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The Creevey Papers
Ch XIV: 1837-38

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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CHAPTER XIV., and Last.
Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Jermyn St., Jany. 14th, 1837.

“. . . I am caught at last by that infernal influenza. It’s the most marvellous concern I ever heard of—nothing but common snivelling and wholesome coughing, and yet producing such depression and incapacity as really to be beyond. No appetite, of course.”


“. . . What a figure Peel makes with his Scotch sentiment, his scenery, his young shepherd who was so instructive to hear! The poor Spinning Jenny has acquired great power both of thinking and speaking, but his works of fancy betray his origin. They are as like his father as ever they can be. I heard the father once say:—‘I say, Mr. Speaker, Britannia is seated on a rock!’ Here they are, you see, both alike in their clumsy capers after sentiment. Only think of old Peel and Sheridan! and yet oh dear, oh dear! the difference of their deaths. I should like to have heard old Sherry’s comments upon young Peel’s speeches. . . . I am happy to say that the mischievous crew—Sir Wm. Molesworth, Roebuck, my Napier and Co.—are becoming quite blown upon by their brother Radicals, which will be a monstrous relief to the Government in the approaching session. . . .”

“Brooks’s, March 11th.

“. . . I dined on Sunday at Sefton’s to meet Brougham, with Denman, Radnor and others.
. . . Just as we were going away, Brougham took me aside, and, to my great surprise, asked me if I would dine with him alone as yesterday at 6 o’clock, and that he would show me some most curious correspondence of
George the third. I, of course, expected to be put off every day, but no such thing. . . . After dinner, Brougham read the correspondence to me till between 11 and 12 o’clock and I have much more to come. It consisted of letters from George the 3rd to Lord North as his minister, during the whole of his long administration.* Talk of the Creevey papers, my dear! would that they contained these royal letters! I have never seen anything approaching them in interest—the cleverness of the writer, even in his style—his tyranny—his insight into everything—his criticism upon every publick parliamentary man—his hatred of Lord Chatham and Fox, and all such rebellious subjects—his revenge; but at the same time and throughout, his most consistent and even touching affection for Lord North. . . . You would be amused to see the effect produced upon the Whig Government by this conduct of Brougham to myself. . . . [They are] most desirous for me to make some kind of opening between them and Brougham, for there is no kind of communication between them, and they feel it most unpleasant to see him every night in the House of Lords, and never to feel sure whether he will pounce upon them or not. Oh dear! to think of the prudent Mr. Thomas being called in to settle such matters!”


“. . . Would you believe it that when Brougham was Chancellor he would press the correspondence between George the 3rd and Lord North upon our William, . . . his object being that the King might see what a constant and valuable support his father gave to his Ministers, and so induce King William to do the same; but all the observation he could get from his master was this:—‘George the 3rd, my lord, was a party man, which I am not in the least.’”

* Correspondence of George III. with Lord North from 1768 to 1783, edited by W. Bodham Donne, 1867.

“Brooks’s, April 21.

“As to poor Mrs. Fitzherbert, I wish, as you say, you had some little picture of her. She was the best-hearted and most discreet human being that ever was, to be without a particle of talent. Finding she was in town before Xmas, and dining most days at home with Lady Aldborough, Lady Radnor and others, I made an attempt to be taken into the same party, but entirely failed. Mrs. F. said she had known me formerly, but that I had long ceased to call upon her. My offence I always felt and knew to be my foul language about Prinney when he sought to destroy his wife. Mrs. F. might think that my former intercourse with him should have restrained this vituperation, and that even on her account I shd. have stopt my mouth. Poor thing, I dare say she was right; but it was more than flesh and blood could resist not to have a blow at such a villain in the perpetration of such an act of infamy and oppression. She has left her house in town and her jewels to Mrs. Damer; her house at Brighton and everything else to Mrs. Jerningham. I remember her telling me a great many years ago that she had been offered £20,000 for her town house. She can have left no other property. About a year ago, she deposited all her letters and papers of every description in the hands of the Duke of Wellington and Lord Albemarle, for the purpose of being destroyed by them, as I am told they were; but I shall ask Albemarle for an account of the transaction. She formerly expressed to me great anxiety to have her correspondence published after her death—talked of having two copies made of it for fear of being betrayed by her executors, and at one time I almost thought she would have given me one of such copies. . . . Now then, attend to Albemarle’s account just given to me by him as to Mrs. Fitzherbert’s letters. She gave these letters to Lord Albemarle about fifteen years ago, to be kept by him till further directions; her wish being that after her death they might be published. Upon the death of the late King,* the Duke of Wellington, as his

* George IV.

executor, became possessed of all Mrs. Fitzherbert’s letters, which, singularly enough, had been preserved with equal care by Prinney. Mrs. Fitzherbert applied to the Duke to have her letters restored to her; but he refused, unless she consented to restore the King’s letters likewise. This led to a negociation between the Duke and Albemarle; and finally it was agreed between them, with Mrs. Fitzherbert’s concurrence, that they should all be burnt, and so they were, at Mrs. Fitzherbert’s own house, in the presence of herself, the Duke and Albemarle. Oh dear, oh dear! that I could not have seen them. They begun in 1785 and lasted to 1806—one and twenty years. The last year—1806—was when the young man fell in love with
Lady Hertford, and used to cry, as I have often seen him do, in Mrs. Fitzherbert’s presence. So it was high time for their correspondence to cease.”


“. . . I must let Albemarle rest for the present. His recollections must be full of interesting matter from Mrs. Fitzherbert’s letters, which, at proper seasons, one must endeavour to squeeze out of him. Lady Sefton learnt from Damer Dawson* that both the houses in London and Brighton were left to Minny [Mrs. Dawson-Damer], and £20,000 stock, with all the jewels, and half of her plate; the other half to Mrs. Jerningham, to whom she says in her will she had given £15,000 during her life. £1000 each to her nieces Lady Bathurst and Mrs. Craven, and there are annuities to the amount of £1000 a year, to which Minny is subject till they drop in.

“I must just mention another species of property that our Prinney died possessed of. Perhaps no man, Prince or subject, ever left such a wardrobe behind him as our George the 4th, and the Duke of Wellington, as his executor, had to examine all his coat pockets, in which he found notes without end, broken fans, &c., &c. Now I have not the least doubt that what Lord Cowley told Lady Cowley was strictly true, viz., that the Duke, in telling this to his brother,

* The Right Hon. G. Dawson-Damer, father of the 4th Earl of Portarlington.

1837-38.]DEATH OF WILLIAM IV.321
never let him see any one of these notes, or know any one of their contents. The letters burnt at
Mrs. Fitzherbert’s were so numerous, that they had to stop every now and then, from the excessive heat produced . . . I dine at our Essex’s to-day to meet our ‘Clunch’ Althorp, now Earl Spencer, and, as I hope, Melbourne. . . . I was much amused at seeing our young Victoria playing the popular to her people on the Birthday. She passed this house [Brooks’s] in state—four royal carriages and an escort of Horse Guards. The mother had judiciously chosen a chariot for herself and daughter, so they were both visible to all. The young one was rather too short to nod quite above the door, but she was always at it as well as she could, and the mother looked quite enchanted at her daughter’s reception.”

“May 2.

“. . . Altho’ I had Tavistock* to dinner at Essex’s, as well as Clunch.† it was no great day in point of vivacity. Clunch mutters, and the amiable Tavistock is feeble. One thing I heard from Althorp† which I never knew for certain before, that when Lord Grey’s Government came in, one of their first acts was to offer Burdett a peerage, which he refused. Having known and watched Burdett for nearly 40 years, I am perfectly certain that his present hostility to the Government is attributable to the jealousy of his character. Ever since I have known him, he would have no rival; and the unexpected and successful one he has found in Howick has driven him mad. . . . As you observe, there is a very general impression that Vic is a person with a will of her own.”

On 20th June King William breathed his last, and all eyes were directed upon the maiden who, little as statesmen could expect it of her, was destined to redeem the Monarchy from the dangerous disfavour into which it had been dragged. The circumstances

* Afterwards 7th Duke of Bedford.

The 3rd Earl Spencer.

of the memorable Accession have been told so often that a few quotations only will serve from
Creevey’s abundant references thereto.

“Brooks’s, June 20th.

“I cannot resist telling you that our dear little Queen in every respect is perfection. I learnt first of all from the Duke of Argyll that, all the Privy Councillors being assembled round the Council table, the Dukes of Cumberland and Sussex went into an adjoining room, and conducted the Queen in. She took her chair at the head of the table and read her declaration in the most perfect manner possible, and with a most powerful and charming voice. I have since had all the particulars from Tavistock, who had them from Melbourne himself. She sent for him at once, and begged him to draw up the declaration she ought to make; which of course he did, and everybody says it is admirable. She then put herself entirely in his hands in the best possible manner. . . . Poor dear King William’s last act was signing pardons. Dear Lady Sefton has just been crying to me on horseback in the street at her early and royal friend dying so beautifully.”*

“July 24th.

“. . . Friday I dined at Rogers’s, and thought I understood from him that Lady Holland was to be my only companion, my lord being picked up by the Queen. Instead of that, however, I found in addition to Madagascar, Lord and Lady Langdale, the American Minister (Stevenson) and his lady, Lady Seymour, Mrs. Abercromby, Lord Minto, Pow Thompson, Miss Rogers and Allen. . . . I sat between Lady Langdale and Mrs. Abercromby . . . the only drawback to our communications was that I presently found we three had only three ears between us.

“On Saturday I dined at Dulwich; dinner in the picture gallery for 30—a triennial dinner to savants and virtuosos. Our artists were Chantrey, Wilson, Barry, Wilkie, &c., &c.,—our Mecænases, Lansdowne,

* See vol. ii. p. 212.

1837-38.]THE YOUNG QUEEN.323
Sutherland and Argyll, the latter of whom carried me in his barouche—poets and wags, Rogers, Sidney Smith and Creevey! . . . I think the only thing I have to tell you of our dear Queen is Argyll’s description of her reception of Lyndhurst on the levee day. She had shown her usual pretty manner to those who preceded Lyndhurst; but when his turn arrived, she drew up as if she had seen a snake, and Lyndhurst turn’d as red as fire and afterwards looked as fierce as a fiend. Lord Grey . . . says that in the House of Lords he actually cried from pleasure at the Queen’s voice and speech; and he added that, after seeing and hearing three Sovereigns of England, the present one surpasses them all—easy—in every respect.”


“. . . A word or two about Vic. She is as much idolised as ever, except by the Duchess of Sutherland, who received a very proper snub from her two days ago. She was half an hour late for dinner, so little Vic told her that she hoped it might not happen another time; for, tho’ she did not mind in the least waiting herself, it was very unpleasant to keep her company waiting. One day at dinner Lady Georgiana Grey sat next Madame Lutzen, a German who has been Vic’s governess from her cradle; and according to her there never was so perfect a creature. She said that now Vic was at work from morning to night; and that, even when her maid was combing out her hair, she was surrounded by official boxes and reading official papers.”

Earl of Essex to Mr. Creevey.
“9, Belgrave Square, 7 Aug., 1837.
“Dear Creevey,

“The Duke of Sussex has at last decided to dine here next Saturday the 12th. Therefore I hope I shall see you on that day. . . . Lord Munster has pleaded in forma pauperis to retain the round Tower at Windsor, and I hear pays about £1000 a year. The Duke of Sussex in the handsomest manner
possible gave up his claim, and the
Queen most kindly returned the baton to Lord Munster, who will of course vote against us. . . . So the Duchess of St. Albans is dead, and Lyndhurst married at Paris to Lewis Goldsmith’s daughter. There are two great people amply provided for!”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Brooks’s, Sept. 6th.

“. . . Lady Tavistock and I had a most confidential walk and talk. You have heard me say what a gaby she is; but she is all truth and daylight. She told me she was in the second carriage after Vic on Sunday at Windsor; and that the Queen according to her custom, being cold in the carriage, had got out to walk, and of course all her ladies had to do the same; and the ground being very wet their feet soon got into the same state. Poor dear Lady Tavistock, when she got back to the Castle, could get at no dry stockings, her maid being out and her cloathes all locked up. . . . I am sure from Lady Tavistock that she thinks the Queen a resolute little tit. . . .”

“Jermyn Street, Sept. 22.

“. . . I have taken to Wellington and his dispatches again, and the more I read of him the fonder I am of him. He really is in every respect a perfect man. . . . Palmerston was very communicative at Stoke as to the great merits of the Queen. He said that any Ministers who had to deal with her would soon find she was no ordinary person; and when Lady Sefton observed what credit it did the Duchess of Kent to have made her what she was, Palmerston said the Duchess of Kent had every kind of merit, but that the Queen had an understanding of her own that could have been made by no one. . . . Lady Charlemont succeeded Lady Tavistock the other day [in waiting at Windsor]. She is very, very blue, and asked Lady T. if she might take any books out of the library. ‘Oh yes, my dear,’ said Lady Tavistock, not knowing what reading means, ‘as many as you like;’ upon which
Lady Charlemont swept away a whole row, and was carrying them away in her apron. Passing thro’ the gallery in this state, whom should she meet but little Vic! Great was her perturbation, for in the first place a low curtsy was necessary, and what was to come of the books, for they must curtsy too. Then to be found with all this property within the first half hour of her coming, and before even she had seen Vic! . . . But Vic was very much amused with the thing altogether, laughed heartily and was as good humoured as ever she could be. . . .”

“Brighton, Oct. 9th.

“. . . Now for Brighton! Barry, my dear, it is detestable: the crowd of unknown human beings is not to be endured. . . . Whether it is a natural sentiment or not, I don’t know, or whether I mistake ennui for it, but I have a strong touch of melancholy in comparing Brighton of the present with times gone by. Death has made great havoc in a very short time with our Royalties of the Pavilion—Prinney and ‘brother William,’ Duke of York and Duke of Kent, all gone, and all represented now by little Vic only. Is it not highly dramatic that the Duke of Kent should have announced to me in 1818, upon Princess Charlotte’s death, that he was going to marry for the succession, and named his bride to me; and here she is, with the successor by her side, and what is to become of her, or how she is to turn out, who shall say?

“. . . In talking to Lady Cowper of Lord Melbourne, and, as I suppose, of his health, Vic said:—‘He eats too much, and I often tell him so. Indeed I do so myself, and my doctor has ordered me not to eat luncheon any more.’—‘And does your Majesty quite obey him?’ asked Lady Cowper. ‘Why yes, I think I do,’ said Vic, ‘for I only eat a little broth.’ Now I think a little Queen taking care of her Prime Minister’s stomach, he being nearly sixty, is everything one could wish! If the Tory press could get hold of this fact, what fun they would make of it. . . . The Duchess of Kent plays whist every night, and a horrible player she is. Vicky, I am happy to say, always plays chess with Melbourne when he is there.”

“Brighton, Oct. 13th.

“. . . Yesterday Lady Sefton, her two eldest daughters and myself, sallied forth in the yellow coach to dine with the Queen at our own old Pavilion. Lord Headfort, a chattering, capering, spindle-shanked gaby, was in waiting, and handed Lady Sefton into the drawing-room, where I was glad to see Glenelg, and besides him were Tom Bland and a Portuguese diplomat, as black in the face as one’s hat, but with a star on his stomach, I assure you! Presently Headfort was summoned away, and on his return he came up to me with his antics and said:—‘Mr. Creevey, you are to sit on the Duchess of Kent’s right hand at dinner.’—Oh, the fright I was in about my right ear! . . Here comes in the Queen, the Duchess of Kent the least bit in the world behind her, all her ladies in a row still more behind; Lord Conyngham and Cavendish on each flank of the Queen. . . . She was told by Lord Conyngham that I had not been presented, upon which a scene took place that to me was truly distressing. The poor little thing could not get her glove off. I never was so annoyed in my life; yet what could I do? but she blushed and laughed and pulled, till the thing was done, and I kissed her hand. . . . Then to dinner. . . . The Duchess of Kent was agreeable and chatty, and she said:—‘Shall we drink some wine?’ My eyes, however, all the while were fixed upon Vic To mitigate the harshness of any criticism I may pronounce upon her manners, let me express my conviction that she and her mother are one. I never saw a more pretty or natural devotion than she shows to her mother in everything, and I reckon this as by far the most amiable, as well as valuable, disposition to start with in the fearful struggle she has in life before her. Now for her appearance—but all in the strictest confidence. A more homely little being you never beheld, when she is at her ease, and she is evidently dying to be always more so. She laughs in real earnest, opening her mouth as wide as it can go, showing not very pretty gums. . . . She eats quite as heartily as she laughs, I think I may say she gobbles. . . . She blushes and laughs every instant in so natural a way as to disarm anybody. Her voice is perfect, and
so is the expression of her face, when she means to say or do a pretty thing. . . . At night I played two rubbers of whist, one against the Duchess of Kent, and one as her partner. . . . The Queen, in leaving the room at night, came across quite up to me, and said:—‘How long do you stay at Brighton, Mr. Creevey?’ Which I presume could mean nothing else than another rubber for her mother. So it’s all mighty well.”

Countess Grey to Mr. Creevey.
“Howick, Oct. 10th.

“. . . I hope you are amused at the report of Lord Melbourne being likely to marry the Queen. For my part I have no objection. I am inclined to be very loyal and fond of her; she seems to be so considerate and good-natured, and I am particularly pleased with her just now for having sent to desire Caroline* to bring her little girl with her when she is to be in waiting.”

Marquess Wellesley to Mr. Creevey.
“Hurlingham House, Fulham, Oct. 28th, 1837.
“My dear Mr. Creevey,

“In returning my grateful thanks for your very kind congratulations,† I trust you will believe that I fully appreciate their value. You are not of that sect of philologists who hold the use of language to be the concealment of thought, nor of that tribe of thinkers whose thoughts require concealment. You would not congratulate me on the accession of any false honor, the result of prejudice or error or of the passionate caprice of party, or of idle vanity, or of any transient effusion of the folly of the present hour; but you think the deliberate approbation of my Government in India declared by the Court of Directors (after the lapse of thirty years—after full experience of consequences and results, and after full knowledge of all

* Lady Caroline Barrington, Lady Grey’s daughter.

† The East India Company, with whom Wellesley had been at sore issue in the early years of the century, had just voted £20,000 to purchase an annuity for him.

my motives, objects and principles) a just cause of satisfaction to me. . . . In truth they have awarded to me an inestimable meed of honor, which has healed much deep sorrow, and which will render the close of a long public life not only tranquil and happy, but bright and glorious. . . . Our friend
Sir John Harvey most appropriately has been dubbed a Governor. What wisdom in those who made the appointment! ‘Il est du bois dont on fait les gouverneurs.’ He was certainly born ‘your Excellency.’ I think I see him strutting up to his petty throne, preceded by Harry Grey, Ellice, Shaw, Carnac, &c., with his stomach doubly embroidered; condescending to let an occasional foul pun now and then with majestic benignity.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Jermyn St., Nov. 3.

“Both Melbourne and Lord and Lady John Russell wanted much to know from the Seftons how it was that I had amused the Duchess of Kent. The only solution I can offer is this. By common consent, the Royal evenings are the dullest possible, and no one presumes to attempt to make them livelier. The Duchess of Kent is supposed to play at cards to keep herself awake—scarcely ever with success. I can imagine, therefore, a little running fire of a wag tickling her ears at the time, and leaving a little deposit on her memory. I know no other ground on which I can build my fame. . . . Just let me mention that the Sir John Harvey, mentioned in Wellesley’s letter as the new governor of Prince Edward’s Island, was at the head of the police when I was in Dublin, and I met him at dinner at the Lord Lieut.’s [Wellesley]—a large, handsome man, but by far the most vulgar would-be gentleman you ever beheld, extremely dressy withal, and my lord always remembered my asking—‘Who was the gentleman with the embroidered stomach?’”

“Jermyn St., Nov. 10th.

“Let me see; where am I to begin with my past movements. Suppose I say Sunday last, when I was
told by
Stephenson that the Duke of Sussex desired particularly that I would dine with him; so I was obliged to excuse myself to my Essex, where I was engaged to meet Sydney Smith. I have yet to learn why I was so specially summoned by little Sussex, as there were only his household—Ciss* and the men—with Charley Gore and me, and nothing said worth remembering. . . . Monday at Essex’s, with the accustomed sprinkling of artists, which I am quite accustomed to, and indeed like. Tuesday at Charles Fox’s, Addison Road—no joke as to distance; 8 shillings coach hire out and back, besides turnpikes! The company—Madagascar.† Allen, Babbage the philosopher, Hamick (Lord Grey’s doctor and baronet), Van de Weyer, Belgian Minister, Hedworth Lambton‡ and wife, an unknown man, and Melbourne. . . . In the evening we had the bride, Lady Winchilsea,§ of whom I had heard so much; she certainly did appear to me as beautiful a woman as I had ever seen. Wednesday at Powell’s: company—Duke of Norfolk, Albemarle, old Billy Russell,‖ Stephenson Blount and myself.

“. . . I dined on this day week at Brougham’s—a duet; and a more artificial chap I never had to do with; except, indeed, that his temper not infrequently betrayed him, and shewed him in a state of the most spiteful insurrection against the present Govt. You see he is distinctly shewing his teeth in the Lords, and will fasten them on the Government before he is a few days older. I quite approve of what he has already said there, tho’ not of his spiteful motives in doing it.”

* The Duke of Sussex’s wife, Lady Cecilia Buggin, afterwards created Duchess of Inverness.

Lady Holland.

‡ Younger brother of the 1st Earl of Durham.

§ Daughter of the Right Hon. Sir Charles Bagot.

Lord William Russell, son of the 4th Duke of Bedford: murdered by his valet, 1840.

“Dec. 4th.

“. . . I met Hayter one day this week at Lord Essex’s, and asked him to tell me anything new about the little Queen. He said she was quite as amiable and kind and lively as ever. He has got on a good way with the State picture he is making of her. She said to him the other day:—‘I am very curious to know how you mean to place my hands. Just take them and place them as you intend in the picture.’ A very delicate commission to execute, as Hayter observed; but he did so; and then the Queen turned to Lady Mulgrave and said:—‘I have often thought, if I had to paint a Queen, how I would place her hands; and, curiously enough, this is the very position I had hit on.””


“. . . Cutlar Ferguson* is most enthusiastic about the Queen. He has had to lay before her about twenty Courts Martial—only think of such a subject for a girl of 18! After seeing the Judge Advocate, she is closeted with the Commander-in-chief, Lord Hill, upon the same matter; and Ferguson tells me that both Lord Hill and himself are lost in astonishment at the manner in which she makes herself understand these matters. Ferguson dined at the palace a few nights ago—one of the fog nights—so that when he arrived he found to his horror that the Queen had been at dinner 20 minutes. When he was about to take the opportunity after dinner of apologising for being so late, the Queen begun first by saying:—‘I said before dinner, I am sure Mr. Ferguson is stopt in the Park by the fog’ Is she not a handy little Vic? . . .”

Lady Louisa Molyneux to Mr. Creevey.
“Arlington St., Dec. 26, 1837.

“. . . Punch Greville is at present our best resource, and Poodle Byng now and then drops in, it would be ungrateful to say, without contributing

* Judge Advocate General.

much to our amusement. We have been tempted today to go to the Magnetism—a most disagreeable sight; but nobody can persuade me it is a sham. Its utility may be a question, but it is impossible to see the poor people of all ages—some quite children out of the hospitals—under the influence, and suppose they have been taught to impose upon you. The best part of the entertainment was
Lady Aldborough in an opera hat, large diamond ear-rings, and rouged up to the eyes, trying to put the operator out of countenance by her noisy questions, and bouncing out of the room, declaring disbelief in the whole thing. . . .”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Holkham, Dec. 29th.

“. . . I had this cold on me before I left London; it did not, however, prevent me from dancing down twenty-five couples in a country dance last night—my partner, Dowager Anson. It was the usual Xmas ball for servants in the audit room. . . . The Earl of Leicester, aged 85, opened the ball. He is a marvellous man, but I think he is going out, tho’ he burns as bright as bright to the last.* Ellice was a real treasure to me during our two days’ journey down here. No one is more mixed up with passing events in the world than he is. He hears daily from Melbourne, and I know to a turn the present rickety nature of poor Melbourne’s cabinet.”

“Holkham, Jany. 3rd, 1838.

“. . . The worst thing of all for the Government is this. Aber, even our own Aber,† won’t stand any longer being given up to be devoured by the dogs of the House of Commons, and no Ministers of the Crown to protect him. I saw from the first, when he was left unprotected, and when he made his pathetic and most unsuccessful appeal to the House to rally round him, that he was done. Of all the mistakes John Russell

* He died in 1842, outliving Creevey by four years.

† The Speaker.

has made, and they have been numerous, this is the greatest, and in my opinion it is irreparable. It is the first instance in the history of the House of Commons of the Speaker being publickly worried by its members and the Government to sit by and take no part. . . . Then, alas! tho’ last, not least, . . . in truth little
Vic and her mother are not one, tho’ Melbourne knows of no other cause of this disunion than Conroy, whom the Duchess of Kent sees still almost daily, and for a long time together. Melbourne speaks of the young one with the same enthusiasm as ever, and has the highest opinion possible of her understanding. The part she at present plays is putting herself unreservedly into the exclusive management of Melbourne, without apparently thinking of any one else. This, at all events, must be a great relief and support to him, whilst it lasts. In the midst of one’s croaking, there is another source of consolation—that the Tories never appeared in a more forlorn and shattered condition, or less likely to turn all our blunders to their own advantage. . . . Lord Leicester shoots daily; amongst other companions and competitors are his 3 sons. The eldest, Lord Coke,* aged 15, on Xmas Day shot 5 woodcock, and always shoots from 30 to 40 head daily.”

“Jermyn Street, 17th.

“You see, my dear, that towards the end of last week our Ellice received a dispatch from Lord Durham saying he had accepted the mission to Canada, but that he could do nothing without Ellice. So we left Holkham on Saturday. . . . My companion continued to the last as communicative as ever. . . . Lord Leicester is a marvellous man in everything, but above all in his clear and perspicuous telling of stories, of which he has great abundance. I was much amused one day when he was driving me, upon Lady Holland’s name being mentioned, he said to me:—‘I hope we shall find Charles Fox and Charlie Gore when we get home. I am very fond of Charles Fox, and particularly of Lady Mary.’ I remarked that I had never heard of Lord Holland being at

* The present Earl of Leicester.

Holkham, and yet that of course he must have been. ‘No,’ said he, ‘his uncle
Charles used to live here, and I have often asked Lord Holland, but of course he would not come without Lady Holland, and it was quite out of the question my asking her. I dine at Lord Holland’s now and then. When I do so, I am as attentive as I ought to be to Lady Holland, and there is no kind of flattery she does not apply to me; but it won’t do! She is not a woman I approve of at all. I am only surprised that so many people have been bullied by her to letting her into their houses. For myself, I have always made up my mind that she should never enter mine.’ Bravo! King Tom. What a charming subject to plague her with the first time she gives me any offence. . . . Certain it is that this Holkham is by far the greatest curiosity in England.”

Lady Louisa Molyneux to Mr. Creevey.
“Arlington St., Jan. 17th, 1838.

“. . . Papa has found some amusement in a book that occupies everybody now—more, it appears, from its atrocity than from any merit it has—Memoires et correspondence of Queen Caroline, edited by Lady Charlotte Bury, in which there are so many bad stories ill told, and so many personal remarks on living people, that I cannot imagine anybody ever speaking to her again. Her name is not to the book, but everybody knows it is hers.

Poodle Byng, &c., have tried, it seems, rather a dangerous experiment with the [new] House of Commons, by which they lighted it so brilliantly that you could read the smallest print; and if you held a candle to the paper it added no light to the dazzling glare, which came from 5000 apertures in gas-pipes between the roofs, where the thermometer was at 120, and kept rising! They had fire engines in attendance, and a hose laid along every gas-pipe for fear of accidents; but they will not venture to try it again. . . . Think of Lord Foley having sold Witley to Ld. Ward* for £890,000! He was some little time

* Created Earl of Dudley in 1860.

in making up his mind to part with the place they were all so fond of; but he will now have £19,000 a year without any debt, instead of being the wretched impoverished man he was.* I have had a letter from
Alava, who says of Sir John Colborne†:—‘J’ai grande confiance dans Colborne—officier du premier ordre, très aimé et tres estimé tant de Sir J. Moore comme du Duc de Wellington, et quel bel éloge! Il est non seulement excellent militaire, mais qualified pour toute espèce de commandement, et d’une moralité et probité dignes d’autres temps.’

“The burning of the Royal Exchange has put the City in great dismay. They are very quiet, and were to give £16,000 this morning at 9 o’clock for a house in Lombard Street, to go on with at present, and meet there at twelve. I hope the poor bells chiming their death song brought tears into your eyes.”

Mr. Creevey to Miss Ord.
“Jermyn St., 27th.

“. . . I have really been so disturbed in my mind by this Canada Bill that I could not write till its fate was decided. I am at a loss for words to express my contempt for the Government in the endless bungling they have made on this occasion. Never was there such a piece of luck for them as the Canada rebellion, its speedy reduction, and, above all, the opportunity it afforded of considering past errors and making a wise and just arrangement for the future. All mankind was with them upon this subject; but some maniac or demon in their counsels would mar all these advantages by the manner or form of their Bill of Redress. I said from the first that every word uttered by Peel was gospel, and that nothing was left for the Government but to go down on their marrowbones and to withdraw the gratuitous, useless and unconstitutional parts of their own Bill. To think, too, of their volunteering Glenelg’s instructions to Durham. . . . Well, but now let me have done with

* See vol. ii. p. 253.

† Created Lord Seaton in 1839. Was Governor-General of Canada.

1837-38.]WHERE SHALL I GO NEXT?335
this disgusting hash, and where shall I go next? Why, to Earl Durham himself, I think, with whom I dined at the
Duke of Norfolk’s on Tuesday, and no one could be more affable and conciliatory than our Canada chief. He had seen the Queen that morning, and I made him describe the meeting. After being presented by Glenelg, the Queen made a sign to the latter to withdraw, and then some conversation took place between the Queen and her Ambassador, in which the latter [Durham] expressed his earnest hopes that he might enjoy her Majesty’s permission to extend her clemency in any degree towards her revolted Canadian subjects. This she accorded in the fullest and most gracious manner. Durham was full of her praises—of her sense and excellent manners, but he admitted to me that neither on that occasion nor any other did she utter a word to him on what we call politics.

A propos to our little Vic—we are all enchanted with her for her munificence to the Fitzclarences. Besides their pensions out of the public pension list, they had nearly £10,000 a year given them by their father* out of his privy purse, every farthing of which the Queen continues out of her privy purse, with quantities of other such things. For an instance within my own knowledge—Sir John Lade, a very rich man, and once the greatest crony of George the 4th when Prince of Wales, was reduced to beggary at last by having kept such good company; so much so, that Lord Anglesey, who had lived with both, went to our Prinney† and actually made him give Lade £500 a year out of his privy purse. When brother William came to the throne, he continued £300 a year to Lade out of his privy purse; but upon the accession of Vic it was supposed there would be an end of it altogether. As poor Lade was a brother whip and crony of Sefton, I saw letters from him imploring Sefton’s interest with Melbourne for a continuance of a portion of this pension, however small; but Melbourne in reply, however friendly he might be, could hold out no prospect of relief for him. Think, therefore, of me being the first to tell Sefton last night

* William IV. George IV.

what Melbourne told me in the course of the day. The Queen’s pleasure had been taken as to the further reduction or extinction of this charge upon the privy purse, when she asked if Sir John Lade was not above 80 years of age, and being answered in the affirmative, she said she would neither have the pension enquired into nor reduced, but continued on her own privy purse. . . . I wish that conceited puppy
Howick* had resigned and absconded from the Cabinet when he announced his intention to Ellice at Holkham to do so. It is quite clear that all this mischief has arisen from his obstinacy and the foolish attempt of his colleagues to satisfy or pacify him; and the latter object seems to have been accomplished at the expense and to the eternal disgrace, I fear, of his betters.”

Here the letters suddenly cease. These lines must have been among the last from Mr. Creevey’s industrious pen, and lend a peculiar significance to the enquiry contained in them—“Where shall I go next?” Of the manner of his death or of those who tended him in his last illness, nothing is known. He died early in February, 1838, wanting but two or three weeks to complete his seventieth year.

* Afterwards 3rd Earl Grey.