LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Creevey Papers
Ch. V: 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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The hour, long expected and prepared for by Canning, at length struck. The public service of Lord Liverpool was brought to a close by his fatal illness in February, 1827. Undoubtedly, by experience, brilliant oratory, and commanding ability, there was no one in the Tory ranks on the same level with Canning. There were impediments, arising both from the King’s distrust of Canning on the Roman Catholic question, and the distrust of his own colleagues—Wellington, Eldon, Peel, &c.—upon that and other grounds. Canning occupied in the Ministerial party much the same elevation as Brougham did in the Opposition: everybody paid tribute to the talents of both men, but nobody trusted them or imagined that either of them had much in view except his own aggrandisement.

The most powerful engine of statecraft in the Georgian era was patronage; and although those great hotbeds of patronage, the Bar and the Army, were in the grasp of his High Tory colleagues, Eldon and Wellington, Canning had used his influence over Liverpool with judicious foresight. He had secured the Lord High Stewardship for Lord Conyngham, and the Under-Secretary ship of Foreign Affairs for his son, Lord Mount Charles, thereby earning for himself Lady Conyngham’s paramount influence at Court. Nor did he neglect (and none knew better than he
how to cultivate) the good graces of
Madame de Lieven and the King’s physician, Sir William Knighton. With these cards in his hand, he played a strong game against tremendous odds. One cannot but admire the skill and nerve of the player, however much one may deplore the temper displayed by his formidable opponent, the Duke of Wellington, who, when he found himself outwitted, threw up the command of the Army. Creevey, as a bystander, saw a good deal of the game.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Brooks’s, Feby. 10, 1827.

“. . . As Scroop* was very gracious, I said I must ask him if what I heard was true, that the Duke of Clarence said to him at the [Duke of York’s] funeral that he hoped before long to see him in the House of Lords.† He said it was not at the funeral, but when the King was last at the House of Lords, when he [Clarence] did say so to him in the hearing of Lord Gwydir, and shaking his hand most heartily at the same time:—‘But,’ said the Duke [of Norfolk], ‘I ought to add that he said precisely the same thing to me at the Coronation, and then voted against us on the very first opportunity!’ So our Billy is a wag, is he not? . . .”

“13th Feby.

“. . . Tyrwhitt continues to see the King at all times, in his bed as well as out of it. . . . He says that Knighton is the greatest villain as well as the lowest blackguard that lives, as well as the most vindictive chap. He is eternally upon the watch, and more than ever during Tom’s [Tyrwhitt’s] tête-à-tête. He came in without knocking, and planted himself at the bottom of the bed, Prinney observing when he saw him:—‘Damme, I thought you had been at the other end of

* The 12th Duke of Norfolk.

† The Duke of Norfolk was debarred as a Roman Catholic from silting in the House of Lords.

the town!’ In the course of this conversation, Prinney said:—‘I wish my Ministers would leave off this new fashion of giving ambassadors leave of absence from their stations. Here is my
Lord Bloomfield, I find, has got leave from his right honorable friend and Secretary Canning to come home; but if he comes to me, I’ll take care to hurry him out again.’*

“It was not amiss to hear the different reasons assigned by Taylor and Tom [Tyrwhitt] for the fall of this truly great man Bloomfield. Taylor’s account is direct from Denison—alias Lady Conyngham, and he says that the year the King went to Ireland, Bloomfield went first to prepare everything, and being at the play at Dublin when ‘God save the King’ was called for and vehemently applauded, Bloomfield was kind enough to step to the front of the box he was in, and to express by his bows and gestures his deep sense of gratitude for this distinction, and that this being reported to the Sovereign, he never forgave it. . . . Bloomfield was ruined from that moment if you can call a man ruined who, in our recollection twenty years back, was little better than a common footman; and who, having made himself a fortune by palpable cheating and robbery in every department he had to do with, demands and obtains an Irish peerage, the Order of the Bath, and an embassy to a crowned head . . . this, in truth, being the price of keeping his master’s secrets.* And this is the apothecary Knighton’s hold too, he having all that other rogue McMahon’s papers and letters . . . Lady Beauchamp gave McMahon £10,000 for getting her husband advanced from a baron to an earl.”

“Feb. 17.

“. . . Here’s a business for you. Liverpool has had a paralytic stroke, so says Croker; but Westmorland only admits that he is not well. However I have no doubt Croker’s account is the true one. . . .

* Lieut.-General Benjamin Bloomfield, R.A., was successively gentleman-attendant, marshal, and chief equerry and private secretary to George IV. as Prince of Wales and Prince Regent. He succeeded Sir John McMahon in 1817 as keeper of the privy purse, went as Minister to Stockholm in 1824, and was created an Irish peer in 1825.

It is quite true about Ld. Liverpool. He had a fit of apoplexy at ten this morning. He is a little better, but politically dead.
Canning is better, but has some extraordinary violent pain over one eye, nor will he be the better for this new excitement. He’ll be beat as well as Liverpool. . . . Did you ever see a more disgraceful thing under all the circumstances of the country than this plunder of £9000 a year for our Billy,* after having got £3000 a year by the Duke of York’s death. Who would be in a place, without the possibility of stopping such villainy? Yet the division was respectable, altho’ Mother Cole the leader and Jack Calcraft and others did vote for the job. Holland was under the gallery all the time, canvassing openly in the most disgusting manner on behalf of his dear and illustrious connection.”


“Well—what is your real opinion as to who is to supply Liverpool’s place? I think somehow it must be Canning after all, and that then he’ll die of it. . . .”

“March 5.

“. . . Yesterday about 3 p.m. Dandy Raikes, who is a member of Brooks’s, but was never seen there before, having watched Brougham go in there, followed him, and taking a position with his back to the fire, said aloud:—‘Mr. Brougham, I am very much obliged to you for the speech you made at my expence. I don’t know what latitude you gentlemen of the Bar consider yourselves entitled to, but I am come here purposely to insult you in the presence of your club.’ . . . Brougham was eating some soup, and merely replied with great composure:—‘Mr. Raikes, you have chosen a strange place and occasion for offering your insult,’ and shortly after walked away, there being present about 8 or 10 persons. I learnt this from Ferguson, who had just entered Brooks’s as Raikes was concluding. We both agreed that Brougham must call Raikes out, and that the latter must be expelled the club for the marvellous outrage. . . . In going into Brooks’s at 5, which you may suppose was pretty well

* H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence [William IV.].

crammed with gossipers, no tidings were to be had of our Bruffam; but upon returning home* I found he had been here in pursuit of Fergy; and, having caught him, had begged him to carry a challenge for him to Raikes, which the General peremptorily declined to do upon the grounds of having been mixed up in so many such things. So Brougham went off after
Wilson. I learnt this at six, and our Taylor and myself went off at seven to dine at Denison’s, where we had Lords Say and Seale and Reay, W. Pawlett, Ellice, Ferguson and Stephenson. Brougham was to have been; but as we all supposed he was otherwise engaged we sat down to dinner without him; tho’ in about ten minutes in he came, occupied a chair which was next to me, and having talked exclusively to myself the whole night upon every subject but the one, I never knew him more agreeable in my life. Upon coming away at eleven, we were to bring Fergy down here in our coach, but Brougham stopt him; and when he followed us, we found that Wilson had forwarded his challenge to Raikes, but that in the meantime Brougham had been taken into custody, carried to Bow Street, and bound over to keep the peace. This had been the handiwork of Jack the Painter, alias Spring Rice, who was present at the row at Brooks’s, and had taken himself off to Bow Street immediately to inform; his only object, I have no doubt, being not to lose Brougham’s vote to-night upon that most vital of all subjects—the Catholic question. . . . From the long time that has elapsed since Brougham made the offensive speech in question, and from the extraordinary mode adopted by Raikes to insult him, I cannot but believe that he has been worked up to this step by such chaps as Lowther, Glengall and Belfast, and that he was made to believe Brougham was a shy cock; for Lady Glengall has always been harping upon that tack of late, as how he was made to marry Mrs. Brougham by one of her brothers upon a certain event being known, and such stuff as this.† Lady Mary Butler has just been here,

* Mr. Creevey, on losing his seat in Parliament, had taken up permanent abode with his friends the Taylors, in Whitehall.

Mrs. Brougham was a widow—Mrs. Spalding of the Holm in Galloway—when she married Brougham. She was a daughter of Sir William Eden of West Auckland, co. Durham.

and said that Mr. Raikes was with them last night, and that Mr. Brougham had been arrested, which was thought very odd. So he has got into a rare mess with these devils. . . .
Tankerville has just said to me it was quite right in Spring Rice to inform Sir Richard Birnie [?] of Brougham and Raikes. He you know is the first authority as a fighting man.”

“March 6th.

“. . . The King comes to town on Thursday, deeply impregnated, it is said, with his father’s conscientious scruples against the Catholics. . . . Lady Conyngham writes word to her brother that the great man will not permit any one whatever to speak to him upon the subject of Lord Liverpool’s illness, or who is to succeed him. Moreover, he adds that he will not be spoken to about such matters for some time yet to come. Was there ever such a child or Bedlamite? or were there ever such a set of lickspittles as his Ministers to endure such conduct? . . .”


“. . . The Catholic question was lost by four last night; but it was, in truth, a fight for power and not for the Catholics. . . . So far the business is done that the Cabinet must be broken up; at least it appears impossible it should be otherwise. Who is to be uppermost remains to be seen; ultimately, I think Canning must win, tho’ he would have no chance if the King really has the anti-Catholic feelings of his father, and had but a hundredth part of his courage. But he is a poor devil. . . . In going up to Audley Street I called upon the Pet* in Arlington Street. . . . I think his principal amusement was a note he had got from old Lady Salisbury, in which she says:—‘As I find Creevey can’t dine with us on Sunday, suppose we change our day to Wednesday, when I hope he will be disengaged. I leave it to you to settle with him.’ So I think to have lived to be called ‘Creevey’ by old Dow. Salisbury, and to have her dinner party put off for my convenience, is far beyond what any mortal could have predicted.

“Well, our Brooks’s parliament has just been sitting in judgment on Dandy Raikes—an immense

* Lord Sefton.

old Fitzwilliam in the chair. It ended, as it should do, in Raikes sending an apology to the club; but matters are getting worse and worse as to Brougham, and I see distinctly he will have to fight Raikes after all. Kangaroo Cooke is Raikes’s second. Dear Lady Darlington is just come in to us, and she has not a doubt but that B. must cross the water and have this business out; which, of course, is her lord’s opinion likewise, and so says the town in general.”


“. . . The Monarch stole back to Windsor yesterday, having been fifteen days at Brighton without leaving his dressing-room, or seeing the face of a single human being—servants, tailors and doctors excepted. What the devil is it to come to? This of course is our Denison’s account from his sister. . . . Old Billy* is much more tender than any one else in his regrets about my being out of Parliament. He is always at it, and before people. . . . However, it is all mighty well; for, notwithstanding that the Honorable House has been at its best this week in the interest of its debates and the conflict of parties, I have never felt any other sentiment than that of gratification at not being there—so help me ——! Such feeling, I suppose, is partly idleness, partly contempt for all the performers, and a conviction from long experience that no possible good can be effected by such an assembly, to say nothing of the perfidy of our own chaps in particular, whenever a chance of doing any good arises.”


“We had a rum dinner enough at Denison’s on Saturday altho’ the Earl of Darlington was there, and a very merry one at Kensington [Palace] on Sunday, where he and my lady were likewise, and about 14 of us. The Duke [of Sussex] handed out the Countess, the Earl, Lady Mary Stephenson, and Mr. Creevey Lady Cis. The Duke said:—‘Come, Creevey, come and sit next to Lord Darlington;’ which of course I did, and he was mighty playful with me all the day.”

* Lord William Russell, brother of the 5th Duke of Bedford. He was murdered in 1840 by his French valet Courvoisier.


“. . . Duncannon shewed me a letter written by the wife of the jaoler in the county of Galway to the maid servants in Lord Besborough’s house in that county. . . . I think you will admit it has very pretty fun in it.

“‘Mrs. Murphy’s compliments to the ladies of Wandler [?]. II the maids would like to see Sergeant Black hang’d she will be happy of the honor of their company at breakfast to-morrow. I will have the pleasure of conducting the ladies to the gallows. Mrs. Murphy will take care that the execution shall be deferred till the ladies arrive.’”

“April 2.

“. . . Much has been going on at Windsor lately upon our ministerial projects. Canning and Wellington were closeted with Prinney one day, Peel for as long the next, and then—best of all the three—Cheerful Charlie* went down yesterday, his object being, it is said, to protest on behalf of himself and brother Tories against Canning being cock of the walk. . . .”

“April 11th.

“The town will have it to-day that all is settled—Canning Minister, and that he has received the King’s commands to form a Govt. on the same principles as the last; . . . yet I don’t believe it, because Tankerville dined yesterday with the Duke of Wellington, who told him that all was still at sea, and that he—Tankerville—knew just as much how it would all end as he—Wellington—did. Now we all know that, with all his faults, Wellington is precisely the man to speak the truth upon such an occasion without either design or humbug. I would stake my life it was as he said at the time he said it. . . .”

Mr. Creevey’s confidence in the Duke’s candour on this occasion was scarcely justified. On the very day that Wellington made the above statement to Lord

* The 5th Duke of Rutland.

Tankerville, he had received Canning’s letter informing him that he had been commissioned by the King “to lay before his Majesty . . . a plan of arrangements for the reconstruction of the Administration,” and adding, “I need not add how essentially the accomplishment must depend upon your Grace’s continuance as a member of the Cabinet.” To this Wellington replied on the same day, intimating his anxious desire “to serve his Majesty as I have done hitherto in the Cabinet, with the same colleagues. But before I can give an answer to your obliging proposition, I should wish to know who the person is whom you intend to propose to his Majesty as the head of the Government.” There was something of wilful misunderstanding, if indeed it was misunderstanding, in the Duke’s failure to perceive that the King had entrusted Canning with the formation of a Cabinet.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Holkham, April 14th.

“This is a damned bore, you must know, not having the London letters and newspapers till four o’clock in the afternoon. It’s all mighty fine for King Tom* to have his own house the post-house, which it is; but give me a professional one in preference to a squirearchy postmaster. . . . I was more delighted with my approach to this house than ever, and so I am now with everything both within it and without it—except the company, who, God knows, are rum enough, and totally unworthy of all Lord Chief Justice Coke has done for them in creating the estate, and the Earl of Leicester in building and furnishing the house. Our worthy King Tom is decidedly the best; but—without offence be it said—he by no means comes up to his ancestor the Chief Justice. . . . Digby and Lady

* Mr. Coke of Holkham.

Andover* are both speechless [erased]; Stanhope and Mrs. Stanhope are worthy, honest, absent, lackadaisical bodies that don’t seem to know where they are or who they are with; and this is our present stock, except a young British Museum artist, who is classing manuscripts, and a silent parson without a name! But then—what have we not in reserve? Do not we expect Lord John Russell, the Knight of Kerry, Spring Rice, and various other great and publick men? We do indeed! tho’ during the different times I have been here, I have known many expected who never came. But you’ll not quote me. In the mean time, it’s all the same to me whether they come or not. I came to see the place. I doat upon it. . . . I was not sufficiently struck when I have been here before with the furniture of the walls in the three common living rooms, which is Genoa velvet, and what is more, it has been up ever since the house was built, which is eighty years ago; and yet it is as fresh as a four-year-old. To be sure, the said Earl of Leicester was no bad hand at finishing his work: never was a house so built outside and in. The gilded roofs of all the rooms and the doors would of themselves nowadays take a fortune to make; and his pictures are perfect, tho’ not numerous.”

Canning’s appointment as premier was the signal for the resignation of those Ministers who had hitherto resisted the Roman Catholic claims—Wellington, Eldon, Bathurst, Melville, Westmorland, Bexley, and Peel. Canning immediately opened negociations with the Whig leaders—Lansdowne, &c.—for a coalition.

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“London, April 13, 1827.

“They all declare their motive for resigning is strictly personal—that the Catholics have nothing to do with it; it never came into question. The D. of Wellington, who has also given up the Army, says nothing

* Lady Andover, widow of the eldest son of the 15th Earl of Suffolk, married Admiral Sir Henry Digby, K.C.B.

shall induce him to connect himself with that man. He has just told this to
Ly. Jersey, and has shown her letters—one from Canning to him, announcing that he had received his Majesty’s commands to form a Government. This he answered to the King. He says Canning’s letter was most impertinent. . . . Peel says he could not serve under Canning, nor would any of the others. . . . Lord Londonderry has resigned the Bedchamber in a letter to the King saying he had prevented the Queen being received at Vienna, and that as H.M. had given his confidence to a man who entertained such different opinions on that subject, he could no longer serve him. In short, traits of humour are without end. Bathurst did not know of the Chancellor’s, Wellington’s and Peel’s resignation till he missed them at the Cabinet dinner at Wynne’s on Wednesday. He went home and wrote a very formal letter of resignation to Canning. . . . If Opposition support, Canning may stand, and they certainly ought to keep out these villains.”

Mrs. Taylor to Mr. Creevey.
“Whitehall, 17th April.
“My dear Mr. Creevey,

“What a goose you were to leave town in such delightful mischievous times! Dear Brougham arrived the night before last upon a summons from Lord Lansdowne. . . . He called upon Lord Darlington on his way up, and I see his object is to get those two to take office, as an excuse for himself. He is outrageous at the idea of Copley* being Chancellor, and told me he was sure it would never be. . . . As you may believe, he is in a very disturbed state, and up to his ears in some intrigue or other.”


“. . . Brougham was here last night in a state of insanity after the negociation between Ld. Lansdowne and Canning was broke off, which it was, in consequence

* Sir John Copley, who, on becoming Lord Chancellor on Lord Eldon’s resignation at this time, was created Baron Lyndhurst.

of the former not consenting to an entire Protestant Government in Ireland.* From this he went to a meeting he and Sir M. Wilson got up at Brooks’s, consisting of
Jack the Painter,† the Knight of Kerry, the Calcrafts and a few more shabby ones, anxious for place at any rate; and there it was agreed to send Ld. Auckland and the younger Calcraft to Ld. Lansdowne to remonstrate, and to prevail upon him to renew the negociation. . . . Brougham told me he had refused being Attorney-General, but I don’t believe it was really offered to him, for I hear the higher powers objected to him.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Holkham, April 21st.

“. . . I have no doubt that the selection of Copley to be Chancellor has been the stumbling-block to Lansdowne, for old Lord Wm. Russell writes to Lord John that no man of honor could sit in the same cabinet with such a scoundrel as Copley, and that Canning is for ever disgraced in having taken him. . . .”

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“April 21st, 1827.
“My dear C.,

“As I am sure by instinct that you are with the true and faithful servants of the Lord in this time of our trial, and not with the vain and foolish Malignants, I write to say that the negociation was off last night, and we had a row at Brooks’s (which I own I created) and the negociation is on again to-day, with a fair prospect of success. These difficulties come from some of our friends being still in the year 1780. . . . Sefton’s letters would put life into a wheelbarrow, or anything but a superannuated Whig. My principle is—anything to lock the door for ever on Eldon and Co.

* I.e. a Lord Lieutenant, Chancellor, and Secretary opposed to Catholic Emancipation.

Mr. Spring Rice, created Lord Monteagle in 1839.

I have the easier pushed this great matter, because I can have no sort of interest in its success. My crimes (which I prize as my glory) of 1820 are on my head;* and by common consent the
King is to be gratified.”

“April 27, 1827.
“Dear C.,

“I fear you are a rural politician—ruris amator—one of the provincials of whom Jonathan Raine said in his N. Circuit verses—
‘Quid memorem quotquot, rurali more, colonis
Ruris amatores dant sua jura suis?’
So you have a politick of your own, as Maude has a law. How can you, being of [illegible] mind, possibly think that the Ministry—or any Ministry—can stand on volunteer and candid support? My only principle is:—‘Lock the door on
Eldon and Co.;’ and this can only be done by joining C[anning].

“Well, even my not being in office is making the devil’s own mischief. Where am I to sit? [illegible]’s place, or Pitt’s old hill fort? or where? How am I to communicate with C[anning]? Besides, the Tories don’t believe me with C., and are trying to trap me by motions. Nice, to be sure, had any man such a singular, not to say absurd power over a Govt. as I shall have. Lord L[ansdowne], D. of Devonshire, &c., all take place protesting against my exclusion, and swearing they only submit to it while I do. Scarlett A[ttorney] G[eneral], but Eldon went off in a headache to escape swearing him in. . . .

H. B.
Edward Ellice, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Brooks’s [no date].

“. . . Be assured Bruffam will bolt! He is very sore at Scarlett’s appointment, with all his professions of disinterestedness, and no wonder! He says support of an ‘hon. and learned member opposite’ is

* His defence of Queen Caroline.

not quite the same thing as that of ‘my hon. and learned friend near me;’ and that his exclusion will shut his mouth. This is all as I expected. We shall see strange confusion and quarrelling in the end.
Lord Grey has shut his door upon Tan., and if they don’t take care, will lead the new Govt.—with or without Ld. Lansdowne—a pretty dance in the Lords. . . . I envy none of them the legacy the Tories have left their successors. They have drained the cup of good things to the dregs, and left many a bitter draught for those that follow them. . . . The fellow can’t wait for the letters, and indeed I could only add some lies of the day.

E. E.
Michael Angelo Taylor, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Denbies, May 6th, 1827.

“. . . I am almost sick at what is passing. The scene in the House is to my mind so strange that I know not where I am. I keep my old place. What is to be concocted for the general good I cannot conjecture . . . Brooks’s rings with the praises of Canning—how well he does—how ill the Sovereign is, and how improperly Canning has been dealt with. Canning has dissected both Whigs and Tories; and I profess, if I was to swear fealty, I should be more inclined to swear it to him than to Lansdowne and Co. Darlington raves about ‘the new Premier. The Catholic Question is only safe by being postponed, he thinks. Duncannon now counts noses on the other side, and sits on the Treasury Bench. I can say for myself that not much of decent respect has been shown to me. I have supported the Whigs for eight and thirty years at an expense of above £30,000. My house and table have been the resort of the party, and on their account, partly, the King has got rid of me. To the astonishment of many, not a syllable has ever been mentioned to me.”

1827.] COALITION. 117
Lord Althorp to Mr. Creevey.
“Albany, May 11, 1827.

“. . . It is impossible for me not to write to you and say how much gratified I am at finding the line which I have taken approved of by all those with whom I first began my political life, which was in 1809, on the Duke of York’s business. It is impossible for me to put any confidence in Canning, but I must support him as the least of two evils. Lord Lansdowne and those who, like him, take office or identify themselves with the administration, appear to me to have more courage than discretion; and I think they would have done better to have acted with more caution. But the thing being done, we have only to choose between the two parties, and the line it is our duty to take is plain enough at present. . . . I much fear that His Majesty will be indulged in every sort of extravagance in order to win him over.”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“London, 28th May, 1837.

“You are indeed a benighted, rural politician, and your letter is truly a provincial reverie. I do say the junction is justified by the exclusion of Eldon, Wellington, Peel and Bathurst. It could have been brought about by no other means, and I consider it as an immense benefit conferred on the country. . . . As to the ‘baseness of the junction,’ and the rest of your apple-blossom twaddle, I really thought at first, Mr. Secretary of the Board of Controul, that you were alluding to the blasted, disgraceful coalition of Fox and the pure, highminded Grey with old Bogy.* There, indeed, was a sacrifice of every principle upon earth for place. I don’t stand up for Canning, but I think the junction with him is a chance for the country against nothing. Don’t forget that Grey, whose opposition is solely personal, once preferred him to Whitbread. He had, as you well know, the choice between them. . . . I don’t care a damn—nor do you—for the Catholics; but I say their chance is a

* Lord Grenville.

hundredfold better under the new Cabinet than under the old; and so do they. . . . Depend upon it that horticultural pursuits damage a male’s understanding. I am delighted, therefore, that you are once more coming into the civilised world, where I trust you will, with proper care, come to your senses.”

Mr. Creevey to the Earl of Sefton.
“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!”

Mrs. Taylor to Mr. Creevey.
“June 1, 1827.

“. . . Mr. Canning’s weakness was pretty visible in the Penryn case.† Brougham was so very tipsy,

* George III.

† Gross bribery and corruption had been proved to prevail in the little Cornish borough of Penryn, which returned two members. Lord John Russell’s motion that it be disfranchised was opposed by the Government, and defeated by 124 votes to 69.

that for some time after he got up to speak he did not know what he said, and neither
Tierney, Macdonald nor Abercromby were in the House. Little Sir T. T[yrwhitt] has just come in to tell me he was this moment passed in the street by Mr. Lambton in a travelling carriage alone; so that he is come up to see if peerages are plenty!”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“London, June 11th.

“. . . Lambton has called upon Knighton and told him to tell the King that the moment he heard at Naples of the shameful way in which he [the King] had been treated by his servants, he had travelled night and day to serve him; in consequence of which, he is to dine and sleep one day this week at the Cottage after Ascot. This comes from Ly. C. to her brother Denison. . . . Then Brougham is so anxious about dear Mrs. Brougham that he has consulted Knighton about her case, who is so good as to see her daily. Was there ever?* . . .”

“June 15th.

“. . . It is said that Lambton owes upwards of £900,000, and has little or no profit from his coal trade to help him out of the mess. . . . The Duke of St. Albans is to be married to Mother Coutts on Saturday. She gives him £30,000 as an outfit—the rest to depend on his good behaviour. . . . Chickens are 15/- a couple, Mrs. Taylor tells me; but what do you think of cock’s-combs being 22/- a pound, and it takes a pound and a half to make a dish!”

“Brooks’s, 19th.

“. . . In my walk here I met Althorp . . . and asked him how things were going on.—‘Very bad,’ says he.—‘What an odd thing,’ says I, ‘that Robinson† should turn out so wretched in the Lords.’—‘Yes,’ says

* Sir William Knighton being the King’s physician and confidential adviser on many things besides his health.

Mr. J. Robinson, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1823-27, had been made Viscount Goderich, and became Colonial and War Secretary.

he, ‘and what is worse,
Lansdowne is very little better, so that Grey, acting the part he does, cuts him to atoms.’—‘Do you suppose,’ says I, ‘it was the question of corn that made the great Opposition in the Lords?’—‘No,’ says he, ‘it was the question of Canning, and only that; for you know no one can have any confidence in him.”

“June 20.

“. . . You see the buttering speech Bruffam has been making at Liverpool in favor of Canning, to say nothing of his lies about his having refused a silk gown from Eldon, and saying that the latter had always behaved so well to him! . . . Sefton said to Mrs. Taylor yesterday at dinner:—‘Well, Mrs. Taylor, what is your opinion of Brougham now?’—‘Why,’ says she, ‘exactly what yours used to be, Ld. Sefton, the worst possible.’”

“June 23.

“. . . I sallied forth yesterday for a walk before dinner, and who shd. I see but Wellington coming out of Arbuthnot’s house in Parliament Street—his horses following him. So thinks I to myself—what line will he take? which was soon decided by his coming up and shaking me by the hand. I said—‘Curious times these, Duke!’ and then, by way of putting him at his ease and encouraging him to talk, I added—‘I am what they call a Malignant: I am all for Ld. Grey. I have this moment left him, telling him my only fear was his becoming too much of a Tory.’ . . . Turning me round by main force and putting his arm thro’ mine, he walked me off with him to the House of Lords.—‘There is no chance,’ said he, ‘of Ld. Grey being too much of a Tory; but you are quite right, and you may tell him from me that, so long as he keeps his present position, unconnected with either party, he has a power in the country that no other individual ever had before him.’

“Then he fell upon Canning without stint or mercy—said it was impossible for any one to act with him, and that his temper was quite sure to blow him up. He said a part of his (Wellington’s) correspondence
had been withheld; that when he found that his amendment to the Corn Bill, if carried, wd. be fatal to the Bill, he wrote to
Huskisson saying he was willing to come to any arrangement so as to prevent that; but Canning, thinking that he should beat him in the Lords, would not let Huskisson listen to such a proposal. . . . In short, you never heard a fellow belabour another more compleatly con amore than the Beau did Beelzebub—every now and then stopping and nearly pulling the button off my coat from his animation. I am only provoked that I omitted asking him whether he recollected a conversation of ours one day after dinner at his house at Cambray, in which I did my best in describing the perfidious character of Canning, but he would not touch it. . . .

“You will be glad to hear that our impertinent Whigs have been disappointed in their expectation of Darlington claiming his seat from Ld. Howick. Grey told me he waited upon Darlington and tendered his son’s resignation, as a matter perfectly of course from the line he (Grey) had taken, as well as his son; but Ld. Darlington wd. not listen to the thing, and said he should take it as a personal favor never to have the subject mentioned again. It is very creditable to the Duke of Cleveland (that would be) to keep up his connection with a man that is such an infernal stumbling-block in the way of all their honors.”*

“Low Gosforth, 9th August.

“Well—I suppose Canning is dead long before this,† and so goes another man killed by publick life. His constitution, it is true, was not a good one, but the knock-down blow has been his possession of supreme power, his means of getting it and the personal abuse it brought down upon his head. And now, what comes next? As far as the present Cabinet is concerned, I should think they would willingly consent to Lansdowne succeeding Canning; but what says George 4th to this? Again, if such was the case,

* Lord Darlington had to wait six years for his dukedom. Lord Howick sat for one of Darlington’s seats in Winchelsea.

† About twenty-four hours.

Brougham must lead the House of Commons as a Cabinet Minister, and what would the King and the Church and the Tories say to that?”

In perusing the correspondence of such a voluble gossip as Creevey, one pauses occasionally to wonder whether his information is as trustworthy as it is varied and lively. The following extract, describing the position of the Duke of Wellington in regard to the Command-in-chief of the Army, and his correspondence with the King on the subject, would not be worth printing except as a test of Creevey’s accuracy. Taken as such, it is satisfactory to find that nothing could be closer to the facts of the case. The correspondence referred to is printed at length in Wellington’s Civil Despatches, iv. 37.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Barningham Park [Mr. Mark Milbank’s], Aug. 13.

“. . . The Whigs, I think, are done. Snip Robinson,* you evidently see, is everything with Prinney. Only think of Petty† buckling to under him, and the venerable Tierney too and old goose-rumped Carlisle.† . . . I am happy to find that both these Raby and Lowther tits talk very freely of Lord Lansdowne’s degradation in having Lord Goodrich [sic] put over him. . . . No tidings of the Beau yet! but he must have his mare again,§ not only because everybody’s language is that the Army is going to the devil under Palmerston,‖ but Mrs. Taylor has told me of a correspondence

* Viscount Goderich, who became Prime Minister on Canning’s death.

Lord Lansdowne.

‡ The 6th Earl of Carlisle.

§ A saying current at the time, expressive of a man regaining his old position.

Viscount Palmerston was Secretary-at-War.

between the King and the Beau upon this subject, which
Grey told her the Duke had shown him.

“It seems for some time after the Duke left the Horse Guards he called perpetually on Sir Herbert Taylor, and gave him his opinion and advice as to what was going on, and Taylor availed himself of one of his interviews with the King to express his great obligations to the Duke for his kind and useful counsel; upon which the King wrote the Beau a letter at the beginning or end of which he called him his ‘good friend’;* thanked him for all his kindness to Taylor, and urged him to retract his resignation. The Beau considered this as the tricky suggestion of Canning; but, be it so or not, Grey represents his answer as perfect—regretting he should have been misunderstood—that his private honor would never permit him to retract, but his wish was always the same, to be of what use he could to the army. Since then, the King said to Lord Maryborough that the Duke of Wellington never comes to see him now, and upon the other saying he was sure it was only the apprehension of intruding that kept his brother away:—‘Oh no,’ said the King, ‘he knows very well I am always delighted to see him.’ Upon this being told the Duke, he made that last visit to Windsor, which made the jaw in the paper. So I can have no doubt, upon all these grounds, that his mare at least is certain, and then I think the noses of the old Click will be poking themselves in one after another, till not a single Whig nose is left in the concern.”

“Barningham, Aug. 19th.

“Yesterday I went out for the first time on horseback in pursuit of prospects, and found about 3 miles off upon the high road a perfect one—a single high-arched bridge of great elevation, springing from rocks considerably above the level of the Tees, which comes rumbling down with great majesty over a rocky bed with trees on both sides. Standing on the bridge, the view closes on one side with an abbey ruin of Edward

* The letter begins “My dear Friend,” and ends “Ever your sincere Friend, G. R.” [Wellington’s Civil Despatches, iv. 37].

3rd’s time, and the other with Rokeby, celebrated, you know, by
Sir Walter Scott. The bridge was built by Morritt, the present owner of Rokeby. . . . At dinner our company was the said Morritt and his two nieces.”

Earl Grey to Mr. Creevey.
“Lyneham, 21st August.

“. . . I had a very curious letter from Brougham the other day, presuming that Canning’s death would remove the obstacle which before existed to my supporting the Government. He tells me that he had given an assurance of his support to whoever might be the leader of the H. of C, feeling it to be essential to the maintenance of a ministry, whose principles, as far as they go, he approves; that he has refused any political situation, which had been pressed upon him by Canning; and, being excluded by the personal objections of the King from any other situation in his profession, he must remain as a supporter of the Govt. in his hill-fort: that his support of Govt. is quite disinterested, having received nothing but slights, which had injured him in his profession; that he had asked only that the legal promotions shd. be suspended for a year: that Cross being put over his head, and the appointment of the other King’s Counsels, had hurt him in the Circuit. I shortly answered him that the differences of the last session were the more unfortunate as not being likely soon to be removed; that I wished only to explain that my objections were not merely personal to Canning, but that they applied principally to the manner in which the Government was composed; that in this respect they were rather increased than diminished by all I had hitherto learnt of the present changes, and that I must remain in my former position, unconnected with any party, and supporting or opposing as the measures of the Govt. might be accordant or at variance with my principles and opinions.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Aug. 24.

“I am very sorry I did not ask Morritt for a copy of his work on the situation of ancient Troy. You must know that he has a brother, one of the hugest great fat men you ever saw; and as the elder brother is called ‘Troy’ Morritt, the other goes by the name of ‘Avoirdupois’ Morritt. Damned fair for the provinces!

“. . . The perfidy of the Arch-fiend* to Lambton! . . . He gave Powlett a history of the peerage as told by Lambton himself to Brougham. Says Lambton:—‘I directed my auditor to wait upon Ld. Lansdowne, and to make that claim which I thought I had a perfect right to, of being made a peer. But Stephenson refused to execute this commission.’—‘When,’ said Brougham [to Powlett], ‘Lambton opened the case and his claims to me, I thought it but fair to give him my honest opinion that he had none—that he had only his own seat in Parliament—that he took little or no part in debates, and that, in short, his claim was wholly untenable.’ Now whether all or any or what part of all this is fiction, I know not; but was there ever such a perfidious monster as this Bruffam, or such an insolent jackanapes as this Lambton. The latter, I flatter myself, is diddled, tho’ he did return from Paris to be present, with myself, at Canning’s funeral. I was rather ashamed to see my name upon such an occasion and in such a crew.†

“Well now, tho’ somewhat late, my Portuguese Marshal—Lord Beresford—came to dinner on Sunday, and was off before breakfast yesterday [Thursday]. I can safely say that in my life I never took so strong a prejudice against a man. Such a low-looking ruffian in his air, with damned bad manners, or rather none at all, and a vulgarity in his expressions and pronunciation that made me at once believe he was as ignorant, stupid and illiterate as he was ill-looking. Yet somehow or other he almost wiped away all these

* Brougham.

Mr. Creevey was not at the funeral, though reported to be so in the papers.

notches before we parted. In the first place, it is with me an invaluable property in any man to have him call a spade a spade. The higher he is in station the more rare and the more entertaining it is. Then I defy any human being to find out that he is either a marshal or a lord; but you do find out that he has been in every part of the world, and in all the interesting scenes of it for the last five and thirty years. . . . The history of these two Beresfords is really interesting. They are natural sons of old
Lord Waterford,* and were sent over in their infancy to a school at Catterick Bridge under the names of John Poo [Poer?] (the Admiral) and William Carr (the Marshal), and they kept these names till they were about 12 years old. . . . They are still in ignorance of who their mother was, or whether they had the same; but from the secrecy upon this head, from their being sent from Ireland, and, above all, from Lady Waterford having seemed always to shew more affection to them than to her own children, there is a notion they were hers before her marriage.”

“Lowther Castle, Aug. 27th.

“. . . More perfect civility and politeness was never shown by man to man than by the Earl [of Lonsdale] to myself from the moment I entered the house; and, give me leave to say, for rather a feeble artist and one who was dressed in a star and garter and a blue ribbon, he was very agreeable. But dear Lady Lonsdale is the girl for my money, being either half-witted or half-cracked, and she and I are one. . . . This place as a castle is a palpable failure compared with Raby or Brancepeth, but the park is most beautiful . . .”


“. . . Take a specimen of my lord’s turn for storytelling. I was going it at breakfast just now with considerable success in the ‘Nanny goat’† line; so my lord in his turn said:—‘You have heard of Mr.

* The 2nd Earl of Tyrone and 1st Marquess of Waterford.

† Anecdote.

Fitzgerald, who was called the Fighting Fitzgerald, whom I used to see a good deal of at
Lord Westmorland’s. There was a man who bet a wager he would insult him; so, going very near him in a coffeehouse, he said—“I smell an Irishman!” to which the other replied—“You shall never smell another!” and, taking up a knife, cut off his nose.’”

“Hartlepool [a house of Lord Darlington’s], Sept. 9th.

“. . . Lansdowne has now compleated his own destruction by letting Prinney and Robinson force Herries* down his throat. . . . What a treasure on such a rainy day to have one’s Decline and Fall with one. I really think it is a great business for such a lazy devil as myself to have read every word of it. I except no book when I say no single author supplies one with such useful or such general matter. Damn his writing, but his stuff is invaluable.”

“Doncaster, Sept. 18.

“. . . Soon after our arrival I went out, and the first group of men I fell into was Ld. Jersey, Ld. Wilton, Bob Grosvenor, &c., &c., which soon ended in a tête-à-tête between Wilton and me, in which I regretted that Edward Stanley had taken a place so inferior, as I thought, to the claims and position of his house.† He made the only defence that could be made—Edward’s love of business, and it was merely a beginning. Then he stated of the Government generally:—‘It is a crazy concern altogether. The King is in ecstacies at having carried his point about Herries, and will have all his own way for the future. The Whigs have moved heaven and earth to get Ld. Holland into the Foreign Office, but the King would not hear of it. . . .’”

* The Right Hon. J. C. Herries, who became Chancellor of the Exchequer.

† Afterwards 14th Earl of Derby. He had been appointed Under-Secretary for the Colonies, Huskisson being Colonial and War Secretary.

“Doncaster, Sept. 20.

“. . . You must know our steward, the Duke of Devonshire, started the first day [of the races] with his coach and six and twelve outriders, and old Billy Fitzwilliam* had just the same; but the next day old Billy appeared with two coaches and six, and sixteen outriders, and has kept the thing up ever since. . . .”

“Wentworth House [Earl Fitzwilliam’s], 23rd Sept.

“. . . Well, have you read our Bruffam’s letters to Lord Grey with all the attention they deserve? and was there ever such a barefaced villain, and so vain a wretch and fool too? I wish you could see the veins of Lord Grey’s forehead swell and hear his snorting at Brougham’s demand for justice to his pure disinterested motives. . . . The judicial situation he refused was Chief Baron of the Exchequer. . . . Lord Rosslyn told me that Brougham in a letter telling him of this offer said:—‘It was made me by Canning just before his death, and, as I believe, with no other view than that of getting rid of me.’ . . . I told you what Lord Wilton said to me about Holland. Grey says all the Cabinet agreed to it but cher Bexley, alias Mouldy; but the King when it was proposed to him said he would have no Minister who had insulted all the crowned heads of Europe. Lord Cowper, who as well as Lady Cowper and her daughter are staying here, tells me Alvanley says ‘Goodrich will cry himself out of office.’ Cowper and Milton, who are quite against Grey and us malignants (including Milton’s father), state the utter impossibility of such a feeble artist remaining where he is. . . . Princess Lieven says I must be writing a political pamphlet, and Mrs. Taylor is pleased to tell her who it is to, and that I do the same every day. . . .”

Deeper and deeper grew Creevey’s distrust of his ancient ally Brougham; wider and ever wider yawned the chasm between the old Whig Guard, represented for the nonce by Lord Grey, and those very men who,

* The 4th Earl Fitzwilliam.

under Grey’s leadership, were ultimately to effect the profound, though bloodless, revolution of 1832.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Wentworth, Sept. 24.

“. . . Another instance of our Bruffam’s hypocrisy. Wm. Powlett (I beg pardon, Lord William Powlett)* said to me:—‘Brougham is very sore at your not having called upon him during your stay at Lowther. My father shewed me a letter from him in which he said—“I cannot but feel greatly hurt that, after the long and intimate connection between Creevey and me, he should have been at Lowther, and never come to see me.”’ Now was there ever such a canting, mischievous fellow? He has done all he could to injure me—has washed his hands of me in every way—he knows I could not come to him—he knows that, if I could have done so, he was not at home. He does not care one damn if I was at the bottom of the sea—most probably would rather I was there than not—and yet, for some base purpose of his own—gets up this scene of lying sentiment; to Darlington, too, of all men. . . . At dinner I heard Princess Lieven say to Lord Fitzwilliam:—‘Your house, my lord, or your palace, I should rather say, is the finest I have seen in England. It is both beautiful and magnificent.’—To which old Billy replied—‘It is indeed.’ She then proceeded:—‘When foreigners have applied to me heretofore for information as to the houses best worth seeing in England, I have sent them to Stowe and Blenheim; but in future I shall tell them to go down to Wentworth.’ The last compliment was received by old Billy in solemn silence! not an atom of reply!”

“Stapleton, Sept. 28th.

“. . . What a comfortable house this is, and how capitally ‘dear Eddard’† lives. . . . What a fool this good-natured Eddard is to be eat and drunk out of house and harbour, and to be treated as he is. The

* Second son of Lord Darlington, who was about to be raised to the dignity of a Marquess on 5th October. Lord William afterwards became 3rd Duke of Cleveland.

Hon. Robert Edward Petre, third son of the 9th Lord Petre.

men take his carriages and horses to carry them to their shooting ground, and leave his fat mother to waddle on foot, tho’ she can scarcely get ten yards. Then dinner being announced always for seven, the men neither night have been home before 8, and it has been ¼ to 9 that
Dow. Julia* and her ladies have been permitted to dine. Then these impertinent jades, the Ladies Ashley, breakfast upstairs, never shew till dinner, and even then have been sent to and waited for. . . . Dow. Julia makes one eternally split with her voice and her words and her criticism upon everybody. She is always at it and always right, and a good honest soul as ever was. . . .”

“Raby Castle, Oct. 4th.

“. . . Lord Londonderry is so disliked and despised in his own country that it has been injurious to the Beau to be shewn off by him.† . . . The Duke is Commander-in-chief and identifying himself with the Old Tories, and the Bishop of Durham gave him a dinner yesterday that has made the Marquess of Cleveland‡ shake in his shoes. He, tho’ Lord-lieutenant, would not accept the Bishop’s invitation to meet the Duke of Wellington, and we had quite a scene between him and Lord William two days ago about the latter going. However he was quite firm, and said nothing should prevent him, as member for the county, accepting the invitation. All this on Cleveland’s part was dirty toadying of the King and Governt., saying this was an opposition Tory visit of Wellington’s to the north. . . . The Marchioness would have liked the fame of having the Beau here, and he had promised Lady Caroline to come if he was asked; but Niffy Naffy did not dare.”

* Juliana, daughter of Henry Howard of Glossop, and second wife of the 9th Lord Petre.

† The Duke of Wellington had been paying a visit to Wynyard. Lord Londonderry (3rd Marquess) was the Duke’s Adjutant General in the Peninsula. Despite the Duke’s distrust of him, he continued to address him in correspondence as “My dear Charles,” until their final rupture over the Corn Laws in 1846, when the Duke’s letters begin “My dear Lord Londonderry.”

Lord Darlington’s patent of marquess is of the same date as this letter.

“Oct. 6th.

“. . . It should be a rule in coming to this house not to exceed 3 days, when the party is purely domestic, because the artificial situation of the Marchioness becomes much more striking. The delusion can’t last: it becomes low comedy—low life above stairs. The scenes are magnificent, the dresses superb, but still it is the part of the Marchioness of Cleveland by Miss Tidswell. . . . The Marquis himself, too, is quite a different man from when I was last here. He is always civil, but there is no spring in him, one might almost say no utterance. He seems absorbed in thought and by no means happy. We had, to be sure, a little conversation last night, when he was kind enough to admit Mrs. Taylor and myself to an inspection of a new pattern for his livery buttons! . . . Good God! how I write. I mean so badly. It is now after dinner; I am sure I am not drunk, but the pens are the very devil. . . . Lord Charles Somerset complains that he could not sleep either of the three nights at Wynyard, never having slept before in cambrick sheets, and that the Brussels lace with which the pillows were trimmed tickled his face so he had not a moment’s peace. . . . Grey says he would not dress Lady Londonderry for £5000 a year: her handkerchiefs cost 50 guineas the dozen; the furniture of her boudoir cost £3000. Alnwick Castle is the place for real comfort! You ladies are handed out to breakfast, as well as at dinner; and, that entertainment over, the sexes are separated as at a cathedral; so much so that Tankerville was arrested by the coatflap for attempting to invade the seraglio. Cornwall, a London flash, was there lately, and was so bored that, having consented to be one of the Duke’s male riding party (for here again the sexes are kept separate) he hid himself; but in an unguarded moment looked out of the window to enjoy their being off without him; when the Duke, looking back, saw him, and they returned and took him.”

“Howick, Oct. 14th.

“. . . Grey read me a letter he had yesterday from Lady Jersey from Euston. . . . She represents her
host, the
Duke of Grafton, and the visitors, Lord John Russell, &c., as hanging very loose indeed by poor Snip* and the Government. Grey says nothing annoys Brougham so much as not being able to make any impression upon Lady Jersey. . . . She is as firm as a rock to Grey and the Beau. Grey’s creed is that Brougham must blow up: that he is in so many people’s power with his lies of different kinds, that one fine day they will be out.”

Earl Grey to Mr. Creevey.
“Howick, Oct. 20th.

“I had a letter this morning from good old Fitzwilliam. Brougham had been at Wentworth uninvited, and evidently for the purpose either of making recruits, or of holding out the appearance of his being well in that quarter—probably both. Fitzwilliam smoked him, and took care that he should not go away deceived as to his opinions, which are exactly what you would have expected from a good honest Whig—in good times. . . . Circulars are sent from the Foreign Office to all people connected with the Government for subscriptions to Canning’s monument. I wish you would write an inscription for it!”

The struggle maintained by the Greeks against the Ottoman power came to a crisis in the autumn of this year. On 6th May the Greek army under Karaiskaki was cut to pieces near Athens; the Acropolis was bombarded at intervals till the garrison capitulated on 2nd June, and the utter subjugation of Greece by the Turks was imminent, when Great Britain, France, and Russia interposed to preserve her independence and presented their ultimatum to the Porte, which succeeded in protracting the negociations till the end of September. Meanwhile the Turkish general Ibrahim was devastating parts of Greece with circumstances

* Lord Goderich, the Prime Minister.

of the utmost barbarity. The British and French admirals, perceiving in this a breach of the armistice which the Porte had conceded, proceeded to destroy almost the whole Turkish fleet in the Bay of Navarino; an act which was vigorously denounced by the Opposition in the British Parliament.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Low Gosforth, Nov. 14th.

“. . . Well! so the magnanimous Allies have really destroyed the Turkish fleet, and a more rascally act was never committed by the great nations, nor upon more false and hypocritical pretences. But the consequences! the consequences! Keep your eye on them, my dear! . . . Altho’ Viscount Dudley and Ward* may have some personal objections to his head being placed on Temple Bar without the rest of his body, that is the proper position for it, or that of any English Ministers who by this act have opened the East and West to French and Russian ambition and villainy. . . . I take a much more extensive view of this Turkish business than my brother statesman Earl Grey does. We long-sighted, old politicians, my dear, see a fixed intention on the part of Russia to make Constantinople a seat of her power, and to re-establish the Greek Church upon the ruins of Mahometanism—a new crusade, in short, by a new and enormous power, brought into the field by our own selves, and that may put our existence at stake to drive out again.”

Time brings its revenges, and we have lived to see the Liberal party adopt and express different views to these about “the unspeakable Turk.” Yet it is opinion, and not the method of the Turk, that has changed.

* Foreign Secretary.