LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
‣ Correspondence
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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Page 161.

I copy a letter from Admiral Johnstone Hope, with whom I co-operated some time in promoting the Edinburgh memorial to Lord Melville:—

“Shackell, Moffat, August 22nd, 1814.


“Your letter to me at Leith was sent to me here. I take the earliest opportunity to thank you for your offer to expedite my views respecting the erecting a monument to the late Lord Melville. It had been long in contemplation with myself and some other sea officers here, and we took our resolution to try its success upon the paying off the fleet, in hopes that the Navy alone might furnish the funds to make one of a suitable grandeur to be placed on the top of Arthur’s Seat, a hill in the middle of the county his Lordship so long represented, and which is seen from more than half the counties of Scotland, and a considerable way into the sea also, and a leading feature to ships entering the Frith of Edinburgh. How far these expectations may be realised as yet we have not had time to ascertain, as a great part of the fleet is still in commission; but I believe a very favourable disposition has been shown as far as it has gone; and I have certainly done all in my power to forward its publicity.

“The Captains of my squadron here have subscribed from five to three guineas a-piece, Lieutenants one, and several others a week’s pay; in short, as it is a matter entirely voluntary, I do
not wish to appear to fix any sort of modus, and I hope this will make it appear a spontaneous offering of regard, in a greater degree than by fixing a stipulated sum for every rank.

“If I should, however, not be able to raise funds enough in this way, I shall certainly have recourse to a more extended subscription, rather than give up the idea of placing it on Arthur’s Seat; and it will most certainly be a gratifying thing to my feelings, were you to be instrumental, through your paper, in forwarding this object, which I believe your former letter has already done to a certain degree, as several officers spoke to me, who had read it, and highly approved of the suggestions it contained.

“I am, Sir,
“Your most obedient and
“Very humble Servant,

“Eartham, Petworth, January 10th, 1815.


“I return you the foolish and illiberal paragraph enclosed in your letter of yesterday.

“It is scarcely deserving of any other notice than that which has already been bestowed upon it in the ‘Sun’ of yesterday; unless you should think it worth while to remark, that his accounts from Lisbon are much of the same stamp with those which announce the speedy return of the Duncan. I am satisfied that there are no accounts of Mr. C.’s reception at the Court of the Regency, or of his demeanour and proceedings in his public capacity at Lisbon; and if the M. C. should be challenged to produce any such account, or to refer to it in the possession of any other person, he will not be able to meet the challenge.

“I have only received two lines from Mr. Canning since his arrival; merely to announce that he had been confined by an attack of the gout from the time of his having landed, and that he must, for that reason, postpone writing more at length till a future opportunity.


“I shall be glad to see you whenever you may wish it, on my return to town.

“I remain, Sir,
“Your most obedient
“Humble servant,

“Eartham, January 23rd, 1815.


“When your letter of the 20th reached this place, I was absent from home.

“I read with much pleasure your article respecting the Liverpool proceedings, in the ‘Sun’ of Saturday. The conduct of the Opposition at that place, and of the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ co-operating with them, towards Mr. Gladstone, has been most shameful.

“If he had kept Lord Liverpool’s communication to himself, they would have made this reserve on a matter which interested the public, the ground of charge against him; when he communicated the substance of it not only to his political friends, but liberally to a few of the other party, some of their connections immediately set to work to misrepresent the object of the communication, and to make it the pretext for a coarse personal attack on Mr. Gladstone.

“I have letters from Mr. Canning of the 31st of December. He was recovered from his attack of the gout, and had been introduced to deliver his credentials. He mentions nothing of a public nature. I am sorry to collect from other sources that he will find it very difficult to maintain a proper state of Representation within the limits of his allowance. Next to Madrid, Lisbon is the Court of Europe where Representation is of the most consequence; and the Ambassadors of Spain and France will be enabled to outdo our Representative in this particular. This, however, is a subject which I do not wish to have noticed, at least for the present.

“I remain, Sir,
“Your most obedient
“Humble servant,

“Liverpool, January 23rd, 1815


“Permit me to express to you my acknowledgments for repelling so ably the gross and malignant attacks which the Editors of the ‘Morning Chronicle’ and ‘Globe’ have directed at me. I do not know what can be said more on this subject, where the honest conclusions are so obvious; those who will shut and keep their eyes shut, will not and cannot see: to convert them is hopeless, but truth must ultimately prevail.

“The Editor of the ‘Liverpool Courier’ assures me that his paper of next Wednesday (which I will take care to forward to you) will contain a faithful report of what was stated by me at the public meeting here, on Tuesday last; when you receive it, you will judge what part, on the whole, it may be advisable to give to the public through the medium of wide circulation, which your paper affords. When I addressed my letter to the Editors of both, my great and leading object was to prevent my Lord Liverpool’s letter being made the subject of that gross misrepresentation which was so evidently the object of the party; I thought little of myself. In this it appears I failed; and thence the cup of malevolence has been emptied, propped up by every species of falsehood and misconstruction. Our Town Hall may contain, when crowded, one thousand people; five thousand were assembled on that day to fill it, but the Opposition, ever active and industrious, had at an early hour blockaded the doors, and, with few exceptions, filled the room. I was determined to be there, and, with much difficulty, got in. I wish I could have united my voice to others on the subject of the Mayor’s impartiality, but I am sorry to say that it was marked by the most improper leaning to the party; indeed, the results, as described by themselves, afford ample evidence of this fact; those who are acquainted with the local circumstances, and traits of character and conduct here, perfectly understand this. A counterrepresentation, signed, in a few hours, by above sixty of the most respectable inhabitants here (and the most wealthy), recommending that no steps should be taken to embarrass the Legislature, in a choice of difficulties, was presented to him, but it
was of no avail; and I have no hesitation in stating it as my opinion, to you, that here, as at Bristol, this is the sense of the respectable part of the community. Though unsupported in public, and unconnected with the Government, I have not hesitated to state my opinions fully and fairly to the world, and I do trust that the Government will not be induced by clamour to shrink from their duty on this very important occasion. With gratitude and respect, believe me to be, Sir,

“Your most obedient Servant,

“Clifton, August 26th, 1815.

Dear Jerdan,

“I have been travelling from Cheltenham to various places, and that must be my apology for not having answered your kind and obliging letter of the 19th inst.

“I like the specimen from Paris so well, that I long to see more of these letters. The pamphlet is indeed able. You did right to get these communications under my cover.

“I am much better for my quiet, and trip to Cheltenham and to this place. I pursue the route of Hereford, Worcester, and Birmingham here, and hope speedily to take you by the hand.

“Your threatened ‘public assault’ upon me will not, I am sure, make me too prominent nor too kind. I have a plain honesty, but few pretensions beyond those of wishing to act honestly and uprightly.

“Ever yours truly,

“General Post Office, May 22nd, 1816.

Dear Jerdan,

“I have had a long interview, and in result I have only to communicate that Mr. A. promises to have some discussion with Lord Liverpool upon the subject as soon as possible.


“I have fully discharged my duty in the case, and do not feel that any interference of mine can accelerate or influence the decision, be it what it may.

“Believe me, always
“Yours, with sincere regard,

“2, Fludyer Street, February 27th, 1817.

Dear Sir,

“In consequence of an intimation of yours on a late occasion, of a wish to have been apprised of the probability of Mr. C.’s speaking at considerable length upon a subject of general interest, I am enabled to apprise you of such probability tomorrow night, on the third reading of the Sedition Bills. The time will depend much, of course, upon the turn of the debate, but it will doubtless be towards the conclusion.

“I regret exceedingly that his excellent speech on Tuesday night (in the debate on the Lords of the Admiralty) was so imperfectly given in all the papers. Indeed, few speeches had ever so little justice done to them. With reference to the influence of the Crown, he took a masterly view of the difference between the theoretical and the practical constitution of the Government, and boldly maintained—what many feel, but few in the House dare to avow (or are competent to make such avowal without imminent danger, on so delicate a subject)—that the existence of the influence of the Crown in the House of Commons is indispensable to the preservation of the spirit of the Constitution.

“I write these few words to leave, if I should not be fortunate enough to find you within when I call.

“I am, dear Sir,
“Yours sincerely,