LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Creevey Papers
Ch. IX: 1830-31

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
( 206 )

Mr. Creevey’s correspondence during 1830 contains less of permanent interest than usual. It was an eventful year, for it witnessed the downfall of the Tory administration, the death of George IV., and the opening of the far-reaching drama of Reform. Brougham had busied himself for some time in promoting the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and acted as joint editor of its publications.

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Hill St. [1830].

“. . . I have sent for yourself the Library of Useful Knowledge, as far as published: with the Farmers’ Series and Maps. The Entertaining Knowledge Library is for the younkers (tho’ good and wholesome for all ages). . . . I believe we begin with 15,000 and print to above 20,000. Now pray, if any subject falling in with our plans occurs to you, suggest it. You will do us a real service. We profess to be able to prepare and put in circulation to a vast extent any work of useful tendency and sound principles. Of course we avoid direct part in Church and State, but we openly profess to preach peace, liberty and absolute toleration, and I take care, as the works pass through my hands, to keep out all that is against these principles, and to put in authoritatively what is wanting upon them. . . .”

“Brougham, 1830.

“. . . Our Lib. U. K. will get less abstruse now that the Mathematical subjects are all gone thro’, except Astronomy. But some of the treatises are extremely plain, and indeed entertaining, notwithstanding their titles have hard names—as for instance ‘Animal Physiology’—which really teaches anatomy to anyone who wishes to understand it, and never knew a word of it before. So the life of Galileo is very interesting, and that of Caxton. But one fault that series has which is quite incurable, as long as the tax on paper continues. I mean the small print . The undertaking was, to give for sixpence as much as is usually to be found in an octavo vol. of above 100 pages. If the tax on paper were repealed, I have no doubt we could give 48 pages instead of 32 for that price, and the print would be as easy to read as any needs to be.

“When I wrote last, I had been speaking for more than five hours on the intellectual state of a worthy tea-dealer, so I may have omitted a request I intended to make to you and the ladies—viz., to suggest subjects for books, if any occur, especially for the Entertaining Series. The other must take a regular course, but this is naturally without rule. Also, any book wanting for the common people in the country (which is another part of our plans).

“I shall take care about Bourrienne* next week when I return. I am anxious for its appearance myself, having read the other vols. with detestation—scorn of the villain; but I must say as you do—without much disbelief, which I was sorry for. . . .”

Less meritorious in Creevey’s eyes were Brougham’s proceedings in Parliament; and he is vociferous in complaint about his “perfidy,” &c. But Brougham was not the only one of his old “comrogues,” as he called them, who were behaving “basely.” Lord Cleveland, formerly Lord Darlington,

* Life of Napoleon.

declined to provide a seat for Creevey in Parliament, notwithstanding that he had received, or thought he had received,
Lady Cleveland’s pledge for the first vacancy.

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.

“Well—what do you say of the first day? Are you of those lunaticks who are angry that we did not go ding-dong at the Beau and turn his Govt. out? That is—displace him without an idea who would get in; or, in other words, put things in a state from which nobody but the Tories and King could have profited. I am clear that the said Beau cannot go on as he is. They can’t get people to vote, and there is a tendency of other people to join in voting against them. . . . Have you heard of G. Spencer* giving up his livings and turning R. Cath.? He wanted to convert an able priest, and it ended t’other way. Ld. Lansdowne brings in young Macaulay, which may be all very well as far as he is concerned, but it gives all of us who are Denman’s friends serious annoyance and regret. I suppose it is only as a locum tenens till Kerry† comes of age; but still, D. could have held it as well as another.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“London, Feby. 16th, 1830

“. . . In the jaw between Mrs. Taylor and me this morning she observed what a low, dirty fellow Lord Cleveland was not to offer me the seat after all that had passed; ‘Not that you would have accepted it,’ said she, ‘I feel sure of that; but as a gentleman he was bound to offer it to you.’ The Marchioness, it seems, has been here, and expressed the united rage

* The Hon. and Very Rev. George Spencer, 4th son of the 2nd Earl Spencer: became Superior of the Order of Passionists, and died in 1864.

Lord Lansdowne’s eldest son.

of the Naffy* and herself at
Brougham’s conduct. . . . Mrs. Taylor says that, being determined to bring my name in, she observed I was coming to town to see her, and she was sure I should do her more good than all the doctors; but the Pop was mum, and would not touch it; and, as Mrs. Taylor justly observes, they are two arrogant rogues, and not worth thinking about.”


“. . . In Arlington Street I found two young Foley lads—the eldest the poor victim just come of age, and a nicer and more produceable young man I never saw. Lady Sefton and I deplored his hard fate extremely. It is supposed the deed is done—that is, cutting off the entail of the last remnant of the Foley property, so that his father and mother may see it all fairly out. Lady Sefton told me that Lady Foley† had ten new gowns for the party at Witley at Xmas, and that the only one that Lady Sefton saw must have cost 12 guineas. She has only 5 maids, with different occupations, for herself. . . . I never saw Lord Douro† before. His teeth are the only feature in which he resembles his father, and altogether he is very homely in his air. Do you know he is engaged to be married to a daughter of Hume, the Duke’s doctor. It seems she has stayed a good deal with the Duchess, which has led to the youth proposing to her. When it was told to the Duke, all he said was—‘Ah! rather young, Douro, are you not—to be married? Suppose you stay till the year is out, and if then you are in the same mind, it’s all very well.’”

“March 11th.

“. . . I was at Lord Holland’s yesterday. . . . They both looked very ill. They are evidently most sorely pinched—he in his land, and she still more in her sugar and rum. So when I gave it as my opinion that, if things went on as they did, paper must ooze

* The Marquess of Cleveland, formerly Earl of Darlington.

Lady Cecilia Fitzgerald, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Leinster.

‡ Elder son of the Duke of Wellington.

out again by connivance or otherwise, she said she wished to God the time was come, or anything else to save them. He said he never would consent to the return of paper, but he thought the standard might be altered: i.e., a sovereign to be made by law worth one or two or three and twenty shillings.


“. . . A capital party at old Salisbury’s* last night—the best I ever saw there. I had a good deal of laugh and jaw with the Beau, who was in tip-top spirits and looked better in the face than I ever saw him. . . . Arthur Hill said to him:—‘Creevey is going to bring his pretty nieces here next Thursday.’—‘Oh,’ said the Beau, ‘the Miss Brandlings: I saw them at Doncaster. I think they are the prettiest girls I ever saw.’”

“Bansted, May 26th.

“. . . Sefton went down to the House to hear the two Royal Messages which it was known were coming—one to enable some one to sign poor Prinney’s name for him,† and the other to shew up Leopold for having jibbed at last as to taking Greece upon himself. To be sure, this jib of his has not been brought about by the King’s illness! I suppose Mrs. Kent thinks her daughter’s reign is coming on apace, and that her brother may be of use to her as versus Cumberland. . . . We were all on the course at Epsom yesterday and saw poor Prinney’s horse ‘The Colonel’ win the Craven Stakes. If ‘Captain Arthur’ should win [the Derby] next Thursday, all Lord Sefton would pocket in bets and stakes would be £12,500—that’s all!‡ Gully is quite sure his horse Red Rover will win;§ Chifney equally sure that Priam will‖ notwithstanding that Lord Ranelagh says he trusts in God that heathen god Priam can never win.”

* The Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury.

George IV. was lying in his last illness.

‡ Captain Arthur started at 15 to 1, and was not placed.

§ It ran second, starting at 5 to 1.

‖ The favourite, Priam, won.

1830-31.] DEATH OF GEORGE IV. 211
“London, 31st.

“. . . To call on Lady Grey, whom I found alone. She is all against Lord Grey becoming a politician again, and says she sees people getting round him whom she hates, and never can forgive for their past conduct to him, and whose only object now is to use him for their own interests. She mentioned Brougham in particular. . . .”

“Stoke, June 11th.

“. . . Sefton saw yesterday in Windsor O’Reilly the King’s apothecary. It had been his turn to sit up with him the preceding night, and he said his sufferings were extreme—that he might die any moment from his complaint, but that even from exhaustion, strong as he is, he must die in five or six days. He said to O’Reilly more than once:—‘I am going gradually.’ He is cheerful at times, and very fond of talking about horses. O’Reilly says that, in the course of his life, he never saw such strength, and that with common prudence he might have lived to a hundred.”

“Brooks’s, June 26th.

“. . . So poor Prinney is really dead—on a Saturday too, as was foretold. . . . I have just met our great Privy Councillors coming from the Palace (Warrender and Bob Adair included). I learnt from the former that the only observation he heard from the Sovereign was upon his going to write his name on parchment, when he said:—‘You have damned bad pens here!’* Here is Tankerville, who was at the Palace likewise. He says the difference in manner between the late and present sovereign upon the occasion of swearing in the Privy Council was very striking. Poor Prinney put on a dramatic, royal, distant dignity to all; Billy, who in addition to living out of the world, has become rather blind, was doing his best in a very natural way to make out the face of every Privy Councillor as each kneeled down to kiss his hand. In Tankerville’s own case, Billy put one

* Greville (ii. 3) and Croker (ii. 66) relate the same incident.

hand above his eyes and at last said in a most familiar tone:—‘Oh, Lord Tankerville, is it you? I am very glad to see you. How d’ye do?’ It seemed quite a restraint to him not to shake hands with people. He said to Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer—the cockeyed
Goulbourne—‘D’ye know I’m grown so nearsighted that I can’t make out who you are. You must tell me your name, if you please.’ He read his declaration to the Council, which is said to be very favorable to the present Ministry; and it would be odd if it was not, as it was drawn up by the Beau. After reading this production of the Government, he treated the Council with a little impromptu of his own, and great was the fear of Wellington, as they say visibly expressed on his face, least Billy should take too excursive a view of things; instead of which it was merely a little natural and pretty funeral oration over Prinney, who, he said, had always been the best and most affectionate of brothers.”

“Stoke, August 20th.

“. . . I said to Lady Sefton just now—‘Where and when was it, Lady Sefton, that you knew the King [William] so well?’—‘Why, Mr. Creevey,’ says she, ‘I’m sure you will not accuse me of vanity when I tell you that, upon my first coming out,* he was pleased to be very much in love with me, or to say he was so; and my father became so frightened about it that he would not let me go where he was likely to be; for it was at the time the Prince of Wales was living with Mrs. Fitzherbert. He contrived, however, to send me a nosegay [illegible] from Kew, and to get me invited to all the gayest and finest balls and parties then going; and as I knew no one to begin with, you may suppose how charming it was. What his object was, I am sure I don’t know: my only one was to go wherever I was invited, and to enjoy my liberty and fun. However, he went soon after to sea, I believe; and not long after I was married, and I have scarcely seen him since. . . .’”

* As the Hon. Maria Craven, daughter of the 6th Lord Craven.

1830-31.] DEATH OF HUSKISSON. 213
“Bangor, Sept. 19th.

“. . . Jack Calcraft has been at the opening of the Liverpool railroad, and was an eye-witness of Huskisson’s horrible death.* About nine or ten of the passengers in the Duke’s car had got out to look about them, whilst the car stopt. Calcraft was one, Huskisson another, Esterhazy, Billy Holmes, Birch and others. When the other locomotive was seen coming up to pass them, there was a general shout from those within the Duke’s car to those without it, to get in. Both Holmes and Birch were unable to get up in time, but they stuck fast to its sides, and the other engine did not touch them. Esterhazy, being light, was pulled in by force. Huskisson was feeble in his legs, and appears to have lost his head, as he did his life. Calcraft tells me that Huskisson’s long confinement in St. George’s Chapel at the King’s funeral brought on a complaint that Taylor is so afraid of, and that made some severe surgical operation necessary, the effect of which had been, according to what he told Calcraft, to paralyse, as it were, one leg and thigh. This, no doubt, must have increased, if it did not create, his danger and [caused him to] lose his life. He had written to say his health would not let him come, and his arrival was unexpected. Calcraft saw the meeting between him and the Duke [of Wellington], and saw them shake hands a very short time before Huskisson’s death. The latter event must be followed by important political consequences. The Canning faction has lost its corner stone, and the Duke’s Government one of its most formidable opponents. Huskisson, too, once out of the way, Palmerston, Melbourne, the Grants, &c., may make it up with the Beau.”

“The dear Plough, Cheltenham, Oct. 5th.

“. . . Well, here we are again, driven from that greatest of all humbugs, Leamington. The fame of the latter place is one of the many proofs to what an

* Mr. Huskisson, who probably had not met the Duke of Wellington since the Cabinet crisis caused by the resignation of the former, had left his car on purpose to shake hands with the Duke.

extent the folly of English people will club and support a thing; till by common consent it disappears, which some day or other this Leamington will do. The town is a half-built skeleton of a concern, and in point of population and convenience of all kinds, a perfect desert compared with this.”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“Oct., 1830.

“. . . I suppose you have heard of Lord Chesterfield’s marriage to Anne Forester.* Charles Greville went express to London from Heaton (Wilton’s) to break it to Mrs. Fox Lane. George Anson marries Isabella:† money no object. . . . I don’t believe there will be a king in Europe in 2 years’ time, or that property of any kind is worth 5 years’ purchase. . . .”

“Thursday, Nov. 18th, 1830.

“. . . Everything except the Brougham business going on smoothly. That is, I assure you, very difficult, but must end in the Rolls. He is really in a state of insanity, complains to everybody that he is neglected and threatens to put an extinguisher on the new Govt. in a month. In the meantime he keeps swearing he will not take anything—that he ought to be offered the Seals, tho’ he wd. kick them out of the window rather than desert his Yorkshire friends by taking a peerage. All this, however, will subside in the Rolls, where, being lodged for life and quite beyond controul, I don’t envy the Govt. with such a chap ready to pounce upon them unexpectedly.”

“Friday, 19th.

“By God! Brougham is Chancellor. It is supposed he will be safer there, because, if he don’t behave well, he will be turned out at a moment’s notice, and he is then powerless. What a flattering reason for appointing him! . . . Grey speaks most

* Eldest daughter of the 1st Lord Forester: died 1885.

† Third daughter of the same.

kindly of you, and I am sure wd. be delighted to do something for you; but why the devil do you put yourself out of the way of everything?”

Upon Lord Grey taking office in November, 1830, he appointed his old friend Creevey to the office of Treasurer of the Ordnance, at a salary of £1200 a year. Ever since his wife’s death, Mr. Creevey had existed upon a very slender income—“£200 a year or less,” as Charles Greville says*—but he was the constant and welcome guest of the Seftons, the Taylors, and a host of other friends, and had few expenses to meet except for his clothes and travelling. Still, this permanent office must have come as a translation from penury to affluence. The Whigs, even purified as they had been by long years of opposition and the persistent efforts of Brougham, Creevey, and other reformers to put an end to jobbery, showed themselves far from diffident in the exercise of patronage. At the present day, when sixty has been fixed as the age for retiring from the Civil Service, it may seem an abuse of patronage to have invited a gentleman of sixty-two to enter it; but, according to the practice of pre-Reform times, nothing could be thought more natural. The Ordnance Office was established in the Tower of London, and Creevey’s letters express quite a boyish delight in his new quarters, and a naive wonder at the minuteness of the Ordnance survey maps then being engraved for the first time.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“The Tower, Jan. 31st, 1831.

“. . . I dined in Downing Street with Lady Grey . . . After dinner the private secretary to the Prime

* Greville Memoirs, i. 235.

Minister and myself being alone, I ascertained that, altho’
Lord Grey was gone to Brighton ostensibly to prick for Sheriffs for the year, his great object was to lay his plan of reform before the King, previous (if he approves) to its being proposed to the House of Commons. A ticklish operation, this! to propose to a Sovereign a plan for reducing his own power and patronage. However, there is the plan all cut and dry, and the Cabinet unanimous upon the subject. . . . Billy has been in perfect ecstacies with his Government ever since they arrested O’Connell. Wood says if the King gives his Government his real support upon this Reform question, without the slightest appearance of a jib, Grey is determined to fight it out to a dissolution of Parliament, if his plan is beat in the Commons. My eye, what a crisis!”

“Feb. 4th.

“. . . Grey says the King’s conduct was perfect—not in giving an unqualified assent, as a constitutional King might to any Minister who happened to be so at the time; but he bestowed much time and thought in going over every part of the plan, examined its bearings, asked most sensible questions, and, being quite satisfied with everything Grey urged in its support, pledged himself irrevocably to do the same. . . . Grey said, too, the Queen was evidently better with him. It seems that her manners to him at first were distant and reserved, so that he could not avoid concluding that the change of Government was a subject of regret to her. This was an appalling reflection for a reforming minister, but he satisfied himself that she has no influence over the King, and that, in fact, he never even mentions politicks to her, much less consults her—that her influence over him as to his manners has been very great and highly beneficial, but there it stops. . . . Well, you see the Government lost no time last night in giving their notices—Vaux* to reform the Court of Chancery—Melbourne to make new laws in favor of Ireland, and Althorp

* Brougham, as Lord Chancellor, had entered the House of Lords as Lord Brougham and Vaux, which gave his enemies the opportunity of declaring that he ought to have been “Vaux et prœterea nihil.”

his plan of reform, to be carried by
Lord J. Russell. Anything like such fair and open downright dealing was never known in Parliament before. . . .

Sefton had a good conversation with Lady Grey, and my lord too, last night. It seems the Dino* came there from Leach’s, and Sefton heard her entreating Lady Grey to use her influence with Lady Durham to let her boy, and I believe a little girl, to come to a child’s ball at the Dino’s on Monday next. So when Lord Grey was handing the Dino to her carriage, Sefton and Lady Grey being left alone, the latter said to him:—‘Was there ever anything like the absurdities of Lambton? He not only won’t be introduced to Mons. Talleyrand and Madame de Dino, but he chooses to be as rude as possible to them whenever he meets them.’—‘Good God!’ said Sefton, ‘what can that possibly mean?’—‘Why because he chooses to be affronted that they did not ask to be introduced to him before he was in office,† and now that he is so, he insists upon Louisa‡ having nothing to do with Madame de Dino. Just as Lady Grey was finishing, Grey returned, and she said—‘I was telling Lord Sefton of Lambton’s nonsense;’ and then they both joined in abusing him, as well they might. Did you ever, in the whole history of mankind, hear of such a presumptuous puppy? However, I hope he will go on offending Lord and Lady Grey, and be himself out of [illegible]. I declare I know of no event that would be more favorable to Lord Grey’s government. I am delighted at that other puppy Agar Ellis§ being obliged from ill health to give up the Woods and Forests, and still more delighted that the excellent Duncannon has got it. . . . You know that the Queen would not let old Mother St. Albans‖ come to her ball at the Pavilion, tho’ there were 830 people there!”

* Madame de Dino, Talleyrand’s niece.

Lord Durham had been appointed Lord Privy Seal.

Lady Durham.

§ Son of the 2nd and father of the 3rd Viscount Clifden.

‖ Second wife of the 9th Duke of St. Albans, and relict of Thomas Coutts the banker.

“Feb. 8th.

“. . . Talleyrand professes to Grey to be quite enchanted with the existing cordiality between France and England, and lays it down that such an union can set the whole world at defiance. . . . Those damned pension lists are a cursed millstone about the neck of the Government. Grey was almost crying when he talked to Sefton of the difficulty and misery of depriving so many people of their subsistence. . . .”

“Tower, 9th.

“. . . My dear, these damned pensioners are the devil’s own to carry thro’ with us, and there can be no crowing till the Civil List Bill is fairly past. There is such an universal demand to have them flung out of window that I don’t see how they are to escape. . . . Our Vaux is not so tender-hearted in his department. By his reform he is to spread desolation by wholesale amidst the profession. I know that the Beau said yesterday:—‘I am very glad that Brougham is Chancellor. He is the only man with courage and talent to reform that damned Court.’”

“Brooks’s, Feby. 12th.

“. . . There is old Basto [? Pascoe] Grenfell from the City, who says there is but one universal feeling of execration at poor Clunch’s* project of taxing the transfer of stock. In short, poor dear Whigs, it is sad work, gentlemen, sad work! . . .”


“. . . Do you take any interest about Mrs. Heber, the widow of the Bishop of Calcutta? Because if you do, I can tell you something. On her return overland from India, she picked up a Greek at Milan and married him. Her attachment was, of course, to the sacred cause of his country. They immediately started for that classic land; but unfortunately, upon reaching Athens, it turned out that he was provided, not only with another wife, but with a large family.

* Lord Althorp, Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose first budget was very badly received.

She arrived here a few days ago, without a husband and nearly without a sou.”

“Tower, 19th.

“. . . Lady Sefton, her three eldest daughters, Frances* and myself went after dinner last night to Lady Grey’s weekly. . . . Our Vaux was there with his daughter. I had some very good laughing with him, and he was in his accustomed overflowing glee. We had some very pretty amusement with Viscount Melbourne, who is very agreeable. . . . Grey was very loud to me in praise of Edward Stanley,† who, by common consent, has made two excellent speeches. He is quite ready for battle with O’Connell, and the greatest confidence is entertained that Edward will be too much for him.”

“Feb. 24th, 1831.

“. . . There has been a charming scene at the Drawing-room to-day. Lady Jersey went up to Lord Durham in the greatest fury and, in the presence of all the world, said:—‘Lord Durham, I beg you will call upon me to-morrow and bring a witness with you. I have been so shamefully calumniated, and I will have justice done me.’—Duncannon, who was present and heard this, was in some horror of Lord Durham’s reply. He turned as pale as death, and, after a little hesitation, said very calmly:—‘Lady Jersey, in all probability I shall never be in your house again.’”


“. . . As I was the first who arrived in Arlington Street yesterday to dinner, Sefton took me out into the corner room and told me of a scene between him and Brougham. . . . The Arch-fiend asked him if he had seen the Times that morning.—‘No,’ said Sefton, ‘not to-day, but I have read it with great uneasiness the three or four preceding days, and I want of all things to talk to you about it.’—He then opened his case, stated the deliberate attack making upon Grey by that paper, coupled with its constant panegyrick

* Mrs. Taylor.

† Afterwards 14th Earl of Derby. He was Secretary for Ireland in Lord Grey’s administration.

upon Brougham, made it necessary for Brougham to summon the
editor, and to insist upon these attacks upon Grey being discontinued. That otherwise, as Brougham’s influence over that paper was notorious to all, and as his brother William was known to write for it, it could not fail to beget suspicion that he—Brougham—had no objection to these attacks, and that Ld. Grey felt them most sensibly. That if he—Brougham—thought he would make a better Prime Minister than Grey, and was preparing the way for that event, that was matter for his own consideration; but if he really means the Government to go on as at present formed, Sefton conjured him to lose no time in imposing his most positive injunction on the Times newspaper to alter its course.

Sefton says nothing could equal the artificial rage into which Vaux flung himself. He swore like a trooper that he had no influence over the Times—that he had never once seen Barnes the editor since he had been in office, and that William had never written a line for it. He then fell upon Lambton—said all this came from him—that he had behaved in the most impertinent manner to both his brothers upon this subject—that if he went on as he did he must break up the Government, and that he, for one, would never submit to his influence. This storm being over, Sefton collected from him distinctly that he had seen Barnes perhaps once or twice, and that brother William might perhaps—tho’ quite unknown to him—have written an article or two in this paper. In short, as our Earl observed, never culprit was more clearly proved guilty than he was out of his own mouth, and it ended by his affecting to doubt which would be the best channel for getting at Barnes—brother William or Vizard—but at all events he pledged himself to Sefton that it should be done. . . .”


“. . . Well, the Times newspaper has evidently had its visitation in the course of yesterday. It has two leading and very powerful articles in favor of the Government. . . . If you come to that, your Morning Herald of to-day is not amiss in support of our Government. In short, we are recovering by gentle
degrees from
Althorp. He had very nearly killed us, poor fellow, honest as he is, but it must be admitted that he has been damned conceited.”

“Tower, March 3rd.

“Well, what think you of our Reform plan? My raptures with it encrease every hour, and my astonishment at its boldness. It was all very well for an historian like Thomas Creevey to lay down the law, as he did in his pamphlet, that all these rotten nomination boroughs were modern usurpations, and that the communities of all substantial boroughs were by law the real electors; but here is a little fellow not weighing above 8 stone—Lord John Russell by name—who, without talking of law or anything else, creates in fact a perfectly new House of Commons, quite in conformity to the original formation of that body. . . . What a coup it is! It is its boldness that makes its success so certain. . . . A week or ten days must elapse before the Bill is printed and ready for a 2nd reading; by that time the country will be in a flame from one end to the other in favor of the measure. . . . I saw the stately Buckingham going down to the Lords just now. I wonder how he likes the boroughs of Buckingham and St. Mawe’s being bowled out. He would never have been a duke without them, and can there be a better reason for their destruction?”

“Tower, 5th.

“. . . Well, our Reform rises in publick affection every instant. . . . To think of dear Aldborough and Orford, both belonging to Lord Hertford, and purchased at a great price, being clearly bowled out, without a word of with your leave or by your leave. Aye, and not only that such proprietors are destitute of all means of self-defence, but they are treated as criminals by the whole country for making any fight on their own behalf. . . . At Crocky’s, even the boroughmongers admitted that their representative, Croker, had made a damned rum figure. Poor Billy Holmes! Both he and Croker will have but a slender chance of being M.P.’s again under our restored constitution. In short, Bessy, there is no end to the fun
and confusion that this measure scatters far and near into by far the most corrupt, insolent, shameless, profligate gang that this country contains. They are all dead men by this Bill, never to rise again, and their occupation is dead also. . . . To be sure the poor devils who stick to the wreck will have mobbing enough from out of doors before the business is over. . . . It is not 3 weeks since
Sir John Shelley asked Lord Grey to make him a peer, who answered him by saying:—‘Indeed, my dear Shelley, to deal fairly with you, I don’t think you have any claims; and if you had, why did you not get your friend the Duke of Wellington to make you one?’—What you call a double-fisted go for the baronet, was it not?’

“Tower, March 12th.

“. . . I fear Vaux must go crazy. He is like Wolsey. I’ll give you a case in point. We had all heard how his coach had been stopt at the Horse Guards on the day of the Queen’s drawing-room, and that he had got into the greatest fury and called out to let any man at his peril stop the Lord Chancellor of England from going to the King; but your militaire has a knack of referring to an order, and a written one was produced, forbidding any carriage to pass thro’ that gate on days of the Queen’s drawing-rooms, except the Royal Family, Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker of the House of Commons. The officer upon guard most civilly explained the order and expressed his regret at being obliged to enforce it; but our Guy, little daunted or cajoled by all this, put his wig out of the other window and ordered his coachman to go on at all hazards; and so he did, carrying Horse Guards blue and red all clear before him. . . . My Lord Chancellor’s defence to Sefton was that, not only were the Speaker and the Archbishop down as privilege men, but Lord Shaftesbury who is chairman of the House of Lords—a kind of deputy to Brougham. ‘So,’ as the latter justly observed, ‘when I saw my own man—my actual boot-jack—had the privilege, and not me, it was more than flesh and blood could bear.’ . . . Sefton, who sees the actual insides of both Vaux and Grey, says there is a considerable dislike in each to
1830-31.]STIRRING TIMES.223
the other. What an invaluable thing for both to have so sincere, so clever and so unintriguing a friend as Sefton, and how entertaining for us to see all thro’ him!”

“Tower, March 14th.

“. . . Sefton was still too unwell to dine at Ld. Grey’s, which was a terrible blow to us all; so Lady Sefton and Lady Maria called at Mrs. Durham’s* for me, and took me there. It was not a large party—the two female Seftons, Lord Durham, Morpeth.† Duncannon, Luttrell and myself, with the four Greys and Charles Greville. Grey was all alive o! quite overflowing, never ceasing in his little civilities to myself, wanting me to eat this or drink that:—‘Do, Creevey, I assure you it’s damned good; I know you will like it.’ Can’t you see him? . . . It was not amiss for a Prime Minister to call out at dinner:—‘Do you think, Creevey, we shall carry our Reform Bill in the Lords?’ . . . Lady Lyndhurst came at night, and very handsome she looked, tho’ very near a woman of colour. I did not know before that her first husband, Captn. Thomas, was killed in the battle of Waterloo. . . .”


“. . . Lord Dacre said to me one day lately:—‘Do you know, Creevey, how Brougham came to take the title of Vaux? because, you know, it is my title; but as I don’t care about such things, I have never done or said anything about it. The title, however, is mine.’ . . . As Vaux has not enough upon his hands, he has opened his batteries in the Times of to-day against Lady Jersey in a longish and bitter article. She is mad in her rage against our Reform, and moves heaven and earth against it wherever she goes according to her powers; but those powers are by no means what they used to be. In short, she is like the rotten boroughs—going to the devil as fast as she can.”

* Creevey’s lodging in Bury Street.

† Afterwards 7th Earl of Carlisle.


“. . . The King never ceases to impress upon Duncannon that all he and the Queen wish for is to be comfortable. He says that both he and the Queen find it inconvenient to be obliged to move all their books, papers, &c., out of their own sitting-rooms upon every Levee day and Drawing-room, because their rooms are wanted on such occasions; that as for removing to Buckingham House, he will do so if the Government wish it, tho’ he thinks it a most ill-contrived house; and if he goes there, he hopes it may be plain, and no gilding, for he dislikes it extremely. But what he would prefer to everything, would be living in Marlborough House, which is Crown land and the lease nearly out. . . . Billy says if he might have a passage made to unite this house with St. James’s, he thinks he and the Queen could live there very comfortably indeed. Now was there ever so innocent a Sovereign since the world was made?”

“Brooks’s, 21st.

“I saw Lord Bruffam chased by Lord Eldon in their carriages to the door of the House of Lords. There is going to be a pitched battle between them to-night upon one of Brougham’s Chancery legal reform bills. I’ll bet upon our Arch-fiend! . . . The enemy is in the most insolent crowing state possible to-day, perfectly certain, as they say, to defeat our Bill. Wetherell* told me last night he was as sure of their victory as of his own existence.”


“. . . The King and Queen were to have gone to the Opera to-night, but an account has arrived to-day of the death of Kennedy who married one of the Miss Fitzclarences, so they don’t go. Albemarle was to have dined there to-day, but the King said to him:—‘We have no dinner to-day, and don’t go to the opera, because that is pleasure; but we shall go on with the levee to-morrow, because that is duty.’ A very pretty distinction, I think, for a King to make.”

* Sir Charles Wetherell [1770-1846], Attorney-General.

“Brooks’s, March 23rd.

Majority for our Bill

☞ 1 ☜

“Devilish near, was it not? Yesterday I was of opinion that to lose the question by one would have been the best thing for us; but I don’t think so now. . . . Everybody likes winning, and it keeps people’s spirits up. . . . I went into Crocky’s after the opera, being determined to wait the result, and there were quantities of people in the same mind, friends and foes, but we were all as amicable and merry as we could be. A little before five [a.m.] our minds were relieved by the arrival of members without end—friends and foes—and I must say (with the exception of young Jack Shelley) the same good temper and fun were visible on both sides.”

“Tower, 24th

“. . . You will see by your paper of to-day that Horace Seymour and Captn. Meynell are dismissed from the King’s household, their offence having been voting against the King’s Reform Bill. They were both of them Lord Hertford’s members. This is something like! Grey spoke about it to the King at the levee yesterday, and the job was done out of hand.”


“. . . I wish you could have been with me when I entered our Premier’s drawing-room last night. I was rather early, and he was standing alone with his back to a fire—the best dressed, the handsomest, and apparently the happiest man in all his royal master’s dominions. . . . Lady Grey was as proud of my lord’s speech as she ought to be, and she, too, looked as handsome and happy as ever she could be. . . . She said at least 3 times—‘Come and sit here, Mr. Creevey.’ You see the cause of this uniform kindness of Lady Grey to myself is her recollection that I was all for Lord Grey when many of his present worshippers were doing all they could against him. . . . Upon one of the duets between Lord Grey and me last night,
who should be announced but
Sir James Scarlett. He graciously put out a hand for each of us, but my lord received him so coldly, that he was off in an instant, and Grey said to me:—‘What an extraordinary thing his coming here! the more so, as I don’t believe he was invited.’ . . . Lady Grey said to me:—‘I really could not be such a hypocrite as to put out my hand to Sir James Scarlett;’ so he must have had a good night of it!”


“. . . Our dinner at Sefton’s yesterday was very agreeable—the Cowpers, Edward and Mrs. Stanley, Duke of Argyll, Melbourne, Palmerston, Foley, Alava, Charles Greville and myself. Alava and I were there ten minutes before anybody else, and he was very instructive about France, where he has been living for the last 5 years. As he says of himself, he naturally hates a Frenchman, but he has the greatest opinion of Casimir. . . . When little Derby was going to kneel upon being sworn a Privy Councillor, the King said:—‘I beg you won’t kneel, Lord Derby; you have the gout.’—‘Your Majesty must allow me.’—‘I won’t hear of it!’ and he would not let him. Then he said:—‘How long have you been Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, my lord?’ and when he told him, the King said:—‘I have often heard my father say you was the best Lord Lieutenant in England, and so you are now!’”


“. . . I think there ought to be a collection made from authority of all the sayings of our beloved Sovereign. Take for instance one that Albemarle told me, and which he himself heard at the Queen’s drawing-room. I don’t know whether you are aware that the King gives every lady two kisses, one on each cheek; but so it is. Well, on Thursday a lady was taking up her daughter to present her to the Queen, to do which they pass the King. It so happens, they live somewhere within reach of Bushey,* and used to visit there. The girl who was following her mother was so frightened that she took no notice of

* Where William IV. had lived as Duke of Clarence.

the King as she passed him; upon which he laid hold of her, and taking her by the hand, said:—‘Oh, oh! is this the way you treat your country friends?’ and then gave her two kisses.”

“16th April.

“. . . Now let me make a profound observation upon a decision the Speaker made known last night respecting Schedule A in the Reform Bill, viz. that a vote must be taken upon these boroughs one by one, and not in the lump. Permit me to say that, for us, this is perfectly invaluable; the list being alphabetical, the first two boroughs in the schedule are Aldborough in Yorkshire, belonging to the Duke of Newcastle, and the other Aldborough in Suffolk belonging to Lord Hertford—both the rottenest of the rotten. Well then—if the House votes for abolishing either Aldborough, the principle of abolition is admitted; if they vote against it and succeed, then we go to a dissolution upon one of the rottenest cases in the schedule. This is the object of all others for an appeal to the country upon.”


Sefton and I had Lord Chancellor Vaux to ourselves last night in Arlington Street. . . . I can’t conceal from you that, after he was gone, Sefton and I both agreed that a more unsatisfactory devil we had never beheld. Altho’ he was in the most loquacious, animated state, we could neither of us make out for the life of us what he would be at. The only thing we could agree upon was that he was an intriguing, perfidious rogue.’

“Tower, 21st.

“. . . This is a memorable day, and this a memorable hour of it, for our Sovereign has taken to this time to deliberate whether he accedes to Lord Grey’s application for a dissolution. . . . At all events the Reform Bill is to be abandoned in the House of Commons to-night upon the grounds that, in such a House of Commons, to carry it through is impossible. If the King runs true, a dissolution is to be announced at the same time; if he does not, the Ministers have to state that they have resigned.”


Ardent and uncompromising reformer and advocate of retrenchment as Creevey had always been, it is comical to see how he winced when the Committee, appointed by Lord Grey’s Government to revise the scale of salaries, trenched upon his own emoluments. “Have you seen,” he asks his step-daughter, “how that damned retrenching Committee have docked my office of £200 a year?” And again—“If Earl Grey does not get me back my £200 a year as Treasurer—I’ll eat him!” Most of the Treasurer’s correspondence at this time is taken up with the fluctuating prospects of the Reform Bill, and with various possibilities which presented themselves of his re-entering Parliament in order to give the measure his support. But, as usual, his letters are full of diverse incidents and gossip. Describing a royal night at the Opera, he observes:—“Billy 4th at the Opera was everything one could wish: a more Wapping air I defy a king to have—his hair five times as full of poudre as mine, and his seaman’s gold lace cock-and-pinch hat was charming. He slept most part of the Opera—never spoke to any one, or took the slightest interest in the concern. . . . I was sorry not to see more of Victoria: she was in a box with the Duchess of Kent, opposite and, of course, rather under us. When she looked over the box I saw her, and she looked a very nice little girl indeed.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“April 23rd.

“. . . Nothing could exceed the firmness and conduct altogether of our Sovereign yesterday. I know from Lord Grey that, when the latter stated the inconvenience that might arise from proroguing by
commission, but added that it was quite out of the question to ask his Majesty to prorogue in person, the
King replied:—‘My lord, I’ll go, if I go in a hackney coach!’”

On 4th May Thomas Creevey and James Brougham, brother of the Chancellor, were returned as members for Downton borough in the county of Wilts, by favour of the Earl of Radnor—the truculent Folkestone of Peninsular days. The affair was conducted in the good old style; neither of the candidates took the trouble to visit their constituents, who were exceedingly few and docile, quite content to be represented by anybody whom Lord Radnor chose to name to them.

“Brooks’s, May 11th.

“. . . Having been dressed by Mr. Durham, Mrs. Durham* and Sally her niece, it was agreed that never coat fitted so well or was so becoming, and off we went [to Court]. Would you believe it? in about ten minutes I was detected as being in the wrong livery. It is the Household only that wear red collars and cuffs; the official ones are black. This was rather a bore, but it made great fun, as Earl Grey happened to come into our room whilst we were in progress to the Presence Chamber. I caught hold of him and told him of my mistake, upon which I thought he would have burst, he was so entertained, and he swore the King would find me out directly. But pas du tout: when I had kissed his hand, he said in the most good-natured manner:—‘Oh, Creevey, how d’ye do? It is a long time since I had the pleasure of seeing you.’ Little Sussex was next to him, and when I retired from my Sovereign backing, he said out loud:—‘How gracefully he does it!’ and even Privy Seal† laughed out loud. So it was all mighty well, and Jemmy McDonald brought me back.”

* Who kept his lodgings in Bury Street.

Lord Durham.


“. . . It was in contemplation, by some of the Cabinet, to postpone the Reform Bill when [the new] Parliament met till autumn—a step that would have been madness, and perhaps ruin to them. That, however, is quite abandoned, and Lambton authorised them to state at the Middlesex election that it would come on the very first thing.”

“9th May.

“. . . I had a very good day yesterday at my dear and old friend Essex’s—Lords Sefton, Foley, Cowper, Ducie, and Du Cane, Ellice and Poodle Byng: then to Arlington Street [the Seftons]; then to Dow. Sally’s.* . . . I called yesterday on Niffy and the Pop.† but both were out.”


“. . . Brougham said to Sefton yesterday:—‘I hear a batch of new peers is on the stocks; but I have never been consulted; which I think is pretty well, considering my situation. However, as they can’t be made without the Great Seal being put to their patents, I’ll be damned if I use it for such purpose till I am properly consulted and give my consent!’ . . . As I learnt from Lord Sefton that Brougham’s observations about me had been made at the Queen’s ball last Monday, I was prepared for some change of manner in him when we met at dinner at Mrs. Ferguson’s on Thursday; but it was quite otherwise. . . . We met again on Saturday at Hughes’s, and tho’ he was evidently out of sorts, it was not with me, for he confided to me before dinner that he never saw such a set of bores collected together—that the thing was damnable—and whenever he made any exertion at dinner, it was in addressing me at quite the other end of the table. As to bores, I don’t know that they were particularly so. Lady Augusta Milbank, and Ciss Underwood, with such a profusion of gold bijouterie in all parts that nothing was wanting but something

* Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury.

Marquess and Marchioness of Cleveland.

hanging from her nose.
Sir Harry and Lady Grey, little Sussex, Vaux, Lords Dundas and Uxbridge,* Denman, Col. J. Hughes, Councillor Whateley, Admiral Codrington (a real bore), Mr. Creevey, and some others I think. I sat next to Denman,† and never was more surprised than to find him a feeble punster and as commonplace a chap in conversation as I ever saw in my life. As Suss‡ took to smoking, and Vaux from ennui did the same, I availed myself of my remote situation near a door, and whipt off before they went to coffee.”

“Tower, May 18th, 1831.

“. . . I paid a visit to Lady Grey in her [opera] box. . . . She is always shy of giving political opinions except when alone; but upon my observing that, from what I heard, Brougham must be in his tantrums at present:—‘I believe,’ she said, ‘he is mad.’ As she and Lord Grey had been staying at Holland House, I asked how it had answered, and she said:—‘As well as it could, sitting down 15 at dinner each day to a table that holds only nine.’—Can’t you see her saying that? . . . Grey complains of giddiness, and no wonder, with all he eats and his little exercise.”


“. . . While I was riding in the Park yesterday, I received rather a smartish spat on my shoulder from an unseen stick. When I turned round and saw my assailant in quite an ultra fit of laughing, who do you suppose it could be? No other than our Prime Minister. . . . When I said of his royal master that every new thing I heard of him raised him higher in my opinion, he said:—‘He is a prime fellow, is he not?’ . . . I heard part of the King’s letter to Lord Grey:—‘The King considers it as most important in the present crisis of affairs to give some decisive proof of his unqualified confidence in Lord Grey, and for such a purpose he trusts Lord Grey will no longer

* Afterwards 2nd Marquess of Anglesey.

† Afterwards Lord Chief Justice, created Lord Denman in 1834.

‡ H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex.

resist receiving from his hands the Order of the Garter, altho’ that Order is now full; Lord Grey to be an Extra Knight, and the Order to be reduced to its proper number upon the first vacancy.’”


“. . . I had an opportunity of seeing our own new knight, and very severe we were upon him for wearing his Garter upon pantaloons or trowsers—he who always makes so distinguished a figure in shorts and buckles.”

“June 14th.

“. . . Well, Mull* tells me it is all settled about his father’s peerage—Baron Sefton of Croxteth.†—There are only four others—Kinnaird one, which is a charming blow by our Sovereign to the Scotch peers who would not elect him one of the 16 representative peers.”


“. . . Rather sharp work this day 16 years ago at Waterloo and Brussels. . . . Lord Grey told Sefton that Lambton‡ made him both miserable and actually ill by his constant interference and persecution of him. . . . Charles Greville told me he was at Lady Jersey’s when Wellington was there, the subject of conversation being the cholera morbus. Lady Jersey said to the Duke:—‘You know what Lord Grey has done about it?’—‘No.’—‘He has given orders that all merchandise coming from the Baltic shall be instantly destroyed.’—‘Oh impossible!’—‘But I know it to be quite true.’ Just at that time she left the room and the Duke availed himself of her absence to observe to Greville—‘What damned nonsense Lady Jersey talks!’ . . .”


“. . . Yesterday I dined in Portland Place and went in the evening to Downing Street, where I found Tommy Moore at the pianoforte, playing and singing his own melodies; and very much delighted I was with his performance.”

* Viscount Molyneux, afterwards 3rd Earl of Sefton.

† He was Earl of Sefton only in the peerage of Ireland.

Lord Durham.

1830-31.] INFLUENZA. 233

“. . . I have been giving a curious receipt upon a curious subject. The Duke of Wellington and Sir Wm. Knighton have this day paid me £3,170 as executors of his late Majesty. The money is for tents erected upon that part of Windsor Park called the Virginia Water. The canvas composing the tents is from Ordnance stores, and as his Majesty was pleased to imagine that whenever he took the field, his Ordnance Department must supply him with tents, he never meant to pay for these articles. Tennyson, finding the amount of this job in his books, has demanded payment from the executors. . . . What think you of the payment of the artificers who put up these tents—four large and four small ones—being upwards of £2000 out of the £3,170? I think Knighton must have been one of these artificers. If such a sum can have been spent upon a few tents, what think you of the whole expenditure of the Virginia Water, Cottage, &c., &c.? Oh dear, oh dear! . . . Well our Reform Bill made its first appearance last night, and under most pacific circumstances. . . . Peel was very temperate.’


“. . . Our Earl [Sefton] is confined with the influenza (la grippe), and sent all over the town for me yesterday. . . .’

“July 6th.

“. . . I went to Arlington Street yesterday and found Lady Sefton, and was half inclined to put off dining there in order to be present at the Honorable [House], but she said I really should be of use, as Lord Sefton was still very unwell and very low, and that as Lord Grey and Mr. and Lady Elizabeth Bulteel were the only company, she begged me to come and help the party; so what, you know, could I do? The two Earls looked shockingly, and were still labouring under the grippe, and were as low as could be to begin with; but altho’ I say it who should not, I never had a better benefit than I had in bringing them both about. It is not usual to amuse a Prime
Minister by jokes upon members of his own Cabinet; but the ‘Siamese youths’ and the genteel comedy man
Graham,* with imitations, stretched the veins in his forehead to their utmost, poor fellow. He said with the greatest innocence:—‘Everybody told me there was nothing to be done without the two Grants.† and they have never been worth a farthing!’”


“. . . We had a rum go of it in the H. of Commons last night in our division and minority about issuing the Liverpool writ. I never saw such feeble devils as our young Cabinet Ministers. . . . Lord Sefton is again very unwell and confined to the house. Halford, who had seen him to-day, is himself very unwell with this grippe, and he says the way he is hunted after by a succession of invalids under the same complaint, is really beyond!”


“. . . I dine on Friday at Lord Melbourne’s, Saturday at Lord Petre’s, Sunday at Dowr. Sally’s. . . . A card from Lady Jersey for Thursday—the first this season. Does she begin to think at last that she can’t turn the Government out? or is it in return for Grey’s civility in sending as he did to the Beau and Peel to beg their assistance at a Council about the intended Coronation. Charles Greville carried the message from Grey, and they both seemed much pleased, and said they would attend.”

“Stoke, August 22nd.

“. . . I am very fond of Melbourne. There is an absence of all humbug about him and a frankness and good-humour that, in a Secretary of State, are charming. What a contrast to the wretched, feeble, artificial Roscius!”‡

* Right Hon. Sir James Graham [1792-1861], First Lord of the Admiralty.

† One Grant was the Right Hon. Charles Grant [1778-1866], afterwards created Lord Glenelg. He held office in Lord Grey’s Cabinet as President of the Board of Controul. The other was Robert Grant, M.P., a Canningite, appointed Governor of Bombay in 1834.

Marquess of Lansdowne.

1830-31.] THE RACE FOR HONOURS. 235

The approaching Coronation caused the usual fierce competition and humiliating supplications for peerages, baronetcies, and such-like. The good offices of Creevey, as a member of the Government, were enlisted in many quarters. Here is a note from the Lord Chancellor referring to the claim of one of his friends who desired some genealogical particulars inserted in his patent of baronetcy.

Lord Brougham and Vaux to Mr. Creevey.
“Dear C.,

“I return the letter of Lady W[alsham]. The insertion is wholly impossible. It is making the Crown and Great Seal a party to an assertion of pedigree, &c., &c., without a shadow of evidence, except their own assertion. For aught I can tell, there may be half a dozen people who say they are heirs-at-law of the 1661 man.

“Yours ever,
“H. B.

“H. Meux is grandson of an old baronet, and heir-at-law undeniably, and connected with the Blood Royal in two or three ways; but he has not the slightest allusion to it in his patent. Such things are never done for any of the idiots who think nothing so good as nick-names. I am sure Lady W. would have been far less pleased if her husband had made the best speech ever was made in Parlt., or her son had been Senior Wrangler. I hope the fools know it costs them above £1200. It is twice the price of a peerage.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Sept. 7th.

“. . . I returned to the Honorable, and was in at the death, thank God! of the Reform Bill Committee.
. . .
Western can’t be made a peer at present,* least Jack Tyrrell should supply his place in our house.”

“Sept. 16, 1831.

“. . . Our Reform Report past last night without a division, and the only remaining stage is the 3rd reading of the Bill on Monday next, which it is calculated will occupy two, if not three nights. I am happy to say that our Earl Grey is as stout as a lion as to the result of the Bill in the Lords. If it is defeated, his mind is quite made up to prorogue for six weeks or two months—make a new batch of peers in the interval that shall be quite sufficient in number to secure the measure, and then start fresh with it. As Holland said to me the other day—if this bill is rejected, the question will be, will you have revolution or will you have a larger House of Lords? and a very sensible man he is, with quite as warm an attachment to his office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster as another person who shall be nameless to the Treasurership of the Ordnance!”

“Stoke, 20th.

“. . . Old Wickedshifts and I had a most agreeable duet to Stoke,† or at least within 3 miles of it, when he had fairly talked himself to sleep. . . . Sefton and I were more astonished at him than ever. By his conversation with old Talleyrand it appeared most clearly that Vaux had been intimately acquainted with every leading Frenchman in the Revolution, and indeed with every Frenchman and every French book that Tally mentioned. He always led in this conversation, as soon as Tally had started his subject. Our party altogether was a most agreeable one—Tally and the Dino, Esterhazy, M[illegible] his 2nd in command, Vaux, old Greville and Ly. Charlotte, Punch‡ and Henry, Alava, Luttrell and myself. . . . I got to the Honorable [House] before 12, when I found there had been a division; in short, the Bill read a 3rd time

* Mr. Western was made a peer in 1833.

Brougham had taken Creevey down in his carriage from London.

Charles Greville.

between 5 and 6 o’clock—a surprise, which did not serve the purpose which its wily authors intended!”

“House of Commons, 22nd.

“. . . Johnny has taken up his child in his arms, followed by a rare tribe of godfathers, and old Brougham approached us with proper dignity, and taking it into his arms carried it to his place and told their lordships the name given to it by the Commons. Then Lord Grey having moved it to be read the first time, which was done, moved the 2nd reading for Monday week 2nd October, which was agreed to—not a word said.”

“Brooks’s, Sept. 23rd.

“. . . Let me mention a thing which Sefton told me when I was at Stoke. I was expressing some surmise about this late jaw respecting the Duchess of Kent’s absence from the Coronation, and the cause of it, when, having according to custom bound me to secrecy, he said he would tell me all about it, having had it from Brougham. The offensive attack upon her for her absence, assigning pure pique as the cause of it, made its appearance in the Times newspaper, and this became food for all the others; upon which B. sent his secretary Le Marchant to Barnes, editor of the Times, insisting upon knowing whose article it was, knowing as he did that it was pure invention. Barnes said it came from an authority that he implicitly relied on, but that he could not and would not give him up. Le Marchant, when he brought this report to B., gave it as his opinion that, if B. himself took Barnes in hand, the latter would strike. He was, of course, summoned accordingly, and having yielded to the thundering or seducing arguments of our Vaux, the libeller turned out to be no other than Henry de Ros, as at present Lord de Ros. It seems he and Barnes have been lately mixed up a good deal together at Paris, and this is the use de Ros has chosen to make of the connection. It is barely possible that de Ros may have believed this to be true, upon the authority of his sister, who, you know, is Maid of Honor to the Queen. . . . The object, however, both
of sister and brother was clearly to do the Duchess of Kent an injury, and by such means to please the
King and Queen, particularly the latter, who is known to have somewhat adverse feelings to the Duchess. The thing, however, was utterly destitute of foundation, the Duchess of Kent having most respectfully asked the King for permission to absent herself on account of her child’s health, and the King, in the most gracious manner, having greatly extolled her conduct for the reasons assigned by her.

“The Duchess of Kent wrote to her adviser, Vaux, in a strain of the greatest distress and vexation, but she is now pacified, and he has informed her of his discovery of the slanderer, but that he humbly requests of her R. Highness that she will not command him to disclose the author. In the mean time, as no one knows better how to turn any little matter to account than our Vaux, and as he knows that de Ros is to be a thorough-stitch opposer of our Reform Bill in the Lords, he sends for the innocent Leinster, and he states to him with unaffected regret that Lord de Ros has unfortunately compromised himself and character in an affair of great publick importance, and is entirely in the hands of the Government. Under such circumstances, Vaux requests the Duke to urge his kinsman with all his might to use every possible caution against this matter being made publick. Now was there ever? Do you think de Ros’s vote will be withheld by this plot of Vaux’s?”

“Brooks’s, Oct. 6th.

“. . . What the result [of the division of the Lords] will be, no one knows, excepting this much, that their strength is in proxies, i.e., in those who are rejecting the Bill without hearing it.”

There is no mention in Creevey’s letters of the result which took place on the 8th October. The Lords divided at six in the morning, throwing out the Bill by 199 votes to 158. A few days earlier, Macaulay had spoken the memorable words:—“I know only two ways in which societies can be governed—
by public opinion and by the sword;” and immediately the reality of the alternative became apparent in the country. An agitation of violence, unparalleled since the Civil War, raged in every part of the kingdom, and the forces of the Crown proved unequal to cope with those of the populace in Bristol, Nottingham, and other places. Creevey paid a visit to Dublin during the autumn, in which it is not necessary to follow him; observing, in passing, that his passage from Holyhead to Kingstown occupied “just sixteen hours, the average trip being six hours and a half.” He was back in time for the meeting of Parliament on 6th December, it having been prorogued on 20th October.