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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey, Journal Entry, 23 July-September 1818

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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“23rd.—Dined at Sir Andrew Hamond’s, with Alava,* Hervey, Lord Wm. Russell and the Lord knows who besides. Young Lord William was very good about politics, and civil enough to say he was sorry I was out of Parliament.

No date.—“Dined at Sir Lowry Cole’s† and liked Lady Frances very much—very good-looking, excellent manner and agreeable. That cursed fellow Colonel Stanhope‡ was there amongst others, who I remember was an Opposition man 3 years ago, but who now is in Parliament and a Government lick-spittle. He

* Note by Mr. Creevey.—“The Representative of Spain at the Court of the Bourbons, and at Wellington’s headquarters also—a most upright and incomparable man.”

† Second son of the 1st Earl of Enniskillen: commanded the 4th Division in the Peninsular War, and married a daughter of the 1st Earl of Malmesbury.

‡ Probably the Hon. James Hamilton Stanhope, son of the 3rd Earl Stanhope, and father of the present Mr. Banks Stanhope of Revesby Abbey. Creevey’s uncomplimentary reference is to nothing worse than Stanhope’s change of politics.

made up to me cursedly, but I would not touch him.

No date.—“Dined at Lord Hill’s with my young ladies and Hamilton and a monstrous party, all in a tent at his house four miles from Cambray. I should just as soon have supposed Miss Hill—Lord Hill’s sister—who was there, to have been second-in-command of our army, as Lord Hill, his appearance is so unmilitary.* He and his sister seem excellent people, and Barnes tells me that there cannot be a better second-in-command of an army than Lord Hill. I found Master Stanhope there again, and he wanted me to dine with him, but I would do no such thing. He has no talents: he is all pretension and impudence. Col. Percy† is by far the best hand at conversation of the Duke’s young men.

No date.—“Dined at the Duke of Wellington’s. The ladies were Lady Charlotte Greville and Lady Frances Cole. The Duke began by asking:—‘Well, Creevey, how many votes have the Opposition gained this election? Who is Wilson that is come in for the City, and what side is he of?’ I thought Lady Frances looked rather astounded at such familiarity, and upon such a subject. At dinner he began again:—‘Who is to be your leader in the House of Commons?’ I said they talked of Tierney, but I was quite sure Romilly ought to be the man.—‘Ah,’ he said, ‘Tierney is a sharp fellow, and I am sure will give the Government a good deal of trouble. As for Romilly, I know little of him, but the House of Commons never likes lawyers.’ So I said that was true generally, and justly so, but that poor Horner† had been an exception, and so was Romilly: that they were no ordinary, artificial skirmishing lawyers, speaking from briefs, but that they conveyed to the House, in addition to their talents, the

* Sir Rowland Hill, created Viscount Hill in 1814 for his splendid services in the Peninsular War, was a great favourite with his soldiers, among whom he was known as “Daddy Hill.”

† Fifth son of the 5th Duke of Northumberland; aide-de-camp, first to Sir John Moore, and then to the Duke of Wellington. Carried the Duke’s despatches to London after Waterloo.

Horner died in 1817.

impression of their being really sincere, honest men. I availed myself of this occasion to turn to my next neighbour
Lord W. Russell, and to give him a good lecture upon the great merits of Romilly and the great folly of our party in making Tierney leader, whose life had been in such direct opposition to all Whig principles. I found the young lord quite what a Russell ought to be.

“In the evening I had a walk with the Duke again in the garden, and upon my asking some question about the Regent, as the Duke had just come from England, he said:—‘By God! you never saw such a figure in your life as he is. Then he speaks and swears so like old Falstaff, that damn me if I was not ashamed to walk into a room with him.’

“Our conversation was interrupted by Mrs. Harvey and Miss Cator coming up to the Duke with a Yankee general in their hands—a relation of theirs, just arrived from America—General Harper, whom they presented to the Duke. It is not amiss to see these sisters, Mrs. Harvey and Miss Cator, not content with passing themselves off for tip-top Yankees, but playing much greater people than Lady C. Greville and Lady F. Cole—to me too, who remember their grandfather, old Cator, a captain of an Indiaman in Liverpool; their father an adventurer to America, and know their two aunts now at Liverpool—Mrs. Woodville and another, who move in about the third-rate society of that town.

No date.—“Dined at Sir George Murray’s* with Alava, General Harper and a very large party. I sat next to Harper, who quite came up to my notion of a regular Yankee. I touched him upon the late seizure of the Floridas by the United States, but he was as plausible, cunning and jesuitical as the very devil. He was singularly smug and spruce in his attire, and looked just as old Cator would have looked the first Sunday after a Guinea voyage—in new cloaths from top to bottom. From the Floridas he went to fashionable life, and asked me if he could not live very genteelly in London for £6000 per annum.

* Wellington’s trusted and excellent Quartermaster-General during the Peninsular War.


Sir George was all politeness and good manners, but he is feeble, tho’ they say excellent in his department. He has not a particle of the talent of Barnes, nor do I see any one who has, except the Duke. He [Murray] and his staff—Sir Charles Brooke and Eckersley—are for all the world like three old maids.

“The young ladies and I were at a ball at the Duke’s, and he was very civil to us all, as he always is, and called out to us in going to supper to sup at his table.

Monday [no other date]. . . . Hope of the Staff Corps is to go on Thursday with dispatches to the Duke, and wishes me to go with him as he travels in a cabriolet, which I most cordially consent to do.

Thursday.—Hope and I left Cambray about 5 in the evening—went thro’ St. Quintin, La Fere, &c. I was much interested by Laon and its vicinity, as well on account of its singular position, as having been the theatre of so much fighting between Blucher and Buonaparte in 1814. The vineyards, likewise, on the right hand side of the road and on the slope of the hills before and after Sillery were very pretty. We got to Chalons between four and five, having travelled all night of course, and before the Duke; so we got the postmaster to let us shave and clean ourselves in his house, and that being done, we sallied forth to a restaurateur to dine, leaving a special messenger on the spot to summon Hope the moment the Duke’s courier arrived. Hope was sent for before we had finished, and was at the post house with his dispatches just as the Duke drove up. I followed in a few minutes. Hope had told him I was with him, and when I came he shook hands out of the window. On his expressing some surprise at seeing me there, I told him I was trying how I liked travelling at the expense of Government. The Duke then said:—‘Come on and dine with me at Vitry, Creevey,’ and off he drove.

“We got to Vitry about ten. The Duke had driven much faster than us, so as to have time to answer his letters, and to have the return dispatches ready for Hope. The inn we found him in was the most miserable concern I have ever beheld—so small
and so wretched that after we had entered the gate I could not believe that we were right, till the Duke, who had heard the carriage enter, came out of a little wretched parlour in the gateway, without his hat, and on seeing me said:—‘Come in here,
Creevey: dinner is quite ready.’ Dinner accordingly was brought in by a couple of dirty maids, and it consisted of four dishes—2 partridges at the top, a fowl at the bottom, fricassee of chicken on one side and something equally substantial on the other. The company was the Duke, Count Brozam [?], aide-de-camp to the Emperor of Russia, Hervey, Sir Ulysses de Burgh, Hope and myself. Cathcart and Cradock were not come up, but were expected every moment.

“The Duke had left Paris at 5 in the morning, and had come 130 miles, and a cold fowl was all that had been eaten by his party in the coach during the day. Altho’ the fare was so scanty, the champagne the commonest of stuff, and the house so bad, it seemed to make no impression on the Duke. He seemed quite as pleased and as well satisfied as if he had been in a palace. He and I had a very agreeable conversation for an hour or an hour and a half, principally about improvements going on in France, which had been begun by Buonaparte—land, &c., &c.—and then we all went to bed.

“In the morning we all breakfasted together at five o’clock punctually. Our fare was tea in a great coffee-pot about two feet high. We had cups to drink out of, it is true; but no saucers. The Duke, however, seemed quite as satisfied with everything as the night before; and when I observed, by way of a joke, that I thought the tea not so very bad, considering it was made, I supposed, at Vitry:—‘No,’ said he, with that curious simplicity of his, ‘it is not: I brought it with me from Paris.’

“He gave Cathcart and Cradock a rub for not being up the night before, and then we all got into our carriages—the Duke and suite for Colmar, and Hope and I for Cambray. . . .

Sunday.—Hope and I got back to Cambray at about two o’clock in the afternoon. . . . Lady Aldborough came to Cambray. . . . I am as much convinced as ever that she is the readiest, quickest
person in conversation I have ever seen, but she is a little too much upon the full stretch. Was she quieter, she would be more agreeable. The truth is, however, she knows too well the imprudences of her past life, and she is fighting for her place in society by the perpetual exercise of her talents.