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The Creevey Papers
Ch. XI: 1833

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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( 261 )
Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Stoke, August 19th, 1833.

Brougham, Plunket, Chas. Greville and Sefton have gone to town, and I am to entertain Lord John Russell who stays to dinner to-morrow. I am just going to ride with him and the ladies; and, by Sefton’s desire, to write my name at the Castle [Windsor]. Next Wednesday is the King’s birthday, when there is a great dinner there. The Seftons have got their invitation; so we shall see if I am equally successful in my meanness. Don’t you think I am become too great a toady of Royalty?”

“Tower, 31st.

“. . . I am reading the newly published correspondence between Horace Walpole and Sir Horace Mann, his earliest friend and Minister at Florence. Considering who the writer was, and his position, the book can’t fail of being interesting—very—but he is a trifling chap after all. . . .”

Lady Louisa Molyneux to Mr. Creevey.
“Stoke, Sept. 3, 1833.

“. . . We do not hear much of cholera in this neighbourhood, but all the sherry in the cellar is drunk, and Reeves has been obliged to ask for a fresh supply; he cannot get people to drink his French wines, entirely from fear of cholera. . . .”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Stoke, Sept. 5th.

“. . . I have for the first time boarded an omnibus, and it is really charming. I quite long to go back in one to Piccadilly. . . . Monday brought all Europe under our humble roof at Stoke—at least the great powers of it by their representatives. There was England well represented by Earl Grey, with my lady, Ly. Georgiana and Charles; France by Talleyrand and the Dino; Russia by the Prince and Princess Lieven; Austria by Esterhazy, with the addition of Weissenberg, the Austrian delegate to the Conference; and Prussia by Bulow. But the female Lieven and the Dino were the people for sport. They are both professional talkers—artists quite, in that department, and the Dino jealous to a degree of the other. We had them both quite at their ease, and perpetually at work with each other; but the Lieven for my money! She has more dignity and the other more grimace. . . . The Greys had just come from Windsor Castle. Lady Grey, in her own distressed manner, said she was really more dead than alive. She said all the boring she had ever endured before was literally nothing compared with her misery of the two preceding nights. She hoped she never should see a mahogany table again, she was so tired with the one that the Queen and the King, the Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Augusta, Madame Lieven and herself had sat round for hours—the Queen knitting or netting a purse—the King sleeping, and occasionally waking for the purpose of saying:—‘Exactly so, ma’am!’ and then sleeping again. The Queen was cold as ice to Lady Grey, till the moment she came away, when she could afford to be a little civil at getting quit of her. . . .

“We asked Lord Grey how he had passed his evening: ‘I played at whist,’ said he, ‘and what is more, I won £2, which I never did before. Then I had very good fun at Sir Henry Halford’s expense. You know he is the damnedest conceited fellow in the world, and prides himself above all upon his scholarship—upon being what you call an elegant scholar; so he would repeat to me a very long train of Greek
verses; and, not content with that, he would give me a translation of them into Latin verses by himself. So when he had done, I said that, as to the first, my Greek was too far gone for me to form a judgment of them, but according to my own notion the Latin verses were very good.’ “But,” said I, “there is a much better judge than myself to appeal to,” pointing to
Goodall, the Provost of Eton. “Let us call him in.” So we did, and the puppy repeated his own production with more conceit than ever, till he reached the last line, when the old pedagogue reel’d back as if he had been shot, exclaiming:—“That word is long, and you have made it short!’—Halford turned absolutely scarlet at this detection of his false quantity. “You ought to be whipped, Sir Henry,” said Goodall, “you ought to be whipped for such a mistake.’” . . . At dinner Lady Grey sat between Talleyrand and Esterhazy. I, at some little distance, commanded a full view of her face, and was sure of her thoughts; for, as you know, she hates Talleyrand, and he was making the cursedest nasty noises in his throat.”

Lady Louisa Molyneux to Mr. Creevey [in Ireland].
“Stoke, Oct. 30th.

“. . . There never was such weather; we are sitting with open windows, blinds down, and old Lady Salisbury is reading out of doors as if it was the middle of July. She is more youthful than ever, and leaves us to-morrow to be at the Berkhampstead ball, which she attends annually. She had better go to Portugal and assist Miguel, for she makes a better fight for him than any of his adherents. . . . Poor Alava writes in great uneasiness about his patrie, but does not forget to finish his letter with mille choses à toute la famille et à Creevey. . . . Olivia de Ros’s marriage* was a grand ceremony, the chapel† hung with crimson velvet, the bride dressed by the Queen, the parish register signed by the King, the Queen and Duke of Wellington; quantities of royal presents, &c.

* To the Hon. Henry Wellesley, who succeeded his father as Lord Cowley, and was created Earl Cowley.

† St. George’s, Windsor.

. . . The
Stanleys have been here for a day. He* made himself tolerably agreeable, except in his extreme flippancy to Lord Melbourne.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Besborough, Nov. 3rd.

“. . . I wish to record a point or two of political history not generally known. When Lord Grey determined upon beginning his administration by a reform in Parliament, he named Lord Durham, Lord John Russell, Lord Duncannon and Sir James Graham as the persons to prepare a bill for that purpose; and they did prepare the bill, of which Lord Grey knew not one syllable till it was presented to him all ready, cut and dry. When he had read it, he shrugged up his shoulders, and gave it as his opinion that the King would never stand it. However, upon his taking it to Brighton the King showed no decided hostility to it; and, as we know, Lord Grey’s measure of Reform was ultimately carried. It was towards the conclusion of the labors of this committee of four that Ld. Durham’s anger became first excited. Lord Grey, to please the Duke of Richmond, added him to the four other committee-men; a step that in itself gave great umbrage to Durham. From that day forth, he and the Duke fought like cat and dog. The next thorn in Durham’s side was Stanley. They were always opposed to each other upon Church matters; and when the Church Bill of the latter was brought forward last session, Durham addressed to the Cabinet his strictures thereon (and very able and severe they were) accompanied by a complaint that he—Durham—had not been consulted. These the Cabinet forwarded to Stanley without observations (was there ever such child’s play?). Stanley was equally fierce in reply. . . . At a Cabinet dinner shortly after, this hitherto latent fire came to a blaze between these worthies. Poor Grey attempted at least to assuage it; but, as he unfortunately rather leaned to Stanley, upon the ground of Durham never coming to the Cabinet,

* Afterwards 14th Earl of Derby [Prime Minister].

Durham fell upon him with all his fury, said that he was the last of men that ought to have made that charge, knowing as he did that the cause of his absence was devotion to his dying child, and then went on to say that Grey had actually been the cause of the boy’s death. . . . Poor
Althorp put his head between his hands and never took them away for half an hour. It was this frightful scene that produced the resignation of Durham, tho’ he had been long brooding over it.

“Let me give you another specimen of the manner in which our great men govern us. Lord Anglesey said to Duncannon at Dublin:—‘Mr. Stanley and I do very well together as companions, but we differ so totally about Ireland that I never mention the subject to him!’* Anglesey then showed Duncannon a written statement of his views respecting Ireland, which he said he had sent to Lord Grey. Duncannon says nothing could be better, and he asked him why he had not addressed it to the Cabinet.—‘Oh,’ said Lord Anglesey, ‘I consider myself as owing my appointment exclusively to Lord Grey, and don’t wish to communicate with any one else.’ When Duncannon talked to Grey on the same subject, Ld. G. said he was apprehensive of offending Stanley by laying these opinions of Anglesey’s before him. Now which do you think of all these gentlemen deserves the severest flogging. Duncannon says that both Grey and Althorp entirely agree with him in opposition to Stanley about Irish matters, and that both one and the other avoid touching upon the subject to Stanley, least they should offend him.

“One more point of private political history. Brougham has again and again in my presence taken merit to himself for his firmness in insisting upon the dissolution of Parliament when the Government was beat upon Gascoigne’s motion in 1831.† The facts of that case are as follows. On the day after that division, Duncannon dined at Durham’s with

* Lord Anglesey was for the second time Lord Lieutenant (1830-33), and Stanley was Secretary for Ireland under the Home Office.

† When Ministers were left in a minority of 22 on General Gascoyne’s motion to reduce the Ordnance Vote.

Lord Grey and others. Durham was furious for dissolution; Grey and the others became of the same opinion, and that it must take place the very next day. Grey sent a messenger out of hand to Windsor, begging the King to be in town next day at eleven. He then sat down to write the King’s speech for the occasion, and begg’d Duncannon to get a coach, and to go and bring the Clerk of the Council and Brougham there directly. When Duncannon arrived at Brougham’s house, the servant said my lord was going to bed and could not be seen. However, as you may suppose, Duncannon forced his way up; but Brougham, when informed of what was passing, said he would be no party to the proceeding—that he entirely disapproved of it, and should go to bed directly, adding that he had never been consulted. However, I need not say that he went, and that he made up for the affront of never being consulted by giving out that it was his own act and deed.”

“Bury St., Saturday, Nov. 16th.

“I am only just this instant (5 o’clock) arrived in the same cloathes in which I wrote to you from Dublin on Thursday. Barry, my dear, if any sensible, well-informed man shall ever tell you that a new channel is discovered from the Irish Sea to the Mersey, thro’ which Irish steamboats of all dimensions may always pass, let the state of the tide be what it will—tell such a philosopher that he lies, and that the truth is not in him; for, having had the most charming and successful and swiftest passage of the season up to 4 o’clock yesterday morning, so as to expect to be in by 5, it was discovered there was not water enough for us to proceed. We were shifted at that pleasant hour into another steamer drawing less water, and even for this we soon found there was not enough, and so had to undergo the agreeable ceremony of lying at anchor for upwards of 3 hours, and did not reach Liverpool till ½ past 9, too late for the early coaches.”


“Amongst the many instances one has known of London gossip, jaw and gullibility, my Irish fame is
no bad specimen. When I went to Whitehall on Saturday, poor
Mrs. Taylor began:—‘And so, Mr. Creevey, there is no living in the Castle at Dublin without you; so, I assure you, General Ellice writes to every one.’—When I saw Sefton the same night he said:—‘Grey has a letter from Wellesley* in which he says you are the most agreeable fellow he has seen for ages, and that your visit to them has been most valuable.’—Col. Shaw, a belonging of Wellesley’s in India of 30 years’ standing, whom I saw for the first time in Dublin, writes word that ‘Mr. Creevey by agreeableness has greatly contributed to Ld. Wellesley’s happiness, and to his years!’ . . . A note from Lady Grey yesterday says:—‘Pray, pray! dear Mr. Creevey, dine here on Friday.’ In the course of the morning Esterhazy came after me to dine with him yesterday, and Kempt has been here this morning to invite me for Thursday. Sefton had a letter from Brougham and Vaux from Brighton, begging him to secure Creevey for dinner to-day.”

“Tower, Nov. 23.

“. . . I never was so much struck with the agreeableness of Lord Holland. I don’t suppose there is any Englishman living who covers so much ground as he does—biographical, historical and anecdotical. I had heard from him before of the volumes upon volumes he still has in his possession of Horace Walpole’s, entrusted to him by Lord Waldegrave, which Lord Holland advises the latter never to allow to be published, from the abusive nature of them; but I was happy to hear him add that there was no saying what circumstances might induce a man to do; so it is quite clear that, with Lord Waldegrave’s wonted [illegible], the abuse will some day see the light. I never knew before that Horace was not the son of Sir Robert Walpole, but of a Lord Hervey, and that Sir Robert knew it and shewed that he did.

My lady [Holland] was very complaining, and eating like a horse. Lord Holland quite well, and yet his legs quite gone, and for ever—carried in

* Lord Wellesley had succeeded Lord Anglesey as Lord Lieutenant.

and out of the carriage, and up and down stairs, and wheeled about the house. . . . You mentioned seeing
Berkeley Molyneux* and his Pop. The other day, his sisters told me that when he was at Croxteth lately on a visit to Mull,† old Heywood took him into a corner of the room and put £500 into his hand, and I have no doubt will leave him a handsome fortune. He was always his favorite, and he must have a fellow feeling for him, for he himself adopted a London Pop imported into Liverpool by an old fellow I well remember, and when he died old Arthur took her and was married to her many years before her death. As she was a remarkably good kind of woman, he may perhaps think that Berkeley’s tit may be the same.”

“Brooks’s, Nov. 24th.

“. . . Yesterday at the Hollands we had Lord Grey and Lord J. Russell, Charles Fox and Lady Mary, Henry and his little bride,‡ Sidney Smith, John Ponsonby (Duncannon’s eldest son)§ and Ellice the elder. Lady Holland introduced me to Henry’s wife in a very pretty manner as one of Henry’s oldest and kindest friends. The said Lady Augusta I consider as decidedly under three feet in height—the very nicest little doll or plaything I ever saw. She is a most lively little thing apparently, very pretty, and I dare say up to anything, as all Coventrys are, or at least have been. . . . I can scarcely believe the story of Lady Jersey and Palmerston, tho’ it was very current that, when Lady Cowper went abroad, Palmerston transferred his allegiance to Lady Jersey.”¶

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“Croxteth, Nov. 26th.
“Dear Creevey,

“Pray write everything you hear. What do you think of the rumours of changes? Somehow or

* Second son of the 2nd Earl of Sefton.

Lord Molyneux, his elder brother.

Henry Fox, afterwards 4th Lord Holland, married in 1833 Lady Mary Augusta, daughter of the 8th Earl of Coventry.

§ Afterwards 5th Earl of Bessborough.

Lord Palmerston married the Countess Cowper in 1839.

another I feel that things are not quite right and that
Grey’s long absence was injurious. He certainly seemed rather bitter about Palmerston’s intimacy with Ly. J[ersey], and I think with reason. Thank God she is gone, and that she was reduced to take [Sir Robert] Wilson as an escort. . . . Stanley has had several fainting fits, but is much better. They say it is stomach. If anything was to happen to him, what would become of us in the H. of C.?”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.

“. . . I dined at Essex’s again yesterday—company, Spring Rice, Chas. Grant, Sydney Smith, another and myself. Sydney thanked me in the name of mankind for the successful resistance I had made to Old Madagascar* at dinner on Sunday. He said he had never seen Ld. Grey laugh more heartily in his life, and then he told the whole story to Essex and Co.”

“Dec. 7th.

“At Essex’s yesterday we had Lord Grey, Melbourne and Palmerston; and of the minor poets—Spring Rice, Poulet Thomson, Luttrell and myself. Althorp was prevented coming by the gout. . . . Ld. Grey seems to have changed his opinion all at once about Talleyrand and the Dino. He said he had no doubt they were both against him and in favor of Wellington, which is the entire reverse of the opinion I had heard him uniformly express on the same subject.”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“Croxteth, Dec. 14th.

“. . . What you say about Ld. Grey’s change of tone towards Talleyrand is quite intelligible to me. I trace it entirely to Lady Keith, who has great influence over the whole Grey family, and is in constant correspondence with them. She is in great habits of intimacy with the D. of Orleans—has the ear

* Lady Holland.

of the Court, and hates Talleyrand. Her object is to get him recalled, and to replace him by her
husband [illegible]. She thinks making him and Ld. Grey ill together would drive Talleyrand to resign. I can tell you, in corroboration of this, that Monsr. de Bacourt told me that nothing wd. contribute more to decide T. to return here than Ld. Grey’s shewing a decided anxiety for it, and at his suggestion I got G. to write a most kind and pressing letter to T., representing the importance he attached to his coming back, both with a view to keeping up the friendship between the two countries, and to the settlement of the Dutch business. . . . Ly. Jersey is now living in great intimacy with Louis Philippe and the D. of Orleans, so if these two* don’t do mischief, it will not be for want of pains.”


“. . . I must just give you an extract from a letter of Mme. de Dino’s this moment arrived:—‘Sans une tres excellente lettre de Ld. Grey, je ne crois pas que M. de Talleyrand se serait décidé à retourner dans votre chère Angleterre.’ She has no idea that I was the cause of that letter, and never will. Bacourt will keep it to himself. The whole effect would be spoiled by their knowing it.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Richmond, Dec. 24, 1833.

“I dined at Essex’s on Saturday. The feature of the day was Parks,† a Birmingham attorney of whom I had heard much, but had never seen before. He is, in truth, a very remarkable man in every respect. He is mix’d up with all classes—Church, Chapels and State; and as well, or better, calculated for utility than any man I know or have heard of. He is Secretary to the Corporation Commission, and all the beneficial results of that most judicious and successful measure are attributable to him. He has great influence in the Trade Unions; he is a prime leader of the Dissenters.

* Lady Jersey and Lady Keith.

Joseph Parkes [1796-1865], who acted as go-between with Whigs and Radicals; an energetic organiser and demagogue.

It was a curious thing to hear a provincial attorney observe that the Liturgy of the Church had not been altered for 200 years, and that he was perfectly convinced that a very slight alteration in it would let in all the leading Dissenting establishments. He is most decidedly for this union. . . . I did nothing but fire into
Lord Grey all dinner-time on Sunday about this said Parks; and, to say the truth, I found the soil quite ready for a strong impression. He said that, from all he had heard of him, he had formed a great opinion of him, with a strong desire to see him; and then he got on to say that he would know him; upon which our dear Lady Grey, in a tone and manner quite her own, said:—‘I hope there is no Mrs. Parks!—Is it not the image of her?

“. . . We expect to hear to-day of James Brougham’s death. There is much speculation abroad whether the event will drive the Chancellor mad. It is quite true that his brother’s influence over him was as unbounded as it was miraculous, for no one ever discovered the slightest particle of talent in James of any kind. That he was his secret instrument, spy or anything else upon every occasion, I am quite sure.”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“Croxteth, Dec. 30th, 1833.

“I cannot resist sending you another extract from a letter from Me. de Dino received yesterday. I particularly wished to know if she had seen the Flahauts at Paris. Now you must know that nothing could exceed Talleyrand’s kindness to Flahaut all his life. He has been his patron and protector—in short, a father to him.* Thus she writes:—‘Je n’ai rien vu du tout des Flahaut. Le mari n’a pas même mis une carte chez M. de T. Il les a recontré aux Tuileries, ou Monsr. de Flahaut n’a pas même salué. Cela a fait dire un très joli mot à Monsr. de Talleyrand, à qui on demandait l’explication de l’impolitesse de Monsr. de Flahaut. “C’est que je l’ai apparemment mal élevé!”’ Nothing could be neater.”

* People said he was literally his father.