John Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of).

Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 online

. (page 11 of 33)
Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 11 of 33)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

strongly in support of the bill itself, and ending
with his reason for repealing it being in aid of
weak and misguided consciences. Lord West-

* '^ A great cUmour being speech which had the good for-

Tused against the biU without tune to be remarkably well re-

doors, it was thought advisable celved." — PwrteusM lAfeofArck-

that the Duke of Newcastle bithop Seeker.
should move the repeal of it ; Walpole^ in his Mem&irt says^

and be, desiring to be seconded though the speech in manner was

by a bishop. Dr. Seeker was fixed too ironic^ his apology and de-

on for that purpose ; he ac- fence of the bench of Bishops

oordingly rose up and made a was good.

Digitized by



1753. moreland took notice of the contradiction of the

Bishop's reasoning, but violent for the repeal.

Lord Talbot with a great panegyric upon Halifsix's
head and heart, observed upon the indecency of
bringing in this bill for the repeal in his absence
who had been the promoter of the first, to which
the Duke of Newcastle, not outdone you will guess
in flattery to any body, said the measure was not
undertaken without his knowledge and approba-
tion. Then Dupplin's brother*, the bishop of
something, made what I find some people call a
good speech f , but I own was to me as that of last
year, which I never could see the beauties of.
The question just putting, up got the Earl
Temple, made a speech of a quarter of an hour,
and a very good one, declared the regard he had
always paid to the voice of the people, but that he
never would to the clamours of them ; owned his
amazement at a motion of this kind in that House,
where he expected to have heard notice taken of
the licentiousness of the press in daring to attack
every part of the legislature in the libellous manner
it had done upon this occasion ; that, for his own
part, he saw no reason to think he had done wrong
in giving his assent the last year to the bill, and
would not plead guilty to satisfy the lowest of the
people, for such only were alarmed at the bill ; no
thinking man had been so but for private pur-

* Robert Drummoud^ second f Walpole says it was sensible
son of Thomas, seventh Earl of and manly.
Kinnoul, then Bishop of St Asaph;
subsequently Archbishop of York.

Digitized by



poses, which might answer the intent of another i753.

House of Parliament, but had had no weight with

him when he sat there representing a county, in
the case of the repeal of the Septennial Bill, and
certainly should not weigh with him in the present
instance. That he was against the repeal ab-
solutely, and should vote against it, and had not
heard an argument that was not in support of it,
even by those desiring the repeal. Intimated
other dangers more likely to alarm from abroad,
where we seemed to be in danger of an attack
from every quarter : was pretty obscure and dark
upon that head, indeed ; but upon the whole very
well and very conclusive I think as to William
Pitt's being in a perfect good state of health. He
did not indeed honour the House of Commons with
his presence, which was but very empty, and the
other House very thin, too. The second reading
of this bill for the repeal is ordered in that House
for Tuesday, and your Lordships are to be sum-
moned. Whether that will bring you up a day
sooner or not, I cannot tell, but I imagine Peg's
hounds will hunt the same on Monday, let that
be as it will. I have endeavoured to persuade him
to go down with me, but he affects so much busi-
ness, so I don't know what to make of him. I will,
however, if I can, carry him down on Saturday for
one hunt, if not, I believe I shall myself take the
liberty of bringing any other intelligence I can
pick up betweeii this and then. &c.

Richard Rigby.

Digitized by




Leicester fields^ Dec S5. 1753.

My dear Lord,

The enclosed fragment I take the liberty to
send to your Grace, to shew the Duchess; Lady
Betty's intentions were good, if her mistress had
not engrossed her whole time for this evening.
She would have related this melancholy story from
Ireland * much better than me, and would have in-
terspersed with it remarks which I shall leave to
your judgment to supply for me. I have seen her
but for an instant as I came from dinner from
White's here, and have only to tell you from her
as' domestic occurrences, that the soldier you wrote
to Johnny about, will be received without punish-
ment if he returns to his colours immediately, and
behaves as he should do. And for Trentham'a
information that Lord Gower has been ill these
two days of a fever, and has now got the gout in his
hand ; that I suppose will be of advantage to his
health as Mr. Pelham's illness, like every other
earthly thing, is like to turn out to his. He has
had St. Anthony's fire to a violent degree, broke
out aU over his shoulders and back, and since it
has broke out, is mending apace; the day I saw
Roberts's f face at the window, they thought him in
imminent danger, and so they did on Saturday ;

* The disturbances and op« t Private aecretary to Mr.
position to governroent during Pelham.
the Duke of Dorset's lieutenancy.

Digitized by



but that is over. Bis brother^s turn is now come, 175s.

for Maxwell, who I saw to-day on the road from

Ireland, is gone to Clermount after him, and I
imagine it will require all Dr. Shaw's skill to parry
the consequences of this fright. You see by the
firagment, the money bill, as it is absurdly called,
was lost by five, 122 to 117 were the numbers,
three of the Castle side deserting during the debate,
which lasted till twelve at night. The next ques-
tion intended after the holydays, for a Christmas
box for the Primate, is a motion to the King to
remove him firom his cotmcils for ever. The Earl,
who has always been a great Moid of mine, and
loves to honour me sometimes with his confidence,
I think whispered me a likely conjecture upon
Maxwell's coming for leave to prorogue the parlia-
ment. You see from Lady Betty's account, and I
find from all that Lord Home has reported, they
are desirous of making all the world here believe
it a national distinction, and that the Irish want to
shake off their dependence upon this country; but
they must be poor or partial politicians who can't
see through such a disguise as that; whenever I
see the house of Dorset or of Pelham necessary to
the preservation of a third part of the King's
dominions, I shall have but a miserable opinion of
the whole, but tiU then shall never believe the most
personal opposition that ever was made, is intended
for any other purposes, but such as their own
honour and ease dictate to them; and in that faith,
I heartily wish them all success. The successor,

Digitized by



1753. for one must certamly be soon appointed, is va-
riously talked of. Lord President thought very
likely, and then the other may be reinstated, and
in some measure save appearances. The Secretary
of State *, but this I beg among friends, has talked
much of himself, and has been told he has done too
much so : he went so far as to ask a guest of your's
to be one of his Aides-de-Camp. Lord Chesterfield
says he would by no means accept of it, though as
George Selwyn was not by, he ventured a joke upon
it, and said he was the properest person, for he
understood they made a great noise there, and he
was too deaf to hear it. There are stories of Lord
George's asking Mr. Malone's pardon ; of members of
parliament fighting every day ; of stopping coaches
in the street, and making people declare for Eng-
land or Ireland, and many more that I will bring
you a verbal account of, not worth writing down.
I wHl in two or three days bring you what more
intelligence I can pick up and some of the best
Dantzick brandy Sir Charles Williams has given
me for the Duchess in the world.

Gideon is gone to France to avoid being had
before Leheup's Committee f ; and I have a strange
anecdote to tell you about a certain defence of
Leheup's in the House of Commons, which too I
am very sorry for. I am, &c.


* Lord Holdernesse. House of Commons came to a

f Mr. Leheup was a receiver resolution that he had been guilty

of contributions to the lottery for of a breach of trust ; he was

the purchase of Sir Hans Sloane's prosecuted by the attomey-ge-

collections. A committee of the neral^ and fined 1000/.

Digitized by




Soho Square^ May 21. 1754.

I hope your Grace will excuse the Uberty I
take in troubling you with the following relation.
As I look on myself tolerably zealous for the liberty
of this country, and used my utmost endeavours
to get as many friends elected into the new Par-
liament as I well could, with prudence in respect
to my fortune; and I think I have no reason to
complain of want of success, having carried three
cities and two boroughs. Four seats were origin-
ally intended for the four brothers, and the fifth
for a good friend and patriot. Here were my
original intentions; but I was prevented having
my younger brother chosen by an old relation,
Mr, Thomas Beckford of Ashted, on whom my
brothers have great dependence ; as he was un-
wiUing to have my youngest brother, Francis,
elected, I gave a promise to Sir John Phillipps that
he should be the man to succeed me at Petersfield,
and thus matters stood when I received a letter
from my brother Richard, member for Bristol,
wherein he does most earnestly desire that I will
use my utmost endeavours to get all four brothers
returned, notwithstanding the opposition of Mr.
Thomas Beckford to my original plan. The fa-
vour I have to ask of your Grace is that, in case
you should have a vacancy in any of your boroughs,
to think of this brother of mine, and I mil venture
VOL. n. L

Digitized by



1754. to say there are not four men in the kingdom more
zealously attached to the Protestant Succession, and
to the liberties of the people ; more desirous of
joining in every attempt to place the administration
of public affairs in abler hands than we are.*

Let the respect and veneration I have for your
Grace's character plead an excuse for the liberty
taken by

Your most obedient, &c.

WhiLIAM Beckfobd.


Bath, May 22. 1754.

My Lord,

I do myself the honour to enclose to your
Lordship four several lists, as marked in the index,
which I likewise enclose. Your Lordship will see
upon the perusing them, that they relate to the
new Commission of the Peace, which I mentioned
to your Lordship during the last winter (as ne-
cessary for the good government of that large and
opulent county f ) *o pass the great seal, as soon as
it should appear to your Lordship the time and
circumstances of affairs in that county should be
apt for a work of this nature.

As I am certain there is at present a great want

• Three brothers only appear Richard Beckford, Bristol
to have been in parliament, viz : Julian Beckford^ New Sarun].
William Beckford^ London. f Devonshire.

Digitized by



of acting justices therein, and as the elections are 1754.
all finished, I flatter myself that your Lordship will
expedite this in such a manner, as to have it come
out at the next assizes, which will cause great
satisfaction to the county in general, and be of
public utility. I have taken all the precautions
that have been in my power, to prevent the insert-
ing any improper persons in it ; but have endea-
voured, after having struck out all against whom
there is any well-grounded suspicion of disaffection
to his Majesty and his Royal Family, to make it as
general as passible with regard to all persons of
good character and fortune in it, without regard to
party denominations. It is very probable I may
have erred in some instances, I not being per-
sonally so well acquainted with the gentlemen there
as I could wish, and have therefore been obliged
to take my information from the relation of others,
in which I have been as careful as it was possible
for me to be. I have nothing ftirther to trouble
your Lordship with upon this subject, and shall do
myself the honour of waiting on you at Powys
House, whenever I shall be able to come to town ;
in the meantime any commands your Lordship
may have for me may be sent to Wobum, where I
purpose to be within this fortnight.
I am, &c.


L 2

Digitized by





Fowls House^ May 25. 1754.

My Lord,

I received, by yesterday's post, the honour
of your Grace's letter, with four several lists
enclosed, relating to a new Commission of the
Peace proposed to be issued for the County of
Devon. Your Grace certainly judged extremely
right in postponing this affair till the elections
were all over, and I make no doubt but your good
affection to his Majesty, and regard for the public
utility, in forming the lists to govern yourself by
those very proper rules which you are pleased to
mention in your letter. I have not yet had time
just at the close of the term, to read over the
papers, and fear I shall not have a full opportunity
of considering them till after the approaching
little session of Parliament shall be over ; and I
apprehend from some expressions in your letter, as
well as from what you were pleased to say to me in
the winter, that it is your Grace's intention that I
should make some inquiry. But, as the next
assizes will not be till August, I can entertain very
little doubt but the commission may be ready
against that time. If I should learn any thing
material upon the subject, I will not fail to inform
your Grace of it, either by letter or when I have
the honour of seeing you in town.

Having called the approaching session a little

Digitized by



one, I will take the liberty to add, that as it will 1754.
begin on Friday next, the day of the return of the
imtSy I believe it wUl not last longer than the
Thursday following. The only intention of it is to
give a perfect consistency to the new parliament,
on the foot of the Regency Bill, in case (before the
usual time of meeting) a certain fatal event should
happen, which I hope in God will not, and I think
is not likely. In order to this, a Speaker must be
chosen, and a bill pass, because without passing
some bill it is not deemed a session. About the
Speaker *, I think no dispute is intended by any
body, and the bill will be only a naturalisation bUl,
and that no Jew. This is the whole, and no
point of general business, either foreign or domestic,
is intended by the administration to be brought
before either House. As to petitions relating to
elections and returns, I understand that the leading
men in the House of Commons think of postponing
them all till the next session in the winter, giving
just the same time and opportunity then, as if that
was the first session of the Parliament; and I
suppose we must do the like in the House of Lords
in respect of petitions of appeal.

I have now told your Grace the whole plan of
the session, and have nothing to add but my best
wishes that your Grace and my Lady Duchess
may find the greatest benefit from the waters

* Mr. Onslow was re-chosen tionwaspassed, and the parliament
speaker ; one bill for naturalisa- prorogued on the 5th of June.

L 3

Digitized by



1754. where you are, and that I am with the utmost


My Lord, &c.



Soho Square, Jane 4. 1754.

I hope the respect and regard I have for
your Grace's public character will plead my excuse
for being further troublesome ; but as I do it with
a good view, and act in a manner I should desire
others to act with me, I hope it will not be taken
amiss. As the eyes of most people are looking
toward your Grace as the head of an opposition,
founded on true patriot principles, it certainly will
redound to your Grace's honour, and the reputa-
tion of that opposition to endeavour to bring into
Parliament men of abilities and integrity. For
this reason, I take the liberty just to mention the
name of Counsellor Forrester, whose steadiness,
honour, and elocution, are not exceeded by many
in these kingdoms.

By the desire of a very worthy gentleman, Mr.
Henry M^CuUoch, I have sent a small treatise to
your Grace's house, and will do myself the honour
some day or other of paying my respects to you
with the said gentleman.

I am, &c.
William Beckford*

Digitized by






Caahiobory, August 2. 1754.

My Lord,

Lord Essex and my daughter have desired
me to be their scribe, and to return the Duchess
of Bedford and your Grace their most sincere
thanks for the honour you have done them in
sending your servant over to enquire after their
healths and to wish them joy upon their marriage.
All I know about them is that^ I asked Lord
Essex, this morning, s'U Stait content^ and he
answered tris-content*

Your Grace will have ahready heard of the
Marquis d'Ensenada's disgrace and imprisonment.
But as I know the detail of the affair I will send it
to you exactly as it passed.

The Duke d'Huescar finding d'Ensenada did not
act in concert with him nor upon his plan, resolved
to send for Wall from England to assist him in de-
strojring the other, and in a private letter to Wall,
before he left London, there were these words:
" Come over as soon as you can, and we will either
get the better here, or I will return to such an
estate (which he named and I have forgot), and will
give you one in that neighbourhood for you to live
upon." Soon after Wall's arrival at Madrid, there
happened an occasion which he seized of doing

♦ William, fourth Earl of Charlotte, daughter of Sir Charles
Essex, married August 1. 1754, Hanbury Williams, K.B.

L 4

Digitized by



1754. Ensenada's business. Eeene had presented a me-

morial to Wall, about some strong orders which had

been sent from Spain to America, and which, if
executed, might have produced fatal consequences.
Wall had never heard of these orders, and upon
inquiry found reason to suspect that they had been
issued without the king of Spain's knowledge.
Upon which he went to Court, and in a private
audience asked the king whether those strong pro-
testations of friendship which he had made by his
Catholic Majesty's orders to our king when he left
England were not his real sentiments ; to which
the king of Spain replied they were, and that he
was resolved to live upon the best footing with
England. To this Wall answered that it would be
impossible to succeed in. that design when such
orders were issued as he then had in his hands, which
he immediately showed to the king of Spain, who
upon seeing them, declared that they had been given
without his privity or command, and then asked
Wall who had issued them. Wall directly named
Ensenada, and pushed the affair with such success
that Ensenada was arrested the next morning, and
conveyed under a strong guard to the castle of
Granada. All his papers have been secured, and
his first cousin, whose name is Hortenada* (and who
they say was a very able person), is sent to the
castle of Valladolid.

* Ordenaila is the name given curious specimen of English.—
by Coxe. Upon this event Wall See Memoirs qf Kings qf Spain.
wrote a note to Keene, which is a

Digitized by



St. Contest is dead, and there are nine or ten 1754.
successors talked of, but none with any certainty.

I must divert your Grace with a piece of history
that I stumbled upon since I saw you, and which I
hope will make the Duchess of Bedford laugh.
During the civil wars, your Grace will remember
that the two Universities sent their plate to king
Charles the First. Cromwell intended to have sur-
prised and seized the Cambridge plate upon the road,
but failing in his attempt, he was so exasperated
that he seized some of the heads of houses and sent
them prisoners to London, and afterwards they
were confined on board a ship in the Thames;
while they were there, Cromwell threatened to
transport them to America, which one Mr. Rigby
hearing of, bargained with a merchant to sell them
for slaves in the colonies, and actually petitioned
the House of Commons for leave to do so. I be-
lieve your Grace and I are acquainted with one of
that name who would readily deal in such mer-
chandise, and to a good purchaser would readily
throw a chancellor of one of the Universities * into
the bargain.

I cannot possibly finish this letter without asking
a favour of your Grace and my lady Duchess,^ which
is, your countenance and protection for Lady Essex.
They are of great benefit to any on whom you are
pleased to bestow them, but to one of her age and
in her situation, they are invaluable. I will answer

* The Duke of Newcastle.

Digitized by



1754. for her determination to deserve it by every thing

in her power, and I know her nature to be such as

I could wish it, and she has a grateful heart. I am
to your Grace and the Duchess of Bedford with the
siQcerest attachment and the highest esteem, &c. &c.

C. HAUBxntY Williams.


Wobum Abbey, August 11. 1754.

Give me leave, my dear General, to make one of
the many friends you have left in England, who
join in congratulations on your advancement in his
Catholic Majesty's service, and the high esteem you
are so deservedly held in at the Court of Madrid.
As I have had the good fortune to have enjoyed a
personal correspondence with^ you, both as a
minister and as a friend, I cannot but most sin-
cerely rejoice in every thing that is honourable and
agreeable to you, especially as I am convinced your
credit in Spain will be conducive to the keeping up
that harmony between the two nations which I
know you desire, and which is undoubtedly the
true interest of them both. In addition to all this,
the seeing one whom I have the honour to call my
friend, in so honourable an employment, cannot but
give me the most sensible pleasure, as I am, with
the greatest truth &c.,


Digitized by





London, January 28. 1755.

Dear Sir,

I should before this time have acknowledged
the receipt of your letter from Warsaw of the 18th
of the last month, had I not been apprehensive of
its missing you on the road, the gazette having in-
formed me, which is the only intelligence I have, that
you have been detained at Warsaw longer than you
intended to stay there, by indisposition. I hope
that you are entirely free from it by this time, and
that your exit from Sarmatia to a hospitable
country will entirely re-establish your health. I
did fuUy intend, as I told Lady Essex at Wobum,
to have wrote to you soon after Lord Essex and her
Ladyship had left us, but an unlucky fall in return
from hunting, having very much hurt my right
hand, disabled me for some time from writing to
you, and likewise from returning their visit, which
the Duchess and I had firmly purposed to do before
our coming to London for the meeting of the Par-

« « « « «

I have no news to send you from hence but what
you must be better apprised of than me. We are
all alarmed with a French war, but upon what found-
ation I know not. Twenty men-of-war are ordered
to be equipped, press-warrants are sent out, and
two regiments of foot are ordered from Ireland.

Digitized by



1755. There are no affairs of moment depending in

parliament, nothing but elections in the House of

Commons, and a most profound drowsiness in ours.
The Colchester petition is now hearing in the Com-
mittee, in which our friend Rigby is a principal
manager, and will probably initiate in it his col-
league Dick Vernon in those various modes of ora-
tory you have mentioned, yawning, huzzaing, &c.
The ballad which I believe Mr. Rigby sent you,
though wrote with no pretence to wit, yet as a plain
narrative will be instructive as to the only event of

Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 11 of 33)