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

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

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was a lie between his Grace and Legge, and brought
them face to face to find it out; and when Legge's
superior cunning had lodged it upon the Duke, he
frankly confessed he believed it was his mistake.
Pitt accordingly never parts with him without re-
capitulating all that has passed, and begging he will
make none of his mistakes. Mr. Pitt's friends, for
instance Cook* of Middlesex and such, are made
to believe that he has engaged none of the million
vote of credit shall be applied to the army of ob-
servation on the Continent, or for the King of
Prussia, or any other Continent purposes, and they
are such fools as to be glad to believe it. Mr. Pitt's

* Geoi^e Cooke, Esq., member Pleas, and lu I766 joint Pay-
for Middlesex, chief prothono- master-General with Mr. Pitt,
tary in the Court of Common

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seat in Parliament, it seems, is not vacated, as 1757-
nobody was appointed to succeed, and Potter * comes
in for Bath.

People in the city are uneasy for Admiral
Holboume. It is imagined that the French fleet
that took the Greenwich man-of-war in the West
Indies is gone to the northward to Cape Breton ;
and if they meet the fleet that sailed some time ago
for Brest, they will be together a good deal superior
to Holboume.

Lord Cholmondeley talked a great deal of
nonsense to me at the levee about his pension f;
but as he means to write it to your Grace, I leave
it to* you to construe. I can recollect nothing
more; but if anything arises, I shall send you
instant intelligence.

Lord Ilchester told me at dinner an excellent
character, a Lady Doneraile J had told him, she
heard of my Lord Lieutenant and his secretary.
His Grace was the honestest and best man, but an
ipse-dixit man, which she did not think he was the
worse for ; and his secretary was a good four-bottle

If I can but keep up my character as well as
your Grace will yours, I don't know if I may not
come away as popular. My best compliments to

* Right Honourable Thomas % Elizabeth^ eldest daughter

Potter^ one of the Vioe-Treasarers andco-heir to Joseph Deane^ Esq.,

for Ireknd. Chief Baron of Uie Exchequer^

t " Lord Chohnondeley got a and wife of Hayes, fourth Vis-
pension to make way for Potter." — count Doneraile, in the Peerage of
Walpole Memoir9y voL ii. p. 225. Ireland.


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1757. the Duchess and the Misses. I sent their letters to
poor Lady Halkelton, who was married on Saturday,
and has been in tears ever since.

Past eleven o'clock.


^ Leicester Fields, three o'clock,

June 29. 1757.

I am this minute come from court, where I
saw the enclosed list of persons* all kiss hands; so
that nothing remains for to-morrow but the ' law.
The levee to-day was more curious even than the
last your Grace was present at. Lord Winchelsea's
salutation to Lord Anson was, that he was at his
service to protect him whenever he should find it
necessary against his own board ; that he thought
him now in a much worse situation than when he
was left in the island of Tinian ; and that had it
been his case to have been left on that island, even
there he would not have kept such company as his
Lordship was now going into.

* A list of the Administration Mr. Pitt,

who kissed the King's hand^ Potter.

29th June, 1757:— Fox.

Duke of Newcastle. Sir Harry Eustace — for Off-
Lord Temple. ley's place.
Lord Gower. Legge.
Lord Anson — with Lord Tem-
ple's whole board^ Admiral
Forbes and all.

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Lord Grower tells me the King was very civil to 1757.

him. His successor was not in the closet long

enough for the door to be shut ; and Legge as short
a time for his seals. I have a notion his Majesty
spoke a little of his mind to Lord Mansfield, for he
was a full half hour with him; Pitt about five
minutes. The good Duke of Newcastle has been
again assuring me, for your Grace's belief, that you
shall find every thing at 4he Treasury as you can
wish, and begs me to be the mediator for your
friendship and protection for him. Lord Anson,
too, hardly in his office before he begged I would
give him timely notice of your Grace's going to
Ireland, that he may have a proper convoy ready
for you. I never saw more marked coldness in my
life than to-day between the two Law Lords ; and I
am sure the time will come when Mansfield will
show to the other's cost the diflference between them
in the House of Lords. I hope your Grace and I
shall both be present. No fresh news from the
Duke. But CoUoredo* is going away without
taking leave; so the port of Ostend will swarm im-
mediately with French privateers, and be shut up
from any further correspondence with us. More
work for the new Admiralty. Add to which, the
King of Prussia begins to be much dissatisfied that
we have no naval force in the Baltic for his pro-
tection; and Michel f has been forced for these
six weeks past to keep him quiet by writing him

* Austrian minister at London.

t British minister at the court of Berlin.

s 2

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1757. word that there was no ministry yet fixed, or we

should send some ships there ; but, as far as I can

hear, we have none to send.

Potter told me at court he should wait upon
your Grace, and beg your assistance at Okehampton,
as it is now again fixed for Pitt at Bath, and he
takes a nominal place to vacate. The Parliament
is not to be up till Tuesday; the only quarrel, the
Duke of Newcastle assured me, there was between
the Duke of Devonshire and him. I am to dine
with the latter Duke at Holland House. If I should
hear any thing more, I will send you another letter ;
but as the post goes out early this evening, I chose
not to defer telling you how far this happy country
is gone in its progress towards everlasting peace
and quiet.

I am, &c. &c.

I find it is expected that the Russian minister
will also be recalled very speedily.

Nothing done about Halifax, who, I hear, is gone
to Horton.


Leicester Fields, July 2. 1757.

My dear Lord,

Having despatched my Irish business in
the other packet, there remains very little of
intelligence to send your Grace from here. The

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news I wrote you firom Devonshire House you will 1757-
see an account of published in to-night's Gazette, ""
and it will be Michel's own account. I have seen
it this morning, and very bad indeed it is ; but there
is a circumstance in it more than will be published,
which is, that the Austrians made a saUy upon the
the rear of Marshal Keith's corps, and cut oif a
good number of men. This bad news, I hear, has
stunned the new administration not a little; and had
it arrived four or five days sooner, I verily believe
they would not have accepted.

What I wrote your Grace from the Duke of
Newcastle about Jennison's pension I had yester-
day from good authority was altered, and they
intend to provide for him in some other shape.

Fox's election at Windsor is very doubtful.
There is a Jacobite subscription of 5000/. raised
against him, with Sir James Dashwood's name at
the head of it. The Beauclerck interest has joined
it, and I am in the greatest fear for him ; at all
events it must cost him a vast deal of money.

Lord-Keeper Henley took his seat upon the wool-
sack yesterday, and poor Lord Sandys remains upon
the 'pavL The Duke of Devonshire is very angry
at it ; but he will tell your Grace all that has passed
concerning it himself on Monday night at Woboum.
He told me yesterday he should not be of their con-
ciliabulum. Of whom that august meeting is to
consist his Grace will also inform you. I am very
glad to find by your Grace's letter that Lord
Kildare has acted so sensibly with relation to the

s 3

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1757. King's letter, and hope you will approve of

what I have done to-day in consequence of it. I

must prepare your Grace against a troublesome
visitor, who may perhaps call upon you at Wobum ;
it is a Mrs, Humphrey, housekeeper of Dublin Cas-
tle, a termagant brimstone, that has been with me
this morning, abusing all the lord-lieutenants that
have been these twenty years for not paying her
what I dare say is a very unreasonable demand ; but
I will not trouble you with a detail of that till she
send you her petition. She talked of calling upon
you only to desire your Grace would immediately
order her an apartment in the Castle, which is part
of her complaint, — that no lord-lieutenant would
ever yet give her one that she thinks good enough
for herself. I advised her to postpone her com-
plaints till your Grace's arrival in Ireland; but
whether she will or not she would not tell me.

Seven o'clock in the afternoon^ Saturday.

I have this moment heard things look worse and
worse at Windsor * ; and, what is worst of all, Mr.
Fox was taken very Ul there last night, forced to be
blooded and go to bed.

I am, &c.


* " We carried the election 137 to 86." — Mr. Righy lo the
Duke of Bedford.

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Dundalk, July 17. 1757.

My Lord,

Your Grace's disposition to promote the
trae interest of this country is so well known, that
it encourages me to trouble you upon a subject that
appears to me of importance to it.

That the Papists in Ireland are zealously at-
tached to the cause of the Pretender is but too
manifest, and that this zeal is fed and cherished by
their priests is as notorious. As these men lie
under the severest penalties for every exercise of
their fiinction, they look on themselves as proscribed
by the legislature ; and though the lenity of the ad-
ministration indulges them, contrary to law, to exer-
cise their functions openly in every parish in Ireland,
they do not think this arises from a principle of
humanity, but from the necessity of not driving
three fourths of the people into despair. Thus
they trust to their numbers for security, and think
that the more formidable they make themselves
the better chance they shall have for the con-
tinuance of this connivance. Now, my Lord, I
cannot but think it is highly advisable to attempt
to dissolve this close connection between Popery and
Jacobitism, and that the most probable method to

* James Hamilton^ Earl of brie manufacture in the town of
Clanbrassill ; so created Novem- Dundalk.
ber 1756*. He established a cam-

S 4

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1757. this effect would be to take their priests under the
protection of the government, and oblige them in
order to obtain that protection to give security for
their good behaviour. One advantage would im-
mediately flow from this plan; — the persons, the
number, and the place of abode of all the priests in
Ireland would be publicly known, which would be
a great check upon them; and when they have
tasted the comfort of a legal protection, which
would give them a kind of property in their
parishes, they will be ready enough to give private
informations against the itinerant friars (those
restless emissaries of France and the Pretender)
who swarm in this country, and devour many little
emoluments that would otherwise fall to the share
of the parish priests. And I make no doubt but
that the Irish parish priests, finding themselves thus
indulged, would in time be as good subjects to the
King of Great Britain, as the German priests in the
Electorate are to the Elector of Hanover.

This train of thinking put me on framing the
heads of a bill, of which I send your Grace a
copy. I proposed one of the same nature, but
something different from this, in the last session
of Parliament. A considerable majority of the
lay lords approved of it ; but all the bishops, ex-
cept three, opposed the carrying of it into execution
at that juncture. I am inclined to acquit most
of them of malice, and to impute it to ignorance of
the genius of the Protestant religion, and of the
nature of men and of government. One of them

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was candid enough to own that it had taken him 1757.

unprepared, and that he did not understand it.

Thus after the heads of the bill had been read
three times in our House, they put it off to a long
day by a majority of two only. This has not dis-
couraged me from bringing it in again in the ap-
proaching session, after having altered some things
to which one prelate made plausible objections.
And I take the liberty of laying it thus early before
your Grace, that you may have an opportunity of
considering it thoroughly; which, if you have
leisure to do, I hope it will be honoured with you

I send under another cover the copy of a placard
I have lately received from Holland, by which your
Grace will see that the regulations made in that
country bear an analogy to those proposed in my
plan. I also take the liberty of sending two schemes
I published some time ago. One was intended to
restore paper credit, which is now reduced almost
to nothing id this country; the other was for
establishing granaries in Dublin, without any fur-
ther expense to the public than that of building the

I ask pardon for thus obtruding my conceptions
upon your Grace ; nothing could have induced me
to it but an earnest desire to be of some use to piy
King and country. And I beg leave to assure your
Grace, that I shall think myself happy if I can in
any degree contribute towards making your ad-
ministration easy and honourable. I am, &c.


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Wobnrn Abbejr, Aagost 4. 1 757-

My Lord,

I have deferred till this time the acknow-
ledgiBg the honour of the receipt of your Lordship's
letter, in order that I might make myself thoroughly
master of the sketch your Lordship has sent me for
heads of a bill, which you propose to bring into
the House of Lords of Ireland at the approaching

I thing myself fortunate in finding that our sen-
timents with regard to persecution and toleration
do so exactly tally ; and I think your Lordship will
do signal service to your country, and gain great
honour to yourself, by carrying into execution a
plan which, consistent with the laws of religion and
humanity, may make the Papists of Ireland good
subjects to the King, and usefiil members of the

The only doubt which remains with me necessary
to be cleared up is, whether the Romish priests can
in conscience take the oaths directed to be adminis-
tered to them by this projected bill, without some
further modifications in conformity to the method
followed in the placard set forth in the States of
Holland ; for I fear it might be attended with very
fatal consequences should a number of priests,
sufficient to supply the several Popish cures in
Ireland, be wanting upon account of scruples to

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taking the oath, by which the Papists might be 1757.
driven to despair.

I flatter myself that your Lordship will believe
that the difficulty I now state is in no sort meant
against the bill itself, the spirit of which in my own
judgment I entirely approve ; though I am not as
yet authorised by his Majesty to say any thing
upon it, not having as yet had an opportunity of
mentioning it to him.

I think myself infinitely obliged to your Lordship
for the kind assurance of your wishing well to my
administration in Ireland, and I shall endeavour to
merit the continuance of your coimtenance and

I am, &c.



Wobnm Abbey^ September 1. 1757.


I think it my duty to apprise you for his
Majesty's information, and in order that I may
receive instructions how to act in an affair of this
delicate nature, of a very extraordinary riot that
happened on Tuesday last in the eastern division of
this county, upon a meeting appointed that day at
Biggleswade for choosing by lot the militia men
which are to be furnished by the three hundreds of

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1757. Clifton, Wixamtree, and Biggleswade. The account
of it I received yesterday on the road, by a letter
from Sir Roger Burgojme, one of the gentlemen
acting for that division, which letter I immediately
despatched to the Secretary at War, in order that
troops might be forthwith sent to be aiding and
assisting to the civil magistrate if necessary ; but
not having any opportunity of taking a copy of it,
and having only read it once cursorily, I cannot
possibly give you the particulars of the riot, but
must refer you for that to the letter now in the
Secretary at War's hands.

What I can recollect of the letter is this, that on
the day of meeting Sir Roger Burgoyne and Colonel
Lee, the only two gentlemen there present, were
informed by some of the constables that they had
passed a mob of 1000 persons, who were coming to
Biggleswade to murder the gentlemen, and prevent
the lots for militia men being drawn, upon which
these two gentlemen thought proper to retire ; soon
after which the mob arrived at Biggleswade, and in
a tumultuous manner demanded of the master of
the house the tickets on which the men's names
were wrote, which being refused them, they went to
Sir Roger Burgoyne's house (who with his wife and
family were obliged to fly to Baldock for refuge),
demanding money and drink, and threatening to
pull down the house ; from thence they went in the
same manner to Mr. AstcU's at Everdon in Hun-
tingdonshire, but on the very edge of this county;
and after having done the same in other places,

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they returned to the inn at Biggleswade, took away 1757-
the tickets from the landlord, and broke all his

I have since heard that, after all these exploits,
they have returned quietly to their parishes ; but I
think it my duty to represent, for the consideration
of his Majesty and those of his servants he shall
please to refer it to, the dangerous consequences
that may attend the taking no notice of this affair,
not only towards the carrying the militia act into
execution, but to the bad example the suffering a
giddy and riotous populace to stand in opposition
to an act of parliament unnoticed may have upon
the rest of the kingdom.

I must, however, in justice to the rest and far the
greatest part of this county, observe to you, that
though the raising the militia in the manner chalked
out by the present bill seems unpalatable to many,
yet I have not in any part of it where I have been
observed the least disposition to riot or disloyalty.

I must likewise observe, that the meeting on
Tuesday last for. the three eastern hundreds was
just a week later than those for the other hundreds
of the county, which were held without any ob-
struction on the preceding Tuesday, and was owing
to some gentlemen that had engaged to come on
that day forgetting their appointment, and others
not being able to be found tiU the day was too far
advanced to finish the business. There was one
thing observable then, and which seemed to point
out the gentlemen then present to draw the lots

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1757. immediately ; and that was, the petty constables ab-

solutely refused to draw them, as they said if they

did, they should subject themselves to be knocked
on the head on their return to their respective

Since my beginning this letter, I have received
an account from the Secretary at War, that two
troops of horse guards now quartered at Uxbridge
and HiUingdon are ordered to Biggleswade.*

I am, &e.



Newcastle House^ October S. 1757-

My Lord,

The King has commanded me to write to
your Grace in the greatest confidence, upon an
aflfair on which his Majesty is desirous to know as
soon as possible your Grace's thoughts. Your
Grace is acquainted with the very unhappy situation

* This letter relates to the diBturbanoes that took place on the new
militia bill. Mr. Potter^ who then resided at Ridgmount in Bedford-
shire, now the property of the Duke of Bedford, thus writes to
Mr. Pitt : — ^' The Duke of Bedford has acted as became him, and
has shown a great spirit and activity^ joined to great prudence and
consideration. On Friday last he met the deputy lieutenants and
magistrates at Bedford : great apprehensions were entertained by tiie
timid of the violence to be committed that day ; and there were found
men of rank who confined themselves to their houses, lest by coming
to the meeting they should be the objects of resentment/' — Chatham
Correspandenee, vol. i. p. 260.

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of the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel,drove from his 1757.

own country by the French, which country has been

and is possessed by the French. This greatly in-
creases the distressed situation which her Royal
Highness the Princess of Hesse, the King's daughter,
and the princes her children, are in. Her Royal
Highness has, in the most dutiful manner, applied
to the King for his Majesty's protection and support,
and that he would of his great goodness make some
separate allowance for her and the princes her
children in the Irish establishment. The King is
sensible how much that establishment is loaded, and
is therefore very unwilling to lay any further en-
cumbrance upon it. His Majesty is at the same
time, from his paternal affection, very desirous to as-
sist his royal daughter, if there was an opportunity
of doing it. No permanent provision, your Grace
knows, can be made upon the civil list of England;
the King would therefore be glad to know your
Grace's opinion, whether a pension of six thousand
pounds per annum, for the life of her Royal High-
ness the Princess of Hesse, and for her children
afterwards, till they or any of them shall succeed
to the landgravate of Hesse Cassel, might be granted
on the Irish establishment, without prejudice to his
Majesty's service in that kingdom ; and in that case,
the King would leave entirely to your Grace the
time and manner of doing it, and the carrying it
or not into execution, till the business of your
session shall be over. The Bjng is thoroughly
persuaded that your Grace's zeal for his service, and

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1757. regard for his royal family are such, that if you

find this can be done without great inconvenience,

your Grace will be glad to concert the carrying
these his Majesty's wishes into execution. I hope
soon to hear of your Grace's safe arrival in Ireland ;
and am, &c. &c.

HoLLES Newcastle.


Dublin Castle^ October 13. 17o7.

My Lord,

I am honoured with your Grace's letter of
the 3d instant, with his Majesty's commands to
report my opinion whether a pension of 6000/. a
year for the life of H. R. H. the Princess of Hesse
Cassel, and afterwards for the princes her children
till they or any of them shall succeed to the land-
gravate of Hesse Cassel, might be granted on
the Irish establishment without prejudice to his
Majesty's service in that kingdom. As it will very
little become me to suggest difficulties that may m
any degree operate towards restraining his Majesty's
liberality, more especially in this case, where his
royal daughter and her children are so essentially
concerned, I shall presume to do no more than to
lay before your Grace for his Majesty's information
the present state of the pension list, compared with
what it was at the King's accession to the throne,

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as likewise the increase on the whole charge of the 1757.
civil establishment of Ireland from that period to the
present year. The pension list, as made up at
midsummer, 1727, amounted but to 37,994/. 10*.;
whereas the present annual charge amounts to
55,253/. 15s.y and makes an increase of 17,259/. 5s.
per annum. But it is right to observe in this place,
that by deaths of the French pensioners since 1727
a reduction of 11,240/. 14*. 2d. is made in the
pensions formerly granted them by the crown, and
that 624/., part of a sum formerly granted by Queen
Anne to the Palatines, and at that time a charge

Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 18 of 33)