LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Lord John Townshend to Lady Melbourne, [1812 c.?]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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“I can’t help writing to congratulate you on W[illia]m’s speech at the Hertford Meeting, which I hear from all quarters was most judicious & well timed, as well as eloquent & splendid. It played the devil however in one respect, as it prevented my son Fox,1 who is eager on every occasion to spout, from saying a single syllable. He had concluded, & so had I, that there would be nothing but uproar & confusion & addled brains at this meeting, where it was expected that Baker & Flower wd. have had a sparring match: both probably equally absurd; the one contending for the most unqualified adulation of Castlereagh &c., and treating the subject of the omission in the treaty abt. the Slave Trade as too trifling to deserve notice, & the other insisting (as he declared he wd. do) on the necessity of a Vote of censure against Wilberforce & the other hypocritical abolitionists, who have uniformly supportd Ministers & wd. continue to do so, even if they revived the Slave Trade in its fullest Extent tomorrow.

Fox therefore thought there wd. be sport, & an opportunity afforded him of making some pithy observations in reply to two furious wrongheaded antagonists, & he meant to rise, a young Nestor, to compose differences, & to support Wm. Lamb with all the power of his lungs.

1 Fox, son of Lord John Townshend, probably called after his father’s intimate, Charles Fox.


“But as no such opporty. was given, from Wm. Lamb’s prudent & judicious management & irresistible appeal to the Meeting, & all was harmony & union. Fox was very properly as mute as a fish. This is one proof of Wm.’s success. Another & a better is, that Tom Lloyd, in descending from his pulpit on Sunday, ran up to our Pew & grasping me by the hand roared out ‘What a d....d shame it was that you did not come to hear Wm. Lamb t’other day—His speech has done him more than a three years canvas by G—d.’”