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

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

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Sandwich, and their weight with the public was
far greater than that of the whole party which
followed the Duke of Bedford. In the exercise of
personal qualities, Newcastle was as usual perse-
vering, crafty, treacherous: the Duke of Bedford
showed himself a careless courtier; and, if we are to
believe the Pelhams, an inattentive man of busi-
ness. But the confidence and pride which Mr.
Pelham calls " boyishness," were the worst of his
failings ; his integrity and frankness are admitted,
and I may add the justice of his political views is
attested by his official letters.

The general politics of the time are difficult to
explain. There was at this period no principle or
system of policy which divided opinion ; no eminent
leader whose surpassing talents separated parties
into his adherents and his opponents. Newcastle
was a great man in his own eyes, but not in those
of any one else ; Granville tried to soar, and falling
was content to keep near the ground ever after.
Fox had abilities equal to the enterprise of leading

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the House of Commons; but his soul wanted i75i.
elevation, and he exchanged power for emolument.
Pitt indeed had both talents and ambition ; but he
was as yet content to serve and save the Felhams.
Thus the period from the fall of Walpole to the com-
mencement of the seven years' war, while it affords
matter of interest to the historian and the philoso-
phical writer, has little to excite warm emotion, or
attract eager curiosity.


Whitehall^ April 14. 1751.

My Lord,

I have just heard that my Lord Asbumham
is to be appointed Master of the Horse, my Lord
Sussex, Lord of the Bed Chamber, and Mr. Pelham
(Turkey Pelham) Groom of the Bed Chamber, to
Prince George. The person from whom this intelli-
gence originally comes only mentioned these three, as
instances of the arts and power of the Pelhams; and
my friend did not think it proper to ask any fiar-
ther questions : he said he had likewise been told
that my Lord Chancellor had some mind to be
made governor to the Prince and President of
the Council.

I am, &c.
R. Nev. Aldworth.

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Windior Lodge •, June IS. 1751.

My dear Lord,

The master of this house has received a
confirmation this morning of the intelligence I
gave your Grace yesterday ; and as I think it will
have a good appearance in the world, I am deter-
mined to stay here to-day, in hopes of receiving my
dismission, when I am under his roof. I shall be
in town early to-morrow to receive your Grace's
directions, but as we are here extremely curious to
know what passes among you, I should take it as a
particular favour if you could let me know by
Wiseman, who returns hither this evening, whether
any thing remarkable or interesting has happened
since I had the honour of seeing you. I hope your
Grace is convinced that I am, &c.



My Lord,

If the nature of the despatch I take the
liberty to trouble you with, was such as required

* Now called Cumberland land, and secretary to the Duke

Lodge ; at that time the residence of Bedford^ owed idl his adTance-

of the Duke of Cumberland. ment in public life to the Duke ;

t Mr. Rigby, who became sub- to whom it ia stated he had chiefly
sequently one of the Lords of recommended himself by his con-
Trade, Master oftheRoUs in Ire- viWal qualities. As a consider-

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any answer or other further notice than the perusal,
I know the tranquillity you enjoy too well, by your
removal from things of that odious name, to punish
you with this. But as I, by the correspondence I
intrude upon your Grace, may be no more trouble
to you, nor looked upon in any other light than
taking in one more newspaper, I will, without
any more apology, fill it up with such as I have
been able to pick up. The printed paper you find
enclosed, is one copy of only thirty I am informed
are printed off for the use of particular friends.
They are wrote by Mr. Moore*, the author of GU
Bias, who now, I think, bids fair for the laureat. I


able number of his letters will
appear in the course of the cor-
respondenoe^ the following cha-
racter by Horace Walpole will
afibrd some insight into his cha-
racter by a Yigilant coDtemporary,
and who was a frequent guest at
bis country residence in Essex.

'\ Rigby had an advantageous
and manly person, recommended
by a spirited jollity that was very
pleasing^ though sometimes rough-
ened into brutality : of most in-
sinuating good breeding when he
wished to be agreeable. His pas-
sions were turbulent and over
bearing; his courage bold, and
fond of exerting itself. His parts
strong and quick^ but totally un-
cultiyated ; and so much had he
trusted to unaffected common
sense, that he could nerer after-
wards acquire the mercenary tem-
perament of art in his public
speaking. He placed his honour
in steady addiction to whatever
faction he was united with ; and.

from the gaiety of his temper,
having indulged himself in pro-
fuse drinking, he was often hur-
ried beyond the bounds of that
interest which he meant should
govern all his actions, and which
his generous extravagance for ever
combated. In short, he was a
man who was seldom liked or
hated with moderation ; yet he
himself, though a violent oppo-
nent, was never a bitter enemy.
His amiable qualities were all na-
tural ; his faults acquired or fatally
linked to him by the chain of
some other failings." — Memoirs^
vol. ii. p. 254.

* The paper is not to be found.
Edward Moore was author of
Gil Bias, a comedy published in
1751 ; the Gamester, a tragedy ;
fables for the female sex; and
editor of the periodical paper
called the World, to whidi he
was the chief contributor : he
died in 1757-

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1751. own I think the compliment contained in it as

pretty, as undeserved ; there is no necessity I trust,

was I ever so much abler, to make comment or para-
phrase upon them, considering who I send them to ;
one who is a much better judge of the public part
of the character, and, for much nearer reasons, a
more adequate one of the private. I read them at
Holland House tMs morning to Mr. Fox and the
Duke of Marlborough. The former would have got
the copy from me ; I told him how scarce they were,
and that I could not part with them. He assured me
I might be very easy upon that head, for the person
addressed to would take care to have another edition
of them if the jealousy of his brother did not inter-
fere. Your Grace's brother-in-law * was of another
opinion ; and said he thought he would be glad to
sink the adulation contained in them, lest the pub-
lishing them might bring out a reply. I was left
some time alone with the Duke of Marlborough ; he
inquired if you was gone out of town, and seemed
sorry not to have an opportunity of seeing you.
He said he had been at Court and seen two Pelhams
and Lord Granville : in a whisper, he had asked the
Duke of Newcastle about a Prebend he had promised
to speak about long ago ; who answered him, " My
Lord, the King has not spoke to me since your
brother-in-law has been out." I never saw any body
appear more chagrined than he did. Mr. Fox ex-
cused not seeing me to stay dinner, because the

* The Duke of Marlborough^ brother of the Duke of Bedford's
firat wife.

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Duke of M. desired a private conference with 1751.

I hope my friend will contrive to keep some
Duke about the Court. I had at least three hours'
political discourse with him this morning, and hope
to improve myself in every thing by it against I
have the honour of seeing your Grace, except in
betraying you, for all the civilities I am so much
obliged to you for showing me.

I saw Lady Betty * yesterday morning, and found
her in tolerable spirits, considering her situation;
I shall pay my court there with fuU as much pleasure
as any where, as well because she is as unlike aU
that go under the denomination of courtiers, as
that I have the highest esteem for her.

Lord Trentham and Lord March set out this
morning at four o'clock for Newmarket, for to-
day's cricket match. I have the pleasure to inform
you that Dick f has won the first. I saw Taafe J
just now, who came to town as soon as it was over.

* Lady Betty Waldegrave^ fifth gentleman^ dated Paris^ 1st Feb.

(laughter of John Earl Gower, 1752, enclosing the printed judg-

married, in 1751, John^ after- ment, in which he says; ''You

wards third Earl of Waldegrave ; may be assured I have done no

one of the grooms of the bed- one thing an honest man ought

chamber, imtil he succeeded to the not to do ; I have been most

peerage. severely and cruelly used."

t The Honourable Richard Horace Walpole says, " Taafe

Leveson Grower, second surviving is an Irishman, who changed his

son of John, first Earl Gower. religion to fight a duel, as you

X Theobald Taafe, Esq. ; who know in Ireland a Catholic may
was connected with Edward Wort- not wear a sword. He is a game-
ley Montagu, in a criminal case ster, usurer, adventurer." — Cor-
tried at Paris, which attracted respondence, vol. ii. p. 409. He
muchnoticeat the time; amongst was member of parliament for
the letters is a letter from this Arundel.

VOL. n. H

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1751. They did not play it out the first day, on account
of some rain, and the next morning the Etonians
were to go in for a hundred and odd, and lost by
thirty-four notches. He tells me they are all sulky
and out of humour with one another, that the
nohiUty played remarkably ill, particularly Duke of
Kingston and Lord Howe, who stopped behind and
missed catches and let balls pass by &c. ; that
Dick played himself on the other side, batted pretty
well and made one good catch, but missed two or
three, and let the balls pass him sadly, so that Taafe
carries another man in his place against Saturday,
and, in short, thinks himself almost sure of all the
matches. This the state of all the affairs foreign and
domestic I have been able to pick up ; and if it in-
forms you a day sooner of what perhaps my brother
newswriters might be a post longer informing you of,
I beg you would no more think of troubling yourself
with a reply to me than you would to them.

Only give me leave to add at the bottom, that I
have the highest sense of obligation to my corre-
spondent for the many favours he has been so kind
to show me.

I beg leave to trouble you with my best respects
to the Duchess, and am &c.

Richard Rigby.

June 27. 1751.

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My Lord,

If I did not give your Grace the trouble of
another paper after receiving your approbation of
the beginning of my journal, it would look very
much as if either my wit or malice were at an end :
I wish with all my heart the former was of the
magnitude of the latter ; if it was as copious it
should take in all your enemies : if it was as keen
it should make them smart for being so. Lady
Betty, Mr. Bab. *, and myself, took a farewell supper
last night at Lord Trentham's, who was to take leave
of his papa by appointment at ten o'clock. We
waited for him to supper till past twelve, and he did
not return to us till one o'clock. Mr. Signet f had
dined at Greemvich J, and came back ready primed
from thence with these three hours' arguments in
favour of a landlord there, against the malicious
attacks, (and my Lord assures they wiU be impotent
ones,) of, in short, yourself and about forty more, in
which I am very glad to find Mr. Signet is pleased
to place Mr. Fox. During the long discourse, they
were divers times very near a quarrel; but I am
glad ended without one, as well as without his
gaining a single point in favour of Mr. Carter §, who
lias visibly set him to work again, and whose sore-

* The Hon. Baptist Leveson between the Dukes of Newcastle

Gowcr, brother of Earl Gower. and Bedford, Lord Gower sided

t Lord Gower. with the Duke of Newcastle, and

t Mr. Pelham's. his son, Lord Trentham, with the

\ Mr. Pelham. On the breadi Duke of Bedford.

H 2

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1751. ness and uneasiness, I think, manifest themselves
pretty plain. I know nothing that has an opposite
quality to balm, if I did, I would pour it into his

Your Grace's successor*, who yet does not un-
derstand the meaning of the word resign, and has
never heard of a Secretary of State being turned
out, concludes that he is one for life ; and poor
Lady Pomfret at Windsor, and Madame God knows
who at Hampton Court, and Lady Betty's Abigail
at Kensington, have all warning to quit their
several apartments, to make way for my Lord Se-
cretary in all the palaces at once ; in short, your
leaving the Court is attended with worse conse-
quences than either yourself, your friends, and, I
trust, your enemies, expected.

My Lord Albemarle is come; was in with the
King yesterday, and came out with the keysf : Lord
Hyndford, they say, is certainly to succeed him in
the bedchamber.

I dined at Holland House the day before yes-
terday with the Duke of Marlborough, who, I find,
intends waiting upon you at Woburn very soon,
if I understood him right about this day se'nnight-
And, from Dick's intelligence yesterday through
Betty Mostyn, General Wall proposed being there

* Robert Earl of Holdemess^ ashamed of being made so coa-

who Walpole says^ ''had been siderable, for no reason but be-

fetched from his embassy in Hoi- cause he was so inconsiderable. »-

land, to be Secretary of State. Memoirs, vol. i. p. 1 72.

In reality, he did justice to hhn- f <jrroom of the Stole,

self and his patrons: for he seemed ,

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the end of this week. I shall with great pleasure i75i.
myself accept the favour of your offer, and trouble
you with my company on Sunday. The town is
grown extremely thin within this week, though
White's continues nimierous enough with young
people only, for Mr. St. Leger's* vivacity, and the
idea the old ones have of it, prevent the great
chairs at the old club from being filled with their
proper drowsy proprietors.

July 2d. 1751.


I would not, I assure you, intrude a corre-
spondence upon you so little worth keeping up, but
upon a certainty of your keeping to the first point
stipulated at the beginning of it, which was the
agreement insisted upon by me, of there not being
the least necessity of your putting yourself to the
trouble of a reply. I don't love ripping up an old
sore, especially of the Duke of Bedford's, and as I
fear the best I can write will appear but as a duU
remonstrance, if he is to have the trouble of making

* '* Your friend St Leger is the to swear : the judge said to him,

hero of all fashion. I never saw ' I see, sir, you are very ready

more dashing vivacity and ahsur- to take an oath.' * Yes, my

dity, with some flashes of parts. Lord,' replied St. Leger, ' my

He had a cause the other day for father was a judge.'" — Walpole's

ducking a sharper, and was going Letters, vol. ii. p. 394,

H 3

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1751. a reply to it, I am touching him on the tenderest
point. M. de Mirepoix, who I hear to-day has
presented a memorial in the strongest terms con-
cerning two vessels that have been seized at Nova
Scotia, might as well pretend he only did it to
divert my Lord Holdemesse, as I send my nonsense
to you ; if I am to put you to one moment's in-
convenience by taking further notice of it. Upon
these terms I venture to proceed : they are easy to
me under this assurance, under any other they
would be difficult. Dick has told you all the little
intelligence this dull town afforded to the date of
his leaving it, that the ajra of my further inform-
ation is but short. I dined the day he left it at
Holland House, where, though I drank claret with
the master of it from dinner till two o'clock in the
morning, I could not wash away the sorrow he is
in at the shocking condition his eldest boy is in, a
distemper they call Sanvifoss dance (I believe 1
spell it damnably), but it is a convulsion that 1
think must kill him. I have since found here no-
body of consequence but Lord Winchelsea and
Lord Anson ; he is going to Litchfield races at
Mr. Pelham's request, to take all the care he can
of my Lord Gower's interest ; if he calls upon your
Grace at Wobum in his way, I beg you will come
into place again and use your interest to get him
an Earldom. I heard a very extraordinary piece
of news to-day, which was assured me was true,
but which I shall not comment upon, and that was,
that Lady Sandwich was very far gone with child.

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My Lord had a cricket match to be decided this i75i.
rainy afternoon with the Duke at Moulsey Hurst.
I hope he won it, if my Lord Howe was not on his
side. The Duke has not been sanguine enough on
these cricket matches to make them agreeable to
that Lord I believe ; and I fancy he rather prefers
the profit of a Wobum match, with all his brutal
ill temper to the person he ought to be civil to, to
the honour he gains at one of these. Lewes races
ended on Saturday, and there now appears a little
lustre again at the King's court at Kensington.
Mr. Pelham was there to-day ; the Duke of New-
castle is to be there on Thursday ; and if he does
not want all the good company in the world at
Claremont on Saturday, why the King may get a
commerce party at Richmond. Last Saturday there
is a report that the gardener and the milkmaid
played ; but I, who have a proper respect to the dig-
nity of a monarchical party, do not believe it. I
breakfasted this morning at Acton Wells with Ge-
neral WaU ; he lodges there for a fortnight to drink
the waters to cure himself of no distemper. We went
a shooting together, and 1 was not less absurd in
another respect than he is in that ; I tried a dog
that I gave ten guineas for, without ever finding a
single partridge : as far as faith can carry me though,
pray, my Lord, tell Dick, I believe he is a very fine
one, and if he proves so he shall have him. I am
going to Mistley* the day after to-morrow in my

* Mr. Rigby's seat in Essex.
H 4

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1751. way to Sudbury, whither I am invited by a letter
yesterday from the corporation, to be the 2d of Sep-
tember to the election of a mayor, after which I hope
to have leave of the honour of waiting upon you for
a little stag hunting ; if I trouble you with another
letter in the mean time, only forgive me, and treat
me in the same manner and with the same indul-
gence, that with greatest pleasure I reflect on your
always having shown to

Yours, &c.

Richard Rigby.

Bolton Row, August 20th, 1751.


I beg pardon for not having returned the Bet-
tina's* letter sooner, and am ashamed for not having
thanked your Grace for communicating it to me;
but as I came to town but the night before last, I
did intend to have done both by to-night's post,
if Dick's man had not called upon me. I chose to
stay till I returned hither, where I was in hopes
to have picked up some news ; but you must ac-
cept the intent for the deed : for I never saw this
place emptier or duller. I might as well have been
better bred, and have returned you the Duchess's
letter from the country ; but I was afraid that, like
most extreme well-bred people, I should have been

• Lady Betty Waldegrave.

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yeiy dull. I could have no notion I could have i75i.
amused you by an account of how hard I drank at
my corporation ; or that you could have had any
faith, if I had related with how much propriety and
dignity I had acted .as a justice of the peace; the
chief and agreeable entertainments I was taken
up with.

I breakfasted with the Origs* yesterday; their

looks speak them as happy as her letter did ; she

would have wrote to the Duchess by to-night's

post, but that I promised to write to your Grace

the only piece of court news which appears as

marvellous in every body's eyes, as to see my Lord

Holdemess going in to the King to do bttsiness.

It is no less than the marriage of the Countess of

Pembroke to Capt. Bernard of the Horse Guards ;

that is, who was so, for she made him sell out

about a month ago. If they are not married, it is

pubUcly declared they are to be within a week.

Possibly your Grace may not know him: he is a

studious, reserved, thinking sort of a philosopher ;

and, as my Lord Chesterfield very well observed

last night at White's, to outward appearance has

nothing of the Nugent about him. He is turned

of forty (a very respectable age, I allow), but not

just that I should have imagined the proudest, the

most self-interested, the stateliest Dame of Quality f

• The Waldegrayes. Earl of Pembroke, married, 4th

t Mary, eldest daughter of September, North Ludlow Ber-

Richard,fifth Viscount Fitzwilliam nard. Major in the Dragoon

in Ireland ; widow of Henry, ninth Guards.

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1751. would have sacrificed all her dignity to: for I
imagine no monarch that reigns over three king-
doms, and has a hunting-box in another country
besides, will ever condescend to let Mrs. Bernard
be of his parties of pleasure. My Lady Townsend,
who I saw at Lady Bath's assembly last night,
says more good things upon this event than my
paper would hold, if my memory was good enough
to remember them. She told me, she had already
engaged her captain against my Lord's death, lest
they should be all picked up.

Mr. Fox is at Southampton, dipping his boy to
no purpose. I am afraid, by a melancholy letter
I saw from him yesterday, his good deceased
mother-in-law* has taken care, by her will, to show
to what purpose he has paid so much court to her,
and how sincerely she was reconciled to him, by
not mentioning him in it ; but, in case of failure
of any of those trustees named by the Duke's will,
has appointed my Lord Cardigan, and after him,
Lord Lincoln.

The Due de Mirepoix is to entertain the town
for two days on account of this great birth, f The
first day is to be eating and drinking, and the
second a masquerade ; he has already hired the
Opera House ; Madame la Ducliesse, I suppose in
a great hurry to replace herself in her tabouret,

♦ Sarah, Duchess Dowager of f The birth of the Duke of
Richmond, eldest daughter of Burgundy.
WiUiam Earl of Cadogan, died
August 25. l'"51.

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goes on Sunday se'nnight. I propose obeying 1752.
Dick's summons, and doing myself the honour of
waiting upon you the latter end of the week; in
the meantime beg my compliments to the Duchess,
and duty to His Royal Highness,

Who am, &c.

Richard Rigby.

Tuesday morning
(Sept. 10. 1751.)


Arlington Street, January 22. (1752.)

My Lord,

I have taken the liberty to send your Grace
the enclosed short notes of the debates to-day.*
If they are of any use towards next Tuesday, by
informing you on what foot the question has been
put by the ministry, I shall be happy — at least,
I flatter myself you wiU forgive a well-meant in-
tention in your Grace's

Much obliged, &c.

HoR. Walpole.

* On the subsidy to the elector the House of Lords ; his Grace's

of Saxony. Horatio Walpole (uncle speech will be found in the Par-

of the above) afterwards Lord liamentary debates^ with Lord

Walpole, was one of the speakers on Chancellor Hardwicke's notes,

that debate; he forwarded a copy of The notes mentioned in the letter

his speech to Mr. Pitt, who says, are very short ; at the end, Mr.

" your speech contains much very Walpole states Lord Egmont

weighty matter, and from begin- was laid up with the gout; Pitt

ning to end, breathes the spirit of was not there; Lord Cobham went

a man who loves his country." away ; Brand, Aid worth, Rigby

The Duke of Bedford opened the in the minority,
debate on the same sulgect in

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Club at Betty's, 10 o'clock.

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