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The life and correspondence of the Right Honble Henry Addington, first viscount Sidmouth (Volume 3) online

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1809, 1810.

Lord Sidmouth receives a last Letter and Visit from Mr. Windham,
Death of that Statesman. Resignation and Death of the Duke of
Portland. Mr. Perceval is charged with the Formation of an Ad-
ministration. His Overture to Lords Grey and Grenville rejected.
His Advances to Lord Sidmouth's Friends, through Lord Chatham,
declined. He writes to Lord Sidmouth. Remarks. Messrs. Bathurst
and Vansittart decline Office. A new Government formed. Position
of Lord Sidmouth and his Friends. His Lordship's Interview with
Lord Grenville, who declines to explain himself on the Catholic
Question. Letters from Earl Powis and Lord Ellenborough. Lord
Sidmouth's intended Line of Conduct. He recovers his Health
Dines with Mr. Wilberforce. Votes with the Government on Lord
Grenville's Amendment But with the Opposition on the Walcheren
Question. Differs from Lord Grenville on the Subject of defending
Portugal. Letter from the Duke of Wellington. Lord Sidmouth
holds a Conversation with Mr. Perceval. His Speech on the State of
the Finances - -_- Page 1


1810, 1811.

Return of the King's Malady. Lord Sidmouth supports the Govern-
ment on the Regency Question. Conduct of the King's Government
in 1801 and 1804 respecting his Majesty's Illnesses arraigned in
Parliament, and successfully defended. Lord Sidmouth's Bill respect-
ing the Licences of Protestant Dissenting Ministers. Return of
Licences taken out in the County of Middlesex. Singular Circum-
stances at the Quarter Sessions for Stafford. Various Testimony to
the Abuses of the Toleration Act. Lord Sidmouth's Bill, on the

A 3


first lU'adni^, excites great Alarm amongst Dissenters. Is objected
to by the Wesleyans, and opposed by the Three Denominations.
Letters from Dr. Adam Clarke, Mr. Belsham, and Mr. Wilberforce.
The Measure disapproved of by the Latter, who, in 1797, dissuaded
Mr. Pitt from introducing a Bill which went farther than the present.
Anxiety of Mr. Perceval and Lord Liverpool. Second Reading of
the Bill negatived. Subsequent Act of 52 Geo. III. c. 155., for
further Relief of Dissenters. Death of Lady Sidmouth - Page 32


1812, 1813.

Lord Sidmouth resumes his Interest in public Affairs. Communicates
with Mr. Perceval on the Expiration of the restricted Regency.
Accepts the Office of President of the Council. Assassination of
Mr. Perceval. Negotiations for the Formation of a new Adminis-
tration. Lord Liverpool becomes Premier. Lord Sidmouth accepts
the Seals of the Home Department Difficulties of that Position.
Prevalence of Luddism Origin of the Term. The Claims of the
Roman Catholics no longer made a Cabinet Question. Letter from
Sir Edward Pellew. Lord Sidmouth takes Measures to suppress
Disturbances in Nottinghamshire. Moves Parliament to refer Papers
on the Subject to a Secret Committee. Introduces a Bill for the
Preservation of the public Peace. Letter from Major Seale. Luddites'
Oath. Lord Sidmouth supports the Repeal of the Orders in Council.
Letter of Lord Fitzwilliam. War declared by America. Disturbances
at Sheffield. Letter from Colonel Lany. Mistaken Lenity shown
by the Judge on former Occasions. General Election. Special Com-
mission recommended by Lord Fitzwilliam. Lord Sidmouth to
T. Babington, Esq. and Lord Eldon. Special Commission opened at
York. Numerous Convictions. Severe but necessary Retribution
Salutary Effects of this Example. Military Protection diminished.
Correspondence with Lord Fitzwilliam and General Maitland. Lord
Sidmouth appointed Lord High Steward of Westminster. The
Catholic Question. Episcopacy in India. Letters from Dr. A. Clarke,
Lord Holland, Mr. Rufus King, Mr. Inglis, and Colonel Allan.
Promotion of Dr. Hovvley to the See of London - - 71



Downfall of Napoleon. Restoration of the Bourbons. Lord Sidmouth
accompanies Louis XVIII. to Dover. Visit of the Allied Sovereigns
to England. Lord Sidmouth receives Presents from the Princess
Louise of Prussia And from the Emperor Alexander. Visits Devon-
shire. His Opinion on the American War. Disturbances in London
respecting the Corn Law. Lord Sidmouth's Opinion on that Subject.


Escape of Napoleon, and Renewal of the War. Arrival of the De-
spatches from Waterloo. Results of the Victory. Letter from Lord
Ellenborough on the Treatment proper for Napoleon. Letters to
Sir T. Maitland, Mr. Bathurst, and the Duke of Newcastle, and from
Lord Buckinghamshire and the Duke of Newcastle. Continental
Arrangements concluded, and approved of by Lord Liverpool and
Lord Sidmouth. Their permanent good Results. Lord Sidmouth
an early advocate for Church Extension. He corresponds with Dr.
Wordsworth on the Question. Letter to Mr. J. C. Hobhouse re-
specting his Work on the late Reign of Napoleon. Death of Mr.
Sheridan, and of Mr. James Adams. Expedition to Algiers. Re-
newal of Disturbances in the Manufacturing Districts, chiefly caused
by Depression of Prices, unfavourable Season, and Want of Employ-
ment. Sentiments of the Duke of Rutland. Riots at Littleport and
Ely. Trial of the Offenders. Disaffection in Nottingham. Letters
from Admiral Frank, Lord Darlington, Lord Eldon, and Mr. Legli
Keck. Disturbances at Merthyr Tydvil. Extreme Deficiency of
Means at Lord Sidmouth's Disposal to put down Disaffection. He
favours Emigration. Meetings at Spa Fields. Insurrection of the
second of December. Rioters separate after wounding Mr. Platt.
Course pursued by Lord Sidmouth. His Letter to the Speaker.
His Conduct generally approved of. Letter from Lord Redes-
dale ___-_- Page 114



Increasing Tranquillity of the Kingdom in the Beginning of 1817
This Prospect speedily changed. Hunt's Tour in the West. Mr.
Nadin's Report of the Disaffection of Manchester, and threatening
State of the Manufacturing District generally. Letter from Dr. Adam
Clarke on the Times. Attack on the Prince Regent when returning
from opening Parliament. Papers referred to secret Committees and
Reports thereon. Lord Sidmouth's Speech on moving the second
Reading of the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Motion opposed by
Lords Wellesley, Grey, and Holland Supported by Lord Grenville.
That and three other Bills passed. Lord Sidmouth's circular Letter
to Lords Lieutenant attacked in Parliament His Defence of, and
Statement of the Benefit produced by, his Circular. Letter from the
Duke of Northumberland. Correspondence with the Prince Regent.
Conviction and Execution of Luddites at Leicester. Insurrection at
South Wingfield, Derbyshire. Progress of the Insurgents A Man
shot They are dispersed by a Party of Dragoons. Criminals tried
under a special Commission, and three of them executed. Second
Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act carried in Parliament. Em-
ployment of Informers by the Government justified Reflections
thereon. Correspondence between Lord Sidmouth and Sir John
Byng. Mr. Henry Hobhouse appointed Under Secretary in the Home
Office. Liberation of some of the Parties confined under the Sus-


Act Mrrciful Treatment of one of those Person*. Lord
Sidmouth goes to Malvern Receives the Freedoms of Worcester,
Tewkesbury, and vesham. Improved State of the Country in the
Autumn of 1817 Correspondence with Lords Kenyon and Exmouth
thereon. Attempt to create a Disturbance on Tower Hill. Letters
of Approbation from Dr. Adam Clarke and Lord Colchester. Death
of the Princess Charlotte of Wales Grief of the Regent and Royal
Family. Acquittal of Mr. Hone for publishing blasphemous Parodies
Reflections thereon - - Page l6'3



The Prince Regent's Acknowledgment of Lord Sidmouth's Services.
Lord Sidmouth receives a Challenge from Thistlewood. The Re-
gent's Speech on opening Parliament. Church-Building Act. Lord
Sidmouth proposes Repeal of the Suspension Act Debate. He
answers Lord Holland's Attack on Government. Debate on the
Indemnity Bill in the House of Lords. Letters from Lord Sidmouth
to Lord Chichester and from Lord Exmouth to Lord Sidmouth.
Illness and Death of Mr. John Hiley Addington. Commission of
Inquiry into the Charities of England. Mr. Brougham's zealous
Promotion of that Object. Care with which Lord Sidmouth selected
Commissioners under the Act. Letter from Lord Sidmouth to Mr.
Bathurst on the Subject. Disturbances at Manchester in September,
1818. Death of her Majesty Queen Charlotte. Letter from Sir
Herbert Taylor to Lord Sidmouth, and from the latter to Earl Tal-
bot. Lord Ellenborough 's first Illness at Christmas, 1816. His
Lordship's Visit to Paris in 1817. His Letters to Lord Sidmouth.
Religious Tone of his Mind a Prayer composed by him. From
Lord'Eldon to Lord Sidmouth on Lord Ellenborough s ill Health.
Lord Ellenborough intimates to Lord Sidmouth his intended Retire-
ment in consequence of a Failure of Vision. He writes a Letter of
Resignation to Lord Eldon. He signs his Resignation. His Death.



1818, 1819.

Letter from the Earl of Sheffield to Viscount Sidmouth. The Duke of
Wellington enters the Cabinet. Opening of the new Parliament.
Business of the Session. Progress of Disaffection. Letter from
Lord Sidmouth to Lord Fitzwilliam. Great Meeting at Birming-
ham. Sir Charles Wolseley elected a Legislatorial Attorney. A
Constable shot. Lords Lieutenant at their Posts. Letters from the
Dukes of Newcastle and Devonshire. Meeting appointed in Man-
chester for the l6th of August. Preparations. Difficulty of ascer-
taining the precise Moment to quell a Riot. Instructions given by


Lord Sidmouth prior to the Meeting. Preparations made by the
Magistrates at Manchester. Sir William JollifFe's Account of the
Military Proceedings on the Day of the Meeting. Sentiments of
Lord Sidmouth on receiving the Intelligence. He considers it his
Duty to support the Magistrates. His Letter to the Lords Lieute-
nant, conveying the Regent's Thanks to the Magistrates. His Argu-
ment in Defence of this Step. Letter from Sir Benjamin Bloomfield,
conveying the high Approbation of the Prince Regent. Hunt and
his Associates indicted for Conspiracy. Bills found. The Opposi-
tion strongly disapprove of the Conduct of the Magistrates and the
Government. They commence the System of calling Public Meet-
ings. Address of the City of London utterly inconsistent with the
Facts. Yorkshire County Meeting. Dismissal of Lord Fitzwilliam.
That Step approved by Mr. Banks and Mr. Wilberforce.

Page 241



The Violence of County Meetings checked by the Vigour of the Go-
vernment. Lord Sidmouth recommends counter Declarations. His
Correspondence with Edmond Wodehouse, Esq., M. P., Lord Dar-
lington, and others. Government blamed by its Friends for Supine-
ness. Lord Sidmouth justifies the Government in a Letter to Lord
Lascelles. He discloses his Plan for remedying the existing Evils to
Lord Liverpool, and recommends the early Meeting of Parliament,
to which his Lordship at last assents. The Prince Regent calls on
Lord Sidmouth to devise remedial Measures. Lord Sidmouth en-
gages in the Task with the Assistance of Lord Eldon. Letters from
Lord Eldon to Lord Sidmouth. His Opinion that the Meeting at
Manchester was a rebellious Riot. Proofs of the Necessity of an
Augmentation of the Army. Serious Riots at Paisley. Rapid
Transfer of Troops to Scotland. Spirited and patriotic Conduct of
the Prince Regent. Able-bodied Pensioners called out for Garrison
Duty. Disposition of the Troops. Duke of Wellington's Instruc-
tions to Sir J. Byng on the Subject. Lord Sidmouth receives a Let-
ter from his Grace. He writes to Sir J. Byng, Mr. Bathurst, and
Mr. Yorke. Meeting of Parliament. Lord Grey's Amendment,
calling for Inquiry into the Proceedings of the l6th of August.
Lord Sidmouth's Reply. Large Majorities in favour of Government.
Select Papers presented by Government to the House. Analysis of
the Four Acts introduced by Lord Sidmouth, and of Two Acts in-
troduced by Lords Eldon and Castlereagh. Conviction of Mr. Hunt
and his Associates - - 274



Formation of Veteran Battalions. The Yeomanry augmented. Salu-
tary Effect of the recent Acts of Parliament. Death of King


George III. and of the Duke of Kent. Letter from the Princess
of II.'ssc Homburg. Alarming Illness of the new King. Difference
between George IV. and his Ministers. Plot to assassinate the
King's Ministers long known to the Government. Difficulty felt in
dealing with it. Plan for the Arrest of the Conspirators. Source
from whence Government derived its Information. Circumstances
attending the Arrest of the Conspirators. Public Indignation on
the Subject. The Conspirators committed for High Treason.
The King's Approval of Lord Sidmouth's Conduct. The Trial
and Execution of the Conspirators. Falsehood and Absurdity
of the Plea that they were seduced by Edwards. Congratulations.
Spirit of Disaffection not yet wholly subdued. The Duke of Wel-
lington recommends calling out the Militia. The Queen returns to
England. Bill of Pains and Penalties. Lord Sidmouth orders the
Dispersion of the Mob at Charing Cross. Progress of the Queen's
Trial. Termination of the Proceedings against her Majesty, a
Triumph to neither Party. The Queen's Visit to St. Paul's Cathe-
dral. Lord Sidmouth to the Bishop of Landaff. Effect of the
Trial on the Position of the King's Government. Resignation of
Mr. Canning. Anxiety of Lord Liverpool. Lord Sidmouth asks
Mr. Bathurst to take Mr. Canning's Office pro tcmpore. Lord Sid-
mouth to Lord Hastings and Lord Exmouth on the State of Public
Affairs - - - Page 305



Favourable Change in public Opinion respecting the Ministers. Cor-
respondence with Sir Walter Scott. The Catholic Question Let-
ters of Dr. Adam Clarke and Dr. Rennell on that Subject. Lord
Sidmouth's Speech on the Question. He meditates an early Retire-
ment from Office accompanies the King to Ireland. His Corre-
spondence from Dublin details the King's Proceedings to Lord
Liverpool. Death of the Queen Lord Liverpool to Lord Sidmouth
on that Subject. Lord Liverpool to Lord Sidmouth, detailing the
Circumstances of the Removal of the Queen's Remains on the 14th
of August. Abstract of the military Proceedings on that Day. Lord
Stowell to Lord Sidmouth. The King's Proceedings in Dublin.
His valedictory Advice to his Irish Subjects. The King visits Ger-
many. Lord Sidmouth one of the Lords Justices. Recommence-
ment of Disturbances in Ireland - - - 341


1821, 1822.

Change in the Irish Government. Lord Sidmouth's Letters to Earl
Talbot and Mr. Grant, announcing the Appointment of Marquis


Wellesley and Mr. Goulburn. His Correspondence with Lord Wel-
lesley, Lord Londonderry, and Lord Manners, on Irish Affairs. Mr.
Plunkett appointed Attorney- General in Ireland. Accession of the
Grenville Party to the Government. Letters to and from Lord
Wellesley. Lord Sidmouth resolves to retire from Office Corre-
sponds with his Friends on the Subject. Mr. Peel selected as his
Successor. Letters from Mr. Peel to Lord Sidmouth and Lord
Stowell. Lord Sidmouth resigns the Seals on the l?th of January.
Receives Letters from Lord Liverpool, Lord Eldon, Mr. Justice
Park, Dr. Adam Clarke, Bishop of Raphoe, &c. &c. on his Retire-
ment. Complimentary Address from the Magistrates of Lancashire.

Page 374



Motion in the House of Commons respecting Lord Sidmouth's Pension
rejected by a triumphant Majority. His Lordship goes to Town on
the Death of Lord Londonderry, and attends the Funeral. His
second Marriage, to the Hon. Mrs. Townsend, Daughter of Lord
Stowell. He resigns his Seat in the Cabinet the Grounds of his
Resignation considered. He divides his Time between Richmond
Park and Early Court Makes Two Excursions to the Continent.
Sudden Illness of Lord Liverpool, and consequent Dissolution of the
Government. Lord Sidmouth's Anxiety at the Aspect of the Times.
His Letter to his Daughter and Son-in-Law. Death of the Duke of
York. Lord Sidmouth's Opinion of the Corn Law. He supports
the Duke of Wellington's Administration. He acquiesces in the
Repeal of the Test Act. He converses with the Prime Minister at
the Cabinet Dinner, on the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, which he
strenuously opposes. He speaks on the Second Reading of the Bill.
Death of George IV. The Government, being out- voted in the
House of Commons on the Civil List, resigns. Lord Grey's Admi-
nistration introduces the Reform Bill, which is rejected by the House
of Lords. The second Reform Bill introduced. Ministers resign,
but are re-appointed. The Bill carried. Correspondence between
the Duke of Wellington, Lord Sidmouth, and the Rev. John Keble,
respecting his Grace's Bust. Lord Sidmouth discontinues his At-
tendance in Parliament. He survives nearly all his Friends. Prayers
composed by Mr. Tierney. Deaths of Mr. Bathurst, Bishop Hun-
tingford, Lord Exmouth, Lord Stowell, Lord Eldon, Duke of Gor-
don, Lord Wellesley, and others. Lord Sidmouth resigns his Pen-
sion. Death of Lady Sidmouth Lord Sidmouth's chastened Sub-
mission, and timely Preparations for his own Departure. His last
Illness and Death - 405




1809, 1810.

Lord Sidmouth receives a last Letter and Visit from Mr.
Windham. Death of that Statesman. Resignation and
Death of the Duke of Portland. Mr. Perceval is
charged with the Formation of an Administration. His
Overture to Lords Grey and Grenville rejected. His
Advances to Lord Sidmouttts Friends, through Lord
Chatham, declined. He writes to Lord Sidmouth. Re-
marks. Messrs. Bathurst and Vansittart decline Office.
A new Government formed. Position of Lord Sidmouth
and his Friends. His Lordship's Interview with Lord Gren-
ville, who declines to explain himself on the Catholic Ques-
tion. Letters from Earl Powis and Lord Ellenborough.
Lord SidmoutKs intended Line of Conduct. He recovers
his Health Dines with Mr. Wilberforce. Votes with the
Government on Lord Grenville's Amendment But with
the Opposition on the Walcheren Question. Differs from
Lord Grenville on the Subject of defending Portugal. Letter
from the Duke of Wellington. Lord Sidmouth holds a
Conversation with Mr. Perceval. His Speech on the State of
the Finances.

SHORTLY after the prorogation of parliament, Lord
Sidmouth received that visit from Mr. Windham, at



which the latter announced the change in his opinion
respecting the expediency of the peace of Amiens,
which has been mentioned in the last volume.* A
portion of Mr. Windham's letter on that occasion has
been already presented ; and the remainder, which is
chiefly remarkable as the last communication which
his Lordship received from that high-minded states-
man, will now be added :

" Beaconsfield, July 20th, 1809.

" You see from whence I date, and will equally conceive
the melancholy recollections which must mix with many
satisfactions which I find here. ' * * Of what prodigious
use a mind of such power, a character of such energy, and a
name of such authority as Burke's might be at present ! I
have been reading, within this day or two, the four orations
of Demosthenes against Philip. It is curious to observe how
very exact the application is to the circumstances of our
times. There is a part of one of them the third, I think
that might be translated almost word for word. Mrs. Clarke's
letter you will have read with great delight. The value is
inestimable, if it were only for the schism that it must make
in that Church. The female saint must, I think, have the
greatest share of the worship. She will certainly stand
highest in the estimation of those who are only lookers on in
the controversy. I do not know what will be settled by the
synod whenever it may meet. I shall certainly be avocato
del diavolo against the canonisation of St. Guyllin" (Colonel

* Vol. II. p. 52.

f It is believed that only one other meeting occurred between
Lord Sidmouth and Mr. Windham, which the former thus de-
scribed in a letter to Lord Buckinghamshire, dated October the
18th, 1809 : "Windham called here yesterday and sent in his
name. I saw him, though in my nightcap. He sat an hour, and
we talked over the present state of things pretty fully. On the


The close of this eventful summer was remarkable
for those dissensions in the cabinet which led to a
duel between two of its members, and the virtual dis-
solution of the Duke of Portland's feeble administra-
tion. This " strange political hurricane," as Lord
Sidmouth termed it, occasioned his Lordship much
anxiety, and involved him in a correspondence
with numerous parties, which, though fraught
with interest, is found too voluminous for insertion.
The reader, therefore, it is hoped, will readily

Catholic question I spoke to him in the same strain as that in
which I wrote to Lord Grenville. He was quite as reasonable as
I should have expected ; but I am still apprehensive that the weak-
ness of the present government may encourage the two Lords G.
to hold a high language on the subject. Windham seems to have
no communication with Lord Grenville." Mr. Windham died on
the 4th of June, in the following year (1810). Lord Sidmouth,
who greatly admired his frank, honourable, and manly character,
was deeply affected by his illness, the progress of which he de-
scribed to his brother in several letters, from which a few passages
are now selected. "May 26th. Windham underwent an operation
last week for the extraction of a large substance from his thigh.
He seemed tolerably well for a few days, but yesterday there
were apprehensions for his safety. The anxiety for him is
general. Indeed, in most respects, 'quando ullum invenies parem.' "
"May 28th. I grieve to tell you that Windham is much worse.
He went to the Charterhouse the day before he underwent the
operation, and received the sacrament from the Master (Dr. Philip
Fisher), from whom I had the information." "June 2d.

' Fall'n is Glenartney's stateliest tree,
You ne'er will see Lord Ronald more.'

There is not a ray of hope. Yesterday Windham said that he
considered himself as severed from the world, and to-day it is
thought the scene will close. I have never observed a feeling at
once so strong, and universal as that which has been excited on
this occasion."

B 2


accept in its place the following outline of the
transactions described therein. On the resigna-
tion, early in September, of the Duke of Port-
land, which was followed almost immediately by his
Grace's death, Mr. Perceval was charged with the
reconstruction of the Ministry, an object which
evidently could not be effected in a satisfactory
manner from the fragments of the former cabinet.
He, therefore, made overtures to Lords Grey and
Grenville, " for forming an extended and combined
administration," which, it is scarcely necessary to add,
were immediately declined. " To such a proposition,
indeed, as Lord Grenville observed when forwarding
the correspondence on the subject to Lord Sidmouth,
" the answer could not be difficult. The only point
doubtful was whether it was worth coming to town
for such a purpose." This Lord Grey decided in the
negative, but Lord Grenville in the affirmative ; the
latter "being guided," he said, "by the resolution to
give no pretence for imputing to him, however unjustly,
any disrespect to the King's commands."* Disap-

* Lord Grenville, by expressing himself somewhat ambiguously
in his second letter to Mr. Perceval, had exposed himself to the
suspicion that he still entertained an idea of forcing the King's
conscience respecting the Catholic question. " He objected," he
said, " to the principle of the Duke of Portland's government, and
the circumstances attending its formation." These words Mr.
Perceval considered " could only apply to the measure which led
to the dissolution of Lord Grenville's own administration," and he

Online LibraryGeorge PellewThe life and correspondence of the Right Honble Henry Addington, first viscount Sidmouth (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 38)