your staying, _at least for the present_.
    This being the case, I was apprehensive that some parts of your
    letter might possibly pledge you further to him than you would
    like in other contingencies which might turn up; and I also
    thought that a letter of that sort would come with more force
    from you in answer to what I should undoubtedly be commissioned
    to say to you. To this was added a most serious apprehension,
    which had struck both Jemmy and myself very forcibly, as to the
    prudence of committing yourself to him by so very strong
    language on the subject of the Duke of Portland and Fitzpatrick
    by name, and under your hand-writing; which paper, even
    supposing no ill use was ever to be made of it by the person to
    whom it is addressed, might, in the space possibly even of a few
    hours, by any sudden accident, fall into _other_ hands, perhaps
    at this moment the very worst into which it could fall.

    Under the pressure of these two ideas, and having very little
    time for deliberation, I adopted that measure which I thought at
    all events the safest; as, if the delivery of the letter at this
    moment, and in the altered state of things, was wrong, it could
    not ever be recalled; while, if you thought me wrong in
    withholding it, the error could be productive only of a short
    delay--certainly not wholly immaterial, but I should hope not
    very important. At the same time I own that I felt much
    difficulty in withholding it, as it appeared to me so admirably
    drawn up, and so well calculated to produce the effect intended
    by it, and so very unexceptionable in all its parts, except that
    which I have stated before--the mention of individuals by name
    (especially those with whom you are living on good terms), in a
    manner which, however proper for conversation, is, I think,
    infinitely hazardous when committed to paper.

    Still, however, I hope that every effect intended by it may be
    produced as well, and possibly better, by the letter which you
    will of course send to him in answer to this conversation. I am
    sensible that, in using this discretion, I have taken much upon
    me; but I am sure I need not enlarge upon the motive; and I
    cannot help flattering myself, that the step itself will meet
    your approbation, especially as the conjecture from the words of
    the King's letter was justified in great measure by what passed
    during so long a conversation, in which, from the inconceivable
    quickness with which the King ran on upon the different subjects
    of it, I found it very difficult to put in even the little which
    I thought it right to say.

    When I first came in, he stated, with many very flattering
    expressions to you, the concern which he had felt at the idea of
    your resignation; that he had sent to me in order that he might
    have an opportunity of letting you into all the circumstances of
    the present situation, which he thought the most calamitous into
    which any country had ever been brought; that the kingdom was
    split into parties, not as had been formerly the case--two great
    bodies of men acting under the different denominations of Whigs
    and Tories, and upon different principles of conduct--but into
    factions, which had avowedly no other view than that of forcing
    themselves, at all hazards, into office; that before you took
    any step, he wished you to be fully apprized of the
    circumstances, which he would for that purpose detail to me, as
    he hoped that your letter had been written in the idea of the
    Government falling into the hands of persons of the description
    stated above.

    I answered, that I believed you had certainly had that event in
    view, as one which the circumstances of the time rendered too
    probable. He then went into a long detail (with a great number
    of digressions upon the different political subjects of the day)
    of what had passed since Monday's vote, particularly between him
    and Lord North, of whom he spoke in terms of strong resentment
    and disgust.

    He stated, that when Lord Shelburne could no longer remain, he
    had first endeavoured to persuade Pitt to suffer the Treasury to
    devolve upon him, and that at one time he had entertained the
    most flattering hopes of success; but being disappointed in
    this, he had tried the Cabinet all round, but none had the
    spirit to stand forth. He had then sent to Lord North (after
    a week's delay to try other arrangements, particularly one in
    which the H. C. and the seals of the Secretary of State had
    been offered to and pressed upon Ths. Pitt), to know whether
    he was open to negotiation, or prevented by this coalition; that
    when, in consequence of this message, he saw him, he had at
    first tried whether he would accept the Treasury; because, much
    as he disliked them both, if he was to choose, he must certainly
    prefer Lord North to Fox. When Lord North declined this, he
    proposed that an arrangement should be made, leaving the
    Treasury open to some person of neither party, to be named by
    him afterwards; that Lord North left him with this proposal, but
    the next day told him that Mr. Fox insisted upon the Treasury
    for the Duke of Portland. After some time, he consented to this
    point also, and then desired that Lord North would bring him a
    written arrangement, that he might be enabled to see the whole,
    and form his judgment upon all the dismissals and appointments
    which were intended. After two days more, he had sent for Lord
    North, who had told him that he had no such arrangement to bring
    him, for that difficulties had arisen between them; that Fox
    insisted upon removing the Chancellor, in order that the Seals
    might be put into commission. To this the King objected very
    strongly, as he had expressed his desire that the arrangement
    might be made upon a broad basis; and that nothing could be more
    different from such an idea than the dismissal of the
    Chancellor, without having any person to substitute in his room.
    Lord North then said that another difficulty had arisen. He had
    named Lord Stormont for the Secretaryship of State; but this had
    been objected to; and Lord Stormont had refused to accept of any
    other situation. The King again asked him whether, this being
    the case, he would undertake it separately. This was declined.

    Yesterday evening, at five, Lord North was again at the Queen's
    House, when the King told him that he desired it might be
    understood that it was not he who broke off the arrangement upon
    the idea of keeping the Lord Chancellor; that, on the contrary,
    he desired it might be understood that he had expressed no
    determination, nor would he express any, upon a particular part
    of the proposed arrangement, till the whole was submitted to
    him. Therefore, if they thought to obviate the difficulties
    which they found in making it by laying the onus upon him, he
    was not fairly dealt with.

    This finished the detail. His observations upon it were nearly
    what is implied in the last sentence: that he believed, when
    they came to treat about the arrangement, they found infinite
    difficulty in coming to any agreement, and had therefore
    resolved to throw the burthen upon him; that, in the meantime,
    he was using every endeavour to form a Government; that he hoped
    your resignation was only to be considered as relative to the
    event which you then thought likely to happen; that undoubtedly
    _in some cases_ it would be impossible for you to stay there
    with honour to yourself; that unless you met with full support
    from hence, the Government in Ireland could not go on; but, in
    the meantime, he desired I would write to you, to express his
    wish that you would take no precipitate step till something was
    finally settled.

    This, I think, was the main jut of the conversation to this
    point; though I have thrown it much more into form than it was
    spoken--as it was interrupted by a great variety of digressions:
    upon the coalition, in the reprobating of which I took care to
    join with him most heartily; upon Fox, whom he loaded with every
    expression of abhorrence; upon the Duke of Portland, against
    whom he was little less violent; upon Lord North, to whose
    conduct he imputed all the disasters of the country; upon
    American Independence, which seems to have been a most bitter
    pill indeed; upon associations and reforms, clubs,
    gaming-houses, aristocratic cabals, &c., &c.; together with much
    inquiry into the state of Ireland, and the characters and
    conduct of people there; and a long detail about Lord Bellamont,
    who he believed was crack-brained, and of whom he told two
    curious stories of audiences which he had asked, and in which he
    at last insisted that, unless the King would make him reparation
    for the second disgrace he had suffered by the nomination of
    Lord Arran, by suffering him to kiss hands, on or before St.
    Patrick's Day, for an English Baronage or an Irish Marquisate,
    given to him, or given to Lord Mountrath and entailed upon him,
    he would come no more to Court; which curious condition, you may
    believe, has not been complied with; and consequently, said the
    King, I shall be delivered from the trouble of seeing him.

    You will easily suppose that I have not been able to recollect
    the precise words of a conversation so very diffuse, upon so
    many different subjects, and which lasted from eleven at night
    till past one this morning.

    Upon the whole, what I collect from his conversation, and from
    the sort of impression which the whole tenour of his language,
    rather than from any one particular expression, is that in the
    case which you supposed, and upon which you acted, nothing could
    be more agreeable to him than your resignation; especially, as
    he observed to me several times, that it was impossible he could
    wish that such a Government should last; and mentioned a message
    which he sent through Lord Ashburton to Lord Shelburne, that he
    should consider him as a disgraced man if, after their conduct
    towards him, he ever "_supported them in Government_, or joined
    them in opposition;" (these were the precise words he used to
    me.) I collect the same idea also from the expression of _some
    cases_ in which you could not stay, and the eagerness with which
    he joined in with me when I took occasion to observe to him that
    the system of the Duke of Portland and Fox in Ireland had been
    so different from yours, as to put you under an impossibility of
    remaining under them. This point, therefore, I conceive to be
    clear, that in such an event, your resignation would be as
    acceptable to him as I think it would be honourable to yourself.

    But from the request he has made you, and from the particular
    pains he seems to take to throw the onus (as he called it) of
    breaking off the negotiation with the Duke of Portland and Lord
    North upon their shoulders, I think we must conclude that he
    considers that as being entirely at an end, and that he has
    something else in view; though what that something else can
    possibly be, I am utterly at a loss to imagine.

    At the same time, I think the opportunity of doing a handsome
    thing is too fair to be neglected. If I were therefore to advise
    you, it would be to write to the King, stating that nothing
    could be further from your intention than the throwing any
    embarrassment in his way at a moment when, on the contrary, you
    would rather wish to do everything in your power, &c., &c. This
    would lead naturally to the first part of your letter, about the
    manner of your having accepted the Government of Ireland. You
    might then say, that the letter of resignation was written on
    the idea of the probability of those men being called to His
    Majesty's counsels who had, &c., &c. That under such a
    Government you could not have flattered yourself with the hopes
    of being useful to His Majesty, for the reasons assigned, &c.,
    &c., which I think it is impossible for you to detail better
    than they are there stated, except in the single instance of the
    mentioning of names, with no very flattering comment, which I
    would (if I might be allowed to do it) deprecate in the
    strongest manner, for reasons very sufficiently obvious. You
    might then, I should think, go on to say, that in obedience to
    His Majesty's gracious dispositions, you would continue to hold
    your situation till something is settled; in the hopes, however,
    if it ended in such a Government as you could not serve under
    consistently with your character, or the system of your
    Administration, you might then be permitted, &c., &c.

    In this manner I should hope that you would lose nothing, except
    a little time--not very important to you--by the non-delivery of
    your letter.

    The Duke of Portland had a meeting last night, to which were
    summoned all Fox's people, and all the country gentlemen who had
    formerly acted with them. The Duke stated to them what had
    passed, and told them that the whole had broken off upon the
    King's insisting upon the Chancellor and Lord Stormont. This is
    pretty curious, at the moment that the King was stating to Lord
    North that such a reason could not be assigned with truth. The
    Duke said, however, that Lord North was then with the King, and
    therefore hoped that nothing might be done till they heard the
    result. This was applied to Lord Surrey, who had expressed an
    intention of moving an address.

    What passed between the King and Lord North, I have told you
    above, as it was stated to me. It is not, therefore, wholly
    impossible that the negotiation may be resumed, as the King's
    object seems to be to set them quarelling between themselves
    about the different parts of this arrangement. At all events, I
    think your letter cannot but do good, and I will certainly
    remain here to deliver it.

Acting strictly on this sound advice, Lord Temple addressed to His
Majesty the following letter, in which he enters at length into the
peculiar obstructions to which he had been exposed through the whole
period of his Administration in Ireland, and unreservedly submits for
His Majesty's consideration the reasons which led to his resignation.


    Dublin Castle,

    March 23rd, 1783, Two o'clock, A.M.


    I have this moment received from Mr. Grenville the detail of the
    conversation, with which your Majesty was pleased to honour him
    on the 16th instant. I will not attempt to state the feelings of
    gratitude and respect with which I have received the testimonies
    of your approbation, and the signal proofs of that
    condescension, with which you were graciously pleased to inform
    me of the situation of the kingdom at this most alarming crisis.
    Every feeling of duty and of inclination call upon me to offer
    my situation and opinions to your Majesty's consideration; and,
    as I have no official means of conveying them, I trust to your
    goodness to excuse what must be a long detail, but truly
    interesting to me, as your good opinion must ever be the object
    of my eager wishes.

    When your Majesty did me the honour to destine me to this high
    office, I unaffectedly felt that diffidence, which my
    inexperience and scale of talents naturally suggested to me. I
    will not say that I was insensible to the hopes of building my
    honest fame upon the event of my administration, but I solemnly
    protest my principal object was to contribute my small share to
    the support of your Majesty's Government, abandoned in a
    situation, from various reasons the most critical, upon grounds
    which appeared to me upon every principle, public and private,
    wholly indefensible. To the natural difficulties of my
    undertaking, I had the additional misfortune of not finding
    myself peculiarly in those confidential habits with your
    Majesty's servants, to which, in such a situation, I should
    naturally look for support. My trust, under God, was in your
    Majesty's goodness and protection; and I acknowledge, with pride
    and gratitude, that I have been honoured with the most
    unequivocal proofs of that goodness.

    Judge then, Sire, the pain which I felt in that moment, when I
    thought myself called upon by every principle of public duty to
    solicit officially your Majesty's permission to retire from this
    high station. I have not vanity enough to conceive that my
    presence in Ireland is material to your service further than as
    it will be always eligible to preserve, particularly in this
    kingdom, some settled system of Government. And upon this
    ground, I hold it my indispensable duty to lay at your Majesty's
    feet the reasons which induced me to believe that my residence
    in this kingdom can be no longer useful to that service, to
    which I will beg your permission to say I have dedicated every
    hour and every faculty since my arrival. And as those reasons
    cannot be deposited in the office with safety to the interests
    of both kingdoms, and as, for many reasons, it might not be
    judged eligible that they should fall into the hands of every
    description of gentlemen who aspire to high office, I have
    ventured upon the unusual measure of depositing them in your
    royal breast, still trusting to that indulgent goodness, which I
    have experienced, for my excuse. And if any part of these
    reasons shall appear to your Majesty to be painted too strongly,
    I must apologize truly for them, though I solemnly declare that
    the state of facts which I am about to draw, is the result of
    cool deliberation; and I will venture to hope that your Majesty
    will believe that I will not attempt to mislead your judgment
    either upon facts, characters, or opinions.

    From the first moment of my arrival in Ireland, I have struggled
    with infinite difficulties. I was told in England, that the
    situation of this kingdom held out every hope which could be
    suggested by perfect confidence in English and Irish Government,
    and by unanimity arising from the spirit of gratitude for the
    liberal concessions made by England. And I was likewise told,
    that I should find prepared to my hands such a mass of solid
    strength, as would effectually secure the means of conducting
    the ordinary purposes of Government not only with facility, but
    even with _éclat_. Your Majesty will judge my mortification in
    finding this kingdom engaged in a ferment on a constitutional
    question more violent than that which had preceded Lord
    Carlisle's departure, and that ferment much increased by the
    injudicious arrangement of a measure, which might have been
    truly useful if conducted with address--I mean that of the
    provincial levies--but which, from circumstances infinitely too
    long for the present detail, totally defeated the only essential
    object which it ought to have accomplished, the division of the
    Volunteers. To this spirit of dissatisfaction, arising from
    these two essential objects, I had not the shadow of Government
    to oppose. Those who composed it were respectable for their
    integrity, and had been high in popular estimation; but many
    circumstances concurred to weaken the advantages which were
    proposed from their support: the want of knowledge and habits of
    office, the thirst of popularity which pervaded them all, and
    the fetters which they had forged for themselves by popular
    questions during an opposition of fifteen years, by making them
    timid and undecided, rendered them wholly unfit for the defence
    of Government. The several characters respectable for their
    services, their rank, their connections and their influence, had
    been systematically and ostentatiously depressed, except in the
    sole instance of Mr. Ponsonby, whose influence was unbounded,
    and brought forward that spirit of discontented jealousy, of
    which your Majesty well remembers instances in the last weeks of
    the Irish Sessions. The variety of dismissals, some of which
    were considered as peculiarly cruel, had weakened every
    confidence in Government, and had spread an apprehension and
    distrust through every Board and Department. And the natural
    consequence of this was, that the interior business of the
    kingdom was much at a stand, while the general expectation was
    raised, by professions, to a pitch, which it would have been
    found difficult to gratify in a country where the offices are
    really insufficient to the purposes of Government. And at the
    same time, the confidence which had been given to the
    Volunteers, by the attention paid to them at every meeting, had
    drawn them into the discussion of every speculative question
    which could embarrass the public service.

    In this situation, my first object was to restore that
    confidence in the equity of Government, which I judged
    indispensable for the quieting the alarms of the servants of the
    Crown. Every attention was paid which could conciliate the
    feelings of those friends who felt themselves proscribed. At the
    same time, care was taken not to alarm the very jealous feelings
    of those to whom the Duke of Portland had trusted the
    Administration. Your Majesty will recollect, that one of my
    earliest objects was that of taking the efficient Government
    from those from whom I expected no permanent assistance, at the
    moment, when by fighting their ground of the adequacy of the
    simple repeal, which, from the beginning, I stated as very
    hazardous, they pledged themselves to the public to a doctrine
    which was truly unpopular, and has completely ruined them in the
    opinions of those from whom they derived their consequence.
    Lastly, I have never lost sight of that first essential object,
    the depressing the Volunteers by every caution; but with the
    determined purpose of endeavouring to restore the sword and
    executive power to the hands in which the Constitution has so
    wisely placed them.

    Great part of these general opinions appear in my official
    correspondence: other parts of this system are palpable with the
    smallest clue, and the whole militates decisively against the
    opinions of the Duke of Portland and Mr. Fox, whom I
    particularize, as they continue to keep up a constant
    correspondence with the popular leaders in this kingdom. Your
    Majesty will, therefore, judge how perfectly impracticable it is
    for me to hope to conduct your Government upon the plan which I
    have stated to be necessary to its existence, and which is in
    the very teeth of those ideas which have been adopted by the
    persons whom, from the exigency of public affairs, your Majesty
    has probably been obliged to call to your counsels.

    To these circumstances, Sire, suffer me to add my feelings of
    indignation at the formation of that coalition to which your
    Government has given way, formed at such a time, in such a
    manner, having necessarily for its basis the foul abandonment of
    every principle, public and private, and holding but one
    principle in common--and that principle avowed--of forcing
    themselves into employments at all hazards to the kingdom, which
    never was exposed to such calamities, and, I fear, never can
    recover such a shock. I trust, then, that I do not break through
    the bounds of that respect, which I so truly feel, when I say
    that no consideration shall make me a friend to such a
    coalition, or to the component parts of it. These opinions I
    have not concealed, having (from a very particular circumstance)
    been forced to explain them.

    The whole of these considerations will, I hope, justify me to
    your Majesty, for a step which I have taken with the utmost
    reluctance; but which, in conscience and duty, was unavoidable.
    And I trust that you will not for a moment believe that I could,
    by such a step, mean to increase those difficulties, which I
    would relieve with my life; but that my official letter was
    written under the idea that the new Administration was formed
    upon principles and characters which I could not approve. But in
    all contingencies this Government has suffered so materially
    from the uncertainty of the last eight weeks, and from the
    necessary delay of several points which have been submitted, and
    which I think most essential to Government (so much so, that I
    have been truly importunate respecting them), that I very much
    fear the general event, and my own personal credit, from
    consequences which I foresee, but cannot now wholly prevent. But
    whatever may be my fears, I will not press this consideration
    till your Majesty's arrangements shall be made, in the hopes
    that I may then be allowed to retire, particularly if my
    confidence and good-will cannot (as is too probable) engage me
    to the support of the new Ministry.

    I need not add, that whenever your Majesty's goodness shall
    relieve me from the situation, I shall quit it with that regret
    which is the natural result of leaving a great and essential
    work of Government incomplete, which I had vanity enough to
    imagine I might, by your Majesty's goodness, be enabled to
    restore. And with the same vanity I will add, that I had rather
    that your Majesty should collect the present state of Ireland
    from any one than from myself.

    Suffer me then, Sire, to hope that my system and my conduct have
    not been unacceptable to you. Suffer me likewise to hope that
    your Majesty sees the reasons for this resignation, neither
    founded in personal motives of indolence, disinclination, or
    inattention to that service which is so truly flattering to me;
    nor in others more disgraceful, because they would be more
    prejudicial to your Government. And suffer me to hope that your
    Majesty sees me yielding to a necessity which I cannot avert,
    with a heart filled with the most lively emotions of gratitude,
    respect, and affection. With these feelings, it is my fervent
    prayer, that your Majesty's wisdom and firmness may save the
    kingdom from the calamities which must be the consequences of
    this unprincipled coalition--unprincipled, because they can be
    bound to no political or moral principles in common. And with
    these feelings, I shall retire with satisfaction to that
    obscurity from which your Majesty's great goodness called me,
    desirous, however, on all occasions to sacrifice every private
    feeling, which would naturally lead me to indolence and
    retirement, whenever your Majesty shall call upon me to give you
    that assistance which every honest man owes to rescue the
    Government from a system, which will either be disgraceful and
    dangerous if it comprehends the whole of this faction, or weak
    and inefficient if it is partial.

    Once more, Sire, I entreat your Majesty's pardon for this long
    detail; in which, however, many very important considerations,
    which have been suggested by the present situation of Ireland,
    are necessarily omitted. My reasons for wishing to quit Ireland
    have been necessarily secret; and possibly your Majesty will not
    think it for your service that they should be avowed. To your
    wisdom, and to your justice I submit them; and must once more
    urge to your Majesty those sentiments of gratitude, affection,
    and respect, with which it is my pride to subscribe myself,

    Your Majesty's very faithful and devoted subject and servant,
    N. T.

To this very able and lucid statement His Majesty returned an answer
under his own hand; but it is desirable, before we lay that remarkable
document before the reader, to trace, through the intervening
correspondence, the "lets and hindrances" which in the interim marked
the progress of the struggle between His Majesty and the high
contracting parties on the other side.


    Saturday Night, March 18th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I have just heard that all is off. The King has insisted that
    the Chancellor should continue, and that Lord Stormont should be
    Secretary of State, which has been refused on the part of the
    Duke of Portland and Lord North; and upon this the whole has
    broke off.

    I give you this only as the report of the day; but I believe the
    negotiation is certainly off. Adieu.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    I write short, as being almost too late for the post.


    Pall Mall, March 20th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I have this moment heard from indisputable authority, that the
    following curious scene has passed. The King saw the Duke of
    Portland yesterday, and ordered him to bring him an arrangement.
    In consequence of this, a consultation was held between the
    heads of the new allies. It was agreed that Fox and Lord North
    should be the two secretaries, the latter going to the House of
    Lords. It was also agreed that Lord Stormont should be
    President, but with a stipulation on the part of Fox that he
    should not be of the Cabinet. To this Lord North demurred; and
    upon consulting Lord Stormont, the latter peremptorily refused,
    telling him that he had explained it differently to him. This
    Lord North could not deny, but offered Lord Stormont his own
    terms, if he would agree to anything short of Cabinet. The
    refusal was persisted in, and Lord North returned to his allies,
    who were equally peremptory on their part, and so ended the
    whole negotiation, Lord North refusing to treat any further. The
    Duke of Portland went to the King and informed him of this, but
    offered to undertake it separately. The King's answer was, that
    such an arrangement would be liable to all the objections of
    weakness, &c., as it would only include one party out of three.

    And so ended the treaty of coalition and partition! Coke, of
    Norfolk, gave notice two days ago, that if nothing was settled
    by to-morrow he would move an Address. Of course, this will have
    to be done. My opinion is, that a second offer will be made to
    Pitt, and that he will accept. I will write again to-morrow if
    there is anything worth writing. Adieu.

    My dearest brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, March 21st, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    If you had not some little confidence in my veracity, you would
    hardly think it possible that I was not imposing upon you when
    you read my last letter, written at eleven last night, to assure
    you that everything was quite afloat, and that the _virtuous_
    band of men, in whom the country places all her hopes and all
    her confidence, had made a _patriotic_ stand against Lord
    Stormont's being of the Cabinet; and when you read this, written
    only thirteen hours later, to inform you that, within the
    half-hour, everything is settled between the high contracting
    parties for the following Cabinet:

      Duke of Portland       _Treasury_.
      Fox                    }
      Lord North             } _Secretaries_.
      Lord Stormont          _President_, and of the Cabinet.
      Lord John Cavendish    _Chancellor of the Exchequer_.
      Lord Keppel            _Admiralty_.
      Lord Carlisle          _Privy Seal_.

    _All_ the efficient responsible offices having thus been
    required, and insisted upon to be given to persons who are
    looked upon to be Whigs; and it having thus been made a _sine
    quâ non_ condition, that all the powers of Government should be
    _solely vested_ in those who have the advantage of being
    denominated the friends of the late Lord Rockingham, and this
    _determination_ having been adhered to, I hope no
    misrepresentation will be made to you of the basis or purport of
    the late junction, to which it might perhaps be liable from any
    _false_ accounts.

    Seriously, however, you may depend upon this list having been
    carried by the Duke of Portland to the King for his approbation.
    What the answer has been, I know not; but hope it will be
    acquiesced in, though I think it not quite certain, because you
    observe that no mention is made in it of the Lord Chancellor,
    and that consequently the dismissal of Thurlow, and the putting
    the Seals in commission, are implied.

    We shall, however, probably soon know; and when I do, I will
    send off this, but not before, lest the weathercock should veer
    once more from the North.

    I am going down to the House, and am to dine with Pitt. If I
    send this letter, adding nothing to it, you may depend upon it
    that the arrangement is agreed to.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    Six o'clock.

    I send this by the post, as nothing further is known. Coke
    postponed his motion till Monday; and W. Hill gave notice of an
    amendment to it in the words of Lord Surrey's intended motion
    last year.

    Fox's friends have been holding out for these last four or five
    days, as a great mark of sincerity, the _determination_ not to
    act with the Chancellor or Lord Stormont. You see how the last
    has ended; and as to the first, _nous verrons_.

    I should be much obliged to you, if, as soon as your resignation
    is made known in Ireland, you would speak immediately to
    Fremantle, to desire him to make an economical reform in my
    household, leaving only such servants as are absolutely
    necessary for me. I hope to be over with you soon after the
    receipt and delivery of your letter.


    Pall Mall, Saturday, March 22nd, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Next Monday will make exactly five weeks from the first
    division, during which we have been without any Government in
    the country; yet I think it very probable that nothing will be
    settled by that day. The Duke of Portland saw the King
    yesterday, to carry him the profligate list which I sent you
    last night. Very contrary to his expectations, though I own not
    to mine, he did not find that ready acquiescence which he
    expected, but met with a very cool reception, and was told that
    the King would consider it. I do not understand that anything
    has passed to-day, and I cannot help thinking that the King
    means that nothing should be fixed by Monday, in order that
    Coke's motion may come on, and the coalition be abandoned to all
    that resentment which has been raised by an arrangement directly
    in the teeth of professions and promises not a week old. Yet
    these are the men who accuse Lord Shelburne of duplicity,
    without having produced one instance during a six months'
    Ministry. Think what a situation you would have been in, if you
    had been induced by the assurances in a certain letter, to have
    given a favourable answer to the Volunteers, pledging yourself
    to stay, and had then received a notification of such an
    arrangement. I still believe that the King will press it upon
    Pitt. On the turn which things have taken, I own I wish that he
    would make up his mind for a short time--and the time need be
    very short indeed--to the arrangement which is proposed to him;
    but as it is, he certainly has gained a great point in receiving
    from the Duke of Portland's hands a proposal to make Lord North
    Secretary of State. I suppose he is to be Foreign Secretary, to
    conclude the definitive treaty. Do you remember Fox's proposal,
    when in opposition, to negotiate the peace for Lord North,
    because he knew that no foreign State would trust those who had,
    &c., &c. Adieu.

    My dear brother,
    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Pall Mall, March 24th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Since I wrote last, things have again taken a different turn;
    though I am not sufficiently informed of the particulars of what
    has passed to say any more than that the King has insisted upon
    seeing the list of inferior arrangements, which having been
    declined (obviously from a want of agreement upon the subject),
    the King wrote a note to the Duke of Portland, which was very
    decently handed about at Brookes's last night, to say that he
    would trouble him no further on the subject.

    To-day the prevalent report during the whole morning, was, that
    Pitt had accepted; but when Coke put the question to Pitt in the
    House of Commons, previous to making his motion, the latter said
    that he knew of no Administration being formed.

    Coke then made his motion, which I enclose to you, as nearly as
    I can recollect it. Very little opposition was made to it, and
    it passed without a division, though not without a good deal of
    conversation on the part of Fox, Lord North, and Pitt. Nothing,
    however, material passed beyond the old ground of coalition and
    non-coalition. Pitt's speech was inimitable. McDonald made a
    speech which was not very pleasant, supposing that Pitt should
    join the Gowers, as it turned entirely upon an avowal of all his
    old principles, which he charged Lord North with having
    abandoned, &c., &c.

    I am utterly at a loss as to forming any conjecture, but my
    wishes are very strong that the King would suffer the new allies
    to make their arrangements, and try their strength. Adieu.

    My dear brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    T. Pitt's daughter is either dying or actually dead, which
    prevented his attendance. I pity them exceedingly, for no people
    dote more on their children.


    "That His Majesty will be graciously pleased to take into his
    serious consideration the distracted state of his kingdom after
    a long and exhausting war, and will condescend to comply with
    the wishes of this House, by forming a Government which may be
    entitled to the confidence of the House, and may have a tendency
    to put an end to the unhappy divisions of the country."

Two days after the date of this letter, Lord Shelburne, who still
nominally held the Seals, formally resigned. The scene at the levée on
this occasion, which may be described as _le commencement de la fin_,
was not only curious in itself, but helped greatly to increase the
perplexity in which these strange transactions plunged even those
persons who had the best opportunity of observing them. "I am just come
from the levée," says General Cuninghame, writing on the 26th of March:
"the Duke of Portland was there, and scarcely spoke to. Lord Shelburne,
Mr. Pitt, Lord Howe, and the rest of the Ministers present, were loaded
with attention. After the levée, Lord Shelburne resigned in ample form.
It is universally understood Mr. Pitt will not undertake. These
circumstances put together, puzzle the world more than ever." It was a
spectacle in perfect harmony with the unparalleled oscillations of the
preceding six weeks to see the retiring Ministers overwhelmed by royal
condescension, and the heads of the incoming Administration (for in the
extremity to which His Majesty was now reduced there was literally no
choice) treated with undisguised aversion.

On the 26th, Mr. Grenville saw the King, and placed in His Majesty's
hands the letter Lord Temple had written on his suggestion. There is not
a cranny of the negotiations--which still hung, and which now appeared
even farther from a conclusion than at the beginning--left unexplored in
this luminous Correspondence. It is quite evident that the King resisted
the coalition to the utmost extremity, that he tried every available
individual, and some even who were not in a position to bring any
strength to the Government, before he submitted, and that in the end he
submitted only under the compulsion of an overruling necessity.


    Pall Mall, March, 27th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I received your letter on Tuesday night so late, that I was not
    able to take any steps towards delivering its enclosure till
    yesterday, when Lord Sydney acquainted the King, at my request,
    with my wish to see him. I went there in the evening. Lord
    Ashburton was there before me, and had an audience of near two
    hours. When I went in, I said that you had been highly flattered
    with his gracious communication, and had been encouraged by it
    to trouble His Majesty with a detail of your situation, and the
    circumstances in which you stood. He received it very
    graciously, saying, that he was infinitely obliged to you for
    it; that he would take the first moment to look it over, and
    would certainly answer it, which should pass through my hands,
    as he had never been more satisfied, &c., &c.

    He then entered into a detail of what had passed since I saw him
    last. This, however, differs so very little, if at all, from
    what I have before stated to you about the Cabinet which was
    proposed, and the subordinate arrangement which was refused, and
    upon which the whole negotiation broke off, and has never since
    been resumed, that I will not trouble you with it over again.
    One thing, however, is worth mentioning, of which I was not
    before apprized, that the King complained of personal incivility
    from the Duke of Portland.

    Since the negotiation with the coalition broke off, the
    Government has been repeatedly and most eagerly pressed upon
    Pitt, who has, however, yesterday, once more firmly declined it.
    What the present intention is, I have scarcely a guess. The King
    seems as much disinclined as ever to open the negotiation again,
    and yet I see no resource which he has. He complained much that
    no one would step forth, and asked me whether I thought Tom Pitt
    could be worked upon. To this I gave little answer, except my
    ignorance, &c.; but I believed I might have answered decisively
    in the negative, as he declined even with William Pitt.

    He then entered into a conversation on the subject of Ireland,
    stating your universal popularity there, and inquiring about
    different people, particularly Scott. This brought us to the
    precipitate appointment of the Duke of Portland, and to the
    insult which had been offered by it to Lord Carlisle, and his
    astonishment that immediately afterwards he could accept such an
    office under him.

    He mentioned Lord Ely's having applied to be invested in
    England, and his having desired Lord Sydney to refer the letter
    to you.

    I do not recollect that anything else material passed, except
    compliments, &c., &c.

    I cannot help mentioning to you that you have never written to
    Lord Sydney, either on his peerage, or your resignation, and
    that I cannot help thinking that he feels it.

    The Irish Bill sleeps in the House of Lords. The Chancellor
    desired to put it off till something was settled. Lord Abingdon
    has given notice, in a most ridiculous speech, of his intention
    to oppose it. I spoke to Townshend yesterday about it, and he
    promised to appoint some day to-morrow for its being read a
    second time. They talk here of the Duke of Devonshire for
    Ireland. He is a respectable man, undoubtedly, and if you except
    the scale of his talents, which I think inferior to the
    situation, I know only one objection to the appointment, and
    that is a capital one.

    Pray communicate a little with Mornington about your
    resignation, &c. It will flatter him; and he is beyond measure
    disposed to you both in Ireland and _here_, to which he looks in
    a short time; but you must not let him know I have told you

    Adieu, my dearest brother,
    Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    T. Pitt's child is recovering very fast.

The allusion to Lord Mornington (afterwards Marquis Wellesley) is not
quite clear. We are left in some doubt as to whether his Lordship looked
at this time to office in England, or to the Lord-Lieutenancy of
Ireland. His ambition and his genius, however, had ample scope
subsequently in India and in Ireland, the Government of which latter
country was twice confided to him.

In the next letter Mr. Grenville reports another interview with the
King, in which His Majesty expressed his regret at the absence of Lord
Temple, to whom, even at the cost of still further delay, and some risk
of confusion in Irish affairs, he would still have applied, but for the
impediments which the distracted and unnatural state of parties threw in
the way of the formation of an honest and independent Administration.
Mr. Grenville saw that the attempt to form a Cabinet in the face of such
adverse circumstances would be attended with no credit to Lord Temple,
or permanent advantage to the King, and judiciously discouraged it. He
appears all throughout, from the dawn of the alliance between Fox and
Lord North, to have desired that they should be allowed to make the
experiment, in which he was confident they would fail.


    Pall Mall, March 28th, 1783.

    Half-past Seven, P.M.

    My dear Brother,

    I am just returned from the Queen's House, where the King sent
    for me about two hours ago. When I came into the room, he began
    the conversation by saying, that although his time was so much
    occupied in the present hour, he had wished to see me, in order
    to express how much he had felt upon reading your letter to him;
    that he had never been more pleased than he had been by that; so
    much matter in so little space--the whole state of our present
    situation so justly seen, and so accurately described--in short,
    he was at a loss to say which appeared to him in the strongest
    light, the affection which had dictated that letter, or the
    ability with which it was drawn up.

    He expatiated a good deal more on this, and then went on to say,
    that he was fully convinced that your not having been here at
    this moment was a very unfortunate circumstance, for that you
    would have stood forth to assist him. I said I was certain that
    nothing would have made you so happy as the possibility of being
    of any service to His Majesty in the present crisis. He answered
    that he fully believed it, and that the idea had occurred to him
    this morning of sending for me, to know what I thought of it in
    the present moment, as there was not time for a communication
    with you. I told him that there was one very considerable
    difficulty which struck me upon it--"the distance--besides that,
    Sire, the finding any person for the House of Commons, where it
    is most likely that the great push will be made."

    This seemed to strike him. He mentioned his having sent
    yesterday again to Tom Pitt, to endeavour to persuade him to
    stand forward, and his having declined it. He then went a good
    deal into T. Pitt's character, speaking very highly of his good
    sense and integrity, but expressing his doubts whether his
    health would ever allow him to take any active part; that,
    however, he had received this satisfaction from his conversation
    with him, that he had the pleasure of seeing that he approved of
    the conduct which he had held. He mentioned his having shown him
    the material letters which had passed, and then took them out of
    a drawer, and gave them me to read, consisting of four. One from
    the Duke of Portland, desiring to see the King. The King's note
    to Lord North, desiring to see the arrangement; and Lord North's
    answer, enclosing a letter to him from the Duke of Portland,
    both declining to give in the list.

    While I was reading these letters he went over with me a great
    variety of topics, chiefly the same as in the two former
    conversations, and very particularly upon the characters of Lord
    North and Fox, whom I think he described very justly, though
    certainly not in the most flattering colours. The first, he
    said, was a man composed entirely of negative qualities, and
    actuated, in every instance, by a desire of present ease at the
    risk of any future difficulty. This he instanced in the American
    war, and in the riots of 1780, of which he gave me a very long
    detail. As to Fox, he allowed that he was a man of parts,
    quickness, and great eloquence; but that he wanted application,
    and consequently the fundamental knowledge necessary for
    business, and above all, was totally destitute of discretion and
    sound judgment. He paid many compliments to William Pitt, to
    Jemmy, to the Major-General, to myself, and above all, to you,
    which language, I know, he has within these few days held most
    universally, which has probably given rise to the second report
    of your being sent for.

    In more than one instance, he made use of expressions which, if
    they did not absolutely declare his resolution at all hazards
    not to send again for the Duke of Portland, at least, have very
    strongly impressed me with that idea. In this I may be mistaken,
    but I own I so understood him; although I am utterly at a loss
    to form any conjecture of what he is looking forward to.

    After he had gone through a very long detail of this sort, he
    dismissed me, saying, that he would certainly write to you,
    through me, in a day or two; and, in the meantime, desiring that
    you would understand how much he had been satisfied with you,
    and how happy he should have been if you could have helped him.

    You see this does not amount to an offer; and the reason is, I
    think, sufficiently plain why the offer was not made: namely,
    that he had been staggered at what, I fear, is an insurmountable
    difficulty, with respect to the lead of the House of Commons. W.
    Pitt would certainly not hear of it, after his second peremptory
    refusal of the Treasury; T. Pitt as certainly not, after his
    refusal, for the second time, together with the comment afforded
    by a very long conversation which I had with him yesterday
    morning upon the subject; Jemmy has not health, and still less
    spirits, for so very arduous an undertaking; and as for myself,
    even if equal in other respects, which I very unaffectedly know
    I am not, still I am much too young, and too little versed in
    the navigation of that tempestuous sea, to venture out in such a
    hurricane as this. Indeed, upon the whole, I think the King
    seemed more to wish that you should know he had entertained, and
    been inclined to the idea, than to desire to press it upon you,
    at a moment when it appears so very impracticable.

    I said nothing in my last letter upon the subject which you
    mentioned to me respecting yourself, as I had no opportunity of
    dropping any hint of it to the King, when I saw him to deliver
    your letter. To-night, I certainly had that opportunity, and
    would as certainly have made use of it, but that I was never
    certain, till the last moment of the conversation, whether it
    would have ended by desiring me to state the offer to you as one
    now actually made, or as one wished to have been so if
    circumstances had allowed it. If it had been the former, a much
    better field would have been opened for the application: as it
    is, I will certainly throw out the idea, if I can find any
    opportunity of doing it when he delivers me his answer to you.

    I shall be impatient to hear your observations upon this
    interesting conversation. I certainly did not mean to take upon
    me to answer on your behalf in the negative, nor do I think I
    was so understood; but the objection which I started, in order
    that I might learn if any solution could be found, appeared to
    him, having no such solution to offer, as it does to me, seeing
    none such which can be offered, totally and absolutely

    In the meantime, the idea of his resolution not to give way, has
    most seriously alarmed me. I wish I may prove a false prophet,
    but I solemnly protest to God that I am afraid of the most fatal
    consequences. In a week's time, there will not be in the
    Treasury a farthing of money to defray the ordinary and current
    expenses of the Government! Judge how this will operate upon the
    seamen and soldiers, who are daily expecting to be paid off, and
    who, God knows, do not seem to want so strong an inducement to
    mutiny as must be afforded them by the total want of money. The
    licentiousness of the people, already arrived at a pitch never
    known in this country, is daily inflamed by newspapers and
    pamphlets, while there is no Government whatever to restrain its
    effects. These considerations hold out little encouragement to
    any man; but they afford an inducement to every good citizen to
    risk much, not only of personal ease and personal safety, but
    also of personal situation and character, in the hopes of
    averting the calamities which seem to threaten us. But if the
    attempt should be unsuccessful (and who shall say it will be
    otherwise?), it would plunge the Government into greater
    difficulties, by cutting off from the King his only resource and

    Two or three days must, by their events, and by the King's
    letter to you, enable you to judge decisively upon the situation
    of the country, present and to come. The prospect is truly
    gloomy, and the combination of calamitous circumstances such as
    to leave very little reason in my apprehension to hope that this
    situation will be such as we must all wish--that of a settled
    Government, even in hands which we dislike, if it can be settled
    in no other. In the meantime, I do not think you called upon to
    transmit to the King any answer to this conversation; especially
    as, I suppose, you must naturally send one to his letter,
    whenever it arrives.

    Adieu, my dearest brother,
    Believe me ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    P.S.--The Treasury have written to Hamilton to give assurances
    of the repayment of the money advanced to Lord Rawdon's
    regiment, and to desire a state of that money. The natural way
    would have been, to have given you credit for the whole money
    due from them to the regiment; but as it is, I hope you will not
    any longer think it necessary to stop the subsistence, as it has
    so harsh an appearance.

Having traced the history of the coalition up to this point, we now come
to His Majesty's answer to Lord Temple, referring to these transactions.
It was transmitted in the following letter from Mr. Grenville.


    Pall Mall, April 1st, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I have this evening seen the King, and received from him, with
    every expression both towards you and myself, the enclosed
    letter to transmit to you. I take it for granted that it will
    sufficiently inform you of the determination which he has at
    length taken, but not avowed, of acquiescing in the Duke of
    Portland's Cabinet for the present; and of his wishes, that
    those who act with us should hold themselves apart from such a
    Government, in order that he may have something else to look to
    whenever circumstances shall allow of it.

    At all events, if there is anything in his conversation with me
    which is not implied in his letter, I shall so soon have an
    opportunity of detailing it to you at length, that I do not
    think it worth while to trouble you with what must for the most
    part be a repetition of what he has written to you. Our ground I
    think clear--honourable to ourselves, consistent with our
    principles and professions, and holding out to us the fairest
    prospects of honest ambition. If those prospects fail us, we
    shall have nothing to reproach ourselves with; if they succeed,
    we shall stand firmly and honourably upon the ruins of weakness
    and disgrace.

    The King talks of their kissing hands in two or three days. I
    shall wait till their inferior arrangements are settled, because
    the difficulty about the peerages still remains. They are said
    to be pledged by absolute promises; on the other hand, the King
    neither can, will, nor I think ought, to give way on that head.
    Should they be so weak as to resign on that ground, their
    support would certainly fail them, and the road would be opened
    for us. As soon as this point is understood to be settled, I
    will go back to you; as, notwithstanding our voluminous
    correspondence, I wait with the utmost impatience for the moment
    when I may state to you in person much which I have necessarily
    left unsaid, and, above all, the sincere and heartfelt affection
    with which I am

    Ever most truly yours,
    W. W. G.

    You will observe that part of the King's ground is a resistance
    to _advancements_ as well as _creations_. This seemed naturally
    to throw so much difficulty upon your object, that I thought
    there would be an indelicacy in pressing it at the time that you
    are lamenting the unavoidable difficulties under which he
    already labours. The delay, I firmly believe, will be very short

    While I am making up this, I receive yours of the 28th of March.
    It is supposed that the King, when he wrote the note negativing
    the coalition, either depended on Pitt, or meant by that means
    to force him. I have, as far as possible, observed towards Pitt
    the line you state, and I think with success.

    I have heard nothing till this moment of the pretty negotiation
    of which you speak; but do not suppose any man, or set of men,
    would authorize the sale of a judicial office.

Here follows the letter from the King, enclosed in the above. The
historical interest of this confidential communication cannot be


    Queen's House, April 1st, 1783.

    My Lord,

    I had the pleasure, on the 26th of last month, to receive from
    your truly amiable and right-headed brother and secretary, your
    very able letter of the 23rd on the state of Ireland, couched in
    terms that also conveyed the warmest attachment to my person and
    Government, which makes me not deem among the least of public
    misfortunes, that the want of resolution in some, and of public
    zeal in others, will oblige you to quit a station which you fill
    so much to the satisfaction of all honest men as well as to

    Since the conversation I had with Mr. William Grenville on the
    16th of last month, I have continued every possible means of
    forming an Administration; an experience of now above twenty-two
    years convinces me that it is impossible to erect a stable one
    within the narrow bounds of any faction, for none deserve the
    appellation of party; and that in an age when disobedience to
    law and authority is as prevalent as a thirst after changes in
    the best of all political Constitutions, it requires temper and
    sagacity to stem these evils, which can alone be expected from a
    collection of the best and most calm heads and hearts the
    kingdom possesses.

    Judge, therefore, of the uneasiness of my mind, at having been
    thwarted in every attempt to keep the administration of public
    affairs out of the hands of the most unprincipled coalition the
    annals of this or any other nation can equal. I have withstood
    it till not a single man is willing to come to my assistance,
    and till the House of Commons has taken every step, but
    insisting on this faction being by name elected Ministers.

    To end a conflict which stops every wheel of Government, and
    which would affect public credit if it continued much longer, I
    intend this night to acquaint that _grateful_ Lord North, that
    the seven Cabinet Counsellors the coalition has named shall kiss
    hands to-morrow, and then form their arrangements, as the former
    negotiation they did not condescend to open to many of their

    A Ministry which I have avowedly attempted to avoid, by calling
    on every other description of men, cannot be supposed to have
    either my favour or confidence; and as such, I shall most
    certainly refuse any honours they may ask for. I trust the eyes
    of the nation will soon be opened, as my sorrow may prove fatal
    to my health if I remain long in this thraldom. I trust you will
    be steady in your attachment to me, and ready to join other
    honest men in watching the conduct of this unnatural
    combination, and I hope many months will not elapse before the
    Grenvilles, the Pitts, and other men of abilities and character
    will relieve me from a situation that nothing could have
    compelled me to submit to, but the supposition that no other
    means remained of preventing the public finances from being
    materially affected.

    It shall be one of my first cares to acquaint these men that you
    decline remaining in Ireland.

    George R.

[Footnote 1: This passage is printed accurately from the original. Its
obscurity may be removed by a slight alteration: "as _in_ the former
negotiation they did not condescend to open _too_ many of their

A Ministry forced in this way upon a Sovereign who, during the
twenty-two years referred to in the above letter, had struggled
successfully to resist the dictation of Parliament, and to break down
the ascendancy of powerful families and party combinations, contained
within itself the seeds of early dissolution. The King accepted them,
but never gave them his confidence. He resolved from the first to treat
them as men who had violently broken into the Cabinet; and he called
upon his friends to withhold their support from them, and to sustain him
in his resistance to their policy. The ingratitude of Lord North touched
him deeply; and in proportion as he shrank from all personal intercourse
that could be avoided with the new allies of his former favourite, he
turned for succour to men like Lord Temple, who preserved their honour
unsullied, however their political views, on some subjects, might have
differed from his own. If it cannot be said of His Majesty in this
crisis, that "royalty conspired to remove" these Ministers, the language
of His Majesty's letter (in itself an excellent specimen of his pure
English style and practical good sense) plainly and unreservedly
declares his resolution to get rid of them as soon as possible by all
the means the Constitution placed in his hands. Lord Temple's answer
frankly indicates the course he was prepared to take during the
existence of what the writer designates as the "unprincipled coalition."
It will be seen in the sequel how fully he justified the confidence
reposed in him by the King.


    Dublin Castle,

    April 6th, 1783, Thirty minutes past Eleven, P.M.


    This moment has brought to me your Majesty's letter. Every
    anxiety which I felt, and which my letter so faintly expressed,
    is relieved by that condescension with which your Majesty has
    deigned to accept the state of Ireland, and of my situation.
    Permit me to express my thanks, with every assurance of that
    attachment which has your Majesty's service as my only object,
    and of that heartfelt concern which presses upon me at the
    detail of the situation of your Majesty's health and feelings,
    as well as of the kingdom. May Providence long secure to us that
    health and life; a resource upon which our all depends. To
    yourself, Sire, and to posterity, you stand acquitted for every
    consequence, which nothing but the frenzy of the moment could
    have forced upon you. The interval is truly painful, but a short
    time must rescue your Government from the fetters thrown round
    it. My respectful, and (suffer me to say) cordial attachment to
    your person, and to that best of political Constitutions which
    is hourly threatened, will ever lead me to sacrifice every
    private feeling to your service. I must, however, say, and say
    truly, that every feeling of ambition is deadened by these times
    and circumstances; and that a public situation has none of those
    charms for me which have brought forward this unprincipled
    coalition. But I have, and ever must retain those feelings of
    duty and affection which will urge me to obey your Majesty's
    commands in exerting every faculty for your satisfaction and the
    public service. The scene before you is indeed unparalleled in
    the annals of history. May those who, by timidity and weakness
    for some years past, have driven your kingdoms to the verge of
    destruction, and those, who, by a dangerous and unprincipled
    attack upon every part of the Constitution, are now enabled to
    avail themselves of our distress, deeply answer it. My opinions
    (uninteresting as they are to your Majesty) have never varied
    upon that great jewel of constitutional supremacy over all the
    parts of the empire, now torn from your Crown; nor upon the
    system of our Government founded on law and practice of ages,
    which draws the line between the Constitution of Great Britain
    and all other establishments. These principles, from my earliest
    infancy, I have imbibed; and if I could reconcile a deviation
    from them to my political or moral duties, I will confess that
    no hopes of ambition have power to tempt me. Under these
    impressions I embarked in an undertaking under which nothing but
    your Majesty's protection, and a confidence in my own
    intentions, could have supported me. And with these impressions
    I retire, with every feeling amply gratified by your favour and

    May no circumstances delay the hour of your Majesty's
    deliverance from that thraldom which bears so heavily upon you,
    and may you find in those cool heads and hearts, to whom your
    Majesty would entrust your service, that resource to which you
    are so well entitled. In such an arrangement, no consideration
    will direct your Majesty's thoughts for one moment towards me,
    except the conviction (which I will beg to urge to your Majesty,
    and which it will be my pride to cultivate,) of the gratitude,
    duty, and affection, with which I have the honour to subscribe

    Your Majesty's very faithful and devoted subject and servant,
    N. T.

Lord Temple had decided upon his resignation early in March; and one of
the first persons to whom he confided his determination, was his friend
Lord Bulkeley. The letter conveying this intelligence is so honourable
to his character, and contains so intimate a revelation of the high
principles and paramount sense of duty by which his conduct was
governed, that it will inspire even a deeper interest than the more
elaborate statement of his motives and opinions which he laid before the


    Dublin Castle, March 20th, 1783

    The strange scene, my dearest Bulkeley, of the last month, has
    left me little time (even if my public duty would have allowed
    me) to have communicated with you upon the subject of your last
    letter, and of my present or future situation. The constant
    intelligence which I have had from England, has enabled me to
    form a very adequate judgment upon the state of your politics,
    the complexion of them altered every moment; and I have been
    obliged to preserve a most cautious and scrupulous silence upon
    the variety of subjects which the last anxious month has
    presented. My line has been for several days past decisively
    taken; but I have not till this day thought myself at liberty to
    avow to any one that I have requested from the King that he will
    release me from a situation in which I can no longer be useful;
    for no consideration shall tempt me to hold this Government,
    where I do not see my way in the English Cabinet, whose
    formation must ever revolt and disgust me. I have much to say
    upon this point, more than I can include in a letter, which from
    my want of time must be short; but my brother William, who will
    deliver you this letter open, will tell you in detail what I
    feel upon the subject. I do not say that I am indifferent to
    what I sacrifice; Ireland holds out a career the most brilliant
    to my honest fame; but there are feelings which I would not
    exchange in the present moment for all that the two kingdoms
    could bestow: to those feelings, whenever you are in public
    office, I recommend you; and trust me that they will amply repay
    you for any change which a resignation may make in your
    situation. To those scenes of domestic happiness which have
    hitherto blessed me, I shall with pleasure return; and in those
    scenes I shall look for your friendship with the same warm
    feelings with which I first embraced it; for in all situations I
    shall, and must, be to you the same George Grenville, and no
    longer to any one

    Sancho Pança, the Governor.

Mr. Townshend, who had filled the office of Secretary of State for the
Home Department under Lord Shelburne, and had been just elevated to the
peerage (March 6th, 1783) as Baron Sydney of Chiselhurst, was the only
member of the Administration who had cordially concurred with Mr.
Grenville in his efforts to forward the unfortunate Irish Bill in which
Lord Temple was so deeply interested. Previously to his retirement from
office, Lord Temple, reminded of his neglect by Mr. Grenville in not
having earlier forwarded his congratulations, addressed the following
letter to Lord Sydney. A closer acquaintance afterwards sprang up
between them, and was ripened into an intimate friendship before the
close of the year. "I cannot conclude," observes Lord Sydney, at the
close of a letter dated October 27th, 1783, "without expressing, in the
strongest manner, how sensible my family, as well as myself, are of the
civilities we received at Stowe during the agreeable time which we spent
there. We drink your health every day, and desire, _en corps_, to be
remembered to your Lordship and Lady Temple, and to the rest of the
party at Stowe, in the kindest manner."


    Dublin Castle, April 2nd, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    I have been waiting for some days (now almost weeks) for my
    delivery; but finding the situation of Government so uncertain,
    I will not delay to the period when our correspondence would
    naturally have closed, my cordial acknowledgments for the very
    steady, honourable, and let me call it affectionate support
    which you have given me in the complicated scene of the four
    winter months, and in the whole detail of our communications. I
    shall ever think of it with gratitude; but if I were vain enough
    to think my presence in Ireland necessary, you have effectually
    prevented my continuance by a candour and sincerity, which I
    could little expect in your successor. Upon these grounds of
    good-will to those with whom I acted, and of detestation of that
    coalition to which you have given way, I have, without
    communication with any one, sent to you my letter of
    resignation. I am not insensible to the sacrifice; for arduous
    as the station most truly is, I had hopes at this early period
    of my life to have built my honest fame upon the event of my
    Administration. Those prospects are vanished, but I have that
    satisfaction in reflecting upon the scene of these last six
    months, which amply contents me. As to future events, let those
    who have played this desperate game, deeply answer it; and upon
    that subject (as far as it relates to this kingdom) I will say
    nothing, as you will, from my despatches, have collected all
    that can occur to me. God knows whether this may still find you
    Secretary; if it should, I wish you to write to me an ostensible
    letter, in the strongest terms, upon the conduct of the
    Portuguese, with respect to our trade at Lisbon. If you had all
    remained in office I should have seriously proposed reprisals on
    their effects in our ports, as the only means to bring them to a
    sense of what is due to Ireland; as it is, I wish for many
    reasons to leave to Ireland a proof of the pains which you know
    I have taken upon that subject.

    Adieu, my dear Townshend; excuse the name, it has dropped from
    my pen, and reminds me that I have not assured you of the
    cordial interest I take in your creation; but till I am more
    familiarized to Sydney, the former name more easily recalls
    those feelings of regard, with which I am ever,

    Your very faithful and affectionate servant,
    (Signed) Nugent Temple.

    Many thanks for your exertions on Lord Rawdon's business: it has
    been shamefully delayed, and I thought the stoppage of
    subsistence the likely means to bring it forward; but you will
    easily believe that I have taken care, though it is nominally
    stopped, yet that the men are paid.

    Rt. Hon. Lord Sydney.

By this time the arrangements were completed, and the new Ministers had
kissed hands.


    Pall Mall, April 2nd, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I enclose a paper containing the new arrangement, who kissed
    hands to-day. The King sent last night to Lord North, to bid him
    tell them that they were to come to the levée to-day to kiss

    You will, as I understand, have the supreme felicity of
    receiving from the Right Honourable Frederick Lord North, a
    notification of his appointment; though I hear to-day that Fox
    is to take Ireland as part of the _Foreign_ Department.

    I hear nothing of your successor. Adieu.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

On the day on which this letter was written, the Duke of Portland was
publicly announced as First Lord of the Treasury, Fox and Lord North as
joint Secretaries of State (an arrangement which explains Mr.
Grenville's allusion to Ireland as part of the _Foreign_ Department),
Lord John Cavendish as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Keppel, First
Lord of the Admiralty, Viscount Stormont, President of the Council, and
the Earl of Carlisle, Privy Seal. The King had endeavoured in vain to
retain the services of Lord Thurlow. Upon this point, which had been
ceded very reluctantly by the Shelburne Cabinet, the coalition Ministers
were inexorable. They insisted upon putting the Seal into commission,
with Lord Loughborough as First Commissioner; and, as they were in a
position to dictate their own terms, His Majesty at last gave up this
point, to which he had clung with more tenacity than all the rest.

His Majesty's attachment to Lord Thurlow may possibly have been founded
on the conviction that he could securely calculate on the allegiance of
a man who was ready to avail himself of every opportunity to promote his
own interests, and who might therefore be expected, on all occasions, to
pay a deferential attention to the wishes of the King. His Lordship's
subsequent conduct during the Regency discussions in 1788 afforded a
conspicuous proof of his unscrupulousness: when, upon hearing one night,
at Carlton House, from one of the King's physicians, of the approaching
convalescence of His Majesty, he went down at once to the House, and, to
the utter astonishment of everybody, undertook a defence of the King's
rights against the Prince and the Whigs, with whom, up to that moment,
he had been engaged actively intriguing on the other side. The same
implicit devotion to the ascendant authority might no doubt have been
looked for from Lord Loughborough, who was a thorough party-man. But
there was a certain sturdiness in Thurlow, that rendered him a more
valuable adherent, and a more formidable antagonist. He seems to have
regarded all mankind with distrust. On the Bench, his disposition vented
itself in judgments remarkable for their brevity and the irascible tone
in which they were delivered. His utterance was sonorous, with the
mysterious pomp and grandiloquence of an oracle, kindling up at times
into solemn denunciation. His "make up" must have been perfect in its
way, from the awful air of preparation for which his speeches are said
to have been so remarkable. Thurlow acted with Pitt and the Whigs, and
was pronounced equally impracticable by both. Pitt complained of him
that he was always raising difficulties, and strangely irresolute of
purpose on public measures, for a man who was so decided on the Bench.
The Whigs had the same complaint against him, and were always
embarrassed by him, and at a loss to know how he would act on particular
emergencies. Throughout these letters, numerous traces will be found of
the continual doubts and apprehensions with which he inspired them.

Lord Loughborough's career was no less remarkable for violence, and the
unconscientious pursuit of professional promotion, to which he made all
other objects subservient. He and Thurlow had been Solicitor and
Attorney-General under Lord North's Administration, and were amongst its
most strenuous supporters; although the former had entered Parliament in
uncompromising hostility to Lord North's Cabinet, and distinguished
himself for some years as one of its bitterest assailants. Having thus
opposed Ministers in the early period of their Government, when their
measures were most deserving of support, he joined them on the eve of
the American war, when their measures were most open to objection; and
carried his partizanship to such a height, that even the judicial
function did not restrain his zeal. While he was Chief Justice of the
Common Pleas, he made war upon Pitt's Administration in the Upper House,
where he headed the Foxite Opposition, and became one of the boldest
and, consequently, one of the most dangerous of the Prince's advisers on
the Regency question.

The coalition, which placed the Seals in the hands of Lord Loughborough,
is so vigorously and minutely pourtrayed in this Correspondence, that it
need not here be further alluded to. Its origin, progress and fate
present one of those instructive episodes in political history which all
statesmen may consult with advantage, and which they will find amply
detailed in these letters. The disgrace of the junction certainly lay
more heavily on the Whigs than on Lord North. Fox had spent his whole
life in assailing the person and policy of Lord North, whose principles
were utterly opposed to his own; yet he entered into a Cabinet compact
with this very Minister, because Lord Shelburne and Mr. Pitt had
endeavoured to repair the errors of his Government--the very errors Mr.
Fox had all along condemned--by negotiating a peace which, upon the
whole, was more favourable than could have been reasonably expected.
Three years before, Lord North made an overture to the Rockingham party
for a coalition, but it was rejected; and that which Lord Rockingham
considered to be a violation of consistency and an abandonment of
principle was, on this memorable occasion, not only adopted by Fox, but
negotiated under circumstances which for several weeks placed the
interests of the empire in jeopardy. We shall probably never learn with
whom the movement originated in the first instance; but that it was
pursued with equal earnestness on both sides, admits of no doubt. The
only point upon which the contracting parties appear to have differed
was the distribution of offices!

One of Lord North's first steps in office, was to address a conciliatory
and complimentary letter to Lord Temple; but it was too late--no
temptations could have induced his Lordship to retract.


    Secretary of State's Office, Whitehall,

    April 5th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    I must beg your Excellency's permission to accompany the
    despatches which are going to Ireland, by a few lines in a
    private letter, to express my great concern to find, upon my
    entrance into this office, that your Excellency has taken a
    resolution to quit your Government. The important station which
    you now fill never, I believe, required more discretion and more
    firmness than at the present moment; and there was, perhaps,
    never more difficulty in finding any person capable and willing
    to succeed to an office of such consequence, and to give to His
    Majesty and to the people of Ireland the satisfaction which your
    Excellency has done.

    If, in the situation in which His Majesty has been pleased to
    place me, I can be of any service to your Excellency, I hope
    that you will command me without scruple; and be assured that I
    shall rejoice in every opportunity of showing the respect with
    which I have the honour to be,

    My Lord,
    Your Excellency's most faithful, humble servant,

The Administration had hardly entered upon its functions, when its
overthrow became an object of speculation. Everybody saw that it could
not stand. It began in a false position, and had not the power to
recover itself. General Cuninghame writes to Lord Temple, on the 9th of
April: "Lord North will not be called to the House of Peers till the
question on Representation has been discussed in the Commons, then that
House will be left entirely to Mr. Fox, and from that moment many wise
men already begin to date his downfall. I do not meet with any who think
the present arrangement looks permanent. Nobody now pretends to guess
who will go to Ireland. The Duke of Devonshire has put himself entirely
out of the question, and Lord Fitzwilliam still declines it." This
intelligence is corroborated by Mr. Grenville.


    April 9th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I waited till this morning to deliver the Badge, &c., in hopes
    of receiving your answer to the letter of the 1st instant; but
    receiving last night, by messenger, yours of the 4th, and
    perceiving that you had not then received it, I thought I could
    not any longer delay it.

    As it was late before I could get in, I had very little
    conversation. I think it, however, right to mention to you, that
    he asked me whether I had heard anything of their having written
    a letter to you, pressing you to stay; and that when I said that
    I knew nothing of it except from common report, but had heard
    that His Majesty's name had been made use of to induce you to
    stay, he answered that it might be so, but if it had, it was
    without his consent, or even knowledge.

    I send this to you by express, because I cannot help giving
    credit to the report, and the rather, because I hear nothing of
    any successor being appointed. The Duke of Devonshire has
    positively refused; _so has Lord Derby_; and Lord Fitzwilliam
    (the properest man they have to send) has declined it on account
    of Lady Fitzwilliam's health, which makes it absolutely
    impossible for her to undertake such a journey. My opinion,
    however--and, I confess, my hope--is, that he will at last be
    prevailed upon. I have as yet had no sort of communication with
    our new Secretary, having sent your despatch to Lord Sydney, to
    whom it was addressed.

    Nothing is yet done on the Irish Bill. It has waited till now
    for the appointment of a Government; and that being at last so
    happily settled, I applied to Lord Sydney to proceed with it. He
    told me he wished first to ask the Duke of Portland what his
    intentions were on the subject, in order to give him an
    opportunity of taking it up if he chose it. This coincided
    perfectly with what has always been my idea on the subject, that
    it ought to proceed from Government; and accordingly we went (in
    the House of Lords) to the Duke of Portland, who seemed not a
    little embarrassed, but, however, said he would take it up, and
    would move for the second reading for Thursday or Friday
    next--which he has _not_ done.

    I mean to-morrow to ask him about it; and if he shuffles, shall
    press Lord Sydney to go on with it. I do not think it impossible
    that Ponsonby either has or will desire him to amend it. If this
    should be the case, it must be returned into the House of
    Commons, where I will certainly attend it, and speak my opinion
    very freely and plainly upon it. Mornington tells us that
    Yelverton is dissatisfied with it, as not recognising _the
    original inherent right_ (you see the consistency of these
    men!); but that Grattan defends it, and he himself approves.

    Fitzpatrick, Secretary-at-War, selling his commission, but not
    his rank; Conway being continued on the staff, in order to
    prevent Fitzpatrick's issuing the military orders, to which
    flattering solution Conway submits; Lord Hertford, Chamberlain;
    Lord Dartmouth, Lord Steward; Duke of Manchester, Paris; Lord
    Sandwich outrageous, and in violent opposition; Lord Townshend,
    Ordnance; Sir W. Howe remains, at his brother's particular

    * Lord North         ¯|
    * Lord Stormont       |
    * Lord Carlisle       |
    Lord Hertford         |
    Lord Dartmouth        |
    Lord Townshend        |
    Lord Loughborough     |
    Lord Weymouth         |
    Charles Townshend     } _Privy Council offices._
    Eden                  |
    Greville              |
    * Duke of Portland    |
    * Fox                 |
    * Lord Keppel         |
    * Lord John Cavendish |
    Burke                 |
    Fitzpatrick          _|

    _Tibi Brachia contrahit ardens Scopiur, et c[oe]liæ plus justâ
    parte reliquit._

    Lord Mansfield, Speaker, House of Lords; Lord de Ferrars
    resigns; Duke of Richmond, ditto, and violent.

    April 11th.

    So far, I wrote on Wednesday; but delayed sending it, in the
    hopes of having something more to write to you on the Irish
    Bill, and in the full confidence that their letter, even if it
    has been sent, which I doubt, is not likely to make any very
    great impression upon you.

    To-day I attended the House of Lords, as it had been agreed that
    the Irish Bill should come on. To my utter astonishment, the
    Duke of Portland, so far from performing his promise, got up
    when the order of the day was called for, and said, that as the
    Bill was brought in before he came into office, he did not
    consider himself as responsible for its contents. The Duke of
    Richmond, on this, attacked him pretty warmly on the idea of a
    Minister suffering a Bill of such magnitude to go on, without
    having some settled opinion to declare upon it.

    A little more conversation of this sort passed, of which you
    will probably see the detail in the papers, better than I can
    give it you. It ended by fixing the second reading for Monday,
    for which day the Lords are summoned. The Chancellor paid you a
    great many compliments, lamenting your departure, &c.; and
    saying, at the same time, very justly, that if a new Government
    was to take place in Ireland, they might possibly be to adopt a
    system directly contrary to that to which the Bill is

    Lord Sydney is to move it on Monday; the Duke of Portland having
    told him (in consequence of his having, at my desire, put the
    question explicitly to him), that he meant to take no part in
    it. Probably, however, this determination will last only till he
    gets a fresh set of instructions from Fox.

    The news of the day is, that they are quarrelling about having
    Lord Loughborough of the Cabinet. I am going to the King to
    deliver your letter, and if it be true, shall very likely hear


    Nothing material passed last night, as I was a very short time
    with the King, and the conversation was quite general; so much
    so, that I had no kind of opportunity to introduce what you
    mentioned to me, and I am sure you agree with me, that it was
    impossible for me to begin that sort of conversation.

    I have delayed this letter till to-day, in order to send you the
    papers containing the debate, which is very accurately stated in

    I have seen Lord Sydney to-day about this Bill, and I think we
    have settled, at last, that on Monday he should move for the
    second reading, stating a little the grounds of the Bill, and
    should then proceed to say that the Bill was taken by us out of
    Lord Beauchamp's hands, because we thought it proper that
    whatever was done in a business of this nature should proceed
    from Government; that, for the same reason, having brought it to
    this stage, he would now resign it into the hands of the present
    Government. It is a measure which cannot be indifferent: if it
    accords with the new system to be pursued in Ireland, the
    persons who are to carry on that system should adopt and forward
    it. If their system is to be contrary to it, nothing can then be
    so pernicious as a Bill upon the subject of Ireland passed in
    opposition to the ideas of Government. The object of the Bill
    certainly must be to conciliate the affections of the people of
    Ireland to Government there, and in England. Would this object
    be answered, if the Bill be passed without the express
    concurrence and consent of that Government which now exists?
    Will not the effect be the direct contrary, if they are to be
    told--which was Yelverton's expression to Mornington--that the
    Bill puts Ireland in a worse situation than before the Repeal?

    The more I think all this over, the more I am convinced that we
    ought not to commit ourselves to the event of a measure which is
    already so much found fault with by the Duke of Portland's
    people. If a Lord-Lieutenant of theirs is appointed, he will be
    to condemn it, and to give fresh encouragement to another
    ferment, which will be to be allayed by some new measure here.
    Surely, all this is neither for the peace of Ireland, nor for
    the dignity of Great Britain. Upon these grounds it is, that I
    think Lord Sydney ought to leave the business to them.

    The Duke of Dorset is turned out to make room for Lord

    I hear not a word of your successor. Pray do not forget to
    desire Fremantle to reform my household. Adieu, my dear brother.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

    Lord Northington and Lord Hillsborough, are most talked of for

    The loan, said to be abominable, has been done for more than 6
    per cent. profit. A large _private seal_.


    Pall Mall, April 15th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I enclose you the papers of this morning, which will give you a
    pretty exact idea of the conversation, rather than debate, which
    took place upon the second reading of the Irish Bill. The
    "Morning Post" comes nearest to the Duke of Portland's speech.
    That in the "Morning Chronicle" was evidently inserted by some
    of their people (to whom that paper is devoted), and contains
    rather what he ought to have said, and, perhaps, what he was
    instructed to say, than what he actually did say. None of the
    papers have, however, given the following words, which I
    remarked to Mornington the moment they were spoke, and took down
    upon paper as soon as I came home, so that I can be positive as
    to their having been exact.

    "As to this Bill, I concur in it, because I think it was made
    _necessary_ by what was done last year, and consider it as _a
    necessary consequence_ of that."

    After this, I hope we shall not have to hear Mr. Fox, in
    England, or those whom he supposes his friends in Ireland, say,
    what Mr. Fox said when the Bill was first moved for, that it was
    _wholly unnecessary_.

    I waited to send this off till I saw whether there would be any
    alteration proposed, or any debate on the wording of the Bill in
    the Committee. I went to the House, and there saw Lord Thurlow,
    who told me that if the Bill had not come recommended by you, he
    should have had a great deal to say upon it; but as it was, he
    meant not to speak at all with respect to it, on your account.

    I hear nothing of any successor to you, and begin to be a little
    uneasy about it, for a reason which Jemmy desired me to press to
    you, though, I confess, it appears stronger to him than it does
    to me. What I mean is, that in the manner in which these people
    are going on, throwing away the scabbard entirely both with the
    King and the people, it is utterly impossible but that they must
    overturn themselves almost immediately; and if a change should
    happen while you are still in Ireland, you could have no excuse
    for not remaining, which, after all that has passed, would be
    most unpleasant.

    Now for my own part, I own I do not expect quite so sudden a
    dissolution of the present Government, because I am sure they
    will not resign, and I do not think the King will be able to
    turn them out till the session is over. Still, however, your
    being here would be very material, standing in so high a
    situation as you do; and in that idea I have a wish, if you
    should not disapprove of it, to take an opportunity in the House
    of Commons, immediately after the holidays (or at least as soon
    as I can hear from you, supposing nobody appointed before), to
    call the attention of the House to the situation of Ireland,
    suffering at least as much from an interregnum as this country
    did, and to say that the same motives which made it, in the
    opinion of all the world, necessary for Lord Shelburne and Pitt
    actually to quit their situations before a successor was
    appointed, rather than hold responsible office without
    responsibility, must also in the end actuate you, however
    unwilling, &c., &c.

    Lees is appointed Under Secretary to Lord North. The Duke of
    Dorset forced out at the requisition of the Prince of Wales,
    contrary, as it is said, to an express promise made to him by
    the King. Fortescue (Lord Clermont's nephew) desired me to
    remind you of a promise of the Linen Board next after two,
    which, he says, is now the case.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

Up to this time, no successor was found for Lord Temple. Mr. Grenville,
writing on the 19th, says: "They are under real difficulties about your
successor. They have offered the situation even to Lord Althorpe, who
refused it two days ago. I rather think, putting together circumstances
and appearances, that it will end in Lord Hillsborough." A successor,
however, was at last found in the person of Lord Northington.


    April 25th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I believe I may at last congratulate you upon the appointment of
    Lord Northington, and Wyndham of Norfolk, to succeed us in our
    respective situations. It is not yet publicly notified, but I
    have every reason to think that you may depend upon my
    information. As soon as it is declared, I mean to see them, in
    order to settle with the former the time which he wishes to have
    for his preparations, &c., and with the latter the taking such
    of my things as he may be disposed to. After that I think of
    setting out for Ireland _tout de suite_. There is no public news
    that I hear of. Things seem to remain pretty much in the same
    situation as when I wrote last.

    Adieu, my dearest brother,
    Believe me most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

A short correspondence took place, at this juncture between the Duke of
Portland and Lord Temple. It is impossible not to perceive, or to
suspect, in the Duke of Portland's letter, a certain consciousness of
the discredit attached to his position. He deprecates, in a tone of
courtierly sensitiveness, all allusion to the political changes which
have separated him from Lord Temple in public life, and, with the air of
one who is not quite satisfied with himself, he seeks to turn his
unconfessed distrust of the course he has adopted into a compliment to
his correspondent. Lord Temple's reply is strongly marked with the true
character of the writer--frank, bold, honest above all things, and
straight to the purpose. The reproach contained in his closing
words--that it severely pained him to think he had reason to complain of
the personal conduct of a Ministry, chiefly composed of "those who had
the advantage of being denominated the friends of the late Lord
Rockingham"--terminates appropriately a correspondence which could not
be maintained with much satisfaction on either side.


    London, Saturday, April 26th, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    I am very much ashamed at having so long delayed my very sincere
    thanks for the effectual attention your Excellency has given to
    my wishes in favour of Mr. Coppinger and Mr. Doyle. My gratitude
    for this mark of your friendship is not less sincere than that
    which poor Doyle feels, and I certainly could not do more
    justice to it than by expressing it in the same terms which he
    has used upon this occasion, as they most emphatically describe
    the feelings of his heart. I cannot say that this circumstance
    has added to the concern with which I learnt your determination
    to resign the Government of Ireland, because the measure of the
    misfortune was full before this event, but it considerably
    increases the regret with which I contemplate the difference of
    opinion which now subsists between us, and almost inclines me to
    doubt the degree of obedience which my ideas of duty to the
    public make requisite. But this is a subject upon which my
    silence hitherto must indicate my disinclination to enter. I
    wish, at this moment, as little to defend as to arraign. Your
    Excellency is as well satisfied with your conduct as I am with
    mine. Time may do more than argument, and desirous as I am for
    the concurrence of your opinion upon public questions, continue
    me in the possession of your private friendship, and I will
    accept that as an auspicious omen.

    I am, with great truth and regard,
    My dear Lord,
    Your Excellency's most obedient and obliged humble servant,


    Dublin Castle, May 1st, 1783.

    My Lord,

    I am honoured with your Grace's letter of the 26th instant, and
    must return my best thanks for the expressions of regard with
    which you have noted my appointment of Mr. Coppinger, and of Mr.
    Doyle, to the situations which they now hold, at your Grace's
    recommendation, to which I have truly given the earliest
    attention in my power.

    It is really a misfortune to me to find that our political ideas
    have so materially differed. I perfectly agree with your Grace
    in wishing not to defend nor arraign, and shall therefore waive
    the subject, as far as it regards the change in His Majesty's

    But I cannot help complaining in private, as I have uniformly in
    public, that I have been singularly unfortunate in the treatment
    which I have met with. I resigned on the 12th of March, and that
    resignation was notorious to every one conversant in public
    business, and the intention communicated to your Grace on the
    2nd of March. Notwithstanding this, I understand that no person
    was recommended for this situation in the formation of the new
    Ministry; nor from the date of their acceptance did I receive
    any notification of the King's acceptance of my office, nor any
    apology for the delay, nor any request to remain till the new
    appointment or arrival of my successor, nor any communication
    upon the very extensive business of this kingdom, for which I
    have declined any responsibility; but, on the contrary, I have
    been, under these circumstances, detained in a situation without
    responsibility, which was actually objected as a charge against
    Mr. Pitt, while I have been labouring to disengage myself; and,
    ultimately, I have received Lord Northington's appointment,
    dated on the 24th (two days after it had been communicated by
    every one connected with Government to their friends), without
    one line of the King's approbation of my conduct, in
    circumstances and moments very critical, unless I am to
    interpret Lord North's opinion on that subject, as the official
    notification of His Majesty's satisfaction.

    These circumstances, my Lord, have much galled me, because they
    are personal; and because they are not necessarily connected
    with the change of Government, and have laid me under the
    necessity of resenting it by expressions very decisive, in my
    despatch of the 24th; and your Grace will easily believe that
    the period for my relief, fixed by Lord North for six weeks
    hence, after a resignation on the 12th of March, has not much
    soothed me. I shall regret any injury to the public service, but
    I have my private feelings, and they will not suffer me to
    remain in such a situation for such a time, even if the state of
    this kingdom justified such an addition to the absolute
    interregnum which has existed now since the second week in
    February: but at the moment in which I write I remain totally
    uninformed upon any of the voluminous details which I have
    submitted, and particularly upon the subject the most delicate
    from every consideration which depends upon it, I mean the
    Parliament, which stands for next Tuesday. These facts, which I
    have shortly detailed, press strongly on my mind. I have wished
    to show every attention to your Grace, from whom I have
    experienced great kindness, and to reconcile my private
    sensations to a treatment which I must think unjustifiable, and
    which I totally separate from the great political considerations
    which have guided our respective lives, and with which I doubt
    not we are both equally satisfied. These considerations never
    would for a moment have broken in upon private friendship and
    regard, but it severely pains me to think that I have reason to
    complain of the personal conduct of a Ministry in which your
    Grace has taken so distinguished a part, and in which I must
    conclude, from your letter to me, that the powers of Government
    are solely invested in those who had the advantage of being
    denominated the friends of the late Lord Rockingham.

    I am to apologize to your Grace for the length of this letter,
    but I cannot conclude it without thanking you for the assurances
    of your regard and good-will.

    I have the honour to be,
    My Lord,
    Your Grace's obedient humble servant,
    N. T.

The despatch alluded to, dated 24th, officially addressed to Lord North,
stated in detail, and with equal earnestness and decision, the just
grounds of complaint here repeated to the Duke of Portland. Mr.
Grenville, having no option in a matter of so much moment, and which
admitted of no pause or remedy, forwarded the despatch to Lord North;
although he would gladly have withheld it, under an apprehension that it
might expose Lord Temple to injurious imputations, not only on the score
of impatience, but as desiring to throw obstacles in the way of his
successor. In the hope of averting the latter supposition, Mr. Grenville
visited Lord Northington, to express on his part, and on that of Lord
Temple, the desire of placing the Government in his hands with every
possible advantage to his personal convenience and the public service.
This interview was attended with the best result, so far as Lord
Northington was concerned.


    Pall Mall, April 28th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    Yesterday and this evening, I received your letters of the 21st
    and 24th instant.

    With respect to the first, there is, I think, no need of saying
    anything as to its contents, except that it appears to me most
    clearly that the Bill passed as a measure of the new Government,
    especially from the Duke of Portland's words, which I took down
    and sent to you. In all events, however, it had passed before I
    received your despatch relating to it; so that the delivery of
    that could have been of no use either in influencing their
    conduct in present, or affording room for comments upon it in

    The despatches contained in your packet of the 24th, I have this
    night sent to Lord North, conceiving, from the expressions of
    your note, that I had no option whatever with respect to them.
    If I had felt myself at liberty, I must own that I think I
    should have hesitated about it; as Lord Northington is formally
    announced, and consequently your main object, that of a speedy
    release from your situation, will soon be accomplished by the
    natural impatience he will feel to take, what you, on the other
    hand, are so desirous to give him. All other objects, that of
    marking to the King and to them your sense of the personal
    incivility they have shown you, and that of pointing out their
    scandalous inattention to the business of Ireland, might have
    been attained by twenty other ways; while I cannot but fear that
    this will be liable to the imputation which they are so
    studiously endeavouring to fix upon you, and which, of all
    others, I should think you would wish to avoid--that of throwing
    additional difficulties in the way of your successor. I am
    convinced nothing is farther from your intention: his situation
    will already be much less easy than every Englishman--and
    particularly every man who looks forward, and probably at no
    very distant period, to a share in the Government of the
    empire--must wish it. And even the appearance of contributing to
    his difficulties will, I think, hurt you here; at the same time,
    that it will give him an opportunity of throwing upon your
    shoulders any want of success which he may experience.

    Upon these considerations, which I am sure you feel, and which I
    trust you will excuse my stating, I think of leaving my name
    with him to-morrow, and of expressing either to him or to
    Wyndham, with civility, but at the same time with a proper
    reserve (so as not to commit you or myself), my readiness to
    give any information in my power which they may wish to receive.
    If I see either of them to-morrow, I shall most likely in a very
    few days be able to inform you, in person, of the probable day
    of your release. I look forward with much impatience to our
    meeting. In the meantime,

    Believe me, my dearest brother,
    Ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    Upon reading this over, I find I have said nothing of the House
    of Commons. Jemmy is not in town, and I own I think the saying
    anything on the subject now (after Lord North's appointment),
    would be so strong, that I am afraid to venture upon it without
    his advice.


    Pall Mall, April 29th, 1783.

    My dear Brother,

    I have this day seen Lord Northington. He entered a good deal
    into your complaint with respect to their personal usage of
    yourself, and said that as soon as the new Government were
    appointed, they had written to express to you those wishes,
    which every one felt, for your remaining; that your answer to
    that had not been received till a few days before his
    acceptance; and that they had written to notify to you the day
    of his being to be declared, which had been postponed till
    to-morrow, merely out of attention to you, in order that it
    might not take place till you was apprized of it.

    To this I answered, that I did not understand you had received
    any other communication than the mere official notification of
    Lord North's appointment; but that, be that as it might, I was
    sure it would not alter (as it was a matter only between Lord
    North and the other Ministers, and you) your wishes to place the
    Government in your successor's hands with every possible

    We had a little more conversation, which turned entirely on
    generals, with many expressions of personal civility on his
    part; and that he intended to write to-morrow, immediately after
    his being declared, to state to you the time which he desired
    for his preparations, &c., &c.

    Pitt spoke to Lord Bulkeley the other day, to express how much
    he admired your conduct and character, particularly in remaining
    so long; and that you were the person to whom the country looked
    for the first situations.

    Adieu, my dear brother.
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    Tom asked me to-day, whether you had mentioned anything to me of
    your having received a letter from him.

This interview was followed by an immediate communication from Lord


    St. James's Place, April 30th, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    It is with much concern I find that your Excellency has not been
    prevailed upon to continue in the execution of a Government
    which all accounts agree, and universal opinion confirms, your
    Excellency to have conducted with so much credit to yourself and
    satisfaction to the country over which you have the honour to
    preside. I could have hoped, that the many honourable
    testimonies of regard given to you might have produced other
    sentiments, and that the general wishes of the country might
    have effected what the Administration here might have attempted
    in vain. This, however, not having been the case, I have it to
    notify to your Excellency, that the pressing instances of my
    friends have been able to overcome my own apprehensions, and I
    have consented to accept the arduous situation of becoming your
    Excellency's successor.

    I have had the honour of being declared this day, by His Majesty
    in Council, as the person to relieve your Excellency, which, as
    I understand your wishes to be, that it should be as soon as can
    be, with any tolerable convenience to the affairs at home, and
    the settlement of my establishment in Ireland, I shall forward
    as much as possible. I hope, therefore, to be able to set off
    from here in a month from the day of my declaration, at
    furthest, by a week after, which I understand will be about the
    time you find necessary for the arrangement of your affairs, and
    the soonest you would have been able to have gone from hence.

    I had the pleasure of a conversation the other day with Mr.
    Grenville, who very politely acquainted me with your Lordship's
    sentiments, and readiness to give every communication which
    might be of service to a successor. These assurances I was happy
    to receive, although I could entertain little doubt that a man
    of your Lordship's honour and liberality of mind would feel a
    pleasure and satisfaction in doing that which others, not with
    the same liberality of sentiment, might consider only as a duty
    upon them. I shall think myself much obliged, and shall derive
    no small assistance from a communication of your Lordship's
    active exertions and inquiries since you have been in Ireland;
    and I make no doubt I shall find many plans which it will be
    much for the interest of Ireland for me to adopt and carry into

    I have the honour to be, with great truth,

    My dear Lord,
    Your most obedient humble servant,

Amongst the papers in Lord Temple's hand-writing, is the rough draft of
a letter to Lord North, dated May 2nd, complaining that he had received
no answer to his despatch of April 24th, although a messenger had just
arrived, bearing His Majesty's commands on the subject of the
Parliament. The terms of this letter show how deeply he felt the neglect
of the Administration, in reference to the public interests involved in
his resignation.


    Dublin Castle, May 2nd, 1783.

    My Lord,

    The messenger who is this moment arrived with His Majesty's
    commands upon the subject of the Parliament, has not brought me
    one syllable in answer to my despatch of the 24th, so
    interesting to my feelings. Your Lordship, I am certain, does
    not propose to delay receiving His Majesty's commands upon the
    many matters contained in it, and yet your total silence upon
    it, and the very distant day to which the Parliament is
    prorogued (for which measure the King's servants alone are
    responsible), do not hold out to me that prospect of release,
    which I still conceive, from every principle of public duty to
    this kingdom, and from every personal consideration to me, will
    not be delayed many days longer. I have sufficiently pressed
    upon your Lordship's attention these reasons of my conduct. I
    have only to add, that I have well considered the alternative to
    which I may be driven, and must again remind your Lordship, that
    in no contingency do I consider myself responsible for any one
    of the consequences which may be the result of the public
    inattention to this Government, under which this high and
    important office has been left unfilled from the formation of
    the new Government till the 24th ult., and under which the same
    interregnum is, in your Lordship's despatch of that date, held
    out for six weeks longer.

    And I am the more particularly anxious for this answer, from the
    heartfelt concern with which I wait for the notification of His
    Majesty's sense of those assurances of attachment and dutiful
    respect, which makes me solicitous that no part of my conduct
    may be liable to misconstruction: to his wisdom I submit those
    considerations, which touch so nearly the interests of this
    kingdom, and to his justice, with all humility, those which are
    personal to myself.

    I have the honour to be,
    N. T.

While this letter was on its way to London, it was crossed by Lord
North's answer to the despatch of the 24th, containing, in detail, the
defence of the Government on the numerous points pressed upon their
attention by the Lord-Lieutenant.


    Whitehall, May 5th, 1733.

    My Lord,

    The anxiety which your Excellency felt in writing your letter of
    the 24th of last month, cannot, I will venture to affirm,
    possibly exceed my surprise at receiving it. Having, during the
    very little time that I have been in office, made it my object
    to return the most speedy answers to all your Excellency's
    letters, and having had the good fortune in every instance to
    convey the most favourable return all to your Excellency's
    wishes and commands, you may well suppose that I must have been
    much struck at reading your complaints of ill-treatment,
    indelicacy, or something (whatever it may be) that deserves a
    harsher name. If, in the course of my life, it had not been
    frequently my lot to see very great offence taken upon very
    slight causes, the terms of your Excellency's letter would have
    given me more uneasiness. But, upon a calm and dispassionate
    review of your complaints, and of the conduct of His Majesty's
    servants, I can, by no means, either in their name, or in my
    own, plead guilty to the neglects and other misbehaviour which
    your Excellency thinks proper to lay to our charge.

    Your Excellency is of opinion, that His Majesty's servants
    should have employed themselves in endeavouring to find a
    successor to your Excellency from the receipt of your letter of
    the 12th of March. If your Excellency will give yourself the
    trouble to recollect the transactions of that period, you will,
    I am sure, concur with me in opinion, that it would have been
    the extreme of folly and presumption for any of His Majesty's
    present servants to have treated upon this subject with any
    person breathing before the 2nd of April, when they had the
    honour of kissing His Majesty's hand. Long after the day of the
    receipt of your Excellency's letter, it was perfectly uncertain
    here, to whose hands His Majesty would commit the management of
    his affairs; nay, your Excellency cannot be ignorant, that,
    since that time, the expectations (and I doubt not the hopes) of
    the public were fixed upon seeing your Excellency at the head of
    the Administration.

    The 2nd of April was, therefore, the first moment that any of
    His Majesty's present servants could take any step towards the
    nomination of a new Chief Governor of Ireland. From that time
    measures for that purpose have been constantly pursued, till the
    affair was finally settled, on the 24th of last month. The
    various impediments which have arisen I need not mention to your
    Excellency, but the fact is exactly as I have stated; and, as
    the delay is not unprecedented, nor even very long, I think it
    is not trespassing too much upon your Excellency's candour to
    expect that you will believe my assertion.

    In your last letter, your Excellency seems hurt, that the London
    newspapers should have announced in Dublin the appointment of
    the Earl of Northington two days before you received my letter.
    Whatever might have been the information or the conjectures of
    the news-writers, I assure your Excellency that I wrote within
    an hour after I received authentic information of that

    As to the total and absolute neglect of Irish considerations, on
    which your Excellency expresses yourself so strongly, you
    certainly cannot mean to allude to the ordinary and current
    business (which has been regularly attended to, and has met with
    the most speedy decision that each case would admit of), but to
    some great commercial points, upon which your Excellency had
    written at different times to the late Administration, and which
    had not, as I collect from your Excellency's letter, been
    considered, when they quitted His Majesty's service.

    I well remember, that Lord Carlisle very fully and clearly
    stated, very earnestly and repeatedly pressed, the demands of
    Ireland, with respect to the refusal of Portugal to admit their
    woollen goods. Lord Hillsborough, then Secretary of State, urged
    the claim of Ireland with much zeal and perseverance in his
    despatches to the Court of Portugal, and in his conferences with
    the Portuguese Minister in London. What was done in that
    business by the late Administration I know not: nothing of that
    sort has yet come to my knowledge; but, during the few days that
    we have been in office, the Secretary of State for the Foreign
    Department has renewed this negotiation with Monsieur de Pinto,
    and I doubt not but it will be pursued with all the attention
    that so important a question deserves. But it is singular, that
    His Majesty's present servants should be criminated for not
    having finished in the first busy three weeks of a new
    Administration what has been depending during the two last
    Ministries, and, notwithstanding the efforts of one of them at
    least, is by no means so far advanced as to promise an immediate

    That the interests of Ireland should not be separated from those
    of Great Britain in any commercial treaty with France and Spain,
    and that they should be considered in every arrangement with the
    United States of America, are important truths, upon which your
    Excellency, with much propriety, lays a great stress. They
    cannot be urged too often or too strongly; but whether your
    Excellency has any particular measures to suggest on these
    heads, or whether the late Administration, when they signed the
    provisional articles, and projected the commercial treaties with
    the House of Bourbon, had formed any detailed and digested plan
    upon these principles, I am not informed; but this is certain,
    that it would have been very hasty and rash, for His Majesty's
    servants in the first hurry of a new arrangement, before any
    commercial treaty is formed with America, or the definitive
    treaties signed with France and Spain, to think themselves
    capable of proposing a well-formed system of commerce, adapted
    to the new situation of Great Britain with her late and present

    Your Excellency will consider, that we came to the situations we
    now possess, in the midst of a session of Parliament, with
    almost all the material business of that session unfinished,
    indeed, hardly begun, and that, besides Parliamentary affairs,
    there never was a time in which the Executive Power was occupied
    with a greater variety of complicated and important questions.

    Many of the matters to which your Excellency alludes, must
    necessarily employ the attention of His Majesty's Ministers for
    a long space of time. Your Excellency will, therefore, I hope,
    judge of our exertions according to the capacities of ordinary
    men, and not according to the rapidity of your Excellency's
    conceptions, and the eagerness of your zeal for the prosperity
    of Ireland.

    I beg pardon for detaining your Excellency so long, but I trust
    that what I have written may serve to justify me to your
    Excellency, when I confess, that the heavy and severe censures
    in your Excellency's letter have produced no other emotions in
    my mind than those of astonishment.

    I have the honour to be, with the greatest truth and respect, My Lord,
    Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant,

    Earl Temple, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland

Perhaps "astonishment," after all, was the most convenient refuge for
Lord North, under the circumstances. But it is clear, throughout the
whole correspondence, that, let the responsibility rest where it might,
a delay--fraught with the worst consequences to the repose of the
kingdom--had been suffered to take place, greatly detrimental to the
public service, and personally compromising to Lord Temple. Lord North
himself acknowledges that from the 2nd to the 24th of April was consumed
in the pursuit of measures which ought to have been carried into
operation without delay. The new Ministry confess that they were three
weeks looking for a successor to Lord Temple, instead of having come
into office prepared to fill that important vacancy at once. They could
not plead ignorance of Lord Temple's determination to retire; for he had
apprised the Duke of Portland that his mind was made up before the
coalition was formed. There was no excuse for the protracted
inconvenience--public and private--to which Lord Temple was exposed,
except the fact that the Ministry, too eager in the chase of office, had
accepted the reins of Government before they were ready to undertake its
functions; and that it was not until the situation of Lord-Lieutenant
had been offered to one nobleman after another, they at last found a
peer who was willing to incur the hazard of serving under them in so
responsible a post. That Lord Temple should have expressed his feelings
strongly on this occasion, that he should have complained warmly of the
personal slight with which he was treated, and that he should have
represented with earnestness the injury inflicted on the public service
throughout this harassing interregnum, was due equally to his own
character, and to the duty he owed to the King. Instead of being enabled
to relinquish office to his successor with ease and satisfaction to
both, the affair was so hurried, that in the correspondence which ensued
between Lord Temple and Lord Northington, a tone of asperity insensibly
displaces the amicable dispositions with which it opens, and shows that
the political discord which had been sown by the "unprincipled
coalition," was not without a damaging influence upon the private
relations of public men. Lord Temple, after sacrificing much of his own
personal feelings to adapt his withdrawal to the convenience of Lord
Northington, at last expressed his resolution--at any risk of
consequences--not to be in Dublin on the 4th of June, the anniversary of
the King's birthday. To this point the correspondence, interspersed with
one or two letters from Lord North, is finally drawn.


    Dublin Castle, May 6th, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    My former letter will have sufficiently stated to you my full
    determination that my private feelings should not prevent me
    from showing to you every personal regard, which is so much your
    due. My line was long since adopted; and standing upon public
    grounds, I could not yield to the honourable testimonies which I
    have received, much less to any solicitations from the King's
    servants, _if any such had been made_. But for particular
    reasons I desire to assure you that, neither directly or
    indirectly, have I received, since the hour of their
    appointment, any such intimation, or any solicitation to
    continue in this Government till after your appointment. For
    _that_ attention I should thank them, as I should not have
    conceived that they could entertain any real wish that I should
    act with people with whom I did not agree in general principles.
    But my complaint is, that the kingdom has materially suffered by
    this delay; that it still suffers; and that this consideration
    will not permit me to remain, independently of the
    considerations of a personal nature, which I strongly feel.

    Under these circumstances, I must strongly press upon your
    convenience. I feel it, and, with truth, I regret it, as a real
    misfortune; for, from private friendship, I would do everything
    which could mark my regard; but you will see, upon your arrival,
    that I have not exaggerated the difficulties of the country
    under such an interregnum. I accept your expressions of esteem,
    as I should, with every wish to return them by real services. I
    think that I have the means of assisting you by information, and
    you may command me; but I must be relieved before the 25th of
    May, for reasons which involve my public character and credit;
    and when I fix that period, I assure you, my dear Lord, that I
    sacrifice much of my private feelings to a desire of
    accommodating you. In truth, I wish to you every success in your
    undertaking; and I feel a most unpleasant difficulty in the
    present moment, from my private sensations with respect to you,
    and the other principles, public and private, which make me
    appear to fail in attention to you. This is my only uneasiness.
    But at all events, let me continue to stand well in your
    regards. As to every article of domestic accommodation, much
    time might be spared if you would commission our friend Baugh,
    or send your steward to Ireland. In all this, do as you will;
    but be assured that

    I am, my dear Lord,
    Your very faithful and obedient servant,
    (Signed) Nugent Temple.

    P.S.--When I fix the 25th of May, I allow one month from the day
    of the notification of your acceptance--a time, I confess,
    short; but, in truth, I was prepared within that period. At all
    events, though I mean to urge that day in my despatches to
    Government, all that I am anxious about is to be relieved before
    the 4th of June, as you will see particular reasons of delicacy
    for my not holding that Court. And when you recollect that from
    the 17th of February the Government of Ireland has been nearly
    at a stand, you will see the necessity of it in a public point
    of view; and be assured, that personal impatience or want of
    regard to you has no share in the resolution which I have taken
    not to be in Ireland upon that day.

    Your Lordship will derive little advantage from the
    communication of my ideas on the subject of Parliament, as the
    Cabinet, by their prorogation, have decided that arduous
    question; but be assured, that I have every inclination to show
    to you every attention of that nature; although I must think
    that the conduct of the Cabinet has acquitted me of every _duty_
    of communication.

    I have added this postscript, having kept my letter one day,
    expecting Mr. Grenville. I must now close it, with every
    expression of regard and esteem.

    N. T.


    Pall Mall, May 7th, 1783.

    By Lord Northington's Messenger.

    My dear Brother,

    I understand from Lord Northington, whom I saw to-day, that both
    he and Lord North write to you this evening on the subject of
    his departure, which I understand to be fixed for the beginning
    of June.

    I had some conversation with him on the subject, in which I
    enlarged upon the ideas of your letter, your personal good-will
    and wishes for his success, the mischief of the delay, and the
    difficulties of your situation; and particularly stated the
    circumstances of Ireland with respect to its army, to the
    Fencibles, and to the different points of commerce which call
    for the immediate interposition of Government, and which we
    meant to have settled by having a Parliament sitting at this
    time, if things had gone on as they were. His observations on
    all this you will, I suppose, receive to-night.

    I am in some doubt what to do about coming over to you, as, on
    account of the Prince's death, there is no levée to-day, nor, I
    fear, on Friday. If there is, I will set out that evening. It is
    the more unfortunate, as I wished to know the King's ideas as to
    your coming away. Your provocation is certainly very great; yet
    I cannot help fearing that such a step will hurt you here. I
    still wish to see the King, and will try it, if I can.

    Pitt's motion comes on to-day; but nobody knows it, though it is
    imagined to go only to fifty or one hundred Knights, and to some
    enlargement of boroughs, to take place only on proof of
    delinquency, as in the case of Cricklade and Shoreham.

    No news of any Dutch peace, nor can I guess why we are arming,
    as is said to be the case; but query. Adieu.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    St. James's Place, May 7th, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    Your despatch of the 29th of April, afforded me no small degree
    of pleasure, as it conveyed to me such flattering assurances of
    your Lordship's esteem and regard; sentiments perfectly similar
    to which, I beg to assure your Lordship I entertain for you,
    with the utmost sincerity and attachment. I feel likewise, with
    much satisfaction and gratitude, those kind and liberal offers
    of information and communication upon all points which may tend
    to give me an early knowledge of the state and situation of that
    country, and shall hope from such assistance to be the better
    enabled to encounter the many difficulties and embarrassments
    which I already foresee against my Administration. I sincerely
    wish it was in my power to answer that part of your Lordship's
    letter upon the subject of my speedy departure, as you wish; but
    although on many accounts, both of a public and private nature,
    some delay is unavoidable, it is my wish and my intention, as
    far as concerns myself, that a delay of a moment shall not be
    created, that is not of absolute necessity for my own
    indispensable convenience. Some attention is likewise necessary
    to His Majesty's servants, whose time is now so much employed in
    the parliamentary discussion of many subjects of great
    importance. The many objects which claim much consideration, as
    stated in your Excellency's despatches, and which have been
    pressed so frequently, and urged so forcibly by your Lordship on
    His Majesty's late servants, and which appeared to them so
    weighty in themselves, and of such moment as to require so long
    a time for deliberation, cannot be suddenly and easily resolved
    upon by Ministers of so short a date in office, and with such a
    pressure of public affairs upon them, occasioned by a
    discontinuance of any active or responsible Government for such
    a period, for which they cannot be in the least responsible.

    I could, therefore, much wish your Lordship to believe, that if,
    in the desire you have to be relieved, your wishes are not met
    by me to the utmost, that you will not attribute it to any want
    of a due exertion to remove the difficulties which obstruct my
    compliance therewith, or the desire of staying here myself a
    week longer; but that if I am enabled to overcome them sooner,
    and His Majesty's Ministers are ready to give me their final
    opinions earlier than I have expected they will be able to do,
    that I shall embrace with pleasure an opportunity to relieve
    your Lordship from a situation you feel so unpleasant and
    irksome to you.

    I have the honour to be, my dear Lord,
    Your very faithful and obedient servant,


    Whitehall, May 9th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    Your Excellency may be assured that it is not the wish of His
    Majesty's servants on this side of the water to detain your
    Excellency in Ireland a moment longer than the time that will be
    necessary for your Excellency's successor so to arrange his
    business here, as to be able to relieve your Excellency in your

    Since the receipt of your Excellency's letter of the 29th of
    last month, I have shown to the Earl of Northington all your
    letters respecting your earnest desire of quitting your present
    situation without delay, and received yesterday from his
    Lordship the letter which accompanies this packet. I have reason
    to believe that his Lordship is endeavouring to get himself
    ready for his departure, with all possible diligence. His letter
    will best explain to your Excellency when he expects to set out
    for Dublin.

    Your Excellency, in one part of your letter, seems hurt, that
    mine of the 24th of last month did not convey, in terms
    sufficiently explicit, a communication of His Majesty's gracious
    acceptance and approbation of your Excellency's services. Your
    Excellency certainly may infer, not only from that letter, but
    from the whole tenor of my correspondence, that your
    Administration of Ireland is approved by His Majesty; and having
    substantially conveyed the royal sentiments on that subject, I
    hope that I shall stand excused by your Excellency, if I should
    not have used any particular form of words, though it might have
    been more proper on the occasion, and more agreeable to your
    Excellency's wishes.

    I have the honour to be, with the greatest truth and respect, My Lord,
    Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant,

    Earl Temple, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.


    St. James's Place, May 16th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    The last letter which I had the honour of receiving from your
    Lordship has very sufficiently stated the determinations you are
    come to with regard to your stay, and that your resolution is
    fixed, at _all events_, not to be in Dublin on the 4th of June.
    I must confess myself perfectly at a loss to conceive what those
    _particular reasons of delicacy_ may be, which appear to have
    made such weighty impression on your Lordship's mind, so as to
    have produced this resolution; but as the consequence will be
    the placing the Government of the country in other hands, and is
    a measure which does not seem to meet with the approbation of
    His Majesty, I shall think it my duty (however greatly my
    convenience must be the sacrifice) to attend, to the utmost of
    my power, to His Majesty's wishes, that such an event may not
    take place.

    It is my purpose, therefore, to relieve your Excellency from
    your Government, as you desire, before the 4th of June, and to
    be in Dublin on that day, under circumstances the most
    unpleasant and mortifying, an half-formed household, and the
    impossibility of being able to pay that respect and reverence
    which is due to the happy event of that day. It is my intention
    to quit London on the 28th or 29th instant, and to make it a
    point to be at Holyhead early on the 1st of June, so that if the
    wind is fair and the tide should serve, I may be in Dublin that

    I cannot too frequently return my thanks to your Lordship for
    the very kind and friendly intentions you have of affording me
    every communication in your power, and of allowing me to derive
    every assistance I can from your Lordship's great knowledge of
    the country, its interests, and the view of its parties and
    leading men. It will be with the greatest pleasure I shall ever
    receive any instance of your Lordship's regard, and I am sure
    none can be more agreeable, or of more importance to me, than
    this will be.

    With regard to the articles of domestic accommodation, I shall
    reserve the discussion of them to Sir Willoughby Acton and Mr.
    Fremantle. Sir Willoughby proposes to set out for Dublin on
    Monday next, and is so obliging as to undertake this trouble for
    me. He will have the honour of paying his respects to your
    Excellency, if you will give him leave.

    I have the honour to be, my dear Lord,
    Your most obedient and faithful humble servant,


    Whitehall, May 17th, 1783.

    My Lord,

    Upon the receipt of your Excellency's letters of the 9th and
    10th of this month, I took immediately every step in my power
    that might forward your Excellency's wishes, and have now the
    satisfaction of informing your Excellency that Lord Northington
    will not fail to be at Holyhead on the 1st day of next month;
    and I am commanded by His Majesty to express to your Excellency
    his wish, that you will not quit the Government of Ireland
    before the arrival of Lord Northington. Although your Excellency
    will, according to this arrangement, be detained a few days
    longer than the 25th of the present month, yet I hope that the
    time fixed by Lord Northington is not so remote as to cause any
    public or private inconvenience.

    By my letter of the 9th instant, I flatter myself that I have
    removed the uneasiness which your Excellency has expressed more
    than once, because His Majesty's approbation of your
    Excellency's Government has not been notified in a manner the
    most agreeable to your Excellency. I am sure that when you read
    that letter, your Excellency was convinced that your former
    complaint was ill-founded; that His Majesty's gracious
    approbation of your Excellency's conduct has been substantially
    conveyed to your Excellency; and that there is nothing in the
    whole tenor of my letters which can justify your Excellency's
    opinion, that a total change of system is to be adopted both
    with regard to the Chief Governor, and the measures of
    Government in Ireland.

    I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, My Lord,
    Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant,

    P.S.--The messenger carries three letters from Lord
    Northington--one to your Excellency, one to Lieutenant-General
    Burgoyne, and another to General Baugh.

    His Excellency the Earl Temple, &c., &c., &c.


    St. James's Place, May 25th, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    Your Excellency has not been able to remove those unpleasant and
    mortifying ideas I entertain at the thoughts of being obliged to
    pay either no attention to a day, to which all honour and
    respect is due, or to do it in a manner unbecoming, and not
    suitable to the occasion. Indeed, my information by numerous
    Irish gentlemen now here, tells me that, although it may not be
    expected that I should give (what your Lordship says) _a dinner_
    on the occasion, it will be expected I shall hold a Court, and
    that I shall give a ball. Then I understand likewise, from your
    letters, as you declare your positive and fixed resolution not
    to hold a _Court_ on that day in the despatch, the last but one
    which I had the honour to receive, and that from strong reasons
    of delicacy, both public and private, which, as your Excellency
    does not explain, at this distance and in my state of ignorance
    at present I am at a loss to conceive.

    I have the honour to be, my dear Lord,
    Your faithful and obedient humble servant,

Lord Temple's administration was too brief to enable him to develop the
plans he had laid down for the benefit of Ireland; but the most
conclusive testimony that can be adduced in favour of his policy is the
assurance he received from Lord North, that no intention of deviating
from it was entertained by the new Ministers. Although, however, Lord
Northington did not openly deviate from the main points of his policy,
he followed it up with a luke-warmness and insincerity that rendered it
to a great extent inoperative. His Lordship appears to have betrayed,
not only in his measures, but in the spirit and tone in which they were
brought forward, an unworthy desire to discredit the influence and
reputation of his predecessor, who pursued a line of conduct after he
left Ireland which--putting aside all obligations to the
public--entitled him at least to protection against such sinister
attempts to undermine the confidence his zealous services had acquired.
Having resigned the Government into the hands of Lord Northington, to
whom he frankly offered all the assistance and information his
experience enabled him to bestow, he strictly avoided all interference
in Irish affairs that might be likely--even remotely--to embarrass his
successor. Numerous applications were made to him on a variety of
subjects; individuals and parties sought his advice and interposition;
but he made the same answer to all--referring them at once to the
established authority, and declining to use any influence, upon the most
trifling occasions, which in his position he might have legitimately
exercised. His magnanimity was thrown away upon a thankless soil. The
situation he had filled with so much honour and advantage, was now
occupied by a nobleman who could neither appreciate nor imitate his
lofty example.

The principal objects to which Lord Temple had directed his attention
were the Bill of Renunciation, and a wise economy in the public
expenditure. The former he carried; the latter it was impossible to
consolidate in the short term of six months. In his indefatigable
labours for the good of Ireland he never stooped to conciliate faction
at the cost of duty, or the sacrifice of principle. He administered his
high office to promote the interests, and not to pander to the passions
of the people. The Bill of Renunciation was said to have been a scheme
of Mr. Flood's; but by taking charge of it himself, Lord Temple deprived
it of the mischievous _prestige_ it might have acquired under such
dangerous auspices. The Bill, however, was not Mr. Flood's. Whatever
merit, or demerit attaches to it, belongs exclusively to Lord Temple.
Lord Northington, overlooking the fact that this Bill was simply a
confirmation of the settlement of 1782, and that it really granted
nothing new, endeavoured to make it a fulcrum for working further
changes and more extensive concessions--not, it may be presumed, without
an indirect view to the improvement of his own popularity. The mode in
which he thus proposed to carry out Lord Temple's policy provoked the
Government, at last, to remonstrate with him. Even Mr. Fox, who could
not be suspected of any disinclination to give a patient hearing to
Irish demands, seeing the part he had already taken on such questions,
felt it necessary to check his exuberant zeal on behalf of the
particular party, whose views and opinions he had so injudiciously
adopted. On the 8th of November, he wrote to Lord Northington an
admonishing letter upon a variety of points connected with Irish
affairs, towards the conclusion of which he observed:

    I hope, my dear Northington, you will not consider this long
    letter as meant to blame your conduct; but I think I owe it as
    much to my friendship for you as to the public, to give you
    fairly my opinion and advice in your most arduous situation; and
    I will fairly own there is one principle which seems to run
    through your different _despatches_, which a little alarms me:
    it is this--you seem to think as if it were absolutely necessary
    at the outset of your Government, to do something that may
    appear to be obtaining _boons_, however trifling, to Ireland;
    and what I confess I like still less, is to see that this is, in
    some degree, grounded upon the ampleness of former concessions.
    Now I see this in quite a different light, and reason that,
    because these concessions were so ample, no further ones are
    necessary. If, because the Duke of Portland gave much, are you
    to give something? Consider how this reasoning will apply to
    your successor. I repeat it again, the account must be
    considered as closed in 1782.[1]

[Footnote 1: Extracted from a letter published in the Life of Mr.

It may be observed, _en parenthèse_, that the assertion that the Duke of
Portland gave much, is a gratuitous assumption. When his Grace came into
office, he found the Renunciation Bill passing through its last stages,
and he suffered it to pass; but, as Mr. Fox states in this very letter,
with the utmost reluctance. The Duke of Portland, in fact, gave nothing.
He submitted to the measure of his predecessors because he could not
avoid it, and he would have retreated from it if he could.

No useful result would be gained by a comparison between the
intelligible principles and consistency evinced by Lord Temple in his
government of Ireland, and the small views and tremulous policy of his
successor; but it is something to the purpose of history to note that,
while Lord Northington affected to adopt the economical system of Lord
Temple, he secretly desired to stultify it, and that so far from being
actuated by any sentiment of respect for the government of his
predecessor, he suffered the motions of thanks which both Houses of
Parliament voted to Lord Temple, when they met in the following October,
to pass without a solitary expression of approval on the part of any
member of the Administration. These facts are somewhat indignantly
stated in a letter addressed to Lord Temple, by Lord Mornington, on the
18th of October, 1783. Respecting the vote of thanks, his Lordship

    Government had not the spirit to take a part against the motions
    of thanks in either House, _but I have every reason to think
    that they would have done it, if there had been the smallest
    prospect of success in the attempt_. You must observe that the
    vote of the House of Commons is much weaker than that of the
    Lords; Gardiner was obliged, by the interference of Government's
    friends, to omit several expressions which, if they had been
    retained, would have rendered the vote more just to your
    Lordship's Administration, but would have occasioned debate. The
    fact is, that no compliment to the Act of Renunciation, or even
    to the framer of it, can be borne with patience by certain
    supporters of the present Castle.

And in the report of his own speech on this occasion, which accompanies
the letter, Lord Mornington plainly charges the Government with
duplicity in reference to Lord Temple's system of economy. Referring to
a passage in the Lord-Lieutenant's speech, where his Excellency, in
recommending the establishment of the Genevans, reminded Parliament of
their duty to "avoid _unnecessary expense_," his Lordship expresses a
hope that in "other cases, where all profusion would be dangerous, and
where the public safety demanded the most rigid economy, _in the
establishments of Government, his Excellency would think it_ HIS _duty
to avoid all unnecessary expense_;" and then, comparing the
recommendation respecting the Genevans with another passage where his
Excellency applied for a supply, and in which "his Excellency's economy
made no appearance," Lord Mornington goes on to say:

    Comparing the two passages of the speech, he [Lord Mornington]
    was apt to imagine that the expression, "unnecessary expense,"
    was dictated by another spirit, and with other views, than of
    saving to the public: he suspected that it was meant to
    insinuate by so special, and seemingly superfluous a
    recommendation of economy in the further progress of the
    establishment of the Genevans, that there had been some neglect
    of economy in the original foundation of the scheme; if that was
    meant, he called upon the confidential servants of the Castle to
    avow it; if not, he insisted that they should do justice to the
    personage who had originally framed this plan, and disclaim his
    construction of this ambiguous phrase. _He knew what had been
    the language of the Castle on this subject; he knew how this
    scheme had been decried; and what a damp had been cast upon the
    proposers of it_--such a damp, as he had reason to believe, that
    the settlement had not advanced one step since the departure of
    Lord Temple; and he would add, in justice both to the late and
    present Ministry, that he, in his conscience, believed, if the
    public were put to any _unnecessary expense_ by the settlement,
    _it must be attributed solely and entirely to the delays and
    impediments which had been thrown in its way by the present

On a subsequent day, moving the thanks of the House to Lord Temple, Lord
Mornington delivered an eloquent panegyric upon his Government. He spoke
of the Act of Renunciation as having produced an "instantaneous calm in
Ireland," and, adverting to other matters, observed:

    These were the great public acts of Lord Temple's Government,
    the nation at large had felt their effects, the Lord-Lieutenant
    had from the throne applauded them; the House itself had
    applauded them in detail, and therefore would not object to
    doing so in the gross, which he now called upon the House to do.
    With regard to the general attention of Lord Temple to the
    common duties of his office, and his management of the interior
    system of government here, he would deliver no opinion of his
    own; he would appeal to those whose high stations and
    confidential offices gave them constant access to the person and
    councils of Lord Temple, to testify his ability and assiduity in
    business, the extent of his researches, the vigilance with which
    he penetrated into the secrets of departments where the most
    gross rapine and peculation had been practised for ages with
    impunity, _and particularly the firm integrity with which he
    resisted all jobs, however speciously concealed, or powerfully

Nothing need be added to this unimpeachable eulogium on the character of
Lord Temple's administration of the Government of Ireland. It comes from
an authority above suspicion, and its statements will guide the
decisions of history.

In the midst of these political anxieties there was a private grief,
arising out of the sundering of attachments consequent upon the
unnatural state of parties, that preyed severely on the sensitive mind
of Lord Temple. This painful matter forms the subject of a letter from
Lord Temple to his brother, Mr. Thomas Grenville, which has not been
inserted in its chronological place, as it would have interrupted the
sequence of the preceding correspondence. The tender and affectionate
feelings hitherto subsisting unimpaired between the brothers, who, in
addition to the rest of their noble qualities, were distinguished beyond
most men by their domestic virtues, had been interrupted by one of those
fatal divisions in public life, which, during this memorable crisis,
separated the closest friends.

The particular occasion which now for the first time produced disunion
between Lord Temple and his brother, is not expressly stated in the
letter; but it may be surmised from the correspondence which took place
early in the preceding year between Mr. Thomas Grenville and Mr. Fox,
when the former was employed upon the American negotiation in Paris. Mr.
Thomas Grenville, devoting himself to the interests of Mr. Fox, still
preserved his allegiance to him under the arrangements of the Coalition
Administration; and, from certain expressions in this letter, it would
appear that he had ventured to make some overture to Lord Temple, with a
view to induce him to reconsider the line of action he had resolved
upon, if indeed it did not amount to the distinct proposal of an office
under the new Ministry. The exact nature of that offer is veiled under
the language of a poignant and bitter regret, which seeks to avoid
details the writer was most unwilling to enter into; but it is
sufficiently explicit as to the "new connection" Mr. Thomas Grenville
had formed, in an opposite direction to that which Lord Temple's
devotion to the principles they held in common had led him to embrace.
The sensibility manifested by Lord Temple in reference to this unhappy
affair, shows that his heart was as impressionable as his judgment was
clear and firm.


    Ph[oe]nix Lodge, May 9th, 1783.

    Dear Brother,

    Your letter, which mentions one written some time since, came
    yesterday to my hands; and upon the same day came a monthly
    account from Coutts, by which I see that, by Welles's neglect,
    and by the delay of my stewards, I had unknowingly drawn for the
    expenses of my departure beyond my state; but as it is proper
    that your wants should be supplied, I have writ to Frogatt, to
    order him to let you have some £500 from some money of mine in
    his hands; and I will let you have more as soon as I can.

    The remainder of your letter gives me, indeed, the most sensible
    concern, for it shows me that line broken, which I was still in
    hopes was only strained; for this is the only interpretation
    which I can put upon that offer, which (from the most honourable
    motives) you have made to me; and the only wish which I can now
    form, is that you may never reflect for whom, and for what, you
    have sacrificed that political and intimate connexion, which
    nature had pointed out, and which till this moment I had not
    despaired of. One opportunity presented itself in which you
    could have done me essential service: I never can regret the
    eagerness with which I entreated from you that proof of
    affection, because I still feel how much I would have
    sacrificed, to have preserved our bond inviolate; that, with
    many other prospects, is now gone, and I am to feel that I have
    lost that confidence, that good-will and attachment which you
    have given to a friendship, which, for obvious reasons, I must
    ever regret. I do not speak this in resentment and reproach, my
    feelings are far above them, but in sober and earnest grief of
    mind. I must remind you that no personal friendship, no party or
    political consideration, could have guided the steps which I
    took in June last; to which, in terms the most decisive, you
    marked your line of separation. The same public principles (for
    with no one person in England have I correspondence) have
    decided me in the present moment, and in neither path have we
    met; and parting upon such a question as that of the present
    system (upon which I feel everything as a public man, and as a
    private man have the sensations which naturally result from
    personal insult), I fear that we have (at least for some time)
    little chance of seeing those affections vibrate in unison which
    I feel so strongly strained. Once more let me entreat you (for I
    am not ashamed to entreat) to reconsider this well. If your new
    connexion replaces to you that affectionate interest which from
    my childhood I have borne to you; if your line holds out to you
    that honourable satisfaction, which I trust you would not have
    lost by a cordial union of objects and dispositions with me, I
    fear that I speak in vain; but if you give that play to your
    reason, to your affection, and to every feeling which Providence
    has given, as the cement of the tenderest and most intimate
    connexions, remember that in offering to you my heart, I mean to
    offer to you everything which the truest love can give you, but
    what must and can depend only on the closest union. Weigh this
    well, and may every good angel guide your decision. Adieu.

Lord Temple must have been the more distressed by the course his brother
had taken on this occasion, from the evidences he received of the
sanction of other friends, who were governed in their own conduct by his
example. These proofs of attachment and approval, while they afforded
the most gratifying testimony to the rectitude of his views, touched him
deeply in contrast with the alienation of his brother.

Only a few days before he wrote this letter to Mr. Thomas Grenville, we
find Lord Bulkeley addressing him in the following terms, alluding to
the communication in which Lord Temple had informed him of his
determination to resign. "I had great pleasure," observes the writer,
"in receiving your last very kind letter, and in learning from yourself
the line you meant to take at a critical conjuncture like the present,
when the candidates for honour and principle are so reduced in number,
that those who forego great situations to bring them forward again, have
every title to confidence and support, and deserve every honest and
independent encouragement. You may naturally suppose I have not been
without solicitations from the Coalition Government; I have given but
one answer, which was that I shall certainly act with you, and more
especially as your conduct in resigning gave me, if possible, a greater
opinion of and veneration for your character than I could by any means

Such testimonies were consolatory in the difficult position in which
Lord Temple was placed; but, instead of alleviating the pain he felt at
his separation from his brother in public life, they embittered it by
the conviction that one whom he loved so sincerely should have adopted a
line of action which he in his conscience believed to be erroneous.

It will be observed that in writing to Mr. Thomas Grenville, Lord Temple
alludes to a former letter, which evidently had not reached its
destination. The circumstance would be unimportant in itself, were there
not reason to believe that it formed part of a regular system of
_espionnage_ to which the whole of Lord Temple's correspondence was
subjected. The establishment of such an inquisition into the letters of
so high a functionary as the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland seems
incredible, and nothing short of the most decisive proofs of the fact
could justify even a suspicion of its existence. But there are passages
in these letters which leave no doubt whatever that Lord Temple's
correspondence, both private and public, was inspected in London while
he yet held office in Ireland, and that the same course continued to be
carried on after he returned to England. Nor was the _espionnage_
limited to mere perusal, frequent allusions to miscarriages leading to
the inference that his letters were sometimes suppressed altogether.

There are no means of determining with whom this system originated. All
that appears to be certain is, that it was practised during the period
of the Shelburne Cabinet, and followed up under the Coalition; and that
after it had been detected, no secret was made about it, either by Lord
Temple or his intimate correspondents.

Writing to Colonel Dundas, Lord Temple says, apparently under the
apprehension that his letter would be read by others, "Obvious
circumstances will prevent my going into the discussion of details in a
post letter." And to a friend in Ireland, he speaks still more
explicitly: "As almost every letter," he observes, "received or written
by me is opened, it is possible that this may undergo that operation in
London; and if so, they will learn the real regard I bear to you." Mr.
Cuff, writing to Lord Temple, from Dublin, in the November of this year,
declares that he expects nothing less than that his letter will be
opened and read. The passage is too remarkable to be omitted.

    I should not now trouble your Lordship with a letter, but
    that I find to a certainty, that letters to and from your Lordship
    are not only opened and read, but many of them are stopped.
    If this should happen to get into your Lordship's hands, you
    will see, by what I have written on the outside of it, that I am
    willing to compromise with those _honourable gentlemen_ who
    open and read your letters, and that I have no objections to
    their opening and reading, provided they will afterwards forward
    them to you.

    Your Lordship mentions a letter you wrote to me about three
    or four weeks since, relative to the Genevois and their houses.
    I have never received a letter from your Lordship since you left
    Ireland, except one dated the 20th of July, and your last of the
    23rd of October. I had the honour to write to your Lordship
    about the 20th or 25th of September, thanking you for your
    letter of the 20th of July, and telling you (what I can say with
    truth) that I prize it more than all my other possessions upon
    earth. I did not know, when I wrote that letter, that it would
    be opened and read, else I should have declared my sentiments
    more freely; but as I am almost certain that this one will be
    opened, I shall be more full.

    Know all men, therefore, by these presents, openers of letters,
    and others, that I am more attached to your Lordship than to
    all the rest of the world; not because you gave me a place of
    £400 a year at the Barrack Board, but because I think you
    have more sense, honour, and firmness, than all the Viceroys I
    have ever seen in Ireland put together.

A month elapsed before Lord Temple answered this letter, unwilling to
trust his reply to the post, and waiting all that time for an
opportunity to send it by a "safe hand." His explanation of the delay
furnishes additional proof of the inquisition to which his
correspondence was exposed.

    I should long since (he observes) have acknowledged your very
    kind letter to me, if I had not delayed it partly with the
    inclination of sending you an answer by a safe hand, and partly
    from the exceeding anxious state of public business, which has
    wholly engrossed my attention. It appears from your state[ment]
    of the letters which you have received, that one, written about
    the beginning of October, never reached you.

That Lord Temple's letters should have been secretly inspected by a
hostile Administration is intelligible, if we can admit such a
proceeding to be consistent with the honour of public men or
reconcilable with the obligations of the public service; but it is
impossible to comprehend upon what ground of expediency or from what
motives of jealousy or distrust, so flagrant a breach of confidence was
committed towards him by the subordinates (for it is difficult to
believe it could have been officially sanctioned by Ministers
themselves) of a Cabinet under which he held so responsible a situation
as that of the Vice-royalty of Ireland. The fact, nevertheless, admits
of no doubt, and throws a strong light on the sinister means which were
adopted in those days for the "management" of the executive.

The share which Lord Temple took in public affairs after his return from
Ireland, and during the existence of the Coalition, naturally enough
made him a special object of suspicion and resentment to the Cabinet. We
find him, in his letter to Mr. Cuff, stating that his attention has been
wholly engrossed by the anxious state of public business, and the
memoirs of the period show in the results how powerfully he contributed
to the overthrow of that ministerial combination, which he had denounced
as unnatural and infamous. But the details of his services to the King
throughout this harassing crisis have never found their way into
history; nor is it now possible, from their secret and confidential
nature, to trace them in full. The disclosures, however, which may be
gleaned from the few letters that passed to and from Lord Temple at this
period, sufficiently prove that the King trusted all along to his
counsel and support, and acted altogether on his advice. There was so
much hazard in committing opinions and suggestions to so unsafe a medium
as that of correspondence, that we can look but for scanty revelations
in the papers which have been preserved. It appears that Lord Temple
conducted his proceedings in reference to the struggle between the King
and his Ministers chiefly by means of personal interviews and detached
memoranda of his views, intended only to assist the memory in
conversation, and torn up as soon as used. Lord Thurlow was sometimes
employed by his Majesty as an agent on these occasions, and through him,
probably to avert suspicion from the real quarter on which his Majesty
relied, the intercourse with Lord Temple and his friends was
occasionally carried on.

From the commencement to the close of the brief tenure of the Coalition,
his Majesty held aloof from his Ministers; and it was not till the
opening of the Session, on the 11th of November, that an opportunity was
presented for acting effectively upon his determination to get rid of
them as soon as he could. During the interval that had elapsed since the
prorogation of Parliament in the preceding July, they prepared their
measures; but, from the want of co-operation and confidence on the part
of the Sovereign, the precise character of their policy was a matter of
speculation outside the Cabinet. His Majesty either did not, or would
not, know the course they intended to pursue; and it is evident, from
subsequent circumstances, that the plan of operations for relieving him
of their presence was kept in suspense, waiting upon events, up to the
moment when they brought forward their famous India Bill. The following
letter, written a few days before the opening of Parliament, shows how
little was known at that moment of the views of Ministers, and enables
us to perceive that, although Lord Temple was in frequent communication
with the King, he had not yet decided upon the line of conduct to be
adopted. The state of affairs implied in the letter is curious enough;
exhibiting the Sovereign, on the one side, taking secret counsel of the
Opposition, and the Ministry, on the other, coming down to Parliament
with measures which they were well aware His Majesty was eagerly
watching for a constitutional excuse to thwart and defeat.


    Stowe, Nov. 6th, 1783.

    My dear Lord,

    As Stephen Fremantle will deliver this to you, I have not the
    same difficulties which attend the writing a post letter. I go
    to town to-morrow, in order to settle our winter arrangements.
    My first principle will be to throw Ireland out of the book of
    opposition, unless I am attacked upon it, which I sincerely hope
    may be the case; although I have but little hopes that by any
    management in either House, Ministry will be brought to
    acknowledge the language which their agents uniformly hold upon
    my subject. Their politics are, I own, inexplicable upon
    Ireland; they speak the language of high crimination of me, for
    the concession (which I call no concession) made in the last
    sessions; they affect to talk loudly and strongly upon all
    subsequent claims or popular subjects, and to have no fear upon
    the event of any of those questions; and yet I know that Lord
    Northington is frightened, and has uniformly proposed concession
    on every point _to the fullest extent_; this communication I
    know directly from the King's mouth, though not to me, but to
    another person; consequently, it is for your private ear. It is
    possible that Wyndham, the professed friend to Parliamentary
    Reform, may have taken his resolution to resign upon that
    measure being negatived, which we understand certainly to have
    been decided here. But in all modes of turning it, how is it
    possible to reconcile a heap of contradictions? I shall see the
    King upon particular business (no idea of a change) on Friday;
    and if with propriety I can state anything further upon this,
    you shall know it. The Portugal business is really all afloat;
    nor do Ministry see daylight; and I know, from undoubted
    authority, that France, Spain, and Portugal mean to offer their
    trade to Ireland upon lower terms, if you will dispense with the
    Alien Duty, or, in so many words, with the Navigation Act,
    which, _entre nous_, I fear is no longer binding upon you, as we
    have partially repealed it in favour of America, and therefore,
    under Yelverton's Bill, it is now void. This idea, I know, has
    been proposed to some of your Irish factors, and I have reason
    to believe that Government know nothing about it. The
    information which I gave you upon the subject of the Treaties is
    likewise authentic; it is certain that the commercial system
    with any of the contracting parties is not advanced nor
    advancing: so much then for your commercial code. As to the
    ideas of protecting duties, East India trade, and such, &c., as
    Ministry affect, and I hope with truth, to hold them cheap; as
    to the Absentee Tax, I do not hear what they propose; but from
    many circumstances I should not wonder if they gave way; and if
    they do, the mortal blow is struck to your landed interest. I
    wish you would be so good as to inquire privately what became of
    the prosecutions I had ordered against the Kilkenny Rangers for
    their riot with Talbot's Fencibles, and against a Mr.
    Hetherington, Lieutenant of the Lowtherstown Volunteers near
    Inniskillen, for firing with his corps upon a party of the
    105th, who came to seize his stills; for I very much suspect
    that Yelverton (who was very much averse to them) has smuggled
    them all. I rather think that you must see Grattan in
    opposition, as I do not see how he can fight under Scott or
    Fitzgibbon, who have clearly undertaken the House of Commons. If
    so, the restoration of Lord Carlisle's Administration is
    singularly perfect in all its parts, except Sheridan, _vice_
    Lees, which you will agree with me is not quite enough to
    constitute an essential difference. If the Post-Office gives
    only one Post-Master you will see Lord Northington completely
    puzzled, as I have reason to think that the Duke of Leinster and
    old Mr. Ponsonby have both asked for it. What do you suppose is
    in contemplation about your Chancellor? I cannot think that Lord
    Lifford will continue, and yet his terms (to which the Duke of
    Portland had acceded in July, 1782,) are immoderately high,
    viz., £2,000 per annum for three lives. When you will recollect
    that our late Chancellors, though going to the Woolsack from
    high offices and emoluments, received--Lord Camden £1,500 a year
    Irish, till a Tellership fell; Lord Bathurst nothing; Lord
    Thurlow a reversion of a tellership at £3,000 per annum. Compare
    the pretensions and the rewards!

    In this kingdom you will see that there is _de quoi s'amuser_ in
    Parliament: the Funds lower than in war; £30,000,000 still
    unfunded, consequently £1,500,000, at the least, to be raised of
    annual taxes, and at least £500,000 or £600,000 additional taxes
    to make up the deficiencies. Nothing done in Reform, except the
    creation of new offices, and the whole attention of ministers
    exclusively turned to the book of Numbers. My brother's fears
    were that the Opposition might be petulant. With this bill of
    fare, and that which the foreign questions will furnish, I do
    not think that we run great risk. Do not answer the detail of
    this letter, for it is unsafe; but I wished to take every
    opportunity to give you good information, and to assure you of
    the affectionate regard with which I am,

    My dear Lord,
    Ever yours,
    N. T.

The East India Bills were introduced by Mr. Fox, on the 18th of
November. The extreme and almost unprecedented principle laid down in
these Bills, afforded His Majesty and his private advisers the
opportunity of resistance they desired. Had the Opposition themselves
framed a measure for Ministers, with the express purpose of widening the
distance between the Cabinet and the Sovereign, they could not have
devised one better adapted to the purpose. The main object of the East
India Bills was to withdraw from the Company the entire administration
of the civil and commercial affairs of India, and to vest it in a board
of commissioners, who should be nominated by Parliament, and rendered
perfectly independent of the Crown. This scheme is said to have been
devised by Mr. Burke; but even the paternity of Mr. Burke could not
mitigate the odium that was heaped upon it by the Pitt and Grenville
party. Mr. Pitt described it as a piece of tyranny that broke through
every principle of equity and justice, that took away the security of
every company in the kingdom, the Bank, the national creditor and the
public corporations, and that left unsafe the great Charter itself, the
foundation of all our liberties. It was not merely, however, because it
struck at the principle of security so far as public companies and
chartered rights were concerned, that it incurred the strenuous
opposition of the King's friends. A more immediate objection was
discovered in the blow it aimed at the royal prerogative. The
establishment of a commission for the administration of the affairs of
India, without concert with the Crown, and whose members were
irremovable by the Sovereign, except upon an address from either House
of Parliament, was a bold attempt to reduce and narrow the King's
influence, which, in the menacing relations then subsisting between the
Ministers and the King, could only be regarded as a declaration of open
hostility. Upon this ill-considered measure the royal opposition took
its stand. But great difficulties were to be encountered before the
favourable opportunity thus afforded by the rashness of Ministers could
be turned to account.

The Bills passed triumphantly through the Commons, the second reading
being carried by a majority of 217 to 103; and on the 9th of December
Mr. Fox, attended by a numerous train of members, presented them at the
bar of the House of Lords. Here, then, the final battle was to be
fought. Lord Temple protested against the measure as "infamous," and as
seizing upon "the most inestimable part of the Constitution--our
chartered rights;" and was energetically supported by Thurlow, Richmond,
and Camden. But as something more than the ordinary parliamentary
resistance was necessary to effect the rejection at once of the plan and
its authors, Lord Temple obtained permission to make known the
sentiments of His Majesty on the subject, in order to give additional
weight and authority to the movements of the Opposition. The proverb
which has come down to us from Shakspeare, that the King's name is a
tower of strength, was never, perhaps, more effectively illustrated.

According to the version which is given in the accounts hitherto
published of these transactions, it was not till the 11th of December,
two days after the Bills had been read a first time in the Lords, that
His Majesty was apprised of the real character of the measure as it
affected his prerogative; and it was then, and not till then, His
Majesty determined to resist it. This statement goes to the effect--that
on the 11th of December, between the first and second reading, Earl
Temple had a conference with the King, in the course of which he fully
explained to His Majesty the nature and tendency of a measure which His
Majesty had up to that time approved; that he showed His Majesty that he
had been "duped" and "deceived," and that His Majesty's indignation at
this discovery was excited to such a height as to induce him to
authorise the Earl Temple to oppose the Bills in his name. In order to
leave no doubt on this point, and to give it all possible force and
authenticity, a card was written, setting forth, "That His Majesty
allowed Earl Temple to say, that whoever voted for the India Bill was
not only not his friend, but would be considered by him as an enemy; and
if these words were not strong enough, Earl Temple might use whatever
words he might deem stronger and more to the purpose."

This unusual and rather undignified proceeding admits of no other
justification than the urgency and exigency of the occasion; and the
best thing that can be said of it is, that it answered the end for which
it was designed, although the notoriety which was given to it (and
without which it would have been of no avail) produced a fierce
resolution in the Commons, carried by an immense majority, declaring
that it was a high crime and misdemeanour to report any opinion or
pretended opinion of the King upon any proceeding depending in either
House of Parliament, with a view to influence the votes of members. It
did influence the votes of members very extensively, nevertheless,
several proxies which had been entrusted to Ministers having been
withdrawn in consequence of the royal interference.

It would appear from this statement, that up to the 11th of December,
His Majesty had approved of the India Bills; and that on that day, for
the first time, Lord Temple drew His Majesty's attention to the tendency
of the measure. Upon the face of the proceedings themselves, such a
version of the transaction is so incredible as to excite surprise at its
adoption by contemporary historians. A very little reflection must have
discovered the impossibility of His Majesty remaining in ignorance of
the spirit, aim, and purport of a scheme which had been under discussion
for three weeks in the Commons, and had been sifted, explored, and
denounced by Pitt, Jenkinson, the Lord Advocate, Mr. Grenville, and
others. Nor is it to be believed that, with so strong a motive operating
in the minds of His Majesty's personal friends as that which was
furnished by the well-known desire of His Majesty to seize upon the
first opportunity to make a breach with the Cabinet, Lord Temple and
those who acted with him would have suffered His Majesty to continue in
the ignorance ascribed to him--assuming, which it is unreasonable to
assume, that His Majesty really was ignorant of the scope and design of
a ministerial proposal which had called up remonstrances and protests
from all parts of the kingdom.

It is scarcely necessary to say that Lord Temple did not wait until the
Bills had reached the House of Lords, to submit to the King his opinion
of them; and that he had all throughout earnestly impressed upon His
Majesty the objectionable spirit of those clauses that infringed the
royal prerogative. This was, indeed, the only vulnerable point upon
which His Majesty's direct interference could be properly invoked. The
difficulty that had hitherto stood in the way was as to the manner in
which the interposition of the King's authority could be brought to bear
constitutionally on the measure, during its progress through Parliament.
Ministers had an ascertained and decisive majority in the Commons, and
Lord Temple seems to have felt that it would have been unwise in His
Majesty to have interfered at that stage of the proceedings, when his
interference was likely to have failed of the desired effect. The last
resource was in the Peers. To have implicated the King's name in the
opposition to the measure, while it yet was in the hands of the Commons,
would have fatally compromised His Majesty's position; and for that
excellent reason, Lord Temple reserved the declaration of His Majesty's
opinion for that arena where it was most likely to exercise a practical
influence. The moment chosen was just before the debate on the principle
of the Bills. Had His Majesty been advised to preserve his neutrality
pending the discussion in the Lords, the probability was, that the
measure would have passed that House, and that he would have been
ultimately reduced to the necessity of refusing his assent to it; an
extremity from which he was delivered by the prompt and novel course
recommended by Lord Temple.

Amongst the Grenville papers there is the rough draught of a memorandum,
which reveals to us not only the suggestions upon which the King acted
in this emergency, but the no less important fact that the line of
action was submitted to His Majesty eight days before the Bills had
passed the Commons. It is evident from the tone of this memorandum, that
the subject matter of it had previously occupied much anxious
consideration, that the determination to resist the Bills in some shape
was already adopted, and that nothing remained to be settled but the
_modus operandi_. It will be seen, that in this memorandum the
difficulties attending the royal interference at different stages of the
measure are fully designated, and that the mode of proceeding finally
adopted by His Majesty is distinctly pointed out. The opening line, and
the note at the foot, are in the hand-writing of Lord Temple; the body
of the memorandum is in a different and not very legible hand.

    Dec. 1st, 1783.

    To begin with stating to His Majesty our sentiments upon the
    extent of the Bill, viz.:

    We profess to wish to know whether this Bill appear to His
    Majesty in this light: a plan to take more than half the royal
    power, and by that means disable [the King] for the rest of the
    reign. There is nothing else in it which ought to call for this

    Whether any means can be thought of, short of changing his
    Ministers, to avoid this evil.

    The refusing the Bill, if it passes the Houses, is a violent
    means. The changing his Ministers after the last vote of the
    Commons, in a less degree might be liable to the same sort of

    An easier way of changing his Government would be by taking some
    opportunity of doing it, when, in the progress of it, it shall
    have received more discountenance than hitherto.

    This must be expected to happen in the Lords in a greater degree
    than can be hoped for in the Commons.

    But a sufficient degree of it may not occur in the Lords if
    those whose duty to His Majesty would excite them to appear are
    not acquainted with his wishes, and that in a manner which would
    make it impossible to pretend a doubt of it, in case they were
    so disposed.

    By these means the discountenance might be hoped to raise
    difficulties so high as to throw it [out], and leave His Majesty
    at perfect liberty to choose whether he will change them or not.

    This is the situation which it is wished His Majesty should find
    himself in.

    Delivered by Lord Thurlow, Dec. 1st, 1783.
    Nugent Temple.

The sequel is matter of history. On the 17th of December, the India
Bills were rejected, in the House of Peers, by a majority of 95 to 76.
On the 18th, at midnight, a message was transmitted from the King to
Lord North and Mr. Fox, commanding them to deliver up their seals of
office; and, in order to mark emphatically the royal displeasure, they
were desired to send in their seals by the Under-Secretaries, as a
personal interview with them would be "disagreeable" to His Majesty. The
next day the rest of the Ministry were dismissed, and the letters
conveying their dismissal were signed by Lord Temple.

The circumstances under which this sudden change in the councils of the
Sovereign took place, produced considerable alarm in the Commons, by
whose support alone--in opposition to the feelings of the King, and the
voice of the public--the late Ministry had been sustained in office. An
apprehension prevailed amongst the members that the new Cabinet would
advise a dissolution, and an Address to the King was accordingly passed
on the 22nd, praying His Majesty not to adopt that measure; but Mr.
Pitt, to whom the responsibility of constructing an Administration had
been confided in the meanwhile, entertained no such project, having
resolved to trust in the first instance to his strength out of doors;
and His Majesty's answer to the address explicitly assured the Commons,
accordingly, that he had no intention of exercising his prerogative
either to prorogue or dissolve Parliament.

For three days Lord Temple held the Seals, to facilitate Mr. Pitt's
negotiations; and shortly afterwards the new Government was announced,
with Mr. Pitt at its head, Lord Howe at the Admiralty, Lord Thurlow as
Lord Chancellor, and the Marquis of Carmarthen and Lord Sydney in the
Foreign and Home Departments. The Duke of Rutland, who for a short time
held the office of Lord Privy Seal (in which he was succeeded by Lord
Gower), was sent to Ireland to succeed Lord Northington early in the
ensuing year.

Up to this time, notwithstanding the signal services he had rendered to
the Sovereign throughout a period marked by the most extraordinary
contest in our annals between the Crown and a dominant party in the
Commons, Lord Temple had waited in vain for that acknowledgment of his
conduct in Ireland to which he felt himself entitled. The position of
the King during the conflict that had been forced upon him with his
Ministers was, doubtless, no less embarrassing than painful; but now
that Mr. Pitt had succeeded to office, Lord Temple expected full justice
would be done to him. That he did not receive it, however, and that his
proud and sensitive temper resented the neglect, will be evident from
the following letter, which closes the correspondence for the year.


    Stowe, Dec. 29th, Half-past One.

    Dear Sir,

    I am sorry that you should have had the trouble of acknowledging
    at so late a period a letter which was indeed very interesting
    to me, but to which I have not even expected any answer for the
    last eight weeks; and I perfectly agree with you, "that it would
    be of little use to enter in[to] particulars" respecting the
    considerations so immediately affecting my credit, a[nd?]
    honour, which we certainly view so differently. If any
    communication had been wished for from me upon these points,
    upon which it was known by Mr. Grenville and by you that I was
    not indifferent, I should have thought it my duty of friendship
    to have stated my reasons for being confident that the new Irish
    arrangements cannot be useful, upon the same principles as have
    been thought (by you) sufficient to bury former distinctions of
    party in this country: I have already stated to you my reasons
    for considering the recal of Mr. Ponsonby and of his friends to
    power and confidence in Ireland as a most dangerous measure, and
    as a departure from a system to which His Majesty's Government
    was pledged, not only with your approbation, but with your
    strong and decided opinion. I have likewise stated the reasons
    why I consider such a measure, unaccompanied with any mark to me
    of the King's approbation of my conduct, as the strongest
    disavowal of my Government in Ireland, and (not to use harsh
    expressions) as the most personal offence to me. In that point
    of view I know that it has been almost universally considered in
    Ireland; because the natural intemperance of those to whom I
    feel myself sacrificed has not been controlled by any proof of
    the interest which it had been supposed you would have felt
    naturally in whatever so nearly concerned me. And with these
    impressions, I felt strongly the kindness of my brother, Mr.
    Grenville, who endeavoured to calm those feelings, and to
    suggest various marks of favour (if you should approve them)
    which did not appear to him precluded by any difficulties of
    which he was aware.

    And by that kindness I was induced to acquiesce in his wish to
    be permitted to open to you an idea which I find that Mr.
    Grenville and you consider (in part of it) as strongly
    objectionable, as hazardous to Government, and as unwise on my
    part. As I cannot think of accepting the peerage for my second
    son under such circumstances, I have only to express my regrets
    that the idea ever has been opened to you. I was never very
    particularly attached to it, and certainly feel the full force
    of your arguments against it; but I likewise feel as fully that
    the arrangements which you have taken, with your eyes open to
    the consequences (as far as I am concerned in the question),
    leave me without alternative. I need not add that the
    consequences of this must be most painful to me from reflections
    embittered by the warm affection I bore to those who view all
    this so differently from me.

    I have, from attention to you, sent back your messenger
    immediately. I have, therefore, hardly had time to consider the
    expressions of this letter. I shall, therefore, thank you if
    (notwithstanding your press of business) you will, from
    recollection of former habits, be kind enough to give me one
    line, to tell me whether I have made myself understood or not;
    and you will likewise think it necessary to give me some answer
    respecting your _engagement_ to Mr. Gamon, in August last, to
    include him in the _first list_ of Baronets. If you wish for a
    copy of your letter on that subject, you shall have it, but an
    immediate explanation to him from you, as well as me, is
    absolutely necessary.

    I am, with very sincere regrets, and with the deepest sensations
    of pain for what has passed, and for what is yet to come,

    Dear Sir,
    Your very obedient and humble servant,
    N. T.


Mr. Pitt's Administration--Lord Temple Created Marquis of
Buckingham--His Private Notes on the Coalition.

The relative position of parties at the opening of 1784 was singular and
unprecedented. The exultation of the public on the dismissal of the late
Ministers, and the accession of Mr. Pitt to power, afforded the
undeniable proof that the people were with the Sovereign and his
advisers. Addresses of thanks and congratulation poured in from the
municipal and corporate bodies in all parts of the kingdom, who felt
their privileges endangered by the East India Bills, expressing the
gratitude of the country to His Majesty for the vigour and resolution
with which he had acted. The Coalition, nevertheless, still wielded a
powerful majority in the Commons, with which they continued to harass
the Cabinet, in spite of those demonstrations of public opinion which
plainly warned them that, long as they might succeed in protracting the
struggle, it could end only in disaster and defeat. The King and the
Cabinet were, in short, brought into open hostility with the Commons by
the persevering resistance of that unnatural and unprincipled
combination which, stung by recent failure and disgrace, now manifested
greater virulence than ever. Two days after the reassembling of
Parliament, in January, Mr. Pitt introduced his India Bill. It was
immediately rejected by the Commons. This was his first defeat. Every
subsequent movement of the Government was frustrated in the same way.
All the resources of parliamentary tactics were resorted to for the
purpose of dislodging the Minister. Resolutions were passed declaring
that the late changes were not calculated to conciliate the House, and
that the continuance in office of the new Ministers was injurious to the
interests of both King and people; and, finding that these resolutions
failed of the desired effect, more violent measures were adopted. The
Mutiny Bill was postponed, and the appropriation of the supplies was

In this desperate state of affairs, it appeared to be absolutely
impossible to carry on the business of the country; and, driven to the
last extremity, negotiations were opened with the Duke of Portland, in
the hope of appeasing the Opposition, and strengthening the hands of
Government. But the Duke of Portland made demands which were
incompatible with the dignity of the Minister, and which only tended to
increase the difficulty of the situation. It is believed that he went so
far as to stipulate for Mr. Pitt's resignation. Mr. Pitt, however,
refused to resign, and the negotiation was broken off. Throughout the
whole of this contest, Mr. Pitt maintained an attitude of firmness, and
displayed an amount of ability which greatly increased his popularity.
The Opposition, powerful as it was, finally gave way under his undaunted
spirit, their numbers daily diminishing as the inutility of perseverance
became more and more evident, until at length he reduced the majority
against him to one on a vote of confidence. At this point the Coalition
vanished. It was not, however, till the month of March that he succeeded
in crushing his formidable opponents; and having thus demonstrated the
real strength of his Government by the most constitutional means, he
dissolved the Parliament--an alternative which a less confident and
conscientious Minister might have justifiably availed himself of long
before. The appeal to the people was enthusiastically responded to; and
when the next Parliament met, an amendment on the Address, moved by Lord
Surrey, was rejected by a majority of 76. Mr. Pitt's Government was now
established on the firmest basis.

Throughout these proceedings, Lord Temple maintained a strict reserve.
Except when his opinions were solicited on the subject of Ireland, he
does not appear to have tendered his advice, or in any form to have
identified himself with the Government. His regard for Mr. Pitt isolated
him from a prominent participation in public affairs at this crisis; for
as he would not act against the Administration, and was precluded from
the opportunity of serving it as he desired to do, no choice was left to
him but that of a friendly neutrality. He still continued,
notwithstanding, to feel a deep interest in Irish affairs; but it was
limited almost exclusively to his private letters, and even in this
shape he abstained from all direct interference. Lord Northington, who
is said to have been invited by Mr. Pitt to retain the Lord-Lieutenancy,
remained in office till February, when he was displaced by the Duke of
Rutland. In the interval, Lord Temple's silence on all matters relating
to the government of that country, has left scarcely any traces of his
feelings or opinions in the scanty correspondence of this period.

On the 8th of January, writing to General Cuninghame, whom he had
formerly recommended to the command in Ireland for his "superior
fitness," and who had recently applied for it on the resignation of
General Burgoyne, he intimates his position very clearly:

    Variety of circumstances have placed me in a situation wholly
    divested of power or of official information; so that in the
    present moment I do not even know whether General Burgoyne is
    still in command or not; still less do I know the ideas of
    Government upon it.

General Cuninghame, in reply, expresses the regret which he felt, in
common with others, that his Lordship, who had occupied so conspicuous a
place in the favour of the King during the late ministerial crisis, had
relinquished the power which His Majesty had invested him with.

    For a thousand reasons, public and private, I am sorry you found
    yourself under the necessity of resigning the Seals, and for the
    same thousand reasons I hope your Lordship will soon again
    accept of office.

The resignation of the Seals, here alluded to, was a step Lord Temple
felt himself called upon to take by a nice and punctilious sense of
honour; but which, upon a broader view of the exigencies of the public
service, and the peculiar demands of the occasion, could not have been
considered imperative. It had reference to the resolution of the
Commons, impugning as a high crime and misdemeanour the circulation of
the opinions of the King, with a view to influence the decision of
Parliament. That resolution was avowedly pointed at Lord Temple; and in
order that he might be enabled, without embarrassing the Sovereign or
the Government, to meet any subsequent action which the Commons might
think fit to found upon it, Lord Temple resigned. His chivalry, however,
was a mere waste of that generous self-abnegation which characterized
his whole public life. The Commons never proceeded any farther in the

In another letter to General Cuninghame, dated 1st of March, Lord Temple
expresses his regret that his recommendation of that officer to His
Majesty had not the effect he desired, and again assures him that he
possesses no power or influence with the Administration.

    I am favoured with your letter upon General Pitt's appointment.
    I need not repeat that if I had continued in Ireland, I should
    have shown every attention to your wishes. In my present
    situation I neither have been nor can be consulted in official
    arrangements. My warm affection and near relationship towards
    the Duke of Rutland and Mr. Pitt have disposed me to give them
    the best advice which my experience in Ireland could suggest to
    me; and in the course of these communications, your pretensions
    to the command were stated with every advantage.

General Cuninghame replies by declaring that he considers himself very
ill-used, after having supported the British Government in Ireland for
thirty-three years in Parliament; but adds: "Why should I complain to my
benefactor, who has it not in his power to relieve me?"

Amongst the Irish correspondents who continued to look up to Lord Temple
as the statesman who best understood the circumstances and wants of the
country, was Colonel Martin, the owner of the vast estates of Connemara,
who afterwards acquired a special reputation in the Imperial Parliament,
by his Bill for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. At the period when
he was in correspondence with Lord Temple, the humanity for which he was
subsequently distinguished did not, it is said, extend to his own
species; for no man, in a land notorious for feudal violence, enjoyed a
wider celebrity as a duellist. From a letter written in the July of this
year, the following extract may be inserted, as being strikingly
characteristic both of the writer and the state of society over which,
in those belligerent days, men of such grave temperaments as the
Grenvilles were called upon to preside.

    You have perhaps heard already of my affair at Castlebar with
    Mr. Fitzgerald. On the 14th I went to Castlebar, where with some
    difficulty and after the use of language not very consonant to
    my feelings, I prevailed on Mr. Fitzgerald to meet me in the
    barrack-yard. When I took my first ground, I was distant about
    eight yards from him, but on his declaring in a vaunting manner
    that we were not near enough, I told him he should not have
    reason to complain on that head, and accordingly I advanced
    within less than five yards to him, and said he had it in his
    power to make it much nearer. We both fired about the same time;
    he missed me, but my shot entered his waistcoat and passed along
    his breast and grazed his arm. He then called to me not to fire
    again until he recovered his pistol, on which I declared I would
    wait any time he chose. When he was ready, we fired as before;
    my shot hit him just above the waistband of his breeches and got
    out on the opposite side of his waistcoat. I was wounded in the
    breast, but very slightly; and I am at present so well as to be
    able to travel anywhere in my carriage.

    Mr. Fitzgerald shows his clothes to every person, but declares
    he is not wounded; for my part, I will not declare my reasons
    for believing him to be unhurt. On the ground he declared
    himself sorry for the offence, and that he was _wounded_. For
    the last I declared my sorrow, so everything ended.

Although Lord Temple throughout this year, as he observes in one of his
letters, "lived too little in the political world" to evince much
interest in its vicissitudes, the honours which his official career had
so well earned followed him into private life. Towards the close of
1784, he was created Marquis of Buckingham.

In his retirement, however, he was not an inattentive observer of public
affairs, and seems to have contemplated the design of drawing up an
account of that memorable struggle of parties of which he had been a
witness, and especially of the transactions in which he had been
directly and personally concerned. That he did not carry this design
into execution, and that nothing remains of it but the following
fragment, is much to be regretted, as few men were so well qualified by
experience, knowledge and ability, to become the historian of these
events. The fragment, for it is nothing more, breaking off at the most
interesting point of the narrative, which it was evidently the writer's
intention to pursue to the close, is printed with the title, and exactly
in the form in which it was left by Lord Temple. It is hardly necessary
to remark that there is an error in the date, which has reference to the
months of November and December, 1783, and not 1784, a mistake which
probably arose from the circumstance of these notes having been put
together in the latter year.


    I have much lamented that, during the very interesting period of
    November and December, of 1784, I did not keep a regular journal
    of the transactions of those months, in which I am supposed to
    have borne so principal a share. Many of the minuter springs
    which guided those operations have slipped my memory, from the
    multiplicity of them, and from the rapidity with which they
    crowded upon each other during the latter busy days, ending with
    the formation of the new Ministry on the 21st of December, 1784.
    It will, however, be necessary for me to take this narrative
    from an earlier period, necessarily connected with it--I mean
    the formation of the Government known by the name of the
    Coalition Ministry.

    I was in Ireland during that period, and was not uninformed,
    authentically, of the disposition on the part of Lord North to
    have supported the Ministry of Lord Shelburne upon terms of
    provision for his friends, very short of those which he
    afterwards claimed and extorted from Mr. Fox. It was clearly
    known to Lord Shelburne, that no official arrangement was
    proposed by Lord North for himself; and, to say truth, those of
    his friends for whom he wished provision to be made, were at
    least as unexceptionable as many, I may even add as most of
    those whom Lord Shelburne had collected from the two former
    Administrations. The infatuation, however, which pervaded the
    whole of his Government, operated most forcibly in this
    instance. The affectation of holding the ostensible language of
    Mr. Pitt, in 1759, is only mentioned to show the ridiculous
    vanity of the Minister who, unsupported by public success, or by
    the parliamentary knowledge and man[oe]uvre of a Duke of
    Newcastle, not only held it, but acted upon it, professing, in
    his own words, to "know nothing of the management of a House of
    Commons, and to throw himself upon the people alone for
    support." This farce operated as it might be expected; and
    although the negotiation between Lord North and Mr. Fox was
    matter of perfect notoriety for several weeks, those moments
    were suffered to pass away without any attempt to avail himself
    of the various difficulties which presented themselves, at the
    different periods of that discussion, till, at the very eve of
    the ratification of it, Mr. Pitt was employed by his Lordship to
    open propositions, through Mr. Fox, to that party. This was
    rejected _in toto_; and the events which followed the meeting of
    Parliament, are too well known to make a detail of them

    Before I proceed I wish to add, that although I have treated the
    vanity and personal arrogance of Lord Shelburne as it deserves,
    yet I will do him justice in acknowledging his merit, as one of
    the quickest and most indefatigable Ministers that this country
    ever saw. Many of his public measures were the result of a great
    and an informed mind, assisted by a firm and manly vigour. And I
    must ever think the Peace, attended with all its collateral
    considerations, the most meritorious and happiest event for a
    kingdom exhausted of men and of credit. I was not pledged in the
    slightest degree to the measure; for, by my absence in Ireland,
    and my little connection with his Lordship, I was enabled to
    judge of it with coolness and impartiality; and from the
    knowledge of the various difficulties attending it, I am
    convinced that better terms could not be obtained, and that the
    further prosecution of the war was impracticable, even if the
    combination against us allowed the hope of success. This
    testimony I have wished to bear, though it is not immediately
    connected with my purpose.

    Upon the resignation of Lord Shelburne, His Majesty was placed
    in a situation in which, through the various events of his
    reign, he never had yet found himself. The man[oe]uvres which he
    tried, at different periods of the six weeks during which this
    country was left literally without a Government, are well known.
    Perhaps nothing can paint the situation of his mind so truly, as
    a letter which he wrote to me on the 1st of April: this was an
    answer to one which I thought it necessary to address to him
    from Ireland, after receiving from him a message and a general
    detail of his situation, through Mr. W. Grenville, to whom he
    opened himself very confidentially upon the general state of the

    Upon my return to England, I was honoured with every public
    attention from His Majesty, who ostensibly held a language upon
    my subject, calculated to raise in the strongest degree the
    jealousy of his servants. In the audience which I asked, as a
    matter of course, after being presented at his levée, he
    recapitulated all the transactions of that period, with the
    strongest encomium upon Mr. Pitt, and with much apparent
    acrimony hinted at Lord Shelburne, whom he stated to have
    abandoned a situation which was tenable, and particularly so
    after the popular resentment had been roused. This was naturally
    attended with strong expressions of resentment and disgust of
    his Ministers, and of personal abhorrence of Lord North, whom he
    charged with treachery and ingratitude of the blackest nature.
    He repeated that, to such a Ministry he never would give his
    confidence, and that he would take the first moment for
    dismissing them. He then stated the proposition made to him by
    the Duke of Portland, for the annual allowance of £100,000 to
    His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. I gave to him, very much
    at length, my opinion of such a measure, and of the certain
    consequences of it: in all which, as may reasonably be supposed,
    His Majesty ran before me, and stated with strong disgust the
    manner in which it was opened to him--as a thing _decided_, and
    even drawn up in the shape of a message, to which his signature
    was desired as a matter of course, to be brought before
    Parliament the next day. His Majesty declared himself to be
    decided to resist this attempt, and to push the consequences to
    their full extent, and to try the spirit of the Parliament and
    of the people upon it. I thought it my duty to offer to him my
    humble advice to go on with his Ministers, if possible, in order
    to throw upon them the ratification of the Peace, which they
    professed to intend to ameliorate, and to give them scope for
    those mountains of reform, which would inevitably come very
    short of the expectations of the public. From these public
    measures, and from their probable dissension, I thought that His
    Majesty might look forward to a change of his Ministers in the
    autumn; and that, as the last resource, a dissolution of this
    Parliament, chosen by Lord North and occasionally filled by Mr.
    Fox, might offer him the means of getting rid of the chains
    which pressed upon him. To all this he assented; but declared
    his intention to resist, at all events and hazards, the
    proposition for this enormous allowance to His Royal Highness,
    of whose conduct he spoke with much dissatisfaction. He asked,
    what he might look to if upon this refusal the Ministry should
    resign: and I observed, that, not having had the opportunity of
    consulting my friends, I could only answer that their
    resignation was a proposition widely differing from their
    dismissal, and that I did not see the impossibility of accepting
    his Administration in such a contingency, provided the supplies
    and public bills were passed, so as to enable us to prorogue the
    Parliament. To all this he assented, and declared his intention
    of endeavouring to gain time, that the business of Parliament
    might go on; and agreed with me that such a resignation was
    improbable, and that it would be advisable not to dismiss them,
    unless some very particular opportunity presented itself.


The Breach Between the Marquis of Buckingham and Mr. Thomas Grenville.

Mr. Pitt's Government was now reaping all the advantages of peace and
security. The lull that followed the termination of the American War and
the dispersion of the Coalition, enabled the Minister to consolidate his
power and develop his plans. Lord North, who had the misfortune not long
afterwards to lose his eyesight, was receding from the arena on which he
had acted so remarkable a part during the preceding fourteen years; and
Mr. Fox and his adherents, returning again to their own natural orbit,
were vindicating their integrity and consistency in the maintenance of a
constitutional Opposition. Faction, weakened and dismembered, had fallen
before the genius of Mr. Pitt.

The principal measure in the Cabinet in 1785 was a Bill for the reform
of the representation in Parliament, by which Mr. Pitt proposed to
transfer the franchises of thirty-six boroughs to counties and
unrepresented towns. A clause in this Bill, for giving pecuniary
compensation to the disfranchised boroughs, was fatal to its reception.
Mr. Fox laid down the maxim, that the franchise was not a property, but
a trust: the House adopted that view of the question, and the Bill was
lost. But Mr. Pitt, nevertheless, discharged his pledge to the public by
thus initiating the principle of parliamentary reform.

The Marquis of Buckingham still continued a passive spectator of public
events, and the correspondence of this period possesses consequently
little political interest. We learn by a letter from his brother, Mr. W.
W. Grenville, that he had placed his proxy in the hands of Lord
Camelford, who was so embarrassed by the responsibility, that he took
counsel with Lord Sydney and Mr. Grenville as to the course he should
follow in reference to a particular vote. Mr. Grenville, exercising his
usual good sense and practical judgment, strongly recommended his
Lordship to withdraw his proxy altogether, rather than to have it
exposed to the chance of compromising his opinions.

The unhappy difference between the Marquis of Buckingham and his
brother, Mr. Thomas Grenville, was not yet adjusted; and time seems only
to have widened a breach which both deplored, and were equally anxious
to remove. The proud feelings of the Marquis, wounded by the injustice
with which he conceived he had been treated, were peculiarly sensitive
to every act on the part of his friends that departed in the slightest
degree from the line he had marked out for himself. Perhaps he expected
from them more in this respect than the obligations of public life could
be reasonably expected to concede; in this instance, at least, he
appears to have exaggerated into a personal wrong a vote which was given
on pure and independent grounds, without a suspicion that it was open to
so injurious an interpretation. Mr. Thomas Grenville's letter on this
painful subject is an honourable testimony alike to his integrity and
his affection.


    St. James's Street, Feb. 4th, 1785.

    My dear Brother,

    Anything that comes from you with the least prospect of bringing
    back to me those sentiments of affection which, in spite of any
    political differences, it has always been my first wish to keep
    alive between us; any intimation of your looking for a brother
    in one who has never ceased to be so to you; I cannot but be
    eager to express the pleasure and satisfaction I feel in
    receiving from you. And if I did not feel shocked and wounded by
    those expressions which ascribe to my vote motives so foreign to
    my nature, that I can scarce bear to read or repeat them, my
    hopes of living with you in the affectionate intercourse of a
    brother would have kept my attention to that pleasing prospect
    only, and would have shut my lips upon every past subject of
    difference. Can I really have to think that you are serious in
    considering me as having struck at your honour and your life by
    any vote that I have given? That such an expression can have
    come from you after a year's reflection, wounds me more than
    anything that could be said in the first moments of anger; and
    it is not against such a charge that I can argue to defend

    I cannot say with how much concern it is, that I have felt
    myself obliged to allude to anything that has passed, nor could
    I have been forced now to do it, was it not that to have said
    nothing upon a charge so cruel might have looked like
    acquiescing in the justice of it: of that vote I have always
    said, and God knows, always truly said, that I made in it no
    personal attack, felt in it nothing hostile to you, and
    regretted in it only the misrepresentation and misconception of
    others. I have said more, and still say, that the
    misunderstanding of that vote is so grievous to me, that,
    blameless as my motives were, I would not have given it, if I
    had thought it liable to the misrepresentations that have been
    made of it; yet, God knows, I thought it could be mistaken only
    by those who did not know me.

    I return with pleasure, my dear brother, to that part of your
    note, in which I hope I find again the prospect of that near
    affectionate relation, the renewal of which on your part, my
    mind has ever been anxious for, and ever eager to bring about,
    from the first moment that political differences had separated
    us; for, upon political subjects, my mind receives no impression
    that can stop in it the feelings of relationship, kindness, and
    affection, all of which I will hope, my dearest brother, the
    latter words of your note again open the way to--a way in which
    I cannot too often repeat, how gladly and happily I should go
    forward in.

    Ever your very affectionate brother,
    Thomas Grenville.

The following passage, in the Marquis of Buckingham's hand-writing,
apparently cut out of a former letter to which the above is the reply,
seems to contain the observations from which Mr. Thomas Grenville
extracted the hope of reconciliation. It is enclosed in his letter as if
it had been returned to the writer.

    When you joined in the vote which impeached my honour, and
    possibly my life, you forgot the feelings of a brother, and
    dissolved the ties between us. I loathe the looking back, still
    less do I mean to reproach: my heart is still alive to those
    feelings which nature and religion dictate to me.

    I have no false pride, and, therefore, have no conditions to
    propose to you. All that I look for is a _brother_; but in that
    word I comprehend all the sentiments of affection which I feel I
    discharged faithfully towards you till the moment of our
    separation. Consult your feelings, and God direct them.

In the next letter, Mr. W. W. Grenville communicates a scrap of
political gossip to his brother.


    Oakley, Sunday, August 9th, 1785.

    My dear Brother,

    Having just heard a most curious piece of news, I take the first
    moment of acquainting you with it, though, perhaps, you will
    have been informed of it through some other channel. It is no
    less than a sudden resolution taken by Wyndham of resigning his
    office, in consequence of an inflammatory fever with which he
    was seized at Oxford, on his way back to Dublin. Lord
    Northington's friends in London have undertaken very kindly to
    supply his loss, and have offered his secretaryship to Tom
    Pelham, who has accepted, and waits only for the form of being
    appointed by Lord Northington to the situation of his
    confidential Minister and friend.

    Their Irish peers are Clements, Matthew, Jonson, Pomeroy, and
    Mr. Hutchinson; together with Deland, Pennant, and Pennington.

    The wags say that this is the second voyage to the North Pole,
    in which Wyndham has stopped short. I own I think he has used
    his principal very ill, and himself not very well. The other's
    accepting is not much less extraordinary.

    I should not be quite surprised if Lord Northington should
    follow his quondam Secretary's example. At any rate, conceive
    the confusion in which the country must now be, with the
    harvest, the election, and nothing like a Government; the
    Secretary not appointed, and the Lord-Lieutenant doing business
    _on Thursdays, from twelve till two_.

    You see Hussy Burgh is not in the list. Should not you write him
    an ostensible letter on the subject?

    I shall go to town in a day or two at furthest, and will write
    to you from thence.

    Adieu, my dear brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


Mr. W. W. Grenville Joins Mr. Pitt's Administration.

While the Marquis of Buckingham abstained from active participation in
public business, he maintained the most friendly relations with Mr.
Pitt, warmly supporting the Minister in all matters upon which his
individual adhesion, advice, and local influence could add strength and
character to his Administration. That he persevered, however, in
cultivating the retirement he had chosen, in preference to throwing
himself personally into the ocean of action, may be inferred from the
following letter, which announces the accession of Mr. Grenville to the
Government as Vice-President of the Committee of Trade.


    Whitehall, August 10th, 1786.

    My dear Brother,

    I said nothing to you in my last about going to Court, because,
    as everybody in town had gone on Friday, I did not think it
    material for you to come up, considering your distance; and I
    was unwilling to advise your putting yourself to any
    inconvenience of that sort, which did not appear to be
    absolutely necessary.

    But yesterday's levée was fuller than Friday's, and crowded with
    all sorts of people, particularly the Opposition, who came from
    all quarters of the kingdom. This being the case, I cannot help
    thinking that you would do right to come up for the next levée,
    which is Friday next; the King keeping the Duke of York's
    birthday on Wednesday, at Windsor. I mentioned the subject
    to-day to Pitt, who seemed to think it very desirable that you
    should do this, as a mark of attention, in return for the many
    civilities which we have lately received from that quarter. As
    several places have addressed on the occasion, I think if you
    would bring up an address from the loyal corporation of
    Buckingham, it would be a sort of apology for your absence

    The Committee of Trade is to be declared that day in council.
    Lord Hawkesbury is to kiss hands as President, and your humble
    servant as Vice-President. Lord Hawkesbury also kisses hands for
    the Duchy, and Lord Clarendon for the Post-Office, in the room
    of Lord Tankerville, who goes out upon a sort of quarrel between
    him and Lord Cartaret. Mornington kisses hands to-morrow for the

    I believe these are all the arrangements that will now be made.
    The seat on the Bench is not yet disposed of, and from what I
    judged by the Chancellor's looks the other day, when I saw him
    at council, I very much fear that a more extensive law
    arrangement will soon be necessary. Lord Mansfield is also said
    to be worse again.

    Adieu, my dear brother,
    Believe me ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

That the weight of Lord Buckingham's opinions was strongly felt in the
nomination of Mr. Grenville and others to office, is abundantly
testified by a letter of the same date, in which Lord Mornington
ascribes to the favourable recommendations of the Marquis his seat at
the Treasury.


    August 10th, 1786.

    My dear Lord,

    I trouble you with this letter to inform you that Pitt has
    offered me the vacant seat at the Board of Treasury, and that I
    have accepted it: nothing could be more flattering or kind than
    the manner in which this offer was made; I will trouble you with
    the circumstances which attended it when I have the pleasure of
    seeing you. William Grenville's friendship has been exerted with
    its usual warmth and sincerity on this occasion; and I feel so
    strongly the effect of your former activity in my favour, that
    although your absence from town has prevented my applying to you
    on this occasion, yet I must attribute this, as I shall any
    future success, to the ground which you laid for me, and to the
    uniform assiduity with which you have supported my pretensions:
    therefore, although you have had no immediate concern (that I
    know) in this specific object, I must beg of you to accept a
    very large share of the gratitude which I feel to those who have
    promoted it for me. The Vice-Treasurerships, as I suppose you
    know, do not go to Ireland.

    I hope to have the pleasure of paying my duty to you at Stowe,
    in the autumn; perhaps I may have the good fortune to see you
    sooner in town, as I hear that you are coming up with a loyal
    address. I beg my best compliments to Lady Buckingham.

    Believe me, my dear Lord,
    Ever most sincerely your obliged and affectionate

The "object," dimly and cautiously alluded to in the annexed letters,
was that of a peerage, to which the high pretensions of Mr. W. W.
Grenville justified him in looking forward; but which his prudence,
holding his honourable ambition in check, made him desirous of
postponing until he had won even greater distinction as a statesman than
he had already attained.


    Thursday, Dec. 12th, 1786.

    My dear Brother,

    You do not say a word in your letter of Apsley and his deer.

    Sir William Bowyers' man has declined the clerkship for himself,
    and has no son old enough for it. I have a very handsome letter
    from Mulgrave, leaving the Wardrobe Keeper to my disposal. On
    inquiry, it appears to be worth at least £100 per annum, besides
    apartments in Chelsea, and coals and candles. But residence is
    absolutely necessary.

    You will therefore judge what to do with it; but the Clerk's
    place must be filled up without further delay. I have allowed
    the widow of the Wardrobe Keeper to remain in the office till
    March; but if you decide on the man, I can, in order to prevent
    accidents, appoint him now to take possession in March. I
    mention this the rather as I fear that, to my great sorrow, I am
    going to have a new colleague, which I will explain to you in
    ten days, by which time I hope to be at Stowe. It gives me very
    real concern, because it is impossible for any man to have
    behaved in a more gentleman-like and friendly manner than
    Mulgrave has done on every occasion; and I fear his successor
    will have _a clan_ upon him, but that is not settled.

    You know my _principal_ object: should I press to have it opened
    for me now? If I did, I believe it would be done; but I am so
    much pleased with my present situation, that I am unwilling to
    quit it so soon, especially as every year removes difficulties
    in the way of the other. Yet, perhaps, it is not prudent to let
    opportunities pass by one. On the other hand, I shall, I am
    confident, be able in the next session, by the help of my
    present situation, to put myself much more forward in the House
    than I have hitherto done, which appears to me a great object to
    attain, previous to accepting of what after all, I fear, will
    wear the appearance of putting myself _hors de combat_.

    I am not in the same mind about it for any ten minutes together.
    Pray write something to me by the return of the post.

    I am much grieved to hear so unpleasant an account of Lady
    Buckingham, but earnestly hope that what she goes through will
    be confined to suffering only, and that you will not be
    disappointed in an object so interesting to you both.

    Nothing is yet known of law enactments, nor is it by any means
    certain that Lord Mansfield resigns during his life, which is,
    however, in all probability, no very long period.

    Fawcitt will have the red riband with another person, who will
    surprise you.

    What should you think of an arrangement to be settled now, and
    to take place at the opening of the session of 1788? The worst
    is, it would be known, which would be unpleasant to me in a
    thousand ways. I never had a point to decide which puzzled me so
    much. That very circumstance will probably make me pass it, as
    if I take any step, I must do it within a day or two at
    furthest. Pray write to me.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    If it is done in the manner I last mentioned, you must
    understand that it will be irrevocably fixed, as a positive
    engagement will be taken for my present office to be given at
    that time; so that if I alter my mind in 1788, I shall be an
    independent country gentleman.


    Whitehall, Dec. 21st, 1786.

    My dear Brother,

    I have nothing decisive to say to you on the subject which we
    discussed so much at Stowe, except that the particular
    arrangement, which we agreed to be in so many respects
    objectionable, certainly will not take place. My opinion is,
    that it will end in my remaining as I am till _the other event_
    happens, when it will be time enough to decide the question,
    which will then occur, either of my present situation
    continuing, or of the arrangement which you suggested instead of
    it, which I mentioned to Pitt, and which he seemed in many
    respects to like. The negotiation with respect to that _other
    event_ has not yet been opened, but will immediately be so. The
    period must depend upon that person's wishes as well as mine;
    but mine, as far as they will have weight, are for the time
    which you seemed to prefer.

    I do not know whether you will understand my hieroglyphics, but
    I hope to explain them to you some time next week, as Lord
    Harcourt and myself have, I think, nearly settled to take our
    holidays then.

    We determined nothing about the Wardrobe Keeper. Lord Grimstone
    has been written to about Hepburne's arrangement, but we have no
    answer yet. This need not, however, delay any decision which you
    may take about the other, which I am very anxious to settle
    before the clannism takes place,

    Adieu, my dear brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


The Dawn of Free Trade--The Assembly of Notables--Affairs of
Holland--Arthur Wellesley--The Marquis of Buckingham Assumes the
Government of Ireland for the Second Time.

Looking back upon the acts of past administrations, with a view to the
influence they exercised over the policy of their successors to the
present time, perhaps the most important measure introduced at this
period by Mr. Pitt was a commercial treaty with France, which may be
regarded as the first recognition by an English Minister of the
principles of Free Trade. Mr. Fox maintained that France was the natural
enemy of England, and that it was useless to attempt to veil the rivalry
of the two countries under commercial regulations. Mr. Pitt, on the
other hand, urged that it was their mutual interest to liberate their
commerce; and that if France obtained a market by this treaty of eight
millions of people for her wines and other productions, England profited
still more largely by gaining a market for her manufactures of
twenty-four millions.

The general principle of this treaty was to admit a mutual exportation
and importation of commodities, at a low _ad valorem_ duty. The
Opposition made great head against it in the House of Commons, but it
was finally carried by a majority of 76. Curiously enough, the treaty
was negotiated by Mr. Eden, who had held the office of Vice-Treasurer of
Ireland under the Coalition, and who was the first person to break away
from that heterogeneous confederacy, and ally himself with Mr. Pitt. His
defection was the more memorable from the fact, that the Coalition is
said to have originated with him; at all events, he divides the credit
of the project with Mr. Burke. Distinguished by his zeal and activity,
Mr. Eden was soon afterwards raised to the peerage, under the title of
Baron Auckland.

While this reciprocity treaty was in progress, the finances of France
were reduced to such a state of derangement by a system of corruption
and profligate expenditure, as to call for some strong and universal
measure of redemption. The famous Convention of Notables was the
remedial project suggested by that able but speculative financier, M. de
Calonne, who had succeeded M. Necker as Minister of Finance. This
assembly, by royal authority, of all the considerable persons in the
kingdom, excited some curiosity in England. What was thought of it in
the ministerial circles may be gathered from a passage in a letter from
Mr. W. W. Grenville to Lord Buckingham, dated the 8th of January.

    A resolution has been taken by the French Government, and
    declared by the King in his council, which occasions a good deal
    of speculation. It is no less than the calling an Assemblée
    generale, who are to consist of archbishops, bishops, nobles,
    and deputies from the different parliaments, &c., to the number
    of one hundred and fifty-nine. They are to meet at Versailles, I
    think in the course of next month. It is not yet declared what
    is to be proposed to them. But I think it probable that they
    will be to deliberate on two great plans which the Government
    have in contemplation; one for abolishing all the internal
    custom-houses, and the other for reducing all the import duties
    universally to duties from 12 per cent to 1/4 per cent, _ad
    valorem_ according to certain classes. Besides this, it is
    probable that the state of their finances is such as to require
    very strong measures, both to provide for the existing debt, and
    to make up any deficiencies arising from either of these plans,
    and that Calonne thinks that he will be safer in obtaining the
    sanction of such an Assembly as this. His friends give out, that
    it is at his earnest entreaty that this measure is adopted. You
    will probably agree with me in thinking it a hazardous one.

Mr. Grenville's prediction was abundantly verified by the event. The
issue of the project is one of the familiar incidents of French history.
The Assembly of Notables took place on the 22nd of February, when M. de
Calonne had the opportunity he desired of explaining his magnificent
plans. On the 5th of April, the Assembly was adjourned to the 12th; and
in the interval the Minister was dismissed and exiled. France became
involved in inextricable confusion, and the Notables were finally
dissolved at the close of the ensuing year.

The affairs of Holland now began to engage the serious attention of the
English Government, and Mr. Grenville was sent on a special mission to
the Hague, to ascertain the actual state of things, which, through a
series of complicated events, had at last assumed an aspect of
hostilities that appeared to threaten extensive consequences to the
peace of Europe.

Without entering into the conflict of diplomacies in which Holland was
embroiled with Prussia and Austria, the immediate point to which these
entangled transactions were narrowed at the moment of Mr. Grenville's
mediation, was the attitude taken by the Prince of Orange for the
restitution of his office of hereditary Captain-General, which had been
vested in him by the unanimous vote of all the members of the State, but
which had been recently transferred to the Deputies of Haerlem by a
formal resolution of the States of Holland. In consequence of that
resolution, the Prince had withdrawn from the Hague; and an application
which was made by the King of Prussia (to whose sister he was married)
to reinstate him in his rights, and a somewhat similar remonstrance on
the part of England, having produced no effect, the Prince, removing his
Court to Nimeguen, encamped near Utrecht, apparently with hostile
intentions. He had in vain addressed himself to the States, the
resistance to his authority increasing with each fresh attempt at
negotiation; and at length, desirous, perhaps, of averting extremities
as long as he could, he permitted his consort, the Princess, to adopt
the singular expedient of proceeding in person to the Hague, where the
States-General were assembled. This was in the month of June. It could
hardly have been anticipated that the States would consent to receive so
unusual an ambassador, or that they would even allow her to proceed on
her journey; and, accordingly, they took measures to arrest her before
she reached the Hague, sending her back under escort to Nimeguen. This
very decided step simplified the matter at once. There was no longer a
pretext for hesitation or compromise; and the King of Prussia, affecting
to regard the indignity offered to his sister as a personal insult to
himself, immediately set about organizing an army for the purpose of
invading Holland. The greatest consternation prevailed throughout the
country; and it was at this crisis, while the Prussian force was
gathering in the Duchy of Cleves, that Mr. Grenville was sent to the
Hague. On the 3rd of August, immediately after his arrival, he writes to
his brother:

    Nothing new has occurred here. All eyes are turned towards the
    King of Prussia, whose conduct still appears contradictory. I
    trust that by to-morrow we shall know something decisive. In the
    meantime his army is certainly collecting, and the Duke of
    Brunswick has accepted the command. Yet his other measures
    indicate much leaning towards France. I am rather in better
    spirits about my own particular task here, though by no means
    satisfied with what I have undertaken, and which I now think I
    must have had the vanity of a French Abbé to expect to perform
    in four or five days.

A hurried note of the same date, made up just at the departure of the
packet, adds that the writer intends to go to Nimeguen, and hopes to be
in England at the end of the week. On the 6th, he writes again from the
Hague, stating his intention to set out the next morning for Nimeguen,
where he should see the Princess, and expected to find the Prince and
the Duke of Brunswick, to whom it was understood the King of Prussia had
committed the charge, not only of the military, but also of the
political part of the business. A few days afterwards, a note from
Whitehall announces his return to England, adding: "There is every
reason to believe that we shall disarm without subsequent negotiation,
as you must be satisfied at last."

The course of events, however, rendered subsequent negotiations
unavoidable. On the 8th of September, Mr. Grenville writes: "Everything
is going on much as it was. The Duke of Brunswick's army is collected,
and was to act in about a day or two from this date, if satisfaction was
not previously given, which seemed not impossible." On the 11th, he
says: "If nothing has since occurred to alter the plan--which, however,
is by no means improbable--the Prussian troops were to begin their march
on this day."

It soon became obvious that the expectations founded on the likelihood
of the submission of Holland were not to be realised. In a letter of the
13th, Mr. Grenville states that "the business is drawing fast to its
crisis, whatever that may be." The Prussian Ambassador had given in
demands requiring satisfaction, including the punishment of the
offenders, within four days; in failure of which, the troops were to
act. "I doubt," he adds, "whether the State of Holland can give this,
even if they were so disposed, which is not clear. In the meantime, not
a man has moved in France, and the confusion seems by every account to
be increasing."

On the very day on which this letter was written, the Duke of Brunswick,
at the head of twenty thousand men, had entered Holland.

How nearly these events had involved Europe in a war, may be gleaned
from the next letter, which is marked "private."


    (Private.) Whitehall, Tuesday, Sept. 18th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    The storm is at last burst upon us. Montmorin has communicated
    to Eden an application from Holland to the French Court for
    assistance against the Prussian army, and the determination of
    France to comply with this request. The answer will be, that we
    cannot in any case be quiet spectators of the operations of a
    French force in the Republic, and that we have consequently
    given orders for arming our fleet. The press warrants will be
    out on Thursday, and every other step of the same sort is taking
    with the utmost expedition.

    The Prussian army had got to Arnheim on Friday, and I trust will
    have been able to act with effect before France can give them
    any interruption. If this should be the case, I think there is
    still a possibility of settling the business without coming to
    blows, but the chances are infinitely against it.

    The circumstance is certainly an unpleasant one, and the crisis
    in some respects hazardous; but I trust that we meet it with as
    much advantage, all things considered, as ever this country had
    when she embarked in a war. We must therefore go to it with
    resolution, and I wish I could say with unanimity, for that
    appears to me to be the one thing most wanted. The absence of so
    many people from town, makes it impossible as yet to do more
    than speculate on that subject, which is open to very great
    difficulties. I need not say that you may rely on hearing from
    me upon it as soon as there is anything to say, and above all,
    that nothing will be wanting on my part to forward your wishes
    to the utmost, as far as I know and understand them.

    Believe me ever most truly and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

Mr. Eden was at that time negotiating the matter in Paris; and although
the Government may have reposed implicit confidence in his discretion,
they appear to have felt that he did not possess a sufficiently accurate
knowledge of the complicated questions out of which this difficult
position had arisen, to enable him to act with the requisite caution and
promptitude. In order, therefore, to assist him through the
negotiations, in the hope of bringing about an honourable and
satisfactory peace, Mr. Grenville was requested to proceed to Paris.


    Whitehall, Sept. 19th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    In Eden's account of the conversation, in which M. de Montmorin
    notified to him the intention of France to assist their friends
    against the Duke of Brunswick's army, he mentions that an
    intimation was made of a strong wish on their part that means
    might yet be found for an amicable conclusion of the business,
    and a desire that the negotiation for that purpose might be
    pursued with more activity than ever.

    Although it is very doubtful whether this is anything more than
    a _persiflage_, yet, as in their present situation their
    resolution may change every hour, it has been thought, after
    much consideration, that we ought so far to avail ourselves of
    it, as to try whether anything can be done in this way, but, at
    the same time, by no means to lessen or suspend our
    preparations. One of the difficulties on this subject was Eden's
    want of a competent knowledge of the points in dispute, to
    enable him to discuss them thoroughly, and to bring them to
    those short and distinct issues to which they must be reduced,
    if anything is to be done upon them in the very little time that
    now remains for negotiation. Another, and perhaps not the least
    of the two, was the strong bent of his mind to admit the
    assertions of the French Government, however unfounded, and to
    soften our communications, in order to keep back a rupture,
    which he has so great a personal interest to prevent, in
    addition to those motives which we all have in common for
    wishing the continuance of peace.

    With a view to these considerations, I was earnestly requested
    to proceed to Paris for a fortnight or three weeks, in order to
    carry on this negotiation jointly with him. I have been very
    unwilling to accept this commission, because my opinion of the
    possibility of its success is much less sanguine than that of
    others. But I am satisfied that it is the duty of Government to
    leave nothing untried, however hopeless, which can enable us to
    maintain our ground without having recourse to extremities. And
    there is certainly, _cæteris paribus_, a better chance of doing
    this with the assistance of one who is in some degree acquainted
    with the particulars which are likely to come in question, and
    who will most undoubtedly state explicitly the real sentiments
    which are entertained here. For these reasons, I have thought
    myself not at liberty to refuse, and have given a reluctant

    I shall probably set out either to-morrow evening or Friday
    morning. It seems best for me not to go with any ostensible
    character, as that would be ridiculous in the case of my coming
    back _re infectâ_ within a few days after my appointment. But in
    the other much less probable event, it would, I think, be right
    for me to have powers to sign with Eden.

    It is, on the whole, a very hazardous undertaking, and one
    which, for a variety of reasons, I would gladly have avoided. I
    think I am sure to carry with me your warmest wishes for my
    success; and as I know the anxiety which you feel upon it, you
    may depend on hearing from me as soon as I have anything worth
    communicating, either good or bad.

    In the meantime, believe me, with the truest affection,

    My dear brother,
    Most sincerely yours,
    W. W. Grenville.

    P.S. There is no news, either from Harris or Eden, since I

Two days afterwards, Mr. Grenville, in a few hasty lines, informs his
brother that he is that instant setting out for France. "Accounts were
at this moment received," he concludes, "that Utrecht and all the towns
in North Holland had surrendered to the Prussian troops; and that the
Free Corps were all called in to Amsterdam, which they talked of

The surrender of Utrecht, the stronghold of democratic zeal, literally
paralyzed the Dutch. Gorcum, Dordt, Schoonhoven, and other towns
surrendered immediately afterwards, without striking a blow. The Senate
of Amsterdam made a vain show of resistance, by passing a resolution to
suspend the office of Stadtholder; but the resolution was waste-paper.
Wherever the Prussians appeared, all opposition vanished, and the onward
progress of the Duke of Brunswick's army was literally a procession of

We now follow Mr. Grenville to Paris.


    Sève, Sept. 25th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    I arrived at Paris this evening, and immediately set off for
    this place, where Eden has a house. You will have heard all the
    good news in Holland. The effect it has produced here seems to
    be that of frightening these people into withdrawing themselves
    from the business. If so, my mission will soon be ended, and the
    general result will be so happy, that I shall have nothing to
    fear from my particular share in it. I have but just time to
    scrawl these three lines, as the courier is waiting, and his
    getting to Calais early is of real importance.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

The "good news" was neither more nor less than the rapid and complete
success which attended the arms of Prussia, without striking a blow.
While Mr. Grenville was negotiating in Paris, to dissuade the French
from interfering, the Prince of Orange was making his public entry into
the Hague--an event which, to the astonishment of Europe, after the
sturdy independence shown by the States in the first instance, took
place within seven days from the date of the invasion.


    Sève, Sept. 27th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    I had scarce time to put down three lines to you by the last
    messenger; but you will have seen from them that our business
    here bears a favourable aspect. I have this morning received
    your letter of the 23rd, and can with truth assure you that I
    feel in the strongest manner the kindness and affection which
    give rise to the anxiety you express.

    I have not yet seen any of the French Ministers, and am not to
    do so till to-morrow. But the opportunities which I have of
    knowing their sentiments, enable me to judge that it is not
    probable that I shall enter into negotiation with them. Their
    inclination certainly is very strongly to abandon the business,
    and to withdraw themselves entirely from it. In this opinion
    they will of course be desirous of doing this silently; and by a
    sort of tacit acquiescence, rather than by any agreement or
    treaty on the subject. The only thing that appears likely to
    alter this, is the manner in which what has passed in Holland is
    received in Paris. The indignation on the subject is almost
    general; and the Ministers are universally condemned as having
    been cajoled or bullied by us into the loss of their object. The
    imputation is, in my opinion, very unjust. I do not believe that
    they have been for a moment deceived as to our intentions, nor
    have we taken any pains to deceive them. But I think that they
    weighed the merits of the question itself, and decided upon it
    like wise men. It is, however, impossible to say, in a country
    where so much depends on public opinion, what effect may be
    produced by this sort of clamour; and whether that may not drive
    them, against their wishes, into measures of violence.

    In this case, it is easy to see that they must act with
    precipitation, and even with the appearance of passion, so that
    either way, it is probable that I shall be at liberty to return
    in a week or ten days' time. I shall certainly do it with much
    pleasure; for though I felt I could not in honour decline the
    commission; I accepted it, as you know, with little

    The Parliament of Paris is returned, having made a most
    disgraceful compromise, of registering an edict for continuing
    the two new Vingtièmes, without any exceptions or privileges of
    exemption. By this mode, the Court get the money they want, but
    in a manner more oppressive and ruinous to the country than that
    of the taxes they had proposed. I suppose the example will, as
    is generally the case, be followed by the provincial

    Adieu, my dear brother.
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

The successes of the Prince of Orange had relieved France of a
difficulty; for, notwithstanding that she secretly regarded these
successes with dissatisfaction, her finances were in such a condition of
derangement, that she was glad enough of an excuse for avoiding the
expenditure of a war. Nevertheless, up to the 1st of October, Mr.
Grenville did not feel quite sure of the issue. "Things," he observes,
"remain here still in a very undecided state. They are making vigorous
preparations, and holding very high language. At the same time, I still
think that they will not be disinclined to listen to proposals for

Similar preparations were making in England; and in this unsettled and
rather menacing condition the negotiation remained, when Mr. Grenville
returned to England. In the course of the month, however, the Duke of
Dorset, who was the English Ambassador at Paris, brought the question to
a conclusion in a formal shape.


    Whitehall, Oct. 24th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    Despatches were received yesterday from the Duke of Dorset and
    Eden, with a project of a declaration and counter-declaration
    for disarming, which the French Ministers were ready to sign.
    These will be returned to them to-day with a few alterations,
    but of such a nature, that I have myself little doubt of their
    being agreed to without difficulty, in which case the whole
    business will be immediately concluded, and in a manner which I
    think highly satisfactory and honourable to us. You will,
    however, naturally suppose that we feel a good deal of anxiety
    till the thing is actually done, as some circumstances may arise
    every hour to vary it. Although Amsterdam has formally
    submitted, there is a fund of much ill-humour there; but I do
    not think that much is to be apprehended from it, especially if
    proper and vigorous measures are taken for the security and
    protection of the present Government in Holland.

    The alliance with the Republic will be begun upon immediately;
    but it will not be a triple one, from considerations which have
    originated not here, but there.

    You will see in the papers, that the Bishop of Hereford is dead.
    I immediately renewed the application to Pitt, on the subject of
    Marylebone, and wrote to the Chancellor myself to state the warm
    interest that we both take in Cleaver's advancement. I have this
    moment received a note from Pitt, informing me that the
    Chancellor has agreed, and in the handsomest manner. I think it
    very lucky for Cleaver, that this man died before Lord North. I
    have written to him to inform him of the Chancellor's promise.

    With respect to myself, I think I see ground to say, with
    certainty, that nothing of the sort will take place before
    Parliament meets.

    Believe me, my dearest brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

On the 27th of October, the Duke of Dorset presented a memorial to the
King of France, proposing the discontinuance of warlike preparations at
both sides, which was at once agreed to, M. de Montmorin observing that
it never had been the intention of His Majesty to interfere by force in
the affairs of Holland.

The death of the Duke of Rutland in Ireland, on the 24th of October in
this year, once more placed the office of Lord-Lieutenant at the
disposal of the Administration. As soon as the intelligence was received
in England, communications on the subject were opened with the Marquis
of Buckingham, who, having no longer any grounds of hesitation, personal
or political, accepted the office, and on the 2nd of November wrote to
the Lords Justices to announce his appointment. Public opinion appears
at once to have pointed out his Lordship as the fittest person to
undertake the government of Ireland; and before anything could be known
in that country of the intention of Ministers, Lord Mornington wrote to
the Marquis, commending a special case to his consideration, under the
impression that he would certainly be selected for the office. A passage
in a subsequent letter of Lord Mornington's, dated 4th of November,
written upon the occasion of Lord Buckingham's appointment, possesses
peculiar interest on account of the illustrious individual to whom it
refers. This is, perhaps, the earliest allusion in the correspondence of
the period to Arthur Wellesley, whose name now appears for the first
time emerging from boyhood into that public life in which he was
afterwards destined to act so conspicuous a part. At this time, he was
little more than eighteen years of age.

    I sincerely wish you the same success in Ireland which attended
    your last Government; your only difficulty will be to maintain
    the high character which your Administration bore, in the minds
    of every description of people. You will certainly be received
    by the sanguine expectations of the whole country; and from my
    heart and soul I earnestly hope that you may return home with
    the same popularity and credit that you carry out. I must be
    lost to all feeling, if I did not take the warmest interest in
    the honour and prosperity of your Government, and if I did not
    acknowledge myself to be bound by the strongest ties of
    friendship and gratitude to contribute everything within my
    power to promote its strength, in any way in which you may
    please to call upon me.

    You may well believe with what pleasure I received your
    appointment of my brother to a place in your family, not only as
    being a most kind mark of your regard for me, but as the
    greatest advantage to him. I am persuaded that under your eye he
    will not be exposed to any of those risks, which in other times
    have accompanied the situation he will hold. I can assure you
    sincerely that he has every disposition which can render so
    young a boy deserving of your notice; and if he does not engage
    your protection by his conduct, I am much mistaken in his
    character. My mother expects him every hour in London, and
    before this time I should hope that he had himself waited on
    you. Once more, my dear Lord, before I close this part of my
    letter, let me thank you most warmly for this flattering
    instance of your friendship. Grenville, I hope, has shown you my
    letter, in which I declare that I would not have asked you for
    this favour, knowing your inclination to attend to my requests,
    and apprehending that you might suffer your regard for me to
    interfere to the prejudice of your Government; but certainly
    this object for my brother was very near my heart, and I accept
    it with a gratitude proportioned to the anxiety with which I
    desired it, and to the most friendly manner in which it has been

The rest of the letter is filled with recommendations of other
persons--Hobart, Captain Fortescue, Jephson, who had the care of the
stables at the Castle, an office which he had held for twenty years, and
of whom Lord Buckingham seems to have received some unfavourable
impressions, a Mr. Mockler, for whom Lord Mornington solicited "anything
above £70 a year in a _genteel line_" (his own phrase), and others. In
another letter, dated 8th of November, Lord Mornington, in a postscript,
refers again to the appointment of his brother Arthur.

    I am sorry to find by a letter from my mother to-day, that her
    extreme anxiety to get my brother into your family induced her
    to make an application to you through W. Grenville on the
    subject; I have already stated, that I never would have urged
    this point, though I accept the favour from you with the utmost
    gratitude. However, the eagerness which has led her to this
    step, affords a sufficient proof of the satisfaction which she
    must feel, in the very kind manner in which you had anticipated
    her wishes.

The answer of Lord Buckingham to the numerous requests of Lord
Mornington, evinces the promptitude of his desire to promote the wishes
of his correspondent.

    I have desired that your brother may buy his men from a Charing
    Cross crimp, that he may not be spoilt by recruiting, and am
    happy that I can name him as aide-de-camp. Your Mr. Jephson is
    a ----, I will not say what, but knowing him to be so, I may
    possibly keep him. Your Mr. Mockler shall be ensign as soon as I
    can make him one, or some other _genteel thing_. Your Mr. Elliot
    may be chaplain, if he likes being at the tail of my list, with
    the impossibility of ever getting anything.

And so on through the rest of the catalogue.

The following letters from Mr. Grenville refer to personal matters, and
chiefly to the promotion of Dr. Cleaver, which Lord Buckingham was
anxious to obtain, and which is promised in a subsequent letter from Mr.


    Whitehall, Nov. 7th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    I have received your letter of yesterday. I do not know what I
    can say on the subject, more than you will have learnt from
    Pitt's letter. If you really feel disposed to insist on the
    engagement, without waiting ten days to hear the difficulties
    explained to you, or the solution proposed, I have no doubt,
    from a thorough knowledge of Pitt's honour, that he will most
    strictly and literally fulfil his promise, whatever the
    inconvenience may be to himself. I have only to add, in answer
    to one part of your letter, that you must recollect that
    Harley's promotion, instead of being a breach of the rule, was
    in the strictest adherence to it; and that Lord Lonsdale was
    obliged to make his recommendation to Carlisle conformable to

    I saw Orde to-day, who, understanding that you do not come up
    till the 17th, returns to Bath, as he was waiting here only to
    see you. He pressed so much to know his successor, that I
    thought there could be no impropriety in telling him in
    confidence, especially as he will see Fitzherbert at Bath, and
    may there settle with him the variety of private arrangements
    which must be adjusted between them.

    I enclose a letter from Mornington. I have not seen Captain
    Fortescue, as I have been out of town till to-day.

    I have just seen Sir James Erskine, who is come with a message
    from St. Leger, to say that he has the disposal of the vacant
    seat at Doneraile, which he is desirous of offering to you for
    your secretary. I referred him to you; and when you come to town
    will tell you more about it.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. Grenville.


    Whitehall, Nov. 8th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    I can with the greatest sincerity assure you that I am not by
    any means indifferent to the point in question on Cleaver's
    account, as far as his situation can be affected by it; but that
    if I were entirely so, the interest which you take in it would
    be abundantly sufficient to secure, not only my most active
    exertions, but also my warmest wishes in support of whatever you
    may have to desire with respect to it. But you cannot, I am
    sure, think me unreasonable if I do most seriously and earnestly
    desire that you will not press me to convey to Pitt sentiments
    founded on what I conceive to be a total misapprehension of the
    subject, and relating to a business on which he so naturally
    expects to converse with you, and which, whatever may be its
    ultimate arrangement, can neither be forwarded nor delayed for
    many weeks after your return to town. If, when you come back,
    you persist in your opinion that it will be proper to decline
    all conversation on the subject, it is perfectly easy for you to
    express that opinion; or, if you wished it, I would certainly
    not decline to convey your sentiments, however I might differ
    from them. I should undoubtedly think that such a determination
    was neither handsome towards Pitt, nor at all calculated to
    promote Cleaver's interest; but it would then rest with you, and
    no inconvenience will certainly have arisen from the delay. From
    my delivering such a message in the present moment, I know
    nothing that could arise but a total interruption of all
    confidence where it is most necessary. To my feelings, nothing
    could justify such a proceeding but a direct breach of
    engagement; and, in the present instance, you have received a
    direct assurance of a determination to fulfil the engagement if
    you think proper to insist upon it.

    The other particulars are of much less importance. Pretyman's
    appointment was never denied to be a breach of the rule.
    Harley's tended to restore the equality which that had
    interrupted. Grisdale was an Oxford man; I did not therefore
    state the refusal of him to have been made on that ground, but I
    repeat that Lord Lonsdale was expressly told that no
    recommendation of a Cambridge man would be accepted.

    I have nothing to do with Doneraile, except in a promise of
    conveying to you the proposition on the subject, as it was made
    to me by Sir James Erskine, who is a friend of St. Leger's. I do
    not clearly understand from your letter whether you comply with
    Fortescue's request. If you do, it would be a charity to let him
    know it, as he is remaining in London. I am much surprised at
    Mr. Griffith's delay.

    There is every appearance that the Dutch negotiation is going on
    prosperously; so much so, that it is even not impossible that we
    may have the treaty by the meeting of Parliament, which would
    unquestionably be very desirable.

    Adieu, my dear brother,
    Believe me ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Whitehall, Nov. 14th, 1787.

    My dear Brother,

    I enclose you a letter from Sir William Bowyer, who seems
    frightened out of all the senses he ever possessed. I take it
    for granted it is not your intention he should serve, or that
    there will be no harm in putting him out of his alarm as soon as

    I wait only for your return to town to lay before you a list of
    applications, which would completely fill up your family, and
    supply any deficiencies in Orde's list. Every man who knows me
    by sight, who remembers my name at Eton or Oxford, or who voted
    for me in Bucks, is to be immediately made either a chaplain or
    an aid-de-camp, or is to have a snug place of £1,000 a-year to
    begin with, as Sir Francis Wronghead says. As I know you can
    have no difficulty in complying with all these requests, I do
    not answer them till I see you, in order that I may then inform
    them all of your entire acquiescence.

    Seriously, I have been pestered with applications beyond all
    imagination, but have the satisfaction of not having received
    one about which I have any other desire than that of being able
    to say that I have mentioned them to you, and have received an
    answer, informing me of the impossibility of complying with

    Harris writes word that, with great activity, the Alliance may
    possibly be concluded before Christmas.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    Everything else going on very peaceably, notwithstanding
    newspapers and stock-jobbers.

Lord Buckingham arrived in Dublin on the 16th of December, and his
reception is described as having been highly enthusiastic.


Irish Correspondence--The India Declaratory Bill--Trial of Warren
Hastings--Contemplated Changes in the Administration--The King's
Interference in Military Appointments--The Irish Chancellorship--The
King's Illness--Views of the Cabinet Respecting the Regency.

On the 1st of January, 1788, Lord Buckingham transmitted to the
Ministers a copy of the speech he proposed for the opening of the Irish
Parliament on the 17th. He threw himself at once into the labours of his
Government, which, judging from the multitude of topics that pressed
upon his time, and the conscientious consideration he bestowed upon
them, were onerous and absorbing. His correspondence of this period is
very voluminous, and embraces in detail an infinite variety of subjects.
The universal reliance which was placed in his justice and toleration,
drew upon him petitions and complaints from all manner of people.
Sometimes advice upon the state of the nation was volunteered from an
obscure student, who, looking out upon the great world through the
"loopholes of retreat," imagined he had discovered a panacea for all
public evils; sometimes the claim, real or imaginary, of individuals
upon the patronage of Government were urged with vehemence, or humility,
according to the temperament of the claimant, but in most cases, with
the sanguine eagerness of the national character; in one instance, a
retired Quaker, animated by the best intentions, suggests a project for
protecting the mail-coaches against robbers, by sending them to their
destination under an escort of dragoons; and in another, a citizen begs
the personal interference of the Lord-Lieutenant concerning a cheat
which was put upon a poor country-boy, who had been buying some
second-hand article at an old furniture shop in Dublin. To all the
applications, of every kind, that were addressed to him, Lord Buckingham
paid scrupulous attention, bringing to the discharge of the most trivial
duties of his station the same diligence and earnestness he bestowed on
the most important.

The majority of the questions relating to Ireland, which are thrown up
in the course of his political and public correspondence, possess little
attraction at this distance of time, having reference chiefly to
fugitive topics, such as the augmentation of the army (a measure which
his Lordship held to be of paramount necessity), the reduction of
expenditure, and the conflicts of local parties; but, although the
immediate importance of these questions has long since passed away, they
place in a strong historical light the difficulties the Viceroy had to
contend with, in his government of a country rent by intestine factions
and overrun by corrupt agencies. In the midst of the feuds and
jealousies that plunged both the Parliament and the people into a
condition of constant tumult, there were some gleams of a nobler spirit;
and wherever they appeared, whether on the part of the friends or the
opponents of the Government, Lord Buckingham was ready to recognise
their purifying and regenerating influence. From a mass of letters
bearing upon personal matters, and illustrative of the conduct of
individuals who occupied conspicuous positions, the following may be
selected as deserving special notice, on account of the subsequent
celebrity of one of the writers. Mr. Curran sat at this time in the
Irish Parliament for a borough of Mr. Longfield's; and when Lord
Buckingham assumed the government of Ireland for the second time, Mr.
Longfield, being desirous to contribute all the parliamentary strength
he could to the service of the Administration, endeavoured to secure the
support of Mr. Curran. It was a matter of some delicacy on both sides.
The nominee was generally understood to take the colour of his politics
from the owner of the borough; and although no explicit compact could
have been entered into in such cases, and was distinctly disclaimed in
the present case, yet it was usually felt that the relation between the
patron and the member implied a general harmony of opinion, which
precluded the latter from the assertion of an independent line of
policy. Such were the circumstances under which the subjoined
correspondence took place. The spirit of independence it displays is
equally honourable to all parties. At the date of these letters Lord
Buckingham's first session had just commenced; and it is scarcely
necessary to add, that Mr. Curran took his seat amongst the opponents of
his Lordship's Administration.


    Jan. 21st, 1788.

    My Lord,

    The candour with which I met your Excellency on your arrival in
    this kingdom, received, I hope, your entire approbation. Under
    that idea, I hold myself obliged to the continuance of it.

    Since my arrival in town, I have not been so happy as to make
    such an impression on Counsellor Curran as I wished to do, and
    in justice to your Excellency's Administration, he ought to have
    received. After many exertions, in order to induce him to act as
    I intended to do, I received the enclosed letter. For my own
    satisfaction, and to continue the same candid confidence to your
    Excellency, I beg leave to submit it to your perusal. My heart
    claims this trouble from you, as my own justification. My head
    may err, but not intentionally. In reply, I have rejected the
    offer of the seat, begged to retain his personal regards, and
    left him to decide entirely on his political conduct as he
    should think proper.

    As to Mr. Heatly, he is no longer my friend and pensioner: he
    ranges under Lord Shannon.

    All I can now say is, that Major Vewell, Colonel Longfield and
    myself are ever ready to repose the utmost confidence in your
    Excellency's Government: we will support your measures with
    firmness and decision, during your Administration in this

    I have the honour to be,
    With the highest respect and esteem,
    Your Excellency's most devoted and obedient humble servant,
    Rd. Longfield.


    Jan. 18th, 1788.

    Dear Sir,

    I sit down in compliance with your wish that I might explain my
    sentiments on the subject of our conversation yesterday, more
    fully than our situation would then permit.

    When you first did me the honour of proposing to return me into
    Parliament, I thought myself bound to be explicit on the
    occasion, and I was so. I stated to you that the general
    acceptance of such an offer, might naturally be considered to
    imply a condition, on the person accepting it, of conforming in
    his Parliamentary conduct with yours. I also stated to you at
    large the reasons why I could not sit in the House of Commons
    under the slightest implication of any such restraint, and I was
    happy in finding you concur with me on that point, of which I
    was perfectly satisfied by the warmth with which you disclaimed
    any idea of your intending or wishing to restrain my freedom by
    any condition whatsoever. The motives you were pleased to assign
    for a conduct so very flattering and honourable to me, were an
    additional incentive to my wishing rather to decline the
    intended favour. I thought it beyond my merit, and I urged you
    to confer it upon some other gentleman. These same sentiments I
    repeated in many conversations I had with you on the subject;
    but your friendly partiality persevered and prevailed. I do not
    dwell on these facts from any supposition that you have
    forgotten them, which could not be consistent with the very
    honourable solicitude with which I know you have always borne
    testimony to them, and to my independence. But I recal them to
    show you that I also remember them, as forming the principal
    ground of the obligation to you, which I uniformly felt, and

    From that period to the present, we have concurred in sentiments
    and acted together. I now understand from you that you have
    engaged to support the present Administration. From what I have
    heard of His Excellency, and what I know of you, I cannot doubt
    that you have acted consistently with the public interest, and
    your own honour; but being an utter stranger to the principles
    or the measures which Administration may adopt, I feel that I
    could not, without hazarding the sacrifice of my principles or
    my character, follow your example in that point, however I
    respect it. I see clearly, that while we remain as at present,
    we shall both of us be exposed to that calumny, which you find
    has even already been put into motion against us. Were I to go
    to the House and vote as you may--for on any ordinary occasion I
    could not forget my regards for you so much as to vote against
    you--it would be relinquishing that independence which I have
    always asserted. If I stayed away totally, I should be accused
    by my enemies, of violating an engagement that never existed, or
    I should be said by yours to cast upon you, and for such causes
    as they would not fail to invent, the heaviest of all censures,
    the tacit condemnation of a friend. And, however anxious each
    would be to do justice to the other, calumny would drown our
    voices, or malignity affect not to believe us. Thus
    circumstanced, I should, were that practicable, request you to
    reassume that seat, which I could no longer fill with honour to
    you, or safety to myself. Though this cannot be done directly,
    yet we may obtain the same end by an expedient tantamount in
    effect, and which I mentioned to you yesterday, that is by your
    permitting me to procure a return for a friend of yours for the
    remainder of this Parliament, or to give him such a sum as may
    enable him to procure it, when there shall be an opportunity.
    Let me assure you, I am infinitely obliged by your manner of
    receiving this proposal, as it shows me that you are too well
    persuaded of my regard and respect for you to suppose it made
    with any, the remotest view of putting an end to our intimacy or
    friendship. On the contrary, I ask it as a favour, from that
    very friendship, and because I am anxious to preserve it
    inviolate. Neither am I afraid of being thought uneasy under a
    sense of obligation, or desirous of being freed from it by the
    paltry expedient of a partial compensation. I think you know me
    too well to suspect me of so sordid an idea, and on your
    vindication of me as to that, will I cordially rely. I cannot
    but add that I am happy in making this proposition at a time
    when the popularity of the Administration you have acceded to,
    must evince to you and to everybody, that my object is perfectly
    disinterested. The funds of opposition, if in fact such a thing
    exists, you will allow are too low at present to have much
    temptation for a purchaser.

    Believe me, my dear Sir, with great truth and regard, your much
    obliged and affectionate humble servant,

    John P. Curran.


    Dublin Castle, Jan. 23rd, 1788.


    Your letter, enclosing one from Mr. Curran, reached me at a
    moment when my attention was taken up with other business, else
    I should have immediately answered it.

    I am very sensible of the candour with which you have declared
    your intentions of supporting me, and of your exertions to
    induce Counsellor Curran to act with you in that line of
    conduct. The offer of the seat, on his part, is handsome; as is
    likewise your refusal of it.

    I am much honoured by the confidence which you have shown me on
    this occasion, and have the honour to be,

    Your very obedient and faithful humble servant,

    Richard Longfield, Esq.

The arrangement for the establishment of Arthur Wellesley as one of the
aide-de-camps to Lord Buckingham, alluded to in a recent letter from
Lord Mornington, suffered an interruption on the threshold from a
proposal made by Sir George Yonge, then Secretary at War, for reducing
the gentlemen holding those appointments to half-pay. Lord Mornington,
who was still in England, resented the proposal indignantly, and brought
the affair under the notice of the Lord-Lieutenant. He writes on the 8th
of January,

    Sir George Yonge had retreated into Devonshire before I received
    your letter; but I have ventured to disturb his retirement by an
    epistle of four sides of paper, to which I could not yet have
    received an answer. I cannot conceive what he can mean by this
    man[oe]uvre, because I cannot see any advantage to him in the
    reduction of any, or of all your aide-de-camps to half-pay; and
    I am clearly of opinion, that there is no argument which can be
    drawn in favour of the reduction of any, which will not equally
    apply to all. I do not exactly understand, by the papers which I
    received from you, what was the nature of his proposal with
    respect to the 9th and 10th companies. I have threatened, that
    my brother shall join his regiment in India. This business is
    now very unfortunate to Arthur, as his men are now all raised,
    and he has concluded an agreement for an exchange, which only
    waits the mighty fiat of the Secretary at War. I fear he must
    wait for the decision of that great character; for I think under
    the present circumstances he cannot safely leave England.
    However, I hope the Secretary will deign to temper his grandeur
    with a little common sense in the course of a few days, and then
    I will consign your aide-de-camp to you by the first mail-coach.

Lord Mornington, however, had no necessity to carry out his threat of
sending his brother to India. That service was reserved for a later day.
Sir George Yonge's project appears to have been over-ruled, at least so
far as Arthur Wellesley was concerned, and the young aide-de-camp was
duly forwarded to his post of honour. In the month of April, Lord
Mornington writes again to the Viceroy, thanking him for the kindness
with which he has treated his _protégé_.

    My principal reason for intruding on you now, is to express my
    warm and hearty thanks for your great kindness to my brother, of
    which I have not only received the most pleasing accounts from
    himself, but have heard from various other quarters. You will
    easily be persuaded, that I must feel your goodness to him as
    the strongest and most grateful instance of your regard for me.
    I must also do my brother the justice to assure you that he
    feels as he ought to do on this subject, and that you have
    warmly attached him to you. All his letters that I have seen,
    not only to me, but to many others totally unconnected with you,
    speak the most sincere language of gratitude and affection for
    the reception you have given him. He also expresses great
    obligations to Lady Buckingham, whom I must beg you to thank in
    my name.

Mr. Grenville's correspondence with his brother was now resumed with the
same activity as before, ranging over every question of public moment
affecting the foreign and domestic policy of the country. One of the
topics which began to occupy a large space in the public mind about the
beginning of the year was the contemplated movement for the abolition of
the Slave Trade. The abstract justice of the abolition, and the
practical difficulties in the way of effecting it, were equally obvious
to Mr. Grenville.

    The business of the Slave Trade is referred to the Committee of
    Trade. It is a very extensive investigation, and by no means a
    pleasant subject of inquiry at such a board, because I take it
    the result will clearly be what one knew sufficiently without
    much inquiry--that on every principle of humanity, justice, or
    religion, the slave trade is unjustifiable, and that at the same
    time it is, in a commercial point of view, highly beneficial,
    though I believe not so much as those who are concerned in it
    pretend. On this view of the question I have certainly formed my
    opinion, that the duty of Parliament is that which would be the
    duty of each individual sitting there, namely, to sacrifice
    objects of advantage to principles of justice. It is, however, a
    great question, and of no little embarrassment to Government,
    who run the risk of offending a numerous and powerful body of
    men. I am told that there is an idea of calling the county of
    Bucks together, to petition as other counties have done. This
    will be very distressing to me, because, although my opinion is
    formed, it would not be very decent for me to declare it
    publicly, while an inquiry is pending at the Board of which I am
    a member.

The subject was new and startling at this time, and Lord Buckingham took
alarm at the notion of a sudden and complete measure of abolition.
Having communicated his doubts to Mr. Grenville, the reply of the latter
expresses a general concurrence in his views.

    Our ideas do not seem very different as to the Slave Trade. I
    never entertained an idea that we could liberate the slaves
    actually in the Islands, except by some such gradual measure as
    you mention. But I am very sanguine in thinking that a law
    preventing the carrying any more slaves to the Islands in
    British ships (the only vessels that can legally trade there)
    may be passed and enforced without considerable difficulty or

Towards the end of January Lord Mornington writes:

    We are all very eagerly engaged in considering a plan for the
    abolition of the Slave Trade, which is to be soon brought
    forward by Wilberforce. I hear that Burke is to prove slavery to
    be an excellent thing for negroes, and that there is a great
    distinction between an Indian Begum and an African Wowski.

That some of the supporters of the Administration did not consider Mr.
Wilberforce the fittest person to bring forward the question is frankly
avowed in several of these letters. Sir William Young, a constant and
lively correspondent, communicates his apprehensions on this point to
Lord Buckingham. His letter is dated the 20th of February.

    The French have offered our people of Liverpool (hearing that we
    are on the eve of surrendering our Slave Trade) no less than £5
    per ton premium to carry on the trade between Africa and the
    French islands. When Wilberforce intends to come forward is not
    settled, nor what his precise motion. I cannot help feeling its
    absurdity _d'avance_, knowing my friend Wilberforce to be a mere
    utopian philanthropist on a subject which a little needs the
    practical politician.

On the 9th of May following, Mr. Pitt, taking the question into his own
hands, moved a resolution pledging the House to the consideration of the
Slave Trade in the ensuing session. Upon this, Sir William Young

    The Slave Trade, obviously from the debate on Friday last, will
    be made an election tool to work at the Dissenters with, and
    gain the hurra' of the lower people. When Pitt shall come
    forward to unite humanity and justice with policy and the public
    necessities, and produce early next session some measures of
    legislation for the colonies, and of regulation in the trade, I
    foresee the clamour will be "What! regulate rapine and murder!
    and legislate slavery in the British dominions!" and all of the
    measure, as to the abolition of the trade which is wisely put
    by, will be artfully taken up to discredit what is humanely
    done. And this is the mischief of leaving such business to the
    good and brilliant, but little-wise or solid Wilberforce, who
    did not know, that in a business of such extent as to the
    interests of the public, their feelings should not have been
    excited to go beyond the mode or degree of practicable remedy to
    the evil; that to give hopes of something is to render the full
    accomplishment more grateful; and that to anticipate the most
    that can be done, is to render the doing less thankless, and as
    nothing. Adopting the strongest wishes for the full abolition of
    slavery and the Slave Trade, was it not folly in the extreme to
    throw out the idea of full abolition previous to investigation
    of how far it was possible to go, and where a stop of necessity
    must be made. Wilberforce hath everywhere canvassed addresses
    for total abolition!

These passages, collected from the Correspondence, possess some
historical value from their immediate bearing upon the state and action
of opinion, at the time when this question was originally introduced
into Parliament. Wilberforce was confessedly not considered a practical
politician, and his support was regarded by Pitt with apprehension. His
sincerity was admitted by everybody, but there seems to have been a
strange want of confidence in his judgment. By agitating the country for
total abolition, before the public had had an opportunity of
investigating the bearings of the question, he showed more zeal than
discretion, and seriously embarrassed the proceedings of the Minister.
Wilberforce had the best intentions in the world, but, like other
politicians, sometimes erred in carrying them out.

Not the least charm of these letters is the insight they afford into the
characters of the principal persons concerned in them; and the slightest
passages that assist us to a nearer view of men who occupied so large a
space in their own times, and whose actions enter into the history of
the country, have a distinct attraction in this point of view.

Allusion has already been made to the sensitiveness of Lord Buckingham
on personal points of form and etiquette, which sometimes disposed him
to fancy discourtesy or indifference where none was really contemplated.
It can hardly be supposed that this trait could have been generated in
the mind of a statesman of such tried ability and acknowledged influence
from any distrust in his own powers, or in the high position he held
amongst his contemporaries; and it must, therefore, be regarded entirely
as a matter of temperament. It was the weakness of a nature capable of
the sincerest attachments, and jealous of every appearance of neglect in
those whose regards it cherished. Between his Lordship and Lord Sydney
there existed a strict bond of friendship. It had been tested in the
struggles of public life, and cemented by many interchanges of
confidence in their private relations. Lord Sydney, however, appears
upon some occasion to have forgotten, in his official capacity as
Secretary of State, the formality with which the Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland should have been addressed, and to have lapsed, perhaps
unconsciously, into that familiar tone which, no doubt, sat more easily
upon him in writing to his friend, Lord Buckingham. The particular
subject is of no importance; but, whatever it was, Lord Buckingham was
dissatisfied with his correspondent's style, and indicated so much to
him. Here is Lord Sydney's answer, marked "private;" admirable as a
specimen of excellent feeling and indomitable good-humour.


    Grosvenor Square, Feb. 6th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    I heartily congratulate you upon the success of two very
    important questions, which has been determined so much to the
    advantage of the public, and to the credit of your Lordship's
    Administration. I should have been very sorry if the style of
    any letter of mine should have had the effect of diminishing in
    the least degree the pleasure which you must have received from
    the news which had just reached you from the House of Commons. I
    agree with you that forms must be observed, and surely none more
    exactly than those which consist in the mutual respect and
    civility which ought to appear in the correspondence between two
    of the principal offices of Government. In a private one between
    the Marquis of Buckingham and Lord Sydney, the latter will
    always be inclined to be as little punctilious as any man
    living. But as to that in question, I must say, that I had no
    reason to suppose that my style could seem objectionable, when I
    had endeavoured to imitate that of the letter to which mine was
    an answer. To leave this subject, you may depend upon my being
    as cautious as possible in future, to avoid any deviation from
    the usual form; but in the present case, the King's leave of
    absence being already given, it is not proper that any
    alteration should be made.

    I have seen the Duchess of Rutland to-day for the first time at
    her Grace's desire. She expressed herself in the strongest terms
    of gratitude towards your Lordship, for your attention in
    transmitting to her the extracts from the addresses of both
    Houses of Parliament, as well as for your letter upon the
    subject. Her manner and appearance was truly affecting,
    particularly to one who has had a strong attachment to the
    Rutland family all his life. She is very much pleased with the
    marks of respect which have been shown by all ranks of people to
    the memory of the poor Duke, and said that she must always love
    Ireland. I never saw more propriety, or a more unaffected
    general behaviour in my life.

    I have finished Mr. Anselm Nugent's business to-day. I do not
    think that His Majesty quite likes so total a dispensation with
    an Act of Parliament; but agreed to it with great cheerfulness,
    and with very gracious expressions of his desire to do what was
    agreeable to you.

    We have nothing new stirring, except the young ladies, two of
    whom eloped the day before yesterday: Lady Augusta Campbell with
    a son of Sir John Clavering's, and a daughter of Sir H.
    Clinton's with a son of Mr. Dawkins's.

    You will be glad to be released, and I am called to dinner.
    Present my best respects to Lady Buckingham and Lord Temple.

    Believe me ever to be, with the greatest esteem and regard,

    My dear Lord,
    Your most obedient humble servant,

The India Declaratory Bill, and the trial of Mr. Hastings, were the
great subjects which now engrossed the attention of the Government and
the country. Mr. Pitt had just introduced the famous Declaratory Act,
for the purpose of conferring new and important powers on the Board of
Control, and explaining the provisions of his former measure for the
regulation of Indian affairs. Against this Bill a most formidable
opposition was organized in the House of Commons, threatening, by its
numbers no less than by the weight of its objections, to overthrow the
Administration. The House was reminded that Mr. Fox's Cabinet had fallen
by a similar measure; and it was endeavoured to be shown, not without a
considerable appearance of justification, that the most odious features
of that measure were revived and exaggerated in the Bill now introduced
by Mr. Pitt. It is evident from Mr. Grenville's letter on this subject,
that, although Ministers disclaimed the resemblance thus traced between
the two plans, they regarded with no inconsiderable apprehension the
arguments founded upon it, and the consequences they entailed. Lord
Mornington writes more hopefully, but his letter was written before the
decision which betrayed the defection of many of the usual supporters of


    Hertford St., March 4th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    As I know that William Grenville has not been quite well for
    this day or two, and that he does not mean to write to you by
    this post, I trouble you with a few lines, in order to give you
    the earliest account of the business of last night. Erskine and
    Rous came to the bar in support of the Petition from the
    Directors against the East India Declaratory Act, and there was
    a great muster of the forces of Fox, Lord North, Lord Lansdowne,
    and of the refractory directors, with every appearance that some
    great exertion was to be made. Erskine made the most absurd
    speech imaginable: and after having spoke for near three hours,
    he was taken ill, and obliged to leave the bar. Rous was then
    heard; and when he had finished, Erskine (who had dined in the
    coffee-room with the Prince of Wales, and been well primed with
    _brandy_), returned to the charge, I understand at the express
    desire of His Royal Highness. Erskine now spoke for near two
    hours, and delivered the most stupid, gross, and indecent libel
    against Pitt, that ever was imagined; the abuse was so
    monstrous, that the House _hissed_ him at his conclusion. After
    this, Rous proposed to produce some letters from the Treasury
    and the Board of Control, as evidence of the construction of
    Pitt's East India Bill; on this question we divided--for
    receiving the evidence, 118; against, 242. The Lansdownes
    divided against us; Pitt then moved himself for the letters. The
    Bill was read a second time, and is committed for Wednesday,
    when another attack will be made.

    We reckon this a great triumph. You cannot conceive the clamour
    that has been attempted to be raised on this occasion; and the
    question of the new Act is certainly well contrived for the
    union of the great men whom I have mentioned. It seemed great
    mismanagement in the Opposition to divide on the question of
    evidence, instead of pressing an adjournment, on which they
    might have made a much better appearance. It is hardly to be
    expected that we shall be quite as strong on the question of the
    Bill itself; but you know the effect of a great majority, even
    in preliminary questions, on the main subject.

    Pitt took no sort of notice of Erskine's Billingsgate.

    I will write to you after Wednesday, and shall then have some
    other points to state to you. I am much obliged to you for your
    kind attention to my Windsor job; but I beg you to consult your
    own convenience in it, as it is not at all material to me.

    Hastings's trial you hear enough of from others. One fact you
    cannot have heard, as we have but just received the accounts at
    the Treasury; the expense of the counsel and solicitors
    attending the management has already amounted to near £5000, the
    trial having lasted as yet only eleven days. There are five
    counsel employed at ten guineas a-day, besides consultation
    fees, and consultations are held every night. The first charge
    is not yet finished. Make your own calculations of the probable
    expense of this business, and of the patronage which it has
    placed in the immaculate hands of the great orators.

    Ever yours most affectionately,

    I cannot say how I rejoice in your success in Ireland--we hear
    nothing but good news of you in every way, and even from all


    Whitehall, March 6th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I am very sorry to send you, in return for all your good news,
    an account from hence of a very different nature. By one of
    those strange caprices, to which our friends in the House of
    Commons are so peculiarly liable, they have taken the alarm
    about our explanatory East India Bill; and although that Bill
    does no more than declare that to be the law which not only
    every man who can think, but every man who can read, must agree
    with you is already the law on that subject, they have suffered
    themselves to be persuaded that we are doing neither more nor
    less than assuming to ourselves all the power of Fox's Bill.

    You must often have observed, that of all impressions the most
    difficult to be removed, are those which have no reason whatever
    to support them, because against them no reasoning can be
    applied. Under one of these impressions; the question of the
    Speaker's leaving the chair came on last night, and after
    debating till seven this morning, we divided, in a majority of
    only 57: Ayes, 183; Noes, 125. So many of our friends were
    against us in this division, and that sort of impression runs so
    strongly after such a display of weakness, that I have serious
    apprehensions of our being beat either to-morrow on the report,
    or Monday on the third reading. I need not tell you, that
    besides much real inconvenience and embarrassment, with respect
    to the measure itself, such a defeat would be in the highest
    degree disreputable to Government, the personal opinions,
    conduct and character of every leading man in the House of
    Commons on our side being involved in this discussion. Add to
    this the impression in the country, where the people will
    certainly be persuaded that this House of Commons would not have
    rejected such a Bill, except on just and solid grounds. We must,
    however, weather it as well as we can, and submit to the
    consequences of an evil which, I think, you will agree with me
    it was not easy to foresee. What hurt us, I believe, materially
    last night was that Pitt, who had reserved himself to answer
    Fox, was, just at the close of a very able speech of Fox's,
    taken so ill as not to be able to speak at all, so that the
    House went to the division with the whole impression of our
    adversaries' arguments, in a great degree, unanswered. I had
    spoken early in the debate, and Dundas just before Fox. I think
    this is the most unpleasant thing of the sort that has happened
    to us; but I console myself with recollecting how many similar
    disasters we have surmounted. I have seen nobody this morning
    but apprehend that we shall certainly go on with the Bill, as
    nothing, I think, would be saved by withdrawing it.

    Till within this last day or two I have been much out of order,
    and this, added to the hurry of this business for the last week,
    has made it impossible for me to get an answer to your queries.
    I fear it will be impossible for me to do it before Tuesday, but
    you may depend upon my exerting myself as much as I can.

    I do not agree at all with what I understand from Young to be
    your opinion on the reduction of interest; holding with Smith,
    that the hire of money, like that of any other commodity, will
    find its level, and going even beyond him in thinking the
    grounds on which he states such a measure to be sometimes
    justifiable, such as will not support him on his own principles.
    I have also a doubt, but of that you are a much better judge
    than I can be, whether it is often desirable to hold a
    neutrality on the part of Government with respect to such
    questions. That, however, depends on circumstances, and I can
    easily conceive such as would make that the only line you could
    prudently adopt.

    This has been the most sickly of all seasons with us. Jemmy has
    been very ill, and is not recovered, though, I trust, entirely
    out of all danger. Hester has also been seriously ill, but is
    out again. I agree most entirely with Fitzgibbon, in reprobating
    that some _lex et consuetudo_ Parliament, which is to supersede
    the good old common law of the land. Fox's whole conduct and
    language has been singularly indecent.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

It will be seen that Mr. Grenville complains of the failure, on the part
of the friends of the Government, in answering the arguments of the
Opposition. Amongst those whose talents raised the highest expectations,
only to be disappointed in the moment of debate by want of resolution,
was Lord Mornington--subsequently distinguished by the brilliancy and
solidity of his orations. Mr. Grenville elsewhere alludes to Lord
Mornington's intention of speaking from day to day, which he fears he
will suffer the session to pass over without carrying into execution,
and begs of Lord Buckingham to write to him urgently on the subject.
Lord Bulkeley gives a less dignified version of Mr. Pitt's retreat from
the discussion on this occasion, and, in his usual rattling way, runs on
about the prominent topics of the hour. In this letter some names appear
which were afterwards destined for a wide celebrity, more especially
those of "a Mr. Tierney" and "young Grey."


    Stanhope Street, March 10th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    Our politics have worn the most decided aspect till lately. On
    last Wednesday, on the bringing in the Declaratory Bill of the
    powers of the Board of Control, Mr. Pitt experienced a
    mortification, not only from the abilities of those who oppose
    him, but from the defection of some of his friends, and the
    luke-warmness of others, that he has not experienced since he
    has been a Minister. It was an awkward day for him, and he felt
    it the more because he himself was low-spirited, and overcome by
    the heat of the House, in consequence of having got drunk the
    night before at your house in Pall Mall, with Mr. Dundas and
    _the Duchess of Gordon_. They must have had a hard bout of it,
    for even Dundas, who is well used to the bottle, was affected by
    it, and spoke remarkably ill, tedious and dull. The Opposition,
    therefore, made the most of their advantages, and raked Pitt
    fore and aft in such a manner, as evidently made an impression
    on him. I heard from our own friends that no Minister ever cut a
    more pitiful figure.

    These triumphs were, however, of short duration to the
    Opposition, for on Friday Pitt made one of the best and most
    masterly speeches he ever made, and turned the tables
    effectually on Opposition, by acquiescing in such shackles as
    they chose to put on the article of patronage, all which they
    had pressed from an idea that Pitt on that point would be
    inflexible. This speech of Pitt's infused spirit into his
    friends; Dundas spoke very well, and, contrary to expectation,
    so did Scott and Macdonald. Government kept up their numbers in
    the division, and Opposition lost ten. I understand from all
    quarters that last Friday was, considering all circumstances, as
    good as the Wednesday before was _bad_ for Government.
    Notwithstanding this happy recovery, there is yet a heavy and
    severe clamour against Dundas, and I shall not be surprised if
    his unpopularity should very materially injure Pitt's character
    and Government. It was by his influence that a Mr. Tierney was
    kept out of the direction, and a Mr. Elphinstone brought in,
    which last has turned out the most violent opposer and the most
    formidable Government has had at the India House; and there is
    great reason to think the other, if he had been supported, would
    have been a friend, though that docs not seem clear. However,
    those two men have been the most active and useful to the
    Opposition in all the late contentions in Leadenhall Street,
    where Mr. Dundas _ought_ to have had a majority.

    All this business has given Fox advantages, which he has not
    neglected; and although Mr. Pitt may be secure as to the
    continuation of his power, yet the former has and will gain
    character, as a firm and manly straightforward politician; which
    the other begins to lose by nearly adopting the principles of a
    Bill which he had reprobated and condemned. Devaynes tells me
    that a few dozen of claret, and two or three dinners, would have
    operated with many in the direction; but Rose and Steele follow
    Pitt's example in that respect, and vote such company boors not
    deserving of such notice.

    Your brother William suffered a mortification last Wednesday,
    which, I am told, has vexed him: the moment he got up to speak,
    the House cleared as it used to do at one time when Burke got
    up. I hope it proceeded from accident, for if it continues it
    must hurt him very essentially. The day after he was in uncommon
    low spirits, and croaked very much. There seems a general
    complaint of Pitt's young friends, who never get up to speak;
    and I am not surprised at their timidity, for Fox, Sheridan,
    Burke, and Barré, are formidable opponents on the ground they
    now stand upon. Young Grey has not yet spoke on either of these
    last days, and he is hitherto a superior four-year-old to any of
    our side. I have kept Sir Hugh Williams and Parry steady to
    their tackle; the latter, I think, unless a judgeship comes
    soon, will not live much longer, not being of an age or
    constitution to live for ever on expectation, however good his
    may be, for I am assured he is to have the first vacancy. What
    the event of Hastings's trial will be, I cannot say; the
    prosecution is carried on with great ability and acrimony, but
    hitherto the oral evidence has fallen short of the expectations
    pronounced by the managers.

    Fox made a severe attack on the Chancellor and the Court, for
    which Lord Fortescue was near moving to have the words taken
    down, and to adjourn to the House of Lords, but letting the
    proper moment slip, he was advised not to resume it again by the
    Chancellor and the Duke of Richmond. I think the Chancellor, to
    a certain degree, provoked Fox's attack by a speech the day
    before in the House of Lords, which everybody said had better
    been left alone.

    I dined last Friday with your brother Marquis; in talking of
    Lord Fortescue, he said he heard he was a sensible man, and
    asked me whether he stood on his own bottom, or whether he was a
    follower of the Grenvilles. I felt the aim of his _gracious_
    speech, and consoled myself with his dinner and the addition of
    a new stock of mimicry of those I already possess of him. He and
    all his Synod are violent against the new Declaratory Bill, and
    are ready for any mischief against the present Government,
    though they are the last who would benefit by a change. The
    Prince of Wales takes an active part in opposition, and goes on
    the same. The Duke of York in politics talks both ways, and, I
    think, will end in opposition. His conduct is as bad as
    possible; he plays very deep, and loses, and his company is
    thought _mauvais ton_.

    I am told the King and Queen begin now to feel "how much sharper
    than a serpent's tooth it is to have an ingrate child." When the
    Duke of York is completely _done up_ in the public opinion, I
    should not be surprised if the Prince of Wales assumes a
    different style of behaviour; indeed, I am told he already
    affects to say that his brother's style is too bad.

    I am, my dear Lord,
    Your affectionate and sincere

The habits of the Prince and his brother were now become matter of
notoriety in the political circles, and in the preceding January had
attracted the observation of Mr. Grenville, who thus spoke of them in a
letter to Lord Buckingham:

    The Prince of Wales has taken this year very much to play, and
    has gone so far as to win or lose £2,000 or £3,000 in a night.
    He is now, together with the Duke of York, forming a new club at
    Weltzies; and this will probably be the scene of some of the
    highest gaming which has been seen in town. All their young men
    are to belong to it. Lord T. had even at Oxford shown his turn,
    having been sent away for being concerned in the Faro then. I
    leave you to form the conclusion.

Dundas's character, sketched in a sentence, and the hazards of the
Government arising from the Declaratory Bill, are the chief points in
the next communication from the sprightly Lord Bulkeley.


    Stanhope Street, March 26th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    On the whole, there is every appearance that the Declaratory
    Bill has occasioned a temporary division in the Cabinet, and a
    run against Dundas, and consequently against Pitt, who stands a
    willing sponsor for his transgressions, and who supports him
    through thick and thin. Dundas sticks to Pitt as a barnacle to
    an oyster-shell, so that if he chose it he cannot shake him off,
    and everybody believes he does not mean it, let what will be the
    consequence, because he likes him, and really wants him in the
    House of Commons; besides, there is no man who eats Pitt's toads
    with such zeal, attention, and appetite, as Dundas, and we all
    know the effect of those qualities. You, who know the interior
    of things, must laugh at me for what I tell you, but I only can
    tell you public appearances and opinions, all which you may know
    to be perfectly false and untrue.

    Many of the Opposition with whom I converse seem to think a
    change of Government at a great distance, while the King and
    Pitt are on good terms, and others are woefully disappointed
    that all this late business has passed off so quietly, without
    Pitt being out and Fox in. What the future consequences of the
    Declaratory Bill may be to Pitt, I cannot pretend to divine; but
    certainly it has brought him a temporary unpopularity, and has
    hurt him in the public opinion. I own, for my own part, that I
    think _Leadenhall Street_, sooner or later, will overthrow him,
    as it did Fox; but in this opinion, I know I differ with _la
    parenté_, who all swear to me, even the nervous Jemmy, that Mr.
    Pitt has gained strength from the measure, both in Parliament
    and with the public; such, likewise, is the opinion of all
    Pitt's intimates. I wish I may be wrong, and shall be very happy
    to be convinced that I am so.


The ill health of Mr. Rigby, who held the appointment of Master of the
Rolls in Ireland, rendering it probable that a vacancy would shortly
occur in that office, the friends of Mr. Grenville proposed that it
should be given to him, and that he should hold it as a sinecure--a mode
of reward for public services which was in accordance with the practice
of the period. There were some difficulties, however, attending it,
which did not escape the penetration of Mr. Grenville. In the first
place, it had become a matter of discussion whether the successor of Mr.
Rigby should not be required to perform the duties of the office in
person, instead of being permitted to discharge them, as heretofore, by
deputy; in which event, Mr. Grenville would have declined the situation.
The second point upon which he hesitated referred to the permanency of
the office. Some doubt arose on the construction of the statutes as to
whether a life patent of the office would hold good; and the
apprehension that a future Administration might have it in their power
to raise the question, weighed strongly with Mr. Grenville, who
discusses the subject minutely in his letters to Lord Buckingham. But
there was a third consideration of still greater importance. Several
changes were in contemplation in the Ministry. Lord Howe, who was at the
head of the Admiralty, had latterly rendered himself extremely
unpopular, and signified his intention of resigning, and was only
restrained from doing so at once on the representations of Mr. Pitt, who
wished to take advantage of the circumstance for the purpose of
effecting other alterations in the composition of the Government.
Amongst the suggestions arising out of these proposed movements, Lord
Buckingham and Mr. Grenville were severally named for the Admiralty; but
neither of them were disposed to accept it. Lord Buckingham preferred
the position he held in Ireland, and Mr. Grenville held back, having
looked for some time to the Seals of the Home Department, for which he
had been assiduously qualifying himself, his ambition being constantly
urged in that direction by Lord Buckingham. The letter in which he opens
all these plans to his brother is affecting in its appeal to those
feelings of implicit trust and attachment which existed so warmly
between these distinguished men.


    Whitehall, April 1st, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I am extremely obliged for the trouble you have been so good as
    to take about the mode in which it will be most advisable to
    frame the grant of Rigby's office, in case of its becoming
    vacant. I have consulted Pitt upon the subject, and his opinion
    entirely agrees with mine, that the present form is much
    preferable to the other; for this, amongst other reasons, that a
    grant of a judicial office, to be held during good behaviour,
    might be vacated on account of non-administration of justice, or
    even of non-residence in the kingdom. He says that, after what
    has passed with the King, there can clearly be no difficulty
    whatever when the case arises; and that it will be better not to
    open it previously to Lord Sydney, as it might by that means
    become a subject of conversation previous to its taking place,
    which it is very desirable to avoid. I imagine, by what I now
    hear from Bath, that it cannot be very long before the event
    happens. I shall certainly be on the spot, and will immediately
    take the necessary steps for having the warrant sent over to
    you; after which you may expect to see me as soon as possible,
    unless it should be necessary that the admission should take
    place in Term time, which I will trouble you to ascertain. It
    would, I think, be very advantageous to me, in case of future
    discussions which may arise on this subject, if you could
    procure from the Chancellor and Lord Earlsfort, and perhaps
    Carleton (when the event happens), written opinions that the
    making it an efficient _judicial_ office would be attended with
    no advantage or benefit. It would still remain necessary that
    some officer should be appointed to have custody and charge of
    the Rolls; and the only questions then would be, whether such an
    office was one fit to be made the sort of sinecure which
    Parliament here have admitted ought to exist as a reward of
    public service, and whether your humble servant was a fit object
    for such reward.

    The point which I was desirous of mentioning to you in cypher
    relates to my having been informed by Pitt, a few days before I
    wrote to you, that Lord Howe has intimated an intention of
    resigning his office at the close of this session. The
    particular reason for secrecy is, that it is of the utmost
    importance that this should not be publicly known till a new
    arrangement is framed; but especially not till after the motion
    on the subject of the late promotion is completely disposed of.
    Notwithstanding this intimation, and the resolution which Lord
    Howe appears to have taken, Pitt thinks it not impossible that
    when the time for carrying it into execution draws nearer, he
    may be induced to remain. Pitt feels it a point of the utmost
    importance that he should, notwithstanding the sort of
    objections which exist against him, and of which you are
    perfectly apprized. But if he retires, there will be the utmost
    difficulty in finding a proper person to supply his place. I
    apprehend, that even before your appointment to Ireland you had
    made up your mind on the subject; but that you would certainly
    not be inclined to quit your present situation for one in so
    many respects less agreeable, particularly at this moment. I
    trust, however, that if you feel the least hesitation, or doubt,
    in your mind, you will immediately let me know it, in order that
    I may take the proper steps. If your decision remains the same,
    I know no person at all fit for the employment that can take it.
    The most likely person to be fixed upon is, I think, Lord Hood;
    but there are great objections to him. Whatever he may be in the
    Navy, which I know not, he is very far from being popular in the
    House of Commons; and what is worse, he has spoken there,
    whenever he has opened his lips, with a degree of indiscretion
    which has been distressing, even in his present situation, but
    which would be absolutely intolerable if he were to answer for
    the execution of so responsible an office, made, as it certainly
    will be, one of the great objects of attack on the part of
    Opposition. This will make it necessary to send him up to the
    House of Lords, for which he has neither fortune nor calibre
    sufficient. It has been a question with Pitt and myself, whether
    it would be possible for me to accept of it. At one time, he
    appeared much disposed to this; but I must confess that my mind
    has never gone to it at all. The situation would unquestionably
    be highly flattering to me, at my time of life, and in my rank,
    &c. The patronage annexed to it is so considerable as to be a
    real object, in a political point of view, to any person engaged
    in a public line of life, where the acquisition of friends is
    always an important point. Add to this, the opportunity of
    distinguishing oneself in a department entirely separate from
    all others, and the temptation is certainly very great. But I
    feel two material, and as they now strike me, insuperable
    objections. First, I think it is not prudent for a person who
    has already been put forward beyond what many people think his
    pretensions entitle him to, and who has still much way to make
    for himself, to incur the risk of shocking and revolting the
    feelings of almost every one, but those who are most partial to
    him, by accepting a situation for which he must be thought so
    little qualified, and which will be judged so much above his
    rank, either in point of general situation in the country, or
    with respect to any official situation in which he has yet been
    engaged. Besides this, I am unwilling--after having been
    endeavouring for four or five years to qualify myself, in some
    degree, for almost any other line of public service--that my
    first ostensible _début_ should be in one where I should have
    the first A B C to learn.

    It is on these grounds that I have discouraged the idea when
    Pitt threw it out to me, and I think they have had weight with
    him. I have no doubt, that as far as respects my own interest
    only, they are well founded; and that it will be infinitely more
    advantageous to me to go on as I now am, waiting for such events
    as may happen to open to me other objects, which I could accept
    with less hazard. The same considerations operate, also, with a
    view to the general interests of the system of Government in
    which I am embarked. If I could essentially serve that, even at
    a greater personal hazard than this, I should certainly feel
    myself bound to do it. But the very same circumstances which
    would make my appointment hurtful to my own character in the
    present moment, would make it prejudicial to the general credit
    of Pitt's Government; and the consequences of any failure would
    hardly be more injurious to myself, personally, than to the
    Administration of which I should then form a part. I have had an
    explanation with Pitt, in the course of these discussions, on
    the subject of Lord Sydney's office. He told me that he was
    unwilling to remove him abruptly, without the means of making
    him, at the same time, some sort of compensation; but that,
    whenever any such opportunity offered, he should willingly and
    eagerly embrace it. Lord Hardwicke's life, Barré's, the Duke of
    Montagu's, Orde's and the Duke of Bolton's, with some others,
    were mentioned as holding out no unreasonable or distant
    prospect of such an arrangement. And I can with perfect
    sincerity say to you--to whom I think aloud--that I am by no
    means desirous that the interval should be so much shortened, as
    to make the appointment immediate. I am in the train of making
    myself fitter for it: in the enjoyment of as much confidence as
    that office ever could give me, and with the consciousness of
    being admitted to many opportunities of doing real service to
    the Government that I act with. My present income is
    sufficient--such an appointment would not in reality increase
    it--and your goodness holds out to me a near prospect of that
    future independence, which was the only thing wanting to make my
    present situation perfectly happy. You see how little temptation
    I have to exchange it even for that to which I have hitherto
    looked; but much more for that which is so unexpectedly put
    within my reach, but which is attended with so many hazards to
    myself, and to the general system of Administration.

    I much wish to receive your opinion on this whole subject, not
    only as it is connected with myself, but as to the means of
    finding any other person to undertake the office supposing me
    out of the question. It is perfectly understood that the Duke of
    Grafton would not accept it, which I certainly consider as a
    very fortunate circumstance. With respect to yourself, I have
    written the whole of what is above; and have listened to any
    conversation on the subject, only in the idea that your opinion
    will remain the same. I feel too much confidence in your good
    opinion of me, to think it necessary to take up your time in
    saying what you must unquestionably feel, that no conception of
    competition on this point could ever enter into my head; and
    that, even if I have taught myself to look to other situations
    to which you have so much better a claim, it has only been in
    consequence of what you have said to me on that subject, and
    subject always to any alteration in your feelings with respect
    to it.

    I am prevented from saying more than a few words on the
    different questions you ask. I mentioned to you, in my other
    letter, the line which has been taken here with respect to the
    Russian fleet, and to their application for transports. The same
    line ought certainly to be followed in Ireland; but I think it
    would be very important, for your own security, in so delicate a
    business, that you should, whenever you receive any intimation
    of anything of the sort being likely to occur in Ireland,
    immediately state the particular point to Lord Sydney, in order
    to receive precise orders upon it, for you see the line of
    distinction which we draw here is a nice one.

    Our Dutch alliance has passed the States of Holland, where alone
    any difficulty was apprehended, and will probably be signed in
    about a week. It will be immediately followed by a treaty, by
    which Prussia and we shall bind ourselves to guarantee to each
    other our engagements with Holland; but this treaty will not
    extend to any general alliance between this country and Prussia.
    The reason for this is, the apprehension that such an alliance
    would rivet the connection between the two Imperial Courts and
    France. In the meantime, there is an entire and perfect
    understanding between this Court and that of Berlin. We have no
    very accurate knowledge of the views of Spain. She is certainly
    arming, though to much less extent than is talked of. I imagine
    that France is trying to persuade her to acquiesce in the
    Porte's being compelled to submit to the present demands of the
    two Imperial Courts, which seem confined to Oxacow, Belgrade,
    and some pecuniary compensation for the expense incurred. But I
    think the Porte will clearly not submit to this, till she has
    tried the success of one campaign; and what part Spain may take
    in this event it is not easy to say.

    Our accounts from India, by the 'Ravensworth,' are in general,
    very good; but we are a little uneasy, on account of Tippoo, who
    had made peace with the Marattas, and was collecting his forces
    with a view of attacking the Nizam, or the Raja of Gravancore,
    whom we must protect, or the Camatre itself. Campbell was
    preparing for him; and I have little doubt of the event; but the
    offence and mischief are formidable to us.

    I have just received your letter of the 2nd, with the
    usquebaugh, for which I am much obliged to you. I think there
    can be no question of the King's acquiescence, and the
    mentioning it to him now might set him talking. I have been
    hindered, by a variety of accidents, from sending this letter
    off before. It has been written at five or six different times.

    Adieu, my dear brother,
    Believe me ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    We have the same accounts from many different quarters, as that
    which Miles sends you. The idea is certainly much talked of on
    the continent; but I have no faith in it. France is, I think,
    evidently in no better condition for war now than last year.
    Their annual _compte_, which was promised for January in every
    year, is not yet out. The report is, that the deficiency has
    been found much greater than was ever imagined. Our revenue is
    most prosperous.

Lord Buckingham appears to have pressed his views respecting the Home
Office so earnestly upon Mr. Grenville, that the latter, some months
afterwards, grew a little impatient of his zeal. The obstacle was, how
to provide for Lord Sydney.

    I cannot (says Mr. Grenville, writing in September), even if I
    wished it, drive Lord Sydney from his situation, without such an
    opportunity as has not yet presented itself, and may not for a
    considerable time to come. Even if that were done, I am by no
    means clear that the difficulty would be removed.

The subject of the Rolls is resumed in subsequent letters.


    Whitehall, April 5th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    Since I have sent off your messenger this morning, I have had
    some further conversation with Pitt about the Mastership of the
    Rolls, which is expected to be vacant every hour. A considerable
    difficulty arises from this circumstance, that Sir Lloyd Kenyon
    has discovered, since he has held the English office, that the
    sale of the places, from which a part of his profit arose, is
    illegal; and he has, in consequence of this, resolved to give
    the offices away, instead of selling them. The doubt arises
    under a statute of Richard II.; and after such a man as he has
    decided it against himself, it would neither be creditable, nor
    even safe, for me to persevere in the old practice.

    This makes me think it considerably better, that you should
    endeavour to negotiate an exchange for me with some person on
    your side of the water, who may not be troubled with the same
    scruples. Pitt is to see Kenyon on Monday; and has promised to
    inquire more particularly into this point. I shall not deliver
    your letter to Lord Sydney till I hear again from you upon it.
    If it was not for the difficulty of two re-elections, I should
    think the best way would be, that I should take the Rolls
    immediately, and take my chance with respect to any exchange
    that I could make afterwards; but that, I fear, cannot now be

    I will write to you again, when I hear from Pitt what he has
    learnt from Kenyon.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Whitehall, April 21st, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I have this morning received yours of the 18th enclosing the
    recommendation during pleasure. I am not a little distressed at
    this circumstance, as I apprehend, from what you mention about
    the Chancellor, that your destination of the office will
    immediately become public. I am unable as yet, under these
    circumstances, to satisfy my mind as to delivering or keeping
    back the letter to Lord Sydney; but as I thought it necessary
    that he should have your private letter, I called upon him with
    that, and mentioned to him my wish of keeping back the other, at
    least for the present, in order that I may have time to think it
    over, and to consult Pitt upon it. But my present disposition
    is, I think, to withhold it till I can hear again from you, in
    answer to my letter of Saturday.

    My opinion on the subject itself remains entirely the same. If
    the grant is made during pleasure what ground can there be for
    thinking that another Government would not instantly create it;
    especially after it has become, as it probably must, a ground of
    some popular clamour, and after that specific office has been in
    a manner applied for by their friend the Duke of Leinster.
    Surely, under those circumstances, it can never be worth while,
    either on your account or even on my own, that I should accept
    an object which would only give me about £1,000 per annum in the
    very situation in which I do not want it. The arrangement with
    Hutchinson, or almost any other, appears to me infinitely
    preferable. On the whole, however, I leave it for your
    determination; but I think, unless any fresh inconvenience from
    the delay, beyond what I now see, occurs to my mind, that I
    shall postpone taking any step in it till I have your answer to
    my former letter.

    As to the state of things here, I know not well what to write. I
    have very little expectation of our not being beat whenever the
    Navy Promotion is again brought in question; and what the
    consequence of such a defeat is to be, I profess not to be
    prophet enough to foretel. I do not think that people in general
    are aware of the extent and importance of the blow; but it will
    not the less have its full effect when it comes. You will not
    wonder, therefore, that I look forward with no very pleasing
    reflections to it, and that even that circumstance should make
    me particularly anxious that the present opportunity may be the
    means of securing to me something more permanent than any
    Government in this country seems likely to be.

    Adieu, my dear brother,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    You will have seen Sir G. Howard's speech, and will hear much
    nonsensical speculation upon it. We have no suspicions of that


    Whitehall, April 29th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I have just received your letter of the 25th. You will have
    observed by my last letter, that I have not delivered the
    recommendation, but that I called upon Lord Sydney with your
    private letter, in order to mention the circumstance to him, and
    to desire him to say nothing of it till he heard again from me.
    He behaved with great kindness to me, and assured me he would do
    in this business exactly what I wished. My own ideas at present
    incline to taking the Rolls for life: if any other solution
    should offer while you are in Ireland, it will be always equally
    possible to arrange it; and if not, I think the question of the
    legality will bear at least a great deal of argument. My own
    opinion rather is, that I could support such a patent against
    anybody. But at all events it will be a much more difficult
    undertaking to remove me, and one less likely to enter into the
    mind of our adversaries, than if the grant expressly gave the
    office only during pleasure. I can lose nothing by taking it for
    life, even if such a grant is bad, because that will at least be
    equal to a tenure during pleasure; and if it is good, as I think
    precedents, and even the true construction of the Act will make
    it, I have attained the object which your friendship is anxious
    to secure to me. You will observe that the argument of vacating
    by non-residence does not apply to a grant for life, _with
    exception of the ministration of justice_; but to a grant,
    _quamdiu se bene gesserit_, under the statute which enables the
    King to grant _judicial_ offices in that form. The latter would
    clearly be forfeited by non-residence, and I strongly think that
    the former is good in law.

    I mention this, because you appear to feel considerable
    difficulties in any exchange, and I am unquestionably very
    anxious that an arrangement in which I fear you must, at all
    events, sacrifice a good deal to my objects, may be attended
    with as little additional inconvenience to you as possible.

    Our friends are sanguine as to the event of Bastard's motion,
    which is to come on to day. As this opinion is the result of a
    personal canvass, I hope it is tolerably founded; but I am not
    enough acquainted with the particulars to give any opinion of my
    own upon it. Only I think I see amongst our friends a sort of
    feeling of our situation, and some revival of that zeal which
    has been so grievously wanted of late. Against this there is to
    be set a very general impression of the badness of the question,
    which is certainly in itself not a strong one on our side, and
    is made less so in appearance by the necessity we are under of
    declining all personal discussions, in order to adhere to our
    principle, of the impropriety of such points being debated in
    Parliament. I am, however, told that there are a few of Fox's
    party who do not like the question, and will not vote against
    us. Plumer is mentioned in particular, and there are, I believe,
    two or three others. It is a dreadful thing for the general
    strength of Government, to have these sort of doubtful days
    recurring so often. I am inclined to think that the event will
    be that Lord H. will now remain longer than he before proposed,
    in order that he may not appear to be driven out by clamour, &c.

    Sir G. Yonge is to have the red riband, which is comical enough.
    I will take particular care of what you mention about
    Fitzherbert; was he desirous of the riband? if he was, I should
    think we might manage it on another opportunity; though, if I
    was in his situation, I should certainly think myself better
    without it. Trevor is to have the other, and to go immediately
    to St. Petersburgh. Lord Harrington was to have gone there, but
    thought he could not unless with the _rank_ of ambassador, which
    was impossible. Lord Dalrymple goes to Turin, and Ewart is to be
    appointed to Berlin. Lord Mansfield has resigned. Kenyon is to
    take his seat the first day of next Term, but not to be created
    a peer at present, in order to break the practice, which was
    beginning to grow into a sort of right. I imagine, however, that
    the state of the House of Lords will make it necessary to have
    him there next year. McDonald is to be Attorney-General; Arden,
    Master of the Rolls; Scott, Solicitor; and Bearcroft, Chief
    Justice of Chester.

    The impeachment is going on so slowly, that I see no prospect
    even of the accusation being concluded this year. They talk of
    sitting only to the Birthday; and, indeed, after that they would
    find it impossible to procure an attendance, either of Lords or
    Commons. Our business will certainly be over by that time. The
    Budget comes on next Monday, and will be a glorious one; as not
    only the current service of the year, but the extra expenses,
    both of the Prince of Wales and of the armament, will be
    provided for by the exceeding of revenue.

    The 'Rusbridge' has brought an account from Madras as late as
    the 9th of January. An answer had been received from Tippoo to
    Sir A. Campbell's letter. It disclaims all idea of hostility;
    and a friendly correspondence had passed between them since; so
    that this storm is blown over, at least for the present; and in
    the meanwhile we are acquiring more strength every day. It is
    impossible to speak in terms of sufficient admiration of Lord
    Cornwallis's conduct. I have not yet seen any finance papers
    from this last ship; but I make no doubt of their turning out
    well, from the general expressions of prosperity, &c., in his
    private letters.

    I send you over a case given to me by the Duke of Athol, who has
    particularly desired my attention to the subject. He is to bring
    it forward this year. Can you tell me where I can find any of my
    father's papers upon it?

    I have got the cypher, which answers perfectly. I keep it, in
    order to have another made from it. I shall be anxious to hear
    of your little girl's doing well.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Whitehall, April 30th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    Bastard's motion came on yesterday, and was lost, on the
    previous question, by 221 to 169. This division very far
    exceeded my expectations, and, indeed, I believe those of most
    people, considering the popular nature of the question, and the
    many personal considerations which induced people to vote
    against us on this point, who do so on no other. It has, I
    imagine, entirely put an end to any further discussion of this
    subject. It will not diminish your satisfaction on this occasion
    to hear that the previous question was moved by me, and that I
    had the good fortune not only to satisfy myself, which I have
    not done before in the course of this session, but also to
    satisfy my friends so well, that the question was rested on my
    speech, no other member of Government saying anything.

    This event puts an end to all considerations as to any immediate
    contingencies to affect our decision of the point which relates
    to me. It is therefore not necessary to take any immediate steps
    upon it, till we can find some satisfactory solution. You see
    that my mind leans at present to taking the Rolls at the
    diminished value, but _for life_; thinking, as I do, more and
    more, every day, that such a grant would be perfectly legal and
    maintainable against all the world, on the ground of precedent,
    of authority, and on the words of the statute itself.

    The idea of Lord Clanbrassil's office had occurred to me. I have
    no difficulty in stating to you fairly my feelings upon it,
    because I know you will enter into them, and judge, after
    comparing them with the convenience which you would yourself
    derive from such an arrangement, preferably to any other. Lord
    Clanbrassil's life I had taken from the Peerage at fifty-nine,
    but sixty would not materially alter the calculation. Such a
    life, on common averages, is stated in Price's book as having an
    expectation of living from fourteen years to a little less than
    twelve, according to the healthiness of the situation. On
    pursuing his calculations, I am inclined to believe, that an
    annuity of £2000 for my life, to commence after Lord C.'s, would
    not be materially different from an annuity in present for my
    life of £1000. But these calculations depend on so many nice
    circumstances, that, without being more used to them, and
    acquainted with the principles they proceed upon, it is not easy
    to be accurate in them. Whatever is the result of such a
    calculation, you cannot, I am sure, but feel that, at the
    present period of my life, and in my circumstances, a certainty
    of £1000 would be worth much more to me, in point of happiness,
    than an expectation of twice that value at an uncertain period,
    which though, on general averages, it might be expected in about
    thirteen years, might not fall even in twice that time.

    I state this to you, that you may know exactly what I feel upon
    the subject; but, at the same time, I know too much what I owe
    to you on this, as on every other occasion, not to be desirous
    of accommodating my objects to your convenience. On that ground,
    therefore, I leave it entirely to you.

    I wish you would send me some answer about Sir H. Hoghton, which
    I could show him as a point of civility to a man to whom
    civility is due from me. I have not done anything about Sneyd,
    because, to say the truth, this other business put it out of my
    head. I am now unwilling to communicate your acquiescence to
    Bagot till I have mentioned it to you once more. You know the
    object which I have in it, and can best judge how far the
    inconvenience to you is more than worth while.

    I have had Miles with me this morning, to mention that he had
    written to you on the subject of a publication respecting Lord
    Gormanston's business, but had not received any answer from you.
    I told him that I would mention to you what he had said to me
    upon it, but that I could not undertake to give him any answer,
    as he must receive that from you alone. He desired me to say
    that he made the communication as a mark of respect and
    attachment. I confess I look upon him as one of those men with
    whom connexion or communication, beyond what may be absolutely
    necessary, is not desirable; but I may be mistaken in this; and
    perhaps that which has already passed may make it better that
    you should preserve terms of civility towards him.

    The Duke of Athol's statement of his own case has made much
    impression on me: pray tell me what you think of it. He says he
    can prove that, although my father passed the Bill of 1765, from
    the necessity of applying an immediate remedy to the mischief of
    smuggling, yet that it was his intention to have entered into a
    fuller investigation of the subject the following year. He
    presses me to be one of the Commissioners; but this I shall
    probably decline, on the real ground of other business.

    Alexander Hood is to have the red riband, and not Trevor. He
    made a very good speech for it last night. There is not the
    smallest ground for believing that Sir G. Howard was actuated by
    anything else than a sense of the _great military character_
    which he sustains, and perhaps some ground of pique at the
    King's having refused to interfere with Mulgrave and myself to
    give the Chaplainship of Chelsea to a friend of his. He asked an
    audience of the King for the purpose of making this request, and
    sent an account of it in a paragraph to the newspapers.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    You may, perhaps, have seen in "The World," a most scandalous
    misrepresentation of Mornington's conduct the other evening in
    the House of Commons. It will, I am sure, give you pleasure to
    be assured, that there is not the smallest ground for so
    infamous an imputation; and that his conduct on that occasion is
    universally felt, and allowed even by those who are least
    favourably disposed to him, to have been perfectly correct and
    proper. He spoke remarkably well, and said exactly what his
    friends could have wished him to say.

Mr. Grenville had now made up his mind to take the reversion of Lord
Clanbrassil's office (the Chief Remembrancership), in preference to the
Rolls; for which the Duke of Leinster, who had given considerable
trouble to the Government in Ireland, was rather a clamorous candidate.


    Whitehall, May 12th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I have just seen Fitzherbert, and have had some conversation
    with him about the Mastership of the Rolls. We were interrupted;
    but he said enough to convince me, that it is clearly better
    that I should take the reversion of Lord Clanbrassil's office,
    leaving the Rolls for such present arrangement as you can make
    of it. Besides what he mentioned, I have an additional reason,
    which I did not state to him; but which had nearly decided me
    before I saw him. It is, that I believe the arrangement which I
    mentioned to you at Stowe, and which you so clearly thought the
    most desirable that could occur for me, is now so nearly
    settled, that it is very unlikely that anything should prevent
    its taking place before the prorogation of Parliament, which
    must be in about three weeks, or a month, at furthest. I think
    you will clearly understand what I mean, when I refer to our
    conversation in the flower-garden at Stowe, and to the
    particular sense which I have always entertained of your
    kindness on that occasion. Fitzherbert, however, tells me, that
    he sends off the messenger on Thursday, when I will write to you
    more explicitly on this subject, and on the other arrangements
    connected with it, which, however, are still in great measure
    undecided; but the thing itself I now consider as almost
    certain. It would be an unpardonable affectation in me,
    especially when writing to you, to whom I have been accustomed
    to think aloud, if I were to attempt to disguise from you, that
    the prospect is, in the highest degree, pleasing to me, as
    holding out to me a situation, though far above my pretensions,
    yet so circumstanced as to give me hopes of filling it without
    discredit. I know how much you will share my satisfaction, and
    have, therefore, no difficulty in expressing it to you. It is
    not a little heightened, by comparing it with what I mentioned
    to you as having been since proposed to me, and what I was so
    near being compelled to accept. There is, however, still one
    contingency, which may prevent this from taking place: I think
    it not a probable one. I am obliged to write a little in the
    Sphinx style, but on Thursday I will speak more openly. I could
    not, however, resist the desire of taking the first moment to
    tell you, generally, the situation of this business.

    We had the account yesterday of the _lit de justice_, which was
    held at Versailles the day after the King had besieged his
    Parliament at Paris. He has taken from all the different
    Parliaments throughout the kingdom the power and function of
    registering edicts, and has created, or (as the "Arrêt" says)
    _renewed_ a _Cour plénière_ for that purpose. This _Cour
    plénière_ is to consist of the _grande chambre_ of the
    Parliament of Paris, with the addition of the Princes and Peers,
    of one member to be named from each of the other Parliaments,
    and of the person filling great offices (Charges de la
    Couronne). These will make, in all, about one hundred and eight
    persons, if the calculation, I saw, is right. They are all to be
    named by the King; but all to hold their situations for life.
    All edicts are to be registered by them for the whole kingdom.
    This expedient may give a present relief; but it seems a most
    dangerous experiment to concentre so much power of resistance in
    one body of men appointed for life.

    There had been no tumult whatever at Paris on this occasion.
    Some difficulty was expected in the provinces, particularly at
    Rouen and Rennes; but nothing was known of what had passed
    there. I do not recollect that I have any other news for you.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

The next letter touches upon the reversion, and enters into a detail of
the contemplated changes in the Administration consequent upon the
retirement of Lord Howe.


    Whitehall, May 16th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I mentioned to you in my last letter, that Fitzherbert's
    conversation had decided me in thinking it better for me to take
    the reversion of Lord Clanbrassil's office (supposing it clearly
    grantable in reversion), rather than the Mastership of the
    Rolls. One reason which weighed with me, was the knowledge of
    the arrangement which is to take place the first week in June,
    and which I can now explain to you more particularly. The first
    move is that of the Admiralty, from which Lord Howe retires,
    agreeably to his former intimation. From what I understand from
    Pitt, I doubt very much whether it would have been possible to
    have prevailed upon him to alter his resolution; but, on the
    whole, I think it infinitely better, considering his great
    unpopularity both in the Navy and in the House of Commons, that
    he should withdraw himself. The last division, and the question
    having in consequence of it been entirely dropped, are
    circumstances which I think are sufficient to show that he has
    not been driven out; and by his retiring, we shall avoid many
    other discussions, which would, I am persuaded, have been
    brought forward. Pitt's intention is to place his brother at the
    head of that department, giving him Sir Charles Middleton and
    Hood for assistants; and prevailing with Mulgrave, if possible,
    to accept the Comptrollership of the Navy. I have no doubt of
    this arrangement being, in general, very acceptable; the great
    popularity of Lord Chatham's manners, added to that of his name,
    and his near connection with Pitt, are, I think, sufficient to
    remove the impression of any objection in the public opinion,
    from his being brought forward in the first instance in so
    responsible a situation. To those who know him, there can be no
    doubt that his abilities are fully equal to the undertaking,
    arduous as it is; and to those who do not, Sir Charles
    Middleton's name and character will hold out a solution. On the
    whole, I am persuaded that this arrangement will not only be the
    best that could be made under the present circumstances, but
    that it will be a source of real and solid strength to Pitt's
    Government, by bringing Lord Chatham forward, and by connecting
    the department of the Admiralty with the rest of the
    Administration, which has never yet been the case under Pitt's
    Government, even in the smallest degree. The opening which
    Mulgrave makes, enables Pitt to make Lord Sydney sole Paymaster,
    and to give me the Seals of the Home Department. He has shown
    much anxiety to bring this part of the arrangement to bear; and
    I sometimes flatter myself, that in this part also of his
    Government he will be considerably stronger than before.

    I have obtained his permission to communicate to you the whole
    of this plan immediately after its formation. I think its
    execution probable, though not certain. It has as yet not been
    communicated even to many of the parties concerned. He is to
    begin by his brother, whom he sees to-day, in order to obtain
    his final consent, which, from previous conversations, he has no
    reason to doubt of. The other persons are to be talked to one by
    one, and the whole to be done and declared the day before the
    prorogation, in order that my writ may be moved. He thinks Sir
    C. M.'s consent quite certain, and Mulgrave's highly probable;
    but that part in which I am concerned does not depend on that,
    as, even if Mulgrave refuses the Comptrollership, there is
    another arrangement, though not one equally desirable, by which
    he will vacate the Pay-Office. The only impediment that can be
    thrown in my way is from the Duke of Richmond, who has,
    certainly, if he is disposed to push it, a prior claim to Lord
    Sydney's office; but there is the greatest reason to believe,
    that he will prefer to remain where he now is. This will,
    however, be ascertained in a few days, when I write to you
    again. I think, if all this takes place, it will be a pretty
    decisive answer to all the ideas that have been thrown out of
    the King's wavering; and in that point of view, independent of
    all others, it is extremely desirable. Under these
    circumstances, I have no doubt that you will think that I have
    done right in eagerly embracing the offer which has been made
    me; and, also, that you will be of opinion that the reversion is
    much preferable to the office in Ireland, which would, just at
    this moment, expose me to much unnecessary odium, besides the
    great inconvenience of a journey to Ireland, in a situation
    which requires constant residence and attendance.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

A letter from Sir William Young, of the same date, elucidates the
imbroglio still farther, and is especially interesting as an
illustration of that peculiar trait in His Majesty's character--his
intimate knowledge and curiosity about persons--to which attention has
already been drawn. The whole description of the interview with the King
is a good specimen of familiar historical painting.


    Old Bond Street, May 16th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    His Majesty honoured me, on Wednesday, with a pretty long
    conference in the closet; during which we travelled over the
    whole _carte du pays Hibernois_. He was, as usual, much more
    particular in his inquiries about _persons_ than about
    _business_; and he seemed to be, above all, very anxious to
    learn how we stood with Lord Shannon, having learnt from Mr. O.
    that his Lordship was to be at dagger-drawing with us, on
    account of his supposed resentment for your Lordship's supposed
    ill-treatment of Mr. Adderley. I acquainted His Majesty with the
    true state of that matter, with Lord Shannon's very handsome
    language respecting it, and his friendly and becoming conduct
    ever since; with which information the King appeared to be
    highly pleased, and he was even proceeding to animadvert pretty
    severely upon Mr. O. for having, as he thought, attempted,
    though ineffectually, to convert this transaction into a source
    of mutual coldness and mistrust between your Lordship and Lord
    Shannon; but I thought it right to disculpate my predecessor
    from this charge, of which I really believe him to be innocent.

    The Duke of Leinster's name too was more than once upon the
    _tapis_, and I detailed to His Majesty the whole history of his
    Grace's political conduct and professions, from his first
    interview with your Lordship down to the letter he received from
    you, in answer to his application for the Mastership of the
    Rolls; but I said nothing of your future views with regard to
    that office, neither did His Majesty manifest any desire to be
    informed of them. In general, he seemed to me to be perfectly
    _au fait_ of the Duke's real character, as well as of the
    character of all the other leading people in Ireland, whom we
    talked over, each in his turn, not forgetting our friend, the
    Archbishop of Cashel.

    On points of business, as I have said, His Majesty was much more
    concise, and I do not recollect anything material or interesting
    that fell from him, unless it be that he expressed the most
    entire satisfaction in the planning and in the execution of our
    new military arrangement. I, of course, did not omit to take
    this opportunity of offering your Lordship's humble duty to him,
    together with every suitable assurance of your zeal, &c., for
    his service; in answer to which he said many very gracious
    things, and proceeded to question me very closely and _very
    minutely_ about your and Lady B.'s health, amusements, house,
    &c.; upon all which points I took care to be very precise and
    guarded in my answers, having reason to believe that, from the
    lively interest he takes in your domestic happiness, they will
    make a deeper impression upon his memory than any other part of
    our conversation.

    Mr. Grenville tells me that he has written to your Lordship to
    say that he has finally made up his mind to the acceptance of
    Lord Clanbrassil's _survivance_, in lieu of the Mastership of
    the Rolls; so I conclude that you will by this time have begun
    your negotiation with the Duke of Leinster, the result of which
    I am impatient to learn.

    I have not yet been able to see either Mr. Pitt or Lord Sydney,
    but I learnt this morning at the latter's office that the King
    had consented that Major Coote should have the
    lieutenant-colonelcy of the 70th; and the notification of the
    appointment will, I believe, be sent to your Lordship by
    tomorrow's post.

    The papers will have informed you, my Lord, of the events of
    France since my last, and particularly that the Grand Chamber of
    the Parliament of Paris has refused to become a constituent part
    of the new Plenary Court; so that some new expedient must in all
    probability be adopted. The Duke of Dorset writes word that the
    Parisian public still remain very quiet spectators of these
    disputes, but it seems that in Brittany they are apprehensive of
    some very serious troubles, and accordingly a strong
    reinforcement of troops has been sent to the Commandant of that
    province, M. de Thiard.

    In Holland, the patriotic party, though still sullen and
    stubborn, seem to have lost all present hope of reinstating
    themselves in favour; so the Prince of Orange is now King of the
    Republic, with Sir T. H., Viceroy, over him. The latter will, I
    believe, be created a Peer in a few days.

    The ferment in the city still continues on account of the
    failure of the cotton-traders, many of whom are, it seems, so
    deeply involved, that it will be absolutely impossible to devise
    any artificial mode of bolstering up their credit; and it is to
    be feared that their failure will occasion very great distress
    amongst the merchantmen.

    I send you, my Lord, two pamphlets upon the subject of this
    trade, which you will find to contain some very curious and
    important facts, though perhaps you will not agree with the
    author in the conclusions he draws from them.

    Adieu, my dear Lord. May I entreat you to present my best
    respects and remembrances to Lady Buckingham. I have seen Lady
    Carysfort, who is very well, as is also her child, which is the
    very image in miniature of your Lady Mary.

Another letter of gossip from the same correspondent.


    Stratton Street, June 7th, 1788.

    My dear Lord

    No intelligence having arrived from St. Vincent's since my last
    letter, my mind is most restless, and so occupied with the
    contingencies which another letter may clear up, and decide,
    either that I am to see my father this summer, or to see him no
    more, that I am unfit almost for any employment but that of
    walking to the Royal Exchange and back again, on inquiry after a
    ship. It is most necessary, however, to the health of mind, to
    avert it occasionally from such a subject, so doubtful and so
    covered with gloom; and I cannot better do it than by writing to
    your Lordship, thus engaging at once my attention under the
    impulses of sincerest friendship, and grateful sense of duty. Of
    events in the political circle, to the intelligence of the
    newspapers of this day, I will add the death of Ashley Cooper,
    and the succession of Mr. Rose to the office of Clerk of the
    Parliaments. I understand he will resume, notwithstanding his
    seat in the Commons, and continue Secretary of the Treasury. It
    is expected that on Monday will be moved the new writs for Sir
    L. Kenyon, Chief Justice; Arden, Master of the Rolls; Macdonald
    and Scott, Attorney and Solicitor-General; and Rose, Clerk of
    the Parliaments. The marriage of Fox and Miss Pultency is
    something more than common talk; at the Duke of York's ball he
    sat three hours in a corner with her; attends her weekly to
    Ranelagh, and is a perfect Philander. The Duke of York lives
    almost with Lady Tyrconnel, and there has been some _fracas_ on
    Mrs. Fitzherbert declining Lady Tyrconnel's visits, as a lady
    whose character is contaminate! These, with the suicide of
    George Hesse, form the leading topics of the _beau monde_. Of
    our political career, I can only say that I made a good guess
    when I stated the 20th of June as the close of our sessions; the
    intermediate time has little business pending that will engage
    debate, excepting the reform of the Scotch boroughs, on which
    the alternative for or against is equally a Scotch job. Sheridan
    takes the lead in it, and comes plumed with his laurels gathered
    in Westminster Hall. His speech there contained some wonderful
    stroke in the declamatory style, something fanciful, poetical,
    and even sublime; sometimes, however, bombast, and the logic not
    satisfactory, at least to my mind. The performance, however, was
    a work of great industry, and great genius; and he has had
    compliments enough on it to turn his head, if to those qualities
    he does not add great _good sense_; a quality which, the longer
    I live, the more I am persuaded is the true _rara avis_, and not
    much oftener met with than a black swan:--the white swan of
    Pindar cannot vie in rarity at any rate.

    By this post I enclose two copies of the enlarged edition of my
    pamphlet, with the Poor Bill annexed. It will be carried, if I
    can depend on present assurances of support; not merely
    assurances of individual members, but on the actual letters of
    instruction which several have had from the justices of their
    respective counties. Adverting to justices, it is agreed in
    Bucks to respite all appeals and other matters, with exception
    of gaol delivery, to the Michaelmas Sessions, on account of the
    interference of the circuit. Poor Major Tomkins so informed me
    yesterday. We walked together the best part of the morning, and
    he seemed restored to a greater degree of tranquillity of mind
    than might so early have been expected. He talks of quitting
    Weston, and living wholly in London; and wishes to engage his
    mind by attention to the law professionally. At his time of
    life, this may answer (if he can now apply) in giving the relief
    to a mind disquiet in idleness, but hardly can answer in views
    of business, under technical acceptation of the term. He has,
    however, such delusion, and it must be an enemy to his repose
    who undeceives him. My wife desires to be remembered in the best
    manner to the Marchioness and Mrs. Nugent, with,

    My dear Lord,
    Your affectionate, faithful, and obliged friend and servant,
    W. Young.

Mr. Hastings' trial was at its height at this time; and Mr. Bernard,
Lord Buckingham's secretary, gives a brief account of Sheridan's third
day. The point, naturally enough, which made the deepest impression on
him was the exhibition in evidence of the private letters that passed
between Mr. Hastings and his secretary.


    Bolton Street, June 10th, 1788.

    My Lord,

    I have been this morning at the trial: it was Sheridan's third
    day. It was near one o'clock before he began. There was nothing
    very striking or brilliant in his oratory: he continued for
    about an hour and a quarter, and then retired. Mr. Adam assisted
    him in the reading parts; and continued reading after he
    retired. Presently he made a lame apology for him, saying that
    he had a very trifling ---- without specifying what, whether
    illness, agitation, or want of due preparation. Mr. Fox soon
    afterwards made a more complete apology for him, and the Court
    adjourned; but till what time I have not heard.

    I was gratified with the sight as an object of curiosity, but
    not as affording either pleasure or entertainment. It would seem
    preposterous to me, if upon any charge against the Government of
    Ireland, the Lord-Lieutenant's, or his secretary's _private_ and
    _separate_ letters were to be subjected in a Court of Justice to
    all the acrimonious, malevolent and palpably strained comments
    that forty of the ablest men of an opposite party could put upon
    them, particularly without having an equal number of persons of
    a similar description in point of talents and political weight
    to defend them. And yet this seems to be the case in the
    instance of the present tribunal; for the letters read and
    commented upon to-day, were chiefly of the above description:
    the letters absolutely official were very little dwelt upon.

    Your Excellency's most faithful and affectionate servant,
    S. Bernard.

Lord Bulkeley, whose talents in the way of pleasant gossip appear to
such advantage in this correspondence, regards the trial as a nine
hours' wonder. We get the true colour of contemporary opinion out of
communications of this intimate and easy class.


    Stanhope Street, June 14th, 1788.

    My dearest Lord,

    We have been exceedingly alarmed here, with a report of Lord
    Temple's dangerous illness. I called at your brother W.
    Grenville's to know the particulars, but did not find him. I
    then learnt from Fitzherbert that the crisis was happily passed,
    and that you and Lady Buckingham were released from the
    melancholy alarms which you both had on so dreadful a visitation
    of Providence. I hope this letter will find you all as well as
    you can wish or expect. I do not know how far employment and a
    great situation compensate to you for other _désagrémens_; but
    you seem to me to have sacrificed more than most men in devoting
    yourself to your present office, and in quitting your comforts
    in this country. There is no accounting for taste, and that
    being yours, I cannot help remarking, with much concern, how
    heavily you have been visited in your domestic enjoyments, by
    the illness of Lady B. and yourself, and your boy, and by the
    death of the unfortunate T----ns.

    One is apt to imagine that the air of Pall Mall, Paddington and
    Stowe, would have kept away such heavy misfortunes, and that you
    would have been easier and happier than you are now. I sometimes
    think, that idle men with good fortunes are happier than busy
    men; their enjoyments perhaps are not so acute, but their cares
    are fewer.

    Poor Parry is retired _dans ses terres_, with a fret on his mind
    which will probably soon carry him to the churchyard; this has
    been much increased by a discovery that the Chancellor objected
    to his competency, at least Pitt says so, and the other does not
    deny it: between them all he has certainly been very ill-used,
    and has been led on to expect what was never meant to be given

    I shall be much obliged to you for the copy of my letter to
    Pitt, which I enclosed to you in my last letter, as it is the
    only one I have. It has never been answered, nor has Pitt ever
    said a word to me on the subject, which I think unhandsome and
    unkind. He must be the best judge, whether such personal
    inattentions can ensure the continuance of zeal and activity in
    his interests of those who plague themselves with counties and

    I was told yesterday by Lord Lovaine, that the Duke of
    Northumberland had refused to bring Rose again into Parliament,
    which shows a coolness between him and Pitt; but I dare say it
    will not break out into anything like opposition, though a
    strong report prevails that he has joined Lord Rawdon's armed

    Sheridan finished his summing-up yesterday on the Begum charge,
    and has certainly throughout displayed the greatest and most
    artful abilities. The Opposition are very anxious to work it up
    into a flame against Government; but I cannot say at present,
    that I see anything more in the public than a nine hours'
    wonder, and an anxiety for fashion's sake to get tickets for
    wives and daughters. What may be the future impression of the
    public is impossible to say, but it seems to have been an unwise
    measure originally in Pitt to give such a handle to such able
    men as those who conduct the prosecution against Hastings;
    indeed, he seems so sensible of it himself, that he has suffered
    Sir E. Impey to escape impeachment, and has protected him
    against it, which I do not know is not a stronger measure than
    the other would have been.

    I shall remain here till the 24th, when I am to receive £2000
    from Mr. Campbell; and then, with my debts paid, I shall take
    Sir George Warren's, in Cheshire, in my way to Wales, whence, if
    I can get leave of absence, I shall certainly come over to you
    for a short time; the Viscountess being inexorable on the bare
    mention of Dublin, and we all know she is a steady one in her

    The Fortescues are by this time perched at Castlehill, and he
    has mounted a cockade in his title to it, of which he is very
    proud and happy. He is so much liked and esteemed, and so
    deservedly, that no appointment ever gave more universal

    The Nevilles are at Stanlake, and we were invited there next
    Monday; but they have put us off till the end of the week, so we
    shall put them off till another opportunity, as I must be in
    town on the 24th.

    Sir William and Lady Williams are preparing for a tour to
    Switzerland, with your brother Tom; but I should not be
    surprised, if the scheme, from some cause or other, would fall
    to the ground, and end in Brighthelmstone, or some sea-bathing

    I saw your brother Marquis the day before yesterday, who told
    me, that he heard, with the _greatest concern_, that your
    popularity in Ireland was falling apace, and that the candles
    were out; and concluded by asking me whether I had heard of it,
    which I assured him I had not. He followed this up by several
    eulogies on the comforts of Bowood, and of his domestic life.
    Hah! hah! hah!

    Robert Williams has attended his guard duty very regularly, and
    General Hyde is very well pleased with him; he goes the 24th,
    for a month, with a detachment to Hampton Court for a month.
    Lady B. and he beg their love and respects to Lady Buckingham
    and yourself.

    Pray give me two lines, and believe me ever affectionately your
    friend and servant,


The first intimation of a break in the King's health appears in June,
soon after the birthday. "The King," writes Mr. Grenville, "has been a
good deal out of order, but is recovered." The heavy calamity impending
over the country, the seeds of which were already sown, was little
suspected at that moment.

The meditated arrangements in the Administration came to nothing.
Personal obstacles first interrupted, and finally frustrated them
altogether. As usual, whenever a difficulty sprang up, Thurlow was found
the most impracticable man in the Cabinet.


    Whitehall, June 23rd, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I mentioned to you in my other letter of this date, that it
    appeared to me most probable that the arrangement by which I was
    to succeed to Lord Sydney's office will not take place till some
    new opening is made. The fact is, that the plan, as it was
    originally formed, depended on Lord Mulgrave's taking Sir
    Charles Middleton's office, and thereby opening the whole
    Pay-Office for Lord Sydney. But this has been found
    impracticable, both from the difficulty of placing Sir C.
    Middleton at the Admiralty, and from the great improbability
    that Mulgrave could be induced in his present frame of mind to
    undertake the Comptrollership. It has, therefore, been
    determined that Lord Chatham should take the Admiralty for the
    present, with no other alteration in the Board except
    substituting Lord Hood instead of Brett. Leveson Gower and
    Middleton are on such bad terms, that it would have been
    impossible for them to have acted at the same Board; and
    considering Gower's conduct, his professional character, and his
    connections, it seemed equally impossible to drive him from it.

    This being the case, there will no longer be any opening by
    which Lord Sydney could have an adequate provision made for him
    in case of his retiring. You know that I was never desirous, nor
    indeed should I choose, to press his being removed to make room
    for me unless it could be done in a manner perfectly
    satisfactory to himself, or at least satisfactory to Pitt's
    mind; and, even as things now stand, it seems impossible but
    that some such occasion must soon occur. Any vacancy of a
    sinecure office in England would immediately hold out a retreat
    for him; any such vacancy in Scotland might be given to Dundas,
    who would then vacate the Treasurership of the Navy; and any
    vacancy of one of the ordinary offices of Government might be
    given to Mulgrave, which would open the Pay-Office. I know that
    this arrangement would be considered by Pitt as the first object
    in the disposal of anything that may fall, and I think,
    therefore, that I am not very sanguine in believing that it is
    not postponed to any very distant period. Lord Marchmont,
    Stuart, McKenzie, and Barré, have all them been thought likely
    to make openings since this business has been in agitation, and
    there are a variety of other accidents that would answer the
    same purpose. The enumerating all these chances bears the
    appearance of more impatience on my part than I really feel, but
    I do it to satisfy that which I know you will feel on finding
    that the object is postponed after we thought it so nearly
    accomplished. For my own part, I repeat what I told you in a
    former letter, that the circumstances of my present situation,
    in almost every point of view, and particularly the confidence
    with which I am treated, leave me very little to look to, or to
    hope for, from any change that can arise; and for this reason,
    as long as I keep my rank and pretensions, and do not see others
    advanced before me, I am by no means anxious for pressing
    forward the proposed arrangement.

    I have tired you long enough about myself, which I should not
    have done if I was writing to one less interested in that
    subject than I know you are. There are a few other things which
    I am glad to take this opportunity of mentioning to you. I do
    not know whether you will have heard anything of the strange
    conduct of the Chancellor. When the Rolls were vacated by Sir
    Thomas Sewell's death, the office lay between Kenyon and Eyre.
    The Chancellor felt that he could not avoid offering it to
    Kenyon, but was at the same time very desirous that he should
    decline it, in order that Eyre might be appointed. Pitt was, on
    the other hand, eager that he should take it, in order that
    Arden might have the Chief-Justiceship of Chester, and he
    succeeded in persuading Kenyon to accept. From that time, the
    Chancellor conceived a pique against Arden; and although there
    is no competition against him, either from Eyre, who is in a
    better situation, or from any other person that the Chancellor
    cares for, yet Thurlow has thrown every difficulty in the way of
    his appointment. Within this last ten days he has refused to
    take the necessary steps for giving it effect, and has held
    language which amounted almost to an intention of resigning
    rather than putting the Seal to Arden's patent. This conduct was
    the more intolerable, because some months ago, when Lord
    Mansfield's resignation was in question, he had expressly told
    Pitt that he felt that Arden must have the Rolls, and that
    though he disliked the appointment, he would not throw any
    obstacles in its way. I much doubt whether it has originated in
    any settled disgust, or desire of picking a quarrel, but rather
    attribute it to the strange temper of his mind, soured at this
    particular time by the plague of the trial, and by actual
    illness. It has, however, made it necessary for Pitt to come to
    an explanation with him, which, though not fully satisfactory to
    my feelings, has, however, removed any further obstacles to the
    particular point in question; which had indeed gone so far as to
    make it utterly impossible for Pitt to recede, whatever had been
    the consequences. I have given you this story at full length,
    because I thought you would certainly hear something of it from
    report, and that you would be desirous of knowing the real
    particulars of it.

    Our cousin of Northumberland, has, I think, decidedly joined the
    independent party under the auspices of Lord Rawdon and Bastard,
    and in consequence of this has refused to re-elect Rose. You see
    this is a pretty strong declaration of hostilities, considering
    all the circumstances of Rose's situation in Government, and of
    his connection with the Duke himself before he became so great a
    man. It is peculiarly unhandsome after what has passed about the
    Riband, which, though it could not be given to him, was kept
    vacant till another fell. The immediate loss to us is very small
    in point of numbers, as the greatest part of his votes are
    already in opposition; and considering his character, it is
    perfectly plain that there was little chance of his giving any
    substantial assistance at a general election. I only lament,
    therefore, that he has got his Riband; and for the rest, "I
    trust we have about the Court, a thousand's good as he." And if
    we had not, we might have them, for offers of negotiation are
    coming in from all quarters. I believe Lord Beauchamp will be
    closed with, being only for a Marquisate for Lord Hertford, and
    the sole question now being the time of doing it. Upon the
    whole, I am far from thinking that we end the session at all
    weaker than we began it, notwithstanding some untoward
    circumstances which occurred. Our foreign politics are going on,
    in my apprehension, as successfully as possible. The French were
    beginning to cabal against us at Berlin, but the signature of
    the Treaty has completely overthrown them there. They were at
    the same time giving themselves some airs of importance at the
    Hague. They presented a memorial, complaining in strong terms of
    the 6th Article of our Treaty, which is unquestionably as
    offensive to them as it could be. This has not yet been
    answered, but it will be, and in terms at least as strong as
    those in which it is couched. Their Ambassador, M. de St.
    Priest, appears to have had orders to behave in the most
    offensive manner possible. By great good luck in the first
    squabble that has occurred in consequence of this, between one
    of his servants and the mob of the Hague, his man has put
    himself completely in the wrong; so that when he presented a
    memorial complaining of the insult offered to a person in his
    service, he received for answer a letter enclosing copies of the
    examinations taken before the Court of Justice, and trusting
    that as those papers evidently proved the violation of their
    territory by a person in his service, he would not fail to
    support the complaint which the States-General _had already_
    directed their Minister at Paris to make on this subject. I
    mention all this, not so much for the importance of the thing
    itself, which will end in a paper war, as for the sake of
    showing you how much the temper of our friends must be altered,
    from the time when no persuasion of ours could induce them to
    act with the smallest degree of vigour or firmness.

    I have not seen any account from France since I last wrote to
    you, but there is a report that Calonne has had an account of
    further violences at Grenoble. There is no further news of the
    Imperialists. Fitzherbert seems to expect more from the Russians
    than I see any reason for. He is, however, unquestionably much
    better informed on that subject than I can pretend to be. I
    confess I am very curious to see the effect that will be
    produced by the Prussian alliance on the minds of the other
    European powers, but particularly of the French. In the present
    moment there seems great reason to believe that the two Imperial
    Courts and France, are each of them dissatisfied with the other
    two. To a certain degree, it will have a tendency to reunite
    them; but there are so many causes of jealousy, that I think one
    need not be very sanguine to disbelieve the probability of any
    permanent good understanding being established between them.

    Nothing could be handsomer than the manner in which the King
    acceded to the proposal which Pitt made him, of bringing Lord
    Chatham and myself forward in the manner then intended. He has
    since spoken to me on the subject in the most flattering terms,
    and has shown an eagerness to facilitate the arrangement by
    proposing expedients for removing the only difficulty which
    delays it.

    Adieu, my dear brother.

    Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

The King's personal interference in appointments and promotions had
produced, on several occasions, remonstrances and complaints from Lord
Buckingham, and the judicious zeal of Mr. Grenville was in constant
requisition to prevent an open rupture between the Lord-Lieutenant and
the Government. Calm and enduring as he was, Mr. Grenville frankly
stated to his brother that, although he could never tire of the
employment of serving him, his patience was almost exhausted by finding
that one case was no sooner settled or compromised (for it generally
ended in that way) than a fresh one came upon the _tapis_. At length,
the tenacity of the King on these points wounded Lord Buckingham so
keenly, that it very nearly led to the most serious consequences. Lord
Buckingham wished to appoint his nephew, Colonel Nugent, to a vacant
lieutenant-colonelcy within his own patronage, and through some friendly
channel notified or expressed his desire to do so; but the King, without
communicating his intentions, or waiting to go through the ordinary
official forms, which usually founded such appointments on the
recommendation of the Lord-Lieutenant, appointed another person to the
vacancy--Colonel Gwynne.

Lord Buckingham felt the slight so acutely, that he threatened to
resign; and was probably dissuaded from that step by the counsels of Mr.
Grenville, whose wise and temperate letter on the occasion will be read
with admiration. Mr. Pitt also interposed, offering to appease Lord
Buckingham's feelings by any course of proceeding which, under the
circumstances, could be resorted to for the purpose of relieving the
transaction of the appearance of a personal or official indignity. The
grounds upon which the royal excuse rested were, that Lord Buckingham's
wishes were not known to his Majesty, and that military appointments
were not expressly included in the Viceroy's patronage.


    Whitehall, July 1st, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I received yesterday morning your two letters of the 25th and
    27th, and was preparing to answer them to-day, when I received a
    third letter from you with its enclosures. Nothing could exceed
    my surprise at reading Lord Sydney's letters. The only reason of
    their having been delayed till the 23rd was, that, at my
    request, Pitt had desired Lord Sydney not to write to you till
    he could see him, in order more certainly to secure--what I had
    understood to have been before settled with him--that the thing
    should _not_ be done in the form in which it has been done. I
    had never imagined that the thing itself could be pleasing to
    you, although I certainly entertained no apprehensions of your
    thinking of quitting your situation, because in a single
    instance the King's private wishes had interfered with your
    patronage. I had, on the contrary, supposed that if it was done
    in such a manner as to mark, unequivocally, that it was a
    personal interference of the King's in behalf of his own
    aid-de-camp and equerry, and that it was not a competition for
    patronage on the part of any other person, you would think it
    right to do what is done in every other department of
    Government--to acquiesce in it as a thing out of the ordinary
    course, and as a gratification of the King's personal wishes. It
    was under these impressions, that when I was informed of the
    circumstance by Fitzherbert, on the Saturday morning, I thought
    it infinitely more desirable for you that I should confine
    myself to securing that the attention due to you should be
    preserved in the mode of doing it, and that it should be stated
    to you in a private letter, and afterwards be carried into
    effect upon your recommendation, than that I should endeavour to
    take any steps for inducing the King to withdraw his
    interference in favour of a man for whom he felt personally
    interested, and whom he had acquainted with his intentions in
    his favour. It was very doubtful whether any endeavours of this
    sort, from whatever quarter they came, could be successful after
    he was so far engaged; and he could not fail to consider the
    attempt in the most ungracious light, both with respect to you
    and to every other person engaged in it. Add to this, that I did
    not then know that you had any object in it, beyond the common
    course of army patronage. With respect to what you mention of
    the aggravation arising from the preference given in this
    instance over your own nephew, and of its being publicly known
    in Dublin that Colonel Nugent's name, and your wishes in his
    behalf, had been previously stated to the King, I can positively
    assure you that neither Pitt nor myself, nor even Fitzherbert,
    as he has expressly told me, had any knowledge of your intention
    to recommend Colonel Nugent till several days after this
    transaction passed. Under these circumstances, I cannot still
    help thinking that I acted right in not taking such steps as
    must involve you, whether you wished or not, in a personal
    contest of this nature with the King.

    In the point which I did labour, I have failed; but from what
    reason, or from what fatality, I am utterly at a loss to
    conceive. It is certainly true that, both in the commission and
    in the instructions to the Lord-Lieutenant, all military
    promotions are expressly reserved to the King, and that they do
    not fall in the line either of those offices which the
    Lord-Lieutenant himself disposes of, or of those on which the
    King declares his intention of waiting for the Lord-Lieutenant's
    recommendation. But the practice and the understanding certainly
    is, and it is so recognised in Lord Sydney's letter, that the
    Lord-Lieutenant should recommend to all commissions below the
    rank of Colonel. It is on this ground that I thought, and
    continue to think, that the King's _wishes_ only ought to have
    been intimated to you, and that your recommendation ought to
    have preceded the appointment. I understood Fitzherbert, at the
    time, that he had been assured by Lord Sydney that the thing
    should be done in this mode. To make this more secure Pitt,
    undertook, as I have before mentioned, to see him before he
    wrote to you, and as that was impossible before the Monday, he
    begged him to delay his letter till then. We none of us
    conceived that the delay of these two days would have afforded
    you any additional uneasiness, as the whole circumstance would,
    in the interim, have been stated to you, and explained by
    Fitzherbert and myself. When I saw Pitt afterwards, he assured
    me that the thing would be done as I wished it. How it has
    happened, after this, that you have received the notification
    exactly in that form which both Pitt and myself laboured so much
    to prevent, is to me utterly inexplicable. I know that what I am
    going to say will seem to you extraordinary, and yet I must say
    it, because it is the real truth: I am still in the entire,
    firm, and thorough persuasion that there is not in Lord Sydney
    the remotest wish (as there cannot be the shadow of an interest)
    to do anything that can be personally offensive, or even
    disagreeable to you. Pitt, on whose sincerity I have ever found
    reason to rely, has assured me that he is in the same belief,
    and Fitzherbert entirely agrees with me. I am to see Pitt again
    in the course of to-day; but I am not sure whether it will be
    time enough for this letter. He will have endeavoured to inform
    himself upon the subject, and to see whether any and what
    solution can be found for the difficulties which you feel with
    respect to it. You will, I am sure, feel--and, indeed, your last
    letter seems to express it--that after what has passed it is
    impossible to induce the King to withdraw Colonel Gwynne, as
    that would be a disgrace to which nothing could make him submit,
    short of a necessity more absolute than he could see in this
    case. Whatever else can be done you will, I am sure, find Pitt
    ready and desirous to do. I showed him your letter, which I
    received to-day; but I had not communicated to him your two
    former letters, because he is spoken of there in terms very
    different from what his conduct in this business has merited.
    Your letter to him was written in a strain of more justice; but
    it is surely early in this business for you to complain of
    having been abandoned.

    I shall write to you again to-morrow, and it is not impossible
    that you may receive that letter even before this, as I think I
    shall avail myself of Bernard's offer to be the carrier of it. I
    have written this in the same free and unreserved manner in
    which I am happy to think our correspondence has ever been
    carried on; I am not, however, without uneasiness as to the
    impression which it may make on your mind. I feel the
    peculiarity of my situation, and the possibility of your
    thinking that I am biassed by my own personal objects, to lay
    less stress upon points affecting your honour than I should
    otherwise do. I have, however, relied on your entertaining a
    more favourable opinion of me. If I do not grossly flatter
    myself, I am capable of forming an opinion unbiassed by the
    considerations to which I allude; especially on points where my
    own honour, or that which I value as dearly as my own, is
    concerned. I have examined my own heart, and can say, with
    confidence, that it is not from personal motives that I speak,
    when I say that you lay upon these points a degree of weight far
    beyond what they deserve. If you were in a situation of
    inferiority or dependance, a watchful attention to everything of
    this sort would be necessary, and therefore commendable;
    because, without that, you could not preserve the degree of
    respect and consideration which is essential to carrying on the
    duties of your office. In your actual situation, it is surely
    not doing justice to yourself to talk of being disgraced by such
    circumstances as these, or to imagine that your consequence can
    be lessened or impaired by them. With respect to the thing
    itself, I believe that it never happened to the most absolute
    Minister that ever governed this country to feel it in his power
    to exclude all personal interference from the Crown in the
    nomination to offices. I am sure it is not a matter of policy to
    any Minister to wish it; and a very little reflection will
    convince you that such at least is not the system of the present
    Government, or of the present times. How, then, are you
    disgraced, because a single instance of this nature occurs
    within what are understood to be the limits of your patronage?
    But you will say this may be repeated, and I shall lose the
    means of carrying on the Government. My answer is, that you will
    act in Ireland as you would act here in any of the situations of
    this Government; that the line is perfectly easy to be defined
    to every man's understanding, though not reduced to a written
    rule, and the limits easily seen, where the King's
    recommendations cease to be the casual exertions of private
    favour, and begin to be systematic interferences with the power
    entrusted to his servants. Ask yourself which is the case in
    this instance.

    I could say much more upon this subject--particularly to state
    the effect which a resignation on these grounds would have--but
    I am satisfied, from the tenour of your last letter, that this
    is a step you will not adopt, except on more pressing grounds.

    I have not time to add anything more to this letter--not even
    those assurances (which are, however, I trust, unnecessary) of
    my constant, sincere, and zealous affection and interest in
    whatever concerns you. You shall hear again from me at latest by
    to-morrow's post.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Downing Street, July 3rd, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    Nothing could happen to give me more pain than I have felt from
    the contents of your letter of the 27th, and from the
    circumstance which gave occasion to it. I trust, however, that
    on full consideration you will see that there was, in some
    respects, less ground than you imagined for the feelings under
    which you wrote, and that what I have to mention to you will do
    away every idea of your going to the extremity you mention;
    which you must forgive my saying that the occasion can never
    justify, either towards the public or yourself. It is most
    certainly true that the general practice has been, and ought to
    be, to wait for the Lord-Lieutenant's recommendation to vacant
    commissions, and I undoubtedly understood that the King's wishes
    respecting Colonel Gwynne were to be privately intimated to you,
    so as to give you the opportunity of officially recommending

    I cannot, however, find that the general rule is founded in
    anything but practice, or that there is any such promise as you
    suppose in the instructions--that the King will wait for the
    Lord-Lieutenant's recommendation to military commissions. There
    is a clause containing a promise of this nature, but it refers
    only to _ecclesiastical_ and _civil_ offices; and from the
    manner in which commissions are mentioned in the preceding
    article, as well as from the words of the Lord-Lieutenant's
    commission, it appears by no means to apply to them. There seems
    to me, therefore, to be, strictly speaking, nothing _irregular_
    in the King's directing the appointment in the first instance;
    though I most sincerely wish such a step had not been taken, and
    am persuaded there is no danger of a repetition of it. I mention
    this only to show that there is, at least, no such ground for
    objecting in point of form to this proceeding as to compel you
    to take it up in the strong manner you meditated.

    But whatever weight you might give to this observation, I trust
    from what you say in your letter, that you can in no degree feel
    yourself called upon to carry the business any further, unless
    on the supposition of receiving from Lord Sydney an official
    answer, justifying his former letter. He is far from having any
    intention of sending such an answer, and I am sure, I can
    prevail upon him either to leave your last letter without reply,
    or, if it will be more satisfactory to you, to let both that and
    his letter which gave occasion to it be withdrawn from the
    office. This is all which appears to me to be now possible. The
    appointment having actually taken place, and being warranted by
    the letter both of the instructions and the commission, it is
    impracticable to propose anything which would amount to
    disavowing the King's own act, and renouncing a power which,
    though I hope he will not again be inclined to exercise, he
    certainly seems to have reserved in his own hands.

    I therefore hope that one of the two expedients I have mentioned
    will appear to you satisfactory, and I shall wait most anxiously
    to know your wishes on the subject. As to any intention in Lord
    Sydney or any one else to show any want of attention personally
    to you, or to the situation you fill, I trust you will feel the
    impossibility of such an intention existing; because you must
    know that there can exist no one motive for such an intention,
    and there exists, in fact, every motive for the contrary.

    With regard to the disappointment of your views for Colonel
    Nugent, I say less on that subject, because, though I most truly
    regret it, and most anxiously wish to find any means of
    repairing it, I am persuaded from your letter, and from the
    nature of the King, that the mere personal disappointment is
    what you will not allow to influence your determination on a
    subject of so much consequence to the public service, and to us
    all. I am satisfied, however, that you will find no difficulty
    in obtaining your object for him on some more favourable
    occasion, which I hope may occur before long; and if I can find
    any way of making any arrangement on this side of the water,
    which can make an opening earlier than it would otherwise occur,
    you may depend upon my doing everything I can for that purpose.

    I have not time to add more now, but will write in a few days in
    answer to your former letter. You will easily imagine how
    impatiently I shall wait for an answer to this.

    Believe me ever, my dear Lord,
    Sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. Pitt.

    I enclose extracts of those parts of the instructions and
    commission to which I refer.


    Whitehall, July 14th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I now sit down to answer your three letters of the 5th, the 8th,
    and the 9th, the last of which I received this morning. I am
    much concerned that anything which I have said respecting this
    business should have given you the impression of my having
    treated it with unfairness towards you. I do most solemnly
    assure you, that in every reflection that has passed in my mind
    upon the subject, I have endeavoured to put myself in your
    place, and to ask what line of conduct would be the most
    desirable for you to adopt, with a view not only to any present
    impression, but to your permanent reflections upon it. You must
    allow me to say, that I persevere in my opinion, that your
    resigning your office on this ground would neither be justified
    in the opinion of the world in general, nor by your own cooler
    reconsideration of the subject; and I must beg you to observe
    that this is not my sentiment only, but that of every one of the
    few other friends with whom you have communicated upon it.

    The only reason which you yourself adduce, in support of such a
    measure, injurious to yourself and to your friends, is the sort
    of impression which you say this transaction has made in Dublin.
    To this I reply, in the first place, that I must still think
    that you, of all men, who ever held that situation are exactly
    in those circumstances in which you can have nothing to fear
    from such an expression; and although I cannot refuse, on your
    evidence, to believe the actual existence of such an impression,
    yet I am fully satisfied that it can neither be permanent in its
    duration, nor mischievous in its effects. But it is surely at
    least sufficient, even in your view of the subject, if such a
    solution accompanies this difficulty, as can leave no doubt in
    the mind of any man that you have weight and influence fully
    sufficient for carrying on the business of your situation.

    It is on this ground that you rest it, and I think with great
    propriety, in your letter to Pitt, and his answer, which you
    will receive with this, can hardly fail of proving to you that
    you _was_ premature in stating yourself to be abandoned by those
    on whom you had claims. You cannot wonder that I, who had seen
    the activity and zeal which he has shown in this business, from
    his first being acquainted with it, should feel hurt at being
    obliged to put into his hands a complaint from you so little
    merited. I felt also that in the generality of that expression I
    was myself involved, and you must allow me to say that I could
    not reproach myself with having deserved it.

    I trust, however, that there will be no occasion for the
    exertions which Pitt engages himself to make on this subject,
    and that your proposal will be acceded to by the King without
    reluctance. It seems to me that Fawcitt shows a real disposition
    to accommodate the wishes of Pitt and yourself, and that the
    terms which he proposes are by no means unreasonable. I
    sincerely hope that you will not find any difficulty in making
    the arrangement for the sort of intermediate compensation, which
    is effected before a Government fall. It has occurred to me
    that, _faute de mieux_, Hobart's office might facilitate such a
    plan. You know, I presume, that he is coming into Parliament
    here, and, consequently, that he must be desirous of making some
    arrangement with respect to his office which he cannot well
    execute by deputy. I have a place to dispose of at Chelsea (the
    Comptrollership), which might be made worth about £200 or £250
    per annum; but it is the sort of office that Hobart himself
    could certainly not take or execute. I have endeavoured to find
    some man fit for it, and who could resign to Hobart a place of
    equal value, but I cannot find such a man. Perhaps, in some way
    or other, this may be made useful to you; but you must observe
    that the Comptroller must be a man of steadiness, integrity, and
    some clearness of head.

    I do not know whether Fitzherbert has written to you about
    Captain Macgrath. The King thinks him entitled to the preference
    which he claims, but Lord Sydney does not send over the despatch
    at present, as till this other business is settled it might be
    unpleasant to you.

    I do not very well see how he could avoid sending over Gwynne's
    commission to you, as you yourself agree that there could be no
    idea of the King's revoking the appointment which he considered
    as a thing actually done. You will, I trust, unquestionably
    think it better to issue this commission without waiting the
    result of your negotiation with Fawcitt, as a few days can make
    no difference in point of impression with respect to a thing so
    publicly known, and the appearance of keeping it back is not, I
    think, what you yourself wish. I confess, I think, there is the
    same sort of ground with respect to sending over a
    recommendation ante-dated, which was not a part of Lord Sydney's
    proposal as stated to you by Pitt; that was, that both his
    letter and yours should be withdrawn. There could then remain
    nothing but the commission, without any trace how it was
    granted. Whereas, a recommendation of that sort must be felt by
    the King as putting him avowedly in the wrong, and to a greater
    extent than ever your construction of your commission and
    instructions warrants. I think them more disputable than you do,
    but they were sent not to prove that the _notification_ ought
    not to have been waited for, but that there was, according to
    the letter of those papers, no necessity for the
    _recommendation_. The mere writing to say that Lord C.'s
    appointment vacates his lieutenant-colonelcy, is surely no
    object to you; and a recommendation goes beyond the claim you
    can urge under the instructions. If you are satisfied with the
    assurances you have received that the substantial cause of
    complaint, viz., the interference with your patronage, shall not
    be repeated, it is surely better to let this business rest, than
    to squabble with the King about the form of what has been done,
    and which substantially you cannot alter.

    We hear this evening that Lord J. Townshend is to oppose Lord

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

Lord Hood's contest for Westminster was now dividing the attention of
the Government with graver questions. Mr. Grenville and Sir William
Young furnish some details, those of the latter bringing the features of
the scene vividly before us.


    Whitehall, July 30th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I have not written to you for the last ten or twelve days, on
    account of my time being wholly taken up with the election. You
    know me well enough to imagine, that a canvass of this sort for
    a fortnight together, especially in such a place as Westminster,
    was no very agreeable undertaking for me. We were, however, in
    want of nothing but active exertion; and I felt that I owed it
    to the cause in which we are embarked to set the example. I am
    persuaded, that if this had been done a little sooner, nothing
    could have prevented our success; but Lord Hood's security for
    the first three days, and his total inactivity for three days
    more, after the opposition had been declared, gave the enemy so
    much the start of us, that it is wonderful we should have been
    able to do what we have. As it is, Townshend will certainly be
    returned. It is impossible, without more minute inquiry, to
    speak with _real_ confidence as to the event of a petition. It
    is _unquestionable_, that their majority is owing to bad votes,
    and to bribed votes; but in what proportion, it is not yet
    possible to say. Before a Committee, it will be easy to detect
    and strike off the former; but the proof of bribery is often
    difficult, if not impossible. It must, therefore, depend on a
    more minute inquiry to decide what probability there is of
    succeeding in a petition. Even if we fail, this contest has, I
    am satisfied, laid the foundation of an opposition at the
    general election, not to Townshend only, but also to Fox. The
    advantage of this you will easily see, is not the one vote, more
    or less, in the House of Commons, or any _éclat_ from this
    particular place; but the benefit we shall derive from carrying
    the war into their head-quarters, and engaging their attention
    to one point--an object, which was, I am sure, of the utmost use
    to us last time.

    The election is not yet over, nor will Lord Hood decline the
    poll. It will, therefore, last till Monday next, unless closed
    before by the consent of both parties.

    Lord Howard's peerage, with limitation to Neville, is settled;
    and will, I believe, take place in a fortnight, at furthest. I
    have this morning received your letter of Saturday last. You do
    not mention in it what the sort of expectation is which you wish
    to be enabled to hold out to Doyle in future. I shall, for that
    reason, not say anything about it to Lord Sydney at present, as
    nothing could be done in it till the King comes back from
    Cheltenham; and by that time I may receive your answer, without
    which I should be embarrassed what to ask or press for.

    I have not yet done anything about the Comptrollership of
    Chelsea. I need not say, that your wishes (especially in behalf
    of Tompkins, under all the circumstances which interest you for
    him), are the most powerful of all considerations with me; but I
    own that, from my knowledge of him, I cannot help doubting how
    far he is equal to discharge an office of that sort of detail,
    without involving himself and me in difficulties, which would in
    the end be greatly distressing, even to yourself. You, however,
    know him much better than I do; and I should therefore be
    obliged to you, if you would consider this doubt, and let me
    know what you think of it.

    Lord Chatham is better, and goes on mending; but he is not yet
    out. As far as I have an opportunity of judging, his appointment
    has been well received.

    I have been so pestered with that Hoghton, and his eternal
    Ensign Maudesley, that I shall be obliged to write him word,
    that if the young man will wait upon you, you will see him,
    which is the only way that I see of putting an end to a weekly
    correspondence on the subject.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    You have never sent me any answer about the Bucks Justices, by
    which means I am offending Powis and the rest of them; nor about
    the Cranbourne chair proposal, by which means that business is


    London, August 10th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    The bustle of the Westminster election had thrown me so far in
    arrears of private business, which pressed upon me in the
    various items of correspondence, accounts, and papers, that I
    have been obliged to delay this letter longer than I intended.
    My attorney hath now his leave of absence from me, to anew paint
    the green door, and repolish the brass knocker of his country
    villa. As soon as Lady Y. is sufficiently strong I propose
    quitting town, remaining ten days at Delaforde, and then
    proceeding to swim at Southampton or Lymington, having as just
    claim to breathe a sweeter air as the said attorney.

    On Monday last, I quitted for a few hours the Westminster
    contest, to dine with the Stoke Club, which was well attended,
    and your Lordship's venison declared to be in high season.
    Captain Salter hath suffered some severe loss of fortune from
    the bankruptcy of the house of Maine, at Lisbon, as I
    understand; in consequence thereof, he hath let his house at
    Stoke to Major Masters, and means himself and family to reside
    at Bath. He hath let his house for £200 per annum, and for a

    Late in the evening, I hastened back from Slough to protect my
    house, in case of a riot; but the precaution of the police, in
    appointing for the occasion some hundreds of extra constables,
    kept all quiet. The Foxites, aware of the circumstance, sought
    to arrogate all credit from that tranquillity of the night which
    they could not prevent, and advertised "be quiet" accordingly.
    Unprecedented modesty! I could wish to give some idea of the
    conduct of the party, but cannot convey a just one. On the
    hustings a daily farce passed, which even those busy in the
    general scene, but who attended not that spot, can have no
    conception of.

    At dinner, in Downing Street, I was requested to take "my day or
    two station" on the hustings; it being necessary to have some
    gentlemen there who might notice procedure, and prevent the high
    bailiff yielding in every case to the most abject fears on every
    threat of Mr. Fox, which he did, insomuch that Lord Apsley and
    myself were obliged to threaten him with a prosecution. On the
    hustings were posted a set of young men, neatly dressed in blue
    and buff for the occasion, blacklegs from all the race-courses,
    and all the Pharo and E.O. tables in town. Their business was to
    affront every gentleman who came on the hustings without their
    livery. "You lie!" "Who are you? damn you!" and a variety of
    such terms echoed in every quarter; something of the sort soon
    tingled in my ears.

    On observing a dirty-looking man encouraged to swear, and not
    mind _that fellow_, meaning your humble servant, I could not
    refrain expressing my disgust, at hearing even invitations to a
    disregard of perjury; on which, Counsellor Garrow, of Newgate
    education, addressed me with, "Damn your eyes and limbs! and who
    are you, who give yourself these airs?" Having made up my mind
    to put a stop, _in limine_, to such mode of address, I gave him
    my card, and told him we had better settle the rest of the
    business elsewhere, "and immediately." He was for the first time
    in his life abashed, and made excuses, which I gladly enough
    accepted; observing aloud, that being incapable of using an
    illiberal term, I should in similar manner _insist_ on none
    being used towards me. I was afterwards treated civilly for that
    place. I have mentioned the above anecdote, as characteristic of
    the deportment of the blue and buff for special purpose of
    clearing the hustings; and too often they succeeded, occasioning
    moderate men, who did not choose to commit themselves, to
    withdraw; and thus getting whole divisions of the hustings to
    themselves, where they polled every beggar from the streets. The
    question is not of title to vote in most cases, but of identity;
    most families being at this season out of town, a rascal was
    found to personate every absentee. The suborners of perjury not
    regularly conferring, very many instances occur of an absentee
    being represented by four or five, _all_ admitted to vote on
    their mere attestation.

    The petition, I understand, will be founded on bribery, as well
    as other allegations of violence, and false votes. Details of
    bribery advanced are numerous, and well attested; but I doubt if
    it can be brought home to direct agency. The publicans, who
    immediately distributed the money, whom we know, and who may
    turn informers to save themselves, will probably only have to
    tell us of a false name and a disguised person; however, Lord
    Hood and his solicitors are more sanguine.

    It is generally understood that future elections in Westminster
    are to be regulated by a new statute, the heads of which are to
    be: parochial polls, churchwardens and overseers, and
    inspectors, and parish rate-books conclusive, if against any
    voter--that is to say, if his name is not there.

    Our second dinner of the Constitutional Club, on Wednesday, went
    off exceedingly well, and may prove a good political net to
    catch young men just launching into the world from College. Such
    use hath been made of the Whig Club, and something was wanting
    to counteract. Other good effects, not merely confined to a
    Westminster election, may too have place. In short, the late
    business seems to have awakened us all to our good cause and
    just political interests, as well as to have drilled us against
    the period of our being called out to the general election.

    I shall not leave town till the 1st of September, and ere I quit
    it shall again make my remittance of such news as occurs.

    My last boy is a fine fellow, and my wife is as well as
    possible. She desires in the best manner to be kindly remembered
    to the Marchioness, with, my dear Lord, your ever affectionately
    faithful, and obliged friend and servant,

    W. Young.

If we did not know that matters of higher import engaged the attention
of the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, it might almost appear that his chief
business consisted in controlling the pretensions of a variety of
persons to every office that fell vacant, and of keeping a host of
disappointed expectants in check and good-humour, so large a space does
this matter of patronage occupy in the semi-official correspondence of
the period. Amongst the most urgent of them was the appointment of
Fitzgibbon (afterwards Earl of Clare) to the Chancellorship of Ireland,
which Lord Lifford was daily expected to resign.

Lord Lifford seems to have been a man of limited capacity and singular
simplicity of character, formal and credulous, and tedious in his
intercourse with the world. His letters to Lord Buckingham, written in a
great clerkly hand, are full of solemn platitudes and ceremonious
civilities; and whatever other excellent qualities he possessed, it
cannot be inferred that he was a man of much mental reach or vigour.
Obsolete in manners and ideas, and living in the modes of a past age, he
was respected for the sincerity of his disposition and the rectitude of
his character, rather than for the strength or activity of his
intellect. In his seventy-fourth year he came over to London to resign
the Seals to His Majesty, laden with the burden of years and
hypochondriacal infirmities; yet, up to the last, vacillating in his
resolution. Lord Mornington, who met him at dinner at Pitt's during this
visit, says: "I met old Lifford at dinner at Pitt's, and never saw him
look in better health or spirits; he is, as you may well believe, most
generally _quizzed_ in London." The letter in which he announces to Lord
Buckingham his intention of resigning of the Seals, after many
misgivings before he could make up his mind to it, is thoroughly


    Royal Hotel, Pall Mall,

    Saturday, August 30th, 1788.

    My very good Lord,

    My complaints at times to your Excellency, and my apprehensions
    expressed to you that bodily weakness and the infirmities of old
    age were coming upon me apace, will prevent your Excellency from
    being much surprised when I tell you that my journey hither,
    which at first I thought would have relieved me, hath served
    only to confirm me in the apprehensions I had conceived that the
    hour of infirmity, which is an enemy to all exertion, and first
    weakens and slackens the course of business, and soon afterwards
    disables, was not far off.

    I now grow so clumsy and weak in my limbs, and so soon grow
    tired and fatigued to a degree painful to me, that although my
    mind seems as well as ever, yet I am sure that I cannot long do
    my duty, and there is nothing I dread so much as sitting upon a
    great seat of justice as a kind of ruin, and in a state of
    decay. In my seventy-fourth year, I am not sure that avarice may
    not lay hold of me, and tempt me to stay where I am, until I
    feel or am made to feel, by being told that I have stayed too
    long; and that peevishness too, an attendant upon old age, may
    not put an end to that command of temper, which I have ever
    endeavoured to preserve; and that, with such enemies to fair
    fame, I may soon impair and sully the character and esteem which
    I may at present have.

    Under these impressions, my wishes to retire become divided,
    which they were not until within these few days past. I should
    have been happy in first declaring this to you, wishing in
    everything to do that which but expresses my sincere attachment
    to and regard for your Excellency. But being going into the
    royal presence, I resolved to lay myself at His Majesty's feet,
    and express to him my apprehensions and my wishes to retire, if
    I could do so in a manner honourable and convenient to myself,
    when His Majesty's service would admit of it. Accordingly,
    yesterday, in the closet, I did as I had resolved. His Majesty's
    kindness and goodness to me was beyond what I can express.
    Retirement, before decay actually comes on, meets his ideas
    perfectly; and I have every reason to think that I am lucky in
    the choice I have made of the present opportunity.

    I have also communicated my wishes to Mr. Pitt, who received me
    with attention and kindness. He said he would confer with His
    Majesty upon the subject, and forthwith communicate the matter
    to you, without whose participation and concurrence I cannot be
    at ease and happy. Upon a measure of such importance as this is
    to me, I exceedingly wish that you should be possessed of the
    motives and principles upon which I act; and I will state them
    to you without reserve. But permit me first to say, that I hope
    and think that avarice cannot be imputed to me; for, parting
    with £10,000 per annum, for what must be greatly below it,
    excludes the imputation. Ambition must be equally out of the
    question, for I want no advancement in the Peerage.

    Now, as to my motives and principles at this time. I am in my
    seventy-fourth year, and although my mind, assisted by
    experience for a number of years, that makes few things new to
    me, may be as good as ever, yet the weakness of my limbs, my
    inability to go through any bodily fatigue, and many other
    monitions that tell me the day of great infirmity is at hand,
    ought not to be unattended to by any man who hath sound sense or
    any religion about him.

    I stand well, as I flatter myself, with the people of Ireland,
    to whom I have administered justice for more than twenty years,
    with both Houses of Parliament, and with the Bar of Ireland;
    with all of whom I have lived without a quarrel with any man,
    but I hope without forgetting what belonged to me to be mindful

    The country of Ireland quiet beyond what I have known it at any
    time: a circumstance corresponding and consisting with my
    declarations, at all times, that I would not ever be found to
    act like a man who leaves the ship in a storm. And to these I
    hope I may add that I have friends in Administration; that, in
    particular, I have a friend in your Excellency; and that,
    although in one of our last conversations you concluded your
    expressions of great kindness with something that threatened
    reluctance to my retirement, yet it was done with a countenance
    and in a manner that flattered me with hopes that there was a
    friendship under it, that would afford me your assistance
    whenever the occasion should direct me to look up to and solicit
    your Excellency for it.

    All these circumstances concurring (and so many concurring
    together I cannot, according to a reasonable calculation of
    human affairs, much expect), determined me to do as I have done.
    I have struggled to overcome my passion for my office in
    Ireland; but I submit, because I am worn out, or rather am as
    near being worn out as, I think, a man who wishes to preserve a
    dignity of character should approach to. I have exceedingly
    wished to afford your Excellency every assistance in my power
    during your Administration; and if I retire from the Great Seal,
    I shall most certainly retain that wish, and display it by such
    proof as you can desire, and as I can with the warmest
    attachment afford you. Your Excellency will be a gainer by a
    change, as you will have the exertions of a younger and more
    vigorous man, and my best help added to it.

    I did not come out of the King's closet until between six and
    seven yesterday evening, and I was then so fatigued that I could
    not set pen to paper.

    I have not said anything upon this subject to anybody here, save
    only to the King and Mr. Pitt.

    Permit me to beg your Excellency's friendship in this matter,
    that so much concerns me and my family. Your kindness in it, you
    may rely upon it, will never be forgotten by me, and I shall
    transmit the remembrance of it to those who are to come after
    me. I have now done, and have the honour to be, with the most
    sincere attachment and respect, my very good Lord, your
    Excellency's most faithful and most obedient, humble servant,


    His Excellency the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland

The only obstruction to the appointment of Fitzgibbon, was the
disqualifying circumstance of his birth. It was held to be a dangerous
precedent to appoint an Irishman to the office; but it was maintained on
the other side, that Fitzgibbon's was an exceptional case, and could not
pass into a precedent. Having come to London, to see Mr. Pitt on the
subject, he writes thus to Lord Buckingham:


    No. 5, Arlington Street, Oct. 6th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    Immediately after my arrival in England I saw Mr. Pitt, and
    mentioned to him that I had your Excellency's authority to say
    that Lord Lifford had, a very few days before he left Ireland,
    intimated a wish to resign the Great Seal. Under the impression
    of the opinion you were so good to give me, I did not go further
    than to request of Mr. Pitt that he would apprise me of any
    vacancy which might happen in the first instance, that I might
    have a fair opportunity of stating my claims, which I considered
    to be pretty strong, upon the King's Government, not to be
    passed by in any promotion which might take place in the line of
    my profession. This he has promised to do; but I have not since
    heard from him. However, I waited upon the Chancellor a few days
    since, and he told me that Lord Lifford had, when he was in
    town, intimated his wishes to Mr. Pitt, as he had done to your
    Excellency, not to return to Ireland. I am confident, however,
    that nothing is finally arranged, either with respect to
    accepting Lord Lifford's resignation, or appointing a successor
    to him, or I should have heard from Mr. Pitt.

    The Chancellor's reception of me was very flattering, as he was
    pleased unequivocally to declare his good opinion of me as a
    public and a professional man; and from what fell from him, I
    have reason to suppose that with your Excellency's support, and
    Mr. Pitt's approbation, I shall not meet any opposition from
    him. What Mr. Pitt's sentiments upon the subject may be, I have
    not a conjecture, as he never in any degree opened himself to
    me, further than in general terms of his personal good opinion
    of me. With him, however, I must conclude that your Excellency's
    recommendation would be decisive.

    Lord Lifford returns to London on the 20th of this month, and I
    must suppose that very shortly after, something decisive will be
    done. One thing is extremely clear--that if he should return to
    Ireland, he cannot very long remain in his present situation.
    And, circumstanced as I am in that country, your Excellency
    cannot wonder that I wish fairly to see my way. I shall
    therefore certainly endeavour, before I leave London, to possess
    myself of Mr. Pitt's sentiments upon this subject; to which end,
    it will be very material to me that he should be possessed of
    your Excellency's. May I therefore request of you, to give me
    such an answer to this letter as I may show to him. Your
    Excellency, I am satisfied, most perfectly understands, that I
    am not by any means anxious to quit my present situation, and
    that so long as I continue to hold it, I will continue to serve
    the Crown with zeal and fidelity. My only object at present is,
    fairly to know the ground upon which I stand on this side of the
    water. The very open and friendly communications which your
    Excellency has had the goodness to make to me from your first
    arrival in Ireland, leave me no room to doubt of my situation

    I have the honour to be, my Lord, with perfect respect and
    esteem, your Excellency's obedient and very humble servant,

    John Fitzgibbon.

    His Excellency the Marquis of Buckingham.

Up to this time, notwithstanding the interview with the King, Lord
Lifford had not relinquished the Seals. Lord Buckingham was in favour of
Fitzgibbon's claims, but seems to have been a little plagued by the
incessant correspondence in which they involved him, especially as he
had strong reasons for desiring to postpone the retirement of the
Chancellor. "I again say," he writes to Fitzgibbon in one of the
numerous epistles this affair cost him, "that nothing will make me
happier than your success; but for very many reasons, which I frankly
stated to you, I trust that the opening will not be made immediately,
and I as fairly tell you that I will not _facilitate_ it. You know what
I mean by all this mystery." He did _not_ facilitate it; and Fitzgibbon
was compelled to wait upon the convenience of Government.

In the meanwhile, some new vexations had arisen between Lord Buckingham
and the Ministry; but what they were, does not appear.


    Castlehill, Sept. 20th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    Your letter of the 14th reached me here this morning. I say
    nothing to you of the feelings which have been excited in my
    mind, by your detail of the particulars of your situation,
    because I am sure that you do justice to my sentiments on such a
    subject. Pitt has written to desire me to meet him at Burton on
    Monday next; and in the present state of this business, I feel
    peculiarly anxious for an opportunity of conversing with him
    upon it.

    It is unquestionably better in every point of view, that I
    should have such an opportunity before I go over to you; and I
    am persuaded you would not wish me to neglect this. After I have
    seen him, as I shall then be within little more than a day's
    journey from town, I shall wish to return there for a day or
    two, even if I should immediately afterwards set out for
    Ireland. But you may assure yourself, that if I should see any
    reason to think that my going over there could be of the least
    service, or advantage to you, I will not let any personal
    inconvenience stand in the way of it so long as it continues

    It gives me an inexpressible satisfaction to find, from your
    letter, that Pitt's conduct to you in this instance has been
    such as I expected. If I am not grossly deceived in the
    opportunities which I have had of observing his character and
    disposition, you will find his behaviour uniformly the same on
    every other occasion that may occur. I make you no assurances on
    this occasion with respect to myself, having a pleasure in
    thinking them unnecessary.

    I confess the motive for this whole transaction, in the quarter
    where it evidently originates, is to me utterly inexplicable;
    the whole being so entirely inconsistent with every idea that I
    can form to myself of _his_ situation, his present or future
    views, his interest, or his personal feelings. I by no means
    think the circumstance which you mention sufficient to afford a
    clue for it; and the more I reflect upon it, the more
    incomprehensible it seems to me.

    Adieu, my dear brother; whatever, and wherever you are.

    Believe me ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    (Most Secret.) Whitehall, Oct. 22nd, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I have just received your letter of the 18th. You will have
    seen, by my last, the delay which has arisen in examining Lord
    Nugent's papers, and proving his will, on account of the absence
    of Macnamara and the Drummonds. I sent off a messenger to the
    former immediately after I had written to you; and have received
    an answer from him, by which I understand he will be in town on
    Thursday night.

    23rd.--I was interrupted yesterday, and could not, by any
    contrivance, return to finish my letter, though I was anxious
    that you should hear from me, that there has as yet been no sort
    of difficulty or interruption; and I conclude, therefore, that
    there will be none.

    I have forwarded your letter to the Chancellor, and added to it
    one from myself. I mean, _if possible_, to see him, though that,
    you know, is no easy matter, as I understand the Duke of Grafton
    is asking it, at Selby's request, for a man who was active
    against me. I could wish that you would write Wodley a few
    lines, to explain that you were hampered by former engagements,
    &c., as I found from a conversation with Camplin, that he had
    been perfectly satisfied with the explanation you had with him
    on the subject of Newport, and that he was in expectation of
    having this. Camplin thinks him of considerable importance.

    My impatience, in the letter to which your last was an answer,
    was owing to my having made no allowance for east winds, which
    detained the mail near a week, and brought me two of your
    letters together. You must, therefore, excuse a very unprovoked
    lecture on punctuality.

    I wish I could say to you that anything more is done about your
    commissions; but this has been, and continues to be, absolutely
    impossible, for a reason which gives us all no small degree of
    uneasiness--I mean the King's illness, which begun with a
    violent spasmodic attack in his stomach; and has continued with
    more or less violence, and with different symptoms ever since.
    We put as good a face as we can upon it; and, indeed, I hope
    that the danger is now over, but I cannot but own to you that I
    think there is still ground for a good deal of alarm. He brought
    on this particular attack by the great imprudence of remaining a
    whole day in wet stockings; but, on the whole, I am afraid that
    his health is evidently much worse than it has been, and that
    there is some lurking disorder in his constitution, which he has
    not strength to throw out. I have again mentioned to Pitt the
    subject of the commissions; and he has promised to endeavour to
    bring it to a conclusion as soon as the King is sufficiently
    recovered to allow him to see him on that business. But this may
    yet be some time, as a part of the King's disorder is an
    agitation and flurry of spirits, which hardly gives him any
    rest. I need not mention to you, that I should not allow myself
    to say all this, but in the strictest confidence, and that,
    independently of the King's great dislike to its being known
    that he is ill, we have the strongest reasons of policy, both
    foreign and domestic, in the present moment particularly, to
    wish that idea not to prevail.

    Your conjecture about Denmark and Sweden, and your subsequent
    reasoning upon it, are both perfectly just. The Cabinet of the
    former is, in the present moment, entirely subservient to the
    views of Russia, which are to annihilate Sweden, and thereby to
    gain the entire dominion of the north. Both Prussia and England
    have a strong and evident interest to prevent the accomplishment
    of this plan, but it can be done only by a vigorous exertion.
    Such an exertion is now making; and I certainly think that if we
    had any enemies able to stir, it would involve us in a most
    unwelcome, though necessary war. But I rely with no little
    confidence upon the weakness of France, whose difficulties,
    instead of being at all diminished, are hourly increasing; their
    public credit falling even below what it was at the time of
    Neckar's appointment, and their discontents again getting to the
    most serious pitch. Add to this, that we have every reason to
    believe that we have the concurrence and good wishes of Spain in
    the object which we are pursuing, and I think we have, I may
    say, nothing to apprehend from measures which would, in any
    other situation of Europe, be most critical indeed. The K. of P.
    has already _required_ Denmark to evacuate Sweden, under the
    threat of the invasion of Holstein; and we are seconding him
    with remonstrances very near as strong, though couched in more
    conciliatory terms. It remains to see what she will do.

    I am called away, and have only time to add that the account of
    the King this morning, from Sir G. Baker, is _much_ more
    favourable; and that if he does well, there is a plan now, I
    believe settled, by which the arrangement about which you
    inquire will certainly take place before the meeting of

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

The lecture on punctuality alluded to, occurs in a previous letter, in
which Mr. Grenville said: "I earnestly wish you would answer the
questions I put to you about your own business with a little more
punctuality. I know your other avocations; but you cannot conceive how
distressing your silence often is to me."

In the above letter, which is marked "most secret," we have the first
announcement of the King's illness and its origin. The utmost pains were
taken to conceal it from the public; and two days afterwards the King
went to the levée, to dissipate suspicion. "I find from Pitt," says Mr.
Grenville, writing on the 25th, "that the King went to the levée
yesterday, in order to show himself, but that he was very weak and unfit
for business." The effect of the appearance at the levée is subsequently


    Whitehall, Oct. 26th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I am very sorry to be obliged to give you a less favourable
    account of the King's health than that which you received by my
    last letter. His appearance at the levée on Friday was an effort
    beyond his strength, but made with a view of putting an end to
    the stories that were circulated with much industry. He has,
    however, considerably weakened himself by it, and his physician
    now declares that rest, and an absolute cessation from all
    business, are of indispensable necessity to him. I am much
    mortified at the delay which this occasions in the final
    conclusion of the business about your commissions; but you must
    easily see that, in the present crisis, it must be productive of
    other bad consequences, which you would yourself think of more
    importance. God knows what the result of it will be. The present
    situation is sufficiently embarrassing; but if it turns out ill,
    all sense of personal inconvenience, mortification, or
    disappointment, will, I fear, be lost in considerations of
    infinitely greater moment. At present, however, there is, I
    believe, unquestionably no danger; but I cannot divest myself of
    the persuasion that these are only the symptoms of some disorder
    lurking in his constitution, and which he has not sufficient
    strength of habit to throw out. I need not say that you may
    depend upon hearing from me as often as I hear anything
    authentic as to his situation, and that if I do not write
    constantly, it will only be because I have nothing new to
    communicate on which I can at all depend.

    There are no fresh accounts from the Bannat. The troops of
    Denmark, acting in Sweden, had agreed on the 10th to a
    suspension of hostilities for eight days, and there seemed
    reason to hope that this period would be prolonged. They had
    passed the Gothelba on which Gothenburg stands, but had
    retreated again beyond it.

    27th.--I have heard no further account of the King. The story
    which you will see in the papers about Lord Holland, is, I
    believe, utterly unfounded. I have found the list of the deeds,
    &c., contained in the iron chest. Camplin says that Colonel
    Nugent has two duplicates of it. I have therefore directed him
    to send the list itself over to you by this day's post. You will
    see that Lord G. B.'s renunciation deed is not mentioned in the
    list; and Camplin, who made the list, says he never heard of it.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.

The letters that follow, depict the distressing anxieties which, day by
day, throughout this painful interval, attended the progress of the
fatal malady.



    Nov. 5th, 1788, Five o'clock.

    My dear Brother,

    I have delayed till this hour writing to you to-day, as I have
    nothing of any consequence to write about, excepting the King's
    health; and I wished to send you the account which I have just
    received from Pitt, and which I now enclose. The general alarm
    on the subject is very great, and it is impossible not to feel
    that so long an illness without much amendment, if any on the
    whole, and without coming to any crisis, has a most serious
    appearance. You may naturally conceive the exultation, not
    wearing even the appearance of disguise, which there is in one
    party, and the depression of those who belong to the other. I
    think some few days more must now decide the point, not,
    perhaps, by the blow actually happening within that time, which
    I trust there can be no reason to fear, but by showing whether
    he has strength sufficient in his constitution to throw out the
    disorder which is evidently lurking in it, and which will
    otherwise infallibly destroy it by no very slow degrees.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.


    Whitehall, Nov. 7th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I waited yesterday before I wrote to you, in the hopes of seeing
    Pitt, who had promised to call upon me, and carry me to the
    place where we were to dine; but he was delayed by a visit from
    the Chancellor so long, that I found myself too late for the

    I sincerely wish that I had better news to communicate to you;
    but I believe you must consider the thing as completely over.
    The King has now been two days entirely delirious, and during
    part of the time has been thought to be in the most imminent
    danger. It now appears that Warren, Heberden and Sir G. Baker,
    who are the three physicians who attend him, profess themselves
    unable to decide whether the disorder is or is not of such a
    nature as may soon produce a crisis which may lead either to
    health or death. The other alternative is one to which one
    cannot look without horror--that of a continuance of the present
    derangement of his faculties, without any other effect upon his
    health. He is certainly at present stronger in body than he has
    been, but I understand with much fever. I believe the general
    idea of his danger is now very prevalent; but we endeavour (I
    know not with what success) to keep these particulars as much as
    we can from the public. I have ventured to write this and a
    former letter by the post, because you do not seem to have
    entertained any apprehensions that, under the sort of
    precautions which I take in sealing, &c., this mode is unsafe;
    and I think they are such as must have enabled you to detect any
    improper tricks being played. The sending a messenger would give
    so much alarm, that I thought it much better to avoid it. If the
    event happens, which there is now so much reason to dread, it is
    possible that I may have much to write to you, and I should not
    then have the same confidence in the post. For this reason I
    have enclosed a paper, of which you know the use. It is a
    transcript of what you left with me, which I have been prevented
    sending you before, and cannot send now. Bernard can supply it
    in a temporary manner with pasteboard.

    Fox is not yet returned, nor have we as yet any ground for
    judging of the immediate measures which would be taken, beyond
    those which result from former conduct and language.

    Since I wrote the above, I understand that Lord Sydney sends off
    a messenger. Lest, however, there should be any mistake in this,
    I send this letter by the post. The enclosure I will send by the

    I received your letter of the 3rd this morning. You may easily
    conceive that I cannot now enter into the particulars of it. I
    will only say that, with regard to the papers, I am persuaded
    that, if you yourself have an opportunity of conversing with M.
    (as is perhaps too probable), there will be no difficulty in
    anything which you desire.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    There is one point on which I much wish for your answer, with as
    little delay as possible. Suppose an immediate dissolution, and
    an opposition started in Bucks--as will certainly be the case,
    either for one or both members--would you have me stand? I
    mention this, because the delay may be decisive.


    Nov. 7th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I have written to you by this day's post, and now take the
    opportunity of Lord Sydney's messenger. I am afraid that it
    would be very sanguine indeed to say that there is even _any_
    hope that the King will recover both his health and his
    understanding, though the physicians do not say that it is
    absolutely impossible for his disorder to have a crisis which
    may produce such an effect. His disease is now almost entirely
    confined to his brain. He has all along had an agitation of
    spirits, which has been gradually increasing; and for these two
    days he has been quite delirious. It is apprehended that this is
    the effect either of water on the brain, or of an ossification
    of the membrane. If it is only an humour checked, it is still
    possible that he might throw it out by some violent crisis, such
    as either to destroy him, or entirely to restore him. But this,
    I again repeat, there seems little reason to hope.

    If his indisposition of mind continues, without some more
    material bodily illness, he may live years in this melancholy
    state; and this, of all events that can happen, is perhaps the
    most to be feared. He was, however, thought yesterday to be in
    imminent danger of death. Should this not happen, but the other,
    it seems generally agreed that the Prince of Wales must be
    appointed Regent, with kingly power.

    We have no grounds on which to judge of our own situation,
    except from such conjectures as you are equally able to form on
    the grounds of the P.'s former conduct and language.

    He sent yesterday for Thurlow to Windsor; and about half an hour
    ago, Pitt received a note from the Chancellor, who is returned
    to town, saying that the P. had commanded him to desire Pitt's
    attendance at Windsor to-morrow morning at eleven.

    Pitt is gone to call upon the Chancellor, to learn the nature of
    his conversation of yesterday. We understood that the object of
    his going down yesterday was only that he might be consulted as
    to the steps that might safely be taken with the King in his
    present unhappy situation. The message of to-day looks like
    something more, though it seems too early for any negotiation,
    even if other considerations made that probable.

    Fox is out of England, but has, as we understand, been sent for.
    It appears a great question whether they will offer any
    negotiation, or, if they do, what measures ought to be pursued.
    I think the opinions rather lean to the idea that Pitt cannot at
    once decline all negotiation, but that he will be sufficiently
    grounded in refusing to listen to any proposal that shall not
    leave him in his present situation, from whence he cannot be
    removed without disgrace and degradation.

    I need not say, that I am very desirous of knowing your
    sentiments on the possible circumstances that may arise out of
    this melancholy event, and that without them, I shall enter into
    no engagements with a view to any new Government.

    As these events may possibly produce much interesting
    discussion, which I should be unwilling to trust to the post, I
    have enclosed a transcript of our cypher, not having got a
    duplicate. It can easily be made for present use either with
    paper or pasteboard.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    My own persuasion is, that they will not attempt to negotiate at
    all, but turn us all out at once, which I am sure is the thing
    we ought most to wish. I trust I am not mistaken in the
    confidence that you wish, in this, or indeed any other course
    that this situation may give rise to, that I should act in the
    fullest concert with Pitt; whom, indeed, I could not desert
    without the most despicable ingratitude.


    Stanlake, Nov. 7th, 1788.

    My dearest Lord B.,

    I have but one moment, before the post goes out, to tell you
    that I am this instant returned from Windsor; and find from the
    best authority that the King's life is unfortunately despaired
    of. Warren, Heberden, Baker, and Reynolds are attending. I
    believe the fever has settled on the brain, as there is much
    delirium. The Chancellor was at Windsor last night, and all the
    Princes of the Blood are sitting up in the next room to him. The
    Queen has had fits, but is better to-day.

    Doubtless your situation will enable you to hear sooner and more
    authentically, but I could not avoid giving you myself this
    lamentable detail.

    The Prince seems frightened, and was blooded yesterday.

    Kate undertook to write in my name to Hester, instead of you and
    Lady B. I sincerely condole with her, and hope soon to hear a
    better account of her.

    Ever yours most affectionately,
    R. A. Neville.


    (Most Private.) Whitehall, Nov. 7th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    It is with the utmost concern and mortification that I am under
    the necessity of acquainting your Excellency of the dangerous
    state in which His Majesty's health has been for these last two
    days. Notwithstanding the various reports which you may have
    seen, real symptoms of danger did not appear till yesterday. The
    disorder, about the middle of yesterday, attacked His Majesty's
    head, and he has had a very indifferent night, and, I am afraid,
    is not much better to-day.

    The Queen supports herself with her usual good sense and
    fortitude, but is still much affected both in health and
    spirits, though tolerably composed.

    His Majesty, during his whole illness, has had the consolation
    of receiving the unremitted attention of the whole Royal Family,
    of the value of which he has shown himself affectingly sensible.

    In short, my dear Lord, the case may not be desperate; but it is
    full of extreme danger. God send us a happy issue of it.

    My best respects to Lady Buckingham and Lord Temple. I write, as
    you may imagine, in great confusion and anxiety.

    I am, with great esteem and regard, Your Excellency's most
    obedient, humble servant.


    Whitehall, Nov. 8th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I am afraid that I shall be obliged to send this letter away
    without any particular or authentic account of the King. Pitt is
    gone down to Windsor this morning, and is not yet returned;
    unless he comes back before the post goes out I shall have
    little more than common report to send you.

    I understand the immediate object of the Prince's desiring to
    see him, was to inquire about a paper which the Queen imagined
    the King had put into Pitt's hands respecting an arrangement for
    the younger part of his family; but Pitt has no such paper.

    The latest authentic account I have seen, was a note which Pitt
    received from Sir G. Baker, about nine yesterday evening, and
    which was, therefore, probably written about six or seven. He
    then says that the King appeared better in his health, but that
    there seemed reason to fear that his delirium would be
    permanent. And this, I am sure, you will agree with me in
    thinking the worst thing than can happen.

    Since that, the idea is, as far as I can collect from a variety
    of different reports, that his fever was considerably increased
    afterwards, and that between two and four this morning he was in
    the utmost danger, but that he is since better. One account
    adds, but I am afraid to give credit to it, that he was relieved
    by the bursting of a swelling on one of his legs, and by a very
    great discharge from it. Some crisis of that sort is
    unquestionably the only thing to which we can look with any
    reasonable ground of hope for the recovery both of his health
    and of his faculties. But this very consideration makes me very
    backward in giving credit to this report, unless it had more
    foundation than any which I can trace for it.

    In the event which Sir George Baker's note gives reason to
    apprehend, there will be the greatest embarrassment as to the
    mode in which it is possible to proceed to any appointment of a
    Regent. The Parliament is now prorogued only till the 23rd
    instant, and must meet at that time, because no person but the
    King has authority to prorogue it further. But, as you well
    know, Parliament cannot proceed to business without the session
    being opened by the King, or by some Commission authorized by
    him. No Regent can be appointed or authorized to exercise acts
    of royal authority but by Act of Parliament; nor can any such
    Act be valid and binding in law without the King's consent.

    The Revolution affords the only thing like a precedent even for
    the principles on which we can proceed; and yet that is a case
    widely different from the present, because then the person
    possessed of the right was declared either to have abdicated
    that right, or forfeited it, or both. Here the King may not live
    many years under an incapacity of exercising the right, and yet
    may afterwards be restored to his faculties.

    It is a heavy calamity that is inflicted upon us in any case
    except that of his perfect recovery; but in the event which
    there seems most ground to fear, it may give rise to serious and
    difficult questions, such as cannot even be discussed without
    shaking the security and tranquillity of the country.

    I am obliged to close this letter without any more information.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Whitehall, Nov. 9th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I am much concerned that I was obliged to send off my letter
    yesterday evening, and the rather as there will be no
    opportunity of sending this till to-morrow. I find that there
    was not the least foundation for any part of the reports which I
    mentioned to you.

    Pitt came back last night. He said the physicians do not
    apprehend present danger, but that their fear is that the
    insanity will be permanent, but they will not pronounce anything
    yet. The Prince had a long conversation with him relating to the
    King's situation, but nothing from which he could collect what
    he thought of doing in the two cases that may arise. The general
    notion is, that he will try to negotiate with Pitt from the fear
    of his popularity; but I do not think it probable. He treated
    Pitt with civility, but nothing more.


    Sunday, Nov. 9th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    There was no truth in any of the reports which I mentioned to
    you in my letter by the post yesterday. Pitt came back to town
    last night about nine, and afterwards called here. He had seen
    all the physicians, and had much conversation with them. They
    seemed still unwilling, or unable, to decide as to the nature of
    his disorder; but Warren appeared to incline to the opinion of
    an ossification. They told him that they had determined, as an
    experiment, to give the King medicines to remove his fever, in
    order to observe whether this produced any effect on the state
    of his mind, and to draw an inference from that whether the
    disorder on his brain was connected with the fever. They
    accordingly gave him two doses of James's powder in the course
    of the day, but without any other effect than lowering his
    pulse; and this morning we have the severe mortification of
    hearing that a third dose has operated by a profuse
    perspiration, so as almost entirely to remove the fever, but
    that the state of his mind continues unaltered. The physicians,
    however, all agree that it must still be at least a fortnight
    before they can venture even to pronounce that it is a disorder
    of the brain. That even in that case they can give no further
    opinion; that disorders of that sort are of all others those
    that are least understood; and that this may continue for many
    years, or may suddenly leave him, or as suddenly kill him.

    I need not tell you the effect which this dreadful calamity
    produces. Pitt had yesterday a long conference with the Prince;
    but it turned chiefly on the situation of the King, and the
    state and progress of his disorder. Nothing passed from which
    any conclusion can be drawn with respect to future measures. He
    treated him with civility, but nothing more.

    The general idea is that _they_ mean to try a negotiation. But
    whether the Prince means that, and whether Pitt ought in any
    case to listen to it at all, or in what degree, are questions
    which it is difficult indeed to decide. There could never be a
    more favourable moment for Pitt's leaving the Government, with a
    view to his own credit and character. But then, on the other
    hand, his own personal situation must be so embarrassed: there
    is so much danger of an imputation of pride, and a factious
    desire of keeping alive differences, that my opinions fluctuate
    almost from hour to hour. I am still, however, inclined to
    believe that they will not make the experiment, though the
    conversation upon it, and the general persuasion of its being
    intended, make it more difficult for them to avoid doing
    something of that sort.

    The present idea is, to let Parliament meet on the 23rd,
    because, indeed, no one has authority to prorogue it further.
    That then it should be stated to them--supposing things to
    continue in their present unhappy state--that the King's health
    has not admitted either of his proroguing them, or of his
    signing a Commission to open the session, and, therefore, to
    propose that they should adjourn. As soon as the physicians feel
    themselves able to pronounce it a disorder seated on the brain,
    they must be examined before the Council, and the circumstance
    stated to Parliament, and a Bill brought in to enable the Prince
    of Wales to act as Regent. It seems a great doubt whether any,
    and what limitations ought to be proposed. Those under which the
    King was authorized to appoint a Regent, in case of minority,
    appear too great; nor, indeed, would it as I conceive be
    possible, in the present state of things, to carry on such a
    Government. The great object to be looked to, seems to be the
    keeping the Government in such a state as that if the King's
    health should be restored he might be, as far as possible,
    enabled to resume it, and to conduct it in such a manner as he
    might judge best.

    I suppose there never was a situation in which any set of men
    ever had, at once, so many points to decide, so essentially
    affecting their own honour, character, and future situation,
    their duty to their country in a most critical situation, and
    their duty to their unhappy master, to whom they are
    unquestionably bound by ties of gratitude and honour,
    independent of considerations of public duty towards him. I hope
    God, who has been pleased to afflict us with this severe and
    heavy trial, will enable us to go through it honestly,
    conscientiously, and in a manner not dishonourable to our

    God bless you, my dear brother. Nothing would be such a
    satisfaction to me as to be able to talk all this over with you,
    instead of this slow and imperfect communication.

    I found that Bernard was still in town, and have therefore
    desired him to stay, because I thought he could be of little use
    to me, and that all this may take a sudden turn which may make
    his being on the spot very important.

    I send you a letter which I had begun in cypher, that you may
    see how far you can make it out. In going it over, which you
    will observe I was doing, I observe a few mistakes, but not, I
    think, such as would materially embarrass you.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Whitehall, Nov. 10th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    I have nothing of any consequence to add to the account which I
    sent you yesterday by Lord Sydney's messenger. Pitt is gone down
    to Windsor this morning, but will probably not be back before
    the post goes out. The account of this morning is, that the King
    has slept well last night, but is in other respects much the

    The last, which is a material part, shows that we have little to
    hope from the effect of the medicines with respect to the state
    of his mind; the consequence must be such as I mentioned to you
    in my last. If Pitt makes offers to Fox, his situation may be
    very difficult; but I think he should hold off as much as he

    Pray let me know your opinion on that point, and on the various
    others which are connected with it. I hope I may depend on these
    letters not being seen by _any_ person. I have a real confidence
    in Fitzherbert's honour; but I should not write with the same
    freedom if I thought even he saw what I may have to write.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Stanlake, Tuesday, Nov. 11th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    It was my intention to have left this place yesterday for
    Baronhill, but the most natural and justifiable anxiety keeps me
    here until Thursday or Friday. We have been at Windsor the last
    three mornings, and sorry am I to tell you that poor Rex's state
    seems worse than a thousand deaths; for unless God interposes by
    some miracle, there is every appearance of his living with the
    loss of his intellects. Yesterday the fever, which had raged the
    day before, was abated; but the lucid intervals were few, and
    lasted a very short time. I saw the General, who was exceedingly
    guarded, as they all are who really love poor Rex; the real
    state, however, of his melancholy condition seems now to have
    transpired, and my letters from London are full of the greatest
    consternation. The Queen sees nobody but Lady Constance, Lady
    Charlotte Finch, Miss Burney, and her two sons, who, I am
    afraid, do not announce the state of the King's health with that
    caution and delicacy which should be observed to the wife and
    the mother, and it is to them only that she looks up. I
    understand her behaviour is very feeling, decent, and proper.
    The Prince has taken the command at Windsor, in consequence of
    which there is _no command whatsoever_; and it was not till
    yesterday that orders were given to two grooms of the bedchamber
    to wait for the future and receive the inquiries of the numbers
    who inquire; nor would this have been done, if Pitt and Lord
    Sydney had not come down in person to beg that such orders might
    be given. Unless it was done yesterday, no orders have been
    given for prayers in the churches, nor for the observance of
    other forms, such as stopping the playhouses, &c., highly proper
    at such a juncture. What the consequences of this heavy
    misfortune will be to Government, you are more likely to know
    than I am; but I cannot help thinking that the Prince will find
    a greater difficulty in making a sweep of the present Ministry,
    in his quality of Fiduciary Regent, than in that of King. The
    Stocks are already fallen 2 per cent, and the alarms of the
    people of London are very little flattering to the Prince. I am
    told messenger after messenger has been sent for Fox, who is
    touring with Mrs. Armstead on the continent; but I have not
    heard whether the Prince has sent for him, or given any orders
    to Fox's friends to that effect. The system of favouritism is
    much changed since Lord Bute's and the Princess-Dowager's time,
    for Jack Payne, Master Leigh, an Eton schoolboy, and Master
    Barry, brother to Lord Barrymore, and Mrs. Fitz, form the
    Cabinet at Carlton House.

    I am, my dear Lord,
    Sincerely yours,


    Whitehall, Nov. 11th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    The account of to-day is in every particular exactly the same
    with that of yesterday. The disorder in the brain is increased.
    The Cabinet is to meet on Thursday, to receive the report of the
    physicians; a Privy Council will be called for Monday or

    Parliament must meet on Thursday sevennight, to which day it now
    stands prorogued; and it will then, I imagine, adjourn itself. I
    wait with impatience to hear from you. I am called off, and
    prevented from writing any more.

    Ever yours,
    W. W. G.


    Windsor Castle,

    Wednesday, Nov. 11th, Four o'clock, 1788.

    The King had more sleep last night than the night before; but is
    in other respects the same as before. I fear there is very
    little hope of amendment, as he has no fever, and his pulse and
    appetite are as good as ever. The King had some lucid intervals
    this morning, conversing with great composure with a page, whom
    he recollected but to have seen since his illness; and he also
    mentioned his son, Prince Augustus, who is going to the South of
    France. He soon, however, returned to his unfortunate agitation
    and delirium, in which he still continues. Sad state!

    Ever yours affectionately, in haste,
    R. A. N.


    (Secret and Separate.) Whitehall, Nov. 13th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    I am not at all surprised that your Excellency should
    participate in the distress, which every honest man feels upon
    the present unhappy state of the King's health. The account,
    however, of this morning is rather more favourable than those of
    some days past; though certainly not such as to lay any part of
    our anxiety at rest. There does not, however, appear any
    symptoms which seem to threaten His Majesty's life with
    immediate danger. He had more fever yesterday than for some days
    past, but since it has subsided, he has been in a state of more
    composure than before.

    The Parliament will meet this day sevennight, and adjourn; if in
    the intermediate time there should not be an opportunity of
    receiving His Majesty's pleasure for a prorogation.

    You may easily believe that the hurry and ferment is great at
    present. People in general, of all ranks, seem to be truly
    sensible of the calamitous effects to be dreaded from an
    unfavourable termination of His Majesty's disorder. But, as you
    may easily imagine, there are not wanting those who are thinking
    of extracting _good_ to _themselves_ out of this misfortune; nor
    are they over anxious to conceal their eagerness to accomplish
    their ends. I am old enough to have been in the scene on a
    demise of the Crown, an event which does not bring the virtues
    of men more into light than the contrary qualities. I do not
    promise myself a more agreeable picture of mankind, than one
    which I have never thought of but with disgust and detestation.

    I refer your Excellency to my official despatch for the business
    which has passed in a Committee of the Privy Council to-day, on
    the subject of a prayer. The Dissenters and the Jews have begun
    upon that subject already. Indeed every demonstration of alarm
    and affection has been shown through the whole town, and, as far
    as can be learned, in all parts of the country.

    I am, with the truest esteem and regard, my dear Lord,
    Your most obedient humble servant,

The next letter from Mr. Grenville is of special importance; he lays
down the whole plan of the Ministry in reference to the proposed
Regency, developing and investigating the arguments with remarkable
clearness and penetration.


    Whitehall, Nov. 13th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    Your messenger has performed his journey with uncommon
    expedition, and brought me your letters at a little after eleven
    this morning. The account of to-day is, I think, more favourable
    than that of the two preceding days. The King had last night a
    strong return of his fever, which left him this morning more
    composed than he has been for several days. Warren's account
    adds that he even "understood questions that were put to him,
    though he soon relapsed into his former inconsistency." The
    material part of this, I think, is that it proves him never to
    have been without fever, though it has been kept under, and
    therefore affords ground still to hope for such a crisis as may
    end this scene, either by his death or by his total recovery.
    And there can be no doubt that even, for his sake, either of
    those alternatives is preferable to his continuing in his
    present situation, though with the possibility of recovering his
    reason by intervals.

    This circumstance affords an additional and strong reason for
    delaying as long as possible the taking any decisive steps for
    providing for carrying on the Government under the present
    circumstances. It is intended to meet Parliament on the 20th,
    and circular letters are to be sent to-day to all the members,
    notifying the probability of this. But, as things now stand,
    Pitt means immediately to propose to them to adjourn; and it is
    most likely that this will meet with no opposition, especially
    as Fox cannot be in town by that time.

    If the present circumstances should still continue, Pitt means
    to propose a Bill, declaring the Prince of Wales Regent, or
    Guardian, to exercise the King's authority during his illness,
    but in the King's name only. We have, I think, not yet entirely
    made up our minds as to the degree of power and authority which
    it will be right to put into his hands for that purpose. That it
    cannot be necessary to invest him with the whole regal
    authority, is, I think, quite evident; and we owe it to the
    King, both as public men professing allegiance to him, and as
    individuals bound to him by many ties of gratitude and honour,
    to take whatever steps we can with propriety to preserve to him,
    in case of his recovery, not merely his legal rights, of which
    he cannot be deprived, but also the political means of
    exercising those rights according to the opinions which he
    entertains both of public men and public measures. And to this
    extent I am inclined to hope that the general opinion will bear
    us out; but we must be extremely cautious that we do nothing
    which shall bear in the public estimation the appearance of
    wishing to establish ourselves under this pretence in the
    continuance of our power in opposition to the Prince of Wales,
    in whom we are to propose the supreme authority to be vested.
    All the precedents, as far as they apply to this case, would
    justify the appointment of a Council of Regency, to be named by
    Parliament, by the majority of which the Regent would be bound.
    And I think it is not clear that in all events we shall not be
    obliged, by the strong analogy to be drawn from some of those
    cases, to provide some such Council. But it seems now to be
    agreed that we ought not to propose their being named by
    Parliament, because that would be in effect to propose that the
    executive authority should be vested by Parliament in our hands,
    instead of those of the Prince of Wales. Such a proposition
    would be difficult to carry, and might be seen by the public in
    such a light as materially and permanently to affect our
    characters. Besides this, what is more important even than these
    considerations, is, that on the fullest consideration, we are
    persuaded such a proposal ought not to be made, and would, if
    carried, be injurious to the country. Examine the provisions of
    the last Regency Bill, and you will, I think, be convinced that
    the present Government, being joined in such a Council with the
    Prince of Wales and the Royal Family, could produce nothing but
    discord, confusion and anarchy; and that on such a plan the
    administration of public affairs cannot proceed.

    This line of argument leads to the nomination of the Prince of
    Wales, either without a Council, or with a Council, consisting
    only of the Cabinet Ministers for the time being, and removable
    by him, limiting at the same time his authority in other
    respects in such a manner as may not be inconsistent with the
    means of carrying on a temporary Government; but may provide in
    the manner I have already mentioned for securing to the King, in
    case of his recovery, the possession and exercise of his rights,
    such as he enjoyed them before his illness. The means of doing
    this appear to be the restraining the Prince from granting any
    office or pension for life, or in reversion, except those only
    which must by law be granted either for life, or during good
    behaviour; restraining him from creating or advancing peers,
    and, perhaps, from dissolving the present or any future
    Parliament. The last of these points appear to be that which
    admits of most doubt, whether it should be stated to the extent
    which I have mentioned, or whether it should be confined to this
    Parliament, or should be entirely omitted. My own opinion, I
    think, rather leans to inserting it in its full extent, though I
    see and confess that there are weighty objections to it.

    I have now mentioned to you all I know of our views and
    intentions on this most important subject. The next point
    relates to our own situation. We have no knowledge at all, any
    more than when I wrote to you before, of the Prince of Wales's
    intentions, nor has any overture, direct or indirect, been made
    to Mr. Pitt. This circumstance, joined to the affectation with
    which Sheridan appears to be consulted on all occasions, seems
    sufficiently to indicate what is to be expected. A part of this,
    however, is to be attributed to Sheridan's eagerness to display
    his personal importance, by which silly vanity I am told he has
    much offended the Duke of Portland and Fox's immediate friends.

    We are therefore still much in doubt whether there is any idea
    of proposing terms of junction. We are all agreed that the most
    desirable thing would be, that Pitt should be removed at once,
    and without management. The difficulties of a real _bonâ fide_
    junction appear insuperable, and in anything short of that,
    duplicity and dishonesty might give them advantages which,
    though we should not certainly envy, yet we might have much
    cause to lament. There is, however, one circumstance arising
    from the present state of things which, if that should continue,
    will, I think, afford a clear and distinct line for us to
    follow. The King's illness being such as it is now described to
    be, it is not only possible, but much the most probable event,
    that he will at some period be restored to the use of his
    reason, either permanently, or during intervals of considerable
    length. Under this impression, it seems impossible for us for a
    moment to entertain proposals which might involve us in
    contradictory obligations, and our acceptance of which might be
    not only injurious to the King's feelings, which we are so much
    bound to consult, but even prejudicial to the state of his mind.
    Suppose him to awake out of the sort of dream, in which he now
    is, and to find that Pitt had, by his own consent and his own
    act, brought into his Government those very men whom he was
    pledged to him to keep at a distance from it; suppose the King's
    aversion and dislike to those men, so justly founded as it is,
    to remain in full force and vigour. What then is Pitt to do? Is
    he to separate himself from people whom he has joined on the
    promise of mutual good faith and confidence, or is he to abandon
    the King in the very point to which he has pledged him, and on
    which he has always received from him a full and unequivocal
    support? Besides the difficulties in which Pitt would thus find
    himself involved, must not the very idea of such a situation
    striking the King's imagination at the first moments of his
    recovery, and agitating him in the same manner as these very
    situations have done before, drive him back into his former
    state, and render all further hopes of recovery desperate and

    This consideration I think unanswerable, and have no doubt that
    it will continue to be so felt. In the case, therefore, of a
    Regency, all proposals of junction will instantly be negatived
    as inconsistent with our duty to the King. In the case of a
    demise, which there is to-day more reason to think probable than
    there has been for several days past, we shall feel ourselves
    considerably embarrassed. I put the idea of a _bonâ fide_
    junction, as I have already said, wholly out of the question,
    being persuaded that the thing is impossible, and that our
    opponents will never seriously intend it. Their proposals, if
    any are made, will, I am convinced, have no other object than
    that perhaps of satisfying the Prince of Wales, if your
    information respecting him is well grounded, and of lessening
    the odium of Pitt's removal in the eyes of the public, and
    holding him out as a haughty and impracticable character.
    Against this he must defend himself as well as he can, but the
    whole will, I am persuaded, be nothing more than a match at
    fencing; and the guard which I mentioned to you before, of
    insisting on his present situation, seems as good a one as any
    other. I have delivered to him your letter, and shown him that
    which you wrote to me. He has desired me to say that he will, if
    possible, write a few words to you by this messenger, but if he
    should find that quite impossible, without delaying him, he has
    begged me to express how strongly he feels your kind and
    affectionate conduct towards him.

    His popularity was never greater than in the present moment, and
    if the Prince should be so ill-advised as to dismiss him, it is
    probable that the current will run at least as strongly in his
    favour as it did in his father's.

    I have written you a dissertation rather than a letter, but I
    know the desire which you must feel to be as fully informed as
    possible, not only of facts, but also of opinions and
    intentions. I need not mention to you how confidential every
    part of this letter is, but particularly that part which
    respects our intentions as to the settlement of a Regency;
    because we conceive it of the utmost importance, though these
    and many other ideas are floating in the public, to keep our
    enemies as ignorant as we can of our real intentions in this

    Of the different questions which you have stated respecting
    Ireland, in the case of a demise, you will certainly be much
    better able to judge than I am; but I cannot help wishing you to
    look into the Act of Settlement in Queen Anne's time, and to
    consider whether that does not provide for the continuance of
    Irish officers, civil and military, as well as English.

    In the case of a Regency, my idea is that as soon as the King's
    illness is communicated to Parliament here, which will not be
    till after the adjournment, directions should be given to the
    Lord-Lieutenant and Council of Ireland to assemble the two
    Houses by special summons; and that our Bill, whatever it is,
    should be communicated to them in a speech from the
    Lord-Lieutenant, and should be passed _verbatim_ in the Irish
    Parliament. Some opinions here seem to doubt the necessity of
    this; there has, however, been very little discussion upon it.

    You will easily see the impossibility of doing anything about
    your commissions, which must share the fate of many others in
    England. I much fear that Tompkins's office at Chelsea will
    stand in this predicament. The form is, that a recommendation
    goes from this office to the Secretary of State, who takes the
    King's pleasure upon it. The first step has been taken, but the
    latter has been impossible. If my successor is a gentleman, he
    will confirm the appointment; but the chances are so much
    against that, that I almost despair.

    Adieu, my dear brother.
    Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    I had written before your messenger arrived a long letter in
    cypher, which this opportunity of writing will save you the
    labour of decyphering. In case, however, we should want to use
    the cypher any more, pray add the following names: 5, Sheridan;
    6, Duke of Portland; 7, First Lord of the Treasury.


    Whitehall, Nov. 14th, 1788.

    My dear Brother,

    By a cursed blunder of Lord Sydney's messenger, he went away
    last night without calling for my letter. Lord Sydney sends
    another man to-day; but I have resolved to keep him till I can
    send you this morning's account. That of yesterday evening was,
    I think, in so far favourable, as it clearly shows that the King
    is no longer in that settled state of derangement without other
    disease, which was most to be apprehended, but that his disorder
    is taking some turn, and whatever that may ultimately be, it
    must be far more desirable than the continuance of his former
    state. I am assured, that it was last night the opinion of
    medical people, that the turn which seemed probable was one from
    which it was not too sanguine to hope the best effects. I do
    not, however, indulge this idea too far.

    I mentioned yesterday, to Mornington, your kind intentions
    towards him. He will write to you, to explain his situation

    Pitt is gone down this morning to Windsor.

    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. W. G.

    You will be, perhaps, surprised to hear that Pitt has received a
    very handsome letter from Lord Chesterfield, dated from
    Weymouth, stating the alarm there for the King's life; and
    desiring Pitt to do him the justice of believing him in that and
    every other contingency, sincerely and personally attached to
    him. I am not without hopes, that this may be improved into a
    decided support of your interest in case of a contest; but you
    well know the difficulties with which this would be attended.

    I have just received the copy of the paper sent to St. James's,
    which is by no means such as one could wish it. I wait for a
    more particular account before I send this off.

    One o'clock.

    I now send off the messenger, though with little more
    intelligence than before; but this is all I can get till Pitt
    returns from Windsor, which may not be till late at night.

Here is Lord Mornington's letter, alluded to by Mr. Grenville.


    Hertford Street, Nov. 15th, 1788.

    My dear Lord,

    Grenville has informed me of a new and most flattering instance
    of your regard for me; you may well conceive how sensibly I feel
    the value of the offer of a seat from you, in the event of
    Grenville's failure in the county; and I should certainly at
    once throw myself on the chance of his success, (which, I trust,
    cannot be doubtful), if I did not feel it to be my duty to
    strain every nerve in the general cause, and to the utmost
    extent of my ability to increase our numbers in the House of
    Commons, by purchasing a seat for myself.

    If the King should remain in his present unhappy state of mind,
    and the Parliament be either dissolved, or expire by its natural
    death under the government of a Regent, I shall think myself,
    under those circumstances, bound, by my respect for the person
    who placed me at Windsor, to endeavour to preserve that seat for
    him; that he may find his own friends, where he was pleased to
    leave them, whenever he may happen to recover his reason. But I
    might fail in this attempt to maintain the trust reposed in me,
    and the expense of the attempt might be such as to disable me
    from purchasing any other seat; in that case your offer would be
    most acceptable.

    My brother Pole has found an opening in a borough, long the
    property of Anderson Pelham (Grimsby); and there is every reason
    to suppose, indeed I think it certain, that Pitt, in any event,
    will have two seats at that place at the general election for
    about £5000. My brother is able to advance £1000 of this money,
    and I mean to give him £1500, which will bring him in; another
    friend of Pitt's agrees to pay the remaining money for the other
    seat. By these means, as far as I am able, I have secured a vote
    which will count as well as mine, whatever misfortune may befal
    me. It has, however, been necessary to take immediate steps for
    the attainment of this object; and my brother and Mr. Wood are
    to be at Grimsby on Monday next. Now, if any sudden stroke
    should produce a dissolution of Parliament (which is possible),
    I might find myself unable, from the shortness of the notice, to
    raise a larger sum than the £1500 necessary for my brother's
    election. In this case also, your offer would afford me a most
    desirable resource.

    You will perceive that I have stated to you the whole of my
    situation openly, and without reserve; and you will, I am
    persuaded, understand that I should gladly embrace any occasion
    of uniting more closely my political fortunes with your
    protection; but I think you will agree, that it is my duty to
    endeavour in the first instance to strengthen the general cause
    in which we are all embarked, and the support of which at this
    moment presses most strongly on every feeling of public and
    private honour, and affection.

    Grenville has given you (I suppose) to-day the improved accounts
    of the King's health; I really think them very encouraging, and
    it seems to be the general opinion.

    Ever, my dear Lord,
    Your most obliged and affectionate friend,


LONDON: Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.