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The Creevey Papers
Ch. II: 1822

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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( 33 )
Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Brooks’s, Feby. 8th, 1822.

“. . . I dine at Sefton’s again to-day. Did I tell you that Albemarle is to be married on Monday to ‘Charlotte’ Hunlock?* Such is the case. The lady is 45, which is all very well if he must be married.

“12th Feb.

“. . . I dined with my lord and my lady and the young ladies at ¼ before 4, and we all agreed it was much the best hour to dine at. We were in the house by 10 minutes after 5, just as Brougham got up, and of course I heard every word of his speech, and of Castlereagh’s answer to him.† It is the fashion to praise Brougham’s speech more than it deserves—at least in my opinion. It was free from faults, I admit, or very nearly so; and that I think was its principal merit. Castlereagh’s was an impudent, empty answer, clearly showing the monstrous embarrassments the Ministers are under, as to managing both their pecuniary resources and their House of Commons. The division was a very great one—under all the circumstances a most extraordinary one. The effect of the motion, if carried, was to take off 6 or 7 millions of taxes at once. . . . Against this sweeping motion the

* The 3rd Earl of Albemarle [1772-1849]. Married his second wife, Miss Charlotte Hunloke, 11th February, 1822.

Brougham’s motion was upon the distressed state of the country, and for a reduction of taxation.

Government could only produce 212 votes, and for it were found such men as
Davenport M.P. for Cheshire, Walter Burrell and Curtis members for Sussex, John Fane for Oxfordshire, Lawley for Warwickshire, Sir John Boughey for Staffordshire, and a good many Tory members for boroughs. Tierney thought the motion too strong, and would not and did not vote, and we had 21 of our men shut out—Lambton with a dinner at his own house, Bennett, Cavendishes and others. Tom Dundas, Chaloner and Ramsden, who had all come up from Yorkshire on purpose, were in the same scrape; Lord John Russell and others the same.”

“London, 16th Feby.

“. . . I dined at Sefton’s with the ladies, Brougham and Ferguson before four, and was in the House some time before Castlereagh began; and when he did turn off, such hash was never delivered by man. The folly of him—his speech as a composition in its attempt at style and ornament and figures, and in its real vulgarity, bombast and folly, was such as, coming from a man of his order, with 30 years’ parliamentary experience and with an audience quite at his devotion, was such as I say amounted to a perfect miracle. To be sure our Brougham as a rival artist with him in talent and composition, play’d the devil with him, and made a great display. . . . I thought I should have died with laughing when Castlereagh spoke gravely and handsomely of the encreased cleanliness of the country from the encreased excise revenue of soap. . . .”

“Brooks’s, Feby. 28th.

“My benefit went off last night as well as possible.* The ‘front row’ of course could not attend, so I went down and occupied it with myself and my books, with Folkestone on one side of me and Bennet on the other. I disported myself for upwards of an hour with Bankes, Finance Committees and ‘high and efficient’ public men. . . . Our lads were in extacies,

* It was a motion to curtail the powers of the Government under the Civil Offices Pensions Act of 1817. Creevey’s speech occupies nine pages of Hansard.

and kept shouting and cheering me as I went on, with the greatest perseverance.
Brougham and Sefton were amongst my bottle holders in the front row, and in common with all our people complimented me hugely. . . . Petty asked me now Hume came off last night. Apropos to Hume, never was a villain more compleatly defeated than Croker,* and so it is admitted on all hands, so that our Joe is raised again to the highest pinnacle of fame for his accuracy and arithmetic . . . Here is Grey, publickly damning the newspapers for reporting my speech so badly, but he has ‘seen enough to satisfy himself it must have been very good.’”

“March 15th.

“. . . I made a very good speech (altho’ you will find little trace of it in the newspapers), and rolled the new Buckingham Board of Controul about to their heart’s content, and to the universal satisfaction of the House. Tierney of course betrayed me by his hollow support, and then I had all the weight of Canning’s jokes to sustain, evidently prepared and fired upon me in the successive, and of course successful, peals. . . . I must, or ought to, regret very much that I let Canning off so easily; because, to do the House justice, they gave me perfectly fair play, and when I fired into the ‘Idle Ambassador’ at Lisbon, I had him dead beat. He dropt his head into his chest, and evidently skulked from what he thought might come. . . . It was a great, and perhaps the only opportunity of shewing up the Joker’s life and what it has all ended in—banishment to India from want of honesty. . . . I think I shall have full measure of these bridal visits. I dine at Ly. Anson’s to-day, on Sunday at McDonald’s, on Thursday with the young people at the Duke of Norfolk’s, to-morrow with the Whigs at Ridley’s.”

“Brooks’s, 16th March.

“I can’t get the better of my chagrin at not having done myself justice upon Canning the other night. . . . I dined at Ly. Anson’s yesterday. We had Coke* and Ly. Anne, Miss Coke, Lord and Ly. Rosebery, Digby and Lady Andover,† Hinchcliffe (Ld. Crewe’s nephew), Mr. Lloyd and myself. I sat next Lady Anson by her desire. I was introduced both by her and Coke to Lady Anne, who, to my mind, has neither beauty nor elegance nor manners to recommend her, but if ever I saw a deep one, it is her. She was perfectly at her ease. On the other hand, I never saw more perfect behaviour than that of all the ladies of the family. Miss Coke I thought was low. We had, however, a very merry dinner, and I went upstairs and staid till eleven. I kept up a kind of running fire upon Coke, and Ly. Anson kept her hand upon my arm all the time, pinching me and keeping me in check when she thought I was going too far. . . . I was at Whitehall last night—Ly. Ossulston, Miss Lemon, Ferguson, Sefton and Vaughan, and then I came here (Brooks’s), and was fool enough to sit looking over a whist table till between 4 and 5 this morning. Sefton and I walked away together, he having won by the evening a thousand and twenty pounds.”

* A dispute between Joseph Hume and J. W. Croker, Secretary to the Admiralty, upon the Navy Estimates.

“April 26th.

“. . . Another event of yesterday was Denman being elected Common Serjeant by the Common Council of London. The Queen’s counsel, who on that occasion compared her husband to Nero! . . . This was homage to Denman’s honesty. I don’t think Brougham could have succeeded, superior as he is to the other in talent.”

“Brooks’s, April 27th.

“I had a long conversation here to-day with Thanet.‡ I must say, ‘altho’’ it might appear to anybody but you parasitical in his member to say so, that in agreeableness and honesty he surpasses all his

* Thomas Coke of Holkham, M.P. for Norfolk, created Earl of Leicester in 1837. Married his second wife, Lady Anne Keppel, on 26th February, 1822, mother of the present earl.

Viscountess Andover, widow of the 15th Earl of Suffolk’s eldest son, married in 1806 Admiral Sir Henry Digby.

Sackville Tufton, 9th Earl of Thanet.

order—easy. To-morrow I dine with
Sefton. Here is little Derby sitting by my side—very, very old in looks, but as merry as ever. Here is Brougham, too, but in a most disgruntled, unsatisfactory state. His manners to me are barely civil, but I take no notice, presuming that time will bring him round, and if it don’t—I can’t help it.”

“Brooks’s, 3rd May.

“. . . Your philosophy is well and solidly grounded. These are feeble grievances as long as you are all well: nay, I might add, what are grievances like these to those of Lord and Ly. Salisbury—the one, the descendant of old Cecil and aged 80 years—the other, the head and ornament and patroness of the beau monde of London for the last 40 years, and yet to have £2000 per ann. taken out of their pockets at last by a rude and virtuous House of Commons. . . . If this distress will but pinch these dirty, shabby landed voters two sessions more, there’s no saying at what degree of purity we shall arrive. Meantime, all your place and pension holders must shake in their shoes. . . . Here is Grey in such roaring spirits, and so affable that I should not be surprised at the offer of a place from him when he comes in, which I am sure he now thinks must be very soon indeed. But Abercromby for my money: he told me last night it was all over with the present men.”

“7th May.

“. . . Brougham was sitting at Holland House on Sunday morning with my lady and various others, when a slight thunderstorm came on, and, according to invariable custom, my lady bolted. Presently the page summoned Brougham and conducted him to my lady’s bedchamber, where he found all the windows closed and the candles lighted. She said she did not like to be left alone, so she pressed him to stay and dine, but upon his saying he must keep his engagement at Ridley’s—‘Ah,’ said she, ‘you will meet Creevey there, I suppose. What can be the reason he never comes near me?’—We both of us laughed heartily at her conscience and fears thus
smiting her when she thought herself in danger; so I must leave her to another storm or two before I go to her.”

“Denbies, 28th May.

“. . . Mrs. Taylor says Lady Glengall told her last night she had not a single ticket left for the Hibernian ball out of her 100. . . . You know the original plan was to have had the affair at Willis’s Rooms. The leading female managers being Lady Hertford and Dowr. Richmond, &c., &c. The blockheads, it seems, made up their list of patronesses without including Ly. Conyngham in the number, and she was not a lady to submit quietly to such an insult; so she started this opposition ball at the Opera House, with the King as patron, and all the same ladies as patronesses that were on the other list, except Lady Hertford and Dowr. Richmond. The former is incensed at this practical retort from her successful rival* beyond all bounds. . . . If you wish for anything in the public line, let me tell you that on Thursday or Friday last, Castlereagh, being in Hyde Park on horseback, met Tavistock, and tho’ he has very slight acquaintance with him, he turned his horse about, and lost no time in unbosoming himself upon the state of public affairs. He described the torment of carrying on the Government under the general circumstances of the country as beyond endurance, and said if he could once get out of it, no power on earth should get him into it again.”†

“Brooks’s, 15th June.

“. . . As it is not very often I am in the literary line, let me boast of having read three hours this morning, being very much delighted with a new book I have got. It is the poems and other pieces of Sir Chas. Hanbury-Williams, grandfather to the present Lord Essex. . . . As a wit and poet, I assure you the Welchman is of high order. . . . Then, what with text and notes, you have the whole town before you—male and female—political and domestic—during 30 years of the last century. . . .”

* In the affections of the King.

† Within a few weeks of this Castlereagh died by his own hand.

1822.] “A VOICE FROM ST. HELENA.” 39
“18th June.

“. . . On Saturday I dined at John Williams’s in Lincoln’s Inn, being carried there by Lambton in his coach, protected by two footmen. Sunday I dined at Cowper’s with Sefton, Jerseys, Ossulston, George Lambs, Carnarvon, Kensington and Wm. Lambe. . . . I am sorry to find that my friend Sir Thos. Hy. Williams has some great objections to him on the score of delicacy.”

“Cantley, July 21.

“. . . Well, I wonder whether you will be anything like as much interested by O’Meara and Buonaparte as I have been and am still. I can think of nothing else. . . . I am perfectly satisfied Buonaparte said all that O’Meara puts into his mouth. Whether that is all true is another thing. . . . There are parts of the conversations, too, which are quite confirmed, or capable of being so, by evidence. For instance—when O’Meara lent him the Edinburgh Review, just come out, with a sketch of his life in it, he expresses to O’Meara the greatest surprise at some facts there stated, as he says he is sure they are, or were, only known to his own family. It turns out the article in question was written by Allen, and the facts referred to were told to Lord Holland when at Rome by Cardinal Fesch. Again; the conversations which Nap states to have taken place between him and young de Staël, the latter says are perfectly correct as to the periods and the subject of them, tho’ he denies some of Nap’s statements in them to be true. It is very difficult to predict what is to cause any permanent impression or effect, but, judging from my own feelings, I shd. say these conversations of Nap’s are calculated to produce a very strong and very universal one upon very many subjects, and upon most people in future times, as well as our own.”*

* Lord Rosebery’s is the latest hand that has dealt with the prisoner of St. Helena, and that with a very sympathetic touch. Of O’Meara’s book he says—“A Voice from St. Helena, by O’Meara is perhaps the most popular of all the Longwood narratives, and few


The following extract from a letter by Lord Derby refers to the candidature of his grandson, afterwards fourteenth earl, for Stockbridge, and marks the first public appearance of the future “Rupert of debate.”

“Knowsley, 10th August, 1822.
“My dear Creevey,

“I last night received your very kind letter and take the earliest opportunity of thanking you for the communication of Ld. Sefton’s letter concerning Edward Stanley’s début at Stockbridge. It is most gratifying to me to hear him so well spoken of. . . . You could not have told me anything that was more acceptable to me, and I feel most grateful to you for this attention. . . . Speaking in Parliament is, however, so very different thing from speaking on the hustings or at an election dinner that I shall still be very anxious for his success in the house, and I earnestly hope that he may not be in too great a hurry to begin. . . .”

Lord Castlereagh, who succeeded his father as second Marquess of Londonderry on 8th April, 1821, but who will always be best recognised under the title which he raised to distinction, perished by his own hand on 13th August, 1822. The circumstances

publications ever excited so great a sensation as this worthless book. Worthless it undoubtedly is, in spite of its spirited flow and the vivid interest of the dialogue. No one can read the volumes of Forsyth, in which are printed the letters of O’Meara to Lowe, or the handy and readable treatise in which Mr. Seaton distils the essence of these volumes, and retain any confidence in O’Meara’s facts. He may sometimes report conversations correctly, or he may not, but in any doubtful case it is impossible to accept his evidence. He was the confidential servant of Napoleon; unknown to Napoleon, he was the confidential agent of Lowe; and behind both their backs he was the confidential informant of the British Government, for whom he wrote letters to be circulated to the Cabinet. Testimony from such a source is obviously tainted” [Napoleon: the Last Phase, 1900].

are too well known to require further reference, except to note that the different causes mentioned by
Mr. Creevey to account for this great statesman’s derangement are wide of the mark. Castlereagh had submitted to a peculiarly nefarious system of blackmail by some villains who had entrapped him, and the agony of apprehension resulting from this, acting upon a mind perhaps overstrained in the public service during a long and peculiarly agitated period, brought about the disaster.

Suicide was of painfully frequent occurrence among public men in the first half of the nineteenth century. Paull, the enemy of Marquess Wellesley, in 1808—Samuel Whitbread in 1815—Sir Samuel Romilly in 1818—and now Castlereagh in 1822, are among the figures who disappeared in this melancholy manner from the stage depicted in these papers. It may be idle to speculate upon the source of a tendency which prevails no longer among our legislators; but those who have had occasion to peruse the memoirs and study the social habits of the period under consideration, cannot have overlooked two agencies which must have sapped all but the most robust constitutions. One was the habit of hard drinking, encouraged by all who could afford to give hospitality, in emulation of the example furnished by those who set the fashions. The other was the constant recourse to drastic physic and excessive bleeding to remedy the disorders induced by high living. If these were not contributing causes to suicide, their discontinuance at all events coincides with a marked reduction in its frequency.

It had been agreeable to trace in Creevey’s correspondence some signs of large-hearted regret for the
removal of one who had borne so great a part in the national history, and had so long led the House of Commons. The spirit of party seems to have been too acrid at the time to admit any infusion of gentler sentiment towards a fallen foe.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Cantley, 14 Aug., 1822.

“. . . And now for Castlereagh—what an extraordinary event! I take for granted his self-destruction has been one of the common cases of pressure upon the brain which produces irritability, ending in derangement. Taylor will have it, and Ferguson also believes in this nonsense, that Bonaparte’s charge against him as told by O’Meara, of his having bagged part of Nap’s money has had something to do with it. Do you remember my telling you of a conversation Castlereagh forced upon Tavistock in the Park in the spring—about his anxiety to quit office and politicks and Parliament?* He did the same thing to Ferguson one of the last nights at Almack’s, stating his great fatigue and exhaustion and anxiety to be done with the concern altogether—just as poor Whitbread did to me both by letter and conversation two years before his death. It is a curious thing to recollect that one night at Paris in 1815 when I was at a ball at the Beau’s, Castlereagh came up to me and asked if I had not been greatly surprised at Whitbread’s death, and the manner of it, and then we had a good deal of conversation on the subject.

“Death settles a fellow’s reputation in no time, and now that Castlereagh is dead, I defy any human being to discover a single feature of his character that can stand a moment’s criticism. By experience, good manners and great courage, he managed a corrupt House of Commons pretty well, with some address. This is the whole of his intellectual merit. He had a limited understanding and no knowledge, and his

* See p. 38.

whole life was spent in an avowed, cold-blooded contempt of every honest public principle. A worse, or, if he had had talent and ambition for it, a more dangerous, public man never existed. However, he was one of
Nap’s imbeciles, and as the said Nap over and over again observes, posterity will do them both justice. . . .

“Now, what will come next? Will the perfidious Canning forego his Indian prospects—stay with his wife and daughter to succeed Castlereagh. I think not. I think the former enmity between him and Eldon has been too publickly exposed and encreased, by their late sparring match upon the Marriage Act, to let them come together. Then I think the Beau will claim and have the Foreign Office, and Peel will claim to lead in the House of Commons. Mais-nous verrons! I suppose the King will approve the step Lord Castlereagh has taken, as he was Lady Conyngham’s abhorrence, and Lady Castlereagh would not speak to Lady Conyngham.

“What a striking thing this death of Castlereagh is under all the circumstances! This time last year he was revelling with his Sovereign in the country he had betrayed and sold, over the corpse of the Queen whom he had so inhumanly exposed and murdered. Ah, Prinney, Prinney! your time will come, my boy; and then your fame and reputation will have fair play too. . . . Taylor had a letter from Denison yesterday with a good deal of London jaw in it, and some of it is curious enough considering the quarter it comes from.* Bloomfield is to go to Stockholm as our minister! and then Denison says, had he not been discharged, the Privy Purse was in such a state, Parliament must have been applied to. Bloomfield’s defence is, the Privy Purse was exhausted by paying for diamonds for Lady Conyngham; and all these honors and emoluments showered on him by the Crown are given him to make him hold his tongue. . . .”

* William Joseph Denison of Denbies, M.P., was brother to the Marchioness of Conyngham.

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Carlisle, 19th Aug.

“. . . Well! this is really a considerable event in point of size. Put all their other men together in one scale, and poor Castlereagh in the other—single, he plainly weighed them down. . . . One can’t help feeling a little for him, after being pitted against him for several years pretty regularly. It is like losing a connection suddenly. Also, he was a gentleman, and the only one amongst them. But there are material advantages; and among them I reckon not the least that our excellent friends that are gone, and for whom we felt so bitterly, are, as it were, revenged. I mean Whitbread and Romilly.* I cannot describe to you how this idea has filled my mind these last 24 hours. No mortal will now presume to whisper a word against these great and good men—I mean in our time; for there never was any chance of their doing so in after time. All we wanted was a gag for the present, and God knows here we have it in absolute perfection. Hitherto we were indulged with the enemy’s silence, but it was by a sort of forbearance; now we have it of right.

“As for the question of his successor—who cares one farthing about it? We know the enemy is incalculably damaged anyhow. Let that suffice! He has left behind him the choice between the Merry Andrew and the Spinning Jenny;† and the Court—the vile, stupid, absurd, superannuated Court—may make its election and welcome. The damaged Prig or the damaged Joker signifies very little. I rather agree with Taylor that they will take Wellington for the Secy. of State, and that Canning will still go to India. . . . I rather think I shd. prefer the very vulnerable Canning remaining at home. By the way, I hope to live to see medical men like Bankhead tried for manslaughter, at the least. What think you of removing things from poor C., and then leaving him alone, even for 5 minutes?. . .”

* Both of whom committed suicide.

Canning and Peel.


George IV. made a royal progress to Edinburgh in August of this year. Thanks, in great measure, to the influence of Sir Walter Scott, his Majesty was received in the northern capital with far more respect and enthusiasm than he had been accustomed of late to experience in the south.

From — Stuart to Mr. Ferguson of Raith.
“Edinburgh, 17th Aug., 1822.

“. . . I send you a Scotsman [newspaper], the Account in which as to the King is pretty correct. He has been received by the people in the most respectful and orderly manner. All have turn’d out in their holiday cloaths, and in numbers which are hardly credible. . . . I have been much disappointed to-day with the levee. . . . There was nothing interesting or imposing about it. A vast crowd, with barely standing room for two hours: afterwards moved to the Presence Chamber, where no one was for a minute. . . . The King did not seem to move a muscle, and we all asked each other, when we came away, what had made us take so much trouble. He was dressed in tartan. Sir Walter Scott has ridiculously made us appear to be a nation of Highlanders, and the bagpipe and the tartan are the order of the day.”

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Lancaster, 21st August.

“. . . I dined the day before yesterday at old Bolton’s circuit dinner, and found Canning there. I had a good deal of talk with him about Castlereagh, and he spoke very properly. Neither of us canted about the matter; but he shewed the right degree of feeling. I don’t think he is going to be sent for, and am pretty sure he will go to India. If they are kind enough to do so excellent a thing as try it with the low, miserable Spinning Jenny,* thank God for it!

* Peel.

Only lose no time in reminding Barnes, as from yourself, of the magazine of ammunition for attacking him the moment the arrangement is made—I mean, in the debates of 1819, when I laid it into him in a merciless manner. It is pretty correctly given, and is a fund of attack; the rather that the fellow was caught in the fact of the very lowest trick ever man attempted. It was like having his hand seized while picking a pocket.

“Yours ever,
“H. B.”
“Lancaster, 22nd Aug.

“. . . I hope you are sufficiently angry at the cursed cant of the liberal daily papers about Castlereagh. I ought rather to say their childish giving vent to feelings, and bepraising C. absurdly and falsely, merely because he is dead. Such stuff takes away all authority from the press, and makes attacks really of no kind of importance. If they go on upon all subjects upon the mere impulse of the moment, they will soon cease to be any more attended to than a parcel of infants or lunatics.”

“Brougham, 24 Aug.
“Dear C.,

“I long to know your speculations upon these times, as I have heard nothing from you since we were bereaved of our Castlereagh; therefore I can’t be sure that you have survived that event. . . . Don’t believe in Canning’s coming in. He may be unwise enough to desire it, and Jenky* may try for him, and it may go so far as a kind of offer; but nothing short of the event will ever convince me of his being in the Cabinet with these men and with this King. . . .”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Cantley, Aug. 24, 1822.

“This Royalty is certainly the very devil. . . . Sussex arrived on Wednesday between 3 and 4, himself in a very low barouche and pair, and a

* Lord Liverpool.

thundering coach behind with four horses—his staff,
Stevenson, a son of Albemarle’s, a Gore, servants, groom of the chambers, a black valet-de-chambre and two footmen, clad en militaires. . . . It has been my good fortune during his stay here to be considered by all parties as his fittest companion. Accordingly, I had a tête-à-tête with him of nearly four hours together on Thursday, and of 2½ yesterday, and my health has really been greatly impaired by this calamity. He has every appearance of being a good-natured man, is very civil and obliging, never says anything that makes you think him foolish; but there is a nothingness in him that is to the last degree fatiguing. . . . Althorpe was here yesterday, and told me there had certainly been rejoicings in the neighbouring market towns upon Castlereagh’s death. . . .

Robert Ferguson* tells me that he has seen a great deal of Major Poppleton lately, the officer of the 53rd who was stationed about Bonaparte. Bob says Poppleton is quite as devoted to Nap, and as adverse to Lowe as O’Meara, and that all the officers of the 53rd were the same. . . . Poppleton has a beautiful snuff-box poor Nap gave him. What would I give to have such a keepsake from him, and, above all, to have seen him. O’Meara has a tooth of his he drew, which he always carries about with him. . . .”

“Cantley, Aug. 29.

“. . . Did I tell you that our Sussex is to come back to us for Doncaster races? . . . Miss Poyntz has refused Lord Gower,† as has Miss Bould of Bould Hall Lord Clare. . . . Miss Seymour (Minny) when she landed at Calais had O’Meara’s book in her hand, which, when recognised, was instantly seized by the police. What a specimen of a great nation and the proud situation of the Bourbons! However, Sussex told me the book was already translated into both French and German, so the Hereditary Asses of all nation’s won’t escape, with all their precautions. Did I tell you that Sussex says none of his sisters will

* Son of General [Sir] Ronald Ferguson, M.P., originally in the 53rd Foot, succeeded his brother in 1840 as laird of Raith.

† Afterwards 2nd Duke of Sutherland.

Ly. Conyngham, which gives mortal offence to Prinney; nor can their justification be very agreeable, for they say, after his insisting upon their not speaking to the late Queen, how can they do so to Ly. C.?

“Cantley, Sept. 3.

“. . . Maria Copley says Miss Canning is quite broken-hearted at going [to India]. She says that her forte is her memory, as proof of which she gave me two instances. One was, getting by heart in a few hours the 39 Articles: the other was, in a somewhat longer time, repeating the whole of a Times newspaper, from beginning to end, advertisements and all. Maria says Lady Charlotte Greville, having dined at the Pavilion not long ago, and having sat next the King, describes him as grown the greatest bore she ever saw. . . . His irritability of temper, they say, is become quite intolerable; his prevailing subject of complaint is his old age, at which he feels, of course, the most royal indignation. . . .”

“Cantley, Sept. 7, 1822.

“. . . Maria Copley has read me a letter from Lady Francis Leveson from her new and noble parents’ Cock Robin Castle,* at the other extremity of Scotland. It is really not amiss as an exhibition of the tip-top noble domestic. Lord Francis† had left Edinbro immediately upon Lord Stafford’s† illness, and Lady Francis followed immediately to pass a month there [at Dunrobin]. She says—‘Figure to yourself my introduction into a room about 12 feet square, the company being Lord and Lady Stafford, Lord and Lady Wilton, Lord and Lady Elizabeth Belgrave, Lord and Lady Surrey, and Lord Gower. A table in the midst of the room, highly polished, I admit, but not a book nor a piece of work to be seen: the company formed into a circle, and every man and his wife sitting next each other, after the manner of the Marquis of Newcastle’s family in the picture in his book.’”

* Dunrobin.

† Afterwards created Earl of Ellesmere.

‡ Created Duke of Sutherland in 1833

“Cantley, Sept. 15th, 1822.

“. . . Amongst other people whom I saw at the ball was Tom Smith the hunter and M.P.* Upon my saying Canning had made a bad thing of it in bringing in no one with him, he said it was quite bad enough to have him brought in without any other of his set, and that he (Smith) was of Falstaff s opinion that Canning was as rotten as a stewed prune, or words to that effect. . . .”

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Brougham, 14 Sept.
“Dear C.,

“Many thanks for your letter. I had, however, yesterday heard (via Bowood where the Hollands are) that all was settled. Canning succeeds to Foreign Office, lead of the House, &c.—in short, all of Castlereagh except his good judgt., good manners and bad English. . . . Now don’t still call me obstinate if I withhold my belief till I see them fairly under weigh. I know the Chancellor’s† tricks: he is ‘the most subtle of all the beasts.’ . . . The Beau‡ is still very unwell, and was cupped again on Thursday night.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Cantley, Sept. 19.

“. . . What a victim of temper poor Lambton is! He has been complaining to me of his unhappiness. I observed in reply that he had a good many of the articles men in general considered as tolerable ingredients for promoting happiness; to which he replied:—‘I don’t know that; but I do know that it’s damned hard that a man with £80,000 a year can’t sleep!’ He has not much merit but his looks, his property and his voice and power of publick speaking. He has not the slightest power or turn for conversation, and would like to live exclusively on the flattery

* Thomas Assheton Smith.

Lord Eldon.

‡ The Duke of Wellington.

of toadies; nevertheless, I am doomed to go to Lambton: he will hear of nothing less, and I have shirked him so often, I suppose I must go. . . .”

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Raby, Sept., 1822.
“Dear Citizen,

“Your letter gives me some comfort, and indeed much coincides with my own view of the Merryman’s* case. Certainly he presents more sore places to the eye of the amateur than most men. Moreover his coin is now about cried down—at least hardly current. He is stampt as a joker, and therefore dare not joke: not to mention that hard figures of arithmetick are too hard to be got over by figures of rhetorick. All these things, and his gout and irritability, I try to console myself withal, but still I own I am somewhat low—not so much at what we are to have, which is most excellent in its way—but at what we have lost, which is by far the best thing in the world—namely, the Spinning Jenny,† Vesey,‡ Kew, Bellamy and Co. It was indeed too good a thing to happen. . . .”

“Brougham, Tuesday [Sept., 1822].

“. . . I hope you are sufficiently vexed at Hume making such an ass of himself as he did t’other day by his stupid vanity and his attack, thro’ such vanity, on the rest of the Opposition. His kind patronage of Archy is only laughable, but to see him splitting on that rock (of egotism and vanity) is rather provoking. What right has he to talk of the Whigs never coming to his support on Parly. Reform? I can remind him of their dividing some 120 on it in 1812, when he was sitting at Perceval’s back, toad-eating him for a place, and acting the part of their covert doer of all sorts of dirty work in the coarsest and most offensive way, thro’ the whole battle of the Orders in Council, when

* Canning.


Right Hon. W. Vesey Fitzgerald, M.P. [1783-1843], afterwards Lord Fitzgerald.

we beat them and him! I always have defended him when that period of his life has been cast in my teeth, and on this one ground—that
Bentham, Mill, &c., who converted him, persuaded me that his former conduct was from mere want of education, and that he was radically honest. But off hands! an’t please you, good Master Joseph! In truth I cannot reckon a man’s conduct at all pure who shows up others at public meetings behind their backs, whom he never whispers a word against in their places. There is extreme meanness in this sneaking way of ingratiating himself at their expense, and the utter falsehood of the charge is glaring. Parly. Reform has never once been touched by him (luckily for the question). The motions on it last session were Lord John’s and my own. His boro’ reform professedly steered clear of the question. I trust he has been misrepresented, but I heard in Scotland that people were everywhere laughing at him for his arrogance and vanity.”

Earl of Thanet to Mr. Creevey.

“. . . I am just returned from Kent, more disgusted than usual at the language and temper of those I saw, which I take for a sample of the rest; everybody complaining, without an idea that they could do anything towards attaining relief. Landlords and farmers seem to have no other occupation than comparing their respective distresses. They ask what is to happen. I answer—you will be ruined, and they stare like stuck pigs. I could not hear of one Tory gentleman who had changed. One booby says it is the Poor Rate—another the Tithe—another high rents—all omit the real cause, taxation, the mother of all evil. It is a besotted country, and may, for aught I know, be a proper audience for Mr. Merriman.

Brougham has been bidding £15,000 for two farms in Westmorland. The seller has taken time to consider, and, if he does not nail him, he must have found one as insane as himself.”

One is accustomed to associate the introduction of the battue with the reign of Queen Victoria, and
especially with the Prince Consort, but here we have an early example of the practice, and not only the practice, but the very term “battue” is applied to it. Holkham has long been famed for shooting, but it is certainly surprising to find that bags on this scale could be made eighty years ago, by men shooting with flint-lock muzzle-loaders. There are few rabbits in the covers at Holkham now; possibly they were more numerous there when
George IV. was king.

Viscountess Anson to Mr. Creevey.
“Holkham, Nov. 5, 1822.

“. . . Though not much of a sportsman yourself, you may be living with those who are, and I suppose it would be incorrect to write a letter from hence—the day after the first battue—without mentioning that 780 head of game were killed by 10 guns, and that 25 woodcocks formed a grand feature in the chasse.”

Upon Castlereagh’s death, Wellington went on the embassy to Verona in his place. It was Canning’s policy, on succeeding Castlereagh at the Foreign Office, to make it appear that his predecessor had entered upon an aggressive line in regard to European complications, from which he—Canning—extricated the British Cabinet. But in truth Wellington carried with him and acted upon instructions drafted by Castlereagh himself, whereof the keynote was “to observe a strict neutrality.“Especially was this so in regard to the French invasion of Spain, then imminent. “There seems nothing to add to or to vary in the course of policy hitherto pursued. Solicitude for the safety of the royal family, observance of our obligations with Portugal, and a rigid abstinence
from any interference in the internal affairs of that country”—these are Castlereagh’s own words as drafted for his own guidance when he, and not Wellington, was to have been the British plenipotentiary at the Congress; and they disprove the claim made by the partisans of Canning that it was he, not Castlereagh, who first established the policy of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of foreign countries so far as consistent with treaty obligations. This was the more notable, because the
Emperor of Russia, formerly distinguished for liberal views, had of late ranged himself in line with the other crowned heads of Europe in desiring to repress by force the revolutionary movement in Spain, which country, he told Wellington, “he considered the headquarters of revolution and Jacobinism; that the King and royal family were in the utmost danger, and that so long as the revolution in that country should be allowed to continue, every country in Europe, and France in particular, was unsafe.”*

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Farnley, 14th Nov., 1822.

“. . . I am happy to see from the papers that the Beau is getting upon his legs again, and I am still more happy that he is at Verona instead of that terrible fellow Castlereagh. It appears to me impossible after all Wellington has said to me about the King of Spain and his perfidy, and with his intimacy with Alava, one of Ferdinand’s victims, that the Beau should be for helping him out of his difficulties. Then he knows the Spanish nation better than anybody else here—their universal hatred of the French—their great resources from their mountains and guerilla warfare. In short, I rely with confidence upon him

* Wellington’s Civil Despatches, i. 343.

as the only man who, on this occasion, could keep those Royal Imbeciles and Villains of Europe in any order, and I consider his being there as our minister as quite a godsend. If this vapouring French ministry do once cross the Spanish frontier, the devil take the hindmost of the Bourbons, both French and Spanish.”

Creevey, having had rather a heated correspondence with Mr. Lambton (afterwards Earl of Durham) on political subjects, chiefly connected with an election for York, and being about to meet him at Croxteth, felt uncertain as to the terms on which they stood together. He therefore wrote to Lambton, bluntly seeking for an understanding.

Mr. Lambton to Mr. Creevey.
“Howick, Nov. 15, 1822.
“Dear Creevey,

“You have already smote me on one cheek, and I now, in the true spirit of scriptural precept, offer you the other. In other and more profane words, you have used me shamefully. You promised to come to our races: I kept a room for you until the second day after they had begun, altho’ beds were as scarce as honest men; yet you neither came nor sent me word that you had altered your mind. You —— but I had better stop, or I shall work myself up into that vindictive spirit which you deprecate.

“Now for a proof of my forgiving disposition. I not only shall meet you at Croxteth in perfect amity, but shall be happy to take you there, if my time suits your convenience. I am to be at Croxteth on Friday next, and sleep at Skipton on Thursday night. Skipton, I fancy, is about 15 miles from Farnley, and if you will join me there on Friday morning, I will carry you and your luggage safely to Croxteth. You must, however, break your usual rule, and let me know whether this offer suits you or not. . . . Don’t talk to me about politics—I have done with them. If you
can tell me anything respecting the Leger—if you have any dark horse who is not spavined—I shall listen to you with attention; but as to Verona, the Bourbons, Reform, Spain, the Pirates, &c., &c., throw them to the dogs: I’ll have none on’t!

“Yours, in the true spirit of Christian feeling,
J. G. Lambton.
Wm. Cobbett to Mr. Fawkes [a candidate for Parliament].
“12th Nov., 1822.

“. . . The ruin in this part of the country is general. An unruined farmer is an exception. The Pitt system seems destined to fulfil all my prophecies—even those that were thought the most wild. Faith! your antagonist Mr. Canning has his hands full. He has already discovered what it is to negociate with a debt of 800 millions and a dead weight of 100 millions hanging round the neck of the country. This was one of the points that Windham told me I was mad upon. I said—you can have neither war nor peace in safety without getting rid of this infernal debt. He used to say—‘let us beat the French first.’ I used to say that to beat them with bank notes was to beat ourselves in the end. And thus it has been. The country becomes a poor, low, pitiful, feeble, cowardly thing, unless we get rid of the debt; and that is not to be got rid of without a reform in the House of Commons. The conduct of the Lords has always been to me the most surprising thing. Terrified out of their wits at Hunt,* who is really as inoffensive as Pistol or Bardolph, and hugging to their bosoms the Barings, the Ricardos and all that tribe. . . . However, it is useless to exclaim. . . . The war used to be called an ‘eventful period;’ but this is the eventful period for England.”

* Henry Hunt [1773-1835], radical politician, commonly known as “Orator Hunt.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Croxteth, Nov. 26, 1822.

“Well! I found the King* at Skipton before nine on Friday, breakfasting on his own tea, his own sugar, his own bread and even his own butter—all brought from Lambton. However, the Monarch was very amiable, and barring one volcanic eruption against the postboys for losing their way within 5 miles of this house, our journey was very agreeable. . . .”

“Dec. 3rd.

“. . . Lord Hertford owes his blue ribbon to his having purchased four seats in Parliament since his father’s death, and to his avowed intention of dealing still more largely in the same commodity. . . . We continue to go on quite capitally in this house. I never saw Sefton in greater force. I wish you could see the manner of both father and son to the different tenants we see from time to time on our different shooting and coursing excursions. What a contrast to the acid and contemptuous Lambton! However, poor devil, he pays for it pretty dearly, and will probably be a victim to his temper. . . . Lady Georgiana [Molyneux] amused me yesterday by telling me of a conversation she had with Lady Holland, in which the latter had deplored my present hostility to her, and had requested Ly. Georgiana’s assistance in discovering the cause, and producing a reconciliation. . . .”

“Croxteth, Dec. 12.

“. . . The truth is that all the Whigs are either fools or rogues enough to believe that our Monarch is really very fond of them, and that (according to the angry Boy† who left us yesterday) if we, the Whigs. could but arrange our matters between ourselves, the Sovereign would be happy to send for us. This is all he is waiting for; and with reference to it, Lambton told Sefton in the strictest confidence that it is of vital importance to gain Brougham s consent to Scarlett

* Mr. Lambton. † Mr. Lambton.

being Chancellor, and for Brougham to take the office of Atty. Genl.! . . . You may suppose the anxiety of the Earl’s mind till he found me for the purpose of unburthening himself of this confidential communication; and having done so, we indulged ourselves in a duet that might have been heard in the remotest corner of the house. Is it not perfectly incredible? Lambton was in constant communication with
Grey whilst here, and (very judiciously!) shewed Sefton some of his dispatches on this subject. . . .”

“Croxteth, 15th.

“. . . We all dined at Knowsley last night. The new dining-room is opened: it is 53 feet by 37, and such a height that it destroys the effect of all the other apartments. . . . You enter it from a passage by two great Gothic church-like doors the whole height of the room. This entrance is in itself fatal to the effect. Ly. Derby (like herself), when I objected to the immensity of the doors, said: ‘You’ve heard Genl. Grosvenor’s remark upon them have you not? He asked in his grave, pompous manner—“Pray are those great doors to be opened for every pat of butter that comes into the room?’” At the opposite end of the room is an immense Gothic window, and the rest of the light is given by a sky-light mountains high. There are two fireplaces; and the day we dined there, there were 36 wax candles over the table, 14 on it, and ten great lamps on tall pedestals about the room; and yet those at the bottom of the table said it was quite petrifying in that neighbourhood, and the report here is that they have since been obliged to abandon it entirely from the cold. . . . My lord and my lady were all kindness to me, but only think of their neither knowing nor caring about Spain or France, nor whether war or peace between these two nations was at all in agitation!

“. . . I must say I never saw man or woman live more happily with nine grown up children. It is my lord [Derby] who is the great moving principle. . . What a contrast to that poor victim of temper who left us last week! [Mr. Lambton].”

“Croxteth, 23rd.

“. . . Brougham arrived here on Saturday, on his way—or rather out of his way—to his nearest and dearest. . . . Of domestic matters, I think his principal article is that Mrs. Taylor’s niece, Ly. Londonderry,* has transferred her affections from her lord to other objects: in the first instance to young Bloomfield, Sir Benjamin’s son; and since, to a person of somewhat higher rank, viz., the Emperor of Russia, and that she is now following the latter lover to Petersburgh. Lady Holland is the author of these statements, and vouches for the truth of them.

Apropos to Lady Holland, in addition to all her former insults upon the town, she has set up a huge cat, which is never permitted to be out of her sight, and to whose vagaries she demands unqualified submission from all her visitors. Rogers, it seems, has already sustained considerable injury in a personal affair with this animal. Brougham only keeps him or her at arm’s length by snuff, and Luttrell has sent in a formal resignation of all further visits till this odious new favorite is dismissed from the Cabinet. . . . But think of my having so long forgot to mention that Brougham says many of the best informed people in London, such as Dog Dent and others, are perfectly convinced of the truth of the report that dear Prinney is really to marry Ly. Elizabeth Conyngham; on which event the Earl here humorously observes that the least the King can do for the Queen’s family is to make Denisont† ‘Great Infant of England.’”

* Frances Anne, only daughter and heiress of Sir Harry Vane-Tempest of Wynyard, Bart.

Lord Albert Denison Conyngham, 3rd son of Elizabeth Denison, 1st Marchioness of Conyngham. He was born in 1805, and was supposed to be the son of the Prince of Wales (George IV.).