Edward Law Ellenborough.

A Political Diary 1828-1830, Volume II online

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the road from Frogmore, where the King and Queen were, but no crowd. Near
the town there were a great many waggons. We turned to the right at the end
of the Long Walk and drove through the park to the great gate of the
Castle. Within the court were Horse and Foot Guards. We entered at the
visitors' entrance, and went to St. George's Hall, where we all assembled.
A great many were already come. They began forming the procession at half-
past seven, and it was all formed so as to move before nine. I walked with
Lord Hill. There were ten or twelve barons, a number of judges, six or
eight bishops, and upon the whole a fair representation of the peerage and
the Privy Council. There was a double line of Life Guardsmen within the
castle, without Foot Guards, and the Blues in the chapel. We did not see
the body as we passed. A screen of black concealed the room in which it lay
in state. I imagine the King was in the room. As we returned it was open.

It struck nine as we came to the Round Tower. A rocket was fired as soon as
the body moved, to give notice to Linden for the firing of the minute guns.
The bands of the several regiments played the Dead March in Saul, &c., as
the procession passed. The Foot Guards stood close together with arms
reversed, every fifth man having a flambeau. The platform was, in most
places, open on both sides. There was a good deal of air, but the night was
warm. Had there been rain, or had it been cold, some must have died. There
were but few people on the right of the platform in the inner court, but in
the outer court there was a dense mass of people, and all the roofs were
covered. There was hardly a whisper. All the people seemed very decent in
their dress, and their conduct was perfect. The procession entered at the
great door of the chapel and turned to the left, went down to the end of
the aisle and then turned, facing the door of the inner chapel. In the
space we thus went round were the Eton boys. In the chapel there were some
persons on the right of the altar. I could not well see who they were, as
there was a sort of haze, but they were all in uniform. With this exception
the chapel was empty. We were all placed as we entered in the seats and
stalls. The body was drawn upon a carriage. It was too heavy to be carried.
The King had a vast number of attendants, such as equerries, &c. Half of
them captains in the navy. The attendants pressed rather too close upon
him. He was in black with the collars of all the orders. He nodded
occasionally as he recognised people; but when his countenance was still he
looked very grave. He is become very like his father. The assistant
mourners, who were Lords Goderich, Sidmouth, Granville, Grantham, Carlisle,
and some others, had no seats and stood during the service. The last who
entered were the Guard, the colours preceding. These came half way into the
aisle, the colours depressed. The colonels of the battalions and the
general, Sir H. Vivian, came in with their caps on and swords drawn, and
stood to the right and left of the King, but not near him. The banners were
depressed on the two sides of the grave. Over the grave was a black canopy,
on the top of which was an enormous crown. The music was good. The service
was very ill-read by the Dean Hobart, and the Garter could not make himself
heard when he recited the King's titles. Lord Jersey walked as Lord
Chamberlain, Lord Conyngham as Steward. He broke his staff into the grave.
Lord Cholmondeley was there as Lord Great Chamberlain, and sat on the left
of the aisle in a stall opposite the passage. On the other side was the
Earl Marshal. When all was over the King went out by the small door on the
left near the King's closet, and so by the cloister to the platform. As
soon as he appeared the Guard received him with presented arms and God Save
the King. We all returned by the way we came. There was tea in St. George's
Hall but we went on, and finding Goulburn's servant, followed him to the
carriage, which was on the other side of the entrance gate, and so got away
even before the King. We were at Roehampton by half-past one. The whole
procession lasted about two hours and a half or rather less - that is, from
the first move to the end.

It was very well arranged. Pohlman, our Deputy Black Rod, who is a Herald,
was the acting person, and did his duty admirably. There was no
interruption, no confusion, but everything managed as if we had been
drilled and did the same thing every day. And so King George IV. is gone to
his grave with all the pomp of royalty, and splendid the pageant was; but
it was considered a mere pageant even by his household, who had lived so
intimately with him for years. There was no regret. A coronation could
hardly be gayer; but the procession was gravely done and decently.

The magnificence of the castle aided the spectacle and made royalty appear
almost as imposing in death as at the moment when the Crown was assumed in
the Abbey.

We had supper and they all went to London.

Huskisson and Palmerston were there. Huskisson very sulky and sour.
Palmerston very cordial, as if he thought he might come in, I should be
glad if he did.

It seems the Duke of Buckingham hints that he must have something more than
the stewardship for his seven votes. No one likes his appointment, and we
all feel as if an alliance with the Grenville party would bring us ill-

_July 16._

House. Administration of Justice Bill. A great many amendments made by Lord
Tenterden. We struck out a clause by which Le Blanc would have been obliged
to sit to tax costs every day in the year. Lord Eldon said the Bill as it
was originally drawn was more like a string of resolutions at the London
Tavern than an Act of Parliament.

The Attorney-General was very angry indeed at the alterations made in the
Bill, and threatened to throw it over in the House of Commons.

Nothing said about the Libel law; but Lord Holland is to say something on
the third reading. Sir Jonah's case. W. Goady spoke. He spoke so slow, it
was like a banker paying in sixpences to gain time. He was so dull I went
away for fear of falling asleep. The Duke stayed and slept.

The Duke remained at Windsor all night. I met him as he was coming down to
the office to-day. He said he had remained to see the King and give up to
him the late King's snuff-boxes, &c., which were all in a great box.

Lord Wharncliffe told me he thought Duncombe, Bethel, Lord Morpeth, and
Ramsden would come in for Yorkshire. Afterwards we heard Brougham was to
stand. It will have a very bad effect if Hume and Brougham come in for
great counties. Yet I dare say they will.

Wortley goes down to stand for some Scotch boroughs, which will lead to the
County of Forfar.

Long Wellesley has been arrested by Gosling the Banker for 4,000£, on which
it was found that he had but 3,000£ in the books in the Bank, so he
remained in durance for the other 1,000£ till he found five people, each
willing to be bound for 200£. This disposes of him for Essex. He had given
out that he had 30,000£. An express has been sent off to a Mr. Lloyd, the
son-in-law of the old Eliab Harvey, to stand for Essex. I know the man. He
was at Ryde in 1813, and at Cowes in 1826. His daughters are rather pretty
girls. I suggested Tower, who would have done very well for Essex.

_July 17._

St. James's at 2. The Lord Mayor and Aldermen first came up with their
address, then the same with the Common Council. The King received the
addresses, which were very loyal, on the throne. He read the answers very
well. The Ministers stood on his left and the household on his right. About
seven gentlemen pensioners were on each side from the door to the foot of
the throne. The Lord Mayor, &c., were introduced by the Lord Chamberlain.
It was well done, and is rather an imposing ceremony.

Cabinet. First a question as to what should be done about Ashe, the man who
wrote a libel on the Duke of Cumberland, which he sent to him and now
reclaims. He has written many letters indicative of an intention to
assassinate, and is now come up from Carlisle on foot, and has been walking
opposite the Duke's house for three hours, having first written another
letter of a threatening nature.

Lord Wynford wrote to Peel on the Duke of Cumberland's part; but the Duke
will not exhibit articles of the peace. Colonel Peter gave Ashe 5_s_. and
he went away.

The question was what could be done with him? I suggested that, as in the
case of an expected duel, a magistrate on mere information that a breach of
the peace was apprehended would take persons into custody and hold them to
bail; so here the same thing might be done, one of the letters distinctly
threatening a breach of the peace. This would secure the man till it could
be discovered whether there was legal ground to indict him for the letters.
This will be done.

We then came to the consideration of the East Retford question. All the
press were for giving up the Bill. I took some part in the discussion.
However, Peel was so strongly for the Lords going as the Commons had done,
and for preventing the appearance of disunion in the Cabinet, that his
wishes were acceded to, and we support the Bill. The Duke _thinks_ it will
be thrown out, and I _hope_ it will. It will be very difficult to make a
speech in favour of the Bill which will not commit us to a bad precedent.
However, I shall try. Peel was very obstinate and disagreeable. In fact the
interfering with the existing franchise never was made a Cabinet question.
The giving the franchise to Bassetlaw [Footnote: The Hundred of Bassetlaw,
forming the existing borough of East Retford.] rather than to Birmingham
was, and it was because after an agreement that we should all vote for
Bassetlaw, Huskisson voted for Birmingham and then resigned, that the
separation took place.

These questions never were made Government questions before, and it is much
better they should not be.

Peel thinks he will not be able to oppose reform in general if we do not
show a disposition to punish individual cases of corruption.

I did not get away till seven, and then went to Hardinge's to bring him
down to Wilderness. [Footnote: Seat of Lord Camden, near Sevenoaks.] He
told me the Speaker had been with the Duke and did not resign just now.
There had been a question whether he should not; but it was thought we
might be damaged at the elections if we made any change now. The Duke asked
Hardinge what he thought as to taking Huskisson and Palmerston back again?
Hardinge declared against having Huskisson, but recommended Palmerston. I
dare say as soon as the elections are over something will be done, and that
Palmerston will be offered the Chancellorship of the Exchequer.

Peel once wanted Edward Stanley, but it seems he has wavered a good deal.
Unless his manner should change it would be impossible to go on with him as
Minister; but I trust in God we shall never lose the Duke.

_July 19._

Received at nine a card from Lord Bathurst informing me that the Queen
would be in Downing Street at ten. Went in plain clothes as I was desired.
Found the Queen was to be there to see the Guards, whom the King was to
inspect. The Ministers were invited and the connections of the Bathursts.
We were presented to the Queen, and kissed her hand. After the parade,
which the King attended on foot, he joined the party, and they had
breakfast. However, before that I went away. At one again at St. James's.
The two Universities came up with addresses to the King and Queen. Oxford
first. They very properly put their doctors first. The address was read by
the Vice-Chancellor, and then, after the Queen's reply, the doctors and
proctors, and a few others who formed the deputation, kissed the King's
hand. As the Queen has no separate apartment the King retired, the Queen
entered with her household and ladies, and then the same ceremony was gone
through, the Ministers remaining on the left behind the ladies. The Queen
read pretty well. She was obliged to rise each time to give her hand to be
kissed. Cambridge came afterwards with the Duke of Gloucester and all the
Peers, who belonged to the University, in their gowns at the head. This
destroyed the character of the collegiate body. However, those only were
presented who were presented of the Oxford deputation. The King went beyond
his written speech to the men of Cambridge, and put us in a fright.
However, it was good-humoured, and of no great harm - a sort of joke.

I came away as I had business. Afterwards there was a Council, and the
Lords Lieutenant were admitted to take the oaths.

House. East Retford. The Chancellor made a capital speech, and we had a
better division than case, 29 to 7. Lord Durham spoke temperately and well.
Lord Grey well too. We had Wynford with us. There is no explaining that
man. The Duke of Cumberland voted against us, and Eldon spoke.

At St. James's. Lord Westmoreland told me that yesterday at a great dinner
the King gave his household he gave as a toast, 'The land we live in, and
let those who don't like it leave it.'

This and many other things show his feelings towards the Duke of

The King reviews a regiment every morning this week. He has been on
horseback within these six weeks, but he has a rupture, and is now rather
afraid of riding. He is going to change the uniforms of the Lords

We expect to prorogue on Friday and dissolve on Saturday.

_July 20._

Then East Retford. Lord Wharncliffe moved a resolution with the view of
giving the franchise to Birmingham instead of the Hundred. Dudley spoke for
Birmingham and well. I spoke shortly. I guarded myself against being
considered as pledged to any other measure, intending to decide all
measures according to the special circumstances of the case.

The Duke was not so cautious as I was, and spoke strongly against giving
the franchise to great towns. [Footnote: No one expected it to occur in two
years' time.] Lord Holland said to the Chancellor, 'He will live to see it
done.' I think I may, and therefore was cautious.

We had 39 to 16.

So ends the business of this Session.

_July 21._

Went at ten to the Duke of Wellington's, where the King and Queen were to
breakfast after an inspection of the 2nd Life Guards. The day was beautiful
and the people in excellent humour. The King first went with the Queen to
the Regent's Park barracks, and then to the Knightsbridge barracks. When
they came to the Duke's the King went to the window and was well cheered.
They then called for the Queen, who went to the window and was very well
received indeed.

Yesterday evening the King walked out alone into St. James's Street. He
found Watson Taylor and took his arm. The mob pressed upon him so much that
Watson Taylor's shoes were trodden down at heel. While the King was alone
an Irish woman came out of an alley and kissed him. This and a lecture from
the Duke have cured him of walking out alone. At least he has promised not
to do so again.

House at 2. Aberdeen says the King spoke very well to the foreign Ministers
to-day. There was an extraordinary number of naval officers, and the
fullest _levée_ I ever saw. The King recognised very cordially all his old
friends. He was very gracious indeed to Elphinstone, whom he saw for the
first time. He was imprudent enough to make a sort of speech to the West
Indian deputation, and pledged himself warmly to support their interests.
This I saw. After I was gone I hear Astell and Campbell came up with the
address of the East India Company, and that he spoke in similar terms to
them. This the foolish Astell will publish everywhere.

The Duke says he goes away when the King begins to speak. I really covered
my face when he began to speak about the Catholics to the deputation from
Cambridge. What he said to them, which was no more than an indifferent
joke, has been variously misrepresented and not at all understood. It must
have been imperfectly heard.

The King is angry with the Duke of Gloucester for slurring over a part of
the address from Cambridge, which was very loyal, and for not kissing his
hand. He has reason to complain of this. The Duke of Gloucester kissed the
Queen's hand with marked devotion.

The Duke of Sussex has been already infusing poison into the King's ear and
talking of invasions of the property of the Church. This the King told
Peel. Those who observed the Duke of Sussex at the levee thought he seemed
very triumphant, and received his Whig friends with a smile which said, 'We
shall do them yet.'

He was invested with the Thistle to-day. The King asked all the knights
presented to drink a bottle of claret with him in October.

Blomberg was up with an address. The King said, 'You and I know each other
of old. You need not be presented. By-the-bye, you may as well dine with me

The King made an extemporaneous reply to the address of the Canons of
Windsor the day after the funeral. They begged to have a copy. He
endeavoured to recollect it for them, and sent it to Peel. Peel found some
curious historical inaccuracies.

The Duke of Wellington thinks we shall gradually bring the King round, and
induce him to move more quietly. To thwart him directly would have a bad
effect; but he may be led. In the meantime he is very well in health.

The King has promised to dine with Leopold, who has asked the Duke, but not
Aberdeen. The Duke thinks the King should not dine with him now. The two
other Powers having manifested the greatest dissatisfaction with Leopold's
conduct, and we having intimated it in the House, it would be incongruous
and injurious for the King to dine with him. Leopold has written one if not
two letters complaining of the conduct of the Allied Powers.

We went to the House for fear Lord Durham should play us a trick, and it is
perhaps fortunate we did, for he was there and made a protesting speech,
which was followed by one from Westmoreland on the East Retford Bill.
However, we had a majority in the House, and there was no division.

_July 22._

Rode to town. Cabinet. Considered the King's Speech. Peel had introduced a
plagiarism from the first speech of the old King, 'Born and educated in
this country, I glory in the name of Briton.' However, the whole sentence
would not do, and it was omitted. I assisted in working the sentences into
form, and breaking them up into short ones. Went away to dress for the
Council, thinking the whole settled. Council at three. First the deputies
of the two Houses carried up the joint address respecting Sir Jonah
Barrington. Then the King being alone, and saying he was ready for his
Ministers - none being there but me - I went in, and first asked him to allow
Clare to wear the uniform the late King gave him. This led to a long talk
about uniforms for Indian Governors, and I had some little difficulty to
carry my coat without having a general consideration of the whole question
of Governor's uniforms. I then told the King of the approaching death of
Sir J. Macdonald. He asked whom we proposed sending in his place? I told
him it did not entirely depend upon the King's Ministers, but that I
thought, if we recommended a very fit man, we should get the Chairs to name

The King said, 'You heard what I said to the East India Company yesterday?'
I had not, but I bowed, and he added, 'I told them they should not be
unfairly dealt with. There is a run on them, and the notions of people are
very much exaggerated with regard to the question.'

I said the question would require and receive the most mature consideration
from his Ministers before they ventured to offer any advice to his Majesty
upon the course to be pursued.

The King said in about ten or twelve days he should be able to give me a
day or two for Indian matters.

I thought I had given time to the others to arrive, and rose. I should
mention that he spoke of Algiers, and said he suspected there was an
understanding about it between the Russians and the French.

I said I did not entertain much fear of the French having Algiers. With a
little money we could raise Morocco on one side and Tunis on the other, and
harass them from the interior, and while we took care they had not Tunis,
Algiers was comparatively unimportant. With Tunis, Malta, and Corfu we
should hold our hands across the Mediterranean.

I went out and found them come. The Duke went in. The King gives up dining
with Leopold. He gave it up the moment the objections to it were mentioned
to him.

The speech was, I found, much improved after I went away. The King said he
thought nothing could be better, and indeed it is a very good speech. He
said he thought the reference to the Catholic question was unavoidable, as
it was the great measure of the Parliament; and it was particularly proper
that he should refer to it as he had voted for it, really thinking that the
Church would be more secure by means of Catholic admission than by their

I thought the King seemed a little tired. Well he might be. He had been at
an inspection of troops, the Grenadier Guards and the Lancers, from ten to
one, and the day was very hot. He inspected the troops on foot.

The Duke of Wellington passed the King at the head of his regiment, and
Lord Rosslyn at the head of his. Lord Rosslyn is delighted with the
opportunities of wearing his uniform, and playing the general officer

_July 24._

Council at 11. Parliament dissolved. The seals were delivered to the
Secretaries and to Goulburn. Herries kissed hands.

Sir G. Clark becomes Under-Secretary to the Home Department. W. Peel goes
to the Treasury. Charles Ross comes into Clark's place. Macnaughten goes

_July 26._

Dined at St. James's. The King of Wurtemburg, the Ministers, Foreign
Ministers, Household, and Knights of the Garter there, in all 80. After
dinner the King made a speech which made his Ministers' hearts fail within
them. However, we were _quitte pour la peur_. He only spoke of his love of
peace. The only thing painful was that he should speak at all, and before
his servants, like a chairman of a public meeting.

At the Duke of Wellington's on Sunday he made a speech, praising very much
the Duke, and declaring his entire confidence in him. This was before the
Foreign Ministers. The speech was a little warlike, I believe. The Duke's
reply very short indeed, and peaceful. The King should recollect that what
he speaks is as important as what is written in a State Paper.

_July 28._

Levée. Before it a Council, _standing_, in the King's closet, for swearing
in Privy Councillors. Sir R. Wilson was presented on his restoration to the
army, and holding the King's hand in his expressed his gratitude.

The King made an energetic reply, and then there was a short rejoinder from
Sir R. Wilson. I could not hear what was said. We afterwards shook hands
cordially with Sir R. Wilson, whose restoration pleases everybody.

The French Government have dissolved the Chamber without allowing it to
assemble; have placed the press under restriction, and altered the mode of
electing deputies, so as, as far as I can understand, to give to _les plus
imposis_ the power of electing a majority.

No letter has been received by any Foreign Minister or by us. The whole was
kept a profound secret. The report to the King respecting the press, which
is made the foundation of the Ordonnance, is a long violent declamation,
very weakly written indeed. [Footnote: These were the celebrated Ordinances
which cost Charles X. his crown.]

_July 28._

Cabinet at half-past three. I was rather late, and found them considering
what should be said by Lord Stuart at Paris, respecting the late violent
measures of the French Government. They had decided that Lord Stuart, if
Prince Polignac endeavoured to draw from him in conversation his opinion,
should say he was directed to offer none. They seemed inclined to tell him,
if Prince Polignac required his opinion by offering an explanation, to say
we considered the measure adopted was in violation of the Charter. At my
suggestion, if Polignac asked his opinion more formally and offered no
explanation, he was directed to request the explanation might be in
writing, and he would transmit it to his Court, or it might be made through
the French Ambassador here. The French Ambassador, however, knowing nothing
of what was doing, left England on Monday, and would meet the news on his
road to Paris.

At six o'clock on Tuesday evening a row was going on, and a Guardsman had
been killed. This was resistance when the police broke the types, &c., of a

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Online LibraryEdward Law EllenboroughA Political Diary 1828-1830, Volume II → online text (page 19 of 26)