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The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Elizabeth Smith, 2 February 1831

Chapter I: 1813
Chapter II: 1814
Chapter III: 1815
Chapter IV: 1816
Chapter V: 1817
Chapter VI: 1818
Chapter VII: 1819
Chapter VIII: 1820
Chapter IX: 1821
Chapter X: 1822
Chapter XI: 1824-33
Chapter XII: 1833-35
Chapter XIII: 1806-40
Chapter XIV: Appendix
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Feb. 2, 1831.

I am much obliged to you for your kind letter, giving me a tolerably good account of yourself, for I had been apprehensive that your health might have suffered from the disturbed state of the country. All such alarms are now happily abated, and gradually subsiding. The Special Commissions appear to have done their duty, and I hope you will think that the Government has acted wisely and properly in complying, to a certain extent, with the humane wishes of the public, and tempering justice with mercy. Their task in this, as in every other respect, has been very difficult, but they have still greater diffi-

1 Lord Grey was now the head of a Ministry composed of Whigs and Canningites.

culties to encounter. To-morrow they are again to meet Parliament, and in a very short time to produce their plans of Reform in the representation; as also in the administration of justice, especially in the Court of Chancery. The former will be brought forward by
Lord Althorp, the latter by Lord Brougham, who, calling the best assistance to his power, has devoted the whole of his time since he became Chancellor, consistent with his other duties, in framing and digesting an excellent plan of regulations for his Court. He will, I trust, carry into effect in a few months those improvements which had been vainly expected from his predecessors, Lords Eldon and Lyndhurst, the former of whom held the seals a quarter of a century, and the latter near four years!

I hope that these things will have weight with a House of Commons naturally averse to the present Ministers and their measures, but who cannot fail to be influenced by their own fears, the feelings of the public, and the spirit of the times. By the aid of these motives, operating on the independent part of the House, I trust that our friends will prevail over a teasing and insidious opposition on the part of Mr. Peel and his adherents, which they will encounter at every step of their proceedings. It is most satisfactory to know that their plans of reform have had no dissentient voice in the Cabinet, and that upon being laid before the King a few days since at Brighton, they received his entire approbation.