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The Creevey Papers
Ch XII: 1817-18

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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In 1817 the Creeveys continued in Brussels. Apparently the hopeless disorganisation of the Opposition in Parliament deterred Mr. Creevey from coming home; at least, there are no indications of his having availed himself of any of the numerous and pressing invitations he received. His friends, however, still kept him well supplied with gossip, and Brussels at that time was the centre of much political activity, so Creevey had no want of occupation for his thoughts, his tongue, and his pen.

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“London, March 25, 1817.

“. . . We have holiday this week in virtue of Mr. Speaker’s right cheek having swelled out with erysipelas to an extraordinary size. His appearance is worth coming over to see. Sefton and I went to his levee t’other night, and the Earl was much amused with our small friend’s grimaces. . . . Lord Rolle coming in he [the Speaker] spoke of the climate in Devonshire—‘I take it skates are quite unknown in your lordship’s part of the world,’ and so forth. I then made the Earl go to the Chancellor’s, and rejoice to tell you his observation was how much more the manners of a gentleman the Chancr. had, which is quite true. I ought to apologise to you for taking so much liberty with your little friend, with whom I foresee your flirtation is speedily about to
close, for there is a plan of a peerage and a pension of £4000 for three lives. Now I hardly think your loves, how warm and constant soever, can stand this shock.”*

“London, April 1, 1817.

“. . . I am glad you and Kinnaird approved of my broadside on the 13th March.† . . . I knew that Govt. would be taken by surprise, and had told Sefton so, for Ward and others had said to me some days before that they took it for granted I was to give them, as they were pleased to say, ‘a most valuable speech,’ on the plan of my last year’s on Agricultural distress—a sort of pair or pendant to that. I answered I meant no such matter, and should divide at all events, and regarded it as a hostile occasion. They did not believe it—had no guess of attacks on foreign policy, and looked innocent and astonished as I went on. I was very much tickled, and really enjoyed it, for I began quietly to the greatest degree, and only flung in a stray shot every 20 minutes or ½ hour by way of keeping them on the alert and preserving attention; and when, at the end of the first hour and a half, I opened my first battery, I do assure you it had a comical effect. . . . Still, it was not quite personal to Castlereagh, and when it was over, I changed my plan, in order to get breath, and play with them a little longer, and give my other fire more effect—that is, I went back to general, candid and speculative observations, and at large into the taxation part of the subject, and having prepared them by a few more random shots for a factious conclusion, I then opened my last battery upon C., to see whom under the fire was absolutely droll. He at first yawned, as he generally does when galled—then changed postures—then left his seat and came into the centre of the bench—then spoke much to Canning and Van, and at last was so d——d fidgetty that I expected to see him get up. It ended by his not saying one word in his

* Mr. Speaker Abbot, who had tilled the chair since 1802, was created Lord Colchester, 3rd June, 1817.

† He had spoken vehemently against the Property Tax and in favour of retrenchment in various departments.

1817-18.]FROM LORD HOLLAND.263
own defence, but appealing to posterity. . . . We really want you more than words can describe. You positively must come, if but to show. . . .”

Lord Holland to Mr. Creevey.
“Holland House, 24th June, 1817.

“. . . The heat of the weather is delightful, but writing letters is not the way of enjoying it. The country is, or was, as flat about its liberties as it had been animated and, according to my judgment, absurd about sinecures and Parliamentary reform five months ago. However, I think the spies and informers admirably exposed by Ld. Grey. The conversion of Ld. Fitzwilliam and the stoutness of Milton,* have somewhat roused them from their indifference, and very much shaken any disposition there was to approve these revivals of Pitt’s worst measures. However, the best chance of change in the Government is, after all, that of their weakness and disunion, rather than our popularity, strength or concert. Peel’s election has galled the Cannings to the quick.”†

[No date.]
“Dear Creevey,

“I have put off answering your very entertaining letter and interesting communication to the last moment, and unfortunately to a moment when I am full of business—trying to get up a Middlesex meeting and to bring the great guns, called Dukes, to bear upon the question of Habeas Corpus. That cursed business of Reform of Parliament is always in one’s way. With one great man nothing is good unless that be the principal object, and with another nothing must be done if a word of Reform is even glanced at in requisition, petition or discussion. . . .

* The 3rd Earl Fitzwilliam sat in the House of Commons as Viscount Milton from 1807 to 1833. He was strongly opposed at first to parliamentary reform; but became one of its most ardent advocates, though his family held a number of pocket boroughs.

Peel was elected member for Oxford in this year, a seat which Canning had greatly coveted for himself.

They say the
Prince has left off his stays, and that Royalty, divested of its usual supports, makes a bad figure. . . . I wish I had politics, tittle-tattle or book-news to send you. Of the latter, Llandaff’s memoirs are empty, but cursed provoking to the Court and the Church. Franklin’s life will be curious, both for its information and style. Rob Roy is said to be good, but falls off at the end. . . .”

Lady Holland to Mrs. Creevey.
“Holland House [no date, 1817].

“. . . I have seen few people and heard no news. . . . Lt. Clifford (the Dss. of D.’s son*) is to marry Lord John Townshend’s 2nd daughter: Ld. Clivton [sic] Miss Poyntz. The report at Windsor is that Princess Charlotte is in a bad state of health—a fixed pain in her side, for which she wears a perpetual blister; and she is grown very large and is generally unwell. The Duke of York was so tipsy at [illegible] that he fell down and was blooded immediately, and whilst the Queen was delivering her warlike manifesto, the little Pss. was making game and turning her back upon her. . . . Poor Courtenay has had a paralytick stroke, and Nollekens the sculptor is very ill from the same dreadful visitation. Ld. Lauderdale’s eldest daughter was 8 days in labour of a dead child, and was not out of danger when he wrote.”

Lord Holland to Mr. Creevey.
“Bruges, 4th July, 1817.
“Dear Creevey,

“We shall make an excursion to Antwerp from Brussels instead of taking it on our way, and consequently shall arrive the day after to-morrow by the Ghent road. We are all well and much delighted

* The 4th Duke of Devonshire married in 1748 Charlotte, Baroness Clifford. She died in 1754, and the barony passed to her son the 5th Duke, and from him to the 6th Duke, at whose death in 1858 it fell into abeyance between his sisters the Countesses of Carlisle and Granville. I cannot identify the person named in the text Lt. [? Ld.] Clifford.

with the country. How can such a fertile country want bread? and why, when it (bread) has fallen at Ypres and even Courtray, is it at the same price here?
Allen, though he bears Adam Smith and M. Marcot in his head, cannot solve this. . . .”

Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Oakley, July 20, 1817.

“. . . I rejoice at the prospect of your return home, as not only I want you, but we all require your counsel and aid. . . . Your friends the Grenvilles are not only nibbling, but biting at us once more, but I trust we shall have nothing to do with them. Have you heard of our plan for a leader? Some persons last year thought of one of straw, such as Althorpe or Ld. G. Cavendish, but that wd. not do, and we, the Mountaineers, resented the scheme. At present we all concur in the necessity of some one, and, taking all circumstances into consideration, Tierney is the man selected in this choice. Romilly and Brougham cordially concur, and I do so likewise: not that Mrs. Cole has not many grievous faults, but there is no one else who has not more. Romilly cannot, from his business; and Brougham cannot from his unpopularity and want of discretion. I think that the good old lady can be kept in order, and tho’ she be timid and idle, yet she is very popular in the House, easy and conciliatory; in no way perfect—in many ways better than any other person. The proposition takes immensely, and at present between 60 and 70 persons have signified their adherence. Let me know your opinion. . . .”

Lady Holland to Mrs. Creevey.
“Holland House, Friday, September, 1817.

“. . . We staid a short time at Edinburgh and made a long visit of a fortnight at Howick, where I had the delight of seeing Lord Grey all the time in the most perfect health and spirits, his countenance exhibiting gaiety and smiles which never are seen
on this side of Highgate Hill. . . .
Lady Louisa is very handsome, the others are very tolerably well-looking, but not equal to her, but graceful in dancing and riding, and excellent musicians. Some of the boys are uncommonly promising, especially the 2nd son Charles, and little Tom. The House is made one of the most comfortable mansions I know, and the grounds are as pretty as they can be in the ugliest district in the Island. I never expected to be so long in a country house, and yet leave it with regret, which was the case in this instance. We made a visit to Lambton, which is a magnificent house, everything in a suitable style of splendor. He is an excellent host: his three little babies are his great resource, tho’ I hope he is recovering his spirits; and as he has no son, the sooner he decides upon taking another wife, the happier it will be for all parties. He is full of good qualities, and his talents are very remarkable.

“London is very deserted: only a few stragglers, and those are not likely to encrease; as September is invariably the most empty month. Lawyers and sportsmen are always absent, and they are a numerous part of the community.

“We have been near losing our Regent, and as the physicians mistook his disorder, they have probably curtailed his length of life, for the disease was treated at first as inflammatory, and they took 60 ounces of blood. When Baillie saw him he declared it to be spasm, and gave laudanum and cordials. The consequences are likely to produce dropsy. His disinclination to all business is, if possible, encreased, and there have been serious thoughts of a council of Regency to assist in the dispatch of affairs. Pss. Charlotte is going on in her grossesse, but there are some strange awkward symptoms.* They are living at Claremont. Ld. Castlereagh is supposed to have entire influence over the Prince Leopold.

“What think you of the pamphlet on the divorce? It is most artfully done. The appeal to the shabby ones in the H. of Commons will have its weight, and

* Princess Charlotte died in childbirth the following year.

perhaps the threat of recrimination may startle the party at Ragley. This skilfull work is supposed to come from the borders of the Lake of Geneva*

“In the beau monde I hear of Ly. C. Cholmondeley’s marriage with Mr. Seymour, a son of Lord Hugh’s; his brother and Miss Palk; Lord Sunderland and Ly. E. Conyngham. The Duke of Marlborough gives him £5000.

“You heard of Lady L [illegible] from a ceremonial depriving herself of the pleasure of seeing Napoleon. The Govt. are displeased that the determination of Napoleon’s adherents to continue with him should be known, and more strictness is adopted in the correspondence with the Island [of St. Helena]. As you will see from many idle paragraphs that the impression to be given in this country is that all belonging to him hate and abhor him, and wish to be quit of him whereas the fact is notoriously the contrary. It is rather mortifying to see this country become the jailors and spies for the Bourbon Govt.; for to that condition Ld. Castlereagh has brought it.”

The following notes of a conversation with H.R.H. the Duke of Kent remain in Mr. Creevey’s handwriting, apparently as they were written down immediately after the event. Previous to this year, there is no indication that Creevey ever entertained the notion of collecting or publishing anything from his papers; but after his wife’s death, which occurred in 1818, time hung more heavily on his hands, and he conceived the idea, which he discussed frequently with his step-daughter, Miss Ord, of compiling a history of his own times. This never took shape, further than that his letters to Miss Ord were carefully preserved by his desire, along with much other correspondence. Upon this occasion, H.R.H. the Duke of Kent happened to be in Brussels, shortly after the death of Princess Charlotte of Wales. He

I.e. from Lord Byron’s pen.

desired Creevey, whom he had known familiarly in former times at the Pavilion and Carlton House, to call upon him; when, after discussing some trifling matter relating to the appointment to a chaplaincy, he broached a subject which evidently was weighing upon his mind. It must be confessed that his Royal Highness was not very discreet in choosing Mr. Creevey as the repository of his confidence in such a delicate matter. Creevey seems to have had no scruple in communicating the tenour of the conversation to some of his friends. He certainly told the
Duke of Wellington,* and on 30th December Lord Sefton wrote from Croxteth, acknowledging Creevey’s letter with its “most amusing contents. Nothing could be more apropos than its arrival, as it was put into my hand while a surgeon was sounding my bladder with one hand and a finger of the other, to ascertain whether I had a stone or not. I never saw a fellow more astonished than he was at seeing me laugh as soon as the operation was over. Nothing could be more first-rate than the Royal Edward’s ingenuousness. One does not know which to admire most—the delicacy of his attachment to Mme. St. Laurent, the refinement of his sentiments towards the D. of Clarence, or his own perfect disinterestedness in pecuniary matters.”

Notes of a Conversation with H.R.H. the Duke of Kent at Brussels, Dec. 11, 1817.

“. . . The Duke begun, to my great surprise, a conversation upon the death of the Princess Charlotte, and upon an observation from me upon the derangement of the succession to the throne by this event, and

* See vol. i. p. 284.

of the necessity of the unmarried Princes becoming married, if the crown was to be kept in their family; and having in addition asked him, I believe, what he thought the Regent would do on the subject of a divorce, and whether he thought the
Duke of Clarence would marry, the Duke of Kent, to the best of my recollection, and I would almost say word for word, spoke to me as follows.

“‘My opinion is the Regent will not attempt a divorce. I know persons in the Cabinet who will never consent to such a measure. Then, was he to attempt it, his conduct would be exposed to such recrimination as to make him unpopular, beyond all measure, throughout the country. No: he never will attempt it. Besides, the crime of adultery on her part must be proved in an English court of justice, and if found guilty she must be executed for high treason. No: the Regent will never try for a divorce.

“‘As for the Duke of York, at his time of life and that of the Duchess, all issue, of course, is out of the question. The Duke of Clarence, I have no doubt, will marry if he can; but the terms he asks from the Ministers are such as they can never comply with. Besides a settlement such as is proper for a Prince who marries expressly for a succession to the Throne, the Duke of Clarence demands the payment of all his debts, which are very great, and a handsome provision for each of his ten natural children. These are terms that no Ministers can accede to. Should the Duke of Clarence not marry, the next prince in succession is myself; and altho I trust I shall be at all times ready to obey any call my country may make upon me, God only knows the sacrifice it will be to make, whenever I shall think it my duty to become a married man. It is now seven-and-twenty years that Madame St. Laurent and I have lived together: we are of the same age, and have been in all climates, and in all difficulties together; and you may well imagine, Mr. Creevey, the pang it will occasion me to part with her. I put it to your own feeling—in the event of any separation between you and Mrs. Creevey. . . . As for Madame St. Laurent herself, I protest I don’t know what is to become of her if a
marriage is to be forced upon me; her feelings are already so agitated upon the subject. You saw, no doubt, that unfortunate paragraph in the
Morning Chronicle, which appeared within a day or two after the Princess Charlotte’s death; and in which my marrying was alluded to. Upon receiving the paper containing that article at the same time with my private letters, I did as is my constant practice, I threw the newspaper across the table to Madame Saint Laurent, and began to open and read my letters. I had not done so but a very short time, when my attention was called to an extraordinary noise and a strong convulsive movement in Madame St. Laurent’s throat. For a short time I entertained serious apprehensions for her safety; and when, upon her recovery, I enquired into the occasion of this attack, she pointed to the article in the Morning Chronicle relating to my marriage.

“‘From that day to this I am compelled to be in the practice of daily dissimulation with Madame St. Laurent, to keep this subject from her thoughts. I am fortunately acquainted with the gentlemen in Bruxelles who conduct the Liberal and Oracle newspapers; they have promised me to keep all articles upon the subject of my marriage out of their papers, and I hope my friends in England will be equally prudent. My brother the Duke of Clarence is the elder brother, and has certainly the right to marry if he chooses, and I would not interfere with him on any account. If he wishes to be King—to be married and have children, poor man—God help him! let him do so. For myself—I am a man of no ambition, and wish only to remain as I am. . . . Easter, you know, falls very early this year—the 22nd of March. If the Duke of Clarence does not take any step before that time, I must find some pretext to reconcile Madame St. Laurent to my going to England for a short time. St. George’s day is the day now fixed for keeping the birthday, and my paying my respects to the Regent on that day will be a sufficient excuse for my appearing in England. When once there, it will be easy for me to consult with my friends as to the proper steps to be taken. Should the Duke of Clarence do nothing before that time as to marrying, it will become my
duty, no doubt, to take some measures upon the subject myself.

“‘You have heard the names of the Princess of Baden and the Princess of Saxe-Cobourg mentioned. The latter connection would perhaps be the better of the two, from the circumstance of Prince Leopold being so popular with the nation; but before anything is proceeded with in this matter, I shall hope and expect to see justice done by the Nation and the Ministers to Madame St. Laurent. She is of very good family and has never been an actress, and I am the first and only person who ever lived with her. Her disinterestedness, too, has been equal to her fidelity. When she first came to me it was upon £100 a year. That sum was afterwards raised to £400, and finally to £1000; but when my debts made it necessary for me to sacrifice a great part of my income, Madame St. Laurent insisted upon again returning to her income of £400 a year. If Mad. St. L. is to return to live amongst her friends, it must be in such a state of independence as to command their respect. I shall not require very much, but a certain number of servants and a carriage are essentials. Whatever the Ministers agree to give for such purposes must be put out of all doubt as to its continuance. I shall name Mr. Brougham, yourself and two other people on behalf of Madame St. Laurent for this object.

“‘As to my own settlement, as I shall marry (if I marry at all) for the succession, I shall expect the Duke of York’s marriage to be considered the precedent. That was a marriage for the succession, and £25,000 for income was settled, in addition to all his other income, purely on that account. I shall be contented with the same arrangement, without making any demands grounded upon the difference of the value of money in 1792 and at present. As for the payment of my debts, I don’t call them great. The nation, on the contrary, is greatly my debtor.’

“Here a clock striking in the room where we were seemed to remind the Duke he was exceeding his time, and he came to a conclusion almost instantly, and I retired.”

Lord Folkestone, M.P., to T. Creevey [in Brussels].
“Lower Grosvenor St., Feb. 23 [1818].

“. . . We go on in the House in a very languishing way: very little attendance, and still less attention. The House is regularly empty till 9 or 10 o’clock on the most interesting questions; and then the new comers are all clamorous for a division to get away again. We all like our new Speaker* most extremely: he is gentlemanlike and obliging. The would-be Speaker (alias Squeaker)† has, as I suppose you have heard, moved down to my old anti-Peace-of-Amiens bench. There are Wynn, Fremantle, Phillimore‡ enlisted under Bankes. I rejoice sincerely I did not vote for said Squeaker; but some of those who did are, I hear, very much ashamed of themselves for it. Romilly is in high force this year: Brougham, I know not why, has been quite silent. . . . Prinny has let loose his belly, which now reaches his knees: otherwise he is said to be well. Clarence has been near dying: has been refused by the Princess of Denmark, and is going, it is thought, to marry Miss Wykeham. But his malady is of that nature that they say matrimony is likely to destroy him, so that your friend the Duke of Kent will be King at last. I hope you have noted that the Issues of the Bank have again increased, and that the price of gold and other articles is rising, and the Bank restriction to continue. The old career, it seems, is to be run over again, and the few Landed Proprietors who have come unhurt out of the first business will be swallowed up in the second. A pretty prospect this for a Lord like me with a young and increasing family. I should like much to introduce to you my son, who is a very jolly fellow. Lady F. tells me that she is known to you, though not in the character of my wife.”

* Charles Manners Sutton [1780-1845], Speaker of the House of Commons from 1817 to 1835, when he was created Viscount Canterbury.

C. W. W. Wynn.

Joseph Phillimore [1775-1855], M.P. for St. Mawes 1817-26.


Mr. Creevey was a warm and intimate friend of Lord Kinnaird, who, like himself, had been a vehement opponent of the war with France. Lord Kinnaird was so indiscreet as to persist openly in his antinational demonstrations long after the war was over. Being in Brussels in 1818, a certain French refugee named Marinet, then under sentence of death, offered to reveal to Kinnaird a plot for the assassination of the Duke of Wellington in Paris, on condition that Kinnaird would intercede for him with M. de Cazes. Kinnaird informed Sir George Murray, the Duke’s Adjutant-General, by letter, who naturally asked the name of the informer. This Kinnaird refused to give, having passed his word that he should not do so; neither could he be induced to reveal it after the attempt upon the Duke’s life had been made by Cantillon on 10th February. Upon this the Belgian Government ordered his arrest. Kinnaird left Brussels secretly, taking Marinet with him. Both were arrested on arriving in Paris, but Kinnaird was released at the request of the Duke, who took him into his own house, to prevent him being “lodged in the Conciergerie,” as the Duke explained to Lord Bathurst, “which I certainly should not have liked.”* On 15th April, Kinnaird left Paris, for Brussels, as he informed the Duke, but really on his way to England, leaving behind him a letter addressed to the French Chambre des Pairs, accusing the Government, and, by implication, the Duke of Wellington, of breach of faith in the arrest of Marinet. Kinnaird’s indiscretion brought him into very unfavourable notice at the time; he was even suspected of some degree of complicity in the crime, whereof the Duke

* Wellington’s Supplementary Despatches, xii. 382.

freely acquitted him, though
Lady Holland always afterwards spoke of him as “Oliver” Kinnaird. There is nothing of interest in Kinnaird’s letters at the time to Creevey, but one to his wife may serve to show him in the light of a wrong-headed busybody, without any useful field for his activity.

Lord Kinnaird to Lady Kinnaird.
“Paris, April, 1818.

“What shall I tell you of the proceedings here? My patience is exhausted. I have in vain claimed the interference of the Duke [of Wellington] and the justice of the Govt. in favor of a man unjustly imprisoned. I have suffered all sorts of calumnies to be spread agt. me for a long time. I will no longer submit to it, and have now given definite notice that I will leave Paris this week. . . . I would not trust our own courier, or Dukes, or Ambassadors. You have no notion of the mischievous attacks some ministerial papers have been making on me. You may believe I despise them, but I think I must say something in reply. . . .”

In the summer of 1818 took place a general election, and Creevey received notice to quit Thetford, which he had represented since 1802. The reason for the new Duke of Norfolk making this change is not apparent; possibly he was dissatisfied with Creevey’s absence from Parliament for more than three years; possibly, as Brougham had anticipated, the Duke’s mother-in-law, Lady Stafford, may have induced him to choose one of her own friends. Anyhow, Creevey bitterly resented this treatment at the hands of his old friend Bernard Howard, and wrote him a very long letter of remonstrance. The correspondence is only worth referring to as illustrating a condition of affairs which ceased to exist in this country with the passing
of the Reform Act of 1832. Creevey reminds the Duke that they have been acquainted for sixteen years.

“The question I put to you, Duke, is this—Why have you not noticed me in your arrangements for the new Parliament, or why have you not given me your reasons for not doing so? Shall I begin with my claims upon you on publick grounds? I can only do this by comparing myself with the persons returned by you. I will take, for instance, the returns of Mr. Phillips and his son. . . . I have learnt, and am taught to believe, that Mr. Phillips’s claims upon you are founded upon a large loan of money that he advanced to you two or three years ago. . . . I am certain that mature reflection will show you the fatal effects that such a precedent, if generally followed, would produce, as well own body—the Aristocracy—as upon the Constitution itself of your country. . . . Need I point out to you, Duke, the certain and speedy result of such operations on the part of the Aristocracy? Would they not then, at least, be subject to the reproach, hitherto so unjustly and maliciously urged against them, of trafficking in seats in Parliament? . . . How long do you think the Constitution and liberties of the country would survive the loss of publick character in the Aristocracy?”

To all this, and a great deal more, the Duke replied very briefly, expressing regret that “dear Creevey” was not “in any situation that he desired, and in which the exertion of his talents might be useful to the country,” but refusing to acknowledge “the right he had thought proper to exercise of reproaching him (the Duke) with imaginary injustice.” He is willing to attribute Mr. Creevey’s “extraordinary and unmerited asperity to some temporary irritation proceeding from misconceptions.”

Having, then, lost the seat which he had held for
sixteen years, during four Parliaments; having, also, lost his excellent
wife, and, with her, the greater part of his income, he moved with his step-daughters, the Miss Ords, from Brussels to Cambray, where the Duke of Wellington had the headquarters of the army of occupation. While there he kept, or attempted to keep, a journal, which is not without some passages of interest.

Extracts from Mr. Creevey’s Journal.

Cambray, 16th July, 1818.—I came from Brussells to Cambray with the Miss Ords on 14th July, and got there the 15th. To-day I rode to see a cricket match between the officers near the town, and presently the Duke of Wellington rode there likewise, accompanied by Mrs. Harvey and Miss Cator. As soon as he saw me, he rode up and shook hands with me, and asked me if I was returned in the new Parliament, to which I answered that the weather was too hot to be in Parliament, and that I should wait till it was cooler. He asked me to dine with him that day, but I was engaged to the officers who were playing the match, and he then asked me for the next day.

“17th.—I dined with the Duke. . . . Mrs. Harvey and Miss Cator were the only ladies. We were about sixteen or eighteen, I suppose; no strangers but myself. One of the first things said at dinner by the Duke was:—‘Did you see Kinnaird at Brussells, Creevey?’ to which I said:—‘Yes, I saw him on Monday, just on the point of starting for Milan, where he means to spend the next winter.’ Upon which the Duke said:—‘By God! the Austrian Government won’t let him stay there.’—‘Oh impossible,’ I said, ‘upon what pretence can they disturb him?’—and then he paused, and afterwards added:—‘Kinnaird is not at all busy wherever he goes:’ to which I made no answer. This was the year in which Lord Kinnaird took up Marinet from Brussells to Paris, to give evidence about the person who had fired at the Duke in Paris—an affair in which Kinnaird, to my mind,
acted quite right, and Wellington abominably to him in return. . . . In the evening I had a long walk and talk with the Duke in the garden, and he was very agreeable. . . . We talked over English politics, and upon my saying that never Government cut so contemptible a figure as ours did the last session—particularly in the repeated defeats they sustained on the proposals to augment the establishments of the Dukes of
Clarence, Kent and Cumberland upon their marriages, he said:—‘By God! there is a great deal to be said about that. They (the Princes) are the damnedest millstone about the necks of any Government that can be imagined. They have insulted—personally insulted—two thirds of the gentlemen of England; and how can it be wondered at that they take their revenge upon them when they get them in the House of Commons? It is their only opportunity, and I think, by God! they are quite right to use it.’

“18th.—Invited to dine at Lord Hill’s, where the Duke and a great party were to be; but I would not go, because I found [General] Barnes had written to Lord Hill desiring him to ask me.

“23rd.—Dined at Sir Andrew Hamond’s, with Alava,* Hervey, Lord Wm. Russell and the Lord knows who besides. Young Lord William was very good about politics, and civil enough to say he was sorry I was out of Parliament.

No date.—“Dined at Sir Lowry Cole’s† and liked Lady Frances very much—very good-looking, excellent manner and agreeable. That cursed fellow Colonel Stanhope‡ was there amongst others, who I remember was an Opposition man 3 years ago, but who now is in Parliament and a Government lick-spittle. He

* Note by Mr. Creevey.—“The Representative of Spain at the Court of the Bourbons, and at Wellington’s headquarters also—a most upright and incomparable man.”

† Second son of the 1st Earl of Enniskillen: commanded the 4th Division in the Peninsular War, and married a daughter of the 1st Earl of Malmesbury.

‡ Probably the Hon. James Hamilton Stanhope, son of the 3rd Earl Stanhope, and father of the present Mr. Banks Stanhope of Revesby Abbey. Creevey’s uncomplimentary reference is to nothing worse than Stanhope’s change of politics.

made up to me cursedly, but I would not touch him.

No date.—“Dined at Lord Hill’s with my young ladies and Hamilton and a monstrous party, all in a tent at his house four miles from Cambray. I should just as soon have supposed Miss Hill—Lord Hill’s sister—who was there, to have been second-in-command of our army, as Lord Hill, his appearance is so unmilitary.* He and his sister seem excellent people, and Barnes tells me that there cannot be a better second-in-command of an army than Lord Hill. I found Master Stanhope there again, and he wanted me to dine with him, but I would do no such thing. He has no talents: he is all pretension and impudence. Col. Percy† is by far the best hand at conversation of the Duke’s young men.

No date.—“Dined at the Duke of Wellington’s. The ladies were Lady Charlotte Greville and Lady Frances Cole. The Duke began by asking:—‘Well, Creevey, how many votes have the Opposition gained this election? Who is Wilson that is come in for the City, and what side is he of?’ I thought Lady Frances looked rather astounded at such familiarity, and upon such a subject. At dinner he began again:—‘Who is to be your leader in the House of Commons?’ I said they talked of Tierney, but I was quite sure Romilly ought to be the man.—‘Ah,’ he said, ‘Tierney is a sharp fellow, and I am sure will give the Government a good deal of trouble. As for Romilly, I know little of him, but the House of Commons never likes lawyers.’ So I said that was true generally, and justly so, but that poor Horner† had been an exception, and so was Romilly: that they were no ordinary, artificial skirmishing lawyers, speaking from briefs, but that they conveyed to the House, in addition to their talents, the

* Sir Rowland Hill, created Viscount Hill in 1814 for his splendid services in the Peninsular War, was a great favourite with his soldiers, among whom he was known as “Daddy Hill.”

† Fifth son of the 5th Duke of Northumberland; aide-de-camp, first to Sir John Moore, and then to the Duke of Wellington. Carried the Duke’s despatches to London after Waterloo.

Horner died in 1817.

impression of their being really sincere, honest men. I availed myself of this occasion to turn to my next neighbour
Lord W. Russell, and to give him a good lecture upon the great merits of Romilly and the great folly of our party in making Tierney leader, whose life had been in such direct opposition to all Whig principles. I found the young lord quite what a Russell ought to be.

“In the evening I had a walk with the Duke again in the garden, and upon my asking some question about the Regent, as the Duke had just come from England, he said:—‘By God! you never saw such a figure in your life as he is. Then he speaks and swears so like old Falstaff, that damn me if I was not ashamed to walk into a room with him.’

“Our conversation was interrupted by Mrs. Harvey and Miss Cator coming up to the Duke with a Yankee general in their hands—a relation of theirs, just arrived from America—General Harper, whom they presented to the Duke. It is not amiss to see these sisters, Mrs. Harvey and Miss Cator, not content with passing themselves off for tip-top Yankees, but playing much greater people than Lady C. Greville and Lady F. Cole—to me too, who remember their grandfather, old Cator, a captain of an Indiaman in Liverpool; their father an adventurer to America, and know their two aunts now at Liverpool—Mrs. Woodville and another, who move in about the third-rate society of that town.

No date.—“Dined at Sir George Murray’s* with Alava, General Harper and a very large party. I sat next to Harper, who quite came up to my notion of a regular Yankee. I touched him upon the late seizure of the Floridas by the United States, but he was as plausible, cunning and jesuitical as the very devil. He was singularly smug and spruce in his attire, and looked just as old Cator would have looked the first Sunday after a Guinea voyage—in new cloaths from top to bottom. From the Floridas he went to fashionable life, and asked me if he could not live very genteelly in London for £6000 per annum.

* Wellington’s trusted and excellent Quartermaster-General during the Peninsular War.


Sir George was all politeness and good manners, but he is feeble, tho’ they say excellent in his department. He has not a particle of the talent of Barnes, nor do I see any one who has, except the Duke. He [Murray] and his staff—Sir Charles Brooke and Eckersley—are for all the world like three old maids.

“The young ladies and I were at a ball at the Duke’s, and he was very civil to us all, as he always is, and called out to us in going to supper to sup at his table.

Monday [no other date]. . . . Hope of the Staff Corps is to go on Thursday with dispatches to the Duke, and wishes me to go with him as he travels in a cabriolet, which I most cordially consent to do.

Thursday.—Hope and I left Cambray about 5 in the evening—went thro’ St. Quintin, La Fere, &c. I was much interested by Laon and its vicinity, as well on account of its singular position, as having been the theatre of so much fighting between Blucher and Buonaparte in 1814. The vineyards, likewise, on the right hand side of the road and on the slope of the hills before and after Sillery were very pretty. We got to Chalons between four and five, having travelled all night of course, and before the Duke; so we got the postmaster to let us shave and clean ourselves in his house, and that being done, we sallied forth to a restaurateur to dine, leaving a special messenger on the spot to summon Hope the moment the Duke’s courier arrived. Hope was sent for before we had finished, and was at the post house with his dispatches just as the Duke drove up. I followed in a few minutes. Hope had told him I was with him, and when I came he shook hands out of the window. On his expressing some surprise at seeing me there, I told him I was trying how I liked travelling at the expense of Government. The Duke then said:—‘Come on and dine with me at Vitry, Creevey,’ and off he drove.

“We got to Vitry about ten. The Duke had driven much faster than us, so as to have time to answer his letters, and to have the return dispatches ready for Hope. The inn we found him in was the most miserable concern I have ever beheld—so small
and so wretched that after we had entered the gate I could not believe that we were right, till the Duke, who had heard the carriage enter, came out of a little wretched parlour in the gateway, without his hat, and on seeing me said:—‘Come in here,
Creevey: dinner is quite ready.’ Dinner accordingly was brought in by a couple of dirty maids, and it consisted of four dishes—2 partridges at the top, a fowl at the bottom, fricassee of chicken on one side and something equally substantial on the other. The company was the Duke, Count Brozam [?], aide-de-camp to the Emperor of Russia, Hervey, Sir Ulysses de Burgh, Hope and myself. Cathcart and Cradock were not come up, but were expected every moment.

“The Duke had left Paris at 5 in the morning, and had come 130 miles, and a cold fowl was all that had been eaten by his party in the coach during the day. Altho’ the fare was so scanty, the champagne the commonest of stuff, and the house so bad, it seemed to make no impression on the Duke. He seemed quite as pleased and as well satisfied as if he had been in a palace. He and I had a very agreeable conversation for an hour or an hour and a half, principally about improvements going on in France, which had been begun by Buonaparte—land, &c., &c.—and then we all went to bed.

“In the morning we all breakfasted together at five o’clock punctually. Our fare was tea in a great coffee-pot about two feet high. We had cups to drink out of, it is true; but no saucers. The Duke, however, seemed quite as satisfied with everything as the night before; and when I observed, by way of a joke, that I thought the tea not so very bad, considering it was made, I supposed, at Vitry:—‘No,’ said he, with that curious simplicity of his, ‘it is not: I brought it with me from Paris.’

“He gave Cathcart and Cradock a rub for not being up the night before, and then we all got into our carriages—the Duke and suite for Colmar, and Hope and I for Cambray. . . .

Sunday.—Hope and I got back to Cambray at about two o’clock in the afternoon. . . . Lady Aldborough came to Cambray. . . . I am as much convinced as ever that she is the readiest, quickest
person in conversation I have ever seen, but she is a little too much upon the full stretch. Was she quieter, she would be more agreeable. The truth is, however, she knows too well the imprudences of her past life, and she is fighting for her place in society by the perpetual exercise of her talents.

Septr. 8.—On the evening of this day between 5 and 6 I saw the Duke’s coach and six going full speed on the Valenciennes road, and I found after he was running away from the Duke of Kent, who had sent to say he was coming; so the D. of W. dispatched Cathcart to stop him, and went off himself. . . .

Wednesday, 9th.—Barnes and I came over to Valenciennes in his chaise, and got there about half an hour before dinner. I met the Duke in the street, and he asked me laughingly if I had been to call on my friend the Duke of Kent, and said I should meet him at dinner. I thought from this I ought to call, so Barnes, Sir W. W. Wynn (whom I had picked up in the street) and myself went and wrote our names at the Duke of Kent’s. This made us latish for dinner, and when we got there everybody almost was arrived—about sixty in number, I should say. As I was so late, I kept in the background, but the Duke of Kent saw me immediately, and forced his way to me. After shaking hands with me in the most cordial manner, and saying all kinds of civil and apparently most friendly things to me about my own situation (Mrs. Creevey being recently dead and myself being out of Parliament), and the regret of my friends in England at my absence, he began about himself.—‘You may probably be surprised, Mr. Creevey, at seeing me here, considering the illness of my poor mother; but the Queen is a person of the greatest possible firmness of mind, and tho’ she knows perfectly well that her situation is a hopeless one, she would not listen to any offers of mine to remain with her, and indeed nothing but her pressing me to come abroad could have made me do so.’

“The Dutchess of Kent had an old, ugly German female companion with her, and the Duke of Wellington was going about amongst his staff before dinner, saying—‘Who the devil is to take out the maid of
honor?’ and at last said—‘Damme,
Fremantle, find out the Mayor and let him do it.’ So the Mayor of Valenciennes was brought up for the purpose, and a capital figure he was. We had an excellent dinner in a kind of occasional building, and as I got next Lord Arthur Hill* it was a very agreeable one. . . .

Thursday, 10th.—Barnes took me out in his chaise about six or seven miles on the road towards Bouchain, where we found the troops on their ground, and then we got on horseback. The Saxon contingent I thought most beautiful, and the Danes I thought the dirtiest dogs I ever in my life beheld.

“The Duke of Kent’s appearance was atrocious. He was dressed in the jacket and cap of his regiment (the Royals), and but for his blue ribbon and star, he might have passed for an orderly sergeant. The Duke of Wellington’s appearance was, as it always is on such occasions, quite perfect. I have never seen any one to be compared to him. . . . After the review, we went back to Valenciennes, and dined again with the Duke of Wellington. . . . The party to-day was much less—about 40. Lord Darnley, I think, was the only additional stranger. Sir Lowry Cole handed out Mrs. Hamilton, Sir George Murray Miss Ord, and General Barnes Miss E. Ord,† and I got next to old Watkin, and talked over the Westminster election with him. In the evening the Duke gave a ball, which was as crowded as the very devil.

Friday, 11.—This morning Barnes and I set off to see the Russian troops reviewed. . . . The Count Woronzow, Commander-in-chief of the Russians, had sent forty pair of horses with drivers, &c., &c., to bring over such English persons as were to be present. . . . A little short of Bovary we found a relay of 40 other pair of horses standing in the road, and these took us to the ground. . . . Here again Cossack saddle horses were provided by Count Woronzow for all the strangers. . . . We had been all invited beforehand to dine with Count Woronzow, and just as the review was finishing, he rode up to every English carriage to say he was to have a ball in the evening. . . . After

* Afterwards Lord Sandys,

Creevey’s step-daughter.

dinner, the ball opened, when my delight was to see the Mizurko danced by Madame Suwarrow and her brother the
Prince Nariskin, Commander-in-chief of the Cossacks. The Dutchess of Kent waltzed a little, and the Duke of Kent put his hand upon her cheek to feel if she was not too hot. I believe it was this display of tenderness on his part that made the Duke of Wellington turn suddenly to me and say:—‘Well, Creevey, what has passed between you and the Corporal since you have met this time?’ So I told him of our conversation on the Wednesday at his dinner, not omitting, of course, the pathetic part about the Queen; upon which he laid hold of my button and said:—‘God damme! d’ye know what his sisters call him? By God! they call him Joseph Surface!’ and then sent out one of his hearty laughs, that made every one turn about to the right and left to see what was the matter. . . .

“The Duke of Wellington’s constant joking with me about the Duke of Kent was owing to the curious conversation I had with the latter at Brussells in the autumn of 1817, the particulars of which had always amused the Duke of Wellington very much.* . . .

“Saturday.—We were all invited to breakfast at the Count’s [Woronzow] this morning, but we were to go first at 9 o’clock to see the Count’s school, which we did, and saw 400 or 500 private soldiers at their lessons—reading, writing and arithmetic, upon Lancaster’s plan. Nothing could be nicer than the room, or more perfect than the establishment. This education takes eight months, and the whole army goes through it in turn. Besides this, there was another school where shoe-making, tayloring and other things are taught. As the Duke of Kent was to the last degree tiresome in examining all the details of this establishment, and asked questions without end, I expressed some impatience to get to my breakfast, upon which the Duke of Wellington, who heard me, was much amused, and said:—‘I recommend you, whenever you start with any of the Royal family in a morning, and particularly with the Corporal, always to breakfast first.’ I found he and his staff had all

* See vol. i. pp. 268-271.

done so, and his fun was to keep saying all the time we were kept there—‘Voila le monsieur qui n’a pas dejeuné!’ pointing to me.

“I got, however, to my breakfast at last, and found the Dutchess of Kent and other ladies there likewise. . . . I must say the Count Woronzow is one of the most captivating persons I have ever seen. He appears about 35 years of age: there is a polish and a simplicity at the same time in his manner that surpasses anything I have ever seen. He seems all work—all kindness—all good breeding—without a particle of pride, ostentation or affectation. I consider him as one of the greatest curiosities I have ever seen.

September [no date].—I dined at the Duke of Wellington’s, and was much pleased to find the Duc de Richelieu there, whom I had never seen before. He was just arrived, on his way to the Congress at Aix-la-chapelle. The Duke of W. introduced me to him, and I never saw a Frenchman I took such a fancy to before. His excellent manners, his simplicity and his appearance, are most striking and agreeable. We had a small party and no ladies. From Sir George Murray being between the Duc de Richelieu and myself at dinner, and my deaf ear towards him into the bargain, I lost much of his conversation. The Duke of Wellington, however, after Richelieu was gone, told me in conversation what had passed between them, which was not amiss. The D. of R. asked the D. of W. if he had heard what had passed at the Hague the other day at the christening of the Prince of Orange’s second son, to which Wellington replied no. The D. of R. then told him that on that occasion, there being a dinner and fête, the Prince of Orange had made a flaming patriotic oration, in which he had expressed his devotion to his Belgic, as well as his Dutch, compatriots, and concluded by declaring he would sacrifice his life in repelling any power who dared to invade their country. Upon which the Duke of Wellington said to Richelieu:—‘Who the devil does he mean? I suppose you—the French.’—‘No,’ answered Richelieu, ‘it is said he meant you—the English.’ There had been some talk of an army of observation being formed of our troops, to be kept in the Netherlands, so maybe it was an allusion to this.


“I said to the Duke what a pity it was that the Prince of Orange, after distinguishing himself as he had done at Waterloo, should make such a goose of himself: to which Wellington said with his comical simplicity:—‘So it is, but I can’t help it. I have done all I could for him.’

Barnes has told me more than once during my stay at Cambray a fact about the Prince of Orange which, incredible as I at first thought it, must be true: viz.—that the Prince was mad enough to listen to some proposals made to him by certain French exiles as to making him think of France and dethroning old Louis Dix-huit. Kinnaird had often told me there was something of this kind going on, which I quite scouted; and then he told me afterwards, when he was interrogated by the police on the subject of Wellington’s affair, that many questions were put to him on the subject of this plot in favor of the Prince of Orange, and as to what Kinnaird knew about it; but Barnes told me that Fagel, the Minister from the Pays Bas at Paris, told him (Barnes) that all this was perfectly true; and not only so, but that in consequence of it the Prince of Orange had been obliged to answer certain prepared interrogations which were put to him by the allied Sovereigns on this subject. So it must be true, and Wellington of course knew it to be so during this conversation with me.

“We had after this a very long conversation, and quite alone. I apologised for a question I was about to ask him, and begged him if I was doing wrong to tell me so immediately. I said Mrs. Hamilton expected to be confined in eight or ten weeks, and he would do me a signal favor if he would tell me if the army was really to leave France, as in that case she would never run the risque of being confined at Cambray, and left after the army was gone. He answered without the slightest hesitation:—‘Oh, you must remove her certainly. I shall begin to move the army next month, and I hope by the 20th of November to have got everybody away* I shall keep a single battalion for myself, and shall be the last to leave this place . . . so

* The Duke’s farewell to the army of occupation was issued as ordre-du-jour on 30th October.

remove Mrs. Hamilton to Bruxelles or to Mons, but certainly out of France.’

“We then went to politics, and publick men and publick speaking. He said much in favor of Lord Grey’s and Lord Lansdowne’s speaking. Of the former he said that, as leader of the House of Commons he thought his manner and speaking quite perfect; and of Lord Lansdowne* he said that, had he remained in the House of Commons he must have been minister of the country long before this time. ‘But,’ said he, ‘they are lost by being in the House of Lords. Nobody cares a damn for the House of Lords; the House of Commons is everything in England, and the House of Lords nothing.’

“I then favored him with my notions of some on the other side. I said there was no fact I was more convinced of than that Castlereagh would have expired politically in the year 1809—that all the world by common consent had had enough of him, and were tired out—had it not been for the piece of perfidy by Canning to him at that time, and that this, and this alone, had raised him from the dead, and given him his present great position. I then followed up Canning on the score of his infinite meanness in taking his Lisbon job and filling his present inferior situation under Castlereagh, whose present situation he (Canning) held in 1809, and then, forsooth! was too great a man to act with Castlereagh as his inferior.

“All this Wellington listened to, it is true; but he would not touch it,† except by saying he heard Canning and Whitbread have a sparring bout in the House of Commons, and he thought Whitbread had much the best of it. The conversation ended by further remarks about publick speaking.—‘There’s the Duc de Richelieu, for instance,’ he said, ‘altho’ he speaks as Minister, and has everything prepared in writing, you never heard anything so bad in your life as his speaking.’

“It is a very curious thing to have seen so much

* Formerly Lord Henry Petty.

† The old soldier was far too wary to give himself away, knowing, as he must have done, from having heard all about the Duke of Kent’s confession, how freely Creevey repeated confidential conversations.

of the of this said Duke as I have done at different times, considering the impostors that most men in power are—the insufferable pretensions one meets with in every Jack-in-office—the uniform frankness and simplicity of
Wellington in all the conversations I have heard him engaged in, coupled with the unparalleled situation he holds in the world for an English subject, make him to me the most interesting object I have ever seen in my life.”

The following memorandum, suggested by the publication in 1822 of O’Meara’s Voice from St. Helena, refers to the autumn of 1818, immediately before the withdrawal of the Army of Occupation and the Duke of Wellington’s return to England:—


“Having met the Duke of Wellington accidentally in the Park at Brussels, and walked with him at his request to the French Minister’s house, Monr. Mallet du Pan, and having talked a good deal about France now that the Allies had just evacuated it, I said:—

“‘Well now, Duke, let me ask you, don’t you think Lowe a very unnecessarily harsh gaoler of Buonaparte at St. Helena? It is surely very disreputable to us to put any restraint upon him not absolutely necessary for his detention.’*

“‘By God!’ he replied in his usual manner, ‘I don’t know. Buonaparte is so damned intractable a fellow there is no knowing how to deal with him. To be sure, as to the means employed to keep him there, never was anything so damned absurd. I know the island of St. Helena well. I looked at every part of it on my return from the East Indies’—and then he described three or four places as the only ones by which a prisoner could escape, and that they were

* “The irritation displayed by the captive of St. Helena in his bickerings with his gaoler affect most men more than the thought of the nameless thousands whom his insatiable egotism had hurried to the grave.” [Lecky’s European Morals, i. 139, ed. 1869.]

1817-18.]SIR HUDSON LOWE.289
capable of being made quite inaccessible by a mere handful of men. I then said, from what I had seen of Lowe at Brussels in 1814 and 1815, he seemed to me the last man in the world for the general officer, from his fidgetty nature and disposition; upon which the Duke said:—

“‘As for Lowe, he is a damned fool. When I came to Brussels from Vienna in 1815, I found him Quarter-Master-General of the army here, and I presently found the damned fellow would instruct me in the equipment of the army, always producing the Prussians to me as models; so I was obliged to tell him I had commanded a much larger army in the field than any Prussian general, and that I was not to learn from their service how to equip an army. I thought this would have stopped him, but shortly afterwards the damned fellow was at me again about the equipment, &c., of the Prussians; so I was obliged to write home and complain of him, and the Government were kind enough to take him away from me.’

“During the same autumn of 1818, being one night at Lady Charlotte Greville’s, then living at the Hôtel d’Angleterre, the Duke of Wellington coming in asked me if I had any news from England, to which I replied ‘none but newspaper news,’ viz. that the Duke of Wellington was or was going to be Master of the Ordnance: to which he said ‘Ho!’ or ‘Ha!’ but quite gravely, and without any contradiction, so I was sure it was true. From that hour he was an altered man—quite official in everything he said, tho’ still much more natural and accessible than any other official I ever saw, except Fox.

“A day or two after this conversation I met Alava, and, knowing his devotion to the Duke, I asked him what he thought of his new situation. He said he never was more sorry for any event in his life—that the Duke of Wellington ought never to have had anything to do with politicks—that he ought to have remained, not only as the soldier of England, but of Europe, to be ready to appear again at its command whenever his talents and services might be wanted. I have seen a good deal of Alava at different times, and a more upright human being, to all appearance, I never beheld.’


The Opposition, which had lost one of its candidates for leadership in 1815, in the person of Samuel Whitbread, now lost another in Sir Samuel Romilly, and in the same dreadful manner—suicide. In replying to Mr. Bennet’s letter announcing this event, Creevey took occasion to reply also to an earlier one, informing him of Tierney’s election as Opposition leader in the House of Commons, which was little to Creevey’s liking, for he and the rest of “the Mountain” had always derided “Old Mrs. Cole” as too timid for the part.

Mr. Creevey to Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P.
“Brussels, Dec. 30th, 1818.

“. . . I must advert to the great calamity we have all sustained in the death of poor Romilly. His loss is perfectly irreparable. By his courageous and consistent public conduct, united with his known private worth, he was rapidly acquiring an authority over men’s minds that, had his life been spared a few years, would, I think, have equalled, if not surpassed, even that of Mr. Fox. He indeed was a leader, that all true Whigs would have been proud to follow, however his modesty might induce him to decline being called so.

“And now I am brought to the question you propose me—viz.: what I think of your having chosen Tierney for the leader of the Whigs in the House of Commons. In the first place, I think you deceive yourselves by supposing the leader of the Whigs of England to be an article that can be created by election, or merely by giving it that name. A man must make himself such leader by his talents, by his courage, and above all by the excellence and consistency of his publick principles. It was by such means that Fox was our leader without election and that Romilly was becoming so, and believe me, there is no other process by which a leader can be made.

“With respect to the object of your choice—as a piece of humour I consider it quite inimitable, and I
am sure no one can laugh more heartily than
Tierney himself in his sleeve as Leader of the Whigs; indeed his commentary upon the proceeding is very intelligibly, as well as funnily, displayed by his administering a kind of Luddite test to you, which having once signed, you are bound to your captain for better and for worse. . . .”

Follows a very long survey of Tierney’s public career from 1793 onwards, and an expression of opinion that his opposition to Fox, his defence of the East India Company, &c., &c., had for ever disqualified him for the post to which he had been elected.