LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 20 November 1819

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
Nov. 20.

You will be gratified by hearing that Lord Lansdowne appears to be reasonable and judicious on the political questions which at present agitate the country. He is decidedly against the Manchester magistrates, and will view any restrictive measures which may be proposed by Government with great jealousy. Mackintosh, who has talked with him and Lord Grey, as well as with Brougham and Tierney, tells me that his mind is now very much at ease with regard to the political differences which he apprehended. He sees no reason to doubt that there will be a cordial agreement among the leading members of the Opposition as to all principal points. This is very material; for though they can do no good by their union, they might do great mischief by their divisions. There will be a full attendance of members, and Tierney reckons that he shall muster from 120 to 130, which at such times and upon such questions is a considerable force. For we must always recollect, whatever may be our individual opinions, that we live in a Tory country and that the great majority of well-informed and respectable

1 He was condemned to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of £1,000 for bribing the electors of Grampound.

Hobhouse’s Pamphlet
persons whose sentiments ought to have weight in political questions think very differently from ourselves. Indeed, I am inclined to think that the measure which has been talked of, of giving representatives to Manchester, Glasgow, Halifax, &c., would add to the ministerial majority.

I have been reading J. Hobhouse’s last pamphlet,1 and am much hurt by the tone of violence which prevails through it. For instance, “We have an instinctive horror and disgust at the very abstract idea of a Boroughmonger.” In this class are to be found the Duke of Bedford, Lord Fitzwilliam, and other true friends of their country; and it should be remembered that we owe to such persons the having in Parliament such men as Romilly, Horner, Mackintosh, Tierney, Brougham, &c., who could not easily have found seats, especially before they were known to the public, by any mode of popular election.

I observe in Hobhouse’s pamphlet some passages recommending resistance of force, which might be made ground of a criminal prosecution. I extremely regret all this violence in a man who means well and has many estimable qualities.