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The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Charles and Henry Romilly, June 1833

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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Produced by CATH
June, 1833.

On Friday I dined at Lansdowne House, where I met Malthus, Mr. Fazackerly, and the youngest Villiers1 (an evident aspirant for Ministerial favours) and Dr. Holland. The conversation turned chiefly upon the scientific gala to be held at Cambridge next week, which it is generally thought will be overdone, and made too elaborate and expensive. In addition to philosophical papers and lectures, there are to be great dinners in the College halls, besides breakfasts, and evening parties, concerts, &c. I have been urged to go, but considering the doubtful nature of the entertainment, the certain heat and bustle, and the probable ennui, I have steadily declined to be of the party. In the evening I talked with Lord Lansdowne about politics, and could see that he was very anxious respecting the conduct of the Tory Lords. On Saturday I went to Holland House and met a small but agreeable party. Lord Carlisle and his youngest son, Lord Duncannon,2 and Dr. Woolryche, formerly an army physician, afterwards medical attendant to the Duke of Bedford, and lately colleague of Leonard Horner, as one of the Factory

1 Right Hon. Charles Villiers.

2 John William Ponsonby, Lord Duncannon, afterwards 4th Earl of Bessborough, b. 1781, d. 1847, M.P. for Kilkenny, 1826-1831; acted as Chief Whip of the Whig party. In 1830 helped to prepare the Reform Bill. Was called to the House of Lords as Lord Duncannon, 1834; retired from office when Peel became Prime Minister. Was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland 1844-46.

Holland House
Commissioners. He is a pleasing, sensible man, and gave a most satisfactory account of the state of the manufactures at Birmingham, and in the clothing district of Wiltshire, Somersetshire, and Gloucestershire, and of the judicious and humane treatment of the children. He is quite clear that any attempt at legislating on the subject would be very mischievous.

Sunday morning was very wet, but the weather cleared up, and I had enjoyment of the garden, which was fresh, fragrant, and delicious. At dinner we had a splendid party, Lord and Lady Grey, the Chancellor,1 Duke of Richmond, Lord John Russell, Lord and Lady Stafford, Lady Coventry and Miss Fox, John Murray of Edinburgh, and Admiral Adam.2 All went off very well, and the talk was of indifferent and insignificant subjects. Politics were a good deal avoided, but it was clear that they were uneasy about the prospect of the debate in the Lords this evening, in which they expect to be beaten.

Altogether I found my visit very agreeable—more so, indeed, than I quite expected; but these occasional glimpses of high political and fashionable life are pleasant and interesting to one in my humble situation.

There was one drawback to my pleasure, the finding poor Lady Holland much altered in her looks, and I fear certainly ill, but thinking herself much worse than she is. Lord Holland, except the infirmity of his limbs, I never saw better, or more active or entertaining.

I have received from my friend, Miss Aikin, her

1 Brougham. 2 Sir Charles Adam.

Church Temporalities Bill
new book, “
The Memoirs of Charles I.,” in two pretty thick volumes. From what I have seen, I expect it to be very successful, but I will give you my opinion hereafter.