LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 16 January 1816

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
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 1816.

VERY shortly I expect to send a copy of Lord Holland’s letter on Marshal Ney’s case, which I have obtained his permission to transcribe.

The political aspect of affairs, on the part of the Opposition, for the approaching meeting of Parliament is sad and gloomy, I fear, in the extreme.

The question concerning the proper treatment of Labedoyere and Ney,1 by the Duke of Wellington has

1 Lord Holland’s letter to Lord Kinnaird written December 5, 1815, contains the following passage:—

“Technical arguments may possibly be urged on both sides;

Duke of Wellington and Ney
excited all sorts of differences among the party, and the number of those who espouse what we consider as the true principles on this subject, and who have the courage to avow them, are likely to be very inconsiderable. Unfortunately, too,
Lord Grey has lately had one of those severe attacks to which he is so subject, and will probably be prevented from coming to town for some time. Lord Holland, it is true, is here, but he is considered as too violent, and an outcry has been attempted against him, with some success, as a friend of Buonaparte and France. Lord Lansdowne’s opinions are very right, but his feelings, I am afraid, will not be sufficiently strong, and he may probably be deterred from declaring the whole truth by the apprehension of doing mischief in France. In the Commons, Ponsonby, who, by the way, is not yet arrived, is inefficient, and Tierney, though admirable in finance and practical details, is unequal to great subjects; nor is he of sufficient weight to attract many followers. Horner and Brougham do not agree well together, the latter verging towards the democratic side, the former to the regular Whigs. Lord Milton

and though they appear to me all in favour of Ney’s claim, it is not on them I lay the stress, but on the obvious and practical aspect of the transaction, as it must strike impartial men and posterity. The plain relation of the events in history will be this—A promise of security was held out to the inhabitants of Paris; they surrendered their town; and while Wellington and the Allies were still really in possession of it, Labedoyere was executed, and Ney was tried for political opinions and conduct. Even of subsequent executions (and I fear there will be many), it will be said the Allies delivered over their authority in Paris to a French government, without exacting an observance of the stipulations on which they originally acquired it.”

approves entirely of what has been done, and thinks it all too little.
Lord Althorp, disapproving of many of our proceedings, yet thinks that no attack must be made on the Duke of Wellington.