LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Creevey Papers
Ch. X: 1832-33

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 year 1832 dawned upon a stricken field. The great battle for Reform seemed to have been fought and won. It is true that the forces upon each side were still in array upon their respective positions; the artillery of both was still discharging its thunder; but the majority of 162 by which the Bill had been carried before the Christmas adjournment had shattered the last hopes of the Opposition. Excursions and alarums continued when the House met again, but all men had made up their minds to the inevitable, and were casting about for some sure foothold under the new order of things. Nevertheless, the House of Lords, as it proved, were ready to renew the war.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Jany. 20th, 1832.

“. . . Oh dear! what a squeak we had last night. To come down to a majority of only 20. Sad work, gentlemen, sad work! However, it might have been worse, for the enemy to the last thought we were beat. We are bunglers when we quit the subject of Reform. . . . It is some comfort that in our other shop, the Lords, everything went well. Lord Grey had insisted on Lord Hill* voting against the Duke of Wellington, and he did so—looking very miserable.”

* As Commander-in-chief, and therefore a member of the Government.


“. . . Durham told me Tennyson* is moving heaven and earth to get the name of his office changed from ‘clerk’ to that of ‘secretary’ or anything else, alleging gravely as a reason that a very advantageous marriage for his eldest daughter had gone off, solely from the lover not being able to stand the lady’s father being a clerk!”

“Feb. 13th.

“. . . Yesterday I dined in Arlington Street, with Talleyrand, the Dino, Lord and Lady Cowper, the Dukes of Devonshire and Argyll, Mulgrave and Charles Greville, and a very agreeable day we had, in spite of the total deafness of the D. of Devonshire.”


“We had a great go of it last night: 53 boroughs fell in succession without a fight. But there is still great division in the Cabinet about making peers, altho’ Lord Grey has now the King’s permission under his own hand in writing to use his own discretion in making whatever addition to the Peerage he thinks necessary. Brougham’s illness seemed to affect his vigor of mind, and made him rather on the jib on this subject; but now he is himself again, and quite as vigorous as ever in his demand for new peers. Grey, Goderich, Holland and Lambton are on the same side, but there is a regular murrain in all the rest of the squad. . . . King Billy hates the peer-making, but as a point of honor to his ministers he gives them unlimited power.”

“March 13th (my birthday).

“We had a great party in Downing Street last night, the Tories being at least 3 to 1 to us Whigs. I had a most agreeable conversation with Lord Grey, quite at his ease in a corner, and I beg to record the substance of part of it, that we may see how his predictions correspond with the event. I asked him now he felt about this Bill of his—did he feel confident he could carry the 2nd reading?—‘Oh certainly.

* Clerk to the Board of Ordnance.

We shall be able to carry Schedule A—to give members to the great towns, and to carry the £10 qualification clause without any alteration. I said I trusted he was not too sanguine about it, for that I never could believe it till I saw it; but that, if he proved to be right, he need not care about the loss of Schedule B or anything else, because a new Parliament would soon settle everything. . . . That he is under delusion in his expectations, I cannot yet bring myself to doubt. . . . You know that Earl Grey is 68 this day, and his faithful Treasurer [
Creevey] 64. I reckon it a great honor to have been born on the same day of the year with him.”


“. . . Our case stands thus. Wood, Lord Grey’s secretary, and Wharncliffe went over their lists of the H. of Lords yesterday, and they lay down as law that the 2nd reading will be carried by—12!”

“Tower, March 24th.

“. . . Well, the Reform Bill closed with us last night. . . . I have been drawing on the bank to-day in favor of Cox and Greenwood for upwards of £50,000. Is it your opinion they will ever get as much from me again? My opinion is they will not. However, if I lose my office, I shall give up Downton, retire into the country, and write memoirs.”

“Bury St., 26th.

“. . . The Cabinet met yesterday and were unanimous. Thursday week was to be proposed for the 2nd reading in the Lords, instead of this day week, because in the interval all the supplies for the year can be voted, and if, after that, the 2nd reading is rejected or outvoted—that very hour Parliament is to be prorogued, and peers created to any requisite amount.”


“. . . I am in much better heart about the 2nd reading in the Lords. Altho’ Wharncliffe and Harrowby have few or no followers, yet it is so evidently fright of the consequences that a second rejection of
1832-33.]LADY GREY’S PARTY.243
this Bill may produce that influences them in their present course, that the same fright has very naturally found its way into other members of the Tory camp. . . .
Howick told me his father [Lord Grey] had this very day received letters from six Tory peers expressing their intentions either to vote for the 2nd reading or to stay away, and thanking Lord Grey for not having carried this Bill by a new creation of Peers.”

“April 2nd.

“. . . I have a card to dine with Lord Dudley for this day week, tho’ it is said he is insane, and Halford told Sefton he was to be put under coercion this very day.”


“Well, altho’ I say it who should not, I really think I was very great at the Earl and Countess Grey’s on Saturday. The party consisted of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who came together in the same carriage, and therefore their marriage could not be more distinctly announced;† Lord and Ly. Cleveland, Lord and Lady Morley, Lord and Lady Ponsonby, General and Lady Grey, Bulteel and Lady Churchill, Ellice, Sydney Smith and Mr. Creevey. As I opened the door for the ladies when they left the dining-room, Lady Cleveland said:—‘How agreeable you have been!’ When Lady Grey came last, she put out her hand and said:—‘Oh thank you! Mr. Creevey; how useful you have been.’ Lady Georgiana told me last night she had laughed out aloud in bed at one of my stories. . . . Such is my evidence of the success of a vain old man! . . . I don’t suppose there could be a stricter or more cordial friendship than between Lady Morley and myself. She has a great deal of natural waggery, with overflowing

* Lord Dudley died in the following year.

† The Duke of Sussex married Lady Augusta Murray, daughter of the 4th Earl of Dunmore, in 1793, but the marriage was dissolved in 1794 as being contrary to the Royal Marriage Act. Lady Augusta died in 1830, when his Royal Highness declared his marriage with Lady Cecilia, ninth daughter of the Earl of Arran, and widow of Sir George Buggin.

spirits, but she is more of a noisy man than a polished countess.”


“. . . Albemarle just tells me he has seen the King often since the event, and that nothing can equal his ecstacies. He justly observes ‘it is such a load off his mind.’ He never slept a wink, he says, on Friday night till he learnt the result. To be sure, he ought to be pretty grateful to the jockey who rode and won the race for him.”

The jubilation of the Reformers was brief indeed. The Bill, indeed, had passed the second reading in the Lords on 6th April by a majority of nine, but this was only by help of the Tory Lords Wharncliffe and Harrowby, and their slender following, who were known by the ominous title of the Waverers. Such a majority could scarcely impart sufficient momentum to the measure to carry it through committee; and, in effect, on the first evening after the Easter recess, the Government were beaten on Lord Lyndhurst’s motion to postpone the clauses disfranchising the rotten boroughs.

Thereupon, on 8th May, Lord Grey advised the King to create so many peers “as might ensure the success of the Bill in all its essential principles.” King William’s enthusiasm for the measure had greatly cooled since the second reading; he refused to take the step recommended; and Lord Grey and his colleagues resigned on 9th May. His Majesty then commissioned the Duke of Wellington to form an administration. The Duke undertook to do so, on the understanding that he should bring in an extensive measure of Reform; but he utterly failed in the attempt to get Peel, Baring, and others to face work so contrary to their principles and past
1832-33.]LORD GREY RESIGNS.245
professions. In the end, Lord Grey was induced to withdraw his resignation, and before the end of the month a fresh Whig Ministry was in office.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Bury Street, May 9th.

“. . . Ladies, I have lost my Tower! C’en est fait de nous! Dead as mutton, every man John of us, so help me Jingo! You see, after our defeat in the Lords on Monday, a Cabinet was summoned for that night and the next day. The result was Grey and Brougham going down to Windsor yesterday at 3 o’clock to ask the King to create a sufficient number of peers in order to recover their ground and so secure the Bill, or, if he would not do that, to accept their resignation. They did not return till eleven; but by means of my faithful and active enquirer, Sefton, who got to Crocky’s a little past one, I found it was all over. The King had not even preserved his usual civility, had shown strong reluctance to the proposition, and concluded by saying Lord Grey should have his answer on Thursday. He did not even offer the poor fellows any victuals, and they were obliged to put into port at the George posting-house at Hounslow, and so get some mutton chops. . . . Sefton was with Brougham a little after nine this morning, and during his stay a letter came from Grey to B. enclosing the King’s letter just received, in which his Majesty accepts their resignation. Let me not fail to add that Brougham, on having read it out aloud to Sefton, sprung from his chair and, rubbing his hands, declared that it was the happiest moment of his life! I daresay, from his late debility, that what he said he felt. . . . Our beloved Billy cuts a damnable figure in this business, because he is clearly influenced by our defeat on Monday. He permitted the Duke of Cumberland to tell his friends that he would make no peers, and then the rats were in their old ranks again at once. All that I have to hope upon this occasion is that there will be the same dawdling in making out my successor’s patent as there was in making out mine. I regret
certainly the loss of position and of doing agreeable things to myself with my official resources; but it was quite an unexpected windfall to me, has lasted much longer than I expected, and the recollection of the manner in which it fell to my lot will always be most agreeable to me. And so there’s an end of the business, and it will never affect me more.”

“Tower, May 10th.

“. . . Our perfidious Billy was the outside of graciosity to Lord Grey at the levee yesterday, and said Geo. the 2nd could not have felt more bitterly at parting from Sir Robert Walpole, nor Geo. the 3rd at parting with Lord North, than he did at parting with Lord Grey. Damned easy said, was it not? As to our Bruffam, the King implored him three times over not to leave him, used every argument to convince him that he was not bound to go out, and that, by remaining, the greatest possible publick benefit would accrue to the country. Brougham, however, had no alternative but to tell him that it was most distressing to his feelings to be urged to separate himself from Lord Grey, with whose fate his own was irrevocably fix’d. The King tried his hand, too, upon the Duke of Richmond, who was equally firm. . . . Upon leaving the Palace on his return to Windsor, Billy got rather roughly treated by the people, both at his own door and at Hyde Park Corner and other places.”

“House of C., 18th.

“. . . To-night really all is right. If you doubt it, take Althorp’s communication to our House, viz.:—‘That the Government, having received securities for passing the Reform Bill, remain his Majesty’s Ministers during pleasure.’ This was followed by a most valuable declaration from Peel ‘that he never would have joined the late attempted administration of the Duke of Wellington.’ . . . Grey and Reform and the Tower for ever!’


“One more day will finish the concern in the Lords, and that this should have been accomplished as it has
against a great majority of peers, and without making a single new one, must always remain one of the greatest miracles in English history. The conqueror of Waterloo had great luck on that day; so he had when
Marmont made a false move at Salamanca; but at last comes his own false move, which has destroyed himself and his Tory high-flying association for ever, which has passed the Reform Bill without opposition. That has saved the country from confusion, and perhaps the monarch and monarchy from destruction.”

“Tower, June 2nd.

“. . . In the House of Lords yesterday Grey, according to his custom, came and talked with me. It is really too much to see his happiness at its being all over and well over. He dwells upon the marvellous luck of Wellington’s false move—upon the eternal difficulties he (Grey) would have been involved in had the Opposition not brought it to a crisis when they did. Their blunder he conceives to have been their belief that he would not resign upon this defeat on an apparent question of form. Thank God! they did not know their man.”

“June 5th.

“. . . Thank God! I was in at the death of this Conservative plot, and the triumph of our Bill. This is the third great event of my life at which I have been present, and in each of which I have been to a certain extent mixed up—the battle of Waterloo, the battle of Queen Caroline, and the battle of Earl Grey and the English nation for the Reform Bill. If the Conservative press is aware that the Master-in-Chancery who carried this Bill from the Lords to the Commons was our Harry Martin, lineal descendant of Harry Martin the regicide, what a subject it will be for them tomorrow!”


“. . . The Reform Bill passed by Commission—commissioners Lords Grey, Brougham, Durham, Holland and Wellesley.”


“. . . How do you think the Duke of Wellington has been treated on this anniversary of the battle of Waterloo? He went to call on Wetherell at Lincoln’s Inn on horseback, and, being recognised, so large a mob assembled there and shewed such very bad temper towards him, that he was obliged to send for the police to protect him home, and he did accordingly return in the centre of a very large body of police and a mob of about 2000 people, hooting him all the way.”*

“Tower, 27th.

“. . . Grey would not go to the Duke of Wellington’s last night, tho’ invited to meet the King; but he had an audience with the King during the day to apologise for so doing. Lady Grey, too, was at the Opera, instead of being with her King and Queen. How like them both! and yet I suppose it was wrong.”

“Buxton, Sept. 9th.

“. . . I have been so lucky in picking up a playfellow in Lady Wellesley. She sent me a message that she wished to renew her acquaintance with me; since which I have walked for an hour with her daily, and in my life I never found a more agreeable companion. She always asked me to come again the next day, and I franked all her letters for her. Miss Cator told me a very pleasant saying of King Billy about Lady Wellesley. When she was in waiting at Windsor, some one, in talking of Mrs. Trollope’s book, said:—‘Do you come from that part of America where they “guess” and where they “calculate”?—

* The facts were not exactly as reported to Mr. Creevey. The Duke was returning from the Mint when the mob assembled. Attempts were made in Fenchurch Street to drag him from his horse, and in Holborn there was some stone-throwing. Four policemen—two on each side of his horse’s head—escorted him to the end of Chancery Lane, down which the Duke turned and rode to Sir Charles Wetherell’s chambers in Lincoln’s Inn. The gate of New Street Square being closed behind him, the mob was kept at bay, while the Duke rode quietly out into Lincoln’s Inn Fields and so home to Apsley House.

King Billy said:—‘Lady Wellesley comes from where they fascinate!’”*

“Stoke, Nov. 4th.

“. . . Here are our Greys and Talleyrand and the Dino. . . . What an idiot I am never to have made myself a Frenchman. To think of having such a card as this old villain Talleyrand so often within one’s reach, and yet not to be able to make anything of it. I play my accustomed rubber of whist with him.”

Creevey’s retirement from Parliament was now imminent, for although Lord Radnor and other friends were anxious to find him a seat, and many proposals were made to him, things could not be so snugly arranged under the new order of things as had been possible in the good old days of pocket boroughs. Therefore, Lord Grey, Lord Sefton, and the rest of his many friends in the party now in power, concerned themselves to find him a comfortable billet outside Parliament.

“Brooks’s, Nov. 24th.

“. . . I got a bothering, long-winded letter from Wood, stating how very anxious both Lord Grey and Althorp were to have every official man in the House of Commons, and, in short, giving me a very intelligible jog or hint that my place would be more usefully filled by a House of Commons man; and then a place for life was offered me in return which has just become vacant. And what do you suppose this place was? It is Receiver-General of the Isle of Man—salary £500 a year—residence in the said romantic island nine months only out of the twelve. . . . I said the Isle of Man as a piece of humour was everything I could wish, and I could only treat it in that way; that if Lord Grey wanted my place for the purpose of strengthening his Government in the House of

* Lady Wellesley was a daughter of Mr. Caton of Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Commons, it was quite at his disposal, with great obligations on my part for his manner of having given it me, and without asking for any terms whatever.”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“Nov. 24th.
“Dear Creevey,

“I have been at work for you this morning, and am much satisfied with the result. Brougham says you cannot be left in the lurch, and laughs at the Isle of Man. Wood says, ‘Very well: things must remain as they are at present, and we must try and find something that will suit him.’ Ellis [? Ellice] was present: they both volunteered saying you had the first claim of anybody, and MUST be considered; that even if you had no place now, you wd. have irresistible claims both on party and private grounds. In short, you stand as well as possible, if you don’t take the romantic line, of which I know by experience you are quite capable.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Bury St., Nov. 28th.

“. . . Sefton said he did not wonder that I would not touch the Isle of Man, but it was the only thing they had then to offer, and that the applications for it were endless.”

“1st Dec.

“. . . Well, here goes for the last letter I shall ever frank; and what of that? We shall get others to frank for us, and Monday will be the last day I shall ever receive a letter free, except at the Tower.* Ah, Barry, my dear! there’s the rub—the Tower, the dear Tower; now long shall we have it?”

* Members of Parliament enjoyed the privilege, not only of franking letters, but of receiving them without paying the postage which ordinary recipients had to do to the tune of from 10d. to 1s. 6d. according to distance.

“Dec. 5th.

“. . . Lord Grey has lost that one front tooth which has so long upheld his upper lip; but his face, tho’ altered by it, is much less so than I should have expected; and his voice and manner of speaking not the least affected by it.”

Intense curiosity prevailed as to the appearance of the reformed Parliament, and all the political memoirs of that time abound with impressions thereof. On the whole, the outward change was much less than most people expected—at least, as to the class of members returned. The position of parties, indeed, was of startling significance. For the first time in the history of Parliament the voice of the people had obtained articulate utterance, and its accents were a stern condemnation and rejection of those who had resisted Reform. The new House of Commons contained but 149 Tories against 509 Whigs and Liberals; but some of the extreme men who were returned found their level, much to their own surprise and those of their friends, considerably lower than they had anticipated. Such is the mysterious but irresistible atmosphere of the House of Commons in all ages.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Feby. 2nd, 1833.

“. . . The start the other day was most favorable for the Government. Hume boasted beforehand that he was sure of 100 followers; so that 31 only was a woful falling off. It seems to be put beyond all doubt that Cobbett can do nothing. His voice and manner of speaking are tiresome, in addition to which his language is blackguard beyond anything one ever heard of. O’Connell, too, was disgustingly coarse.”


“. . . It is made perfectly manifest by their first vote that the Reformed Parliament is not a Radical one, when Joe Hume and the Rt. Honble. Tennyson and all the O’Connells and all the Repealers, with Cobbett to boot, could only muster 40 against 400!”

“Tower, Feby. 28th, 1833.

“. . . What say you to the Duchesse de Berri’s approaching accouchement? Young Bourmont is said to be the lucky lover. What a termination to all her heroism to save the Crown of France for her son! It is really too ridiculous: just the event to close the career of the Carlists.”

“March 14.

“There has been most stormy work in the Cabinet for some time, and it has been with the greatest difficulty Grey and Althorp have submitted to Stanley’s obstinacy about Irish tithes. The more violent Lambton I dare say would not submit, and he retires with an earldom, to cure his headaches, of course. What pretty physic! How delighted his colleagues must be that he is gone, for there never was such a disagreeable, overbearing devil to bear with in a Cabinet. . . .”

“April 10th.

“How are you all as to Influenza? Here it spares no one—man, woman, or child, and it is a decided epidemic. I can scarcely see out of my eyes for it at this moment. . . .”

“April 15th.

“There is an unfavourable account of Charles Grenfell, who is laid up at Stoke with this influenza. My lord and my lady [Sefton] arrived between 9 and 10 from Stoke on purpose to see Taglioni dance, but she was in bed with this complaint. There are seventeen servants at Stoke laid up with it, not one of whom can do a stroke of work.”


“. . . Sefton is seriously annoyed at the terrible state in which Lord Foley’s family have been left. They have been literally without bread of late. The present young lord, who is excellent, was induced by his father to make himself answerable for his father’s debts, and will not have a farthing left. She has a jointure of £2,500 a year, and the younger children (7 in number) have £30,000 amongst them. The family estate was £40,000 a year, all of which is either gone, or must go. Was there ever such wickedness?”

“May 20th.

“. . . There is the greatest fuss about the turn-out at Sefton’s to-day. I don’t know if you remember a picture of Charles X. in the dining-room, sent to the Sefton’s by the King himself. The Dino says it is absolutely impossible that the Duc d’Orleans can sit opposite that picture at dinner, and yet says that, in the situation of the Seftons, she would die rather than it should be taken away; so all she prays of them is that it may not be in the dining-room.”


“. . . Would you believe it, that cursed Berkeley* has gone and married the woman he lived with, after his father behaving so beautifully as he did upon what he was led to consider their separation for ever. He settled £200 a year for life upon her, £100 upon the child, and all their debts paid; and yet, the day before yesterday, this colonel had the grace to announce to his father by letter from Gloucester that he is married, and that £600 is absolutely necessary to free him from fresh difficulties. Sefton told me he would have nothing to reproach himself for to the last, and he has sent him this £600. . . . I think for the purchase of the Lieut. Colonelcy of the 8th Hussars Sefton gave £11,000. I never could tell why, but he was certainly Sefton’s favorite son, and a charming return he has made him. . . . Yesterday I dined at Stanley’s. Mr. Macaulay and Mr. Gordon were the only performers after dinner, and two more noisy vulgar fellows I never saw. Fitzroy Somerset, Kempt, McDonald and I settled them between ourselves afterwards.”

* Lieut.-Colonel the Hon. George Berkeley Molyneux, 2nd son of the 2nd Earl of Sefton. In Burke’s Peerage Colonel Molyneux’s marriage with Mrs. Eliza Stuart is dated 1824.

“June 1st.

“. . . I had a great deal of Duncannon’s two eldest daughters [at Lady Grey’s party]. Lord Kerry was in close attendance upon the second, as it is said he always is, and I trust he will marry her.”*

“Tower, June 12.

“I begin here, not from having anything to write about, but from pure affection to the spot. As soon as I see my four turrets come in view when I turn into Tower Street, I think what agreeable companions they have been to me, and I always hope they may continue so for a little longer.
“Here’s the bower, the darling Tower,
The Tower that Rufus planted;
Dear Norman King! ’twas just the thing—
The thing that Creevey wanted.

“I’ll tell you one project I wish my Tower to carry into execution for me. I have set my heart upon our all going to the Menai Bridge in the autumn. My allowance for going to Ireland gives me one pair of horses, and my place will easily give the leaders. So think of it, ladies, and gratify me by saying it shall be done, and it shall be called ‘the Treat of the Tower.’ . . . Our dinner in Arlington Street was quite as gay as if Berkeley had not disgraced himself as he has done—the Manvers’s, George Ansons and de Ros’s, with the usual list of dandies and swindlers (D’Orsay included).”


“. . . We had a capital assembly at Lady Grey’s, and I collected clearly that we are not going to resign, let the majority in the Lords against our Irish Church

* He did so within a year.

Reform Bill be what it may; so that is all as it should be. The great stumbling-block before us is—will the Lords consent to the future reduction of the Irish Bishops. It is a bitter pill for them to swallow: I don’t see how the English Bishops are to stand it; and yet I am perfectly convinced that if that bill is flung out in the Lords, the present House of Commons, either in this very session or the next, will commence operations for dislodging the Bishops from the H. of Lords altogether; and eventually they must succeed.”


“. . . I met Brougham at dinner yesterday at Miss Berry’s, and a most agreeable dinner we had. In addition to Brougham—Sydney Smith, Ld. and Ly. Lyttelton, Ly. Charlotte Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley (the member for Cheshire). She is a person greatly admired, a daughter of the late Lord Dillon. Ly. Lyttelton, you know, is a sister of Althorp’s, and seemed quite as worthy, and in her dress as homely as he, tho’ the Berry told me she was very highly accomplished. It was shortly after I came into Parliament that Ward* and Lyttelton† came into the H. of Commons, each with great academical fame and every prospect of being distinguished public men. Poor Ward, with all his acquirements and talents, made little of it, went mad and died. Lyttelton having married, and being very poor, could not afford to continue in Parliament; and tho’ he wanted little to enable him to do so, the meanness of Lord Spencer would not supply him with it, and he has been an exile almost ever since. Tho’ grown very grey for his age, he is as lively and charming a companion as the town can produce, and they are said to be the happiest couple in the world.”


“. . . I have just heard from Tavistock, who is undoubted authority, that we have agreed to modify the clause in our Church Reform Bill which was so offensive to the Lords, with the understanding that

* Afterwards 1st Earl of Dudley.

Third Lord Lyttelton.

they are not to oppose the Bill. The consequence of this must necessarily be that, when the fight does come (and come it must, sooner or later) the Government will have so much less sympathy and support because of this surrender. However, if the Tower does but float till next session of Parliament, it is much more than ever I expected!”

“July 6th.

“I met Lady Holland again on Thursday at Lord Sefton’s. She began by complaining of the slipperiness of the courtyard, and of the danger of her horses falling; to which Sefton replied that it should be gravelled the next time she did him the honor of dining there. She then began to sniff, and, turning her eyes to various pots filled with beautiful roses and all kinds of flowers, she said:—‘Lord Sefton, I must beg you to have those flowers taken out of the room, they are so much too powerful for me.’—Sefton and his valet Paoli actually carried the table and all its contents out of the room. Then poor dear little Ly. Sefton, who has always a posy as large as life at her breast when she is dressed, took it out in the humblest manner, and said:—‘Perhaps, Lady Holland, this nosegay may be too much for you.’—But the other was pleased to allow her to keep it, tho’ by no means in a very gracious manner. Then when candles were lighted at the close of dinner, she would have three of them put out, as being too much and too near her. Was there ever?”

“Denbies, 15th.

“. . . This spot is one of the most beautiful I know. . . . I am in the second volume of poor Roscoe’s Lorenzo de Medici. I read his Leo three or four years ago with great pleasure, and the present book with encreased delight. I can scarcely conceive a greater miracle than Roscoe’s history—that a man whose dialect was that of a barbarian, and from whom, in years of familiar intercourse, I never heard above an average observation, whose parents were servants (whom I well remember keeping a public house), whose profession was that of an attorney, who had
never been out of England and scarcely out of Liverpool—that such a man should undertake to write the history of the 14th and 15th centuries, the revival of Greek and Roman learning and the formation of the Italian [illegible]—that such a history should be to the full as polished in style as that of
Gibbon, and much more simple and perspicuous—that the facts of this history should be all substantiated by references to authorities in other languages, with frequent and beautiful translations from them by himself—is really too! Then the subject is to my mind the most captivating possible: one’s only regret is that poor Roscoe, after writing this beautiful history of his brother bankers the Medici, should not have imitated their prudence, and by such means have escaped appearing in that profane literary work, the Gazette! Oh dear! what a winding up for his fame at last!”


“. . . You must know that for months past I have been firing into Ellice, and through him into Durham, for their joint patronage of Barnes, the editor of the Times newspaper; being convinced that the vindictive articles in that paper against Lord Grey were written or dictated by Durham. . . . On Sunday I found that Lambton and Ellice have recently become at daggers drawn, and Ellice told me he had received such a letter of abuse from him in the Isle of Wight as had never been penned. The subject was nothing less than that he—Lord Durham—was going to withdraw his proxy from the support of Ld. Grey and his Government. Ellice admitted the connection between Durham and Barnes, and that the communications between them had been carried on by Lord Dover, just deceased. The said Durham, according to Ellice, is now Prime Minister to the Duchess of Kent and Queen Victoria, and they are getting up all their arrangements together in the Isle of Wight for a new reign! You may remember that Durham was King Leopold’s* right hand man when he was going to be King of Greece—drew all his State papers for him, and has always been his bottle-holder ever since. So nothing is more

* King of the Belgians: brother of the Duchess of Kent.

likely than his becoming first favorite with the Duchess of Kent and Victoria in a new reign.”


“Well, you see with what flying colours we finished our Irish Church Bill last night. A great body of the Tories are absolutely furious with the Beau—for what wd. you suppose? as two of them told me to my own self—for want of pluck!”*

“August 7th.

“. . . As I was walking in the streets, Lady Ciss, or Princess Ciss, passed me in her carriage, and immediately pulled up. She wished to know if I was disengaged, as the Duke [of Sussex] and she were going to dine quite alone, and they would be delighted if I would join them. Affable, was it not? in a royal dame.”

Many and scathing had been Creevey’s utterances and the expressions in his correspondence in derision of monarchs and monarchical institutions; but time and the sweets of office had done much to mitigate the democratic ardour of the former “Man of the Mountain.” The crowning touch to his reconciliation with the Head of the Constitution as it was, was put by the hand of King William himself.

“Brooks’s, August 9th.

“My dinner yesterday with my beloved Sovereign was everything I could wish, and more, indeed, than I had a right to expect. Jemmy Kempt, according to my request, sent his carriage for me after it had set him down at the Palace. My only very little doubt was whether I should not have gone in shorts and silk stockings instead of trowsers; and if I had, I should have been the only man in shorts in the room; so that, you know, was very well.

The Duke of Wellington disgusted his Tory followers by speaking and voting for the second reading of the Government’s Bill for regulating the Protestant Church of Ireland.

1832-33.] KING WILLIAM’S LEVEE. 259

“Well, after our being all assembled near half an hour, the doors were flung open, and in entered Billy, accompanied by his household; and, having advanced singly into the middle of the room, the company formed a great circle around him. As I was not very anxious to attract his attention after all my sins against him,* I placed myself in the 2nd row of the circle. The first thing he did was to call Sir James Kempt† to him as his bottle-holder for the occasion. I then heard him say to him:—‘There are two officers in the room who have never been presented to me’ (then mentioning their names which I did not hear), ‘bring them here to me.’ So accordingly the two officers were conducted into the centre of the circle, dropt upon their marrow-bones, and kissed hands.

“Our beloved then said something else to Kempt which I could not hear; but the General immediately looked about with all his eyes for his man; and I am sure you will all partake of Nummy’s† surprise when Kempt, having discovered me, said:—‘Creevey, the King wishes to speak to you;’ and I was conducted likewise into the middle of the circle. Then the King, in the prettiest manner, said:—‘Mr. Creevey, how d’ye do? I hope you are quite well. It is a long time since I had the pleasure of seeing you. Where do you reside, Mr. Creevey?’ Now, would you believe it? this was the only thing of the kind that took place. After this he went a little round the circle, talking to officers. I heard him ask General Bingham where he had lost his arm, and such kind of things.

“My Scotch master, Jemmy,§ was so touched with the King’s civility to myself that he came afterwards to me and said:—‘Upon my soul, Creevey, after the King’s gracious behaviour to you to-day, you must come to the next levee; for you never do go, and he

* Creevey, as a Radical member, had not been accustomed to speak respectfully of the Duke of Clarence, and had voted steadily against the royal grants.

General the Right Hon. Sir James Kempt [1764-1854], commanded the 8th Brigade at Waterloo.

‡ One of Creevey’s pet names in his family.

§ Speaker Abercromby.

has often asked me after you.’ Can you solve this behaviour to me? Was it a reproach for never doing my duty in waiting on my Sovereign? or does he think I have any scruples at coming near him after my behaviour to him and his brothers, and that he wishes to remove them? At all events, I consider it as most curious, and as long as my Royal Master lives, and I live to wear my present uniform coat, he shall never have to say that I absent myself from his levee, whether in or out of office. . . . I had a most agreeable dinner. To be sure, the King’s speeches, and the length of each, were beyond; but he is so totally unlike what we remember him—not a single joke or attempt at any merriment—as grave as a judge in everything he does, and as if he took a sincere interest in all he was saying—in short, he made himself a real pet of mine. . . . When I told
Brougham, whom I sat next at Althorp’s at dinner on Saturday, of the King’s speech to me, he said it was the image of him as the best-natured and kindest-hearted man in the world, and that it was clearly meant to show me that he had no resentment or recollection, even, of any former personal hostilities from me, and that I had no occasion to avoid him. What the opinion of so sincere a creature as B. is worth is one thing; but I really think one can’t find out another meaning for Billy’s conduct. If it is the real one, never was a Sovereign so kind and condescending.”


“The Earl [of Sefton] called and took me to the levee yesterday in his fat London coach, sitting with his back to the horses, and giving Mr. Treasurer the post of honor, and so home again to Mrs. Durham’s* great delight. My Sovereign only said:—‘How d’ye do, Mr. Creevey?’—I did not expect more. It was a very slender levee, but I had an agreeable playfellow in Lord Grosvenor, ci-devant Belgrave,† and Lord Grey came to me just after I had passed the King, saying in his prettiest manner:—‘Creevey, I have not seen you for an age!’”

* Creevey’s landlady.

† Afterwards 2nd Marquess of Westminster.