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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to James Currie, 11 May 1805

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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“London, May 11, 1805.

“Upon my soul I don’t know what to say for myself in vindication of my apparently abominable neglect of you; but these are really tempestuous times, and I bother myself with too many things and too many thoughts, and I get irritable, and I believe I eat and drink too much. The upshot of the thing is, that day after day passes and my intentions to write to you, and to do other good things, pass too.

“Our campaign for the last six weeks has been a marvellous one. . . . The country has surprised me as much as the votes of the 8th and 10th, and these meetings and resolutions have brought us safe into port, as far, at least, as relates to Melville. Pitt, too, is greatly, if not irreparably damaged by Melville’s defeat and by certain irregularities of his own. Whitbread’s select committee has done great additional injury to Melville, and has got sufficient matter established for a resolution against Pitt. The latter has confessed that he lent £40,000 to Boyd, Benfield and Co. out of money voted for Navy services, in order to enable them to make good their instalments upon Omnium. He has admitted, too, that he advanced them £100,000 in order to enable them to make a purchase for Government, at a time that he was informed by the Bank of their approaching ruin. A great part of that sum is now a debt to Government in consequence of their bankruptcy. This is a damned unpopular business—to advance publick money to two members of Parliament, who are bankrupts, too. It is a damned thing, too, for the friends and admirers of this once great man, to see him sent for by
Whitbread, and to hear him examined for anything like money irregularities. He is, I am certain, infinitely injured in the estimation of the House of Commons; and then think of his situation in other respects—his right hand, Melville, lopped off—a superannuated Methodist at the head of the Admiralty, in order to catch the votes of
Wilberforce and Co. now and then—all the fleets of France and Spain in motion—the finances at their utmost stretch—not an official person but Huskisson and Rose to do anything at their respective offices—publick business multiplied by opposition beyond all former example—and himself more averse to business daily—disunited with Addington—having quite lost his own character and with a King perfectly mad and involving his ministry in the damnedest scrapes upon the subject of expense. . . . I know Pitt’s friends think he can’t go on, and they all wish him not to try it. You may guess how the matter is when I tell you that Abercromby, the member for Edinburgh, and Hope, the member for your county, have struck and fled, declaring they won’t support Pitt any longer, whom they both pronounce to be a damned rascal. My authority is James Abercomby,* and I will answer for the truth of these facts.

“. . . Bennet† has been here, and is now returned to Bath. He is most desirous to know you, and I promised I would write to you and mention him by way of introduction. He is most amiable, occasionally most boring, but at all times most upright and honorable. Make him introduce you to Lord and Lady Tankerville. The former is very fond of me; he is a haughty, honorable man—has lived at one time in the heart of political leaders—was the friend of Lansdowne—has been in office several times, and is now a misanthrope, but very communicative and entertaining when he likes his man. His only remaining passion is for clever men, of which description he considers himself as one, tho’ certainly unjustly. Lady Tankerville has perhaps as much merit as any

* Hon. James Abercromby: Speaker 1835-9: created Lord Dunfermline 1839: died 1858.

Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P., 2nd son of 4th Earl of Tankerville.

woman in England.* She is, too, very clever, and has great wit; but she, like her Lord, is depress’d and unhappy. They compose together the most striking libel upon the blessing of Fortune; they are rich much beyond their desires or expenditure, they have the most elevated rank of their country, I know of nothing to disturb their happiness, and they are apparently the most miserable people I ever saw.”