LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to Elizabeth Ord, 9 August 1833

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Brooks’s, August 9th.

“My dinner yesterday with my beloved Sovereign was everything I could wish, and more, indeed, than I had a right to expect. Jemmy Kempt, according to my request, sent his carriage for me after it had set him down at the Palace. My only very little doubt was whether I should not have gone in shorts and silk stockings instead of trowsers; and if I had, I should have been the only man in shorts in the room; so that, you know, was very well.

The Duke of Wellington disgusted his Tory followers by speaking and voting for the second reading of the Government’s Bill for regulating the Protestant Church of Ireland.

1832-33.] KING WILLIAM’S LEVEE. 259

“Well, after our being all assembled near half an hour, the doors were flung open, and in entered Billy, accompanied by his household; and, having advanced singly into the middle of the room, the company formed a great circle around him. As I was not very anxious to attract his attention after all my sins against him,* I placed myself in the 2nd row of the circle. The first thing he did was to call Sir James Kempt† to him as his bottle-holder for the occasion. I then heard him say to him:—‘There are two officers in the room who have never been presented to me’ (then mentioning their names which I did not hear), ‘bring them here to me.’ So accordingly the two officers were conducted into the centre of the circle, dropt upon their marrow-bones, and kissed hands.

“Our beloved then said something else to Kempt which I could not hear; but the General immediately looked about with all his eyes for his man; and I am sure you will all partake of Nummy’s† surprise when Kempt, having discovered me, said:—‘Creevey, the King wishes to speak to you;’ and I was conducted likewise into the middle of the circle. Then the King, in the prettiest manner, said:—‘Mr. Creevey, how d’ye do? I hope you are quite well. It is a long time since I had the pleasure of seeing you. Where do you reside, Mr. Creevey?’ Now, would you believe it? this was the only thing of the kind that took place. After this he went a little round the circle, talking to officers. I heard him ask General Bingham where he had lost his arm, and such kind of things.

“My Scotch master, Jemmy,§ was so touched with the King’s civility to myself that he came afterwards to me and said:—‘Upon my soul, Creevey, after the King’s gracious behaviour to you to-day, you must come to the next levee; for you never do go, and he

* Creevey, as a Radical member, had not been accustomed to speak respectfully of the Duke of Clarence, and had voted steadily against the royal grants.

General the Right Hon. Sir James Kempt [1764-1854], commanded the 8th Brigade at Waterloo.

‡ One of Creevey’s pet names in his family.

§ Speaker Abercromby.

has often asked me after you.’ Can you solve this behaviour to me? Was it a reproach for never doing my duty in waiting on my Sovereign? or does he think I have any scruples at coming near him after my behaviour to him and his brothers, and that he wishes to remove them? At all events, I consider it as most curious, and as long as my Royal Master lives, and I live to wear my present uniform coat, he shall never have to say that I absent myself from his levee, whether in or out of office. . . . I had a most agreeable dinner. To be sure, the King’s speeches, and the length of each, were beyond; but he is so totally unlike what we remember him—not a single joke or attempt at any merriment—as grave as a judge in everything he does, and as if he took a sincere interest in all he was saying—in short, he made himself a real pet of mine. . . . When I told
Brougham, whom I sat next at Althorp’s at dinner on Saturday, of the King’s speech to me, he said it was the image of him as the best-natured and kindest-hearted man in the world, and that it was clearly meant to show me that he had no resentment or recollection, even, of any former personal hostilities from me, and that I had no occasion to avoid him. What the opinion of so sincere a creature as B. is worth is one thing; but I really think one can’t find out another meaning for Billy’s conduct. If it is the real one, never was a Sovereign so kind and condescending.”