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Title: Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Third, Volume I (of 4)
Author: Walpole, Horace
Language: English
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  VOL. I.


  _Houston, pinx.^t_      _G. Cook, sc._


  London, Published by Richard Bentley, 1844.]




  VOL. I.

  Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.

  Printed by S. & J. BENTLEY, WILSON, and FLEY
  Bangor House, Shoe Lane.


(Earl of Orford), now for the first time submitted to the Public, are
printed from a manuscript copy contained in the box of papers which
came into the possession of the late Earl of Waldegrave, under the
circumstances stated in the Preface to “The Memoires of the Last Twelve
Years of the Reign of George the Second.” This manuscript was placed by
Lord Waldegrave in the hands of the late Lord Holland at the same time
with “the Memoires” last mentioned, and hopes were long entertained
that it would have had the advantage of the editorial care which gave
so much additional interest to that work; but from the date of Lord
Holland’s return to office, in 1830, the little leisure he could find
for literary pursuits was diverted from these volumes by engagements of
a more pressing character; and it appeared at his death that he had
never even commenced the task which he was of all persons eminently
qualified to execute. Under these circumstances Lord Euston (now Duke
of Grafton) on whom the property of the manuscript had devolved, as
Lord Waldegrave’s executor, became very desirous that the publication
should no longer be deferred; and happening to consult me on the
subject, my interest was so much excited by a cursory perusal, that I
acceded to the request made to me to prepare the Work for the press.
In this I was further encouraged by the assurance I received of the
zealous co-operation and assistance of the late Mr. John Allen, whose
knowledge of the early years of George the Third’s reign was surpassed
by none of his contemporaries (excepting, perhaps, Lord Holland),
and whose participation in all the studies, and I might almost add
identification with the literary pursuits of that nobleman, would have
given me many of the advantages I should have derived from himself, had
he been still living. I had several conversations with Mr. Allen on the
plan to be pursued in editing the Work, and his hints on the characters
of the individuals described in it were of essential service to me; but
unhappily, before my labours had commenced in earnest, he was taken
ill, and in a few days followed his friend and patron to the grave.
Few of the associates of his latter days valued him more than myself,
or more deeply regretted his loss; and in revising these pages, my mind
has often recurred with melancholy yet grateful satisfaction to the
many agreeable and most instructive hours I have passed in his and Lord
Holland’s society at a house which has acquired an European celebrity
as the great point of intellectual and moral reunion among the most
distinguished political and literary men of the present century.

These Memoirs comprise the first twelve years of the reign of George
the Third, and close the historical works of Horace Walpole. “On their
merits,” to use the words of Lord Holland,[1] “it would be improper
to enlarge in this place. That they contain much curious and original
information, will not be disputed.” In common with the Memoires of
George the Second, “they treat of a part of our annals most imperfectly
known to us,” with the decided advantage of the period being one marked
by events of deeper interest and more congenial in their character
and bearings with those which have since engaged, and still occupy
our attention. The contests between Whigs and Jacobites may not be
undeserving our curiosity; yet they sink into insignificance when
compared with the origin and progress of the American discontents,
in which may be traced the first indistinct rudiments of the great
antagonistic principles and social revolutions of our own time.
The Parliamentary struggles, too, in the case of General Warrants,
are important, not less on account of the stores of constitutional
knowledge they elicited, than from the spirit of free inquiry into
the Prerogatives of the Crown on the one hand and the Privileges of
the People on the other, which necessarily sprang out of them. Nor
is it an uninstructive lesson to observe the efforts made by George
the Third to break up the political parties which had embarrassed the
reign of his predecessor. These topics are among the most prominent
in the History of England during the Eighteenth Century, and they
constitute the staple of the present Work. Some of the best debates
on the Stamp Act, and on the proceedings against Mr. Wilkes, are
here reported with a vivacity and apparent correctness which may be
sought in vain elsewhere; and we meet throughout the Work the same
abundance of anecdote, and the same graphic description of men and
manners, that characterise the Memoires of George the Second. It
gives even more copious details of the negotiations between political
parties, especially those incidental to the fall of Lord Rockingham’s
Administration; the gradual alienation of that nobleman and his
friends from the Duke of Grafton; and the other divisions among the
Whig party, which ended in the long enjoyment of power by their
opponents. The records of these transactions do not, it is true, form
the most dignified department of the historian, but political history
is necessarily incomplete without them; and here Walpole is on his
own ground. Unlike most of the writers who have minutely chronicled
their times, he can neither be charged with obtaining mere imperfect
or occasional glances into the councils of men in power, nor with
suffering himself to be shackled by a sense of official restraint, not
to say responsibility. He possessed entirely the secret of affairs,
at least as long as Conway remained Minister; and so unreservedly
discloses what he knew, that he might not untruly boast, as he does
elsewhere, “that the failings of some of his nearest friends are as
little concealed as those of other persons.”[2]

I have little to add concerning my own share in these Memoirs. They
are printed exactly as the Author left them, except that it has been
thought right to suppress a few passages of an indecent tendency; and
following the example of Lord Holland, “two or three passages affecting
the private characters of private persons, and in no ways connected
with any political event, or illustrative of any great public
character, have been omitted.”[3]

The notes that occur without any distinguishing mark were left by the
Author. It will be perceived that they seldom extend beyond a brief
statement of the rank or relationship of the individuals noticed in the
text. All the other notes are mine.

In compliance with a wish generally expressed after the publication
of the “Memoires of the Last Twelve Years of the Reign of George the
Second,” for additional information respecting many of the characters
described in that work, I have enlarged on the meagre notices left
by Walpole, and endeavoured to correct his errors--taking, as my
model, the annotations of Lord Dover and Mr. Wright on the Author’s
correspondence. My references to those popular works will be found to
have been frequent, and I can venture to add my testimony to their
impartiality and correctness.[4] I may have unconsciously borrowed
from them, where we are treating of the same individuals; but I have
endeavoured, as much as possible, to steer an independent course, and
the subject is sufficiently wide to admit of it. I have also carefully
consulted all the contemporary authorities within my reach, and, in
more than one instance, have received valuable communications from
persons who either lived near the times described by Walpole, or were
actually acquainted with him. My sole object, however, has been to
contribute to the information of readers hitherto little conversant
with the events and characters of the period under our notice. More
detailed criticism on particular transactions, and some biographical
sketches, too long for insertion in the notes, will be given in the
Appendix to the Fourth Volume; but I have no pretensions to encroach on
the province of the historian--especially since the publication of the
last volume of Lord Mahon’s History of George the Third, and the recent
article on Lord Chatham in the Edinburgh Review, both of which have
appeared since this Work went to the press.

It was at first expected that this Work would be comprised in three
volumes, but a more careful examination of the manuscript having proved
a fourth to be indispensable, it is thought best not to delay the
publication of the two volumes already printed, and to reserve the two
concluding volumes until early in the Spring.

I have to acknowledge much kindness from various friends in the
prosecution of my inquiries. Sir Edward Colebrooke, in particular,
has favoured me with the loan of the manuscript autobiography of his
grandfather, Sir George Colebrooke, M. P., Chairman of the East India
Company, an active politician, who lived on confidential terms with
the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Rockingham, and Mr. Charles Townshend; and
I am indebted to Sir George Larpent for the perusal of the papers of
his father, when Secretary to Lord Hertford, during the embassy of the
latter at Paris.

            DENIS LE MARCHANT.

      _December 4, 1844_.




  A. D.                                                             PAGE
        CHAPTER I.

        Career of George II.                                           4

  1760. Auspicious circumstances under which George III. ascended
          the Throne                                                   5

        Firmness of the Administration                             _ib._

        Glory and Fortune in War                                   _ib._

        Precipitate Peace                                          _ib._

        Communication to the Prince of Wales of the Death of
          George II.                                                   6

        His Conduct to the Duke of Cumberland                          7

        The first Council                                          _ib._

        George II.’s Will                                              8

        The King’s Speech to his Council                               9

        CHAPTER II.

  1760. Plan to carry the Prerogative to an unusual height            16

        Unpopularity and Seclusion of the Princess of Wales           17

        Intended Duel between the Earl of Albemarle and General
          Townshend                                                   20

        Nov. 18. Meeting of Parliament                                24

        The King’s Speech                                          _ib._

        Increase of the Court Establishment                        _ib._

        Interview between Lord Bute and the Duke of Richmond          27

        Irish Disputes                                                31

        The King of Prussia’s Victory over Marshal Daun               33

        Mauduit’s Pamphlet on the German War                       _ib._

        CHAPTER III.

  1761. Ways and Means for the ensuing Year                           34

        New Promotions                                                35

        Lord Bute                                                     36

        Secret Article in the Treaty with the Landgrave of Hesse      39

        New Tenure of the Judges                                      41

        Lord Bute appears more ostensibly in the character of
          Minister                                                    42

        Ministerial Changes                                           43

        Overtures by France for Peace                                 50

        CHAPTER IV.

  1761. March 18th. Thanks of the House of Commons to Mr. Onslow,
          their Speaker                                               51

        Lord Bath’s Pamphlet                                          54

        Solicitations by France for Peace                             55

        Mr. Pitt disinclined to negotiate                             56

        Expedition against Belleisle                                  57

        Negotiation for Peace                                         58

        CHAPTER V.

  1761. July 8th. Announcement of the King’s intended Marriage        62

        The Princess Dowager’s Aversion to her Son’s Marriage         63

        Schemes of Mr. Fox                                            64

        Colonel Graeme despatched to Germany to select a Queen        65

        Serious Crisis in the Cabinet                                 67

        Lofty Conduct of Mr. Pitt                                     69

        His Draught for a Treaty with France                       _ib._

        Sept. 7th. Arrival of the new Queen                           70

        Her mental and personal Characteristics                       71

        Disposal of the vacant Bishopricks                            73

        Lord Talbot and the Barons of the Cinque Ports                74

        CHAPTER VI.

  1761. Interposition of Spain in behalf of France                    77

        Oct. 5th and 9th. Resignation of Mr. Pitt and Lord
          Temple                                                      80

        Effect on the Nation of Mr. Pitt’s Secession from the
          Cabinet                                                     82

        His Acceptance of a Peerage for his Wife, and of a
          Pension                                                  _ib._

        His Injudicious Conduct                                    _ib._

        Address to him from the Common Council of London, and
          from Provincial Towns                                       85

        Nov. 3rd. Meeting of Parliament                               86

        Choice of a Speaker                                           87

        Nov. 6th. The King’s Speech                                   88

        The Address                                                _ib._

        Nov. 9th. The King and Royal Family dine in the City
          with the Lord Mayor                                         89

        Mr. Pitt’s Reception at Guildhall                          _ib._

        Riots                                                         90

        CHAPTER VII.

  1761. Nov. 13th. Mr. Wilkes’s Censures on the King’s Speech         91

        Debate on continuing the War                                  92

        The Queen’s Dowry voted                                       99

        Ministerial Manœuvres on the Secession of Mr. Pitt         _ib._

        Nov. 25th. Meeting at the St. Alban’s Tavern                 100

        Policy of the Court                                          101

        Debate on the War in Germany                               _ib._

        George Grenville’s Desertion of Pitt                         104


  1761. Debates in Parliament on the German War                      109

        Dec. 11. Discussion on our Affairs with Spain                112

        Colonel Barré’s insulting Conduct to Mr. Pitt                120

        Family-compact between France and Spain                      123

        Portugal invaded by Charles the Third of Spain               125

        CHAPTER IX.

  1762. Jan 1st. Fuentes, the Spanish Ambassador, quits England      127

        Jan. 4th. War declared against Spain                         128

        Divisions in the Council respecting the War with Spain       129

        Expedition to the Havannah                                   131

        Jan. 19th. Meeting of Parliament                           _ib._

        Court Intrigues in France against Marshal Broglio and
          his Brother                                                138

        Preponderating Influence and Haughtiness of Lord Bute        139

        The Duke of York’s Contempt of Lord Bute and the Scotch      140

        Proceedings in the Parliament of Ireland                     141

        March 19th. Bill for continuing the Militia                  142

        CHAPTER X.

  1762. March 22nd. News of the Conquest of Martinico                143

        War in Portugal                                              144

        Pacific Disposition of the new Czar                          150

        His Popular Measures                                         151

        Meditated War with Denmark by the Czar and the King
          of Prussia                                                 152

        Insurrections in Ireland quelled by the Earl of Hertford     154

        The Portuguese War, and the War in Germany                   155

        Private Negotiation with the Court of Vienna                 157

        April 28th. Creation of seven new Peers                    _ib._

        Buckingham House purchased by the Queen                      159

        Seclusion of the King and Queen                            _ib._

        CHAPTER XI.

  1762. May 12th. Debate in the House of Commons on a Vote
          of Credit and the Support of Portugal                      161

        May 26th. The Duke of Newcastle’s resignation                168

        Lord Bute is declared First Lord of the Treasury             171

        Sir Francis Dashwood, Chancellor of the Exchequer          _ib._

        CHAPTER XII.

  1762. Honours heaped on Lord Bute                                  176

        Lord Halifax appointed to the Admiralty                      177

        First Appearance of “The North Briton”                     _ib._

        Its excessive Audacity                                       178

        Sketch of its Author, John Wilkes                            179

        Churchill, Wilkes’s Associate                                180

        Capture and Recapture of Newfoundland                        183

        The French Camp surprised by Prince Ferdinand              _ib._

        Propensity of the Court for Peace                          _ib._

        The Empress Catherine                                        184

        Horrible Conspiracy against Peter the Third                  185

        Catherine raised to the Throne                               186

        Murder of Peter                                              187

        Effect of the Russian Revolution on the King of Prussia      188


  1762. August 12th. Birth of the Prince of Wales                    190

        Treasure of the Hermione                                   _ib._

        Conquest of the Havannah                                   _ib._

        Indifference of the Court on that event                      191

        Negotiations for Peace                                     _ib._

        Reception in France of the Duke of Bedford                 _ib._

        Beckford elected Lord Mayor                                  193

        Duel between Lord Talbot and Wilkes                          194

        Disgust at the Union of Bute and Fox                         195

        Purchase of a Majority to approve the Peace                  199

        CHAPTER XIV.

  1762. Nov. 8th. Preliminaries of Peace with France and Spain       204

        Embassy to the Court of Spain offered to Lord Sandwich       205

        Insult to the Duke of Cumberland                           _ib._

        Resignation of Lords Ashburnham and Kinnoul                  206

        Lord Lincoln’s Ingratitude to the Duke of Newcastle          207

        The Duke of York obliged to go to Italy                      209

        Attempt to propitiate Walpole                                211

        CHAPTER XV.

  1762. Conference between the Duke of Cumberland and Mr. Pitt       219

        Anxiety of the Ministers                                     220

        Nov. 9th. Debates in both Houses on the Preliminaries
          of Peace                                                   222

        The Minority on the Division                                 232

        Exultation of the Princess of Wales on the Preliminaries
          being carried                                              233

        Severe political Persecution                               _ib._

        Numerous Dismissals from Place                               234

        CHAPTER XVI.

  1763. Jan. 2nd. Death of John Earl Granville                       236

        Attack on Patent Places                                      239

        Triumph of the Court                                         241

        Favour shown to the Friends of the Stuarts                   242

        Observance of the Jacobite Fast                            _ib._

        Committee to inspect Madhouses                               244

        Accounts of the Navy                                         245

        The Standing Army                                            246


  1763. Address to the King                                          248

        Sir Francis Dashwood’s Budget                                250

        Tax on Cider                                                 251

        Discussion on Ways and Means                               _ib._

        Ardent Opposition to the Cider Tax                         _ib._

        Petition from Newfoundland                                   252

        March 28th. Debate in the House of Lords on the Cider-bill   253

        March 30th. Passing of the Bill                            _ib._

        April 8th. George Grenville first Lord of the Treasury and
          Chancellor of the Exchequer                                258

        Removal of Sir Francis Dashwood                            _ib._

        Ministerial Changes and Promotions                           259


  1763. The Bedford Faction                                          260

        Ambition of the Duchess of Bedford                           261

        Reversions granted by Lord Bute before his resignation       265

        Walpole’s Feelings towards that Minister                   _ib._

        His Political Acts                                           266

        April 8th. Death of Lord Waldegrave                          267

        CHAPTER XIX.

  1763. April 19th. Lord Bute’s pretended Abdication of Business     270

        The “Triumvirate” who succeeded him                          271

        Grenville’s Ingratitude to Lord Bute                         273

        April 23rd. The memorable Forty-fifth Number of the
          “North Briton.”                                            274

        April 30th. Wilkes apprehended on a General Warrant          276

        Committed close Prisoner to the Tower                        277

        May 3rd. He is taken by Habeas Corpus to the Court of
          Common Pleas                                               278

        He is discharged from Confinement                            279

        Triumph of Wilkes                                          _ib._

        His Endeavour to obtain Warrants against the Secretaries
          of State                                                   280

        Discontent in the Cider Counties                           _ib._

        Mortifications of the Court                                  281

        Wilkes challenged by Forbes                                  282

        Aug. 21st. Sudden Death of Lord Egremont                     283

        CHAPTER XX.

  1763. Perplexity of the “Triumvirate”                              284

        Lord Bute’s unsuccessful Manœuvres                           285

        Aug. 25th. Lord Halifax and Mr. Grenville remonstrate
          with the King                                              286

        Schemes of the Bedford Faction                             _ib._

        Aug. 28th. Mr. Pitt sent for by the King                     288

        Negotiation with the former                                _ib._

        The Treaty broken off                                        289

        Causes of the Rupture                                        290

        The King’s Account of his Interviews with Pitt               291

        Ministerial Arrangements                                     295

        CHAPTER XXI.

  1763. Secret Power of Lord Bute                                    298

        His Rupture with Pitt                                        299

        Unanimous Attempt to destroy Wilkes                          301

        Death of Augustus the Third, of Saxony                       306

        The Pope invites the Duke of York to Rome                    307

        Humiliation of the helpless Line of Stuart                 _ib._

        Nov. 3rd. Charles Yorke resigns the Attorney-Generalship   _ib._

        Unfavourable Commencement of the new Lord-Lieutenant’s
          Power in Ireland                                           308


  1763. Nov. 15th. Opening of Parliament                             309

        Wilkes’s “Essay on Woman” laid before the House of
          Lords                                                      310

        Persecution of Wilkes                                        313

        He complains in the House of a Breach of Privilege           314

        Warm Debate on the Question                                _ib._

        Wilkes wounded in a Duel by Martin                           317

        Nov. 16th. The King’s Speech read to the Commons             318

        Postponement of the farther Hearing on Wilkes                319

        Bestowal of the Bishoprick of Osnabrugh                      320


  1763. Nov. 23rd. Important Question as to the Privilege of
          Parliament                                                 321

        Abandonment of General Warrants                              323

        Debate on the Proceedings against Wilkes                     324

        “The Moderator,” a new scurrilous Paper                      329

        Dec. 3rd. Riot on the attempt to burn “The North
          Briton.”                                                   330

        Dec. 6th. Debate on this subject in the House of Lords       331

        Triumph of Wilkes                                            333

        Attempt to assassinate Wilkes                              _ib._

        The East India Company and Lord Clive                        334

        Outlawry against Wilkes                                      335


  1763. Lord Sandwich offers himself for the High Stewardship of
          Cambridge                                                  339

        His “Flying Pension”                                         337

        Disgraceful Grant to Count Virri                           _ib._

        Dismissal of General A’Court                               _ib._

        Negotiation between Grenville, Conway, and Walpole           338

        CHAPTER XXV.

  1764. Jan 16th. Marriage of the Princess Augusta with the
          Hereditary Duke of Brunswick                               348

        His marked Opposition to the Wishes of the King            _ib._

        Jan. 19th. Debates on Wilkes’s Complaint of Breach of
          Privilege                                                  349

        Jan. 20th. Sir William Meredith and Sir George Saville       350

        The “Essay on Woman”                                         354

        Feb. 9th. The Marriage Bill                                  359

        Feb. 13th. Debate on Breach of Privilege                   _ib._

        Cases of Carteret Webbe and Wood                             361


  1764. Feb. 17th. Debates on the Legality of General Warrants,
          and the Conduct of Wilkes, continued                       368

        Feb. 21st. Treatise entitled “Droit le Roi,” condemned
          by the Lords                                               383


  1764. The Earl of Egmont                                           387

        March 9th. The Budget                                        388

        Taxation of the American Colonies                            389

        March 23rd. Appearance of the “Lettres, Mémoires, et
          Négotiations du Chevalier d’Eon,” &c.                      392

        Contest at Cambridge                                         395

        April 12th. Lord Clive appointed Governor-General of
          India                                                      397


  1764. April 19th. Prorogation of the Parliament                    401

        Walpole’s Conduct on the Dismissal of General Conway         402

        May 9th. Mr. Conway’s regiment given to the Earl of
          Pembroke                                                   415

        May 22nd. Trial of Carteret Webbe for Perjury                417

        The Earl of Northumberland Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland        418


  VOL. I.

  Page 42, line 3 from bottom, omit the sentence beginning “His
           Lordship’s mother.”

    ”  60, line 14 from bottom, _for_ by the aversion _read_ by

    ” 352, line 3 from bottom, _for_ the illustrious line of the family
           _read_ the last line of the illustrious family.

    ” 311, line 3 from bottom, _for_ deshonorer jamais _read_ deshonorer
           à jamais.

  VOL. II.

  Page 89, line 2 from bottom, _for_ Minister at Tunis, &c., in 1802,
           _read_ Minister at Turin. He died in 1801.

    ” 316, line 3 from bottom, _for_ _l._ _read_ lbs.

    ” 399, line 3 from bottom, _for_ Burton Veyncourt _read_ Burton

*.* The names Dowdeswell and Mackenzie have been printed in the text as
Walpole wrote them, Dowdswell and Mackinsy.





  Motives for writing these Memoirs.--Their assistance to History.--
    Causes of contradictory Opinions in the Writer.--Career of George
    II.--Auspicious circumstances under which George III. ascended the
    Throne.--Firmness of the Administration.--Our Glory and Fortune
    in War.--Precipitate Peace.--Communication to the Prince of Wales
    of the death of George II.--Mr. Pitt and the Princess Amalie.--
    Anecdotes of the Accession of the new King.--His conduct to the
    Duke of Cumberland.--The first Council.--George the Second’s
    Will.--Anecdotes.--The King’s Speech to his Council.--Mr.
    Pitt and Lord Bute.--Duke of Newcastle.--Duke of Devonshire.--
    The King’s Mother.--Earl of Bute.--Views of other Ministers.--
    Union of Pitt and Newcastle.--City Politics.--Inscription on
    Blackfriars Bridge.--Jacobites at St. James’s.

Whoever has taken the trouble of reading my Memoirs, which relate the
transactions during the last ten years of King George the Second, will
have seen, that I had taken a resolution of interfering no more in
public affairs. It was no ambition, or spirit of faction, that engaged
me in them again. Inconstancy, or weariness of retirement, were as
little the motives of my return to action. I am going to set forth
the true causes; and if I am obliged to make more frequent mention of
myself than I should wish to do, it will be from the necessity I am
under of unfolding the secret springs of many events in which I was
unwillingly a considerable actor. It is to gratify no vanity that I
relate them: my portion was not brilliant. And though my counsels might
have been more serviceable to my country and to my friends, if they had
been more followed, they were calculated to produce neither glory nor
profit to myself, and were much oftener neglected than listened to. Nor
should they be remembered here, if many miscarriages had not accrued
from the neglect of them, as was felt and confessed by those to whom
they had been suggested.

How far I have been in the right or in the wrong, I leave to the
judgment of posterity, who shall be impartially informed; and who may
draw some benefit from the knowledge of what I have seen; though few
persons, I believe, profit much from history. Times seldom resemble one
another enough to be very applicable; and if they do, the characters
of the actors are very different. They, too, who read history most,
are seldom performers in the political drama. Yet they who have
performed any part in it, are at least able to give the best account
of it, though still an imperfect one. No man is acquainted with the
whole plot; as no man knows all the secret springs of the actions of
others. His passions and prejudices warp his judgment, and cast a mist
before the most penetrating sagacity. Yet, partial as the narratives
of the actors must be, they will certainly approach nearer to truth
than those of spectators, who, beholding nothing but events, pretend
to account for them from causes which they can but suppose, and which
frequently never existed. It is this assistance to history which I now
offer, and by which I may explain some passages, which might otherwise
never be cleared up.

I have a new reason for repeating here, what I have said in former
pages, that these are memoirs, not history. The inequality, and perhaps
even the contradictory opinions which may appear in them from being
written at different periods, forbid this work to aim at the regular
march of history. As I knew men more, I may have altered my sentiments
of them;--they themselves may have changed. If I had any personal
causes for changing my opinion, I have told them fairly, that the
fault may be imputed to my passions, rather than to those I speak of.
The actions of the persons must determine whether they altered, or I
was prejudiced. But, though this dissonance may cast unequal colours
on my work, I choose to leave it as I wrote it, having at each period
spoken truth as it appeared to me. I might have made it more uniform
by correction; but the natural colouring would have been lost; and I
should rather have composed than written a history. As it stands an
original sketch, it is at least a picture of my own mind and opinions.
That sketch may be valuable to a few, who study human nature even in a
single character.

But I will make no farther apology for a work which I am sensible has
many faults; which I again declare I do not give as a history; and to
which, if it has not merits sufficient to atone for its blemishes,
I desire no quarter may be given. Remember, reader, I offer you no
more than the memoirs of men who had many faults, written by a man
who had many himself; and who writes to inform you, not to engross
your admiration. Had he given you a perfect history, and a flattering
picture of himself, his work would have been a romance, and he an
impostor. He lived with a contempt of hypocrisy; and writes as he lived.

George the Second, contradicting the silly presages drawn from
parallels, which had furnished opposition with names of unfortunate
Princes, who were the second of their name, as Edward, Richard,
Charles, and James, terminated his career with glory both to himself
and his people. He died, crowned with years and honours, and respected
from success; which with the multitude is the same as being beloved. He
left a successor in the vigour of youth, ready to take the reins, and a
ministry universally applauded, united, and unembarrassed by opponents.

No British monarch had ascended the throne with so many advantages
as George the Third. Being the first of his line born in England,
the prejudice against his family as foreigners ceased in his
person--Hanover was no longer the native soil of our Princes;
consequently, attachment to the Electorate was not likely to govern our
councils, as it had done in the last two reigns. This circumstance,
too, of his birth, shifted the unpopularity of foreign extraction from
the House of Brunswick to the Stuarts. In the flower and bloom of
youth, George had a handsome, open, and honest countenance; and with
the favour that attends the outward accomplishments of his age, he had
none of the vices that fall under the censure of those who are past
enjoying them themselves.

The moment of his accession was fortunate beyond example. The
extinction of parties had not waited for, but preceded the dawn of his
reign. Thus it was not a race of factions running to offer themselves,
as is common, to a new Prince, bidding for his favour, and ready each
to be disgusted, if their antagonists were received with more grace;
but a natural devolution of duty from all men to the uncontroverted
heir of the Crown, who had no occasion to court the love of his
subjects, nor could fear interrupting established harmony, but by
making any change in a system so well compacted. The administration
was firm, in good harmony with one another, and headed by the most
successful genius that ever presided over our councils. Conquest had
crowned our arms with wonderful circumstances of glory and fortune; and
the young King seemed to have the option of extending our victories and
acquisitions, or of giving peace to the world, by finding himself in a
situation so favourable, that neither his ambition nor moderation could
have been equitably reprehended. The designs and offences of France
would have justified a fuller measure of revenge; moderation could want
no excuse.

A passionate, domineering woman, and a Favourite, without talents, soon
drew a cloud over this shining prospect.

Without anticipating events too hastily, let it suffice to say, that
the measure of war was pushed, without even a desire that it should be
successful; and that, although successful, it was unnaturally checked
by a peace, too precipitate, too indigested, and too shameful, to merit
the coldest eulogy of moderation.

The first moment of the new reign afforded a symptom of the Prince’s
character; of that cool dissimulation in which he had been so well
initiated by his mother, and which comprehended almost the whole of
what she had taught him. Princess Amalie, as soon as she was certain
of her father’s death, sent an account of it to the Prince of Wales;
but he had already been apprised of it. He was riding, and received
a note from a German valet-de-chambre, attendant on the late King,
with a private mark agreed upon between them, which certified him of
the event. Without surprise or emotion, without dropping a word that
indicated what had happened, he said his horse was lame, and turned
back to Kew. At dismounting he said to the groom, “I have said this
horse is lame; I forbid you to say the contrary.”

Mr. Pitt was the first who arrived at Kensington, and went to Princess
Amalie for her orders. She told him nobody could give him better
counsel than his own. He asked if he ought not to go to the Prince? she
replied, she could not advise him; but thought it would be right. He
went. I mention these little circumstances, because they show from Mr.
Pitt’s uncertainty, that he was possessed with none of the confidence
and ardour of a man who thinks himself a favourite.

From Kew the new King went directly to Carleton House, which belonged
to the Princess Dowager; ordering his servants and the Privy Council to
wait for him at Saville House, then his own residence; and adjoining
to Leicester House, where the Princess usually lived. The Duke of
Cumberland went to Leicester House, and waited two hours; but was
sent for, as soon as the King knew it, to Carleton House, where he
determined to stay, and avoid the parade and acclamation of passing
through the streets: at the same time dismissing the guards, and
ordering them to attend the body of his grandfather.

To the Duke of Cumberland he marked great kindness, and told him it
had not been common in their family to live well together; but he
was determined to live well with all his family. And he carried this
attention so far, as to take notice to the Duke after council, that
his friend Mr. Fox looked in great health. And again, when the Privy
Council had made their address to his Majesty by the mouth of the
Archbishop, it not being thought decent that the compliment on the
death of his father should be uttered by the Duke, the King remarked
it, and expressed an apprehension that they had put a slight upon his
uncle. Nor would he suffer the name of his brother, the Duke of York,
to be mentioned in the public prayers, because it must have taken place
of that of the Duke of Cumberland.

At that first council the King spoke to nobody in particular but his
former governor, Lord Waldegrave. His speech to them he made with
dignity and propriety. In whatever related to his predecessor, he
behaved with singular attention and decency, refusing at first to give
the word to the guard; and then only renewing what the late King had
given. He sent to Princess Amalie to know where her father’s will was
deposited. She said, one copy had been entrusted to her eight or nine
years before; but thinking the King had forgotten it, she had lately
put him in mind of it. He had replied, “Did not she know, that when
a new will was made, it cancelled all preceding?” No curiosity, no
eagerness, no haste was expressed by the new King on that head; nor the
smallest impediment thrown in the way of his grandfather’s intentions.
A Gentleman[5] of the Bedchamber was immediately dismissed, who refused
to sit up with the body, as is usual. Wilmot[6] and Ranby,[7] the late
King’s physician and surgeon, acquainted the King with two requests of
their master, which were punctually complied with. They were, that his
body might be embalmed as soon as possible, and a double quantity of
perfumes used; and that the side of the late Queen’s coffin, left loose
on purpose, might be taken away, and his body laid close to hers.

In his first council the King named his brother the Duke of York,
and Lord Bute,[8] of the Cabinet. As no notice was taken of Lord
Huntingdon, it indicated an uncertainty, whether he, who had been
Master of the Horse to the King when Prince, or Lord Gower, who had
held that office under the late King, should fill the post. To the
Speaker of the House of Commons the King said, it should not be his
fault if that assembly did not go upon business earlier in the day than
they had done of late: a flattering speech to an old man attached to
old forms.

The King’s speech to his council afforded matter of remark, and gave
early specimen of who was to be the confidential minister, and what
measures were to be pursued: for it was drawn by Lord Bute, and
communicated to none of the King’s servants. It talked _of a bloody
and expensive war, and of obtaining an honourable and lasting peace_.
Thus was it delivered; but Mr. Pitt went to Lord Bute that evening, and
after an altercation of three hours, prevailed that in the printed copy
the words should be changed to _an expensive but just and necessary
war_; and that after the words _honourable peace_ should be inserted,
_in concert with our allies_. Lord Mansfield and others counselled
these palliatives too; but it was two o’clock of the following
afternoon before the King would yield to the alteration. Whether,
that the private Junto could not digest the correction, or whether to
give an idea of his Majesty’s firmness, I know not: but great pains
were taken to imprint an idea of the latter, as characteristic of
the new reign; and it was sedulously whispered by the creatures of
the Favourite and the mother, that it was the plan to retain all the
late King’s ministers, but that his Majesty would not be governed by
them, as his grandfather had been. In confirmation of part of this
advertisement, the King told the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pitt, that
he knew their attachment to the Crown, and should expect theirs, and
the assistance of all honest men.

Mr. Pitt was too quicksighted not to perceive what would be the
complexion of the new reign. His favourite war was already struck
at. He himself had for some time been on the coldest terms with Lord
Bute; for possession of power, and reversion of power, could not
fail to make two natures so haughty, incompatible. It was said, and
I believe with truth, that an outset so unpromising to his darling
measures, made Mr. Pitt propose to the Duke of Newcastle a firm union
against the Favourite; but the Duke loved intrigues and new allies too
well to embrace it. And from that refusal has been dated Mr. Pitt’s
animosity to Newcastle; though the part the latter took more openly
and more hostilely against him afterwards was sufficient cause for
that resentment. Whether these two men, so powerful in parliament and
in the nation, could have balanced the headlong affection that attends
every new young Prince, is uncertain,--I think they could. A war so
triumphant had captivated the whole country. The Favourite was unknown,
ungracious, and a Scot: his connexion with the Princess, an object of
scandal. He had no declared party; and what he had, was insignificant.
Nor would he probably have dared to stem such a body of force as would
have appeared against him. At least the union of Pitt and Newcastle
would have checked the torrent, which soon carried everything in favour
of Prerogative. Newcastle’s time-serving undermined Mr. Pitt, was
destructive to himself, threw away all the advantages of the war, and
brought the country to the brink of ruin.

Yet this veteran, so busy, so selfish, and still so fond of power,
for a few days acted the part he ought to have adopted in earnest. He
waited on the King, pleaded his age, and begged to be excused from
entering on a new reign. The King told him he could not part with him.
Fortified with this gracious and comfortable command, he next consulted
his friends. It was not their interest to point out to him the ridicule
of thinking to rule in the Cabinet of a third George, almost a boy.
Four days more determined the Duke to take a new court-lease of

The Duke of Devonshire,[10] though greatly younger, might not have
been without difficulties too, if he had pleased to remember them. He
had been ill-treated in the late reign by the Prince and the Princess
Dowager, hated the Favourite, and had declared he would quit, whenever
the new reign should commence; but he thought better of it.

The Princess, whose ambition yielded to none, was desirous to figure in
the new era, and demanded to be declared _Princess-Mother_. Precedents
were searched for in vain; and she missed even this shadow of
compensation for the loss of the appellation of _Queen_--a loss which
she showed a little afterwards she could not digest.

The Earl of Bute seemed to act with more moderation. His credit was
manifest; but he allotted himself no ministerial office, contenting
himself for the present with the post of Groom of the Stole, which
he had filled under the Prince, and for which room was prepared, by
removing the Earl of Rochford[11] with a large pension. Lord Bute’s
agents gave out, that he would upon no account interfere or break with
Mr. Pitt. The latter, however, did not trust to these vague assurances,
but endeavoured to maintain the preceding system: talked to the King of
the Duke of Newcastle as first minister, and as wishing him to continue
so; and said he had never chosen any other channel for his addresses or
demands to the late King--an intimation that he would make none through
Lord Bute. For himself, he had meddled with nothing but the war, and he
wished his Majesty to give some mark that he approved the measures of
the late reign.

The other ministers were not less attentive to their own views. The
Duke of Bedford[12] insisted on returning to the Government of Ireland,
and that Lord Gower[13] should remain Master of the Horse; but the
latter point was accommodated by the removal of Sir Thomas Robinson
(with a pension) from the Great Wardrobe, which was bestowed on Lord
Gower; and Lord Huntingdon continued in the post he had enjoyed under
the Prince. Mr. Mackenzie, the Favourite’s brother, was destined to
be Master of the Robes, but was forced to give way to the Duke of
Newcastle, who obtained it for Mr. Brudenel;[14] for though bent on
making his court, his Grace as often marred his own policy as promoted

Yet this seeming union of Pitt and Newcastle, on which the influence
of the former in some measure depended, disgusted the City. They said,
that Mr. Pitt had temporized with Newcastle before from necessity, but
now it was matter of election. Yet by the intervention of Mr. Pitt’s
agents, the City of London recommended to the King to be advised by
his grandfather’s ministers; and they even hinted at the loss the King
of Prussia would suffer by the death of his uncle. Their attachment
to their idol did not stop there. The first stone of the new bridge
at Blackfriars was laid by the Lord Mayor a few days after the King’s
accession, and on it was engraved so bombast an inscription in honour
of Mr. Pitt, and drawn up in such bad Latin, that it furnished ample
matter of ridicule to his enemies.

The Favourite, though traversed in his views by the power of these two
predominant men, had not patience to be wholly a cypher, but gave many
lesser and indirect marks of his designs. A separate standard was to be
erected. Lord George Sackville had leave to pay his duty to the King,
and was well received; which gave such offence to Mr. Pitt, that Lord
George was privately instructed to discontinue his attendance. Lady
Mary Stuart,[15] daughter of the Favourite, and Lady Susan Stuart,[16]
daughter of the Earl of Galloway, a notorious and intemperate Jacobite,
were named of the Bedchamber to the Lady Augusta, the King’s eldest
sister; and Sir Henry Erskine[17] was restored to his rank, and
gratified with an old regiment. The Earl of Litchfield, Sir Walter
Bagot, and the principal Jacobites, went to Court, which George Selwyn,
a celebrated wit, accounted for, from the number of Stuarts that were
now at St. James’s.


  Countenance shown to Tories.--Effect of Tory Politics on the
    Nation.--Plan to carry the Prerogative to an unusual height.--
    Unpopularity and Seclusion of the Princess of Wales.--Difficulty
    of access to the King.--Manœuvres of his Mother.--Character of
    Lord Bute, and his Schemes to conciliate the King.--Archbishop
    Secker.--Character of George III.--Intended Duel between the
    Earl of Albemarle and General Townshend.--Cause of the Quarrel.--
    The King’s Speech.--Pitt and Beckford.--Increase of the Court
    Establishment.--The Dukes of Richmond and Grafton.--Interview
    between Lord Bute and the Duke of Richmond.--Advice to the latter
    by the Duke of Cumberland.--The King’s Revenue.--The Princess
    Dowager’s Passion for Money.--The Earl of Lichfield.--Viscount
    Middleton.--Partiality to the Tories.--Inconsistency of the Duke
    of Newcastle.--Irish Disputes.--The King of Prussia’s Victory
    over Marshal Daun.--Mauduit’s Pamphlet on the German War.--Ways
    and Means for the ensuing Year.

The countenance shown to the Tories, and to their citadel, the
University of Oxford, was at first supposed by those who stood at
distance from the penetralia, the measure of Mr. Pitt, as consonant to
his known desire of uniting, that was, breaking all parties. But the
Tories, who were qualified for nothing above a secret, could not keep
even that. They came to Court, it is true; but they came with all their
old prejudices. They abjured their ancient master, but retained their
principles; and seemed to have exchanged nothing but their badge, _the
White Rose_ for _the White Horse_. _Prerogative_ became a fashionable
word; and the language of the times was altered, before the Favourite
dared to make any variation in the Ministry.

These steps did not pass unnoticed: nor was the nation without
jealousy, even in the first dawn of the reign. Papers were stuck up
at the Royal Exchange and in Westminster-hall, with these words, _no
Petticoat Government, no Scotch Favourite_. An intemperance which
proceeded so far afterwards, that, as the King passed in his chair to
visit his mother in an evening, the mob asked him if he was going to
suck? The Princess herself was obliged to discontinue frequenting the
theatres, so gross and insulting were the apostrophes with which she
was saluted from the galleries.

The views of the Court were so fully manifested afterwards, that no
doubt can be entertained but a plan had been early formed of carrying
the prerogative to very unusual heights. The Princess was ardently fond
of power, and all its appanages of observance, rank and wealth. The
deepest secrecy and dissimulation guarded every avenue of her passions;
and close retirement was adapted to these purposes. She could not
appear in public (after the arrival of the Queen) as the first woman
of the kingdom: her unpopularity made her pride tremble; and privacy
shrouded such hours as were not calculated to draw esteem; and it
contracted her expenses. After the King’s marriage she appeared seldom
or never at St. James’s, nor deigned to accompany the ceremony of the
coronation. The attendance of her ladies was dispensed with except
on drawing-room days; and by degrees even her maids of honour and
women of the bedchamber were removed from her palace, where she lived
in a solitude that would have passed for the perfection of Christian
humility in the ages of monkish ignorance. Jealousy of her credit over
her son made her impose almost as strict laws of retirement on him. He
was accessible to none of his Court but at the stated hours of business
and ceremony: nor was any man but the Favourite, and the creatures with
whom he had garrisoned the palace, allowed to converse with the King.
Affection had no share in this management.

The Princess, who was never supposed to disclose her mind with
freedom,[18] but on the single topic of her own children, had often
mentioned her eldest son with contempt; and during the life of her
husband, had given in to all his partiality for the Duke of York.
When her views of governing by her husband were cut off, she applied
to the untutored inexperience of his heir: and the first step towards
the influence she meditated, was by filling his mind with suspicions
and ill impressions of all mankind. His uncle, the Duke of Cumberland,
was made another instrument. The young Prince had a great appetite:
he was asked if he wished to be as gross as his uncle? Every vice,
every condescension was imputed to the Duke, that the Prince might be
stimulated to avoid them.

The Favourite, who had notions of honour, and was ostentatious,
endeavoured to give a loftier cast to the disposition of his pupil,
though not to the disparagement of the vassalage in which he was to
be kept. Lord Bute had a little reading,[19] and affected learning.
Men of genius, the arts and artists were to be countenanced. The arts
might amuse the young King’s solitary hours: authors might defend the
measures of government, and were sure to pay for their pensions with
incense, both to their passive and active protectors. The pedantry
and artifice of these shallow views served but to produce ridicule.
Augustus fell asleep over drawings and medals, which were pushed before
him every evening; and Mæcenas had so little knowledge, and so little
taste, that his own letters grew a proverb for want of orthography;
and the scribblers he countenanced, were too destitute of talents to
raise his character or their own. The coins of the King were the worst
that had appeared for above a century; and the revenues of the Crown
were so soon squandered in purchasing dependents, that architecture,
the darling art of Lord Bute, was contracted from the erection of
a new palace, to altering a single door-case in the drawing-room at
St. James’s. Yet, his emissaries the Scotch were indefatigable in
coining popular sayings and sentences for the King. It was given out
that he would suffer no money to be spent on elections. Circumstances
that recoiled with force, when every one of those aphorisms were
contradicted by practice.

But the chief engine to conciliate favour was the King’s piety. The
Princess, no doubt, intended it should be real, for she lived in dread
of a mistress. But mankind was not inclined to think that her morals
could have imprinted much devotion on the mind of her son: nor was any
man the dupe of those professions but Secker, the Archbishop, who for
the first days of the reign flattered himself with the idea of becoming
first minister in a Court that hoisted the standard of religion. He
was unwearied in attendance at St. James’s,[20] and in presenting
bodies of clergy; and his assiduity was so bustling and assuming, that
having pushed aside the Duke of Cumberland to get at the King, his
Royal Highness reprimanded him with a bitter taunt. The prelate soon
discovered his mistake. Nor were the Princess or the Favourite inclined
to trust the King in the hands of a Churchman, whom they knew so well,
and whose sanctity was as equivocal as their own.

As far as could be discerned of the King’s natural disposition, it was
humane and benevolent. If flowing courtesy to all men was the habit
of his dissimulation, at least, it was so suited to his temper, that
no gust of passion, no words of bitterness were ever known to break
from him. He accepted services with grace and appearance of feeling:
and if he forgot them with an unrestrained facility, yet he never
marked his displeasure with harshness. Silence served him to bear with
unwelcome ministers, or to part with them. His childhood was tinctured
with obstinacy: it was adopted at the beginning of his reign, and
called firmness; but did not prove to be his complexion. In truth, it
would be difficult to draw his character in positive colours. He had
neither passions nor activity. He resigned himself obsequiously to the
government of his mother and Lord Bute: learned, and even entered with
art into the lessons they inspired, but added nothing of his own. When
the task was done, he relapsed into indifference and indolence, till
roused to the next day’s part.[21]

The first gust of faction that threatened the new era, was an
intended duel between the Earl of Albemarle[22] and General George
Townshend.[23] A pamphlet was published against the latter,[24]
reflecting bitterly on the vanity with which he had assumed a principal
share in the conquest of Quebec, though the honour of signing the
capitulation had only fallen to him by the death of Wolfe and the
wounds of Monckton; an honour so little merited, that he had done his
utmost to traverse Wolfe’s plans. The pamphlet, too, set forth the
justice of taking such freedom with a man whose ill-nature had seized
every opportunity of ridiculing those he disliked by exhibiting their
personal defects in caricatures, which he had been the first to apply
to politics. His uncle the Duke of Newcastle, the Duke of Cumberland,
and Mr. Fox, had been the chief objects of those buffoon satires. The
pamphlet was certainly written under the direction of the last, and
could not fail to be agreeable to the partizans of the second. It
wounded so deeply, that Townshend, in the first blindness of his rage,
concluded it came from the person he hated most and had most offended:
that was the Duke of Cumberland: and as Lord Albemarle was the first
favourite of his Royal Highness, thither Townshend addressed his
resentment, though no man was less an author than the Earl. A challenge
passed, was accepted, and prevented in time by Townshend’s want of

On the 18th of November the Parliament met. Many Tories, though they
had received no formal invitation, appeared at the Cockpit to hear the
King’s speech read. It was composed, as usual, by Lord Hardwicke, was
long and dull, and had received additions from Pitt. On the Address
Beckford proposed to push the war with more vigour, the end of the last
campaign having, he said, been languid. Pitt fired at this reproach
from his friend, though certainly not levelled at him, and asked
Beckford what new species of extravagance he wished for? The Address
from Oxford had other objects in view. They boasted openly of their
attachment to Monarchy. As all places were already filled with Whigs,
the Court was forced to increase the establishment, in order to admit
their devotees. The King’s Bedchamber received six or eight additional
Grooms and seven Gentlemen. Most of the late King’s were continued; the
King’s own were joined with them; the rest were taken from the Tories.

The Duke of Richmond,[25] haughty and young, was offended that his
cousin, Colonel Keppel,[26] was removed from Gentleman of the Horse,
which the King destined for one of his own servants. The Duke asked
an audience; but began it with objecting to the distinction paid to
Sir Henry Erskine.[27] This so much disgusted, that the King would not
hear the Duke on the subject of Keppel. On cooler thoughts, Lord Bute
was sent to the Duke, to offer him to be of the King’s Bedchamber.
He accepted it, on condition that Keppel should remain Gentleman of
the Horse, which was likewise granted. But this pacification lasted
few days. Lord Fitzmaurice,[28] a favourite of Lord Bute, was made
Equerry to the King; though inferior in military rank to Lord George
Lenox[29] and Charles Fitzroy,[30] brothers of the Dukes of Richmond
and Grafton. The latter[31] had been of the Bedchamber to the King,
when Prince, but had quitted it, from dislike of Court attendance, and
disgusted with the haughty stateliness affected by Lord Bute. Richmond
and Grafton were much of an age; each regarded himself as Prince of
the Blood; and emulation soon created a sort of rivalship between
them. The Duke of Richmond’s figure was noble, and his countenance
singularly handsome. The Duke of Grafton was low, but manly, and with
much grace in his address. The passions of both were strong, but of the
first, ardent; of the latter, slow and inflexible. His temper was not
happy; but the Duke of Richmond’s, which was thought worse, because
more impetuous, was pliant, and uncommonly easy and accommodating
in his family and society. Both were thought avaricious; but the
latter very unjustly, generally approaching nearer to the opposite
extreme of profusion. His parts, too, were quicker and more subtle
than Grafton’s and more capable of application, though his elocution
was much inferior. The Duke of Grafton had a grace and dignity in his
utterance that commanded attention, and dazzled in lieu of matter; and
his temper being shy and reserved, he was supposed to be endued with
more steadiness than his subsequent conduct displayed. Neither of them
wanted obstinacy; but their obstinacy not flowing from system, it was
in both a torrent more impetuous in its course than in its duration.

The Duke of Grafton made a decent representation to the King, on the
wrong done to his brother, and demanded rank for him. The other Duke
carried a violent memorial, and commented on it in a manner, which some
years afterwards he found had never been forgotten or forgiven. The
next day he resigned the Bedchamber, but not his regiment. In a few
days he repented this step, and went to Lord Bute to explain away his
resignation, which, he said, might not be known. Lord Bute replied,
all the world knew it. The Duke, thinking this coldness proceeded from
a suspicion that he was influenced by Fox,[32] his brother-in-law,
disclaimed all connexion with him, and said, he had never approved
his sister’s marriage. Lord Bute, who even then probably had views of
Fox’s support, as a counterbalance to Pitt, replied, that Mr. Fox’s
alliance could be a disgrace to no man; as he must always be of great
use and weight in this country. Yet the Duke’s youth and frankness
made him avow what he had said to Fox himself, in the presence of Lord
Albemarle, who, though not much older, had far more worldly cunning,
and no doubt reported the conversation to his master, the Duke of
Cumberland; for Richmond and Albemarle, though first cousins, were no
friends; and the latter possessed all the arts of a Court. The Duke,
rebuffed by the Favourite, next consulted the Duke of Cumberland,
who told him prudently, that he was sorry the Duke of Richmond, at
twenty-three, had quarrelled with the King, at twenty-two; and advised
him to retire into the country, which he did. The effects of these
squabbles will appear hereafter, which made it proper to state them

The King’s revenue was settled and fixed to eight hundred thousand
pounds a year, certain. In the late reign any overplus was to accrue
to the Crown, but had ever produced so trifling an augmentation, that
the present boasted restriction, which was often quoted as one great
merit of the new Government, was not worth mentioning. It is true,
this revenue was by no means ample, considering the large incumbrances
with which it was loaded. The Duke of Cumberland’s annuity (exclusive
of the parliamentary grant of twenty-five thousand pounds a year) was
fifteen thousand pounds; Princess Amalie’s, twelve thousand. The King’s
brothers were to be provided for out of it; so was a future Queen; and
the Princess Dowager’s jointure was of fifty thousand pounds a year
from the same fund. Yet, though her dower was so great--though she
reduced her family, and lived in a privacy that exceeded economy, and
though she had a third of the Dutchy of Cornwall, which produced four
thousand pounds a year more, her passion for money was so great, that
she obtained an additional annuity of ten thousand pounds a year from
her son.[33] The Electorate suffered for these exigences of the Crown.
Whatever money could be drawn from thence was sunk in the privy purse,
which was entirely under the direction of Lord Bute.

The Earl of Litchfield,[34] a leader of the Tories, was added to the
King’s Bedchamber, as the Earl of Oxford[35] and Lord Bruce[36] had
been before, with the Scotch Earls of March[37] and Eglinton.[38] The
Lord Viscount Middleton,[39] an Irish Peer, was the first who in the
House of Commons here broached a hint of jealousy against the channel
in which Court favour seemed to flow. He was ridiculed for it by
Charles Townshend; but the spirit of dissatisfaction had been infused
into the former by the Duke of Newcastle, who openly censured the
new partiality to the Tories. Partiality there was, but the grievance
came with an ill grace from Newcastle, Stone,[40] suspected for more
than a Tory, had been placed by him as preceptor to the King; Lord
Mansfield had been his bosom favourite; and to gratify that favourite,
the extension of the _Habeas Corpus_ had been prevented. To gain the
Tories had been a prudent measure, but their principles were still more
welcome to the Court than their votes. Having only votes to offer, and
neither numbers nor abilities, they brought much discredit on their
patron, and little strength to his assistance.

In Ireland the prospect was not more promising. By Poyning’s law the
Privy Council of Ireland are to transmit hither all heads of bills,
particularly of money-bills. This latter was omitted by the intrigues
of the Primate, courting popularity. The bills were sent back, with
a severe reprimand for the omission of a money-bill. Mr. Pitt alone
took up the defence of the Irish Commons, and would not sign the
message, which thirty-four others of the English Privy Council who were
present signed. The King thanked the Duke of Bedford for supporting
his prerogative, but the Privy Council of Ireland wrote angry letters
to the Duke and his minister Rigby, telling them that they must not
come into that Kingdom again. The Duke, a little before, had been
challenged even in print by a mad Lord Clanrickard,[41] whose letter
being complained of by his Grace, the Council here ordered the
Attorney-General to prosecute the Earl: Rigby,[42] too, sent him a
challenge, which he did not accept. The Lords Justices sent over a
strong remonstrance in vindication of their conduct, and there the
matter ended for the present; but in the beginning of the next year
the Lords Justices renewed the attack on their Governor, and he and
Rigby were burned in effigy. Mr. Pitt interposed, and prevailed to
have a temperate memorial sent to the Justices, arguing the point with
them, and to _that_ he offered _to set his little name_, which was
done. The Lords Justices submitted, but with threats from the Primate
of resigning his part of the government. Nor yet did they send a new
bill, but a plan for raising the money already voted. Lord Clanrickard,
in answer to Rigby’s challenge, which had been printed and dispersed
in Ireland, replied in print likewise, excusing his not appearing at
Holyhead, the appointed rendezvous, on account of the prosecution
directed against him, though the prosecution in date was subsequent to
the challenge by two months. The Earl affirmed that he had proposed to
Mr. Rigby a new place of meeting; but a year or two afterwards, on an
accidental journey of Rigby to Ireland, the Earl seemed very glad that
an interposition was made, and the quarrel accommodated. The ill-humour
of the country, however, determined the Duke of Bedford to quit the
Government, after having amply gratified his family and dependents with
pensions. The Earl of Kildare, for taking no part in these divisions,
was rewarded with a marquisate.

Foreign affairs fluctuated with their old vicissitude. The Russians
and Austrians made themselves masters of Berlin, and treated it with
more lenity than could be expected from such barbarians and incensed
enemies. But they relinquished it in a few days; and before the close
of the year the King’s fortune and arms recovered their lustre by a
signal victory, which he gained in person near Torgau, over his great
competitor in glory, Marshal Daun, who was wounded in the thigh, and
carried from the field; a circumstance that did not impeach his fame,
as the loss of the day was attributed to his absence.

Yet this victory, shining as it was, could not counterbalance the new
spirit that was gone forth in England to the disparagement of the
war. Lord Hardwicke had long distasted it; and under his countenance
had been published a Tract, setting forth the burthen and ill-policy
of our German measures. It was called _Considerations on the German
War_; was shrewdly and ably written, and had more operation in working
a change on the minds of men, than perhaps ever fell to the lot of
a pamphlet.[43] The author was one Mauduit, formerly a Dissenting
teacher, and at that time a factor at Blackwell-hall. How agreeable his
politics were to the interior of the Court, soon appeared by a place
being bestowed on him by Lord Bute. Still, however, the Favourite left
the contest to be managed by other hands; and he had acted wisely to
have adhered to that plan. A new and formidable expedition had been
preparing. Newcastle and Hardwicke had quitted the Council, because
they could not prevail to have it laid aside. Yet it was postponed for
some time. Pitt, in the House of Commons, taking notice of the pacific
spirit that he saw arising, said, “Some are for keeping Canada; some,
Guadaloupe; who will tell me which I shall be hanged for not keeping?”

On opening the ways and means for the ensuing year, George Grenville
opposed the intended tax on ale and beer; the first overt act of his
disagreement with Mr. Pitt.


  New Promotions.--Pitt and Grenville.--Aggrandizement of Lord
    Bute.--His haughtiness.--Sir Henry Erskine, Home, and Worseley.--
    Debt to the Chancery of Hanover.--Secret Article in the Treaty
    with the Landgrave of Hesse.--Extravagance of the War.--New
    Tenure of the Judges.--Approaching general Election.--Flagrant
    Corruption.--Lord Bute appears more ostensibly in the character
    of Minister.--Mr. Pitt and Lord Holderness.--Injudicious Conduct
    of Lord Bute.--Ministerial Changes.--A strange Exaltation.--The
    Duke of Rutland.--Mr. Legge and the King.--General Conway.--
    Overtures by France for Peace.

The new year opened with promotions. The Lord Keeper Henley was made
Lord Chancellor. Lord Denbigh,[44] a creature of the Favourite, Master
of the Harriers; and George Grenville[45] was called to the Cabinet
Council. Pitt had ever treated him with contempt, and little expected
to find him vain or daring enough to enter the lists against him.
Grenville’s conceit of himself was by no means measured by the standard
of modesty. His ambition was equal to Pitt’s; and his plodding,
methodic genius made him take the spirit of detail for ability.
Avarice, which he possessed in no less proportion than his other
passions, concurred to lead him from a master, who browbeat and treated
him superciliously, to worship the rising sun. Lord Bute was in want of
tools; and it was a double prize to acquire them from his rival’s shop.

But Fortune, had he known how to use her gifts, was kinder to the
Favourite than his own politics. His wife’s father, old Wortley
Montagu, died at this time, and left to her and her second son a
fortune, that, at four per cent., was estimated at one million three
hundred and forty thousand pounds. This was the third death within
twelve months that happened to aggrandize Lord Bute. The decease of
his uncle, the Duke of Argyle,[46] left Scotland open to his power;
and that of the late King put the Crown itself into his hands. The
estate of his father-in-law was all he was qualified to enjoy. What
could be expected from a boy[47] locked up from the converse of
mankind, governed by a mother still more retired, who was under the
influence of a man that had passed his life in solitude, and was too
haughty to admit to his familiarity but half a dozen silly authors
and flatterers? Sir Henry Erskine,[48] a military poet, Home,[49] a
tragedy-writing parson, and Worseley,[50] a rider of the great horse
and architect, were his principal confidents. The nation was soon
governed accordingly. And yet it was not the nation’s fault, if it did
not receive the yoke even from this Junto!

No trouble was given to the Government by the old Parliament, which
still subsisted, and continued to lend all facilities to the progress
of the war. An estimate of three hundred thousand pounds due to the
Chancery of Hanover, for forage for the use of Hanoverians, Prussians,
and Hessians, was voted to be paid, without a division, though not
without some comments. Sir Francis Dashwood, Cooke,[51] Coventry,[52]
and Beckford[53] opposed it. Coventry said with a sneer, he was glad so
_just_ a debt was demanded before the nation was bankrupt, and unable
to discharge it. Beckford imputed the extravagance of the war (which
indeed was notorious) to the Duke of Newcastle, who, he supposed,
intended to overturn Mr. Pitt’s system, and prevent the continuation of
the war, by the excess of the expense; and he commended the management
of the Treasury during the short time in which it had been in the
Duke of Devonshire’s hands. Legge[54] defended the measure, and both
Newcastle’s and Devonshire’s administrations. Pitt was confined with
the gout, and not present.

In the last treaty with the Landgrave of Hesse, had been stipulated
a secret article of indemnification to that country. Many sums had
been allowed to them, to avoid the appearance in public of the article
itself. Mr. Pitt had at once granted them sixty thousand pounds on
that score. Yet now at last was Administration forced to lay before
Parliament a demand of four hundred thousand pounds for indemnification
to the Landgravate. Legge, who knew himself fallen into disgrace
with Lord Bute, refused to make the motion, on which he received
intimation that he must resign. Lord Winchelsea[55] said, Legge had had
more masters than any man in England, and had never left one with a
character. Lord Barrington,[56] therefore, made the demand. Beckford
again declaimed on the extravagance of the war. Sir Francis Dashwood
said, he had always disapproved the continental war, but would agree
to vote the money, (which was a sum of two hundred and sixty thousand
pounds for three years,) as we were bound by treaty to pay it; and he
found fault with more authorities not being laid before Parliament.
This money too was granted on March 6.

Three days before, the King had gone to Parliament, to desire that the
places of the judges, which were held during the life of the Prince on
the Throne, might be fixed to them for their own lives. This was one of
Lord Bute’s strokes of pedantry. The tenure of the judges had formerly
been a popular topic; and had been secured as far as was necessary.
He thought this trifling addition would be popular now, when nobody
thought or cared about it. When, not long afterwards, the advocates
for the Court were puzzled to produce instances of favour to the
constitution or to the cause of liberty, this boon to the judges was
sounded high, and repeated in every panegyric.

Nothing more of note occurred in this session. All attention was
engrossed by the approaching general election of a new Parliament. It
had been propagated that the King had forbidden any money to be issued
from the Treasury. Nothing was less true in fact, or proved less true
in effect. Both the Court and particulars went greater lengths than in
any preceding times. In truth, the corruption of electors met, if not
exceeded, that of candidates. The borough of Sudbury was so shameless,
as to advertise itself to the highest bidder.

But, preparatory to a new Parliament, and as an intimation to men
under whom they should list, the Favourite determined to appear more
ostensibly in the character of Minister. Accordingly, on the 12th of
March, orders were suddenly sent to Lord Holderness to give up the
seals of Secretary of State: the King adding, in discourse, that he
had two secretaries, one (Mr. Pitt) who would do nothing, and the
other (Lord Holderness) who could do nothing;[57] he would have one,
who both could and would. This was Lord Bute, to whom the Seals were
immediately delivered. Subduing Europe was reckoned nothing, as the
service was ungracious: and however low the talents of Lord Holderness
deserved to be estimated, they did not suffer by comparison with those
of his successor. Mr. Pitt resented the fall of his creature, but was
sweetened by the offer of cofferer to James Grenville.[58] Newcastle
rejoiced, having been deserted by Holderness; but affected to be
concerned: yet was not struck with the warning that this measure ought
to have been to himself. Mr. Pitt felt it more sensibly, and would not
part with Lord Temple, who might have been Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,
but was necessary to him in the House of Lords, where his measures had
no other champion. Lord Halifax was named to that great office; the
Duke of Bedford refused to accept any post; but it was supposed had his
eye on the Seals, which everybody expected disgust would soon oblige
Mr. Pitt to resign.

Nothing could be more injudicious than this step taken by the
Favourite. The conduct he ought to have pursued was obvious; which
was, lying quiet, till some or all of a few events, most probable to
happen, should have paved the way to his taking the reins. Newcastle
was old, Mr. Pitt very infirm. Their deaths, or at least a rupture
between them, would have delivered him from them; at least have
constituted him umpire between them. Any sinister event of the war
might have demolished Mr. Pitt’s popularity. Prudence, at least, should
have dictated to Lord Bute to await the conclusion of the peace,
which, however good, would have given a shock to Mr. Pitt’s credit,
from the impossibility of contenting all mankind. But the Favourite
was as impatient to have the honour of making that peace, as if he
had intended to make it an honourable one. His thrusting himself into
administration at the moment he did, was so preposterous, that most men
thought him betrayed into it by malicious advice. The Duke of Bedford,
to pay his court, and from desire of peace, certainly counselled it;
but Newcastle, and Hardwicke too, were generally believed to have
infused the same advice, with a view to his destruction; for while only
Groom of the Stole, Lord Bute stood in no responsible place. This was
the more likely, as what emoluments they obtained for their friends in
the new shuffling of the cards, by no means compensated for the credit
they lost by the appearance of this new star in the horizon of power.

The Duke of Rutland[59] was named Groom of the Stole; Lord Sandys,[60]
First Lord of Trade, but upon the ancient footing; the West Indies, to
please Mr. Pitt, being again put under the province of the Secretary
of State. The Duke of Leeds[61] was turned back to his old place of
Justice in Eyre, in the room of Lord Sandys, but with an additional
salary of a thousand pounds a year. Legge, who refused to resign, was
dismissed; and Lord Barrington made Chancellor of the Exchequer; being
succeeded by Charles Townshend[62] as Secretary at War. Sir Francis
Dashwood was made Treasurer of the Chambers. Elliot,[63] another of
Lord Bute’s court, succeeded James Grenville at the Board of Treasury.
Lord Villiers[64] and Thomas Pelham[65] were placed in the Admiralty,
as John Yorke, Lord Hardwicke’s fourth son, Rice,[66] son-in-law of
Lord Talbot, and Sir Edmund Thomas were at the Board of Trade. Mr.
Spencer[67] and Sir Richard Grosvenor (at the recommendation of Mr.
Pitt) were created Viscounts; Sir Thomas Robinson,[68] Sir Nathaniel
Curzon,[69] a rich Tory, Sir William Irby,[70] chamberlain to the
Princess, were made barons, along with Dodington,[71] whose ambition
still hovered about the Court, in which he was at last likely to have
some lead, by his connexion with the Favourite. Nor did Lord Bath[72]
himself quit sight of the back-stairs, by which he obtained leave to
hobble up to the King whenever he pleased.

But a phenomenon, that for some time occasioned more speculation
than even the credit of the Favourite, was the staff of Lord Steward
being put into the hands of Lord Talbot,[73] with the addition of an
earldom. As neither gravity, rank, interest, abilities, nor morals
could be adduced to countenance this strange exaltation, no wonder it
caused very unfavourable comments. This Lord had long affected a very
free-spoken kind of patriotism on all occasions. He had some wit, and
a little tincture of a disordered understanding; but was better known
as a boxer and man of pleasure, than in the light of a statesman.
The Duchess of ---- had been publicly divorced from her lord on his
account; and was not the only woman of fashion who had lived with him
openly as his mistress. He was strong, well made, and very comely;
but with no air, nor with the manners of a man of quality. No wonder
the promotion of such a minister, in a reign that advertised piety,
strengthened the suspicions already entertained of the sincerity of
the Court. It grew more comic still, when the new statesman appeared
to be a reformer too. As the Court knew that the measures it had in
contemplation could only be carried by money, every stratagem was
invented to curtail the common expenses of the Palace. As these fell
under the province of the Lord Steward, nothing was heard of but cooks
cashiered, and kitchens shut up. Even the Maids of Honour, who did
not expect rigours from a great officer of Lord Talbot’s complexion,
were reduced to complain of the abridgement of their allowance for
breakfast. The public joined in the cry, and the shops teemed with
scandalous prints against the reformer and his patroness.

The Duke of Rutland was not pleased with the office of Groom of the
Stole, which had fewer employments in its disposal, and which was
therefore given to Lord Holderness; but the very next day the Duke was
appointed Master of the Horse, from whence Lord Huntingdon[74] was
removed to be Groom of the Stole; and Lord Holderness was laid aside
with a large pension, and the reversion of the Cinque Ports after the
Duke of Dorset. Lady Bute was created a baroness, that her son might
inherit an English peerage.

When Legge resigned his Seal, he lamented being under his Majesty’s
displeasure, but said his future life should testify his zeal. The
King replied, he was glad to hear him say so; nothing but his future
life could eradicate the ill impressions he had received of him. His
disgrace was owing to his not having seconded the Favourite’s views in
the late reign, when Lord Bute had been desirous of bringing a Jacobite
friend into Parliament for Hampshire, of which more will be said

General Conway[76] was sent to command in Germany under Lord Granby.
The Bedford faction opposed it, in favour of General Waldegrave,[77]
who had served there during the whole war, upon the supposition that
Lord Granby would come to England, and that Waldegrave might succeed
him, Mostyn[78] not being equal to the charge. Conway obtained to
be sent, but without a certain promise of replacing Lord Granby,[79]
though the King said Conway was a man of abilities, character, sense,
and prudence, such as was greatly wanted there. France at this time
made earnest overtures for peace.


  Thanks of the House of Commons to Mr. Onslow, their Speaker.--
    His Character.--Sir John Philipps.--Mr. Legge.--Mr. More, of
    Shrewsbury.--Mr. Onslow’s retirement.--His last address to the
    House.--Lord Bath’s Pamphlet.--Solicitations by France for
    Peace.--Mr. Pitt disinclined to negotiate.--Expedition against
    Belleisle.--Mr. Pitt’s obstinacy.--Lord Bute’s Faction.--Mr.
    Pitt and the Duke of Bedford.--Negotiation for Peace.--Monsieur
    de Bussy.--Mr. Stanley.--Death of Archibald Duke of Argyle,
    and of Hoadley, Bishop of Winchester.--Character of those
    Personages.--Their Successors.

The last day of the session, March 18th, was fixed for returning the
thanks of the House of Commons to Mr. Onslow, their Speaker, who had
filled the chair with unblemished integrity during the whole long reign
of George the Second, and who had the prudence to quit the scene before
his years and growing infirmities made him a burthen to himself and the
public.[80] No man had ever supported with more firmness the privileges
of the House, nor sustained the dignity of his office with more
authority. His knowledge of the Constitution equalled his attachment to
it. To the Crown he behaved with all the decorum of respect, without
sacrificing his freedom of speech. Against encroachments of the House
of Peers he was an inflexible champion. His disinterested virtue
supported him through all his pretensions; and though to conciliate
popular favour he affected an impartiality that by turns led him to the
borders of insincerity and contradiction--and though he was so minutely
attached to forms, that it often made him troublesome in affairs of
higher moment, it will be difficult to find a subject whom gravity will
so well become, whose knowledge will be so useful and so accurate, and
whose fidelity to his trust will prove so unshaken.

Sir John Philipps[81] moved the address of thanks to him for his great
services, but so wretchedly, that the sensibility the House showed on
the occasion flowed only from their hearts, not from any impression
made on them by the eloquence of their spokesman. Legge seconded the
motion with his usual propriety and brevity, and _commended retreat_,
God knows with what sincerity! Others threw in their word of panegyric;
and Mr. More, of Shrewsbury, an old and acute member, proposed to erect
a statue to the Speaker’s memory, with great encomiums on the authority
with which he had formerly kept in order such men as then filled the
Treasury-bench and composed the Opposition, naming among the former Sir
Robert Walpole and Mr. Pelham, the latter of whom, he said, had the
honour of dying a Commoner. More was a Whig of the primitive stamp,
and though attached to Sir Robert Walpole, had withstood, and by the
force of his honest abilities had defeated, the intended clemency of
that Minister to some attainted Jacobite families with respect to their
estates. He had long abstained from Parliament, returned to it without
his former success, and now appeared there for the last time.

Henry Archer[82] proposed to address the Crown to bestow a pecuniary
reward on the Speaker’s services. Sir John Philipps replied, he knew
that was intended; as it was; an annuity of two thousand pounds a
year to him and his son. Sir George Saville approved the reward, but
desired the Commons, not the Crown, might have the merit of bestowing
it. Velters Cornwall made one of his absurd, ill-natured speeches,
which the House was always so kind as to take for humour, teazing
the Speaker under pretence of complimenting him; while the good old
man sat overpowered with gratitude, and weeping over the testimonies
borne to his virtue. He rose at last, and closed his public life in
the most becoming manner; neither over-acting modesty, nor checking
the tender sensibility which he necessarily felt at quitting the
darling occupation of his life. His thanks to the House for their
patient sufferance of his errors, and for their gracious acceptance of
his endeavours to serve them, were shortly, but cogently, expressed;
and his voice, and the tears he could not restrain, spoke still more
forcibly how much his soul was agitated by laudable emotions. He
begged to have the address spared, as he would accept nothing for
himself, though he would not prejudice his family. He was going, he
said, into the most close and obscure retreat, where he should want
little; and he concluded with a pathetic prayer for the perpetuity
of the Constitution. Sir John Philipps desired that what he had
uttered might be inserted in the votes. The Speaker protested he
could not remember his own words, but the House insisted, as Cornwall
and Sir George Saville did on the address, to which the Speaker at
last acquiesced, and it was voted. He ended with saying this was the
greatest day and the greatest honours ever known, for they could only
be conferred by a free nation.[83]

The next day the Parliament was prorogued, then dissolved, and a new
one chosen.

In this month was published a pamphlet called “Seasonable Hints from
an Honest Man on the present Crisis.” The author, and some of the
doctrines it broached--not any merit in the composition--make it
memorable. It was written by Lord Bath,[84] who having surprised the
King into a promise of the Lord-Lieutenancy of Shropshire, was opposed
by the Duke of Newcastle, who supported Lord Powis.[85] The pamphlet,
therefore, warmly attacked his Grace, taxed him with his cabals
and resignation in the last rebellion, and it defended the measure
of admitting the Tories to a participation of power. In general,
the language of the pamphlet was that of the Court, who conducted
themselves by the advice bequeathed by Lord Bolingbroke, who had, and
with truth, assured the late Prince of Wales, that the Tories would
be the heartiest in the support of prerogative. The censure passed on
pensions was not equally flattering to the Court, the new reign having
already bestowed them profusely. Yet much the book vaunted the King’s
declaration against corruption in elections, which had gone no farther
than to undermine the Duke of Newcastle’s influence. The private Junto
was impatient to conclude the peace, that they might prosecute the
intended war on the old ministry at home, the established harmony
being solely produced by the war, as had often been the case at Rome.
A few pedantic examples were the sum of Lord Bute’s knowledge; yet his
partizans affected to celebrate the care he had taken of the King’s
education. A well-founded panegyric on a man who was deficient in the
orthography of his own language! The King had had able preceptors: the
Bishop of Norwich[86] was a scholar; the Bishop of Salisbury[87] not
deficient. Stone and Scott had taste and knowledge. Lord Waldegrave,
for forming a King, was not to be matched. It proved, indeed, that his
Majesty had learned nothing, but what a man, who knew nothing, could
teach him.

About the end of March, France renewed the most pressing solicitations
for peace. They frankly avowed the distress of their affairs; for
they did not apprehend hard-heartedness in the new Court. Augsburgh
they proposed for the place of congress, or any other town the King
should name, professing they would treat _vis-à-vis du Roi de la Grande
Brétagne_; for which purpose they offered to send a minister hither,
where, too, might be one from the King of Prussia: the ministers of
_their_ allies should assemble at Paris. The two Empresses, they said,
were grown more moderate in their demands; and for their own part, they
talked of yielding to us all Canada. So much ear was given to these
overtures, that the Earl of Egremont[88] and Sir Joseph Yorke[89] were
named to go to the Congress. But so little was this measure to the
inclination of Mr. Pitt, that he prosecuted with unusual warmth an
expedition he had meditated against Belleisle; a conquest of so little
value, and so inadequate to the expense with which it was attended,
that the plan was by many believed calculated solely to provoke the
Court of France, and break off the negotiation. France was more
surprised than concerned at this attack. Sir Edward Hawke had lain
before it for two years, when there were not five hundred men on the
island, without attempting it. Now they had had time to fortify it,
we persisted in the conquest. Both Hawke and Boscawen[90] earnestly
dissuaded the enterprise. Yet Pitt was obdurate; and the island was
taken at last by the beginning of June, after an enormous waste of
money, and the loss of some men. There fell Sir William Williams, a
gallant and ambitious young man, who had devoted himself both to war
and politics. The island is a barren rock; and it was only to humour
Mr. Pitt, that France, in the succeeding negotiations, condescended to
treat it as an object of the smallest importance.

The indecent and injudicious precipitation with which the Favourite’s
faction hurried towards peace, justified any steadiness Mr. Pitt
could exert to keep the balance where he had placed it, in our own
hands. Newcastle and Hardwicke, either not perceiving the symptoms
of their own fall, or hoping to ward off the evil hour, truckled to
the Favourite’s views. The Duke of Bedford (who in his heart admired
Pitt, but was made to hate him by Rigby, at the instigation of Fox,
and inflamed by the coldness with which Pitt had listened to the
representations made by his Grace, on the opposition to him in Ireland)
was, avowedly, pacific; and all of them seemed united against the
warlike minister. Lord Talbot went so far as to press the dismission
of him. But it was Lord Bute’s nature to provoke first, before he
offended. Gallitzin, the Russian minister, was reprimanded by him for
carrying the proposition of peace to Mr. Pitt, instead of to him;
though it had been usual, while Lord Holderness held the Seals, for
the foreign ministers in his department to address themselves to the
effective minister. Mr. Pitt’s temper, soured by these associations
and contradictions, broke out first against the Duke of Newcastle. At
a great council held on the 23rd of April, Mr. Pitt, who had been wont
to affirm, that too much could not be spent on the war in Germany,
made severe complaint of the extravagance in the management of it; and
imputed it to the fault of our commissaries, that Prince Ferdinand had
been disabled from making greater progress there. Himself, he said,
within six months, would move for an inquiry into the conduct of the
war. The Duke of Bedford took up the contrary side with warmth, and
made a speech that was much admired; and so little attention was paid
to the views of Mr. Pitt, that it was settled Mr. Stanley[91] and
Monsieur de Bussy should be exchanged to conduct the negotiation. Bussy
was an Abbé of parts, who had formerly resided here as minister,[92]
and had given much offence to the late King whom he treated so
impertinently, that the King, asking him one day in the circle, “Ce
qu’il y avoit de nouveau à Paris?” Bussy replied with contemptuous
familiarity, “Sire, il y gêle.” He had again been imposed on that
Prince, when the French dictated to him a neutrality for Hanover. Bussy
was not likely to be so presumptuous now. Yet France, trusting to our
pusillanimous impatience for peace, had the confidence to demand, that
the man-of-war that carried over Stanley should bring back Bussy.
But Mr. Pitt was yet minister; the proposal was rejected; and it was
settled that Stanley and Bussy should be at Dover and Calais on the

Before the departure of Stanley, it was agitated in Council, whether he
should be entrusted with full powers. Mr. Pitt, who had named Stanley
from opinion of his abilities, though at that time disunited from him
and gone over to Newcastle, confided in this nomination, and thought it
would leave himself master of the negotiation, if Stanley, who by being
at Paris was in his department, were charged with conclusive powers;
for which, therefore, Pitt and Lord Temple pleaded. But Bute, and the
rest of the Council, who chose not to let the negotiation pass out of
their own hands, prevailed to have Stanley’s instructions limited.

During these discussions died two considerable men, Archibald Duke
of Argyle, and Hoadley Bishop of Winchester. The character of
the former[93] has been sufficiently set forth in my preceding
Memoirs. The last will be known by his writings, and as long as a
Churchman, combating for the liberties of mankind, shall be an unusual
phenomenon.[94] Argyle had the lowest opinion of his nephew, Lord
Bute, who he had foretold would rush into power without having formed
a plan. The nephew had in truth too little capacity, and too much
presumption, to let himself be guided by so shrewd a relation, though
the uncle would not have been obdurate if proper deference had been
paid to his oracle. The last effort of this great Lord’s power in
Scotland had miscarried. The city of Edinburgh had recurred, as usual,
to his nomination for the election of their representative; that is,
of thirty-three electors, twenty-two still acknowledged their ancient
dictator. He named Forester, an able Scottish counsellor, but always
resident in England. Six days before the election such violent papers
were dispersed against Forester, as too much an Englishman, that the
City did not dare to put him in nomination, but were forced to choose
their own Provost. How much did Scotland afterwards resent parallel
nationalities, when exercised against them!

The Marquis of Tweedale[95] succeeded the Duke of Argyle, as Chief
Justiciary; and Bishop Thomas, of Salisbury, the King’s former
preceptor, was made Bishop of Winchester. Drummond,[96] of St. Asaph,
whom Newcastle had destined to Winchester, succeeded. Thomas Earl
Powis was made Comptroller of the Household on the death of Lord


  Solemn and unusual Summons of the Council.--Announcement of
    the King’s intended Marriage with the Princess of Mecklenberg
    Strelitz.--The Princess Dowager’s aversion to her Son’s
    Marriage.--The King’s attachment to Lady Sarah Lenox.--Schemes
    of Mr. Fox.--Remarkable Speech of the King to Lady Susan
    Strangways.--Frustration of Fox’s Intrigues.--Colonel Graeme
    despatched to Germany to select a Queen.--The King’s deference
    to his mother, and acceptance of the Bride she had chosen.--Lady
    Sarah Lenox.--Serious Crisis in the Cabinet.--Lofty Conduct of
    Mr. Pitt.--His Draught for a Treaty with France.--Reception of
    this by the other Ministers.--Arrival of the new Queen.--Her
    mental and personal Characteristics.--Anecdotes.--Disposal of the
    vacant Bishopricks.--Lord Talbot.--Coronation Squabbles.--Sir
    William Stanhope’s bitter Speech against the Scotch.--Lord Talbot
    and the Barons of the Cinque Ports.

While the attention of mankind hung on the negotiation, the King’s
messengers were suddenly sent forth to all Privy Councillors to meet
at one o’clock, at St. James’s, July 8th, on urgent and important
business. The business itself was an absolute secret. Every body
concluded that so solemn and unusual a summons of the Council was to
give fuller sanction to peace. How great was the general surprise
when they heard his Majesty had convened this assembly to notify
his intended marriage with the Princess of Mecklenberg Strelitz! A
resolution taken and conducted with so much mystery, that till that
hour perhaps not six men in England knew such a princess existed.

It has been mentioned with what aversion the Princess Dowager had
opposed a marriage projected by the late King between his heir apparent
and a very accomplished Princess of Brunswick. A wife for her son, not
chosen by herself nor obliged to her, by no means suited the views of
the Princess. Could she have chained up his body, as she fettered his
mind, it is probable she would have preferred his remaining single. A
mistress would have been more tremendous than a wife. The next brother,
the Duke of York, was not equally tractable, had expressed little
reverence for his mother, and much antipathy to her favourite. If the
King should die and leave even an infant, a minority did not deprive
the Princess of all prospect of protracting her rule.

But there had happened circumstances still more pressing, more
alarming. The King was fallen in love with Lady Sarah Lenox, sister of
the Duke of Richmond; a very young lady of the most blooming beauty,
and shining with all the graces of unaffected, but animated nature.
What concurred to make her formidable to the mother and Favourite,
was, her being under the tutorage of Mr. Fox, her eldest sister’s[98]
husband; and in truth, she and her family spared no assiduity to fix
the young monarch’s heart. And though Fox would probably not have
been scrupulous or delicate on the terms of cementing that union, the
King’s overtures were so encouraging, that Fox’s views extended even
to placing the young lady on the throne. Early in the winter, the King
told Lady Susan Strangways,[99] Mr. Fox’s niece, and the confidant of
Lady Sarah, that he hoped she (Lady Susan) would not go out of town
soon. She said, she should. “But,” replied the King, “you will return
in summer, for the coronation?” Lady Susan answered, “I do not know; I
hope so.” “But,” said the King again, “they talk of a wedding. There
have been many proposals; but I think an English match would do better
than a foreign one. Pray, tell Lady Sarah Lenox I say so.” The next
time Lady Sarah went to Court (and her family took care that should not
be seldom) the King said, “he hoped Lady Susan had told her his last

The Junto was not blind to these whispers and dialogues. Lady Bute was
instructed to endeavour to place herself in the circle, and prevent
them. And the Princess Augusta marked her observation of what was going
forward to Lady Sarah herself, laughing in her face, and trying to
affront her. But Fox was not to be so rebuffed. Though he went himself
to bathe in the sea (possibly to disguise his intrigues), he left Lady
Sarah at Holland House,[100] where she appeared every morning in a
field close to the great road (where the King passed on horseback) in a
fancied habit, making hay.

Such mutual propensity fixed the resolution of the Princess. One
Colonel Graeme was despatched in the most private manner as a
traveller, and vested with no character, to visit various little
Protestant Courts, and make report of the qualifications of the several
unmarried Princesses. Beauty, and still less, talents, were not, it is
likely, the first object of his instructions. On the testimony of this
man, the golden apple was given to the Princess of Mecklenburg; and the
marriage precipitately concluded. The ambassador was too remarkable
not to be farther mentioned. This Graeme, then, was a notorious
Jacobite, and had been engaged in the late rebellion. On a visit he
made to Scotland, his native country, after this embassy, David Hume,
the historian, said to him, “Colonel Graeme, I congratulate you on
having exchanged the dangerous employment of making Kings, for the more
lucrative province of making Queens.”

So complete was the King’s deference to the will of his mother, that
he blindly accepted the bride she had chosen for him; though, to the
very day of the council, he carried on his courtship to Lady Sarah;
and she did not doubt of receiving the crown from him, till she heard
the public declaration of its being designed for another. Yet, in
confirmation of the trust he had reposed in Lady Susan Strangways,
himself appointed Lady Sarah to be one of the bridemaids to the Queen.
Yet Lord Bute’s friends affected to give another turn to the story;
and insisted that the King had never thought of Lady Sarah but for his
mistress. All, they affirmed, he had said to Lady Susan was, to bid
her ask Lady Sarah if she should like a place in the family of the
new Queen; that she had accepted it; and that the King had destined
her to be Mistress of the Robes. Her surprise and disappointment,
however, were too strongly marked to make this legend credible. Lady
Susan adhered to the truth of what she had reported, in various
examinations by her father and uncle. And the resentment Lady Sarah
expressed, and which caused, as the Court said, her not being placed
about the new Queen, was proof enough on which side the truth lay. The
Junto persuaded the King she was a bad young woman; but if she was,
what hindered her becoming his mistress? Was it criminal to propose
being his wife rather than his mistress? And what became of the King’s
boasted piety, if he intended to place his mistress about his wife?
Some coquet attempts, which Lady Sarah afterwards made to recover
his notice, and her stooping to bear the Queen’s train as bridemaid,
did her more prejudice than all that was invented against her. Pique
and extreme youth might excuse both; and her soon after preferring a
clergyman’s son to several great matches, gave evidence that ambition
was not a rooted passion in her.

In my own opinion, the King had thoughts of her as a wife; but wanted
resolution to oppose his mother and Lord Bute. Fortunately, no doubt,
in this instance; for the daughter of a subject, and the sister-in-law
of so ambitious and exceptionable a man as Fox, would probably have
been productive of most serious consequences. To avoid returning to
this topic, I will only remember, that during the wedding-service, on
mention of Abraham and Sarah, the King could not conceal his confusion.
And the day following, when everybody was presented to the Queen, Lord
Westmoreland,[101] old and dimsighted, seeing Lady Sarah in the rich
habit of bridemaid, mistook her for Queen, and was going to kneel and
kiss her hand.

But while the arrival of the Queen was expected, and the approaching
ceremonies of the wedding and coronation engrossed the attention of
the public, affairs grew towards a serious crisis in the Cabinet.
Prince Ferdinand had opened the campaign with vivacity and advantage,
driving the French before him, and seizing, or reducing them to
destroy great part of their magazines; a success that enabled him to
form the sieges of Ziegenhayn and Cassel. Marshal Broglio was not
disheartened or inactive; but re-assembling his dispersed troops, he
attacked the Hereditary Prince, and routed the body under his command;
in consequence of which the sieges were raised, and Prince Ferdinand
retired, abandoning the whole country of Hesse to the enemy. This
advantage, it was apprehended, would make France less eager for peace.
Yet she continued the negotiation with much appearance of warmth; and
though she was far from bringing all the facilities our Court wished
for, the conclusion of the treaty seemed to be rather impeded by the
loftiness and firmness of Mr. Pitt, than by the insincerity of France.
Still, as it afterwards appeared, she had secret resources in reserve;
nor could she fail to hope but Mr. Pitt might be displaced, and her
condition mended, when the administration should fall into the hands of
men whose honour was not so much concerned in the event of the war, and
who had national honour much less at heart. The transactions have been
printed, and will appear in every common history. My part is to relate
by what steps and intrigues the negotiation was broken off.

In the end of August, the council had ordered their ultimate
concessions to be drawn and sent to France. Mr. Pitt made the draught
and carried it to Council. The other ministers thought it spoke his
sense, not theirs; or rather, contained more of an ultimatum than they
were disposed to adhere to. In defence of his own inflexibility, Mr.
Pitt spoke largely on the _haughtiness_ of France.

Lord Hardwicke[102] said he approved our not submitting to their
haughtiness, and congratulated his country in not having been behind
hand with them in that respect. Lord Granville[103] took the draught,
and applauded it exceedingly; said it deserved to be inserted in the
Acta Regia; but for his part he did not love fine letters on business.
He thought even bad Latin preferable to good in negotiations.

These speeches raised Pitt’s choler; and with reason. He had vindicated
the honour of his country; and now was supporting it with a dignity it
had never known since the days of Cromwell. He saw himself abandoned
and ridiculed by his master’s ministers; but he was not a man to recoil
before such adversaries. If he had assumed an unwarrantable tone, his
situation might well justify it. He broke out with great asperity, and
told them dictatorially, they should not alter an iota of the letter.
Rhodomontade had been too favourite a figure with Lord Granville to
leave him the dupe of it in another man. He himself had made glory but
a step to ambition, instead of making ambition a footstool to glory.
He neither admired Pitt’s exalted diction, nor exalted views; and
continuing to canvass the point with him, said, he had understood from
Bussy--“From Bussy,” interrupted Pitt; “nor you, nor any of you shall
treat with Bussy: nobody shall but myself.”

The Duke of Bedford, whom the rest always summoned when they wanted to
combat Pitt and did not dare, said, “he did not know why he was called
to council, if he was not at liberty to debate; and since he was told
they were not to be permitted to alter an iota, he would come thither
no more,” and retired. Some of the others were less stout. Lord Bute
said little, but that he thought the King’s honour was concerned in
sticking to our own terms; and therefore he should be for adhering to
them. This short turn in the Favourite produced a like sentiment in
some who waited on his nod. Besides Mr. Pitt and Lord Temple, the
Chancellor, Lord Halifax, and Lord Ligonier assented to the Favourite’s
opinion; Hardwicke, Newcastle, Mansfield, and Granville adhered to
the softer method. The Duke of Devonshire remained, who had uttered
no opinion. At last he said, if they were not permitted to alter
the draught of the letter (which implied his inclination to have it
altered), he should give no opinion. Mr. Pitt asked what he should
report to the King as his Grace’s advice? He replied as he had said
before, “he would give no opinion.”

Newcastle was alarmed, and jealous of the sudden and unexpected turn
Lord Bute had taken, but was soon satisfied by his Lordship that he was
in no connection with Mr. Pitt; and, indeed, it is probable that he had
only been overawed, and had apprehended being taxed by Pitt with any
unpopular measure. On the 25th, another council was held, to which,
notwithstanding his declaration, the Duke of Bedford returned. He and
Devonshire seemed to have no concern but lest any wayward humour of
Newcastle should be crossed. Pitt at this council was more temperate,
and submitted to some small concessions.

On the 7th of September, the new Queen landed at Harwich. Lord
Harcourt,[104] whose peace had been made by Lord Talbot, had been sent
to fetch her, with the Duchesses of Ancaster[105] and Hamilton;[106]
but as an earnest of the prison prepared for her, and to keep her
in that state of ignorance which was essential to the views of the
Princess, they were forbidden to see her alone. Her mother, who died
during the treaty of marriage, ordered her to put herself entirely into
the hands of the Princess. Mrs. Katherine Dashwood,[107] of a Jacobite
family, and intimate of Lady Bute, was destined to live in the palace.
No privy purse was allowed to the Queen, but Mr. Stone[108] received
twenty thousand pounds a year to pay her servants.

She had been educated in that strict course of piety, which in Germany
reaches to superstition; a habit in which she was encouraged to such a
degree, that when the King visited his mother, which he soon, at the
desire of the Princess, began to do, without the Queen, she was afraid
of staying alone, and retired to her two German women; her English
ladies not being suffered to keep her company. Yet this weakness
seemed solely the result of a bad education. Her temper appeared to be
lively, and her understanding sensible and quick. Great good-nature,
set off by much grace in her manner, recommended all she said. Her
person was small, and very lean, but well made. Her face pale and
homely, her nose something flat, her mouth very large. Her hair was of
a fine brown, and her countenance pleasing.

When first she saw the palace she trembled. The Duchess of Hamilton
smiled. The Queen said, “You may laugh; you have been married twice;
but it is no joke to me.” The King received her in the garden of St.
James’s; she would have kneeled, but he raised and embraced her, and
led her to the Princess, where they and Lady Augusta dined together.
Between nine and ten at night they went to chapel. The Duke of
Cumberland gave her away; and after the ceremony they appeared for a
few minutes in the drawing-room, and then went to supper. She played
and sung, for music was her passion, but she loved other amusements
too, and had been accustomed to them; but excepting her music, all the
rest were retrenched; nor was she[109] ever suffered to play at cards,
which she loved. While she was dressing, she was told the King liked
some particular manner of dress. She said, “Let him dress himself;
I shall dress as I please.” They told her he liked early hours; she
replied, she did not, and “qu’elle ne voulait pas se coucher avec les
poules.” A few weeks taught her how little power she had acquired with
a Crown. The affection she conceived for the King softened the rigour
of her captivity. Yet now and then a sigh stole out, and now and then
she attempted, though in vain, to enlarge her restraint. What must have
penetrated deeper, was, that policy did not seem to be the sole motive
of the mortifications she endured. At times there entered a little
wantonness of power into the Princess’s treatment of her. The King made
her frequent presents of magnificent jewels; and as if diamonds were
empire, she was never allowed to appear in public without them. The
first time she received the sacrament, she begged not to wear them, one
pious command of her mother having been, not to use jewels at her first
communion. The King indulged her; but Lady Augusta carrying this tale
to her mother, the Princess obliged the King to insist on the jewels,
and the poor young Queen’s tears and terrors could not dispense with
her obedience.

Previous to the Coronation the vacant Bishopricks were bestowed. The
Archbishoprick of York was given to Dr. Drummond;[110] and Hayter[111]
of Norwich, who had been disgraced with Lord Harcourt, was, by the
interest of the same patron, Lord Talbot, promoted to the See of
London. Newcastle vehemently opposed it, and solicited for Thomas
of Lincoln,[112] but received this thundering sentence from Lord
Bute:--“If Thomas is such a favourite with your Grace, why did not you
prefer him when you had the power?” The Duke, however, obtained the
mitre of Norwich for Dr. Yonge; and being bidden to observe that the
King’s answer to the address of Oxford on his marriage was kinder than
that to Cambridge, he replied, it is true; but two of the new Bishops
are Cambridge men--so easily did he comfort himself even with the
shadow of power!

Here ended, almost as soon as it began, the credit of Lord Talbot.
He was sometimes well, sometimes ill with Lord Bute, and though
remaining in favour at Court, never seemed to have any influence
there. A trifling circumstance, because it occasioned an event that
made much noise afterwards, must be mentioned. As Lord Steward, Lord
Talbot composed part of that ridiculous pageant at the coronation, the
entry of the Champion. So fond was Lord Talbot of his share in this
mummery, that he rehearsed his part on his steed in Westminster-hall,
and carried his new Bishop of London to be witness of his feats. The
Duke of York calling Hayter, who was lame, up to the _haut pas_, which
he ascended with difficulty, the Bishop said, “You see, sir, how hard
it is for me to get a step.” When the day came, Lord Talbot piqued
himself on not turning his back to the King, and produced a strange
hubbub of laughter by trying to force his horse to retire backwards
out of the hall. With the City, with the Knights of the Bath, and the
Barons of the Cinque Ports, Lord Talbot had various squabbles, by
retrenching their tables at the coronation. Beckford told him it was
hard if the citizens should have no dinner, when they were to give
the King one, which would cost them ten thousand pounds. This menace
prevailed. Sir William Stanhope, brother of Lord Chesterfield, a man of
not less wit, and of more ill-nature than his elder, said, “It was an
affront to the Knights of the Bath; for _some_ of us,” added he, “are
_gentlemen_.” It was a more bitter speech he made against the Scotch
and their Protectress. “He would not go to Court,” he said, “for fear
of the itch, which would reduce him to go to the Princess’s Court for
brimstone.” To the Barons of the Cinque Ports Lord Talbot said, “If
they came to him as Lord Steward, their request could not be granted;
if, as Lord Talbot, he was a match for any of them.” This boisterous
and absurd behaviour drew aside much odium from the Favourite; but as
puppet-shows were not exhibited every day, the zany was forgotten, and
the hisses of the mob soon fastened on the principal performer.


  Interposition of Spain in behalf of France.--The Duke of Bedford
    and Bussy.--Mr. Pitt’s indignation at the demands of Spain.--
    Resignation of Mr. Pitt and Lord Temple.--Exultation of Lord
    Bute and other Ministers.--Lord Talbot’s advice to the Duke of
    Newcastle.--Effect on the Nation of Mr. Pitt’s Secession from
    the Cabinet.--His acceptance of a Peerage for his wife, and of a
    pension.--Insidious conduct of the Court.--Mr. Pitt’s Successors
    in Office.--George Grenville.--Injudicious Conduct of Mr.
    Pitt.--Address to him from the Common Council of London, and from
    Provincial Towns.--Mrs. Anne Pitt’s sarcasm against her brother.--
    Meeting of Parliament.--Choice of a Speaker.--Sir John Cust.--
    The King’s Speech.--The Address.--Lord Temple’s Speech.--The
    King and Royal Family dine in the City with the Lord Mayor.--Mr.
    Pitt’s reception in Guildhall.--Riots.

It was not without reason that the nation took an alarm, when almost
all who conducted our affairs were determined to take none. Spain
for some time had interposed officiously in behalf of France, which,
said the Spaniards, was sufficiently humbled, and must not be ruined.
It was known that they had furnished her with money; and, as if they
sought an open breach with us, they demanded for all Spain the same
privilege as Biscay and two other provinces enjoyed, of fishing on
the coasts of Newfoundland. This was peremptorily refused; and had
Mr. Pitt’s influence been equal to his spirit, Lord Bristol[113] had
been immediately recalled from Madrid. But the other ministers, who
desired nothing better than an excuse for their pusillanimity, begged
to temporize. They pretended to dread being overpowered, but were more
afraid of a new field being opened to success. The Spanish ministers
of the French faction had blown up their opinionative and ignorant
Prince[114] with ideas of holding the balance between England and
France: but the old Spaniards lamented a system so abhorrent from the
true interest of their country. The King of Spain was possessed with
a notion that his lights were equal to his grandeur. He listened, or
thought he listened, to no advice: but if anything is more fatal to
a nation than a foolish indolent Prince, it is a foolish one that
is active and obstinate. Our ministers cried out against a war with
Spain as unnatural; but when the interest of Spain did not direct
Spain, were we to act as if it did? The Duke of Bedford, who, like Don
Carlos, could be made to take half of what he meant for the whole, was
clamorous against a Spanish war; and as he always compensated for the
arguments he leaped over, by excess on the other side, he told Bussy
he was sorry for his departure, as we were no longer in a situation to
make war.[115]

Bussy, however, still lingered, and invented frivolous excuses to
palliate his delay. Lord Hardwicke, considering a treaty in the light
of a bill in Chancery, begged some _binding_ words might be inserted
in the treaty. But Mr. Pitt had fixed his resolution. It was by
one bold stroke to assert the honour of his country, or to quit the
rudder. He insisted that a fleet of twelve or fourteen men-of-war
should be instantly sent to Cadiz; and that Lord Bristol should be
ordered to demand a sight of the treaty between Spain and France;
and if not accorded, to leave Madrid without delay. When Spain had
given such indications of her partiality to France, nothing could
be more justifiable than this measure. But Spain had not restrained
herself within the bounds of favour. In the midst of the negotiation
between us and France, to which Spain pretended to offer herself as
guarantee, she had committed a most flagrant and unheard-of instance
of taking part, nay, of adding herself as a party to the grievances
complained of. Bussy, tolerated here as a negotiator, and without even
a character from his own Court, presented to Mr. Pitt a cavalier note
in the name of Spain, demanding restitution of some prizes we had
made on Spain during the war, satisfaction for the violation of their
territory by the navy of England, liberty of fishery on Newfoundland,
and destruction of our settlements on the Spanish territory, in the
bay of Honduras. A power in amity with us, and affecting to act as
mediator, selects our enemy’s agent to convey their complaints!--what
could surpass this insult?--the patience of our ministers under such
indignity--not of Mr. Pitt. He replied with the majesty of the Crown he
served,--the vengeance of that Crown slept in other hands.

His hands tied, the nation affronted, and duped by the partial breaking
off of the treaty with France, no proper resentment permitted against
Spain, Mr. Pitt found he could do no farther good. His character had
been lost by acquiescence; and nothing could rouse the nation, but
his quitting the sphere of business, where he was so treacherously
controlled. He had desired to enter his protest in the council books
against the temporizing advice of his colleagues. He and Lord Temple
delivered to the King their reasons and advice for a war with Spain;
and October 2nd Mr. Pitt took leave of the Council, thanking the
ministers of the late King for the support they had given to the war;
and on the fifth he resigned the Seals. Lord Temple quitted on the
ninth following.

It is difficult to say which exulted most on this occasion, France,
Spain, or Lord Bute, for Mr. Pitt was the common enemy of all three.
Newcastle, Hardwicke, Bedford, Devonshire, Mansfield and Fox were not
less pleased,[116] for they had all concurred to thwart his plan. Lord
Talbot alone, though of the same faction, seemed to see farther than
any of them. He advised the Duke of Newcastle, “not to die for joy on
the Monday, nor for fear on the Tuesday.”

The nation was thunderstruck, alarmed, and indignant. The City of
London proposed to address the King to know why Mr. Pitt was dismissed?
but it being replied, that the King would tell them he had not
dismissed Mr. Pitt, but had wished him to continue in employment,
the motion dropped. Some proposed a general mourning; others, more
reasonable, to thank Mr. Pitt for his services; but this too was
damped; for the Favourite’s agents were not idle, and insinuated that
Mr. Pitt had acted with mischievous views; for they who were incapable
of great views, were excellent in undermining. The King was advised to
heap rewards on his late minister. The Princess pressed it eagerly.
A peerage, a vast pension, the government of Canada (as a mark that
it was not to be restored at the peace), were offered to him. He had
the frailty to accept a peerage for his wife, and a pension of three
thousand a year for three lives!

The Court, impatient to notify their triumph, and to blast his
popularity at once, could not resist the impulse of publishing
in the very next night’s Gazette, Mr. Pitt’s acceptance of their
boons[117]--the first instance, I believe, of a pension ever specified
in that paper.[118] At the same time, to decry his councils, and to
stigmatize them with rashness, they added an article from Spain,
setting forth the pacific intentions of that Court. But in this
instance their ardour outran their discretion, for the article
published was dated September 4th. Other letters had been received from
thence of the 8th, which not being divulged, implied that the letters
of the 8th were of a hostile cast, and consequently justified Mr.
Pitt’s sentiments. Subsequent events were a still clearer vindication
of his conduct.

The Seals, which Mr. Pitt had resigned, were given to Lord Egremont;
and his brother-in-law, George Grenville, was entrusted with the
management of the House of Commons. Grenville had been destined for
Speaker; an office to which his drudgery was suited; and which being
properly the most neutral place in government, would have excused him
from entering into the contest between Mr. Pitt and the Favourite.
But Grenville’s temper, though plodding and laborious, had not the
usual concomitant, prudence. He lent himself to the views of Lord
Bute, to promote his own. Lord Temple, who had as little decency as
his brother George had judgment, was exasperated beyond measure; broke
out in bitter invectives against him, and threatened to leave from him
the paternal estate and give it to James, the third brother, who had
resigned with him and Mr. Pitt.

The public, though staggered by the pension, did not abandon their
idol. At first the Common Council, which had been summoned to thank him
for his services, dropped the intention, and separated, after voting an
address to Parliament for widening the streets. But on one hand, Lord
Temple’s zeal kept alive the flame; and on the other, the rancour with
which Lord Bute’s and Fox’s partisans pursued Mr. Pitt, only served to
alarm the nation, and to endear the man to them who they saw suffered
for his patriotism. Yet his own conduct was not judicious. Incensed at
the abuse thrown on him, he wrote a letter into the City to explain his
resignation, pleading that he had no longer been allowed to _guide_. A
term so engrossing gave offence, and handle to ridicule. Fox’s agents
did not overlook it, but published some cutting pamphlets on Pitt’s
arrogance. Yet his condescending to appeal to the City against the
Court bore down all opposition. The Common Council agreed to thank him,
and to instruct their members; and though Paterson, an agent of Fox,
opposed the motion, it was carried by 109 to 15. The contagion soon
spread, even to part of Scotland. Stirling, Exeter, York, Chester, and
other cities and towns, complimented Mr. Pitt on his conduct.

His own sister, Mrs. Anne Pitt, who was of the opposite faction,
furnished his enemies with a severe sarcasm. She had been Maid of
Honour to Queen Caroline, and was warmly attached to her brother, with
whom she lived. On his promotion to the Pay-office, he had shaken
her off in an unbecoming manner. She had excellent parts and strong
passions. Lord Bolingbroke had recommended her to the late Prince, on
whose death she had been made Privy-purse to the Princess: but being
of an intriguing and most ambitious nature, she soon destroyed her own
prospect by an impetuosity to govern her mistress, and by embarking
in other Cabals at that Court. Her disgrace followed, but without
dismission; on which she had retired to France. On her return, though
she could never recover the favour of the Princess, she so successfully
cultivated the patronage of Lord and Lady Bute, that she kept her
ground at Leicester Fields, and obtained a large pension. This she
had notified by letter to her brother. He had coldly replied, that he
congratulated her on the addition to her fortune, but was grieved to
see the name of Pitt in a list of pensions.[119] On his accepting
one, she copied his own letter, turning it against himself; and though
restrained by her friends from sending it to him, she repeated what she
had done, till it became the common talk of the town.

On the 3rd of November the Parliament met. George Grenville made a very
handsome panegyric on the late Speaker; and then the House proceeded to
the election of his successor. The choice had been very difficult: not
from the number of competitors, but from a total deficiency of proper
subjects. Grenville, who would have filled the chair with spirit and
knowledge, had been taken off to a province, for which he was far less
qualified. Lord Bute had solicited Prowse[120] to accept the office,
who was the most knowing and the most moderate of the Tories, but
he had declined from bad health. The Duke of Newcastle had proposed
Bacon,[121] who had more Whiggism than abilities; but the Favourite
determined on Sir John Cust,[122] who was a Tory, and had nothing but
industry; he was indeed a very poor creature. Lord Barrington named
him, his friend Lord Egmont praised him, and he was chosen.

Two nights before, at a meeting of the principal men in the House
of Commons, to hear the King’s Speech, and the respondent Address,
read, Charles Townshend, who was offended at the lead being assigned
to Grenville, found fault that there was no mention of the militia.
Grenville said, it was not usual to insert anything in the Address
which was not touched upon in the Speech; and added, that he found
there were very different opinions in members of Parliament on the
usefulness of the militia. Lord Barrington and Charles Yorke supported
Grenville: Stanley agreed with Townshend, who again debated the
point with much warmth. The next night, at a larger meeting at the
Cockpit, Townshend recanted to Grenville all he had said, professed
he believed he had been infatuated, begged it might be forgotten, and
that Grenville would not take it to himself. Grenville replied, he had
not: that for himself he forgot it; as the King’s servant, he could not
forget it.

On the 6th, the King made his speech. Lord Northumberland[123] and Lord
Berkeley[124] of Stratton moved and seconded the Address. Lord Temple
rose, and opened on his own and Mr. Pitt’s resignations, the motives
to which he explained; found fault that no mention was made of the
militia, and that the Parliament had not been thanked for establishing
it. He talked on Court favour, and on those who disposed of all things;
endeavouring to provoke Lord Bute to rise. He said, the crisis for a
war with Spain had been most advantageously held out to this country,
and complained of those who had betrayed the secrets of our situation
to Bussy. It was a time, he said, when a first minister was necessary;
but now, _who_ remained fit for that office? _Who_ thought himself
capable of _guiding_? He uttered this in his usual languid manner,
though the matter was not ill conceived; nor, though indiscreet, was
he so intemperate as had been expected. The Duke of Bedford replied
with much applause, and said, he did not know why the militia deserved
more thanks than the grant of regular troops. He declared,[125] upon
his honour, that he had told no such thing, as had been hinted at, to
Bussy; and concluded with hoping never to see a first minister. Lord
Shelburne, attached to Fox, and profuse of application to Lord Bute,
spoke against the German war. The Duke of Marlborough[126] and Earl
Gower moved the congratulation to the Queen.

The decency of Lord Temple’s prelude to new opposition soon changed its
hue in a manner more suited to his factious turbulence. On the 9th, the
King and all the Royal family dined in the City with the Lord Mayor.
Thither, too, went Mr. Pitt and Lord Temple in a chariot together,--a
step justly censured, and very nearly productive of fatal consequences.
To _them_ all acclamations were addressed; and the distinctions paid in
the Guildhall to Mr. Pitt, to the total neglect of the King, bestowed
all the honour of the triumph on the former. Little was wanting to
turn the pageant into a tragedy. Riots ensued, and many persons were
insulted. The Favourite had taken the precaution of having a guard of
butchers and bruisers; and by the defence of that convoy alone, escaped
mischief. Sir Samuel Fludyer, the Lord Mayor, caused diligent inquiry
to be made into the proceedings of the day, and learned that Beckford
himself had visited several public-houses over night, and had appointed
ringleaders to different stations, and had been the first to raise the
huzza in the hall on the entrance of Mr. Pitt. _His_ joining himself to
a pomp, dedicated to a Court that he had just quitted, was not decent.
The ambition of drawing to himself the homage of the people was not
modest. To offer himself as an incentive to civil tumult, and to how
dangerous consequences he could not tell, was not a symptom of very
innocent intentions.


  Mr. Wilkes’s censures on the King’s Speech, seconded by Dempster.--
    The Debate on continuing the War.--Speeches of Beckford, Cust,
    Harvey, Forester, Pitt, and George Grenville.--The Queen’s Dowry
    voted.--Ministerial Manœuvres on the secession of Mr. Pitt.--
    Meeting at the St. Alban’s Tavern.--Discussion on the Militia
    Act.--Speech, in the House of Commons, of Charles Townshend,
    Secretary at War.--Policy of the Court.--Fox’s Faction.--Debate
    on the War in Germany.--George Grenville’s desertion of Pitt.--
    Pitt’s Reply.--Walpole’s Reflections on that Statesman.

On the 13th of November the Address to the King was moved in the House
of Commons by the Lords Middleton and Parker.[127] Mr. Wilkes,[128]
a man of whom much will be said hereafter, passed some censures on
the King’s speech, which, in the language of Parliament, he said, he
was authorized to call the speech of the minister; though of what
minister he could not tell. The extraordinary Gazette, he said, which
had vaunted the pacific disposition of Spain, had been contradicted
by facts: it had appeared that we were rather in a state of war with
that Crown. Yet no notice had been taken of those transactions in the
speech, though all mankind was apprised of their notorious insults.
He himself had seen a Spanish memorial, that had been delivered by a
French agent. Unless some communication was made to Parliament, how
could Parliament lay the state of the nation before his Majesty? As
little mention, he observed, was made of the militia, though the ground
on which the war had stood. Dempster,[129] a young Scotch member,
seconded Wilkes, though less peremptory in opposition; for though he
pleaded for the extension of the militia to Scotland, and said the
militia had felt the heavy hand of administration, yet he censured the
German war, as having neither object nor end; condemned faction, and
said, he was pleased to see that his Majesty had emancipated himself
from the chains that had been prepared for him.

Beckford, with his usual rhodomontade, said, our situation had never
been so comfortable, nor the national union ever so complete. It was
not the mob, nor two hundred great Lords (who received more from
Government than they paid to it), that made us so firm: the middling
rank of men it was in which our strength consisted, and who called
upon us to demand peace sword in hand. Nor had our abilities ever been
so great. He was astonished our ministers--who they were he knew not,
nor did he look on Grenville and those in the House of Commons but as
subalterns--were afraid of any power upon earth: he was amazed they
could suffer such memorials from Spain, so derogatory to our honour.
The answer should have been made by the mouth of cannon. The revenues
of Spain were pitiful, were foreign: must be brought home,--and that
we might have prevented. You are near shore, continued he; will you
go back? and without a pilot? A King should not govern by a faction:
the late King had been governed by one, who resigned in the midst of
rebellion, and flung an empty purse in his face; but we had now no Earl
of Warwick, no king-makers. Hope must come from the rising generation:
we had tried the old in vain. The war in Germany _had_ an object, and
had almost obtained it. The French ought to be kept there. He did not
desire to see France and England engaged single-handed. France said,
let us both get out of Germany, for she felt the mischief of warring
there. The manner indeed in which we had conducted our affairs there,
had been too expensive; of which he produced instances: but speak out,
cried he; will you quit all your allies? Two points must be obtained,
the security of America and of our fisheries. We had already conceded
too much: he was sorry for it--was sorry Mr. Pitt had softened at
all. He would be ready to second Mr. Wilkes in moving for the Spanish
papers, and to know if they avowed Bussy.

Beckford was answered by Cust[130] (the Speaker’s brother), and by
Harvey;[131] the last, a lawyer; both of Tory families, and the latter
very sensible. The former spoke on the burthen of the war, and said,
that to raise six millions, we ran in debt two: this year would cost
us between nine and ten. He would appeal to our very successes for the
impropriety of continuing the war. The King had told us he would never
depart from our true interest: if we never _had_ departed from it,
we should not be debating now. Harvey condemned the war in Germany,
and justified the intentions of Spain. Fuentes had declared, that if
his Court had had any hostile designs, it would itself have made the
demands; but the other end of the town, said he, will always promote
a Spanish war: had done so in the last reign; had driven it on by the
feigned cruelties exercised on Captain Jenkins,[132] who, however,
died with his ears on his head. Forester, another and still shrewder
lawyer, endeavoured to ward off the rising spirit by showing there was
no such question before the House as what was then in debate, Wilkes
not having made any motion; (this was an usual art in old members, and
often served the purpose;) nor was the militia more the subject of
the debate, nor as yet to come on. Thus was the House free from any
influence but of gratitude to the militia, as they had been encamped
without law, and only because we had a greater war abroad than we could
bear. He hoped that night’s mail would not carry to the Continent news
of disunion in the new Parliament.

Mr. Pitt, on whom all eyes were fixed, rose; and said, he wished
the turn of the debate had permitted him to sit still; but he found
himself called upon. He professed great zeal for his Majesty and for
the administration, when it should be settled; and was desirous to
leave his own justification to his past conduct. For the militia, he
should have been glad it had been mentioned in the speech. He had
advised that measure last year against the greater part of the Cabinet
Council. For a war with Spain, the motives for it were not founded on
the French papers: those, he concluded, would be published here: the
silence of the ministers made him conclude so, or it would be unfair
dealing with the Parliament. When those papers should appear, he would
as a member of Parliament speak his opinion: did not desire on that
question that any man should think with him, but form his judgment on
the fact itself. As the contrary sentiment had been adopted by his
Majesty, he hoped not to have the bulk of the nation on his side. God
alone knew what the opinion would be, when the whole should come out.
The probability was, that himself had been erroneous. His own situation
was awful; he stood there to be _examined_--hoped the ministers would
produce the advice, signed by Lord Temple and him, and delivered to
his Majesty. He would conceal nothing as far as was consistent with
his oath of Privy Councillor. Nor would he inflame--how could he--he,
who stood so unsupported? He had been taxed with assuming to _guide_.
He declared he had never abetted the publication of his letter to
Hodges--never had consented to its publication; but now published, he
did avow it. Early he had contracted an indifference to party-papers,
and had rather read two passages in Virgil or Horace. He had resigned
the Seals, in order not to be responsible for measures he was no longer
suffered to _guide_, and from seeing the question of Spain in the light
he saw it. He had acted from conviction, as he supposed the great
Lords, who had opposed him, had done likewise. He blessed himself that
no question had been moved that day to bar unanimity. All vigour was
recommended from the Throne: he would not have the post depart with
many arraignments of the German war, and without any minister saying
a word in its behalf. In their situation he would have lain by: did
they advise a speech of vigour, and yet hold their peace, when vigorous
measures were condemned? Himself was never stopped by popularity, or
by the turn of the tide. He would speak though a private man: hoped
never to be a public man again. He never would come into place again;
he never could; for he never could but by his own accord. He had been
nursed in the lap of fortune, but now had not weight enough to make
but one Lord, with whom he would live and die, of his opinion. Hoped
his Majesty’s rest would not be disturbed, as his had been: he had
been robbed of his sleep for many days, and now should be robbed of
his honour, if our troops were recalled from Germany. Nothing but that
spectre of an invasion, which the Ministry had not had constancy
enough to look at, had frightened us out of Mahon. So would it be
again, if the troops of France found themselves at liberty to quit
Germany. He had known five thousand French occasion our recalling
seventy or fourscore thousand men to look them in the face. He paid a
handsome compliment to Admiral Hawke and the navy; but said, ask the
French whether they could not engage you hand to hand, if delivered
from the war in Germany. The way to peace was not by lessening our
efforts. England was equal to both wars, the American and the German;
and if continued, nothing but conquest would follow--all owing to the
German war. If we abandoned our allies, God would abandon us. When we
had spent a hundred millions, should we throw away the fruit, rather
than spend twelve more? Let a man so narrow-minded stand behind a
counter, and not govern a kingdom. [This was pointed at Cust, who was
a director of the African Company.] _America had been conquered_ in
_Germany._[133] Prince Ferdinand had been the saviour of Europe, and
had shattered the whole military power of that military monarchy,
France. It was not from what young members had said against the German
war, but from what had _not_ been said for it, that he augured ill for
this country. He hoped so insignificant a name as his would be sent
to every hostile Court; though every other man in the House should be
against the German war, he would stand single, and undergo the shame.
Government, he hoped, would in due time lay open the proceedings of
Spain, lest gentlemen might be misled from not knowing the precise
time of the arrival of Fuentes.[134] Harvey was sure Spain could not
have acted as alleged, yet owned he knew nothing of the matter. But
were people to go away, thinking he himself had courted a war with
Spain? He might have declared his private opinion in council; but let
Parliament see the whole of the negotiation: let them know his patience
and long-suffering, till he was afraid he should be answerable for it.
He gave a flat contradiction to the notion of his having courted a war
with Spain, and protested he had done all he could to avoid it. He had
stated his opinion in writing, lest false whispers from those who ought
to be above such underhand machinations, should prejudice him in the
eyes of his countrymen. In delicacy, not in obligation, he would sit
down rather than divulge what had passed. Yet altercation, opposition
would have ensued, had there not been a determination to preserve
unanimity. He would even persuade gentlemen not to be too fastidious
in their criticisms on the Treasury and the budget. For his relaxing
on the article of the fisheries, with which his friend Beckford had
taxed him, he said, it was best to own the truth; he had been overborne
by numbers. He and Lord Temple would have made exclusive fisheries
the _sine quâ non_ of the peace. Were the negotiation to recommence,
provided circumstances concurred, he would stand for exclusive
fisheries; nor sheath the sword till they were given up, even at the
expense of another campaign. He was going to sit down, but added a
few words on the note of Fuentes, which, said he, that minister knows
was never remitted to me. He did read me an extract; it was to the
effect alleged. I did not much attend to it; said I had written to Lord
Bristol, and would let it rest there. He did read something like it,
but did not deliver it.

This guarded, artful, and inflammatory speech remained unanswered.
George Grenville, indeed, said a few words on the form of proceeding;
as, that it would be precluding those great questions, to insert them
either in the Speech or Address: and to justify Spain, he read a letter
in which they ordered one of our cutters to be restored. As a rising
minister he spoke more largely on himself, disclaimed any ambition, and
professed he would do his duty without fear. The Address passed without
a negative. The next day Lord Thomond[135] and Lord Villiers moved the
Address to the Queen, and on the 19th her dowry was voted.

The secession of Pitt, and his popularity, that still kept its
ground, warned the administration to a closer union. At least, the
old ministers, who had separated from him, thought it prudent to draw
nigher to the Favourite. The Duke of Devonshire, governed by Fox,
who hated Pitt, and aspired to be lieutenant to Lord Bute, meditated
a coalition of the latter with Newcastle. The house of Bedford were
already devoted to the Favourite, and concurred in that connection.
In consequence of this conjunction, the Privy Seal was delivered to
the Duke of Bedford; great promises were made to Rigby. Lord Thomond,
brother-in-law of Grenville, was appointed Cofferer; Lord Powis,[136]
Treasurer of the Household, and Lord George Cavendish,[137] Comptroller.

On the 25th, at night, some forty persons, or fewer, met at the St.
Alban’s tavern, in Pall Mall. The Act that had granted the militia was
within a year of expiring. It was become irksome to many of the country
gentlemen, was much disliked by the chief ministers, and by great part
of the House of Commons. The friends of the measure had wished to get
it renewed for five years more. Some desired it perpetual. Pitt, while
minister, had staved off even the shorter term. He now went to this
meeting, spoke four times warmly for the perpetuity, and said, this
was the moment to push it. Charles Townshend, who attended the meeting
too, spoke earnestly, but only for the term of five years. The company
signed a paper, engaging to stand by one another in the measure; and
they who held commissions in the militia promised to throw them up,
if the perpetuity should not be carried, agreeing only to await the
arrival of General Townshend, the patron of the plan, who was expected
from the army. The Court was as much set against the militia. The Duke
of Devonshire told George Grenville, he believed he could not induce
his own brothers to vote for it. The very same day intelligence had
been received of an intended invasion from France. Grenville, told the
Duke he could not come into any measure that would disband seven and
twenty thousand men, when we should have so much occasion for them: it
would be better to grant the perpetuity, and repeal it afterwards.

The same morning, Charles Townshend,[138] now Secretary at War, moved
for the land forces, which were granted without opposition. His new
office gave him an opportunity of venting his vanity. He assumed much,
and called himself trustee for the honest claims of the officers. On
December 9th, he opened to the House the state of the foreign troops
in our pay, the expense of which came to near a million. Townshend
pleaded the inconsiderable loss we had sustained in the last campaign,
not above two thousand men, which would easily be recruited; and that
next year, as in the last four, we should cover our allies against
any force France could bring against us. Should we for next year
continue the same army, or break off abruptly? The Parliament had been
called upon day after day to disapprove or ratify the measure; and had
ratified it. The totality of the war had been one of the great causes
of its success. Had we neglected any other part for Germany, it had
been fatal: but a mixed system, and attention to the whole, had given
us victory in every quarter. France had resisted every where, had
been disgraced every where. Their navy, the last sanguine promise of
still another minister, was annihilated. We ought not to desist but
from inability to pursue up the blow. It ought to be manifest that we
were disabled. But where was a symptom of decay? In our trade, credit,
agriculture, where was a failure? Yet he thought our situation nor
comfortable, nor desperate. Five millions he allowed would be expended
this year on the war in Germany. He concluded with high encomiums on
what he called _Mr. Pitt’s divine plan_; but added, that a larger
portion of fame remained for those who should take up the plan and
terminate it by a good peace.

The Court, who wished to veil their eagerness for peace, and who,
instead of attaining that peace, were on the brink of a war with Spain,
took great pains to prevent their creatures from openly attacking the
German war. Lord Egmont was persuaded to be absent from the House; but
Fox’s faction was more intent on discrediting Pitt than even on paying
their court--and perhaps knew how easily they should be forgiven. Rigby
said he had voted for all very large sums; was sorry he began to have
a doubt; wished an end was put--had been put to the whole war. The
Germans were entitled to the protection of the House, but ours was
no protection. They were in a worse condition than if conquered. The
treaty with Prussia would expire on the 12th of the month; he hoped
we should make no more such with that _little power_. Not to quit the
alliance, ought only to be a condition on the party subsidized. In no
one treaty did there exist an article that obliged us to continue our
national troops in Germany. Nor could we supply our army with men;
since 1758, we had sent over twenty-nine thousand men. We had but
thirteen thousand remaining. Could this country furnish four thousand
men a year to Germany? Marshal Ligonier had ordered the old corps to
be recruited at any rate. We had three thousand sick in hospitals, and
were reduced to send boys of ten years old--a good way to make the
war last! He spoke, he said, neither from fickleness nor discontent;
was very well contented; had tried to swallow the measure, but found
it would not do. If these troops had been brought home, we might have
disbanded the militia. Wished he could see the negotiation for peace
renewed; wished even a bad peace was offered. He concluded the French
account of the rupture was authentic, or would have been contradicted.
He spoke, he said, to the country gentlemen; _they_ were not included
in the picture of our _comfortable_ situation. If so much was given to
glory, their cups of comfort would not be drunk so often as they used
to be. Sir Robert Walpole, whom he thought the greatest minister that
this country had known, had always declared the nation could not stand
under a debt exceeding an hundred millions.

Stanley defended the measure of pursuing the German war, and said it
was evident from every page of the printed negotiation that France
wished to get out of Germany; that she was not equal to both wars, and
had therefore neglected everything to make her push there, hoping it
would exasperate the people of England against Hanover. That none of
our allies were in a situation to make conquests, and therefore we
must part with some of ours, to obtain tolerable conditions for them.

George Grenville supported the question solely on the foot of treaties,
which he recapitulated, but took care to assert that he had neither
advised nor approved them; he had not been able, he said, to stop a
torrent; let those who had given the advice drink the dregs! he did not
desire to steal the fame due to another. It had not been the German
war, but the want of seamen, that had disabled France from prosecuting
the war in America and from invading England. Let us know what had been
the obstacle that had broken off the treaty. An immense load of debt
had been laid upon us; he would not call on any light of Government,
who had brought us into these distresses, to help us out of them. If
they had overlooked these things, he must be sorry. But our honour was
pledged, and he would not be for an ignominious peace; nor, on the
other hand, would he intoxicate the people with unattainable objects.
He would not hang out our distresses; to know them was the first point;
to conceal them, the second.

Thus were hostilities openly commenced by Grenville. He had during the
last reign avowedly or silently supported every one of Pitt’s expensive
German measures. Indeed he had held by Pitt’s favour one of the most
lucrative places under the Government, the Treasurer of the Navy. The
scene was changed, and Grenville with it.

Pitt replied in a long speech, but with much temper, which he professed
he would keep, though so marked out; but in contempt of Grenville, he
affected chiefly to answer Rigby, falling into the familiar, and not
in a masterly style; desiring to expostulate, not to altercate on who
was in or out of place; but considering himself as in a council of
state, engaged to find out the point of truth, and how to wind up the
war. He complimented our troops, whom he called _the glory of human
nature_, and Charles Townshend on his moderation and clear method of
stating the question. If Rigby, he said, had had communication of
papers, he must have seen the distresses of France, but would advise
him to reconsider his positions, before he published his political
code, before he should come _to guide_--but begged pardon for his
levity; he chose to be in good humour, for fear of being in bad. He
would not enter into the wretched consideration of what himself had
done. Grenville had treated his counsels as pernicious--nobody indeed
had asserted it--somebody did shrewdly convey it--for his part he liked
better a man that affirmed. Grenville, however, would not entirely take
away the lustre of this measure, already more than half exploded by the
King’s servants. Himself, an individual, had been called, compelled
to the service; he had found this measure bound on upon the nation,
both by the concluding and breaking the treaty of Closter Severn. It
was an electoral measure, not advised, but submitted to in silence
by the piety of the Duke of Cumberland. The subsidy to Prussia had
been dictated by Hanover, not by Great Britain. Little Princes are
subsidized, when not worthy of reciprocation; but necessity had driven
that great Prince to accept our money; yet his Prussian Majesty did not
think that he thereby lost his equality of not being deserted. Both
the Empresses had received subsidies from us. He himself, he said, had
resisted the measures of the closet, nor would subscribe to them till
qualified. His late gracious master had suffered his representations;
and he had boldly urged them, fearing our own defence and America would
be neglected; nor would he agree to the German war till every other
service had been provided for. Was it candid, was it just, to throw the
whole burthen on him, who had been but an acceder to a plan settled? an
acceder to a ministry that had wanted vigour. He had _borrowed their
majority_ to carry on their own plan. He had seen where they had been
right, where wrong. He had brought the American war, and taken up the
German; had seen that we must be strong enough to baffle France, or
should do nothing. France had been _dedecorum pretiosus emptor_. It was
true our expense had been great, and he offered himself _confitentem
reum_, if he had not thereby annihilated their power both in East and
West Indies. Perhaps he had done it the wrong way; and Mr. Grenville
could have done it some other way. The business, however, was done,
by whatever way done; and he would now divide the House alone against
abandoning our allies. Relaxation could only invite inflexibility in
our enemies; nor ought we to give the money, and at the same time
blast the measure. As Germany had formerly been managed, it had been
a millstone about our necks; as managed now, about that of France.
Let a man get possession of the Government, and act as late ministers
had acted, and he would endeavour to make his heart ache. Now we were
leagued with the King of Prussia, who was born to administer military
wonders to the world; his motto should be _adversis rerum immersabilis
undis_. To him was added Prince Ferdinand, for whom he could not find
adequate words. That great Prince had stood like a rampart to cover
Germany--and at last, _comperit invidiam supremo fine domari_.

Legge spoke a few words in praise of the measure, and against
abandoning our allies; and the debate ended without a division.

The recapitulation of many speeches may perhaps weary the reader,
but, in equity, he must remember that at this period at least it was
essential to detail them. When Mr. Pitt was driven from the management
of the war, he existed as a public man; but in his speeches and past
services, his own defence of his measures was necessary from his own
mouth. Libels on libels were published against him, and he wrote none.
I am sensible that I do not do justice to his arguments, and less to
his eloquence; but what I give was faithfully taken from his own mouth
in the House of Commons; and unless better transcripts appear, this
rude sketch may be welcome to posterity. No flattery is intended to
him. When I thought him blameable, I have marked it, as will appear
hereafter, with the same impartiality. The debates, too, of a free
nation, arrived at the summit of its glory, may be worthy the attention
of future times. Our descendants will see what their ancestors were in
arms and eloquence, and what liberty they enjoyed of discussing their
own interests. Grant, Heaven, they may not read it with a sigh; reading
it in bondage and ignominy!


  Mr. Pitt’s Enemies.--Debates in Parliament on the German war, and on
    our Affairs with Spain.--Speeches of the leading Members.--Mr.
    Pitt’s Defence of himself.--Colonel Barré’s insulting conduct to
    Mr. Pitt.--Libellous Pamphlets against that Statesman, by the Rev.
    Philip Francis.--Justification of Mr. Pitt’s Measures.--Family
    compact between France and Spain.--Portugal invaded by Charles the
    Third of Spain.--The Queen’s desire that her Brother should come
    to England.--Pratt compelled to be Chief Justice of the Common
    Pleas.--Lord Hardwicke and his Son.

Mr. Pitt’s enemies did not content themselves with traducing him in
pamphlets and satires. A deeper blow was meditated, which, though not
carried to the extent which the projectors hoped, could not but wound
his mind, and did to a degree lower him in the opinion of some men,
though the brutality with which it was conceived and executed, raised
almost general indignation. I will just touch the surprize it wrought
on me, which may convey some idea of what effect it must have had on

The report on the foreign troops was made the day after they had been
removed. Mr. Bunbury,[139] who married Lady Sarah Lenox, had spoken,
for the first time in Parliament, against the German war. Lord George
Sackville, with more caution, but no less hostile intention to Pitt,
had declared for the measure, as no alternative was proposed, though
he hoped ministers would concert with our allies how to draw us out of
this scrape. He did not believe that France was in a worse situation
than she had been at Gertruydenburg,[140] when she rejected insolent
terms. She could, besides, subsist her troops on easier terms than we
could. She brought to account the contributions raised by her armies;
he did not know that we did. Lord George was finishing his speech as I
came into the House. My ear was struck with sounds I had little been
accustomed to of late, virulent abuse on the last reign, and from a
voice unknown to me. I turned, and saw a face equally new; a black,
robust man, of a military figure, rather hard-favoured than not young,
with a peculiar distortion on one side of his face, which it seems
was owing to a bullet lodged loosely in his cheek, and which gave a
savage glare to one eye. What I less expected from his appearance, was
very classic and eloquent diction, and as determined boldness as if
accustomed to harangue in that place. He told the House that in the
late King’s reign we had been governed solely by Hanoverian measures
and councils; and though called to order (in truth unparliamentarily),
he proceeded with the same vociferous spirit to censure all ministers
but Lord Bute; and for Mr. Pitt, who was not present, he received
the appellation of a profligate minister, who had thrust himself
into power on the shoulders of the mob. The present King, said this
new Court-tribune, was so English, that he did not believe he had
looked into the map for Hanover;[141] and he commiserated the present
ministers, who were labouring through the dregs of German councils.

The reader must imagine the astonishment occasioned by this martial
censor. He was a Colonel Barré, of French extraction, born at Dublin,
and had served for some years in the war in America with reputation,
prosecuting his studies with assiduity in the intervals of duty. With
General Wolfe he had been intimately connected, both as an officer
and penman; but had thought himself ill-used by Mr. Pitt, though the
friends of the latter, and Lord Barrington, lately Secretary at War,
bore witness that Mr. Pitt had made it a point to serve him. In his
younger years he had acted plays with so much applause, that, it was
said, Garrick had offered him a thousand pounds a year to come upon the

This man, therefore, had been selected by Lord Fitzmaurice (become Earl
of Shelburne by the death of his father) as a bravo to run down Mr.
Pitt. Lord Shelburne held a little knot of young orators at his house;
but Barré soon overtopped them; and Fox had pushed on the project of
employing him to insult Pitt--to what extent was surmised by all the
world. The consequences will appear in the next debate.

Glover,[143] the author of “Leonidas,” uttered a speech in most heroic
fustian, but not without good argument, to show that all our great
advantages had been obtained before we went deeply into the German war.
Charles Yorke, Attorney-General, defended the measures of the late King
against Barré and his own friend Mauduit’s pamphlet, urging that his
Majesty had reduced himself to poverty to support the war in Germany.
Elliot made an admirable oration to reconcile himself to consistence:
owned he had opposed the treaties in 1755; and was then told they were
calculated to prevent a war in Germany. He had since been dazzled
with the national enthusiasm on the King of Prussia’s victories, and
confessed that on the like appearances he should again be led to
approve the German war. It was true that war had its object, collateral
division; but would the House wish to Germanize this young King, and
make him turn his thoughts thither more than he did? He concluded with
a pathetic ejaculatory wish that the peace had succeeded.

Oswald[144] took the same turn of endeavouring to palliate his
inconsistencies; but though his parts were still shrewder and quicker
than Elliot’s, he did it much worse. Dr. Hay[145] attempted, too, an
apology for himself, but with the worst success of the three; and the
necessity which the principal men in Parliament found themselves under
of justifying their abandoned corruption and versatility, stamped
disgrace on this Parliament itself, which it did but increase by fresh
and repeated instances of servility in ensuing sessions on every change
of Administration.

The next day, Dec. 11th, Mr. Cooke[146] moved for all memorials
relating to our fisheries, &c., which he introduced by saying, he
wished to know what was the state of our affairs with regard to
Spain--he hoped peaceable; but desired to see the papers relating to
their claims, and to know if they had treated us with contempt and
disdain. Beckford seconded him, urging that the Gazette and Bussy’s
memorial contradicted one another. The King had asked advice of
Parliament: if ministers should refuse these papers, they refused to
comply with the King’s request. He did not know who were the ministers,
nor whether we had a single minister, or a minister depute. It was
necessary to have _one_ minister.

Grenville replied, that though he had heard of this motion, he could
not believe it would be made. It was our right to have papers, when
essentially necessary; but power of negotiation belonged to the Crown;
and negotiations ought not to be made public, when real mischief might
be the consequence. Had his Majesty asked advice as to Spain? would
you ground advice on those papers? or were they wanted to answer
newspapers? Should a minister or minister depute make that answer? He
had heard with surprise that _one_ man ought to direct. What had been
the constant charge against Sir Robert Walpole, but his acting as sole
minister? Yet his modesty had declined the appellation. Prime Minister
was an odious title: he was sorry it was now thought an essential part
of the constitution. He did believe the Gazette had contained, word
for word, the sense of the dispatch. The assurances of a peaceable
disposition had been given, but who could answer that they were to be
depended upon? It would be breach of trust to communicate the papers
demanded without particular leave; nor, should they be communicated,
would they be sufficient ground for advice. Would the House, if they
contained offensive words, lay them before the public to inflame the
people? The subject was not fit at that hour for the intervention of
Parliament. If ministers are called upon, and tell our distresses, they
are repeated abroad: if silent, are supposed to allow them. There was
no reason to suspect the King of exercising his power improperly.

Lord Strange said, he had not believed that any men would be so hardy
as to bring on this affair, and thought they could not word it so
as to obtain his assent: but the motion was now so unexceptionable,
that he could not object to it. No letters of a private nature were
demanded. The House had a right to tender its advice, even unasked.
Who doubted but Spain had communicated all those papers to France?
Yet ministers would not produce them to Parliament. They were divided
amongst themselves; therefore the people ought to interpose. By showing
no confidence to the people, the administration would destroy their
zealous attachment to the Crown.

Wilkes maintained that Spain ought to be considered as hostile. Sir
Francis Dashwood said he would agree to the motion, if he saw either
utility or meaning in it, but such as he would not express. Parliament,
he owned, had a right to all papers, yet Parliament had a right too
to consider if there were any use in asking for them. He saw a proper
answer had been made to the memorial, and the Spanish minister had been
desired to recant--(Mr. Pitt cried out, “Where?”) Spain said to France,
you are making peace, try if you cannot obtain something for me. He had
heard, he said, of no faction in the administration: he hoped there was
none any where else. Why should not confidence be placed in the King
and administration, till it was abused? There might be something in the
papers which Spain would not like the City of London should know--yet
he supposed there was not more than appeared. Was it wished to
address the Crown to declare war? But that was the prerogative of the
Crown. Spain, too, would probably think twice before she embarked in
hostilities. There might be different opinions in the council of Spain.
That secret we were bound in honour to keep.

Lord Frederick Campbell[147] said, he did not believe there were any
factions in the ministry; if there were, the King would put an end to
them: but if the administration were distracted, this measure would
distract them much more. He had great hopes that these ill appearances
would end in peace. Nugent[148] lamented there being any divisions,
as unanimity was never more necessary. Bamber Gascoyne said, if any
of the papers were of too secret a nature, a secret committee might
be appointed to examine them. _By destroying parties, we had created
factions._[149] He himself had never been in a minister’s house, nor
ever intended it.[150] The conduct of this _patriot_ will appear

Sir John Glynn said, that that time twenty years had been famous for
calling for papers; with intention then to condemn a minister; now it
was with a view to applauding one. A paper had been produced at that
time which the King of Prussia never forgave. Himself had never seen
any benefit arise from motions of that sort. Rigby said, he should
be sorry if that motion were likely to be complied with; but that
did not seem very probable. But what? had the City instructed its
representatives to demand a First Minister? He had heard the Excise
adopted by a sort of First Minister. He would tell the House who were
the Administration; the two Secretaries of State, the Chancellor,
the President, &c., and in their deliberations there had been twelve
against two; proof enough of union. The other House had a right to
judge as well as the Commons; and was the natural barrier between the
Crown and people. Whoever sought the Administration, might find them
in the Duke of Cumberland’s late lodgings at St. James’s (where the
councils were held). At a time when not a man whispered to his friend,
but in commendation of the King, would the House wish to set a First
Minister over him?

Mr. Pitt expressed much concern at the flame that had arisen, and that
the House, by losing its temper, had lost its reason, and degenerated
into barbarism. His friend Beckford, he feared had thought more of him
than he had done of himself; but the word _guide_, commented as it
had been, had misled him. If the present question tended to make one
individual minister, he should be against it; but when he looked at
the complexion of the House, he had no such apprehension. Censured as
he had been for using an expression so much condemned, he could not
find reason to retract it. Lord Egremont, he believed, would not hold
the Seals an hour, if not permitted to guide his own correspondence.
Thus, he himself, who he hoped had not lessened his country, had
insisted on the same right. In the Treasury, in the Military, in the
Navy, he had never assumed or claimed any direction: had never spoken
to the King on those heads, but had always applied to the ministers
of those several departments; had transmitted everything through the
channels of each office. He hoped, he said, to have these egotisms
pardoned; he would now come to the question in agitation with a temper
that nothing could ruffle. Even the virtues of the King, on which the
House had been so much advised to rely, must be a little the fruit of
time; hoped his Majesty would be aided by wholesome and deep-sighted
advice. From the present motion what mischief could arise? he wished
some necessity had made him absent--but would it be decorous in him to
be shy? in a House where, he believed, he did not stand too well? He
believed the _bottom of the bottom_ of this affair would be dangerous;
not so, while confined to memorials. Spain had made three demands in
a most extensive manner; the right of fishery, which he had said he
would as soon give up the Tower of London, as grant; nor would the
King, he was sure, accord it; himself had never been ordered to hold
any other language. But why, might it be said, call for these papers?
because, if you temporized, or let Spain think you temporized, she
would more assuredly push her claims. Suspense might be wholesome, if
they were prepared, and you were not. The contrary being true, contrary
measures should be pursued. Himself would not press the motion, if told
by authority that it was premature; but then let the ministers say
so, and mark the era, without moulting a feather of England’s crest.
The note in the memorial, said to be delivered, was no departure from
their demands. Did they even say they would not impede the peace on
the consideration of these demands? Let ministers declare this, and he
would second to withdraw the motion--but he saw, he said, he should
not be told so. Or had France given up her insulting menace, that
she would stand by the demands of Spain? This was the Gordian knot,
that he himself had not been able to cut; had feared it would rise
in judgment against him; hoped it would not against any other man.
Divisions had always existed; when were twelve men cast in the same
mould? Divisions were sometimes salutary. Queen Elizabeth had promoted
them in her Councils. When he left administration, had never seen such
unanimity; he had said in high place, that his consolation was, to
leave such men in power; and had declared that he would only oppose
what he would have opposed with the Seals in his hand--but to have
stayed and have done that, would only have been prejudicial. It was the
extent of Spain’s claims that had shocked him, not her lofty idioms,
the most insignificant of all things. Whoever should cede to them but a
cockboat, ceded all. But the very present debate would strengthen the
King’s hands. He then made an encomium on the diligence, activity,
and punctuality of the Earl of Bristol. Should the fisheries not be
settled, the man who should give them up would one day or other be
impeached. For himself he wished he had not been so much in the right;
_wished he had not known so much as he did_. What he did know was
buried in the centre of the earth. France had told us with good faith,
that if we did not make up with Spain, they would break off the Treaty
with us. If Spain declared war, he should think her _felo de se_. It
would not be equal imprudence in her to abet France. Could the House
proportion its supplies without knowing in what predicament Spain stood
with France? Should the former declare war, she could lend money to
the latter. The revenues of Spain were under five millions, and she
employed seventy thousand men to collect them, besides twenty thousand
that were engaged in the affair of tobacco. Was this a formidable
enemy? To him it was indifferent to derive justification from this
situation of things; should he prove to have been in the wrong, he
should comfort himself with having thought he was right. All foreign
Courts, especially Spain, would think the present motion wise. Were
he not limited, or self-limited, he could enforce his arguments with
more strength. The Gazette had been printed to persuade eight millions
of people that Spain was amicable; but if there were indisputable
proofs to the contrary, it was deceiving all the world. It was of no
consequence to establish on which side lay truth; Bussy’s memorial had
proved the connection between the two houses of Bourbon. Should the
event end in a rupture, we had lost our opportunity--if affairs were in
accommodation, would the honour of England be preserved? Would Spain
be obliged to England who bowed, or to France, who should extort from
us, in the height of our conquests, advantages for Spain?

Colonel Barré, whether (as he gave out afterwards) to show that he had
not taken advantage of Mr. Pitt’s absence to abuse him the day before,
or whether (as is more probable) to pursue the point to which he had
been instigated, rose, and renewed the attack with redoubled acrimony.
Insult of language, terms, manner, were addressed, and personally
addressed, to Mr. Pitt, by that bravo. His variations, inconsistencies,
arts, popularity, ambition, were all pressed upon Pitt with energy and
bitterness, and the whole apostrophe wore the air of an affront more
than of a philippic. He told the House he could not amuse, but he would
not deceive them. That the disagreeable posture of our affairs with
Spain was solely owing to the late resignation, which had thrown our
councils and the nation itself into distraction. That Mr. Pitt, though
professing it, had no confidence in the King himself. Here Pitt, who
had remained in astonishment at so bold and novel an attack from a new
speaker, called him to order, declaring that no word guilty of so foul
a crime as want of confidence in the King had fallen from him, and sat
down, leaving Barré to proceed in his invective; but the latter was
interrupted by Fox, who said the King’s name was never to be mentioned
in a debate; that the House had listened with pleasure while justice
was done to his Majesty’s virtues; that Colonel Barré had a right to
show to what he thought Mr. Pitt’s arguments had tended; and that he
chose to give the former this hint, because he seemed so able and
willing to make use of his right. Charles Yorke said the King’s name
could not be used to influence debate. Pitt said he had referred to the
King’s speech, because it asked advice of the House. Fox, still fearing
lest the interruption and ignorance of the forms of the House should
disconcert Barré, replied, that the speech might be quoted, because
it is always understood as the speech of the minister. Barré went on,
saying, that if any man opposed, and not from the truest reasons, he
would wish him to be silent. Should there be a man whose whole life
had been a contradiction and a series of popular arts, he would judge
him from his actions, not from his words. Beckford called to have
the question read, to prevent such deviation into personality. Rigby
insisted that Beckford always deviated more than Barré had done. Barré
added, that he had less reason to deviate than Beckford, not allowing
himself to be so distracted; and that his front was not broad enough
to write contradiction on; nor would he desert the King’s service when
most wanted.

Pitt made no manner of reply; only turning to Beckford, and asking
pretty loud, “how far the scalping Indians cast their tomahawks?” It
seemed to some a want of spirit, but it was evident by the indignation
of the House, that such savage war was detested: and Pitt perhaps
did not care to put them in mind how far himself had often pushed
invective; nor chose to risk their preferring the new master of abuse
to the old. It had not been unwise, it should seem, to have uttered a
few words, stating to Barré the indecence of treating an infirm and
much older man with such licence, showing him that insult could not be
resented when offered in a public assembly, who always interpose, and
putting both him and the audience in mind, that a man, who had gained
the hearts of his countrymen by his services, could only forfeit them
by his own conduct, and not by the railing of a private individual.
With the public this outrage did Mr. Pitt no injury. Barré was abhorred
as a barbarian irregular, and Fox, who had lent such kind assistance
to a ruffian, drew the chief odium on himself. Charles Townshend,
being asked soon after, when the House would rise for the holidays,
replied,[151] “I do not know; but when it does, the roads will be as
dangerous as if the army were disbanded.” And Barré having said that
he would not answer for his head, but would for his heart, “Yes,” said
George Selwyn,[152] “if he could not, the former would have been broken
long ago.”

The debate was terminated by Lord George Sackville and Elliot;
the latter pleading against producing papers in the height of a
negotiation; and adding, “perhaps an express is now on the road from
Spain determined for war.” The motion was rejected without a division,
scarcely six voices being given for the question. Not one Tory spoke in
the debate but Sir John Glynn, and he declared against Pitt. The next
time Barré went to Court, the King took most gracious notice of him.

The City of Dublin addressed Mr. Pitt on his resignation. The same was
proposed at Lynn, and rejected; and at Leicester such a motion was
stopped by a person producing and reading a libel called _Mr. Pitt’s
Letter versified_. It was done by Francis,[153] a clergyman attached
to Lord Holland, who supplied the notes. Another, by the same hand,
called _A Letter from the anonymous Author of the Letters versified_,
was published, reviling Mr. Pitt on bearing Barré’s ill-usage. Lord
Melcomb, at Lord Bute’s table, constantly held the same language.

These specks were soon effaced in the confusion that fell on the
ministers themselves, and by the justification, which, in spite of
them, burst forth of Mr. Pitt’s measures. The war which they had
so poorly attempted to ward off, broke upon them, when they had no
longer his assistance. A courier arrived on the 24th from Spain, with
a refusal of showing us their treaty with France. This treaty was
the famous _Family Compact_, to which even the House of Austria had
acceded, of which Mr. Pitt, by a masterpiece of intelligence, had
got notice,[154] and of which our dastardly ministers had hoped to
deprecate the effects by pusillanimous palliatives and submission:
a compact formed because we were become so formidable, and the very
signature of which had terrified Lord Bute and his associates into
departing at once from our superiority. This was the secret at which
Mr. Pitt had so often hinted, and which he had now the satisfaction
of hearing published by the mouths of his enemies. We had avoided
the interception of the Spanish fleet, as Mr. Pitt had earnestly
recommended. It was now arrived, and they temporized no longer. Fuentes
was recalled, and Lord Bristol was consequently forced to return.
Previous to his departure Fuentes delivered a memorial to the foreign
ministers, in which Mr. Pitt was arraigned by name; an honour almost
unheard of. Alberoni had been accused by George the First; but though
that precedent was not flattering, Mr. Pitt could want no vindication,
when the Court of Spain, and Barré, the tool of Lord Bute, conspired to
charge him with being author of the war.

_We_ had been the _willing_ dupes of the Spanish House of Bourbon. It
was a more horrid insult on all good faith--on humanity--on ties of
blood, that Spain summoned Portugal to declare against us. The ruins of
Lisbon were almost smoking yet! The Queen of Portugal was the Spanish
Monarch’s sister; her husband and children were dwelling in tents at a
distance from their late capital. Assassination and conspiracies had
beset the Throne. This was the moment that Charles the Third selected
to invade their kingdom! France, it was said, in vain dissuaded this
perfidy--not from delicacy; but the meditated conquest of Portugal
was likely to engross the whole attention of the Court of Madrid. If
we should support Portugal, it might be a division of our forces; but
France needed all the assistance Spain could lend. Timber was wholly
exhausted in France. She had sent even to Dalmatia, and to little
purpose. The expense of ship-building is far greater in France than in
England. Her cities and trading companies set themselves to building
ships and presenting them to the King, but this was a distant and slow

The Queen, who bore great affection to her brothers, was desirous that
the second, Prince Charles of Mecklenburgh, should come over. The King
would not venture to propose it to Lord Bute, but wrote to him, and
after a reluctance of a fortnight on the part of the Favourite, the
boon was granted.

The ministers were solicitous to remove Pratt[155] from the House of
Commons, and offered him the dignity of Chief Justice of the Common
Pleas. He demurred; but was forced to accept it, for they would not
only have removed him from being Attorney-General, a post that required
a more pliant officer, and which he was willing to give up; but they
had the injustice to refuse him his gown as King’s counsel, and he
must have pleaded below the bar, or have quitted his profession. Mr.
Yorke was made Attorney, and Norton, Solicitor Generals. This enforced
destination of Pratt to be Chief Justice, preserved the Constitution
afterwards from the same men, whose policy exerted such rigour against
him. Mr. Yorke had lost the precedence over Pratt when the latter was
made Attorney-General. It was on the coalition of Mr. Pitt, after the
affair of Minorca, with the Duke of Newcastle and Lord Hardwicke. Pitt
then offered to restore Lord Anson to the lead at the Admiralty, or to
make Yorke Attorney, but would not grant both. Lord Hardwicke preferred
his son-in-law to his son; a partiality which the latter, whose eye was
fixed on the Great Seal, and which, by these means, Pratt afterwards
obtained to his prejudice, never forgave to his father.


  Fuentes, the Spanish Ambassador, quits England.--Return of Lord
    Bristol from Madrid.--War declared against Spain.--Projects
    of Lord Bute, Mr. Fox, and the Duke of Cumberland.--The Duke
    of Bedford.--Mr. Pitt’s influence with the Nation.--Divisions
    in the Council respecting the War with Spain.--Expedition to
    the Havannah.--Meeting of Parliament.--Lord Bute’s harangue.--
    Mr. Pitt’s Speech in the House of Commons.--Rigby’s attempt to
    show the inutility of our Conquests.--Other Speakers in the
    Debate.--Pacific Disposition of the new Czar.--Court Intrigues
    in France against Marshal Broglio and his Brother.--Prejudices
    and resentments of the Tories.--Preponderating Influence and
    Haughtiness of Lord Bute.--The Duke of York’s contempt of Lord
    Bute and the Scotch.--Proceedings in the Parliament of Ireland.--
    Lord Halifax.--William Gerard Hamilton.--Bill for continuing the

On the first day of the year Fuentes, the Spanish ambassador, quitted
England, and was received at Calais, and all the way to Paris, with
distinguished honours, as the saviour of France. He was a dull cold
man, and wedded to all the weakness of his religion.[156] Lord
Bristol,[157] a very Spaniard too in formality and pride, was recalled
at the same time. His abilities had never been esteemed, and were now
much called in question; but the publication of his negotiations did
him much honour. Though he stooped to be the tool of Mr. Pitt, he
had not disliked to receive instructions that authorized him to be
imperious. His very parsimony gave way to any ostentation about his own

On the second, the King, in full council, declared his resolution of
making war on Spain: for the ministers, who had driven out Mr. Pitt,
rather than embrace this necessary measure, were reduced to adopt it
at the expense of vindicating him and condemning themselves; and,
what was worse to the nation than their shame, had not him, nor his
spirit, to conduct them. Nor yet were they unanimous on this point,
or on any other part of the war. Lord Bute’s object was, peace at any
rate, that he might pursue his plans of power at home. Fox aimed at
the destruction of Pitt, and at favour with and through the Favourite,
to which he sacrificed his views of wealth, as Paymaster, in the
German war. The Duke of Cumberland, who was now rather openly, than
confidentially, consulted, was inclined to support the German war;
either from partiality to the Electorate, or hoping to command there
in the room of Prince Ferdinand. His Royal Highness was reconciled to
the Duke of Newcastle, who, to please the Duke and Lady Yarmouth,[158]
fluctuated again towards the war in Germany, though he could not lead
back his friend Lord Hardwicke[159] to that side. The bias too had been
too strongly given to the Duke of Bedford, who declared he would move
in Parliament to recall our troops from Germany. Lord Bute, fearing
the Duke would gain too great popularity by this conduct, and inclined
enough to heap any mortifications on the King of Prussia and the House
of Brunswick, took the same side; but was persuaded, as the money was
already voted and the contracts made, to suffer the troops to make one
more campaign there. The Duke of Bedford was assured by the King, that
measures would be taken for recalling the troops, without recurring to
the authority of Parliament. Yet so much did they dread the effects
of Mr. Pitt’s influence with the nation, and of their own unpopular
measures, that they agreed to give the King of Prussia his subsidy
for another year, but would not renew the treaty with him, which now

They were still more divided and embarrassed on the war with Spain.
Unavoidable as it was, the Dukes of Newcastle and Bedford, Lord
Hardwicke and Lord Mansfield,[160] were against engaging in it; and
Hardwicke, when the affirmative was decided, declared he would return
no more to Council. But Lord Bute, Lord Granville,[161] Lord Egremont,
George Grenville, and, I think, Lord Ligonier, prevailed for the
declaration of war. Lord Anson[162] was ill, and the Duke of Devonshire
out of town.

Yet, though the war with Spain was a popular measure, the City and the
country had so mean an opinion of those who were to direct it, that the
stocks immediately fell to 66½, though in the Rebellion they had never
been lower than 72. The declaration from Spain luckily arrived three
days after the first subscription on the new loan had been paid--yet it
sunk four per cent.--three days sooner, and it would not have been paid
at all.

On the 4th, war was declared. The next day came news of the reduction
of Colberg, almost the last hope of the King of Prussia. Nor yet
were the Ministers ready to decide, whether they would blow up the
fortifications of Belleisle and abandon it, or whether they should
undertake to support Portugal. They determined first to send Lord
Tyrawley[163] thither, while Lord Albemarle[164] kissed the King’s hand
for the command of the expedition, which was so often set forth and so
often countermanded, and which at last laboured to sea. It was to take
up troops at Martinico, and thence sail to attack the Havannah.

On the 19th the Parliament met, and the King acquainted both Houses
with the new war he had undertaken; a ceremonial decorated by the
Favourite himself, who, as if he had wrenched the thunderbolt out of
Mr. Pitt’s hands only to wield it himself with mightier vigour, now
harangued the Parliament for the first time. Every preparative of pomp,
attitude, and lofty language were called in to make him worthy of
himself. His admirers were in ecstacies; the few that dared to sneer
at his theatric fustian, did not find it quite so ridiculous as they
wished. It was enough for the former that their god was not dumb, and
there was no danger that he would familiarize himself too often with
the multitude. He affected to adopt parliamentary measures, and to
wish that all the negotiations with Spain might be laid before them;
graciously promising to beseech the King that not only papers might
be produced, but that the Cabinet-councillors themselves might be
permitted to divulge the opinions they had given. This was a puny piece
of chicane, the Ministers endeavouring to prove that the hostilities
of Spain were subsequent in date to the period in which Mr. Pitt found
it advisable from their conduct to attack the Spaniards. He had early
detected their league with France, and was not of a humour to weigh
dates against facts, or memorials against combinations. Nor Hardwicke’s
forms nor Mansfield’s subtleties could persuade the seeing part of
mankind that a war at our doors ought to be treated with the same
literal circumspection as an action of trespass or battery at common

Mr. Pitt himself, in the House of Commons, with much seeming modesty,
assumed the honour that was due to his intelligence and foresight;
and by disclaiming any triumph on the necessity into which the
ministers had fallen of making war, asserted the right, to which his
counsels had entitled him, of having pointed out the moment when
the war ought to have commenced--a moment, lost by his enemies,
without the benefit of having warded off the war with Spain. Lord
North,[165] who seconded the address of thanks for the King’s speech,
had injudiciously furnished Pitt with an opportunity of vindicating
his measures, calling him an abdicated minister, and violently taxing
him with a fondness for new hostilities. Nothing could be more cool
or artful than Pitt’s reply. It was all panegyric; all gratitude for
his Majesty’s resentment of Spain’s provoking conduct, and for the
_caution_ with which he promised to engage in so large a war. In his
own particular situation, he might be supposed not to like such firm,
and yet such _cautious_ measures--but he did; he heartily thanked the
ministers for their _caution_; and meaned to conciliate unanimity,
which he hoped would spread from one end of the island to the other.
Himself for five years had laboured successfully--but he did not mean
to pride himself that way--yet he had proved not to have been so much
in the wrong as his enemies had thought; and, however Lord North had
disparaged his intelligence, activity, and discernment, he hoped his
successors would not be endowed with worse or less; and that the
people would place confidence in the administration, whose large and
wide-spread connections must be followed by confidence and favour. A
poor individual like himself could have no such favour and following!
He should easily have been blamed, if any slip had appeared in his
conduct. _Now_ it must be the King--it must be the Administration,
the Parliament, nation, army, and navy, who were to carry on the war;
and he prayed to God it might all be enough! Yet he thought us equal
to the whole. However, he had not sought the Spanish war; and if it
were not too much for a poor individual, _for an abdicated Minister_,
to say, he hoped it would appear, that for five years together he had
made much political court to Spain, and great persons had concurred
with him in those counsels. The sacrifices he had offered would show
how much he and they had been in the right; and that he had not been
so haughty as was represented in rejecting Bussy’s memorial. He would
never call for the papers which would exemplify the temper he had used
towards Spain. If his Majesty should think they would satisfy the
nation, would satisfy Europe, he knew he should appear to have had the
unanimous approbation of the whole Cabinet to several of the papers
he had sent to Spain. But what imported it what one man or another
had thought three months before? Since that era he had received such
public marks of Royal approbation, together with a pension and peerage
(for his wife), as few individuals could boast. The moment was come
when every man ought to _show himself_ for the whole. I do, said he,
cruelly as I have been treated in pamphlets and libels. Arm the whole!
Be one people! This war, though it has cut deep into our pecuniary,
had augmented our military faculties. Set that against the debt,
that spirit which has made us what we are. Forget everything but the
public!--for the public I forget both my wrongs and my infirmities.

Grenville told him he would have his wish: orders were given for laying
before the House all the papers from the time of Bussy’s memorial. “I
have no wish for their coming,” replied Pitt, “If for the benefit of
his Majesty’s affairs, let them come; and if they do come, shall it be
with no farther retrospect than Bussy’s memorial? How condescending is
the boon! how futile! how unsatisfactory!”

Yet notwithstanding their affected alacrity for war on this occasion,
the new Ministers took every opportunity of raising disgust in the
nation against the late measures. Rigby, at the instigation of Fox,
moved that Colonel Boyd should lay before the House of Commons the
muster-roll of the Hessians, on whom he threw out many reflections,
and affirmed that 9000 men were wanting out of the 22,000 which they
ought to furnish. He said the muster-rolls of our mercenaries were not
returned to the office of the Secretary at War; and complained that not
a single order was gone to recruit the army in Germany, which ought
to amount to 96,000 men. He hoped Prince Ferdinand would be allowed
to give no more orders to British troops. He pretended to approve the
declaration against Spain, but then endeavoured to show that we were
unequal to a new war. It required, he said, 38,000 men to garrison our
conquests; and yet those garrisons fell short by 11,000 men. Belleisle
alone had cost near half a million; yet what did it furnish but sprats
and little cows? Canada gave us only furs; yet hats were not become
cheaper; nor were sugar or rum fallen by the acquisition of _opulent_
Guadaloupe; nor negroes by the conquest of Goree; gum was the only
commodity reduced. For Louisbourg, he hoped the fortifications would
be blown up. The enemy was hurt, but were we enriched, except from
the successes in the East Indies? He wished, in short, not to keep
our conquests, and to put an end to a ruinous war, in which we had no
allies but mercenaries.

Charles Townshend took the same key, and said it had been fortunate, if
our apprehension of Spain had driven us to make peace with France. He
feared we should sink from a dream of ambition to a state of bankruptcy.

Stanley maintained that France had been in earnest in the negotiation,
but had been buoyed up by the ambition and revenge of Spain. Was France
so weak, and yet not in earnest? The object of his own labours had been
to keep France divided from Spain, and with that view England had
offered to yield more than she had asked in return. This was a strong
vindication of Mr. Pitt’s conduct, and from a competent witness.

Grenville, in answer to Beckford, said, he would pawn his life that no
assurances had been given to the City that there would be no Spanish
war. Thomas Walpole[166] replied, that he had never been told from the
Treasury that there would not be war with Spain; yet he would say, that
had the City apprehended it, they would not have lent their money so
easily. The Hessian papers were ordered to lie on the table.

In prosecution of the same hostilities to Pitt, the Duke of Bedford,
resisting the most earnest entreaties of the Duke of Cumberland, and
even without the approbation of the Court, determined to make his
motion, which, however, he softened from a proposal of recalling the
troops from Germany, into a resolution of the ruinous impracticability
of carrying on the war. He might as decently have termed it an
exhortation to Spain not to dread our arms. Lord Bute, to show the
Court did not countenance so gross a measure, moved the previous
question, and was supported by Newcastle, Melcomb, and Denbigh. Lord
Temple of course opposed the Duke of Bedford. The Lords Shelburne,
Pomfret, and Talbot spoke for the motion; but the previous question was
carried by 105 to 16, which latter were the friends of Bedford and Fox.
Six or seven even protested.

In the course of the debate Lord Bute dropped hints of important good
news, which he had received that very morning. It was supposed to mean
the pacific disposition of the new Czar. Elizabeth, his aunt, was just
dead, and Peter the Third had mounted the Russian throne. So far from
inheriting her animosity to the King of Prussia, the young Emperor was
his enthusiastic admirer, and more likely to war under his banners than
to continue to overwhelm him with torrents of barbarians.

The Duke of Bedford receiving such a rebuff from the Lords, the
faction dropped the design of renewing the motion in the Commons, the
consequence having been a side-wind of approbation to Mr. Pitt, and
almost applause to Lord Bute for taking up the military spirit--an
approbation the latter did not wish to receive, nor intend to merit.
However, 5000 men were ordered for Portugal, and the command destined
to Lord Tyrawley. Lord Albemarle too, and his brothers, Commodore and
Colonel Keppel,[167] set out for Portsmouth on the expedition to the
Havannah; but they did not sail till the beginning of March. Lord
Tyrawley went to Lisbon at the same time, whither M. Dunn, or Odunn,
who had married a daughter of Parsons,[168] a famous Jacobite alderman
in the last reign, was dispatched from Versailles to traverse his

Dr. Osbaldiston,[169] the aged Bishop of Carlisle, was translated to
the See of London, on the death of Bishop Hayter; and was succeeded by
Lyttelton,[170] Dean of Exeter.

In France, Marshal Broglio, and his brother, the Count, were
disgraced by Court intrigues. They were the best, and almost only
successful officers in the French service. The marshal[171] was a mere
disciplinarian, of no parts. The Count[172] was lively, and earnest to
inform himself; and by being quicker than his brother, with not much
better parts, was only more likely to be in the wrong: but they were
both men of strict honour. Having presented a memorial against the
Prince of Soubize, in which they attacked Stainville, brother of the
Duke of Choiseul, the latter, who possessed the favour of Madame de
Pompadour, procured the marshal and his brother to be banished to their

The Tories, triumphing in the partiality of the Court, and rather
offended than alarmed at the jealousy with which they were beheld by
the Whigs, who in power, property, and credit were beyond comparison
the preponderating part of the nation, took every occasion of
displaying their old prejudices and resentments. On every contested
election they acted in a body against the old Whigs, or later converts,
however attached to the Court. Thus they exerted all their interest
against Lord Gower[173] and Lord Orford[174] on election-causes, and
against the Duke of Bridgwater[175] and Lord Strange, on a bill for
a new northern navigation--points, on every one of which the Tories
were rancorous and unsuccessful. Nor was Scotland wiser. One Haldane
had stood for Bridport, lost it, and petitioned. Sir Henry Erskine,
a creature of the Favourite, had the indecency and folly to call the
English party in the House of Commons _a profligate majority_; an
offence not forgotten, though the Scots were beaten by three to one.
The inconsiderable number that in either House of Parliament adhered
to Mr. Pitt, and the almost universal acquiescence to the Favourite’s
influence, persuaded both him and his dependents, that they had but to
give the tone, and prerogative would master all opposition. Nor did
his partisans do more than was practised by the Favourite himself. If
they insulted the nation, he ruled the Court with a rod of iron. The
Queen, her brother, and the brothers of the King, were taught to feel
their total want of credit. The Duke of York, as Lord Anson was dying,
ambitioned the post of Lord High Admiral, but did not dare even to ask
it. Prince William,[176] the favourite brother of the King, wished
also to be employed abroad, and ordered Legrand,[177] his governor, to
solicit Lord Bute for a command. The haughty Earl treated Legrand with
scurrilous language for putting such things into the Prince’s head. The
Duke of York, who, though the elder, was by far the more indiscreet of
the brothers, openly expressed his resentment and contempt of Lord Bute
and the Scotch; and as a mark of disobedience, went to a hunting party
at the Duke of Richmond’s, to which he had been invited with the Prince
of Mecklenburg; but the latter was not suffered to go to a disaffected
house in disaffected company.

But while inactivity reigned in the Parliament of England, that of
Ireland was not idle. Lord Halifax,[178] their new Lord-Lieutenant,
was, like most of his predecessors very popular at first. They voted
him an additional salary of four thousand pounds a year. He had the
decency, though very necessitous, not to accept it for himself, but
desired it might be settled on his successors. The House of Commons,
however, would not wait till it should take place, to pay themselves,
but passed a vote to make their Parliaments, which existed during the
life of each King, septennial. The party attached to the Castle[179]
voted for it, concluding it would be thrown out by the Lords. The
Lords, as provident for their popularity, thinking it would be rejected
in England, passed it likewise. It was rejected here, but not without
much disposition in some of the Council to have it granted. Lord
Hilsborough,[180] who had great weight with Lord Halifax, stayed with
him in Dublin, and openly made war on the Primate;[181] while William
Gerard Hamilton,[182] the Secretary, gained such applause in that
Parliament, that a motion for augmenting the troops was carried by the
sole power of his eloquence.

March 19th, the bill for continuing the militia for seven years was
passed by the House of Commons in England; and the counties, that had
not raised theirs, were ordered to pay five pounds a man. This was
settled by a compromise, lest a longer term should be insisted on. Its
own friends were sick of it, and had clogged it with many clauses, in
hopes it would be rejected by their opponents. But the Ministers would
not risk the unpopularity of a negative, and were even afraid to part
with so large a body of men.


  Conquest of Martinico.--War in Portugal.--Lord Tyrawley.--
    Count la Lippe.--The Cock-Lane Ghost.--Pacific disposition
    of the new Czar.--His Popular Measures.--Count Schouvalow.--
    Meditated War with Denmark by the Czar and the King of Prussia.--
    Insurrections in Ireland, quelled by the Earl of Hertford.--Lord
    Bute’s Ambition.--The Duke of Newcastle.--His friends.--The
    Portuguese War, and the War in Germany.--The Duke of Bedford.--
    Fox’s Observation to Walpole.--Lords Mansfield, Hardwicke, and
    Lincoln.--Newcastle’s tenacity of Power.--Creation of seven new
    Peers.--Private negotiation with the Court of Vienna.--The new
    Peers.--Buckingham House purchased by the Queen.--Seclusion of
    the King and Queen.--the King’s younger Brothers.

On the 22nd of March arrived news of the conquest of Martinico by
General Monckton[183] and Admiral Rodney:[184] a plan ascribed by
the people to Mr. Pitt, though executed under the auspices of the
Favourite. In truth, the valour of the nation had taken such a bent,
that Lord Bute could not check it: nothing but a peace could chain
it up. If the Earl did favour any part of the war, it was that in
Portugal. Colonel Burgoyne[185] was ordered thither with five thousand
foot and six hundred horse; and there was a plan for regimenting
twenty-five thousand papists in Ireland for the same service; but the
Irish Government did not approve of giving discipline and arms to
such dangerous inmates. For General-in-Chief, it was proposed to send
to Lisbon the Prince of Bevern. He had been suspected of infidelity
by the King of Prussia,[186]--had been disgraced, and his intellects
were not reckoned sound. Lord Tyrawley sent home his aides-de-camp,
affecting to wonder that we expected any invasion of Portugal. This was
imputed to his disgust at not obtaining the command himself; he who
was a brave and old general, and who was perfectly acquainted with the
country.[187] The Prince of Bevern declined the offer; and Count la
Lippe accepted it. He was born in England, had distinguished himself
in every hussar-kind of service, and in his dress and manners copied
Charles XII. of Sweden, though with more politeness. He found the
Portuguese troops in the most deplorable state of cowardice and want of
discipline. The English could not, and did not disguise their contempt
of them. The Spanish army might have marched to Lisbon, had they met
with no obstruction but from the natives. The English troops saved that
country; and Count La Lippe, before he left Portugal, formed a regular
army there.[188]

The facility which the Favourite found of mastering so great and
victorious a kingdom, and of removing the man who had carried the
glory of his country so high, was not the only evidence, that however
enlightened an age may be, knavery and folly need never despair. The
tares they sow will shoot amidst any harvest. Will it be credited
that, while the Romish superstition was crumbling away even in Spain
and Portugal, a set of enthusiastic rogues dared to exhibit in the
very heart of London, a pantomime of imposture, which would hardly
have been swallowed in a paltry village of Castile? The methodists had
endeavoured to establish in Warwickshire, not only the belief, but
the actual existence of ghosts. Being detected, they struck a bold
stroke, and attempted to erect their system in the metropolis itself.
A methodist family, at first out of revenge, endeavoured to fasten on
one Parsons the imputation of having debauched and murdered his wife’s
sister. A young girl was reported to be visited by the deceased, whom
she called Fanny, and with whom she established a correspondence of
question and answer--not by words, but by scratching. A certain number
of scratches signified “yes;” another number, “no.” At first this
farce, which was acted in Cock-lane, in the city, was confined to the
mob of the neighbourhood. As the rumour spread, persons of all ranks
thronged to the house. Two methodist clergymen constantly attended the
child, who lay in bed in a wretched chamber, with only a dim rushlight
at one end. These worthy divines affected to cast an air of most
serious import on the whole transaction, and by their interposition
prompted Fanny and the girl on any dilemma. A servant wench commented
and explained Fanny’s oracle. The father would accept no money from the
various visitants, for which he was promised an adequate recompense
by the chiefs of the sect. When the story had gained a requisite
footing, Fanny had the indiscreet confidence to declare that her body
was not in the vault where it had been interred. Samuel Johnson,
author of the Dictionary, was in the number of the deluded, and with
some others as wise as himself, visited the vault, where, to the
disappointment of their credulity, they found the body.[189] Had the
precaution been taken of conveying it away, the fury of the people
might have been actuated to strange lengths; for so much credit had
the story gained, that Parsons, the accused, fearing a prosecution,
began first. A regular trial[190] instantly unravelled the cheat: the
girl was detected of performing the scratchings herself, and one of
the clergymen proved to be her abettor. Lord Chief Justice Mansfield
tried the cause: the divine had the impudence to present a letter to
him on the bench from the Archbishop of Canterbury,[191] interceding
on his behalf, for Secker had a fellow feeling for hypocritical
enthusiasm. The Chief Justice put the letter into his pocket unopened,
saying it was impossible it could relate to the cause in question.
Yet the punishment of these impostors was very moderate: whereas the
same judge inflicted most severe penalties on one Anett, who published
weekly papers against the book of Genesis. The methodists did not take
shame. They turned informers against profaners of the Sabbath, tried to
establish great rigour on Good Friday and the fast-days, and to revive
the superstition of holidays, when even the late Pope himself, Benedict
XIV.,[192] had struck several out of the calendar. But the ritual of
the Church of Rome was too rich in materials not to be copied by new
zealots. They introduced into their service hymns sung in parts by
children, as very captivating to the multitude; and the Countess of
Huntingdon,[193] the patroness of the rising Church, erected a chapel
at Bath, and at other places of drinking waters, the sick and diseased
being an obvious prey to Reformers. Hogarth exerted his last stroke
of genius on the occasion above mentioned: the print he published on
the Cock-lane Ghost had a mixture of humorous and sublime satire, that
not only surpassed all his other performances, but which would alone
immortalize his unequalled talents.

The expectations conceived of the new Czar were now verified. He
declared to the Empress Queen, to France, and to Sweden, that he
was ready to abandon his conquests for peace, and hoped they were
in the same disposition--not at the same price. France, indeed, had
many losses to regain, few acquisitions to restore--but her hopes
were placed on Spain. Sweden had made no conquests, and must obey
the dictates of so powerful a mediator; but the Empress Queen was
far from being equally tractable. Peter, however, having sacrificed
the first moments to decency, gave the next to the gratification of
his will; and without stipulating for his allies, whose politics and
procrastination were incompatible with his ardour, he not only made
peace with his favourite monarch,[194] but promised the same troops,
which under the late Czarina had almost crushed him. Nor was this a
bare promise, but faithfully executed. Such admiration of a hero was
not likely to content itself with merely becoming his ally. Few men
idolize heroism but they who feel the passion in their own breasts.
Having obliged Sweden to make peace too, the young Czar turned his eye
towards military exploits in a new field, and determined to attempt the
conquest of the duchy of Sleswick from Denmark. Yet if he was dazzled
by the martial talents of the King of Prussia, Peter had a heart
susceptible of the most extensive humanity. One of his first acts on
his accession was to bestow liberty on the Russian nobility. For the
poor he lessened the tax on salt, and for the relief of all, abolished
the Inquisition of the State. All the exiles were recalled, or received
great mitigation of their punishments. There was one man to whom the
Czar, though not so bountiful as he ought to have been, was very
kind. This was Count Schouvalow, the favourite and supposed husband
of the late Czarina. A man, who in twelve years of absolute power had
never made an enemy; and who, had he ambitioned a crown as much as he
deserved one, might have reigned. This upright man told the Czar that
he had in his possession a very large sum of money, which he believed
the Empress, his late mistress, had intended he should take for his own
use, but not having been a specific gift, he thought it his duty to
surrender it to his Majesty. The Emperor said he was in great want of
money, took it, but ordered him to choose two thousand pounds a year
in land wherever he pleased. I knew this amiable person afterwards,
wandering about Europe,[195] possessed of nothing beyond that revenue,
and sighing after a country to which it had been imprudent to return.

The Czar and the King of Prussia wished to engage us in the war with
Denmark; but though the Council was divided on the measure, Denmark was
too intimately connected with us, and as a maritime power, was too near
a neighbour to Scotland. In this exigence the King of Denmark marched
with a considerable force to Hamburgh, and obliged that opulent city to
furnish him with a million of rix-dollars.

In Ireland seemed approaching a scene of a new kind. The jealousy of
commerce had ever swayed England to keep that kingdom in a state of
humiliation and restraint; consequently of poverty. The lowest class
of people in no country less enjoyed the sweets of being; and in no
country sought less to emerge from their state of barbarism. Proud and
slothful, they created a kind of dignity to themselves from inactivity.
To labour no more than noblemen, was a sort of nobility; and ignorance
of a happier fate was happiness. They preserved their ancient poetry
and traditional genealogies; hated the English settled amongst them
as invaders, and necessarily were bigoted to their old superstitions
in opposition to the religion of their masters. In short, they wanted
but luxury, to have all the passions and prejudices of great lords. A
considerable part of the island was plunged in this dismal darkness
and misery. As a spirit of opposition and independence had spread
amongst the Protestant inhabitants, a spirit of improvement had gone
forth too. Manufactures were established, roads and bridges made, and
rivers rendered navigable. Inclosures for cultivation of lands had
followed. Occupation of commons seemed usurpation to a race of lazy
savages; and the first murmurs were carefully blown up to rage by their
priests. A massacre had been the last instance in which the Catholics
of Ireland had had any superiority; and Popish priests are historians
enough to be ignorant of no such era. It was the cause of property to
throw down inclosures; of heaven, to cut the throats of inclosers--and
of France and Spain, to promote the good work. The tumults, however,
began upon the single foot of their grievances. Great insurrections
appeared in Waterford, the chief improvements having been made upon the
Burlington estate. The rabble soon distinguished itself by the name
of _White Boys_; and their instructors, to veil one nonsense under a
greater, taught them to give out that they were subject to the Queen
of the Fairies, whom they called _Sieve Oltugh_, in whose name their
manifestoes were signed. It appeared afterwards on the trials of some
of their chiefs, that this fairy sovereign resided at Versailles.
French officers were discovered among them; and during the Duke of
Bedford’s regency, a rising had actually been made in the same quarter
just as Thurot landed. After many outrages, they proceeded to cruelty,
and buried three persons up to their chins, who had declared they
knew the ringleaders. As their numbers and impunity increased, so did
their insolence. They obliged the town of Lismore to hang out lights,
and forced a justice of peace to fix up a proclamation by which they
regulated the price of provisions, and forbad any cheese to be made
till after Lent, that the poor might have the milk--a proof that the
devotees of the Queen of the Fairies, and of the Virgin Mary, were
equally attached to the observation of the Fast.

For six weeks this insurrection was neglected; and two regiments of
dragoons, that were sent against them, proved unequal to the work. At
last the House of Commons took up the affair, and foot being ordered
out against the seditious, the matter was quashed, though not entirely
suppressed, till the Earl of Hertford[196] was Lord Lieutenant,
who refusing to pardon some of the chiefs, notwithstanding very
considerable intercession, an end was put to the affair--but unless
that country is more civilized and reclaimed from barbarism, or better
guarded before another war breaks out, it will probably be selected
by France and Spain for the first scene of their operations. At the
time of which I have been speaking, France was more earnest to make
a general peace, than to incense us by opening a war within our very
gates,[197] and which might have made it dangerous for the Favourite to
second their views.

He was hotly pushing his schemes to projection; and resolved not only
to make the peace, but to be indisputably first minister when it should
be made. Mr. Pitt was removed, who could have obstructed the first
object; but while the Duke of Newcastle held the Treasury, there was a
division of power, which all the lustre of favour could not entirely
surmount. They who looked forward, bowed to the idol; but they who held
by gratifications to the Treasury, could not but kiss the hand that
dealt the bribe. At first it was designed by disgusts to drive the
Duke to resign. Elliot and Oswald[198] were instructed to treat him
rudely at his own board: but an old minister or an old mistress endure
many shocks before they can be shaken off:[199] nor could all his own
treacheries persuade the Duke of Newcastle that Lord Bute could so soon
forget how instrumental his Grace had been in undermining Mr. Pitt.
He still had a mind to be of the plot, though himself was become the
object of it.

Newcastle’s friends were quicker sighted; and foreseeing that they
must again range under Mr. Pitt, if cast off by the Court, they began
to have doubts and difficulties--and did but hasten their fall, by
daring to resume a right of opinion. The expense of the Portuguese war
administered their first pretence of complaint, and the protection
given to the King of Prussia by the Czar, changed the posture of his
affairs so advantageously, that it had no gross appearance, when the
Dukes of Cumberland, Newcastle, Devonshire, and their faction grew
earnest for the continuance of the war in Germany. The Duke of Bedford,
who was more than half-gained to the Court, but who always added some
contradiction of his own, was averse to both wars, Portuguese and
German; and Fox, who was willing to preserve an interest in the Duke
of Cumberland, had a difficult part to act. He said to me, “The Duke
of Devonshire says it is a Tory measure to abandon the Continent;
for my part I do not know who are Whigs; they bore the partiality of
the Pelhams[200] to the Tories, and Mr. Pitt’s declaration in their
favour, who had complained that they enjoyed none of the favours of
Government.” Lord Mansfield would have preserved Newcastle to the
Court, but Lord Hardwicke pulled the other way. Lord Lincoln[201] was
devoted to Pitt, and wished to unite him and his uncle Newcastle. The
Duke of Devonshire advised the latter to resign; but so great was his
inclination to keep even the dregs of power with the dregs of life, and
so great his fear of being called to account for the waste of money
on the German war, that though the King, as a fresh affront, declared
seven new peers, without acquainting him, he not only overlooked it,
but begged his cousin, Mr. Pelham,[202] might be added to the number,
and got the barony of Pelham bestowed on himself, with reversion to
that relation.

I am forced to detail these intrigues, because the moment was critical,
and because it gave birth to a new party, and to many subsequent
events. The Court was the more stiff, because they had conveyed a
message through Count Virri,[203] the Sardinian minister in England, to
the Bailli de Solar,[204] the Sardinian minister at Paris, desiring to
renew the negotiation where it had been broken off. Lord Bute had gone
farther: he had ordered Sir Joseph Yorke to treat privately with the
Court of Vienna, without the knowledge of the King of Prussia. For some
time the Court of Vienna did not vouchsafe an answer. To the confusion
of the Favourite, the first news he had of any answer to come, was from
the Baron de Knyphausen, the King of Prussia’s minister here.[205]

April 28th, the new peers kissed hands. Lord[206] Wentworth and Sir
William Courtenay,[207] Tories, were made Viscounts. Lord Egmont,[208]
Lord Milton,[209] Lord Brudenel, the Duke of Newcastle, Sir Edward
Hussy Montagu,[210] Mr. Vernon,[211] of Sudbury, and Mr. Lane,[212]
the two latter Tories, were made Barons, and Lady Caroline Fox, a
Baroness. Lord Ligonier’s Irish peerage was entailed on his nephew. Mr.
Vernon,[213] clerk of the Council, and Mr. Olmius,[214] were created
Irish Barons. The Prince of Mecklenburg,[215] brother of the Queen,
was made a Major-General. Lord Bute had often waved her request. She
was advised to apply to the Princess, and the favour was immediately
granted. Soon after, Buckingham House[216] was purchased and bestowed
on her Majesty, St. James’s not seeming a prison strait enough. There
the King and Queen lived in the strictest privacy, attended absolutely
by none but menial servants; and never came to the palace but for the
hours of levies and drawing-rooms. The King’s younger brothers were
kept, till they came of age, in as rigid durance. Prince Henry, the
third, a very lively lad, being asked if he had been confined with the
epidemic cold, replied, “Confined! that I am, without any cold;” and
soon after, when the Garter was bestowed on Prince William and Lord
Bute, Prince Henry said, “I suppose Mr. Mackenzie[217] and I shall have
the green ribands.”


  Debate in the House of Commons on a Vote of Credit and the Support
    of Portugal.--The German War.--Pitt’s Speech.--Colonel
    Barré’s Reply to Mr. Pitt.--Lord Bute’s Ambition.--The Duke
    of Newcastle’s Resignation.--Fox and the Duke of Devonshire.--
    Ingratitude of the Clergy to Newcastle.--Unwise conduct of Lord
    Bute.--He is declared First Lord of the Treasury.--Sir Francis
    Dashwood, Chancellor of the Exchequer.--His unfitness for that
    Office.--His general Character.--His establishment of a Society
    of Young Travellers.

May 12th. The House of Commons debated on a vote of credit, and the
support of Portugal. Glover the poet pleaded against Portugal’s
claim to our assistance, from their many infractions of treaties,
from their cramping our trade, and from the impossibilities our
merchants had found of obtaining redress; a complaint that seemed to
bear hard on the late ministry: to which he added reflections on the
extravagance of the German war, which, contrary to the professions
of ministers, had grown from £200,000 to six or seven millions. Pitt
was offended, and corrected Glover, who threw his information on some
nameless merchants, by whom he had been told that their remonstrances
on the difficulties of the Portuguese trade had not been read by
the ministers. Wilkes censured the weakness and irresolution of the
ministry; their abandoning Belleisle, and neglecting to send over the
officers to Germany. It was even said, he affirmed, that they had been
humiliating themselves at the Court of Vienna. Legge more gently, and
Beckford with more rhodomontade, pressed the same accusations. The
latter was for invading Spain by sea; declared that the City suspected
the ministry of wavering, and demanded to have their _old minister_
again. Grenville answered finely, and compared the smallness of the
sum demanded, £300,000, with the expense in Germany. Belleisle had
cost more than what was now asked for Portugal. That Court knew how
we were embarrassed, and asked not more than she knew we could give.
What proof was there of irresolution? was not Martinico conquered? was
not the Havannah likely to follow? or did Beckford think that great
words, blustered in Parliament, constituted resolution? Fluctuating
reports were rather owing to stockjobbers than to fluctuation in the
measures of Government. He affirmed that not one step had been taken at
Vienna derogatory to any of our connections. We had only tried to feel
how they relished the family-compact among the Bourbons. But whether
the resolution was taken to recall our troops from Germany, or at all
events to go on, would it be prudent to declare which was to be the

Lord George Sackville was liberal in blaming the expense of the German
war, which he compared with that of Queen Anne; _the whole_ of which,
he maintained, except in 1711 and 1712, did not amount to what this
German war had cost alone, though we had then employed more British
and other troops than at present. Queen Anne’s war had never exceeded
eight millions, including garrisons, fleet, &c. The expense of 172,000
men from 1709 to 1711 had not gone beyond what one year had recently
cost in Germany. If there had not been new inventions for expense, we
should not now be ready to beg peace.

Pitt, in a very capital style, took up the cause of Portugal: he did
not stoop to that little hackneyed practice of party, opposing whatever
was the measure of the adversary. He had stood forth for general war,
and for reduction of the House of Bourbon. To advise still larger war
was constancy to the same plan; and it was still safer to advise it,
when he was no longer answerable for the event. To oppose vigorous
steps would have been more truly lending aid to the Court, who wanted
to get clear of the war.

As having been a public minister, he must not, he said, intrench
himself within his present private situation, but speak his opinion.
He should not wait for events, but speak boldly as a counsellor. If
he voted for this measure, it was giving the Crown his advice, as if
he was called to Council. He did think we ought to support Portugal,
both for commercial and political reasons. Portugal is in the immediate
predicament of nearness to us after Ireland and our Colonies. _It
assists, without draining us._ Assistance was a matter of justice due
from us to an oppressed, insulted ally. There had not been such an
infraction of treaties as would release us from the ties of treaties.
Should we sit with folded arms while the two branches of Bourbon, those
proudest of the proud, would exclude us from neutral ports? We must set
Portugal on its legs, not take it on our shoulders. He then expatiated
on the character of Carvalho, the prime minister of Portugal, his
inflexibility to danger, his intrepidity; and drew a picture that
might almost have passed for his own, as he seemed to mean it should.
Would there be danger in this measure? he was a co-operator in it. If
you, as a maritime power, cannot protect Portugal, Genoa will next be
shut against you; and then the ports of Sardinia:--what! ports shut
against the first maritime power in the world! He then turned Glover
into ridicule; said he admired his poetry, but _quanto optimus omnium
poeta, tanto_--he would not, he said, go on. For the sum demanded, it
might easily be raised, or a million more: and he would give the same
opinion, whether the Duke of Newcastle continued minister, or should be
succeeded by Mr. Fox, as was generally said to be the intention. The
only difficulty was to find funds. It had been predicated for three
years that we could not raise more money; therefore it was plain we
could. Lord George should have put into the scale what our enemies had
lost; they had been losing, we acquiring. He hoped we should keep up
our officers and our marine, and not decrease the latter, as we had
done after the last peace. France had last year spent eight millions
in Germany. To outlast an enemy was worth perseverance. But we would
not distinguish between contracting our expenses and contracting our
operations. He paid great compliments to the officers of land and
sea, and pleaded earnestly against relinquishing Germany. It would be
turning loose an hundred and forty thousand French to overrun the Low
Countries and Portugal. If there was any odium from the German war, he
begged it might fall on him; though he had never seen a contractor, yet
he would not disculpate himself by censuring others; and he spoke in
mitigation of the blame thrown on the Treasury, owning he thought some
little might have been saved, but not suspecting them of dishonesty.
Yet, were an inquiry moved, he would second it; he would screen nobody.
After the King of Prussia had been so ill-treated on our account, would
we throw such a power out of our alliance, only to save three or four
hundred thousand pounds? But he thought he had heard the army was not
to be recalled--was transported to find Lord Granby was going to it.
Himself was the only man that agreed with the whole administration,
for he approved both of war in Germany and war in Portugal; and he
was so far from meditating opposition, that he should regard the man
who would revive parties as an enemy to his country. Himself had
contributed to annihilate _party_, but it had not been to pave the way
for _those who only intended to substitute one party to another_.[218]
Should the least cloud arise between London and Berlin, he prayed for
temper and reconciliation. He wished to move that the continuation
of the subsidy to Prussia might be added to the vote of credit; but
it did not become him to move for more than was asked by the King’s
servants: yet he wished the vote of credit had been greater, and knew
the Duke of Newcastle wished so too. He should rejoice to see the
session closed with the grant of a large sum of money, because England
could not well treat but at the head of all her force. Russia had
acceded to Prussia--how much wiser to give money to that monarch now,
when he is in a better situation, than, as you would do, if he were
still more distressed! Nay, that little teazing incident, Sweden, was
removed by dread of the Czar. Sweden is a free nation, _but factions
and a corrupted senate have lowered it from the great figure it made an
hundred years ago_. Act now, continued he, upon a great system, while
it is in your power! A million more would be a pittance to place you at
the head of Europe, and enable you to treat with efficacy and dignity.
Save it not in this last critical year! Give the million to the war
at large, and add three, four, or five hundred thousand pounds more
to Portugal; or avow to the House of Bourbon that you are not able to
treat at the head of your allies.

This speech, so artful, elevated, so much in character, and so
distressful to the Junto that were endeavouring to steal disgrace upon
themselves and their country in the face of the world, by setting up
one war against another, and dividing the attention of the public, till
impotence and mismanagement should render peace welcome,--this speech
did Colonel Barré attempt to answer; and did answer it, only in length.
He was sensible that he had disgusted mankind by his indecent brutality
to so great a statesman: his friends had told him that his invectives,
illiberal as they had been, were reckoned the produce of study; and
that he must shine in cool argument, lest he should be thought a bully
rather than an orator. If they apprehended this, the result of their
lessons was a proof that their apprehensions had not been ill-founded.
Nothing could be more cold and dull than Barré’s reply to Mr. Pitt.
It revenged the latter for the former insult. Calvert,[219] a mad
volunteer, who always spoke what he thought, and sometimes thought
justly, was so struck with Barré’s phlegmatic impropriety, that he
told the House it had put him in mind of a poet, who being at sea in a
tempest, and being missed while all hands were on deck, was found half
asleep in the cabin; and, being asked why he did not assist to save
the ship, replied, he was thinking how to describe the storm?[220] The
money was voted, and nothing more of consequence passed that session in

Both Houses thus complaisant and submissive, there wanted but the
office of prime minister to glut the Favourite’s ambition: and
no wonder that he, who had dared to strike the name of the first
monarch in military glory in Europe from the list of Great Britain’s
pensioners, only to gratify the feminine piques of the backstairs; and
who had ventured successfully to remove Mr. Pitt from the command of
that country which he had saved, restored, exalted;--no wonder such a
Phaëton should drive over a ridiculous old dotard, who had ever been
in everybody’s way, and whose feeble hands were still struggling for
power, when the most he ought to have expected, was, that his flattery
and obsequiousness might have moved charity to leave him an appearance
of credit. It was absurd for him to stay in place; insolent to attempt
to stay there by force, and impudent to pretend to patriotism when
driven out with contempt. Against his will he was preserved from having
a share in the infamy of the ensuing peace.

May 14th, the Duke[221] acquainted the King that he would resign, who
answered coldly, “Then, my Lord, I must fill up your place as well as I
can.” Still Newcastle lingered; and, as he owned afterwards to the Duke
of Cumberland, his friends had laboured to prevent the fatal blow. Lord
Mansfield, he said, had _pleaded_ with Lord Bute for above an hour, and
could not extract from him a wish that the Duke should continue in the
Treasury. Fox asked Lord Mansfield if this was true? He replied, “Not
an hour, for I soon saw it was to no purpose.”

Thus disgraced, and disgracing himself, on the 26th the Duke of
Newcastle resigned: and he, who had begun the world with heading
mobs against the ministers of Queen Anne; who had braved the
Heir-apparent[222] of the new family, and forced himself upon him as
godfather to his son; who had recovered that Prince’s favour, and
preserved power under him at the expense of every minister whom that
Prince preferred; and who had been a victorious rival of another
Prince of Wales;[223] was now buffeted from a fourth Court[224] by a
very suitable competitor, and was reduced in his tottering old age to
have recourse to those mobs and that popularity which had raised him
fifty years before; and as almost the individual crisis was revolved,
with a scandalous treaty and a new prospect of arbitrary power, it
looked as if Newcastle thought himself young again, because the times
of his youth were returned, and he was obliged to act with boys!

Such pains, however, had been taken to disjoint his faction, that
his exit from power was by no means attended with consolatory
circumstances. The Duke of Devonshire would not resign, though he
declared he would seldom or never go to council. Fox had warned him
not to be too hasty in embarking in a party in which Pitt must be a
principal actor; and remembering his Grace how large a share Pitt had
had in planting the Tories at Court, and that, speaking of Legge, Pitt
had said, “I will have no more ear for Whig grievances.” The rest of
Newcastle’s friends were as little disposed to follow him: but that he
might taste the full mortification of being deserted by those whom he
had most obliged, whom he had most courted and most patronized, the
clergy gave the most conspicuous example of ingratitude. For thirty
years Newcastle had had the almost sole disposal of ecclesiastic
preferments, and consequently had raised numbers of men from penury
and the meanest birth to the highest honours and amplest incomes in
their profession. At this very period there were not three bishops
on the bench who did not owe their mitres to him. His first levée
after his fall was attended but by one bishop,[225] Cornwallis of
Lichfield; who being a man of quality, and by his birth entitled to
expect a greater rise, did but reflect the more shame on those who owed
everything to favour, and scarce one of them anything to abilities.

The conduct of Lord Bute was not more wise than that of Newcastle.
Instead of sheltering himself under that old man’s name from whatever
danger there might be in making peace, the Earl was driving together
all those whom he ought to have kept divided, and really seemed jealous
lest himself should not have the whole odium of sacrificing the glories
and conquests of the war; an infatuation that so far excuses him, as he
must have thought he did a service to his country in restoring peace:
but what must his understanding have been if he could think that peace
would be a benefit, let the terms be what they would? He supposed,
too, that Newcastle, having in opposition to Pitt declared for peace,
could not retract, and be against the peace. This was not knowing
Newcastle or mankind. The situation, too, was materially changed: the
weight of Russia was transferred from the hostile to the friendly
scale; Martinico was fallen; and Europe could scarce amass the symptom
of a fleet. A mind less versatile than Newcastle’s could not want
arguments against a precipitate treaty. Yet was it not Newcastle,
nor a scandalous treaty that shook the Favourite’s power. It was his
ignorance of the world; it was a head unadapted to government, and
rendered still less proper for it by morose and recluse pride, and a
heart that was not formed to bear up a weak head, that made him embark
imprudently, and retreat as unadvisedly.

Lord Bute, on the resignation of the Duke of Newcastle, was immediately
declared First Lord of the Treasury. George Grenville succeeded him as
Secretary of State, and Sir Francis Dashwood was made his Chancellor of
the Exchequer; a system that all the lustre of the Favourite’s power
could not guard from being ridiculous, though to himself mankind bowed
with obsequious devotion. Grenville was ignorant of foreign affairs,
and, though capable of out-talking the whole corps diplomatique, had no
address, no manner, no insinuation, and had, least of all, the faculty
of listening. The Favourite himself had never been in a single office
of business, but for the few months that he had held the seals: of the
revenue he was in perfect ignorance, knew nothing of figures, and was
a stranger to those Magi to the east of Temple-Bar, who, though they
flock to a new star, expect to be talked to in a more intelligible
language than that of inspiration. When a Lord Treasurer or a First
Lord of the Treasury is not master of his own province, it suffices if
the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a man of business, and capable of
conducting the revenue, of planning supplies, and of executing the
mechanic duties of that high post. But in the new dispensation it was
difficult to say which was the worst suited to his office, the minister
or his substitute. While the former shrouded his ignorance from vulgar
eyes, and dropped but now and then from a cloud an oracular sentence;
the deputy, with the familiarity and phrase of a fish-wife, introduced
the humours of Wapping behind the veil of the Treasury. He had a
coarse, blunt manner of speaking, that, looking like honesty, inclined
men to hold his common sense in higher esteem than it deserved; but,
having neither knowledge[226] nor dignity, his style, when he was to
act as minister, appeared naked, vulgar, and irreverent to an assembly
that expects to be informed, and that generally chooses to reprehend,
not to be reprehended. When a statesman ventures to be familiar, he
must captivate his audience by uncommon graces, or win their good-will
by a humane pleasantry that seems to flow from the heart, and to be
the effusion of universal benevolence. This was the secret as well as
character of Henry the Fourth of France: even the semblance of it stood
his grandson, our Charles the Second, in signal stead, and veiled his
unfeeling heart, and selfish and remorseless insensibility.

Men were puzzled to guess at the motive of so improper a choice as
this of Sir Francis Dashwood. The banner of religion was displayed at
Court, and yet all the centurions were culled from the most profligate
societies. Sir Francis had long been known by his singularities and
some humour. In his early youth, accoutred like Charles the Twelfth,
he had travelled to Russia in hopes of captivating the Czarina; but
neither the character nor dress of Charles were well imagined to catch
a _woman’s_ heart. In Italy, Sir Francis had given in to the most
open profaneness; and, at his return, had assembled a society[227]
of Young Travellers, to which a taste for the arts and antiquity, or
merely having travelled, were the recommendatory ingredients. Their
pictures were drawn, ornamented with symbols and devices; and the
founder, in the habit of St. Francis, and with a chalice in his hand,
was represented at his devotions before a statue of the Venus of
Medicis, a stream of glory beaming on him from behind her lower hand.
These pictures were long exhibited in their club-room at a tavern
in Palace Yard; but of later years Saint Francis had instituted a
more select order. He and some chosen friends had hired the ruins of
Medmenham Abbey, near Marlow, and refitted it in a conventual style.
Thither at stated seasons they adjourned; had each their cell, a proper
habit, a monastic name, and a refectory in common--besides a chapel,
the decorations of which may well be supposed to have contained the
quintessence of their mysteries, since it was impenetrable to any
but the initiated. Whatever their doctrines were, their practice was
rigorously pagan: Bacchus and Venus were the deities to whom they
almost publicly sacrificed. The old Lord Melcomb was one of the
brotherhood. Yet their follies would have escaped the eye of the
public, if Lord Bute from this seminary of piety and wisdom had not
selected a Chancellor of the Exchequer. But politics had no sooner
infused themselves amongst these rosy anchorites, than dissensions
were kindled, and a false brother arose, who divulged the arcana, and
exposed the good Prior, in order to ridicule him as Minister of the
Finances. But, of this, more hereafter.


  Honours heaped on Lord Bute.--His first Levée.--Archbishop
    Secker.--Lord Halifax appointed to the Admiralty.--Lord Melcomb a
    Cabinet Councillor.--Lord Bute’s Haughtiness.--First appearance
    of “The North Briton.“--Its excessive Audacity.--Sketch of its
    Author, John Wilkes.--Churchill, Wilkes’s Associate.--Earl
    Temple.--Capture and recapture of Newfoundland.--The French
    camp surprised by Prince Ferdinand.--Propensity of the Court
    for Peace.--General Conway--Peter the Third.--The Czarina
    Elizabeth.--The Empress Catherine.--Horrible Conspiracy against
    Peter.--Catherine raised to the Throne.--Murder of Peter.--
    Effect of the Russian Revolution on the King of Prussia.

Every honour the Crown could bestow was now to be heaped on the
Favourite. He was fond of his own person, and obtained the Garter in
company with Prince William.[228] His first levée was crowded like a
triumph. Archbishop Secker, who waited at it, pretended that, seeing
a great concourse as he came from Lambeth,[229] he had inquired the
occasion, and had gone in. Lincoln’s-inn-fields, where the Duke of
Newcastle lived, was not now in the way to Lambeth. About the same
time died Lord Anson, and left the Admiralty too at the disposal
of the Favourite. He wished to bestow it on Lord Sandwich, to make
room for Rigby, as Vice-Treasurer of Ireland; but the shyness of the
Duke of Cumberland, whose creature Sandwich was, made that measure
impracticable; and the Admiralty was bestowed on Lord Halifax, with
permission to retain Ireland for a year. Elliot,[230] a chief confident
of the Favourite, was appointed Treasurer of the Chambers; and Lord
Melcombe a cabinet councillor: but there ended all the ambition of the
latter, he dying of a dropsy in his stomach a few weeks afterwards.

These successes and the tide of power swelled the weak bladder of the
Favourite’s mind to the highest pitch. His own style was haughty and
distant; that of his creatures insolent. Many persons who had absented
themselves from his levée were threatened with the loss of their own,
or the places of their relations, and were obliged to bow the knee.
But this sunshine drew up very malignant vapours. Scarce was the Earl
seated but one step below the throne, when a most virulent weekly
paper appeared, called _the North Briton_. Unawed by the prosecution
of the Monitor (another opponent periodic satire, the author of which
had been taken up for abusing favourites), and though combated
by two Court papers called the Briton and the Auditor (the former
written by Smollet,[231] and the latter by Murphy,[232] and both
which the new champion fairly silenced in a few weeks), the North
Briton proceeded with an acrimony, a spirit, and a licentiousness
unheard of before even in this country. The highest names, whether of
statesmen or magistrates, were printed at length, and the insinuations
went still higher. In general, favouritism was the topic, and the
partiality of the Court to the Scots. Every obsolete anecdote, every
illiberal invective, was raked up and set forth in strong and witty
colours against Scotland. One of the first numbers was one of the
most outrageous, the theme taken from the loves of Queen Isabella and
Mortimer. No doubt but it lay open enough to prosecution, and the
intention was to seize the author. But on reflection it was not thought
advisable to enter on the discussion of such a subject in Westminster
Hall; and, as the daring audaciousness of the writer promised little
decorum, it was held prudent to wait till he should furnish a less
delicate handle to vengeance: a circumspection that deceived and
fell heavy on the author, who, being advised to more caution in his
compositions, replied, he had tried the temper of the Court by the
paper on Mortimer, and found they did not dare to touch him.

This author, who must be so often mentioned in the following pages, was
John Wilkes, member of Parliament for Ailesbury. He was of a plebeian
family,[233] but inherited a tolerable fortune in Buckinghamshire,
and had been bred at Oxford, where he distinguished himself by
humorous attacks on whatever was esteemed most holy and respectable.
Unrestrained either in his conduct or conversation, he was allowed
to have more wit than in truth he possessed; and, living with rakes
and second-rate authors, he had acquired fame such as it was, in the
middling sphere of life, before his name was so much as known to the
public. His appearance as an orator had by no means conspired to
make him more noticed. He spoke coldly and insipidly, though with
impertinence; his manner was poor, and his countenance horrid. When his
pen, which possessed an easy impudent style, had drawn the attention of
mankind towards him, and it was asked, who this saucy writer was? Fame,
that had adopted him, could furnish but scurvy anecdotes of his private
life. He had married a woman of fortune, used her ill, and at last
cruelly, to extort from her the provision he had made for her separate
maintenance; he had debauched a maiden of family by an informal promise
of marriage, and had been guilty of other frauds and breaches of trust.
Yet the man, bitter as he was in his political writings, was commonly
not ill-natured or acrimonious. Wantonness, rather than ambition or
vengeance, guided his hand; and, though he became the martyr of the
best cause, there was nothing in his principles or morals that led him
to care under what government he lived. To laugh and riot and scatter
firebrands, with him was liberty. Despotism will for ever reproach
Freedom with the profligacy of such a saint!

Associated with Wilkes in pleasure and in the composition of the North
Briton was a clergyman named Churchill, who stepped out of obscurity
about the same period, and was as open a contemner of decency as Wilkes
himself, but far his superior in the endowments of his mind. Adapted
to the bear-garden by his athletic mould, Churchill had frequented no
school so much as the theatres. He had existed by the lowest drudgery
of his function, while poetry amused what leisure he could spare, or
rather what leisure he _would_ enjoy; for his Muse, and his mistress,
and his bottle were so essential to his existence, that they engrossed
all but the refuse of his time. Yet for some years his poetry had
proved as indifferent as his sermons, till a cruel and ill-natured
satire on the actors had, in the first year of this reign, handed him
up to public regard. Having caught the taste of the town, he proceeded
rapidly, and in a few more publications started forth a giant in
numbers, approaching as nearly as possible to his model Dryden, and
flinging again on the wild neck of Pegasus the reins which Pope had
held with so tight and cautious a hand. Imagination, harmony, wit,
satire, strength, fire, and sense crowded on his compositions; and they
were welcome for him--he neither sought nor invited their company.
Careless of matter and manner, he added grace to sense, or beauty to
nonsense, just as they came in his way; and he could not help being
sonorous, even when he was unintelligible. He advertised the titles of
his poems, but neither planned nor began them till his booksellers, or
his own want of money, forced him to thrust out the crude but glorious
sallies of his uncorrected fancy. This bacchanalian priest, now
mouthing patriotism, and now venting libertinism, the scourge of bad
men, and scarce better than the worst, debauching wives, and protecting
his gown by the weight of his fist, engaged with Wilkes in his war
on the Scots; and sometimes learning, and as often not knowing, the
characters he attacked,[234] set himself up as the Hercules that was
to cleanse the State, and punish its oppressors: and, true it is, the
storm that saved us was raised in taverns and night-cellars; so much
more effectual were the orgies of Churchill and Wilkes than the daggers
of Cato and Brutus. The two former saved their country, while Catiline
could not ruin his,--a work to which such worthies seemed much better

But while the wit and revelry of Wilkes and Churchill ran riot, and
were diverted by their dissipation to other subjects of pleasantry
or satire, they had a familiar at their ear, whose venom was never
distilled at random, but each drop administered to some precious work
of mischief. This was Earl Temple, who whispered them where they might
find torches, but took care never to be seen to light one himself.
Characters so rash and imprudent were proper vehicles of his spite; and
he enjoyed the two points he preferred even to power,--vengeance, and a
whole skin.

This triumvirate has made me often reflect that nations are most
commonly saved by the worst men in them. The virtuous are too
scrupulous to go the lengths that are necessary to rouse the people
against their tyrants.

While Wilkes and Churchill attacked the plenitude of the Favourite’s
power, another cloud overcast it, which, though inconsiderable and
of short duration, contributed to lower him in the estimation of the
people. An account arrived of the French having surprised and made
themselves masters of Newfoundland. General Amherst[235] did not wait
for orders from hence, but, detaching his brother with a body of
forces, recovered the island, and made the French commander prisoner.

Prince Ferdinand, not less active and vigilant, had surprised the
French camp, desirous of embarking us farther in the war, and hoping
that new successes would animate the nation to resist the propensity
of the Court for peace. General Conway took the castle of Waldeck by
stratagem; and the Hessians triumphed in other attempts.[236] The
Prince told Mr. Conway that we might be joined by a body of Russians
for a _trait de plume_, but neither miscarriage nor success could
beat the Favourite from his plan of pacification; though, had we been
inclined to listen to that overture, a second change of scene in Russia
would have disconcerted our treating with that nation.

Peter the Third, with a humane heart, had neither judgment nor
patience. He meant to do right, and thought absolute power could not
be better employed than in doing right without delay. His approbation
and contempt were prompt and strongly marked; and, as his understanding
was incapable of embracing many objects, his few ideas took the
larger possession of him. Being educated a Lutheran, he despised the
clergy of his empire, and had offended the soldiery by enforcing
discipline, by restoring the conquests of the preceding reign, by
manifesting indiscreet predilection for a regiment of Holstein, his
native country, and by so blind a devotion to the King of Prussia, that
himself wore that Prince’s uniform. Indolence and drunkenness were
added to this want of conduct; but he had to struggle with a yet more
dangerous evil. The late Czarina, his aunt, finding no issue arise
from his marriage with the Princess of Anhalt Zerbst, questioned the
latter; and, it is said, was informed by her that she must not expect
any lineage from her nephew. Elizabeth replied, the State demanded
successors, and left the Grand Duchess at liberty to procure them by
whose assistance she pleased. A son and daughter were the fruits of
her obedience. But, though her politics were satisfied, it is said
the mind of Elizabeth was not, and that she privately saw her cousin,
the dethroned Czar Yvan. The opinion is general, though at what time
it happened is uncertain, that drugs to destroy his understanding had
been administered to that poor Prince. Peter, though on obtaining the
diadem he openly exhibited a mistress, could not but know that if his
wife had spoken truth, he could have no claim to be father of her
children: thence he had the same curiosity as his aunt, visited the
Czar Yvan, and, as the rumour went, intended to name him his successor.
Such rumours were sufficient to alarm the Empress, who was slighted by
Peter, and had reason to think he meant to divorce her. That bold bad
woman, who had all the talents for empire that her husband wanted, and
who had been educated by a most artful and intriguing mother, and who,
with a commanding person, had a heart susceptible of warm impressions,
was then under the influence of Orloff, her lover, and her confident
the Princess Daskau, a young woman little above twenty years of age,
but of an adventurous spirit, and, what made her situation singular,
sister of the Emperor’s mistress.

This junto agreed to believe that Peter would not limit his aversion
for the Empress to mere divorce, but intended to put her to death; a
charge most improbable, and inconsistent with the Emperor’s humane and
unsuspecting nature. How early a conspiracy was formed, I pretend not
to say; nor, in relating the events of so distant a country, and whence
truth is so difficult to be procured, do I pretend to give more than
the outlines of their general story, collected from the most credible
authority. But, however dark and secret the measures were, the facts
resulting from them were so glaring, so horrid, so impious, that
neither the lying palliatives set forth by the criminals themselves,
nor the mercenary flattery of the learned, will be able to wash off
from the Empress the foul stains of treason, murder, and usurpation.

The Emperor had not reigned above six months, when the plan for
dethroning him was formed, and ready to break forth. One of the
conspirators being arrested for another crime, the rest concluded the
whole was discovered; but, instead of dispersing or seeking safety by
flight, the chiefs trusted to rashness for impunity. Orloff galloped
off to the Czarina, who was absent from the capital at a separate
villa from the Emperor, and told her she had not a moment to lose.
That virago having ordered her women to report she was confined by
sickness, and placing guards upon the road to prevent notice of her
march being sent to the Czar, rode directly to the army and demanded
their protection. One only regiment, that of Holstein, refused their
support. All the rest saluted her Empress; and the clergy who trembled
for their idols, and resented the loss of their beards, ran headlong
into rebellion. The senate, the nobility, the people, all concurred to
raise to the throne in her own name a woman who had no one claim of any
sort to be their sovereign.

Nariskin, master of the horse, was the sole subject who had fidelity
enough to make his escape and inform the Emperor of the catastrophe
that awaited him. That poor prince was at Oraniebaum, a villa.
Thunderstruck with the news, he had not presence of mind to prepare
himself to save either his empire or his life. He lost both by losing
a day, which he wasted in drinking and vain consultation, after having
fruitlessly sent to Peterhoff to secure the Empress. Next morning he
heard that his wife at the head of fourteen thousand men was marching
to seize him. He then attempted to make his escape to Holstein, and
embarked for Cronstadt--but it was too late! The garrison had received
orders to fire on him. Exhausted with perturbation of mind, with drink
and fatigue, he sunk under his misfortunes, surrendered himself, and
desired to see his wife, now his sovereign. As incapable of pity as of
remorse, she refused to admit him, ordering him to sign a renunciation
of his crown, and a most humiliating recapitulation of his errors. Nor
did this avail: within very few days he was murdered.

Thus far Catherine had acted like other monsters of both sexes. Her
next measures were as weak towards men as they were profane in the
face of Heaven. In very silly manifestoes she endeavoured to justify
her crimes; and dared even to call on the Most High as the instigator
of her abominations, speaking of her husband but as her neighbour, and
of his death as a judgment. Vain and contemptible was this attempt: it
could blind none but those who would be willing to acquit her without

The Princess Daskau soon lost the favour she had so blackly merited;
and Rosamouski, Hetman of the Tartars, whom many accused as the very
assassin of his master, but who, as his friends urged, was forced into
the conspiracy, went into a voluntary exile. Orloff had gained deeper
hold on his mistress, and kept her in subjection. Panin, governor of
her son, was another of the principal conspirators. Bestucheff, the
late chancellor, was recalled; and thus he, Count Munich, Biron, once
Duke of Courland, and master of the empire, with the various exiles of
the late reigns, found themselves again together at Petersburgh.[237]

After the murdered Prince himself, no man was likely to be more
affected by this revolution than the King of Prussia. The Russians,
so lately his enemies, had not been pleased to become his allies.
But, though the new Empress was necessitated to comply with the
wishes of her subjects in withdrawing them from that service, she was
not disposed in so critical a situation to renew the war, or to add
provocation to a man whom she had deprived of so useful and essential a
friend. She therefore only made the requisition of the thirty thousand
Russians in his service, but allowed him for a few days to profit by
their assistance, and extricate himself out of this new difficulty. He
returned for answer, that he would only drive Marshal Daun from the
hills before him, and her troops should return. He did so. This was
taking his part with admirable presence of mind. He knew that Daun must
in a day or two learn the departure of the Russian troops, and would
attack him when weakened.


  Birth of the Prince of Wales.--Treasure of the Hermione.--Conquest
    of the Havannah.--Indifference of the Court on that event.--
    Negotiations for Peace.--Not popular in England.--Reception in
    France of the Duke of Bedford.--The Duc de Nivernois.--Beckford
    elected Lord Mayor.--Duel between Lord Talbot and Wilkes.--Lord
    Bute’s Delegates in the House of Commons.--Grenville and Lord
    Bute.--Union of Lord Bute and Fox.--The latter reproached by the
    Duke of Cumberland.--Lord Waldegrave and the Duke of Devonshire
    decline the proposal of Fox.--Disgust at the union of Bute and
    Fox.--Purchase of a majority to approve the Peace.--Fox’s revenge
    against the Duke of Devonshire.--The King and the Marquis of
    Rockingham.--Further severity to the Duke of Devonshire.

On the 12th of August, the Queen was delivered of a Prince of Wales;
and the same morning the treasure of that capital prize, the Hermione,
arrived in town in many waggons, and passed through the City to the
Tower. The sum taken amounted to near eight hundred thousand pounds.

In the beginning of the following month came the first news from the
Havannah; and before the end of it we learned the entire conquest
of that important place by the three Keppels,[238]--the Earl of
Albemarle, the Commodore and the Colonel his brothers. The honour they
won was a little soiled by their rapaciousness and by our great loss
of men: but to Spain the blow was of the deepest consequence, and the
place irrecoverable by any force they could exert. Yet such a victory
seemed to infuse as little joy into the Court of St. James’s as into
that of Madrid. The Favourite and his creatures took no part in the
transports of the nation; and, when he declined availing himself of any
merit from the conquest, it was plain he was grieved either to have
more to restore at the peace, or less reason for making that peace but
on the most advantageous terms: but he was infatuated, and, breaking
through all the barriers of glory, he sent the Duke of Bedford to Paris
to settle the preliminaries, whence the Duc de Nivernois arrived for
the same purpose.

Sullen and silent as Mr. Pitt was, and feeble and impotent as the
faction of Newcastle, still the City and merchants showed some symptoms
of indignation at this obstinate alacrity for treating. The Duke of
Bedford was hissed as he passed through the principal streets; and
treasonable papers were dispersed in the villages round London. But
in France the Duke was received as their guardian angel. The most
distinguished and unusual honours were paid to him; and the principal
magistrate of Calais, thinking him descended from the other John Duke
of Bedford, brother of Henry the Fifth, complimented his Grace (and
no doubt felicitated himself on the comparison) on seeing him arrive
with as salutary and pacific, as his great ancestor had formerly landed
there with hostile intentions.

His counterpart, the Duc de Nivernois, had been long employed in
negotiations at Rome and Berlin, but had not the good fortune to please
at the latter Court, where the King even turned into ridicule his
puny and emaciated little figure. His ill-health, the titles that had
centred in his person, and had filled him with vanity (for he was Peer
of France, Prince of the Empire, Grandee of Spain, and a Roman Baron),
and his affection for polite learning, had disposed him to live in a
retired circle of humble admirers, to whom he almost daily repeated
his works both in prose and verse; but not without having attempted to
soar higher. He had assumed devotion, in hopes of being Governor to
the Dauphin: but, except in concluding the peace, which, considering
our eagerness, he could not avoid concluding, he had never met with
brilliant success in any of his pursuits; being, as the celebrated
Madame Geoffrin[239] said of him, “Guerrier manqué, politique manqué,
bel esprit manqué, enfin manqué partout.” To England he bore no
good-will: and though, till the treaty was signed, he concealed, as
much as peevishness would let him, the disgust he took to this country,
and was profuse in attentions to all, and in assiduity of court to
the Favourite and his faction, yet, though he remained here a very
little time after the signature, his nature broke forth, and scarce
was enough good-breeding left to skin over the sore reluctance of a
momentary stay.[240]

The nation was far less impatient than the Court for peace; and, though
no great burst of spirit appeared against it, there were sufficient
symptoms of ill-humour to warn the prime minister, that, without
redoubling his industry and taking more solid measures, he might
still be foiled in the attempt of forcing an inglorious peace on the
nation. Beckford, who had been desirous of resigning his alderman’s
gown, was, against his will, elected Lord Mayor; a mark of their
good-will to his friend, Mr. Pitt. The North Briton spread the alarm
as much as possible; but the flippancy of the author began to draw
storms on his own head. Wilkes having in one of those papers ridiculed
the flattery of Lord Talbot, who, officiating as Lord High Constable
at the Coronation, had endeavoured to back his horse to the gate of
Westminster Hall, that he might not turn his own back on the King, was
challenged by Lord Talbot; and after a series of letters, which had
more the air of a treaty than a defiance, and consequently reflected no
great honour on either, they fought a bloodless duel on Bagshot Heath.

These little rubs having alarmed the Favourite, he began to consider
how ill-qualified his delegates would be to support his treaty in the
House of Commons, if either warmly or wittily attacked. It was too
precious a cause to trust to Sir Francis Dashwood. Grenville had not
much more credit, though more sense and gravity; but was tedious and
ill-heard, and had been trained to such obsequious deference for Mr.
Pitt, that at that time no man thought him likely or proper to be
opposed to so capital a master. Grenville was besides unsatisfied; and,
aiming higher, had been unwilling to risk an appearance of honesty
when it was not in his own cause. He had neglected to traffic with the
members of the House of Commons; had secured none of them; and, being
pressed by Lord Bute on that head, fairly owned he would not deal with
them, unless the power was his own, and their dependence rested on
him. Lord Bute was startled, and would have compromised, as himself
was unacquainted with the men, that the recommendation of members to
favour,--that is, to places and pensions,--should be made through
Grenville to himself. But Grenville was obstinate, and soon had cause
to repent both his frankness and perverse ambition. It was instilled
too into Lord Bute, that Grenville was not so much at variance with
his family as he wished to be thought--an imputation of which he soon
appeared to be guiltless: but the die was cast; and he heard with
unspeakable astonishment, and with a rage not to be described, that he
must exchange with Lord Halifax, that is, return to be First Lord of
the Admiralty, and quit the seals, and with them the management of the
House of Commons, which Mr. Fox had consented to undertake. The blow to
Grenville was grievous, but could not be avoided or resented--_then_.
No retreat towards his brothers Pitt and Temple was left him. Avarice
decided the conflict, and he submitted to accept the Admiralty.

When Fox thus stooped to be the Favourite’s agent, he gratified many
more passions than he could be supposed to mortify. In truth, except
his pride, which had seldom restrained him, what views could he have
but this step would gratify? To ravish the glories of the war from
his rival Mr. Pitt, to sacrifice them, and to be selected to defend
that sacrifice, glutted his spirit of competition. Favourite he could
not be, for the Princess[241] hated, and Lord Bute feared him: but
to be necessary to both was worth ambition, and the surest means of
gratifying it; and to be master of the secret of the negotiation
promised that superabundance of wealth, which by that secret he
acquired. Should he succeed in carrying through the peace, he would
have the first weight in the House of Commons (for what harmony there
was between these _rival friends_ may readily be conjectured); should
he fail, it were but the loss of the Paymaster’s place, inconsiderable
in peace compared with its produce in time of war: for it must be noted
that he would not accept the seals, and thus stood in no responsible
light; a strain of prudence that might have administered alarm to the
Favourite himself!

Thus in the space of four months were the Princess and Lord Bute by
their rash and ill-digested measures reduced to lean for support
on Fox, whom they had most dreaded as the minister of the Duke of
Cumberland; and who would add his own unpopularity to that of Lord
Bute, and would necessarily determine Pitt to oppose with increased

Fox had embraced this invitation with such alacrity that he had signed
the treaty with Lord Bute without consulting any of his friends;
concluding, as over-refined politicians are apt to do, that he could
bring them to his lure, and, while he paid too high compliments to
his own abilities, setting too slight estimation on theirs. His first
application was to the Duke of Cumberland. That haughty and sensible
Prince received him with scorn, reproached him warmly with lending
himself to support a tottering administration, and bitterly with his
former declarations of having given up all ambitious views. The next
trial made by Fox was on Lord Waldegrave,[242] to whom he urged that
his Lordship had so much ridiculed the Princess and Lord Bute, that
they had more to complain of than he had; and he endeavoured to enclose
the Earl in his treaty with the Court, by asking him, if it should be
proposed to call his Lordship to the Cabinet Council, whether he should
like it? The Earl, who had been bred a courtier, who was of too gentle
manners for opposition, and too shrewd not to see that the power of the
Crown was predominant, desired time to consider, and went to Windsor
to consult the Duke of Cumberland. His Royal Highness acknowledged the
attention with many thanks, but would give no advice. The Earl, who
wanted not to be told, that not advising him to make his court when he
was disposed to do it, was advising him against it, was not courtier
enough to quit a Prince, his friend, for a Court that he himself
despised and hated; and immediately wrote to Fox to desire the proposal
might not be made to him. The Duke of Devonshire[243] was in like
manner endeavoured to be softened by Fox, who wished to wear the credit
of reconciling his own friends to the peace, and bringing their support
to the administration. But here again he was foiled. The Duke gave him
a civil answer, assured him of his personal good wishes, but declined
any connection with him as minister.

Abandoned by his highest and most showy friends, Fox felt the
mortification of discredit both with his patron and the public, and
the keenest appetite for revenge. As a politician, his credit was
saved by his industry and success; and by his arts his vengeance was
soon gratified on two of those that thus cast him off. But now were
the seeds sown, which, though slowly, produced such bitter crops in
subsequent years. Detested by the public, Fox could never recover from
the stain contracted at this period:--but first we must relate his
triumph, and the temporary victory he gained for the Court.

Nothing was so unpromising as the prospect of the new system at first.
All the devotion of the Tories to the Court could not reconcile them
to the nomination of Fox. They knew the mischief he had done them,
and had not the quickness to see that a renegade is tied to make
satisfaction by greater benefits. Lord Mansfield, not trusted, as he
had expected to be, by Lord Bute, had blown up discontents against the
peace. Lord Egremont and George Grenville had adopted those doubts;
and doubts from men in high place convey extensive influence. Had the
peace been instantaneously proposed to the House of Commons, there is
no question but it would have been rejected; so strong a disgust was
taken at the union of Bute and Fox, and so numerous were their several
personal enemies. Yet in one respect Bute had chosen judiciously: Fox
was not to be daunted, but set himself to work at the root. He even
made applications to Newcastle; but the Duke of Cumberland[244] had
inspired even Newcastle and Devonshire with resolution! This, however,
was the last miscarriage of moment that Fox experienced. Leaving
the grandees to their ill-humour, he directly attacked the separate
members of the House of Commons; and with so little decorum on the
part of either buyer or seller, that a shop was publicly opened at
the Pay-office, whither the members flocked, and received the wages
of their venality in bank-bills, even to so low a sum as two hundred
pounds for their votes on the treaty. Twenty-five thousand pounds, as
Martin,[245] Secretary of the Treasury, afterwards owned, were issued
in one morning; and in a single fortnight a vast majority was purchased
to approve the peace!

Bad as that peace proved, it was near being concluded on terms still
more disadvantageous; for France, receiving earlier intelligence than
we did of the capture of the Havannah, had near prevailed on the Duke
of Bedford to sign the treaty,--but Aldworth,[246] his secretary, had
the prudence or foresight to prevent that precipitate step.[247]

The Court having secured the obedience of Parliament, it was determined
to assume a high tone of authority; to awe, and even to punish the
refractory. “The King, it was given out, _would_ be King,--would _not_
be dictated to by his ministers, as his grandfather had been. The
prerogative was to shine out: great lords must be humbled.” Fox--whose
language ever was, that the Crown must predominate whenever it would
exert its influence--warmly upheld the doctrine of rewards and
punishments; and, having employed the former with so much success, he
was rejoiced to inflict the latter to glut his own vengeance. The first
fruit of these councils struck mankind with astonishment. The Duke of
Devonshire, who had kept himself in the country, coming to town on the
28th of October, went to pay his duty to the King, and, as is customary
with the great officers, went to the backstairs, whence he sent the
page in waiting to acquaint his Majesty with his attendance. “Tell
him,” said the King angrily, “I will not see him.” The page, amazed,
hesitated. The King ordered him to go and deliver those very words. If
the page had been thunderstruck, it may be imagined what the Duke felt.
He had, however, the presence of mind to send in the page again to ask
what he should do with his key of Lord Chamberlain. The reply was,
“Orders will be given for that.” The Duke went home with a heart full
of rage, and tore off his key, which immediately after he carried to
Lord Egremont, the Secretary of State; and the next morning his brother
Lord George Cavendish, and Lord Besborough[248] his brother-in-law,
resigned their places. As the Court urged that the Duke’s disgrace
was owing to his refusal of attending Councils, his Grace’s friends
pleaded that he had asked and obtained the King’s leave not to attend
them, as he seldom had attended them even in the late reign; and
that, his summons having been made by a commis in Lord Egremont’s
office, the Duke did not think that such a message interfered with his
dispensation. Some said there had been no intention to dismiss the
Duke; attributing the affront to a sudden start of passion in the King,
who, coming from Richmond that morning, had met the Dukes of Devonshire
and Newcastle together in a chariot, whence suspecting a Cabal, he
had gone home in anger, and, at the moment the Duke arrived at St.
James’s, was writing to Lord Bute that _now was the time_; words
which proved at least that the Duke’s disgrace had been meditated,
and which in truth nobody doubted. The Princess had more than once
termed him ironically _the Prince of the Whigs_; and his Grace having
dared to desert from Fox’s banner, left no doubt of the latter having
contributed to irritate the prejudice already conceived. Nor could Fox
wipe off the suspicion: though, as soon as the affront was known, he
had hurried to Devonshire House,[249] and protested his utter ignorance
of any such design. The Duke received him coolly, did not pretend to
believe him; and his family never forgave it.

The fairness of the Duke’s character, his decent and timid caution,
and the high rank in which he stood with the party, made the measure
much wondered at; yet it was far from producing such open offence
as might have been expected, nor did the consequences spread. The
Marquis of Rockingham, five days afterwards, resigned the Bedchamber;
but, offering to explain his disgusts, the King with much haughtiness
refused to hear him--another strain of authority much vaunted, and not
without effect. The Peerage itself kissed the rod, which was declared
to be held out to humble them. Nor did they take the alarm, though the
rigour towards the Duke of Devonshire was prosecuted farther; for, a
Privy Council being summoned November the 3rd, the King ordered the
Duke’s name to be struck out of the Council-book: a severity of which
there had been no precedent in the last reign but in the cases of
Lord Bath and Lord George Sackville; the first, in open and virulent
opposition; the second on his ignominious sentence after the battle
of Minden. John Duke of Argyle,[250] when his regiment was taken from
him, was not thus affronted; nor had George the First refused to admit
Lord Oxford[251] to kiss his hand on the Queen’s death, nor denied an
audience to the Earl Marichal[252] involved in Jacobitism.


  Preliminaries of Peace with France and Spain.--Secret springs of
    Political actions.--Embassy to the Court of Spain offered to
    Lord Sandwich.--Insult to the Duke of Cumberland.--Honours and
    Preferments.--Resignation of Lords Ashburnham and Kinnoul.--Lord
    Lincoln’s ingratitude to the Duke of Newcastle.--Bait offered to
    Lord Granby.--Mr. Conway.--The Duke of York obliged to go to
    Italy.--Profusion exercised by the Court.--Charles Townshend’s
    want of judgment.--His bons mots.--Attempt to propitiate
    Walpole.--Correspondence between him and Fox respecting the
    Rangership of the Parks offered to Lord Orford.--Conduct of the

On the 8th of the month a courier arrived with the preliminaries
signed by France and Spain. I shall not detail those preliminaries,
too well known, and to be found in all common histories. It is my
part to explain, as far as I could know them, the leading motives
of actions and events; and, though the secret springs are often
unfathomable, I had acquaintance enough with the actors to judge with
better probability than the common of mankind; and where these memoirs
are defective or mistaken, still they may direct to the inquiry after
sounder materials, and prove a key to original papers that may appear

The peace with Spain, as it opened a door for an embassy to that Court,
afforded Mr. Fox a new opportunity of revenge; and as this measure at
least he could not waive the honour of having suggested, so did it
corroborate the belief of his being the author of the other too.[253]
He immediately offered that embassy to Lord Sandwich,[254] who as
greedily accepted it. Sandwich, rejected and exploded by all mankind,
had been adopted, fostered, patronized in the most kind and intimate
manner by the Duke of Cumberland; nor had he the confidence now to
consult his Royal Highness, or to venture in person to notify to him
his desertion. He wrote. The insult was too glaring, and could not be
pardoned to either Fox or Sandwich, both of whom were for ever excluded
from the Duke’s presence but at his public levées, and there underwent
the most mortifying neglect from him; though Fox often sued in most
abject manner to be forgiven.

Severity gratified, honours and preferments were amply proffered,
and but few rejected. The Duke of Manchester[255] had been named to
the Bedchamber the instant Lord Rockingham had quitted it. The Duke
of Marlborough[256] and the Earl of Northumberland[257] were made
Lords Chamberlains to the King and Queen; the latter of which posts
Lord Bristol had refused to accept, from attachment to Mr. Pitt. Lord
Egmont was made Postmaster in the room of Lord Besborough. The seals
of Secretary of State, with the _feuille de bénéfices_, were once
more offered to the Duke of Newcastle; but he replied, it would be
time enough to talk of business when the Parliament met. His friend,
Lord Ashburnham,[258] resigned: and so did his other friend, Lord
Kinnoul,[259] who, though his bosom-confident, dwelling in his very
house, had borne his disgrace, and now affected to forget him, and to
plead obligations to the Duke of Devonshire, at the same time declaring
his reluctance to break with the Court; a reluctance so decisive, that
he retired into Scotland, and came no more to London till the year 1770.

Lord Lincoln,[260] Newcastle’s favourite nephew and heir, displayed
more open ingratitude. He asked an audience of the King, called his
uncle a factious old fool, and said he could not forget a message which
himself had brought from his uncle to his Majesty in the year 1757, in
which the Duke had signified to his then Royal Highness, that, if he
would not disturb the tranquillity of the rest of his grandfather’s
reign, the Duke, in or out of place, though he hoped the latter, would
support his measures to the utmost. It was justice, to recollect this
promise; but Lincoln’s subsequent conduct, at the same time that it was
inconsistent, was honourable neither towards the King nor his uncle. He
had a second audience, in which he told the King that the Duke insisted
on his resigning; “but if I must,” said he, “I will show but the more
warmly the next day that I remember the message, of which I have kept
a copy in writing.” The third time, when he went to resign, he said
he must oppose. The King told him his tone was much changed since his
first audience. But the Court never had much reason to complain of Lord
Lincoln’s hostilities. His exceeding pride kept him secluded from the
world, and rarely did he appear either at Court or in Parliament. For
some time he fluctuated between Lord Bute and Mr. Pitt, to the latter
of whom he at last attached himself; but with constant derision of,
and insult to, his uncle, and, whatever were the Duke of Newcastle’s
faults, cruel and unmerited. The truth was, Lord Lincoln’s avarice was
as unbounded as his haughtiness. Though possessed of two places for
life, and one of them the most lucrative in England, the auditorship of
the Exchequer, which never produces less than eight thousand pounds
a year, and during the war had brought in at least twenty, he had
resented the Duke’s not bestowing on him two more places for the lives
of his younger sons.

As every door was to be opened or barricaded that could admit or
exclude friends or enemies to the preliminaries, messengers were
stationed at the sea-ports to waylay Lord Granby on his return from
the army, with the most advantageous offers, as the Ordnance and
command of the army, setting aside the worthy old Marshal Ligonier[261]
with a large pension; a bait gulped by the former without scruple.
Mr. Conway, to whom they did the honour of thinking they could not
bribe him, (and whoever they could not bribe, they concluded, could
not approve their treaty,) was decorated with the empty honour of
conducting home the army; which would and did prevent his return before
the discussion of the preliminaries in Parliament. And the Duke of
York, whom they would not silence by favours, they obliged to go on an
idle expedition to Italy.

The profusion exercised on this occasion, and which reduced the
Court to stop even the payments of the King’s bedchamber, made men
recall severely to mind the King’s declaration on the choice of the
Parliament, that he would not permit any money to be spent on elections.

Their greatest difficulty was with Charles Townshend, who slipped
through their fingers at every turn, and could be held down to no
decision. He refused to be First Lord of Trade with the same power
over the colonies as had been granted to Lord Halifax. At the same
time he was loth to resign, though in that quarter the needle rested
at last,--a mark of that want of judgment that was conspicuous in all
his actions; for, having fluctuated from uncertainty of the issue, he
chose the losing side but the very day before the great victory of the
Court on the preliminaries. His post of Secretary at War was soon after
given to Ellis.[262] Townshend’s bons mots wounded where his conduct
could not. It being reported, to justify the treatment of the Duke of
Devonshire, that the King complained he had been kept prisoner; “True,”
said Townshend, “he is a prisoner, but he mistakes his jailor.” Another
of his sayings had not only proved a prophecy, but was often applied in
the following years. He had said of the last arrangement before Fox was
set at the head, that “it was a pretty lutestring administration, which
would do very well for summer wear.”

After so many considerable names, it will look, perhaps, like vain
presumption in me to name myself as one whom it was thought necessary
to manage. But, as it proves how low the arts and attention of Fox
could descend, and as my answer (at least, I have always suspected
so) contributed to an event of much consequence afterwards, I shall
be excused by the candid for giving some account of it. I had, soon
after my appearance in the world, lived in much intimacy with Fox,
had warmly espoused his side when persecuted by the Duke and Duchess
of Richmond,[263] and had happened to have conferred some other little
favours on him. I had carefully avoided receiving the smallest or
the greatest from him. As his character opened more to the world, I
declined any connection with him in politics, though determining never
to have a quarrel with him, as I well knew his vindictive nature. When
he united with the Duke of Newcastle, he had offered in truth slightly
enough to procure the reversion of a considerable place, which I hold
only for my brother’s life, to be confirmed for my own, provided I
would be upon good terms with the Duke. I had ever, in the most open
manner, spoken of that minister with contempt; and having never to this
hour received a favour from any minister, I shall be believed that
I never would accept one from Fox. I answered accordingly with much
scorn, “I will not accept that reversion from the Duke.” Fox, knowing
this spirit, and knowing, too, that I had declared to Lord Bute that
I would receive no favour from the Court, had no hope of fixing me to
his measures by any offers he could make. Nor yet had he had reason to
know I was averse to the preliminaries, on which I had kept silent.
The truth was, I had been civilly treated on the King’s accession,
and had so much disliked Newcastle and Hardwicke, that few men were
better pleased than myself to see a new administration; and had not
the standard of Prerogative been hoisted, and disgrace brought on
this triumphant country, I should probably have remained a satisfied
spectator. Yet was I not so steeled by the glories of the war as to be
insensible to the yearnings of humanity; and therefore, ignominious as
the articles were, my conscience would not suffer me to speak against a
treaty that would stop such effusion of blood. Sentiments, I confess,
most heroic: yet I blush not to own that they divided my sensations,
and forbad my voting _against_ the preliminaries, though I was too much
an Englishman to vote _for_ them, and accordingly left the House before
the putting of the question.

As doubtless I did not trust Fox with this situation of my breast, nor
made my court on his new dignity, he concluded I was in the number of
the disapprovers. Direct offers, or direct threats, would be vain: but
to put me in mind of my dependence on my nephew, by whose interest I
was chosen into Parliament,[264] and which dependence Fox ought to have
remembered I had braved[265] for his sake; or of my dependence on the
Treasury, which could hurt me severely[266] by stopping the payments of
my place in the Treasury; he wrote me the following letter:--

                              Nov. 21, 1762.

  As soon as I heard that the Parks,[267] which Lord Ashburnham
  had quitted, were worth 2200_l._ a year (as they certainly
  are), I thought such an income might, if not prevent, at least
  procrastinate your nephew’s ruin.[268] I find nobody knows his
  Lordship’s[269] thoughts on the present state of politics.

  Perhaps he has none. Now, are you willing, and are you the proper
  person, to tell Lord Orford that I will do my best to procure
  this employment for him, if I can soon learn that he desires
  it? If he does choose it, I doubt not of his and his friend
  Boone’s[270] hearty assistance, and believe I shall see you too,
  much oftener in the House of Commons. This is offering you a
  bribe, but ’tis such a one as one honest good-natured man may
  without offence offer to another.

  If you undertake this, do it immediately, and have attention to
  my part in it, which is delicate. If you do not undertake it, let
  me know your thoughts of the proposal, whether I had better drop
  it entirely, or put it into other hands, and whose.

  You’ll believe me when I tell you that goodness of heart has as
  much share in this to the full as policy.

            Yours ever,
                      H. FOX.

This artful and disingenuous letter the messenger was ordered to
desire I would answer immediately. I determined at once to guard my
expressions in such a manner, that, under the appearance of the same
insincere cordiality which Fox affected to wear, it should not be
possible to fix either declaration or engagement upon me; showing him
at the same time that I would neither accept favour from him, nor be
indirectly obliged to him through my nephew. I was aware that, if I
refused to notify the offer to Lord Orford, he or his friends, and
the Court too, would raise a clamour against me for preventing his
receiving a favour that he wanted so much: and, as he was already Lord
of the Bedchamber, there could be no reason in honour why he should not
accept an addition of income; nor was there anything in his principles
that would make him difficult to be farther bound. With these views I
returned the following answer:--

                              Nov. 21, 1762.

  After having done[271] what the world knows I have done, to try
  to retrieve the affairs of my family, and to save my nephew from
  ruin, I can have little hopes that any interposition of mine will
  tend to an end I wish so much. I cannot even flatter myself with
  having the least weight with my Lord Orford. In the present case
  I can still less indulge myself in any such hopes. You remember
  in the case of the St. Michael election, how hardly he used me on
  your account. I know how much he resented last year his thinking
  you concerned in the contest about the borough[272] where he set
  up Mr. Thomas Walpole; and, as he has not even now deigned to
  answer Mr. Boone’s letter,[273] I can little expect that he will
  behave with more politeness to me. Yet, I think it so much my
  duty to lay before him anything for his advantage, and what is
  by no means incompatible with his honour, that I will certainly
  acquaint him immediately with the offer you are so good as to
  make him.

  You see I write to you with my usual frankness and sincerity;
  and you will, I am sure, be so good as to keep to yourself the
  freedom with which I mention very nice family affairs. You must
  excuse me if I add one word more on myself. My wish is, that
  Lord Orford should accept this offer; yet, I tell you truly, I
  shall state it to him plainly and simply, without giving any
  advice, not only for the reasons I have expressed above, but
  because I do not mean to be involved in this affair any otherwise
  than as a messenger. A man, who is so scrupulous as not to
  accept any obligation for himself, cannot be allowed to accept
  one for another without thinking himself bound in gratitude as
  much as if done to himself. The very little share I ever mean
  to take more in public affairs shall and must be dictated by
  disinterested motives. I have no one virtue to support me but
  that disinterestedness; and, if I act with you, no man living
  shall have it to say that it was not by choice and by principle.

                I am, dear sir,
            Your sincere humble servant,
                            HORACE WALPOLE.

There were truths enough to displease, and they did not escape Fox. The
consequence to me was, that by his influence with Martin, Secretary
of the Treasury, my payments were stopped for some months, nor made
but on my writing to Lord Bute himself; which, as, notwithstanding
this persecution, I would take no part with the administration, proved
that the delay had not flowed from the minister himself, but from his
associate, my good friend: nor did it stop there. In the meantime I had
written thus to Lord Orford:--

                              Arlington-street, Nov. 22, 1762.

  I must preface what I am going to say, with desiring you to
  believe that I by no means take the liberty of giving you
  any advice; and should the proposal I have to make to you be
  disagreeable, I beg you to excuse it, as I thought it my duty to
  lay before you anything that is for your advantage, and as you
  would have reason to blame me if I declined communicating to you
  a lucrative offer.

  I last night received a letter from Mr. Fox, in which he tells
  me, that, hearing the Parks, vacant by Lord Ashburnham’s
  resignation, are worth 2200_l._ a year, he will, if you desire to
  succeed him, do his best to procure that employment for you, if
  he can soon learn that it is your wish.

  If you will be so good as to send me your answer, I will acquaint
  him with it; or, if you think it more polite to thank Mr. Fox
  himself for his obliging offer, I shall be very well content to
  be, as I am in everything else, a cypher, except when I can show

                      My dear Lord,
            Your very affectionate humble servant,
                                      HORACE WALPOLE.

To this letter, nor to the offer, did Lord Orford give himself the
trouble of making the least reply; but, arriving in town on the very
day the Parliament met, he came to me, and asked what he was to do? I
replied very coldly, I did not know what he intended to do; but, if his
meaning was to accept, I supposed he ought to go to Mr. Fox, and tell
him so, I having nothing farther to do with it than barely to acquaint
him with the offer. Without preface or apology, without recollecting
his long enmity to Fox (it is true, he did not know why he was Fox’s
enemy), and without a hint of reconciliation, to Fox he went, accepted
the place, and never gave that ministry one vote afterwards; continuing
in the country, as he would have done if they had given him nothing. I
return from this digression.


  Conference between the Duke of Cumberland and Mr. Pitt.--Pitt’s
    lofty style and inconclusive manner.--Want of union in the
    Opposition.--Anxiety of the Ministers.--Debates in both Houses
    on the Preliminaries of Peace.--Sudden and unexpected appearance
    of Mr. Pitt.--Legge, Fox, and Beckford.--Prerogative.--Pitt’s
    Speech.--His retirement from the House when Fox rose to speak.--
    Speech of the latter.--Charles Townshend’s versatility.--The
    Minority on the Division.--Exultation of the Princess of Wales on
    the Preliminaries being carried.--Severe political persecution.--
    Numerous dismissals from place.

The rupture between the Duke of Cumberland and Fox seemed naturally to
pave the way for a connection between that Prince and Mr. Pitt. They
accordingly met, and had a conference of four hours; but there their
amity commenced and ended. The good sense of his Royal Highness could,
in spite of all his haughtiness, make him bend properly. Pitt, having
less good sense than parts, and affecting more haughtiness even than
he possessed, and being full of schemes rather than plans, could not
be brought to any rational system. Meaning to make use of the Prince
but to a certain degree,--that is, to thwart the Court, or to give it
jealousy, not to erect the Duke as head of a party,--he talked in his
usual vague and inconclusive manner; his nearest friends having often
said, that between the uncommunicativeness of his temper and the want
of suite in his reasoning faculties, it was ever impossible to pin him
down to any chain of definite propositions.

This the Duke experienced, and combated in vain. All he could draw from
Pitt was, a positive demand that the peace should be opposed by the now
forming party. Yet would he not submit to see the Duke of Newcastle;
though, in his lofty style, he said he would accept of the Duke of
Cumberland’s guarantee of Newcastle’s fidelity. It was difficult for
the chiefs to coalesce: Lord Hardwicke had publicly commended the
preliminaries; and though he had rejected large offers made to his son,
Charles Yorke, he and his friends knew not decently how to fly to Mr.
Pitt’s banner, which they had so lately levelled. This want of union in
the Opposition gave all the remaining advantage to the administration
that they yet wanted. Mr. Pitt affected to be a chief without a party,
and the party without him had no other chief; for Newcastle was worse
than none, and the Duke of Cumberland had too much deference for the
Crown, and was too much above courting the people, to be fit to figure
as a ringleader.

In this temper of things did the Parliament meet November 25th. Lord
Egmont and Lord Weymouth[274] moved the Address in the Lords, where
there was no opposition: Lord Carysfort[275] and Lord Charles Spencer
in the Commons. Nicholson Calvert made a warm speech against the
peace, and was answered by Birt, who gave Mr. Pitt the honour of the
first plan for taking Martinico. Beckford was yet more violent against
the treaty; and compared Florida, which was to be ceded to us, for
barrenness to Bagshot Heath. Charles Townshend made a trimming speech,
though very personal against Beckford, and the day ended without a
division; Mr. Pitt being confined at home with the gout. Without doors
the scene was more turbulent: the Favourite was assaulted in his chair
by a formidable mob, and had not the Guards arrived opportunely, would
hardly have escaped with life.

On the 30th of the month the preliminaries were laid before both
Houses, who were acquainted that the King had ordered them to be
printed and distributed to the members on the morrow. The Duke of
Grafton in the Lords, Calvert and Bamber Gascoyne in the Commons,
objected to this; it being usual for the two Houses to give the
orders for printing papers communicated to them; but the first method
was acquiesced in, and the Lords resolved to take the papers into
consideration on the Thursday sevennight following. Lord Pomfret[276]
moved to order the high bailiff of Westminster to attend, to give
an account why he had taken no measures to disperse the mob on the
first day of the session. At the same time the ministers endeavoured,
by money and threats, to silence or intimidate the printers of
newspapers, libels, and satiric prints, and succeeded with a great

On the 1st of December, Calvert moved to defer considering the
preliminaries till the Thursday sevennight following, as Mr. Pitt
was not able to attend; but the ministers, and for that very reason,
insisted on bringing them on upon the same day with the Lords, and
carried their motion by 213 to 74; so unpromising was this outset
of the new Opposition, in which appeared the families of Cavendish,
Fitzroy, and Townshend.

The memorable day, December 9th, being arrived, both Houses sat on
the preliminaries. Lord Shelburne and Lord Grosvenor moved to approve
them. The Duke of Grafton, with great weight and greater warmth,
attacked them severely, and, looking full on Lord Bute, imputed to
him corruption and worse arts. The Duke was answered by the Earl of
Suffolk; and then Lord Temple spoke with less than usual warmth. The
Favourite rose next, and defended himself with applause, having laid
aside much of his former pomp. He treated the Duke of Grafton as a
juvenile member, whose imputations he despised; and, for the Peace,
he desired to have written on his tomb, “Here lies the Earl of Bute,
who, in concert with the King’s ministers, made the Peace.” A sentence
often re-echoed with the ridicule it deserved, and more likely to be
engraven on his monument with ignominy than approbation. The Duke of
Newcastle and Lord Hardwicke censured the preliminaries, which the
latter said were worse than could have been obtained the last year;
and he reflected on the assiduity with which prerogative was cried up,
more than it had been by the most ductile Parliaments. Henley the
Chancellor abused them both: but the fine defence of the treaty was
made by Lord Mansfield, which, he said, though he had concurred to
make, he should still retain his old connections and attachments; a
promise he soon violated, with as little decency as his late friends
had censured prerogative. At ten at night the preliminaries were
approved by the Lords without a division.

But it was the other House on which expectation hung. The very
uncertainty whether Mr. Pitt’s health would allow him to attend,
concurred to augment the impatience of the public on so serious a
crisis. The Court, it was true, had purchased an effective number of
votes to ratify their treaty; but, could Mr. Pitt appear, he might
so expose the negotiation, and give breath to such a flame, that the
ministers could not but be anxious till the day was decided, and they
knew all that they had to apprehend from Mr. Pitt. Their hopes grew
brighter as the debate began, and he did not appear. The probability of
his absence augmented as Beckford proposed to refer the preliminaries
to a committee of the whole House; a measure that seemed calculated
to gain time, and that was seconded by James Grenville, who told the
courtiers that it did not look as if they were very desirous of praise,
so eager were they to hurry through the question. The demand was
opposed by Ellis, Sir Francis Dashwood, and Harris of Salisbury, when
the House was alarmed by a shout from without! The doors opened, and
at the head of a large acclaiming concourse was seen Mr. Pitt, borne
in the arms of his servants, who, setting him down within the bar, he
crawled by the help of a crutch, and with the assistance of some few
friends, to his seat; not without the sneers of some of Fox’s party. In
truth, there was a mixture of the very solemn and the theatric in this
apparition. The moment was so well timed, the importance of the man and
his services, the languor of his emaciated countenance, and the study
bestowed on his dress, were circumstances that struck solemnity into
a patriot mind, and did a little furnish ridicule to the hardened and
insensible. He was dressed in black velvet, his legs and thighs wrapped
in flannel, his feet covered with buskins of black cloth, and his hands
with thick gloves. He said a few words in support of the motion for
sending the preliminaries to a committee; not in order to give time for
raising animosities, but as it was for the dignity of the King and the
country to weigh them maturely. Parts of the treaty, he confessed were,
beyond his expectation, good; but his mind was wounded by what regarded
our trade and our allies. He wished for a committee, that he might
call merchants to the bar to state the importance of what we were to
keep, of what we were to give away. He would be convinced we were doing
right, or he would _inflexibly arraign_. Legge said, he should cavil
less than most men, but could not bestow approbation in the lump. Fox
answered as briefly, that nothing could ever be finished, if perfection
was insisted on. Beckford replied, that the House was as insignificant
as a parliament of Paris, if treaties were not laid before them for
advice, but only for approbation; and he and Calvert laid themselves
out on the defence made by the ministers, that it was the King’s
prerogative to conclude peace or war; and, indeed, no occasion was
lost of sounding high any branch of prerogative.

The Opposition not choosing to risk a division on the Committee,
Harris, mentioned above, who was afterwards made one of the Lords of
the Treasury, moved roundly to approve the preliminaries, with the
addition of words acknowledging the prerogative in question. Had the
treaty been glorious or salutary, there is no doubt but the prerogative
would not have been called in aid; a proof how distinct are prerogative
and the welfare of the nation. This Harris had written some abstruse
books on language, and possessed a good share of reputation within
a certain sphere. Lord Ilchester and Fox had brought him forth, and
thought to make him a man of business, but he made only a very pliant
courtier and wretched orator; and in the end, attaching himself to
George Grenville, closed with all his arbitrary measures, and fell with
him, with no other blemish on his character than of having thought too
much as a scholar, and too little as a senator.[277] In his motion
of approbation he said, “Peace was not made for the emolument of one
country, but of many;” a truth so home, and that recoiled so forcibly
on him, that it was the very reason why this country, for whose
emolument it was _not_ made, ought not to have honoured it with its

Stanley spoke well and handsomely in defence of the treaty; and then
Mr. Pitt rose. His speech it would be difficult to detail; it lasted
three hours and twenty-five minutes, and was uttered in so low and
faint a voice that it was almost impossible to hear him. At intervals
he obtained the permission of the House to speak sitting, a permission
he did not abuse; supporting himself with cordials, and having the
appearance of a man determined to die in that cause and at that hour.
This faintness and the prolixity with which he dwelt on the article of
the fisheries, gave a handle to the courtiers to represent his speech
as unmeasurably dull, tedious, and uninteresting. But it contained
considerable matter, much reason, and some parts of great beauty:--but
thunder was wanting to blast such a treaty, and this was not a day on
which his genius thundered! His health or his choice had led him to
present himself as a subject of affliction to his country, and his
ungrateful country was not afflicted.

Some passages of his speech I shall mention, though, for the reasons
I have hinted at, and for that I sat at a great distance, I could but
very imperfectly collect what he said. He allowed the prerogative of
the Crown in making peace or war, though something he saw squint at
what would subvert the liberties of this country; and, although such
prerogative there was, still was it gracious to lay the Treaty before
Parliament. The Crown might finally sign the Treaty; but at the same
time it was a fundamental right of the House of Commons to offer their
opinion. If this was not the question confessed, he would stop the
debate to insert in these words, _as it is also the indubitable and
fundamental right of Parliament to offer advice_. From this he launched
out on _this venerable, this lovely Constitution_, and referred to
the journals to show what answers were made by Parliament to James
the First and Charles the Second; particularly to the unkingly and
unconstitutional messages of the former, as when he bade them not
meddle beyond their province, with a _ne sutor ultra crepidam_. He
hoped we had no new cobbler of this old Constitution, and (looking at
Fox) if we had, that man should not stand unaccused, unarraigned. With
regard to the peace, it could not be called a question of humanity,
for one campaign more might have prevented seven hereafter. In all
other wars our commerce had been interrupted; in this alone, increased;
and in respect of commerce, four of the best provinces in old France
were not worth the acquisitions we had made. Those France might have
reconquered; Guadaloupe she could not retake. We had got possession
of their four trades of the world. Thanks to God, General Amherst had
recovered Newfoundland! Thanks to Providence, Amherst’s brother had
behaved like _his_ brother! Thus had we secured two of those trades,
the fisheries and the sugar, all but at St. Domingo, and that we must
have taken the next campaign. Our conquests in Africa gave us the
Slave Trade; and those in India the exclusive trade of the Indies.
_These depended no longer on the chance of war!_ He believed there was
no disunion between France and Spain; this treaty would manifestly
increase their weight: the Havannah would add to it--the Havannah!
that would have enabled you to supply Spanish America with British
manufactures and implements! He then pronounced the preliminaries
_inadmissible_; declared he had thought it right to make peace when
Mr. Stanley went to France, and had been for the King not abusing his
prosperity. But he had _proved_ that France was not in earnest _then_;
had only meant to cajole us, and deserved no management from us, after
forcing us to the expense of this war, particularly by her iniquitous
behaviour in the two Courts of Madrid and Naples, a conduct never
paralleled in the unbridled behaviour of Louis the Fourteenth. Yet
why talk of Naples, which was Bourbon weakness coupled with Bourbon
weakness! Obstinate, however, as himself had been in pushing forward
the war with Spain, he supposed he had been in the wrong, as nobody
had joined in sentiment with him but Lord Temple. They two were for
making the entire maintenance of the fisheries the _sine quâ non_; but
all the rest had been against them, both the old Ministers and _the
favoured Minister of this King_. Soon had it been known to France that
the exclusive fisheries would not be made a _sine quâ non_. He had
not thought that France would at once give them up, but he had held
them worth trying for for another campaign or two. Before the death
of the Czarina--before the acquisition of Guadaloupe, the Havannah,
and Pondicherry, the Duc de Choiseul had asked but for one rock at
Newfoundland; he wished he had made his stand there, and refused,
though overwhelmed with most illiberal calumny and scurrility! He took
notice of the thousands of lives thrown away at the Havannah by their
being sent out at so untimely a season, when the work might have been
done in the month of April; but he had retired first, when he found
he was not permitted to have the least weight. Yes, said he again,
the French had cried _Donnez nous un rocher simplement_.--I replied,
I did not intend to give them the garden of Eden. But what they asked
for their _batiments pêcheurs_ extended to much more than a rock. They
asked for fishing vessels, now had been given them a fishery--_en toute
propriété_, in full right; I never would have granted it. Then, after
expatiating on the fisheries, he drew attention to himself, by seeming
to bid adieu to politics, and to despair of his own health. He might
never come to the House again. He was unconnected, followed no party,
respected the King’s administration, though he must remonstrate when he
saw them going on fatal ground. He prayed for the House of Brunswick;
stood on revolution principles alone against France; had a deep-rooted
alienation from France; acted on the spirit of King William, on whose
maxims, and on the maxims on which they came thither, the House of
Brunswick must rest, or could never be secure. He had seen the day on
which every unsound maxim had been disclaimed; now saw unhappy clouds
darkening our prospect; wished the Ministers would think of these
important matters before it was too late!

He then went through the points to be ceded in America and Africa;
and declared he would not have agreed to any terms approaching to
these preliminaries. He inveighed against the bad faith of France, and
showed from their losses how much they had lain at our mercy. In the
campaign of Crevelt alone they had lost forty thousand men. Every year
had cost them twenty thousand more. Would you still treat on the same
terms you would have treated, after they had put you to the expense
of fourteen additional millions, and after your arms had been crowned
with such advantages? It could not be for the sake of Portugal; for you
had been told from the throne that a stop had been put to the progress
of the Spaniards in that country. We must, say the French, have St.
Lucia, for _cela bouche Martinique_; is that a reason to be given to
a British Parliament? France should have given you Guadaloupe, or she
and Spain, Hispaniola. She had given you more in Canada than she knew
you could use, and more than he had contended for; but then she had got
the fisheries. On the coast of Bengal we should never have suffered
her to come; yet did she affect to cede all her conquests, where she
had made _none_; but, alas! no nation had ever lost an opportunity so
happy, so almost accomplished, of fixing its ascendant and commerce!
He applauded the drawing of the article of Canada, infinitely better
executed than he could have done it. Spain, too, he owned, had
acknowledged our right of cutting log-wood as fully as he could find
any authority in our records to contend for; but the negotiators had
not been equally able, in fixing Spain, to acknowledge our right of
fishery in Newfoundland. Spain does not renounce her right of fishing
there, but desists. For the King of Prussia he was disavowed! given up!
sacrificed! so melancholy was the effect of the coldness that was grown
between the two crowns! The branches of Bourbon were united; we and
our allies disunited! He had seen nothing he envied in French councils
till now. They had indulged a noble delicacy of honour, and obtained
everything for Spain; nay, had treated Austria with punctilio. We did
not so remember those who had served us! The moment the battle of
Culloden should be forgotten, this country would be undone! We ought to
have made a family compact with the King of Prussia.

Stanley said a few words on his own part in the negotiation; and then
Mr. Fox rising to speak, Pitt, in contempt or exhausted, retired out
of the house, attended by redoubled huzzas! the mob re-echoing the
duration of his speech, “Three hours and a half! three hours and a

The secession of Pitt struck such a damp on Opposition, that Fox had
but little to do but to chant _Te Deum_ for victory. He said little,
very little, in behalf of the treaty, to which success was now ensured.
He rather painted his own situation, and that of parties, ranking
himself with the Whigs, but affecting to believe a general union of
all factions under the King. He had been called out, he said, when men
would have revived those distinctions, and torn the Tories from the
support of the Crown. No desire did he know of extending prerogative;
if it had been exerted unduly in signing the preliminaries, Ministers
were answerable; but he vowed to God he did not know that it was in the
mind of any man to enlarge the prerogative. Mr. Pitt had thought we
could have gone on much longer, and that France could not; he himself
thought we could not have gone on much longer: but what had Mr. Pitt
given, except assertions in support of his persuasion? He himself had
been told that our commerce was declined. If England would apply itself
to improve this peace, it would turn out the greatest that ever had
been made.

Charles Townshend, discontent, expecting much severe animadversion
on the treaty, and dreading to differ with Mr. Pitt when the latter
was likely to exert all his powers, had come to the House prepared
to arraign the preliminaries. Finding his mistake, and secure by the
retreat of Pitt, he changed his battery, defended the peace as well
as it could be defended, burned incense on the altar of prerogative,
and sang almost hosannahs to the praise of the King. It happened the
next day that Dempster, commending Mr. Pitt, and calling him the
_arch-patriot_, Rigby said, Mr. Pitt, it was true, had spoken three
hours and a half, but an _archer-patriot_ had said more to the purpose
in twenty-five minutes.

The Duke of Newcastle had sent to his friends not to divide; on which
they retired. This not being known to the Duke of Cumberland, his
adherents stayed, and two of his own servants, Lord Ancram[278]
and General Fitzwilliam,[279] were in the minority--which were but
sixty-five against three hundred and nineteen. The Duke was angry that
his people had been left alone: on which it was resolved to rally
on the Report, but with no better success; the Court were still two
hundred and twenty-seven to sixty-three, Lord Royston, Lord Hardwicke’s
son, being of the majority.

Nothing can paint the importance of this victory to the Court so
strongly as what the Princess of Wales said, on the news of the
preliminaries being carried: “Now,” said she, “my son _is_ King of
England.” The ministers ordered that the numbers on the question should
be printed--had they printed the names too, the world would have known
the names of the sixty-five that were _not_ bribed.

Fox having thus successfully employed rewards, thought the time was
come for making use of the other weapon of government--punishment.
A more severe political persecution never raged. Whoever, holding a
place, had voted against the preliminaries, was instantly dismissed.
The friends[280] and dependents of the Duke of Newcastle were
particularly cashiered; and this cruelty was extended so far, that old
servants, who had retired and been preferred to very small places, were
rigorously hunted out and deprived of their livelihood. An inquisition
was held at Fox’s house; and a despotic spirit prevailed so rudely,
that Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave,[281] sister of the Duchess of Bedford,
and a notable politician, desired to be admitted to the junto of

In particular, Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Earle[282] were dismissed from
the Board of Ordnance for their votes; as was the younger Thomas
Townshend[283] from the green cloth, without the smallest notification.
Some were even sacrificed who had given no offence, as the worthy
Admiral Forbes,[284] who was removed from the Admiralty to make room
for Cotes, of the same profession and a friend of Fox. Schutz, who
had been seven years of the King’s bedchamber, was turned out, for no
reason but that he had not a seat in Parliament, and could be of no use

But to wind up the year with more dignified rigour, the Dukes of
Newcastle and Grafton and the Marquis of Rockingham were dismissed from
the Lieutenancies of their several counties.[286] The same affront
being designed for the Duke of Devonshire, Fox affected to make a point
of saving him; but the Duke, with proper spirit, scorned to be obliged
to him, and resigned to accompany his friends.


  Death of John Earl Granville.--His character.--Political
    persecution originating in Fox.--Want of cordiality in the
    Ministerial League between him and Bute.--Attack on Patent
    Places.--Lord Northington and Sir Fletcher Norton.--The Duke of
    Cumberland’s remark on the harsh proceedings of Fox.--Triumph of
    the Court.--Wilkes and Churchill.--Favour shown to the friends
    of the Stuarts.--Observance of the Jacobite fast.--Calvert’s
    extraordinary Speech.--Sir John Philipps’s Motion for the Accounts
    of the Nation.--Folly of the Tories.--Committee to inspect
    Madhouses.--Accounts of the Navy.--Calamities of War.--No
    famous _native_ Generals except Wolfe and Lord Clive.--Charles
    Townshend’s fickle Politics.--The Standing Army.

John Earl Granville, the antagonist of one Prime Minister, Prime
Minister himself, and then assistant to every succeeding Prime
Minister, died on the second day of the new year. The rhodomontade, to
which he was addicted, was set off by parts and wit, or forgiven to his
good-humour. It was very unlike the presumptuous ascendant of Pitt,
or the lofty ignorance of Lord Bute. Pitt, unsociable and muffled in
clouds, was adored from the terror imprinted by his lightnings. Bute
thought distance and obscurity sufficient characteristics of divinity;
but Granville, like Bacchus, rattled his car among men, and was but
the more admired the more he familiarized himself with mortals. He
had fallen unpitied, but unhated; and sank in rank without sinking
in esteem, his fall having lessened him less than his exaltation. He
seemed so proper for every part, that in him it did not seem mean to be
second, after commanding.[287]

The persecution, set on foot at the end of the last year, was kept up
with unrelaxed severity.[288] A place of 200_l._ a year was taken from
Mr. Legge’s nephew,[289] a boy at school: and another of the same value
from a man in Sussex, who had been rewarded with it for service done
against an inhuman set of smugglers, by the interest of the late Duke
of Grafton, whom Fox had hated. In truth, these hardships were not only
suggested by Fox, but now and then executed without the knowledge of
the Favourite, who often disclaimed[290] them, and sometimes, to load
his associate, made recompense to the parties aggrieved; for though
they became heartier friends afterwards, and though the Favourite bore
testimony, in a subsequent period, that Fox was the only man who had
not deceived him, it is pretty sure that their ministerial league was
far from cordial; not quite sure that Bute did not deceive Fox; and
certain, that the King betrayed symptoms of satisfaction on hearing
that the blame of all this violence fell on Fox.

He had meditated going still greater lengths. Lord Lincoln, whom he
particularly hated, was Auditor of the Exchequer for life, the amplest
sinecure in England, except the Archbishoprick of Canterbury. Some
other great patent-places were held by men then in Opposition. Fox
himself enjoyed a very considerable one in Ireland; yet so much did
his thirst of vengeance surmount his interest, that a question was
put to the Chancellor, whether the King could not take away patents
bestowed in former reigns, and whether the case might not be laid
before the twelve Judges. The Chancellor, who had fits of bluntness and
honesty, or prophetically affectionate to grants for life, so profusely
heaped on him afterwards, replied, “Yes, they might lay the idea
before the Judges, and then refer Magna Charta to them afterwards, to
decide on that too.” Norton, Solicitor-General, as bold and as blunt,
but never as honest as Lord Northington, being consulted to the same
point, advised to take away the places, and then see if the law would
restore them. This man now rose from obscure infamy to that infamous
fame which long will stick to him. It was known that in private causes
he took money from both parties, and availed himself against one or
other of them of the lights they had communicated to him.[291] Yet
his abilities were so good, and his knowledge so great, that no man
had more extensive practice in Westminster Hall. In Parliament he had
for some years been disregarded; but his foul tongue and causidical
boldness, his clearness in argument or facility in assertion, his
attachment to Lord Mansfield, and his total alienation from all
principle, offered him as a proper tool to a Court that was to wade
through the letter of the law to the demolition of the spirit. Yet
his authority alone could not encourage such a violation of justice
as had now been in agitation. The Favourite, too, and the Favourite’s
favourites, might think it more eligible to leave patent places
unmolested; they must have coveted them more than they could wish, to
render them precarious.

The Duke of Cumberland, on these harsh proceedings, said to Lord
Waldegrave, “Fox has deceived me grossly--not, as you think, by
giving me up; he might be as angry with me for talking to Newcastle
and Pitt--but he has deceived me, for I thought him good-natured;
but in all these transactions he has shown the bitterest revenge and

When the Houses met after Christmas, the Court was so thoroughly the
master, that scarce an attempt was made at opposition. Yet Wilkes and
Churchill wrote with as much intemperance as if the nation had been
overspread with the flame of faction. The latter now published his
“Prophecy of Famine,” one of the severest and least irregular of his
works. Their poems and libels seemed to have little effect, but the
seeds sown by them took deep root. Nor did the Court trouble itself to
deny what was charged on it. The measures of the House of Stuart were
so thoroughly copied, that even the rankest friends of that family were
adopted at St. James’s. Sir John Philipps himself was made a privy

It happened that Lord Strange,[292] moving a common adjournment to the
following Monday, the Speaker said the House must adjourn till Tuesday,
for Monday would be the 30th of January. Lord Strange laughed at such a
Saint’s day, and divided the House, but found only thirty-six persons
of his opinion; one hundred and three were for observing the ridiculous
fast. Fox was of the majority, who, very few years before, had been
for putting an end to that Jacobite holiday--a clear indication of the
principles of the new Court. Lord Strange causing that part of the act
of Parliament, which ordains observance of the day, to be read, and
affirming that the words _Neither Parliament nor People can judge the
King_, were contrary to the constitution; Fox denied it, and maintained
that the constitution had always held that language. Rose Fuller and
Lord Strange moved another day, to abolish the observation of the
pretended martyrdom, but it was overruled by the House: however, it
produced a very bold and extraordinary speech from Calvert; he drew a
picture of a fictitious family in Surrey, whom he called _the Steadys_,
describing two old Steadys and a young one; with a very particular
account of young Steady’s mother, and of her improper intimacy
with a Scotch gardener--he hoped the true friends of young _Steady_
would advise him to recall his old friends, and turn away the Scotch
gardener. No reply was made, for none could be made, without carrying
the application too home.

Most of the other transactions of this session were as trifling, and
deserve but little notice. Sir John Philipps, to preserve a semblance
of patriotism, or instigated by Bute to intimidate Newcastle, moved for
the accounts of the nation. Fox, who did not like any clue that might
lead to the mysteries of the Pay-Office, opposed it; and Lord Granby,
though sold to the Court, warmly defended the Duke of Newcastle’s
integrity. Legge objected, too, and said he saw no end such a motion
tended to; it was like asking a country fellow the way--he always asks
you whence you came! Aislabie[293] reflected on Fox for not passing his
accounts, and the attack was received with loud marks of approbation;
but when neither the late nor actual ministers encouraged the inquiry,
it was not likely to be very successful. Sir John Philipps accordingly
desisted, and Sir Francis Dashwood proposed to name a select committee
to examine any accounts that had been brought in, which was agreed to;
and lists were given out, from whence an equal number being chosen of
the Court’s and of Newcastle’s friends, no more came of this, than
of twenty such intended inquiries. Nor was anything memorable in
the outset, but that the Tories, meeting in a body to consider the
proposed lists, erased the names of Fox’s four chief friends; still,
so blind were those dull men to their real interest, and still so much
addicted to be led by mere names, they even objected to the large
army proposed to be maintained; proof that they had not one sensible
man of their body. What should a large army achieve but the work of
monarchy? Or say the Tories were honest men and lovers of liberty?
Could they love liberty and slavery both? or did they call themselves
by a disgraceful name when they deserved to wear an honourable one? In
truth, all the sensible Tories I ever knew were either Jacobites or
became Whigs; those that remained Tories remained fools.

A scheme more laudable, more necessary, and founded on a crying evil,
met with no fairer success than the committee of accounts. I mean the
committee to inspect and redress the grievous abuses of madhouses.[294]
Charles Townshend took great pains in that business, distinguished
himself, was content and dropped it. The lawyers raised many
objections, and removed none. Poor humanity! how ill art thou treated
by the human race! We fire at the relation of calamities, denounce
vengeance on the perpetrators, cry out for, set about, reformation,
and in England, give us our due, lavish our money towards it; then
grow cool, and never think of the woe afterwards. Lawyers never suffer
correction of abuses; they defend them even where they do not commit

When the accounts of the navy were brought into the House, it appeared
that one hundred and eighty-four thousand seamen had been raised during
the war. Of these, one hundred and thirty thousand had been lost to
the nation; and yet, scarce will it be believed, sixteen hundred only
had been killed![295] Many had deserted, and had enlisted again;
others went into other services. Most of the rest died of distempers,
climates, hardships, &c. But with the loss of sixteen hundred men, we
had destroyed the navies of France and Spain. Glorious consideration!
could it be unmixed with the remembrance of the other hundred and
twenty-eight thousand! But Glory must shed more tears of anguish than
of joy, whenever she turns accomptant. What if returns were made of all
the other lives lost in that war all over the face of the globe! What
did the peasants in Germany suffer? even heroism had its pangs. Did not
the King of Prussia see every general with whom he commenced that short
war perish before his eyes? I said he felt a pang--I hope he did. It
is an observation a little foreign to the reflection with which I set
out, but extensively victorious as that war was to Britain, she did not
see one famous _native_ general arise out of that war, except Wolfe,
who died in the cradle of his celebrity; and unless we name Lord Clive,
who was more a statesman than general, and in both respects not matched
against equal rivals. I do not mean to detract from his merits; he was
born to shine in the Indies: at home he never stepped beyond the common
of mankind.

Charles Townshend, who had but just resigned, and who had no sooner
resigned than he opposed the opposition, perceiving the weakness of
that opposition, that Pitt would not lead it, and afraid to lead it
himself, struck in again with the tide, and at the end of February
kissed hands for first Lord of Trade, with a nominal rank of Cabinet
Councillor, but without being permitted to go in to the King with
state papers, except with those relating to the Board of Trade. He had
boasted of far greater offers. Lord Sandys was removed to make room for
him. A promiscuous meeting being held at Sir Francis Dashwood’s, to
consider what proportion of army should be kept up, Ellis, Secretary
at War, proposed eighteen thousand men for England, ten for America,
and the usual twelve thousand for Ireland; but hinted at raising six
thousand more for the latter kingdom; which Fox said the King desired.
Sir Charles Mordaunt, a chief Tory, said he had great duty for the
King, but could not consent to that augmentation. Charles Townshend
seconded his refusal, and it was given up.

Lord Strange said the King must know what force was wanting, and if
necessary it must be granted; but if the King would give it up, it
showed it was not necessary; and therefore himself should be for the
lesser number. Sir John Philipps, Lord George Sackville, and Rigby
tried in Parliament to obtain the additional six thousand, but could
not carry the point, though they endeavoured to prove that the King was
not limited by the act of King William to but twelve thousand men in


  Mr. Pitt’s opinion on the Army Reductions.--Address to the King.--
    Symptoms of disunion among Ministers.--Fox’s rage.--Apprehensive
    of treachery, he seeks to propitiate his old connections.--Sir
    Francis Dashwood’s Budget.--Tax on Cider.--Discussion on Ways
    and Means.--Pitt and George Grenville.--Ardent opposition to the
    Cider-tax.--Petition from Newfoundland.--Humiliation of Fox.--
    Debate in the House of Lords on the Cider-bill.--Passing of the
    Bill.--Lord Bute’s alarm.--His resignation.--Its effect on
    Fox.--George Grenville first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor
    of the Exchequer.--Removal of Sir Francis Dashwood.--Ministerial
    changes and promotions.

When the day came for voting the army, Mr. Pitt attended. He approved
the measure, he said, as far as it went, but wished more troops were
allotted to America. That he had a very different opinion from many
of the peace: thought it hollow and insecure, _and that it would not
last ten years_. He showed no acrimony to Fox, he and Lord Temple both
seeming more hostile to Lord Bute; but he dropped, that if any body
would point out the right way to inquire what was the cause of so many
dismissions, he would second the motion. Beckford having wished the
army more reduced, Pitt said, such reductions had hurt us formerly.
After the peace of Ryswick the army was lessened to seven thousand; but
war followed in three years. After the treaty of Utrecht, but eight
thousand men were kept up, but that reduction produced a rebellion
and an army of fifteen thousand. Charles Townshend, dreading the lash
of Pitt on his late inconsistencies, retired early in the debate; but
the General, his brother, just arrived from Portugal, was lavish in
encomiums on the peace and peacemakers.

In a few days after, Beckford, seconded by Pitt, moved to address the
King to prefer officers on half-pay to those whose commissions were
fresher; and though Fox and the ministers objected, it was suffered to
pass. Sir Henry Erskine in the course of the debate frequently sounding
the King’s name, Mr. Pitt severely reprimanded the Speaker for not
stopping him.

In the progress of these debates, it was observed, that at least the
Favourite’s faction, if not himself, were hostile to Fox. On the
committee of accounts, Elliot and Lord North had been so personal
to him, that he lost his temper; and Beckford desiring him to save
appearances, he replied, he never minded appearances, but--he was going
to say, realities, when a loud burst of laughter from the whole House
interrupted him. His rage was so great, that, sitting down, he said
to Onslow,[296] though an enemy, “Did you ever see a man so treated
in my situation? but, by G--, I will have an explanation and ample
submission, or I will never set my foot in this House again.” Another
symptom of disunion was, that Lord Ravensworth[297] having moved for
the whole accounts of the war, Lord Hardwicke said it was impossible
to produce them yet; the paymaster had a deputy abroad who could not
have made them up. This being understood as a reflection on Fox, Lord
Hardwicke said, on the contrary, he had meant to vindicate him. Lord
Talbot concurred with this explanation; adding, “Nobody can imagine
that _I_ want to screen Mr. Fox;” an expression warmly taken up by Lord
Hilsborough, one of Fox’s friends.

If Lord Bute countenanced these hostilities, it was but consonant to
the folly of his character. Fox had boldness and wickedness enough
to undertake whatever the Court wished to compass. Fox seemed so
apprehensive of treachery, that he cast about to recover his old
connections. By Lord Albemarle, Lord Frederick Cavendish,[298] and Lord
Waldegrave, he laboured to be reconciled to the Duke of Cumberland and
the Duke of Devonshire. He asked Lord Waldegrave if the former was
still incensed against him. The other replied, he had not heard the
Duke mention him of late, but supposed his Royal Highness could not be
ignorant how much he had been abused by Murphy, known to write under
Fox’s direction. “Formerly he did so,” said Fox, “but I had not seen
him in a year and a half, till _hearing_ how violent the ‘Auditors’
were, I sent for him and stopped them;”--an excuse too weak _for_ a
sensible man to make _to_ a sensible man _through_ a sensible man. Lord
Waldegrave suspected that Fox’s views went deeper than reconciliation;
for shortly after this conversation Rigby came to the Earl, and sounded
him whether he would not take the Treasury, Lord Bute, he said, not
being able to stand his ground. As Lord Waldegrave had married my
niece,[299] I knew all these intrigues from him, and was actually in
his house at the time of this overture, of which he immediately told
me with an expressive smile, which in him, who never uttered a bitter
word, conveyed the essence of sense and satire.

We must now quit Fox, to make room for a doughty hero of more comic
cast, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.[300] Hitherto he had but just
acted enough as minister, to show that he neither was one nor was fit
to be one. The time was now come for _opening the budget_, when it was
incumbent on him to state the finances, debts, and calls of Government;
and to chalk out a plan of proper supplies. All this he performed so
awkwardly, with so little intelligence or clearness, in so vulgar a
tone, and in such mean language, that he, who had been esteemed a plain
country gentleman of good sense, said himself afterwards, “People will
point at me, and cry, _there goes the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer
that ever appeared_!” His famous measure was the tax on cider; and
whoever would know more of his ability in conducting that business,
will find it amply detailed in the North-Britons; a coarse and satiric
picture, yet but little exaggerated. The tax itself deserves far more
than the author of it to live in the memory of English history, for the
crisis it occasioned or drove on.

In the discussion of these ways and means, George Grenville complained
that men objected to laying burthens on the sinking fund, and called
rather for new taxes. He wished gentlemen would show him _where_ to
lay them. Repeating this question in his querulous, languid, fatiguing
tone, Pitt, who sat opposite to him, mimicking his accent aloud,
repeated these words of an old ditty--_Gentle shepherd, tell me
where!_ and then rising, abused Grenville bitterly. He had no sooner
finished than Grenville started up in a transport of rage, and said,
if gentlemen were to be treated with that contempt--Pitt was walking
out of the House, but at that word turned round, made a sneering bow
to Grenville and departed. The latter had provoked him by stating the
profusions of the war. There is use in recording this anecdote: the
appellation of _The Gentle Shepherd_ long stuck by Grenville; he is
mentioned by it in many of the writings on the stamp act, and in other
pamphlets and political prints of the time.

The tax on cider raised a great flame in the western counties, and
by management, that flame was transported to the metropolis. All the
western members, however, attached to the Court, could not avoid
defending the interests of their constituents; and thus joining what
standing Opposition there was, the minority often divided near 120:
and as every step of the bill was ardently fought, divisions happened
frequently, and threw a kind of vivacity into the session. In the city
Sir William Baker acted strenuously against the Court, and Wilkes’s pen
was never idle.

In the meantime Fox received another humiliation. He had received a
petition for relief from the sufferers at Newfoundland. It was objected
to from all quarters of the House: general indemnification could not
be made to all the sufferers by the war, why then partial? Sir Francis
Dashwood, Lord Barrington, and Nugent supported Fox faintly; Ellis
and Rigby warmly; Lord George Sackville with panegyric, for which he
was reproved by Lord Strange, who, with G. Grenville, Stanley, and
Lord Frederick Campbell, treated Fox and his petition harshly. During
this altercation Lord Middleton, casting his eye over the paper,
observed that all the names to the petition were signed by the same
hand. This occasioned such an uproar, that Fox was obliged to ask
pardon, and withdraw the petition, pleading, that the paper had been
written out fair from the original, which had really been signed by
the petitioners. In private, he said that there had been a paragraph
not worded with sufficient respect to the House, which occasioned his
having the petition copied out by a clerk, and there had not been time
to get it signed again; but he stood so ill in the public eye, that
whatever he did received the worst construction.

March 28th. The Cider-bill had now laboured through the Commons, and
was read for the second time by the Lords. Lord Hardwicke spoke and
voted against it; but was answered well, and with severity, by Lord
Marchmont.[301] Lord Mansfield made a bad trimming speech, but voted
for the bill. Lord Lyttelton[302] spoke well against it. Lord Pomfret
heaped panegyrics on the Favourite, whose own speech was languid and
unargumentative. The Tory Lords who belong chiefly to the western
counties were most of them against the bill, as were nine of the
Bishops; but the bill was committed by a majority of 71 to 39.

It was read the third time on the 30th, and was attacked with energy by
the Duke of Grafton; by Lord Dartmouth[303] with decency and propriety;
by Lord Lyttelton, though with censures on the political pamphlets of
the time; and by the Duke of Newcastle, who complimented the rising
generation. It having been reported that, on hearing the City would
petition the King against the bill, as they had both Houses, on the
ground of the bill being calculated to extend the excise, Lord Bute
had sent word to the leading men of the City, that if they would drop
their petition, the bill should be repealed the next session, he
thought it necessary to explain the foundation of that report; he had
only sent word, he said, that if the bill proved a bad one, which he
did not believe it would, he would try to get it repealed. This was
one of his best speeches, though not divested of pomp, and with much
affected contempt of popularity. Lord Ravensworth expressed great scorn
of the City assuming the dictatorial tone. Lord Denbigh was still
more bitter, and spoke with so much wit and applause that in very
few days he was made a Lord of the Bedchamber. Lord Temple having in
both debates been very personal to the Favourite, and having declared
in favour of excise, as Lord Bute had against it, Lord Denbigh said
he hoped the King, to please the City, would remove the Minister who
was against excise, and place that Lord who was for it at the head
of the Treasury. The bill was passed, sixty-two lords being for it,
thirty-eight against it. After the first debate, the Lords Oxford,
Foley, and Willoughby protested; the first and last of the King’s
bedchamber. After the second debate, the Duke of Bolton,[304] Earl
Temple, and Lord Fortescue protested.

Immediately after the House rose the Sheriffs hurried to St. James’s;
and, though at so unusual an hour, and without having previously asked
leave, presented to the King a petition not to pass the bill; but he
passed it the very next morning.

Few political clouds seemed less big with mischief than this storm,
unnaturally conjured up, and little likely to last; for what principle
of union could there be in common between the City of London and two
or three distant counties whose apples were to be taxed? The spell,
_excise_, was pronounced, but had lost its terrors. They who sounded
loudest the alarm, neither were alarmed, nor expected to breathe much
dread into others. But there was a frame of nerves more easily thrown
into disorder; fear seized on the Favourite; he said, “We shall have
thirty thousand men come down to St. James’s!” The assault that had
been made on him the first day of the session had left a lasting
impression; and he had showed, early in the reign, that fortitude
was not a ruling ingredient in his composition. He had appointed
himself a guard of bruisers the day of his attending the King into the
City in 1761, when Mr. Pitt made his insolent parade thither at the
same time. Now, bating the slight distemperature occasioned by the
cider-tax, England seemed to be willingly, and submissively, prostrate
at the Favourite’s feet. Would she have rebelled for a partial tax,
after acquiescing in the peace? Fear does not calculate, but lumps
apprehensions in the gross. The panic was taken, and on the 7th of
April, to the surprise of mankind, it was notified that Lord Bute
intended to resign the next day, and to retire for his health, not
being able to go through the fatigue of business.

It is true, that he had at times declared, that as soon as he had made
the peace, he would quit his post; but few had heard the declaration,
and fewer believed it. The Ministers knew nothing of his intention
till the day before it was publicly notified; and Fox was so entirely
out of the secret, that he reproached the Earl bitterly for leaving
him in that ignorance and dilemma. The Favourite’s own speeches in
Parliament expressing a wish of retirement had rather confirmed men
in the opinion that he had no thoughts of it. No one act had had the
least air of his giving up his power, nor had any measures been taken
to replace him or carry on the present system; but the best comment on
his behaviour at that moment was his subsequent conduct. The fondness
he retained for power, his intrigues to preserve it, the confusion he
helped to throw into almost every succeeding system, and his impotent
and dark attempts to hang on the wheels of Government, which he only
clogged, and to which he dreaded even being suspected of recommending
drivers, all proved that neither virtue nor philosophy had the honour
of dictating his retreat; but that fear, and fear only, was the
immediate, inconsiderate, and precipitate cause of his resignation.[305]

Yet let me not be thought to lament this weak man’s pusillanimity. I am
condemning his want of policy, but rejoice at it. Had he been firm to
himself, there was an end of the constitution! The hearts of Englishmen
were corrupt and sold, and the best heads amongst them toiled in the
cause of Despotism. A happy panic blew up the system of absolute
power when it had lasted but five months; and a trifling Opposition
overturned in a fortnight the work of that majority which a fortnight
had purchased. Yet the struggle was not over. The rod fell into abler
and more resolute hands; the mercenaries were not disbanded, though the
commander-in-chief ran away. Fortunately he became incompatible with
his successors; and liberty owed its salvation, not to its friends, but
to discord among the conspirators.

I have mentioned how utterly Fox was disconcerted at this unexpected
resignation. His first movement was to press Lord Bute to retain the
Treasury, at least for six months. That attempt was fruitless. His
next step was to secure his own peerage. Again was he astonished to be
told that he had agreed to cede the Pay-office on going into the House
of Lords. This he peremptorily denied. But he had dealt with a worthy
pupil of his own. Lord Shelburne, who had negotiated between him and
Lord Bute, when Fox undertook the conduct of the House of Commons,
had told the Earl that Fox would quit the Pay-office for a peerage;
but Fox had only stipulated to give his support for that reward. He
now broke out against his scholar, reproached him for concealing Lord
Bute’s intention of retiring, and spoke of Shelburne to everybody
_as a perfidious and infamous liar_; those were his usual words. The
probability was, that Shelburne intended to slip into the Pay-office
himself. The Favourite, who would have declared Fox his successor,
excused Lord Shelburne to him, and, in his pedantic style, called the
secrecy he had observed _a pious fraud_; for Fox, he said, he knew
would not have engaged in the management of the Parliament, had he been
apprized that he (Bute) intended to retire, and it had been necessary
to the King’s affairs that Fox should carry them through the session.
This very offer of the Treasury to Fox showed how little the Favourite
had taken any measures for carrying on his master’s business for the
future, and corroborates the presumption that a sudden panic was the
immediate cause of his retreat.

Fox refusing to accept them, the post of First Lord of the Treasury and
the Seals of Chancellor of the Exchequer were, on April 8, the very
day on which the Favourite resigned, bestowed on George Grenville. Sir
Francis Dashwood was removed to the Great Wardrobe; and the barony of
Despencer, then in abeyance between him and his nephew, Sir Thomas
Stapleton, was granted to him: the one to repair, the other to decorate
his fall.

Some other promotions were made of the Favourite’s and Fox’s adherents;
and, to strengthen the new system, many favours were heaped on the
Duke of Bedford’s dependents. Of the first sorts was the preferment
of Oswald to be Vice-Treasurer of Ireland; of Hunter[306] and Harris
to the Treasury; of Lord Digby[307] to the Admiralty; to which board
were added, by Grenville, Lord Howe[308] and young Thomas Pitt.[309]
The Earl of Northumberland was named to the chief government of
Ireland, which had been offered to, and refused by, Lord Granby,
who, as I hinted before, was now appointed Master of the Ordnance;
from which old Marshal Ligonier was by force removed, but softened
with a pension, which he refused to accept till accompanied with an
English peerage. General Townshend,[310] though only a Major-General,
was made Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance; Lord Harcourt[311]
replaced Lord Northumberland as Chamberlain to the Queen; and, in the
room of the former, Lord Weymouth was made her Master of the Horse.
The Duke of Queensberry[312] succeeded the deceased Lord Tweedale
as Justice-General of Scotland: the Seal was given to the Duke of
Athol,[313] and the Privy Seal to Mr. Mackenzie, the Favourite’s
brother. John Pitt[314] was turned out to make room for Sir Edmund
Thomas.[315] Lord March[316] and Lord Cathcart[317] obtained green


  The Bedford Faction.--Ambition of the Duchess of Bedford.--The
    Dukes of Marlborough and Rutland.--Lord Gower.--Fox raised to the
    Peerage.--Ingratitude of his friends, particularly of Calcraft and
    Rigby.--Mr. (afterwards Sir Charles) Bunbury.--Lord Hertford and
    Mr. Conway.--Charles Townshend’s presumption.--Reversions granted
    by Lord Bute.--Walpole’s feelings towards that Minister.--His
    Political acts.--Death of Lord Waldegrave.--His character.

The Bedford faction were not to be contented with empty honours or
slight emoluments. They sent for their Duke from France, who, to grasp
the more by seeming moderation, resigned the Privy Seal, as most men
thought, with views on the Treasury itself; at least, his squadron
vaunted that they had two or three administrations in readiness before
the King should be obliged to employ the Opposition. The Favourite,
from the first moment of his power, had made it a point to gratify,
nay, to outrun, the Duke of Bedford’s largest wishes. Nothing he had
asked, nothing his creatures were immodest enough to demand, had
been denied; yet Lord Bute was balked in his hopes of purchasing
the attachment of that connection--not from their usual perfidy; he
had lost them before they suspected the smallest diminution of his
omnipotence. He had not gratified the ambition of the Duchess.[318] She
had marked for herself the first post in the Queen’s family; but with
more attention to her pride than to her interest, had forborne to ask
it, concluding it must be offered to her. The Princess and Lord Bute,
either not suspecting, or glad to be ignorant of her views, were far
enough from seeking to place so dangerous a woman in the very heart
of the palace. This neglect the Duchess deeply resented, and never
forgave. She was even so weak as to declare that inveteracy in a letter
to her sister, Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave, from Paris; which Lord Bute
intercepting, there first learned what an aspic was lodged near his

But though the Favourite, persuaded of the Duchess’s implacability,
dropped all correspondence with that faction, he was far from checking
the stream of the Crown’s graces towards them. The King begged the
support of the Duke of Marlborough,[319] and offered to make him Master
of the Horse, if the Duke of Rutland[320] could be induced to part with
it. The latter consented to exchange it for Lord Chamberlain; but that
post the Duke of Bedford insisted upon for Lord Gower.[321] After a
warm struggle, Lord Gower obtained the Chamberlain’s staff; the Duke
of Rutland remained in his old situation; and the Duke of Marlborough,
though so very young, was appointed Lord Privy Seal; and his brother,
Lord Charles Spencer, was made Comptroller of the Household.

Fox obtained his barony, and retained his place, but not without
experiencing such a scene of ingratitude as could scarce happen but to
a man who had selected his friends more for their utility than their
merit. In the discussion, and during the defending and proving what
he had or had not said relative to the cession of the Paymaster’s
place, Calcraft,[322] his own creature, his cousin, raised from extreme
indigence and obscurity to enormous wealth, to opulence so excessive
that the vast number of regiments to which he was agent, and the
outrageous plurality of places he held, were universally believed to
be deposited with him only for Fox’s use,[323] took part with Lord
Shelburne, and witnessed to the latter’s tale. Fox ordered Calcraft
to make up his accounts, dismissed him worth near 300,000_l._, and,
though so rich himself, grew almost justified; and, though so hated,
grew almost pitied; but this was not all. The man he most loved was
Rigby; and though Fox had not crammed him with wealth in the same
lavish guise with which he had enriched Calcraft, he had assisted
in Rigby’s promotions, and wished to push him forwards, and to be
strictly connected with him in every political walk. In the height
of his quarrel with Shelburne and Calcraft, Fox, walking along St.
James’s Street, met and stopped Rigby’s chariot, and, leaning on the
door of it, began to vent his complaints; when the other, unprovoked
and unconcerned in the dispute, interrupted him with these stunning
sounds, “_You_ tell your story of Shelburne; _he_ has a damned one to
tell of you; I do not trouble myself which is the truth;”--and pushing
him aside, ordered his coachman to drive away. From that moment Rigby
became the enemy of Fox.[324] The necessity of relating this story will
appear hereafter.

The Earl of Hertford was named to succeed the Duke of Bedford at Paris.
Fox, in the midst of his quarrels and mortifications, found leisure
to think of his friends, and to think of gratifying his hatred. He
procured his wife’s brother-in-law, Mr. Bunbury, to be imposed on Lord
Hertford as secretary of the embassy; an affront Lord Hertford was
advised not to digest: but, though he acquiesced in it, he treated
Bunbury with such obstinate coldness, that the latter was glad to quit
the employment. I never knew why Fox was on all occasions the personal
enemy of Lord Hertford and Mr. Conway; neither of them being hostile
to him, and both most inoffensive men. The elder brother was even a
good courtier, and never in union with Fox’s enemies. Mr. Conway’s
character was indeed a reproach to that of Fox, and antipathy is as
often the cause of enmity as offence is. The decorum and piety of Lord
Hertford occasioned men to wonder, when, in the room of Bunbury, he
chose for his secretary the celebrated free-thinker David Hume, totally
unknown to him; but this was the effect of recommendations from other
Scots, who had much weight with both Lord and Lady Hertford.[325]

While the arrangement of the new drama was thus settling, there was
an important actor to be made easy; but it was one who, whenever
he appeared of most consequence, was sure of rendering himself
insignificant. This was Charles Townshend. After his usual fluctuation,
he accepted the post of First Lord of the Admiralty, and actually went
to St. James’s to kiss hands for it. Presuming that nothing would or
could be refused to him, without asking it, without even naming it
to any minister, and as if the seats of his colleagues at that Board
were in the nomination of the First Commissioner, he carried to court
with him a Mr. Burrel, one of his followers, intending the latter
should kiss hands along with himself as another Lord of the Admiralty.
Thinking his honour engaged to carry through this absurdity, he would
not kiss the King’s hand unless Burrel was admitted too. It was flatly
refused, and Townshend was told that the King had no further occasion
for his service. Lord Shelburne was immediately named to succeed him at
the head of the Board of Trade, and Lord Sandwich to fill up the place
destined to Townshend at the head of the Admiralty.

These were all the public promotions calculated to oil the new
springs of Government. But the Favourite did not close the scene
of his administration without conferring still more solid marks of
his power and friendship on his family and intimate dependents. The
reversion of Auditor[326] of the Imprest was obtained for his own son
Lord Mount-Stewart. My place of Usher of the Exchequer was granted in
reversion to Samuel Martin;[327] and a place[328] in the Custom-house,
held by my brother, but the far greater share of which had been
bequeathed to me by my father for my brother’s life, was also granted
in reversion to Jenkinson.[329] I was, I confess, much provoked at
this last grant, and took occasion of fomenting the ill-humour against
the Favourite, who thus excluded me from the possibility of obtaining
the continuance of that place to myself in case of my brother’s death;
but in truth, except in the want of that attention, I had no reason
to complain. I had refused to accept the grant[330] from Fox, and I
had in terms told Lord Bute that I would accept no favour from him,
though with great civility, and without acting in any shape as hostile
to him. Thus my resentment kept no deep root: and I can say with the
utmost truth, that as I afterwards, though never connected with him,
was on many occasions friendly to that great favourite, so no word
in these Memoirs to his prejudice has been dictated by a vindictive
spirit, but the whole narrative is faithfully the representation of
what I knew and heard of him. Infinite ill has he occasioned to this
country, in which light only it is my intention to pass sentence on his
character. In other respects, the meanness of his abilities and the
poorness of his spirit place him below resentment. His private virtues,
the long and bitter persecution he has undergone, and many domestic
misfortunes, would extract every sting which exact or necessary justice
did not sharpen. The last transaction I am going to mention flowing
notoriously from his dispensation, was of a nature not to be palliated
or forgotten. To see it in its full force of indignity offered to so
mighty a country, the reader must place himself at the moment when
England, triumphant over France and Spain, had annihilated their
navies, and sat sole arbitress of peace and war, absolutely secure that
Europe combined could not wrench her conquests from her, and sure of
proving her moderation by consenting to peace on almost whatever terms
she should please to dictate.

At that moment did a pusillanimous favourite not only make peace,
relinquishing the greater and most valuable part of our acquisitions,
but (what never entered into the imagination of distress and slavery
itself) he purchased that scandalous peace of the envoy of a little
prince, who was not even a party in the war! In short, it now came out,
that a pension on Ireland of one thousand pounds a year for thirty-one
years to Count Virri,[331] the Sardinian Minister, through whose hands
the real negotiation[332] had passed, was the price and tribute of that
shame which Lord Bute, by the treaty of Paris, heaped on Great Britain!

The very day on which the Favourite resigned the reins of government
died the man who, of all England, would perhaps have rejoiced the
most to behold that event. James Earl Waldegrave was carried off by
the small-pox, April 8th. With unbounded benevolence, and of the most
flowing courtesy to all men, Lord Waldegrave, whose penetration no
weakness could escape, nor art impose upon, though vice he overlooked,
and only abstained sometimes from connecting with black and bad
men,--Lord Waldegrave, I say, had been so thoroughly fatigued with
the insipidity of his pupil the King, and so harassed and unworthily
treated by the Princess and Lord Bute, that no one of the most
inflammable vengeance, or of the coolest resentment, could harbour
more bitter hatred and contempt than he did for the King’s mother
and favourite. This aversion carried him to what I scarce believed
my eyes when he first showed me--severe satires against them. He has
left behind him, too, some Memoirs[333] of the few years in which he
was governor to the Prince, that will corroborate many things I have
asserted, and will not tend to make these Anecdotes be reckoned unjust
and unmerciful.

Lord Waldegrave died most unseasonably for his own honour. He stood so
high in the esteem of mankind for probity, abilities, and temper, that,
if any man could, he might have accomplished a coalition of parties,
or thrown sense into that party, which, though acting for the cause
of liberty, rather wounded than served it, so ill were they formed
for counsel or conduct. Had he lived still longer, he must, by the
deaths of the chiefs, been placed incontestably at the head of that
party himself. Indeed, but just before his illness, he was much looked
up to by very different sets. Lord Bute himself had thought of him
for a considerable share on his own retreat; and, but the day before
Lord Waldegrave was seized with the small-pox, he had been offered
the Embassy to France or Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, both which he
peremptorily declined. And yet after his death the Court boasted they
had gained him,--a report much resented, and eagerly contradicted by
his friend the Duke of Cumberland. But let us now turn to the opening
of the new Administration.


  Lord Bute’s pretended abdication of business.--The “Triumvirate”
    (Mr. Grenville, Lord Egremont, and Lord Halifax) who succeeded
    him.--Character of those personages.--Grenville’s ingratitude
    to Lord Bute.--The memorable Forty-fifth Number of the “North
    Briton.”--Wilkes apprehended on a General Warrant.--Committed
    close prisoner to the Tower.--His spirit and wit.--His bad
    character.--He is taken by Habeas Corpus to the Court of Common
    Pleas.--His Speech.--He is discharged from confinement.--Chief
    Justice Pratt.--Triumph of Wilkes.--His endeavour to obtain
    Warrants against the Secretaries of State.--Lord Temple.--
    Discontent in the Cider counties.--Mortifications of the Court.--
    Wilkes challenged by Forbes.--Sudden Death of Lord Egremont.

The Parliament had risen on April 19th, everything being then outwardly
settled. The Favourite, to give some colour to his pretended illness,
and to his still more pretended abdication of business, went to drink
the waters at Harrowgate; having first protested that he would neither
meddle, nor offer to intercept or direct the channel of the King’s
favours. Trusting to this declaration, there started up a triumvirate,
who not only seemed to be, but who really thought themselves, possessed
of the whole power of government. They seemed, too, to have divided
amongst themselves the whole portion of the Favourite’s pride. These
were Mr. Grenville, his brother-in-law, Lord Egremont, and Lord
Halifax: the two latter, Secretaries of State.

Mr. Grenville[334] had hitherto been known but as a fatiguing orator
and indefatigable drudge, more likely to disgust than to offend.
Beneath this useful unpromising outside lay lurking great abilities:
courage so confounded with obstinacy that there was no drawing the line
betwixt them; good intentions to the public, without one great view;
much economy for that public, which in truth was the whole amount of
his good intentions; excessive rapaciousness and parsimony in himself;
infinite self-conceit, which produced impossibility of instructing,
convincing, or setting him right; implacability in his temper; and a
total want of principles in his political conduct; for, having long
professed himself uncommonly bigoted to the doctrines of liberty, he
became the staunchest champion of unwarrantable power. As all his
passions were expressed by one livid smile, he never blushed at the
variations in his behaviour. His ingratitude to his benefactor, Lord
Bute, and his reproaching Mr. Pitt with the profusion of a war which
he had sometimes actively supported, and always tacitly approved,
while holding a beneficial place,[335] were but too often paralleled
by the crimes of other men; but scarce any man ever wore in his face
such outward and visible marks of the hollow, cruel, and rotten heart

Lord Egremont[336] was a composition of pride, ill-nature, avarice, and
strict good-breeding; with such infirmity in his frame, that he could
not speak truth on the most trivial occasion. He had humour, and did
not want sense; but had neither knowledge of business, nor the smallest
share of parliamentary abilities.[337]

Of the three, Lord Halifax[338] was by far the weakest, and at the
same time the most amiable man. His pride, like Lord Egremont’s, taught
him much civility. He spoke readily and agreeably, and only wanted
matter and argument. His profusion in building, planting, and on a
favourite mistress, had brought him into great straits, from which he
sought to extricate himself by discreditable means. He aimed at virtues
he could not support, and was rather carried away by his vices than
sensible of them.

I have mentioned Mr. Grenville’s ingratitude to Lord Bute, which
implies preceding obligation. He had owed solely and entirely to Lord
Bute the rich reversion of a Tellership of the Exchequer for his son.
Lord Bute perhaps thought it was no light additional favour to have
made over his power into Mr. Grenville’s hands. But the latter had
not forgotten how contemptuously he had been set aside the last year;
and, as Lord Bute by no means observed his promise of abstaining from
exerting his influence at Court, it is but candid to allow that Lord
Bute diminished the favour by not adhering to the terms on which he
bestowed it. Be that how it would, Grenville had not sat a month at the
Treasury, before, remembering the affront and forgetting the reversion,
he set himself by all manner of means to lessen the profits of the
other reversion which Lord Bute had procured for his own son. Thus
auspiciously commenced the new administration!

As soon as it was known that Lord Bute intended to quit, Wilkes had
forborne to publish his North Britons; waiting to see the consequences
of the change. The tone he had given did not, however, stop. In
the City they toasted to Wit, Beauty, Virtue, and Honour, ironic
designations of the King, Queen, Princess Dowager, and Lord Bute.
The North Briton too was soon resumed, and on the 23rd of April was
published the memorable _forty-fifth_ number, which occasioned so much
trouble to the author, procured so essential a correction of loose
and till then undefined power, and produced so many silly conundrums
and wretched witticisms on the number itself.[339] This famous paper
gave a flat lie to the King himself, for having, by the Favourite’s
suggestion, assumed the honour of obtaining peace for the King of

Nothing could be more just than the satire, nothing more bold than
the unmeasured liberty with which it was uttered.[341] The Prussian
monarch must have read with scorn, and Europe with laughter, so absurd
a boast as our vaunting to have saved an ally whom we had betrayed and
abandoned. Ridicule might have handled this vain-glorious falsehood
with full severity and full security, without passing the bounds which
law allows. But when Parliament had connived at the treachery, could
it be supposed that it would suffer a private hand to wield the bolt
which had slept in the custody of so many corrupt representatives? The
lie given in print to the Crown, by an obscure man, was an unparalleled
license. If the King had a particle of power left, or his servants,
or his magistrates, of spirit, such an insult could not be passed
over. The rashness of his servants contrived to involve the Crown and
themselves in inextricable difficulties, and to make the unwarrantable
behaviour of Wilkes appear innocent, when compared with the excesses
they committed themselves.

I do not mean to lead the reader through the maze of vague and
barbarous law-proceedings, which sprang out of this transaction. It
did but lay open the undefined or unmeaning magazine of terms which
the chicanery or contradictions of ages had heaped together, and it
proved that the Crown and the subject might be justified in almost
any excesses. The right hand of Nonsense armed the King, and her left
defended the subject. The lawyers on either side were employed in
discovering springes or loop-holes.

After a week’s deliberation Wilkes was seized, April 30th, by three
messengers, on a _general warrant_, signed by Lord Halifax. They had
been ordered to apprehend him at midnight, but abstained till noon of
the 30th. Churchill, his friend, then with him, slipped out of the
house, either to secure himself or to give the alarm. Mr. Wood,[342]
the Under-Secretary, and Philip Carteret Webbe,[343] a most villanous
tool and agent in any iniquity, seized his papers, though he had
received intimation time enough to convey away the most material. He
was conducted to Lord Halifax’s, where he behaved with much firmness
and confidence, and grievously wounded the haughty dignity attempted to
be assumed by Lord Egremont. They committed him close prisoner to the
Tower; a severity rarely, and never fit to be practised but in cases of
most dangerous treason. This treatment served but to increase Wilkes’s
spirit and wit. He desired to be confined in the same room where Sir
William Windham, Lord Egremont’s father, had been kept on a charge of
Jacobitism; and said he hoped, if there could be found such a chamber
in the Tower, that he might not be lodged where any Scotchman had been

About the same time, being told of the reasons alleged by the King
of Spain[344] for setting aside his eldest son, two of which were,
that the Prince squinted, and did not believe the mysteries of our
holy religion; then said Wilkes, “I can never be King of Spain, for I
squint, and believe none of those mysteries.”

The rigour of the commitment gave serious alarm; but, the very day on
which it happened, Wilkes’s friends applied to the Court of Common
Pleas for his habeas corpus, expecting it from Lord Chief Justice
Pratt, and scorning or despairing of it from Lord Mansfield.

Lord Temple instantly resorted to the Tower, but was denied admittance
to the prisoner; a restraint the ministers found the very next day
they must take off. Lord Temple then returned to visit Wilkes, as did
the Duke of Grafton and some few others of rank; but, in general, the
prisoner’s character was so bad, and his conduct so rash and unguarded,
that few who were either decent or cautious cared to be concerned with

The habeas corpus being granted, Wilkes was carried to the Court of
Common Pleas, May 3rd. He spoke for an hour, said “attempts had been
made to corrupt him, now to persecute him; he had been worse treated
than any rebel Scot.” The crowd in Westminster-hall gave a great shout;
the Chief Justice, with great dignity, reproved them. The judges took
time to deliberate. The people were profuse of their acclamations to
the sufferer.

On the 5th, he wrote a letter to his daughter (a child whom he had
placed in a convent in France for her education), and sent it open to
Lord Halifax; it congratulated her on living in a _free_ country. He
was the same day turned out of his commission in the militia.

On the 6th, being again conveyed from the Tower to Westminster-hall,
Pratt and the other judges of the Common Pleas unanimously discharged
him from his confinement; the Chief Justice delivering their opinions,
and dismissing him on his parliamentary privilege, “_because_, though
privilege of Parliament does not hold against a breach of the peace, it
does against what only _tends_ to a breach of the peace. The case of
the seven bishops was quoted; the judges Wright, Holloway, and Allibone
had been against them. Allibone, said Pratt, was a Papist; Wright and
Holloway had been appointed for the occasion; but Powel, an honest man,
had declared for the bishops. On the other hand, he quoted a recent
case of Lord Tankerville, who having been arrested on a prosecution for
bribery in the election for Windsor, the Lords had declared it a breach
of privilege”--we shall find how much less tender the Commons were of
_their_ privileges.

The Chief Justice had no sooner granted the enlargement of Wilkes,
than two of the King’s serjeants presented letters to the Court, from
the Attorney and Solicitor Generals, demanding to be admitted into
the Court, as the case concerned the King’s interest. The Attorney,
it is said, has a right of interfering in any Court where the King’s
interest is agitated; it is doubted whether the Solicitor has the same
prerogative. To both Pratt answered, that they had applied too late.
Now did the Court feel the consequence of having forced Pratt to be
Chief Justice against his will.

This triumph quite overset the little discretion of which Wilkes had
been master. He seemed to put himself into the situation of a King,
who, not content with the outworks with which the law has surrounded
his person, attempts to employ the law as offensive artillery.
Affecting to have been robbed of moveables when his papers were seized,
Wilkes entered into a virulent controversy, by letter, with the
Secretaries of State; and even endeavoured, though in vain, to obtain
warrants for searching their houses. This wild conduct did not help his
cause. His next step fell more perniciously on his own head. He erected
a printing-press in his own house; and, against the remonstrances
of Lord Temple, who never wanted fear where there was room for it,
and who had no taste for anything that did not lead directly home to
faction, indulged himself in realizing those sallies of his humour and
intemperance, which are scarcely excusable when transient and confined
to the jollity of intoxicated moments at table. The Court regarding
Lord Temple as the instigator, not as the Socrates, of this Alcibiades,
removed him from the lord-lieutenancy of the county of Buckingham.
The printers, who had been vexed in their business by the orders of
the Secretaries of State, and encouraged by the victory of Wilkes,
prosecuted the messengers, and obtained damages to the value of 300_l._

The same spirit spread into the west. In the cider counties they
dressed up a figure in Scotch plaid, with a blue riband, to represent
the Favourite, and this figure seemed to lead by the nose an ass
royally crowned. At the same time they voted instructions to their
members to try to obtain a repeal of the act. The circumstance of
the act being passed under so unpopular an administration was most
unfortunate. It had taken thirty years to open the eyes of mankind
to the benefits of excise: the only, at least the best, method of
improving the revenue without imposing new burthens. Being started at
so ungracious a moment, the old prejudices were industriously revived.

The Court at the same time met with some mortifications in their
pursuit of congratulatory addresses on the peace, which they sedulously
promoted. One Judge Perrot[345] was so servile as to recommend it from
the bench on the circuit. The Duke of Newcastle and Lord Hardwicke, the
one Chancellor, the other High Steward of the University of Cambridge,
refused to go to St. James’s with the address of that body. Allen,[346]
the ostentatious patron of Pope and Warburton, the latter of whom had
married his natural daughter, prevailed on the city of Bath to thank
the King for the _adequate_[347] peace, and had himself the insolence
or folly to send that address, so profligately worded, to Mr. Pitt,
with whom he had maintained a mutual intercourse of flattery. Mr. Pitt
disdained to present their compliment to the King, and even declared he
would represent their city no more.

Wilkes, in the meantime, had gone to France to visit his daughter.
There he received a challenge from one Forbes[348] an outlawed Scot in
the French service, who could not digest the torrents of abuse which
Wilkes had poured forth on his country. Alexander Murray, brother
of Lord Elibank, and an outlaw too since the Westminster Election
in 1751,[349] was the go-between in this quarrel, not without being
suspected of inflaming it. Wilkes accepted the defiance for the next
morning, but, when Forbes called on him, affected to laugh it off,
saying, he was bound to fight Lord Egremont by preference before any
other man. When that excuse availed not, he asked Forbes if he had
provided a second; to which the other replied, such preparation was
too dangerous in France. Altercations thickened, till at last the
lieutenant de police was sent for, who obliged Forbes to promise not to
proceed any farther.

Had the duel with Lord Egremont been seriously intended, from that too
would Wilkes have been delivered; for the earl, who was of a sanguine
and apoplectic complexion, of which he had felt attacks, and though
warned in vain to moderate the indulgence of his palate, to which he
was ungovernably prone, died suddenly on the 21st of August, and put an
end to a triumvirate which had involved their master and themselves in
such a labyrinth of knotty and undecided questions.


  Perplexity of the “Triumvirate.”--Lord Bute’s unsuccessful
    Manœuvres.--Lord Halifax and Mr. Grenville remonstrate with the
    King.--The Duchess of Bedford’s animosity to Lord Bute and the
    Princess of Wales.--Schemes of the Bedford Faction.--Mr. Pitt
    sent for by the King.--Negotiation with the former.--The Treaty
    broken off.--Causes of the Rupture.--The King’s Account of his
    Interviews with Pitt.--Pitt’s Proposals.--Proscriptions.--
    Machinations of Lord Sandwich.--Ministerial Arrangements.--
    Grenville’s Power.--Lord Temple’s Conduct.

But it was not the affair of Wilkes which had alone perplexed the
Triumvirate. They found they were by no means in the confidence of the
King. He was continually suggesting new measures to them, which plainly
came from a hidden quarter. A fortnight before the death of Lord
Egremont, his Majesty had hinted to Grenville that he wished to prevail
on Lord Hardwicke to return, if not to his service, at least to his
councils. Whether the blow received from the Common Pleas had alarmed
the Favourite (who had made but a very short stay at Harrowgate), and
had warned him to look out for more support; or whether he thought
the three ministers insufficient; or whether, which is most likely,
he wished already to get rid of them, especially having detected the
underhand practices of Grenville against his son’s patent;--in short,
whatever was the motive, Grenville could not be ignorant who was
author of the advice, and only replied, _it would not do_. The King
insisted, and the overture was made; Hardwicke rejected it, and said he
would not abandon Newcastle. The King then commanded the same trial to
be made on Newcastle, but with exclusion of Mr. Pitt; an early proof
of those crooked councils of division with which the Favourite was
afterwards so often charged, and which were so agreeable to the King’s
natural insincerity. Newcastle haughtily refused the offers made to
him. Still were the King’s discourses dark and ambiguous; and, though
affecting to call out for new strength by extending preferments, he had
refused, at Grenville’s recommendation, to make the Duke of Leeds[350]
President of the Council, and Lord Hyde[351] Chief Justice in Eyre.

On this behaviour the three ministers had determined to bring his
Majesty to an explanation. Lord Halifax broke the ice; complained
of their not having his countenance, and concluded with telling him
that he had but three options: to support them; to try a coalition of
parties, which was impracticable; or to surrender himself, bound hand
and foot, to Mr. Pitt. Mr. Grenville went much farther; reproached
him with violating the assurances he had given them that Lord Bute
should meddle no more, and with abandoning the ministers he had himself
chosen. The King renewed his professions, and promised to be firm to
them. Grenville said he should go into the country for a fortnight,
and begged the King to take his final resolution against that time. At
Grenville’s return the King had renewed his protestations, and, the
very day before Lord Egremont died, Grenville had been to assure him
of the King’s promise to be true to them; but, on the 25th, Grenville,
through great professions to him, perceived that his Majesty was not
without a disposition of recalling Pitt, against which Grenville made a
warm, not to say indecent, remonstrance and protest.

The Bedfords in the interim had totally renounced Bute. The Duchess had
carried her animosity still higher, and would not, on her return from
the French embassy, be prevailed on to pay her duty to the Princess of
Wales. Casting about for allies (for Grenville and Lord Halifax they
despised), the Bedford faction had not been without views of connecting
with the Duke of Cumberland and Newcastle; and his Royal Highness
had at this very juncture been invited to Woburn. The death of Lord
Egremont seeming to dissolve that ministry, a bolder stroke was struck;
and the Bedfords, hoping under him to get possession of the government,
determined to attempt making Mr. Pitt minister. With this view Rigby,
in the most private and mysterious manner, went down to Woodstock, and
sent for the Duke of Bedford, who was then at Blenheim, and persuaded
him to go directly to town to the King, and advise him to send for Mr.
Pitt.[352] Lord Shelburne, who in his separate department had affected
to act minister too, had assured them that this would not be opposed by
Lord Bute; but had not trusted them, or was not trusted himself, with
Lord Bute’s real disposition that way. Rigby had no sooner lighted the
match than he left the mine to take fire, and retired to his own house
in the country; while the Duke of Bedford posted to the King, and told
him, that, as he had made peace abroad, he must now make it at home,
and that could only be effected by sending for Mr. Pitt.

Lord Bute, hearing this measure had been prescribed by the Duke of
Bedford, thought it wiser to have the merit of it himself. Mr. Pitt,
though trusting to the clamour of party for support, had seldom openly
courted it; and, since he had had such eminent services to boast, had
affected to despise it. He had kept clear of all transactions with
Wilkes, and had condemned Lord Temple’s connection with him, and, yet
more, his visits to that incendiary in the Tower. Mr. Pitt’s amity
might reconcile the people, and no man was so accommodating a partner
in power; Pitt having few or no dependents, and scorning to meddle in
the distribution of common places and preferments. On these grounds
the Favourite, through the intervention of Alderman Beckford, entered
into a negotiation with Mr. Pitt, and, finding facilities there beyond
his most sanguine hopes, induced the King to send for that formidable

It was on the 28th of August that Mr. Grenville, arriving at Buckingham
House, was struck with the apparition of Mr. Pitt’s chair and servants
in the Court. This was the first notice he or the public received of a
phenomenon so little expected, at least by the latter.

Let it be remarked here, that I do not pretend to give a perfect and
entire account of the following negotiation. No transaction was ever
involved in more contradictions and mystery; for, though the retainers
of both sides spoke out, and amply, their narratives disagreed
materially, and the exact truth was never fully known. From all I could
collect then or since, and from explanations which I have gathered by
commenting on the subsequent behaviour of the actors, I believe the
ensuing relation is pretty near the truth.

The Bedfords had sent Calcraft to Hayes[353] to sound how Mr. Pitt
stood affected to them, and Calcraft returned with a most favourable
account. On this assurance had the Duke of Bedford been pushed on the
measure of advising the recall of Mr. Pitt. Lord Bute had not been
less encouraged by the report of Alderman Beckford, for Mr. Pitt had
determined, if ever he should return to Court, not to make himself
unwelcome there. The Favourite, therefore, saw him privately at his
house in Jermyn-street before he saw the King, and advised him not
to propose Lord Temple for the Treasury, which would break off the
negotiation. Pitt thanked him, but did not take his advice,--and on
this rock undoubtedly did the treaty split; for all the variations I
have hinted at, were but circumstances artfully seized or feigned to
colour the rupture, or misrepresent it.

The Favourite deceived, or deceiving himself, brought about the
interview, as I have said, between the King and Mr. Pitt. It lasted
three hours, and the bargain was universally thought concluded. But the
King had not only been revolted at Mr. Pitt’s terms, though without
owning it, but Mr. Pitt had had the sagacity to discover his Majesty’s
repugnance; and therefore not only carried on the farce of returning
to Court the next day, but was so dexterous as to see the Duke of
Newcastle, with whose interests he had by no means clogged his first
demands; and assuring his Grace of his zeal for his service, went
back to the King with a schedule of terms extremely enlarged. These
were peremptorily rejected, and the treaty broke off, on pretences
which the one had not meaned to ask, nor the other cared whether he
granted or refused. The Treasury for Lord Temple was the real stone of

But no sooner was the rupture known, than all tongues were let loose
to inquire, guess, invent, or assign causes. The King detailed his
conversation with Mr. Pitt to all that came about him--and almost all
added to it, as their interest or malice suggested. Mr. Pitt saw very
few, and to fewer would disclose any circumstances. He soon found that
he could not speak without flatly contradicting what his Majesty had
said, or was reported to have said. No wonder the transaction came
forth loaded with uncertainties and inconsistence!

The substance reported was, that Mr. Pitt had proscribed almost all the
ministry then existing, and yet had been very cool in recommendations
of the Opposition. The first part was not very credible, for though
his haughtiness rendered him indifferent to those who affected to
call themselves his party, his nature, on the other hand, was not
vindictive: and it was true, that he had not been worse treated by
the one set than by the other. On his second audience, I believe it
might be true to a good degree that he had been dictatorial; but at
first he had been far more moderate. However, it was given out that he
proscribed all who had made, or had voted for the peace: whereas he had
spoken tenderly of some of the negotiators; and had said of the treaty
itself, that he would take it, and make the best he could of it.

The King himself relating the two conversations, took care to dwell
on any circumstances that would most affect the persons to whom he
made the confidence. Thus, to Lord Hertford, at that time Lord of the
Bedchamber in waiting, the King said, “Mr. Pitt proscribed several,
particularly your friend Lord Powis:[355] I told him, continued his
Majesty, that he might restore Lord George Cavendish;[356] but Lord
Powis had stuck by me, and I never would abandon him.[357] I will
stand by those who have stood by me. He said little,” continued the
King, “of Legge (another of Lord Hertford’s friends, consequently the
King intended Legge should be informed), only, having recommended Lord
Temple for the Treasury, Mr. Pitt said, Mr. Legge may be his Chancellor
of the Exchequer, if he pleases--if not, _Lord Temple will name
another_. He surprised me,” pursued the King to Lord Hertford, “with
saying still less of your relation the Duke of Grafton; and more, with
crying up to me for one of the first men of business in the kingdom,
Lord Rockingham,[358] whom he intended for First Lord of the Admiralty.
I thought,” said his Majesty, “I had not two men in my bedchamber of
less parts than Lord Rockingham.” The King spoke handsomely of both
the Dukes of Grafton and Devonshire, and laid his treatment of the
latter on passion, that Duke not having made the least excuse for not
coming to council when he had been summoned. Knowing that Lord Hertford
was not well with Fox, the King affirmed that he had taken the latter
last winter against his inclination; and he told Lord Hertford that
the Duke of Newcastle had urged the Duke of Bedford to make a worse
peace than Mr. Pitt had projected, and had promised to defend it: and
that the Duke of Devonshire had recommended to the Duke of Bedford to
make _any_ peace; and then, fearing to be reproached with that advice,
always avoided conversation with that Duke. “When he took leave of me,”
added the King, “Mr. Pitt said to me, Sir, the House of Commons will
not force me upon your Majesty, and I will never come into your service
against your consent.” “You see,” said Lord Hertford, when he repeated
this conversation to me, “that if they did not shut the King up, he
would talk enough to any body!”--but if they sometimes debarred him
from talking, he was now instructed to talk--and every grain he sowed
brought forth an hundred-fold.

I must observe that his Majesty had told Lady Holland, in the
drawing-room, that he should never forget Mr. Fox’s undertaking the
House of Commons and the Peace in the last winter. It is certain that
in this interview with Mr. Pitt, the King _proposed_ to take the
Paymaster’s place from Fox, and bestow it on George Grenville.

Of the persons really proscribed, the chief was Lord Mansfield. “He
is a Jacobite,” said Pitt, “and means sir, to ruin your family.” He
recommended Pratt for a peerage, and in future for the Chancellor’s
Seals; would have saved the Duke of Marlborough, as a young man
misled; Elliot, for having tried to preserve union between him and
Lord Bute; and of Lord Halifax he had said, “that he was a pretty
man, and, as in bad circumstances, might be Groom of the Stole or
Paymaster.” “The Duke of Newcastle,” he said, “would take any place
not of business.” Charles Townshend he proposed for Secretary of State
with himself. The Secretary at War should not be of consequence, as it
was now under Ellis,[359] that clerk of Fox the Paymaster, but should
depend on him whom his Majesty should think proper to command his army.
“Then,” said the King, “we shall agree in Lord Granby;” “or,” said
Pitt, “in Lord Albemarle.”[360] This was the sole approach he seemed to
make towards the Duke of Cumberland; but never would his Majesty have
trusted his army with a creature of his uncle.

Of Lord Gower Pitt spoke not favourably, having probably discovered
that it was the way to make his court to the Favourite, who, having
perceived that that Lord aimed at being a favourite himself, had taken
care to alienate the King’s mind from him. Rigby was not excepted for
mercy,[361] and Lord Sandwich much less. Of the Duke of Bedford Mr.
Pitt spoke properly, as of a man well-intentioned, but shamefully
misguided, and who might hereafter, if in proper hands, be useful to
Government. But nothing harsh did Pitt utter against the peace: he
would try to _meliorate_ it. Should a national spirit of inquiry arise,
he would not resist it. He had held the same language formerly on the
loss of Minorca: they were specious words then and now, but with no
sanguinary intentions.

When Calcraft was reproached by the Bedford faction with having
deceived them on Pitt’s disposition towards them, he could not evade
the charge. A breach ensued, and he remained attached to Mr. Pitt.

Sandwich, finding himself proscribed by Pitt, made advantage of the
moment, and exerting all his invention and industry, of which no
man possessed a larger receipt, he set himself to persuade men of
all denominations that they had been marked in black letters in the
dictator’s catalogue of pains and penalties. He even drew every man’s
character to himself, and selecting their faults or deficiencies,
ascribed to Mr. Pitt both the recapitulation and imaginary sentence
that followed it. Grenville and Lord Halifax caught the righteous
flame, and diffused it: Grenville even assembling the Commissioners of
the several boards, and assuring them, one and all, that they had been
condemned by Mr. Pitt to be cashiered. To Woburn, where the Duke of
Bedford was at this anxious moment detained by his royal visitor, the
Duke of Cumberland, Lord Sandwich wrote inflammatory letters, telling
Bedford that he was proscribed, and his peace to be attacked. The warm
little Duke caught fire; but Rigby, to whom Sandwich had made the same
report, doubted, and came to town, where he was either duped into, or
persuaded to join in the imposition.

Grenville was pressed by the King to remain minister, and did not
want to be pressed. The Duke of Bedford, in the hot fit of zeal and
resentment, accepted the post of President; and Shelburne, who had
shuffled round the compass with so ill success, and lost the favour of
Lord Bute, choosing now to adhere to Pitt, and resigning the seals,
they were bestowed on the only man who could replace, or excel him,
Lord Sandwich. It was fortunate for Grenville and union, that the
faction did not wish to place the Duke of Bedford at the head of the
Treasury,--but they could not trust his warmth and absurdities. In
Ireland he had disgusted everybody, and had gone so far as to tell the
Irish themselves that theirs was no Parliament. The Court had wished
to have Charles Townshend Secretary of State with Lord Halifax; but he
too, for that time, stuck to Mr. Pitt, and refused.

Thus, from a strange concurrence of jarring causes, there sprung up out
of great weakness a strong and cemented ministry, who all acquiesced in
the predominant power of Grenville. The Favourite hated, had tried to
shake him off, and he knew it. How much must his brother Temple have
been detested at Court, when, under all these humiliating aspects, it
was thought preferable to retain Grenville!

In truth, nothing could be more offensive than Lord Temple’s conduct,
whether considered in a public or private light. Opposition to his
factious views seemed to let him loose from all ties, all restraint
of principles. Of the truth of this assertion he, at the time I am
describing, gave a convincing proof. His brother George was at that
moment the object of his jealousy and resentment. He had, however, been
prevailed upon by his family, or rather by considerations of family,
to suffer Mr. Grenville to be rechosen for Buckingham; but on this
sole condition, that Mr. Grenville should give up a paper formerly
received from him. When Dr. Lyttelton, Bishop of Carlisle,[362] who had
negotiated this treaty, gave him the paper, he said, after reading it,
“It is true, I am bound in honour and by promise to make a firm entail
of my estate,--I will; but it shall be on my brother James.”[363] The
case was this: it had been discovered during the life of their uncle,
the late Lord Cobham, that he had made a flaw in the settlement of
his estate. A meeting of his nephews was held in the presence of his
sister,[364] and their mother, the late Lady Temple. She said, “My son
Richard is ill with my brother; if we tell my brother of this flaw, he
may make a new settlement, and give his fortune from my eldest son.”
George Grenville consented to keep the secret, provided his brother
gave him the most solemn promise in writing to resettle the estate
when he should come to it. Insensible to such a tie, and filled with
rancour, he had the mortification of seeing that very brother preserved
in power merely to his exclusion.

Other persons preferred on the new settlement were Lord Egmont to the
head of the Admiralty, and Lord Hyde to be joint-Postmaster.


  Secret power of Lord Bute.--His rupture with Pitt.--The late
    Prince of Wales’s character of Bute.--Extraordinary Anecdote.--
    Mr. Legge’s imprudent Manœuvre.--Unanimous attempt to destroy
    Wilkes.--Governor Johnstone.--General Wall.--The Comte de
    Guerchy.--His character.--Madame de Guerchy.--The Duke de
    Nivernois, and the Chevalier d’Eon.--Death of Augustus the
    Third, of Saxony.--The Pope invites the Duke of York to Rome.--
    Humiliation of the helpless Line of Stuart.--Charles Yorke resigns
    the Attorney-Generalship.--Trimming conduct of the Yorke Family.--
    Unfavourable Commencement of the new Lord-Lieutenant’s power in

Still did the same grievance remain, the favour and secret power of
Lord Bute. Grenville and Lord Halifax insisted that he should go
abroad; and it was said to be promised. At least his refusal, or
breach of promise, was made the pretence for depriving him of the
custody of the King’s Privy-purse, an office he yet retained. The
nomination of a successor showed how little the ministers had gained,
and how vainly they endeavoured to destroy his credit, the Purse
being immediately given to Sir William Breton, who was Groom of the
Bedchamber to the King, as he had been to the King’s father, and who
was a most devoted tool of the Princess and her favourite. A stronger
proof of the latter’s confidence in his own power was given by himself.
George Grenville having written a very voluminous letter to Sir John
Phillips, giving an account of the negotiation with Mr. Pitt and its
miscarriage, of which letter the King had seen and approved every
paragraph, Sir John wrote a warm expostulation to Lord Bute (who he did
not know had been concerned in that treaty), blaming the timidity of
sending for Mr. Pitt. Lord Bute returned a haughty answer, in which he
said, _whatever the ministers might think, they should find he himself
was minister still_. A memorable sentence, confirmed by facts, and of
which the contrary assertion was vainly attempted afterwards to be
imposed upon the world.

The mysteries of this man’s conduct, and the reserve and eccentric
starts of Mr. Pitt, have made any lights valuable that can be thrown
on this part of our history. Mr. Pitt’s was the character suited to
support and colour over the pusillanimity of the Favourite, but his
jealousy and their mutual pride threw them at a distance. The affair of
Lord George Sackville, who was attached to Lord Bute, and proscribed by
Pitt in compliment to Prince Ferdinand, had given the finishing stroke
to their rupture; hastened too, by that very attachment of Mr. Pitt
to the foreign house of Brunswick. Nor, with all the disposition of
Pitt to forgive the Favourite’s offences, could they meet again, while
Lord Temple hung upon his brother-in-law, and was the _sine quâ non_
of Mr. Pitt’s return to Court. On every occasion of moment appeared
the justness of the character drawn of Lord Bute by the late Prince of
Wales, who did not want parts, nor ill-nature to sharpen those parts,
nor insolence to utter what either of them dictated. Growing tired of
Lord Bute a little before his death, he said to him, “Bute, you would
make an excellent ambassador in some proud little Court where there is
nothing to do.” It had been happy for England, and for Lord Bute too,
if the Prince could have made that destination of him--I mean, without
living to execute it himself.

I shall relate another very extraordinary anecdote, which will not be
mentioned improperly in this place, though I do not know the precise
time in which it happened. The Princess Dowager dreamed that she was
in the palace of Saxe Gotha: the window was open, and the moon, level
to it, shook with a tremulous motion before her eyes, to her great
disquiet. She bade Lord Bute try to fix it. Extending his arms to stop
its motion, it burst in his hand into ten thousand fiery splinters; on
which, turning to the Princess, he said reproachfully, “See, Madam, to
what you have brought me!” This dream was the Princess so weak as to
repeat the next morning to some of her women; one of whom, I guess the
wife of Velters Cornwall, told it to Lady Suffolk,[365] who trusted it
to me. She did not name her authority, but said she heard it from one
of the Princess’s bedchamber; and Mrs. Cornwall I know was the one with
whom Lady Suffolk was the most connected. I repeat this vision, not as
prophetic or divine, but as a strong picture of what passed in the mind
on which it painted itself.

Before I close this account of the negotiation, I ought to assign
the reason why Mr. Pitt had so slightingly or offensively mentioned
Mr. Legge, the second in Opposition, and long the second to Mr. Pitt
himself. With all his abilities, Legge was of a creeping underhand
nature, and aspired to the lion’s place by the manœuvre of the mole.
While yet connected with Mr. Pitt, and before he had lost favour
at Leicester House,[366] he had, before the late King’s death,
brought about a secret interview with Newcastle; but with so much
circumspection, that meeting him at Lord Duplin’s, Legge had insisted
the conversation should pass without candles and in the dark. The Duke
was charmed with the mystery, and with the pleasure of betraying it to
Mr. Pitt. Mr. Elliot, as he told me himself, discovered it too, and
acquainted Lord Bute--and thus with both was Legge ruined. I now return
to the common occurrences of the year.

In one point the Favourite and his rivals agreed; that is, in the
destruction of Wilkes. The rashness and despotic conduct of the
triumvirate had made them parties in the same cause; they pursuing him
with what they called Law, and the Scotch without attention to any
law. Johnstone, one of Lord Bute’s American governors,[367] had the
same view with Forbes, but took a looser plan. Having been reflected
on in a North Briton, I think then no longer written by Wilkes, he
challenged the author, whoever it was; and, to be sure of provoking at
least one person, threw out in his challenge printed in the newspapers,
severe sarcasms on Lord Temple’s want of spirit.

About this time General Wall,[368] a true friend to the union of
England and Spain, finding the French interest daily making greater
progress at Madrid, desired leave to resign on pretence of failure of
his eyesight. Grimaldi[369] was immediately ordered home from Paris
to succeed him; a man devoted to France. To that Court Lord Hertford
set out on the 13th of October, and Monsieur de Guerchy arrived thence.
The Comte de Guerchy[370] was an amiable soldier; not to be named for
parts, but far better qualified for his situation than his own Court
believed, having a good knowledge of the world, a perpetual attention
to his employment, consummate discretion, much natural ease in his
behaviour, with either no impertinence, or with thorough mastery of
it, and a complaisance so properly applied that he was agreeable to
all parties, and yet always well with the reigning ministry here. It
gave him a ridicule at home, that he was enslaved to a penurious and
deformed wife; but that dominion of Madame de Guerchy was his greatest
felicity. She had an excellent understanding, and a talent for learning
the tempers, humours, and connections of England; her constant
application to which, and the necessary curiosity in consequence, were
concealed by the natural coldness and reserve of her disposition. Nor
did her attention to their fortune ever disgrace her husband, nor throw
even an air of economy on his table. At Paris her devotion and domestic
retirement had passed for insipid virtues that prevented her good sense
from being so much as suspected. At the Count’s first audience he told
the King, with pleasant candour, _that it was a proof of his master’s
intentions to preserve the peace, that he was sent over, who was no man
of talents or intrigue_.

Thus formed to succeed and never to offend, no man was more unfortunate
than this ambassador; and it required not only dexterity, but the
simplicity of his conduct, to surmount the most cruel and disagreeable
ideas, first carelessly dropped, and then maliciously dispersed to his
prejudice. The Duc de Nivernois had brought over and left here, to
manage the affairs of their Court till M. de Guerchy’s arrival, the
Chevalier D’Eon,[371] a military man, but who had been much employed in
secret negotiations in Russia, for which he had been largely praised
and very ill paid. The man had notable parts, great appearance of
bashful merit, and learning enough to charm the superficial pedantry
of the Duke, who had treated him with a fondness and intimacy that was
ridiculous; and that, by being over kind, proved cruel: for having to
serve him made D’Eon the courier of the peace, the Duke went farther,
and procured him to be styled plenipotentiary during the absence of
the ambassador. Vigils and vanity turned the poor young man’s head,
which was by no means ballasted by a good heart. He mistook the road of
fortune for fortune itself, and thought that highsounding titles lifted
him to a level with those that conferred them. He forgot his modesty,
and learned to talk loftily, or, as his masters thought, arrogantly.
Under this unhappy intoxication he was thunderstruck with a declaration
from the Duc de Nivernois, that on the ambassador’s arrival he was to
sink into his pristine insignificance. To laugh this off, the Duke had
familiarly pictured him to himself as sometimes a plenipotentiary and
sometimes a tool of office. Other accidents concurred to aggravate
this mortifying notice. He could obtain no arrears; and having made
free with the remittances of his new master to give dignity to his
own mission, he received a very humiliating reprimand from Monsieur
de Guerchy. To crown all, Wilkes’s writings had breathed a spirit of
independence into a poor brain born to crouch at a desk or to rise by
servility. The ambassador was no sooner arrived, than the Chevalier
behaved in a manner to which French ministers are little accustomed
from their inferiors. At the same time D’Eon took it into his fancy
that one Treyssac de Vergy,[372] an adventurer, was brought over to
assassinate him; and on this belief broke out so outrageously against
the Count after dinner at Lord Halifax’s, that the Earl, at M. de
Guerchy’s desire, was obliged to send for Justice Fielding, and put
D’Eon under arrest; and next day Vergy swore the peace[373] against
him. The consequences of this adventure will be related hereafter.

Augustus the Third[374] having enjoyed but for few months the cessation
of war, and of those misfortunes which a vain and impertinent
favourite[375] had drawn down upon him, died about this time, leaving
Poland at liberty to get rid of a family who had sacrificed their
religion for a crown, without obtaining essential benefits for
themselves, or conferring any on subjects so dearly purchased. The new
Elector of Saxony, his son, was infirm in mind and body, and survived
his father not a year.

We, on whom an empty favourite had heaped little less disgrace by peace
than Count Bruhl had inflicted on Saxony by war, had occasion to feel
how wide the terror of our arms had extended our influence. The Duke
of York, making the tour of the Mediterranean, and being expected at
Florence, the Pope[376] ordered Cardinal Albani to inform Sir Horace
Mann, the King’s minister in Tuscany, that his Royal Highness, if he
pleased to visit Rome, would be received there with all the honours due
to his birth. The nuncio at Florence was commanded too to wait on the
Prince, and repeat the same; to invite him to Rome, and to assure him
of all safety, honours, and amusements. His Royal Highness accepted
the invitation; and the son of James the Second, and his grandson, a
cardinal of that very church, had the mortification of being forced
to retire to Albano, where they had a villa, lest they should see a
heretic Duke of York courted and treated in that holy city whence the
thunders of the Vatican had been hurled against the great Elizabeth.
But this was not the last nor least humiliation which the wretched
and helpless line of Stuart received from the hands of their Pontiff,
and from that church for which they had sacrificed themselves, their
crowns, and their posterity.

On the 3rd of November Charles Yorke resigned the post of
Attorney-General, alleging to Mr. Grenville that his father and the
Duke of Newcastle had insisted upon it. Yorke, on the trial of the
printers, had made a warm speech against Wilkes, and was to carry on
the prosecution. The father and the sons were certainly in their hearts
inclined to prerogative; but interest so swayed their actions, and it
was so much the point of the whole family that Charles Yorke should be
Chancellor, that we shall find one perpetual stream of dubitation and
trimming run through their conduct. The father, indeed, more soured,
and with pride more affronted, towards this close of his life, grew
more settled in his asperity towards the Court. Nor was he the only
instrument of prerogative whom the Court lost because it could not
reward all its devotees up to their ambition.

In Ireland the scene commenced unfavourably. The new Lord Lieutenant,
the Earl of Northumberland,[377] lost a question the first day in
the House of Commons there by so considerable a number as forty, who
would not suffer the word _adequate_ to be applied to the Peace in the


  Opening of Parliament.--Lord Gower and Lord Temple.--Wilkes’s
    “Essay on Woman” laid before the House of Lords.--Hypocrisy of
    Lord Sandwich.--Bishop Warburton.--Kidgell.--Persecution of
    Wilkes.--He complains in the House of Commons of a breach of
    privilege in the seizure of himself and his papers.--Warm Debate
    on the question.--Mr. Pitt’s Speech.--Arguments of Lord North
    and others.--Wilkes wounded in a duel by Martin.--The King’s
    Speech read to the Commons.--Pitt’s obscure Speech.--Speech of
    Grenville.--Postponement of the farther hearing on Wilkes.--
    Bestowal of the Bishoprick of Osnabrugh.

But in the Parliament of England lay the chief seat of the war; and
with very extraordinary scenes did the campaign open. The Houses
met November 15th, Lord Hilsborough and Lord Suffolk moved the
Address of the Peers. Lord Temple censured the Peace; and the Duke
of Bedford defended it with temper. Lord Gower attacked Lord Temple
for his disrespect to the King. He denied that he had ever shown any
disrespect; and said that he and his family had been attached to _this_
royal family _full as long_ as his lordship’s family had (who were very
recent converts from Jacobitism).

As soon as the Address was voted, Lord Sandwich produced a poem,
called an Essay on Woman, with notes pretended to be written by Bishop
Warburton. It was a performance bawdy and blasphemous to the last
degree, being a parody of _Pope’s Essay on Man_, and of other pieces,
adapted to the grossest ideas, or to the most profane. Wilkes and
Potter,[378] son of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, had formerly
composed this indecent patchwork in some of their bacchanalian hours;
and Wilkes, not content with provoking the vengeance of the King, of
the Princess, of the Favourite, of twenty subaltern ministers, and of
the whole Scottish nation, had, for the amusement of his idle hours,
consigned this _innocent_ rhapsody to his own printing-press--a folly
unparalleled, though he had intended to restrain the edition to twelve
copies. However, as he could not commit a wanton imprudence without
giving birth to some villainy or tyranny in others, this very poem
was now laid before the House of Lords in consequence of a train
of both kinds. One of the copies had been seized among his papers
by Philip Carteret Webbe. Still was even that ministry ashamed to
accuse Wilkes on evidence which had fallen into their hands by such
illegal means--unanswerable proof that they were conscious of their
guilt, and knew they could not justify their proceedings. But the
blood-hounds having thus fallen on the scent, were not to be turned
aside by delicacies. Could they procure another copy the business would
be effected--and effected it was. Carteret Webbe set his tools to
work, for even hangmen have deputies. There was one Kidgell, a dainty
priggish parson, much in vogue among the old ladies for his gossiping
and quaint sermons, and chaplain to the Scotch[379] Earl of March. This
fellow got at a proof-sheet; and by the treachery of one of Wilkes’s
printers, who thought himself ill-used, and by the encouragement of his
patron, who consulted Lord Bute and Lord Sandwich, and was egged on by
them to proceed, Kidgell and Webbe purchased the whole poem: and now
did Sandwich, who had hugged this mischief for months in his breast,
lay open the precious poem before his brother Lords in strains of more
hypocrisy[380] than would have been tolerable even in a professed
Methodist. Parts of it were read, most coarsely and disgustingly
blasphemous. Lord Lyttelton groaned in spirit, and begged they might
hear no more. Bishop Warburton, who had not the luck, like Lord
Lyttelton, to have his conversion believed by any one, foamed with the
violence of a Saint Dominic; vaunted that he had combated infidelity,
and laid it under his feet; and said, the blackest fiends in hell
would not keep company with Wilkes, and then begged Satan’s pardon for
comparing them together.

Lord Temple had got no intelligence of this bomb, and knew little
what to say; but concluding, justly, that the piece had been found
among Wilkes’s papers, condemned the means by which it was obtained.
It was instantly voted blasphemous, and a breach of privilege against
the person of the Bishop of Gloucester. Lord Sandwich then moved that
Wilkes should be voted the author; but even Lord Mansfield condemned so
hasty and arbitrary a course, and said it was previously necessary to
hear the accused person in his own defence: on which the proceeding was
adjourned to the next day but one. I was in a division in the lobby of
the House of Commons, when I heard what was passing in the other House,
and immediately informed Mr. Pitt. He replied with indignation, “Why do
not they search the Bishop of Gloucester’s study for heresy?”

Events now thickened so fast, that to avoid confusion, I will here
say a little more on this head. The plot so hopefully laid to blow up
Wilkes, and ruin him in the estimation of all the decent and grave,
had, at least in the latter respect, scarce any effect at all. The
treachery was so gross and scandalous, so revengeful, and so totally
unconnected with the political conduct of Wilkes, and the instruments
so despicable, odious, or in whom any pretensions to decency,
sanctimony, or faith, were so preposterous, that losing all sight of
the scandal contained in the poem, the whole world almost united in
crying out against the informers. Sandwich, in opening the discovery,
had canted till his own friends could not keep their countenances.
Sir Francis Dashwood was not more notorious for singing profane and
lewd catches; and what aggravated the hypocrisy, scarce a fortnight
had passed since this holy Secretary of State himself had been present
with Wilkes at a weekly club to which both belonged, held at the top
of Covent Garden Theatre, and composed of players and the loosest
revellers of the age. Warburton’s part was only ridiculous, and was
heightened by its being known that Potter, his wife’s gallant, had had
the chief hand in the composition of the verses. However, an intimacy
commenced between the Bishop and Sandwich, and some jovial dinners
and libations of champagne cemented their friendship. Kidgell, the
jackall, published so precise, affected, and hypocritic an account of
the transaction, that he, who might have escaped in the gloom of the
treachery, completely blasted his own reputation; and falling into
debt, was, according to the fate of inferior tools, abandoned by his
masters, and forced to fly his country. Though the rank and fortune of
Sandwich saved him from disgrace of that kind, he had little reason
to exult in his machination. He brought a stigma on himself that
counterworked many of his own views and arts; and Churchill the poet
has branded his name on this account with lasting colours. The public
indignation went so far, that the Beggar’s Opera being performed at
Covent Garden Theatre soon after this event, the whole audience, when
Macheath says, “_That Jemmy Twitcher should peach me, I own surprises
me_,” burst out into an applause of application; and the nick-name of
_Jemmy Twitcher_ stuck by the Earl so as almost to occasion the disuse
of his title.

While the destruction of the character and fortune of Wilkes was thus
prosecuted in one chamber of Parliament, a plot against his life was
hatching in the other; his enemies not being satisfied with all the
severities they could wring from the law to oppress him. Nor were
several servants of the Crown sorry to make his outrages a handle for
curtailing liberty itself. The House was no sooner met, than Wilkes
rose to make his complaint of the breach of privilege in the seizure
of himself and his papers. The Speaker interrupted him, and said the
session was not yet open, the silly form of reading a bill not having
been gone through. Grenville, too, urged that there was a message from
the Crown that ought to be received before any other business. Beckford
and Onslow pleaded that privilege ought to take place of every other
consideration. A long and warm debate ensued. Mr. Pitt strenuously
supported the precedence of privilege, though affecting to offer to
take privilege and message together. Elliot moved to have a bill
read. Pitt replied admirably, and said, if they were not yet a House,
no member could have been sworn; nor was it necessary to have some
nonsense read to which nobody would attend. Suppose it should have been
forgotten, and the House had entered on some arduous business, some
fool of form might have started up and told them,--“Lord bless us!
it is all a nullity that we have been doing!” Privilege waived would
really nullify the proceedings. The House would be a company of men put
under force. The man who would waive privilege ought to have a question
moved on him. Lord North, Nugent, and Dyson argued against privilege,
and warm words passed between Pitt on one side, Grenville and Norton
on the other. Yorke said, that if they did not begin regularly with a
bill, Westminster Hall would not know how to date the commencement of
the session, unless the two Houses started together. Pitt replied, that
if the House should sit till three in the morning, it would still be
deemed the 15th of November. The House divided at six in the evening,
and it was carried, by 300 to 111, that a bill should first be read.
Grenville then delivered the message from the Crown, acquainting the
House with the imprisonment that had been made of one of their members;
for which message Lord North moved the thanks of the House; together
with an assurance that they would forthwith go into the consideration
of the offence. Wilkes then made his complaint. Mr. Pitt approved
of Lord North’s motion of thanks, but spoke against precipitation.
Wilkes’s case, he said, was not to be paralleled. He desired to be
tried by his peers,--and if he did not, said Pitt, I would force him.
The North Briton No. 45 was then read; and two printers being examined,
one said he had received it from Wilkes in his own hand-writing; the
other, that Wilkes and Churchill were the authors of that periodic
paper in general. Lord North, who had undertaken the conduct of the
parliamentary prosecution against Wilkes, held forth on the sedition
of those papers, and of No. 45 in particular. Wilkes replied, his
Lordship, however, had not proved that it contained any falsehoods.
Mr. Pitt said it was a scandalous, licentious paper, and false; but
always distinguishing between the criminal and the illegal proceedings
of the Ministers. The House, he said, was not a proper place for trying
a libel; nor did this tend to excite traitorous insurrections. Was
the motion calculated, by inserting the word _traitorous_, to justify
what the Ministers had done? He himself could never learn exactly
what was a libel. Whoever was the patron of these doctrines, fœnum
habet in cornu. Norton said he did think the paper tended to excite
insurrections. Scandalous reflections on private men or magistrates
were a libel. Opposing law was treason. Pitt replied, a libel could not
be treason. It might, said North, tend to excite treason. Pitt moved to
omit the epithet _traitorous_, but the Ministry upholding it, the House
divided at eleven at night, and the ministerial phrase was carried by
273 against 111; Sir Alexander Gilmour and Murray, two Scots, and the
only two of that nation in opposition, voting with the rest of their
countrymen on that occasion. Lord North then moved to have the paper
burned by the hangman, which was ordered. Lord North affirmed next,
that privilege did not extend to libels, nor to stay justice; which
Pitt said was the boldest assertion and attempt ever made without
consulting precedents or appointing a committee. He lamented the King
was so ill served as to run aground on the liberties of Parliament. He
would die, he said, if a day were not appointed for hearing Wilkes.
Norton took this up hotly, and said he was called upon by insult and
abuse. Pitt replied, that he had said the King had been ill served
by lawyers and others; and he proposed to take the case of privilege
into consideration the next day, and on the following day to hear the
complaint of Wilkes; which was agreed to at one in the morning.

The next day when I went down to the House, I found all the members
standing on the floor in great hubbub, questioning, hearing, and
eagerly discussing I knew not what. I soon learned that Wilkes about
two hours before had been dangerously wounded by Martin in a duel. In
the foregoing spring, Wilkes, in one of his North Britons, had pointed
out Martin by name as a low fellow, and dirty tool of power. Martin
had stomached, not digested this; but in the debate on No. 45 the day
before, he had risen and called the author of that paper on himself a
cowardly, scandalous, and malignant scoundrel, and had repeated the
words twice, trembling with rage. Wilkes took no notice; and as he
did not, the House did not interfere, as is usual, when personalities
happen, and seem to threaten a duel. The next morning Wilkes wrote
to Martin, to ask if the words used the day before were meant to be
addressed to him as the supposed author of the paper in which Martin
had been abused. If Martin had thus intended to point the words, Wilkes
owned he had written that paper. Martin replied, he had meant him,
Wilkes; and as the latter had avowed himself the author, he should not
deny, added Martin, what he had said before five hundred people, and
gave him a challenge. About noon they went into Hyde-park; Martin
alone; Wilkes, with Humphrey Cotes[381] in a post-chaise, knowing if he
killed Martin that he should have no chance of pardon. Cotes waited at
a distance. They changed pistols, both fired, and both missed. Martin
fired a second time, and lodged a ball in Wilkes’s side, who was going
to fire, but dropped his pistol. The wound, though not mortal, proved a
bad one.

It was thought an ill symptom of Martin’s heroism, that he had
smothered the affront for so many months, nor had given vent to his
resentment, till the affair with Forbes had left a doubt on Wilkes’s
courage. If Martin got rid of this imputation, it was but at the
expense of a worse charge. It came out, nor could he deny it, that
his neighbours in the country had observed him practising to fire at
a target for the whole summer. I shall not be thought to have used
too hard an expression, when I called this a plot against the life of
Wilkes. Churchill wrote _The Duellist_, one of his finest satires, on
this occasion.

On the 16th, the King’s speech was read to the Commons, when Lord
Caernarvon[382] and Lord Frederick Campbell moved the Address. Pitt
made an obscure speech, parts of which seemed to aim at explaining
his conduct in the late negotiation; but all that could be gathered
from it was, that he had not excommunicated the Peace-makers, nor the
Tories; that he had aimed most at Lord Mansfield, and that he took
up the Whigs, but not as enemies to prerogative.[383] He could not
allow, he said, the words _safe and honourable Peace_ in the Address;
he did not think it was either; it was _durante bene placito_ of France
and Spain: yet as the Address precluded nobody from speaking their
sentiment afterwards, he should let the words pass. For himself, no
minister could know less what to do with the Peace; nor did any man
more bid adieu to the political world than he did. He was against
reviving party-names; but if dissension arose on principles, he must
again become a party-man. Grenville taking hold of Beckford’s objecting
to the proclamation for settling America, made artful advantage of the
opportunity to show the great pains taken by the Ministry to settle
our conquests and colonies, and to regulate the finances at home. In
one article they had struck off 250,000_l._ of the demands made from
Germany. He then expatiated on the profusion of the war, and attacked
Pitt strongly without reserve or fear. The Address was voted without a

The farther hearing on Wilkes was deferred on account of his
wound.[384] After the debate Pitt had a meeting with the Dukes of
Newcastle, Devonshire, and their friends, and insisted on their
supporting Chief Justice Pratt’s opinion in behalf of privilege against
Mr. Yorke, who had declared that Wilkes’s case was not within the pale
of privilege.

During these transactions, the King, after keeping the bishoprick of
Osnabrugh open near three years, contrary to the custom, which allows
but six months, bestowed it on his son, a new-born child,[385] before
it was christened. The Duke of York[386] had thought it his due, and
not without reason. It could not be conferred on the Prince of Wales;
nor was there much equity in reserving it for a son that might be born.
The interest of the family and of the Protestant cause, too, seemed to
point out the Duke, as an infant liable to so many accidents might,
if born, soon fail, and then the turn would revolve to the Papists;
even a minor in possession was favourable too, to that party, for of
the revenue, which is about 25,000_l._ a year, only 2000_l._ belong to
the Bishop till he is eighteen, and the rest is divided amongst the
Popish chapter. But the Queen, who began to get weight with her husband
in German affairs, prevailed to reserve for, and then to grant this
great provision to, a child of her own; and the Duke of York’s little
reverence for his mother, and antipathy to the Favourite, excluded him
from a grace for which he had so much occasion.


  Important Question as to the Privilege of Parliament.--Liberty of
    the Press.--Scandalous Resignation of Privilege by the House
    of Commons.--Abandonment of General Warrants.--Debate on the
    proceedings against Wilkes.--“The Moderator,” a new scurrilous
    paper.--Lord Clive.--Riot on the attempt to burn “The North
    Briton.”--Debate on this subject in the House of Lords.--Triumph
    of Wilkes in his prosecution against the Under-Secretary of
    State.--Dismissals by the Court.--The Chevalier d’Eon.--Attempt
    to assassinate Wilkes.--The East India Company and Lord Clive.--
    Wilkes and the Parliament.--Outlawry against Wilkes.

On the 23rd of November came on the important question whether the
Privilege of Parliament preserved the members from being taken up for
writing and publishing libels. At first sight, a disinterested person
would perhaps think it strange that it should be a question whether
a seat in the Legislature should not secure the Legislators from the
penalty of breaking the laws, for publishing a libel is undoubtedly
illegal; but to those acquainted with our Constitution, it will perhaps
appear more extraordinary that a House of Commons should suffer such
a question to be proposed to them, and that they should condescend to
agitate it. Will our posterity believe that a House of Commons gave it
up? but it was _that_ House of Commons that had sold itself to approve
the late Peace. Still it is to be admired that this cessation of their
privileges should be wrung from them, after the Court of Common Pleas
had declared that Privilege held against everything but treason,
felony, and breach of the peace. A libel, at most, but _tended_ to a
breach of the peace.

The Legislature consists of the three branches of Kings, Lords, and
Commons. Together they form our invaluable Constitution, and each
is a check on the other two. But it must be remembered, at the same
time, that while any two are checking, the third is naturally aiming
at extending and aggrandizing its power. The House of Commons has not
seldom made this attempt, like the rest. The Lords, as a permanent
and as a proud body, more constantly aim at it: the Crown always. Of
liberty, a chief and material engine is the liberty of the Press: a
privilege for ever sought to be stifled and annihilated by the Crown.
The ministers of the Crown and its lawyers must misrepresent the
liberty of the Press before they can presume to request the suppression
of it. Every grievance set forth in print is misnamed a libel; and
grave laws necessarily disapprove libels. If the Crown can arrive
at precluding Members of Parliament from complaining in print of
grievances, no doubt the Crown could debar all other men, who are of
less importance, and whose persons are guarded by no sacred privilege.
Liberty of speech and liberty of writing are the two instruments by
which Englishmen call on one another to defend their common rights.
Liberty of speech is communicated but a little way; the Press gives
wings to that voice, and all men may read what all cannot hear. Freedom
of speech in Parliament is not so valuable as freedom of writing. A
man may hazard many necessary truths in print, when he may conceal
his name, which he might not venture to utter in open Parliament.
If discovered, his privilege used to be his security. Nor is this
a vindication of libels, properly so called; but a Court will call
a libel the most just censure of tyranny. Yet could it not wrest
from Members of Parliament the safety of their persons without their
own consent--and in what instance did the Court ask this?--in what
instance did the House of Commons yield it? Mr. Wilkes, one of their
own members, had been taken up by a _General Warrant_, in which his
name had not so much as been mentioned. Contrary to all precedent,
he had been committed _close_ prisoner to the Tower--a proceeding
so arbitrary, that a Court of Law had set him free. The House of
Commons sacrificed him and their own privileges, and yet shame--I mean
disgrace, so soon overtook them, that _General Warrants_, such as that
on which Wilkes was arrested, were given up, condemned, exploded--but
half the wound remains, for this scandalous vote was never rescinded!

It is true, that on the debate it did appear that there were many
and many precedents on both sides. Often had privilege protected a
member--often it had not; but how did that happen to be the case? It
happened, because there had been various cases in which the Crown
was not concerned, but where the contest had lain between subject
and subject; and in those instances the House had often determined
different ways. But on the great case of the seven Bishops, in the
reign of James the Second, Privilege of Parliament had been vindicated
and secured. What would have become of those prelates if the Court had
had this precedent of Wilkes to justify its violence? Even allowing
that privilege were not inherent in members, but had been decided
sometimes for, sometimes against them; was this a time--was this an
instance, in which the House should have waived its pretensions? Was
the blow it gave itself likely to be repaired? But let the preceding
and subsequent conduct of this ductile and servile House of Commons
tell its motives!

The debates were not brilliant, but serious and solemn as the occasion
required. Lord North[387] was the chief manager for the Court,
supported by Norton, George Grenville, Morton,[388] and Elliot. Lord
North’s mouthing and boisterous manner, his coarse figure, and rude
untempered style, contributed to make the cause into which he had
unnecessarily thrust himself appear still more odious. Pitt, Beckford,
Legge, Sir George Saville, Sir William Baker, and James Grenville
defended the Constitution. Much was said on the danger to which every
man’s private papers were now exposed, and more on the injustice of
hurrying on this decision, when Wilkes could not for his wound appear
to defend himself, when he was prosecuting both the Secretaries of
State and the messengers, and when he was to be tried himself for
the libel. What court, what judge, what jury, but must be prejudiced
by a decision of the House of Commons against him? This plea was
glaring, was crying. The lawyers themselves many of them allowed it,
and the debate took that turn; the Opposition endeavouring to stave
off the question on Privilege, the courtiers insisting to bring it
on. Charles Yorke begged for delay, but it was a delay of a few days;
Eliab Harvey, though bred a Tory, pleaded for deferring their decision.
Forester, a Scot devoted to the Duke of Bedford,[389] and reckoned no
squeamish lawyer, spoke for procrastination, and voted against the
Court. Wedderburne, another Scot, argued for farther time; and even
old Wilbraham,[390] the Gamaliel of the Jacobites, could not digest
such indecent hurry, for which he was much commended by Pitt; yet by
seven in the evening the Court bore down all obstruction, and carried
their point by 243 to 166; though Sir John Philipps and Benjamin
Bathurst,[391] two high-prerogative men, were in the minority, with
Glover, and four general officers--Conway, Sir John Griffin,[392]
A’Court,[393] and Honeywood.[394] It being, however, too late to
commence the regular debate, it was adjourned till the next day.

The 24th, a letter from Wilkes was presented, protesting against their
proceedings, and promising on his honour to attend in his place as
soon as possible. To this no regard was paid, Grenville moving for
the orders of the day, and Rigby saying that Wilkes could not have
written that letter but on misrepresentation of what had passed the
day before. Hussey, the Queen’s Solicitor, a man of most fair life,
unambitious, uninterested, candid in his conduct, and gracefully
touching in his delivery, a great friend of Pratt, and lover of the
Constitution, made an excellent speech in behalf of privilege and
liberty. Charles Yorke, under the difficulties of disgusting his Whig
friends and of serving a Court with which he was dissatisfied, explored
all the sources of distinction and law subtleties, to defend his
opinion against privilege; and spoke for two hours with great applause,
as excellent in that branch of his profession. Pitt, near as long
on the audaciousness of the Crown’s servants, and their contempt of
Parliament; declaring that this proceeding was making a surrender from
that day of every man’s liberty in the House to the discretion of the
Secretary of State. Pitt was ill, and then went away. Norton indecently
quoted a prosecution for perjury against Sir John Rushout,[395] the
most ancient member of the House, then sitting at the end of the same
bench. The old gentleman was stout and choleric: the prosecution had
been on a case of election, and he had been acquitted. He rose with
warmth, but with much propriety told his story; showed the prosecution
had been instigated by Norton himself, to serve an election purpose;
and, looking defiance at that attorney, said, “It was all owing to that
_honest_ gentleman!--I hope I do not call him out of his name!” The
shout of the House did justice on Norton.

This interlude, however, was decent and calm in comparison of what
followed. Rigby, looking at Lord Temple, who was sitting at the end
of the House, to hear the debate, as he constantly practised, drew
a picture of that incendiary peer, described him in his blue riband
encouraging mobs from windows of coffee-houses; and more particularly
as the instigator of Wilkes. James Grenville rose, in amazing heat,
to defend his brother, and vomited out a torrent of invectives on
Rigby, telling him of his interestedness and ignorance; harangued on
so illiterate a man being a Master of the Rolls;[396] and painted his
flying from Ireland to avoid being hanged by the enraged populace. This
philippic was uttered with every vehemence of language and gesture;
the bitterest terms flowing spontaneously from him, who had ever been
the most obscure and unready speaker: and what added to the outrage of
the diction was, that sitting on the bench immediately above Rigby, and
dashing about his arm in the air, he seemed to aim blows at the latter,
who was forced to crouch lest he should receive them. Grenville had no
sooner finished, than the Speaker interposed--indeed of the latest.
Rigby replied, with ease enough, that in Ireland the Mastership of the
Rolls was a sinecure, and a man as ignorant as he was might execute the
office. The House then insisted on their giving their words that this
altercation should have no consequences. Grenville, sitting obstinate
and mute, Rigby gave his word it should end there; and then Grenville
in like manner.

The candour of Wilbraham and Philipps on the preceding day had
satisfied their consciences, and they both now spoke, and voted with
the majority. The House dividing at one in the morning, 258 voted for
relinquishing their privilege; only 133 for maintaining it. Lord North
then moved to communicate their resolutions to the Lords, which was
agreed to.

A conference being accordingly demanded, and held next day, the Lords,
though in a very thin House, and though no important business is
agitated there without summoning the Peers [a respect their Lordships
have often paid even to a turnpike-bill], were precipitately proceeding
to pass the like votes with the Commons; but the Duke of Richmond,
though acting with the Court, was struck with the indecency, and on
stating it, the House did agree to summon the Lords for the 29th.
Decency thus satisfied, their Lordships on the 29th, in happy harmony
with the other House, made a parallel compliment of their privilege
to the Crown. One hundred and fourteen were thus loyal: the Duke
of Cumberland and thirty-four more were the minority. The Duke of
Newcastle defended the warrant of the Secretaries, but voted against
the resolutions. The Chancellor[397] was very warm; said he did not
wish to see the House unanimous; unanimity had cost the nation sixty
millions.[398] Lord Temple disculpated himself from encouraging the
general satire in the North Britons, and said he had always condemned
the attack on the Scotch and on the Tories in that paper. He brought a
protest, drawn, as was supposed, by Lord Chief Justice Pratt, and the
longest on record, and signed it with fifteen other Lords.

At this very period that Court and Parliament were raging so hotly
against libels, a new paper, called the Moderator, appeared. It was
so scurrilous against the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, that his
Court took up the printer. The man owned directly that it was written
by Carteret Webbe, Solicitor of the Treasury, and by Dr. Shebbeare,
who, having been committed to Newgate by the King’s Bench in the late
reign for abusing King William and the House of Hanover, had been
gratified by a pension of 200_l._ a year by Lord Bute; and was a proper
champion of measures so dissonant from those of King William, and from
those to which the House of Hanover owed the Crown.

Lord Clive had last year been thrown out of his directorship of the
East India Company by the intrigues of Fox; and the new directors had
gone so far as to deprive him of his jaguire, a revenue of 25,000_l._
a year conferred on him by the Nabob. This act had driven Lord Clive,
with five members brought into Parliament by him, into opposition.
Grenville, to gain a man so important, promised that vast revenue
should be restored to him, or an equivalent given; but Walsh, one of
the five, said he could not in conscience vote with such iniquitous
men, and offered to vacate his seat: Lord Clive refusing to accept it,
Walsh abstained from attendance on the House.

The 3rd of December had been appointed for burning the North Briton at
the Royal Exchange; but when the magistrates were assembled for that
purpose, and the executioner began to perform the ceremony, a great
riot ensued, the paper was forced from the hangman, the constables
were pelted and beaten, and Mr. Harley,[399] one of the sheriffs, had
the glass of his coach broken, and himself was wounded in the face by
a billet snatched from the fire that was lighted to burn the paper,
and thrown at him. The cry was “Wilkes and liberty!” A jack-boot and a
petticoat--the mob’s hieroglyphics for Lord Bute and the Princess, were
burned with great triumph and acclamations.

On the 6th the Duke of Bedford, who had moved that the Commons might
be desired to permit Mr. Harley, member for the City, to attend the
House of Lords, called on him, and Blount, the other sheriff, to give
an account of the late riot. They said the mob had been encouraged
by gentlemen from windows and balconies, particularly from the Union
coffee-house. One low man had been taken into custody; another had
been rescued by the rioters. One witness said the mob had united
two respectable names in a cry of approbation, those of the Duke of
Cumberland and Lord Temple, and he had joined in that shout. The Duke
of Grafton shrewdly told the marshal’sman he must have seen many
mobs of party against party; had there appeared two parties on this
occasion? “No,” replied the fellow, “all were of one mind.” The Duke
of Bedford, sputtering with zeal and indiscretion, broke forth against
Bridgen, the Lord Mayor, and the other magistrates, who, though within
hearing, had taken no pains to quell the mob. “Such behaviour,” he
said, “in any smaller town would have forfeited their franchises.
The Common Council had long been setting themselves up against the
Parliament, and last year had taken on them to advise the King to
refuse his assent to a law[400] that had passed through both Houses.
He hoped their Lordships would resent this insult and disrespect to
their orders.” The Chancellor, alarmed at this injudicious attack on
the City, said it would be right to proceed without delay against the
actors and abettors of the riot; but without farther proofs, he would
not believe the magistrates of London guilty. He moved to vote the
rioters perturbators of the peace. This was voted, and thanks to the
sheriffs for their behaviour. The Duke of Richmond seconded the Duke
of Bedford in his violence against the City, and in a proposal of
offering rewards for discovery of the ringleaders, and for committees
of inquiry. Lord Mansfield and Lord Lyttelton interposed to disculpate
the magistrates, and obtained to adjourn; the former saying, that no
doubt the magistrates were actually at that time sifting to the bottom
of the commotion. The Lords then conferred with the House of Commons,
where Rigby tried to propagate his master’s[401] spirit, and to get the
Lord Mayor censured; but, on reflection, the ministers chose to pass
over the insult, rather than quarrel seriously with the City of London.
They all, therefore, concurred to excuse the magistracy; and the affair
was dropped in an address to the King to order the offenders to be
brought to justice.[402]

The Common Council, neither intimidated nor imitating the moderation of
Parliament, put a negative on a motion for thanking the sheriffs, and
for prosecuting Franklin, the fellow apprehended in the tumult.

Wilkes, in the meantime, went on triumphantly with his prosecutions;
and on the 6th of December, obtained a verdict of 1000_l._ damages, and
costs of suit, against Mr. Wood, the Under-Secretary of State.[403]

The Court was exerting its authority on the other hand. Lord Shelburne
was dismissed from being aide-de-camp to the King; Colonel Barré from
being Adjutant-general and Governor of Stirling Castle; and Calcraft
lost some little places, which served to provoke more than to hurt him.

The Chevalier d’Eon, the mimic of Wilkes, was less fortunate. Being
recalled by his Court, and refusing to return, he was declared to be
no longer employed here in a public character, and was accordingly
forbidden to appear at St. James’s.[404]

While the world was anxiously expecting the event of Wilkes’s affair,
protracted by his wound, a new alarm was given of an intention to
murder him. Mr. Onslow on the 9th acquainted the House of Commons that
one Alexander Dun, a Scotchman, had on false pretences got into Mr.
Wilkes’s house the night before, intending to assassinate him. A person
who appeared, and made oath that he had heard this Dun declare that he
and twelve more had made a vow to murder Wilkes, had given notice to
the latter of their design, on which he had prepared persons to seize
the assassin, which they had done. A new penknife was found upon him,
and he prevaricated on the time and place of buying it. The House the
next day examined witnesses on this accusation; but it being proved
that Dun had been discharged from a ship as a lunatic, he was dismissed
out of custody. But the multitude were far from not continuing to
believe the plot (nor indeed was a madman an improper subject to be
set on, if there was such a design), and the animosity against the
Scotch was accordingly augmented. About the same time the printers of
the North Briton obtained in the Court of Common Pleas damages to the
amount of four hundred pounds against the messengers of the Secretary’s

The East India Company were untractable, too, and came to an unanimous
resolution of neither restoring his jaguire to Lord Clive, nor of
allowing him three hundred thousand pounds, which the ministry had
engaged to obtain for him in lieu of it. It occasioned much diversion
that his father, an old unfashioned man, who did not understand how
decently corruption was practised, and how ridiculous it is to talk
of what few are ashamed of doing, being asked by the King, in the
drawing-room, where his son Lord Clive was, replied, with all the
honesty of bargain and sale, “He is coming to town, Sir, and then your
Majesty will have another vote.”

The House of Commons having ordered that Wilkes should appear before
them on the 24th, and suspecting that his delays were affected, Lord
North, George Grenville, and Rigby, in a very thin House, proposed that
Dr. Heberden, and Mr. Hawkins the surgeon, should be ordered to attend
him. This was warmly opposed; and Charles Townshend, who knew that
Pitt was provoked at his late silence, and who saw Grenville and North
towering above him, and perhaps offended too that the Court seemed to
despise him, broke out with much vehemence, turned Lord North into
ridicule, and being told by Grenville that it would be wiser to submit
to this motion, replied, he should often differ with that gentleman,
and hoped he should not have more wisdom to encounter than he had met
with that day. The motion was carried by 71 to 30. Wilkes, however,
would not admit the parliamentary physician and surgeon; and, to add
mockery to disobedience, sent for Doctors Duncan and Middleton, two
Scotchmen. He had at first, at Martin’s request, who fled to Calais
till Wilkes was out of danger consulted both Hawkins and Heberden.
Being told that he must see little company for fear of augmenting
his fever, he said, “I will not see so much as my own wife,”--I had
mentioned that they were parted.

It was to the no small satisfaction of the Ministry that on the 26th
they heard that Wilkes was privately gone off to France. It was a sort
of confession of guilt, disburthened them of the odium of punishing him
personally, and left them at liberty to rage against him by outlawry
and forfeitures. With a proper executioner they had just provided
themselves, having raised Norton to be Attorney-General. He was
succeeded as Solicitor by De Grey,[405] a man of a fair character and
moderate principles.


  Lord Sandwich’s unpopularity.--He offers himself for the High
    Stewardship of Cambridge.--Animosity between him and Lord Royston,
    the other candidate.--Lord Sandwich’s “Flying Pension.”--
    Disgraceful Grant to Count Virri.--Dismissal of General A’Court.--
    Grenville, Walpole, and General Conway.

The effects of Lord Sandwich’s conduct began already to be felt. He
having, to thwart the Duke of Cumberland, who espoused Mr. Luther,
taken the opposite side on the election for the county of Essex,[406]
the Court lost the election by dint of Sandwich’s unpopularity. He
himself, foreseeing the approaching death of Lord Hardwicke, presented
himself as candidate for the High Stewardship of Cambridge. Nothing
could occasion greater ridicule than a character so flagitious offered
to a religious and learned society. It counter-worked even his own
indefatigable industry. Lord Royston,[407] son of Lord Hardwicke, was
the other candidate; and the animosities ran so high, that the two
parties preached against each other. The sequel will appear hereafter.
In the meantime Sandwich obtained what was called a _flying pension_,
that is, it was to commence if he lost his place. The grant was of
3000_l._ a year on Ireland; but when the order went to Dublin, Lord
Northumberland, having promised that no addition should be made to
the pension-list during his administration, was forced to represent
so strongly against what was granted to Lord Sandwich, that the Court
was obliged to recall it. The Irish House of Commons had just then set
itself to examine the state of pensions charged on that country, and
it had been found, as they published to the world in their votes, that
since the commencement of this reign, a period only of three years,
17,000_l._ a year had been added to that list. There likewise appeared
the disgraceful grant to Count Virri, the purchase of the peace. It
stood in the name of one Charles.

The year concluded with the dismission of General A’Court, whose
regiment was taken from him for having voted for the Privilege of
Parliament. The man was obscure and of no importance, had a large
family and no fortune;[408] the tyranny therefore was the more
flagrant, but from those very circumstances made the less noise. Lord
Sandwich had carried into the King a list of sixteen officers who
had dared to act with spirit and independence against the arbitrary
measures of the Court. The poor man in question was selected for an
example of terror; but, except in his ruin, the ministers found no
cause to exult. A much more considerable man had taken the same part,
of which it is necessary here to give some account.

I have said that General Conway,[409] under pretence of bringing
home the troops, had been kept abroad till the peace was voted, the
ministers apprehending that they should not be able to influence him
to approve an event so ruinous and shameful to his country. At his
return, no man being less factious, he had entered into no cabals,
had attached himself to no party. His chief friendships were with the
Duke of Devonshire, with his own brother the Earl of Hertford, and
with me. The Duke, though grievously insulted and provoked, was of so
decent and cautious a nature, that he was the last man on earth to
think of exciting his friends to violent measures; and, indeed, after
the first sally of passion, bore his affront with too much patience.
Lord Hertford was a perfect courtier, and more likely to dissuade his
brother from, than incite him to, Opposition. I, much more inclined
to party-heat, had been very seriously alarmed at the strides I had
seen made towards arbitrary power; but having beheld the cowardice of
Lord Bute, and knowing that of Lord Mansfield, and finding the nation
delivered from the influence of Fox, I had flattered myself the danger
was over. I had been pleased, too, that Grenville was become the acting
minister; having (I confess my blindness) entertained a most favourable
opinion of his integrity. He talked nothing but reformation--which,
indeed, alone, would not have duped me--I had seen too much of patriot
hypocrisy! but he went beyond myself in his principles of liberty--I
mean, in his discourse. I thought him a grounded Republican; had
heard him harangue by the hour against the despotic doctrines of Lord
Mansfield. Nor had his venal prostitution of himself to Lord Bute as
yet opened my eyes. But I was again roused by the arbitrary treatment
of Wilkes, committed close prisoner to the Tower by an indefinite
warrant. Lord Bute, I saw, had left his cloak to his successors; yet
I could not believe that my friend, Algernon Sydney, (for Grenville
appeared to me as scarce a less Whig saint,) was capable of concurring
in such measures. In truth, when I saw Saint Sandwich added to his
rubric, I began to be startled. I saw him lean, too, on the Bedfords:
them I did not love: and nothing is a more sovereign cure for
blindness in friendship, than a connection between one’s friends and
one’s enemies. I laboured by those most in Grenville’s confidence
to detach him from so disreputable an union; but Grenville knew his
interest better than I knew him. Still I had not the most distant
suspicion of what his heart was capable of, nor any view of opposing
his administration. Thinking him as frank and candid as myself, and
thoroughly shocked at the use made of General Warrants, I desired Mr.
Thomas Pitt,[410] attached to Mr. Grenville, and my own friend, to
tell him fairly in the summer, that I believed I should differ with him
when the point of General Warrants should be agitated in Parliament.
But not content with opposing them myself, I earnestly desired that
Mr. Conway should take the same step: and in bringing that about, I
by no means piqued myself on the same frankness. Should Lord Hertford
conceive the least suspicion of my intentions, I knew how sedulously
he would labour to prevent his brother from involving himself against
the Court. He might procure Mr. Conway to be again sent aside on some
honourable commission, or contrive to have his gratitude dipped in
favours from the King, before he should be aware with what view they
were bestowed. I waited therefore in silence and patience till Lord
Hertford was set out on his embassy to Paris, before I ever named the
term _General Warrants_ in the presence of Mr. Conway. Then, indeed,
I asked him, as by accident, how he intended to vote on that business,
telling him I should wish to act as he did. I found he was disgusted
at the Warrants; and thence I easily entered into agreement with him
to oppose them, as we did, no other person living having any previous
intimation of his intention. The Court was alarmed; and Grenville sent
Mr. Thomas Pitt to me to sound me on that head; both of them believing
that I had rather been influenced by Conway, than he by me.

Pitt began with Mr. Grenville’s concern at Mr. Conway’s behaviour,
wished to know what had disgusted him, and was ready to obtain for
him whatever his warmest wishes could aim at. I assured him he was
thoroughly mistaken; that no disgust had taken possession of Mr.
Conway; that no man was less ambitious; and that I advised Mr.
Grenville, as a friend, not to think of treating Mr. Conway as a man to
be bought. _That_ really would disgust him, and might throw him into
Opposition, of which I was sure at present he had no thoughts,--and
thus far I really spoke with good wishes to Mr. Grenville,--but the
scene soon changed. Finding bribes rejected, Pitt altered his tone:
said it could not be suffered to have men in the King’s service acting
against him,--and then dropped this unguarded expression, _the King
could not trust his army in such hands_. I started. “Good God!” said
I, “Mr. Pitt, what are they going to do with the army? to what use is
it to be put, if a man of Mr. Conway’s virtue, and tried loyalty and
bravery, cannot be trusted with a regiment? You alarm me!” He beat
about backwards and forwards: sometimes it was offers and promises,
sometimes threats; but I had taken my part, and had got hold of words
I was determined not to part with or forget. I would say no more, but
that I advised Mr. Grenville to have patience; that I knew Mr. Conway
neither was in, nor was going into, Opposition (for they were jealous
of his connection with the Duke of Devonshire), and that I was sure
he would never be influenced, would never act but from principle;
and if they would leave him to himself they would have no reason to
be dissatisfied,--and I told them the truth, if they had had sense
enough to believe me. Mr. Pitt then pressed me to talk it over with
Mr. Grenville, which I declined. I said, I would certainly never give
Mr. Conway any dishonourable advice; would never try to persuade him
to be bribed or terrified; nor would he forgive me if I should. Pitt
persisted. I said, “Mr. Pitt, I am persuaded Mr. Grenville will never
report my conversation differently from the truth: but though he may
not intend it, he may mistake me; I may mistake him. I will wait on
him, upon condition a third person is present. I do not desire it may
be a friend of mine, and not his: you are a friend to both; and though
justly much more attached to him than to me, I am persuaded, if any
difference should arise between us in the relation of the interview,
you have too much honour not to do strict justice to either. If you may
be present, I will meet him,--but remember, I tell you it will be to
no purpose.” In truth, after such a Star-Chamber sentence as _the King
cannot trust his army in the hands of a man who votes in Parliament
against him_, I was not disposed to labour in cementing an union
between my friend and a man of such apostate degeneracy. From that
hour all my prejudices in Grenville’s favour were dispelled. I saw how
dangerous he was: it was Fox with a fairer character.

Though I had given too little encouragement to expect any alteration
either in Mr. Conway’s or my own sentiments, Grenville persisted in the
interview. I went accordingly to Mr. Thomas Pitt’s. It happened to be
the evening of the riot on burning the North Briton. Grenville arrived
in the most ridiculous and extraordinary disorder I ever saw. He could
scarce articulate for passion. One would have thought the City had been
taken by storm and the guards cut to pieces. Yet this was not a panic.
It was rage to see authority set at nought while _he_ was minister. His
subsequent conduct gave evidence that this was his sensation: no man
ever bore power with more pride. For some time I could scarce learn
what had provoked him: the confusion of his ideas made him talk as if
Mr. Conway had raised a rebellion. Commanding my laughter, and waiting
with patience till the torrent should have spent itself, but to no
purpose, I was forced at last to ask what the riot had to do with Mr.
Conway’s case? This unfortunate question, like snatching a pebble from
amidst a cascade, did but make it dash at random on all sides. From
seven in the evening till ten at night, I sat to hear his inundation of
words, scarce uttering ten myself; and we parted with as little fruit
as might be expected from a conversation so intemperate and disjointed;
the result of all I said being to repeat my request that he would have
patience, and assuring him that he would not find Mr. Conway engaged in
any regular opposition.

Whether it proceeded from his impatience of contradiction, whether
from eagerness to carry his point, or whether privately instigated
by the Bedfords to push on an explanation which they hoped might
drive Mr. Conway into settled hostilities, or whether, which I think
most likely, they flattered themselves they should regain him from
my influence, Grenville desired an interview with Conway himself.
He consulted me, and we agreed that he should act as I had done,
and insist on a third person being present, proposing the Duke of
Richmond,[411] his son-in-law, who however could not be exceptionable,
as he acted uniformly with the Court. This demand produced a new
scene of ridiculous distress. Though the meeting had been proposed,
and Mr. Conway’s answer sent by noon, it was not till ten at night
that Mr. Grenville could bring himself to any resolution; being, as
his servant owned, shut up for the greatest part of the time with his
wife,[412] a proud, ambitious, and sensible woman, and the only person
to whom he would listen. She, indeed, had full dominion over him. The
precautions taken both by Mr. Conway and me had put Grenville on his
guard: not a word dropped from him intimating bribery. The meeting
ended fruitlessly, as we had foreseen. Conway was naturally cold, and
Grenville far from being master of ingratiating persuasion. Conway
adhered to the declaration that he was engaged in no opposition. His
subsequent behaviour amply confirmed that assurance; but a new measure
of obedience was set up, and my late republican friend was become as
strict a disciplinarian as the most arbitrary of his predecessors.


  Marriage of the Princess Augusta with the Hereditary Duke of
    Brunswick.--His marked opposition to the wishes of the King.--
    Debates on Wilkes’s complaint of Breach of Privilege.--Sir William
    Meredith and Sir George Saville.--The “Essay on Woman.”--The
    Marriage Bill.--Debate on Breach of Privilege.--Cases of Carteret
    Webbe and Wood.

So early as in the late reign there had been thoughts of a double
alliance with the ducal house of Brunswick; but when the jealousy of
the Princess Dowager had prevented the marriage of her son with a
princess of that line, there had remained no great propensity in the
Court of Brunswick to the other match between the hereditary Prince
and Lady Augusta.[413] It had, however, been treated of from time to
time; and in 1762 had been agreed, but was abruptly broken off by the
influence of the King of Prussia. Lady Augusta was lively, and much
inclined to meddle in the private politics of the Court. As none of her
children but the King had, or had reason to have, much affection for
their mother, she justly apprehended Lady Augusta’s instilling their
disgusts into the Queen. She could not forbid her daughter’s frequent
visits at Buckingham House, but to prevent any ill consequence from
them, often accompanied her thither. This, however, was an attendance
and constraint the Princess of Wales could not support. Her exceeding
indolence, her more excessive love of privacy, and the subjection of
being frequently with the Queen, whose higher rank was a never-ceasing
mortification, all concurred to make her resolve at any rate to deliver
herself from her daughter. To attain this end, profusion of favours to
the hated House of Brunswick was not thought too much. The hereditary
Prince was prevailed on to accept Lady Augusta’s hand, with fourscore
thousand pounds, an annuity of 5000_l._ a year on Ireland, and 3000_l._
a year on Hanover. Fourscore thousand pounds were given with the late
Princess Royal[414] to the Prince of Orange, but she was a King’s
daughter. The Princess Mary[415] and Louisa had but forty thousand each.

Lady Augusta was not handsome, but tall enough, and not ill-made; with
the German whiteness of hair and complexion, so remarkable in the Royal
Family, and with their precipitate, yet thick, Westphalian accent. She
had little grace or softness in her manner: yet with more attractions
she might have failed to gain a heart that was not inclined to part
with its liberty, and least of all to one of her family. The Prince
arrived on the 12th of January; and, as if to prejudice him against his
bride, the plan was formed to disgust him as much in order to send him
away as soon as possible. He was lodged at Somerset House: no guards
were stationed there. The Lord Steward chose the company that should
dine with him: and every art was used to prevent his seeing Mr. Pitt,
or the chiefs of the Opposition. At the wedding, which was on the 16th,
the servants of the King and Queen were ordered not to appear in new
clothes. But though these little artifices had the desired effect of
affronting the Prince, they only drew mortifications on the Court. The
people, enchanted with novelty and a hero, were unbounded in their
exultations wherever he appeared; and, as the behaviour of the Court
got wind, took pleasure, when he attended the King to the theatres, to
mark their joy at the presence of the Prince, and to show the coldest
neglect of their Sovereign. Nor was the Prince less assiduous to
intimate his dissatisfaction, even to ill-breeding, turning his back
to the King, as he stood over against him in the box at the Opera;
and even going away during half the representation. To the Duke of
Newcastle, and others in disgrace, he was full of attentions; dined
twice with the Duke of Cumberland, and affectedly lingered there,
though the King and Queen waited for him to a ball: and, as he found
_that_ step would be the most offensive, though indeed due from him
to one so partial to his family, he made a visit to Mr. Pitt, at
Hayes.[416] These little hostilities were carried on with such vigour
on both sides, that, notwithstanding all his curiosity and desires
expressed of a longer stay, the King forced him and his bride to
depart on the 25th--only thirteen days after his arrival. They were
overtaken in a great storm at sea, and in extreme danger of being lost;
but escaped, not only with good fortune to themselves, but to the
Court of England, who would have appeared as guilty to the people in
driving them out at such a season, as if they had raised the tempest by

The Parliament having reassembled on Jan. 16th, the House of Commons
on the 19th proceeded on the affair of Wilkes. He had given out that
he would return from Paris, and make his defence: and to carry on the
delusion, a dinner was bespoken, and company invited to meet him;
but on the day destined for deciding his fate, a letter from him was
delivered to the Speaker, accompanied by a certificate from two French
surgeons, attesting his incapacity of travelling from the ill state
of his wound. The Court party objected even to the reading of the
certificates, but though they could not prevent it, so eager was the
curiosity of the House, they did frustrate a motion for adjournment
by 239 to 102; on which many of the minority finding their weakness
left the House. Others battled for the criminal till near four in the
morning, but their numbers still dwindling away, Wilkes was at last
expelled with scarce a negative, the warmest sticklers for him having
been discountenanced and discouraged by the harsh epithets bestowed on
him by Pitt in one of the former debates.

The next day Sir William Meredith and Sir George Saville moved to
have Wilkes’s complaint of breach of privilege examined. George
Grenville tried to evade it, but was strongly attacked by Charles
Townshend, and reproached with the dismission of General A’Court, and
with the arbitrary influence exerted by the Administration. Sir John
Griffin[418] the day before had mentioned too the case of A’Court, and
said he himself would not be intimidated by the disgrace of ten more
generals. The Court at last yielded the point; and the 26th was fixed
for hearing the complaint.

Sir William Meredith[419] and Sir George Saville were both men of
character, and both singular in different ways. The first was a convert
from Jacobitism; inflexibly serious, and of no clear head: yet
practice formed him to a manner of speaking that had weight, and was
worth attending to by those who had patience for it. He was, I believe,
an honest man, though not without personal views, which a little
sharpened his scorn of those who had unlike views, and were not equally

Sir George Saville had a head as acutely argumentative as if it had
been made by a German logician for a model. Could ministers have been
found acting by the advice of casuists and confessors, Sir George would
still have started distinctions to hamper their consciences; but though
they walked not in such ruled paths, his want of ambition carried him
so seldom to the House, that they were not often troubled with his
subtleties. He had a large fortune, and a larger mind; and though his
reason was sharp, his soul was candid, having none of the acrimony or
vengeance of party: thence was he of greater credit than service to
that in which he listed.[420]

On the 23rd these two Baronets moved to put off the affair of Wilkes’s
complaint of breach of privilege to the 13th of February, as the
material evidence, Wilkes’s servant, was in France with him. Sir
George particularly attacked Grenville with much spirit. Grenville, as
usual, spoke too long, though not ill, insinuating that this delay was
calculated to keep up the flame. “He had always,” he said, “been averse
to having this matter discussed, which had better never be decided; and
that he had only given way in order to vindicate Lord Halifax and Lord
Egremont.” It was perhaps true, that in some cases it were better that
certain powers should not be defined. It might be of use that traitors
should think Ministers have power of committing by General Warrants
even members of Parliament; and at the same time Ministers ought not
to have that power absolutely bestowed on them. But when once the case
has happened, and that dormant or supposed power has been abused, it
must be inquired into and regulated; or acquiescence constitutes the
second evil hinted at above. But in any case Grenville’s argument was
faulty, for if it was desirable for the public that the case should not
be defined, the private vindication of two men ought not to supersede
that utility. However, though the minority on putting the question
were not loud for it, the ministry gave it up. Sir George Saville took
occasion to make it observed, that so bad was his opinion of Wilkes,
he had taken no part till, the man being expelled, nothing but the
cause of the House in point of privilege seemed to remain. This did
honour to Sir George, but prejudiced Wilkes and the cause of liberty.
The former’s character, as I have said, was very fair: and indeed
most of the Opposition were unexceptionable in that light. Yet Wilkes
had, early in his warfare on the Court, told Rigby that he liked the
ministers better than their opponents (no great compliment to the
first), and desired him to apply to Fox to make him (Wilkes) governor
of Canada--a proposal Fox rejected. It was not to be wondered at that
Wilkes, so libertine and jovial, should not be captivated with the
company of a set of young men who were as free from the spirit and
vivacity as from the vices of their age. The chiefs were of eminent
rank, and besides losing the power they thought affected to their
birth, had been wantonly insulted by the Court. But wanting parts to
preserve their power, they equally wanted them to recover it. Yet was
the Court itself alarmed at a club into which the Opposition formed
themselves, holding their weekly meetings at a tavern erected on the
occasion by one Wildman, in Albemarle Street[421]--a circumstance I
mention rather as an antiquary than historian; several pamphlets being
published at this time addressed to, or written in the name of, that

On the 24th, Dowdeswell proposed a Committee of the whole House, to
consider the Cider Bill. Grenville opposed that motion, agreeing only
to have a Committee to examine the grievances occasioned by it, and
to suggest corrections, but not with power to repeal the bill. These
restrictions were carried by 167 to 125.[422]

The same day the House of Lords sat on the _Essay on Woman_. Lord
Sandwich moved to vote Wilkes the author of it, and to order him to
be taken into custody. The Duke of Devonshire, and even the Duke of
Richmond, though a courtier, spoke against this summary proceeding;
and warm words passed between Lord Temple and Lord Marchmont, the
latter of whom said, that though Wilkes was gone, he had left his gang
behind him. At last both questions were formed into this one,--that
it appearing to the House that Wilkes was the author, he should be
taken into custody: but as he had withdrawn himself, a Committee was
appointed to search for precedents how to proceed.

On the 25th, Sir John Glynn in a very thin House moved to re-consider
the Marriage Act; and a Committee was appointed. Sir John Philipps,
too, proposed to re-appoint the Committee of the last year for
inspecting the public accounts, and it was carried by 90 to 30 odd.
Lord Holland and the Duke of Newcastle had concurred to bring that
inquiry to nothing, contriving to have the time wasted on the accounts
of the ordnance.

On the 31st Dowdeswell moved a question against excise, though without
naming it, in the Committee on the Cider Bill, but it was thrown out
by 172 to 152, seven of the minority being shut out when the question
was putting: so near was the Court run by the minority, though without
leaders, and frequently obstructed and distressed by the fluctuation
of the family of Yorke, and the duplicity of Charles Townshend, who
oftener spoke against than for them, and _that_ generally when he had
given the most solemn assurances of his support.

On Feb. 3rd, late in the day, Sir William Meredith moved for the
evidence on which the Secretaries of State had granted the warrant
against Wilkes. The Ministry complained of the lateness of the hour,
and Rigby moved to adjourn. Charles Townshend attacked Grenville on it,
and was even seconded by his brother, the General; but the adjournment
was carried by 73 to 60.

On the 6th there was a good debate[423] on Wilkes’s complaint of breach
of privilege, when Sir W. Meredith and Sir George Saville defended
themselves against the imputation of want of candour, in having made
their motion late in a thin House; the former proving that many violent
questions had been proposed seven hours later than theirs had been. He
moved for the warrant on which Wilkes had been apprehended, and for
the information on which it had been grounded. To avoid the demand,
Sir John Philipps moved the previous question, declaring that he meant
to discharge the complaint. Lord Strange was at first for having the
warrant produced; but soon retracted, and said the complaint ought to
be discharged, as the suit was depending at common law--an argument
that had been pressed on the Ministers when Wilkes’s expulsion was
agitated, and which they then had refused to admit.

I have more than once, in the former part of these Memoirs, touched
on the character of Lord Strange, as a man acting on notions of his
own, unwedded to any faction, and above temptations of money. He had,
however, been gained by Fox to the Court, in the present reign, by the
offer of the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the county
where his estate and interest lay. The large number of places in the
disposal of that officer, could gratify his passion for sway in his own
province; so true was the maxim of Sir Robert Walpole, that _every man
has his price_; and so judiciously was this office held out to Lord
Strange; for though he accepted the post on the views I have mentioned,
he nobly refused to take the annexed salary of 1200_l._ a year. He
seldom afterwards differed with the successive administrations, but
rarely attended Parliament.

Sir William Meredith consented to waive his demand of the information,
though Beckford protested that he himself had never, as a justice of
peace, granted a warrant without information on oath. Norton pleaded,
that to grant it would instruct the accuser, Wilkes, in the defence
of the accused Secretaries and Under-Secretaries of State; but T.
Townshend urged that it had already appeared in the Court of Common
Pleas, and in the ordinary newspapers. George Grenville[424] said
that producing the warrant would engage the House to pronounce on
the legality or illegality of it. Would the House declare that any
papers might be seized? Would it declare that none might? Sir Anthony
Abdy,[425] a lawyer attached to the Duke of Devonshire, said, a sight
of the warrant was demanded as much for the excuse of such members
of the House as had been concerned in it, as for blame; and General
Conway added, that if the information was the defence of Wood and the
others, how would it hurt them? But, said he, this matter is treated
as too high for our inspection. I thought I lived in a free country.
We have already chosen to give up our own privilege, and now are
afraid to inquire on what grounds it is taken from us.[426] Nugent,
Morton, Elliot, Wilbraham, Dr. Hay, Wood himself, Lord Frederick
Campbell, Forester, Oswald,[427] Ellis, Lord North, and Sir John Glynn,
debated the question for the Court, besides those I have mentioned;
on the other side, Hewet,[428] King’s Sergeant, Mawbey, Lord George
Sackville, Dowdeswell, Fitzherbert, Dempster, Charles Townshend, and
Onslow; but the previous question was carried by 217 to 122.

The next day the Cider Bill was compromised, and two shillings imposed
instead of five.

On the 9th, the day appointed for considering the Marriage Bill,
Charles Yorke opposed going into Committee, and said Sir John Glynn
should have stated objections, and proposed amendments; wished to have
a bill brought in for that purpose. He talked of the wisdom and temper
with which it had been carried through before: the truth of which may
be seen in my former account of that bill. Rigby was for going into the
Committee, his patron the Duke of Bedford having been, and continuing
to be, its warm adversary. Lord Strange ridiculed ecclesiastical law,
and frankly spoke of marriage as only legal cohabitation. George
Grenville stayed away, and Lord Holland’s friends were for repealing
the bill. The Opposition, to court the Yorkes, were against altering
it; but it was carried by 157 to 79, for a Committee to re-examine it.
It was then proposed to go into the Committee on that day sevennight:
Charles Yorke and General Townshend for the Monday sevennight after.
Charles Townshend, who had shone so brightly against the original bill,
kept away; but it was carried for the Wednesday, by 70 to 39.

On the 13th, the House of Commons entered seriously on the great
question of breach of privilege on Wilkes’s complaint, and the first
day sat till midnight, four hundred and fifty members being present.
Sir William Meredith opened the debate with calling for the three
messengers who had executed the warrant, and for Matthew Brown,
Wilkes’s servant, who gave an account of what had passed when his
master was seized. I shall not recapitulate these examinations, which
may be found in the journals of the House; nor what was said by other
witnesses. Their depositions lasted till nine at night. Philip Carteret
Webbe then made his defence; and it was so scurvy, that he was reduced
to plead inadvertence, and his being a servant of the Secretary
of State. He even had the front to affirm, that there had been no
intention of making Wilkes _close_ prisoner. He then offered to produce
his evidence, but, it being late, G. Grenville asked if they would
proceed or not? Mr. Pitt said he thought they ought not to stop till
they knew whether they still had a Constitution or not? Lord Frederick
Campbell, supported by Rose Fuller and General Townshend, moved to
adjourn. Thomas Townshend the younger urged that the House had voted
the expulsion of a member at four o’clock in the morning--would not
they proceed to hear his complaint at eleven at night? Mr. Pitt said it
was derogatory from the honour of the House to adjourn. His own first
wish had been to crush foreign enemies; now it was to crush domestic.
When that was done he should die willingly. The question was then
put, but the Ministers not caring to hazard their majority, when the
House seemed inclined to proceed, few of their party went out in the
division; and thence it was carried by 379 to 31, to go on.

The record of the writ of Habeas Corpus, and the returns to it, were
then read; but so many of the members had retired after the division,
to eating-houses and coffee-houses to refresh themselves, that the
Ministers objected that evidence was not fairly heard on their side;
and Sir James Lowther moving to adjourn, it was carried without a
division a quarter before twelve.

The next day was spent in hearing precedents of general warrants, in
which there appeared but too much countenance for the practice, yet
founded on no law. The greater part had been issued against Jacobites,
on the accession of the present Royal Family, when their establishment
was new, and precarious. The Lord Viscount Townshend,[429] a zealous,
bold, and authoritative Minister, had made free with the practice. It
had been used even in cases of libels, but always in those of Jacobite
tendency. Many in times of rebellion had been issued by the Duke of
Newcastle, and three by Mr. Pitt himself, but against persons suspected
of treasonable practices. These documents had Carteret Webbe now
collected: he printed them, too, in his justification. But the case
of Wilkes was not only dissimilar, but was important enough to call
for redress of a power so obnoxious and liable to abuse. At one in the
morning Sir William Meredith commenced the debate, and to what I have
said added the history of those warrants. Fifty persons, he owned, had
been taken up on such warrants; and then Wilkes on a like indefinite
warrant. His very pocket-book had been seized to find evidence against
him. The gentlemen who apprehended him were mere ministerial officers.
The first warrant quoted was of 1662, for then was passed the first act
for licensing the press: and as that act was temporary, and has not
been revived, it is a proof that there is no law since to authorize
such restraint. The warrants themselves have been found by the Court
of Common Pleas to be illegal. He then read the two resolutions he
proposed to move; the first, that _a general warrant for seizing
authors and papers is not law_. The second, that _seizing Members of
Parliament by general warrant is contrary to privilege_. Breach of
privilege, he added, might be committed _in the manner_, even where
there is no privilege. These warrants had never been used but in times
of danger, and then were followed by Acts of Indemnity, and thence
never came to be questioned. They were suspended from 1675 to 1690, and
then were resumed to protect the Revolution. Again in 1715 and 1745,
the years of the Scottish rebellions. They were now used for such a
trifle as a libel, that was in every man’s hand. The licentiousness of
the people had been checked: it was time now to quiet their minds by
checking the licentiousness of power.

Lord Frederick Campbell, with much warmth, called on the House to
vindicate Wood and Webbe, their accused members. Wood said he had done
his duty, and hoped to be restored to the precise situation in which
he had stood before the accusation. Sir W. Meredith said, Lord Chief
Justice Keeling being accused, pleaded he had acted by precedent.
The practice was censured before the person, as it is necessary to
ascertain the crime ere the criminal can be condemned. Charles Yorke
said he hoped to hear Keeling’s case read another day; and then moved
to adjourn. Norton said he was willing to have the general case
adjourned, but not the particular one of the accused. The debate took
that turn of postponing the case of the warrants, but the Ministers
insisted on disculpating the accused, Grenville particularly declaring
for discharging the complaint of breach of privilege. Pitt replied,
that if the second question should pass, it would be impossible
entirely to acquit the accused. They could not be acquitted or
condemned till the general question should be affirmed or condemned.
If the warrant should be declared illegal, he would extenuate their
behaviour as having acted by precedent. To this Wood, with much heat
and arrogance replied, that he would not accept of being _excused_.

Wood,[430] originally a travelling tutor and excellent classic scholar,
is well known from those beautiful and simple Essays prefixed to the
editions of the _Ruins of Balbec and Palmyra_;[431] whither he had
travelled with two[432] young gentlemen of fortune and curiosity. His
taste and ingenuity had recommended him to Mr. Pitt for his private
secretary when Minister; but the observance required by Pitt, and the
pride, though dormant, of Wood, had been far from cementing their
connection. Wood had then attached himself to the Duke of Bridgwater,
and through him to the Bedford faction; but remaining in office
when Mr. Pitt quitted, had, with too much readiness, complied with
the orders of his new masters. His general behaviour was decent, as
became his dependent situation; but his nature was hot, and veering to

Lord George Sackville told him that intentionally he had done right,
but was not ready to say that he had done legally right. Lord Strange
said he would not consent to postpone the acquittal of the accused.
General Townshend desired to have the debate adjourned to Friday 17th,
being obliged to give attendance on his father, who was dying. His
brother Charles, more decently than the rest, said the questions were
the same, and required the same discussion: he would not consent to
divide them. In truth, there could be no thought of separating them but
in compliment to Wood, for few could have any partiality for Webbe. Sir
William Meredith and Sir George Saville, both candid men, had wished
to avoid naming persons,--a respect detrimental in great national
questions; for not only the multitude will more easily be led by names
than by speculation and theory, but what Ministers will fear to offend,
if censure only touches their practice, not their persons? It is to the
honour of the persons who composed that Opposition that their delicacy
frequently, nay, constantly, hurt their cause. Yet should that delicacy
not be imitated. When the freedom of a nation is at stake, what chance
has liberty, if opponents have scruples for Ministers who have none?

Charles Yorke and Dowdeswell then moved to adjourn till Friday; and
General Conway observed justly, that if the accused were acquitted
first, the general question would not be left entire; for could the
House vote that general warrants were illegal, after it should have
voted that they who executed those warrants were blameless? Yet
Wood continued loudly to demand his justification. Mr. Pitt was for
adjourning the whole debate; and said, if this was not agreed to,
he would debate the whole. Sir George Saville said, Wood was guilty
of impatience, though an honest one; and complained that he and Sir
William Meredith were not suffered to prove their whole charge.

At half an hour after four in the morning the House divided, the
Opposition being for adjourning the whole matter; and to the great
dismay of the courtiers, the Ministerial party were but 207, and the
opponents 197--a triumph in parliamentary cases little preferable to
a defeat; so strong had been the alarm on seizing the papers, and so
evident was it that the Ministerial majority had been the work of
venality against conviction.

Dr. Hay then moved to discharge the complaint; but Pitt, roused
by this swell of his party, and feeling the weight of so large a
minority, poured forth one of his finest rhapsodies on liberty, though
at that late hour, and after the fatigue of so long an attendance
and attention: and he severely reprimanded Wood’s insolence, telling
him that, if he would not accept excuse, he deserved censure.
Grenville asked why these persons were blamed, and not all their
predecessors?[433] Pitt, still rising in fire and importance, took the
whole debate on himself, asking what he had done, but in a war which he
was called upon to invigorate? He had never turned out officers; he had
sought for merit in those who _now_ held precarious commissions, not by
military service. They had not only saved their country, but him who
had been undone if they had not saved their country.

Grenville, not losing courage on this turn of fortune, replied ably
and finely. He knew, he said, the nation was left on the brink of
ruin.[434] The Ministers had had enough to do without hunting in alleys
for libels. He then painted faction, first setting England against
Scotland; then reviving party names, and drawing the line between the
Parliament and people. Look! said he, look at Wilkes’s letters, where
he talks of _rare combustibles_!

_Colonel_[435] Barré, rising to speak, and being pointed to by the
Speaker under that military appellation, thanked him, but said he had
no right to that title; yet it gave him occasion to ask why he had
been dismissed? what had his Majesty done on his accession? He looked
out if any man had been whispered out of the service, and did him
ample justice. (This alluded to Sir Henry Erskine, dismissed in the
late reign, and restored to his rank by the present King; a speaking
instance against the change of measures since adopted.) Himself, he
said, was of no consequence, but let Ministers take care how they
deprived the Crown of other faithful servants at the end of a glorious
war. Non de vectigalibus agitur, sed de animâ nostra res agitur.
Precedents did not justify: Charles the First had acted on precedents.

Onslow congratulated Grenville ironically on having never given one
vote for the last ruinous war, which he now so much condemned. And
they, said he, who are for acquitting these gentlemen, ought to
remember who insisted on having their two names inserted, when Sir
George Saville and Sir W. Meredith would have omitted them. In fact,
the Ministers had got the names inserted with the view of having them
cleared by a vote of the House.

Mawbey then moved to adjourn, which was overruled by 208 to 184, and
then the complaint being discharged, the House rose at half an hour
after seven in the morning, the longest sitting on record, exceeding
that on the Westminster Election, in 1742, and the last sitting on
the Militia Bill, in 17--; but this latter was less a debate than the
perseverance of a very few persons who sat till six in the morning to
perfect that bill.

The Court was strangely alarmed at this sudden rise of the Opposition,
and set them roundly to oppose its progress, well knowing that when
once the scale turns, it is difficult to secure even the venal, who
hurry over to the side to which fortune seems inclining. Nor was much
time given them to rally their forces, the great question coming on
within four days.


  Debates on the legality of General Warrants, and the conduct of
    Wilkes, continued.--Treatise entitled “Droit le Roi,” condemned by
    the Lords.--Wilkes found guilty of being the Author of “The North
    Briton” and the “Essay on Woman.”

Feb. 17th the House went into the debate on the subject, _that a
general warrant for seizing the author, printer, &c., of a seditious
libel, is not legal_. Dr. Hay said it was evident this had been the
practice, nor had the Courts below condemned it. He should, therefore,
propose an amendment, that the question might be stated clearly and
precisely. If that correction was agreed to, he intended to offer
others that should condemn the whole practice of the secretary’s
office. He then moved to add the word _treasonable_ after _seditious_;
and then he would propose, he said, to subjoin the following sentence,
_though such warrant hath been according to the practice of office, and
has not been condemned by any courts of justice in which such warrants
have been produced_. He was seconded by Wedderburne, who argued against
taking up one particular warrant, half excusing that in question by
saying, he would not affirm that practice makes law. Pitt ridiculed the
Doctor and the Ministry for trying to perplex the question; but owning
handsomely that he should like the question better if spread over the
whole practice, and not confined to the single instance before them.
If his own practice had been faulty, he was willing to bear his share
of public blame. He called on the Ministers to show what was really
the subject matter of the question: was it on _seditious_ libels? then
do not cut and shuffle with our liberties by an epithet. We had seen
the day when an epithet would defeat Magna Charta. Any other epithet
of four syllables would throw dust in the eyes of members, as well as
_treasonable_. But now, said he, they parry and _twist_, and I like it
the better. I am glad that all the learned doctor’s abilities could
produce was an epithet. But keep separate things separate in their
nature. Vote the general question on _seditions_ first. We never desire
to alter the practice in cases of high treason. The learned gentleman,
he supposed, would allow that there might be seditious libels without
treason in them. It was shallow, the artifice of attempting to draw
in gentlemen to condemn seditious warrants by coupling the word
_treasonable_ to them, which aggravates the offence; but by not daring
to let the question stand simply on its own merits, on the case of a
general warrant issued against a seditious libel, not a treasonable
one, they tacitly avowed that the libel not being treasonable, their
own conduct had been illegal. But no general warrant to search
universally without specification of name or place, was allowable, even
in case of treason. _General warrants are always wrong_; yet if this
amendment left the House at liberty to debate on the whole question,
and not on that amendment solely, he would not be against the stating
those words. Hay was hurt, and said he had nowhere been accustomed to
the manœuvre of quibbles: he had only affirmed that general warrants
had been produced in other courts: he had not said that those courts
had decided on them. Conway pursued Pitt’s argument, and showed how
totally the original question and the proposed alteration of it
differed; that if anything could authorize a general warrant, it was
treason. By inserting that word, the Ministers betrayed the badness
of their own cause; he feared they were a little tender; that they
could not bear the last division. He honoured the lights of the law,
but feared the House had a little too much of them: yet could those
learned men prove that treason and sedition were the same? Why was it
necessary, too, to describe historically what had been the custom? The
case was clear and simple, when a gentleman came and slipped in a word
that totally varied the argument: it was _white_, he inserts the word
_black_; and thus would vote that the Ministers had not done wrong
by taking up a man for a crime of which he had not been guilty. If a
general warrant is good against treason, and not against sedition, and
yet you couple them, and make them one crime, are Ministers blameless
for inflicting on sedition the punishment only due to treason? Separate
the questions, and vote, if you can, that the warrant was legal.

Hussey[436] said he liked the amendment, because he disliked all
general warrants; for what was to follow, he did not understand it. Did
it mean to imply that the silence of the King’s Bench was affirmation?
He feared some such thing was meant; but it would be a libel on the
Judges that sit there. He did not, however, he said, mean to extend
his argument to high treason. He wished to have general warrants
condemned, because to some there stood the names of men of virtue,
which seemed to authorize so bad a practice. Wedderburne said sharply,
that he had guarded himself by alleging that the practice of the King’s
Bench could not make law: but they had been taunted with epithets; the
time was come when men would no longer be led by epithets[437] and
flowery declamation. It was hurting our country to study popularity
by vilifying the profession of the law. Was a definition nothing but
epithets? The Opposition, he knew, would be glad, if they could, to
stand clear of epithets. Charles Yorke was for adopting the amendments,
and spoke for temper. _Treasonable_ corresponded with the evidence
given at the bar. The common warrants had that description in them.
He was for stating what had been the common usage, and then for
condemning it. None of those warrants had come before the Courts below
for argument or consideration. Sir William Meredith said, he hoped
this point would be decided by the spirit of liberty, not by law;
and with some heat added, “I never passed my life with the vices of
Wilkes.” This sentence, provoked by what had fallen from Wedderburne,
and supposed to be aimed, as it justly might have been, at Dr. Hay,
who, though so servile now, had been the intimate of Wilkes,[438] was
levelled at Lord Sandwich. But Wedderburne took it up, and said, if
Sir William had meant anything unparliamentary, he might have taken
another place. Dr. Hay, thinking it necessary to vindicate himself, did
not conciliate more favour. He had long, he said, known the unhappy
man, had received pleasure and instruction from him, but with many good
qualities he had grown profligate; did not know who incited him; had
advised him against his excesses; “Yet,” said he, “I am no hypocrite;
I have told him he was grown the _God_ of defamation from keeping
seditious company; he had even attacked the Crown, and the _parent_
of the Crown; for himself, he pitied the poor _devil_.” Some persons
interposing to prevent a duel, Sir W. Meredith said, he had every day
been aspersed as taking up this matter for the sake of Wilkes. This he
could not bear. Wedderburne had taken it up on tip-toe, though neither
pointed at him nor Dr. Hay. Himself would last year have stopped
Wilkes’s behaviour.

Hussey then proposed to insert the words _in the King’s Bench, where
the warrants had never been condemned or approved, whereas they had
been condemned in the Court of Common Pleas_. To this Norton agreed,
though he said he would show that they had been approved in the King’s
Bench. Prisoners are brought thither by Habeas Corpus, and the court is
counsel for the prisoner. They examine the legality of the commitment,
and must remit him, or bail him, or remand him. Remanding him, or
requiring bail, is approving the commitment. Pitt proposed to add, “in
which court (the King’s Bench) it does not appear that the validity of
general warrants has been brought in question.” Charles Yorke said he
agreed with Pitt, but would have the sentence run thus, “although hath
been frequently produced to, and never been questioned by, the King’s
Bench.” Sir William said he could not agree to the amendment, for the
House had only heard evidence ex-parte for exculpation of the accused
Ministers. Pitt objecting strongly to the words _never questioned_,
Charles Yorke offered these, “and the validity never debated.” Forester
approved this, and asked if the point had never been litigated, why
should those words be inserted? George Grenville protested that nothing
should make him say that _all_ those warrants were legal; but with
Norton he desired to add, “though the parties have been remanded and
bailed.” Pitt, offended that the opinion of some Judges had been quoted
in defence of the warrant, said, he was no judge, but sat there to
judge Judges. There had not been a violation of the Constitution but
had been sanctified by the greatest Judges. Let Norton turn to evidence
and prove such prisoners had been remanded. If discharged, let the
House have that evidence also. Conway treated the whole amendment as
trifling; and asked if they would take no notice of the decision of
the Common Pleas against the legality of the warrant, and yet would
take notice of a _no_ decision? He wished to have the whole referred to
a Committee. Charles Yorke affirmed that none had been remanded; but
agreed with Norton that they had been bailed. Charles Townshend asked,
since the lawyers allowed that bail might be given on an erroneous
warrant, why they would _mention it_? Norton owned that he meant from
thence to argue for the legality. The amendments were agreed to.

The Court having carried this point, Norton impudently confessed this
was what he had aimed at; and as there were so many causes connected
with this depending in the Courts below, he should move to put off
the question for four months. The Ministers did not doubt but the
legality of the warrants would be condemned in Westminster Hall; yet
a previous censure in Parliament might not only ensure that decision,
but produce arraignment of the Administration. They feared, from what
had passed in the foregoing day, that they should never be able to
carry an approbation of the warrants,--and if they could, into what
confusion must the nation have fallen, if such warrants were upheld
by Parliament, and anathematized in the other courts? Their plan,
therefore, was to jockey: and the Opposition had fallen into the snare.
It had been proposed that Lord Granby should move the adjournment; he
refused, and yet spoke for it,--and was immediately rewarded with the
Lieutenancy of Derbyshire, which the Duke of Devonshire had resigned,
and wished, from the rivalship between their families in that county,
to see in any other hands.

Norton, continuing to triumph in the arts of attorneyship, asked
to what end the House should decide on the point which was to be
determined elsewhere? Let, he said, a Committee be appointed to draw up
a bill. The practice of a court does make law. For Secretaries of State
he demanded more power than for a common justice of peace. The House
sits to make laws, not to expound them. He then dropped this sentence,
so decent, yet so worthy of the mouth it fell from, and so often flung
in his teeth,--_If I was a Judge, I should pay no more regard to this
resolution than to that of a drunken porter_;--a sentence that would
have made old Onslow[439] thunder forth indignation! Norton then moved
to adjourn the debate for four months, as so many causes were depending
on the illegality.

Charles Yorke made a very long speech against postponing a present
decision, as against the dignity of the House: and he scrupled not
to pronounce the warrant illegal, which he protested he had never
seen till Wilkes was taken up; nor had any question been asked of
the Attorney or Solicitor Generals by the Administration. Warrants
dated from the Star Chamber. Himself had always been for taking this
matter up in Parliament, notwithstanding its pendency below. Previous
questions, to avoid debates, may be useful during foreign treaties,
but never in cases of privilege. In questions of this sort the House
ought to hold the balance between King and people. It was a question in
point of law impossible to be denied. Were he a Judge, he should pay
regard to the decision of the House of Commons. The question ought to
be determined for the sake of the Secretaries of State. He must be for
some law.

Notwithstanding Yorke disculpated himself of not having seen the
warrant, yet the Ministers protested that after Wilkes was taken up,
Yorke had given his opinion that No. 45 was a libel, and had advised
the commitment of him to the Tower. This was advising a man to knock
down another, and then pleading that he had not seen the bludgeon. Lord
North said, if a law was necessary, a partial resolution was trifling.
By deferring this, they meant to introduce something much better.

Lord George Sackville said, it would only alarm the nation, to fling
over the question the thin parliamentary veil of adjournment. When
could a question of liberty be so properly taken up as under such
a King? It was the time to lop such an excrescence. Lord North had
promised much, but would perform nothing. The House of Commons singly
cannot make law; but can declare upon it. He thanked God that on this
question the whole body of lawyers was not on the side of power: that
battery would be too much to stand. How came the Secretaries of State
by this practice, but from the Star Chamber and Licensing Act? It had
never been abused till now, for it had been exercised only against
traitors. A discretionary power must always be at the peril of the
Secretary that uses it. But he would therefore declare it illegal for
a warning to them, and to show the people that they had a watchful
House of Commons.

Nugent said, “Liberty rings round the House, and we may all be
unanimously in the wrong.” “We are not likely to be _unanimously_
wrong,” replied Conway, “nor rash, for nothing was ever so fully
debated. The Ministers had narrowed the question to Wilkes, and
then called it too narrow. The previous question would in effect be
a negative. Wood had called for immediate decision. There had been
issued but one warrant as extensive as this down to the time of Lord
Townshend, and that had been in the reign of Charles the Second. He
that gives a power of tyranny gives tyranny.” Hussey added, that the
Licensing Act had been dropped because the Peers would not consent to
let their houses be searched.

Lord Frederick Campbell said that in a fortnight’s time general
warrants would be determined to be illegal; and then, what Secretary
of State would dare to sign one? Lord Granby, declaring he thought
them illegal because Lord Chief Justice Pratt had thought so, said, no
Secretary of State after that opinion would venture to issue them.

Charles Townshend made a most capital speech, replete with argument,
history, and law, though severe on the lawyers: a speech, like most
of his, easier to be described than detailed. How great, he said,
must be the talents of Norton, if the House heard him with patience,
though comparing them to a _drunken porter_. Whether in the House or
out of the House, Norton, he feared, would be fatal to the cause. He
then gave the history of the Licensing Act, and read the resolution
of the year 1675, drawn by Mr. Locke, and the report of Lord Chief
Justice Vaughan of usage not constituting law. Had Norton lived in
the age of ship-money, how he would have argued for putting off the
decision of its being illegal! But it was become more necessary to
alter this, because of the many precedents in its favour. He then gave
a description of the warrant against Wilkes, and how long they had been
before they applied it to him. He abhorred Wilkes, he said; and drew a
severe picture of him, and another panegyrical of the great Whig Lords
at the time of the Revolution, and of those at the accession of the
present Royal Family. “But it seems,” continued he, “we are not to have
a resolution, but a bill. The first time was always the best time; the
natural mode the best mode. One advantage had been derived from Wilkes,
he had stopped a growing evil. Nobody could think what thirty years
more in abler hands would have done. This warrant without description
of person might take up any man under any description of a libel.
If the House did not come to some resolution, what dissatisfaction
it must create. Mankind would learn that the lawyers were divided
in their sentiments on the legality, and would be clamorous to have
settled a point so important to the security of their persons, houses,
and papers. But do not be wheedled by promises; who gives promises
gives deceit.” He praised Mr. Pitt, and concluded with saying that
this warrant was like an experiment in anatomy, which might be tried
on a poor man. Wilkes is odious, cry the Ministers; commit him. If
Parliament suffers it, you may strike at higher objects.

After several other speeches, Pitt said “this was not a warrant,
but a delegation of magistracy, which the Crown could not give, and
should Secretaries of State give it? The debate had been carried on
without heat--indeed with too much coldness. Lawyers termed this
warrant erroneous;--was that term harsh enough? Hear the language of
Ministers and their agents: Carteret Webbe said he had settled Wilkes
_comfortably_ in the Tower with his shaving things! Then, they say,
you need not pronounce this illegal; Secretaries of State will be
sufficiently frightened; the Judges may or may not declare it illegal;
and you shall have a law. I should be against such a law; it would be
augmenting the power of the Crown by law. What will our constituents
say if we do not ascertain their liberties? How do you know the Lords
will agree to the bill? Not doing is doing.”

He was answered by Grenville and Sir John Philipps; but Lord Howe,[440]
though a Lord of the Admiralty, spoke against the adjournment. Elliot
said, if there must be a victim, they might have a hecatomb of
Ministers who had signed such warrants. These warrants, it seemed, had
stalked about unknown to Mr. Pitt, who had been Secretary of State, and
to Mr. Yorke, Attorney-General.

Colonel Barré ridiculed Lord Barrington, Elliot, and Grenville,
with much humour. “Lord Granby thinks,” added he, “that no Secretary
of State will venture on these warrants after Pratt’s opinion; but
Grenville says that opinion was _undue_, erroneous, and precipitate.”
For himself, he esteemed the professors of the law, but detested the
profession. Pratt he commended; and said, “shall France deride our
languor when her Parliaments are making such strides towards liberty?”

At five in the morning the House divided, and the adjournment was
carried by 232 against 218; a majority of only fourteen. The world
expected that the Ministers would resign--at least endeavour to

The offensive behaviour of Norton in the preceding debate, brought
out a story very characteristic of his unfeeling nature. When Dr.
Hensey was condemned for treason in the last reign, Lord Mansfield
asked Pratt, the Attorney-General, when he would have him executed?
Pratt, struck with compassion, could not bring himself to fix the day.
Lord Mansfield then asked Norton, who, turning to the prisoner, said,
“Doctor, when will it be agreeable to you to be executed?”[442]

While mankind expected that the Opposition would vigorously pursue the
advantage of so large an increase of their numbers, day after day,
and week after week slipped away without their exerting one symptom of
spirit or activity. No motions were made, no inquiries set on foot, no
zeal expressed to keep up the passions and hopes of the party. Without
doors all hearts were with them, and ready to second their attempts
with clamour and applause. At first they seemed to expect that the
Ministers would come and lay their places at their feet. The dream
itself was over before an effort was made to realise it. Not a pamphlet
was written, not a meeting was held, to concert farther measures. A
supineness unparalleled! but to be accounted for from the composition
of that minority. Pitt affected to be courted to discountenance party,
and to be placed at the head of everything without seeming to desire
it. He despised Newcastle, and resented the manner in which he had been
treated by that Duke, by Devonshire, by Hardwicke, and the Yorkes.
Charles Yorke was, besides, incompatible with Pitt’s friend, the Chief
Justice Pratt, as the Chancellor’s seal was equally the object of both.
Lord Temple, the soul of faction, was detested by the whole party,
except by his own small connection. Charles Townshend was attached to
nobody, and trusted by nobody. Legge was industrious, but not spirited:
he could negotiate for himself, but not for a party. Conway had
singly meant to arraign the warrants, and had no thought of dipping in
faction. Some were too fair, and others too dirty, to take the general
steps that might lead to the good of the whole party: and thus, where
there was no concert, and in truth but few able men, there could be no
consequences but inactivity and defeat. That defeat fell heavy on the
most conscientious, who having offended the Court by their opposition,
were thus exposed a sacrifice to its resentments.

Nor was this conduct, I doubt, solely founded on inability and
outward disunion. Pitt might expect to be again sent for by Lord
Bute, and was unwilling to be clogged with numerous dependents,
odious to the Favourite, and distasteful to himself. He and Lord
Temple had far more rancour against their brother, George Grenville,
than against Lord Bute; and Pitt, at least, had never been personal
against the Favourite, who, with all his resentment to Lord Temple,
as the instigator of Wilkes, had received more recent stabs from
George Grenville. Whether during this suspension of hostilities, any
negotiation was renewed, I do not pretend to say; nor is it important,
as it certainly had no effect, unless that material one of cooling the
growing party.

The Ministers, on the other hand, wore a good countenance, and were as
alert as their adversaries were supine and lifeless. To procure votes,
to work underground, to write letters, dispatch messengers, and collect
all possible forces, this was the fort and excellence of Sandwich’s
genius. He and Rigby were desperate, and Grenville little less so. They
soon perceived the want of discipline in the enemy’s troops, and the
insufficiency of their commanders. With some address of their own, and
with the defect of it in their opponents, they weathered the session,
obtained full power, and showed that they dared to make use of it

On the very day of the last great debate in the House of Commons,
Lord Lyttelton, seconded by the Duke of Grafton, acquainted the Lords
that on the following Tuesday he should lay a complaint before them
against a new book called _Droit le Roi_. This pestilent treatise was
a collection from old statutes and obsolete customs of the darkest and
most arbitrary ages of whatever tended, or had tended, to show and
uphold the prerogative of the Crown. The fulsome flattery and servility
of ancient lawyers in every reign were amassed together, and shoved
upon the world as the standing law of England; no retrospect had to all
the immunities obtained since by the Civil War, by the Revolution, and
by various other struggles of Parliaments with the Crown. Such a code
obtruded on the Crown, as a codicil to the stretch of General Warrants,
spoke for itself. It was incense laid on an altar erected to power on
which human sacrifices had already been offered. Without metaphor,
such a compilation proved that prerogative must have been the object
of the Court before such gross adulation could dare to step forth in
the face of both Houses of Parliament. The author was one Brecknock,
a retainer of the law, and a hackney writer. As no attempt was made
to prove whether he wrote by instigation, it remained problematic.
Certain it is, that he soon afterwards attached himself to the Earl of

On the 21st, Lord Lyttelton made his complaint, and moved for a censure
of the book as Jacobitical, and violating the Bill of Rights, and the
Revolution. Ministers, he said, ought to have taken notice of it; but
they who had fallen so severely on seditious pamphlets, had overlooked
this tract, so subversive of all liberty. Lord Dartmouth treated the
book with still more severity. Lord Halifax affected to go farther,
but complained of Lord Lyttelton for not acquainting him with his
intention. Lord Marchmont to the censure proposed to tack a compliment
to the King on his love of liberty; for so servile are some men, that
they cannot condemn flattery without making use of it.[444] The book,
thus attacked on one side and given up on the other, was sentenced to
be burnt, and the author ordered to be taken into custody. The latter
part of the sentence nobody took any pains to execute.

On the 24th, the Lords communicated their resolutions to the other
House, who concurred in the same judgment.

On February the 21st, Sir John Philipps, as he had before acquainted
the House he would, moved for leave to bring in a bill to ascertain
the power of Secretaries of State in granting warrants--a line almost
impossible to draw. Treason was to be kept in awe on one side; the
Ministers themselves on the other. Nor could this boon to liberty
but be suspicious when offered by a hand so rankly Jacobite! The
Ministers had made their use of the idea, and desired no such bill:
and the Opposition were not forward to let them draw such a bill. It
was therefore dropped with scorn by both sides of the House; and yet
the Court afterwards affected to talk of this bill as a tender made to
liberty, and rejected by its advocates.

The same day was Wilkes found guilty in the King’s Bench, of being
author of the North Briton, and of the Essay on Woman.

The City of London, to honour the steadiness and services of Mr.
Pratt, the other Chief Justice, presented him with the freedom of the
City, and thanked their own Representatives for their behaviour on the
question of the warrants.

On the 6th of March, it was agreed to amend the Marriage bill by
another bill, as Mr. Yorke had proposed: and the same day died his
father, and the father of the Bill, Philip Earl of Hardwicke; a man
who, during his power, had coloured over very confined parts, and
very few virtues, with a gravity that was construed into both, as it
served the purpose of himself or his dependents. Pride, revenge, and
avarice were his true features; and whatever pictures shall be drawn
of him where those lines do not predominate, will be unlike, false, and
flattering. To conceal all knowledge of his vast wealth, his sons did
not prove his will till the memory of him was faded away.[445]


  The Earl of Egmont.--The Budget.--Taxation of the American
    Colonies.--New Bridge at Blackfriars.--Appearance of the
    “Lettres, Mémoires, et Négotiations du Chevalier d’Eon,” &c.--
    Lord Clive appointed Governor General of India.--Contest at
    Cambridge.--Philip Earl of Hardwicke.--Jeremiah Dyson.

While men were taken up with the politics of the age, there was a
Minister so smitten with the exploded usages of barbarous times,
that he thought of nothing less than reviving the feudal system.
This was the Earl of Egmont,[446] who had actually drawn up a plan
for establishing that absurd kind of government in the island of St.
John.[447] He printed several copies of his scheme, and sent them about
to his brother peers. And so little were they masters of the subject,
and so great was the inattention of the Ministry to the outlying parts
of our empire, that his Lordship, in the following year, had prevailed
with the Council to suffer him to make the experiment, if General
Conway had not chanced to arrive at Council and expose the folly of
such an undertaking, which occasioned its being laid aside. Lord Egmont
was such a passionate admirer of those noble tenures and customs,
that he rebuilt his house at Enmere in Somersetshire in the guise
of a castle, moated it round, and prepared it to defend itself with
cross-bows and arrows, against the time in which the fabric and use of
gunpowder shall be forgotten.

On the 9th Mr. Grenville opened the budget, fully, for brevity was
not his failing; but he did it with art and ability too, though not
disguising how much he was hurt by abuse. He said it had been written
in pamphlets that 400,000_l._ a year was dealt out in pensions;
pretending that the accusation had been levelled against the profusion
of those granted in Ireland, which he denied to be so great as alleged,
particularly in that bestowed on Lord Sandwich, which, as I have said,
had been stopped. But in truth the charge had been levelled against
that sort of corruption in England; and on that he chose to be silent.
Much art, he said, had been used to dissuade people from subscribing
to the loans of Government; but no new money was to be raised,--no
lottery; the latter to be kept in reserve for another exigence. He
hoped, therefore, people would engage in the funds, as if monied men
would not keep their cash a year longer, when it must be borrowed! He
took great merit on the revenue being managed with more frugality than
in the late reign, and on the increase of the customs, particularly in
the duties on tea, though the increase of trade had much more share
in that rise than his regulations. He stated the debt incurred by the
late war at sixty-four millions already funded, and nine that were not.
But above all he praised, and justly, the reduction of the demands
from Germany. They amounted to 1,354,803_l._ and upwards, of which
103,355_l._ had only been allowed. 263,211_l._ had been suspended, and
988,237_l._[448] had been struck off. The time had been limited for
the demands to be brought in, or more would have been asked from that
quarter: and yet our taxes, he said, exceeded by three millions what
they did in 1754. He then opened his, famous shall I call it, or fatal,
plan for collecting a revenue from America;[449] a plan which, though
it took place in the session I am describing, I will not unfold here;
for though the regulation was enacted now, the consequences did not
appear to this country till the winter following. I shall be obliged to
say so much on that head hereafter, that to avoid repetition, and to
introduce the detail where it will come in with more propriety, and be
more useful to the reader, I shall pass it over now;--and would to God
that at the moment I am writing, at the end of 1768, the subject was
not only fresh, but threatening a scene of long and terrible calamity
both to England and her colonies! His object, he said, was to make them
maintain their own army. Till the last war they had never contributed
to their army at all. The extraordinaries of the American war had cost
England 36,000_l._ a year. He had, additionally, a plan for preventing
the colonies from trading directly to France, Holland, Portugal,
or the French islands. Thus did this pedlar in revenue confound
the tranquillity both of America and Great Britain; and to realize
farthings, set both countries at variance, at the risk of treasure,
human lives, liberty, and common and mutual preservation.

On the 12th, at the East India House, which had been a theatre of
disputes and clashing interests, Mr. Amyand,[450] having quarrelled
with Sullivan, the leader of the faction opposite to Lord Clive,
suddenly proposed to give the government of Bengal, with full powers
over their affairs, to that Lord, if he would undertake the commission.
Lord Clive, then present, said, this motion was totally unexpected; yet
would he accept the offer, if a board of directors on whom he could
depend should be chosen. The election was then at hand. The train
caught so rapidly, that it was proposed directly to invest him with his
jaguire, which had been voted as precipitately too, if somebody[451]
had not observed that a lawsuit being commenced on that subject, the
law must decide it.

The City of London applied to Parliament for more money for their new
bridge at Blackfriars. James Grenville objected to it. Dr. Hay broke
out and abused the Common Council, whose late behaviour, he said,
entitled them to no favour. He alluded to their thanking their members
for voting against general warrants. This produced as warm language in
return from Beckford and Onslow. George Grenville interposed, and said,
the question was not whether the City deserved money, but whether it
could be afforded. That their temporary bridge having been burnt by
accident, they ought to have a gift of six or seven thousand pounds.
Sir William Baker[452] in disdain moved to adjourn, that they might not
accept it.

The printers of the London Evening Post and Gazetteer were called
before the House of Lords, on a complaint made by the Earl of
Marchmont, for printing a letter (written by Wilkes) reflecting on the
Earl of Hertford, ambassador at Paris, for employing David Hume the
historian as his secretary, and representing the embassy as totally of
Scotch complexion. Wilkes, then an outlaw, and in France, had gone to
the Earl’s chapel, who treated him civilly, but neither returned his
visits nor invited him to dinner, which it was impossible he should
do, representing the person of the King so grievously outraged by
that libeller. Lord Marchmont proposed to inflict a fine of 100_l._
on each printer. Lord Weymouth said fifty were sufficient; not more
had been imposed on a printer of a spurious speech for the King. Lord
Temple put them in mind how much himself and the Duke of Cumberland
had been abused; and in answer to the Duke of Bedford, who had
complained that names were now printed at length, said, that practice
had been begun when himself and Mr. Pitt had resigned the last time.
The Duke of Richmond said, he remembered that the period in which the
Duke of Cumberland had been most traduced, was in the year 1757. Lord
Temple and Mr. Pitt were then in power. The truth was, no side had
abstained from invectives when out of place. The difference was, that
no attempt was made to punish the authors and printers but under the
administration of Grenville, Lord Sandwich, and that set.

On the 23rd of March appeared one of the most extraordinary books
ever published, and though written by a foreigner, and in French, by
no means inferior in detraction to the North Britons. It was a large
quarto, called _Lettres, Mémoires, et Négotiations particulières du
Chevalier d’Eon_, &c.: and contained the history of his employments,
troubles, quarrel with Monsieur de Guerchy, and his own wonderfully
imprudent and insolent letters to the Duc de Praslin, the second
Minister in power at the Court at Versailles. The contempt expressed
for the Comte de Guerchy was transcendant; but yet this was not the
most reprehensible part of the work. With the most indefensible
wantonness, D’Eon had inserted the childishly fond, but friendly
letters, of his patron the Duc de Nivernois. With still greater
indiscretion, he published others of an intimate friend employed in
the office of the Secretary of State at Versailles, in which that
friend, in confidence, had familiarly censured his masters: and with
the most abominable treachery D’Eon added confidential letters between
the Ducs de Nivernois and Praslin, in which, though with goodwill
towards _him_, they spoke of their intimate friend Monsieur de Guerchy
with much contemptuous pity, which might be excused between such
near friends, though never to be pardoned by Guerchy. These letters
D’Eon, when trusted with the Duc de Nivernois’s keys, had stolen or
copied. To such lengths blind, headstrong revenge had driven the mad,
unprincipled wretch! But what satisfaction did it create here, to read,
under the hands of the chief Ministers in France, to how low an ebb
that Court was sunk in abilities! the two Dukes owning to one another
that their poor Guerchy, as they called him, was yet the fittest
man they had to employ. Among such a heap of baseness great parts
appeared; and it seemed lucky for his Court that a man so likely to
be raised, and so capable of any treachery, unbosomed himself before
he was possessed of more important secrets. In some instances, as in
a letter to his mother, D’Eon seemed to have worked himself up to a
pitch of frenzy; throughout, to be swayed by intolerable vanity.[453]
The blow to Guerchy was heavy and cruel; and scarcely less mortifying
to the Duc de Nivernois. Praslin, a hard, unfeeling man, took it with
implacable resentment; and yet, in one respect, acted sensibly and
honourably: instead of ruining St. Foix, the person whose letters
D’Eon had, unprovoked and wickedly, disclosed, he was preferred, and
never suffered any marks of his master’s displeasure. Every possible
attention was employed here to console M. de Guerchy, and to prevent
his thinking that he was lowered in the public esteem; but was it,
alas! possible he could believe so? The other foreign Ministers
demanded satisfaction for so gross an insult on one of their order;
and the Court was willing enough to grant any reparation in its power.
But what reparation could it make proportioned to the offence? All it
could, it did. The Attorney-General was ordered to file an information
against D’Eon for a libel.

The imbecility of the Opposition, notwithstanding the large accession
to their numbers on the question of the warrants, had left the Ministry
in possession of full power. The sense of the nation had in vain
appeared to be averse to them. It still continued so, wherever its
genuine voice could be heard: and never more than on the following
occasion. The death of the Earl of Hardwicke had left open the honour
of High Steward in the University of Cambridge. Lord Sandwich, on
the prospect of that event, had declared himself a candidate for that
office, though attended with neither salary nor power. Lord Royston,
son of the deceased and now Earl of Hardwicke, was his competitor.
Ambitious industry was never exerted so indefatigably as by Sandwich
on this occasion. There was not a corner of England, nay, not the
Isle of Man, unransacked by him for votes. He ferreted out the mad,
the lame, the diseased, from their poor retreats, and imported them
into the University. Letters on letters were written, and fawning
applications made to all who could influence a vote of any country
clergyman. Lord Hardwicke, on the other hand, was cold, proud, and void
of generosity.[454] With the clergy, indeed, he had much connection:
and, being a man of no vice, and by poring over historic MSS., supposed
to be learned, he seemed adapted to fill a nominal charge in a society
that is expected to be devout and studious. At least, the profligacy
of Sandwich could not but be unsuitable to them, whether they had the
reality, or only the semblance of religion and learning. When the day
of election came on, the votes appeared to be equal, though each side
pretended to have a majority of one. Great altercations ensued, and
the meeting broke up in confusion; on which recourse was had to common
law, where, after many months, a decision was pronounced in favour of
Lord Hardwicke. Many instances appeared of bribery practised by Lord
Sandwich; who, besides being rejected, experienced many insults and
indignities. The under-graduates who, having no votes, had not been
courted by him, were riotous, and hissed his chief agents: and when he
went to the University in the month following, and dined in the hall
of Trinity College, they marked their abhorrence of him by quitting
the hall, and refusing to dine with him! Young Thomas Pitt,[455] and
Frederick Montagu,[456] Sandwich’s own cousin, who had gone down
to support him, were so disgusted with his practices, and with the
factious confusion he had caused in the University, that they declared
they would assist his cause no longer. When the former told him he
would ruin the University, he replied, “That would be nothing to him:
it would be the better for Oxford.” Yet himself had been bred at
Cambridge--but Oxford was cherished by the Court.

On the 12th of April came on the election of East India Directors,
when Sullivan’s list was chosen, though Clive had the support not only
of the Administration, but of the Duke of Devonshire.[457] Sullivan
himself was elected by a majority of but one vote. He thought that in
the new Direction he had twelve votes to ten; but before the day of
their balloting for their chairman, Lord Clive had bought off one of
them. When the election came on, Sullivan desired to be named without
being obliged to submit to a ballot, at the same time cajoling the
other party with great professions to Lord Clive. His antagonists,
however, insisting on a ballot, the numbers appeared to be eleven and
eleven. Sullivan finding himself betrayed or overreached, retired with
heat, and Rous, his principal enemy, was chosen chairman. Had Sullivan,
who was the creature of Lord Shelburne, succeeded, Colonel Barré was to
have gone Governor to Bengal, which was given to Lord Clive, and he was
soon after decorated with the Order of the Bath, to give dignity to his
new employment.

At the same time, to mark that Parliamentary services or disobedience
were the leading steps to favour or disgrace, Mr. Bridgman[458] was
turned out of the Board of Greencloth for his vote on General Warrants;
and was succeeded by Richard Vernon,[459] formerly an officer, a
jockey, a gamester, and brother-in-law of the Duchess of Bedford. Mr.
Cadogan[460] was appointed Surveyor of the Royal Gardens; and Jeremiah
Dyson was made one of the Lords of Trade. Of this man it is necessary
to say a few more words. He was a tailor’s son, had risen under
Nicholas Hardinge from a subaltern clerk of the House of Commons, to
succeed him as first clerk, and by education and principle was thought
and had conversed as a staunch Republican.[461] In that employment he
had comported himself with singular decency and intelligence. In truth
his parts were excellent: he was quick, subtle, shrewd, clear, both in
conception and delivery, and was master of argumentative eloquence,
though void of every ornamental part of it. Being of an unhealthy
complexion, and very fretful temper, he had quitted his laborious post,
and was now come into Parliament, secretly sold to the Favourite; but
from his behaviour as their clerk, having conciliated much goodwill to
himself among the members, he was for some time heard with great favour
and satisfaction, an indulgence he lost afterwards, when his warmth
made them recollect he had once been their servant. He now appeared as
devoted to George Grenville, and indeed was excellently useful, from
his parts and great knowledge of Parliamentary business, to all who
employed him. But proving both slippery to his friends as fast as they
fell, and vexatious to his enemies, few men became equally unpopular.
Having deserted Grenville on a change of times, and happening to
convert his tied wig into a bag, Lord Gower being asked the reason,
said, “It is because no _Tye_ will hold him.”[462] Dyson will appear
again on the stage in a critical moment.


  Prorogation of the Parliament.--Walpole’s Conduct on the dismissal
    of General Conway for voting against Ministers on the Question of
    the legality of General Warrants.--Trial of Carteret Webbe for
    Perjury.--The Earl of Northumberland Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.

On the 19th the Parliament rose. And now it is that I am obliged to
weave the history of my own conduct into a large part of the following
narration. Two considerable eras having taken their complexion from my
councils, the thread of my story would be imperfect, if I omitted what
relates to my own behaviour. I shall give it as briefly as the subject
and clearness will permit, and hope the reader will excuse egotisms
where no glory was the result of my actions. Chance, more than design,
presented the means; and if the moments were luckily seized, it was
from no merit, no foresight of mine, that those moments were brought on.

Having fully seen the incapacity of the Opposition, sensible how ill
they were united, and foreseeing that their strength would rather
diminish than augment, and at the same time flattering myself, from
the resistance which the Ministry had experienced, that they would be
less flippant in their innovations on liberty, which was fortified
by getting rid of general warrants, I had determined to give over
politics; and to withdraw myself from shallow councils. I was preparing
to make a visit to my friend and relation,[463] Lord Hertford, at
Paris, when, two days after the rising of the Parliament, I was stunned
with notice of Mr. Conway being turned out of the King’s bedchamber,
and dismissed from the command of his regiment of dragoons. As _I_
had been a principal cause of this unworthy treatment, and of this
destruction of his fortunes, nothing could be more sensible to me than
this blow. Nor could I remain a moment in doubt, from the complexion
of some in power, but that the stroke was aimed still more at me
than at Mr. Conway, though directly I was out of their reach. The
Bedford faction I knew were my mortal enemies. Yet I saw, too, that
Mr. Conway had a share in the resentment of others. Grenville was
not of a nature to pardon the slight Mr. Conway had made both of his
favour and power. He had offended Lord Sandwich, too, by refusing to
influence the chaplain of his regiment to vote for him at Cambridge;
and Lord Holland had long groaned for an opportunity of revenging
himself on Lord Hertford for his treatment of Bunbury. The tone of
the ruling Administration was despotic, nor had they forgotten how
lately they had trembled with apprehension of losing their power.
Here were more than motives sufficient to egg on general or particular
vengeance. And in general I must leave it; for after long search and
much information, I cannot fix the deed on any single man. There was
but one man among the suspected that ever solemnly denied having a
share in it; and he constantly did: I mean Lord Bute. All the rest
have charged it on others, though still without disavowing having had
a hand in it themselves. The King often afterwards protested to Lord
Hertford that his Ministers[464] forced him to it. Grenville declared
that his Majesty was more eager for it than any of them. The Duke of
Bedford alone was frank, and avowed that though he had not recommended
the measure, he had told his colleagues, when they proposed to remove
Mr. Conway from the bedchamber only, that it was foolish to provoke
him by halves; and that to leave him his regiment, and take away the
bedchamber, would be telling other officers that they might oppose the
Court with impunity.

Be it as it may, the boldness of the step was almost unprecedented.
Sir Robert Walpole had dismissed the Lords Westmoreland[465] and
Cobham[466] from the command of regiments; and Mr. Pitt from a
cornetcy; but it was not till by a personal, violent, and constant
opposition, that they had made themselves as obnoxious as possible.
Yet even that measure, provoked as it was, had occasioned great
clamour; and had contributed to animate the Opposition, which at last
overthrew that Minister. Mr. Grenville had joined in that Opposition,
had risen on that foundation; and the Duke of Bedford had signed a
protest against the measure of dismissing officers for parliamentary
reasons. How different was the case now! The temper and fairness of the
man disgraced, his aversion to faction, the disinterestedness of his
character, his general co-operation with the measures of Government,
his being recently recommended to favour by Prince Ferdinand for
his services in Germany, and his being brother to the ambassador at
Paris--all these were considerations that made the measure amazing.
But when it was observed that this punishment was inflicted for a
single[467] vote in Parliament, when it was evident that that vote
had been peculiarly conscientious, and given in a cause avowed by the
nation, and against a practice certain of being, as it soon after was,
condemned by the Courts of Law, and though maintained by Parliament
in retrospect, yet given up for the future by that very Parliament
as pernicious; when the context, too, appeared to be, that military
men in Parliament were to forfeit their profession and the merit of
their services, unless implicitly devoted to the Court; could these
reflections, when coupled with the arbitrary measures which the nation
had observed to be the system of the Court, fail to occasion the
blackest presages? Lord Bute, in truth, had slunk away from his own
victory; but Grenville remained, and had Bute’s tools, and Sandwich
and Rigby, to war with on the constitution, and Lord Mansfield and
Norton ready to turn the law against itself.

It was a beautiful contrast, the behaviour of the person aggrieved.
His temper, decency, and submission were unalterable and unequalled.
He neither complained nor tried to instil a sense of his injuries
into a single friend, though he wished they should take his part, and
resent for him. He could not have entertained a wish worse founded: his
friends were rejoiced at not being called upon; and had no ambition to
share the crown of his martyrdom. There lived not three more interested
men than the Duke of Argyle,[468] Lord Lorn, and Lord Frederick
Campbell, the father and brothers of Lady Ailesbury,[469] Mr. Conway’s
wife. The first loved money, and had incurred unpleasant suspicions
in his efforts to obtain it. Lord Lorn[470] was sordidly covetous,
and had not sense enough to foresee a blessing in futurity beyond
the first half-crown that glittered in his eyes. Lord Frederick[471]
was sensible, shrewd, and selfish; and on this and a subsequent
crisis showed that no connection or obligation could stand against
the eagerness with which he pursued immediate fortune. Nothing else
weighed with him, except the inveteracy of national prejudice. As Mr.
Conway had acted in opposition to Scottish measures, Lord Frederick,
forgetting Mr. Conway’s friendship and kindness, and his own youthful
situation, and borne away by a hot temper, often and indecently
attacked him in Parliament, though without any brilliancy of parts to
colour over such improper behaviour. The Duke of Richmond, who had
married Lady Ailesbury’s daughter, kept himself more free from blame.
He had been witness to the integrity of Mr. Conway’s conduct at the
conference with Mr. Grenville, and certainly loved him, though not
enough to participate his disgrace. The Duke, however, offered to take
a part in Parliament if Mr. Conway’s friends would move for an inquiry
into the cause of his dismission; but that offer did not include his
Grace’s engaging any farther against the Court.

There was still another relation of Mr. Conway more deeply involved
in his disgrace, and more immediately called upon to resent it; his
brother, Lord Hertford. Yet there were both real and specious reasons
for his submitting to it.[472] Mr. Conway had taken this part, not
only without consulting him, but when he must have known how unwelcome
it would be to Lord Hertford, then in the King’s service both at home
and abroad, and well treated; connected with the Ministry, and ever
desirous of being so with all Administrations. Lord Hertford had even,
after his brother’s first vote, made remonstrances to him, though in
vain. On the other hand, honour, interest in a general sense, and
personal resentment, called on Lord Hertford to espouse his brother’s
quarrel. Ambassador in France, where no officer was ever broken but for
cowardice or some atrocious crime, it could but strike the French Court
that the Ambassador stood in little estimation at home, when such an
affront was put on the family. Could he expect more consideration if he
acquiesced? On the other hand, should the Opposition succeed, in which,
besides his brother, were his wife’s nephew, the Duke of Grafton,[473]
and his old friends, whom he had already offended by not acting with
them, what could he expect but, at best, the humiliating circumstance
of being saved by his brother whom he had abandoned? Nor could Lord
Hertford doubt but that Mr. Conway partly suffered on his account, as
far as Lord Holland had any share in the measure. Yet, though there had
been no instance of such a disgrace remaining unresented, much less
when such a character was so unjustly treated, not a single resignation
marked that the sufferer had either a friend or relation in the place.
He was at once sacrificed by the Court, and abandoned by his own family.

It became the more incumbent on me to make him all the reparation in
my power. I offered him six thousand pounds, which he refused; and I
altered my will, giving him almost my whole fortune unless his regiment
should be restored to him; a destination with which I acquainted him.
And though it certainly would not augment the gift, I determined
to hazard all I had rather than not revenge both him and myself.
Grenville, the very day before the dismission of Mr. Conway, whether to
detach me from him, or fearing I should make use of the indiscretion he
had been guilty of, ordered the payment of my bills at the Treasury; a
step that, far from soothing, but served to increase my resentment. I
dreaded lest Mr. Conway should think I had kept any underhand measures
with the Treasury; but I soon convinced both him and the world how
steadily I embraced the cause of my friend. Yet for the first time in
my life I acted with a phlegm of which I did not know myself capable. I
shut myself up in the country for three days, till I had conquered the
first ebullitions of my rage, and then returned to town with a face of
satisfaction, which some thought indifference; and others joy at having
dipped Mr. Conway in Opposition. Both were mistaken. I knew that both
Mr. Conway and the Opposition were little formed for the business. I
had everything to discourage me, and nothing but perseverance and the
firmness of my own temper to carry me on. I foresaw, indeed, that the
persecution he had undergone would raise the character of Mr. Conway,
would lend him an importance he would never have assumed, and might one
day place him at the head of this country. I foresaw that the violence
and unprincipled rashness of the Ministers would conduct them to a
precipice; but I should far overrate my own sagacity, if I pretended to
have discovered that those prospects were near enough to administer any
comfort to my impatience. I knew the folly of those I was to act with.
I could not flatter myself it would be exceeded by the folly of those I
was to act against.

If self-interest restrained Mr. Conway’s family from embracing his
defence, it was as natural that the Opposition should caress him.
A martyr is as creditable to a party in politics as to a sect in
religion. Yet so decent and so dignified was the Opposition of that
time, that they expressed none of the heat and ardour with which
parties usually seize such an event. The Duke of Devonshire, indeed,
came to me, and with great delicacy desired that I would in his name
make an offer to Mr. Conway of a thousand pounds a year, till his
regiment should be restored.[474] This noble offer Mr. Conway as
generously declined. However, it gave lustre to our cause; and it was
my purpose to raise as high as I could the character of our party, and
to spread the flames of emulation from such examples. The Ministerial
tools, on the other hand, were not idle, but began to defame Mr. Conway
as a spiritless and inactive General, reviving in scandalous papers the
miscarriage at Rochfort.[475] This artillery, however, we turned upon
them, and displayed the malignity of not being content with ruining
him, without proceeding to the grossest defamation. Mr. Conway, too, by
my advice, called upon the detractors to avow themselves, and, if they
dared, take up the weapons like men, which soon silenced that dirty
kind of war.

But these prosperous beginnings were almost all I could accomplish.
Every step I took I found discouragement and disappointment. There was
no union in our party, nor could I bring about any. At first I laboured
to form a little junto of the most considerable of our friends in the
House of Commons, who should plan our future measures and conduct them.
But of those I could not prevail on any three to assemble and enter
into concert. Legge was dying; Charles Yorke was proud, insincere,
waiting for an opportunity of making his own bargain, and offended that
Mr. Pitt was disposed to make Pratt Chancellor; though the latter,
for the good of the cause, was willing to waive the Seals. Charles
Townshend, neglected by the Court, seemed zealously attached to us;
unfortunately, we could neither do with him nor without him; yet his
jealousy of Grenville and fear of Mr. Conway would have fixed him,
if anything could. There was another man of whose art and abilities
I had a high opinion, and who was as practicable as the others I
have mentioned were little so,--I mean Lord George Sackville. But
insuperable difficulties kept him from us too. Pitt had proscribed him;
Newcastle did not love him; the Duke of Devonshire was too cautious to
join him; and Conway, knowing Lord George had been his enemy, though it
had never come to an open rupture, would not listen to any connection
with him, but pleaded the stains on his character, and the enmity borne
to him by Prince Ferdinand. I lost my temper at finding that, whilst
our enemies stuck at nothing, every phantom and every fancy was to
clog our councils and retard our advances. The dignity of great Lords,
and their want of sense, the treachery of some, the piques of others,
all had their operation, and not a single prejudice was removed to
facilitate our attempts. I had surmounted my repugnance to Newcastle,
and, though in truth to little purpose, had consented to advise
with him. He was still the same; at once busy and inactive, fond of
plotting, but impossible to be put in motion. Nor, indeed, propose what
I would, could I obtain to have a single measure carried into execution.

But what hampered us most was Mr. Pitt. He justly resented having been
abandoned by Newcastle, Devonshire, and the Whigs. He despised both
Charles Yorke and Charles Townshend; and though he expressed civil
applause of Mr. Conway, would neither connect with him nor see him.
He at once talked of an Administration to be composed of great Whig
Lords, and of his own resolution not to force himself on the King; that
is, he wished the great Lords should force him on the King without his
concurrence, that he might have the merit of disavowing them, and of
profiting of their weight. Conway was as difficult as Pitt, and too
proud to make any advances to him. Thus, wherever I turned, there were
no facilities. Even Lord Temple, accustomed to run and meet faction
in the highways, seemed cold and indisposed to connection with us. At
the same time I heard that a treaty was carrying on between him and
his brother George; a report which, though true, greatly deceived me;
for, concluding that Lord Temple was too firmly united with Mr. Pitt to
negotiate without him, I imputed the coldness of both to an approaching
league of the whole family; whereas the truth was, though then a secret
to all the world, that Mr. Pitt and Lord Temple were on bad terms; the
former disapproving the violence of Temple; and Temple being enraged
that Mr. Pitt would not lend himself to all his passions.

Perceiving so little hope of union amongst ourselves, I conceived a
better prospect from the factions of the Court, which, by every art
I could devise, I endeavoured to inflame. I soon learned how wide
the breach was growing between Lord Bute and Grenville; and though I
then looked on the former as the more dangerous of the two, and of
all men was determined not to connect with him; yet to his friends I
held a plausible language, insinuating that it was possible he might
be forgiven by our great Lords, and left them to think that, if the
Favourite withdrew his protection from Grenville and the Bedfords, his
case would by no means be desperate with the Opposition. In the same
kind of style I talked to the friends of Grenville; still imputing
Mr. Conway’s disgrace alternately to the other faction, accordingly
as I conversed with either. I saw that, hostile as they were, despair
must cement their union. Both would be more prompt to quarrel if they
thought themselves not proscribed by us.

An incident fell out favourable to this plan. Grenville, ever averse
to Lord Holland, had destined his place of Paymaster to be shared
between Lord North and Stanley, and they had even taken joy on it.
But Lord Bute had prevented it being carried into execution; and Lord
Holland now came from France, stung with this insult: though as the
passing of his accounts was in agitation, he for the present stifled
his resentment, and affected to pay court to Grenville. As, however,
to hoodwink me to his own share in that business, and to inflame my
anger to Grenville, he laid the chief blame of Conway’s disgrace on
the latter, I indulged him, as usual, in the imagination that he
deceived me; and, as if to vent my own passion, blew up his as high as
I could against Grenville. From Lord Holland I heard what had escaped
me. Conway at the end of the Session, on a motion for thanking the
King for reducing the German demand, had made a panegyric on Prince
Ferdinand and the hereditary Prince, saying how hard it was that
_their_ country, which had suffered so much for _us_, should not have
ample indemnification. Grenville had answered, that surely if the King
had been content to lower the demands for Hanover, he was at liberty to
reduce those of Brunswick. This had passed in a thin debate; nor had I
been present. But Lord George Sackville had remarked, and said, “Conway
has undone himself.” It was, it seems, an irremissible crime to applaud
the hero who had commanded our armies and given them victory; and to
plead for another hero who had married the King’s own sister and fought
his battles!

I shall omit the detail of many other stratagems that I formed for
annoying the Administration, they having been damped or annihilated
by the supineness of my confederates. The summer was in every respect
unfortunate to us; and by the Session following, we scarce deserved the
name of a party. Death took off some of our chief leaders, who, though
they would not lead us, yet, by the sanction of their names, had kept
together an appearance of numbers, which dwindled away as our hopes of
success vanished. What farther regards us as a party will be mentioned
in its place. I now return to the other occurrences of the year.

Two vacant garters were bestowed on the Duke of Mecklenberg[476] and
Lord Halifax. About the same time died at Paris the King’s mistress,
Madame de Pompadour. She retained her power to the last, though their
amour had long been exhausted. The Duc de Choiseul, whom she had
destined for Minister, succeeded her in the King’s confidence without a

May 4th, Beardmore, one of the persecuted writers, carried his cause
against the messengers, and recovered one thousand pounds for damages.

On the 9th Mr. Conway’s late regiment was given to the Earl of
Pembroke; not without occasioning remarks a little disadvantageous to
the standard of his Majesty’s piety. Lord Pembroke, one of the wildest
young men of the times, had been dismissed from the King’s bedchamber
for debauching and eloping with a young lady of distinction, though
married to a more beautiful woman, sister of the Duke of Marlborough.
Nobody could tell what the King had to do to interfere in that
intrigue: but having done so, it seemed little consistent to reward
a young profligate[477] with the spoils of a man strictly virtuous
and conscientious. It was now remembered that at the beginning of
this reign, the Earl of Dartmouth, a young nobleman as pious as Lord
Pembroke was licentious, had applied to be of the King’s bedchamber,
but had been rejected by Lord Bute, lest so sanctimonious a man should
gain too far on his Majesty’s piety. An instance that if it proved the
religion of the King, did not bear witness to that of the Favourite.
But in such a theatre of hypocrisy, it mattered little who was the
principal impostor.

On the 15th died Dr. Osbaldiston, Bishop of London; and the next
day Lord Chancellor Henley was created Earl of Northington, a step
not communicated to the Duke of Bedford, who much resented it. But
Grenville was more mortified, who found himself excluded from the
nomination of the new Bishop of London. He had wished to raise
Newton[478] to that mitre, but Lord Bute procured it for Terrick. This
man, with no glimmering of parts or knowledge, had, on the merit of a
sonorous delivery, and by an assiduity of back-stairs address, wriggled
himself into a sort of general favour; and by timing his visits
luckily, had been promoted by the Duke of Devonshire to the See of
Peterborough. Yet he had been of the first, notoriously obliged to that
Duke, to abandon him on his fall, sailing headlong with the tide after
the Favourite’s triumph. Again, when the Favourite retired, Terrick,
who was minister of my parish,[479] was lavish to me of invectives
against that Lord; and sifted me eagerly to learn in what channel Court
favour was likely to flow. Having soon perceived his mistake, he had
made out a distant affinity with Worseley,[480] a creature of Lord
Bute, and a kind of riding-master to the King; and now to Grenville’s
surprise rose, all unworthy as he was, to so eminent a station in
the Church. This detail I communicated to Dr. Lyttelton, Bishop of
Carlisle, who adhered to George Grenville amidst their family breaches;
and who, being both gossiping and mischievous, kept up an acquaintance
with me of ancient date, that he might from my warmth collect
materials to carry to Grenville. I took care to furnish him according
to his wish. It was wormwood to Grenville to learn this proof of the
Favourite’s still subsisting ascendant; and when I had once set them on
the scent, I knew they would touch on it in more instances than this.

On the 22nd Philip Carteret Webbe was tried for perjury, being accused
of having forsworn himself in the cause against Wilkes. The jury stayed
out fifty-five minutes, but at last acquitted him: a vindication that
no more cleared his character than conviction would have made it worse.

The Earl of Northumberland[481] returned from Ireland, where his
profusion and ostentation had been so great,[482] that it seemed to
lay a dangerous precedent for succeeding governors, who must risk
unpopularity if more parsimonious; or the ruin of their fortune,
should they imitate his example. At his departure he broke with William
Gerard Hamilton,[483] his secretary, and dismissed him to make way for
the Earl of Drogheda,[484] the favourite both of Lady Northumberland
and the Primate.

Lord Northumberland had an advantageous figure and much courtesy in
his address, which being supported by the most expensive magnificence,
made him exceedingly popular with the meaner sort. They who viewed him
nearer, were not the dupes of his affability or pretensions. The old
nobility beheld his pride with envy and anger; and thence were the less
disposed to overlook the littleness of his temper, or the slender
portion he possessed of abilities; for his expense was a mere sacrifice
to vanity, as appeared by his sordid and illiberal behaviour at play.
Nor were his talents more solid than his generosity. With mechanic
application to every branch of knowledge, he possessed none beyond
the surface; and having an unbounded propensity to discussion, he
disgusted his hearers without informing them. Yet his equals were but
ill-grounded in their contempt of him. Very few of them knew so much;
and there were still fewer that had not more noxious vices, and as
ungenerous hearts. Lord Northumberland’s foibles ought to have passed
almost for virtues in an age so destitute of intrinsic merit.[485]

The Countess of Northumberland was a jovial heap of contradictions.
The blood of all the Percies and Seymours swelled in her veins and
in her fancy; while her person was more vulgar than anything but her
conversation, which was larded indiscriminately with stories of her
ancestors and her footmen. Show, and crowds, and junketting, were her
endless pursuits. She was familiar with the mob, while stifled with
diamonds; and yet was attentive to the most minute privileges of her
rank, while almost shaking hands with a cobbler. Nothing was more
mean than her assiduity about the King and Queen, whom she termed her
_Master_ and _Mistress_; and yet, though indirectly reprimanded by the
latter, she persisted in following her Majesty to the theatres with a
longer retinue of domestics than waited on the Queen herself. She had
revived the drummers and pipers and obsolete minstrels of her family;
and her own buxom countenance at the tail of such a procession, gave it
all the air of an antiquated pageant or mumming. She was mischievous
under the appearance of frankness; generous and friendly without
delicacy or sentiment.[486]

Lord Northumberland’s son, Lord Warkworth, was married to the third
daughter of the Favourite;[487] on which foundation the father was
admitted to the private junto, which now met daily at Mr. Stone’s.[488]
It was composed of Lord Bute, Lord Northumberland, Lord Mansfield,
Norton, Stone, and the brother of the latter, the famous Primate of
Ireland, who bad followed the Lord-Lieutenant to London; coming,
as he outwardly professed, to promote harmony and reconciliation.
As he died soon after, before he had given any specimens of his
arts here, I pretend not to say what were the real motives of his
journey. He did visit Mr. Pitt; but a man so notorious for cunning
as the Primate, was not likely to win on the _caution_ of Mr. Pitt,
who never _was explicit_, and least of all to men of abilities. It
appeared, however, from the meetings I have mentioned, and other
symptoms, that the Favourite was peeping out of his lurking-hole, and
was disposed to let his power be felt. Grenville, though drunk with
vanity, was sober enough to be stung with any competition; and yet
his obstinacy disgusted those whom it was most necessary for him to
attach. He offended the Duke of Bedford and Lord Halifax by refusing
to let the Treasury bear the whole charge of the fines imposed on
the messengers. The Duke experienced so many slights, that he kept
retired in the country, and Rigby went to France, professing that it
was to be absent, lest he should be blamed if the Duke should submit
to such ignominious treatment; but Rigby had, no doubt, secured the
Duke’s submission before he ventured to leave him, as he called it,
to himself. However, the Duke of Cumberland was so much misled by
those wayward humours, that before the end of the summer he sent Lord
Albemarle[489] to Woburn, to sound their dispositions, and endeavour to
draw them from the Court. Not one, not his own sister, Lady Tavistock,
would talk to him on politics; only the Duchess said drily, that her
husband was Minister, and that everything was done that he desired.
Mr. Pitt had said more truly, some time before, “They will disgust the
Duke of Bedford in the spring, that they may not be teazed with his
solicitations; and they will sweeten him again by winter, with some
trifling favour, that he may give them no trouble in Parliament.”


  Printed by S. & J. BENTLEY, WILSON, and FLEY,
  Bangor House, Shoe Lane.


[1] Preface to the “Memoires of the Last Twelve Years of the Reign of
George the Second,” p. xxvi.

[2] Postscript to the “Memoires of George the Second,” p. 40.

[3] Preface to the “Memoires of the Last Twelve Years of the Reign of
George the Second,” p. xxxii.

[4] Mr. Wright’s notes on Lord Chatham’s Correspondence and his edition
of Cavendish’s Debates are also most useful aids to the student of
English History. He died not many months ago, in circumstances which
proved his labours to have been very inadequately rewarded by the

[5] Mr. Clavering--he was a near relative of a North country baronet of
the same name.--E.

[6] Sir Henry Wilmot, Bart., M.D., Physician-general to the Forces, an
eminent medical practitioner, and the son-in-law of Dr. Mead; he died
in 1786, at a very advanced age.--E.

[7] He was Serjeant-surgeon to the King, and had attended George II. at
the battle of Dettingen.--E.

[8] John Stuart, third Earl of Bute.--This nomination was severely
criticised in publications of the day. It is treated by Mr. Adolphus
as a simple nomination to the Privy Council, and is defended as such,
on the ground that the Groom of the Stole had been always constituted
a Privy Counsellor. This is a misconception. The empty honour of the
Council could be grudged by no one to a great officer of the royal
household. The real grievance was his admission into the Cabinet.--E.

[9] The Duke very soon discovered his power to be gone. Lord Bute’s
predilection for the Tories was undisguised, and it soon became
evident that the Court had determined to break up the Whig party, the
effect of which would be to reduce the Duke to insignificance. See
an interesting letter from Mr. Rigby to the Duke of Bedford (19 Dec.
1760), giving an account of an interview of the former with the Duke of
Newcastle.--Russell Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 467.

[10] William Cavendish, fourth Duke of Devonshire, and Lord Chamberlain.

[11] William Henry Nassau Zulestein, fourth Earl of Rochford. He was
descended from General Zulestein, a natural uncle of William the Third;
and his grandfather, the first Earl, had been one of the favourite
generals of that Monarch. Lord Rochford had been minister at Turin from
1749 to 1755, when he was appointed Groom of the Stole, to the great
disappointment of Earl Poulett, the first Lord of the Bedchamber, who
in consequence resigned his employment. Walpole’s Memoirs, vol. i. p.

[12] The Duke of Bedford was no favourite of Walpole, owing to a
private quarrel. There is no reason for suspecting that it could have
been intended to remove his Grace from the Government of Ireland, a
post which he had occupied with great reluctance (Walp. Mem. vol. ii.
p. 105), and was glad to vacate shortly afterwards.--E.

[13] Granville Leveson, Earl Gower, brother of the Duchess of Bedford.

[14] James Brudenel, brother of the Earl of Cardigan, to which title he
afterwards succeeded. He died without issue in 1811, aged 86.--E.

[15] Eldest daughter of John, Earl of Bute; afterwards married to Sir
James Lowther.

[16] Afterwards third wife of Granville Leveson, Earl Gower.

[17] He had been dismissed for joining Mr. Pitt, and the Prince
had at the time promised to restore him, upon coming to the
throne.--Doddington’s Diary, Appendix.--E.

[18] Richard Temple, Lord Cobham, who had been much engaged with
Frederick Prince of Wales, being asked by Henrietta, Lady Suffolk, what
was the real character of the Princess, replied, “She was the only
woman he could never find out: all he had discovered was, that she
hated those most to whom she paid most court.”

[19] This criticism of Lord Bute is not borne out by facts. The fine
collection of pictures made by his lordship at Luton, prove the
munificence and discernment with which he patronized painting. Luton
itself, the building, or rather the enlargement of which he is known
to have personally superintended, with many faults had likewise many
beauties, and was surpassed in taste by few of the mansions of that
date, and certainly not by Strawberry Hill. He had, in fact, a genuine
love both of painting and architecture, and his efforts to infuse
the same into the mind of his royal pupil did not entirely fail, for
George the Third’s example was unquestionably a great improvement in
this respect on his immediate predecessors. Of the other charges here
brought against Lord Bute, the Editor has spoken elsewhere.--E.

[20] Archbishop Secker has been in more than one instance
misrepresented by Walpole. It is most improbable that he should have
entertained the views here ascribed to him. As the head of the Church,
it necessarily became his duty to attend frequently at Court on the
commencement of a new reign, as has since happened to his successors
without their incurring any such imputation.--E.

[21] When Prince of Wales, Scott, his sub-preceptor, reproached him
with inattention to his studies. The Prince pleaded idleness. “Idle!
Sir,” said Scott; “your brother Edward is idle; but do you call being
asleep, being idle?”

[22] George Keppel, third Earl of Albemarle, a favourite of the Duke of
Cumberland, and afterwards conqueror of the Havannah.

[23] George, eldest son of Charles Lord Viscount Townshend (afterwards
Marquis of Townshend). His name often appears in these Memoirs.

[24] A Letter to the Honourable Brigadier General, Commander-in-Chief
of his Majesty’s Forces in Canada.--London, 1760.--It is written
with a point and spirit, and we may add, with a degree of malignity,
closely akin to Junius, to whose pen, indeed, it has recently been
ascribed. (See Preface by Mr. Simons to the new edition of this
Pamphlet.) A reply, under the title of “Refutation of a Letter,” &c.,
composed, evidently, under the eye of Townshend or his family, appeared
shortly afterwards, and is equally intemperate, but very inferior
in ability. The controversy is so far prejudicial to Townshend, as
convicting him of an ungenerous indifference to the memory of the
great man who had led him to victory--his only excuse for the slight
manner in which he notices Wolfe in the despatch being, not “want of
esteem, but because of the impropriety of writing a panegyric to a
Minister, when nothing but the situation and exigence of affairs is
mentioned.” Townshend virtually admitted the justice of the charge,
by subsequently publishing a studied panegyric on Wolfe in the form
of a private letter, though it is more in the style of his brother’s
parliamentary speeches, and was probably the composition of the latter.
With respect to his opposition to Wolfe’s plan of attack, he stands
entirely acquitted. The Protest made by him, in common with other
officers, had been against a plan of attack which, in consequence of
that Protest, was abandoned, and the dissentients on that occasion
were those who proposed the very attack which proved so successful.
The two generals were certainly not suited to each other. Townshend,
though brave, clever, and not devoid of good feeling, was impatient of
authority, and possessed in a singular degree the faculty of detecting
and exaggerating the faults of his superiors. He had thus drawn upon
himself the resentment of the Duke of Cumberland, to whom he was under
great obligations, and had fallen into difficulties, out of which
it required the all-powerful patronage of Pitt to extricate him. A
partial friend (Mr. Glover) describes him as “often led into hasty and
striking judgments of men either in approbation or censure.” Wolfe
was not of a temperament to brook sarcasm, or even opposition, from
a subordinate officer; and yet he had peculiarities which Townshend
could scarcely overlook. One was a confidence in himself, which, as he
took no pains to disguise it, led superficial observers to question
the reality of his merit. Just before he quitted England for the last
time, he called to take leave of Lord Temple, whom he found sitting
with a colleague. The conversation turned on the prospects of the
expedition; and some stress being laid on the resistance that might
be expected from the numbers and gallantry of the French, Wolfe rose
from his chair, and drawing his sword, exclaimed with a loud voice,
and in a menacing attitude, that there was nothing to fear; for if
he could only come within reach of the enemy, his success was not
a matter of doubt, but of certainty. When he left the room the two
Ministers looked at each other with astonishment, and agreed, that to
entrust so hazardous an expedition to such a braggart, was indeed a
fearful experiment. The feeling that at all times appeared uppermost
in his mind, was an insatiable appetite for glory, and desire after
posthumous fame. He idolized genius either in arts or arms. Even on
the day of the attack, while sailing down the St. Lawrence, he read
aloud Gray’s Elegy, and observed several times to the officers with
him, that he did not know whether he would not rather be the author
of that poem than the conqueror of Quebec. In truth his was a noble
nature. His feelings were as genuine as they were ardent. He gave the
most minute attention to the welfare and comfort of his troops; and
instead of maintaining the reserve and stateliness so common with other
commanders of that day, his manner was frank and open, and he had a
personal knowledge of perhaps every officer in his army. We recollect a
respectable veteran, who, after having served under him at Louisburgh
and Cape Breton, commanded one of the first detachments that scaled
the heights of Abraham. In that exploit Captain ---- was shot through
the lungs. On recovering his senses he saw Wolfe standing by his side.
Amidst the anxieties of such a critical hour, the General stopped to
press the hand of the wounded man--praised his services, encouraged
him not to abandon the hope of life--assured him of leave of absence
and early promotion; nay more, he desired an aide-de-camp to give a
message to that effect to General Monckton, should he himself fall in
the action; and, to the credit of General Monckton, the promise was
kept. No wonder that these qualities coupled with brilliant success
won the hearts of the soldiery: a sort of romance still clings to
his name. He is the only British General belonging to the reign of
George the Second who can be said to have earned a lasting reputation.
Long as this note is, it would be incomplete without some notice of
General Townshend. That officer was the son of Charles third Viscount
Townshend, and the witty Ethelreda Harrison, and therefore the grandson
of Charles second Viscount Townshend, the celebrated colleague of Sir
Robert Walpole. He was not loved by either of his parents. His father,
a man of dissolute habits, and an unnatural parent, made for him so
mean a provision, that on leaving the University he joined the army
abroad as a volunteer, and he served in that capacity at the battle of
Dettingen. He was afterwards reduced to seek employment in the Dutch
service, but, fortunately, was disappointed, as about this time he
attracted the notice of the Duke of Cumberland, through whose interest
he rose rapidly to the rank of Colonel. He attended the Duke during
the remainder of the war, and distinguished himself at Fontenoy and
Culloden. Subsequently, his marriage with Lady de Ferrars, the heiress
of the Northamptons, placed him at once in opulent circumstances, and
he was elected a representative for Norfolk without opposition, except
from his father. The figure he made in the House, where he acquired
considerable influence, especially over members in the agricultural
interest, has caused him to be often noticed (generally with censure)
in these Memoirs; but though Walpole paints him in no pleasing colours,
on the other hand, another contemporary writer says that he was manly
in person, demeanour, and sentiment, and exemplary as a husband and
father, and, from his wit, agreeable to his friends and formidable to
those he disliked. It cannot be denied, however, that he was too prone
to mischief, and more worldly than seemed consistent with his love of
pleasure and ease. His life was singularly prosperous, and prolonged
to extreme old age. He became Viscount Townshend by the death of his
father in 1764. In 1767 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland;
in 1787 he was created a Marquis, and in 1807, he died, aged 84, being
then a Field Marshal, Governor of Jersey, and Colonel of a regiment of
Dragoons. Memoirs of George the Second, vol. i. p. 33; vol. ii. p. 337.
Memoirs of a distinguished Political and Literary Character, p. 71--E.

[25] Charles Lenox, third Duke of Richmond.

[26] William Keppel, third son of William Anne, second Earl of
Albemarle, by Lady Anne Lenox, daughter of the first Duke of Richmond.
He commanded a regiment at the conquest of the Havannah, and died a
General officer, unmarried, in 1786.--E.

[27] There is a slight inaccuracy in this statement. The Duke’s
resentment was not so generous. The object of his interview with the
King was to promote his own interest, not that of Colonel Keppel.--See
the Duke of Richmond’s letter of 21st June, 1783, in the Appendix to
Dodington’s Diary.--E.

[28] William Petty, Lord Fitzmaurice, eldest son of the Earl of
Shelburne, whom he succeeded in that title May 17, 1761; and by which
title he will be frequently mentioned in the following Memoirs.

[29] Lord George Lenox was only brother of Charles third Duke of
Richmond. He had behaved with distinguished gallantry in the German
wars. The late Duke of Richmond was his son.--E.

[30] Charles Fitzroy, second son of Lord Augustus Fitzroy, second
son of Charles second Duke of Grafton, and only brother of Augustus
Henry third Duke of Grafton. He distinguished himself at the battle of
Minden, where he served on the staff of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick.
He was created Lord Southampton in 1780, and died on the 21st of March
1797, aged 60.--E.

[31] Augustus Henry, Duke of Grafton, afterwards First Lord of the

[32] Henry Fox had married Lady Caroline Lenox, eldest daughter of
Charles, late Duke of Richmond, without the consent of her father and
mother, who were some years unreconciled to her.

[33] It was given under pretence of paying the late Prince her
husband’s debts. Whether she did discharge any of them I neither know
nor deny; some, I have heard, remained unpaid, not only at her death,
but in the year 1788.

[34] George Henry Lee, Earl of Litchfield, High Steward, and afterwards
Chancellor of the University of Oxford, had been a zealous partisan
of the House of Stuart, of which he was an illegitimate branch, his
grandfather, Edward the first Earl, having married a daughter of
Charles the Second by the Duchess of Cleveland. Lord Litchfield was
too much a man of pleasure to shine in politics, or he might at this
crisis have taken a leading part in public affairs, for his abilities
were considerable. The following ironical character of him is almost
the only instance in which Wilkes has described an opponent with
candour and truth:--“The Captain (Giddy) was a sprightly fellow in his
youth, and is remembered about twenty years ago to have made a very
good speech or two at some of your public meetings in London. From this
time, however, the figure he hath made in the world hath not been much
to his credit. The chief of his company, till within these two years,
have been parsons and country squires. They used to lead him about to
races, cock-matches, and country clubs, where he was apt sometimes
to drink a little too freely. A course of life of this sort brought
on a swimming in his head, so that he hath frequently been supposed
not to be sensible where he was, or what he was about: hence he hath
been known in the late times of party violence, in the same sort of
company, and within a few days of each other, to drink ‘Exclusion to
the House of Hanover, and confusion to the Stuarts.’” _North Briton,
No. 29_.--Lord Litchfield died in 1772. The title did not go beyond the
third generation, though the first Earl had thirteen sons, of whom six
lived to manhood.--E.

[35] Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, was grandson of
the Lord Treasurer’s brother, on whom the title had been specially
limited, on failure of issue male in the direct line. He died in 1790,
aged 64.--E.

[36] Thomas Brudenel Bruce, Baron Bruce, youngest brother of George,
Earl of Cardigan, and of the Duke of Montague. He was the fourth son of
George third Earl of Cardigan, by Elizabeth, only daughter of Thomas
second Earl of Aylesbury and Baron Bruce. That barony afterwards
devolved upon him by a special limitation in the patent obtained by
his uncle Charles, the third and last Earl of Aylesbury, who also
bequeathed to him the bulk of the family property. He was created Earl
of Aylesbury in 1776, on the death of his uncle, and died in 1814. The
present Marquis of Aylesbury is his son.--E.

[37] James Douglas, Earl of March and Ruglen, afterwards Duke of
Queensberry. He died in 1810, aged 86. He possessed uncommon shrewdness
and penetration, but is now only remembered by the excessive profligacy
which stained even the last years of his life.--E.

[38] Alexander Montgomery, Earl of Eglinton, an intelligent,
public-spirited nobleman. Scotland is greatly indebted to him for the
agricultural improvements he introduced upon his estates in Ayrshire,
and still more for the benefit of his example on other large landed
proprietors. He was mortally wounded in an accidental scuffle with an
officer of Excise, whom he found poaching in his park, and died on
the 25th October, 1769. The murderer was convicted, and only escaped
execution by hanging himself in prison. Wood’s Peerage of Scotland,
vol. i.--E.

[39] George Broderick, Viscount Middleton. He had married the eldest
daughter of the Honourable Thomas Townshend, and great-niece of the
Duke of Newcastle, and died in 1765, aged 35. He was the grandson of
Lord Chancellor Broderick.--E.

[40] Andrew Stone, of whom see more in the preceding reign, and _infra_.

[41] Smith de Burgh, Earl of Clanrickard.

[42] Richard Rigby, of Mistley, near Manningtree, in Essex, Secretary
to the Duke of Bedford.

[43] This tract may still be read with interest. It is a masterly
production. The style is clear and persuasive, the tone calm, and
the reasoning close and logical. The examples from English history
with which the author supports his positions are skilfully chosen and
agreeably introduced, and his strictures on the King of Prussia have a
smartness and pungency that show no small command over the weapons of
controversy. Mr. Mauduit was agent for Massachusetts. He wrote several
tracts on the differences between England and her American Colonies, as
well as on subjects connected with the Dissenting interests, of which
he was a zealous and munificent promoter. He died unmarried, in June
1787, aged 72. See Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes, vol. viii. p. 466; and
Chalmers’s Biographical Dictionary, Art. Mauduit.--E.

[44] Basil Fielding, Earl of Denbigh, Lord of the Bedchamber.

[45] Son of Mr. Grenville, of Wooton, and afterwards First Lord of the
Treasury. He had for some time been looked upon as a very promising
statesman. Mr. Glover, in writing of him a few years before, says,
“George Grenville will, I believe, make the most useful and able
Parliament man of the three, though not of equal eloquence with
Pitt.”--Mem. of a Distinguished Pol. and Lit. Character, p. 20.

His memory is embalmed in the brilliant panegyric of Mr. Burke (speech
on American Taxation); and a more sober, though not less friendly
estimate of his merits, has been since given by Mr. Knox. (Cited in
an interesting note to the Chatham Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 486.)
These prove how highly he was esteemed by his friends; and it will
be perceived in the course of this work that Walpole was not always
blind to his great knowledge of the Constitution, his capacity for
business, and his powers as a speaker in Parliament. The unfavourable
opinion, however, expressed of Mr. Grenville in the text was by no
means confined to Walpole, his unpopularity being remarkable. Justice,
indeed, was never shown to his abilities by the public--even Dr.
Johnson wrote of him, “Let him not be depreciated in his grave. He had
powers not universally possessed; could he have enforced payment of the
Manilla ransom, _he could have counted it_.” (Cited in Boswell, vol.
ii. p. 113.)--E.

[46] Archibald Campbell, Duke of Argyle, died suddenly, March 15, 1761.

[47] The King.

[48] Sir Henry Erskine, though a moderate poet, was not meanly
accomplished. He cultivated literature, and was a very lively
companion. He spoke frequently in the House of Commons, and always
fluently and with spirit, but in a style better suited to the hustings
than to a deliberative assembly. His career was singular. He was the
second son of Sir John Erskine, Bart., of Alva, and succeeded to his
title on the death of his brother, Major Sir Charles Erskine, at Holst,
just before the battle of Lafeldt. He accompanied the expedition to
L’Orient, as Deputy Quarter-Master General of the Forces, under his
uncle, General St. Clair. Devoting himself afterwards to politics,
he shared the proscription which fell on the adherents of Leicester
House, and was dismissed the service. The new reign amply restored
his fortunes. With his commission he soon received the command of the
Royal Scots; and in four years he had already attained the rank of
Lieutenant-General, when he died, in 1765, in middle life. His marriage
with Miss Wedderburn, little as it promised at the time of worldly
advantage, brought wealth and rank into his family; the earldom and
property of her brother, Lord Chancellor Rosslyn, having devolved
subsequently on their eldest son, owing to the death of that nobleman
and his brother, General Wedderburn, without issue.--E.

[49] John Home, author of the tragedies of Douglas, Agis, and Siege
of Aquileia; of which none save Douglas (says Sir Walter Scott)
were exhibited with remarkable applause, and one or two with marked
disapprobation. Mr. Home, though not a first-rate dramatist, was
a pleasing writer, well-informed, and very agreeable in society.
George the Third became much attached to him, and provided for him on
coming to the throne. He died in 1808, aged 84. His memoirs have been
elegantly written by Mackenzie, and form the subject of one of Walter
Scott’s beautiful criticisms in the Quarterly Review for June 1827.--E.

[50] Thomas Worseley, Surveyor General of the Board of Works.

[51] George Cooke, prothonotary of the Common Pleas, and member for
Middlesex. Walpole calls him elsewhere a “pompous Jacobite.” He
conducted the celebrated Westminster Petition against Lord Trentham in
1751; afterwards attaching himself to Mr. Pitt, he was appointed joint
Paymaster-General in 1766, and died in 1768.--E.

[52] Thomas Coventry, member for Bridport. A barrister, and director of
the South Sea Company. He was son of Thomas Coventry, who was brother
of William fifth Earl of Coventry.--E.

[53] Alderman William Beckford, of Jamaica, member for the City of

[54] Henry Bilson Legge, a younger son of the first Earl of Dartmouth,
was at this time Chancellor of the Exchequer. It should be remembered
that Mr. Legge had abandoned Lord Winchelsea, and attached himself
to Mr. Pelham in the Cabinet schism of 1744. He shared, with many
respectable statesmen of that day, the charge of having served
several masters, the partial changes so frequently made in the
Government having rendered coalitions almost inevitable, especially
at a time when, owing to the decline of Jacobitism, the lines of
demarcation between the different political parties had become very
indistinct. None, however, with whom he acted, could deny his eminent
qualifications as a man of business, or as a debater in the House of
Commons on all questions of trade and finance. His political integrity
is less commendable. Dodington says, that his thoughts were “_tout
pour la trippe_”--all for quarter-day (Diary, 407); and has, in common
with Walpole, reproached him with perfidy, in disclosing to the Duke
of Newcastle the negotiations of Leicester House with the Court in
1757. The more detailed account of the transaction, since published in
the posthumous memoirs of Mr. Glover, makes it far more probable that
the secret was insidiously drawn from him by the Duke, whose skill in
imposing on men of superior ability to his own, is one of the most
remarkable traits of his character; and that Mr. Legge was very open
to such arts, may reasonably be inferred, from the well-known fact of
his having incurred the serious displeasure of George the Second by an
indiscreet slip in conversation, when minister at Berlin. He had the
laxity of principle that belonged to the school of Walpole, but there
is no ground for believing him to have been actually dishonest; and
Mr. Pelham, who knew him well, said, “that he thought him as good as
his neighbours: more able, and as willing, to serve them that served
him as anybody he had been acquainted with for some time.” Whatever
may have been his delinquencies in this respect, they would certainly
have been overlooked by the Court, had he added to them by adopting the
course which was urged on him by Lord Bute in the Hampshire election.
This is proved by their published correspondence, in which he had a
great advantage over Lord Bute. When that minister had the assurance
to ask him to support Sir Simeon Steuart, who had come forward on the
opposite interest, he honestly answered, “If the Whigs and Dissenters,
who are very numerous in this country, will make it a point of opposing
him, it will be impossible for me to declare for him, and abandon those
who have supported me, to take part with those against whom they have
supported me.” Lord Bute’s rejoinder is admirable! he protests against
any desire on the Prince’s part to require the sacrifice of Mr. Legge’s
honour, but besought him out of real friendship, to consider seriously
whether he could not still, as far as was in his power, co-operate with
the Prince’s wishes for the return of two candidates, and required
a categorical answer. This was at once given in the negative by Mr.
Legge, who added, that he would submit to any consequences rather than
incur such a disgrace. Hence his dismissal. See more of Mr. Legge

[55] Daniel Finch, Earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham, Knight of the
Garter. Lord Winchelsea is one of the few statesmen of the reign of
George the Second whose character is worthy of a purer age. He was
the son of Lord Winchelsea, the great Tory leader, whose disgrace he
shared when that nobleman was dismissed for espousing the cause of
the Jacobite peers involved in the rebellion of 1715. He subsequently
became reconciled to Sir Robert Walpole, and in 1742 was appointed
First Lord of the Admiralty. Lord Waldegrave says of his conduct at
that period, “That it was so unexceptionable that faction itself was
obliged to be silent.”--Walpole Memoirs, p. 139. Horace Walpole is
equally warm in his praise. This is the testimony of political friends,
but it stands uncontradicted. Indeed Lord Winchelsea appears to have
enjoyed the respect of all parties. His public career, to use the
words of Lord Mahon, “without being illustrious, was long, useful, and
honourable.” He died in 1769, aged 81.--E.

[56] William Wildman Shute Barrington, Viscount Barrington, Treasurer
of the Navy.

[57] Robert Darcy, Earl of Holderness. This is an exaggeration of Lord
Holderness’s incapacity; for it appears by the Mitchell papers, that
he had attended closely to the business of his office, and performed
it respectably. His talents, however, were not above mediocrity. His
foreign connexions had recommended him to George the Second, whom
he attended as Lord of the Bedchamber at the battle of Dettingen,
and he was afterwards minister at Turin and at the Hague. The Duke
of Newcastle succeeded in making him Secretary of State, against
the opinion of Mr. Pelham, when scarcely thirty years of age. His
qualifications for that high office are thus summed up by the Duke,
in a letter, urging the appointment:--“He is indeed, or was thought,
trifling in his manner and carriage; but believe me, he has a solid
understanding, and will come out as prudent a young man as any in the
kingdom. He is good-natured, so that you may tell him his faults, and
he will mend them. He is very taciturn, dexterous enough, and most
punctual in the execution of his orders. He is got into the routine of
business, and knows well the present state of it.” (Letter from Duke of
Newcastle to Mr. Pelham, in Coxe’s Life of Pelham, vol. ii. p. 387.) A
portrait not less characteristic of the Duke than of Lord Holderness.
His lordship married a lady of the Fagel family, and his mother was
daughter of the last Duke of Schomberg. He died 1778, without issue
male, and his earldom became extinct. See more of him in Walpole’s
Memoirs, vol. i. p. 172; and Lord Waldegrave’s Memoirs, p. 121.--E.

[58] James Grenville, second brother of Earl Temple. He had already
been Deputy Paymaster General, and one of the Lords of Trade, and,
lastly, of the Treasury.--E.

[59] John Manners, Duke of Rutland, Knight of the Garter, died in 1779,
at the age of 83, having survived his gallant and amiable son, the
Marquis of Granby.--E.

[60] Samuel Lord Sandys, formerly the indefatigable opponent of Sir
Robert Walpole; but his importance had greatly diminished since that
minister’s downfall. He died in 1770.--E.

[61] Thomas Osborne, Duke of Leeds, Knight of the Garter. He married
Mary, daughter and co-heir of Francis Earl of Godolphin, and died in
1783, aged 76.--E.

[62] Charles Townshend, second son of Charles Viscount Townshend.

[63] Gilbert Elliot, afterwards Sir Gilbert.

[64] George Bussy Villiers, Viscount Villiers, only son of the Earl
of Jersey, whom he afterwards succeeded. He held the post of Lord
Chamberlain from 1765 to 1769, and subsequently filled other high
offices in the royal household. He died in August, 1805, aged 70.--E.

[65] T. Pelham, of Stanmore, afterwards Lord Pelham.

[66] George Rice married Cecil, only child of William Lord Talbot, and
a great heiress. He was Lord Lieutenant of the county of Carmarthen,
and a Privy Councillor. He died in 1779. The present Lord Dynevor is
his son.--E.

[67] John Spencer, only son of John Spencer, brother of Charles Duke
of Marlborough. He was a person of very resolute, independent spirit,
and warmly attached to the Whig interest, as he too well proved at
the celebrated Northampton election, which seriously impaired even
his immense fortune, while it made Lord Northampton an exile for the
remainder of his life, and obliged Lord Halifax to sell Horton and his
principal estates. With the exception of a very brief interval, Lord
Spencer remained all his life in Opposition. He died greatly respected
in 1783, aged 49. The present Earl Spencer is his grandson.--E.

[68] Sir Thomas Robinson, created Lord Grantham, had been minister at
Vienna, and Secretary of State. He was the fourth son of Sir William
Robinson, Baronet. His fortunate connexion with Horace Lord Walpole, to
whom he had been Secretary in 1723, quickly raised him to eminence. He
was an excellent man of business, and highly esteemed as a diplomatist.
His despatches are written with great spirit and clearness. In the
House of Commons he failed, as might have been expected from his
previous pursuits, and his talents have in consequence been much
underrated. He died in 1770. The Earl de Grey and the Earl of Ripon are
his grandsons.--E.

[69] Sir Nathaniel Curzon, (fifth Baronet, and M. P. for Derbyshire,)
created Lord Scarsdale. He afterwards was appointed Chairman of the
Committee of the House of Lords, and died at an advanced age, in

[70] Sir William Irby, created Lord Boston. He had been Page to George
I. and George II., and Equerry to the Prince on the arrival of the
latter in England. He married a niece of Mr. Selwyn, and died in 1773,
aged 66.--E.

[71] George Bubb Dodington, created Lord Melcomb.

[72] William Pulteney, Earl of Bath.

[73] Son of the Lord Chancellor. He had in his youth been one of Sir
Robert Walpole’s most violent opponents. The Count de Fuentes, in a
letter to Mr. Wall, of 27th March, says that this appointment was
ascribed to the Princess of Wales: of whom he adds, “they speak with
too much liberty.”--Chatham Corresp. vol. ii. p. 106. The adherence
of Lord Talbot to the Leicester House party certainly entitled him to
consideration, but he was now much overpaid; and this was felt even by
his patron Lord Bute, who wanted firmness to resist pretensions which
were urged with impetuosity, amounting almost to passion.--(Dodington’s
Diary, cited in note to the letter _supra_.) Lord Talbot had talents,
was resolute and ready; and his speeches had an air of independence
and a plausibility that made him rather a favourite with the public,
notwithstanding his vices, until his duel with Wilkes brought ridicule
upon his name, not to be effaced.--E.

[74] Son of Selina Countess of Huntingdon. He remained Groom of the
Stole till 1770. Akenside, who was one of the least adulatory of
poets, addressed to him, in 1747, a didactic ode on his setting out
on his travels. He was an amiable and accomplished nobleman, though
it requires some partiality to believe of his early youth that his
“breast the gifts of every Muse had known.” Delicate health prevented
his taking an active part in public business, and in 1766 he declined
the embassy to Spain, which was pressed on him by Lord Chatham. He died
in 1790, aged 62, without having been married, and the title was for
some years supposed to be extinct. In 1819 the father of the present
Earl established a claim to it, and took his seat in the House of Lords

[75] See page 39, and _infra_.

[76] Henry Seymour Conway, only brother of Francis Earl of Hertford.

[77] John Waldegrave, only brother of James Earl Waldegrave, whom he
succeeded in the title, married Lady Elizabeth Leveson Gower, sister
of Gertrude Duchess of Bedford. His presence of mind and intrepidity
at the battle of Minden established his character as a soldier.--Mem.
vol. ii. p. 367. He was appropriately rewarded with the regiment of
dragoons, vacated by Lord George Sackville’s dismissal. Subsequently he
obtained one of the regiments of foot-guards, and was made Master of
the Horse to the Queen. His love of state, not less than the handsome
manner in which he lived, well adapted him to any great office at
Court. He died in 1784. His eldest son, a most respectable nobleman,
and also an officer, only survived him five years.--E.

[78] John Mostyn, brother of Sir Roger Mostyn, Bart., and Groom of
the Bedchamber to the King. He had commanded the British cavalry with
distinction in Germany, and was mainly instrumental in gaining the
Battle of Warburgh, the credit of which Lord Granby ascribed entirely
to him. He might have risen high in the army, had he not shrunk from
the responsibility of great commands. He refused the command of the
expedition to the Havannah, on the ground that he did not pretend to be
more than a cavalry officer. His good nature and conviviality, as well
as his quiet military deportment, made him popular at Court; and George
the Second liked him so much, that he generally formed one of the
King’s evening party. It was believed he might have been a favourite if
he pleased. His last employment was as Governor of Minorca.--Memoirs of
Sir James Campbell, vol. i. p. 173.

[79] John Manners, Marquis of Granby, son of John Duke of Rutland.

[80] Letter (of 21st March) to George Montagu, and the note.--Walpole’s
Collected Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 128.

[81] Sir John Philipps, Bart., of Picton Castle, in Pembrokeshire, an
opulent and influential Jacobite. He was the second son of Sir Erasmus
Philipps, and had succeeded to the title and estates on the death of
his elder brother. He died in 1764, leaving an only son, Sir Richard,
who was afterwards created an Irish Peer by the title of Lord Milford,
and died without issue in 1823.--E.

[82] Henry, brother of Thomas Lord Archer.

[83] Mr. Onslow died in February 1768, aged 76. A very pleasing account
of him is given in the Preface to the second volume of Hatsell’s
Precedents, p. 6.

[84] William Pulteney, Earl of Bath.

[85] Henry Arthur Herbert, Earl of Powis.

[86] Dr. Hayter, afterwards Bishop of London. Vide p. 73, _infra_.

[87] Dr. Thomas, afterwards Bishop of Winchester. Vide Appendix.

[88] Charles Wyndham, Earl of Egremont, afterwards Secretary of State.
Vide _infra_.

[89] Sir Joseph Yorke, Ambassador in Holland, third son of Philip Earl
of Hardwicke. He had been a captain of the Guards, and aide-de-camp
of the Duke of Cumberland at the battle of Fontenoy. In 1751 he
was appointed Minister at the Hague, where he remained many years,
and became almost naturalized, having married a Dutch lady. His
estimable conduct, and also his splendid hospitality, gave him great
consideration in Holland. In 1788 he was created Lord Dover. He died in
1792 without issue, and the title became extinct.--E.

[90] Admiral Edward Boscawen, brother of Lord Viscount Falmouth, a
distinguished naval commander. He died this year, at the early age of
50. The late Earl of Falmouth was his grandson.--E.

[91] Hans Stanley, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, and afterwards

[92] M. Bussy was one of the chief Commis of the Foreign Department at
Paris. He had great experience in business, and was eminently adroit
and persuasive; qualities to which he owed his nomination to this
difficult post. Formerly he had been private secretary to the Duc de
Richelieu, through whose interest he was employed on a mission to
George the Second in Hanover in 1754. Flassan, Hist. de la Diplomatic
Française, vol. vi. p. 388. See more respecting him in Mr. Stanley’s
Correspondence in the Appendix to the Life of Lord Chatham.--E.

[93] Memoirs of George the Second, vol. i. p. 242. It is ably drawn,
and not unkindly, considering the belief long entertained by the Whigs
of the Duke having betrayed Sir Robert Walpole. The more favourable
portrait given by Archdeacon Coxe, from materials supplied by his
family, is, like too many family portraits, feeble, flattering, and
indistinct. His Grace unquestionably possessed a powerful, active,
and cultivated mind. He had studied, and thoroughly understood the
weaknesses of men, and was unscrupulous in the practice of all the arts
of intrigue. Success usually crowned his efforts, and notwithstanding
the various changes of Government, he maintained much of his power
to the last. Disappointment attended only his private life, which
was chilled by aversion to his wife and the want of children. _Il
fut riche, il fut titré, mais il ne fut point heureux_--the just and
natural result of a line of conduct which, as Lord Mahon correctly
observes, was seldom on any occasion swayed either by virtue or
generosity.--Coxe’s Life of Sir R. Walpole, vol. iv. p. 236; Mahon’s
Hist. vol. iii. p. 237.--E.

[94] This prediction has not been realized. The Bangorian controversy
has long lost its interest, and great as was their success in
their day, and great their reward--no less than the Bishoprick of
Winchester--the three massive folios of Hoadley’s Works now slumber on
the shelves of theological libraries. His two sons, one of whom was
chaplain, and the other physician to the King, were men of talent, and
are still recollected as the joint authors of that popular comedy, “The
Suspicious Husband.” They were the last of their family.--E.

[95] John Hay, Marquis of Tweedale, had been secretary of State for
Scotland. Lord Tweedale had been one of the extraordinary Lords of
Session in Scotland, and also had held the post of Secretary of
State for that country. He was the last person that filled either of
these offices. His connexion with Lord Granville, whose daughter he
had married, brought him into public life in opposition to Walpole,
and he shared the spoils of that minister. Like Lord Granville, he
possessed considerable knowledge of law. He is said also to have been
a good debater in Parliament. He died, without male issue, in December

[96] Dr. Robert Hay Drummond, brother of the Earl Kinnoul.

[97] Richard Edgcumbe, second Lord Edgcumbe, an intimate friend of
the author, who has given him a place in the Noble Authors. He was a
humourist, and had a turn for poetry and drawing, of which some amusing
specimens are noticed in the publications of his day. Walpole says, he
never had a fault but to himself, never an enemy but himself.--E.

[98] Lady Caroline Lenox, eldest daughter of Charles second Duke of
Richmond, married to Henry Fox, Paymaster of the Forces.

[99] Eldest daughter of Stephen Fox, Earl of Ilchester, by the sole
daughter and heiress of Mr. Strangways Horner, whose name he assumed.

[100] Holland House, beyond Kensington, the seat of the Earls of
Warwick and Holland; now of Henry Fox, Lord Holland.

[101] John Fane, Earl of Westmoreland, Chancellor of Oxford,
Lieutenant-general in the army, and formerly captain of one of the
troops of Horse Guards. In early life, when a younger brother, and
a Whig, he had served under the Duke of Marlborough; and afterwards
commanded “the body of troops which George the First had been obliged
to send to Oxford, to teach the University the only kind of passive
obedience of which they did not approve.” He subsequently joined the
Jacobites in their opposition to Sir Robert Walpole, and became a
high Tory; as indeed may be inferred from Lord Arran appointing him
High Steward of the University in 1754, and from his succeeding that
nobleman as Chancellor in 1758. He was comely in his person, and highly
respected for his virtues in private life. Glover describes him as “a
veteran patriot, slow, but solid; always meaning well, and therefore
judging right.” He died without issue in 1762, at a very advanced
age. Walpole’s Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 340. Memoirs of a distinguished
Political and Literary Character, p. 121.--E.

[102] Sir Philip Yorke, Earl of Hardwicke, formerly Lord Chancellor.

[103] John Carteret, Earl of Granville, some time Prime Minister to
George the Second.

[104] Simon Lord Harcourt, formerly Governor to the King. See an
account of his resignation of that post, in the preceding reign,
(Memoirs of George the Second, vol. i. p. 254.)

[105] Mary Panton, second wife of Peregrine Bertie, Duke of Ancaster.

[106] Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess Dowager of Hamilton, married,
secondly, to John Campbell, Marquis of Lorn, eldest son of John Duke of

[107] Mr. Hammond had been in love with her, and then forsaken her. The
poems which he wrote on her have been published.

[108] Mr. Andrew Stone was appointed Treasurer to the Queen on her
arrival. He was the well-known confident of the Duke of Newcastle and
Mr. Pelham, over both of whom he exercised great influence. He had
been private, and afterwards under secretary to the former. Latterly
he had been sub-governor to the King when Prince of Wales. He was a
fine scholar, and had distinguished himself at Oxford, where he was
the rival and friend of Murray (Lord Mansfield). Bishop Newton, who
knew him well, says that his tastes and feelings were better suited
to the Church than to politics. Lord Waldegrave likewise commends
his integrity. Walpole can find no fault in him, except that he had
a tendency to Jacobitism, a charge which his conduct and connections
proved to be unfounded. He appears to have been entirely devoid of
ambition, honest, and most disinterested. He died in 1773, aged 72. The
best account of Mr. Stone is in a note to Coxe’s Life of Pelham, vol.
i. p. 430.--E.

[109] She did some years afterwards with the King, but quite in private.

[110] Dr. Robert Hay Drummond, brother of the Earl of Kinnoul, and
Bishop of Salisbury, a man of parts and of the world. He was the
second son of George eighth Earl of Kinnoul, formerly Ambassador at
Constantinople. He had attended George the Second in the campaign of
1743, and preached the thanksgiving sermon at Hanover, for the battle
of Dettingen. On his return he was made a prebendary of Westminster,
and in 1748 Bishop of St. Asaph. He was a dignified and accomplished
prelate. He died in 1776, in his 66th year. In 1803 one of his younger
children, the late Mr. George Drummond, published a volume, intituled
“Sermons on Public Occasions, and a Letter on Theological Study, by
Robert, late Archbishop of York,” &c. The Archbishop’s eldest son
became tenth Earl of Kinnoul.--E.

[111] Dr. Hayter was supposed to be the natural son of Dr. Blackburne,
Archbishop of York. This supposition is indignantly attacked in
an article on the first part of these Memoirs, in the Quarterly
Review. In justice to Walpole, it is only fair to state, that this
was a report generally believed at the time. In the quarrel in
the Princess’s household which led to the Bishop’s disgrace, Mr.
Cresset, the Princess’s confident, was charged with calling him a
bastard.--Edinburgh Review, No. 73, p. 5, note. The suspicious report
was rather strengthened than otherwise by Archbishop Blackburne’s
leaving him a large fortune. What is of more importance to Bishop
Hayter’s memory is, that he bore a high character for generosity and
learning. He only survived his translation a single year, having died
in 1762, aged 59. Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 505.--E.

[112] There were at this time two bishops of the same name; Dr. John
Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. John Thomas, Bishop of Lincoln:
the latter had been promoted by Lord Granville.

[113] George William Hervey, Earl of Bristol, Ambassador in Spain, son
of the famous John Lord Hervey.

[114] Charles third King of Spain, and before of Naples; commonly
called Don Carlos.

[115] The Duke positively denied having made any such communication to
Bussy. See _infra_.--E.

[116] The following note is transcribed from the manuscript memoirs of
Sir George Colebrooke, Bart., M.P., Chairman of the East India Company;
an eminent merchant, who sat many years in Parliament, and possessed
the confidence of some of the leading statesmen of his day.

“During the time I attended Newcastle House and the Treasury Chambers
on the Contract business, I had frequent opportunities of knowing how
despotically Mr. Pitt governed his ministerial colleagues, and how
much he was dreaded by the Duke. Some years afterwards I recollect
his Grace making this the subject of lively conversation at table,
at Claremont; but it was no subject of merriment at the time the
transaction passed. More than once I was summoned to the Treasury to
give an account of the state of the provisions, and of the money, for
the army, Mr. West giving, for reason, that Mr. Pitt threatened the
Duke, that if at any time a want of either should be found, he would
impeach him in the ensuing session. At the Treasury I frequently met
Mr. Wallis, Commissioner of the Navy, who mentioned the following
memorable instance. A train of artillery was wanted at Portsmouth for
an expedition. Mr. Pitt told Wallis that it must be down by a certain
day he named. Wallis made some excuse for the delay, either that the
transports were not ready or the winds were contrary; upon which Mr.
Pitt insisted that they should go by land, a method of conveyance which
was afterwards pursued.

“General Harvey, who had been sent by Prince Ferdinand to prepare
matters in England for the campaign, and to carry over the English
draughts, waited on Mr. Pitt to take his leave. Mr. Pitt asked him
whether he had obtained everything he wanted, and the General answered,
not; and he therefore came to take leave, that no blame might fall on
him from the Prince. Mr. Pitt desired the General to enumerate what he
wanted, and immediately rang his bell for Mr. Wood, who in the names
of the different Boards signified to their officers his Majesty’s
commands for the dispatch of what was required for Germany, and in four
days General Harvey had in readiness what he had been as many months

“West, the Secretary, always looked frightened; and well he might, for
Mr. Pitt would have been as good as his word, which was to impeach the
Commissioners of the Treasury, if they neglected anything needful for
the war. At times he depended so little on them, that, notwithstanding
a contract to supply the army, he caused provisions to be sent by
victualling transports.

“Proceeding in the way I have mentioned, of writing in the names of
the different public officers, there were numberless hiatus in their
books of correspondence, and instances of orders carried into execution
without their sanction. The name of Lord Barrington was principally
used as Secretary at War, who did not know more than a stranger of
troops being ordered on service, till the embarkation had actually
taken place.

“The Duke of Newcastle, speaking himself of the cavalier manner
with which Mr. Pitt treated the Cabinet, mentioned the instance of
some foreign expedition which Mr. Pitt had proposed, but which, in
the opinion of the ministers, and of Lord Anson, First Lord of the
Admiralty, deprived Great Britain of too great a part of its internal
defence. Lord Mansfield had not yet given his opinion; but Mr. Pitt,
apprehensive that it would be against him, summed up the opinions of
Council, a majority of which he declared to be for the expedition;
adding, “The Chief Justice of England has no opinion to give in this
matter thereby stopping his mouth. The Duke told Lord Coventry, that
Mr. Murray, when Attorney-General, and in the House of Commons, had
acknowledged to him that he was intimidated by Pitt. The more the
latter found Murray to be intimidated, the more he naturally pressed

“I never saw the Duke in higher spirits than after Mr. Pitt, thwarted
by the Cabinet in his proposal of declaring war against Spain, had
given notice of resignation. The Duke had done more wisely, if he had
followed Lord Hardwicke’s advice, and had resigned on the death of his
late master. The Duke could not endure to part with his power, much
less to devolve it on one who meant to keep it. When he last resigned
the Treasury to the Duke of Devonshire, it was with a view to have it
back again at a convenient season.”--E.

[117] The following extraordinary notice was published in the Gazette
of the 9th October: “The Right Honourable William Pitt having resigned
the Seals into the King’s hands, His Majesty was this day pleased to
appoint the Earl of Egremont to be one of His Majesty’s principal
Secretaries of State; and, in consideration of the great and important
services of the said Mr. Pitt, His Majesty has been graciously pleased
to direct that a warrant be prepared for granting to the Lady Hesther
Pitt, his wife, a Barony of Great Britain, by the name, style, and
title of Baroness of Chatham, to herself, and of Baron of Chatham to
her heirs male, and also to confer upon the said William Pitt, Esq., an
annuity of three thousand pounds sterling, during his own life and that
of Lady Hesther Pitt, and their son John Pitt, Esq.”--E.

[118] It certainly is not the practice now (1844) to insert pensions in
the Gazette. Whether it ever was so it would be difficult to ascertain,
as there is no index prior to the year 1787. The impression of two very
old officers, who have frequent occasions to consult the Gazette, is,
that no such general practice ever prevailed.--E.

[119] It was by such expressions as this that Mr. Pitt created the
disappointment in the public mind, that followed the announcement of
his pension. To use the words of Lord Brougham: “He did not sustain
the exalted pitch of magnanimous independence, and utter disregard of
sublunary interests, which we should expect him to have reached and
kept as a matter of course, from a mere cursory glance at the mould in
which his lofty character was cast.” Statesmen of the Time of George
III., 1st series, p. 45. A pension of £4000 a year to Lord Holderness
passed without a murmur, while one of £3000 a year to Mr. Pitt raised
a general burst of indignation, only because the country regarded the
latter as lowering their idol to the level of the jobbing statesmen of
the day. The cry against Mr. Pitt was, indeed, almost universal. See
letter to Mr. Conway, vol. iv. of Walpole’s Collected Correspondence,
p. 184; and particularly the note containing the opposite opinions of
Mr. Gray and Mr. Burke. Mr. Pitt’s noble refusal of the vast emoluments
of the Pay-office, which so enriched those who preceded and succeeded
him as Paymaster, entitles his conduct in all pecuniary matters to a
liberal construction from posterity. What is really to be regretted, is
the humiliating tone of his correspondence with Lord Bute, in accepting
the pension (Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 152,) and his language
at his interview with the King on that occasion.--Annual Register for
1761. But we will not dwell on the defects of a man who certainly was
far above his age, not only in talent, but in real independence.--E.

[120] Thomas Prowse, member for Somersetshire, which he had represented
in five successive Parliaments, having been every time unanimously
elected. He was an opulent, well-informed, and influential country
gentleman. He died, after a long illness, in 1767, aged 59, and was
buried in Axbridge Church; where the long panegyric on his tomb
states--“That though frequently solicited, he never could be prevailed
upon to accept any employment in the state.” Collinson’s History of
Somerset, vol. iii. p. 563.--E.

[121] Edward Bacon, of Earlham Hall, Norfolk, barrister-at-law, and
M. P. for Norwich. He was son of Walter Bacon, of Earlham Hall, and
M. P. for Norwich. Mr. Edward Bacon had been member for Lynn in
1742. He represented Norwich from 1752 to 1784, when he retired from
Parliament. He died in March 1786, and was buried in the chancel of
Earlham Church. His portrait is still preserved at Earlham Hall.--E.

[122] A more favourable character of Sir John Cust is given in the
preface of Moore’s General Index to the Journals of the House of
Commons, vol. iv.; a very useful work, to the compilation of which
he contributed. He added to great industry, a considerable knowledge
of Parliamentary history and constitutional law; and his amiable
disposition and obliging temper were no insignificant recommendations
to the Speakership. He was a Lincolnshire country gentleman, of ancient
family, and had inherited a great estate from his mother, the heiress
of the Tyrconnels.--E.

[123] Sir Hugh Smithson Percy, Earl of Northumberland.

[124] John Berkeley, fifth and last Lord Berkeley of Stratton. He
died without issue in 1773, having left his principal estates to Lord

[125] It is certain that Monsieur de Bussy told different persons what
the Duke of Bedford had said to him, particularly to Lady Hervey, from
whom I heard it.

[126] George Spencer, Duke of Marlborough, K.G. He was son-in-law of
the Duke of Bedford. He died in January 1817, aged 78.--E.

[127] Thomas Lord Parker, eldest son of the Earl of Macclesfield,
whom he succeeded in that title in March 1764. Like his father, he
cultivated the mathematics successfully, and was much respected. He had
been defeated in the great contest for the county of Oxford in 1757,
but was seated on petition. He died in 1795, aged 72.--E.

[128] The famous John Wilkes, member for Aylesbury, and author of “The
North Briton.”

[129] George Dempster, an East India Director, and for nearly thirty
years member for the Perth district of Boroughs. He was the friend
of Dr. Johnson, and the patron of Robert Burns; and is described by
Mr. Croker as a man of talents and very agreeable manners. He took an
active part in all the debates of the House on East India questions;
and was one of the few who, after defending Warren Hastings, gave a
zealous support to Fox’s India Bill. He died about the year 1790, at a
very advanced age. Croker’s Boswell, vol. i. p. 418. Annual Necrology,
vol. iii. p. 141.--E.

[130] Peregrine Cust. He is mentioned in Churchill’s Satires.

[131] Eliab Harvey, brother of William Harvey of Chigwell, in Essex,
died in 1769.

[132] During the administration of Sir Robert Walpole the Opposition
propagated a report, which was universally believed, that the
Spaniards, though at peace with us, had taken one of our ships, and cut
off the captain’s ears.

[133] This was the famous sentence so often quoted, and so often
ridiculed, in the pamphlets of that time.

[134] The Spanish Ambassador. See _infra_.

[135] Percy Windham Obrien, Earl of Thomond, second son of Sir William
Windham, and brother of the Earl of Egremont. Their sister was married
to Mr. George Grenville.

[136] Henry Arthur Herbert, Earl of Powis, having become male heir
of this illustrious family by the death of the last peer, Henry Lord
Herbert, of Cherbury, in 1738, he was created Lord Herbert in 1743, and
Earl of Powis in 1748. His Lordship married Barbara, sole daughter and
heiress of Lord Edward Herbert, brother of the last Marquis of Powis,
and died in 1772, leaving a son, on whose death in 1801 the earldom
became extinct.--E.

[137] Next brother of the Duke of Devonshire.

[138] Second son of Charles Lord Viscount Townshend.

[139] Thomas Charles Bunbury, called, after his father’s death, Sir
Charles Bunbury. [He represented the county of Suffolk for forty-five
years, and died in March 1821, in his 81st year. He forsook politics
for horse-racing, which he found a more congenial pursuit, and was
long considered as the father of the turf. See more of him in Selwyn’s
Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 180.--E.]

[140] At the conferences held there previously to the Treaty of Utrecht.

[141] In twenty-eight years, viz. to 1788, the King has not once been
at Hanover, nor seems to design it.

[142] Additional particulars respecting Colonel Barré are given in
Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 41, 168-171. See especially the
notes, containing extracts from the Mitchell MSS.--E.

[143] Richard Glover, a merchant, who, by superior intelligence, great
fluency of speech in public, and some reputation as a poet, had gained
considerable influence in the City, and was thought of sufficient
importance to be admitted into the councils of Leicester House. This
distinction, and the success of his poems, which had all a political
tendency, made him fancy himself on an equality with Pitt, Lyttelton,
and the other men of talent who surrounded the Prince of Wales. The
illusion was painfully dispelled. The sudden death of the Prince broke
up the party; Mr. Glover’s services were no longer required; and
happening to be at the time under commercial embarrassments, he sank
into obscurity. In a few years, however, by diligent application, and a
successful speculation in the copper trade, he retrieved his fortunes,
but he never forgave the neglect of his former associates; and the
memoirs he left behind him show the angry feelings he entertained,
particularly against Mr. Pitt. To this circumstance he probably
owed his seat for Weymouth, the borough being one of those which
Mr. Dodington placed at the disposal of Lord Bute. Mr. Glover died
in 1785, aged 73. His autobiography from 1742 to 1757 was published
in 1813, under the title of Memoirs of a Distinguished Literary and
Political Character. They are not without spirit, but show few signs of
a powerful mind, and are in every respect inferior to what might have
been expected from him.--E.

[144] James Oswald, of Brunnikier, joint Vice-Treasurer of Ireland.

[145] Dr. George Hay, of the Commons, one of the Commissioners of the

[146] George Cooke, Prothonotary, member for Middlesex.

[147] Second son of John Duke of Argyle, for many years Lord Register
of Scotland in Mr. Pitt’s administration.--E.

[148] Robert Nugent, Esq., of Gosfield, in Essex, afterwards Earl
Nugent. See _infra_.

[149] This became a stronger truth every day.

[150] Mr. Gascoyne was the only son of Sir Crispe Gascoyne, Lord Mayor
of London, from whom he inherited a considerable estate. He had a
strong understanding, and was esteemed highly as a man of business.
His rough deportment had gained him at the University (we are told
by Wilkes) the appellation of the Butcher; and he took no pains to
get rid of it. He was also called “the King of Barking,” his country
residence and principal patrimony being in that village, where he was
much respected, and where he lies buried. He died in 1791. The late
Marchioness of Salisbury was his granddaughter, and inherited his

[151] Soon after, seeing another member give Barré a biscuit, Townshend
said, “Oh! you should feed him with raw flesh.”

[152] George Augustus Selwyn, of Matson, Gloucestershire, famous for
his wit. His correspondence has been recently published in 4 vols.

[153] Philip Francis, translator of Horace and Demosthenes, and the
father of Sir Philip Francis, K.B.; a scholar and a man of talent, and
a most active political partisan. He was for some time the tutor of

[154] “Of this very alarming connection Mr. Pitt had the most early
and authentic intelligence, together with the most positive assurances
from persons of undoubted veracity, who are at this moment in no
common sphere of life.” History of the Minority, p. 30. Mr. Adolphus
states the treaty itself to have been communicated to Mr. Pitt by the
Earl Marechal Keith, in gratitude for the reversal of his attainder,
but “that the fact, if it existed, was not disclosed to the Cabinet,”
Adolphus, vol. i. p. 44. This story receives some confirmation from
a cotemporary memoir of the Earl Marechal recently published by the
Spalding Society of Aberdeen, and supposed to have been written by
Sir Robert Strange, who had once been a zealous Jacobite. Neither the
Chatham Correspondence nor the Mitchell manuscripts contain anything on
the subject; and the papers of the Earl Marechal, at Cumbernald, have
never been thoroughly examined. The Editor is disposed to believe the
intelligence received by Mr. Pitt did not go so far as the existence
of the treaty, but consisted of facts sufficient, in his estimation,
to leave no doubt of the object of the negotiation between France
and Spain, and of the general intentions of the Spanish government.
These facts he had imparted to Lord Bute, who had not drawn the same
conclusions from them. Hist. of Minority, p. 33.--E.

[155] Charles Pratt was a younger son of Lord Chief Justice Pratt, and
became afterwards Lord Chancellor and Baron Camden, as will appear in
these memoirs. Pratt had been made Attorney-General by Pitt in 1757,
and their connection was too close for the Government to feel easy at
his continuing any longer in office.--E.

[156] He nevertheless made a favourable impression on the Duke of
Newcastle, at their first interview; and at a later period we find him
very handsomely mentioned by Lord Rochford. Some of his private letters
in the Chatham Correspondence, as well as his public dispatches in
the Parliamentary Papers, are those of an ambassador who understood
his duty, and performed it. He laboured hard, in conjunction with
his friend the Marquis of Grimaldi, to restore the old connection
of his country with France; and one result of their success was,
the appointment of Grimaldi to succeed Wall as First Minister of
Spain. Fuentes, then, for some time, replaced Grimaldi at Paris; and
subsequently returning to Spain, he employed all his influence, which
was considerable, in supporting Grimaldi’s administration, until the
latter imprudently allowed his son, the Prince of Pignatelli, to
accompany the expedition to Algiers, under the Count O’Reily, in 1777,
where the Prince perished; and Fuentes, who had refused his consent
to his going, was so deeply offended, that he immediately joined the
opposition to Grimaldi, and contributed essentially to his retirement
from office. Coxe’s History of the Kings of Spain of the House of
Bourbon, vol. v.--E.

[157] George William Hervey, Earl of Bristol, son of the famous John
Lord Hervey, and grandson of John Earl of Bristol, whom he succeeded in
the title. His dispatches prove him to have acted with great prudence
as long as the disposition of the Spanish Court was doubtful and with
great spirit afterwards. His connection with Mr. Pitt was in no degree
of a servile character. It appears to have strengthened as that great
minister was losing his ascendancy in the Cabinet, and it stood the
test of his downfall. Lord Bristol died unmarried, in March 1775, aged

[158] Amelie Sophie de Walmoden, Countess of Yarmouth, mistress of
George the Second.

[159] Philip Yorke, Earl of Hardwicke, Lord Chancellor in the preceding

[160] William Murray, Lord Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice of the King’s

[161] John Carteret, Earl Granville, President of the Council, and
formerly Prime Minister to George the Second.

[162] George Lord Anson, first Lord of the Admiralty.

[163] James Lord Tyrawley, formerly Ambassador at Lisbon, Governor of
Port Mahon and Gibraltar, and Colonel of a regiment of Guards.

[164] George Keppel, third Earl of Albemarle, one of the Lords of the
Bedchamber to William Duke of Cumberland.

[165] Frederick Lord North, eldest son of Francis Earl of Guilford.

[166] Thomas Walpole, second son of Horatio Lord Walpole, only brother
of Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford. Thomas married the eldest
daughter of Sir Joshua Vanneck, with whom he dwelt in the City.

[167] Augustus Keppel, second son, and William Keppel, Groom of the
Bedchamber to William Duke of Cumberland, third son of William Anne
second Earl of Albemarle.

[168] Humphrey Parsons, formerly Lord Mayor of London, a great brewer.
Odunn was an Irishman.

[169] Bishop Newton gives an anecdote of this prelate, not much to his
credit. When it was proposed to allow monuments to be erected in St.
Paul’s Cathedral, he violently opposed the plan, on the ground that, as
there had been no monuments in all the time before he was bishop, there
should be none in his time. Bishop Newton’s Life, p. 145.--E.

[170] Charles Lyttelton, brother of Lord Lyttelton, and President
of the Antiquarian Society, died in 1768, aged 54. Warburton sneers
at “his antiquarianism,” to which he was more exclusively devoted
than strictly became his high position in the Church. On the other
hand, he was what Bishop Warburton certainly was not, a very amiable,
kind-hearted man. In early life he had been a barrister.--George Selwyn
and his Contemporaries, vol. i. p. 71.--E.

[171] A greater military critic, General Jomini, was of a different
opinion. He pronounces Broglio to be the only French commander of that
day whose operations were uniformly skilful. He had fought in more
battles than perhaps any of his contemporaries. An authentic account
of his life would still be of value, but his fame was eclipsed by the
exploits of younger heroes, and he had even ceased to be an object of
interest when he died in exile at Munster, in 1804, at the advanced age
of 86.--E.

[172] The Count de Broglio’s talents were undeniable. It was his
misfortune, not less than his fault, that they were seldom well
directed. His brilliant defence of Cassel during the Seven years’ war
showed that he had no mean capacity for war; but his ambition was, to
shine as a statesman, and, unhappily for him, the enmity of Choiseul
excluded him from civil employments. Partly, perhaps, out of revenge,
and partly from his love of political intrigue, he condescended to take
charge of the secret correspondence which Louis the Fifteenth carried
on for many years, independently of his ministers, at the principal
foreign Courts, a system which made it almost impossible for an
honourable man to serve the King with benefit. M. de Broglio eventually
fell into disgrace, and died in obscurity in 1781, aged 62.--E.

[173] Granville Leveson Gower, Earl Gower, a converted Jacobite.

[174] George Walpole, Earl of Orford, grandson of Sir Robert Walpole.

[175] Francis Egerton, Duke of Bridgwater, author of the famous

[176] William Henry, afterwards Duke of Gloucester.

[177] Edward Legrand, Esq., Governor to Prince William and Prince Henry.

[178] George Montagu Dunk, third and last Earl of Halifax, of that
house. He was a nobleman of great elegance of person and manners,
and of a cultivated mind, and was quite equal to his post, which did
not then, as now, require decided ability as well as rank and good
intentions to satisfy the expectations of the country. “He never,” says
Cumberland, “could be mistaken for less than he was.” He maintained the
magnificence of the Vice-Regal Court, whilst he attended closely to
public business.--E.

[179] The Court of the Lords-Lieutenant.

[180] Wills Hill, Earl of Hilsborough. He had gone over to Ireland
professedly on his private affairs; a large estate having recently been
bequeathed to him by Sir William Cowper. Letter from Lord Barrington to
Sir A. Mitchell.--Ellis’s Original Letters, vol. vii. p. 443.--E.

[181] Dr. George Stone, Archbishop of Armagh. See the preceding reign.

[182] William Gerard Hamilton, son of a Scotch lawyer, made two good
speeches, and only two, in the English House of Commons. One being
forgotten (the last being of inferior merit to the other), he was
long known by the name of _Single-speech_. He came into Parliament
in 1754; and after sitting silent for somewhat more than a year, at
length delivered that _single speech_ upon which his reputation has
exclusively rested down to the present day. This speech, which we are
told was set and full of antitheses, was in favour of the Ministry,
and was speedily rewarded by a place at the Board of Trade.--Edinburgh
Review, vol. xv. p. 164. He had a promptitude of thought, and a rapid
flow of well-conceived matter, with many other requisites that only
seemed waiting for opportunities to establish his reputation as an
orator. These were set off by a striking countenance, a graceful
carriage, great self-possession, and personal courage.--Cumberland’s
Memoirs, i. 225. With all these advantages he did not rise to eminence,
nor did he deserve it, for his views were narrow, and he was selfish
and cold-hearted. He resumed his silence upon attaining the lucrative
and sinecure office of Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland, and
died in 1796, rich and unmarried. His “Parliamentary Logic” is an
insignificant work.--E.

[183] Robert Monckton, brother of Lord Galway, a very gallant officer,
who signed the reddition of Quebec, and performed other memorable
services in that war.

[184] Sir George Bridges Rodney, afterwards Lord Rodney, the great
naval commander. He died in 1792.--E.

[185] Colonel John Burgoyne, natural son of W. Benson, Lord Bingley. He
proved a very unfortunate commander in the subsequent American war. He
was also an author, and wrote that excellent comedy, “The Heiress.”

[186] Infidelity was then no uncommon charge against an unsuccessful
commander. The Prince had in 1752 been worsted at Breslau, where he had
only twenty-four thousand men to oppose to an army of ninety thousand,
under Daun and Prince Charles of Lorraine. In return, he defeated Daun
in 1762 at Reichenbad, a victory that decided the fate of Schweidnitz,
and thus contributed to the final success of Prince Henry of Prussia at

[187] Considering that Lord Tyrawley was in his 72nd year, and had not
been employed on active service for a very long period, the Government
surely acted discreetly in not appointing him to this command. He died
in 1773, in his 83rd year. His life had been singularly licentious,
even for the Courts of Russia and Portugal, where, however, he
acquired extraordinary influence, for he had a thorough knowledge
of the world, a great deal of humour, and an undaunted spirit. See
more of him in Walpole’s Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 291; and Lord Chatham’s

[188] This remarkable man was Sovereign of Lippe Buckebourgh, a petty
state, lying on the confines of Hanover and Westphalia. His mother was
daughter of George the First, by the Duchess of Kendal. He received
the early part of his education in England, and held a commission in
the Guards: at nineteen, he served at the battle of Dettingen; and
two years after he showed signal intrepidity as a volunteer under
Prince Lobkowitz, in Italy. At the outset of the Seven years’ war
he joined the Confederates with his small contingent, and bore a
prominent part in the various military operations that ensued. His
bravery, in common with his opinions, had a tinge of eccentricity, but
the boldness and originality of his mind were not ill directed. He
became an enterprising and successful partisan, and an able commander
of artillery; in which latter capacity he distinguished himself
both at Minden and at Kampen. Being intrusted with a separate corps
for the reduction of Munster, he not only captured the place, but
defeated General Armentières, who had been sent with a French army
to its relief. It was in Portugal, however, that he established his
reputation. “He found the army there,” says his biographer, “in a
state of thorough disorganization, without either food or pay; even
the guards at the Royal Palace implored alms from strangers, with
bended knees and outstretched caps. The officers, impelled by want,
followed various humble crafts. There were instances of the husband
working as a journeyman tailor, whilst his wife earned her subsistence
as a washerwoman; and captains might be seen bringing baskets of linen
from the wash. Many were servants in the households of generals and
governors; indeed servants were sometimes presented with commissions
in order that their pay might serve in lieu of wages.” All these
abuses the Count, unsupported, if not opposed by the Court and the
ministers, succeeded in rectifying. With the assistance of the English,
he checked the progress of the Spanish troops, and defeated them in
several encounters. He built the citadel of Elvas. He organized a
plan for the defence of the kingdom; and at the end of the war he
quitted Portugal, followed by the gratitude and attachment of the King
and the people. Indeed, the House of Braganza were not under greater
obligations to his illustrious predecessor, Marshal Schomberg. His
reforms show considerable acuteness and knowledge of character, and
were completely successful. One of the most questionable was, that
while he punished officers in Germany for accepting a challenge, he
punished the Portuguese for refusing, with the view of restoring a
martial spirit among the troops. The remainder of his life he passed
at Buckebourgh, the chief town of La Lippe, beloved by his subjects,
and always employed in promoting their prosperity, though he has been
charged with sometimes mistaking himself for a great monarch, while he
was only a petty prince. He married in 1765 the Countess of La Lippe
Bustafeld, a young lady of great beauty and accomplishments, and had
one daughter, whose early death was quickly followed by that of the
mother; and the Count, inconsolable under this double affliction, fell
into a lingering disorder, of which he died in 1777, at the age of
53. He enjoyed the warm friendship of the King of Prussia, the Prince
Ferdinand of Brunswick, and other great commanders. They entertained a
high opinion of his military capacity. He inspired a sort of enthusiasm
in all around him. Even the Spanish officers, who used to ridicule
his reforms, and when they first descried him in the field, with his
large hat and little sword, contemptuously asked whether the Portuguese
were commanded by Don Quixote, eventually partook of the general
feeling of admiration that attached to his generosity--his extreme
disinterestedness--his abilities and valour. Biographische Denkmale,
von K. Barnhagen von Ense.--E.

[189] Doctor Johnson, in the newspapers of the day, published an
account of this inquiry. His weakness consisted in so far giving
confidence to this flimsy imposture, as to think a solemn inquiry
necessary. Croker’s Boswell, vol. i. p. 415, note.--E.

[190] Though so notorious at the time, we have been able to find only
one pamphlet on the subject in the British Museum, and the papers
seem to have been very reluctant to give the names of the parties.
July 10, 1762, William Parsons, Elizabeth his wife, Mary Fraser, the
Ghost’s interpreter, a clergyman, and a respectable tradesman, were
tried at Guildhall, and convicted of a conspiracy to defame a Mr. Kent.
In the Annual Register it is said, “The Court chusing that Mr. Kent,
who had been so much injured on the occasion, should receive some
reparation by punishment of the offenders, deferred giving judgment
for seven or eight months, _in hopes that the parties might make it
up in the meantime_. Accordingly, the clergyman and tradesman agreed
to pay Mr. Kent a round sum--some say between 500_l._ and 600_l._--to
purchase their pardon, and were, therefore, dismissed with a severe
reprimand. The father was ordered to be set in the pillory three times
in one month--once at the end of Cock Lane; Elizabeth his wife to be
imprisoned one year; and Mary Fraser six months in Bridewell, with
hard labour. The father appearing to be out of his mind at the time he
was first to stand in the pillory, the execution of that part of his
sentence was deferred to another day, when, as well as the other day
of his standing there, the populace took so much compassion on him,
that instead of using him ill, they made a handsome subscription for
him.”--_v._ Annual Register, vol. cxlii. and Gentleman’s Magazine,
1762, pp. 43 and 339. The liberty to speak to the prosecutor, described
above as sanctioned by Lord Mansfield, would not now be so openly
permitted, even by a bench of Middlesex Magistrates. Churchill’s poem
mentions “the Ghost,” only as a peg to hang a satire upon. It has much
vigour, but a key is wanted, and probably nobody can supply one to the
allusions, or even the regularly drawn characters of the greater part:
Johnson, Warburton, Mansfield, and one or two more are apparent. “The
Ghost” has also furnished the very clever scene of the trial of Fanny
the Phantom, in Foote’s farce of “The Orators.”--E.

[191] Dr. Thomas Secker.

[192] Prospero Lambertini, one of the most learned, enlightened, and
virtuous prelates that ever filled the Papal chair. Protestants have
vied with Catholics in doing honour to his memory. He died in 1758, at
a very advanced age.--E.

[193] Lady Selina Shirley, Countess Dowager of Huntingdon. Her “Life
and Times,” published a few years ago in 2 vols. 8vo., contains a
graphical and interesting account of the sect which she originated and
supported. Notwithstanding Walpole’s sneers, she appears to have been
a woman of genuine piety; and her zeal, though sometimes misdirected,
did, on the whole, essential service to the cause of religion.--E.

[194] Frederick the Third, King of Prussia.

[195] Count Schouvalow afterwards passed some time in England, and was
a frequent guest at Strawberry Hill.--E.

[196] Francis Seymour Conway, Earl of Hertford, appointed Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland in 1765, while he was Ambassador in France.

[197] Nevertheless, the French were at the time suspected of promoting,
if not of originating, the insurrection. Lord Drogheda, who was
employed with his regiment against the insurgents, told Sir Richard
Musgrave that French money was found in the pockets of some of those
killed, by the soldiers. Musgrave’s History of the Rebellion in
Ireland, p. 35.--E.

[198] Gilbert Elliot and James Oswald, Scots, and Commissioners of the
Treasury.--See _infra_.

[199] It appears by a letter from the Duke to Lord Hardwicke, of the
7th May, that the Duke’s earnestness to prosecute the German war, in
opposition to the wishes of Lord Bute, caused a final breach between
them. Adolphus, vol. i. p. 68.--E.

[200] Thomas Duke of Newcastle, and Henry Pelham, his only brother.

[201] Henry Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, nephew of the Pelhams, and
afterwards Duke of Newcastle.

[202] Thomas Pelham of Stanmore, afterwards Lord Pelham.

[203] This subtle, insinuating Italian had paid his Court to Lord
Bute in the preceding reign, and obtained a great ascendancy over
him. Though a man of quality, he had been a monk, and the world and
the cloister had united to make him an accomplished statesman. He
eventually rose to be first minister of Sardinia. His main fault was
that he used too much finesse and precaution, and attached too great
importance to trifles. Some amusing anecdotes of him are told in
Memoirs of a Traveller now in Retirement, vol. ii. p. 63.--E.

[204] The Bailli de Solar had been the Sardinian Ambassador at Rome, at
the same time that the Duc de Choiseul was the French Ambassador there,
and a warm friendship had existed between them from that period.--E.

[205] The communication made by Lord Bute to the Court of Vienna,
appears to have originated in the belief that the Austrians were, on
national grounds, more inclined to peace than any of the other powers.
Considering the close connection existing between the Courts of Vienna
and Paris, and the certainty that such a step would be viewed in the
worst light by the King of Prussia, it must be regarded as a blunder.
The correspondence that passed on the occasion is printed in the
Appendix to Adolphus, vol. i. p. 578. There is an able Essay on the
subject in the Appendix to the 1st vol. of Belsham.--E.

[206] Sir Edward Noel, Bart., Baron Wentworth of Nettleshead, created
Viscount Wentworth of Welsborough, county of Leicester.

[207] Sir William Courtenay, Bart., chief of the great house of
Courtenay. He had, like his father, represented the county of Devon for
many years. He survived his creation only ten days. The title became
extinct on the decease of his grandson, the late Earl of Devon.--E.

[208] John Percival, Earl of Egmont.--An amusing account of the
importunities and intrigues by which he wrung his title from Lord Bute,
is given by his friend Dodington, in the Diary of the latter.--E.

[209] Joseph Damer, Lord Milton, created Baron Milton of Milton Abbey,
county Dorset: married Caroline, third daughter of Lionel Duke of
Dorset. Sat in several Parliaments, from 1741 to 1754. He claimed a
descent from the ancient Barons d’Amorie; but his wife’s genealogy, and
his own wealth, of which the origin had certainly nothing distinguished
in it, were the more probable causes of his elevation.--Banks, vol.
iii. p. 516. He died in 1798. The title became extinct upon the death
of his son George second Lord, unmarried, in 1808.--E.

[210] Created Baron Beaulieu, of Beaulieu, county Southampton, 11th
May, 1762, to hold to him and the heirs male of his body by Isabella
Duchess Dowager of Manchester, eldest daughter of John late Duke
of Montagu, deceased, his then wife. In 1743, on the death of his
father-in-law, the Duke of Montagu, he had taken the name and arms of
that noble family, by Act of Parliament. Installed a K.B. 1753. In
1784 advanced to the dignity of Earl Beaulieu, and died 1803, when
his honours became extinct. He was a comely, athletic, and spirited
Irishman, and his marriage with the Duchess disappointed many aspirants
to that honour. One of them, Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, revenged
himself by a well-known lampoon.--E.

[211] Francis Vernon, (some time M. P. for Ipswich,) created Baron
Orwell, of Newry, county Down, in the kingdom of Ireland, 7th April,
1762. He was second son of James Vernon, of Great Thurlow, county
Suffolk, Esq., by Arethusa, daughter of Charles Lord Clifford, only son
of Richard first Earl of Burlington, which James was younger brother of
the well-known Admiral Vernon.--E.

[212] George Fox Lane, created Lord Bingley--he had married the only
daughter and heiress of the last Lord of the same name. He died in
1773, S.P.--E.

[213] George Venables Vernon, Lord Vernon of Kinderton. He was the
son of Henry Vernon, Esq., M. P., and therefore grand-nephew of Peter
Venables, last Baron of Kinderton. He died in 1780.--E.

[214] John Olmius, many years director of the Bank. In 1737, M. P.
for the Weymouth boroughs. Created 8th May, 1762, Baron Waltham of
Philipstown, and died in September following.--E.

[215] Charles Lewis Frederick, Prince of Mecklenburg, brother of the
Duke of Mecklenburg and of Queen Charlotte. Born 1741.--E.

[216] Buckingham House, in St. James’s Park, built by John Sheffield,
Duke of Buckingham, was purchased of his natural son, Sir Charles
Sheffield, and named the Queen’s Palace. The mob called it in derision,
Holyrood House.

[217] James Stuart Mackenzie, only brother of the Earl of Bute. He
had been Minister at Turin from 1758 to 1762, when he was appointed
to Venice; but, before he could leave Turin, the death of the Duke
of Argyle caused Lord Bute to bring him home abruptly to take
the direction of the Government in Scotland; an exercise of the
Favourite’s power, which proved him to be virtually at the head of
the Administration. From the same feelings of exclusiveness, Lord
Bute subsequently selected Mr. Mackenzie, in preference to any of his
colleagues in the Cabinet, to assist him in the early part of the
negotiations for peace. Whatever points were settled by his Lordship
with the King, were then communicated, through Mr. Mackenzie, to the
Count de Virri, by whom they were transmitted, through the Bailli de
Solar, to the Duke of Choiseul, and it was only after an article had
been actually agreed upon that it came officially under the cognizance
of the Foreign Department; so that these two foreigners appear to have
possessed more of Lord Bute’s confidence, as well as more influence
over the negotiation, than the Secretary of State, Lord Egremont; a
circumstance which rather explains the jealousy shown by the Cabinet,
when the preliminaries had been settled, of any independent authority
being given to the Duke of Bedford. These duties Mr. Mackenzie
discharged irreproachably, and, far from sharing his brother’s
unpopularity, was much esteemed by all parties. He is described by his
secretary, M. Dutens, as having been most amiable, remarkably cheerful
and pleasant in society, with very simple tastes, and no ambition;
“well versed in the sciences, particularly in mathematics, algebra,
and astronomy.” He took little part in public affairs after Lord
Bute’s resignation, and died in 1800, at the age of 81 years, only a
few months after the death of his wife, the daughter of John Duke of
Argyle. Memoirs of a Traveller now in Retirement, vol. i. p. 159; vol.
iv. p. 229.--E.

[218] Meaning Lord Bute, who was introducing the Tories in the place of
the Whigs.

[219] Nicholson Calvert, of Hunsdon House, Hertfordshire, member for
Tewkesbury, and sheriff for Hertfordshire in 1749. He was the second
son of Felix Calvert of Furneaux Pelham Hall, but succeeded to the
family property by the death of his elder brother. It is a pity that
his madness was not catching, for he was one of the most honest and
independent members in the House, an eminent agriculturist, and an
active county magistrate. In politics he was “a Whig, and something
more.” He died without issue in 1793.--E.

[220] This speech “is said to have silenced all future attacks by the
poet either on Mr. Pitt or his administration, and was well received on
all sides.”--Hansard’s Par. Hist. xv., p. 1227, note.--E.

[221] Of Newcastle.

[222] George Prince of Wales, afterwards King George the Second.

[223] Frederick Prince of Wales, against whom the Duke of Newcastle
carried the chancellorship of Cambridge.

[224] Lord Bute had the ill-natured arrogance to compliment him on his
retirement: the Duke replied with a spirit that marked his lasting
ambition, “Yes, yes, my Lord, I am an old man; but yesterday was my
birth-day, and I recollected that Cardinal Fleury _began_ to be prime
minister of France just at my age.”

[225] Frederick, brother of Earl Cornwallis, and afterwards Archbishop
of Canterbury. Young, of Norwich, was out of town, but adhered
faithfully to Newcastle.

[226] Sir Francis Dashwood’s want of knowledge of finance opened a fine
field for the wits of the day, and was of course greatly exaggerated.
One of them describes him as “a man to whom a sum of five figures
was an impenetrable secret.” His vocation, certainly, was not to
the Exchequer; and he was unfortunate in having Mr. Legge for his
predecessor. There were other high offices of the Government which he
would have filled with credit, for he had respectable talents, was
“spirited, frank, and manly,” and had gained the consideration of
the House. (Smollet.) He was the only son of Sir Francis Dashwood,
Baronet, M.P. for Winchelsea, by Lady Mary Fane, sister of the Earl of
Westmoreland, often mentioned in these Memoirs. In his youth he had
travelled much, especially in Italy, and passed some time at Rome,
where he was long recollected from the following anecdote, which made
a great noise at the time. “It was on Good Friday, when each person
who attends the service in the Sistine Chapel, as he enters, takes
a small scourge from an attendant at the door. The chapel is dimly
lighted, and there are three candles which are extinguished by the
priest, one by one: at the putting out of the first, the penitents
take off one part of their dress; at the next still more; and, in the
darkness which follows the extinguishing of the third candle, lay
on their own shoulders, with groans and lamentations. Sir Francis
Dashwood, thinking this mere stage effect, entered with others,
dressed in a large watchman’s coat; demurely took his scourge from
the priest, and advanced to the end of the chapel; where, on the
darkness ensuing, he drew from beneath his coat an English horsewhip
and flogged right and left quite down the chapel and made his escape,
the congregation exclaiming ‘Il diavolo! il diavolo!’ and thinking
the Evil one was upon them with a vengeance! The consequence of this
frolic might have been serious to him, had he not immediately fled the
Papal dominions.”--(Private Information.) His political life was by no
means discreditable; and, in the unfortunate affair of Admiral Byng, he
exhibited kindness of feeling not less than tact and decision, which
Walpole has elsewhere handsomely noticed.--Memoirs, ii. p. 145. He had
a taste for the arts, and brought sculptors and painters from Italy to
decorate his country-seat at West Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, where he
laid out an extensive park with skill and effect, and built a church
and mausoleum. His private life was reported to be very licentious.
He married the widow of Sir Richard Ellys, Baronet, by whom he had
no children, and died in 1781. The peerage, to which his claim is
mentioned in a following page, descended to the Stapylton family.--E.

[227] They called themselves the Dilettanti. In the year 1770, they
published a pompous volume on some rubbish remaining of two or three
temples in Ionia.

[228] William Henry, third son of Frederick Prince of Wales; afterwards
Duke of Gloucester.

[229] Lord Bute held his levées at the Cockpit, Whitehall, as did
afterwards the Duke of Grafton and Lord North. Till then, each minister
saw company at his own house; but Lord Bute, who lived in a small house
in Audley Street, Grosvenor Square, had not room enough.

[230] Mr., afterwards Sir Gilbert, Elliot, father of the late Earl of
Minto. His connection with Lord Bute does credit to that nobleman’s
discernment, for he was a most useful coadjutor; and Professor Stewart
says of him, that he “seems to have united with his other well-known
talents and accomplishments, a taste for abstract disquisitions which
rarely occurs in men of the world, accompanied with that soundness and
temperance of judgment which in such researches are so indispensably
necessary to guard the mind against the illusions engendered by its own
subtility.”--Philosophy of the Human Mind, vol. ii. p. 530.--E.

[231] Dr. Smollet, originally a ship-surgeon, was an abusive Jacobite
writer, author of a compilation of the History of England, in which he
had spoken most scurrilously of the Duke of Cumberland for suppressing
the Rebellion, and had been punished by the King’s Bench for slandering
Admiral Knowles. [His “genius,” however, to use the words of Walter
Scott, “has raised an imperishable monument to his memory,” in the
poems and novels which Walpole does not deign to notice in this
allusion to his works. Nor is the criticism just in other respects.
Smollet’s tracts are not more virulent than most publications of a
similar character of that day. His censure of the Duke of Cumberland
has been confirmed by subsequent historians, and his punishment for
the libel on Admiral Knowles reflects discredit on the Admiral rather
than on himself.--See Walter Scott’s Lives of the Novelists, vol. i. p.

[232] Murphy, once an actor, was turned hackney writer, and had engaged
in a paper called _the Contest_, in behalf of Lord Holland. He stole
many plays from the French, and published other things long since
forgotten. [“The Way to keep Him,” and “All in the Wrong,” are alone a
sufficient refutation of the above harsh criticism on Murphy. He was a
person of considerable accomplishments, and wanted only a better temper
and more independence of character to have risen to eminence. He died
at an advanced age in 1805.--E.]

Smollet and Murphy, with Dr. Shebbeare, who was in Newgate for abusing
King George the First, King George the Second, King William, and the
Revolution, and Dr. Johnson, another known Jacobite, who even in a
Dictionary had vented his Jacobite principles, were selected by Lord
Bute to defend his cause, and pensioned by him as a patron of learned
men. Johnson’s acceptance of a pension was the more ridiculous, as in
his Dictionary he had lashed the infamy of pensioners. [Neither Smollet
nor Murphy were pensioned by Lord Bute. The bounty of the Crown was
never more inexcusably exercised than in favour of Dr. Shebbeare--a
pamphleteer who was a disgrace to his party, and had not long before
been concerned in some fraudulent practices at Oxford, when employed
by the University to arrange the Clarendon papers. He died in 1788, at
a very advanced age. Dr. Johnson’s pension was not subjected to any
conditions.--Boswell, vol. i. p. 292.--E.]

[233] His father was a distiller.

[234] Mr. Southey, opposed as he was to the political creed of
Churchill, thought more favourably of him. He praises the generosity
and straightforwardness of his character, and says of his poems
that “manly sense is their characteristic, deriving strength from
indignation, and that they contain passages of sound morality and
permanent truth.” Cowper had a higher opinion of him than of any other
contemporary writer, and even goes so far as to style him “the great
Churchill.”--Southey’s Cowper, p. 87.--E.

[235] Groom of the Bedchamber to William Duke of Cumberland, and
Commander in America. He was afterwards Knight of the Bath, and
called Sir Joseph Amherst. He was subsequently made a Peer and
Commander-in-Chief, [and lastly Field-Marshal. He had been the
favourite aide-de-camp of Lord Ligonier during the German wars, and
bore through life the reputation of a very able and zealous officer. He
distinguished himself particularly in America. He died in 1797, in his
eighty-first year.--E.]

[236] Alluding to the defeat of the French near Giessau, by Prince
Ferdinand, on the 26th September, when he drove them from all
their posts, and obliged them to fly with precipitation behind the
Nahn.--Annual Register, 1762, p. 49.--E.

[237] This narrative of the dethronement of Peter the Third has
been confirmed in many essential points by later writers.--Tooke’s
Catherine the Second.--Castera.--Levesque, Hist. de Russie, vol.
v. 298. The precise extent of the guilt of the Empress is still a
subject of dispute. The dethronement of her husband might be an act of
self-defence, for he seems to have contemplated raising his mistress
to the throne. His murder certainly had her ready forgiveness, if not
her acquiescence, and there is nothing in her character to controvert
its having been committed at her instigation. The attempt to exculpate
her in the recently published Memoirs of the Princess Dashkau is very
far from satisfactory, though it in some degree elevates the character
of the authoress above the level of her contemporaries at the Court
of St. Petersburgh, a court in those days without a parallel for the
prevalence of the crimes and vices of a semi-barbarous age.--E.

[238] George third Earl, Augustus, and William, sons of William Anne
second Earl of Albemarle. Frederick, the fourth son, was on this
occasion promoted to the Bishoprick of Exeter. Of Augustus (afterwards
Lord Keppel) see more in the preceding reign, under the History of
Admiral Byng.--Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 174. [A very interesting account
of his life was lately published by his kinsman, the Honourable and
Reverend Thomas Augustus Keppel.--E.]

[239] Madame Geoffrin was proprietor of a great manufacture of glass;
yet by her wit, parts, riches, and cabals, and by patronizing authors,
and the modern philosophers and painters, statuaries and architects,
and by keeping an open house for foreigners of all nations, she was
much considered, and had great respect paid to her by persons of the
first rank in France. [Marmontel draws a spirited portrait of her in
his Memoirs.--E.]

[240] This is a very one-sided view of the character of the Duc de
Nivernois. He had no pretensions to the character of a soldier, having
been obliged to quit the army from ill-health at an early age. As a
diplomatist, he certainly failed at Berlin--as all other diplomatists
did, who brought proposals that did not suit the views of the King
of Prussia. In England he gave great satisfaction to all parties.
His popularity is noticed by Lord Chesterfield. He was a generous,
though not perhaps a very discriminating, patron of letters, and a
respectable writer for one who made literature only an amusement. His
private life was exemplary; and he showed no common strength of mind
in the firmness with which he bore the loss of his rank and property,
and, above all, his heavy domestic misfortunes. His second wife, to
whom he was tenderly attached, died a few days after marriage. Of his
two sons-in-law, the Count de Gisors, his destined heir, an élève of
Marmontel, fell at the battle of Crevelt: the remaining one, the Duc de
Brissac, was torn to pieces by the mob at Paris, at the beginning of
the Revolution. The Duke of Nivernois died in 1798, at a very advanced

[241] Besides his crime of being the favourite of the Duke of
Cumberland, Fox had deeply offended the Princess by advising Mr.
Pelham, the very day after the death of her husband, to take her son,
the present King, from her, that she might not get an ascendant over
him. I one day mentioned this fact to Lord Mansfield: he said, “It was
very true, and he believed the measure was not followed, _only_ because
Mr. Fox had advised it”--so jealous was Mr. Pelham of Fox!

[242] James Earl Waldegrave, Governor to George the Third when Prince.

[243] William Cavendish, fourth Duke of Devonshire, Lord Chamberlain.

[244] Many causes might be assigned for the Duke’s dissatisfaction. It
is not improbable that a generous Prince might resent the indignity
offered to his country. He might, too, resent the unrelenting hatred
of the Princess, and his total exclusion from power. He might feel for
Germany, his other country, which he saw neglected: or he might have
hoped that the aversion of the Princess to the House of Brunswick would
not cease without disgusting Prince Ferdinand; and that then, if the
war had continued, the command would have once more devolved on himself.

[245] Samuel Martin, a West Indian, had been in the service of the
late Prince of Wales. See more of him hereafter, and in Churchill’s
“Duellist.” [He had been brought into the Treasury by Mr. Legge
when the latter was made Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir George
Colebrooke’s MS. Memoirs represent him as a plain-spoken, honest man,
and more to be depended upon than his joint secretary Mr. West.--E.]

[246] Richard Aldworth Neville, of Billingbere, Berkshire, [son of Mr.
Aldworth of Stanlake, by Catherine sister of Mr. Henry Neville Grey of
Billingbere, whose estate he subsequently inherited. He filled for some
years the office of Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, which
occasioned his being employed at Paris; and he represented Wallingford,
Reading, and Tavistock in different Parliaments. The Barony of
Braybrooke descended on his only son (the late Lord) by a special
limitation in the patent obtained by his relative, Sir John Griffin,
Lord Howard de Walden, whose large estates he also inherited.--History
of Audley End, p. 54.--E.]

[247] This statement rests on Walpole’s unsupported testimony. The
facts that I have been able to collect on the subject, in the quarters
likely to be the best informed, are these:--On the 7th of September
Lord Egremont wrote to the Duke of Bedford, informing him of the King’s
commands that he should not sign the preliminaries without first
sending them over for his Majesty’s approbation. On the 18th the Duke
wrote to M. de Choiseul that he was ready to sign, and that he only
_waits his answer to send his messenger to London_. On the 28th or
29th Lord Egremont wrote by the French courier of M. de Nivernois that
the Havannah was taken. On the 30th he repeats the news, and promises
fresh instructions. The Duke never pretended to sign against the King’s
orders, though he complained of their tenor. Thus Walpole’s story
becomes very improbable.--E.

[248] William Ponsonby, Earl of Besborough, one of the
Postmasters-General, had married Lady Caroline Cavendish, eldest sister
of the Duke of Devonshire.

[249] Mr. Fox did _not_ go to Devonshire House to “protest his utter
ignorance of any such design.” He wrote to the Duke at Chatsworth on
the 2nd of November, to express his sorrow at what had happened; and in
a subsequent letter of the 9th assured his Grace that “he neither knew
nor had the least suspicion” of the intention to strike his Grace’s
name out of the Privy Council.--_Note by the late Mr. Allen_, on the
manuscript copy of these Memoirs.

[250] Turned out for his opposition to the Excise Scheme in 1733.

[251] Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, Prime Minister to Queen Anne.

[252] William Keith, Earl Marichal, engaged in the rebellion of 1715.
When he came out of the King’s closet, and was asked what the King had
said, he replied in the words of the old ballad,

   “The King looked over his left shoulder,
      And a grim look looked he,
    And cried ‘Earl Marshal, but for my oath,
      Or hanged thou should’st be.’”

Lord Marichal was afterwards in the service of the King of Prussia, and
Governor of Neufchatel. He was pardoned by King George the Third. He
is one of the few persons whom Frederick appears to have really loved.
He was a philosopher after the fashion of that monarch, but a more
practical and amiable one; for he bore the loss of rank and wealth,
and the various discomforts of a long and almost hopeless exile, with
unostentatious cheerfulness, conducting himself all the while so
prudently, that amidst his many political opponents he had not a single
personal enemy. The general esteem that followed him through life
afterwards attached to his memory; and his name is rarely to be found
mentioned in the works of his contemporaries without some expressions
showing an earnest desire to represent him in the fairest colours.
D’Alembert wrote an _éloge_ in his honour. His brother, Marshal Keith,
was a man of far superior ability, and his exile was a serious loss
to the British army. Lord Marichal died at Potsdam in 1778, in his
eighty-sixth year.--Wood’s Peerage of Scotland.--E.

[253] The disgrace of the Duke of Devonshire.

[254] John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich. See more of him in the preceding
reign, and in the subsequent part of this work.

[255] George Montagu, fourth Duke of Manchester.

[256] George Spencer, third Duke of Marlborough.

[257] Hugh Smithson Percy, Earl of Northumberland, afterwards Duke of
Northumberland, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

[258] John second Earl of Ashburnham, Lord of the Bedchamber,
and Ranger of the Parks, died on the 8th of April, 1802, in his
eighty-eighth year, and was succeeded by George the third Earl, K.G.,
the agreeable biographer of John Ashburnham.--E.

[259] Thomas Hay, Earl of Kinnoul, better known as Lord Dupplin. He
had, in the preceding reign, held with credit, at different times,
the offices of a Lord of the Treasury, of Paymaster, Chancellor of
the Duchy of Lancaster, &c., and was a frequent and useful speaker
in the House of Commons, “where,” says Walpole, “he aimed at nothing
but understanding business and explaining it.” The Duke of Newcastle
chiefly relied upon him in the distribution of the secret service-money
and the Government patronage among the members. His embassy to Lisbon
is remembered by the satirical verse of Pope,

    “Kinnoul’s lewd cargo and Tyrawley’s crew.”

He took very little part in public affairs afterwards; residing usually
on his estates in Scotland, and devoting himself to rural improvements
and matters of local interest. He died in 1787, aged 77, without issue,
and was succeeded by his nephew.--E.

[260] Henry Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, Knight of the Garter, and one of
the Lords of the Bedchamber, was son of Henry Earl of Lincoln and Lucy
Pelham, sister of the Duke of Newcastle and Henry Pelham, First Lord of
the Treasury; and having married his first-cousin, Catherine, eldest
daughter and co-heiress of Mr. Pelham, the Duke’s estate, and a new
creation of the Duchy of Newcastle in reversion, were settled on him.
(He died in 1794, and was the grandfather of the present Duke.)--E.

[261] “This honest old General,” as he is called by Lord Chesterfield,
owed his high rank entirely to his own merit, being a French Huguenot,
of not distinguished parentage, and without connections in this
country. He was a very brave, zealous, and intelligent officer. He had
served with Marlborough in the German wars, and his conduct afterwards
at Dettingen attracted the particular notice of George the Second,
who invested him with the insignia of the Bath on the field, in front
of the whole army. As an additional mark of the King’s favour, he was
also raised to a high command in Flanders, from which time all the
skill shown in the Duke of Cumberland’s military operations,--which at
Fontenoy was not inconsiderable, for the battle was only lost by the
misconduct of General Ingoldsby,--the army ascribed exclusively to him,
his Royal Highness being believed to act in a great measure under his
guidance: and, indeed, he was usually called the Duke’s military tutor.
In the Duke’s absence during the Scotch rebellion of 1745, he succeeded
to the command of the British troops in Flanders, and was present with
ten battalions in the unfortunate battle of Raucoux, where he almost
retrieved the errors of Prince Charles of Lorraine, and is admitted to
have saved the army from total destruction. The brilliant charges of
cavalry by which he protected the retreat of the allies have obtained
the praise even of the French historians. (Coxe’s Pelham, vol. i. p.
322; Lacratelle, vol. ii. p. 350.) The Duke returned in the following
year, as if only to lose the battle of Lafeldt; on which occasion Sir
John Ligonier reaped the same melancholy glory that had attended him
at Raucoux. At seventy years of age, he led a charge of cavalry that
broke the enemy’s line, and had he not been taken prisoner, might have
turned the fortune of the day. Louis the Fifteenth received him with
distinction; and, though a rebellious subject, made him the bearer
of the overtures of the peace, which, on the following year, was
concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle. The remainder of his life was passed in
less active service, and in the enjoyment of the rank and honours he
had so well earned. In 1757 he was made Commander-in-chief; in 1759,
Field-Marshal; in 1766, after passing through the subordinate steps
in the peerage, he was created Earl Ligonier. He retained to the last
the gaiety and amiability which had made him the favourite both of the
army and the Court. His tastes were simple; one of his chief amusements
being the embellishment of his country-seat in Surrey, of which his
gardens were the admiration of the neighbourhood. He died in 1770, aged
92; and was succeeded in his title by his nephew, an estimable and
popular nobleman, who had been Aide-de-camp to Prince Ferdinand at the
battle of Minden, and on whose death, without issue, the title became

[262] Welbore Ellis. See his character in the preceding
reign.--Memoirs, vol. i. p. 484.

[263] Charles second Duke of Richmond, and Sarah Cadogan his Duchess.
Fox had stolen their eldest daughter, Lady Caroline Lenox.

[264] For the borough of Lynn, in Norfolk.

[265] On the contested election for the borough of St. Michael, in
Cornwall, Lord Orford, my nephew, had quarrelled with me for taking
part with Fox. I offered to resign my seat, but would not give up the
liberty of voting as I pleased.

[266] As Usher of the Exchequer, I advanced a very large sum of money
every year to furnish the Treasury with paper, stationery wares, &c.,
and to pay the workmen; so that, if the payments are kept back, I am a
considerable sufferer.

[267] The Rangership of St. James’s and Hyde Parks. This post was not
worth two thousand two hundred pounds a year by itself, but with the
Bedchamber; as Lord Ashburnham had held it. Lord Orford was already
Lord of the Bedchamber; so, though I did not know it at that time, the
offer was grossly fallacious. Fox, however, might be ignorant too of
this circumstance.

[268] George Walpole, third Earl of Orford, grandson of Sir Robert
Walpole. Not only his grandfather and father had left great debts, but
his own dissipation had involved him in many more.

[269] He scarce ever had any thoughts about politics, but lived almost
always in the country and at Newmarket, wasting his time and fortune
by carelessness, rather than in pleasures and expenses. With a most
engaging figure and address, he profited of no one advantage to which
he was born; and, without any view of advantage to himself, disgusted
every friend he had by insensibility, and every friend he might have
had by insincerity.

[270] Charles Boone, brought into Parliament by Lord Orford for
Castlerising. Fox _had already_ sounded Lord Orford through Mr. Boone,
but without receiving any answer.

[271] This alludes to my having projected a match for Lord Orford
with Miss Nicholl, an heiress worth one hundred and fifty thousand
pounds, whom Lord Orford would not marry; and in the course of which
negotiation I had a great quarrel with my uncle, old Horace Walpole,
who endeavoured, though trusted with her by me, to marry her to one
of his own younger sons. This quarrel had made very great noise, and
many persons were engaged in it. The young lady afterwards married the
Marquis of Caernarvon.

[272] Mr. Fox had supported Mr. Sullivan at a borough in the West
against Mr. T. Walpole; I forget whether it was Callington or
Ashburton. Lord Orford was heir to estates in both by his mother.

[273] Mr. Boone had acquainted me with this, and Mr. Fox thought I did
not know it, but I chose to let him see I did.

[274] Thomas Thynne, Viscount Weymouth, afterwards one of the
Secretaries of State.

[275] Sir John Probyn, K.B., Lord Carysfort of Ireland. His son and
successor was ambassador at St. Petersburgh at the beginning of the
present century.--E.

[276] George Fermor, second Earl of Pomfret, brother-in-law to Earl
Granville. He was clever, and a ready speaker; but so hot, headstrong,
and injudicious, that his support was of very questionable benefit
to his political friends. Vide an amusing anecdote of him in George
Selwyn’s Correspondence, vol. i. p. 352.--E.

[277] Mr. Harris did not enter Parliament until he had passed his
fiftieth year, or he would probably have better supported in the House
the reputation he had acquired in society and literature. He was an
accomplished and truly amiable man. He did not rise beyond subordinate
offices in the Government, having been made Lord of the Admiralty in
1762, Lord of the Treasury in 1763. The change of administration in
1765 displaced him, but he was appointed Controller to the Queen in
1774. He died in 1780, in his seventy-second year. An elegant account
of his life is prefixed to the edition of his works by his son, the
first Earl of Malmesbury.--E.

[278] Son of the Marquis of Lothian. He had been aide-de-camp of the
Duke at Fontenoy, where he was severely wounded, and commanded the
cavalry at Culloden. He died in 1775, aged sixty-five.--E.

[279] John Fitzwilliam, brother of the Viscount of that name.

[280] If there was any hardship in this step, it consisted in these
gentlemen not having received previous notice from Mr. Fox that he
should regard opposition to the vote in the light of such direct
hostility to the Government as would be incompatible with the tenure of
office under it. Previously, there appears to have been no settled rule
as to the claims of the Government on the support of members in office.
Mr. Pitt, when Paymaster, not only voted but frequently spoke against
the Government. It would now be considered very extraordinary in any
member of the administration, however subordinate, to vote against a
Government measure without a previous intimation to the premier of his
readiness to resign.--E.

[281] Fourth daughter of John Leveson, first Earl Gower, wife of
General John Waldegrave, who succeeded his brother in the Earldom of

[282] Giles Earle.

[283] Eldest son of Thomas, one of the Tellers of the Exchequer, second
son of Charles Viscount Townshend, Secretary of State to George I. and

[284] Younger son of the Earl of Granard.

[285] A sufficient reason against his original appointment, but a bad
one for his dismissal. Mr. Schutz was very rich, having succeeded by
bequest to a large estate in Essex, from Sir J. Tyrrel.--E.

[286] This certainly was a very harsh proceeding. No Lord Lieutenant
has since been dismissed without far more decided provocation.--E.

[287] This character of Lord Granville is not one of the author’s
happiest efforts. He has, however, hit off some of the more salient
traits of that nobleman’s character with great cleverness in his
“Correspondence.” Lord Mahon and Mr. Macaulay have subsequently gone
over the same ground with brilliant success, but the following sketch
by Lord Chesterfield, to which they are both indebted, is so full of
life and spirit, that the editor cannot refrain from inserting it.

“He had great parts and a most uncommon share of learning for a man
of quality. He was one of the best speakers in the House of Lords,
both in the declamatory and the argumentative way. He had a wonderful
quickness and precision in seizing the stress of a question, which no
art, no sophistry, could disguise in him. In business he was bold,
enterprising, and overbearing. He had been bred up in high monarchical,
that is, tyrannical principles of government, which his ardent and
imperious temper made him think were the only rational and practical
ones. He would have been a great first Minister in France, little
inferior, perhaps, to Richelieu; in this government, which is yet free,
he was neither ill-natured nor vindictive, and had a great contempt for
money--his ideas were all above it. In social life he was an agreeable,
good-humoured, and instructive companion, a great but interesting

“He degraded himself by the vice of drinking, which, together with
a great stock of Greek and Latin, he had brought from Oxford, and
practised ever afterwards. By his own industry he had made himself
master of all the modern languages, and had acquired great knowledge
of the law. His political knowledge of the interests of princes and
of commerce was extensive, and his notions were just and great. His
character may be summed up in nice precision, great decision, and
overbearing presumption.”--Chesterfield’s Miscell. Works, vol. iv. p.

[288] This persecution is inexcusable, and very unlike Mr. Fox, who was
a very good-humoured man.--E.

[289] Son of Heneage Legge, one of the Barons of the Exchequer.

[290] I shall give two instances of my assertions. Sir William Milner
held a place of about 2000_l._ a year in the Custom-house, the greater
portion of which had been allotted to his wife’s aunt, Mrs. Poyntz,[a]
as a jointure on the death of her husband, who had been governor to the
Duke of Cumberland. This was now taken away, and bestowed by Lord Bute
on Mr. Poole, to make him amends for the ravage made on his family[b]
in this new persecution; Lord Bute intending at the same time to
reserve 600_l._ a year out of it for Mrs. Poyntz. Lord Spencer, who
had married her daughter, wrote to the King representing the case,
and begging his protection for Mrs. Poyntz. The petition concluded
with telling the King that this application was made to _him_, because
probably his Majesty would hear of the grievance no other way. On this
the whole was stopped; but that Fox might bear all the odium, and Lord
Bute have all the merit, the latter sent a message by Lord Ancram to
the Duke of Cumberland,[c] to say, that if his Royal Highness would
take it as a favour, the King would continue the pension to Mrs.
Poyntz; and it was accepted.

The other was the case of Mrs. Cavendish, widow of an Admiral of that
name. She had for many years enjoyed a housekeeper’s place in one of
the offices, in lieu of a pension as an Admiral’s widow. Fox, hunting
after employments for his dependents and objects of vengeance for
himself, lighting on the name of a Cavendish, took away her place. The
lady, of a respectable family, and sister of Mrs. Cartwright, Maid of
Honour to the late Queen, sent the latter to Lady Suffolk,[d] from whom
I heard this account, immediately to entreat by her means an audience
of Lady Elizabeth Mackenzie.[e] Mrs. Cavendish herself, living in
devotion and unknown _to_, proved to be a relation _of_ Lady Bute;
to whom Lady E. Mackenzie had instantly applied. Lady Bute, no less
surprised, sent for her lord up stairs. He said the story could not be
true: it was one Mrs. Greening that was displaced, to make room for
Mrs. Goldsworthy, a companion of the late Duchess of Richmond.[f] It
proved that Fox had thus imposed on Lord Bute, to whom the name of Mrs.
Cavendish had never been mentioned, and who gave her immediate redress.

  [a] Anna Maria Mordaunt, Maid of Honour to Queen Caroline, and widow
      of Stephen Poyntz. She had been a great beauty; the poem of “The
      Fair Circassian” was written by a gentleman who was in love with

  [b] Sir Francis Poole, related to the Duke of Newcastle, had been
      turned out, with others of the same connection.

  [c] Eldest son of the Marquis of Lothian, and groom of the bedchamber
      to the duke.

  [d] Henrietta Hobart, Countess of Suffolk, Mistress of the Robes to
      Queen Caroline.

  [e] Wife of James Stuart Mackenzie, brother of the Earl of Bute.

  [f] Sarah Cadogan, Duchess of Richmond, mother of Lady Caroline Fox.

[291] The same charge is brought against Sir Fletcher Norton by Junius
(Letter 39), who applies to him the lines of Ben Jonson, describing the
lawyer who

    Gives forked counsel; takes provoking gold
    _On either hand_, and puts it up;
    So wise, so grave, of so perplexed a tongue,
    And _loud_ withal, that would not wag, nor scarce
    Lie still, _without a fee_.

Though Norton had the character at the bar of being the reverse of a
liberal practitioner, it is very improbable that Walpole’s assertion,
“that he took money from both parties” in a suit, should be literally
correct. He had too many rivals as well as enemies in the profession,
to admit of such conduct remaining unpunished; but it is not uncommon
for a counsel to feel himself bound _in honour_ to refuse a brief which
he could not accept without using knowledge acquired while employed by
parties who had a different interest, until he has given those parties
the option of employing him again; and Norton’s eagerness for gain made
him take a very narrow view of such questions.--E.

[292] Only son of the Earl of Derby, and Chancellor of the Duchy of

[293] William Aislabie, auditor of the imprest, son of Mr. Aislabie,
who was concerned in the South-Sea scheme in the reign of George I.

[294] The Report of the Committee is given in the Parliamentary
Debates, vol. xv. 1286. It is a very interesting document, but the only
fruit of it was a Resolution, “That it is the opinion of the House
that the present state of the mad-houses in this kingdom requires the
interposition of the Legislature.”--E.

[295] This does not include those who died of their wounds.

[296] George Onslow, only son of the late Speaker.

[297] Sir Henry Liddel, Lord Ravensworth, father of the Duchess of
Grafton, a connection to which he probably owed the favourable notice
of him in the author’s Memoirs of George II., vol. i. p. 265.--E.

[298] One of the Duke of Devonshire’s brothers, and Lord of the
Bedchamber to the Duke. A very gallant officer, who had frequently
distinguished himself during the war.--E.

[299] Maria, second daughter of Sir Edward Walpole.

[300] Sir Francis Dashwood.

[301] Hugh Hume, Earl of Marchmont; called in his father’s time Lord
Polwarth, and a great friend of Pope. He generally succeeded best
in reply, for he could then best employ the fire and acrimony which
formerly made him shine in opposition.--E.

[302] George Lord Lyttelton, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the late
reign; another friend of Pope, and Author of Dialogues of the Dead,
Life of King Henry II., &c. [Vide Walpole’s Memoirs of Geo. II., vol.
i. p. 175, for his character, and many particulars of his public life,
written in no friendly spirit.--E.]

[303] William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, nephew of Henry Legge; and
much attached to the Methodist sect; but of an excellent character.
[Richardson is reported to have said of him, when asked if he knew an
original answerable to his portrait of Sir Charles Grandison, that he
might apply it to him if he were not a Methodist. (Southey’s Life of
Cowper, vol. i. p. 234.) He was afterwards Secretary of State.--E.]

[304] Charles Paulet, Duke of Bolton, K.B. He died without issue in

[305] The best defence of his resignation is given by Mr. Adolphus,
vol. i. p. 115, from private information. It by no means exculpates
him from the charges in the text, and is also at variance with the
statement of a writer who lived on terms of the closest intimacy with
the Bute family. M. Dutens says, “That he resigned, because he was
disgusted with the bustle of business, indignant at the behaviour
of those who endeavoured to obtain his favour, at the baseness of
some, and the duplicity of others.”--Memoirs of a Traveller now in
Retirement, vol. iv. p. 181. This corresponds with all that has
transpired of Lord Bute’s character.--E.

[306] Thomas Orby Hunter.

[307] Henry Lord Digby, nephew of Mr. Fox.

[308] Richard Viscount Howe.

[309] Thomas Pitt, of Boconnock, nephew of Mr. William Pitt, with
whom he was at variance. [To this gentleman, when a student at the
University, Mr. Pitt addressed the beautiful letters subsequently
published by Lord Grenville.--E.]

[310] General George Townshend, afterwards Viscount.

[311] Simon Lord Harcourt, who had been Governor to the King.

[312] Charles Douglas, Duke of Queensberry; he had been Lord of the
Bedchamber to the late Prince of Wales.

[313] James Duke of Athol.

[314] A friend of Mr. William Pitt.

[315] He had been Groom of the Bedchamber to the late Prince.

[316] James Douglas, Earl of March and Ruglin [afterwards Duke of

[317] Charles Shaw, Lord Cathcart, had been one of the hostages to
France, and Lords of the Bedchamber to William Duke of Cumberland; he
was afterwards Ambassador in Russia. [Died July 21, 1776.--E.]

[318] Gertrude Leveson Duchess of Bedford.

[319] George Spencer, Duke of Marlborough.

[320] John Manners, Duke of Rutland, father of Lord Granby.

[321] Granville Leveson Gower, Earl Gower, brother of the Duchess of

[322] John Calcraft began with being clerk in the War Office at 40_l._
a year. [He was a very shrewd, intelligent man, and gained great
popularity with the army by his liberal conduct and hospitality to the

[323] This charge is entirely unfounded. Had there been any truth in
it, the connection between Mr. Fox and Mr. Calcraft would not have been
so easily dissolved.--E.

[324] It is in reference to Mr. Rigby’s conduct that Lord Holland
probably alludes to the following passage of a letter to Mr. Selwyn
of October 5, 1763: “I drop all politics that may not go by the post,
till I see you, when I will tell you all I know of them, with the
_trait_ I mentioned. Had it been from a political friend only, I should
be ashamed to be hurt by it. No politics will or can mortify me; I
thought this man’s friendship had not been only political. I loved him;
and whether to feel or not to feel, to despise or grieve, on such an
occasion, be most worthy of a man, I won’t dispute; but the fact is
that I have been, and still am, whenever I think of it, very unhappy.”
Selwyn Correspondence, vol. i. p. 267.--E.

[325] Lady Isabella Fitzroy, second daughter of Charles Duke of Grafton.

[326] Then held by Mr. Aislabie for life.

[327] Secretary to the Treasury. [He derived no benefit from this
appointment, having died some years before Walpole.--E.]

[328] Collector of the Customs. Sir Robert Walpole held it for his
own life, and for the lives of his two eldest sons, with power of
bequeathing it for their lives to any child he pleased.

[329] Charles Jenkinson, private secretary to Lord Bute [afterwards
Earl of Liverpool.--E.]

[330] It was again offered to me afterwards, and I again refused it.

[331] This was not the only favour that the count owed to the English
Government, for they prevented his recall soon after the king’s
accession; and it was entirely at their instance that he obtained
permission to give up his embassy to his son. He had also received a
portrait set in diamonds, and a suite of Gobelin hangings from the King
of France. Upon his resignation he retired to his estates in Savoy,
where he intrigued until he succeeded in replacing the Count de St.
Germaine as first Minister of Savoy.--Mem. of a Traveller, vol. ii. p.

[332] The negotiation was conducted by Count Virri (Duke?) Envoy in
England, and by the Bailli de Solar, the Sardinian Minister at Paris,
the intimate friend of the Duchess de Choiseul; and that convenience
was probably a reason why Lord Bute yielded to the treaty being
settled at Paris, though the King of France had offered to treat here
_vis-à-vis du Roi de la Grande Brétagne_. [_Vide_ notes in p. 157 and
160, _supra_, for more details respecting the part taken by these
Sardinian Ministers in the negotiation.--E.]

[333] These Memoirs were published in 1821, with a very able
introduction by the late Lord Holland. A critic, who cannot be
suspected of partiality (Quarterly Review, vol. xxv. p. 413),
pronounces them “a model of this species of writing.” It is to be
regretted that they embrace only four years, and those not the most
interesting, of the reign of George II. Lord Waldegrave possessed
sound sense and respectable abilities. He was highly esteemed by his
contemporaries, and few men have passed through life, and, above all,
public life, with a character so entirely unblemished.--A masterly
critique of Lord Waldegrave’s Memoirs is given in the seventy-third
number of the Edinburgh Review, from the pen of the late Mr. John

[334] George Grenville, next brother of Richard Earl Temple. He married
Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Windham, and sister of Charles Earl
of Egremont, and of Percy Windham Obrien, Earl of Thomond.

[335] Treasurer of the Navy.

[336] Sir Charles Windham, Earl of Egremont, eldest son of the
celebrated orator, Sir William Windham, Chancellor of the Exchequer
in the four last years of Queen Anne, and of Lady Catherine Seymour,
daughter of Charles Duke of Somerset, the proudest man of his age.

[337] Had Lord Egremont been a liar of the “monstrous magnitude”
stated in the text, he certainly would never have had the opportunity
of refusing the offer of being Secretary of State from a man of such
strict honour and integrity as Lord Waldegrave; an offer, be it
observed, which Walpole notices in his Memoirs of George the Second
without censure. It was to his refusal of that offer, and to his
subsequent connection with Mr. Grenville, that Lord Egremont owed this
severe imputation. He was proud, obstinate, and hot-tempered; but
that he was not without talent is proved by his answer to the Spanish
memorial, a State paper of acknowledged merit. Bishop Newton, who
knew him well, says, “that if he had entered earlier into business,
he might have made as considerable a figure as his father had. He had
seldom occasion to speak in Parliament, but, when he did, it was with
great clearness, force, and energy; and he was thought to resemble his
father in manner as well as in good matter, having a little catch and
impediment in his voice, as his father had.”--Newton’s Mem. p. 89.--E.

[338] Many interesting anecdotes of Lord Halifax are given in the
Memoirs of Mr. Cumberland, who had been his private secretary for many
years. He describes him thus: “I am persuaded he was formed to be a
good man, he might also have been a great one: his mind was large, his
spirit active, his ambition honourable; he had a carriage noble and
imposing; his first approach attracted notice; his consequent address
ensured respect. If his talents were not quite so solid as some, nor
altogether so deep as others, yet they were brilliant, popular, and
made to glitter in the eyes of men: splendour was his passion; his
good-fortune threw opportunities in his way to have supported it; his
ill-fortune blasted all those energies which should have been reserved
for the crisis of his public fame. The first offices of the State,
the highest honours which his Sovereign could bestow, were showered
upon him when the spring of his mind was broken; and his genius, like
a vessel overloaded with treasure, but far gone in decay, was only
precipitated to ruin by the very freight that, in its better days,
would have crowned it with prosperity and riches.” Vol. i. p. 242.
This is a generous portrait, considering that Cumberland had certainly
been unkindly treated by Lord Halifax; and, had he always felt thus,
he would not have furnished Sheridan with the model of Sir Fretful

[339] The figures 45 became the hieroglyphics of Wilkes’s party.

[340] Queen Anne’s speech on the treaty of Utrecht told a similar lie;
so exactly was the parallel maintained throughout. [It was consequently
made one of the subjects of Lord Orford’s impeachment. Vide fifteenth
Article, Journals, vol. xviii. p. 214.--E.]

[341] The following passages are those to which the text refers: “This
week has given the public the most abandoned instance of official
effrontery ever attempted to be imposed on mankind. The minister’s
speech last Tuesday is not to be paralleled in the annals of this
country. I am in doubt whether the imposition is greater on the
Sovereign or on the nation. Every friend of his country must lament
that a Prince of so many great and amiable qualities, whom England
truly reveres, can be brought to give the sanction of his name to the
most odious measures, and to the most unjustifiable public doctrines,
from a Throne ever renowned for truth, honour, and unsullied virtue. I
am sure all foreigners, especially the King of Prussia, will hold the
minister in contempt and abhorrence. He has made our Sovereign declare,
‘_My expectations have been fully answered by the happy effects which
the several allies of my crown have derived from the salutary measure
of the definitive treaty. The powers at war with my good brother
the King of Prussia have been induced to agree to such terms of
accommodation as that great Prince has approved, and the success which
has attended my negotiation has necessarily and immediately diffused
the blessings of peace throughout Europe._’ The infamous fallacy of
this whole sentence is apparent to all mankind; for it is known that
the King of Prussia did not barely approve, but absolutely dictated as
conqueror, every article of the terms of peace. No advantage of any
kind has accrued to that magnanimous Prince from our negotiation; but
he was basely deserted by the Scottish Prime Minister of England. He
was known by every Court in Europe to be scarcely on better terms here
than at Vienna, and he was betrayed by us in the treaty of peace. What
a strain of insolence, therefore, is it in a minister to lay claim
to what he is conscious his efforts tended to prevent, and meanly
to arrogate to himself a share in the fame and glory of one of the
greatest Princes the world has ever seen!”--E.

[342] Robert Wood, author of the accounts of Balbec and Palmyra, and
Under-Secretary of State. He had been so made by Lord Chatham, but had
deserted him. [Mr. Wood was still, and for some time after, on most
friendly terms with Lord Chatham. Vide his letters of the 3rd and 6th
of September, 1763, in the second volume of the Chatham Correspondence,
p. 246.--E.]

[343] Philip Carteret Webbe, M.P. for Hazlemere, and Solicitor to
the Treasury. The part he took in the proceedings against Wilkes
savoured too much of the practice at the Old Bailey, and made him very
unpopular. His character was otherwise unexceptionable. He published
various tracts on law and antiquities, and was a great collector of
books and medals. He died in 1770, aged 70.--E.

[344] When Charles King of Naples, on the death of his brother King
Ferdinand, succeeded to the crown of Spain, he set aside his eldest son
as an idiot, made the second Prince of Asturias, and the third King of

[345] He was appointed King’s Counsel in May, 1757, and Baron of the
Exchequer in Hilary Term, 1762. He resigned in May, 1764. We cannot
find anything more about him. His praise of the peace seems to have
been on his first circuit; probably, while his surprise and gratitude
were fresh. There are no Exchequer reports of that time. Except on the
circuit, a Baron of the Exchequer was then, and long after, almost a

[346] Ralph Allen, of Prior Park, near Bath, Master of the Cross-posts.

[347] Mr. Pitt had openly pronounced the peace _inadequate_, and it
seemed to be personally levelled at him, that the address affected to
call it _adequate_. [Bishop Warburton insists on Allen’s ignorance
of Mr. Pitt having applied the term “inadequate” to the peace, and
disclaims any concern in it himself; though he admits having drawn
up, promoted, and advised a similar address from the clergy of
Gloucester, whose interference, on this occasion, “had the fate,” Mr.
Pitt observed, “not to be imitated by any other episcopal see in the
kingdom.” Allen, who was now an old man, felt Mr. Pitt’s resentment
acutely, and immediately withdrew from this corporation. He died on
the 29th June of the following year, having bequeathed to Mr. Pitt
a legacy of 1000_l._ Mr. Pitt’s letter of condolence to his widow
shows, that whatever coolness the address might have produced in their
intercourse was short-lived. The correspondence between Mr. Pitt and
Allen is in the Annual Register for 1763, p. 208; and in the Chatham
Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 256.--E.]

[348] Captain Forbes, of Ogilby’s regiment, in the French service. He
was of good family in Scotland, and of some merit in his profession, as
may be inferred from his subsequently attaining the rank of General in
Portugal, where, in common with other Scotch exiles, he was employed
and trusted.--E.

[349] Vide Memoirs of the year 1751, [vol. i. p. 15-181. He was at that
time residing at Paris, under the name of Count Murray. In 1771, he was
recalled by letter under the King’s privy seal, and he died shortly

[350] Thomas Osborne, fourth Duke of Leeds.

[351] Thomas Villiers, Baron Hyde, brother of William Earl of Jersey.
[He had been Minister at Berlin in the reign of George the Second, and
received various honours from Frederick the Great, whose preference
of him to such men as Mr. Legge and Mr. Fox, and even to Sir Andrew
Mitchell, probably arose from the same reasons that induced Napoleon
to bestow the warmest praise on such of his enemy’s generals as he
most wished to have as opponents. Lord Hyde was an amiable nobleman,
of very comely person, and graceful deportment; he married one of the
coheiresses of Lord Clarendon, was elevated to that earldom in 1776,
and died in 1786.--E.]

[352] Mr. Grenville was deeply offended at this interference of the
Duke of Bedford; and his friends, in consequence, took no pains to
defend the Duke when the current of popular feeling afterwards turned
so strongly against his Grace.--E.

[353] Mr. Pitt’s villa at Hayes, near Bromley, in Kent.

[354] Walpole is mistaken in this supposition; for the King himself
proposed Lord Temple for the Treasury. (Lord Hardwicke’s letter to the
Duke of Newcastle.) An impartial narrative of this transaction is given
by Mr. Adolphus (vol. i. p. 127), with a reference to the contemporary
authorities, of which the most important are Lord Hardwicke’s letter,
and the letters in the Chatham Correspondence (vol. ii. p. 242). The
“dexterity” and finesse ascribed in the text to Mr. Pitt hardly belong
to his character, and certainly were not exhibited on this occasion.
His private correspondence proves, as he told the King, that he felt
throughout the impossibility of his making a ministry, unless it rested
“on the great families who had supported the Revolution Government,
and other great persons, of whose ability and integrity the country
had had experience, and who had weight and credit in the nation.” This
would necessarily have involved greater changes than the King then
contemplated, though not greater than his Majesty subsequently found

[355] Henry Arthur Herbert, Earl of Powis.

[356] He had been succeeded as Treasurer of the Household by Lord Powis.

[357] His Majesty did not give him up in less than two years on the
next change.

[358] Charles Watson Wentworth, Marquis of Rockingham.

[359] Welbore Ellis, Esq.

[360] George Keppel, third Earl of Albemarle.

[361] Walpole is in error here. Wood informed Mr. Pitt of the report,
that he had proscribed Lord Gower, Rigby, and others of the Bedford
party; and Mr. Pitt’s reply, though it has not been preserved, may
be inferred, from Wood’s acknowledgment of it, to have amounted to a
positive denial of the charge. (Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p.

[362] Dr. Charles Lyttelton, brother of George Lord Lyttelton. They
were sons of Christian, sister of Richard Lord Cobham, consequently
first cousins of Lord Temple.

[363] James Grenville, the third brother.

[364] Richard Temple, Lord Cobham, had four sisters, Maria, Hester,
Christian, and Penelope. Maria, widow of Sir John Langham, offended
him by marrying Mr. West, a clergyman, on which he set her aside, and
settled his estate, and obtained his peerage to be settled, on Hester,
the second sister, and her issue, who, by Mr. Grenville, her husband,
were Richard, George, James, Henry, Thomas, and Hester, the wife of Mr.
Pitt. [Mr. West was the father of Gilbert West, one of the Clerks of
the Council, and better known as the translator of Pindar, and author
of the popular treatise “On the Resurrection.” He was a most amiable
man, and the intimate friend of Pitt.--E.]

[365] Henrietta Hobart, sister of the first Earl of Buckinghamshire,
widow of the Earl of Suffolk, and afterwards of George Berkeley,
brother of the Earl of Berkeley, Mistress of the Robes to Queen
Caroline, and mistress of King George the Second. The author lived in
great friendship with her the last years of her life; her house at
Marble Hill, Twickenham, and his at Strawberry Hill, near the same
village, were within a mile of each other, and he passed three or four
evenings every week with her, when they were in the country. She died
July 26, 1767, aged 79, and was remarkable for her strict and minute
veracity and memory, which she retained to the last, as well as her
eyesight, teeth, and the elegance of her person.

[366] Leicester House, in Leicester Fields, the residence of the
Sydneys, Earls of Leicester, was hired and inhabited by King George and
Queen Caroline, when Prince and Princess of Wales, on their quarrel
with George the First; as it was afterwards, on a similar occasion, by
Frederick, Prince of Wales, whose widow, Augusta, also dwelled there
till after the accession of her son to the Crown. George the Third,
after his father’s death, lived at Saville House, the next door to her.

[367] The names of four Scotchmen appear in the same Gazette to
appointments, or as Governors in the American Colonies, Johnstone
being one of them. He was the third son of Sir James Johnstone, of
Westerhall; he was of a hot and most pugnacious temperament, as he
showed some years later by his duel with Lord George Germaine. He died
in 1787.--E.

[368] Don Richard Wall, of Irish extraction, was Ambassador here
from Spain in the reign of George the Second. He was a most artful,
agreeable man, of much wit, and a great favourite at this Court. At
his return to Madrid, he had been made Secretary of State in 1754,
[upon the downfall of Enseñada. Sir Benjamin Keene, by his advice and
influence, materially contributed to this event, which proved highly
favourable to the British interests at Madrid. The intrigues in the
Spanish Court, and the financial difficulties of the country, made
Wall’s post a very irksome one. He discharged its duties at least as
ably as either his predecessor or his successor. The King was unwilling
to part with him, and made his retirement honourable by many marks of
distinction. He passed the remaining years of his life chiefly at Soto
de Roma, a royal castle, in the lovely valley of Grenada, where he
maintained a splendid hospitality. Mr. Swinburne visited him there, and
has given a very agreeable account of him. He died 1778.--E.]

[369] Grimaldi was a Genoese. He had been educated for the church,
and always retained the soft and insinuating manners of an Italian
ecclesiastic. It was to his address, rather than to his talents,
that he was indebted for high situations he filled. In negotiating
the celebrated treaty of Paris, he appears to have been overmatched
by Choiseul, and the loss of the Havannah, and the other misfortunes
of the war, were the immediate fruits of his eagerness for a French
alliance. His administration in Spain was neither popular nor
successful. It ended with the failure of the expedition to Algiers.
His chief merit lay in the encouragement he gave to literature, his
patronage of the arts, his love of justice, and the mildness and
generosity of his disposition. On his resignation, in 1777, he was
created a Duke, and a Grandee of Spain. Having been allowed to nominate
his successor, he was at his own request appointed Ambassador at
Rome. Coxe’s Spain, vol. v. c. 63; and Memoirs of a Traveller now in
Retirement, vol. iv. p. 109.--E.

[370] He had particularly distinguished himself in the command of his
regiment at Fontenoy, where his valour and good fortune are noticed by

  “_Guerchy n’est pas blessé, la vertu peut te plaire._”--E.

[371] See an account of him in the notes, _infra_.--E.

[372] This Vergy was a French spy. In 1771, I heard Mr. Phelps,
secretary to Lord Sandwich, relate that Vergy had offered him to act,
too, as a spy on Guerchy, of which Mr. Phelps gave the ambassador
warning. Vergy remained here several years, and wrote pamphlets and
novels for a livelihood.

[373] When they talked to D’Eon of a breach of the peace, he understood
English so imperfectly, that he thought Lord Halifax threatened to
break the peace between the two nations, of which he, D’Eon, had been
the messenger, and that inflamed his madness.

[374] Augustus the Third, a weak and unfortunate monarch, whose reign
forms one of the most melancholy epochs in the annals of Saxony. His
incapacity was more remarkable from his being opposed to Frederick the
Great and Catherine the Second. He died in 1763, and with him ended
the independence of Poland--his successor Stanislaus being merely the
nominee of Russia.--E.

[375] Count Bruhl.--[This worthless courtier, who exercised for
many years an arbitrary sway over Saxony and Poland, and inflicted
irreparable injuries on both countries, died in October, 1764.--E.]

[376] Rezzonico, Pope by the name of Clement the Thirteenth, [filled
the Papal Chair from 1758 to 1769, when he died, in his 76th year. His
life was decent, and his intentions appear to have been honest, but his
policy was unenlightened and vacillating, and is strikingly contrasted
by that of his illustrious successor.--E.]

[377] Sir Hugh Smithson, who assumed the name of Percy on marrying Lady
Elizabeth Seymour, daughter of Algernon Duke of Somerset, and heiress
of the house of Percy by her grandmother. They were created Earl and
Countess of Northumberland.

[378] Thomas Potter--see more of him in the preceding reign. [Memoirs
of George II. vol. i. p. 61. He was the second son of Archbishop
Potter, whose fortune he inherited, owing to his elder brother having
disobliged his father by an imprudent marriage. In 1748 he had been
appointed secretary to the Prince of Wales, then the patron of all
the talent in the House opposed to the Government, and from that time
he took an active part in the political contests of the day. He was a
clever and impressive speaker, and, with application and steadiness
of conduct, might have become one of the leaders of his party.
Unfortunately, he had contracted, in early life, habits of dissipation,
under which his constitution sunk, just as his ambitious hopes bade
fair to be realized. He died Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, in June, 1759.
Some interesting letters from him to Mr. Pitt are given in the Chatham
Correspondence, vol. i.--E.]

[379] James Douglas, Earl of March and Ruglen, Lord of the Bedchamber
to the King, [afterwards the too well-known Duke of Queensberry--an
appropriate patron of such a divine.--E.]

[380] Lord Despencer said, he never heard the devil preach before.
Yet Lord Sandwich had a precedent in a great Reformer of the Church:
“Calvin eut par trahison les feuilles d’un ouvrage que Servet faisait
imprimer secrètement. Il les envoya à Lyon avec les lettres qu’il avait
reçues de lui: action qui servirait pour le deshonorer à jamais dans la
Société. Calvin fit accuser Servet par un emissaire. Quel rôle pour un
Apôtre!”--Voltaire, Essai sur l’Hist. Générale, chap. 113.

[381] A broken wine-merchant, brother of Admiral Cotes, an intimate of

[382] Only son of the Duke of Chandos. [He afterwards succeeded to the
Dukedom, and died in 1789, when his titles became extinct. His only
daughter married the late Duke of Buckingham.--E.]

[383] Mr. Pitt’s speech had the very dubious merit of pleasing his
opponents rather than his friends. Lord Barrington, in a letter to
Sir Andrew Mitchell, says, that if fifty thousand pounds had been
given for it, the sum would have been well expended. It secures us a
quiet session. Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 262, and Walpole’s
Letters, vol. iv. p. 313.--In fact Mr. Pitt’s interviews with the King
had necessarily blunted the edge of his opposition, and he found it
as difficult to give an intelligible defence of his proceedings, as
all succeeding ministers, in the same predicament, have experienced

[384] The Lords on the same account put off the hearing of Wilkes’s
defence on the Essay on Woman, to the 22nd; and then for a week longer.

[385] Frederick, second son of George the Third.

[386] Edward Duke of York, next brother to the King.

[387] Frederick Lord North, eldest son of the Earl of Guilford.

[388] Mr. Morton, or Moreton, M.P. for Abingdon, a barrister of
eminence, who was appointed Chief Justice of Chester in 1763. His name
will hereafter occur in the debates on the Regency. He must not be
confounded with Sir William Moreton, of Moreton, in Cheshire, Recorder
of London, who died in 1763.--E.

[389] Mr. Forester had been originally recommended by Alderman Beckford
to the Duke of Bedford (when the Alderman and his Grace acted together)
for a seat in Parliament, “as a person in whom steadiness, honour,
and elocution were not exceeded by any man in the country.” (Bedford

[390] Mr. Wilbraham, M.P. for Newton, and Deputy Steward of the
University of Oxford. He was an eminent lawyer, whose politics, like
those of Mr. Fazakerly, prevented his attaining the honours of his
profession.--(Walpole’s Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 319.)--E.

[391] Benjamin Bathurst of Lydney, in Gloucestershire, brother of the
first Lord Bathurst, and father of the late Bishop of Norwich.--E.

[392] Sir John Griffin, an officer of some distinction. He had been
severely wounded at the battle of Campen, when fighting near the
hereditary Prince of Brunswick. In 1786 he succeeded to the ancient
Barony of Howard de Walden; in 1796 he became a Field Marshal; and he
died in 1797, having devised Audley-End and his other estates to his
kinsman, Mr. Aldworth Neville, who at the same time succeeded to the
Barony of Braybrooke, which had been limited over to him on the death
of Lord Howard de Walden.--E.

[393] See _infra_.

[394] General Philip Honeywood, of Marks Hall, Essex, an officer of
distinction. He died without issue in 1785.--E.

[395] Sir John Rushout had taken an active part in the debates against
Walpole’s Excise Bill in 1732. He was made a Lord of the Treasury in
1742, and in the following year Treasurer of the Navy. He was strongly
attached to Pulteney, and had the sagacity to predict the consequences
of that statesman’s refusal to take office on the resignation of
Walpole. He lived to the great age of 91, and died on the 2nd of March,
1775. His son was created Lord Northwich.--E.

[396] In Ireland.

[397] Henly Earl of Northington.

[398] Under Lord Chatham’s administration in the war.

[399] Thomas Harley, a merchant, and brother of the Earl of Oxford.

[400] The tax on cyder.

[401] The Duke of Bedford.

[402] Walpole’s Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 329.

[403] Vide Wilkes v. Wood. State Trials, vol. xix. 1154.--E.

[404] Vide Mr. Croker’s note in Walpole’s Correspondence, vol. iv. p.

[405] He was the second son of William de Grey, Esq., M.P., and younger
brother of Thomas de Grey of Merton Hall, M.P. for Norfolk, whose
estates he inherited, on the death of the latter without issue, in

[406] This was one of the most obstinate contests of the day, and
cost Mr. Luther many thousand pounds. He had been the pupil, and
was the intimate friend, of Dr. Watson, the Bishop of Landaff, to
whom he bequeathed a considerable portion of his fortune. The Bishop
describes him correctly as a man of most upright conduct and honourable
principles. He died in 1786. Watson’s Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 235.--E.

[407] Philip Yorke, Lord Royston, afterwards second Earl of
Hardwicke.--See _infra_.

[408] General A’Court, M.P. for Heytesbury, was Colonel of the 11th
Dragoons. He did not long remain an object of compassion, for he
recovered his rank and regiment, and afterwards inherited a large
estate and the borough of Heytesbury, from his uncle, Mr. Ash. He
died in 1781. The present Lord Heytesbury is his grandson and lineal

[409] General Henry Seymour Conway, only brother of Francis Earl of

[410] Thomas Pitt of Boconnock, only son of Thomas Pitt, elder brother
of the famous William Pitt, by the eldest sister of George Lord
Lyttelton. [He inherited from his father the borough of Old Sarum, for
which he brought himself into Parliament in 1761. In 1763 he was made a
Lord of the Admiralty. In 1784 created Lord Camelford. He went abroad
for his health in 1787, and died at Florence in 1793. The letters
addressed to him when a student at Cambridge, by Lord Chatham, have
attached an interest to his name beyond what belongs to his political
career; and it is singular that he should, at the very outset of his
public life, have abruptly separated from one whose opinions up to
that time he seems to have entirely shared. Their connection was not
afterwards resumed, though, as Lord Chatham’s relative, he returned
thanks (rather coldly) to the House for the marks of distinction
conferred on that great man’s memory. He is described by his
son-in-law, Lord Grenville, “as combining a steadiness of principle and
a correctness of judgment with an integrity of heart, which produced
the affectionate attachment from those who knew him that has followed
him beyond the grave.” Many of his letters during his residence abroad
are printed in Nichols’s Illustrations of Literary History, vol. vi. p.
75; they show more amiability of disposition than power of mind, and
were scarcely worth being preserved. On the death of his only son the
title became extinct.--E.]

[411] Charles Lenox, third Duke of Richmond, had married Lady Mary
Bruce, daughter of the last Earl of Ailesbury by his third wife,
Caroline Campbell, afterwards married to General Conway.

[412] Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir William Windham, a lady highly
respected for her virtues as a wife and mother; and whose death, not
long after, her husband never recovered.--E.

[413] Augusta, eldest daughter of Frederick Prince of Wales.

[414] Anne, eldest daughter of King George the Second.

[415] Mary, fourth daughter of George the Second, married to the Prince
of Hesse; and Louisa, his fifth, married to the King of Denmark.

[416] The Prince visited Mr. Pitt on the 22nd of January, and passed
two hours with him. On the 14th, the Prince had addressed him a very
complimentary letter. Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 272, and

[417] The Prince succeeded to the Dukedom on the death of his father
in 1780, and for some years after resided at Brunswick, where the
Princess, who was throughout life deservedly esteemed, made his Court
very agreeable. In 1787 he commanded the Prussian forces which took
possession of Amsterdam, and put down the republican party in Holland.
His campaigns against the French republicans were less successful,
and his well-known manifesto rendered his failure more glaring. He
was mortally wounded at Auerstadt, and expired at Altona on the 10th
of November, 1806, leaving behind him the reputation of a bold and
enterprising, rather than of an able general. His Duchess took refuge
in England, where she died at an advanced age. They were not happy
in their family: of their two daughters, the eldest married the late
King of Wirtemberg, and came to a miserable end in Russia; the younger
was the unfortunate Queen Caroline. Their eldest son was of a weak
understanding, and the younger, “Brunswick’s fated Chieftain,” a Prince
of moderate abilities but signal courage, fell in middle life at

[418] A general officer.

[419] Sir William Meredith was elected for Wigan in 1755, and for
Liverpool in 1762. In 1765 he was appointed a Lord of the Admiralty,
an office which he resigned on the dismissal of the Rockingham
Administration. In 1774 he was sworn of the Privy Council, and made
Comptroller of the Household. He died in 1790.--Cavendish’s Debates,
(note,) vol. i. p. 52.--E.

[420] This character of Sir George Saville is not less honourable to
his memory than Mr. Burke’s well-known and brilliant panegyric at
the Bristol election in 1780. Few public men received more respect
from their cotemporaries--few, perhaps, have so well earned it. He
devoted his time, his talents, and his purse almost exclusively to
the public service. Neither the fashionable nor literary circles of
London, nor the pursuits of the country, had any charm for him; he
seldom resided at Rufford, the splendid seat of his ancestors: business
was his passion, and whether in town or country, constituted his sole
occupation; fortunately, he had abilities to perform it creditably,
and his generosity, which was scarcely bounded by his great estate,
had always usefulness for its object. The same discernment appears
in his selection of the Parliamentary questions with which his name
is identified, such as the Limitation of the Claims of the Crown on
Landed Estates; the Relief of Roman Catholics as well as of Protestant
Dissenters, and the Condemnation of General Warrants, and, lastly, the
Improved Representation of the People: all these he advocated with an
earnestness and singleness of purpose, and consistency of action, which
extorted the admiration even of his opponents. Though not an impressive
speaker, he was always sensible and very fluent, and he spared no pains
to understand his subject. His speeches, indeed, partook of one of the
characteristics of his mind, which was a simplicity approaching to
austerity, and an exemption from party, or even popular prejudices. His
life in all respects strictly corresponded with his principles, and
was unstained by vice or even by weakness of any kind; his death was
regarded as a public loss. He died in 1784, unmarried, aged 57, and
with him ended the last line of the illustrious family of Saville. He
was a collateral descendant of the Marquis of Halifax, to whose estates
his father had succeeded.--E.

[421] This house, in which James Earl Waldegrave died, has again become
remarkable by a club created there in 1769 by several ladies of first
rank; the first public female club ever known, and which gave great
offence, though the ladies were almost all of distinguished virtue.
Nor, though the age was notorious for divorces, though most of the
female members were of the greatest beauty, and though most of the
young men of fashion were of the club, did any scandal happen from
that society. Even gaming, which at that time raged to so enormous a
degree, went to no great lengths there. So that vice and satire, which
prevailed so exceedingly, did not always meet where they deserved to
meet. The King and Queen marked their disapprobation of the club, while
Lord Despenser, Lord Talbot, and Lord Pembroke were in place, while
Lady Berkeley was of the bedchamber to the Princess Dowager, though
her husband, Lord Clare, had disavowed her last child, and while Miss
Chudleigh had remained Maid of Honour to her, though she had owned her
marriage with Captain Hervey to her Royal Highness, till she openly
married the Duke of Kingston, though Hervey was alive; and was received
by all the Royal Family as Duchess, after having been publicly kept by
the Duke as his mistress. No wonder the sanctity of the Court passed
for hypocrisy.

[422] For an account of this debate, see Chatham Correspondence, vol.
ii. p. 281.--E.

[423] A graphical description of this Debate is given by the author in
a letter to Lord Hertford, vol. iv. p. 359, of his Correspondence.--E.

[424] For an account of Mr. Grenville’s speech, see James Grenville’s
letter to Mr. Pitt. Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 285.--E.

[425] Sir Anthony Abdy, Baronet, of Chobham Place, Surrey, had been
brought into Parliament by the Duke of Devonshire, for Knaresborough.
He was a King’s Counsel, in great practice, and likewise a country
gentleman of considerable estate, having inherited the property of his
kinsman Gainsford, the son of Sir Anthony Thomas. He died in 1775.--E.

[426] This speech of General Conway’s appears to have made a great
impression on the House. See the letter cited _supra_.--E.

[427] The Right Honourable James Oswald, of Dunnikier, already
mentioned as the adviser and warm partisan of Lord Bute. This was
one of the last questions of great public interest in which he took
part, his health being now on the decline; indeed he retired from
Parliament at the dissolution. He had been member for Kirkaldy, his
native district, for more than twenty years, and possessed considerable
weight in the House, as a clear, well-informed, sensible, and effective
speaker. His services were rewarded with a large sinecure for his son,
and a bishoprick for his brother. It is due to his memory to notice
his kindness to men of letters; David Hume’s History and Political
Essays were submitted to his revision before they went to press, and
Lord Kaimes and Adam Smith lay under similar obligations to him. His
criticisms, however, were probably the least valuable fruits of his
friendship. His Correspondence was published some years ago, under the
title of “Memorials of the Right Honourable James Oswald.” Most of his
papers having been burnt, the book contains nothing remarkable.--E.

[428] Afterwards Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and a peer of that kingdom
by the title of Lord Lifford. He filled that office with great credit.
His judgments in the Court of Chancery were reported by Mr. Freeman,
and the work is still one of some authority. He died in 1769.--E.

[429] Charles Lord Viscount Townshend, minister at the Hague, and
afterwards Secretary of State to the Kings George the First and Second.
By his eldest son, Charles, he was grandfather of General George
Townshend, afterwards Viscount, and of the famous Charles Townshend.
His second son, Thomas, was father of another Thomas, often mentioned
in these Memoirs. William, third son, was father of another Charles
Townshend, called the black or Spanish Charles, from having been
Secretary to the Embassy at Madrid.

[430] Robert Wood died in September, 1771; he was writing Dissertations
on Homer, since published.

[431] See what is said of them in the Advertisement prefixed to the
first volume of the Anecdotes of Painting.

[432] Mr. Bouverie and Mr. Dawkins.

[433] Pitt had issued two general warrants during the war.

[434] Alluding to the enormous debt contracted by the war.

[435] Being dependent on Lord Shelburne, Barré had, under him,
connected himself with Mr. Pitt, whom he had so savagely attacked not
long before, and had been dismissed from the army.

[436] Richard Hussey, Esq., M. P. for East Looe, Attorney-General
to the Queen, Counsel to the Admiralty, and Auditor to the Duchy of
Cornwall and Greenwich Hospital. He died in 1780. Cavendish’s Debates,
vol. i. p. 197, note.--E.

[437] Alluding to Mr. Pitt.

[438] Wilkes subsequently published a very friendly letter, dated 26th
March, 1763, addressed to him by Mr. Legge, inviting him to meet Dr.
Hay at dinner. Indeed the intimacy of Wilkes was a reproach shared at
that time with Dr. Hay by several of the most eminent persons in the
kingdom. And it was not till after the publication of the forty-fifth
number of the North Briton, on the 23rd of April, 1763, that their eyes
were open to the enormity of his offences.--E.

[439] Arthur Onslow, Speaker in the reign of George the Second.

[440] Lord Howe was then only an Irish Peer. He had succeeded to his
title on the death of his elder brother at Ticonderago in 1758. His
great services raised him to the English Peerage in 1782, as Viscount
Howe, and as Earl Howe in 1788. He died in 1799.--E.

[441] This debate is described in the author’s letters to Lord
Hertford.--Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 373.--E.

[442] This statement is probably much exaggerated. There is no doubt
that Pratt applied to the Court, according to the usual practice, to
appoint a day for Hensey’s execution. Lord Mansfield desired him to
name the day, and on Hensey’s solicitor asking that it might not be
an early day, Pratt said he was ready to give as long a day as might
be proper. At last the Court agreed that it might be a month.--Burr.
Reports, vol. i. p. 651, R. v. Hensey. The sentimentality imputed to
Pratt certainly formed no part of his character; and as the story is
without question inaccurate, we may fairly doubt whether Norton was
guilty of so curious a piece of brutality. Hensey was respited on the
very morning that he was going to execution. On the 5th of Sept. 1759,
he appeared in Court and pleaded a full pardon.--E.

[443] Hugh Smithson Percy, Earl of Northumberland. His eldest
son married a daughter of Lord Bute. Both the Earl and Brecknock
afterwards, finding their expectations not answered, turned against the
Court. Brecknock was hanged twenty years after in Ireland, for being
accessory to an atrocious murder perpetrated by Mr. Fitzgerald, who
suffered with him.

[444] The compliment was not insincere, for the King probably
entertained more enlarged views of constitutional liberty than Lord
Marchmont. His Lordship clung to his Jacobite principles to the last,
though he changed their object.--E.

[445] Lord Holland has justly observed, “that wherever that great
magistrate (Lord Hardwicke) is concerned, Lord Orford’s resentments
blind his judgment and disfigure his narrative.”--Mem. vol. i. p.
139, note. He certainly has in this instance drawn a caricature, of
which there is no merit in the execution to compensate for the faults
of the design. Lord Chesterfield, though also a political opponent,
has done Lord Hardwicke more justice.--See Miscell. Works, vol. iv.
p. 51. Admitting many of his eminent qualities, he elegantly says of
his avarice, that though it was his ruling passion, he never was in
the least suspected of any kind of corruption; a rare and meritorious
instance of virtue and self-denial, under the influence of such a
craving, insatiable, and increasing passion.--See also Lord Mahon’s
Hist. vol. iii. p. 201. The Editor has only further to observe, that
none but a lawyer who has practised in the Court where Lord Hardwicke
so long presided, can correctly appreciate his discharge of the duties
of that high office. His judgments maintain their authority to the
present hour, and furnish the earliest and clearest exposition of the
principles of the Equity Jurisdiction of this country. And whoever may
have had the opportunity of examining his Lordship’s note-books, will
see the patient attention and indefatigable research that distinguished
every part of his judicial career.--E.

[446] John Perceval, second Earl of Egmont.

[447] In America.

[448] All the sums mentioned in this speech must be carefully
re-examined, for I am not sure they are exact; [nor has the Editor been
able to verify them.--E.]

[449] A plan, of which the consequences were so little foreseen, that
Walpole does not even notice it in a letter to Lord Hertford, written
two days afterwards. Corresp. vol. iv. p. 386.--E.

[450] Afterwards Sir George Amyand. [He was one of the leading
Directors of the East India Company, and an eminent merchant in the
City. He died in 1766.--E.]

[451] It appears to have been Lord Clive himself who made this
observation: “not thinking it strictly honourable to take advantage of
this sudden spirit of generosity, and to carry merely by his popularity
a case which was depending at law, he rose and requested that they
would desist from their liberal intentions: adding, that from being
sensible of the impropriety of going abroad while so valuable a part
of his property remained in dispute, he would make some proposals to
the Court of Directors, which would, he trusted, end in an amicable
adjustment of this affair.” Malcolm’s Life of Lord Clive, vol. ii. p.

[452] One of the Aldermen, and member for Plympton. He had married one
of the coheiresses of Jacob Tonson, the printer.--E.

[453] The book displays cleverness rather than “_great parts_.”
D’Eon was an unprincipled coxcomb, bold, ready, and plausible; with
a smattering of literature, and more than common powers of writing.
At the outset of the dispute he was not much in the wrong, for the
difficulties raised to the payment of his disbursements as Minister
were ungenerous, if not unjust; and M. Guerchy’s lamentations over the
guinea per month lavishly expended in English Gazettes would have put
the forbearance of most men to a severe test. In his passion D’Eon
forgot the laws of decency as well as of honour, and the publication
of his book injured him certainly not less than his enemies. It had
an immense circulation, and the attempts to suppress it at Paris, of
course, served to make it more sought after. Lord Holland, who happened
to be there at that time, used to lend his copy by the hour. A reply
to D’Eon was published, under the title of “Examen des Lettres, &c.
du Chevalier d’Eon, dans une Lettre à M. N--” and is smart enough.
The Critical Review (1764) treats it as a satisfactory refutation
of D’Eon’s charges; but the public continued to laugh at the French
Ambassador and his Government, and they fell in general estimation
fully to the extent stated in the text.--E.

[454] Walpole’s hatred of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke may be traced
in this portrait of his son. Lord Hardwicke was one of the best
informed noblemen of his day. The Athenian Letters which he wrote, in
conjunction with his brother, whilst at the University, ranks next to
the Travels of Anacharsis among works of its kind. “The Correspondence
of Sir Dudley Carleton” is more curious than interesting; and the
editor seems to have correctly appreciated it, by restricting his
first edition to twenty copies, and his second to fifty. Perhaps there
was some ostentation in terming the next impression a third edition.
He is entitled to more credit for his State Papers, published in two
volumes, quarto,--a work of value, and which still fully maintains
its consideration. Lord Hardwicke’s health was very delicate, and
he neither liked nor shone in general society, but he did not want
decision of character, and had a strong sense of honour. He was
firm in his political connections, and exemplary in private life. A
biographical account of him is given in Cole’s MSS. in the British
Museum, Donation, 5886.--E.

[455] Thomas Pitt, of Boconnock, nephew of Mr. William Pitt, but
attached to Mr. G. Grenville, and by him made a Lord of the Admiralty.

[456] Frederick Montagu, only son of Charles Montagu, of Paplewich in
Northamptonshire, Auditor to the late Prince of Wales.

[457] The chief of the Whigs in Opposition.

[458] Son of Sir Orlando Bridgman, after whose death he became Sir
Henry; [and having succeeded to the estates of his cousin Thomas, the
last Earl of Bradford, who had died without issue, was in 1794 created
Baron Bradford. He died at an advanced age in 1800. He was grandfather
of the present Earl.--E.]

[459] Younger brother of Henry Vernon, of Hilton in Staffordshire;
and married to Lady Evelyn Leveson, Countess Dowager of Ossory. [Mr.
Vernon’s later life was more creditable. He became a great traveller,
and visited the East; and he served with distinction as a volunteer in
the Spanish expedition to Algiers. He was one of the handsomest men of
his day.--E.]

[460] Charles Sloane Cadogan, only son of Charles Lord Cadogan,
[afterwards created Earl Cadogan. His second wife was Miss Churchill, a
niece of Horace Walpole. He died in 1807, aged 78.--E.]

[461] Dr. Akenside, by some thought a Poet, was of the same principles
with, and an intimate friend of, Dyson, who obtained his being named
Physician to the Queen. To that mistress and to that friend he made a
sacrifice of the word _Liberty_, in the last edition of his poem on the
Pleasures of the Imagination. It was uncourtly, a personification to be
invoked by one who felt the pulse of royalty. [The alteration to which
Walpole refers is as follows. In the old editions there is the passage--

            Wilt thou, kind Harmony, descend,
    And join the festive train, for with thee comes,
    _Majestic Truth_; and where _Truth_ deigns to come,
    Her sister Liberty will not be far.

In the later editions it stands thus--

    ... for with thee comes
    _Wise Order_; and where _Order_ deigns to come,
    Her sister Liberty will not be far.

    _Nichols’s Liter. Anec._ vol. viii. p. 525.

Akenside’s political tergiversation is an unpleasant commentary on a
work so full of elevated thoughts as his poem. Personal attachment to
Dyson probably influenced him. He died in 1770, in his forty-ninth

[462] Mr. Dyson had changed his politics on the King’s accession, when
he became at once a determined Tory, having previously professed the
opposite creed. He afterwards formed one of the party that went under
the name of the King’s friends, a political section which can hardly
be said to have existed in preceding reigns, and which the personal
character of George the Third rendered very influential on public
measures. A more valuable recruit could not easily have been found.
He was certainly a most able parliamentary lawyer, and the exactness
and precision that characterised his mind, caused his opinion to be
always depended upon. These qualities, added to his discretion, gave
him a moral influence over the House which could not be the result of
his political conduct. His manners were obliging, and his private life
irreproachable. It is highly to his credit that, when Clerk of the
House, he departed from the example of his predecessors, by making no
profit of his patronage. Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes, vol. viii. p.
523; Hatsell’s Parliamentary Precedents.--E.

[463] Catherine and Charlotte Shorter were daughters of John Shorter,
of Bybrook in Kent. Catherine was first wife of Sir Robert Walpole,
and mother of the author of these Memoirs. Charlotte was third wife
of Francis Seymour, Lord Conway, and by him mother of Francis Earl of
Hertford, and of General Henry Seymour Conway.

[464] I have seen a letter from the King to George Grenville, in which
his Majesty pressed him to turn out Conway.

[465] John Fane, Earl of Westmoreland.

[466] Sir Richard Temple, Lord Viscount Cobham.

[467] This does not mean the vote of a single day, but all the votes on
general warrants considered as one question.

[468] General John Campbell, Groom of the Bedchamber to George the
Second, and cousin and successor of John and Archibald Dukes of Argyle
when an old man.

[469] Caroline, daughter of the latter Duke John, third wife and widow
of Charles Bruce, last Earl of Ailesbury, by whom she had an only
child, Mary Duchess of Richmond. The Countess of Ailesbury married
secondly General Henry Seymour Conway, only brother of Francis first
Earl of Hertford of that branch.

[470] John Campbell, Marquis of Lorn, married to the famous beauty
Elizabeth Gunning, widow of James Duke of Hamilton.

[471] Lord Frederick Campbell had been bred to the law, and succeeded
well there, but quitted the profession on his father’s attaining the
dukedom. [As he was brother in-law to General Conway, Mr. Walpole seems
to have expected him to have followed Conway’s politics.--Mr. Croker’s
note to the fourth volume of Walpole’s Letters, p. 369. Wraxall says
of him, “Devoid of shining talents, he nevertheless wanted not either
ability or eloquence in a certain degree, both which were under the
control of reason and temper. His figure and deportment were remarkably
graceful.” He married the Dowager Countess Ferrers, sister of Sir
William Meredith, and died at an advanced age in 1816.--E.]

[472] Lord Hertford could not reasonably be expected to court a share
in the consequences of an act of which he disapproved: and he was of a
temperament that too easily disposed him to shrink from any personal
sacrifice. His political principles were very indefinite. His merit was
of a different character. Lord Chesterfield was sincere when he said
of him, in a letter not intended for publication, “I verily believe
he will please as Viceroy, for he is one of the honestest and most
religious men in the kingdom, and moreover very much of a gentleman
in his behaviour to everybody.”--His administration of Ireland was
respectable, and in general approved of, and it passed away in almost
uniform tranquillity.--Hardy’s Life of Lord Charlemont, vol. i. p. 224.
He filled many high offices, and was very prosperous throughout life.
He was created Marquis in 1793, and died in the following year, leaving
a large family.--E.

[473] Lord Hertford had married Lady Isabella Fitzroy, youngest
daughter of Charles Duke of Grafton, who was succeeded in the title by
his grandson Augustus Henry, of whom much will be said in some of the
following pages.

[474] The Duke subsequently gave the best proof of the sincerity of
this offer by bequeathing General Conway a legacy of 5000_l._--E.

[475] Conway conducted himself less well than Wolfe at Rochfort, but
far better than the other generals. “Though eminently distinguished
for his gallant and indefatigable behaviour,” says Walpole, “he never
had the happiness of achieving any action of remarkable éclât, or
of performing _alone_ any act of singular utility to his country.
However, he had been engaged in six regular battles, besides smaller
affairs.”--(Counter Address to the Public on the Dismissal of a late
General.) He commanded a division with credit in the Seven years’
war. An ill-natured cotemporary critic charges him with being a
“_martinet_,” and with unnecessarily fatiguing his men, but admits that
“he would have made a very good general if he had not been spoilt by
his education under the Duke of Cumberland.” Life of Lord Chatham, Ap.
vol. iii. p. 262.--E.

[476] The Queen’s brother.

[477] Lord Pembroke was again made a Lord of the Bedchamber in 1769,
without applying; and exactly at a time when he was said to have
carried off another woman, a young Venetian bride (he was then at
Venice), the very night of her wedding. [Lord Pembroke had served in
the Seven years’ war, and was popular with the officers under him,
though not much of a soldier. He was dissolute and extravagant, and
notwithstanding his large income, left when he died heavy debts, which
his only son, the late Earl, a very respectable nobleman, honourably

[478] Dr. Thomas Newton, Bishop of Bristol.

[479] Twickenham.

[480] Thomas Worseley, Surveyor of the Board of Works.

[481] Sir Hugh Smithson, of a very recent family, had married Lady
Elizabeth Seymour, only daughter of Algernon Duke of Somerset, whose
mother was heiress of the Percies, Earls of Northumberland; on which
foundation Hugh and Elizabeth were created Earl and Countess of

[482] Dr. Johnson said, in allusion to it, “that his Grace was only fit
to succeed himself.” Boswell, vol. ii. p. 210.--E.

[483] He had been likewise Secretary to the Earl of Halifax.

[484] Charles sixth Earl and first Marquis of Drogheda, K.P.--The
Primate had four years before importunately pressed Mr. Pitt to give
this nobleman the rank of colonel; and although the application was
supported by the Duke of Devonshire and Lord Besborough, Mr. Pitt was
firm in resisting it. “Among the very many lieutenant-colonels,” he
said, “above Lord Drogheda on the list, there were not a few who could
not be postponed without great hardship, and loud complaints in the
army. He had publicly pledged himself to that most meritorious class of
officers, that he would never contribute, from any considerations of
family or parliamentary interest, to their depression.” The Primate’s
letter and Mr. Pitt’s reply are given in the Chatham Correspondence,
vol. ii. p. 59. The transaction reflects great honour on Mr. Pitt,
and furnishes an additional proof of the high sense of public duty
entertained by that illustrious statesman, in this, as in many other
respects so superior, to most of his cotemporaries, not excepting
the Primate of Ireland. Lord Drogheda obtained his rank in 1762, and
eventually reached almost the head of the army list, having in his old
age been appointed Field-Marshal. He died at Dublin in December 1821,
in his ninety-second year. He saw little, if any, foreign service, but
he had been constantly employed in his own country, where he was much
esteemed. He preserved to the last a remarkable elegance and amiability
of deportment.--E.

[485] It must be recollected, that Walpole, from some private cause,
bore Lord and Lady Northumberland no good will, and frequently sneers
at them in his Correspondence. A childish feeling of envy at Lord
Northumberland’s brilliant success in life, was probably at the
bottom of this, and prevented Walpole’s making due allowance for the
temptations attendant on great and unexpected prosperity. His Lordship
had the tastes that became the high rank to which he was elevated. He
patronized the arts, and was generous to men of letters. His vanity
was unaccompanied by arrogance, and his feelings, though not warm,
were kind and amiable. Neither his talents nor acquirements were above
mediocrity. He died in 1786.--E.

[486] The Duchess’s defects are, no doubt, greatly exaggerated by
Walpole. M. Dutens says of her Grace, that “she possessed great
elevation of mind, natural and easy wit, a good and compassionate
heart, and, above all, a strong attachment to her friends, whom she
took every opportunity to distinguish and to serve.”--Memoirs of a
Traveller, &c., vol. ii. p. 100. She met her death, which was sudden,
with great firmness and resignation.--E.

[487] The marriage was unfortunate, and dissolved in 1779. Lord
Warkworth became Duke of Northumberland in 1786. He served as Lord
Percy in the American war. Unlike his father, he was totally devoid of
ostentation, and most simple and retiring in his habits. He died in

[488] The house of Andrew Stone, in Privy Garden.

[489] George Keppel, third Earl of Albemarle. His youngest sister, Lady
Elizabeth, was married to Francis Russell, Marquis of Tavistock, only
son of John Duke of Bedford.

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

The spelling of non-English words was not reviewed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained; occurrences of
inconsistent hyphenation have not been changed.

Text mostly uses “confident” where modern spelling is “confidant”, but
does use “confidant” once. Both variations retained here.

Text uses both “cotemporary” and “contemporary”; both variations
retained here.

Text sometimes has a space in “M.P.” and sometimes not; both variations
retained here.

Page 37: “dismissed the service” was printed that way.

Page 277: “villanous” was printed that way.

Page 300: “She bade Lord Bute try” was printed as “bad”; changed here.

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