LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 11 November 1820

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
Nov. 11, 1820.

Up to yesterday I could have given you no decided opinion as to the ultimate fate of the Bill.1 It was generally thought that the Ministers would carry the measure (if possible) through both Houses; and they have shown themselves so regardless of public opinion during these proceedings and on several occasions, that it seemed probable that they would make the attempt. The conduct of Lord Liverpool yesterday, however obvious and proper, was a great surprise to most of his friends, and the Chancellor amongst others called out, “Not content.” It is now said that he had determined to withdraw the Bill if the majority should be under fifteen. Lord Liverpool has lost character with all parties. He has

1 For the Queen’s divorce.

Lord Liverpool
certainly given great office to the Court, and it is reported to-day that he is to retire from office, and that the rest are to go on with the assistance of
Peel and some of the Grenvilles. No other kind of change is even surmised, and I believe that this report is entirely without foundation. In the present state of affairs Lord Liverpool is very necessary to his colleagues, and after nearly thirty years passed in administration, office is very necessary to Lord Liverpool.

Mrs. Graham1 left London nearly a fortnight ago for Portsmouth. Lord Melville some time since promised Captain Graham the first ship that should be put in commission, but has lately told him he sees no prospect of sending out any ship of war. Now, however, he may perhaps have some chance; for it is reported that as the Ministers cannot accommodate His Majesty by a Bill of Degradation, they will gratify him by sending a small fleet of observation to the Mediterranean, to keep Naples in check and to forward the views of the Holy Alliance in Italy.

I saw Warburton yesterday. He is much interested about an experiment lately made at Copenhagen, tending to show a connection between electricity and magnetism. The paper was read at the Royal Society on Thursday last, but Warburton was unable to attend. It is a most interesting subject, and may lead to very important discoveries.2

I have just seen Lord Lansdowne, who is to go to

1 Afterwards the wife of Sir A. Callcott.

2 “On the Magnetic Phenomena Produced by Electricity,” a letter from Sir H. Davy to Dr. Wollaston, read at the Royal Society on Nov. 16, 1820.

Lord Liverpool
Bowood on Monday or Tuesday. He and
Lord Grey have principally distinguished themselves in the late proceedings, and have materially contributed to the failure of the Bill. The speeches on the other side were very inferior; the Chancellor was thought quite feeble, and Lord Liverpool was very unfair, and, contrary to his usual manner, greatly overstated the facts of the case. Lord Lauderdale was much more ingenious and acute, but he pressed everything into the cause with the indiscriminate vehemence of an eager and unskilful advocate.

Murray says that, in consequence of the Queen’s affair being disposed of, he can now venture to publish. He will shortly produce “Marino Faliero,” Lord Byron’s tragedy, the third and fourth cantos of “Don Juan,” and Horace Walpole’sMemoirs of the Reigns of George II. and III.” He expects a very good book from Captain Parry, with whom, I suppose, you are well acquainted.1