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The Creevey Papers
Ch XIII: 1835-36

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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In the remaining years of Creevey’s life he continued comfortably withdrawn from active political strife, though he continued to take a keen interest in all that was passing. He lived chiefly with the Seftons; but, despite his deafness, continued in great request as a diner-out. Repeated attacks of influenza, treated by cupping, which he mentions as a notable improvement upon the old lancet bleeding, made him subject to long periods of feebleness; but his pen continued almost as busy as ever.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Brooks’s, April 29th, 1835.

“. . . We have an affair going on between Alvanley and O’Connell. Alvanley challenged him directly when he called him a ‘bloated buffoon.’ Damer Dawson is Alvanley’s bottle-holder, and as Dan had returned no answer to the demand upon him yesterday, which was supposed ample time, Dawson fired a second shot into him. I think Alvanley quite wrong in this, but Sefton is quite of a contrary opinion.”

“May 5th.

“. . . About this nonsense of Alvanley’s, I consider every part of Alvanley’s conduct as faulty. His first movement against O’Connell was political; it was to
create disunion between O’Connell and his tail and the Whigs. Then I know that this arose from spite, Alvanley having been lately refused a place in the Household which he asked for. Then the publicity he has given to his challenge of O’Connell is against all rule. However, he has been at last accommodated by one of the O’Connell family, who had 3 shots at him last night in a duel, and no harm done to either party. . . . Alas, alas, the Widow’s Mite (you know that is the name that has been given by some wag to
Johnny Russell)* has been beaten black and blue in Devonshire. . . .

“As I was walking just now, according to my constant custom, in the enclosure in St. James’s Park, who should I meet but Bessy Holyoake, alias Goodrick, all alone, having dismissed her footman at the gate, and we had a charming walk quite round the whole, in the course of which we met, first Rogers and Mrs. Norton arm in arm; then Goodrick, the Duke of Richmond and Graham, ditto; then Lord Durham and his 3 children.”

“Brooks’s, 16th.

“. . . After our signal triumph in Yorkshire, which was quite invaluable if our blockheads would have left it alone, they must make that marplot Littleton a peer,† and so open Staffordshire, as if the puppy had not done mischief enough last year when, by his intrigues with O’Connell, he forced Lord Grey out of the Government. Three days ago in my favorite resort in St. James’s Park I met Brougham walking. . . . He joined me—my first time of seeing him since the explosion; and a more unsatisfactory, rambling discourse I never had dealt out to me—very, very long and, as far as he dared, abusing everybody. I was heartily glad when this mass of insincere jaw came to a close by his going to the House of Lords. Figure to yourself at this moment, O’Connell and myself seated at the same table writing, very near each other, and no one else in the room, and yet no intercourse between us, tho’ formerly we always spoke. This is

* Lord John Russell, who was of very diminutive stature, had just married the widow of the 2nd Lord Ribblesdale.

Lord Hatherton.

no matter of choice with me, nor do I like it, but after his abuse of Lord Grey, I made up my mind never to speak to him again.”

“May 20th.

“. . . Lord Essex told me on Sunday morning here that Lady Grey was very anxious I should not fail her that day, as she relied upon my protection of her against Sir Joseph Copley, of whom she was horribly afraid. However, when I arrived there I found there was not much danger of her being overpowered by Copley. It is true he was there, as were his daughters ‘Coppy’ and Lady Howick;* but there were likewise Lord and Lady Morley, Lord and Lady Granville and Col. Carradock (as the puppy calls himself instead of Cradock), with whiskers quite enough to deter Copley from any personal attack on Lady Grey, besides her own private body-guard of Howick, Charles and Frederic, with Ladies Elizabeth and Georgiana. ‘Coppy’ fell to my lot, and I did all I could to be agreeable to her at dinner; but both she and Maria, from the manner in which they shook hands with me at first, gave me a kind of formal notice not to presume upon it or be too familiar with them. I dare say, in fact, that, knowing my intimacy with the Greys, and feeling their own artificial situation in the same quarter, they consider me rather an enemy. To be sure, they had no great reason to be set up with the attentions of either my lord or my lady. They know that they both think Ly. Howick infernally impertinent, as most assuredly she is.†

“In the evening we had a truly select addition to our dinner party, consisting of the Dow. Duchess of Sutherland, who, as Lady Elizabeth Bulteel and I agreed, has all the appearance of a wicked old woman. Her son and the young Duchess too—a daughter of Lord Carlisle’s, and a cousin, pretty enough and amiable and good, I dare say, but with such nonsensical ruffs and lappets and tippets about

* Sir Joseph’s daughter Maria had been married to Lord Howick in 1832.

Lady Howick had been brought up in a family of Tories, which no doubt affected Creevey’s opinion of her, though they had been the best of friends before her marriage.

1835-36.] THE CREEVEY PAPERS. 307
her neck and throat that, coupled with her
brother Morpeth’s constant grin, gives you a strong suspicion of her being a Cousin Betty.

“My ears were much gratified by hearing the names ‘Lord and Lady John Russell’ announced; and in came the little things, as merry looking as they well could be, but really much more calculated, from their size, to show off on a chimney-piece than to mix and be trod upon in company. To think of her having had four children* is really beyond! when she might pass for 14 or 15 with anybody. Everybody praises her vivacity, agreeableness and good nature very much, so it is all very well. . . . We had rather an interesting sprinkling of foreigners too—first and foremost my own well-beloved and honest Alava, then the ingenuous Pozzo [di Borgo], with his niece Madame Pozzo—a very pretty, nice, merry looking young woman. . . . It was a great treat to me, too, to see at our party for the first time in my life Sebastiani, with his wife, sister to Lady Tankerville.† . . . Let me not omit to mention that this corps diplomatique was closed by the arrival of our Mandeville,‡ who now turns his eyes from me as if he loathed me, probably attributing Lord Grey’s altered manner to him to my having shown him up as he deserves. I beg Cupid Palmerston’s pardon! he, too, was there, as also was Lady Cowper, if you come to that . . . . Well, Barry, as for our Buckingham Palace yesterday—never was there such a specimen of wicked, vulgar profusion. It has cost a million of money, and there is not a fault that has not been committed in it. You may be sure there are rooms enough, and large enough, for the money; but for staircases, passages, &c., I observed that instead of being called Buckingham Palace, it should be the ‘Brunswick Hotel.’ The costly ornaments of the state rooms exceed all belief in their bad taste and every species of infirmity. Raspberry-coloured pillars without end, that quite turn you sick to look at; but the Queen’s paper for her own apartments far exceed everything else in their ugliness and

* By her first husband, Lord Ribblesdale.

† A daughter of Antoine, Duc de Grammont.

‡ Afterwards 6th Duke of Manchester.

vulgarity. . . . The marble single arch in front of the Palace cost £100,000* and the gateway in Piccadilly† cost £40,000. Can one be surprised at people becoming Radical with such specimens of royal prodigality before their eyes? to say nothing of the characters of such royalties themselves.”

“Stoke, August 23.

“. . . There was a prodigious to-do at the Castle here the day before yesterday, it being Billy’s seventieth birthday—a dinner to 150 and tea party to as many more; in short, to all the nibberhood, always excepting poor Stoke, the residence of Maria Craven, Billy’s first love.‡ Oh perfidious Billy! but as Sefton told me, this omission was quite a matter of course, the family not having written their names at the Castle this year. . . . You will be glad to know that amongst the visitors at the Castle, the Lord Mayor had the honor to be one, and not only to dine, but to stay all night. This said Lord Mayor, Winchester, is a stationer; and having been employed by a Tory Government for supply of the Treasury, was formally dismissed by the same Government, by regular Treasury minute, for cheating—that was all. Another favored guest, both for bed and board, was Walter, M.P. for Berkshire, formerly proprietor and editor of the Times newspaper.”

“17, St. James St., 29 January, 1836.

“. . . There never was such a coup as this Municipal Reform Bill has turned out to be. It marshals all the middle classes in all the towns of England in the ranks of Reform; aye, and gives them monstrous power too. I consider it a much greater blow to Toryism than the Reform Bill itself; tho’ I admit it could never have been effected without the latter passing first. It is a curious thing to be obliged to admit, but it is perfectly true, that Melbourne and

* Now the Marble Arch in Hyde Park.

† Now at the entrance to Constitution Hill.

‡ The Countess of Sefton. See vol. ii. p. 212.

1835-36.]“BEAR” ELLICE.309
the leavings of
Lord Grey’s Government are much stronger than Lord Grey’s Government was when it was at its best. Altho’, as old Talleyrand observed, Melbourne may be trop camarade for a Prime Minister in some things, yet it is this very familiar, unguarded manner, when it is backed by perfect integrity and quite sufficient talent, that makes him perfectly invaluable and invulnerable.”

“Brooks’s, Feb. 15th.

“. . . The great object of my curiosity at present is to see and get hold of our Ellice,* who is just fresh from Paris, after a residence of some time there. He has had two very distinguished playfellows there, with whom he has almost entirely lived—the first, Madame Lieven—the other, no less than Philippe, who could scarcely bear to have him out of his sight. Madame Lieven’s attachment to him was intelligible enough. She knows her man, and would be quite sure to know everything that he knows of Lord Durham and his mission—every secret (if they have any) of the present Government, and every opinion entertained by Lord Grey. What is the bond of union between the Bear† and the King of the French I am yet to learn. . . . Ellice is very vain (and who is not?); he is a sieve, and so much the more agreeable for those who squeeze him. . . . What say you to our own Stanley? was there ever such a case of suicide? I really think if I saw him in the street I should try to avoid him to save his blushes; yet perhaps such things are unknown to him.”

“March 19th.

“. . . I never dined with Lady Holland after all, but sent an excuse on account of my gout. I really can’t stand the artificial bother and crowded table of her house. I admit that no one can sail thro’ such difficulties better than myself; but still, her presumption is not to be endured. How different from the affable demeanour of Marianne Abercromby with whom and Mr. Speaker I am to have the honor of

* The Right Hon. Edward Ellice, M.P. † Ellice.

dining this day;* and our
Duke Barney† is to take me there.”


“. . . The town at present is kept in perpetual motion by the Duchess of Kent, everybody going to her fêtes at Kensington to see the young King of Portugal, her nephew. Lady Louisa [Molyneux] tells me that he is an innocent looking lad of 20, and that he never seems happy but when talking to his cousin Victoria, and that then they seem both supremely so. What wd. I give to hear of their elopement in a cab! . . . I declare I have not read anything for ages that has interested me so much as the Duke of Wellington’s examination and evidence before the Flogging Commission in the Times of to-day. It is the image of him in his best and most natural state, and very entertaining and instructive.”


“. . . My sister used to reproach me for letting so many of my companions ‘get before me’ in life, and used to instance Scarlett being a lord and Western too; but her best case would have been Abercromby, who was a suitor to me thirty years ago for any office that would secure him food; and here he is—Speaker of the House of Commons! entertaining me in one of the finest houses in London, and with the finest company. We had a great turn out at dinner there on Saturday—the Dukes of Norfolk and Devonshire, Lord and Lady Seymour, Lord and Lady Howick, the young Bear and Mrs. Ellice, Charles Fox and Lady Mary, Lords Palmerston, Strafford and Ebrington, &c., &c.”

“Stoke, April 8.

“. . . Our family here [the Seftons] was put rather in a fuss yesterday by receiving a letter from Lady Craven, informing Lady Sefton officially and at some length that her daughter’s intended marriage with

* The Right Hon. James Abercromby was Speaker from 1835 to 1839.

† The Duke of Norfolk.

Tom Brand* was broken off by the young lady herself, who found out at last (for the wedding day was very near) that she really could not like him enough to marry him. Her principal objection against him is that he never opens his mouth and that he proscribes any connection with a book. A lively, interesting companion, it must be admitted.† Mrs. Norton has quitted her husband, upon a quarrel about a man whose name I forget. She is not, however, gone off with this man, but gone to the Sheridans.

“Jermyn St., April 23.

“. . . I dined with Madagascar‡ at Holland House, a small party, and for once, to my delight, plenty of elbow-room. . . . Whilst Holland House can be as agreeable a house as any I know, it is quite as much at other times distinguished for twaddle, and so it was on this occasion.”

“Brooks’s, May 13th.

“. . . Melbourne has been very ill, but is better, and will do. Young, his secretary, told me that he had been terribly annoyed by the Norton concern. The insanity of men writing letters in such cases is to me incomprehensible. She has plenty of Melbourne’s and others, but according to what is considered the best authority, the Solicitor General of the Tories—Follett—has saved Melbourne, tho’ employed against him. Follett is said to have asked Norton if it was true that he had ever walked with Mrs. Norton to Lord Melbourne’s house, and then left her there. Upon Norton’s saying that was so, Follett told him there was an end of his action.§

“The jaw about this case is now succeeded by the breaking off of the marriage between Ld. Villiers and

* Afterwards 22nd Lord Dacre.

† In 1840 Lady Louisa Craven married Sir G. F. Johnstone, Bart., and after his death she married Alexander Oswald of Auchencruive in 1844.

Lady Holland.

§ The jury, without leaving the box, pronounced a verdict acquitting Lord Melbourne.

Lady — Herbert,
Lady Pembroke’s daughter. Lady Pembroke’s case against Lady Jersey is merely a charge of an attempt to get her daughter to sign a paper doing herself out of £20,000—her whole fortune—without any one’s knowledge.”


“. . . Yesterday I dined at Holland House with my old and tried friend the Speaker, and Marianne [Hon. Mrs. Abercromby] into the bargain. Such a fright I never in my life beheld, in a dress far surpassing any female crossing-sweeper on May Day. I arrived just as they had sat down to dinner, with as little room to turn myself in as ever fell to any man’s lot, and yet I was called to both by Lord and Lady Holland to leave room for a very distinguished American gentleman who was expected; but I would not hear of such a thing, and this led to a good deal of fun. The party consisted, besides the Abercrombys, of Bob Adair, Lord de Ros, the Attorney General and his wife, the peeress Scarlett’s eldest daughter (I forget her title).* I found her a very nice agreeable companion, apparently very amiable, and not the least set up with either her father’s peerage or her own. Dr. Lushington and Fonblanque, a son of old Fonblanque, and writer of one of the cleverest Sunday papers, were the others. I took to Fonblanque much. The distinguished American arrived a quarter after eight, the dinner hour having been half-past six; but he brought his card of invitation with him to shew he was right. . . .”

“Stoke Farm, Sept. 6th.

“I came here on Friday; visitors—Charles Greville, Lords Charleville and Allen, Standish, Townley, Rogers and C. Grenfell. Townley still dumb!† Was there ever? . . . Sefton asked me if I

* Lady Abinger’s eldest daughter, wife of Sir John Campbell, had just been created Baroness Stratheden, and her husband was subsequently created Baron Campbell in 1841.

Mr. Townley had been courting Lady Caroline Molyneux, but delayed coming to the point. In effect, he married her in the November following.

had heard of
——, I mean, his cheating at cards, and upon my saying yes, he said it was all quite true, and that his practice had been so long known to his friends that they had remonstrated against his pursuing such a course, for fear of detection; but poor, dear, insinuating —— could not resist, and it has fallen to the lot of George Payne to detect him publickly. The club is to be dissolved in order to get rid of him. —— is gone abroad, and Sefton has a letter from him—the most amusing, wittiest letter about all he has seen! . . .”

“Brooks’s, Sept. 16.

“Sad work, ladies, sad work! Not a frank to be had for love or money, so don’t cry if I don’t catch an M.P. before the post goes out.* I returned from Cashiobury [Lord Essex’s] on Wednesday, and my visit was all very well. The Hollands came on Saturday, with Rogers, Melbourne on Sunday, and Glenelg on Tuesday. We all left on Wednesday—I in Glenelg’s carriage. I had the offer of Rogers’s carriage all to myself; but I declined attending the funeral; by which I mean Lady Holland’s procession. She moves in her own coach and four horses—her stipulated pace being four miles an hour, to avoid jolting! She makes Rogers go in her coach with Holland and herself, all the windows up; then Rogers’s chariot follows empty, then my lady’s chaise and pair of posters, containing her maid, her rubber, page, footmen, &c. . . . Essex is a man of very few words for compliments; but I took it as a real civility when he said:—‘I ordered for you, Creevey, the room that poor George Tierney was so fond of, and always had.’ Certainly, a more perfect apartment I never had. Essex and Lady Holland were growling at one another all the time, but she was always the aggressor. Melbourne and Holland were all good nature and gaiety. The only drawback to my amusement was owing to my great folly in walking on Monday to see the Birmingham railroad† now

* He did catch one, and the letter is franked by Mr. Kemeys-Tynte.

† Opened in 1837: now part of the London and North Western system.

making, being about four miles there and back, which has made me dead lame. . . . I think our Madagascar is evidently failing: she looks wretchedly, and there is an evident languor upon her that even victuals and liquor don’t remove. She came one day and sat close beside me in the library; and when she had begun to talk to me, a little, tidy old woman came and went down on her marrow-bones, and begun to put her hands up her petticoats. So of course I was for backing off de suite; but she said:—‘Don’t go, Creevey; it is only my rubber, and she won’t disturb us.’”

“Brooks’s, 24th.

“. . . I dine at Crocky’s daily, where I have got the dinner down to 8s. 6d.—tout compris; was I to dine here, it would certainly be a pund. . . . My eye! what a man Lord Fitzallen is, it you please—just introduced—about 7 feet high, as red as a turkey-cock and covered with bushes of black hair in mustachios and whiskers. Thank God I don’t dine with him; he is really quite disagreeable to look at.”


“. . . I dined at Poodle Byng’s on Monday—the Honble. Mrs. Byng having been lady’s maid to the Poodle’s mother. You know I have the greatest aversion to playing at company with such kind of tits; but as Charles Greville, Cullen Smith and Luttrell, and two or three more of your men upon town took no objection, it was not for me to find fault.”

“Brooks’s, Oct. 4th.

“. . . When I was at Stoke I fell in love with Wellington’s Peninsular dispatches, published by Gurwood; but as my supply from that library is now cut off, and the book itself too dear to buy, I am living upon Napier’s Peninsular War, which has been given me by Lord Allen, because he hates it so much. . . . Napier is a clever man, and has taken great pains with his subject; but he undertakes too much in his criticism upon all the French generals in Spain, and
1835-36.]DEATH OF CHARLES X.315
all their acts. The Beau,* the real official and efficient observer of all, pretends to no such universal insight into the tactics of his enemy as is claimed by this subaltern in his own camp.†. . .”


“. . . I shall certainly take your advice and subscribe to a circulating library; but I have enough on my hands at present with Napier, who rises in my estimation every page I read of him. His defence of poor Moore is perfect. . . . I think when I next see the portrait of that villain Frere hung up at Holland House, I shall not be able to contain myself.”

“Nov. 17th.

“. . . Sefton said before dinner yesterday:—‘So Charles Dix‡ is dead!’ and scarce an observation was made from any quarter upon this event . The first year you and I, Barry, were at Knowsley, I saw the said Charles Dix with his son and Berri and their respective gentlemen, going in two coaches and four to Croxteth. They did this for years. When the restoration in France took place, there was nothing that Charles Dix and his family did not do to show their gratitude to the Seftons for past kindness. . . . I was present in Arlington Street when the French Ambassador brought, by command of Charles Dix, as a present to Lady Sefton, his picture, with the prettiest note possible, saying it was great vanity in so old a man for him to send his picture to a lady, but hoping she would receive it as an acknowledgment of all the kindness he had received from her. When the last Revolution took place in 1830, and Charles Dix came here, Sefton shewed me a letter from Sir Arthur Paget (who had likewise been a personal friend of Charles Dix), saying he considered it his duty to go and pay his respects to him, and asking Sefton to

* The Duke of Wellington.

† There is some justice in this criticism: at the same time it must be remembered that Wellington’s despatches were contemporaneous; whereas Napier was writing years afterwards, and with knowledge gained from the enemy’s secret correspondence.

‡ King of the French.

accompany him. Sefton declined, and never did see him. I think I can safely say I would not have acted thus for all Sefton’s property. . . . After all, Sefton will die an unhappy man, with all the means the world can give him to make himself, and all around him, happy.”

S. Marjoribanks, M.P. for Hythe, to Mr. Creevey.

“I am just now moving my quarters in London, and I find that I have about 3 dozen of the old East India Sherry more than my bin will hold. Will you oblige me by accepting it?

S. Marjoribanks.”
Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Nov. 24th.

“. . . The Times newspaper had a statement from ——’s camp proclaiming his innocence. This is replied to by another statement in the Chronicle of to-day—evidently an official article from the camp of Payne and Co., charging distinctly as a cheat, as no doubt he is. Even his friend the Pet* gives him up and refuses to see him. He has, it is true, some little cause of resentment against him, being sure, as he tells me, that and Montrond cheated him out of £6000 the Xmas I met them at Croxteth.”

* Lord Sefton.