LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 21 June 1817

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
June 21, 1817.

The Ministers have got into some discredit by their credulity as to plots and employment of spies, and by the misconduct of their law officers in Scotland. Lord Milton’s speech last night (from an alarmist and a person well acquainted with the disturbed part of Yorkshire) was very important, and produced a great effect. It is evident that the whole danger consists in Luddism, and arises from scarcity, and want of employment; and that there is no conspiracy, with the exception of such ridiculous projects as those of Dr. Watson.

1 James Watson was a follower of Thomas Spence, condemning the private ownership of land and advocating “parochial partnership.” After the Spa Fields riots he was charged with high treason (June, 1817), but was acquitted. He died in New York in 1838.

Lord Lansdown

Lords Grenville and Grey having intimated their intention in the debate of Monday of retiring from politics, it is thought that Lord Lansdowne will be the leader of the Opposition.

I received the communication last night of poor Mr. Edgeworth’s death, which took place on the 13th. Since the letters I read to you he sent me another, dictated with great vivacity desiring me to send him my criticisms on the new tales, as soon as it was “physically possible”; having ordered the publisher to send me the first impression of the work.

Moore’s poem1 is a failure, and need not excite your curiosity; so, I think, is Lord Byron’sManfred,” though there are striking passages.