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 4 of 9)
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he had done till that time. This is an incontestible fact.
What other legacies might have been in the Will I pretend
not to ascertain. It was said there was some devise of
money or jewels to the King of Prussia. Be that as it
may, there never was a greater degree of rancour between
two persons than the Kings of England and Prussia ; and
neither, for many years, could speak of the other, but in
the most abusive terms.


( 57 )

operating with selfish and ambitious rulers, 17H.
renders a nation contemptible, an honest
individual who can assuage his aching
heart with indifference, may stand justified
not less to his own conscience, than to the
unmeriting herd.

Composing such a narrative, and en-
deavouring to establish such a temper of
mind, I cannot at intervals refrain from
regret, that the capricious restrictions in
the Duchess of Marlborough's Will, ap-
pointing me to write the life of her illus-
trious husband, compelled me to reject the
undertaking. There, conduct, valour, and
success, abroad ; prudence, perseverance,
learning, and science, at home, would have
shed some portion of their graces on their
historian's page, and enlivened his cheerful
labours; a mediocrity of talent would have
felt an unwonted elevation in the bare at-
tempt of transmitting so splendid a period
to succeeding ages. Truth unadorned, in
all the simplicity of a mourner I now pur-
sue, and, having unburthened my heart
in a melancholy digression, return to my
plain narration.

I have

( 58 )

iy54. X have already observed that Henry
Pelham, First Commissioner of the Trea-
sury, and Chancellor of the Exchequer,
died in March, 1754. His brother Hollis,
Duke of Newcastle, succeeded as First
Minister, and taking the Treasury under
his own management, made Henry Legge
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and put Sir
Thomas Robinson into the office of Secre-
tary of State, which had been held up-
wards of thirty years by the Duke. About
this time intelHgence came from Virginia
of the hostilities commenced between the
English and French on the banks of the
Ohio ; an alarming event, presaging all the
evils which it afterwards produced through
the neglect and irresolution of the Minister.
A large tract of land between the Ohio
and those mountains which the French
call the just boundaries of Virginia, had
been granted to some planters of that
country, and some merchants of London,
not many years before. When this society
at last began to settle these lands, the
French took umbrage, marched against
the settlers, and destroyed a small fort,



( 59 )

which had been lately erected by the pro- ns*.
prietors for the security of their new pos-
session. The French abstained from blood-
shed, and contented themselves with the
expulsion of our people. In resentment
of this violence a body of Virginian militia
advanced under the command of Major
Washington, who put to the sword about Washing-
thirty French in the First encounter; but
was afterwards surprised himself, and beat
back with loss and disgrace.

The right of these useless lands was not
a question worth resolving, in my estima-
tion ; but whether they were worth a con-
test by the sword, was a point which
merited the serious consideration of Eng-
land. England was wild for a war singly
with France ; a perpetual naval war was
the cry of the people promoted by the
trading part, whose interested members
look on war as their harvest, and are ever
ready to feed the sanguine hopes and
confidence peculiar to this nation, and
which had got to so fatal a height at this
juncture. The infectious frenzy spread
througrh all orders of men. The Kins; and


( 60 )

i'5f his Minister only were pacific, not through
knowledge and judgment, but from per-
plexity and cowardice. The same unmanly
spirit, which preferring peace through fear
could be hurried by the public impetuo-
sity into a war, must naturally begin and
conduct it with irresolution and tameness;
opportunities favourable at first to vigor-
ous measures were irretrievably neglected ;
every advantage proceeding from delay
was given to an enemy superior in national
strength directed by their ministry with
steadiness at least, and some attention to
national honour and welfare. We should
either have resolved to relinquish the trifle
in dispute, or struck an immediate blow
in America; and at the same time had our
governors weighed the superior national
strength of the enemy against our own,
they should have established a general
militia, the only means of security to an
inferior nation .
Charles A plan of opcratiou in North America

Tow n 3*

hend. was conccrtcd by Mr. Charles Townshend,
then Commissioner of the Admiralty, and
myself, and laid before his uncle, the Duke


( 61 )

of Newcastle, about the beginning of Sep- 1754;
tember. The proposition was obvious, re-
quiring moderate talents in its conception,
but spirit and diligence in its execution.
It was to conduct directly three thousand
regulars for New England, to send three
hundred thousand pounds, and a number
of old Serjeants and corporals into that
province, that the inhabitants of so martial
and populous a colony might be trained
and enabled to take the field early in the
spring, 1755. The French at that time
had not a thousand regulars in all Canada ;
and allowing the natives an equality with
ours in discipline and spirit, they were not
imdoubtedly a tenth of our number. An
attack on Louisburg or Quebec was my
intention, and the men of New England
who had taken the former, in last war,
were willing to have made an attempt on
either, if properly supported by the Mo-
ther Country.

It was on the 15th September, that his 1755.
Majesty was pleased to appear again in
England, after an absence of four months
and a half. His transactions in Germany,


( 62 )

1755. with their consequences in England, must
now find their places in this Narration.
During the first part of the summer he
was amused bj Monsieur de Bussj, the
French Envoy, who, it seems, was very
acceptable at the Court of Hanover ;
though he had appeared there formerly as
the bully of Maillebois, when that Mar-
shal, at the head of an army in Westphalia,
compelled the King to vote for the Em-
peror Charles of Bavaria, and to sign the
infamous neutrality for the Mediterranean:
this Envoy was ordered home about the
time that the Due de Mirepoix, ambas-
sador from France to the English Court,
returned to Paris ; their departure was to-
wards the end of July, immediately after
the intelligence of the hostilities com-
mitted by Boscawen on the French fleet
off Newfoundland. On the 18th of the
preceding month his Majesty concluded
a treaty with the Landgrave of Hesse,
whose son was married to the Princess
Mary. This treaty was to secure twelve
thousand Hessians to serve, as occasion
required, in Germany, the Netherlands,


( 63 )

Great Britain and Ireland, upon terms so 1755.
exorbitant, as plainly discovered that his
Majesty's economy was confined merely
to his private affairs, and not exerted in
behalf of the public. On the 30th of Sep-
tember following, he concluded another
treaty with Russia, calculated for the pro-
tection of Hanover against that hated and
dreaded neighbour the King of Prussia.
The inveteracy of the Empress against a
Prince who had formerly espoused that
branch of the imperial family, which she
had dethroned and banished to Siberia,
enabled our negociators to make a treaty
upon reasonable conditions; the twelve
thousand Hessians were to cost us 300,000/.
annually, when in actual seiTice; whereas
the expense of fifty-five thousand Rus-
sians, and forty to fifty gallics in the
Baltic, would amount to no more than

It was further designed to induce the
Court of Vienna to act in conformity with
the barrier-treaty, by keeping twenty-four
thousand men in readiness to act in the
Ivow Countries, and at the same time


( 64 )

t?55; make the Dutch augment their troops*
The Princess Gouvernante undertook to
persuade the States-General, but failed in
the attempt. Nor had our endeavours at
Vienna any better success. That power
would not join with us and Holland to
defend the Low Countries, if attacked by
France, unless we would assist in the re-
covery of Silesia.

It is remarkable, that the first quarter
of the money due on the subsidiary part
of the Hessian treaty, was demanded of
the Treasury during the interval of Par-
liament, and allowed by three out of four
commissioners present at the board on that
occasion. The three were the Duke of
Newcastle, Lord Duncannon, and Nugent,
a jovial and voluptuous Irishman, who had
left Popery for the Protestant religion,
money and widows: the fourth was Mr.
Legge, who disclaimed the unconstitu-
tional demand in favour of a treaty un-
authorised by Parliament, and refused his
hand to the warrant. This gallant proce-
dure occasioned a change among the place-
men. Sir George Lyttelton, of all men


( 65 )

the most unfit, was created Chancellor of 1755.
the Exchequer in the room of Mr. Legge. ^^eat^ed''"
Fox, a creature of the Duke of Cumber- November
land, succeeded to Sir Thomas Robinson ^^^'
as a Secretary of State, Lord Barrington
to Fox, as Secretary at War.

These alterations took place in Novem-
ber; the Parliament met on the 13th of
that month. I think it was some time in
December that Mr. Pitt and his party
went out of place. In the course of this
year, 1755, I had frequent occasion of ob-
serving, that a powerful party against the
Minister was forming; that men who for
years had served the Pel hams in high and
lucrative employments, foreseeing the ap-
proaching perplexities of a weak Prince
and a weak Administration, were pre-
paring to break through the cloud of public
disapprobation, and step forwards once
more upon the theatre of popularity.

I met Mr. Pitt at Mr. Dodington's; the Doding-
Grenvilles his relations, whom I had long
known full of family disgusts against him,
now repaired to his house after an interval
of many years : and had his nature been

F capable

( 66 )

1755. capable of consistency, and common pru-
dence directed his only pursuit, a profitable
place, he might with their support and
foundation, his own social accomplish-
ments, Avit, plausibility, literature, and
long experience in the forms of public
business, have stood an eminent character
in times like these, so destitute of great
men. All these qualifications, with the
addition of elegance, magnificence and
wealth, wanting judgment and discretion,
could not protect his old age from ridicule
and neglect. So necessary is firmness and
uniformity of conduct, to procure even
from the imperfect part of mankind, the
confidence requisite to maintain the un-
worthy pre-eminence among them.

Among the last of his friends who did

__^ not desert him, I count myself. Public
connexions first made our acquaintance;
I was well apprised of his temper and
character, therefore was never deceived by
him: won by his private good qualities,
friendship beyond professions, industry
and alacrity to serve and oblige, I always
kept up my intimacy, and had really more


( 67 )

weight with him than any man had, though i75s,
less than the least of his own interested
projects. I was continually with him all
that summer. Fox was there frequently,
and seemed anxious for Dodington's
opinion and advice. I soon perceived the
latter trimming between Pitt and Fox,
though assuring me that he would unite
with no cabal, but stand on his own
bottom, and publicly declare his sentiments
unbiassed. This I encouraged, wishing
sincerely well to a man whose company
gave me pleasure.

When the Hessian treaty was made
known, (that apparent job,) and the spirited
behaviour of Legge, it at once struck out
a plan of opposition. Dodington was
among the foremost; Pitt depended much
upon him, and was even deluded by Fox,
not indeed from any promise, but indi-
cations that he would take part with them
on the Hessian treaty: certain it is, that
hopes were entertained of Fox's concur-
rence in the plan to overthrow the Duke
of Newcastle, and that the opposition was
to take its rise from both the foreign

F 2 treaties :

( 68 )

1755, treaties: it is as certain, that the Duke of
Newcastle considered Fox as a secret
enemy. Fox, by amusing Pitt, provoked
him beyond reconciHation ; and by en-
deavouring to supplant Newcastle, he
frightened him into a diffidence, as hurtful
to Fox as Pitt's resentment.
Charles The opcuiug of the session was now at

shend,caii- hand; Charles Townshend, from the mere

cd silver-

tongued. plcasurc of fishiug in troubled waters,
enlists under Pitt; the country gentlemen,
and the public, add their weight: in the
midst of all. Fox quits his place as Secre-
tary of War, and on the 14th of Novem-
ber accepts the Secretaryship of State.
As Pitt had for some time past rejected
any compromise with the Court on the con-
ditions they proposed, and consequently
a resignation of employments, or dis-
placing him and his friends, was expected?
Fox holds up these alluring objects to
Dodington; he melts at once, passes a few
harmless censures on the Hessian treaty
when it was debated in the House, makes
his court, in the same breath, to Hanover,
shortly after steps into the Treasurership


( 69 )

of the Navy, just vacated by his relation i756.
and new confederate George Grenville, is
marked for perdition by that party, and
becomes despised by every other beyond
all redemption of character or weight with
the lowest faction. I gave him a cold
congratulation, having warned him before,
that he could go into no office at that
juncture without being the most unhappy
of men. Here end the principal transac-
tions of the year 1755.

During the whole sessions Mr. Pitt Pi".
found occasion in every debate to con-
found the ministerial orators; his vehement
invectives were awful to Murray, terrible Murray.
to Hume Campbell ;* and no malefactor Campbell.
under the stripes of an executioner was
ever more forlorn and helpless than Fox Fox.
appeared under the lash of Pitt's elo-
quence, shrewd and able in Parliament as
he confessedly is : Dodington sheltered Doding-
himself in silence.

The troubles of this session, and the ex- George

* Hume Campbell, only brother to the Earl of March-

mont. See Horace Walpolc's Works, Vol. v, p. 27. and

the same Vol. p. 347. — Edit.

F 3 pectation

( 70 )

1750. pectatioii of national calamity, drew at
this juncture, from a state of indolence
and oppression, under an inhuman father,
a character new indeed > unstained, though
long distressed in private life, unconnected
with any faction, uninfluenced by any but
public considerations ; it was the father
of the Militia-Bill, George Townshend,
Knight of the Shire for Norfolk. Some
detail of his history will prove no inter-
ruption to a subject unfolding events, where
he bore the part of an able, active, dis-
interested Senator, whose domestic and
public virtues, severe as I am on others,
experience, not less than affection, prompts
me to believe, will remain in every situa-
tion imcorrupt and unblemished.

He is son to Lord Viscount Townshend,
and heir to ten thousand pounds a year.
He acquired a knowledge of the classics
by his private study at the University.
Returning from thence, he was compelled,
by the neglect and perverseness of his
father, withholding from him all the means
of living equal to his rank, to indulge
a natural propensity to arms; and in


( 71 )

that view, with an allowance shamefully 1756.
stinted, unaccompanied and almost un-
attended, he passed over to Germany, and
was a volunteer at the battle of Dettingen.
He afterwards made an attempt to get
into the Dutch service, but not succeeding,
repaired to England, where he was re-
ceived into our army, served as an Aide-dC'
camp to the Duke of Cumberland in Flan-
ders, and at last was promoted in the
Guards to the rank of Colonel.

The disgust between the Duke of Cum-
berland and him was notorious, and was
certainly the cause of his quitting the ser-
vice. The account he gave me himself, is
as follows : On a vacancy for a Knight of
the Shire, the county of Norfolk invited
him to stand ; he carried the election
without opposition, except from his father
Lord Townshend : an assembly was ap-
pointed of all the gentry, and a ball for
the ladies on a certain day, where the pre-
sence of a young and new elected Member
was indispensably necessary. He wrote
to Mr. Fox, then Secretary at War, that Fox.
the leave of absence from his regiment

F 4 might

{ 72 )

1756. might be prolonged a fortnight; this being
refused, he came up to London, and made
his personal application to the Duke for
this reasonable indulgence, which he per-
sisted to refuse. Townshend then telling
him, that a favour of this nature would be
granted with three times the latitude to
any officer whose vote in Parliament was
firm to the Court, resigned his commission
forthwith, and returned to his friends in

Soon after he married a most excellent
woman, Lady Ferrars,* whose ample for-
tune, discretion, and economy have ren-
dered him easy in his circumstances with-
out the least present help from his father:
happy in her and a numerous progeny, he
can always alleviate at home the painful
sensibility of his country's misfortunes: his
proper and affectionate behaviour, as a
husband and a father, I mention from my
own knowledge, as our intimacy, founded
on an agreement of opinions, makes me in
a manner part of the family, and his house,
my home.

* This lady died September 14th, 1770.— Edit.


( 73 )

In his person, demeanour, and send- nse.
ments, he is the most manly of all human
beings. Wit, humour, and an uncommon
faculty of caricature with his pencil, ren-
der him agreeable to his friends, and for-
midable to those he dislikes. May time,
which impairs every external grace, pro-
duce no such change in his virtues, as may
ever throw upon my pen the melancholy
obligation of altering this character, which
truth and impartiality require me now to
finish with a few shades !

His capital fault is indolence; but when
he is engaged in any noble pursuit, that
indolence changes not only to activity but
impetuosity, which frequently misleads
him into hasty and striking judgments of
men, either in approbation or censure, and
in that temper of his mind he puts himself
too much in the power of the artful and
designing: vet, in those seasons I have
known him open to persuasion, and if not
persuaded, acquiescing to the authority of
a friend, whose judgment and integrity he
reveres. His absence and inattention are
extraordinary, and occasion many little


( 74 )

1756. errors in matters of form both public and

By this gentleman a MiUtia-Biil was
prepared and prosecuted against all dis-
couragements, — an instance of his un-
shaken adherence to right principles and
measures. This Bill, repugnant to the
sentiments of a court, unpleasing to an
effeminate nobility and gentry, and seem-
ingly burthensome to a languid and un^
martial conmionalty, passed the lower
House without obstruction from the mi-
nistry, that it might miscarry in the House
of Lords ; where no one distinguished
himself more in opposition to it than the
Chancellor Lord Hardwicke, masking his
own prostitution and servility under reli-
gious cant and hypocrisy, by declaiming
against the profanation of the Sabbath,
which was the day appointed in the Bill
for the assembling and training the people
to arms. I here close the transactions in

Parliament, which rose on the

The French, whose passive conduct in
appearance, hitherto had been feeding the
English vanity, by abstaining from all


( 75 )

molestation of our trade, were at length 175&.
discovered to have been preparing all the
autumn of 1755, and the beginning of
1756, to make a descent on the Island of
Minorca. On the 29th of January Sal vert
sailed with a squadron from Brest to St.
Domingo; D'Aubigny with another, but
smaller, from Rochefort to Martinico on
the 23d February; and Beaussier, with a
third for Canada, some time in March;
where, by intelligence afterwards, he landed
about 5,000 men, partly at Louisbourg,
and partly at Quebec. In opposition to
these measures, let our motions be taken
into consideration. To enter the field first
in America was always the object of our
councils. The Generals, Web and Aber-
crombie, with two battalions, took their
departure from Plymouth for New York,
not before the 20th of April. The Com-
mander in Chief, Lord Loudon, after many
delays of his transports, which carried
tents, ammunition, artillery, and entrench-
ing tools, was sent away without them on
the 20th of May ; and they were not dis-
patched till a fortnight after. The Stirling


( 7G )

i?o6. Castle man of war, with an hundred thou-
sand pounds to reimburse the colonies
their expenses in 1755, and put them in
motion for the 3^ear 1756, did not sail till
the 15th of June.

The effects of these departures from
France and England were easily foreseen.
The Marquis de Montcalm, the new
General from France, landed his forces at
Quebec, before Loudon had made a quar-
ter part of his voyage. Web, and Aber-
crombie, who sailed a month before him,
got to Albany in time to hear of Mont-
calm's approach towards Oswego, a capital
fort of our's on the Lake Ontario. While
our troops were marching to its assistance,
and had advanced about half the way,
news was brought that the fort had sur-
rendered on the 14th of August, an event
which greeted Lord Loudon soon after his
arrival at New York. He hastens to
Albany, finds himself under a necessity of
calling in all the garrisons from the Indian
country, by which we left those allies at
the mercy of the French ; and after the
conjunction of all the forces, Loudon was


( 77 )

never in a condition to act offensively, but i756.
kept some stationed at proper posts, and
employed the rest in throwing up works
round Albany. I conclude the affairs of
America with observing, that the Ameri-
can regiment of 4,000 was not complete in
a twelvemonth after it had been voted, and
that the conquest of Oswego put an end
to the two regiments raised in New Eng-
land in 1755, being the chief part of the
garrison in that Fort, and consisting of no
more than 700 together, though we reckon-
ed upon them in England as two thou-
sand .

This summary account, founded on in- Ad. Bjng.
contestable dates and facts, would almost
evince an utter dissolution of order and
method in every office of Government.
What shall be said of Admiral Byng's de-
parture from S pithead so late as the 6th
of April, with ten ships only of the line,
unaccompanied by Frigates, Hospital-
ship, or Tenders, on an absolute assertion
of the Admiralty, that the French could
equip no more than seven of the line from
Toulon, when afterwards it was made


( 78 )

1756. clear that our ministry, in every branch,
was in possession of intelligence all De-
cember, January, and February, that the
French were meditating a descent upon
Minorca in the spring, and were providing
twelve ships of the line with that intent,
of all whose names and force, lists had
been received within the forementioned
time, from a dozen different quarters ?

On the 13th of April, the French fleet,
consisting of twelve ships of the line, five
frigates, and eighty transports, sailed from
Toulon under La Galissionere ; the troops
aboard, to the number of 11,000, were
commanded by the Marechal Due de
Richelieu: they landed at Ciudadela in
Minorca on the 18th. Admiral Byng, af-
ter a tedious passage of twenty-seven
days, arrived with his ten ships on the 2d
of May at Gibraltar, where he was fortu-
nately reinforced by one 60 and two 50
gun ships, and four frigates, the whole of
our naval force in the Mediterranean for
many months before, and which had made
their escape from the harbour of Mahon,
while the French fleet was employed in


( 79 )

landing their troops on the opposite side irse.
of the island.

Byng sailed from Gibraltar on the 8th
of May. Some time in the following
month the copy of a letter from the French
Admiral, La Galissionere, to his Court,
was transmitted to D'Abreu, the Spanish
Minister in London, with an account of
an engagement between the French and
English fleets, very little to the honour of

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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 4 of 9)