LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 2 March 1821

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
March 2nd.

The Session of Parliament promises to be more interesting than was expected. The country gentlemen are plucking up courage, and have shown themselves in great force upon the salt tax and the Lords of the Admiralty. They are so much delighted with this display of their strength that they will probably attempt greater things. But their movements, which in former times would have overthrown any Administration, will have no effect on the present state of things. The Ministry will quietly give up their two Lords of the Admiralty, and perhaps a portion of the salt tax, and will afterwards go on as before, making any other sacrifices that may be required, except their places. Mr. Coutts’s will is very extraordinary; but there is a surmise that the children by his first wife are illegitimate, being born before marriage—a fact which would have come into question in settling the amount of tax on their legacies. Some persons also say there is a doubt respecting the validity of Burdett’s marriage, having been by licence, Lady Burdett being under age, and there being no consent
Lord Byron
of a legitimate father or guardian. Of this I can say nothing certain. The case would be a very unfortunate one, and very disgraceful to our laws. Yet an Act for putting an end to grievances of this description was rejected a year or two ago through the influence of
Sir Walter Scott.