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The Creevey Papers
Ch. VIII: 1829

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 successive stages in the conversion of the Tory Government to Roman Catholic Emancipation have been abundantly discussed without bringing home to the apprehension of most people that, in truth, there were no such stages. The circumstances have been obscured by the recall of the pro-Catholic Lord Lieutenant, Anglesey, and the appointment of the anti-Catholic Lieutenant, Northumberland, but that had really no bearing upon the question. Anglesey had acted in what his old chief, the Duke of Wellington, considered an insubordinate manner, and was treated as relentlessly as Norman Ramsay had been dealt with after Vittoria. There was no question of ministerial policy involved; the puzzle arises out of the Prime Minister acting with a total want of that ambiguity which usually envelopes ministerial acts. The victory of Daniel O’Connell and the Catholic Association over Vesey FitzGerald, appointed President of the Board of Trade, in the election for County Clare, had convinced Wellington that relief could no longer be withheld from the Catholics. The position held by the Government ever since the question had driven Pitt out of office in 1801 must be abandoned; but he was too old a campaigner to allow the enemy
to know the hour and order of evacuation.
Peel was to be converted and the King be forced to consent, before the orders should be issued which, he knew, would breed mutiny in his own ranks. No sign should betray his purpose till all was prepared: the accustomed guards should be mounted—the regular sentries posted—till the very last moment. The appointment of the Duke of Northumberland in succession to Lord Anglesey was in accord with the spirit of a General Order which had never been suspended or revoked—No indulgence to Roman Catholics. It is the secrecy and suddenness of Wellington’s movements which have perplexed historians, accustomed to the more tentative and tortuous ways of politicians.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Whitehall, Feby. 3, 1829.

“. . . Every one was up with the news of the day —that Wellington had decided to let the Catholics into Parliament. . . . I have always, you know, been convinced that the Beau must and would do something upon this subject, and what it is to be we now must very shortly know. . . .”


“Our only visitor last night was Sefton, who arrived about 12, bringing with him the correspondence between the Duke of Wellington and Lord Anglesey, which the latter had lent to Sefton to be returned the next morning at 11. He read it to Mrs. Taylor and me, and it was ½ past one before he had done. The Beau, according to custom, writes atrociously, and his charges against Lord Anglesey are of the rummest kind, such as being too much addicted to popular courses, going to Lord Cloncurry’s, being too civil to Catholic leaders, not turning Mr. O’Gorman Mahon out of the commission of the peace, &c., &c. There are letters full of such stuff, and Lord
Anglesey in his answers beats him easy in all ways. . . . The Whigs are quite as sore as the Brunswickers at this victory of the Beau over
Prinney and his Catholic prejudices. They had arranged the most brilliant opposition for the approaching session, and this coup of the Duke’s has blown up the whole concern.

“At Brooks’s last night the deceased poet Rogers came up to beg I would meet Brougham at dinner at his house on Wednesday.”


“. . . It does Wellington infinite honor; the only drawback to his fame on this occasion is his silence to Anglesey as to his intentions; but he has been jealous of his brother soldier playing the popular in Ireland, and so has sacrificed the man, while adopting his opinions.”


“Here is little Twitch, alias Scroop, alias Premier Duke, Hereditary Earl Marshal, who is sitting by my side and who reckons himself sure of franking a letter for you before the session closes. The removal of Catholic disabilities would permit the Duke of Norfolk to take his seat in the Lords.”


“. . . ‘Ra-ally,’ as Mrs. Taylor would say, Peel makes a great figure.* His physick for the [Catholic] Association is as mild as milk, and for a year only. It is such a new and important feature in this Tory Revolution to have no blackguarding or calling names of any one. There begins to be an alarm about the Lords, but I have no doubt without foundation. It is clear to me from the Duke of Rutland’s speech that he will ultimately support the Beau, and I have my doubts whether the Bishop of London† won’t do so likewise. . . . Lord Sefton has broke the bank at Crockford’s two nights following. He tells me he carried off £7000.”

* As Home Secretary, Peel was responsible for the government of Ireland, which was then administered from the Home Office.

C. J. Blomfield.

“12th Feby., 1829.

“. . . Our party at the deceased poet’s [Rogers] last night was his brother and living poet and wit—Luttrell, Sefton, Lord Durham, Burdett, Lord Robert [Spencer], Brougham and the Duke of Norfolk, and we had a merry day enough. . . .”

“Brooks’s, Feb. 14.

“. . . There is nothing going forward except this reported visit of the Duke of . . . Are you aware that Captain Garth is the son of this Duke by Princess ——.* General Garth, at the suit of the old King, consented to pass for the father of this son. The latter, in every way worthy of his villainous father, has shown all the letters upon this occasion, including one of the King’s. The poor woman has always said that this business would be her death. Garth asks £30,000 for the letters, and, to enhance their value, shews the worst part of them.”


“. . . The Whigs are as sore as be damned at Wellington distinguishing himself and at Lord Grey’s just panegyrick upon Peel the other night. A neat figure they [the Whigs] would have cut in such a storm; but, to do them justice, they would never have attempted it. . . .”

“March 2nd.

“Now I wonder if Ogg† is to be depended on. Our Whigs, who hate the Beau and Peel and Grey with all their hearts, and are mad to the last degree that the two former have taken the Catholick cause out of their own feeble and perfidious hands, and who are always croaking about the projected Bill as being sure to contain some conditions and provisions that will be quite inadmissible to the dear Liberals—the said Whigs are to-day more chopfallen than ever upon the visits that have been taking place the last two

* One should hesitate to withdraw the veil from this ugly affair, were it not that it has been freely discussed and made public property in the recently published letters of Madame de Lieven.

Lord Kensington.

days by the Beau and
Chancellor to Windsor, and then the Beau waiting upon the D. of Cumberland as soon as he came back. In short, it is settled amongst them that the Dutchess of Gloucester and D. of Cumberland have made such an impression upon Prinney against the Pope, that he is considered as quite certain to be upon the jib; and such is the supposed consternation of the Ministers, that Tommy Tyrrwhitt told me he had seen with his own eyes to-day Lord Ellenborough come into the Court of Chancery twice, go upon the Bench to the Chancellor, put his mouth close under his wig, and keep it there at least five minutes at a time.

“So, having just met old Ogg in the street in spectacles, he having lost an eye since I last saw him, and after hearing an account of the different calamities affecting his life, property and character, we got to this Windsor gossip. So says Ogg in his accustomed manner—‘Damme! I know exactly what it is all about, and if you promise never to mention my name, I’ll tell you.’ I need not observe that the condition he imposed upon me I should have gratuitously adopted, as the disclosure would, with most, destroy my story. However, he swore he knew the facts of his own knowledge, and they are these.

“Knight, a barrister of the Court of Chancery, has been advertising the Chancellor lately that on this day he should move for an injunction against Sir Herbert Taylor about Garth’s letters, which have been placed in his hands under some agreement with Garth, and which the latter or his creditors wish to make more favorable for themselves; £3000 a year for life and £10,000 in hand were the considerations, but it is sought to make it £16,000 in hand. Ogg adds that it is the fear of all this being made publick that has caused all these mutinies between the Beau and Prinney and Chancellor and D. of Cumberland. Ogg says, too, that he knows all the contents of these letters, and stated quite enough of them to account for all this Windsor hurry-scurry. . . .

“Well, I had a really charming dinner at old Sally’s* yesterday. Lady Sefton and her 2 eldest

* Sarah, Marchioness of Salisbury.

daughters, the
young Lady Salisbury, Lord Arthur [Hill], Sefton, Henry [Molyneux], a Talbot, Hy. de loos, Montgomery and Sebright. . . . Upon my word I was wrong about Lady Lyndhurst. She has beautiful eyes and such a way of using them that quite shocked Lady Louisa and me. . . . Old Clare fairly rowed me last night, or affected to do so, for not coming to see her in Ireland. You know her son and his wife are parted, the latter giving as her reason for wishing it that she had only married him to please her mother, and that now she was dead there was no use in going on together. He has given her back every farthing of her fortune, which was £50,000 or £60,000.”


“. . . I saw a good deal of young Lady Emily Cowper,* who is the leading favorite of the town so far. She is very inferior to her fame for looks, but is very natural, lively, and appears a good-natured young person.”


“Well, the Whig croaking must end now. The Beau is immortalised by his views and measures as detailed by Peel last night. I certainly, for one, think it an unjust thing to alter the election franchise from 40s. to £10; but considering the perfection of every other part and the difficulty there must have been in bringing Prinney up to this mark, I should, were I in Parliament, swallow the franchise thing without hesitation; and so I am happy to find a meeting of our Whigs at Burdett’s to-day have agreed to do. . . . Only think of the old notion of the Veto being just abandoned. . . .”


“Well, our ‘very small and early party’ last night [at Lady Sefton’s] was quite as agreeable as ever; but I must be permitted to observe that, considering the rigid virtue of Lady Sefton and the profound darkness in which her daughters of from 30 to 40 are brought up as to even the existence of vice,

* Married in 1830 to the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, at that time Lord Ashley.

the party was as little calculated to protract the delusion of these innocents as any collection to be made in London could well be. There were Mrs. F—— L—— and
Lord Chesterfield, who came together and sat together all night; Lady E—— and the Pole or Prussian or Austrian—whichever he is—whom they call ‘Cadland’ because he beat the Colonel (Anson).* Anything so impudent as she, or so barefaced as the whole thing, I never beheld; Princess Esterhazy and Lady ——, Lady —— and [Lord] Palmerston—in short, by far the most notorious and profligate women in London. . . . With respect to how Lord Grey and other people take the Catholic Bill or Pill, there is an increasing satisfaction in all the friends to the measure, and the ranks of the bigots are thinning. There is one damned thing, if it is persisted in, which is that O’Connell is not to be let into his present seat, but sent back to a new election under the new Bill. . . . When I was at Grey’s on Sunday, he told me Burdett had just been with him upon this subject, and had urged him to speak to the Duke of Wellington about it. Not amiss in O’Connell and Burdett, considering that they had never consulted Grey before on any of their Catholic cookery. However, his answer was that he should do no such thing, for that, altho’ there could be no doubt as to the abominable injustice of this case, yet as the Duke had never shown any disposition to communicate with him upon this measure, it was not for him—Lord Grey—to begin any such communication. So much for Sefton and others, who will have it that Lord Grey must and will come into office. . . . Wellington was blooded yesterday, but is out to-day, and gone to face Winchilsea in the Lords.”

“Sulby, March 18.

“Rather stiffish to-day, my dear; it can’t, of course, be age! but going four and twenty miles on a hard road at a kind of hand gallop is rather shaking, you know, to those not used to it. . . . The men we have had here are principally Pytchley, which, in dandyism, are very second-rate to the Quorn or Melton men. . . .

* The Duke of Rutland’s “Cadland” won the Derby in 1828, beating the King’s horse “The Colonel.”

Osbaldeston himself, tho’ only 5 feet high, and in features like a cub fox, is a very funny little chap; clever in his way, very good-humored and gay, and with very good manners. . . . I am very fond of all these lads being dressed in scarlet in the evening. It looks so gay.”


“. . . Does your paper ever give you any light upon the old affair of Garth? Did it contain his affidavit? You see it is now established in proof in a suit in Chancery that Sir Herbert Taylor had agreed to give Garth £3000 a year for his life, and to pay his debts; and that, upon this being done, certain letters were to be given up to Taylor. In the meantime they were deposited in Snow’s bank in the joint holding of the said bankers and Mr. Westmacott, the editor of the Age newspaper. . . . There is quite enough in this—Taylor being the purchaser and the price so monstrous, to make it quite certain the letters must contain great scandal affecting very great parties. . . . General Garth is still alive, and it was when he was extremely ill and thought himself quite sure of dying, that he wrote to young Garth, telling him who he was, explaining the part he—the General—had been induced to act out of respect and deference to the royal family. . . . General Garth recovered unexpectedly, and applied to young Garth for the document; but, I thank you! they had been seen and read and deemed much too valuable to be given back again.”

Earl of Sefton to Mr. Creevey.
“Arlington St., . . . March 25th.

“. . . The King was delighted with the duel* and said he should have done the same—that gentlemen must not stand upon their privileges. . . .”

“Stoke, 11th April.

“. . . The King was very angry at the large majority [for the Catholic Relief bill] and did not

* Between the Duke of Wellington and Lord Winchelsea.

write the D. a line in answer to his express telling him of it.
The Beau’s troubles are not over yet. The distress in the country is frightful. Millions are starving, and I defy him to do anything to relieve them.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Whitehall, May 28th.

“. . . I went to the Park, but the review was over, so we only learnt that the Beau had had a fall from his horse, but was not hurt; and in coming home here a little later who shd. I meet riding in a little back street near Coventry Street but the said Duke. So he stopt and shook hands. . . . I said:—‘Well, upon my soul, you are the first of mankind to have accomplished this Irish job as you have done, and I congratulate you upon it most sincerely. . . . You must ave had tough work to get thro’.’—‘Oh terrible, I assure you,’ said he, and so we parted.”

“June 1st.

“. . . It is a well known fact that Lord Durham is doing all he possibly can to make Lord Grey act a part that shall force him into the Government, meaning in that event to go snacks himself in the acquisition of power and profit; which, considering that he got his peerage by deserting Grey and by helping Canning to defeat Wellington, is consistent and modest enough! So after dinner [at Lord William Powlett’s] the levee being mentioned, Grey said in the most natural manner he would never go to another; upon which Lambton [Lord Durham] remonstrated with him most severely and pathetically, and George Lamb thought Grey was wrong; but Grey held out firm as a rock—said that it was quite against his own opinion going the last time, but that he had been quite persecuted into it—that this last personal insult from the King in never noticing him was only one of a series of the same kind, and that for the future he should please himself by avoiding a repetition of them. You may easily fancy the amiability of Lambton’s face at his avowal. . . . You see these impertinent and base
renegade young Whigs have had their appetites for office if possible sharpened at present by
Lord Rosslyn having just accepted the Privy Seal. . . . Rosslyn told me of it himself in the street on Saturday. . . . I know that he accepted with Lord Grey’s concurrence, but I am equally sure, from Lord Grey’s manner, that he thinks he ought not to have done so.”

“August 20th.

“. . . As you see only the Morning Post, I am afraid you are quite in the dark as to what is going on in France. . . . All are furious against the new Ministry, and with great reason. To think of making Bourmont the War Minister! He is the man who deserted from Bonaparte and came over to us the night before the battle of Waterloo.* General Gérard recommended him to Nap as a General of Division on that occasion, and said that he would pledge his life for his honor.† The deserter is now to be Minister for War, and will have to face Gérard as a member of the Chamber of Deputies! . . . Even the old Ultras think the experiment puts the throne of Charles Dix in danger.”

“Knowsley, 26th September.

“. . . I am half way thro’ the 3rd volume of Bourrienne. Although my interest about Nap is greatly lessened by his wholesale use and destruction of mankind—not for the sake or defence of France, but for some ‘lark’ of his own, to be like Cæsar or Alexander, and for his damned nonsensical posterity that he is always after—then again he comes over me again by his talents, and by a kind of simplicity, and even drollery, behind the curtain whilst he is so successfully bamboozling all the world without. Don’t suppose I am partial to him because when Bourrienne

* It was on the morning of the 15th June, three days before Waterloo, that Bourmont deserted; and he went to Blücher, not to Wellington.

† The expression Gérard used was that he would pledge his head: so when Gérard reported Bourmont’s treachery, the Emperor tapped Gérard playfully on the cheek, saying:—“Cette têtê, donc, e’est à moi, n’est ce pas?” adding more gravely, “mais j’en ai trop besoin.”

read poetry to him in Egypt he always fell asleep! or because that at school he never was a scholar, Bourrienne beating him easily in Latin and Greek, but in mathematics he was first; nor because no one spelt worse than he did, having always a professed contempt for that noble art. Yet his compositions are of the first order.”

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the promotion of which Creevey had so stoutly opposed in committee of the House of Commons, was nearly finished, and about to be opened for traffic.

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Knowsley, Nov. 1st, 1829.

“. . . You have no doubt in your paper reports of Huskisson’s return to office. Allow me to mention a passage which Lord Derby read to me out of a letter to himself from Lady Jane Houston, who lives very near Huskisson. . . . ‘Houston saw Huskisson yesterday, who talked to him of his return to office as of a thing quite certain, and of Edward Stanley doing so too. Indeed he spoke of the latter as quite the Hope of the Nation!’ As the Hope of the Nation was present when this was read, it would not have been decent to laugh; but the little Earl gave me a look that was quite enough.”

“Croxteth, 7th.

“. . . I left little Derby devouring Bourrienne with the greatest delight, and he is particularly pleased with the exposure of the ignorance of ‘that damned fellow Sir Walter Scott.’ The Stanley and Hornby party were rather shocked at the great bard and novelist being called such names, but the peer said he was a ‘damned impertinent fellow’ for presuming to write the life of Bonaparte.”


“. . . To-day we have had a lark of a very high order. Lady Wilton sent over yesterday from Knowsley to say that the Loco Motive machine was to be
upon the railway at such a place at 12 o’clock for the Knowsley party to ride in if they liked, and inviting this house to be of the party. So of course we were at our post in 3 carriages and some horsemen at the hour appointed. I had the satisfaction, for I can’t call it pleasure, of taking a trip of five miles in it, which we did in just a quarter of an hour—that is, 20 miles an hour. As accuracy upon this subject was my great object, I held my watch in my hand at starting, and all the time; and as it has a second hand, I knew I could not be deceived; and it so turned out there was not the difference of a second between the coachee or conductor and myself. But observe, during these five miles, the machine was occasionally made to put itself out or go it; and then we went at the rate of 23 miles an hour, and just with the same ease as to motion or absence of friction as the other reduced pace. But the quickest motion is to me frightful: it is really flying, and it is impossible to divest yourself of the notion of instant death to all upon the least accident happening. It gave me a headache which has not left me yet.
Sefton is convinced that some damnable thing must come of it; but he and I seem more struck with such apprehension than others. . . . The smoke is very inconsiderable indeed, but sparks of fire are abroad in some quantity: one burnt Miss de Ros’s cheek, another a hole in Lady Maria’s silk pelisse, and a third a hole in some one else’s gown. Altogether I am extremely glad indeed to have seen this miracle, and to have travelled in it. Had I thought worse of it than I do, I should have had the curiosity to try it; but, having done so, I am quite satisfied with my first achievement being my last.

“Croxteth, Nov. 18th.

“. . . I am sure you would not wish me to miss Lady Foley. It is very nearly the direct road to London. Then to see a noble novel-writer, who has never been known in the midst of all their ruin to degrade herself by putting on either a pair of gloves or a ribbon a second time, and who has always 4 ponies ready saddled and bridled for any enterprise or excursion that may come into her head! To say
nothing of
Foley, who, without a halfp’orth of income keeps the best house and has planted more oak trees than any man in England, and by the influence of his name and popularity returns two members for Droitwich and one for the county. Then he is to get his next neighbour Lord Dudley to meet me, so we shall have Jean qui pleure et Jean qui rit—Ward [Lord Dudley] being in a state of lingering existence under the frightful pressure of £120,000 a year.”