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 8 of 9)
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for advice, he communicated the transac-
tion to his friend Martin, who immediately
blamed his indiscretion, and so counselled
him to lose not a moment in representing
the truth to Mr. Pitt, as the only repara-
tion which was left in his power to make.
Legge assented at once, then starting up,
recollected that he had pledged his honour
to the Duke not to divulge a tittle; and


( U7 )

half out of his senses ran from Martin's itor.

The Duke was not so punctilious.
Within an hour after Legge had quitted
him, he put all his treacherous arts in prac-
tice, by imparting the whole to his instru-
ment Stone, the busy, intriguing Primate
of Ireland, who authorized, nay, enjoined
by the Duke, took the first opportunity of
informing Pitt.

Not many days following, I had an in-
timation of it from Lord Temple, who
closed his discourse by saying, " there is a
difference between a wholesale grocer and
a retail one ;" alluding to the Grocer's
Company, of which Pitt and Legge had
lately been made members. Mr. Legge
by this proceeding undoubtedly furnished
just cause of suspicion, that he meant to
undermine or get the start of Pitt. I ra-
ther impute the whole to mere eagerness,
which is generally productive of impru-
dence and rashness ; and I am the more in-
clined to this, the most favourable con-
struction, from the affecting relation, which
Martin, the sincerest of mankind and

L 2 strictest

( 148 )

i75r. strictest observer of truth, gave me of
Legge's misery at this irretrievable act of
absurdity. For many mornings succes-
sively he would come into Martin's bed-
chamber before he was up, and roll upon
the floor like a man tortured with bodily
pain, and vent expressions of compunction
little short of phrensy. During my visit at
Martin's, I had observed such real dis-
tress in Mr. Legge's countenance and be*
haviour, that I not only then administered
to him every argument of consolation, but
wrote the next day a letter to Martin, in
which, taking notice of Mr. Legge's in-
tended departure from town, I expressed
the utmost concern at the distracted tem-
per of mind which that gentleman would
carry with him into the country. Mr.
Martin's answer is so explanatory of all
which I have already related, that I think
it material to insert it here, and to shew
at the same time the good sense and sin-
cerity of the writer.

" Dear Glover,^

*' It is very true, that the gentle-

( 149 )

xjian you mention did go out of town much i^sr.
dissatisfied and uneasy at the part which
he thought himself bound to take ; but this
part was the acceptance, not the refusal
of office. The indiscretion he had com-
jnitted in having a secret interview with
the Duke of Newcastle, (although the sub-
ject matter was perfectly pure and blame-
less,) had given his friends a handle to im-
pute to him the high terms which the Duke
(jemanded for himself; and the gentle^
man suspected in his own mind, that the
step he had made might have conduced
in some degree to inspire his Grace with
that confidence. From hence he looked
upon it to be a point of honour due to his
friends, not to disorder their system by
withdrawing himself from it; which other-
wise he had certainly done for several rea-
sons, some of a private and personal na-
ture. I think the time is not far off, Avhen
he and some others of my friends will set
themselves right in the world's regard. I
suppose, the state of things is well known
to you by this time; and therefore I need
not trouble you or myself with an history

L 3 of

( 150 )

17S7. of particulars. I am, dear Glover, what-
ever may be the fate of this or that politi-
cal man, faithfully and sincerely your's,

*' Samuel Martin/*

Mr. Pitt, at this juncture, appears to
have stood almost single, deserted by the
country gentlemen, declining in popula-
rity, and disunited with Legge ; his only
foundation was Leicester-house, and his
principal hope of a coalition at last rested
on the Duke of Newcastle's horror of Fox.
In the midst of their mutual perplexity.
Lord Hardvvicke interposes with his speci-
ous and artful assistance ; by the 29th of
June a new Administration is formed : the
seals are redelivered to Pitt without any
reality of power; Newcastle becomes head
of the Treasury, reserving to himself the
disposal of all offices ; Legge, Chancellor
of the Exchequer, without the least weight
or influence at the board ; Hardvvicke re-
l^laces his unpopular and obnoxious son-
in-law, Lord Anson, in the Admiralty ;
and Fox, whose prudent refusal of any
powerful office in the ministry, not a little


( 151 )

contributed to this final settlement, had 1757.
interest enough with the King to obtain
the paymastership of the arm}', a lucra-
tive employment, accountable in its own
department singly, and in no phrase in-
volved with the general Administration.
Temple is created Lord Priv3' Seal, his
brother George remains Treasurer of the
Navy; Charles Townshend, affecting the
highest discontent, continues Treasurer of
the Chambers : Sir Robert Henley is made
Lord Keeper; Mr. Pratt, Attorney Gene-
ral; Lord Plardwicke's third son, Mr.
York, Solicitor ; and himself, though out
of employment, possesses the confidence
of the King, and is equally courted by
Newcastle and Pitt : the scene closes with
the retreat of Colonel Townshend and the
country gentlemen from London, all dis-
gusted, some from generous, most from in-
terested motives.

I close this subject with one remark. D.ofNew-
The Dukeof Newcastle was a man of whom
no one ever spoke with cordial regard, of
parts and conduct which generally drew
animadversions bordering on contempt, of

L 4 notorious

( 152 )

1757. notorious insincerity, political cowardice,
and servility to the highest and the low-
est; yet, insincere without gall, ambitious
without pride, luxurious, jovial, hospitable
to all men, of an exorbitant estate, affa-
ble, forgetful of offences, and profuse of
his favours indiscriminately to all his ad-
herents ; he had established a faction by
far the most powerful in this country :
hence he derived that influence which en-
couraged his unworthy pretensions to mi-
nisterial power ; nor was he less indebted
to his experience of a Court, a long prac-
tice in all its craft, whence he had ac-
quired a certain art of imposition, that in
every negociation with the most distin-
guished popular leaders, however superior
to himself in understanding, from the in-
stant they began to depart from ingenu-
ous and public principles, he never missed
his advantage, nor failed of making them
his property at last, and himself their
master. Lord Cobham, Chesterfield, the
Duke of Bedford, Pitt, and others, found
him so in 1743, when he took them into
his confederacy to rout the Earl of Bath


( 153 )

and Granville. Pitt found him so in 1757.
1757, when this new coalition was formed
to destroy the Duke of Cumberland and


■( 154 )

The Answer of The Right Hon. William
Pitt ^0 the Lord Mayor aiidCiTY of
London, on receiving the Freedom of the
City, on the lothof April, 1757. Addressed
to Sir Thomas Harrison, Chamberlain.

[Referred to in page 126.]

*' Give me leave. Sir, to request the fa-
vour of you, to present, in the most ex-
pressive terms, to the Lord Mayor, Alder-
men, and Common-Council of the City of
London, the high sense I have of the dis-
tinguished honour they have been pleased
to do me, in conferring on me the freedom
of the City.

" I have ever been zealously devoted to
the support of the liberty, trade, and pros-
perity of that great and respectable body ;
and I am now proud, and happy to have
such cause to add the sentiments of truest
gratitude for so generous a mark of their
favour ; and for so unmerited an approba-
tion of my insufficient endeavours to carry
into effect the most gracious intentions,
and paternal care of his Majesty, for the
preservation and happiness of his people/'


OF Tn£


GEORGE IT, born October 30, l683, succeeded to the
throne June 11, 1727; died October 25, 1760, aged 77.

Frederic Lewis, Prince of Wales, born January 20, 1707;
married April 27, 1736; died March 20, 1751.

Duke of Cumberland, born April 15, 1721 ; died October
31, 176'5.

Frederic III. King of Prussia, born Jan. S-t, 1712; suc-
ceeded to the crown May 20, 1740; died August 17,

Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, born May
3, 1717; succeeded to the throne Oct. 20, 1740;
died Nov. 29, 1780, in the 6"4th year of her age.

1 Sir Robert Walpole, born Aug. 26, 1676; first sate in
Parliament in 1700; created Earl of Orford Feb. 9,
1742;, died March 10, 1745.
" In private life, Sir Robert Walpole was good-natured,
cheerful, social ; inelegant in his manners, loose in his morals.
He had a coarse, strong wit, of which he was too free for a
man in his station. He was very able as a minister, but with-
out a certain elevation of mind necessary for great good or



great mischief. Profuse and appetent, his ambition was sub-
servient to his desire of making a great fortune. He had more
of the Mazarine than of the Richelieu. He would do mean
things for "profit, and never thought of doing great ones for
glory. He was both the best parliament-man and the ablest
manager of Parliament, that I believe ever lived. He was an
artful rather than an eloquent speaker, but he had a most ex-
traordinary talent of persuading and working men up to his
purpose. He was excessively open to flattery, even of the
grossest kind. He was loved by many, but respected by none;
his familiar and illiberal mirth and raillery leaving him no
dignity. He was not vindictive, but on the contrary very
placable to those who had injured him the most." — Chesterfield

i William Pulteney, created Earl of Bath in July, 1742 j
died July 8, 17^4, aged 82.

" Lord Bath has left above twelve hundred thousand pounds
in land and money. — The legacies he has left are trifling ; for,
in truth, he cared for nobody. The public, which was long
the dupe of his simulation and dissimulation, begins to explain
■upon him ; and draws such a picture of him as I gave you
long ago."

" He had a quick and clear conception of business, could
equally detect and practise sophistry. He could state and
explain the most intricate matters, even in figures, with the
utmost perspicuity. His parts were rather above business ;
and the warmth of his imagination, joined to the impetuosity
and restlessness of his temper made him incapable of conduct-
iiig it long together with prudence and steadiness. He was a
most complete orator and debater in the House of Commons.
His breast was the seat of all those passions which degrade our
nature, and disturb our reason. There they raged in perpetual
conflict, but avarice, the meanest of them all, generally
triumphed, and ruled absolutely, and in many instances,
which I forbear to mention, most scandalously. He was an
able actor of truth and sincerity, but he could occasionally



lay them aside to serve the purposes of his ambition or
avarice." — Chesterfield.

3 Lord Carteret, born April 22, 169O, succeeded to his
father's barony 1695, became Earl of Granville on the
death of his mother in 1744; died Jan. 2, 1763.
" Lord Granville had great parts, and a most uncommoa
share of learning for a man of quality. He was one of the
best speakers in the House of Lords, both in the declamatory
and argumentative way. He had a wonderful quickness and
precision in seizing the stress of a question, which no art, no
sophistry, could disguise in him. In business he was bold,
enterprising and overbearing. He had been bred up in high
monarchical, that is, tyrannical principles of government,
which his ardent and imperious temper made him think were
the only rational and practicable ones. He would have been
a great first minister in France, little inferior, perhaps, to
Richelieu; in this government, which is yet free, he would
have been a dangerous one, little less so, perhaps, than Lord
Strafford. He was neither ill-natured nor vindictive and had a
great contempt for money. His ideas were all above it. In
social life he was an agreeable, good-humoured, and instruc-
tive companion ; a great but entertaining talker." — Chester'

3 Lord Hardvvicke, the Chancellor, born Dec. 1, 169O;
created a Peer Nov. 23, 1733 ; made Chancellor Feb.
21, 1736-7 ; died March 6, 1764.
" Lord Hardwicke was, perhaps, the greatest magistrate
that this country ever had. He presided in the Court of Chan-
cery above twenty years, and in all that time none of his de-
crees were reversed, nor the justness of them ever questioned.
Though avarice was his ruling passion, he was never in the
least suspected of any kind of corruption : a rare and merito-
rious instance of virtue and self-denial, under the influence of
such a craving, insatiable, and increasing passion.

" He


*' He had great and clear parts ; understood, loved, and cul-
tivated the bdks Idtres. lie was an agreeable, eloquent
speaker in parliament, but not without some little tincture of
the pleader.

" Men are apt to mistake, or at least to seem to mistake,
their own talents, in hopes, perhaps, of misleading others to
allow them that which they are conscious they do not possess*^
Thus Lord Hardwicke valued himself more upon being a great
minister of state, which he certainly was not, than upon being
a great magistrate, which he certainly was.

" All his notions were clear, but none of them great. Good
order and domestic details were his proper department. The
great and shining parts of government, though not above his
parts to conceive, were above his timidity to undertake." —

3 Thomas Holies, Duke of Newcastle, born Aug. 1, l693;
created Duke of Newcastle Aug. 2, 1715 ; died Nov*
17, 1768.

" The Duke of Newcastle had been a minister for above
forty years together, and in the last ten years of that time
first minister.

" The public opinion put him below his level : for though
be had no superior parts, or eminent talents, he had a most
indefatigable industry, a perseverance, a court craft, and a
servile compliance with the will of his sovereign for the time
being ; which qualities, with only a common share of com-
mon sense, will carry a man sooner and more safel}' through
the dark labyrinths of a court, than the most shining part?
would do without those meaner talents.

" He was good-natured to a degree of weakness, even io
tears upon the slightest occasions. Exceedingly timorous, both
personally and politically, dreading the least innovation, and
keeping, with a scrupulous timidity, in the beaten track of
business as having the safest bottom." — Chesterfield.

3 Henry


3 Henry Pelham, born 1696; first sate in Parliament 1718 ;

died March 6, 1754: Brother to the Duke of New-

" Mr. Pelham had good sense, without either shining parts
or any degree of literature. He had by no means an elevated
or enterprizing genius, but had a more manly and steady re-
solution than his brother the Duke of Newcastle. He had a
gentleman-like frankness in his behaviour, and as great point
of honour as a minister can have, especially a minister at the
head of the treasury, where numberless sturdy and insatiable
beggars of condition apply, who cannot all be gratified, aor all
with safety be refused.

" He was a very inelegant speaker in parliament, but spoke
with a certain candour and openness that made him be well
heard, and generally believed." — Chesterfield.

4 Mr. Lytteiton, afterwards Sir George Lyttelton, born

1709; first sate in the House of Commons 17*15
created a Peer Nov. Ip, 1757 ; died Aug. 22, 1775.

4 Colonel Lyttelton, afterwards Sir Richard Lyttelton ;

died Oct. 1, 1770: Brother to George Lord Lyttelton.
Uncles to the present Lord Lyttelton.

5 Earl of Wilmington. Sir Spencer Compton, third son of

James, the fifth Earl of Northampton, elected Speaker
of the House of Commons 1714; created Baron Wil-
mington 1727, and Earl of Wilmington 1730; died un-
married 1743, and the title became extinct. — Vide
Horace Walpol^s Reminiscences, for some account of this
Nobleman, Vol. IV. p. 294.

5 Samuel Sandys, first sate in the House of Commons

1717; created a Peer Dec. 20, 1743; died Dec. 2^,

5 Sir John Rushout, first sate in Parliament in 1710; died

Feb. 2, 1775, aged 9I: Grandfather to the present

Lord Northwick.

6 Daniel,


6 Daniel, seventh Earl of Winchelsea, first sate In the
House of Commons 1711; succeeded to his father's
titles Jan. 1, 1729 — 30: appointed First Lord Com-
missioner of the Admiralty March l6, 1741: died Aug.
2, 1769, in the 81st year of his age. Uncle to the
present Earl of Winchelsea.

6 John Duke of Argyle, born 168O; succeeded to his

father's titles Sept. 28, 1703; died Oct. 3, 1743.

" The Duke of Argyle, though the weakest reasoner, was
the most pleasing speaker I ever knew in my life. He
charmed, he warmed, he forcibly ravished the audience ; not
by his matter certainly, but by his manner of delivering it. A
most genteel figure, a graceful noble air, an harmonious
voice, an elegant style, and a strength of emphasis, conspired
to make him the most affecting, persuasive, and applauded
speaker 1 ever saw. I was captivated like others ; but when
I came home and coolly considered what he had said, strip-
ped of all those ornaments in which he had dressed it, I often
found the matter flimsy, the arguments weak, and I was con-
vinced of the power of those adventitious concurring circum-
stances, which ignorance of mankind only calls trifling ones."

Chesterfield, I,etter 205, Dec. 5, 174,9.

This account of the Duke of Argyle, by Lord Chesterfield,
is inserted to compare it with Glover's opinion of the same per-
son, p. 10 in this Memoir.

7 John Duke of Bedford, born Oct. 20, 1710; succeeded

to the Dukedom Oct. 23, 1732 ; died Jan. 14, 1771 :
Grandfather to the present Duke.
" The Duke of Bedford was more considerable for his rank
and immense fortune, than for either his parts or his virtues.

" He had rather more than a common share of common-
sense, but with a head so wrong-turned, and so invincibly ob-
stinate, that the share of parts which he had was of little use
to him, and very troublesome to others.

" He was passionate, though obstinate ; and, though both,



was always governed by some low dependants, wlio had art
enough to make him believe that he governed them.

" His manners and address were exceedingly illiberal ; he
had neither the talent nor the desire of pleasing.

" In speaking in the House, he had an inelegant flow of
words, but not without some reasoning, matter, and method.

" He had no amiable qualities ; but he had no vicious nor
criminal ones : he was much below shining, but above con-
tempt in any character.

" In short, he was a duke of a respectable family, and with"
a very great estate." — Chesterfield.

7 George Compton, first sate in the House of Commons
1722; appointed one of the Lords Commissioners of
the Treasury Feb. 2, 1742 ; succeeded to the Earl-
dom of Northampton on his brother's death Oct. 3,
1754 ; died Dec. 6, 1758, in the 66i\\ year of his age.
Great uncle to the present Lord Northampton.

7 Lord Carlisle died Sept. 2, 1758, aged 63 : Father to the
present Lord Carlisle.

7 Lord Chesterfield, born Sept. 22, 1694 ; first sate in the
House of Commons in 1714; succeeded to his father's
titles Jan 27, 1725-6 ; died March 24, 1773.

7 Lord Cobham. Sir Richard Temple was created Baroa
Cobham Oct. \'^, 1714: died Sept. 13, 1749.

84 Earl Temple, born Sept. 26, 17U ; first sate in the
House of Commons 1734; succeeded to the Earldom
on his mother's death, Oct. 6, 1752; died Sept. 11,
1779: Nepliew to Lord Cobham,

21 George Grenville, born Oct. 14, 1712 ; first sate in Par-
liament 174J ; died Nov. 13, 1770: Brother to Earl

vii Marquis of Buckingham, born June 18, 1753 ; became
Earl Temple on his uncle's death Sept. 12, 1779;

M created



created Marquis of Buckingham, Nov. 30, 1784 ; died
Feb. 11, 1813: Eldest son of George Grenville.

7 Earl Gower, born August 4, 1721 ; first sate in the
House of Commons 1744; succeeded to his fathers
titles Dec. 25, 1754; created Marquis of Stafford,
Feb. 28, 1786; died Oct. 26, 1803: Father to the
present Marquis.

7 Lord Bathurst, born Nov. l6, l684 ; created a Peer
Dec. 31, 1711 ; died Sept, 14, 1775, aged 91 : Father
of the Lord Chancellor Bathurst.

9 William Pitt, born Nov. 15, 1708 ; first sate in the House
of Commons Feb, 1735 ; created Earl Chatham July
30, 1766; died May 11, 1778.

<) George Bubb Dodington, born 1691 ; created Lord Mel-
combe April 3, 1761 ; died July 28, 1 762, and the
title became extinct.
30 Sir John Hinde Cotton died Feb. 4, 1752, in the 64th
year of his "age.

50 Sir John Barnard, born at Reading, l6S5 ; first sate in
Parliament 1722 ; received the honour of Knighthood
1732; served the ofHce of Lord Mayor of London
1737 ; died at Clapham 1764.

59 Major Washington, born in Virginia 1732; served as a
Colonel in the British service in 1755 ; in June, 1775,
he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Ameri-
can army in opposition to the British Government ;
died Dec, 14, 1799-

64i Henry Bilson Legge, second son of William Earl Dart-
mouth ; made Chancellor of the Exchequer April 6,
1754; resigned Nov. 22, 1754; reappointed Nov. 15,
1756; resigned April 9, 1757; reappointed July 2,
1757: died August 21, 1764.


Explanatory index. i6o

'* He was designed, in his younger years, for the service of
his country, in the Royal Navy, but that service being at
that time inactive, he quitted it after one or two voyages,
and becoming known to Sir Robert Walpole, was received
into the family and confidence of that Minister; and after
having filled the station of his Secretary for some years, he
obtained a seat in Parliament, and passed through the several
offices of Secretary to the Treasurer; Secretary to the Duke
of Devonshire as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland ; fcne of the Com-
missioners of the Admiralty; Envoy Extraordinary to the
Court of Berlin; Treasurer of the Navy; Chancellor and
Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer, and one of the Commis-
sioners of the Treasury, and he continued, to the last, one of
his Majesty's Privy Council,

" Mr. Legge, with a penetrating apprehension, and a me-
mory remarkably tenacious of substantial knowledge, had a
judgment so clear and sound that it seems hardly possible for
any human mind to be more accurate, unembarrassed, and
comprehensive of all the ideas that related to the subject be-
fore him, as well as of all the consequences which followed
from comparing them." — Dr. Butler, Bishop of Hereford.

60 Charles Townshend, first sate in Parliament 1747; died
Sept. 4, 1767, aged 42: Brother to George Town-

69 George Townshend, born Feb. 28, 1724; succeeded to
,his father's title March 12, 17^)4; created Earl of
Leicester May 18, 1784, and Marquis Townshend
Oct. 27, 1787; died Sept. 14, 1807: father to the
late Marquis.

€5 Henry Fox, born 1705, first sate in the House of Com-
mons 1735; created Lord Holland April 16, 1763;
died July 1, 1774: Grandfather to the present Lord

77 John Byng, fourth son of George Byng first Viscount

Tonington :



Torrington: made a Post Captain Aug. 8, 1727; made
, Rear Admiral of the Blue Aug. 9, 1745: Shot by
sentence of Court INlartial, March 14, 1757.

79 The Marquis d'Abreu was Envoy Extraordinary from
the King of Spain to the British Court, till May 27,
1760, when His Excellency the Count de Fuentes
succeeded him as Ambassador Extraordinary and Ple-

79 Admiral Hawke made a Post Captain March 20, 1733;
made Rear Admiral of the White Flag July 15, 1747.
Created a Peer May 20, 1776 ; died Oct. 17, 1781 :
Grandfather to the present Lord Hawke.

81 Sir William Murray, born 1705; created Earl Mans-
field Oct. 19, 1776 ; died March 20, 1793, aged 88.

84 William, the fourth Duke of Devonshire, succeeded to
his father's title Dec. 5, 1755; died Oct. 2, 17^4, ia
the 44th year of his age.

88 Lord Holdernesse died 1778, when the title became ex-

96 John, the seventh Earl of Westmoreland, first sate in the
House of Commons 17O8; succeeded to the Earldom

1 2 3 4 5 6 8

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 8 of 9)