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 3 of 9)
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should be determined by the sense of the
majority. This act of presumption, for
nine men, by a single vote among them-
selves, to determine for their whole party
without its privity and approbation, to saj
nothing of the public, was a step whieh, I
should have expected, would have forced
Mr. Waller with indignation from their
company and councils: but he acquiesced
with the rest, and it was carried, to go
into place without the least stipulation
whatever, by the voices of the Duke of
Bedford, the lords Chesterfield and Gower,
of Mr. Pitt and Lyttelton, against Lord
Cobham, Waller, Dodington, and Sir J*
Hynde Cotton : in consequence of this
resolution, the office of privy-seal was
restored to Lord Gower, a regiment of
dragoons given to Lord Cobham, Waller
made cofferer, Lyttelton commissioner of
the treasury, the Duke of Bedford first
commissioner of the admiralty, Dodino-ton

D 2 trca-

( S6 )

1744. treasurer of the navy, and Cotton treasurer
of the chambers ; Chesterfield and Pitt did
not come into place immediately, but the
first was designed for the lieutenancy of
Ireland, and the last to be paymaster of
the army. It was not till the year 1745
that Lord Chesterfield went to Ireland ;
but the manner in which Pitt was brought
in at last, requires a detail not unworthy
of notice.
Mr. Pitt. Mr. William Pitt, during the course of
his opposition, had signalized himself by no
part of his conduct so much as by the bit-
terest and most virulent invectives against
the king's German dominions, which drew
upon him his Majesty's indignation and
hatred, and was for many months an in-
surmountable obstacle to his preferment.
The King complained to the Earl of Gran-
ville, who still retained the first place in
his confidence and esteem^ and even to
the Earl of Bath, of this ungrateful at-
tempt of the Pelhams to force into his
service and councils a person whom he
held in the utmost abhorrence. The Earl
of Bath, who was now become the most


( 37 )

insignificant and contemptible of men, i7u-
from a degree of popularity and power
which no subject before him was ever
possessed of, began upon this occasion to
entertain fresh hopes of regaining some
part of his former weight and influence,
and in this view cherished and cultivated
the king's resentment. The Pelhams,
alarmed at his majesty's continued obsti-
nacy, and still apprehensive of being sup-
planted by Granville, as they well knew
his superior abilities and peculiar arts in
obtaining and preserving their masters
favour, at length came to a resolution of
attacking the king on his weakest side,
his timidity, and to make his refusal of
Mr. Pitt the pretence for executing a mea-
sure which should for ever fright him from
the very thought of employing the Earl of
Granville more. It was now the month
of February, 174o-0\ when a rebellion,
which had sprung from a small beginning
in the preceding month of July, continued
to prevail, and filled the court and king-
dom with a consternation which no time

D 3 can


( 38 )

ins. can parallel, and no circumstance can

Charles Edward, son to the Pretender,
landed with a few followers in the high-
lands of Scotland, and there erected his
standard. The first intelligence of this
design was treated by the administration
with indifference and neglect. The rebels
were upwards of 3000 in number, and
were masters of the passes on a mountain
called Corriarrick, which leads to Fort
Augustus, when Sir John Cope, general
of the troops in Scotland, and who had
not left Stirlins; before the 20th of Auj2;ust,
in his march to that fort, was obliged to
desist from this undertaking and turn to
the eastward, where reaching the town of
Aberdeen, he embarked his forces for Dun-
bar, south of Edinburgh. On his retreat
the rebels quitted those passes, and rush-
ing from their mountains without any ob-
stacle, soon traversed the lowlands, and
were admitted into Ed inburgh ; then march-
ing out to meet Sir John Cope, who hav-
ing landed his army at Dunbar, was ad-

( 39 )

vancinff against them, save him battle on 1745.
the 21st of September, and totally routed
the king's troops. Disgraceful was this
behaviour, though not uncommon in re-
gular forces when assailed by an enemy,
whose arms and method of engaging are
different from their own; but more dis-
graceful, and destined to eternal infamy,
was the consternation which at once over-
spread this populous kingdom.

The rebels did not take all the advan-
tage of a victory so easily obtained ; they
lost some time in a fruitless sieoe of Edin-
burgh Castle, instead of proceeding di-
rectly to Northumberland ; General AYade
got thither in time to oppose that attempt,
which obliged them to enter England by
Carlisle. Into the very heart of this king-
dom did 6000 mountaineers, of whom not
.3000 were properly combatants, penetrate
unopposed and unassisted; till finding that
the Duke of Cumberland was advancins:
with an army not inferior to their own,
and discouraged at their cold reception
from their reputed friends in England,
they returned to Scotland without inter-

D 4 ruption.

( 40 )

1745. ruption, raised contributions on the city
of Glasgow, invested Stirling Castle with-
out success, surprised the king^s troops
, under General Hawley at Falkirk, and
gave them another defeat, more owing to
his beastly ignorance and negligence, than
to their valour and conduct.

This infamous and disheartening event
necessitated the Duke of Cumberland to
take the field a second time ; and this re-
bellion, formidable only in the apprehen-
sions of a pusillanimous and effeminate
nation, was brought to a period in a few
months b}^ one battle with the highlanders
at Culloden, very little to the credit of
their pretended Prince, and in its conse-
quences not much to the honour of our
Rojal Commander, who stained his vic-
tory with the most unsparing cruelty.

The defeat at Falkirk furnished occasioa
to the Pelhams of demonstrating their in-
gratitude, as well as their factious power,
to the king. This crisis they chose, to in-
sist on his creating Mr. Pitt paymaster of
the army, an office which renders its pos^


( 41 )

sessor a privy councillor. The proposition 1745.
was rejected : the Duke of Newcastle re-
signed; Granville was appointed secretary
of state in his room: upon this, Mr. Pel-
ham and all the king's old servants resign-
ed likewise. None could be found to ac-
cept the vacant offices. Granville, whose
arbitrary spirit was not less undaunted
than dangerous, boldly counselled the king
to summon the Commons, and declare
from the throne to them and the House of
Lords, what usage he received from all his
servants in the midst of a rebellion. Could
the counsellor have conveyed with his ad-
vice some part of his manly and enterpri-
sing temper to the person advised, perhaps
the project might have been put into exe-
cution ; and considering the king's popu-
larity at that juncture, and the odium he
would have cast on the Pel hams ; consi-
dering too their wavering and timid dispo-
sition, it was a project which might have
brought them to submission at least, if not
overthrown the whole faction. On the
contrary, the king submitted to them, and The king.


( 42 )

1745. was seen* to weep when Mr. Pitt appeared
first in the drawing-room to kiss hands.

Disinterested motives, and an object of
public advantage extorted from the Crown,
would have rendered the measure illustri-
ous to all posterity ; but the motives were
selfish, the object was power: this con-
duct therefore of the Pelhams was ungrate-
ful towards a Prince ever profitable to
them, and factious towards the State,
which they never had served either ably
or vigilantly, nor meant to serve in this
instance : their single aim was to annihi-
late all rivalship, and establish an unboun-
ded authority over a weak, narrow, sor-
did, and unfeeling master, who, seated
by fortune on a throne, was calculated by
nature for a pawnbroker's shop, and was
easily reconciled to a set of men willing
and able to gratify his low avarice, in his
ideas, a sufficient compensation for the
sacrifice he made them of his resentments
and his prerogative. Hating Mr. Pitt, he

* Mrs. Waller told me, that she stood near the king on
the occasion, and saw him shed teais.


( 43 )

preferred him : the ministers, who had ins.
hurled back his favours in his face, he re-
stored not only to employment, but to his
confidence, and the sole power of three
kingdoms : among so great a number.
Lord Harrington Avas the only one he did
not forgive, and whom he was permitted
to disgrace. Pitt co-operated with the
Pelhams in every point, and brought him-
self to a level with the Earl of Bath in the
public dis-esteem, not more by his votes,
than by his hot and unguarded expressions
in Parliament ; the most indecent of which,
was, a needless encomium on the late Sir
Robert AValpole, reproaching himself for
his opposition to him, and professing a
veneration for his ashes.*

I write as I think ; I deliver facts as
thej fall under my own observation ; my

* " I have no objection to pay Lord Chatham such
compUments as carry a condition with them, and either
bind him firmly to the cause or become the bitterest re-
proach to him if he deserts it." — Junius, Vol. ii. p. *290.
Junius to Woodfall says, " Between ourselves let me re-
commend it to you to be upon your guard with patriots."
— Junius, Vol. i. p. *2:?8. — Edit.


( 44 )

1746. reflections are dispassionate, thus far at
least, that I have conceived no prejudice
against any person named in these Me-
moirs, from any disobligation to myself :
far otherwise ; I had intimacies to a de-
gree of friendship with most of them ; but
as those intimacies were contracted on the
public account, when that cause was de-
serted by them, their society was aban-
doned by me. I'here was a time too^
when I was forsaken by fortune, and en-
dured all the calamity which can befall a
man in trade; yet, in the day of distress,
I returned not to those powerful friends,
who were really willing and able to assist
me : industry was my resource ; I opened
a new scene, repaired my losses, and
maintained my independence ; renewed
and extended my acquaintance with the
greatest, and by that situation obtained an
insight into the springs of those actions
and events which I now communicate to
writing in the year 175?. Should this nar-
rative hereafter merit the attention of any
reader, let him be reminded that an author
who professes to authenticate facts from


( 45 )

his owH knowledge, must of necessity 1745.
speak frequently of himself. It would be
difficult for the best of writers to characte-
rize his own talents and accomplishments
without the charge of vanity ; but if with
the assent of his conscience he can de-
clare, that his intention has ever been up-
right, and consistency of conduct his study,
such a description of himself may surely
pass uncensured ; and it is to the character
of an honest and consistent man, that I
lay my claim, to nothing further; and so
far I think myself entitled to belief.

I leave to its own notoriety the war with it48,
Spain and France. It was concluded in
May, 1748, by a general pacification at
Aix la Chapelle. I shall only observe,
that as our peculiar disappointments were
owing to ourselves, wanting both States-
men and Commanders, economy, disci-
pline, and conduct ; the calamities which
involved the rest of Europe, may be justly
and primarily imputed to the King of
Prussia. On the death of the Emperor
Joseph he set up an old and dormant claim
to four duchies in Silesia, invades that


( 46 )

1748. province and Bohemia, while the French
and Bavarians penetrate into Austria*
The Queen of Hungary purchases a peace
with the Prussians by a cession of more
than he claimed in Silesia : this was ratified
by the treaty of Breslavr. She then con-
quers Bavaria, whose prince had been
newly* elected Emperor by the power of
France and Prussia^ drives the French out

* It must not be forgot, that our king went to Hanover
at the time a French army was advancing into Westphaha
under Maillebois. I will not affirm that the Electoral
Vote was absolutely promised to the Duke of Lorraine,
while he was in England ; but I believe he, and every one
besides, understood that the king intended to give him his
vote. The French army consisted of thirty to thirty-five thou-
sand men at most. We had at that time twelve thousand
Hessians in our pay and at the king's command, which, added
to the Electoral troops, might have encouraged a prince
of the least magnanimity to have supported his dignity ;
but the fear of Maillebois, and the plain language of his
bullying emissary Bussy, compelled the king to vote against
the Duke of Lorraine, and in a manner inconsistent with
our constitution to send orders, unauthorised by any Eng-
lish secretary of state, to Admiral Haddock, then at Gib-*
raltar with a powerful naval force, to suffer the Spanish
squadron to enter the Mediterranean unmolested ; which
afterwards joined the Toulon fleet, and gave battle to
ours under Matthews and Lestock.


( 47 )

of Germany with the loss of four score 1748.
thousand men, the flower of their troops,
and the next year carried terror and deso-
lation into France itself, by sending her
victorious army across the Rhine.

France, in distress, bribes the King of
Prussia, wiio, in defiance of the late treaty
of Breslaw, invades the Austrian domi-
nions a second time, commits the most
inhuman acts of devastation, compels the
Queen to recall her army for her own pro-
tection ; and thus relieves, if not preserves
the inveterate foe of Europe. I judge not
of princes by the rules of morality, before
whose tribunal they would all be con-
demned in their turns, and undergo the
severest punishments, if executioners were
not wanting to the laws of nature and of
justice, and the folly and servility of man-
kind were not the safes^uard of kin^s. I
make this reflection, as I pass, merely for
its truth. The indignation and hatred of
the King and people of England, survived
in abuse and execrations on the Kino- of
Prussia, till 1755; when, on a sudden,
that fiend becomes the brightest of beings,


( 48 )

1748. and the admired Queen of Hungary de-
testable ; yet the truth of my reflections
remains, in this case, on as permanent
foundations as before.
Peiham In March, 1754, Mr. Henry Pelham

1 died, . ' .

March 6, died. Hc was originally an officer in the


army, and a professed gamester; of a nar-
row mind, low parts, of an aftable dissi-
mulation and a plausible cunning ; false
to Sir Robert Walpole, who raised him ;
and ungrateful to the Earl of Bath, who
protected him. By long experience and
attendance, he became considerable as a
Parliament-man ; and even when Minister, <»
divided his time to the last, between his
office and the club of o;amesters at White's.
I will add a few particulars of my own
knowledge ; which, from their minuteness,
could not have come under public obser-
vation, at least, not like many of the above
notorious facts.

In the year 1741, when I appeared at
the bar of the House of Commons in be-
half of the Merchants against the Com-
missioners of the Admiralty, I called for
a certain letter, which I knew was upon


( 49 )

the table. Mr. Pelham rose, and in the i7m.
most soothing and persuasive manner in-
treated me not to demand that paper; I
persisted the more, seeing he was solici-
tous to conceal that piece of evidence, and
being likewise perfectly well apprised of
the contents. He rose again, and assured
me, the paper contained nothing to my
purpose. Mr. Rowland Frye, who stood
by me, whispered me upon this, " The
false fellow wants to deceive you.'' I still
persisted ; and Mr. Pelham rising a third
time, was shameless enough to assure me,
that as a friend to the petitioning mer-
chants, he begged the paper might not be
read. This strange debate continued, till
the Speaker called out from the gallery,
that if the gentleman insisted on the pa-
per's being read, it must ; and it was read
accordingly, and acknowledged by seve-
ral members to me, particularly by Mr.
Lyttelton, that it was the most material
evidence produced that day. Mr. Frye,
who was less engaged than I was, has
often repeated to me every circumstance
as related above.

E In

( 50 )

Sam^ton ^" ^^^ J^^^' 17^6, Mr. Pclham had given
^r'john ^^ Sampson Gideon,* and other low mo-
Barnaid. nied-Hien, the most abominable job for
the loan of that year. Sir J. Barnard not
only opposed it, but offered in Parliament,
that if the money must be raised by a job,
he would undertake to furnish it half a
million cheaper. His opposition met with
no success ; however, Mr. Pelham had the
discretion to consult with Sir John Barnard
on those matters ever after.

In 1738, Sir John undertook to borrow
six millions three hundred thousand pounds,
by giving to the lenders seven millions of
Annuities at 4 per cent. The public sub-
scribed as far as nine millions. When Pel-
ham heard of this success, without the least
communication with his friend and coun-
sellor, who had pledged his reputation

* Of this man, Horace Walpole writing to Henry Sey-
mour Conway, Oct. 29, 1 762, says, " I forgot to tell you
that Gideon, who is dead worth more than the whole land
of Canaan, has left the reversion of all his milk and honey,
after his son and daughter and their children, to the Duke
of Devonshire, without insisting on his taking the name,
or even being circumcised." — Edit.


( 51 )

that no more than six millions three hun- 1754.
dred thousand pounds should be borrowed,
he resolved to take advantage of the peo-
ple's forwardness, and increase the sum to
seven millions. Sir John Barnard charged
him with the design, he did not deny it ;
but on Sir John^s expressing the utmost
indignation at this imposition on himself
and the public, threatening to make it
known, and that he would release the vast
number of his own subscribing friends from
their engagements, Mr. Pelham yielded,
and by his fiattery and hypocrisy soon
pacified Sir John, who not only forgave
him, but was not less his friend than before.
In 1750, Sir John made that celebrated
motion in the House for the reduction of
interest from 4 to 3h per cent, for seven
years, and then to 3 per cent, for ever, on all
the public funds. Mr. Pelham indeed con-
curred, but trembled at the undertaking;
and I must confess, that as Sir John trusted
to mere argument, without the least degree
of management, it was a bold attempt. I
could appeal to Mr. Onslow, speaker of
the House of Commons, as well as to Sir

E 2 John,

( 52 )


1754. John, that I was the second instrument in
facihtating the success of this enterprise.
There was but one more, a friend of mine,
Mr. Broyden by name, who joined us in
combating the whole monied interest in
the kingdom ; Pelham was awed, and ra-
ther discouraged than aided our opera-
tions : however, we had influence to pre-
vail on numbers to subscribe, and largely
at first ; then, by means of those subscri-
bers, who in course were become auxilia-
ries, the influence grew more extended,
and by the help of a little bullying too,
the project was accomplished, and three
hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds
per annum was saved to the nation.

Sir John Barnard expected, which was
more than I did, that Pelham would co-
operate with him in the second part of his
plan, which was to apply all these savings,
and as much more of the sinking fund, as
would discharge a million annually of the
national-debt ; others expected that at
least some of the heaviest taxes on the
poorer sort would be abolished on this
happy incident. Pelham might have flat-

{ 53 )

tered these expectations in all ; I am sure 1754.
he deceived Sir John Barnard, and amused
him with the hope of accomplishing his
plan at a proper time, which Pelham was
determined should never come : in the
mean while Sir John was content with the
Court and observance paid him, of which
the whole Pelham family were ever most
profuse, even to servility. I must take
notice, that at the time Sir John Barnard
made this attempt, 3 per cent, annuities
were considerably above par, to the best
of my remembrance about 4 per cent., or
between 3 and 4: what I call bullying,
was nothing more than writing and talking,
that those who refused to subscribe to the
reduction would be paid off, and conse-
quently fare the worse by 3 or 4 per cent,
above par; though if the majority had re-
fused, we should have been puzzled to have
found money for the putting our threat
into execution ; and the Legislature's be-
ginning the attempt, without the least pro-
vision of money in hand, I call mismanage-
ment, and an imprudent degree of confi-
dence in Sir John Barnard.

E 3 I am

( 54 )

i^^^- I am now in the 46th year of my age ;
the ardour of youth is abated ; the mind
grown stronger by experience, familiar
with ill-fortune both to mj^self * and my
country, guarded against the delusion of
popularity, and above the pride resulting
from the occasional countenance of un-
sought confidence of men in high station,
of which I propose to make no further use,
than to delineate with accuracy and truth
the causes of this nation's fall, which my
ill-boding judgment foresees to be inevit-

* Mr. Glover was bora in the year 171'i. Married
Miss Hannah Nunn, May 21, 1737, by whom he had
two sons, but was divorced in 1 756- His divorce bill, after
having passed the House of Lords, was read the first time in
the House of Commons, Feb. 5, 1756. — See the Journal
of the House of Commons, vol. xxvii. p. 432. — Edit,

t This was also the melancholy character of Junius's
mind. " Both the cause and the public are given up ; I
feel for the honour of this countiy, when I see that there
are not ten men in it, who will unite and stand together
upon any one question. But it is all alike vile and con-
temptible." — Junius, vol. i. p.*255. "lam in earnest, be-
cause I am convinced, as far as my understanding is ca-
pable of judging, that the present ministry is driving this
country to destruction." — Junius, vol. iii. p. 202. — Edit.


( 55 )

To paint folly in the various shades and 1754.
colours of hope and fear, of exultation,
dejection, resentment, and rage, in a vain,
dissolute and refractory people, presum-
ing still on an imaginary superiority, yet
obstinately blind to its own defects and
weakness, to describe subjects without
subordination, laws uninforced, magistrates
without authority, fleets and armies with-
out discipline in the midstof an unsuccessful
war, to set forth the supineness of an efle-
minate gentry, the corruption of a servile
and dependent senate, the ignorance, in-
capacity, timidity, rashness, pride, and
ambition, holding sway by turns at some
periods, at others jarring and encountering
to the utter confusion of Administration,
under a doting, mean, spiritless, covetous,*


* Tlie King's avarice would lead him to actions repug-
nant to common honesty. On the death of liis father, the
Archbishop of Canterbury dehvered him the late King's
will in the Council-chamber: he thrust it into his bosom,
walked out, and secreted it ever after. It happened that
the Duchess of Kendell, mistress to King George the First,
had a duplicate copy of the Will, in which was a legacy of
fifty thousand pounds to her daughter, afterwards married

V. 4. to

{ 56 )

i~54. prejudiced, undiscerning Prince whose de-
cisions, like those of Chaos, serve but to
embroil the fray ; to display a scene of
this nature, and know it to be a represen-
tation of the land one inhabits, at the
same time to exhibit truth pure and un-
tinctured by passion, requires that uncon-
cern which despair alone can produce in
the human mind. It is enough to have
lamented, and beyond the means of a
private station to have opposed the im-
pending calamity ; when the measure of
popular vices and follies is full, and co-

to the Earl of Chesterfield. This nobleman consulted
Mr. Joseph Taylor, an eminent attorney and member of
the House of Commons, on the means of recovering this
legacy. Mr. Taylor acted with so much spirit, that rather
than have the will brought into the Ecclesiastical Court,
the King thought proper to pay the legacy, which he
otherwise intended to keep for ever in his own pocket, as

1 3 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 3 of 9)