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

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

. (page 20 of 33)
Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 20 of 33)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

his friends, who would go as their connection did, and
according to their own opinions. The conduct of
the Speaker to me, and what happened afterwards in
the House, where all his friends voted for the adjourn-
ment, has obliged me to put him down as giving an
absolute negative to carry on the King's business,
without my promising to transmit purely and sim-
ply these indecent and iU-digested resolutions to his

Mr. Tisdale, the Solicitor-General, was explicit
in his declaration of insisting to have a positive
and simple promise of transmitting before he could
give his consent to proceed in the money bill. I

* The following note is taken tions agreed to by the House of
from a diary kept by the Duke Commons till they were actually
when in Ireland: — ^' The Speaker brought into the House, and his
was with me (November 6,), dis- disapprobation of them^ as like-
avowing in the most solemn man- wise of any political connection
ner his knowledge of the resolu- whatsoever with the Primate.*'

VOL. n. U

Digitized by



1757* took all the methods possible to dissuade him from

this resolution, and urged, besides the argument

which you will find at the end of the paper in which
my questions are inserted, his duty to the King,
whose servant he was, imd every other argument
which did occur to me. I likewise assured him, as
I did all the others I saw that morning, that I
would undoubtedly send an answer the next day
with a promise of transmitting them. But I did
not think it becoming me, after what had passed
on Saturday evening, and the refusal the House had
given to enter on their journals the answer I had
made them that morning, to take any step till I had
given them time to cool; and I was in hopes that
the money bill, which was to come on in course on
Monday, would have been the likeliest means to
persuade those who wished well to Government
and the good of Ireland to proceed with good
humour, till my answer could have been with pro-
priety sent to them the next morning. And I
likewise judged, that though matters should be
brought to that extremity to which at last they
came, I should not only by a division in the House
of Conmions know those whom I could trust in any
future exigency, but likewise, by the necessity of
giving way where his Majesty's service was so
essentially concerned, disculpate myself from that
blame which doubtless I might otherwise incur
by transmitting to him resolutions so derogatory to
his royal prerogative, injurious to himself, and so
unbecoming a loyal House of Parliament.

Digitized by



Sir Thomas Prendergast, as expressed in paper* 1757.

marked B., declared that should an adjournment

be proposed for a week or a longer term, he would
certainly vote against that ; but left it doubtful what
he would do should it be proposed to be cfe die in
diem^ which made me fearful, though I took all the
pains possible to convince him, that he would do as
he did, which was to vote for Ae adjournment.

The other gentlemen I saw, and whose names
and answers are set down in the paper marked B.,
gave me very full and explicit assurances of their
good intentions to support Grovemment, as well in
this as upon any feiture occasion, which they con-
firmed by their votes that day, when the majority
for postponing the money bill was 85, and the
minority for proceeding upon it was 64 ; so that the
question was lost by 21. I am sorry to be obliged
to let his Majesty know, that besides those of whom
I have already given you an accoimt, some em-

♦ Paper B.
The Speaker i - - - Negative.

{Absolute to be against^ if for
more than one day ; rather
doubtful as to that.
Attoniey^^eneral 3 . . Affirmative absolute.

Solicitor General ^ - - Negative absolute.

Captain Butler * - - - Had the gout, and could not come.

Honourable James Obrien. CoUl f.^, ..

lector of Cork - - . jAffinnative.

*'h.i?;.%c^'**' T" r}ExpUciUy.ffir«»ti.e.

1 Right Honourable John Pon- ^ Philip Tisdall, Esq.
Bonby. ^ Honourable Robert Butler,

2 Postmaster-General. Capt. of Battleaxe Guards, roem-
8 Warden Flood^ Esq. her for the borough of Belturbet.

u 2

Digitized by



1757. ployed in the revenue, many officers in the army,
and, what is still more extraordinary, some pen-
sioners, who have long reaped the benefit of his
Majesty's boimty during his pleasure, were so dis-
gusted at the like marks of favour which the King
has been pleased to bestow upon others within
these two years past, that they voted to obstruct
his Majesty's and the public service, till they should
have assurances of a satisfactory answer to their
injurious demands of my transmitting the reso-
lutions purely and simply. There is still one
particular person remains unmentioned, whom in
truth I am ashamed to name, as he had received
but the very day before, through my ill-judged
intervention in his behalf, a singular mark of his
Majesty's favour. This is Lieutenant-Colonel Co-
ninghame*, who voted that day for postponing the
money bill. I have nothing to plead to extenuate
my offence to his Majesty, but that I believed the
giving him this rank would not only confirm him
to do every thing in his power to promote his
Majesty's service, but, what would have been of
more consequence, would have tied the Lord Primate
(whose creature he is) to have acted a more
grateful part than he has done towards the King
and his minister in this country. However, I trust
in his Majesty's goodness to forgive this error, and
not to impute the ingratitude showed by others for

* Most probably Robert Cun- men, consisting of a few mud

'ngham, Esq., member for the cabins." — See Capper* 9 Topogra-

rough of Tulsk, '' a miserable phical Dictionary.
mlet in the county of Roscom-

Digitized by



benefits they have received from him as a crime to 1757.

his Lieutenant here, who has himself ingratitude

in so great abhorrence that he with dilficulty can
bring himself to be sufficiently on his guard against
it from others.

You will see, sir, by this recital I have given you
of what passed on Monday, the necessity there was
of sending an answer to this demand of the Commons
on Tuesday, without which it was publicly avowed
the money bill was to be dropped. I stiU firmly
persisted that it was necessary for me, consistent
with the duty I owed the King, and my own ho-
nour as his servant, to insert such words in my
message to the House of Conmions as should clearly
express my disapprobation of their proceedings,
especially as they had precluded me from doing it
before, by the unprecedented refusal of insert-
ing my answer to them, when they attended me
on Saturday the 12th instant, in their votes and
journals. In consequence of this I drew up seve-
nd Sbauches of answers, expressing in the most
mild and measured terms my sense of the unfitness
of these resolutions, but withal my consent of trans-
mitting them to the King, as they so strenuously
insisted on my doing it, which in truth I think I
could not avoid, as a subject must not presume to
put himself between a House of Parliament and his
Sovereign. None of these intended answers of mine,
though framed in the most mild and moderate
manner, would, as I was informed from all quarters,
have been received even with decency by the House,

u 3

Digitized by



1757. and would have inevitably been the cause of the

loss of the money bill ; and when at last I pressed

that I might at the end of the message promiaiDg
the transmitting the resolutions add that I would
give my humble opinion thereupon to his Majesty,
I was generally assured that even that would, in the
temper the House was then in, occasion the like

In this unpleasant situation I found myself on
Tuesday morning ; and considering the great con-
fusion, and possibly the &tal consequences that
might arise from the loss of the money bill, I
thought it more prudent for me to put myself on a
firm reliance of his Majesty's goodness to excuse
my doing what in duty to him I thought I should
not do, than to endanger his real service by a too
obstinate adherence to my opinion.

As things are now circumstanced, I hope there is
no reason to apprehend the money bill not being
sent up to the council to-morrow, from whence it
shall be immediately transmitted to England, in
order to its being returned hither for the royal
assent before the 25th of next month. Having in
my former letter of the 13th laid before his Ma-
jesty the unhappy situation of this country with
regard to parties, I have only to add, that I fear by
the observations I have made, and by the division
in the House of Commons on Monday last, that they
are so nearly equal in strength, that those gentle-
men who are determined against all government, in
whatever hands it may be placed, will be enabled

Digitized by


THE DUKE m BEDirOiO). 295

by their junction with either of the two predomi- 1757-
nant parties which may happen to be discontented,
to ^nbarrass matters to such a degree as to render
it exceeding difficult, if not impossible, to carry on
affairs here to his Majesty's satisfia,ction and the
advantage of the public; and it was upon the
thorough belief of this maxim, which experience has
proved to me to be a true one, that I immediately
upon my receiving my commission for this lieute-
nancy from the King, declared that I was determined
during my administration here not to give myself
up to any faction here, but to recommend to his
Majesty's favour, and to support all those indi£G&r-
ently, who should do their utmost to carry on with
smoothness the King's business.

I must now, sir, through your channel, lay myself
at his Majesty's feet, and most humbly beseech him
to determine in his royal wisdom whether he shall
still think proper to continue the administration of
this kingdom in my hands, most humbly submitting
myself to his gracious determination, in which I
shall most willingly acquiesce, be it either for my
quitting or keeping this government. If for the
former, I shall think myself happy in being dis-
charged from so great a load, to which I may be
possibly unequal, but which I was wiDing to at-
tempt, because it was represented to me as what
his Majesty desired and thought might be for his

If, on the other hand, his Majesty should think
proper to command my services here, I must beg

u 4

Digitized by



1767. that he will be graciously pleased to permit me to

carry on his government here without making

myself subservient to any faction, which I know
can only tend to his disservice and my dishonour ;
and therefore I must most humbly presume to hope
that in case I shall find myself obliged to take any
vigorous measures for quelling the spirit of faction
so prevalent in this nation, such as removing the
undeserving from civil employments and pensions,
and rewarding the deserving, I may have such
countenance and support from his Majesty as will
make the people here look up to their Governor,
and enable him to set right those defects which
faction has too much brought in here, even in the
very essence of government.

I do most solemnly declare, that neither ambition
nor thirst of power are the motives which induce
me to make this my humble request to his Majesty
for his entire countenance and support whilst I con-
tinue in this government ; but a thorough persuasion
that I cannot without it effect that which it is as weU
my duty as my inclination to do.

This present Parliament has sat so long, and the
nation has during that period been under so many
different governors, and such dissonant plans of
policy, that I think it may be easily accounted for
how they both come to be rent into such violent
parties and factions as now exist amongst them ;
and I fear by means of this, and the method hereto-
fore used by former lieutenants of governing solely
by a particular faction, the prerogative of the Crown

Digitized by



has greatly suffered of late years, and there appears 1757.

but too great a disposition at present in that part

of the House of Commons which now sets up for
popularity to wound it still farther, and there are
daily threats thrown out of attacking it in the
most material part, by attempting an alteration in
Poyning's Law.

The method which has of late years been exorbi-
tantly used by the House of Commons in loading
the money bill by resolutions of their own, without
the previous consent of or address to his Majesty,
ought undoubtedly to be put a stop to, and the
method observed in England to be followed as near
as the different circimistances of each country will
admit, and no money should be voted here for par-
ticular services but with the consent and approba-
tion of the Crown. For a proof of this I need only
refer you to the votes of the 11th instant, by which
it appears that a sum of above 6900/. is charged
upon the money bill, and I fear a great deal of it
without due consideration, to serve private ends.
I fear I have abeady been too long in this despatch,
which I would have avoided could I have done it
consistently with the duty I owe to his Majesty,
before whom I thought it incumbent on me to lay
the whole state of matters at this critical juncture ;
and I flatter myself that in case I shall appear to
his Majesty to have been wanting in my duty to
him by transmitting these improper and indecent
resolutions of the House of Commons, he will be
graciously pleased to impute it to the only cause

Digitized by



1757. which can ever make me wanting in duty to him,

— an error in judgment.

I am, &c.


Mr. Pitt'i aoftwer this letter^ conveying hb MMJeBtfs entire
approbation of the Duke's conduct, will be found in the Chatham
Correspondence, voL L p. 284.


Dublin Castle, November 18. 1757.

My Lord,

I have informed Mr. Secretary Pitt very
fully in my despatch of yesterday's date of every
thing material that has passed since my last letters
to your Grace and him of the 13th instant, to which
letter I beg leave to refer you.

The Attorney-General has just brought up the
money bill, and I have ordered a council to be sum-
moned for this evening, in order that it may be imme-
diately transmitted to England. Your Grace will see
by the letter I refer you to how great difficulties I
am forced to struggle with, and how great uneasiness
I have suffered in finding myself obliged to transmit
purely and simply to his Majesty the very extra-
ordinary and indecent resolutions the Commons
came to on the 1st instant. But indeed, my Lord,
had I not complied, the money bill would undoubt-
edly have been lost.

Digitized by



I herewith enclose to your Grace a paper which 1757-

shows to a demonstration how greatly the Commons

have erred in their calculations of the increase of
pensions from the 23rd of March, 1755, to the 25th
of March 1757, upon which Mse foundation they
have framed their resolutions, and which, though
known to eTery one in the House, was not sufficient
to prevail on them to reconsider their resolutions,
though it was strongly suggested by me to all the
principal members that they ought to do it, and
not send a wilful misrepresentation to his Majesty.
I flatter myself that the necessity I was under
of giving way to this factious disposition of the
House of Commons in order to obtain the money
bill, will be a just excuse for me with his Majesty for
sending over to him such false and indecent resolu-
tions, without having previously given my disap-
probation of them.

Your Grace will be pleased to observe how much
the money biU is loaded by a charge of above 6900/.,
great part of which I fear has been granted without
due consideration, and I apprehend in subseqvsnt
parliaments the like practice will be continued^
unless some method could be found out to make
the previous consent of the Crown necessary, or that
nothing of this sort should be done but by address
to the King.

I have wrote so fully to Mr. Pitt upon all other
matters which do not immediately concern the
revenue, and I have so little time to finish my
letters, that I will trouble your Grace no farther at

Digitized by



1757. present, but to mention that I hope no answer may

be immediately sent to these resolutions till after

the money bill shall be returned hither and passed
the House of Commons, lest a handle should be
taken to reject it; which is more than probable,
considering the ill temper that at present subsists
amongst the majority of its members. When that
time shall be past, I think it my duty to represent
to his Majesty that some severe reprimand should
be sent to them, the manner of doing which I must
leave to his Majesty's superior wisdom and the
opinion of his servants in England. Whatever the
determination may be, I have only to assure your
Grace that I shall with faithfulness and punctuality
obey his Majesty's commands.

I am, &c.



Whitehall, November 18. 1757.

My Lord,

Having laid before the King your Grace's
letter of the 12th instant, containing for his Ma-
jesty's information a narration of things that have
passed relating to the proceedings of the House of
Commons of Ireland concerning pensions, and in-
closing your Grace's answer to the House with re-
gard to complying with their desire in transmitting

Digitized by



to the King their resolutions of the 1st instant 1757.

relating thereto, and desiring his Majesty's orders

for your future conduct, — I am commanded by the
King, in consequence of the unanimous opinion of
a meeting of his Majesty's servants consulted on
his most secret affairs, to signify to your Grace
the King's pleasure that you do transmit, to be
laid before his Majesty, the said resolutions ; and
that you do also acquaint the House of Commons,
in such manner as your Grace shall judge most
proper, that you have so done.

The King cannot but have received with much
surprise and concern an account of proceedings of
so disagreeable and unexpected a nature, and which
bear strong marks of such heats and animosities as, if
not timely and properly allayed, may be productive
of great and serious mischief to his Majesty's
service, and materially affect the immediate safety
and welfare of the kingdom of Ireland; and the
King relies on your Grace's prudence and ability
that the wisest and most salutary methods will
be employed to attain this happy and necessary

I am here to observe to your Grace, with regard
to the apprehensions you express of designs for
stopping the money bill, that as those appre-
hensions are founded only on the sunmse of heats
and resentments that might follow your non-com-
pliance with the demands of the House in transmit-
ting their resolutions to his Majesty, they will, it is
hoped, immediately and entirely cease on your

Digitized by


302 conBSPOin>XHC£ of

1757* Grace's compljring with the same as above directed

by the King.

I come now to the last and very material point
of your Grace's letter, with regard to your being
better enabled to carry on the business of govern-
ment with advantage to the King and honour to
yourself; and I am to signify to your Grace, on a
matter of this weighty nature, which demands the
most mature consideration, that it is his Majesty's
pleasure that you do transmit, for the King's in-
formation, your Grace's sentiments and lights con-
cerning the causes of the present animosities, and
the difficulties to Government resulting from them,
as well as the properest remedies for the same ; and
in pointing out such methods as your Grace may
judge most advisable for deriving support and
facility to his Majesty's afiairs, your Grace wiU
mention, to be laid before the King, the names of
persons, if any such shall occur to you, most capable,
and best qualified from their abilities, credit, and
connections, to strengthen and promote his Majesty's

I am, &c.

W. Prrr.

Digitized by


THE DUKE or ^FOBD. 303


DaUiB Cattle, NOTember 24. 1757.


The messenger whom I had despatched with
my letters to the Duke of Newcastle and yourself of
the 13th, brought me back yesterday your answer of
the 18th. I am much obliged to you for the great
despatch you have given this business, especially
as it sets me at ease, without waiting for orders for
so doing, of transmitting purely and simply the re-
solutions of the House of Commons to the King,
which nothing should have induced me to have
done, but the apparent danger to the money bill
if I should have acted otherwise. I have wrote so
very fiilly to you in my last despatch, that I shall
trouble you with no more at present.

I am, &C.



St Jsmes'i, NoYember 26. 1757.
My dear Duke of Bedford,

Nothing but your vast good heart could ever
have made you reflect that such an insignificant

* Lady Elizabeth Waldegrare, of Bedford^ and lady of the bed-
wife of the Honourable John Wal- chamber to the Princess Amelia,
degraye^ afterwards Earl of Wal- She is the '' Lady Betty " of
degrave ; daughter of John first Mr. Rigby's letters.
Earl Gower, Mster to die Duchess

Digitized by



1757. mortal as myself existed, that must be affected with

every trifle that can check your ease and quiet.

It was, indeed, no small satisfaction to have it under
your Grace's own hand how little those perpetrators
of malice and mischief on your side of the water have
it in their power to distress or personally mortify
you ; and it is my opinion they wiU find that out
when it is too late, and repent their folly when
they have no friend to redress their absurdities.
They talk loudly here of supporting you, and that
there is an end of all government if they do not :
if they are sincere and in earnest, I think you will
get the better of those turbulent spirits. I imagine
the messenger that goes to-day will inform you a
little on what you are to depend, and what expect
from hence. I have not been able to pick up any
intelligence with regard to their particular and
private opinion upon your affairs ; but I am glad
to hear his Grace of Devonshire is steady and well
upon the occasion. Mr. Reynard assured me his
letter to his brother was very spirited and strong,
and thinks will not a little frighten that wise
speaker. I have heard prodigious commendations
of your Grace's letter to Mr. Pitt. As his Majesty
does not love very long epistles, he was afraid he
should have difficulty to persuade him to read it,
and he says every line is of too much consequence
to be lost : there is flummery fit)m a great orator.
George looks much down since these last violent
proceedings of his friends; but he is so dark and
deep, I take it he is not very fathomable.

Digitized by



The Generals have made their report to the 1757.

King, but nothing is yet done in consequence of it.

Delay in proceedings of government, especially of
this kind, is weak ; and if they do not determine
something soon, it will be the second part of Mr.
Byng's story, and the city will drive them to be
more violent than they would choose to be. Mr.
Waldegrave has ordered me to enclose you a copy
of their report. The whole inquiry is too long ;
but as every thing relating to their censure is still
kept a secret here, he hopes your Grace will have
the goodness to show it only where you think
proper. He flatters himself if your Grace had
been an inquirer you could have given no other
opinion ; not that it justifies the framers of the ex-
pedition, or makes that appear more practicable :
the grounds they seem to have gone upon were
surely too light, and the executers of it did not
take care to throw the blame of the failure of it
where it ought to have been. Poor Sir J. M., I am
afraid, will suffer. Conway has not made the
defence that was expected from so able a man, and

F s has been very firm, and acted like a terrible

man in his defence from first to last.* There is a
Mons. d'Arc6 come from Mr. Mitchell, but he

Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 20 of 33)