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The Creevey Papers
Ch. VIII: 1812

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 Marquess Wellesley, who had joined Perceval’s Cabinet in 1809 on the resignation of Castlereagh and Canning, himself resigned in February, 1812, partly owing to dissatisfaction at the manner in which the Government supported the Peninsular war, but chiefly because of the Regent’s persistence in refusing to listen to any proposals of Roman Catholic relief. The King’s recovery being now considered out of the question, it was fully expected that the Regent would avail himself of the occasion of a reconstruction of the Cabinet to put his own political friends in power. However, instead of dismissing Perceval, he invited Grey and Grenville to join his administration, which they refused to do so long as Catholic Emancipation was a forbidden subject. The Regent bitterly resented their conduct, and continued Perceval in office, until that Minister was assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons on 11th May. Meanwhile, another and a striking personality had appeared in Parliament, Henry Brougham, to wit. Elected for Camelford for the first time in 1810, he had registered a vow not to open his mouth in the House for the first month; which vow he kept, indemnifying himself for his self-control by incessant
oratory ever after.
George Ponsonby was still leader of the Whigs in the Commons; but Brougham’s energy and eloquence were so striking that he had not been four months a member before he was reckoned as one of the most formidable of the many candidates for the first place. His letters to Creevey during the early months of 1812 are very numerous; but it is difficult to fix the exact stage of proceedings to which they refer, owing to his omission to date them except by the day of the week.

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Saturday, 6 o’clock [May? 1812].

“The intriguing is going on briskly. Wellesley has seen P.,* and then Wy. saw Grey. Grey says all is afloat and nothing settled, but that all will be settled before Monday. This shows a nibble at least, and I lament it much. To be in the same boat with W. and Canning is pretty severe. I see no chance of their making such a thing as one can support; indeed I feel in opposition to them already, should they agree about it. . . . Holland and Wellesley are at the bottom of it all, and have been together to-day, and at York House. The Spanish madness and love of office of Lady H[olland] is enough to do all the mischief we dread. Anything without the country is real madness or drivling.

“In the Comee. on Orders in C[ouncil] we sat this morning till four, and I have been all day at a Sheriff’s Jury on damages, so am knocked up and can add no more.

H. B.
“H. of Coms. [in pencil] Friday, 22nd May, 1812.

“They are all out. The answer of Prinny is short—that he is to comply immediately with the address to try to form a Govt. I had no hand in this bad work. I would not vote. It is the old blunder

* The Prince Regent.

of 1804—acting at
Canning’s benefit. The old rotten Ministry was to my mind.”

Mr. Creevey had a safe seat at Thetford, one of the Duke of Norfolk’s boroughs, but his ambition was fired by an invitation to contest one of the seats for his native Liverpool. Brougham, at the same time, having received notice to quit from a new proprietor of Camelford, determined to stand for the other Liverpool seat; and, on the dissolution taking place, these two gentlemen went down to fight Mr. Canning and General Gascoigne.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“Brougham, Friday, [May] 1812.

“On my return from a visit to the Jockey* I received yours. While there, I passed my time as you might suppose—drinking in the evening, and in the morning going thro’ tête-à-tête with him the red book and other lists of baro’s. It was quite a comedy. I believe I can almost come up to the never-to-be-forgotten or surpassed night enjoyed by Ld. S[efton] and yourself with that venerable feudal character. We had women—and speeches—in the first style: the subjects infinitely various, from bawdy to the depths of politics, and this morning at breakfast he was pleased to enter largely on the subject of the Daiety and his foreknowledge; settling that question as satisfactorily as if it had been one touching the Gairter, which he likewise discussed at length. I assure you I have had two choice days, and there wanted only some one Xianlike person to enjoy it with, and the presence also of a few comforts—such as a necessary, towels, water, &c., &c., to make the thing compleat. He goes up to-morrow to Airundel, and he is coming here on his way (to talk about the dissolution), which will give me a more quiet slice of his humours; for there was rather a crowd of parasites. . . .”

* The 11th Duke of Norfolk.


There follows here a long discussion of the question whether Creevey and Brougham—either of them, both, or neither—should stand for Liverpool. Creevey is comfortably settled in Thetford; Brougham is inclined to stand without him, lest he should “turn out poor Tarlton,” who is as good an opponent of the Tory Government as if he had been an out-and-out Radical. As to finding himself returned as Canning’s colleague—“only fancy the folly of being coupled with Canning! . . . it would be laughable to join us together.” Then he continues—

“. . . As to being out of Parlt.—don’t laugh at me if I say I really should submit to such a fate with composure, indeed with cheerfulness. I am fond of my profession, which you’ll say a queer taste; but I really so delight in it more and more every day. I see also how greatly I might rise in it by this means, and how infallibly I should command anything parliamentary that I might chuse, after a few years. This is clear, and I might be as much of a demagogue as I thought fit to be—I mean, in a good sense—and these times require looking outside of Parlt., in my opinion, as much as any we have lived in.”

Mr. Creevey to Mrs. Creevey.
“House of Commons, (May) 25th, 1812.

“Oh dear! I have been waiting for Whitbread’s latest intelligence, till I have little time left. First then, when Prinney sent for Wellesley, the latter began by mentioning some of the Opposition as persons to be consulted with; to which the former replied—‘Don’t mention any names to me now, my lord, but make an Administration for me.’ To which the other says—‘In a business of such nicety I trust your Royal Highness will not press me for time.’—‘Take your own time,’ says Prinney, ‘tho’ there is not a shilling left in the Exchequer.’ Well, off sets Wellesley, calling at the doors of the Opposition—
Grey, Grenville, Holland and Moira; and yesterday some minutes of their conversations were made that had taken place between Wellesley, Grey and Grenville about the Catholic question and the war in Spain. There is some vague kind of coincidence of sentiments expressed between them on these subjects—no other subject mentioned. With this first fruit of his expedition Wellesley went to Carlton House last night at seven, and just as he was beginning to dilate upon his success, Prinney told him he was busy, and that he must call again to-day. . . . This I know to be quite true; it comes from Grey through Whitbread to me.

“This is the whole effect of the defeat of the old Government, and in the meantime the said old Government have one and all contracted with each other in writing never to act with such a villain as Wellesley again; in which they are quite right, but what think you of such a patron for our friends? Well: we had Whitbread and Lady Elizabeth at Holland House yesterday, Milton, Althorp, Lord John Russell, Sheridan, Lord Ossory, Fitzpatrick, Horner, Bennett and many more, and we had a very merry day, occasioned by my jokes about our new patron the Marquis [Wellesley]. Poor Holland was quite inimitable, but I will tell you more about it to-morrow. They will be all ruined: they have flung Whitbread overboard: he has just told me so himself, and that Lord Grey had just told him so in the coolest manner. Not a word of this! but it is death to them. He told me yesterday his fixed determination to have nothing to do with Wellesley and Canning, and they have anticipated him. . . .”

“House of Commons, Tuesday, 26th.

“. . . Well: nothing is known to-day except that Prinney saw both Eldon and Liverpool yesterday for a long time before he saw Wellesley, and that a Cabinet Council of the old Ministers was summoned to Liverpool’s office last night, and sat for a long time. . . . Well, the jaw is over. Castlereagh says the old Government is still out, and he knows nothing of any new one. It is true that Prinney told Wellesley that Grey and Grenville were a couple of scoundrels, and
Moira was a fellow no honest man could speak to. Wellesley then told him the danger he was exposed to, both himself, his throne and his country, washed his hands of him and his concerns, and is actually gone out of town. Ferguson told me he knew all this, and of course Moira is his authority. Canning will have nothing to do with the old Government, and has just renewed his motion about the Catholic question. Prinney must be stark staring mad, by God! . . . The projected exclusion of Whitbread from the new Cabinet is spreading like wildfire against Grey and Grenville.”

“Brooks’s, 27th.

“Well, after all that passed between Prinney and Wellesley on Monday night, after all the foul language about Moira, &c., late last night Prinney sent for Moira and flung himself upon his mercy. Such a scene I never heard of; the young monarch cried loud and long; in short he seems to have been very nearly in convulsions. The afflicting interview was entirely occupied with lamentations over past errors, and delight at brighter prospects for the future under the happier auspices of his old and true friend now restored. Moira told him generally the terrible state of the country, which the other said had been concealed from him by his Ministers, and that he had not seen a paper these three or four weeks. Moira suggested to him that perhaps he would wish to be more composed before they went further into detail, and this was agreed to, so he has been there again to-day for three hours. I saw him come away at a little before four, and Lord Dundas called with me at his door and found he had gone off to Lord Wellesley’s, where Grenville and Grey now are hearing the substance of this long interview of Moira with his Master . . . My jokes about Wellesley are in great request. Lady Holland said to me on Sunday in the drawing-room after dinner—‘Come here and sit by me, you mischievous toad, and promise that you won’t begin upon the new Government with your jokes. When you do, begin with those Grenvilles.’ I dined at old Tankerville’s yesterday, who said—‘Creevey, never
desert Wellesley! give it him well, I beg of you.’
Sefton asked me to dine there to-day, evidently with the same view. Sheridan is more base in his resentment against Whitbread than you can imagine, and all from Drury Lane disappointment.”

“House of Commons, 28th.

“. . . Just after I finished my letter yesterday, I met Sheridan coming from a long interview with the Prince, and going with a message to Wellesley; so of course I walked with him and got from him all I could. . . . He described the Prince’s state of perturbation of mind as beyond anything he had ever seen. He conceives the different candidates for office to be determined upon his ruin; and, in short, I begin to think that his reign will end in a day or two in downright insanity. He first sends for one person, then another. Eldon is always told everything that passes, and the Duke of York (Lord Grey’s friend and slave) is the unalterable and inveterate opposer of his brother having anything to do with the Opposition. He and Eldon work day and night to keep Prinney in the right course. Melville is a great favorite too. To-day he (Prinney) has seen the Doctor* and Westmorland, Buckinghamshire, and now Moira is with him. Canning has been found out in some intrigue with Liverpool already. There has been some explanation between Grey and Whitbread, certainly creditable to the former. He has admitted to the fullest extent the importance of the Brewer† and his own unalterable and unfavorable opinion of Canning. He maintained this opinion to his friends as strongly as he could, and pressed them, as they valued able and upright men to shuffling rogues, to stand by Whitbread and abandon Canning. In this proposition, however, he stood alone. Petty and Holland even were against him. Grey pronounced that tho’ he was bound by this decision, he knew such decision must inevitably be their ruin. He has told all this to Brougham, as well as to Whitbread, and you know he always at least tells the truth. Of course you will not quote this. . . . From Lisbon the accounts

* Lord Sidmouth. Mr. Whitbread.

are very unfavorable. The American embargo has produced the greatest consternation, and our Commissariat is utterly destitute of money or credit. In addition to this, General officers write home that the ravages of the late sieges and other things have made a supply of 30,000 men from this country absolutely necessary, if Portugal alone is to be kept.”

“Brooks’s, Friday, 29th.

“Everybody as wise as we were yesterday. Moira has seen Prinney to-day again, but nothing done. Moira told him he must decline being any longer employed in so hopeless an undertaking, and is determined to have the thing concluded one way or other. Prinney tells him no Prince was ever so idolized by the people of this country as himself, and that he is quite strong enough to go on with any Government that he gives his support to. Wortley is to give another notice on Monday of a motion for Tuesday to bring this infatuated man to his senses. By God! if he continues in his present state he will be having such things said of him as will rouse him with a witness. . . .”

“Brooks’s, Saturday, 30th.

“It really begins to be almost too farcical to write about this madman and his delay.”

“York St., Monday, 1st June.

“As Folkestone, Bennett and I are to go from the H. of Commons this afternoon to dine at Richmond, I begin my dispatch here, least I should have no time to do it at the House. Folky and Bennett return at night, but I shall sleep there. . . . The more one sees of the conduct of this most singular man [the Prince Regent], the more one becomes convinced he is doomed, from his personal character alone, to shake his throne. He is playing, I have no doubt he thinks, some devilish deep game, from which he will find he is utterly unable of extricating himself without the most serious and lasting injury to himself and character. . . . I dined at Taylor’s last night with that
excellent young man
Lord Forbes,* and I have never seen a greater appearance of worth and honor in any young man in my life. Besides being Moira’s nephew, he is an aide-de-camp to the Regent, and he has received such usage from his Master, either on his uncle’s account or his own voting in Parliament, that he won’t go near him, and greatly to the horror of Taylor, he came to dine yesterday with the yellow lining and the Prince’s buttons taken away from his coat. He said never again would he carry about him so degrading a badge of servitude to such a master. To Taylor, who was done up in the neatest edition of the said badge, this was too much. On Saturday, a great lot of us dined at Kit Hutchinson’s request at the British Coffee House, with the gentlemen educated at Trinity College, Dublin; Kit in the chair, and it really was most entertaining. Irish genius for speaking and eloquence was never more conspicuous: upon my soul, I think five or six fellows who spoke—quite young men—spoke as well as Pitt. . . .”

“House of Commons.

“Well, now we have made a start. Mr. Canning has got up with due pomp and dignity, and has declared he has full authority to state from his noble friend Lord Wellesley that he, Lord Wellesley, has this morning received from the Regent his Royal Highness’s commands to form an administration. So much for this first official act of the new Whig Government! . . .”

“Richmond Hill, June 2nd.

“Very large paper this, my precious, but we must see what we can make of it. As the day is so charming and the country so inviting, I have resolved to stay over the day, and accordingly my cloaths have gone to be washed. I leave, therefore, this eventful day in London to all the heart-rending anxieties of politicians, who, I think, have as hopeful a prospect of disappointment as ever politician had. I cannot bring myself to regret that I am not to serve under

* Not the Scottish peer of that name, but the eldest son of the 6th Earl of Granard by a daughter of the 1st Earl of Moira. He was father of the present Lord Granard.

Marquis Wellesley or Mr. Canning. . . . We shall now see what this singular association of statesmen will be able to do. Canning is for Orders in Council, Grenville considers them as the source of all the existing national distress. Grenville thinks the country incapable of sustaining the expenditure of the war: Wellesley thinks such war to be starved by our penury. Grey is against all secret influence; Prinney says he will part with his life rather than his household. Prinney, Wellesley and Canning have each betrayed everybody they have had to do with—pretty companions for a man of honor like Grey! . . . Prinney will not strike yet to Grey and Grenville without conditions to which they will not submit. What is to be done, too, on minor subjects? What is Jack Horner to do with his notice of motion on McMahon’s salary, or how is Bankes’s bill to be permitted to pass, which, besides abolishing patent places of all kinds as they become vacant, goes immediately to strike off our Paymaster-Genl., our Postmaster, our Mustermaster, &c., &c., &c., all of which said places so to be abolished are doubtless looked up to with great affection and anxiety by the young friends and by the old Whigs, by the Vernons, Wards and McDonalds, &c., or by the Ponsonbys, Freemantles, &c., &c. I flatter myself both Tierney and Huskisson are to be Cabinet Ministers, which, considering that Burke and Sheridan, Dunning and [illegible] used to be considered as not elevated enough in rank to be admitted into such high company, will be well enough.

“I must, upon the whole, condemn Grey as acting most unwisely in putting himself forward as a candidate for power under all the circumstances of the country. He would have done much better to wait till Grenville’s death or some other event dissolved the fatal connection with that family. He ought to have let Wellesley and Canning perish in their own intrigues, and he ought to have permitted the old and feeble Government to conduct the country so near its ruin that men could no longer doubt either its condition or the authors of its calamities. In such a case, which would have inevitably arrived, the country and the Crown would have called for his assistance, and in such case only, my belief is, could he have done
permanent good to the country with honor to himself. . . . Grenville I consider a dead man, and
Prinney, Wellesley and Canning are both madmen and villains. . . . In the meantime, we must have sport. Amongst other things, we must have the Bank made to pay us in specie . . . which would give you and me £700 per annum more than we have. This would be something like, so we shall see what we shall see.”

“Richmond Hill, Wednesday, 3rd.

“I have dilly-dallied so long here that if I don’t set out directly I shall not get in time to write you a word, my precious, so I will first fire a little shot at you before I leave this place. William brought us last night just such intelligence as I was prepared to expect from Petty that the Marquis [Wellesley] had been with Earl Grey and had offered him and his friends four seats in the Cabinet; that he himself had condescended to become First Lord of the Treasury, that there must be some limitations of concession to Ireland, with a great variety of other restraints upon the four poor Foxite and Grenville Ministers, the whole of which induced the Earl to give the Marquis the most unqualified rejection of these proposed indignities. Ha! ha! ha! or Oh dear me! which of these exclamations is best suited to the occasion. Is one to laugh at our poor foolish party having so obviously and so fatally for themselves played the game of these villains Wellesley and Canning, or is one to cry at the never-failing success of rascality in this country? Oh how glad I am that I had no hand in making this madman Wellesley preside over the destinies of this country, to sacrifice the thousands of brave lives that he will assuredly do in Spain and Portugal, and to torture by poverty and privations the thousands that will feel the effects of his extravagance in England.”

“York St., Thursday, 4th.

Betty and I are just put into port for the purpose of my writing you a single line before the post goes. We have had a very prosperous voyage to Mrs. Fitzherbert’s and old Lady Grey’s, both of whom we found at home. We have seen in the
streets various persons—
Albemarle, Lord Henry Fitzroy, Parnell,* &c., &c. Well, Prinney is in a capital way, is he not? There was a meeting last night at Grenville’s of opposition lords to hear the history of all that has passed on the late occasion, and there was another similar one of the Commons to-day at Ponsonby’s. . . . Wellesley, we are told, was as good as turned out of Carlton House when he went back with Grey’s refusal on Tuesday, and this accounts for the ‘violent personal objections’ which he describes Prinney as having to Grey and others. It is a rare mess, by God! . . .”

“Friday, 5th.

“. . . Moira has done nothing yet. Everybody has refused him, but he is quite taken in by the Prince’s cajolery, and there is no saying what folly they may not commit in their selection of a Ministry. . . .”

“York St., Saturday, 6th.

“. . . In coming up from the House I was much surprised to meet Sam (Whitbread) covered with smiles. He was enquiring where he could find Sheridan. . . . I presumed his trip to town was merely upon private business, and in this persuasion I remained till almost 3 o’clock this morning, when old Sheridan became drunk and communicative. He then told me he had sent an express for Sam, and that the said Sam had been dining at Moira’s, with him Sheridan. Further than this he did not tell me, excepting the expression of his own conviction that Sam was the man both for the Prince and the People, and that Wellesley, Canning and Grenville must all be swamped and flung overboard. Was there ever anything equal to this? . . . If Sam does come in, it must now be upon his own terms, and I cannot think, after all my honest conduct to him, he could desert me. . . . The Whigs evidently know of an offer made to Whitbread, and are as civil to-day as be damned. . . .”

* Henry Brook Parnell, M.P. [1776-1842], created Lord Congleton in 1841; grand-uncle of Charles Stewart Parnell.

“Brooks’s, Monday, 8th.

“. . . I found from Sheridan yesterday just before dinner that Moira was First Lord of the Treasury, and that it was expected that the writs of Canning and others would be moved for to-night in the Commons. . . . He said he and Whitbread were to dine at Moira’s yesterday, and he concluded with his regret that Whitbread was not Chancellor of the Exchequer. . . . I came, of course, here in the evening, and I soon found there was a meeting of the party at Ponsonby’s to which, as I had no summons, of course I did not go. I found from people as they returned from this meeting that Whitbread had given great offence by giving his opinion that Grey and Grenville had pushed the thing too far in insisting, under all circumstances of the case, upon the surrender of the household. . . . This morning brought to my bed a note from Whitbread desiring to see me, which of course I instantly complied with, and from himself I learnt all the particulars of his intercourse with Moira. . . . Moira produced his plan for revoking Orders in Council, conciliating America by all manner of means, the most rigid economical reform, nay, parliamentary reform if it was wished for: in short every subject was most agreeable and satisfactory. . . . So far so good . . . but I have such a devil of new matter pressing upon me I must be off. Huskisson has just announced to people in the streets that Moira’s powers are revoked, and that a message is coming from the Prince saying he (Moira) cannot form a Government, and that he has ordered his old servants to proceed with public business.”

“House of Commons. Same date.

“Well, this is beyond anything. Castlereagh has just told us that Moira resigned the commission this morning, and that His Royal Highness had appointed Lord Liverpool Prime Minister. Was there ever anything equal to this? . . .”

“House of Commons, Tuesday, 9th.

“. . . There has been a meeting of Government members at Lord Liverpool’s house to-day, and he has declared to them the intention of the Government not to oppose the Catholic question as a Government measure, but everybody is to do as he pleases. Of course the measure will now take place and it will be done by Liverpool, Eldon,* &c. This convinces me more than ever of the great fault committed by Grey and Grenville in letting their negociations go off about the Household . . . but they are all at once so prodigiously constitutional, one almost suspects one’s own judgment. They are, at all events, dished for the present, and most lucky will they be to be so, if anything like a rupture with America is now determined upon by that country, because that event, I am positive, gives check-mate at once to the revenue of this country.”†

“House of Commons, Wednesday, 10th.

“Well, the Doctor‡ succeeds Ryder as Secretary of State for the Home Department; Lord Harrowby succeeds the Doctor; Lord Bathurst succeeds Lord Liverpool, Bragge Bathurst is Chancellor of the Dutchy—such is the worthy new Administration. Is it not capital? so much for ‘No predilections’ nor yet ‘resentments.’”

Sydney Smith to Mr. Creevey (who had written at Lord Grey’s request to desire him to vote for Lord Milton).
“June 6th, 1812.

“Your letter followed me here, where I had come after voting for Lord Milton,§ one of the most

* It was done by their party, but not until sixteen years had passed; Liverpool was dead, and Eldon as strongly opposed as ever to emancipation.

† War with the United States began exactly nine days after these words were written.

Lord Sidmouth.

§ Eldest son of the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam.

ungainly looking young men I ever saw. I gave my other vote for
Wilberforce,* on account of his good conduct in Africa, a place returning no members to parliament, but still, from the extraordinary resemblance its inhabitants bear to human creatures, of some consequence. An election out of Westminster is sad work—at the moment of the greatest ferment, York was, in the two great points of ebriety and pugnacity, as quiet as average London at about 3 o’clock in the morning.”

The following extracts are from the exceedingly voluminous reports which Mr. Creevey sent almost daily to his wife during the contest for Liverpool.

“Tuesday, ½ past one. (September, 1812.)

“The name of this place is the Fair Unknown, a single house 14 miles this side of Colchester and about 30 miles on this side of Thetford.

“No horses, by Jingo! so I’ll eat a tight little beef stake, tho’ it is so early in the day; but what, you know, am I to do till the horses come home? . . . Oh, I find the name of my present residence is Copdock. . . .”

“Thetford, Wednesday, September, 1812.

“. . . So the parliament is really dissolved, my pretty, and I have seen the principal people of my constituents, and they behave like angels to me. I mean your Bidwells, Faux’s, Pawsons, &c., &c., take a deep interest about Liverpool, and will do whatever I wish as to the time of bringing on my election here, so as to forward my views at Liverpool, will not be the least offended if I succeed at Liverpool for electing to sit for the latter place, and will bring in any other person in my place whom the Petre family shall name. . . . This is something like, is it not? What is more, they talk of dining at their own

* William Wilberforce [1759-1833], M.P. for Hull 1780, and for Yorkshire 1784. An active philanthropist, his name must ever be associated with the suppression of the Slave Trade.

expense on the day of election, i.e., giving me a dinner instead of my giving them one, and so to save me as they say, from being plundered. I begin to think Mankind’s damned fair, don’t you? . . . I am now perfectly at ease upon this subject, and to be sure there was never anyone so fortunate as I am in escaping the agony of any dilemma upon an occasion of such complicated importance.”

Unpleasant rumours began to fly about presently concerning the intentions of the Duke of Grafton, who owned the second seat for Thetford, the Duke of Norfolk and Lord Petre owning the other. Creevey had become the guest of Mr. Bernard Howard at Fornham, near Bury, pending a summons to Liverpool. He was getting nervous about the tricks his colleague in that candidature might play him, for he had learnt already to regard Brougham with considerable distrust.

“. . . Forster speaks very mysteriously about Ossulston’s having the Duke’s seat (for Thetford) again, which alarmed me not a little. Our neighbour, Marchioness Cornwallis, was passing in her barouche, and calls Howard to the carriage, who was alone in the road.

“‘And so,’ says she, ‘the Duke of Grafton turns Mr. Creevey out of Thetford at last.’

“‘Upon your soul!’ says Barny, ‘then there’s a volley for you, for Mr. Creevey is now at my house, and is to be member for Thetford next Thursday, and for Liverpool the week after.’

“So the Gordon chienne* went off as grumpy as be damned! . . . Howard is very good to me and I amuse him very much. He is confidential about young Harry and the dukedom, which he evidently expects to be in possession of before long.

* The Marchioness Cornwallis (who died in 1850) was daughter of Jane, Duchess of Gordon, wife of the 4th duke.

I see he means never to sell his seats.
Jockey does.”*

“Fornham, Sunday, 4th October.

Diddy† has no letter again to-day from Roscoe,‡ but he expects one by express in the course of the evening. I should not be least surprised if the Liverpool election did not take place till to-morrow week, and that in that event I might safely stay over the Thetford one on Thursday. . . . This express, whenever it comes from Roscoe, will bring with it, of course, some of Brog-ham’s ingenuous remarks. . . . Bernard Howard is deeply affected with the apparent treachery of my colleague [Brougham], and his evident wishes to give me the go-by; but we shall see what we shall see.”

The express came that night; a note from Brougham, and a letter from Roscoe with news from Liverpool.

“. . . Gascoigne and Tarleton§ came here to-day, both indifferently supported, particularly the latter, who came on horseback with only two friends. They are neither of them popular. . . . Canning, it is said, will make his appearance on Monday. . . . Gladstone is his commander-in-chief. Believe me, our prospects are very flattering.”

Creevey, therefore, had to set out for Liverpool post haste, but found time at every stopping-place to write to his wife. He was duly elected without opposition for Thetford on 8th October.

* The 11th Duke of Norfolk was known as “the Jockey.” He died in 1815, and was succeeded in the dukedom by the abovementioned Bernard Howard, great-grandfather of the present duke.

Creevey’s pet names among his family were Diddy and Nummy.

William Roscoe [1753-1831], historian, &c.; represented Liverpool in 1806, but lost his seat in 1807.

§ The old members for Liverpool. Tarleton retired in favour of Canning. Colonel (afterwards General Sir Banastre) Tarleton [1754-1833] was for twenty-one years member for Liverpool.

“Cambridge, Monday, 5th Oct.

“You will be somewhat surprised to see Diddy’s handwriting from his favorite University. The accompanying letter from Wm. Roscoe will explain this movement. . . . Bernard Howard has been as good to me as possible, and you would delight in his suspicions of Brougham. . . . Come, Mr. John Horn, where are my eels and mutton-chops?—Here they are, by Jingo, and the said John, who is an old friend of mine of five and twenty years’ standing, says he can give me an excellent bottle of port.—No such thing: I never tasted worse. The chops were, however, damned fair. . . . I send for the approbation of yourself and my dears, Diddy’s colours at Thetford. . . . To Diddy himself they produce most agreeable sensations; they constitute to him a certain seat in parliament, and they remind him of a connection really virtuous, without propitiating a capricious bitch, and without Villain [Brougham] always frightful. So I am as happy as a grig with little Thet, and don’t care a damn for Liverpool my little Pet.”

Arrived in Liverpool, Creevey was plunged into the thick of a hot contest, the details whereof are of little interest at this day. At that period, the poll remained open for many days, generally a fortnight, and Creevey reported progress every night to his wife at Brighton. Brougham succeeded at first in reassuring him as to his good faith.

“Liverpool, 11th Oct.

“. . . I must say Brougham behaves as well as a man can possibly do, and I am every day more struck with the endless mine of his intellectual resources. Nevertheless his speech to the crowd yesterday was thought not near so good as mine. . . . The people pet me in a way that is, upon my soul, affecting. . . . Lord Hutchinson says the Russian accounts of their victories are all lies, and that they are inevitably ruined, and the French quite safe in Moscow, having quite cut off all the trade of Petersburgh and Riga.”

“14th October.

“. . . We had an excellent day yesterday: Sefton, Stanley,* Brougham, Roscoe, Ashton, Heywood, &c., &c. To be sure it is quite astonishing to see the superiority of our friends over those of the enemy as to rank and good manners, and then they do behave so perfectly to one, it is quite beautiful. . . . Sefton has really been most interesting to me since breakfast in discussing the education of his son, Lord Molyneux, who is sixteen years of age, at Eton and a tutor with him. Who would think that these people (I mean he and my lady), in the midst of their eating and drink and play and racing, &c., &c., are eternally at work in the education of their children? . . . My lady is greatly touched at my writing to you every day, and praises me much for it. . . .”

“Well, my pretty, Diddy and Brog-ham are fairly done—beat to mummy; but we are to take the chance of some miracle taking place in our favor during the night, and are not to strike till eleven or twelve or one to-morrow. We had to do with artists who did not know their trade. Poor Roscoe made much too sanguine an estimate of our strength. . . .”

Creevey and Brougham withdrew from the contest next day, Creevey being at the bottom of the poll with 1060 votes, but claiming a moral victory.

“To play second fiddle to Brougham,” he wrote to his wife, “would not be worth a dam. If it be an object worthy my ambition to get possession of Liverpool and to keep it, then I say that my game, and my game only, has been played, and that the whole dramatis personæ, Brougham and Canning included, might have been puppets selected by myself to serve my own ulterior purposes. Depend upon it, Diddy never played a slyer part than in his unassuming, modest character in which he has appeared before his fellow townsmen.

* Afterwards 13th Earl of Derby.


“. . . My popularity with all sides I find still keeps up to the last, tho’ I was last upon the poll. . . . There is to be a grand affair here on Friday—a dinner and a ball and supper for Canning. He goes dining out daily, to Boulton’s and such places. I envy not his happy lot! . . .”

“Croxteth Park, 17th Oct., 1812.

“Now for the first time since Diddy left home, can he sit down in quietness to write to his pretty. . . . As to the result of the campaign, disastrous as it is in the extent of the defeat, it is impossible to consider the whole as unfavorable to me. In the first place, my friends will have no occasion for their compassion for my being but of parliament. This is everything to begin with. Then I have begun a connection with the town of Liverpool to be used or not at my discretion on future occasions. . . . Canning, in the present state of things, must be shortly in office, and then he vacates, and I never will believe that as a Minister of State he will submit to the club canvassing. . . . You never saw a fellow in your life look so miserable as he has done throughout. . . . I have been perfectly amazed during this campaign at the marvellous talent of Brougham in his addresses to the people. He poured in a volley of declamation against the immortal memory of Pitt the day before yesterday, describing his immortality as proclaimed by the desolation of his own country and the subjugation of mankind, that, by God, shook the very square and all the houses in it from the applause it met with. Yesterday he renewed the subject by a comparison of Fox with Pitt, that was done with equal skill and success. Still, I cannot like him. He has always some game or underplot out of sight—some mysterious correspondence—some extraordinary connection with persons quite opposite to himself.’

“Knowsley, 19th Oct.

“. . . We are all mighty gracious here. My lady [Derby] told me before we went in to dinner yesterday to sit with my best ear next to her. . . . We sat down 22 to dinner, all of them Hornbys, except 4 Hortons, 2 Ramthornes, young Ashton and myself. My lord was
1812.]AT KNOWSLEY.173
in excellent spirits, and, for such company, it went off all very well. . . . I never saw
Lady Stanley looking so well, or in such good spirits. She and her lord are damned attentive to Diddy, so upon the whole, you know, it is very well he came. . . . I won a shilling last night, I’d have you know, and then ate some shrimps, and Lady Derby would have some negus made for me alone; and all the toadys laughed very much, because my lady did, so it was all very well. . . .

“There is beginning to be damned distress in Liverpool already, and if the Americans will but continue the war for a twelvemonth, Masters Canning and Gascoigne and their supporters will have enough of it.

“. . . Let me not omit to mention to you that Col. Gordon,* who you know is with Wellington, is in constant correspondence with both Grey and Whitbread, and that his accounts are of the most desponding cast. He considers our ultimate discomfiture as a question purely of time, and that it may happen on any day, however early; that our pecuniary resources are utterly exhausted, and that the [illegible] of the French in recovering from their difficulties is inexhaustible; that Wellington himself considers this resurrection of Marmont’s broken troops as an absolute miracle in war, and in short Gordon considers that Wellington is in very considerable danger.† Of course you will not use this information but in the most discreet manner.”

Creevey took his defeat with equanimity, falling back upon his seat at Thetford. Not so Brougham, who could not but feel sore at his exclusion from an

* The Hon. Sir Alexander Gordon, brother of the 4th Earl of Aberdeen. He was aide-de-camp, first to his uncle, Sir David Baird, then to the Duke of Wellington, and was killed at Waterloo.

Marmont having been defeated at Salamanca on 22nd July, Wellington occupied Madrid. But on 21st October he was forced to raise the siege of Burgos and begin his retreat upon the Portuguese frontier, which partook more of the nature of disaster than any operation ever undertaken by him.

arena where he felt so well qualified to excel. And when Brougham felt sore, he made it his business to make others smart also; never did he forgive
Grey for the philosophy with which that gentleman accepted Brougham’s departure from Parliament.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“Knowsley, 19th Oct.
“The Hoo, 1812.

“. . . Should I (being quite certain that I am out for good, inasmuch as I see no possible seat and have received from all the leaders, except Grey, regular letters of dismissal, thanking me for past services, &c.) should I take parliamentary practice or not? My first intention was quite clear agt. it; for, tho’ I don’t affect to say a large bit of money would be disagreeable, yet gold may be bought too dear, and I don’t like to lower myself, either in Parlt. or the country, to Adam’s level. I never hesitated on this till I began to get angry with the leading Whigs for their cool way of taking leave [of me]; as much as to say—it is out of the question our ever bringing you in again. This, and the knowledge of others, as Plume [?], &c., being brought in, has rather raised my spleen, and given me an inclination to go into that line and make enough to buy a seat (with what I can afford to add, viz. £2000 or £2500), and then come in and enjoy the purest of all pleasures—at once do what I most approve of in politics and give the black ones an infernal licking every other night! Now really this is my only inducement, and I am half doubting about it. My judgment tells me not to go into Committee practice; but what do you think? I own I shall be pleased if you are as clear agt. it as I feel; but pray give your opinion with dispatch. Talk it over with Ward if you see him. . . .”