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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to the Earl of Sefton, 31 May 1827

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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“Rivenhall Place, May 31st, 1827.

Vous vous trompez, mon cher, when you say Lord Grey ever voted for Canning in preference to Whitbread. At the period to which you refer, he was the only one who voted for Whitbread against Canning, and he did so under strong circumstances as affecting Whitbread. You are aware of the half kind of hostility that existed between Whitbread and Grey from the time of the latter taking office in 1806, and one act in particular of Whitbread’s made Grey furious. When Prinney became Regent, the Whigs and Grenvilles thought the game was all their own again, and in casting the parts for the new administration, Whitbread was to be Secy. of State for the Colonies; but, before he wd. touch it, he made it a sine qua non that Ld. Grenville, as First Lord, should not be Auditor likewise—a proposition, I say, that made Grey furious, as an injustice to Grenville, and a reflection upon their former Government; but as nothing could shake Whitbread, the proposition was laid before Grenville, who, greatly to his honor, wrote a letter in which, tho’ he arraigned very freely what he thought the injustice of the demand, still he thought so highly of Whitbread’s services, that he struck rather than not have them. Well, all this, as you know, ended in smoke; but shortly after (upon Perceval’s death, I believe) when the game was again in view, the question arose whether Canning or Whitbread was to be adopted. Grey voted for Whitbread, in spite of all the provocation he had given him, upon the express ground of having confidence in his character, which he had not in Canning’s. You are right, therefore, when you say that Grey’s objection to Canning is personal, tho’ not entirely so. If such personal objection was well
founded then, as I think it was, surely it is much stronger now, after Canning’s leaving his Govt. in the lurch as he did upon the
Queen’s trial, and his late lies at the expense of his colleagues and Castlereagh, in setting up for the sole deliverer of the new world. All these tricks are of the same school, and make a personal objection to him which I have never known apply to any public man before.

“What you say of coalitions generally, is true—they are all bad, and all popular principles are sure to be sacrificed in such a mess. When Brougham wrote and asked me what I thought of this concern, I replied that I had an instinctive horror of the very name of a coalition; and yet, with all the sins of the last one in 1806, it surely is not to be compared in its design and formation with this one. Fox and Grenville had been acting openly together in opposition. When Pitt got the Govt. in 1804, he could not induce Grenville to accept office and leave Fox. When Pitt died, and old Nobbs* sent for Grenville to make the Govt., the latter would not listen to any prejudice against Fox, but made the Crown divide the Govt. between them. Now surely to see Whigs thrusting themselves tail foremost into Canning’s pay as subalterns, is, at least, a very low-lived concern as compared with the last coalition. . . . I say both upon public and personal grounds, I never would identify myself with Canning. . . . I should like no better fun than backing the renegado Canning every night against the Tory Highflyers, but as to trusting myself in the same boat with him, and, above all, taking his money—you’ll excuse me!”