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

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

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moment which has happened during this session of
parliament, I don't think there will be an opportu-
nity for that author to exercise his pen again soon,
as every thing is, I believe, likely to jog on quietly
during the remainder of the sessions. As I have
nothing interesting or entertaining to send you
from hence, I will detain you no longer than to
assure you how much I am, &c.


MR. rigby to the DUKE OF BEDFORD.

Eight o'clock. Speaker's Chamber,
March 24*.

*We are defeated by the Tories going
against us. The numbers were 207 against 183.

* On the contested election for and Newcastle. Lord Clive was
St. Michael's, Cornwall. The unseated by this decision. Wal-
contest lay in fact between Fox pole in his Memoirs gives a long

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After the first division, Sir John Philips, who voted
agamst us, diflfered with the subsequent motion of
the petitioners being duly elected ; meaning to make
a void election of it, but Wortley, Sir Robert Long,
Sir Roger Newdigate, and the whole party deserted
him, but about five or six. And upon the second
division the nimibers were 201 against 178.

Sir Georg^ Lee and his brother that was a colonel
voting against us in the second division, though
with us in the first : for which, after all was over,
Mr. Fox gave him a fair set-down. The debate
was not very entertaining, though Mr. Fox spoke
very well, and Potter very tolerably.

Sandwich is gone from hence, God knows in what
spirits. I hope your Grace, nor none of your
friends, will ever have mercy upon these rascally
Tories any more.

I am, &c. &c.



account of the afTair^ and in his
JMters gays, '* After triumphs
repeated in the Committee^ Lord
Simdwich and Mr. Fox were
beaten largely on the report. It
was a most extraordinary day ;
the Tories^ who could not trust
one another for two hours, had
their last consult at the Horn

tavern, just hefore the report,
and all but nine or ten voted in a
body (with the Duke of New-
castle) against agreeing to it.
Then Sir John Philipps, one of
them, moved for a void election,
but was deserted by most of his
clan." — Lettersy vol. iii. p. 108.

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Porter Club, Saturday Night,
March 29. 1755.'

Though here has happened no event worth
troubling your Grace within the last four and
twenty hours, I can't help thinking that any letter
dated from this Society will be acceptable to you.
This, indeed, must rely entirely upon that merit.
We are all as well as we wish the absent members ;
and Lady Betty has quite recovered that little dis-
order that she either shammed, or was troubled with
the night before you left London. She has indeed
had her remedy constantly with her, for Lady
Ossory and she have never been asunder. They
did me the honour to dine with me yesterday, and
we all dined to-day here : and Sandwich is in as
good spirits as if he had any chance for a place, or
did not lose his money at quadrille, which he has
done these two days.

I have heard a secret in the Irish politics since I
saw your Grace, that the last* and present f Lord
Lieutenant, have had a dispute about turning out
Mr. Clements ; the old one insisting violently upon
that measure, and having procured his opinion to
be backed by a very strong letter from Ireland,
signed by the Primate and Lord BesboroughJ, as

* The Duke of Dorset. made master of the horse; bat his

f The Marquess of Harting- followers in Ireland did not fall

ton. without a convulsiye pang; the

:|: The Duke of Dorset was primate and Lord Besborough sent

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if it was absolutely necessary for the carrying on 1755.

of administration there. The Marquis flew out

upon it, and his master sides with him, and in-
veighed against the Primate's ambition, so as to
occasion two letters to be sent to Lord Besborough,
one by the old Whig, the other by Lord Duncannon,
to dissuade his Lordship from so strict a connection
with the Churchman. This Clements, I presume
your Grace knows, is pajnnaster of the pensions
there, and a certain great Lady having a pretty
considerable one upon that country, some part of
Ms so strong support may reasonably be conjectured
to come from that quarter. If she ever should run
mad and turn patriot, what good might not at last
arise to this country from German politics.

Lord Hartington has made Varey Gentleman
Usher of the Black Eod in Ireland, a good 700/. a
year. A report prevails strongly, that the Tories
are to have another election given up to them, and
Leicester and Carmarthen are each thought likely
to be the sacrifice. Sir William Meredyth, as de-
termined a Jacobite reckoned as any in the House
of Commons, has been at Newcastle House since
the Mitchell division ; and the credit of that whole
transaction on the part of the Tories is now given
to Sir Walter Bagot*, who came to town on Sunday

a violent letter^ to deny the report resented this syinptom of attach-

of their having quarrelled^ and to ment to the disgraced cahal.
demand some more sacrifices. * Sir WiUiam Bagot^ sixth

As Lord Beshorough's son, Lord Baronet and first Lord Bagot ;

Duncannon^ had married the new member for Staffordshire.
Lord Lieatenant's sister, the latter

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1755. night, and supped at the Cocoa Tree : and to con-

firm that idea a little, and in some measure to

account for it, Mr. Legge* is certainly upon much
better terms with the head of his board than he
has been for some weeks past. I wish I had any
thing more better worth troubling your Grace with
than saying I am ever your most obliged and


R* R.


Leioeater Fielcb, April 17. 1755.

I would not have your Grace expect a ver-
batim account of Earl Poulet's Philippic f, or a
very exact narrative of all what has passed in the

* Mr. Legge was one of the
commusionen of the Treasuiy ;
the Duke of Newcastle then First

f An address from the House
of Lords against the King's Han-
oyerian journey. As the motion
would not be merely ridiculous^
but offensive too^ Mr. Fox dis-
suaded him from it. He was
convinced; and though he had
been disgraced as much as he
could be, he took a panic, and en-
treated Mr. Fox and Lady Yar-
mouth to make apologies for him
to the King. Before they were
well delivered, he relapsed^ and
assembled the lords^ and then had
not resolution enough to utter his
motion. This scene was repeated

two or three times; at last, on
the 24th, he vented his speech,
extremely modified, though he
had repeated it so often in private
companies, that half the House
could have told him how short it
fell of what he had intended.
Lord Chesterfield, not famous
heretofore for tenderness to Han-
over, nor called on now by any
obligations to undertake the of-
fice of the minuters, represented
the impropriety of tlie motion,
and moved to a(youni. Lord
Poulet cried, ** My Lords, and
what is to become of my motion? "
The house burst into a laughter,
and adjourned after he had di-
vided singly. — Walpoles Me-
mairsy vol. i. p. 3B3.

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House of Lords in your absence, for though I vms 1755.
present there all day yesterday, yet as all that came
from the Earl was delivered in many whispers,
none of it came to my ears. He was in the House
by half an hour past one, and began his first secret
with the first man that came in, which was George
Haldane, and continued his mystery with at least
a dozen of all sorts of parties, till he finished with
Mr. Fox. The House had gone through what
business they had to do, and my Lord Chancellor
waited at least half an hour before his patience was
worn out, and he sent the clerk into the next room
to the Earl to know if he had any motion to make,
or the House would adjourn, which accordingly
they did, upon his answer being he had nothing
that day to trouble them with : and Mr. Fox told
me afterwards, his last resolution was to hold his
tongue ; I question much whether people in general
were not more disappointed than pleased. One,
and the greatest of all, wiU be very glad this motion
wiU not be made. Mr. Reynard told me he was
in with him yesterday, and conversing on this
motion. Mr. Reynard endeavoured to make light
of it, assuring him the Earl was quite single in his
opinion, and that nobody would say a word in sup-
port of him ; upon which he added of himself, and
with great warmth, that he was very glad the Duke
of Bedford did not approve of it, and that he was
sure the Duke of Bedford would be sorry he was
gone out of town with a notion it would not be
made, since as it was personal to him and concerned
VOL. n. M

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1755. nobody else, he was persuaded he would have liked
to have shown his countenance against it ; express-
ing himself as eagerly as if he could distinguish
between their attacks upon Ids ministry and himself
whenever he chooses to do it, and at the sapie time
with the greatest satisfaction that your opinion was
on his side. So much for this undetermined irre-
solute peer, much fitter £ix)m this sketch of him as
politician, to be the Duke of Newcastle's bosom
friend, than this mixture of sweet and bitter oppo-
nent: by the way, I heard last night that my
friend Eochford had thought it incumbent upon
him to answer him, and had got a speech of ridicule
ready ; which of the Earls a performance of that
sort upon such a question would have turned most
against, since time will never disclose to us, I
intend my Lady shall.

Admiral Boscawen's sailing orders went last night :
the original command was seven ships, whether
they have added any more, I can't tell.

Johnny* and the Irish colonels kiss hands to-day,
and go to-morrow or next day, and Lord Harting-
ton, I now hear, goes this day se'night. I have
nothing else to add, but an assurance how much
I am, &c.

Richard Rigby.

* The honourable John, afterwardB thitd Earl Waldegrave.

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Leicester Fields^ May 24w 1755.

My dear Lord,

The opera being but just now over, at
past ten o'clock, the post would not give me time
to write you much news, if the town was enough
alive to furnish any; but though there are inha-
bitants to please Vaneschi * to-night, if he is not
very unreasonable, they do not furnish conversation
worth repeating out of the walls of the Haymarket :
and what is worse for me, the Princess has kidnapped
Betty, and we have no club, that I am come home
to trouble you with these few lines, and don't be-
lieve I shall stir out again. She and her mistress
come to town to-morrow at eleven o'clock, and
return at two to Hampton Court ; though so large
a party is going to Hitcham, the poor Miller cannot
be spared till Monday night, that the party that
goes to-morrow to dinner wiU be at her house
almost two days before her.

I have seen Lady Ossory last night and to-day,
and I think I can tell your Grace and the Duchess
I never saw her look better in my life, and appears
to be in very good spirits. I was alone a little
whUe, and inquired about Ireland and Tunbridge,
and her last opinion was, that the latter scheme is
certainly laid aside, and that he will go without

• One of the directors of the opera.
M 2

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1755. her to Ireland. The public news £rom that king-

dom is very different, I find, from different quarters.

The Lord Lieutenant writes the most sanguine ac-
counts to his Old Whig, but his secretary's private
opinion does not quite coincide with it; and the
violence and inveteracy of the two parties against
each other is undoubtedly as rife as ever: he is
set out on a progress through part of the kingdom
to visit the troops, barracks, &c. There is not the
least tittle of other public news from America, or
more important Germany ; only, if you will believe
it, the French fleet, we are now assured, is very ill
manned, and so much inferior in every respect to
Boscawen that he may do just what he pleases with
them. Bussy, who was here formerly from France,
is going to Hanover, and the reason assigned for
that is, that Mons. Mirepoix is ill with the mi-
nisters there, and holds his emplojmaent by Madame
Pompadour's interest, who is against the war.

Your Bedfordshire neighbour, Sir Charles Ches-
ter *, yesterday, in a high fever, jumped out of a
two-pair of stairs' window in Sir Nathaniel Curzon's
house, after haAdng stabbed himself four times with
a penknife. He broke his thigh by his fall, and what
with his bruises and wounds I hear is at the point of
death. An old woman, his nurse, was in the room,

* Sir Charles Bagot Chester^ one of them by his hed^ the other

Bart, of Chicheley, Bucks. In a by his foot, but could not hold

fever he threw himself out of a him. The delirium went off,

two pair of stairs' window, and but he expired on the 25th of

broke his hip-bone and thigh: May.
his nurse and seryant caught hold.

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but had not strength to hold him. Lady Gore is 1755.
recovering very fast, and pretty sure of living.

I am, &c.

Richard Rigby.


Mistley, August 21. 1755.

The night before last Mr. Walpole came
down here for a few days, and as he generally has
a good deal of political intelligence, I think my
sending it can but give you the same trouble as
reading a newspaper, and you may put equal con-
fidence in it too, if you please. However, some of
it that relates to the transactions in Ireland he has
from the best authority, and I dare say you may
rely as much upon it, as you will be surprised at
the folly of Hartington, who has acted the weakest
part in the world since Conway left him, and after
he had brought about the very thing he was sent
to transact, and which was the thing in the world
that would have redounded most to his own ho-
nour — I mean the removal of the Primate, which,
after a long conversation between Conway, the Chan-
cellor, and Newcastle, the latter had consented to
give up ; when immediately comes a letter from
Hartington to Newcastle himself repenting of the
measure of giving him up, and begging that when
he shall return home a lieutenant may be appointed

M 3

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1755. to save the disgrace of leaving him out of the re-

gency. It b imagined he had been worked up to

this very weak measure by his relations where he
is. And Newcastle has naturally laid hold of this
letter as the strongest reason to prove there is no
necessity to part with the Primate, and to retract
from his agreement. Conway is outrageous at the
folly of this, and at his own iU-treatment, and has
wrote himself, and has prevailed upon Fox and
Devonshire to do the same, in the strongest terms,
to Hartington, to insist still upon the first resolu-
tion of giving him up : how aU this will end God
knows, but I never heard so complete a piece of
folly, nor so strong an instance of want of judg-
ment. My next piece of news may, perpaps, strike
your Grace still with more astonishment : when the
Hessian treaty was brought to the Treasury to be
signed, Legge * refused to sign it, and being pressed
over and over again, still persisted in his patriot-
ism, and absolutely did not. I hope he will carry
his resentment to it a little farther, and speak
against it in the House of Conmions: how very
dirty work this must be, when he is afraid of being
engaged ; or does he find that he is sure of being

* Walpole,thenatMr.Rigby*89 upon by the Duke of Newcastle
writes^ " There is a certain Hes- ever since he was made ChanceUor
aian treaty^ said to be eighteen of the Exchequer by him^ and
years long, which is arrived. At would have been turned out long
the Treasury, Legge refused per- ago if Sir George Lee would have
emptorily to sign it. You did not accepted the post." — Lettert^
expect patriotism from thence? vol. iii. p. 143.
Legge has been frowned

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turned out at all events, and so thinks to secure i7 55.
a little popxdarity?

Fox has sent me word to expect such a sessions
of Parliament as I have never seen ; that there is
like to be bustle enough to satisfy even me, but I
cannot be so sanguine myself. I have seen so
many clouds gathered and blown over, that I de-
spair of a storm : however, I cannot help hoping, I
have so much of the PaU MaU in me still. I am
ever your Grace's, the Duchess of Bedford's, and
the whole House of Wobum's

Most faithful &c.



London^ Oct 14. 1755, eleven o'clock.

My dear Lord,

The enclosed letter I have just received
from Mr. Fox, and think I cannot possibly give an
answer to it without communicating the entire
contents to your Grace. I take the reason of this
letter being sent to me to be, that if your Grace
does not approve of the terms proposed, you may
not be put to the disagreeable necessity of giving a
refusal or his Majesty of receiving it. I must own
that I am glad to find that his Grace of N. seems
to be entirely out of the present transactions, and
that though his downfall is not immediate, every

M 4

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168 C0BRB8P0in)ENC£ OF

1755. political step seems to portend it. I intend setting

out for Stratton on Thursday, unless your Gra^^e'a

determination upon this measure should make my
continuance in London necessary.

I am your Grace's most obliged

and obedient servant,



October 14. 1755.

My Lord,

H. R, H. the Duke approves, and therefore
your Lordship will allow of my taking this liberty.
I make it my humble request to your Lordship that
if in your opinion it is not improper, you would sound
the Duke of Bedford, to know whether, if H. M.
should send to ask his Grace's assistance to quell
the spirit that is rising against the subsidiary
treaties entered into for the defence of H, M.'s
electoral dominions, and should express that for
this purpose he should think it for his service that
his Grace should immediately take the Privy Seal,
whether, I say, his Grace would receive the message
in such manner as H. M. would wish, and come
and take the Seal accordingly. I need not tell
your Lordship that I would not propose this with-
out your knowing that such a message might be
procured, and it is as little necessary to say to one
of your Lordship's rank and understanding, that

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no such message irmst be procured till the reception
it would meet with is certainly known.

How much the King, the public, and (which is
of little consequence) my future situation is con-
cerned in the event of this matter will no doubt
occur to your Lordship, and even the last may, I
flatter myself, have some little weight. Should
your Lordship's answer be such as I most earnestly
wish it may, who would be the proper messenger
directly from the King to the Duke of Bedford ?
I think your Lordship, as it would be doing the
Duke of Bedford more honour, and perhaps would
please the King better than sending it either by
the Duke of Grafton or Lord Waldegrave.*

I am, &c.

H. Fox.


* Mr. Fox'g great point was to
signalise his preferment by the
accession of the Duke of Bedford
and his party. The faction were
sufficiently eager for such a junc-
tion^ the Duke himself most averse
to it, especially as the yery band
of concord was to be an approba-
tion of the treaties ; the tenor of
his opposition had run against
such measures ; these were cer-
tainly not more of English stamp.
When the Duchess and his con-
nection could not prevail on him
to give up his humour and his
honour^ to gratify their humour
and necessities, Mr. Fox and Lord
Sandwich employed Lord Fane%

whom the Duke of Bedford es-
teemed as the honestest man in
the worlds to write him a letter^
advising his Grace to vote fof the
treaties; and they were careful to
prevent his conversing with Mr.
Pitty which he wished, or with any
other person, who might confirm
him in a jealousy of his honour ;
indeed, he did not want strong
sensations of it; they drew tears
from him before they could draw
compliance. Fox would have en-
gaged him to accept the Privy
Seid, which he had prepared the
Duke of Marlborough to cede,
but the Duke of Bedford had
resolution enough to refuse any

' Brother-in-law to Lord Sandwich ; the letter is in the coUectioa
of MSS. at Wobum Abbey.

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Wobum Abbey^ Oct 15. 1755.

Your servant has this moment brought me
your letter, with an account of what you had
heard in relation to my coming again into employ-
ment : it gives me great concern that I cannot at
present be of any utility to his Majesty in this
critical situation of affairs, not only as I have ever
determined since my resigning the Seals, upon no
account to enter into public business whilst the
Duke of N. should continue at the head of affairs,
but also that the affair of these late subsidiary
treaties (of which I know no more than what the
Dutch Gazettes inform me) seems to me to be
calculated more to bring on a war on the
Continent of Europe than for the sole defence of
his Majesty's electoral dominions, which doubtless
can be in no imminent danger from any aggressor,
as being under the protection and part of the
Eoman empire, besides the necessity this country
will be ever under of causing ample satisfaction to
be made to his Majesty for any losses he or his
German subjects may have sustained en haine^ for
what he may have done as King of Great Britain.
I hope you will be now convinced that what I now
do does not proceed either from want of duty to his

employment for himself. Ac- seen at the conclusion of the

quiescing to the acceptance of his year. — WaJpMs Memoirs, vol i.

friends^ they rushed to court: p. 404.
what terms they obtained, will be

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Majesty, or from any dislike to any number of 1755.
people now employed. My duty to the King will
carry me as far as my duty to my country will
allow me, to the support of his dominions abroad ;
but what I owe to myself will not permit me again
to enter into the King's service whilst the person
who has once deceived me is so high, if not at the
head of the administration. Let me add one word
before I conclude, that no one can have a more
dutiful regard than myself for the great person
mentioned in the beginning of the account you
sent me, nor a greater desire of obeying his com-
mands, as fJBur as I can consistently with my former
actions and my present opinion of the state of
things; and I must likewise desire the favour of
your Lordship to assure the person who wrote to
you that no one can wish him better than myself,
and that I am heartily sorry it is not in my power
to do what I perceive would be agreeable to him.

I am, &c.


Arlington Street, Not. 26. 1755.

My dear Lord Duke,

Had we not to-day voted away some hun-
dred poimds of your Grace's money, by granting
four shillings in the pound land tax, there would
not have happened an occurrence for me to have

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1755. sent you an account of. Monday and Tuesday have
passed as unattended in both Houses of Parliament
as if they had all been members of the Dunstable
hunt, and to-day that great sum was levied upon
the people of England without a single objection.
Mr. Secretary Fox then produced the Treaties, and
intimated this day fortnight as a reasonable time
for taking them into consideration. Mr. Pitt ap-
proved of the day, and it is understood by the
House to be so fixed. But Mr. Pitt gave out that
if they should move for papers or other lights on
that day, that might create difference of opinion,
then they must adjourn the consideration of the
treaties to some other. By which (but this is my
own private conjecture, not having spoke to a single
person on the subject,) I conclude they mean to
move for the letters that passed between the regency
and Holdemesse, which of course will be refused

Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 12 of 33)