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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to Elizabeth Ord, 3 November 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
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“Besborough, Nov. 3rd.

“. . . I wish to record a point or two of political history not generally known. When Lord Grey determined upon beginning his administration by a reform in Parliament, he named Lord Durham, Lord John Russell, Lord Duncannon and Sir James Graham as the persons to prepare a bill for that purpose; and they did prepare the bill, of which Lord Grey knew not one syllable till it was presented to him all ready, cut and dry. When he had read it, he shrugged up his shoulders, and gave it as his opinion that the King would never stand it. However, upon his taking it to Brighton the King showed no decided hostility to it; and, as we know, Lord Grey’s measure of Reform was ultimately carried. It was towards the conclusion of the labors of this committee of four that Ld. Durham’s anger became first excited. Lord Grey, to please the Duke of Richmond, added him to the four other committee-men; a step that in itself gave great umbrage to Durham. From that day forth, he and the Duke fought like cat and dog. The next thorn in Durham’s side was Stanley. They were always opposed to each other upon Church matters; and when the Church Bill of the latter was brought forward last session, Durham addressed to the Cabinet his strictures thereon (and very able and severe they were) accompanied by a complaint that he—Durham—had not been consulted. These the Cabinet forwarded to Stanley without observations (was there ever such child’s play?). Stanley was equally fierce in reply. . . . At a Cabinet dinner shortly after, this hitherto latent fire came to a blaze between these worthies. Poor Grey attempted at least to assuage it; but, as he unfortunately rather leaned to Stanley, upon the ground of Durham never coming to the Cabinet,

* Afterwards 14th Earl of Derby [Prime Minister].

Durham fell upon him with all his fury, said that he was the last of men that ought to have made that charge, knowing as he did that the cause of his absence was devotion to his dying child, and then went on to say that Grey had actually been the cause of the boy’s death. . . . Poor
Althorp put his head between his hands and never took them away for half an hour. It was this frightful scene that produced the resignation of Durham, tho’ he had been long brooding over it.

“Let me give you another specimen of the manner in which our great men govern us. Lord Anglesey said to Duncannon at Dublin:—‘Mr. Stanley and I do very well together as companions, but we differ so totally about Ireland that I never mention the subject to him!’* Anglesey then showed Duncannon a written statement of his views respecting Ireland, which he said he had sent to Lord Grey. Duncannon says nothing could be better, and he asked him why he had not addressed it to the Cabinet.—‘Oh,’ said Lord Anglesey, ‘I consider myself as owing my appointment exclusively to Lord Grey, and don’t wish to communicate with any one else.’ When Duncannon talked to Grey on the same subject, Ld. G. said he was apprehensive of offending Stanley by laying these opinions of Anglesey’s before him. Now which do you think of all these gentlemen deserves the severest flogging. Duncannon says that both Grey and Althorp entirely agree with him in opposition to Stanley about Irish matters, and that both one and the other avoid touching upon the subject to Stanley, least they should offend him.

“One more point of private political history. Brougham has again and again in my presence taken merit to himself for his firmness in insisting upon the dissolution of Parliament when the Government was beat upon Gascoigne’s motion in 1831.† The facts of that case are as follows. On the day after that division, Duncannon dined at Durham’s with

* Lord Anglesey was for the second time Lord Lieutenant (1830-33), and Stanley was Secretary for Ireland under the Home Office.

† When Ministers were left in a minority of 22 on General Gascoyne’s motion to reduce the Ordnance Vote.

Lord Grey and others. Durham was furious for dissolution; Grey and the others became of the same opinion, and that it must take place the very next day. Grey sent a messenger out of hand to Windsor, begging the King to be in town next day at eleven. He then sat down to write the King’s speech for the occasion, and begg’d Duncannon to get a coach, and to go and bring the Clerk of the Council and Brougham there directly. When Duncannon arrived at Brougham’s house, the servant said my lord was going to bed and could not be seen. However, as you may suppose, Duncannon forced his way up; but Brougham, when informed of what was passing, said he would be no party to the proceeding—that he entirely disapproved of it, and should go to bed directly, adding that he had never been consulted. However, I need not say that he went, and that he made up for the affront of never being consulted by giving out that it was his own act and deed.”