LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
R. Plumer Ward XXIII

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
‣ R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

The following letters carry my correspondence with Mr. Ward to within a few days of the fatal illness which terminated in his death. Though chiefly of a personal nature, they will be read with interest, as proving that the mind of their writer (now in his eighty-first year) not merely remained unimpaired to the last, but retained those happy and happy-making qualities which had always characterised it.

The “Ambition” tracts alluded to in these letters have since been given to the world in Mr. Phipps’sMemoirs and Correspondence.”

R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Okeover Hall, Oct. 22, 1845.

Dear Patmore,—I am glad of any occasion that gives me a letter from you, but
particularly by the present one, which I cannot help hoping will end well for your son
Eugene, and therefore for you.

“You may suppose I am glad to give you every information in my power, only cautioning you that it is above twenty years since I left the Ordnance, and as rules and customs may be changed, I can only tell you what prevailed in my time, without knowing whether the routine is still the same. * * *

“Pray let me hear further, as, if you succeed for the establishment, I cannot but think you lucky; as, by good conduct and seniority, the senior clerks rise, some of them to 500l. and even 1000l. a year.

“Pray remember me to Mrs. P. and your sons, and give my respects to the Baroness ——.

“I would say something of myself, but, in truth, have little satisfactory. I have more frequent, as well as more severe attacks of painful indigestion, which begin to announce the usual fate of a man who has lived far beyond his time. But I have the reverse of a right to complain, having still much to enjoy and be grateful for; amongst other
blessings, my wife’s recovered health, and, with it, her beauty.

“Then, again, I have actually, spite of pain, been able to resume my pen, and have at least pleased myself by a number of papers on the various sorts of ambition, high and low, as it has appeared in actually existing characters, Swift, Bolingbroke, Temple, Atterbury, Lord Holland, Lords Townshend and Waldegrave, &c. Light summer reading, as you perceive, but also un peu philosophe, especially when we come to such an example of No ambition, as White of Selborne. Whether to publish these ‘Day Dreams’ (for that is their title) is very doubtful; but I have already about enough for a volume, and, at least, ‘I have had my dream.’

“Adieu, dear P., and believe me very much yours,

“R. P. W.”
R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Okeover Hall, Nov. 20, 1845.
Dear Patmore,—
* * * * * *

“With respect to your pounding case, I
fear you have got into a hobble, and that the vagabond is legally in the right, and that you could only pound his donkey in the parish or manor pound. If so, the sooner and cheaper you can get out of it the better; and as one means of doing so, you might threaten him, as you have a right to do, with an action at law for even a malicious trespass.

“As to the greater point, I think I quite understand it, and have the greatest hopes of your son’s ultimate success.

“It is evident, however, that your interest with the Master-General is only through your friend, and that you ought not, unless he gives the opening, to address Sir George Murray yourself. I dare say, however, from Sir George’s character, his evident wish to oblige your friend will continue till it prosperously ends.

“At the same time, in your friend’s precarious situation, it would secure the matter if he got a promise of the establishment for your son, in case of his death, leaving the time entirely to the Master-General’s own convenience.


“If this can be done (and I hope your friend will not object), the thing will be done sooner or later, and it is worth waiting for.

“We still think of remaining here till Easter, unless my increasing infirmity drives me sooner to town.

“As for my ‘Dreams,’ though what you say about publication is very flattering, I must think a great deal before I determine. Meantime, I sometimes please myself, which is a great gain. But I am little disposed to consult C., who seems to have grown too big for us humble, sentimental people.”

“Pray let me hear your progress, and believe me ever much yours,

“R. P. W.”
R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Lieutenant-Governor’s, Chelsea College,
“May 11, 1846.

Dear Patmore,—If you have not heard of my change of residence (not to mention perpetual and painful illness), you must wonder not to have seen me during the two months I have been in town. I therefore write to give some account of myself, and also to ask some account of you.


“The appointment of Sir George Anson to the Lieutenant-Governorship here, with the appendage of a most capacious and convenient house, took us all from Brook Street; for we had lived happily together too long to allow either to wish to separate. So I let my Brook Street house, and accompanied him here, where we are all most comfortably settled; and but for illness, which has been long and severe, we should not have a wish ungratified as to house.

“I am, however, getting decidedly better after a long confinement, having come but once to town since we came here, and much, I own, a slave to ennui; for my complaint is most lowering, and incapacitated me from reading or writing. I have, however, begun to look over my ‘Ambition’ tracts, which amount to about a volume, though I know not in the least what to do with it, nor whether to publish it, or offer it to C. if I do. They are in the form indeed, and the continuation, of the ‘Day Dreams,’ some of which I believe you saw.

“I hope the Baroness is well, and beg my compliments to her—adding, that I should
have waited upon her, to thank her again for her beautiful remembrance of me, but for this maudite illness.

“Where is Coventry, and what about? Pray tell me all you can about yourselves, and particularly whether your boy, Eugene, has got upon the establishment, as I hope he has. And so adieu, my dear Patmore.

“Believe me, as usual—that is,

“Much yours,
“R. P. W.”

Mr. Plumer Ward died tranquilly, and without pain, and in the full possession of all his faculties, on the 13th of August, 1846.*

* As it may be convenient to the reader of these Memorials to have at hand for reference a summary of the chief events of Mr. Ward’s Political and Literary Life, I subjoin a brief one in an Appendix to this volume. For the data I am chiefly indebted to the “Memoirs of the Political and Literary Life of Robert Plumer Ward, Esq., by the Hon. E. Phipps.” Two vols. Murray. 1850.