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

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

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sorry to have that proved upon him.

In the House of Commons, we divided upon the
Wiltshire turnpike, and Bajnuton carried it three to
one. There was no public business ; a rumour of
the budget being to be opened to-morrow, but I
hear it since contradicted. My Lord Mayor told
me there never was any thing in the City like the
unpopularity of the House of Commons and Mr.
Pitt upon this bUl. He is not apt to be warm in
his expressions, but he was so to-day.

The Tories had all got a notion in their heads,
and Mr. Dickinson told me that it also had reached

* '< On the affair of Mr. Byng, the advantage did not lie on the

he (Lord Temple) had even gone aide of the battle of Oudenarde."

so far as to sketch out some pa- — - Walpok Memoires, vol. ii. p.

rallel between the monarch him- 1 98.
self and the admiral^ in which

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1757. the Royal Exchange, that Mr. Fox meant to take

fiirther notice of the King's message to-day- I

asked Fox about it ; he told me, without knowing
your Grace's and the Duke of Devonshire's senti*
ments of a matter of that moment, he never should,
and therefore never had such an intention.

The delightful Countess of Coventry is coming
into the room. I am sure you will think that an
excuse for only adding that I am eternally, &c. &c.


Leicester Fidds, March 21. 1757*

The Duke kept his bed aU day yesterday,
and was not up when I called to-day at his apart-
ments to Inquire after him at two o'clock. It is
his old disorder in his leg ; but they say the sore is
not broke out, and this is aU precaution. I think,
notwithstanding the seeming impossibility of his
taking so much care, that it may be true : for Fox
tells me he goes very shortly abroad. There is
nothing, therefore, alarming in this account.

I told Mr. Fox last night of the report that was
propagated with so much industry, of Pitt's reftising
to carry a message to the House for four thousand
British troops to be sent to Westphalia, and that it
was your Grace's opinion it should be contradicted
in parliament. He told me he would manage it
to-day ; and if Pitt was not there, he would make

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Legge disavow it. Accordingly he called upon the 1757.

latter as a cabinet councillor to make the world

easy upon such a scandalous report, and he in his
place said neither the King or his ministers had
ever had such a measure in their thoughts. Fox
then added, that upon hearing such a report had
been propagated (which Legge allowed he had
heard much talked of in the world), he had yester-
day had an audience of the Duke, who had desired
him to say to the House, that for his own part it
was the farthest from his thoughts to take so un-
reasonable or improper a step. Nothing material
besides passed in the House of Commons. Miss
Shepheard's BUI went through the committee in
your House without opposition.

Admiral Smith has been prevailed on, though
nominated by the King for Rochester, to refuse
the election ; but his Majesty is sturdy, and rightly
says it shall nevertheless not be Dr. Hay, and
old Isaac Townshend or Knowles will be the man ;
but I rather believe the former.*

I dined with the Board of Trade and Sir Thomas
Robinson at Tommy Pelham's. Halifax told me
he had been to Bedford House this morning to see
you, and was sorry he had not. He seems, by his
conversation to me in a whisper, to be repining for
the Admiralty. There is an Irish mail come in.

♦ The King's reason for ob- thrown the odium of Byng's exe-
jecting to Dr. Hay was, that he cution off themselves, upon him.
thought the Board of Admiralty, Townshend was chosen for Ro-
to which Dr. Hay helonged^ had Chester.

VOL. n. R

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1757. but Sir Robert TVllmot has not yet sent me the

correspondence. If there is any thing material in

it, I shall send it by to-morrow night's post ; if not,
I shall not trouble you with it at Wobum. Colonel
Wolfe was with me this morning, and I told him it
was your Grace's opinion he should kiss the King's
hand directly ; and he either did to-day, or will to-


Brelefdt, May 21. 1757-

My Lord Duke of Bedford,

I received this morning yours of the 12th,
and shall be very glad if Voorst may be agreeable
either to the Duchess or you. I flatter myself
that some quieter summer I shall be allowed to park
in it.

Though I have had some accounts of the internal
state of affairs at home, yet I shall always be glad
to hear your opinion on them. I most sincerely
join with you that it is a most melancholy con-
sideration that his Majesty has not been able yet to
form a settled plan of administration ; but what
can the King do alone, and when so few will assist

I am very glad the troops will sail complete from
Cork ; and the two Highland battalions, I am in-

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formed, will bring with them 300 men a-piece over 1757.

We have a very extraordinary war here, if I can
call it a war ; for the French seem not to choose to
begin after all their bragging, and there is a gulf
of jfeuDoine between the two armies that neither care
to pass.

Our situation here is greatly mended, and what
I once looked upon as desperate is, I flatter myself,
become not extremely dangerous.

I must desire you would make my compliments
to the Duchess, and to Lord Gower : he and I have
not prospered this year at Newmarket.

I remain your most affectionate friend,



Arthur'B^ six o'clock, Thursday^
June 1.

Since I came to town to-day, I have heard
one or two things that I think it right to give your
Grace the earliest intelligence of. The first is, that
Lord George Bentinck is so ill that it is thought
impossible he should outlive this night ; and as I
understand your Grace has mentioned that suc-
cession at Malmesbury to Forrester, it is proper
you should know that the Duke of Newcastle has
just now sent Lord Dupplin to Mr. Fox, to tell him

B 2

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1757. that the King wants to know who is to come in for
that borough. Will your Grace, therefore, choose
to tell his Majesty that it is Mr. Forrester upon your
recommendation ?

The other business is, to let you know that there
is a regiment vacant in Ireland, by Lambton'a
dying about noon to-day. I hope you will pardon
my submitting to your consideration upon this
vacancy, that if your Grace should approve of
giving it to Sandford, you will have the quarter-
master-general for Sebright, or who you please, and
a lieut. -colonelcy of dragoons also for who you
please ; for Mr. Severn, I find, will now think himself
very happy with Sandford's present battalion, and
he will in no shape then have been intruded upon
your establishment. Few people know yet of
Lambton's being dead, and I should imagine the
sooner you disposed of this regiment with the King
the better.

Lord Loudon is come to Portsmouth. There
was no news at the Secretary of State's oflSlce at
three o'clock that the fleet was sailed ; but I hear
at this place that Lord Bolingbroke came from the
Isle of Wight this morning, and says he saw them
under sail.

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Holland House, Friday, June 14. 1757.

My dear Lord,

I saw your Grace's anger when you left
Kensington last Saturday, and I should not have
the same high esteem that I have for your Grace, if
you could have seen what you saw then without
indignation. But it gave me great concern to
observe, as I thought, that your Grace's displeasure
feU in some measure upon me. I can with truth
say that nothing would make me more unhappy,
than that I should lose any of your Grace's good
opinion by my behaviour in a transaction where
every step your Grace has taken has increased the
honour and regard I have for you, and at the same
time added to the obligations I before lay under to
your Grace.* If your Grace, when you say this
scheme was spoiled by delay, means the delay of car-
rying the whole into execution when it was first
determined two months ago, I think so too ; I fore-
saw its consequences, lamented, and would have
prevented that delay, but indeed this week there
has been none. On Wednesday I saw the King
for the first time. I instantly published my ac-
ceptance; wrote before I dined to the Duke of
Argyle to receive Oswald f ; and from that time tUl

• " Fox's junto met two or ford reproached him with it." —

three times: Lord Granville Wdlpole Memoirs, vol, u, p.2Z3.
would have infused his jovial f James Oswald, Esq.^memher

intrepidity into them: Bedford of parliament for the horoughs

wanted no inspired ardour; hut of Kirkcaldy^ &c. : a commis-

Fox himself desponded, and Bed- doner of the treasury.

B 3

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1757. Saturday noon went about pressing men into the

service, — without success, indeed ; but there was no

doubt in those who refused my oflfers of my being
fixed in the situation that enabled me to make
them. I must add, that from Thursday, when the
King was not only firm but cheerful, till Saturday,
when I followed Lord Mansfield into the closet, I
did not see or send message to the King ; so that he
was infected with no fears of mine.

Nor could the execution of the business have
been set about with more haste or alacrity than it
was. Yet I do not blame his Majesty ; for when
the Duke of Newcastle showed he could draw so
many into so infamous a measure, the game was
lost, and his Majesty and the country deprived (I
will say so, though I was to have had so large a
share in it) of as able, as honest, and as firm a
ministry, as this nation and these times could
furnish. I would not for the world accuse myself
of having had any share in the defeat of such a sys-
tem ; and, next to thinking so myself, should be made
most miserable by your Grace's imputing it in any
degree to him who honours your Grace above all
men, and who is with unalterable attachment your
Grace's, &c.

H. Fox.

P. S. — I know your Grace will have company to-
morrow who will tell your Grace more, and give
a more perfect account of what passes than I can do.

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Wobum Abbey^ June I6. 1757-

My Lord,

I am just now honoured with your Lordship's
letter of the 9th instant at this place ; and yesterday
Mr. Rigby communicated to me your letter to Mr.
Fox, which he had sent down to him hither for my

I am much surprised and concerned to find your
Lordship so uneasy about a thing which, when
stated in its true light, cannot possibly put either the
Lords Justices of Ireland or myself (who am equally
implicated in it with your Excellencies) under
the disagreeable circumstances you imagine. For
though the King's first letter was never sent to the
Treasury, yet the notoriety of its existence was so
great, both in England and Ireland (of which I
have convincing proofs, by its having been men-
tioned to me by many persons to whom I had never
communicated it), that the recital and revocation
of it, in the second letter, cannot make it a jot more
public. And indeed, considering this notoriety, it
was necessary, and I was advised by those con-
versant in the business of Ireland to cause it to
be drawn up in this manner, and to explain it to
the King as a revocation of the first letter. Besides,
the reasons given me by the Lords Justices for not
making use of the money allotted for granting
bounties on the importation of com were so cogent,
that 1 directed my secretary to write it as my

R 4

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1757. opinion, that the money designed for bounties
should not be made use of but on the utmost
emergencies. The situation of affairs in Ireland
being sach that this money could not, with any
utility to the public, be made use of, and the
distress occasioned by the want of com in the
North continuing, I, at my own risk, caused some
cargoes of oats and barley to be bought, and to be
shipped for Belfast and Londonderry; but finding
it impossible for me as a private man to undertake
an affair of so great risk and expense as would be
adequate to supplying the wants in the northern
counties, I was necessitated to apply to his
Majesty for his most gracious assistance, to relieve
by the money in the Treasury the distresses of his
subjects ; and I can assure your Lordship I am at
present at least 5000/. out of pocket, and am still
proceeding to get up more com to send to Ireland.
I must therefore, in order to enable me to proceed in
what I have undertaken, desire that the King's letters
may be immediately sent to the Treasury, and am
very willing to take upon myself my share of any
animadversions ill-natured people may be desirous
of casting upon me; well content with knowing
that I have done my duty to the King and the
public, — ^which reasoning, I think, will equally hold
with regard to your Lordship.

I am, &c.


P. S. — I must add one more argument in this

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postscript. Can it be advisable for your Lordship 1757.

to apprise the Board of Treasury which is now

forming (and which, by-the-by, I do not believe
will be a very Mendly one either to your Lordship
or me) of your apprehensions of clamour by entering
the King's first letter, and designing a third to be
sent, in which no mention shall be made of either
of the former ones ?


Leicester Fields, June 18. 1757.

My dear Lord,

I was this morning at the King's levee to
pick up what news I could to send your Grace, and
the first thing I heard did not more astonish me
than it will you : Lord Halifax had been with the
King and resigned his employment.* This very
person, whose first refusal last week to join with
our wishes was one of the principal causes of our
failing, to-day, when Mr. Pitt was to be with his
Majesty, is the only one to throw up. I had a
great deal of discourse with him, and in my life
never abusedj nor heard any body more abuse
another, than he did the Duke of Newcastle. His

* '^ Lord Halifax^ who de- fused ; but having outlived his

manded to be Secretary of State income, was forced to re-accept

for the West Indies, a theatre on what^ unless he had persisted^ he

which Pitt meditated to shine had done more wisely to retain."

himself, threw up on being re- — Walpole Memoirs, ii. 227.

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1757. point, that he says his Grace promised him over and

over, was Secretary of State for America ; whidi it

seems, in the present arrangement of things, he was
not only not to have, but his office to be lopped also
of those valuable agrSmeTis which your Grace and I
are of opinion should never have been taken from
the Secretary of State of the Southern Province.
But what makes this matter more curious is, that
when he came out from the King, with whom he
was about ten minutes giving his reasons for his
resignation, he met Mr. Pitt, who told him the Duke
of Newcastle had never agitated this matter for him.
He did not, indeed, say he should have given way,
but assured him it had never come in contest
between them. Nay it appears since, the Duke of
Devonshire was so well prepared to part with this
bosom friend of his, that my Lord Hardwicke this
very morning has named my Lord Dupplin to the
King for his successor, and he will have his place.
My Lord Gower, who dines with you to-morrow, as
does the Duke of Marlborough, invited Halifax to
do the same in his way to Horton to-morrow, and
he means to do so. He will tell you enough of the
Duke of Newcastle's villany, but he will not tell
you how much less he deserves ill-usage from him
after having betrayed all Fox's confidence to him
for a week together. So much for the only resigner
in question.

And now, my Lord, as I understand from the
Duke of Devonshire, to whom Lord Hardwicke

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had communicated the contents of a long audience, 1757.
things remained settled thus : —

Duke of Newcastle - - Treasury.

Pitt - - - - Secretary.

Holdemesse - - - Ditto.

Fox - - - - Paymaster.

Anson - - - Admiralty.

Dorset, or Kochford - - Pensioned.

Temple, as put down in the paper showed to the
Kiog, a place.

Ellis, though he has been pushed at, is to remain
where he is. Potter is to have Lord Cholmondeley's
place, who is to be pensioned. Lord Thomond is
to have Lord Bateman's stick, who is to have
Jennison's buckhounds ; and Jennison, if he does
not die, a pension. Barrington is to remain ; and
Lord George Sackville nothing. I think, that that
last being the case, if the Duke of Dorset is to be
pensioned, his lordship has not made much of his
politics this winter. The Duke of Newcastle gives
up Stanley, and Lord Temple's Board of Admiralty
comes in under Lord Anson. I have heard no deter-
mination yet about our Board, except as to Dupplin.
Now a word concerning the Townshends, who were
(both brothers) this morning with Mr. Pitt. He
told them how matters were settled ; that he was
going to the King ; asked George Townshend if he
might name him to his Majesty for any employment,
and hoped things had his approbation. His answer
was, that he would take nothing ; that he had a

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1757. friend or two^ by whom he would make his senti-
ments known to his Majesty; that he had not been
consulted till it was too late; that he had neither
approbation or disapprobation, or any thing left but
admiration. And then, turning to Charles, the new
Secretary said he hoped he might mention him
again for Treasurer of the Chambers. He replied,
that he already was Treasurer of the Chambers ; that
he had no thoughts at this time of resigning that
employment ; but that he should not go to court on
Monday with the new administration, but retire
into Norfolk to-morrow with his brother. George
approved of his language, and they left Mr. Pitt
equally dissatisfied. Lord Anson's promotion it is
has made these shuttlecocks play so ill, I am
told. Legge, it was reported to-day, was not to be
Chancellor of the Exchequer ; but that is not so : he
is to have it, and George Grenville his old place.
Pitt was half an hour with the King, and Lord
Hardwicke longer; he has been the negotiator.
Neither the Duke of Newcastle nor Pitt would
trust Lord Mansfield, who was in the highest
spirits to-day at dinner at Doddington's, and toasted
your Grace. Mr. Mackenzie is talked of for Trea-
surer to the Princess in the room of Sir George Lee,
who seems to have chosen as judicious a time for a
resignation as Lord Halifax.*

* *' Sir George Lee^ who re- Lord Bate into Doctors' Commons,

■igned his treasurership to the is succeeded by Lord Bates

Princess against Mr. Pitt, and, as brother, Mr. Kvascfy'-^WalpoU

the world says, wanting to bring Letters, voL iil p. sps.

^ Mr, Stuart Mackenzie.

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Thus things are for the present fixed. It has been 1757.

rumoured that Lord Granville was to be turned out

for Lord Hardwicke ; but that is only rumour.

There has been no thoughts of attacking your
Grace, or the Duke of Marlborough, or Lord Gower ;
on the contrary, I am much mistaken if you have
not both sides paying court to you. They are as
jealous, and at bottom as much at enmity as ever,
and will be striving which shall outdo the other in
the means of your future friendship, which, if you
manage to the best advantage, as 1 make no doubt
but you will do, you will have it in your power
to do whatever you shall think proper.


Arthur^ four o'clock, June 24. 1757.

The Duke of Bridgewater assures Lord Grower
and me that Pitt absolutely refuses going any
further, if Lord Anson is put at the head of the
Admiralty ; and this, he says, he knows to be au-
thentic. And that, moreover, Pitt insists upon Lord
Holdemesse being turned out, and Halifax having
his place, and then Oswald will go to the Treasury.
The young Dux is positive to the truth of this in-
telligence. I think it corresponds with the flummery
to me at Kensington ; but I should not trouble you
with it if it did not correspond also with a piece of
secret intelligence I had this minute from Sir

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1757. Robert Wilmot, whose sister that lives with him is
an intimate friend of Mrs. Legge's, who last night
wished herself and her friends quiet in the comitry,
and well out of the way of the very bad scrape they
had been drawn into. They have, besides the above,
been at Newcastle House this morning all together
by the ears about the disposal of the Great Seal, and
parted quite undetermined what to do with it. I
own, from all these circumstances I cannot help
thinking it very likely to break all to pieces again.
Lord Waldegrave is here, and I think seems much
pleased with the news the Duke of Devonshire had
sent him of the ribband.* Egremont, he tells me,
is furious against the Duke of Newcastle ; but Lord
Thomond f will accept of the white staff, having no
objection to being a servant of the King's, as he has
wrote the Duke of Newcastle word.


Leicester Fields^ June 28. 1757*

Count Offley J has at last led up the political
dance, and the only person that has kissed hands
to-day for Groom of the Bedchamber. To-morrow

• " The King gave the garter Duke of Newcastle said, anro-

to Lord Waldegrave^ — an almost gantly enough, should not carry

unprecedented favour, as it was his messages." — Walpole Me-

given alone; buthe deserved it." — moirs, vol. ii. p. 225.
Walpole Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 227. % •^^^^ Offley, Esq., member

t " Lord Thomond had Lord of parliament for the borough of

Bateman's white sticky who, the Orford.

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a great scene opens, and Lord Gower is to be Master 1757.

of the Horse, Mr. Fox Paymaster, the Duke of

Newcastle takes the Treasury, &c. &c. as it was
settled. Mr. Pitt takes his seals on Thursday, and
Sir Robert Henley the Great Seal on the same day,
with Pratt for Attorney ; and the law arrangements,
like the other, fixed in the manner we talked them
over at Wobum.

Lord Halifax, I hear, is desirous to return, being
a Cabinet Councillor; but that I do not hear is
adjusted. Both Houses are adjourned to Friday;
but whether that day or Tuesday next will put an
end to the session, I cannot tell. I rather think
some hitch or other will postpone it till the latter
day. I did not stay the passing of the bills, nor
the House of Commons' rising, being to dine early
at Holland House ; but I hear young Mr. Vyner *
in the House of Commons chose to abuse the Hano-
verians for cowardice, with some insinuations not
very favourable to H. R. H. What he says does
not signify much ; but what your Grace will have
read in the newspapers upon that subject is not
more false. I saw ^ letter from the Duke to Mr.
Fox ; he writes in extreme good spirits, and does
not despair keeping the French at bay. I believe
the fair truth is, that in the retreat over the river
there was rather more confusion than was to be
expected or vrished from such brave troops ; but that
is the worst of it. The King at his levee to-day

* Robert Vyner, jun.^ Esq., member of parliament for the borough
of Oakhampton.

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1757. expressed his impatience for the next mail, but de-

Glared he liked the news yesterday very well.

A Chapter of the Garter is summoned for
Thursday, when Lord Waldegrave is to be invested.
I hear Mr. Pitt or his friends say it is hitting them
a slap in the face at the first outset, and a bad
omen for their administration. The Duke of
Newcastle and his friends, though they like it no
better, are, however, silent upon it. I was told to-
day, as a great secret, the Duke of Newcastle and
Lord Hardwicke had quarrelled violently upon
the disposal of the Great Seal, and proceeded to
coarse language with each other. It is no secret
that his Grace and Mr. Pitt are for ever at variance
and distrust with each other. Pitt found there

Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 17 of 33)