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The Creevey Papers
Ch. VII: 1811

Vol. I. Contents
Ch. I: 1793-1804
Ch. II: 1805
Ch. III: 1805
Ch. IV: 1806-08
Ch. V: 1809
Ch. VI: 1810
‣ Ch. VII: 1811
Ch. VIII: 1812
Ch. IX: 1813-14
Ch X: 1814-15
Ch XI: 1815-16
Ch XII: 1817-18
Ch XIII: 1819-20
Vol. II. Contents
Ch I: 1821
Ch. II: 1822
Ch. III: 1823-24
Ch. IV: 1825-26
Ch. V: 1827
Ch. VI: 1827-28
Ch. VII: 1828
Ch. VIII: 1829
Ch. IX: 1830-31
Ch. X: 1832-33
Ch. XI: 1833
Ch. XII: 1834
Ch XIII: 1835-36
Ch XIV: 1837-38
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The death of his youngest and favourite child, Princess Amelia, in the autumn of 1810 upset the poor old King’s intellect for the last time. He settled into hopeless insanity, and the chief business before Parliament in 1811 was a Bill constituting the Prince of Wales Regent. Great was the stir among the Whigs, who began fitting each other into the great and little offices of the new Government; for who could doubt that the great turn of events, so long and ardently anticipated, was indeed at hand, and that the Prince, as head of the Whig party, would send his father’s servants to the right about, and form a Ministry of his own friends. Judging from Creevey’s correspondence, neither he nor any of his friends entertained the slightest suspicion about the sincerity of the Prince’s devotion to Liberal principles, nor understood how much his politics consisted of opposition to the Court party. It was, therefore, with as much surprise as dismay that Creevey beheld the change in the Prince’s attitude towards Ministers as soon as he assumed the Regency.

Lord Erskine to Mr. Creevey.
“Reigate, Jany. 10, 1811.
“Dear Creevey,

“I send you the Act which you thought never could have passed. . . . Lord Eldon told me he never had heard of it and expressed his astonishment. He said that those gentlemen who had served the King as foreign ministers at a period when the King had a power by law to remunerate their services by a pension, if he chose to grant it, had as good a right to it as he—the C[hancellor]—had to his estate; and of that there can be no doubt.

“I observe Bankes has given notice to revive his Committee [on Public Expenditure]. I have seen him, and he seems to justify his resolution; but surely Martin and you, as lawyers, will not mix yourselves as the author of the first ex post facto law, touching the rights of subjects, that has ever passed. . . . I really think that some step should be taken by those who, as the friends of reform, ought to take care that it does not become odious.

Bankes says the act is Perceval’s, but I have good authority for believing that Perceval would not justify the ex post facto clause.

“Yours very sincerely,
Mr. Creevey to Mrs. Creevey [at Brighton].
“Great George St., 19th January, 1811.

“(For God’s sake be secret about this letter.)

“My hopes of seeing you to-morrow are at an end, owing to a most ridiculous resolution of our party to have another division on Monday, in which of course we shall disclose still greater weakness than in our last division. I had actually paired off with John Villiers for the week, but I am sure you will think I am right in staying over Monday, when I tell you that McMahon told me he was sure the Prince would be hurt if I was not there, and when you read the enclosed
note from
Sheridan. Nevertheless I give the Prince credit for not originating this business, but that it has been conveyed to him by Tierney or some such artist. I mean to be down to play a week or ten days on Tuesday. Wm. and C. had a very comfortable dinner again yesterday upon my mutton chops at this house, and then went to the House, and just as we had returned home again at ten o’clock, and I was beginning to dress myself to go to Mrs. Taylor’s, Whitbread came and desired to have some conversation with me. . . . Sam’s visit was to take my advice. He said things had now come to such a state of maturity that it was necessary for him to decide (but here he has just been again, and I am afraid I shall not have time to tell).

“Well—office was offered him; anything he pleased, but had he any objection to holding it under Grenville as First Lord, if he [Grenville] held as before the two offices of First Lord and Auditor, with the salaries of both? I know not with what disposition he came to me; he stated both sides of the question, but said his decision must be quick. I had a difficult responsibility to take upon myself, but I set before him as strongly as I could the unpopularity of the Grenvilles—the certainty of this [illegible] place being again and again exposed—the impossibility of his defending it after having himself driven Yorke from receiving the income of his tellership whilst he is at the Admiralty, and Perceval from receiving the income of Chancellor of the Exchequer whilst he is First Lord and Chancellor of the Dutchy—that his consistency and character were everything to him, and that, if I was him, I would compell Lord Grenville to make the sacrifice to publick opinion, and have nothing to do with the Government.

“I went to him this morning, and he had done as I advised him. He had told Grey his determination and he has just been here to shew me his letter to him upon the subject—to be shewn Lord Grenville. It is perfect in every respect, and will, whenever it is known, do him immortal honor. The fact, however, is, my lord will strike. They one and all stick to Whitbread; they can’t carry on the Government
without him. There is no anger—no ill will in any of them; all piano—all upon their knees. Is not this a triumph?”

[Enclosure in above, from Mr. Sheridan.
“Friday night, Jany. 18th.
“My dear Creevey,

“It is determined in consequence of the earnest Desire of high authority to have a last debate and division on the Regency bill on Monday next. Here is a Conclave mustering all Hands, and I am requested to write to you as it is apprehended you mean to leave Town to-morrow. I conjure you at any rate to be with us on Monday.

“Yours ever faithfully,
Bly. Sheridan.”]
Mr. Creevey to Mrs. Creevey.
“Great George St., Saty., Feby. 2nd, 1811.

“I came home at half-past four that I might have time to write to you, and Whishaw came instantly after and has staid with me till five. . . . I went to dine at Hutchinson’s and after all he never came. He was kept at Carlton House till twelve at night, so Lord Donoughmore and I dined together, and he was, as he always is, very pleasant. At Brooks’s I found Sheridan just arrived from Carlton House, where the conclave has just broken up, and the Prince had decided against the pressing advice of all present not to dismiss the Government. Sheridan was just sober, and expressed to me the strongest opinion of the injurious tendency of this resolution to the Prince’s character. Lord Hutchinson said the same thing to me to-day, and added that never man had behaved better than Sheridan. I said all I thought to both Hutchinson and Sheridan in vindication of Prinny, but I presume I am wrong, as I stand single in this opinion. I went, however, to Mrs. Fitzherbert at twelve to-day, an appointment I made with her yesterday in the street, and she and I were agreed upon this subject. The Prince has written to Perceval a letter which is to be sent to-morrow, stating to him his intention, under
the present opinion of the physicians respecting his father, not to change the Government at present, and at the same time expressing the regret he feels at being thus compelled to continue a Government not possessing his confidence, and his determination of changing it should there be no speedy prospect of his Majesty’s recovery after a certain time.

“Now I do not see, under all the monstrous difficulties of his situation, any great impropriety of his present resolution, particularly as he means to have his letter made publick.

Mrs. Fitz is evidently delighted at the length and forgiving and confidential nature of Prinny’s visits. She goes to-morrow and will tell you, no doubt, how poor Prinny was foolish enough to listen to some idle story of my having abused his letter to both Houses, and how she defended me. Poor fellow, one should have thought he had more important concerns to think of. I went from her to Whitbread, and he again conjured me to attach myself to the new Government by taking some situation, and went over many—the Admiralty Board again—Chairman of the Ways and Means, &c. I was very guarded, and held myself very much up, and said I would take nothing for which there was not service to be done—nothing like a sinecure, which I considered a seat at the Admiralty Board to be; but of course I was very good-humoured. He repeated the conversation between him and Lord Grey about me. He said my name was first mentioned by Miss Whitbread, and, having been so, Lord Grey replied—‘Although I think Creevey has acted unjustly to me, and tho’ in the session before last he gave great offence to many of my friends by something like a violation of confidence, yet on his own account, on that of Mrs. Creevey and of anybody connected with them, I had always intended, without you mentioning him, to express my wishes that he might be included in the Government.’ Upon which Whitbread stated from his own recollection of my speech that gave offence, his perfect conviction of its being no breach of confidence; and so the thing ended with their united sentiment in favor of my having some office.

“I am affraid you will be hurt at not seeing any immediate provision for me in this new Government,
should it take place; but I beg you to give way to no such sentiment. . . . They are upon a new tack in consulting publick opinion.
Lord Grey and Lord Grenville have most unequivocally refused to accede to a proposal of the Prince of Wales, and which was stated to be nearest to his heart, viz. to reinstate the Duke of York as Commander-in-chief. What think you of this in Grey? and his language to Whitbread is they must no longer be taunted with ‘unredeemed pledges.’ I mention these things to shew you they are on their good behaviour, and that, with such views, they must do what they ought by me. I am perfectly satisfied with the state of things—this is, supposing a Government to be formed—and perfectly secure of any wishes of mine being accomplished.”

“21st Jan., 1811.

“I am very much gratified to find you approve my counsel to Sam, and Sam for acting upon it. Every succeeding moment convinces me of the necessity there was for acting so, and of the infinite advantage and superiority it will give him over all his colleagues at starting.

“What shall you say to me when I tell you I am not to vote to-night after all? Villiers won’t release me from contract of pairing off; at least he consented only to stay upon terms that I could not listen to, such as—if my being in the division might be of any use to me in the new arrangement, that then he would certainly stay. This, as you may suppose, was enough to make me at once decline any further discussion. . . . However, it is universally known how I am situated, and McMahon told me just now of his own accord that the Prince had told him this morning ‘that Villiers would not release Creevey from pairing off with him; that it was very good of Creevey to stay after this, and to show himself in the House, as he knew he intended.’ . . . Here has been Ward* just now to beg I would come and dine with him tête-à-tête, and that I should have my dinner at six precisely, as he knew I liked that: so I shall go. I know he was told the character I pronounced of him one night at Mrs. Taylor’s after

* Hon. John William Ward, created Earl Dudley in 1827.

he was gone, upon which occasion I neither concealed his merits nor his frailties, and he has been kinder to me than ever from that time. . . . I don’t know a syllable of what has transpired to-day between
Prinny and the grandees, but I must not omit to tell you that the night before last my Lord Lansdowne* for the first time condescended to come up to me at Brooks’s, and to walk me backwards and forwards for at least a quarter of an hour. He asked me how I thought we should get on in the House of Commons (meaning the new Government), whether we should be strong enough; to which I replied it would depend upon the conduct of the Government—that if they acted right they would be strong enough, and that so doing was not only the best, but the sole, foundation of their strength, and my lord agreed with me in rather an awkward manner, and was mighty civil and laughed at all my jokes, and so we parted.”

“Great George St., 1st Feby., 1811.

“I was very much provoked at being detained so long on the road yesterday that I was just too late for the last Bill, so I eat my mutton chops and drunk a bottle of wine, and then tea, and then sallied forth to Mrs. Taylor’s; but alas, she was dining out, so on I went to Brooks’s, where I found Mr. Ponsonby and others; and then came Whitbread, Sheridan, and Lord Hutchinson, the latter of whom insisted upon my coming to dine with him tête-à-tête to-day, as he had so much to say to me. He had been dining yesterday with the Prince, and was to be with him again this morning. You may suppose I intend accepting his invitation; for to-day Whitbread was deeply involved in private conversation with these gentry; but, before he left the room, he came up to the table where I was, and said—‘Creevey, call upon me to-morrow at twelve if it is not inconvenient to you;’ and, having left the room, Ward, who was there, said—‘There! Mr. Under-Secretary, you are to be tried as to what kind of a hand you write, &c., &c., before you are hired;’ and then we walked home together, and he told me he had

* Formerly Lord Henry Petty.

been offered to be a Paymaster of the Forces, and that he had refused it, and that he was sure this notice of Whitbread was to offer me an under-secretaryship in his office. I went accordingly to Sam this morning, but quite armed, I am certain, against all disappointment, and with all the air of an independent man. He began by giving me his opinion that the Prince would not change the Government, and that he was playing a false, hollow, shabby game. He said the
Queen had written him a letter evidently dictated by Perceval, [illegible] most cursedly, and that he had been quite taken in by it. He expressed himself strongly of opinion that he [the Prince] ought instantly to change the Government; that after all that had passed between him, the Prince and Lords Grenville and Grey, it would be a breach of honour not to overthrow the ministers instantly. I confess I was more penetrated, upon this part of the conversation, with Sam’s anxiety to be in office than I was with the weight of his arguments against the Prince. At the same time, it is due to him to add that Sheridan and Lord Hutchinson insist openly that the Prince, in justice to his character, is bound to make this change; and again, there certainly is nothing to make the Prince expect any rapid amendment of the King. . . . Well, this opinion of Whitbread being advanced and maintained by him as aforesaid, he proceeded to say that, in the event of the change taking place, he was very anxious to know from myself what I should look to—that he and Lord Grey had talked over the subject together—that the latter had spoken of me very handsomely, and said that, tho’ I had in the session before last, fired into the old Government in a manner that had given great offence to several persons, yet that he was very desirous I should form part of the new Government. Whitbread added his own opinion that it was of great importance I should be in the Government, and then added—‘The worst of it is there are so few places suited to you that are consistent with a seat in Parliament; but what is there you should think of yourself?’ So I replied that was rather a hard question to answer; that though I was a little man compared to him in the country, yet that the preservation of my own character and consistency was the first object with me; that I
could go as a principal into no office—that was out of the question—and I would not go into any office as a subaltern, where the character of the principal did not furnish a sufficient apology for my serving under him; that with these views I certainly had looked to going with him into any office he might have allotted to him. He said such had always been his wish, and then said—‘You know by the Act of Parliament that created the third Secretary of State, viz., that for the Colonies, neither of the Under-Secretaries of State can sit in Parliament, and that was what I meant when I said there were so few places consistent with a seat in Parliament.’ He said Grey and he had taken for granted I would not go back to my old place, or a seat at that board, after firing as I had done into the East I. Company; to which I replied they were quite right, and I added that, whenever I might be in office or out, I reserved to myself the right of the free exercise of my opinion upon all Indian subjects. He then said, with some humility, would I take a seat at the Admiralty Board; that
Lord Holland would be there, and that he, of course, would have every disposition to consult my feelings. I said my first inclination was certainly against it; at the same time, I begged nothing might be done to prevent Lord Holland making an offer of any kind to me; that he was a person I looked up to greatly on his own account, as well as his uncle’s;* that in all my licentiousness in Parliament I had never profaned his uncle’s memory; it had been exclusively directed against his enemies; that I would take a thing from Lord Holland that nothing should induce me to do from any Grenvilles; at the same time, I was giving no opinion further than this, that I begged Whitbread not to prevent Lord Holland from making me an offer—let it be what it may. . . .”

How little real union there was among the various sections of the Opposition, and how greatly the Whigs dreaded the projects dearest to the Radicals, are well illustrated in the following letters.

* C. J. Fox.

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“April, 1811.
“Dear C.,

“The enclosed answer to a mutinous epistle which I fired into Holland House t’other day may amuse Mrs. C. and you. Burn it when you have read it.

“Yours ever,
“H. B.”
[Enclosure from Lord Holland.

“. . . There is much truth in your complaints of the present state of public affairs. But how is the evil to be corrected? There is a want of popular feelings in many individuals of the party. Others are exasperated with the unjust and uncandid treatment they have received, and are every day receiving, from the modern Reformers. Another set are violent anti-Reformers, and alarmed at every speech or measure that has the least tendency towards reform. There is but one measure on which the party are unanimously agreed, and no one man in the House of Commons to whom they look up with that deference and respect to his opinion which is necessary to have concert and co-operation in a party. . . . It is a state of things, however, which cannot possibly last. Before next meeting of Parliament, the Prince must either have changed his Ministers, or he must lay his account with systematic opposition to his government. Even though the old leaders of the party* should be unwilling to break with him, they will not be able to prevent their friends from declaring open hostility against his government. If such a rupture should take place, many would of course desert the party; but those who remained, agreeing better with one another in their opinions, and consisting of more independent men, would in fact be a more formidable opposition than the present. . . . ”]

* Lords Grey and Grenville.

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

“. . . I wish you would come to town and let us have a few mischievous discussions. . . . A report is very prevalent that the siege of Badajos is raised, previous to another fight. I daresay this will prove true. . . . I am assured that the Ministers have private letters from Welln., preparing them for a retreat.”

As time went on, although the King’s malady became confirmed, so also seemed the Regent’s inclination to maintain his father’s Cabinet. The irritation of the Whigs increased in proportion as their hopes sank lower. A peep down the Prime Minister’s area seems to have opened Creevey’s eyes for the first time to the profligacy of the Heir Apparent, to which he had been blind enough in the rousing old days at the Pavilion. So greatly may judgment vary according to the point of view!

Mr. Creevey to Mrs. Creevey.
“20th July, 1811.

“. . . Prinny’s attachment to the present Ministers, his supporting their Bank Note Bill, and his dining with them, must give them all hopes of being continued, as I have no doubt they will. . . . The folly and villainy of this Prinny is certainly beyond anything. I was forcibly struck with this as I passed Perceval’s* kitchen just now, and saw four man cooks and twice as many maids preparing dinner for the Prince of Wales and Regent—he whose wife Perceval set up against him in open battle—who, at the age of 50, could not be trusted by the sd. Perceval with the

* The Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, became Prime Minister on the death of the Duke of Portland in October, 1809, and was assassinated by Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, 11th. May, 1812.

unrestrained government of these realms during his father’s incapacity—he who, on his last birthday at Brighton, declared to his numerous guests that it was his glory to have bred up his
daughter in the principles of Mr. Fox—he who, in this very year, declared by letter to the said Mr. Perceval, and afterwards had the letter published as an apology for his conduct, that he took him as his father’s Minister, but that his own heart was in another quarter—by God! this is too much. We shall see whether he does dine there or not, or whether he will send word at 5, as he did to poor Kinnaird, that he can’t come. I have been walking with Kinnaird, and this excuse that came too late from Prinny, the Duke of York and the Duke of Clarence has evidently made a deep impression upon his lordship’s mind against the Bank Note Bill, and everything else in which the Regent takes a part.”


July 12th, 1811.—. . . We are prorogued till the 22nd of next month only, but the general opinion is the King will die before that day, and then of course Parliament meets again. Publick opinion, or rather the opinion of Parliamentary politicians, is that, in the event of the King’s death, Lords Grenville and Grey will be passed over and the present ministers continued, with the addition of some of the Prince’s private friends, such as Lords Moira and Hutchinson and Yarmouth and old Sheridan. The latter is evidently very uneasy at the present state of things. He sat with me till 5 o’clock on Sunday morning at Brooks’s—was very drunk—told me I had better get into the same boat with him in politicks—but at the same time abused Yarmouth so unmercifully that one quite perceived he thought his (Yarmouth’s) boat was the best of the two. Apparently nothing can be so base as the part the Prince is acting, or so likely to ruin him. . . .

Brighton, Oct. 30th.—The Prince Regent came here last night with the Duke of Cumberland and Lord Yarmouth. Everybody has been writing their names at the Pavilion this morning, but I don’t hear
of anybody dining there to-day. . . . I presume we shall be asked there, altho’ I went to town on purpose to vote against his appointment of his brother the
Duke of York to the Commandership-in-Chief of the Army.

Oct. 31st.—We have got an invitation from the Regent for to-night and are going. I learn from Sir Philip Francis, who dined there yesterday, the Prince was very gay. . . . There were twenty at dinner—no politicks—but still Francis says he thinks, from the language of the equerries and understrappers, that the campaign in Portugal and Lord Wellington begin to be out of fashion with the Regent. I think so too, from a conversation I had with one of the Gyps to-day—Congreve, author of the rocketts, and who is going, they say, to have a Rockett Corps.* He affects to sneer rather at Wellington’s military talents. The said Congreve was at the same school with me at Hackney, and afterwards at Cambridge with me; after that, a brother lawyer with me at Gray’s Inn. Then he became an editor of a newspaper . . . written in favour of Lord Sidmouth’s administration, till he had a libel in his paper against Admiral Berkeley, for which he was prosecuted and fined £1000. Then he took to inventing rocketts for the more effectual destruction of mankind, for which he became patronised by the Prince of Wales, and here he is—a perfect Field Marshall in appearance. About 12 years ago he wrote to me to enquire the character of a mistress who had lived with me some time before, which said mistress he took upon my recommendation, and she lives with him now, and was, when I knew her, cleverer than all the equerries and their Master put together.

Nov. 1st.—We were at the Pavilion last night—Mrs. Creevey’s three daughters and myself—and had a very pleasant evening. We found there Lord and Lady Charlemont, Marchioness of Downshire and

* Afterwards Sir William Congreve, Bart., M.P., F.R.S. Wellington disapproved of Congreve’s invention when it was first brought to his notice. “I don’t want to set fire to any town, and I don’t know any other use of rockets.” But he changed his opinion after witnessing their effect in action at the passage of the Adour in 1814.

Lady Sefton. About half-past nine, which might be a quarter of an hour after we arrived, the Prince came out of the dining-room. He was in his best humour, bowed and spoke to all of us, and looked uncommonly well, tho’ very fat. He was in his full Field Marshal’s uniform. He remained quite as cheerful and full of fun to the last—half-past twelve—asked after Mrs. Creevey’s health, and nodded and spoke when he passed us. The Duke of Cumberland was in the regimentals of his own Hussars,* looked really hideous, everybody trying to be rude to him—not standing when he came near them. The officers of the Prince’s regiment had all dined with him, and looked very ornamental monkeys in their red breeches with gold fringe and yellow boots. The Prince’s band played as usual all the time in the dining-room till 12, when the pages and footmen brought about iced champagne punch, lemonade and sandwiches. I found more distinctly than before, from conversation with the Gyps, that Wellington and Portugal are going down.

“The Prince looked much happier and more unembarrassed by care than I have seen him since this time six years. This time five years ago, when he was first in love with Lady Hertford, I have seen the tears run down his cheeks at dinner, and he has been dumb for hours, but now that he has the weight of the empire upon him, he is quite alive. . . . I had a very good conversation with Lord Charlemont about Ireland, and liked him much. He thinks the Prince has already nearly ruined himself in Irish estimation by his conduct to the Catholics.

Nov. 2nd.—We were again at the Pavilion last night. . . . The Regent sat in the Musick Room almost all the time between Viotti, the famous violin player, and Lady Jane Houston, and he went on for hours beating his thighs the proper time for the band, and singing out aloud, and looking about for accompaniment from Viotti and Lady Jane. It was curious sight to see a Regent thus employed, but he seemed

* This was a German volunteer regiment, which disgraced itself at Waterloo by deserting the field at the very crisis of the French cavalry attack.

in high good humour. . . . There is nothing like a Minister about him, nor yet any of his old political friends or advisers—no
Sheridan, Moira or Hutchinson. Yarmouth and the Duke of Cumberland are always on the spot, and no doubt are his real advisers; but in publick they are mute, and there is no intercourse between the Regent and them. Sir Philip Francis is the only one of his old set here, but he is not here on the Prince’s invitation, nor in his suite, and is evidently slighted. Tom Stepney and I last night calculated that Francis and Lord Keith made out 150 years of age between them, and yet they are both here upon their preferment with the Regent—the first, one of the cleverest men one knows, and the other, one of the richest. What a capital libel on mankind! Francis said to me to-day:—‘Well, I am invited to dinner to-day, and that is perhaps all I shall get after two and twenty years’ service.’ What infernal folly for such a person to have put himself in the way of making so humiliating a confession.

Nov. 3rd.—. . . I have heard of no one observation the Regent has made get out of the commonest slip-slop, till to-day Baron Montalembert told me this morning that, when he dined there on Friday with the staff of this district, the Prince said he had been looking over the returns of the Army in Portugal that morning, and that there were of British 16,500 sick in Hospitals in Lisbon, and 4,500 sick in the field—in all, 21,000. It might be indiscreet in the Prince to make this statement from official papers, but he must have been struck with it, and I hope rightly, so as to make him think of peace. . . .

Nov. 5th.—We were at the Prince’s both last night and the night before (Sunday). . . . The Regent was again all night in the Musick Room, and not content with presiding over the Band, but actually singing, and very loud too. Last night we were reduced to a smaller party than ever, and Mrs. Creevey was well enough to go with me and her daughters for the first time. Nothing could be kinder than the Prince’s manner to her. When he first saw her upon coming into the drawing-room, he went up and took hold of both her hands, shook them heartily,
made her sit down directly, asked her all about her health, and expressed his pleasure at seeing her look so much better than he expected. Upon her saying she was glad to see him looking so well, he said gravely he was getting old and blind. When she said she was glad on account of his health that he kept his rooms cooler than he used to do, he said he was quite altered in that respect—that he used to be always chilly, and was now never so—that he never had a fire even in his bedroom, and slept with one blanket and sheet only. . . .

Nov. 6th.—We were again at the Pavilion last night . . . the party being still smaller than ever, and the Prince, according to his custom, being entirely occupied with his musick.

Nov. 9th.—Yesterday was the last day of the Prince’s stay at this place, and, contrary to my expectation, I was invited to dinner. We did not sit down till half-past seven, tho’ I went a little past six. The only person I found was Tom Stepney: then came Generals Whetham, Hammond and Cartwright, Lords Charlemont, Yarmouth and Ossulston, Sir Philip Francis, Congreve, Bloomfield and others of the understrappers, and finally the Regent and the Duke of Cumberland. We were about sixteen altogether. The Prince was very merry and seemed very well. He began to me with saying very loud that he had sent for Mrs. Creevey’s physic to London. . . . At dinner I sat opposite to him, next to Ossulston, and we were the only persons there at all marked by opposition to his appointment of his brother the Duke of York, or to the Government generally, since he has been Regent. He began an old joke at dinner with me about poor Fonblanque, with whom I had dined six years ago at the Pavilion, . . . [when] the Prince and we all got drunk, and he was always used to say it was the merriest day he ever spent. However, it was soon dropped yesterday.

“The Duke of Cumberland and Yarmouth never spoke. The Prince was describing a pleasant dinner he had had in London lately, and was going over each man’s name as he sat in his order at the table, and giving to each his due in the pleasantry of the day. Coming to Col. [Sir Willoughby] Gordon he said:
‘To be sure, there’s not much humour in him!’ upon which
Ossulston and I gave both a kind of involuntary laugh, thinking the said Gordon a perfect impostor, from our recollection of his pompous, impudent evidence before the House of Commons in the Duke of York’s case; but this chuckling of ours brought from the Prince a very elaborate panegyric upon Gordon which was meant, most evidently, as a reproof to Ossulston and myself for quizzing him.

“We did not drink a great deal, and were in the drawing-room by half-past nine or a little after; no more state, I think, than formerly—ten men out of livery of one kind or other, and four or five footmen. At night everybody was there and the whole closed about one, and so ended the Regent’s visit to Brighton.”

And so, it may be added, ended Creevey’s intimacy with the Regent. Henceforward he acted in constant opposition to his future monarch’s schemes.

Lady Holland to Mrs. Creevey.

“. . . I suppose you have heard that Mr. Canning has entirely disbanded his little Troop. He dismissed them, desiring they would no longer consider him as the leader of any Party in the House of Commons. Various reasons are assigned for it. C. Ellis says that a gentleman whom he did not name, but who is supposed to be W[illegible] suspected an immediate negociation with Ministers, and implied that he was the mouthpiece of the party; upon which Canning, in a moment of pettishness, set them all adrift. There are various conjectures, but the only fact is that they are released from their allegiance. Ward says it is hard to serve a year without wages, but he hopes to get a good character from his last place. The story is that Huskisson has been off some time and is coming in. . . . All Canning’s friends are very sore at this last move; but more because the chief sensation it excites
is laughter, and tho’ jokers themselves, they cannot endure any ridicule against their own lot. . . . The Regent went to the Dandy ball last night, and only spoke to
M. Pierrepont, one of the four who invited. He fairly turned his back upon the others. He sent a message to Sr. Harry Mildmay, saying he wished to speak to him; who replied that it must be a mistake, because His R. H. had seen him and took no notice whatever of him. . . .”