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

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

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upon the establishment, is now entirely ceased, by
which means the gross list of pensions doth not
exceed what it was m 1727 but a little more than
5000/. per annum. Upon comparing the whole civil
establishment as it is at present, viz. 92,293/. 7*. 1 Ic?.,
with what it was in 1727, viz. 80,346/. Os. llrf.,
the increase will be 11,947/. 7^. per annum, occa-
sioned by the additional salaries that have been
given to the judges, &c., and some other incidental
charges. Besides the concordatum fund of 5000/.
does never near answer the demand upon it, and the
deficiency is constantly made up out of the ordinary
revenue. Having as succinctly as possible laid
before your Grace for his Majesty's information the
exact state of the civil establishment of Ireland, and
the increase of it within these last thirty years, I
have only to add now, that I fear the revenue is at
least in an equal degree decreasing, both customs
and excise necessarily sinking during a time of war.

VOL. II. T



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"27 4 CORRESPONDENCE OF

1757- When hia Majesty shall have considered the present

state of this country, which I think the duty of my

place obliges me to lay thus fully before him, he
will be the best judge how well it can bear a farther
drain of 6000/. per annum, and whether the pension
list will not be rather overloaded by this additional
charge upon it, especially as I fear it will be unavoid-
ably necessary, in order to carry on with smoothness
Jbis Majesty's business here, to give occasionally some
small pensions to those whose indigent circumstances
make it necessary for them to ask, and whose con-
nection with considerable persons here make it
difficult for me to refuse. However, I can with
great truth assure his Majesty that I will not,
unless I find it absolutely necessary for his service,
apply to him for pensions on this establishment
whilst the list shall continue so overloaded.

I have thus, in discharge of my duty, laid before
the King my thoughts on the point on which his
Majesty has ordered me to give my opinion, hiunbly
submitting it to him, that in case the Parliament of
Great Britain could be prevailed on to grant 6000/.
per annum to H. R. H. the Princess of Hesse for her
life and of the princes her children (which I think
ought to be done, considering the landgrave is drove
out on account of his alliance with Great Britain), it
would be a much more desirable way than the
taking it from this establishment ; but as I must
leave that to his Majesty's superior wisdom, and the
conduct of his ministers on your side the water, I
have only to add, that in case the King shall think



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THE DUKE OF BEDFORD. 275

proper to have the 6000/. taken out out of this i757.

establishment, I will use my utmost endeavours to

make it as little unpalatable to the nation here as
possible, and by the utmost frugality of the public
revenue strive to make it able to bear this additional
weight upon it.

I am, &c.

Bedford.



MR. FOX TO THE DUKE OF BEDFORD.

Holland Home, Wednesday, Oct. 12. 1757.

My dear Lord,

I will begin by a message to your Grace
just given me by the Duke.* H. R. H. bids me
tell your Grace, that he can justify himself in every
respect of honour to the entire satisfaction of your
Grace, who are so nice and so good a judge of it;
and that he always intended to let your Grace
know so much as soon as he arrived, lest the usage
he meets with, and the reports that are spread,
should (though he flatters himself nothing could)
stagger your good opinion of him, on which he
sets the highest value. I am now to tell your Grace
all that has passed since he arrived. I went to

* The Duke of Cumberland^ treatment he met with from the

after the convention of Closter. King, see Walpotes Memoirs, vol.

Seven, returned at once to Eng- ii. p. 247*
land. For an account of tlie

T 2



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276 CORRESPONDENCE OF

1757. him as soon as he arrived last night, to give him
information (of which I had collected all I could) -
He came into the room to Windham, Napier, Sir
E. Fawkner, and myself. When I kissed his hand,
he said, " You see me as well as ever I was in my
life, both in body and in mind." I said I had
heard with great pleasure that he had quite
recovered his health, but I feared I should not have
seen him well in mind. " You have always mis-
taken me, Mr. Fox. With respect to the King, I am.
perfectly easy ; I have the King's orders in writing
for what I have done, and I have done better for
him than I thought the exigency would have
allowed of." He then dressed while we stood by;
and then talked military to Napier, till the King
came to the Princesses, when he went to his Majesty.
This morning early H. R. H. sent for me, and told
me he saw I came last night to speak to him, for
which he thanked me ; but that he was resolved to
see no man alone, or hear anybody's opinion, till he
had seen the King, and taken his step. He saw
H. M. for a few minutes, when he lefk us. His
reception was bad (of which he entered into no
particulars).* He then went to the card-playing,
and after the King retired desired Lady Yarmouth,
in the most respectful and most submissive manner,
to let the King know that he had it not in his
power to serve H. M. any longer, and that he

* Walpole telU us that the ruined me, and disgraced him-
King, when playing at cards^ said self."
aloud^ '< Here is my son^ who has



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THE DUKE OF BEDFORD. 277

had no favour left to ask, but leave to quit. Lady 1757.

Yarmouth desired him to take no resolution. He

answered, that his resolution was not now to take ;
he had had time to reflect on his own conduct,
which was irreproachable, and on the impossibility
of his showing due regard to his own honour by
any other method than what he now pursued. She
asked him if he was determined? He said, yes;
and that he only spoke to her as the person who could
with most ease and least oflfence let the King know
it. I told H. R. H. that your Grace expressed
your dread of this step, and that it was likewise the
Duke of Devonshire's and Lord Waldegrave's opinion
that it would add greatly to the distress and danger
of this country, already in a deplorable situation.
He said a point of honour was in question, on which
nobody should ask advice. His submission, his
duty, his regard to the King, were without bounds on
any other subject ; but, dear as the King was to
him, his own honour was dearer to him even than the
King. He is not only in temper, but cheerful, and
at ease to such a degree as I have seldom known him.
He is a little vexed, he says, to be obliged, as he
must own himself to be, to Mr. Pitt for his very
honourable behaviour on this occasion. The King
sent Munckhausen (who, by the way, must be mad,
for he has treated the convention to the whole world,
and even General Napier, as irifdme^ indigne^ Idche^
&c,). The King sent this Munckhausen to the
conciliahulum^ to show the letters which were to
prove that H. R. H. had acted without orders, and

T 3



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278 CORRESPONDENCE OE

1757. these letters proved the contrary to the conviction
of every minister present. " I must," says Pitt,
^^ as a man of honour and a gentleman, allow every
where that H. R. H. had full powers to do what he
has done." Your Grace knows that before tMs
H. M. wrote a cruel letter to the Duke, and had it
translated into French, and shown to every foreign
minister, and disclaimed the treaty to the King of
Prussia in particular, and I believe to almost every
court in Europe, H. R. H. this morning showed
me the King's letters, which are not fiill powers
only, but directions to prevent the army from
becoming prisoners of war at any rate, and to
sign a treaty for that purpose if necessary, without
waiting for any formality, or further directions
from hence whatever; and Munckhausen told M.
D'Abreu* the amount of this treaty, as what would
be concluded, four days before it came. But now
I will tell your Grace what I take to be the cause
of all this anger. Steinburg, by the King's order,
sent the King of Prussia word that he was treating.
The King of Prussia represented immediately
against it, and strongly here. The English mi-
nisters, who knew nothing of this negotiation,
pressed Michel's memorial. H. M. said his hands
were tied as elector, and gave that answer which
your Grace has seen in the papers signed by Lord
Holdemesse, and dated September the 16th.
Whether by their arguments, or promises what

* Spanish minister to the court of St. James.



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THE DUKE OF BEBFORD. 279

they would do for the electorate if the elector did 1757.
not treat, the English ministers brought his Majesty
to wish that no treaty might be concluded, and on
the 16th he wrote to that effect. But on the 17th
the convention comes. His Majesty in a rage would
have persuaded everybody, and himself too, that it
was neither necessary, nor by his authority ; disclaims
the treaty, and disclaims his son, and that in such
opprobrious terms as are beyond belief, as well as
beyond excuse. Let me add, that the Duke and
all his officers say that Staadt was not tenable for
a day. The army could not be in the place, and
whenever M. Richelieu should attack the lines he
must conquer.

The Duke of Devonshire is just come hither f5pom
court. The King has sent his cabinet council to
make their bows to the Duke. H. R. H. was
remarkably civil to Pitt, and very properly took no
notice of Holdemesse. His Majesty, upon receiving
the Duke's message, bid Lady Yarmouth send the
Duke of Devonshire to him ; but his Grace did not
get to court time enough to see the King to-day.
Lady Yarmouth conjured his Grace to try to alter
the Duke's determination ; but the Duke told him
that he could not ask, or even advise the King to
what would be necessary to clear his reputation (I
suppose he means contradicting himself to every
court in Europe), and therefore he must take the
only step that was in his own power to clear it. The
Duke of Devonshire sees him to-morrow morning
again, and then the King. Your Grace shall by

T 4



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280 CORRESPOKDENCE OF

1757. the post know the result. The Duke does not know

my opinion ; he has been so kind as not to ask it.

But to your Grace I will own that from the mo-
ment I knew his Majesty had disavowed the Duke
publicly, I thought this the only step H. R. H.
had to take. If this country is to be fought for
here, H. R. H. may and will come from Windsor to
command. Sir John Mordaunt* is in an ugly
scrape; his Majesty and his ministers are equally
and excessively angry with him. Vernon will bring
your Grace a pamphlet, all of which I believe is
true, except that there were such batteries as those
as are there mentioned. Sir John Mordaunt says
they know nothing of what was on the shore. The
delays from the 23rd to the 29th, — the embarking
them in boats to land, and laying all thoughts of
landing aside afterwards, give room for questions
that can never all be answered. Bad news, too,
from America. Indeed, my Lord, we seem so
pushed and so disgraced on every side, that I can-
not guess how we shall extricate ourselves.

Pitt is sole minister (and I am glad of it), not by
having gained the King, but by the entire submis-
sion of Lord Hardwicke and the Duke of Newcastle
to him. I hear he is determined to push the King
of Prussia's cause to the utmost, and not to talk of
what war shall cost next year. I am very much
obliged by your Grace's goodness. I think I barely
asked it, and at a great distance, when I thought it

* Commander of the expedition against Rochfort.



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THE DUKE OF BEDFORD. 281

would please the Duke of Bolton ; but if your 1757.

Grace has any reason for thinking that to prefer

Doyne will please the Marquis of Winchester, I
really hope your Grace will never do it.

Give me leave to beg my best respects to all
within the castle. I shall have little time to write
either to Lord Digby or to Rigby. Be so good as
to impart to th^m as much of the news I send your
Grace as you think proper.

I am, &c.

H. Fox.



DURE OF DEVONSHIRE TO THE DUKE OF
BEDFORD.

Deyonshire House, Oct. 15. 1757-

My Lord,

I have received a letter from Lord Tulla-
more *, desiring me to mention to your Grace what
passed between him and me relative to an earldom,
and I hope your Grace will excuse me troubling
you on this account. His lordship applied to me
to make him an earl. I told him it was usual they
should rise regularly, and oflfered to recommend him
to be a viscount two years ago ; he declined it, but
desired I would upon a future occasion endeavour
to get him made an earl, which I gave him reason to
hope for. When your Grace was made lord-lieutenant

* Charles Moore^ second Lord ral in Ireland ; created Earl of
Tullamore^ Muster-master-gene- CharleyiUe 1 6th September, 1 758 .



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282 CORRESPONDENCE OF

1757. he desired me to mention the state of the case to
your Grace, which I promised to do; but at the
same time told him I could not interfere, for that
eveiy lord-lieutenant must judge for himself, and
recommend those he thought most proper. As this
was the whole that passed, I was desirous your
Grace should know it.

I know Mr, Fox has given you an account of the
situation of our affairs here ; they are as gloomy as
possible. I find by the Duke of Newcastle that
there are letters from Spain, the contents of which
are very bad. The proposition was made by Keene
to Wall, who received it very ill, refiised even to
mention it, and threw out almost threats of taking
part against us. I am informed, though, from
another channel, that there is no danger of that ;
and should hope that Wall's manner of speaking
was in some measure owing to the bad terms that
he and Sir Benjamin are on. My intelligence,
which is not bad, is that Spain will stick to her
neutrality.

I have been employed as a negotiator between
the King and the Duke, — a very disagreeable office.
As soon as I saw no good was to be done, the Duke
desired leave to retire ; the King with reluctance
consented to his giving up the command of the
army, but wished him to keep the regiment of
Guards. H. R. H. desired to be excused ; the King
would not accept it, but ordered me to go again
and press him to keep it. I have been, without
effect. He has leave to come to the King whenever



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THE DUKE OF BEDFOKD.



283



he pleases, and is returned now just as if nothing 1757.
had happened. I believe we think we were too
hasty. The Duke goes to Windsor to-morrow after
court, and proposes coining up of a^ Sunday as usual*
Great noise made upon the return of the ex-
pedition without having attempted any thing. Al-
most every body is in the dark, for all the letters
have been stopped — two from Mr. Conway to me
have never come to hand. I doubt it will prove
that this expedition was undertaken upon very
slender information of the real strength of the
place, or the nature of the coast ; for in the first
council of war, sea and land agreed unanimously
that the attacking the town of Rochfort was neither
advisable nor practicable. Time wiU, I suppose,
clear up this affair to us ; in the interim it produces
clamour and discontent. I most sincerely wish
your Grace an easy and quiet session, and am with
great regard,

My Lord, &c.

Devonshire.



DUKE OF BEDFORD TO THE DUKE OP
CUMBERLAND.

Carton, October 20. 1757.

Sir,

Having just now received a letter from Mr.
Fox, with your Royal Highness's most kind message
to me, in relation to the part you have been obliged



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284



COBBESFONDENCE OF



1757. to take in consequence of the unfortunate situation
of his Majesty's affairs in Grermany, and feeling your
goodness and condescension to me in informing me
that you can justify yourself in every respect of
honour in all that you have done, I cannot omit
taking the first opportunity of assuring your Royal
Highness, that I am most firmly convinced of your
having done every thing in your power for the
service of the King that the circumstances of affairs
would permit, and upon the same principles of
honour with which you have always acted. Give
me leave, at the same time, to return my most
sincere thanks for the justice you have done me in
believing that no usage your Royal Highness may
meet with, nor reports that may be spread, shall
ever stagger me in the great opinion I have of your
honour, abilities, and zeal for his Majesty's service.
The unfortunate situation of affairs, both at home
and abroad, makes me more particularly at this
time regret the loss the King and the nation
suffer by the cruel necessity which obliges you to
quit his service for the present ; but as I am sure
whenever the defence of his kingdoms shall make
it necessary for your Royal Highness to quit your
retirement you will be ever ready to do it, I fed
this satisfaction, that in that time of distress (which
may possibly come too soon upon us) your Royal
Highness will be at hand to take that command
which alone, under God, can save us.

I am, &c.

Bedford.



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THE DUKE OF BEDFORD. 285

1757.
DUK£ OF BEDFORD TO MR. PITT:

Dublin CaBUe, November 12. 1757.
Sir,

There not having been any packet boat on
this side the water for several days, I have been
prevented informing you of the proceedings in the
House of Commons, which have been of so extraor-
dinary a nature, and have the appearance of creating
so much ferment, that I should think myself inex-
cusable did I not send you, by an extraordinary
packet, some narration for his Majesty's information
and the consideration of his servants in England.

On the 1st instant, the Conunons came to the
extraordinary resolutions * which I send you en-
closed, which occasioned my consulting with the
King's servants who are in the House of Commons
what method they would advise me to take, when
the House should come up with their resolutions to
me in order to be transmitted to his Majesty as the
sense of their House. I told them that they ap-
peared to me in a light so derogatory to his Majesty's
royal prerogative, and so indecent in the expressions
made use of, that I could not think of giving the
usual answer in these cases of promising to transmit
them to his Majesty, without giving, in some shape,
my negative to them, that I might not make myself
particeps criminis with them ; and therefore I did

* Strong resolutions against will be found in WcHpoWs
pensions^ absentees^ and other Memoirs, ii. ^55,
grievances ; an account of which



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286 COBKESPONDENCE OF

1757. propose sending a message (which is warranted by
precedent), requesting them to reconsider them.
This was not objected to at first by any of them,
though many declared their doubts whether the
House would reconsider them, and some few others
their dissent to the House taking that step, so un-
parliamentary and derogatory to the dignity of a
house of parliament, to reconsider their unanimous
resolutions in the same session. However, I insisted
I must in duty to the Eong, and myself as his ser-
vant, lay in my dissent to their proceedings in some
way or other. At first, I designed to do it by
message ; but it being represented to me from many
quarters that the House would construe this (though
very unjustly) an encroachment on their privileges,
I took the most gentle method of appointing yes-
terday to receive them at the Castle, and gave them
the answer which is here enclosed.

This moderate method I have taken has not had
the good effect expected from it ; and the House has
not only refused entering my answer upon their
journals, as has ever been the custom, but threats
have been thrown out, and I fear may possibly be
carried into execution, of stopping the money bill,
unless I shall comply with their demands of trans-
mitting these their resolutions to the King. The
violence and animosities of parties in this country^
and the little dependence I can have on many of
his Majesty's servants, who, though they ought to
act jointly and heartily in promoting his Majesty's
service, and defending his just and undoubted pre-



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THE DUKE OF BEDFORD.



287



rogative, are, I fear, as much divided amongst them- 1 757.
selves as the rest of the nation are, make me
apprehensive of an inability to carry on the business
of the Government with profit to the King and
honour to myself, unless I shall be enabled, by
taking some strong and vigorous measures, and
properly dispensing rewards and punishments, to
put a stop to this spirit of faction, which too much
at present influences the determinations of Parlia-
ment. In the meantime I will, however, endeavour
by all methods to assuage, if possible, the present
heats, and shall wait with impatience for orders
for my future conduct from his Majesty.

I am, &c.

Bedford.



DUKE OF BEDFORD TO MR. SECRETARY PITT.

Dublin Castle, November 1?. 1757.

Sir,

I am now to give you, for his Majesty's in-
formation, an account of every thing material that
has passed here subsequent to my despatch of the
13th instant, and relative to the dispute with the
House of Commons about transmitting their resolu-
tions of the 1st instant to his Majesty purely and
simply, without either reconunending the recon-
sideration of thera to the House, or even expressing
my disapprobation of the contents of them. It was
my firm intention to have done either the one or



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288



COKBESPONDENCE OF



1757. the other of these; and in order to effect it, I
desired the principal persons who are in civil em-
ployments, and of whose conduct in this affair I had
reason to conceive some doubt, to attend me at the
Castle on Monday the 14th instant. The questions I
put to each of them separately I have here enclosed*,
with their answers; by which you will observe that
the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Solici-
tor-General were very explicit in not going on with
the money bill till an absolute promise of transmit-
ting the resolutions was given to the House. I must
add, in justice to the Speaker, that he sheltered
himself as much as he could from giving an abso-
lute negative, by using the argument of his being



* '' Dublin Castle, Not. 14tfa,
1757. — I sent for the gentlemen
whose names are underwritten,
serrants of the Crown, and mem-
bers of the House of Commons,
to insist upon receiving from
them, singly, a categorical answer
upon this point :

*' WheUier, in case a question
of adjournment in order to pre-
vent ibe proceeding to-day on the
money bill should be proposed
in the House, each would use his
utmost endeavours to prevent the
carrying such question ? And,

'' Whether each will co-operate
to the best of his power towards
carrying through the money bill,
in order to its being transmitted
to England in time to be passed
before the old one expires ?

*' In case my not having sent an
answer to the House whether I



would transmit their resolutions
of November 1st to his Migesty
should be alleged as a reason for
postponing the money bill, to show
the impropriety of that doctrine,
particularly in those who sre at-
tached by their employments to
the crown; because the King's
and the public business should
not be stopt, and that exceed-
ing confusion brought on which
must necessarily attend the loss of
the money bill, because the Lord-
Lieutenant has not given the
actual promise of transmitting
which the Commons desired ; for
if he shaU have done wrong, there
is a parliamentary way of proceed-
ing against him, widiout in the
least endangering a bill necessary
for the service of his Migesty snd
the public."



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THE DUKE OF BEDFORD. 289

in the cbair •, which, he said, made it improper for 1757.
him to give any assurance on a point which he
alleged might affect the privileges of the House,
which in his situation he was particularly obliged to
maintain. But on my pressing him to engage his
friends in support of Government, and not to suffer
the money bill upon specious pretences to be post-
poned, and thereby really endangered from passing
before the time the old one would expire, should I
continue as inflexible as the House of Conunons, I
received this cold and dry answer from him, that in a
point of this sort he could have no influence upon



Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 19 of 33)