Richard Glover.

Memoirs by a celebrated literary and political character, from the resignation of Sir Robert Walpole, in 1742, to the establishment of Lord Chatham's second administration, in 1757; containing strictures on some of the most distinguished men of that time online

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Online LibraryRichard GloverMemoirs by a celebrated literary and political character, from the resignation of Sir Robert Walpole, in 1742, to the establishment of Lord Chatham's second administration, in 1757; containing strictures on some of the most distinguished men of that time → online text (page 2 of 9)
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p. !;>0B.— Edit.


' ( 13 )

the measure of their iniquity was not com- 1743.
plcte at that time.

The Duke of Argyle, who was just re-
stored to the Ordnance, hearing I had
been to Carteret, was excessively piqued,
and treated me with an unusual degree of
coldness; upon which I wrote to him such
a letter as gained me admission to his
Grace the next morning early. My crime,
it seems was, having had the least com-
merce with Carteret on the merchants af-
fair, who, he said, would immediately re-
present to the King, that the merchants
had been with him, had consulted him as
their friend before any other, and by this
means mislead the King into an opinion,
that Carteret was very popular in London,
whom the Duke treated with many terms
of abhorrence, styling him his enemy, and
adding, how indifferently and disrespect-
fully he himself had been used for the few
days he had been at Court. I alleged,
that the merchants, and myself in parti-
cular, detested Carteret as much as his
Grace, but that the common forms of the
House of Lords required our waiting upon


( 14 ) •

1743. the Duke of Bedford and Lord Carteret,
on the putting off our affair, because they
were the lords that had brought it into the

I remember the Duke very httle re-
garded all I urged, but walked up and
down exclaiming against Carteret; but dis-
missed me very kindly and civilly. Soon
after his Grace, taking offence at the usage
from the King and the ministry, threw
up all his employments. He was blamed
by some for too much precipitation, among
which number I was one. What he al-
leged for his justification was this : That
he went in, as a pledge on the broad
bottom plan, which was, to destroy the
distinction of Whig and Tory, by the in-
discriminate admission of both parties into
place, and he, not finding that any such
thing w^as intended, which was the condi-
tion of his going in, thought it in honour
incumbent on him, to quit. The true
reason (in my judgment) was the treat-
ment he received at Court, not answering
his ambitious views, and perhaps not agree-
able to his rank and dignity: his views


( 15 )

were to have the sole command of the 1743.
army, which reminds me of one of Lord
Orford's bold and unguarded expressions,
that there were two men who wanted the
sole management of the army, the King
and Argyle, but, by God, neither of them
should have it.

The Duke of Argyle, not long after he
resigned, waited on Lord Chesterfield,
before his Grace went to Sudbrook, when
he declared, that he was quite happy in
himself, perfectly satisfied with his own
conduct, and concluded his conversation
with a history of his brother Ila, which
painted him out in the most infamous and
diabolical colours, and then said, can your
lordship blame me for not seeing such a
brother as this? He went down to Sud-
brook, and in about a month sent for this
brother, by whose intervention all matters
were adjusted between Argyle and the late
detested Lord Carteret, who had certainly
deluded him with the expectation of put-
ting the army into his hands, which was
his favourite passion; and tliough his old
friends in the opposition continued the


( 16 )

ir4s. ensuing sessions to stand up against the
Court, he was determined to have come up
to Parliament, and supported Carteret in
all his measures, even in the infamous job
of the Hanover forces, he, in whom but
the year before the whole body of Tories
reposed an implicit confidence ; he, who
had harangued so pathetically at the Foun-
tain Tavern against Sandys and the rest,
Avho had taken places a few days before;
this very man would have acted the part
I have been now relating, had not Lord
Chesterfield, from whom I received this
account, waited on him in the country, and
finding him extremely indisposed, had the
good fortune to dissuade the Duke from
his purpose, and in some measure saved
his reputation. The Duke died about six
or seven months after.

From May to the middle of November
in this year 1743, I passed great part of
my time near Temple-Mills, an estate and
concern purchased and carried on in part-
nership with my most intimate, dear, and
faithful friend Mr. William Ockenden, of
whose unequalled virtue and consummate


( 17 )

abilities I shall have frequent occasion to 1743.
speak in the course of these memoirs;
especially as in consequence of the interest
which Temple-Mills must necessarily pro-
cure him in the borough of Great Marlow>
he will, in all probability, be returned
member for that place, and the public will
then know that his excellent parts and
qualities are not confined merely to the
happiness and emolument of his numerous
friends in the circle of private life. This
situation of mine gave me frequent oppor-
tunities of conversing with Mr. AYaller
during the summer. He and I agreed en-
tirely on the plan of opposition the ensuing
sessions. I must confess, though we always
drew the same conclusions upon the sub-
ject of public affairs, we did by no means
agree in many of the piincipies from which
those conclusions wxre drawn. I always
found an obscurity in him, which I could
not but attribute to some degree of indis-
tinctness in his conceptions; nor was I
singular in that opinion; but^ hitherto, no
man can say but that he had continued in
opposition to all the enemies of his country

c with

( 18 )

1713. with perseverance and zeal. When I cam6
to London, I received a letter from Lord
Chesterfield, desiring me to meet some
friends at his house, particularly Pitt and
Ljttelton, with whom I have been for
many years upon a footing of the most
intimate friendship,^^ to consult about the
public affairs. The Sunday after, I dined
with Lyttelton, who communicated to me
the substance of their resolutions at that
meeting; where, let me observe, that nei-
ther Lord Cobham nor Waller were present.
I entirely disapproved of their plan, and
the next day wrote to Lord Chesterfield a
letter something to the following effect.

Lawrence Pulteney-hill,
Monday morning.

Had my good fortune brought me
to London time enough last week to have
had the honour of accepting your lord-
ship's invitation on Tuesday, I should
have saved you the trouble of this letter.
Though I am to see you so soon as next

* " Lord Lyttelton's Integrity and judgment are unques-
tionable." — Junius, Vol. ii. p. 305. — Edit.


( 19 )

Saturday, I cannot rest without offering 1^43.
some crude reflections to your lordship's
consideration. I understood yesterday by
Mr. Lyttelton, that the plan of this ses-
sions, now under deliberation with some
of the opposition, consists principally in
" replacing the Hanoverians with other
hired forces, keeping an army in readi^
ness on the continent, and treating with
France in that posture, but under this re-
striction, that no step whatever should be
taken but in concert with the Dutch.''
"When I am asked, how such a measure
will be relished without doors, I freely
own, that it will by no means be unpopu^
lar, unless its consequences prove, as my
own apprehensions suggest. Let me ask^
" After granting immense supplies and a
large army, are you sure the Dutch will
take any part with you, and what ? Sup-
pose they join you with thirty thousand
men instead of ten, are you sure the
French will be so far intimidated as to give
up immediately all the Emperor's preten-
sions, except the single restitution of his he-
reditary dominions ?" The conduct which

c 2 France

( 20 )

ir43. France has to observe, is to me extremely
obvious. Not to treat, not to give up any
one point, to fill up her barrier towns with
strong garrisons, lie behind them with a
great army, which her ordinary revenue
will enable her to do, and wait till the
English and Dutch will make an attack
upon her dominions. Let me ask again,
will they attack her ? - the consequence of
which is a general war, which she knows
3^ou are averse to, and the Dutch still
more? If we do not attack her, will she
not compel us to spin out a whole cam-
paign like the end of the last — at an im-
mense expense, which will necessarily oc-
casion o-reater clamours in Eng-land than
ever, and strengthen the pacific party in
Holland ? And all this time you are
wasting away in so fruitless a manner,
Prance runs no risk, is at no other expense
than granting subsistence to the Emperor,
and consequently will be more stiff in her
demands the subsequent year, when she
will have saved as many lives, and as much
money, as you have been throwing away ;
then, what step must England take next,


( 21 )

in a condition so much weaker and more 1743,
exhausted than before ? then, my Lord,
consider at whose door will the unpopula-
rity of this measure fall


This was the substance of tlie letter,
though I cannot call this an exact copy.
I waited on Lord Chesterfield at dinner on
the day appointed, when I met Pitt, Lyt-
telton, and George Grenville, who I be-
lieve will make the most useful and able
parliament man of the three, though not
of equal eloquence with Pitt. They in-
formed me that the opposition was now
agreed, that it would go on much upon
the same footmg as last year, &c. Upon
the whole I found the plan I writ against
in my letter, which Lord Chesterfield
made me many compliments upon, was
entirely thrown aside. I further observed,
that Waller was acknowledged among
them for their head and leader. I like-
wise learned something about Dodington,
which confirmed me in my suspicions of
his being but a rotten member of the op-
position. The Sunday se'nnight after I

c 3 dined

( 22 )

1713. dined with Waller, we agreed in all our
conclusions as usual, and I thought he
came more into my principles and premi-
ses than he used to do. He seemed un^
easy at the difference they had had among
themselves upon their measures this ses-
sions, and seemed a little dubious, even
after I assured him that all was agreed and
settled upon his plan, which he was plea-'
sed to term his and mine concluded on the
preceding summer. I own the state of
public affairs, independent of all party
considerations, appeared so plain to me,
that I am at a loss to find any good motive
which could have influenced my friends in
differing so much with Mr. Waller upon
their measures this sessions. Whether
young men, elated with a brilliant charac-
ter, might not take upon them too early to
be the contrivers, as well as the orators, in
behalf of the party, I cannot say. Whe-
ther there Avere any worse motives than
mere vanity and self-sufficiency for this
conduct, I will not say. Neither, per-
haps, am I too severe in my judgment of
men ; but I must declare, that from this


( 23 )

accident I conceive less hopes of our pre- 1743.
sent opposition than I did. When I use
the word hope, I would not be understood
to mean that I expect any great benefit to
my country from this or any opposition ;*
but I had a better opinion of some people
than I have just now ; and they are so
nearly connected with me by a long friend-
ship and esteem, that I most heartily wish
that my fears may be misplaced, and prove
in the end abortive.

The apprehensions expressed in the fore- 1743-4.
going paragraph were but too justly foun-
ded, as appears by the following narrative,
collected from my own observation, and
the intelligence I received from Lord Coli-
ham and Mr. Waller. Durins; the whole

* " As to the injur)' we may do any future and more
respectable House of Conmions, I own I am not now
sanguine enough to expect a more plentiful harvest of par-
liamentary virtue in one year than another. Our political
climate is severely altered ; and without dwelling upon
the depravity of modern limes, I think no reasonable man
will expect, that, as human nature is constituted, the en-
ormous influence of the crown should cease to prevail over
the virtue of individuals." Junius, Vol. ii. p. 210. — Edit.

c 4 summer

( 24 )

1743-4. summer I had observed a disposition in
Lords Chesterfield, Gower, Marchmont,
Pitt, and Lyttelton, to treat with Mr.
Henry Pelham ; their view was, to raise
him above Carteret; and then, it was pre-
tended, there might be hopes of obtaining
some good laws, and possibly of separating
the eleetorate of Hanover from the crown
of Great Britain. Mr. Waller v/as ever
averse to this negociation, having no confi-
dence in Pelham, despising his narrow un-
derstanding and abject spirit, and detest-
ing his mean, equivocating temper. This
treaty, however, was certainly attempted
by the others, and was the parent of that
plan which was communicated to me by
Lyttelton, and was adopted by Lord Ches-
terfield, from Pitt. To this latter I can
trace it : whether any other suggested it
first to him, I am not certain ; but I have
some suspicion that Bolingbroke had his
share in this measure, if he were not the
first mover ; and thus much I know as a
fact, that a connection was constantly kept
up with him by them all. Mr. Pitt and
the rest were naturally led into this mea-

( 25 )

sure, supposing it not their own, for this im3-4.
plain reason : As they were continual!}^ in
expectation of coming into place through
Harry Pelham, and at the same time were
weak enough to hope that means might be
contrived to preserve their characters, this
plan, whether of their own or Eoling-
broke's, or any other's, is not material, was
considered to be the proper means ; be-
cause, having once agreed to support the
king in his warlike measures, by giving all
the English troops the money demanded
for the current service, and replacing the
Hanoverians with other mercenaries, du-
ring the time they were part of the oppo-
sition, they could pursue the same steps
after they were taken into place, and say,
that their conduct was the same as ever,
and entirely consistent with itself. Upon
the whole, the bare opposition to the Ha-
noverians was to be the scape-goat for so
great a folly, to give it no severer an ap-
pellation. Mr. Waller, and indeed the
whole minority besides, except Dodington,
(as in its place shall be explained,) were
always for attacking the whole measure of


( 26 )

1743-4. the minister, and treated the affair of the
Hanoverian forces as a very inconsiderable
part of that whole, and of little further
service than exasperating the people with-
out doors. Mr. Pitt and his few friends
had publicly declared their opinion in be-
half of the English army in Flanders, hav-
ing entirely changed their sentiments since
my interview with them at Lord Chester-
field's early in December, and when pres-
sed by their friend, I may say patron, Lord
Cobham, to retract and agree with Waller
not to listen to his persuasions but on the
following proposition — that a motion should
be made in the House of Commons for an
address to the King not to proceed any
further in the war without some express
stipulation with the States General for their
full concurrence and support ; and if the
Court rejects this motion, says Pitt, I will
then join with the rest, and oppose the
Endish forces as well as the Hanoverians.
This was the sole occasion of that motion,
which would not else have been thought
of, much less proposed. Mr. Waller ac-
cordingly drew up one, which was disap-

( 27 )

proved of, and another prepared by Lord 1743-4.
Chesterfield, which was done at Lord Cob-
ham's house, and was the very exploded
piotion that appears in the votes : it was
thrown out by a great majority ; and Mr.
Pitt being called upon to concur with
Waller in opposing the English, the terms
upon which the latter had agreed to the
motion at all, de&lared that the merits of it
having been no ways the subject of the
debate in the House, but merely the gram-
mar and wording of it, he was left at li-
berty to follow his own opinion with re-
spect to the English forces as at first ; and
accordingly, with Lyttelton and Mr. Chet-
wynd, made public interest with the mem-
bers of the opposition to vote w4th the
court upon the subject of the English in
Flanders, and to confine their opposition
to the Hanoverians only. They even went
so far, and Chesterfield was weak enough
to assist, as to declare that the above-
mentioned ill-judged, ill-expressed motion
v/as Waller's, though he at that time was
in possession of it under his own hand :
and in the midst of the flame and confu-

( 28 )

1743-4. sion this conduct occasioned, Mr. Doding-
ton steps in to act his part. Mr. Doding-
ton, who never was, nor will be, averse to
treat with Mr. Pelham, or any one besides,
for a place, was actually of the same opi-
nion as Mr. Pitt with relation to the Eng-
lish forces before the opening of the ses-
sions. Afterwards, finding that Pelham
was mean enough to range himself a sub-
altern under Carteret, whom, with the as-
sistance then offered by the opposition, he
might have easily supplanted; finding too
that Pitt still continued tenacious of his
first opinion, of whom Dodington was ever
extremely jealous, and whose character he
envied, immediately took advantage of the
other's obstinacy, changed his sentiments,
came over to Waller, and at last, in the
midst of the animosities and divisions just
mentioned, procured a general meeting of
the minority members at the Fountain Ta-
vern just before the 11th of January, the
day appointed for the English forces, in the

Pitt, whom pride and resentment on the
ill success of his plan would not suffer to


( 29 )

retract, had acted more prudently by stay- 1743-4.
ing away from this meeting, than by
coming, as he did, and endeavouring to
persuade the company to vote for the Eng-
lish forces. Ilis reasons were, that the na-
tion being involved in a war, the ministry
ouo'ht not to be disarmed. The whole
meeting were of a different opinion, and
Mr. Velters Cornwal having made a speech j
w^hich obliquely reflected on Pitt and Ly t-
telton, they immediately retired with Chet-
wynd to one side of the room, and after
some conference by themselves rejoined
the company; when Mr. Pitt addressed
them to this effect : " That since he found
the meeting so unanimously of opinion to
oppose the English forces the next day, he
should pay that regard to the sentiments
of his friends as to vote with them, though
contrary to his own, but that he hoped
they would be contented with his vote,
and not expect he should speak.'' The
next day being the 11th of January, the
court carried their question, and Pitt and
Lyttelton, as they had declared, voted
with their friends, but did not speak in


Jan, 18.

( 30 )

1743-4. the debate — a behaviour equally ridicu-
lous and absurd, and of ten times more
service to the court and of disadvantasje to
the opposition, than if both had accepted
employments, and publicly joined with
the administration. At the same time Pitt
hath lost all the confidence of his friends,
and entirely eased Dodington of his envy
and jealousy, which were, indisputably,
all his motives of acting throughout this
unhappy affair.

1744. During the course of this year, 1744,

the leaders of the opposition, wdio had
differed among themselves so widely the
year before, were now once more re-united
upon one principle, which was, to get into
place ; in consequence of this agreement
a junto was formed of nine, who were, the
Duke of Bedford, Eaii of Chesterfield,
Lord Gower, Mr. Pitt, Lyttelton, Lord
Cobham, Mr. Waller, Dodington, and Sir
John Hynde Cotton : however, this justice
is due to the four last, that in all their con-
ferences with the other five they strenu-
ously insisted on making some terms with
Mr. Pelham for the public before they


( 31 )

went into employment. Mr. Dodington 1744.
informed me, that one of these conditions
was, that the inferior officers of the excise
and customs, with some others of the like
dependence on the crown, should be de-
prived of their votes in all elections for
members of parliament ; and I was told in
express terms by Mr. Waller, thatPelham
himself offered to concur with them in pro-
curing a more effectual place-bill, particu-
larly to exclude all officers of the army
under the rank of colonels, and possibly
of the navy under the degree of admirals ;
but whether this last article was only de-
sired by Mr. Waller and Cobham, Doding-
ton and Cotton, or actually promised by
Pelham, I cannot determine ; but thus
much is certain, that Waller told me a
place-bill was offered by Pelham during
their treaty with him, and I understood it
to have been intended very nearly in the
shape I have mentioned. Waller at the
same time ascribed this condescension in
the minister to very notorious and obvious
reasons, i. e. his incapacity and pusillani-
mity, which led him to make tliese con-
cessions ;

( 32 )

1744. cessions ; not that his mean heart enter-
tained the least spark of compunction for
the pubhc, but merely that he might sit
easy in power, and shelter his inability
Peiham. aguiust the weight of Waller's talents and
experience, the virulent eloquence of Pitt,
the party strength of Gower and Cotton
among the tories, the keen and lively parts
of Cobham, and the industry and social
arts of Dodington ; all which, united upon
honest and disinterested views for their
country, must have speedily rendered the
opposition not only formidable, but dan*
gerous to Peiham ; such, however, was
the prostitution of Bedford, Chesterfield,*'
Gower, Pitt, and Lyttelton, a party


* I must here observe, thai it' any one of these five may
be distinguished from the rest as the most prostitute and
eager to gfit into power and employment, it was the Earl
of Chesterfield. He and Lord Cobham were deputed by
the junto to treat, in their names, with the Pelhams ; and
in ail their private interviews this forwardness of Chester-
fiehl could neither be restrained by Cobham, nor did he
himself endeavour to conceal it ; on the contrary, he af-
fected to act without the other's concurrence or participa-
tioHj by private conferences and whisperings, even in the


( 33 )

founded on the base desire of pecuniary 1744-
emoluments, partly on the more extensive
views of procuring the whole ministerial
power to themselves, that they perempto-
rily insisted on coming into employment
without any stipulations whatever.

Lord Cobham was at one time so pro-
voked at this infamous conduct, that he
had thoughts of withdrawing himself from
their councils, and to Sir Francis Dashwood,
from whom I had my information, made
up of the following expressions : " Damn
these fellows ! they mean nothing but them-
selves ! Will they stand by us ? By God,
we will have no further concern with them/'
But his resolution did not hold : the truth
is, that liOrd Cobham, Dodington, and
Cotton, had too much sense not to see the
weakness of Pelham, of which they were
sincerely desirous to make an advantage,
so far as might serve to bring them into
power with some degree of character; and

same room before Cobham 's face ; a procedure so gross,
that the latter, as he has often told me in confidence, was
frequently provoked to reproach him, and insist on his
gpeaking out.

D thi?

( 34 )

1744. this they very well knew could never
be accomplished without obtaining some
terms for the people; but at the same time
it Avas always evident to mc, who knew
them daring the whole course of their
opposition, long before they accepted of
employments, and their subsequent con-
duct has rendered it notorious to all man-
kind, that their first regard was to profit
and power, that their second was to cha-
racter, and much fainter than the first;
and that their care for the public extended
no further than to preserve some part of
their former popularity for a varnish to
their avarice and ambition. Mr. Waller
went much further; he really meant to
serve the public effectually, if he could,
as well as himself; but absolute despair
of the former made him stoop at last from
his reputation and integrity, and embrace
his own private advantage. The truth of
these observations shall now be evinced by
a flagrant and incontestable fact.

These nine chiefs not being able to agree
unanimously among themselves, it was at
length proposed, that the question in dis-

{ 35 )

''pute, wliether tliey should accept of em- iru,
ployments with, or without any previous
stipulations for the public, should be put
to the vote, and that the whole junto

2 4 5 6 7 8 9

Online LibraryRichard GloverMemoirs by a celebrated literary and political character, from the resignation of Sir Robert Walpole, in 1742, to the establishment of Lord Chatham's second administration, in 1757; containing strictures on some of the most distinguished men of that time → online text (page 2 of 9)