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The Creevey Papers
Ch. IX: 1813-14

Vol. I. Contents
Ch. I: 1793-1804
Ch. II: 1805
Ch. III: 1805
Ch. IV: 1806-08
Ch. V: 1809
Ch. VI: 1810
Ch. VII: 1811
Ch. VIII: 1812
‣ Ch. IX: 1813-14
Ch X: 1814-15
Ch XI: 1815-16
Ch XII: 1817-18
Ch XIII: 1819-20
Vol. II. Contents
Ch I: 1821
Ch. II: 1822
Ch. III: 1823-24
Ch. IV: 1825-26
Ch. V: 1827
Ch. VI: 1827-28
Ch. VII: 1828
Ch. VIII: 1829
Ch. IX: 1830-31
Ch. X: 1832-33
Ch. XI: 1833
Ch. XII: 1834
Ch XIII: 1835-36
Ch XIV: 1837-38
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The Tories came back triumphant from the polls in 1812. Lord Liverpool had succeeded Perceval as Prime Minister; although Canning remained still an ominous, brooding figure on the skirts of the party. Castlereagh had succeeded Wellesley at the Foreign Office, and his charming manner and amiability stood him in far better stead as leader of the House of Commons than greater rhetorical gifts could have done. Moreover, his able and far-sighted conduct of foreign policy, coupled with the favourable progress of the Peninsular campaign, impressed men at last with the conviction that Napoleon had overshot his mark, and that the will of England was to be enforced. Under these depressing circumstances, the old Whigs inclined to withdraw from active hostilities in Parliament; while the Radicals—“the Mountain,” as they delighted to call themselves—cast about for some new weapon of offence against the hated Administration. There was one ready to their hand—one that was to serve them for many a year to come; and it was Brougham, though without a seat in Parliament, who best saw its value and how it was to be wielded.

It were an unpleasant and unnecessary task to repeat the unlovely story of the Prince Regent’s
married life. It is enough to remember that, in order to please his father,
George III., and induce him to pay his debts, the Prince married Princess Caroline of Brunswick in 1795. She never was an agreeable woman; there never was the slightest affection between them, and, after the birth of their only child, Princess Charlotte, they separated; and the Prince, among many other less venial loves, returned to Mrs. Fitzherbert, whom he had solemnly married in 1786; and for whom, as Mr. Creevey has already explained in these papers, he maintained a remarkable establishment at Brighton and in London. Meanwhile, the Princess of Wales resided at Blackheath, and the profligate life of her husband sufficed to attract to her a large share of popular commiseration. News filtered slowly to the provinces in those days of tardy communication, else the public scandal must have roused the nation to dangerous manifestations.

In 1806, owing to manifold indiscretions of this unfortunate Princess, a Commission of twenty-three Privy Councillors was appointed, at her husband’s instance, to inquire into her conduct. She was acquitted on the charge of having borne an illegitimate child, though censure was passed upon her mode of life. George III. refused to allow Princess Charlotte to be taken out of her mother’s custody, but when the kindly old King became hopelessly mad, the power passed into the hands of the Regent, who forbade his wife to see her daughter more than once a fortnight. Thereupon the Princess addressed a letter of remonstrance to her husband. The only acknowledgment she received was as follows, from the Prime Minister:—

Lord Liverpool to Lady Charlotte Campbell.
“Fife House, 28 Jany., 1813.

Lord Liverpool has the Honour, in answer to Lady Charlotte Campbell’s note of this morning, to acquaint her Ladyship for the Information of Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales that the Prince Regent, having permitted the Lord Chancellor and Lord Liverpool to communicate to His Royal Highness the Contents of the Letter which they had received from the Princess in such manner as they might think proper, the Letter of the Princess was read to His Royal Highness.

“His Royal Highness was not pleased to signify any commands upon it.”

After the general election of 1812, it was obvious that the Opposition had no further grounds for hope from their ancient friendship with the Prince Regent. He had thrown them overboard, as he never hesitated to do anybody who had ceased to be useful or amusing to him. Brougham, therefore, who had been presented to the Princess of Wales in 1809, and who perceived how the sympathy excited by her unfortunate position might be made to reflect odium upon Ministers, and at the same time to injure the Prince Regent, proffered his legal services to the Princess. Associated with him was Whitbread, who, however little may be thought of his discretion, was probably perfectly disinterested and sincere in desiring that justice should be done. Acting under the advice of these counsellors, after waiting in vain for an answer to her letter to her husband, the Princess caused the said letter to be published in the Morning Chronicle. The result was the appointment of another commission of three and twenty Privy Councillors,
who, by 21 votes to 2, supported the Prince’s decree about the intercourse that should be permitted between his wife and daughter. From this time forward Brougham, perceiving the means of avenging the treatment of the Whigs by the Prince Regent and, at the same time, making political capital out of the Princess’s wrongs, became indefatigable in the cause. He and Whitbread drew to themselves the cordial support of the Radicals, who waxed indignant with the old Whigs by reason of their constitutional scruples in taking action against the Regent. Thus the schism in the Opposition grew ever deeper; nor was it any part of Brougham’s plan that it should be healed, so long as he should be out of Parliament. He wrote incessantly to
Creevey about the varying phases of the case, which it would be wearisome and unprofitable to follow in detail. A few extracts follow as examples of the style and spirit of his letters, in which the Prince Regent is usually referred to as “Prinney” or “P.,” the Princess of Wales as “Mrs. P.,” and Princess Charlotte as “young P.” The sequence of Brougham’s letters is matter for speculation, owing to his habit of not dating them. In some cases the exact date can be learnt from the postmark.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey [at Brighton].
“Brooks’s, 1813.
“Dear Creevey,

“Come to town to-morrow for Mr. Prinney. Let me console you with the news that the fellow was hissed to-day going to Court, and hooted loudly. All this is good . . . A word or two upon the question of peace or war. Canning was down yesterday—
Bogey* for war—Ld. Grey semi-pacific—Sam† the only peace-maker. Prinney ill—dropsy, [illegible], strictures, &c.—it will do!”

“Dear C.,

“In order to keep you up in the affairs of the Prinnies as they go on, I write from time to time, for if I let some days pass it would take too long a time at this busy season, when I really have my hands quite full, were there no Prinnies in the world. Also, this way of apprizing you of things as they happen enables you to form a safe opinion by being kept constantly informed.

“The scene at Carlton House is quite perfect: there is nothing at all equal to it. I laughed for an hour. Of course Mrs. F[itzherbert] must be religiously kept concealed. I have an arrear of things which are too long to write, and some things to shew; so these must be left till you come to town. The most curious is young P.’s letter to old P. which gave rise to all the row at Windsor.

“Notwithstanding the opening all letters, which we at first thought under the Dss. of L. would have been terribly inconvenient, things have got back nearly into their own channel, for young P. contrived to send her mother a letter of 28 pages, and to receive from her the Morning Chronicle with all the articles about herself, as well as the examination. Now these, I take it, are exactly what old P. had rather she did not see. She takes the most prodigious interest in the controversy, and I am going to draw up a legal opinion respecting her case. . . . I plainly see it excites no small anxiety, for the D. of Glos’ter asked me very earnestly if I knew from whence the articles in the M. C. came, and was greatly [illegible] when I told him Yarmouth was the man in Courier, which he certainly is. Of course, my helping Perry to his law is a profound secret. I told the D. I knew nothing about it. He had no right to put the question.

“A strange attempt was made by McMahon to

* Lord Grenville.

Whitbread. The question was the dispute with the United States.

bribe and then to bully the editor of the
Star (which is greatly in the Pss’s. interest). He wanted him to insert a paragraph against her. Last Saturday he went again, and such a scene passed as I would fain send you, having before me the man’s own written statement; but I dare not, in case it is sent you. It began with enquiries and offers—to know the advisers of his paper on the subject of the Pss., and whether she had anything to say to it, and offers of paying for a paragraph; and ended with his saying he should come again on Monday; and then going to see the press, and talking to every one of 20 printers, and giving them 2 guinea to drink!! We had a man to meet him and identify and witness his bribery on Monday, and I expect his report. . . .

“In a few days we must open our batteries in form. Sam [Whitbread] has had it out with Sheridan at Southill, and writes that he is quite convinced they have no case at all. . . . I expect to see the Govt. jib, for tho’ the fire of the outposts is really most formidable, it is distant and scattered;—that of the City is very near and loud, and Prinney is likely to be frightened by it. . . . As for little P. in general, it is a long chapter. Her firmness I am sure of, and she has proved to a singular degree adviseable and discreet; but for anything further, as sincerity, &c., &c., one must see much more to make such an exception to the rule credible. However, my principle is—take her along with you as far as you both go the same road. It is one of the constitutional means of making head against a revenue of 105 millions (diminished, I am glad to say, this year in the most essential branch of all—excise), an army of ½ million, and 800 millions of debt. . . .”

“Lancaster, Monday, 1813.

“You will think it rather cool my not coming to town as soon as possible in the present state of affairs, but I have two reasons. I think Mrs. Prinnie will be insisting on some further measures the moment she sees me, and I wish it to subside into an arrangement before I return. I shall come up as soon as they begin to negociate. My other reason is a degree of dislike of the whole concern, which has, in spite of
myself, come over me since the row with the Commissioners, especially on account of
Erskine. The blackening of Ellenboro’ is not sufficient to counterbalance this. I can’t help thinking the omission of the questions venial, as long as the evidence was not published; and then the charge agt. the Comms. was only their going beyond the inquiry assigned to them, and recommending a sort of censure on an ex parte proceeding. Which was wrong, I think; but one can’t help regretting anything which damages, not Grenville, but the whole Whigs. This should always be avoided if possible.”

“Brougham, Sunday, 6 April, 1813.

“. . . Now on this question [that of bringing in a declaratory bill regarding the Princess of Wales? once for all, do not listen to Sam [Whitbread]. He has no head. Depend upon it he has not. He is good for execution, but nothing for council, except, indeed, as far as his courage and honesty go, which are invaluable, but not of themselves sufficient. The idea of the galleries being shut would frighten him to death, for he speaks very much with an eye to the newspapers. Now my belief is that if a good and popular ground for shutting them could be got (as this may be made) a most prodigious step would be gained. But, it will be said, why degrade the House in this way? I reply, if the House is base enough after making a row 3 years ago about its privileges, when they were to be used against the people, now to yield up everything like the privileges which can really serve the people, it deserves to be brought into every sort of contempt, and the sooner the people quarrel with it, the better. Perhaps you may think my desire too romantic a one—viz. to see a whole session pass with shut doors. I certainly do wish devoutly to see it, knowing the price we pay for reading debates; but at present I am only speaking of such a shutting as may produce acquiescence in the Bill, which will become necessary should the Courts decide against us. While mentioning Whitbread, I must say that his two capital blunders in the Pss. business certainly don’t tend to raise my notion
of his judgt. . . . Pray don’t forget to let me know what the Mountain mean to do about the Livery dinner.”

“20 April, 1813.

“. . . Mrs. P. (a bore which I always thought awaited you, tho’ I have put it off as well as I could) insists positively on your going there to dinner as soon as you return. She would have had you meet Mrs. Beauclerk there yesterday, but I said you were at Brighton. . . .”

“York, Wednesday, 10 May, 1810.
“Dear C.,

“I find by Ly. C. Lindsay that there is an idea of another letter from the Pss. to Prinnie, and that Whitbread has written one. Pray try to impress upon him the fatal effects of any more letters. She will be called the Compleat Letterwriter and become generally despised. At all events, let some time elapse and see what they mean to do.”

“Temple, Monday, 1813.

“. . . I have nothing to tell you, except that Mother P. certainly goes to the Tea Garden to-morrow night, to meet her husband. It was her own idea, but I highly approve of it on his account; and as the Dss. of York goes, it is fit Mrs. P. should go too, if it were only for 5 minutes. The consternation of Prinnie is wonderful. I’ll bet a little money he don’t go himself, so that the whole thing will have gone off as well as possible. Young P. and her father have had frequent rows of late, but one pretty serious one. He was angry at her for flirting with the D. of Devonshire, and suspected she was talking politics. This began it. It signifies nothing how they go on this day or that—in the long run, quarrel they must. He has not equality of temper, or any other kind of sense, to keep well with her, and she has a spice of her mother’s spirit: so interfere they must at every turn. . . . I suspect they will befool the above duke. He is giving in to it, I hear, and P. will turn short-about, in all likelihood, after making him dance and dangle about, and perhaps break with his friends, and
put on his dignified air on which he piques himself, and then say—‘Your Grace will be pleased to recollect the difference between you and my daughter.’

“I may be wronging the young man after all, for I am out of the way of hearing anything. Since the last time I saw you, I have only been twice to the westward of Charing Cross. Once was to see Lord Thanet. He is quite well again, and in high force—particularly abusive of Prinney, whom he objects to on account of his vulgarity, and compares to the Bourgeois Gentilhomme in Moliere—a name which has got about, and must inevitably annoy P. more than even ‘our fat friend.’ . . .”

“Temple, Wednesday [1813].

“. . . The cry against Sam [Whitbread] is high and, like all base things, higher since he left town. . . . The bitterness is among the jobbers and understrappers of the party, who wish to blow up the coals, and put an end to the party at once, for reasons too obvious. . . . Grey, as you may suppose, partakes of little or none of the violence, now the heat is off. . . . Fitzpatrick’s last words, I believe, were—La pièce est finie, uttered with his usual cool and determined tone to Lord Robert, there being servants in the room. He had said immediately before to Lady Robert (who was going, and said she should see him again)—‘Not in this world’—from whence your piety will naturally derive an inference, by way of admission, of a future state. He leaves about £10,000 in legacies. . . . I thought you might like to hear these particulars respecting the end of by far the most clever of the quiet class I have ever seen, and the most perfect judgt. of any class.* . . .”

Lady Charlotte Lindsay to Mr. Brougham.

“Everything went off remarkably well last night. We waited at the D. of Brunswick’s till we heard that the Duchess of Y[ork] was at Vauxhall; we then

* General Richard Fitzpatrick [1747-1813], for thirty-three years M.P. for Tavistock; a most intimate friend of C. J. Fox.

proceeded there, and were much huzza’d and applauded by the crowd at the door, and also by the people in the gardens, which was much more than I had expected, having considered it always as the enemies’ quarters. There were a few hisses at last, but very few indeed. The
Duke of Gloucester escorted the Pss. round the walks, and the Duke of Kent handed her out and took care of her to the Duke of Brunswick’s house, where we supped. In short, nothing could be more right and proper, dull and fatiguing, than our last night’s adventures. . . .”

Lady Holland to Mrs. Creevey.
“Holland House, Wednesday.

“. . . Lord Darlington is to marry his bonne amie Mrs. Russell, alias Funnereau, this week;* and his daughter has chosen Mr. Forester. Neither of these alliances are brilliant. Mme. de Stael continues to be an invariable topick. The servants at assemblies announce her as Mrs. Stale. Her daughter, the seduisante Albertine, is very much relished by those who know her well.”

The reference in the following is to General Sir John Murray, who raised the siege of Tarragona, and embarked his troops on the approach of Suchet, for which he was afterwards tried by court-martial. Wellington’s despatch of 3rd July contains criticism of Murray’s operations, the responsibility for which the Opposition sought to throw upon Wellington.‡

Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Chillingham, 23 July, 1813.

“. . . I think Wellington’s observations about Murray shamefull: he would have been mad to fight

* They were married on 27th July. Lord Darlington was created Duke of Cleveland in 1833.

Wellington’s Despatches, vol. x. p. 509.

20,000 French with 12,000 Spaniards and 4000 English and Germans. As usual—Wellington never allows an excuse, nor ever enables an officer to execute anything. He left
Beresford at Albuera in the same situation.”

“Walton, Thursday night.

“. . . Is it true that Leveson has the credit of working the intrigue for Canning? I was sure, and I told Brougham and Whitbread so—that the visits of him and his wife to Connaught Place announced an intrigue, and that I knew them too well to believe that any other motive but the basest took either of them there. . . . Brougham must rejoice at the escape of his client: however the Canningites are no strength to these Ministers, and I look forward to rare fun next session. If all these peerages take place, I am for a regular attack on the prostitution of public honours, and a seriatim show-up of all the new Ministry. . . . From what one can hear, the Congress will be a pleasant scene for Milord Castlereagh. He cannot but be in a scrape; and Norway, St. Domingo, the Slave Trade, Poland and Saxony, are rare topics for future discussion. Have you read Brougham upon Norway in the last number of the Edinburgh Review? If not, do it, as he is very good. . . .”

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“Brougham, Sept. 15, 1813.

“. . . My wound is almost well now, leaving only a fine large mark, like a slash, on my head, forehead and eyelid. . . . I came off extremely well on the whole, as you would have allowed had you seen the cut, which was such as to send all the people—Bigges, &c.—out of the room fainting, except the surgeon and Strickland, who showed much skill in assisting him to take up the artery. He was in the carriage with me, and when taken out was supposed to be cut in pieces, from his bloody figure; but, on water being applied, the blood was all found to be my property, and he not even scratched. . . . Let me, in expressing my entire abhorrence of Newcastle—its natives, its
inns, drives, horses, roads, precipices, pools, &c., &c., say how skilful a surgeon they have in the person of Mr. Horne, who attended me, and who is really a wonderful young man. To be sure he has some practice; for I suppose the bodies of half the natives, in whole or in fragments, pass through his hands in the course of a year. To be out of Hell, Newcastle certainly is the damnedest district of country anywhere to be found. . . . Your account of the Brighton festivities is invaluable. I am glad to be prepared for
the Jockey,* with whom I shall certainly take the earliest opportunity of beginning the subject, in order to make him admit before witnesses his having had his journey to Brighton for his pains, and thus to confirm his hatred of P.† . . . I beg to remind you of my predictions, viz. Wellington’s retreat in Novr. or Decr., and a separate peace on the continent before Xmas, tho’ he clearly will never make such terms now as he used to do formerly.‡ . . .”

Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Chillingham, 24th Sept., 1813.

“I have been looking out for a letter from you to tell me all the news of the south, and your fêtes at the Pavilion, at which I conclude you were, being in such favour with our magnanimous Regent! In the 1st place—is it true that Parliament is to be assembled on the 4th of November? If so, I am in despair, as in town I cannot be, and to be out of it will drive me wild. Money, I conclude, is the want, and as I feel disposed to have a fight for every shilling, and to state a grievance for each vote in supply, I am miserable at the chance of the campaign opening without me. To be sure, affairs look better on the Continent, and the

* The Duke of Norfolk. See vol. i. p. 50.

† The Prince Regent.

‡ The prediction was not fulfilled. Soult was driven across the Pyrenees on 2nd August; San Sebastian fell on 31st; the battle of the Nivelle was fought on 10th November; Wellington went into winter quarters early in December on French soil; Napoleon abdicated on 6th April, 1814.

capture of St. Sebastian is of the greatest importance to the safety of our army. We grumblers can have nothing to say, but the question of expence nothing can stave off. . . . To-day
Ld. Grey was to have been in the chair at the Fox dinner at Newcastle: this kept me from the dinner, as Ld. Grey and the principles of Mr. Fox have long ago parted company. I looked on the meeting as a beat up for political friends—as a sort of levee where I shall always be the worst attender. . . .”

The year 1814 was one of great excitement, political and social, in London. In early spring the Russian, Prussian, and Austrian armies entered France, the British army having been already established on the north side of the Pyrenees since the previous autumn. The Allies entered Paris on 31st March; a few days later Napoleon abdicated and was allowed to retire to Elba; Louis XVIII. was restored to the throne of France, and visited London in May, to be followed in June by the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, and other royalties. The proclamation of peace on 6th May marked the beginning of a series of fêtes and rejoicings, which continued at intervals all through the summer. Unfortunately, they served to bring into harsher relief than before the scandalous relations between the Prince Regent and the Princess of Wales. The Queen having commanded two drawing-rooms to be held in June in honour of the foreign royalties, the Princess intimated her intention to appear at one of them; whereupon the Queen wrote to the Princess, informing her that she had received a communication from her son, the Prince Regent, stating that it was necessary he should be present at her court, and that he desired it to be understood, for reasons of which he alone could be the judge, that it was his
“fixed and unalterable determination not to meet the Princess of Wales upon any occasion, either public or private.”

One hundred years have not passed since these events, yet what a distance have we travelled in the development of popular judgment! It would not be possible for any Prince in these days to trample thus upon public opinion, and to treat in this tyrannical manner a wife whom it had been proved impossible to convict of infidelity. The offence thus offered to public morality and self-respect goes far to account for the profound apprehensions for the monarchy which men of all parties began to entertain in view of the great increase in popular power which parliamentary reform, not to be staved off much longer, must necessarily entail.

Lady Holland to Mrs. Creevey [at Brighton].
“Holland House, Saty.

“. . . The great wonder of the time is Mme. de Stael. She is surrounded by all the curious, and every sentence she utters is caught and repeated with various commentaries. Her first appearance was at Ly. Jersey’s, where Lady Hertford also was, and looked most scornfully at her, pretending her determination not to receive her as she was an atheist! and immoral woman. This harsh resolve was mitigated by an observation very agreeable to the observer—that her personal charms have greatly improved within the last 25 years. She (Mme. de Stael) is violent against the Emperor, who, she says, is not a man—‘ce n’est point un homme, mais un système’—an Incarnation of the Revolution. Women he considers as only useful ‘pour produire les conscrits;’ otherwise ‘c’est une classe qu’il voudroit supprimer.’ She is much less ugly than I expected; her eyes are fine, and her hand and arm very handsome. She was
1813-14.]TALES OF THE TOWN.189
Sheridan upon the excellence of his heart and moral principles, and he in return upon her beauty and grace. She is to live in Manchester Street, and go occasionally to breathe the country air at Richmond Inn.

“During the debate on the Swedish treaty, Mr. Ward* came into the Coffee House, assigning for his reason that he could not bear to hear Ld. Castlereagh abuse his Master; upon which Jekyll said—‘Pray, Ward, did yr. last Master give you a character, or did this one take you without?’ Those present describe Ward as being overwhelmed, for, with all his talent, he is not ready at repartee, tho’ no doubt by this time he has some neat epigrams upon the occasion. Lady Jane has had a return of spitting of blood, and she was blooded twice last week; the pain in her breast is very troublesome, and I much fear she is fast approaching to an untimely close of her innocent and valuable life.† There are reports, but I believe idle ones, of marriages between Lady Mildmay and Ld. Folkestone, and Sir Harry [Mildmay] and Miss Thayer. Ld. H. Beauclerk is certainly to marry Miss Dillon. The Greys . . . are not invited to the fêtes at C[arlton] House, nor any more of the Opposition than usual. . . .”

Lord Folkestone to Mr. Creevey.
“April 5, 1814.

“. . . . If you should happen to hear in the world that I am going to be married to Mildmay’s sister, you need not put yourself to the trouble to deny it. I have not any pretensions to suppose that Mrs. Taylor interests herself enough about me to presume to write to her, but I wish you would tell her from me that I should have been glad to have had an opportunity of informing her in person how immutable with me is the power of black eyes.‡ . . .”

* Afterwards Lord Dudley.

† It had been strange if life had long endured in a patient treated for phthisis by blood-letting!

‡ The marriage took place 24th May, 1814. Miss Mildmay was Lord Folkestone’s second wife, and great-grandmother of the present Lord Radnor.

Thomas Sheridan* to Samuel Whitbread, M.P.
[April, 1814.]

Bonaparte has signed his resignation—Bourbons proclaimed—Victor, Ney, Marmont, Abbé Sieyes, Caulincourt, &c., &c., &c., have sign’d. The Emperor has a pension of 200,000 per ann.: and a retreat in the Isle of Elba. . . . There are to be immense rejoicings on Monday—white cockades and tremendous illumination. Carlton House to blaze with fleurs de lis, &c The royal yatch is ordered to take the King (Louis)—the Admiral of the Fleet the Duke of Clarence to command her—all true, honor bright—I am just come from the Prince.

Th. S.
Samuel Whitbread, M.P., to Thomas Sheridan.
“Cardington, April 10, 1814.
“My dear Sheridan,

“I thank you for your letter, and I daresay you will not be surprized when I tell you that the Circumstances which have led to, and attend upon, this great Event, are such as to enable me to contemplate it with entire satisfaction.

“A Limited Monarchy in France, with Religious Liberty, a Free Press and Legislative Bodies such as have been stipulated for before the Recognition of the Bourbons, leave their Restoration without the possibility of Regret in the Mind of any Man who is a Lover of Liberty and a friend to his kind. Paris safe, Bonaparte suffered to depart, after the experiment had been fully tried of effecting a Peace with him, upon terms such as he was mad to reject—‘Tis more than I dared to hope!

“Then the great Example set of the Fidelity of all His Generals, and of the Armies they commanded, up to the very Moment that He himself gave all up for lost and opened his own Eyes to the consequences of His own desperate Folly, must surely have its effect on the World, and redeems many of the Treacheries

* Son of R. B. Sheridan.

1813-14.]THE PEACE.191
Men have committed against their Leaders. I confess it pleases me beyond measure. . . . God grant us a long and glorious Peace.

“If the Regent had but a true friend to tell him that he has only two things to do at home to complete the Happiness and Splendour of this Epoch!* I hear He says I am the worst Man God Almighty ever formed, except Bonaparte! but I could tell him how to be as justly popular as Alexander himself.† . . . No Murders, No Torture, No Conflagration—how ill the pretty Women of London bear it?”

Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Brooks’s, 1814.
“Dear C.,

“Nothing new. The Boneys & Co. are understood to have left Fontainbleau on the road to Italy. What a fall! and what a triumph for sound doctrines of freedom! The Coles‡ look very low. Their chance of office is at 100 per cent. discount, and the Holland Housians are in a sad quandary. Our dinner was good and well managed, and a good spice of Whiggism. . . . The Duke of Sussex talked very sad stuff: his last feat was the following toast—‘Respectability to the Crown, durability to the Constitution and independence to the People!’ He talked of the Stuarts and made an odd allusion to their fate and the Bourbons. The King of France is to make his palace at Grillons. He comes to-morrow. . . . It is pleasing to see so many happy faces.”

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“Temple, 1814.
“Dear C.,

“I write to congratulate you on this most speedy and compleat, as well as favorable termination

* One was the rehabilitation of the Princess of Wales, the other, probably, Roman Catholic Emancipation.

† The Emperor Alexander I. of Russia, at that time in high favour with the English Whigs.

Tierney, Abercromby, &c.

of the Revolution. I pass over the reasons for approving of it as regards France. These are many—but I look chiefly to England. We have been working day and night (and seldom succeeding) to knock off a miserable £10,000 or £20,000 a year from the patronage of the Crown. This event cuts down 50 or 60 millions at once. If we had made peace with
Bpte., Prinney would have been bitterly annoyed, the aristocrats humbled, the ministers (a good, quiet, easily-beaten set of blockheads) turned out, and a much worse and stronger set of men put in their places; but who could nave looked to any real diminution of Army, Navy and expenditure? It would have been impossible. Now, there is not a pretence for keeping these sources of patronage open. Besides—the gag is gone, which used to stop our mouths as often as any reform was mentioned—‘Revolution’ first, and then ‘Invasion.’ These cues are gone. It really appears to me that the game is in the hands of the Opposition. Every charge will now breed more and more of discontent. The dismissal of officers and other war functionaries will throw thousands out of employ, who will sooner or later ferment and turn to vinegar. All this will tell agst. Govt. and the benefits of the peace. The relief from taxes, &c., will never be able to tell much for them.

“One should think these things evident enough, and yet the Cole school, and Holland House above all, are in perfect despair. I am, however, glad to find Grey as right and factious as can be. . . . Thanet is exactly in the same spirit, tho’ he expects nothing from the folly and moderation of our friends and their fear of annoying Prinnie. By the way, Ld. Grey dines with Mother P. on Wednesday next to meet the D. of Glo’ster, to the no small annoyance of the Coles. . . . Pray don’t forget that a Govt. is not supported a hundredth part so much by the constant, uniform, quiet prosperity of the country, as by these damned spurts which Pitt used to have just in the nick of time, and latterly by the almost daily horn and gun under which we nave been living.”

“Lancaster, 1814.

“. . . As for a seat in Park, generally, I should feel that the use of it is nearly gone if the peace is made and discussed. Allow me just to observe in passing (a subject I don’t think I have ever alluded to before) the great use of Whig boro’s; for, without any extravagant pretensions, I can’t help thinking it a little strange that my being left out permanently is, to all appearance, now a settled matter. This is the more odd, because Grey is so decidedly anxious for my coming in. Were I, by any chance, once again in that place, I certainly have some little arrears to settle with more folks than one.”

Samuel Whitbread, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Dover St., June 4, 1814.

“. . . I have just received a petition from Mrs. Mary Anne Clarke, complaining of cruelty and partiality in her mode of confinement, and stating various instances where indulgences have been obtained for money. If I do not hear from you that you wish me to delay presenting it that you may be present, I intend to present it on Monday. We reckon your letter received yesterday to be quite provincial in its Politicks, and even the House of Commons—all but Wynne—seem to think it a case that in some shape they must interfere, if nothing shall be done to set the matter right out of doors. . . .”

The correspondence between the Queen, the Prince Regent, and the Princess of Wales having been sent to the Speaker, was communicated by him to the House of Commons, whereupon arose debate.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“Temple, Monday, [June, 1814].
“Dear C.,

“Just as I was going to begin a letter to you, entered old Hargrave, as mad as Bedlam, and I have
been so completely bored to death by him that I can scarcely write at all. . . .
The Doctor on Saturday evening gave notice of the letter being delivered to P.* on Friday, but I made him again apply yesterday to know if there was any answer, and the Dr. said he had not received P.’s commands to make any answer to it. All being safe and right, you see it is fired off, and I may add that I was finally decided in favour of publishing to-day by the apprehension of Alexr., &c.,† coming in a day or two, and taking off the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Bull.‡ I have, moreover, made Mrs. P.§ go to the opera to-morrow evening, but without any row, merely to show she does not skulk. If there is a good reception, so much the better.”

Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Brooks’s, Saturday.

“. . . The Kings dine with Liverpool to-day—Prinny to-morrow, and with Ld. Stafford on Monday; a review on Tuesday and I believe to Oxford afterwards. Alexander grumbles at the long dinners of the Regent’s. I like the Prussians very much; they are the best.”

Samuel Whitbread, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“June 11, 1814.

“. . . The Emperor [of Russia] has as yet returned no answer nor returned any civility to the Pss.’s message and letter by St. Leger. They [the Princess of Wales, &c.] go to the Opera to night, and if you were here she would be sure to be well received. Why the Devil are you not here? Brougham will, I suppose, certainly stand for Westminster, which will be favourable to him in the Cry that will be raised for him. You must come and stop as long as you are wanted. The Pss. shall not compromise anything.

* The Prince of Wales.

† The Emperor of Russia and other foreign royalties.

‡ The British Public.

§ The Princess of Wales.

She is sadly low, poor Body, and no wonder. What a fellow
Prinny is!”

Brougham entertained the idea of standing for the vacancy in Westminster, but Sheridan was already in the field.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“Temple, 29 June, 1814.
“Dear C.,

“As you may be amused to hear the infinite follies of mankind, I write to say that the Whigs have just discovered Old Sherry to be ‘an old and valued friend and an ancient adherent of Fox.’ They therefore support him. To be sure, he has ratted and left them—he kept them out of office twice—and he now openly stands on Yarmouth’s influence and C[arlton] House, and Ld. Liverpool is supporting him! . . .”

Mr. Creevey to Mrs. Creevey.
“14 June, 1814.

“. . . The Emperor of Russia sent for Lord Grey, Lord Grenville, Lord Holland, Lord Lansdowne and Lord Erskine, and had long conversations with all of them. Lord Grey represents him as having very good opinions upon all subjects, but quite royal in having all the talk to himself, and of vulgar manners. He says the Emperor was much indebted to his sister the Dutchess of Oldenburg for keeping him in the course by her judicious interposition and observations. In truth he thinks him a vain, silly fellow, and this opinion is much confirmed by what the Austrian who is in London now, and who went with Buonaparte to Elba, states to be Buonaparte’s opinion as he (the Austrian) heard him deliver it. It seems there is no subject more dealt in by Buonaparte than criticism upon people. He said to this Austrian:—

“‘Now I’ll tell you the difference between the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia. The Emperor thinks himself a very clever fellow, and he is a damned fool; whereas the King of Prussia thinks
meanly of his own talents, and he is a very sensible man.’

Grey, Holland, &c., &c., agree in their opinion of Buonaparte, in that Buonaparte seems the most popular person possible with all parties, both foreigners and our own grandees. Blücher is a very nice old man, and so like your old friend Lord Grey* that Lady Elizabeth Whitbread cried when she met him at Lady Jersey’s. Platoff is so cursedly provoked at the fuss made with him that he won’t accept an invitation to go out. To be sure, as Russ. is the only language he speaks, I don’t much wonder at his resolution. They are all sick to death of the way they are followed about, and, above all, by the long dinners. The King of Prussia is as sulky as a bear, and scarcely returns the civilities of the populace.

Prinny is exactly in the state one would wish; he lives only by protection of his visitors. If he is caught alone, nothing can equal the execrations of the people who recognise him. She, the Princess, on the contrary, carries everything before her, and had it not been for an accident in her coming into the opera on Saturday night, whilst the applause of the Emperor and King was going on, by which means she got no distinct and separate applause, tho’ certainly a great deal of what was going on was directed to her. By the bye, I called on her this morning, and saw very different names in her calling book from what I had ever seen before. Lord Rivers was the first name, Lady Burghersh the second, and so on, which, you know, is capital. All agree that Prinny will die or go mad. He is worn out with fuss, fatigue and rage. He came to Lady Salisbury on Sunday from his own dinner beastly drunk, whilst her guests were all perfectly sober. It is reckoned very disgraceful in Russia for the higher orders to be drunk. He already abuses the Emperor lustily, and his (the Emperor’s) walzing with Lady Jersey last night at Lady Cholmondeley’s would not mend his temper, and in truth he only stayed five minutes, and went off sulky as a bear, whilst everybody else stayed and supped and were as merry as could be.”

* The 1st Earl Grey.

“June 21, 1814.

“Well, my pretty, I hope you admired our little brush last night in the presence of all the foreign grandees except the Emperor.* It was really very capitally got up, and you never saw poor devils look so distressed as those on the Treasury Bench. It was a scene well calculated to make the foreign potentates stare as they did, and the little Princes of Prussia laugh as they did. . . . We have now, however, a new game for Master Prinny, which must begin to morrow. Whitbread has formal authority from young Prinny† to state that the marriage is broken off, and that the reasons are—first, her attachment to this country which she cannot and will not leave; and, above all, her attachment to her mother, whom in her present distressed situation she likewise cannot leave.

“This is, in short, her letter to the Prince of Orange in taking leave of him, and a copy of this letter is in Whitbread’s possession. What think you of the effect of this upon the British publick?

“Since writing the last sentence Whitbread has shown me Princess Charlotte’s letter to the Prince of Orange. By God! it is capital. And now what do you suppose has produced this sudden attachment to her mother? It arises from the profound resources of old Brougham, and is, in truth, one of the most brilliant movements in his campaign. He tells me he has had direct intercourse with the young one; that he has impressed upon her this fact that, if her mother goes away from England, as she is always threatening to do from her ill usage in the country, that then a divorce will inevitably take place, a second marriage follow, and thus the young Princess’s title to the throne be gone. This has had an effect upon the young one almost magical.”

* The “brush” was that, knowing the foreign potentates were to be in the Gallery of the House of Commons, Sir M. Ridley was put up by the Opposition to move a resolution respecting the marriage of Princess Charlotte of Wales to the Prince of Orange.

† The Prince Regent’s daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales.


Although there is no reference in these papers to the scene in the House of Commons when the Duke of Wellington was admitted to receive the thanks of the House, still it is agreeable to remark that, while Mr. Whitbread and his party had not scrupled to avail themselves of the difficulties of the campaign in the Peninsula as the means of bringing reproach upon the Government and their officers in the field, it was Mr. Whitbread who now objected that the grant to the Duke moved by the Speaker, viz. £10,000 a year, commutable for £300,000, was too small.

Three days later a debate, in which Mr. Whitbread took a leading part, arose upon Lord Castlereagh’s motion to increase the allowance to the Princess of Wales from £35,000 to £50,000 a year. This was moved and carried in the earnest hope that the Princess would carry out her wish to go to the Continent, and that she would stay there. The removal of this rock of offence to the Ministry was by no means to the liking of the Opposition.

Samuel Whitbread, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Dover St., July 1, 1814.
“My dear Creevey,

“You will have seen by the papers that Castlereagh laid upon the Table on Wednesday papers relating to the Princess of Wales’s pecuniary situation, which were ordered to be referred to a Committee of the whole House on Monday next. In the evening of Wednesday I received at the House of Commons a note from Lady C. Campbell No. 1, enclosing the note from C[astlereagh] No. 2, to which I replied, ‘I would see Brougham in the evening and we would communicate further.’ I did see Brougham after the debate, at Michael Taylor’s, and we agreed
that the offer was to be refused, and that the mode of refusal should be by letter to the

“Yesterday morning before 10 o’clock I had sent a note to Lady C. Campbell to say ‘that I had seen Brougham, that we had agreed upon the mode of proceeding respecting this insidious offer made in so unhandsome a manner, and that I would be at Connaught House at two o’clock, to submit the result of our counsel, in the shape of a letter to the Speaker.’ At two o’clock I was preparing to set out to recommend the letter No. 3, which is the production of Brougham, when to my infinite surprise I received from the Princess the Papers Nos. 4 and 5, to which I replied by the Note, No. 6. I then went and found Brougham in Westminster Hall, to whom I communicated the contents. His convulsions in consequence were very strong. I then went to Lady C. Lindsay who burst into tears upon perusing the papers. I then called upon St. Leger, who was thunderstruck and mortified to the greatest degree, but he entreated me to call upon the Princess; which I did, and found her and Lady C. Campbell together. She received me very civilly, and told me she saw I disapproved of what she had done. With the proper prefaces and in the mildest tone, I told her that I did exceedingly disapprove it; and that after her communication of the night before, I had reason to complain of her having sent an answer without having previously shown it to me or Brougham, and that I was much chagrined and disappointed at what she had done: that the crisis had just arrived, which would have put her in possession of all she wanted; and that I firmly believed her income would have followed on her own terms; but that the last paragraph of her letter appeared to me to have surrendered everything, and her words would be retorted upon her whenever she wished to assert the rights of her station. She said she meant to relinquish nothing, and particularly that she meant to go to St. Paul’s (for which measures had been taken). I told her I thought ‘it might impair the tranquillity of the mind of the Prince Regent’ if she were present, and she would be told so. We parted by my wishing her success, and that all might answer her expectation.


“You may suppose the effect the communication of these matters had upon Sefton, Tierney, Jersey, &c. Tierney had been in counsel with us, and was quite decided. In the evening I received the enclosed 7, 8 and 9, to which I shall only answer that when called upon I will advise, but it shall be on my own terms.”

H.R.H. the Princess of Wales to Samuel Whitbread, M.P.
[Note No. 5, referred to in above letter.]

“The Princess of Wales informs Mr. Whitbread that she has been extremely surprised at the contents of his note. The Princess does not view the offer made to her by the Crown, through Lord Castlereagh, in the light in which Mr. Whitbread views it. As no conditions derogatory to Her as Princess, or to her Honor as a female, have been annexed to the fulfillment of her rights. The Princess of Wales can have no scruple, therefore, whatever, in accepting the proposal which has been made to her, and the Princess cannot expect anything very respectful or attentive in the manner of the offer, coming from persons who has been at variance with her so many years. Considering this as an act of justice, and not an act of grace, she has accepted it accordingly and incloses a copy of her letter to Ld. Castlereagh for Mr. Whitbread’s perusal. A refusal to the Crown would have made her extremely unpopular. The Princess is, besides, weary of all the trouble she has endured herself, and been the occasion to her friends, and takes the whole blame upon herself by exhonorating Mr. Whitbread from all responsibility whatever as to the issue of the event. The Princess of Wales shall never forget the true and sincere interest which Mr. Whitbread has on all occasions evinced towards her, but there are moments in life when every individual is called upon to act for themselves.”

Samuel Whitbread, M.P., to H.R.H. the Princess of Wales.
[Note No. 6 referred to in the above letter.]
“Dover St., June 30, 1814.

Mr. Whitbread has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the note of your Royal Highness, enclosing the Copy of Your Royal Highness’s answer to Lord Castlereagh, and to present his most humble duty to your Royal Highness.”

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“Temple, 1st July, 1814.
“Dear C.,

“I suppose you have heard of Mother P. bungling the thing so compleatly—snapping eagerly at the cash, and concluding with a civil observation about unwillingness to ‘impair the Regent’s tranquillity!!’ &c. This was all done on the spot and in a moment, and communicated to Sam and me next day, ‘that we might be clear of all blame in advising it.’ We are of course fully justified in giving her up. I had written a proper letter to the Speaker, refusing, which would only have made the House certain to give it [the grant to the Princess]. The intelligence came before my letter reached her.

“However, tho’ she deserves death, yet we must not abandon her, in case P. gets a victory after all, therefore I have made her send St. Leger to the Bp. of Lincoln (Dean of St. Paul’s) to notify her intention of going in state on Thursday, and demand proper seats for her and her suite. They are trying to fight off, but tho’ they may dirty themselves, nothing shall prevent her from going. This is a healing and a good measure.

“Again—there is a second letter from Castlereagh, mentioning a bill to ‘confirm the arrangement of 1809;’ and as this involves separation, it has (as well it may) alarmed her, and now she is all for asking our advice! They may make such a blunder, as all along
they have blundered; if they do, we are all alive again, and shall push it. Say now it strikes you.

“As for Westr.—it now appears that Ald. Wood is only making a catspaw of old C[artwright]* and that he counts on his dying, and leaving a place for him—the Alderman. He has avowed that he would rather see Sheridan, or any court tool, returned than a Whig in disguise, viz., me; and he asserts plainly that, on the comparison, ‘more is to be hoped from Cart.’s parliamentary talents than from B.’s—the former being greater.’ This has opened some eyes—for they justly conclude he can’t be really speaking his mind. . . . I can’t help fearing Burdett is doing something, but I don’t know for certain. Holland House from personal hatred [i.e. of Brougham] supports Sherry; the Russells and Cavendishes, I understand, quite the contrary. . . .”

The next stage in this intolerable scandal was the refusal to the Princess of a seat in St. Paul’s Cathedral on the occasion of the national thanksgiving for peace on 7th July.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.

“. . . Mrs. Prinny comes into court this day. She sent St. Leger to see the Ld. Chamberlain about St. Paul’s, who wd. not see him. A letter then was written to which she got an answer last night. She was told there was no place for her. So the game is alive once more. Sefton is in high spirits, and Sam and Brougham are to see her this day, and get, if possible, a letter or message from her upon the subject, setting forth this new indignity, and I trust spurning the money upon such terms. So we shall recover from the scrape she placed us all in. . . . What think you of Cochrane setting all at defiance, refusing to solicit a pardon from the pillory, maintaining his innocence, &c.?—that it is the sentence, not the infliction that he minds; and as for pardon, he will die

* John Cartwright [1740-1824], the “Father of Reform.”

sooner than ask it.*
Burdett takes the field for him. I find many people take the field for him as to innocence, or at least have doubts, tho’ the doctrine is that the conviction is a sufficient reason to send him back to his constituents.”

“4th July, 1814.
“Dear C.,

“First as to Mother P.† I was sure of my adversary giving some opening; so yesterday, in reply to St. Leger’s asking seats, Lord Hertford (cornuto, husband, father, &c.) in his own proper person writes saying the whole seats in St. Paul’s are arranged by the Regent, and Mrs. P. can’t have one. I have just despatched a Dft. of a letter to Mr. Speaker in which Mrs. P. takes the highest ground, saying she had accepted in the belief of its being an earnest of a new system of treatment, &c., and in order to show her conduct to the P. was only because she must vindicate herself, and not arising from any vexatious views; but now she finds she and the offer and all have been wholly misconstrued, and that her conduct has been supposed to proceed from an unworthy compromise; and in short, throwing up, on the ground of the treatment continuing, &c., &c. . . . This is decisive, I think, and gives us the game again. . . . However, if she refuses to send it (which I fear) we are done, or nearly so. I wrote her a long and very severe epistle on Saturday, accusing her of everything, &c. She is the better for it, and promises, &c. . . . Now as to Westr. I hear Burdett really is trying to put down the Major and bring me in. Meantime Sherry‡ talks of W. as a

* Lord Cochrane, afterwards 10th Earl of Dundonald [1775-1860], one of the most splendid naval commanders that ever paced a quarterdeck, was tried for a Stock Exchange conspiracy, and, though undoubtedly innocent, was convicted with his own uncle and one de Berenger, who were the real culprits. Cochrane was sentenced to an hour’s pillory, a year’s imprisonment, and a fine of £1000. He was dismissed the Navy, and expelled from the House of Commons; but his constituents in Westminster immediately returned him again to Parliament. In 1828, after continuous sea-service under foreign Powers, he was reinstated as rear-admiral in the Royal Navy.

† The Princess of Wales.

R. B. Sheridan.

close boro’ in his family, and he is to have a meeting forthwith.
G. Byng told me he had declared himself for me, and was ready to go from house to house, ‘and by Gad to wear out two shoes in it,’ meaning two pair. . . . There is a strange backwardness in Sam [Whitbread] about Westr. Whether it be that he never can be led to believe that there is no occasion for anybody in Parlt. other than himself—or that he thinks Westr. too much for me—or that he really can’t feel easy in going agt. Sherry—I know not, but he won’t speak to any one.”

To the chagrin of the irresponsible members of the Opposition, the Princess of Wales, having declined the increase to her allowance voted by Parliament, left the country in August, for which Brougham bitterly blames Whitbread—unjustly, as far as one can see.

“9th Aug., 1814.

“. . . By G—d, Sam is incurable—all this devilry of Canning, &c., and Mrs. P. bolting, &c., is owing to his d——d conceit in making her give up the £15,000—of himself, without saying a word to any one.”