LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 30 March 1822

Chapter I: 1813
Chapter II: 1814
Chapter III: 1815
Chapter IV: 1816
Chapter V: 1817
Chapter VI: 1818
Chapter VII: 1819
Chapter VIII: 1820
Chapter IX: 1821
Chapter X: 1822
Chapter XI: 1824-33
Chapter XII: 1833-35
Chapter XIII: 1806-40
Chapter XIV: Appendix
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
March 30, 1822.

The town is occupied by a duel in Scotland between Mr. Stuart, a zealous Whig, and Sir Alex. Boswell, the son of Dr. Johnson’s biographer, in which the latter was mortally wounded. It was occasioned by various libels which have appeared in the Scotch journals (the Beacon and Centinel) which have been established on the model of John Bull. Sir Alex., who was a great Tory and had an unfortunate talent for lampooning, wrote very much in those journals, and is supposed to have contributed, when in London last year, very largely to John Bull.

It is certain that he was well received at the Pavilion, and was made a baronet at the Coronation. He had libelled so many people that, after the late detection, he could not possibly escape a duel. Lord Archibald Hamilton and Lord Duncan, who had been much calumniated in the Scotch papers, had determined to challenge him; and Lord Duncan was actually on his way to Scotland for the purpose.

Canning’s1 notice of motion was a great surprise upon the House, and most of all on his late colleagues.

1 Canning was again Foreign Secretary. On the 29th he moved for leave to bring in a Bill to repeal the Act of Charles II. debarring Roman Catholic Peers from exercising their right of sitting and voting in the House of Lords.

Plunkett said that he had not been able to make up his mind on the subject. When pressed by Tierney on this important subject, he repeated that “he was not yet able to bring his mind to any definite conclusion.”

The Edgeworths
Plunkett made a wretched figure, and has lost character greatly by his conduct since his acceptance of office. Lord Wellesley, too, seems unlikely to be a gainer.