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H. o. GADNJ-:Y.

Bookseller,
The Turl, Oxford.



WILLIAM PITT

AND

NATIONAL REVIVAL

*



BY THE SAME AUTHOR



Fifth Edition. With many Maps and Plans and numerous

Illustrations from contemporary paintings ; rare prints

and engravings, medals, etc.

In Two Volumes, Large Post 8vo. i8s. net.
Also a Cheaper Edition, without the Illustrations, 2 vols. los. net.

THE LIFE OF NAPOLEON I

INCLUDING NEW MATERIALS FROM THE BRITISH
OFFICIAL RECORDS



Second Edition, revised. Post 8vo. $s. net.

NAPOLEONIC STUDIES



LONDON: G. BELL AND SONS, LTD.



WILLIAM PITT

AND

NATIONAL REVIVAL



BY

J. HOLLAND ROSE, Lnr.D.



A rarer spirit never

Did steer humanity ; but you, gods, will give us
Some faults to make us men.

SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra.




LONDON
G. BELL AND SONS, LTD.

1911



r

*



CH1SWICK PRESS: CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.
TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.



T>A

522
TIKI**

mi



PREFACE

IN this volume I seek to describe the work of national
revival carried out by William Pitt the Younger up
to the time of the commencement of friction with Re-
volutionary France, completing the story of his life
in a volume entitled "William Pitt and the Great War."
No apology is needed for an attempt to write a detailed
description of his career. The task has not been essayed
since the year 1862, when the fifth Earl Stanhope pub-
lished his monumental work; and at that time the archives
of the Foreign Office, War Office, Admiralty, and Home
Office were not open for research in the period in question.
Excellent monographs on Pitt were given to the world
by Lord Rosebery and Mr. Charles Whibley in the years
1891 and 1906, but they were too brief to admit of an
adequate treatment of the masses of new materials
relating to that career. Of late these have been greatly
augmented by the inclusion among the national archives
of the Pitt Manuscripts, which comprise thousands of
letters and memoranda hitherto little used. In recent
years also the records of the Foreign Office and Home
Office have become available for study, and at many
points have yielded proofs of the influence which Pitt
exerted on the foreign and domestic policy of Great
Britain. Further, by the great kindness of the Countess
Stanhope and Mr. E. G. Pretyman, M.P., I was enabled
to utilize the Pitt Manuscripts preserved at Chevening
and Orwell Park; and both His Grace the Duke of
Portland and the Earl of Harrowby generously placed



VI



PREFACE



at my disposal unpublished correspondence of Pitt with
their ancestors. These new sources render it necessary
to reconstruct no small portion of his life.

Among recent publications bearing on this subject,
the most important is that of " The Manuscripts of
J. B. Fortescue, Esq.," preserved at Dropmore (Hist.
MSS. Comm., 7 vols., 1892-1910), the seventh volume
of which comprises details respecting the death of
Pitt. This collection, containing many new letters of
George III, Pitt, Lord Grenville, and British am-
bassadors, has proved of incalculable service. Many
Memoirs, both English and foreign, have appeared of
late. Among foreign historians who have dealt with
this period, Sorel holds the first place; but his nar-
rative is often defective on English affairs, to which
he gave too little attention. The recent monograph of
Dr. Felix Salomon on the early part of Pitt's career
(Leipzig, 1901), and those of Herren Beer, Heidrich,
Luckwaldt, Uhlmann, Vivenot, and Wittichen on German
affairs, have been of service, as well as those of Ballot,
Chassin, and Pallain on Anglo-French relations. The bias
of Lecky against Pitt detracts somewhat from the value
of the latter part of his work, " England in the Eighteenth
Century " ; and I have been able to throw new light on
episodes which he treated inadequately.

Sometimes my narrative may seem to diverge far from
the immediate incidents of the life of Pitt; but the
enigmas in which it abounds can be solved only by a
study of the policy of his rivals or allies at Paris, The
Hague, Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, and St. Petersburg.
These questions have not received due attention from
English students; for Lecky did not treat the period
1 793' * 800 except in regard to Irish affairs. Accordingly,
while by no means neglecting the private and social life
of Pitt, I have sought in this volume to describe his



PREFACE vii

achievements during the period dominated by Catharine
of Russia, Joseph of Austria, and Mirabeau. That age
is also memorable for political, fiscal, and social develop-
ments of high interest; and I have dealt with them as
fully as possible, often with the aid of new materials
drawn from Pitt's papers. It being impossible to extend
the limits of this work, I ask the forbearance of specialists
for not treating those problems more fully. It is a bio-
graphy, not a series of monographs; and I have every-
where sought to keep the figure of Pitt in the foreground.
New letters of George III, Pitt, Grenville, Windham,
Burke, Canning, etc., which could only be referred to here,
will be published in a volume entitled " Pitt and Napoleon
Miscellanies," containing also essays and notes.

I wish to thank not only those whose generous assist-
ance I have already acknowledged, but also Mr. Hubert
Hall, of the Public Record Office, for advice given during
my researches; the Rev. William Hunt, D.Litt, for a
thorough recension of the proofs of this work; the
Masters of Trinity College and Peterhouse, Cambridge ;
Professor Firth, and Mr. G. P. Gooch, M.A., for valued
suggestions; the Ven. Archdeacon Cunningham and Mr.
Hewins for assistance on economic subjects; M. Ray-
mond Guyot and Herr Doctor Luckwaldt for in-
formation on French and German affairs; also Mr. E. G.
Pretyman, M.P., for permission to reproduce the por-
trait of the first Countess of Chatham; Mr. R. A. Tatton,
for similar permission to include Gainsborough's por-
trait of William Pitt; and last, but not least, Mr. A. M.
Broadley for the communication of new letters relating
to Pitt and his friends.

J. H. R.

FEBRUARY 1911.



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

INTRODUCTION i

I. EARLY YEARS 34

II. AT CAMBRIDGE 50

III. POLITICAL APPRENTICESHIP . . ^ v ; . 63

IV. AT WESTMINSTER AND GOOSTREE'S ... 76
V. THE PEACE WITH AMERICA .... 97

VI. THE COALITION 124

VII. THE STRUGGLE WITH Fox 152

VIII. RETRENCHMENT 178

IX. REFORM 196

X. INDIA 216

XI. THE IRISH PROBLEM (1785) .... 241
XII. PITT AND HIS FRIENDS (1783-94) . . .267

XIII. ISOLATION (1784, 1785) 296

XIV. L/ENTENTE CORDIALE (1786) . . . .321
XV. THE DUTCH CRISIS (1786, 1787) . . . 349

XVI. THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 368

XVII. THE PRINCE OF WALES 391

XVIII. THE REGENCY CRISIS 406

XIX. AUSTRALIA AND CANADA 432

XX. THE SLAVE TRADE 454

XXI. THE SCHEMES OF CATHARINE II . . 480

XXII. PARTITION OR PACIFICATION? . . . .503

XXIII. PARTITION OR PACIFICATION? (CONTINUED) . 518

XXIV. THE FRENCH REVOLUTION . . . .537
XXV. THE DISPUTE WITH SPAIN . . . .562

XXVI. PITT AND CATHARINE II 589

XXVII. THE TRIUMPH OF CATHARINE II 608



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

TO FACE
PAGE

WILLIAM PITT AS CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER.
(From a painting by Gainsborough in the possession
of R. A. Tatton, Esq.) .... Frontispiece

LADY CHATHAM, MOTHER OF WILLIAM PITT. (From a
painting in the possession of E. G. Pretyman, Esq.,
M.P.) ... . ... 38

WILLIAM WYNDHAM, LORD GRENVILLE. (From a paint-
ing by Hoppner) 280

WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. (From an unfinished painting

by Sir T. Lawrence) 458



ABBREVIATIONS OF THE TITLES OF

THE CHIEF WORKS REFERRED

TO IN THIS VOLUME

ANN. REG. = " Annual Register."

AsHBOURNE="Pitt: some Chapters of his Life and Times," by the

Rt. Hon. Lord Ashbourne. 1898.
AUCKLAND JOURNALS = " The Journal and Corresp. of William, Lord

Auckland." 4 vols. 1861.
BUCKINGHAM P. = " Mems. of the Court and Cabinets of George III,"

by the Duke of Buckingham. 2 vols. 1853.

B.M. ADD. MSS. = Additional Manuscripts of the British Museum.
BEAUFORT P. = " MSS. of the Duke of Beaufort," etc. (Hist. MSS.

Comm.). 1891.
CAMPBELL. = " Lives of the Lord Chancellors," by Lord Campbell.

8 vols. 1845-69.
CASTLEREAGH CORRESP. = " Mems. and Corresp. of Viscount Castle-

reagh." 8 vols. 1848-
CHEVENING MSS. = Manuscripts of the Countess Stanhope, preserved

at Chevening.
CUNNINGHAM = " Growth of Eng. Industry and Commerce (Modern

Times)," by Dr. W. Cunningham. 1892.
DROPMORE P. = " The Manuscripts of J. B. Fortescue, Esq., preserved

at Dropmore" (Hist. MSS. Comm.). 7 vols. 1892-1910.
FORTESCUE = " The History of the British Army," by the Hon. J. W.

Fortescue. vol. iv.
HAUSSER = " Deutsche Geschichte (1786-1804)," by L. Hausser. 4 vols.

1861-3.
HOLLAND = " Memoirs of the Whig Party," by Lord Holland. 2 vols.

1852.
JESSE = " Mems. of the Life and Reign of George III," by J. H. Jesse.

3 vols. 1867.
LECKY = " Hist, of England in the Eighteenth Century," by W. E. H.

Lecky. 8 vols. Fifth edit. 1891-1904.
LUCKWALDT = " Die englisch-preussische Allianz von 1788," von

F. Luckwaldt. 1902.



xii ABBREVIATIONS OF THE TITLES

LEEDS MEM. = " Political Memoranda of Francis, Fifth Duke of Leeds,"

ed. by Mr. O. Browning. 1884.
MALMESBURY DIARIES =" Diaries and Corresp. of the First Earl of

Malmesbury." 4 vols. 1844.
PARL. HIST. = " History of the Parliamentary Debates" (after 1804

continued in Hansard).
PELLEW=" Life and Corresp. of the first Viscount Sidmouth," by

Rev. C. Pellew. 3 vols. 1847.

PITT MSS. = Pitt MSS., preserved at H.M. Public Record Office.
PITT-RUTLAND CORRESP. = " Corresp. between . . . W. Pitt and the

Duke of Rutland." 1890.
ROSE G., " DIARIES "=" Diaries and Corresp. of Rt. Hon. G. Rose."

2 VOls. i860.

ROSE, "NAPOLEON" = "Life of Napoleon," by J.H. Rose. 2 vols. 1909.
RUTLAND P. = " MSS. of the Duke of Rutland " (Hist. MSS. Comm.).

3 vols. 1894.

RUVILLE=" William Pitt, Earl of Chatham," by A. von Ruville (Eng.

transl.). 3 vols. 1907.
SOREL = " L'Europe et la Revolution franchise," par A. Sorel. Pts. II, III.

1889, 1897.
STANHOPE =" Life of ... William Pitt," by Earl Stanhope. 4 vols.

3rd edition. 1867.
SYBEL= "Geschichteder Revolutionzeit" (1789-1800). Eng. translation.

4 vols. 1867-9.

VIVENOT = " Quellen zur Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserpolitik CEster-

reichs . . ."von A. von Vivenot. 1873.
WITTICHEN = " Preussen und England in der europaischen Politik

1785-8," von F. K. Wittichen. 1902.
WRAX ALL =" Memoirs of Sir N. W. Wraxall" (1772-84), edited by

H. B. Wheatley. 5 vols. 1884.



ERRATA

On page 157, 1. 23, for "Richard " read "Thomas."
267, ad fin., for " Bob " read " Tom."



THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
? WILLIAM PITT <-



INTRODUCTION

ENGLAND AT THE CLOSE OF THE AMERICAN
WAR (1780-3)

I think it proper before I commence my proposed work to pass under
review the condition of the capital, the temper of the armies, the attitude of
the provinces, and the elements of weakness and strength which existed
throughout the whole Empire, so that we may become conversant, not only
with the vicissitudes and issues of events, which are often matters of chance,
but also with their relations and causes. TACITUS, The History, bk. i, ch. iv.

IN the course of the session of 1782, when the American War
was dragging to its disastrous close and a change of
Ministers was imminent, one of the youngest members of the
House of Commons declared that he would accept no sub-
ordinate office in a new administration. At the close of 1783,
during a crisis of singular intensity, he became Chief Minister of
the Crown, and thenceforth, with one short interval, controlled
the destinies of Great Britain through twenty-two years marked
by grave complications, both political and financial, social and
diplomatic, ending in wars of unexampled magnitude. Early
in the year 1 806 he died of exhaustion, at the age of forty-seven.
In these bald statements we may sum up the outstanding events
of the life of William Pitt the Younger, which it is my aim to
describe somewhat in detail.

Before reviewing his antecedents and the course of his early
life, I propose to give some account of English affairs in the
years when he entered on his career, so that we may picture
him in his surroundings, realize the nature of the difficulties that

I B



2 WILLIAM PITT [1780-3

beset him, and, as it were, feel our way along some of the myriad
filaments which connect an individual with the collective activities
of his age.

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, died in 1778. His second son,
named after him, began his political career at the close of the
year 1780, when he was elected Member of Parliament for
Appleby. The decade which then began marks a turning point
in British history. Then for the first time the old self-contained
life was shaken to its depths by forces of unsuspected power.
Democracy, Athene-like, sprang to maturity in the New World,
and threatened the stability of thrones in the Old World. For
while this militant creed won its first triumphs over the soldiery
of George III, it began also to colour the thoughts and wing
the aspirations of the masses, especially in France, so that, even
if the troops of Washington had been vanquished, the rising tide
of thought would none the less have swept away the outworn
barriers of class. The march of armies may be stayed ; that of
thought never.

The speculations enshrined in the "Social Contract "of Rousseau
and the teachings of the Encyclopaedists contained much that
was crude, or even false. Nevertheless, they gave an impulse
such as no age ever had known, and none perhaps ever will know
again. The course of the American War of Independence
and the foundation of a State based on distinctly democratic
principles proved that the new doctrines might lead to very
practical results. The young giant now stood rooted in mother-
earth.

Side by side with this portent in the world of thought and
politics there came about another change. Other centuries
have witnessed experiments in the direction of democracy; but
in none have social speculations and their results been so
closely accompanied by mechanical inventions of wonder-work-
ing potency. Here we touch on the special characteristics of
the modern world. It is the product of two Revolutions, one
political, the other mechanical. The two movements began and
developed side by side. In 1762 Rousseau gave to the world
his "Contrat Social," the Bible of the French Revolutionists;
while only two years later Hargreaves, a weaver of Black-
burn, produced his spinning-jenny. In 1769 Arkwright patented
his spinning-frame, and Watt patented his separate condenser.
The year 1776 is memorable alike for the American Declaration of



1780-3] INTRODUCTION 3

Independence, and for the publication of Adam Smith's " Wealth
of Nations." In 1779 the Lancashire weaver, Crompton, produced
his " mule-jenny," a vast improvement on the machines of Ark-
wright and Hargreaves. The year 1785 witnessed not only the
Diamond-Necklace scandal, so fatal to the prestige of the French
monarchy, but also the patenting of Watt's double-acting steam-
engine and Cartwright's "power loom." In the year 1789, which
sounded the knell of the old order of things on the Continent,
there appeared the first example of the modern factory, spinning-
machinery being then driven by steam power in Manchester.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, when the democratic
movement had for the time gone astray and spent its force, the
triumphs of science and industry continued peacefully to revolu-
tionize human life. In 1803, the year of the renewal of war with
France, William Radcliffe of Stockport greatly increased the
efficiency of the power loom, and thereby cheapened the pro-
duction of cloth. Finally, the year 1814 ought to be remembered,
not only for the first abdication of Napoleon, but also for that
peaceful and wholly beneficent triumph, George Stephenson's
" No. i," Killingworth locomotive. 1

The list might be extended far beyond the limits of the period
treated in this work, but enough has been said to show that the
democratic and industrial forces closely synchronized at the out-
set, and that while the former waned the latter waxed more and
more, proving in the years 1830-2 the most potent ally of
English reformers in efforts which Pitt and his friends had failed
to carry through in the years 1780-5. So intimate an inter-
action of new and potent forces had never been seen in the
history of man. In truth no one but a sciolist will venture to
ascribe the problems of the present age solely to the political
movement which found its most powerful expression in the
French Revolution. Only those can read aright the riddle of the
modern sphinx who have ears for both her tones, who hearken
not only to the shouts of leaders and the roar of mobs, but also
listen for the multitudinous hum of the workshop, the factory,
and the mine.

The lot of William Pitt the Younger was cast in the years
when both these revolutions began their mighty work. The

1 Baines, "Hist, of Cotton Manufacture," 226, 232-4. See Mr. G. P.
Gooch's " Politics and Culture," for other coincidences.



4 WILLIAM PITT [1780-3

active part of his father's career fell within the old order of things;
the problems which confronted Chatham were merely political.
They therefore presented none of that complexity which so often
baffled the penetration and forethought of his son. It is true
that, with a prophetic vision of the future, the old man foretold
in thrilling words the invincibility of the American cause, but
then his life-work was done; from his Pisgah-mount he could
only warn, and vainly warn, the dwellers in the plain below.
His son was destined to enter that unknown land; and he
entered it when his people were burdened by debt, disaster, and
disgrace.

What were the material resources of the nation? Were they
equal to the strain imposed by a disastrous war? Could they
resist the subtly warping influences of the coming age? The
questions closely concern us in our present inquiry. For the
greatness of a statesman is not to be assessed merely by an
enumeration of his legislative, diplomatic, and warlike successes.
There is a truer method of valuation than this haphazard avoir-
dupois. It consists in weighing his achievements against his
difficulties.

It is well, therefore, to remember that the British people of the
year 1780 was a small and poor people, if we compare it not
merely with modern standards (a method fallacious for the pre-
sent inquiry), but with the burdens which it had to bear. The
population of England and Wales at that time has been com-
puted a little over 7,800,000; that of Scotland was perhaps about
1,400,000. That of Ireland is even less known. The increase of
population in England and Wales during the years 1770-80
exceeded eight per cent., a rate less, indeed, than that of the
previous decade, which had been one of abounding prosperity,
but surpassing that of any previous period for which credible
estimates can be framed. 1

The wealth of the nation seems also to have suffered little de-
cline; and after the conclusion of peace in 1783 it showed a sur-
prising elasticity owing to causes which will soon be considered.

1 The first trustworthy statistics of population were obtained in the census
of 1801; but those given above are probably not very wide of the mark.
The estimates are those of Rickman, quoted by Porter, " Progress of the
Nation," 13. The estimate of the " Statistical Journal " (xliii, 462), quoted by
Dr. Cunningham, " Eng. Industry and Commerce," 699, is 7,953,000 for the
year 1780.



1780-3] INTRODUCTION 5

But in the years 1780-3 there was a universal conviction that the
burden of debt and taxation was unendurable. Parliament in
1781 voted the enormous sum of 25,353,857 for Ways and
Means, an increase of 814,060 on the previous year. As the
finances and debt of Ireland were kept entirely separate up to
the end of the century, this burden fell upon some 9,200,000
persons, and involved a payment of about 2 1 5 s. per head, an
amount then deemed absolutely crushing.

But two important facts should be remembered: firstly, that
the investments of British capital in oversea undertakings, which
are now enormous, were (apart from the British East and West
Indies) practically non-existent in the year 1780, Great Britain
being then an almost self-sufficing unit financially; secondly,
that modern methods of taxation are less expensive in the
collection and less burdensome to the taxpayer than those
prevalent in that non-scientific era. The revenue of 1781 in-
cluded the following items: 12,480,000 for "Annuities and
Lottery," 2,788,000 for "Certain Surpluses of the Sinking
Fund," 2,000,000 Bank Charter, and so on. Only about one
fourth of the requisite amount was raised by means that would
now be considered sound. 1

The National Debt was then reckoned at 177,206,000; and
the annual interest, amounting to 6,812,000, ate up considerably
more than one fourth of the " bloated estimates " of that year.
The burden of debt seemed appalling to that generation ; and
the Three per cent. Consols sank from 6oJ in January 1781 to
55 in November. But further blows were soon to be dealt by
Ministers at the nation's credit; and the same stock ranged be-
tween 56 and 58 when William Pitt became Prime Minister in
December 1783. Predictions of national bankruptcy were freely
indulged in; and it should be remembered that Great Britain,
vanquished by a mighty Coalition and bereft of her most valu-
able colonies, seemed far more likely to sink into the gulf of
bankruptcy than triumphant France. The events of the next six
years turned essentially on the management of the finances of
the rival Powers by Pitt and by the Controllers-General of Ver-
sailles. Apart from the personal questions at issue, the history
of that time affords the most instructive proof that victory
may bear within itself the seeds of future disease and collapse;

1 See Walter's " Origin of Commerce," iv, 401, for a full statement of this
juggling with the nation's finance.



6 WILLIAM PITT [1780-3

while a wise use of the lessons of adversity may lead the van-
quished to a lease of healthier life.

If we turn our gaze away from the material resources of Great
Britain to the institutions and sentiments of our forefathers, there
will appear many bizarre contrasts and perplexing symptoms.
At first sight the self-contained, unreceptive, torpid society of
the Georgian era might appear to be wholly unfitted to bear
the triple strain of a serious national disaster, and of the warp-
ing influences of the new democracy and the new industrialism.
The situation was indeed most alarming: "What a dismal frag-
ment of an Empire ! " wrote Horace Wai pole in June 1780, " Yet
would that moment were come when we are to take a survey
of our ruins." In truth, had the majority of Britons been ad-
dicted to morbidly introspective broodings, they would have
been undone. There are times when a nation is saved by sheer
stolidity; and this characteristic alike in monarch and people,
which was responsible for the prolongation of the war, helped to
avert collapse at its close. The course of the narrative will show
that the brains of Englishmen were far from equal to the task of
facing the problems of the age then dawning ; but Englishmen
were equal to the task of bearing the war-burdens manfully, and
thus were able to supply the material out of which Pitt, aided
by the new manufacturing forces, could work financial marvels.

Then again, British institutions offered that happy mixture of
firmness and adaptability which at many crises has been the
salvation of the race. Had they been as rigid as those of Sparta
they must have cracked and fallen asunder; had they been as
fluid as those of Athens they might have mouldered away. But,
like the structure of English society of which they form the
framework, they lend themselves to reverent restoration, and
thwart all efforts at reckless innovation. Sir Henry Maine hap-
pily assessed the worth of this truly national safeguard in the
statement that our institutions had, however undesignedly, ar-
rived at a state in which satisfaction and impatience, the chief
sources of political conduct, were adequately called into play.
Of this self-adjusting process Pitt, at least during the best years
of his career, was to be the sage director.

There were many reasons why Englishmen should be a prey
alternately to feelings of satisfaction and discontent. Instinct and
tradition bade them be loyal to the throne and to the institutions



1780-3] INTRODUCTION 7



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