LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Creevey Papers
Lord Holland to Thomas Creevey, 19 January 1819

Vol. I. Contents
Ch. I: 1793-1804
Ch. II: 1805
Ch. III: 1805
Ch. IV: 1806-08
Ch. V: 1809
Ch. VI: 1810
Ch. VII: 1811
Ch. VIII: 1812
Ch. IX: 1813-14
Ch X: 1814-15
Ch XI: 1815-16
Ch XII: 1817-18
Ch XIII: 1819-20
Vol. II. Contents
Ch I: 1821
Ch. II: 1822
Ch. III: 1823-24
Ch. IV: 1825-26
Ch. V: 1827
Ch. VI: 1827-28
Ch. VII: 1828
Ch. VIII: 1829
Ch. IX: 1830-31
Ch. X: 1832-33
Ch. XI: 1833
Ch. XII: 1834
Ch XIII: 1835-36
Ch XIV: 1837-38
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“St. James Square, 19th Jan., 1819.

“. . . I suspect that which you heard of the payment of cash at the bank will not be fulfilled this year, tho’ an impression has been made on the country by the executions for forgery, and on the great body of retail traders by the forgeries themselves.* . . . Tierney moves on the subject on the 1st of next Feby., and so changed is the opinion on the subject since you were among us, that it is selected, and wisely selected, as the most popular question for Opposition to begin with. The Annual Parliaments and Universal Suffrage men are at a discount: Ministers worse than ever, and the Whigs, tho’ better than I have remembered them for some years, far from being in a condition to lead with any degree of certainty publick

* Between the suspension of cash payments by the Bank in February, 1797, and February, 1818, three hundred and thirteen persons were sentenced to death for forgery; whereas during the fourteen years, 1783-96, preceding such suspension the convictions had only been three in number. During the six years, 1812-18, no less than 131,361 notes, varying in value from £1 to £20, were detected as forgeries on presentation for payment.

opinion and confidence, though I think they are, of the three parties, that to which the publick just now look most sanguinely for assistance in accomplishing their object. What these objects are, it is difficult to conjecture or define, and perhaps the very indistinctness of them will lead the publick to be disappointed with parties and men. But that there is great expectation that much can, ought and will be done in Parliament is clear beyond doubt, and moreover that expectation, if uncertain and even impracticable in its direction, is grounded on causes that lie too deep to be easily removed. . . . There is a wonderful change in the feelings, opinions, condition, property and relative state of the classes in society. The House of Commons hangs yet more loosely upon parties, and certainly on the Ministerial party, than the last; and the Ministers, exclusive of many grounds of dissension among themselves (which are suspected, but may not be true),* are evidently aware and afraid of the dispositions of the new Parliament. The Lords and Grooms of the Windsor establishment have received notice to quit, and no notice of pensions. Some say that they will muster an opposition to retrenchment in the Lords, which may lead to a dispute between the two Houses. Had they any spirit or talent as well as ill-humour, our Ultra’s might worry the Ministers on this subject not a little; for what is more profligate than to resist all retrenchment at Windsor during the
Queen’s life, and on her death to abandon the establishment—so necessary, as they contended, to his [the King’s] happiness? . . . Brougham is very accommodating, but not in such spirits as he was. He feels (indeed who does not?) the loss of Romilly doubly as the session approaches. . . . That mad fellow Verbyst promised to send over the Bipontine edition of Plato and L’Enfant’s Council of Pisa. He received 144 franks for the first—so for the last. He wrote to say that if he could not get the books, he would

* Here speaks the old politician, wary from experience. When was there ever a Ministry about which rumours of internal dissension were not circulated and eagerly believed? In Lord Liverpool’s Cabinet the great question of Roman Catholic Emancipation continued to be treated as an open one, and Ministers voted as they pleased.

return the money: he has done neither. I should prefer the books. Pray see him and make him do one or other. . . .”