Philip Chesney Yorke.

The life and correspondence of Philip Yorke, earl of Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great Britain online

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I firmly believe, you will meet your brother in good humour, and
many of those disagreeablenesses will subside and wear out of
themselves, which by writing and being commented upon are kept
alive, and temptations administered to a little positiveness, and
perhaps a little pride too, to enter into justifications. In talking
with Mr Pelham the other night on this topic, he protested in the
strongest manner that nothing was further from his intention than
to call in question the truth of what you had writ, concerning the
first motion of the removal having come from the King himself...
and meant only to convince you that other people, not so informed,
would report and reason differently upon it.... I long to see you
well here.... Ever yours

Hardwicke.

^ H. 63,'f. 166. . .'' See above.



io8 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754

[The Duke arrives on November i, 1750, in England from
Hanover, but remains at Dover so as not to anticipate the King in
arriving in London, "that I may neither cabal or give cause of
cabal." (H. 63, f 199.)]

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle
[N. 38, f. 225.] Powis House, Novr. ^rd, 1750.

My Dear Lord,...

I had heard of your safe arrival there [at Dover] from
Mr Pelham yesterday, which delivered me from the anxiety of
your passage, tho' I find he wondered that you chose to stay upon
the road.... As to the grand domestic point, I think you will find
him just in the way I represented in my last letter, which met
your Grace on the road, and disposed to appear in good humour ;
and as to foreign affairs, I conjecture from something he dropp'd
that he expects the demand of the Elector of Cologne of a sum of
money, on account of the French arrears, must be complied with,
but will not agree to go any further in pecuniary engagements.
He did not say this directly, and I desirg not to be quoted for
it, but it is my opinion, and I give your Grace this hint that you
may judge what turn to give your first conversation with him.
As to the opinion of your friends concerning your conduct whilst
abroad, you have had mine in my letters ; and I must do your
brother the justice to say that, during the whole summer, he has
talked in the highest strain of approbation of your Grace's conduct
in foreign affairs.... Adieu till me meet, I am my dear Lord,

ever yours,

Hardwicke.

[The Duke writes on Nov. 3 (H. 63, f. 201) still at Dover]
I find... you are all amazed at my staying here. I wonder you
don't see the reason, decency and regard to the King, and a
declaration to all the world that whatever was in agitation was his
Majesty's own measure.]

Anonymous to the Lord Chancellor
[H. 243, f. 145.] Nov. 23, 1750.

Most noble Lord, I send you this to inform yoii of a resolution
taken by three wicked men, that lately kept, or were concerned in
keeping, of the publick gaming tables, that were lately broak to
pieces, as they say, by your Lordship's orders. These men.



PLOT TO ASSASSINATE THE CHANCELLOR 109

apprehending that you are an enemy to pubHck gaming, are
determined to murther you in the same manner that Thomas
Thin Eqre was murthered in the year 1682^ one night or other,
as you are coming in your coach from council at St James's ; for
they say that you have robed them of a large estate, meaning the
destroying of the Gaming Tables which brought them in great
gain. These three wicked men are One George May, that lives at
the King's Harms, a noted bawdihouse tavern, Catherine Street
near the Strand, one William Maigerum, who not long ago kept
a notorious bawdihouse tavern at the Mitre, in the Strand, but
at this time he sells spiritous liquors at Hackney. The third
person is one John Ridgway, that not long since kept a noted
bawdihouse at the Casel, the back of St Clement's Church, in the
Strand ; but he has lately married a woman that keeps the Star
Inn at Oxford and his going with his wife to Oxford occasioned
the attempt of murthering you to be put off, untill his return to
London, which is every day expected. Was enquiry to be made
after the caricters of these three persons, it will appear that they
are wicked and desperate men of very bad caricters. I dare not
make myself known unto your Lordship or any of your Domesticks,
for fear of being murthered myself and, altho' you are a Great
Man, yet my life his as pretious to mee as yours his to you. The
persons that where the owners of the Gaming Tables lately broak to
pieces say that they have been robed of their fortunes and they are
becum desperat, as the smuglars where, before there was a law
made to punish them with death. Now, was there to be a law
made to punish the owners or proprietors of any publick gaming
table or tables with death, or any person or persons that shall erect
or set up or cause any Mashcen to be erected or set up for publick
gaming, by what name soever called, or any person that shall
receive any part of the profits arising from the playing at such
Mashcen or Gaming Table with death, with a reward to be paid to
the person that shall make him or themselves Evidences against
the owners of such publick Gaming Tables or Mashcens, and all
persons, that shall be apprehended or taken in any house or any
other place, where such Mashcen or Gaming Tables are plac'd at,
to be sent to the House of Correction, and not to let them to be
bailed untill they had been there three months, there might be
a stop put to publick gaming which is at this time as great a
nuisance as smugling.

Notwithstanding the Band of Locust[s] called Gamesters have
been lately disturbed and dislodged from the Hoop Tavern in the
Strand, they have had new Tables made and set up in Surry
[Street], at a place called Cupers Gardens, opposite Summerset
House in the Strand, and these Gamesters bost that they allow
one Justice Hammond, who his a leading magistrate in the Burrow

' Thomas Thynne of Longleat (1648-1682) was murdered at the instigation of Count
Konigsmark, 12 February, 1682, in Pall Mall, near the present United Service Club.
See his monument in Westminster Abbey.



no DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754

of Southwark, two guineas a week for his protektion and con-
nivance, and they say further that if any person should go to this
Justice Hammond to make an Information against them, that
he would let them know who the persons where that made such
Information, and then the Gamesters would procure some wicked
persons of their acquaintance to swear large debts or roberis
against them, so that these Gamesters are determined to support
themselves in committing cheats and defrawde by committing
of perjury.

Henry Fielding^, J. P. for Westminster, to Hutton Perkins,
Secretary to the Lord Chancellor

[H. 243, f. 147.] Bow Street, Nov. 25, 1750.

Sir,

I have made full enquiry after the three persons and have
a perfect account of them all. Their characters are such, that
perhaps three more likely men could not be found in the Kingdom
for the hellish purpose mentioned in the letter. As the particulars
are many and the affair of such importance, I beg to see you
punctually at six this evening, when I will be alone to receive you,
and am. Sir, your most obedient humble servant

H. Fielding.

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle
[N. 38, f. 381.] Powis House, Deer iith, 1750 at night.

My Dear Lord,

Wall's letter of the 17th N.S. has made such an im-
pression upon my mind, that I cannot help sitting down to write
these few words before I go to bed. Surely what he there reports
your Grace to have said to him concerning the Duke of Grafton
cannot be true^ To such a man as Wall who, in the intimacy
he lives in with him, is as likely himself to tell my Lord Duke
as any man in the world ; to one whom you suspect and are angry
with. Whether Wall tells him or not, he will certainly hear it
from some or other of the various hands thro' which these letters
go; perhaps the Lady [Yarmouth] as likely to tell him as anybody.
Your Grace knows he detests S[andwich], and that he despises the
D[uke] of B[edford], and you know also how sensible he is of such

' The celebrated novelist, above p. 52.

^ The allusion is to some incautious conversation of the Duke of Nevi'castle, which is
not specified. Wall was the Spanish agent and minister; the Duke of Grafton, a peculiar
character, was a staunch supporter of the Whig government and a member of the Cabinet
as Lord Chamberlain.



NEWCASTLE'S WOUNDED FEELINGS in

reflections. Can anything tend more to drive him to them ?
Indeed, my dear Lord, this is not a time to force those from you,
whom you have any reason to think your friends at bottom,
whatever reason you may have not to be quite satisfied with them.
The time demands that we should cultivate and make the most of
them. Indeed such confidences will do more mischief than can
be easily foreseen ; and I fear this letter has had some operation
upon the King's mind in the discourse of this very day. I write
this in the fullness of my heart, and the uprightness of the
intention must be my excuse for the freedom. I am, my dear
Lord, ever yours

Hardwicke.
Burn this.

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor
[N. 38, f. 383.] Newcastle House, Deer 13, 1750.

My Dear Lord,

I never received any letter from your Lordship which
I took kinder than this. It carries with it that sincere friendship
which you have so long had for me. The paragraph in Wall's
letter is not just what I said, but near it. Don't imagine it was
a confidence. It was the breaking out of a wounded heart of one,
who daily sees himself given up by his own friends and those
whom he has most cherish'd, and many, who by his means, are now
able to do him those friendly offices. Prudence does often (tho'
not always) control me, and therefore these most kind hints from
your Lordship will have their effect. Resentment to S[andwich],
contempt of the D[uke] of B[edford] are not the motives that
ought to influence the heart and actions of a friend in whom
I have had an entire confidence for now near 30 years; and who
has lived more days in my house than hours in all the rest put
together. My dear Lord, I find myself in a condition where no
man ever was before ; nobody but yourself in [the] ministry
avowing me ; some getting off at my expense, and that, at a time
when, (from, I will say, a successful and unexpected conduct) justice
is done me everywhere abroad ; and when, I thought, no enemy
would openly dare, or any indifferent person be inclined, to refuse
it to me at home. Think of this:... ask yourself also whether
a contrary conduct in my own friends, would not have prevented
the mischief, they and I now labour under. All these considerations
make me, at least, feel the more the part your Lordship has acted,
and be (if possible) more than ever yours

HoLLES Newcastle.



112 • DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754

[On December 15, 1750 (N. 38, f. 387), the Duke writes again.
He will not go on in the present state of things, and he would
" rather be Mr P[elham]'s footman than his Secretary of State."
He wishes the Chancellor to plead his cause with the King.

On January 7, 175 1 (N. 39, f. 51), the Chancellor informs the
Duke of Newcastle that he has seen Mr Pelham the night before
who was] ready to concur in putting an end to the disagreeable
disputes between you two.

[On April 24, 1751 (H. 63, f. 248), the Duke of Newcastle begins
a letter very coldly to the Chancellor as "My Lord," and signs
it "your Lordship's most obedient humble servant"; upon which the
second Lord Hardwicke notes, " This letter to my Father is writ in
so unusual and improper a style, that the Duke must certainly have
been in some kuff."'\

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor
[H. 63, f. 251.] Whitehall, May 3 [1751].

My Dear Lord,

I send you the draft of the [Regency] Bill which, (as
you will see) his Majesty has fully approved, with one observation
upon the form of the oath of the Council which, if it is, as the King
conceives it, (that is the Council are to swear to serve the King and
his people), I should humbly apprehend to be unusual and wrong....
I send it only that you may see the King's own mark on the
margin of the oath. Your Lordship will be pleased to talk to the
Attorney and Solicitor General about it. The King apprehends,
it is swearing to the people....

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor

[H. 63, f. 257.] June 15, 1751.

My Dear Lord,

I must trouble your Lordship with an account of the
extraordinary occurrences of yesterday. His Grace of Bedford
had a pretty long audience and left the Seals, and procured two
valuable reversions of two places in the West Indies for his two
commis. When I went in, his Majesty scarce spoke to me. I gave
him an account of the manner in which I had executed his orders,
and of what the Duke of Bedford had said the day before to
Lord Lincoln. The King replied, " Yes, he has quitted, and I have
given two reversions to his commis." I asked H.M. whether he
had determined anything about the successor. He muttered
something like, " I don't know." He then ordered me to direct my
Lord Granville to be at Kensington on Monday. I said, " To be



RESIGNATION OF THE DUKE OF BEDFORD 113

President ? " " Yes." I then said a council must be appointed, which
IS accordingly ordered for Monday, and I beg your Lordship would
not fail to be there, (My L[ady] Y[armouth], who is not disposed to
think favourably either of my Lord Granville or his admission
mto the King's service, having asked me particularly how you two
stood together). After some short discourse with H.M. about
Lord Hartington\ whose warrant was signed, I took leave, when
the King very graciously asked me whether my brother was without,
and that he would speak to him. Mr Pelham went in, and then
the whole mystery came out ; that the duke of Bedford had quitted
his service in the handsomest manner imaginable. It was all laid
upon my treatment of him ; that his Grace said to the King that
I was of a temper to live with nobody, that I had forced out three
(I think) Secretaries of State ; that for himself he had bore every-
thing, that he had never interfered in anything, had left the disposal
of everything civil and ecclesiastical to me, and particularly had
not even insisted upon the promotion of his own relation, Dr Bullock ;
and when his Grace had made his just remarks upon my past
conduct, he then turned prophet, and foretold H.M. that I should
do the same with his successor that I had done with him. In that
he must be mistaken ; for I defy the King to find such a successor
as his Grace. His Majesty (who could best contradict these
accusations, having himself more than once advised me to get rid
of two of these three Secretaries of State, viz. Lord Harrington and
his Grace himself) was, however, pleased to adopt all the Duke of
Bedford's reasonings and complaints, and to add to Mr Pelham
of himself, "Your brother will be jealous of Lord Holderness,
if he continues to be of my parties at Richmond of Saturdays, and
if he goes to my son and my daughter." I am sorry to say it
appears that every word that the Duke of Bedford said, was put
into his mouth by the Princess Amelia, and I wish the remarks
upon it did not come from the same quarter....! went immediately
to L[ady] Y[armouth], who, I found, knew all that had passed, and
indeed behaved very properly to me. I did not complain, but
expressed my satisfaction that, when it appeared there was an
inclination to say every thing against me, nothing could be found
out but this sort of accusation after twenty four years service ;... —
that his Grace was a great seigneur but a. hsid prophet. She tookj
very well all I said, promised to make the best use of it to the King....
I pressed her to know whether there was anything but this against
me.... She said she knew of nothing else, and believed there was
nothing at present ; what there might be on Monday, when the Duke
[of Cumberland] returned, she could not say, for he was extremely
piqu^; but she would watch countenances and tell me ; this was very

1 William Cavendish (1720-1764), fourth Duke of Devonshire 1755, Lord Lieutenant
of Ireland 1755-6, first minister of the Crown 1756-7, Lord Chamberlain 1757-62, a man
of high character and a staunch supporter of the D. of N. and Lord H. of vi^hom hereafter.
He was called up to the Peers this year as Baron Cavendish, and made Master of the
Horse.

y. II. 8



114 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754

good, and proves all I ever said. Thus that conference ended, and
better it could not end. Mr Pelham had a much longer with
the Princess, who did not conceal her knowing everything ; said
that the King was extremely pleased with the Duke of Bedford,
whom she much commended ; and told my brother that the Duke
of B[edford] had laid one guinea with Her Royal Highness that
the King would speak to my Lord Sandwich on Sunday at Courts
and I beg your Lordship would have all your eyes about you,
both at the King's Lev^e and in the Drawing Room, to see all
that passes. Her R.H. was also pleased to talk pretty familiarly
about me ; Mr P[elham] takes that up. She said " Mr Pelham,
I beg your pardon for being so free with your brother; you should
excuse it, for you have been familiar with my brother." This
alarmed my brother. He expressed great uneasiness at the
insinuation, but it went off. H.R.H. also reproached Mr Pelham
for having said, he would never serve zvith my Lord Granville.
She owned the Duke of Bedford's offer to Lord Granville, and
said to my brother, " Perhaps I know more of that than you
doV " I believe it. Madam," my brother replied. My brother
told her that he would support the present system, or measure,
to the utmost. Having now given you an account of these
extraordinary conversations, I might leave the inferences to your
Lordship ; but I beg to make some remarks ; first, that the resent-
ment is levelled singly against me, that it comes from the Duke
and the Princess, and that they have no other point to go upon but
that old stuff of Sir Robert Walpole's, that I can agree with nobody,
and that therefore the only point against me is what my own
brother and my own friends have at times encouraged them in;
2ndly, that all my friends should do me justice upon this point.
I know your friendship and sincerity ; as I think it possible the
King may speak to you tomorrow and give you some opportunity
to speak to him, I must beg you would shew how cruel these
accusations are, and particularly in this case, when it is evident
that the removal of my Lord Sandwich, and not the treatment
of his Grace, is the single reason of his quitting, I could also
wish you would see Lord Granville and talk properly to him, or
rather instruct him, how to talk to the King about the insignificancy
of the Duke of Bedford and his clique.

I am ever and unalterably yours

HoLLEs Newcastle.



^ The Duke of Bedford and Lord Sandwich retired together.

'^ The. Duke of Bedford had apparently made overtures to Lord Granville, but the
latter was already engaged to the D. of N.



NEWCASTLE OUT OF FAVOUR 115

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor

[H. 63, f. 264.] Claremont, June ^2nd, 1751.

My Dear Lord,

Since writing yesterday, I am determined to write to
the King myself; and therefore I think it would be better that your
Lordship should avoid any new conversation with His Majesty
upon that subject. My letter is founded upon your last, and is so
submissive and explanatory, that I think there cannot be the least
objection to sending it, which I propose to do by Lord Holderness
after Tuesday^ I will first shew it to your Lordship, and alter any
expressions you would have altered. I am sure it is right (as
things now stand). New matter might alter the case. I am strong
upon the present foot, and therefore there I would leave it ; and for
that reason I would not have my friends give an opportunity for
having the charge against me altered in any shape. I forgot to
tell you that yesterday H.M. did not honour me with one word at
the Levee, though he talked very merrily with my right and left
hand neighbours. Lord Granville and my brother, between whom
I stood, and even spoke to my Lord Bath.... I am ever yours

HoLLES Newcastle.

P. S. H.M. has learnt of hLs D[aughter] (.'), and in his Closet
talks to H[olderness], without making me a part of the company.

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor

^ Tune 'i.'.th

[H.7,f-346.] Paris, -^^-^, ,751.

My Lord,

...I most heartily wish what H.M. has just done may
turn out well for his service and the nation's. I was much surprized
to find in the former part of your letter, that you were not of
opinion with those who thought the D[uke] of B[edford] would
resign upon Lord S[andwich]'s being turned out. Your notion
must certainly have been founded on your own observation, or
what had pass'd between his Grace and you ; and that makes me
suspect that some people, whom I wish had never been mixed in
these cabals, exerted themselves to force him to take a step, which
seems to have been so contrary to his inclination. I have been
told here, and it came from Mons. Mirepoix's letters^ that Lord
Sandwich was at Windsor Lodge, when the letter of dismission
was brought him ; that he was in conference with the Master of the
house about an hour, and then set out for his house in Huntingdon-
shire without going to London at all. All these circumstances,
added to the removals, give room, you will easily believe, to various
speculations here....

1 Printed in Coxe's Pelham, ii. 401. "^ French ambassador in England.

8—2



ii6 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle
[N. 40, f. 60.] Powis House, Aug. 13, 1751.

...I received from very good authority a piece of intelligence
which (from your not having mentioned it), I am not sure your
Grace has heard, and yet it is fit you should know it, that you may.
conduct your scheme accordingly.

The Duke of Bedford, in his valedictory speech to the King,
(amongst other complaints) told His Majesty that everything
relating to his service was so concerted as to serve your Grace's
convenience and increase your power; that he could mention
a hundred things, but would take notice only of one; that H.M. .
would find that, as soon as he was out of the Secretary's office, one
considerable part of it, America, was to be lopped off and thrown
into the hands of the first Commissioner of Trade, Lord Halifax ;
that this was an affair settled without H.M.'s privity; that it
was true he (the Duke of Bedford) and Lord Halifax were not
friends ; but that was not his reason for mentioning it, for Lord
Halifax might probably execute it as well as another ; that his
only reason for mentioning it was to shew the King that, not only
persons were to be ill-treated and removed out of the way, but the
chief offices of the state were to be mangled, altered and lowered
at their pleasure, in order to promote the scheme of engrossing all
power to them and their creatures. This is the effect of what I was
told, and it wants no comment....

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor
[H. 64, f. 3.] Very private. NEWCASTLE HoDSE, Sept. 6, 1751.

My Dear Lord,...

Things at court remain... much upon the footing they
were when your Lordship left us.... The King is very gracious, civil,
and indeed familiar, both at the Lev^e and in the Closet. His
Majesty talks very confidentially upon foreign affairs, but is totally
silent upon everything at home, and upon all employments that
become vacant, upon which H.M. talks to nobody but Mr Pelham,
who sees him but once or at most twice a week, but then he has.
long audiences. By this, and by Lady Yarmouth's manner towards
my brother, and desire of frequent conversations, with him, I have
a strong notion that the King has formed to himself a sort of
system, which His Majesty may think will answer air his ends,.



CAUSES AND ORIGIN 117

viz. that of carrying on in the main his business with his present
administration, and yet gratify the resentment of the Duke and the
Princess Amelia against me. And the way of doing it is plain, to
consult me and follow my advice in foreign affairs, which the King
must know is his own plan, and at the same time to exclude me
totally from any share in the home administration. This would
certainly indulge the resentment of my enemies, and reduce me to
make a most contemptible figure in the administration. The truth
is, that in fact everything passes through my brother's hands, and
I am, with regard to the King, as much a stranger as if I was not in
the ministry. The truth is also, that my brother accepts this at
least, if he don't promote it or approve it; and his constant court to



Online LibraryPhilip Chesney YorkeThe life and correspondence of Philip Yorke, earl of Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great Britain → online text (page 13 of 65)