LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Creevey Papers
Ch. III: 1823-24

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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( 59 )
Miss Maria Copley* to Mr. Creevey.
“Sprotbrough, January 12th.

“. . . We have had a great deal of very agreeable society, chiefly composed of the old ingredients of Grevilles, Levesons, Granvilles, Wortleys, Bentincks, &c.; but they are now all flown—the Grevilles to Welbeck, Ld. F. Leveson to Madrid, the Granvilles to other battues. . . . Lord F. Leveson’s† going to Madrid has surprised everybody—me among others who had seen them together for a length of time. People are inclined to think it a proof of perfect indifference on both sides, but at least certainly on his. The fact is that having, like few other young men, a great aversion to being idle, he applied to Canning for employment; who, when this opportunity occurred, offered it to him, and as it is a remarkably interesting expedition, Harriet‡ wd. not allow him to refuse it. He will be absent only six weeks.

Lord F. Conyngham’s§ appointment gives great disgust, and I don’t wonder at it. Lord Alvanley calls him Canningham. The King is quite delighted with his Secretary of State, and was seen the other day at the Pavilion walking about with his arm round Canning’s neck.

* Married Lord Howick (afterwards 3rd Earl Grey) in 1832.

† Second son of 1st Duke of Sutherland, created Earl of Ellesmere in 1833, married in 1822 Harriet, daughter of Charles Greville, Esq.

Lady Francis Leveson.

§ Succeeded in 1824 as 2nd Marquess Conyngham.


“Two of your friend Lady Oxford’s daughters are going to be married—Ly. Charlotte to a Mr. Bacon and Lady Fanny to a Mr. Cuthbert. The last is not so certain as the first, as somebody is to be asked for a consent, which I think it probable that most fathers, mothers and guardians would refuse. It must be a bad speculation to take a wife out of that school. Mr. Warrender* is going to marry Lady Julia Maitland at last, and Sir George is to be very magnificent. . . . Your friend, Lady Glengall, is in London, giving ecarté parties every night to the great detriment of society in general, and annoyance of the young ladies in particular. If things should go on en empirant this spring, I prophesy a meeting among that much injured race. . . . The Beau† has been staying at the Pavilion: he is in the progress of telling charming stories of the Congress. I would give my ears to hear them. He is very much recovered, but looks older and thinner from his illness. I hear thro’ a secret channel that Ly. Granville had a great deal to say in Lord Clanwilliam’s getting the situation at Berlin. Mr. Canning’s diplomatic dependents are amazed at such a thing having slipped through their fingers. It is certainly more disinterested than Lord F. C[onyngham]’s, and does him more credit in the eyes of the world. . . . Write, and tell me you are not bored to death by such a letter from a young lady.”

“Sprotbrough, Saturday, 1823.
“Dear Mr. Creevey,

“. . . The Taylors are still with us and we are within an ace of a schism about politics at least three times a day. Though I cordially agree with you about the Three Gentlemen of Verona, I cannot think your friend Mr. Brougham’s speech prudent. At this time, when one must sincerely wish peace to be preserved in Europe, it has a most inflammatory tendency. I will not, however, dare to say a syllable about politics to you: a safer line of conduct for me

* Succeeded his brother as 5th baronet of Lochend.

† The Duke of Wellington, who, when Castlereagh committed suicide in 1822, had been appointed Plenipotentiary at the Congress of Verona.

is to agree with Michael [Taylor]. I am painfully striving to inform myself about Spain, and have just read
Blaquiere’s book. Comme il fait de la prose. I never read so dull a book made out of so interesting a subject. Las Casasbook is the most delicious effusion of a sentimental old French twaddle that ever was read; but as far as it goes appears to be very authentic He paints Bonaparte in the brightest colours, and evidently leaves out all spots and dark shades, or softens and explains them away, so that nothing remains but the most admirable hero de roman that ever existed. . . . I am in horror at the thought of the King’s dying. In the first place (though I am no respecter of his), I think he does as well for us, or better than the Duke of York: secondo—we should have a horrid radical Parliament chosen: terzo—London wd. be spoilt this year. There speaks the young lady!”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Feby. 4, 1823.

“. . . Who should arrive at Brooks’s last night fresh from Paris but Og King of Bashan?* You never saw a fellow in such a state of fury against Cochon.† He is for a declaration of war this very afternoon in his friend Canning’s speech. He complains bitterly that we are none of us up to the true mark: that if we would but give Spain a lift now before the Russians and Prussians come to be quartered in France (which he is perfectly sure is part of the present plan) that the Bourbons wd. not be on their throne 3 months. . . .”

“House of Commons, ½ past 3.

“Just heard the King’s Speech, and upon my word the part about Spain is much better than I expected. I don’t see what Brougham is to do with his amendment after it. The first sentence relating to Spain‡

* The 2nd Lord Kensington

Louis XVIII.

‡ “Faithful to the principles which his Majesty has promulgated to the world as constituting the rule of his conduct, his Majesty has

is a regular spat on the face to the Villains of Verona, and the whole certainly more in favor of Spain than of France.”

“Feby. 5, Brooks’s.

“. . . Well! I had no difficulty in making Brougham prefer the King’s speech last night to his own projected amendment, and to change his regrets into warm admiration. You will see, however, that he by no means abandoned his plan of castigation of the Royal and Imperial scoundrels of Verona. . . . So faithful a picture of villains—portrait after portrait—was never produced by any artist before. If anything could add to the gratification the Allied Sovereigns must have received had they been present, it would be from the way in which our otherwise discordant fellows lapped up this truly British cordial like mother’s milk. Peel could scarcely make himself heard, yet he went further than the Speech, and gave an unequivocal opinion in favor of Spain against France; but Liverpool went still further, and shewed clearly that he is in earnest in trying to keep the peace—that he thinks there is some little, little chance of it; and further, he clearly thinks that if war is once begun, we shall not be able to keep out of it.”

“Brooks’s, 14th Feb.

“I dined here last night much more agreeably, tho’ not so cheaply, with Thanet, Brougham, Kensington, &c., &c. Every day’s experience impresses me more strongly with the great superiority of Thanet over every politician that I see. He is gone to Paris this morning to add, as every one expects, £10,000 more to his already great losses at play. And yet he seems perfectly convinced of his almost approaching beggary under all the overpowering difficulties in which land is now involved!

“Yesterday morning Lord Sefton drove me to the Freemason’s Tavern, the great room of which is fitted up as a court for the tribunal which sits in judgment

declined being a party to any proceedings at Verona which could be deemed an interference in the internal concerns of Spain on the part of foreign powers.”

Lord Portsmouth’s sanity or insanity. Certainly, never was a more disgraceful thing than the Chancellor’s conduct on this occasion—to put the property of the family to the expense of £40,000, which it is said it will undoubtedly cost, rather than decide this point himself, which every one who has seen Lord Portsmouth has long since decided.* . . .

“The publick functionaries in Ireland are coming to close quarters. Wellesley has dismissed at a moment’s warning Sir Charles Vernon, the Chamberlain, and two others—men who had held their situations about the Court for years. Their offence was dining at a Beefsteak Club last week, where Lord Chancellor Manners was likewise, and drinking as a toast:—‘Success to the export trade of Ireland, and may Lord Wellesley be the first article exported!’† . . .

“I never saw a fellow look more uncomfortable than Canning.‡ Independent of the difficulty of the times, he is surrounded by perfidy quite equal to his own. People in office are in loud and undisguised hostility to him: it may be heard at all corners of the streets. I never saw such a contrast as between the manners of ministerial men even to him, and what it used to be to Castlereagh. Business begins in earnest on Monday, and I must launch my ‘supply’ on that or some early day, if my nerves are equal to it; but I find them fail me more and more every day.”

“Brooks’s, 21 st Feby.

“. . . Well! we got into a fine mess the night before last upon our Joe’s motion,§ but Canning did what he could for us by his ill-timed and unnecessary vehemence and violence. His own people already pronounce that his irritability must prove injurious to him, and the loss of Castlereagh’s composure and good manners is deplored in a manner not very flattering to his successor.”

* The 3rd Earl of Portsmouth. The enquiry lasted 17 days, and the jury pronounced him to be insane.

† The Marquess Wellesley was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland at the time.

‡ Who was now leader of the House of Commons.

§ Joseph Hume.


“. . . Yesterday I spent a very amusing hour with Sefton at the Opera House, seeing the maître de ballet manœuvre about 50 figurantes for the approaching new ballet of Alfred. . . . This done, we went to our own playhouse, where we saw 1st a pas de trois between Wilson, Hobhouse and Canning, and then a pas de deux between Brougham and Canning. . . . After the House I dined at Sefton’s en famille, and to-day I would have you to know I dine with the Hereditary Earl Marshal of England, Premier Duke, &c., alias Barney, alias Scroope!”

“4th March.

“. . . I dined on Saturday at Lord King’s: the party—Duke and Duchess of Somerset; Heber the Tory and classical member for Oxford; George Phillips the patriotic and fasionable savant from Manchester; Sir — Johnson,* a powdered beau of the first order and ci-devant Indian judge; Lord Clare, Lavallette Bruce, George Fortescue and Bennet. Was there ever such a hash? However, the day, contrary to my expectation, was very well. I got on extreemly well with Mrs. Somerset.† You know she is the false devil who robbed her brother Archie of his birthright.”

Miss Maria Copley to Mr. Creevey.
“Sprotbrough, March 6th, 1823.

“Our friend the Beau‡ does not think Ferdinand’s life worth a long purchase after the French army enter Spain. He says that they—the French—will meet with no more resistance in marching to Madrid than he does in going to the Ordnance Office. Two inches of cold steel will do his business very shortly. . . . Lord Francis Leveson (at Madrid) is of the same

* Sir John Johnson, Superintendent-General and Inspector-General of Indian affairs in British North America.

† The first wife of the 11th Duke of Somerset, Lady Charlotte Douglas-Hamilton, daughter of the 9th Duke of Hamilton.

‡ The Duke of Wellington.

opinion as to Ferdinand’s prospect of a long reign. . . . I hope we shall not interfere, as it must increase both our debt and our difficulties. . . . Pray what do they think at
Michael’s* of O’Meara? I was malicious enough to talk of nothing but the Quarterly Review last time that I saw Mrs. Taylor, notwithstanding that she pertinaciously asserted that she had not read a line of it.† She made a determination not to believe one word of it till she saw those notes at Murray’s, with a sight of which I assured her she might be gratified immediately. . . . I am curious to see O’Meara’s defence. How he is to exculpate himself from the many charges of double dealing baffles my poor imagination. He must be a sad, shuffling, dirty wretch.

“A still more difficult riddle for me to solve is your friend Mr. Brougham. Why does he make such love to Canning?—Why is he in none of your divisions?—Why is he in astonishment at the small demand of Ministers?—Is it catalepsy? All your good humour and civility make the debates very flat . . . . Allow me to set you right upon a point which nearly concerns the honour of my family. Heaven forbid that Miss Lemon should have a daughter. Her sister married a Sir Something Davy.‡ Another time be more cautious of taking away the credit of an unfortunate damsel by a stroke of your pen—particularly in a letter to her cousin!”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“March 11th.

“I send you herewith Brougham’s dispatch which I received yesterday. I had charity enough for him not to shew it to any one but Sefton, and he quite agrees with me that he is mad. His lunacy, you may

* Michael Angelo Taylor’s.

Croker’s article on O’Meara’s book appeared in the Quarterly in February, 1823. At Mrs. Taylor’s Whig and Radical salon O’Meara’s narrative had been accepted as gospel, and Ministers were roundly execrated for the supposed oppressive treatment of their captive.

Sir John Davie, 8th baronet of Creedy, Devon.

plainly see, is to be in power. He cannot endure for a moment anything or any man he thinks can by possibility obstruct his march. He has himself entirely spiked his guns in the House of Commons; he has put it at
Canning’s feet, and then he is raving in the country that Hume should presume to open his mouth without his (Brougham’s) permission.”

There is little apparent madness in Brougham’s letter referred to above. On the contrary, it seems brimful of common sense, chiefly referring to a projected attack on the Church of England by Joseph Hume, but it was not militant enough for Creevey.

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey [enclosed in above”].
“Durham, Saturday.

“. . . As to Joseph, I hope it may do good. I know that things may with safety be brought on by him, which in any other man’s hands wd. do harm. Therefore I always thought the attack on the Church was safer in his hands than in any others. But I fear he may throw away a great case, and (except your testimony) I see nothing in the other night’s debate to change this opinion. Don’t let us deceive ourselves. There are millions—and among them very powerful and very respectable people—who will go a certain way with us, but will be quite staggered by our going pell-mell at it. The people of this country are not prepared to give up the Church. For one—I am certainly not; and my reason is this. There is a vast mass of religion in the country, shaped in various forms and burning with various degrees of heat—from regular lukewarmness to Methodism. Some Church establishment this feeling must have; and I am quite clear that a much-reformed Ch. of Engd. is the safest form in which such an establishment can exist. It is a quiet and somewhat lazy Church: certainly not a persecuting one. Clip its wings of temporal power (which it unceasingly uses in behalf of a political slavery)* and

* I.e. against Reform.

purify its more glaring abuses, and you are far better off than with a fanatical Church and Dominion of Saints, like that of the 17th century; or no Church at all and a Dominion of Sects, like that of America . . . . The Irish case is a great and an extreme one, and by keeping it strictly on its own grounds and abstaining from any topics common to both Churches, a body blow may be given. But if any means are afforded to the Ch. and its friends here of making common cause with the Irish fellows, I fear you convert a most powerful case into an ordinary one, which must fall. . . . I write this in court, and in some haste. Let me hear whether I am still in the wrong.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“11th March.

“I never told you that I caught the Beau one day last week just mounting his horse, so I went up and stopt him, and had a very hearty hand-shaking. . . . I never saw a man’s looks so altered. He is a perfect shadow, and as old looking as the ark. . . . There must have been an amusing scene between him and Slice* this day week in Ly. Salisbury’s box at the Opera. Slice made a long oration to him against French aggression upon Spain, and ended with requiring to know Wellington’s sentiments upon the probable result. The Beau contented himself by replying—‘It won’t succeed.’ Slice would not be put off this way, and made a second harangue, ending with the same demand of an official opinion; but our Beau again wd. not advance further than—‘It won’t succeed.’†


“. . . Thanet has won £40,000 in one night at Paris. He broke the bank at the Salon twice: the question is—will he bring any of this money home with him? I take it for granted not.”

“April 18th.

“You never saw such confusion and consternation as was produced in the Ministerial row by Burdett’s speech [on Catholic emancipation]. . . . In the midst

* H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester.

of the debate arose that alarming episode between
Brougham and Canning. . . . Brougham was laying about him upon Canning’s ‘truckling’ to Eldon for his late admission into the Cabinet,* when the latter sprung up in the greatest fury saying—‘that is false!’ Upon this we had the devil to pay for near an hour, and Wilson had at last the credit of settling it by a speech of very great merit, and to the satisfaction of all parties. Brougham, I think, was wrong to begin with; he was speaking under the impression produced upon him by Canning’s blackguard observation to Folkestone the night before, viz. that ‘if he had truckled to the Bourbons, as stated by Folkestone, at all events he would never truckle to him.’ Brougham was going on like a madman, but Canning was much worse in his rage, and in his violation of the rules of the House. . . . The House generally was decidedly against Canning, as it had been the night before upon his passion and low-lived tirade against Folkestone, saying ‘he spoke with all the contortions of the Sibyl without her inspiration.’. . . In short, Canning’s temper is playing the devil with him, as I always felt sure it would.”

“April 21st.

“On Saturday I dined at Harry Martin’s, with the Admiral and his wife, Lord Erskine, old Alexander the Master in Chancery, &c., &c. Poor Erskine at last looks very old and forlorn, tho’ his etherial spark is by no means extinct. Somebody was talking about old Cochon’s† powers of eating, upon which Erskine said he wished ‘the damned scoundrel wd. eat his words.’ . . . He talks for both Spaniards and Greeks with all the enthusiasm of youth.”


“. . . Ward (John William)† met me in the street yesterday, and begged me, after all his estrangement from me, to turn about with him, as he wished much to have some talk; and so, as I declined, he turned

* Implying that Canning, who had always advocated emancipation of the Catholics, had consented, as the price of his admission, not to press the question.

Louis XVIII.

‡ Created Earl of Dudley in 1827.

about himself, putting his arm thro’ mine; and his discourse was that the Government must be strangled—that the Opposition, with the least management in the world, must destroy them—that
Peel was lower and lower every day, quite incompetent, and that Canning, with all his talents and superiority, had no support—that Peel had all the Tories, and Canning no one of any party with him. A pleasant statement this to be made by a man who calls Canning his master, or at least who has called him so. . . . Sefton and I were walking in the streets two days ago, when we saw my Lady Holland’s carriage standing at a shop door; so Sefton said—‘Now’s your time! go and get it over.’ So I did: I put my head into the carriage as if nothing had happened—shook hands and cracked my jokes as usual. . . . So when I left her she squeezed Sefton’s hand with the greatest tenderness and said—‘Nothing could be better done!’ . . .

Og* told me a story of the Duke of Buckingham which Canning had told him in confidence, and which ought to be preserved to perpetuate the base, intriguing spirit of this genuine noble Grenville. . . . Upon Castlereagh’s death this said Duke, altho’ Canning and he had never been on very good terms, wrote the most nauseous complimentary letter to Canning, taking for granted the government would never let so distinguished a statesman leave the country,† and urging him by all he owed to his country to accept the offer when made to him. Canning shewed this letter to Kensington at the time, convulsed with laughter at its style and mean contents. Not content with this, the Duke wrote another letter to Lord Morley, still more extravagant in Canning’s praises, well knowing the latter was sure to see the letter, hoping Canning would not run any risque of serving his country by claims made for any of his friends, for that, when once Minister, all would be at his feet.

“Well—upon Canning’s first interview with Lord Liverpool after his acceptance of office, the latter said—‘What is to become of India?’ to which Canning replied it was an appointment to which he was quite

* Lord Kensington.

Canning had been appointed Governor General of India.

indifferent, the only object he had at heart being an arrangement for putting
Huskisson in a high and responsible official situation. Upon which Liverpool said he knew the Speaker* was desirous of going to India, and if Canning would see and sound the Directors—if they were agreeable to appoint him Governor General, then Wynne† might be placed in the chair and Huskisson have the Board of Controul. Canning accordingly saw the Directors, but tho’ they were very desirous of Wynne being removed from the Board of Controul, as being perfectly inefficient, still they had the greatest possible objections to the Speaker as Governor General. However, Huskisson’s appointment was so very agreeable to them, that at a second conference they struck. Wynne, who hitherto had shown no reluctance to this arrangement, being now called upon for its execution, declared his fixed determination not to give up the Board of Controul unless the Duke of Buckingham had that office, or was one of the Secretaries of State, and of course in the Cabinet. This claim being universally scouted, all was at an end.”

“May 3, 1823.

“. . . I dined at Hughes’‡ on Thursday—17 or 18 people—crowded and dull as be damned. But then the footmen had such cloaths—such rich laced waistcoats—such beautiful new silk stockings and silver buckles! . . . My Lord Lansdowne was affable beyond measure yesterday. He has had a special messenger from Marshal Soult, offering him in the first instance, and before any one else, his Murillos, taken by him when in Spain, and only asking as the price of them one hundred thousand pounds! My Lord said Soult had shown them to him when he was last in Paris, and certainly they were the finest things ever seen—great altar-pieces, &c. . . . I have been to look at the Queen’s trial by Hayter, and never was I more disappointed—a regular daub—and yet I find myself singular in this opinion so far.”

* Charles Manners Sutton, created Viscount Canterbury in 1835, died in 1845.

† The Right Hon. C. W. Williams Wynn.

Mr. Hughes of Kinmel, afterwards created Lord Dinorben.

1823-24.] SOCIAL SCHEMING. 71

“I really had a most agreeable dinner at Sam Whitbread’s brewery on Saturday. We sat down 22, I think. Sam and William both behaved as well as could be. . . . The entertainment of the day to me was going over the brewery after dinner by gaslight. A stable brilliantly illuminated, containing ninety horses worth 50 or 60 guineas apiece upon an average, is a sight to be seen nowhere but in this ‘tight little island.’ The beauty and amiability of the horses was quite affecting; such as were lying down we favored with sitting upon—four or five of us upon a horse. . . .”

“May 9th.

“. . . Yesterday I dined at Og’s*—his first great state dinner and new French cook, just imported; our company being Jockey of NorfolkAlthorpe, Bennet, Lambton, Ferguson, Titchfield, my lady [Kensington], two daughters and two sons, and I assure you we had a most jolly day of it. . . . At night, Bennet and I went to Lady Derby’s, and certainly an uglier set of old harridans I never beheld in all my life. . . . Humbug Leopold‡ and Bore Slice§ were there. Lady Sefton and I sat together to quiz the whole set, of which none were ever more worthy. To-day I dined at Lord King’s, and there is the devil to do about Lady Jersey wanting to get Brougham not to dine there, but to dine with her to meet Prince d’Arenberg, who wants particularly to meet Brougham. The latter tells Lady Jersey that as Mrs. Brougham dines at Ld. King’s, he can’t let her go there alone; so ‘Sister Sally’ writes to Mrs. Brougham to beg as a particular favor that she will dine at Lady King’s without Brougham. Mrs. B. replies upon Sally, in a dispatch of four sides of paper, that she can’t presume to do so—that she knows full well she never is asked

* Lord Kensington’s.

† Referring to the 12th Duke under the nickname usually given to the 11th Duke.

‡ Chosen King of the Belgians in 1831.

§ H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester.

anywhere but on account of Mr. Brougham, and that she can’t think of incurring the odium of going anywhere without him. . . .”

“10th May.

“. . . As I walked up to Lord King’s door yesterday, up drove Brougham’s carriage, and in it was Mrs. Brougham alone. So I handed her out, dressed like an interesting villager, all in white, with a wreath of roses round her temples, and she made Brougham’s apologies to Lady King for unavoidable absence on account of business; so it was all very well, and I complimented her upon her powers of face. I sat next to her at dinner, and her languishing was really beyond all bearing.”

“May 12.

“. . . Og has been down to Canning at Gloucester Lodge. . . . The object of his visit was to tender his son’s resignation of his seat in Parliament, the said son having voted with Burdett on Tuesday, altho’ his seat was given him by Canning. The latter said he had observed Edwardes go out in the division; but behaved very handsomely indeed about it—said he was a young one and might think differently in future, and, in short, desired he might have his head and do as he liked for some time longer. But Og observed there was no chance of his mending, for that his mother was in his confidence, and he had entrusted to her his decided opinion against the Government.”

“June 3rd.

“. . . My visit to Stoke Farm has been perfect. . . . As a place, it has no other merit than that of having Windsor Castle full in front of it, distant 3 miles. It is on a dead flat, if not in a hollow. It was Sefton’s first residence 30 years ago, during which period he told me he had spent £40,000 on it, and he adds it may now be worth from £6,000 to £10,000. . . .”


“. . . On Monday, after dining at Sefton’s, I went to Lady Jersey’s. Her parties are not nearly so numerous as they used to be, and of course they are
so much the worse, because they were never too crowded. . . . While I was talking to Ly. Jersey,
Humbug Leopold interrupted us, so she sent me a message by her ‘brother Brougham’ to come to her next Monday, and stay and be one of the supper click, which always terminates these evenings. . . . I suppose you know Ly. Elizabeth Conyngham’s marriage with Lord Burford* is off. He became so unmannerly and cross that the lady sent him a letter of dismissal last Saturday. . . . Here is the town in a mutiny at the King giving Lord Salisbury’s blue ribbon to Lord Bath, quite unknown to any of the Ministers. I am delighted, because Lord Bath is the man who said that if he had seen Bergami and the late Queen in bed together it would not alter his vote against the Bill that was to crush her.”

“July 18, 1823.

“. . . I had really a charming day at Roehampton yesterday. It is quite a superb villa or house, with 500 acres of beautiful ground about it, and all Richmond Park appearing to belong to it. What a contrast between Lady Duncannon and her sister Lady Jersey! The quietness and retiredness of the former. She seems, however, very merry and very happy with her nine white-haired children, some of them very pretty. . . .”

“Stoke Farm [Lord Sefton’s], 25th July.

“. . . My life here is a most agreeable one. I am much the earliest riser in the House, and have above two hours to dispose of before breakfast, which is at eleven o’clock or even later. Then I live with myself again till about 3, when the ladies and I ride for 3 hours or so. . . . We dine at ¼ past seven, and the critics would say not badly. We drink in great moderation—walk out, all of us, before tea, and then crack jokes and fiddle till about ½ past 12 or 1. . . . If you want any London scandal, there is a shop at present which is said to surpass what Devonshire House ever was. The receiving house is [erased]— the principal ladies Mrs. F—— L——, young Duchess

* Afterwards 9th Duke of St. Albans.

of R——, Lady E—— V——, Lady C—— P—— the men, young Lister,
Geo. Anson, Francis Russell, &c., &c.”

“11th Feb., 1824.

“. . . I dined yesterday at Vesuvius Kinnaird’s,* and such a mixture was never before got together—Sir Francis Burdett and Sir Charles Flint, Lavelette Bruce, and Lord Fitzroy Somerset,† Mr. Creevey and Sir George Warrender—and, what is more, the last two gentlemen sat next to each other to the great amusement of Ellice‡ . . . I cracked my jokes with such success that old Rat Warrender was compelled to ask me to drink wine with him, tho’ he was infernally annoyed all the time, and made a most precipitate retreat after dinner. But my delight was Lord Fitzroy Somerset. . . . I never was more pleased with any one than I was with him during our conversation, which was of some length. . . .”

“March 1.

“. . . On Saturday I dined at Hume’s, where I had the good fortune to sit between Mina and one of the Greek deputies. . . . Mina§ is my delight. Hobhouse wanted to flatter him at the expense of Morillo, Abisbal and Ballisteros, but Mina would not touch it. He spoke in high terms of the talents and courage of Morillo, and of the infinite difficulties all Spaniards were surrounded with. If ever I saw an honest man, he is one; and then he is so hearty and likeable. . . . Yesterday I made my long owing visit at Holland House, and found my lord and my lady alone—she with a bad cold, and he, of course, nursing her. My visit seemed to answer, and I am to dine and stay all night there on Sunday. Would you believe it? Lady H. wd. not let Holland dine with Lord Lansdowne

* Hon. Douglas Kinnaird, a banker in Westminster.

† Created Lord Raglan in 1852.

Sir George, originally a Whig, had become a supporter of the Government, and had quarrelled with Creevey about a taunting speech he (Creevey) had made in the House on the subject of “ratting.”

§ General Espoz y Mina, a distinguished Spanish soldier, commanded a corps under Wellington in the Peninsular war.

1823-24.]AT CROCKFORD’S.75
last week—a dinner made purposely for Mina, merely because she thought it might not please the
King if he heard of it! Nor will she let Mina or any Spaniard approach Holland House for the same reason. Was there ever such a ——?”

“April 2.

“. . . In talking with Lady Derby about young Gill Heathcote’s duel, she put me in mind that young Gill and Mrs. Johnson are cousins—their two grandmothers, Ly. Louisa Manners and Lady Jane Hallyday, having been sisters. So, as the Countess justly observed, after Gill had received Lord Brudenel’s shot for maltreating his sister, he ought to have said—‘Now, my lord, I must beg you to receive my shot for your conduct to my cousin!’ Damned fair, I think. . . . At night I am sorry to say I went with Lord Sefton into that famous, or rather infamous, salon in St. James’s Street, where all the world at present assembles. It far surpasses the salon at Paris in splendor, tho’ nothing like so large nor so agreeable. To me it appears inevitable that all the young ones must be ruined there. I found Sir Colin Campbell at the hazard table, young Lord William Lennox, Lord Bury and various others whom I knew—all in the face of day—no concealment, but in the great and principal apartment of the house. . . . On Sunday, Sefton and I go to hear Irving,* and I am engaged to dine with him, altho’ Sussex has since asked me to dine with him to meet Mina.”

“May 12.

“. . . A piece of news in the fashionable world which has been referred to in the papers is the separation of Henry B—— from his wife. She has long been known to be a ‘neat un,’ but her vagaries at Paris were so undisguised that some friend wrote and advertised her husband of it here, and he, to justify himself before proceeding to extremities, took to breaking open her boxes in pursuit of evidence against her. In one of these he is said to have found 20 locks of hair, with a label on each containing the name of the lover to whom it belonged, such as ‘dear

* Edward Irving, the famous Scottish preacher.

John Warrender’s.’ So having collected his trophies of this kind, with letters equally instructive, he sallied forth to meet her return, and Rochester was the place they came together. Here, upon her giving her solemn word of honor that all the children but one were his, he banished her and the one from his sight for ever, and has taken all the other children from her. She is a Yankee by birth and origin: her husband is a notorious gambler, for whom nobody seems to care a damn.

“Another slip is Mrs. Alderman C—— with our tragedian, Kean. . . . He has been at his letters too, one of which to the lady was intercepted by the alderman, and begun—‘You dear imprudent little ——’ Can anything be more soft or romantic? . . .

“I don’t know whether you noticed that Edward Stanley* made a regular attack upon Hume, defended the Church, and eventually voted against Hume and our people, as did his father.†. You may well suppose this heresy was mightily extolled by the enemy. . . . Lord Derby has been made really ill by it.”

“4th May.

“. . . I told you of my dinner with King Tom,‡ and of my satisfaction with the Crown Prince.§ The latter is really like a young Newfoundland puppy—quite as strong, intelligent and good-natured. . . . At night, Coke was to take me to the honble. House; but . . . we first looked in at Brooks’s, where we found that the whole concern had been knocked up by the Balloon! So many members had run out to see it that Alderman Kit Smith, a furious enemy of the Saints, call’d for the House to be counted. . . . Not forty had remained in it, so all was over! Sefton’s delight in the mischief was unbounded. Brougham had been in bed most of the day on purpose, and had ordered himself to be called at 5 so as to be quite fresh for his reply. Wilberforce had given all his serious

* Afterwards 14th Earl of Derby.

Lord Stanley, afterwards 13th Earl of Derby. The Stanleys hitherto had been consistent Whigs.

Mr. Coke of Holkham, created Earl of Leicester in 1837.

§ The present Earl of Leicester, born in 1822.

1823-24.]ROYAL ASCOT.77
acquaintance notice that he meant to take leave of publick life in his speech on this occasion,* so that every hole and corner was crammed with saints and missionaries in expectation of this great event; when, lo and behold! this wicked aeronaut proved more attractive to the giddy Council of the Nation.”

“June 18, Stoke Farm.

“. . . Our course for the last three days has been to breakfast punctually at 10, to start for Ascot about 11, not to be home again before 6, and after dinner to be engaged in gambles of one kind or another with cards till one or later. . . . Our old acquaintance Prinney was at the races each day, and tho in health he appeared perfect, he has all the appearance of a slang leg—a plain brown hat, black cravat, scratch wig, and his hat cocked over one eye. There he sat, in one corner of his stand, Lady Conyngham rather behind him, hardly visible but by her feathers. He had the same limited set of jips about him each day, and arrived and departed in private. I must say he cut the lowest figure; and the real noblesse—Whig and Tory—were with his brother York.”

“June 19.

“. . . I wish I could sufficiently condense the facts of an affair which now forms the pre-eminent subject of conversation in the beau monde. The parties are P—— G—— and Lady G——. The latter has been parted some time from her husband, and P—— has been the lover of the lady. It seems that Mrs. Peter Free, the sister of Lady G——, has long been pressing her to discard P—— as quite unworthy of her, and in the end she succeeded; so that one fine day our heroine sets forth in all the consciousness of virtuous triumph to carry to her sister, not only the vicious correspondence which had passed between her and her lover, but a copy of the letter which she had written and sent to P——, closing all intercourse with him for ever. By some secret

* The occasion was an adjourned debate on Brougham’s motion for an enquiry into the trial by court-martial of an English missionary in Demerara.

management of the Devil, no doubt, the lady was tempted by him in the shape of a gown to go into a shop; and, having deposited and left upon the counter her ridicule [reticule], the aforesaid Enemy of man and womankind had the address to have it conveyed to the house of Sir B——, who opened and examined its contents. You have of course anticipated that the fatal correspondence was enclosed in it, which he has been kind enough to shew to a pretty numerous circle of his friends.
Tom Duncombe tells me he has seen every letter. The parties correspond under the imposing signatures of Jupiter and Juno. . . . The principal novelty to Sir B—— is a child which the lady has born to P——, which is receiving its nourishment and education in the New Road. It is the conduct of P—— to this interesting infant which constitutes the lady’s grounds for abandoning him for ever. It seems the child had lately suffered severely in cutting a tooth—an event which agitated its mother extreamly, but which P—— is alleged to have witnessed with the most stoical indifference; so much so, that she is very naturally led to contrast his conduct with that of his friend De Ros,* who actually wept over the child; and, what is more, has promised to provide for it by his will. It is this last anecdote which peculiarly delights the town, De Ros being one of the cleverest and most hardened villains in it. . . .”

“June 22nd.

“. . . We are all full of a battle that is to take place in the H. of Lords between the Duke of York and our Scroop.† Lord Holland has brought in a bill to enable Scroop, tho’ a Catholic, to officiate in future as Earl Marshal. It was read a 2nd time on Saturday, tho’ the Duke of York and old Eldon were in the minority; but since then the D. of York has become perfectly furious, and has written to every peer he knows, calling upon him to come and protect the Crown against the insidious Scroop. We had a jolly day enough at Whitehall on Saturday, altho’ I never

* The 19th Baron de Ros.

† The 12th Duke of Norfolk.

1823-24.] NEWMARKET.79
Sydney Smith without thinking him too much of a buffoon.”

“25th June.

“I dined last night at Lord Carnarvon’s, where by comparison for amusement Bedlam* decidedly kept the lead, altho’ our company were no other than the Dukes of Sussex and Leinster, Marquis Downshire, Earls Grey, Jersey, Darnley, Cowper and Rosslyn, Lords King, Ellenborough and John Russell, and last and least Messrs. Brougham and Creevey. Carnarvon never uttered, and little Sussex very justly whispered to me as we came away that ‘it had been a malancholy day.’. . . Grey, Rosslyn, Cowper and Jersey went full fig from Carnarvon’s to the Beau’s, to meet the King who dined there, and Grey says to-day cut him most clearly and decidedly. . . .’

“15 July.

“. . . We had beautiful weather at Newmarket. . . . Sefton has a capital house, and, according to custom, his dinners were admirably arranged. Tavistock, Lord Jersey, Punch Greville† and Shelley dined there each day, and on Tuesday the Duke of Grafton and the Duke of York. I had never seen the latter in this sort of way before, and was extreamly entertained. He is the very image of the late Lord Petre; perhaps not quite so clever, and certainly not so polite—in short, a very civil and apparently most good-tempered idiot, without any manners at all. Shelley played the fool in patronising him and shewing him off, and Punch Greville disgraced himself by hunching him; but he took both in the same good humor, and we all drank freely in compliment to the royal guest. . . .”

“Cantley, nr. Doncaster [Michael Taylor, M.P.’s], Sept. 7th.

“. . . I had a most prosperous journey down here. There never was such perfection of travelling. I left London at ½ past 8 on Friday morning, and, without an

* He had paid a visit that morning to the new Bedlam, south of Westminster Bridge.

Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville [1794-1865], Clerk of the Council and political diarist.

effort, and in a coach loaded with luggage, I was at Doncaster by 5 the following morning—a distance of 160 miles! . . .
Lady Anson goes to town next week to be present at the wedding of her niece, the pretty ‘Aurora’—‘Light of Day’—Miss Digby . . . who is going to be married to Lord Ellenborough. . . . It was Miss Russell who refused Ld. Ellenborough, as many others besides are said to have done. Lady Anson will have it that he was a very good husband to his first wife, but all my impressions are that he is a damned fellow.”*

“Cantley [Doncaster Races], 24th Sept.

“. . . George Payne’s loss (in bets) turns out to be £21,000 and not £25,000 as I had been told when I wrote to you on Monday. The £4000 saved is better than nothing, but the whole thing is damnable. . . . If one could suppose such a knockdown blow wd. cure him, it might turn out to be money well laid out; but I fear that is hopeless. He says he shall keep to hunting in future and cut the turf . . . Lady Londonderry is the great shew of the balls here in her jewels, which are out of all question the finest I ever beheld—such immense amethysts and emeralds, &c. Poor Mrs. Carnac, who had a regular haystack of diamonds last night, was really nothing by the side of the other, tho’ in beauty the two ladies are very fairly matched. Such a dumpy, rum-shaped and rum-faced article as Lady Londonderry one can rarely see. . . .”

“Lambton, Oct. 20.

“. . . I got here on Monday night, the company being at dinner, and in the second course. However King Jog, hearing I was arrived, left his throne, and came out, and took me in with him. I found nearer 30 than 20 people there, in a very long and lofty apartment—the roof highly collegiate, from which hung the massive chandeliers—the curtain drapery of dark-coloured velvet, profusely fringed with gold, and much resembling palls. The company, sitting at a long and

* This marriage turned out badly, and was dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1830. “Aurora” consoled herself by three subsequent marriages, and died at Damascus in 1881.

1823-24.]A VISIT TO LAMBTON.81
narrowish table, never uttered a single, solitary sound for long and long after I was there; so that it really might have been the family vault of the Lambtons, and the company the male and female Lambtons who had been buried in their best cloaths and in a sitting position.
Grey and Ly. Elizabeth and Lord Howick are here, the Milbanks, the Wiltons and Bob Grosvenor, the Cavendishes and Henry and his wife, the Dundas’s, the Normanbys, Mr. Hobhouse, Sir Hedworth Williamson, young Liddel, Mat Ridley, [illegible] three deep, Capt. Berkley and other captains and majors who ride at our races, not omitting John Mills. To-day, too, my Lord and Lady Londonderry, with Sir Something and Lady Something Gresley,* come. The place is really a fine one, considering how confined it is by coal-pits and smoke, and part of the house quite unrivalled. . . . The capricious young tyrant and devil† is all graciosity to myself. . . . Mrs. Taylor had caught fresh cold before I left Cantley, so that she was bled on Sunday morning and fainted away. . . . We’ll go to our races of to-day. Grey had over and over again expressed to me his nervousness about 14 or 15 of these young men starting for the Cup; the course being very slippery and not wide enough for such a number. You may judge, then, what cause there was for his apprehension when three horses out of the number came in without their riders. . . . Lady Wilton was standing up as white as a sheet, whilst Lady Augusta Milbank fell to the bottom of the coach as if she had been shot. Just then, however, the good-natured Mat Ridley came galloping up with all his might and main to announce that all was safe. . . . Milbank is the only one hurt . . . he has been bled, and is somewhat bruised. . . . Well—all being over, we came home and dined pretty punctually at seven—and such a dinner I defy any human being to fancy for such an occasion. . . . I handed Mrs. Dundas out (Miss Williamson that was) and a pretty good laugh I had out of her at our fare. A round of beef at a side table was run at with as much keenness as a banker’s shop before a stoppage. . . . Was there ever such an

* Sir Roger and Lady Sophia Gresley.

Mr. Lambton

instance of derangement, with all this expense in other subjects and all his means? I have just been saying to Mills that it is a low
Crockford’s, and he admits it is so; but he adds that it is certainly better than last year, for then there was no beef at the side table, but only a sucking-pig! Oh dear, oh dear! it is a neat concern: and yet the comfort of these rooms is beyond. I have got my book I was in search of, and his civility about it makes me almost ashamed of thinking him such a stingy, swindling, tyrannical kip as he certainly is.

“Well, as to kips, I think this Lord Wilton* must certainly be a decided one. He has the worst countenance, I think, I ever saw, and he appears a sulky, selfish chap: but she seems very happy . . . and there is a great charm in all she does. . . .”

“Lambton, 23rd Sept.

“. . . A very large division of us have got to quiz the whole concern of dinner, so that we really have a very jolly time. King Jog himself still sits silent and involved in thought. . . . We are really very much indebted to these grandees for the damned fools they make of themselves. Let me present you with a few particulars. . . . The night before last, between 12 and 1, I being in the library where the same cold fowl always is with wine and water, Lambton came in out of the hazard room, and, finding no water, begun belabouring the bell in a way that I thought must inevitably have brought the whole concern down. No effect was produced, so he sallied forth, evidently boiling, and when he returned he said:—‘I don’t think I shall have to ring so long another time.’ This is all I know of my own knowledge; but, says Lady Augusta Milbank to me yesterday—‘Do you know what happened last night?’—‘Du tout,’ says I.—‘Why,’ says she, ‘Mr. Lambton rung the bell for water so long, that he went and rung the house bell, when his own man came; and upon saying something in his own justification which displeased the Monarch, he laid hold of a stick and struck him twice; upon which

* The 3rd Earl of Wilton, a renowned character in the chase and on the turf.

his man told him he could not stand that, and that if he did it again he should be obliged to knock him down. So the master held his hand and the man gave him notice he had done with him. . . .

“Lady —— has two maids here—one French and the other Italian, the latter of which presides over the bonnet department. [Follows a story about the Italian.] . . . So much for the Italian maid, and now for the French one. Mrs. William Lambton was going along a passage near her ladyship’s room between 12 and 1 this morning, when she found la petite on the floor crying bitterly, and upon enquiring the cause, she said my lady had beat her so: upon which Mrs. W. Lambton sent her maid to her with some sal volatile, and just as she was administering it, my lord —— came out and would not let her have it, saying she did not deserve it and that she was shamming. Now I should be glad to know if there was ever! You never saw any one enjoy these things more than Grey, except indeed Lady Wilton. What a good thing she will make of it all for little Derby and the Countess!”

“Lambton, Oct. 24th.

“. . . I think I never saw Grey to greater advantage, nor Lady Louisa to so much. As for Lady Elizabeth, you never saw a creature so thin or altered in looks. . . . The other night Ly. Wilton, she, Hobhouse, Mills and I had a jaw about life, youth and age. Ly. Elizth. was all for childhood—that she shd. never be so happy again, and that if it was not for her friends, she would as soon die as live. This may be Grey gloom, but I am afraid it must be the behaviour of Lord Lothian.”

“Croxteth, Nov. 10, 1824.

“. . . I left FitzClarence at Gosforth and continue to like him as well as ever. Ly. Sefton says he is out and out the best of the family. . . . Tho’ shy, he is not without the ingenuousness of the family. He said the King was getting very old and cross—that the Duchess of Clarence was the best and most charming woman in the world—that Prince Leopold was a damned humbug, and that he [FitzClarence] disliked the Duchess of Kent.”