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The Creevey Papers
Ch. VII: 1828

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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Although Mr. Creevey sometimes referred to Ireland as his native country, whence it is to be assumed that, although born in Liverpool, he reckoned himself of Irish descent, yet he was turned sixty before he ever visited that land. In the autumn of 1828 he made an expedition to Dublin, furnished with letters of introduction from Lord Melbourne, which stood him in excellent stead, as the following curiously deferential letter may serve to show:—

Mr. George Morris to Viscount Melbourne.
“27, Gardiner Place, Dublin, 6th Sept., 1828.
“My dear Viscount Melbourne,

“I have been highly honored by receiving your Lordship’s most obliging Note of the 28th ultimo; and I continued to make daily enquiries for Mr. Creevy’s expected arrival at the Hotels your Lordship referred to, ‘till a letter came, under Lord Sefton’s Privilege, addressed to Mr. Creevy at Morrisson’s Hotel; when I secured there a comfortable Bed Room for your Lordship’s Friend, which proved to be fortunate, because, when Mr. Creevy came to Dublin on last Wednesday Evening, and before he made himself known at Morrisson’s, he was shewn, there, into the only vacant Bed Room, a small and objectionable apartment. But, on announcing His Name, He was shewn
to a comfortable Room, ordered by Lt.-Col. Morris for Mr. Creevy, in obedience to your Lordship’s commands to me, and for which I remain most grateful to you.

Mr. Creevy did me the Honor to dine with me here, on the Day after his Arrival in Dublin, when I was lucky enough to secure Mr. Blake, the Surgeon-General Crampton and Mr. Greville to meet Mr. Creevy at Dinner, and he was much pleased by meeting them.

“It occurred that I was asked to Dinner at Lord F. L Gower’s the next Day, yesterday, and as Mr. Creevy, also, received an Invitation, I had the Honor to call for him and to take him to Dinner to your Lordship’s late Residence in the Park,* and to bring him home safe to Morrisson’s. I am happy to assure you that Lord Francis L. Gower has, again, invited Mr. Creevy to Dinner for this Day, and I shall not fail to attend Mr. Creevy, to see all the public Institutions, and Lions of Dublin, finding he is so well pleased with our City, that He purposes, now, to remain here Eight or Ten Days.

“I moved our Friend Mr. James Corry to call on Mr. Creevy, as he could not meet him at my House, from a previous Engagement, and Corry is greatly pleased at his good Fortune, to be acquainted with so distinguished and so highly talented a Gentleman as your Lordship knows Mr. Creevy to be. Blake, who met him at the Duke of Norfolk’s, and Crampton here, are rejoiced now to have an opportunity of inviting Mr. Creevy to their Houses in Dublin.

“I remain, Ever your Lordship’s
grateful obedient
George Morris.”
Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Condover Hall, Sept. 1, 1828.

“. . . Our coach was full, but we dropt two at Oxford, and to my great delight we left the other filthy wretch at Birmingham at 6 in the morning. He had been eating prawns all night, and flinging the

* Lord Melbourne, as Mr. Lamb, had been Secretary for Ireland.

skins at the bottom of the coach. However, I changed coaches at Birmingham, so it was all mighty well. Having breakfasted then at that early hour, I came alone to Shrewsbury . . . and embarked in a chay for Condover Hall, just 5 miles from Salop. Altho’ the two Stoke young ladies . . . have always praised the house much to me, their praises have been much—very much—below its deserts. It is a charming and most incomparable house. . . . Dear
Mr. and Mrs. Smythe Owen and I have lived in the most perfect harmony since 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, but other human being have I seen none, except the parson at church yesterday, whom I was in hopes to have seen more of. He is Mr. Leicester, nephew to the late Lord de Tabley. . . . Having known his father in the days of my youth at Cambridge as by far the most ultra and impertinent dandy of his day, I was curious to see the son. It was precisely the same thing over again. This beautiful youth (for such he is), aged 27, has been appointed by the Court of Chancery guardian to his nephew Lord de Tabley, aged 16. About 6 weeks ago, he was married to his aunt Lady de Tabley, who expects to be confined next month. I am sorry she is not [illegible] for this second marriage. On her part she forfeits £500 a year out of her jointure of £1500; and his diocesan, the Bishop of Lichfield, has given him notice he shall eject him from his living for marrying his aunt, which reduces his income to nothing. . . .”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“Stoke, Sept. 7th, 1828.
“My dear Creevey,

“My curiosity about the Irish road is quite satisfied by your enthusiastic description of it, and I quite feel I have seen it and the Menai Bridge. This is the way I like to make my tours. . . . I don’t believe the Beau has the slightest intention of doing the smallest thing for the Catholics, or that he ever thinks about them, any more than he does about the Russians, Turks or Greeks. When the time comes, he will send troops to Ireland. I believe he has no other nostrum for that or any other difficulty.”


Nothing impressed Mr. Creevey more favourably during his visit to Ireland than the management of the Bessborough estates, and the manner in which Lord and Lady Duncannon discharged the responsibilities of resident landowners.*

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Besborough (Paradise!),
Monday, Sept. 15, 1828, 7½ A.M.

“. . . Well! what a charming day I had yesterday, during which I said to myself repeatedly—‘And can I really be in this savage, wretched Ireland, as I have always been taught to believe it was, and that it could be no otherwise?’ We went to the parish church yesterday, 2½ miles off. It is a living of £1200 a year in the gift of the Crown. The rector is a most liberal man, and acts hand in hand with Duncannon in everything. . . . The church is larger than yours at Rivenhall, and was literally full; every one being perfectly well dressed, and not a poor person in the aisle. As there are no poor rates in reland, the clergyman in finishing the Communion service says—‘Remember the poor!’ and a box is immediately brought round, into which, if my ears did not deceive me, I heard a chink from every pew.

“The service over, I repaired to my favorite spot, the chancel, to look at the founder of this family in marble, Sir John Ponsonby of Cumberland, a follower of Cromwell, who gave him this small mark of his favor in return—20,000 English acres of land, confiscated property of the Catholicks who opposed the Protector or Usurper, whichever you like to call him. I expressed my surprise to Duncannon at the number of Protestants, and he said a great portion were descendants of the English who had come over with the first Ponsonby from Cumberland. I asked about

* Lord Duncannon, the eldest son of the 3rd Earl of Bessborough, was created Baron Duncannon in the peerage of the United Kingdom in 1834, and succeeded his father as 4th Earl of Bessborough in 1844 in the peerage of Ireland. He married Lady Maria Fane, daughter of the 10th Earl of Westmorland.

the relative number of Catholics, and he said if I had been at their chapel at 10, I should have seen about three times as many. . . .

“Having refreshed nature by a cheerful slice of cold stewed beef, Duncannon and I sallied forth on foot, but with a couple of horses behind, in case we wanted them. He took me first through the village [Piltown]. . . . I ought to apologise for calling it a village, for indeed I believe it is a ‘town’; but be [it] what it may, it is perfect. I went into the school, where I found four of the Miss Ponsonbys sitting on one side of a school desk, in different, distinct parts of it, and with a little party of 5 or 6 or 7 little boys and girls sitting opposite to each of them, under examination as to their catechism, &c., &c. I never saw a more well-behaved, attentive, and yet more cheerful exhibition of tuition. Duncannon took me into the dispensary—an institution of course built by himself. Presiding over it was a most strikingly sharp, intelligent-looking woman, with four daughters—the eldest grown up—as straight as arrows, very well dressed, and with the best of manners.—‘That family,’ said Duncannon, as we left the house, ‘Lady Duncannon found living literally in a ditch, ill, too, of a fever, of which the father and two of the children died.’—This practice of living in ditches, with some thatchwork over them, was very common when Duncannon first came here, but Lady Duncannon has found out every family of the kind, and they are now all housed, and very nicely, too. The dispensary family of course have the house they live in for nothing. The mother’s salary is £2 a year; all the girls have been taught to work, and either make their own cloaths or make for others, or both: but the result is, the whole establishment appears most happy and cleanly, well cloathed and, I suppose, well fed. I need not say they are Catholics. . . .

“In leaving the village, we took a turn towards the more mountainous and, as you should suppose, less civilised parts; but, tho’ the country is very populous and, as you leave Piltown, more and more decidedly Catholic, yet we found in all the groups of people assembled about their chapels or cottages the same marked civility. . . . Upon the slope of a hill
and in a very nice plantation
Duncannon said:—‘The Catholic priest lives there; I should like to say a word to him. Would you mind going with me?’—‘Quite the reverse, my dear,’ says I; so through we went, and a rummish, dirty house we found. A slatternly kind of girl told us he was at home, and in we went and found him and his coadjutor just going to sit down to dinner. . . . The principal was a jolly-looking, pot-bellied, intelligent little fellow as you will see, tho’ somewhat snuffy and dirty, with as perfect [illegible] manners as you can find. He is quite at home with Duncannon, and comes and dines here. . . .

“I walked thro’ the village of Piltown with Duncannon, and I defy anything in the most civilised district of England to surpass it in neatness, comfort and really ornament—begun, of course, and mainly promoted by Lord and Lady Duncannon during the three years they have lived in Ireland, but zealously assisted and acted upon by all about of all descriptions. I never in any spot saw so marked a proof of a rapidly spreading civilisation; and yet this is only four miles from Carrick, one of the most lawless towns in Tipperary. . . . Oh! the English absentees from their Irish properties—what they might have done here by their influence and without Irish prejudices. But I am now becoming a bore. . . . Lady Duncannon shines here; she is devoted to the place, likes nothing so much as living here, and spends her time mostly in the village at her different institutions. Duncannon took me into one of her newly made publick works—a fives court, where a capital game was carrying on by the Irish boys of the village.”

From Bessborough Mr. Creevey went to Cork and Killarney, whence his letters to Miss Ord continued abundant as ever, but chiefly deal with descriptions of scenery. The following, written when on a visit to Lord Hutchinson, his friend of the old Regency days, gives a glimpse of a district less happy than that about Bessborough.

“Knocklofty, Oct. 1, 1828.

“Well, I got here yesterday about four and found Hutch really, I think, not altered a tittle. ‘Well, my dear Creevey, I’m delighted to see you. What a lucky fellow you are: I’ve got nine ladies to meet you.’ However, as it was, only four came—Lady Hawarden, two daughters and a sister. . . . Lady H. was lively and natural enough, but I had rather severe work with her sister and a daughter, between whom I sat. . . . After dinner you may be quite sure I stuck to Hutch like a leech for information and his opinion upon the present state of things. . . . What a difference in districts! At Besborough—only 17 Irish miles from here, Duncannon has not an apprehension, and during the rebellion of 1798 that part of Waterford took no part in the game of the Killarney district, tho’ so near Bantry Bay. Here we are in the heart of the most disaffected part of Ireland, and a man of any property has a language and a creed in conformity to it.

“‘My dear Creevey,’ said Hutchinson, ‘those rascals the Orange Protestants and the fools of Catholics who [illegible] the Association in Dublin, will bring us to blows. Lord Anglesey* is already acting upon it and calling in all the small bodies of 20 or 30 troops scattered up and down the country, because, in case of accident, they would be sure to be sacrificed.’—‘Well,’ says I, ‘what is your nostrum for settling all this? Would Catholic emancipation do it?’—‘I’ll tell you, my dear Creevey, what it would do. First, it is a most disgraceful thing that Irish contemptible nonsense should be made the foundation of such bad passions. It is only common justice that we should all be on one footing. In this country the Catholicks are 50 to 1: in property we are 20 to their 1. Let us start fair as to laws, and I have a just cause to embark in ‘and my mind is quite made up to fight

* Lord Anglesey, who lost a leg in command of the cavalry at Waterloo, was no coward, yet he wrote in this year to warn the Government that they were on the verge of civil war in Ireland, and advised concession. The Duke of Wellington, though he had made up his mind with Peel for Catholic emancipation, recalled Anglesey from the Lord Lieutenancy, and appointed in his place the Duke of Northumberland, a consistent opponent of emancipation.

them in defence of my property; but I don’t like fighting in an unjust cause. If we do come to blows, assisted by the English government I know we shall beat them, and all will be over in a month; but from that day no Protestant gentleman can live in his country house. He must live in a town for safety, and England must have 20,000 more troops here than she has at present, eh! My dear fellow, what a state of things for a nation at peace. What would it be in war?’

“He and Duncannon are both agreed about the Maynooth priests. This was a piece of Pitt’s handiwork, to have these chaps educated in a Catholic college at home, to escape foreign contagion; and they turn out the lowest and most perfidious villains going, whereas old Magra and a priest of £700 a year at Clonmel, whom Hutch praises most profusely, are of French education, and have all the good manners, at least, of that [illegible] nation. . . . Oh, I forgot, too, that Hutch gave me another good effect of Catholic emancipation: it would separate those of property in matters of the government.”

“Kilfane, 4 Oct., 1828.

“. . . We came over here yesterday in an open carriage, 20 miles over the mountains in torrents of rain. . . . Mrs. Power is poor old Grattan’s niece—his sister’s daughter. Besides this, she is cousin to the great Irish wit, Chief Justice Burke, whose estate and residence join hers; and who, if you come to that, has been over here to see me this morning. . . . You don’t know, perhaps, that no man has more reputation in Ireland as a wit and Liberal than this Chief Justice Burke; and yet old Hutch, when he found I was going to Kilfane, was pleased to say:—‘Then you will see my cousin Burke. He is a man of great wit; he knows no law, and is false as hell.’”

“Kilfane, Oct. 5.

“. . . Now I have seen a real Irish Protestant church. When I entered it, two parsons were sitting in a row at the reading desk—one, the rector and Archdeacon of Ossory—the other his curate. We
were 15 company from the house and 4 from the Chief Justice’s.
Duncannon and Lady Duncannon, man and maid were there, and, so help me God! not a soul else. The parish is a large and populous one, but without a single Protestant in it except these two families—nay, not even amongst their servants. Mr. Power’s steward or warder officiates as clerk. The living is £500 a year: the Catholic coadjutor or priest has £70! . .”

“Besborough, 5th Oct.

“Well, my visit to Hutch really was charming. Take him altogether—the very prominent parts he has filled in life, in all quarters and upon all subjects, coupled with the genuine simplicity and honesty with which he communicates his knowledge—he is by far the most interesting and agreeable man I know. . . . His position is very different from that of Duncannon. Here it is all quietness; he—Hutch—tho’ only 17 miles off, is in the very centre of disaffection. It is not surprising, under such circumstances, that he feels more strongly the present state of Ireland, and is less sanguine as to even Catholic emancipation setting it right. . . . His notion, however, is that having land at greatly reduced rents and no tythes is a feeling pervading the great Catholic body of the people, and encreasing daily. Education (he said) has done great harm, for it is turned to no useful purpose, and with a greatly overcharged population, and comparatively no occupation for it, it produces nothing but speculation upon their own condition and the means of amending it. The murder of his own tenant, a mile and a half only from his house, was well calculated to make a most unfavorable impression upon him against the Catholics. The particulars were these. A tenant of his was in arrear £700, and without any means of discharging it, except as far as his stock would go. Hutch said to him:—‘You are getting from bad to worse in this farm, and are evidently incapable of managing it. I excuse you your arrear: take all your stock with you to a smaller farm of mine, and see what you can make of that.’—He did so, and Hutch put into the larger farm a man out of the county of Cork—as respectable and humane a man as Ireland
could produce. But that did not save him from being most cruelly murdered, certainly by the suggestion and consent of the outgoing tenant. This in a village, too, where the murder lasted two hours, was known to be going on, and no one would help the unfortunate victim. Hutch has now taken the farm into his own hands. . . .

“Still, with all these feelings and impressions of Lord Donoughmore, when we got Lord Anglesey’s proclamation at breakfast yesterday against these Catholic assemblages in towns, he said:—‘I am damned sorry, Creevey, for this measure of Anglesea. He wrote to me a fortnight ago, asking my advice upon the subject, and I gave it—to let them alone. I have since been in communication with the Catholic bishop of the diocese, and received his positive assurance last night that these meetings were at an end. These villains of Orangemen will now very naturally conclude that this is a measure and an avowed opinion of the Government against the Catholics, and will be more eager to begin the work of blood than ever.’ . . .

“Amongst the opinions with which Lord Hutchinson favored me whilst I was with him were the following—‘Who do you dine with at Dublin, Creevey, when you are there?’—‘Why,’ says I, ‘Blake, I think, is my particular patron.’—‘Ah,’ said he, ‘he is a very agreeable fellow, but take care of him. There is not a greater lyar in all Dublin, and he’s as hollow as a drum.’—‘Then,’ says I, ‘there’s Mr. Corry of Merrion Square, who is mighty attentive to me.’—‘Ah,’ says he, ‘Secretary to the Linen Board, and wants to intrigue himself into Gregory’s place as Under-secretary of State—he’s a very good comedian, that fellow; I don’t know any other merit he has.’”

“Kingstown, 7 Oct., 1828.
“My dearest Bessy,

“Don’t I put you in mind of Mungo—‘Mungo’s here, Mungo’s there, Mungo’s everywhere.’ Well, before I say a single word about Molly Payne or anyone else, . . . I must enlighten you upon the immediate causes of the present crisis of this country. Remember, it is no vague theory of my own. Lord
Donoughmore is my historian; he was a principal actor in what I am about to state, and, what is more, he is the only surviving one. . . . He was observing to me that the English government never took any measures respecting Ireland except when pushed into it; and then they always took the wrong one, as they did when the 40s. election franchise was granted.—‘Tell me,’ says I, ‘about that;’—and to the best of my belief he spoke as follows. . . . ‘In the year 1792 the Catholics of Ireland presented a petition to the Irish House of Commons, praying for a qualified franchise in the election of members of Parliament. Five or six days after it was presented, David Latouche moved that such petition should be taken off the table and out of the House, upon the avowed ground of the audacity of its prayer. The House divided—for Latouche’s motion 208—against it 25. Forbes and I were tellers. Forbes was as honest a fellow as ever lived, and Grattan was always a stout fellow to act with; so we three consulted together, and we summoned some of the leading Catholics of Dublin to meet us. Keogh, a silk mercer, and a very rich man, was our principal [illegible]. He was a damned clever fellow, and the only Catholic of courage I ever saw. We told them that, as Catholics, they had received an insult from the House of Commons; they ought never to submit to that; we, as their friends and advocates, felt ourselves in the same situation, and were determined not to put up with it. We said the thing to be done was for the Catholics of Ireland to send delegates to Dublin to agree with us and amongst themselves what step they meant to take next. But the Catholics we had summoned were all frightened, and said it would never do. Keogh alone stood firm with us, and we said it should do; and it was settled that letters should be sent into all the provinces summoning them to send their delegates to Dublin.

“‘During the autumn of this year I went to see La Fayette, and to look at the French armies. I desired my brother Donoughmore to act for me with the Catholics in my absence. When he took the business up, he was told by Keogh that the Catholics in Cork and other parts of Munster were very shy, and would not send any delegates; upon which my
brother went down, and went round every chapel and saw every priest in Munster, and eventually 300 delegates made their appearance in Dublin. When they had assembled there, they were affraid of having any publick meetings, and told my brother they would be taken up; to which he said they should not—that he would stand between them and the government. They met, and agreed to present the same petition to the King that they had presented to the Irish Parliament.

“‘My brother waited upon Hobart, then Secretary for Ireland, and asked what he meant to do with the Catholic delegates now assembled in Dublin. Hobart said—“Put them down by force:”—to which my brother said—“You dare not! but if you have any conciliatory measure to propose to them, I offer myself as the channel:” and so they parted.

“‘A short time after, Hobart sent for my brother, and asked to see the petition. My brother said:—“You shall see the petition, but you shall not forward it to the King, because you are their enemy.” So they selected Lord French, Keogh, Burn, Bellew and Devereux as their delegates to go to London and present their petition to the King. Grattan and I met them there to keep them up to their mark, and to see that they did not betray their cause. We found that Pitt and Dundas, after two or three interviews with these delegates, said they should advise the prayer of their petition being granted, and that the qualification should be 40s.

“‘Upon this, Grattan and I asked to see Dundas, and we had different interviews with him, in which we stated that the Catholics, in asking for a qualified franchise, had never thought of less than £20 a year, and that they would be content even with £50. We urged again and again the impolicy of so low a franchise; and all we could get from Dundas was that it must be the same as it was in England. And so in 1793, the very same Parliament that the year before would not permit the Catholic petition, praying for a qualified franchise, to lie upon their table, now was made to give them the 40s. franchise.’

“Well, now for the modern priesthood.

“‘When Pitt established the college at Maynooth,’
said Lord
Donoughmore, ‘he gave to Ireland a republican priesthood. Formerly it required some money to educate candidates for orders in foreign countries, so that they were necessarily Catholic gentlemen’s sons; and they returned from France, Spain or Portugal with the manners of gentlemen and strict monarchical principles. But from the time that these priests are educated at Dublin for nothing, people of any property no longer send their sons there, and the College is filled with people from the very ranks of the population—farmers’ sons, &c. The effect of this is visible to every one. A priest of the old school lives at Clonmel, whom I can trust or act with as I would with my brother; but none of the young ones from Maynooth will have anything to do with me; and these rascals are always caballing against the old set, and trying to get the nomination to bishopricks into their own hands.

“‘. . . Now, at last, Ireland is enjoying the blessings thus bestowed upon her by Pitt and Dundas—an ultra-popular franchise and a republican priesthood, given to the most bigoted nation in Europe, with a population of six to one against the Protestants. This Pitt is, forsooth, “the pilot that weathered the storm.” . . .

“‘You don’t know Spring-Rice,* alias Jack the Painter; he is the least-looking shrimp, and the lowest-looking one too, possible. . . . He does not look above five or six and twenty. He is very clever in conversation, tells his stories capitally, like a man of the world in great practice, without any vulgarity, and never overcharging them; but as for the interest he takes about Ireland—I am quite sure my old shoe feels as much. He did everything but say it, that to be a King’s Counsel was as much the right of a Catholic as a Protestant, and that he would goad Catholic Ireland into resistance till his object was accomplished.’

“I caught my friend Norman Macdonald’s eye whilst this harangue was going on . . . and in walking

* At that time Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, afterwards Chancellor of the Exchequer 1835-39; created Baron Monteagle in 1839; died 1866.

home together we both agreed that a more barefaced scoundrel had never been exhibited to us.”

“Dear Dublin, Oct. 12.

“. . . Yesterday I dined at that attached friend from my infancy—Mr. Corry of Merrion Square, and had the honor of making the acquaintance of Mr. Shiel. The others were Surgeon-General Philip Crampton, who is the Castle man-of-fashion in all Lord-Lieutenancies, and whom the good sense of Dublin has Xtened ‘Flourishing Phil,’ and there never was a happier name. . . .’

“Kingstown, Oct. 13.

“. . . My eye! the quantity of people I saw yesterday and the day before that I knew, who pressed me to come and see them, or to visit others they would write to. Certainly, there is nothing like this Irish civility and hospitality. To think of Lord Plunket coming up, shaking hands and apologising for not having called on me as he was only in town for a few hours to attend a Privy Council. . . . I’m very sorry I could not accept Grattan’s invitation for yesterday. . . . Then the Knight of Kerry, who franks this, has written to Lord Landaff, saying he has nearly persuaded me to visit him at Thomastown—the place described by Swift. . . .”

“Lyons, co. Kildare [Lord Cloncurry’s], 15th Oct., 1828.

“. . . I arrived here on Monday, and found Lord and Lady William Paget, Lord and Lady Erroll, Lord Forbes, and three or four other men. My eye! how Lady Erroll puts me in mind of her mother—Acting Nell or Miss Hoyden. We became kind of cronies from the very first minute. If you come to that—Lady William Paget and I were very fair too, to say nothing of the civilities to me of the young men their husbands. . . . The Angleseys did not come till yesterday. Greatly to my annoyance I sat next to her at dinner. The young men, Erroll and Co., made me do so, the Duke of Leinster not having arrived, as he always walks out to dinner, however distant. He did not arrive till it was at least half over. Our Lord-
Lieutenant* was as gracious as possible—gave me his opinion about Ireland last night in the most unreserved manner . . . that it was his firm opinion that if the Irish people had but justice done them, they would be a happy and prosperous nation.”

“Kilfane, Oct . 23.

“. . . Lady Duncannon stated her intention of going to the meeting at Kilkenny, to my great surprise, and, as I thought, Duncannon would rather she ad not. However, in her quiet way I saw she was resolved; and accordingly she, Mr. Power, Mr. Tighe of Woodstock and myself embarked after breakfast in a decayed old family coach of Mr. Power’s, that is never used for any other purpose than that of conveying him and his brother foxhunters to cover. Duncannon rode, according to his custom. The meeting was in an immense Catholic chapel, which was crowded to excess. A great portion of its interior was covered with a platform for the speakers and the gentlemen interested in the business. It being known that Lady Duncannon was coming, we were met by a manager at the chapel door, who told her a place was reserved for her upon the platform. . . . There were women without end in the galleries. I was my lady’s bottle-holder and held her cloak for her the whole time; not that she wanted my assistance, for I never saw such pretty attentions as were shewn her all the day. . . . We knew, of course, that Duncannon was to be voted into the chair, and as he could not be so without making a speech, she was nervous to the greatest degree—publick speaking being quite out of his line. However, he acquitted himself to admiration and to the satisfaction of all; and upon my saying to her:—‘Come! we are in port now: nothing can be better than this,’—she said—‘How surprised I am how well he is speaking!’ and then, having shed some tears, she was quite comfortable and enjoyed everything extremely, till the meeting adjourned till the next day. . . . It was a prodigious day for Duncannon, for, with the exception of Power and Tighe, not one of

* The Marquess of Anglesey.

1828.]DAN O’CONNELL.183
the Protestant gentry present gave Duncannon a vote at the last election, nor did they ever attend a Catholic meeting before, though always Liberal, but they went with the Ormonde family. . . . There was one speech made that in point of talent far surpassed all the rest. The speaker was a Protestant squire of large fortune from the county of Wexford, Boyce by name. . . .
O’Connell is far too dramatic for my taste, and yet the nation is dramatic and likes it; and, if you come to that, even poor old Grattan was highly ornamental too. Then I became far more tolerant about O’Connell from what I saw of him on Tuesday at our dinner. He has a very good-humoured countenance and manner, and looks much more like a Kerry squire (which, in truth, he and his race are) than a Dublin lawyer. Then Burke told me on Monday that he [O’Connell] was at the head of the Bar, and deservedly so, and that if he (the Chief Justice) had a suit at law, he would certainly employ him. This, you know, makes a great case for your green-handkerchief-man. Then his face is such a contrast to that of the little spiteful, snarling Shiel.

“You can form no notion of the intense attention paid by the audience of all ages and of all degrees to what was going on; it seemed to be purely critical, without a particle of fanaticism. On the floor of the chapel, in front of the platform, the commonest people from the streets of Kilkenny were collected in great numbers; and if a publick speaker in the midst of his speech was at all at a loss for a word, I heard the proper word suggested from 5 or 6 different voices of this beggarly audience. . . . Yet a better behaved and more orderly audience could not possibly have been collected. . . .

“When the dinner was announced . . . there was a great body of as well-bred gentry as I ever saw collected together. . . . When I mention that the tickets were £1 155. each, and the company 200, you may imagine it was not bad company. . . . I never in my life saw a more agreeable, harmonious meeting—full of life, and yet no drunkenness, tho’ we sat without a single departure till one. . . . My friend Mr. Power appeared in a new character to me that night—I mean as a speaker, and a better one (for his
situation) I never in my life heard. It has been justly said by someone that ‘no man has seen Ireland who has not seen John Power;’ and so say I. . . . I have had this letter in my pocket since Monday, as I could not draw upon
Duncannon for franks in the midst of his constituents, who wanted them.”

Mrs. Taylor to Mr. Creevey.
“Howick, 1st Nov.

“. . . We came here ten days ago, and shall remain two days longer. We found them all well, Ly. Grey looking better than I have ever seen her for some time, and he is, I think, grown younger and better looking than ever I saw him. But I am sorry to say that in my opinion Brougham will regain his old influence over him. He read me a letter from him about the Whigs and the King’s health, exactly as if no misunderstanding had ever existed. In short, if Lady Grey does not prevent it, everything will be forgotten; but she and I perfectly agree about him, and I hope her influence will prevail. Lord Grey really makes me angry, after the way he has been treated.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Woodstock, Kilkenny [Mr. Tighe’s], Nov. 3rd.

“. . . I really think a more worthy, amiable and obliging young person is not to be found than this Lady Louisa Tighe.* I had heard from every one before how much beloved she was by all around her, and I have no doubt it is so. She is quite in Lady Duncannon’s line as to her devotion to her poorer nibbers,† and quite as successful, but then I daresay Mrs. Tighe had done much, and there has always been a resident family here. . . She tells me her sister Lady

* Fifth daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond; married in 1825 the Right Hon. W. F. Tighe of Woodstock. It has often been told of this lady that she buckled the Duke of Wellington’s sword-belt when he left her mother’s ball-room on the morning of Quatre-Bras; but this she always emphatically denied. She died 2nd March, 1900.

† Neighbours.

Sarah* in America has 6 children and Lady Mary† at the Cape four. . . . She [Lady Louisa] has a plain face, but a most agreeable expression in it. She read [prayers] uncommonly well last night, which I was surprised at, as their education was never considered of the best. . . . We are to have the Lord knows who to-day in the way of company to stay in the house; amongst others, Fred Berkeley‡ and his wife, who is a sister of Lady Louisa’s. They come from Cork, where he has a ship.

“What think you of old Dowr. Richmond being here for 3 months, and never once during the time speaking to Tighe? Was there ever such impudence? He being, not only the most gentlemanlike, well-bred person possible, and evidently he and his wife the happiest [couple] with each other. All the nibbers, of which there are shoals, say his behaviour under this outrage was perfect. Do you know that this is the house from which those chiennes Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby,§ the heroines of Llangollen, escaped to that retreat they have occupied ever since. Lady Eleanor Butler,§ aunt to

* Second daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond; married in 1815 to General Sir Peregrine Maitland, G.C.B., and died in 1873.

† Eldest daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond; married Sir Charles Fitzroy, K.C.B., and died in 1847.

‡ Afterwards Admiral the Right Hon. Sir Maurice Frederick Berkeley, G.C.B., created Baron Fitzhardinge in 1861; married Lady Charlotte Lennox, 6th daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond, and died in 1867.

§ Youngest daughter of the 16th Earl of Ormonde [de jure]. Writing from Llangollen to his son on 24th August, 1829, Mr. John Murray has the following:—

“We had a great treat yesterday in being invited to introduce ourselves to the celebrated Miss Ponsonby, of whom you must have heard as becoming early tired of fashionable life, and having withdrawn, accompanied by a kindred friend, Lady Eleanor Butler, to a delightful, and at that period unfrequented, spot a quarter of a mile from Llangollen, overhanging the rapid and beautiful river Dee. Lady Eleanor died there a few months ago at the age of 91, after having lived with Miss Ponsonby in the same cottage upwards of 50 years. It is very singular that the ladies intending to retire from the world, absolutely brought all the world to visit them; for, after a few years of seclusion, their strange story was the universal subject of

the present
Lord Ormonde, got over their castle wall that I have seen in the town of Kilkenny, broke her arm and was caught. When she escaped the second time, she and Miss Ponsonby found their way here. Tighe’s grandmother, Lady Betty Ponsonby (that had been) from Besborough, being then mistress of Woodstock, concealed the runaways till they and a faithful housemaid from the place got away in safety to their [illegible]. The said Miss Ponsonby has a brother living in the county now, having changed his name to Walker for a fortune of £15,000 a year. His wife seems to have been quite as neat an article as his sister or her friend Lady Eleanor Butler; for, as they were riding out on horseback one day, she pointed out a good stiff hurdle to him, and said—‘Now, go over that to please me.’ To which he replied—‘I thank you; but I am not going to break my neck for any such nonsense.’—‘Then, said she, ‘you are not the man for me, and if you won’t go over it, I will:’ and over it she flew. To this hour, he has never seen her face since: so Kilkenny’s the county for fun and fancy. . . .”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“London, 7th Nov.

“. . . Nothing has transpired as to the D[uke] of Wellington’s] intentions about Ireland, for a very good reason, I believe—viz., that he has no intentions whatever on the subject. The reports about the

conversation, and there has been no person of rank, talent and importance in any way who did not procure introduction to them. All that was passing in the world, they had it fresh as it arose, and in four hours’ conversation with Miss Ponsonby one day, and three the next, I found that she knew everything and everybody, and was, at the age of 80, or nearly so, a most inexhaustible fund of entertaining instruction and lively communication. The cottage is remarkable for the taste of its appropriate fitting up with ancient oak, presented by different friends, from old castles and monasteries, &c., none of it of less antiquity than 1200 years [!]. She declared to me that during the whole fifty years she never knew a moment that hung heavy upon her, and no sorrows, but from the loss of friends” [Smiles’s Memoirs of John Murray, ii. 304].

King’s health have no other origin than the mystery kept up about him. You will soon hear of him as well as ever. In the meantime he will attend to no business, nor sign anything. Among others, Berkeley* cannot get his commission signed. . . .”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Dear Dublin, Nov. 8th.

“Oh dear, oh dear! this Ireland is rather too hospitable: not that I was inebriated yesterday, but still it was rather severe. A better dinner I never saw than at our Guards mess, nor three and twenty more ornamental, well-bred young men, Jimmy Cameron included. I was more in love with the army than ever. We drunk a good deal of wine, but by no means too much, and drunk our coffee, when some young Hussars who were my neighbours (visitors like myself) withdrew, and two Guardsmen came up to me. The name of one was Fludyer, and they were evidently bent upon a jaw with me; so what could I do, you know, but take another glass of claret with them; which I did, and we parted the best of friends. . . . But this was by no means the end of the campaign; for, upon going into the great coffee-room of this hotel, as is my custom, there were three young Irishmen over their bottle, indulging in songs as well as wine, and nothing would serve them but my joining their party. Now upon my soul and body, I was not the least drunk when I did so, suspicious as it may seem; but there was something irresistibly droll in their appearance. Then they would know my name, and then they knew me both by name and fame; and they proved to me they did so. They sung songs and I sat with them till near two o’clock, and never fellow was more made of than I was by my unknown friends. Ah! Mr. Thomas, Mr. Thomas: you are a neat article when left to yourself. . . . Now let me say this once for all, and I do so from the bottom of my heart. I would rather trust myself with Irish people than with any other in the whole world—be they who they may, Betty. . . .”

* Lord Sefton’s 2nd son, the Hon. Berkeley Molyneux.

“Dublin, 15th Nov.

“. . . I trust you see our Dan O’Connell has denounced poor Barny, altho’ he is Duke of Norfolk, for presuming to say he would give any securities as the price of settling the Catholic question. A greater piece of folly was never committed than this of Barny—so uncalled for—and not to feel sure that O’Connell, in the present plenitude of his power over Catholic Ireland, would never submit to this question being settled by any one but himself, and especially by an English Catholic, who in truth is nobody. Then all this is the more extraordinary in the Duke, because he has told me again [and again] that the great point was for our government and the Pope to settle this question of securities without any of the Irish nation—clergy or laity—knowing a word of what was going on; for, if they did, they would defeat all such arrangements: and then the blockhead is the very man to put the whole matter in a flame by broaching the very subject that, according to himself, could only be settled in private.”

“Dublin, Nov. 21.

“. . . I was charmed with my day at my Lord Lieutenant’s, notwithstanding the settled gloom of Lady Anglesey and the forbidding frowns of the Lady Pagets. The party at dinner and their position was as follows. Berkeley Paget* at the top: on his right, Chief Justice Burke, Lord Plunket, a Lady Paget, Lord Anglesey, another Lady Paget, Lord Howth, Col. Thornhill. At the bottom—Burton, aide-de-camp and secretary, 3rd Lady Paget, Corry, 4th Lady Paget, Lord Francis Leveson,† Lady Anglesea, Lord Clanricarde, Mr. Creevey, and Mr. Solicitor-General Dogherty. I have left out somebody that I forget. Altho’ I had never been introduced to Clanricarde‡ I threw off directly with—‘The last time I had the pleasure of seeing you, my lord, was at the Race ball at Chelmsford.’—‘Yes,’ said he, ‘and I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you there next year, too, for I

* Younger brother of the Marquess of Anglesey. Died in 1842.

† Created Earl of Ellesmere in 1846.

‡ Fourteenth Earl and 1st Marquess of Clanricarde. Died in 1874.

am steward, and I hope you’ll patronise me.’—So it was all mighty well to be launched thus easily, and we discussed Ireland, and were quite one in our opinions.

“I had no notion Lord Anglesey could have been so gay in manner: it was really quite agreeable to see him in such spirits. . . . During dinner, he said across the table to me:—‘Why, Mr. Creevey, you have quite taken root in Ireland.’—‘I have been very much delighted with it, my lord,’ I replied.—‘Have you seen Donoughmore lately?’—‘Not since I met your lordship at Lyons.’—‘Have you been in the North at all?’—‘No, my lord, I had not courage to go into that disturbed part of Ireland. I prefer the tranquillity of the South.’ Upon which the two Chief Justices were pleased to smile; so did my Lord Lieutenant, and keeping his eyes fixed upon me he concluded:—‘Will you drink a glass of wine with me, Mr. Creevey?’—‘With great pleasure, my lord;’ and I had the same favor shown me by the two Judges and Mr. Solicitor. So it was all mighty well, you know.

“After a perfectly easy, conversational dinner, we drank coffee, had the billiard room open, and people playing and others walking about and jawing, just as they liked. I can’t think now it was that, in talking of heat and cold in rooms, Lord Anglesey said he preferred the canopy of Heaven to any other covering, . . . to which I said I had been greatly surprised at a proof of that, when I saw him sitting out in the park at Brussells, 3 or 4 days after the battle of Waterloo.—‘Ah,’ said he, ‘did you see me? It was so certainly. I was at Madame [illegible]’s house, and very kind to me they were.’—‘I knew your house too at Waterloo,’ said I, ‘and well remember the trees in the garden.’—‘Why, do you know,’ said he, ‘the people of that house have made the Lord knows what by people coming to see the grave of my leg which was buried in the garden!’ and he said this in a manner as much as to say—‘What damned fools they must be!’

“I had a good deal of jaw in private with Plunket during the evening; and when I asked him his opinion as to anything being done in the approaching session about the Catholics, he gave a most decided one that
there would; but upon examining him closely, it was quite clear he thought so only because it ought to be so; and I am convinced that neither he nor
Lord Anglesey know one word from the Duke of Wellington as to what his opinion and intentions are upon this subject. . . . Betty, my dear, you were too hard upon me for my ingenuous folly in revealing my midnight revel here. I assure you I was not otherwise disgraced than as a silent observer of the 3 frolicksome Irishmen. . . .”

“Carton [The Duke of Leinster’s], 25th Nov.

“What a difference it makes when one has a room to write in with all one’s little comforts about one. I never, to my mind, had one so made for me as my present one. It is a fat, lofty, square, moderate-sized room on the ground floor—French to the backbone in its furniture, gilt on the roof, gilded looking-glasses in all directions, fancy landskapes and figures in pannells, a capital canopy bed, furniture—white ground with bouquets of roses of all colours, and the bouquets as large as a small hat. Armchairs ditto: chests of drawers, 2 quite new and might be from Paris. My own escritoire in a recess with paper lighters before me of all colours, and in another corner of the room another recess that shall be nameless, through a door, quite belonging to itself and to no other apartment; the whole to conclude with a charming fire which woke me by its crackling nearly an hour ago, whilst my maid thought, of course, she was making it without waking the gentleman. . . . I flew my kite at the Duke per Saturday’s post. . . . I left Dublin in my post-chaise about ½ past two—the distance 12 Irish miles, i.e. 15 English, and it was too dark when I arrived to see anything of the exterior. I was shown into a long, most comfortable library, with a door half open into a fat drawing-room, and was told his Grace should know I had come. Presently a gentleman and the Duke’s two fine boys came in, and I soon found that the former was the parlez-vous tutor to the others. After a certain time, the Duke appeared: he was all kindness and good humor, as he always is. . . . After a good deal of jaw, and telling me they
dined at half-past six, he conducted me himself to my bedroom, and would not have minded brushing my coat if I had wanted it.

“All this time it appeared to me likely that I was the only stranger in the house: and what of that? Tant mieux. . . . However, upon returning to the drawing-room, there were men there, and the Duke said—‘Captain —— (I forget his name)—Mr. Creevey: my brother Augustus Stanhope,*—Mr. Creevey: my Napoleon Mr. Henry. . . . Do you know Lord Seymour,† Mr. Creevey? Do you know Lord Acheson‡?’ and in this way I was introduced to these youths. Augustus Stanhope is the one that was dismissed the army by court martial for doing Lord Yarmouth out of a large sum at play. . . . Then entered the Duchess, and from the prettyness of her manner it was quite impossible not to feel at home with her from that moment; but she is not nearly so pretty as I expected. . . . Well of course one of the quality lads handed her out: the others were on her other side, and I pitched my tent with my right ear to her,§ next Lord Seymour, and brought her into action in the first 3 minutes. She evidently was all for ‘de laugh,’ and two more demure, negative striplings could not well be than her neighbours appeared. . . . They seemed somewhat astonished at the free and easy position that I took up; however I took the lead and kept it till we all went to bed at 11½. . . .

“This morning, breakfast punctually at ½ past nine . . . the nobility sprigs still mute, and everything to be done by Mr. Thomas.

“After breakfast, I walked with the Duchess and her brother, and when the latter left us, she proposed showing me her cottage and flower-garden. . . . Whilst we were there, the Duke arrived with the lordlings, being on his way to show them Maynooth College,

* Eleventh son of the 3rd Earl of Harrington, and brother of the Duchess of Leinster.

† Eldest son of 11th Duke of Somerset: succeeded as 12th Duke on his father’s death in 1855.

‡ Succeeded his father in 1849 as 3rd Earl of Gosford.

§ Mr. Creevey was very deaf in the left ear.

about a mile and a half (Irish) further on: so he said—‘Would you like to see it, Mr. Creevey?’—‘Very much,’ said I, but then muttered something at our not having the Duchess.—‘O, a thousand thanks,’ said she; ‘I am a great walker, and will walk there too:’ and so she did, and pretty well bespattered she was when we returned just now.

“However, I have been thro’ the college, and seen a good many of these 380 precious blackguards that are now in college there, and of all the disgusting concerns for filth the Maynooth business stands preeminent. And yet these are the men that are to guide and controul the whole Catholic population of Ireland. Maynooth Castle in its ruins is an immense concern. It was the residence of this family [the Fitzgeralds] and joins the ground which was let by the late Duke for the college.

“In returning thro’ the town of Maynooth, which belongs to the Duke entirely, I was sorry to see how inferior it was in neatness to Piltown and Lady Louisa Tighe’s town; nor did the Duchess seem to know any of the people at their doors as we passed. I have no doubt that both he and she are excellent people, but somehow they don’t seem to have hit off the art of having a neat neighbourhood. And yet they both praise the Irish people extremely.”

“Kinmell, St. Asaph’s [Mr. Hughes’s], Nov. 29.
“‘Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief;
Taffy in stupidity exceeds all belief.’

Altho’ he is so well and warmly clothed, what an inferior article he is to poor, ragged, dirty, sprightly Pat. . . .”